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    Default [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    This is a topic that started here with Snipers post but has gotten too long to remain in the Q&A. Now the thrilling continuation...

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    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    Re: A587 contention within a contention within a contention (inception?): Still no. The definition of a prerequisite is "a thing required as a prior condition for something else to happen or exist."

    Snip

    If one retrained away the only metamagic feat taken prior to Energy Substitution, thus leaving a metamagic feat taken after Energy Substitution, they have lost the prerequisite for Energy Substitution by the definition of the term. They would still have the prerequisite for Born of the Three Thunders as they haven't lost Energy Substitution...just the ability to use it. I'm open to RAW citations to the contrary, but anything else would probably warrant a separate thread.
    The problem is you're going by a ("a", not "the" to boot) dictionary definition of the term, not the rules definition. Here is the rules definition from the PHB:
    Quote Originally Posted by PHB
    Your character must have the indicated ability score, class feature, feat, skill, base attack bonus, or other quality designated in order to select or use that feat.

    Snip

    A character canít use a feat if he or she has lost a prerequisite. For example, if your characterís Strength drops below 13 because a ray of enfeeblement spell, he or she canít use the Power Attack feat until the prerequisite is once again met.
    Emphasis mine. This is all the relevant rules text governing the role of prerequisites. By RAW only the following two conditions are absolute:
    1) To select a feat you must meet the prerequisite conditions.
    2) To use a feat you must meet the prerequisite conditions.

    By RAW there is nothing that states (or even suggests) that you can only satisfy the second condition in the same manner you satisfied the first. A character with Born of the Three Thunders meets the prerequisite conditions for Energy substitution because the prerequisite to use it is "any metamagic feat", a condition which the aforementioned feat satisfies.

    Actually by strictest RAW I can't actually see anything that prevents Energy Substitution serving as its own prerequisite. After all the exact wording is "any metamagic feat" not "any other metamagic feat". I swear there must be something I'm missing regarding that but going by RAW it seems to work. Although it'd likely get the DMG thrown at you.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    Seems RAW legal

    The feat re-training rules only care about the replacement feat ó PH2 p193
    π = 4
    Consider a 5' radius blast: this affects 4 squares which have a circumference of 40' ó Actually it's worse than that.


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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    This is an accepted thing by RAW. There is even a retraining handbook which uses the same principles; a prestige class absolutely can be used to qualify for itself once you have it. You can build into a self contained loop but need to start from somewhere linear. A prestige class that grants arcane casting and requires at an casting meets its own requirements if you had the requirement once to get in, even of trained away. It was quite the debate though.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    Well for me there isn't really much question of it being legal by RAW. Having something serve as it's own requirement has the aroma of cheddar about it though.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    Not Cheddar, Gorgonzola.
    It's definitely cheese, arguably a dysfunctional rule.
    π = 4
    Consider a 5' radius blast: this affects 4 squares which have a circumference of 40' ó Actually it's worse than that.


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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    It's neither cheese nor dysfunctional. Retraining feats might be cheese...

    As long as you have a prerequisite when you take a feat, and you have a prerequisite when you use a feat, you are complying with the rules as written, and there isn't really any cogent argument against that at all.

    You might argue that for some things, Metamagic feats that have a prerequisite of "any Metamagic feat" are clearly meant to be gated, to require a tax. So, meeting this prerequisite with the feat itself is not following the RAI, but that is the fault of the writer for using a bad condition as a prerequisite, or for not just inserting the word "other" in it.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    Yes but the fact it's probably not RAI is what pushes it into cheese country. Feat retraining on its own isn't cheese but using a feat to get another which then serves as its own prerequisite and then retraining the former feat is definitely a bit cheesy. How mild or strong the cheese is wholly depends on how it's used though.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejusu View Post
    Yes but the fact it's probably not RAI is what pushes it into cheese country. Feat retraining on its own isn't cheese but using a feat to get another which then serves as its own prerequisite and then retraining the former feat is definitely a bit cheesy. How mild or strong the cheese is wholly depends on how it's used though.
    Of course, the original Q&A question wasn't about self-qualifying feats, it was about feats that you have marked at an earlier level than their prerequisites.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    Again, if the retraining itself is allowed, then as long as you always have the prerequisite one way or another you're fine. It doesn't have to be the same feat.

