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General DDO's Half-Elf Dilettante Feats in Tabletop (3.x and 5e)

I've played Dungeons and Dragons Online, the D&D MMORPG (based mostly on the 3.5e rules, set mostly in Eberron but also with expansions into Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, and Greyhawk) for years off-and-on.

It's interesting to see some of the expansions and adaptations they've made to the rules for turning D&D into an MMO.

One way they made the Half-Elf race, generally seen as underwhelming in 3.5, more playable is the Dilettante feats.

Every Half-Elf gets one for free at 1st level, reflecting dabbling with a character class that is not their starting one. It gives them some nice ability that is something a member of another class would have starting out, reflecting their dabbling around with different professions and cross-training with different people. There is one for each class in the game:

Fighter: You gain proficiency with all melee martial weapons.
Bard: You can use the Bardic Fascinate ability 3/day and count as a 1st level Bard for purposes of using magic items.
Rogue: You gain 1d6 sneak attack.
Monk: You gain proficiency with quarterstaffs, kama, and shuriken, and you can add up to 2 points of Wisdom bonus to your AC if you're unarmored and unencumbered.
Paladin: You can add up to 2 points of Charisma bonus to your saves.
Ranger: You gain proficiency with all ranged melee weapons.
Barbarian: You gain Damage Reduction 1/-
Wizard, Cleric, Sorcerer, Favored Soul, Druid: You count as a 1st level member of that class for purposes of using magic items. Thus you can use wands normally and 1st level spell scrolls with no chance of failure.

The abilities NEVER stack with abilities from that class, thus it's strongly recommended you don't multiclass into that class with these feats.

The "can use magic items as if you're a 1st level member of the class" ability means a lot in 3.x's magic item economy, when it essentially means you can use wands freely of those spells, and when the main setting of the game is Eberron and magic items can be bought easily. Thus Cleric or Favored Soul dilettantes can buy and use Cure Light/Moderate/Serious/Critical Wounds Wands to heal themselves is a popular option for this feat.

There are also abilities in the game that characters can get to improve their Dilettante feats, like caster Dilettantes counting as half their character level for magic item purposes (making using spell scrolls of those classes more practical), so a high level character with Cleric or Favored Soul Dilettante could use a Scroll of Raise Dead, for example.

I'm not as familiar with 5e's rules, but I'd imagine a version of them could be made for 5e feats as well.

Would people think this would work well in tabletop? Ideas? Feedback?

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I'm working on a bunch of homebrew rules for a game, and one of the things I'm doing is adding what I consider fun new features for dead levels.

For bard, at level 7, I added:

At 7th level, a bard can select a class they are not a member of to become a Dabbler in. They gain the 1st level features of that class as if they multiclassed into it, excluding any spellcasting slots. If they later gain a level in that class they must change which class they are a Dabbler in to one they have no levels in.

It is a strong feature and (I think) fun, and a call back to the ancient D&D bard which was a frankenstinian grafting of a bunch of other classes.

You could make a Dabbler feat with similar wording, and give it specific features for each class instead of "as if multiclassing". But 5e feats are supposed to be stronger than 3e feats.


Oh gosh, I see tons of half-elves every game in 5E.

I did like their multiclassing-lite from 4E though.

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