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Awarding "lesser" feats at every level (LONG)

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Anonymous
February 25, 2005 5:36:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

I've read at least one post on here bringing up the idea of changing
the feats system so that characters receive a feat every level instead
of every third level. I thought I'd take a stab at reducing the power
of some core feats to see what such "lesser" feats might look like.

I'm not perfectly satisfied with the results. Firstly, the exercise
resulted in feats that were mostly at half-power from the original, not
one-third power. I can live with that, though, especially in cases
where the original feat was a bit weak to begin with.

A greater problem is that I turned to the device of "limited uses per
encounter" to scale back some feats. This incurs more recordkeeping
overhead and also doesn't jibe with the "always-on" fundamental nature
of feats, which is part of what distinguishes them from special
abilities. So I'd be interested to hear if anyone has ideas on how to
fix that.

Below is a representative sample of core feats in reduced form. Pick
'em over and tell me why it will or won't work.

(Disclaimer: Obviously, a lot of game mechanics assume that you'll be
at a minimum character level by the time you get a particular feat. I
haven't done that much work rewriting the reduced feats yet, but I'm
aware that it would need to be done at some point. This is just a
quick initial look at the picture.)

--Iss

* * * * * * * * * *

Alertness: +1 to Listen and Spot. Can take feat twice.

Armor Proficiency, Light: gain proficiency in one light armor. Can
take feat multiple times.
Armor Proficiency, Medium: gain proficiency in one medium armor. Can
take feat multiple times. (req. Str 11)
Armor Proficiency, Heavy: gain proficiency in one heavy armor. Can take
feat multiple times. (req. Str 13)

Cleave: as original feat, but 1 use per encounter. Can take feat
multiple times.

Combat Casting: as original feat, but +2 to Conc checks. Can take feat
twice.

Combat Expertise: as original feat, but limit of +2 to AC, -2 to
attack. Can take feat multiple times.

Combat Reflexes: make 1 additional AoO per round, up to Dex bonus. Can
take feat multiple times.
Improved Combat Reflexes: make AoO while flat-footed. (req. Combat
Reflexes)

Craft Wondrous Item: as original feat, but only items up to CL 6.
Improved Craft Wondrous Item: craft wondrous items up to CL 12. (req.
Craft Wondrous Item)
Greater Craft Wondrous Item: craft wondrous items up to CL 20. (req.
Imp. Craft Wondrous Item)

Dodge: as original feat, but -1 to AC vs foes other than designated
foe.
Improved Dodge: as original Dodge feat. (req. Dodge)
Greater Dodge: +1 dodge to AC vs. all foes. (req. Imp. Dodge)

Extend Spell: as original feat, but 1 spell/day.
Improved Extend Spell: as original Extend Spell feat. (req. Extend
Spell)

Great Fortitude: as original feat, but +1 to Fort saves. Can take feat
twice.

Improved Bull Rush: perform bull rush w/o provoking AoO. (req. Str 13,
Power Attack)
Greater Bull Rush: +4 to opposed Str check when performing bull rush.
(req. Imp Bull Rush)

Accurate Critical: +1 to confirm critical hit with chosen weapon. (req.
proficient, BAB +4)
Improved Accurate Critical: +2 to confirm critical hit with chosen
weapon. (req. Accurate Critical, BAB +6)
Improved Critical: as original feat, but requires Acc Crit and Imp Acc
Crit.

Improved Initiative: as original feat, but +2 bonus.
Greater Initiative: as original Imp Init feat. (req. Dex 13, Imp Init)

Improved Turning: as original feat, but 1 use/day. Can take feat
multiple times.

Unarmed Strike: unarmed attacks deal lethal or nonlethal damage, at
your option.
Improved Unarmed Strike: make unarmed attack w/o provoking AoO. (req.
Unarmed Strike)

Leadership: as original feat, but cohort and followers do not
improve/advance as character gains levels.
Improved Leadership: use cohort/followers table up through character
level 12. (req. Leadership)
Greater Leadership: use cohort/followers table up through character
level 20. (req. Improved Leadership)

Mobility: as original feat, but +2 dodge bonus to AC. Can take feat
twice. (req. Dex 13, Improved Dodge)

Mounted Combat: as original feat, but 1 use/encounter. Can take feat
multiple times.

Point Blank Shot: +1 to attack w/ ranged weapon at up to 15 feet.
Improved Point Blank Shot: +1 to attack and damage w/ ranged weapon at
up to 15 feet. (req. Point Blank Shot)
Greater Point Blank Shot: as original Point Blank Shot feat. (req. Imp
Point Blank Shot)

Power Attack: as original feat, but limit of +2 to damage, -2 to
attack. Can take feat multiple times.

Quick Draw: as original feat, but light melee weapons only.
Improved Quick Draw: quick draw one-handed melee weapons only. (req.
Quick Draw)
Greater Quick Draw: as original Quick Draw feat. (req. Imp Quick Draw)

Rapid Shot: as original feat, but -4 penalty to attack.
Improved Rapid Shot: reduce Rapid Shot penalty to -2. (Rapid Shot)

Skill Focus: as original feat, but +2 bonus.

Track: as original feat, but +3 to DCs.
Improved Track: as original Track feat.

Two-Weapon Fighting: as original feat, but primary hand penalty lessens
by 1, off hand penalty by 3.
Practiced Two-Weapon Fighting: as original Two-Weapon Fighting feat.
(req. 2-Wp Fighting)

Weapon Finesse: as original feat, but apply max Dex bonus of +2.
Improved Weapon Finesse: as original Weapon Finesse feat. (req. Weapon
Finesse)
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 7:12:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Issachar44 wrote:

> I'm not perfectly satisfied with the results. Firstly, the exercise
> resulted in feats that were mostly at half-power from the original,
not
> one-third power. I can live with that, though, especially in cases
> where the original feat was a bit weak to begin with.

But in most cases it is easily fixed, +4 bonus feats can become
two +1 feats followed by a +2 feat, or even four +1 feats for
really useful ones like Improved Initiative.
(Or if you LIKE arms races make them all +1 and unlimited stacking.)

> A greater problem is that I turned to the device of "limited uses per
> encounter" to scale back some feats. This incurs more recordkeeping
> overhead and also doesn't jibe with the "always-on" fundamental
nature
> of feats, which is part of what distinguishes them from special
> abilities. So I'd be interested to hear if anyone has ideas on how
to
> fix that.

In most cases you can split the original feat into a use with a
penalty and use at full.

To maintain current ballance remember to give 3 or 4 times feats
at level 1, and +3 feats per human.

> * * * * * * * * * *
>
> Alertness: +1 to Listen and Spot. Can take feat twice.

You can make this work better by giving the feat prerequisites
of Skill Focus Listen and Spot, requiring the skill focus feats
be maxed out prior to taking "greater alertness" for the full
+2.

That way it takes 3 "mini" feats to get the equivelent of
alertness.

> Armor Proficiency, Light: gain proficiency in one light armor. Can
> take feat multiple times.
> Armor Proficiency, Medium: gain proficiency in one medium armor. Can
> take feat multiple times. (req. Str 11)
> Armor Proficiency, Heavy: gain proficiency in one heavy armor. Can
take
> feat multiple times. (req. Str 13)

I don't like this one. You can take heavy without taking
medium, and most people only wear one type of armor so they
will never need to spend more than one or two feats. (Fewer
than it can take in D&D3.x!) Either make everything into
a single long chain of Prerequisits or just create an Armor
proficiency stackable feat which reduces the part of the
penalty applied as non-proficient by 1 each time it is
taken for all armor.

> Cleave: as original feat, but 1 use per encounter. Can take feat
> multiple times.

Cleave gives a -4 to the extra attack roll
Improved Cleave gives a -2 to the extra attack roll
Mastered Cleave gives an unmodified extra attack roll

Repeat for Great Cleave and extra attacks after the first.

> Combat Casting: as original feat, but +2 to Conc checks. Can take
feat
> twice.

Probably OK, combat casting is currently underpowered relative
to skill focus.

> Combat Expertise: as original feat, but limit of +2 to AC, -2 to
> attack. Can take feat multiple times.
>
> Combat Reflexes: make 1 additional AoO per round, up to Dex bonus.
Can
> take feat multiple times.
> Improved Combat Reflexes: make AoO while flat-footed. (req. Combat
> Reflexes)

Combat Reflexes gives the AoO while flat-footed.
(I consider this the weaker part of the feat. So it comes
first in the chain.)

Improved Combat Reflexes gives one extra AoO and has prereqs of
Combat Reflexes and Dex 12+.

Greater Combat Reflexes gives the full AoO up to dex modifier
+1.

> Craft Wondrous Item: as original feat, but only items up to CL 6.
> Improved Craft Wondrous Item: craft wondrous items up to CL 12. (req.
> Craft Wondrous Item)
> Greater Craft Wondrous Item: craft wondrous items up to CL 20. (req.
> Imp. Craft Wondrous Item)

Very few wondrous items actually need to be made at high CL.
Split by minor (cost less than 7,500 GP), medium (cost less
than 28,000 GP), and major.

That split is already in the game rules, and for wonderous items
is fairly straight forward with no overlap.

> Dodge: as original feat, but -1 to AC vs foes other than designated
> foe.
> Improved Dodge: as original Dodge feat. (req. Dodge)
> Greater Dodge: +1 dodge to AC vs. all foes. (req. Imp. Dodge)

I think Dodge is so underpowered that I would have no objection
to dropping this to two feats. One for one foe, one for everyone
whenever you are not flat-footed.

