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View Full Version : [3.5][email protected] prereq feats and how to deal with them



Thurbane
2010-06-11, 09:16 PM
Hey, was wondering if there is a guide, or if we can start one, on sources to get those horrible prereq feats that no one likes? You know the ones: Weapon Focus, Dodge, Iron Will, Great Fortitude, Endurance, Skill Focus, Toughness...etc.

There must be level dips and such out there that can help with these? Obviously, Fighter 2 can cover Weapon Focus and Dodge. Ranger 3 can cover Endurance. Otyugh Hole can grant Iron Will.

Chaos Shuffle is an obvious choice, but it reeks of Gorgonzola.

Also, feat chains that make investing in these worthwhile? There are a couple of useful feats that flow on from Endurance - Lasting Life, Strong Stomach, Indomitable Soul, Steadfast Determination...

Dodge: from memory, there's a feat in ToB that will serve as Dodge for prereqs, but is actually more useful?

...sorry for the stream of consciousness here, but I want to get to down while I think of it.

Sorry - should have been clearer. Yes, they can be houseruled, of course - I'm really looking for RAW workarounds in this case

mikej
2010-06-11, 09:30 PM
This is way I like using flaws. Gets those awful prereq feats out of the way. IIRC, I think some of the variant starter races get "Endurance" as a bonus feat.

Soras Teva Gee
2010-06-11, 09:31 PM
If they are truly crappy why not just ask the DM to waive them outright or let you improve it is some way? As opposed to searching for ways to subvert the requirement and risk cheese that will piss said DM off.

(For that matter at least some of having the crappy prereqs the point, making a sacrifice for the goodies to follow?)

Keld Denar
2010-06-11, 09:36 PM
There's also Frog God's Fane, which gives you skill focus for a couple of knowledge skills for only like, 2000g, and lasts forever. Good deal for getting into PrCs like Divine Oracle or Loremaster.

Zeful
2010-06-11, 09:43 PM
This is way I like using flaws. Gets those awful prereq feats out of the way. IIRC, I think some of the variant starter races get "Endurance" as a bonus feat.

And this is why I hate flaws.

How I'd deal with such feats? I'd rewrite them.

Dodge would become a +4 dodge bonus to AC against all attacks (so that shooting into melee wouldn't be as damaging to you) and grant the ability to take 2 five foot steps instead of 1.

Endurance would grant DR in addition to it's current benefits (which might scale at 1/2 character level+Con mod).

And so on.

Quietus
2010-06-11, 09:49 PM
Really, as a DM, I'd look at a prestige class someone was wanting to take, and if they're giving up more than they're getting, I wouldn't mind using Frog God's Fane, Otyugh Hole, etc to qualify. Dragonslayer, for example, when not used as a one-level filler while getting +1 BAB/+1 caster level on your way to getting your "real" prestige class, I wouldn't mind someone Otyugh Hole-ing their way through the Iron Will feat. For another prestige class that's actually GOOD.. that Iron Will feat represents a cost given up in exchange for the power the class they're after offers. A feat is worth a great deal more than the what, 2k gold it'd cost to buy it, in that respect.

But then, that's DM houserule-territory. I do think we should have a list of things like this.

Pink
2010-06-11, 09:54 PM
Dodge would become a +4 dodge bonus to AC against all attacks (so that shooting into melee wouldn't be as damaging to you) and grant the ability to take 2 five foot steps instead of 1.

Wow...What are you balancing that against? I mean, I know some feats suck but...well, seems rather powerful there.

Zeful
2010-06-11, 09:56 PM
Wow...What are you balancing that against? I mean, I know some feats suck but...well, seems rather powerful there.

Stuff like Maximise Spell, Natural Spell and Divine Metamagic.

Casters shouldn't be the only ones to get new toys as they level up.

ShadowsGrnEyes
2010-06-11, 10:02 PM
Weapon Focus, Dodge, Iron Will, Great Fortitude, Endurance, Skill Focus, Toughness...etc.

2 solutions . . . waive the feats. . . or fix the feats. . .dont waste levels dipping for stuff stuff you dont plan to use.

Possible fixes I thought up off the top of my head. (i dont think all of these feats need fixing but this is your thread and you feel that they need fixing so i'll go with it)

Weapon focus: You could always make it +1 on attack and damage (let it stack with all the other feats it opens up)

Dodge: annoying remembering to declare. House rule: the DM will automatically assume your dodge is whoever you are in combat with, unless declared otherwise. When multiple opponents assume the first one, unless otherwise declared

Iron Will: for most prestige classes that have this as a prerequisit, it barely makes sense. . . for the few it does make sense for, change it to 1/day reroll 1 will save, must take second result.

Great Fortitude: see iron will. . . do the same thing

Endurance: may make actions as normal at 0 hit points without passing out AND +4 on saves against nonlethal damage.

Toughness: take toughness and improved toughness. . . make them one feat. . . call it toughness. . .

