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The Vexing Daredevil archetype for the Mesmerist gets Greater Mesmerizing Feint as a bonus feat, except they trade away Bold Stare, so this should do nothing. Notably, there's even an asterisk as if there should be a footnote explaining it, but it goes nowhere.
So how does the interaction work / how is it supposed to work?
You can feint against mindless creatures at a –4 penalty. Such a creature must be a subject of your hypnotic stare, and the creature has a 50% chance of ignoring the effects of your feint.
Whatever the prereqs are, they don't matter because it's a bonus feat. It's mentioned specifically under the vexing daredevil, 'She doesn’t need to meet the prerequisites for these feats.' The benefit doesn't require bold stare, just hypnotic stare - which the vexing daredevil has.
But the target has to be a subject of your mesmerizing stare. And since you don't have bold stare, you can't get psychic inception, meaning you can't affect mindless creatures with it, meaning you can never benefit from the feat.
a. Do I meet prerequisites? Y/N -> N, proceed to b
b. Do I have an exception from the prerequisites -> Y, proceed to 2
a. Do what the benefit says
The baseline feat does require the psychic inception bold stare, and it probably does assume that's why the feat works in the first place. But if you bypass the prerequisites...you bypass the prerequisites, and you just get the benefit. The Vexing Daredevil gets the feat and the benefits notwithstanding its lack of the bold stare feature.
I definitely agree that that's probably the intended ruling. My issue is that there's no indication that "doesn't need to meet the prerequisites" also includes the conditions within the Benefit section, especially when there's specifically a line called Prerequisites. Although it's an odd corner case in general, since as far as I'm aware, it's the only case where a class or archetype ignores the prerequisites on a bonus feat that uses the prerequisites as part of the benefit. It would be like if TWF wasn't an option at all without the TWF feat, then a class gave Double Slice as a bonus feat.
But you CAN meet the requirements of the benefit - it requires the target be the "subject" of the hypnotic (not bold) stare. It doesn't say the stare has to be actually be doing anything effective.
Hypnotic stare is a mind affecting effect.If you cant get the stare off, how do you feint?
The asterisk is just there to point out that the feat in question is introduced in that very book, nothing is missing (well, not here at least).
So... Yeah, you get a feat but can't trigger its effect.
Maybe you were supposed to also get a way to work around that issue, and it's missing (an easy miss) ?
I'm still surprised the Daredevil doesn't get the regular Mesmerizing Feint, even though it feels like so much more of a must have. To the point I actually wouldn't be overly surprised if that "Greater" bit was the mistake, rather than the subtleties preventing GMF to work.
Let me "Well, actually" this : that's not what I said... Or not what I meant, rather. There's 2 different views in this thread.
You get the feat itself, prereqs don't matter, that's fine. No one really disagrees here.
Those prerequisites are, for reference : Mesmerizing Feint, Bluff 10 ranks, hypnotic stare class feature, psychic inception bold stare.
One view is that even though you do have the feat, it ultimately does nothing for you.
GMF only works if your target is subject to your hypnotic stare. That is technically not a prerequisite for the feat itself so you don't get to ignore it. And because the stare is mind-affecting and mindless creatures are immune, you can never trigger GMF.
I'll add that considering mindless foes to be under the effects of your stare even when it does nothing is half of what Psychic Inception does, probably the most important aspect of it and the main reason why you'd take it if you could. Vexing Darevils can't, and that's the issue.
You have GMF, but are incapable of triggering it.
Now, is that the intent ? Of course not.
Either it's not the feat Paizo intended to give us, something changed in the feat and they forgot to update the archetype, or the Daredevil itself was supposed to change how the feat works for them, as many do.
If at all possible, I'd certainly try to houserule it one way or another, no point in having a feature that does nothing.