D&D 5E Character Customization and Fabulous 5E Feats

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1915 drawing from The War Illustrated describing an exploit of a Don Cossack. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello my fellow gamers, Nerdarchist Ted here with some more info for you.  Today I wanted to talk about Dungeons and Dragons character customization and feats.

Through out the evolution of Dungeons and Dragons there have been many ways to add flavor, back story, and character customization.

In second edition you had proficiencies both weapon and non-weapon and these translated mainly to weapon prof and skills in third edition and beyond.

No where was there an easy way to do something extraordinary in combat short of being a spell caster, but even then you were limited to what spells you had access to.

Once third edition came out and changed the spectrum of combat and character customization, Dungeons and Dragons became a whole new type of game.

As a long time D&D player I had favored the elf for many reasons, but being graceful and long lived highly appealed to me.  That all changed with the introduction of the feat.

As a human you received a free bonus feat at first level and the feats gave you loads of new options, even if you only chose toughness to give your wizard 3 more hit points.

My initial read through of the sneak peak of the players hand book never mentioned any specific feats other than that they were going to be an optional rule.  Without having anything to compare to, I again went back to my routes of old and fell in love with the elf. Specifically the high elf sub-race.

Getting the extra language and a free cantrip off any spell list was just amazing.  Once I picked up my PHB and got a proper read through my opinions changed once again.

If you have not read through the 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons feat section you really need to do so.  In third edition and fourth edition the feats represented small things and the feat tree was where it was at.  You wanted to get to the top of that tree in order to gain the really awesome advantage.

In D&D 5E it is just the opposite.

Many of the things that were feats in previous editions are just things that anyone can do. For instance the feat quick draw allowed you to draw your weapon as part of an action so without it you always had to say, “I am carrying my weapon” or suffer the lose of that action.

The feat spring attack allowed you to move attack and move again without it you could either attack and move or move and then attack.

Very bad for tactical maneuvering.

Now both of these things and more are just something you can do in D&D 5E.

It really allows for more dynamic character customization.

Now the feats represent either specific talent or training.  It is something that will make a character with a feat stand out in a session.

D&D 5E
English: Wizard with a spell. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The review I saw said that it is more than likely that a character with a feat will clearly show he is something special.

If your GM is using the optional rule you can trade the humans +1 to all ability scores for 2 +1 to two separate ability scores, proficiency in a skill of your choice, and a single feat.  This feat that all other characters have to wait until they reach 4th level or higher if they multi-class.

Some feats give the feel of multi-classing without having to do anything beyond the feat. The feat Magic Initiate gives you 2 cantrips and 1 first level spell from a single spell list.  So I play a fighter and take this and now I am fighter/cleric or fighter/wizard.

With multi-classing it will take longer before you get access to your stat boost/feat options, feats become the easier way to get access to a small piece of the classes abilities without actually multi-classing.

The other feat I fell in love with is Heavy Armor Master.  This one reduces the damage by three for any non magical damage you take as long as you are wearing heavy armor.  So a human playing a fighter or paladin could take this and essentially gain DR 3 at first level.  With the higher chance for death at low levels this could be a total game changer.

The Dungeons and Dragons Players Hand Book has 42 feats in it.  You have to sack two +1 stat boosts to get one at 4th level and beyond.  But 13 of these feats give you a +1 stat boost along with some cool abilities.  So look through the list and if you are going to choose a stat boost see if you can get a feat that gets you the bonus as well as an ability.

At worst you can always take Resilient as it gets you the +1 stat boost of choice and proficiency in that saving throw.  So if you are going for character customization in D&D 5E it is an easy choice for me.  I will always opt to take a feat.

Nerdarchy’s 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Feat Video

So there you have it my take on the wonders of the fabulous feat of fifth edition.  Tell me your favorite 5E Dungeons and Dragons feat in the comments below and why.

With that this is Nerdarchist Ted saying until next time, “Stay Nerdy, my friend!”


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Follow Ted Adams:
The nerd is strong in this one. I received my bachelors degree in communication with a specialization in Radio/TV/Film. I have been a table op role player for about 20 years 17 of which with the current group. I have played several itterations of D&D, Mutants and Masterminds 2nd and 3rd editions, Star wars RPG, Shadowrun and World of Darkness. I am an avid fan of books and follow a few authors reading all they write. Favorite author is Jim Butcher I have been an on/off larper for around 15 years even doing a stretch of running my own for a while. I have played a number of Miniature games including Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy, Heroscape, Mage Knight, Dreamblade and D&D Miniatures. I have practiced with the art of the German long sword with an ARMA group for over 7 years studying the German long sword, sword and buckler, dagger, axe and polearm. By no strecth of the imagination am I an expert but good enough to last longer than the average person if the Zombie apocalypse ever happens. I am an avid fan of board games and dice games with my current favorite being Quarrios.

6 Responses

  1. rph
    | Reply

    Tough choices! Thanks for the article.

  2. Angus Maclean
    | Reply

    Lucky. Lucky by a flat mile. I'm playing a Paladin, and I'm the front-line tank. Forcing re-rolls on successful attacks, when my opponents are already on Disadvantage, gives them essentially no chance to hit me. Sir Torrhen was confidently holding 4 opponents at once at first level, letting the archers take care of business.

  3. Barış Akpınar
    | Reply

    I have to mention that you can't take any feats at lv 1 in D&d5. I've searched many sources and finally that is my conclusion.

  4. Cappie King
    | Reply

    As a Human, you can take Variant Human Trais at level 1 and you gain a Feat. It's on page 31 of the Player's Handbook. It reads:

    Variant Human Traits
    If your campaign allows the optional feat rules from chapter 5, your DM might allow these variant traits, all of which replace the human's Ability Score Increase Trait.
    – Ability Score Increase: Two different ability scores fo your choice increase by 1.
    – Skills: You gain proficiency in one skill of your choice.
    – Feat: You gain one feat of your choice.

    This replaces the "Ability Score Increase: Your ability scores each increase by 1" portion of a human character at level 1.
    This Variation can only be used at level 1, during character creation.

  5. Barış Akpınar
    | Reply

    Cappie King Thats why most of Dungeon Masters ban this Variant Race. Variant Human is really imbalanced.

    • Dane Schort
      | Reply

      Not really, they are giving up four ability points, and three skill proficiencies to get a feat. That in it self is a steep price. Also, the human does not get many other benefits, such as dragon breath, or night vision. They need something to make them worth picking, otherwise no one would ever be human. I agree that lucky is the beast feat. My DM changed it so if I fail with any lucky points I can not take the next long rest. So obviously I can’t pick it.

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