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D&D 5E Can you share your experience with a featless/multiclassless game?


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FIFY.

When you see people picking the same feats as a reason to ban feats, it follows that people picking the same spells is a reason to ban spells.

Really, your solution to the 'problem' of 'same-y'ness'....is to force ALL fighters to increase Str/Dex/Con?
It's also possible those feats are banned for being absurdly overpowered in mechanics distorting ways
 

Rabulias

Hero
When simply looking at it between two or three characters, it looks diverse. But extrapolate that out to the NPC's and campaign world at large... and every fighter is using a 2h weapon, polearm or composite longbow.
I think even without feats, the choice of weapons for fighters will still distill down to a handful of optimal choices that players will gravitate to. The variety may be slightly more broad, but you're still not going to see many fighters with nonmagical tridents outside of pure roleplaying choice. We see this with armor already.
 

Undrave

Hero
I think even without feats, the choice of weapons for fighters will still distill down to a handful of optimal choices that players will gravitate to. The variety may be slightly more broad, but you're still not going to see many fighters with nonmagical tridents outside of pure roleplaying choice. We see this with armor already.
Especially considering the Trident has the SAME stats as the Simple Weapon Spear. It's heavier and more expensive but it has the same damage and special attributes. By all account it didn't need to exist as a separate game unit and just be some a spear could just... ya know, BE!
 


IME Charger is a must.

Class guides generally declare this feat to be subpar, but I used it at the start of more than 50% of my encounters (as a fighter) and probably more than 75%. I went from level 1-13. +5 damage isn't worth losing an attack, but I don't have the feat I could lose attacks. I used it whenever I couldn't "single move" to a target and multiattack at the start of a battle (or even during a battle, if enemies are spread out).

Some of the players were uninterested in feats. However we were different classes, so no "apples and oranges" comparisons.

We had no multiclassing, although a bard (we had one) is practically multiclassed out of the gate.
It's just so dependent on how the dm maps things.

If needing the extra movement comes up often, it's great. If you tend to start 30ft away anyways, it's useless.
 

Another point I'm seeing in this thread: 3dual/e/5e style multiclassing in particular being seen as a problem, rather than the broader idea of characters getting to break out of their class silos. Which is fair.

Dual-classing and/or 3e/5e style multiclassing is really good at expressing career changes: the fighter gets religion, stops her weapon training and becomes a cleric. You stop adding fighter levels and start adding cleric levels. Perfect! (You'll sometimes also see this when the player of a mid-level martial realizes they've already gotten all the cool features of a class, so they start shopping around, but a ranger deciding to focus more on weapons isn't a huge narrative stretch.)

But that's only one reason to multiclass, and it's not even a common one. Most MCing in my experience is either to make a hybrid character (a sword-mage, for example) or to snag a particular feature from another class (ie the dreaded hex-dip). Neither of these are bad motivations, but the existing 5e multiclass rules don't serve them well, which is a problem.

For dips, the feat system would be a better system to lean on. Some of the recent UA's (and maybe Tasha's, I don't have that book yet) started leaning in this direction. I'm not totally cool with making Hex Warrior a feat, but it'd be better than every paladin and bard making a deal with a 'mysterious entity from the Shadowfell.'

Hybrids, ultimately, need their own class or subclass. It's why we have paladins in the first place. The PHB Eldritch Knight falls short for a lot of people, but it didn't have to.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
feats doesn't really expand the character's options since the only ones that are really good are just too obvious, to the point they become mandatory whenever they are available.

Again, the problems with 5E feats are that they complete with ASIs, you get so few of them, and the power distribution is way out of whack. So when a player is finally thinking about taking a feat, they are most likely going to gravitate towards a very small subset in order to maximize their choice.
Man I really need to cook a nice dinner for my players, now that we can play in person again (I live in CA where we have the lowest cases in the country, and we are all vaccinated as are all of our relatives that we see with any regularity).

I have never actually seen this mindset IRL, only online. I haven't had a single 5e campaign where Keen Mind or Linguist wasn't taken by someone, and few where Athlete, Savage Attacker, Skilled, Observant, and UA and published skill feats. The most powerful feats I see at the table are Dual Wielder, Mage Slayer (we use spellcasters a lot as enemies), Skulker, Fey/Shadow Touched, Mobile, Spell Sniper (we are outdoors enough and fight flying enemies enough that doubled range is really good), ritual caster, probably a few others I'm not thinking of.

