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Frayed Knights Manual: Feats, Part 2

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 13, 2011

(Link to Part 1)

That’s right, two Frayed Knights updates in a row! This time, I do a nice little dump from the manual-in-progress explaining the more interesting feats in Frayed Knights. Again, none of this is 100% final yet, even after release (let alone the sequels), but we’re getting pretty dang close.

One tester was asking about my comments on classes – which classes get which feats automatically, asking why I refer to classes instead of just the names of the characters. That’s a really good question, and I don’t know if I have a great answer, other than 1) Many enemies have character classes as well, and 2) The composition of the party won’t be quite as static in the subsequent games as they are in The Skull of S’makh-Daon, and I’m not planning on making massive changes to the manual between the games if I can at all help it.

Anyway, this concludes the section on feats. For those of you counting, this comes out to nearly 90 (or over 90, if you consider the attribute enhancements as individual feats) feats you can purchase to customize your characters.

One final note before I continue the section dump: Frayed Knights is also class-based. There are additional bonuses that characters receive purely by virtue of their class beyond those available in the feats. For example, there’s a different per-level bonus to hit points and endurance based on class; rogues get a natural bonus to disabling traps and picking locks; sorcerers and priests get a natural bonus to their chance of hitting with their respective spell lines, warriors get a natural attack and damage bonus, and so forth. Sounds like I should write up that part of the manual next, huh?

CATEGORY: Spellcasting
The following feats grant extra performance or options to a character’s spellcasting ability, or grants the character spellcasting ability. As a special note: the gods can get a little jealous. A character can only have one type of priestly magic ability. Once it is chosen, it cannot be changed.

Sorcery
Cost: 2 points
Description: Character can cast Sorcery spells.
Notes: Sorcerers automatically get this feat. The class would be something of a misnomer if they didn’t, don’t you think?

Nature Magic
Cost: 2 points
Description: Character can cast priestly magic of the Nature type.
Notes: Priests automatically get one magic type of Nature, Divine, or Dark.  A character with Nature Magic cannot take the Divine Magic or Dark Magic feats.

Divine Magic
Cost: 2 points
Description: Character can cast priestly magic of the Divine type.
Notes: Priests automatically get one magic type of Nature, Divine, or Dark.  A character with Divine Magic cannot take the Nature Magic or Dark Magic feats.

Dark Magic
Cost: 2 points
Description: Character can cast priestly magic of the Dark type.
Notes: Priests automatically get one magic type of Nature, Divine, or Dark.  A character with Dark Magic cannot take the Divine Magic or Nature Magic feats.

Arcane Runes
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Any Spellcasting Ability
Description: Character can cast spells from scrolls, or learn new spells from scrolls. The spells must be ones that the character can currently cast, or will be able to cast within four levels.
Notes: Sorcerers automatically get this feat.

Wand Usage
Cost: 2 points
Prerequisite: Arcane Runes
Prerequisite 2: Any Spellcasting Ability
Description: Character can cast spells from wands. The spells must be ones that the character can currently cast given their current level.
Notes: Sorcerers automatically get this feat.

Spell Homing
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Any Spellcasting Ability
Description: Single-target spells more likely to hit.

Spell Spread
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Spell Homing
Description: Area-effect offensive spells are more likely to hit their targets as the spell spreads more evenly, filling in nooks and crannies.

Advanced Sorcery
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Sorcery
Description: Increases the limit on maximum sorcery spell level to Brains +1.
Notes: Sorcerers automatically get this feat.

Expert Sorcery
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Advanced Sorcery
Description: Increases the limit on maximum sorcery spell level to Brains +2.
Notes: Sorcerers automatically get this feat.

Advanced Priest
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Any Priest Magic feat
Description: Increases the limit on maximum priest spell level to Charm +1.
Notes: Priests automatically get this feat.

Expert Priest
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Advanced Priest
Description: Increases the limit on maximum priest spell level to Charm +1.
Notes: Priests automatically get this feat.

Loudmouth
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Any Spellcasting Ability
Description: Silence has a shorter duration on this character.

Augment Spells
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Any Spellcasting Ability
Description: Allows Level 1 Spell Upgrades (Beefy and Extended Spells).

Enhance Spells
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Augment Spells
Description: Allows Level 2 Spell Upgrades (Massive and Durable Spells).

