Excerpts 01/07/2005

Complete Adventurer
By Jesse Decker

No player will want to be without the Complete Adventurer, the latest accessory for the D&D game that lets characters of any class get the most out of their skill ranks. Primarily a player resource, it looks at nearly every aspect of the D&D game with skills in mind, offering new combat options, new spells, new equipment, and new classes. DMs can also use this book as a resource for creating or optimizing single creatures or even entire campaign worlds. Our sneak peek includes a look at the spellthief character class, the Fochlucan lyrist prestige class, expanded skill descriptions, and new feats.

Chapter 3: Skills and Feats

It takes more than just muscle or the ability to sling a spell to survive life as an adventurer. Regardless of how swiftly or accurately you swing a sword, or how devastatingly powerful your spells are, adventures invariably pose problems and challenges that require quick thinking, versatile abilities, and a little luck to survive. This chapter explores alternate uses for many skills, providing many new ways in which characters can use existing skill ranks to overcome different challenges.

Skills, although one of the main focuses of this book, are but part of a character's many abilities. The feats in this chapter speak to the versatility of the accomplished adventurer. Whether you're a fighter wanting to handle tasks other than a toe-to-toe melee or a rogue looking to boost your combat ability, these new feats help shape a character into a more versatile, more durable adventurer. Many of the feats emphasize skill use, opening up new ways to use existing skill ranks that would be too powerful to simply give to every character. Others focus on the rogue's, ninja's, and scout's special attack forms. Finally, subsets of feats offer expanded uses for existing character abilities such as bardic music or the druid's wild shape.

Expanded Skill Descriptions

The section below outlines new and clarified uses for some of the skills in the D&D game. The new and expanded actions described in this section are available to any characters who can normally use the skill unless otherwise noted.

Diplomacy (Cha)

You can haggle over prices with a merchant or mediate between disagreeing groups, finding a solution to a diplomatic or legal matter that is satisfactory to everyone regardless of background.

Haggle: You can use the Diplomacy skill to bargain for goods or services, including those of a magical nature. When discussing the sale of an item or service, you can attempt to lower the asking price with a Diplomacy check made to influence NPC attitudes (see the sidebar on page 72 of the Player's Handbook). If you manage to adjust the vendor's attitude to helpful (most vendors begin as indifferent), the vendor lowers the asking price by 10%. Add the vendor's Diplomacy check modifier to the DC needed to achieve the result. For example, to adjust the attitude of an indifferent vendor with a Diplomacy modifier of +3 to friendly, you must achieve a result of 33 or higher on your Diplomacy check (a base chance of 30, +3 for target's Diplomacy modifier). If you worsen the vendor's attitude, the vendor refuses to sell anything to you at this time. The DM is the final arbiter of any sale of goods and should discourage abuse of this option if it is slowing the game down too much.

Action: Haggling requires at least 1 full minute, as normal for a Diplomacy check.

Try Again: You can't retry a Diplomacy check to haggle.

Mediate: In order to mediate a disagreement, you must succeed in adjusting each group's attitude to friendly or better toward the other party in the negotiation. Make a Diplomacy check as normal for influencing NPC attitudes, but add the group leader's Diplomacy check modifier to the DC needed to achieve the result. For example, to adjust the attitude of an unfriendly group led by an individual with a Diplomacy modifier of +7 to friendly, you would need to roll a result of 32 or higher on your Diplomacy check (a base chance of 25, +7 for target's Diplomacy modifier). If your check result is less than 12 (a base chance of less than 5, +7 for target's Diplomacy modifier), the target's attitude worsens to hostile. The DC increases by 5 if the two parties are of different cultures or races.

Action: Mediation is a long process and cannot often be rushed successfully. Each check requires a full day of game time. You can take a -10 penalty on the check if you wish to attempt a mediation in an hour instead of a day (such as staving off an impending battle).

Try Again: As long as both sides aren't hostile (that is, as long as at least one side remains unfriendly or better), you can retry a Diplomacy check made to mediate a disagreement. If both parties become hostile at any time after the first check is made, you can't retry the check.

Tumble (Dex; Armor Check Penalty)

You can fall from significant heights without taking damage, stand up more quickly than normal, or tumble at a full sprint.

Free Stand: With a DC 35 Tumble check result, you can stand up from prone as a free action (instead of as a move action). This use of the skill still provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.

Ignore Falling Damage: For every 15 points of your Tumble check result, you can treat a fall as if it were 10 feet shorter than it really is when determining damage. A check result of 15-29 treats a fall as 10 feet shorter than it is, 30-44 as 20 feet shorter, 45-59 as 30 feet shorter, and so forth.

Sprinting Tumble: You can try to tumble past or through an opponent's space while running by accepting a -20 penalty on your Tumble check.


