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Is The Lucky Feat Broken?

I’ve prefaced many an article with how well-balanced I think the 5e rules are, and the more I play, the more I realised how spot on WOTC got things… well apart from Counterspell, healing rules, Paladins (in particular their divine smite ability), and a few other bits and pieces.

One – inexplicable – thing that blows my mind though is how the Lucky feat survived playtesting. Every single one of the four Dungeon Masters in my group has banned it from the table (the only change to the official rules we all agree on!); and if you do allow it you’ll find that once one player has it, every other player will cotton on how powerful it is and select it too, meaning a highly irritating slew of (unnecessary and overly influential) extra dice rolls during every session.

That time you rerolled your charisma check…

Before I complain any further, let’s take a look at it (p.167, Player’s Handbook):



You have inexplicable luck that seems to kick in at just the right moment.
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 after you roll the die, but before the outcome is determined. You choose which of the d20s is used for the attack roll, ability check, or saving throw.

You can also spend one luck point when an attack roll is made against you. Roll a d20, and then choose whether the attack uses the attacker’s roll or yours.
If more than one creature spends a luck point to influence the outcome of a roll, the points cancel each other out; no additional dice are rolled. You regain your expended luck points when you finish a long rest.


For newbies at first glance perhaps it doesn’t seem too overpowered… after all there are plenty of great feats, and your other option of course is to add 2 to a key ability score that will get you plenty of extra pluses as you go.

However consider this. Inspiration (p. 125, PH), which gives a PC advantage on a key roll during an adventure, is supposed to represent that magical stroke of luck heroes get during crucial moments. That fortune of the brave that helps ensure when they jump from a burning building with the true-born infant king in their arms they don’t splat onto the floor, but expertly roll with the fall, cradling the babe in their arms. Inspiration is a hard earned reward (p.240, DMG), given sparingly to PCs, usually for true-to-character roleplaying (especially roleplaying that puts one at a disadvantage), major goal achievement or epic heroism. As it’s only really designed to settle that adventure-hinging moment, not consistently influence play, only one inspiration “point” can be “stored” at a time. All-in-all it works perfectly as a game mechanic – it’s a powerful reward, for extraordinary deeds, to be used at a key juncture in your party’s story.

And then in walks Lucky feat… and ruins everything.

To select Lucky feat is to essentially be granted unearned inspiration three times a day, and goes against everything the game designers planned for inspiration itself. In fact it’s several times more powerful than three times inspiration because, unlike with inspiration, which you need to declare you’re using before you roll, with Lucky you can wait until the die is cast to decide if you’re going to force a re-roll. That makes it worth more like 5 or 6 inspiration “points” a day, as you get to use it only when you’re sure you need it.

To select Lucky feat is to essentially be granted unearned inspiration three times a day, and goes against everything the game designers planned for inspiration itself.

The result is that any PC with the Lucky feat dictates their own success all too often, in not just a key juncture, but in three big moments a day, when usually they would have failed, perverting the flow of the game in their favour, and often isolating them from ever having anything bad happen to their character. No one likes failing a crucial saving throw, attack roll or ability check, but failure, and the chance of failure, is also a lot of what makes D&D fun – and how you deal with it as a party is similarly often what makes the game memorable and unpredictable. I probably don’t need to tell you either that the larger your chance to failure, the more fun success is when it happens… something else that gets lost when you try to stack the odds.

The exact extend of how overpowered / broken the feat is does depend a fair bit on how many encounters you tend to have at your table a day. My group tend to favour a more realistic flavour of D&D, meaning just one or two encounters during your average day of adventuring at which point Lucky borders on ridiculous in its ability to define key moments. However even if you play hack and slash dungeons with multiple encounters a day I would vote taking Lucky off the table… aside from being overpowered it doesn’t add any flavour at all – it’s a bland catch all that makes you more powerful in any field at any time –  and is essentially a cop out for players unable to deal with adversity.

Lucky Feat variants

If you want to keep Lucky but fix it somehow, here are some suggestions on how to deal with it.

Option 1. Have the player roll a d4 minus 1 after a long rest to determine how many luck points they have for the day ahead (ie. they roll a 4 they have 3 luck points, a 3 = 2 luck points, a 2 = 1, and roll a 1 and they have zero luck points). This gives them an average of 1.5 luck points a day, instead of 3… and this way you get to test if they really are that lucky!

Option 2. Alternatively, if you are a bit more generous than I am, then you could have them roll a d3 simply, giving them 1-3 luck points a day and an average of 2.

