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5E Feat changes: requesting feedback

brehobit

Explorer
hi folks,
I'm trying to balance feats a bit for my next game. I didn't get around to fixing all the overly weak feats (doesn't usually greatly impact the game as no one takes them), but I tried to "punch up" some of the weaker ones. Also tried to limit some of the stronger ones.

I'd appreciate any feedback about the specifics.

  • Athlete:
    • Remove: “climbing doesn’t cost you extra movement” (just a personal hatred of being able to climb at full speed).
    • Add: You get advantage on athletic checks
  • Crossbow Expert: If you are using a hand crossbow as the “one-handed weapon”, you may not have anything else in the other hand.
  • Dual wielder:
    • Add: +1 Dexterity or Strength
  • Durable:
    • Change to “When you roll a Hit Die to regain hit points, you add your CON bonus twice rather than once”
    • Add: You gain a +2 bonus on death saves. On a natural 19 you regain 1 hit point. On a natural 20 you can spend a hit die if you have one available, otherwise you just gain 1 hit point.
  • Great weapon Master:
    • Change: rather than +10 for the -5 you instead change dice your weapon dice as follows. Note: the dice are doubled on a crit as normal...
      • d6 → 2d8 (5.5)
      • d8 → 2d10 (6.5)
      • d10 → 2d12 (7.5)
      • d12 → 2d12+2 (7.5)
      • 2d4 → 2d10 (6)
      • 2d6 → 3d8+1 (7.5)
  • Healer:
    • Change: Healing is d6+ creature’s level. At level 5 this goes to 2d6, at level 11 to 3d6, and at level 17 to 4d6. If you are proficient in medicine you can add your proficiency bonus to the points healed. If you are expert in medicine, you add an additional 2 points of healing.
  • Heavy armor master:
    • Change: You reduce damage by 2 at levels 1-8, 3 from levels 9-14, and 4 from levels 15-20
    • Add: Magical weapon damage is also reduced if you are wearing magical armor.
  • Keen mind:
    • Add: You have advantage on intelligence saving throws and pure intelligence checks (not skill checks).
  • Linguist:
    • Add: You may use a spell scroll to cast (but not learn or copy into your spell book) a spell not on your spell list. The DC is 13+the spell’s level.
    • Add: You have advantage on checks to cast or copy spells from scrolls.
  • Martial Adept
    • Add: You gain a +1 bonus to Dexterity or Strength (Maximum 20)
  • Orcish Fury
    • Change “Immediately after you use your Relentless Endurance trait, you can use your reaction to make one weapon attack with advantage."
  • Prodigy
    • Change: open to any race.
    • Add: can be taken multiple times by humans, half-orcs, or half-elves. Each time taken after the first gain +1 to any one stat (max 20) in addition.
  • Sharpshooter
    • Change: You may only do one of the three options per attack.
  • Shield Master:
    • Clarify/Change: you may take your bonus action before your attacks. But if you do so, you are committed to attacking as your action.
  • Weapon Master
    • Change: You gain proficiency in all simple and martial weapons.
 

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brehobit

Explorer
Comments:
  • Duel wielder always feels a lot worse than polearm mastery. You need both a feat and style to make it effective. The +1 stat bonus helps a bit.
  • GWM: Pretty much strictly weaker, but better on a crit. Not happy with the +1 and +2 bonuses. Also, we tend to roll damage dice with the attack roll. And people always forget to say if they are using this or not. So rolling the damage dice differently makes it clear.
  • Healer: IMO starts out too strong and ends too weak and this helps. Also like the tie-in to Medicine. Honestly i'd like more feats to do this.
  • Martial adept: Too weak for almost everyone. The +1 makes it more reasonable to take.
  • Sharpshooter: One think I like about sharpshooter is not having to figure out cover. This kills that. But otherwise seems much better. You can do the -5/+10, but not effectively with cover or at range.
  • Weapon master still sucks, but there you go.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
  • Athlete:
    • Remove: “climbing doesn’t cost you extra movement” (just a personal hatred of being able to climb at full speed).
    • Add: You get advantage on athletic checks
Might play out stronger than it looks, due to the interaction with Shield Master and special melee attacks (grapple and shove).

  • Crossbow Expert: If you are using a hand crossbow as the “one-handed weapon”, you may not have anything else in the other hand.
This is technically redundant. Official errata has it that "Crossbow Expert (p. 165). The word “loaded” has been removed from the third benefit." which means you need a hand free to load it due to the ammunition property that all crossbows have.

