• Welcome to this new upgrade of the site. We are now on a totally different software platform. Many things will be different, and bugs are expected. Certain areas (like downloads and reviews) will take longer to import. As always, please use the Meta Forum for site queries or bug reports. Note that we (the mods and admins) are also learning the new software.
  • The RSS feed for the news page has changed. Use this link. The old one displays the forums, not the news.

Feats or Ability Increases

Xeviat

Explorer
Hi everyone. A lot of players in my group would like to boost the complexity of character building in 5E. We're talking about breaking up the feats and giving more of them. We're also talking about moving feats or ASIs into the level progression, rather than the class progression.

Which would you move?

Yes, this will be a player power increase, but I'm prepared to deal with that on the DM side. I'm looking at splitting the feats in two and then giving out more in the progression, so it seems easier to give out feats with levels and leave ASIs in the classes, but I kind of like the idea of ASIs being fixed in the level progression because it hurts multiclassing less.

Thoughts?
 

Shiroiken

Explorer
If you're going to split them up, I'd give Feats at ASI levels and give a +1 to an ability score at every even character level. This allows a slow buildup, rather than a sudden boost at every 4 levels.
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
[MENTION=57494]Xeviat[/MENTION] - i just put it together. Judging from all the proposed change questions that you keep making threads about I think you and your players want to play 3e or 3.5e. Nearly every question is asking about going back to how that edition handled things.

Int to skills, micro feats, etc.
 

Xeviat

Explorer
[MENTION=57494]Xeviat[/MENTION] - i just put it together. Judging from all the proposed change questions that you keep making threads about I think you and your players want to play 3e or 3.5e. Nearly every question is asking about going back to how that edition handled things.

Int to skills, micro feats, etc.

3E has waaaay too much baggage. I would have went with Pathfinder if I was married to 3E.
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
Hi everyone. A lot of players in my group would like to boost the complexity of character building in 5E. We're talking about breaking up the feats and giving more of them. We're also talking about moving feats or ASIs into the level progression, rather than the class progression.

Which would you move?

Yes, this will be a player power increase, but I'm prepared to deal with that on the DM side. I'm looking at splitting the feats in two and then giving out more in the progression, so it seems easier to give out feats with levels and leave ASIs in the classes, but I kind of like the idea of ASIs being fixed in the level progression because it hurts multiclassing less.

Thoughts?
Give out your proposed feats on levels 2, 6, 10 etc. Base this benefit on character level. So multiclassers can lose out on this as well.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
Hi everyone. A lot of players in my group would like to boost the complexity of character building in 5E. We're talking about breaking up the feats and giving more of them. We're also talking about moving feats or ASIs into the level progression, rather than the class progression.

Which would you move?

Yes, this will be a player power increase, but I'm prepared to deal with that on the DM side. I'm looking at splitting the feats in two and then giving out more in the progression, so it seems easier to give out feats with levels and leave ASIs in the classes, but I kind of like the idea of ASIs being fixed in the level progression because it hurts multiclassing less.

Thoughts?
Feats vs. ASI is a Faustian balancing act. Do you get cool thing X, or math bonus Y. We've seen feedback that at high levels featless games the ASI loses a lot of it's luster. So I'm not sure I would split them up - the either or is part of the complexity of character creation. Which fits better. Giving piles of everything is the wrong type of complexity - the overload of too many choices, always maxed prime ability scores (so no one is special), and the like.

This also changes the value of the half-feats a lot. If you know you are going to max your primary ability score at 8th (*yawn* We're all unique in the same way), and every other ASI past then will be advancing other ability scores, then a feat that gives +1 to an ability score and a weak bonus is a lot less appealing then a strong bonus.

Because of the cap on ability scores, additional ASIs lose value over time as you enhance less and less important things. Giving ASIs plus feats means that classes that give out extra ASI will get hit sooner and harder by this. So the Fighter and the Rogue will both be nerfed a bit in comparison to the other classes.

So, if that convinced you and you are keeping feats & ASIs from the same bucket, I would not move them to character level progression. It only matters for multiclass characters, so I'll just address that.

First, it is a balance point for multiclassing vs. singleclassing, but also mutliclassing vs. many-multiclassing and cherry-picking. You mention you don't mind a power increase, but this is an uneven power increase. Some character builds getting the boost of the cherry picking and not have the corresponding slowness of ASIs. So some characters only will get a boost.

The other thing is much more prosaic, but a real downer - dead levels. You'll have levels where you just don't get anything. It really sucks to hit a new level and it's just HPs. For the most part nothing else, not just class features but also things like new spell levels, proficiency increases (except 12th) or other advancements.

This isn't negating your ideas - if you want to give out more you can - just leave them connected to class and make it a choice vs. ASI or feat so to keep building interesting and full of tradeoffs so the characters don't all develop a sameness.
 

ccs

39th lv DM
3E has waaaay too much baggage. I would have went with Pathfinder if I was married to 3E.
So you're wanting to play PF disguised as 5e....:)

Just hand out 5e ASIs every 3 character lvs, & a 5e feat every 4 class lvs just like now.
Keep the 5e fighter ASI/Feat bonus.
Keep the 5e bonus feat for variant humans.

Oh, and stop fretting about balance. Just do it old-school style & apply your changes to actual play.
Keep what works/proves most fun, tweak or discard what doesn't & let us know how the grand experiment went.

Oh, & don't forget to get your players input on alot of this stuff - because they're the ones who're going be using them.
 

Shiroiken

Explorer
Do anybody have consider or try to play with only feat and no ASI?
I have taken a serious look at this. Unfortunately, the Feats are not particularly balanced, with about half a dozen feats being featured in most campaigns. If you remove the ability score option, then everyone is going to have most of those feats (particularly Lucky and Resilient, which are awesome for just about any character). Either a bunch of new feats would have to come out, or I would have to re-balance the existing feats to make it work out. I did realize that the +1 half feats would become VERY interesting for people with an odd ability score, but would be almost worthless if you have an even score.
 

GlassJaw

Explorer
This is one of my big "projects" for 5E.

Overall, I like the feat system. That said, I do want more character customization. Feats are too "all of nothing" in 5E. Since you only get 1 every 4 levels - and that they compete with an ASI - makes the cost very high. You simply aren't going to see many in play, especially since most campaigns end at level 10 or 12ish.

And that's all without even taking into account the imbalance across the feats themselves. Since the opportunity to take a feat is so rare, it exacerbates the power divide from the top tier feats and everything else.

The system I've been working on grants every character 1 "feat point" per level. A ASI of +1 costs 2 points. Ability point increases are divorced from all feats. Every feat is then given a point cost. Players can spend their feat points whenever they level and can save them.

This system allows for both increased customization but also the rebalancing of the "problem" feats. I've also been considering requiring prerequisites for some feats.

Here's what I have so far:

Code:
Ability Score Increase	2
Alert	3
Athlete	1
 - Climber	1
Actor	1
 - Mimicry	1
Charger	2
Crossbow Expert	2
 - Hand Crossbow Expert	1
Defensive Duelist	3
Dual Wielder	3
Dungeon Delver	2
 - Trap Expert	1
Durable	2
Elemental Adept	3
Grappler	2
Great Weapon Master	6
Healer	3
Heavily Armored	2
Heavy Armor Master	2
Inspiring Leader	3
Keen Mind	1
Lightly Armored	2
Linguist (2 languages)	1
 - Cryptographer	1
Lucky	4
Mage Slayer	3
Magic Initiate	3
Martial Adept	3
Medium Armor Master	2
Mobile	3
Moderately Armored	2
Mounted Combat	3
Observant	2
 - Lip-Reader	1
Polearm Master	4
Resilient	2/3?
Ritual Caster	3
Savage Attacker	3
Sentinel	4
Sharpshooter	6
Shield Master	4
Skilled (1 new skill/tool prof)	1
Skill Expert (prof x2)	1
Skulker	3
Spell Sniper	3
Tavern Brawler	2
Tough	4
War Caster	4
Weapon Master (2 weapons)	1
 

Ohmyn

Villager
Like what GlassJaw posted, I'd advise heavily considering the power of individual feats and considering their value individually, and not just adding a blanket cost to feats if you're looking to increase the amount people can grab. I see you plan to "split the feats in two", but I'm not sure what you mean by that, so I'll just toss a random point to consider on that note.

I haven't personally thought about this a lot, but what immediately comes to mind is I'd split the feats into 3 categories: those that affect damage output directly, those that grant an ability score increase, and then everything else. You can grant an ASI at every 4 character levels as opposed to class levels; however, if you gain an ASI from an actual class, you swap that entirely for any feat that has a single ASI built in. This way classes that get ASIs, and people that opt to stick to one class anyway, still gain something at their ASI levels, but it's not an entirely free selection to stack on top of other free selections. The feats that give an ASI tend to be things like gaining a proficiency in a save (Resilience), some form of armor proficiency (Lightly Armored), a significant boost to a skill (Observant), etc. They don't tend to be things that can give a significant combat damage boost, like Crossbow Expert, Sharpshooter, Polearm Master, Great Weapon Fighter, etc.

I find that the extra attack and damage increase feats tend to be the most powerful when players are able to stack them, so I'd be less reserved in handing those out. If the feat somehow gives you extra attacks, or increases your damage directly, it falls into this category. You don't want everyone to be the same because they can all start out with Crossbow Expert and Sharpshooter right out the gate, or all start with Polearm Master and either Great Weapon Fighter or Sentinel. Everyone will likely want to start with those, and the people that don't are going to very rapidly fall behind in damage output, making balancing encounters quite difficult with such a heavy disparity. For this reason, those feats perhaps should require the player to spend their actual ASIs at every 4 levels to obtain, as opposed to being able to grab for free in some way.

The "other" category of feats, AKA the ones that give neither an ASI or direct attack increase, can probably be given out a bit more openly, something like every 5 character levels, or whatever you want to come up with. These tend to be feats like Dungeon Delver, Grappler, Healer, Inspiring Leader, etc. I feel that these ones are the ones that add the most extra flavor to the individual characters, and getting one free every 5 levels or so should not be overwhelming. If you want you could maybe give one of these out at level 1 as well, just so they can start with that little bit of extra personalization, but I'd weight whether or not you feel you're giving people too much first (maybe make some test builds and see what you can do).

With all of this, ignoring a free level 1 feat, a character will be the same as normal until level 4. At level 4, they get the normal ASI, even if multiclassing. If they didn't multiclass, on top of the normal ASI they get a free feat that offers an additional ASI, such as Observant or Resilience. At level 5, everyone gets a free feat that does not give an ASI nor give extra attacks or damage output, such as Healer or Tough. If they're multiclassing all willy-nilly, they may not see any extra benefit until level 10 after this, but they'll still get their full ASI at 8 regardless, and another free "other" feat at level 10. People that stick to a single class that gives extra ASIs like Fighter or Rogue, should maybe still be allowed to spend the extra ASI levels (meaning not 4, 8, 12, etc), and grab any feat they want, since it is a class feature that would normally not be limited; however, if you do feel it OP to do so on top of all of the free feats they could get, and the free ASI feat at level 4, maybe limit these to one or two of the feat categories as you see fit.

I just said all of this as it came to me, so maybe it's full of holes, but it's hopefully at least food for thought.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
If you're going to split them up, I'd give Feats at ASI levels and give a +1 to an ability score at every even character level. This allows a slow buildup, rather than a sudden boost at every 4 levels.

Sounds interesting would be more so if every +1 was functionally more meaningful
 

Xeviat

Explorer
For class balance sake, moving ASIs to character levels and leaving feats where they are (and adjusting the +stat feats) could be the easiest way to do it. I'd end up having to rebalance the feats and add a lot more, but it could prove good for giving my players the ability to customize their characters beyond their subclasses.
 

Horwath

Explorer
I have added bonus feats at lvls 1,5,9,13,17,20

they have to be racial feats, skill feats from UA, and "weak" feats from PHB
 

Advertisement

Top