Cunning Brilliance: At the start of each day, choose three extraordinary class abilities. Each ability must be available to a standard character class at 15th level or lower, and must appear on the advancement table or in the text description for that class. By spending 4 inspiration points as a free action, you gain the benefits and drawbacks of one chosen ability for 1 minute. You use the ability as if your level in the relevant class equaled your factotum level. (Dungeonscape p.17)

First of all it is unclear what a standard character class is. Is it the same as a base class therefore making prestige class features not eligible for Cunning Brilliance?

If prestige class features are eligible, how would Cunning Brilliance apply to something like the Duelist's Elaborate Parry?

At 7th level and higher, if a duelist chooses to fight defensively or use total defense in melee combat, she gains an additional +1 dodge bonus to AC for each level of duelist she has (DMG p. 186)

Would the Factotum gain a +20 Dodge Bonus, since he uses the Elaborate Parry ability as if he were a Duelist of level 20 even though such a Duelist level does not exist, or would this ability be capped at level 10 even though this is not specifically mentioned by the description of either Class Features?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm reopening this: please answer in answers. So far the comments here have been presenting and debating the answer; instead these assertions should be posted in answers for people to vote on and agree/disagree with. This is also not a duplicate of that previous issue (they aren't the same question and it takes significant experience in the game to understand how they relate); if it is the same issue with the same resolution then that should be for answers to assert and voters to validate. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 2, 2018 at 16:38
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1 Answer 1


No, because prestige classes are not eligible

Standard character class is no defined term, while the DMG (p.176) defines the 11 classes described in the PHB as Base Classes.

Although a case could be made, that a standard character class is not the same as a Base Class, Dungeonscape refers to the base player classes as standard classes in the heading on pages 8 and 14, while the term Base Class is never used in Dungeonscape. Some other books like PHB2 and Complete Arcane use the term in the same way as well. In terms of Dungeonscape, in which the Factotum class is described, a standard character class seems to be the same as a Base Class.

Standard character class might have been used to differentiate them from classes like racial paragon classes or monster classes, which could be seen as Base Classes, though that is speculation.


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