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Can you use any combat feat with any weapon you choose as part of your favorite weapon group for a Weapon Champion Archetype?

Favored Weapons (Ex)

At first level the weapon champion selects a group of weapons (from the fighter’s list of weapon groups for the weapon training ability) to act as her favored weapons. She is proficient with all these weapons. If the weapon champion has a feat that applies to one of these weapons (such as Weapon Focus), it applies to all the weapons in the group.

and

Weapon Advantage (Ex) At 2nd level and every even level afterward, the weapon champion can select one of the following advantages. An advantage may be selected more than once. Their effects stack.

  • Add one weapon to the weapon champion’s list of favored weapons.
  • +1 to confirm critical threats with favored weapons.
  • +1 to CMB for disarm, sunder, and trip attacks made with favored weapons.
  • +1 to CMD against disarm, steal, and sunder maneuvers against favored weapons.
  • +1 to Intimidate checks made while armed with a favored weapon.

Can you use feats for range weapons and use them on melee weapons that are in you favorate weapon group and visa versa?

That simplified enough?

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Yes, but…

The adept godling archetype weapon champion extraordinary ability favored weapons says, "If the weapon champion has a feat that applies to one of these weapons (such as Weapon Focus), it applies to all the weapons in the group" (emphasis mine).

So, while the extraordinary ability weapon advantage does allow the adept godling weapon champion to "[a]dd one weapon to the weapon champion’s list of favored weapons"—like adding to the axes weapon group the heavy crossbow—, adding this weapon does not allow the champion to suddenly use feats in a nonstandard way. For example, an adept godling weapon champion like the one described previously cannot, for example, employ the feat Power Attack when firing a heavy crossbow!

That's because the feat Power Attack and the vast majority of other combat feats do not apply to one weapon exclusively—like, for example, the feats Improved Critical, Weapon Focus, and Weapon Specialization do—, and, instead, can apply to any appropriate weapon the champion happens to be using.

Thus, for example, a champion that picks the axes weapon group and adds to it the heavy crossbow and possesses the feats Improved Critical (handaxe) and Weapon Focus (handaxe) will realize the benefits of those two feats with all weapons in the axes group and with the heavy crossbow, but his Power Attack feat remains useless when firing his heavy crossbow.

However, third-party material can't anticipate what Paizo and other publishers will create, making third-party material easiest to design when its focused on the core rules exclusively. That is, for example, what happens when a weapon champion that possesses a feat like Improved Whip Mastery and that adds the whip to the axes weapon group is a mystery.

With that in mind, this GM recommends that only feats that specify a creature can pick any weapon—like the feat Weapon Focus that's mentioned in the description of the extraordinary ability favored weapons—apply their benefit to all weapons in the favored weapon group and, by extension, any weapons added afterward by the extraordinary ability weapon advantage. This is not because this GM hates fun! It's because adjudicating how weapon-specific feats like Gun Twirling, Master Siege Engineer, or Shaft and Shield apply to weapons they aren't designed to affect is an exercise in futility and mind-reading and may generate vicious arguments between the player who reads a feat one way and the GM who reads it another.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If, instead of the manner you've suggested, a fighter chose the Crossbows weapon group and then added the handaxe to it, would Power Attack then apply? That is, is the restriction actually on how many weapons in the favored weapons list for a given champion would otherwise be affected by a feat or something like how many weapons the feat would affect total? \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Dec 3 '17 at 8:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok...if I read this right...there are some "universal applicable feats" than can be shared between most weapons... use some discretion to what those feats may be. Something like melee weapon feats universally applies to melee and reach weapons and the same for range weapons...again with some discretion, such as thrown weapon feast will not apply to range weapons with a launching mechanisms. \$\endgroup\$ – Jhyarelle Silver Dec 3 '17 at 9:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer Even then the feat Power Attack still doesn't apply to just a lone weapon but to any appropriate weapon—the feat is Power Attack and not Power Attack (handaxe). (If this still rubs wrong, any creature can already apply the benefit of the feat Power Attack to a heavy crossbow without, for example, adding the heavy crossbow to the axes weapon group: by bashing some fool upside the head with his crossbow used as an improvised weapon!) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 3 '17 at 13:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JhyarelleSilver I'd argue that the GM should make it easier than that: If the feat specifies that a specific weapon must be picked when the feat's taken, then the extraordinary ability favored weapons allows that feat's benefit to apply to all the weapons in the group. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 3 '17 at 13:53

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