Dedication feats


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So ancient elf let's you pick a 2nd lvl dedication feat without having to meet the level requirements. And the new rogue racket Eldritch trickster gives you a dedication feat with out meeting the prerequisites but has to be caster dedication. So can you gain both at character creation aine it say even tho you do t meet the prerequisites and you are not choosing it in a class feat slot.


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Ancient Elf does not exempt the character from the "Special You cannot select another dedication feat until you have gained two other feats from the [class name here] archetype."

Neither does Eldritch Trickster.

So no, you can't gain both at character creation.


Pretty much that.

Now, if something gave you a specific dedication, then you would be able to stack them simply because it was not something you could select; the wording says you cannot select one, though that doesn't mean you can't acquire one specifically granted to you, since it's not a dedication that was selected, but one that was granted with no selection or choice.

However, per RAW, if you could select the dedication (Ancient Elf lets you pick any 2nd level dedication, Eldritch Trickster lets you pick a 2nd level caster dedication), then you can't get anything out of it.

I'd personally allow it at my table though, since it opens up some options to begin with, but does require further investment if they hope to make it work out in the endgame.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I would argue that this is a case of specific beats general. Ancient Elf is a heritage, and Eldritch Trickster is a class path. Both are fundamental to a character in a way that individual feat selections are not, and they don't lend themselves to just "picking something else".

Mechanically, you could just pick a different heritage, but I certainly wouldn't prevent a player from starting with two different dedications.


WatersLethe wrote:
I would argue that this is a case of specific beats general.

How are you arguing specific beats general when there's no actual contradiction to the general rule being made?

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I'd personally allow it at my table though...

Have you already thought out which order such a character would have to further invest in these dedications in, or would you be allowing whatever the player felt like so long as they didn't take a 3rd dedication feat until they'd taken at least 2 more feats from each dedication?


thenobledrake wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I'd personally allow it at my table though...
Have you already thought out which order such a character would have to further invest in these dedications in, or would you be allowing whatever the player felt like so long as they didn't take a 3rd dedication feat until they'd taken at least 2 more feats from each dedication?

I'd go with the latter. If we want a more technical answer, they'd have to take feats from their Heritage choice first before they could take feats from their Class choice first, based on order of operations.

But IMO, the dedication restrictions only apply to feats with the Dedication trait on them, of which the follow-up feats for each dedication does not possess. And because the amount of feats required would take upwards of 40-50% of their class feats just to be able to branch out to a third dedication, which would take another 2-3 feats if they wanted another after that. It's just so much investment for their dedications that they won't get much besides base proficiencies and features from their main class.

They might be able to get away with General/Ancestry feats like Multi-Talented getting them a 3rd one for free at 9th or later while stacking those two as well. But honestly, I doubt that character would be extremely effective by 13th level or so compared to a single classed (or even just a single dedication type) character whose class feats were spent on, you know, their class.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
thenobledrake wrote:
How are you arguing specific beats general when there's no actual contradiction to the general rule being made?

If there was no contradiction we wouldn't have these threads to begin with. It's just an implicit one, in that you have a character who is required to make two specific choices and a general rule that says you're not allowed to make both of those decisions.

How you rule that interaction is one thing, but to argue there's no issue there at all seems odd.


Squiggit wrote:

If there was no contradiction we wouldn't have these threads to begin with. It's just an implicit one, in that you have a character who is required to make two specific choices and a general rule that says you're not allowed to make both of those decisions.

How you rule that interaction is one thing, but to argue there's no issue there at all seems odd.

That's not an implicit contradiction though.

Otherwise it'd be an implicit contradiction to not being able to take the same feat twice unless it has a special note that you can to ever get another feat choice of the same type and equal or higher level - because that's the identical level of a general rule being established and then something allegedly implying you could do something other than what the general rule states.

It may seem odd to you for me to argue that there's no issue, but that's a you thing, not a fact thing - someone thinking something doesn't inherently make that thought accurate. And in this case, thinking a feature that doesn't over-write a limitation over-writes that limitation is a thought someone had that isn't accurate.


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I also don't agree that you need to be able to stack them to represent that character. The eldritch trickster benefit can aptly represent what Ancient Elf does. You just have to put your age as a high number and the character concept of "been around so long I've picked up tricks outside my wheelhouse" is 100% preserved.


Character creation is done in the ABC order is it not? Someone who selects Ancient elf would be unable to select Eldritch Trickster racket would they not? The limitation on selecting other dedication feats doesn't mention sources.

Also this is a specific vs specific argument.

And as others said, unless we get ancient elf locked feats at some point you can roleplay the ancient elf fine by just selecting a different heritage and saying you are old.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Character creation is done in the ABC order is it not? Someone who selects Ancient elf would be unable to select Eldritch Trickster racket would they not? The limitation on selecting other dedication feats doesn't mention sources.