Option 3. The PC still gets 3 luck points a day, but instead of forcing a reroll they have the option, after the dice is rolled (but before outcome is determined) to use a luck point to add 1d4 to their original roll. This means that three times a day the PC can turn a narrow failure into a narrow success – with a bit of luck! This better represents what it means to be lucky in my opinion, and is probably how the rules should have been written. It’s still a massively powerful feat, but it can’t turn extreme failure into victory any more.


Right, I actually really love feats in general, and they are an awesome way to power up your character whilst giving them more flavour at the same time… so I’ll be back with some more thoughts on best feats for different classes soon! Stay tuned.


The Assassin: Xenia “Nightsting” Zanetti


The White Scorpions: An Assassins’ Guild (5e D&D)


  1. Elenath

    Wow. . .You’re a bad DM.

    • duncan

      Happy to hear another point of view Elenath. But at the moment you are just trolling and running back under your bridge.

  2. Yvi

    I can’t help but think you are far too stingy with inspiration which is why you have this problem. I see inspiration as something to be granted regularly (Along with disadvantage) so Lucky isn’t much of an issue.

    • duncan

      Hi Yvi, thanks for your comment. If the players do something to earn inspiration I’m all for granting it, but inspiration is not something you can stockpile. You have it or you don’t, and then – if you are smart – you wait for a really important moment to use it. That means most of the time that you have inspiration you are not using it. And then when you do use it, you are unlikely to get it back straight away – some opportunity has to arrive for you to earn it. So there’s another period where you can’t use it, because you don’t have it. Therefore inspiration is not, at least according to the rules as written, something that gets used regularly at all.

      It sounds a bit like you are granting inspiration as if it is advantage, but they are two separate things. The DM does not grant inspiration in a moment (as with advantage or disadvantage). He or she grants inspiration as a reward for great play, and that PC then has an inspiration point to be used up when they most need it.

      By the spirit of the rules it would be hard to imagine a scenario where PCs used inspiration more than once a session.

  3. Hagrid

    I won’t say “wow, you’re a bad dm” but it sure seems like you don’t want your players to have play how they like.

    If someone forgoes the bonus to ability scores for a feat like “lucky” they might be having a bad time with the inconsistency of bad rolls.

    Story time:
    I’ve had a 4th level paladin character die to a giant spider attack because he rolled 1-2 three times during the encounter and everyone failed perception to detect 5 giant spiders in the trees. The DM rolled over 17 for almost each spider to hit through my plate. My character and his backstory went down the drain because of unlucky rolls on my part. I have never felt closer to quitting than that day. Thinking “maybe there’s a better way to spend 8 hours if all this goes to waste for a couple bad rolls.”

    Before you say “well that’s d&d”, that’s where I think this feat comes into play. If you’re unsatisfied with the idea that a couple bad rolls ending your story, you can make the sacrifice to your ability score. In this way, its a different play style.

    If you think players are going to abuse the rule, I think you’re being too competitive with your players. If a PC is successful in your world, that doesn’t mean you’re losing as a DM, it means you’re winning.

    • duncan

      No one likes bad dice rolls, but what you’re effectively saying from your example is you’d trade +2 to an ability score for immortality… so would I! And so would every player. I’m pretty sure any player who’s been playing D&D for a while selects this feat every time, because it’s so powerful.

      I’m not against the idea behind the feat, but it’s way too powerful, especially if you play a low encounter day. (Who seriously plays 6 fights a day!?).

      Anything that is too powerful either makes gameplay unbalanced in the favour of one particular player, which is not fair on the other players, or obliges everyone to take it, which is poor game design. And in Lucky’s case also forces lots of tedious re-rolls, if everyone at the table has the feat.

      As a player I would definitely go with this feat and if no one complains you can enjoy settling the key moments of the day and protecting yourself from harm, but as a DM I would definitely modify it, probably selecting option 3 from my suggestions above.

      Anyway appreciate your comment… your story makes a good point, but I like the element of luck in D&D and being able to control it to any degree actually spoils the fun for me. My own 14th level character died recently which was quite painful, but also a great chance to make another character.

      • Adam H

        Seems to me like you want to be in control as a DM rather than tell a story. A good DM acts as a guide for his or her players, not a dictator.

        I’m not going to accuse you of being a bad DM. But you definitely seem to crave control. Your options show you’re at least trying, but let’s be honest. They’re all about taking power from your players and transferring it to you/the DM. 1d4? Not substantial in the least. I fail to see that as a good compromise. 1d4 is basically cutting Lucky down to a quarter of it’s usefulness, if the person in question is obscenely lucky. Compromise is supposed to be both parties meeting halfway. So how about this? A compromise I think would be good for both player and DM could be to simply treat Lucky as a Bardic Inspiration die, and add the score from, say, a D8 or D10 to a roll. A d4 is great, if you miss the number needed by 1-4. But let’s say someone misses their last death saving thrown by 5, 6, or 7. You might enjoy making new characters. Not everyone does. Some players get attached to their characters, particularly in long campaigns. You don’t seem to take that into consideration and maybe you should. In fact, it seems like you want to go out of your way to penalize people who become emotionally invested in any given character, which is kind of a red flag to me. What works for you doesn’t necessarily work for everyone else, and a one-size-fits-all approach makes for a bad gaming experience in my opinion. Your job as DM is to tell a story and make sure everyone has fun. If your reasoning behind something is “I don’t like it” or “It makes things inconvenient for me”, then you need to re-examine the issue and your outlook on DMing.

        Finally, allow me to point this out. You claim Lucky is overpowered. But consider this. Someone who takes Lucky is forgoing 2-4 attribute points in order to get it, or a modifier of +1 to +2. Are you seriously going to claim that the ability to turn three bad rolls into possibly three good rolls is broken compared to what is being traded? Look at it like this. They’re trading a small constant (which is definitely in their favor) for a large variable, which might not even pan out! It might be overpowered in the Twilight Zone, but in reality, it certainly doesn’t seem to be.

        • duncan

          Hi Adam, thanks for the comment. I think you’ve made a couple of unfair assumptions about my motivations however that led you off into some tangents. Lucky annoys me from a player perspective as well. As both a DM and a player I strive for balance. For me it’s really important that characters have more or less the same amount of power, as that helps everyone at the table enjoy the game and feel they contribute equally. (Some don’t care if their player is weaker than others, but many do!). Lucky gives a player the power to be too decisive in key moments, and close to immunises them from death, in my experience.

          It seems what we fundamentally disagree on therefore is how powerful the feat is, but I think I’ve made a pretty good case why it’s much more powerful than a +1. If you still don’t agree, that’s fair enough!

          Ps. I think increasing the size of the dice would be a compromise as you say, so anyone who is inbetween my view and yours, could use your suggestion to hopefully improve their game! Thanks again for the comment.

  4. Abaddon

    Luck is not overpowered. Here’s the real argument that some folks aren’t showing you. Click here for the online anydice.com interactive dice graphing program.. Now look at graph 1. Getting a better result increases under advantage but it doesn’t guarantee it. It’s also noteworthy here that their first roll was bad enough that they felt they already lost. So they actually still only have the 5% per difficulty rating-skill modifier chance of getting a better roll. They can literally roll and fail again. This isn’t the goal. You probably do need to make sure you aren’t letting the luck player reset his pool everytime he wants. Don’t cheese the system though. He’s lucky 3 times. A battle is more than 3 attacks.

    • duncan

      Hi Donnie, you’re right in that getting a second roll is no guarantee of success. As for the link you posted I must admit I don’t understand it at all. Anyway I did the maths myself for a couple of check points so we can consider exactly how much difference Lucky feat can make:

      Let’s say you need to roll an 11 (before adding any modifiers) to pass a saving throw, skills check, attack roll etc. then your odds increase from 50% on a single roll to 75% of getting an 11 on one of two rolls. So 25% increase chance using Lucky.

      If you only needed to roll a 6+ before modifiers, then your chance of getting one with advantage = 93.725% (without it was 75%). So nearly 19% increase, which doesn’t sound like too much, although to look at it another way you just reduced your chance of failure from 25% to around 6%. From this second perspective you can see it’s pretty powerful.

      For difficult check where you needed to roll a natural 16 or higher your chance with two rolls is 43.75% (was 25% with just one).

      A battle is – usually – more than 3 rounds, although our group probably only plays about 10 to 20 combat rounds a day. Which maybe why all the DMs in our group agreed to ban it. (It wasn’t my suggestion even!).

      How powerful this feat is is very much tied in to how many encounters you play a day.

  5. Traska

    Hi! I just thought I would offer some additional feedback. I do disagree with your perspective and I doubt any of my comments will change your mind given the replies so far but I thought I would offer them anyway.

    1) There is no denying that Lucky is a good feat especially for a defensive minded player. However, lets compare to some of the popular power feats.
    – great weapon master
    – pole arm master
    – crossbow master
    – sentinel
    – sharpshooter
    All of these offer significant increases in damage or bonus action attacks (potentially on every round) or reaction attacks when an opponent enters your reach or when an opponent attacks an ally … they may also bypass hindrances like partial or three quarters cover or using ranged attacks when an opponent is adjacent. All of these can work multiple times in EVERY encounter during a playing day.

