Legends & Lore: A Bit More on Feats (July 15)

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Legends & Lore:
A Bit More on Feats
(July 15)

Mike Mearls


As your character levels, at certain points you gain a +2 bonus to one ability or a +1 bonus to two different abilities. Alternatively, your group can choose to use feats.



  
 




Talk about this article here.
I like the new direction for feats.  I also like that you can mix between ability bonuses and feats without houseruling it.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

This is exciting. I love the idea that the selection of a feat is like selecting a specialization that further defines your PC. These feats will be "sexy."

A Brave Knight of WTF

I dunno.  These feats seem pretty lame actually considering you are giving up a +2 to an attribute score (or +1 to two) for them, and that's especially potent the way Next is written right now.  If this is the sort of feats they are talking about, I don't see giving up the attribute bonus for them most of the time, and from the sounds of it, you won't get very many at all regardless.

Feels like the Hot Tub Time Machine to 1983 IMHO.

-Polaris
I like the direction with meatier feats as an alternative to abilities improvement. Also like the variance between +2 bonus to one ability or a +1 bonus to two different abilities.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

These feats are effectively competing with something better than 4E expertise.
...whatever

I dunno.  These feats seem pretty lame actually considering you are giving up a +2 to an attribute score (or +1 to two) for them, and that's especially potent the way Next is written right now.  If this is the sort of feats they are talking about, I don't see giving up the attribute bonus for them most of the time, and from the sounds of it, you won't get very many at all regardless.

Feels like the Hot Tub Time Machine to 1983 IMHO.

-Polaris

It may make a difference depending on how many increases/feats a PC/class gets, but in any case, they will help define the PC which might appeal to some. Perhaps power gamers will load up on attribute points...either way, I see it as a nice direction.

I think a PC with 20s in two attributes will be able to adventure with a PC that has more feats, and neither player will feel bad about it.

A Brave Knight of WTF

This won't end well.  *sigh*

Are they going to enforce arrays or will they accept that die roll means someone will be starting with 5 more "feats" than someone that rolled less well, so all their "balance" is built on quicksand?

How many feats is a belt of giant strength worth?  More quicksand.

There is no reason to make feats this big and complicated.  More feats with less power in each works.

@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

I don't make the rules, I just think them up and write them down. - Eric Cartman

Enough chitchat!  Time is candy! - Pinky Pie

It's not that complicated.

For starters, if you're not using point buy, you're already accepting a loss of balance to the roll of the dice.  I'd even venture to say that's the appeal of it for people who prefer to roll.  As for the belt of giant strength, why would a totally optional magic item that the DM is in no way obligated to hand out ever need to be balanced against a feat?
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

This won't end well.  *sigh*

Are they going to enforce arrays or will they accept that die roll means someone will be starting with 5 more "feats" than someone that rolled less well, so all their "balance" is built on quicksand?

How many feats is a belt of giant strength worth?  More quicksand.

There is no reason to make feats this big and complicated.  More feats with less power in each works.



First off, the guy above me is right if you're randomly rolling some characters are going to be better than others no matter what they do with this system. And if one guy has a belt of giant strength, everyone else in his party will have cool magic items to so those are a nonissue. I love these feats because you get a choice between higher ability scores or a specialization in some kind of fighting style. New players can easily up their ability scores for a more generalized approach without losing out on anything, while allowing depth for more veteran players.

More feats with less power=less feats with more power in the end so I don't see your problem. 

I especially love the heavy armor feat. I've been annoyed since the playtest came out that my tanky fighter wasn't much better at tanking than any other martial class. Now I can take this feat and bam I have a specialty that I've wanted with my chracter since the playtest started.

It seems like Next is finally getting the basics down so they're laying on the cool extras and I love it. 
The Oberoni fallacy only applies to broken rules, not rules you don't like. If a rule you don't like can be easily ignored, it should exist in the game for those who will enjoy it.
This won't end well.  *sigh*

Are they going to enforce arrays or will they accept that die roll means someone will be starting with 5 more "feats" than someone that rolled less well, so all their "balance" is built on quicksand?



