OneDnD Feat Chains are Incompatible with Easy CharGen + 1st Lev Feats

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Sure, but there were well over a thousand feats in 3e. There's a lot of middle ground for many more feats than we have, and far less than 14 or 15 hundred of them. 5e has what, 80-100?
Agreed. I am not saying "we need fewer feats." I am saying that feat chains, which serve to reduce choice later on for a PC, doesn't serve that goal well. I am saying we probably need for the prerequisite to be PC level, and not a prior feat plus a PC level.
 

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After thinking about it for a couple days, I don't really want baked in feats. I'd much rather them be optional.
For myself, I'd rather have them be optional as well - without any 'compensatory' benefit.

i.e. no ASI or feat - just Feat or No Feat, but with an important addition : comprehensive advice on the DM side on what a Feat-available game entails with regards to game management. Something along the lines of : 'If you are using Feats in your game, it is probably safe to treat your group as having one more member when planning things out.'
 

Agreed. I am not saying "we need fewer feats." I am saying that feat chains, which serve to reduce choice later on for a PC, doesn't serve that goal well. I am saying we probably need for the prerequisite to be PC level, and not a prior feat plus a PC level.
This makes sense.

That way you can have Feats that fit naturally together, where you might well want a specific Feat from L1 to "go with" an L4 feat, but where it's not hard-required, and the L4 is useful even without the L1 Feat.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Agreed. I am not saying "we need fewer feats." I am saying that feat chains, which serve to reduce choice later on for a PC, doesn't serve that goal well. I am saying we probably need for the prerequisite to be PC level, and not a prior feat plus a PC level.
I'm okay either way. I doubt there would be many chains, and like someone mentioned earlier, they would probably only be 2 feats long. Having it limited to level, though, works as well.

One thing they could do with feat chains is to make them automatic. Pick a 4th level feat and it advances in strength at 8th level, rather than costing a second feat. It could be a more power version of the abilities granted at 4th level, or the addition of another ability to the 4th level feat at 8th level.
 

This makes sense.

That way you can have Feats that fit naturally together, where you might well want a specific Feat from L1 to "go with" an L4 feat, but where it's not hard-required, and the L4 is useful even without the L1 Feat.
As a completely random example :
L1 feat : when you attack a prone opponent, you can add 1d6 something to something
L4 feat : when you strike for 10 or more hp, you can knock the foe prone unless it save against...
 


TheSword

Legend
The new UA playtesting the upcoming D&D revisions for 2024 introduce 1st level feats, which are intended per the designers to:

1) Make it easy on beginners to pick a feat without being overwhelmed by the number of choices.

As stated by Crawford, “Feat selection should not be overwhelming, and one way to do that is to break feats up into smaller groups, like with levels. If something tells you to go pick a first level feat, then that tells you right away I can ignore all the feats on this book that are 4th level, or 20th level, or any other level of feats. Instead you can focus on just the 1st level feats.”

However,

2) Feat Chains increase the incentive to be overwhelmed by the number of choices. Where one more powerful feat requires that you already have a prior lesser fear, you will have an incentive to know all the higher level feat prerequisite lower level feats out of fear you will lock out options you might way at higher levels with your choice. You essentially need to plan out much of your adventuring career from character creation if higher level feats have prerequisites impacted by your 1st level feat.

Finally,

3) A solution to this dilemma of allowing you to swap out your 1st level feat at higher levels is incompatible with the notion that your 1st level feat is part of your culture, which is represented by your background. Here Crawford emphasizes repeatedly that the 1st level feat choice is something you've been doing for years, and is tied to who you were before you took up adventuring. This feat, more than any other feat in your adventuring career, is tied closely to your culture. It would make no sense that you suddenly "forgot" your culture at a higher level so you could pick up a new ability which is literally something you just learned. Nor would you want to create a mechanics incentive to ignore your culture.

I'm therefore concluding from this that feat chains won't work, or won't work well, with the policy incentives of character generation being easy and not overwhelming for beginners and 1st level feats being part of your culture.

