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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    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.
    That can't be universally true in the case of PrCs, because then we wind up with Schrödinger's Dragon Disciple, who by disqualifying himself with the half-dragon template loses the class feature that grants it, hence re-qualifying as a non-dragon, gaining the template, disqualifying, etc.. So either that's the intended rules interaction (no it isn't) or you can lose a pre-requisite after entering and still be fine. Now, this is contradicted by CArc and CW, but erratas state that the primary source wins out in contradictions - the primary source on PrCs being the DMG. The DMG received reprintings of errata after the publishing of those two books and nowhere in that errata did it include text to that effect. So, if the CArc and CW rules are to apply anywhere, they are to apply only to PrCs they contain per the primary source rule. This is an old argument, and it's pretty definitive if you follow the chain of logic.

    It is, and I can say this with 100% certainty given the evidence above, a house rule to say otherwise. RAW indicates that for PrCs outside of those two books, you do not lose abilities for losing prerequisites, as there is no rule in the DMG to flow to those other books nor is such a rule in those books. RAI is a bit more complicated, but I contend that since the rule appears in those two books, and not ones printed before or after, the intent was also that prerequisites were for entry only - after all, if that were not the intent, they would have reprinted the rule or errata'd it in to the DMG. They did not do so.

    Is it a good house rule? Depends, but for the majority of groups, its about as meaningful as a law against sprinting faster than 10,000km an hour - it will just never come up. For the groups where it matters, it'll either be a very good house rule or a mildly annoying one.

    Quote Originally Posted by pabelfly View 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.
    ICYMI I did say that in an at-the-table discussion rather than a RAW theory-crafting discussion it's different. I still don't think it's hugely helpful in an at-the-table discussion when compared to actually knowing what the specific GM in question would or wouldn't allow, but it does have value there. What gets my goat is that in RAW discussions people bring in GM fiat - it's just another variant of the Oberoni fallacy there.
    Last edited by Divine Susuryu; 2019-09-22 at 11:41 PM.

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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?
    Technically you can... wile loosing access to the PrC abilities because you no longer meet the pre-reqs.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Asmotherion View Post
    Technically you can... wile loosing access to the PrC abilities because you no longer meet the pre-reqs.
    Which is again, NOT RAW.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Asmotherion View Post
    Technically you can... wile loosing access to the PrC abilities because you no longer meet the pre-reqs.
    Not true, read my above post where I explain why it is neither RAW nor RAI for classes outside of CW and CArc.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenC21 View Post
    I assume you mean via Ur Priest?

    If your monk met the prereqs, then yes. That's precisely a houserule.
    Uh...no? I'm saying not every character has the ability to cast 8th level spells. I'm a 7th level monk? I have zero spellcasting capabilities. Give me another 15 levels of wizard and sure, if I boost my Int to 18, I can do a dark chaos shuffle. Until then, I can't do it.

    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.
    Technically there are rules in the PHB for whether you can find spellcasting services in a particular settlement. I don't think psionics can say the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    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...
    This is totally incorrect. Loads of great caster prestige classes come with feat taxes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Susuryu View Post
    Now, this is contradicted by CArc and CW, but erratas state that the primary source wins out in contradictions - the primary source on PrCs being the DMG. The DMG received reprintings of errata after the publishing of those two books and nowhere in that errata did it include text to that effect. So, if the CArc and CW rules are to apply anywhere, they are to apply only to PrCs they contain per the primary source rule. This is an old argument, and it's pretty definitive if you follow the chain of logic.
    That's not how the primary source rules work. If there's no contradiction, there's no conflict. The DMG rules don't contradict the CW and CAr rules, so it doesn't matter what the primary source is. Both rules apply. As for dragon disciple, it says you can't "already" be a half-dragon, i.e. you can't be a half-dragon beforehand. Becoming a half-dragon later doesn't violate the prerequisite, so there's no conflict. But if you want to houserule it so that it works another way, I guess that's cool for you. Boom, rules lawyered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StevenC21 View Post
    Which is again, NOT RAW.
    it is RAW as per CAr and CW. Using a universally accepted bad designed PrC such as Dragon Disciple as an arguement is a far streach. Dragon Disciple simply doesn't function RAW.

    if you can provide me with an alternative source that contradicts it (instead of seemingly implying it through unrefined mechanics due to the editor's oversight) i'm ready to accept your logic.

    Basically anything that doen't feel as the type of arguement of the "polymorph doesn't say you don't get the spellcasting abilities of the new form so if a creature is a caster i get all it's spells that are not Su or SLA" level.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    That's not how the primary source rules work. If there's no contradiction, there's no conflict. The DMG rules don't contradict the CW and CAr rules, so it doesn't matter what the primary source is. Both rules apply. As for dragon disciple, it says you can't "already" be a half-dragon, i.e. you can't be a half-dragon beforehand. Becoming a half-dragon later doesn't violate the prerequisite, so there's no conflict. But if you want to houserule it so that it works another way, I guess that's cool for you. Boom, rules lawyered.
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Race: Any nondragon (cannot already be a half-dragon).
    Hmmmmm...

