Thoughts & Things

Unearthed Arcana – June 2016 – FEATS!

This month, Mike Mearls is giving us some play testing, design notes and instruction for designing your own 5th edition feats. There are 5 pages of notes on feats and it’s nice to see the thoughts behind the game design of these. They aren’t play tested, and that’s okay. Here is a listing of the ones he’s put out there in the Unearthed Arcana document:

Weapon Mastery Feats

  • Warhammer Master
  • Fell Handed
  • Blade Mastery
  • Flail Mastery
  • Spear Mastery

Tool Feats

  • Alchemist
  • Burglar
  • Gourmand
  • Master of Disguise


Unearthed Arcana: Feats PDF Download

  • Brad Sumner

    There is a concept for a feat that I think is lacking. Ranged spell casters and ranged weapon users never get the opportunity to use AOOs. However there could be a case to be made that they should be able to shoot at a foe if it provokes an AOO from an ally and the ally takes it. They see their ally utilize the opening and follow suit. Maybe it should only be a cantrip or single ranged shot from a ranged weapon. But I think it would be within the range of reason and it would make both sides consider if they should allow themselves to provoke an AOO since this could apply to monsters as well.

  • I definitely don’t like the +1 attack bonus on the combat feats. It smacks of feat tax a la 4E’s weapon/implement expertise and the combat math is very easily messed with in 5E. The secondary effects range from “neat” to “nooooooo” though, and I feel like I could only nitpick those without actually playing with them.

    The tool feats are much more interesting to me, and feel much more character defining than more combat feats that amount to “fight more gooder”. I could be overreacting to it, but I’m very wary of any perceived arms race in the latest edition, even taking into account that it’s just an Unearthed Arcana and not an actual published bit of mechanics. 🙂

    • Michael Watson

      Recall that feats are in place of an ability score increase, so +1 attack is actually sort of a lesser version of the +1 stat mod you could be getting.

    • Except that it circumvents the cap of 20 on an ability score.

  • Michael Watson

    Am I the only one who finds Flail Mastery weird? It reads a lot like the initial Warhammer Mastery feat that Mearls quite plainly says he hated.

  • CalRob

    I love the tool feats and think these add a lot to the core rules, which are exceptionally thin when it comes to most of the tools material. I’m in a campaign where I’m playing a wood elf druid focused on herbology and all it can do – alchemy, healing potions, even poisons for my arrows and the party’s rogue. I’ve had to really struggle to understand which tools do what – e.g., what does the alchemy tool do as opposed to the healer’s kit? Is there any advantage to being able to use both – can the alchemy tool augment the power of healing potions? These feats go a long way towards providing some hooks for me to understand my character. The cooking utensils were something I had considered but seemed somewhat worthless except in rare cases – this feat really makes them something desirable. Hope to see more along these lines.

  • Erik Filean

    Feats, don’t fail me now!