5E New Race Feats Appearing in D&D's 'Xanathar's Guide to Everything
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  1. #1
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    New Race Feats Appearing in D&D's 'Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Summary:

    Racial Feats: Do you want your elf to be the most elfiest elf ever? Do you want your Dragonborn to be the most Dragonborny Dragonborn? These options are for you. Based on culture, physical makeup, magic, their history, something else that might be hinted at in the racial description but otherwise lacking a game mechanic tied to that flavor description in the PHB.

    An example given is elves are sometimes described as being highly accurate with their weapons, but there was no game mechanic tied to that description. Now there is, with a feat option for elvish accuracy. Similarly Drow can now take a feat to get some of the other Drow magical abilities they've often been associated with. High Elves (stronger connection to the Feywild), Wood Elves (ancient connection to forests), they all have feats tied to their sub-race.

    With regard to the physical transformation involved with a racial feat, which typically would not happen pre-first-level, the book speaks to this transformation. DMs and PCs are invited to think about a story element in the game, a magical location, a religious event, an encounter with an extraordinary dragon, an encounter with something from a lower plane, some sort of story which results in the transformation represented by the racial feat.

    Last edited by Mistwell; Tuesday, 7th November, 2017 at 08:15 PM.
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    I'm not thrilled about this part of Xanathar's only covering the PHB races and not the EE or Volo's races, especially since it sounds like they DID design them, but they're only going to be available to DnDBeyond preorderers and won't be official.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by pdegan2814 View Post
    I'm not thrilled about this part of Xanathar's only covering the PHB races and not the EE or Volo's races, especially since it sounds like they DID design them, but they're only going to be available to DnDBeyond preorderers and won't be official.
    Nah, those aren't WotC, they are homebrews from the Beyond software team.

    They are pretty serious about keeping things PHB +1 basic.
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  4. #4
    These are fun character-flavoring bits of crunch. Halflings get the best ones, IMHO.

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    Feats and racial classes just entirely devalue the races that came out after the PHB. And particularly in regards to Volo where the races were designed as absolute garbage, the last thing that is needed is to devalue them even more by giving the PHB races elite overpowered feats and racial classes.

    And, make no mistake, I guarantee you that the feats are going to be stupidly over-powered. If they weren't stupidly overpowered, people would just ignore them and stick to the most broken feats in the PHB and it would just be a waste of paper and ink to have printed them at all. In this edition character don't get many feats and some of those in the PHB are so vastly superior to others that those others never get taken by any characters at all. And that is putting aside the fact that feats have to compete with raising your attributes by 2 points-- which, until your attribute is a 20, could well mean getting a +1 to 75-90% of the rolls you make in the game. So if these feats are things that people would at all be tempted to take instead of gaining a +1 to the majority of their rolls OR take one of the stupidly broken feats already in the PHB....

    Yeah, just stupidly powerful abilities to boost the handful of actually well designed races to further ensure that absolutely no one ever plays the ones that they created later.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHobgoblin View Post
    And that is putting aside the fact that feats have to compete with raising your attributes by 2 points-- which, until your attribute is a 20, could well mean getting a +1 to 75-90% of the rolls you make in the game.
    Personally I think people overvalue attribute increases. Think about it - a +1 to every single roll you make only shifts your chance of success by 5%, so it really only makes a difference in about 1/20 rolls. I'd argue that most feats are going to make their presence felt more often than that. Well, unless they're feats that only trigger on crits or ones that hand out +1 bonuses...
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  7. #7
    Wait, if barbed and wings were removed, which ones imply transformation? All the rest seem more like skills?

    I honestly don't see how the others are tranformative.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saeviomagy View Post
    Personally I think people overvalue attribute increases. Think about it - a +1 to every single roll you make only shifts your chance of success by 5%, so it really only makes a difference in about 1/20 rolls. I'd argue that most feats are going to make their presence felt more often than that. Well, unless they're feats that only trigger on crits or ones that hand out +1 bonuses...
    I am a bit skeptical that you would be using the abilities of Actor, Athlete, Dungeon Delver, Keen Mind, Linguist, Mage Slayer, Martial Adept, Mounted Combat, Observant, or Tavern Brawler more often than you would make an attack or damage roll. Or Stealth roll if you are a thief.

