View Full Version : Feat Substitution

2011-01-10, 07:13 AM
When gaining a level in a class that grants a specific bonus feat, are there any rules regarding what happens if your character already has the feat in question? I am aware of a couple of specific classes mentioning Improved Evasion replacing Evasion if you already have it, but it there a general baseline?

If not, do you think it would be unreasonable to ask a DM for a similar feat instead? The specific example I'm thinking of is Swashbuckler 1 granting Weapon Finesse, a feat my theoretical build would already have. I would like to take Quick Draw instead, as it has very similar prerequisites and flavour.

What about classes that grant specific Cleric domains?

2011-01-10, 07:55 AM
if not stated otherwise you would have a dead feat. but there are always the retraining rules in phb2 and ofc the talk to your gm

2011-01-10, 08:05 AM
Aha, those rules are exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. Thanks.

2011-01-10, 08:07 AM
There's a big difference between Feats and Class Features.

If you were in a class that gave a Class Feature that is a documented Feat that you already have, then I can see the DM giving you a different feat instead. The retraining rules for feats and other abilities give credence to this train of though. However, if you're just gaining a new Class Feature like Evasion and already have Improved Evasion, then tough luck. Cleric Domains would fall into the Class Feature category. (Although you can retrain class features at a much higher cost than retraining feats.)

Now that I think about it, the retraining rules would be best for this situation.

2011-01-10, 08:11 AM
Some Class Features simply say you gain a freely chosen bonus feat, but those are pretty rare. I don't think it would be terribly unbalanced to do this with all bonus feats, especially if the feats are thematically or mechanically similar.

Duke of URL
2011-01-10, 08:47 AM
There are some rare cases where the class feature that grants the feat allows the player to choose another feat if (s)he already has that feat. Because of that, one would assume that the default rule is that you don't gain any benefit if you already have the feat.

That said, just ask your DM if you can essentially make an ACF that trades that specific feat for another feat (or class feature) of roughly the same power and fitting the theme of the class.

2011-01-10, 08:49 AM
An example where this situation is identified is in the Marshal class. It states you get Skill Focus (Diplomacy) as a bonus feat. If you already have that feat, you can pick another feat you qualify for in its stead.

Most classes don't explicitly state this but it's not an issue if retraining is allowed.

2011-01-10, 08:51 AM
If it's a Feat gained from the new class, why not re-train the original once you have the Class Feature?

Duke of URL
2011-01-10, 09:41 AM
If it's a Feat gained from the new class, why not re-train the original once you have the Class Feature?

It's possible that you can't, if that feat was later used as a prerequisite for something else prior to gaining it as the class feature. t also wouldn't let you retrain it to anything that would not have been legal at the time the original feat was taken.