Feat distribution

General combat feats: These feats only take effect from the moment someone rolls initiative, and anyone can benefit from them.

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Ambush
Covert Strike
Deflect
First Strike
Improved Initiative
Shift
Two-Weapon Defense


Weapon combat feats: These feats only take effect from the moment someone rolls initiative, and they only apply to weapon attacks.
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Called Shot
Charge
Cleave
Combat Reflexes
Combat Superiority
Dual Wielding
Hold the Line
Martial Training
Polearm Training
Relentless
Riposte
Shield Bash
Sniper
Strike and Fade
Two-Weapon Strike
Warding Polearm
Weapon Focus
Weapon Mastery

Magic feats: These feats focus on magic or require magic to get. For the sake of argument, I'm assuming that all magic is non-combat.
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Arcane Dabbler
Defensive Ward
Distant Spell
Energy Substitution
Find Familiar
Healing Initiate
Heighten Spell
Magical Rejuvenation
Maximize Spell
Purge Magic

Health feats: While the ability to not die is primarily a combat attribute, it comes up frequently outside of combat, so I'm grouping it as a non-combat option.
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Durable
Iron Hide
Resilience
Toughness


Other: These don't fit in the above categories.
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Fast Movement
Herbalism
Hide in Shadows
Superior Skill Training
Skill Focus
Skill Supremacy
Restore Life


46 feats total
-----------------
7 general combat feats
18 weapon combat feats
4 health feats
10 magic feats
7 other feats

I bring this up because I started making characters the other day. I was halfway through building a combat monster before I said, wait, what happened to the roleplaying part of this? I prefer feats that offer a defining element of a character, such as the ability to cast spells, find a familiar, or brew superior potions. To me, +1 AC or gaining advantage on an attack roll is not a defining aspect of a character.

The roleplaying feats are still there, but when more than half of all feats directly relate to the ability to hit stuff with a sword better, it's obvious that the designers intend feats as combat bonuses, and that's not right.
Unearthed Wrecana
first off, all feats are roleplay feats. i could just as easily integrate a +1 ac feat into a character's backstory as i could some sort of 'legit roleplaying feat'. it could also go both ways, i could take the familiar feat purely for the benefits without ever roleplaying it at all.

secondly, the last line of your post implies that there's an objectively correct way to play dungeons and dragons.

You play D&D in the wake of the 3 pillars.  Combat, Interaction, and Exploration.  If the majority of Feats are Combat oriented then the concern that combat is most important is valid.

Welcome to system mastery OP.

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey


General combat feats: These feats only take effect from the moment someone rolls initiative, and anyone can benefit from them.

Show
Ambush
Covert Strike
Deflect
First Strike
Improved Initiative
Shift
Two-Weapon Defense


Weapon combat feats: These feats only take effect from the moment someone rolls initiative, and they only apply to weapon attacks.
Show
Called Shot
Charge
Cleave
Combat Reflexes
Combat Superiority
Dual Wielding
Hold the Line
Martial Training
Polearm Training
Relentless
Riposte
Shield Bash
Sniper
Strike and Fade
Two-Weapon Strike
Warding Polearm
Weapon Focus
Weapon Mastery

Magic feats: These feats focus on magic or require magic to get. For the sake of argument, I'm assuming that all magic is non-combat.
Show
Arcane Dabbler
Defensive Ward
Distant Spell
Energy Substitution
Find Familiar
Healing Initiate
Heighten Spell
Magical Rejuvenation
Maximize Spell
Purge Magic

Health feats: While the ability to not die is primarily a combat attribute, it comes up frequently outside of combat, so I'm grouping it as a non-combat option.
Show

Durable
Iron Hide
Resilience
Toughness


Other: These don't fit in the above categories.
Show

Fast Movement
Herbalism
Hide in Shadows
Superior Skill Training
Skill Focus
Skill Supremacy
Restore Life


46 feats total
-----------------
7 general combat feats
18 weapon combat feats
4 health feats
10 magic feats
7 other feats

I bring this up because I started making characters the other day. I was halfway through building a combat monster before I said, wait, what happened to the roleplaying part of this? I prefer feats that offer a defining element of a character, such as the ability to cast spells, find a familiar, or brew superior potions. To me, +1 AC or gaining advantage on an attack roll is not a defining aspect of a character.

