Should a character be able to select Class Feats from any class without restriction?


Classes


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hear me out. Lots of Class Feats have built-in prerequisites, like Rage, Spells, Spell Points, or other class features.

The Class Feats that don't so far look to be pretty reasonable choices for other classes to take. At least, based on my browsing.

If Class Feats were unlocked, what would that mean? Keeping in mind, if something is too class specific or powerful it could be locked back up with an arbitrary prerequisite or trait.

Here are some examples of pre-requisiteless Class Feats that would be opened up:

Alchemist:
Alchemical Familiar - Get a familiar
Alchemical Savant (Trained in Arcana) - Identify alchemical items
Far Lobber - Throw bombs better
Quick Bomber - Throw bombs faster
Calculated Splash - Use int to throw bombs better
Poison Resistance - Resist poison

Barbarian:
Sudden Charge - charge better
Internal Fortitude - Recover from sickness better

Bard:
Bardic Lore - recall knowledge on any topic
Steady Spellcasting - lessen spell disruption

Cleric:
Communal Healing - bonus to casting Heal spell
Emblazon Symbol - make an item a divine focus
Healing Hands - boost Heal spell
Holy Castigation - use Heal to damage devils and demons
Life Sapping - casting harm heals you
Turn Undead - Heal can cause undead to flee on a crit
Irresistible Energy - Remove some heal resistance from target

Druid:
Animal Companion - get a pet (might need to be class locked)
Leshy Familiar - gain a familiar
Reach Spell - increase spell range
Storm Born - reduce weather penalties
Widen Spell - Increase spell area
Wild Shape - use Pest Form 1/day (might need to be locked)
Poison Resistance - Resist poison
Savage Slice - Add a die of damage to second attack
Steady Spellcasting - lessen spell disruption

Fighter:
[The majority are PF1e Combat Feats or similar]

Monk:
[Basically all stances]
Ki Strike - gain ki spell points (might need to be locked)
Monastic Weaponry - proficiency with monk weapons based on your unarmed proficiency
Stunning Fist - stun with an unarmed strike
Brawling Focus - critical specialization with brawling weapons
Crushing Grab - str damage while grappling
Dancing Leaf - increase jump distance, reduce damage from falling near wall
Deflect Arrow - bonus to ac against ranged attack
Flying kick - jump and make an attack

Paladin:
Hospice Knight - medicine training
Divine Grace - reaction bonus to a saving throw (might need to be locked)
Aura of Courage - reduce fear effects for you and allies (might need to be locked)
Divine Health - resistant to diseases
Attack of Opportunity - you know

Ranger:
Animal Companion - get a pet (might need to be locked)
Double Slice - combine two attacks into one
Monster Hunter - bonuses to attack for identifying monster
Quickdraw - interact and strike at once
Running Reload - reload during movement
Scout's Warning - give bonus to team's initiative rolls
Twin Parry - Bonus to ac with two weapons
Skirmish Strike - move and attack, or attack and move
Wild Empathy - Diplomacy animals

Rogue:
Nimble Dodge - Reaction to gain bonus to AC
Trap Finder - bonuses to dealing with traps
You're next - Use reaction to intimidate after killing
Footpad's Focus - critical specialization effect for certain weapons
Mobility - half speed movement does not trigger reactions
Quickdraw - same
Sniper's Aim - Ignore concealment for the rest of your turn
Battle Assessment - learn about an enemy
Dread Striker - feared enemies are flat footed for you
Poison Weapon - add poison to a weapon for a turn
Reactive Pursuit - chase an enemy as a reaction
Running Reload - reload during movement
Sabotage - attempt to break an item with a thievery check

Sorcerer:
Counterspell - Reaction to spend a slot to attempt a dispel
Dangerous Sorcery - add bonus to spell damage
Familiar - gain a familiar
Reach Spell - metamagic
Widen Spell - metamagic
Conceal Spell - metamagic
Magical Striker - cast a spell and gain a bonus to nonmagical weapon
Resilient Concentration - give bonuses to spells on allies that you're concentrating on
Steady Spellcasting - less chance to be disrupted
Vicious Concentration - add damage to concentrate spell

Wizard:
Counterspell - same
Eschew Materials - replace material component with somatic
Familiar - gain a familiar
Reach Spell - metamagic
Widen Spell - metamagic
Conceal Spell - metamagic
Magical Striker - same
Quick Preparation - if you use a spellbook, you can swap spells in 10 minutes
Steady Spellcasting - same


Would be a more freeform approach to multiclassing. Ironically, the second iteration of multiclassing that was introduced in 4e essentially did this, while keeping interaction to a minimum, which was odd...