I rarely see SS or GWM, Sentinel is used by rogues more than anyone else to get a second SA every once in a while...Don't think I've ever seen PAM on any character in my main group.

My experience, and comments I've seen from the design team bck this up, is that most players are not optimizers.
 

I believe anyone who has played for awhile has some experience with a featless/multiclassless game.

Most of the earlier games were featless. We generally didn't multiclass just because we liked the archetypes we were able to create without multiclassing.

It actually seems multiclassing has become a lot more popular as of late; part of the I want to do everything niche. (It is a niche, but it has grown a tiny bit in my opinion.)

As far as experiences, it makes the game cleaner. Meaning, it gives the PC's more designated roles, which in my experience, leads to more defined roleplaying. This translates to combat being a bit more predictable, but also with that predictability, comes a greater surprise when the wizard hacks down the big-bad with a sword.

D&D is so arrayed, even without multiclassing and feats, that it will not change the game - at all. Zero.
 

I said no mc on one game because I was such of having the same one or two players playing the same totally different but identical in all the ways that matter sorlocks. Those players left and some of the other players pushed for the return with good reasons offered so I quickly had a different sorlock player. Playing the same totally different sorlock


In a different game I basically said no feats with the idea of using the individual bullet points as magic item attachments. Unfortunately it didn't really work any better because there are only one or two that any class/build needs(usually the same ones as other classes) & they provide such a night & day difference that it made the problem even more obvious.

I've had a one or two sorlocks in my games, but they've all asked to retcon the PC when played next to a single class caster.

When the Wizard is getting access to Fireball, Counterspell, Fly, Haste and Hypnotic Pattern, and you're still running around pew pewing with EB's, and stuck with a few 2nds, it gets really sucky, fast.
 

I've had a one or two sorlocks in my games, but they've all asked to retcon the PC when played next to a single class caster.

When the Wizard is getting access to Fireball, Counterspell, Fly, Haste and Hypnotic Pattern, and you're still running around pew pewing with EB's, and stuck with a few 2nds, it gets really sucky, fast.
it only takes 2 levels for agonizing repelling EB. That can hurt if your game is not going very far, but lost of my games run to low-mid teens & the loss is much less significantdue to the way spell slot progression tapers off the higher you get.
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You only need level 6 for 3x 3rd level slots & dropping 2 levels is not a big deal compared to agonizing repelling blast when your getting 5th 6th or higher level spells is really only oneish spell slot of an often iffy spell. Sure there are some great high level spells, but the prep slot cost for one maybe two casts of a spell tht might not even justify getting cast is nothing to ignore when 3&(1d10+5) every round all day long.


The point of tapering spell slot progression was to counter one of the ways casters went into overdrive at higher levels in past editions but that doesn't come with ripples elsewhere
 

Coroc

Hero
The page 163 of the Player's handbook says:

However, even they are an optional rule, feats and multiclasses are allowed in the Adventure League's plays, and some claim they as a core part of the edition. Thus, I want to know how was your experiences without theses optional set of rules. This include gaming balance, martials against spellcasters, fighters without feats and so on.

Thanks in advance.
Featless: My first campaign was featless, and my next will be eventually.

Pro:

Simplification, which is always a good thing if you got players who are into RP as much as into fighting.

No shenanigans

Con: using the standard point buy, people wil have their main stat maxed out quite fast, and their second stat high also, also everyone and his mother has a 14 in Constitution at least. So there is less variance.

MC: i never liked this much since 2e, and the worst edition to use MC is 5e. I tend to either disallow it anyway when i DM or at least discorage players from using it if i would allow it.

In my second campaign i allowed feats and even gave an extra feat at 1st level, so variant human (only allowed in this ) even got 2 feats at the beginning, because i wanted to see the difference. Up so far, players mostly took feats or half feats for ASI
 

Coroc

Hero
it makes the MAD characters bit less stresful to play, as you remove the do I ASI or feat on those
makes fighters a tad worse, as you wont be able to use those extra ASI on anything else than more HP/+1 to wis save

would say multiclassing won't be that noticeable, a lot of players are more likely to shoot themselves in the foot with that then to actually improve their character
Well you can put asi into charisma as well, so your fighter gets better social skills.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
That's all well and good, and I'm glad to hear it.

But it certainly doesn't mean the system doesn't need improvements and that those feats are way out of balance.