The roleplaying feats are still there, but when more than half of all feats directly relate to the ability to hit stuff with a sword better, it's obvious that the designers intend feats as combat bonuses, and that's not right.


ok so you dont see anything defining abouit the guy that is able to deflects things with a knife(+1AC)? or the guy that can wield two blades and swing them as 1(advantage on attack roll)?
You play D&D in the wake of the 3 pillars.  Combat, Interaction, and Exploration.  If the majority of Feats are Combat oriented then the concern that combat is most important is valid.

Welcome to system mastery OP.

Almost none of the benefits provided by backgrounds are combat-related. Does that mean that the concern that combat is the least important is valid? Not every character customization vector needs to speak equally to all three pillars.

Additionally, rules density is not a remotely good indicator of how important a pillar is. There will never be as many rules for interaction as there are for combat, because they're fundementally different things. Artificially cranking up or down the number of options of various types that touch on each pillar in order to address the absurd idea that Number of Options = Importance doesn't do good service to any of them.

Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
Well, it's worth pointing out that when "Linguist" came out as a feat, the forums complained that it was a trap feat, because it wasn't combat.   But, if feats could be used to get something like skill tricks ( something like "gilded tongue" ), then *I* for one would look seriously at getting them.

(Though, our last game (4e) suffered because with a Seeker, Bard, Fighter and Monk, only the Bard could do significant things out of combat, using rituals.  And, 5e seems headed down a similar path -- the Fighter, Monk, Wizard, Cleric party will probably rely on the wizard to use rituals to fix out of combat problems.  That was boring in 4e, and if created, it's boring in 5e.    Which is why we've started switching to other systems -- ones that have more expressive out of combat rules)
Lesp, you're right that not every feature needs to support every pillar equally.  But, ones that change as you level up should have different levels of scrutiny.    Many people have said that they want more out of combat options, and that there should be less dead levels -- perhaps allowing backgrounds to level up would be the solution?  Or allow "non-combat only" feats every level?
I would like to see bonus skill training/skill improvement every other level.

You play D&D in the wake of the 3 pillars.  Combat, Interaction, and Exploration.  If the majority of Feats are Combat oriented then the concern that combat is most important is valid.

Welcome to system mastery OP.

Almost none of the benefits provided by backgrounds are combat-related. Does that mean that the concern that combat is the least important is valid? Not every character customization vector needs to speak equally to all three pillars.

Additionally, rules density is not a remotely good indicator of how important a pillar is. There will never be as many rules for interaction as there are for combat, because they're fundementally different things. Artificially cranking up or down the number of options of various types that touch on each pillar in order to address the absurd idea that Number of Options = Importance doesn't do good service to any of them.





Number of Options = Importance

IMHO, when it comes to D&D, the only absurdity about it is that it is made painfully obvious.

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey

I bring this up because I started making characters the other day. I was halfway through building a combat monster before I said, wait, what happened to the roleplaying part of this? I prefer feats that offer a defining element of a character, such as the ability to cast spells, find a familiar, or brew superior potions. To me, +1 AC or gaining advantage on an attack roll is not a defining aspect of a character.

The roleplaying feats are still there, but when more than half of all feats directly relate to the ability to hit stuff with a sword better, it's obvious that the designers intend feats as combat bonuses, and that's not right.


I'm pretty sure the express intent is for feats to not be character defining, to scale back their impact/importance for just that reason.  Your character is defined by your race, class, and background, and the rest is what you choose to fill in that shape.
And what the hell is a "roleplaying feat?"  Something that mysteriously allows you to roleplay better?  If you can't do it without a feat, you're not going to be able to do it with one either.

