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Author Topic: 3e vs 5e Feats Pros & Cons  (Read 1749 times)

Shasarak

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3e vs 5e Feats Pros & Cons
« Reply #45 on: July 05, 2020, 02:38:33 am »
Quote from: Spike;1137975
But you do you, man.

I will certainly do me when I listen to people who are smart enought to complain on the internet about "trap feats" while being not smart enough to know how to search on the internet.

I will do me indeed.
Life is Hard; Play Short

SHARK

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3e vs 5e Feats Pros & Cons
« Reply #46 on: July 05, 2020, 03:52:32 am »
Greetings!

In my game groups over the years I have had more than a few people just not give a damn about any of the intricate details of feats, clever feat chains, or worrying about how a particular feat is somehow "suboptimal." They have just selected whatever feats that fit their character or sounded fun and interesting to them, and gamed on. Amazing how much fun everyone had doing so, and there was no one standing over them barking at them about how Feat A and Feat B were fucking weak and stupid.

Many people are not *powergamers* seeking to mathematically calculate every possible advantage to their character. *Shrugs* I think that's ok though.:D

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security bred from familiar things and familiar ways. It narrows the mind. Weakens the body. And robs the soul of spirit and determination. Comfort is neither welcome nor tolerated here."

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but is doing what you have to, in spite of the fear."
"Let Death and Fire Be Their Portion!"
"Delenda Est Parthia!"

spon

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3e vs 5e Feats Pros & Cons
« Reply #47 on: July 05, 2020, 08:05:22 am »
Quote from: SHARK;1137999
Greetings!

In my game groups over the years I have had more than a few people just not give a damn about any of the intricate details of feats, clever feat chains, or worrying about how a particular feat is somehow "suboptimal." They have just selected whatever feats that fit their character or sounded fun and interesting to them, and gamed on. Amazing how much fun everyone had doing so, and there was no one standing over them barking at them about how Feat A and Feat B were fucking weak and stupid.

Many people are not *powergamers* seeking to mathematically calculate every possible advantage to their character. *Shrugs* I think that's ok though.:D

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK

Hi Shark,
      you're completely correct there - when you're playing with a good non-power-gaming group, but the issue comes when you have a mix of min-maxers and more casual players. If you want to keep up with the min-maxers you have to learn to avoid the "trap" feats. Which means you're probably having less fun than you were. And just saying "don't play with those guys" doesn't help when they're the only guys in town. These days it's a lot different, but we're talking specifically about 3e feats here, so we've pretty much tied down the years we're talking about.
That's why I prefer the 5e version of feats - no real traps, no real must-haves.
Cheers,
Spon

Chris24601

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3e vs 5e Feats Pros & Cons
« Reply #48 on: July 05, 2020, 09:19:53 am »
Quote from: Shasarak;1137993
And yet it stacks on top of your plate mail which gives now gives you an extra +2 to your AC over your non-dodging banded mail wearing compatriot who spent his feat on power attack and an extra +1 on his sword.
Oh. You're one of those; The CharOps types. You probably thought the Expertise feats were required in 4e too because the absolute highest possible number is always best. You take no consideration of the opportunity costs, just the absolute value.

Also, why is the one guy in banded-mail? If the guy who took Dodge can afford full plate, certainly the guy who didn't can too. Oh, right... you're trying to distort things so Dodge doesn't look like the garbage it is and associating +2 with dodge makes it seem less like garbage.

So the actual difference is +1 AC against one attacker per round. Three orcs attack you and Dodge MIGHT matter for one-third of the attacks (if you chose the right orc as your "dodge buddy"... that orc may have attacked the guy next to you instead so you get no benefit at all). By contrast the non-Dodge guy gets +1 to every attack he makes... or takes a penalty to hit to gain twice that bonus to damage (because power attack is only worth it with a two-handed weapon).

Also, since you seem to have missed it; the point of comparison about armors was putting a gold piece value on the cost of +1 AC; it's not much. The point was that for just 1250 gp (the cost difference between banded and full-plate) you could get +2 AC vs. every attack. In 3e that's chump change past level 3 and you're trying to sell that spending one of only SEVEN feats should gain you the benefit of spending about 625 gp.

Also, it's cute that you think anyone with the Dex to go after Whirlwind Attack (the only reason to even bother taking Dodge) would choose full plate over a mithral breastplate. Full Plate caps your DEX to AC at +1. Even mithral full plate is only +3 (Dex 16) and still reduces your speed to 20ft. Mithral Breastplate lets you use up to a 20 Dex to AC (+5 bonus) and (relevant because Spring Attack is in the chain) lets you have a base speed of 30ft.

Quote
Your invocation of "inarguably trash" indicate that you must have never experienced the full range of trash feats to be found within the complete 3e library or then we could argue about getting +3 to your hit points.
Just because Toughness is bad (for fighters; for a starting wizard it's nearly doubling their hit points and has been credited by many wizard/sorcerer players I know with keeping them alive long enough to get the higher level spells) doesn't make Dodge good. It just means it's not THE worst choice for a fighter; just one of many possible bad choices.

And this again proves my point that your evaluation of Dodge is completely divorced from opportunity costs. +1 AC can be a good thing if it's valued appropriately. +150 or 625gp for improved armor? Super. +1000 gp for a +1 enhancement bonus? Worth it. +2500 gp for a +1 deflection bonus? Worth it in a high-magic/undead focused campaign... not as much in a low/no magic setting where touch AC won't come up much.

A conditional +1 for the cost of one of only seven feat you get? Not even close when alternate choices include power attack, cleave, expertise, improved disarm, improved sunder, two-weapon fighting, etc.

That's why I say it's inarguably trash... actually the entire fighter class in 3.5 ranks just above garbage tier (tier 5; can't even do its one job all that well) to the point that the NPC Adept class (no class features and only a partial caster like the bard) is considered a more valuable addition to the party than a fighter (the Adept is tier 4).

SHARK

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3e vs 5e Feats Pros & Cons
« Reply #49 on: July 05, 2020, 09:53:41 am »
Quote from: spon;1138021
Hi Shark,
      you're completely correct there - when you're playing with a good non-power-gaming group, but the issue comes when you have a mix of min-maxers and more casual players. If you want to keep up with the min-maxers you have to learn to avoid the "trap" feats. Which means you're probably having less fun than you were. And just saying "don't play with those guys" doesn't help when they're the only guys in town. These days it's a lot different, but we're talking specifically about 3e feats here, so we've pretty much tied down the years we're talking about.
That's why I prefer the 5e version of feats - no real traps, no real must-haves.
Cheers,
Spon

Greetings!

Hi Spon! True, having a mix of power gamers and hmmm...role players, I suppose--can throw into contrast that a particular feat is suboptimal. I admit, I enjoy both aspects of the game, in that taking feats that are uber strong, and also feats that just make sense for the character or are otherwise fun, regardless of their actual mechanical value. I know some players will definitely leap at being able to learn a feat that allows them to do something interesting, like say, speak with toads, and be able to use *Medicine* to heal them or something weird.

I enjoy feats that amplify the character's *place* in the campaign setting, deepen their particular cultural lore, or contribute to the character in some other meaningful way that has no mechanical or necessarily mathematic benefit to them. I think a great many players are intrigued and interested in such feats. I can imagine their fun being dampened considerably if they are outnumbered by power gamers, or the DM mocks them, or somehow frequently reminds them of how their feat selections have been suboptimal and "That's fucking retarded! Those feats are weak, and silly!":D

I also believe that 5E has presented feats very well. That's nice, for both players and the DM, as you said, all feats are pretty decent. I like how they amplify whatever YOU want to do with your character, and they are separate almost, like a special enhancement, as in 5E your character is already essentially competent in doing their job. I recall with some frustration in 3E how there were whole clusters of feats that were *essential* do a character fulfilling their duties effectively. Take Fighters, for example. I know that many people *love* low-level, non-magical, gritty games, with everyone being a level 1 farmer. Looking at the feats, I was like, damn, what professional soldier doesn't know how to Shield Bash, and Dodge, and on and on. Before I knew it, I made most basic professional soldiers level 3, 4, 5, and 6, as a sort of base line. Anything below level 3 and such a character was nothing more than a raw recruit. That process was heavily influenced by the very institution of clusters of feats, which all pushed for them being essential for whatever character being genuinely effective and proper in their job.

5E is a big improvement over the 3E feat dynamics for sure!:D

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security bred from familiar things and familiar ways. It narrows the mind. Weakens the body. And robs the soul of spirit and determination. Comfort is neither welcome nor tolerated here."

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but is doing what you have to, in spite of the fear."
"Let Death and Fire Be Their Portion!"
"Delenda Est Parthia!"

VisionStorm

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3e vs 5e Feats Pros & Cons
« Reply #50 on: July 05, 2020, 05:21:35 pm »
Quote from: SHARK;1138033
I also believe that 5E has presented feats very well. That's nice, for both players and the DM, as you said, all feats are pretty decent. I like how they amplify whatever YOU want to do with your character, and they are separate almost, like a special enhancement, as in 5E your character is already essentially competent in doing their job. I recall with some frustration in 3E how there were whole clusters of feats that were *essential* do a character fulfilling their duties effectively. Take Fighters, for example. I know that many people *love* low-level, non-magical, gritty games, with everyone being a level 1 farmer. Looking at the feats, I was like, damn, what professional soldier doesn't know how to Shield Bash, and Dodge, and on and on. Before I knew it, I made most basic professional soldiers level 3, 4, 5, and 6, as a sort of base line. Anything below level 3 and such a character was nothing more than a raw recruit. That process was heavily influenced by the very institution of clusters of feats, which all pushed for them being essential for whatever character being genuinely effective and proper in their job.

The fact that you had to go through this process proves that this isn't an issue of powergamers vs casuals, but an inherent problem with the way that feats work. The idea that 5e feats are better than 3e feats also reinforces that notion. After all, if taking feats was simply a matter of just picking the most fun looking one and rolling with it, you wouldn't be able to say that one system's implementation was better than the other's, or to assess that professional soldiers not knowing how to shield bash makes no sense.

Changes like the ones that took place between 3e and 5e could not be made without discussing these issues and pointing out what needs to change to make feats more effective. And some of these issues go beyond just some feats being weak, but also being tedious to use, not just for players but for the DM. Dodge providing a +1 bonus to AC against a single enemy is not just an issue of the character not gaining much benefit, but also involving ME in keeping track of which of my dozen orcs precisely the PC is applying that whopping +1 bonus to AC against. I just gave them a +1 bonus to Dodge AC against everyone if they weren't flat-footed and left it at that. I was not gonna track which enemy's attacks were affected by a measly +1 bonus to AC when a +1 bonus against everyone isn't game breaking.

I also don't think that characters should have to rely on feats to define background elements that have no mechanical benefit. That just work against RP instead of reinforce it. That used to be default before feats were a thing. If my character had some sort of background quirk that added flavor but didn't provide mechanical benefits my DM would just let me have it. This is handled now through Backgrounds in 5e, which offer standardized mechanical benefits as well as some RP quirk based on their origins. That is a much more effective way to handle that sort of thing than using up limited feats, and it ensures everyone gets some sort of quirk that ties them to the world.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 05:24:52 pm by VisionStorm »