5E Durable Feat is weak, Healer feat is too strong

Xeviat

Explorer
This is an old topic, but the last thread was 14 pages and it went all over the place. I'm coming at it from a different angle here.

I'm really frustrated with the way Errata has worked in 5E. They've only been using it for clarification, not rebalancing. I suppose that makes it easier to run official events and such, but it does leave trap choices within the rules.

The Durable feat is both a trap choice and something that seriously needed clarification. Heck, even Mike Mearls waffled on it in the following twitter exchange: [FONT=&quot]https://twitter.com/mikemearls/status/495998443702456321

So, rather than looking at how the durable feat should be interpreted, why not look at what it should be to begin with? The durable feat, as is now, sucks. If you go with the generous interpretation of the feat, where the "roll" is the die roll itself before the modifiers are added to it, the feat is only good if you have a Con of 16+ and a 1d6 HD, or if you have a Con of 18+. I have charts, but I won't bore you. (If you go with the less generous "roll means total" interpretation that M.M. started with, and was then talked away from, it is never "good enough".

Where am I setting my baseline? Toughness is a feat that grants +2 hp per level. An ASI can grant +2 Con. Durable grants +1 Con and it's weirdly worded benefit. Thus, it's benefit is worth half the feat, and thus the benefit should be comparable to +1 hp per level.

Got it?

Hit dice recover at a rate of 1/2 level (min 1) per long rest. This means a character can only afford to spend half their hit dice per day to stay at full (or, after the first day of tapping hit dice out entirely, they can only recover half of them).

Thus, for Durable to be a fair feat, it should be increasing healing over the course of the day by +2 per hit dice (and thus +1 per level). It only does this for d6 HD with 16+ Con, or anyone with 18+ Con. It also benefits lower HD far more than higher HD, and I'm not sure too many feats out there give such a wide difference in effects (barring taking a feat that doesn't even synergize with your build).

This is on top of the fact that healing and max HP are going to be balanced differently. Max HP from Toughness benefits you in the first part of the day and means healing can top you up higher. Extra healing just means you'll be able to patch yourself up more.

At it's best, Durable offers +6.5 HP per HD for a d6 character with a 20 con. I don't see very many doing this. Maybe a dwarven sorcerer or mage since they can wear medium armor. a 20 con character with a d12 is gaining 3.8 hp per HD spent. That's a big difference.

I don't even want to compare it to what Healer would do if you only used it on yourself (oops, I did)

Healer heals 1d6+4+level and you can do it again after every short rest. This means it can get 3 uses per character on a "typical adventuring day". It automatically is healing 3*level, which is already better than Toughness, without getting into the 1d6+4 base (7.5, so healer at 1st level increases your daily HP by 25.5 ...)

Healer is an OP feat.

Anyway, how much healing should Durable really be granting? It's a half feat, so one could say it should be half a s good as Healer, but it should be a lot worse than Healer since Healer's effect is multiplied by the number of party members.

Okay now I'm getting on Healer's case. Healer heals up to 1d6+24 hp, average 27.5, with a min 25 and max 30. Cure Wounds from someone with a +5 stat heals 5+(1d8 per spell level). A 5th level cure wounds spell heals 5d8+5, average 27.5, with swingier mins and maxes. Why do I point at cure wounds? Because half of the Magic initiate feat gives you 1 1st level spell once per day ... and a 20th level character with the Healer feat is getting X times 3 of these 5th level spells per day, where X is equal to the number of people in their party. (I feel like Magic Initiate's level 1 spell should at least recover on a short rest, if not scale by level; new feats in Xanathar's give out a few short rest recovering spells or spell equivalents).

The healer feat's healing is equivalent to a cure spell at the following levels:

Cure 1st (9.5) - level 2
Cure 2nd (14) - level 6-7
Cure 3rd (18.5) - level 11
Cure 4th (23) - level 15-16
Cure 5th (27.5) - level 20

Like, really? I don't even know how to properly weaken the healer feat aside from rebuilding the healer's kits to cost more and to heal some on their own.

So, how would you change Durable? How much healing over the course of a day should a feat be giving?[/FONT]
 
I'm really frustrated with the way Errata has worked in 5E. They've only been using it for clarification, not rebalancing. I suppose that makes it easier to run official events and such, but it does leave trap choices within the rules.
Yep, and trap choices reward system mastery, which is inclusive of 3e fans. And, Feats are optional, so if you don't want that, don't opt in.