Nah, there's nothing that would stop you from selecting Eldritch Trickster, because the Racket itself has no prerequisites or requirements, you just wouldn't get a benefit from it. Though, presumably, if you take archetype feats at levels 4 and 6 you'd suddenly gain the dedication then now that the restriction no longer exists.


Rule wording is ambiguous.

Yes, it is ambiguous or we wouldn't be talking about it.

I'd just look at game balance.

I don't see it as particularly disruptive to game balance for a first level rogue to have two dedication feats. They have to give up a bunch of other cool abilities to get those feats. And a couple of extra skills, cantrips, or weapon proficiencies are not over powering at first level.

I'd also let the character take any of the multi class feats they want, in any order they want, from both of the dedications they have.

But I wouldn't let them take a third dedication feat until they had three multiclass feats in BOTH of their first level dedications.


i dont think it's ambiguous in the sense that you cant actually get the dedication from eldritch.

rules wise it's clear, you dont meat the prerequisits for the 2nd MC feat, so you dont get it.

the only thing imo left to discussion is if the powerspike is enough to dissallow in a homegame or not.

i too dont think it's that much of a deal BUT the other side to view it is that the only reason to pick ancient elf is not from a roleplaying viewpoint (since you can play whatever else elf and simply make it old) but because the player wants to get something that the rules directly disallow (2 archetypes early on without finishing one of them)

so, all and all, i would be very sceptical of allowing it in my games, but not downright negative.


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Squiggit wrote:
Nah, there's nothing that would stop you from selecting Eldritch Trickster, because the Racket itself has no prerequisites or requirements, you just wouldn't get a benefit from it. Though, presumably, if you take archetype feats at levels 4 and 6 you'd suddenly gain the dedication then now that the restriction no longer exists

How so?

Following ABC in order

1. A, you choose ancient elf and gain a multiclass deidcation which then invokes "**Special** You cannot select another dedication feat until you have gained two other feats from the "

2. B, you then select your background.

3. C, you then select your class, you choose rogue and then go to select eldritch trickster. However you cannot because "you cannot select another dedication feat until you have gained two feats from" has kicked in already.

The selection of another dedication feat never specifies source so RAW would assume that it is from any source barring explicit exception, unless I am missing something?


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Nah, there's nothing that would stop you from selecting Eldritch Trickster, because the Racket itself has no prerequisites or requirements, you just wouldn't get a benefit from it. Though, presumably, if you take archetype feats at levels 4 and 6 you'd suddenly gain the dedication then now that the restriction no longer exists

How so?

Following ABC in order

1. A, you choose ancient elf and gain a multiclass deidcation which then invokes "**Special** You cannot select another dedication feat until you have gained two other feats from the "

2. B, you then select your background.

3. C, you then select your class, you choose rogue and then go to select eldritch trickster. However you cannot because "you cannot select another dedication feat until you have gained two feats from" has kicked in already.

The selection of another dedication feat never specifies source so RAW would assume that it is from any source barring explicit exception, unless I am missing something?

Some are saying at C., you pick the Racket, since nothing stops that.

Then when the Racket has you select a Dedication feat, you can't.
So you have the Racket, except none of its benefits, at least not until you get two more archetype feats for the Ancient Elf MCD, after which the Racket's MCD activates since you can now choose.


shroudb wrote:
you dont meat the prerequisits for the 2nd MC feat,

That's debatable. I don't necessarily disagree. But I do think it's a bit ambiguous.

Say you want to take wizard dedication as the 2nd feat.

Eldritch trickster says you have to meet the prerequisites of wizard dedication.

The prerequisite is 14 intelligence. It's listed right there in the feat on the prerequisite line. And it's the only thing listed there as a prerequisite. So if you've got the 14 intelligence you arguably have the prerequisites for the feat.

You can't take any dedication feats until you have two other feats in your first dedication feat tree is a RULE that exists. But it's not a "prerequisite" as defined under the wizard dedication feat. And the Eldritch trickster ability simply says you have to meet the "prerequisites". Which, with a 14 intelligence, you do.

Or so it might be argued.

Dark Archive

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I don’t feel like the standard Special rule of archetypes really applies in this circumstance as you aren’t selecting it in the traditional sense, I.e through spending class feats.

Both are being granted from an ancestry and class ability respectively. The “selection” the player is making isn’t inline with the restriction that normally applies when taking feats because it’s not an actual selection. In the case of the Eldritch Trickers, they get a feat no matter what - they just get to chose what kind of feat it is.

I can’t find any instance of an Ancestry heritage locking out class / subclass selection. There simply isn’t a mechanism that exists to govern this interaction in a negative way.

Specific vs General seems to be the order of the day here. In order to uphold the Special rule of dedications in this instance, we would have to basically invent a series of rules around how we want to handle, which puts us in house-rule territory. How you decide what is doesn’t really matter, as in any case, we’re just making stuff up without any official rules to support them.

If we want to invoke the Ambiguous Rules clause, then it’s up to your table to decide how they want to handle it going forward. But this does simply looks like a specific rule beating a general.


