I have this character who's working in an open-world type of game where being actually useful to a party isn't the biggest concern of a character.

Who's this Leilani gal, again?

Leilani is the character portrayed in my current chat avatar.
Apart from that, she's a circus artist and she's fine with that - she wishes to explore the Multiverse but she's not an adventurer and she has no time to train for fighting. If she decides to learn to defend herself, that would be taken care of by magic items only.

Leilani grew as an orphan in a traveling circus. She liked exploring the woods and being on the stage and she improved really fast, becoming an enfant-prodige. When she turned level 3 she was shown a portal for somewhere that was really exciting but dangerous: the Planes. She decided to stay there (she was never great at making lasting bonds and she actually felt it was a good thing, never having to suffer when they break), looking for people who liked her art enough to decide to protect her for free.
Being killed (and resurrected) once convinced her to train a little on the defensive side, so she tried to take profit from her good dexterity and took Darkstalker, paired with a Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis and several Initiative boosts.

To represent her exceptionalness, Leilani has the Able Learner feat (and our campaign has a houserule that lets you spend 1 skill point to get a rank, then halves the ranks if it's cross-class for every of your classes, so it's extra useful) and took several times a setting feat that allows her to get one more skill point per level, just like the heroic feat Nymph's Kiss, and stacks with itself.
Leilani is also the best contortionist in the world, and uses the Escape Artist skill to impress the crowds (I'm using the general table in the skills section of the manual to determine how extraordinary or inhuman her performance is, despite not being able to use the skill to gain some money like perform, sleight of hand or tumble. But I don't really care about earning money). Yes, this is on top of having Freedom of Movement as an always active class feature.
She has the Agile feat, the Skill Focus (Escape Artist) feat and maximum Dexterity for a human. When epic, she's gonna take Epic Skill Focus at the first chance and then she's gonna stack Epic Dexterity feats.
She has no interest in taking classes, feats or spells that improve this value for a limited amount of time.

Feats are way more than usual for a D&D 3.5e character, due to gaining them at the Pathfinder rate (One each other level), getting bonus feats from her Planescape faction (not dsiscussed here, most are fixed and have to do with perception improvements) and her human heritage and Scout training (representing both her connection with nature as a nomad and her "military" training at the circus).
She has full ranks in most Str and Dex skills, perception skills including sense motive, plus disguise, perform (dance), heal and bluff, which she uses to make her performances more convincing (Leilani doesn't want to lie). Her Ability scores are: Str 8, Dex 23, Con 8, Int 22, Wis 9, Cha 9 (before magic items, but with a +4 Tome of Clear Thoughts).


Here's the complete list of her feats for you to read:

LEILANI GHOSTBONES (Scout 18/Wizard 2)
(Human) Able Learner
(Lv 1) +1 Skill point per level
(Lv 3) +1 Skill point per level
(Scout 4) Agile
(Lv 5) +1 Skill point per level
(Lv 7) +1 Skill point per level
(Scout 8) Quick Reconnoiter
(Lv 9) +1 Skill point per level
(Lv 11) +1 Skill point per level
(Scout 12) Improved Initiative
(Lv 13) +1 Skill point per level
(Lv 15) Darkstalker
(Scout 16) Skill Focus (Escape Artist)
(Lv 17)
(Lv 19)

The heart of the problem

As you can see I have two feats to choose and those are going to be the last feats I can really choose, since future ones are already pre-determined. I have also the choice to swap a single feat I already know for a different one and maybe in the future I will get to Scout 20 - I'm not going to for a long time and I might never reach that level in my roleplaying life, so I'm not really gonna count on it.

I plan on taking some wizard feats I saw somewhere that basically allow me to concentrate for a complete round to gain some sort of arcane charge I can then spend to gain a Dexterity boost, so if you were going to suggest those no thanks, they already got their spot on the build.