I think it's up to your DM/organized play organizer to enforce what stat generation will be used.
Mike Mearls regarding feedback for D&D Next: "The big thing is to avoid snark and an overly antagonistic attitude. We're human, and it's easy to tune out someone who comes across as a crank."

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/3.jpg)

I like that Mike recognizes how important a Stat bump can be, and has made feats powerful enough to consider taking. 

What worries me is that they may be giving out TOO much. CharOp shennanigans were bad enough when feats were more limited in what they did. I'm not sure if the number of feats a PC gets has changed or not, but it looks like a PC could rack up a lot of synergetic combos if one should choose to do so.

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick


@mikemearls Hi, Mike! The article on feats sounds great, though, I'm curious... how many feats approx will a character have? (by level 20)

@vanesitasss varies from 4 to 6

I like that Mike recognizes how important a Stat bump can be, and has made feats powerful enough to consider taking. 

What worries me is that they may be giving out TOO much. CharOp shennanigans were bad enough when feats were more limited in what they did. I'm not sure if the number of feats a PC gets has changed or not, but it looks like a PC could rack up a lot of synergetic combos if one should choose to do so.


If feats are this powerful, I'm hoping there's only one for each "thing" you want to do. So the heavy armor feat is great, but it should be the only armor feat you can get (maybe a light armor feat as well, but they wouldn't stack). You could only get one feat that increased damage from a fighting style. Also they can't be given out like candy and will have to be more restrictive, maybe on at first and every three or four levels thereafter. I think those two things will help keep the power level in check.
The Oberoni fallacy only applies to broken rules, not rules you don't like. If a rule you don't like can be easily ignored, it should exist in the game for those who will enjoy it.
And if one guy has a belt of giant strength, everyone else in his party will have cool magic items to so those are a nonissue.



  And they are supposedly balancing them with price and rareity.  So now that we know a 21 str belt is worth maybe 5 feats, how will a pearl of power compare?  A 3rd level spell slot worth 5 feats?

I love these feats because you get a choice between higher ability scores or a specialization in some kind of fighting style. New players can easily up their ability scores for a more generalized approach without losing out on anything, while allowing depth for more veteran players.



  Except they're obviously not balanced already.

I especially love the heavy armor feat. I've been annoyed since the playtest came out that my tanky fighter wasn't much better at tanking than any other martial class. Now I can take this feat and bam I have a specialty that I've wanted with my chracter since the playtest started.



  Even better for barbarians/rangers/rogues.  Balance... nah.

  They're claiming balance, but it obviously isn't there.

@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

I don't make the rules, I just think them up and write them down. - Eric Cartman

Enough chitchat!  Time is candy! - Pinky Pie

Alright I'll bite.

Magic items don't need to be balanced towards anything. They don't have to be worth any number of feats because they're added in additon to your character and should not even be considered in this disscussion.

So here's my question, do you think the two feats presented are worth two stat points?

I see your point that maybe this feat should only be avalible to those who already have heavy armor, but that's an easy fix that doesn't mean the idea is awful.

 
The Oberoni fallacy only applies to broken rules, not rules you don't like. If a rule you don't like can be easily ignored, it should exist in the game for those who will enjoy it.
I'm not sure if the number of feats a PC gets has changed or not, but it looks like a PC could rack up a lot of synergetic combos if one should choose to do so.

I wonder if the intent is to combine those synergies, when pop up, into the same feat, as with the example Heavy Weapon Master.
Thanks for the clarification, TRBand!

 If feats are this powerful, I'm hoping there's only one for each "thing" you want to do. So the heavy armor feat is great, but it should be the only armor feat you can get (maybe a light armor feat as well, but they wouldn't stack). You could only get one feat that increased damage from a fighting style.

 

If that were the case, then a single PC could never choose to become very focused on one subject. If I wanted my Fighter to be a combatant with a versatile fighting style, I couldn't choose more than one feat to show that. A Barbarian who was a Great Weapon Master could hack and cleave well enough, but he'd never be able to do other kinds of special moves represented by other feats.

Building a PC to be the best at combat would mean choosing one combat feat and taking stat boosts to STR the rest of the time.

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

I'm not sure if the number of feats a PC gets has changed or not, but it looks like a PC could rack up a lot of synergetic combos if one should choose to do so.

