D&D 5th Edition Feats, don't fail me now! - feat design in 5e - Page 4




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  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by jrowland View Post
    I think the OP is right...and so are you.

    Feats SHOULD be combat only...what we need is a new term for non-combat "feats"...lets call them talents.

    If you got both Talents and Feats, you could build a decent combat character as well as have decent non-combat features. The problems usually arise when you have to choose between RP-oriented feats and combat-oriented feat. You always feel the 'other' pillar is short-changed.

    So I say, Bring on the Talents!
    I disagree. There should be no two different resourced for combat and "everything else" because it still gives combat a special status and because either you get shoehorned into combat classes with many feats and nearly no talents and non combat classes with many talents and less feats or every character gets both at the same rate which imo leads not to well rounded characters but two characters in one. Both is not very desirable.

 

  • #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derren View Post
    I disagree. There should be no two different resourced for combat and "everything else" because it still gives combat a special status and because either you get shoehorned into combat classes with many feats and nearly no talents and non combat classes with many talents and less feats or every character gets both at the same rate which imo leads not to well rounded characters but two characters in one. Both is not very desirable.
    I'm sorry, but I don't follow your argument. Why is combat having a special status a bad thing? And shouldn't the solution then be to give "everything else" equally special status?
    Further, to separate Feats and Talents, or whatever they would be called, does not necessarily lead to the consequences you list. They are separated right now in Next. The result is not that the Fighter has more Feats or fewer Skills. It does currently mean that the Rogue has more skills, but I don't see this as a bad thing. And you can have your characters as well-rounded as you want with this system. I could be a really holy person, as a Cleric-Acolyte-Priest, or I could branch out more as a Cleric-Guardian-Knight. They don't conflict in concept or in play. Nor do they conflict in real life. I have my job and I have my hobbies. Me taking aikido classes does not interfere with my ability to sing, nor does either make me a less effective pastor. I could pursue either hobby, if I so chose, on a more professional route, but that doesn't take away my theological education. Look, maybe I'm misunderstanding your argument here. If so, could you please elaborate?

  • #33
    I disagree. There should be no two different resourced for combat and "everything else" because it still gives combat a special status ...
    Again this runs into the "play the game you want" problem. All this saying "combat needs to be de-emphasized" in the core, just butts heads with folks who like an emphasis on combat. Why is it not better to design a core where combat can either be emphasized or de-emphasized, according to the whim of the game-runner(s), by tweaking the dials (or adding/subtracting modules)?

    The fact is that combat and role play interact with the rules in markedly distinct ways. If you want "non-combat" feats, they should still be able to interact meaningfully within the design-space that is in effect while the rest of the party is embroiled in combat.
    Last edited by bogmad; Wednesday, 26th September, 2012 at 08:01 PM. Reason: adjective added for clarification

  • #34
    Quote Originally Posted by cmbarona View Post
    I'm sorry, but I don't follow your argument. Why is combat having a special status a bad thing? And shouldn't the solution then be to give "everything else" equally special status?
    Further, to separate Feats and Talents, or whatever they would be called, does not necessarily lead to the consequences you list. They are separated right now in Next. The result is not that the Fighter has more Feats or fewer Skills. It does currently mean that the Rogue has more skills, but I don't see this as a bad thing. And you can have your characters as well-rounded as you want with this system. I could be a really holy person, as a Cleric-Acolyte-Priest, or I could branch out more as a Cleric-Guardian-Knight. They don't conflict in concept or in play. Nor do they conflict in real life. I have my job and I have my hobbies. Me taking aikido classes does not interfere with my ability to sing, nor does either make me a less effective pastor. I could pursue either hobby, if I so chose, on a more professional route, but that doesn't take away my theological education. Look, maybe I'm misunderstanding your argument here. If so, could you please elaborate?
    However different skillsets require different resources, and that sometimes leads to conflicting interests, unless you are naturally talented, keeping a propper singing voice requires practice, nurturing and dedication, and while you may be a good singer as an amateur, I doubt you'd be able to best a primma donna with years of specialized trainning and who took years and year of musical and artistic education instead of your pastoral trainning. On a similar way someone with an interest on religion and phylosphy may be very good on it and get the main points of the Bible, but will not be able to quote exact passages of different versions and traslations without the propper trainning.

    And let's don't get started on the Aikido part, you may be good at it, but to be very good at it you need the dedication only a professional soldier or top athelete would have. Moreover on real life you decide how much time you alocate to each of your hobbies and career paths, nobody forces you to dedicate exactly three hours to singing, three hours to read theology and phylosphy books and three hours to practice Aikido. Or worse forcing you to spend 10 hours singing and only half hour practicing with the sword when you want to become very good on Aikido.

    A real life example. I have a friend my age, we both are trained artists, but he spend all of his life drawing and can effortlessly produce characters full of life with a consolidated and attractive artistic style in almost no time, meanwhile I spent most of my teenage years learning crazy tings such as physics, advanced math and readying a lot about wildy different subjects, along with drawing from time to time. I can produce atractive imaginery too, but it doesn't comes as naturaly to me as for him, I actually have to pay a lot of attention when I do so and it is taxing -headache taxing- for me to quickly switch from drawing to verbal or mathematical skills. Of course I can understand stuff he cannot ever hope to comprenhend, but equally I'm nowhere near the level of competency of my friends who actually studied engineering.

  • #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrowland View Post
    Feats SHOULD be combat only...what we need is a new term for non-combat "feats"...lets call them talents.

    If you got both Talents and Feats, you could build a decent combat character as well as have decent non-combat features.
    This is the "siloing" thing people keep proposing, and that other people (like myself) object to. I want to be able to make a character who is a focused sage, but is bad in a fight. Not just "not good" in a fight, but actually bad. My players want the same thing.

    Now, should you be able to make a sage/warrior? Sure, why not, that's also a cool concept. He just shouldn't be as good as the focused sage who's bad in a fight.

    By siloing, you're denying me that concept. Me and my players like concepts that include being bad in a fight. Because, though we play 8-10 hours at a time, we probably average 1 combat per session. There's a lot of other stuff going on each session, and we're cool with not fighting very much. As much fun as I had with 3.5, this was a problem for us. Since we switched to my own RPG, which is point-buy (but still level-based), it's a lot easier to scratch that itch. However, you could easily make classes where you suck at combat. I can do it using my RPG.

    I'm not a fan of forced siloing. As the default? Please. I'd prefer that. Start everyone 3/3/3 in combat / exploration / interaction. That's fine with me. But, let me tweak my character to 1/4/3 or 5/1/1 or 2/2/4. I don't mind the default being siloed abilities, but make them via specialties (feat packages), where combat and non-combat mix. Then, if I want to upset that balance, I'll pick feats that do so.

    Just my take on it. I'm not a fan of siloing. Neither are my players. Make it the default, sure. I'm okay with that. Just don't force me to be good in areas I don't want to be (just like you shouldn't be forced to be poor in areas you don't want to be). As always, play what you like
    As always, play what you like

  • #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesonCourage View Post
    By siloing, you're denying me that concept.
    No, we're not.

    Nothing says that you actually have to use any abilities that you have on your character sheet.

    So what if your "terrible in combat" sage has a +7 attack bonus and +3 to damage with attacks made with his staff, if he never actually attacks with his staff to begin with? Maybe, once in a great while, your sage actually does make an attack, and, look at that, the fates aligned and it was a good one (because your modifiers made it an effective attack)! The rest of the time, though, he stands in the back taking the Total Defense action and yelling "Not in the face!"

    Or, you know, just say that despite the fact that (in 3E terms) you have a +4 Base Attack Bonus, you just don't want to apply any of it to any of your attacks, and you want to treat all your weapons like they're improvised, and you always want to strike for non-lethal. Bam! Immediate -12 to your attack roll; instant incompetence!

    Siloing abilities makes it far, far easier to make a more robust, balanced ruleset, where everyone who wants to participate in each of the main pillars can do so effectively (if not optimally). For people who want to play (dangerously? oddly?) against type (seriously, why is the useless sage not an NPC character that the party is escorting?), let them figure it out on their own.
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  • #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Patryn of Elvenshae View Post
    seriously, why is the useless sage not an NPC character that the party is escorting?
    See, thats the entire problem. You think that combat is the primary function in D&D and everyone who can't fight is useless and should be an NPC.

    That is fine for a Hack&Slash dungeon crawler, but in an RPG a learned character should/can be as useful as a combat character and be a valid character choice a player can role play with.
    By making combat "special" you remove this ability as the game gets more geared towards combat than everything else.
    Last edited by Derren; Wednesday, 26th September, 2012 at 10:18 PM.

  • #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patryn of Elvenshae View Post
    No, we're not.
    Yes, you are.
    Quote Originally Posted by Patryn of Elvenshae View Post
    Nothing says that you actually have to use any abilities that you have on your character sheet.
    That's not true, if you're following the rules. Medium HP? I can take more hits. And for people that see HP as some form of physical damage (rolling with the hits, etc.), and not plot protection, this is a problem. If the class gives higher defenses (saves, AC, whatever), that'll come up, too. And so on.

    I want the fiction I want (a sage who is bad at combat, a craftsman who can make neat contraptions but isn't a combatant, a courtier who is great socially but couldn't fight to save his life, etc.) to be matched up closely with the mechanics of the game. And if you force me to be good at combat (or even "not bad"), you're not doing that for me.

    And I don't want that. My players don't want that. It's not what we want. And you're denying us that concept. Nobody can pick up our sheet, see our character, and play him as we fictionally want him to be. They'll see the higher attack bonus, the damage, and so on.

    That's not the character I want. That's not how I want the game to represent my character. The "ignore the rules" is nice and all, and I will, but I have no great interest in switching to a game that enforces broad competency on everybody. Set it as the default, please. I'd like that just fine. Just let me alter it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Patryn of Elvenshae View Post
    Siloing abilities makes it far, far easier to make a more robust, balanced ruleset, where everyone who wants to participate in each of the main pillars can do so effectively (if not optimally). For people who want to play (dangerously? oddly?) against type (seriously, why is the useless sage not an NPC character that the party is escorting?), let them figure it out on their own.
    Or, you know, support their playstyle. Make specialties balanced across the pillars. Make classes balanced across the pillars. Make this the default.

    Then, give me options on altering that. Trading combat stuff for social stuff. Trading exploration stuff for more combat stuff. And so on. If I want to pick "unbalanced" feats, make me do it by hand, instead of by specialty. I'm fine with this. Just don't silo it and force me. Because you're killing my concepts. As always, play what you like
    As always, play what you like

  • #39
    If specialties are the "how" you do something, then they should do what they're supposed to and say how you interact with your environment. If you want your choices to reflect that you're bad in a fight the feat should be specific enough to say exactly how you're bad in it. An extra bookworm feat doesn't actually describe anything about how you interact with the world, just that you get a +2 when thinking about the underdark or whatever. Let it give you an action to deduce an interesting fact about how to avoid a monster or something, but no way to smack it or use a spell in an interesting manner. Similarly, a feat based around acrobatics shouldn't just give a boost to an acrobatic skill roll, it should give you new ways to interact with the combat rules.

    All feats being combat feats doesn't mean every feat has to relate to beating something over the head, or shooting it with a spell. It just affects how your character interacts mechanically when certain parameters are in effect (in this case, a fight).

    All that said, you've worn me down. I don't see why there couldn't be a slight bleed over for people like JamesonCourage who actively want to be "bad in a fight". Most Feats should still be able to relate to combat, but if someone insists on taking the extra knowledge skill feat that doesn't interact with combat rules I don't see why we shouldn't let him play as he likes, as long as he doesn't start arguing later about being ineffective in the fight, or the fact that no one ever takes the skill feat... because, really, when you mix them up more people will end up taking the combat feat.
    Also, that non-combat feat choice shouldn't mean that he can't have access to that skill through something he chooses through the option that provides "talents"
    Last edited by bogmad; Wednesday, 26th September, 2012 at 09:41 PM. Reason: clarity

  • #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derren View Post
    See, thats the entire problem. You think that combat is the primary function is D&D
    No, I think that combat is a primary part of normal D&D play, and that someone who is not merely "Not Good" at combat but who is "Actually Bad" (@JamesonCourage's words, not mine) is a dangerous liability to the party.

    That makes the character type suitable for use as an NPC, but a hard sell as a PC.
    "A rock on a stick has a 5' reach unless otherwise specified."

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