Unearthed Arcana UA feats, are they trying to allow people to not have to multiclass to get class abilities?

Li Shenron

Legend
Alternately, you could separate access to combat and noncombat feats.

This kind of ideas is always around, but it's good to keep in mind that siloing helps to keep the balance but kills the fun for every players who wants to shift towards a particular area of the game, or in this case towards combat VS towards something else.

By separating feats, you force everyone to take a combat feat when some think they have enough and want something else, and later you force everyone to take a non-combat feat while someone is really waiting for a combat boost.
 

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BlivetWidget

Explorer
This kind of ideas is always around, but it's good to keep in mind that siloing helps to keep the balance but kills the fun for every players who wants to shift towards a particular area of the game, or in this case towards combat VS towards something else.

By separating feats, you force everyone to take a combat feat when some think they have enough and want something else, and later you force everyone to take a non-combat feat while someone is really waiting for a combat boost.

I don't think this is a real problem. You already have to take combat and non-combat features, and it's not ruining anybody's fun. Backgrounds are essentially collections of utility feats, and classes/subclasses contain both combat and utility features that kick in at various levels. All that's being suggested is giving players more choice in how to grow their characters, rather than it being an "omnibus bill" where they have to compromise by choosing a background/class/subclass that develops on rails.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
I don't think this is a real problem. You already have to take combat and non-combat features, and it's not ruining anybody's fun. Backgrounds are essentially collections of utility feats, and classes/subclasses contain both combat and utility features that kick in at various levels. All that's being suggested is giving players more choice in how to grow their characters, rather than it being an "omnibus bill" where they have to compromise by choosing a background/class/subclass that develops on rails.
The other issue is that if you have one player who wants to focus on combat feats, the others are kind of dragged along unless they're cool with being overshadowed. Siloing would prevent that.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
In my campaign I told the player they can use multiclassing, or feats, but not both on the same character. I may have to allow this UA in to allow for some edge character concepts.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
The other issue is that if you have one player who wants to focus on combat feats, the others are kind of dragged along unless they're cool with being overshadowed. Siloing would prevent that.
I played that game and didn't find it fun. Siloing means every single character has to be a killing machine characterization be damned. Right now I can choose all non-combat spells and feats for my sorcerer and have fun and contribute with the mandatory combat improvements -and IMO they are already a bit much as it is and a bit more than I'd want-. There's no place for me in a game like what you ask-
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
I played that game and didn't find it fun. Siloing means every single character has to be a killing machine characterization be damned. Right now I can choose all non-combat spells and feats for my sorcerer and have fun and contribute with the mandatory combat improvements -and IMO they are already a bit much as it is and a bit more than I'd want-. There's no place for me in a game like what you ask-
I understand, but it doesn't alleviate the issue I mentioned. If combat and noncombat come from the same pool, people with different character ideas are going to be in conflict when one is superior to the other in the arena of the time. It can happen just as much with the combat guy getting sidelined during the talky bits. And there will be a pull to get in line with the combat guy or risk becoming their cheerleader squad. I know players who like that, but there shouldn't be pressure to make it so.
 

BlivetWidget

Explorer
I played that game and didn't find it fun. Siloing means every single character has to be a killing machine characterization be damned. Right now I can choose all non-combat spells and feats for my sorcerer and have fun and contribute with the mandatory combat improvements -and IMO they are already a bit much as it is and a bit more than I'd want-. There's no place for me in a game like what you ask-

I think you misread what @Micah Sweet wrote. They suggested siloing the feats, not the characters. Then, characters pull from various feat pools at the appropriate levels and therefore have to develop both in AND out of combat instead of being able to focus on only one dimension.
 

EscherEnigma

Explorer
I played that game and didn't find it fun. Siloing means every single character has to be a killing machine characterization be damned. Right now I can choose all non-combat spells and feats for my sorcerer and have fun and contribute with the mandatory combat improvements -and IMO they are already a bit much as it is and a bit more than I'd want-. There's no place for me in a game like what you ask-
Not to yuck your yum, but if you don't want your character to get better at combat, then D&D is not ideal for you. There are other games that do a much better job of allowing players to truly specialize, and not have to improve in character aspects that don't interest them.

But D&D --which has always tied many character aspects to class and level-- is not one of them.