What's more, 5e is designed to be a starting point. There's less sense moving the starting line after the gun than moving the goal posts. DMs will have already done what they wanted with feats (and anything else).

And, yes, for organized play, keeping it consistent is more valuable than making it better.
 
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Radaceus

Visitor
Durable seems like a niche feat example that, as postulated, one would take if they had a high con, or were a main tank. especially if they are in a party that is lacking in healers. I had a group recently with a dwarf barbarian who took this to get her from 19 to 20 con ( because she couldn't go higher than 20 con), and since she was already proficient in Con saves , Resilient was out, she decided this was a better choice since she was often rolling HD to save on the party resources for heals., et al, a niche feat that fit the need.

Healer's Feat requires a use of a healer's kit. So, unless they are traipsing back into town, or if you want to be real gritty, a temple and the only temple is miles away, or maybe you have to have access to an herbalist's kit to restock your healer's kit if you cant find a nearby temple. Maybe healer's kits are worth stealing, kobold love them some healers kits, maybe? or maybe that time you had to cross through some water ruined half your kit?...see? not a game breaker...
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
Healer is fine. It's good, but not too good.

Durable is okay. It's far from great, but it excels under the right circumstances.
 

Krachek

Adventurer
Durable. Instead of rolling you can use the average round up when you use your your hit dice.
other options:
roll hit dice with advantage.
and if you want a top feat, use maximum result instead of rolling.
 
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Krachek

Adventurer
Healer is more problematic. It outshine most spells for healing.

Personally I don’t like non magical healing, I would align it with drow high magic feat.
gain cantrip spare the dying, one daily use of cure light wound and prayer of healing.

Otherwise simply remove it from your game.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Healer is actually in the top 5 most powerful feats.
Bad is different than trap though... trap is where something seems like it might be alright or has very compelling flavor AND is poor.

Overly powerful is a form of Bad feat just as not so useful ones... arguably
the overly powerful ones were often call feat taxes in 4e. and were often considered somewhat obvious

5e feat resources are arguably more expensive I am thinking what do they
translate as 3 micro feats? Actually the larger feats are the more you have to work on the balance because of that. Making bad feats perhaps somewhat more likely?

Splitting out the combat feats and non combat ones seems step 1 in getting the feats to be even better than 4e.
 
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Shiroiken

Adventurer
Feats run the gambit from really bad to really good, and Durable is near the bottom while Healer is near the top. The problem was that they didn't have a good bar to measure feats against, and IIRC they weren't part of the public playtest.

I've tried rebalancing feats, and have come to the conclusion that the ones near the top are really where feats should be. Sharpshooter is the only one I feel needs tuned down, and only a little (double short range and reduce cover by 3 AC). This makes increasing some of the weaker feats a bit harder, and honestly it's easier to combine like-minded feats. Stacking Durable and Toughness together puts them right about on par with Healer. Healer is only really OP when used by a Thief as a Bonus Action.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
I just joined Toughness and Durable into 1 feat.
Same. I use feats as character-defining traits, and thus have no desire to spread out that definition over several feats. If there's going to be a "exceedingly healthy and hearty" feat, I only need/want the one. So I removed the CON bonus from Durable then combined the two feats into a single one.

And as far as Healer is concerned... frankly I don't care if its as powerful as most healing spells because very few players take it unless the group can't get healing spells (which is what was the situation in my last Curse of Strahd campaigns.) But my tables run with enough players that there are always at least two (if not 3 or 4) PCs that have healing spells / effects available for the group, and thus the need for anyone to give up one of their feats for Healer is just not there and nobody wastes their feat slot for it.
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
The power of the feat is one thing, and Healer is good, but the other part, as mentioned above, is who is actually going to take it and when. A lot of builds have less ASIs then they'd probably like to get their concept online. Melee/Ranged characters, for example, probably aren't taking Healer ever, regardless of how good it is. Most spellcasters have their first three ASIs penciled in as stat-stat-concentration boost, so in those cases they don't have a 'spare' feat until 16th level. Characters who take Healer before that are giving up significant general character advancement to do so (even Clerics). So in that party without a dedicated healer it would make sense for someone to take it, and someone probably should, but what they are giving up to do so isn't someone random crap feat, but one of the select few sky blue feats that most builds are aimed at, in other words a key component in their build. At that point I don't have any problem with Healer being an excellent feat.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
This makes increasing some of the weaker feats a bit harder, and honestly it's easier to combine like-minded feats. Stacking Durable and Toughness together puts them right about on par with Healer.
Giving more is almost always better than Nerfing ... The flavors of those are obviously the same.
 

bedir than

Explorer
Same. I use feats as character-defining traits, and thus have no desire to spread out that definition over several feats. If there's going to be a "exceedingly healthy and hearty" feat, I only need/want the one. So I removed the CON bonus from Durable then combined the two feats into a single one.
What else have you combined in this way?
 

