Take the 2-minute tour ×
Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Certain prestige classes detail a list of requirements that are possible for the player to lose (alignment, casting at a certain level), but not what happens if you no longer meet those requirements (acting in an opposed way to your alignment, suffereing from energy drain). Some classes and prestige classes do detail what happens if you no longer meet your requirements, but not all do so.

So I am asking: if you no longer meet the requirements of your prestige class by choice or external influences, will you lose the class features gained from it, despite this loss not being detailed in the class itself?

share|improve this question
1  
Try here. –  Hey I Can Chan Jul 4 at 8:40

3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Yes.

The rules in the DMG don't mention this, but the ones in Complete Warrior and complete Arcane both do. You can make an argument from RAW that the PrC rules in Complete Warrior and Complete Arcane only apply to those specific books, despite the FAQ answering questions based entirely on those rules.

But as for intent, it seems pretty clear. If a character no longer meets pre-requisites, they lose prestige class abilities, but not hit dice, base saving throws, or base attack bonus, as per CWarrior, CArcane, and the FAQ. Yes, this does include spellcasting, no, this doesn't include skill points (they are part of hit dice).

However, as a GM.

You should never take away people's class abilities unless it's thematically story appropriate. If a Helm of Alignment changes the alignment of an Assassin, you should decide whether they lose their Assassin abilities or not - and be able to provide a good reason why the now Good aligned Assassin can't use his Death Attack ability on an evil beholder about to raze a town.

Similarly, if someone uses a Ring of Evasion to qualify for Fochluchan Lyrist and then later sells the Ring, you should decide whether that messes with his Lyrical abilities or not, based on circumstance, intent, so forth.

Ultimately the rule is there to stop people rorting the system. That is it's sole purpose - to stop Psychic Reformation and the like be used to get past pre-requisites. It's a heavy-handed rule, in the same way that pre-requisites are generally heavy handed and often prestige classes aren't worth the hoops that you're required to jump through - like any 'balance' rule, you should scrutinize it carefully as a GM and decide if you want it in your game.

Personally, i'd only have someone lose their class abilities as part of a plotline. I prefer to handle system rorters directly, by talking to them as a fellow human being and game player and asking them nicely to have a character with the same power level as the rest of the group. Trying to enforce the letter of the law with ill-considered and ambiguously worded rules systems like DnD is typically an exercise in failure and lack of fun - I don't recommend it, for anyone, and I definitely don't support it.

share|improve this answer
    
Under a strict DM, then, what happens when a character reaches level 10 in the prestige class dragon disciple (DMG 183-5)? –  Hey I Can Chan Jul 4 at 11:02
    
@HeyICanChan - Same thing that happens when the Truenamer tries to use his class abilities. A houserule to make the stupid game work. –  Jack Lesnie Jul 4 at 11:10
    
Okay, so as long as the players don't intend to break the system with it or act in flagrant violation of the class in question, they should get away with it. But what if they use feats to allow early access to a class that do not work in certain spots (Earth Spell and Sanctum Spell come to mind)? –  Thomas Jacobs Jul 4 at 11:13
1  
@ThomasJacobs - That's actually better asked as a separate question, perhaps with the sub question 'can I stop this behaviour by harshly enforcing the rules?'. Because comments isn't a great place for an answer as complex as that question deserves. –  Jack Lesnie Jul 4 at 11:21
1  
Wrong. This don't happen, unless the book/class explicity says so. -1 –  Thales Sarczuk Jul 10 at 17:42

No

Unless the prestige class is from Complete Warrior or Complete Arcane, which specify that those prestige classes do.

