Opinions on Things in the Player's Handbook

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Chapter 5: Feats

   Skill Focus should be +3. The only reason Skill Emphasis exists as a +3 feat in other games is because the designers weren't allowed to make Skill Focus +3 in those games, which would require errata-ing the PH.


    There are some differences in what you can do as a monk with unarmed strike and what the Improved Unarmed Strike feat lets you do. To make them equal, we need the following feat, which monks would get automatically at level 1 (they already have this ability, it would just call out that their ability is identical to that granted by the feat):

The Superior Unarmed Strike feat is open game content as defined by the Open Gaming License.)

Superior Unarmed Strike
You have superior skill at fighting unarmed.
    Prerequisite: Improved Unarmed Strike.
    Benefit: When attacking with unarmed strikes, you may deal normal damage or subdual damage. You may also deal normal or subdual damage when you grapple.
    Normal: Without this feat you deal subdual damage with unarmed strikes or when grappling (but may still take a -4 penalty to attack rolls in order to deal normal damage instead of subdual damage).

    Craft Staff's first line should read as follows:
    You can create magical staffs, which have one or more magical effects.
    (That would allow you to create a staff with one spell, which would basically be a wand but wouldn't be limited to 4th-level spells. The rules are unclear on whether or not you can actually do that with a staff, and I fell that you should be able to do it.)


    Deflect Arrows should have a second paragraph in the Benefit line that reads as follows:
    If you beat the check DC by 10 or more, you catch the missile instead of merely deflecting it.
    (I don't feel the Snatch Arrows feat is really necessary, considering its many prereqs and very limited utility. Best to fold its abilities into an existing feat.)

    Forge Ring: This feat really needs something to make it cool, since there's nothing it can do that you can't do with Craft Wondrous Item. I'm in the process of working out some mechanics for making certain aspects of ring-making cheaper for high-level effects, which would tend to make powerful rings slightly more common and make the feat more worthwhile. As Gandalf said (paraphrased), "There are a dozen magic rings in this world, and none of them should be used lightly." More on this later.

    Empower Spell: This and all metamagic feats should simply work differently because they're usually not worth the cost of the feat, especially as you have to pay twice to use the feats (you pay once by selecting the feat, and you pay again in terms of spell levels to use the feat). There are other feats that have a double-pay (namely Expertise and Power Attack), but the reward-for-cost exchange for those feats is higher than those of a metamagic feat (basically, it's a more linear relationship between attack rolls and damage or AC, whereas it's a more logarithmic relationship between spell levels).
    Maybe you get one of metamagic per day "for free," maybe these feats shouldn't exist and these are just abilities that all spellcasters learn. I dunno.

    Expertise: This does not stack with fighting defensively. I'm pretty sure that's a rule, but if not it should be (Expertise already gives you a better benefit than fighting defensively, and its Special line specifically mentions what you can do if you don't have the feat, so it's pretty cheesy to be able to double up).

    Extra Turning: This should be a fully-statted feat:
Extra Turning
You are able to turn or rebuke undead more often than normally.
    Prerequisite: Able to turn (or rebuke) undead
    Benefit: Choose one type of creature which you may turn (or rebuke), such as "undead" or "fire creatures." You may turn (or rebuke) this type of creature four more times per day than normal. If you are a character that normally rebukes undead instead of turns undead, these extra uses are for rebuking instead of turning.
    Special: You may take this feat multiple times. You gain four more turning (or rebuking) attempts per day each time the feat is taken. If you choose this feat for a special ability (such as a domain granted power) that allows you to turn one type of creature and rebuke creatures of the opposite type, these extra uses can be for turning or rebuking the appropriate type of creature.

    Great Cleave: This lets you keep on cleaving as long as you keep dropping foes. You need to keep track of what attack dropped the foe, though, so you continue to use that attack value for your cleaving attacks. I'm pretty sure this is a rule, too.

    Improved Initiative: I really don't have a problem with people taking this feat more than once (and letting it stack) because it  only comes into play once per fight and doesn't always help. Unlike being able to take something like Weapon Focus multiple times, which is probably going to come into play almost every round.

    Quicken Spell: This ought to work normally for sorcerers (in other words, they don't have a full-round casting time when casting quickened spells). If a sorcerer uses Quicken Spell and another metamagic feat on a 1 action casting time spell, the casting time becomes 1 action (squashed to free from Quicken and increased to 1 action by the other metamagic feat), another feat makes it a full-round action, and so on.

    Spell Mastery: This should be a fully-statted feat:
Spell Mastery
You can prepare certain spells without the use of a spellbook.
    Prerequisite: Able to prepare spells from a spellbook.
    Benefit: Choose a number of spells you know equal to your Intelligence bonus. You may prepare these spells without needing a spellbook. If your Intelligence bonus later increases, it does not retroactively affect the number of spells you master with this feat.
    Special: You may take this feat multiple times. Each time you take this feat, you master an additional number of spells equal to your Intelligence modifier.
 
    Spell Focus: Someone on my message boards suggested that Spell Focus (abjuration) could give you +2 DC to dispel checks made against your spells and still be balanced, since the feat is kinda useless without it (how often do you save vs. abjuration spells?). I think that's a great idea!

    Spring Attack: This feat should say it lets you use a touch spell in conjunction with a spring attack. In other words, instead of a normal melee attack, you can cast a touch spell and make the touch attack as part of the spring attack. While you wouldn't provoke attacks of opportunity for movement, casting the spell still provokes an AOO from anyone near you at the time of casting.

    Weapon Specialization: This should be a fully-statted feat:
Weapon Specialization 
Choose one type of weapon, such as greataxe. You are especially good at using this weapon. You may choose "unarmed strike" for your weapon for the purpose of this feat.
    Prerequisite: Proficient with weapon, Weapon Focus in that weapon, fighter level 4+
    Benefit: You add +2 to all damage rolls you make using the selected weapon. If the weapon is a ranged weapon, the extra damage only applies to targets within 30 feet.
    Special: You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new weapon.