Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana: Feats for Races

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?
 

Bobolink

First Post
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?

Maybe WotC is telling us that all things change over time. I don't find the growth of wings, spines, or any other physical feature more or less strange compared to other class features like channelling divinity or spontaneously knowing a spell. Maybe after a second puberty triggered by stress Tieflings do undergo a change. Maybe in the game world, enough time passes over a campaign that a large physical change makes sense. The Barbarian is said to take on animalistic aspects after certain class features. And, a Tiefling does expand their magical powers at certain levels already, so something is growing and changing over time already. Are spines less believable than casting magical darkness with no training? Why should a character's body not change as they level up? If they increase their strength or charisma, or constitution doesn't the body not look different?
 

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Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
That's not Bountiful Luck, that's Bountiful Reactions or Split-second Assistance. And that'd be fine if that was the concept they end up going for, but currently the concept is someone who has just so much good luck that it spreads to those around them.

You bump into people, kick a rock by accident, burp in a distracting way, kick up some dust, or accidentally do something which just ever so slightly changes the foes ability to hit your ally or see them clearly or focus on your ally. So yeah, you react to a 6th sense that something is about to happen by simply causing the situation to alter slightly with your luck.
 

Colder

Explorer
You bump into people, kick a rock by accident, burp in a distracting way, kick up some dust, or accidentally do something which just ever so slightly changes the foes ability to hit your ally or see them clearly or focus on your ally. So yeah, you react to a 6th sense that something is about to happen by simply causing the situation to alter slightly with your luck.

And you have to do it on purpose, both mechanically and metaphorically, because of the nature of reactions. That's not luck, that's manipulation. What you're describing is more like a limited precognition feature for Mystic than just having an abundance of dumb luck.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Still waiting on the re-balance of existing feats...

Honestly, if they haven't errata'd it already, I wouldn't expect them to make changes. They seem really gunshy about changing anything in published books. Look how long it took before they would even look at redoing the ranger.

Not saying that the feats don't need rebalancing, just that I *really* don't expect them to touch them.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Show me anything indicating they think otherwise? We've seen them hold back on other errata for "balance" reasons, so show me why you think this will be the exception to their well laid rule so far? We're two and a half years in, and you seriously think they're going to nerf feats that have been around this whole time even after they've repeatedly said they don't want to do that sort of thing with this edition?
Yes.

Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
Generally I like these feats, even though most of them apply to races I don't allow in my campaign. I think I'd allow most of the feats on the of chance somebody wanted to take them, without the race restrictions
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
And you have to do it on purpose, both mechanically and metaphorically, because of the nature of reactions. That's not luck, that's manipulation. What you're describing is more like a limited precognition feature for Mystic than just having an abundance of dumb luck.

No it doesn't have to be described as "on purpose". The nature of reactions is they happen in response to something, not that there must be some known intent behind what you're doing. You see your friends in trouble and the intensity of that emotion causes you to move or burp or twitch or kick in some fashion which causes a chain reaction that accidentally results in your ally being helped. There is no reason I can think of in the rules that it cannot be described that way.
 


cbwjm

Legend
I admit it's a stretch but I tend to try and find justification for a mechanic. The SW analogy may not have been the best. Really, it's about seeing a complete disaster right before it happens and being lucky enough to be able to react to it. That's why it only works on a 1.

I don't even try and justify these sorts of situations, I just go "Okay, your halfling can use their reaction to allow an ally to reroll a 1." and be done with it.
 

Colder

Explorer
No it doesn't have to be described as "on purpose". The nature of reactions is they happen in response to something, not that there must be some known intent behind what you're doing. You see your friends in trouble and the intensity of that emotion causes you to move or burp or twitch or kick in some fashion which causes a chain reaction that accidentally results in your ally being helped. There is no reason I can think of in the rules that it cannot be described that way.

Setting aside that your examples are contrived and slightly ridiculous, there are no reactions in the game that are incidental, meaning not a decision that the character makes.

But more importantly, you're never going to convince me the feat isn't a thematic mess. It's a fool's errand because I am stubborn as hell.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Setting aside that your examples are contrived and slightly ridiculous

Yes it's halfling luck. So contrived and sightly ridiculous is fair in that context, don't you agree?

there are no reactions in the game that are incidental, meaning not a decision that the character makes.

There is now. There's no rule saying it cannot be incidental. Just because they were up until this point doesn't prove they cannot be. There's always a first, and a UA feat is intended to be a first, isn't it? So what's the problem with a an incidental reaction?

But more importantly, you're never going to convince me the feat isn't a thematic mess. It's a fool's errand because I am stubborn as hell.

I don't think that's an issue with the feat :)
 

Horwath

Hero
Elven accuracy should have just been written;

When you have advantage roll 3d20, take highest.


Also for wood elves instead of magic ability, how about some mundane abilities?

like;

Wood elf stalker:
+1 dex or wis,
+5ft of movement,
gain proficiency in stealth, if you already have it, gain expertise in stealth or perception.
 

Connorsrpg

Adventurer
Why are people whinging about things like teiflings growing barbs b/c "that doesn't happen on their world"? Stiff. So what? Don't use them - that is fine, but at least they are showing you how feats 'can' be done to define the races of your world.

Maybe these will inspire ways to help define the races in YOUR world. I do remember way back in the playtests when they stated/tried that races were going to be important beyond 1st level. Well most are not, and i am glad that they now might be. To me, things like racial feats should be the way to do this and should have been the 1st ones in the PHB.

So, some of these may not suit, but I for one am glad race is getting a look-in. One of my favourite part of the game is writing and defining new races. Now we have a new means to do so. :)
 

Colder

Explorer
Yes it's halfling luck. So contrived and sightly ridiculous is fair in that context, don't you agree?

Not really. It's one thing to just reroll 1s automatically, because that never has to be addressed in the narration. It's totally another to have to will your luck into effect, either consciously or subconsciously.


There is now.

No there isn't. They're testing the idea.

So what's the problem with a an incidental reaction?

Because it's stupid and the only way people seem to be able to defend it is by treating it as a joke feature.
 

zaratan

First Post
Elven accuracy should have just been written;

When you have advantage roll 3d20, take highest.

This would make simplest how it should. But the designers are thinking "no, make a reroll, will slow the game and is boring, no one will do the reroll, everyone will roll 3d20 because is obviously better and get the same result, bububu but we can't break the 'advantage doesn't stack' rule.
Yay! How clever we are, Mykey!! Give me a hug and lets go tweet rules instead of make erratas!"
 

Because it's stupid and the only way people seem to be able to defend it is by treating it as a joke feature.

I mean, I'm going to go the other way and say "Does it really matter this much?"

Mechanics are divorced from narration. It needs to function somehow, and "Just reroll every 1" isn't the smoothest way. So its a Reaction
 

Colder

Explorer
Mechanics are divorced from narration.

I used to think that, too, but it's not so cut and dry. Yeah, you can have mechanics that are completely abstract and can be used underneath any skin and build a game on top of that, but if they're done well, the mechanics should be evocative of the metaphor. It's why so many people want a strength-based unarmed fighter option even though the monk already exists; even refluffed, the way most monk features even function evokes a certain image.

Here's a really good article the Angry GM wrote on the topic.

In my opinion, the mechanic is fine, but it's a square peg in the metaphor's round hole. They can do better, either by changing the metaphor or by tweaking the mechanic. Would a once-per-round limit instead of using a reaction really be that much of a power increase?
 
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Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Not really. It's one thing to just reroll 1s automatically, because that never has to be addressed in the narration. It's totally another to have to will your luck into effect, either consciously or subconsciously.




No there isn't. They're testing the idea.



Because it's stupid and the only way people seem to be able to defend it is by treating it as a joke feature.

You're the one taking it so seriously that you need something to describe why a 1 on a die roll (which doesn't really happen in the fictional world anyway, and which might still end up a 1 even after the feat is used) is potentially changed to something other than a 1 before the result of the die throw takes effect in the fiction. Why you don't have the same problem with inspiration and bardic inspiration, for example, I don't know.

Yes I gave you a humorous description (partially) but the description I gave you has plenty of precedent in fictional movies and television, which is generally a fair source to use to draw descriptions for what happens in a fictional world.

It doesn't have to be humorous even - a chain reaction conflation of events that interrupts concentration ever so slightly doesn't have to be described in a funny way I just chose to include some humor because I don't take this as seriously as you are, and I like the idea that something like a burp might be all that's needed to set off a series of unexpected events to change the course of events. But the scuff of a shoe would do just as well as a burp in that list, if humor bothers you that much.
 
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Colder

Explorer
You're the one taking it so seriously that you need something to describe why a 1 on a die roll (which doesn't really happen in the fictional world anyway) is changed to potentially something other than a 1.

Yes I gave you a humorous description (partially) but the description I gave you has plenty of precedent in fictional movies and television, which is generally a fair source to use to draw descriptions for what happens in a fictional world.

It doesn't have to be humorous even - a chain reaction conflation of events that interrupts concentration ever so slightly doesn't have to be described in a funny way I just chose to include some humor because I don't take this as seriously as you are, and I like the idea that something like a burp might be all that's needed to set off a series of unexpected events to change the course of events. But the scuff of a shoe would do just as well as a burp in that list, if humor bothers you that much.

The problem is that it takes a reaction. It breaks my suspension of disbelief.

"Accidentally" reacting in a seemingly innocuous manner that still manages to change the outcome of an event is cartoonish no matter how you try to dress it up. It's Kender-levels of cutesy.
 
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