Escalate Spells
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Enhance Spells
Description: Allows Level 3 Spell Upgrades (Awesome and Prolonged Spells).

Maximize Spells
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Escalate Spells
Description: Allows Level 4 Spell Upgrades (Hellacious and Protracted Spells).

Overcharge Spells
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Maximize Spells
Description: Allows Level 5 Spell Upgrades (Uber Spells).

CATEGORY: Enhancements
These feats grant passive improvements to the character’s normal abilities.  These are often situational bonuses – natural advantages the character receives under certain circumstances.

Lunge
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character can make extended-reach attack with medium melee weapons without penalty.

Ready For Action
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character receives a high initiative bonus on the first round of combat.

Spell-Slinging Stamina
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character loses less stamina from spellcasting
Notes: Sorcerers automatically get this feat.

Deft Fingers
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character is skilled at picking locks and disarming traps.

Point Blank Shot
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character can use a ranged weapon to attack targets at point-blank with no penalty.

Hangfire Reaction
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character is more likely to take reduced effect from a trap.

Effortless Casting
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Spell-Slinging Stamina
Description: Spells require even less endurance to cast than with Spellslinging Stamina.

Quick Healer
Cost: 1 point
Description: Healing spells and potions are slightly more effective on this character than normal.

Spell Blocker
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Any Spellcasting Ability
Description: Character receives a high defensive bonus for inbound offensive spells.

Improved Spell Blocker
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Spell Blocker
Description: Character is very impressive with blocking enemy spells.

Group Spell Blocker
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Spell Blocker
Description: Character’s spell-blocking ability affects the entire party.

Alert
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character recovers full faculties quickly. Stun and Sleep durations are reduced.

Quick Draw
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character enjoys a speed bonus when wielding thrown weapons.

Turtler
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Guard
Description: Character is so well protected when defending that they can even blunt some of the damage they take if they are hit.

Awareness
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character is adept at searching for hidden objects and ambushes.

Rapid Recovery
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character recovers more quickly from fatigue from resting, and receives long-term exhaustion more slowly.

Energy Conservation
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character uses less endurance when performing active feats.

Monster Watcher
Cost: 1 point
Description: Monster journal updates with every successful encounter. Character gains combat bonus against familiar foes.

Goes the Distance
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character has significantly more endurance than normal (+10).

Hardy
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character is harder to kill (+5 hit points).

Extra Hardy
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Hardy
Description: Character is harder to kill (+10 hit points total, including the bonus from Hardy).

Size Doesn’t Matter
Cost: 1 point
Description: Small weapons gain +1 Base Damage and +1 Accuracy when wielded by this character.
Notes: Rogues automatically get this feat.

Speedy
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character acts just a little faster than most, acting as if under 10% haste in combat.

Extra Speedy
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Speedy
Description: Character’s actions are even faster, acting as if under 20% haste in combat.

Point Person
Cost: 1 point
Description: If this character is in the front rank, he or she has the chance of detecting a random encounter before it happens, allowing the party the choice of whether or not to engage.

Mechanical Aptitude
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character gains a +2 bonus to any lockpicking or trap disabling action when using a rogue tool.
Notes: Rogues automatically receive this feat.

CATEGORY: Skills
Skills are either new active abilities that can be accessed by the spellcasting / feats menu, or special abilities activated by other actions (like defending), or enhancements to other skill feats. Any active feat may have an endurance cost required to use it. Most active feats are combat-based, but Bind Wounds can take place in or out of combat, and Battle Dressing can only be used outside of combat. Both Bind Wounds and Battle Dressing will be used if the player chooses to auto-heal while resting.

Dual Wield
Cost: 2 points
Description: Character can fight with an offensive weapon in each hand – but at a penalty

Improved Dual Wield
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Dual Wield
Description: Character can fight with two offensive weapons with minimal penalties.

Linebacker
Cost: 1 point
Description: A character with this feat offers some protection to those behind him or her. This protection goes up even more if the character is defending.

Bind Wounds
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character can heal self by a small amount, even in mid-combat.

Rank-Smack
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Aggressive Attack
Description: Character can attack an entire rank at once with a bludgeon, blade, or axe.

