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I seem to recall a rule that monsters with Intelligence — cannot have different feats than what is presented in the statblock, because that's just how the species is. Am I remembering that right? Or can I legally swap, in this case, Lighting Reflexes for Track?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What's the monster? \$\endgroup\$ May 5, 2019 at 6:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan a Dread Blossom Swarm. - Int but has 3 feats, the right number for its 6HD. \$\endgroup\$
    – Elliot
    May 5, 2019 at 21:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, looks like the resource I was using for quick reference just didn't list that they were bonus feats. Checking MM3 they're all bonus. \$\endgroup\$
    – Elliot
    May 5, 2019 at 21:53

1 Answer 1

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The Monster Manual on Nonabilities says, "A creature with no Intelligence score is mindless [and m]indless creatures do not gain feats or skills, although they may have bonus feats or racial skill bonuses" (312). Thus a creature with an Intelligence score of — shouldn't have any feats other than bonus feats that are indicated with a superscript B. In that case, the Monster Manual on Feats says, "If you wish to customize the creature with new feats, you can reassign its other feats, but not its bonus feats" (7).

It seems like your mindless monster is stuck with the feat Lightning Reflexes.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This appears to be a correct answer within the mechanics of the game. Though as the GM, it is always completely within your right to create customized creatures in any way you like. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yora
    May 5, 2019 at 9:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Would an optimization trick like the dark chaos shuffle allow the caster to reconfigure the targets feats? Or something like Manipulate Form, assuming a valid target? \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    May 5, 2019 at 19:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nijineko Maybe? I mean, I think such solutions are likely beyond the question's scope, but I'd be happy to expand the answer were the asker to provide context that supports expanding it. Alternatively, you're more than welcome to offer such solutions in a separate answer. (Enjoy running headlong into whether or not a mindless creature can actually be willing! Ouch!) Seriously, my tendency is to view questions like this as What are the general rules? rather than How can I circumvent the general rules? \$\endgroup\$ May 5, 2019 at 19:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I don't try to circumvent the rules, not really. I just make them do what I want so that I can build my character concept that the designers didn't account for, whether the rules like it or not, and with complete disregard for how much pain the rules may be suffering. I have a very orchish regard for the rules, now that I think of it: "Where there's a whip, there's a way." And for the record, unconscious is effectively willing. ^^ \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    May 7, 2019 at 0:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nijineko By circumvent I didn't mean to imply undermine. :-) Also, it should be obvious by now that I'm pretty brutal on the rules, too. I only meant that this question seemed to want to know the general rules more than it wanted a way to do something despite them. And, even were embrace the dark chaos cast on an unconscious dread blossom storm, the new "feat replaces one feat of the subject's choice" (emphasis mine). If unconscious creatures can't make choices—and, although it's been a while, I'm almost sure they can't—, the spell's requirements can't be met, and it'll fail. \$\endgroup\$ May 7, 2019 at 1:05

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