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One Feat Per Level: An Open Discussion
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DenizenKane
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:01 pm    Post subject: One Feat Per Level: An Open Discussion Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Alright guys! I used to run a tome campaign back in the day using the scaling feats, and I'm putting together a "Tome" campaign for my playgroup that is currently playing pathfinder (someone else is currently DMing).

But, I'm having trouble coming up with a good feat per level list for my players, and what classes are most fun and functional under this paradigm?

I've seen and studied Koumei's and Frank's list, but I was wondering if you guys had anything else in mind.

What feats would be best to base their power level around?
Should any give out flat bonuses (i.e. Dodge for +2AC dodge ac) or should they all give out situational things?
What is the limit of their complexity?
Is using the old 3.5e/pathfail feats without prereqs good enough?
How weak do feats have to be to "staple them together", and how many is too many?
Do metamagics still get grouped like Kaelik's errata?
Does it make any sense to split feats into "tiers" (i.e. 1-4 Heroic Feats, 5-8 Paragon Feats, 9-12 Epic Feats)

Thanks in Advance for any input!

P.S. I swear I'm not trolling. Lol!

Franks FPL List:
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Koumei's FPL List:
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If you are playing with one feat per level, then all metamagic effects should not be grouped.

This still has a problem, because part of the point of grouping was to put Rapid Spell a metamagic no one ever uses, in with Quicken Spell, the one mandatory metamagic, and otherwise balance the feats that way.

Even dedicated summoners probably won't actually spend a feat on Rapid Spell if it's not grouped. So the loss of groups does hurt a bit.

But ultimately, the feats should be separate in a one feat per level set up.

Rapid Spell could be changed to a +0 ML increase and that would probably be enough to balance that specific one.
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DenizenKane
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, good point.

For fun, heres a list of Metamagic feats courtesy of Wizards and Kaelik.

Metamagic Feats:

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Do any of these need their ML messed with?


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Red_Rob
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Have you considered simply taking the Tome feats, splitting them into their component pieces and giving them a pre-req of whatever requirement they have for that level?

For example, Horde Breaker would be split into the following feats:

Horde Breaker
Pre-Req: None
Benefit: You gain a number of extra attacks of opportunity each round equal to your Dexterity Bonus (if positive).

Cleave
Pre-Req: +1 BAB
Benefit: Whenever you drop an opponent with a melee attack, you are entitled to a bonus "cleave" attack against another opponent you threaten. You may not take a 5' step or otherwise move before taking this bonus attack. This Cleave attack is considered an attack of opportunity.

Greater Cleave
Pre-Req:+6 BAB, Cleave
Benefit: You may take a bonus 5' step every time you are entitled to a Cleave attack, which you may take either before or after the attack.

Fearsome Strike
Pre-Req:+11 BAB
Benefit: You may generate an aura of fear on any opponents within 10' of yourself whenever you drop an opponent in melee. The save DC is 10 + the Hit Dice of the dropped creature.

Horde Destroyer
Pre-Req:+16 BAB
Benefit: Opponents you have the Edge against provoke an attack of opportunity from you by moving into your threatened area or attacking you.

That would save a ton of work, give a feeling similar to Tome feats but with more customisation at a "cost" of not ramping up to an insane amount of abilities at high level.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Red_Rob wrote:
Have you considered simply taking the Tome feats, splitting them into their component pieces and giving them a pre-req of whatever requirement they have for that level?


That's going to need a lot of work to rebalance.

Is anyone going to take

+11: You may attack with a reach weapon as if it was not a reach weapon. Thus, a medium creature would normally threaten at 5' and 10' with a reach weapon.

Or

+16: When you take the Full Defense Action, add your level to your AC.

Or

+6: You gain a +2 Shield Bonus to your armor class when fighting with two weapons and not flat footed.

But literally 1000000% people are going to take

+6: When you strike your opponent with the signature moves of your fighting school in melee, they must make a Fortitude Save (DC 10 + ˝ your level + your Strength bonus) or become dazed for one round.

