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D&D 5E Assaying rules for 5E E6 (Revised)

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
I agree with you on your key points. Remember we have to think about other classes for HP. At 5th a wizard or sorcerer could have 30 HP assuming primary in Int and secondary in Con. At 6th, 36. A bard or rogue may well go primary Dex/Cha, secondary Cha/Dex (or Wis), so they might well have at 5th 25HP, and 6th 30 HP. They're unlikely to boost Con given their interests. At 5th one fireball will do enough damage on average to incinerate all four.
I guess I'm kind of OK with that? I mean, fireball is a legendary spell in E6, and it's not like 0 HP is particularly dangerous in 5e.

I think the more meta-game goals for broad acceptance of a 5e E5/E6/E(X) would be as follows.

1) Make sure it's compatible as possible with existing 5e rules. (Although my personal favorite version of 3e was a total mod using E6 as a base. Gnorman's Complete E6 Compendium)

2) Have alternate advancement, not diminished advancement. I mean, you could do E10 with everyone getting Hit Die every other level and spell advancement every other level, so that all those fun Tier 2 abilities are in, but I don't think that would feel as good. If you want to keep the demi level idea, maybe make a bunch of 4-5 level "prestige classes" that don't give Hit Points, spell slots, or proficiency bonus, but have some cool tier 2 grade abilities instead.
 

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clearstream

(He, Him)
1) Make sure it's compatible as possible with existing 5e rules. (Although my personal favorite version of 3e was a total mod using E6 as a base. Gnorman's Complete E6 Compendium)
Thanks for this link - very helpful. I agree about the compatibility. You know how it is, once you start homebrewing...

2) Have alternate advancement, not diminished advancement. I mean, you could do E10 with everyone getting Hit Die every other level and spell advancement every other level, so that all those fun Tier 2 abilities are in, but I don't think that would feel as good. If you want to keep the demi level idea, maybe make a bunch of 4-5 level "prestige classes" that don't give Hit Points, spell slots, or proficiency bonus, but have some cool tier 2 grade abilities instead.
It might well be that the key lies in the framing. Up-thread @Tom B1 suggested halving the advancement rate, which could of course be represented on the tables by dividing the features from 10 levels across 20.

A subtle aspect of the design work is mitigating the aggressive vertical power progression in 5th edition without harm to the horizontal progression (and better yet, with strengthened horizontal progression.) So understanding when a level's features are additive, and when they are alternative. And where the former can be retained due to particulars of the class, such as being normally under-powered relative to others.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Thanks for this link - very helpful. I agree about the compatibility. You know how it is, once you start homebrewing...
Definitely fallen into that trap myself. :)

It might well be that the key lies in the framing. Up-thread @Tom B1 suggested halving the advancement rate, which could of course be represented on the tables by dividing the features from 10 levels across 20.
Yes. Like halving the advancement rate would make perfect sense to achieve the overall design goals, but I don't think the acceptance would be as broad. It's too obvious of a nerf.

A subtle aspect of the design work is mitigating the aggressive vertical power progression in 5th edition without harm to the horizontal progression (and better yet, with strengthened horizontal progression.) So understanding when a level's features are additive, and when they are alternative. And where the former can be retained due to particulars of the class, such as being normally under-powered relative to others.
I mean, really the key for any system like this is deciding on a system to handle horizontal advancement. I think the core idea of progressing as normal up until early Tier 2 works perfectly. Deciding on the best way to get from Level X+0 to level X+10, and what power level should be accessible at those points, is really where the design works comes in.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
Pardon my intrusion, but I wonder how a
“mod” like this would play out in 4E? Intriguing… 🤔
4e has enough Feats, you could just pick a level to cap out at and do it just like original E6. But I think 4e needs such a system even less than 5e does. 4e just scales nicely as-written.
 

Rune

Once A Fool
This seems not quite right. To quote one of the original discussions - "E6 recognizes that 6th level characters are mortal, while providing a context where they are epic heroes." Emphasis mine. I believe that D&D normally aims for characters to - over time - become the stuff of legends. What E6 uniquely re-injects is that they remain mortal. Hence the original E6 - and every variant I have so far read - caps hit points.
I don’t think this is inconsistent with what I was talking about, but I realize I could have been clearer. I wasn’t talking about how E6 changes the way the world views the characters (although, if I was, that still would say nothing about their mortality).

