D402: Tools of Two Trades: Expertise for the Rest of Us!

222 posts / 0 new
Last post
Obligatory Link.

...and when I say Rest of Us, sorry Hexblades, Warlock's Curse required. Oh, hello Radiant Mafia, yes, that new feat you ordered has arrived, just step right this way.

2cp for your thoughts?
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
well it scales better and it saves some extra feats "Battle Caster Defense" for exemple.

all in all nice, with some minor drawback (in my specific case using spears and polarms)
I don't really want to be 'that guy' but... +2 to Arcana and Diplomacy, two skills you aren't very likely to use in combat, from making a combat attack?  And only on at-will or basic attacks.

Maybe I just haven't properly parsed that one.  But still, scales faster. 
2cp for your thoughts?



wtf?

-

To be slightly less facetious: The secondary benefits of these feats range from the uneeded (giving more damage to Radiant Mafia types was completely necessary) to the bizarre (Behold! through my mastery or arcane power and swordplay I will dazzle you with a display of of sword and spell more deadly than a beserker's rage and more graceful than ballet! So graceful in fact that each time I smack you I become more charming!), to the pointless (Congrat's Avengers! You now have twice as many reasons to use those ranged powers. 'Course twice of zero is still zero). Also, apparently if you want to be an artificer and use something other than a wand, SCREW YOU! Rods are for LOSERS! Dwarven Rod Experise is... kind of pointless compared to just Rod Expertise and a Sword. Devoute Protector Expertise is waaaay to finicky, and I'm pretty sure the Ki Weapon feat is a functional reprint of Hero's of Shadow's Ki-Focus Experitse.

So, all in all... Ranger|Cleric/Morninglord dual-weilding Radiant Short-swords is looking to be a pretty Baus set up. 3+3+Wis+10 to all damage rolls and eternal combat advantage for the cost of an extra two feats? Sign me up.
I am a: Lawful Good Dragonborn Paladin
I don't really want to be 'that guy' but... +2 to Arcana and Diplomacy, two skills you aren't very likely to use in combat, from making a combat attack?  And only on at-will or basic attacks.

Maybe I just haven't properly parsed that one.  But still, scales faster. 



Either the character wants to apologize for beating the monster over the head or we are seeing the normal level of design skill that has been seen of late. 
well for clerics some are awesome if you are using two handet weapon Mighty Crusader Expertise others are crap Devout Protector Expertise for what cleric is using a shield after BCL.
White Lotus Dueling Expertise - the +2 arcana/diplomacy is kind of funky. But I'll gladly grab it for my sorcerer. I'm trained in both and I've made both checks in combat before.

Eldritch Fusillade Expertise - huh, I've never seen anyone with a wand in one hand, crossbow in the other.

Dwarven Rod Expertise - weird, I'll stick with rod expertise 

Battle Song Expertise - all kinds of awesome, makes me giddy.

Devoted Priest Expertise - moar damage for the radiant abuser, just what we needed.

Devote Protector Expertise - talk about a fiddly bonus.

Mighty Crusader Expertise - err, because two handed weapon users make so many ranged attacks?

Hex Expertise - well, at least it works.

War Wizard's Expertise - Just what the swordmage needed... umm... or not. And even after the -4 damage, my sorcerer doesn't want to hit allies. Pointless for the Bladesinger. Not sure where they were going with this.

Weapon Ki Technique - only at-will attacks? Huh.

Many of these leave me scratching my head on design.
Would have been nice to get something that worked for a hybrid character with a ranged weapon and a holy symbol.  My swordmage will take the +1 to hit with all of his powers, though I wish the fringe benefit would be something that matters.  Oh well, beggers can't be choosers.
For any D&D employee reading this, copy/paste this into the next update:

"All expertise feats now scale properly. All expertise bonuses increase to +2 at 11th level and +3 at 21st level."
Mengu: Eldritch Fusillade is for Artificers using Master's Wands, Mighty Crusader screams 'Battle Cleric', and Weapon Ki was probably made for the Executioner.

Personally, I would like WLDE to have a 'better' 2ndary, but it's not bad (And decent enough if you're a Sage of Ages)
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine

Mighty Crusader Expertise - err, because two handed weapon users make so many ranged attacks?



