D&D 5E D&D 5e Feats

Sirot

First Post
I think feats as they were in 3e and are in 4e are fundamentally broken. Feats are way too numerous and for any given character, only a handful would apply to them. Worst of all, many of the feats I end up taking only give numerical bonuses because I need to pay the tax to stay viable as a character. Feats that only boost numbers are boring (unless the affect is unique or interesting) and they prevent us from making our characters unique.

I think the focus of feats should change. They need to stop tweaking numbers and be the way that characters get options opened up for them. A great example is that feats are now the way for wizards to gain at-will abilities. That's cool! That's interesting! I would want more of that and it would get me excited to buy a book to just see its new feats.

That said, I think that the majority feats should be class specific. There should be general feats, but they have to be really exemplar and really be the stuff that every class or a big segment would be interested in getting. A feat that allows a character to get an animal companion (e.g. a pet blink hound) is a good feat. A feat that gives me a +2 to AC when I am wearing cloth or no armor is not interesting. Especially if I have realistically no choice in taking it or not.

What should feats be able to do? How many of them should there be and how many of them should be class specific?
 
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SensoryThought

First Post
I think part of the problem is that feats are based around giving small mechanical and often combat related bonuses. All benefits are roughly equivalent so there was no reason not to take those that were the least situational (eg weapon expertise, improved defenses, man at arms for 4e).

I actually think it is less of a problem with the idea of feats and more of a balance issue. Those feats less likely to be used should have greater proportional benefits.
 

Raith5

Adventurer
I must say I could be sold on having a greater number of feats, especially at the start, to customise my PC better from the get go. I quite like what the computer game Skyrim does with perks (where you get one each level) then choose in talent trees. Maybe alternate each choice between combat and social kinds of feats?

Not sure about class feats being the default, I think class abilities by level as in 4th essentials is the way to go for class options.

But I am with you about not having any/too many math feats. I especially hate extremely contingent math bonuses, ie you get +2 to hit when adjacent to a wall and standing on one leg.

The thing that 4th ed essentials got right was to cut down the number of choices, made many of them scale with tier and made them more interesting and significant (though in the case of the defense feats, I think they were a little too good)
 
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Mattachine

Adventurer
Feats that give small, general bonuses that all PCs of a certain type will almost certainly take are bad design. Those should simply be class features. That was one of the problems with the 3.0 and 3.5 fighter. All were going to take weapon focus, weapon specialization, greater WF, and GWS. They should have been class features, rather than a "feat tax" as described here and elsewhere. Likewise, in 4e, your caster could take feats to boost damage type X, but in all likelihood, your caster used damage type X for all or nearly all attacks. Why not just make the damage higher in the first place?


Feats should provide interesting options for characters, whether class based or not, and should stay away from non-conditional bonuses.
 

Falling Icicle

Adventurer
I think the focus of feats should change. They need to stop tweaking numbers and be the way that characters get options opened up for them. A great example is that feats are now the way for wizards to gain at-will abilities. That's cool! That's interesting! I would want more of that and it would get me excited to buy a book to just see its new feats.

I agree with this. Feats that give number bonuses are boring in the same way that plain +x weapons and armor are boring. Both have a bad effect on the game's math and balance. Both should DIAF, IMO.
 

Viking Bastard

Adventurer
I hate Feats. I remember when 3e came out and I read about Feats and thought "That sounds awesome! How modern!" but it wasn't. It was horrible. Then when I read up on 4e, I thought "It sure sounds like they fixed Feats! Awesome!" But no. They made them even worse. It was where they moved all the fiddly to.

I agree with this. Feats that give number bonuses are boring in the same way that plain +x weapons and armor are boring. Both have a bad effect on the game's math and balance. Both should DIAF, IMO.

I like +X magic items. It's such a simple and effective way to communicate their special nature. "It's a sword so good that it guides your hand." I mean, given that not everything and your mom give you a bonus.

On Feats, I'm torn. I'm not one to cry over the death of static bonuses -- what with the modifier treadmill and all -- unless they replace them with dynamic ones. I don't want to have to think about "If X AND Y happens, I get +Z."

I like Feats like Skill Training and Ritual Caster. Stuff that gives you new abilities/access to new things, or that let you replace STR with DEX in Melée and such.
 

Sammael

Adventurer
Feats should never grant flat, boring numerical bonuses. Rerolls are much better.

Alertness: when someone tries to sneak past you, he must roll the check twice and take the lower value.

Improved Initiative: when rolling for initiative, roll twice and take the better value.

Additionally, they should grant cool abilities that are not specific to one particular class.

Aftersight: Once per day, you may call upon this mystic ability to glimpse at the past events that occurred at your current location.

Animal Affinity: Non-predatory animals always start with a friendly attitude towards you and will not run or flee unless threatened.

Educated: You can retry a failed lore skill check once per encounter. If you have access to a library while attempting a lore skill check, your equipment bonus is doubled. You also gain one contact from the world of academics (typically one of your mentors).

Granted, some of the above examples may fit the 5E concept of themes better. We'll see.
 

1of3

Explorer
I agree that special mechanics and plain bonuses shouldn't be in the same category.

Actually I was hoping that in 4e they would put all the special mechanics into powers and make the feats simple bonuses. In the end, the opposite happened. Feats modifying powers and class features.

That's especially bad, because these feats fail to illustrate the character, while making characters more individual was the basic idea. So my Ranger is a Lethal Hunter. Isn't that the whole idea of being a Ranger? My fighter can push people, when the mark triggers. How does that change the appearance and flavor of my fighter?

Those modifications to standard features just might work but not in this framework. It's OK for, say, the Guardsmen of Schnackpuk to do fancy stuff with their shields. So tell me about Schnackpuck and its Guardmen and only then how they push people on triggered marks. And call that crunchy bit Schnackpuk Guard Training.
 

Grazzt

Demon Lord
Feats should never grant flat, boring numerical bonuses. Rerolls are much better.

Agreed. That's one thing I liked about SW Saga was that some racial features and feats granted rerolls instead of +x. And people like rolling dice, so it works out well.
 

I like Feats like Skill Training and Ritual Caster. Stuff that gives you new abilities/access to new things, or that let you replace STR with DEX in Melée and such.
While I agree that feats should be more like Skill Training and Ritual Caster, I always thought that the Weapon Finesse feat in itself was always a Feat Tax for Rogues and many of those character types.
 

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