I wonder if the intent is to combine those synergies, when pop up, into the same feat, as with the example Heavy Weapon Master.



That seems to be what Mearls is saying in the article. If you want the top of the feat tree, they'll just give it to you, instead of having you take 3 feats to get there.

One consideration is that, if a PC can take 4 feats in its career, it can take the equivalent of four feat trees.

Another consideration is that this means 1st level PCs can get a completed feat tree (Great Weapon Mastery) at Day One. Not sure how that interacts with Apprentice Level lethality. Feels like it would help with survivability, thought I'm not sure if that was intentional or not.     

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

Thanks for the clarification, TRBand!

 If feats are this powerful, I'm hoping there's only one for each "thing" you want to do. So the heavy armor feat is great, but it should be the only armor feat you can get (maybe a light armor feat as well, but they wouldn't stack). You could only get one feat that increased damage from a fighting style.

 

If that were the case, then a single PC could never choose to become very focused on one subject. If I wanted my Fighter to be a combatant with a versatile fighting style, I couldn't choose more than one feat to show that. A Barbarian who was a Great Weapon Master could hack and cleave well enough, but he'd never be able to do other kinds of special moves represented by other feats.

Building a PC to be the best at combat would mean choosing one combat feat and taking stat boosts to STR the rest of the time.


Not true. There would be one damage feat (specific to your weapon style) to increase damage, an armor feat to increase defense, maybe another feat that allowed you to gain bonuses on saves or preform special attacks like trip or bull rush.

So you could easily get five combat feats, but they would all add to a different aspect of your fighting style giving your character the diverse fighting style you want.
The Oberoni fallacy only applies to broken rules, not rules you don't like. If a rule you don't like can be easily ignored, it should exist in the game for those who will enjoy it.
I'm not sure if the number of feats a PC gets has changed or not, but it looks like a PC could rack up a lot of synergetic combos if one should choose to do so.

I wonder if the intent is to combine those synergies, when pop up, into the same feat, as with the example Heavy Weapon Master.



That seems to be what Mearls is saying in the article. If you want the top of the feat tree, they'll just give it to you, instead of having you take 3 feats to get there.

One consideration is that, if a PC can take 4 feats in its career, it can take the equivalent of four feat trees.

Another consideration is that this means 1st level PCs can get a completed feat tree (Great Weapon Mastery) at Day One. Not sure how that interacts with Apprentice Level lethality. Feels like it would help with survivability, thought I'm not sure if that was intentional or not.     




I believe, according to what Mike said on twitter not so long ago, the first of these new feats will be at level 3. (After the two "apprentice" levels.) In any case, yes. New heroes or capable adventurers (level 3) will have a feat.

Mike said from 4 to 6 feats... so, the following is a guess:

Maybe the fighter gets 6 feats, the rogue and the monk 5, and the others get 4?
Another consideration is that this means 1st level PCs can get a completed feat tree (Great Weapon Mastery) at Day One.

It doesn't mean you will get your first feat at level 1 though. First ability score improvement was starting at level 4 just saying.

EDIT 

@Plaguescarred At what level is your first feat ? 1st level?
@mikemearls depends on class - most get it at 4th. Remember that 1st & 2nd level go very quickly. 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Not true. There would be one damage feat (specific to your weapon style) to increase damage, an armor feat to increase defense, maybe another feat that allowed you to gain bonuses on saves or preform special attacks like trip or bull rush.

So you could easily get five combat feats, but they would all add to a different aspect of your fighting style giving your character the diverse fighting style you want.



When I say "Fighting Style", I don't mean things like extra damage or better armour. I mean special attacks like trips, spinning sweeps, bull rushes, and other unorthodox attacks.

If my Fighter is tripping people at fourth level, and takes armour and damage feats later, he is still just tripping. His ability to fight well has increased, but he's still doing the same old thing.   

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

And if one guy has a belt of giant strength, everyone else in his party will have cool magic items to so those are a nonissue.



  And they are supposedly balancing them with price and rareity.  So now that we know a 21 str belt is worth maybe 5 feats, how will a pearl of power compare?  A 3rd level spell slot worth 5 feats?




