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Feat Taxes... Why this for that?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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OK, so i am trying to understand something.

why are some feats used as a prereq for others?

Power Attack for example is a prereq for a lot of abilities.

I can understand Power Attack > cleave
but what about

Power Attack > Improved Drag? what does the one have to do with the other.
Point Blank > Rapid shot? speed and accuracy are not specifically connected

etc etc.

there are a lot of feats seemingly disconnected from their prereq.

Do you know others or have an explanation for them?


blue_the_wolf wrote:

OK, so i am trying to understand something.

why are some feats used as a prereq for others?

Power Attack for example is a prereq for a lot of abilities.

I can understand Power Attack > cleave
but what about

Power Attack > Improved Drag? what does the one have to do with the other.
Point Blank > Rapid shot? speed and accuracy are not specifically connected

etc etc.

there are a lot of feats seemingly disconnected from their prereq.

Do you know others or have an explanation for them?

Fighters can't have nice things. That's the explanation. You gotta eat through lots of feats to get anything you really want. Diehard? Gotta have Endurance. Far Shot? Well for some reason you need Point Blank Shot to shoot farther. Want to swing a sword in a 360o rotation? Well you have to know how to dodge really well and apparently mobile on the battlefield.

Does it make sense? No. But Fighters don't get nice things without excessive feat taxes.


blue_the_wolf wrote:

OK, so i am trying to understand something.

why are some feats used as a prereq for others?

Power Attack for example is a prereq for a lot of abilities.

I can understand Power Attack > cleave
but what about

Power Attack > Improved Drag? what does the one have to do with the other.
Point Blank > Rapid shot? speed and accuracy are not specifically connected

etc etc.

there are a lot of feats seemingly disconnected from their prereq.

Do you know others or have an explanation for them?

True, sometimes it seems they threw darts to make prereq.

Feat taxes are supposed to be balanced reasons (reasonable)), but sometimes just for flavor (bad).


I'm still working on why you need Point Blank Shot before getting Far Shot.

EDIT: Ninja'd by Ashiel on that one.

Shadow Lodge

It's good enough for WoW, why isn't it good enough for Pathfinder?

Osirion

GURPS does it the exact opposite. Fighter advantages like Combat Reflexes and Toughness and High Pain Threshold have few or no prerequisites, while mage spells have to be learned in chains. No fireball without first having at least basic knowledge of four to six lower level fire spells like ignite fire, create fire and shape fire, etc.

I kinda prefer Mutants & Masterminds 2e. Barely any feat or power prerequisites. You want power attack? You buy power attack. Doesn't matter if your Strength is 8 or 28, you can still sacrifice some accuracy to swing for the bleachers and do a bit more damage.

Some prereqs are just painful. Endurance required for Diehard? Ugh.

Combat Expertise (and its Int 13+ sub-prereq) for any of the Improved X feats? Yikes. How do wolves manage to trip people so well and giant mantises to grapple people so well with Int scores of 2 and zero, anyway? Can't my barbarian just learn to do what they do?


Because they don't want them to get it right away at low levels yet couldn't come up with another more relevant feat at the time to fill in the space and didn't want to put more level requirements in?

Honestly, I have no idea. We houserule that certain reqs can be met by other, more useful feats in cases of true absurdity, though we've yet to do so for PF. (3.x was -IMHO- much worse for silly feat reqs)


no ninja, its a general rant against senseless feat taxes.

I think that the magic system should work more like gurps,

I dont mind feat taxes as long as they make sense. having the base in order to get the improved or greater makes sense. having power attack in order to get cleave makes sense. having combat expertise, 13 dex, 13 int, dodge, mobility and spring attack in order to do a whirlwind attack... not so much.

dkonen: your right. PF is better than 3.5 but could be much better.


Of course, if we as fans combined all our might, we could of course make the perf...

*coughcoughsnort*

Sorry couldn't get that out with a straight face.

XD

more seriously:

Isn't that was houserules are for?

Use your power wisely, my friends, and always for the cause of Good.

Or Evil..

whatever floats your boat really :P


TOZ wrote:
It's good enough for WoW, why isn't it good enough for Pathfinder?

Because it's good enough for WoW.


Spring attack is great. Needing dodge and mobility.... not so much.

Dodge is ok on its own, and you know what, this even makes sense, but I never have been a fan of mobility. Even if I have mobility, I never try to provoke an attack of opportunity if it can be helped.

Mobility can be invaluable, but Spring attack is pretty steep that not even people who could use it might get it.


Lockgo wrote:

Spring attack is great. Needing dodge and mobility.... not so much.

Dodge is ok on its own, and you know what, this even makes sense, but I never have been a fan of mobility. Even if I have mobility, I never try to provoke an attack of opportunity if it can be helped.

Mobility can be invaluable, but Spring attack is pretty steep that not even people who could use it might get it.

you know whats funny?

I think its fair that dodge is required for mobility.

and I think its fair that mobility is required for spring attack.

but I think its too much that you need Dodge and mobility for spring attack.

Sczarni

Combat Expertise is my least favorite feat tax. Does anyone ever want to sacrifice their BAB for AC? I've never seen anyone actually do this. The only reason anyone I've ever known has taken Combat Expertise is to get another feat.

Endurance is pretty bad too. Though at least it has the... excuse?... of being a feat tax not just for Diehard, but for a few prestige classes as well. Also Rangers get it for free, which is kind of a nice way to make it easier for Rangers to get the PrC without having to write "Ranger" on it.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Both my monk and ninja have used Combat Expertise to great effect when they did not need the to-hit but needed the AC.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I would have thought (clueless as I generally am in such matters) that the existence of feat taxes disadvantages nonfighters rather than fighters. The designers aren't really making fighters "chew through feats" as they are given a whole bunch of extra feats to pay for some of those with prerequisites. It just means there are some super-expensive feats that fighters will be more likely to have than other classes - this way, at least you get something semirelated when you put the effort in to learn a more valuable feat (point blank and rapid shot combine to represent a skilled archer) rather than having some of the better feats cost twice as much (or whatever alternate system you'd put in place).

It seems like a question as to how full the glass is to me.

Shadow Lodge

The glass is always full, the question is, full of what?


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Opportunity.


Feat prerequistes are something that most people don't really have an issue with. They only breed resentment, I feel, in two cases:

1) Where the prerequisite feat is terrible. Combat Expertise as the gateway to the maneuver feats is the poster child for this, but Endurance -> Diehard is another good example. Combat Expertise isn't a worthless feat, but it's a very poor option for most characters most of the time. Very few characters are excited to get Combat Expertise.

2) Where the prerequisite feat, even if actually decent, gates a feat needed to make a character concept work at normal capacity. Point-Blank Shot actually gives an okay bonus for a feat - but it's not one you want to take before you take Precise Shot, which is needed to make ranged combat not feel lame. Combat Expertise pokes its head in here as well - a character that wants to focus on a combat maneuver that requires it has their concept gated by a dead feat. That's obnoxious. You already pushed Int to 13 for the privilege of turning on your character concept. Now you're stuck taking a chumpy feat on top of it.


Ya know, I always figured Precise Shot makes a better prereq for Point-Blank Shot than the other way around. After all, Point-Blank represents precision greater than Precise does...


Neo2151 wrote:
Ya know, I always figured Precise Shot makes a better prereq for Point-Blank Shot than the other way around. After all, Point-Blank represents precision greater than Precise does...

Yes, I think the same. It's incredibly hard to play a ranged character at low levels without Precise Shot, when your to-hit is also pretty terrible, your friends are always in melee with the baddies, and you take the -4 penalty.

