2012-06-02, 02:18 PM (ISO 8601)
Re: Fixing SKR's Feat Point System
I am surprised that he makes no distinction between ranged and melee attacks, believing them equivalent. He prices Rapid Shot and Two Weapon Fighting the same, whereas I would argue that Rapid Shot is substantially superior. Hell, even things like Weapon Specialization: Longbow are better than the melee equivalents, because melee weapons have higher damage normally, and adding 2 to a small number is better than adding them to a high number.
Beyond that, I get a lot of what he is saying. Looking at that chart, you can read a lot about his DMing style.
First, I get the impression that he likes low and mid level games a bit more- there's not much level variation taken into account. I mean, he has Quicken Spell at 5, one of the lower numbers (tied with Run), and that feat definitely shines later in the game.
Second, many of his enemies play their Int scores. Like, a bunch of orcs will mob whomever is in front, instead of being controlled like a bunch of game pieces. You can tell this is the case because he seems to assume that melee attacks and full attacks will happen. Once the opponents (and the players) start gaming full attacks and kiting, the game becomes much longer to resolve, and archers and casters gain an increase in power. But if the orcs decide to full attack the fighter because that's THEIR best damage, regardless of the fact that allowing the fighter a full attack increases his damage by a zillion...
Third, his baselines are ones that we probably disagree with, based I suspect on time spent. While I think the +2 save feats have mostly stood the test of time, I think they are overpriced. In fact, I suspect 2.5 would be about right given the value of a 3.5 feat, and I think we don't see many of those feats chosen until Pathfinder, which both makes feats more plentiful and doesn't have really over budget feats like some of the later 3.5 things did. But Toughness as a baseline? I've been running the Pathfinder Toughness (ceil[Level,3]) since before Pathfinder, and even then it's not a popular choice even among a tough character who is assured he'll "be able to tank". As an NPC feat it's acceptable of course, but I think I've seen Toughness taken only a couple more times than Run.
Fourth, you can tell that he doesn't have anything like Ye Olde Magic Item Shoppe, as he definitely puts high values on item creation.
So... overall, I don't think we can "fix" it. I think his system would work PERFECTLY in his game, where your two weapon guy will routinely get a full attack. Feats are what the DM makes them. I think you should ADJUST them for the type of games you run- these wouldn't be correct for my games either, that's for sure!
In my games, I basically:
1)- Power Attack lets you Cleave, and counts as both.
2)- Dodge also gives you Mobility. Dodge is always active (+1 to AC, no declare)
3)- Enlarge Spells gives you the ability to use both Enlarge Spell and Widen Spell, as if you had chosen both feats.
4)- I have a "Fortunate" feat that is +1 to all saves.
5)- Improved Two Weapon Fighting- Now also grants the benefits of Greater and Perfect, such that when your BAB is +11 you gain the third off hand attack, and +16 you gain the fourth offhand attack. These attacks are worth so very little that spending a feat on a -15 attack is insulting, and it's lame to not have symmetry.
6)- Potent Spells gives you the ability to use both Heighten and Extend Spell, as if you had chosen both feats.
7)- Improved Precise Shot- Now grants the benefit of Point Blank Shot to all ranges (this simplifies the math late game, as this plus PBS just make a +1 to hit, and the +1 is no longer interesting or fun to optimize around past about 6th level)
8)- Point Blank Shot- Now also grants the benefits of Precise Shot.
9)- Spirited Charge- Now also grants the benefit of Ride-by-Attack
10)- Whirlwind Attack- Prereqs changed to BAB +4, Dex 13, Dodge, Spring Attack (by the time a fighter qualifies for this in my game, it is VERY rare that he faces hordes of enemies, and in general it is often so superior to focus a full attack on one target that I would prefer the requirements on this feat be lower- even with these requirements it is not popular or that powerful in my games).
11)- Mounted Combat- Now also grants the benefits of Mounted Archery
12)- Subtle Spells- Grants the ability to use Silent Spell and Still Spell, as if you had taken those feats.
Now, reading through that list, you can probably get a pretty good idea about how my combats go. First of all, you get the impression that I want ranged attacks to be a bit easier to qualify for, not a specialist-only thing. You see that I don't value the multi-target attack things much, so I made them much cheaper, so you can guess that when you are in range of multiple targets, more often that not one of them at least will be very powerful, and it will be a choice whether to use Whirlwind Attack, or risk attacking a plebian to cleave into a powerful enemy. You'll also note that I expect casters to spend their feats somewhere besides rarely taken metamagic feats- with a few feats, casters gain access to the non-damage and non-action-economy ones. The only one that I consider even vaguely high-budget is Subtle Spells, because silent and still spells can be used to get around somewhat dire conditions at times. The others, such as Heighten and Extend, or Widen and Enlarge, are in no real way overpowered in my games (and probably not many games will be broken by a character who can make their fireball big AND long range having only spent one feat).
Anyway. This is a good thread, and I hope my post is useful.