D&D 5th Edition Feats, don't fail me now! - feat design in 5e - Page 7


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  1. #61
    I'm not sure about Feats, one of the many problems that 3rd Ed caused.

    ...not to say 4th Ed was the solution, talk about swatting a fly with a Buick.

 

  • #62
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    ° Ignore Ratskinner
    Quote Originally Posted by JamesonCourage View Post
    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.
    So...don't level up? At least, with bounded accuracy, that seems a possibility.

  • #63
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    ° Ignore Ratskinner
    Quote Originally Posted by Derren View Post
    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.
    In principle, I agree. Yet, two things stand out to me:

    First, D&D has always been primarily about combat, it is not a generic or narrative rpg. Consequently, that combat requires a lot more rules-space than "my guy is really smart." Being a sage doesn't require leveling or heroism or any of that D&D stuff.

    Secondly, 5e is intentionally modular. If you don't want all the combat bennies that feats provide, or if you want to tone down combat...just drop the feats and use monsters of lower-than-default level. Tada! done. You still won't have a good rules-set for that "my sage is just as valuable a contributor as any other character at the table" game, but that's FATE or Burning Wheel maybe.

  • #64
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    ° Ignore Ratskinner
    Quote Originally Posted by JamesonCourage View Post
    Like I've said, I'm okay with a 3/3/3 divide as the baseline, but I see absolutely no convincing reason to leave out an optional rule about trading combat ability for more non-combat utility (even if the trade isn't 1-for-1: 5/1/1, 1/4/3, or 2/2/4).
    Honestly, that sounds like a campaign option to me. Trying to fit the kinds of things your suggesting into one party and still make a viable campaign would be very difficult under the general D&D framework, requiring constant DM-intervention with the rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesonCourage View Post
    And, with that in mind, I'd prefer that if feats are purely combat, that whatever works as the "non-combat" equivalent be on the same progression as feat (every other level, or whatever), with individual areas that can be swapped wholesale (lose a specialty but gain a background, or lose a feat and gain a talent, etc.).
    Hard to evaluate without knowing what kinds of non-combat abilities we're discussing. I generally like 5e's "bigger" units of character description rather than the significantly smaller units of 3 and 4e. I certainly don't think the must be on the same schedule as feats, although possibly they don't need to be on a particular schedule.

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesonCourage View Post
    Just don't force me to silo my abilities.
    Siloing has far too many benefits to ignore or discard as a design principle. For instance, if there is a dedicated non-combat silo, you could alter the advancement of that silo in your game independently of the other silos. Some suggestions have already been floated in this thread. So siloing could still allow some of the concept diversity you desire. On the other hand, non-siloing makes a great many other character concepts unworkable in many groups.

  • #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Ratskinner View Post
    Honestly, that sounds like a campaign option to me. Trying to fit the kinds of things your suggesting into one party and still make a viable campaign would be very difficult under the general D&D framework, requiring constant DM-intervention with the rules.



    Hard to evaluate without knowing what kinds of non-combat abilities we're discussing. I generally like 5e's "bigger" units of character description rather than the significantly smaller units of 3 and 4e. I certainly don't think the must be on the same schedule as feats, although possibly they don't need to be on a particular schedule.



    Siloing has far too many benefits to ignore or discard as a design principle. For instance, if there is a dedicated non-combat silo, you could alter the advancement of that silo in your game independently of the other silos. Some suggestions have already been floated in this thread. So siloing could still allow some of the concept diversity you desire. On the other hand, non-siloing makes a great many other character concepts unworkable in many groups.
    But while siloing could allow SOME character concepts, it doesn't allow ALL or even MOST of what could be possible otherwise. A particular character I had was a Healer/Bard, whose whole assortment of feats consisted on non-combat stuff including some self-debilitating feats. Such a concept would have been impossible at 5th level if I had been forced to pick combat feats at enforced intervals, or worse forced to tale only combat stuff without the chance to enhance the non-combatness of my character.

