The Shift Feat: Feat Tax, or useful?

So I have a character and I want to ultimately take the Strike & Fade feat; which has the (unfortunate?) pre-requisite of the Shift feat. 

Shift allows you to move up to 5 feet on your turn without incurring Opportunity Attack. I can see how that might be moderately useful, but can't we already "Withdraw" anyway without incurring? And then you get to move 10 feet instead of 5. Sure, you cannot attack when you withdraw, but nothing is stopping you from moving again (your action is Withdraw, then you move). 

Shift would be "Move 5' away from enemy" then "Hustle" or "Attack" but I don't see much usefulness here over the previous option. If I chose to Hustle, I may as well just Withdraw and get 5' further away. If I choose Attack, why am I bothering to shift away at all anyway? Especially since I'm not using a reach weapon. 

I can't even see how this would be useful for someone making *RANGED* attacks. I can't find anything about shooting in melee incurring OA, or even Disadvantage. The only thin I can think of is be able to shift back 5' and shoot a guy, and enable an ally to block interposing space if he goes before the enemy does. 

There must be something I'm missing that makes Shift useful, right? Maybe "Strike and Fade" should just say "this counts as 2 feats" and be done with it. 

Is Shift meant to only be useful when used in concert with other feats, like Warding Polearm or Charge?
Shift is a good feat to a ranged attacker or person with a reach weapon.  I do agree it is an odd prerequisite for Strike and Fade. I don't see why it needs a prerequisite beyond 9th level.
You need it to attack someone who's NOT in your face.

Like if the orc is next to the wizard, and your fighter is next to another orc, and you want to save the wizard.


Not neccicaraly the best feat (not that feat's are that strong in general), but it still has it's uses.  And yes, it's better when combined with charge or warding polearm.


Also, i think ranged attacks provoke if you shoot someone else (like shift away from the dragonshield and shoot the shaman).

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Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
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Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
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F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Shift is a good feat to a ranged attacker or person with a reach weapon.  I do agree it is an odd prerequisite for Strike and Fade. I don't see why it needs a prerequisite beyond 9th level.

I don't think it needs any prerequisit.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

So I have a character and I want to ultimately take the Strike & Fade feat; which has the (unfortunate?) pre-requisite of the Shift feat. 

Shift allows you to move up to 5 feet on your turn without incurring Opportunity Attack. I can see how that might be moderately useful, but can't we already "Withdraw" anyway without incurring? And then you get to move 10 feet instead of 5. Sure, you cannot attack when you withdraw, but nothing is stopping you from moving again (your action is Withdraw, then you move). 

Shift would be "Move 5' away from enemy" then "Hustle" or "Attack" but I don't see much usefulness here over the previous option. If I chose to Hustle, I may as well just Withdraw and get 5' further away. If I choose Attack, why am I bothering to shift away at all anyway? Especially since I'm not using a reach weapon. 

I can't even see how this would be useful for someone making *RANGED* attacks. I can't find anything about shooting in melee incurring OA, or even Disadvantage. The only thin I can think of is be able to shift back 5' and shoot a guy, and enable an ally to block interposing space if he goes before the enemy does. 

There must be something I'm missing that makes Shift useful, right? Maybe "Strike and Fade" should just say "this counts as 2 feats" and be done with it. 

Is Shift meant to only be useful when used in concert with other feats, like Warding Polearm or Charge?


If you are flanked or have 3 or more creatures adjacent to you you can't move at all without using your action to disengage with the ability to shift.

Edit: you can't move without taking opportunity attacks. 

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Shooting an enemy at point blank range with a ranged weapon, or even a spell, does not incur any negative modifiers or opportunity actions against you.

Danny

Disengage is an action, you cannot attack in the same round you disengage.

Withdraw is not an action described in the current iteration of the playtest.

The Shift feat allows you to move out of an opponent's reach for the purposes of gaining a clear shot, because opponent's provide cover if you attempt to shoot or reach-jab at a target on the opposite side of them.

