D&D 5E How They Should Do Feats

the Jester

Legend
I realize you won't agree with my assessment and that is ok. If you give it some thought though I think you will agree that this is a superior method regardless of which edition it was initially developed in.

You make it sound like there's an objectively better choice rather than a matter of playstyle preference. I couldn't disagree more.

Personally, I would much rather have more class features so that my fighter has lots of FIGHTER!!! to him and less feats, which I can use to add some Archer! to him, but again, it's a matter of taste.
 

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Halivar

First Post
You make it sound like there's an objectively better choice rather than a matter of playstyle preference. I couldn't disagree more.

Personally, I would much rather have more class features so that my fighter has lots of FIGHTER!!! to him and less feats, which I can use to add some Archer! to him, but again, it's a matter of taste.
I don't know. Archer! with just one capital letter and one exclamation mark seems underpowered. The game needs to prevent you from accidentally making a sub-optimal FIGHTER!!!

;P
 

Sadrik

First Post
You make it sound like there's an objectively better choice rather than a matter of playstyle preference. I couldn't disagree more.

Personally, I would much rather have more class features so that my fighter has lots of FIGHTER!!! to him and less feats, which I can use to add some Archer! to him, but again, it's a matter of taste.

This is a sound point. You want lots of little programmed abilities that are class specific. I get that. Your play style. It makes more sense to me to have fewer more meaningful abilities and then move the less meaningful abilities to just options. I think feats are the best spot for that but I suppose you could do alternative class features. I think that would be a redundant level of complication though. Feats are already there and could do that.

I think they went triple feats because they wanted to condense each specialty into a single selectable block rather than break out the abilities gained over several levels. I think I liked them as specialties better. As a designer they can be broken apart into smaller bits and then bundled together in specialties to make things interesting. Ymmv.
 

the Jester

Legend
I think that the reason they've buffed feats up so much is that they're balancing them against ability increases. Which is a fine thing, except that I would rather ability increases be far less common, personally. I prefer the old days of "OMG, this magic pool gave me +1 Str!!!!!!" instead of the expectation that it'll happen that we have these days.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Feats are great as they are.

I agree. I was pretty skeptical about the new feat system when I first heard about it, but I am now very much on board, and I love the "big feats" approach. One of the things I hated about pre-5E feats was how small and fiddly most of them were.

It makes more sense to me to have fewer more meaningful abilities and then move the less meaningful abilities to just options.

To me, that's the exact opposite of how it should be. "Option" means I'm making a decision. I don't want the system to demand a lot of inconsequential decisions about a lot of little minor features. I do want the system to demand a few decisions about big important features that will have a large impact on my character.
 
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KiloGex

First Post
Remember the smaller feats are paired against a +1 stat boost. So if characters got 8 class features and 12 feats over 20 levels a novice player would only have to deal with 8 class features and 12 stat pumps.

So with this method, a fighter could also choose to never take a feat and instead bump their Strength to 32 without a single bonus from equipment.

Personally, I would much rather be able to adjust my class abilities with a pick & choose, instead of having a dozen minor feats to select. Again, I don't think that minor choices every other level are necessarily a good sign of "customization" for your character. I would much rather make a major decision every 3-4 levels than a small one that MIGHT add up to a large one every single level.
 

KiloGex

First Post
Each feat gives you a +1 to either a physical or mental ability score based on the feat.

Introduce a new feat that gives +1 to two different ability scores. If your DM chooses not to use feats this is the default, you should still get this every X levels.

Wait. So you want to give feats AND have them boost stats? So basically, you want your character to be a god by level 20?
 

KiloGex

First Post
I think creating builds is now a major piece of D&D, whether old timers like me like it or not. If the rug was pulled out, I think many would not see the game as something they would want to play and continue on with PF, 3.x or 4e even. Character customization should not be eschewed as a bug.

And I think that a lot of people now are ever in search of more rules light systems to get away from the minutia and number-crunching that D&D has evolved into between 3.x and 4. I don't know many people who have played either edition and have said "I really like the system, but I wish there were more numbers, choices, and general mechanics to juggle." Nearly everyone I know or have talked to wants this parred down and more simple system that they can have more creativity in within the gameplay itself. Eventually, too many mechanics and numbers takes you out of the character and onto the sheet; and when you have abilities from a dozen different feats all intertwining and you have to read over your sheet every time you want to swing your sword just to make sure that something isn't triggering, then everything slows down and you are no longer your character but a bunch of numbers and words.
 

Sadrik

First Post
So with this method, a fighter could also choose to never take a feat and instead bump their Strength to 32 without a single bonus from equipment.
No, there is a 20 limit. Also a +12 to stats through this and with the current system you get +2 x the number of feats you have... it is in the ballpark depending on how many feats your class has.
Personally, I would much rather be able to adjust my class abilities with a pick & choose, instead of having a dozen minor feats to select. Again, I don't think that minor choices every other level are necessarily a good sign of "customization" for your character. I would much rather make a major decision every 3-4 levels than a small one that MIGHT add up to a large one every single level.
Ok so if that is how you feel then perhaps we are on the same wavelength, class features and feats are pretty much the same (a little ability or benefit characters get). You want selectable list of class features. I could get behind that. I like having those be a little more open and that way redundant abilities are not rewritten for more than one class. Also they are much more extensible with subsequent splat books.

And I think that a lot of people now are ever in search of more rules light systems to get away from the minutia and number-crunching that D&D has evolved into between 3.x and 4.
I agree rules light is very popular. It is my preferred play mode. This edition has a lot going for it in these areas. Low scaling and less calculations. The core of the game is what is going to make it complex not necessarily the bells and whistles. The problem is restraint there was none in 3.x and 4 they made way too many stupid and redundant feats. Mearls mentioned he wanted to make one feat or spell for a concept and not have a whole bunch that did the same thing slightly differently. He was challenging himself and his design team to get it right after one pass. Not to add another version of the same concept in the next splat book. If they can accomplish that, it would really be a great thing for both players and the longevity of 5e.