    If you think siloing doesn't restrict charcter concepts, then tell me, how can I build a 4e sorcerer with only utility spells and not a single attack one? (Refluffing is not an option, 3e allows it way fine by RAW and core alone)

  • #66
    But while siloing could allow SOME character concepts, it doesn't allow ALL or even MOST of what could be possible otherwise. A particular character I had was a Healer/Bard, whose whole assortment of feats consisted on non-combat stuff including some self-debilitating feats. Such a concept would have been impossible at 5th level if I had been forced to pick combat feats at enforced intervals, or worse forced to tale only combat stuff without the chance to enhance the non-combatness of my character.
    We're just talking in circles now. As has been discussed before, the idea with all this "siloing" (a term I'm frankly getting sick of at this point) is that the default would be that you pick your "feat" at certain intervals, and those would primarily be combat based. HOWEVER, we could also leave in the choice to pick one of the options from the other pillars, with the knowledge that this won't have the same mechanical contribution as the combat feat.

    4e doesn't let you do this, you're correct, but right now with the 5e playtest we have the option for the extra skill choice the jack of all trades specialty gives you. The comments in this thread have convinced me to change my mind that this is a viable option, even if it slightly narrows your combat options compared to those who take other specialties. Don't like that the Jack of All trades specialty doesn't let you add to your combat and non-combat feats? Create your own specialty and mix it up then.

    And sure, there [edit]should be more robust ways to provide options for the other pillars, but it seems to me wotc is headed in the right direction.
    Last edited by bogmad; Friday, 28th September, 2012 at 03:07 AM. Reason: to make clearer my opinion

  • #67
    Quote Originally Posted by bogmad View Post
    We're just talking in circles now. As has been discussed before, the idea with all this "siloing" (a term I'm frankly getting sick of at this point) is that the default would be that you pick your "feat" at certain intervals, and those would primarily be combat based. HOWEVER, we could also leave in the choice to pick one of the options from the other pillars, with the knowledge that this won't have the same mechanical contribution as the combat feat.

    4e doesn't let you do this, you're correct, but right now with the 5e playtest we have the option for the extra skill choice the jack of all trades specialty gives you. The comments in this thread have convinced me to change my mind that this is a viable option, even if it slightly narrows your combat options compared to those who take other specialties. Don't like that the Jack of All trades specialty doesn't let you add to your combat and non-combat feats? Create your own specialty and mix it up then.

    And sure, there could be more robust ways to provide options for the other pillars, but it seems to me wotc is headed in the right direction.
    I've already posted a list of more than 50 3e non combat feats, it even excludes the number crunching feats. A meager extra skill is nothing in comparation, it isn't enough; +3 to some checks looks pale in comparison with the ability to use your own blood to heal other people's wounds, or to remove fatigue with a song. Saying that us who want non combat support will be happy with only an extra skill every third level is like saying that 4e players will be happy with only battlemat support rules (and even that is a lot more in comparison)

  • #68
    I hate to quote myself, but...
    And sure, there could be more robust ways to provide options for the other pillars, but it seems to me wotc is headed in the right direction.
    Agreed, there should be more non-combat support. That's the idea of an extra "pillar" for non-combat feats. That pillar would give you non-combat options by the default. Then you leave a few exceptions that proves the rule -to opt into a different pillar- and you're not dooming everyone to be perfectly balanced but there is a default assumption that not only combat is supported by the choices you make in the leveling process.
    Last edited by bogmad; Friday, 28th September, 2012 at 03:20 AM. Reason: Malapropism.

  • #69
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    ° Ignore Ratskinner
    Quote Originally Posted by KaiiLurker View Post
    I've already posted a list of more than 50 3e non combat feats, it even excludes the number crunching feats. A meager extra skill is nothing in comparation, it isn't enough; +3 to some checks looks pale in comparison with the ability to use your own blood to heal other people's wounds, or to remove fatigue with a song. Saying that us who want non combat support will be happy with only an extra skill every third level is like saying that 4e players will be happy with only battlemat support rules (and even that is a lot more in comparison)
    Quote Originally Posted by KaiiLurker View Post
    But while siloing could allow SOME character concepts, it doesn't allow ALL or even MOST of what could be possible otherwise. A particular character I had was a Healer/Bard, whose whole assortment of feats consisted on non-combat stuff including some self-debilitating feats. Such a concept would have been impossible at 5th level if I had been forced to pick combat feats at enforced intervals, or worse forced to tale only combat stuff without the chance to enhance the non-combatness of my character.
    "Impossible?" Why? I wouldn't be surprised to see plenty of feats (if not in the first books, in later splat) that swapped some personal combat effectiveness for some greater utility. Healing and support are such a vital part of combat that folks complain about always needing a Cleric (whenever Clerics aren't popular, anyway.) There already a Healer speciality in the second playtest, do you not suspect that future splatbooks would help you recreate this "blood for healing" gimmick? ...could you not see working out a "Revitalizing Music" speciality of your own (if you couldn't wait)?*