A cleric has enough utilitys dailys and ecounters that are implement ranged that are intresting for a meele cleric, otherwise you would not be a weapliment user in the first place.

but not to forget it is a playtest, so they might change a thing or two
Wow.

Color me unimpressed. Very clunky, lots of really marginal benefits and more radiant cheese.

Yell
If this crap is from a freelancer he/she has shown the right design skill to join the wotc design team.
Dwarven Rod Expertise gives every rod-implement class access to Dizzying Mace.  For invokers, rods will be on par with staves with this feat.  Amazing feat.

* EDIT* GAH never mind, it is only when making weapon attacks that the rod counts as a club.  So the feat is pretty much useless compared to Rod Expertise for invokers.
White Lotus Dueling Expertise: I can understand Arcana, but Diplomacy seems like an odd choice. Bluff or Intimidate would make more sense - I'd favor Bluff, working towards a thematically showy/tricky style.

War Wizard's Expertise: Umm, no. PCs shouldn't be making attacks that will make this sort of property 'useful' to begin with, and even if they do, -4 to the damage taken isn't particularly 'useful'. I'd vastly prefer something along the lines of "you can exclude one ally from an at-will AoE". Even if it's limited to at-wills, that does a better job of friendly-fire mitigation than "Congratulations, you're half-dead and loaded with negative status effects... but it COULD have been a few HP worse!"
Dwarven Rod Expertise gives every rod-implement class access to Dizzying Mace.  For invokers, rods will be on par with staves with this feat.  Amazing feat.



Nope. You may treat it as a club "when making weapon attacks." Invokers and Controller 'Locks can sit back down. Only Morninglords need be excited in this thread.

Edit: Damn! Ninja'd by the poster!
I am a: Lawful Good Dragonborn Paladin
...and even if they do, -4 to the damage taken isn't particularly 'useful'....

Considering -4 doesn't even overcome the static mods of a level one Sorcerer?

A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
I dont think any of the expertise feats are bad, since what you are getting them for is the scaling bonus to attack rolls. The only one that isnt as effective as intended is the crossbow/wand feat since I dont see any reason to take that over Crossbow Caster+WLDE and I can't think of any class that uses that set up aside from the Artificer. I think the divine expertise feats are fine honestly. I can see they meant the first for cleric, the second for Palidins, and the third for Avengers, but they still work however you decide to go. 
 
Mengu: Eldritch Fusillade is for Artificers using Master's Wands



Indeed, any Arty who wants to use crossbows but doesn't care about Master's Wands will probably just combine Crossbow Caster and White Lotus Dueling. There's not a whole lot of reason to off-hand a rod, except maybe the shield effect from Rod Expertise. Which you wouldn't get even if Eldritch Fusillade did work with rods.

Even still, I think we can all agree that more options are better, so having Eldritch Fusillade work with "wand, rod, or staff implement" would be nicer. Nicest of all, of course, would be "any implement you are proficient with", so Arties and Bards can rock the dual-wielded Hand Crossbows. ;)

Personally, I would like WLDE to have a 'better' 2ndary, but it's not bad (And decent enough if you're a Sage of Ages)


Intimidate makes more sense for in-combat use than Diplomacy. Arcana is potentially useful for in-combat skill challenges, though, which do come up occasionally. Honestly, though, the feat justifies itself even without a profoundly awesome rider.

The only one that isnt as effective as intended is the crossbow/wand feat since I dont see any reason to take that over Crossbow Caster+WLDE and I can't think of any class that uses that set up aside from the Artificer.


Both Artificers and Bards have incentive to wield both a crossbow and a Master's Wand, for the enhanced at-wills. Off-handing the wand saves the feat slot for Quick Draw that would otherwise be required. Plus, for Bards, it opens up using a Mindiron Crossbow and Psychic Lock while still having access to implement powers.
They made us wait that much for this weak article...

Every time they have a chance to make something that can correct some problems with class balance, they throw it away, and make a crappy article, that adress almost nothing, and just increase the power of an already overpowerd option...