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Creating A Half-Dragon
    "Half-dragon" is an inherited template that can be added to any living, corporeal creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature).

    A half-dragon uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

    Size and Type
    The creature’s type changes to dragon. Size is unchanged. Do not recalculate base attack bonus or saves.
    Becoming a half-dragon violates the first part of the text.

    Besides which, you're just a hair away from arguing "prerequisites only matter for entry" with the word 'already' there, so why not just come to the dark side? We have theorycrafting and cookies!
    Last edited by Divine Susuryu; 2019-09-23 at 02:15 AM.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Well, first off, you DO get those spells, because spellcasting is (Ex).

    Secondly, the logic is clear. The DMG is the primary source on PrCs.

    CarC and CW are primary sources on their own PrCs. Open and shut.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Susuryu View Post
    What gets my goat is that in RAW discussions people bring in GM fiat - it's just another variant of the Oberoni fallacy there.
    1) I'd argue that even for theorycrafting, folks generally have some limits about how "pure RAW" they will be in their build -- if there are no limits other than "but the rules," then it's pretty much straight to Pun-Pun (or your other favorite infinite combo). Presumably, that's the appeal to "elegance" we've already seen in the thread: even if there is no overt GM, there is some desire to achieve a build without resorting to something, in some sense, too "easy" or "cheesy" (these ideas being highly subjective as to lactose tolerance, but still they exist).

    2) The OP of this thread was also more general than theorycrafting, hence the number of responses on the thread saying "there are some things that just don't fly at the tables I've played at." As much as even theorycrafting generally doesn't hew only to RAW, actual games? Yeah.

    In particular, the point of a "feat tax" is presumably to require a certain investment to attain a desired goal (capstone feat or PrC entry) -- to attain that goal without having to meaningfully pay the price (by means of getting the price refunded, so to speak) is at minimum such legerdemain that it would seem more honest to simply houserule "this feat tax is stupid and I am removing it" rather than to be "this feat tax is stupid and so I am going to use a loophole to pay what is, arguably, a much lesser price" (even assuming, as has also been pointed on this thread, that purely mechanical considerations are all that matter, and not the roleplaying implications of having one's brain rewritten or deliberately twisted by the dark forces of chaos).

    If nothing else, while RAW discussions have their own value, it's not surprising if someone points out, e.g. "by RAW, monks aren't proficient with unarmed strike," that at least some folks who are more focused on actual gameplay may tend to respond with *derisive snort*.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Susuryu View Post
    Hmmmmm...



    Becoming a half-dragon violates the first part of the text.
    The second part is a parenthetical clarification of the first part. No conflict.

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenC21 View Post
    Well, first off, you DO get those spells, because spellcasting is (Ex).

    Secondly, the logic is clear. The DMG is the primary source on PrCs.

    CarC and CW are primary sources on their own PrCs. Open and shut.
    Again, that's not how primary sources work. They only matter when there's a disagreement between two sources. Unless you can point to a passage in the DMG that actually contradicts the text in CAr/CW, primary sources are irrelevant.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    The second part is a parenthetical clarification of the first part. No conflict.
    But the first part still applies. If it were only half-dragons that were forbidden rather than all dragons, it would only say the second part, and not the first.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    You could choose to read it in a dysfunctional way, sure, but if there's a non-dysfunctional reading right there that works just fine, it's not really a proper dysfunction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StevenC21 View Post
    Well, first off, you DO get those spells, because spellcasting is (Ex).
    Do you have a source for that? Because the "Spells" special attack in the monster manual doesn't declare it as extraordinary, supernatural, spell-like, or natural (however the rules go on to state that an ability is natural if it is neither extraordinary, supernatural, or spell-like.) I'd very much like to hear your thoughts on this particular topic or a citation or ruling from some errata I might have overlooked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    You could choose to read it in a dysfunctional way, sure, but if there's a non-dysfunctional reading right there that works just fine, it's not really a proper dysfunction.
    There's only another reading if you deliberately ignore the first part though. It's pretty unambiguous - you cannot be a dragon and enter the dragon disciple class. This is like... No True Oberoni, or something.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Susuryu View Post
    This is like... No True Oberoni, or something.
    "No True Oberoni" sounds like a can of something I got from a food bank once.
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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Susuryu View Post
    What gets my goat is that in RAW discussions people bring in GM fiat - it's just another variant of the Oberoni fallacy there.
    DnD only becomes DnD with a GM. It's the GM's world with the GM telling you how that world functions, after all. And you can go to the GM with your RAW reading and your citations and arguments and all of it means not a single thing if no GM would allow it in their game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Susuryu View Post
    There's only another reading if you deliberately ignore the first part though. It's pretty unambiguous - you cannot be a dragon and enter the dragon disciple class. This is like... No True Oberoni, or something.
    If my understanding of Troacctid's argument is solid, than this is a rather clear cut case. Dragon Disciple's prerequisites very clearly only check if you are a half-dragon at the time of adopting the prestige class, but not at level 10 of the prestige class because the prestige class doesn't care what you are after you become a Dragon Disciple, only that you were not a Half-Dragon and were a nondragon at the time you adopted the prestige classes 1st level. It's the prerequisites checking what you are, not what you have, which is the case with feat based requirements.

