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Feat Points

CapnZapp

Legend
A framework to avoid having to houserule feats.

§ You gain one feat point every level, immediately spendable at that level (you can spend 3 at level three, 4 at level four etc)
§ You may only make one purchase every other level. (That is, if you spend one or more feat points at level three, you must wait for level five before spending more feat points)

§ Fighters and Rogues gain a bonus feat point every even class level (they can spend 3 at level two, 6 at level four etc)
§ Variant Humans start with 2* bonus feat points (they can spend 3 at level 1 etc)
*) not 4

§ A feat costs 4 feat points, with the following exceptions:
- Charger, Dungeon Delver, Grappler and Weapon Master cost 2 feat points each
§ Alert, Crossbow Expert, Elven Accuracy (XGE), Mobile, Polearm Master, Prodigy (XGE), Resilient, Sentinel, Shield Master, and War Caster cost 6 feat points each
§ Great Weapon Master, Lucky, and Sharpshooter cost 8 feat points

§ An Ability Score Increase costs 4 feat points

Optional variant:
§ An ASI increasing your score to the maximum* costs 6 feat points
*) normally 20

Optional variant: Encouraging racial feats to differentiate races more.
§ You start with 2 feat points only spendable on racial feats for your race. If you never purchase a racial feat these points remain unused.
§ You may purchase a racial feat at first level, even if this brings your feat points into the negative. Example: a Deep Gnome takes the Svirfneblin Magic feat at first level and is at 1 (for level) +2 (racial feat points) −4 (cost of feat) = −1 feat points. At second level she is at 0 feat points. At fourth level she could buy a regular feat costing 2 feat points.

Optional variant: Starting with a feat. For some feats it makes sense to be born with them. This is a variant since it greatly diminishes the purpose of these rules.
§ You may purchase any feat at first level even if this brings your feat points into the negative, with your DMs permission. This could include feats such as Actor, Keen Mind, Linguist, even Lucky.

Got thinking after perusing this:
feat-tiers.png
https://thinkdm.wordpress.com/2018/01/13/feat-strength-tiers/

Zapp
 
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§ An Ability Score Increase costs 4 feat points
Just to clarify, by "Ability Score Increase", do you mean 1 point towards ability scores, or do you mean 2 points amongst the ability scores?

I might suggest that each +1 to an ability score only cost 2 Feat points.

Or perhaps, extend the points-buy character creation ability score table, and each feat point can be spent as a point there. So increasing from 11 to 12 will only cost 1 feat points, but increasing from 13 to 14 will cost 2.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
This makes sense, but if I’m homebrewing I’d rather adjust the feats to make them better balanced.
 


CapnZapp

Legend
Just to clarify, by "Ability Score Increase", do you mean 1 point towards ability scores, or do you mean 2 points amongst the ability scores?
I mean exactly what the rulebook means :)

"you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two Ability Scores of your choice by 1."

I might suggest that each +1 to an ability score only cost 2 Feat points.
Sure, if you must. It might allow you to gain a 20 in your prime stat two levels earlier, so I'm not adopting it myself.
 




Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Thanks for stating your goal, that makes it easy to evaluate in that context.

I think this works well. A few questions or comments but overall I'm positive to this.

What is the purpose of being able to spend every other level? The only times I can see it coming up are a variant human picking up a 2 point feat at 1st and 2nd, and a fighter or rogue getting a 2 point feat on an even level even if they spent everything the level before. Doesn't seem like harmful enough corner cases.

I like that fighter/rogues get on even levels - reduces cherry picking via multiclassing. I'm assuming that's even class level - that it doesn't matter the order you take the class.

Rogues get less and slower bonus ASI then fighters, would it make sense to have them get a bonus on a level divided by three?

This seems a big boon to multiclassing, since they lose nothing not aiming for ASI levels - as a matter of fact except for spellcasters since ASI levels are now dead it encourages cherry-picking 1-3 levels. This I'd want to address somehow.