Or

+16: You may make a Full Attack action as a Standard Action.
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Koumei
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

When I started reworking Disgaeagame I made a big list of feats for the 1-per-level paradigm and most of them are typed up properly. It's bigger than the list I gave above, but a bunch are Disgaea-specific. I could post it up if you really want, but that's also sort of effort, so only if you really want.
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Red_Rob
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Kaelik wrote:
Red_Rob wrote:
Have you considered simply taking the Tome feats, splitting them into their component pieces and giving them a pre-req of whatever requirement they have for that level?


That's going to need a lot of work to rebalance.

Is anyone going to take

+11: You may attack with a reach weapon as if it was not a reach weapon. Thus, a medium creature would normally threaten at 5' and 10' with a reach weapon.

Or

+16: When you take the Full Defense Action, add your level to your AC.

Or

+6: You gain a +2 Shield Bonus to your armor class when fighting with two weapons and not flat footed.

But literally 1000000% people are going to take

+6: When you strike your opponent with the signature moves of your fighting school in melee, they must make a Fortitude Save (DC 10 + ˝ your level + your Strength bonus) or become dazed for one round.

Or

+16: You may make a Full Attack action as a Standard Action.


Arguably that's a balance issue with the Tome feats themselves. Combat School is pretty much mandatory for most full BaB builds by level 6 already. Stacking Save or... effects onto attacks in general is an issue that needs some attention. It's probably worthy of a blanket rule restricting such effects to one per attack, however it ends up being worded.

Alternatively you can tie the more powerful effects to less powerful ones as pre-req's, creating a suitable feat investment requirement. I'm not saying it will be totally straightforward, just that it gives you a wide baseline of feats to work with already sorted into roughly level-appropriate bands.
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Simplified Tome Armor. Tome item system and expanded Wish Economy rules.

"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Red_Rob wrote:
Alternatively you can tie the more powerful effects to less powerful ones as pre-req's, creating a suitable feat investment requirement. I'm not saying it will be totally straightforward, just that it gives you a wide baseline of feats to work with already sorted into roughly level-appropriate bands.


Uh.....
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Red_Rob wrote:
Alternatively you can tie the more powerful effects to less powerful ones as pre-req's, creating a suitable feat investment requirement. I'm not saying it will be totally straightforward, just that it gives you a wide baseline of feats to work with already sorted into roughly level-appropriate bands.


Isn't that exactly what people hated most about feats in their initial implementation, and why homebrewed Tome feats have no bad feats for prereqs?
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Omegonthesane
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

...You Lost Me wrote:
Red_Rob wrote:
Alternatively you can tie the more powerful effects to less powerful ones as pre-req's, creating a suitable feat investment requirement. I'm not saying it will be totally straightforward, just that it gives you a wide baseline of feats to work with already sorted into roughly level-appropriate bands.


Isn't that exactly what people hated most about feats in their initial implementation, and why homebrewed Tome feats have no bad feats for prereqs?

That probably matters a shitload more if you have seven feats across twenty levels as opposed to a feat at every level. The latter is what's being proposed.

I'd have assumed that if you were breaking up the scaling feats they'd be feat chains like what they were meant to replace.
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Red_Rob
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

...You Lost Me wrote:
Red_Rob wrote:
Alternatively you can tie the more powerful effects to less powerful ones as pre-req's, creating a suitable feat investment requirement. I'm not saying it will be totally straightforward, just that it gives you a wide baseline of feats to work with already sorted into roughly level-appropriate bands.


Isn't that exactly what people hated most about feats in their initial implementation, and why homebrewed Tome feats have no bad feats for prereqs?


Not really. The reason people hated feat chains in their original incarnation was that they were overused. Practically every warrior fighting style was built up of a chain of feats going from basic to advanced, effectively forcing Warriors that wanted to pick up a new Schtick to spend several levels gaining crappy abilities first.

Here we are saying that they would be used solely as a balancing mechanism. If a feat ability is worth "more" than 1 feat, i.e. it is something everyone would pick if offered it for the cost of a feat, you add pre-reqs to effectively make it "cost" additional feats. As it would only be used for a few select feats it shouldn't have the sinking feeling of coming to the end of a feat chain in the PHB and realising you are looking at taking level 1 abilities for the next few levels.