 
I kind of wish they had gone a bit more general (+1 with weapon and implement attacks, and some bonus that applies to not only at-wills), so that you could use the feat to enable weird multi-class/hybrid character builds. Like if I wanted to play a Fighter/Wizard without going Bladesinger, or Warden/Invoker or something odd. But instead the specific feats mean that playing interesting or unique characters are just plain less effective than doing something that following a single, pre-specified path that everyone else uses as well. I rarely feel like my character is special or interesting anymore...
Devout Protector Expertise: This is actually a decent feat for a Defiant runepriest, since they can just wear a nonmagical holy symbol to qualify. It's nice to see SOMETHING they can use.

Honestly this isn't all too great to me either.  Might as well have just bumped up the levels of versatile expertise in an update like what was previously mentioned.  It would have been nicer to see weapon focus feats for damage.  My swordmage doesn't like taking weapon focus and implement focus to keep up with another class on damage. 

I am Red/Black
I am Red/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I am both selfish and chaotic. I value self-gratification and control; I want to have things my way, preferably now. At best, I'm entertaining and surprising; at worst, I'm hedonistic and violent.
Even still, I think we can all agree that more options are better, so having Eldritch Fusillade work with "wand, rod, or staff implement" would be nicer. Nicest of all, of course, would be "any implement you are proficient with", so Arties and Bards can rock the dual-wielded Hand Crossbows. ;)

See, that is what I was hoping for.  Duel-crossbow-wielding FTW.  Screw wands anyway.

Intimidate makes more sense for in-combat use than Diplomacy. Arcana is potentially useful for in-combat skill challenges, though, which do come up occasionally. Honestly, though, the feat justifies itself even without a profoundly awesome rider.

I was kinda hoping the feat for Swordmages(and any blade using arcane character for that matter) would just be Staff Expertise except for Heavy Blades and Light Blades.  Why do these feats need to be overconvoluted?  Heck, you could even take out the Reach benefit and it would still be worth it.  The added benefit of that is that it would be useful for Swordmages (less so), Bladesingers, Wizards of the Spiral Tower, Eladrin Swordmages, and any class that took Arcane Implement Proficiency.  Give us that!


EDIT: And Bards, and Sorcerers, and Artificers...
i was generally disappointed. 


  1. A lot of the feats require juggling. " if you are using a weapon, an implement, a shield, a patridge and a pear tree then... I was hoping that the implement/weapon classes would be allowed to consolidate. People are still incented to use a weapliment to avoid spending gold and feats on two or three items. 

  2. A lot of the feats are too specific to see much use. If you are using a Mace but not a hammer, or a crossbow but not a bow. Would it not make more sense to broaden the feats. Not a lot of people use maces. Wouldn't Simple weapons or ranged weapon make more sense. If the requirements pigeon hole the build, they won't be used. (yes the crossbow feat benefit would need to change.)

  3. I think the non attack benefits are well thought out except for the swordmage/war wizard one. My fellow players don't want me to blast them. A feat that makes such friendly fire slightly less painful will not win friends at the table. I know swordmages barely do damage but DR4 is not meaningful and does nothing for conditions. It also seems superfluous as lot of swordmage attacks are party friendly. If you are concerned about friendly fire, you can take care of that through power selection.

  4. Versatile expertise still seems better at most levels than some of these. I would have appreciated that being eratta'd to scale at 11th and 21st levels in line with the new expertise feats.


Just want to make sure I understand the wording on a few feats.

White Lotus Duelist Expertise - This would let say, a Bard or Artificer, go from a melee weapon to a ranged weapon to a implement and still have the proper scaling bonuses on everything, correct?


Battle Song Expertise - This bonus is only applying to SongBlades, SongBows and Bard Instruments, correct? If I were to use a wand I would not get the proper bonus here?





My impression is that the current design team is so afraid of having to errata any new rules options they produce that they're ensuring that any new feats are so weak they can't break anything.

One positive is that the article is marked "playtest"
Extremely disappointed thet they completely forgot about Sehanine Bow clerics - who continue to  be stuck with Versitile Expertiese (espically disappointing since they seem to have covered just about every other Holy Symbol/Weapon combination that generally gets used.)
The bard feat pretty much straps you into songblade or songbow....


