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    Default Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    I thought it was good, my DM thinks it's ****, I trust you guys, what do you think?

    for reference: it makes the spells you start with equal to 6+int mod, and gives you 4 spells per level rather than 2.
    Last edited by Voidstar01; 2019-09-19 at 05:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    IMO, the rest very much depends on the magic level of the campaign. In a high magic setting, wizards can just scribe more spells onto their spellbooks. In a lower magic setting, this feat gets a lot better by virtue of difficulty of access.

    Effectively, Collegiate Wizard as a feat doesn't do anything judicious amounts of Magic Mart shopping wouldn't
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    It's basically Ancestral Weapon for casters. If your DM thinks it's bad, that probably means he'll let you get what you need and so it will be unnecessary. Like Ancestral Weapon it has that little bit of WBL savings but that's not really meaningful.
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    I entirely depends on what you're aiming at with a Wizard character.

    If you're planning to have a wizard learning LOTS of spells, it's always a good start.

    An important point to clear up with the GM is to agree that the bonus learned spells is not just for wizard levels, but also for any level in a prestige class progressing wizard spellcasting. (There are some dispute about this, I lean toward the feat not affecting only wizard levels.)

    There are other ways to learn plenty of spells (I have a gestalt build totally oriented toward this), but the one advantage of increasing the spells gained through research when gaining a level is those can be the exact spells you want or need (unless the GM veto some of them), compared to other methods which depends on which spells you stumble upon (often, restricting them to core spells).

    Addition: Another little advantage of this feat is that the benefits you gain from it won't be retroactively lost if you lose the feat -- the spells are definitely written in your spellbooks. Once you estimate having gained enough from it, you can always retrain it for another feat. (You just lose the +2 to Knowledge [arcana], which is likely maxed out already at this level.)
    Last edited by St Fan; 2019-09-19 at 05:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by smasher0404 View Post
    IMO, the rest very much depends on the magic level of the campaign. In a high magic setting, wizards can just scribe more spells onto their spellbooks. In a lower magic setting, this feat gets a lot better by virtue of difficulty of access.

    Effectively, Collegiate Wizard as a feat doesn't do anything judicious amounts of Magic Mart shopping wouldn't
    This. As long as a magic mart exists the high level Wizard is expected to have any spell he needs and even some he doesn't need.

    Not a bad investment in a low magic setting but irrelevant in a mid-high and above one.

    Plus the value of a feat you need for pre-reqs/uncunny forthought and metamagic is considered too high to spend on it. if you actually find yourself with a spare feat it's not a terrible investment but you can always get yourself more metamagic.

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    Exclamation Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    The only time I've played a Wizard in 3.5, the adventure had us on an extremely tight timeline, and I rarely had any time to scribe or shop for spells - this feat would have been an absolute godsend for that character.

    This is something I always wonder when people discuss the dominance of Wizards on forums: most discussions assume ample time, resources and access for scribing spells, and/or crafting items.

    Saying that someone reading RAW differently than you is "home brewing or house ruling, but that's fine" doesn't make you right, it just makes you seem pompous.

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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    The only time I've played a Wizard in 3.5, the adventure had us on an extremely tight timeline, and I rarely had any time to scribe or shop for spells - this feat would have been an absolute godsend for that character.

    This is something I always wonder when people discuss the dominance of Wizards on forums: most discussions assume ample time, resources and access for scribing spells, and/or crafting items.
    To be fair most campains do provide you with downtime. And at higher levels you can create this time on the spot.

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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Asmotherion View Post
    To be fair most campains do provide you with downtime. And at higher levels you can create this time on the spot.
    True. We mostly play at low to mid levels, and we tend to use pre-written adventures or paths, and a LOT of those put the PCs on a "race-against-the-clock" time line to avert some catastrophe.

    Saying that someone reading RAW differently than you is "home brewing or house ruling, but that's fine" doesn't make you right, it just makes you seem pompous.