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Old_Man_Robot wrote:

I don’t feel like the standard Special rule of archetypes really applies in this circumstance as you aren’t selecting it in the traditional sense, I.e through spending class feats.

Both are being granted from an ancestry and class ability respectively. The “selection” the player is making isn’t inline with the restriction that normally applies when taking feats because it’s not an actual selection. In the case of the Eldritch Trickers, they get a feat no matter what - they just get to chose what kind of feat it is.

I can’t find any instance of an Ancestry heritage locking out class / subclass selection. There simply isn’t a mechanism that exists to govern this interaction in a negative way.

Specific vs General seems to be the order of the day here. In order to uphold the Special rule of dedications in this instance, we would have to basically invent a series of rules around how we want to handle, which puts us in house-rule territory. How you decide what is doesn’t really matter, as in any case, we’re just making stuff up without any official rules to support them.

If we want to invoke the Ambiguous Rules clause, then it’s up to your table to decide how they want to handle it going forward. But this does simply looks like a specific rule beating a general.

it would be specific vs generic if there was a clause that allowed you to bypass the rule. like in multitalented that clearly states that you can pick regardless of if you have another dedication or not.

here we just have 2 sources of "gain X archetype" but neither has a clause that you bypass the rule of not already having an archetype.

since it's character creation, and the flavor of one of the sources is simply "you are old" i dont see why one is forced to pick both said sources.

pick a different ancestry and simply make your character old and then there's nothing lost either from the flavour of your character or from rule clashing.


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Castilliano wrote:
So you have the Racket, except none of its benefits, at least not until you get two more archetype feats for the Ancient Elf MCD, after which the Racket's MCD activates since you can now choose.

The Racket has other benefits. ...not a lot.

Anyway, the rules are repeatedly very clear that you don't have to do things in that order. But just... don't pick Ancient Elf if you're building an Eldritch Trickster, since that's all it does.

CRB page 19 wrote:
The steps of character creation are presented in a suggested order, but you can complete them in whatever order you prefer.

Then there's reminders in a lot of Ancestry things that you don't want to or can't decide on before you've selected other things--if you do things strictly in order, an Ancient Elf will never qualify for their free Dedication anyway since their best ability scores will be 12. Or the human feat Adapted Cantrip which has a class feature as a prerequisite. Or Natural Ambition which specifically mentions selecting it later during character creation.

Liberty's Edge

Hey look, another one of these!

I called it when it dropped, Ancient Elf was always going to cause problems. They need to straight-up nerf the bejezus out of it by making it Uncommon and having it kick in at level 2 with Errata before the scope continues to expand like this, munchkins be damned.

To answer the OP: No, you cannot get around the minimum 2 feat requirement for dedication archetypes by RAW or RAI.

Sczarni

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This question was literally asked just over a week ago.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Themetricsystem wrote:
munchkins be damned.

Not sure what someone asking how two character options interact has to do with munchkins.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

You're out of line Themetricsystem. You're taking your opinions as givens, calling badwrongfun, and doling out ad hominems.

An elf that spent centuries patrolling the forests of their homeland, one day deciding to follow
their human lover to the city and picking up arcane arts and trickery, being represented by an arcane trickster with a ranger dedication isn't outlandish.

We're discussing the application of the rules we have, not whether using them is powergaming.

I would sincerely argue that the intent is that a player can get both dedications. An ancient elf with a martial dedication should not lock someone out of playing an arcane trickster, and if I was walking a new player through character build I wouldn't hesitate to let them make those choices in sequence.


Old_Man_Robot wrote:
I don’t feel like the standard Special rule of archetypes really applies in this circumstance as you aren’t selecting it in the traditional sense, I.e through spending class feats.

With literally no text supporting that the game thinks "I picked it by spending a class feat" is any different from "I picked it because another feature I chose told me to", you're basically saying "I think it's different because I want it to be different."

Kulgore wrote:

Rule wording is ambiguous.

Yes, it is ambiguous or we wouldn't be talking about it.

Please point to exactly which piece of text has the alleged ambiguous wording, because I see no ambiguity.

Not all cases of someone thinking they can do something that someone else thinks the rules say they can't do are because of ambiguous wording - some are because people are effectively ignoring the wording or effectively inserting words that aren't there in order to reach what they wish the wording actually said.

Dark Archive

thenobledrake wrote:
Old_Man_Robot wrote:
I don’t feel like the standard Special rule of archetypes really applies in this circumstance as you aren’t selecting it in the traditional sense, I.e through spending class feats.
With literally no text supporting that the game thinks "I picked it by spending a class feat" is any different from "I picked it because another feature I chose told me to", you're basically saying "I think it's different because I want it to be different.

Except that Archetypes generally trade for class feats.

Archetypes,Core Rulebook pg. 219 wrote:
Applying an archetype requires you to select archetype feats instead of class feats. Start by finding the archetype that best fits your character concept, and select the archetype’s dedication feat using one of your class feat choices.

The character has already bypassed the "start by" during the creation process, just by gaining the feat in the first place. Also, once again notice the language of "choice" here, which is distinct from being granted something.

Your interpretation doesn't seem to line up with the text nobledrake, the language just isn't the same, the 'phase' the character is in just isn't the same.

Plus, you know, if you want to talk about no supporting text, all 3 of the "No" solutions thus far put on the table are utterly without supporting text at all. You would need to invent rules to govern their interaction.


Old_Man_Robot wrote:
Except that Archetypes generally trade for class feats.

That's only relevant as far as that it is directly contradicted by the Heritage and Rogue Racket in question.

There's a general circumstance - trading class feats - and a specific circumstance - a feature that explicitly says you get this think without spending a class feat.

Old_Man_Robot wrote:
The character has already bypassed the "start by" during the creation process, just by gaining the feat in the first place. Also, once again notice the language of "choice" here, which is distinct from being granted something.

Bypassing one condition of something should not be treated as bypassing all conditions of that thing.

As for the difference between "choice" and "granted" - this game is not written to be read in such a legalistic way, so whether you gain a feat by choosing it directly or by choosing a feature that includes it, you have still chosen.

That is especially true in the case of this Heritage and Rogue Racket because you aren't granted an archetype, you are granted a choice of archetype.

Old_Man_Robot wrote:
Your interpretation doesn't seem to line up with the text nobledrake, the language just isn't the same, the 'phase' the character is in just isn't the same.

Yes, it most certainly does.

Here's the relevant text again for reference:
Every Dedication Feat wrote:
Special You cannot select another dedication feat until you have gained two other feats from the [insert name of dedication here] archetype.

That is the piece of text which creates the general rule of not being able to get a second dedication feat before you've gained more feats from the archetype started by the other one - and if there is no text which explicitly says you can ignore this, then there is no exception.

That's just how the rules work - exceptions are either explicit, or non-existent, there's no such thing as an implied rule.

Old_Man_Robot wrote:
Plus, you know, if you want to talk about no supporting text, all 3 of the "No" solutions thus far put on the table are utterly without supporting text at all. You would need to invent rules to govern their interaction.

What rule are you imagining I'm inventing?

Dark Archive

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thenobledrake wrote:
What rule are you imagining I'm inventing?

First off: Chill dude, that's an indefinite article, not a personal. No need to take personal offense.

Secondly: Let's break down what saying no would look like, as presented by ideas taken from this thread.

"No" Option 1) The Lock-Out

Option 1 would see that a player is forbidden from taking the subclass because of their ancestry choices. They would take other rogue subclasses but not ET.

No such rule or language exists in the game to support this. There is no other instance of an ancestry heritage or ancestry itself locking out access to a subclass or even a single part of its features.

Closest thing we have to it is prerequisites, but those aren't even at play here.

"No" Option 2) Delayed Access

Option 2 would see the player having he feat on paper, but not actually getting it until they have taken 2 other feats from one of the archetypes.

This delayed access likewise doesn't exist and isn't supported in the text at all. There are no examples of this. We could look to the retraining rules for guidance, but its otherwise without basis in the rules.

"No" Option 3) Eat-s~!* Rogue!

Option 3 sees the rogue simply not gain their class feature. They pick the option, but apparently can't take it, so they simply have a non-functioning archetype and have wasted their time.
Of the 3, this is the one with the least invention. As far as I am aware there just simply isn't another interaction even capable of this, and so is simply underserved in the rules.

None of these 3 are supported or exist in any other form anywhere in the rules. It's simply a new situation for the "no" camp. We're in the dark and trending water.

thenobledrake wrote:

That's only relevant as far as that it is directly contradicted by the Heritage and Rogue Racket in question.

There's a general circumstance - trading class feats - and a specific circumstance - a feature that explicitly says you get this think without spending a class feat.

But they don't say that, do they? It might be how it functionally shakes out, but they don't gain these feats "without having to spend a class feat", you just get them.

Ancient Elf wrote:
Choose a class other than your own. You gain the multiclass dedication feat for that class...
Eldritch Trickster wrote:
Choose a multiclass archetype that has a basic, expert, and master spellcasting feat. You gain that archetype's dedication feat as a bonus feat...
Multitalented wrote:
You gain a 2nd-level multiclass dedication feat...

None of them say anything about it being "free" or "instead of a class feat". You get get them, regardless of what you do with your class feats after the fact.

To your point about "implied rules", I think that came from another post, not mine directly. What I'm saying is that in the cases of Ancient Elf and Eldritch Trickster the "Special" clause of archetype feats isn't applicable because selecting feats is not actually what you are doing, gaining feats is just a by-product of the choices you are actually making.


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Old_Man_Robot wrote:
First off: Chill dude

Don't do that. You've just decided that I'm upset - it's your choice what tone to read my posts in, not mine, and I didn't tell you I'm not chill.

Don't be the guy that decides to assign someone else an increased emotional state and then also holds that emotional state against the other person.

