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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    The chameleon is perhaps my favorite prestige class (up there with the Master of Many Forms). You can do anything with it. Any mechanical niche you wish to occupy, any trick you want to perform, the chameleon can do it. The thing preventing the chameleon from being the perfect class for emulating any role is that it's unrealistic that most roles would have that much flexibility. In other words, the chameleon's greatest flaw is being too good to "only" do many things.

    The problem with the chameleon is, of course, that you can't get into prestige classes early enough for them to break TO over a barrel. I'll present the simplest build of the chameleon bootstrapper, which builds off of a playable PO chassis. Then a more optimized build capable of pulling off its tricks a bit earlier. Finally, I'll discuss variations present in the build itself.

    1. Basic Bootstrapper
    Sources: SRD, Races of Destiny (Chameleon, Able Learner), Races of Stone (Earth Sense/Earth Spell), Complete Arcane (Sanctum Spell/Extra Slot), Dungeonscape (Factotum).

    Class: Human Factotum 5 / Chameleon 2

    Feats: Heighten Spell (Human), Able Learner (1), Earth Sense (Flaw), Earth Spell (Flaw), Sanctum Spell (3).

    Abilities: Con 13, Wis 13 (Feat Prereqs)

    Factotum is presented because it's probably the best entry to actually play into chameleon. However, any class that has a caster level and qualifies for chameleon on time is easily swappable. If you lack access to dungeonscape, I recommend Cleric 2/Human Paragon 3 or similar.

    Bootstrapping in Detail:
    At level 7, you gain access to the chameleon's floating feat. In addition, you can cast 2nd level spells (either arcane or divine) using your chameleon's aptitude focus feature. Note, however, that "You can’t use any abilities gained from your aptitude focus, ability boon, or mimic class feature abilities to qualify for a feat, prestige class, or other option."

    This wording is what allows the bootstrapper to work. Let's begin:

    Wake up one morning and select a bonus feat. You have caster level of 4+ from Factotum (or your other entry class), so you select Extra Slot from complete arcane. This is the definition of "qualified" - 100% of the prerequisites are fulfilled without chameleon.

    Now that we've determined extra spell is a legal pick, let's see what it gives you.

    You gain one extra spell slot in your daily allotment: You have a daily allotment from Chameleon. In fact, Arcane and Divine focus both instantiate the same allotment, so Extra Slot will grant you two extra spells once you get Double Aptitude. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

    at any level up to one lower than the highest level of spell you can currently cast: The highest level spell you can cast right now is a Sanctum Heightened (any spell). For instance, a Sanctum Heightened (+2) Light spell is in a (0+2) 2nd level slot, and is a (0+2+1+1) 4th level spell. So one level lower is a third-level spell. You can gain a third-level spell slot. So far, this is standard extra slot abuse, but now we enter chameleon funtimes zone.

    At the start of the next day, you may change your bonus feat to any feat for which you meet the prerequisites. Your current feat is Extra Slot (3rd). You can currently cast 5th level spells in that slot, using a Sanctum Heightened (+3) Light spell. So swap your feat to Extra Slot (4th). This takes no time; there is never a time when you lack any Extra Slot feats, and thus never a time when you fall back down the ladder.

    Repeat as desired. Every day, the highest level spell you can cast increases by 1. Keep pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. There is a limit: With the given build you max out at 11th level spells, granting only a 10th level spell slot, because Heighten has a 9th-level restriction.

    What can you do with your extra slot? Nothing, just cast any arcane spell you have written down, or any divine spell at all, using the lowest leveled version for all of them. One spell slot isn't too much, but it only takes 28 Int/Wis to gain a bonus spell slot of every level 1-9, and hopefully by now you can manage to pump your stats much higher. This is left as an exercise to the reader.

    2: Faster Boostrapper.
    You're still not going to outrace any kobold paladins to supreme cosmic power, but here's a sample way to at least get there a bit faster. Even if you thought the previous build was PO, this one is pretty clearly not table-ready, because it uses bloodline abuse to get what it needs.

    Sources: SRD, Races of Destiny (Chameleon, Able Learner), Complete Arcane (Sanctum Spell/Extra Slot), Complete Divine (Divine Metamagic), Spell Compendium (Pact Domain).