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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Something I put on many wizards I play (maybe not every, but definitely a lot). Not needing to rely on Magic Mart, Scribing Time, Scribing Money is worth its weight in the gold you aren't burning adding spells to your book because you're getting them (literally whatever spells you really feel you need) for free. You also aren't playing "Mother May I" with the NPCs, just the DM.

    It also reduces table time spent on downtime powering-up, which is a huge plus. Beatsticks don't get 10 minutes of training montage for extra feats / arm wrestling competitions / whatever (usually), why should you get time for your powering-up?

    Collegiate Wizard lets you handle adding spells to your book in on-your-own time, where it belongs.
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    If your DM allows Magic Item Compendium it is a feat that has limited value after level 9 when the superior ability of Tome of Ancient Lore can kick in.

    True Believer Feat (+2 to save once a day) plus Tome of Ancient Lore (a spellbook relic associated with magic gods) bought at the magic mart or crafted with Craft Wondrous Item (which you should have anyway) and Sanctify Relic (feat tax) allows you to have every spell in arcane existence. Each day you learn a new spell and scribe it into your spell book, with 100% success rate if its less than your max spell level, or 50% success rate if its your max spell level but you get to keep on retrying it on subsequent days.

    But if your DM does not allow MiC then Collegiate Wizard does have some utility.
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Easy Bake Wizard suggests this.
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Asmotherion View Post
    To be fair most campains do provide you with downtime. And at higher levels you can create this time on the spot.
    Not the ones I play in. Its not uncommon for our characters to go from level 1 to level 10 inside of a month or so in universe. They get a lot of stuff done in a very, very short time.

    So ya, short on Downtime, this and Ancestral Weapon are amazing.
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    I haven't played a wizard in forever, but I think the feats is pretty much always worth it.

    It's only not an excellent feat of your DM follows WBL guidelines, allows you to purchase any scroll you want, allows you to take 10 on Spellcraft checks to scribe the scroll, AND allows ample downtime.

    It's incredibly hard to play in a campaign where all of these 4 elements are present. If a single one is missing, the feat is a good feat. If two or more are missing, then it's probably the single strongest feat for a Wizard

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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    At 20th level, a wizard without this feat will have 5+Int 1st, 4 2nd, 4 3rd, 4 4th, 4 5th, 4 6th, 4 7th, 4 8th, and 8 9th lvl spells. Beyond this limit, scribing a new spell is a simple process:

    1) Gain access to a spell scribed in a spellbook or on a scroll (purchased scrolls, scrolls/spellbooks found via loot, borrowing a spellbook for a fee, or stealing a spellbook). A scroll of level X gained via purchase/looting will be worth 12.5xCLxSpell Level gp, while the fee for borrowing a spellbook for the purposes of scribing one particular spell is 50xSpell Level gp.

    2) Make a DC [20+spell level] Spellcraft check to decipher the magical writing of the source. AFAICT the check itself doesn't take an action, but it can only be attempted once per spell per day, so any failures are gonna cost you 24 extra hours.

    3) Once you decipher the actual text, now you need to spend a day understanding the spell. According to the Spellcraft skill description on the SRD, this is actually just an 8 hour action rather than a 24 hour action, and the DC is only 15+Spell Level for this check...but failure means you can't attempt to scribe this spell again until you gain another rank in Spellcraft.

    (Buuuuuuuut let's assume that even from a really early level you're taking 10 with a +19 on the check, and that neither of these Spellcraft checks is ever a problem for you. Let's also assume you do two a day and rest the other 8 hours, even though I'm pretty sure the Adding Spells To Your Spellbook part of the Magic section of the SRD saying "Next, she must spend a day studying the spell" was trying to limit this to once per 24 hours.)

    4) Scribing a spell in a spellbook takes up one page and 100 gp per level of the spell, beyond any other costs associated with gaining access. The actual cost of the spellbook is almost negligible compared to the cost of the spells, so we'll just ignore it even though even the basic bitch wizard this post started with would need either three spellbooks or magically-big spellbooks to fit all his spells.

