[RPG] Is this adjustment to the Lucky feat underpowered


I have the feeling Lucky feat in 5e is overpowered.

I have a modification that I want to propose my players with says you have to decide to use your luck point BEFORE rolling the dice. That's the only modification so the feat will be:

You have 3 luck points. Whenever you make an attack roll, an ability
check, or a saving throw, you can spend one luck point to roll an
additional d20. You can choose to spend one of your luck points only before
you roll the die and before the outcome is determined.
You choose which of the d20 is used for the attack roll, ability check or saving throw.

You can also spend one luck point before an attack roll is made
against you. Roll a d20, and then choose whether the attacker uses the
attacker roll or yours. You choose the dice before the attack roll
is made and, therefore, before knowing the attacker roll result.

The rest of the feat description (i.e. cancelling rules) remains unchanged.

I feel that makes the feat less powerful by turning a "I don't really like this result" to "I really want to make sure I get this right". That way the player needs to carefully decide what matters and what doesn't before rolling, afterwards is just too late.

Is this modification, however, underpowered to the point that it makes the feat useless (meaning the feat will not be picked up by players since its not worth it)?

Note: I'll accept frame challenges if you think the original lucky feat is not overpowered, although I think that may end up going to opinion based quickly.

Reasons I feel it is overpowered
There are numerous discussions already on the internet about the Lucky feat. My take on it is that it allows way too many rerolls for any roll, after knowing the die roll (which means you at least have a feeling of whether you'll fail or not).

In my view this means that the players are able to, on demand, reroll at will any critical situation they find themselves on and those usually do not happen more than 3 times per day and when they happen, it is simply not that difficult to spot them. I don't usually put my players on such tight corners that they have more than 3 situations a day where the outcome of a single roll is of vital importance and the fact that you can decide after looking at the dice means that out of those critical situations, some of them would be naturally saved, allowing you to simply "save" the luck point. Then the next adventuring day, boom, you have your points again to start over with your safety net of, "if everything goes wrong I can count on my luck".

Making the players decide FIRST means that luck points are precious and valuable and you really have to think first, is this worth making absolutely sure I have the best chances to succeed or is it better to save it for later? Is this a really critical situation?

With deciding after they can instead go like: oh, it seems like I'm going to fail this thing… ok, I don't want to fail so I'm going to spend a luck point. It's a fallback, not a carefully thought tradeoff.

Even though the players do perform dozens of rolls per adventuring day, most of them do not matter so much. Attack roll, you fail, fine,next. Attack roll, you succeed, great. But then there's this occasional thing that really matters, "saving throw" against a fireball, that lockpick to enter the throne room, that deception check to escape from a contrieved situation, that last attack you've just failed with 5 HP left which you feel, if succeded may have just killed the monster… those are the ones that do change the course of the adventure. Yes, players roll a lot, but critical, potentially changing situations are far and between events that do not happen that often (at least not on my adventures).

I don't want to quote all the internet here but Lucky is consitently considered either broken or one of the most useful feats on the game, usually being quoted as THE most useful feat for all the above reasons.

Best Answer

This is unnecessary

I've played at a table where several PCs, across different campaigns and DMs, have had the Lucky feat and I've never experienced an imbalance issue or a feeling that it's overpowered.

Already limited

The feat is already limited in that it can only be used 3 times/long rest. That's a pretty big limitation when the volume of rolls across a day's encounters can be high (both PC rolls and rolls against the PC). In my case, we generally only have 1-3 combat encounters/day and we still had to manage when we wanted to use it.

I just haven't seen or felt that the being able to force a reroll was problematic. And that reroll isn't a guaranteed improvement, either.

Less fun

I would say that as someone who has had the Lucky feat with a character that treating it more akin to the Inspiration mechanic would turn this into something less exciting. It's fun to say "Oh, that didn't work out, but I'm Lucky! Let's try it again!" It's less fun to hedge your bet with an advantage/disadvantage prior to the roll.

More management for the DM and the player

In this scenario, before you roll any die against the PC with the feat, you're going to have to stop and ask them if they'd like to use Lucky.


Otherwise, there may be a time when they wanted to use it, and you didn't give them the opportunity. And now you're back to the original method of the player saying "Well, you didn't ask, but I wanted to use it, but you rolled. So can you reroll?"

What about the Halfling racial ability?

This works very similarly to Lucky. Are you going to change how that works as well? While it's a special case of rerolling 1s, that's impactful for when the halfling is attacking. Just like Lucky is impactful if they roll that 1.

Sort of works like an upgraded multi-use Inspiration

The way you want the mechanic to work is very similar to that of Inspiration:

If you have inspiration, you can expend it when you make an attack roll, saving throw, or ability check. Spending your inspiration gives you advantage on that roll.

The main difference is that you can also use it against an enemy, which is not how the Inspiration mechanic generally works. We do have a question covering this enemy-focused function, but I can also supplement that by saying we allow the use of Inspiration at my table to force disadvantage on an enemy attack/save/ability check and have had no problems doing so.

This is not to say I'm advocating for turning the Lucky Feat into a modified Inspiration, but that it is an option - just not the one I'd prefer because of the above.