I was saying that E6 changes how the world views the abilities of high level characters. Spells like fly and fireball are the stuff of legends. That transforms D&D into an entirely different genre.

And I’m reasonably certain this was the intent. The “E” in E6 is short for “Epic,” after all.
 

Unfortunately, in 5th edition there are not the granular feats to make the original solution work.
I strongly disagree with you on that.
For the last ten years i only played E6/E7 D&D-like TTRPG.
Since the first time i read R. Stoughton words here, E6/E7 is my way of playing D&D.

For 5e i go E7, allow multi-classing and stay true to Ryan brilliant design principles : only feats after level 7.
I see no reason why it should not work nicely : with Xanatar's and Tasha's we have far enough feats to play with.
 

Dausuul

Legend
I strongly disagree with you on that.
For the last ten years i only played E6/E7 D&D-like TTRPG.
Since the first time i read R. Stoughton words here, E6/E7 is my way of playing D&D.

For 5e i go E7, allow multi-classing and stay true to Ryan brilliant design principles : only feats after level 7.
I see no reason why it should not work nicely : with Xanatar's and Tasha's we have far enough feats to play with.
Just out of curiosity, what made you pick level 7 instead of 6 or 5?
 

NotAYakk

Legend
All of this feature fiddling is fun but a lot of work. Both for the player and the DM.

And as noted, the goal is to keep the level cap down.

What if we stole from 3e Gestalt/4e Hybrid mechanics? That provides an easy half-level; when one of your levels is 1 above the other.

Everyone is a multiclass/gestalt. You are a Rogue/Fighter, a Fighter/Wizard, a Paladin/Cleric, a Paladin/Fighter, or whatever.

We'll even strip out other forms of multiclassing. You get 2 classes. Live with it.

If you have 2 spellcasting classes, you get +1 spell slot progression level when your levels are tied. This even works if one is a 1/2 or 1/3 caster (go to EK/Wizard).

If you have spellcasting and pact magic, you lose a normal spell slot for every pact magic slot you gain.

Your levels can be at most 1 apart.

If you have 2 classes that gain extra attack at 5, you gain 1 6th level feature of either class when they are both 5.

Levels cap out at 5.

You add your Con bonus based on the highest level you have. You gain HD and HP from both classes, but the value is reduced:
d6: +2 HP
d8: +3 HP
d10: +4 HP
d12: +5 HP

You get an extra d8 HD if medium, or d6 HD if small, at level 1 (and the accompanying HP). Your HP are not maximized at level 1.

A core 5e level 5 barbarian with 16 con has 5*7+5+3*5=55 HP. A 5/5 fighter/barbarian with 16 con in this system would have (4+5)*5 + 3*5+3 = 63 HP. They do have 11 HD 5d10+5d12+1d8). So pretty close.

At level 1 the 14 con barbarian has 14 HP, the figher/barb has 14 as well.

A wizard/sorcerer with 12 con has 8 HP at 1/1, 1 more than a standard wizard or sorc. At 5/5 they also have 1 more HP than a standard wiz or sorc. They cast like a 6th level character, and have 2 ASIs, 5 metagmagic points, arcane recovery, lots of cantrips, etc.

Your proficiency bonus is based off of your highest class level. Which is capped at 5, so +2 or +3 proficiency.

Progression is 1/1, 1/2, 2/2, 2/3, 3/3, 3/4, 4/4, 4/5, 5/5 for 8 level-ups.

If you want more...

Keep progressing past 5/5, but:
1. No HP/HD past level 5.
2. Spellcasting and Pact magic grants 1 overcharge per level. An overcharge can be used to boost the level of a spell cast by 1, and recovers on a long rest. No more than 1 overcharge per spell cast.
(1/2 and 1/3 casters gain it when their spell slot progression would advance 1 step)
3. No proficiency improvement.

Otherwise, you gain class features as normal up to 9/9.

This provides 16 "steps" of character advancement, or up to "L 17". Each of them is meaty.

A 9/9 Barbarian/Rogue with 20 dex, 20 str, 20 con who dual wields Short Swords would look like:
5*(8+5)=65 HP
AC: 20 naked.
3 attacks for 1d6+8 and a single 5d6 sneak attack.
 
