Feat / Proficency requirements


Rules Questions


3 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

Heavy Weapon Proficency and Heavy Armor Proficency both require Strength 13 in their feat form

Some classes can start with these feats (Soldier for both, Mechanic with Exocortex for Heavy Armor). Does a character using a class with proficency need to meet the feat requirements in order to benefit from having the proficency?

In example, if my Soldier dumps strength, can they wear Heavy Armor or use Heavy Weapons without suffering non-proficency Penalties?

Question could also be asked as, is having proficencies in the class regarded as having the feat (and therefore needing to meet feat prerequisites to use)?

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Yes, you still need to meet the prerequisites listed, but you don't have to burn your feat slot every other level to take these feats as a Soldier or Mechanic with Exocortex for Heavy Armor.

As far as I'm aware, there are no exceptions in Starfinder (like the Monk in PF had several feats they did not need to meet the prereqs) to meeting the prerequisites for feats.


Thanks for the help.

This Ysoki Soldier is going to be a bit harder than I thought. Nothing bad, just a balancing act of attributes.

Liberty's Edge

I have to disagree with theheadkase.

Proficiency is granted by the class. The requirements for the feats are if a character is taking the feat outside what is granted by their class.

So no, for your example, a character does not need to meet the requirements of the feat to receive the benefit that is being granted by their class.


I second Gary, if your class grants proficiency you have it. You do not get the feat (unless that's specifically what the class description says as in the case of weapon specialization) and do not need to qualify for any prerequisites.


Hmmm...So ignoring potential bulk issues, can a Ysoki Soldier with 8 strength use Heavy Armor/Heavy Weapons without suffering non-proficency penalties?

Or do I need to invest 5 attribute points into strength at first level?

Obviously, not a terrible idea to add to strength anyway for the bulk requirements, but trying to figure out the minimums for my character.


A ysoki soldier can use either/both, but as you've already thought of bulk will be a severely limiting factor if you only can have 5 bulk with 1 of that 5 being inside a backpack.


While you don't need the strength to qualify for feats granted by your class you do need a minimum strength to use heavy weapons that increases depending on the level of the weapon (and probably armour too) This is separate from the proficiency requirement and must still be met to use the item effectively.


dragonhunterq wrote:
While you don't need the strength to qualify for feats granted by your class you do need a minimum strength to use heavy weapons that increases depending on the level of the weapon (and probably armour too) This is separate from the proficiency requirement and must still be met to use the item effectively.

Only heavy weapons, not armor, 12 1-10 14 11-20


Robert Gooding wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:
While you don't need the strength to qualify for feats granted by your class you do need a minimum strength to use heavy weapons that increases depending on the level of the weapon (and probably armour too) This is separate from the proficiency requirement and must still be met to use the item effectively.
Only heavy weapons, not armor, 12 1-10 14 11-20

Thank you, didn't have my book handy to check. Looking forward to them adding the SRD.

While I am here and thinking on, does power armour have a minimum strength?


No but if you ever run out of charges it’s impossible to pick up and bring with you because of sheer bulk....same goes if you find it unpowered they range from 20-43 bulk so you’d need 40-86 str just to pick it up if you have nothing else

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

@Gary Bush the SF CRB has no wording about not needing to qualify for the feat (like PF did in some cases) but it does specifically say you have to meet the prerequisites to gain benefits from the feat. Once you meet the prereqs you immediately gain or regain the benefits.

I had to look at all the instances of the word "prerequisite" to make this call...I could be wrong but the wording I've seen specifically doesn't allow for bypassing prereqs as of right now in SF.

My first reaction was much the same as yours, though.


theheadkase wrote:

@Gary Bush the SF CRB has no wording about not needing to qualify for the feat (like PF did in some cases) but it does specifically say you have to meet the prerequisites to gain benefits from the feat. Once you meet the prereqs you immediately gain or regain the benefits.

I had to look at all the instances of the word "prerequisite" to make this call...I could be wrong but the wording I've seen specifically doesn't allow for bypassing prereqs as of right now in SF.

My first reaction was much the same as yours, though.

This has been discussed in a dozen other threads and every single one came to the opposite conclusion that all rules are to gain proficiency not use the feat, so gaining proficiency is not subject to feat requirements


dragonhunterq wrote:

While I am here and thinking on, does power armour have a minimum strength?