That said... I've never heard a player complain "uh, I leveled up and my attack bonus is higher now. I just wanted to get better at skills, not attacking." So I think your complaint might be a bit fringe.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
I don't think this is a real problem. You already have to take combat and non-combat features, and it's not ruining anybody's fun.

Just because you are already forced to take some, it doesn't make it a go idea to take even more.

Our Fighter and Rogue always wanted to get combat stuff in earlier levels. After a while, they felt they had enough and started looking for new stuff to do between combats. If they had been forced to take more out-of-combat stuff early and more combat stuff later, they would have been unsatisfied twice alone the way, even if the end result might be similar. More choices, the better.

If combat and noncombat come from the same pool, people with different character ideas are going to be in conflict when one is superior to the other in the arena of the time. It can happen just as much with the combat guy getting sidelined during the talky bits. And there will be a pull to get in line with the combat guy or risk becoming their cheerleader squad. I know players who like that, but there shouldn't be pressure to make it so.

Pressure to the opposite is much worse. I hate forcing or being forced into "talky bits" (or whatever else) just from the sake of balance. There are lots of players who aren't interested in whole areas of the game, forcing them to pick abilities for those areas is forcing them to use them.

Words like "superior", "arena" and "conflict" already denote a much more competitive approach to the game than I want. There's no conflict if I am the one who chooses to not get all the max combat boost, or be sidelined in other cases.

And I wonder how "people with different character ideas" can be welcome at all in a game where all areas are siloed.

I think you misread what @Micah Sweet wrote. They suggested siloing the feats, not the characters. Then, characters pull from various feat pools at the appropriate levels and therefore have to develop both in AND out of combat instead of being able to focus on only one dimension.

Pretty much what I hate.

There is no opt-out from such system. On the other hand, if multiple dimensions are pooled together, you can still decide to develop all of them equally if you want.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Not to yuck your yum, but if you don't want your character to get better at combat, then D&D is not ideal for you. There are other games that do a much better job of allowing players to truly specialize, and not have to improve in character aspects that don't interest them.

But D&D --which has always tied many character aspects to class and level-- is not one of them.

That said... I've never heard a player complain "uh, I leveled up and my attack bonus is higher now. I just wanted to get better at skills, not attacking." So I think your complaint might be a bit fringe.

Nobody is advocating for a zero-combat character concept. We're advocating against a fixed amount of capabilities in each pillar/area.

And D&D has always been like that because the distinction starts from classes. There has always been a Fighter more inclined to combat than everyone else, and spellcasters with out of combat spells, and then a Thief who focuses on exploration. Not even 4e managed to get rid of that.
 

Undrave

Hero
I don't think this is a real problem. You already have to take combat and non-combat features, and it's not ruining anybody's fun. Backgrounds are essentially collections of utility feats, and classes/subclasses contain both combat and utility features that kick in at various levels. All that's being suggested is giving players more choice in how to grow their characters, rather than it being an "omnibus bill" where they have to compromise by choosing a background/class/subclass that develops on rails.
I think you misread what @Micah Sweet wrote. They suggested siloing the feats, not the characters. Then, characters pull from various feat pools at the appropriate levels and therefore have to develop both in AND out of combat instead of being able to focus on only one dimension.
Just because you are already forced to take some, it doesn't make it a go idea to take even more.

What if we codified 'ribbons' in the same way we codify ASIs? And then when you get a 'Ribbon' ability you can choose to swap the one from your class with one from a different list of non-combat feat? If you don't care about it, you just grab the basic one from your class and forget about it, but then if you want to develop your character concept you can look in the book.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I understand, but it doesn't alleviate the issue I mentioned. If combat and noncombat come from the same pool, people with different character ideas are going to be in conflict when one is superior to the other in the arena of the time. It can happen just as much with the combat guy getting sidelined during the talky bits. And there will be a pull to get in line with the combat guy or risk becoming their cheerleader squad. I know players who like that, but there shouldn't be pressure to make it so.
Siloing doesn't change that, you are still dragged along with the combat guy, the only difference is the system is dragging you instead. And all of this is for naught, because even under this supposed equality powergamers powergame and end up better than the rest anyway and everybody ends up as a cheerleader to him. Except that everybody had to give up a lot of customization to get there. We all also lose many valid character concepts that become impossible to play now.

I think you misread what @Micah Sweet wrote. They suggested siloing the feats, not the characters. Then, characters pull from various feat pools at the appropriate levels and therefore have to develop both in AND out of combat instead of being able to focus on only one dimension.