Eubani

Explorer
With Actor I add Proficiency in Deception or Persuasion and Disguise Kit. Weapon Master, I remove 2 of the weapon proficiency and add a fighting style. Keen Mind I add 2 Int skills. Quite a few feats only need a light touch to make them more competiive or balanceed.
 
Splitting out the combat feats and non combat ones seems step 1 in getting the feats to be even better than 4e.
Step one was clearing out the chaff. I suspect that was part of the impetus to have 'big' feats: it means characters get fewer feats, so make fewer feat choices, which means you can publish only a handful of them.
 

tglassy

Adventurer

The healer feat's healing is equivalent to a cure spell at the following levels:

Cure 1st (9.5) - level 2
Cure 2nd (14) - level 6-7
Cure 3rd (18.5) - level 11
Cure 4th (23) - level 15-16
Cure 5th (27.5) - level 20

So the Healer Feat is worth a lvl 1 Cure Wounds at lvl 2? And isn't worth a 5th lvl Cure Wounds until lvl 20?

I suppose your point is that the Healer Feat can do it once to every party member, though a Healer Kit only has so many uses. I guess it isn't that expensive, but still. A Party of Five can only use it for two days before it's used up. Cure Wounds can be cast as long as there are spell slots, which continue to regenerate every long rest (or short rest for Warlocks). But I think it's not fair to compare a skill at 20th lvl to a 1st lvl spell that's been upcast with a 5th lvl slot. A first lvl spell will never equal a 5th lvl spell, and Mass Cure Wounds is a 5th lvl spell that can heal 3d8+Mod to six people. I'm not sure about averages, but going by your chart there, that's an average of 18.5 to six different people with a single spell, at character lvl 9. Healer Feat at lvl 9 can heal 1d6+13, which is between 14 and 19 hp, to a single person per use. It would use up 6/10 uses to heal the same number, for likely fewer HP. And they're using money to "cast" it instead of spell points, because they have to buy the kit.

Nobody would ever use Cure Wounds in a 5th lvl spell slot unless they knew they weren't going to need that 5th lvl spell slot. Cure Wounds is ok for lower lvl healing, but at higher levels it's basically a "You're dying or unconscious, let me get you back up and in the game real quick". At higher lvls, there are other things you can use.

You need to compare lvl to lvl, not a lvl 5 spell to a lvl 20 ability, and certainly not a 1st lvl spell upcast with a 5th lvl slot to a lvl 20 ability. At lvl 20, you can cast Mass Heal, which doe 700 hp worth of healing. Per day. No gold spent. If you have 10 party members, which very few parties have that many, you'll go through an entire Healing Kit and heal, if your average is right, 275 hp total.

So yeah, healer can make you an effective healer, if you're willing to carry around a bunch of healing kits, and will outstrip Cure Wounds after lvl 6, but to be honest, if it didn't outstrip a lvl 1 spell by lvl 6 then it would be useless and nobody would get it. A Cleric or Druid will always be a better healer because they get better healing spells as they get higher level.

I just looked up Regenerate. 4d8+15 and then 1hp every six seconds for an hour, no concentration. 10 hp per minute is 600 hp, plus the initial healing. At lvl 13. My goodness, throw taht on the tank and let him solo the BBEG! He'd never die! Even if he went below 0 hp every round, he'd get up at the beginning of every turn! So yeah, having a healing caster is much better than just the Healer Feat. I don't see how Healer is at all over powered.
 

Ristamar

Explorer
I modified the Durable feat to restore all Hit Dice after a long rest. It's much simpler and allows more characters to take advantage of its benefits. Even in this form, it's only appealing to those looking for renewable non-magical healing resources. It might not be a bad choice if your safe points for a long rest are often limited or you're incentivized to tackle multiple encounters.

Durable
Hardy and resilient, you gain the following benefits:
  • Increase your Constitution score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • At the end of a long rest, you regain all spent Hit Dice.
 

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