Skill focus: If its in an obscure skill that doesnt actually make sense for the class change it to a different skill. . . if not that then just waive it. . . I dont actually have any problem with skill focus as a requirement for most classes that have it.

SIDE NOTE: Feats that open up feat chains SHOULD be weaker than your average feat.

Merk
2010-06-11, 10:21 PM
Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Specialization -> One feat, Weapon Focus.

Grants you a bonus to attack and damage rolls with selected weapon equal to your 1 + (BAB/4).

Skill Focus: You gain a +4 bonus to any one skill of your choice, and that skill becomes a class skill for you regardless of whether it was beforehand. When you have at least 10 ranks in the skill, you may take 10 on the skill even under stressful or unusual circumstances (unless the specific rules of the skill prohibit taking 10 rules, such as Use Magic Device).

Benefits of Precise Shot included in Point Blank Shot.

Far Shot: In addition to doubling your range increment, you get your Point Blank Shot bonus at a range of 60 ft. and can apply sneak attack, sudden strike, or skirmish damage at a range of 60 ft. as well.

Two-Weapon Fighting: The benefits of improved two-weapon fighting and greater two-weapon fighting are automatically gained at BAB +6 and BAB +11.

Dodge: Once per round as an immediate action, you may grant yourself a dodge bonus to AC equal to 1 + (Base Reflex Save/2) against one attack.

Spring Attack: In addition to the normal benefits, you may make a full attack at the end of a charge.

AstralFire
2010-06-11, 10:23 PM
Feats that open up feat chains being weaker would be great if the feat chains were worth it. They almost never are.

See: Whirlwind Attack, the biggest sick joke on newbs to Fighters in core.

Kylarra
2010-06-11, 10:29 PM
Feats that open up feat chains being weaker would be great if the feat chains were worth it. They almost never are.

See: Whirlwind Attack, the biggest sick joke on newbs to Fighters in core.I love whirlwind atta---

OH I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE.

erikun
2010-06-11, 10:33 PM
Dodge would become a +4 dodge bonus to AC against all attacks (so that shooting into melee wouldn't be as damaging to you) and grant the ability to take 2 five foot steps instead of 1.
Wow, that's... a terrible idea, actually. Not only is it insanely amazing to anyone who looks at their AC, but it makes melee even more worthless. Not only does the fighter need to deal with another +4 AC to everything, but now they have to deal with everything taking a 5-foot step outside even their large creature range.

Zeful
2010-06-11, 11:44 PM
Wow, that's... a terrible idea, actually. Not only is it insanely amazing to anyone who looks at their AC, but it makes melee even more worthless. Not only does the fighter need to deal with another +4 AC to everything, but now they have to deal with everything taking a 5-foot step outside even their large creature range.

And no matter what you did with the feat the result would be the same, people that have it would have an advantage over those who don't. At least this advantage is actually worth the freaking feat slot.:smallannoyed:

AstralFire
2010-06-11, 11:46 PM
The problem is, that version of Dodge is so good, Wizards will start taking it.

Tinydwarfman
2010-06-11, 11:52 PM
And no matter what you did with the feat the result would be the same, people that have it would have an advantage over those who don't. At least this advantage is actually worth the freaking feat slot.:smallannoyed:

Except it is a must-have for ANYONE who is going to be in melee. I can't think of a build that wouldn't benefit hugely from this. When you see spells like celerity or wings of cover, you don't make all other spells better, you nerf the outliers. This is way too good. It's just a feat tax for melee characters, since they all will have it.

On the other hand:

Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Specialization -> One feat, Weapon Focus.

Grants you a bonus to attack and damage rolls with selected weapon equal to your 1 + (BAB/4).

Skill Focus: You gain a +4 bonus to any one skill of your choice, and that skill becomes a class skill for you regardless of whether it was beforehand. When you have at least 10 ranks in the skill, you may take 10 on the skill even under stressful or unusual circumstances (unless the specific rules of the skill prohibit taking 10 rules, such as Use Magic Device).

Benefits of Precise Shot included in Point Blank Shot.

Far Shot: In addition to doubling your range increment, you get your Point Blank Shot bonus at a range of 60 ft. and can apply sneak attack, sudden strike, or skirmish damage at a range of 60 ft. as well.

Two-Weapon Fighting: The benefits of improved two-weapon fighting and greater two-weapon fighting are automatically gained at BAB +6 and BAB +11.

Dodge: Once per round as an immediate action, you may grant yourself a dodge bonus to AC equal to 1 + (BAB/4) against one attack.

Spring Attack: In addition to the normal benefits, you may make a full attack at the end of a charge.

These are good fixes. I might increase the bonus dodge gives you a bit, and maybe nerf spring attack a bit (I would rather have it just combine the whole bounding assault chain into spring attack).

Fortuna
2010-06-11, 11:54 PM
The problem is, that version of Dodge is so good, Wizards will start taking it.

I never saw such a good trade-in for Scribe Scroll in my life.

Zeful
2010-06-12, 12:00 AM
Which is an argument how? Even if the feat were the same power as Power Attack, wizards would still be able to benefit from it because there's no reason not to take it.

