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One Weird Feat Discovered By A Sean

posted Wednesday, January 23rd 2013 by Jonathan Drain
None of the AboveThird Edition

For some reason today, a strange feat came to mind. It’s called Reciprocal Slaying, and it appeared on D&D writer Sean K Reynolds’ personal website in 2003.

The benefit is this: As a full attack action, you can allow an opponent to make an attack against you as if you were helpless. If it hits, it counts as a coup de grace – for reference, this means he automatically deals a critical hit, and you make a Fort save or die (DC 10 + damage taken). However, if it hits and you survive, you then get to make a coup de grace attack against your opponent in the same way.

Thinking back on it, this is a really terrible feat. It’s something you might use in an emergency, but not often enough to warrant a feat. It’s more of a “Book of Iron Might” manoever: a special attack with benefits and drawbacks that balance out but don’t require a feat to learn. I’ll blog more on those later, they’re interesting.

Imagine it in the hands of monsters, too. A kobold insta-kills your high level character. Or an undead uses it, because he’s immune to coup de grace.

Comments

  1. Andy

    January 23rd, 2013

    I definitely agree, although I love the flavor.

  2. Philo Pharynx

    January 23rd, 2013

    I could see this in a Samurai-flavored game. There is the Japanese concept of Ai Uchi, which is where two swordsmen kill each other at the same time. It represented a very honorable death because you were perfectly matched with your foe.

    I think it’s unbalanced with it being an automatic coup de grace. I’d play it where each side gets an attack that automatically hits unless you roll a 1. If the roll would normally be a miss, then it counts as a normal hit. If it would be a hit, then it counts as a critical hit. On a natural 20, it’s counted as a coup de grace. If you are immune to crits or coup de grace, you cannot use this feat.

  3. Lukan, the Destroyer

    February 7th, 2013

    That’s a pretty interesting concept. Since there must be a chance to counter on a miss with a roll of 1, why can’t there be a chance to counter on a hit with say the minimum roll necessary (like a 10 for an AC:10 por exemplo). I would count these as attacks of opportunity since the attacker has opened themselves up. I’d also like to refer to the death blow as a “called shot” for the critical hit, in other words, go big or go home. Of course, if this were to hit–on the minimum score necessary–the defender would have no other choice but to go for the coup de grace. Theoretically, since nobody actually dies immediately when taken mortal wounds, it would make sense to play out the rest of the round, unless the deceasing were to take major spinal damage, why not play the rest of the round out “hovering on death’s door.”

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