Yes, it requires the same 13 strength. It also requires BAB+5, as well as Heavy Armor and Light Armor Proficency.

But since Heavy Armor also requires 13 Strength and Light Armor Proficency, the Powered Armor Proficency is really only adding the BAB +5 to the string of other feat requirements.

dragonhunterq wrote:
While you don't need the strength to qualify for feats granted by your class you do need a minimum strength to use heavy weapons that increases depending on the level of the weapon (and probably armour too) This is separate from the proficiency requirement and must still be met to use the item effectively.

That is a good point.

Though the penalty for having too low strength is only -2 on attack (which would be nasty with the non-proficency, but is bearable with the proficency).

Additionally, Powered Armor, when it becomes availible at level 5+, uses the strength score of the armor. So heavy weapon use won't be impaired unless the powered armor has too low strength (and if that's the case, we still use the Powered Armor's strength, not our own).

Still a good point you made.

baggageboy wrote:
A ysoki soldier can use either/both, but as you've already thought of bulk will be a severely limiting factor if you only can have 5 bulk with 1 of that 5 being inside a backpack.

At first level, yes.

At 5th level, there is the Load Lifter upgrade for armor, which adds 3 bulk capacity while wearing armor with it slotted.

Plus Powered Armor uses it's own Strength, as mentioned above.

Liberty's Edge

@theheadkase

CRB on page 59, Armor Proficiency and Weapon Proficiency and Specialization wrote:

Armor Proficiency

This entry lists the armor types with which you are proficient (meaning you automatically know how to use them). See Armor Proficiency in Chapter 8: Tactical Rules for more information on how proficiency affects you.

Weapon Proficiency and Specialization
This entry lists the weapon types in which you are proficient. See Weapon Proficiency in Chapter 8: Tactical Rules for more information on how proficiency affects you. When you reach 3rd level in that class, you also gain Weapon Specialization (as per the feat) in those weapons, which allows you to add your class level to your damage rolls with those weapons (see Weapon Specialization on page 163 for more information). Grenades,
missiles, and other consumable weapons never add specialization damage, even when you’re using weapons like a cyberbow or grenade launcher.

Both of these sections clearly state that the character is proficient. No mention is made that the character has to meet the prerequisites.

Stating it a different way: the General Rule of prerequisites on feats is overruled by the Specific Rule on class given Armor and Weapon proficiencies.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Actually, those sections quoted would be more general than the specific feat they reference including the prereqs of that feat.

Or, you know *how* to use heavy weappons or armor but you still need to be strong enough (meeting the prereqs) to *use* those things.


They have rule specifically for that, it's a penalty to your to hit with a heavy weapon of you aren't strong enough. And you are missing the point. You aren't given a proficiency feat by the class, you are given a class feature that grants proficiency, those two are different.

Liberty's Edge

theheadkase wrote:

Actually, those sections quoted would be more general than the specific feat they reference including the prereqs of that feat.

Or, you know *how* to use heavy weappons or armor but you still need to be strong enough (meeting the prereqs) to *use* those things.

It says "You are proficient" and "weapon types in which you are proficient".

Those words are pretty specific. Because the class grants the proficiency (and uses the same name as the feat) than there is no need to meet the prereqs. As others have pointed out, certain weapons and maybe armor has requirements on them. Those must still be met.

@baggageboy, can you like where the official word was given?


theheadkase wrote:

Actually, those sections quoted would be more general than the specific feat they reference including the prereqs of that feat.

Or, you know *how* to use heavy weappons or armor but you still need to be strong enough (meeting the prereqs) to *use* those things.

The use of heavy weapons does require a minium strength, but that is found in the weapons section (pg 170) and is unrelated to proficency.

A character needs 12 strength to use heavy weapons 1st level through 10th level. If I have less than 12 strength, I use heavy weapons at -2 to attack.

If having 11 strength also meant you were non-proficent and therefore -6 to attack, it really should mention this on page 170....


Pax Miles wrote:
theheadkase wrote:

Actually, those sections quoted would be more general than the specific feat they reference including the prereqs of that feat.

