I may be using the Proto-Creature inherited template for a game in which I also plan to use the Spellfire feat. Now the Proto-Creature template removes all (Sp) and (Su) abilities from the base creature. Spellfire is a (Su) ability and the feat can only be taken at first character level. My potential GM brought up that Proto-Creature would remove this ability altogether because your 1st level feat is also "inherited" so to speak.

Basically, which comes first? Would a Proto-Creature be able to take the Spellfire feat? And do you have any rule source you can quote for me or direct me to so I can show it to him to support my argument? As far as I am aware, every template functions with gaining first level feats after applying everything else, but I don't know of an exact rule to cite for this. By his logic, any 1st class level (Sp/Su) stuff would also be nullified by the Proto-Creature template, and I'm pretty sure that would be false as well...

Presented the following to the GM.

  • RAW of the Warforged stats showing feats were not part of it.
  • RAW of the Monster Manual rules on adding templates.
  • RAW of the Player's Handbook rules on creating a character.

I've been looking in Savage Species and didn't find anything to support it yet.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What rules and sources have you presented to your GM so far? \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 3:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ I can't follow this: "As far as I am aware, every template functions with gaining first level feats after applying everything else, but I don't know of an exact rule to cite for this. By this logic, any 1st class level (Sp/Su) stuff would also be nullified by the Proto-Creature template..." There's a disconnect there that I don't understand. Where is the logic from for something taken after (the feat) being nullified by something taken before (the template)? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 4:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ It seems like you're looking for rules citations, so I replaced [class-feature], which seemed orthogonal to your main question, with [rules-as-written], which seems more directly appropriate. Feel free to revert if you disagree. \$\endgroup\$
    – DuckTapeAl
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 9:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan replaced "this" with "his". hope it makes sense now. too tired to think more about it right now \$\endgroup\$
    – Dorian
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 11:25

1 Answer 1


Follow the steps when creating a character

The steps listed on page 6 of the Player's Handbook are the steps in order for creating a character ("[T]hen follow these steps to create a 1st-level character").

Choose Your Class and Race is third on that list. Select a Feat is eighth.

A creature with an inherited template like the template proto-creature (Bestiary of Krynn 79-81) exists since its creation with that template, never having had another form for it to change from (e.g. human to vampire, gnome to lich). The Monster Manual makes this clear:

Other templates, known as inherited templates, are part of a creature from the beginning of its existence. Examples include the celestial, fiendish, half-celestial, half-dragon, and half-fiend templates—all assume the creature was born with the template. (291)

Emphasis mine. Thus, when picking a race for your character, part of picking that race includes picking any inherited templates such a creature has. (There're only a few steps on that list in the Player's Handbook that take place before the character's even born, and the one we're worried about isn't one.)

The only curious part of this is the proto-creature's (presumably natural) ability that says that it

retains all the extraordinary special qualities of the base creature but loses all supernatural and spell-like special qualities, including spell resistance but not including damage reduction. (81)

Yet this shouldn't impact the proto-creature who's becoming a 1st-level character because as a 1st-level character the creature still follows the steps as they're described in the Player's Handbook, enabling you to Select a Feat like the feat Spellfire Wielder (Magic of Faerûn 23) well after having to Choose Your Class and Race.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The PHB's character creation rules don't cover templates, though; templates have their own rules in the Monster Manual. I suspect your conclusion is correct, but it's not taking into account the existing rules for templates to get there. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 3:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ While it's not straight-up written down anywhere, templates should be part of 'choose race', because... it makes sense. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shoat
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 3:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Shoat The querent agrees, and is asking us for "an exact rule to cite" in support of that logic because his GM feels that the template gets applied somewhat differently. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 3:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BESW My answer was based on the assumption that the querent understood the term inherited template having used it in the question, but I've added the Monster Manual information nonetheless. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 4:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Yeah, it's the querent's GM who we're being asked to help convince, not the querent. Take a look at the new info in the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 4:06

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