  • Dual wielder:
    • Add: +1 Dexterity or Strength
Reasonable, although I prefer "The two-weapon fighting attack you make with the melee weapon in your other hand, doesn’t require a bonus action" due to the interesting play it unlocks.

  • Great weapon Master:
    • Change: rather than +10 for the -5 you instead change dice your weapon dice as follows. Note: the dice are doubled on a crit as normal...
      • d6 → 2d8 (5.5)
      • d8 → 2d10 (6.5)
      • d10 → 2d12 (7.5)
      • d12 → 2d12+2 (7.5)
      • 2d4 → 2d10 (6)
      • 2d6 → 3d8+1 (7.5)
Is there a heavy weapon that does d6 damage? Makes the Great Sword even more favoured.

  • Linguist:
    • Add: You may use a spell scroll to cast (but not learn or copy into your spell book) a spell not on your spell list. The DC is 13+the spell’s level.
    • Add: You have advantage on checks to cast or copy spells from scrolls.
I like this. It's the sort of thing the feat should probably always have done.

  • Shield Master:
    • Clarify/Change: you may take your bonus action before your attacks. But if you do so, you are committed to attacking as your action.
What happens if your only target dies?
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
  • Sharpshooter: One think I like about sharpshooter is not having to figure out cover. This kills that. But otherwise seems much better. You can do the -5/+10, but not effectively with cover or at range.
Your version is interesting. For me, given how good the power attack is, I think it should have the same constraint as the equivalent effect in GWM, i.e. only with heavy ranged weapons.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Athlete:
  • Remove: “climbing doesn’t cost you extra movement” (just a personal hatred of being able to climb at full speed).
  • Add: You get advantage on athletic checks
I would change the second point to "You get advantage on Strength (Athletics) checks to climb, jump, and swim" so you avoid advantage on grapple checks, etc., which IMO would make this a Must Have feat for warriors if you allowed it otherwise.

Prodigy
  • Change: open to any race.
  • Add: can be taken multiple times by humans, half-orcs, or half-elves. Each time taken after the first gain +1 to any one stat (max 20) in addition.
I think the second point makes this feat too good. I could see a lot of rogues taking it a couple of times or more, gaining more expertise each time and also an ASI bump. I would remove the ASI bump--I don't think it's needed as all the other benefits are good enough IMO and I see this feat taken often.

Weapon Master
  • Change: You gain proficiency in all simple and martial weapons.
We also added you gain proficiency in Improvised weapons as well.

Many of your changes our tables already incorporate so I think you'll find they play well:
  • Dual Wielder adds +1 STR or DEX
  • Durable grants advantage on Death Saves
  • Heavy Armor Master grants DR against magical weapon attacks in magical armor
  • Keen Mind grants advantage on Intelligence (Investigation) checks
  • Prodigy open to all races
  • Sharpshooter doubles normal range, has disadvantage at long range still
  • Shield Master can use bonus action before attacking
Over all I think your changes are fine and if your table likes them, kudos. :)
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I like a most of these a lot. I'm not goign to call out "I agree" for most, just where I don't. Except to say I really love the Sharpshooter change.

Athlete - advantage on all athletics checks works really strongly for grapplers. Also, that overlaps with barbarian class features, so the most physical class of them all gets less from this that anyone else.

Crossbow Expert - the origination of this was rapier and hand crossbow that drow used to do. This doesn't allow that. What problem are you actually solving?

Durable - unsure if the "change to" refers to both original bullet points. Are you getting rid of the +1 CON?

Great Weapon Master - The wording you have explictly gets rid of the -5, but if so this is a ridiculously powerful feat. If you mean to keep the -5, please clarify that you are not replacing "+10 for the -5" with "change dice on your weapon", but rather just replacing "+10".

Heavy Armor Mastery - with the way damage scales, I might suggest go even more - it protects against damage equal to proficiency. BTW, love the magic armor bit.

Keen Mind - there is no such thing in 5e as a skill check. There are ability checks, and some of them you can add proficiency for a skill. Besides that, this seems like it encourages players to word questions in ways that fall between skills.

Player: "What do I know about the traders quarter in the city?"
DM: "Roll INT (history)."
Player: "No, I don't want to know anything about the past, just right now."
DM: "Hmm, there's no skill for that, just give me an INT roll."
Player: "Sweeeet."