This leaves dead levels, which seems to be a big design no-no.

Two thoughts that would address those two last points (doing one or the other, not both):

Alternative 1: Replace the "no buy on back to back" levels with "You can not have more feats/ASIs then your classes would have provided. Variant humans get +1 to this cap."

Alternative 2: Replace "1 feat point per level" with "2 feat points for on every even class level". (With fighters/rogues getting their increase on top). This would mean that with multiclassing there is a cost for just dipping one level, or for leaving a class permanently after getting the level 5 power bump.

Again, these are small questions; as a whole I like what you have.
 


CapnZapp

Legend
Thanks for stating your goal, that makes it easy to evaluate in that context.

I think this works well. A few questions or comments but overall I'm positive to this.
Thank you.

What is the purpose of being able to spend every other level?
Reduced analysis paralysis...? You're right, if there aren't any actual non-corner cases it can be removed.

I'm assuming that's even class level
Class level yes indeed.

Rogues get less and slower bonus ASI then fighters, would it make sense to have them get a bonus on a level divided by three?
To be honest I don't think Rogues are so good, so I didn't bother complicating things.

This seems a big boon to multiclassing, since they lose nothing not aiming for ASI levels - as a matter of fact except for spellcasters since ASI levels are now dead it encourages cherry-picking 1-3 levels. This I'd want to address somehow.
True.

Technically you should gain 4 feat points every four class levels. Or only be allowed to spend feat points at certain levels.

But to be frank, that would kill the elegance - it would make the whole houserule fall apart IMO.

I don't have a solution. Maybe accept that if this change in multiclassing is unacceptable to a certain DM this houserule might not be right for him or her. To other DMs this is not a bug - in fact, to some DMs it is a desirable fix (not that I intended it as such).
 

Horwath

Hero
To be honest, greatweapon master and sharpshooter are great feats, but they are NOT worth 2 feats. Not even close.

I get that many people are iritated by those two feats but double cost? No!

I would suggest a little more balanced scale:

ASI: +1 to any ability; 2pts. You could make 19->20 worth 3 pts.

Feat: 4pts.

Good feat: 5pts(GMW, PAM, SS, CE)

Bad feat: 3pts(skilled, grappler, tavernbrawler, linguist, dungeon delver, skulker, observant, dual wielder, keen mind, charger, mounted combat, savage attacker, weapon master, athlete, actor, durable, armor prof feats, medium armor master, elemental adept)
 
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CapnZapp

Legend
To be honest, greatweapon master and sharpshooter are great feats, but they are NOT worth 2 feats. Not even close.

I get that many people are iritated by those two feats but double cost? No!

I would suggest a little more balanced scale:

ASI: +1 to any ability; 2pts. You could make 19->20 worth 3 pts.

Feat: 4pts.

Good feat: 5pts(GMW, PAM, SS, CE)

Bad feat: 3pts(skilled, grappler, tavernbrawler, linguist, dungeon delver, skulker, observant, dual wielder, keen mind, charger, mounted combat, savage attacker, weapon master, athlete, actor, durable, armor prof feats, medium armor master, elemental adept)
We need to discuss what you believe my reasons for creating this are.

Let me state my goals and you can then say how that differs from what you thought my goals were.

My goal is to actually change the way the game is played. To be blunt, a feat such as GWM needs to be heavily discouraged.

Every time a player goes GWM "NOT worth 2 feats. Not even close." or GWM "Double Cost? No!" and instead opts for the other choices that's a victory for the system, not a defeat.

The point isn't to slightly penalize but generally keep GWM:ers around. The point is to drastically cull the number of GWM:ers.

The point is to make other feats see usage. This only happens if players actually change their choices.

(The point is also to not have to ban or houserule the actual feats)

I fear your counter-proposal would change so little... I would honestly have to ask why even bother to houserule at all, I'm afraid, Horwath.
 

Horwath

Hero
We need to discuss what you believe my reasons for creating this are.

Let me state my goals and you can then say how that differs from what you thought my goals were.

My goal is to actually change the way the game is played. To be blunt, a feat such as GWM needs to be heavily discouraged.

Every time a player goes GWM "NOT worth 2 feats. Not even close." or GWM "Double Cost? No!" and instead opts for the other choices that's a victory for the system, not a defeat.

The point isn't to slightly penalize but generally keep GWM:ers around. The point is to drastically cull the number of GWM:ers.

The point is to make other feats see usage. This only happens if players actually change their choices.

(The point is also to not have to ban or houserule the actual feats)

I fear your counter-proposal would change so little... I would honestly have to ask why even bother to houserule at all, I'm afraid, Horwath.

I understand your goals, then just BAN GWM and SS or change them. Having them cost 2 feats is exactly the same as baning them, you just don't say it exclusively.

There is no debate in +4 str or GWM. Math is 100% on +4 str side. Even with +2 str vs. GWM, +2 str is better vs higher AC monsters.
 


Horwath

Hero
I have yet to have any player use math to make a character choice. Of course I have only had 14 players in 30+ years of playing :)

Mostly agree, but this is not the topic of this thread.

But if a players has two options that he can take and both describe the character he wants to create, they will take the better one.
 

It might be worth thinking about allowing players to spend feat points to buy skill or even save proficiencies directly, without going via buying full feats.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
There is no debate in +4 str or GWM. Math is 100% on +4 str side. Even with +2 str vs. GWM, +2 str is better vs higher AC monsters.
While true, that does neglect the fact that GWM/SS stack with 20 Str/Dex. The weight of the choice simply forces you to change prioritization, it doesn't have to be an either/or choice.

Increasing the price also keeps them away from optimizers but leaves them available for concept-centered roleplayers, which I think is a perfectly reasonable decision to make.

I also favor houserules that let me PCs realize concepts at lower levels, so the optional rules to purchase concept feats at lower levels, and the fact the system subtly encourages 1-3 level multiclass dips, seem more like features to me.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
The real point to take away from this system isn't to quibble over the "cost" of the various feats... every DM should know what feats are unbalanced for their particular table (either over or under) and can adjust costs appropriately... but whether the system accomplishes what it is meant to accomplish.

In my opinion based on past experiences with other systems that had "point costs" for various things during the expenditure of XP... this will probably work well. I am reminded of 7th Sea 1st edition, where your XP could be spent various ways... low-cost to level a single knack (skill), larger cost to buy new backgrounds, and very large costs to level up your ability scores. And it was always a question we had to ask ourselves between each session: Do we spend a couple points now to boost a knack that we think is going to possibly be important in the next session or two... or do we just hoard our XP and wait the four, five, six sessions until we can finally spend them to boost an ability score (but which will them apply much more often across the board to all applicable knacks and other rolls.) The whole "delayed gratification" conundrum.

This system for feats accomplishes the same thing. Do you take a quick 2 point feat when the points are available because they are cheap and "ready now", or do you hold off for four, six, eight levels to finally get that "big gun" of a feat that has more oomph, but for which you get nothing up until then? It's a major decision.

In fact... it's along the same lines as people who try and put together "uber-builds" that are grossly overpowered (as overpowered as 5E can truly be) but for which all the multiclassing and whatnot doesn't allow it to truly come "online" until character level 12 or something. And it begs the question whether you really want to slog through 11 levels of the character not working very well just for the switch to finally get flipped when you reach 12? Just how delayed are you willing to make your gratification?
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I understand your goals, then just BAN GWM and SS or change them. Having them cost 2 feats is exactly the same as baning them, you just don't say it exclusively.

There is no debate in +4 str or GWM. Math is 100% on +4 str side. Even with +2 str vs. GWM, +2 str is better vs higher AC monsters.

Since this thread is about offering an alternative to banning (or house rule changing) them, I'm not sure what to say...

Your other points have already been addressed by other posters.
 

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