Lesp, you're right that not every feature needs to support every pillar equally.  But, ones that change as you level up should have different levels of scrutiny.    Many people have said that they want more out of combat options, and that there should be less dead levels -- perhaps allowing backgrounds to level up would be the solution?  Or allow "non-combat only" feats every level?

I kind of like the idea of having your background level up, such that maybe you'd get certain "perks" as you advanced.  It makes sense and could be quite evocative: a Commoner gradually becomes a folk-hero; a Noble eventually becomes a Lord/Lady of an estate; a Soldier advances in rank until he/she can command armies.

Early on when WotC was developing 4e, they talked about having your race "level up."  That eventually polymorphed into the racial feats, but I'd like to see race actually level up, along with class and background, even if the effects were minor.  Giving race and background a bigger impact would be nice.

And I agree that there needs to be a sensible division of feats, even if it requires several categories, or an entirely different system such as the "perks" I mentioned.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

Specialties, backgrounds, and classes all level up since they become more effective at higher levels. It would be nice if race had a similar mechanic.

If ability score bonuses were dropped and added abilities appeared at higher levels, I think race could be a more interesting part of character creation. Hope WOTC still considers this.  

It should be separate from feats and specialties. 
Specialties, backgrounds, and classes all level up since they become more effective at higher levels. It would be nice if race had a similar mechanic.

If ability score bonuses were dropped and added abilities appeared at higher levels, I think race could be a more interesting part of character creation. Hope WOTC still considers this.  

It should be separate from feats and specialties. 

Are you implying that ability score bonuses from race would come at later levels, say, rather than getting +1 to any two stats?  Seems too restrictive.

If you're instead suggesting that racial ability score bonuses be dropped in order to balance getting extra racial features at higher levels, I don't think that's necessary.  Just start each race off with a smaller suite of core features, and an array of optional features (which could be packaged into sub-races or chosen individually, like specialties/feats); you'd get maybe one racial feature at 1st level and gain more as you leveled up.  They'd needn't give huge benefits, just things to make advancing as a halfling feel distinct from advancing as a dwarf.  And they wouldn't force you to take sub-optimal or flavor-inappropriate feature in order to get a bonus to a relevant stat, which is a problem with the current sub-races set-up.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

You play D&D in the wake of the 3 pillars.  Combat, Interaction, and Exploration.  If the majority of Feats are Combat oriented then the concern that combat is most important is valid.

Welcome to system mastery OP.

Almost none of the benefits provided by backgrounds are combat-related. Does that mean that the concern that combat is the least important is valid? Not every character customization vector needs to speak equally to all three pillars.

Additionally, rules density is not a remotely good indicator of how important a pillar is. There will never be as many rules for interaction as there are for combat, because they're fundementally different things. Artificially cranking up or down the number of options of various types that touch on each pillar in order to address the absurd idea that Number of Options = Importance doesn't do good service to any of them.




Good analogy - almost none of the benefits of backgrounds relate to combat; instead, they relate to how a character interacts with the world. That gives the impression that backgrounds are intended to support the roleplaying pillar. As it happens, that impression is exactly correct. Appearance and reality match perfectly. (It doesn't get said often enough: good job, guys!)


With feats, the majority relate to combat, and usually weapon combat at that. That gives the impression - right or wrong - that feats are intended to support the combat pillar. That is very different from the 10/29 and 8/13 packets, in which the majority of feats supported the roleplaying and exploration pillars better than they did combat.


Of course I don't know exactly what the designers want, but I prefer the style from the last two packets where feats are more pillar-neutral.

Maybe one of the things they could do is intersperse non-combat feat gains through the leveling chart so that when you get to that level you can/have to choose a non-combat feat to give your character more breadth.

Another thing they need to do is add more of the 3.X skill system back in. The way it is now, you never get better at doing anything beyond the few points you may get from raising an ability score. All you do is gain a larger chance for luck to make or break your character. Trust me, I have players that could roll a 1 on both the d20 and the skill die on a climb check and end up with a 7 or less total and be unable to climb a ladder the way the system is set up now.