Shield Master - fine on it's own, powerful with your new Athlete feat.

  • Duel wielder always feels a lot worse than polearm mastery. You need both a feat and style to make it effective. The +1 stat bonus helps a bit.
I agree with your end result that it's weak and needs buffing, but not your reasoning that you need feat and style to make it worthwhile.

The feat never made TWF worthwhile - +1 to average damage and +1 AC was pretty much always strictly inferior to other options, such as +2 DEX, until very high levels when you had spare ASI/feats. The opportunity cost means you got ultimately worse at TWF by taking the feat instead of something else.

Also, the fighting style is not quite a trap, but since TWF is a trap with any class that gets extra attack, being able to take the fighting style (unless you're just dipping) was usually also a sign you were going for weak TWF.

Best TWF I've used is on a rogue as a way to deliver SA if the first attack missed. And if the first attack hit I instead would likely use my bonus action in a more productive way with all the rogue options. Neither feat nor fighting style. I've also used it successfully on a Bladesinger - low levels it's better than a cantrip with dual shortswords, and at higher levels it does pair well with Haste - mian action do booming blade, haste action Attack, and since you did take the Attack actions you can now bonus action TWF. Again, neither style nor feat.
 

I'd like to start by stating that most feats are far too weak, not meeting the value of +2 to primary ability score. I feel that GWM, Resilient, Lucky, etc. are right about where feats should be, so bear that in mind with my comments.

  • Athlete: I'd leave in the climb speed, but YMMV. As you have it, it will become THE go to feat for grapplers, shield masters, and anyone else who uses athletics checks regularly in combat. I approve, as this puts it on par with other feats.
  • Crossbow Expert: this is already a rule, due to errata.
  • Dual wielder: while this does improve the feat, it's still just too weak (it's adding +1 AC and +2 damage on average, which is well below par). Even with the ability score bonus, I think it still needs a minor boost, or another significant boost without
  • Durable: I combined this with Toughness instead, and it's still not a popular option. Your first option is fine (and fixes the stupid wording). The second option should probably be advantage on Death Saves rather than the static +2, because it helps prevent the natural 1 and increases the chance of rolling the natural 20 (or 19/20 in this case).
  • Great weapon Master: fiddling with the dice can be problematic, as it already makes good weapons better, and stacks with Great Weapon Fighting for all those re-rolls. I think this is a feat that doesn't need altering, but with your concern of people not announcing it, players should either have a standard setting (I'm using it unless stating otherwise) or they don't use it if they don't say it before the dice are rolled.
  • Healer: honestly the rolled HP is not the major feature of this feat, but if you wanted to do so, I'd change it to their HD+Con if you wanted to do that. I like the idea of it getting better by tier, but I'd suggest allowing a target to gain the benefit an extra time per short rest instead.
  • Heavy armor master: I use proficiency modifier instead, and it's amazing. I like the suggestion about magical armor allowing it against magical weapons.
  • Keen mind: there is no such thing as a skill check. Advantage on Int saving throws is pretty much worthless. This feat is so bad, it just needs to be added as part of another feat.
  • Linguist: need to clarify the check required to cast a scroll, but otherwise this seems fine.
  • Martial Adept: still not that great IMO. I'd rather add an extra Superiority Die instead
  • Orcish Fury: eh, if you feel the feat needs a minor boost, this is fine.
  • Prodigy: this really takes away the feel of the feat. It's supposed to represent humanity's flexibility, and opening it up to any race destroys that. Characters seldom get that many feats, so taking this a second time is unlikely anyway.
  • Sharpshooter: this is really the only feat I feel is too good, but only because everything works so well together. I'm not a fan of this big of a nerf, but it would put it back in the upper tier of the feats, not just the best one.
  • Shield Master: I've already house-ruled this, because that's the way we played it forever. Puts in the same logic as casting a bonus action spell and cantrip.
  • Weapon Master: better, but still terrible. I have no idea how to fix this feat.
 

hi folks,
I'm trying to balance feats a bit for my next game. I didn't get around to fixing all the overly weak feats (doesn't usually greatly impact the game as no one takes them), but I tried to "punch up" some of the weaker ones. Also tried to limit some of the stronger ones.

I'd appreciate any feedback about the specifics.

