Dragon 391 - Winning Races: Dwarves, Favored of the All-Father

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DnDi_Large.pngDragon 391
Winning Races: Dwarves, Favored of the All-Father

by Matt Sernett

We present a broad menu of dwarven feats in the new Essentials style.

Talk about this Article here.

391_wr_dwarves.jpg



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Dwarf Protector - clearly should not be a feat bonus. It is situational and doesn't stack or increase with level. It should probably apply to hammers as well, the other iconic dwarven weapon, especially since the dwarf in the illustration is wielding one.

Compare it with Clangeddin’s Axe Expertise which would you rather have, a feat that give +1 feat bonus to all your axe attacks (that scales with tier to a degree), and an additional bonus besides or one that gives a +1 feat bonus to your axe attacks only when adjacent to a dwarf?

Typo:

How the Mighty Have Fallen

When you score a critical hit against a creature of Large of greater size, you knock
the target prone.

Believe that should be "Large or greater size"

"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"

I really liked this one. Feats anyone can use (so it's not the usual, "Oh, dang, I'm not currently playing a Halfling Battlemind, so all of this is useless to me), that actually stack up decently against the current options without overwhelming them. I'm actually considering a couple of these for various characters.
I was just happy to see an article with about as much crunch as flavor.

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

There are several other issues with the article.

Giant Killer is a pathetically small bonus.  Assuming a 50% hit rate, it only comes into play 1/10th of the time that damage is dealt against a subset of enemies.  To be equivalent to even a +1 bonus to damage it would have to deal an average of 10 extra damage.  So an extra 3d6, rather than 1d6 would be more reasonable.

Giantslayer Training is conditional, so it probably shouldn't be a feat bonus.  As it is, it's simply worse than Weapon Focus.

Resolute Stamina is incredibly strong.  Compare it to Third Wind, the level 6 daily Endurance skill power.

Savior's Surge is just a more limited Timely Respite from PHB2 

I think its not just compatible with D&D Essentials, it is not made for D&D 4th... these feats are not balanced...  clearly not D&D 4th material


 


ie



Resolute Stamina is incredibly strong. Compare it to Third Wind, the level 6 daily Endurance skill power.


I agree that Resolute Stamina is really powerful.  Compare it with Time Out, a 10th level utility.  My drawf with the Defending weapon would jump all over that feat.  Also, haven't there been a lot of feats and items balanced with the idea that you can only second wind once under normal cirsumstances?

Edit: Also, purely a flavor complaint, but Quick Steps say you "can keep pace with any elf or human."  Human maybe, but elves are still faster.

I think its not just compatible with D&D Essentials, it is not made for D&D 4th... these feats are not balanced...  clearly not D&D 4th material




I'm not sure that is the case, more likely they just need checking for balance, which is what these forums have done for other powers and feats released through Dragon/Dungeon before. 

I don't know whether to blame the unbalanced feats on Dragon or Essentials, which seems to have taken the Expertise feats and decided to use that level of overbalanced/required feats to set the standard for everything to come.

I like most Dragon articles. I like most of what Essentials is doing. But either the editors or designers really need to get their act together and keep feats balanced!
hmm ... all i got was an error trying to DL

Just want to add that the art for this piece is excellent.
Nice ideas in this feature, and I like the way it's all organized.

However, the feats are TERRIBLE.  Apart from Resolute Stamina, most are absolutely worthless.  Boo!

In addition to what's mentioned above, Dwarf Protector is strictly worse than Weapon Expertise or Versatile Expertise.  It should probably not be a feat bonus.
If your position is that the official rules don't matter, or that house rules can fix everything, please don't bother posting in forums about the official rules. To do so is a waste of everyone's time.
Isn't Resolute Stamina just Epic Recovery (Martial Power), except you don't need to be Epic level or have Con 19 or be any martial class?

Does it not sound just a little bit broken if it effectively replaces an Epic feat?

On the other hand it does make all those feats that trigger (when you use your Second Wind) a twice as appealing. At the moment I can't think of any I would take.

Still it doubles the amount of healing available to most characters, which surely must have a dramatic effect on Encounter balance.

Can I just check that this isn't an Unearthed Arcana article it has actually gone through the development cycle? Wink
Since nobody has mentioned the organization of the feats (which is perhaps the most/only 'Essentials' part of the article), I'll say that I liked it. It didn't stand out too much, made logical & aesthetic sense, and I can see it being a huge help in the Character Builder (eventually).

