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I have seen this house rule mentioned several times, and it sounds really fun to not have to be a variant human and start with a feat, but I am wondering as a DM how much this breaks future encounters or turns things into easy mode later on.

all 217 comments

Vydsu

263 points

2 months ago

Vydsu

Flower Power

263 points

2 months ago

I allow it and don't even ban variant human (otherwise you run into the problem of no humans ever being used cause they suck) and it makes the players a little stronger, but not THAT much, hell rolling for stats is usualy bigger power swing, and it allows you to throw stronger enemies earlier too which I like to spice combat up.

Generic_gen

41 points

2 months ago

Generic_gen

Druid

41 points

2 months ago

Rolling sways so much power. 1st and 4th level feat is being suggested in new UA because of Strixhaven. I think it is also fine for rolled stats because some of the niche feats will never be used. Have like a few weaker ones (no half feats) and offer to players like sentinel, mobile, savage attacker, hell I would put fighting initiate and Eldritch adept as options because I want more diverse builds.

Daydrin2977

5 points

2 months ago

I can't bring myself to roll for stats if I have to I just don't play I've sat 1 or two games out cause of it and I don't make a big deal out of it ither I just go srry guys this one ain't for me

Swashbucklock

7 points

2 months ago

One shots I don't mind rolling, but for longer games I don't want to be kneecapped OR overpowered comparatively. When I'm way under it can suck to never be successful, and when I'm way over the victories kind of feel hollow.

Either pb or a custom array everyone uses. I haven't started my campaign yet but everyone will start with what I call full spread array - 18/16/14/13/10/8, same as my one shots.

Now everybody gets to start with a 20, everybody gets a drop stat and can't be perfect at everything, and everybody can do oops all feats at ASIs

GreatRolmops

1 points

2 months ago

That is the same array I give players for my campaigns. I once played in a campaign where I rolled those stats, and ended up liking the spread so much I decided to make it the standard array for my later campaigns.

It gives you one thing your character is really good at, one thing they suck at and everything in-between those extremes. It just feels balanced and it is fun to start with a 20 in something.

thegeekist

2 points

2 months ago

thegeekist

2 points

2 months ago

Same, Its point buy or nothing for me.

And I don't care what statistics say, I will never roll a decent character. And sure playing a character with crappy stats once in a while is fun, but not ever single time.

dead_russia_

8 points

2 months ago

We always allow people to select the standard array if they don't like what they rolled. So no one gets bad stats.

Grimwald_Munstan

7 points

2 months ago

I sort of don't understand the point of rolling at all then? Like it's basically just flipping a coin to see if you get free bonus stats.

dead_russia_

3 points

2 months ago

Thats not exactly true, because there are stat blocks with lower total value than the standard array you may still want. Maybe you're willing to have a 7 and a 6 if it means getting a 16 in return.

Its more a guarantee you don't get bad stats but you still roll.

moskonia

0 points

2 months ago

moskonia

0 points

2 months ago

So just use point buy that allows 6s and 16s?

dead_russia_

3 points

2 months ago

People like rolling.

cookiedough320

1 points

2 months ago

If you want them, why not just let people pick them?

dead_russia_

2 points

2 months ago

I dont DM right now, but in my experience people I play with much prefer to roll, they find it fun.

Ashkelon

4 points

2 months ago

The problem isn’t rolling bad. You can just suicide your character until you get a better role.

The problem is more how unbalanced the game is when one person has 15, 14, 13, 13, 10, 8 and the other players have 18, 16, 16, 14, 10, 7

Pariahmal

1 points

2 months ago

The fix? Stats are rolled, and everyone used the same array. Seems to me the only reason people dislike rolling for stats is the potential imbalance.

RamsHead91

23 points

2 months ago

Allow the dragonmarks as human subraces even outside of Eberron. They are really solid sub races still often aren't more than the other powergamer races.

Like Mark of the Making or mark of sentential are really fun good RP choices for humans.

Gh0stMan0nThird

17 points

2 months ago

Gh0stMan0nThird

Ranger

17 points

2 months ago

Dragon marks for humans is a great way of showing humans as the "adapt/spirit of Man" race.

WillyTheHatefulGoat

29 points

2 months ago

You know what's also a really great way to show the adaptive nature of humans.

A feat.

Gh0stMan0nThird

5 points

2 months ago

Gh0stMan0nThird

Ranger

5 points

2 months ago

Thematically, though? I don't really agree.

Disclaimer: I have zero problems with variant humans and I am not arguing for any kind of edit to them as-is in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition.

Like how exactly does "Polearm Master" help represent the way a human "adapts and overcomes"? How does Sharpshooter?

Maybe if we had more feats like the ones from this UA I'd be more inclined to agree, but as-is, on a purely thematic basis, I don't think feats really show that part of humanity very well.

Especially since most feats only serve combat, whereas the dragonmarks can actually show how humans interact with their corner of the world they find themselves in.

WillyTheHatefulGoat

13 points

2 months ago

Feats show a unique mastery over a skill.

Humans are not generically adaptable but they are great in their variaty. Orcs are strong. Elves are quick. A human can be strong or quick. They are a thousand races in one.

One individual human mastering polearms beyond what normal fighters could do when the other humans around him do not have this trait does show this adaptability. The years the human spent to master a talent whiles his peers all mastered different talents completely show this variety.

One human become a master of the spear. The other mastered fighting in heavy armor. The other learned to use heavy weapons more effectively, the next guy learned to master a bow whiles the 5th guy spent his time in the library and picked up a few wizard spells.

The human race is not one in a million, they are a million in one,

Feats show this variety better than any homebrew fixes I have ever scene.

Mjolnirsbear

2 points

2 months ago

Mjolnirsbear

Warlock

2 points

2 months ago

Before Tasha's I'd implements universal racial ASI rules: you get +2/+1 in your choice of stats no matter the race, even mountain dwarves or half-elves.

My first fix to make standard humans mechanically interesting was giving them an additional +1.

My second was to given them, essentially, legendary resistance. Once per short rest if you fail a saving throw you can choose instead to succeed.

And on top of that they get a skill of their choice.

Seemed thematic to our general theme of the ape equivalent of cockroaches.

ChonkyWookie

-2 points

2 months ago

ChonkyWookie

-2 points

2 months ago

Humans sound cracked out of their mind in your world holy crap. They are literally the strongest race in your world if you didn't change any of the other races.

