Weapon and Implement Expertise

Which best describes your view on Weapon / Implement Expertise?

  • They are needed for attacks to keep up with defenses; you should (e.g.) give them for free.

    Votes: 32 47.8%
  • They are not needed for attacks to keep up with defenses; in addition, they're too good.

    Votes: 10 14.9%
  • Neither of the above, they are balanced feats.

    Votes: 21 31.3%
  • There is a problem with them other than option 1 or 2. (PLEASE elaborate below.)

    Votes: 4 6.0%
  • Weapon Expertise is fine, but Implement Expertise is problematic. (PLEASE elaborate below.)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Implement Expertise is fine, but Weapon Expertise is problematic. (PLEASE elaborate below.)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Poll closed .

jeffh

Adventurer
I've seen a few discussions of this topic, but I'm not sure if there's a consensus so let's see how ENWorld as a whole really feels about it. Are the Weapon and Implement Expertise feats:
  • Needed in order for attacks to keep up with defenses, and so something that would be more appropriate as a rule change than a feat?
  • Not needed for this purpose, and furthemore, obviously better than most other feats to such an extent that they're too good?
  • Balanced feats which do no harm to the game simply co-existing with the other feats as they do in the RAW?
Feel free to justify your answer or reference previous discussions you think are particularly useful.

EDIT: Regarding Versatile Expertise, either read the question as asking about that as well, or (particularly for the last two options, not that I expect them to be popular) assume it is going to be disallowed no matter what. Don't choose option 4 JUST on the grounds that Versatile Expertise exists.
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

DracoSuave

First Post
A can of worms will be opened here.


However I'll add in a fourth option for you:

2 Feats both rendered obsolete by Versatile Expertise.
 

Amaroq

Community Supporter
I think that's an answer that varies from DM to DM, to be honest.

In our group, one DM allows them, while the other DM does not (but reduces monster defenses appropriately.)

The best argument against them that I've heard is not that they're so good that they're so obviously better than every other feat out there that everybody takes them at Level 1, but more along the lines of "they're good enough that every character wants to take them by about Level 15 to get the +2; therefore, let's give 'em to every character or prohibit them to encourage players to invest more in feats which differentiate the character from every other character."

That kind of hearkens back to a "feats should feel special" or "feats should differentiate my character somehow" philosophy: personally, I want feats to make characters feel awesome, unique, and different, and simple "hits more often", "does more damage", and "has more hit points" feats don't do that for me.
 

jeffh

Adventurer
Poll is now up.

The specific rule change I was thinking of was: Everyone gets 2 Weapon Expertise feats, 2 Implement Expertise feats, or one of each (EDIT: or now that I'm aware of its existence, I may change that to simply one Versatile Expertise feat) for free at 5th level. They remain available as feats that can be taken the normal way, but with a new prerequisite of 6th level (EDIT: again, including VE if available at all).
 
Last edited:


IanB

First Post
One thing I've been pondering is making them paragon feats, that go from +1 at paragon to +2 at epic. It tones them down slightly in comparison to other feats and it leaves more space in the heroic tier for people to play around with other stuff.
 

Talysian

Explorer
I've tried both giving them for free and Banning them and simply correcting the monsters myself. And now i'm to Correcting the monsters myself and allowing them to be taken. I correct the monsters, and if a character is having problems hitting, and they want to take it great, if not I know most of my current players won't waste a feat for them.
 

babinro

First Post
I give them out for free as I've never seen a PC without the feat so far in 4E. Not everyone takes the feat immediately, but by paragon tier every build I've seen has it.

I don't think the system requires it to run properly. There are tons of instances where bonuses can be given out to players. I'm also of the mind that PC's focused on reflex and will attacks don't 'need' the feats at all to keep up with most encounters.

Having said that, I like simply opening up further feat options by giving it away for free for all characters. It is a practice I intend to continue for all future 4E games I DM.
 


jeffh

Adventurer
Okay, I don't have the PH3, so assume it's not a factor.

What is this "Versatile Expertise" that everyone's talking about?

If it's just what it sounds like, a version of the feats I'm asking about that works for whatever you want, then it's another example of what I'm asking about, and the dismissive responses from DracoSuave and holywhitetrash rather miss the point of the question.
 
Last edited:

drothgery

First Post
Okay, I don't have the PH3, so assume it's not a factor.

What is this "Versatile Expertise" that everyone's talking about?

D&D Compendium said:
Versatile Expertise

Heroic Tier
Benefit: Choose a weapon group and an implement type. You gain a +1 feat bonus to attack rolls both when using a weapon from the chosen group and when using an implement of the chosen type. The bonus increases to +2 at 15th level and +3 at 25th level.
Special: You can take this feat more than once. Each time you take this feat, choose a different weapon group and a different implement type.

First published in Player's Handbook 3.

