5E Durable Feat is weak, Healer feat is too strong
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  1. #1
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    Durable Feat is weak, Healer feat is too strong

    This is an old topic, but the last thread was 14 pages and it went all over the place. I'm coming at it from a different angle here.

    I'm really frustrated with the way Errata has worked in 5E. They've only been using it for clarification, not rebalancing. I suppose that makes it easier to run official events and such, but it does leave trap choices within the rules.

    The Durable feat is both a trap choice and something that seriously needed clarification. Heck, even Mike Mearls waffled on it in the following twitter exchange: https://twitter.com/mikemearls/status/495998443702456321

    So, rather than looking at how the durable feat should be interpreted, why not look at what it should be to begin with? The durable feat, as is now, sucks. If you go with the generous interpretation of the feat, where the "roll" is the die roll itself before the modifiers are added to it, the feat is only good if you have a Con of 16+ and a 1d6 HD, or if you have a Con of 18+. I have charts, but I won't bore you. (If you go with the less generous "roll means total" interpretation that M.M. started with, and was then talked away from, it is never "good enough".

    Where am I setting my baseline? Toughness is a feat that grants +2 hp per level. An ASI can grant +2 Con. Durable grants +1 Con and it's weirdly worded benefit. Thus, it's benefit is worth half the feat, and thus the benefit should be comparable to +1 hp per level.

    Got it?

    Hit dice recover at a rate of 1/2 level (min 1) per long rest. This means a character can only afford to spend half their hit dice per day to stay at full (or, after the first day of tapping hit dice out entirely, they can only recover half of them).

    Thus, for Durable to be a fair feat, it should be increasing healing over the course of the day by +2 per hit dice (and thus +1 per level). It only does this for d6 HD with 16+ Con, or anyone with 18+ Con. It also benefits lower HD far more than higher HD, and I'm not sure too many feats out there give such a wide difference in effects (barring taking a feat that doesn't even synergize with your build).

    This is on top of the fact that healing and max HP are going to be balanced differently. Max HP from Toughness benefits you in the first part of the day and means healing can top you up higher. Extra healing just means you'll be able to patch yourself up more.

    At it's best, Durable offers +6.5 HP per HD for a d6 character with a 20 con. I don't see very many doing this. Maybe a dwarven sorcerer or mage since they can wear medium armor. a 20 con character with a d12 is gaining 3.8 hp per HD spent. That's a big difference.

    I don't even want to compare it to what Healer would do if you only used it on yourself (oops, I did)

    Healer heals 1d6+4+level and you can do it again after every short rest. This means it can get 3 uses per character on a "typical adventuring day". It automatically is healing 3*level, which is already better than Toughness, without getting into the 1d6+4 base (7.5, so healer at 1st level increases your daily HP by 25.5 ...)

    Healer is an OP feat.

    Anyway, how much healing should Durable really be granting? It's a half feat, so one could say it should be half a s good as Healer, but it should be a lot worse than Healer since Healer's effect is multiplied by the number of party members.

    Okay now I'm getting on Healer's case. Healer heals up to 1d6+24 hp, average 27.5, with a min 25 and max 30. Cure Wounds from someone with a +5 stat heals 5+(1d8 per spell level). A 5th level cure wounds spell heals 5d8+5, average 27.5, with swingier mins and maxes. Why do I point at cure wounds? Because half of the Magic initiate feat gives you 1 1st level spell once per day ... and a 20th level character with the Healer feat is getting X times 3 of these 5th level spells per day, where X is equal to the number of people in their party. (I feel like Magic Initiate's level 1 spell should at least recover on a short rest, if not scale by level; new feats in Xanathar's give out a few short rest recovering spells or spell equivalents).

    The healer feat's healing is equivalent to a cure spell at the following levels:

    Cure 1st (9.5) - level 2
    Cure 2nd (14) - level 6-7
    Cure 3rd (18.5) - level 11
    Cure 4th (23) - level 15-16
    Cure 5th (27.5) - level 20

    Like, really? I don't even know how to properly weaken the healer feat aside from rebuilding the healer's kits to cost more and to heal some on their own.

    So, how would you change Durable? How much healing over the course of a day should a feat be giving?

  2. #2
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    Titan (Lvl 27)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Xeviat View Post
    I'm really frustrated with the way Errata has worked in 5E. They've only been using it for clarification, not rebalancing. I suppose that makes it easier to run official events and such, but it does leave trap choices within the rules.
    Yep, and trap choices reward system mastery, which is inclusive of 3e fans. And, Feats are optional, so if you don't want that, don't opt in.

    What's more, 5e is designed to be a starting point. There's less sense moving the starting line after the gun than moving the goal posts. DMs will have already done what they wanted with feats (and anything else).

    And, yes, for organized play, keeping it consistent is more valuable than making it better.
    Last edited by Tony Vargas; Friday, 14th June, 2019 at 03:35 PM.
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  3. #3
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    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)



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    4E had plenty of bad feats Tony.

    Healer is actually in the top 5 most powerful feats.

  4. #4
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    Durable seems like a niche feat example that, as postulated, one would take if they had a high con, or were a main tank. especially if they are in a party that is lacking in healers. I had a group recently with a dwarf barbarian who took this to get her from 19 to 20 con ( because she couldn't go higher than 20 con), and since she was already proficient in Con saves , Resilient was out, she decided this was a better choice since she was often rolling HD to save on the party resources for heals., et al, a niche feat that fit the need.

    Healer's Feat requires a use of a healer's kit. So, unless they are traipsing back into town, or if you want to be real gritty, a temple and the only temple is miles away, or maybe you have to have access to an herbalist's kit to restock your healer's kit if you cant find a nearby temple. Maybe healer's kits are worth stealing, kobold love them some healers kits, maybe? or maybe that time you had to cross through some water ruined half your kit?...see? not a game breaker...

  5. #5
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    I just joined Toughness and Durable into 1 feat.
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  6. #6
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    Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)



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    Healer is fine. It's good, but not too good.

    Durable is okay. It's far from great, but it excels under the right circumstances.

  7. #7
    Durable. Instead of rolling you can use the average round up when you use your your hit dice.
    other options:
    roll hit dice with advantage.
    and if you want a top feat, use maximum result instead of rolling.
    Last edited by Krachek; Friday, 14th June, 2019 at 01:08 PM.

  8. #8
    Healer is more problematic. It outshine most spells for healing.

    Personally I dont like non magical healing, I would align it with drow high magic feat.
    gain cantrip spare the dying, one daily use of cure light wound and prayer of healing.

    Otherwise simply remove it from your game.
    Last edited by Krachek; Friday, 14th June, 2019 at 11:52 AM.

  9. #9
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    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Zardnaar View Post

    Healer is actually in the top 5 most powerful feats.
    Bad is different than trap though... trap is where something seems like it might be alright or has very compelling flavor AND is poor.

    Overly powerful is a form of Bad feat just as not so useful ones... arguably
    the overly powerful ones were often call feat taxes in 4e. and were often considered somewhat obvious

    5e feat resources are arguably more expensive I am thinking what do they
    translate as 3 micro feats? Actually the larger feats are the more you have to work on the balance because of that. Making bad feats perhaps somewhat more likely?

    Splitting out the combat feats and non combat ones seems step 1 in getting the feats to be even better than 4e.
    Last edited by Garthanos; Friday, 14th June, 2019 at 11:24 AM.

  10. #10
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    Healer is what makes a healer's kit worthwhile.

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