Level-Progressive Feats (3.5e Variant Rule)

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Level-Progressive Feats[edit]

Some feats are good throughout the whole game. Feats like Weapon Finesse, Power Attack, and Track are just as useful for a 1st-level character as they are for an epic-level character.

Other feats, however, decline in relative strength as a character grows more and more powerful. Alertness may seem like a good pick for a 1st-level character, but by the time you're level 20, have stuffed a huge amount of ranks into Spot and Listen, and have magic items and enchantments further buffing your Spot and Listen skills, and most of the enemies you face are making epic-level Hide and Move Silently checks, the +2 bonus granted by your Alertness feat has become practically negligible. And you find yourself wondering why you spent an entire feat (arguably the game's rarest resource) on that +2 bonus.

So, while Maximize Spell gets applied to better and better spells as time goes on, while your Whirlwind Attack will benefit from an increased BAB and magical enhancements as you gain levels, while your Natural Spell lets you cast more and more powerful spells in more and more powerful wild shapes, feats such as Iron Will and Deft Hands and Dodge remain just as strong at level 20 as they were at level 1. While everything else is getting more powerful, these feats stay the same--meaning that, relatively speaking, they get weaker as you gain levels.

This variant rule is designed to correct the problem. It allows for these feats to "level up" alongside you, so to speak, so that it will be just as worth it to take them in an epic campaign as in a low-level campaign.


Acrobatic, Agile, Alertness, Animal Affinity, Athletic, Deceitful, Deft Hands, Diligent, Investigator, Magical Aptitude, Negotiator, Nimble Fingers, Persuasive, Self-Sufficient[edit]

Normal: These feats provide a flat +2 bonus

New variant rule: These feats provide a +1 bonus per every 2 character levels (minimum +1)


Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes[edit]

Normal: These feats provide a flat +2 bonus

New variant rule: These feats provide a cumulative +1 bonus at 1st level and every level multiple of 3 thereafter (1st, 3rd, 6th, 9th, etc)


Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Improved Grapple, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun, Improved Sunder[edit]

Normal: These feats provide a flat +4 bonus

New variant rule: These feats provide a cumulative +1 bonus at 1st level and every level multiple of 2 thereafter (1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, etc).


Dodge, Point Blank Shot, Two-Weapon Defense[edit]

Normal: These feats provide a flat +1 bonus

New variant rule: These feats provides a cumulative +1 bonus at 1st level and every level multiple of 5 thereafter (1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, etc)


Mobility, Endurance, Improved Initiative[edit]

Normal: These feats provides a flat +4 bonus

New variant rule: These feats provide a +4 bonus at 1st level and increase by +1 every level multiple of 4 thereafter (4th, 8th, 12th, etc)


Skill Focus[edit]

Normal: This feat provides a flat +3 bonus

New variant rule: This feat provides a cumulative +2 bonus at 1st level and every level multiple of 3 thereafter (1st, 3rd, 6th, 9th, etc)


Spell Focus, Greater Spell Focus, Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Focus[edit]

Normal: These feats provide a flat +1 bonus

New variant rule: These feats provide a cumulative +1 bonus at 1st level and every level multiple of 6 thereafter (1st, 6th, 12th, 18th, etc)


Spell Penetration, Greater Spell Penetration, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Specialization[edit]

Normal: These feats provide a flat +2 bonus

New variant rule: These feats provide a cumulative +1 bonus at 1st level and every level multiple of 3 thereafter (1st, 3rd, 6th, 9th, etc)


Toughness[edit]

Normal: This feat provides a flat +3 bonus

New variant rule: This feat provides a +1 bonus per every 2 character levels (minimum +1)


Non-SRD Feats[edit]

For non-SRD feats, the DM must use his own judgement, using the above examples as a model. Only feats that decline significantly in power relative to everything else as characters go up in level should be modified. The general rule is that feats that grant flat "plusses" (like those above), as opposed to granting a special ability (like Whirlwind Attack, or metamagic feats) will decline in relative power as characters and encounters go up in level. You may also wish to adjust how often a bonus accumulates depending on if you want a particularly low-powered campaign or a particularly high-powered campaign.



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