Feat Bonus Breakdown

Building a character can be a long process and as the number of feats and traits grows it becomes even harder to figure out which to take to get the features you want. This thread will go into the benefits of all of the feats. Requirements and perquisites are not listed. The books that each of the powers comes from is listed after the feat and it’s bonuses.

APG = Advanced Player Guide

ARG = Advanced Race Guide

GOG = Goblins of Glorantha

ISWG = Inner Sea World Guide

OOG = Orc of Glorantha

UC = Ultimate Campaign

UCbt = Ultimate Combat

UM = Ultimate Magic



Areas of Improvement and the feats that improve them.

  • STR

    • Amplified Rage (+4 Str) (OOG)

  • DEX

  • CON

    • Amplified Rage (+4 Con) (OOG)

  • INT

  • WIS

  • CHA

  • Will

    • Andoren Falconry (+2 is Birds of prey animal companion)

    • Angelic Blood (+2 if evil spell)(ARG)

    • Angelis Flesh(Golden)(+2 vs light)(ARG)

    • Angelic Flesh (Brazen)(+2 vs fire)(ARG)

    • Angelic Flesh (Brazen)(+2 vs paralysis, petri,poison)(ARG)

  • Reflex

    • Angelic Blood (+2 if evil spell)(ARG)

    • Angelic Flesh (Brazen)(+2 vs fire)(ARG)

    • Angelis Flesh(Golden)(+2 vs light)(ARG)

  • Fortitude

    • Angelic Blood (+2 if evil spell)(ARG)

    • Angelic Flesh (Brazen)(+2 vs fire)(ARG)

    • Angelis Flesh(Golden)(+2 vs light)(ARG)

  • Attack

    • Andoren Falconry (+1 is Birds of prey animal companion)(ISWG)

    • Angelic Flesh (Silver)(Unarmed counts as Silver)(ARG)

    • Angelic Flesh (Steel)(Unarmed counts as Cold Iron)(ARG)

    • Arcane Strike (+1, treat as magic. 1 round)

    • Arcane Vendetta (+2 vs confirmed arcane spell user )

    • Awesome Blow (on CM foe takes slam+Str dmg,  flies 10’ and lands prone)

  • Spell Resistance

    • Angelic Flesh (Brazen)(DR 5 fire)(ARG)

  • Spell Resistance Overcome

    • Allied Spellcaster (+2 lvl check vs)

  • HP

    • Arisen (alive till under Con+4. 1/day +lvl in HPs, lasts 10 min)(UC)

    • Attuned to the wild(double healing in chosen terrain)

  • AC

    • Aldori Dueling Mastery (+2 if One Aldori sword) (ISWG)

    • Aldori Dueling Mastery (+1 if Two Aldori sword) (ISWG)

    • Andoren Falconry (+1 is Birds of prey animal companion)

    • Angelic Flesh (Steel) (+1)

    • Arcane Shield (+ is = to spell level expended)(APG)

    • Armor of the pit(+2)

  • Move

    • Difficult Terrain

      • Acrobatic Steps (15ft/rnd)

  • Init

    • Aldori Dueling Mastery (+2 if Aldori sword) (ISWG)

    • Aspect of the beast(wild Instincts) +2 (APG)

  • Combat Maneuver Bonus

    • Agile Maneuvers (+Dex to CMB)

    • Ankle Biter (Get a bite in if target of CM) (GOG)

  • Combat Maneuver Defense

  • Special Attack DC

    • Ability Focus (+2)

  • Critical Hit with spell

    • Accursed Critical (Bestow Curse or major Curse(UM)

  • Spell Resistance

    • Accursed (5+lvl)(UC)

  • Skills (10th rank)

    • Acrobatics

      • Acrobatic (+2(+4))

    • Animal Handling

      • Andoren Falconry (+2 w/Birds of prey)

      • Animal Affinity (+2(+4))

    • Climb

      • Athletic (+2(+4))

    • Diplomacy

      • Antagonize (Cause hostility, DC 10+HD+Wis)(UM)

    • Fly

      • Acrobatic (+2(+4))

    • Intimidate

      • Antagonize (Cause hostility, DC 10+HD+Wis)(UM)

    • Perception

      • Alertness(+2(+4))

    • Ride

      • Animal Affinity (+2(+4))

