Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana: Feats for Races

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

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?
 

Mercule

Adventurer
My mind looks at that and immediately reads it as HVV (Human Vampire Virus), too much Shadowrun in my youth.
I believe it should actually be HMHVV (Human Meta-Human Vampiric Virus). Because it also makes stuff like banshees (vampire elves) and wendigo (trolls, I think).
 

log in or register to remove this ad

At first I thought "of course, they will make feats for all the races in the BBoC", but then I remembered the PHB+1 thing, so at least in that book they are unlikely (unless a non-PHB race gets reprinted in the BBoC). I suspect in the fullness of time, every race will get feats, but I am not sure when (and I could be wrong, the poor bullywog in 4e was pretty light on racial feats). Even then the DMG will undoubtedly be full of non-PHB race feats.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
More intense racial variant options. Also back this time around are the Expertise benefits, which I like in principle.


Barbed Hide
All the more reason to have a grapple bard.
This is a full three-part half-feat. And while the parts are thematically appropriate, they are not very well synced in terms of mechanics.

Bountiful Luck
Halfings, the Warlord Race.
This is rather useful, also flavorful, having a character act as sort of a "Mascot" for the group.

Critter Friend
The logical conclusion to the gnome's racial ability for speaking with small animals. Unfortunately, it isn't very useful beyond granting expertise, mostly because any gnome character who was going to play up this angle of their character is likely to already have access to these spells.

Dragon Fear
Compared to other fear effects we have been reviewing lately, this seems really weak for something that eats up normal breath uses.

Dragon Hide
For Dragonborn Monks and Rogues? The half-ASI on this is of no benefit to either. And I'm not sure that the claw slashing damage is comparable with monk unarmed strike scaling, or sneak attacks. This is of more use to unarmored barbarians, but even they will be favoring heavy weapons instead of claws. Still, +1 ac is nice.

Dragon Wings
A very slow flight, also not very powerful. For reference, teiflings can get a speed of 30' that also works in heavy armor. For a warrior race, this is really hamstringing, even if it does provide flight at all.

Drow High Magic
The Drow variant of the Deep Gnome racial feat. Nothing particularly interesting unless you are making a caster-hunter.

Dwarf Resilience
An interesting take on second wind. But not much use after level one unless you are a Monk or a Rogue. I suppose there is the bag of rats exploit that can be used to heal up for less time than a normal short rest. But I don't see that being a problem except in very rare edge cases due to the other benefits a short rest provides.

Elven Accuracy
This is potent, very potent. Not only do you get "super advantage" by having additional rolls to hit in the first place, you can also use it to crit-fish on every attack that hits. Say you roll a 15 and an 11, you can re-roll the 11 from a position of total safety (because a 15 is almost always a hit to begin with) on the 1/20th chance that it will become a crit.

Everybody’s Friend
Now any class can be the party face.

Fade Away
The gnomish racial power from 4e comes back. This time with a half-ASI tacked on for no real reason.Granted the ASI is for INT, which isn't useful for the vast majority of characters, but still not necessary. Reaction based invisibility is good enough to not need the half-feat treatment. At worst it gives you advantage and OA free positioning once per rest. Even if it costs some HP to trigger. Alternative uses include making multi-attack worse than just a single big attack.

Fey Teleportation
Much like the above, this doesn't really need an ASI. It's not as powerful as the gnome power imo, but it is far less finicky.

Flames of Phlegethos
This is an intriguing fire damage booster. The ASI is probably warranted here, as casters are the most likely to use this. the Damage shield is fun, and could make a Warlock seriously think about mainlining Fire Bolt. But the most interesting part of this feat is the reroll ones part, that stops after the first roll. It's unique, and fire has some high damage spells, but I don't feel like it's necessary to cap like this.

Grudge-Bearer
Turns every class into a Ranger. A fun feat, at least. That grants some mechanical benefit for what would otherwise be an RP thing.

Human Determination
Advantage once per rest. Handy, but seems to be lacking compared to some of the other feats. Then again, if you are playing with humans and feats, it is highly likely they are getting one for free, so whatever.

Infernal Constitution
It's a situational passive defense. It's not going to be very fun in most situations, even if you are in the type of campaign where it's useful.

Orcish Aggression
Back when we were doing a let's read of Volo's Guide, I noted how odd Half-Orcs were. In that they didn't seem to have much in common with their Orcish parents. This feat attempts to fix that problem. As a power, this feat grants an at-will bonus action speed boost that is used exclusively for closing gaps in melee faster. As such, it's really damn useful for Warrior-type melee characters, and possibly for Gish-type characters.

Orcish Fury
Another attempt to bridge the generational divide, this one is less useful than the other attempt. However, it does let you squeak some extra weapon damage once per rest. Though I'm not sure it can be crit-boosted. Also you can get a reaction attack when you use Relentless Endurance.

Prodigy
A slightly more powerful variation of skilled, with a half ASI tacked on. For humans and half-elves. Still not really worth spending a feat on.

Second Chance
Once per rest you can potential turn a hit into a miss, or a crit into a hit, or a crit into a miss. Or maybe even a hit into a crit. Not the best re-roll power, needs the "use lesser of the two rolls" stipulation so that you don't end up accidentally killing yourself when you are trying to save yourself.

Squat Nimbleness
The selling point of this is the 5' speed boost. Fortunately, you also get expertise in acrobatics or athletics and +1 str or dex (your choice) I guess it would be handy for a dwarf grappler.

Wonder Maker
Expanding the tinker part of the gnome. Allowing for some non-magical spell effects. Also calculators and pocket watches. Which will only make some DM's hate Gnomes more when they try to trigger the clockwork industrial revolution.

Wood Elf Magic
I blame fatigue. Anyway, you get a druid cantrip and two spells. Basically making this a off-kilter Magic Initiate. It still doesn't thrill me, due to the lack of spell options, but it's at least worth it now.

Closing thoughts.
It seems like a number of these feats are slapdash. Basically taking existing racial powers and cranking them up to the next notch on a dial, without considering how disparate the actual effects of the feat are. Feats are normally used to focus a character, or smooth out bumps in character design, so that you can do things that are a bit non-standard but still logical. Some feats provide options that are still useful in less than ideal situations (like how when you can't use a greatweapon, you can still use great weapon master to some effect). These feats seem to provide unrelated benefits that will cause some characters to totally ignore parts of the feat entirely, a total reversal of design philosophy.

Additionally this document leans to heavily on the half-feat half-ASI option to try and fill in gaps.
 
Last edited by a moderator:


E

Elderbrain

Guest
I have a friend who elected to play a Dragonborn in 4e and just assumed that said character would have wings because it was Draconic. Since this was clearly one of the reasons he wanted to play a Dragonborn, I just went ahead and let him have wings. Nice to know 5e is now supporting his character build. (4e had a path where you could aquire wings, also, but I believe it was a Paragon path or later... sorry if I'm not remembering the correct 4e terminology, It's been awhile.)
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
The more feats which grant +1 ability score we get, and the more it sounds like their "bigger feats" concept in 5e was a failure.

Also wanting an option #2 is not the same as option #1 being a failure. I think people just also wanted smaller feats, in addition to the bigger feats. That doesn't make the bigger feats concept a failure, and indeed they remain pretty popular judging by any test of popularity I can think of right now.
 


Satyrn

First Post
Critter Friend
The logical conclusion to the gnome's racial ability for speaking with small animals. Unfortunately, it isn't very useful beyond granting expertise, mostly because any gnome character who was going to play up this angle of their character is likely to already have access to these spells.
I mentioned upthread that this would be perfect for my gnome battlemaster. I'd much rather take this feat than multiclass - and that unlimited speak with animals - can't get that anywhere and it's perfect (but would be more perfect if it wasn't magical!)
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Wood Elf Magic
I find it odd that this feat, of all of them, doesn't have a half-asi attached to it. Considering how lackluster the spell selection is, and how they are both only usable once per day, it seems like a prime candidate for such a bonus. Needless to say, this doesn't thrill me.

It's the cantrip (which is in addition to the two once/day spells). Most likely it's shillelagh. Though it's too bad they again insist you must use Wisdom as the spellcasting ability. I wish they'd tried "any of Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma (at your option)" for once. Bladelock's are dying for a charisma-based shillelagh.
 


Remove ads

Remove ads

Top