No, I understood exactly that, and that is what I don't want. I'm a bit of an outlier, but the point stands. This kind of system is exclusionary, it gatekeeps the kind of character concepts that are allowed. It is a "you need to be this tall to play", and as I said, this is something that has to be solved on the table. This is what the social contract on every table is for.

Not to yuck your yum, but if you don't want your character to get better at combat, then D&D is not ideal for you. There are other games that do a much better job of allowing players to truly specialize, and not have to improve in character aspects that don't interest them.

But D&D --which has always tied many character aspects to class and level-- is not one of them.

That said... I've never heard a player complain "uh, I leveled up and my attack bonus is higher now. I just wanted to get better at skills, not attacking." So I think your complaint might be a bit fringe.
Not ideal, but right now I get something close enough out of D&D. It isn't ideal, but at least it doesn't cost resources and is pretty minor and easy to ignore. I can just pick a spear, get a minus in strength and call it a day. I won't be hitting anything any time soon. (In a way they botching the sorcerer's proficiencies has been a blessing in disguise )

So, in short, I fit perfectly, thank you.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I don't think this is a real problem. You already have to take combat and non-combat features, and it's not ruining anybody's fun. Backgrounds are essentially collections of utility feats, and classes/subclasses contain both combat and utility features that kick in at various levels. All that's being suggested is giving players more choice in how to grow their characters, rather than it being an "omnibus bill" where they have to compromise by choosing a background/class/subclass that develops on rails.
I can already have a waifish sorceress with a permanent -1 to hit and damage, and zero damaging spells, and lots of fluffy feats -to gain stuff like expertise, disguises, healing and possibly soon the chef feat, or to expand my already noncombat spell repertory- this regardless of level. I could even get a more perfect noncombatant if certain third-party stuff is allowed. How does this proposed system which forces me to always have combat spells give me more choice?
 

BlivetWidget

Explorer
No, I understood exactly that, and that is what I don't want. I'm a bit of an outlier, but the point stands. This kind of system is exclusionary, it gatekeeps the kind of character concepts that are allowed. It is a "you need to be this tall to play", and as I said, this is something that has to be solved on the table. This is what the social contract on every table is for.

No, you really didn't understand it. More on that after the break.

I can already have a waifish sorceress with a permanent -1 to hit and damage, and zero damaging spells, and lots of fluffy feats -to gain stuff like expertise, disguises, healing and possibly soon the chef feat, or to expand my already noncombat spell repertory- this regardless of level. I could even get a more perfect noncombatant if certain third-party stuff is allowed. How does this proposed system which forces me to always have combat spells give me more choice?

I hope you're having fun knocking over those straw men, but nobody is suggesting that you have to take combat spells in a system that differentiates features with combat uses from those that don't. Class features such as sorcery points, flexible casting, metamagic, etc. are all features that obviously go into the combat-useful feature bin and you don't seem to have complaints about being "forced" to take those, or "gatekept" from creating a character without them.

A feature does not have to cause direct damage to be combat-useful, it just has to be something you could use in combat to good effect. Is that somehow not obvious? Similarly, you are already forced to take non-combat-useful features like languages and tool proficiencies. Combat-useful features can obviously be used for non-combat purposes, and sometimes the reverse is even true, but I think there is a pretty clear dichotomy that makes separating them useful.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
From day 1 I always thought this was a primary feature of feats.

Many of them in the PHB are features that some classes get but others don't.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I hope you're having fun knocking over those straw men, but nobody is suggesting that you have to take combat spells in a system that differentiates features with combat uses from those that don't. Class features such as sorcery points, flexible casting, metamagic, etc. are all features that obviously go into the combat-useful feature bin and you don't seem to have complaints about being "forced" to take those, or "gatekept" from creating a character without them.

No, they don't obviously go into the combat pile. Most of these are general purpose features. The only unambiguously combat features are those that are directly connected with killing stuff. (Weapon profs, attack and damage bonuses, blasting spells and the like)

Metamagic for example has plenty of combat and non combat in it, and it all depends on what spells you take. Having Quicken/Twin/Empower does nothing for your combat capability if you don't have combat spells.