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clearstream

(He, Him)
I strongly disagree with you on that.
For the last ten years i only played E6/E7 D&D-like TTRPG.
Since the first time i read R. Stoughton words here, E6/E7 is my way of playing D&D.

For 5e i go E7, allow multi-classing and stay true to Ryan brilliant design principles : only feats after level 7.
I see no reason why it should not work nicely : with Xanatar's and Tasha's we have far enough feats to play with.
Do you mean you are playing 5th edition E7 using feats since it came out? Or that you have played enough 3rd or 4th E7 to feel confident predicting that there are enough feats?

By my count PHB and TCoE between them offer 57 feats. XGE offers 20 more, but they are racial feats so only 2 per race. A given character might have around 20 relevant feats to choose from, about half of which are likely quite bad picks for that character.

So the original E6 anticipated a character gaining up to 20 feats, with 5 feats being roughly equal to a level. Say one 5th feat equals two 3rd? The only choice a player is making is the order they getting the ten feats that matter. And this is committing them to some fairly borderline choices. I don't have your experience, but it appears to me likely that players will experience a haphazard and limited offering. Hence I feel drawn to explore ways to retain access to the many class and subclass features, on top of feats for groups using that option.
 

Just out of curiosity, what made you pick level 7 instead of 6 or 5?
I will quote the excellent cripsy hack :

Basically, if you decide to limit your games to a certain tier of play, I highly recommend raising the level cap by just one level, to give most classes a very impressive capstone ability.
But I ultimately decided not to forbid this technically optional rule that’s usually assumed to be allowed anyway. This goes back to the level cap: at 5, there’s just not that much room to break the game, and any multiclassing is going to come at the cost of those capstone abilities. I like that it becomes a much more difficult choice.
(...)
As a side note, combining a relatively small number of levels with a robust support for multiclassing reminds me of The Goblin Laws of Gaming, one of my favorite OSR systems that definitely influenced this project.
Level 7 is perfect from a capstone ability point of view : casters get level 4 spells, most martials get strong class features (Evasion + 4d6 sneak attack for the Rogue, Feral instinct for the Barbarian, second Martial archetype feature for the Fighter, etc.). If the player choose to multiclass, it will come with a cost.
Also level 7 is the exact halfway point in the second tiers of play and is the (very theorical) level wich allow the PC to do an epic battle against the strongest adults Dragons (for a game called D&D i believe it's an important symbolic feature).

Do you mean you are playing 5th edition E7 using feats since it came out? Or that you have played enough 3rd or 4th E7 to feel confident predicting that there are enough feats?

By my count PHB and TCoE between them offer 57 feats. XGE offers 20 more, but they are racial feats so only 2 per race. A given character might have around 20 relevant feats to choose from, about half of which are likely quite bad picks for that character.

So the original E6 anticipated a character gaining up to 20 feats, with 5 feats being roughly equal to a level. Say one 5th feat equals two 3rd? The only choice a player is making is the order they getting the ten feats that matter. And this is committing them to some fairly borderline choices. I don't have your experience, but it appears to me likely that players will experience a haphazard and limited offering. Hence I feel drawn to explore ways to retain access to the many class and subclass features, on top of feats for groups using that option.
I played a lot of D&D 3 E6 (i've even done a complete E6+D&D 3 SRD custom game in my native language back in 2011, it was the actual 3rd crowdfunding for a TTRPG there ^^) and since then i always play something close to E6/E7 when i play a D&D-like game.
My very own french OSR minimalist game is still E6.

From my POV, E6 is all about actual play not theorical perspectives, a sort of ockham razor mindest.
And what we all know is : 90% of D&D Games Stop By Level 10
By playing E5/E6/E7 games with D&D 5 what you will face 90% of the time is a campaign coming to an end after the E(X) + 3-5 feats.

And let's be honest, everyone will take Lucky so what you'll really see is level X PC + Lucky + 2-4 feats.
And then you will start a new campaign.

Also you can easily break 5e feats into smaller increments : give Lucy one reroll after the other (turning it into 3 smaller feats) or split Tough in two "+X PV" mini-feats.

Another very important point with the E6 philosophy, and i'll quote R. Stoughton on that :

There several philosophies on what feats to allow in an E6 game, but in any long-running E6 game some expansion feats should be made available for players to continue to grow their characters in different ways.