The best solution I can think of is to eliminate feat chains. Let the only prerequisite be level.

What do you think about these concepts? Do you think feat chains can work well with the goals of non-overwhelming character generation for beginners and 1st level feats being part of your characters culture?
Need and want are two totally different things.

A new player Needs to gain sufficient mastery of the rules to be able to sit at a table and play. They may want to have a particularly efficient character but they don’t need it to play and they can balance how much they want efficiency with how much time they can invest in learning the game (not a lot in a many cases)

This reminds me of the excel spreadsheet used to check through the 1500 feats you could chose from in a Pathfinder 1e Campaign. I still have nightmares about taking a new group through creating a character in that system.
 




I don't think true "Feat chains" will return. Most likely the prerequisites will be a single 1st level feat, similar to the UA of Dragonlance. I would recommend they list the connected feat with the 1st level feat, showing the future option.
 

Feat chains that are 2 feats deep are ok, if the first feat already does the important thing and the second one only enhances it.

But anything more is bad. Remember whirlwind attack in 3.x?

Even worse though were feats as prerequisites for prestige classes.

I think Crawford is right when he does not want to overwhelm new players. In my experience, chosing feats without ever having played is not very easy, because they just don't know what is important.

In the same sense, it is also not easy for experienced players, as they often don't know what is important for this particular campaign. So if you notice, that a certain campaign is all about having unarmed combats*, you want to be able to take tavern brawler immediately and don't want to first take another feat.

On the other hand, if you want to be the best tavern brawler, I would not mind a second feat, that increases unarmed damage to d6 or d8 and gives some more benefits that are helpful. Maybe initialize a grab and do extra damage when grappling.

*just the first thing that came to mind.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I hope to see feat chains. The complete absence of any meaningful prerequisites on basically anything means that any magic items I make need to be balanced against not just against an expected lath of progression the player states they are planning to follow but against any possible progression they could immediately jump tracks to while jettisoning their prior plans at no opportunity cost. Worse still is that because nothing has any prerequisites I need to balance against literally every current & future published option other than other archetypes of the same class where a player has already chosen an archetype to ensure that I must never give players anythong cool to aid their states plans before pc level 3.
 

amethal

Adventurer
Feat chains that are 2 feats deep are ok, if the first feat already does the important thing and the second one only enhances it.

But anything more is bad. Remember whirlwind attack in 3.x?
Whirlwind attack? They weren't even trying!

How do you like this feat from Pathfinder 1st edition, which basically allows you to ignore the penalties from Combat Expertise once per round when you parry? (Note that to use this feat to its full potential, you also need Combat Expertise, which is NOT one of its 7 prerequisite feats.)

Prerequisites:
Aldori Style
Aldori Style Aegis
Alertness
Combat Reflexes
Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Aldori dueling sword)
Weapon Finesse
Weapon Focus (Aldori dueling sword)

Benefit: When you attempt to parry an attack using Aldori Style Aegis, you do not take any penalties on the attack roll incurred from using Combat Expertise or fighting defensively.
 

Horwath

Hero
If all feats get dropped to half-feat power level, and we get 2 feats at 1st level and then a feat every other level, I'm all for 2 or ever 3 long feat chains, otherwise not.
 


Horwath

Hero
That would be terrible. I think the powerlevel of feats as it is now is perfect. As much as I would like more feats, I like the impact they currently have. I would not want them more granular.
we have lot's of half feats, just make all of them that way.
you can even split them into combat and non combat category and have separate resource pool for both.
 


we have lot's of half feats, just make all of them that way.
you can even split them into combat and non combat category and have separate resource pool for both.

I could live with giving noncombat feats at half strength at total characterlevels instead of class levels.
They could give a single skill proficiency and a little extra or something like that.
 

I personally love feat chains and feats locked behind higher levels. It allows them to be far more powerful and flavourful than feats available early on.
Feats don't need to be locked behind other feats in order to be powerful - they need to be locked behind levels to be more powerful. We can still have nice things without need of the 'plan/build-expertise-requirement'.
 

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