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    Default RAI on Ability Boosting Items and Prereqs

    Usually on this forum we argue about RAW, but what I've got here is an RAI question:

    RAI, should characters be able to meet prerequisites for feats/etc. with ability scores increased by items? If my Archivist 7/Loremaster 1 has 20 Int and a Headband of Int +4, can he use his +7 Int bonus to make his Loremaster Secret a bonus feat?

    Here's what I'm looking for: FAQ, cutserv responses, comments from game designers, other rules that seem built with an assumption in mind, etc. What is the evidence, RAI-wise (NOT RAW-wise), on this issue?
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    Default Re: RAI on Ability Boosting Items and Prereqs

    Well 3.0 ELH specifies that virtual feats (such as a 3.0 ranger's two-weapon fighting in Light or No Armor only) count for prerequisites but any feats based off of them do not function if you do something that invalidates the ability to use the virtual feat. Also the prerequisites for epic feats seem to have been made with that in mind since you are supposed to be able to take some (Dragon Wild Shape) at Lv 27 (prerequisites include 30 ranks in Knowledge (Nature)) but it requires Wisdom 30 which is impossible without two of enhancement bonuses, inherent bonuses, and aging at that level (unfortunately the same book's Epic NPC progressions show a druid with 27 Wisdom after item taking that feat ).

    I'm pretty sure one book actually described how it worked in detail.
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    Default Re: RAI on Ability Boosting Items and Prereqs

    I do not allow items to be used for prerequisites. Conditional class features like Ranger combat styles are fine, but you need to meet requirements honestly, not through items or spells.


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    Default Re: RAI on Ability Boosting Items and Prereqs

    There is an FAQ item that specifically mentions being able to take Power Attack with an 11 Str, assuming you have access to Gauntlets of Ogre Power +2 or greater.

    Honestly, temporary boosts are the same as temporary penalties. If you take Str damage that drops your Str below 13, you can't PA anymore. If you can gain a Str bonus high enough to qualify for PA, you can take PA. Knockback requires you to be large. If you are a Bear Warrior who shifts into Brown Bear form (size large) for a few rounds per day, then you can learn how to Knockback, as long as you are in that form.

    So yea, you could use a Headband of Int to gain a feat from Loremaster's secret. If you took the headband off, you'd lose access to that feat. You'd still have the feat, it would just be shut off and whatever benefit it provided to you would be inaccessable.
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    Default Re: RAI on Ability Boosting Items and Prereqs

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    There is an FAQ item that specifically mentions being able to take Power Attack with an 11 Str, assuming you have access to Gauntlets of Ogre Power +2 or greater.
    Aha, thought I had seen something like that. That in the main FAQ, or somewhere else? Link?
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    Default Re: RAI on Ability Boosting Items and Prereqs

    Main FAQ. I have it DLed on my computer at home. I can cite you a page number when I get home. It does make sense by RAI though, given that if negative stat modifiers can affect your feats, why can't positive ones?
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    Default Re: RAI on Ability Boosting Items and Prereqs

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Main FAQ. I have it DLed on my computer at home. I can cite you a page number when I get home. It does make sense by RAI though, given that if negative stat modifiers can affect your feats, why can't positive ones?
    Eh, not sure that particular argument flies. While ability penalties can temporarily make feats unavailable, that doesn't mean they affect your ability to gain new feats. If they did then a mean DM could give characters enough XP to level when they were exhausted or the like and force them to screw up their builds.
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    Default Re: RAI on Ability Boosting Items and Prereqs

    Well, what's the difference between a rogue with 17dex, and a rogue with 15dex and +2 gloves of dex?

    None within the context of dnd, IMO. Both should qualify for a feat which requires 17dex just as readily.

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    Default Re: RAI on Ability Boosting Items and Prereqs

    It does make sense to allow it. Although I may have seen somewhere that more short term buffs (like casting Fox's cunning on yourself every day) isn't enough to qualify for something. Which makes sense because it may take hours each day to train. Or maybe several minutes. Or maybe a permanent duration or item only if you want to be strict about it. How long you should really need is debatable.
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    Default Re: RAI on Ability Boosting Items and Prereqs

    IMO, even the time limit is dumb. Consider something like a Barbarian Rage. It only lasts what, 7-12 rounds per use, depending on your Con? During your rage, you gain tremendous abilities. You spend most of your time in combat in such a rage. If that rage is the edge you need to grab your enemies and fling them across the room, why shouldn't something like Bear Warrior qualify you to take Fling Enemy or something similar? Bruce Banner can't throw orcs and people, but the Hulk can.

    Found it:
    Quote Originally Posted by FAQ, pg 46
    A feat sometimes requires you to have a certain ability score, which is the case with Two-Weapon Fighting (it requires Dex 15). A character has, say, Dex 13, but wears an item, in this case gloves of Dexterity +2, and now her Dex score is 15. Can she take the feat and have it be active only when she wears the item?
    Actually yes, she could take the feat, but she would lose the use of the feat if, for whatever reason, she loses the bonus from the item.
    Last edited by Keld Denar; 2010-10-18 at 08:17 PM.
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    Default Re: RAI on Ability Boosting Items and Prereqs

    Interesting scenario.

    Say you have a barb with 10str. While raging, your str increases to 14. Would you allow your barb to benefit from a fighter feat which normally has a str prereq of 13str (say, power attack), granted by the wizard via heroics, for the duration of the rage?

    What if it was a character with 10 str under the influence of bull's str?

    That's my point. You just need to meet the prereqs, how you do is immaterial.

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    Default Re: RAI on Ability Boosting Items and Prereqs

    Quote Originally Posted by Runestar View Post
    Interesting scenario.

    Say you have a barb with 10str. While raging, your str increases to 14. Would you allow your barb to benefit from a fighter feat which normally has a str prereq of 13str (say, power attack), granted by the wizard via heroics, for the duration of the rage?

    What if it was a character with 10 str under the influence of bull's str?

    That's my point. You just need to meet the prereqs, how you do is immaterial.
    I'd say yes, but DM dependent. You'd have to under the effect while taking the feat.

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    Default Re: RAI on Ability Boosting Items and Prereqs

    Be under the effect while taking the feat?

    That seems a bit off to me, but then I don't necessarily go through any description of the actual leveling up process.

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    Default Re: RAI on Ability Boosting Items and Prereqs

    This hasn't come up in my games, but I think I would allow any character to take any feat as long as he met the level prerequisite (explicit and implied, e.g. skill rank requirements). No other prerequisite would be necessary to actually take the feat, but if any prerequisite was not met, the character would be treated in all respects as not having the feat.
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    Default Re: RAI on Ability Boosting Items and Prereqs

    The rules don't go into details about such things most of the time. When they do they're pretty explicit.
    Use your character’s current Intelligence score, including all permanent changes (such as inherent bonuses, ability drains, or an Intelligence increase gained at step 4, above) but not any temporary changes (such as ability damage, or enhancement bonuses gained from spells or magic items, such as a headband of intellect), to determine the number of skill points you gain.
    Because they mostly don't worry about such details, the authors don't care how you get particular ability scores. They're fine with you entering prestige classes based on nonpermanent ability scores.

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