Sample size and all that.
Most players, and this is not from me but from both wotc and dndbeyond, play optimized characters. Non-variant human and champion fighter are the most popular choices. Rangers aren't even in the bottom half of classes, in terms of popularity.

Optimization isn't the norm. And no, it doesn't need to be prioritized when building the game. The feats are fine. If they don't work for your group, it's not exactly hard to houserule them.
 

ECMO3

Adventurer
My experience, and comments I've seen from the design team bck this up, is that most players are not optimizers.
THIS! There are some optimizers, but there are plenty of others that aren't.

The players that are optimizers are usually playing very one-dimensional characters, they may multiclass but it is still usually a single focus area, typically either a brute, an archer type, a smiter or a blaster. They put everything into this build are really the best possible at it, but they are not good or even passable at anything else really. They have a place in the party and having the Barbarian-Battlemaster GWM that can do 80 points of melee damage in a turn is nice for when things get rough .... but if we are not swinging swords he is not doing much and feats like observant, skill expert, prodigy etc are much more useful in general, lead to a more diverse character IMO and are just as common in my games.
 
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pming

Legend
Hiya!
Again I don't get it. The "standard bike" gives you all the choice of Henry Ford. You can have any colour you like as long as it's black. Having feats makes the difference between weapons much more meaningful - and there's enough of a spread of feats that anything that without feats is good enough to use has feats to support it.

Well then ...I guess you just don't get it. That's ok. Use Feats/MC if it enhances your enjoyment, but for me and my friends, it just doesn't.

Do a test yourself. Your next Fighter, don't take ANY Feats and don't MC. Now see how you feel about your Fighters capabilities. Now look at what Feats/MC you want to take because it will make you "feel like your Fighter is equal to others in the party". See that? The instant you read those sentences your mind probably already flashed one or two Feats and maybe a second Class....and you didn't have any clue as to what personality your Fighter had. It was purely an instinctual "I gotta take this Feat" or "I gotta take this Class"....not because of interest in crafting a unique, individual Fighter PC, but because you know that without one of those Feats or Class level dips, you would feel like you 'suck'.

That's a problem. That's why we don't like or use Feats/MC. They don't "expand the capabilities", they do the exact opposite....at least for us. YMMV. :)

Hope that makes more sense. :)

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

it only takes 2 levels for agonizing repelling EB. You only need level 6 for 3x 3rd level slots & dropping 2 levels is not a big deal
It's a massive deal.

Encounters per character level
Level / CRCR Exp.Exp. per PlayerExp. for next LevelExp. to next LevelEncounters to next Level (Raw)Daily Exp. BudgetEncounters Per DayDays to Level
1200503003006120061
2450112.59006005.3324005.331
37001752,7001,80010.284,8006.861.50
41,1002756,5003,80013.876,8006.182.24
51,50037514,0007,50013.0414,0009.331.40
62,30057523,0009,00015.6516,0006.962.25
72,90072534,00011,00015.1720,0006.902.20
83,90097548,00014,00014.3624,0006.152.33
95,0001,25064,00016,00012.530,00062.08
105,9001,47585,00021,00014.2436,0006.102.33
117,2001,800100,00015,0008.3342,0005.831.42
128,4002,100120,00020,0009.5246,0005.481.74
1310,0002,500140,00020,000854,0005.41.48
1411,5002875165,00025,0008.6960,0005.221.66
1513,0003,250195,00030,0009.2372,0005.541.67
1615,0003,750225,00030,000880,0005.331.50
1718,0004,500265,00040,0008.89100,0005.561.60
1820,0005,000305,00040,0008108,0005.41.48
1922,0005,500355,00050,0009.09120,0005.451.67
2025,000----120,0004.8-

Going by the daily XP/ Adventuring day/ Encounter budget, the Sorlock (2/3) is around 30 encounters away from 7th level and access to 3rd level spells.

That's 30 encounters he has to sit there watching his 'true' Sorcerer 5 buddy tossing out big boy spells like Fireballs, Hastes, Counterspells and Flying, while relying on 'pew pew' with Eldritch Blast/ Repelling blast.

And when he finally catches up? His single classed Sorcerer buddy now has access to 4th level spells like Polymorph, Banishment, Dimension door and Greater Invis.

The Sorlock will eventually get access to those spells, but only after another 30 or so encounters more.