Our DM just ruled that my two-scimitar dervish/tempest/fighter/rogue can take Web of Steel (yay), so now I have to take the bitter pill of Combat Expertise. Must be a strong contender for the most useless feat. Particularly with WoS, which gives a high AC, it makes no sense to want to reduce attack for armor. On the other hand, my DM realises that and I think he was ok with WoS because it's effectively a two-slot feat.


Steve Geddes wrote:

I would have thought (clueless as I generally am in such matters) that the existence of feat taxes disadvantages nonfighters rather than fighters. The designers aren't really making fighters "chew through feats" as they are given a whole bunch of extra feats to pay for some of those with prerequisites. It just means there are some super-expensive feats that fighters will be more likely to have than other classes - this way, at least you get something semirelated when you put the effort in to learn a more valuable feat (point blank and rapid shot combine to represent a skilled archer) rather than having some of the better feats cost twice as much (or whatever alternate system you'd put in place).

It seems like a question as to how full the glass is to me.

That is the idea, in effect you are creating skill tree style barriers to make it harder to get better feats, and making it an advantage for a fighter who has multiple extra feats to reach those "wanted" feats.

The flavor of how they get there really doesn't matter if mechanically you are trying to not allow X level to have access to X feat. It is as simple as that.

Obviously it could be done in a different way with have level/class requirements instead of having a feat tree.


Just to point out an alternate view. . . .

Most people say that feat chains are evidence that "fighters can't have nice things". One way to look at it is to realize that feat chains exist specifically so that *only fighers* can have those nice things. Few other characters have the available feats to go deep into a chain.

This point is, of course, separate from the issue that weak prerequisite feats are stupid (and should be improved slightly to make them less weak choices).

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Set wrote:

Combat Expertise (and its Int 13+ sub-prereq) for any of the Improved X feats? Yikes. How do wolves manage to trip people so well and giant mantises to grapple people so well with Int scores of 2 and zero, anyway? Can't my barbarian just learn to do what they do?

Combat Expertise is only a prereq for what, maybe half the Improved Maneuver feats? Maybe less?

Improved Grapple (per your example) does not require Combat Expertise.

I don't know why people keep doing that. You're not the first to mistakenly think that CE is needed for every ImpManeuver feat.


I would point out that many of the nicest things end up with a "Fighter level X" tag anyway (or a prereq with such)

Yes, there are a handful of class/archetype features out there that selectively get around this, but it still puts the onus of the tax back on fighters.

I find the BAB 11+ more restrictive than most early level feat "taxes".
Not that everyone should have access, but selective ways to gain earlier access (similar to how combat styles were handled for the monk) would be nice.

Cheliax

My whirlwind fighter uses Combat Expertise more often than one would think; it's a handy option, especially if he is CMBing against something he doesn't need the full bonus or doing "move-in strike". But whirlwind is quite a powerful option; especially in conjunction with polearm masters and enlarge person (you essentially get to cover a 50-foot radius circle). So I'm OK that it is so expensive.


RE Endurance:

Ever had a character usually wearing heavy armor surprised when resting?

Thought so.


Fabius Maximus wrote:

RE Endurance:

Ever had a character usually wearing heavy armor surprised when resting?

Thought so.

Wow what a fabulous feat, that once in a blue moon advantage sure is great.

There were campaigns that I went through and the DM didn't launch a succesful night raid on us. Especially once the arcane caster gets rope trick it is a none issue.

Shadow Lodge

This is why my heavy infantry have chain shirt jammies.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Silent Saturn wrote:

Combat Expertise is my least favorite feat tax. Does anyone ever want to sacrifice their BAB for AC? I've never seen anyone actually do this. The only reason anyone I've ever known has taken Combat Expertise is to get another feat.

Endurance is pretty bad too. Though at least it has the... excuse?... of being a feat tax not just for Diehard, but for a few prestige classes as well. Also Rangers get it for free, which is kind of a nice way to make it easier for Rangers to get the PrC without having to write "Ranger" on it.

