D&D 4th Edition Proposal: Modify the Expertise House Rule (E.g., give bonus feat)




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    ø Ignore Luinnar

    Proposal: Modify the Expertise House Rule (E.g., give bonus feat)

    I propose changing the flat +1 bonus/tier house rule with a bonus feat at level 5 and allowing players to take expertise feats. This would still fix the feat tax/Math fix issue, but allow people to take the new weapon specific feats if they wish, take the feat at level 4, or take the feat later if +1 accuracy is not as important to their character build (Avengers/"Lazy" Warlords).

    This would apply to existing characters, those in adventures would switch it out as soon as their DM approves.

    Also, the new Hunter Ranger build in Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms gets their choice of a bow or crossbow expertise feat at level one. This proposal would eliminate the unintended "nerf" of the build by the house rule.
    Last edited by stonegod; Thursday, 18th November, 2010 at 10:13 PM. Reason: I want only one Expertise discussion thread
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    ø Ignore stonegod
    Other proposals that deal with the Expertise issue should go here as well. (I'm changing the thread title to reflect that).
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    ø Ignore KarinsDad
    Quote Originally Posted by Luinnar View Post
    Also, the new Hunter Ranger build in Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms gets their choice of a bow or crossbow expertise feat at level one. This proposal would eliminate the unintended "nerf" of the build by the house rule.
    It would also nerf any player who has ranged weapons and/or melee weapons and/or implements.

    The entire purpose of the Expertise feats and the entire purpose of the LEB house rule is because the straight out of the box math is broken. Forcing players to buy 2, 3, or more Expertise feats, just because they have a versatile PC and so that they have a reasonable chance to hit and to have their PCs be on par with other PCs is unreasonable. Some PCs are knocking at the door of Paragon level here and it will soon become more difficult for them.


    I like the fact that LEB has an Expertise feat house rule. I do see where it has problems with the other Expertise feats from many sources now, so the only clean solution I see so far is to make the LEB house rule a feat bonus.

    But, a feat tax just totally sucks to fix a flaw in the game design.


    Ditto for NADs. LEB should probably have a game flaw fix house rule for low NADs as well, but I don't think we really need to think about that too much until PCs get to mid-Paragon levels.
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    ø Ignore Luinnar
    Quote Originally Posted by KarinsDad View Post
    I like the fact that LEB has an Expertise feat house rule. I do see where it has problems with the other Expertise feats from many sources now, so the only clean solution I see so far is to make the LEB house rule a feat bonus.
    Do you mean changing the house rule to a feat bonus, and allowing people to take a expertise feats for the extra weapon specific abilities (but not an extra +1 to hit, since it would not stack)?
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    ø Ignore twilsemail
    What if we allowed people the option of the LEB bonus or a feat at level 5? This way people who need a bonus to tons of weapons/implements can get that, while someone specialized might pick up light blade expertise/staff expertise/et al.

    Edit: this option would include opening the Expertise feats at an earlier level and stating that they do not stack with the LEB bonus.
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    ø Ignore KarinsDad
    Luinnar. Yes, that's what I'm saying. Change the LEB bonuses to feat bonuses.

    [rant]
    The LEB solution is what WotC should have done once they found out about the math problem instead of coming up with all of these crazy feats. Just like they added in a bunch of different masterwork armor types when they found out about the heavy armor math problems.


    The problem is that WotC wants "solutions" that fit in with their original 4E framework without changing the framework. The heavy armor solution is one such solution. But, it becomes klunky because now instead of 18 different armor types (of which 12 should have never existed), we now have 46 different armor types of which 40 should have never existed. What exactly is Stalkerhide armor? Nobody knows without looking it up. Ditto for the rest of them.


    So for the case of Expertise, the game designers created a ton of feats, most of which are like masterwork armor. You have to have them in your game in order to maintain game balance, but as a player, you really don't want to purchase them.

    Feat taxes are a pain. The Expertise feats, the defense feats, and even the Unarmored Agility / Armor Proficiency: Leather feats are feat taxes.

    You don't really want to purchase them. You'd rather purchase something else that is cool and exciting. But, just to maintain some level of survivability, you have to go purchase these types of feats.

    Go play a Cleric without purchasing any armor or shield feats and see how many of your Healing Words you spend on yourself if the NPCs decide to gang up on the Cleric.