  • Athlete:
    • Remove: “climbing doesn’t cost you extra movement” (just a personal hatred of being able to climb at full speed).
    • Add: You get advantage on athletic checks
I'd rather the feat just gave you a climb speed of half your movement, with the caveat that you still need handholds and cannot climb sheer surfaces. Like the feat ought to be better than taking Magic Initiate (Artificer) with Guidance and Jump, and it kind of isn't.

I'd rather the feat grant Expertise/double proficiency bonus.

  • Crossbow Expert: If you are using a hand crossbow as the “one-handed weapon”, you may not have anything else in the other hand.
I guess I don't see the point. This is already the most optimized way to use this feat. I think virtually unrestricted bonus attacks like this are a bad design. I'd rather see the feat do something else entirely.

  • Dual wielder:
    • Add: +1 Dexterity or Strength
I guess? The feat already adds +1 damage and +1 AC. That's pretty good as far as feats go. I would prefer the feat granted two weapon fighting style or allowed the off-hand attack to be made as a part of the attack action instead of as a bonus attack. Truthfully, I think the latter is how the game should already work. TWF starts out too far behind.

The last benefit (draw & stow) our table ignores because everyone can already draw and stow a weapon for every attack they're making as long as it's readily available (i.e., on your belt and not in your pack).

Personally, rather than the larger weapons, I'd rather the feat say, "Once per turn when you strike the same creature with both your primary weapon and you off-hand weapon, you deal an additional 1d6 damage." Give TWF some teeth.

  • Durable:
    • Change to “When you roll a Hit Die to regain hit points, you add your CON bonus twice rather than once”
    • Add: You gain a +2 bonus on death saves. On a natural 19 you regain 1 hit point. On a natural 20 you can spend a hit die if you have one available, otherwise you just gain 1 hit point.
Yeah, sure. I still don't think anybody is taking this over Tough, and people only take Tough at high level. I think Durable is only a useful feat if you recover all your hit dice during a long rest (which is how I think the game should work in general, but I still don't think it's worth it here). I'm still not convinced that Tough and Durable shouldn't be combined. Yes, that's really potent and most everyone will take it eventually, but so what? The same is true of Resilient.

  • Great weapon Master:
    • Change: rather than +10 for the -5 you instead change dice your weapon dice as follows. Note: the dice are doubled on a crit as normal...
      • d6 → 2d8 (5.5)
      • d8 → 2d10 (6.5)
      • d10 → 2d12 (7.5)
      • d12 → 2d12+2 (7.5)
      • 2d4 → 2d10 (6)
      • 2d6 → 3d8+1 (7.5)
No, I wouldn't do this.

First, the feat only works on Heavy weapons and there are no Heavy weapons that deal less than 1d10 damage. The only options are 1d10, 1d12, and 2d6. Most of the table is meaningless.

In any case, you've just made the option a mathematical trap. -5 to hit is going to cost more than +7 damage. I've done the math. -5/+7 is the inflection point where using the ability is always worse regardless of the target's AC. Like unless you're using Sharpshooter with a Shuriken I'm pretty sure that -5/+7 was mathematically always worse.

I hate the -5/+10 options. It makes players do extra math at the table, and after a certain point it's something you always use unless you're fighting stuff with less than 10 hit points. It's a bad design. I prefer "you can add 1d6 damage to damage rolls made against creatures of size Large or larger." No penalty to hit. Just flat bonus damage against certain enemies that your weapon is designed to face. This evokes the old school two handed sword doing 3d6 damage to large creatures. Now it has a fixed benefit, the player doesn't have to play a math game, and the feat doesn't dominate alternative options at higher level.

  • Healer:
    • Change: Healing is d6+ creature’s level. At level 5 this goes to 2d6, at level 11 to 3d6, and at level 17 to 4d6. If you are proficient in medicine you can add your proficiency bonus to the points healed. If you are expert in medicine, you add an additional 2 points of healing.
I guess? I know lots of people think the feat is powerful, but I don't really find it worthwhile to nerf healing at low level or buff it at higher level. I would probably require proficiency in medicine rather than expertise. The fewer mechanics that key off expertise, the better.

  • Heavy armor master:
    • Change: You reduce damage by 2 at levels 1-8, 3 from levels 9-14, and 4 from levels 15-20
    • Add: Magical weapon damage is also reduced if you are wearing magical armor.
I like the addition, though there are actually very few creatures with magical weapons in the MM. Unless the entry says the creatures weapons are magic (like Balor) then they're non-magical.

