Archives of Nethys

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Story Feats

Description Source: Ultimate Campaign
A story feat reflects a goal—often an all-consuming one—that shapes your life. Each story feat incorporates a trigger event (which comes from either a campaign occurrence or your background), an immediate benefit, a goal, and a further benefit for achieving that goal.

Story feats are marked with the story keyword. Each feat has at least two possible prerequisites, representing conditions most likely met during play or a background that fits the feat (see Backgrounds listed on pages 16– 51). You need to meet only one of these prerequisites. Anytime you gain a new feat, you may take a story feat, but you can have only one uncompleted story feat at a time. Story feats are designed for PCs, but can be taken by NPCs and monsters as well.

Unlike typical feats, story feats have nebulous prerequisites, and you should chose one only after talking with the GM. The GM should weave a story feat into the greater story of the campaign and even adjust it as needed to fit the campaign’s long-term goals and the specifics of your background. Story feats should work organically within the story of the campaign, rather than be chosen purely for their mechanical benefits.

Like the prerequisites, the completion conditions for a story feat might require GM adjudication. If the events of the campaign are not likely to resolve the story implied by the story feat, the GM should consider shifting the goal to something you can achieve. Establishing a meaningful story arc is more important than adhering to the letter of the feat.

Because a story feat represents both your motivation and character development, the GM should make an effort to incorporate elements related to the feat into the ongoing campaign. These can be direct elements, like the appearance of a villain or hated creature, or indirect elements, such as rumors of the fate of a lost relative or NPCs who are impressed by a PC’s artistic endeavors. A good rule of thumb is to work in a reference to each PC’s story feat once every three to five sessions.

In most cases, allies can assist in completing a story feat. At the GM’s discretion, if you do not take a leadership role in tasks or conf licts related to your own story feat, you might need to complete additional goals to resolve the story feat, or might even be denied completion altogether.

Common Rules

Many story feats share similar terminology in their prerequisites and completion conditions. The following terms have special meanings when used in story feats.

Appropriate Number: These are either creatures whose individual CRs add up to 20, or creatures whose individual CRs add up to 5 times your character level, whichever is greater. For example, if you’re at 6th level, an appropriate number of creatures have CRs that add up to 30. This calculation is based on your current character level, not the level at which you selected the story feat. Overly easy challenges (encounters with CRs of 3 or more below your character level) don’t count unless circumstances make them much more difficult to handle.

Challenging Foe: This is a foe or group of foes with a total CR of 10 or a CR of 3 plus your character level, whichever is higher. If this refers to a distinct individual, the foe’s CR is set when the feat is taken, but the foe advances in power as you do. Otherwise, it refers to your current level. A typical recurring foe advances in CR by 1 for every 1–2 levels you gain.

Character’s Level: Normally, this is your actual character level. If you’re a creature best represented by CR rather than character level (such as most monsters with more than 1 HD), use your calculated CR instead of your character level.

Decisively Defeat: You overcome a foe in some way, such as by killing the creature, knocking it unconscious, or causing it to be taken prisoner. You must be a significant participant in the conf lict to defeat the opponent, even if another strikes the final blow. Whether or not merely causing the enemy to flee qualifies is up to the GM. Generally, driving off an enemy while causing little actual harm does not qualify as a decisive defeat.

Slay: Slaying a foe includes killing it, destroying it, turning it to stone, banishing it to the Abyss, or otherwise eliminating it in a fashion reversible only by powerful magic. Unless otherwise noted, you must deal the final blow yourself to slay a creature.

Thwart: Distinct from defeating a foe, thwarting a foe involves disrupting its plans in a substantial and essentially permanent fashion. Deposing a lord, bringing down a priest’s temple, or banishing a sorcerer to the depths of Hell all qualify as thwarting. You keep any benefits gained by thwarting a foe even if it survives defeat and returns more powerful than before. You must be a significant participant in the events that lead to your foe being thwarted for your actions to count toward fulfilling a story requirement.

Story Feats and Stacking

Most story feat bonuses are untyped, and stack with almost any other bonus. However, if you have multiple story feats, their untyped bonuses do not stack with each other. For example, if two story feats gave you a bonus on saving throws, you would add only the higher bonus.

