Second Chance sounds like something someone with good luck gets, and if that made you guess this was all about the Halfling, then you are correct. The other Halfing Racial Feat (Bountiful Luck) is one of the most overpowered racial feats in all of Xanathar’s, and while this one isn’t nearly as strong, it’s still a solid feat that will get some attention.
Especially from players like Braden looking to make the most broken Divination Wizard in history.
The Second Chance feat is a Halfing-only 5E DnD racial half feat that grants a +1 to Dexterity, Charisma, or Constitution and once per battle allows a Halfling to force a reroll on one creature who hits them with an attack.
So is this another extremely powerful feat, but does it match up to Bountiful Luck? Does it match up to other feats that are available to the Halfling adventurers?
Let’s dive in to find out!
Breaking Down the Second Chance Racial Feat
Let’s take a look at the exact wording to see what makes this feat work so well.
Directly from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything:
Fortune favores you when someone tries to strike you. You gain the following benefits:
- Increase your Dexterity, Constitution, or Charisma score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
- When a creature you can see hits you with an attack roll, you can use your reaction to force that creature to reroll. Once you use this ability, you can’t use it again until you roll initiative at the start of combat or until you finish a short or long rest.
Let’s break down these benefits one by one.
Benefit #1: Increase your Dexterity, Constitution, or Charisma ability score by 1.
This starts the early (and positive) trend of giving multiple ability scores to choose from for half-feats, giving a little bit more versatility here. While half an ability score tends to mitigate the damage from not taking an ability score increase, having a DEX/CON/CHR choice gives options that mean almost any build will find at least one of them useful.
Benefit #2: When a creature you can see hits you with an attack roll, you can use your reaction to force a reroll on that attack. This an be done once per combat and is recharged with a short rest, long rest, or a new combat where initiative is re-rolled.
Very few classes and builds can take advantage of a reaction, which makes this an intriguing feat. Flavor-wise this is great as it really plays with the idea of luck and gives you a chance to force a hit into a miss, even if it’s a critical. On the other hand, this also has a 5% chance of backfiring and turning a hit into a critical hit.
But that’s the thing about luck. Here you’ll come out ahead far more often than not but sometimes, sometimes, it can backfire.
How Good Is The Second Chance Feat?
This isn’t bad but it’s not necessarily great. My inclination is that it’s a little bit better than it looks, but not anything that’s going to light the world on fire. If you’re going through a dungeon crawl that makes this feat even stronger since it can reset each time initiative is rolled. This means this feat is more likely to come into play than those that are only recharged by a short or long rest.
The biggest problem is that most Halfling builds will have limited room for feats over ability score improvements and because of that, and while it’s easy to see why Bountiful Luck would make the short list and beat out other feats, it’s hard to see this one beating out martial feats for fighters/rogues or spellcasting feats for spellcasters.
In other words, it’s one of those feats where in a vacuum it’s solid but when trying to find a build where it’s ever the best decision, or even comparable, and it’s just going to be hard to envision a build where this makes sense.
- Recharges with each initiative roll, short rest, or long rest, giving it more uses
- The +1 mix of one of three ability scores is a good blend to make sure every build gets something beneficial
- The potential to undo a hit (or even a crit) is powerful when it comes up
- May only come up once per average session
- Isn’t nearly as powerful as the other Halfling
Who Should Take Second Chance?
- Halfling spellcasters who need to avoid damage
Honestly, this is one of those feats that isn’t bad but it’s not going to see much use. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense compared to the many other feats available. While it’s interesting, and for people who tend to have very bad luck with getting hit at their table, maybe worth a grab, there are usually going to be better options and that’s the problem.
If your DM likes to go extremely hard into combat and is constantly striving to make 5E a more lethal TTRPG system, then in that very niche scenario this feat makes a lot of sense, especially during a dungeon crawl based on a modified version of the Tomb of Annihilation.
Otherwise there aren’t many Halfling builds that are going to work well with this racial feat, especially compared to what can be gained instead through ability score improvements or other available feats.
Final Thoughts for 5E Second Chance Racial Feat
While it is a neat little thematic feat that can definitely have its place, especially among Halfling spellcasters who need to avoid damage at all costs, it’s not going to see a lot of play in game. While it works good as a racial feat that once again does a nice job of creating a feat that really does a an exceptional job of creating something that just “feels” in line with the traditional lineage of this race.
Other DnD Articles You Might Enjoy
- Best Feats for Wizards
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- 5E Prodigy Feat
- How Standard Array Works 5E DnD
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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.