Author Topic: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."  (Read 1363 times)

Offline Endarire

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"Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« on: November 08, 2017, 05:03:03 AM »
Greetings, all!

Who recalls this old argument from the start of 3.0?  Anyone have a link to the post(s) involved?  Any other comments on this topic?

Thankee!

Offline Versatility_Nut

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 08:17:05 AM »
Feats should not be needed for basic mechanical function. And for everything above t4, that's true. Even most of the t4 classes are functional without feats. Bards work without feats, Paladins technically work without feats(even though MAD murders competence without feats), Rangers technically work without feats because required feats are part of a class feature, Barbarians are the only pure melee beatstick that functions without feats and Rogues are the least feat-needing of the core rulebook martials because Sneak Attack largely substitutes for the typical feat need(skill focus(Bluff) and Improved Feign are a feat pair I like to think of using because it makes solo Sneak Attack considerably more reliable, because Feign is a bluff check).

Feats should be adding versatility, not raw capability. More Improved Feign, less Improved every other Combat Maneuver.

Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 04:19:32 PM »
double-Zero Old school, eh?

I don't think secretsofthearchmages has stuff that far back.
But the same guy Solauren, has said he has some of the L-listserve Real early stuff.
idk if he has it easy access, but if so it's in his collection on post #4.
http://minmaxforum.com/index.php?topic=18007.0


No feats = crafting would be viciously effected by this.
It took 3.0e Core --> MiC --> SorO's recent (!) pimpage of it,
for anyone to notice a possible near 4e Wishlist rule.
That'd be the only work around, not named Artificer.
Even a level 12 Warlock is (while nice) way too late.

Truly random die roll on tables Treasure, don't follow
the PHB2 schedule, or any c.o. handbook build find.
Sans that all classes have some major problems.

Clerics lose DMM but that's ok.
Druids lose Natural Spell but that's survivable.
Fighters lose everything.
Monks lose Tashalatora.
Paladins lose BattleBlessing, and most ways to improve le' Horse.
Rangers lose Sword Of The Arcane Order.
etc
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Offline Graath

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 05:39:49 AM »
I had a similar conversation with one of my friends several months ago but I was unable to homebrew this mechanic. Can you please show me an example of a "how a feat should be" ??

Offline Nifft

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2017, 01:21:13 PM »
Monks lose Tashalatora.

Monks lose the ability to be replaced by not-Monks?!  :)




IIRC the conversations around "feats should be nice-not-necessary" were more about feat taxes.

4e contained the best example -- every character needed a specific feat to maintain attack accuracy starting around level 12 -- but there were probably examples from 3e as well.


Darkstalker might be a valid example. "Take this feat or those skill points you spent were wasted."

Offline snakeman830

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2017, 10:48:47 PM »
Darkstalker does, at least, have times when it's really not necessary.  For example, if your campaign is low on Aberrations and Dragons, it's not likely to be much of an issue.
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Offline Maelphaxerazz

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2017, 02:50:24 PM »
No feats = crafting would be viciously effected by this.
See, I think that's more a problem with 3.5's crafting system. Should it require feats? I don't think it should.

Crafting is highly dependent on the campaign's timescale, since it requires downtime to do. Further, the character that takes the crafting feat isn't necessarily the one who will benefit from it, as the magic items will be used by the party as a whole. In addition, crafting causes headaches for the DM in terms of wealth per level: in the current system, crafting makes you wealthier (you gain magic items for less gold), but also lower level (you pay XP, delaying advancement). As such, the current system of item creation feats isn't good for how D&D is played.

Rather than having crafting depend on a character's feat choices, I think it could be better to make it campaign-dependent: anyone can make magic items, if they have access to the correct components and special laboratories. This makes it an alternative way for the DM to reward PCs with magic items: the items are either found as loot, or, if the challenges overcome do not make much sense to have a bunch of magic loot, the DM (through an NPC or location) gives the party access to magic items by other means.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 03:19:42 PM by Maelphaxerazz »

Offline Maelphaxerazz

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2017, 03:19:06 PM »
I had a similar conversation with one of my friends several months ago but I was unable to homebrew this mechanic. Can you please show me an example of a "how a feat should be" ??
It isn't so much about how a feat should be as how combat maneuvers should be, or how classes should be. Basically, if the action or class is useless without the feat, then all or some of the benefit of the feat should be a baseline part of the action or class.

