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Unearthed Arcana: Feats for Races

This week's Unearthed Arcana is another collection of new feats. "This document introduces new feats to playtest. As explained in chapter 6 of the Player’s Handbook, feats, like multiclassing, are an optional part of the game, usable only if your DM permits them. These feats don’t assume that multiclassing is used in a campaign, and they don’t assume the existence of the skill feats that were released in a previous installment of Unearthed Arcana. Each of these feats is associated with a race from the Player’s Handbook." This is the last of the weekly Unearthed Arcanas. The series is returning to a monthly series in May, and Jeremy Crawford's Sage Advice column will be returning.



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Comments

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
I find this line mystifying: "These feats don’t assume that multiclassing is used in a campaign."

What are they trying to say here? Do these feats become unbalanced when combined with multiclassing?

Also, some of the feats significantly alter a character's body. Barbed Hide, for example, endows a Tiefling with a barbed hide. That's not the sort of thing that you can acquire through training. Which gives rise to the question, "Why couldn't the Tiefling do this at level 1?" It's not like Pole Arm Master, where you can explain the acquisition of the new ability through practice and training. Either you were born with a barbed hide or you weren't.

Same with Dragon Wings: "You sprout draconic wings." I'm not well-versed in Dragonborn lore, but is that really something that just... happens during their adult life?
 

Jeff Carlsen

Adventurer
I am all for racial feats, so I'm keen on this. Also, Blink Elves are back!

I assume this line: "These feats don’t assume that multiclassing is used in a campaign.", means that the two playtest documents were developed separately and haven't been checked for compatibility. Without feedback from the playtests, they don't know which, if any, they'll move forward with.

As for feats that cause physical changes, I think it depends on the race. Stories abound of demons unlocking further power that alters their physical form. I'm comfortable with such feats for deeply magical races like Tieflings or Dragonborn. But I do agree that it can come across as strange and might need a little more lore to back it up.
 

flametitan

Explorer
Compared to all of the other UAs that have been released, this one really makes me glad that as a general rule I don't use UA material. Not because it's imbalanced, but because it has ramifications on worldbuilding that my world isn't designed to work around.

Dragonborn don't have wings in my world; they're very loosely related to dragons, at best. Even if it's rare for dragonborn to grow wings, the fact that the have the potential to should have serious ramifications. Likewise, my mental picture of Dragonborn usually involves armour of some kind. If they have a special unarmoured bonus (again, even if rare) it changes the way dragonborn interact with the world.

Likewise, my elves don't teleport, and my gnomes aren't invisible. My humans aren't the "have a knack for everything" lack of niche (if anything, in my world they're more like surface Kuo-toa, constantly making and worshipping new deities).
 

bmfrosty

Villager
Also, some of the feats significantly alter a character's body. Barbed Hide, for example, endows a Tiefling with a barbed hide. That's not the sort of thing that you can acquire through training. Which gives rise to the question, "Why couldn't the Tiefling do this at level 1?" It's not like Pole Arm Master, where you can explain the acquisition of the new ability through practice and training. Either you were born with a barbed hide or you weren't.

Same with Dragon Wings: "You sprout draconic wings." I'm not well-versed in Dragonborn lore, but is that really something that just... happens during their adult life?
I think they use sheer grit and determination.
 

dave2008

Adventurer
I find this line mystifying: "These feats don’t assume that multiclassing is used in a campaign."

What are they trying to say here? Do these feats become unbalanced when combined with multiclassing?

Also, some of the feats significantly alter a character's body. Barbed Hide, for example, endows a Tiefling with a barbed hide. That's not the sort of thing that you can acquire through training. Which gives rise to the question, "Why couldn't the Tiefling do this at level 1?" It's not like Pole Arm Master, where you can explain the acquisition of the new ability through practice and training. Either you were born with a barbed hide or you weren't.

Same with Dragon Wings: "You sprout draconic wings." I'm not well-versed in Dragonborn lore, but is that really something that just... happens during their adult life?
Not sure about the multiclassing comment. Regarding Dragonborn, there was a similar thing in 4e that allowed Dragonborn to develop wings later in life, so I guess it is part of their lore. I don't find it so odd that a character's body would change during its life. This definitely somewhat common in reptiles. There is even a bird that has claws when it is young that develop into wings as gets older (the Hoatzin from Amazon), so it doesn't seem that odd to me.
 

phantomK9

Explorer
Far too many of these go back to the well of "gain double proficiency bonus if already proficient", but the ones that don't go to that well are for more interesting.

Not sure if some of these could be over power or not, Dwarf Rogue with Dwarf Resilience seems like a fun combo.

Some of these listed seem like they can easily be swapped out for some of the racial abilities a race gets at character creation if you want to make a variant of that race.
 

Geeknamese

Explorer
I find this line mystifying: "These feats don’t assume that multiclassing is used in a campaign."

What are they trying to say here? Do these feats become unbalanced when combined with multiclassing?

Also, some of the feats significantly alter a character's body. Barbed Hide, for example, endows a Tiefling with a barbed hide. That's not the sort of thing that you can acquire through training. Which gives rise to the question, "Why couldn't the Tiefling do this at level 1?" It's not like Pole Arm Master, where you can explain the acquisition of the new ability through practice and training. Either you were born with a barbed hide or you weren't.

Same with Dragon Wings: "You sprout draconic wings." I'm not well-versed in Dragonborn lore, but is that really something that just... happens during their adult life?
What? You've never had a Pokémon that evolved when it hit a certain level before? :cheesysmile:

But if a feat didn't fit my campaign world, I'd just mix it. Not a biggie. Also, I don't consider Feats learned abilities although they could be. They could also be unexpected growths, evolutions, discoveries about yourself, etc. If you have a problem with this, how do you explain the Lucky feat? Keen Mind? Etc.


Sent from my iPhone using EN World mobile app
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
I find this line mystifying: "These feats don’t assume that multiclassing is used in a campaign."

What are they trying to say here? Do these feats become unbalanced when combined with multiclassing?
Standard disclaimer that just because you use one option from Chapter 6 doesn't mean you're required to use both options.

Also, some of the feats significantly alter a character's body. Barbed Hide, for example, endows a Tiefling with a barbed hide. That's not the sort of thing that you can acquire through training. Which gives rise to the question, "Why couldn't the Tiefling do this at level 1?" It's not like Pole Arm Master, where you can explain the acquisition of the new ability through practice and training. Either you were born with a barbed hide or you weren't.

Same with Dragon Wings: "You sprout draconic wings." I'm not well-versed in Dragonborn lore, but is that really something that just... happens during their adult life?
Magical creatures undergoing some kind of transformation or metamorphosis later in life is a pretty standard fantasy trope.
 

schnee

Villager
They're definitely fully on the 3.x bandwagon of 'if it's something cool, it's a SPELL'.

Like Oprah with her damn cars

You get a spell! You get a spell! Everyone gets SPELLS!!!!

Instead, why not:

Wood Elf
- Stealth skill for free
- If you have Stealth, get expertise
- Advantage on Stealth rolls in the woods

or something like that?

(Note: please do not spend twelve paragraphs dissecting this, I pulled it out of thin air as something I think is cool that is NOT A SPELL for once)
 
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TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
What? You've never had a Pokémon that evolved when it hit a certain level before? :cheesysmile:
Heh. I'm tempted to put a group of 3 NPCs in my game; a kobold, a dragonborn, and a dragonborn with this feat, and name them Charmander, Charmeleon, and Charizard. :)
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
I find this line mystifying: "These feats don’t assume that multiclassing is used in a campaign."
What are they trying to say here? Do these feats become unbalanced when combined with multiclassing?
Adding options of any kind increases the chances that the new options will combo with eachother or existing options in unforseen ways, even if it's all very neatly-done, it increases opportunities to apply system mastery. A DM may or may not want to deal with that.

So, feats & MCing are optional and new material is optional, so a DM could well opt into feats, but not MCing, and into one set of new feats in one UA and not those in another.

Consider it a warning label. Not of the 'use only as directed' kind, but of the 'use at your own discretion' kind. ;)

Also, some of the feats significantly alter a character's body. Barbed Hide, for example, endows a Tiefling with a barbed hide. That's not the sort of thing that you can acquire through training.[/quote] Feats are the kind of thing you acquire with experience. With a diabolical heritage, who knows what you could get yourself into...

Same with Dragon Wings: "You sprout draconic wings." I'm not well-versed in Dragonborn lore, but is that really something that just... happens during their adult life?
Yes. If they were exceptional (high level) enough.
 

Volund

Explorer
Off the cuff, after first read through these look like some of the best:
Dwarf Resilience - Self healing while in combat is pretty rare. Nice for dwarf casters who Dodge a lot while maintaining concentration spells. A fighter could use Action Surge to attack, dodge and heal, and then use a bonus action for second wind.
Human determination - ability increase and essentially one inspiration die per short rest.
Orcish Fury - ability increase, essentially one auto -crit per short rest, and a reaction attack when you almost get knocked out.
Flames of Phlegethos - for evoker wizards, fiendish warlocks and draconic sorcerers. Who is Phlegethos? Elemental Adept is still probably a better choice?
Elven Accuracy - like double advantage for rogues to pile on the sneak attack dice. Interesting that it doesn't require a ranged attack or even a weapon attack. Half elf warlocks can work the faerie fire/eldritch blast combo for big damage.
 

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