Rapid Defender feat

So there was a question on the Discord server about converting other systems defensive spells, such as Hellish Rebuke. These spells and abilities allow you to make a damaging counter attack without giving up your Major action. Currently there isn’t a way to get around this in Open Legend so we came up with a new feat: the Rapid Defender.

Rapid Defender3 feat points. Prerequisites: Battlefield Reflexes. When you take the Defend action, you may choose to lose your next Minor action instead of your Major action. After your use of the modified Defend action you suffer 1 level of the Fatigue Bane.”

The main issue with crafting this feat was how to limit it so that it is not a required feat, that you would not be an idiot to leave off the table. The Fatigue Bane is key to this process, bringing the feat in line in terms of power and flaw as Battle Trance. You could use this feat 1-2 times a day without a terrible detriment to your character, but if you’re willing to take more penalties with more Fatigue you have the option to do so.

As pointed out by @darknessrules195 on the Discord server, this would indeed allow you to circumvent Sentinel in a way, but with the feat point expenditure and the leveling of the Fatigue bane, it should balance itself out.

Any thoughts from the gallery?


In all honesty, it seems very weak.
Compared to battle trance :
Battle Trance is a free action.
Battle Trance lasts untill a specific condition is met (not having attacked for 3 turns)
Battle Trance gives advantage to all attack rolls and improved defense.
This is still a minor action.
Only works for one defend action.
Does not in any other way improve the defend action.

Basically this feat would turn a major action into a minor one, at the cost of 1 fatigue.
Assuming you lose ALL minor actions the next turn, I would say this is mechanically worse than changing a major action into a minor one. Also there is already a feat that turns a major action into a minor one, called boon focus 2. It doesn’t work for defense, but when comparing these 2 in terms of power : Boon focus allows you to invoke a boon twice (1 major, 1 minor), does not prevent other minor actions. and doesn’t give fatigue.

Basically, I’m wondering why you think the defend action is so powerfull it requires a feat, the loss of all minor actions and 1 fatigue just so it doesn’t take a major action next turn.

Looking at the spells it’s supposed to mimic, there’s an additional issue. Those spells don’t reduce damage, but rather use getting damaged as trigger to deal damage in return. Hellish rebuke uses the damage trigger (and a spell slot) to deal above average damage in return. Spells like fire shield deal slightly lower than average damage, but do so on every hit.

For hellish rebuke, I would consider a feat :
Whenever you get damaged, you can use your interupt action to make a counter attack with 1 advantage against the one who damaged you.

For fire shield, I’d modify the Aura boon.
Instead of choosing a radius, you can choose to affect just those who (try to) hit you.
I would also add the damaging property similar to the barrier boon as an option instead of a bane/boon.

Mechanically speaking, this doesn’t work very well because Minor actions are “1 per round per minor action type, as many different minor action types as you want each round.” So, “lose your next minor action” is actually confusing because you can have many different minor actions each turn.

So, since D&D introduces “One use per X interval” as the limiting factor and Open Legend doesn’t do this, we have to take the same path as we do with any other feat that can give you more than one Major action per turn – make it start watered down and then you invest more feat points in it to make it have the full effect.

This is the direction I was headed @Arisu, but as I was writing it down, I realized it doesn’t really solve the “you get to do something extra for free each round” since your proposal still has them sacrifice their next Major action by spending an Interrupt action.

Here’s what I would say:

Retributive Strike (I - V)

Cost: 2 per tier (part of me is thinking 3 points per tier)
Effect: Choose a damage type (fire, cold, electric, entropy, etc.). Once per round, when you are dealt damage, you can deal damage back to the target, depending on your tier in this feat:

  • Tier 1 - 1d4 damage
  • Tier 2 - 1d6 damage
  • Tier 3 - 1d8 damage
  • Tier 4 - 1d10 damage
  • Tier 5 - 2d6 damage

It seems that this would effectively work against ranged targets as well with no penalty.

I guess to be logical you could add the qualifier

… Choose a weapon or damage type. As long as the target is within range for that weapon or Extraordinary attribute, you can automatically deal damage… etc.


