D&D 5E Revising a few feats for balance in my home game - Thoughts?

Valdier

Explorer
I am looking at a few of the feats that I see that stand out as exceptionally weak, or exceptionally strong and trying to pair them back to a more balanced baseline.

I would very much like to get some feedback / ideas on these if there are other options you can think of or others I might be missing. Unless a feat specifies, it includes all other benefits in the PHB in addition to the following changes.

  • Defensive Duelist - Functions against all attacks in an attack action.
  • Durable - Rolling 1 on a Death Save does has no extra effect.
  • Great Weapon Master - Raises your melee weapon damage dice one step. Does not offer -5/+10
  • Keen Mind - As an action, you can end a charm, enchantment or fear effect on you. You must complete a long rest before you can use this again. You have advantage on madness saves.
    [*]Lucky - You do not re-roll dice when you have disadvantage, instead you may roll normally.
    [*]Martial Adept - Pick an attribute at the time of purchase, your Save DC is based on this attribute. You gain gain 2 superiority dice.
    [*]Moderately Armored - You do not get disadvantage on stealth checks from wearing medium armor.
  • Sharpshooter - Raises your ranged weapon damage die one step. Does not offer -5/+10
  • Weapon Master - Replace four weapons with all weapons.

Edit: updated several things
 
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Mephista

First Post
Martial adapt's problem isn't the attribute - its simple enough to have a build with the right attribute. Martial Adapt's issue is the fact that its only one superiority die per rest. After talking with others, I found that even scaling the die is not an issue. Scaling back the die and granting two dice per rest gathered more interest in my experience.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I would say that your version of weapon master is a bit too much. Part of the point of the feat is to customize your PC, to make him/her more unique. Learning all the weapons goes a little against that. If you want to make it better, add a perk, like quickly drawing the chosen weapons, or using a bonus action to gain advantage with a single attack using that weapon... Maybe you can treat one handed weapons as finesse even if they aren't?.
 

Valdier

Explorer
I would say that your version of weapon master is a bit too much. Part of the point of the feat is to customize your PC, to make him/her more unique. Learning all the weapons goes a little against that. If you want to make it better, add a perk, like quickly drawing the chosen weapons, or using a bonus action to gain advantage with a single attack using that weapon... Maybe you can treat one handed weapons as finesse even if they aren't?.

You think it's too good compared to which other feat? Currently every class has whatever weapons they need for their class. In a game with multiclassing, it really is just saving you a 1 level dip to fighter or cleric (and you get less for it).

I honestly was thinking it needs to be better. I'm still not sure anyone would take it in a game. I think it basically says "you are extensively trained in weapons, akin to a fighter, for the cost of +2 to a stat"... I'm not sure that's honestly good enough still.
 

Valdier

Explorer
Martial adapt's problem isn't the attribute - its simple enough to have a build with the right attribute. Martial Adapt's issue is the fact that its only one superiority die per rest. After talking with others, I found that even scaling the die is not an issue. Scaling back the die and granting two dice per rest gathered more interest in my experience.

I'll be honest, I think it might need both. I want Martial Adept to be an option a non-fighter might take so that is why the attribute option. I think I will also make it two dice, because I don't see that putting it beyond other mid-high end feats.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
You think it's too good compared to which other feat? Currently every class has whatever weapons they need for their class. In a game with multiclassing, it really is just saving you a 1 level dip to fighter or cleric (and you get less for it).

I honestly was thinking it needs to be better. I'm still not sure anyone would take it in a game. I think it basically says "you are extensively trained in weapons, akin to a fighter, for the cost of +2 to a stat"... I'm not sure that's honestly good enough still.

Not that it is too good, but that the effort to make it more powerful makes it less useful for customization -and less attractive. The size of feats already makes it less useful for fine tunning, making it even more broad reduces the flavor you get from it.

