PDA

View Full Version : [3.5] Help me build feats that give feats



Pechvarry
2011-05-07, 07:39 PM
So the biggest reason we stick to 3.5 is because we have so much material, and so much of the fun in character building is finding those diamonds in the rough, finding situational abilities and building characters who make it EVERY situation, etc. Here's what I'm really trying to say:

I'm lazy.

And I don't want to re-write every feat I've ever seen. Nor do my players want to re-learn every feat they've ever seen. They're certainly ok with some homebrew, and I tweak classes pretty extensively (though I try to make sure their feel hasn't changed), but I'm better off introducing a handful of feats than changing a bookful.

The concept! Feats which eventually pay for themselves by providing bonus feats of a certain type. I originally thought of this while considering how Vow of Poverty works -- you give up some feats, and eventually they come back to you, though your choices are more limited to make up for the sheer number. I have some examples of what I'm trying for after the break.

Brainstorming (Neurosis included)
The example I'll use is Two-Weapon Fighting. The TWF Path feat would provide the user additional TWF feats, depending on X criteria. There are a few ways I'm thinking about going about defining X:

a) Encourage multi-pathing characters. A character with the TWF path feat gains bonus feats based on the # of feats they possess which lack TWF as a prereq.
b) The opposite: focus begets focus. Depending on the number of feats you have with TWF as a prereq (not counting those from this feat), you gain bonus TWF-prereq'd feats. Almost every ounce of me cries out that this is absolutely ridiculous, but the idea is to give bonus feats to the trees which demand more feats from the player.
c) A simple, bland, probably best for balance, HD-based progression. This actually brings me back to the root of my idea: Vow of Poverty granting Exalted feats. An extension of this would be basing it off of (permanent) BAB, which could be fun if you weight it so you gain more feats the higher you go.
d) More in line with a and b: based on number of character feats, regardless of type.

There are probably some better ways I haven't thought of yet.

From here, I have to consider if bonus feats count (for a and b), and the rate at which the bonuses arrive. Let's take option c for example -- I could have TWF Path which requires TWF, so it's a 2-feat investment. Then I can say "At 4th level and every 3 levels thereafter, you gain an additional feat with TWF listed as a prerequisite." In option a, I could say "for every 2 feats you possess which lack TWF as a prereq, you gain one that has TWF as a prereq."

Gosh, I don't need a constant growth, either. I could make a chart which shows when your bonuses arrive (VoP style, once again), which means they wouldn't need to have a static growth. Perhaps you gain a TWF feat every 3 HD until 9, and then it becomes every 4. Perhaps you gain 1 TWF feat for every 2 feats you possess until you reach feat 6, at which point it's 1-for-1. These are all sample numbers and rates, of course.

The example feats are using progression method C.

Path Focus Feats: These feats give you bonus feats of a specified type based on hit dice (HD). These benefits are retroactive, so if you have sufficient HD to gain multiple feats at the time of picking a Path Focus feat, you would gain multiple feats. You must meet the prerequisites for any feat gained from a Path Focus. If you have no more choices for feats taken via a Path Focus, homebrew some more.

Luck Path Focus
Prerequisites: Any 2 Luck feats
Benefit: If you have 7 HD, you gain a bonus luck feat. For every 2 HD beyond 5, you gain another luck feat.

Two-Weapon Path Focus
Prerequisites: Two-Weapon Fighting
Benefit: Starting at HD 6 and every 3 HD beyond, you gain a bonus feat with Two-Weapon Fighting listed as a prerequisite.

Shield Path Focus
Prerequisites: Improved Shield Bash, Shield Specialization
Benefit: At HD 4 and every 2 HD beyond, you gain a bonus feat with Improved Shield Bash or Shield Specialization as a prerequisite.

---

Is any of this a work-able idea? Myself, I'm leaning towards using BAB.

peacenlove
2011-05-08, 07:45 AM
B.A.B would work for [Combat] feats (basically bonus fighter feats in 3.5)
Unmodified caster level for weak caster feats would be another category.
But class levels would be ideal for the bulk of the feats you are trying to improve. I am against HD solely because when applied to monsters (especially those with non associated levels) this could get out of control quickly.

Pechvarry
2011-05-08, 02:55 PM
I think I wanted ECL more than HD, but class level is probably better.

The next step would be determining which trees need more feats. TWF could apply 3 or 4 net feats, and that could be enough. But shields could easily eat 8 feats and still require other class features/feats to carve out a role (typically, tank). Luck feats, meanwhile, are hard to quantify. My limited experience with luck feats in play was that characters using them seriously felt like they had thrown feats away.

Lonely Tylenol
2011-05-08, 06:12 PM
My suggestion would actually not be for feats that give feats, but for a "feat synergy" system not unlike skill synergies. For example, a character who progresses the Dodge tree to Spring Attack gets Lightning Reflexes as a bonus feat, or a character who has a Skill Focus with 15 ranks in that skill gains the other feat that corresponds to it (or vice-versa; one, but not the other). With this synergy, somebody that invests 15 ranks in Disguise and also has Skill Focus (Disguise) will gain Deceitful as a bonus feat. (I would probably go the other way with it; if somebody with Deceitful invests 15 ranks, they gain Skill Focus (Disguise).

