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    Default Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Why do builds, especially theorycrafting builds, treat PrC feat taxes as a serious impediment when you can just change them with psychic ref after taking your first level in the PrC?

    I feel like people may be unnecessarily labeling as cheese and giving aesthetic demerits to something that's a simple and straightforward case of RAW.
    Last edited by Elves; 2019-09-23 at 12:51 PM.
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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Uh, because you can't?

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    tongue Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Get ready for the usual "only PrCs in CW and CAr lose their features when they lose reqs" and "what about the Dragon Disciple" arguments.

    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: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Uh, because you can't?
    You are wrong by RAW. You have a reasonable houserule, but the CW and CAr rulings make it clear that most PrCs only require prereqs for the first level.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elves View Post
    Why do builds, especially theorycrafting builds, treat PrC feat taxes as a serious impediment when you can just change them with psychic ref or chaos shuffle after taking your first level in the PrC?

    I feel like people may be unnecessarily labeling as cheese and giving aesthetic demerits to something that's a simple and straightforward case of RAW.
    Because those options may not be available, you may be stuck with a subpar feat for the duration of your character's life. There's also the argument that you lose access to the classes if you lose the prerequisites. And finally, unlike regular taxes which are meant to benefit the larger population, feat taxes are meant to delay an individual's gain.
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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Because you lose points in Elegance if you do something like that. All 3.x games are Iron Chef, right? Pretty sure that's right.
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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elves View Post
    Why do builds, especially theorycrafting builds, treat PrC feat taxes as a serious impediment when you can just change them with psychic ref or chaos shuffle after taking your first level in the PrC?

    I feel like people may be unnecessarily labeling as cheese and giving aesthetic demerits to something that's a simple and straightforward case of RAW.
    Psychic ref/chaos shuffle are ugly and frowned upon by a lot of DMs. By RAW one of the Tome of Battle classes gets 6x their normal skill points at first level, but in reality 99% of games would never allow for that. You can call it a simple case of RAW - but so can a player using whichever martial class that was. Bad RAW that never gets used in real games is still bad, and it makes sense people frown on it even with theoretical builds.

    In addition, most feats are fun and feel like a resource. Even something as standard as Dodge gives a little smattering of flavour - my character distinguishes themselves from others with their class by having trained a bit more other [Class] to avoid getting hit. For casters, picking and choosing between different metamagic or crafting feats is serious business. Your feats are things you pick up at the expense of a limited resource. But when a prestige class requires a lot of dead feats, you lose originality and space to personalize your build. Using magic to rewrite your feats from scratch also takes a way from the continuity. Your character didn't train or work to become what they are. They are not entirely the same person as they were before their mind got zapped and their skills and knowledge changed. And for the dark chaos shuffle to work, they had to once have been the kind of person who would embrace the dark chaos. That's a reeeal poor fit for a lot of character concepts, and just feels... dirty.
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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenC21 View Post
    You are wrong by RAW. You have a reasonable houserule, but the CW and CAr rulings make it clear that most PrCs only require prereqs for the first level.
    "7th level monks can't cast 8th level cleric spells" is a houserule now?

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by FearlessGnome View Post
    And for the dark chaos shuffle to work, they had to once have been the kind of person who would embrace the dark chaos. That's a reeeal poor fit for a lot of character concepts, and just feels... dirty.
    Chaos shuffle is more expensive, but psychic ref via spellcasting services is only 405gp+125gp for each extra level back you go, plus a paltry xp cost to yourself. People above 10th level are already going to be using this as a matter of course, prereq exploits or no.
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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Get ready for the usual "only PrCs in CW and CAr lose their features when they lose reqs" and "what about the Dragon Disciple" arguments.
    Personally I'm of the opinion that being able to use a ray of enfeeblement to end a Frenzied Berserker's Frenzy or destroy a Blackguard's fiendish mount is a pretty strong argument against that dumb rule... but eh.

    ...or using a ray of clumsiness to remove a Shadowdancer's Hide in Plain Sight or to get rid of a Dwarven Defender's damage reduction or a Duelist's Precise Strike and Deflect Arrows.

    ...or being able to use those spells to force back-edits to characters with levels in Bloodclaw Master, Deepstone Sentinel, or Master of Nine to remove high-level maneuvers (which are explicitly class features).