    It works like if there were a feat that had the prerequisite "5 ranks in any Knowledge skill" and you had 5 ranks in Knowledge (nature), but then you were level-drained and lost those ranks. When you leveled up next, you could get the feat working again* by taking 5 ranks in any Knowledge skill.

    *overlooking, for the moment, the possibility that you would have lost the feat when you lost the level and would have to retake it from scratch
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    Quote Originally Posted by Flame of Anor View Post
    *overlooking, for the moment, the possibility that you would have lost the feat when you lost the level and would have to retake it from scratch
    There's a few ways of setting up the situation with e.g. PHBII retraining rules, though it's largely hypothetical otherwise.
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    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejusu View Post
    Well for me there isn't really much question of it being legal by RAW. Having something serve as it's own requirement has the aroma of cheddar about it though.
    Oh, yeah definitely.
    Hahahahahaha! Medusa head said Gorgonzola! Gorgon! Get it! Hahahahahahahahahaha!

    This is especially true and also especially useful in e6, where you can retrain to have five levels of a prestige class which give you caster level 15 and functional access to all spells a fifteenth level wizard would have, solely for magic item crafting.

    I consider this less cheese and more an awesome exploit though, since it means in e6 the most badass smith and crafter is he lone mystic dwarf who channels the spirits of his race.

    Quote Originally Posted by broodax View Post
    It's neither cheese nor dysfunctional. Retraining feats might be cheese...
    Cheese is expressly a RAI thing though. Doesn't matter if you're rules legal, if you're not supposed to do that, it's cheese.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    Of course, the original Q&A question wasn't about self-qualifying feats, it was about feats that you have marked at an earlier level than their prerequisites.
    Ah! That is trickier. It's entirely possible to end up that way, but you can't use it. As for taking the feat earlier so you can, say, use a bonus feat from a class to get the prereq after you grab the actual feat with your level feats or something, it works for building a higher level character (because you can always assume retraining) but not when leveling up from scratch.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    Ah! That is trickier. It's entirely possible to end up that way, but you can't use it. As for taking the feat earlier so you can, say, use a bonus feat from a class to get the prereq after you grab the actual feat with your level feats or something, it works for building a higher level character (because you can always assume retraining) but not when leveling up from scratch.
    Actually I'm not sure what they meant by this. The original question was asking if you could retrain a feat you used to qualify for another feat once you had another feat that fulfilled its prerequisites. The scenario given was that the OP took Empower spell to qualify for Energy Substitution (which requires "Any metamagic feat") and then took Born of the Three Thunders (which requires Energy Substitution) and wanted to know if he'd still meet the prerequisites for Energy Substitution with BotTT (a metamagic feat) if he retrained Empower Spell.

    Which in my mind is legal by RAW, they both serve as the other prerequisite. Although Energy Sub serves as its own prerequisite too by RAW. You still have to meet the prerequisites to take a feat, but I don't think there's anything by RAW to stop you shuffling those prerequisites once you have it.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    I thought feats, like skill points, were tied to the level at which they were taken, and thus you'd need, later on, to be able to show that at the level you took A with pre-req B, you weren't relying on feat C gained at later level. I would reference you to the level up rules, but I assume, given the rigorous-sounding nature of this discussion, that you all are already aware of how they work, and that I am simply inferring something that the rules never really make clear.

    Ah, 3e. So close to being logically consistent and rigorous. But, instead, epic fail.