I've seen Combat expertise use to get an insane AC pretty much make everythign require 20 to hit that CR appropriate for your level. I don't remember the exact build but it was Aldori Sword Dueling fighter/weapon master monk/Duelist with the Crane Wing style. Great for defense against melee but ranged attacks hit much easier.

Sczarni

In fairness to Combat Expertise, I think the real reason most people don't like it is that they start out deciding that they need Improved [x], and then realize that they need CE to get it. CE lets you do something less intuitive than the combat maneuvers, so the majority of people who take it are taking it for Improved [x].

If Combat Expertise wasn't a prereq for anything, there'd be a lot less complaining about it, because most people would forget it exists.

I maintain my hatred of Endurance though. Most times I've thought about trying to get Diehard, I just give up because it's not work taking what is essentially a dead feat.


Endurance is only a "dead" feat if your GM doesn't want to run his games worrying about things that the feat covers.
And if your GM is that way, there's really no reason you couldn't ask to skip the prereq, since the GM won't ever put you in a situation where it would be useful anyway.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Silent Saturn wrote:

In fairness to Combat Expertise, I think the real reason most people don't like it is that they start out deciding that they need Improved [x], and then realize that they need CE to get it. CE lets you do something less intuitive than the combat maneuvers, so the majority of people who take it are taking it for Improved [x].

If Combat Expertise wasn't a prereq for anything, there'd be a lot less complaining about it, because most people would forget it exists.

I maintain my hatred of Endurance though. Most times I've thought about trying to get Diehard, I just give up because it's not work taking what is essentially a dead feat.

Incidentally, I think some people would still take Combat Expertise, but it would be those who wanted Combat Expertise for Combat Expertise. It works well on a character who wants to be an avoidance tank. +30% evasion isn't bad at 20th level. But it does seem bizarre and counter-intuitive to most of the combat maneuver feats you have to spend to get it. Exactly why does someone have to have a 13+ Intelligence and knowledge of penalizing their attacks and Combat Maneuvers to become better at tripping someone or disarming them, when those actually sound like Strength and Dexterity based things?

In fact, why do it at all? Power Attack has 0% to do with Grappling. I mean, seriously, when was the last time you decided to take a power attack penalty to your grapple check to do nothing. Exactly what does rocking a 2 hander have to do with arm-locking some guy?

Many of them see arbitrary and silly. Contrary to what some were saying, I do not think it's a point in the Fighter's favor at all. Seriously, most classes either don't need to meet the prerequisites for many of these feats (Ranger, Monk) or get the prerequisites more or less handed to them (Cavaliers, Rogues, Wizards, Sorcerers).

The Fighter actually has to slug through tons of feats that he doesn't want or doesn't need, wiggle around ability score requirements on stats that do little to nothing for him besides qualifying him for that one feat that he needs to take that other feat down the road that is moderately useful, and blow half his class features on stuff that doesn't matter.

Want to make a Fighter who's skilled at mixed martial arts, who's really good at fighting unarmed, grappling, tripping, disarming, etc? You gotta eat Improved Unarmed Strike, Power Attack (which is horrible with IUS because unarmed strikes are light weapons), Improved Grapple, Combat Expertise (requiring you to have a 13+ Int), Improved Disarm, Improved Trip. That's 6 feats right there. What's the Fighter's biggest advantage gained? He has a +2 to CMB to 3 combat maneuvers and doesn't provoke attacks with them. It will take 3 more feats to raise it to +4 and get a kicker effect. He has 2 feats that are essentially wasted, which could have gone into something like Scorpion Style and Disruptive.

Barbarian over here goes "Ok, now I'm mad!" and gets +level to a combat maneuver bonus though. Probably doesn't even provoke attacks, depending on his setup. Heck, he's probably tearing some poor fool apart with his hands and teeth too.


TOZ wrote:
It's good enough for WoW, why isn't it good enough for Pathfinder?

Also, TOZ, I play WoW too (or did before Cataclysm/Mists). I never found talent trees to be much of a feat tax. Most of the talents that actually required you to take another specific talent before them were directly associated with the ones before. For example, a priest who invests in "Improved Power Word: Shield" unlocks a talent that lets them cast PW: Shield faster, and for less mana.

Meanwhile, everything else is set up in a pseudo-focused / level limit, since you you need X feats out of a specific tree to qualify for the next tier of the tree, which while similar to feat taxes, always reminded me more of D20 Modern, with some particularly nice talents on the tree requiring you to have at least X other talents from the same tree.

I wouldn't mind if to take "this really awesome shield feat" that you had to have "any two other shield feats" as much as I mind "this really awesome shield feat" that you have to have "this awesome 2 handed weapon feat". :P

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Fighting Domains from The Book of Experimental Might were a similar idea.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Fighting Domains from The Book of Experimental Might were a similar idea.

Sounds cool. That's a book by Monte Cook, right?

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Who else uses that naming convention? :P


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Who else uses that naming convention? :P

Point taken. <3 Monte. I'll see if I can find a copy.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Paizo collected the two here. Pretty sure the PDFs are up on RPGNow.


Silent Saturn wrote:

In fairness to Combat Expertise, I think the real reason most people don't like it is that they start out deciding that they need Improved [x], and then realize that they need CE to get it. CE lets you do something less intuitive than the combat maneuvers, so the majority of people who take it are taking it for Improved [x].

If Combat Expertise wasn't a prereq for anything, there'd be a lot less complaining about it, because most people would forget it exists.

Largely, yes. I like Combat Expertise for itself--I have actually used it and to good effect (it's basically "improved fighting defensively")--but it makes NO sense that learning how to sacrifice accuracy for improving your defensive capabilities leads to you learning how to trip or disarm people better, or speed up your ability to Bluff people into dropping their guard. I think this was one of those things that was "kept for backwards compatibility" and little other reason, although it's disappointing the APG feats followed suit and some of them also require Combat Expertise as a prereq.

If Combat Expertise leads to anything, it should lead to more defensive abilities. Call me crazy!

I get why Improved Disarm etc. requires SOME prereqs and I'm even cool with the Int prereq (you have to be clever and plan the right moment to carry off the maneuver). But why not make it a BAB requirement instead? Or something as simple.

In fact I'm all for BAB requirements instead of feat prereqs--to a degree. It's an easy way to make sure certain classes don't get access to the feat till a certain level. Absolutely some feat trees should stay as is--it makes total sense you need Two Weapon Fighting before Two Weapon Defense, for example. But if the ONLY reason a feat has a prereq is to force the player to put off taking it until a certain level, then make the character level or the BAB the prerequisite rather than fabricate something unnecessarily complicated.

Quote:
I maintain my hatred of Endurance though. Most times I've thought about trying to get Diehard, I just give up because it's not work taking what is essentially a dead feat.

I understand why Diehard has a pre-req, but it would make more sense for it to be Toughness, Great Fortitude, or even just a high Constitution.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I generally prefer feat prerequisites to BAB requirements because I think it gives the player the chance to get it on their own schedule if they want it badly enough. For example, Precise Shot is, I think, an excellent example of a 2nd branch feat. It's quite powerful, enabling an archer to be extremely effective even against enemies in close quarters with allies. That is effectively +4 to hit under very common circumstances. That's better than a constant +1 all the time like with Weapon Focus. But certain types of characters can still get it at 1st level if they really want it. Base it on a higher BAB and they couldn't do that.

Of course, fighters, with more feats than anyone, get this much cheaper than anyone else. This is as it should be.


While I agree some prerequisites are weird, something else that bugs me along this same vein is the double-tax for feats.

