Satine: "Can we play with feats?"
An image that I do not think is the right image pops into my mind. I look up from my sweet potato fries.
"Oh, 'feats', like in D&D, like 'gain 3 bonus feats per level' and all that."
"Ok, let's talk," says I, and I chew thoughtfully upon my bacon-wrapped hot dog, "See, let's pretend this salt shaker is a monster."
"So, like 'Oh no! The salt shaker!'. In old D&D there's pretty much like one thing in the rulebook you can do to this salt shaker: roll dice to hit it with whatever weapon you have." I smack it with a fry.
"Seems dull, right? However there are also an infinite number of things that aren't in the rulebook that you can do to the salt shaker, and Old D&D expects the player to try to think those up."
(I could've, but forgot to, point out here that 'grappling'--for example--isn't covered in the player's handbook. the idea presumably being that players will figure out they can try to grab the salt shaker and at that point the DM will pull out the grappling rules from the DMG and say "Ok, here's how you do it".)
Satine: "I got it."
"As the game got more popular and was designed for younger and younger people and more general audiences, it started to include more and more suggestions about what you could do built into the character classes--because they figured you might not want to think all that stuff up yourself. Thus: a feat like 'improved sunder' which lets you chop things' heads off."
"Yeah, see, but what happens is when I flip through the players' handbook I see the stuff and I get ideas for stuff to do that I hadn't thought of. Like I look at the rogue stuff and go 'Oh, I could do that'."
"Right--like in the old game it's like there's no 'forgery' skill, it's just like it has to occur to you to forge something and then it's like 'Oh you want to forge something? You have to think it up and then we build a ruling on how it works."
"I get it, Satine--it's like you go to the candy store and then I go 'Ok, you can't have that candy, you can only have that candy'."
"Yeah--sometimes I just don't wanna make everything up myself."
"Ok, I'm with you. I'm just trying to lay out the cause of the philosophical gap here. However, point is, you should get to play the game in a way you enjoy, and we all like playing with you and vice versa, so we'll figure out some way to do both at once. There is a way to play that'll make everybody happy here. Let us not fret. I am not concerned with which way is better, I am concerned with playing with the people I want to play with."
"I just gotta think on it for a bit."
I thought on it a bit.
Here's my thought:
You can have a number of feats equal to the bonus feats for your class and level, OR you can have a number of Lucky Numbers equal to the number of bonus feats for your class and level.
So: you can have some "super powers" if they define your class, but you can also just have a freeform "creative combat moment" once in a while if you want that instead.
That way, I don't have to run around doing feats for monsters and other players to re-balance the game. I just give each monster a number of lucky numbers (I'm thinking lucky number 5 if it has one lucky number, 5 and 6 if it has two lucky numbers, 5, 6, and 7 if it has 3, etc.).
This rule will go into effect in two sessions, if Satine is still into it.