The thing is that most weapons can be used as implements by some class, and it doesn't have the weapon/implement attack restrictions of erratad weapon/implement expertise, so a stereotypical swordmage would take versatile expertise (heavy blades & light blades).
 

jbear

First Post
I don't think it's a big issue, but I've only played at heroic tier. I like my players to be accurate. More hitting = fast combat, which helps avoid the grind. Also, as more and more cool feats appear but the slots stay the same, I prefer my players to be able to take more interesting flavoursome options.

I don't give it for free as such. I make it an in-story boon that the pcs achieve via a successful major adventure at a price that opens up further story lines.
 

Hejdun

First Post
Granted I've only played up to level 13, but I haven't noticed a problem yet. I'm deliberately avoiding taking Expertise feats in order to see if I ever notice it.

Based on my experiences so far, I don't really think it's too necessary. Even at just level 13 we're already slapping down defense debuffs, attack buffs, nearly ubiquitous combat advantage, etc that's making hitting a breeze.

My character is a Human Fighter, started with 18 Str, wields a +2 Bastard Sword for a +17 to hit. In a party with a Halfling Rogue, Eladrin Cleric, Human Wizard and Genasi Swordmage.
 

DracoSuave

First Post
The thing is that most weapons can be used as implements by some class, and it doesn't have the weapon/implement attack restrictions of erratad weapon/implement expertise, so a stereotypical swordmage would take versatile expertise (heavy blades & light blades).

On top of that, many implement types are also weapon groups, so if you're of a class that might find a heavy blade in its hand, even tho you're currently using a hammer or axe, it's still worth taking this feat over Weapon Focus for that reason.
 

drothgery

First Post
Granted I've only played up to level 13, but I haven't noticed a problem yet. I'm deliberately avoiding taking Expertise feats in order to see if I ever notice it.

Based on my experiences so far, I don't really think it's too necessary. Even at just level 13 we're already slapping down defense debuffs, attack buffs, nearly ubiquitous combat advantage, etc that's making hitting a breeze.

FWIW, Most of the number-crunching types say the Expertise feats aren't a huge deal before level 15 and the bump to +2.

And in my experience with a level 10 swordmage (other characters have been a warforged cleric, drow shaman, tiefling rogue, human barbarian, and a changeling sorcerer), we may have been running into higher-level opponents too often and may be less than great with party synergy, but we miss a lot. Before last session we just houseruled in free Expertise, but there wasn't any combat last week. Still, my swordmage 10 with a bastard sword +3 and a starting 20 Int has a +18 to hit on normal weapon attacks going forward (since the +3 weapon and expertise are new, we'll see how that goes).
 
Last edited:


jeffh

Adventurer
Okay, with votes starting to slow down (though they're still going to be open for about a week yet), it has pretty consistently been:
  • A little over half in favour of option 1
  • About two thirds as many votes for option 3 as for option 1
  • A minority of around 10% or less in favour of option 2
  • Exactly two votes for option 4, both of which predate my note about Versatile Expertise.
Looks like my first inclination, to give these away as freebies via a house rule, was the way to go, unless someone makes a very good case otherwise. I'll continue to check in every few days to see if anyone's said anything that might change my mind on this, but that's how it appears at the moment.
 

darkwing

First Post
Would it screw up the game too much to disjoint chance to hit from attributes? That way any race can effectively be any class and there is more focus on flavor (feats, secondary powers, multi-classing) with attribute selection?

Edit:

I thought about it more, and I think the way of the future is to throw out the D20 altogether and make hitting dependent on tactics (combat advantage, bonuses from warlord, etc...). Don't leave hit/miss up to chance (but still roll for damage :D). The crowd control powers might need to be rebalanced for this to work.
 
Last edited:

jeffh

Adventurer
Would it screw up the game too much to disjoint chance to hit from attributes? That way any race can effectively be any class and there is more focus on flavor (feats, secondary powers, multi-classing) with attribute selection?

Edit:

I thought about it more, and I think the way of the future is to throw out the D20 altogether and make hitting dependent on tactics (combat advantage, bonuses from warlord, etc...). Don't leave hit/miss up to chance (but still roll for damage :D). The crowd control powers might need to be rebalanced for this to work.

That seems... well, first of all, like something that might be interesting but shouldn't be called D&D. There is at least one successful RPG built along these lines, Amber Diceless Roleplaying, that you might want to check out.

But also, it's too wild a departure to really have anything to do with this thread, since you're proposing throwing out a fundamental presupposition of it. This probably ought to be forked off.
 

holywhitetrash

First Post
Would it screw up the game too much to disjoint chance to hit from attributes? That way any race can effectively be any class and there is more focus on flavor (feats, secondary powers, multi-classing) with attribute selection?

Edit:

I thought about it more, and I think the way of the future is to throw out the D20 altogether and make hitting dependent on tactics (combat advantage, bonuses from warlord, etc...). Don't leave hit/miss up to chance (but still roll for damage :D). The crowd control powers might need to be rebalanced for this to work.
any race can play any class effectively having a 16 primary is totally fine you will just be slightly behind the curve of others who optimized
 

Dungeon Delver's Guide

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top