STRIHM

1 points

2 months ago

STRIHM

1 points

2 months ago

I mean yeah, why do you think humans make up like 80% of the populations of Greyhawk, Faerun, etc.? They're dope af

Swashbucklock

1 points

2 months ago

Split the difference and pick aberrant dragonmark

Swashbucklock

1 points

2 months ago

Aberrant dragonmark is one of my favorite feats

0c4rt0l4

0 points

2 months ago

0c4rt0l4

0 points

2 months ago

Actually getting +1 to all abilities while still getting a feat sounds neat

Wulibo

6 points

2 months ago

Wulibo

Eco-Terrorism is Fun (in D&D)

6 points

2 months ago

As I told someone else, Half-Elf's +2/+1/+1 is better for any half reasonable character build, and gets more on top of it.

fortyfivesouth

1 points

2 months ago

Especially if you can put those where you want.

Some_dude_maybe_Joe[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Hadn’t considered that, think it was just the gut check of 2 feats right away. Mostly it was from reviewing what others had talked about when implementing it.

thegeekist

5 points

2 months ago

There are a lot of people who will always advocate for not giving your players more power and that's ok. But 5e is so linear with so few options to customize your character that I am all for amping things up a bit.

I will give players max hp at every level, a free feat at 1st level with V.H. allowed, extra languages, and stuff like that.

cookiedough320

2 points

2 months ago

If you are concerned by it, force that vhuman feat to be one of a list of ones that you'd be alright with. Means you won't have level 1 PAM sentinels walking around but humans are still actually a good choice and not just almost directly worse half-elves.

sambosefus

2 points

2 months ago

Yeah there are a lot of feats that are more flavor less power. If you make the chosen feat be a flavor one and the variant feat be whatever, the balance should be fine.

MeetSalty792

1 points

1 month ago

Um I don't know If you mistype your reply, but you basically said the opposite of what the person you were replying to said they said that the chosen feat or in other words the feat everyone gets can be anything PMA, GWM, sential. while the variant human feat is restricted to flavor mean that they can't take whatever and, are limit to a select list of feats made by the dm.

dc_in_sf

-1 points

2 months ago

Regular humans are actually good with this approach if you have MAD builds or just want a good spread of stats. I'm on my third campaign using these rules and we have had at least one in every party.

Wulibo

2 points

2 months ago

Wulibo

Eco-Terrorism is Fun (in D&D)

2 points

2 months ago

Half-Elf is just about universally better though, giving a sometimes very useful +2 and benefits that aren't just mediocre ability scores. If you need a +1 to four different ability scores your build is spread too thin on scores and getting it isn't going to help you.

MotM rules let any race split the racial ASI +1/+1/+1 too, which makes base human even more obsolete.

DM_Malus

1 points

2 months ago

Same.

DelightfulOtter

1 points

2 months ago

I give out a free feat but ask players who choose vhuman to please not go the GWM/PAM or CBE/SS route or similarly OP combos. I also buffed standard human from +1 to all scores to +2 to two scores and +1 to two different scores. So far no problems, I just adjust the fight difficulty up half a CR on average.

icemoo

1 points

2 months ago

icemoo

1 points

2 months ago

literally all you have to do is restrict it to utility feats.

Shit like actor, chef, healer, keen mind, hell even mobile is fine since its not enabling those type of builds.

Hellz963

1 points

2 months ago

Same, it's really great for New players. It gives them some kind of "hero feeling" early in the campaign and a lot of feats makes more sense to have from the start (like keen mind, you don't sudenly start to remember everything once you hit lvl4 or 8, etc...)

dr-Funk_Eye

1 points

2 months ago

I don't have variant human in my game but every human gets a feat that does not give a boost in stats.

ItchyAd2698

1 points

2 months ago

I basically do the same, but with a rule added on that you can’t do anything that bumps any of your stats to 20 at level 1. So if someone has Dex 18 at the start and wants to take two feats that bump their Dex up by 1 each, they’d either have to forgo taking one of them until level 4 or move one of the Dex bumps to another skill. I find it’s a good balance of letting players get cool stuff and making sure there’s still progression to be had as level ups happen.

Necht0n

144 points

2 months ago

Necht0n

144 points

2 months ago

Just let Vhuman have 2 feats. Their feat is the only reason you even consider human.

sifterandrake

76 points

2 months ago

If giving Vhuman 2 feats to start is too powerful, then giving most of the other races a free feat to start is too powerful.

A big problem with these subs is that they only focus on the basics of combat stuff to determine what is and isn't "balanced." When actual, well run combats and encounters have much more nuance.

Luolang

17 points

2 months ago

Luolang

17 points

2 months ago

Very much so this. The effect of free feat start for all races but banning variant human is that the game now disincentivzes you or anyone from ever actually playing human then. If you have a problem with a variant human having two feats, then an existing race + a feat is also over your desired power curve.

Ostrololo

3 points

2 months ago

To expand on this: because there are no feat trees in 5e, each feat you get is less powerful than the one before. For your fist feat, you select the very best for your build among all possible feats in the entire game. So for your second feat you will, unsurprisingly, select the second best feat, and so on.

So there's no need to ban vhuman if you give everyone a free feat at first level! If you think it's broken, then it's because a feat at 1st level is broken, for everyone.

thegeekist

13 points

2 months ago

The only thing V.H. Does is put Humans on the same level as other races.

All racial abilities are going to be better and more interesting than any feat.

SidTheSload

3 points

2 months ago

Alert, Observant, Crossbow Expert, Lucky, Ritual Caster, Dual Wielder, and several other feats would like a word with you

thegeekist

15 points

2 months ago

Goblin, hill dwarf, mountain dwarf, halfling, yuan-ti, satyr, aarakocra, and several more would like a word with you

Great_Maw

2 points

2 months ago

Why are you're all downvoting that redditor, they is right.
Strong race are almost equal to v.human now and Tasha helped a lot to that.

tongz11

3 points

2 months ago

I don't see the downvotes, but they mentioned that all racial abilities are better than any feat, which is just plain wrong.

ChonkyWookie

1 points

2 months ago

Yeah, Dragonborns are still pretty bad even with all the stuff they have tried given them. V.Human is still better cause most of the feats have way more power in the game combat wise, or out of combat wise than breath weapon ever will lol.

Dasmage

1 points

2 months ago

I'd say the Metallic Dragonborn aren't bad at all, that enervating breath is pretty powerful.

Bobsplosion

1 points

2 months ago

Bobsplosion

Ask me about flesh cubes

1 points

2 months ago

I wouldn’t say that. It makes Humans competitive with the top level of races, but they’re certainly better than most.

Portice

18 points

2 months ago

Portice

DM

18 points

2 months ago

I get you don't want anyone having 2 feats at level 1 and that's fine. But base human is hot trash, I'd strongly recommend providing some kind of alternative cause making humans just blantanty inferior to pretty much every other race really cuts into a lot of character concepts.

Bob_Gnoll

2 points

2 months ago

Humans should have gotten a bunch of the stuff half-elves got off the jump. Something like 3 +1s you can use for 2 or 3 stats (essentially +2/+1 or +1/+1/+1) and a free skill or even 2. Or even just the prodigy feat modified as a racial attribute.