    What does Lucky offer in comparison? Three times in a day you can re-roll a d20. That’s it. It doesn’t guarantee that you succeed. I’ve failed enough to hit rolls with advantage to know that rolling another d20 isn’t a guarantee of anything. What the feat offers is a chance at “Luck”. A chance to re-roll a critical die roll. This doesn’t change the course of play any more than an extra attack on every round of combat for example … in fact, it is far less. All it offers the player is a chance to escape from the consequences of a critical die roll 3 times in a day.

    Which brings up the next point.

    2) Balance in D&D 5e is designed around an assumed adventuring day which contains one long rest and some number of short rests which intersperse encounters.

    DMG p 84

    Assuming typical adventuring conditions and average luck, most adventuring parties can handle about six to eight medium or hard encounters in a day. If the adventure has more easy encounters, the adventurers can get through more. If it has more deadly encounters, they can handle fewer.

    D&D 5e is designed around some classes benefiting more from long rests while others benefit from short rests. A game with many short rests between long rests makes the short rest classes relatively more powerful since their resources are frequently regenerated (e.g. warlock or battlemaster fighter). On the other hand, a day with two encounters and one or no short rests strongly favours long rest classes (wizards, sorcs, barbarians) who can then afford to expend all their resources in one combat.

    Your campaign with two encounters/long rest increases the relative effectiveness of long rest resources compared to the D&D base line design as outlined in the DMG. As it happens, the Lucky feat is a long rest resource. Personally, I think 3 re-rolls over two encounters isn’t OP … but by design it should be spread over 6 to 8 encounters. Lucky is a resource that a player should be hoarding for those critical rolls and not something that is spent on a whim. This is especially true since Lucky never guarantees anything except a second chance.

    3) Finally, from a DM perspective, I find Lucky to be both a fun role play element and something the character enjoys. Being able to escape from a dangerous situation either on the first roll or on the second because they are Lucky are BOTH fun for the player (and for the DM in my opinion since their goal is usually to create entertainment for the players). ”

    For example:
    The character loses their grip on the rope ladder and begins to fall, another player tries to catch them and fails, the character tries to get a grip themselves but fails … Lucky allows a re-roll and they succeed. So rather then plummeting to their death the character has a close call that is exciting since the second roll is as likely to fail as the original one … given that the original one has already failed which is why Lucky is being used. If I was the DM which outcome would I prefer? The character plummeting to their death? Bye bye, sucks to be you? No. As a DM I prefer that the character succeeds in a heroic attempt to do something and if that can be aided by the Lucky feat and used to enhance the excitement then so be it (in my opinion). This is especially true since the player had to give up a substantially greater continuous level of power throughout the entire adventuring day in order to earn just three possible re-tries.

    Anyway, my conclusion is that you feel the feat is OP in part due to your adventuring day being shorter than the D&D 5e design criteria. As a result, it isn’t surprising that it feels more powerful in your games. However, even for short games, I don’t think the power of Lucky comes anywhere close to the other feats mentioned or even a basic stat boost that increases to hit/damage/possibly initiative/saving throws/spell DC/skill rolls … the cumulative effect of the stat increase is FAR more powerful than the Lucky feat in general in my opinion. Lucky adds flavour and a second chance to actually be Lucky when all else fails. In my opinion, it doesn’t even come close to being OP and in a regular adventuring day it doesn’t get used all that much. Players don’t know when a day will end, when the last encounter will be done, whether they will be surprised while encamped … so a player with a Lucky feat who uses all their re-rolls will be truly stuck at the end of the day when a critical roll really does come up.

    • duncan

      Hi Traska

      Some great points and you make a very convincing argument. I’m not going to talk forever about this feat, so forgive me if I make my reply brief.

      The issue is that Lucky can decide key moments (those other feats are steady power ups but not so influential IMHO), and is significantly more powerful than Inspiration which, in my opinion, should be your last resort for the avoiding plummeting to your death scenario your describe. (Other than trying to avoid those scenarios in the first place by careful and clever strategic play!).

      I find it really bland additionally.

      All in all you’re right that other feats could be considered more powerful, especially in a longer day, but I still think it’s an ill judged mechanic given that Inspiration already exists and Lucky pisses all over it.

      Ps. talking about longer adventuring do you actually play 6-8 encounters a day? Because I have never played in a game like that…

      • Traska

        Hi! Two follow up comments.

        1) Inspiration is not even remotely comparable to the Lucky feat and it isn’t supposed to be.
        – inspiration is awarded by the DM for exceptional roleplaying (usually), for great ideas or for memorable contributions. In the games I have played it isn’t common. Perhaps zero, one or two players out of five to seven might earn inspiration in a typical session.
        – inspiration is FREE. It costs the character nothing to earn. It typically will never have a significant influence since it can only affect one die roll.
        – finally, inspiration (according to RAW) has to be used BEFORE the die roll is made. It is one use of a free advantage and that is it.
        – inspiration is not powerful, it is a mild reward that a DM can give away for folks who are doing an exceptional job role playing or contributing to the general enjoyment of the group.

        The Lucky feat costs an ASI slot. Over twenty levels a character only gets 4 to 7 of these. ASIs are scarce resources. Most classes will only see two of them before level 10. Unlike inspiration, a player has to expend a precious resource in order to have the opportunity to re-roll three dice during an adventuring day. Honestly it isn’t much and in all the games I have played it really hasn’t made that much difference.

        The last session I played had two characters with the lucky feat. Luck points were used to try to prevent the BBEG from hitting the character … didn’t work. They were used to re-roll a saving throw … didn’t work. They weren’t used at the beginning of the first encounter of the session (when four out of five failed a saving throw) since the characters didn’t know the significance or that so many would fail the save. On the other hand, the PAM hexblade warlock has been getting two attacks a round AND an opportunity attack when an opponent enters his reach. PAM is objectively and practically WAY more powerful with far more regular application than Lucky but that is just my experience. Lucky occasionally allows a character to make a save that they would have failed or avoid a critical hit. It simply makes the character “Lucky” and honestly I find it completely within the balance of the game without breaking anything in my experience. It just makes things a bit more fun usually.

        2) As for game play, the number of encounters in a gaming day varies. Recently, I’ve been playing a Tomb of Annihilation campaign and one day had 8 encounters with three short rests while we finished exploring a village. On the other hand, hex grid travel in ToA is more random with anything from 0 to 4 encounters in a typical day. Dungeons with multiple rooms or areas will typically have far more encounters (4 to 12) and there is rarely if ever the opportunity to take a long rest (and often short rests may not be possible).

        If you are finding that your table does two encounters/long rest then my guess is that the party might have a lot of long rest based characters that expend a lot of resources in each encounter then the party decides to long rest after a couple. If that is the case, then the DM has to be facilitating that playstyle by either structuring the encounters to be single events or allowing long rests to be taken in dungeons or other areas that should be very risky.

        Anyway, there seem to be two camps on Lucky … those that think it works fine and is reasonably balanced compared to other feats if not perhaps even a bit weaker than some of the combat feats … and there are folks who seem to think it is massively OP being allowed to affect 3 dice rolls/long rest. From both a theory and experience point of view, I haven’t found the Lucky feat to be a problem at all. It just gives the character a chance to be “Lucky” by maybe succeeding on a check three times a day where they would probably have failed with the original dice roll, or perhaps avoiding a critical hit. None of which are either bad or detrimental to the play of the game in my experience.

        Having multiple players with Lucky also doesn’t make much difference since it can only be used to mitigate that specific characters rolls for attacks, saves, ability checks or for attack rolls against them.

        Maybe your experience differs but I am not sure why that would be the case.

        • duncan

          Ok thanks for sharing more thoughts. I would be just repeating myself if I say much more! Although noting that two of your players have chosen Lucky feat is a telling fact… on our table everyone was starting to choose it, which is partly why we banned it. Didn’t add any flavour, just lots of extra dice rolls.

          The best fighting feats are very powerful, and I’ve started using some of them since writing this post, so in that light maybe you’re right that Lucky isn’t so powerful by comparison… of all of them I think Sentinel is probably the most powerful, maybe a little too much. Although smart monsters can get around it by simply attacking the Sentinel first. Pole Arm Master is pretty sick. I had a lot of fun with my Paladin using Great Weapon Master in my last session cutting down minions left and right and benefiting from the extra attack you get when you reduce a creature to zero hp almost every round.

          Anyway bottom line re: Lucky, if it works for you keep it. If you came here because it’s frustrating you, have a chat with your group.

  6. Zaalzar

    Hey, I was just searching the internet for “dnd lucky things” to try and find any/all races and classes that passively had Lucky as a feat or an equivalent, such as Halflings, Rogues, Fiend Pact Warlocks, etc…

    I stumbled upon your post and, man, the discussion here was definitely worth reading. Thank you for generating all these discussions and keeping a level head! It’s been very informative!

    • duncan

      Thanks Zaalzar, definitely in favour of making this blog a place for level-headed conversation, and credit to the majority of people who have commented here for doing exactly that…

      There is a halfling trait called Lucky as well (Player’s Handbook p.28) that states:

      When you roll a 1 on the d20 for an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll.

