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Some of the vestiges that Binders have give breath weapons like fire breath, or sleep breath, which is flavorful and fluffy. Though, to maintain battle efficiency, one may want to do something to make them not only fluffy, but powerful as well.

Metabreath feats can provide that, giving an edge to breath weapons – but RAW, they have the prereq of, well, a breath weapon, and as I've been told, vestige powers don't count as breath weapons by RAW.

Here's the question, then: Is there any rule that will let a Binder apply metabreath feats to breath weapons granted by vestiges?

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2 Answers 2

First, some quotes:

In the D&D faq:

A feat sometimes requires you to have a certain ability score, which is the case with Two-Weapon Fighting (it requires Dex 15). A character has, say, Dex 13, but wears an item, in this case gloves of Dexterity +2, and now her Dex score is 15. Can she take the feat and have it be active only when she wears the item?

Actually yes, she could take the feat, but she would lose the use of the feat if, for whatever reason, she loses the bonus from the item.

From the metabreat description:

Metabreath Feats

Dragons (and other creatures) have developed ways to control their breath weapons to produce varying degrees of effects, from the subtle to the conspicuous. To take a metabreath feat, a creature must have a breath weapon whose time between breaths is expressed in rounds. Therefore, a hell hound (which can breathe once every 2d4 rounds) can take metabreath feats, whereas a behir (breath weapon usable 1/minute) cannot.

And old quote from the wizard's forums, the link used to be this, but is it no longer accesible.

Vestige granted feats and abilities weren’t intended to qualify one for prestige classes or other feats

From these excerpts, we can get than:

  • Magic Items satisfy ability score reqirements for feats, even if they are not permanent part of the character. Of course the feat is rendered unusable is the stat boost is lost. If this applies to abilities that the character has not in a permanent basis, I have found nothing.

  • Breath weapon Abilities granted by Vestiges would qualify for the metabreath feats, as they work as breath weapons (as noted here) and have a recharge time measured in rounds. Some DM would rule against this, however, because the text "breath weapon" does not appear anywhere on the text of the ability.

  • The quote from wizards forum says no, but is nowhere to be found except in other quotes.

Also:

  • Many classes and feats have a prerequisite "being able to cast X spell". A wizard that has the spell in its spellbook qualify, even if he has not the spell prepared, because he could prepare it while learning the feat. It is reasonable that this could be applied to binders, as they can choose to bind the adequate vestige while learning the feat.

Conclusion:

I would say this is entirely DM call. No direct answer from official, and while there is enough tangencial support in favor of allowing metabreath feats for binders, there also some reasons that could be argued against that.

The following in my personal opinion:

Binder is not exactly a overpowered class, although it can be considered a versatile one, the metabreath feats haw their own cons (they increase the recharge time for the breath), and most of the reason against ruling this way come from the non-existence of rules that explicitly allow for it, rather in the existence of rules explicitly forbidding it, so I would allow taking the feat.


Noted that the Faqs and custserv are not considered as RAW, so I edited the post to reflect it. However, these quotes are the most close aproximation to it that I could find, and seems that there is not oficial clear source that can be considered RAW and that specifically address this question, so I will leave the rest of the answer as it is.

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I'm afraid I've had to downvote this question. There are sources on RAW for how this sort of thing works, starting at Complete Warrior's discussion on using items to meet prerequisites. The question is tagged RAW, and FAQ isn't just not RAW, it's usually wrong. –  Lord_Gareth Apr 16 at 12:26

Whoever told you that vestige powers don’t count is wrong. They do. You wouldn’t be able to use the feat if you bound a vestige that didn’t give a breath weapon, but other than that you’re fine.

If vestige-granted powers did not count for requirements, then Marchosias, King of Killers, would not work, at least for single-class binders. Marchosias’s Death Attack only works if you land a Sneak Attack; the only way for a binder to do that is if they bind Andromalius and use Andromalius’s Sneak Attack as part of the requirement for using Marchosias’s Death Attack.

It’s common to assume that prereqs have to be met in a “permanent” fashion, but that’s not actually how the rules work. There are even rules in the books about how to handle lost prerequisites. Far more ephemeral things than vestiges (like magic items) can be used to qualify. Blocking vestiges from qualifying, while spells, magic items, and so on can, is inconsistent and simply doesn’t make much sense.

Finally, the binder class slides into a very nice happy medium, power-wise. It is a lot weaker than the (overpowered) full-casters, but a little more competent than the weakest classes that commonly struggle to remain relevant. But eliminating a major source of potential options for them drastically hurts their ability to remain competent, and makes it impossible to “focus” a binder on anything (since you cannot base your feat and prestige class choices on vestige-granted abilities). This is all to the detriment of the game.

All that said, if for whatever reason your DM wants to nerf binders with this as a houserule, you can always get around it by getting some other breath weapon so you qualify for the feats, and then apply them to the vestige-granted breath weapons. Being a dragonborn (Races of the Dragon) is the easiest way to accomplish that.

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