    With all that said and done, here's a chart of the gp/time costs of scribing, and what Collegiate Wizard gives:

    Spell Level GP Hours CW GP Gained Hours Gained
    1st 112.5 8 5 562.5 40
    2nd 275.0 8 4 1100.0 32
    3rd 450.0 8 4 1800.0 32
    4th 600.0 8 4 2400.0 32
    5th 750.0 8 4 3000.0 32
    6th 900.0 8 4 3600.0 32
    7th 1050.0 8 4 4200.0 32
    8th 1200.0 8 4 4800.0 32
    9th 1350.0 8 8 5400.0 64
    Total Gained 26862.5 gp 20 days' work

    In the grand scheme of things, a lot of this feat's value is going to depend on just how strict your DM is with resources. If you can't literally make time and money for yourself, if you have a hard time getting downtime, or if an extra 30k gp is gonna stress your 20th lvl budget, this feat is an easy way to get a lot more options during spell preparation. But there's other ways of getting new spells that are simpler. It's a great feat in theorycrafting because you don't need to account for nitpickers going "well where exactly did you find a wizard with those 8 extra 9th level spells who was just willing to let you scribe them from his spellbook", and it's a great feat if you don't wanna worry about the details as much in an actual game, but if you're willing to put in the time and money to track down and scribe spells into your spellbook the old fashioned way, it's not that costly.
    Last edited by AvatarVecna; 2019-09-21 at 11:58 AM.
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Is there any way to apply Collegiate Wizard to a sorcerer or other spontaneous caster (or manifester) with a fixed list? Or garner a similar effect without access to a "willing" secondary character (such as via psychic chirurgery) or spending lots of gp on extraneous items (such as knowstones and runestaves)?

    I suppose you could purchase a graft and use Ancestral Relic to enhance it as a runestaff or as multiple Knowstones. It's a physical part of you, so you can't exactly lose it without body-swapping, and it's very similar in effect to Collegiate Wizard, albeit even more versatile, since enhancing a graft with magic isn't limited to just extra spells known.

    Can anyone else think of ways to get something similar for a non-wizard?
    Last edited by MaxiDuRaritry; 2019-09-21 at 09:54 AM.
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    IMO it's the perfect wizard feat. Outside of very high powered campaigns, any wizard player should be willing to trade a bit of potential power for a load of extra convenience, especially at the early levels. Yeah, you don't have that extra feat that makes one of your N tricks extra good, but in return you save real life headaches.
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Assuming you have perfect access to all the spells you need for scribing, and you play from level 1 to level 20, the feat should still save you roughly 60k (58,800gp unless I'm counting wrong). There are a lot of games where I'd rather have the feat, and many games won't go anywhere close to that long, but ~60k for a feat is never going to be bad unless your DM lets you generate unlimited wealth via one of the many silly ways to break the economy.

    It gets a bit stronger in games where magic and spells are harder to find or where you don't have the downtime necessary for scribing, and a bit weaker in games that only span a couple of levels and where you have plenty of downtime and access to spells, but if you have a free feat it probably won't ever be absolutely terrible.
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxiDuRaritry View Post
    Is there any way to apply Collegiate Wizard to a sorcerer or other spontaneous caster (or manifester) with a fixed list? Or garner a similar effect without access to a "willing" secondary character (such as via psychic chirurgery) or spending lots of gp on extraneous items (such as knowstones and runestaves)?


    Can anyone else think of ways to get something similar for a non-wizard?
    Not with Collegiate Wizard, since it has "Wizard Level 1" as part of the prerequisites, but there's a very similar feat, Greyhawk Method, found in Dragon 315 that has looser requirements, and can probably be used on a Sorcerer that has taken Arcane Preparation. It doesn't give the bonus on Knowledge(Arcana), and it doesn't give the extra spells at 1st level, but it does still give 4 spells known at every level, instead of the normal 2, and the only prerequisite is the "Ability to prepare and cast arcane spells" which Arcane Preparation handles nicely, as well as providing your sorcerer a spellbook for Greyhawk Method's spells to be put into, to make it all work.