      Which is pretty handy!

  7. Kaliayev

    I agree with Traska that the feat’s trade off makes it fair. Unlike with other high tier feats, you aren’t getting a feat that grants you substantive gains in every round of combat. With the law of averages and enough encounters, some of the other feats are better than lucky.

    The real utility of Lucky is based around critical exploitation, which fits the nature of its name. If a player sees an enemy roll a 1 with advantage or a crit in an attack against him or her, the player can use lucky to roll another die and choose the 1 or potentially negate the enemy’s natural 20. Similar options exist when a player rolls with disadvantage or critically fails on a crucial attack.

    That being said, the feat may be overpowered for lower level characters. If the pcs are facing enemies that can do little more than swing a melee weapon at them, lucky can be excessive. One could say the same for a number of the high tier feats. Personally, I’m supportive of DMs who choose to deny feats at level four. However, once the pcs start facing creatures with legendary resistances, lucky and other high tier feats can help level the playing field at opportune moments.

    • duncan

      I usually play human PCs just to access a feat from level 1, as I find them a lot of fun. A lot of them combine well with other abilities. Not disagreeing with the general sentiment/logic of your idea, but I’d be a bit bummed if the DM said no feats until level 8!

  8. Biohazard

    I agree Lucky is one of the more powerful feats. But like all feats, there is a definite opportunity cost and it certainly doesn’t guarantee immortality or constant success. The main change I made with Lucky is based on my style of DMing, and the fact my games are fairly low combat – the 3 Luck points are refreshed every session rather than every long rest. Thus a player gets a set 3 rerolls every 3-4 hour session, and creates no tactical advantage to long rest just to reset one’s luck.

    • duncan

      This idea has some merit. Also easier to keep track of how many Luck points players have used! Thanks for the comment.

  9. Sarainy

    It looks like we are in the minority, but I too have banned Lucky. As someone who plays online in a West Marches style campaign where time each session is limited, Lucky can just wind up a massive time sink. This is especially true when players get very indecisive about ‘wasting’ a Luck point or not…

    The fact that several other feats are more powerful – which is being used as an example of why it is not overpowered- actually makes me even happier to ban it. It’s banned because it slows down gameplay… and there are better / more fun feats available anyway!

    • duncan

      All opinions are equal, but some opinions are more equal than others 😉🤣

  10. Ulises

    Does it specifically say “3 times a day”? From what I’m seeing it just says points are restored after a long rest. Maybe you should try clearly defining how long it takes for them to restore points instead of getting rid it all together. It’s the thing about luck, from an outside perpespective it can be annoying but the character wouldn’t really have a “lucky” trait if you’re basing it off of the rolls of their player. A character who is lucky should definitely be allowed these extra perks because they themselves are the lucky ones. Overpowered would be them automatically winning 3 rolls of their choice throughout the day. But this only allows them to have much better odds in their favor. Luck isn’t necessarily fair 🤷‍♂️ which I think this captures pretty well 😂

  11. Alex

    Im with you, I dont like the feat at all, not only because of the reasons you listed but also because of the fact that the player can affect an opponent’s roll as well, turning a crit into a possible failure, for me it takes away the fun of failing or going down or even risks that will move forward a more interesting narrative than the heroes succeeding on everything they choose to do, I found this post looking at other opinions and Im considering banning it from my next campaign, if they want to gain some similar benefit, play in character and earn some inspiration.

    • duncan

      hey Alex, sorry just found your comment now and approved it. Very good point, the fact that PCs with this feat pretty much become immune to critical hits is just another reason to ban it!

  12. Cristyna

    It is not owerpowered at all. It is usable only 3 times per day. Compare it to the zillions of rolls that anyone does in a single day.

    Any high level Fighter with action surge + Ranger (Gloom stalker) with Crosbow Expert can make 7-9 attacks (depending on the Fighter level) in the FIRST ROUND of any encounter.

    At 5 Level of fighter plus 3 of ranger (Gloom Stalker) using action surge and Crossbow expert: 7 attacks in the first round of any encounter,

    at 11 level of fighter, plus etc etc: 9 attacks in the first round of any encounter.

    Any player makes zillions of rolls any single day, so 3 points of luck it is no overpowered, in fact it is wasting a feat,

    Not to mention that it is usually useless… If you need a 18, most of the time you are going to fail anyway. If you need a 3, you are going to pass it anyway.

