9
\$\begingroup\$

I took the Crossbow Expert feat for my 5e 5th-level Rogue/Arcane Trickster (Dex 20). It’s made him incredibly effective . . . and kind of boring to play in combat.

A hand crossbow attack as an action + another one as a bonus action + Sneak Attack (since he’s got help from his familiar) means potentially 5d6 damage every round (and he’s got a high Dex, so he hits far more often than he misses). Nothing else he can do, including spells, does anywhere near that much damage. That plus the fact that a ranged attack leaves him not vulnerable to melee attacks means that the way he can be most effective in combat is just to fire a crossbow at range over and over and over again, which requires no creativity or imagination. I miss trying various tactics, being forced to improvise wildly, etc., which is what the other members of the party are all doing while I’m sitting there on cruise control.

I’m considering asking my DM to allow me to switch feats, but “Hey, will you let me make my character less effective?” seems like a crazy question, so I thought I’d ask here first. Can I make combat more varied for my character without making him less effective, and, if so, how?

UPDATE: My DM didn’t want me to switch feats, but we talked about it and have decided that, though the Crossbow Expert feat allows the use of the crossbow without disadvantage in melee, my character simply doesn't LIKE using crossbows in melee. This will give him great motivation to do other things!

\$\endgroup\$
5
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Please take the tour when you get the chance. \$\endgroup\$ May 21 at 21:56
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Could you explain why having his familiar with him gives him Sneak Attack? Or, if his familiar is distracting a target with the Help action, could you explain how he is keeping a 1hp familiar with a low AC alive in the combat reliably enough to give him Sneak Attack? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    May 22 at 1:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt Just spent some time reading about this and it looks like the answer is "because we misinterpreted the rules." Thanks for pointing that out, and we can fix it next time! \$\endgroup\$ May 22 at 4:48
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ It's a small detail, but the comment about the familiar misunderstanding could be a good thing to add to add to the question. Just so readers don't waste time trying to understand the situation as RAW. \$\endgroup\$
    – 3C273
    May 22 at 13:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @3C273 Thanks. Rather than explain all of that, I've simplified the language of the question so that the conflict with RAW doesn't come up. \$\endgroup\$ May 22 at 15:15
6
\$\begingroup\$

I think your idea to ask the DM to let you change feats is perfectly reasonable. Remember, the point of the game is to have fun, and it's clear that this is taking away from your enjoyment of the game. I'm a rogue player myself (when I'm not DM), and I far prefer melee combat to ranged -- why would I want to sit back and take potshots when I could risk my life in the thick of the action?

That being said, there are always ways to improvise in combat. My favorite is to find creative ways to use the environment the encounter is taking place in. For example removing all the supports to a chandelier except the main one, luring an enemy under it, and making it fall on them.

When I DM, I like to reward creative ideas according to how risky and how difficult they are. For example, climbing up an ogre's back to wrap your arms around its neck and choke it is both difficult and risky, so I'll set a high check for it, but if the player succeeds, it gives all the other PC's advantage on attacks against the ogre, and the ogre disadvantage on attacks against the other players. I encourage you to find creative ways to take risks with your character. It'll make the game more fun for everyone.

\$\endgroup\$
3
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you so much—I'll think about this! \$\endgroup\$ May 22 at 0:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ No problem @JoelDerfner, glad I could help \$\endgroup\$ May 22 at 0:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ So my DM didn’t want me to switch feats, but we talked about it and, in addition to his suggestion some of the same ideas you did, we've decided that, though the Crossbow Expert feat allows the use of the crossbow without disadvantage in melee, my character simply doesn't LIKE using crossbows in melee. This will give him great motivation to do other things! \$\endgroup\$ May 27 at 22:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.