Balancing power with supposed price and rarity NEVER ends well.  It just winds up being unbalanced.  I have to agree that what is being proposed here is fundamentally at odds with items like Belts of Giant Strength.  The two can not coexist as written and be balanced.


I love these feats because you get a choice between higher ability scores or a specialization in some kind of fighting style. New players can easily up their ability scores for a more generalized approach without losing out on anything, while allowing depth for more veteran players.



  Except they're obviously not balanced already.



Exactly, and that's going to bite more than one group in the posterior if it's not fixed.



I especially love the heavy armor feat. I've been annoyed since the playtest came out that my tanky fighter wasn't much better at tanking than any other martial class. Now I can take this feat and bam I have a specialty that I've wanted with my chracter since the playtest started.



  Even better for barbarians/rangers/rogues.  Balance... nah.

  They're claiming balance, but it obviously isn't there.



Indeed.  I am seeing nothing balanced about this.  Like I said upthread, this is a Hot Tub Time Machine set to 1983.

-Polaris
I especially love the heavy armor feat. I've been annoyed since the playtest came out that my tanky fighter wasn't much better at tanking than any other martial class. Now I can take this feat and bam I have a specialty that I've wanted with my chracter since the playtest started.



  Even better for barbarians/rangers/rogues.  Balance... nah.

  They're claiming balance, but it obviously isn't there.



Except the barbarian potentially losing out on AC or coming up equal so it's not that useful other than the damage reduction. Also hurts maneuverability. Rogues really lose out on mobility (Which given the upcoming Cunning Action ability is big deal for the rogue) and stealth and probably won't get much benefit from the DR. Possibly a hit to AC as well since most rogues have high dex. Rangers might get some pretty good benefit, sure, but there's the opportunity cost of what ever other feats they could've taken not to mention any one with a dex based fighting style is giving up the potential of +1 AC, +1 Attack, +1 Damage, +1 dex rolls, and +1 initiative to get better AC and probably very minor DR against physical attacks. That actually seems really well balanced to me.
I especially love the heavy armor feat. I've been annoyed since the playtest came out that my tanky fighter wasn't much better at tanking than any other martial class. Now I can take this feat and bam I have a specialty that I've wanted with my chracter since the playtest started.



  Even better for barbarians/rangers/rogues.  Balance... nah.

  They're claiming balance, but it obviously isn't there.



Except the barbarian potentially losing out on AC or coming up equal so it's not that useful other than the damage reduction. Also hurts maneuverability. Rogues really lose out on mobility (Which given the upcoming Cunning Action ability is big deal for the rogue) and stealth and probably won't get much benefit from the DR. Possibly a hit to AC as well since most rogues have high dex. Rangers might get some pretty good benefit, sure, but there's the opportunity cost of what ever other feats they could've taken not to mention any one with a dex based fighting style is giving up the potential of +1 AC, +1 Attack, +1 Damage, +1 dex rolls, and +1 initiative to get better AC and probably very minor DR against physical attacks. That actually seems really well balanced to me.



But is it?  Consider the weapon master feat.  You may as well say "add +10 damage to all attacks" because monster AC is so low compared with most character attack bonuses, that most PCs will easily eat the -5 and still hit typical monster ACs easily.  The same goes in reverse for Monster attacks.  Monsters are so pathetic at hitting character ACs (and all this is due to a lack of understanding of how to apply bounded accuracy btw), that a small loss of AC isn't going to be noticed.

That said, I still don't see how these feats stack up with raw attribute increases especially considering bonuses of any kind are supposedly so hard to come by.  I also don't see how this can be balanced especially given the magic items and other abilities revealed thus far.

-Polaris
I like the fewer feats/more impact-per-feat direction a lot. The only thing that feels a little awkward about the example feats (ignoring any balance issues, because that's not really the point) is that they're both collections of three thematically related benefits, and while I think that that's an okay design principle for some feats, I kind of hope that not every feat gives you three benefits; that starts to add up as a lot of stuff to track. (Although in both cases, the first benefit requires no particular tracking.)
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.
I don´t see what magic items have to do with that article? They are not meant to be balaned to anything.