Or, you know *how* to use heavy weappons or armor but you still need to be strong enough (meeting the prereqs) to *use* those things.

The use of heavy weapons does require a minium strength, but that is found in the weapons section (pg 170) and is unrelated to proficency.

A character needs 12 strength to use heavy weapons 1st level through 10th level. If I have less than 12 strength, I use heavy weapons at -2 to attack.

If having 11 strength also meant you were non-proficent and therefore -6 to attack, it really should mention this on page 170....

It does not do that because it appears to depend on whether you are proficient through class or feat.

p59 wrote:

Weapon Proficiency and Specialization

This entry lists the weapon types in which you are proficient. See Weapon Proficiency in Chapter 8: Tactical Rules for more information on how proficiency affects you.
p152 wrote:

PREREQUISITES

Some feats have prerequisites. A character must have each indicated ability score, feat, base attack bonus, skill, class feature, and other listed quality in order to select or use that feat. She can gain a feat at the same level at which she gains its prerequisites. A character can’t use a feat if she loses a prerequisite, but she doesn’t lose the feat itself. If at a later time she regains the lost prerequisite, she immediately regains full use of the feat that prerequisite enables.
p514 wrote:
Proficiency: You have proficiency with a weapon or armor type if you’re trained in its use, through either your class or a feat. See pages 242–243.

242-243 is more discussion of proficiency without using the word feat. The point is that stat prereqs apply to feats, but especially that last rule means class-granted proficiencies are NOT feats, and there is no stat prerequisite I can find on class-granted proficiencies.

Accordingly, Soldiers can dump stat Str without losing their Heavy Weapon proficiency, but e.g. a Mechanic can't.


And since soldiers can get power armor proficiency through their class with the right choices they can then dump str and use the str of the power armor

Liberty's Edge

Just remember that you can't dump ability stats.


Gary Bush wrote:
Just remember that you can't dump ability stats.

Unless you roll or take a race with a penalty

Grand Lodge

Guys, those are the requirements for the feat that gives you proficiency which is a seperate things from inherent proficiencys from class. Notice how classes simply say what you are proficient in, not that you gain the feat. Because of this you don't need to meet the feat prereqs because you're not using the feat.


4 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Robert Gooding wrote:
And since soldiers can get power armor proficiency through their class with the right choices they can then dump str and use the str of the power armor

Regarding that:

Enhanced Tank (Ex) grants the Powered Armor Proficency feat.
Guard's Protection (Ex) grants Proficiceny in Powered Armor.

So I think the dumping Strength route only works with the Guard Fighting Style.

Though in both cases, once you are in the powered armor, the strength of the armor applies, not your strength, so it becomes very murky what the 13 strength is needed for.


That’s odd....I’m faqing your post cuz one of those has to be wrong


Robert Gooding wrote:
That’s odd....I’m faqing your post cuz one of those has to be wrong

I think the whole topic needs FAQing...

Though regarding the two fighting styles, Enhanced Tank (Ex) is part of the Armor Storm fighting style, which greatly benefits from high strength. Meanwhile, Guard's Protection (Ex) is part of the Guard Fighting Style, which really is focused on AC, but doesn't need high strength for anything.

The distinction may be intentional.

Liberty's Edge

Robert Gooding wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:
Just remember that you can't dump ability stats.
Unless you roll or take a race with a penalty

I wouldn't count these as dumping, but you are correct.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah I'm also FAQing that because the distinction is really important, and if it's intentional then it should really be specified that the intent was that the ability be useless without the feat prerequisites.


Pax Miles wrote:
Robert Gooding wrote:
And since soldiers can get power armor proficiency through their class with the right choices they can then dump str and use the str of the power armor

Regarding that:

Enhanced Tank (Ex) grants the Powered Armor Proficency feat.
Guard's Protection (Ex) grants Proficiceny in Powered Armor.

So I think the dumping Strength route only works with the Guard Fighting Style.

Though in both cases, once you are in the powered armor, the strength of the armor applies, not your strength, so it becomes very murky what the 13 strength is needed for.

