Design & Development
by Andy Collins and Jeremy Crawford
The invention of the feat in 3rd Edition D&D marked a major innovation for this venerable roleplaying game. As a small, self-contained mechanical element, the feat provided immense opportunities for characters to differentiate themselves from others of the same class and race. In fact, for some classes, feats offered the only opportunity for that differentiation.
In 4th Edition, feats occupy a narrower area of game design than in the previous edition. They're no longer the default area of power design for fighters, rogues, and the like (now that all classes have their own power lists), so many options that would have been feats in 3rd Edition -- Spring Attack and Whirlwind Attack, for instance -- are now powers.
How did that shift in game design philosophy manifest in the 4th Edition Player's Handbook, and how have feats continued to evolve since their debut in the new game system? 4th Edition co-designer Andy Collins and Player's Handbook co-editor Jeremy Crawford explore the answers.
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About the Authors
Andy Collins co-designed the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons game and works for Wizards of the Coast, LLC. as the Manager of Development and Editing for RPG R&D. His credits stretch back a decade and include Magic Item Compendium, Draconomicon, Unearthed Arcana, and the Epic Level Handbook.
Jeremy Crawford is an editor at Wizards of the Coast, who does editing, development, and design for Dungeons & Dragons. His recent credits include the Player's Handbook, Player's Handbook 2, Martial Power, and Divine Power.