log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E To use or not to use feats

Snoring Rock

First Post
It could be play style, but I have allowed feats in my games. The players did have struggles from 1st – 3rd levels but after that they really started playing well above their actual level. The balance tends to weigh in favor a great deal toward the players. They were at 5th level taking out 7-8 level (by the book) encounters without serious danger.

I am removing feats this next time around and as far as I can see there should be no problems, but I do have some concern for the fighter. I see people post here that without feats, the fighters really suffer. I don’t see it but I am open to hear the logic. Anyone here have more experience with and without feats? Do you add feats to your monsters or play them out the MM by the book?
 

log in or register to remove this ad



cmad1977

Adventurer
You'll be fine without them I think. I started without and the fighter classes did fine.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 


phantomK9

Explorer
Not only do I allows feats, I give everyone one a free one at first level. Yes that means humans start with 2 feats.

Honestly, feats are not the problem. They don't really add much more power to the characters. I have several characters in my game who have feats that don't even deal with combat.

No, the real problem is the CR of creatures. They really are not as hard as the CR would suggest. I've found that if I simply add about 20% to 50% more Hit Points to most creatures then the CR is much more appropriate to use as a metric to judge how tough a fight may be.
 

I tried a campaign without Feats. The players mostly did fine without. I think that, with all the other moving parts in the game, Feats don't add all that much complexity; five fighters with feats is quicker than five wizards without feats, and most parties fall somewhere in the middle. In terms of power, it really depends. I don't allow a couple (Sharpshooter, Great Weapon Master). I've seen players take feats that were worthless in terms of power, but very potent in terms of suiting theme (e.g. Magic Initiate Druid on a 4 elements monk who wanted a bit of nature power). They're more interesting than straight number improvements, which is what the ASIs basically give. Many feats open up a style of character, at least more convincingly than they'd be without. For example, the Guy With Shield, or the Slippery Rogue both work better (thematically and mechanically) with Shield Master and Mobile, respectively. Since I don't allow Multiclassing, it's a fairly important tool for my players to mix flavour across classes. However, it's unfortunate that the feats available to casters are fairly dull, and don't really open doors in the same way.

Fighters get more ASIs than others, and I believe that the argument goes that, without Feats, they quickly run out of stuff that's worthwhile; if you're playing a guy with a Greatsword and Platemail, once you've got Str and Con 20, you'll basically stall; raising Cha is fun, but likely not that useful or beneficial for them. In a game with Feats, they could think about Heavy Armor Master, Great Weapon Master, Savage Attacker, Tough, even Tavern Brawler, all as ways to develop the character interestingly and focus on the 'theme' of the character, rather than just raising their numbers a bit.

Overall, I'd suggest that Feats are probably worth keeping on, even if you downplay them for a newer player who is struggling with choices. You want to go without, and I'd say equally that you'll be fine: nothing goes wrong without them. I certainly didn't have any of my players complaining about feeling constrained in the featless campaign, though that was their first 5e campaign so they hadn't gotten used to them.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
When I want the campaign to feel more super-heroic, feats are available to the players. When I want it to be more gritty, they aren't available. In my one-shots and my current campaign, feats aren't an option. In my upcoming campaign, feats can be "unlocked" by joining organizations because I want to encourage that sort of thing.

Like any other optional mechanic, I strongly suggest using them only when it reinforces the theme you're going for with your campaign. They certainly are not necessary in my experience and no one suffers for a lack of them. I don't given feats to monsters.
 

I only have one character that has a feat, and that was with a variant human. As a DM, I’ve yet to see feats vs. ASRs dramatically swing the power level of a character one way or another. If your players are cool with it, I don’t see a problem with removing them. Although, since this leaves an ASR as the sole choice, what ability score generation method are you using?
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I don't use them in the campaign I am running, with a few exceptions.

While feats do allow for more options, they also increase the gap between great and suboptimal choices, resulting in an effective *reduction* of options.

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using EN World mobile app
 

Wiseblood

Adventurer
I use feats in my game. I feel that it adds a layer of customization especially for non magic users. Spells are imo limited use feats. If you do not like the feats written. I would recommend talking to your players and maybe coming up with your own feats that really make the characters unique and bring them closer to the players concept. It is not so different from making a custom magic item or monster. The feats as written are like a springboard for ideas. When they are what you want, great. When they are not, mine them for all they are worth.
 

Snoring Rock

First Post
It is funny that it is an OPTIONAL rule, but there are those who would call it "denying" them if I choose not to. No one would be denied anything. I like the idea of keeping it as simple as possible, and without them, there are fewer reasons for disagreements or different interpretations of rules. That said, increasing monster HPs is a good option I have not thought of. More options for PCs is certainly good, but how many come with a little bit of a price. Thanks for all the input and ideas!
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I wasnt sure if I would allow feats in my LMoP run with a table with players with different level of optimization capacity. In the end I allowed them because I found they added flavor to existing characters and were less boring than straight +X to a stat. I even made a whole compendium of feats with those from the PHB, the ones from Feats for Skills and Feats for Races UA and even reflavored those of AiME to make them fit the different race in my setting. At level 4, the barbarian went for GWM and the bow guy for Sharpshooter, nobody cared for the feats that added flavor. Next campaign I wont allow them because my table only use them to powergame their chatacter.
 