*combat feat
armor mastery feat
⊤⊤shield mastery feat
⊤⊤⊤weapon mastery feat

NamePrerequisiteDescription
AccursedYou must carry a curse that can be lifted only by a quest or similar great undertaking, or have the Cursed Birth background.Gain SR 5 + level, cannot be lowered
ApotheosisYou must have had direct contact with a deity or godlike being, or have been risen from the dead at the personal behest of a deity or godlike being.Resist the call of death with greater ease, communications with your deity have a higher chance of succeeding
ArisenYou must have been slain and brought back from the dead, or have the Left to Die or Cursed Birth background. Negative hit point threshold for death is increased
Artifact HunterYou must have come within sight of a legendary artifact at some point in your past.Coax more out of your magical items
AscendantYou must have the Secret Shame drawback (page 7) or the Bastard-Born backgroundUCA, and you must also have no publicly known faults or made any indisputable mistakes that could humiliate or cast down a figure of high station You and your apparent allies gain a +2 bonus on skill checks to gain influence or request a favor
Aspiring NobleMust be a member of an established family that is yet unrecognized as nobilityGain a bonus on Diplomacy or Intimidate in a certain settlement
Battlefield HealerYou must successfully cast a conjuration (healing) spell on an ally after being hit by an attack of opportunity, or have the Battle, Chaplain, or Healed background.Reduce DC for casting defensively when taking damage
BetrayedYou must have had a valuable item (worth at least 1,000 gp per character level) stolen by a former ally, have been left for dead by a former ally, or have the Wrong Enemy backgroundAvoid harmful effects from allies, better ignore their presence in combat
BlessedYou must have had friendly contact with a good outsider that would qualify as a challenging foe, be a sorcerer with the celestial bloodline, or have direct celestial ancestry (such as by being an aasimar).Bonus to checks relating to good-aligned outsiders
ChampionYou must have defeated a single challenging foe without any aid from another, or have the Champion of a God, Champion of the People, Competition Champion, or Gladiator background.Gain bonuses on attack/AC with combat challenges
ConcilatorMust have successfully requested that the opposing sides of a violent encounter pause for parley You can make a Diplomacy check to parley with a hostile enemy
Crisis of ConscienceLawful neutral, neutral, or chaotic neutral alignment. Your alignment must have shifted from either good or evil at least once since 1st level or the last time you completed this feat (see Special)Hide your alignment and loyalties
Cursed LoveYou must have a romantic interest who has fallen to some dark influence and rejects you out of shame or fear of newfound capabilities, or must have the Bad Romance or Temptation backgroundBonus when dealing with certain creatures
DamnedYou must have had friendly contact with an evil-aligned outsider that would qualify as a challenging foe, have a fiend-related sorcerous bloodline such as abyssal or infernal, have direct fiendish ancestry (such as being a tief ling or half-fiend), or have the Fiend Raised or The Fiend background (see Ultimate Campaign).Bonus to checks relating to evil-aligned outsiders
Dead InsideYou must have failed your saving throws against at least five different emotion-manipulating spells or your saving throw against a supernatural creature’s fear effect (such as a dragon’s frightful presence), or you have the Sunless or Sole Survivor backgroundHandle emotion and fear spells/effects better
Deny the ReaperYou must have witnessed the death of a close companion in battle—a death that could have been prevented, such as from bleeding, failure to stabilize, or ongoing poison damage—or have the Death in the Family or The War background.+2 bonus on Heal, apply first aid as move action
Dragon-TouchedYou must have been knocked unconscious in an encounter with a challenging draconic foe or have a regional background tied to a specific dragon (such as those presented in this section or a similar trait).+2 Reflex, +1 attack, +1 AC versus a specific kind of dragon
Dynasty FounderYou must have lived in the chosen city for at least 1 year or be the heir of a former city leader.Exert your control over a city's policies and politics
Eldritch ResearcherYou must have created a new spell, or have The Way Things Work background.Gain bonuses with spells that you’ve created
Enemy CultSee textDetect the cult’s alignment, and on completion, gain defenses against that alignment
ExplorerYou must have crossed at least 30 miles of wilderness without map or guide.Gain skills to aid getting along in the wild
Fearless Zeal You must be ordained as a sacred (or profane) champion of your faith by a high-ranking member of its clergy, or have the Devoted, Faith-Bringer, or Moral Debt background. Such an honor goes above and beyond the normal oaths required of a cleric or paladin.Become a living symbol of your faith
