Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Odoriferous feat(s)

While I agree with Griff about the feats losing some of their appeal by not being available to everyone, what really got me about this latest Design & Development article was the peek into some 4th edition design.

The four feats all have a Tier field. Now, I might be losing track of the few bits of information that they've let out, but aren't "heroic" and "paragon" similar to the terms they've been using when talking about the level ranges? Are these Tiers stating that this is a feat that can be (only) taken in the 1-10 range, or the 11-20 range?

Given that the description blocks don't have "leader", "sniper", "warlord" as any kind of field, does this mean that feats aren't going to be listed in one place, having their separation into classes defined in the text block, but rather they're going to exist under the class description, much like class abilities do now?

Toughness is missing the text that you can take it multiple times. I suppose this new version is better than the old one, but is this really the case?

"You don't grant enemies combat advantage in surprise rounds." Is this just flavor text, or is "combat advantage" a 4e term for "opponent is flat-footed"?

Perception checks -- we've merged Listen and Spot? I can't remember if we'd read that somewhere. (And Move Silently and Hide -- were those now a Stealth skill?)

A feat bonus. Nice to see that the bonus from feats isn't unnamed, but does that mean that feat bonuses don't stack? Or are they added to the list of stackable ones, like Dodge and (sometimes) Circumstance?

Action point. Okay, fine, I guess they're a core rule now.

"You can omit a number of squares...". A number of squares. A number of SQUARES. Fine, it'd be awkward to have "a number of 5'x5' areas...", but perhaps that means that it shouldn't be a feat. I've ranted about squares versus feet before, but I can't help it: creatures/players/NPCs do not have to stand in a grid. They can stand in a completely arbitrary space. They do not have to fit between some imaginary lines on the ground. THIS MECHANIC HAS NO ROOM IN A ROLEPLAYING GAME.

"...wizard powers. This number can't exceed your Wisdom modifier." Wisdom mattering for a Wizard? Is this a rare occurrence (a non-core ability score mattering to a class feat), or is this going to be typical, where you will have a primary ability, a secondary, and maybe a tertiary, much like Monks and Paladins seem to in 3rd edition?
Or, perhaps, based on the name of this feat, the Golden Wyvern "focus/path" is an Intelligence/Wisdom hybrid?

"...close wizard powers." Is this talking about range, as we think of it in 3rd edition? Or is this a category of wizard powers that may or may not have the same range (though, you'd figure they're "close")?

No prerequisites are listed. Is that because they're in some tree to which you must refer to find prerequisites? Is it based on the Tier alone? Can it be that none of these four have any?

No feat "type", such as [General] or [Fighter]. Perhaps omitted for clarity, or perhaps a sign that these definitions don't exist?

Okay, that's about all I could glean from 100 or so words. "Yay" for the snippet of info, but in general the article rated a "boo" for what it told us.

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