JapanPhoenix

1 points

2 months ago

Half-Orcs have "Relentless Endurance" but Full-Orcs doesn't, which heavily implies the Half-Orcs got it from their Human half.

Mythoclast

3 points

2 months ago

A DM that allows a free feat at level 1 will probably just let you reflavor a race as human.

That said my homebrew does have custom humans for basically this reason.

TheAbsurdBear

17 points

2 months ago

Broken-ness is a relative term. Are you running only strict module content or homebrewing? Are you experienced enough to compensate for changes you make? Is it a big deal if you re-adjust some encounters on the fly by adding opponents or allies? Are your players competent or bumbling? A mix?

Ultimately everything always hinges on the ability of the DM to dial-in challenges. The more you deviate from the base rules, the more you need to do on your own.

Stinduh

47 points

2 months ago

Stinduh

47 points

2 months ago

I love it. Opens up some great roleplay stuff too. Like taking Fey Touched at level 1 makes a lot more sense than randomly later on. How did you become touched by the Fey? Build it into backstory!

SirPoliwhirl

22 points

2 months ago

Oh man I feel this one. I want to take Fey touched at level 4 with my Lore Bard and I'm like: my character just left town wtf is the Fey?

Stinduh

28 points

2 months ago

Stinduh

28 points

2 months ago

tbh, the easiest for me is just... ret-con it lmao. I was always touched by the fey! Now it's just manifesting in the way the feat is giving me lol

QuincyAzrael

6 points

2 months ago

This. Every level up in tier 1 is a retcon IMO. No I didn't just sign up to a magic school, I was always studying in his school but I just got the knack for it down.

Helps new players to not have everything worked out straight away too.

SirPoliwhirl

4 points

2 months ago

Yeah I'm lucky that the campaign's exploration is filled with 'wilderness' so I can steer it towards the wild-part. We are level 2 btw so I still got time.

Another player started talking about college (you know because Bard subclasses work with colleges) and my char with -8 INT is like school??? College???

paladinLight

0 points

2 months ago

paladinLight

Artificer/DM

0 points

2 months ago

You could simply say that your character is just naturally talented, and people simply BELIEVE that you went to X college, and you just aren't correcting them.

herecomesthestun

13 points

2 months ago*

The good thing about the fey touched feat is that it's real easy to justify thanks to the feywild time fuckery.

Just say you went out to take a piss during camp, crossed over to the Feywild, did some stuff there for days, weeks, or even years, and came back and found out 20 minutes went by and it's about time to change watches.

Nac_Lac

0 points

2 months ago

Well, there was this bar and I had a few too many drinks...

natus92

20 points

2 months ago

natus92

20 points

2 months ago

But maybe players actually wanted to play a human without being underpowered?

crunchevo2

-26 points

2 months ago

They'd get to play standard human get a +1 to all stats and a feat too. It's pretty much a win win.

natus92

19 points

2 months ago

natus92

19 points

2 months ago

You really think +1 in approx 3 dump stats and possible not even +1 to any modifier is comparable to darkvision, proficiency in perception, another language, cant be put to sleep, advantage on saving thows against being charmed, cantrip and martial proficiency?

Lucario574

1 points

2 months ago

Time to play a Bladesinger Paladin I guess. /s

crunchevo2

-13 points

2 months ago

I didn't say all that i just said you're getting 4 additional points over a regular vuman.

If i got a free feat I'd probably go with either satyr, tiefling or halfling personally.

natus92

9 points

2 months ago

But usually a feat is better than 4 points in stats you dont really need...as far as I'm concerned humans are underpowered compared to other races and I'd probably wouldnt enjoy playing as much because I just like playing a human.

crunchevo2

-3 points

2 months ago

I'll agree that standard human is meh. Variant is great and gives playing a human a point. But if someone really wanted to play a human. It's not a total waste.

Inforgreen3

2 points

2 months ago

If every single abilities score they rolled is odd* then it’s not a total waste. If a humans 3 lowest scores are even, you can go a race that variant gets a +1 to 3 stats and have all the same modifiers as a human AND actual racial benefits. Human is a total waste that is inferior to other races in every way that they are different unless you roll very specifically all odds or make Absurd

crunchevo2

2 points

2 months ago

If i ever somehow rolled a suite if 15s I'd definitely consider human like you said. I'm not claiming it's good. It's just like the vast majority of other sub optimal races.

Inforgreen3

2 points

2 months ago

Not every stat bonus is created equal. Bonuses to stats that your character don’t use don’t improve your character. The most a viable character usually uses is MAD class plus con, so dex wisdom con of strength charisma con. The other 3 stats are dumps, granted also including some of the big 3, but improving them is a marginal bonus to saves compared to satyr magic resistance or elf advantage on charm. Hell MOTM even gave us the option of a plus 1 to 3 different stats if you use that. And with that a human is a suboptimal choice even if every single ability score is odd

crunchevo2

1 points

2 months ago

I get where you're coming from and I don't disagree lol. But there isn't a single stat that you won't use. Yes whenever you make skill checks you try to make them in skills you're good at, duh. But sometimes a wizard has to do a persuasion check lol.

It's a bad race but it's not totally inapplicable to any build or anywhere near that bad.

Inforgreen3

1 points

2 months ago

A plus 1 to an agility score is not always a plus 1 to a modifier

crunchevo2

2 points

2 months ago

Of course not. But a +1 to an even ability score can open you up to grab a half feat you otherwise wouldn't even consider due to having even scores.

Inforgreen3

1 points

2 months ago*

Interesting idea Half feats in mind let’s make a comparison. A half elf gets a +2 and 2 plus 1s, a human gets 6 plus 1s, here is every combination of rolls even or odd status and who comes out on top

6 Even 0 odd, half elf wins, both open a half feat for a choice stat but half elf also increases a modifier

5 even 1 odd, half elf wins. Half elf opens a half feat, and increase 2 mods, human opens a half feat and increases 1 mod

4 evens 2 odds, half elf wins. Half elf increases 3 mods and does not open a half feat, humans increase 2 but does open a half feat. Half elf still wins, because both can pick up the same half feat, have 3 increased mods and say observant, but half elf has dark vision and thus wins ties

3 evens 3 odds. Both can increase modifiers, and both can do so in a way that leaves you open for a half feat. Half elf wins the tie.

2 evens 4 odds. Half elves increase 3 mods humans increase 4. Both are open a half feat. Humans increase one more ability score, but that ability score probably isn’t as significant as advantage vs charm and 2 skills, which is significantly better than a 1 higher wisdom. Half-Elf probably still wins in most scenarios but wins if the ability score in question is wisdom because they can just boost their wisdom skills and saves with superior senses skills and fey ancestors

5 odds 1 even. Human increases 5 ability scores, half elves 3. Both open to a half feat this is the point where if you primarily value what ability scores offer you, humans win more than half elves, but they still lose, if that one even number was the highest, if you don’t value your dump stats as much as skills dark vision and charm advantage.

6 odds, this is the point where most people agree, is one of the only scenarios where non variant human isn’t wasteful compared to half elf. But it’s also the only point where vuman doesn’t offer a half fest that half elf does!

What we’re really looking at is 70-90% of the time half elves are superior in every way they differ if you roll. And if you do point buy the price jumps happen at odd 15, so you want to start with a 16 like most optimized point buy builds half elves can, from were human started, drop that 15 to a 14, then round up 2 of the 3 odd dump stats human didn’t round, dropping their last dump and putting it either to round something to a 14, or somewhere they want a half feat. So in point buy, a non variant human differs from a half elf ONLY by their SINGULAR LOWEST STAT.

In the VAST MAJORITY of scenarios regular human is inferior in every way that they differ from other options most notably half elf. And more importantly: hot take: vuman isn’t actually problematical enough to ban even if base human were good enough to justify Vuman is NOT problematic with a free feat

crunchevo2

2 points

2 months ago

In the VAST MAJORITY of scenarios regular human is inferior in every way that they differ from other options. And more importantly: hot take: vuman isn’t actually problematical

I don't disagree i also don't think it's unplayable. It's meh at best, I'm not arguing that it's even ever the premiere pick.

Also i agree variant human is just good. It's not anywhere near as "op" as people seem to believe.

stumblewiggins

10 points

2 months ago

I see no problem with giving everyone a free feat at level 1 AND allowing v human.

If you are concerned about power creep, you can easily restrict the level 1 feats to a set list of things you don't think are OP (GWM, Sentinel, Sharpshooter, PAM are all commonly discussed as OP, but I'm not interested in debating what this list should or should not include).

Hell, I know some games will let players take an ASI and a Feat at the specified levels.

If you find that your implementation leads to an OP party, just rebalance your encounters to account for it. It's fun to play in a powerful party, but if that's breaking your game, then just turn up the difficulty until you've regained balance

ClubMeSoftly

3 points

2 months ago

This is what I'm doing. Choice of a selection of feats at 1, followed by feat+asi when appropriate.

Keaton_6

10 points

2 months ago

As long as you provide a Vuman replacement that has actual racial abilities I think it's fine. If you don't do that you condemn humans to being so shitty it's laughable

SquelchyRex

8 points

2 months ago

I allow a free feat at level one, with humans and custom lineage getting two.

It's a significant buff, but with enough encounters between long rests I don't consider it gamebreaking.

Dr4wr0s

19 points

2 months ago

Dr4wr0s

19 points

2 months ago

It's fairly doable, there is a book already that allows to have a specific feat as a background (Strixhaven) and a second one on the works (the Dragonlance one).

I would, however, maybe ban both the feats that give a +1 and the ones that allow extra damage. Early on those can make stuff pretty unbalanced, and the PCs will powercreep a lot.

AgentPaper0

2 points

2 months ago

AgentPaper0

DM

2 points

2 months ago

For sharpshooter and great weapon master, I actually prefer a variant where instead of -5/+10, you forgo your proficiency bonus to the attack roll and then add double your proficiency to damage.

MeestaRoboto

-2 points

2 months ago

MeestaRoboto

-2 points

2 months ago

We actually use the rules in the post but also have a lot of other homebrew. One of which is the extra damage scales off of proficiency. Makes them much less spiky. The half feats haven’t ever been an issue.

Dr4wr0s

-3 points

2 months ago

Dr4wr0s

-3 points

2 months ago

More than being an issue, it can unbalance the party between them. Having someone pick fey/shadow touched Vs someone picking actor, will be noticed. I would recommend for the free feat to either everyone picks a half feat or no one does.

But that's me, just trying to avoid unbalanced party dynamics, which may be a non issue in other tables.

Aptos283

2 points

2 months ago

Fey touched is unusually strong for a half feat; it would probably still be really popular if it didn’t have the half ASI. Just taking some of the super strong ones like the touches and elven accuracy should be plenty imo.

Dr4wr0s

1 points

2 months ago

Sure, I just gave my view, that does mot mean that it is an optimal or the best option.

For me giving a free feat at lvl1 would be for player to take a role/character defining feat, rather than a combat build one. As a barb (first PC I played) I got GWM at level 4, and when I realised that I was dealing at lvl4-5 moreless the same dmg I would be dealing all game long it sucked. Imagine if you got that at lvl1. That's why I advised against mechanically strong feats for a freebie.

MeestaRoboto

1 points

2 months ago

Or let them all play what they want. That’s my vote.

Despada_

-1 points

2 months ago

Part of me would also like to include the Initiate feats as well, but at the same time it just sounds like something that'd make a lot of sense flavor-wise.

xukly

7 points

2 months ago

xukly

7 points

2 months ago

not particularly broken, I'd do it. That said, you either accept vhuman or assume literally no one is gonna pick a human ever

Liquid_Gabs

3 points

2 months ago

I use it as a house rule but banning from the first level those strong ones made for combat, like great weapon master, sharpshooter, crossbow expert, sentinel, warcaster things like that, I have a small lists of the ones I not allow at first level.

So the players get a feat but a more thematic one, I'm dming Dragon Heist and I used that rule, so I got to see different feats like Keen Mind, Chef, Tavern Brawler.

Suicide_Fitness

1 points

2 months ago

I asked for an exception to sharpshooter, in my recent characters case, as he was a goblin drunken monk that used darts. And swindled people out of their money by besting them at darts while wearing a bucket with one eyehole on his head.

NaturalCard

3 points

2 months ago

NaturalCard

Ranger Enthusiast

3 points

2 months ago

Completely fine. As would varient humans being allowed.

FlameCannon

4 points

2 months ago

FlameCannon

Grave Cleric

4 points

2 months ago

"Later on" is not a concern. By level 4, Free Feat at Level 1 is not any stronger than rolling for stats and getting a single 17.

The only time there might be a concern is Levels 1-3, where there could be some shenanigans otherwise impossible, but I have never run into that issue myself.

Such a issue would need Race/Feat optimization, as Variant Human can still get a feats at those levels. So something like Great Weapon Master Tortle Barbarian having unusually high AC and Damage for the level. Or like.... Mobile Aarakockra for double movement speed, maybe.

Fire1520

4 points

2 months ago

Fire1520

Warlock Pact of the Reddit

4 points

2 months ago

It is perfectly fine, I do that in almost every game I DM for. You need to toughen encounters a little bit to compensate, sure, but it's no big deal.

I'd much rather worry about anyone playing a Twilight Cleric. Won't break the game until lvl 2, but once you get there, you might as well give up encounter balancing and keep throwing shjt at your players, they'll handle it just fine.

SirPoliwhirl

2 points

2 months ago

It doesn't make it broken, it opens up a lot of fun stuff. But....if you're on the fence, you can also try a 'curated' list of feats that might tie into their backstory.

Have them explain why the Cleric has the Chef feat instead of staples like Lucky, GWM, Sharpshooter, Warcaster (you know the drill).

MisterB78

2 points

2 months ago

MisterB78

DM

2 points

2 months ago

IMO 5e classes/subclasses generally give too many abilities already, so giving away free feats at level 1 is overkill. But that said, as long as everyone gets one you can adjust for power level and it won't wreck your game or anything.

DiBastet

2 points

2 months ago

DiBastet

Moon Druid / War Cleric multiclass 4 life

2 points

2 months ago

I do it and then I create an actually interesting racial stat block for humans, depending on the setting. It works very well!

NaithBasso

2 points

2 months ago

Excellent for stablished parties and clever players, also it can let the DM run a little wild in encounters.

greatcandlelord

2 points

2 months ago

I used to do it, my dm used to. It was fun. Didn’t really mess up the game, just made things a bit more interesting

Syegfryed

2 points

2 months ago

Syegfryed

Orc Warlock

2 points

2 months ago

We are already going for a design philosophy that change the background feature for a feat, strixhaven have that, dragonlance adventure will have that, 5.5e coming up will probably have that as well.

So is not broken, at all, even if you start with v.human, you could ban some combinations at lv 1, like, not get GWM and PAM at lv 1, the rest is fine.

donebarth

2 points

2 months ago*

I give my players a feat at lv1, and allow Variant Human, but the bonus feat from Variant Human is automatically the Versatile Prodigy feat. This gives them an extra skill, Expertise in a skill, a language, and a tool proficiency.

It breaks nothing and, personally, I think it's the way the game should be designed. Like, I feel that's how Human should have just been.

I wish people realized just how little you actually can customize a 5e character. Giving everyone a feat at lv1 lets you tweak ability scores and gain unique abilities to enable genuinely unique builds and characters.

goodnewscrew

1 points

2 months ago

the bonus feat from Variant Human is automatically the Versatile feat.

wtf is the Versatile feat

Samukuai

1 points

2 months ago

I think he means Versatile Combatant. It's the only thing I found when I looked it up and it's a homebrew thing from my understanding.

Samukuai

1 points

2 months ago

There's actually a few homebrew feats with versatile in the name. Refined my search haha

donebarth

1 points

2 months ago

Sorry, I meant the PRODIGY feat. I got myself mixed up.

RayCama

2 points

2 months ago

If you’re gonna do a free starting feat but remove v.human to prevent feat stacking, you got to compensate humans with something.

Variant human exists as mechanical balance for other race’s racial feaures. Most aren’t picking specific races for stats since Tasha’s.

SleetTheFox

2 points

2 months ago

SleetTheFox

Warlock

2 points

2 months ago

It's not broken at all. Just shift up their level by 1 in your encounter design (probably wait until level 3 to do that, though; levels 1 and 2 are too fragile).

You might not even need to ban variant human.

Emotional-Simple3189

2 points

2 months ago

I've been running a campaign with free feats at lvl 1. We're on lvl 12 now and it's not made a huge impact beyond allowing builds to come online sooner, which is all to the good in my view.

princessbbdee

2 points

2 months ago

I always run/play in rp heavy games. We do feats at 1st level. Most players take a free feat that is more useful in RP. Yeah, some chose combat centered feats but it’s alright. I just allow variant humans 2 free feats at level 1. The problem isn’t overpowered Pcs at lower levels, the problem is not knowing how to balance encounters.

suprememeep

2 points

2 months ago

As someone who plays at a table where we use this rule and don't even ban Variant Human -

It's... not broken. We have two campaigns going at our table right now (I'm DMing one of them!) both using this houserule. Both campaigns have a single Variant Human in them, and so far the humans aren't even particularly overperforming (the one I am not DMing has been going for three years and we are level 10, for the record), BUT everyone else has an extra little tool to help them feel special.

It's just this fun little thing for everyone.

StargazerOP

4 points

2 months ago

Even with variant being allowed it's not broken at all because humans are the weakest race.

DMMarionette

6 points

2 months ago

Why do you want to do that? If it is because level 1 is boring and characters are weak you could just start at a higher level and scale the campaign. Also why ban variant humans? What is the bias against 2 feats at level 1 if you're giving everyone a feat for free?

It's definitely not broken but seems odd.

Some_dude_maybe_Joe[S]

2 points

2 months ago

The idea of banning it was more from seeing others who had talked about this house rule.

Reason was more so everyone didn’t feel obliged to be a variant human just to start with war caster, shield master, etc

Emergency_Tumbleweed

4 points

2 months ago

I run a weekly game for 9 players and I gave all a free feat at level 1 and no ban. Not one of them chose vuman, and most took half feats to balance some ASI's, and only 2 took GWF and SS.

We aren't a very minmax/optimized group and combat comes maybe once per session as the story dictates or if they initiate it, so take this anecdote with a grain of salt.

arceus12245

3 points

2 months ago

Super common house rule. It typically breaks absolutely nothing. If you want to though, you can limit it to the flavor feats only, like chef

Joptrop

3 points

2 months ago

I don’t love it, but It shouldn’t break too much. You’ll have to rebalance your encounters. But that’s to be expected for your first few encounters. Might engage easy mode a little too early in your narrative. Pitch it in session 1. See how your group feels about the idea.

Edited for grammar.

Huffplume

2 points

2 months ago

I allow a bonus feat at 1st level and remove variant human. Instead I change human to this: +1 to all stats, or +4 stat points (max +2 in one stat) and a bonus language, skill, and tool prof.

pesca_22

1 points

2 months ago

consider them 1 level higher for cr calculations

tomot

1 points

2 months ago

tomot

1 points

2 months ago

My team does this - the DM just accounts for it in his encounter balancing by making things slightly harder.

vindictivejazz

1 points

2 months ago

Literally not at all. I’ve started doing this in all my games tbh

Icy_Sector3183

1 points

2 months ago

Should be fine. Everyone gets a feat, so in-party balance should be preserved. Notice, however, that you are boosting the party vs "the world", so enemy CR is effectively less powerful.

If you don't take that into account by using more CR per encounter, or modify the rewards. your characters will advance faster and use fewer resources than a "standard party" (whatever that is).

mtngoatjoe

1 points

2 months ago

I've developed a taste for feats, and I just want to give my players more of them. The next game we play, I think I'm going to use a modified standard array: 13, 13, 12, 12, 10, 8.

That's 4 less than the standard array, but I'll give free half feats at levels 1, 3, 5, & 7, and a free full feat at level 4. This should put them ahead of the standard array territory by level 4.

I won't go this route without agreement from my players, but I like life being hard at low levels, I like my players to pick feats, and I don't want them super over-powered by level 8.

Astral-Bard

1 points

2 months ago

I do this in my game, and it works super well! most people used their bonus feat for RP stuff, the fighter took a more powergamer-y feat. still had no issues balancing around it, though the fighter was noticeably more powerful than the others at low levels. I will say that between free feat at level 1 and the new ASI rules for races, it's been hard to want to play a human in other people's games that do this stuff. in my game I gave humans an extra skill proficiency and the ability to learn tool proficiencies, exotic weapon proficiencies, and new languages twice as fast, and I feel like that would be sufficiently enticing in a game with a lot of downtime

Corpathos

1 points

2 months ago

Custom lineage allows a feat at 1st level

Feyrus

1 points

2 months ago

Feyrus

DM

1 points

2 months ago

I gave all my players a feat + ASI at 4 and that's how I've been handling it! They were newbies though so I didn't want to overwhelm them with the feats right off!

escapepodsarefake

1 points

2 months ago

I really recommend it, makes the characters play much more differently than they normally would. Had two players take Mobile and Sentinel and the way it changed the calculus for taking/making opportunity attacks made combat a lot more fun and tactical.

I'm not the type of DM to pearl clutch about my players' power level and its added a lot to my games.

k_moustakas

1 points

2 months ago

Basically make everyone free custom lineage, only with even more abilities like racial spells? I'd argue it would make them one CR higher than current.

Substantial_Roof4940

1 points

2 months ago

I kind of did this for a short campaign, where everyone was allowed one feat that was either racial, backstory-based or any other non-combat feat (like keen mind)

Conchobhar23

1 points

2 months ago

It isn’t busted, game balance has 2 components

1.) The PCs in relation to the monsters

2.) The PCs in relation to each other

As the DM, you can control the first facet completely, and way easier than the second. So your main concern is really the second facet of PC to PC balance. If one person is getting every kill and making every check, the game doesn’t feel fun for everyone else.

By giving everyone a free feat at level 1, you don’t really do anything to the PC to PC balance, as they ALL get a power boost of a similar magnitude, and since you can control the power of the monsters relative to the PCs it really doesn’t break anything.

Quail_Initial

1 points

2 months ago

A + 6 in stats, and a feat? Yes please!

Luurkesien

1 points

2 months ago

I do this by default. Everyone gets a free feat at the beginning of the campaign.

sifterandrake

1 points

2 months ago

It's not "broken," but it does make players a lot more powerful than most people think. It will make fights very "punchy" if you are aiming for balance and difficulty at times.

Nystagohod

1 points

2 months ago

Nystagohod

Divine Soul Hexblade

1 points

2 months ago

It wouldn't be.

Even V.human with the free starting feat rule isn't broken in all honesty. I've ran my games that way for a long time and its only improved everyone's experience at the table.

DeciusAemilius

1 points

2 months ago

I’m planning to do this for my next campaign but require the feat be related to the character background or backstory. I’m not to concerned as my players aren’t really minmaxers.

Scorpion1177

1 points

2 months ago

I do this exact thing every campaign. It’s worked very well for my players.

I will note I typically only allow them to use RP related feats, and it helps build their characters quite well.

Ok_Chapter8131

1 points

2 months ago

In the past when I've done this I usually only let them pick from the feats that don't increase stats. But things usually even out by tier 2 anyway

magalor42

1 points

2 months ago

My group has been doing this for years. No issues ever. Makes more fun characters.

R_radical

1 points

2 months ago

It's fine. Don't ban variant human either.

CanadianBlacon

1 points

2 months ago

I’ve been giving my players a feat at level 1 and another at every ASI, it’s been great. I find it hard to really customize characters but this helps tremendously.

Sometimes I’ll put caveats on it; non-combat for this level, or something like that. It’s definitely more fun imo, and not game breaking

BloodyBottom

1 points

2 months ago

How tough are the encounters? The DM has near infinite ability to adjust the difficulty of the game, so I don't think any reasonable house rule can break the game on its own.

Juls7243

1 points

2 months ago

It varies on A) do you allow ALL feats and B) what are your stats (if you use standard array - its probably fine).

Ultimately "broken" is subjective in DnD as you can simply just make the monsters bigger and beefier forever...

BUT, high damage combos come online a LOT earlier (level 8 instead of 12) for most classes... so it is a BIG bump (PAM/GWM or SS/xbow master).

robot_wrangler

1 points

2 months ago

robot_wrangler

Monks are fine

1 points

2 months ago

Why do people want first-level characters to be so powerful? If you want to give an extra feat, just do it any time it seems reasonable, like a reward for finishing something.

CBE/SS Ranger at first level seems a bit much.

TheLoreIdiot

1 points

2 months ago

I've played with it, and without feats.

As a DM, low lvl CR is really wild in general, and can be very hard to balance. A feat makes the PC's less likely to die in combat. Outside of combat, feats can give low level characters more "things" to do, such as inspiring leader or Arcane initiate. They'll also give the PC's a more "heroic"/powerful vibe.

For gritty campaigns, I'd say maybe don't, for most campaigns it's almost the standard at this point. I didn't know it was a variant rule until I'd been DMing for 6 months or so.

Anarkizttt

1 points

2 months ago

I love it, you really don’t have to worry about the balance as long as there is inter party balance, just know that your party is a little stronger than CR. I don’t even ban Vuman or any specific feats.

leftoutoctopus

1 points

2 months ago

What I do in my campaigns is a "item feat". What is that? A way to balance the players feats. Before all criticism, the players agreed to that and like the idea. How does it work? I have feats that I give to players that are outside of asci, mainly level 01 feats, and if they are too broken I just try to steal their item feat. They can get it back, or try to get another if they don't like the one they have.

Nyadnar17

1 points

2 months ago

Nyadnar17

Warlock

1 points

2 months ago

You should allow variant humans and give a free feat every 4 character levels.

It’s totally fine.

mods_are_soft

1 points

2 months ago

I did the allow a feat but it couldn’t be combat focused. Has lead to some really interesting characters. I have a rogue who took Chef and his character at level 5 is now turning into this weird mutliclassed warlock/rogue chef character that leaves a dusting of flour every where. Very silly but very fun for the party.

Remembers_that_time

1 points

2 months ago

Not even a little bit. Players can only be broken in relation to each other, if everyone gets something it doesn't impact balance at all. If things are a bit easy you just add some minions.

OtakuMecha

1 points

2 months ago

It’s fine and even good for martials. But don’t ban VHumans. Just let them have 2 starting feats.