    Race: Human (Major Bloodline: Any)

    Class: Cloistered Cleric 2 (Pact, Trickery, Knowledge Domains)/Chameleon 2 (Total XP: 9000)

    Feats: Heighten Spell (Human), Able Learner (1), Divine Metamagic (Heighten Spell) (Flaw), Sanctum Spell (Flaw), Practiced Spellcaster (Cleric) (Free Feat - 3).

    Abilities: Int 12, Cha 10 (6+1+1 Skill points at 2nd level, at least 3 turn attempts)

    Skills: You have Bluff, Sense Motive, Disguise, and Spellcraft as class skills thanks to your domain special abilities. Take 4 ranks in each of them at level 1.

    Take all 3 bloodline levels of your choice, for 3K extra XP (this can be any 3 bloodline levels, but I just selected 1 major bloodline for simplicity). When you take your second level of cloistered cleric, your maximum skill ranks are now 8. Spend 4 ranks in Disguise and 4 in bluff. You now qualify for chameleon.

    For your next level, take Chameleon 1. For your feat, select Practiced Spellcaster (Cleric). Bloodline levels increase your caster level. Enjoy CL5 at level 2.

    At level 4, you now have the ability to: 1) Spend 3 turn attempts to give a spell Heighten +2 Levels, 2) Caster level 4. You can spend your floating feat on Extra Slot, as in the above example, and go to town.

    3. Variants
    There are a few ways to change the above TO build. The easiest is to take bloodlines that offer redundant feats (nearly all of them will offer Power Attack, Alertness, Dodge, or Improved Initiative). "If you already have a feat that a bloodline provides as a bonus feat, you may choose a different feat." You can even take the first level in 3 major bloodlines, granting (for instance) Alertness + 2 arbitrary feats for Celestial, Gold Dragon, and Red Dragon. This will screw up your build later, however, since waiting more levels before taking bloodline levels means they cost more. For this reason, if you want to monkey around with them, I recommend not trying to hit the goal by 9000 XP.

    Similarly, if you wait an extra level the build gets a ton more free. An ioun stone gets you to CL4, meaning you no longer need a feat for Practiced Spellcaster. You can go back to Earth Spell if you wish, which means you can qualify using Beguiler or another class of choice.

    Snowcasting works similarly to sanctum spell. Illumians with Improved Sigil (Krau) + Sanctum Spell can get in easily as well, as Illumians are Humanoid (Human). I didn't include them above mostly because I'm a purist.

    Note that the extra slot you take isn't required to be a chameleon spell slot (although it's generally the right move). You can take Extra Slot (Cleric) and keep moving that up if you wish to. Chameleon's just there for the bonus feat, which is basically DCFS in a can, but better, because you have the previous feat while selecting the next one.

    Rules Ambiguities: The best rules argument I know against this trick working is that Chameleon's Bonus Feat allows you to change your bonus feat to "any other feat." Personally, I think Skill Focus (Diplomacy) is a different feat from Skill Focus (Appraise), which means that Extra Slot (3rd level) is a different feat from Extra Slot (4th level). Perhaps more relevant, I think a human bard with Toughness and Toughess has two feats, meaning that toughness is another feat on top of toughness. Should this be ruled the other way, getting around it is a real pain, since this basically kills bootstrapping, although if you break WBL you can fake it.

    I've mentioned this build before on the forums, but I wanted to make a central post to refer back to should the need arise. Questions, comments?

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    I'm fairly certain this isn't particularly new. Unless I'm missing something.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Quote Originally Posted by atemu1234 View Post
    I'm fairly certain this isn't particularly new. Unless I'm missing something.
    It's not on Fadier's Chameleon Handbook, which is the only good guide I know of.

    It's known on these boards, because I've posted it a couple times in the past few months. But I don't think it's been posted anywhere more officially than "Post #43 in what feats should I take for my chameleon" so I wanted to make a post to explain it in depth.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    While this doesn't stop the trick from being broken out the wazoo, do note that you can't bootstrap indefinitely. Heighten can only raise a spell up to 9th level.
    Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    You can't stack Extra Slot if you only have one instance of it. The feat will do the same thing tomorrow that it does today.

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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    You can't stack Extra Slot if you only have one instance of it. The feat will do the same thing tomorrow that it does today.
    Since the feat transfer happens instantly he's suggesting that since Extra Slot allowed him to cast a spell of a higher level, taking the feat repeatedly allows him to qualify for ever-higher-level Extra Slots, because technically when he takes the feat he is able to cast a higher spell.

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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    There is no point in time where you have both feats. The one replaces the other. You don't have access to the benefit of the old feat when you're making your choices for the new feat.

    If you could get two floating feats, you might have a case. But you certainly can't do it with just one.

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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    You never have both at once. Neither do you ever have zero. When you're selecting the new one, you still have the old one. Then, at some instant, the new one replaces the old.
    Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    There is no point in time where you have both feats. The one replaces the other. You don't have access to the benefit of the old feat when you're making your choices for the new feat.

    If you could get two floating feats, you might have a case. But you certainly can't do it with just one.
    At the time you take extra slot, do you meet the feat's prerequisites? CL4? Good.

    What level of spell can you cast? 5? Then you may take extra spell, gaining a 4th level slot.

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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    At the time you take extra slot, do you meet the feat's prerequisites? CL4? Good.

    What level of spell can you cast? 5? Then you may take extra spell, gaining a 4th level slot.
    You choose the level of the slot as part of the feat's benefit. At that point, you do not have your old feat, so you no longer have your old extra slot to take into account. This would only work if you had two floating feats. That's on top of the "another feat" issue as well —as previously mentioned, Chameleon requires you to choose a different feat; you can't change Extra Slot into Extra Slot without another feat in between.

    There are interesting TO tricks involving Extra Slot, but the big exploits you've got here aren't RAW-legal, which, IMO, makes them significantly less interesting.

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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    You choose the level of the slot as part of the feat's benefit. At that point, you do not have your old feat, so you no longer have your old extra slot to take into account. This would only work if you had two floating feats. That's on top of the "another feat" issue as well —as previously mentioned, Chameleon requires you to choose a different feat; you can't change Extra Slot into Extra Slot without another feat in between.

    There are interesting TO tricks involving Extra Slot, but the big exploits you've got here aren't RAW-legal, which, IMO, makes them significantly less interesting.
    Uh, part of selecting the feat is choosing the level of spell. It says in the feat that you select the slot level.

    Do you take weapon focus, then later decide what weapon to apply it to? No, you take Weapon Focus (Longsword). Just like you take Extra Slot (3rd).

    So your claim is that you lose the old feat before selecting the new one, which isn't how I read the bonus feat ability.

    A level 1 human (without flaws) traditionally has 2 feats. Do you think a human bard with Toughness and Toughness has 2 feats?

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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    Uh, part of selecting the feat is choosing the level of spell. It says in the feat that you select the slot level.

    Do you take weapon focus, then later decide what weapon to apply it to? No, you take Weapon Focus (Longsword). Just like you take Extra Slot (3rd).
    Part of the benefit of the feat is choosing the level of spell. It's in the "Benefits" section. You don't have the benefits of a feat until after you've selected it. Note the difference in wording compared to Weapon Focus, which includes the choice in its description (and prerequisite) line, not its benefit line.

    And the feat is Extra Slot, not Extra Slot (3rd). The parenthetical is a useful addition for clarity's sake, but it's not recognized by the rules and there's no basis for it in the text.

    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    So your claim is that you lose the old feat before selecting the new one, which isn't how I read the bonus feat ability.
    My claim is that you never have the old feat and the new feat at the same time. The one is exchanged for the other.

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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    It's not on Fadier's Chameleon Handbook, which is the only good guide I know of.

    It's known on these boards, because I've posted it a couple times in the past few months. But I don't think it's been posted anywhere more officially than "Post #43 in what feats should I take for my chameleon" so I wanted to make a post to explain it in depth.
    The Handbooks focus on PO. A better source/guide for TO would be those "Try to kill this monster" threads.

    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    So your claim is that you lose the old feat before selecting the new one, which isn't how I read the bonus feat ability.
    This detail is ambiguous/unspecified. I doubt anyone could be convinced one way or the other. The simple solution is to use another similarly TO trick to get another daily floating feat(Chaos Shuffle + Thought Bottle).
    Last edited by OldTrees1; 2015-07-01 at 07:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    I agree that the feat is changed instantly and as such you qualify for the higher level spell slot. But the point of choosing a different feat is valid sadly.
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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Quote Originally Posted by Renen View Post
    I agree that the feat is changed instantly and as such you qualify for the higher level spell slot.
    If the feat is changed instantly, then how are you getting both benefits simultaneously?

