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  • By definition "Virtual Feats" are abilities that mimic Feats for the purpose of gaining Feats that require Prerequisite Feats.
  • Aegis have a customization option called "Harden Strike" that function much like the feat Improved Unarmed Strikes with the additional bonus option of your choice to using Slashing and Piercing damage types besides Bludgeoning with unarmed attacks.
  • Can you then choose to take Greater Unarmed Strike feat with the Aegis' Astral Suit's Hardened Strikes option as said Virtual Feat?
  • Now it's been a while since I last checked, but I remember reading that if you have feat "y" that has a prerequisite feat "x" and that said prerequisite feat "x" is unaccessible for a time; then the feat "y" can't function till feat "x" is accessible.
  • With that out if the way. Can I then have a scenario like this, where an Aegis can't use Greater Unarmed Strike feat until such time as he forms his Astral Suit where it's opted to have Hardened Strikes?
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    \$\begingroup\$ Whether hardened strike counts as virtual Improved Unarmed Strike is a fine standalone question. Whether the aegis can take the feat if does count as a virtual feat is already answered most succinctly here. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jul 23 '17 at 16:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this “virtual feat” terminology a thing in use, or did you just make it up? If the latter, I don’t think it’s helping the question. The phrase doesn’t appear anywhere on d20pfsrd.com, and appears only in a few forum posts on paizo.com—and not with a consistent definition. This question would be vastly easier to read if you just asked if hardened strikes counts as Improved Unarmed Strike for the purposes of prerequisites, which I think is all the question is really asking. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 4 '18 at 14:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Virtual feat" was/is an old term from D&D 3.0 days. It was found in Master's of the Wild. \$\endgroup\$ – Jhyarelle Silver Apr 7 '18 at 2:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Virtual Feats If a character has a class feature or special ability that exactly duplicates the effects of a feat, then he or she can use that “virtual feat” as a prerequisite for other feats, as well as prestige classes, and so forth. If the character ever loses the virtual feats they lose access the feat it is used for. \$\endgroup\$ – Jhyarelle Silver Apr 7 '18 at 2:51
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RAW, hardened strikes make no mention of Improved Unarmed Strike in any capacity, and Greater Unarmed Strike does not mention hardened strike as any kind of alternative requirement. So there is no interaction between the two and hardened strikes does not help you take Greater Unarmed Strike in any way.

Moreover, Jeremy Smith (one of the co-founders of Dreamscarred Press and an author of the aegis) confirms that this was intentional, precisely to avoid the situation where you use it to meet a prerequisite and then swap it out.

On the other hand, it is not terribly unusual under the rules to lose a prerequisite, and there are rules for handling it—you simply cannot use a feat you have if you have lost any of its prereqs (see this question). So it’s a reasonable houserule to allow an aegis to take Greater Unarmed Strike, and just have that feat stop functioning if they swap out hardened strike. I’d certainly allow it—better to lock you into a particular customization, or to allow you to temporarily go without a feat, than to force you to burn a feat on an entirely-redundant prereq. Jeremy does caution that this wasn’t tested, however.

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