Old_Man_Robot wrote:
No such rule or language exists in the game to support this. There is no other instance of an ancestry heritage or ancestry itself locking out access to a subclass or even a single part of its features.

If the special clause on the dedication feats applies, then it is the exact "no such rule or language" you speak of.

Also, it's not at all relevant to say there's no other case that does the same thing - that there's not 2+ ways to be blocked out of a particular choice is not proof that there isn't 1 way.

Old_Man_Robot wrote:
"No" Option 2) Delayed Access

This one is not a thing, and anyone arguing for it being the case does indeed have no language supporting such a thing - because what the rules actually say is "No." not "No, but with some conditions." to the question asked here.

Old_Man_Robot wrote:
"No" Option 3) Eat-s++* Rogue!

This is another that isn't a thing, and anyone arguing for it being the case is flat-out wrong.

In both this case, and the earlier, the info needed to reinforce this reality being the case can be gleaned from the Game Conventions sidebar on page 444 - where not only is the "specific overrides general" concept laid out, but so is the concept of "If one version [interpretation] is too good to be true, it probably is."

Option 3 sees the rogue simply not gain their class feature. They pick the option, but apparently can't take it, so they simply have a non-functioning archetype and have wasted their time.
Of the 3, this is the one with the least invention. As far as I am aware there just simply isn't another interaction even capable of this, and so is simply underserved in the rules.

Old_Man_Robot wrote:
What I'm saying is that in the cases of Ancient Elf and Eldritch Trickster the "Special" clause of archetype feats isn't applicable because selecting feats is not actually what you are doing,

Again I point to the rules not creating a difference between direct choice and indirect choice - there is no definition of "gain" a feat that exempts it from the standard rules that would apply if you "chose" the feat.

I will also point again to the sidebar on page 444; If one interpretation seems too good to be true - and that's exactly what the interpretation that a built-in limitation doesn't apply without explicitly being removed is - then it probably is, meaning that's not actually how the rule is meant to be interpreted.

I will also point out that the logic behind this interpretation of "this was granted as a part of a choice I made, but was not itself the choice I made, thus I do not have to adhere to the general limitations" would make it possible for any character to select the feat their background gave them an additional time via some other resource, despite the general rule being that you can't take the same feat twice unless it has a special not that allows you to - but that's just proof that PF2 is not written to be read in such a strict and formal fashion, but a much more casual (and natural for larger number of readers) fashion.

Where the results of your choices are what you have chosen, not two entirely separate concepts.


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thenobledrake wrote:


As for the difference between "choice" and "granted" - this game is not written to be read in such a legalistic way, so whether you gain a feat by choosing it directly or by choosing a feature that includes it, you have still chosen.

Actually, this is really a notable part of the problem with RPGs in general. The game designers are generally not lawyers, or often even particularly skilled in english/grammar. However, the term "rules lawyer" exists as much because of the fact that gamers, absolutely, will oft times twist the wording of the rules in such a way as to argue that they work the way the gamer wants them to.

In the instant case, you end up with a rule that reads as follows: "Choose a multiclass archetype that has a basic, expert, and master spellcasting feat. You gain that archetype's dedication feat as a bonus feat . . ." However, if the character is an Ancient Elf that has already chosen a dedication feat, you instead interpret the rule to read: "Choose a multiclass archetype that has a basic, expert, and master spellcasting feat. You don't actually gain that archetype's dedication feat as a bonus feat . . ." Essentially you have to decide that the phrase "gain that archetype's dedication feat" means "Do not, gain that archetype's dedication feat" in order to disallow the choice.

All that said, what I imagine really happened here is that for whatever reason, the designers just did not consider the possibility of somebody choosing Eldritch Trickster AND Ancient Elf (probably because in the current ruleset, this is literally the only way this question comes up). Unfortunately RPGs have long had instances of things like this happening where it was clear that the designers just had not considered something. WotC in particular was really bad about this back in 4th Ed (and yes, I realize Paizo is not WotC). All that said, my guess is that the intention was that you not be allowed to take two dedication feats at 1st level but rather, to provide another avenue to taking a dedication feat at first level.

But yes, a lot of players will try to twist the rules to read what they want them to. I saw a player recently try to argue that they could use their skill choices on armor proficiency to raise, for instance, their proficiency in unarmored from trained to expert at first level. The argument (which obviously I disagree with) was that armor proficiency has untrained, trained, expert, master, and legendary just like skills do, and therefor, armor proficiency is a skill. Hence, the player wanted to be a rogue because they could quickly raise their armor, weapon, perception and saves since they get skill increases every level. Nevermind the fact that armor, etc., is clearly not listed as one of the skills in the skills chapter. Ironically, that's not even the worst example I've seen of a player arguing a rule doesn't mean what the rule clearly states.

Liberty's Edge

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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Nah, there's nothing that would stop you from selecting Eldritch Trickster, because the Racket itself has no prerequisites or requirements, you just wouldn't get a benefit from it. Though, presumably, if you take archetype feats at levels 4 and 6 you'd suddenly gain the dedication then now that the restriction no longer exists

How so?

Following ABC in order

1. A, you choose ancient elf and gain a multiclass deidcation which then invokes "**Special** You cannot select another dedication feat until you have gained two other feats from the "

2. B, you then select your background.

3. C, you then select your class, you choose rogue and then go to select eldritch trickster. However you cannot because "you cannot select another dedication feat until you have gained two feats from" has kicked in already.

The selection of another dedication feat never specifies source so RAW would assume that it is from any source barring explicit exception, unless I am missing something?

Since Ancient Elf explicitly mentions "Choose a class other than your own.", your Class and all the options that go with it have already been chosen before you select Ancient Elf.

It might not be the RAI but it is definitely the RAW.


Gargs454 wrote:
<snipped bit about 'rules lawyers' and twisting words followed by declaring I'm the one twisting words>

I'm not twisting anything when I say Ancient Elf and Eldritch Trickster are incompatible.

Dedication feats have a special clause, the spirit of which is that you can't have a 2nd dedication before you've invested more feats in your 1st.

That alone should be clear, but even if it isn't the book tells us what to do when the rules aren't clear in a sidebar titled "Game Conventions" on page 444 of the Core Rulebook. In that sidebar it tells us "If two rules conflict, the more specific one takes precedence." So if there is a conflict between the rule that you can't take a second dedication whenever you want to, and the combination of this heritage and rogue racket, the most specific rule applies - and that's the "you can't have another dedication yet" rule because that is the rule that makes the most specific statement about when you can or cannot take that kind of feat.

And then, just a little further down the same sidebar, we actually have another game convention backing up this "you can't do that" ruling because the book says "Sometimes a rule could be interpreted multiple ways. If one version is too good to be true, it probably is." Which that is exactly what we have here: one interpretation that you can never take a 2nd dedication before you've invested more feats in your 1st, and one interpretation that comboing ancient elf and eldritch trickster lets you have 2 dedications without further investment despite both saying 'you can't take another until you spend more feats on me' - that's too good to be true, so I know I'm right that it isn't.

Gargs454 wrote:
what I imagine really happened here is that for whatever reason, the designers just did not consider the possibility of somebody choosing Eldritch Trickster AND Ancient Elf

Where as I imagine they thought something along the lines of "dedication feats already say you can't take another before you invest further in the one you already have, so we don't need to specifically write in that rule again as a reminder because that's just a redundant waste of words" - not realizing that some folks would struggle to figure out how "take one dedication" plus "take one dedication" plus "you can't have a 2nd dedication before investing in the first" add up.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It is most unfortunate that Paizo never enabled the FAQ button for the PF2 forums -- this is a subject that definitely needs to be flagged for that purpose, as I can see legitimate arguments on both sides of this issue.

And it is not the typical case where two steps in character creation grant you the same feat -- we do know how to handle that case well enough to recommend against doing that. You would indeed have the same feat twice, with no benefits for taking it the second time.

Finally, order of operations does not actually settle anything. Following ABC order, the minimum choices the character in question would need to make would be (A) Ancestry is elf, (B) Background is whatever, and (C) Class is rogue. So the heritage (and associated dedication feat) and the racket (and associated dedication feat) could presumably be taken in any order.

So the question seems to boil down to the following -- Can any combination of heritage and subclass be ruled as incompatible because it forces you to make an illegal feat choice at some later point, or can this combination actually enable the otherwise illegal combination of dedication feat choices?

For the "Yes" side -- There is no issue how to make it work -- you have to take a total of four other multiclass feats (two from each multiclass) before you can take a 3rd dedication feat.

For the "No" side -- The restriction on dedication feats could be interpreted as forcing you to take the same dedication feat both times, with the result that taking that combination would be legal but undesirable.


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thenobledrake wrote:

Dedication feats have a special clause, the spirit of which is that you can't have a 2nd dedication before you've invested more feats in your 1st.

Yup, a perfect example of a general rule since it applies to every single dedication feat.

By contrast, there's literally nothing general about either ancient elf or arcane trickster.

As for too good to be true, that's entirely a matter of opinion. I personally don't see it as a case of too good to be true, but of course YMMV.


David knott 242 wrote:
You would indeed have the same feat twice, with no benefits for taking it the second time.

That's false. The rules say you can't take the same feat a second time unless it's got a special not that allows you to.

The case of gaining the same feat twice is the same as this case of breaking the limitations on dedication feats: You can't, but rather than repeat the reason that you can't at every possible point of reference, the authors have elected for saving space by mentioning that you can't once and assuming (apparently incorrectly) that everyone would understand that because they can't do that thing, they should choose options other than the ones that would - if it were possible - do the thing.

Gargs454 wrote:

Yup, a perfect example of a general rule since it applies to every single dedication feat.

By contrast, there's literally nothing general about either ancient elf or arcane trickster.

You're getting the meaning of specific overrides general backwards - it's not which element you deem more specific in that it applies to less of the possible characters or in less of the possible situations. It's which element is most specific in detailing how something works.

Not being able to take a 2nd dedication until you've spent more feats on the archetype for the first is far more specific than being allowed to take a dedication feat - because you can generally take a feat whenever you meat the requirements and have the appropriate option to take that kind of feat, but you specifically have additional limitations for taking dedication feats.

Gargs454 wrote:
As for too good to be true, that's entirely a matter of opinion. I personally don't see it as a case of too good to be true, but of course YMMV.

You're not the first person I've seen say that - but if it is actually meant in the subjective-to-your-own-standards way, there's no point in that text existing at all.

Illustratively, thus far I've never seen anyone say they thought an interpretation of their own was too good to be true. It's always someone with a definitively more potent interpretation of the rule than what other people have saying "I don't think that applies."

There's an intended level of power and style that the rules take on - if something doesn't fit that, as is the case with the interpretation of a double-dedicated 1st-level character, then that is what the too good to be true rule is talking about - even if it's not also outside of any/every reader's personal power level tolerance.


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That's exactly my point though, I don't see the double dedication as increasing the power level very much. On their own, dedication feats offer a slight boost but not much. Certainly an extra feat at first level is noteworthy, but still not major given the limitations IMHO. As an example, it's not so powerful that everyone who wants an arcane trickster will also be an ancient elf and certainly not so powerful as to make every rogue a trickster or ancient elf, etc.

I still disagree with you on specific vs. general. Dedication feats limitations is a general rule but we'll have to agree to disagree. I would definitely agree with you if the wording on trickster was "gain a feat". That would be a general rule wherein the limitations of dedication feats would be more specific. But as I said we'll have to agree to disagree.

Regardless, as I said earlier, I agree with you on what the likely intent was, but as written it leaves ambiguity.


...but the book tells us what to do with ambiguity, so if you agree what the intent is you should be agreeing what the outcome is instead of quibbling about how the author wrote "choose an archetype and gain the dedication" so somehow that's not the "select another dedication" that the special text says you can't do.

And saying you don't see having 2 feats that you otherwise literally cannot have at the same time unless you are multiple levels higher as increasing the power level is just proving you're not trying to gauge what Paizo intends the power level to be - you're just saying "I don't mind that powerful of a game" and then using that as your supporting argument for what the rules actually allow.


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If you go back and look at my posts what you'll see that my argument is simply that the rules here do not provide a clear cut answer. You claim that dedication feats are more specific than arcane trickster's dedication feat feature and the feature of ancient elf, yet your interpretation of how to come to that does not appear in the book. It simply says specific trumps general. It does not say determine it the way you do. Hence the reason there are a number of people on both sides of the issue.

These issues come up a lot in rpgs because the designers don't think of all possible outcomes or combinations and certainly don't describe specifically how to adjudicate all of those outcomes. On top of that, they then use language that doesn't always clear up the issues. Even "too good to be true" is far from clear because that's very much in the eye of the beholder.


While I like the idea of an ancient elf eldritch trickster, I think the combination can enable a mild power bump in the mid game that messes with some assumptions about how dedications usually work. This edition tends to put these questions into the GM's hands, and a FAQ will likely rule them incompatible or at least uncommon.

That said, it's a reasonable option to ask for GM blessing over. With a strong character concept, I doubt many would disapprove.


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GM OfAnything wrote:
While I like the idea of an ancient elf eldritch trickster, I think the combination can enable a mild power bump in the mid game that messes with some assumptions about how dedications usually work.

Out of curiosity, can you give an example of that?

If we take the dedication feat from the Rogue racket as constant, then the extra dedication feat given by the Ancient Elf heritage doesn't seem all that much more powerful than the extra class feat given by the human ancestry feat Natural Ambition. Maybe a bit more powerful than the additional general feat given by Versatile Human heritage.

But by the time that the character has pulled out enough archetype feats to get their overpowered combo together, I would think they would practically be at the level needed to get it together legitimately too. Maybe two levels earlier by using the Ancient Elf path?

But maybe I am missing something.

Dark Archive

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thenobledrake wrote:

...but the book tells us what to do with ambiguity, so if you agree what the intent is you should be agreeing what the outcome is instead of quibbling about how the author wrote "choose an archetype and gain the dedication" so somehow that's not the "select another dedication" that the special text says you can't do.

The ambiguous rules clause just says to work it out with your table. That's it.

It doesn't fiat that RAW is trumped by RAI, specially given that the intention clearly not actually apparent.


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I don't get where the confusion is. Neither grants an exception to the two archetype feat restriction, so you can only choose one or the other. See the multitalented feat for an example of a feat/feature that does grant such an exception.


OK. In thinking about this (way too much) last night, I came to this conclusion. I don't know what the cheese build is, but I can determine some of the limits of it based on hypothetical abstractions.

So...