    • Sense Motive

      • Alertness(+2(+4))

    • Spellcraft

      • Arcane Builder (+4 when crafting) (UM)

    • Stealth

      • Angelic Flesh(All) (-2)

    • Survival

      • Altitude Affinity (+2 (if over 5000ft))

      • Aspect of the beast(wild Instincts) +2 (APG)

    • Swim

      • Athletic (+2(+4))

  • Traits

    • Additional Traits (+2 traits)

    • Luck

      • Adaptive Fortune (+1 use)(+2 bonus)

    • Jinx

      • Arcane Jinxer (spend spell. penalty to save  = spell level)

      • Area Jinx (10’ radius each, +10’ increase each additional purchase of this feat)

    • Agile Tongue (10’ prehensile tongue) (ARG)

    • Wings

      • Angel Wings (wings, 30’ move) (ARG)

    • Bleeding

      • Angelic Blood (1pt damage to evil in 5’ radius)(ARG)

    • Stabilize

      • Angelic Blood (+2 to stabilize)(ARG)

    • Swim

      • Aquatic Ancestry (+10’ swim, Amphibius )(ARG)

    • Natural Weapons(small)

      • Aspect of the Beast (Claws 1d4(1d3))

    • Senses

      • Aspect of the Beast(Nightvision or upgrade to Darkvision +30)

    • Jump

      • Aspect of the Beast (leap as if 10’)

  • Class Features

    • Hexes

      • Accursed Hex (Hex again if 1st fails)

    • Poison

      • Unarmed

        • Adder Strike (apply poison 2 limbs)(UCbt)

    • Revelations

      • Abundant Revelations (+1/day) (UM)

    • Smite Evil

      • Adapt Champion (+½ bonus to CMB)(UCbt)

    • Channel

      • Adapt Channel (x2/day lvl=divine level -3) (OOG)

      • Alignment Channel (Harm or heal of alignment)

    • Traps

      • Advanced Ranger Trap (DC +1)(UM)

    • Grit

      • Amateur Gunslinger (Gain Grit. lvl 1 deed)

    • Rage

      • Amplified Rage ( +4 Str, +4 Con) (OOG)

    • Spells

      • Prepared Spell

        • Arcane Blast(Convert to ray)

      • illusions

        • Angelic Flesh (+1 caster level)(ARG)

      • Gain Spells

        • Arcane Talent (0 lvl spell, 3/day)

      • Summoned

        • Augmented Summoning (+4 Str & +4 Con )

  • Weapon

    • Sling

      • Ammo Drop (load as swift/move)

      • Arc Slinger (+2 vs penalty)

    • Sling Staff

      • Arc Slinger (+2 vs penalty)

  • Armor

    • Arcane Spell Failure

      • Arcane Armor Mastery (-20% does not stack with Arcane Armor training)

      • Arcane Armor Training (-10%)

    • Armor Proficiency (light) (can use light armor)

    • Armor Proficiency (Medium) (can use medium armor)

    • Armor Proficiency (Heavy)(Can use heavy armor)

  • Crafting

    • Arcane Builder (+25% less time to finish(pick 1 type of magic item))

Intimidation Type Builds for Pathfinder

I decided to look at which combinations of powers make a decent 4th level character focused on an intimidation type build. The idea is to send your foes running before you. There are a surprising number of traits, feats and class combos that give really good results. I am going to give you the best class with the most focus down to the ones with the least focus.

I am using 4th level because that is a good beginning point without to much added magic item wise and low enough number of feats that you can figure out the combos pretty quick.

The attributes to keep in mind for an intimidation type build are Charisma for basic intimidation. Strength if you use dazzling display and your level if you pick a class that gets bonuses from your level.

This page will be updated over time as more material is released and new intimidation builds are created.


Some races give natural bonuses to Intimidation. The Half Orc seems like a great choice. It gives a +2 to intimidation and the +2 to a stat if placed in strength or charisma will bring that bonus up to 3.

The Nagaji is the next best. They get +2 to strength and charisma plus an alternate trait that gives +1 so they to can get a +3 but it means you need to give him dazzling display to take advantage of it.

Suli is another option that gives Charisma and strength bonuses but they don’t have any traits that give bonuses to intimidation.

My recommendation is the Half-Orc because he is so versatile with the Nagaji right behind him if you know you are going for Dazzling Display.


There are three that give bonuses: Bully and Fiend Blood (Intimidate) Either or both are good considerations. Brigand is a third trait if your GM allows traits from the kingmaker adventure path, not only do you intimidate but you get a horse and and 100gp worth of goods. Fiend Blood is a new trait from Ultimate Campaign, definitely a great book. It adds many new traits and feats focused around story but they still can give you a +1 or 2 where you need it  with the right builds.


There are few feats that take advantage of Intimidation. Dazzling display and antagonize.

Sample Builds

Here are a few sample builds. The number next to their name is their highest Intimidation.

Emma – intimidation =15

Suli Oracle 4

N Medium Outsider (native)

Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +2


AC 10, touch 10, flat-footed 10

hp 23 (4d8)

Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +4

Resist acid 5, cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5

Weakness oracle’s curses (haunted)


Speed 30 ft.

Melee Unarmed strike +6 (1d3+3/x2)

Oracle Spells Known (CL 4):

2 (4/day) False Life, Cure Moderate Wounds, Animate Dead, Lesser

1 (7/day) Bane (DC 15), Cause Fear (DC 15), Doom (DC 15), Detect Undead, Cure Light Wounds

0 (at will) Resistance, Stabilize, Mage Hand, Purify Food and Drink (DC 14), Read Magic, Ghost Sound (DC 14), Guidance, Light


Str 16, Dex 10, Con 10, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 19

Base Atk +3; CMB +6; CMD 16

Feats Antagonize, Intimidating Prowess

Traits Bully, Fiend Blood (Intimidate)

Skills Bluff +8, Craft (tattoo) +2, Diplomacy +6, Intimidate +15, Knowledge (religion) +3, Perception +2, Profession (fortune-teller) +5, Sense Motive +7, Spellcraft +4; Racial Modifiers +2 Diplomacy, +2 Sense Motive

Languages Auran, Common

SQ elemental assault (1d6, 4 rounds) (1/day), mysteries (bones), revelations (armor of bones +4 [4 hours/day], raise the dead [4 hd] [1/day])

Other Gear 150 GP

Special Abilities

Antagonize Use Diplomacy or Intimidate to goad creatures

Armor of Bones +4 (4 hours/day) (Ex) +4 AC.

Damage Resistance, Acid (5) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Acid attacks.

Damage Resistance, Cold (5) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Cold attacks.

Damage Resistance, Electricity (5) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Electricity attacks.

Damage Resistance, Fire (5) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Fire attacks.

Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).

Elemental Assault (1d6, 4 rounds) (1/day) As a swift action unarmed strike/held weapon is wreathed in energy and deals extra damage.

Haunted Retrieving stored gear is a Standard action or worse, dropped items land 10′ away.

Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.

Raise the Dead (4 HD) (1/day) (Su) Summon a 4 HD Skeleton, or Zombie to serve you.




Furrio – Intimidation = 19

Half-Orc Inquisitor 4

CG Medium Humanoid (human, orc)

Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +8


AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 10 (+1 Dex)

hp 27 (4d8+4); judgement of sacred healing 2

Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +5

Defensive Abilities judgment of sacred protection +1, orc ferocity (1/day); DR judgment of sacred resiliency 1: magic; Resist judgment of sacred purity +1, judgment of sacred resistance 4 (fire)


Speed 30 ft.

Melee Unarmed strike +6 (1d3+3/x2)

Special Attacks judgment of sacred destruction +2, judgment of sacred justice +1, judgment of sacred piercing +2, judgment of sacred smiting (magic), touch of chaos (4/day)

Spell-Like Abilities

At will—Detect Alignment (At will)

4/day—Touch of Chaos (4/day)

Inquisitor Spells Known (CL 4):

2 (1/day) Blistering Invective, Instrument of Agony

1 (4/day) Litany of Weakness, Lock Gaze (DC 12), Recharge Innate Magic, Wrath

0 (at will) Stabilize, Daze (DC 11), Read Magic, Guidance, Light, Brand (DC 11)


Str 16, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 14

Base Atk +3; CMB +6; CMD 17

Feats Antagonize, Intimidating Prowess, Swap Places

Traits Bully, Fiend Blood (Intimidate)

Skills Bluff +6, Climb +7, Diplomacy +6, Heal +5, Intimidate +19, Perception +8, Ride +5, Sense Motive +10, Spellcraft +6, Stealth +6, Survival +5 (+7 to track), Swim +7; Racial Modifiers +2 Intimidate, monster lore

Languages Common, Orc

SQ domains (chaos), judgment (2/day), solo tactics, teamwork feat (change 1/day), track

Other Gear 150 GP

Special Abilities

Antagonize Use Diplomacy or Intimidate to goad creatures

Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).