The one thing that does worry me is the very specific names of the feat categories (e.g., Steady as Stone). I would hope that each article/book will build upon existing categories rather than develop too many new ones. To better explain this: I hope that the halfling's Halfling Stalwart feat (and others like it) will be put into the 'Giant Slaying' category rather than into a 'Halfling Giant Slayer' category.
Echoing the same thing some others noticed:  Dwarf Protector is strictly worse than Expertise, Giant slayer is strictly worse than Weapon Focus, and much worse than Dwarven Weapon Training at heroic.  The feat that makes axes Brutal 1 is kind of annoying like the feat that makes axes High Crit, in that the most powerful Axe (which you get for free with DWT) already is Brutal 2.
I did not like a race article making feats largely available to everyone. Part of the coolness of races is having distinctive characteristics and options. The majority of these feats are very "dwarfy" - let's keep them that way. The same goes for any articles about other races - keep that separation clean because it gives the game better flavor. A homegame can always remove a prerequisite.

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I prefer that they be generally available, since that makes them a lot more usable. (Gee, another article full of feats that no one can use because none of us are playing that race?)

I feel that a better approach to prerequisites, if they must be included, would be something along the lines of, "Dwarf or Con 13" (etc) - this makes them automatically available to dwarves but usable by others as long as they make a modicum of effort to qualify. For that reason though, the prerequisites shouldn't be more than 13 or 15 - putting it to 17 is too high unless perhaps it's an epic tier feat (but I don't think we'll be getting those from here on in)..
I feel that a better approach to prerequisites, if they must be included, would be something along the lines of, "Dwarf or Con 13" (etc) - this makes them automatically available to dwarves but usable by others as long as they make a modicum of effort to qualify. For that reason though, the prerequisites shouldn't be more than 13 or 15 - putting it to 17 is too high unless perhaps it's an epic tier feat (but I don't think we'll be getting those from here on in)..



I'd like to second this as a great way to design racial feats. Easy to get if you are that race, but still available to others who work at qualifying. Great idea!
I did not like a race article making feats largely available to everyone. Part of the coolness of races is having distinctive characteristics and options. The majority of these feats are very "dwarfy" - let's keep them that way. The same goes for any articles about other races - keep that separation clean because it gives the game better flavor. A homegame can always remove a prerequisite.

This is a pretty good summation of my philosophy on race and class articles. The magazines are only a subset of R&D, of course, and we don't set brand direction, but I hope to NOT blur the lines between races and between classes any more than necessary.

Steve
If your only tool is a warhammer, every problem looks like a gnoll.
finally got a chance to read it ....

really really wish that the author played the game more.

most of the feats were either soo bad that they would never be used or completely overpowered.

dwarven article with two (2) dwarven feats .... yea

if you want stuff thrown up on a wall that looks good and is balanced , you can most likely get free submissions from your player base that are MUCH MUCH better then this
Are we sure this is about Dwarves?

No where do I see any feats mentioning - Ale or Gold.

Where's the feats like -

Feeling Good
Preq: Dwarf
Any time a dwarf succeeds in a endurance check involving drinking.  That Dwarf gains a +2 feat bonus to all other endurance checks for that scene, that do NOT involve drinking.


Gold Miser

Preq: Dwarf
Gain a +5 feat bonus to all rolls involving buying/selling/trading items/services for gold.


Here be Ale

Preq: Dwarf
Gain a +3 feat bonus to all checks involving finding good Dwarven Ale.  Sharing such ale can grant a +2 item bonus to other social skill checks.


Laughing
I prefer that they be generally available, since that makes them a lot more usable. (Gee, another article full of feats that no one can use because none of us are playing that race?) I feel that a better approach to prerequisites, if they must be included, would be something along the lines of, "Dwarf or Con 13" (etc) - this makes them automatically available to dwarves but usable by others as long as they make a modicum of effort to qualify. For that reason though, the prerequisites shouldn't be more than 13 or 15 - putting it to 17 is too high unless perhaps it's an epic tier feat (but I don't think we'll be getting those from here on in)..



I think the "Race or Stat" is a pretty good idea.

