I’ve written Guidance, the Know Direction Network’s source for tips, tricks, and techniques for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, for nearly three years now. I think. It might be two. Honestly, what’s a year between friends?
In any case, I’ve decided to try some new stuff in the next few months, one of which being the introduction of a new series that I’m calling spotlight. Normally when I want to talk tactics on Guidance, I do it as a Playing 101 article and I cover a big topic—usually for new players. But I don’t always want to handle every tactic that way. Some tactics are small and rely on a single feat or class feature, or maybe a weird interaction of abilities. Today’s topic is one just like that, so Spotlight was created as a result.
Today’s spotlight comes from a not-often-enough-talked about Player Companion, the Ranged Tactics Toolbox. In a stroke of coincidence, I did NOT write the feat that I’m talking about today, so let’s dive into this neat little feat—Combat Advice.
What’s Combat Advice?
Before we begin, let’s look at the Combat Advice feat:
Your succulent words can aid an ally even in the heat of battle.
Benefit: As a move action, you can offer useful advice to an ally engaged in combat at just the right moment. Designate an enemy; your ally gains a +2 competence bonus on her next attack roll against that enemy. For your ally to benefit from this feat, you must be able to clearly see your ally and the designated enemy, and your ally must be able to hear you.
Why Talk About Combat Advice?
Combat Advice is an AWESOME feat for what it does. So, what are the perks? Let’s take a look!
- Move action is easy to activate, and it allows you to attack, cast a spell, move, or even use the aid another action. This means there’s plenty of flexibility.
- 30 foot range on the advice makes this an option that characters who want to stay out of combat—namely spellcasters—can nab up and benefit for.
- Competence bonuses to attack rolls are uncommon, so they stack with a LOT of things.
- This stacks with aid another! That means an extra +2 on aid another shenanigans if you want to use them.
Now, before you GMs go and ban this feat, Combat Advice has some strong balancing points. Let’s talk about them.
- While competence bonuses to attack rolls are rare, one noteworthy class feature that is pretty common doesn’t stack with this feat—inspire courage.
- You have to be able to speak to use this feat, and your ally has to be able to hear you.
- You have to be able to see your enemy to use this feat.
- This applies to only one attack roll. (The next attack roll the ally makes.)
- Not interacting with the aid another action means that this feat’s bonus, action economy, and basically everything else about it can’t be increased by other effects.
- Since it’s a competence bonus, multiple characters with the feat can’t stack the bonus the way aid another can stack.
When Should I Use Combat Advice?
Combat Advice works best on characters that don’t need a whole lot of full-round actions, like kineticists and full spellcasters. It is strongest in a group that doesn’t have the inspire competence ability among its characters. It works best when you have resource-intensive characters (like full spellcasters) because it allows them to contribute to the party without needing to burn limited resources.
Overall, Combat Advice is an awesome feat that I hope to see more of. I thank my friend Matt Morris for showing this feat to me, and I hope you get use of it in your games!
Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long as 90% of his colleagues. Alexander is an active freelancer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is best known as the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series by Radiance House. Alex is the owner of Everyman Gaming, LLC and is often stylized as the Everyman Gamer in honor of Guidance’s original home. Alex also cohosts the Private Sanctuary Podcast, along with fellow blogger Anthony Li, and you can follow their exploits on Facebook in the 3.5 Private Sanctuary Group, or on Alex’s Twitter, @AlJAug.