The Possession action, typically found on Ghosts, includes the following description of the effects of successfully possessing a creature:

The ghost now controls the body but doesn't deprive the target of awareness. The ghost can't be targeted by any attack, spell, or other effect, except ones that turn undead, and it retains its alignment, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, and immunity to being charmed and frightened. It otherwise uses the possessed target's statistics, but doesn't gain access to the target's knowledge, class features, or proficiencies.

It is unclear to me if feats count as a thing that the ghost doesn't gain access to (i.e. "knowledge, class features, or proficiencies"). Does a ghost that successfully uses Possession on a character gain access to the character's feats?


2 Answers 2


They do not. Feats are class features.

From the rules for feats:

At certain levels, your class gives you the Ability Score Improvement feature. Using the optional feats rule, you can forgo taking that feature to take a feat of your choice instead.

Since feats are granted through gaining class levels, they are considered class features, so the ghost does not gain access to a possessed creature’s feats.

We may be able to further make a case that a feat qualifies as “knowledge” which the ghost would not have access to (this probably covers the Variant Human's feat). Also from the rules for feats:

A feat represents a talent or an area of expertise that gives a character special capabilities. It embodies training, experience, and abilities beyond what a class provides.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What if the feat is gained from a non-class feature, such as a racial trait, or a special reward Training? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2020 at 14:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron See the brief argument about the ghost not gaining access to knowledge. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2020 at 14:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ If feats are "abilities beyond what a class provides", how are they then class features? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Nov 25, 2020 at 16:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ They are optional alternatives to the standard class feature. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2020 at 16:36

It specifically states the ghost doesn't gain Class Features; so no, no Feats gained from a class (such as a Rogue's Sneak Attack or a Barbarian's Brutal Critical).

That said, races give feats as well (such as a Tiefling's Hellish Rebuke or a Half-Orc's Savage Attack). The text doesn't imply those won't be taken and it only makes sense to me, since they are inherent.

Going by the text, I would also guess it takes Background Feats as well (such as an Outlander's Wanderer), although I personally would rule them out as DM as they are learned just like a Class Feat and the text states the Ghost doesn't gain access to knowledge.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you are confusing Feats and Class/Racial/Background Features. None of the abilities you reference in your answer are Feats. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2020 at 15:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to our stack! To learn more about how we operate, I highly recommend taking the tour and you can also visit the help center for more information. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Nov 25, 2020 at 15:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer is incorrect for the reason @ThomasMarkov mentions, but it does raise the interesting question of whether a feat gained through race (variant human or Tasha's custom lineage) would count a racial feature rather than a class feature. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2020 at 17:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov I wasn't aware there was a difference between features and feats, I will read up on them, thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – Fons
    Jan 12, 2021 at 14:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Fons "Feature" is more a generic term to refer to any of the abilities given by various things like race, class, subclass, and even feats. So we might talk about class features or racial features, or even feat features. The basic rules explain feats specifically here; "A feat represents a talent or an area of expertise that gives a character special capabilities. It embodies training, experience, and abilities beyond what a class provides. See the feats in the Player's Handbook for more information." \$\endgroup\$ Jan 12, 2021 at 14:23

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