Do you like barbarians ? I’m sure you do ! They are an iconic and natural part of many fantasy setting as a human force of nature. I think the recently released 101 Barbarian Feats from Rite Publishing is a great sourcebook for those barbarian-fans who play the Pathfinder RPG.
As you may guess 101 feats are pretty much to chose from, especially if there are many good feats amongst them. On the other hand you won’t chose from 101 feats, as many of them has very narrow prerequisites (a particular Barbarian archetype, a race or a gender), which limits is availability.
I think the best feature of the 101 Barbarian Feats book is variability. Basically you will find a feat for almost every possible character concept – until it’s a barbarian, of course. You need somebody who spit acid, defend women, fight slavery or have a demon imprisoned within his body ? Here you are !
Again, I have several favorites from the book. Seize Titanic Strike enables the player to climb upon the swinging attack of a big enemy, and fight from that clinging position. Mindless Rage turns you into a homicidal force of destruction. Savage Throw enables you to throw your grappled opponents across the room.
Many barbarian archetypes received feats to empower it’s class features, which is a great idea to personalize your characters. It’s worth noting that several of the new feats are available as rage powers too, if you chose so.
It’s interesting and somewhat surprising, that there are several feats which provides it’s bonus based on the character protecting somebody (women, siblings, etc.), but I think it was a good move to tie character motivations to abilities. Another bunch of feats enable you to trade several rounds of rage for an effect (bonus initiative, combat maneuver, or defensive ability). Great ideas all around.
There are only few things in the book which don’t seems right for some reason, and most of these are really minor problems. For example some feats which are available as rage powers are creating some strange instances if gained on that way. The few remaining are possible game balance issues.
I think the feats which needs some revision are the Demonic Rage feats. How about a CR 1/2 encounter, when the players only opponent is a level 1 barbarian? It’s looks like harmless enough for a balanced party of any level. That is, until they slain the barbarian and a Cr 20 balor appears in his place. One of the feats could provide up to DR 15/good or cold iron while raging, and the another could provide SR 10 + class level.
The only other thing I find problematic are those “sacrifice 3 rounds of daily rage” which could completely neutralize an attack or a spell, regardless of it’s power. Ignoring one hit from a Titan never was easier, to mention one of the most extreme uses for these effects.
After reading through the 101 Barbarian Feats supplement I have to admit that I’m glad to have it. Apart from those about 4 or 5 feats which seems overpowered (but serviceable) the content is excellent and interesting. As a final score I give it 4,5/5 points.
Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros