ZEITGEIST Is this 5E feat for Technologist reasonable?
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  1. #1
    Scout (Lvl 6)

    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Is this 5E feat for Technologist reasonable?

    I created a series of feats for the themes, including this one.
    My game calls the Technologist's Simulacrum "Drone" instead.
    Are the options below roughly comparable in value?
    What _NUMBER_ should I use to make this a solid worthwhile feat (but not broken)?

    Drone Rigger (prerequisites: Technologist background, level 8)

    You have designed a variety of upgrades for your drone. You gain _NUMBER_ of the following options:
    • All Terrain: Your drone gains spider climb 20', swim 20', and ignores difficult terrain.
    • Autopilot: Your drone has 2 Intelligence and can follow simple instructions independently. However, it loses immunity to psychic damage.
    • Duplicate: You can build two copies of your drone. Each requires individual operation.
    • Helicopter: 5 times per rest, your drone gains a fly speed of 20' (hover) for 1 minute.
    • Multi-Function: Your drone can replicate up to three of your actions or skills instead of one.
    • Reinforcement: Your drone's hit points and carrying capacity are doubled.
    • Remote Control (prerequisite: spark gap technology): You can command your drone from up to 120 feet away. The drone sends pictures (90 degree view) and audio to you on a tiny handheld display (disadvantage on Perception checks).
    • Shielding: Your drone gains immunity to one damage type: acid, cold, fire, lightning, necrotic, radiant, or thunder.
    • Turbocharger: Your drone's speed or speeds increase to 40', and if it makes its full move in a straight line, it can Dash in that direction as a bonus action.

  2. #2
    Cutpurse (Lvl 5)

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Russia, Moscow
    My knowledge of 5e is limited to one-shots and reading through playtests and PHB, so take this with a grain of salt. Feats in 5e are very rigidly defined in their value, they must have an equal value to ability score improvement, e.g. +1 modifier to a specific field of tasks. If you look through available feats, almost all of them have a general benefic, which is advantageous almost all the time. Therefore, your proposed feat should also have some garanteed advantage, which is useful to the character all the time. I guess it mostly depends on concrete game, so ask yourself: how often drone is hindered by difficult terrain? how often fly speed would be useful out or in combat? how often the drone is destroyed, so extra hit points would be useful? how often enemies wield one specific type of damage?

    I would say that fly speed, remote view (if you can make the drone stealthy), hit points increase and autopilot are among the most useful here, while others are situational. I would maybe allow taking one of "generally useful" upgrades and 1-2 of situational ones. More than 3 in total seem just a bit too much, you have to be able to easily remember what exactly are your drone's abilities.

    On second thought, I wouldn't tie these to a specific feat at all. Martial scientist gain new attacks by observing others and learning from books, so maybe technologist can do the same? There's advanced Bleak Gate golem in adventure 2, tech fair in adventure 3, technological advances related to Tinker Oddcog, I think you can find a way to squeeze an upgrade into every adventure if you want to.

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