Talk:Ability Surge (3.5e Feat)

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Bonus Type[edit]

So I really like the idea of this feat. However, since I have had my fair share of min-maxers at the gaming table, I think it may be appropriate to include a bonus type for this. My first thought is that it should be an enhancement bonus. If it is an enhancement bonus, that will keep it from stacking with other enhancement bonuses (like from Gloves of Dexterity or a Belt of Giant Strength). It will also stop them from stacking the spells like Bull's Strength and such with the feat for a total of a +8 bonus to one score for a short time. One example I'm thinking of is a half-orc barbarian. With a standard point-buy for abilities, you can buy up to an 18, and then the racial +2 makes that a 20. The Barbarian Rage will push that to a 24 and this feat can take it to 28! That's just at 1st level. Of course, it is only for 1 round at first level. Move forward to level 3, and then a Cleric or Wizard can cast Bull's Strength on this character for a +4 bonus. If the feat and the Bull's Strength stack, you have a raging Barbarian with a Strength of 32 for 3 rounds! And that's when their normal Strength is 20. A twelve point swing of ability score is a lot to deal with at the table at 3rd level. Maybe I'm being too reactive on this, so I'd love to hear the opinions of everyone else. --Skwyd 10:33, 20 September 2007 (MDT)

I agree. I think you should change it. --Green Dragon 23:32, 23 September 2007 (MDT)
Okay, I changed it to an enhancement bonus and also added the text about taking this feat multiple times. I was considering changing the action to activate it to be a swift action instead of a move action. However, I don't know if this would tip it too far. On one hand, if it is a move action, when you surge, you only get a standard action that round. On the other hand, on all subsequent rounds, there is no time taken for the feat, so maybe the move action is the best. Anyway, what does everyone else think?--Skwyd 10:32, 24 September 2007 (MDT)
Now that I think about it I think a move action may be too easy. Maybe a full round action would be better... Your thoughts? --Green Dragon 23:28, 27 September 2007 (MDT)
I talked with a few people in my gaming group and everyone agreed that a full-round action seemed appropriate. Actually, one person said it should be a swift action, but there is always one in every group!!! I'll make the change now. --Skwyd 10:21, 28 September 2007 (MDT)
Thanks for making it! It now looks better :). --Green Dragon 23:06, 3 October 2007 (MDT)

Overpowered and then Underpowered[edit]

First this gives you a 2nd level spell permanently (basically) at level 1. Then it is replaceable by a magic item. Though presumably it would work in an anti-magic field, which is cool. --Aarnott 14:48, 31 March 2008 (MDT)

Nevermind -- the overpowered part was an IP edit. Still underpowered in my opinion. --Aarnott 14:49, 31 March 2008 (MDT)
Maybe we could make it last longer? --Green Dragon 23:57, 31 March 2008 (MDT)
Any suggestions? Maybe 2 times your character level? --Skwyd 14:13, 1 April 2008 (MDT)
Either make it 2 times a day, 2 times your character level or a unnamed bonus. Thats what I would do anyway. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ShadowyFigure (talkcontribs) 14:31, 1 April 2008 (MST). Please sign your posts.
I'd make it unnamed. +4 strength for 1 round per character level? That is a single combat: hardly broken. At low levels it does not grant as good a bonus as Extra Rage to a barbarian because it takes a full-round action and has a short duration, but it does enhance existing rages. At high levels it still only lasts one combat but enhances existing things but only for one combat. I think the main balancing factor is that it takes a turn. No matter what class you are, spending a round to buff is a round where nothing happens to the enemy. Of course this ability is most powerful on casters. Gnome illusionist with greater spell focus gets a +5 DC for his illusions for one combat. So that is where balance difficulties come into play. --Aarnott 15:08, 1 April 2008 (MDT)
You have a very good point! However aGnome illusionist would more likely take other feats. As spending a whole round when he could be casting spells could be seen as a waste. ShadowyFigure 16:01, 1 April 2008 (MDT)
I would definitely not make it an untyped (unnamed) bonus. See my comments above! But I would not be against multiple uses per day. What do you guys think of a scalable uses per day? Like once per day per three levels? Or should it just be a flat 2/day? --Skwyd 17:23, 2 April 2008 (MDT)
You have to compare to other one trick pony feats that basically win a combat at low levels as well though. In your example, level 3 seemed extremely powerful for the half orc. Not even counting the fact that it takes him 4 rounds to do three hits (that would likely be killing blows), the bigger issue is that some of the "sudden" feats have a similar effect. Sudden maximized spells can be downright dirty (as can sudden extended). Consider a sudden widened sculpt spell Grease. You will have ground based enemies at their knees. And then your fighters get in there an attack of opportunity them when they try to get up. Sudden spells win combats -- this feat wins a combat. It is nigh-useless later on with just an enhancement bonus. Even Dodge is applicable and useful later on. --Aarnott 10:37, 3 April 2008 (MDT)
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