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In Dungeons & Dragons, a Feat is a specific rule mechanism that provides characters with special abilities or bonuses. These abilities can be related to combat, magic, or general exploration and role-playing. Feats are used to customize and differentiate characters beyond their base class and race.
Feats represent skills or talents that a character has acquired through training, luck, or as a quirk of birth or culture. They give characters abilities that set them apart from others. For instance, a character with the 'Alert' feat always has the advantage of not being surprised in combat, and a character with the 'Spell Sniper' feat can cast spells farther and with more accuracy.
Feats are optional and can be chosen by players as they level up, usually in place of a standard ability score improvement. The specific level at which a character can gain a feat depends on their class. Not all game settings or Dungeon Masters allow the use of feats, so it's essential to discuss this with your DM.
When one player advanced their Paladin, they chose the 'Sentinel' Feat. This decision made their character a frontline stronghold, keeping adversaries from slipping past. During a particularly tense encounter, their Paladin held a choke point against a swarm of goblins, preventing the squishier party members from being overwhelmed.
A player with a Wizard character opted for the 'War Caster' Feat. This provided a considerable advantage in maintaining spell concentration, even in the thick of combat. In a later session, this allowed the Wizard to keep a vital 'Haste' spell active on the party's Fighter, despite being targeted by enemy archers, turning the tide of the battle.
A player decided to upgrade their Rogue with the 'Mobile' Feat. This added mobility enabled the Rogue to move in and out of combat with ease, striking and retreating without provoking attacks of opportunity. During a dungeon crawl, this ability saved the party from a deadly trap as the Rogue was able to swiftly disarm it under the pressure of an impending goblin horde.
Another player playing a Ranger chose the 'Sharpshooter' Feat. This provided their character with the capability to make long-range attacks without disadvantage and ignoring all but total cover. In a session set in an open battlefield, the Ranger was able to eliminate distant spellcasters, disrupting the enemy's plans and giving their team an upper hand.
Lastly, a player with a Barbarian character took the 'Great Weapon Master' Feat. The ability to deal extra damage on a critical hit or a kill transformed their Barbarian into a terrifying powerhouse. During a boss fight, the Barbarian managed to land a killing blow on the boss's minion, and the extra attack they gained allowed them to deal a massive hit on the boss, ending the fight in their favour.
Ability Score: The basic attributes of a character, such as Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.
Class: The profession or vocation of a character, determining their abilities and skills.
Level Up: The process of advancing a character's level, increasing their power and potentially gaining new abilities, such as feats.
Dungeon Master (DM): The game organizer and narrator, responsible for enforcing the game rules and shaping the story.
Q: Can any class choose a feat?
A: Yes, any class can choose a feat when they reach a level that offers an Ability Score Improvement, provided the Dungeon Master is allowing feats in the campaign. Some feats do have prerequisites, such as a minimum score in a certain ability or being of a specific race.
Q: Can I choose multiple feats?
A: Yes, you can choose multiple feats as you level up, but remember that choosing a feat means forgoing an Ability Score Improvement. It's a trade-off between gaining specialized abilities and improving your base stats.
Q: Do all D&D campaigns use feats?
A: Not all campaigns or settings use feats. They are an optional rule in D&D 5th Edition. Always discuss with your Dungeon Master whether feats are allowed in your game.
Q: Can I change my feat later?
A: Generally, once a feat is chosen, it's permanent. However, some Dungeon Masters may allow feats to be changed during significant downtime in the campaign, or through specific in-game events or mechanics. This is entirely up to the DM's discretion.
Q: How do I know if a feat is right for my character?
A: Consider your character's role in the party, their background, and how you want to play them. For example, if you enjoy being on the front lines and protecting your allies, a feat like 'Sentinel' might be a good fit. If you're a spellcaster who wants more flexibility in spellcasting, consider feats like 'Magic Initiate' or 'Ritual Caster.' Reading through the available feats and discussing with your Dungeon Master or fellow players can also help.
Title: Crafting Unique D&D Feats: A Guide for Dungeon Masters
In the world of Dungeons and Dragons, feats represent unique abilities that provide characters a way to stand out, offering interesting development choices that go beyond class features and ability scores. As a Dungeon Master (DM), you may wish to create custom feats to add an extra layer of depth to your campaign and provide your players with more choices to customize their characters. Here's a guide to designing your own feats in D&D.
Understand the Purpose of Feats
Feats in D&D are used to reflect a wide range of abilities and skills that aren't necessarily tied to a character's class or race. They can represent training, inherent talents, or even the result of a specific backstory event. They offer mechanical benefits but can also serve a roleplaying purpose, providing players with opportunities to express their characters' unique qualities.
Familiarize Yourself with Existing Feats
Before you start designing your own feats, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the existing feats in the Player's Handbook and other D&D publications. This will give you a sense of how feats are structured, what types of abilities they grant, and how they're balanced in terms of power. Note that feats often provide a mix of combat and non-combat abilities and may have prerequisites, such as a minimum ability score or class feature.
Define Your Feat Concept
Start by defining what your feat represents. Is it a special type of training? A unique ability related to a specific race or culture? Or perhaps it's a result of some magical event or divine blessing? Having a clear concept for your feat will guide its mechanics and make it more engaging for your players.
Create the Mechanics
Once you have your concept, you'll need to create the mechanics of the feat. A feat typically provides one major benefit and one or two minor benefits. Major benefits could include things like increasing an ability score, granting advantage on certain types of rolls, or providing a new action or bonus action. Minor benefits could be things like extending the range of a spell, granting proficiency in a skill, or providing a small amount of damage resistance.
Balance Your Feat
It's crucial to balance your feat to ensure it's not too powerful or too weak compared to existing feats. As a general rule, a feat should not outshine class features but should provide a viable alternative to an Ability Score Improvement. It's also essential to consider the potential combinations of your feat with other class features, feats, and spells to avoid creating an overpowered combo.
Playtest and Refine
Finally, playtest your feat. Introduce it in a campaign and gather feedback from your players. You might find that it's too powerful, not interesting enough, or that the mechanics don't quite work in practice. Be ready to refine and adjust the feat based on this feedback until it feels right.
Creating your own D&D feats can be a creative and rewarding process that adds a personal touch to your campaigns. Just remember to focus on balance, keep your players' enjoyment in mind, and don't be afraid to iterate and improve your designs. Happy gaming!
Ten New Feats
Mystic Siphon: After studying the flow of arcane energy, you've learned how to redirect some to replenish your own. Once per long rest, when you successfully Counterspell, you regain a spell slot one level lower than the countered spell.
Dreadful Presence: You've honed your ability to inspire fear. As an action, you can force all enemies within 30 feet to make a Wisdom saving throw or become frightened of you until the end of your next turn.
Animal Bond: Your connection with a specific animal type is so strong that you can communicate with them. You can cast Speak with Animals at will, but only for the chosen animal type.
Evasive: Your reflexes are unusually sharp. If you're subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed, and only half if you fail.
Keen Intellect: Your analytical abilities allow you to exploit your enemy's weaknesses. When you score a critical hit, you can add your Intelligence modifier to the damage.
Resilient Mind: Your mental fortitude is exceptional. You gain advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened.
Light footed: Your steps are nearly soundless, aiding your ability to sneak. You gain advantage on all Stealth checks.
Thunderous Blow: Your strength is immense, allowing you to deal crushing blows. When you hit with a melee weapon, you can choose to knock the target prone if it is no more than one size larger than you.
Scholar of the Arcane: Your extensive study of magic allows you to understand and recognize spells effortlessly. You can identify spells being cast within your line of sight without needing to make an Arcana check.
Dual Discipline: You have trained in the use of two different types of magic. Choose two schools of magic; when you cast spells from those schools, their saving throw DC or your attack roll, whichever is applicable, increases by 1.
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