Keen Mind 5e
Published on March 5, 2023, Last modified on March 9th, 2023
Are you playing a character with a shrewd memory in D&D 5e? Well, the flavor pick Keen Mind feat might be right to help your character idea become a reality.
Mind Sculpt - Wizards of the Coast - Michael C. Hayes
What Is Keen Mind 5e?
Don’t you hate when you walk into a room and forget what you were going in there for? Well, with the Keen Mind feat, you’ll never have to worry about that again!
In Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition (5e), Keen Mind is a feat that gives a character heightened awareness and exceptional memory. That said, it isn’t exactly the most potent feat. Keen Mind is more designed for players who want to roleplay keen observers and quick thinkers, rather than min/max their character.
How Does Keen Mind Work?
The Keen Mind feat provides the following benefits:
- You gain a +1 bonus to your INT score.
- You always know which way is north.
- You’re aware of when the next sunrise and sunset will be.
- You have perfect recall of anything you’ve seen or heard in the past month.
The first benefit of the Keen Mind feat is a permanent increase to your Intelligence score. This can be a decent boost to characters who rely on Intelligence for their spellcasting (wizards, artificers, Arcane Tricksters and Eldritch Knights) or regularly use Intelligence-based skills such as Arcana, History, and Investigation.
The second and third benefit of the Keen Mind feat can be useful in a variety of situations, such as navigating through a dungeon or wilderness.
The fourth benefit of the Keen Mind feat is the ability to remember anything you’ve seen or heard in the past month with perfect clarity. This includes things like maps, conversations, and even specific details about creatures or items. The mechanics of this ability are certainly interesting; Usually, the player knows information that their character can’t act on (also referred to as metagaming.) But, what happens when a character remembers something that the player doesn’t? You should consult with your DM about how best to use this ability during gameplay. Maybe, you can ask the DM what the character would remember based on certain roleplaying decisions you have made.
Is Keen Mind Good?
Keen Mind isn’t particularly powerful. Yes, it’s only a half feat so it can provide some bonus to your INT score. Unfortunately, it only improves your INT, unlike other half feats that allow you to pump any spellcasting stat. This means that classes that dump INT (AKA the majority of them) will be unlikely to take this feat.
Keen Mind 5e Interactions
Beyond the +1 to your INT, there aren’t a lot of hard and fast mechanical implications of Keen Mind. That said, there has been debate on the web about what effect it has on wizards and their spellbooks.
Can Keen Mind Replace a Wizards Spellbook in 5e?
Short answer: no. Why? Because 5e’s primary game designer, Jeremy Crawford, says so.
Long answer: There are no definitive rulings in the wizard’s spellcasting mechanics or the Keen Mind feat saying that the feat can replace a wizard’s spellbook, so it’s up to interpretation from the DM. If you want to make a case for this to your DM, you can break it down for them:
- How to wizards prepare spells? By studying their spellbook.
- What does Keen Mind do? Amongst other things, it allows you to remember anything you’ve seen or heard in the past month.
- Ipso facto, if a wizard studies their spellbook once per month, they won’t need it during their daily adventures.
The Sun is Going Down
Well, that’s all we have to say about Keen Mind. If you choose to pick this feat, I truly commend you. Flavor picks are hard to make in 5e because of the lack of PC resources, so these types of feats rarely get played. May you always know which way is North!