Requirements: To qualify to become a duelist, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Base Attack Bonus: +6. Skills: Acrobatics 2 ranks, Perform 2 ranks. Feats: Dodge, Mobility, Weapon Finesse.

Base Attack and Skill points are "things" that you must have a class to get (even racial Hit Dice count as a "class")! Feats on the other hand, can be a reward for leveling, you gain one feat at 1st, 3rd, 5th and on and on.... So, to get +6 base and 2 ranks on a skill you must had those from previous levels... but feats...

Let's say that Bob is a level 6 fighter, he has base +6, acrobatics & perform rank 2, dodge & mobility, but he still didn't get weapon finesse. at level 7 he gets a feat from leveling...

So, can Bob choose weapon finesse and right at the spot get Duelist, becoming Fighter 6/Duelist 1 or does he have to wait another level?


1 Answer 1


The PRD entry on Classes spells it out pretty clearly:

When adding new levels of an existing class or adding levels of a new class (see Multiclassing, below), make sure to take the following steps in order. First, select your new class level. You must be able to qualify for this level before any of the following adjustments are made. Second, apply any ability score increases due to gaining a level. Third, integrate all of the level's class abilities and then roll for additional hit points. Finally, add new skills and feats.

(emphasis mine)

So, Rules-As-Written, Bob would have to take Weapon Finesse after choosing to take a 7th level in Fighter (or a first level in ... whatever else) and would have to wait until 8th level to become a Duelist.

That said, this GM has always let players choose the order in which to perform the "adding a level" steps every time they level (which would allow Bob to become a Duelist at 7th level or become a 7th level fighter and choose a feat with a +7 BAB prerequisite, but not do both). I have never encountered any power/balance problems with this approach, but it's not RAW and YMMV.


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