"Class Features" Feat Prerequisite


Rules Questions

Scarab Sages

I'm referring specifically to Natural Spell, but I'm sure the question applies to other feats (Selective Channeling, for example). The question:

Can a 3rd level druid take the Natural Spell feat?

Answers:

Yes, because wild shape is a class feature of the druid.

No, because a 3rd level druid doesn't have wild shape.


You need to actually fulfil the prerequisites.

Otherwise, a fighter could take Improved Critical at 1st level, because as a fighter, he'll eventually get BAB +9.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Although even if you let him take it at 1st level it would do nothing until he had a +9 BAB. It would blur the line of 'qualifying' and 'not qualifying' quite a bit too.

Scarab Sages

KaeYoss wrote:

You need to actually fulfil the prerequisites.

Otherwise, a fighter could take Improved Critical at 1st level, because as a fighter, he'll eventually get BAB +9.

Just to clarify (I'm not arguing one way or another):

Prerequisites like "Dex 13" and "BAB +9" or even "Sneak Attack +3d6" aren't in question here; it's obvious that if a character doesn't have [this number], he can't take [this feat].

The question is if the "class feature" part of "Natural Spell class feature" means the same as the hard number prerequisites, or if it means something like "must be a feature of a class you have levels in" (similar to how you can cast a scroll of a spell that appears on your class spell list, even if you never cast that spell).

(Again, I'm not arguing one way or the other, just curious what people think.)

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Tom Baumbach wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:

You need to actually fulfil the prerequisites.

Otherwise, a fighter could take Improved Critical at 1st level, because as a fighter, he'll eventually get BAB +9.

Just to clarify (I'm not arguing one way or another):

Prerequisites like "Dex 13" and "BAB +9" or even "Sneak Attack +3d6" aren't in question here; it's obvious that if a character doesn't have [this number], he can't take [this feat].

The question is if the "class feature" part of "Natural Spell class feature" means the same as the hard number prerequisites, or if it means something like "must be a feature of a class you have levels in" (similar to how you can cast a scroll of a spell that appears on your class spell list, even if you never cast that spell).

(Again, I'm not arguing one way or the other, just curious what people think.)

You actually have to have the class feature to be eligible for the feat, not just eventually hope to have the class feature.


For my part, I'd say no. First of all, you have to have the prerequisites to have the feat (by strict letter), but second of all, because it forces a decision among later levels where more powerful feats are available (though not so bad with this example, since you gain Wild Shape at 4th level).

It's easy to take it at 5th with normal feat progression, though. I'd imagine there's another feat that the character/player wants that becomes available at that particular level, and doesn't want to waste the slot (since it would be useless until reaching 4th level).

That said, he could gain the feat at 4th level druid if he received a feat at that level (say, he was a multi-class fighter 1, druid 4).

Actually, this thought brings up another question, could a character 'save' a feat slot by not choosing a feat until he reached another level, in order to gain one or two that he qualifies for at a later level? (I'd say no because of the above reasons, but I couldn't find official info).


Until you actually possess the class feature, you don't possess the class feature.

While I see no balance issue with allowing you to take natural spell at 3rd and then using it at 4th, I don't think the rules technically allow it.

-S


Jason Nelson wrote:


You actually have to have the class feature to be eligible for the feat, not just eventually hope to have the class feature.

I think this is correct.

I think the whole scroll thing where 'you need to have the spell on your spell list, but not necessarily be able to cast it yet' is the culprit for this misinterpretation.

'findel


The idea is interesting

Say that you want to take extra turning at first level although your human has elected to put off until second level actually becoming a cleric.

So the feat would be taken but could not be used until you actually gained the prerequisites (in this case the ability to channel energy).

I think this is a case by case DM adjudication. I would allow it, call it a birthright feat or whatever makes the story work...

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Freddy Honeycutt wrote:

The idea is interesting

Say that you want to take extra turning at first level although your human has elected to put off until second level actually becoming a cleric.

So the feat would be taken but could not be used until you actually gained the prerequisites (in this case the ability to channel energy).

That's a different thing. The human in your example doesn't have turning as a class feature. However in the question the character has it, he just isn't high enough in the class to use it.

It is an interesting idea. However, I think it's pretty obvious (as in clear to anyone not actively trying to be a smarta**) that you must actually have access to the class feature to qualify for a feat. The major justification I can give for that is that it's too easy to dip into classes for those class features that don't happen until later. By the hypothetical PC's logic, If I take one level of druid, I qualify for the feat, even if I never take another level of druid. So if you take a level in every class, you'll qualify for all feats that have a class feature as a prereq, while not actually having access to most of the features.


What feat can you gain access to by that method?

I mean we started with natural spell (which is pointless until such time as the character can assume a wild shape)

The other one mentioned was Improved critical (which also would not function until BAB +9)

Mine was extra turning, which also is pointless without the ability to turn undead.

I guess the idea is taking a feat when a slot is open and waiting until one meets all the prerequisites until then (no effect, no benefit) (and no stacking other feats on top of that one).

I think this is a case by case DM PC matter. It also may assist persons in planning a character (what is a human to do with that bonus feat?)

In my example maybe the character has ranks in knowledge (religion) and was meant to enter the priesthood until (dramatic, tragic events unfold) and he ends up in the wildlands gaining XP as a ranger till 2nd level when he enters becomes a cleric. The additional feat was the training he received in preparation for one course when events led another way....

I may use this..

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Freddy Honeycutt wrote:

What feat can you gain access to by that method?

I mean we started with natural spell (which is pointless until such time as the character can assume a wild shape)

The other one mentioned was Improved critical (which also would not function until BAB +9)

No, every class (and monster type) has a BAB, it's not a class feature. I see what you're saying here, but we ARE talking about different things.

Let's say I take a level of druid and the DM allows me to take that feat because the Druid class has Wild Shape as a class feature. I then take 14 levels of Wizard, and I use one of the polymorph variants to turn into a monster that wouldn't normally have hands and/or a voice to cast spells with. If I have the Natural Spell feat I can cast spells.

The OP can correct me if I'm wrong, but believe that is the sort of exploit the player was gunning for.

Freddy Honeycutt wrote:


Mine was extra turning, which also is pointless without the ability to turn undead.

But in your example, the human didn't have ANY levels in the class that had turning as a class feature. In the OP's example, he was a low level druid. The class that he was in has Wild Shape as a class feature, he just can't use it yet.

The difference is fine, but real, and ultimately pointless, since by the typical interpretation of the book it's not allowed either way.

Freddy Honeycutt wrote:


I guess the idea is taking a feat when a slot is open and waiting until one meets all the prerequisites until then (no effect, no benefit) (and no stacking other feats on top of that one).

I've encountered that house rule before, but that's not really the question. And it's up to the DM to decide that.


I think it is more subject to abuse when creating a mid to high level PC.

For example, assume I am creating a level 11 single-classed character. If that class grants abilities A, B, C, D and E at levels 9-11, this method would allow me to build the character with 5 feats, each of which requires a different one of the abilities.

Since these feats (probably) assume the character is level 9+, they are probably somewhat stronger than the feats you qualify for at level 3 (when he would have had to start taking the feats).

Since the character is starting at level 11, he doesn't have to play through the 6 levels with feats that currently have no value.

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