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5E Remove feats and replace as magic items

Nebulous

Legend
I used to do this some in 3e, but for some reason I haven't thought of doing it in 5e. I guess because the rather bland character advancement is definitely spiced up by feats.

But I was thinking today that the array of feats is so wide, and generally uneven, with broken feats on one end, and useless feats on the other that no one ever picks, with most of the good feats generally clustered in the middle, how would work if feats were removed and replaced piecemeal by the DM as magic items? Has anyone else tried this much in 5e? You still get your 4th level +2 boost, but then that sword you find, it's not a sword +1, it's a sword with the Mage Slayer feat. And that bubbly potion is a potion of Lucky feat. And that's a quiver of enchanted elven Sharpshooter arrows. You could go on and on, taking away the +1 or +2 bonus and replacing with a feat. Magic breastplate now has the heavy armor feat. Of course you can still leave the +1 bonus if you like, but I would do one or the other not both, unless it was an extraordinary rare item.

Potions of Great Weapon Master, Ring of Grappling, Cloak of the Spell Sniper.

Has anyone else tinkered with doing that and how did it work out?
 

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Nebulous

Legend
I've never actually seen anyone take Linguist, but if you had a Headband of Intellect that did this, it might be worth attuning to.


Linguist
You have studied languages and codes, gaining the following benefits:
• Increase your Intelligence by 1, to a maximum of 20.
• You learn three languages of your choice.
• You can ably create written ciphers. Others cannot decipher a code you create unless you teach it to them, they succeed on an Intelligence check (DC = your Intelligence score + your proficiency bonus), or they use magic to decipher it.
 

Nebulous

Legend
Ring of Toughness.

Your hit point maximum increases by an amount equal to twice your level when you gain this feat. Whenever you gain a level thereafter, your hit point maximum increases by an additional 2 hit points.

So I guess the idea is you are still limited to how many items you can attune to, but it does open up the design space of swapping out feats. Swapping your Tough ring for another ring that is cool would become a difficult choice.
 


Nebulous

Legend
Also, I don't run high level games, so I would never think how this impacts 12th-20th level characters.
 

I've never actually seen anyone take Linguist, but if you had a Headband of Intellect that did this, it might be worth attuning to.


Linguist
You have studied languages and codes, gaining the following benefits:
• Increase your Intelligence by 1, to a maximum of 20.
• You learn three languages of your choice.
• You can ably create written ciphers. Others cannot decipher a code you create unless you teach it to them, they succeed on an Intelligence check (DC = your Intelligence score + your proficiency bonus), or they use magic to decipher it.
I'm a former linguist and I hate the linguist feat, and yet I love it as a magic item.

Overall I think this idea works. It's a fun way to have more differentiation in characters.
 

dave2008

Legend
I used to do this some in 3e, but for some reason I haven't thought of doing it in 5e. I guess because the rather bland character advancement is definitely spiced up by feats.

But I was thinking today that the array of feats is so wide, and generally uneven, with broken feats on one end, and useless feats on the other that no one ever picks, with most of the good feats generally clustered in the middle, how would work if feats were removed and replaced piecemeal by the DM as magic items? Has anyone else tried this much in 5e? You still get your 4th level +2 boost, but then that sword you find, it's not a sword +1, it's a sword with the Mage Slayer feat. And that bubbly potion is a potion of Lucky feat. And that's a quiver of enchanted elven Sharpshooter arrows. You could go on and on, taking away the +1 or +2 bonus and replacing with a feat. Magic breastplate now has the heavy armor feat. Of course you can still leave the +1 bonus if you like, but I would do one or the other not both, unless it was an extraordinary rare item.

Potions of Great Weapon Master, Ring of Grappling, Cloak of the Spell Sniper.

Has anyone else tinkered with doing that and how did it work out?
That is an interesting idea, but may I make a counter proposal? Why not do away with ASIs. Instead of and ASI you have to take a feat. Then through in the UA feats:

Skill Feats
Weapon Mastery Feats

Finally, top that off with a dose of Variant Class Features and I think you are likely to have a very different gaming experience. If really want to make it interesting make stats 18 max, except if your race has a bonus to a stat, you can increase the max of that stat by the same amount.
 

Nebulous

Legend
That is an interesting idea, but may I make a counter proposal? Why not do away with ASIs. Instead of and ASI you have to take a feat. Then through in the UA feats:

Skill Feats
Weapon Mastery Feats

Finally, top that off with a dose of Variant Class Features and I think you are likely to have a very different gaming experience. If really want to make it interesting make stats 18 max, except if your race has a bonus to a stat, you can increase the max of that stat by the same amount.
That's all very cool stuff Dave, I haven't seen those UA articles (I don't peruse those a whole bunch) but I think I want to focus on actually swapping out feats as magic items in this thread. Have others done it, is it balanced? Not balanced? Stuff like that.
 

Nebulous

Legend
That is an interesting idea, but may I make a counter proposal? Why not do away with ASIs. Instead of and ASI you have to take a feat. Then through in the UA feats:

Skill Feats
Weapon Mastery Feats

Finally, top that off with a dose of Variant Class Features and I think you are likely to have a very different gaming experience. If really want to make it interesting make stats 18 max, except if your race has a bonus to a stat, you can increase the max of that stat by the same amount.
To say it another way, instead of introducing a slew of alternative UA ideas, take the core feats everyone in 5e has already playtested 6 years and see if we can retrofit them into magic items.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I've done it and it works great, but I spread the feat's bullet points a little, so no item that grant the whole GWM feat. This way the effects can affect more items.