The blurbs written in Complete Warrior and Complete Arcane are written as if they were establishing a global rule, but this contradicts the rules for prestige classes in the Dungeon Master's Guide, which mentions no such rule, and in fact includes a prestige class which breaks off this rule is applied (the dragon disciple's own capstone prevents him from meeting his own prerequisites). The errata rules state that when two books contradict each other, the “primary source” wins; Complete Warrior and Complete Arcane are the primary sources for the prestige classes in that book, but the primary rules for prestige classes in general is the DMG. So those books can establish an exception for themselves, but not globally. To do that would require a mention in the DMG errata file, which despite reprintings since Complete Warrior and Complete Arcane, has not happened. The DMG was not the only book to print prestige classes that play badly (as in, don't make sense) with this rule, either.

In general, gaining prerequisites temporarily is a fairly high-optimization trick; it's probably not welcome at a lot of tables. This is typically more a matter of gentlemen's agreement than house rule, though.

The reason not to establish this as a rule is because, if, in combat or something, someone is drained or cursed and loses prerequisites, it is not appropriate for every prestige class to have a pseudo “falling” mechanic. It's better to just say that you don't want people building characters around this trick.

Finally, do consider that the majority of prestige classes have requirements more difficult and painful to meet than they deserve, especially warrior classes which tend to be for the weakest base classes. This, if someone is interested in a trick like this, the correct response may easily be: “I don't want shenanigans like that in this game, but how about we just waive that prereq entirely?” Then everyone's happy.

share|improve this answer
    
I would suggest reading the v3.5 FAQ, pg 30 –  briddums Jul 4 at 21:13
1  
@briddums The FAQ is worthless. It holds no rules weight and is frequently wrong. –  KRyan Jul 4 at 22:21

Yes, as per the Official 3.5 FAQ, pages 30-31. The responses are in regards to Assassin alignment changes, but the answer talks about how to apply it to other prestige classes.

What happens when an assassin becomes non-evil?

A character who no longer meets the requirements of his prestige class not only can’t advance any further in that class, but he also “loses the benefit of any class features or other special abilities granted by the class.” (CW 16) You retain Hit Dice (and the hit points derived from), base attack bonus, and base save bonuses granted by the prestige class.

So your repentant assassin would lose his sneak attack, death attack, poison use, save bonus against poison, uncanny dodge, improved uncanny dodge, and hide in plain sight class features, as well as his assassin spellcasting and any weapon and armor proficiencies gained from the class. He’d keep the skill ranks he bought with his assassin levels, as well as the hit points, base attack, and base save bonuses gained from those class levels. He also couldn’t gain any more assassin levels until his alignment returned to evil (at which point he’d also regain the various features he lost when his alignment changed to non-evil).

If my character becomes an assassin, then later changes his alignment from evil to neutral, can he still use the skills he learned as an assassin?

A character who no longer meets the requirements of his prestige class not only can’t advance any further in that class, but he also “loses the benefit of any class features or other special abilities granted by the class,” (CW 16). You retain Hit Dice (and the hit points derived from those Hit Dice), base attack bonus, and base save bonuses granted by the prestige class.

The rules don’t specifically list skill points (and class skills) as falling into either category; the Sage recommends that the character retain these functions even if he no longer meets the class requirements. So your repentant assassin would lose his sneak attack, death attack, poison use, save bonus against poison, uncanny dodge, improved uncanny dodge, and hide in plain sight class features, as well as his assassin spell casting and any weapon and armor proficiencies gained from the class. He’d keep the skill ranks he bought with his assassin levels, as well as the hit points, base attack, and base save bonuses gained from the class levels. He also couldn’t gain any more assassin levels until his alignment returned to evil (at which point he’d also regain the various features he lost when his alignment changed to non-evil).

share|improve this answer
1  
Also relevant from the FAQ: Can a soulmeld or its chakra bind allow you to meet the prerequisites for a feat or the requirements for a prestige class? Yes, but you only gain the benefits of the feat or prestige class as long as you continue tomeet its requirements. If you unshape the meld or change the chakra bind, you would lose the feat or prestige class benefits and wouldn’t be able to advance further in the prestige class. –  PurpleVermont Jul 4 at 22:12

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.