The problem with a feat that gives feats is that it unbalances the game. Why, for example, would I choose Improved Two-Weapon Fighting if I could choose a feat that gives me access to Improved Two-Weapon Fighting and all the other feats of the TWF tree at the same cost?

If you are going to do something like that, you have to give it a time-delay, so that it doesn't grant immediate rewards. Try this, for example:

Two-Weapon Mastery
Prerequisites: Two-Weapon Fighting, Base Attack Bonus +6
After you take this feat, each time that you would gain a feat through standard level progression, you gain one feat from the Two-Weapon Fighting tree that you qualify for as a bonus feat.

A Fighter who takes this feat incurs a net loss at Level 6 when he takes it, breaks even at level 9, and begins benefiting form it at level 12, when he gets his second feat. At level 15, the Fighter will have gained three feats for the price of one, but there was a 9-level delay from when he took it.

Weapon Mastery
Prerequisites: Weapon Focus, Fighter Level 6th
After you take this feat, each time that you would gain a feat through standard level progression, you gain one feat from the Weapon Focus tree that you qualify for as a bonus feat.

A Fighter who takes this feat at level 6 (in place of Weapon Specialization) gets Weapon Specialization at 9 (as opposed to 4), Greater Weapon Focus at 12 (as opposed to 8) and Greater Weapon Specialization at 15 (as opposed to 12), but gets them all for the cost of one feat. Alternately, you could place your level 4 bonus feat into Weapon Specialization and take this at level 6, and you get Greater Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Specialization at about the same time you'd get them normally, for a 3-for-2 trade-off. There is ALSO nothing stopping the Fighter from taking it at level 6, getting Weapon Specialization and Greater Weapon Focus for free, and then using their level 12 feat on Greater Weapon Specialization for the same 3-for-2 trade.

NOTE: A Fighter gains a Bonus feat at the 6th level, and could thus take these at the same time. With this in mind, a Two-Weapon fighter with a focus in the weapon they choose to use will get one feat at standard progression, plus two bonus feats each time, to 15. The time-delay makes the Fighter's progression perilous at the early levels, but they come into their own as masters of the craft at later levels.

Ziegander
2011-05-08, 07:19 PM
[...]

lolno. this, everything you just said, is a trap.

To the OP, your idea is workable, but I would use different requirements for different feats. Is it a collection from the Fighter's list of bonus feats? If yes, use BAB as the requirement. Is it a collection of weak casting feat? If yes, use caster level as the requirement (no need to go for the unmodified value). Is it a collection of weak general feats? If yes, go ahead and simply use HD as the requirement.

Lonely Tylenol
2011-05-08, 07:41 PM
lolno. this, everything you just said, is a trap.

Would you mind explaining that sentiment? All I did was offer an idea.

Fiery Diamond
2011-05-08, 07:46 PM
Would you mind explaining that sentiment? All I did was offer an idea.

Z is talking about how the Weapon Focus line of feats is underpowered and how Two Weapon Fighting is much weaker than Two-handed Weapon fighting. They're ALREADY weak choices as is even if you rolled them all into single feats, forcing a delay gets rid of the feat tax but it makes them even weaker.

Lonely Tylenol
2011-05-08, 07:53 PM
Z is talking about how the Weapon Focus line of feats is underpowered and how Two Weapon Fighting is much weaker than Two-handed Weapon fighting. They're ALREADY weak choices as is even if you rolled them all into single feats, forcing a delay gets rid of the feat tax but it makes them even weaker.

That seems like a problem with the Weapon Focus tree and the Two-Weapon Fighting tree, not with the "delayed gratification" concept, which rewards proper feat investment as well as provides choices between short- and long-term benefits for those who want to take advantage of the whole tree.

In fact, the concept listed in my post didn't even have anything to do with Weapon Focus and TWF, specifically; I picked Two-Weapon because it was already listed in the OP, and then arbitrarily picked another feat tree off the SRD just for the purposes of giving another example. If I had arbitrarily picked any other feat tree, we wouldn't even be having this discussion, if the logic has more to do with those feat trees than the concept as a whole.

Seerow
2011-05-08, 08:12 PM
That seems like a problem with the Weapon Focus tree and the Two-Weapon Fighting tree, not with the "delayed gratification" concept, which rewards proper feat investment as well as provides choices between short- and long-term benefits for those who want to take advantage of the whole tree.

In fact, the concept listed in my post didn't even have anything to do with Weapon Focus and TWF, specifically; I picked Two-Weapon because it was already listed in the OP, and then arbitrarily picked another feat tree off the SRD just for the purposes of giving another example. If I had arbitrarily picked any other feat tree, we wouldn't even be having this discussion, if the logic has more to do with those feat trees than the concept as a whole.

Let me make a cleaner argument against this then:

The OP said explicitly he doesn't want to rewrite every feat in existance. Going down the route you suggest of making feats themselves scale, rather than feats providing bonus feats, does exactly what he said he doesn't want to do, force you to rewrite every feat in existence to be in line with this new power level.