Feral Heart You must have reverted to savage behavior through a traumatic event or extended period in the wilderness, or have the Raised by Beasts background.Embrace your savage behaivor for increased combat ability
FoeslayerYou must have been defeated and robbed of at least half your possessions by a particular group of humanoids or monstrous humanoids, or have the An Eye for an Eye, Hated Foe, Raiders, or Vengeance background (see Ultimate Campaign). You may choose a specific race, such as duergar, or a broader group, such as goblinoids. At the GM’s discretion, you may instead choose residents of a particular country, settlement, or tribe.Improve your battle prowess against the chosen enemy
Forgotten Past You must have suffered permanent memory loss or have the Reincarnated background.Reduce the effectiveness of mind-affecting spells on you
Ghost GuideSee textGain a bonus on social skills against spirits, and on completion, gain benefits with spirit-talking spells
Giant VendettaYou must have been knocked unconscious in an encounter with a challenging giant foe or have a regional background trait tied to giants (such as those presented in this section)Bonus against fighting and researching giants
Glimpse Beyond You must have faced an undead, evil outsider, or aberration with a CR greater than your level +4, or have the Raised Among the Dead or The Dead One background.Learn how to defend yourself against creatures of madness
Gruesome ButcherYou must have been rendered unconscious and left for dead on a battlefield between warring factions or have the Child Soldier or Drafted backgroundGain ranger-like bonuses against a specific enemy group
Inerrant JusticeMust have witnessed or suffered a grave injustice that went unpunished, or have the An Eye for an EyeUCA or the RaidersUCA background. If the offender is not a challenging foe, it either advances to become one or allies with one or more creatures who areTake minimum damage from an attack
InfiltratorMust have adopted an assumed or secret identity associated with an enemy organization Make a divination spell return false information
Innocent Blood You must slay at least 50 intelligent noncombatants for either your own personal gain or for no cause at all, or have the Bloodthirsty, First Kill, or The Kill background.Be more intimidating than ever before
LiberatorYou must have been enslaved for at least 6 months, or have the Imprisoned or Kidnapped background (see Ultimate Campaign).Inspire others to join your cause
Lost Legacy Your family must have claim to an inherited title or position that no longer belongs to them, or have the Dishonored Family background. You can take this feat even if you have no knowledge of this lost family title.Gain bonuses to Charisma and Wisdom based checks
Magical EngimaBloodline, eidolon, mystery, phantom, spirit animal, or witch’s familiar class feature and you must have an unknown secret about your magic or family history (even if you do not yet know the topic of the secret) or have the One of a KindUCA, the Outsider’s LineageUCA, or the UnknownUCA backgroundIncrease your class level or ability modifier for the purpose of your selected class feature
Magnum Opus You must either have sold five or more self-created works of art worth a total of at least 5,000 gp, have performed at least five performances for audiences of 50 or more while achieving a great performance result or better on your Perform check, or have the Virtuoso background.Enhance your abilities with Craft and Perform checks
Monument Builder Knowledge (engineering) 1 rank, and you must have built a structure worth at least 5,000 gp.Increase the value of your constructions and gain bonuses to Knowledge (engineering)
Nation Builder You must have explored and claimed an area of at least 100 square miles.Bonus to various skills while in unclaimed wilderness or your own land
Nemesis You must have at least one enemy who wishes to cause you great harm. If you have multiple enemies, the GM may keep the specific nemesis secret, or have many of your enemies work together against you. If your nemesis is not already a challenging foe, it either advances in strength to become a challenging foe or allies with others to achieve a higher challenge rating.Gain extra benefits when leveling in your favored class
Noble ImpostorMust not be a member of an established family or a member of nobilityGain a +2 bonus on Bluff and Knowledge (nobility)
Object of LegendYou must have some highly personal stake in attaining the object of your quest as determined collectively by you and the GM—such as needing an ancestral weapon to exact your revenge against a known betrayer, seeking to destroy the artifact that caused your family’s downfall generations ago, or attempting to behead a monster that ravaged your homeland during your youth.Acquire great power and skill
Otherworldly InfluenceYou must have refused an evil creature with at least 15 Hit Dice who offered gifts or assistance, have refused an evil creature offering to cast a spell of 7th-level or higher on your behalf, or have the Planar Offering backgroundBonus on negotiations with evil outsiders