Danny

The issue is not what the shift feat is useful for.  The issue is why the shift feat is a prerequisite for the strike and fade feat. He understands why the shift feat is useful in the abstract -- just not to him. But the strike and fade feat is useful, but he is required to get the shift feat first, for no good reason I can discern.

I agree; it's a feat tax. 
Feats (or anything, for that matter) should only have prerequisites if they don't function without the prerequisite.

Restrictive prerequisites are bad.  I don't care how thematic you think the prerequisite is, the idea that that thematic representation is the only one that gets mechanical support goes against Next's core design.

Level prerequisites are the only acceptable form, simply because they allow for superior options to show up later in the game.


To answer the OP:  both.  Just because you got a fat refund doesn't mean you didn't pay the tax.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Hmmm, yes shift does indeed have its uses, but it does seem to not have enough synergy with strike and fade to make it a real prerequisite. Since they more or less fall along the same lines, I can see how you could use one and then the other when you finally get it. But once you get Strike and Fade, the uses for Shift go down considerably. 

Verdict: I would call it a feat tax on the grounds that Strike and Fade just supercedes it and leaves you feeling like you have a wasted feat. 
My two copper.
I dunno, it makes sense as a sanity check. Shift is basically "you're pretty good at moving around and not getting hit" and Strike and Fade is "you're really good at moving around and not getting hit"; is it possible to be really good at something, without first being pretty good at it?

The metagame is not the game.

I dunno, it makes sense as a sanity check. Shift is basically "you're pretty good at moving around and not getting hit" and Strike and Fade is "you're really good at moving around and not getting hit"; is it possible to be really good at something, without first being pretty good at it?


They all make sense as a sanity check.  But the problem is that sometimes we want to do something crazy.

"Crazy" being defined as "not playing the 'right' way" - whatever that happens to be to whoever is passing the judgment.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I dunno, it makes sense as a sanity check. Shift is basically "you're pretty good at moving around and not getting hit" and Strike and Fade is "you're really good at moving around and not getting hit"; is it possible to be really good at something, without first being pretty good at it?


I'll agree, which is why it very well might remain that way in the end. Still seems like a waste though.
My two copper.
I dunno, it makes sense as a sanity check. Shift is basically "you're pretty good at moving around and not getting hit" and Strike and Fade is "you're really good at moving around and not getting hit"; is it possible to be really good at something, without first being pretty good at it?


The problem is that Shift seems to say "You're so sneaky, you can just sneak away" and Strike and Fade seems to say "You bash the berk in the face and while he's dazed, you make a hasty retreat!"

Shift is sneaky and S&F is brutal. While they both make sense for skirmishers (which is why they are two of the feats in the Skirmisher Specialty), they aren't necessarily tied together. 
I generally don't like feat prerequisites.

I would't mind feat synergies - perhaps if you have shift, Strike and Fade works better, but it does something useful by itself as well.

But feat chains in general were one of the most annoying and irritating things about 3.x.

That said - short (two feats) feat chains aren't too bad.  But I just don't think it is called for here.  I think that the level requirement for Strike and Fade is more than enough as far as prerequisites go.


Carl
I generally don't like feat prerequisites.

I would't mind feat synergies - perhaps if you have shift, Strike and Fade works better, but it does something useful by itself as well.

But feat chains in general were one of the most annoying and irritating things about 3.x.

That said - short (two feats) feat chains aren't too bad.  But I just don't think it is called for here.  I think that the level requirement for Strike and Fade is more than enough as far as prerequisites go.


Carl


Actually, in terms of scale, even short feat chains in D&D Next is pretty bad, for the simple reason that you have very little space to work with in the first place, so each of your four feat slots would be far more valuable in D&D Next than in every edition prior.

I prefer feat synergies myself; in fact, I'd prefer feats to synergies with classes and class features, as opposed to tacked on game elements that technically simulate a classless environment. 
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It's a prerequisite to have shift in order to take strike and fade, but is it counterintuitive to allow one to retrain shift after you've gained strike and fade?

