Aura Based Feats

Inspired by this long ass discussion thread that happened a long time ago

Aura is a very underused Boon, at least in my party anyways.
It’s simply not a very interesting boon with very little uses, limited only to half the power level, and its short range of effect and its limits to activate make it something my players just don’t want to use ever since Barrier is literally just better in every way.

Just homebrewing to buff the boon might be too drastic and could potentially make it too powerful and something you’ll want to always use, so I thought… Feats!
Feats might be a good balance to the buffing of Aura.

I made these a while back and I don’t really think they are very balanced.
They went through a lot of changes and this ended up being the final version.
However, due to them being feats, and being related to Aura, they have not received much playtest.


Silent Aura

Cost: 2 points
Prerequisites: Boon Focus to Aura
Description:
Effect: Your aura is invisible, it cannot be perceived through the normal senses, but a detection boon or other extraordinary means and whatever else at the GM’s discretion may be used to detect the existence of your aura.

I wanted to show this first because I thought it was a really cool idea.
The idea popped up in my head when I made the other Aura related feats.
The idea is that players could lure enemies to their auras to intentionally hit them with an effect instead of using it as a way to keep people away from you, hiding your buffs and other uses too of course but it’d be too long to explain and it’s probably more versatile than I let on but we have yet to use it since I made it.


Strengthened Aura I-III

Cost: 3 points
Prerequisites: Boon Focus or Bane Focus
Description:
Effect: Banes you have Bane Focus on and Boons you have Boon Focus on can be radiated 1 power level higher per tier of this feat you possess whenever you do an invocation of the Aura Boon.


Distanced Aura I-III

Cost: 2 points
Prerequisites:
Tier 1 - any Extraordinary 4
Tier 2 - any Extraordinary 6
Tier 3 - any Extraordinary 8
Description:
Effect: The range of your Aura is increased depending on the tier of this feat.
Tier 1 - The distance your aura extends from increases to 5’
Tier 2 - The distance your aura extends from increases to 10’
Tier 3 - The distance your aura extends from increases to 20’


Aura by itself could indeed be very powerful, but its limitations make them not very attractive an option to use. These feats were created so that those who want to use Aura but want more power or distance from them can do so.

How are these feats? Are they good are they bad?
Go ahead and go nuts with the post.


EDIT:

Feat effects and whatnot altered according to responses.
I’m really conflicted about the change to Distanced Aura.
Should I make tier 3 15’ feet or 20’ feet, or allow to double the distance with a 1 minute invocation time?
The old version had higher prerequisites and acted as multipliers instead of flat bonuses to the distance increasing effect btw.

3 Likes

I don’t agree with that premise. I’d say Aura has a quite large array of uses, but they are less obvious than many other options and require a greater system mastery than many other aspects. That’s the distinction I’d make.

This was a big swing but sadly a miss, in my opinion. There are way too many ways to use this for cheese tactics, which can be annoying and aren’t all that engaging. For example, throw invisibility onto any character with this feat and have them run into the opposition. If you don’t have access to the Detection or Truesight boon, then there is little to no way of interacting with this strategy.

I like this one. Simple, straightforward, and effective. The effect could be worded more clearly though since it sounds a bit clumsy right now.

I like the idea of this one, but not the execution. Should be easily fixable though:

  • Firstly, I think it’s probably a tad too expensive at 3 feat points. 2 should do it

  • The distance increases feel a bit clunky. I suggest this: Tier I - add 5 feet. Tier II - add 10 feet. Tier III - double the range if invoked for 1 minute.

  • Even with my suggested changes, the increased distance of Auras might too powerful, but that’s where playtesting is required.


Overall, some solid ideas here, I’d say. :+1:

3 Likes

So I’ll agree with VanGo on the first parts here for sure.

This just isn’t true. I’ve had several instances where I used Aura as a player, and where some of my players have used Aura, and far far far more effective than Barrier, especially for boons. Ways to give water breathing to everyone, survive a harsh environment better, some interesting heals in some clutch situations, etc.

Like many things in OL, a boon, bane, feat, etc can be more effective due to the situation you find yourself in. The fact that Aura travels with you, and gives you free area multi-targetting is pretty big. Not to mention having boon focus gives you auto success on any boon you can do with Aura.


I don’t see the point of the Silent Aura, as this could already be something flavored into your Aura to begin with. Depending on the flavor/fluff/nature of how the aura is, it might already be not noticeable without an attempt to see it via action roll from an NPC.


I’m not sure if I like this one honestly. Aura was very purposefully limited to a PL 4 max so it wouldn’t start hitting into PL 5 boons or banes.

