Feats

A feat is a special feature that either gives your character a new capability or improves one he or she already has. For example, Lidda (a halfling rogue) chooses to start with the Improved Initiative feat at 1st level. That feat gives her a +4 bonus to her initiative check results. At 3rd level, she gains a new feat and chooses Dodge. This feat allows her to avoid the attacks of an opponent she selects by improving her Armor Class against that opponent.

Unlike a skill, a feat has no ranks. A character either has a feat or does not.

Acquiring Feats

Unlike skills, feats are not bought with points. A player simply chooses them for his or her character. Each character gets one feat upon creation. At 3rd level and every three levels thereafter (6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th), he or she gains another feat. Feats are gained according to character level, regardless of individual class levels.

Additionally, members of some classes get bonus feats as class features. These feats may be chosen from special lists.

A human character also gets a bonus feat at 1st level, chosen by the player. This feat can be of any feat for which the character qualifies.

Prerequisites

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 gain a feat at the same level at which he or she gains the prerequisite. For example, at 3rd level, Krusk, the half-orc barbarian, could spend 1 skill point on the Ride skill (gaining his first rank in Ride) and select the Mounted Combat feat at the same time.

A character can’t use a feat if he or she has lost a prerequisite. For example, if your character’s Strength drops below 13 because a Ray Of Enfeeblement spell, he or she can’t use the Power Attack feat until the prerequisite is once again met.

Types Of Feats

Some feats are general, meaning that no special rules govern them as a group. Others are item creation feats, which allow spellcasters to create magic items of all sorts. A metamagic feat lets a spellcaster prepare and cast a spell with greater effect, albeit as if the spell were a higher level than it actually is.

Fighter Bonus Feats

Fighters gain bonus feats selected from a subset of the feat list. Any feat designated as a fighter feat can be selected as a fighter’s bonus feat. This designation does not restrict characters of other classes from selecting these feats, assuming that they meet any prerequisites.

Item Creation Feats

Spellcasters can use their personal power to create lasting magic items. Doing so, however, is draining. A spellcaster must put a little of himself or herself into every magic item he or she creates. An item creation feat lets a spellcaster create a magic item of a certain type. Regardless of the type of items they involve, the various item creation feats all have certain features in common.

XP Cost: Power and energy that the spellcaster would normally have is expended when making a magic item. The XP cost equals 1/25 the cost of the item in gold pieces. A character cannot spend so much XP on an item that he or she loses a level. However, upon gaining enough XP to attain a new level, he or she can immediately expend XP on creating an item rather than keeping the XP to advance a level.

Raw Materials Cost: Creating a magic item requires costly components, most of which are consumed in the process. The cost of these materials equals half the cost of the item. For example, at 12th level a wizard gains the feat Forge Ring, and she creates a Ring Of Deflection +3. The cost of the ring is 18,000 gp, so it costs her 720 XP plus 9,000 gp to make.

Using an item creation feat also requires access to a laboratory or magical workshop, special tools, and so on. A character generally has access to what he or she needs unless unusual circumstances apply (if the character is traveling far from home, for instance).

Time: The time to create a magic item depends on the feat and the cost of the item. The minimum time is one day.

Item Cost: Brew Potion, Craft Wand, and Scribe Scroll create items that directly reproduce spell effects, and the power of these items depends on their caster level - that is, a spell from such an item has the power it would have if cast by a spellcaster of that level. A Wand Of Fireball at caster level 8th, for example, would create Fireballs that deal 8d6 points of damage and have a range of 720 feet.

The price of these items (and thus the XP cost and the cost of the raw materials) also depends on the caster level. The caster level must be high enough that the spellcaster creating the item can cast the spell at that level. To find the final price in each case, multiply the caster level by the spell level, then multiply the result by a constant, as shown below:

  • Scrolls: Base price = spell level × caster level × 25 gp.
  • Potions: Base price = spell level × caster level × 50 gp.
  • Wands: Base price = spell level × caster level × 750 gp.

A 0-level spell is considered to have a spell level of 1/2 for the purpose of this calculation.

Extra Costs: Any potion, scroll, or wand that stores a spell with a costly material component or an XP cost also carries a commensurate cost. For potions and scrolls, the creator must expend the material component or pay the XP cost when creating the item. For a wand, the creator must expend fifty copies of the material component or pay fifty times the XP cost.

