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D&D 5E Feat for extra reactions?

My battlemaster player has been saying that he doesn't feel like he has enough control in combat with only one reaction. I'm aware that extra reactions are potentially suuuper strong -- they're what the cavalier gets as its 18th-level feature, after all. But I do try to be responsive to concerns like this. So I'm looking to homebrew a feat that gives him what he wants without being dominant. A few first drafts:

COMBAT REFLEXES
  • Increase your Dexterity score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • When you use your reaction, you can regain the use of your reaction at the end of the current turn. Once you have used this ability, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

PUSHED COMBAT REFLEXES
- When you use your reaction, you can regain the use of your reaction at the end of the current turn. You can use this ability a number of times equal to your Dexterity modifier, then you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

TACTICAL RESPONSE
Prerequisite: Superiority dice
- When you use a reaction, if you spend a superiority dice as part of that reaction, you regain the use of your reaction at the end of the current turn.

READY FOR ANYTHING
- When you use a reaction, you regain the use of your reaction at the end of the current turn, but you can't perform the same reaction until the start of your next turn.

COUNTER COMBO
- When you use a reaction to make an attack, if the attack hits, you regain the use of your reaction at the end of the current turn.

HOLD THE LINE
- When you use the Attack action on your turn, you can forgo one or more attacks. If you do, you gain two extra reactions for each attack you gave up. You can't use more than one reaction per turn, and you lose these reactions at the beginning of your next turn.
 

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All your "at the end of the current turn" implies to me (and maybe I have the meaning/rules wrong) that if the PC is last in initiative it will behave very differently than if they are first in initiative. Why not just let them re-use their reaction one per short rest?
 



6ENow!

The Game Is Over
FWIW this is what we use. Short and sweet:

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All your "at the end of the current turn" implies to me (and maybe I have the meaning/rules wrong) that if the PC is last in initiative it will behave very differently than if they are first in initiative. Why not just let them re-use their reaction one per short rest?
Like @NotAYakk said, it's the current turn of whomever is acting. Orc A moves, you react, you get the reaction back at the end of the orc's turn so you have it on Orc B's turn. It's just there to put a hard limit on reactions of one per turn, which is consistent in every WotC extra-reaction feature I'm aware of and seems generally sensible.

I'd tell them to quit whining. An 18th level class feature isn't appropriate as a feat at 1st level. But if you must, I agree that the "current turn" needs to go. Way too strong. Once per short rest is plenty good.
The character isn't 1st level, I'm deliberately not replicating the 18th level class feature in any of the feats I proposed here, the "current turn" wording doesn't do whatever you think it does, and my player and good friend isn't whining. But thank you for your input, it was very helpful otherwise.
 


I would consider something adapted from the Mark combat option in the DMG. Primarily, I don't want PCs to have multiple spell reactions. One Counterspell a round is enough thanks.

Combat Reflexes
Your opportunity attacks and combat superiority maneuvers which require reactions (if you have any) don’t expend your reaction, but you can’t make the attack if anything, such as the incapacitated condition or the shocking grasp spell, is preventing you from taking reactions. You are still limited to one reaction per turn.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I would consider something adapted from the Mark combat option in the DMG. Primarily, I don't want PCs to have multiple spell reactions. One Counterspell a round is enough thanks.
Is that an issue with how reaction spells or just that one is designed?
 

Is that an issue with how reaction spells or just that one is designed?

Opportunity attacks are intended to always be there every round. They're already unlimited (up to 1 a round). Maneuvers aren't unlimited, but they're not much more powerful than a cantrip (any maneuver that was listed as a 1st level spell would never be played, at least), and War Caster already lets you opportunity attack with a cantrip. That's only a third of what that feat does and the other two effects are arguably better. One effect (advantage on concentration saving throws due to damage) definitely is.

On the other hand, spells in general are balanced around the idea that you can only expend them so quickly. That's the action economy at work. Spells that are reactions are both more powerful because you can cast them essentially without spending an action, and more limited because you have to wait for the trigger to happen. However, it also means that you have to make a hard choice. Do you cast Counterspell, Shield, or Absorb Elements? You can't do more than one. Breaking that restriction drastically increases the potency of reaction spells because they suddenly actually have no action cost and they have triggers like "you're hit by an attack" or "someone casts a spell". Those triggers happen all the time. None of these spells were designed around that.

