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Heroics states

The heroics spell temporarily grants the subject a feat from the fighter's bonus feat list. For the duration of the heroics spell, the subject can use the feat as if it were one of those the creature had selected. All prerequisites for the feat must be met by the target of this spell.

I believe a target of can benefit from multiple castings of this spell as long as a different feat is chosen. This leads me to...

Does a feat granted by the spell, itself, qualify as a prerequisite for another feat granted by a second casting of this spell on the same target?

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If the DM says heroics works as it does in the question then the subject should be able to meet the prerequisites for later feats gained from heroics with the subject's earlier feats also gained from heroics

If the DM allows the effect of the 2nd-level Sor/Wiz spell heroics [trans] (Spell Compendium 113) to apply to the same creature multiple times so that the subject gains multiple feats, feats gained from earlier castings of the heroics spell should be able to be used to meet the prerequisites of feats picked in response to later castings of the heroics spell.

That's because the heroics spell's description says, "For the duration of the heroics spell, the subject can use the feat as if it were one of those the creature had selected." No exceptions are made to this statement, so they're pretty much just like regular feats. That is, this reader views one way to use a feat granted by the heroics spell is as a prerequisite for one or more other feats.


Note: This DM in his campaigns doesn't allow a subject to gain multiple feats from multiple castings of the heroics spell. Foremost, this is because it unbalances even more his mid- and high-level campaigns. (For example, combat is nigh impossible when every level 12 party member and every NPC—including every possible animal companion, familiar, and allied, animated, bound, created, and summoned monster—has from Tome of Battle the White Raven maneuver White Raven tactics via each having gained from the spell heroics the feat Martial Study twice.) This DM justifies this ruling with the Same Effects with Differing Results rule from the Player's Handbook (172), even though this DM knows in his heart that an another perfectly valid reading of that rule totally allows stacking the effects of the heroics spell. That said, this DM respects mightily the fortitude and DMing skill of any DM that lets the effects of the heroics spell stack.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So it's primarily a balance issue then? If that's the case, you would allow multiple castings of the resist energy spell to affect the same target (as long as the energy types are different of course)? \$\endgroup\$ – Zarus Aug 19 '18 at 22:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Caldrun Yes, I see stacking heroics mainly a balance issue. And, yes, I allow multiple simultaneous different iterations of the spell resist energy, and I have for exactly that spell an answer addressing this issue for Pathfinder. To paraphrase Walt Whitman, a DM contains multitudes. :-) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 19 '18 at 22:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ So Chan, ;-) let's add another one of your good answers to the mix. Is multiple evolution surges balanced? In fact I like this answer better. \$\endgroup\$ – Zarus Aug 19 '18 at 22:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Caldrun Fortunately, that question—like this one—wasn't a balance question. :-) Honestly, I've only played at a table with a summoner once (I played an inquisitor] so I don't know how ugly a wand of evolution surge can get in the hand of a level 12 summoner. However, I do know how nasty that wand of heroics gets! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 19 '18 at 22:55
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No, spells don't stack with themselves, so heroics can't be used twice, or used to qualify for other feats.

Spells that provide bonuses or penalties on attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and other attributes usually do not stack with themselves.

Same Effect with Differing Results: The same spell can sometimes produce varying effects if applied to the same recipient more than once. For example, a series of polymorph spells might turn a creature into a mouse, a lion, and then a snail. In this case, the last spell in the series trumps the others. None of the previous spells are actually removed or dispelled, but their effects become irrelevant while the final spell in the series lasts (PH p171)

A feat granted by the spell does not count as a prerequisite for another casting, since a second casting removes it, and if you lose the prerequisite feats you cannot benefit from them for new feats.

A character cannot use a feat if he or she has lost the prerequisite. For example, if your characters strength drops below 13 because of a ray of enfeeblement spell, he or she can't use the Power Attack feat until the prerequisite is met again (PH p87)

Mouseferatu one of the designers says that it does not work to build up to greater feats.

"For the duration of the heroics spell, the subject can use the feat as if it were one of those the creature had selected. All prerequisites for the feat must be met by the target of this spell."

If I may put on my Hypersmurf disguise for a moment...

It says the subject can use the feat as if he selected it, not that he is treated as having selected it. And since the target must meet the prereqs, a feat granted by the spell does not qualify.

And is flexible on whether it should apply, reading it both ways.

Though it could be better worded, I believe that clause doesn't apply here. The example given is polymorph, and the intent seems to be "same effect with differing results that cannot all exist at once.

After all, if your interpretation is correct, it means that nobody can ever benefit from, say, resist energy (cold) and resist energy (acid) at the same time. And while that's certainly a viable reading of the letter of the rules, it's not the only one--and I don't believe it was the intention.

OTOH, given that I've long had a problem with just how many things stack, and how long it can take a high-level party to prep for a single combat, maybe I should give the more restrictive interpretation a shot...

So, based on that additional source, it's probably up DM discretion whether you can use more than one, but they don't act as prerequisites. He sees it as a balance issue, and a time issue, though, to allow multiple castings.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ari Marmell (aka Mouseferatu on Enworld) stated "Although it could be better worded, I believe that clause doesn't apply here. The example given is polymorph, and the intent seems to be "same effect with differing results that cannot all exist at once." He worked on the following official 3.5 books. mouseferatu.com/index.php/product/rpgs/05_dnd-3e/page/3 also p.4 \$\endgroup\$ – Zarus Aug 19 '18 at 22:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ You quote "None of the previous spells are actually removed or dispelled" and then argue "...since a second casting removes it". \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Aug 19 '18 at 22:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Per the source, they don't act as prerequisites, but you can maybe stack them? I'd assumed that spells stacking on more attack bonuses and such didn't work, but apparently they do. Maybe, depending on whether you want long prep times. Anyway, edited in. \$\endgroup\$ – Nepene Nep Aug 19 '18 at 23:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes he says "maybe I should give the more restrictive interpretation a shot..." he's being gracious to the other poster. His view of the intent of the rule is clear. On the other point he states "More to the point, the spell could be read to suggest that a feat granted by the spell does not, itself, count as a prereq for other feats." Could be read. That's why I'm looking for more answers. \$\endgroup\$ – Zarus Aug 19 '18 at 23:04

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