As opposed to the OP's method, he doesn't rewrite anything, doesn't have to build scaling into a ton of feats, or delete feats that are obsoleted, or anything else of the sort. He simply needs to say "These feats are considered a part of this path. Paths grant you extra bonus feats of that path", and then it comes down to just grouping up feats appropriately. Once you write the core system, the rest falls into place easily. Honestly, it's a really elegant solution, and I love it.

Lonely Tylenol
2011-05-08, 08:50 PM
Let me make a cleaner argument against this then:

The OP said explicitly he doesn't want to rewrite every feat in existance. Going down the route you suggest of making feats themselves scale, rather than feats providing bonus feats, does exactly what he said he doesn't want to do, force you to rewrite every feat in existence to be in line with this new power level.

As opposed to the OP's method, he doesn't rewrite anything, doesn't have to build scaling into a ton of feats, or delete feats that are obsoleted, or anything else of the sort. He simply needs to say "These feats are considered a part of this path. Paths grant you extra bonus feats of that path", and then it comes down to just grouping up feats appropriately. Once you write the core system, the rest falls into place easily. Honestly, it's a really elegant solution, and I love it.

I'm...

Confused?

I never suggested that feats themselves should scale. In fact, I don't recall once mentioning that a single letter of a single feat had to be changed.

The progression I suggested with Two-Weapon Fighting and Weapon Focus simply says, "for the cost of this feat, you will get the other feats as bonus feats, but later; as a result, the feat individually is stronger, but at the cost of having no immediate benefits."

Literally, the only thing this does is give you the feats for which you qualify as bonus feats, with the caveat that you have to take a feat (and qualify for them) to get them.

I like the OP's original idea. The idea that you can progress through a tree gradually as a product of a single feat is great; it makes some underdeveloped or underpowered trees possible.

The only thing I didn't like about it is that, by making the bonus feats you get from Path Focus both HD-based and retroactive, you could, say, take Two-Weapon Fighting at level 1, mess around with some other feats appropriate to your character, and then, at level 12, take Two-Weapon Path Focus and instantly gain the benefits of Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Two-Weapon Defense and Greater Two-Weapon Fighting; or, you could take Two-Weapon Path Focus at level 6, which is the earliest point at which you could qualify for Improved Two-Weapon Fighting anyway; gain Improved Two-Weapon Fighting instantly as a consequence of the feat (so basically, at level 6, you select Two-Weapon Path Focus and then get Improved Two-Weapon Fighting for free as a bonus feat); and then gain Greater Two-Weapon Fighting at level 12, which is the same level that you would normally get it anyway. As an added bonus, you get Two-Weapon Defense at level 9 (or level 6 if you so choose). Or, you could take Two-Weapon Path Focus at level 6, even if you wouldn't qualify for any extra feats from the Two-Weapon tree (say, due to low DEX) and then automatically gain access to them as soon as you fulfill the requirements. By this precedent, a Barbarian (who for some reason has taken Two-Weapon Fighting) can take Two-Weapon Focus at level 6, even though he has only 16 DEX; then, he can put his level 8 ability bonus into DEX and get Improved Two-Weapon Fighting before he could normally sink his level 9 feat into it.

In doing so, Two-Weapon Path Focus has completely subsumed the entire Two-Weapon Fighting tree, by offering you all three feats from the Two-Weapon Fighting tree at the same time you'd normally get them, or even before you could normally get them, or really just whenever you want, for the cost of one feat. There's no reason to ever take Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Two-Weapon Defense or Greater Two-Weapon Fighting individually, because the feats now exist only to be given to you for free by Two-Weapon Path Focus.

The changes I suggested make it so that you get the same benefit that Two-Weapon Path Focus gives, but delayed slightly from the normal progression for balancing issues, and that is the only change, and that was only made so that people have a choice to invest more feats for quicker progression or fewer feats for slower progression, instead of having one completely creep over the other. If any single letter of my suggestion implies that any single letter of any single feat should be changed from its original wording, then you point that out to me and I will change it with my apologies.

Seerow
2011-05-08, 08:52 PM
To get on topic, looking at your options:


a) Encourage multi-pathing characters. A character with the TWF path feat gains bonus feats based on the # of feats they possess which lack TWF as a prereq.


This one I like at first glance, but thinking further on it, I think you need to explicitly exclude bonus feats from it. ie only your 7 feats from levels 1-20 count for giving the bonus feats for paths. You might allow for paths to be gained via bonus feats (such as the human bonus feat, or fighter bonus feats), but don't let those count towards the total for your bonus feats, otherwise things get out of control quickly.

Other than that, I'm thinking this stands out as the best option. It lets your typical character have 2-3 paths, while a Fighter can have pretty much all the paths he wants.


I would however, standardize the paths. In your example feats, they each have different progressions. I'd change it so that a path requires a minimum ECL 6, and gives you 1 bonus path feat for every character feat you possess not related to that path. This bonus applies retroactively.