    If we can have some LEB house rules that get rid of some of the feat taxes, I'm all for it.
    [/rant]

    Ok, rant over. Whew!
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    ø Ignore KarinsDad
    Quote Originally Posted by twilsemail View Post
    What if we allowed people the option of the LEB bonus or a feat at level 5?
    I don't like handing out free feats that can be used for anything.

    The only reason to have the LEB feat tax is to fix the broken math of the to hit framework. If the math wasn't broken, the house rule wouldn't be needed.

    No need to make the house rule even more potent for PCs who do not quite need it. For example, Avengers often get two attack rolls. Such a PC doesn't need the house rule, especially before level 15. So, such a PC would almost never take LEB Expertise and would get a free feat over everyone else.
    The first sign of a broken rule is when someone suggests that the way to stop it is by readying an action.

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    ø Ignore twilsemail
    Just to make sure I'm reading that rant above correctly.

    Section 1: Yes, change the current house rule to make a ton of flavorful feats useless.

    Section 2: The expertise feats should have never existed. People should be allowed to take more flavorful feats.

    Changing the LEB Expertise bonus to a Feat bonus doesn't get rid of the feat tax. That's already been done. Ranting about it isn't necessary. Someone before you was wise enough to see it was a problem and solve it outright with the house rule.

    Changing the LEB Expertise bonus to a Feat bonus does eliminate flavorful options and I really don't think that's fair to people who might actually want to portray the characters that those options would make shine.
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    ø Ignore KarinsDad
    Quote Originally Posted by twilsemail View Post
    Just to make sure I'm reading that rant above correctly.

    Section 1: Yes, change the current house rule to make a ton of flavorful feats useless.

    Section 2: The expertise feats should have never existed. People should be allowed to take more flavorful feats.

    Changing the LEB Expertise bonus to a Feat bonus doesn't get rid of the feat tax. That's already been done. Ranting about it isn't necessary. Someone before you was wise enough to see it was a problem and solve it outright with the house rule.

    Changing the LEB Expertise bonus to a Feat bonus does eliminate flavorful options and I really don't think that's fair to people who might actually want to portray the characters that those options would make shine.
    There is nothing stopping them from taking the Essentials Expertise feats.

    Your argument boils down to "Because the Essential Expertise feats exist, players are entitled to take them. Not only are they entitled to take them, but they are entitled to the extra bennies those feats give over the normal LEB Expertise rule.".


    What's not fair is that WotC didn't analyze the math of their game system before putting it out on the market. What's not fair is that WotC is doing the "bigger, better, badder" expertise feats in Essentials because everyone complained that it was a feat tax in normal 4E.

    If players get Expertise for free at LEB, they are already gaining more than someone who played strictly by the rules.

    If they want the cool bells and whistles of the Essentials Expertise feats, that's great. Take the feat. At level 4, they'll even get a +1 to hit.


    Your suggestion sounds like just another way to make PCs even more versatile and/or powerful than they already are.
    The first sign of a broken rule is when someone suggests that the way to stop it is by readying an action.

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    ø Ignore twilsemail
    Quote Originally Posted by KarinsDad View Post
    Your argument boils down to "Because the Essential Expertise feats exist, players are entitled to take them. Not only are they entitled to take them, but they are entitled to the extra bennies those feats give over the normal LEB Expertise rule.".


    Actually my argument boils down to "There were lots of spiffy feats supporting character concepts before Essentials came out. Making the LEB bonus a Feat Bonus elminates them."

    I could care less about the new shiny expertise feats. WotC just release a new package of band-aids that happen to have Superman and Hello Kitty on them instead of the plain old flesh-tone.

    We do need to sort out the interaction of the new feats with the LEB bonus (which I think should boil down to "no."). I'm not saying we shouldn't. But calling "Light blade expertise" flavorful is ludicrous.

    Make the new shiny feats the same as the old bonus. Hell, say that they’re banned forever and ever. Don’t restrict people from taking something like “Feyborn Charm.”

    This discussion doesn’t need to be your podium for ranting about WotC’s math error. We all hang out on gaming forums. We all know where the feats came from and recognize that they’re a tax. The community as a whole has officially recognized that and made a house rule to cover it. Several members of the community have now expressed interest in these new feats and their interaction with that house rule. That’s what this thread is about.

    You really don’t need to convince us that the original expertise feats were a feat tax. Really. We got it. Move on. Alternately, the 4e forum is right over here.
    "It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds"
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