A feature does not have to cause direct damage to be combat-useful, it just has to be something you could use in combat to good effect. Is that somehow not obvious? Similarly, you are already forced to take non-combat-useful features like languages and tool proficiencies. Combat-useful features can obviously be used for non-combat purposes, and sometimes the reverse is even true, but I think there is a pretty clear dichotomy that makes separating them useful.

No, it is not, it isn't a clear cut dichotomy. For example, what do you make of something as simple as Magic initiate? It has obvious combat uses, but I tend to derive a lot of out of combat utility out of it, I've never taken it to improve the combat aspects of my character. To me, it isn't a combat feat, but to many people it is. In what pile do you place it? Should you place it in the combat silo, then we have fluffy not-combat feats in the same spot as combat feats, should it be on the non-combat silo, then we have a combat enhancing feat in a place where players shouldn't be able to derive any combat power from. We could then decide to get rid of it, and all of the ambiguous feats, but at that point we are just plain losing options. Leaving feats -and features- unclassified opens up more design space. Once you have clear cut silos, you no longer have the option.
 
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Li Shenron

Legend
Siloing doesn't change that, you are still dragged along with the combat guy, the only difference is the system is dragging you instead.

I agree and sympathise thoroughly, also with your other posts.

Siloing was part of the "badwrongfun" culture, and thankfully 5e has left that behind. There are other editions or RPGs for those who like siloing but also nothing is stopping them from adding their own siloing house rules to 5e.
 

BlivetWidget

Explorer
No, they don't obviously go into the combat pile. Most of these are general purpose features. The only unambiguously combat features are those that are directly connected with killing stuff. (Weapon profs, attack and damage bonuses, blasting spells and the like)

Metamagic for example has plenty of combat and non combat in it, and it all depends on what spells you take. Having Quicken/Twin/Empower does nothing for your combat capability if you don't have combat spells.



No, it is not, it isn't a clear cut dichotomy. For example, what do you make of something as simple as Magic initiate? It has obvious combat uses, but I tend to derive a lot of out of combat utility out of it, I've never taken it to improve the combat aspects of my character. To me, it isn't a combat feat, but to many people it is. In what pile do you place it? Should you place it in the combat silo, then we have fluffy not-combat feats in the same spot as combat feats, should it be on the non-combat silo, then we have a combat enhancing feat in a place where players shouldn't be able to derive any combat power from. We could then decide to get rid of it, and all of the ambiguous feats, but at that point we are just plain losing options. Leaving feats -and features- unclassified opens up more design space. Once you have clear cut silos, you no longer have the option.

Magic Initiate clearly goes into the combat-useful bin, not the utility bin. Try to think of it this way: the game is designed around combat, whether we play it that way or not. All classes and subclasses were therefore designed around their ability to contribute to a combat encounter. Fighters can hit things, Wizards can cast spells, clerics can heal, etc. Players can choose to use these features during other pillars of play, or to select sub-options that do not have combat applications, but the fact is that they exist to allow you to make a character who can contribute to combat if you want to. Then in the other bin we have features that are clearly intended to be useful only during the other pillars of play. Cooking, investigation, playing the lute, etc. The dichotomy is clear.
 

Magic Initiate clearly goes into the combat-useful bin, not the utility bin.
Depends what spells you choose. The only time I have seen it in play the player choose Mending, Mage Hand and Find Familiar.
All classes and subclasses were therefore designed around their ability to contribute to a combat encounter.
Not originally true though. In 1st edition the Thief was designed around it's ability to negotiate traps and locked doors - the exploration pillar in 5e terms - and was fairly lousy in combat.
 
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TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Magic Initiate clearly goes into the combat-useful bin, not the utility bin. Try to think of it this way: the game is designed around combat, whether we play it that way or not. All classes and subclasses were therefore designed around their ability to contribute to a combat encounter. Fighters can hit things, Wizards can cast spells, clerics can heal, etc. Players can choose to use these features during other pillars of play, or to select sub-options that do not have combat applications, but the fact is that they exist to allow you to make a character who can contribute to combat if you want to. Then in the other bin we have features that are clearly intended to be useful only during the other pillars of play. Cooking, investigation, playing the lute, etc. The dichotomy is clear.
Believe me, as a fan of 4e, I'm sympathetic to the siloing argument. But years of debate on this topic has made it clear that there's a significant fraction of the fanbase that desires the ability to build characters who are terrible at combat if they so choose. The fact that the game is "designed around combat" is, to them, an unfortunate atavism.
 

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