I like the new feats, although I rathr had disadvantage on attacks instead of a -5 modifier, but that is mainly cosmetics. And a bit of mathematics...
IMHO those feats look balanced versus a +2 increase in an ability. And intersting enough to b worth taking.

Regarding synergies: combining feats is an actually good Idea. You only have the choice of 4 to 6 feats, which means, there will be a lot less unintended synergies, as those feats, that are intended to synergize are already bundled.

I don´t see what magic items have to do with that article? They are not meant to be balaned to anything.



Unless you want us to believe that no DnD campaign or module is going to hand out magic items, then magic items HAVE to be balanced against the overall mechanic of the game.  Otherwise you risk destroying your game (in effect).  Belts of Giant Strength are merely the most obvious offender in this regard and on this topic.


I like the new feats, although I rathr had disadvantage on attacks instead of a -5 modifier, but that is mainly cosmetics. And a bit of mathematics...
IMHO those feats look balanced versus a +2 increase in an ability. And intersting enough to b worth taking.



But are they really?  The only way to really tell would be to stress test it, but right now given the state of the monster math, I don't see them as balanced.  Either they are too good in the hands of the PCs (because the -5 is essentially meaningless) or not good enough (in the hands of the monsters).  Also given how rare bonuses are supposed to be to the d20 roll, I just don't see many people giving that up without making the feats so powerful that the syngergies that do happen (and they always will) will have explosive consequences.


Regarding synergies: combining feats is an actually good Idea. You only have the choice of 4 to 6 feats, which means, there will be a lot less unintended synergies, as those feats, that are intended to synergize are already bundled.



Except if you allow 2 or more such feats, you will get unintended synergies.  That just goes almost without saying.

-Polaris
Except the barbarian potentially losing out on AC or coming up equal so it's not that useful other than the damage reduction. Also hurts maneuverability. Rogues really lose out on mobility (Which given the upcoming Cunning Action ability is big deal for the rogue) and stealth and probably won't get much benefit from the DR. Possibly a hit to AC as well since most rogues have high dex. Rangers might get some pretty good benefit, sure, but there's the opportunity cost of what ever other feats they could've taken not to mention any one with a dex based fighting style is giving up the potential of +1 AC, +1 Attack, +1 Damage, +1 dex rolls, and +1 initiative to get better AC and probably very minor DR against physical attacks. That actually seems really well balanced to me.



  Yes, well, BRB is already a mess as they're finesse based, which goes so well with rage.

  Don't know about the ROG cunning, but the RNG is happy to get out of medium as it's the worst armor in the game, capping at 17 rather than the 18 for light and heavy.

@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

I don't make the rules, I just think them up and write them down. - Eric Cartman

Enough chitchat!  Time is candy! - Pinky Pie


That said, I still don't see how these feats stack up with raw attribute increases especially considering bonuses of any kind are supposedly so hard to come by.  I also don't see how this can be balanced especially given the magic items and other abilities revealed thus far.

-Polaris



That is a very very bad falacy:

Just because soething is hard to come by does not make it automatically very powerful.

take attack boosting stats/feats:
As you know, no one can stack AC so high, that you get realy problems hitting, an increase by +1 in accuracy and damage is only increasing your DPR by about 10%. The accuracy part allowing to hit more in an average of 1 in 20 attacks and a steady increase of 1 damage per attack. In most fights, the impact is very little. The effect would be a lot bigger, if you are fighting "uphill" like in 3e or 4e e.g.: when you only hit on a 19 or 20 by default, because someone stacked AC to absurd amounts (in 3e with agic items, in 4e by being higher level), hitting with 15% instead of 10% will increase your effective damge output by 33%.
How does it work? Does someone decide at the start of the campaign whether it's bonuses or feats? Or do people just cherry pick as they level?

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

How does it work? Does someone decide at the start of the campaign whether it's bonuses or feats? Or do people just cherry pick as they level?


You can switch back and forth.  But, as with everything, you have to have a DM that lets you do that.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I especially love the heavy armor feat. I've been annoyed since the playtest came out that my tanky fighter wasn't much better at tanking than any other martial class. Now I can take this feat and bam I have a specialty that I've wanted with my chracter since the playtest started.



