Unearthed Arcana: Get Better At Skills With These Feats
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  • Unearthed Arcana: Get Better At Skills With These Feats


    The latest Unearthed Arcana from Jeremy Crawford and again featuring guest writer Robert J. Schwalb introduces a number of feats which make you better at skills. Each increases the skill's primary ability score, doubles your proficiency bonus, and gives you a little bonus ability. "This week we introduce new feats to playtest. Each of these feats makes you better at one of the game’s eighteen skills. We invite you to read them, give them a try in play, and let us know what you think in the survey we release in the next installment of Unearthed Arcana."

    This article was originally published in forum thread: UA: Skill Feats started by Morrus View original post
    Comments 516 Comments
    1. Bad Fox's Avatar
      Bad Fox -
      I'm particularly curious what other people think about the doubling of proficiency bonuses. I've been kinda skeptical whenever I've seen this particular rule used, because I feel like if it gets too common, it'll just lead to DC inflation. Basically, more skill checks that will be almost impossible to succeed on unless you're rocking a double proficiency.

      Up until now, I don't think it's felt too overused, but if these feats were put into the game...?

      What do you think? Is this an unfounded concern?
    1. Gradine's Avatar
      Gradine -
      I expected to like this a lot better than I did. Half of these additional benefits are things that PCs should be able to do without the feat in the first place. Some of the bonus spells make a kind of sense, but giving alarm for Survival is the biggest reach I can think of.
    1. Sacrosanct's Avatar
      Sacrosanct -
      I can see some abuse with the animal handler feat. Pretty much get extra attacks every turn as long as you have a pet.
    1. Gradine's Avatar
      Gradine -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bad Fox View Post
      I'm particularly curious what other people think about the doubling of proficiency bonuses. I've been kinda skeptical whenever I've seen this particular rule used, because I feel like if it gets too common, it'll just lead to DC inflation. Basically, more skill checks that will be almost impossible to succeed on unless you're rocking a double proficiency.

      Up until now, I don't think it's felt too overused, but if these feats were put into the game...?

      What do you think? Is this an unfounded concern?
      It's actually my favorite part of these feats. Remember that a feat is an incredible investment; one that I think you can argue isn't really worth it just for just an extra skill proficiency and a +1 ASI. The double proficiency allows your character to specialize in such a way to short-circuit Bounded Accuracy in a small number of corner cases; nothing really game-breaking (except for maybe in the case of Perception).
    1. TerraDave's Avatar
      TerraDave -
      I think these are....great! Wish that some of the other UAs had been as good.

      Some of the things here might be things that a character should be able to do without feats. But overall, these like really good ways to add flavor and (mostly) non-combat capabilities to characters that players might actually want to take.
    1. Capn Charlie's Avatar
      Capn Charlie -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bad Fox View Post
      I'm particularly curious what other people think about the doubling of proficiency bonuses. I've been kinda skeptical whenever I've seen this particular rule used, because I feel like if it gets too common, it'll just lead to DC inflation. Basically, more skill checks that will be almost impossible to succeed on unless you're rocking a double proficiency.

      Up until now, I don't think it's felt too overused, but if these feats were put into the game...?

      What do you think? Is this an unfounded concern?
      At my table I use a system of scaling returns on skill checks. Say a DC is 13, if you get at least that, you have achieved the minimal tolerable level of success with no drawbacks. Fail it by less than 5 and you might still succeed but with drawbacks (hurting yourself on a jump) and fail it by 5 or more and you flat out fail with disastrous consequences. Succeed by 5 or more than the DC and you experience exceptional success above your expectations, and it goes up with every 5.

      Say a DC is 18, and you manage a 28 on your check, you get two "upgrades" of success over the top, and great things happen for you.

      As such, at my table, the upscaled results of double proficient skill checks are welcome, but not necessary.
    1. MonkeezOnFire's Avatar
      MonkeezOnFire -
      I find these a bit underwhelming and uninteresting. Most of the bonus abilities are just things that skill checks already let you do but as a bonus action. I think the ones where you learn a couple spells are a little weird thematically since we already have mage initiate for that. Overall I couldn't see myself taking any of these over existing feats.
    1. posineg's Avatar
      posineg -
      Wow, Stealth for the win. Hide behind that tree, jump out for the attack and then return to the tree... still hidden or will the attack still blow your cover?
    1. Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
      Ralif Redhammer -
      I really like the various class-based expertise abilities. I’m fine with being able to spend a feat for expertise in a single skill. I don’t think it would create a proliferation of super-skilled PCs, though. Not when they’re already competing against the combat-oriented feats and basic ability score increases. I think the people that want expertise are just going to continue to gravitate towards the bard and rogue classes. Other than that, I think it would be the rare person that says “You know what, I want to be the best ever at History checks!”

      Quote Originally Posted by Bad Fox View Post
      I'm particularly curious what other people think about the doubling of proficiency bonuses. I've been kinda skeptical whenever I've seen this particular rule used, because I feel like if it gets too common, it'll just lead to DC inflation. Basically, more skill checks that will be almost impossible to succeed on unless you're rocking a double proficiency.

      Up until now, I don't think it's felt too overused, but if these feats were put into the game...?

      What do you think? Is this an unfounded concern?
    1. Plaguescarred's Avatar
      Plaguescarred -
      I think they're very evocative and especially like Investigator, Perceptive and Stealthy.


      Yan
      D&D Playtester
    1. Gladius Legis -
      Some of you might want to look closer at the feats that appear to look like things you should be able to do with skills regardless. A lot of those feats make those things take bonus actions. Whereas without the feat, most of those things would take actions. Quick-fingered being an example of that.
    1. thethain's Avatar
      thethain -
      My observant perceptive cleric is going to have mad passive perception skills.
    1. Gladius Legis -
      Anyway, I'm glad Grapple builds finally have a feat to call their own (Brawny).
    1. Warpiglet's Avatar
      Warpiglet -
      I like these generally. I think they will help develop a character. If I want to be good at intimidation and it is central to my half orc, I have a very tangible mechanical expression of this.
    1. OB1's Avatar
      OB1 -
      I've gotta say I'm not feeling these. I would leave it at +1 to the ability and double proficiency. If you really need something else to make it worth the ABI, perhaps each one also gets an additional skill proficiency in a related skill?

      The issue I have with the bonus abilities is that they almost all tend to limit the game rather than expand it in that, a DM might be less likely to let someone attempt one of those without the appropriate feat. For example, I would definitely allow someone with Survival to rig up around camp an Alarm like makeshift device or someone to use insight to try and gain advantage on an opponent.
    1. Ovinomancer's Avatar
      Ovinomancer -
      Do not like, but then, I have issues with expertise, so that's not surprising.
    1. guachi's Avatar
      guachi -
      I like the idea generally except for the one feat that gives free spells.

      Once you get the basic concept of +1 to ability and proficiency/expertise you are left with limited design space but I give Robert Schwalb credit for coming up with extra features that are mostly interesting.

      Also, and this is the best part, it doesn't require a dip into bard or rogue to be good at something. A shield basher can take brawny and be an expert in Athletics without having to take a one level dip into Rogue, for example.
    1. User_Undefined's Avatar
      User_Undefined -
      Quote Originally Posted by OB1 View Post
      The issue I have with the bonus abilities is that they almost all tend to limit the game rather than expand it in that, a DM might be less likely to let someone attempt one of those without the appropriate feat. For example, I would definitely allow someone with Survival to rig up around camp an Alarm like makeshift device or someone to use insight to try and gain advantage on an opponent.
      I agree in principle, but have a question for you. You say you'd let characters without the feat do these moves. Would you still let them do the moves as a bonus action? Because that is what a lot of these feats allow. You can do what other characters can, just faster/better. At least, that's how I see it.
    1. Istbor -
      These are fun, and I think should help players flesh our characters even better. Making me look forward to whichever book these may belong to.
    1. ShadoWWW's Avatar
      ShadoWWW -
      Finally an easy way to get a skill proficiency on higher level. Sweet!
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