Some magic items similarly incur extra costs in material components or XP, as noted in their descriptions. For example, a Ring Of Three Wishes costs 15,000 XP in addition to its normal price (as many XP as it costs to cast wish three times).

Metamagic Feats

As a spellcaster’s knowledge of magic grows, she can learn to cast spells in ways slightly different from the ways in which the spells were originally designed or learned. For example, a spellcaster can learn to cast a spell without having to say its verbal component, to cast a spell for greater effect, or even to cast it with nothing but a moment’s thought. Preparing and casting a spell in such a way is harder than normal but, thanks to metamagic feats, at least it is possible.

For instance, at 3rd level, a wizard chooses to gain Silent Spell, the feat that allows her to cast a spell without its verbal component. The cost of doing so, however, is that in preparing the spell, she must use up a spell slot one spell level higher than the spell actually is. Thus, if she prepares Charm Person as a silent spell, it takes up one of her 2nd-level slots. It is still only a 1st-level spell, so the DC for the Will save against it does not go up. The wizard cannot prepare a 2nd-level spell as a silent spell because she would have to prepare it as a 3rd level spell, and she can’t use 3rd-level spell slots until she reaches 5th level.

Wizards and Divine Spellcasters: Wizards and divine spellcasters (clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers) must prepare their spells in advance. During preparation, the character chooses which spells to prepare with metamagic feats (and thus which ones take up higher-level spell slots than normal).

Sorcerers and Bards: Sorcerers and bards choose spells as they cast them. They can choose when they cast their spells whether to apply their metamagic feats to improve them. As with other spellcasters, the improved spell uses up a higher-level spell slot. But because the sorcerer or bard has not prepared the spell in a metamagic form in advance, he must apply the metamagic feat on the spot. Therefore, such a character must also take more time to cast a metamagic spell (one enhanced by a metamagic feat) than he does to cast a regular spell. If the spell’s normal casting time is 1 action, casting a metamagic version is a full-round action for a sorcerer or bard (this isn’t the same as a 1-round casting time). For a spell with a longer casting time, it takes an extra full-round action to cast the spell.

Spontaneous Casting and Metamagic Feats: A cleric spontaneously casting a Cure or Inflict spell can cast a metamagic version of it instead. For instance, an 11th-level cleric can swap out a prepared 6th-level spell to cast an empowered Cure Critical Wounds spell. Extra time is also required in this case. Casting a 1-action metamagic spell spontaneously is a full-round action, and a spell with a longer casting time takes an extra full-round action to cast.

Effects of Metamagic Feats on a Spell: In all ways, a metamagic spell operates at its original spell level, even though it is prepared and cast as a higher-level spell. Saving throw modifications are not changed unless stated otherwise in the feat description. The modifications made by these feats only apply to spells cast directly by the feat user. A spellcaster can’t use a metamagic feat to alter a spell being cast from a wand, scroll, or other device.

Metamagic feats that eliminate components of a spell (such as Silent Spell and Still Spell) don’t eliminate the attack of opportunity provoked by casting a spell while threatened. However, casting a spell modified by Quicken Spell does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Metamagic feats cannot be used with all spells. See the specific feat descriptions for the spells that a particular feat can’t modify.

Multiple Metamagic Feats on a Spell: A spellcaster can apply multiple metamagic feats to a single spell. Changes to its level are cumulative. A silent, stilled version of Charm Person, for example, would be prepared and cast as a 3rd-level spell (a 1st-level spell, increased by one spell level for each of the metamagic feats). You can’t apply the same metamagic feat more than once to a single spell (for instance, you can’t cast a twice-empowered Magic Missile to get +100% damage).

Magic Items and Metamagic Spells: With the right item creation feat, you can store a metamagic version of a spell in a scroll, potion, or wand. Level limits for potions and wands apply to the spell’s higher spell level (after the application of the metamagic feat). A character doesn’t need the metamagic feat to activate an item storing a metamagic version of a spell.

Counterspelling Metamagic Spells: Whether or not a spell has been enhanced by a metamagic feat does not affect its vulnerability to counterspelling or its ability to counterspell another spell.

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