What price do you want to put on a slightly better at will cantrip? Because the price you're paying is delaying access to 'I win' spells that totally change the course of an encounter for several lengthy game sessions.

Sorlocks are one of those things that look good with single target DPR at high (15th+) levels (when you can afford to spam quickened eldritch blasts each round).

They completely miss the fact that full casters gain more power by getting access to higher level spells as early as possible, and using those potent spells to turn an encounter on its head in ways that 'single target pew pew' simply does not.
 
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Undrave

Hero
Pro:

Simplification, which is always a good thing if you got players who are into RP as much as into fighting.

No shenanigans
I mean if the player thinks feats are too complicated they don't need to take them?

And what shenanigans exactly are we talking about here? The most 'shenanigans' I can think of is adding a owl Familiar to the Rogue so they can get easier Sneak Attacks with Fly By Help. Which honestly sounds like the kind of dirty tactic a Rogue would adore so I'm not sure how that counts? Or maybe like my Life Cleric who took Magic Initiate Druid so he could get some OTHER Attack Cantrip besides friggin' Sacred Flame and a bonus healing spell (I don't really think it's a good idea to go for the whole Life Cleric bonus to Goodberry healing but Goodberry on its own is valuable).

I don't think PAM or Sentinel is really 'shenanigans'.

I trust 5e is robust enough that a DM doesn't needs to micromanage every damn level up the players do. Most of the time when my group play, our new class features/spells/feats only get mentionned when they get used the first time.

"The Hobgoblin runs past you to go attack the Wizard."
"Not if I stop him dead in his track with my Opportunity Attack!"
"Oh, so you got Sentinel?"
"Yup!"
"Alright then, see if you can hit him."

People act like surprising the DM is a bad thing or something? I mean, what's the point of having a 'Cool Trick' if you never get to use it?

Hiya!


Well then ...I guess you just don't get it. That's ok. Use Feats/MC if it enhances your enjoyment, but for me and my friends, it just doesn't.

Do a test yourself. Your next Fighter, don't take ANY Feats and don't MC. Now see how you feel about your Fighters capabilities. Now look at what Feats/MC you want to take because it will make you "feel like your Fighter is equal to others in the party". See that? The instant you read those sentences your mind probably already flashed one or two Feats and maybe a second Class....and you didn't have any clue as to what personality your Fighter had. It was purely an instinctual "I gotta take this Feat" or "I gotta take this Class"....not because of interest in crafting a unique, individual Fighter PC, but because you know that without one of those Feats or Class level dips, you would feel like you 'suck'.

That's a problem. That's why we don't like or use Feats/MC. They don't "expand the capabilities", they do the exact opposite....at least for us. YMMV. :)

Hope that makes more sense. :)

^_^

Paul L. Ming
That STILL makes no sense... Your argument, putting aside how realistic it is or not, doesn't tell me Feats are bad, it tells me the Fghter is sub par!

And a Fighter really isn't that bad until the very high levels. But it IS Bland if you can't add some extra spice with a Feat. Like, I can build a Battlemaster with high CHA and Rally, for exemple, but then my CHA is pretty uselss outside of Rally itself and maybe 1 or 2 skill rolls here or there. So, I look over to feats and see what I can pick that works with that character. Maybe I can pick up Skill Expertise, or maybe Actor, or maybe Linguist to use my skills on more people, or maybe I'll double down on the Temp HP and go for Inspiring Leader! Or maybe I'll pick up Magic Initiate Bard and pick the Entertainer Background and just have my character introduce himself as a Bard despite not being that class on my sheet. Then I can stay back and in one turn Insult an enemy to death while Praising an ally so they have some Temp HP (Okay now I kinda want to play that, drats!). Or maybe I'll ignore CHA and just grab Healer because nobody's playing a class with healing?

I'm not even thinking about what everybody else is doing, but rather trying to come up with more options I can pick from so I can approach more situations from different angles others than just 'I hit it with my sword'. I like Feats because it gives me things to chose when level up, but it's not as annoying as picking spells.

You want to talk about illusion of choice that end up all looking the same? Look at the Cleric spell list one of these days... Augh. 5e Clerics are SO BORING!

And can we stop this BS elitist judgy thing where people who enjoy rolling big numbers are looked down upon? YES I like to roll high and kick butt in combat. What of it?! My fun is just as valid as you, Mr. "Roleplay More To Make your Character Different"!
 
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