Kyuu Himura
2010-06-12, 12:01 AM
dodge should give you +1 AC, period.

Zeful
2010-06-12, 12:16 AM
Except it is a must-have for ANYONE who is going to be in melee. I can't think of a build that wouldn't benefit hugely from this. When you see spells like celerity or wings of cover, you don't make all other spells better, you nerf the outliers. This is way too good. It's just a feat tax for melee characters, since they all will have it.

Okay you can't nerf metamagic meaningfully without some body saying that you should just ban it instead, so it's out. In fact the same goes for casters in general, they're gone too.

Hey look by removing more than half the game, I've fixed D&D.

sonofzeal
2010-06-12, 12:18 AM
Feat tax for PrCs is a balancing issue, imo. The majority of PrCs offer some advantage, and often what you're effectively doing is trading a couple feats early for access to better stuff later. Given how popular many of these PrCs are in optimization circles, I think trying to de-nerf them is a bad idea. An archmage has to waist feats for his little tricks, and that seems fair to me. Still balanced.

Animefunkmaster
2010-06-12, 12:21 AM
Which is an argument how? Even if the feat were the same power as Power Attack, wizards would still be able to benefit from it because there's no reason not to take it.

There are plenty of reason for a wizard not to take power attack. A stack-able +4 to AC and two five foot steps (not a single 10 ft step, implying you can step>action>step) is pretty ridiculous, and there would be little reason not to take it.

Also: I like homebrew as much as the next person, but did it ever occur to anyone that the weak feats are prereqs because they are weak to balance with the class.

Onward to help op: the list of stuff (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19871954/Lists_of_Stuff), has most feats outlined there.

Zeful
2010-06-12, 12:26 AM
Except there's no real way to make it similar to power attack without making it irrelevant at high levels, which invalidates the point of the thread.

Which brings us to two options:
1. Keep dodge a crappy feat that no one wants to take, but melee characters are pretty much forced to.
or
2. Make dodge not crappy and accept that wizards are going to take it.

Tinydwarfman
2010-06-12, 12:27 AM
Okay you can't nerf metamagic meaningfully without some body saying that you should just ban it instead, so it's out. In fact the same goes for casters in general, they're gone too.

Hey look by removing more than half the game, I've fixed D&D.

Actually it's pretty easy to nerf metamagic. Just remove the reducers. MM on its own is normally not an amazing deal. Of course casters will never fall in line with the rest of the cast, but removing ridiculous spells like celerity do help some. It's far too late to fix D&D, but that doesn't mean that you should just throw balance out the window when designing homebrew.

Back to the talk of overpowered feats, 4e has this problem in the form of weapon expertise. The feat is simply so good that everyone takes it.


Except there's no real way to make it similar to power attack without making it irrelevant at high levels, which invalidates the point of the thread.

Which brings us to two options:
1. Keep dodge a crappy feat that no one wants to take, but melee characters are pretty much forced to.
or
2. Make dodge not crappy and accept that wizards are going to take it.

I think you're missing the point here, which is that the feat is so good that wizards, who would normally never take a melee feat, would want this because it's so good. This suggests that your version is too powerful. There is plenty of space between crappy and overpowered. I propose a third option.

3. Make dodge a good feat, but still relatively balanced in comparison to other good melee feats.

Thiyr
2010-06-12, 12:28 AM
To be honest, I'm in agreement, that dodge redo is a bit much. And by "a bit" I mean "a lot". Put it at either a higher AC bonus but still against a single target, or a smaller overall bonus, and cut out the 10ft step bit alltogether (if anything put that into mobility or spring attack later on in the chain). Make it better, make it scale, but don't make it so good that everyone -has- to take it.

Zeful
2010-06-12, 12:30 AM
Actually it's pretty easy to nerf metamagic. Just remove the reducers. MM on its own is normally not an amazing deal. Of course casters will never fall in line with the rest of the cast, but removing ridiculous spells like celerity do help some. It's far too late to fix D&D, but that doesn't mean that you should just throw balance out the window when designing homebrew.

Back to the talk of overpowered feats, 4e has this problem in the form of weapon expertise. The feat is simply so good that everyone takes it.

It was far to late to fix D&D when it came out, time has made no difference on that subject.


Also: I like homebrew as much as the next person, but did it ever occur to anyone that the weak feats are prereqs because they are weak to balance with the class.Then why don't casters have crappy prerequisite feats?

arguskos
2010-06-12, 12:30 AM
Which brings us to two options:
1. Keep dodge a crappy feat that no one wants to take, but melee characters are pretty much forced to.
or
2. Make dodge not crappy and accept that wizards are going to take it.
This isn't quite correct. See, there's a difference between a crap feat and a OMGWTFBBQ feat. It's called a reasonably balanced feat. Dodge currently is basically a crap feat. Your Dodge is a OMGWTFBBQ feat. If you scaled it back to, say, +2 dodge bonus constantly, and you may sacrifice your move action to take a second 5-ft step, the power level is scaled back enough to make the feat useful to certain mobile builds, and yet not so terrible no one takes it or so amazing everyone takes it. There's ALWAYS a safe middle ground.