The result would be, assuming you minimize overlap and pick up extra paths or non-path feats, you get 7 feats from each path you invest in.



edit:

This has (forgive me if I am wrong or miss reading the OP) already been done by the tome of awesome. Check it out. Linked the part that specificly relates to the OP.

See my post immediately before yours to see why what you linked isn't what the OP is proposing. The tome feats are complete rewrites of the various feats. It has one big flaw: Any feat not accounted for in the tome is still ****, and needs to be rewritten as well. Rewriting every feat in existence is a huge daunting task that most people don't want to undertake. This solution sidesteps the need to rewrite every feat ever by simply giving you more feats as a part of a path that you pick up.


[email protected]

I must have misread your post, I'll go back and reread it and your new post and respond more fully, but I did want to make a quick edit to apologize for misconstruing your position unintentionally. That said, apparently my post was worth making since someone else made the mistake I thought you were making.

Elfstone
2011-05-08, 08:52 PM
This has (forgive me if I am wrong or miss reading the OP) already been done by the tome of awesome. Check it out (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Races_of_War_%283.5e_Sourcebook%29/Warriors_with_Style#The_Failure_of_Feats). Linked the part that specificly relates to the OP.

Seerow
2011-05-08, 09:19 PM
Okay, I reread your post LordTylenol, and the thing that bugged me is that while you aren't rewriting the text of any of the feats, you are still going back and adding an extra section to every feat. You have to go to each feat and determine what bonus feats it's capable of granting, and what prerequisites they require. For example you were talking about skill rank prerequisites for the skill focus feats, and I'm not sure that every skill has a secondary feat associated with it, so you have to account for that as well. While you may not be rewriting the feats themselves, you are talking about needing to go to each feat with a fine toothed comb.

On the other hand, I'm more in favor of the standardized procedure, where you simply have all feats with prerequisite X, or barring that write up a short list, and let it go. It requires far less work, since you don't have to address individual feats, just groups of feats, while getting basically the same point across.




That said, I am going to make a couple of alterations to my suggested implementation:

1) Path Feats do not count as feats of another type for purposes of granting feats to other path feats.

For example, if with your 7 feats, you take 5 different paths, and 2 other feats, none of the same path (qualifying for your path feats via bonus feats), each path only grants you 2 feats. If instead, you take only 2 paths, with 1 related feat to each path from level up, you get 4 bonus feats for each path.

2) Thinking about it, I'd also say path feats must be taken with a feat from level-up, though the prerequisites may still come from bonus feats.



Basically, it discourages characters from loading up on a ton of paths, because the more they grab, the smaller the bonus of the path is. So your average character might take 1-2, and very few will take more than 3-4, because going higher than that is just wasting feats.

Elfstone
2011-05-08, 09:25 PM
You still have to group massive numbers of feats into one..... Its still a daunting task. And I've just made the new feat when I needed it and recorded it for later on. Worked so far.

Seerow
2011-05-08, 09:32 PM
You still have to group massive numbers of feats into one..... Its still a daunting task. And I've just made the new feat when I needed it and recorded it for later on. Worked so far.

Writing a list is a far easier task than going into an individual feat and saying "Okay what relates to this specifically? Okay, now what am I going to give it to make it better?" or "Okay, now what other feats would synergize with this? What prerequisites should this synergy have?"

Like we're talking magnitudes of difference. I'm sure there's some comprehensive D&D feat list somewhere, and at that point it's about an hour of going down the list and copying the names of feats and pasting them into the appropriate spot in a spreadsheet. There's no real work involved, especially relative to the latter option.

Lonely Tylenol
2011-05-08, 10:10 PM
Okay, I reread your post LordTylenol, and the thing that bugged me is that while you aren't rewriting the text of any of the feats, you are still going back and adding an extra section to every feat. You have to go to each feat and determine what bonus feats it's capable of granting, and what prerequisites they require. For example you were talking about skill rank prerequisites for the skill focus feats, and I'm not sure that every skill has a secondary feat associated with it, so you have to account for that as well. While you may not be rewriting the feats themselves, you are talking about needing to go to each feat with a fine toothed comb.

Oh, right. The "feat synergies".

That was a separate idea from the "Mastery" feats I listed at the bottom of the post. The first was a different idea for feat structure, whereas the second was a suggested revision of the "Focus Feat" idea in the OP.

I really should have broken those off into separate posts, as they were separate entities. I guess I wasn't thinking about how they could be construed as being one and the same. Therein lies the confusion--you were critiquing the "feat synergy" idea and I was defending the "Mastery" trees Ziegander and Fiery Diamond were talking about.

Yeah, the "Feat Synergies" would require a pretty drastic overhaul.

My bad.


That said, I am going to make a couple of alterations to my suggested implementation:

1) Path Feats do not count as feats of another type for purposes of granting feats to other path feats.

For example, if with your 7 feats, you take 5 different paths, and 2 other feats, none of the same path (qualifying for your path feats via bonus feats), each path only grants you 2 feats. If instead, you take only 2 paths, with 1 related feat to each path from level up, you get 4 bonus feats for each path.

I agree, and it's pretty hard to defend the opposing viewpoint, as this patches up "infinite feedback" loops.


2) Thinking about it, I'd also say path feats must be taken with a feat from level-up, though the prerequisites may still come from bonus feats.

Basically, it discourages characters from loading up on a ton of paths, because the more they grab, the smaller the bonus of the path is. So your average character might take 1-2, and very few will take more than 3-4, because going higher than that is just wasting feats.

I agree with this as well; it creates the same dilemma of "generalization vs. specialization vs. focused specialization" that Wizards have. Being a jack of all trades is nice, but diving deeper into one path gives you more high-end benefits from that one path.

Pechvarry
2011-05-09, 11:14 PM
Wow. I wish I had stopped in this morning!

@Tylenol: While I can see what you're saying, and I actually like that your write-ups have higher prereqs, we differ in our game design views in 2 fundamental areas:
a) I hate non-retroactivity. The fact that a permanent INT increase doesn't give you additional skill points for levels past drives me crazy. Even avoiding my normal Philosophy of Levels discussion, it means you should always begin play with as much INT as you intend to end the campaign with (excepting INT SAD characters), which means sacrificing other stats with the hopes of getting high enough level to patch those holes. This leads us to...
b) Weakness that pays off. I have never subscribed to the idea of "mages deserve to be overpowered because it's so hard to live through the early phases" which so many games openly embrace.

That said, I'm not at all against DMs using time delays to gain new abilities. I don't think it would be absurd to say "if you gain more than 1 feat at the time you take a path feat, you only gain 1 per week, until you're all caught up." Or some such. But I'd rather leave that to the DM than hard-wired into the feat.

@Elfstone: I don't see a reason one would need to catalog all the choices. My 3 sample trees are easy enough to track: 2 require a single feat to be written in the prerequisites line to be applicable, and one simply defines a type of feat (Luck feats, which are clearly labeled as such). So I'd say they're classified as "self-grouping by virtue of clear explanation". Someone find me some scientific-sounding synonyms for that.

Honestly, I can totally see my fellow players coming to the table saying "lol, I was able to grab x wonky feat because it just so happens to have y as a prereq" (Weapon Style feats come to mind). And good for them. The search is fun, as evidenced by the success of the ICO challenges on these boards.

@Seerow: be my spokesperson plz. Thanks for defending my main point so hard: rewriting feats has too much baggage. Incidentally, your point about non-Tome feats is a fantastic one: any time you introduce homebrew feats, you left "normal" feats as their competition, which isn't any competition at all.

I'm having some serious difficulties with the crunchy bits, and I need to go to bed an hour ago, so I'll be brief and be back tomorrow.

Multi-pathing seems fun to me, and I think I like the idea of having it exclude bonus feats. This means 7 extra feats, unless you put in wonky rules to make it less than that. I seem to have some problem with this method, but I can't quite put my finger on it.
option b, it's safe to say, is right out.

Um, what else did I want to hit? Oh, consistency. I like the idea of a static growth for all paths, masteries, whatever (feel free to give me a better name)... but different feat types need differing amounts. For example, Archery needs very little, but could still do with a few bonus feats -- probably to cover Precise shot, aka unnecessary feat tax, and Shot on the Run, aka "lol dodge?" Dodge is another such tree -- no one needs 7 feats with Dodge as a prereq. It's probably not even worth the path feat. But as I said before, I can make a character with Active Shield Defense, Agile Shield Fighter, Shield Charge, Shield Slam, Shield Ward, and their req feats, Improved Shield Bash and Shield Specialization, and where does that leave me? Has some cool tricks? Sure. Is it as good at tanking as a simple Spiked Chain Stand Still Fighter? Not even. 3 feats invested vs 7, and you still need to look elsewhere to increase stickiness. 7 feats for the price of 3 seems rather reasonable, in this light.

In fact, the 3 areas listed above are the only 3 masteries I'm certain I want to see.

And this got very long, so I'll stop here and come back tomorrow. Thanks for skimming!

In summary: I'm lazy, but I think it's important that we all be lazy for the greater good.

Seerow
2011-05-09, 11:32 PM
@Seerow: be my spokesperson plz. Thanks for defending my main point so hard: rewriting feats has too much baggage. Incidentally, your point about non-Tome feats is a fantastic one: any time you introduce homebrew feats, you left "normal" feats as their competition, which isn't any competition at all.


I defend it because I agree with it. I tried going the route of rewriting feats left and right years ago (around the same time the Tome was still being produced actually), and eventually just realized the futility of it. I really like the core of the solution you presented here, and think it's workable into a coherent system that really would work wonders.



Multi-pathing seems fun to me, and I think I like the idea of having it exclude bonus feats. This means 7 extra feats, unless you put in wonky rules to make it less than that. I seem to have some problem with this method, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Like I said, I'd have it so extra paths subtract from the bonus feats you get from the path. Also any feats you take with leveling feats that belong to that path don't count towards it. This makes the upper-bound 6 feats, the average 5 feats, and fewer if you go for multiple paths.