OverachieverYou must have been defeated by the same individual, organization, or creature type at least four times, or have the Boarding School or Humiliated backgroundTake less penalties from exhaustion, forgo rest to improve skills
Planar TravelerYou must be related to an outsider or have been born on a plane other than the Material Plane.Enhance your survival outside of your home plane
ProphetAbility to cast divine spells, and you must either have received a vision from your god (or another appropriate supernatural entity) or have the Marked by the Gods background (see Ultimate Campaign).Increase your defenses when buffing allies
Protector of the PeopleSee textGain the ability to make a golem protector, and on completion, gain Craft Construct at a conditional 10% discount
Puppet MasterYou must have survived an encounter with a challenging foe without suffering significant harm by striking a deal (regardless of whether the deal was with the challenging foe or not), or have the BossUCA, the Liege LordUCA, or the Well-Connected FriendUCA backgroundMake successive Diplomacy checks more easily.
Redemption You must have lost class features by violating the code of conduct of a class that possesses such a code, or have the Dishonored Family background.Face fear in order to gain bonuses
RivalYou must have at least one enemy who wishes to outdo you. If you have multiple rivals, the GM may keep the specific rival secret, or have many of your enemies work together against you. If your rival is not already a challenging foe, it either advances to become one or allies itself with others one or more creatures who are Gain extra skill points or Fame.
Self-Exiled NobleYou must have intentionally left your noble family and changed your name or appearance afterwardGain a +2 bonus on Disguise and a +1 bonus on attack and damage against family members
Shamed You must have been publicly embarrassed, or must have the Bastard Born background. If the embarrassment didn’t cause significant harm to your personal honor or social standing, it does not qualify for the feat prerequisites. The humiliation doesn’t need to have been unjustified.Get bonuses in combat when observed by others
Stronghold You must have the Leadership feat and must lead at least 10 combat-capable followers (such as fighters or rangers).Enhance troops under your command
Supernatural SpyAlchemist discovery, arcane discovery, arcanist exploit, or magus arcana class feature and you must either have observed a created magical effect you could not understand or have the Master CraftsmanUCA or the Unquenchable Hunger for KnowledgeUCA backgroundIncrease your ability modifier for calculating the effects and save DCs of one of your class features.
Thief of Legend You must have stolen at least 1,000 gp worth of treasure without being caught and kept mementos of these thefts worth at least 500 gp, or have the Greed background.Master the ability to handle traps and locks
Town Tamer You must have 5 ranks in Intimidate and a personal motivation to clean up a particular town (such as an old friend calling in a favor, or seeking a place to settle down), or you must have the Bounty Hunter or Champion of the People background.Become more intimidating in specific settlements
True Love You must have found love with a person you can’t be with, have a current lover, or have the Current Lover, For Love, or The Lover background. Possible complications include distance, your love being with another, your feelings being unrequited, or your relationship being forbidden.Increase your skill with emotion spells and Sense Motive
Truth-SeekerYou must have visited a ruin or forgotten place that has been abandoned for at least five times as long as you’ve been alive.Learn more about history, find secret doors with ease
Twisted LoveSee textGain a +2 bonus vs. enchantments and bonuses to influence your obsessed foe, and on completion, you can pretend to be affected by enchantments
Unforgotten You must have a close relative, spouse, or other person dear to your heart who never returned from a journey, was captured, or otherwise vanished with little trace, or you have the Major Disaster background.Reduce nonlethal damage you take, increase your saving throw bonuses
Vengeance You must have a close family member or other loved one slain by a specific challenging foe or that foe’s minions, or have the Raiders or Vengeance background.Receive a bonus against a specific foe and its minions
Vengeful BanisherYou witnessed at least one family member or a close friend being killed by demons or demonic cultists, or you have the Hated Foe or An Eye for an Eye background (see Ultimate Campaign).+2 save vs. spells/effects from demons and their worshipers
Wily WarriorBluff 1 rank, Sense Motive 1 rank, base attack bonus +1, or you must have the Military Strategist background (page 5)Use your ranks in Sense Motive in place of your Will save.
Wretched CuratorYou must have purchased a scroll or spellbook containing a spell with the evil descriptor in a place where such dealings are illegal, or must have the Secret Society Inductee or Diabolical Upbringing backgroundPurchase evil items cheaper, bonus to checks to understand evil items