I think the damage reduction change is too fiddly. IMO this is another feat that only appears to be more potent because Variant Human exists. I think Variant Human is poorly designed. I don't think regular Human is a better design (I think they both suck) but I don't like nerfing feats because one race can sometimes get access to the feats at level 1. I think that's dumb. I think the correct solution is to stop letting characters get feats at level 1.

  • Keen mind:
    • Add: You have advantage on intelligence saving throws and pure intelligence checks (not skill checks).
Again, as a design methodology, I'd rather see this be a proficiency bonus or double proficiency bonus. Advantage is supposed to represent circumstantial bonuses. Proficiency is supposed to represent training or inherent skill. Don't apply advantage to everything because it means in regular play you won't be able to give your player another benefit.

  • Linguist:
    • Add: You may use a spell scroll to cast (but not learn or copy into your spell book) a spell not on your spell list. The DC is 13+the spell’s level.
    • Add: You have advantage on checks to cast or copy spells from scrolls.
This is fine, but I still think the feat is pretty terrible. Here, I think advantage is probably fine because this check is very specific and virtually never comes up.

  • Martial Adept
    • Add: You gain a +1 bonus to Dexterity or Strength (Maximum 20)
I guess? I agree that one combat die is pretty worthless.

  • Orcish Fury
    • Change “Immediately after you use your Relentless Endurance trait, you can use your reaction to make one weapon attack with advantage."
Sure. You're already losing if Relentless Endurance comes up, so I consider it a pretty throwaway ability.

  • Prodigy
    • Change: open to any race.
    • Add: can be taken multiple times by humans, half-orcs, or half-elves. Each time taken after the first gain +1 to any one stat (max 20) in addition.
I guess, but I don't really like that Humans are both boring and have nothing to even begin to make them interesting. Humans have a pretty terrible design in 5e overall.

  • Sharpshooter
    • Change: You may only do one of the three options per attack.
As I said above, I don't really like -5/+10. I think it's bad for gameplay on multiple levels. I would rather have something that gives you an Extreme Range category (double long range, attacks at disadvantage). Or that lets you deal an addition 1d6 damage to creatures that are airborne. Or once a turn allows you to deal damage equal to your Dex modifier to a creature adjacent to the target or behind the target. Or one a turn lets you hamper a creature and reduce its speed by 10.

I strongly dislike making the players do -5/+10, and strongly prefer situational bonuses that are powerful but don't come up all the time. I don't want to create feats that become builds that are more influential in combat than class abilities. I don't want feats to grant abilities like that unless they're something like Savage Attacker which always works but only does that.

  • Shield Master:
    • Clarify/Change: you may take your bonus action before your attacks. But if you do so, you are committed to attacking as your action.
Agreed. This is how we already play the ability. We've also played it that the reaction Dex bonus can apply to any effect you can see... though I don't know if that was an intentional change or if it was accidental.

  • Weapon Master
    • Change: You gain proficiency in all simple and martial weapons.
Sure. I mean, still nobody is taking this. You could combine it with light armor proficiency and it's still super unappealing.

Comments:
  • Duel wielder always feels a lot worse than polearm mastery. You need both a feat and style to make it effective. The +1 stat bonus helps a bit.
I mean, I don't think the problem is with Dual Wielder. Polearm Mastery's bonus attack is just silly. The game shouldn't give out bonus attacks like this. I would prefer to replace that line of Polearm Master entirely. It generates far too much bang for it's buck.
 

brehobit

Explorer
Thanks to folks for the feedback so far. I certainly screwed a few things up. Sometime in the next few days I'll post revisions based on the feedback here.

The house rules I'm working on (of which these are a part) have folks have a few more feats (everyone starts with one, but a set of 7 or so aren't an option and folks can get extra ones at certain levels but from a very limited set (~3) based on their guild (it's for Ravnica)). I'm also removing the alt-human option. So it's important that the feats be a bit better balanced and some of the rarely used feats are likely to see more use.

Again, thank you so much for the detailed feedback.
 

brehobit

Explorer
I wanted to discuss this quickly because I think I need a bit more feedback here before I move on. This is wrt GWM.
No, I wouldn't do this.

