The Lost Star Playtest Feedback on Feats by MrCoffeeCup


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells


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One of the things I’m enjoying about the direction the new edition is going is a focus on interesting skill feat options. I won’t speculate on ones that haven’t come up for my group yet. Maybe we will come across those in future gameplay and I will get to speak on those from experience. During my character creation attempts, I was pretty underwhelmed by the options available to me. Of course, this only mattered if I tried to make a human character or a rogue. I’m guessing many people are selecting humans to try out new feats.

I say they are underwhelming because they just don’t sound interesting. Many of them are worded in ways that mean you get a +1 bonus to something. I’m speaking of feats that give +1 to initiative or gain expert proficiency in ‘X’. Myself, and my new players, were reading through and nothing really jumps out. Other feats give access to new abilities, a step up from a bland +1. But the description is so mechanical that it gives everything a feel of reading a technical manual.

Take Hobnobber for example, a few a couple of my players had. You can Gather Information more times per day. Okay… but why? This feat is missing a small descriptor in the beginning, such as Intimidating Glare, and I had to make something up here to try and explain what this means to my players. One of my new players just read the title and thought he could sell things for more silver in town because he had the feat. Looking at Intimidating Glare, it actually says what is trying to go on. However, it is followed by four lines of crunch that basically say to remove a trait, add a trait, and don’t take a penalty if they don’t understand your language.

With the primary focus on so much crunch, the way these feats are presented remind me of the criticisms I, and many others, have of D&D 4E. The style lacks flavor that I’m looking for when I run a game. It makes running the game more of a chore and not as fun.

During the game, the rogue in my group selected the Battle Medic feat. At level 1, he felt there weren’t many viable options for him. The paladin also asked about it earlier on when he was creating his character. I became concerned for the PCs after reading up on it. The starting DC for any benefit makes it dangerous in the hands of a first level PC. Even if he had an 18 Wisdom, he would be just as likely to harm himself by critically failing, than actually healing himself. He did not have an 18 Wisdom though, and was therefore more likely to hurt himself than heal himself. This then became dead weight on his character sheet. Looking at the DC chart, this is equivalent of a severe DC for level 4 characters. When this actually becomes a reliable check, the amount healed will be so trivial that it makes it nearly worthless.

The questions and feedback above came out as a result of running The Lost Star adventure.
GM Playtest Post: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs428mg?The-Lost-Star-Playtest-Notes-by-MrCoffeeC up


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I have also been EXTREMELY underwhelmed with the feats. My group and I have made characters three times now, and since the farther you go through Doomsday Dawn, the higher level characters you have to make, we have gotten pretty good at doing this quickly. And what I’ve found is that skill feats are pretty much completely useless. We save the selection of skill feats for the end of character creation, and it’s such a chore. Do I want Student of the Canon, which I will never use, or should I pick the one that lets me climb without being flatfooted (also useless). Feat selection used to be a cool part of leveling up, but these feats are less exciting than campaign traits in PF1. Why can we not have some mechanically useful feats that feel cool?

Silver Crusade

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Skill feats is an area where I think that this game has HUGE potential. Its one of the places where PF2 can be a LOT better than PF1. But only if Paizo ACTUALLY creates GOOD feats.

I love the idea that skill feats lets a character do cool things that differentiate characters. I love the idea that expertise ranks MATTER, that there is a DIFFERENCE between the expert and the master, a difference more than just slightly larger numbers.

[aside]I think that there has to be MORE of a numerical advantage for specializing than there currently is. But LESS than there was in PF1 where characters could become crazy good[/aside]

But the current feats range (with a few exceptions) from meh to almost useless. They have to be COOL, they have to be general enough to actually come up in play, they have to give a sufficient mechanical advantage to be worthwhile without overpowering play. And they have to be things that a GM wouldn't just about automatically give a character anyway.

Legendary Diplomat is an example of a feat that SHOULD be useless. Any decent GM is going to have NPCs react to the legendary diplomat as if they are legendary without them having a feat. That feat makes the game WORSE by its very existence because suddenly the GM will NOT treat legendary characters as legendary UNLESS they have that feat.

There ARE some good feats. Intimidating glare is good (intimidate across the language barrier). Something similar for diplomacy would be good.

I admit that I'm asking a fair bit. But not really THAT much. There are LOTS of places in PF1 to mine for ideas. And these ARE professional game designers, they should be able to come up with better ideas than I can. Or crowd source it (if Paizo started up threads asking for suggestions they'd get hundreds AND probably some degree of consensus on what would work)

But, IMO, actually GOOD skill feats are essential for differentiating characters in FUN ways. I want to be able to play a diplomat who is noticeably better than the character who just dabbled in diplomacy.


Note also that due to the number of skill rank increases you get, you're highly likely to invest in skill feats related to the single skill you sunk all your upgrades into.

Or vice versa.

And some skills just don't...have any options, like Arcana. Woo you can get access to detect magic? Wooo... Are there any other options for this skill? Nope! That's it. Have fun.

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