Buying Feats and Training

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 So right now I'm going through a campaign that a lot of people are liking. Though I'm trying to make it interesting and accessible for the players aince all of them are new. I've been playing around with the idea of a home base caravan where players gather traders and dealers as well a allies. In this caravan there is a former Bouncer turned guardian for the caravan who is offering training to anyone who wants it. I'm thinking about using him to Sell Feats at the cost of Gold and some in game time. These feats would be simple like Toughness and what not. Basic feats so that they don't feel trapped in a role. But I still want a balanced game, and I don’t just want them buying all the things and then being OP stats but no spells or abilities. So how should I price these?

I was thinking at 500 gold for minor feats, and then more complex ones at 1000 to even 1500.
 
I cannot recommend this course of action. Your game will get unbalanced.
I like the idea of a caravan, maybe one of the NPCs has been with the caravan from the start and has picked up some extra languages which he can teach slash sell or could add a +2 to diplomacy etc but i wouldnt mess to much with combat numbers 
I cannot recommend this course of action. Your game will get unbalanced.



Agreed.  Retraining or learning languages as suggested by S_A would be fairly safe rewards.  Maybe allowing retraining into a non-class skill.
 
Those numbers would probably work fine. Remember, you control the amount of gold they have, so if they're getting too many feats, or not enough, you can change how much gold they're acquiring.

You are changing the balance, but I doubt by very much. Just be aware of the possibility and tell your players that their choices may need to be taken back (and their money returned via a bigger treasure find for that character later) if things don't work out. I mean, it's not like this practice is suddenly going to make fighters as powerful as a cleric or druid.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Rather than feats, which create all kinds of potential problems, allow them to buy 'magical items' in the form of grandmaster training, as per the DMG2. Some of these may have feat-equivalent effects without actually being feats, but since they're valued and handled as pseudo-magic items, they're more appropriately balanced to the cost.
The Magic effects instead of feats might be a good idea since they're already balanced in the game. Though its true that I do control money drops, it's always nice to have things at one set price rather than multiple. Thanks! :D
Assuming 4e:
Plenty of DM's houserule that Expertise and Improved Defenses are given for free at certain levels, mainly because the system kinda needs them as math fix.

In other words, the use of 2 free feats is not going to break your game, (since it basically emulates what is a common houserule anyway). However, keeping in that flavor, i would limit it to 1-2 feats.


Assuming 3.x
Something like Toughness, or any of the +2 to 2 skills feats are not going to unbalance or break your game at all. You could probably even get away with weapon focus.
But again, try to limit it to 2-3 of these total.
Also, i would absolutely not allow any of the feats that open up the big feat chains or are prereq's for PrC's.
 
FWIW [4e designer] baseline assumption was that roughly 70% of your feats would be put towards combat effectiveness, parties would coordinate, and strikers would do 20/40/60 at-will damage+novas. If your party isn't doing that... well, you are below baseline, so yes, you need to optimize slightly to meet baseline. -Alcestis
This game is composed of newbies; the only one who knows anything about the game is me, so I would be shocked if anyone knew about feat chains.
This game is composed of newbies; the only one who knows anything about the game is me, so I would be shocked if anyone knew about feat chains.



Don't count on your player's ignorance to balance something.  That is the train to failtown.
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First off I want to be clear when I say that this is a very bad idea.
I was thinking at 500 gold for minor feats, and then more complex ones at 1000 to even 1500.
 


Prices are too low.  At level 10, they could buy 10 feats for the cost of a single magic item.  They could buy 2 feats just from selling a level 10 item(which can get gotten at level 6+).  A feat can be an equivalent gain of an additional plus on a magic item.  If you are going to base the prices, base them off of that, or the cost of an item at the top of the tier.  Otherwise this will be abused to no end.

Cost of Upgrade for Level or Cost of Level
Heroic Feats: .8k or 5k
Paragon Feats: 20k or 125k
Epic Feats: 500k or 3,125k