Zeful
2010-06-12, 12:32 AM
This isn't quite correct. See, there's a difference between a crap feat and a OMGWTFBBQ feat. It's called a reasonably balanced feat. Dodge currently is basically a crap feat. Your Dodge is a OMGWTFBBQ feat. If you scaled it back to, say, +2 dodge bonus constantly, and you may sacrifice your move action to take a second 5-ft step, the power level is scaled back enough to make the feat useful to certain mobile builds, and yet not so terrible no one takes it or so amazing everyone takes it. There's ALWAYS a safe middle ground.

And suddenly Wizards aren't taking this feat why?


I think you're missing the point here, which is that the feat is so good that wizards, who would normally never take a melee feat, would want this because it's so good. This suggests that your version is too powerful. There is plenty of space between crappy and overpowered. I propose a third option.

3. Make dodge a good feat, but still relatively balanced in comparison to other good melee feats.Like Power Attack? The dynamic base in which all Str based Melee characters need to be competitive.

I'm pretty sure you can't make Dodge static and compelling enough to be comparable with power attack.

HunterOfJello
2010-06-12, 12:35 AM
Cleric Domains are great for grabbing prereq feats cheaply. My favorite is grabbing Augment Summoning without having to get it's pre-req Spell Focus (Conjuration).


From domains you can grab two feats out of this list:

Extend Spell
Extra Turning
Martial Weapon Proficiency or Exotic Weapon Proficiency (and Weapon Focus) with a Hammer
Uncanny Dodge
Point Blank Shot
Skill Focus (craft of your choice)
Blind Fighting
Spell Focus (Enchantment)
Augment Summoning (Hello Malconvokers!)
Lightning Reflexes
Great Fortitude
Portal Sensitive
Scribe Scroll
Improved Initiative

satorian
2010-06-12, 12:37 AM
Dodge granting +1 AC against all attacks so long as the character still has his dex bonus to AC is not crappy. It's not great, but it is in line with a lot of other feats. Dodge granting a +4 to AC is not in line with most other feats. Also having the extra 5 foot step is beyond any single feat I can think of.

If a wizard would spend a precious feat slot on an ability that doesn't benefit his class features, and many would with this one, instead of getting another metamagic or crafting feat, that makes said feat BETTER than metamagic, not in line with it.

A melee feat that is better than metamagic for a wizard is clearly too good.

Tinydwarfman
2010-06-12, 12:37 AM
It was far to late to fix D&D when it came out, time has made no difference on that subject.
Yes, I know... Still haven't responded to my point.



Then why don't casters have crappy prerequisite feats?

Actually they do need things like iron will for many classes, but that is gotten through the nasty stinky prison pit. WotC also thought that MM feats were good pre-req feats, but they are more general that dodge and the like (if everyone had to have maximise spell instead of anything it would be better).


And suddenly Wizards aren't taking this feat why?

Like Power Attack? The dynamic base in which all Str based Melee characters need to be competitive.

I'm pretty sure you can't make Dodge static and compelling enough to be comparable with power attack.

Wizards won't take it because the free 10 foot step is no longer free, and the bonus isn't quite as radical. Granted, it was exaggeration when AstralFire originally brought it up, but still.

I think Merk's dodge (if improved a bit) would actually be a very good dodge. Interesting, requires choice, scales, and is elegant. I agree that feats need to scale to be viable. You need to either incorporate it into the feat itself, or go the Tome way, and make every feat automatically level up and change as you level.

Zeful
2010-06-12, 12:45 AM
Yes, I know... Still haven't responded to my point.What point? I don't see one I already addressed.


Actually they do need things like iron will for many classes, but that is gotten through the nasty stinky prison pit. WotC also thought that MM feats were good pre-req feats, but they are more general that dodge and the like (if everyone had to have maximise spell instead of anything it would be better).
I doubt that. Most caster feats are as good or better than Power Attack (Spell Mastery the single most derided feat allows a wizard to forgo using his class features to prepare a number of spells equal to his Int Mod, which would be roughly equivalent to a feat that let a Fighter automatically hit things with his attacks a number of times equal to his strength mod, per day). Even requiring the "bad ones" still makes the Wizard proportionally stronger than the Fighter.

Demons_eye
2010-06-12, 12:47 AM
Why not make them stake with BaB?

Dodge

Based on your combat prowess you now have learned to dodge when needed or other fluff you like

You gain a dodge bonus to your AC base on your attack bonus

0:+1
1:+1 Dodge is granted to all attacker not only one person
5:+3
10:+6
15:+9
20:+12

Philistine
2010-06-12, 12:47 AM
Feat tax for PrCs is a balancing issue, imo. The majority of PrCs offer some advantage, and often what you're effectively doing is trading a couple feats early for access to better stuff later. Given how popular many of these PrCs are in optimization circles, I think trying to de-nerf them is a bad idea. An archmage has to waist feats for his little tricks, and that seems fair to me. Still balanced.