    I could honestly go on all day. Dragon Disciple is far from the only prestige class that doesn't plays well with that rule.
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    But that's one of the things about interpreting RAW—when you pick a reading that goes against RAI, it often has a ripple effect that results in dysfunctions in other places.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    "7th level monks can't cast 8th level cleric spells" is a houserule now?
    I assume you mean via Ur Priest?

    If your monk met the prereqs, then yes. That's precisely a houserule.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elves View Post
    Chaos shuffle is more expensive, but psychic ref via spellcasting services is only 405gp+125gp for each extra level back you go, plus a paltry xp cost to yourself. People above 10th level are already going to be using this as a matter of course, prereq exploits or no.
    Of course all spellcasting services are ultimately available only if the GM says there is a caster who is not only powerful enough, but also knows the spell and will give you the time of day, and isn't off doing whatever the heck spellcasters do.
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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by SangoProduction View Post
    Of course all spellcasting services are ultimately available only if the GM says there is a caster who is not only powerful enough, but also knows the spell and will give you the time of day, and isn't off doing whatever the heck spellcasters do.
    You could say that about literally any part of the game though, so that's a zero-sum argument. The GM could decide there are no casters in their game at all, or that everyone's a caster, or that the prereqs don't matter and you can just get into any PrC, or that there are no PrCs, and so on and so forth.

    To say that "the GM might not allow it" is like saying "the player might not want to do it". Yes, but so what? We're working off the assumption that this is what the player wants to do and the GM will allow it. The discussion of "will the GM allow this?" is a different discussion to "should a GM allow this?" is a different discussion to "is it possible within the rules?". This thread is the last discussion, not the first two.

    EDIT: Actually, it's probably just my bias against theoretical rule 0 judgements in a RAW discussion showing here, so feel free to ignore the second part of this post.
    Last edited by Divine Susuryu; 2019-09-22 at 09:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elves View Post
    Why do builds, especially theorycrafting builds, treat PrC feat taxes as a serious impediment when you can just change them with psychic ref or chaos shuffle after taking your first level in the PrC?

    I feel like people may be unnecessarily labeling as cheese and giving aesthetic demerits to something that's a simple and straightforward case of RAW.
    Because, regardless of whatever pointless arguments about RAW that we have in this thread, there will still be a huge number of DMs who will not rule in favor of this.

    Addendum: Also, just because you might later be able to undo/erase having to have a feat-tax feat doesn't mean that you haven't had to carry it around for X levels before you get to do so.
    Last edited by Willie the Duck; 2019-09-22 at 09:08 PM.

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    Question Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Susuryu View Post
    This thread is the last discussion, not the first two.
    Is it though? From the OP, it's not simple a RAW "can this be done" thread - OP is asking for reasons as to why people worry about feat taxes.

    Availability in a given campaign of the methods described in the OP seems germane to the discussion to me...

    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: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Susuryu View Post
    To say that "the GM might not allow it" is like saying "the player might not want to do it". Yes, but so what? We're working off the assumption that this is what the player wants to do and the GM will allow it. The discussion of "will the GM allow this?" is a different discussion to "should a GM allow this?" is a different discussion to "is it possible within the rules?". This thread is the last discussion, not the first two.
    Actually, I am sort of interested in the aesthetics of it. Is it really as inelegant as claimed, or is it just something simple and not deserving of the lashback it gets. My point is that banning psychic reformation is its own argument, not linked to this question, since it's still incredibly useful if prereq retraining's banned.
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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Well, since we are assuming there is no GM to veto such methods, then sure, feat taxes aren't worth worrying about. In my experience, most games have a GM.
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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Is it though? From the OP, it's not simple a RAW "can this be done" thread - OP is asking for reasons as to why people worry about feat taxes.

    Availability in a given campaign of the methods described in the OP seems germane to the discussion to me...
    Fair - I was only thinking in the context of the post I was responding to and not to the greater thread. I just have a personal bugbear in "the GM might X" in theory-crafting threads that carried across to here.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Awkward View Post
    Personally I'm of the opinion that being able to use a ray of enfeeblement to end a Frenzied Berserker's Frenzy or destroy a Blackguard's fiendish mount is a pretty strong argument against that dumb rule... but eh.

    ...or using a ray of clumsiness to remove a Shadowdancer's Hide in Plain Sight or to get rid of a Dwarven Defender's damage reduction or a Duelist's Precise Strike and Deflect Arrows.

    ...or being able to use those spells to force back-edits to characters with levels in Bloodclaw Master, Deepstone Sentinel, or Master of Nine to remove high-level maneuvers (which are explicitly class features).