    At least that is what I THINK they are arguing. I think I'd like more elaboration if I am getting the gist of it.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenC21 View Post
    Well, first off, you DO get those spells, because spellcasting is (Ex).

    Secondly, the logic is clear. The DMG is the primary source on PrCs.

    CarC and CW are primary sources on their own PrCs. Open and shut.
    So you propose that RAW i can Chain-Polymorph myself into an Arcanaloth or Dragon to effectivelly have infinite spells per day?

    You do understand the absurdity of the statement and that choosing to creativelly (and abstractly/incorrectly) interpreting rules this way results to extream forms of munchkinism?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Afghanistan View Post
    If my understanding of Troacctid's argument is solid, than this is a rather clear cut case. Dragon Disciple's prerequisites very clearly only check if you are a half-dragon at the time of adopting the prestige class, but not at level 10 of the prestige class because the prestige class doesn't care what you are after you become a Dragon Disciple, only that you were not a Half-Dragon and were a nondragon at the time you adopted the prestige classes 1st level. It's the prerequisites checking what you are, not what you have, which is the case with feat based requirements.

    At least that is what I THINK they are arguing. I think I'd like more elaboration if I am getting the gist of it.
    I don't mean to speak for Troacctid here, but I'm reasonably certain that there wouldn't be agreement on the bolded text. The idea that it only matters for the first level is actually my position in the first place to prevent quantum DDs. If pre-requisite loss causes PrC feature loss, then you get a paradox because dragons cannot be DDs, and half-dragons are dragons. But if pre-requisite loss does not cause PrC feature loss, then there's no contradiction.
    Last edited by Divine Susuryu; 2019-09-23 at 02:43 AM.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Afghanistan View Post
    At least that is what I THINK they are arguing. I think I'd like more elaboration if I am getting the gist of it.
    The problem is, there are Prestige Classes that are clearly designed one way or the other, and Prestige Classes that are unclearly designed with no real indication-- except possibly by which book they're in-- which way their prerequisites are supposed to work.

    I mean... if Dragon Disciple is clearly intended to ignore its Race prerequisite after 1st level, are other racial Prestige Classes supposed to work the same way? If I'm already Riding the Suicide Express, can I also shop for racial PrCs while I'm at it? If Assassins are allowed to become non-Evil after 1st level, what about other classes with Alignment prerequisites?
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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 can't speak for theorycrafters, but most folks making builds and handbooks are doing so because they are actually providing advice that they expect to get used in a real game. As others in this thread have said, it's not exactly reasonable to expect psonics and high level spells from demonic splats to be available in every game.

    There's also the notion that, if you have a GM that's willing to let you do something like Dark Chaos Shuffle to get {thing}, they're probably also fine just giving you {thing} for free. I'd wager that it's actually more likely to find a GM willing to houserule like that in the name of fun, than it is to find one that wants you to have fun but only if you leap through the most convoluted RAW-legal hoops imaginable to get there.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by FaerieGodfather View Post
    The problem is, there are Prestige Classes that are clearly designed one way or the other, and Prestige Classes that are unclearly designed with no real indication-- except possibly by which book they're in-- which way their prerequisites are supposed to work.

    I mean... if Dragon Disciple is clearly intended to ignore its Race prerequisite after 1st level, are other racial Prestige Classes supposed to work the same way? If I'm already Riding the Suicide Express, can I also shop for racial PrCs while I'm at it? If Assassins are allowed to become non-Evil after 1st level, what about other classes with Alignment prerequisites?
    Dragon disciple avoids self-disqualification with its "already" clause. I can't speak for any other prestige classes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    I can't speak for theorycrafters, but most folks making builds and handbooks are doing so because they are actually providing advice that they expect to get used in a real game. As others in this thread have said, it's not exactly reasonable to expect psonics and high level spells from demonic splats to be available in every game.