My idea for the feat swap is to take the Slim feat from a Dragon Magazine, giving me a +1 to Escape Artist. It's a first level feat so I'm going to sacrifice Able Learner (I'll be getting Heal and Perform back as class skills from my PrCs at level 24 and 25 respectively). Feel free to suggest otherwise.

My actual plan is to take a feat that boosts my senses (it's an homemade feat for my faction) that's really good for roleplaying. It comes with a +2 to 4 different skills (none of which is Escape Artist, sadly) and a nondescript inhuman sense of touch (which my character would really like); plus Versatile Performer.
Houserule is that there are only 3 Perform categories (dance, music, comedy), so that feat would let me sing, use instruments and be a good actress without spending ranks there, and it really makes sense for a woman whose life consists in training her body to gain ultimate control over her artistic movements.

I've already considered and discarded those feats who let me swap Jump, Climb, Disable Device and Open Locks to Dexterity. Jump, I want to max it so that feat wouldn't gain me any free skill point; I don't need ranks at all in DD and OL except for the one needed for training (due to magic items) and Climb gains me less points than I would gain on the long run with my other skill-boosting feats.
I've discarded Aberrant Blood as well, since I got the same bonus from the Silthilar graft Flexible Spine. I know, having a snail's skin could have made for some good RP but a slotless item is better than a feat. On the same line, I already have a +15 competence bonus from a Slick armor, a +2 morale bonus from an Admiral's Bicorn (which I'm desperately trying to refluff into something with less encumbrance) and a +1 luck bonus from Luckstone. I've also discarded Brachiation. While fun, I already can ignore hindering terrain by moving on te ground and my ground speed and tumble modifiers are good enough to have her be able tumble at full speed from branch to branch anyway (I think).

There are several other feats I've considered and discarded, and I guess most of your answer will deal with feats I already discarded. Unfortunately it's hard for me to recall every single feat without looking at it again. I'm basically looking for feats I've never heard of, that could be better suited to the concept than the ones I already parsed through. My current parsing process is running through an index file that used to be hosted on a site called CrystalKeep, that's been taken down by WotC. If you happen to know about that list, focusing on feats that are not there is a good thing to do.
Of course it's up to me to check for houseruled feats and homebrew ones.

Things I forgot to mention, my fault: non-racial feats from non-planescape settings are banned, save for Jotunbrud. Feats that only appeared on the web are banned, as well as feats that give psionic powers, ToB maneuvers, chakra binds or anything that's usually exclusive of some class we don't use.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm an avid fan of the Crystal Keep references, but have you tried looking on the d20SRD? Also maybe I just didn't read this as intended but this seems like a very broad question, and involves a lot of homebrewed rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – CatLord
    Feb 11, 2014 at 16:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Will this character enter play at level 20, or are you planning ahead? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 11, 2014 at 16:52
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @CatLord I have access to all the feats in 3.5 and some 3.0 ones that never got updated (but I must parse them through my gaming group approval). CrystalKeep has only a fraction of them, the SRD has a tiny fraction of those in CrystalKeep. I need to identify the feats that are better suited to my needs, using both my knowledge of our homebrew and the feats I never heard about. The former's onus is on me, the latter is on whoever already has an encyclopedic knowledge of the system. Lord_Gareth thinks this people exist and, given the system's popularity, I agree. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Feb 11, 2014 at 16:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan This character is already level 20, born level 3. It's just I can't decide her feats and the DM said I should do it before playing again. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Feb 11, 2014 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


It's a shame it's too late to make class suggestions as this character's ripe for factotum (Du 14-20). More levels of wizard would really be a boon, too. She's already a wizard, so she's a conjuration specialist who took the alternative class feature abrupt jaunt (PH2 70), right? And since you don't care about her being especially effective, taking Mnk1 and beating up a sparring dummy of the master (AE 137) (30,000 gp; 40 lbs.) to get that 10 ft. of movement required for to use skirmish is kind of a thing. Anyway.

