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%

I guess I want to avoid the former, but I don't think the latter is a problem? Seems like it would be a similar situation to the GWF barbarian finding a really cool flaming longsword in a treasure hoard. Not every piece of treasure is going to be 100% optimal for every character in the group, right?
Why is the former a problem? Why is more variety in your character concept a problem.

And "a similar situation to the GWF barbarian finding a really cool flaming longsword"? If it is a flaming longsword then it is not cool for the GWF barbarian. It's, to use the MMO term, vendor trash. Or possibly something to go in the golfbag because the player knows that if that's the loot there'll be something that needs setting on fire.
Why would I give characters an extra thing at level one? I thought people wanted level one to be basically commoners, not adventure ready heroes.
A lot of players would rather not play level 1 for the umpteenth time at all. Because they've done that repeatedly in the past eight years. You'd give them an extra thing in part to apologise for putting them through level 1 once again rather than starting at level 3 where at least some of them would want to start.
 

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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Why is the former a problem? Why is more variety in your character concept a problem.
I want to avoid over-optimized feats at first level not because it's a problem per se, I just don't want to give those away for free. The players will get those super-popular feats soon enough--as soon as they were always going to be able to get them, anyway--and I'm not trying to stop or delay any plans they might have for their characters.

I think ya'll are reading too much into this "curated list" thing. This extra feat is intended to be a minor gift for my first- level characters...it's not a condemnation on certain feats, and I'm not rebuking the practice of character optimization.
 
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First, not having to grade my players’ role-playing as is expected by the inspiration rules. As a DM, that nonsense is not my job! I have more important things to focus on while I’m at the table!
Consider a simple solution, ave the players chose amongst themselves at the end of every session which character gets inspiration. We/me struggles with it for a few years before coming up with (or seeing it elsewhere) this solution. The players look forward to it, they get to praise the positive things that they liked about game play that night (oh, I loved when Will did the things with the thing...) and it's not something I need to worry about.
 

Horwath

Hero
I really don't think the PCs need any "freebies", unless the players are willing to admit they suck at playing the game.
It's not about knowing how to play, it's about having your character concept sooner, rather than later.

If I need 3 feats for my character concept, then I need 12 levels(99% of campaigns are over) or I am limited to V.Human/custom lineage and/or being a fighter.

Adding extra feat at 1st level might raise parties CR by little(0.5?), adding another bonus feat at 5th level and then counting every PC one level higher for calculating encounters solves most of the problems with bonus feats.
 

I think ya'll are reading too much into this "curated list" thing. This extra feat is intended to be a minor gift for my first- level characters...it's not a condemnation on certain feats, and I'm not rebuking the practice of character optimization.
Nope. No one is as far as I know having problems with the curated list part - just the "hey! Have something that would have a significant influence on your character ... but only after you've made your character."

I know that I'd be more inspired by a list of feats consisting of Skilled, Tough, and Savage Attacker before creating my character than a list of about thirty feats after.
 

AnotherGuy

Adventurer
Our table uses a modified version of a list of Feats which are arguably more advantageous than an ASI.
The PCs do not get a bonus feat at 1st level, however they do get benefits for odd-numbered ability scores. The ability tables have been modified as well to reflects a benefit for odd-numbered scores.
 

Hussar

Legend
I want to avoid over-optimized feats at first level not because it's a problem per se, I just don't want to give those away for free. The players will get those super-popular feats soon enough--as soon as they were always going to be able to get them, anyway--and I'm not trying to stop or delay any plans they might have for their characters.

I think ya'll are reading too much into this "curated list" thing. This extra feat is intended to be a minor gift for my first- level characters...it's not a condemnation on certain feats, and I'm not rebuking the practice of character optimization.
Naw. Folks just get their panties in a twist if anything even remotely whiffs of the tiniest, faintest aroma of anyone having even the tiniest influence on how someone makes their perfect sculpture of their character.

A curated list of non-combat oriented feats you can take at the end of 1st level is perfectly fine. (or combat feats if that floats you boat, whatever) These are BONUSES. No different than the boons you can give out as rewards or treasure or anything else. No one is forced to take them. And, frankly, if someone's vision of their character is so fragile that adding a bonus feat to it after chargen but before 4th level is going to totally spoil that character, I'd much rather not play with that player to be honest.

Put it another way. A player that would bitch about a bonus feat given out as a surprise at the end of 1st level raises all sorts of red flags to me as both a player and a DM. I'm pretty sure that I would not enjoy sitting at the same table as that player.
 

Scottius

Explorer
I DM almost exclusively so it's a question of what do I include. In my games I almost never use/allow feats so it's moot. The few games I have used them I only allow them at first level if it's already written that way, i.e. Variant humans
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Nope. No one is as far as I know having problems with the curated list part - just the "hey! Have something that would have a significant influence on your character ... but only after you've made your character."
That's why the list would be curated: to make sure that they wouldn't be given something that would have a significant influence on their character. ("Significant" being the operative word.) Perhaps we're saying the same thing, just in different ways.
 

CreamCloud0

Adventurer
That's why the list would be curated: to make sure that they wouldn't be given something that would have a significant influence on their character. ("Significant" being the operative word.) Perhaps we're saying the same thing, just in different ways.
I think you might each be referencing a different type of significance? @Neonchameleon sounds like they mean ‘potentially significant to adding to or influencing the character’s flavour’ whereas you Nickname are using it in the sense of significance to achieving a mechanical build and effectiveness, specifically in a combat capacity I’d guess.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Thanks for your input, everyone! Here's what I've decided is going to happen at the "Rolling Party" for my upcoming campaign.

First, everyone rolls stats and chooses their background, race, and class. Pretty standard; the players will create their characters using the default method (roll 4d6, drop lowest). We are going to be using the additional rules and features in Xanathar's, Fizban's, and Tasha's, so the players are going to have lots of room for customization. It's the first time we've used the optional origin/ancestry rules in Tasha's, too, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they bring out.

Then, everyone outfits their characters with gear.
The players know that they can choose a starting magic item from Table A or B. (This is a tradition with our group. It started when we rolled up characters for the Eberron campaign a few years ago, and we liked it so much that we kept it.) The players can use the listed starting equipment, or they can roll for gold and purchase their own...most will choose the starting gear.

And finally, we will have a quick introductory adventure. This adventure, "Out of the Frying Pan," is basically the vehicle that is going to deliver the free feat to the 1st-level characters. A soot-covered lady on the street will point at a burning building and shout "Help! My baby is in there!" or something, and the party will rush in to help. This will kick off a quick hour-long adventure, mostly involving skill checks and a battle against a mischievous smoke mephit. With the fire extinguished and the baby safe in her mother's arms, the party will be rewarded. They'll be expecting gold or XP, but I have something else in mind...

The grateful mother isn't wealthy, but she is a devout follower of Yondalla. She asks her goddess to bless the party for their bravery and valor, and her prayers are answered when each member of the party is awarded a feat! Each player chooses their feat from the following list: Actor, Athlete, Durable, Healer, Heavily Armored, Heavy Armor Master, Lightly Armored, Magic Initiate, Medium Armor Master, Linguist, Moderately Armored, Mounted Combatant, Resilient, Ritual Caster, Skilled, or Weapon Master.

And that's how we're gonna do it.

Thanks again, everyone.
 
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Nebulous

Legend
Last campaign I let everyone start with a talent that was essentially a half feat from a DM Guild resource. There were lots to pick from and it gave the PCs a little more variety at 1st level.
 



Nebulous

Legend
Many of them had level prerequisites, but I didn't see anything game breaking if you ignored that. I only used the resource at 1st level, they didn't gain more later.
 



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