    Furthermore… Lucky is the ONLY DEFENSE against the Portent ability of a Diviner. Imagine a Diviner rolling a 3 and a 7 as his portents. “Come one guys, lets look for the bad guy, lets see if he can save with a 3 against my Charm Person / Polymorph / Magic Jar / (Insert your favorite Save or Die Spell here).

    As soon as one of your players is a DIviner, you will soon discover that your evil guys ALL have the Lucky feat.

    And if the diviner turns against the rest of the party… Well again Lucky is their only hope of sucess.

    So dont be afraid. Oh, and dont use the argument of “LOOOOOTS or rolls more”. No. Only 3 per player, amongst a zillion. A drop of water in an ocean.

    I have no problems when my players take it, Im not afraid of it. They are happy, so I am also happy.

    If you want to point to severely broken things, I would start for Crossbow Expert feat, the combo Polearm Master + Sentinel, or, the worst of all, the Simulacrum Spell (specially when the Diviner has both Simulacrum and Wish). Unstoppable.

    • duncan

      You say zillions of rolls, but it’s quite possible to make just 5, 10 or 20 rolls in an adventuring day as well… so it depends.

      It you need a 18 and you have a +7, and you fail, then using lucky your chances go from zero percent (you already failed) to 50% on your reroll. That’s quite an increase.

      Similarly if you’re trying to do something you expect to succeed on, in a crucial moment, then using lucky you almost guarantee success. If you need a 3 on the die, then you go from 10% chance of failure to 1%, I believe.

      Perhaps the best fix of all would be to have to declare you are using a luck roll before casting the die. Simple, but a lot less manipulative.

      I’ve never known anyone play a diviner, so keeping lucky on the table for that reason doesn’t make sense to me… although looking at portent now… that is a very powerful ability indeed! I haven’t playtested it, but it does look problematic.

      All the other stuff you mention is powerful, but only really gets out of control when you stack them together… Dread Ambusher ability on its own is amazing but probably not game breaking… however when you pair it with Action Surge then it is.

      Polearm + Sentinel very handy indeed, one of the best combos, but you only get one reaction a round, so once you use an opportunity attack granted by polearm master you wouldn’t get your extra sentinel attack for example. Also as soon as someone picks sentinel just make them the target of all attacks.

      Anyhow, I think sadly it’s beyond the scope of this blog to legislate against combos by players who are almost trying to break the game! But things that are broken without any powergaming required are easier to deal with.

      The weakness of simulacram is that it can simply be dispelled right!? Actually DM David was just complaining about how that spell ruined his day one time…


      As for wish, I tend to think once players can cast wish it’s time to start a new campaign starting from level 1 again… I’m not really interested in the ego trip of high level campaigning.

      Anyway some interesting points! Thanks for the comment.


      • Sarainy

        I’d also argue that Cristyna is missing the point that Lucky isn’t so much an issue because 3 extra rolls in adventuring day is bad (which it isn’t) but that those 3 rolls are either massively important or fundamentally changes how the players approach the game.

        Lucky dictates that a player suddenly has the option to weigh up every dice result against the remaining pool of Lucky points. If the ability was used prior to the roll, then this wouldn’t be an issue – but it is not.

        Also I’d say the argument that it’s nothing when compared to “zillions of rolls that anyone does in a single day” is a false comparison. None of those “zillions of rolls” tend to matter as individual rolls. In fact by the very nature of Cristyna stressing that Fighter/Gloomstalker can get 9 attacks in the first round of combat shows that each of those individual rolls isn’t important – you have so many dice being rolled that they individually aren’t that important.

        Yet Lucky isn’t used on those things, so the argument is irrelevant. Lucky allows you to roll again on the most important rolls of each day, like Saving Throws or vital skill checks – and I would argue the ones that really matter. It means that you suddenly have this buffer against anything of consequence happening to your character ready to go, multiple times a day.

        Ultimately, if Lucky is such a terrible feat, why get up in arms about some DMs banning it?

        • Cristyna

          Because it is the only defense againt Diviners.
          I said it before, lets say the Wizard of the party has access to, lets say “Hold Person”, or “Charm Person”.

          Lets say that he rolls a 2 and a 7 as his portents for the day.
          Then the party faces the big bad guy, lets say an evil wizard or cleric of fighter of 10 level. What can he do? Nothing, he will charmerd or hold immobile while the party chop it to pieces.

          Most of my powerful NPCs have Lucky. It is necessary, unless you wish to nerf the Diviner. But I tend to play “by the book” as much as possible.

          And again, since it can be used for both PCs and NPCs, there is a balance.
          It is not broken.

          And I have no problems with my players saving its uses for “important” rolls as ST. They are happier when they pass the rolls, so I am happy too.

