Feats and feat chains (A hopes and prayers thread)


Prerelease Discussion


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So one of the biggest flaws in the 3.5/pf1 chassis is feat chaining. Realistically the system had needed condensing before pathfinder was even its own thing, and unfortunately these systems have a tendency to spiral out of control.

I'd really like to see a firmer design hand taken with feat design, with a guideline for what kind of numerical combat bonus a feat requiring X level provides, and having it be comparable, if not necessarily as strong, as a spell cast at the same level. I'm really hoping that rather than taking decent but not particularly powerful feats and stacking them on the end of a 4 feat chain they can sit with maybe 1 or2 prerequisites.


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I understand that feat chains are a thing of the past, except in very specific circumstances. Most feats will either autoimprove if appropriate (Power Attack does, but Sudden Charge does not.) As I understand it the standard is that feats will not require other feats as prerequisites unless the second feat adds an additional option to the original feat or otherwise requires the first feat to make sense.


As far as we know you only get 5 general feats in your entire career (at 3, 7, 11, 15, and 19.) So a feat with two other prereq feats would typically be available at 11th level - and that's IF those are the ONLY feats you take. Feats chains should become a rare exception in PF2.


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I think general feats are different from combat feats no?


I imagine the thing about some class feats which are semi-universal is that they will be cross-listed for a variety of classes. So just like a spell can appear on a bunch of different class lists, you could have "Power Attack" listed for Fighters, Barbarians, Paladins, and Rangers, but not Wizards, Sorcerers, or Rogues.

An example of "feat chains" which I thing will still exist are "combat styles" since the trope of the martial artist mastering working hard to master the next level of the form is sort of part and parcel to the monk's fiction, but I wonder if anybody else (save for the Brawler eventually) will get those.


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I guess i should admit that a big part of why its a concern to me is that there have in the last few years of pf1 been so many feats opening other action options in combat printed, that require like 2 useless feats and a grip of others to take, ensuring you cant take them til mid to high level, and while they don't have a direct BAB or level requirement they are level restricted on a practical level by the number of feats required, ensuring that its ALL you can do.

I hate that so much. SO.....MUCH


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YES! Please make fewer feats, all of which stand on their own, rather than having lists of prerequisites.

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Feats get boring.
Characters get so many feats that there's a design problem trying to make each feat interesting. I understand that you don't want to give a 5th level character 3-8 special abilities on top of what they get from class and other sources. However, a huge number of interesting feats require boring (numerical bonus only) or almost unrelated prerequisites. Not only does that make a bloated list, but it means players often sit with boring or unused feats on their character sheets.

Examples:

  • Spell Focus (only effects spells with saves) is required before taking Augment Summoning (only effects spells without saves).
  • Dodge (AC) required before taking Spring Attack (movement), and
  • Spring Attack before Whirlwind Attack (attacks during which you can't move).
  • Improved Trip (eliminates a penalty) required before... you get the point by now!

Feat selection is a skill tester.
One of the biggest problems with d20 (D&D 3.0, 3.5, Pathfinder) is that a player's skill and experience with the game system often leads them to make characters with wildly varying effectiveness. It's okay if an experienced player can squeeze more out of a class than a newb, but the characters should at least belong in the same adventure together.

There are many reasons for this, but one is feats. There are a huge number of feats to choose from, and often you have to plan multiple prerequisites of ability score, level, other feats, and miscellaneous features to get the ones you want, planning which must take place many months in advance. Beginners make choices that seem cool and effective, but often fail to make a character build that works as expected.

Liberty's Edge

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Ryan Freire wrote:
I think general feats are different from combat feats no?

'Combat Feat' is not a category we've heard in regards to the new edition (and likely won't, since it just delineated what Feats a Fighter could grab...and Fighters no longer grab General Feats). There are four known categories of Feat:

-General Feats (Feats anyone can take, available at 3, 7, 11, 15, and 19).
-Ancestry Feats (Feats specific to your Ancestry, available at 1, 5, 9, 13, and 17).
-Class Feats (Class Specific stuff, what would've been called Rogue Talents or Discoveries or whatever last edition; all Classes have them. Non-casters get one at 1st, then everyone gets them at even numbered levels).
-Skill Feats (Conceptually, stuff like Skill Unlocks from Unchained, though cooler. Everyone gets these at all even numbered levels).

And those are the only types of Feats there seem to be.

Blueluck wrote:

Examples:

  • Spell Focus (only effects spells with saves) is required before taking Augment Summoning (only effects spells without saves).
  • Dodge (AC) required before taking Spring Attack (movement), and
  • Spring Attack before Whirlwind Attack (attacks during which you can't move).
  • Improved Trip (eliminates a penalty) required before... you get the point by now!

None of these seem likely to exist in their current form in PF2. Dodge and Spell Focus would just be reflections of the Proficiency rules rather than Feats, and Improved Maneuver Feats don't seem to be necessary (in fact, maneuvers don't seem to provoke at all). Spring Attack is sorta built into the movement rules, and while Whirlwind Attack could easily show up, it'd be unlikely to have prerequisites.

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