Yeah... Archmage maybe isn't the example you want to use. First, some of the "little tricks" they get just plain aren't very good; Second, the Archmage already pays for each and every one of those "little tricks" with the permanent loss of spell slots; and third, three feats is a pretty hefty tax for a five-level PrC.

Draz74
2010-06-12, 12:51 AM
Dodge: from memory, there's a feat in ToB that will serve as Dodge for prereqs, but is actually more useful?

That's a third of the story.

Desert Wind Dodge (ToB)
Midnight Dodge (MoI)
Expeditious Dodge (RotW)


None of them are great, but all of them are better than Dodge. Different ones of them are better for different characters.

Tinydwarfman
2010-06-12, 12:53 AM
What point? I don't see one I already addressed.
The fact that you seem to be using D&D's fragile state of imbalance as an excuse to make ridiculously powerful feats and say that it's OK because wizards have better things.


I doubt that. Most caster feats are as good or better than Power Attack (Spell Mastery the single most derided feat allows a wizard to forgo using his class features to prepare a number of spells equal to his Int Mod, which would be roughly equivalent to a feat that let a Fighter automatically hit things with his attacks a number of times equal to his strength mod, per day). Even requiring the "bad ones" still makes the Wizard proportionally stronger than the Fighter.

Indeed, caster feats tend to bottom out a little higher, but they aren't that much better. In normal situations using maximize spell is actually nerfing yourself and paying for the privilege.

Zeful
2010-06-12, 12:58 AM
The fact that you seem to be using D&D's fragile state of imbalance as an excuse to make ridiculously powerful feats and say that it's OK because wizards have better things.Less that and more that I don't sit down and MATH out the subtle nuances of the game because I'm lazy. I have a very bad eye for balance. So I just wing it.


Indeed, caster feats tend to bottom out a little higher, but they aren't that much better. In normal situations using maximize spell is actually nerfing yourself and paying for the privilege.Because instead you could be using a higher level spell more effectivally?

Thurbane
2010-06-12, 12:59 AM
If they are truly crappy why not just ask the DM to waive them outright or let you improve it is some way? As opposed to searching for ways to subvert the requirement and risk cheese that will piss said DM off.

(For that matter at least some of having the crappy prereqs the point, making a sacrifice for the goodies to follow?)
*sigh* This attitude on DnD forums really disheartens me.

1.) Why would you assume it's a "DM vs. player issue"?

2.) Why assume I am a player, and not a DM?

3.) Well, of course it can be hand-waived/houseruled. Anything can be...I could houserule that that characters wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people, but I wouldn't feel the need to get some feedback. Some people like running RAW games, even if that means using creative loopholes to fix some of the more broken/problematic parts of the game.

[/rant]

Demons_eye
2010-06-12, 01:02 AM
Well, of course it can be hand-waived/houseruled. Anything can be...I could houserule that that characters wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people, but I wouldn't feel the need to get some feedback.

[/rant]

Can I play in this game? if not can I quote this?

Thurbane
2010-06-12, 01:08 AM
Can I play in this game? if not can I quote this?
Actually, I borrowed it from Lisa Simpson. :smallbiggrin:

Lisa: Bart, water will only go the other way in the Southern hemisphere.
Bart: What the hell is the "Southern hemisphere"?
Lisa: [sighs] Haven't you ever looked at your globe?
[said globe is still wrapped for Bart's birthday from Abe]
Lisa: [pointing] See, the Southern hemisphere is made up of everything
below the equa --
[stops, sees Bart looking blankly]
-- this line.
Bart: Hmm. [spins globe] So down there in, say, Argentina, or...[reads
logo] Rand McNally, all their water runs backwards?
Lisa: Uh huh. In fact, in Rand McNally, they wear hats on their feet
and hamburgers eat people.
Bart: Cool!


That's a third of the story.

Desert Wind Dodge (ToB)
Midnight Dodge (MoI)
Expeditious Dodge (RotW)


None of them are great, but all of them are better than Dodge. Different ones of them are better for different characters.
...ah, cool. Thank you. :smallsmile:

Draz74
2010-06-12, 01:11 AM
...ah, cool. Thank you. :smallsmile:

I know there's a few other "substitute" feats like this, too, but right now the only ones I can remember are from Tome of Battle and replace feats that were actually good already. (Stone Power for Power Attack, and Evasive Reflexes for Combat Reflexes.)

Tinydwarfman
2010-06-12, 01:16 AM
Less that and more that I don't sit down and MATH out the subtle nuances of the game because I'm lazy. I have a very bad eye for balance. So I just wing it.
That's fine, you just defended it rather vigorously, so I thought you felt it was very balanced.



Because instead you could be using a higher level spell more effectivally?
Pretty much. People have done comparisons just using straight up blaster spells, and found that the maximized spells came in a little behind even without using the much more powerful and diverse high level spells.