Which feats you allow depends on what you want for your own game. Some GMs want to encourage single-classing, others are happy to tell their players to work within a framework, choosing only those feats that match the style of their campaign. Some want to see more gestalt-style characters and allow feat chains towards specific classes’ abilities. Many GMs make a real-world decision, allowing feats from publishers they trust, or all feats from the books the GM owns. The original E6 campaign allowed feats on an ad-hoc basis; players were encouraged to develop various aspects of their characters rather than linear power, but were allowed to suggest feats if they couldn’t find something that worked in the available rules. Ultimately, the decision on what feats to allow belongs to the GM, and should naturally vary from one E6 campaign to the next.

All of these feats should be considered suggestions – each E6 game is different and it is always up to the individual GM what they want to allow.

If you want to allow you PC to have access to level (X+1) - 11 class feature, build custom feats for them on a case-by-case basis :)
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
Level 7 is perfect from a capstone ability point of view : casters get level 4 spells, most martials get strong class features (Evasion + 4d6 sneak attack for the Rogue, Feral instinct for the Barbarian, second Martial archetype feature for the Fighter, etc.). If the player choose to multiclass, it will come with a cost.
Also level 7 is the exact halfway point in the second tiers of play and is the (very theorical) level wich allow the PC to do an epic battle against the strongest adults Dragons (for a game called D&D i believe it's an important symbolic feature).
My motives align with the discussion on stackexchange around where to cut off spells. For my purposes, 0th-3rd level feels good - characters can fly and fireball, and a few other wondrous things - while 4th-9th is above where I feel is ideal for ordinary spellcasting. There are lots of factors that come into and arise from this, so I'm not arguing that 4th is wrong, just that I'm aligned with those who feel drawn to 3rd.

Key spells that cuts out include banishment, divination, dimension door, greater invisibility and polymorph.

From my POV, E6 is all about actual play not theorical perspectives, a sort of ockham razor mindest.
And what we all know is : 90% of D&D Games Stop By Level 10
By playing E5/E6/E7 games with D&D 5 what you will face 90% of the time is a campaign coming to an end after the E(X) + 3-5 feats.
In my first 5th campaign, characters reached 15th level. In my current they have reached 11th and look likely to reach 12th. On the basis of two steps of post-6th advancement equals +1 level, it must be 8-10 feats.

And let's be honest, everyone will take Lucky so what you'll really see is level X PC + Lucky + 2-4 feats.
And then you will start a new campaign.
We'd see a lot of Lucky, GWM, PAM, XBE, SS, maybe Tough. The racial feats are quite strong so probably one of them. It's the casters I worry about more. After Lucky and War Caster or Resilience, what? Sorcerers could take the TCoE feat... there's not much else that is really exciting to pick from.

In the end, with feats in 5th edition, I honestly believe that the campaign would be good for perhaps one rev, and then the mechanical interest is exhausted. That's not a goal of this design: it's intended to be evergreen.

Also you can easily break 5e feats into smaller increments : give Lucy one reroll after the other (turning it into 3 smaller feats) or split Tough in two "+X PV" mini-feats.
If you want to allow you PC to have access to level (X+1) - 11 class feature, build custom feats for them on a case-by-case basis :)
Another goal is that this be available to a wider audience. So I am not thinking of having to build custom feats on a case by case basis, but rather drawing on the diversity already available in class and sub-class features. I can see the appeal of fully customisable characters, yet for me that isn't really D&D. It comes strongly through e.g. in the surveys that have asked players - what makes D&D - that class-based advancement is central to D&D. So my goals are to craft the philosophies of E6 - the game-feel of E6 (but not meta-game feel) - into class-based progression.

I'm not disregarding or disliking your suggestions. They're fun and I can see the attraction. Only trying to indicate where my motives lie and what I hope to deliver for the community. Well, one other thing, for me E6 really is more the philosophy than the mechanics. I look all the way back at the articles that inspired it, and that is what I want to render.
 


My motives align with the discussion on stackexchange around where to cut off spells. For my purposes, 0th-3rd level feels good - characters can fly and fireball, and a few other wondrous things - while 4th-9th is above where I feel is ideal for ordinary spellcasting. There are lots of factors that come into and arise from this, so I'm not arguing that 4th is wrong, just that I'm aligned with those who feel drawn to 3rd.

Key spells that cuts out include banishment, divination, dimension door, greater invisibility and polymorph.


