In February, the folks at D&D Beyond shared the most popular feats among their users. The favorites included entries I would expect. The top three all appeal to risk-averse players building a wide range of characters.
Hate losing spells to failed concentration saves? Take War Caster. Hate damage? Take Tough and make damage hurt less. Hate flubbing rolls? Take Lucky.
Ranking 4th, Sharpshooter suits fewer character types, but it proves so powerful that it rates as the worst thing in D&D.
Well past the broadly useful and the overpowered, the list includes Sentinel and Polearm Master. These potent feats suit narrow character types—often characters built with the feats in mind.
For me, the surprise comes from two powerful feats that failed to rate.
Inspiring Leader lets your group finish every rest with temporary hit points equal to your level + your Charisma modifier. It grants something close to Toughness to everyone in the party.
Healer lets you spend one use of a healer’s kit to restore 1d6 + 4 hit points, plus additional hit points equal to the creature’s maximum number of Hit Dice. A creature can only regain hit points this way once between each rest, but this still counts as the cheapest healing in the game.
Why do so few players choose these outstanding feats? Perhaps because the character taking the feat only gets a small benefit for themselves. These feats’ strength comes from lifting the whole party.
• 10 Ways to Build a Character That Will Earn the Love of Your Party
• 7 Dungeons & Dragons character builds absurdly good at one thing
Hitpoint granting feats were always poor choices in third edition and fifth has even more ways to regain health. Anything that boosts hp is always going to be a hard pass.
Nice article David!
I find it interesting to compare feat usage rates with player opinions on feat strength. Here’s some poll results I ran to break them down into tiers:
You see the “broken” feats aren’t even the most popular. Likely because they are suited to specific play styles. But, it’s still interesting.
I’m surprised to not see resilient ranked on there. Almost all my spellcasters get it paired up with warcaster for the massive boost in concentration checks.
I’m surprised resilience isn’t there. It’s a stat and a saving throw. Saving throw proficiency is dastardly hard to come upon, and at lvl 8 going from a +2 to a +5 to save is a major change, you’re even usually doing better then that because you’re choosing an odd stat, so you’re getting the additional +1 from evening the stat. I’ve taken a lot of casters from a 13 CON to a 14 CON with resilience and gotten a boost to HP, saving throws, and concentration checks. I’ve done the same to fighters going from a WIS of 11 or 13 and significantly decreasing their ability to be charmed/enchanted and upped their Perception and/or Insight.
I’d be curious how much War Caster’s popularity is due to players with experience in previous editions/styles wanting to make up for the big change in spells from various durations to concentration….or if it becomes some sort of ‘feat tax’ for certain styles of spellcasters.
I would guess that War Caster is more for the second ability, somatic components with full hands, than either of the other abilities.
As for Inspiring Leader and Healer, I actually have both on one of my characters. He is an Aasimar Divine Soul with Acolyte background. Both feats are useful and fit the tone of the character.
Healer does not scale well. While it doesn’t need to work all the way to 20th, since many campaigns seldom gets there, it does need to be relevant past 4th or 5th level.
I’ve taken Inspiring Leader once or twice. Wish I ever remembered to use it…
Inspiring leader is almost borked I love it 😉 heck if you can npc companions use it on them too..
Pingback: Scrutinizing the 9 Most Popular House Rules for D&D | DMDavid
Pingback: Fast, Unkillable, Deadly: The 7 Supreme D&D Character Builds for One Thing | DMDavid