    Not that this is a big deal balance-wise. Feat taxes are usually silly and one of the least relevant aspects of player power, though, humourously, the good feats for casters typically amount to a much bigger comparative growth in power than for mundanes. Also, mundanes are almost never hit with "any x feat." Which, right there, is a horrible jab at mundanes, since having multiple-feat feat trees is clearly a much bigger investment of build resources than just "have x number of these kind of feats."
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    Quote Originally Posted by Phelix-Mu View Post
    I thought feats, like skill points, were tied to the level at which they were taken, and thus you'd need, later on, to be able to show that at the level you took A with pre-req B, you weren't relying on feat C gained at later level. I would reference you to the level up rules, but I assume, given the rigorous-sounding nature of this discussion, that you all are already aware of how they work, and that I am simply inferring something that the rules never really make clear.
    They are. There's two main rules regarding the prerequisites for feats:
    1) To take a feat you must meet the prerequisites.
    2) To use a feat you must meet the prerequisites.

    You're right that it's an important thing to keep in mind when creating higher level characters. You have to consider when the character took the feat and whether they would have met the prerequisites at the time. You couldn't make a level 6 character and take two feats that required +6 BAB for example.

    However if you lose a prerequisite to a feat, you don't lose the feat itself. Merely its benefit. Once you regain that prerequisite you can use it again. And there are feats with non-specific prerequisites that a number of different entities can satisfy (e.g. Any metamagic feat or Any Psionic feat). What this means is that you can show that at the level you took feat A you qualified with feat B but then at a later level you can qualify for it with feat C and so can retrain feat A.

    If that makes sense.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    Levels being tied to feats is used in the Retraining rules. If you're going to retrain a feat for another feat, you need to have been able to meet the new feat's requirements as of when the feat slot you're using became available to you.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    But only if C comes before the level at which you are now taking A, right?

    Basically, legal:

    1st: Feat B

    3rd: Something

    6th: Feat A, requiring either B or C

    9th: Feat C, requiring A

    Not legal:
    1st: Feat B Retrained to something else

    3rd: Something

    6th: Feat A, requiring either B or C

    9th: Feat C, requiring A

    But this doesn't seem to follow what was originally being said.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    What Diarmund is saying is that if you retrained a feat you got at level 3, the new feat you take in place of it must be something that you would have qualified for at level three. There's no restrictions in retraining a feat that you used as a prerequisite for another feat. If you no longer met that feats requirements you would simply lose the use of that feat.

    Let's say:
    Level 1: Power Attack
    Level 3: Cleave (prereq PA)

    I could retrain Power Attack even though I need it for cleave, I'd just no longer be able to cleave until I regained the Power Attack feat. But I couldn't replace Power Attack with Leap Attack (as that also requires Power attack, and 8 ranks in jump, neither of which I'd have at level 1).

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    Rej has it right.

    Another example, if you bumped your Str from 12 to 13 at level 4, you couldnt retrain your level 3 feat to Power Attack because as of level 3 you didnt meet the requirements even though you do when you are performing the retraining.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejusu View Post
    Let's say:
    Level 1: Power Attack
    Level 3: Cleave (prereq PA)
    So if you got rid of Power Attack at 1 and made it something else, Cleave is inaccessible. Good, on board up to this point.

    But does taking Power Attack at 6th now make Cleave accessible again? Because it seems to me that Cleave needs Power Attack to be a valid purchase at 3rd.

    But I could just be wrong.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    Taking PA at 6th brings Cleave back online. The only time you have to check prereqs is when taking a feat, or retroactively retraining a feat.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejusu View Post
    ...The scenario given was that the OP took Empower spell to qualify for Energy Substitution (which requires "Any metamagic feat") and then took Born of the Three Thunders (which requires Energy Substitution) and wanted to know if he'd still meet the prerequisites for Energy Substitution with BotTT (a metamagic feat) if he retrained Empower Spell.