How do we feel about that? 

Danny

I feel it'd be a nice workaround to something that shouldn't be a problem in the first place.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I feel it'd be a nice workaround to something that shouldn't be a problem in the first place.

LOL Nice.

Danny

I don't like the term "feat tax" because everyone seems to use it differently. In this case, I think it's fine for this particular feat to have a prerequisite - it helps minimize cherry-picking. 

I do devoutly hope they add in more feats, including feats after level 10 - and if they do, all the level 9 "capstone" feats would probably need some readjustment.
I don't like the term "feat tax" because everyone seems to use it differently. In this case, I think it's fine for this particular feat to have a prerequisite - it helps minimize cherry-picking.


Why are we minimizing cherry-picking?  I thought the whole point of allowing people to make their own specialties was to encourage cherry-picking.
I don't like the term "feat tax" because everyone seems to use it differently. In this case, I think it's fine for this particular feat to have a prerequisite - it helps minimize cherry-picking. 



It's a capstone feat. You can't "cherry pick" something when you only get one of a particular resource, that's total nonsense. I it already holds significant oportunity cost, since you can't take other 9th level feats, there's no reason for it to require more than that.


Disengage is an action, you cannot attack in the same round you disengage.

Withdraw is not an action described in the current iteration of the playtest.

The Shift feat allows you to move out of an opponent's reach for the purposes of gaining a clear shot, because opponent's provide cover if you attempt to shoot or reach-jab at a target on the opposite side of them.



All well and good.  How is that relevant to my character using a non-reach non-ranged weapon, and why is this feat required for me to use said weapon to Strike and Fade? 
I don't like the term "feat tax" because everyone seems to use it differently. In this case, I think it's fine for this particular feat to have a prerequisite - it helps minimize cherry-picking.


Why are we minimizing cherry-picking?  I thought the whole point of allowing people to make their own specialties was to encourage cherry-picking.



I think the whole point is to let people select feats that best fit their character's "specialty" even when that specialty isn't one of the pre-packaged ones listed.

It's a capstone feat. You can't "cherry pick" something when you only get one of a particular resource, that's total nonsense. I it already holds significant oportunity cost, since you can't take other 9th level feats, there's no reason for it to require more than that.



Specifically, if you could take Strike and Fade without taking Shift first, then players would be incentivized to skip Shift or retrain out of it once you get S&F.

Honestly, I haven't tried a character with either of these feats, so I'll defer to those who have on this one. There are certainly some other prerequisites that seem silly to me, like Two-Weapon Strike - why would I want a big weapon in my off-hand to use this ability?
I don't like the term "feat tax" because everyone seems to use it differently. In this case, I think it's fine for this particular feat to have a prerequisite - it helps minimize cherry-picking.


Why are we minimizing cherry-picking?  I thought the whole point of allowing people to make their own specialties was to encourage cherry-picking.



I think the whole point is to let people select feats that best fit their character's "specialty" even when that specialty isn't one of the pre-packaged ones listed.

It's a capstone feat. You can't "cherry pick" something when you only get one of a particular resource, that's total nonsense. I it already holds significant oportunity cost, since you can't take other 9th level feats, there's no reason for it to require more than that.



Specifically, if you could take Strike and Fade without taking Shift first, then players would be incentivized to skip Shift or retrain out of it once you get S&F.

Honestly, I haven't tried a character with either of these feats, so I'll defer to those who have on this one. There are certainly some other prerequisites that seem silly to me, like Two-Weapon Strike - why would I want a big weapon in my off-hand to use this ability?

Specifically, if you could take Strike and Fade without taking Shift first, then players would be incentivized to skip Shift or retrain out of it once you get S&F.
-------------------
I think the designers should have an incentive to design a better feat.  If the whole purpose is "nobody would take this feat if it wasn't a pre-req for a much Much MUCH better one" is that good game design?

I think the object should be for each player to look at the feats, read one and say "that's the best one." then read the next and say "that's the best one" and so on.  They should all be useful, and none of them should feel like a "tax".  

I think the designers should have an incentive to design a better feat.  If the whole purpose is "nobody would take this feat if it wasn't a pre-req for a much Much MUCH better one" is that good game design?



Well, the level 9 feats are clearly designed to be a cut above other feats. Shift actually doesn't look like a terrible feat to me - it's the only way to get out of melee range from somebody without using your action. Certainly better than, say, Weapon Focus.
I don't like the term "feat tax" because everyone seems to use it differently. In this case, I think it's fine for this particular feat to have a prerequisite - it helps minimize cherry-picking.


Why are we minimizing cherry-picking?  I thought the whole point of allowing people to make their own specialties was to encourage cherry-picking.



I think the whole point is to let people select feats that best fit their character's "specialty" even when that specialty isn't one of the pre-packaged ones listed.

It's a capstone feat. You can't "cherry pick" something when you only get one of a particular resource, that's total nonsense. I it already holds significant oportunity cost, since you can't take other 9th level feats, there's no reason for it to require more than that.



Specifically, if you could take Strike and Fade without taking Shift first, then players would be incentivized to skip Shift or retrain out of it once you get S&F.




If true - this doesn't mean that Shift should be a prerequisite.  It means that shift isn't good enough to hold up on its own through all levels of play.

The problem then is with shift - not with the fact that it is a prerequisite.

Maybe shift needs to scale with the level of the character.  If characters are only taking Shift so they can take Strike and Fade later - shift isn't good enough.  If characters are taking Shift early on because it is useful then - but are training out of it at ninth - shift isn't scaling well enough.

The problem is then with Shift, not Strike and Fade (although I still think that shift as a prerequisite is a bad idea and the level requirement is sufficient).


Proposal: What if we just make them the same feat?  If you take the feat "Combat Mobility" you gain the ability to "Shift".  If you reach level nine, you also gain the ability to "Strike and Fade" (with maybe some other scaling benefit at levels 5 ("spring attack?' and 15 or so?)


Carl
I'd be more inclined to just make Shift a base line ability and have it not use a Feat slot at all. As it stands it is totally a Feat Tax.
I'd be more inclined to just make Shift a base line ability and have it not use a Feat slot at all. As it stands it is totally a Feat Tax.



It is not a feat tax outside of its need as a prerequisite.

It is not essential and most characters will not take it.

Therefore it is not a feat tax.  It is just something you are used to being able to do and cannot do as well under the current rules - although you can move more freely without shift than you could before (without shift) - as you can run circles around your targets just so long as you don't try to leave their reach.

Carl
I'd be more inclined to just make Shift a base line ability and have it not use a Feat slot at all. As it stands it is totally a Feat Tax.

It is not a feat tax outside of its need as a prerequisite.

It is just something you are used to being able to do and cannot do as well under the current rules - although you can move more freely without shift than you could before (without shift) - as you can run circles around your targets just so long as you don't try to leave their reach.

Carl

It is something that was standard in previous editions. I'm not a big fan of removing abilities from the game and making them into Feats or Class skills.
I'm not a big fan of level, stat, or Feat being used as a prerequisite for a Feat. I can see the need in a few places, TWF chains in particular. But wherever possible, I'd like to see Feats being available to all regardless of other Feats, stats, or level.
Attribute reqs or previous feat reqs is a fine concept. Just like the choice of a fighter will stop you from casting arcane spells without the cost of multi-classing (whatever that may be) some feats require a cost and even if the particular cost may be disagreeable to some, the concept of such works for me.
Attribute reqs or previous feat reqs is a fine concept. Just like the choice of a fighter will stop you from casting arcane spells without the cost of multi-classing (whatever that may be) some feats require a cost and even if the particular cost may be disagreeable to some, the concept of such works for me.

I see them as a crutch used to hide poor game balance. In a well designed game there should be no need for them, and I'd rather see that superior design than unneeded limitations.
Attribute reqs or previous feat reqs is a fine concept. Just like the choice of a fighter will stop you from casting arcane spells without the cost of multi-classing (whatever that may be) some feats require a cost and even if the particular cost may be disagreeable to some, the concept of such works for me.

I see them as a crutch used to hide poor game balance. In a well designed game there should be no need for them, and I'd rather see that superior design than unneeded limitations.



If everything were feats instead of class features would a feat chain make sense then?  Like Arcane Casting 9  (req int 13, Arcane Casting 8) allows one to cast level 9 arcane spells?  Would that be a concept that was automatically poor design?
Attribute reqs or previous feat reqs is a fine concept. Just like the choice of a fighter will stop you from casting arcane spells without the cost of multi-classing (whatever that may be) some feats require a cost and even if the particular cost may be disagreeable to some, the concept of such works for me.

I see them as a crutch used to hide poor game balance. In a well designed game there should be no need for them, and I'd rather see that superior design than unneeded limitations.

If everything were feats instead of class features would a feat chain make sense then?  Like Arcane Casting 9  (req int 13, Arcane Casting 8) allows one to cast level 9 arcane spells?  Would that be a concept that was automatically poor design?

Yes and no.  As long as Class Feats (or in the case of a classless system, some other name like Role Feats or Caste Feats was used) were kept separate from General Feats and the chained Feats limited to Class Feats, that would be fine.  If everything were Feats, I'd hope they weren't all the same kind of Feats.
I think that part of the issue here is the use of the term "feat tax" versus "feat trees".  As far as I can understand (at least within the context of 4E), "feat tax" involves feats that are so good (or seemingly vital to the game's math) that the loss of those feats from your feat lists would severely hamper your functionality as a character.  Compare with "feat trees", where more powerful feats are unlocked only if you have a specific set of prerequisite feats.

Aside from system-level feat tax, there's also conceptual feat tax, wherein to fully realize a character concept one must pay the required tax in feats.  5E sort of softened this by lessening the number of feat slots available and at the same time making feats optional, but it still doesn't pull away from the basic flaw of feat trees, especially feat trees where the high end feats are significantly stronger than low end feats: instead of looking at feats individually, you have to look at feats as a group, and plan your character from level 1 to level 20; I think 3E had it worst (see: extreme multiclassing shenanigans) and 4E somewhat mitigated this via retraining and the absence of feat trees (mostly).  And it's because of this "must take all required feats" that A) heavily restricted the pre-4E fighter options-wise, and B) makes it easier to criticize a feat as "feat tax", especially that of a conceptual sort of feat tax, since you don't really like a certain feat, but because you can't take the feat you really want, you're stuck with taking that feat anyway.

Personally I think it's a really messy way to implement it, since there's already far too many constraints already in place:


  • all of the more powerful feats have level prerequisites

  • a significant number of feats have ability prerequisites

  • then you have feats that have feat prerequisites


So the conceptual tax is extremely high, since not only do you have to roll lucky / convince the DM to let you use an array or point buy, but you also have to take the prerequisite feats... and even then, you only get the concept you want after having to invest a significant amount of time and effort (and system mastery) in the game.

Personally I found that, save for certain powers (e.g. Come and Get It, Exorcism of Steel), most concepts in 4E could be achieved at level 1, with a relatively low concept tax, mainly limited to tier, ability scores and the resistance to reflavoring (or lack thereof).  And while I think that 5E's background/skill system combined with ability scores does help lower the concept tax outside of combat, it's offset by A) the Rogue's Skill Mastery and Ace in the Hole class features, and B) differences in feat design vs. class design.


  • With the Rogue's Skill Mastery, not only do you have spells being better outside of combat from time to time, you have the Rogue being outright better than almost all other characters in skill use so long as those skills are applicable.


    • Plus, the entire design of the Rogue sort of steps into the Bard's "Jack of All Trades" concept, especially given how skills work.


  • And with feats vs. class, the problem is that technically classes are already specializations, so as it stands feats are redundant in existence; add to that, they don't even follow the same rules as maneuvers or spells, so it's another set of rules to master.



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I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging