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Due to a recent dragon magazine, the Cleric/Templar has a semi-questionable issue. In Dragon Magazine 400, there is an article for Battle Cleric's (Those with DDI can check here: Battle Cleric Options), there is an option where instead of taking the Healer's Lore option, you can take the Battle Cleric's Lore option.

The questionable point though is with Divine Power's Divine Healer multiclass Cleric feat that says in the second sentence:

You gain the cleric’s Healer’s Lore class feature.

Since the feat says you get that class feature despite the fact its attached to a multiclass feat, does this mean that a person can trade the Healer's Lore class feature for the Battle Cleric's Lore class feature?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

No, you can't get it. If a feat says that you get class feature X, then you can't trade that class feature for another one even if the original class could. WOTC would have to either introduce another multiclass feat to allow you to get Battle Cleric's Lore, or errata the existing feat to include the option.

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That is what I thought. I'll take this as the correct answer. – zapoqx Aug 9 '11 at 1:13

No.

You can't swap the Healer's Lore class feature you gain from Divine Healer feat with Battle Cleric's Lore class feature.

Rules-As-Written

Battle Cleric's Lore is written as an Alternative Class Feature that

which a cleric can take in place of Healer's Lore.1

Problem is, you are not a cleric. Divine Healer does not make you a cleric:

A character who has taken a class-specific multiclass feat counts as a member of that class for the purpose of meeting prerequisites for taking other feats and qualifying for paragon paths.2

Divine Healer allows you to count as a cleric for taking feats. It does not allow you to count as cleric to swap features. The ability to swap is not granted by the feat or the original class feature.

(Note that this rule-as-written is often extended to support epic destinies and items, consistent with common expectations i.e. rules-as-intended.)

Rules-As-Intended

Battle Cleric's Lore is born from the intention to

look at a number of underserved classes... see where new material can improve it. We’re leading off ... with a suite of Strength-based options for the cleric.1

It is intended to fix strength clerics' AC, not to grant scale armor proficiency plus heavy shield equivalent bonus to non-clerics with minimal requirement - no feat does anything close to that.

If a player argues otherwise and it sounds like a cheap bluff to get scale and shield easily, that is because it is.

Hybrid Cleric

On a related note, players may claim that hybrid cleric can swap hybrid cleric's Healer's Lore to Battle Cleric's Lore.

Again, it is unlikely to be the designer's intention to allow hybrid clerics to get scale armor and shield bonus cheaply (without Hybrid Talent feat or hybriding a heavily armored class).

By rule-as-written, however, hybric clerics are real cleric, and Healer's Lore is given for free - not even a hybrid talent option. It is debatable3 whether the armor proficiency should subject to hybrid rules (it should by intention), however the shield bonus is not a proficiency and would go with the feature as written.

As a DM I would allow hybrid battle cleric to get at least the shield bonus and the attack bonus, because the later does not scale with level. But not multiclass cleric, no.

(And if a player argues that "But the Character Builder disagrees!", Character Builder is a convenience, not rule judge. I have reported bugs, which they fixed, but I can still find bugs.4,5)

References

  1. Dragon Magazine 400, Battle Cleric's Options, page 1 column 1.
  2. Player's Handbook, page 208.
  3. Can hybrid archer warlords get back chainmail + shield by hybrid talent + warlord armor proficiencies? Can hybrid battlefront warlord get heavy shield for free like battle cleric? It make better sense if these are regarded as modification to the class's armor proficiencies - a part of the class's training, not meta-game lego.
  4. Character Builder bug example: An half-orc bard with Skald's Training feat does not qualify for Inspiring Fury (Dra429).
  5. Or take feat A and B. Retrain B into feat C that depends on feat A. Retrain A so that you disqualify for C, which shouldn't be legal. No complain and you still get feat C's benefits.
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