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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crichton View Post
    Not with Collegiate Wizard, since it has "Wizard Level 1" as part of the prerequisites, but there's a very similar feat, Greyhawk Method, found in Dragon 315 that has looser requirements, and can probably be used on a Sorcerer that has taken Arcane Preparation. It doesn't give the bonus on Knowledge(Arcana), and it doesn't give the extra spells at 1st level, but it does still give 4 spells known at every level, instead of the normal 2, and the only prerequisite is the "Ability to prepare and cast arcane spells" which Arcane Preparation handles nicely, as well as providing your sorcerer a spellbook for Greyhawk Method's spells to be put into, to make it all work.


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    Haven't read the thread you linked yet, but...

    Huh. Just looked up Greyhawk Method, and I just realized that it allows you to gain spells known through casting PrCs that advance your prepared spellcasting. Usually, wizards don't gain their freebie spells known from PrCs, but Greyhawk Method fixes that. Collegiate Wizard doesn't.

    Also, Greyhawk Method allows a wizard to gain a total of 6 spells known per level, since it doesn't replace the 2 freebies they get.

    That's a very nice feat.
    Last edited by MaxiDuRaritry; 2019-09-21 at 10:36 AM.
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxiDuRaritry View Post
    Haven't read the thread you linked yet, but...

    Huh. Just looked up Greyhawk Method, and I just realized that it allows you to gain spells known through casting PrCs that advance your prepared spellcasting. Usually, wizards don't gain their freebie spells known from PrCs, but Greyhawk Method fixes that.

    Also, it allows a wizard to gain a total of 6 spells known per level, since it doesn't replace the 2 freebies they get.

    That's a very nice feat.
    Huh, guess I assumed the Benefit line replaced what you got from the Normal line, in Feat descriptions, in which case your wizard would get 4 spells instead of 2 per level, not 4 spells in addition to 2 spells. Are you sure?
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crichton View Post
    Huh, guess I assumed the Benefit line replaced what you got from the Normal line, in Feat descriptions, in which case your wizard would get 4 spells instead of 2 per level, not 4 spells in addition to 2 spells. Are you sure?
    It just says you gain 4 per level, and nowhere does it say "instead of."

    So if you gain 2 per level, you also gain 4 per level, without negating the other 2.

    Your DM may vary, however.

    [edit] Also, does that allow you to gain spells from outside your normal list? Note that it restricts you on spell levels, but not spell lists.
    Last edited by MaxiDuRaritry; 2019-09-21 at 10:44 AM.
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxiDuRaritry View Post
    It just says you gain 4 per level, and nowhere does it say "instead of."

    So if you gain 2 per level, you also gain 4 per level, without negating the other 2.

    Your DM may vary, however.

    [edit] Also, does that allow you to gain spells from outside your normal list? Note that it restricts you on spell levels, but not spell lists.
    I'm not so sure that it works the way you think, but if it does, it would be absolutely wonderful. Also if it does, then so does Collegiate Wizard, seeing as how it also doesn't specifically say it replaces the 2. Have you got a citation or other proof, to help provide some certainty?