Kaulesh
2010-06-12, 01:38 AM
I know there's a few other "substitute" feats like this, too...

Endurance has a few. The only one I recall off the top of my head is Kobold Endurance from RotD. If you're a kobold and you absolutely gotsta have Endurance, might as well take this one.

Runestar
2010-06-12, 04:56 AM
Is there a point to the concept of prereqs anymore if the feats are good enough that you would take them anyways, or happen to be feats you already have? :smallconfused:

Sometimes, the point is to balance out a clearly stronger class, such as archmage for spellcasters or master of nine for martial adepts. The best you can do is to try and make the best out of the crappy feats you have taken and optimize your build around them.

2xMachina
2010-06-12, 05:54 AM
Dodge giving +1 +1 per 5Bab should be rather ok. Not great, but decent.

AstralFire
2010-06-12, 06:56 AM
Is there a point to the concept of prereqs anymore if the feats are good enough that you would take them anyways, or happen to be feats you already have? :smallconfused:

Yes. Let's say you can rate feats from a scale of 1 to 10.

5 is the average quality of a feat.
7 is the average quality of feats you actually want to use. (Recall that with all books in play, there are hundreds of feats; more options is itself a form of power creep, albeit very subtle usually.)
If you make a feat chain with three steps, the first feat should be a 5, the second a 7, and the third a 10. The person has now gone for several levels with a feat that:
1) They did benefit noticeably from having but
2) Did not benefit from as much as they would have with another feat.

On this metric, Dodge, Mobility and their ilk tend to be 2 and their final pieces worth a 4.

Also, notably, the Master of Nine is generally considered to be slightly weaker than it should be due to its overstringent requirements.

BobVosh
2010-06-12, 07:42 AM
Dodge giving +1 +1 per 5Bab should be rather ok. Not great, but decent.

Making dodge as a always on bonus, and combine mobility into it works well for me.

Curmudgeon
2010-06-12, 08:08 AM
From domains you can grab two feats out of this list:

Extend Spell
Extra Turning
Martial Weapon Proficiency or Exotic Weapon Proficiency (and Weapon Focus) with a Hammer
Uncanny Dodge
Point Blank Shot
Skill Focus (craft of your choice)
Blind Fighting
Spell Focus (Enchantment)
Augment Summoning (Hello Malconvokers!)
Lightning Reflexes
Great Fortitude
Portal Sensitive
Scribe Scroll
Improved Initiative
Couple of corrections:

Uncanny Dodge is a class ability, not a feat. The core classes Barbarian, Rogue, and Assassin have this.
You've got a naming error; the feat is Blind-Fight (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#blindFight).

Philistine
2010-06-12, 10:08 AM
Is there a point to the concept of prereqs anymore if the feats are good enough that you would take them anyways, or happen to be feats you already have? :smallconfused:

Sometimes, the point is to balance out a clearly stronger class, such as archmage for spellcasters or master of nine for martial adepts. The best you can do is to try and make the best out of the crappy feats you have taken and optimize your build around them.
Depends. Power Attack as a prereq for a melee brute-type PrC? Yeah, if you're going that route then that prereq is basically irrelevant; it makes little sense to use "must-have" or "no-brainer" feats as prereqs.

On the other hand! If we start with the assumption that all feats should be good enough that you might take them, that feat choice should be based on how (and not whether) you want your character to work, then prereq feats should also be good enough that you might take them even if you weren't gunning for a specific PrC. It might make more sense if you think of it as a character's "increasing specialization in a particular style, eventually resulting in the awarding of a relevant PrC," rather than "suck early to WTFBBQPWNZOR late."

Also, see AstralFire's post above re: Mo9, and my even earlier post re: Archmage. Are you sure that those are the examples you want to use here? :smallamused:

Gametime
2010-06-12, 05:19 PM
Feat tax for PrCs is a balancing issue, imo. The majority of PrCs offer some advantage, and often what you're effectively doing is trading a couple feats early for access to better stuff later. Given how popular many of these PrCs are in optimization circles, I think trying to de-nerf them is a bad idea. An archmage has to waist feats for his little tricks, and that seems fair to me. Still balanced.

Yeah. The implementation, unfortunately, varies quite a lot, and it seems like melee PrCs get the worst prereqs.

Wizards is also pretty inconsistent about whether prestige classes should be an option that trades versatility for power, or an obvious choice and improvement over the base class, or a little of both depending on the specific prestige classes. Whether by intention or accident, melee prestige classes ended up with a lot of the former and casters ended up with a lot of the latter.

AstralFire
2010-06-12, 05:20 PM
I suspect it was accident, then running with the paradigm.

Dracons
2010-06-12, 05:47 PM
My two fixes are pretty dumb.


Weapon Focus: Based on two things. You choose it for Melee Slashing, Melee Bludging, or Melee Piercing, and it applies to all weapons that do it. Weapon Focus: Ranged Melee is another one. For weapons that do duel damage, you need both feats for it to work, but you get a total +2 to attack rolls. Weapon spec will also double at +4 if both feats.

