Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Thoughts on Feats

Feats, like almost every game mechanics, have their supporters and their detractors. Some people love how feats allow you to further customize your character and give them cool abilities, while others feel like they just add another level of complication to the game and the sheer number of them only exacerbates the problem.

Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle of the two extremes. While I love how feats allow me to further customize my character, I dislike the large number of feats that are available and hate that certain feats require you to pay a "feat tax" to take them. Why should I have to take this feat that I really don't want and will probably never use to get this other feat that I DO want?

With that in mind, I started to think about ways I could fix the problems that I have with feats. Thankfully, a solution popped up while I was reading a forum on Paizo's website (I guess good things can happen on forums). Instead of having hundreds of feats and these long feat trees with the occasional feat tax, why not combine certain similar feats into one feat that grows in power as you gain levels?

For example, we could combine the Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Focus, and Greater Weapon Specialization feats into one feat called simply "Weapon Specialization", which would look a little something like this:
"WEAPON SPECIALIZATION (COMBAT)
Choose one type of weapon. You are particularly skilled in the use of this weapon. You can choose unarmed strike or grapple (or ray, if you are a spellcaster) as your weapon for the purpose of this feat. 
Prerequisites: Proficiency with selected weapon, base attack bonus +1 
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on all attack rolls made with the selected weapon. Four levels thereafter, you gain a +2 bonus on all damage rolls with the selected weapon. Eight levels thereafter, the bonus you receive to attack rolls with the selected weapon increases by +1. Twelve levels thereafter, the bonus you receive to damage rolls with the selected weapon increases +2. These bonuses stack with any other bonuses you might receive to attack and damage with this weapon. 
Special: You can gain Weapon Specialization multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of weapon.
Now, you just have to take this one feat to eventually get the effects of all four. This combining of feats would cut down the number of feats while also opening up your choose of feats during later levels. While this doesn't address the level of complexity that feats add to the system, I feel like I'd be more willing to deal with it since I would have less feats to juggle in my head at a time.