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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    You aren't. You're getting one feat's benefit one moment, and then the other feat's benefit the next.

    But you might have a point about the choice being in the "benefits" section.
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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    While this doesn't stop the trick from being broken out the wazoo, do note that you can't bootstrap indefinitely. Heighten can only raise a spell up to 9th level.
    In addition, you're still limited by your primary casting stat. Even if you find a way to get Improved Heighten Spell in there (Dragonwrought cheese or waiting until Epic), you can't have 83rd level spells unless your casting stat is 93 or higher.

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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    You aren't. You're getting one feat's benefit one moment, and then the other feat's benefit the next.

    But you might have a point about the choice being in the "benefits" section.
    Perhaps I can step in and explain that side better:
    Premise: You only have 1 of the feats at a time.
    Premise: Changes are instantaneous.
    Premise: Changes happen discretely with no overlap.

    Under this model you have to finish losing the old feat(aka lose the benefit of the old feat) before selecting a new feat(only get the benefit of one feat at a time).

    Under this model you would not be able to do the following:
    Have Feat A with Benefit A
    -> Replace Feat A with Feat B
    -> Replace Benefit A with Benefit B

    Instead you would have to do this:
    Have Feat A with Benefit A
    -> Replace Feat A and Benefit A with Feat B
    -> Select Benefit B
    Last edited by OldTrees1; 2015-07-02 at 05:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    If the feat is changed instantly, then how are you getting both benefits simultaneously?
    One moment you have feat a, the next you have feat b. You never have "no feat".
    So, you choose to have feat B give you a spell slot one higher than feat A gives you. And you can, because feat A is still there. Now, as soon as you get feat B, you become unable to choose said spell slot because you lost feat A. BUT you already have feat B, so it doesn't matter.
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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    If the technical maximum spell level you can get is still limited to 9, why not just skip to Heighten Spell + Earth Spell + Metamagic shenanigans to be able to cast 10th level spells and, thus, get a 9th level slot?

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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Quote Originally Posted by Renen View Post
    One moment you have feat a, the next you have feat b. You never have "no feat".
    So, you choose to have feat B give you a spell slot one higher than feat A gives you. And you can, because feat A is still there. Now, as soon as you get feat B, you become unable to choose said spell slot because you lost feat A. BUT you already have feat B, so it doesn't matter.
    Did you know this can be seen as having both benefits (and thus 2 feats) for an instant?
    Last edited by OldTrees1; 2015-07-02 at 05:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    I can see what you mean, but I disagree. The way I look at it is thus:
    You have feat A fulfil the proverbial requirements for feat B (though these aren't ACTUAL feat requirements, so to speak)
    You then take feat B, and select any variables (like spell level you are getting).
    Now, you don't yet have feat B, and you fulfil all its requirements.
    Then, you immediately "take" feat B.
    When you are saying "I take feat B now" you qualify for it, because you have feat A.
    Once you take feat B, you no longer need to qualify for it (I mean you DO, but only any items listed in actual Fiat's requirements).


    So before you take it, you qualify, and once you take it, having feat A doesn't really matter if you do.
    This only works because it goes Feat A > Feat B, instead of Feat A > empty for a split second > Feat B


    You don't need to have both feats at the same time. The reason you think it doesn't work is you are imagining a situation where you have neither feat for whatever period of time (my second example)
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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Quote Originally Posted by Renen View Post
    I can see what you mean, but I disagree.
    I can see what you mean, I disagree, and that's ok.

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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Quote Originally Posted by Renen View Post
    I can see what you mean, but I disagree. The way I look at it is thus:
    You have feat A fulfil the proverbial requirements for feat B (though these aren't ACTUAL feat requirements, so to speak)
    You then take feat B, and select any variables (like spell level you are getting).
    Now, you don't yet have feat B, and you fulfil all its requirements.
    Then, you immediately "take" feat B.
    When you are saying "I take feat B now" you qualify for it, because you have feat A.
    Once you take feat B, you no longer need to qualify for it (I mean you DO, but only any items listed in actual Fiat's requirements).
    For Extra Slot, you choose the spell slot as part of the feat's effect. You can't choose it before you select the feat. Relevant rules:

    Quote Originally Posted by Feat Descriptions
    Here is the format for feat descriptions.

    Feat Name [Type Of Feat]
    Description of what the feat does or represents in plain language.

