How important are feats?

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That's my question. I'm a new player (only played 2 games so far) How important is the feat you choose going to be? My group is all totally new to the game, and there are so many feat options, we all kind of took a book that applied to our characters, flipped to the feats section and picked the first one that sounded good. Should we have spent more time? The amount of choice was just overwhelming.
Feats are extremely important.  They can make or break your character.

Expertise feats = bonus to hit enemies
Focus feats = bonus damage
Improved Defeneses = raising your non-armor defenses

This does not even touch on how important class feats can be to individual classes.     
Feats are a good way to bring your character concept together. If you want a combat optimized character then you want you absolutely need well thought out feats. If you want to get a bonus to a skill then use a feat. If you want your ch

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/4.jpg)

If you just want your character to speak every language in the world then there is a feat for that even though it would take a while.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/4.jpg)

It is overwhelming for someone new. And since you will get a new Feat every two levels you will need to read yourself through them and try to understand the consequences the feats have. Don't hesitate experimenting around, changing feats even between encounters in order to learn about the game.



For starters, look for the following:


1. An Expertise Feat, meaning any feat that gives you a +1 feat bonus to attack (+2 from level 11, +3 from level 21) with the weapon or implement of your choice


2. A Proficiency feat for the weapon you would like to use if you're a weapon user and don't like the weapons you're already proficient with

Feats are very important!  Kinda.

Feats can be very important to your character. A lot of your character's power and versatility will come from your feats and how those feats interact with the rest of your character. If you have a good idea of what is available, they can turn a even a lackluster character build from coal into diamonds - or from diamonds into astral diamonds.  And in a higher difficulty campaign and/or when playing with players who have a lot more experience with the game, you'll likely need to properly choose your feats to keep up.

Intimidated yet?  Don't be.

Your feat choice won't necessarily break your character if you choose 'wrong'.  Most of your character's power and versatility will come from your class features and powers.  As long as choose some feats that seem function with your character and your class's role, and don't completely neglect combat, you'll probably be just fine (Skill Training in every skill, for example, would be overboard almost any character).  The ability to better choose feats will come with more experience with the game system.  And the DM can compensate on their end by adjusting the difficulty of the game if necessary.  And with everyone being new to the game, you should all be on approximately equal footing, so you don't need to feel pressured to "keep up".

The only exception to this relaxed approach to selecting feats would be the _____ Expertise and Improved Defenses feats, which helps to attack rolls and defenses scale more in-line with the challenges you will face as you level.  It would be a good idea to pick up one of each sometime by level 15-ish or earlier.  Though, being only two games in, they're hardly a necessity for you at the moment.

So experiment.  Choose feats that sound fun and try them out.  And don't forget, each level, you can retrain one of your characters options.  So if you choose a feat and find that its not working as well as you think, you can swap it out for something different the next time you level up.  And if you still have doubts or questions about your feat choices, you can always ask here on the boards.


Though one houserule our group uses, especially for newer players, is to allow a complete rebuild of a character during the first couple levels.  Feats, powers, class, stats, everything.  That way, the player gets an opportunity to see if their choice of options really works with them before becoming committed to them.
Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
Thanks everyone for the replies! As a former WoW player (end game raider in WotLK), I'm used to being very focused on class building and optimization. Especially knowing what all your options are before choosing them. Choosing the "wrong" combination of talents in the old talent tree system used to be a costly mistake. So, bringing that mindset to D&D, I wasn't sure if we hadn't put enough thought into the feats, or if I was incorrectly blowing it out of proportion.

I'll take more time to look at all the feats available to me before the next game. 


Though one houserule our group uses, especially for newer players, is to allow a complete rebuild of a character during the first couple levels.  Feats, powers, class, stats, everything.  That way, the player gets an opportunity to see if their choice of options really works with them before becoming committed to them.



I really like this house rule! Our first game was played with some downloaded Game Day pre-made character cards, and then we chose to either keep that character, switch it for another, or create a custom one for the next game. We had some people keep their race/class, but rebuild the stats and powers at the second game. I guess it takes a few levels to really get it.
Did anyone go with the Warforged Revenant Vampire?  Maybe tack on Werewolf just for added lulz. Tongue Out
Thanks everyone for the replies! As a former WoW player (end game raider in WotLK), I'm used to being very focused on class building and optimization. Especially knowing what all your options are before choosing them. Choosing the "wrong" combination of talents in the old talent tree system used to be a costly mistake. So, bringing that mindset to D&D, I wasn't sure if we hadn't put enough thought into the feats, or if I was incorrectly blowing it out of proportion.

