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View Full Version : [4e] Balance Question - How Humans Rule (with House Rules)



mrmaxmrmax
2009-09-13, 09:37 AM
The following is written with the intention of finding out if I could increase the population of human adventures with a house rule that made everyone more powerful. Here we go.

I was considering a house rule in which every character took more feats. Any time a character would normally gain one feat, let's say they took two feats instead. For humans, they would gain an additional feat every time they would normally take two feats.

This would make the number of feats look something like this:

human vs other races
1: 3 vs 2
2: 6 vs 4
3:
4: 9 vs 6
5:
6: 12 vs 8
7:
8: 15 vs 10
9:
10: 18 vs 12
11: 21 vs 14
12: 24 vs 16
13:
14: 27 vs 18
15:
16: 30 vs 20
17:
18: 33 vs 22
19:
20: 36 vs 24
21: 39 vs 26
22: 42 vs 28
23:
24: 45 vs 30
25:
26: 48 vs 32
27:
28: 51 vs 34
29:
30: 54 vs 36

How much more likely would one be to choose a human in this game world?

Maxwell.

HCL
2009-09-13, 09:46 AM
Human is already the strongest race in core, though dwarf and gnome come close. I dont think you need to buff them at all, if your players arent picking humans its probably more for flavor reasons than for min/maxing.

Tengu_temp
2009-09-13, 09:48 AM
Nobody would play anything but humans. A huge load of feats is much, much better than losing a +2 bonus to a single stat.


Human is already the strongest race in core, though dwarf and gnome come close. I dont think you need to buff them at all, if your players arent picking humans its probably more for flavor reasons than for min/maxing.

Gnomes are core? I don't think you're talking about 4e.

Kurald Galain
2009-09-13, 09:49 AM
How much more likely would one be to choose a human in this game world?
On the one hand, getting eighteen bonus feats is obviously much more powerful than any other racial ability printed.

On the other hand, I question the value of so many additional feats, given that most builds have a limit to the amount of feats they're really interested in. For instance, a player may be more interested in, say, Dwarven Durability or Fey Step than in Yet Another Feat considering how many feats he already has.


Human is already the strongest race in core, though dwarf and gnome come close.
Heh. No, not by a long shot. Humans are decent at every class (because of their variable +2 bonus), but also every class has a few races (with a fixed +2 in the right spot) that are a better match. This is because all other races give additional abilities that humans don't; the extra power and extra feat humans give are very nice at level 1, but become progressively less relevant as you get more powers and feats.

Oslecamo
2009-09-13, 09:56 AM
Nobody would play anything but humans. A huge load of feats is much, much better than losing a +2 bonus to a single stat.

That coming from someone that some months ago claimed that it was perfectly fine to burn feats in 4e? Ah, the irony...

Well, of course with the amount of supplements that came out since then there's a lot more useable feats, and sudenly 4e characters cannot afford to burn their feats anymore or fall back on the power scale.

Just as planned. :smallcool:

Kylarra
2009-09-13, 10:00 AM
Well it is perfectly fine to burn a few feats in 4e [in heroic], but when you're getting 1.5X the number, particularly in paragon and epic... well... :smalleek:

Of course this is as a person who approx 1/3 of their backup chars is human, so it'd just be icing. :smallwink:

Tengu_temp
2009-09-13, 10:56 AM
That coming from someone that some months ago claimed that it was perfectly fine to burn feats in 4e? Ah, the irony...


I see no irony here. I meant 1-2 feats, not all of them. This houserule gives you much more than 1-2 feats.

Mando Knight
2009-09-13, 11:35 AM
I see no irony here. I meant 1-2 feats, not all of them. This houserule gives you much more than 1-2 feats.

Exactly. The houserule doubles the normal number of feats for not-humans, but triples it for humans. By level 30, the human has probably exhausted the supply of feats that are useful to him, even if he invests in multiclass feats and class-specific feats from the Power series.

...I'd even ban Focused Expertise, and make Implement and Weapon Expertise function for a specific weapon (like Focused Expertise) with that rule, simply because the character has feats to burn.

Gralamin
2009-09-13, 11:51 AM
Even more then the balance issues, think about the issues for the player. A Human player will have to remember 54 bonuses with your house rule. Honestly, I'm having trouble trying to find feats to take with your house rule, running at All of heroic being used, Half of Paragon used, and a quarter of Epic used.

NorseItalian
2009-09-13, 12:02 PM
Gnomes are core? I don't think you're talking about 4e.

PHB2 is considered core in 4E.

Mando Knight
2009-09-13, 12:04 PM
PHB2 is considered core in 4E.

According to WotC, everything they release is core in 4E. :smallconfused:

Kurald Galain
2009-09-13, 12:08 PM
According to WotC, everything they release is core in 4E. :smallconfused:

I predict that a year from now, all the message boards will be talking about "basic 4E" when they mean PHB1/MM1/DMG1 only, and that a year from that, WOTC will define "basic 5th edition" as "everything they release" :smallbiggrin:

Hal
2009-09-13, 04:30 PM
On the one hand, that's some serious feat usage. I imagine a lot of people would choose that just to have the massive expansion of options.

