The Dungeon Master’s Guild is a treasure trove of community-created content for any D&D campaign, and since I’m bored of just putting two points into dexterity every time I hit level four on Rogue, I thought I’d try and find a way to spice up my progression.
Luckily, I managed to get my hands on Feats Don’t Fail Me Now; a fantastic 5th edition supplement that brings 43 all new and less-than-serious feats to the table. As Gordon McAlpin, the lead designer on the supplement, states:
“Most feats are a dignified representation of a talent or an area of expertise that gives your character special capabilities. They are meant to embody training, experience, and abilities beyond what a class provides.
These feats… are not that.”
So, if you enjoy your campaigns going a little off the rails like a Tabaxi bard on catnip, this might just be the book for you. Oh, and although the following may sound utterly ridiculous, Gordon has assured us that they are, in fact, intended to be ‘balanced and legitimately useful’ under the right circumstances.
Sampling the Feats
So, what can we find in this interesting addition to the game? To start off, I thought we would look at those feats that can really add something worthwhile to the character-building experience. Those which can really flesh out your backstory and make your character feel real and developed. Those which place the final ingredient into the roleplay recipe. For this I suggest ‘Breaking Wind;’ a fighter feat that brings an additional definition to the ability ‘Second Wind.’ Okay, maybe I was lying about the description. In my defence, any feat that starts with “your intestinal fortitude is unmatched” must be good, and with a +1 modifier to either Strength or Constitution and the ability to stink out an opponent of your choice within 10 feet, it solidifies itself as a decent choice for an over-eating fighter.
Alternatively, the next feat could be useful if you feel like your party is lacking a certain connection with nature. Perhaps you’re missing a druid, or you don’t have enough members of anthropomorphic races in your party and you need something to fill the void- why not don a fursona? The Heart of Fur feat allows the player to create their own fursona that can be worn over both their armour and clothing, granting various benefits unique to the animal you decide to represent.
Feel like mauling with a mastiff’s jaws or improving your communication with crocodiles? A fursona can help with both, giving you both built-in melee weapons and advantage on Wisdom and Charisma checks with your chosen creature, all while looking badass in the process.
For the final feat I’m going to cover in this article, I’d like you to ask yourself a question. Have you ever wanted to use a blowgun? I assume your answers have fallen into three categories: ‘yes but they’re awful,’ ‘no because they’re awful,’ and ‘there are blowguns in 5e?’ In response to all three answers, I present to you the originally removed Blowgun Mastery feat. Slotted in as an appendix after the original release of Feats Don’t Fail Me Now, Blowgun Mastery turns 5th edition’s most underused weapon into a unique powerhouse, providing it with the versatile keyword and removing the loading mechanic. Yes, you read that right. The versatile keyword.
In standard 5e, why would you ever choose a blowgun over a longbow, heavy, or hand crossbow? Not only does it have the shortest range of the four martial ranged weapons (excluding net), but it also does a whopping one damage on a hit. One. I have been playing D&D consistently for four years and can honestly say I do not remember ever encountering a blowgun.
An overhaul is what was needed, and an overhaul is what it got. There is a whole page dedicated to its godly power, but I will summarise as best I can. Studying the blowgun allows one to increase their Dexterity score by one, remove the loading function, turn the blowgun into a deadly 1d6 (1d8 versatile) melee weapon, remove disadvantage at long range, block incoming attacks AND make high-risk, high-reward attacks, increasing base damage tenfold. Hilariously, that’s not even all of it. A true blowgun master can do many things with a simple stick.
Picking the right feat can be difficult at the best of times but giving yourself the extra choices from this supplement is well worth the additional deliberation. Need something for your overly flirtatious bard? Naked Invisibility. Want a little extra alcohol for the drunken master monk? Liquid Courage. Feeling antisocial? The oddly relevant Socially Distant.
Feats Don’t Fail Me Now is currently available here for $5.95 (roughly equating to £4.50) and is absolutely worth every penny.