    Which in my mind is legal by RAW, they both serve as the other prerequisite. Although Energy Sub serves as its own prerequisite too by RAW. You still have to meet the prerequisites to take a feat, but I don't think there's anything by RAW to stop you shuffling those prerequisites once you have it.
    To me, you determine if you meet a feat's prerequisite without the feat itself that you are trying to meet the prerequisites of. Two 'any metamagic'-requiring feats do not validate each other. You basically 'remove' a feat to check its validity, and that deactivates the other (for lack of its prerequisite), and so it no longer provides qualification as a prerequisite (for the feat you're checking).

    In short, a dead feat does not qualify, and a feat is itself dead while you check it's prerequisites. In my opinion. This is actually a genuine begs-the-question fallacy; a conclusion based on a faulty premise.

    I don't think its valid to expect the phrasing 'any other metamagic feat' considering most feats were written long before retraining was introduced in PHBII. Adding 'other' after the PHBII would only have encouraged this snake-eating-its-own-tail reading of older feats' prereqs.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats and their prerequisites (moved from Q&A)

    Quote Originally Posted by Phelix-Mu View Post
    So if you got rid of Power Attack at 1 and made it something else, Cleave is inaccessible. Good, on board up to this point.

    But does taking Power Attack at 6th now make Cleave accessible again? Because it seems to me that Cleave needs Power Attack to be a valid purchase at 3rd.

    But I could just be wrong.
    Yes, taking Power Attack at level six would allow you to make use of the Cleave feat again. You are correct that you need Power Attack at level three to make Cleave a valid purchase at that level. However you have power attack at level three, you get rid of it after you take Cleave.

    Spoiler: Example: Bob the Barbarian
    Show
    Bob the Orc Barbarian takes Power Attack at level one, then Cleave at level three which he qualifies for because he has the Power Attack feat. When he turns level five he decides he'd rather rage more than Power Attack and so decides to retrain Power Attack into Extra Rage (something he can qualify for at level one). He then realises what a colossal fool he's been, not only has he given up his best feat but now he can't even cleave any more! Why didn't his DM warn him! Too late for it now, he can't retrain mid level. So at level six, to correct his horrible mistake, he takes the Power Attack feat again. Because he once more meets the prerequisites for Cleave it comes back online, and Bob is a happy Barbarian.


    Essentially prerequisites are only checked at two times: when you take a feat, and when you use a feat. The important thing is that you meet the prerequisites when you take the feat, you only need to meet them the rest of the time if you want the benefits of that feat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz10019 View Post
    To me, you determine if you meet a feat's prerequisite without the feat itself that you are trying to meet the prerequisites of. Two 'any metamagic'-requiring feats do not validate each other. You basically 'remove' a feat to check its validity, and that deactivates the other (for lack of its prerequisite), and so it no longer provides qualification as a prerequisite (for the feat you're checking).

    In short, a dead feat does not qualify, and a feat is itself dead while you check it's prerequisites. In my opinion. This is actually a genuine begs-the-question fallacy; a conclusion based on a faulty premise.

    I don't think its valid to expect the phrasing 'any other metamagic feat' considering most feats were written long before retraining was introduced in PHBII. Adding 'other' after the PHBII would only have encouraged this snake-eating-its-own-tail reading of older feats' prereqs.
    Adding the other to the phrasing would just be to prevent a feat serving as its own prerequisite, which is an even tighter ouroboros than two feats serving as each others prerequisites. It would neither encourage nor prevent the latter. I'm not sure why you think it would encourage it really.

    At any rate it doesn't change the fact that, while cheesy, it's RAW legal. Even if you were to do it as you suggested the problem is that by RAW an inactive feat can still serve as a prerequisite. The only condition is having the feat, not being able to use it. This actually isn't an issue with a lot of feats though, in a rare case of some WotC writers having some sense each link of a feat chain generally incorporates the prerequisites for the previous link. To qualify for Greater TWF you have to still be able to qualify for Improved and regular TWF.

    Either way it may not be intended to have feats that qualify for themselves or anything like that it's completely by the book. That book may get thrown at you by the DM, but it's not breaking the rules.

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