In my first 5th campaign, characters reached 15th level. In my current they have reached 11th and look likely to reach 12th. On the basis of two steps of post-6th advancement equals +1 level, it must be 8-10 feats.


We'd see a lot of Lucky, GWM, PAM, XBE, SS, maybe Tough. The racial feats are quite strong so probably one of them. It's the casters I worry about more. After Lucky and War Caster or Resilience, what? Sorcerers could take the TCoE feat... there's not much else that is really exciting to pick from.

In the end, with feats in 5th edition, I honestly believe that the campaign would be good for perhaps one rev, and then the mechanical interest is exhausted. That's not a goal of this design: it's intended to be evergreen.


Another goal is that this be available to a wider audience. So I am not thinking of having to build custom feats on a case by case basis, but rather drawing on the diversity already available in class and sub-class features. I can see the appeal of fully customisable characters, yet for me that isn't really D&D. It comes strongly through e.g. in the surveys that have asked players - what makes D&D - that class-based advancement is central to D&D. So my goals are to craft the philosophies of E6 - the game-feel of E6 (but not meta-game feel) - into class-based progression.

I'm not disregarding or disliking your suggestions. They're fun and I can see the attraction. Only trying to indicate where my motives lie and what I hope to deliver for the community. Well, one other thing, for me E6 really is more the philosophy than the mechanics. I look all the way back at the articles that inspired it, and that is what I want to render.

Playing E7 is a personnal choice, i will not argue against E5 or E6, both level caps are perfectly valid.
I'll just say that i agree with you with some problematic 4th level spells but i just banned the spells... Not the entire spell level ;)

For the rest, and with all due respect to your hardwork, it seems to me that you're looking for a problem your already-made solution can solve.

The strength of E6 was it's simplicity : until 6th level it's D&D 3, then it's one feat every 5 000 XP.
I strongly believe it works the same and just fine with 5e : D&D 5 until level 5/6/7 then only ASI/Feats.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
We'd see a lot of Lucky, GWM, PAM, XBE, SS, maybe Tough. The racial feats are quite strong so probably one of them. It's the casters I worry about more. After Lucky and War Caster or Resilience, what? Sorcerers could take the TCoE feat... there's not much else that is really exciting to pick from.
I'm certainly not against your demilevel proposal. But I do think feats can work, as well. I mean, I think part of the attraction of the feat method is that you can get a lot of feats that would normally be considered lower-tier, but are still useful and can be used to define your character more strongly without being obviously synergetic power choices. A warrior could grab multiple fighting styles. A wizard could be a chef. The rogue may want to also be a healer, etc.

I do think introducing a small selection of E(x) specific feats, that allow you to grab subclass or class features that would fit within the E(x) milieu, is certainly a good idea, though.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
Playing E7 is a personnal choice, i will not argue against E5 or E6, both level caps are perfectly valid.
I'll just say that i agree with you with some problematic 4th level spells but i just banned the spells... Not the entire spell level ;)

For the rest, and with all due respect to your hardwork, it seems to me that you're looking for a problem your already-made solution can solve.

The strength of E6 was it's simplicity : until 6th level it's D&D 3, then it's one feat every 5 000 XP.
I strongly believe it works the same and just fine with 5e : D&D 5 until level 5/6/7 then only ASI/Feats.
It doesn't seem right to say that free-form advancement can be a solution for class-based advancement. The problem spaces intersect, but class-based is (for my aims) a constraint.

I'd moot that play at my table will deliver the strongest evidence for or against.
 

I do think introducing a small selection of E(x) specific feats, that allow you to grab subclass or class features that would fit within the E(x) milieu, is certainly a good idea, though.
Exactly.

@clearstream if your goal is to present some class-based advancement to the community, i suggest you to think about classe/archetype based capstone feats. It will be a lot more close to the original E6 philosophy.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
I'm certainly not against your demilevel proposal. But I do think feats can work, as well. I mean, I think part of the attraction of the feat method is that you can get a lot of feats that would normally be considered lower-tier, but are still useful and can be used to define your character more strongly without being obviously synergetic power choices. A warrior could grab multiple fighting styles. A wizard could be a chef. The rogue may want to also be a healer, etc.

I do think introducing a small selection of E(x) specific feats, that allow you to grab subclass or class features that would fit within the E(x) milieu, is certainly a good idea, though.
For sure, and in partial contradiction to my reply to @Islayre d'Argolh, were I to approach it with feats, I would design a few epic and meta-feats to satisfy specific needs. For example spell enhancements slots could easily be granted via a feat (and I think are, in some E6 variants).

I did think about translating class and subclass features en-masse into feats. A difficulty is that often they are balanced against the specific class, and could be very unbalanced if made accessible to another class. I like being able to give a class something that they have privileged access to. That can be done in feat requirements, but then I will have really designed an obfuscated class progression table.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
For sure, and in partial contradiction to my reply to @Islayre d'Argolh, were I to approach it with feats, I would design a few epic and meta-feats to satisfy specific needs. For example spell enhancements slots could easily be granted via a feat (and I think are, in some E6 variants).

I did think about translating class and subclass features en-masse into feats. A difficulty is that often they are balanced against the specific class, and could be very unbalanced if made accessible to another class. I like being able to give a class something that they have privileged access to. That can be done in feat requirements, but then I will have really designed an obfuscated class progression table.
Fair points.

I guess a main question for me with demilevels is, if we know we want to keep HP somewhere in 40-70 range, restrict spell access to 3rd level, and keep prof bonus to +3 (maybe +4 with enough advancement?), what features from T2-T3 advancement would you want to keep accessible to the players? Is some kind of homogenous progression possible, or would each class need to be done a la carte?
 

Dausuul

Legend
My motives align with the discussion on stackexchange around where to cut off spells. For my purposes, 0th-3rd level feels good - characters can fly and fireball, and a few other wondrous things - while 4th-9th is above where I feel is ideal for ordinary spellcasting. There are lots of factors that come into and arise from this, so I'm not arguing that 4th is wrong, just that I'm aligned with those who feel drawn to 3rd.

Key spells that cuts out include banishment, divination, dimension door, greater invisibility and polymorph.
4th-level spells are borderline for me. I actually like that polymorph is allowed--turning people into animals is such an iconic magical effect in myth and legend. The others I'm on the fence about. Except divination, but that one falls into a category of divination spells that I ban regardless of level (open-ended spells that provide infallible information).

5th-level spells are where I go from "maybe too much" to "definitely too much." That's where long-range teleportation and raising the dead* come online, two effects that can totally reshape a campaign and a setting. It also includes scrying, wall of force, wall of stone, etc.

*Okay, technically revivify can raise the dead; but the 1-minute window makes it more like emergency medical treatment. If a 5th-level cleric is not physically on the spot when you die, you're out of luck. It does not have nearly the same impact on the world at large as the 10-day window of raise dead.
 

squibbles

Adventurer
[...] 5th has about 75 feats. 3.5ed had hundreds by the time E6 was created. The granularity and class coverage (feats given classes care about) is entirely different, for example meta-magic was all contained in feats in 3.5ed, whereas casters have a short list in 5th, many of which are well-known to be low in value.
[...] you can easily break 5e feats into smaller increments : give Lucy one reroll after the other (turning it into 3 smaller feats) or split Tough in two "+X PV" mini-feats.
[...] If you want to allow you PC to have access to level (X+1) - 11 class feature, build custom feats for them on a case-by-case basis :)
I'm certainly not against your demilevel proposal. But I do think feats can work, as well. I mean, I think part of the attraction of the feat method is that you can get a lot of feats that would normally be considered lower-tier, but are still useful and can be used to define your character more strongly without being obviously synergetic power choices. A warrior could grab multiple fighting styles. A wizard could be a chef. The rogue may want to also be a healer, etc. [...]
So, I've been giving suggestions based on the original demi-levels post thus far (which I think works fine).

But if one were to use feats, it'd probably be a good idea to break them down from 5e's paradigm quite a lot.

Fortunately, such things already exist. The D&D next playtest has a much more granular iteration of feats (as of playtest packet 7, anyway, which is the only version I have). However, I think the individual bullets in Treantmonk's feats variant would work even better; they are all quite small, are roughly equivalent, and there are about 110 of them.

Of course, as others have mentioned, you'd still probably want to create several additional class-gated feats that mimic the more compelling class and subclass features. Or maybe just require double the XP needed to get a feat to get the next level of class features after 6th--excluding HP, proficiency bonus progression, and spell slots--and allow this up to 10th or 11th level, depending on class.

...eh, just a half-baked thought
 

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