Weapon Spec and all that also applies to above.

Dodge: +1 to AC to all people attempting to melee you in close counters. I also have Ranged Dodge, which is same, but only for all attacks that are ranged.

AstralFire
2010-06-12, 05:48 PM
Dracons, Weapon Groups are an Unearthed Arcana/d20srd.org fix you should look into.

Philistine
2010-06-13, 05:39 AM
Yeah. The implementation, unfortunately, varies quite a lot, and it seems like melee PrCs get the worst prereqs.

Wizards is also pretty inconsistent about whether prestige classes should be an option that trades versatility for power, or an obvious choice and improvement over the base class, or a little of both depending on the specific prestige classes. Whether by intention or accident, melee prestige classes ended up with a lot of the former and casters ended up with a lot of the latter.
My guess would be "Unintentional but inevitable consequence of fundamental design decisions that went into the PHB base classes."

But you know, it's not really the case that WotC didn't print any crappy PrCs for casters. They're out there: caster PrCs that only give half-casting, or less. You just don't hear about them much (outside of "Worst PrC EVAR" discussions), because nobody plays them.

AstralFire
2010-06-13, 07:49 AM
I feel like 7/10 casters should have been the base design goal instead of it always being 5/10, 9/10 or 10/10 for the early part of the edition's life.

Thinker
2010-07-27, 08:57 PM
I feel like 7/10 casters should have been the base design goal instead of it always being 5/10, 9/10 or 10/10 for the early part of the edition's life.

Yeah, but then why would spell casters take them? Staying single class (or a single level in a PrC) would be more optimal. I think that PrC's should have been the only way to get 8th/9th level spells.

Curmudgeon
2010-07-27, 09:10 PM
Without throwing house rules into the mix, there are some useful resources:

Read the Alternative Class Features (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19872054/Alternative_Class_Features_III) post. Some of these ACFs swap other class features for feats, such as the Sandstorm Barbarian ACF which trades improved uncanny dodge.

The Lists of Stuff (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19871954/Lists_of_Stuff) includes bonus feats, both selectable and not.

I've compiled a list of Magic Items Granting Feats (http://home.comcast.net/~ftm3/ASMoNM/feats.html). I always pick up Mobility as an armor enhancement, and Improved Unarmed Strike is available quite cheaply in an item.

Thrice Dead Cat
2010-07-27, 09:31 PM
For Dodge, Races of the Wild has Expeditious Dodge which activates whenever you move 20 ft. or more in a round.

Darrin
2010-07-27, 09:41 PM
I've compiled a list of Magic Items Granting Feats (http://home.comcast.net/~ftm3/ASMoNM/feats.html). I always pick up Mobility as an armor enhancement, and Improved Unarmed Strike is available quite cheaply in an item.

You can add Helm of the Hunter (MIC p.194, 9000 GP) to Far Shot. You can also add Brew Potion (Gremma's Cauldron, Expedition to Undermountain p. 217, 5000 GP).

Something else you can add to Combat Reflexes... I'm not entirely sure if this is official, but it looks official: Reflex weapon enhancement (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/files/MagicItems.pdf).

Thurbane
2010-07-27, 09:48 PM
Without throwing house rules into the mix, there are some useful resources:

Read the Alternative Class Features (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19872054/Alternative_Class_Features_III) post. Some of these ACFs swap other class features for feats, such as the Sandstorm Barbarian ACF which trades improved uncanny dodge.

The Lists of Stuff (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19871954/Lists_of_Stuff) includes bonus feats, both selectable and not.

I've compiled a list of Magic Items Granting Feats (http://home.comcast.net/~ftm3/ASMoNM/feats.html). I always pick up Mobility as an armor enhancement, and Improved Unarmed Strike is available quite cheaply in an item.
Good stuff as always, Curmugeon. :smallwink:

WarKitty
2010-07-27, 09:50 PM
While we're on the subject...is there any way around Spell Focus (conjuration) for Augment Summoning?

Thurbane
2010-07-27, 10:07 PM
From memory, one of the UA specialist Wizard variants gets Augment Summoning without needing SF:C as a prereq.

herrhauptmann
2010-07-27, 10:13 PM
I'm going to offer an suggestion for Weapon Focus/Weapon Spec.
Any character can take weapon focus, but it provides a flat +1 for any non fighter.

Fighters take weapon focus, and as they advance, weapon focus improves itself to be weapon spec (4), g. focus (8), g. spec (12). Melee mastery at 14, Slashing fury/Crushing Strike/Driving attack etc at 16, Weapon supremacy at 18.

Characters who have multiclassed only gain the benefits defined above if fighter is their primary class (has the most levels). If they reach say fighter 6, then take 9 levels in cleric, they retain everything gained at level 6. But don't progress further up the tree even when they reach fighter 8 (still less than cleric 9), and will not progress further until their fighter level is again the majority of their levels.
Turn it around, cleric 8 who starts taking fighter levels. Gets only the +1 until he has 9 levels in fighter.

