DnD Feat Guide – Assorted Meeples (2022)

Sometimes you have a feat that is heavy for flavor/roleplaying, aids skill monkeys, and while useful still somehow falls into that group of being more for flavor than use despite its usefulness. Linguist is one of those feats that offers some really cool benefits, has wonderful potential for use in roleplaying or for flavor, but in the average D&D campaign it’s not likely to be too useful. Especially since there are so many workarounds.

The linguist feat sounds great at first glance but is actually one of the weaker feats in D&D 5E. It breaks my heart to say it because it looks cool, it’s a cerebral feat (and one I would LOVE for real life), but unfortunately this is one of the weaker feats in the current 5th Edition.

The 5E linguist feat is not worth taking in most campaigns. It looks great on paper but in an actual game the utility falls short. This feat provides +1 INT, 3 languages, and the ability to create ciphers. This sounds great, but is actually a weak combination in-game.

How can a feat that gives so much be worth so little in practical terms? We’ve got the answer for you right down here!

DnD Feat Guide – Assorted Meeples (1)

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Breaking Down the Linguist Feat

The linguist feat is one of my favorites even though it is a weak one. I admit, at first it looked super strong because it does seem to give so much – the problem is what it runs into during actual gameplay.

Directly from the Player’s Handbook:

You have studied languages and codes, gaining the following benefits:

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  • Increase your Intelligence score by 1 to a maximum of 20.
  • You learn 3 languages of your choice.
  • You can ably create written ciphers. Others can’t decipher a code you create unless you teach them, they succeed on an Intelligence check (DC equal to your Intelligence score + your proficiency bonus), or they use magic to decipher it.

Player’s Handbook, p. 167

Let’s look at these benefits in more detail and break them down.

Benefit #1: You get a +1 to intelligence up to the maximum of 20.

Not bad, this helps minimize the loss of another +1 or taking +2 in an ability score. Especially good if you have an odd number in Intelligence. Getting a stat boost is always a good thing, but it does have to be measured against what was passed on to get here.

Benefit #2: You can learn three languages of your choice.

Love this benefit, and in very early game it can be useful if you have the right type of DM. Having players who understood draconic or orc did actually matter in the early game of my campaign I ran for the table, but there’s a problem with this benefit, as cool as it is: there are many, MANY ways around it.

Comprehend Languages, for example, is a 1st Level spell that allows reading and listening of ALL languages. At first level. The Helm of Comprehend Languages is one of the few magical items that does not require attunement, which does the same thing. This means even at the earliest levels it is easy to take care of any language related issue.

Which dampers down the benefit of actually knowing more languages.

Benefit #3: You can create written ciphers that require an intelligence check of Int Score + Proficiency (or magic) to crack.

First of all, this sounds cool AF. It’s like feeling like part of the Thieves’ Guild without having to be part of the Thieves’ guild. And it does scale. The ciphers you could create at high levels would be next to impossible to crack without magical assistance. And from a flavor standpoint I absolutely love this.

The problem? Calling this a niche situation doesn’t even begin to cover it. I’ve never had a campaign where a cipher came up and I’ve played or ran games that had some serious political intrigue going on.

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Then there’s the message cantrip that allows some form of mental communication (though the finger point is a dead giveaway if the DM pays attention to detail) and then sending is at level three. Or sending stones.

So why do you need a cipher?

So as cool as it sounds, unfortunately this benefit falls flat, too.

5E Classes That Are Made for the Linguist Feat

The two that come up immediately are Artificer and Wizard. They are the only intelligence based classes, they fit the image of intelligent characters always learning, always studying, needing languages to grab those rare tomes or instructions not translated to their own language. Having the ability to make a cipher also kind of makes sense for a wizard.

Among the classes out there, Artificer and Wizard make the most sense for fitting in with who the linguist feat was meant for.

5th Ed Classes that should always at least consider take the Linguist Feat: Artificers, Wizards

5E Classes That Should Consider Taking the Linguist Feat

This is one of those “Everyone and No One” type situations where everything is so situational, especially if you’re trying to make this feat do work. This could be situationally interesting for any face character, especially one like the bard which only needs to be very strong in one ability score to function well in-game.