There are a total of six spells between the PHB and XGtE that are reactions, and in my experience the three I mentioned are a routine component of every spellcaster's arsenal who has them on their list.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Opportunity attacks are intended to always be there every round. They're already unlimited. Maneuvers aren't unlimited, but they're not much more powerful than a cantrip (any maneuver that was listed as a 1st level spell would never be played, at least),
I agree
and War Caster already lets you opportunity attack with a cantrip. That's only a third of what that feat does and the other two effects are arguably better. One effect (advantage on concentration saving throws due to damage) definitely is.
Sounds like a solid feat this to establish the idea not being op.
On the other hand, spells in general are balanced around the idea that you can only expend them so quickly. That's the action economy at work. Spells that are reactions are both more powerful because you can cast them essentially without spending an action, and more limited because you have to wait for the trigger to happen. However, it also means that you have to make a hard choice. Do you cast Counterspell, Shield, or Absorb Elements? You can't do more than one. Breaking that restriction drastically increases the potency of reaction spells because they suddenly actually have no action cost and they have triggers like "you're hit by an attack" or "someone casts a spell". Those triggers happen all the time. None of these spells were designed around that.

There are a total of six spells between the PHB and XGtE that are reactions, and in my experience the three I mentioned are a routine component of every spellcaster's arsenal who has them on their list.
OK sold.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
One thing a fighter might be able to do is trade Extra Attacks for reactions, with the condition that the additional reactions must have different triggers.

This presents a trade-off. You can gain additional opportunity attacks, but you need to anticipate the enemy's actions wisely in order to gain that benefit.

It's also a potential power-up for the Sentinel feat in certain scenarios (i.e. multiple attackers trying to move away from or bypass the fighter PC without using Disengage).
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Once thing a fighter might be able to do is trade Extra Attacks for reactions, with the condition that the additional reactions must have different triggers.
I think it was kind of implausible this guy could do 4 attacks and only react once.... hmmmm .
 

delph

Explorer
In most of use it isn't owerpowered, but there are 2 situation, when it is - Sneak attacks and Smites. You can deal mega damage per turn...
 

I think a feat that allowed you to make an extra reaction once per rest (like action surge for actions) would be reasonable. I can think of some potential abuse, but by limiting to once per rest (short or long) it shouldn't be too much of an issue.
 

Horwath

Hero
I think a feat that allowed you to make an extra reaction once per rest (like action surge for actions) would be reasonable. I can think of some potential abuse, but by limiting to once per rest (short or long) it shouldn't be too much of an issue.

that would be worst feat ever.
 

that would be worst feat ever.
How so? I find Savage Attacker to by the worst by far, with Charger fitting the same distance between it and the next worse. Even as is, it's still better than those turds. Let's take it as a basic concept, however, then consider the following:

  • Slap an ability score boost (probably Dex) with the ability and it's no worse than: Athlete, Actor, Keen Mind, Linguist, Medium Armor Master, and Weapon Master.
  • Toss in another similar type ability or two and it's no worse than: Grappler, Mage Slayer, Martial Adept, Mounted Combatant, Ritual Caster, Sentinel, or Skulker.
They all perform the exact same thing: allowing a character to break 1 or 2 minor rules at that cost of +2 to their primary ability score. Is it worth it? In all the above, I'd say absolutely not, but others disagree. However, they do allow a very specific character concept to arise, such as the Battlemaster PC the OP described.
 

Horwath

Hero
Feat:
Combat reflexes; requirements: 13 dex, +1 to str or dex
You have 2 reactions per round. You can only use one reaction per trigger.
 

delph

Explorer
Feat:
Combat reflexes; requirements: 13 dex, +1 to str or dex
You have 2 reactions per round. You can only use one reaction per trigger.
get +1 DEX/STR and 2 reactions is overpowerd. Maybe 2 "extra" reactions per short rest. Or 1 "extra reaction" when you roll an initiative... As many other half-feats.

When you take Second Chance feat - you'll get +1 Dex and 1 per initiative roll chance to reroll enemies roll.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
The basic calculus of reactions is this.

If your build invests in extra reactions, it is because you have a way to trigger them reliably at modest cost.

So the value of extra reactions is similar to the value of extra attacks, minus a tad. Then there are diminishing returns on it.

And it isn't hard to get reactions pretty often. Sentinel feat, for example. Or Dissonant Whispers and a number of other spells. Or polearm mastery with some positioning and pushing.

Having this as a level 18 capstone in a subclass that already grants easy access to reactions is one thing; you can bake the power of "every reaction is worth almost an attack" into that subclass. Doing it as a feat means you have to consider all of the ways at much lower levels you can pull off a build based on it.

Action economy is extremely powerful.

---

Now, you can do something like this:

Combat Reflexes
When you expend a reaction to make a melee weapon attack when a creature leaves your threatened area, you can regain the reaction at the end of the current turn. You cannot do this again until you dodge as an action (not a bonus action) or complete a rest.

You'll notice I restricted it highly. It permits you to hold a line against multiple foes slightly better.
 
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