Okay, that sounds kind of awkward as written so let me write out a couple examples:

Example 1:
Character who qualifies for the path via a bonus feat, takes the Path feat asap at 6th level. This character gets 6 bonus feats from his path over 20 levels (1 from his 1st, 3rd, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th levels), and is the maximum he can gain.

Example 2:
Character who picks up the path prerequisite with a level feat, and then takes the Path feat. This character gets 5 bonus feats from the Path, the 6 base, then minus 1 because he had a feat relating to the path gained from his levels.

Example 3:
Same character as Example 2, but picks up a second prerequisite and path with his levelup feats at 3 and 9 respectively. Now both paths have one related feat, plus one other path, so he gains 4 bonus feats relating to each path.


Does this make any sense?


Um, what else did I want to hit? Oh, consistency. I like the idea of a static growth for all paths, masteries, whatever (feel free to give me a better name)... but different feat types need differing amounts. For example, Archery needs very little, but could still do with a few bonus feats -- probably to cover Precise shot, aka unnecessary feat tax, and Shot on the Run

Archery can use Rapid Shot, Manyshot, Improved Manyshot, Shot on the Run, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Improved Point Blank Shot, and Far Shot, and those are just out of the SRD. Go into other supplements and I am certain you can find more.


Dodge is another such tree -- no one needs 7 feats with Dodge as a prereq. It's probably not even worth the path feat.

Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Whirlwind, all out of core. Dipping into PHB2 there's the two extra spring attack feats, giving you 6 total. And that's just off the top of my head, I'm sure there's more.


Also, if you decide to go away from "it has this feat as a prerequisite" and instead just go through a list of feats and pick out anything that seems to fit that general grouping, you can certainly pick out more. That's also the big thing that would open up a lot of potential for this option, being able to group together thematically similar feats that don't have anything mechanical in common, and let someone pick them up together relatively cheaply.



edit: Also, one thing I just thought of while looking through the SRD sorting through feats there... as should go without saying, different paths will have different power levels. There's just no way to mechanically justify the difference in power levels between TWF tree, and say a skill tree. Part of that could come from fixing the exceptionally bad feats, but then that goes back to rewriting a ton of feats... so I was thinking instead, while we have a set progression for how many feats a path grants, perhaps make the prerequisites for some paths harder than others.

Something like a skill boosting path, or one with the improved saves/hp and similarly weak feats, you get into with nothing at all. Something like TWF you might require TWF to grab and that's it (this is along the lines where I'm thinking most of the paths would be, given most martial feats are pretty weak). But say you make a power attack style, with access to Shock Trooper, Leap Attack, and the like, it becomes a no brainer. One solution is to simply not make a path with those feats at all.

However, the alternative is, you can give a path like that, with stronger effects, harsher prerequisites. This makes it less relatively desirable. Make it have requirements of something like requiring 2-3 feats (2 meh feats or 3 decent feats), and bonus feats can't be used to qualify, thus guaranteeing you get fewer free feats (if you require 3 feats, that means that you'd only get 3 bonus feats from your path, as well as reducing the benefits of any other paths you may have), thus helping to balance it out some.

Just a thought.

Seerow
2011-05-10, 03:46 PM
So I made a list of the feats (minus magical feats, Maneuver based feats, and class combining feats) from the sources I had available, and broke them up into categories. Some categories may be too big, and need to be broken up (the skill category in particular could probably be broken up), and a couple may be placed in spots that aren't quite fitting, and I have a number of uncategorized feats, but it's a starting point:


Sources included: SRD (non-epic). Complete Warrior. Complete Adventurer. Complete Scoundrel. Races of Stone. Tome of Battle. Think that was all of them.



Skill Feats:

Acrobatic
Agile
Alertness
Animal Affinity
Appraise Magic Value
Arcane Flourish
Athletic
Brachiation
Deceitful
Deft Hands
Diligent
Extraordinary Concentration
Freerunner
Investigator
Improved Diversion
Improved Swimming
Jack of All Trades
Keen-Eared Scout
Leap of the Heavens
Magical Aptitude
Master Manipulator
Negotiator
Nimble Fingers
Open Minded
Persuasive
Quick Reconnoiter
Self Sufficient
Skill Focus
Steady Concentration
Steady Mountaineer
Stealthy
Sure Hand
Sweet Talker
Tactile Trapsmith
Wanderer's Diplomacy
Versatile Performer

Defensive:
Armor Proficiency (Light)
Armor Proficiency (Medium)
Armor Proficiency (Heavy)
Armor Specialization
Combat Expertise
Defensive Strike
Exotic Armor Proficiency
Heavy Armor Optimization
Greater Heavy Armor Optimization
Improved Combat Expertise

Martial Arts
Axiomatic Strike
Clever Wrestling
Close Quarters Fighting
Deflect Arrows
Earth's Embrace
Fists of Iron
Flying Kick
Improved Grapple
Improved Unarmed Strike
Roundabout Kick
Snatch Arrows
Snap Kick
Superior Unarmed Strike
Water Splitting Stone
Versatile Unarmed Strike

