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It's well known that the Apostle of Peace is a very powerful class, provided that your party will allow you to keep your Vows. However, as is commonly mentioned when its strange Vow of Poverty issue is brought up, it appears to be the case that you can become an Apostle of Peace even if you have taken and broken all of the pre-requisite vows.

With that in mind, what's stopping me from taking the Vows, breaking them, and then becoming an Apostle of Peace and taking all of the benefits from that? Aside from their excellent feats, it strikes me as a very quick path to becoming a powerful caster.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @MatthieuM. See this FAQ for why your comment was removed. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 16 at 22:51
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Yes

According to the D&D 3.5 FAQ, page 47:

Just because you're barred from benefiting from a feat doesn't mean that you don't have it any more.

The Apostle of Peace must have the feats Vow of Nonviolence, Vow of Peace, and Vow of Poverty, all three of which specify that if you intentionally break your vow, you lose the benefit of the feat. However, you don't lose the feat itself, and, per the FAQ, you can still use them a meet prerequisites.

While the rules say that if you can't use a feat if you later lose any of its prerequisites (PHB 87), no such rule applies to prestige classes (DMG 176). The feat rules also strictly define "benefit" as that specific named subsection of a feat which determines what abilities it grants; in other words, should one lose the "benefit" of a feat, the rules are clear that this refers to part of the feat, and not the whole feat.

The feat rules also clarify that a feat being a prerequisite for another feat means to have that feat, and although no such definition is made in the rules for prestige classes, neither does it make any reference to requiring the stated benefit of a feat to be active.

Thus while it's clearly the thematic intent of the Apostle of Peace prestige class that you be in good standing with your vows, rules-as-written you don't have to.

The only problem is that it kind of sucks as a caster build compared to a regular cleric. As Matthieu M pointed out, the prestige class has a prerequisite of 10 ranks in Concentration, which generally requires 7 levels. The only advantage, if I calculate correctly, is that at precisely character level 16 you can have 9th level spells a level early. The drawbacks include that you have d4 hit dice, are forbidden from wearing armor, and have to burn a lot of feats up-front.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The FAQ isn't a great source, though it is, of course, correct here. I recommend finding an alternative source or explaining the logic yourself, as additional support. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Feb 16 at 23:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Nice. This update includes everything my answer was going to… except A) the broken-vow apostle of peace seem to have very little going for it spell list-wise (it's spells are, like, less than 10% of the actual cleric's spell list), and B) the apostle still must — to, like, a paladin's code-degree — remain good to keep casting its apostle spells! (See BE 49.) So it's not like there are wizard/apostle of peace/mystic theurges with a cleric's versatility and who are evil running around or anything! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 17 at 3:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ There's also the advantage of the few unique feats that the Apostle of Peace has access to, some of which are very powerful. \$\endgroup\$ – Apostle of Doee Feb 17 at 19:29

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