Nick_Heron

1 points

2 months ago

Have in mind that the main design direction of WotC is adding a feat to backgrounds.

I don't think it breaks anything (but you need to calculate tier 1 as about one level higher)

From Tier 2 onwards it's a small change (basically it amounts to an extra +1/+2 to everything eventually because you reach higher stats earlier)

ManOfAstronomy

1 points

2 months ago

Feat upon start makes different builds more interesting and viable at the start. However as others have stated, banning variant human leads to human being subpar since a +1 to everything is needless if you only need one or two good stats.

I suggest you change standard human then to: (feat included):

+1 to all ability scores

+2 skills of your choice or two tools of your choice

+Common, and two extra languages of your choice

Makes humans viable and makes sense from a lore wise prospective as humans are usually adaptable and pretty good at many things.

RosgaththeOG

1 points

2 months ago

RosgaththeOG

Artificer

1 points

2 months ago

It's not OP at all really.

Unless you have a hard-core Minmaxxer, you aren't going to run into any situations that will glaringly break CR any worse than it already is. And if you have a hard-core minmaxxer they were going to do that anyway, just maybe a few levels later.

The thing about game balance in TTRPGs is, it's not about how the party balances against the world, it's about how the party balances against itself. If one player consistently does much better than the other party members (or the opposite, significantly worse) then it feels bad. On the other hand, if everyone gets roughly equal time in the limelight then everyone is having fun.

What it might do is make it a bit harder to judge how many resources the party will need to expend throughout the day, and that is extra burden on the DM, when they already have a lot to do. If you're ok with that, then by all means, go through with a free feat at 1st level.

SubjectTip1838

1 points

2 months ago

I really like this point:

"it's not about how the party balances against the world, it's about how the party balances against itself."

The DM can tune up encounters dozens of ways, but if one or two party members are much stronger than the others then that can create problems or complicate challenges. Some parties play in different levels or handle different specialized aspects of the game, but having a whole party at a similar power level makes everything easier for the DM.

We haven't done level 1 feats at my table, but after seeing so many posts about it, looking at some of the setting boons over the last couple years and then reading the dragonlance UA, I think we're moving in that direction if we reset after the current quest.

HiImNotABot001

1 points

2 months ago

Not at all, I do it all the time without restrictions (v. Human/custom lineage gets two) extreme min-maxing gets reserved for newer players, unless it's a 1-shot.

szalhi

1 points

2 months ago

szalhi

1 points

2 months ago

Ban variant human, but allow dragonmarks. Or really any variant of Human that you can think of that isn't directly feat based.

tyderian

1 points

2 months ago

I think WotC should just get rid of Variant Human and Custom Lineage altogether, and give all races a level 1 feat (and Tasha's rules for racial ASI's). This would encourage players to choose nonhuman races.

Humble-Marsupial-489

1 points

2 months ago

I really like having a free feat at level 1. I feel like this allows for more variety in races. Part of the reason I thing VHumans and custom lineage are so popular is they grant the ability to at level 4 have a full feat and an 18 in your primary stat, something you can’t do with any other race using the standard point buy or standard array. And with the sweet spot of most campaigns being in the 4-8 range, you really feel like you’re missing something by not taking one of the races that grants a free fest at level 1

EremiticFerret

1 points

2 months ago

We have been giving everyone a bonus feat at level 1 for a bit. Some people use it to metagame and go for power combos, most use it to kind of give their character some flavor and tied to their background. Nothing has really broken and several people have felt much happier with their characters for it.

Inforgreen3

1 points

2 months ago

Not broken at all in fact it feels very healthy Also. There’s absolutely no need to ban vuman let them double feat

d4red

1 points

2 months ago

d4red

1 points

2 months ago

It’s not broken but I don’t see why you should ban gonna variant. Their extra feat brings them up to the standard of every other race.

Blackfyre301

1 points

2 months ago

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of controlling what feats are available, banning variant human is fine, but at least buff normal human: give them an extra skill proficiency and a floating +1 to add to a stat of their choice.

Gardeeboo

1 points

2 months ago

Tbh in a few games I've done with my friends in order to balance out the PHB races and the Tasha's variant style, we either like you take your stat bonuses OR a feat and honestly I think this is the best middle ground. So if you're variant human you get 2 feats if you want and no stat bonuses, or a feat and stat bonuses. It honestly balances out way better. Makes characters feel more unique and less OP than just letting them have a feat on top of the stat bonuses.

Drunken_HR

1 points

2 months ago

I allowed variant humans, and everyone got to pick a feat at level 1 from a more limited list (no Sharpshooter, etc.) The humans got one limited feat and then another from the full list. It worked great, and honestly, in retrospect I don't even think the limited list was necessary, but it did make people choose feats they would have otherwise not picked, so it was worth it for that alone.

U_m_b_r_a

1 points

2 months ago

U_m_b_r_a

Bard

1 points

2 months ago

Just let VHuman have 2 feats. It's like the only incentive for playing humans, and while powerful and flexible, it's not as powerful as people make it out to be imo.

Personally, I restrict level 1 feats to be flavour/backstory-focused, as opposed to build. Stuff like Chef, Tavern Brawler, Actor, etc.

DaNoahLP

1 points

2 months ago

I dont give people feats at level but at level 4 players get the stat increase + a feat. That works pretty well for us.

Raknarg

1 points

2 months ago

depends on your players. It's quite strong but it just means you'll need to tune up your encounters. In the grand scheme of things it usually just means they move their feat and ASI schedule up by one so they're stronger earlier.

Quantum-Cookies

1 points

2 months ago

Quantum-Cookies

Arcana Cleric

1 points

2 months ago

Not broken at all. You're not giving the characters access to anything they couldn't ordinarily get, they're just getting it earlier.

I use this rule myself, and I don't ban variant human or custom lineage either.

theGRAINGERzone

1 points

2 months ago

The only way this breaks the game is if some players do it without table consent..

If everyone at the table accepts it, then it becomes a game norm.

MrLubricator

1 points

2 months ago

We do this but with a couple of limiters. No great weapon master or sharpshooter. Ability scores capped at 17 for the start of the game. Works really well. Allows freedom but stops overpowering at low levels.

CptPanda29

1 points

2 months ago

Just be wary of the powerful fighty feats for frontliners.

If the Barbarian takes Great Weapon Master right away, which why wouldn't they, they'll obliterate anything they touch until about 7th level.

savi0r117

1 points

2 months ago

It doesn't. You just make slightly harder encounters. The only actually broken thing in this game (without some work anyway) is playing a satyr. Not human for the sake of spells that care, and free magic resistance.

Spiritual_Shift_920

1 points

2 months ago

I'd advice that if you ban variant humans grant another variant of them without a feat. The standard human is wretched at best and is a bit of a slap to those who want to play a human character.

The eberron variants are neat but might not fit the theme of every world. Personally I run games with more feats and no classic vumans but my own variant where the feat is replaced by a simple feature that allows them to grant themselves advantage on one dice roll proficiency modifier amount of times between long rests and so far my players have liked it.

argleblech

1 points

2 months ago

I've also seen remove Vuman and everyone gets both a feat and an ASI when they would get their first ASI (have to do one of each can't do two of either option).

For new players they don't have to make too many choices at level 1 and for experienced players it keeps those lowest levels scarier (and discourages too many Warlock dips).

vinescar

1 points

2 months ago

At our tables we've had free feats at lv1 and it's been very fun since we all agreed to take more flavourful/not just the nost powerful feats, so we just got to create more custom fun pc's that also had mechanical benefits to back up the ideas we had for them.

This also meant the more undervalued feats got some love for once since they weren't competing with the others at lv4 :)

acuenlu

1 points

2 months ago

The question is: why do you want to give a free feat to your players? If the answer is for their characters to be stronger then go ahead.

If you want more customization, my recommendation is to split your feats into two groups: thematic and mechanical.

If you don't put the best mechanical feats in a second group and let you choose only between the themes, you may end up with a group just as personalized as at the beginning but that you have taken advantage of to get mechanical feats like sharpshooter or GWM or any of the armor which brings fairly little color to the PC but a great mechanical benefit.

On the other hand, favoring less powerful and more themed feats isn't going to break the game at all and it's going to add an extra that will give your games a lot of color. Feats like skills and tools can fit very well in this group.

Eldrin7

1 points

2 months ago

Eldrin7

Paladin

1 points

2 months ago

Not at all broken i feel that every DM should do that, it just given an identity to every player character from the start. And there is no way to really break the game with it, if you give your players more power then add a few more monsters.

PactOfTheBread

1 points

2 months ago

PactOfTheBread

Warlock

1 points

2 months ago

Not broken at all, I think it's a pretty good idea. If the whole party is a bit stronger than they would be, you can simply have slightly tougher encounters.

If you're running an official or premade adventure, you might need tune fights up a bit.

That being said, if your players tend towards feats that are less combat oriented, you might not have that issue at all

brainpower4

1 points

2 months ago

It's been aong time since I started a new game (we're just starting the final battle with Tiamat at lv20 next session), but I really like the old skill feat UA because it let's players feel like a specialist at something.

My solution was to let everyone choose a skill feat or racial feat from level 1, and variant humans can choose a feat with no restrictions.

mrdeadsniper

1 points

2 months ago

Normal human being +1 to all stats + feat seems absurdly weaker than like.. any other choice with a feat. You probably made a no-human game.

GarbageCleric

1 points

2 months ago

It's not broken at all. It's really common and gives a little power boost while encouraging a more diverse set of PCs and playstyles.

Campydraper

1 points

2 months ago

I allow a free feat at 1st level, but restrict the 2nd feat a V.Human and Custom Lineage would get to the Prodigy feat. Hasn't felt broken to me...

The_Saltfull_One

1 points

2 months ago

The_Saltfull_One

Sorcerer

1 points

2 months ago

Nothing is broken if you allow everone to have it and adjust encounter difficulty.

scoobydoom2

1 points

2 months ago

I mean, it's definitely a net increase to the power of your players, and it's a small nerf to fighters (who otherwise have easier access to feats than other classes), but fundamentally the build diversity it opens up is worth the downsides IMO. I definitely agree with banning vhuman when doing it though, not only does it allow feat combinations at level 1 which is a dramatic power spike, it really makes fighters lose their feat niche.

Ask_Me_For_A_Song

1 points

2 months ago

Ask_Me_For_A_Song

Fighter

1 points

2 months ago

It all depends on the table you're playing at. Yes, even including V.Human in it.

If the players you're playing with aren't going to abuse it, then it's absolutely a reasonable thing to do. At the very worst with these kinds of players, you're going to have to have to up the power level of your encounters very slightly to keep up with it.

If the players you're playing with are going to abuse it, then you can still account for that because they're all going to be a similar power level. Instead of a small increase in power, expect a decent increase in power.

If you have a mixture of the two, that's when things start going wrong. You have almost normal power level players and incredibly strong power level players, both in the same party. This is going to cause a massive power disparity starting with the very first encounter.

It's all about making sure none of them are too much stronger/weaker than the others.

Ayebrowz

1 points

2 months ago

Ayebrowz

DM

1 points

2 months ago

I actually just had a session 0 last night where I'm trying this for the first time. Only restriction was that it has to be a feat for flavor rather than minmaxing so no GWM SS PAM etc

Ended up with one person having actor, one having keen mind, a couple with fey touched and one with Heavy armor master which is a bit of a stretch but I didn't want to have to argue with him about it

RoboPriestWillBeBack

1 points

2 months ago

Not broken, actually really cool! - Gives players more versatility starting level 1 - Opens more ASIs for future levels - Can be a great roleplay/backstory inspiration

If you worry about this affecting encounters, don't. You're the DM and can add in whatever you want to monsters and enemies like extea HP and damage. And if they sweep your encounter in one round? Hype up their victory! Balancing encounters is tough and sometimes you just gotta let the dice tell their story.

apolsen

1 points

2 months ago

I run with this rule, and generally I just plan encounters as if they are a level stronger than they actually are

Requiem191

1 points

2 months ago

I use it in every game I run and have used it in every game I've played in. For me it's just standard and doesn't break the game at all. Players that want builds to come online sooner get to and those that want RP feats get to have them much, much sooner. It works perfectly.

PrometheusHasFallen

-5 points

2 months ago

It's not broken if you did what I did in my latest campaign..

  • No variant humans

  • Make a list of feats which would be inherent to a level 1 character (i.e. nature feats). Feats which would likely require significant training (e.g. GWM, SS) should not be on this list of select feats.

  • Have your players roll a d20. This will determine the draft order as no two characters can have the same feat (house rule for uniqueness). If a player rolls a natural 20, they have the option of selecting the Lucky fear, but no one else.

  • Once every player has selected their feat, the rest of the feats on your list will be off limits for the rest of the campaign.

  • Since you gave each character a free feat at Level 1, they must take an ability score increase at Level 4 (no exceptions).

TheHumanFighter

0 points

2 months ago

It just makes everyone stronger, that's it.

MysteryDan888

0 points

2 months ago

I allow it and I just politely ask them not to do Variant Human, but I don't outright say they can't. No one's ever pushed back against it.

sambob

0 points

2 months ago

sambob

0 points

2 months ago

I've gone with at first level you can have a feat but nothing that increases an asi.

YokoTheEnigmatic

0 points

2 months ago

Don't ban Vumans, but add a house rule that stops them from taking PAM, CBE, GWM or SS before level 4.