Other melee characters like the ranger for instance (and others), can take weapon focus and get the fighter bonuses, albeit as a fighter with fewer levels than he has in ranger.
ex: Ranger 9 counts as Fighter 6. Ranger 9 who gains cleric 8 counts as a fighter 6. But won't advance his weapon focus with more levels in ranger, until his adjusted fighter level (6) outnumbers his cleric levels (8), meaning he'd need ranger 12, for adjusted fighter level of 9.

Not sure how to alter that with characters that take levels in fighter, a few less levels in say cleric, then enter into a prestige class which eventually becomes the majority of their level.

But, as a spur of the moment idea, I think it might work okay. Not too overpowered, but gaining all that from one feat is a lot nicer than wasting all those feats, and grants a lot more incentive to advance to fighter 20 than getting to waste another feat for something only you can take.
It also brings the fighter a little closer to 2nd edition days. When weapon spec was soemthing only the fighter could do, and it was actually a useful effect.
Alternatively, you can view it as similar to 4E where feats and powers get a step increase at each tier of play

WarKitty
2010-07-27, 10:26 PM
From memory, one of the UA specialist Wizard variants gets Augment Summoning without needing SF:C as a prereq.

Unfortunately that is even less useful when one is playing a SNA-spam druid.

Rixx
2010-07-27, 10:36 PM
Crappy prerequisites are an intentional part of the game - you take some relatively lackluster feats in order to get better abilities later. No pain, no gain.

WarKitty
2010-07-27, 10:42 PM
Crappy prerequisites are an intentional part of the game - you take some relatively lackluster feats in order to get better abilities later. No pain, no gain.

Depends on the class though. Unfortunately more of the crappy prereqs seem to apply to the melee classes than to the magic-users, when it would help more if it was the other way around.

Although I must say it's rather frustrating if you have one of those low-level only DM's...

Thurbane
2010-07-28, 02:33 AM
Unfortunately that is even less useful when one is playing a SNA-spam druid.
True...unless you go into Arcane Hierophant. :smalltongue:

Darrin
2010-07-28, 04:34 AM
While we're on the subject...is there any way around Spell Focus (conjuration) for Augment Summoning?

Yes. Planar Touchstone linked to the Catalogues of Enlightenment, then pick up the Dragon Below domain power (Eberron), which gives Augment Summoning as a bonus feat.

Thurbane
2010-07-28, 05:24 AM
Crappy prerequisites are an intentional part of the game - you take some relatively lackluster feats in order to get better abilities later. No pain, no gain.
I'd agree with this except, as already pointed out above, many of the most powerful/optimized PrCs have very desirable req feats, while some middle or even poor PrCs have very undesirable req feats.

Tyndmyr
2010-07-28, 06:04 AM
Hey, was wondering if there is a guide, or if we can start one, on sources to get those horrible prereq feats that no one likes? You know the ones: Weapon Focus, Dodge, Iron Will, Great Fortitude, Endurance, Skill Focus, Toughness...etc.

Weapon Focus is not nearly as bad as people make out. Sure, it's an unimpressive bonus, but it's a bonus you'll use constantly.

Dodge...take one of the better versions of dodge. Theres a couple, and they count for prereqs.

Iron Will is not at all bad. Great fort is reasonable too. You generally dont want to fail will or fort saves. Not the sexiest bonuses, sure, but there's a reason cloaks of resistances are so popular.

Endurance does blow. Im sorry. House rule it away for the crappier classes?

Skill Focus varies from handy to utter crap, depending on the skill. UMD or spellcraft? Nifty. Jump? Well, that's a waste of a feat. Consider allowing players to choose any appropriate skill focus instead of being forced into a specific one. They'll be happier about it.

Toughness. Allow players to select improved toughness(CW) instead. It scales, and doesn't suck nearly as hard.

Psyx
2010-07-28, 07:41 AM
If the feat is so crappy that it makes the prestige class not worth going into, then don't go into the prestige class. You have the choice.

I'd rather not have had to ride a crappy 125cc motorcycle in order to get my licence for a sportsbike. But in the end, I decided that it was worth it in the long-run.

This seems simply to be a case of 'I want to have my cake and eat it'.

Thurbane
2010-07-28, 05:16 PM
...or, you know, offering choices to people who want to take a particular PrC while minimizing the impact of "less than optimal" prereq feats. :smallmad:

If WotC hadn't built so many traps and inconsistencies ino the 3.5 rule set, then threads like this wouldn't be made.

Don't get me wrong - I really like D&D 3.5: after 25 odd years of roleplaying, it is my system of choice, warts and all. But sometimes creative workoarounds are desirable to make things run smoother (that or houseruling - both are valid).

I'm not talking about munchkining your way into Pun Pun here. :smallfrown:

Starbuck_II
2010-07-28, 05:29 PM
Dodge should be +1 Dodge AC vs all attacks. In addition first attack in a round is instead +4 dodge vs it.
So you are best at dodging the first attack in a round.