Detect Alignment (At will) (Sp) Detect chaos, evil, good, or law at will.

Inquisitor Domain (Chaos) Granted Powers: Your touch infuses life and weapons with chaos, and you revel in all things anarchic.

Judgment (2/day) (Su) Variable bonuses increase as the combat continues.

Judgment of Sacred Destruction +2 (Su) Weapon Damage bonus.

Judgment of Sacred Healing 2 (Su) Fast Healing

Judgment of Sacred Justice +1 (Su) Attack bonus

Judgment of Sacred Piercing +2 (Su) Concentration and vs. SR bonus

Judgment of Sacred Protection +1 (Su) AC bonus

Judgment of Sacred Purity +1 (Su) Save bonus

Judgment of Sacred Resiliency 1: Magic (Su) DR/magic

Judgment of Sacred Resistance 4 (Fire) (Su) Energy Resistances

Judgment of Sacred Smiting (Magic) (Su) DR bypass

Monster Lore +3 (Ex) +3 to Knowledge checks when identifying the weaknesses of creatures.

Orc Ferocity (1/day) If brought below 0 Hp, can act as though disabled for 1 rd.

Solo Tactics (Ex) Count Teamwork feats as if your allies had the same ones.

Swap Places You can trade places with an ally with this feat during your movement.

Teamwork Feat (change 1/day) Swap your most recent Teamwork feat for another

Touch of Chaos (4/day) (Sp) With a melee touch attack, target takes the lower of 2d20 for each d20 roll for 1 round.

Track +2 Add the listed bonus to survival checks made to track.





Sir Gorland – intimidation = 11

Suli Cavalier (Beast Rider) 4

NG Medium Outsider (native)

Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0


AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 10 (+1 Dex)

hp 36 (4d10+8)

Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +1

Resist cockatrice’s skills, fire 5


Speed 30 ft.

Melee Dagger +7 (1d4+3/19-20/x2) and

Longsword +7 (1d8+3/19-20/x2) and

Unarmed strike +7 (1d3+3/x2)

Special Attacks braggart, cavalier’s charge, cockatrice’s challenge +4 (2/day)


Str 16, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 16

Base Atk +4; CMB +7; CMD 18

Feats Antagonize, Dazzling Display (Braggart), Outflank, Power Attack -2/+4

Traits Bully, Fiend Blood (Intimidate)

Skills Appraise +3, Diplomacy +11, Handle Animal +8, Intimidate +11, Ride +8, Sense Motive +7; Racial Modifiers +2 Diplomacy, +2 Sense Motive, +0 ride while riding your bonded mount.

Languages Auran, Common

SQ animal companion link, elemental assault (1d6 fire, 4 rounds) (1/day), energy strike (fire), orders (order of the cockatrice), tactician (outflank) 5 rds (1/day)

Other Gear Dagger, Longsword, 133 GP

Special Abilities

+0 Ride while riding your bonded mount. (Ex) Cancel your armor check penalty of -0 while riding your mount.

Animal Companion Link (Ex) You have a link with your Animal Companion.

Antagonize Use Diplomacy or Intimidate to goad creatures

Braggart (Ex) Demoralize as a standard action, +2 to hit demoralized targets.

Cavalier’s Charge (Ex) Mounted charge grants +4 to hit and -0 AC rather than +2/-2.

Cockatrice’s Challenge +4 (2/day) (Ex) +4 to damage target, -2 AC vs. others when used, +2 damage when you are the only one threatening the target.

Cockatrice’s Skills +3 (Ex) +3 to DC vs. demoralization.

Damage Resistance, Fire (5) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Fire attacks.

Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).

Dazzling Display (Braggart) Your skill with your favored weapon can frighten enemies.


Prerequisite: Weapon Focus, proficiency with the selected weapon.


Benefit: While wielding the weapon in which you have Weapon Focus, you can perform a bewildering show of p

Elemental Assault (1d6 fire, 4 rounds) (1/day) As a swift action unarmed strike/held weapon is wreathed in energy and deals extra damage.

