Specialties What do you think

Specialties What do you think? And What are some of the pro's and cons that you think can think of? And what other specialties you would like to see.
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Specialties What do you think? And What are some of the pro's and cons that you think can think of? And what other specialties you would like to see.



Honestly, as soon as Feats are elaborated upon, I and everybody I know is getting rid of Specialties. We had no problem with the level of system mastery that 3.5 required, in fact we enjoyed it. The balance issues were our only main complaint with 3.5.

I can see the need for Specialties when it comes to newer players, who might want or need to be given enhanced character direction. But much like 4E's Red Box, it just comes across as "training wheels" to the people I know with a halfway decent grasp of the game's mechanics.
Training wheels are a good thing if you want to entice new players. As no matter how good a description you give about the game, new players often get overwhelmed.

But I think we just need a shed load of new specialities, much like backgrounds for 4e, a large list for new players to come up with any concept they want. My only issue so far with the 5E ones is that they are very limited in number. But what can you expect from a playtest this early one  
Training wheels are a good thing if you want to entice new players. As no matter how good a description you give about the game, new players often get overwhelmed.

But I think we just need a shed load of new specialities, much like backgrounds for 4e, a large list for new players to come up with any concept they want. My only issue so far with the 5E ones is that they are very limited in number. But what can you expect from a playtest this early one  



I'm not asking for Specialties to go away by any stretch of the imagination. I'm just hoping we see free chosen Feats soon. I'm fearing they may have level requirements, overly restrictive Feat chain prereqs, or just not be in the game at all, forcing everybody to have Specialties or GTFO.
I like specialities.  I would not object to an optional rule that lets you pick skills, traits, and feats ala carte, but I find that it is nice to be able to make a character by sitting down and making a small number of significant choices, rather than delving into the fine details.  
Training wheels are a good thing if you want to entice new players. As no matter how good a description you give about the game, new players often get overwhelmed.

But I think we just need a shed load of new specialities, much like backgrounds for 4e, a large list for new players to come up with any concept they want. My only issue so far with the 5E ones is that they are very limited in number. But what can you expect from a playtest this early one  



I'm not asking for Specialties to go away by any stretch of the imagination. I'm just hoping we see free chosen Feats soon. I'm fearing they may have level requirements, overly restrictive Feat chain prereqs, or just not be in the game at all, forcing everybody to have Specialties or GTFO.




I think it is very likely there will be an ala carte option eventually.  In the podcasts where Mearles is talking to the pvp guys it sounded like he was picking individual feats for thier characters.

Edit: Penny arcade guys.  Its Kurtz who writes pvp online.
Aside from allowing a-la-carte feat selection, the only thing I'd do with specialties is get rid of the prerequisites unless its mechanically necessary. Those ability (Lurker, Magic-User, Initiate) and spellcasting (Necromancer) prerequisites do nothing but limit concept. This goes double for Necromancer; I mean, I'd understand if, for instance, you needed spell slots to use Animate Servant, but the way it is presented now, that Spellcasting prerequisite is there only because the designers say so/want mundane characters to jump through hoops to get some cool magic stuff.
I love specialties.

I can always canabalize them if I need to but they are quick, easy, and give a minor multi class option.

I do think some prerequisites make sense but not all of them IMO are necessary.

Will have to see a larger sample before I draw conclusions on that aspect.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Truthfully I think specialties are more co fusing than plain old feats. I never had anyone complain that feats were too co fusing in 4e games but specialties only serve to confuse new players as to weather they can choose X specialties and must take them in the designated order or if they can choose X feats separate f specialty.
Feats could be confusing when starting at higher levels. Sure, if every game starts at 1st level and progresses till the group falls apart, then feats aren't confusing at all. But once you sit down to make a 30th level character for a one-shot and have to pick 16 feats while reading through the list of hundreds of feats in the character builder, you find that you'd like to just be able to pick a "Slayer" specialty and be done with it.
Aside from allowing a-la-carte feat selection, the only thing I'd do with specialties is get rid of the prerequisites unless its mechanically necessary. Those ability (Lurker, Magic-User, Initiate) and spellcasting (Necromancer) prerequisites do nothing but limit concept. This goes double for Necromancer; I mean, I'd understand if, for instance, you needed spell slots to use Animate Servant, but the way it is presented now, that Spellcasting prerequisite is there only because the designers say so/want mundane characters to jump through hoops to get some cool magic stuff.