For example: nobody ever attempts to Disarm a character unless they have the Improved Disarm feat, because you both lose an attack against the target and give the target an attack against you, all while still having the chance of failure. As such, Improved Disarm is not merely nice to have if you want to disarm someone: it is absolutely necessary if you ever want to even consider trying without shooting yourself in the foot. So, this is how I think the feat should look like:

Improved Style [General]
You fight with your own unique flair.
Benefit: Choose two of the following special attacks: bull rush, disarm, grapple, overrun, sunder, or trip. You gain a +4 bonus on checks made to use these special attacks. That is a +4 to the opposed Strength check to bull rush, a +4 to the opposed attack roll to disarm, a +4 on all Grapple checks regardless of whether you started the grapple, a +4 bonus on your Strength check to knock down your opponent, a +4 bonus on any attack roll made to attack an object held or carried by another character, or a +4 bonus on your Strength check to trip your opponent.
If you choose to improve Overrun, the target may not choose to avoid you. If you choose to improve Trip, when you trip an opponent in melee combat, you immediately get a melee attack against that opponent as if you hadn’t used your attack for the trip attempt.
Special: You may take this feat up to three times. Its effects do not stack. You choose a different pair of special attacks each time.
Note: This feat replaces Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Grapple, Improved Overrun, Improved Sunder, and Improved Trip. Whether or not you have this feat, attempts to bull rush, disarm, grapple, sunder or trip do not provoke attacks of opportunity.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2017, 03:04:27 PM by Maelphaxerazz »

Offline Jackinthegreen

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2017, 04:46:16 PM »
No love for tripping?

Offline Maelphaxerazz

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2017, 03:04:32 PM »
Nah, just forgot about it. Edited it in now. Along with Overrun, while we're at it.

Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2017, 02:30:54 PM »
Monks lose Tashalatora.

Monks lose the ability to be replaced by not-Monks?!   :)

IIRC the conversations around "feats should be nice-not-necessary" were more about feat taxes.

4e contained the best example -- every character needed a specific feat to maintain attack accuracy starting around level 12 -- but there were probably examples from 3e as well.
Darkstalker might be a valid example. "Take this feat or those skill points you spent were wasted."

Ha yeah.
Druid 1 / Monk 1 / Druid 2 to 5 / Monk 2 / Druid 6+
no Natural Spell , no scrolls/universals excepting whatever Drops
Feels right about Tier 3.

4e c.o. did get a lot of those feat taxes discussions.
Too bad wotc put all those ~fixes into paid-for-errata.
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Offline nijineko

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2017, 05:48:31 PM »
I think the basic idea is that things that are considered mandatory, or common sense, for a given class should be a class feature option, not a feat. Feats could almost be considered something that should be a meta-mechanic.
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Offline Versatility_Nut

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2017, 10:17:18 PM »
I think the basic idea is that things that are considered mandatory, or common sense, for a given class should be a class feature option, not a feat. Feats could almost be considered something that should be a meta-mechanic.
Fully agreed. This is one of the reasons I despise single-class subsystems, because all the feats that apply to the subsystem only matter for one class.

Offline Archon

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2017, 07:19:26 AM »
I think the basic idea is that things that are considered mandatory, or common sense, for a given class should be a class feature option, not a feat. Feats could almost be considered something that should be a meta-mechanic.
Fully agreed. This is one of the reasons I despise single-class subsystems, because all the feats that apply to the subsystem only matter for one class.

Such feats can still apply for dipping purpose (i.e. Martial Study), and to provide tradeoffs. Feats can be a resource to spend on customization, and they work well at that (so a lot of classes benefit from a few local feats). When they fail at that (i.e., when a class must/should always take them), they shouldn't be feats. In that, I agree with you.

Offline PlzBreakMyCampaign

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2018, 12:34:38 PM »
Feats should not be needed for basic mechanical function. And for everything above t4, that's true.
Let's reverse this. Tier 3 and up should require feats to function. Tier 4 and below shouldn't. You want more power? Build harder. That's fair.

But also everyone should know off the top of their head a few feats to pick up when chosing their characters. Druids? Natural spell.  Psions? Overchannel. Totemist? Split Chakra. Paladin? Serenity. Monk? SUAS. The problem isn't just that lower tiers have too many feat taxes (they do, see my Free Feats thread) but that higher tiers have too many ways to get around having to take feats because their class features are superior right out of the gate. For instance rangers need those +3 levels to their animal companion, but druids don't really because they have better advancement. Wizards don't have to take Eschew Materials because of a broken core item.

It gets even worse when lower tier classes want to take feats, but they only work on higher tier versions. See overchannel for Wilder vs Psion.

Offline Endarire

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2018, 02:06:54 AM »
What is this 'broken core item' in reference to Eschew?

Offline TC X0 Lt 0X

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2018, 02:52:54 AM »
Probably a Spell Component Pouch.
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Offline Endarire

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2018, 06:57:56 PM »
PMBC: How would your suggestion work for requiring tier 3+ classes to require feats while tier 4- don't?

Offline Versatility_Nut

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2018, 05:50:30 AM »
PMBC: How would your suggestion work for requiring tier 3+ classes to require feats while tier 4- don't?
Probably something like having Bards outright need music effects from feats to function, maybe offloading some of the current scaling onto metamagic (halve current scaling rates, then make the associated feats pick up that chunk of scaling. For example, Fireball becomes 1d6 per 2 CL, but Empower Spell then gives +50% and +5% per CL. Ranges are halved, then Extend Spell doubles range and gives +10% range per CL) to have then need to get their tightly-controlled metamagic reducers. Or tightly control their access to known spells, needing feats to expand it, like having a limit on different spells prepared in much the same way 5e does it, then feats open it up more.

Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: "Feats are nice but should not be necessary."
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2018, 03:37:20 PM »
PLZ is referring to Scrolls.



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