The fact it has tiers is a huge no, just 1 single tier, I could see, but having 3 tiers means you could have PL 7, which are when some really big hitters come out.

Some playtesting maybe, but I could potentially see this as being a bit too strong, not horrible if only 1 tier.


Like VanGo, I think this is too huge of distances to begin with. I’d do it a little differently than VanGo suggested, but only a little, in not doing a Tier 3, and just 1 and 2 like he suggested.

I also feel that even that might be too powerful.

This line gives me big a confusy.
Aura already auto invokes a boon when an ally ends their turn inside the aura right?
And then if they leave it immediately ends.
Aura with BANES don’t auto inflict, requiring an attack roll to see if it hits.
Do you need to roll to invoke a boon when someone enters an aura and you need Boon Focus to auto inflict it? If so then that would SUCK!
Unless you mean taking Boon Focus on AURA…?

Am I a big 'ol dummy and am misreading things?
I thought genuinely that Aura auto inflicts boons at half the power level? That was one of the good things about it, getting boon focus on aura meant you had access to a treasure trove of albeit weak but still large amounts of boons to inflict without needing a roll, and eventually as a minor action, and finally as a free action to sustain and just spread around with multi-targeting if necessary…
WAIT…

I agree and even at one point considered just not making the feat, but I thought it was powerful enough to warrant being a feat such as with Hallucinations and Unending Charm. You can flavor your Phantasms and Charms to work that way, but they are powerful enough that one should need to spend feat points to achieve the effect.

That was the original idea, 2 feat points and every tier would add an extra 5 feet, though your idea of turning tier III into double with extra time wasn’t there when I conceptualized it.

I agree, I just really can’t word Strengthened Aura well enough for some reason, but until someone finds a loophole in the effect description I don’t think thats anything to worry about since it seems to be understandable enough anyway.


Feel is the important keyword here I think.
I do understand being a game developer myself that Aura is a perfectly balanced and powerful Boon but not everyone can see that and frankly, even knowing it, it still feels weak to me to the point where I’m almost certain it actually is.
If you don’t consider it weak that’s fine!
Everyone is different and everything can either be good or bad depending on the situation, person, and circumstances! You could play a game without ever using Sustenance or something and believe it to be bad because you never used it!


I ran a boss recently in our last session so I can see how these feats would do when used against players.

It sounded fun on paper.
I’d give this boss, Strengthened and Distanced Aura at the maximum tier, the gimmick and challenge of the boss is figuring out how to deal with his massive AURA OF INCAPACITATION. Maintaining their distance and keeping the offensive was the name of the game.

But then the actual fight happened where all that happened was that the boss would chase them while the party ran the frick away from him while blasting him from afar with projectiles.
It was fun and intense, sure, but uhh… I guess I expected something else?

The boss had an aura of 60’. You’d say that’s pretty powerful but then just staying away 60 feet apparently wasn’t a big deal for the party. Although that was probably because they had the Longshot feat and if they didn’t have it, things would have been different…


The original post should be edited by now, changed according to the responses I got…

Aura just really feels underwhelming for me…

But then I wrote this reply and realized you can do a Multi-target of Aura and then I realized just how powerful of an option that actually is.
You can invoke multiple Aura’s on multiple places! You can multi-target, a multi-target!
You can make a large wall of death, a large zone of steroids, and if you take Multi-target Boon Specialist and Multi-target Boon Expert along with Boon Focus on Aura and then you can make like a 150’ FOOT RADIUS AURA!!!
… AS A MINOR ACTION AND WITHOUT NEEDING A ROLL!!! AT LEVEL 5-ISH!!!

I have a lot of thinking to do, but also a lot of reading…
I need t0 read how Aura works again and if they do auto inflict boons and if my idea with multi-targeting is something that is allowed…

I am going to keep the 3 tiered Strengthened Aura as I believe needing boon focus and its large cost overall balances it out. In order to become that powerful you must commit to turning yourself into a 1 trick pony just like how it’s also possible to be a summoning master with Boon Focus Summon Creature and Multi-target things but doing so you commit yourself to that being the 1 and only thing you are good at.

Yes, that’s why Boon Focus gives you auto success on any boon you can do with Aura. I am talking about Boon Focus (Aura).


The problem is the compounding of distance plus strength as well. Not only are you getting a huge multi-targeting area, but then the power is compounded as well.

5’ = 3 Disadvantage normally
10’ = 5 Disadvantage
15’ = 7 Disadvantage
20’ = 9 Disadvantage
30’ = 11 Disadvantage

This is how much Disadvantage you would have to suffer if you were doing the area that Aura covers when it radiates out that many feet from the person if it was to cover the same area with a Cube, to help put it into perspective.

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