There are guitars called "axes" and my Tiefling bard refuses to use any wussy sword or bow! Slash Van'Hallen will have to stick to weapon powers it seems.
Soooo, given the specificty of Hex Expertise, who in the world can possibly use this? Not by Mcing Swordmage or Hybriding, no that would make FAR too much sense.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Hmm, I guess the extra on White Lotus expertise is of limited use for those with the Sage of Ages ED. It *might* be worth it to make an attack before using Trick of Knowledge in the first round. Also, if you have Arcane Mutterings, it might help with intimidate checks to force surrender. 

That's extremely situational/marginal though.

Also, Weapon Ki Technique is crazy similar to Ki Focus expertise. The extra only applies to at-will attacks, but on the other hand, you can equip a +1 ki focus and then enjoy the full benefit of the feat on attacks made through your weapon.
Sturmvogel:

White Lotus Duelist Expertise is indeed likely to be the feat of choice for artificers who aren't into the wand/crossbow combination. Even if they're using a throwable light blade or heavy blade as a weapliment, the secondary benefit is more likely (if not by much) to see use over that of the light/heavy blade-specific feat, AND it offers more flexibility if they want to mix up their weapons and implements, even temporarily.
Adaptable Expertise
Benefit: You gain a +1 feat bonus to attack rolls.  This bonus increases to +2 at 11th level and to +3 at 21st level.
In addition, when you are wielding both an implement and a weapon and are proficient with both, when you attack with the weapon, you can choose to use the magical properties of the implement instead of the weapon's, and if you attack with the implement, you can choose to use the magical properties of the weapon instead of the implement's



There, I fixed the problem with one damn feat, for all effected characters.  Was that so hard WotC?  You had to think up some weird-ass bonuses for every single combination of weapons and implements?
Damon, that is a very cool feat.
Adaptable Expertise
Benefit: You gain a +1 feat bonus to attack rolls.  This bonus increases to +2 at 11th level and to +3 at 21st level.
In addition, when you are wielding both an implement and a weapon and are proficient with both, when you attack with the weapon, you can choose to use the magical properties of the implement instead of the weapon's, and if you attack with the implement, you can choose to use the magical properties of the weapon instead of the implement's



There, I fixed the problem with one damn feat, for all effected characters.  Was that so hard WotC?  You had to think up some weird-ass bonuses for every single combination of weapons and implements?


Bam.

I was expecting something a little long and wordy from this article, but I was at least expecting it to be functional, but from the sounds of it, it doesn't address the underlying problem, it just patches some of the use cases.  Which is fine, but not exactly as expected.

A simple 'versatile expertise scales properly' would probably do it.  Or your version.

The question on my mind is, is there an appropriate feat for my rapier-and-board CHAguard to start using implement dailies?  If so, he'll be popping for a Symbol of the Champion's Code now instead of a tattoo, though losing Light Blade Expertise's bonus is a little painful.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Why is the bard one needlessly complicated?

 You gain a feat bonus to any attack rolls made with an item you can use as an implement.  That bonus = 1/2/3 at 1/11/21.
You gain a +1 feat bonus to pushes, pulls, and slides.

You don't need to tell the bard only use a songblade and don't use multiclass powers, because the entire schtich of the bard is that they multiclass, and by inference end up with wierd choices.

I realize that wotc is constantly under the magnifying glass, but the feat above would delight their customers and unlike most of these abominations is actually easy to understand/use.

Overly complicated nit-picky rules just irritate players, break unseen game mechanics, and generally cause trouble.  This is a feat tax fix to acknowledged broken math, it doesn't need to be complicated or niche, it needs to be interesting, broadly applicable, and easy. 
FWIW, here's the feedback I sent to playtesting@wizards.com: 

General 1: the biggest problems that weapliment users are suffering from are these: Versatile Expertise scales slower than other Expertise feats (+2 at lvl 15 instead of 11, +3 at lvl 25 instead of 21); and the lack of a "Versatile Focus" feat (+1/2/3 to damage on attacks made with a chosen weapon and implement). The article unfortunately adresses neither. This is easily solvable by updating the Versatile Expertise feat and adding a "Versatile Focus" feat. 