Maybe if you used something like

Weapon Master
You gain +1 to Dex or Str
Select six weapons, you gain one of the following benefits with each weapon (one benefit per weapon, you can choose each weapon and each benefit more than once)
- Gain proficiency with the selected weapon
- You can treat the weapon as if it had the finesse property, you can't select this benefit for heavy weapons.
- You can use a bonus action to gain advantage with the next attack roll you make using that weapon before the end of your next turn.
- You can wield the weapon using a part of your body you would not normally be able to use for weapons. Such as your feet, mouth or hair.
- When you wield the weapon, your reach with it increases 5'. - melee weapons only.
-When you use the weapon to shove, you have advantage on your Athletics/Acrobatics roll.

This has the extra benefit of making it helpful to even fighters and paladins.
 
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Psikerlord#

Explorer
I am looking at a few of the feats that I see that stand out as exceptionally weak, or exceptionally strong and trying to pair them back to a more balanced baseline.

I would very much like to get some feedback / ideas on these if there are other options you can think of or others I might be missing.

  • Defensive Duelist - Functions against all attacks in an attack action.
  • Durable - A 1 on a Death Save does not count as two failures.
  • Great Weapon Master - Raises your melee weapon damage dice one step. Does not offer -5/+10
  • Keen Mind - Once per long rest you can end a charm, enchantment or fear effect on you as a reaction. You have advantage on madness saves.
    [*]Lucky - Cancels disadvantage rather than reroll.
    [*]Martial Adept - Save DC is based on an attribute of your choice at the time the feat is acquired. You gain gain 2 superiority dice.
    [*]Moderately Armored - You do not get disadvantage on stealth checks in medium armor.
  • Sharpshooter - Raises your ranged weapon damage die one step. Does not offer -5/+10
  • Weapon Master - You are proficient in all weapons.

I think all of these changes are most excellent indeed!

edit - sorry I personally think lucky is strong but ok as is, but would also be fine using your version.
 

I would say that your version of weapon master is a bit too much. Part of the point of the feat is to customize your PC, to make him/her more unique. Learning all the weapons goes a little against that. If you want to make it better, add a perk, like quickly drawing the chosen weapons, or using a bonus action to gain advantage with a single attack using that weapon... Maybe you can treat one handed weapons as finesse even if they aren't?.

It's still a terrible feat even WITH all weapons. If you're built to fight, you already have the tools needed. Who cares if the wizard knows how to use one polearm or 10. Neither are going to help him much, and the extra options are fluff. You take a ranged and a couple of melee weapons as it stands, and the only real difference is weapon damage type, which doesnt matter in 99% of fights not involving skeletons.

I'd add +1 Str or Dex, all weapons, and tool proficiency in siege weapons.

In terms of your other feats, I'd note that Lucky is a straight up nerf at just canceling disadvantage. I personally think Lucky is too good, but would fiddle with the number of re-rolls. I changed it to "per session" myself. It removes tracking between sessions, and helps curb its power in social/exploration situation that plays out over several days with little attention to individual days (IE, you are moving through the wilderness, odds are you are only making a couple rolls a day anyways). I do reserve the right to let it refresh FASTER however.

Not sure on defensive duelist. Your proposal makes boss monsters even more of a joke than they already are in this edition, but I do think it needs something else. Maybe a "once per round" rather than using your reaction?
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
It's still a terrible feat even WITH all weapons. If you're built to fight, you already have the tools needed. Who cares if the wizard knows how to use one polearm or 10. Neither are going to help him much, and the extra options are fluff. You take a ranged and a couple of melee weapons as it stands, and the only real difference is weapon damage type, which doesnt matter in 99% of fights not involving skeletons.

I'd add +1 Str or Dex, all weapons, and tool proficiency in siege weapons.

Well, I'm a fluffy-scrubby-loony thespian, of course I would focus in flavor. I don't doubt that knowing all the weapons is more power somehow, but as you said, you don't need all weapons, after a certain point the extra weapons are meaningless, check my proposal on msg 8.
 

Defensive Duelist - Functions against all attacks in an attack action.

Hm. Problematic if the character is facing only one opponent, but then that's the point of the feat, isn't it? I can see this being too good in campaigns that favor single monster encounters. As long as it's only melee attacks I'd be willing to test it, but my gut says this is a bad idea.

Durable - A 1 on a Death Save does not count as two failures.