    Prerequisite: A minimum ability score, another feat or feats, a minimum base attack bonus, a minimum number of ranks in one or more skills, or a class level that a character must have in order to acquire this feat. This entry is absent if a feat has no prerequisite. A feat may have more than one prerequisite.

    Benefit: What the feat enables the character ("you" in the feat description) to do. If a character has the same feat more than once, its benefits do not stack unless indicated otherwise in the description. In general, having a feat twice is the same as having it once.

    Normal: What a character who does not have this feat is limited to or restricted from doing. If not having the feat causes no particular drawback, this entry is absent.

    Special: Additional facts about the feat that may be helpful when you decide whether to acquire the feat.
    So the prerequisite is what you have to have in order to take the feat, and the benefit is what you get once you take the feat.

    Look at the text of Extra Slot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Slot
    You can cast an additional spell.

    Prerequisite: Caster level 4th.

    Benefit: You gain one extra spell slot in your daily allotment, at any level up to one lower than the highest level of spell you can currently cast. For example, a 4th-level sorcerer (maximum spell level 2nd) gains either an extra 0-level or 1st level slot, and is able to cast any spell he knows of the chosen level one more time each day. Likewise, a 4th-level wizard can prepare any extra 0-level or 1st-level spell he knows. Once selected, the extra spell slot never changes level.

    Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Each time, you gain an extra spell slot at any level up to one lower than the highest level of spell you can currently cast.
    The prerequisite is "Caster level 4th." That's what it checks for before you can take the feat. Once you actually take the feat, you immediately exchange the benefit of your old feat for your new feat--there's no delay and no overlap. The benefit of the new feat allows you to choose a spell level for your shiny new spell slot.

    Note that this is different from, say, Weapon Focus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Weapon Focus
    Choose one type of weapon. You can also choose unarmed strike or grapple (or ray, if you are a spellcaster) as your weapon for purposes of this feat.

    Prerequisites
    Proficiency with selected weapon, base attack bonus +1.

    Benefit
    You gain a +1 bonus on all attack rolls you make using the selected weapon.

    Special
    You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of weapon.

    A fighter may select Weapon Focus as one of his fighter bonus feats. He must have Weapon Focus with a weapon to gain the Weapon Specialization feat for that weapon.
    Weapon Focus has the "Choose one type of weapon" in the feat's description, not its benefit. So if you had Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Spiked Chain) as your floating feat, you could exchange it the next day for Weapon Focus (Spiked Chain), since you don't lose the prerequisite until the actual act of replacing the feat occurs. (You'd be unable to use the feat without the prerequisite, but you could do it.)

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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Your point is?
    The caster level is always there, even if I choose like toughness.

    Since you say there's no delay, then I can gain a spell slot from the second feat by heightening the spell I got from the 1st feat by 2 levels.
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    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    The caster level is there. The spell you got from the old feat is not. That's the benefit of the old feat, which you don't have at the same time as the benefit of the new feat.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    But you don't need it at the same time. You only need it at the second of swapping one for the other.

    There are 2 instances:
    1 is where you have benefit of feat A but not B
    2 is when you have Benefit of feat B but not A

    If it's instance 1, you can select feat B to take A's place. Cuz u fulfilling the requirements.

    If it's insurance 2, who cares, you already have feat B.
    Last edited by Renen; 2015-07-02 at 08:06 PM.
    Thanks to Kurien for drawing my avatar, and NightWolf16a for coloring it.

    Spoiler: The master lurker
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  28. - Top - End - #28
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Quote Originally Posted by Renen View Post
    But you don't need it at the same time. You only need it at the second of swapping one for the other.
    I notice you are merely asserting your position's validity to someone with different premises. Are you trying to convince them to change their position or merely to understand why you hold your position? While the argument "From my premises you can reach my conclusion" is sufficient to spread understanding but it is terrible for trying to convert anyone that holds different premises.
    Last edited by OldTrees1; 2015-07-02 at 08:48 PM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Bloodlines come just prior to levels 3,6,12

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Chameleon Bootstrapper: ∞ Level Spellcasting

    Quote Originally Posted by VisitingDaGulag View Post
    Bloodlines come just prior to levels 3,6,12
    No, bloodline levels come prior to levels 3, 6 and 12. There's some debate as to whether "just prior" was intended, but it certainly wasn't stated.

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