In Pathfinder certain races receive bonus feats due to their race(Such as Half Elves receiving skill focus feat as a bonus feat.) The text for retraining reads as such:

You may change one feat to another through retraining. Retraining a feat takes 5 days with a character who has the feat you want. The old feat can’t be one you used as a prerequisite for a feat, class feature, archetype, prestige class, or other ability. If the old feat is a bonus feat granted by a class feature, you must replace it with a feat that you could choose using that class feature.

It mentions having to replace a feat you received from a class feature with one you could receive for that class but it does not mention feats gained through race. As such does this mean feats received from your race can be retrained allowing a half elf to replace their skill focus feat with an irrelevant feat such as augmented summoning?


2 Answers 2



Although a racial trait might give you a bonus feat it still is a racial trait and should be treated as such. The retraining rules for racial traits read

If your campaign uses alternate racial traits, you can retrain a racial trait. (..) The replacement trait must be an appropriate one from your racial list. The old and new racial traits must replace the same standard racial trait. For example, the magic resistant and stubborn alternate dwarven traits replace the hardy standard trait, so you can retrain one of those for the other.

(emphasis mine)

The Half-Elf’s racial trait Adaptability (which gives a character Skill Focus as a bonus feat at 1st level) can only be retrained by taking an alternate racial trait and cannot be substituted by a feat.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Does your answer stand if the campaign isn't using alternate racial traits? \$\endgroup\$
    – minnmass
    Apr 23 at 13:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, that's how I understand the rules. If alternate racial traits aren't available you cannot retrain any of your standard racial traits. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peregrin
    Apr 23 at 13:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think your answer is proper. The question isn't about retraining racial traits, but about retraining feats. Yes, these feats might come from a racial trait, but they are still feats in and of themselves. Thus, all rules concerning feats apply to these, just like to feats gained from a racial favored class bonus, for example. Your answer merely assumes that rules for racial traits apply here without providing any rules citation for your assumption. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theaitetos
    Apr 23 at 19:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Theaitetos If a racial trait gives you a feat, it is not a feat "in and of itself". It is a feat which is granted by that specific trait and therefore cannot be considered separately. Racial traits follow their own retraining rules - what makes sense, since these traits are meant to show the specific character of a race. Retraining is about changing choices. You could have chosen a different racial trait during character creation, but you could not have chosen the same racial trait granting a different benefit. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peregrin
    Apr 24 at 8:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ "It is a feat which is granted by that specific trait"... "Racial traits follow their own retraining rules"... "Retraining is about changing choices"... "You could have chosen a different racial trait during character creation"... Yes, nobody denies any of these. But there is one thing you don't address: "[It is a feat which] cannot be considered separately". This is the crux of the issue. You don't cite any rules to support that statement. Your answer is only about racial traits, without either showing why the rules for racial traits have to apply, or why the rules for feats may not apply. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theaitetos
    Apr 24 at 21:17


Feats can be retrained unless they're "used as a prerequisite for a feat, class feature, archetype, prestige class, or other ability".

Racial bonus feats are just bonus feats. The rules for retraining feats make no mention of treating racial bonus feats specially, so there's no reason to believe that they should be treated specially - doubly so given that racial bonus feats are available to core races and not limited to more esoteric options.

Naturally, a human who took (eg.) alertness as their bonus feat and used that as the prerequisite for ambush awareness would need to retrain the latter before they could retrain the former, but that's just because of the "used as a prerequisite' clause.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ While this was my initial thought as well the alternate human feature 'Focused Study' made me question it a bit as with this interpretation you could get focused study alternate trait and retrain the skill focus feat allowing you to triple the flexible feats you would get from being a human. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23 at 6:07

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