On the other hand, I'm not sure how overpowering it would be. My experience with the game is that a lot of the classes are limited in the number of feats they could really take, either by the usefulness of said feat or by the inability to match the prerequisites.

You could always just grant an additional feat, skill training, or At-Will power at each tier; that might still seem overpowering, but it certainly wouldn't be as unbalanced at 18 additional feats.

Ashes
2009-09-13, 07:35 PM
Seeing as all the other races also get a massive amount of feats, I'd say that this would make less people choose human. Cause honestly, when you've got 36 feats, who would care for another 20? I'd much rather get better abilites and a racial power. And skill bonuses,

Even if just due to bookkeeping issues, I still wouldn't be human. Where would you write all those feats down?

Sinfire Titan
2009-09-13, 07:53 PM
Human Bard>>>>>>>>>>>Every other class combination. Escpeially if Arcane Power is in the mix. Congratulations, Bard is now able to do anything and everything.


Seriously, most PCs find out the hard way that there aren't enough feats worth taking to fill out their sheet. Even the most optimized build only requires 2 or 3 feats/tier; the rest usually don't matter.


Humans are all ready very powerful. The 4E human is actually stronger than the 3.X Human (which was one of the 6 best LA 0 races to begin with anyway). You don't need to boost Humans in 4E.

Edit: And for those who say the Gnome wasn't Core; not only is every 4E book considered core, the Gnome was a race printed in the MM1. IIRC, the MM1 and PH2 Gnome have absolutely no differences.

dragoonsgone
2009-09-13, 08:03 PM
Humans are always a good fallback. If they aren't the best choice, they are usually top 3 and are always a solid choice. That's what they are meant to be though, jack of all trades and master of none.

Decoy Lockbox
2009-09-13, 08:09 PM
I predict that a year from now, all the message boards will be talking about "basic 4E" when they mean PHB1/MM1/DMG1 only, and that a year from that, WOTC will define "basic 5th edition" as "everything they release" :smallbiggrin:

I thought the Campaign-specific books were not core?

NPCMook
2009-09-13, 08:38 PM
I thought the Campaign-specific books were not core?

The classes and races in the book are core, the races and classes aren't core to other campaigns, that is why the background article about Genasi in Eberron and Warforged in Forgotten Realms was released

Burley
2009-09-14, 06:27 AM
The classes and races in the book are core, the races and classes aren't core to other campaigns, that is why the background article about Genasi in Eberron and Warforged in Forgotten Realms was released

This is the most complicated thing I've ever had to explain to a DM. Playing an artificer is complicated enough without having to explain, every session, that any race and class is 4e core. (I'd have been able to play it anyways, but it's still considered "that Eberron class." :smallannoyed:)

Yakk
2009-09-14, 09:03 AM
If I wanted to encourage more humans:
1> Humans get to pick 2 attributes to add +2 to.
2> Non-humans get to pick 1 attribute to add +2 to (that they don't already get a bonus to).
3> Humans get the Action Surge feat free at level 1.

1 makes humans nearly ideal for any standard D&D build.

2 prevents non-humans from being utterly obsolete.

3 makes Action Surge a racial feature of humans, which gives them a nice bump up.

Tiki Snakes
2009-09-14, 02:52 PM
If I wanted to encourage more humans:
1> Humans get to pick 2 attributes to add +2 to.
2> Non-humans get to pick 1 attribute to add +2 to (that they don't already get a bonus to).
3> Humans get the Action Surge feat free at level 1.

1 makes humans nearly ideal for any standard D&D build.

2 prevents non-humans from being utterly obsolete.

3 makes Action Surge a racial feature of humans, which gives them a nice bump up.

Under this system I'd be pretty hard pressed to think of a reason not to play a Human other than pure Flavour, because they are now As good as anyone at anything, AND get all the really tempting stuff they already got. (the free feat and extra at will are, especially at low levels perhaps, really quite good.)

Mark Hall
2009-09-14, 03:47 PM
That would've made my multiple-multiclass bard even more awesome.

taltamir
2009-09-14, 04:22 PM
Human is already the strongest race in core, though dwarf and gnome come close. I dont think you need to buff them at all, if your players arent picking humans its probably more for flavor reasons than for min/maxing.

+1, nothing even comes close to human, in any dnd version between 1 and 3.5 (i am not sure about 4).
Humans get:
1 bonus feat of choice
1 extra skillpoint per level (4 in lvl1)
choice of favorite class...

Other +0 ECL races get:
live a really long time (useless in combat, useful only for RP)
are "cool"
specific extremely crappy abilities that become useless between level 5 and 10 (depending on what classes levels they take).