    There's also the notion that, if you have a GM that's willing to let you do something like Dark Chaos Shuffle to get {thing}, they're probably also fine just giving you {thing} for free. I'd wager that it's actually more likely to find a GM willing to houserule like that in the name of fun, than it is to find one that wants you to have fun but only if you leap through the most convoluted RAW-legal hoops imaginable to get there.
    And the other thing is, if you have to wait ten levels before you can retrain the feat tax, have you really avoided paying it? You just spent ten levels without the feats you wanted. I mean, you might as well be like, "Why do people care about feat taxes? You gain a new feat every three levels, just gain more levels and you can get the feats back. I don't see the big deal here."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Dragon disciple avoids self-disqualification with its "already" clause. I can't speak for any other prestige classes.
    Again, only if you selectively don't read the text immediately before it where it states that you must be non-dragon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Susuryu View Post
    Again, only if you selectively don't read the text immediately before it where it states that you must be non-dragon.
    It could be the writer forgot that half-dragon changed your type to dragon, or it could be that rather than meaning "doesn't have the dragon type" by nondragon they meant "isn't some kind of true dragon (basically anything that is listed as <thing> dragon)"

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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.
    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.
    These posts prove unequivocally what's wrong with 3.5 D&D.

    The rules break apart under their own weight when designers didn't take into account the player ingenuity (and the ridiculous urge to break things just because they can).
    Last edited by Arkhios; 2019-09-23 at 03:32 AM.
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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arkhios View Post
    These posts prove unequivocally what's wrong with 3.5 D&D.

    The rules break apart under their own weight when designers didn't take into account the player ingenuity (and the ridiculous urge to break things just because they can).
    This wouldn't be a problem without that underlying player mentality... but it seems that something about the ruleset also fosters the mentality that makes it unsustainable.

    Other games have optimization junkies and rules lawyers of their own, but I've never seen another game with a fanbase as bloodymindedly dedicated to reading each and every rule as far as possible from its most reasonable interpretation, regardless of whether or not it benefits their own character(s).

    Sometimes I think Dungeons & Dragons, or at least the 3.X offshoot of D&D, is more of a legalistic NRM than a game.
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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by FaerieGodfather View Post
    This wouldn't be a problem without that underlying player mentality... but it seems that something about the ruleset also fosters the mentality that makes it unsustainable.

    Other games have optimization junkies and rules lawyers of their own, but I've never seen another game with a fanbase as bloodymindedly dedicated to reading each and every rule as far as possible from its most reasonable interpretation, regardless of whether or not it benefits their own character(s).

    Sometimes I think Dungeons & Dragons, or at least the 3.X offshoot of D&D, is more of a legalistic NRM than a game.
    i thought it was a well established fact that 3.5 secretly trains you to be a potent lawyer?

    i'm not sure this was the Rai behind 3.5 but it certainly is Raw.

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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    As far as arguments go, "feat taxes aren't a problem because you can retrain them with high-level psionic powers or an evil-aligned feat" is pretty bizarre. And I agree that if a GM were to agree to that, it's easier for everyone involved to just houserule the taxes away.
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    Default Re: Why do people care about feat taxes?

    I think there are a couple different kinds of feat taxes: the ones you pay to have a character competent at what they do, the ones that you pay to get into a particular prestige class. I have a much bigger problem with the existence of the first kind, because they tend to be required of melee characters (who need all the feats they can get) and not of spellcasters (who are then free to take feats that make them even more powerful). They're also not the sort of thing that Chaos Shuffle can help; your Barbarian is nearly always going to need Power Attack on the list of Feats.

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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.
    Why do we care about char building in the first place, when homebrewing classes is RAW as well? When I come with the idea for a build, I could easily invent instead a PrC that already gives me everything I need at 1st level, right? It's in the DMG, after all.

    Well, for PO-builds, retrain abuse simply won't be allowed, and for TO-builds...they ARE theoretical, so their spirit implies actually aestetic and system mastery criteria, and bypassing a big aspect of the exercise (i.e. fulfilling prerequisites) betrays somehow, at least in many people's eyes, this spirit.

    I agree that, the more the build becomes a theoretical exercise, the less relevant this so-called "abuse" will become. Like, pun-pun would remain pun-pun even if the creator had "retrained" a couple of feats.


    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    There's also the notion that, if you have a GM that's willing to let you do something like Dark Chaos Shuffle to get {thing}, they're probably also fine just giving you {thing} for free. I'd wager that it's actually more likely to find a GM willing to houserule like that in the name of fun, than it is to find one that wants you to have fun but only if you leap through the most convoluted RAW-legal hoops imaginable to get there.
    That's also the first thing I've though as I've read the OP.
    Last edited by Kaleph; 2019-09-23 at 06:21 AM.

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