    As for spell lists, I don't think so? Prepared casters explicitly can't add a spell to their spellbook unless it's on their list (as per Rules Compendium). I'd assume that'd count for Sorcerers who use Arcane Preparation to qualify for Greyhawk Method, too, since Greyhawk Method requires that you add the spells to your spellbook.
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crichton View Post
    I'm not so sure that it works the way you think, but if it does, it would be absolutely wonderful. Also if it does, then so does Collegiate Wizard, seeing as how it also doesn't specifically say it replaces the 2. Have you got a citation or other proof, to help provide some certainty?
    The feat says you gain 4 spells known per level. It says nothing about replacing. I don't think you can reverse-cite something that doesn't exist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxiDuRaritry View Post
    The feat says you gain 4 spells known per level. It says nothing about replacing. I don't think you can reverse-cite something that doesn't exist.
    Hey, I'm all for it if that's how it works. I wasn't looking for text from the feats themselves. They say what they say. But somehow I was thinking it was the interaction in the feat description between the Benefit entry and the Normal entry. Also the fact that seemingly everyone else thinks the 4 spells is instead of 2, not in addition to 2. But if it's really additive, both these feats are way better than everyone in this thread and pretty much every other discussion I've seen on them gives them credit for.
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crichton View Post
    But if it's really additive, both these feats are way better than everyone in this thread and pretty much every other discussion I've seen on them gives them credit for.
    The thread you linked refutes that, actually, since people in that thread said the same thing.
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxiDuRaritry View Post
    The thread you linked refutes that, actually, since people in that thread said the same thing.
    Fair enough! I guess Collegiate Wizard and Greyhawk Method both increase spells learned per level to 6, then, unless somebody else wants to chime in.
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Collegiate Wizard
    Prerequisite
    INT 13, Wizard level 1, arcane caster level 1st,

    Benefit
    You begin play with knowledge of six 1st-level spells plus 1 per point of Intelligence modifier. Each time you gain a wizard level, you may add four spells to your spellbook without additional research. In addition, you gain a +2 bonus on all Knowledge (arcana) checks.

    Special
    You can take this feat only as a 1st-level character.

    Normal
    1st-level wizards begin play with knowledge of three 1st level spells, and can add two spells per level to their spellbooks.
    The similarity of the language used in Benefit in Normal leads me to believe this isn't a replacement, and I've had far more DMs read it as a replacement than didn't, but it's certainly not clear cut. The "Benefit" section certainly doesn't say "you may add four spells in place of adding two spells", but it also doesn't really say "you may add four additional spells". Greyhawk Method is even fuzzier, if for no other reason than it doesn't specify how it affects your spell gains at 1st lvl.

    I'm also unclear on what the argument is that it would allow you to learn spells not on your class list? But it seems obvious to me that, since the mechanic only addresses the number of spells gained without any mention as to making a change to what sources you're allowed to draw from, it doesn't change what sources you're allowed to draw from.

    EDIT: I mean, like technically if you wanted to argue that point, then the same logic says that a wizard's spellbook doesn't have to have any actual wizard spells in it except for "all wizard cantrips" because the class description in the book doesn't technically mention the wizard spell list. But good luck finding somebody who agrees with that interpretation of the rules; to me, it seems an even weaker case than saying sorcerers can always pick their spells known from every list in existence because there's a single line of fluff text that says sometimes some sorcerers learn some spells from non-sorcerer lists.

    EDIT 2: Also this is kinda tangential, but if you're looking for cheap ways to get extra spells to prepare from, there's a couple really good options. The first is mastering existing spellbooks as laid out in Complete Arcane. This is time-consuming (takes a week, plus one day per spell), but only involves a single difficult Spellcraft check (DC 25+highest level spell in the book) and means that going forward you can prepare spells from that book as if it were your own. If you're short on money but long on time, and can take the spellbooks of lesser wizards with ease, this might be a good path (although it means you're not scribing them into your Blessed Book, so you end up carrying around a small library of basic bitch spellbooks). Another good method (at least, by one interpretation) is the Eidetic Spellcaster (that's the one where you play the weed wizard who smokes spell knowledge into his brain); the ACF says that you have to spend all the normal resources necessary to learn a new spell, but in a very technical sense, there is no resource expenditure necessary to learn a new spell, only to scribe a new spell. Certainly splitting hairs, and unlikely to fly with a lot of DMs, but it's there.
    Last edited by AvatarVecna; 2019-09-21 at 12:11 PM.
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  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crichton View Post
    Fair enough! I guess Collegiate Wizard and Greyhawk Method both increase spells learned per level to 6, then, unless somebody else wants to chime in.
    It's absolutely not. When a feat lists its effect under Benefit and then presents the usual effect under Normal, the one is replacing the other unless explicitly stating otherwise, such as when it's modifying (Combat Reflexes saying it gives additional AoO, etc). There's not even any ambiguity here, and I'm kind of baffled anybody would argue otherwise.