Higher ECL races get:
Totally raped on the XP penalties, making them pathetically weaker than any ECL +0 race.

If your players are not playing humans they are doing so because they find other races "cool" and want to RP... they are choosing them DESPITE humans being superior. Buffing humans further is just encouraging cheese.

Kurald Galain
2009-09-14, 04:23 PM
1 extra skillpoint per level (4 in lvl1)
choice of favorite class...

Other +0 ECL races get:

Er, yeah, except that 4E has neither skill points nor ECL.

taltamir
2009-09-14, 04:24 PM
Er, yeah, except that 4E has neither skill points nor ECL.

let me quote myself:
in any dnd version between 1 and 3.5 (i am not sure about 4).

EDIT: Duh, I am a moron. How did I miss 4e in the title?

I think your players are trying other races because under 4e, for the first time ever in DnD history, playing a non human isn't made of pure epic suck. ok I exaggerate...but playing a non human for the first time is not a big handicap. See how many of them pick human in a year when they had a chance to try out some other races.

Yakk
2009-09-15, 07:21 AM
Under this system I'd be pretty hard pressed to think of a reason not to play a Human other than pure Flavour, because they are now As good as anyone at anything, AND get all the really tempting stuff they already got. (the free feat and extra at will are, especially at low levels perhaps, really quite good.)
Racial feats. They do a body good.

An eladrin swordmage fighter MC (either way) can do a charge, in that charge use fey step to teleport, after the teleport get a free basic attack, then end the charge with a basic attack, and if the end-of-charge basic attack hits regains a use of fey step.

And many racial feats are already 2 (or more) feats in one. Then again, human feats are also tasty.

And racial features of races can match up.

The real change in what I described was "humans get action surge and a feat, while non-humans get their racial feature, and both can be nearly ideal stat-builds for any given class". It makes humans damn tempting for every class, mechanically, while not making non-humans completely obsolete.

oxinabox
2009-09-15, 08:13 AM
Feats arn't that great.
esp for some character.
eg, my Charger Rogue, burns alot of feats. he'ld love one extra feat, but being hum an would cost him in otherways. bugbears make great rogues, esp when you mount them on giant ants.

Entertainingly Halfelves are one of the most powerful races, taking twinstike

vs Warlock//Druid (by gestalt rules, there HB on the nets somewhere)
The player actually couldn't find any decent feats, so asked if he could take skill training "ponce", as in acting poncy. which we actually use alot, it can be used on checks to identify wine, making it more usefully in this game than athletics and acrobatics and dungeoneering combined

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-09-15, 08:44 AM
Human is already the strongest race in core, though dwarf and gnome come close. I dont think you need to buff them at all, if your players arent picking humans its probably more for flavor reasons than for min/maxing.

Seriously? I thought that award went to the half-elves. :smallconfused:

Sinfire Titan
2009-09-15, 09:16 AM
Seriously? I thought that award went to the half-elves. :smallconfused:

They gained that title with PH2's Half-Elf feats. The one that replicated Paragon Multiclassing in particular.

Hal
2009-09-15, 09:24 AM
As things currently stand, human utility depends largely on how you perceive stats and feats. For some people, the additional +1 bonus to a feat is indispensable; it means better attacks, damage, skill checks, defenses, and so forth.

For other people, that extra feat is incredibly useful. Other people find feats to be non-issues, either because they get enough as is or they don't find their class/race to have enough useful feats.

Your perspective on those determines whether humans are any good. I think most people on this board who've played 4E fall into the first camp, valuing that +1 to a stat. I'd throw in the racial powers, but that's incredibly variable. Some classes don't benefit much from an extra At-Will, and some of the racial encounter powers are hit-or-miss, depending on what you do with them.

Kurald Galain
2009-09-15, 09:34 AM
As things currently stand, human utility depends largely on how you perceive stats and feats. For some people, the additional +1 bonus to a feat is indispensable; it means better attacks, damage, skill checks, defenses, and so forth.
It depends on what level you're playing at.

At level one, the human has twice as many feats, in that he gets two instead of one. By the end of heroic, a human will have 7 feats where a different character will have 6, which is not nearly as significant a bonus.

Likewise, at level one, the human has five "standard action" powers where pretty much everybody else has four (because nearly all racial and class powers aren't standard actions). By the end of heroic, the difference of eight vs nine* isn't all that impressive, and it becomes relevant that you can use Elven Accuracy or Dwarven Endurance in addition to your standard action, whenever you need it, and that you can only use the human's third at-will instead of your standard action, and it becomes your bottom prioritiy on the list of things you can do during your turn.

*not counting utility powers, item powers, and consumables, any of which may be standard actions; but note that you'll have decidedly more of these at late heroic than at level 1.

In other words, humans give you "more of the same" which is nice at the beginning when your amount of "same" is limited.

oxinabox
2009-09-15, 11:46 PM
{Scrubbed} wrong thread