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'd be all for it if it increases my build options. I shouldn't necessarily have to multiclass to power attack as a Cleric for example.

If it's important to limit them *somehow* they could add an ability score requirement that unlocks a class's list.


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I'm not sure. How about this, maybe we keep feats gated through class, but we create "weaker" dedication feats that have stronger prerreqs that give a simpler benefit and access to the feats if you are already close to the class in class features. For example

Alternate Fighter Dedication: Prerrequisites: Trained in simple and martial armors, trained in light, medium and heavy armor.
Benefit: You gain a first level fighter feat. This feat counts as Fighter Dedication for the purpose of meeting feat prerrequisites.

Just like that, as it is Paladins and Rangers gain nothing out of the standard fighter dedication, yet have to pay the full cost.


WatersLethe wrote:

Hear me out. Lots of Class Feats have built-in prerequisites, like Rage, Spells, Spell Points, or other class features.

The Class Feats that don't so far look to be pretty reasonable choices for other classes to take. At least, based on my browsing.

If Class Feats were unlocked, what would that mean? Keeping in mind, if something is too class specific or powerful it could be locked back up with an arbitrary prerequisite or trait.

Here are some examples of pre-requisiteless Class Feats that would be opened up:

Alchemist:
Alchemical Familiar - Get a familiar
Alchemical Savant (Trained in Arcana) - Identify alchemical items
Far Lobber - Throw bombs better
Quick Bomber - Throw bombs faster
Calculated Splash - Use int to throw bombs better
Poison Resistance - Resist poison

Barbarian:
Sudden Charge - charge better
Internal Fortitude - Recover from sickness better

Bard:
Bardic Lore - recall knowledge on any topic
Steady Spellcasting - lessen spell disruption

Cleric:
Communal Healing - bonus to casting Heal spell
Emblazon Symbol - make an item a divine focus
Healing Hands - boost Heal spell
Holy Castigation - use Heal to damage devils and demons
Life Sapping - casting harm heals you
Turn Undead - Heal can cause undead to flee on a crit
Irresistible Energy - Remove some heal resistance from target

Druid:
Animal Companion - get a pet (might need to be class locked)
Leshy Familiar - gain a familiar
Reach Spell - increase spell range
Storm Born - reduce weather penalties
Widen Spell - Increase spell area
Wild Shape - use Pest Form 1/day (might need to be locked)
Poison Resistance - Resist poison
Savage Slice - Add a die of damage to second attack
Steady Spellcasting - lessen spell disruption

Fighter:
[The majority are PF1e Combat Feats or similar]

Monk:
[Basically all stances]
Ki Strike - gain ki spell points (might need to be locked)
Monastic Weaponry - proficiency with monk weapons based on your unarmed proficiency
Stunning Fist - stun with an unarmed strike...

At that point, wouldn't it be just easier to do away with classes?


Humans can literally do this with their Ambition Ancestry Feat...well once anyway. It seems pretty great. We were looking at it.


Grimcleaver wrote:
Humans can literally do this with their Ambition Ancestry Feat...well once anyway. It seems pretty great. We were looking at it.

I don't think they can.

Natural Ambition wrote:
You were raised to be ambitious and always reach for the stars, causing you to progress quickly in your chosen field. You gain a 1st-level class feat for your class


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So, I think the Class Feats which key off of Class Features would remain distinct enough that opening up the rest would not necessitate the removal of the whole class system.

I don't think a Cleric picking up power attack is a serious breach of class boundaries.

What the silo'd Class Feats do is make it easy to pick up the game as a new player. A more experienced player could say "Yeah, those build paths are nice, but I want to do this other more niche thing, so I'll just pop over to this list and grab this and that."

We've got limited number of actions and reactions gating a lot of the maybe OP combinations (like Nimble Dodge and Quick Shield compete for the same resource)

If anything is overpowered when mixed together, it's likely already going to be a problem with Multiclassing as it stands.

You could add a general rule that says "You can only take Class Feats from a class in which you have X in one of its key ability scores".

I want this because right now, I feel incredibly boxed in when building characters. Far, far more than I was lead to believe I would be. I sincerely believe the health of the game is going to require opening up options one way or another.

Sovereign Court

The biggest problem I see with that is that the fighter feats will get cannibalized by the other martial characters, which I do not like at all. The fighter is currently in a good place and feel special because of these exclusive feats.

But I do agree that some general class feats that everyone can take would be a nice addition.


WatersLethe wrote:
I want this because right now, I feel incredibly boxed in when building characters. Far, far more than I was lead to believe I would be. I sincerely believe the health of the game is going to require opening up options one way or another.

Assuming class feats are not un-class-gated, do you have a feel for how much the class feat lists would have to be expanded for you to not feel boxed in like that? Twice the current size? Thrice the current size? Or is any size insufficient as long as there's class gating?


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It does seem like it's odd that it's genuinely hard to build certain things in certain classes. Like in PF1 you could build virtually anything into an archer as long as it has at least 3/4 BAB (and preferably an accuracy enhancer), nowadays bows are for fighters.

It feels genuinely odd to make "punching well" exclusively a monk thing, "competent with crossbows" exclusively a ranger thing, etc. Like these are things that the class in question seems like they should perhaps be better at than anyone else, but not things that have historically been specific to that class.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
It feels genuinely odd to make "punching well" exclusively a monk thing, "competent with crossbows" exclusively a ranger thing, etc. Like these are things that the class in question seems like they should perhaps be better at than anyone else, but not things that have historically been specific to that class.

So design by buffing instead of design by nerfing.


Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Grimcleaver wrote:
Humans can literally do this with their Ambition Ancestry Feat...well once anyway. It seems pretty great. We were looking at it.

I don't think they can.

Natural Ambition wrote:
You were raised to be ambitious and always reach for the stars, causing you to progress quickly in your chosen field. You gain a 1st-level class feat for your class

That is a huge bummer. I really liked that. But I see your point and retract mine. Thanks for the catch!


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
I want this because right now, I feel incredibly boxed in when building characters. Far, far more than I was lead to believe I would be. I sincerely believe the health of the game is going to require opening up options one way or another.
Assuming class feats are not un-class-gated, do you have a feel for how much the class feat lists would have to be expanded for you to not feel boxed in like that? Twice the current size? Thrice the current size? Or is any size insufficient as long as there's class gating?

I am having a hard time using the mobile site to respond, so hopefully this goes through.

I will feel not boxed in if there are relevant options for just about any combat style for any class. If every class list has archery, twf, shield and 2hand combat options it would go a long way. But it'd also be preferrable to have feat options for enhancing other spells and actions in a sensible way: for example a divine sorcerer can get heal but doesn't have access to feats to boost it even a fraction of how a cleric can making you boxed into Cleric if you want to expand heal use.


WatersLethe wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
I want this because right now, I feel incredibly boxed in when building characters. Far, far more than I was lead to believe I would be. I sincerely believe the health of the game is going to require opening up options one way or another.
Assuming class feats are not un-class-gated, do you have a feel for how much the class feat lists would have to be expanded for you to not feel boxed in like that? Twice the current size? Thrice the current size? Or is any size insufficient as long as there's class gating?

I am having a hard time using the mobile site to respond, so hopefully this goes through.

I will feel not boxed in if there are relevant options for just about any combat style for any class. If every class list has archery, twf, shield and 2hand combat options it would go a long way.

IMO if every class is to have such options, that's better done by expanding the general feats list. Tag the additions with a 'combat feat' trait and let thematic classes also take them as class feats if desired, i.e. imitate PF1. What do you think?

WatersLethe wrote:
But it'd also be preferrable to have feat options for enhancing other spells and actions in a sensible way: for example a divine sorcerer can get heal but doesn't have access to feats to boost it even a fraction of how a cleric can making you boxed into Cleric if you want to expand heal use.

Hmm. I do want divine sorcerers to have such options, and letting them take them from the cleric class feats would certainly work... but I just don't like declaring open season on class feats in general. It means that when it's time to take a class feat you suddenly have a much longer list of things to look through, most of which are scattered around the rulebook. A big complication over the current system.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
I want this because right now, I feel incredibly boxed in when building characters. Far, far more than I was lead to believe I would be. I sincerely believe the health of the game is going to require opening up options one way or another.
Assuming class feats are not un-class-gated, do you have a feel for how much the class feat lists would have to be expanded for you to not feel boxed in like that? Twice the current size? Thrice the current size? Or is any size insufficient as long as there's class gating?

I am having a hard time using the mobile site to respond, so hopefully this goes through.

I will feel not boxed in if there are relevant options for just about any combat style for any class. If every class list has archery, twf, shield and 2hand combat options it would go a long way.

IMO if every class is to have such options, that's better done by expanding the general feats list. Tag the additions with a 'combat feat' trait and let thematic classes also take them as class feats if desired, i.e. imitate PF1. What do you think?

WatersLethe wrote:
But it'd also be preferrable to have feat options for enhancing other spells and actions in a sensible way: for example a divine sorcerer can get heal but doesn't have access to feats to boost it even a fraction of how a cleric can making you boxed into Cleric if you want to expand heal use.
Hmm. I do want divine sorcerers to have such options, and letting them take them from the cleric class feats would certainly work... but I just don't like declaring open season on class feats in general. It means that when it's time to take a class feat you suddenly have a much longer list of things to look through, most of which are scattered around the rulebook. A big complication over the current system.

Personally, I would be in favor of bringing in a bigger general/combat feat least. My suggestion of being able to freely raid other class feats is based on the assumption that Paizo wants to keep things organized for new players.

The default class list could be a curated list of build choices, and a GM could say "We're doing beginner mode, no cross class feat selections". Then a more experienced group can say "Alright, we're using normal mode, all class feat lists are open."

Then when they add new classes, they don't need to update the general list if the new class introduces some new feats lots of people would be interested in.

I also think it's reasonable to arbitrarily lock some class feats if they're too class specifically flavored, or too powerful without more investment.

This would allow the Mulitclass Archetypes to focus on getting class features and class locked feats, rather than requiring people to multiclass if they want to be a dual wielding rogue, for example.


Oddly, I liken this class system to Hearthstone.

In Hearthstone you make a deck based on one of 9 classes. Paladin, Rogue, Shaman, etc. You have a pool of class cards and then a LARGE selection of "neutral" cards to pick from to build your deck. The best neutral cards, which would be arguably overpowered, would appear in most decks regardless of class. The most flexible neutral cards, arguably best for the game itself, could be used in a variety of decks in a variety of ways.

Right now, P2 has a very shallow pool of cards to play with, but you HAVE to use these cards (feats). Which greatly restricts what characters you can play.

Playing a dwarf? You have to pick one of your dwarf feats to use even though they're all pretty bad. Same with any other race except human.

Backgrounds? As an optimizer it greatly annoys me that Acrobat (getting the steady balance feat) and Warrior (getting the quick repair feat, thus creating the trope of the fighter that spends ten minutes after every fight repairing their shield) are the only options that look like they're worth as dang.

That being said, you could just ignore the backgrounds and not have a skill feat or bonus "lore" skill and just put a +2 in two stats to finish building the character, but that feels bad having an option that isn't used.

We need to get back to races having a wide variety of minor abilities. Have the heritage feats be worth a dang. Give dwarves "stone sense" and then let them take stonecutting as a feat, that they can then branch out into stone magic or stonework combat or something other than the disappointing feats that have been presented.

I don't think it's unreasonable to want a dwarven bard with a criminal background to feel very different from an elven bard raised in the circus. Other than a one-point difference on attacks both characters are almost the same.


This makes multiclassing archetypes much weaker overall.

By opening all class feats to be selected it makes the multiclass feats that let you grab feats at 1st, or 2nd level, or half your level, pretty pointless.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
willuwontu wrote:

This makes multiclassing archetypes much weaker overall.

By opening all class feats to be selected it makes the multiclass feats that let you grab feats at 1st, or 2nd level, or half your level, pretty pointless.

Well, like I said, Multiclass Archetypes can instead focus on granting more class features and important class locked feats. I sincerely don't want to tell a player who is making a TWF rogue that they *have* to multiclass to make it worthwhile.

The way Multiclassing is now, it's basically required for far more build concepts than it was for PF1e.

I am in favor of having the choice to Multiclass be more meaningful than "I want to use a shield".


So like Pathfinder 1? I think just a lot of the class feats should become General feats but others stay in class to keep them distinct. Of course, i'm talking about the ones that don't make sense outside the class. Many of the Cleric/Wizard ones wouldn't fly for anyone else for example.

Problem is, Martials like Fighter would actually require a lot of creativity to design fighter-only feats. Granted, PF1 achieved this after a while.


A lot of the class feats have copies in multiple classes. Move the copies to the feat chapter, with tags to so they can be picked a class feats. I think this will take about half of the class feats out of the classes. Add a half as many new and unique class feats back in as where move and the book stays about the same size and the class have more cool stuff.

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