    Also-- while a +1 on a D20 is a 5% increase, a +1 on a d8 is a 12.5% increase.
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    I like the idea of the racial feats ever since I saw the feat for deep gnomes and may end up designing some of my own for the other races (I've already created some for some homebrew races). I'd have liked to have seen the weapon feats included as well as the racial ones but if I had to choose between the two, I guess I'd go with the racial feats for the flavour... maybe.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by TheHobgoblin View Post
    And, make no mistake, I guarantee you that the feats are going to be stupidly over-powered.
    Can I ask if you've read the UA about racial feats?

    I would hardly call the racial feats overpowered. For the most part, they were flavorful, but hardly strong. Dragon fear - spend a feat to inflict Frightened. While a cool ability, its not that different from the Fighter Maneuvers to inflict frightened; worse, the Maneuver to scare someone deals actual damage, while this doesn't. Dragon hide - get claws, +1 CHA/STR and +1 AC when not wearing armor. This is only good if we have a barbarian or spellcaster dragonborn; and even then, its only an advantage when you somehow arrange things so that your +1 attribute bump gets you to an even number. Otherwise, its a bit worse than just taking +2 dex. Dragonwings - 20' fly when you're not wearing heavy armor. Sound nice for those aforementioned barbarians and sorcerers, I suppose. A bit slow to chase a flying creature as a melee barbarian, though. Paladin dragonborn wear heavy armor, so clearly they don't benefit. Its only on sorcerers that we see any real question of use over flying, which possibly leads to some issues, but no more than flying tieflings* and aarkosha haven't introduced already. If flying is an issue in your campaign, you're going to be banning more than this feat. If not, then its negligable compared to other options.

    Human feat Prodigy- +1 to any attribute, then an extra skill, tool and language. If were talking variant human, then you basically have +2, +1 attributes with a free skill, a language and a tool. That sounds remarkably close to a high elf - +2 dex, +1 int, perception, free language, racial weapons, trance. The human gets a tool over the elf, whereas the high elf gets a free cantrip and darkvision over the human. That's terrible. Human Determination is actually pretty good - +1 to any attribute, and once a short rest get advantage on a roll. Its comparable to Lucky; the short rest versus long rest means that they potentially get the same number of uses per day, but in some games, those rests don't happen. H.D. gives a +1 attribute, but Lucky can also be used to effectively negate someone's attack. I think, all in all, Lucky is a better feat, which means that H.D. can't really be overpowered either.

    Dwarf - Resilience requires you to dodge. Dodging in combat is rare as heck, imho. Grudge bearer has the same issues as Favored Enemy - what happens if you don't have a specific race that's everywhere? Even when the race appears, I'd say the benefits are worse than Human Determination; too unreliable. Squat nimbleness - +1 STR/DEX, walking speed +5, gain proficiency or expertise in Acrobatics or Athletics. Actually not bad. Extra movement is always good (prevents wasted turn) for melee types, and Athletics is a very solid skill to have in both combat and exploration. I can't think of a situation where this is going to be more than just good, though. Hardly powerful, let alone overpowered.

    I could go on. Going by the UA, there's only a handful of feats that I think are really worthwhile. Even then, they're comparable to existing abilities, roughly equal, or just a slight touch weaker.

    There's only one feat that I think is potentially "overpowered" and that's Elven Accuracy. Rerolling once when you have advantage is very strong. And that's assuming it survives as is.
    Yeah, just stupidly powerful abilities to boost the handful of actually well designed races to further ensure that absolutely no one ever plays the ones that they created later.
    I'm beginning to doubt we read the same material here. A good chunk of the core races are anything BUT well designed. Especially the poor dragonborn. They're terrible. Tieflings in the core aren't exactly shining exemplars either. Stout Halflings are pretty well laughed at. People consider non-variant humans to be a pretty bad design as well.

    Humans, high/wood/half elves, dwarves, lightfoot halflings and gnomes are all solid. Everything pasts those?
    Last edited by Mephista; Wednesday, 8th November, 2017 at 12:56 AM.
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