Energy Strike (fire) (Su) Throw your flames as a ranged touch attack:  1d6 fire, range incr. 10 feet.

Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.

Outflank Increase flank bonus by +2 if flanking ally has same feat. If you crit, ally gets an AoO.

Power Attack -2/+4 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.

Tactician (Outflank) 5 rds (1/day) (Ex) Grant the use of your Tactical feats to your allies within 30′.






N Medium Animal

Init +8; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +6


AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 13 (+4 Dex, +3 natural)

hp 26 (+8)

Fort +6 (+4 vs. hot or cold environments and to resist damage from suffocation), Ref +8, Will +3

Defensive Abilities evasion


Speed 40 ft.

Melee Bite (Lion) +5 (1d6+2/x2) and

Claw x2 (Lion) +5 x2 (1d4+2/x2) and

Rake x2 (Lion) +5 x2 (1d4+2/x2) and

Unarmed strike +5 (1d3+2/x2)


Str 14, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 15, Cha 10

Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 19 (23 vs. Trip)

Feats Endurance, Improved Initiative, Intimidating Prowess

Tricks Attack [Trick], Combat Riding [Trick], Come [Trick], Defend [Trick], Down [Trick], Fetch [Trick], Guard [Trick], Heel [Trick], Seek [Trick]

Skills Acrobatics +8 (+12 jump), Climb +6, Intimidate +2, Perception +6, Stealth +8 (+12 in Undergrowth), Swim +2 (+6 to resist nonlethal damage from exhaustion)


SQ +4 stealth in undergrowth, combat riding [trick], fetch [trick], seek [trick]

Other Gear You have no money!

Special Abilities

+4 Stealth in Undergrowth (Ex) You gain a bonus to Stealth Checks under the listed conditions.

Combat Riding [Trick] The animal has been trained to bear a rider into combat.

Endurance +4 to a variety of fort saves, skill and ability checks. Sleep in L/M armor with no fatigue.

Evasion (Ex) No damage on successful reflex save.

Fetch [Trick] The animal will get a specific object.

Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.

Scent (Ex) Detect opponents within 15+ feet by sense of smell.

Seek [Trick] The animal moves into an area and looks around for anything that is obviously alive or animate.




Vigo – 18

Nagaji Barbarian (Scarred Rager) 4

CG Medium Humanoid (reptilian)

Init +1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +7


AC 10, touch 9, flat-footed 9 (+1 Dex, +1 natural)

hp 41 (4d12+8)

Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +3; +2 bonus vs. mind-affecting effects and poison


Speed 30 ft.

Melee Greataxe +9 (1d12+7/x3) and

Unarmed strike +9 (1d3+5/x2)

Special Attacks rage (10 rounds/day), rage powers (auspicious mark [1/rage], intimidating glare)

Spell-Like Abilities

—Hypnotic Gaze (DC 14)


Str 20, Dex 13, Con 15, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 16

Base Atk +4; CMB +9; CMD 18

Feats Antagonize, Intimidating Prowess

Traits Bully, Fiend Blood (Intimidate)

Skills Acrobatics +7, Climb +11, Handle Animal +7, Intimidate +16, Perception +7, Ride +6, Survival +4, Swim +10

Languages Common, Draconic

SQ resistant, scarification (1), terrifying visage +2, tolerance

Other Gear Greataxe, 130 GP

Special Abilities

Antagonize Use Diplomacy or Intimidate to goad creatures

Auspicious Mark (1/rage) (Su) Gain +1d6 bonus on one d20 roll, once per rage.

Hypnotic Gaze (DC 14) (Sp) Hypnotism on a single target using gaze, effect lasts a single round.

Intimidating Glare (Ex) While raging, use Intimidate to shake your opponents.

Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.

Rage (10 rounds/day) (Ex) +4 Str, +4 Con, +2 to Will saves, -2 to AC when enraged.

Resistant (Ex) +2 racial saving throw bonus against mind-affecting effects and poison.

Scarification (1) (Ex) Ignore specified amount of bleed damage each round.

Terrifying Visage +2 (Ex) Add to intimidate vs civilized/diplomacy vs tribal humanoids. +1 to fear DCs.

Tolerance (Ex) If gain certain negative conditions, new save next rd. ½ duration if not saveable.