Of course the other alternative is simply to tweak the OP feats so they aren't OP, but balancing with a flat costing mechanic is notoriously difficult.

Omegonthesane wrote:
That probably matters a shitload more if you have seven feats across twenty levels as opposed to a feat at every level. The latter is what's being proposed.

I'd have assumed that if you were breaking up the scaling feats they'd be feat chains like what they were meant to replace.


Actually, in the PHB with all their bonus feats the Fighter pretty much does get a feat per level, and people still complained about feat chains. As the wizard gets 2 new level appropriate spells for going up a level there really isn't much justification for warriors having to pick early level bullshit again every time they come to the end of a feat chain. That's why I was only recommending it as a balancing mechanism for particularly powerful feats. You probably wouldn't want more than 1 pre-req feat even for powerful things like Combat School Daze - as you are effectively delaying the acquisition of the feat for a full level for each pre-req feat.

I will admit I haven't given this idea a full going over, perhaps I'll look into converting the Tome feats to a 1-per-level paradigm more deeply when I next look to run a D&D campaign.
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"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Red_Rob wrote:
Alternatively you can tie the more powerful effects to less powerful ones as pre-req's, creating a suitable feat investment requirement. I'm not saying it will be totally straightforward, just that it gives you a wide baseline of feats to work with already sorted into roughly level-appropriate bands.


Maybe we could tie the feat-chains together into little lists that show what feats come online and at which level, for ease of reference. Although, since balancing feat chains against feats that can be taken at-will is difficult, it might be better to have the feat chains be given away as sort of super-feats, where you take it and then its later effects are unlocked automatically without further tax. Then you could have some levels grant super-feats and other levels grant regular ones. I wonder what that system would be like? We should probably try it.
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radthemad4
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Most of my recent games have been 1 regular feat per level + Scaling feats at 1, Human, 3, 6, etc. and they've been a lot of fun.

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DenizenKane
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think a big problem with the current feat system is that everyone tries to use it to make fighters work, but I think it needs to move away from that completely. Under this system, "Fighters" as a class should be fully combat functional without them, and probably shouldnt be a fighter at all. (ie Frank's Soldier or Crusader).

You can't have feats that are as good as class features in the one per level system. This is why 3.5e fighters don't work.

It is possible to split it up, and make Martial feats that are given by classes, and make them seperate from the general feats everyone picks, but that might as well become the Hero class.

Rather, those types of characters should have feats that increase their utility, and have a cumulative effect on all their combat manuevers, rather than add them.

Am I wrong with this assessment?

EDIT: Also,

Can things like Combat Reflexes, TWF, archery feats be just put into the system, or automatic bonus feats? To open up room for more utility and allow combat characters to be fully capable from the go?


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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well what do you consider to be the domain of...

*Feats
*Class
*Skill
*Race (especially ones with ECL+X)

Figuring out what the heck feats do includes what they don't do and what everything else does.
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DenizenKane
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
Well what do you consider to be the domain of...

*Feats
*Class
*Skill
*Race (especially ones with ECL+X)

Figuring out what the heck feats do includes what they don't do and what everything else does.


If you start making feats that are equal to class features (i.e. "always level appropriate"). You're creating them problem of having feats that can crowd out classes altogether. You end up with some weird semi-classless system. Where does it really end if you go this route?

On the other hand, if you don't dole out lots of crazy bonuses with feats, you can allow classes to revel in their differences instead of blending them all together. Feats should be used to add bits of utility and flavor to your character, and not be the basis of your character. Feats should be about slightly increasing a characters ability to overcome a variety of obstacles that may be specific to the setting your character is in.

Things that Tax, and are mandatory like something that adds +2 to attack and damage rolls should not be used unless it's truly conditional like only working on creatures bigger than you or something. Otherwise, Every martial character has to take this. You might as well build it into the system/class, or reconsider the AC and HP of monsters you're throwing at your PCs.