If he’s going to be the face, quietly knowing a bunch of languages could help him pick up on things others are talking about – especially if he has the observant feat.

I also took this with my original ranger character in the first campaign I ever played in. We had a very weird party, no helm of comprehend languages, and no wizard or sorcerer. Because of this, the ranger leading the party into the wilds knowing Orc, Goblin, and Giant actually came in useful in that very narrow circumstance.

Though that was possibly because the DM felt sorry for the noob that picked Linguistics as a feat.

5th Ed Classes that should consider taking the Linguist Feat: Bards, Rangers, a face character

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5E Classes That Should NEVER Take the Linguist Feat

There’s not necessarily a class that should never take this feat, but for some it makes far less sense. And honestly, it’s a feat that is so underpowered that you could make the argument that all classes should be under this section.

Because even for those that it fits with like the wizard or artificer where it makes sense, they arguably need to max out casting stats, Constitution, and take other feats before this one would ever even make the radar. And it’s really hard to argue with that.

5th Ed classes that should never take the Linguist Feat: There’s an argument for all of them.

Final Feat Grade for 5E Linguist

Linguist Feat Grade: D+

Is the 5E Linguist Feat Worth It?

Look, personally I love this feat and it’s one of my favorite pickups, but I can’t let my personal preferences get in the way of a fair grade. Okay, okay, maybe it doesn’t deserve the “+” but it hurt me to put a feat I enjoy so low, but truth be told, it isn’t great. 99% of games won’t use ciphers, so that is fairly useless in most games as cool as that sounds.

A +1 INT is good, but you’re giving up a +2 or +1/+1 to get it. For an odd number this could be worth it if the rest is seen as a bonus worth more than a +1 to another ability score improvement to you, but that’s situational.

The three languages sound great and can be a lot of fun. But again, languages rarely play a role in most D&D campaigns. Even if they do tend to come up a lot, like at our table, there are a multitude of spells that do the same thing, not to mention one uncommon magic item that doesn’t require attunement: Helm of Comprehend Languages, which lets you understand all languages without having to use an attunement slot.

That item is a great item and deserves to be in the D&D world…and it kills this feat completely. I don’t remember a game where we didn’t have access to this before level 10, and it just undoes the feat.

In a vacuum this feat looks really good or even great. But in practice with your average and even deep intrigue campaigns, linguist just doesn’t hold up as a feat while in play.

Linguist Feat FAQ

Do you need to have heard a language in order to take it with the linguist feat?

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There is no place where the linguist feat states that a player must have heard the language in order to learn it. Some DMs may home rule that you need to at least have been exposed to the language in order to pick it up but there’s nothing in book that puts that restriction on your player character.

How can I learn languages in 5E without taking the linguist feat?

You can learn any language that someone else in the party knows how to speak, as long as you let the DM know this is your intention and you are spending long rests with them learning the language. This takes 8 weeks in-game, which is reduced 1 week for every other character in the party who also speaks that language.

Is the linguist feat any good?

The linguist feat is one of the weaker feats in 5E. While it does provide a lot, there are multiple early level workarounds that provide the same (or better) benefits than linguist does. Linguist tries to be a strong feat and looks good in a vacuum but in actual gameplay, it falls badly short.

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DnD Feat Guide – Assorted Meeples (2)

Shane Dayton

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Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.

FAQs

Is war caster a good feat? ›

How good is the War Caster feat? The War Caster feat is a great way to keep up concentration, although if that's your only goal, feats like Resilience or even a plain old Ability Score Increase to your Constitution will help scratch that itch as well.

Can you take tough feat twice? ›

Sadly, you cannot. In the Player's Handbook, it's stated on page 165 that “You can take each feat only once, unless the feat's description says otherwise.” The Tough feat makes no mention of being able to take it multiple times, so you can only take it the once.

Is keen mind good 5e? ›

The keen mind feat is an ability that makes you incredibly good at keeping track of time, directions, and information.