General 2: another problem for a certain group of weapliment users (mostly hybrids) is the fact that they have to invest in a magical weapon and a magical implement at higher levels, or spend a feat to be able to wield their weapon as an implement (usually multiclass Swordmage or Monk, which might not make sense from a roleplaying perspective). A general feat that lets you use any weapon as an implement will fix this problem. Something like this: 

Channeling Expertise
Benefit: choose a weapon group with which you are proficient. You gain a +1 feat bonus to attack rolls you make when using a weapon from the chosen group. 
Additionally, you can treat weapons from the chosen group as implements when making implement attacks. You can use the enhancement bonus and critical dice of the weapon when making implement attacks and damage rolls with it, but you cannot use its properties or powers. 
Special: you can take this feat more than once. Each time you take this feat, choose a different weapon group. 

White Lotus Dueling Expertise: it would make more sense if you got a +2 bonus to Intimidate instead of Diplomacy - you are in a fight, after all. A Diplomacy bonus is hard to justify, roleplay-wise (do you immediately apologize after you hit your foe?). 

Devout Priest Expertise: this is a very powerful benefit for an already very powerful type of build, namely the one that exploits radiant vulnerability. If you choose to keep this benefit instead of replacing it with something else, at least consider making it a +1 feat bonus to damage. 

Hex Expertise: unfortunately, this does not work for Warlocks who don't have the Curse class feature, like the Binder. Consider replacing the additional benefit with something that all Warlocks can use, and removing the Warlock's Curse prerequisite. 

War Wizard's Expertise: as a controller class, most Wizard (and Swordmage) powers are about status effects first, and damage second. A more effective and useful benefit would be something like this: "Also, when an arcane attack you make with a light blade or a heavy blade would hit one or more allies, those allies get a +4 bonus to their defenses against the attack." This could also be +2, if +4 is too powerful.
Also, Weapon Ki Technique is crazy similar to Ki Focus expertise. The extra only applies to at-will attacks, but on the other hand, you can equip a +1 ki focus and then enjoy the full benefit of the feat on attacks made through your weapon.



Actually, the extra damage vs. bloodied of Weapon Ki Technique and Ki Focus Expertise stacks. It might be a good idea for Vampires to take both of them. Vampires are a good fit flavor-wise, probably have the feat room and could really use the couple points of extra damage.

White Lotus Dueling Expertise: it would make more sense if you got a +2 bonus to Intimidate instead of Diplomacy - you are in a fight, after all. A Diplomacy bonus is hard to justify, roleplay-wise (do you immediately apologize after you hit your foe?).  


I don't think that there is much point granting bonuses to skills in which the arcane duelist less likely to be proficient but I agree that bonuses should also be useful in combat.  They should add a sentence allowing Arcana or Diplomacy to be used in place of Bluff (for the purposes of feinting/combat advantage) and/or to be used in place of Intimidate (for the purposes of surrender).
Also, Weapon Ki Technique is crazy similar to Ki Focus expertise. The extra only applies to at-will attacks, but on the other hand, you can equip a +1 ki focus and then enjoy the full benefit of the feat on attacks made through your weapon.



Actually, the extra damage vs. bloodied of Weapon Ki Technique and Ki Focus Expertise stacks. It might be a good idea for Vampires to take both of them. Vampires are a good fit flavor-wise, probably have the feat room and could really use the couple points of extra damage.



Presumably, since hybrids can use the implements of either class for an attack of either class, most hybrids can benefit fully from these feats (the bard one and a few limited to only arcane attacks being exceptions.
Extremely disappointed thet they completely forgot about Sehanine Bow clerics - who continue to  be stuck with Versitile Expertiese (espically disappointing since they seem to have covered just about every other Holy Symbol/Weapon combination that generally gets used.)



i agree i was basically hoping for a generic versatile expertise update that scaled at 11 and 21 and let you select bow as your implement to get your bonus for sehanine clerics. i thought that was what everyone broadly wanted, that is, versatile expertise to scale correctly with other expertise feats
Sign In to post comments