  Even better for barbarians/rangers/rogues.  Balance... nah.

  They're claiming balance, but it obviously isn't there.



Except the barbarian potentially losing out on AC or coming up equal so it's not that useful other than the damage reduction. Also hurts maneuverability. Rogues really lose out on mobility (Which given the upcoming Cunning Action ability is big deal for the rogue) and stealth and probably won't get much benefit from the DR. Possibly a hit to AC as well since most rogues have high dex. Rangers might get some pretty good benefit, sure, but there's the opportunity cost of what ever other feats they could've taken not to mention any one with a dex based fighting style is giving up the potential of +1 AC, +1 Attack, +1 Damage, +1 dex rolls, and +1 initiative to get better AC and probably very minor DR against physical attacks. That actually seems really well balanced to me.



But is it?  Consider the weapon master feat.  You may as well say "add +10 damage to all attacks" because monster AC is so low compared with most character attack bonuses, that most PCs will easily eat the -5 and still hit typical monster ACs easily.  The same goes in reverse for Monster attacks.  Monsters are so pathetic at hitting character ACs (and all this is due to a lack of understanding of how to apply bounded accuracy btw), that a small loss of AC isn't going to be noticed.

That said, I still don't see how these feats stack up with raw attribute increases especially considering bonuses of any kind are supposedly so hard to come by.  I also don't see how this can be balanced especially given the magic items and other abilities revealed thus far.

-Polaris



Flaw #1: Logical fallacy, specifically moving the goal posts. The discussion was specifically about the balance of Heavy Armor Mastery.

Flaw #2: Assuming that every attack hits which is a ridiculous and hyperbolic claim on it's own but there's the issue of how much are you actually giving up? So you take a -5 to hit from the power attack portion but there's also the missed opportunity cost. Say your fighter starts with a 16 strength and you take Great Weapon Master as your first feat. So you have a +3 to hit from strength and +1 from class (Though that's liable to change given the Apprentice tier). So right off the bat you're looking at a -1 to hit when using power attack but you're potentially at a -6 from where you could have been since you could have upped your strength to 18 giving you +1 attack and +1 damage per attack permanently. So your character is up against a lowly kobold dragon shield (there'd be no point in power attacking a standard kobold with their 2HP) with it's 16 AC. If you power attack you need to roll a 17 or higher to hit so a 20% chance of success. If you don't power attack then you need a 11 or higher so you have 45% chance of success. If you had taken the strength bonus and gone up to an 18 strength then you'd need an 10 to hit so a 50% chance of success. Now it's true that a dragon shield has a relatively high AC. So what about a Mane with their 12 AC? Power attacking would require a 13 or higher so a 40% chance of hitting. Non-power attack would require only a roll of 8 so a 60% chance of hitting. And an 18 strength would only require a 7 to hit so a 65% chance of hitting. That sounds about right.

Flaw #3: They've said they're going to work on monster math and a lot of the really crunchy stuff after they get the concepts working so yeah monster math is screwed up right now but it's going to be fixed later on so that's not really a good thing to compare with right now. This is a playtest and they're still working on the conceptual level first so comparing a new item to how it fits in with an admittedly flawed system that just hasn't been fixed yet is silly at best and disingenuous and malignant at worst.

Flaw #4: "Here are two example feats based on this approach. Note that neither of these example feats has been developed or edited." They're purely conceptual. Going on about the math of two most likely ad hoc examples is completely pointless as they're in place not to show off the math but the basic ideas of how the concept might work.

Flaw #5: Yes, there are problems with things like belts of giant strength. Those problem items are where the problem lies, not in the feats. The belts should probably give you a bonus for non-attack checks, some bonus damage, and carrying capacity/lifting strength instead of setting your strength score to things that aren't supposed to be achievable. That would make the lower belts useful for a strong fighter and the higher level belts non-game breaking. Also magic items aren't assumed like they have been in the past so there's that. Yes, if you throw the some what purposely game breaking things in to your game then the game will break... uh... duh.
Two parts of this, when combined, trouble me.