> Extend Spell: as original feat, but 1 spell/day.
> Improved Extend Spell: as original Extend Spell feat. (req. Extend
> Spell)

Metamagic is interesting. I would be tempted to drop all the
+ to caster levels by one, and allow one spell per day per
time the feat is taken.

> Accurate Critical: +1 to confirm critical hit with chosen weapon.
(req.
> proficient, BAB +4)
> Improved Accurate Critical: +2 to confirm critical hit with chosen
> weapon. (req. Accurate Critical, BAB +6)
> Improved Critical: as original feat, but requires Acc Crit and Imp
Acc
> Crit.

If the effects stack this is better than the original feat, and
for taste reasons I don't like pluses to confirmation rolls.

Also the first two are weak even for mini-feats.

Try this:
Improved Critical: You may take a -2 on your attack roll and
double your threat range.
Accurate Critical: Reduces the penalty for Improved critical
to -1 on the attack roll.
Greater Improved Critical: Removes the penalty for Improved
Critical, requires accurate critical.

> Improved Initiative: as original feat, but +2 bonus.
> Greater Initiative: as original Imp Init feat. (req. Dex 13, Imp
Init)

You could split one of those into two separate +1 feats.

> Leadership: as original feat, but cohort and followers do not
> improve/advance as character gains levels.

Don't like it, the cohort is adventuring with you, why would he
not advance? Try the Cohort may be no higher than level 5 and
the character can't recruit followers. (If the cohort advances
to level 6 he goes off on his own or joins a different group.)

> Improved Leadership: use cohort/followers table up through character
> level 12. (req. Leadership)

Again having everyone stop advancing feels wierd. Limit the
allowed followers to commoners, and the cohort to level 10
or less.

> Greater Leadership: use cohort/followers table up through character
> level 20. (req. Improved Leadership)
>
> Mobility: as original feat, but +2 dodge bonus to AC. Can take feat
> twice. (req. Dex 13, Improved Dodge)

Again if you want you can split one of these into two +1 feats.

> Mounted Combat: as original feat, but 1 use/encounter. Can take feat
> multiple times.
>
> Point Blank Shot: +1 to attack w/ ranged weapon at up to 15 feet.
> Improved Point Blank Shot: +1 to attack and damage w/ ranged weapon
at
> up to 15 feet. (req. Point Blank Shot)
> Greater Point Blank Shot: as original Point Blank Shot feat. (req.
Imp
> Point Blank Shot)

I think I would save the + to damage for the last feat in the
chain, people care more about damage than an extra 15' except
against monsters with lots of reach.

I would give the + to damage for the earliest feat and the
+ to attack later, on average a + to attack is worth more.

> Rapid Shot: as original feat, but -4 penalty to attack.
> Improved Rapid Shot: reduce Rapid Shot penalty to -2. (Rapid Shot)

Again you can make it -4, -3, -2 for three separate feets.

> Skill Focus: as original feat, but +2 bonus.

+1 bonus and stackable three times would match the current
rule. +2 bonus makes Focus a better deal than even your
version of alertness.

> Track: as original feat, but +3 to DCs.
> Improved Track: as original Track feat.

Problem is I can use search to track DC 10 or less, so sometimes
this Feat will make it HARDER to track.

I would maximum DC for regular track (say 20) and no ability to
track while moving full speed. Then add unlimited DC and fast
tracking as additional feats.

> Two-Weapon Fighting: as original feat, but primary hand penalty
lessens
> by 1, off hand penalty by 3.
> Practiced Two-Weapon Fighting: as original Two-Weapon Fighting feat.
> (req. 2-Wp Fighting)

Heck, this one is so weak I would probably leave it a single feat.

2WF is not overpowered if the feat is free.

DougL
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 10:49:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Peter Meilinger wrote:
> And speaking of, how are you treating fighters in this
> new system? Do they still get more feats than other classes?
>
> Pete

Good question. I hadn't come up with a good way to handle fighters yet
-- or, for that matter, wizards or other classes that get free feats at
certain levels.

Making this kind of change to the feats system reaches so deeply into
all parts of the game that I wondered whether it wouldn't be best to
make the new feat system coexist alongside the old one. Thus, no need
to redesign every monster you use; they keep all their old feats.
Fighters (or other feat-heavy classes) could opt to use the old system
and continue to take their full-strength feats every other level.

This would place a serious mandate on the new feat system to generate
mini-feats in three-step progressions that culminate in the existing
"big" feats. That's easy to do in some cases and hard in others, as
I'm finding out.

I haven't thought too deeply on the subject yet, but at first blush I
find the idea of one-feat-per-level really attractive in terms of
character design. It'd something I'd like to see WotC do in the next
version of d20, though I doubt they will.

