Kobolds Wolfgang Baur and Sigfried Trent joined forces at PaizoCon 2011 on Sunday. Their goal for this seminar: They wanted to provide you with some excellent tips and tricks for designing better feats and traits. To help fulfill this goal, we’ve collected the highlights from the seminar and posted them here. What’s the most important tip? Keep it simple so that you don’t slow down gameplay at the table. Avoid multiple rolls and lots of charts. You can read more tips beyond the jump.
- Don’t add mechanics. Work with the core rules of the system.
- Keep feats broad so that they’re useful to the widest audience. For example: An archery focus feat is better than an elf archer feat.
- Some feats might be better as racial abilities. All of them should grant a bonus, but don’t make them too powerful (no stacking, for example).
- You shouldn’t penalize the player for taking a feat. If you want your character to be hideous, however, you could reduce Charisma and buy lots of Intimidate.
- If the feat comes into play rarely, you can boost the bonus (+6 vs. mummy disease, for example). (Just remember to make sure the appeal is broad.)
- The reverse is also true: If a feat comes into play a lot, keep an eye on that bonus. For example, adding+ 1 to damage rolls for all spell damage is plenty.
- Start with a cool character idea, build the character, and build a feat mechanic that supports your idea.
- GMs and players need to work together to find balance in the game, because styles of play and levels of power vary greatly from table to table. Don’t set anything in stone.
- Roleplaying feats (flavorful with little or no mechanics; requires GM adjudication) are popular, since they are great for plot hooks and plot progression, but they can be tricky to use for the same reasons. Be willing to improvise if you have them in your game.
You can see these tips come to life in Complete Advanced Feats by Sigfried Trent.