The (hypothetical) Ancient Rogue triple class cheese build: Elf ancestry with Ancient Elf heritage, Rogue class with Eldritch Trickster racket, magical archetype 'M' from the Eldritch Trickster, and any other archetype 'A' from Ancient Elf.

The risk of cheese is that this will enable some combination of feats and powers that will be available too early. So, what is 'too early'?

The naive triple class build is: base class, archetype 1 dedication at level 2, archetype 1 feats at level 4 and 6, archetype 2 dedication at level 8, archetype 2 feat at level 10 which completes the combination. I was thinking that there was some way to improve that using the Human ancestry feat Natural Ambition, but it only grants a level 1 feat - so it can't be used to take archetype feats.

So that is the baseline for triple class: getting the combination together at level 10.

So for the triple class cheese build to be cheesy, it needs to get things together before level 10. It is possible to get feats from all three classes by level 6. Rogue base, archetype M and archetype A dedication at level 1, Rogue feat at level 2 (since I haven't found any archetype feats other than the dedications at level 2), One archetype feat at level 4, and the other archetype feat at level 6. There would also be a level 8 cheese build that is possible - freeing up a few more options of exactly what to build. The level 8 version is also less impact on the game since it is only 2 levels earlier than normal.

One thing that I note is that the triple class cheese build will require components from all three sections - Rogue base class, archetype M, and archetype A. If the combo doesn't require something from all three of these, then the combination isn't cheese. It could be built naively by cutting out one of the components and using normal archetype rules.

This point is most notable for the requirement of 'something from the Rogue base class'. By choosing Eldritch Trickster as the racket, there isn't much left in the Rogue class. Sneak attack is at 2d6 by level 6 - 8. And that is about it for the core class. Dex to damage? That requires a different racket. Extra skill increases and skill feats? Other classes get plenty of them to take the ones needed for a feat combo by level 6. The only thing left would be the level 2 or level 4 Rogue class feats. And if it is a level 4 feat, then that forces the cheese build to be the level 8 variant since you can't fill a level 2 feat slot with an archetype feat. With a Rogue feat in the level 4 slot, that leaves only the level 6 and level 8 feat slots available for the archetype combo feats.

So there are the constraints on the (hypothetical) Ancient Rogue triple class cheese build. The level 6 version requires a combo from a level 2 Rogue feat or 2d6 sneak attack, a level 4 archetype feat, and a level 6 archetype feat. The level 8 version can include one of either: a level 4, 6, or 8 Rogue feat, another level 4 or 6 archetype feat, or a level 8 archetype feat.

Anything else can be built naively using other ancestries and classes. If the combo doesn't need a Rogue feat, picking M or A as the base class and having single multiclass to the other archetype should work just fine. And obviously if it doesn't require a feat from archetype M or A, then it doesn't require triple class at all. Though I suppose that the combo could be with the dedication feat itself, but those aren't really all that powerful. Magical class dedication feats only grant cantrips - which can often be picked up with ancestry feats.

Now, one disclaimer for this: this is a cheese build targeted at getting a feat combo out earlier than normal. The Ancient Rogue triple class does also effectively give one more feat at mid to high level than a naive triple class build. The naive triple class build has to fill the level 8 feat slot with the second archetype dedication feat. The Ancient Rogue build gets both dedications at first level, so that level 8 feat slot is available for something else.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Atheosis wrote:
I don't get where the confusion is. Neither grants an exception to the two archetype feat restriction, so you can only choose one or the other. See the multitalented feat for an example of a feat/feature that does grant such an exception.

Multitalented is a feat, obtained long after character creation. Heritages and class paths may be exempt from the intent behind the dedication restriction.


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breithauptclan wrote:
GM OfAnything wrote:
While I like the idea of an ancient elf eldritch trickster, I think the combination can enable a mild power bump in the mid game that messes with some assumptions about how dedications usually work.
Out of curiosity, can you give an example of that?

I don't think there are any combinations that are outright broken. But something like Twin Takedown with sneak attack plus Cry of Destruction can add up to a lot of damage in the right circumstances.

There are enough permutations (and that number will continue to increase) to be cautious about a blanket go ahead. If there is a broken combo, now or in the future, one of our legion of forum-goers will find it. Better to say "check with your GM" now, just in case.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't see a problem with being able to get both dedications at 1st level. It's not like you're getting them for 'free', you're actively choosing them over other heritages/rackets.

You can only ever have one (1) heritage and one (1) racket. While some heritage benefits can be gained by other means, most cannot.

Racket benefits are not reproducible.

I would argue that, due to each being a one time selection, heritages and rackets are 'worth more' than class feats (to include dedication feats). Therefore, the 'bonus' of not having to use a class feat later to select the second dedication feat is actually a poor trade and could be seen as balanced from that perspective.


WatersLethe wrote:
Heritages and class paths may be exempt from the intent behind the dedication restriction.

Is there any supporting evidence for that exemption, though?

Because there is evidence that they may not be exempt from that intent (that being that they don't say they are exempt from the special limitation, contrary to how they do specify they are exempt from the listed level requirement)

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