Feats are the cornerstone of any adventurer's abilities. They define an adventurer's abilities by providing new uses for skills, enhancing class features, or providing entirely new combat options. The feats in this section stress skill use, provide options for multiclass characters, open up new options for the bardic music ability, and accentuate the abilities of highly skilled characters such as rogues, bards, rangers, scouts, spellthieves, and ninjas.

Ascetic Hunter

You have gone beyond the bounds of your monastic training to incorporate new modes of bringing the unlawful to justice. Although many of your fellow monks frown on your methods, none can doubt that your diverse training has added to your ability to strike precisely and bring down your foes quickly.

Prerequisites: Improved Unarmed Strike, favored enemy.

Benefit: When you use an unarmed strike to deliver a stunning attack against a favored enemy, you can add one-half your favored enemy bonus on damage rolls to the DC of your stunning attempt.

If you have levels in ranger and monk, those levels stack for the purpose of determining your unarmed strike damage. For example, a human 7th-level ranger/1st-level monk would deal 1d10 points of damage with her unarmed strike.

In addition, you can multiclass freely between the monk and ranger classes. You must still remain lawful in order to retain your monk abilities and take monk levels. You still face the normal XP penalties for having multiple classes more than one level apart.


You are skilled at inducing opponents to attack you.

Prerequisites: Cha 13, base attack bonus +1.

Benefit: As a move action, you can goad an opponent that threatens you, has line of sight to you, can hear you, and has an Intelligence of 3 or higher. (The goad is a mind-affecting ability.) When the goaded opponent starts its next turn, if it threatens you and has line of sight to you, it must make a Will saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Cha modifier). If the opponent fails its save, you are the only creature it can make melee attacks against during this turn. (If it kills you, knocks you unconscious, loses sight of you, or otherwise is unable to make melee attacks against you, it may make any remaining melee attacks against other foes, as normal.) A goaded creature can still cast spells, make ranged attacks, move, or perform other actions normally. The use of this feat restricts only melee attacks.

Special: A fighter may select Goad as one of his fighter bonus feats.

Leap Attack

Leap Attack

You can combine a powerful charge and a mighty leap into one devastating attack.

Prerequisites: Jump 8 ranks, Power Attack.

Benefit: You can combine a jump with a charge against an opponent. If you cover at least 10 feet of horizontal distance with your jump, and you end your jump in a square from which you threaten your target, you can double the extra damage dealt by your use of the Power Attack feat. If you use this tactic with a two-handed weapon, you instead triple the extra damage from Power Attack.

This attack must follow all the normal rules for using the Jump skill and for making a charge, except that you ignore rough terrain in any squares you jump over.

Tactile Trapsmith

You can rely on your rapid reflexes and nimble fingers instead of your intellect when searching a room or when disabling a trap.

Benefit: You add your Dexterity bonus (rather than your Intelligence bonus) on all Search and Disable Device checks.

In addition, you receive no penalty on these checks for darkness or blindness.

Bardic Music Feats

Bardic music feats, as the name suggests, require the bardic music ability and cost daily uses of the bardic music ability to activate. All bardic music feats require that the character be able to produce music to use the feat, even those that only require free actions and those that require no action at all.

Ironskin Chant

Class features that resemble bardic music, such as the war chanter's war chanter music (see Complete Warrior) or a seeker of the song's seeker music abilities (see Complete Arcane) can be substituted for the bardic music prerequisite of a bardic music feat.

Ironskin Chant [Bardic Music]

You can channel the power of your bardic music to enable yourself to ignore minor injuries.

Prerequisites: Bardic music, Concentration 12 ranks, Perform 12 ranks.

Benefit: As a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, you can expend one daily use of your bardic music ability to provide damage reduction of 5/-- to yourself or to one ally within 30 feet who can hear you until the start of your next turn.

This feat does not function in an area of magical silence.

Wild Feats

All wild feats have as a prerequisite the wild shape class feature. Thus, they are open to druids of 5th level or higher, as well as any character who has gained wild shape or a similar class feature from a prestige class.

Savage Grapple

Each use of a wild feat generally costs you one daily use of your wild shape ability. If you don't have any uses of wild shape left, you can't use a wild feat. Changing form with wild shape is a standard action (unless you have a special ability that says otherwise); these wild feats likewise take a standard action to activate unless otherwise noted. You can activate only one wild feat (or use the wild shape ability to change form once) per round, though overlapping durations may allow you the benefits of more than one wild feat at a time.

Activating a wild feat is a supernatural ability and does not provoke attacks of opportunity unless otherwise specified in the feat description. Activating a wild feat is not considered an attack unless the feat's activation could be the direct cause of damage to a target.

Savage Grapple [Wild]

While transformed into the shape of a wild animal, you can savagely tear at any creature that you manage to grapple.

Prerequisites: Wild shape, sneak attack.

Benefit: While you are in a wild shape, any time you make a successful grapple check to damage a creature with which you are already grappling, you can add your sneak attack damage as well. Creatures not subject to sneak attacks don't take this extra damage.

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