When do you get feats in DnD 5E?

The milestones for unlocking feats in your D&D journey.

© Dice Cove

Everybody loves Feats! Whether you’re going for a fighter who really hates spellcasters, a wizard who wants a little more health, a ranger who sees everything, or get epic wings on your Dragonborn (a fine choice I might add), Feats can really compliment your character, no matter what you decide to play.

Now the biggest and yet also one of the least frequent problems you can encounter is finding a DM that allows feats. Feats are supposed to be optional features that are allowed into games if you really want them, but with how incredibly awesome they are, it’s actually difficult to find DMs that don’t permit them for anyone, even NPCs.

Now, comes the fun part of actually obtaining Feats. Rules as written, there are 2 ways I know of: Race, and Ability Score Increases. The first method involves picking a race such as Variant Human or going with a Customized Origin from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. This gives you a free Feat right off the bat without waiting till 4th level, or be particularly friendly to your DM (I hear snacks are practically gold in this regard).

Now if you still want all the racial traits offered, or you really want as many feats as you can get your hands on (I don’t blame you), you can actually forgo Ability Score Increases in exchange for a feat. This does mean it’s harder to maximize your scores, but hey! Who needs ability scores when you can fumble through every encounter, miraculously evading all dangers present?

Of course, this is just Rules as written, and if your DM is really creative, they can come up with some wild and crazy cool ways to grant feats, like through roleplay, or (as the bard in the “quote” discovered) as a reward for a quest! And to get your mind juices flowing, I have written three scenarios to demonstrate how you can do this! Observe.

You stumble through your dream, now confronted with a storm that pelts you ever harder with an icy rain. Eventually, it becomes too difficult to move forward, and your progress halts. At some point, you turn around and see a man clothed in an arcanist’s garb that you recognize as the sorcerer that inspired you down this path. ‘What’s the problem? Can’t handle a storm?’ he says with a mocking grin. You don’t know how to respond, being torn between smacking him for taunting you, laughing alongside your hero, or crying your heart out, but you don’t need to as he soon speaks again. ‘Well, I know it’s hard, but I know you have more in you than that. You have a power inside you, just like me. Look for the spark.’ he encourages before vanishing. You search deep inside yourself and search for ‘the spark’ as the storm grows ever stronger. Suddenly, you feel warm. The storm is not as loud as it used to be. You open your eyes to see around you, grass is starting to grow. You unleash the spark and you find strength fill your veins.

Gaining Magic Initiate: Sorcerer

You stagger into the ranger’s home, dragon corpse in tow ‘Well done!’ he congratulates inspecting your kill ‘The forest shall remain clear from his claws, and will never see his terror reign true ever again! And for that, I suppose you want to learn how best to stalk the woods. I suppose you’ve earned it, and you can keep some of the scales too.’ As he finishes cleaning the dragon for various uses and rewarding you with some scales, he brings you deep into the woods and teaches you many various ways to hide with minimal cover.

Gaining Skulker

‘I thought you’d be tough’ the orc king says with a laugh, before swiping your feet out from under you. ‘They said you would fight far longer than the others. And yet you crush easily.’ And with a great overhead swing, the great club strikes you. And in a flash, you recall what all is at stake. Your family, friends, loved ones, no… The country is counting on you. You feel the crushing weight of the great club land on you, but you grab it, and stand on your feet, wiping the blood from your new wound. You fall into a battle stance and prepare for your chance to strike. The orc king grins ‘this will be fun!’ you find yourself taking blow after blow, but you don’t back down. You won’t lose that easily.

Gaining Tough

Now of course these examples aren’t the only ways your DM can award a feat. Some other ideas include books, ancient scripts, mystical artifacts, magical sources of power, revelation, being knocked out, aberration-related experiments, and so many more. You could even have racial feats be gifts from other creatures (depending on the feat). But as long as you and your DM are creative, there should be no shortage of feats for you. Now of course getting a feat is one thing, but figuring out what feat to get is another. So if you want ideas, take a look at the Feat Spotlight page, and you can see what options are out there! See you in another article!