I find your comment about spell casting requirements for the necromancer right out silly.

The feat gives you a bonus when you cast a spell.  In order to be able to get a bonus when you cast a spell, you need to be able to cast a spell.

If anything int requirements are more artificial. 
Aside from allowing a-la-carte feat selection, the only thing I'd do with specialties is get rid of the prerequisites unless its mechanically necessary. Those ability (Lurker, Magic-User, Initiate) and spellcasting (Necromancer) prerequisites do nothing but limit concept. This goes double for Necromancer; I mean, I'd understand if, for instance, you needed spell slots to use Animate Servant, but the way it is presented now, that Spellcasting prerequisite is there only because the designers say so/want mundane characters to jump through hoops to get some cool magic stuff.

I find your comment about spell casting requirements for the necromancer right out silly.

The feat gives you a bonus when you cast a spell.  In order to be able to get a bonus when you cast a spell, you need to be able to cast a spell.

If anything int requirements are more artificial. 


but they could just as easily make the benefit of necromancer not tied to spells at all.  consume the energy for free advantage on your next action for example.  Then it doesn't have to be for spellcasters only.
Aside from allowing a-la-carte feat selection, the only thing I'd do with specialties is get rid of the prerequisites unless its mechanically necessary. Those ability (Lurker, Magic-User, Initiate) and spellcasting (Necromancer) prerequisites do nothing but limit concept. This goes double for Necromancer; I mean, I'd understand if, for instance, you needed spell slots to use Animate Servant, but the way it is presented now, that Spellcasting prerequisite is there only because the designers say so/want mundane characters to jump through hoops to get some cool magic stuff.

I find your comment about spell casting requirements for the necromancer right out silly.

The feat gives you a bonus when you cast a spell.  In order to be able to get a bonus when you cast a spell, you need to be able to cast a spell.

If anything int requirements are more artificial. 


but they could just as easily make the benefit of necromancer not tied to spells at all.  consume the energy for free advantage on your next action for example.  Then it doesn't have to be for spellcasters only.

That would be a different specialty then.  This speciality focuses on uses Necromatic spells.
Your speciality might be something like, Mortician  
I think they need to either beef up some of the level 1 feats, or at least have certain feats have a level requirement.  Right now, there are a bunch of level 1 feats that are essentially a feat tax, because I would only take them to get the neater one at level 3.  Arcane Dabbler to Animate Servant would be an obvious choice.  Don't care about the wisps, and don't really care about the familiar.  I'd also take rapid shot and then the third level Lurker feat which allows me to stay hidden if I miss.
Also, Toughness is always good at level 1, so that could replace a lot of currently undesirable/less desireable level 1 feats.

 
Oh, can someone explain why jack of all trades isn't a trap speciality?  Also, why do they recommend it for the sorcerer? Any ideas?
Jack of Trades is great for Rogues who want to push the Skill Mastery advantage as far as they can.  As far as why they recommended it for sorcerers....flavor?  Dunno.
Jack of Trades is great for Rogues who want to push the Skill Mastery advantage as far as they can.  As far as why they recommended it for sorcerers....flavor?  Dunno.

But the stealth options seem 10X better for a rogue to me...
I like specialities.  I would not object to an optional rule that lets you pick skills, traits, and feats ala carte, but I find that it is nice to be able to make a character by sitting down and making a small number of significant choices, rather than delving into the fine details.  




I definitely find myself wanting to select at a more detailed level to match my character concept.
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Jack of Trades is great for Rogues who want to push the Skill Mastery advantage as far as they can.  As far as why they recommended it for sorcerers....flavor?  Dunno.

But the stealth options seem 10X better for a rogue to me...



I'm actually glad that you do (I love seeing people enjoying different play styles), because lurker is one of my least favorite specialties.  To me it seems like everything it covers is already handled by a rogue's exceptional skills, (assuming a rogue takes stealth in his background)  I think the first level lets you still retain advantage if you started in cover but just got discovered.  I believe this only applies to the first round of combat, and honestly, I don't see the rogue getting discovered all too often.  If I'm remembering it wrong, and it means that as long as I start combat in stealth, I can continue to stay in stealth and attack people and keep advantage forever...well then I agree, that as a Rogue thief I wouldn't want anything else if DPR was important to me.

I can honestly see someone building a rogue and not worrying about his damage output, and instead being team skill monkey/Bard.  I was considering the option last night, but went with Survior because I hate the current low starting hitpoints.
I like specialties, but I will also like the ability to pick individual abilities (feats).   Specialties add more flavor to the character creation process.  Together with backgrounds, they give the player some "fluff" to begin filling out their character concept.  It makes it easier to roleplay.  Many players do this with their characters without prescribed backgrounds and specialties, but I like how choosing backgrounds and specialties creates a clear mental picture of the character right off the bat.

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Jack of Trades is great for Rogues who want to push the Skill Mastery advantage as far as they can.  As far as why they recommended it for sorcerers....flavor?  Dunno.

But the stealth options seem 10X better for a rogue to me...



I'm actually glad that you do (I love seeing people enjoying different play styles), because lurker is one of my least favorite specialties.  To me it seems like everything it covers is already handled by a rogue's exceptional skills, (assuming a rogue takes stealth in his background)  I think the first level lets you still retain advantage if you started in cover but just got discovered.  I believe this only applies to the first round of combat, and honestly, I don't see the rogue getting discovered all too often.  If I'm remembering it wrong, and it means that as long as I start combat in stealth, I can continue to stay in stealth and attack people and keep advantage forever...well then I agree, that as a Rogue thief I wouldn't want anything else if DPR was important to me.

I can honestly see someone building a rogue and not worrying about his damage output, and instead being team skill monkey/Bard.  I was considering the option last night, but went with Survior because I hate the current low starting hitpoints.

Ah, as I read it it doesn't just apply to the first round, but you might have to be a halfling for it to apply as easily as you want it to.  To me, it means sneak attack damage every round.
Sneak attack damage/Adavantage every round with a feat doesn't make other feats trap feats themselves, it just makes that feat, "why am I not taking this?  Do I hate doing damage/hitting things?"
Sneak attack damage/Adavantage every round with a feat doesn't make other feats trap feats themselves, it just makes that feat, "why am I not taking this?  Do I hate doing damage/hitting things?"

Just seems to be that since most feats offer horizontal advancement, a feat or speciality that essentially gives you vertical advancment seems like trap options.

But I could be missing something with the numbers here.
Lurker does not give you sneak attack every round. It means that if you are hidden at the start of your turn you can jump out into a pool of light screaming "booyah" then move your normal speed and still get sneak attack.

Without the ability from ambush you would have to avoid moving through the pool of light or use a ranged attack.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Yep, not worth it to me.  maybe others though.
I like the specialties because they make it easier for a new player to just jump into the game and not worry about having a great degree of system mastery to be successful.

That said, I would personally love to see in the Feats chapter of the PHB all of the feats listed out with their descriptions and then at the end of the chapter all of the suggested specialties. It would give experienced players the a la carte options that so many on these boards (including myself) prefer, while still retaining the specialties option for new players and would give a guideline for new DMs to create their own specialties.

Same goes for the Skills & Traits section of the book. Describe the skills and traits then at the end of the chapter all of the premade backgrounds.
Aside from allowing a-la-carte feat selection, the only thing I'd do with specialties is get rid of the prerequisites unless its mechanically necessary. Those ability (Lurker, Magic-User, Initiate) and spellcasting (Necromancer) prerequisites do nothing but limit concept. This goes double for Necromancer; I mean, I'd understand if, for instance, you needed spell slots to use Animate Servant, but the way it is presented now, that Spellcasting prerequisite is there only because the designers say so/want mundane characters to jump through hoops to get some cool magic stuff.

I find your comment about spell casting requirements for the necromancer right out silly.

The feat gives you a bonus when you cast a spell.  In order to be able to get a bonus when you cast a spell, you need to be able to cast a spell.

If anything int requirements are more artificial. 



Aura of Souls at the moment is tied to spellcasting, yes. Animate Servant, however, is not, yet it still requires spellcasting. Why?
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