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To Come Rogue(Thug)

High Fantasy or hard Fantasy and what is the difference.

There are many kinds of fantasy games, movies and books and getting into conversations about why some work and some don’t got me to thinking about how we express the kinds of science fiction we like. In science fiction you have two kinds. Hard and space opera. hard sci fi is grounded in reality. 2001 A Space Opera is an example of Hard sci fi it tries to take reality into account. Star Wars is space opera, it throws physics out the window to have laser swords and the force. This is not a bad thing. Both are perfectly fine. But you don’t want to mix them up. in an universe where everyone is in cumbersome space suits and taking days to just reach the moon you don’t want to have characters whipping out light sabers. The same goes with fantasy sub-genres. And i think there definitely are fantasy sub-genres.

In a fantasy world in which you have talking tea cups the black death wouldn’t suddenly make an appearance. Conversely you wouldn’t have a European city, in the middle of the worse plague suddenly find a dancing troupe of chinaware dancing down the street.

I tend to break fantasy down into two sub-genres. Hard fantasy and High fantasy. Hard fantasy is grounded in reality. High fantasy is grounded in spectacle. But all fantasy is based on the Fantastic it’s just in how it’s presented that divides it into the various sub-genres.

gladiator_145_4da95a905e73d632e900092a_1303089142Hard Fantasy I see as being grittier and tending to stick to reality as much as possible. Once dead characters tend to stay dead. It will still have dragons and Fairies but they will be defined and limited by what reality will allow. So dragons must have wings big enough to carry them. The fire they breath is some chemical that is mixed and combusts on contact with air in their mouth. Fairies may not fly but have the ability to warp your perception of them for a limited time. Magic usually has heavy limitations, heavy costs or is very limited. The Hard Fantasy world have very hard rules about what can and can’t happen.

Gogame-of-thrones-title201od examples of Hard Fantasy are Dragonslayer, Lady Hawk, Excalibur, Game of thrones, with Gladiator also falling into this sub-genre although it has no magic






No one will aim for my stomach, why do you ask?

High Fantasy tends to give reality a tip of the hat as it goes galloping past. It is all about the spectacle and the majesty of the fantastic. Magic can be found in shops and/or magical beings abound without much thought given to their presence. Even if everyone in a high fantasy world doesn’t use magic they all understand it and might even desire it. You still have characters die but they may come back. Armor and even weapons may even take on unrealistic proportions. monsters may also be unrealistic with dragons having subby wings or no wings at all and still fly.

Who needs wings

Who needs wings 




Some examples include: Neverending story, Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Robin Hood, Wizard of Oz, Alice in wonderland, Willow, JRpgs, World of Warcraft, with 300 and Spartacus also falling into this sub-genre because although they have no magic it is all about spectacle and superheroic characters.

Which leads us to Roleplaying games. Pathfinder and other D&D derived games cover the gamut. At low levels it is very hard fantasy and tend toward high fantasy at higher levels.

Characters at lower levels, usually before level 4, live in a very hard fantasy environment. They easily die and many do. Attributes are within normal ranges. Actions require thought and the consequence of a wrong decision is that characters could die. Spells are also quite rare and even limited when they are used.

It is not until higher levels that the game tends to take on a high fantasy level of magic and character power. It is also at highest levels that the characters reach the extreme edge of high fantasy where the game tends to break down. When any action can be taken without consequence, where wands and other items are so common as to give every character an arsenal equal to any kingdom in the world, where the character lives in a palace made of golden stolen from half the world (only because the player got bored and stopped there) that things really slow down.

Without a sense of urgency or threat there is no real sense of adventure. All the excitement dies. I’m sure all of us are aware of this issue and the best way to avoid it is to find a sweet spot in which to run your games where you are happy with the power of the characters and run the games leading up to that point. Personally that is around 4-5th level where weapons don’t instantly kill characters but will given time. characters tend to get their feats, attribute increases and new spells at these levels. it is also where experience slows down. (players reach their peak and will require a huge amount of XP to break through to the next level) But then again I love hard fantasy. if you are partial to high fantasy then maybe level 8-9 level is more your style. magic is powerful. battles can take a while without becoming over long and stale.

Pick the kind of game you and your player like and tailor it to fit. It will make the adventures and enemies that get everyone excited.