    As far as the non-combat stuff goes...well, I think if you read upthread, you'll see that a lot of people, myself included, are calling for enhanced OoC stuff. Having it siloed makes it all that easier for a DM or group to make decisions and houserules like: "take a second background, but with half the skill bonus" or something to flesh out characters more fully in the OoC realm. That said, I would not want to see a return of skill points, and I'd prefer everything to be simple and fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by KaiiLurker View Post
    If you think siloing doesn't restrict charcter concepts, then tell me, how can I build a 4e sorcerer with only utility spells and not a single attack one? (Refluffing is not an option, 3e allows it way fine by RAW and core alone)
    That sounds like a more fundamental problem with 4e's AEDU system than siloing. As a complaint about 4e, I'll buy that. Yes, 4e's classes were much more tightly-scripted than earlier editions, especially spellcasters. Doesn't have much to do with the idea of siloing, though.

    *I'm not sure what you mean by "self-debilitating". Characters are supposed to get better and more powerful as they level-up. Wanna trade some of this for more of that? Sure. Wanna just get worse? - no, and I don't think such a thing should be in D&D.

  • #70
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    ° Ignore JamesonCourage
    Quote Originally Posted by Ratskinner View Post
    So...don't level up? At least, with bounded accuracy, that seems a possibility.
    ... I want to get better as a sage. This can't possibly be a real reply, can it...?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ratskinner View Post
    Honestly, that sounds like a campaign option to me. Trying to fit the kinds of things your suggesting into one party and still make a viable campaign would be very difficult under the general D&D framework, requiring constant DM-intervention with the rules.
    Thus, it is "optional" with the default as "balanced."
    Quote Originally Posted by Ratskinner View Post
    Hard to evaluate without knowing what kinds of non-combat abilities we're discussing. I generally like 5e's "bigger" units of character description rather than the significantly smaller units of 3 and 4e. I certainly don't think the must be on the same schedule as feats, although possibly they don't need to be on a particular schedule.
    If they aren't on the same schedule, then I don't think the "get another background/talent by losing specialties/feats" is an appropriate answer. And if that's not doable or appropriate, then I have an objection.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ratskinner View Post
    Siloing has far too many benefits to ignore or discard as a design principle. For instance, if there is a dedicated non-combat silo, you could alter the advancement of that silo in your game independently of the other silos. Some suggestions have already been floated in this thread. So siloing could still allow some of the concept diversity you desire. On the other hand, non-siloing makes a great many other character concepts unworkable in many groups.
    Dude, I feel like I've addressed this over and over. You replied to my take on it in your post that I'm responding to now. Make the move away from siloing optional. Make everything "balanced" as the baseline. But give me the option (with mechanical support) to change it to something else. You never, ever have to leave the baseline, default, siloed approach to the game. Everything will be "balanced" across the pillars for you from the get-go. Awesome.

    Me? I want mechanical support if I want to alter those assumptions. Other people do, too. Give us that support. Just design background/"talents" just like you do specialties/feats, have them run simultaneously, and I'm fine with it. If I can't switch out my Intimidation skill for more punchyness, or my fighting skill for more knowledges, etc., then you're killing my concepts. Yours live either way. Yours are even supported as the core assumption. Just let there be support for mine by not forcing siloed abilities. As always, play what you like

    Quote Originally Posted by bogmad View Post
    We're just talking in circles now.
    Seriously...
    Quote Originally Posted by bogmad View Post
    the idea... is that the default would be that you pick your "feat" at certain intervals, and those would primarily be combat based. HOWEVER, we could also leave in the choice to pick one of the options from the other pillars, with the knowledge that this won't have the same mechanical contribution as the combat feat.
    Yes. This. Clearly explain that this is the case. Make sure it's noted that it's not appropriate for certain campaign styles or expectations. Etc. But let things be swapped away from the baseline assumption. Please, do what the bogmad says. As always, play what you like
    As always, play what you like

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