Classes should define the large majority of your character. Multiclassing is heavily discouraged/forbidden. There's no way to make multi-class characters good without cheesing stuff.

If you want to use a 2h, you pick the Barbarian, The Crusader, The Berserker. You don't pick the fighter and pile on a bunch of 2h fighting feats and use a feat chain to allow stronger feats, that system doesn't work. At that point, you might as well make all level appropriate feats. And we arrive back at the first problem I discussed.

Even things like Wings at level 5, and leadership at 6, make this system inconsistent, because everyone will want those, because they'll be the only "level appropriate" things, because they were designed for those levels, and not the level 1- balance point of feats.

Which brings us to another can of worms. What do feats have to do to be a useful system at all and not be too weak?

Skills will probably be handled by Skill Groups, http://tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?t=56277 .. Great idea.

As for races, they should do about what they do now?
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Feat Chains are bad for the same reason that the Spheres of Power we are shit tlaking on the other side are bad. No one wants to gain a level and not get something level appropriate. Getting power later in exchange for getting kicked in the nuts now is still you getting kicked in the nuts. RPGs are open ended, and sometimes they just end before you get to the big payoff. Also sometimes you just start at higher level and you never have to crawl through the payment times.

If a feat is overpowered, you need to chop it up or nerf it or something. Letting it be overpowered but making the player work extra hard to get it makes noone happy.

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Sigil
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
Well what do you consider to be the domain of...

*Feats
*Class
*Skill
*Race (especially ones with ECL+X)

Figuring out what the heck feats do includes what they don't do and what everything else does.


In addition to the other things that have been said about worrying about character features that are overpowered, I'd like to point out that there is sometimes the opposite problem of character features that are so narrowly focused that they don't make sense thematically to allow every character to do, but invariably are underpowered enough that they are never worth spending permanent resources on. I'm specifically talking about things like use rope, learning a language, weapon and armor proficiency, handle animal. I think that by removing those things from the realm of what feats and skills do, you could more narrowly define what they /do/ do, and make it easier to move forward. Frank and K recognized this to some extent in the original Tomes with the concept of "Exploits" to gain weapon proficiency.

I've advocated for this before when I was working on the Awesometome project, and called them talents. I never finished working on it as a subsystem, but what I had was this:
  • Every level you get a number of talents for free and without any effort on your part equal to your intelligence bonus. This replaces bonus skill points. With the reduced number of skills we were looking at, you shouldn't need more skills than granted by your class to have a relevant number of skills.
  • The requirements for gaining a talent were not particularly uniform, and were spelled out in each individual talent, but they shouldn't require you to expend permanent resources to acquire. Gold, in game time, doing a thing, etc.
  • Many of the talents opened up a new but minor use for skills you already had. Use rope for example would let you use your sleight of hand check to do certain things with rope, and allow you to replace fixed DCs for escaping bindings with your own check value. Handle animal would let you train and tame animals with the Nature skill.
  • Some of the things I was considering making into talents: Weapon Proficiency, Armor Proficiency, speak language, literacy, professions, handle animal, use rope.

    I feel like by removing the least powerful options from skills and feats, you make it easier to design appropriately powered skills and feats.
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    DenizenKane
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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Been doing a lot of consideration on this. And alot of the stuff I said earlier was stupid, but I'm sorta just thinking out loud. I think feats should definitely be split into tiers by level.

    I think the best split is 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16, 17-20.

    This solves a few problems:
    1) Its better than Prereqs because you don't have to work through a chain.
    2) Feats can be level appropriate without having to make feats for every level. You just have to make a set for every 4 levels.
    3) All the feats don't have to be weak and pointless heading into higher levels.

    Also you should be able to retrain your older feats as you level up so you aren't forced to keep lower level feats that no longer apply to your character.


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    PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Why do we need tiers? Prerequisites can still exist. Wings of Evil has a level prereq, just like Breath Weapon and Harmless Form.

    4 levels is the difference between stinking cloud and solid fog. What is level-appropriate at level 5 will be annoyingly weak at level 8. Unless you're concerned about players not being able to process a lot of feats, I don't think another set of memorized tiers is a good way to go about it.
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    DenizenKane
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    PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Yeah, that makes sense, I was just thinking that simplified system would make it easier to design the feats.

