It's best to just give an example for this:

Let's say I have levels in a rogue archetype that gives up Evasion, but I take a two level dip into monk to get Evasion. Would I qualify for the Improved Evasion advanced talent upon reaching rogue level 10? (yes, I know RAW Improved Evasion has no Evasion prerequisite but I doubt most GMs would let you get away with taking it without Evasion)

Or if I had levels in an alchemist archetype that gave up Mutagen, but took a dip in Mutagenic Mauler or Mutation Warrior, could I take alchemist discoveries that affect mutagens, as an alchemist, and apply them to the dip class' Mutagen?


Evasion is, as the question itself notes, a poor example—there is no need to have evasion in order for improved evasion to function or make sense, and the rules don’t indicate any requirement between them.

Mutagens and alchemist discoveries are a far better example. And the answer there is... that Paizo can’t seem to make up their minds. As written, they work—discoveries check if you have something called “mutagen,” and you do, and then improve something called “mutagen,” which is the ability you are using. Nothing specifies where the “mutagen” had to be coming from. But the FAQ seems to—usually anyway—come down against such synergizing across classes. The FAQ being the confusing mess that it is, this isn’t clear—it’s a hodgepodge of seemingly-specific questions getting vaguely-defined broadly-worded answers that pretend the rulings already exist in the rules, which they do not.

Which ultimately means this is something you have to ask your GM, and they should handle questions like this on an ad hoc basis. Most of the time, it should be fine, but sometimes it won’t be. For your examples here, say, I have a hard time seeing why any GM would prevent it from working. The FAQ tends to err on the side of “caution” by leaning towards “no” for most questions like this, but that is done primarily because it is the “safe” option from a publisher’s standpoint. They don’t have the time, interest, or inclination to thoroughly vet combos, so rather than risk endorsing something game-breaking, they just say “no.” A good GM can, and should if they have the time, do better than that.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I recall that the FAQ was considered to be an article of authority when discussing how rules should be handled in organized play, in the absence of an official entry in Pathfinder Society materials. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 9 at 8:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Powerdork Yes, but it also doesn’t directly address this situation—it addresses maybe-analogous situations. But I’m tired of trying to “read into” unclear FAQ answers something that might apply to a question. The FAQ is a horrid mess, and not worth the effort to dig through. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Mar 9 at 13:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ "evasion is the superior ability, despite the name" In what way? Improved Evasion is strictly better than evasion. It does the same thing on a pass and still reduces damage on a failed save. \$\endgroup\$
    – R. Barrett
    Mar 22 at 22:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @R.Barrett True, I forgot that improved evasion repeats what evasion does. I was referring to “no damage on a successful save” being better than “half damage on a failed save” (for someone who is probably going to make the save). I’ll edit tomorrow maybe, though ultimately it’s fairly well tangential to the point so I’ll probably just delete most of the first paragraph. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Mar 23 at 4:23

You answered your own question for Improved Evasion: it does not have prerequisites.

RAW, a Rogue at 10th level may choose any advanced talent regardless of what rogue talents he has. The only prerequisite for choosing Improved Evasion is that you have 10 levels in Rogue, which allows you to choose an Advanced talent. The only way a GM would not allow a Rogue without Evasion to choose Improved Evasion is if he failed to understand the rules of the game. No prerequisite for this ability is specified.

Yes for your second example; those other class abilities function as the mutagen alchemist ability.

Mutagen Mauler: "This functions as an alchemist’s mutagen..."

Mutagen Warrior: "This ability functions as the alchemist’s mutagen ability..."

Both those abilities function as an alchemist's mutagen ability, and since no exceptions are noted, we must assume that it functions as that in every way, including as a prerequisite to higher level alchemist abilities tied to the mutagen ability. Some discoveries only require the character to imbibe a mutagen to take effect, these ones even more clearly do not specify that the mutagen had to be created with an alchemist class mutagen ability.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I must have blanked on the last paragraph, I missed it first go-round. Answer is more complete now. \$\endgroup\$
    – ruffdove
    Mar 6 at 17:58

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