Guard
Cost: 1 point
Description: Increases defense bonus when defending.

Crippling Strike
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Slam
Description: A nasty attack that leaves the opponent briefly debilitated.

Fast Feet
Cost: 1 point
Description: This feat increases the chance of escape when fleeing combat.

Impale
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Lunge
Description: With a spear weapon, character can sacrifice accuracy for significantly extra damage in an all-out thrust.

Slam
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character sacrifices significant damage on a melee attack in order to knock an opponent off-balance or even stun them.

Skewer
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Impale
Description: With a spear weapon, character can sacrifice accuracy for a chance to hit both the primary target and a random target one rank behind.

Battle Dressing
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Bind Wounds
Description: As Bind Wounds, but more effective and functions on the entire party. This is a non-combat action only, and takes 1 turn per party member.

Cautious Attack
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character can accept a lower chance of hitting in exchange for better defense. Not quite as good as defending, but close.

Aggressive Attack
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character can accept a reduced defensive value in exchange for a higher chance of hitting.

Fierce Attack
Cost: 1 point
Description: Character increases maximum potential damage in an attack, in exchanged for penalties to chance of hitting and defense.

Magic Guard
Cost: 1 point
Description: When character defends, he or she (or it) gains a defensive bonus against magical attacks as well.

Spell-Dodger
Cost: 1 point
Prerequisite: Magic Guard
Description: Character is more adept than usual at avoiding magical effects.when defending

Fade
Cost: 2 points
Description: Character can fade into the chaos of melee, sneaking into position to make a surprise attack with a substantial bonus to attack and damage against any opponent with no range penalties.
Notes: Rogues automatically have this feat.
It takes an action to “fade,” after which the character is harder to hit (+4 defense). Their faded condition lasts until the next combat action, whereupon they can make any kind of melee or missile attack against any enemy without a range penalty – they can circle around the enemy group for a surprise attack. They get a +4 bonus to hit, and a damage bonus based on their Luck attribute. If a character is damaged while faded, the faded condition is ended prematurely.

Auto-Fade
Cost: 2 points
Prerequisite: Fade
Description. The character begins each non-ambush combat in the faded state, for free.

Dirty Fighting
Cost: 2 points
Prerequisite: Fade
Description: Attacks made while this character is faded have a chance to stagger, blind, or even stun an opponent.


Filed Under: Frayed Knights - Comments: 22 Comments to Read



  • Frayed Knights Manual: Feats, Part 1 said,

    [...] (Link to Part 2) [...]

  • Eldiran said,

    Some feedback (I assume that’s what you’re posting these for):

    - what does it mean when you say “familiar” spells in the description of Wand Usage and Arcane Runes?

    - why not phrase multiple prerequisites like this:
    Prerequisites: Arcane Runes & Any Spellcasting Ability

    - Spell Spread’s description says “offsensive” rather than offensive

    - rather than use the term “hit likelihood” or “likelihood to hit” it is clearer and more readable to just call it “accuracy”.

  • gaiaswill said,

    … “Sorcerery”? :P

    I guess I should have mentioned this is the last update but this is verbose. Group Basic/Advanced/Expert of the same series together. I know D&D 3 listed their feats this way and I thought it was verbose then too.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Heh – okay. Typos and clarification definitely needed. Some of these came right out of in-game descriptions, so I’ll need to fix ‘em in a couple of places.

    Anyway – for “familiar” I do need to explain that a little. It’s spells currently available to you to cast normally. For scrolls, you can cast some spells that are even up to 4 levels higher than normal. I’m making the fixes.

    I’ll see about combining the feat listings. These were originally created literally via a dump from the game’s data files, auto-formatted, which I then manually reviewed and cleaned up, so there’s a reason they look a little mechanically generated.

  • Eldiran said,

    Ah, that makes sense. I suspected that was the case, but it’s unclear.

    Also, I feel compelled to suggest a feat entitled “Goes for Speed” that requires “Goes the Distance” as a prerequisite. I also feel compelled to apologize for this suggestion.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Great. Now I’m going to have Cake in my head all afternoon…

  • Irien said,

    Group spell blocker sounds rather powerful – means only one char need ever learn that tree? If one char starts down that path, there’s not much point in others taking it, because the points needed to get 4x spell block are more than to get to group-spell-block. Perhaps that one needs to be a 2 pointer? Or is it not as good a feat as it sounds?

  • Maklak said,

    Does group spell blocker stack with itself? If so, taking group and improved spell blocking on everyone would probably be overpowered against casters. Same question about Linebacker. Maybe Dirk and Arianna can both take it, and the effects stack for Dirk and Cloe.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    For Linebacker, the effects don’t stack – only the largest of the two (if one character defends and the other does not).

    For group spell blocker – I am going to have to check my code. I’m pretty sure I took care of it, but now I can’t remember how. So I need to make sure you guys haven’t pointed out a bug. And yes, this is EXACTLY why I posted these up. :)

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Ah – I had to check. The bonus only counts once – it takes the highest bonus (whether someone in the party has regular or improved counterspell). But more importantly, this is an active feat – which probably means it should go into the “Skills” category instead of the enhancements category. Fixing that now!

  • GhanBuriGhan said,

    Monster Watcher is cool – I always thought it would be a good mechanic to get bonusses agains opponents the character knows well.
    Overall a great list, tons of options

    The trap disarming screen reminds me of Return to Krondo – which is a very good thing because that was my favorite disarming “minigame”

  • Maklak said,

    I think You should write somewere in Your manual what stacks and doesn’t stack with what – less confusion among metagamers that way. DnD3 had a reasonable system of stacking. bonuses were divided into categories “enchantment”, “attribute”, “morale”, “luck”, “alchemy”, and so on. They stack with each other, but only the highest in each category counts. If you specified such categories, stacking would be easy to see from description, like “Shiled gives +2 defence bonus to defence” and so on.

    Is there going to be part 3? At some point You mentioned having well over 100 feats. Perhabs those will make it into future chapters of FK. I thought so many feats is overkill, but looking at that list I’m not confused as to who should get what, so good work.

    > this is EXACTLY why I posted these up.
    You asked for it. Ponder these questions then:

    @Arcane Runes:
    I find it strange, that in my DnD sessions we didn’t use srolls with spells above our level with a spellcraft check, but then again DnD scrolls are expensive. Perhabs in FK it is better to sell scrolls of known spells rather than stack on them. Do priests get all their spells on their own, or is this a “must” for them? It would definietely be a must for non-sorcerer with sorcery feat.

    @Wand usage:
    Perhabs there should be an option to cast spells from wands up to 4 lvls higher than current level, like with scrolls and arcane runes. Perhabs with a chance to fail, possibly with loosing a charge.

    @Expert Priest:
    Should be Charm +2

    @Loudmounth:
    Lol. Reminds me of Chloe.

    @Goes the Distance, Hardy, Extra Hardy:
    In the pilot I’d prefer 10 stamina over 5 HP, and 10 HP costs 2 points. Is this balanced? How much difference does it make? If we start with ~50 stamina / HP this is a lot. If at later levels we have ~300 both, this seems like a wasted feat. DnD 3 has a “useless” feat that adds 3 HP, and only lvl 1 wizards with low constitution are tempted by it. Is there an option to “unlearn” feats for paying money? If not, then these are tempting at first, and probably insignificant later. Perhabs they should scale with level rather than give constant bonus.

    @Speedy, Extra Speedy:
    These seems OP. 20% speed bonus for 2 points looks great for maximizing party potential. Is there a “haste” spell? How much better is it? Is there a “mass haste” spell? Are there magical items with haste? How much better are other items for the same slots, but without haste? (like +3 armor with haste vs +7 armor with reduced critical). Is it better for party to get this feat on everyone or use spells / items with haste? As I understand it, speed affects cooldown after attack/spell/feat.

    @Bind Wounds, Battle Dressing:
    These should be listed next to each other. Other than that, it seems best to take both on Benjamin, and maybe BW on front line fighters as low priority.

    @Rank-smack:
    In pilot there were rows of 2 enemies. Does this attack 2 enemies in fron or the entire group of 4 or 6? Maybe this should be doable only with certain weapons. Dagger or spear is probably not very good for this (and spear has its own piercing 2 enemies Skewer feat), but a club would do. Restricting this to certain weapons seems like too much complication, but Rank-smack with dualwielded thrown weapons on extended reach by Benjamin would be just too ridiculous.

    Speaking of thrown weapons. Are they really thrown (that is you have 1 less stone/dagger EoB-style, but may be able to get it back), or are they returning/infinite, like in Dungeon Siege? First option makes more sense, especially with picking them up after a fight, but is more costy and tedious. I preffer thrown weapons as consumables, but possible to pick some of them up after combat.

    @Heavy Armour:
    I’d skip it on priests. In any case make it clear in class description, that they get armor penalty to spellcasting.

    @Light Armour, Shields::
    Do spellcasters get penalties for using this? If so, clarify in classes description.

  • Maklak said,

    @Goes the Distance, Hardy, Extra Hardy:
    Another option would be to have these as percentages of base HP and stamina rather than constants. Another factor is that feats can increase arrtibutes. If HP and stamina are derived from attributes, than increasing them directly should be more effective than increasing attributes.

    There are no “reduce damage from type fire by amount/percent” resistance feats.

    I look forward to spell list :P

  • skavenhorde said,

    Energy Conservation is a must. You’ll get too exhausted without it. Plus I would highly recommend you get all of the “augmentation” spellcasting skills for your spellcasters.

    Can’t wait to try out the new skill Fade mixed in with dirty fighting. That will turn dirk from a so-so fighter class into a deadly ninja :)

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Dirk is definitely more pirate than ninja… ;) But it definitely adds some interesting twists to how he can be played.

  • Noumenon said,

    I didn’t play your demo and know nothing about the game… but looking at Extra Speedy I thought “I bet that’s overpowered.” It’s a danger area, is all.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    I don’t think it’s nearly as dangerous as dual-wield. But in practice, dual wield seems powerful but not overly so. You end up getting less than double the attacks for double the endurance cost.

    The thing about the haste line is that they increase your speed by 10%. Which really means that every 10th round, you get an extra action. That’s not much – a simple combat is usually over before then. (I should run a calculation next time I play to figure the “average” combat duration). So extra speedy (or 20% haste) speeds you so that you get 2 attacks every 5 rounds. This means that in the average combat, that member of the party gets about one extra action. Nice, but not game-breaking.

  • Maklak said,

    @Haste.
    I think You mentioned somewhere that each action is performed immediately, and then has a cooldown (bigger for slower weapons, more powerful spells, etc.). Whomever’s cooldown expires first acts next. Possibility of overpower of haste lies in that with this system party acts first on each round, so may kill enemies before they do anything, or heal just in time or such. This is quite an advantage in otherwise even situations.

    Let’s assume, that both party and monsters have weapons with slowness 10, but party has 20% haste. (Slowness (or some synonym) would be a nice weapon stat for this game IMO).

    turn – what happens
    00 – everyone’s first turn
    08 – party second turn
    10 – monsters second turn
    16 – party third turn
    20 – monsters third turn
    24 – party fourth turn
    30 – monsters fourth turn
    32 – party fifth turn
    40 – monster’s fifth and party sixth turn, start over.

    Extra attack helps too, but not as much as dual wield with no penalties would (OFC assuming that shield is as useless as in DnD3).

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    That was how it used to work, back in the pilot (and up until about a year or two ago), with every action taking a certain number of “ticks” (or, really, requiring a delay of a certain number of ticks before the next action).

    But it’s strictly turn-based now. I still like the above approach and may use it in other games, but for Frayed Knights breaking stuff into D&D-style turns just made more sense, and was a LOT easier to communicate to the player. There is too much other complexity going on.

  • Hajo said,

    Sometimes I wonder if it’s good to have such a multitude of offers to the player (*). Experienced players will like it, and can easily chose what is most advantageous to them, but for new players the multitude of offers means a rather hefty learning curve.

    (*) Be it skills, stats, abilities, attack modes or whatever RPGs can have.

  • Delve said,

    Advanced Priest and Expert Priest both say Charm +1. I assume that wasn’t intended. :)

  • Maklak said,

    @Hajo:
    Good point. Some people don’t like to be bothered with selecting something from a complex system on level-up.
    I propose that each of four characters has either a suggestion at every level or auto-level button. I used that in either Baldur’s Gate or Neverwinter Nights, and it worked for me. Weapon mastery selection suggestion for Arianna and Dirk could be based on currently equipped weapon.

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