Ki
Stunning Fist
Extra Stunning
Expanded Ki Pool
Enduring Ki
Fiery Fist
Fiery Ki Defense
Freezing the Lifeblood
Ki Blast
Pain Touch
Rapid Stunning
Weakening Touch

Tough Guy
Arcane Toughness
Diehard
Endurance
Faster Healing
Force of Will
Force of Personality
Great Fortitude
Greater Resiliency
Improved Toughness
Insightful Reflexes
Iron Will
Lightning Reflexes
Run
Steadfast Determination
Toughness


Dodge
Bounding Assault
Dash
Dodge
Eyes in the Back of Your Head
Fleet of Foot
Melee Evasion
Mobility
Rapid Blitz
Sidestep Charge
Spring Attack
Whirlwind Attack

Archery
Crossbow Sniper
Deadeye Shot
Far Shot
Greater Manyshot
Improved Precise Shot
Improved Rapid Shot
Manyshot
Penetrating Shot
Point Blank Shot
Precise Shot
Ranged Disarm
Ranged Pin
Ranged Sunder
Rapid Reload
Rapid Shot
Sharp-Shooting
Shot on the Run
Zen Archery


Mounted
Improved Mounted Archery
Mounted Archery
Mounted Combat
Ride-By Attack
Spirited Charge
Trample
Tunnel Riding

Shield Fighter
Active Shield Defense
Agile Shield Fighter
Exotic Shield Proficiency
Improved Shield Bash
Improved Buckler Defense
Phalanx Fighting
Shield Charge
Shield Slam
Shield Sling
Shield Proficiency
Shield Specialization
Shield Ward
Stoneback
Tower Shield Proficiency

Power Attacking:
Brutal Strike
Cleave
Cometary Collision
Death Blow
Favored Power Attack
Flay
Great Cleave
Improved Bull Rush
Improved Sunder
Knockback
Leap Attack
Power Attack
Reckless Offense


Two Weapon Fighting
Dual Strike
Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
Greater Two-Weapon Defense
Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
Improved Two-Weapon Defense
Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting
Pin Shield
Two-Weapon Defense
Two-Weapon Fighting
Two-Weapon Pounce
Two-Weapon Rend

Finesse
Adaptable Flanker
Acrobatic Strike
Combat Acrobat
Combat Intuition
Combat Tactitian
Cunning Evasion
Danger Sense
Deadly Defense
Dive for Cover
Evasive Reflexes
Fade Into Violence
Flick of the Wrist
Improved Critical
Improved Initiative
Quick Draw
Rapid Assault
Tumbling Feint
Weapon Finesse
Vexing Flanker


Control
Combat Reflexes
Defensive Throw
Defensive Sweep
Deft Opportunist
Expert Tactician
Goad
Hold the Line
Improved Disarm
Improved Trip
Karmic Strike
Overwhelming Assault
Robilar's Gambit
Stand Still

Weapon Master
Crushing Strike
Driving Attack
Exotic Weapon Proficiency
Greater Weapon Focus
Greater Weapon specialization
Improved Weapon Familiarity
Melee Weapon Mastery
Monkey Grip
Power Critical
Ranged Weapon Mastery
Short Haft
Slashing Flurry
Weapon Focus
Weapon Specialization
Weapon Style Feats (Any)
Weapon Supremacy

Combat Form
Combat Focus
Combat Stability
Combat Defense
Combat Vigor
Combat Awareness
Combat Strike

Luck
Advantageous Avoidance
Better Lucky than Good
Dumb Luck
Fortuitous Strike
Good Karma
Healer's Luck
Lucky Break
Lucky Catch
Lucky Fingers
Lucky Start
Magical Fortune
Make Your Own Luck
Miser's Fortune
Psychic Luck
Sly Fortune
Survivor's Luck
Tempting Fate
Third Time's the Charm
Unbelievable Luck
Victor's Luck

Throwing
Brutal Throw
Power Throw
Fling Ally
Fling Enemy
Grenadier
Improved Rock HUrling
Rock Hurling
Throw Anything

Sneak Attack
Arterial Strike
Concussion Attack
Deafening Strike
Deft Strike
Deadly Precision
Disemboweling Strike
Eldritch Erosion
Hamstring
Head Shot
Impeding Attack
Merciful Strike
Mind Drain
Persistent Attacker
Staggering Strike
Telling Blow
Throat Punch

Rage
Destructive Rage
Extra Rage
Extend Rage
Instantaneous Rage
Intimidating Rage
Mad Foam Rager
Rampaging Bull Rush
Reckless Rage
Stone Rage

Misc: (these are the feats I didn't categorize)
Blind Fight
Earth Sense
Earth Adept
Earth Master
Extra Smiting
Greater Kiai Shout
Hindering Opportunist
Improved Favored Enemy
Improved Feint
Improved Overrun
Kiai Shout
Leadership
Lunging Strike
Mountain Warrior
Prone Attack
Savvy Rogue
Spectral Skirmisher
Stalwart Defense
Swarmfighting
Track
Trophy Collector
Tunnel Fighting