Snoring Rock

First Post
I wasnt sure if I would allow feats in my LMoP run with a table with players with different level of optimization capacity. In the end I allowed them because I found they added flavor to existing characters and were less boring than straight +X to a stat. I even made a whole compendium of feats with those from the PHB, the ones from Feats for Skills and Feats for Races UA and even reflavored those of AiME to make them fit the different race in my setting. At level 4, the barbarian went for GWM and the bow guy for Sharpshooter, nobody cared for the feats that added flavor. Next campaign I wont allow them because my table only use them to powergame their chatacter.
That has been my experience is that it becomes a shopping spree for power-gaming. That can be fun no doubt, and it has killed flavor and setting at my table in the past.
 

Immoralkickass

Explorer
It is funny that it is an OPTIONAL rule, but there are those who would call it "denying" them if I choose not to. No one would be denied anything. I like the idea of keeping it as simple as possible, and without them, there are fewer reasons for disagreements or different interpretations of rules. That said, increasing monster HPs is a good option I have not thought of. More options for PCs is certainly good, but how many come with a little bit of a price. Thanks for all the input and ideas!
You are denying fun by banning feats. Feats are fun, and a good DM does not need to ban feats for the sake of balance. Not saying you're a bad DM, but you are the god of your world, you have all the power at your finger tips, you have plenty of ways to challenge your players even if they take the so called OP feats. If you look at Matt Mercer or Matt Colville, they are very generous in terms of empowering the players, whether its magic items or interpretation of rules. Some examples would be: Mercer allows casting 2 spells using bonus action and action in the same turn, and Colville allows a full attack action from the Haste spell (instead of just one weapon attack). Colville mentioned that he knows he is bending the rules, but he lets the players have their fun, because he knows how to get back at their characters later.

I'll give you another example in my session. I had 2 players who took Sharpshooter when I was DMing a one shot. They steamrolled through most of the fights, until they reach the BBEG wizard. Every time they took the -5/+10, they would miss because the Wizard would cast Shield. They soon figured out that they were never going to touch him if they keep using that. The fight was certainly challenging for them, as 2 players were unconscious, but in the end they prevailed. This is me not only allowing feats, but also giving them one free feat, and allowing them to cherry pick one uncommon magic item. I'm not bragging, but just to drive home the point: You have plenty of options when it comes to challenging your players. Let the powergamers powergame, let the players have fun. What are you afraid of? You are the DM, you got this.

I still respect your decision if you chose to ban feats for simplicity, but you shouldn't be afraid of disagreements with your players, as long as you can explain your decisions/interpretations, whatever they may be. Just remember.... FEATS ARE FUN!!
 
Last edited:

Warpiglet

Adventurer
Do whatever feels right for your group.

For myself, I really like the added flavor some of them offer. When I want to play a variant human fighter/sorcerer I like being able to start with magic initiate because it meshes well with the concept. It really not powerful but I like the flavor.

I like being able to play a more armored up warlock (blade pact particularly) without having to multiclass. No one is going to tell you my single classed warlock is too powerful because of scale mail! However, I wanted an armored arcane magic user. Feats allowed it.

What I have found is that the difference in power is negligible in cases in which characters are not rolled or perfectly optimized.

Respectfully, the problem could be more of players having a style that is different than yours. I have found lots of tension in trying to take feats over ASI when I did not start with Godlike stats. For example, I want to play a Mountain Dwarf melee sorcerer (single classed). I would like to use a maul or greatsword and kick up my 15 str tp 16 (weapon master) but I also have a 14 Charisma. A 16 would be nice especially when I eventually get the Charisma bonus to fire damage.

If I started out with high scores either through having many dump stats or rolling high, feats are less of a tough choice.

The other thought is: the DM should make things appropriately challenging. If characters abuse their options in your opinion, turn up the heat. The DM can always win an arms race if that is the issue.

Lastly, if you like clean lines and more simplicity, just don't use them. Be prepared for some players to be less excited about playing though.
 

I wasnt sure if I would allow feats in my LMoP run with a table with players with different level of optimization capacity. In the end I allowed them because I found they added flavor to existing characters and were less boring than straight +X to a stat. I even made a whole compendium of feats with those from the PHB, the ones from Feats for Skills and Feats for Races UA and even reflavored those of AiME to make them fit the different race in my setting. At level 4, the barbarian went for GWM and the bow guy for Sharpshooter, nobody cared for the feats that added flavor. Next campaign I wont allow them because my table only use them to powergame their chatacter.
On the other hand, for an archer and a great weapon wielder, those feats are kind of the most flavourful. I mean, I do ban them, but I can see why players might want them...
 

Gadget

Adventurer
Feats have been the bugaboo of the past couple of editions, and the 5e ones are not particularly well designed. I have found that games with feats often contribute to a power gaming, min/max build type of play; though a lot of this is on the players. That said, the average fighter does benefit more from feats than the spell heavy classes, and the pseudo-multiclass feats do add some flavor, especially in a game without multiclassing. What I have done in the past for a more old-school feel is to place the benefits of a certain feats into magic items acquired by characters: a suite of magical plate armor has heavy armor mastery built in, a shield has shield mastery, special boots have mobility, etc. This gives more flavor to magic items while keeping feats in check, though obviously will not be for everyone.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
The balance problems are not between the party and the gm... they are within the party. If the party is more powerful, make the foes more powerful. Done. But if it's between the party members, all sorts of problems are created

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using EN World mobile app
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top