    Both feats state clearly that the normal way of doing things is for you to gain 2 spells per level, and that the benefit of the respective feats is to gain 4 spells per level (plus other stuff they do). Trying to add that up to 6 is just abusively absurd.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psychoalpha View Post
    It's absolutely not. When a feat lists its effect under Benefit and then presents the usual effect under Normal, the one is replacing the other unless explicitly stating otherwise, such as when it's modifying (Combat Reflexes saying it gives additional AoO, etc). There's not even any ambiguity here, and I'm kind of baffled anybody would argue otherwise.
    What you're saying is largely what I tried to say above, before Maxi and AvatarVecna shot it down. That's how I thought the Benefit/Normal lines in feats worked too, but after they disagreed with me, I looked at the specifics of the rules language regarding feat descriptions here: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#featDescriptions


    Nowhere in the text does it say or even imply that the Benefit entry replaces the Normal entry.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD entry on Feat Descriptions

    Benefit
    What the feat enables the character ("you" in the feat description) to do.

    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Psychoalpha View Post
    Both feats state clearly that the normal way of doing things is for you to gain 2 spells per level, and that the benefit of the respective feats is to gain 4 spells per level (plus other stuff they do). Trying to add that up to 6 is just abusively absurd.

    Your first sentence there is a pretty decent summary of how both feats are worded, but no text in the feat entries, nor in the summary in your own words just there gives any indication that your second sentence would be the case. Given the actual text in either feat, and the actual text in the entry on how Feat Descriptions work, it's just as valid to say you keep the 2/level, and with the feat, you gain 4/level as well. Neither interpretation is crystal clear, as it neither uses the specific wording 'instead of' nor the wording 'in addition to'. There's nothing inherent in the Benefit of "you gain 4 spells/level" that would require that Benefit entry to overwrite or replace the 2/level you'd gain without the feat.
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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: Collegiate wizard good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crichton View Post
    What you're saying is largely what I tried to say above, before Maxi and AvatarVecna shot it down. That's how I thought the Benefit/Normal lines in feats worked too, but after they disagreed with me, I looked at the specifics of the rules language regarding feat descriptions here: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#featDescriptions


    Nowhere in the text does it say or even imply that the Benefit entry replaces the Normal entry.







    Your first sentence there is a pretty decent summary of how both feats are worded, but no text in the feat entries, nor in the summary in your own words just there gives any indication that your second sentence would be the case. Given the actual text in either feat, and the actual text in the entry on how Feat Descriptions work, it's just as valid to say you keep the 2/level, and with the feat, you gain 4/level as well. Neither interpretation is crystal clear, as it neither uses the specific wording 'instead of' nor the wording 'in addition to'. There's nothing inherent in the Benefit of "you gain 4 spells/level" that would require that Benefit entry to overwrite or replace the 2/level you'd gain without the feat.
    FWIW, my interpretation is that it's meant to replace as well. But regardless of whether the intent of these feats was to stack or replace, they are worded extremely poorly. They should either say explicitly in the body of the feat that they replace the normal free spells gained, or they should specify clearly that what they give is on top of/in addition to the normal free spells gained.

    EDIT: The existence of the Normal line in the feat muddies things further, especially when AFAICT having that line doesn't even really mean anything for any feat. "Normal: If you don't have this feat, you don't gain the benefit of this feat" well thanks for the update captain obvious.
    Last edited by AvatarVecna; 2019-09-22 at 03:03 PM.
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