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Looking at the dragonborn transformation I have a question regarding what happens to a human fighter's feats when transforming into a dragonborn.

Let us assume that before transformation the human fighter has Mounted combat as his bonus human feat, Ride by Attack as his 1st level fighter feat and Trample as his first level feat. This text in Races of the Dragon is confusing me:

If your original race granted you a nonspecific bonus feat (such as the one gained by a human at 1st level), any feat can be lost, so long as it is not a prerequisite for another feat you have.

If you no longer qualify for a feat due to the transformation, you lose the feat and immediately select a new feat for which you qualify in its place. You must also replace any feat for which the lost feat was a prerequisite.

(emphasis mine)

So does he lose these feats and then replace them? Or does he retain the feats since Mounted combat (his human feat) is a feat which cannot be lost as it is the prereq for his other feats?

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Okay, so, step one:

any feat can be lost,

Our starting point is that you get to choose any of your feats to lose; which one you actually selected with your racial bonus feat is irrelevant.

so long as it is not a prerequisite for another feat you have.

But then we have this restriction: we cannot select a feat that is a prerequisite for another feat. Of your three feats, Mounted Combat does not require any feats, while Ride-by Attack and Trample each require Mounted Combat. Since Mounted Combat is required for two feats, you cannot choose to lose that one. No feats require Ride-by Attack or Trample, so therefore you can choose either of those to lose.

If you no longer qualify for a feat due to the transformation, you lose the feat and immediately select a new feat for which you qualify in its place. You must also replace any feat for which the lost feat was a prerequisite.

This doesn’t apply to you: nothing about Mounted Combat, Ride-by Attack, or Trample requires you to be human, or prevents them from being taken by a dragonborn. This would only apply if, say, you had a feat that required you to not be a dragon, or something like that.

So in the end, you have to lose one feat, and it cannot be Mounted Combat. You may choose freely between Ride-by Attack and Trample as the feat you lose.

Note that this means that, in theory, you could have taken two feats that are not bonus fighter feats, as well as one that was from your fighter level, and then choose to lose the fighter bonus feat when becoming a dragonborn. As a result, you would be a 1st-level dragonborn fighter who has the right number of feats, but nonetheless has no fighter bonus feats, but rather two feats that could not be taken as fighter bonus feats. An unusual situation, but that’s what the rules say. As “exploits” go it’s an unbelievably tame one; dragonborn can do far more potent things with other racial bases.

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