Pechvarry
2011-05-12, 12:30 AM
I like what you're saying, but it's pretty convoluted. I feel compelled to mention that, if you're granting bonus feats whenever you gain a level-up feat, you're just creating bonus feats based on level. I.e. it's functionally similar to saying "you gain a bonus feat with X as a prereq at levels 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18" though not exactly. And this method means you're basically doubling all future feat gain, but it always will occur at the same time. This makes levels 7 and 8, for example, extremely bland. This brings me back to the simple chart, VoP style, where you just say "you gain a feat at level 2 and every 4 levels thereafter". Let's say you were doing TWF and archery, and naming your character Regoras. You spend 2 feats on prereqs (maybe more), grab 2 Path feats. You get 10 bonus feats, but only 3 remaining character feats. So you still have that opportunity cost in that you sank 2 feats into a different path, thus giving up 2 more TWF or archery feats, resulting in less specialization.

Now up the reqs of the feats, make sure they can only be taken with level feats, and it runs smoothly.

I know there's enough Dodge and Archery feats to fill out completely. The question is: do these trees NEED them? TWF can use 6 nearly instantly. Archery is actually not an extremely weak option if you're entering via the right channels. For example, A Factotum could grab point blank shot and Archery Path, and then load up on Fonts of inspiration and Knowledge devotion. Such a build was already good. We just gave them 10 or so extra inspiration points.

I'm overthinking this, aren't I?

I think, for the most part, I'd like to stick with Prereq Paths and feat type paths (Ambush was a good find; Luck, etc), but I think some of those groupings are really worth making their own. The Ki one sticks out (though it could probably just be Stunning Fist), as did the Finesse group, the skill group, and perhaps Rage.

SPoD
2011-05-12, 01:37 AM
Maybe I'm oversimplifying, but what do you think about the following:

Path of [X]
You are really good at [X].
Prerequisites: [Feat Y], [Ability Score Z].
Benefit: Whenever you gain a feat with [Feat Y] as a prerequisite, you may also select a second feat with [Feat Y] as a prerequisite. You must meet all other prerequisites for both feats.
Special: When you first learn this feat, you immediately learn one additional bonus feat with [Feat Y] as a prerequisite for every other such feat you already possess (not counting this one).

Then, just write up a list of X's and Y's:


X - Y
Dual Wielding - Two-Weapon Fighting
Not Getting Hit - Dodge
Kung-Fu - Improved Unarmed Strike
Crushing Things - Power Attack
Spelling - Spell Focus
Conquering the Universe - Basket Weaving

It leaves the decision of how many feats to take in the hands of the players, and it prevents your theoretical factotum burning all his feats on FOI.

EDIT: Weird, my table didn't work. Changed to be just a list, then.

BrowncoatJayson
2011-05-12, 09:36 AM
One DM that I used to play with had a house rule similar to this. He simply said that for each feat you selected with the same prerequisite as two other feats you possess, you gain an additional feat with the same prerequisite. This was "discovering things in a related field during advanced training", or some such.

Basically, if you have two feats with the same prereq, say TWF, when you select the next feat that has TWF as a prereq you get to select another feat as well. This helped those who wanted to focus in one area, but didn't affect those who only dabbled in that specialty.

I'm not sure what you would do with feats that only had level, BAB or stats as a prereq, since we only dealt with feats as prereqs, but I'm sure something similar could be used.

Pechvarry
2011-05-12, 11:58 AM
Path of [X]
You are really good at [X].
Prerequisites: [Feat Y], [Ability Score Z].
Benefit: Whenever you gain a feat with [Feat Y] as a prerequisite, you may also select a second feat with [Feat Y] as a prerequisite. You must meet all other prerequisites for both feats.
Special: When you first learn this feat, you immediately learn one additional bonus feat with [Feat Y] as a prerequisite for every other such feat you already possess (not counting this one).

This is a workable and elegantly simple take on my "option b" from the OP, as is Browncoat's houserule.

As with Seerow's proposed solution, every feat level becomes MERRY CHRISTMAS as class features and free feats are laid at your feet en masse. Pros and cons between method A (Seerow method) and B (SPoD): SPoD has no doubling up by taking multiple path feats, which is both good and bad. Seerow's method allows for this (if you see it as a good thing) and controls it via diminishing returns.

I like the Browncoat thing because you're 3 feats strong before you start getting benefits, which means it really only helps people specializing HARD in these suboptimal feat paths. Our group was toyed with, but never tried, a house rule for years which is simply "for ever 2 feats you get, choose another with a prereq of a feat you have" but it was TOO open-ended. Browncoat's is similarly exploitable. Namely, players WILL use it for power attack. Creating the Path feats allows the DM to dictate which feat paths need this feature.

We now have a pretty good framework for a versatility-encouraging way as well as an awareness that a master specialist method could work well. And it's always possible to adapt it to a table instead of feat-doublings if needed.

I'm honestly not afraid of hashing out multiple ways for a group to use (with the assumption that any given game will adopt only 1 method for a given campaign) for DMs to choose what fits them best. For example, the master specialist method will be better for groups that focus more on tier 4, while people who want melee to keep up with psions and wizards will want to encourage versatility as much as possible.