The Player's Handbook on Prerequisites says that

Some feats have prerequisites. Your character must have the indicated ability score, class feature, feat, skill, base attack bonus, or other quality designated in order to select or use that feat. (87)

Some feats, however, have as their prerequisites being a creature of a specific size. Here're some examples:

  • The general feat Swamfighting (Complete Warrior 105) has as one prerequisite Small size.
  • The vile feat Deformity (Tall) (Heroes of Horror 121) has as one prerequisite Medium size.
  • The general feat Mighty Roar (Savage Species 37) has an one prerequisite Large size.
  • The general feat Blowhard (Savage Species 31) has as one prerequisite Huge size.

To continue this example, compare those feats with these feats:

  • The general feat Scramble (Savage Species 39) has as one prerequisite Small size or smaller.
  • The general feat Clever Wrestling (Stormwrack 92) has as one prerequisite Small or Medium size.
  • The general feat Awesome Blow (Monster Manual 303) has as one prerequisite size Large or larger.

Feats' numeric prerequisites needn't be exactly met by creatures wishing to use those feats' benefits and can be, instead, exceeded. For example, the feat Power Attack has as its prerequisite Str 13, but this prerequisite is met equally well by a creature possessing Str 14 or higher. Does this same equal-to-or-greater-than-the-minimum hold true for prerequisites involving creature size?

Some feats (like the aforementioned feat Blowhard) detail the feat's benefit if the feat is employed by a creature larger the feat's prescribed size, but is this a case of specific overriding general or, itself, a general rule?

Can a feat's size prerequisite be met by a creature bigger than the prerequisite's listed size? Examples:

  • For meeting feats' prerequisites is a Medium creature also a Fine, Diminutive, Tiny, and Small creature?
  • For meeting feats' prerequisites is a Huge creature also a Fine, Diminutive, Tiny, Small, Medium, and Large creature?
  • For meeting feats' prerequisites is a Colossal creature also a Fine, Diminutive, Tiny, Small, Medium, Large, Huge, and Gargantuan creature?

Context: While compiling a feats database that attempts to categorize feats based on prerequisites so as to make customizing monsters easier, I was baffled by some feats' alarmingly specific size prerequisites. It seems odd that, for example, a purple worm, a Gargantuan creature, can't take the feat Blowhard because it's too big . Likewise, it seems odd that a willingly deformed ogre can take the feat Deformity (Tall) despite being bigger than Medium.

And just so you know exactly how trivial this question is, about 40 out of the over 2,000 unique official feats for Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 have size prerequisites.

Note: While some Dungeons and Dragons, Third Edition sources are used in this question, the question is a Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 one, using versions of a feats that have been updated to 3.5 when available, the others forward-compatible because they have not been updated (the DM therefore allowed to update them as he sees fit).


4 Answers 4


Depends on the source.

For example, Savage Species explicitly states at p. 30, that a feat prerequisite includes:

minimum size or physical characteristic

So, Blowhard is Huge at minimum, making it available to purple worms. OTOH, Scramble feat includes a specific prerequisite "Small or smaller" - overriding the general rule from the prerequisites section.

I haven't found any similar general rules in Complete Warrior or Heroes of Horror, so it may be argued that feats there are available to specified size only.

Monster Feats in SRD (Awesome Blow and Snatch) specify size "or larger" (there is no general rule).

Finally, for numerical requirements, the SRD states:

A minimum ability score, another feat or feats, a minimum base attack bonus, a minimum number of ranks in one or more skills

So, no need to write "Str 13 or more", this is covered by the general rule.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Savage Species plays by its own rules! (Nice find... in a section I totally expected to mirror the PH so I didn't even read.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 10:14

The answer is no (except in Savage Species).

Quite simply because, as you pointed out, there are feats that have size ranges associated with them like "small size or smaller" and "large size or larger". Therefore, I would argue that the rules view size categories as distinct rather than inclusive; they wouldn't feel the need to include size ranges in those feats you mentioned if, indeed, a size category is inclusive of smaller size categories. Any viewpoint that would argue otherwise would be going into RAI and houserule territory, which wouldn't belong in a RAW-focused database in my most humble opinion.

As @burlap mentioned in his answer, there is one book that changes that changes this general rule - Savage Species. That book mentions that the feats found within it that have a size category as a prerequisite are but the minimum size category. Being the subject matters of said book are both unique in nature and are from 3e rather than 3.5e, I don't think that said excerpt should be considered true general rule on this matter.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Any advice about what to do with that feat Blowhard and others like it? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 17:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ In terms of your database? To keep it in line with the RAW philosophy I assume is associated with it, I would just add the "Huge" tag to it and nothing more (unless it has some other pre-reqs of course). In actual games, though, I would houserule it as something that creatures larger than Huge could take as well. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 17:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user3735278 -- then what do you do with books like Savage Species that make statements of their own on this topic? \$\endgroup\$
    – Shalvenay
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 21:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd say that the feats within Savage Species treat size categories as inclusive, but it does not apply to other feats. I will edit my answer to reflect this information that was previously unknown to me. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 22:19

I'm afraid it's not that simple.

other quality designated

Means the feat in question can specify the nature of the requirement. Since it's only 40 feats, it isn't insurmountable, but one size won't fit all, as evident from the question, though you may find three groups (specific size, size or less, size or more) will fit three groups all of the feats with size requirements.


The answer is yes.

This is very much a Rules as Intended answer rather than a RAW answer. I know the question came in as a rules as written request, but there's nothing written down that deals with inclusive sizes, so the closest you'll likely get (barring an official ruling in Sage Advice) is RAI.

As a general rule, a prerequisite is a minimum requirement to be granted access to something. D&D assumes the party uses the majority of size rules as a baseline from Medium, progressing in 2 different directions, smaller, or larger with advantages and disadvantages in both directions.

When dealing with the small size (or smaller), the prerequisite means you must be at least as small as the prerequisite size. So for your example of Swarmfighting, the description of the feat ensures that you share the space with another small creature who also has the feat. Now, two diminutive creatures could also share the space, it's very logical. If they both took swarmfighting they would both benefit from the feat. Two medium or larger creatures though would get in each other's way, and as such the prerequisite condition could be seen as, "Not being larger than small," rather than small, period.

When dealing with the large size (or bigger), it's the same thing, but dealing with larger sizes. Since a large creature occupies 10' (or 4 squares), anything that occupies more than that would automatically qualify as at least large. For a colossal T-Rex to not be able to issue a Mighty Roar would be patently absurd.

For those reasons I find that it's very much a case of Rules as Intended.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That's not my downvote, but I'm guessing the downvote comes from me having labeled the question as rules-as-written. You might want to make it clear that you're challenging the question's frame. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 16:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer leaves open an edge case on feats that require Medium size, such as Deformity (Tall). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 16:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not really, the tall portion covers that. Clear indication of height required, and at least medium size. A creature being small in size has the same bulk as medium creature, but is shorter by half. Deformity (Tall) clearly indicates above medium creature height, since the requirement is being more than 7' tall. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 17:50

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