I would rather ability increases be far less common, personally. I prefer the old days of "OMG, this magic pool gave me +1 Str!!!!!!" instead of the expectation that it'll happen that we have these days.
Yup!
 

Dausuul

Legend
And I think that a lot of people now are ever in search of more rules light systems to get away from the minutia and number-crunching that D&D has evolved into between 3.x and 4. I don't know many people who have played either edition and have said "I really like the system, but I wish there were more numbers, choices, and general mechanics to juggle." Nearly everyone I know or have talked to wants this parred down and more simple system that they can have more creativity in within the gameplay itself. Eventually, too many mechanics and numbers takes you out of the character and onto the sheet; and when you have abilities from a dozen different feats all intertwining and you have to read over your sheet every time you want to swing your sword just to make sure that something isn't triggering, then everything slows down and you are no longer your character but a bunch of numbers and words.

Agreed. Builds became a major part of 3.X and 4E because how you built your character had a big impact on how effective you were. I spent plenty of time honing my builds in those editions, but that doesn't mean I want to keep doing it in 5E.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
You want a programmed progression of small cookie cut abilities each level for all classes and add in a couple of big choices every now and then from feats. Literally I want the opposite of that. I want big programmed class features that really matter and smaller feats. This offers greater character customization, which only apparently was a feature. Now it is a bug?

Yeah, the sound of this is really appalling... again it feels like one gamestyle ("character builds") is being labelled "badwrongfun" because it irritates a lot of people. As a matter of fact, it often irritated me too! But WotC should realize that "character builds" was probably the gamestyle that prompted gamers to buy bootloads of books in the 3e era. Maybe today they have a much slimmed down publication scheme in mind, but at least they could show some respect to gamers who granted them the cash flow for years.

My opinion is that 5e should keep up with its promise of being inclusive. Occasionally there might be one option that really just doesn't fit with the rest and needs to be sacrificed, but this isn't really the case! Those 2 opposites alternatives (1) programmed progression with few big choices and (2) smaller choices along the way, definitely ARE compatible and can coexist, in fact we had them both in 5e until last spring, when we could still choose between one specialty vs many single feats.

There are a lot of interesting things in character customization with background and sub-class choices. But feats, to me, are looking like a blunder. A real missed opportunity.

I agree. The current feats, taken individually, aren't generally bad IMO. But I have the feeling they don't fully fit with the rest. They are just too big "bumps" at once (with some exceptions like the spell-granting feats which IMO are weak - except the first in the chain) compared to class features and subclass features. And many feats are going to overlap with each other, or with what you already have.

The key here is that at its simplest form, the game needs to be like 2e: Choose a race and class, never pick anything again.

Plus, I'm fairly certain they are trying to get rid of remembering "fiddly bits" and creating "builds". Small feats tend to encourage people to mix and match feats to create extremely niche characters with powerful mixes of abilities. For new players especially this can be daunting.

...

I really like the major themed feats from 5e because it allows me to look at the feats and say "Do I want to be offensive or defensive? I'll take the offensive feat.

But all this is already supported, thanks to the rule that nobody has to take feats. If all you want is to say "I want to be offensive", you take a stat bump to Strength without even looking at the feats list. If a second player thinks this is too generic, and wants to be offensive but in a more specific way, she can choose maybe one feat, and stat bumps every other time. If a third player wants even more fiddly bits, then she can choose a feat half of the times, and stat bumps the other half. Then comes the fourth player who wants max customization and always picks feats instead of stat bumps.

We have this system, and I think it's great. My idea is that it would be even better, if the choice was not "feat vs stat bump", but rather "feat vs stat bump vs proficiency" which (given the fact that there are lots of different proficiencies) is a much wider choice. So we don't have to drop this concept at all, but we can still improve it. But since proficiencies are "smaller", in order to match them with feats and stat bumps the solution is to cut feats in half and balance them with +1 bumps instead of +2. [Note: this does not mean that each class should get twice as many feats they get now, they could just get the same number and they would be fine]

That said, the even simpler option like 2e (never pick anything again) is in the Basic version of classes, where everything is pre-selected, and presumably the pre-selected choices will also be the least-complex ones.

I don't know. Archer! with just one capital letter and one exclamation mark seems underpowered. The game needs to prevent you from accidentally making a sub-optimal FIGHTER!!!

This is generally a good design target. I just want to say that it is a bit in contrast with another target, that of rewarding players for making good character design choices. There isn't a solution that hits both targets neatly. IMO the best that can be done is a compromise where the "spread" between an optimized character and a pseudo-random character is significant but not too large. Generally, the more choices allowed in character creation (both in the sense of how many times you have a choice in the course of 20 levels, and in the sense of how long is the list to pick from) the larger the "spread".

I think that the reason they've buffed feats up so much is that they're balancing them against ability increases. Which is a fine thing, except that I would rather ability increases be far less common, personally. I prefer the old days of "OMG, this magic pool gave me +1 Str!!!!!!" instead of the expectation that it'll happen that we have these days.

Absolutely agree... This would tie-in well with my idea that feats should be balanced against a +1 stat bumps, not +2 (without making them occur more often than now).

Once again, the only reason why they choose +2 is because of some gamers complaining that +1 on an even-numbered stat doesn't yield immediate benefits.
 

Vague Jayhawk

First Post
This is just my quick impression. It is the choice of a feat or a +1 stat boost. Feats are generally preferable, but since they are an optional addition to a game they may not be available. So even in games without feats, the players still get the +1.
 

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