I'll take more time to look at all the feats available to me before the next game. 


Though one houserule our group uses, especially for newer players, is to allow a complete rebuild of a character during the first couple levels.  Feats, powers, class, stats, everything.  That way, the player gets an opportunity to see if their choice of options really works with them before becoming committed to them.



I really like this house rule! Our first game was played with some downloaded Game Day pre-made character cards, and then we chose to either keep that character, switch it for another, or create a custom one for the next game. We had some people keep their race/class, but rebuild the stats and powers at the second game. I guess it takes a few levels to really get it.




To speak in WoW: This board is Elitist Jerks and Arena Junkies in one, except that 4e's mechanics are much more complicated than WoW's. I made the conversion "WoW into 4e", not too long ago, as well, and am struggling very often. ;)


I really like this house rule! Our first game was played with some downloaded Game Day pre-made character cards, and then we chose to either keep that character, switch it for another, or create a custom one for the next game. We had some people keep their race/class, but rebuild the stats and powers at the second game. I guess it takes a few levels to really get it.



Please don't keep the game-day premades.  They are terrible builds.  Figure out what class you want to make, read the handbook and ask for advice.  If you want to see some example pre-mades look here:

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
For your first game, I wouldn't recommend getting too deep into optimizing. There are a few assumptions the game makes about how much damage you're supposed to do in each tier. If I recall correctly, it's 20 in Heroic, 40 in Paragon and 60 in Epic with your At-Will powers. Now, this might seem like a lot but it's really not.

For example, if you're a level 30 Rogue all you'd need to meet that benchmark is your Brutal Scoundrel class feature, a final Strength score of 26 and a final Dexterity score of 26 (so, start with a 16 in each and boost them every 4 levels, then take the Destined Scion Epic Destiny), and the feats Weapon Proficiency (Rapier), Light Blade Expertise and Weapon Focus.

For items, take a +6 Weapon and Iron Armbands of Power (Epic Tier). With that (3 feats and 2 items) you'll be doing:

Piercing Strike +38 vs REF, 2d8+(5d6+8)+26= 60.5 average damage.

To Hit breakdown:
15 (Half level)
8 (DEX modifier)
6 (Enhancement bonus)
3 (Proficiency bonus)
3 (Light Blade Expertise)
1 (Destined Scion bonus)
2 (Combat Advantage)
38

Static damage breakdown:
8 (DEX modifier)
8 (STR modifier)
6 (Enhancement bonus)
6 (Iron Armbands of Power)
3 (Weapon Focus)
3 (Light Blade Expertise)
34

So, are feats important? When you're learning the game, not really. As you can see, you can take 3 feats (out of 18) and two items and still hit your benchmark. I would say to you: Don't worry about it right now.      
There are a lot of trash feats bloating the  system at this point.  On this forum, do a search for |class xxx| handbook.  Also ask questions in the ask a simple question, get a simple answer thread.  Don't be discouraged if people tell you that something is stupid or questions the heritage of your mother in regards to lemmings, it's all part and parcel of dealing with top of the optimization game.  If you have thin skin, I would look elsewhere.
If he was an endgame raider, he's probably used to the Sebudai style of leadership.

But please don't associate this forum with Arena Junkies, we aren't nearly that 'Bro'.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
(speculating)

I wonder if: an all Skills feat slot build Party,
that obviously has to spam Raise Dead,
would reach a point where the entire party
does their Daily Novas and all but one dies.
Then blows what money they have left, to
Raise the party.  I wonder IF that group could
make it all the way to the end of level 30.

Basically:
Intentionally bad builds + Raise Dead = Win anyways.

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

(speculating)

I wonder if: an all Skills feat slot build Party,
that obviously has to spam Raise Dead,
would reach a point where the entire party
does their Daily Novas and all but one dies.
Then blows what money they have left, to
Raise the party.  I wonder IF that group could
make it all the way to the end of level 30.

Basically:
Intentionally bad builds + Raise Dead = Win anyways.



is this intentionally formatted as a poem? i read it that way and giggled.

@op: Feats are incredibly important, but your one feat choice at level 1 doesn't really matter. Much like how your level 10 very first talent point in WoW pretty much had a negligible effect regardless of what you picked, but by level 70 (30), your 61 total points (18 total feats) add up to be a substantial part of how your character functions and how effective it is at its role.