Sure. An insignificant benefit to an underpowered feat, IMO. I'd rather it be something like "The first time you fail a death saving throw (even a natural 1) you instead treat it as a success. You must complete a long rest before you may use this feature again." That makes you a lot harder to kill, though, since it's essentially 4 failures before 2 successes.

Great Weapon Master - Raises your melee weapon damage dice one step. Does not offer -5/+10

I'm not a fan of universal damage bonuses any more than I am of making players do cost/benefit analyses in melee. I'd rather something like, "When you're fighting a creature that is at least one size category larger than you and at least Large, your attacks with Heavy melee weapons deal an additional 1d4/1d6 damage." A good feat should enhance the character and flavor of the subject, not just make it flat out more powerful all around.

Alternately if you want a universal damage bonus, increase the minimum damage by making 1s count as 2s, or (in the case of d10 and d12) 1s and 2s count as 3s.

Keen Mind - Once per long rest you can end a charm, enchantment or fear effect on you as a reaction. You have advantage on madness saves.

I don't know what "once per long rest" means. Like it's actually ambiguous. 5e usually words things as either, "During a long rest, you may do XXXX as an action," or "As an action, you may do XXXX. You must complete a long rest before you may use this feature again." I'm not sure which you mean here.

Beyond that, this seems kind of like a Wisdom power to me.

Lucky - Cancels disadvantage rather than reroll.

Hm. I'm philosophically opposed to anything that eliminates advantage or disadvantage. Get disadvantage from 10 sources, advantage from 1, and burn a luck point? Bleah.

I'd rather reduce the feat to 2 luck points.

Martial Adept - Save DC is based on an attribute of your choice at the time the feat is acquired. You gain gain 2 superiority dice.

I disagree with the change here. Martial = Str & Dex. I don't see a problem with 2 dice, though. Superiority dice are already fairly marginal, IMO.

Moderately Armored - You do not get disadvantage on stealth checks in medium armor.[/COLOR]

Ever? For any reason? Your phrasing is a bit ambiguous, though I do know what you mean. I suppose this isn't bad, but personally I like players having to chose between +1 AC and stealthiness. I suppose adding "or take a feat" to that list isn't such a bad thing, though.

Sharpshooter - Raises your ranged weapon damage die one step. Does not offer -5/+10

Again, not a fan of universal damage bonuses. I'd rather, "When you're fighting a creature that resists weapon damage or piercing damage, your ranged weapons deal an additional 1d4/1d6 damage." There. Now you've got sniping for missing armor scales. Black arrow! I have saved you to the last.

Weapon Master - You are proficient in all weapons.

Yeah, that's what this feat should already do.

As far as my suggestions, frankly, I'm tempted to bar Polearm Master and Great Weapon Master from working together, and barring Sharpshooter and Crossbow Expert from working together. They're no longer interesting when they're that much better than everything else. I don't know of a good way to do that, however.
 
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dmnqwk

Explorer
I think you're being too harsh on GWM and Sharpshooter, only offering a meagre bonus like that.

If you feel the -5 to the roll is too easy to cancel out, consider changing it to say "this attack is made with disadvantage, regardless of other effects." That way they can't flank, or hit a prone foe and roll with advantage to counteract the -5.

I'm not sure Keen Mind goes with what you suggest. It's a roleplaying feat that you could rule allows for an eidetic memory, which is invaluable for some characters (it might allow a wizard who loses their spellbook to prepare new spells per day.

The Martial Adept offering 2 superiority dice seems fine, but I wouldnt go messing with the save DC.
Moderately Armoured is stealing an ability from Medium Armour Master, it seems redundant because there are good medium armours which dont offer the disadvantage anyway.
Weapon Master I would leave at 4 weapons of your choice, but then add an ability that says Once per day when you hit with an attack from one of those weapons you may roll an additional damage dice.
 

Well, I'm a fluffy-scrubby-loony thespian, of course I would focus in flavor. I don't doubt that knowing all the weapons is more power somehow, but as you said, you don't need all weapons, after a certain point the extra weapons are meaningless, check my proposal on msg 8.
Actually, access to all weapons can be very important in a world of randomly-generated magical items. You might think that there's no point in learning to use both a battle axe and a long sword, since they are functionally identical, but you would probably change your mind upon finding +3 weapon-that-you-can't-use.

Weapon Specialization was a big thing in earlier editions, and it did serve as a fun distinction between characters at early levels, but it quickly became a hindrance whenever a better weapon showed up that wasn't the one in which you happened to specialize. I'm fairly certain that's why it was removed in recent editions.
 

Azurewraith

Explorer
I think most of them are fine i do see lucky as a nerf to the current version as opposed to a buff.

I do miss weapon specialization yes it could be a pain but it did add some flavor to characters and brought up some good RP moments in the do i squander all my years of training making this weapon an extension of mind and body in order to use this weapon that may set things ablaze?
 

Valdier

Explorer
In terms of your other feats, I'd note that Lucky is a straight up nerf at just canceling disadvantage. I personally think Lucky is too good, but would fiddle with the number of re-rolls. I changed it to "per session" myself. It removes tracking between sessions, and helps curb its power in social/exploration situation that plays out over several days with little attention to individual days (IE, you are moving through the wilderness, odds are you are only making a couple rolls a day anyways). I do reserve the right to let it refresh FASTER however.

I agree that Lucky should have been listed as a nerf, not as a boost. I think its just too good as written.
 

Valdier

Explorer
I think you're being too harsh on GWM and Sharpshooter, only offering a meagre bonus like that.

It does offer a benefit beyond just bonus damage, but the bonus damage is fun killing. I might still revise these, but I don't mind adding minor changes to get similar style of benefits.

If you feel the -5 to the roll is too easy to cancel out, consider changing it to say "this attack is made with disadvantage, regardless of other effects." That way they can't flank, or hit a prone foe and roll with advantage to counteract the -5.

+10 damage is just too powerful. That is what it comes down to. I've seen dragons killed in a single round from this feat alone due to the massive burst of action surged dual wielders. It wasn't exciting, it was just +70 damage. That is what I want to eliminate completely. As written, it is so far beyond the power level of other feats as to become a must have in every game for every martial style character.

The Martial Adept offering 2 superiority dice seems fine, but I wouldnt go messing with the save DC.
Moderately Armoured is stealing an ability from Medium Armour Master, it seems redundant because there are good medium armours which dont offer the disadvantage anyway.

I specifically want this feat to be good for non-fighter types as well. A wizard that wants the occasional cool melee trick currently would never consider this feat. I don't like that and want that to be different. I would like to see players taking more dynamic decisions and considering feats that aren't just completely useless for them.

Weapon Master I would leave at 4 weapons of your choice, but then add an ability that says Once per day when you hit with an attack from one of those weapons you may roll an additional damage dice.

Why 4 weapons? How does 4 vs all matter at all? Just to have an arbitrary number? I like that addition as well... maybe even once per short rest.
 

dmnqwk

Explorer
Well, the reason for 4 weapons is, I assume, the highest number in any specific category (such as crossbow, or axes) but tbh arbitrary is required in a game with rules. Otherwise, why not quibble over a Bard getting "any 3 skills" why shouldn't they get all of them?

Regarding the GWM if your largest concern is 70 additional damage, limit it to once per round instead.

The concern for offering Wizards cool melee tricks is attributes are important. If you are producing wizards who have a 16 con and 8 dex that is a personal choice, but I usually like my casters to have a dex 16, meaning my casters with dex 16 are absolutely in position to take this (and my cleric had a str 14/16 can use it as well!)

Too many changes for the sake of change can seem interesting at first, but will ultimately cause a lot of confusion, especially if any of your players participate in multiple campaigns simultaneously. A simple restriction on GWM to 1/round with you is easy enough to remember, but completely altering it would cause them a lot more hassle than you would realise.
 


TheTurboTornado

First Post
I've seen dragons killed in a single round from this feat alone due to the massive burst of action surged dual wielders.

And my players killed a young green dragon at level 3 with a bunch of fireball scrolls. In the surprise round. But that's life, and I'm not banning fireball because of it.
 

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