    I could honestly go on all day. Dragon Disciple is far from the only prestige class that doesn't plays well with that rule.
    My (RAI not RAW) take is that if you cause yourself to lose the prereqs (or if you surrender the prereqs), you lose the class features. If an enemy causes you to temporarily lose the prereqs, that's acceptable and we're not going to sweat the details unless it looks like it's turning into a truly permanent thing.

    This is based on an infamous experience in my group wherein we did, in fact, use temporary ability score penalties to cause an enemy tempest to lose their prereqs and then the GM had to recalculate everything, which we agreed in hindsight was Just Not Fun even if it was a bit of a goofy thrill in the moment to realize that it was technically a possibility under the ruleset we'd been previously using.

    I will reiterate, of course, that I am not making any argument about anything in this post being RAW. Just what my group and I find to be fun.
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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    I thought feat tax was more like Natural Spell for Druids or Adaptive Style for swordsages. The argument usually being that if the feat is always going to be taken anyhow why not just make it a class feature to get it as a bonus feat and be done with it?

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Get ready for the usual "only PrCs in CW and CAr lose their features when they lose reqs" and "what about the Dragon Disciple" arguments.
    Four minutes. Not bad.

    What I love is how the OP just assumes that high-level psionic powers and 8th-level [chaotic] spells from a supplement about extraplanar monsters are going to be accessible (or desirable) to the majority of players for optimization purposes. Like, real talk, if you think about what Embrace the Dark Chaos actually does, what adventurers in their (comparatively) right minds would ever actually allow someone to cast it on them?
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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by FaerieGodfather View Post
    What I love is how the OP just assumes that high-level psionic powers and 8th-level [chaotic] spells from a supplement about extraplanar monsters are going to be accessible (or desirable) to the majority of players for optimization purposes. Like, real talk, if you think about what Embrace the Dark Chaos actually does, what adventurers in their (comparatively) right minds would ever actually allow someone to cast it on them?
    I mean it's theorycrafting. We're assuming that the game works in a relatively self-contained bubble where all sources are possible as needed for the experiment/argument to take place. I see no reason why in the Theorycrafting campaign setting all resources are freely available on the open market as dictated in any available sourcebook.

    Besides, I don' find it entirely unbelievable that a Chaotic Neutral/Evil 3rd level Psion, 5th level Wizard, 10th level Cerebremancer couldn't wake up one day and elect to make themselves a magic/psionic item that can allow them to shuffle their feats around, or the feats of anyone else around. Heck, that sounds like a fun adventure for retraining by itself if we're making this an NPC

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    The simple answer is... nobody likes paying taxes.
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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Particle_Man View Post
    I thought feat tax was more like Natural Spell for Druids or Adaptive Style for swordsages. The argument usually being that if the feat is always going to be taken anyhow why not just make it a class feature to get it as a bonus feat and be done with it?
    Feat tax is generally used to mean one of two things, a feat that will always or nearly always be taken, e.g. Natural Spell, or a feat that is not desired but required for a more desirable feat, e.g. Point Blank Shot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Afghanistan View Post
    I mean it's theorycrafting. We're assuming that the game works in a relatively self-contained bubble where all sources are possible as needed for the experiment/argument to take place. I see no reason why in the Theorycrafting campaign setting all resources are freely available on the open market as dictated in any available sourcebook.

    Besides, I don' find it entirely unbelievable that a Chaotic Neutral/Evil 3rd level Psion, 5th level Wizard, 10th level Cerebremancer couldn't wake up one day and elect to make themselves a magic/psionic item that can allow them to shuffle their feats around, or the feats of anyone else around. Heck, that sounds like a fun adventure for retraining by itself if we're making this an NPC
    From the opening post, the tread is not solely for theory-crafting, so you're going to get some answers that will address the non-theory-crafting side.
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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    "Some feats have prerequisites. 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...A character can’t use a feat if he or she has lost a prerequisite." - Player's Handbook, page 87

    "Meeting Class Requirements: It’s possible for a character to take levels in a prestige class and later be in a position where the character no longer qualifies to be a member of the class. An alignment change, levels lost because of character death, or the loss of a magic item that granted an important ability are examples of events that can make a character ineligible to advance farther in a prestige class. If a character no longer meets the requirements for a prestige class, he or she loses the benefit of any class features or other special abilities granted by the class. The character retains Hit Dice gained from advancing in the class as well as any improvements to base attack bonus and base save bonuses that the class provided." - Complete Warrior, page 16

    RAI seems to be that if for some reason you no longer qualify for an ability, you can't use it.