Metamagic is a prime example of this. Not only must I spend a feat to get still spell, but it also must be one level higher when I cast it. Spontaneous casters have to take a full-round action. Prepared casters MUST prepare it as metamagic. I once had a concept for a sorcerer who could "get out of any jam" with Metamagic and Eschew Materials along with solid diverse spell selection. Still Spell, Silent Spell, and being bound and gagged is no problem. Lightning Bolt the guard, Rope Trick the bindings on the party, and make a quick getaway.

Problem is, that lightning bolt is now 5th level, and if I'm only level 6, tough beans, I better make that lightning a magic missile instead.

Sorry for the Off-Topic (ish).

Yeah. Expertise for trip, disarm, feint, etc, is stupid. Just make the INT requirement across the board and drop the feat requirements.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
TheRedArmy wrote:
Yeah. Expertise for trip, disarm, feint, etc, is stupid. Just make the INT requirement across the board and drop the feat requirements.

Doesnt that mean all fighters will now be able to do everything without needing to specialise? I can understand such a fix if you think fighters are significantly underpowered or something. Otherwise, it just seems to be exchanging an old problem for a new one.


Steve Geddes wrote:
TheRedArmy wrote:
Yeah. Expertise for trip, disarm, feint, etc, is stupid. Just make the INT requirement across the board and drop the feat requirements.
Doesnt that mean all fighters will now be able to do everything without needing to specialise? I can understand such a fix if you think fighters are significantly underpowered or something. Otherwise, it just seems to be exchanging an old problem for a new one.

I personally don't think so, but loads of people think casters beat non-casters in most situations - and it's easy to understand why, but I think some overlook the magical defenses the martial characters can gain once their wealth gets up there.

As someone who performs historical fencing, I can attest to one thing - Tripping in the kind of combat we do (replicating unarmored civilian fighting) consists of two things:

1. Gain control of the opponent's blade (a relatively basic maneuver. You need to be quick and have good reflexes to not get killed, but I've done it against significantly better opponents a few times.)

2. Put your leg behind the other guy's leg, and push his body with your free hand (The most basic Judo move ever).

Meh. Guys wearing 75 pounds of armor + shield, plus all their gear, plus multiple weapons, trying to trip a 15 foot giant? I imagine it's quite different, so maybe expert defensive tactics are necessary.


The problem that some people 'really' have with this is that it can take a while to get to your character concept.

I once built a fire savant, whose purpose in life was to roast enemies with fireball. Sorceror levels 1-5 were a slow, tough slog. While I don't expect to be super awesome at 1st level, it would have been nice to have, say, produce flame at 1st level instead of burning hands.

Cause this.

Likewise, if you want to be a dashing swordsman who disarms people, then you have to a) reduce dashing (CHA) in favor of being smart enough to disarm anyone, and b) take disarm as your second feat.

If you're a human fighter, no problem. But a elven rogue? You'll have to wait until 3rd level, or use a rogue talent. Hmm.


When a Wizard wants a new trick he goes out and spends some money. It doesn't inherently require getting into AoO range to perform. If he does need to cast in melee his ability to do so rises towards unity without doing anything but leveling up, and if he wants to cast safely sooner he can spend one feat on combat casting for all his spells. If he's worried about old tricks becoming obsolete he invests in heighten spell, intensify spell, or similar and it works on most of his spells, though eg. heighten makes no sense on Acid Arrow.

If a Sorceror wants a new trick he waits until he levels up. His new trick, though, is just as scalable as a wizard's trick.

If a Fighter wants a new trick he has to level twice if he doesn't already have the feat tax. He then has to invest a third feat because his tricks don't scale, and greater grapple, unlike metamagic feats, don't improve the scalability of multiple tricks.

A wizard can do pretty much everything. Price may be an issue getting all the spells, but he can get way more than the fighter gets feats. He gets nearly twice as many for free just from leveling up.

A sorceror can do a lot of things. By default he gets more than 50% more spells than a fighter gets feats. Most of those tricks scale by caster level and can benefit from the a lot of the same metamagic feats.