--Iss
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 5:15:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Issachar44 <Issachar44@gmail.com> wrote:

>Power Attack: as original feat, but limit of +2 to damage, -2 to
>attack. Can take feat multiple times.

In the core rules, isn't it limited by your BAB? This would
require taking a LOT of feats if fighters want to get the
most out of it. You've cut the feat's power by considerably
more than the 2/3 you were aiming for.

And speaking of, how are you treating fighters in this
new system? Do they still get more feats than other classes?

Pete
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 10:00:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

DougL wrote:
> Issachar44 wrote:

<snip: great general advice form Issachar44>

>>Alertness: +1 to Listen and Spot. Can take feat twice.
>
> You can make this work better by giving the feat prerequisites
> of Skill Focus Listen and Spot, requiring the skill focus feats
> be maxed out prior to taking "greater alertness" for the full
> +2.

Hmm. You could just ditch the +2/+2 feats, give +1 or +2 to one
skill per mini-feat. Generally the skill boosters are a little weak,
though it'd be easier to change if all the skills were more equal in
utility.

> That way it takes 3 "mini" feats to get the equivelent of
> alertness.

Yea, but it doesn't stack so good then.

<sorted>
>>Combat Casting: as original feat, but +2 to Conc checks. Can take feat
>>twice.
>
> Probably OK, combat casting is currently underpowered relative
> to skill focus.

Yes, other than that it stacks quite nicely. The real problem is
the thing it stacks toward doesn't have high enough DCs to warrant that.

>>Skill Focus: as original feat, but +2 bonus.
>
> +1 bonus and stackable three times would match the current
> rule. +2 bonus makes Focus a better deal than even your
> version of alertness.

Hmm, so fold all such things into +1 per feat, or +2 for
situational mods. Max stack of 3 basics, and 2 situational. I used to
think Skill Focus was weak, but I've used it a bit lately, and there's
plenty of concepts that it's pretty damn good with, especially on
contested stuff.


>>Armor Proficiency[...]
<snip>
> Either make everything into a single long chain of Prerequisits
> or just create an Armor proficiency stackable feat which reduces
> the part of the penalty applied as non-proficient by 1 each time
> it is taken for all armor.

Oooh nice, max ACP is -6 on masterwork stuff, so 2 old feats for
all armour, which looks a better deal than 3. An extra -3 for masterwork
Tower Shield is also fits well, plus 3 for the shields (small, buckler,
large).

<snip: Foo>
> has prereqs of Combat Reflexes and Dex 12+.

Dex 13+. All prereqs are odd numbers.

<Re: Crafting>
> Very few wondrous items actually need to be made at high CL.
> Split by minor (cost less than 7,500 GP), medium (cost less
> than 28,000 GP), and major.
>
> That split is already in the game rules, and for wonderous items
> is fairly straight forward with no overlap.

I'd rather see extra costs for 1 or 2 feats. +100% and +50%
respectively perhaps, or maybee just much higher XP costs.

> I think Dodge is so underpowered that I would have no objection
> to dropping this to two feats. One for one foe, one for everyone
> whenever you are not flat-footed.

Dodge is, statistically, a *very* powerful feat. +1 AC vs all foes
is silly good.
A better way of modelling 3 feat dodge (if you wanted that) would
be to have requirement of full-defence, fighting-defensively, and always
on to gain the bonus.

>>Extend Spell: as original feat, but 1 spell/day.
>>Improved Extend Spell: as original Extend Spell feat. (req. Extend
>>Spell)
>
> Metamagic is interesting. I would be tempted to drop all the
> + to caster levels by one, and allow one spell per day per
> time the feat is taken.

Or increase the required level boost, probably just by +1 each.
Metamagic doesn't work well though, IMO, so this'd be a chance to change
things and try stuff.
I tend to prefer that metamagic uses multiple slots than higher
level ones, total 1 slot per old +1 level. Add +2 slots for one feat,
and +1 slot for 2.

>>Two-Weapon Fighting: as original feat, but primary hand penalty lessens
>>by 1, off hand penalty by 3.
>>Practiced Two-Weapon Fighting: as original Two-Weapon Fighting feat.
>>(req. 2-Wp Fighting)
>
> Heck, this one is so weak I would probably leave it a single feat.
>
> 2WF is not overpowered if the feat is free.

Yes it is, at least in combination with Imp.Shield Bash, or for
Rogues, or for Rangers vs favored enemies, or for anyone where damage
from sources other than Str is relatively high.

Besides, the game doesn't want alot of TWFers; it's supposed to be
a rare thing in the genre. The Complete Fighters book in 2e saw
*everyone* using it, and that was just silly.

--
tussock

Aspie at work, sorry in advance.
!