These Feats…Are Making me Thirsty!


Did I say thirsty? I meant crazy. Last nights DnD game was another feat and rule-a-palooza where I felt overwhelmed by the (I feel) over powered characters in game and the rules lawyers out of game. For those of you who don’t play, this means the players at the table go out of their way to bend the rules to their favor, conveniently leave out anything not in their favor and argue loudly at the table when things don’t go their way. This makes it hard to keep the flow of the game and ruins the fun for others at the table. In addition we had a full house of 7 people so it was hard to keep the pace up and fun for everyone. 

The main culprit is of course a game mechanic called “feats” which basically break the game by making mini super hero characters. Last night had a character loudly complaining about his feats, his inability to be hit because of his high armor class but oblivious to the fact he is carrying around 100s of pounds of treasure(?) while dashing around. He also chose to dump stat his intelligence but somehow his character knows everything about every monster and can disarm traps and never be surprised by anything. (?!!?!)

Oh well, another DM challenge! At first, this flusters me but I see it as a challenge. This character gets away with it the first time, mostly because I have 5 or 6 others waiting and I have to keep things moving. Once I learn the rules a little better and remind him (or her) about the intent of the rules and game plus a gentle reminder as DM that I can alter the rules (sometimes in the players favor!) things move along.

Overall, I think this approach is working as I have repeat players and a growing table where we are now trying to find other DMs and/or turning people away. This is a good problem to have with DnD as it is not always easy to find enough players every week.

But why oh why did they keep feats as an optional rule in fifth edition? (Not optional in adventurers league) To make things worse, the players are now starting to multi class, throwing the game balance even more out of whack.

Again, another challenge as I have to learn both the game and player rules in depth, prepare the adventure, run the combats, traps, and social interactions for the entire table AND make sure everyone at the table is having their style of fun. Also, I have to use funny voices and keep track of 7 players backgrounds, flaws, ideals and bonds. No problem, just tilt the game more in the players favor with feats and multi classing! Add it to the pile.

But I am having fun and I hope the players do keep showing up and surprising me. To their credit, no matter how hard I try and make it, they do end up surprising me somehow, whether it is an ingenious use of the environment, tactics or just really lucky dice rolls.

As long as I remember my three catchphrases, “what would you like to do” , “roll for initiative” and my favourite “are you SURE you want to do that?” we should be fine.