    __

    Either way, saying 'an 8th level spell can fix your feats' is not really the right answer for someone playing from first level and taking garbage feats to make it into a prestige class they want.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    The feats were in your build at some point. Just because they aren't there at the end of the build doesn't mean you never had the feats in the first place.
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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Susuryu View Post
    You could say that about literally any part of the game though, so that's a zero-sum argument. The GM could decide there are no casters in their game at all, or that everyone's a caster, or that the prereqs don't matter and you can just get into any PrC, or that there are no PrCs, and so on and so forth.

    To say that "the GM might not allow it" is like saying "the player might not want to do it". Yes, but so what? We're working off the assumption that this is what the player wants to do and the GM will allow it. The discussion of "will the GM allow this?" is a different discussion to "should a GM allow this?" is a different discussion to "is it possible within the rules?". This thread is the last discussion, not the first two.

    EDIT: Actually, it's probably just my bias against theoretical rule 0 judgements in a RAW discussion showing here, so feel free to ignore the second part of this post.
    But if you run with that argument, by that we should weigh the likelihood of a DM allowing Pun-Pun as a vanilla level 6 Ranger. No, it's one thing to say that certain mechanics exist within 3.5, it's another entirely to say that all mechanics are equally likely to be allowed in an actual gaming group.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Random NPC View Post
    From the opening post, the tread is not solely for theory-crafting, so you're going to get some answers that will address the non-theory-crafting side.
    That is fair I suppose. That said, I am a bit uncertain exactly what you mean by "non-theory-crafting side".

    EDIT: I see what you mean. The topic isn't about whether or not retraining or feat shuffling is allowed or if you can maintain class features despite changing, it is about why people don't like doing it. It's more of a census than an actual discussion.

    I don't do it because I find it aesthetically displeasing to look down on my sheet and see "reshuffled feats X, Y, and Z at levels A, B, and C", and most tables I go to do not actually allow this sort of thing for a number of reasons ranging from defying the spirit of the game, unfairly favoring certain racial choices, or being against the intent of the rules of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirNibbles View Post
    RAI seems to be that if for some reason you no longer qualify for an ability, you can't use it.
    This is further supported in the Dungeons and Dragons FAQ, which admittedly while a strange source with contradictory rulings or confusing rulings, still has more credibility than most RAW arguments because they were written by Skip Williams, who was on the design team for the DMG and most of the 3.5 line of books. This is one of those strange cases where authorial intent is freely available. Food for thought.
    Last edited by Afghanistan; 2019-09-22 at 11:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    The central problem is so many do little in the first place. So the value of an extra, or even replacing them is actually pretty low. And as mentioned, high level spells are not really cost effective to keep around as the "ok, I need archery today." Psychic Reformation is more reasonable but also doesn't have quite the same scope.
    Last edited by darkdragoon; 2019-09-22 at 11:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    I guess the shortest answer to "Why's it so bad if Psychic Reformation/Dark Chaos Shuffle are a thing?" is "What if your DM doesn't allow psionics or doesn't use the Fiendish Codex?"

    I think what really grinds the gears most, what makes something a Feat Tax, is that it just doesn't scale as the levels go by, or the feat's applicability steadily drops to irrelevance as time goes on. That combined with the fact, for those classes that really, really depend on feats to keep up, there are so few slots available. It's amazing to see how even Fighters can't get enough feats to dish out anything useful in the upper levels, even with basically double the feats of other classes. And by virtue of that ruling that says you're stuck with the feat tax for your entire career, there really isn't much you can do about it. It's sort of like how one mistake early in your life might follow you around for your whole life.

    And it is mostly martials or non-casters that get hosed by these rulings. Casters' key attribute, what pushes them up the tier schedule, is their flexibility. They can change their spells every day if they want, especially divines. Their feats don't tend to be specific to one set of spells, or one strategy to finish a fight off. And for the most part caster PrCs don't really have a lot of feat taxes, or if they do have a feat tax, that prerequisite is a minor cost compared to the power they get out of the PrC - and indeed their feat taxes are not really taxes in the end, they often synergise very nicely with the PrC or at least their applicability or usefulness doesn't change once you're in the PrC. The martial, though, has to wear that Iron Will tag on his character sheet if he wants to do something fun above about level 6, and even then he won't keep up with the casters...

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