Is the healer feat good 5e? ›

The Healer Feat in DnD 5e makes you better at healing using healer's kits. This means you don't need magical healing abilities to heal your companions. This means it is also a good feat for non-Healer characters who want to pick up some of the healing slack in combat.

Can you cast 2 spells in a turn 5e? ›

You must use a bonus action on your turn to cast the spell, provided that you haven't already taken a bonus action this turn. You can't cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action. That's it, that's the whole rule in question.

Does Eldritch Blast work with Warcaster? ›

According to this sage advice Warcaster can use Eldritch Blast as long as all attacks go against the provoking creature.

Is tough good on a wizard? ›

For heavy melee or “tanking” classes that need huge reserves of HP and have their CON scores maxed out, Tough can be a great pick to just layer on even more. Likewise, if you have a sorcerer or wizard who kept rolling 1's and have a low CON score, getting a big boost in hit points could be necessary for survival.

Can you stack feats? ›

You can take each feat only once, unless the feat's description says otherwise. With the exception of the Elemental Adept, which is the only feat to specifically state: You can select this feat multiple times. Each time you do so, you must choose a different damage type.

Can you take Eldritch adept more than once? ›

During a level up when you get an ability score improvement, you take this feat instead. Assuming your DM allows feats (though the overwhelming majority of them do). Can you take Eldritch Adept more than once? No.

Does a wizard with keen mind need a spellbook? ›

By the book, the Keen Mind feat doesn't mitigate not having a spellbook, and so the Keen Mind can't do any of the items on your list.

Are feats good DND? ›

In D&D 5e, feats can be one of the most powerful and useful abilities to add to a character. There are a lot of choices, and some feats are situational, circumstantial, or won't be allowed by the DM. Dungeons & Dragons is about covering weaknesses or enhancing strengths, which is exactly what feats allow players to do.

What does a keen mind mean? ›

If you say that someone has a keen mind, you mean that they are very clever and aware of what is happening around them. They described him as a man of keen intellect. Synonyms: perceptive, quick, sharp, brilliant More Synonyms of keen.

Can you use healer feat on yourself? ›

The Healer feat lets you take one use of a healer's kit on yourself or an ally for 1d6+4+[max # hit die/character level)] once per short rest.

Can rogues heal DND? ›

It heals you 1d10+your level by using your bonus action once per short or long rest. It's like using a charge of your healing kit on yourself for free.

How many uses does a healer's kit have? ›

The kit has ten uses. As an Action, you can expend one use of the kit to stabilize a creature that has 0 Hit Points, without needing to make a Wisdom (Medicine) check.

Can you counterspell a counterspell? ›

No. You can't counter Counterspell on your own turn by using your Reaction to cast Counterspell. You CAN use your reaction to cast Counterspell, but you will lose the original spell you were casting and the result would be the same. The only difference being that you wasted 2 spell slots instead of one.

Can you cast 2 cantrips? ›

You cannot cast two cantrips during one action. That's why many cantrips scale as you level. To further explain what you read, if you cast a spell as a bonus action, you can only use your action to cast a cantrip. For example, there's a monster next to you.

Can you cast Hex and Eldritch Blast? ›

Question: Is it possible for me to stack Hex with the Eldritch blast in 5e? Answer: If you cast a relentless Hex in 5e, the damage is not a part of the Eldritch blast spell. So it would stack with all the rest. There are a couple of other great spells to use with Hex in 5e.

Is Warcaster good for Bladesinger? ›

Don't take Warcaster. It doesn't work on Booming Blade anymore, which was your best reason to take it - you'll never carry a shield anyway, so the S while wielding benefit will never help you, and as others have pointed out, Resilient Con is better than Warcaster if all you care about is the save.

Can you quicken spell Eldritch Blast? ›

For those looking to produce as many Eldritch Blast beams as possible within a single round, the Quickened Spell Metamagic option can be utilized to allow a spell with a casting time of one action to be instead cast as a bonus action.

Can you use a cantrip as a reaction? ›

You can cast a bonus action cantrip and all of those full leveled action spells (1 as a reaction before your turn, 1 on your turn, 1 as an Action Surge, 1 as a reaction after your turn all in the same round.)

When should I take war Caster feat? ›

The War Caster feat is one of the many feats found in the Player's Handbook in D&D 5e. Feats are optional abilities that player characters can access when they reach certain levels. Whenever you reach a level that grants an ability score improvement, you can forgo the ASI and take a feat instead.

Is War Caster good for Sorcerer? ›

War caster is one of the must-have feats for casters and that definitely includes sorcerers. Warlocks should definitely be taking war caster.

When should I take Warcaster? ›

War Caster is most useful for

Clerics and Druids – These are listed together as their reasons for taking War Caster are identical: both have spell lists that heavily feature concentration spells and both have proficiency with shields with an incentive to hold a weapon in their other hand.

Can you use booming blade with war caster? ›

Booming Blade works fine with War Caster. a range of "self: x" means that you're the spell's point of origin, not its target.

Is Warcaster good for Bladesinger? ›

Don't take Warcaster. It doesn't work on Booming Blade anymore, which was your best reason to take it - you'll never carry a shield anyway, so the S while wielding benefit will never help you, and as others have pointed out, Resilient Con is better than Warcaster if all you care about is the save.

Can an Eldritch Knight use a shield? ›

I was just wondering, if you're playing an eldritch knight, can you use a shield in one hand and a sword in the other, and still do the somatic gestures for spells and use the required material components? By default, no.

Can you use a cantrip as a reaction? ›

You can cast a bonus action cantrip and all of those full leveled action spells (1 as a reaction before your turn, 1 on your turn, 1 as an Action Surge, 1 as a reaction after your turn all in the same round.)

What feats should a sorcerer take? ›

10 Best 5e Feats For Sorcerers In D&D 5e, Ranked
  • 10/10 Resilient (Constitution)
  • 9/10 Fey Touched.
  • 8/10 Shadow Touched.
  • 7/10 Elemental Adept.
  • 6/10 Telepathic.
  • 5/10 Eldritch Adept.
  • 4/10 War Caster.
  • 3/10 Spell Sniper.
Aug 22, 2022

Is sniper spell good? ›

Spell Sniper is an excellent 5E spell for battle casters that ignores all but full cover, doubles the distance of an attack spell, and allows them to learn an attack cantrip that even belongs to another class. Sometimes referred to as “Sharpshooter for Spellcasters” the feat fulfills that promise and potentially more.

What is the point of war caster? ›

War Caster is similar to Polearm Master because it enables a particular build rather than offering raw power to an already established build. There are tons of characters that like to wield magic in combat, which can mean taking damage from multiple sources each turn.

Do Cantrips count as spells? ›

A cantrip is a spell that can be cast at will, without using a spell slot and without being prepared in advance. Repeated practice has fixed the spell in the caster's mind and infused the caster with the magic needed to produce the Effect over and over. A cantrip's Spell Level is 0.

How do I cast my Cantrips as a bonus action? ›

Casting a Cantrip and a Spell in One Turn

The only exception would be when it comes to Bonus Action spells. That way, you can use a Bonus Action spell, and since you are not spending the Action, you can use it to cast a Cantrip. However, you can't cast a Bonus Action spell and then a regular spell.

Can you cast spells with a shield? ›

You can, you just need the other hand free, or the War Caster feat, which allows you to cast spells with somatic component while wielding shield and weapon.

Can booming blade be twinned? ›

Yes, Booming Blade can be twinned, because a range of Self is not the same thing as a range of Self (5-foot radius) When a spell has a range of "Self", it definitionally targets the caster themselves, and no one else.

Does dissonant whispers trigger booming blade? ›

no, in the sense that forced movement from Dissonant Whispers is not "willingly moves" as required by Booming Blade for bonus damage.

Does Sentinel work with war caster? ›

Sentinel is not a great combo with War Caster. However, Polearm Master is great with War Caster. If you're using sword & board style, use a Spear. Enemies entering your reach will provoke an OA (in addition to leaving reach), which you can then convert to a spell.

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