D&D 5E Does Your DM Let Everyone Start With A Feat?

Does your DM let everyone start with a feat?

  • Yes, any feat we want.

    Votes: 21 18.1%
  • Yes, but only from a DM-curated short list of starting feats.

    Votes: 21 18.1%
  • No, only certain races (like the variant human) get to start with a feat.

    Votes: 66 56.9%
  • No, nobody gets to start with a feat/we don't use feats.

    Votes: 8 6.9%

Quartz

Hero
If I were to do this I would remove stat bumps entirely. Humans would get a free choice of two feats plus skills and other races would get their racial abilities plus one feat from a race-specific list. For an example, a dwarf might choose from Durable, Tough, and Alert; whereas an elf might choose from Observant, Mobile, and Alert.
 

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WayneLigon

Adventurer
Usually we do it by the book, but sometimes we've done games where everyone started with a feat - if you were a variant human, you got two.
Another common thing we do is give both a feat AND a stat add (instead of OR) at level 4, 8, etc.
 

Multiple dms with different policies:

1 Yes but it must be a flavor feat - not a pre-defined list but we know what they mean.
2 No unless vhuman or custom lineage
3 No but we can buy bonus feats with xp so so getting +4 feats wouldn't be an issue if that what you wanted to do.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I still haven't decided if I'm going to allow everyone to start with a feat at 1st level, but if I do, I don't think I'd want any of the players to know ahead of time that they are getting one. I'd wait until after they had finished rolling up their characters and outfitting them with all their gear...heck, I might even wait until they finish their first long rest on their first adventure...and then I'd hand them an envelope. Inside would be a slip of paper that reads, "Your character can start with one of the following feats, if you want. Enjoy!" A list of about a half-dozen feats would then follow.

I figure this is a good way to help round out the characters, while avoiding over-optimized 1st level characters.
 
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Arial Black

Adventurer
They can pick one at 4th level if they don't want an ASI.

Otherwise, I don't even allow the "variant human."
Your campaign, your choice of course.

If I were to play in such a campaign, I would not play human PCs.

Why would I give up getting ANY racial features AT ALL, in return for -1 on my main stat and +1 on my 3rd, 4th, 5th and sixth stats? The top two stats are usually the ones I care about; why would I throw racial abilities away just to get +1 to the stats I DON'T care about?

It's even worse when combined with the Standard Array of 15 14 13 12 10 8. Adding the +1 to all six (the only thing non-variant humans get) only raises the modifiers for two of those abilities. Meanwhile, EVERY OTHER RACE can do that, with more flexibility because of their +2, and still get their load of racial features!

It's like you're writing out humans as PCs in your games. And if a player insists on playing a human because that is core to their character concept, why would you punish them mechanically for wanting to role-play well?
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Your campaign, your choice of course.

If I were to play in such a campaign, I would not play human PCs.

Ok.

Why would I give up getting ANY racial features AT ALL, in return for -1 on my main stat and +1 on my 3rd, 4th, 5th and sixth stats? The top two stats are usually the ones I care about; why would I throw racial abilities away just to get +1 to the stats I DON'T care about?

I don't understand where you're getting the -1 from. All stats are important.
It's even worse when combined with the Standard Array of 15 14 13 12 10 8. Adding the +1 to all six (the only thing non-variant humans get) only raises the modifiers for two of those abilities. Meanwhile, EVERY OTHER RACE can do that, with more flexibility because of their +2, and still get their load of racial features!

I don't use the standard array either. We do a stat draft.

It's like you're writing out humans as PCs in your games. And if a player insists on playing a human because that is core to their character concept, why would you punish them mechanically for wanting to role-play well?

I actually run a humanocentric game where most people pick their lineage based just on how they visual their character. I also have removed all set stat adjustments for race with everyone getting either +2/+1 or +1/+1/+1 on any two (or three) stats of their choice.
 

Bolares

Hero
I don't understand where you're getting the -1 from. All stats are important.
If I understand it correctly, assuming you choose a race that gives ASIs in the stats that your class cares, you's already get a +2 on your main stat and a +1 on your second.... the human gets +1 in all so the difference between a race that"combos" with your class is: -1 on your first stat, neutral on the second and +1 on the much less important 3-6 stats... This all makes sense if you care about optmizing Ability Scores, if you don't then this is all irrelevant.
 


ECMO3

Hero
It's a simple question, with a simple poll: Does your DM let every character in the campaign (regardless of their race, class, or background) start with a free feat at 1st level? Can it be any feat the player wants, or do they have to choose from a list of DM-approved feats? Do you not use feats at all? Vote for the option that best fits your experience.

I'm kicking around the idea of allowing this little house-rule to my upcoming campaign. I just like the extra layer of customization that a 1st level feat brings to the character, especially if the players find a way to work it into their character backstory. But what sounds good in my head might not play well on the tabletop, so I thought I'd solicit input from my fellow gamers. Anybody have any horror stories to tell? Are there any pitfalls I should watch out for?
Most of the DMs I play with are RAW - V Humans and Customs get feats. I played with one DM where those races were banned and everyone got one.
 

I still haven't decided if I'm going to allow everyone to start with a feat at 1st level, but if I do, I don't think I'd want any of the players to know ahead of time that they are getting one. I'd wait until after they had finished rolling up their characters and outfitting them with all their gear...heck, I might even wait until they finish their first long rest on their first adventure...and then I'd hand them an envelope. Inside would be a slip of paper that reads, "Your character can start with one of the following feats, if you want. Enjoy!" A list of about a half-dozen feats would then follow.

I figure this is a good way to help round out the characters, while avoiding over-optimized 1st level characters.
Not gonna lie, that would mildly annoy me. I'd be wondering what other "gotcha" type stuff is waiting in the wings, even if it's meant to be a positive.
 

ECMO3

Hero
If I understand it correctly, assuming you choose a race that gives ASIs in the stats that your class cares, you's already get a +2 on your main stat and a +1 on your second.... the human gets +1 in all so the difference between a race that"combos" with your class is: -1 on your first stat, neutral on the second and +1 on the much less important 3-6 stats... This all makes sense if you care about optmizing Ability Scores, if you don't then this is all irrelevant.

This is not universally true and it is heavily dependant on what you roll odd versus even. Remember it is the bonus that matters, not the raw roll so having a point better can be irrelevant statistically.

For example:

1. If you roll all even numbers Human is statistically poor. If you do this, your primary ability bonus will be one point less and every other stat will be the same as if you took a different race. Exception for Mountain Dwarf where 2 ability bonuses will be a point better.

2. If you roll all odd numbers V Human is hands down the best race. If you do this your primary and secondary stat bonus will be the exact same as if you picked a different race and every other stat will be one point better.

If you are optimizing you would decide what race after you look at your rolls. Assuming you put your highest rolls in your most important stat, 25% of the time there is no difference in your primary and secondary stat bonus using human vs another race.
 
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Bolares

Hero
The better decision to me is to.... talk to the table. I'd open to any feat, but say up front that if I feel that the feats chosen are twisting something in the table I'd talk to the player to make a change. I'd treat this houserule as any playtest material...
 

Bolares

Hero
This is not universally true and it is heavily dependant on what you roll odd versus even. Remember it is the bonus that matters, not the raw roll so having a point better can be irrelevant statistically.

For example:

1. If you roll all even numbers Human is statistically poor. If you do this, your primary ability bonus will be one point less and every other stat will be the same as if you took a different race. Exception for Mountain Dwarf where 2 ability bonuses will be a point better.

2. If you roll all odd numbers V Human is hands down the best race. If you do this your primary and secondary stat bonus will be the exact same as if you picked a different race and every other stat will be one point better.

If you are optimizing you would decide what race after you look at your rolls.
I was just explaning another posters comment :p

Also, you are assuming rolling stats, that's not the standard anymore.
 

Arial Black

Adventurer
I give a free feat at 1st level, but no Variant Humans. Sure, I see the same feats picked fairly often, but that gets to the more unique feats faster.
Again, the issue is that when players are deciding which race to choose, since variant human (and presumably custom lineage) is unavailable and every race begins with a feat, then getting a feat is not part of your race choice.

So why would anyone choose six +1s and ZERO racial features over a +2 and a +1 AND a full complement of racial features? Why would getting +1 in the abilities you DON'T care about be better or more interesting than an extra +1 (that's the +2 instead of the +1 for el-remmen) AND a load of cool racial abilities?
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Not gonna lie, that would mildly annoy me. I'd be wondering what other "gotcha" type stuff is waiting in the wings, even if it's meant to be a positive.
Is it still a "gotcha" if it's optional? I mean, the player is under no obligation to take the free feat that's being offered, and there's no penalty for refusing it.
 



So why would anyone choose six +1s and ZERO racial features over a +2 and a +1 AND a full complement of racial features? Why would getting +1 in the abilities you DON'T care about be better or more interesting than an extra +1 (that's the +2 instead of the +1 for el-remmen) AND a load of cool racial abilities?
I asked a player who picked default human, and he said "Because I'm human."

But yes, races are not especially balanced. I'm interested to see what they do to the core races in 5.5E

Even with that imbalance, I see quite a lot of racial diversity in my games. It's not mountain dwarves, aven, and tortles as far as the eye can see.
 


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