    Should there be feats for every level? Every two levels like spells? Am I overthinking this?
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    PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Related to this topic, I have a question about feat distribution. On the 1/lvl plan, there are certain feats that take up too much power budget to make the list, but aren't offered anywhere else. Stuff like Attune Sphere and Large Size, that quite can't be broken down like Kaelik/AlphaNerd Metamagic feats. How do you include these in your game without feat chains (or do you just include feat chains)?

    @DenizenKane: I like the idea of budgeting feat writing into chunks of 2-4 levels, it's just that feat selection shouldn't be limited by tiers. So when you're planning out the content of a book, you can check off "3 level 5-ish demon feats" because you have Breath Weapon / Wings of Evil / Harmless Form. But when the player cracks open their copy of Dungeons & DenizenKanes to the feat chapter, they should just see a list of possibilities.

    But that's just what I think, and I don't have any worthwhile design credits to my name.
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    Again, look at this fucking map you moron. Take your finger and trace each country's coast, then trace its claim line. Even you - and I say that as someone who could not think less of your intelligence - should be able to tell that one of these things is not like the other.
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    Kaelik
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    PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    ...You Lost Me wrote:
    Related to this topic, I have a question about feat distribution. On the 1/lvl plan, there are certain feats that take up too much power budget to make the list, but aren't offered anywhere else. Stuff like Attune Sphere and Large Size, that quite can't be broken down like Kaelik/AlphaNerd Metamagic feats.


    Why do you need +8 Strength with a feat? Should Wizards get +8 Int with a feat? If the only reason is "Because Warriors get shit class features" then maybe write a warrior with non shit class features, and then write a feat that fucking makes you Large Size without giving +8 Strength.

    Attune Sphere can just fall under "extra spell" which could probably afford some buff mostly in the form of being respeced at least at level up, and possibly daily or weekly or whatever, depending on where you balance your spells. But just "You get another spell known" is perfectly viable compared to most one per level feats.
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    ...You Lost Me
    Duke


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    PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Even item 7 from your Tome of Fiends errata is a bit much, don't you think? +4 Str, +2 Con, large size. Is large size with no stats OK at level 5?

    A few more in a similar vein:
    • Leadership feats. Even now 1 feat doesn't pay for a cohort that's useful. What would you do to get your cohorts / tiny fighting men?
    • Broker of the Infernal (ToF)
    • Extra Arms (ToF)
    • Something like the elemental siphon feats.

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    Again, look at this fucking map you moron. Take your finger and trace each country's coast, then trace its claim line. Even you - and I say that as someone who could not think less of your intelligence - should be able to tell that one of these things is not like the other.
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    Kaelik
    ArchDemon of Rage


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    PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    ...You Lost Me wrote:
    Even item 7 from your Tome of Fiends errata is a bit much, don't you think? +4 Str, +2 Con, large size. Is large size with no stats OK at level 5?

    A few more in a similar vein:
    • Leadership feats. Even now 1 feat doesn't pay for a cohort that's useful. What would you do to get your cohorts / tiny fighting men?
    • Broker of the Infernal (ToF)
    • Extra Arms (ToF)
    • Something like the elemental siphon feats.


    Lare Size With no stats is fine at level 1.

    the Tome Errata one was a) a long time ago, b) not for one feat per level.

    Leadership shouldn't be a feat at all, since it's just "everyone takes it and you army manage" or "no one takes it" that's just a decision you make at character creation that is like deciding to play a game at level 8 or level 1.

    Elemental Siphon Feats and Extra Arms could probably be class features, since they are, for the most part, for specific classes. Extra arms as a "feat" that grants you the effects of TWFing, but with THW is always going to be too powerful for a feat. You could probably arrange a feat chain if you wanted, where you have extra arms that give you some bonuses, and then later turn into fully extra arms, but honestly, I have to wonder why having more actual arms should be a minor character customization option separate from race at all.
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    That's libertarians for you - anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.
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