First, the feat only works on Heavy weapons and there are no Heavy weapons that deal less than 1d10 damage. The only options are 1d10, 1d12, and 2d6. Most of the table is meaningless.
I figured I'd cover cases of really tiny weapons, but yeah, good point.

In any case, you've just made the option a mathematical trap. -5 to hit is going to cost more than +7 damage. I've done the math. -5/+7 is the inflection point where using the ability is always worse regardless of the target's AC. Like unless you're using Sharpshooter with a Shuriken I'm pretty sure that -5/+7 was mathematically always worse.
I'll do the math myself shortly. For sharpshooter -5/+10 is often really good at higher levels. Our goblin archer has +12 to attack without buffs (5 stat, 4 prof, 2 combat style, 1 weapon), and is often better than that (haste, bless, bardic inspiration, faerie fire, a few other things that grant advantage or other bonuses) and has lucky and access to precise strike to just rub it in. So while he does miss AC 15 creatures about 35% of the time in theory, in reality it's closer to 15% of the time. And he's doing either d6+6 damage or d6+16 damage. It's a very big win. I imagine GWM isn't as big of a win because the base damage dice are higher. And the fighting style for a great weapon is a lot weaker. But do keep in mind this makes a critical quite a bit nastier. When criting with a d10 weapon you are doing 4d12 (26) damage instead of 2d10 (11). That's +15 on a crit, +7.5 on a regular hit. Weaker certainly given crits are generally fairly scarce, but cool when it happens (people like rolling a lot of dice IME.

I hate the -5/+10 options. It makes players do extra math at the table, and after a certain point it's something you always use unless you're fighting stuff with less than 10 hit points. It's a bad design. I prefer "you can add 1d6 damage to damage rolls made against creatures of size Large or larger." No penalty to hit. Just flat bonus damage against certain enemies that your weapon is designed to face. This evokes the old school two handed sword doing 3d6 damage to large creatures. Now it has a fixed benefit, the player doesn't have to play a math game, and the feat doesn't dominate alternative options at higher level.
Humm, I like this idea and reasoning, but I'm not sure about the implementation. It's a bit campaign dependent (game I'm planning on doing next has mostly humanoid opponents for example) and frankly feels too weak (a conditional +3.5 damage feels like not enough for feat, even with the bonus action on a crit, etc.) But I like where you are coming from.
 

My thoughts noted:

  • Athlete:
    • Remove: “climbing doesn’t cost you extra movement” (just a personal hatred of being able to climb at full speed).
    • Add: You get advantage on athletic checks
--I think this is fine. If you wanted to try a different route, you could instead of advantage adds +2 to athletics checks. Feats are one of the few places I think its okay to add bonuses because of their specialness. Now +2 may sound weaker than advantage, but I generally find players acquire advantage pretty easily due to creativity, so this would actually be a stronger bonus in many cases.
  • Durable:
    • Change to “When you roll a Hit Die to regain hit points, you add your CON bonus twice rather than once”
    • Add: You gain a +2 bonus on death saves. On a natural 19 you regain 1 hit point. On a natural 20 you can spend a hit die if you have one available, otherwise you just gain 1 hit point.
I also did a modification on death saves with durable. In the end, still no one took it. I agree with some others its probably best to rope into toughness or something...its just too niche as a feat for players to take, there are so many options that are generally just better.
  • Great weapon Master:
    • Change: rather than +10 for the -5 you instead change dice your weapon dice as follows. Note: the dice are doubled on a crit as normal...
      • d6 → 2d8 (5.5)
      • d8 → 2d10 (6.5)
      • d10 → 2d12 (7.5)
      • d12 → 2d12+2 (7.5)
      • 2d4 → 2d10 (6)
      • 2d6 → 3d8+1 (7.5)
--So if we look at the two most common THF weapons:
Greatsword: Goes from avg 7 to 14.5 (not factoring in crits which generally adds about .2-.4 DPS in their somewhere. That's an increase of 7.5.
Greataxe: Goes from 6.5 to 15, increase of 8.5.

So you did close the gap between the two weapons, as funny enough the greatsword does just a bit more damage on a crit. Further, I would say you gave a solid nerf to the feat overall without pushing it into the ground. I think its a feat people will use, but be a little more cautious with.

Overall a good change.
  • Heavy armor master:
    • Change: You reduce damage by 2 at levels 1-8, 3 from levels 9-14, and 4 from levels 15-20
    • Add: Magical weapon damage is also reduced if you are wearing magical armor.
Having had a fair number of heavy armor masters in my game, I don't think you need to increase the values. You would be surprised how easy it is for a DM to show off this feat (you look really good in the horde of mundane archers scenario). I do think adjusting for magical damage makes plenty of sense, there's really no reason this feat should stop working against higher level foes.
  • Keen mind:
    • Add: You have advantage on intelligence saving throws and pure intelligence checks (not skill checks).
--I don't think this will change anything regarding the feat's usage. What I did with the feat (and got a player to use it) is that feat gave a perfect eidetic memory and prevented any kind of memory alteration from effecting him (and he knew it if someone tried). It was not a "strong" feat...but it was a very cinematic one, the adventure involved reality shifting, and because of his perfect mind he could tell when shifts occurred. It made the character feels very cool, even if mechanically the feat was still very weak.
  • Linguist:
    • Add: You may use a spell scroll to cast (but not learn or copy into your spell book) a spell not on your spell list. The DC is 13+the spell’s level.
    • Add: You have advantage on checks to cast or copy spells from scrolls.
--I think you have something here, just take it a little further. Maybe add in speak with animals at will, immunity from written traps (like symbols and explosive runes)....it just needs a bit more.
  • Weapon Master
    • Change: You gain proficiency in all simple and martial weapons.
--I think we can take this feat so much further. Lets ramp it up with some improvised weapon notions and then sell it with a very cool schtick that nothing else gets.

1) Attack rolls that don't involve spells always apply your proficiency bonus (defacto proficiency with all weapons, but we are adding it a little bit more so that if there is ever a situation where the DM says "u don't have proficiency on that", the Weapon Master can smile and say "well actually .... ")
2) Regardless of whether you are using a weapon or an unarmed strike, you do a minimum weapon die of d6 damage (d4 if your small).
3) When you have disadvantage on attack rolls, add +2 to the roll.

So what we have here is a character that is such a jack of all trades when it comes to weapons that he's good with them no matter what. The minimum weapon damage is more flavor at the lower levels and allows the classic improvised weapon master (its a slight boost to an unarmed monk not using the defacto quarterstaff, or a decent bonus to a monk who is flavorfully choosing not to wield the defacto quarterstaff). But the real crux, disadvantage for you is a lesser condition... if your in the dark, firing at long distance, have a nasty condition....your so good with weapons that its just not as penalizing as normal. That's a really nice, solid condition that is also very flavorful.... but its not something that your going to see in the charop boards as "hokey" either. Its just a very nice thing to have when the chips are down.
 

I wanted to discuss this quickly because I think I need a bit more feedback here before I move on. This is wrt GWM.

I figured I'd cover cases of really tiny weapons, but yeah, good point.


I'll do the math myself shortly.
I did the check myself just now as I was also curious. So I did the math without crits which isn't perfect but it does make the math clean and easy and also showcases some solid breakpoints to look at.

So with the normal -5, +10. How it works is that at .95 accuracy, GMW is better until your weapon does 28 points of damage on average. That is the breakeven point where the feat and regular break even. Then for every 10% loss of accuracy, the break point drops by 4 damage. In other words.

.95 - 28
.85 - 24
.75 - 20
.65 - 16
.55 - 12
.45 - 8

If you change it to -5, +7.5 (which is what I noted above for the greatsword), it starts at 21 and drops by 3 per 10% accuracy (the math was actually really clean, more than I expected). So we now have.

.95 - 21
.85 - 18
.75 - 15
.65 - 12,
.55 - 9,
.45 - 6

So if we consider that a normal TWF fighter is going to have 18 str (probably 20 at some point), that's 11 damage. If you bump it up using THF fighting style or a 20 strength (or +1 weapon), we are now in the 13ish category, maybe 14ish with rage. So that would mean you would need to be in the higher accuracy ratings (+75% +) to get math advantage with the feat.... and with some inevitable damage scaling down the road, maybe 80-85% down the road a bit).

Now as you said, characters find creative ways to get advantage a lot, so those accuracy numbers do absolutely happen... do they happen enough for you to be comfortable wiht the numbers in your game?
 

ad_hoc

Hero
Any feat house rules that don't remove the -5/+10 are flawed.

The easiest way to fix those feats is just to make them half feats.

I think a lot of your changes are unneeded complication. The best house rules are simple and elegant.
 

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