Honestly I like @brianfeister 's solution, and I feel that the ability to do it to ranged combatants is fine. This is a far cleaner approach than using the Defend action, especially with the 1-round cap.

also, I feel the 3 point cost is just right for what is, essentially, “free damage”.

EDIT: @brianfeister I regret to inform you that I currently hate the absolute lack of “THIS IS AWESOME” button, be cause the “Like” button just doesn’t always give the same feeling I wish to emote.


How would failing forward work with retribution strike work. If I choose to 3 damage do they get their bane/damage plus the retribution damage. What about area effects if Im a dragon and a fire breath on 6 pcs but roll bad and do a few points of damage am I suddenly nuked by a ton of retribution damage if they all have the feat? I would say make it a sustained boon rather than a feat.

@Rparker10 Enemy NPC’s don’t do anything on a failed roll, or “miss”, so this would only come into play when the NPC successfully hits a player.

EDIT: also, I think this is one of those cases where I would disallow this feat on NPC characters, leaving it entirely in the purview of the Players.

I was just about to ask about NPCS taking the feat. But it seems logical for say a fire elemental enemy hit them in melee get burned?

In the case of a Fire Elemental, I would give them an Aura (Persistent Damage) and leave it at that.

Alien acid blood? I understand what your idea for balancing the failing forward to leave just players able to take it it just seems an odd one to me to leave pc specific.

The reason I would disallow this on NPC’s is because it will frustrate players to know that any time they attack, they will most likely take damage in return. As the Storyteller, we are used to our creations falling every session, and this is not new to us. Open Legend is meant to be an epic tale surround the players, and telling an exciting story.

As far as Alien Acid Blood, that might be a rare exception. A Persistent Damage aura can be disrupted with a focused action, or Nullified with Protection. As a whole, we aren’t here to upset and frustrate our players.

That’s good point. I think it would still be fair for a dragon to be nuked that way, but it’s also a good example of why making the cost 3 points would make sense.

The other thing to consider in the feat vs boon question, is that as a feat it will always “hit”/do damage. It turns every sword swing, arrow, bullet, or laser beam in to a magic missile. Now assuming you’re an intelligent npc enemy you there’s nothing you can do to avoid this, no action you can take to not be hurt. While as a boon instead of a feat you could make that disrupting attack to remove the boon, or story wise prep for the inevitable incoming counter attack.

1 Like

Another good point. It could definitely fit in the boons category (like Retributive Barrier did).
It makes me think of some sort of voodoo witch doctor.
Entropy, Energy, Protection maybe?
Let’s figure out what would be appropriate Power Levels @Rparker10

I see two ways of doing it like a boon either the simple you get hit deal damage. In this case I think the persistent damage scale works. Or we approach it like aura where it has the ability to inflict bane as well. Which I think is more in line with your voodoo witch doctor idea.

1 Like

EDIT: and now i see the fatigue being applied when using this feat. feel free to ignore this…

Keep in mind that when trying to emulate Hellish Rebuke, you do need some sort of limiting factor that poses the question “Should I use my resources to deal damage right now? Or save them for later use?”. For Hellish Rebuke, the minor resource cost is your Reaction, but the bigger resource cost is the spell slot!

OL does away with most resource management, so the most logical resource to use is the combat action economy. Without the resource restriction, every Warlock would be casting Hellish Rebuke on every attack (apart from the 1 reaction per turn limitation).

Now…exchanging your next Major Action (or a commonly used Minor Action like Move) (similar to defend) in exchange for guaranteed damage poses the important question related to resource management.

Without the limitation, it would be a very strong feat that makes sense to grab on every character regardless of play style. Remember Thorns in Diablo? It was notoriously hard to balance due in part to this problem.


I was looking at this again, and I think making it a Boon, like @Rparker10 suggested, with a Major Action invocation time, would be an appropriate balancer.

Why would you need a new feat when you have Battlefield Reflexes?


Stacks with:

to apply a bane.

Unless I am missing something, these seem more effective than what you are suggesting.


Excellent point @Rgconner!
We could have avoided this entire discussion if we would have considered that!
Now I feel silly.