But I do think putting non-racial feats in a racial article under racial subheadings kind of goes against WotC's alleged intention of organizing feats to make them easier to find.  "Hmmm where can I find good feats for my Eladrin Fighter?  Oh! Under the 'Dwarven Stamina' section, of course!"
I have no problem with most of the feats not having Dwarf as a racial requirement because most of them don't interact with any of the Dwarf race's mechanics.   I don't think feats should have racial requirements unless that feat enhances or alters an extant racial mechanic.  Ergo, I'm quite good with this (even if the feats themselves leave a bit to be desired).
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I have no problem with most of the feats not having Dwarf as a racial requirement because most of them don't interact with any of the Dwarf race's mechanics.   I don't think feats should have racial requirements unless that feat enhances or alters an extant racial mechanic.  Ergo, I'm quite good with this (even if the feats themselves leave a bit to be desired).


I'll come in on the other side. If racial feats only have to do with a race's mechanical features, then you leave out any sort of flavor that can be tied to culture. Bred for Battle (a mul feat) and Dutiful Servant (a half-giant feat) both show a strong tie to the culture and backstories of those races within Athas, and they're perfectly appropriate as racial feats.

For those feats which do have some connection to a race, but which don't have a strong thematic tie, I'm a fan of prerequisites like the ones Neutronium Dragon suggested (Prerequisite: Race or X). There's even some examples of those feats from the Deva Heritage bloodline.

finally got a chance to read it ....

really really wish that the author played the game more.

most of the feats were either soo bad that they would never be used or completely overpowered.

dwarven article with two (2) dwarven feats .... yea

if you want stuff thrown up on a wall that looks good and is balanced , you can most likely get free submissions from your player base that are MUCH MUCH better then this



This article has the look of being designed by a committee.  I think the author of the article did not have access to the latest errata, and the developers who edited the article to match the errata did not do so in a consistent manner.  I can picture prior points in the game's development where each of the feats would have made sense -- but we need them to make sense now, with the updates from today and early October.  The inconsistency of the feats in this article with one another tells me that nobody responsible for editing this article had a coherent view of the latest/upcoming feat revision. 
Are we sure this is about Dwarves?

No where do I see any feats mentioning - Ale or Gold.



So racist!
Nice ideas in this feature, and I like the way it's all organized.

However, the feats are TERRIBLE.  Apart from Resolute Stamina, most are absolutely worthless.  Boo!

In addition to what's mentioned above, Dwarf Protector is strictly worse than Weapon Expertise or Versatile Expertise.  It should probably not be a feat bonus.




IINM, Dwarf Protector is strictly worse than Clangeddin's Axe Expertise, right in the same article. 

I'll come in on the other side. If racial feats only have to do with a race's mechanical features, then you leave out any sort of flavor that can be tied to culture. 




That's exactly why I don't like them -- they make the presumption that only members of that race can be part of that culture, and that nobody else can emulate it.  There's no reason why a member of any race can't practice with an axe or hammer the same way a dwarf does (take Dwarven Weapons Training), or swing a spear like an Eladrin (Eladrin Soldier).  Now, there's a reason why humans can't take feats that enhance Fey Step, because they can't do that, but anybody can pick up a weapon and swing it, anybody can learn to fight giants, and so on, and so forth.

Let the player decide what his character's flavor is.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
My biggest issue with the article is that some of the situational damage feats are nice, but then they make them feat bonuses.  If you have Weapon Focus then they become useless.  Make it an untyped bonus and they'd be better.

I also have to say that the dwarf int he artwork has to be one of the best looking dwarfs I have seen.  Awesome job by the artist.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
My biggest issue with the article is that some of the situational damage feats are nice, but then they make them feat bonuses.  If you have Weapon Focus then they become useless.  Make it an untyped bonus and they'd be better.

It seems to be a bit of a reoccuring objections. Many of the situational defense boost for example also give feat bonuses. Why spend a feat on a +1 feat bonus to defense against area and burst attacks if you can take a feat that gives a +1 feat bonus continually to all NADs?

I went to Dragon magazine today to read this article only to find it greyed out in the table of contents. How come I can't read this when it was released weeks ago?  Has it been retracted for revisions?

Also just noticed the Shadar-Kai article is greyed out as well. Anybody else having this problem?

Everybody was having that problem. It's fixed now.

Steve
 
If your only tool is a warhammer, every problem looks like a gnoll.