The Enhanced Tank ability also lets you add a special extra upgrade slot to heavy and powered armor that's half the cost of normal upgrades, you probably have to meet the feat prereqs to balance that out as compared to the guard who gets free proficiency but no extra upgrade slot. The most upgrade slots you can get on powered armor is 4 on the flight frame/gundam suit, the other default suits only have 0, 1, or 2 slots. An extra, half cost, upgrade slot is a huge advantage.

Its still weird that you have to take/qualify for a feat by level 5 to support this class skill, especially since the class itself gives you all but one of the prereqs, but i think its justified for what you get.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
VoodooSpecter wrote:
Yeah I'm also FAQing that because the distinction is really important, and if it's intentional then it should really be specified that the intent was that the ability be useless without the feat prerequisites.

The real issue here is not feat prerequisites or specific vs. general. If your class grants you a proficiency whose corresponding feat has a prerequisite that you don't meet, you would get that proficiency anyway.

But there are cases where factors other than proficiency come into play. Heavy weapons, for example, have a minimum strength score to use effectively (see pages 169-170). Since that information is in the Equipment section rather than the feat section, it remains relevant regardless of proficiency.


David knott 242 wrote:
VoodooSpecter wrote:
Yeah I'm also FAQing that because the distinction is really important, and if it's intentional then it should really be specified that the intent was that the ability be useless without the feat prerequisites.

The real issue here is not feat prerequisites or specific vs. general. If your class grants you a proficiency whose corresponding feat has a prerequisite that you don't meet, you would get that proficiency anyway.

But there are cases where factors other than proficiency come into play. Heavy weapons, for example, have a minimum strength score to use effectively (see pages 169-170). Since that information is in the Equipment section rather than the feat section, it remains relevant regardless of proficiency.

That’s not quite right, there’s a section that states if you have the feat but no longer meet the prerequisites that you lose the benefit of the feat


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Robert Gooding wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
VoodooSpecter wrote:
Yeah I'm also FAQing that because the distinction is really important, and if it's intentional then it should really be specified that the intent was that the ability be useless without the feat prerequisites.

The real issue here is not feat prerequisites or specific vs. general. If your class grants you a proficiency whose corresponding feat has a prerequisite that you don't meet, you would get that proficiency anyway.

But there are cases where factors other than proficiency come into play. Heavy weapons, for example, have a minimum strength score to use effectively (see pages 169-170). Since that information is in the Equipment section rather than the feat section, it remains relevant regardless of proficiency.

That’s not quite right, there’s a section that states if you have the feat but no longer meet the prerequisites that you lose the benefit of the feat

If a feat requires another feat, then not having the prerequisite feat would violate the prerequisites of the advanced feat.

If the advanced feat requires a proficiency, then it doesn't matter if you get that proficiency from your class or from a feat that grants the proficiency. Either will fulfill the requirements.

What the user you are responding to was saying is that if your class grants you the proficiency required for a feat, then you meet that particular prerequisite. You don't NEED to get the Heavy Armor feat to take the Powered Armor feat. If you get Heavy Armor proficiency from your class, that is enough.

SO what you are saying about how losing prerequisites works is true, but the user you are correcting is actually also correct. You're talking about different things. The major observation of this thread is that it's easy to conflate the proficiency with the feat that grants said proficiency - in fact the rulebook apparently does this in some spots! But they are not the same thing, and you can be granted proficiency in something from your class without a feat getting involved.


Yeah I misread something there

Liberty's Edge

Gary Bush wrote:
%GZIP%H4sIAAAAAAAAAF2...

I have no idea what happen to my post and now don't remember what point I was trying to make....


Yeah the post I made got screwed up too. My point as basically been made, but I guess I'll reiterate it.

Proficiency as a class feature != proficiency from a feat. There are class features which specifically do grant a feat as in the case of weapon specialization, but proficiencies are not one of them.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Pax Miles wrote:
Robert Gooding wrote:
And since soldiers can get power armor proficiency through their class with the right choices they can then dump str and use the str of the power armor

Regarding that:

Enhanced Tank (Ex) grants the Powered Armor Proficency feat.
Guard's Protection (Ex) grants Proficiceny in Powered Armor.

So I think the dumping Strength route only works with the Guard Fighting Style.

Though in both cases, once you are in the powered armor, the strength of the armor applies, not your strength, so it becomes very murky what the 13 strength is needed for.

Really wish this would be addressed in a FAQ.

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