Obscure Feats

  • The uncategorized feat Hardened Criminal (City of Stormreach 95) grants the creature immunity to attempts to Intimidate it and the ability to take 10 on 1 skill picked when the feat's picked. Note: This feat sprang to mind immediately when you mentioned your character's focus on the Escape Artist skill.
  • The fighter, general, and Chult and wild dwarf regional feat Disentangler (Rac 162) grants the creature a +2 bonus to Escape Artist skill checks and a +2 bonus to opposed grapple checks.
  • The general feat Daredevil Athlete (CS 76) as an immediate action 3/day grants the creature a +5 competence bonus to a single Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Jump, Ride, Swim, or Tumble check. I assume the intent is the next one, though. As a competence bonus, it'll stack with the circumstance bonus from masterwork tools but not the competence bonus that often comes from magic items, which is sad.
  • The aberrant feat Mourning Mutate (Dragon #359 110) as one of its benefits grants the creature a +3 racial bonus to Escape Artist skill checks from being "unusually flexible." It's 1st-level only and can make the creature look scary, awesome, or scary awesome at the DM's discretion. As it counts as the feat Aberration Blood (LoM 178) (which could instead grant the creature +4 racial bonus to Escape Artist skill checks, but the creature then has "slimy skin"--ew), it grants access to...

    • The aberrant feat Inhuman Vision (LoM 180) grants the creature darkvision 5 ft. per aberrant feat and a +1 bonus to Spot skill checks per aberrant feat.
    • The aberrant feat Scavenging Gullet (LoM 181) grants the creature a +4 racial bonus versus ingested poisons and diseases. More importantly, it grants the creature the ability to "gain nourishment from eating any organic material, despite its freshness or source." For a sensate, this is gold.
  • The fighter and general feat Master of Mockery (Dragon #333 88) grants the creature the ability to make a Perform (comedy) skill check as a standard action. The check's target makes a Will saving throw (DC = the Perform (comedy) skill check's result). If the target fails, it's enraged, gaining a +2 bonus to attack rolls versus the creature, taking a -2 penalty to Armor Class, and attaking the creature "whenever able." Talk to the DM about the effect's duration.
  • The tactical feat Combat Panache (PH2 93-4) grants the creature use of 3 tactical maneuvers that are wildly subpar or difficult to use but a a lot of fun. Two maneuvers actually require the creature to be hit and take damage before they can be used, and the other requires the creature to hit and inflict damage before it can be used. Nonetheless, they're flashy and fun.
  • \$\begingroup\$ I had three levels in factotum. It has been banned from the game since everyone and its grandmother were taking 3 levels in it. She is a plain old generalist wizard, because I needed a familiar and the only variants our DM allows involve renouncing to it. I have no interest in skirmishing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Feb 11, 2014 at 18:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Disentangler feat is available via to the Chult region's natives generally not just to dwarves. Nothing stops the feat Mastery of Mockery being used outside combat--you can totally use to make folks lose their cool and try to pop you one whenever ("Honest, officer, he took the first swing!"). And feel free to stab yourself to use the Combat Panache feat's play dead tactical maneuver. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 11, 2014 at 19:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ I slightly modified my original post to incorporate why some feats aren't any good to this character, namely DD Athlete, Mourning Mutation and Aberrant Blood (even if Scavenging Gullet is really gold). Master of Mockery seems a bad thing to have for a character with no desire to engage in a combat. The play dead option for Combat Panache is nice. Hardened Criminal isn't really something I could stick to this character, I guess the advantage is being able to take 10 in any situation, that'd really be nice. I still believe Disentangler to be limited to Wild Dwarfs from the Dwarf (Chult) region. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Feb 11, 2014 at 20:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, on a side note: I don't need that sparring dummy since I auto-pass DC 40 tumble checks, to the same effect. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Feb 12, 2014 at 18:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I checked. Disentangler has Wild Dwarf as a prerequisite, in addition to the regional requirements. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Mar 14, 2014 at 12:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .