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A player selects a class or prestige class.

Then they realize that a specific class feature (Ex) doesn't fit the character concept.

Ignoring it is insufficient, the player wishes to eliminate it.

Are there any existing rules, powers, spells, items, or other options in 3.x that would accomplish this? The retraining rules and rebuilding rules in PHB II don't have an option for this.

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No, there aren’t, not in the general case. There are variants, alternate class features, substitution levels, and so on, but unless the feature in question is targeted for one of those, there’s nothing you can do about it.

This makes sense when you consider that some class features are intentional drawbacks—rules that let you skip those could cause balance problems. Plenty of people might be interested in getting the frenzied berserker’s supreme power attack while avoiding frenzy, but that’s not an option. An even more extreme example would be the war hulk’s no time to think extraordinary ability, which is purely a drawback, and a significant one, too.

As a positive example, this community could find no way for a monk to avoid getting the Wis-to-AC feature. Obviously, that one that’s easy to ignore (since wearing armor turns it off), but it goes to show that there exist features that cannot be avoided, which may well also be true of other features that aren’t so easy to turn off.

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Yes, there is.

The spell Greater Bestow Curse (Dragon 348, p35) has a number of greater curse affects listed. Like the Bestow Curse spell, it indicates that one may invent their own curses, that are in line with the existing effects of the spell.

The accompanying article ("Bestow Curses" Dragon 348, p34-36) lists variant curses for both the original Bestow Curse spell, as well as for the Greater version.

One of the possible valid variant curses for the Greater version is to lose a class feature and any subordinate features or feats that are tied to that class feature.

This could be quite painful, depending on which class feature is targeted.


It is important to note that this will change not only how a class works, but potentially impact your entire game. For example, the Greater Curse could be used to remove harmful class features such as the Wilder's Enervation, the Beserker's Frenzy, the Warhulk's No Time To Think, and so forth. As such, check with your DM prior to implementing and it might be best to have a good reason for the effect to exist in your backstory or roleplay.

One possible example of making the idea of removing a harmful class feature into an interesting story effect, could be a Warhulk who is cursed to lose No Time To Think as well as being cursed to be a pacifist, or to have an extreme moral conscious regarding causing others pain or death.

Play nice, coordinate carefully with your DM when seeing to customize classes and class features in D&D.

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