Alter Self says that it grants the user any racial bonus feats that its new form posesses. I assume that this is meant to apply solely to feats that are already 'locked', such as a declining Elf's 'Weapon Focus bonus feat'. However, Humans get a bonus feat which they can choose however they want. Does using Alter Self to turn into a human grant one this same bonus feat? If so, can one choose a new bonus feat each time they Alter Self into a Human?


1 Answer 1


No. You also don't gain the elf's weapon proficiencies.

When you alter self into a species, you use the monster manual entry for that species, not the players handbook one.

Those proficiency feats character races gain are not bonus feats, they are the result of the training and upbringing of a sentient species therefore are not a physical characteristic of the form.

Bonus Feats are listed with a superscript B in the monster entries:

Sometimes a creature has one or more bonus feats, marked with a superscript B (B).

Only those monster bonus feats are the ones considered physical qualities for the spell:

You acquire the physical qualities of the new form while retaining your own mind. Physical qualities include [...] racial bonus feats [...]

  • \$\begingroup\$ There doesn’t seem to be a human monster entry, which makes it difficult to justify your claim that we need to look at it to see that its bonus feats are not marked B (which are explicitly included in what alter self provides). As for training and upbringing, considering that those things don’t change based on your backstory (e.g. an elf raised by dwarves), that’s kind of a weak statement—far weaker than the explicit statement in the spell itself saying racial bonus feats are included. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 15:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan the spell says "racial bonus feats". Then we go to the primary source on creatures (MM) and see how they define bonus feats. The upbringing is not a weak statement at all. Those learned feats are still not part of the basic shape. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 20:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ You seem to be referring to statements or rules that you are not quoting in your answer. Where does Monster Manual say that “racial bonus feats” does not include those from upbringing? \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 20:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan eh? I thought it was the line that links to the SRD. The one in quote markup up there. Bonus feats are marked in the monster entry. Therefore whatever feats are not marked (or not mentioned at all are not bonus feats). Unless you are saying the MM is wrong. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 23:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Monster Manual does not have a human entry, as far as I can tell, so what have no information on whether or not a hypothetical human monster entry would have the B or not. So we have no information on what the Monster Manual says one way or the other on the subject of human bonus feats. I agree that the elf entry lacks it, but that is not a complete answer for the question of humans. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 0:27

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