Feat Selection or Class Abilities (What Comes First)


Rules Questions


I want to take a feat whose prerequisite is a feat I will gain through leveling. So the order of operation is take the new level and gain the class bonus feat and then take the new feat.

Is this correct. I get confused sometimes on this.

Also, if you know, can someone provide the link for the page that explains the order of operation for taking feats, skills, etc...


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This, to me, is a classic example of where fun should trump formal rules. It's fun for characters to have the abilities they want. It's not fun to have to delay gratification.

Ergo, there shouldn't be a formal rule about class abilities before feats or vice versa; as long as the character ends up being legal for the appropriate level, do it in whatever order makes sense.

Grand Lodge

You get to choose the order when you level up; or at least that's my understanding.

Shadow Lodge

I think they both happen simultaniously so you count as having the class feature if it is a prerequisite and you count as having the feat to qualify for things like a prestige class or another feat (if you get 2 feats in 1 level). This is how I always see it. I have no link to show to back this up, though.

Liberty's Edge

ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
I think they both happen simultaniously so you count as having the class feature if it is a prerequisite and you count as having the feat to qualify for things like a prestige class or another feat (if you get 2 feats in 1 level). This is how I always see it. I have no link to show to back this up, though.

Not quite, there is a slight order of operations. First, you pick which class you want to take (if prestige, must already qualify). Second, you pick everything else.

There's a blurb in the Prestige Classes section that basically says you have to qualify for the class BEFORE you gain any of the benefits of your new level.


PRD wrote:
First, select your new class level. You must be able to qualify for this level before any of the following adjustments are made. Second, apply any ability score increases due to gaining a level. Third, integrate all of the level's class abilities and then roll for additional hit points. Finally, add new skills and feats. For more information on when you gain new feats and ability score increases, see Table: Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses.

Note this is why you can't qualify for PrCs with requisites you gain that level, as you needed those before you could select a level of a PrC.

However for feats and skills (the main things you'll be taking with prereqs) the order isn't explicitly stated, so you can take skills you need to qualify for that feat, or you could use bonus feat (from a class feature) you receive to qualify for another feat.

It is a little less clear if the bonus feat you receive is applied with the feats and skills (at the end) or as a class feature (since you receive it from there), but frequently this isn't an issue. I'd go on the safe side and try to make sure you're using the bonus feat for the prereq, personally.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Prestige Classes do have their own special caveats.

It is best not to use them as examples for normal leveling in base classes.


When adding new levels of an existing class or adding levels of a new class (see Multiclassing, below), make sure to take the following steps in order. First, select your new class level. You must be able to qualify for this level before any of the following adjustments are made. Second, apply any ability score increases due to gaining a level. Third, integrate all of the level's class abilities and then roll for additional hit points. Finally, add new skills and feats. For more information on when you gain new feats and ability score increases, see Table: Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses.

From the PRD. There is an order to things. Class level, ability score advancement, class ability advancement (including feats gained from class abilities), then skills and (character level) feats.


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http://paizo.com/prd/classes.html

When adding new levels of an existing class or adding levels of a new class (see Multiclassing, below), make sure to take the following steps in order. First, select your new class level. You must be able to qualify for this level before any of the following adjustments are made. Second, apply any ability score increases due to gaining a level. Third, integrate all of the level's class abilities and then roll for additional hit points. Finally, add new skills and feats. For more information on when you gain new feats and ability score increases, see Table: Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses.

so get class features then take feats and skills is order of operations

it's on page 30 of the core rule book
Character Advancement

Advancing your Character


That should be fine.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook Page 15, Step 4 pick skills and feats. Lots of example characters have weapon focus at first level (the same level they gained a +1 base attack bonus), or 1st level fighters with power attack and cleave. For all intents and purposes everything else happens before you take the feats, and if you get more then one feat when you level you can use one as a prerequisite for the other(s).


Someone explained it to me as class->skill ranks->feats, but I can't find a source for that. I'll keep looking.

The idea that the class comes first makes sense, since you don't know how many skill ranks you have until you take your class level, and class features don't usually have any prerequisites.

Skill ranks next is most beneficial to the player, since skill ranks don't have prerequisites, either.

The only tricky part then becomes class bonus feats that require skill ranks. If you pick your class first, does that meant you have to take finish of the pieces involved in that class level before moving on to skill ranks? Is a fighter bonus feat a feat or a class ability in this particular case?

Honestly, though, this seems like such a minor issue, I would always lean in favor of the player, especially since prestige classes have specific clarifications about when you can enter them.


Class abilities come first, and a bonus feat is a class ability, so it should go first per RAW. As a DM I'd have no problem allowing a player to do it out of order if that was necessary for some reason.


Fighter Bonus Feats count as a class ability granted by the Fighter class. They are not feats granted by gaining hit dice.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

This seems more like a Rules thread.

Digital Products Assistant

Merged threads.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I'll point out this line from the Feats section:

PRD wrote:

A character can gain a feat at the same level at which he gains the prerequisite.

I'm fairly certain that there is no set order of operations for leveling, as long as you pick your class first. After that choose whatever order you like.


I've always understood the bonus feats to be selected at the same time as feats gained thru HD. This causes the least amount if issues. Same goes for bonus feats from Race.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

The order of operations is clear, on page 30, as Calethos and meow have quoted it.


And bonus feats from classes (and races) are chosen before you assign the skills and other feats? Wouldn't that mean you couldn't choose a bonus feat that has a skill prerequisite you gained that level (despite being able to use your other feat for that), and in the case of races, you wouldn't be able to choose any feat with your Human Bonus Feat that have any class abilities or feats as a prerequisite (such as Base Attack Bonus)?

Liberty's Edge

I think I read in another thread that you technically do Skill Points and feats at the same time.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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I talked to Jason (Stephen is out today), and we decided it's okay if you want to deal with bonus feats in the "add new skills and feats" step instead of the "integrate class abilities" step.

I don't think there are any skills that require you to have a particular feat (but there are feats that require skill ranks), so it might be in your best interest to do skills, then feats, but in most cases it doesn't matter and they can be treated as the same step (or "at the same time," as Studpuffin said).


Sounds good, thanks. I was going to say I had a thread you could mark 'no reply necessary', but it only had 3 FAQs on it, so why bother :)


Class and class feats coming first makes sense, I suppose, since otherwise how would a fighter qualify for power attack (which needs BAB +1) or a monk take a feat requiring improved unarmed strike (such as crane style).

The need for all qualifications before taking the prestige class makes sense too. Many of those classes have skill requirements. Trying to qualify for a prestige class using skill points from that prestige class.... it is like unlocking a box with a key that is locked in the box.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

I talked to Jason (Stephen is out today), and we decided it's okay if you want to deal with bonus feats in the "add new skills and feats" step instead of the "integrate class abilities" step.

I don't think there are any skills that require you to have a particular feat (but there are feats that require skill ranks), so it might be in your best interest to do skills, then feats, but in most cases it doesn't matter and they can be treated as the same step (or "at the same time," as Studpuffin said).

Thanks for the clarification. I would hate to make characters wait an extra level to take a feat because they had to pick their class bonus feat three seconds before they can put one more rank in the appropriate skill.


Whoops - sorry about the double post; looked like I was going to be prompted to log in... *sigh*

Just wanted to double-check about if you have multiple class features being added; do they all go at the same time, or do you have to delay one until after another? I am checking because of some shenanigans related to an archetype that's really odd; I am playing a rondelero fighter who will be qualifying for Weapon Training in a level, and according to everything I could find, since it's level 9, I can take Advanced Weapon Training instead. Since I get a feat at the same level, - despite being after class abilities - I was trying to figure out if I could take Quick Draw and take the Advanced Weapon Training Weapon Mastery feat same level or if I need to retrain a feat at 8th?

Thanks and again apologies for the odd posting. Also apologies if this should go in a different forum - the archetype is fun, but soooo dratted corner when it comes to the features it's giving me or replacing/altering... *sigh*.


You hit 9th level as a rondelero duelist. You get the weapon training class feature. You then get your feat for 9th level. This can be Advanced Weapon Training, Quick Draw, Prone Shooter, or whatever else you qualify for. I'm not sure how you'd get to pick both, though.

If this doesn't answer the question, could you elaborate on exactly what you're trying to do?


blahpers wrote:

You hit 9th level as a rondelero duelist. You get the weapon training class feature. You then get your feat for 9th level. This can be Advanced Weapon Training, Quick Draw, Prone Shooter, or whatever else you qualify for. I'm not sure how you'd get to pick both, though.

If this doesn't answer the question, could you elaborate on exactly what you're trying to do?

Was trying to find a way to not have to delay further a chain of feats I was chasing so I could pick up Returning Throw or whatever it's called; one of the AWT options is getting a Weapon Mastery Feat for free in place of the +1 to attacks/damage. The only problem I had with this idea was the feat I wanted requires Quick Draw, so I was trying to see if I could get Quick Draw with my level 9 feat and then take the AWT Weapon Mastery feat. Sadly I think from the previous posts this is a no-go, so retraining with the Bonus Feats option may be my only path. Thanks for the help!


Ah, I see. You have two issues:

1. You have to have weapon training before you can take an advanced weapon training option. Since you're only just gaining weapon training, you'd have to use a feat or wait until 13th level to get advanced weapon training. Using a feat to gain a feat doesn't seem useful in this case.

2. The order of operations thing. Frankly, most GMs would probably waive this if it were the only issue.

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