A Fighter can do maybe three things at most if he wants to do well because he needs pretty much the whole feat chain to even try to keep up with monster CMDs.

Letting a fighter's 21 lifetime feats each scale the way a Sorceror's 34 non-cantrtip spells scale should not be too much to ask.


Quote:

Endurance is only a "dead" feat if your GM doesn't want to run his games worrying about things that the feat covers.

And if your GM is that way, there's really no reason you couldn't ask to skip the prereq, since the GM won't ever put you in a situation where it would be useful anyway.

There is truth in this. it does not negate the big picture but there is a point here.

having said that, I think the entire feat tree system could use a revamp.

I think this is the first time I actually thought that a pathfinder 2.0 might be a good idea.

I remember an argument about the name barbarian vs berserker. at the end of the debate a sort of consensus was reached that the original idea of BARBARIAN had nothing to do with the current idea of BARBARIAN.

I think something similar is happening here. what the did with 3.0 and 3.5 may have worked at the time it was set up. but the game has evolved a bit and at this point a new system can be worked out.

Yes... I could home brew the whole thing but in that case why would I be playing pathfinder?


Ringtail wrote:

I'm still working on why you need Point Blank Shot before getting Far Shot.

EDIT: Ninja'd by Ashiel on that one.

Because archers practice shooting at close targets before they do anything else?


When learning your proficiency, sure. But by the time you're picking feats like Point Blank or Far Shot, you already know how to shoot a bow. Doing a bunch of extra practice to get better at shooting things up close doesn't help you shoot extra far, as two entirely different styles in aiming are used.

Cheliax

Combat expertise is actually a solid feat; but many people are offended that a non-monk has to buy a 13 int to do anything more than "swing sword" in combat.

There again, it's pretty flavorful to have the intelligent fighter be the one that actually has trick options, no?

The idea of most chains is to set up improvements to existing feats; or give feats superior to those without feat prereqs. I do wish they would make the qualifying feats a little better; the worst offender here is +4 to confirm crits for all of the late-level crit feats.


Iron Heroes also had a cool idea for combat feats, although a bit higher powered than would work for regular D&D/Pathfinder (because Iron Heroes compensates for lack of magic by upping the inherent badassosity of its characters).

Basically, instead of having feat chains you had "Mastery Feats." Each class got access to different masteries at different levels - for instance, a Harrier (a class focused on mobile combat) at level 10 would have Defense and Finesse Mastery at level 5, Projectile Mastery at level 4, and all other Masteries at level 3.

Each Mastery feat chain started, of course, with a single feat. But in order to take the higher-level versions, you only needed the basic mastery feat and the appropriate mastery level. So, for example, the Mobility mastery feat (categorized as a Defense mastery) looks like this for the first six levels:

1 - +4 Defense (IH uses class-based instead of armor-based DCs for hitting people) versus movement-based AoO. Same as PF Mobility, except you don't need Dodge.
2 - +6 Defense against one target for movement-based AoO.
3 - Can move before and after attack, doesn't work in heavy armor (AKA Spring Attack).
4 - If one foe takes a move-based AoO against you and miss, you get +2 Defense against any other move-based AoOs for that square (your foes interfere with one another)
5 - Foe must save or fall prone after move-based AoO.
6 - Can attack at any point along a charge, and doesn't have to charge straight at an opponent.

A 10th level Harrier with the base Mobility feat could thereafter cherry-pick any of the level 2-5 feats. He could not take the level 6 feat, because he doesn't have the right level of Mastery. Neither could he take the level 3 Dodge mastery feat (another Defense mastery), unless he had taken the base Dodge feat.

This system still serves the purpose of limiting the cooler feats to higher levels, and requiring fighters (used in the generic meaning, not to mean the specific class) to focus to some extent, but it doesn't require them to spend all their feats on just one thing.

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