          The drama comes when one of them dies not for taking wrong decissions, simply due to bad luck. It might be fun breaking.

          Also remember that the new roll is only a roll. It does nor guarantee sucess. Yes, it increase the chances of sucess. But the whole game is about increasing your chances of sucess. Every time you get a magic weapon, every time you level up and get a better proficiency bonus, every time you increase your stats, many and many magic items…

          Some monsters have “Legendary Saves”, they may choose to pass the ST even if they fail the roll… And we are going to deny players even the chance or rolling a second time???

          I think the game is ok as it is. If you dont like Lucky, dont allow it.
          But then, good luck against Diviners.

          • Sarainy

            If Diviners are so broken fix them – don’t force players to take Lucky in that case.

            In addition, there’s nothing in the rules about Monsters or Non Player Characters using Feats or being expected to be mechanically built like Player Characters. So the defence that “…since it can be used for both PCs and NPCs, there is a balance.” isn’t true, because not only does that balance not exist, it simply doesn’t have to.

            You argue that Legendary Resistance is better than Lucky because it’s guaranteed (which it is) but again you are trying to compare NPCs to PCs in ways they don’t need to be.

            Legendary Resistance is there to enable a lone boss to fight against multiple PCs and not just die to a single ‘save or suck’ spell. By giving them 3 auto-successes they effectively become 4 NPCs worth of defences against those sorts of spells. Just as how Legendary Actions are there to balance the action economy of a boss vs. a party.

            There’s no such things as an NPC with character levels by the books, but even if we did pretend your example of a 10th level was an actual thing – that’s exactly what the aforementioned Legendary Resistance and Actions are for!

          • Cristyna


            Diviners being broken much more than Lucky was just an example.
            I have no need to “fix” them (I suppose you mean “nerf” them).
            I am perfectly capable to run a campaign with PCs Diviners without upsetting players who have been playing a Diviner for months.

            Want to hear about broken things? I am also perfectly capable of running a campaign with 17-lvl Diviners having Simulacrum and Wish, and having INFINITE wishes (cast by the simulacrum) so they will never have any penalty or have a chance of losing the Wish Spell.

            But I am not going to nerf my players only because I have not enough imagination to make encounters hard enough for them.

            Remember that any feat/combo/strategy that the players can imagine…
            it also can be done by the DM, and 100 times better, as he can select the stats, feats, magic items and level of the bad guys… So yes, anything that players can do, the DM can do it 100 times better.

            FInally, you should re-read your DM’s Guide.

            The DMG gives two approaches for making NPCs: either design them using the monster math (as all the NPCs in the Monster Manual are), or build them as PCs. Which is what any DM who deserves that name does.

            If the Big Bad Guy at the end of the dungeon is an evil wizard of 10 level with some charmed Ogres as bodyguards… Of course he will have feats (one at 4th level and one at 8th leves). And if in your party there is a Diviner, and you as DM wants to make a fair and interesting combat… Then of course Lucky will be one of them.

            If not, the diviner will charm/hold/polimorph into a fish the evil wizard in the first round. Game over. Cross out an evil wizard from the list.

  13. duncan

    Just found a very interesting article by Think DM, who surveyed players about feats… Lucky was one of three that players voted for as ‘broken’….


  14. Mark Allen

    It really depends on how players choose feats for their characters. If they’re optimizers, trying to squeeze every advantage out of the rules, then you may have a point – but that’s a very dull way to roleplay – for me, it’s about as interesting as becoming an accountant! If however, it’s been chosen because it fits the character’s story then it works ok.

    The main campaign I take part in has 6 characters at this time, but has had over 20 through the many years it’s been running. In all that time only one character has had lucky feat – because it fitted in with his backstory. When compared to things like Diviners powers, a Monk’s multi-attacks, or a Bard’s Jack-of-all-Trades, the Lucky Feat has had a negligible impact on outcomes.

    If you do find it’s causing a problem, any decent GM should know how to adjust the circumstances to balance out such an effect without having to ban things or write new rules.

  15. Montie Wilder

    I’m not really sure why everyone is getting upset. I have to assume most of the people that are angry have never dm’d a game before because they are lacking the understand of creating a dramatic environment. My entire focus for playing/dming games is to create memorable stories and drama for my players and myself, if a feat or part of the game doesn’t fit for a dramatic play-style it is OK to throw it out, the first part of the players hand book goes over this. Even if you don’t agree with him on it being overpowered, people should be able to make the game their own and maybe seeing an article like this makes them realize they don’t need to follow the rules to have fun.

    • duncan

      Agreed, and of course it’s perfectly acceptable to keep it too if you’re having fun with it! Thanks Montie.

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