@mikemearls Hi, Mike! The article on feats sounds great, though, I'm curious... how many feats approx will a character have? (by level 20)
@vanesitasss varies from 4 to 6

@Plaguescarred At what level is your first feat ? 1st level?
@mikemearls depends on class - most get it at 4th. Remember that 1st & 2nd level go very quickly.

I don't want to have to wait until 4th level just to begin to customize my character in the way Feats provide.  I also want more customization than only 4-6 Feats provide.  These admittedly quite powerful Feats and stat boosts demand a hard limit to them, and that hard limit constrains my character build options.  I am unsure this issue can be houseruled away in a balanced manner.  That may keep me from being able to comfortably play this version of D&D.
I don´t see what magic items have to do with that article? They are not meant to be balaned to anything.



Unless you want us to believe that no DnD campaign or module is going to hand out magic items, then magic items HAVE to be balanced against the overall mechanic of the game.  Otherwise you risk destroying your game (in effect).


If you think of it as a range on a spectrum, for some groups the range within which it must stay for it to not destroy the game is smaller or larger than others.

But surely even in AD&D if you had a +2 sword and no one else did, you're just better off than everyone else.

Surely there's some room for magic items to just make someone else better?

What do you mean by balanced, when surely if only one party member has the item and it gives them a bonus, they are now better off than the other PC's?

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

  They're claiming balance, but it obviously isn't there.



I don't think anyone's claiming balance... yet.  I think they are only claiming "early attempt at balance".  Every example of imbalance you can find is either a matter of opinion (like rolling abilities or magic items) or a work-in-progress.    This is why this game is not out yet.  Everything is still subject to change.


Another consideration is that this means 1st level PCs can get a completed feat tree (Great Weapon Mastery) at Day One.



I think (in fact I'm pretty positive) there won't be any feats at all at level one.

Edit: Late to the party, as usual.
I like the idea of more interesting feats.  You can even have different combinations of three things to allow a wide variety of suites of powers.  The will certainly help to distinguish different versions of the same class.

However, I'm very nervous about the examples given.  At the moment, plate and shield can give AC20, with magic likely leading to AC21-23 (and do dwarves still get +1?).  This looks to me to be pushing the bounds of accuracy too far especially alongside up to 5 points of damage reduction.

If they tease plate back to AC17 top (adamantine proving 1 point of damage resistance), shields to +1, and the feat granting half your con bonus rounded down per die of damage, it might be a bit manageable.  Shields can be more powerful alongside feat and expertise options (such as advantage on block missiles rolls etc)
So they get rid of feats that add flat bonuses because they're bad... But then they make it so you can just take a flat bonus instead of a feat every time...

I wanted bigger and more subsantial feats, but not for this reason.  
 Every example of imbalance you can find is either a matter of opinion (like rolling abilities or magic items) or a work-in-progress.



God, grant Mearls the serenity to accept the things that are opinion, the courage to change the things that aren't, and wisdom to know the difference.

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick


That said, I still don't see how these feats stack up with raw attribute increases especially considering bonuses of any kind are supposedly so hard to come by.  I also don't see how this can be balanced especially given the magic items and other abilities revealed thus far.

-Polaris



That is a very very bad falacy:

Just because soething is hard to come by does not make it automatically very powerful.

take attack boosting stats/feats:
As you know, no one can stack AC so high, that you get realy problems hitting, an increase by +1 in accuracy and damage is only increasing your DPR by about 10%. The accuracy part allowing to hit more in an average of 1 in 20 attacks and a steady increase of 1 damage per attack. In most fights, the impact is very little. The effect would be a lot bigger, if you are fighting "uphill" like in 3e or 4e e.g.: when you only hit on a 19 or 20 by default, because someone stacked AC to absurd amounts (in 3e with agic items, in 4e by being higher level), hitting with 15% instead of 10% will increase your effective damge output by 33%.



I didn't say that attribute increases were powerful because they wre rare.  I said they were problematic ESPECIALLY because other sources of bonuses to d20 rolls were supposedly rare.  That increases the incentive to take this free increase while you can.  I've already said that bad things happen when you try to use 'rarity' to balance anything.

In this case adding modifiers to the d20 roll tends to quickly be unbalanced given how tightly the Devs want to bound their "bounded accuracy". 

-Polaris