Axe of Cleaving: When you drop a creature to 0 HP, can make a weapon attack as a bonus action.
Gauntlet of Weapon expertise: Gain proficiency with 3 weapons types.
Gauntlet of Weapon Grand Mastery: You can take -5 on attack rolls to gain +10 damage on a hit.
Falconer goggles: Ignore 1/2 cover and long range penalty.
Crossbow of speed: This weapon loses the loading trait.
X (medium armor) of Comfort: Max dex bonus to AC is 3 instead of 2. Ignore stealth penalty.
Ring of X (elemental type) adept: Ignore resistance to X element and reroll 1-2 on damage rolls.
X (medium of heavy armor) of the Squire: This armor grants proficiency with X armors and shields.

You can even make equipment sets ala Diablo:

Delver's armor: Resistance to traps damage and advantage to saves against trap.
Delver's helm: Advantage to spot traps and secret doors.
Delver's boots: Doesnt not have a penalty when walking at fast pace.

When the Delver's armament is assembled on your person, you can cast Detect Trap, Knock and Arcane Lock once per day each.
etc
 

Nebulous

Legend
You can even make equipment sets ala Diablo:

Delver's armor: Resistance to traps damage and advantage to saves against trap.
Delver's helm: Advantage to spot traps and secret doors.
Delver's boots: Doesnt not have a penalty when walking at fast pace.

When the Delver's armament is assembled on your person, you can cast Detect Trap, Knock and Arcane Lock once per day each.
etc
Well goddamn, that's kinda cool!
 

the Jester

Legend
I don't have a problem with magic items that grant feats, but it sounds like you're talking about a system that basically requires the DM to give out the right items at the right times to let pcs have their level-up abilities, unless you're keeping ASIs as a part of leveling up?

If you are keeping ASIs, then I have no problem with the idea, but if you aren't, you are undermining one of my favorite aspects of 5e- the return to magic items as treasure, rather than magic items as an obligatory part of character advancement.
 

werecorpse

Explorer
Nice one Vince I realise that Ive ripped off feats for homebrew items as well. Though nit as specifically. Do you allow each wearer of the gauntlet of weapon expertise to choose the weapons or is it set which weapons?

I am also thinking of ripping of class abilities, like a potion of rage.
 

dave2008

Legend
To say it another way, instead of introducing a slew of alternative UA ideas, take the core feats everyone in 5e has already playtested 6 years and see if we can retrofit them into magic items.
Not my preference, but like I said - it is an interesting idea. If you end up doing it, let us know how it goes.
 

dave2008

Legend
I've done it and it works great, but I spread the feat's bullet points a little, so no item that grant the whole GWM feat. This way the effects can affect more items.

Axe of Cleaving: When you drop a creature to 0 HP, can make a weapon attack as a bonus action.
Gauntlet of Weapon expertise: Gain proficiency with 3 weapons types.
Gauntlet of Weapon Grand Mastery: You can take -5 on attack rolls to gain +10 damage on a hit.
Falconer goggles: Ignore 1/2 cover and long range penalty.
Crossbow of speed: This weapon loses the loading trait.
X (medium armor) of Comfort: Max dex bonus to AC is 3 instead of 2. Ignore stealth penalty.
Ring of X (elemental type) adept: Ignore resistance to X element and reroll 1-2 on damage rolls.
X (medium of heavy armor) of the Squire: This armor grants proficiency with X armors and shields.

You can even make equipment sets ala Diablo:

Delver's armor: Resistance to traps damage and advantage to saves against trap.
Delver's helm: Advantage to spot traps and secret doors.
Delver's boots: Doesnt not have a penalty when walking at fast pace.

When the Delver's armament is assembled on your person, you can cast Detect Trap, Knock and Arcane Lock once per day each.
etc
Did you allow more attunement slots or just remove attunement requirements?
 

dave2008

Legend
That's all very cool stuff Dave, I haven't seen those UA articles (I don't peruse those a whole bunch) but I think I want to focus on actually swapping out feats as magic items in this thread. Have others done it, is it balanced? Not balanced? Stuff like that.
I'm a bit old school and not a fan of ASI. However, this raises the question of the characters being OP. If they get their ASI and their feats via magic items, aren't they significantly stronger? I guess it depends how far you take it.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Did you allow more attunement slots or just remove attunement requirements?
Oh, they all require attunement. And no, I dont give them more attunement slots. I have even though of replacing ASI with imbuing an item with your PC's Resonance of Fate to create an artefact that grows in power at each ASI levels.
 

werecorpse

Explorer
Oh, they all require attunement. And no, I dont give them more attunement slots. I have even though of replacing ASI with imbuing an item with your PC's Resonance of Fate to create an artefact that grows in power at each ASI levels.
Can you give an example of how this would work?

(fwiw I’ve removed the limit on the number of attunement slots allowed - gone back to the 3e limits with some slight adjustments, game works great)
 

Nebulous

Legend
I don't have a problem with magic items that grant feats, but it sounds like you're talking about a system that basically requires the DM to give out the right items at the right times to let pcs have their level-up abilities, unless you're keeping ASIs as a part of leveling up?

If you are keeping ASIs, then I have no problem with the idea, but if you aren't, you are undermining one of my favorite aspects of 5e- the return to magic items as treasure, rather than magic items as an obligatory part of character advancement.
Yes, keep the ASI, but sprinkle in feats as magic items on top. How do I do this balanced?
 

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