13
\$\begingroup\$

In What ways exist for a creature using the XPH to get psionic attack and defense modes?, the asker speculates that one way might be a feat not updated in 3.5.

That led me to the question: How can I tell if a 3 E feat has expired? It sure has expired if a feat of the same name is mentioned in one of the 3.5 books or if it has beeen specifically named as being deleted or renamed.

The 3.0 to 3.5 update booklet even says:

Do you need to make these changes? No. This booklet is for players and Dungeon Masters who value rules precision and need to know what’s changed so that they can continue to enjoy their 3rd Edition products.

The PHB v3.5 has a short sidebar "Why a revision?" but there are no guidelines which rules are superseded and which are not. The Expanded Psionics Handbook explicitly supersedes the complete content of the Psionics Handbook.

But: Are there any general guidelines apart from

  1. publishing a new version of a feat
  2. explicitly renaming a certain feat
  3. explicitly deleting a certain feat
  4. explicitly superseding a certain publication

to tell if a 3 E feat has expired in 3.5?

Or could you say for every content of 3 E that has not been updated in one of the 4 ways mentioned here that it is valid for 3.5?

\$\endgroup\$
11
\$\begingroup\$

The listed guidelines are accurate

Keep in mind, though, that most feats remain available unless the game says they're not. But, like any feat, just because a feat's available doesn't make it useful. (Corrupted Wild Shape (Libris Mortis 25), I'm looking at you.)

To put a finer point on it, the Dragon #336 Sage Advice column “Official Answers to Your Questions” includes this exchange:

Question: Both Complete Arcane and Player's Guide to Faerûn include a feat named Innate Spell, but the prerequisites and uses per day differ. Which version is correct?

Answer: Unless stated otherwise, any time that a rule appears in two different sourcebooks (other than the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual), the most current sourcebook is considered correct and all previous sources are superseded. A book's credits page lists its publication date (typically near the bottom of the page).

In this case, Complete Arcane (published in November 2004) supersedes Player's Guide to Faerûn (published in March 2004), and thus its version of Innate Spell should be considered the official version. (41-2)

The Sage at the time was Andy Collins. This exchange is repeated nearly verbatim in the D&D Frequently Asked Questions (95).

"How can I tell if I'm using the right version of a feat?"

First, the right version of the feat is whatever the DM allows. You don't have to worry about, like, making sure the page number of the latest version of the feat is accurate if the DM says, "Yeah, sure, you can take Quicken Spell-like Ability" (which was reprinted about nine times). Close enough is probably good enough. Most feats don't change that much upon their reprinting.

Then there's the D&D Archives Web column "Rules Reference: Feats, Prestige Classes, and Spells" which lists the Dungeons and Dragons, Third Edition feats and other things that have (and, in some cases, haven't) been revised for Dungeons and Dragons 3.5. That's a good place to start. However, The column doesn't cover any texts published after Sept. 2005 (it was last updated Oct. 1, 2005), which means that list excludes, like, over 20 texts.

After that, legally, a player digs through books and other sources, making sure what he want's not reprinted later. I kid you not. In a perfect would, there'd be a legal Web site that compiled all (or, at least, a lot) of this information for players. Then a player could search for a feat or whatever, check the search results to find the latest publication in which a feat appears, and use that version of the feat, confident he's using the official version of the feat. Wouldn't that be nice?

Some research is already done

Here are the feats that I'm pretty sure can't be taken. They're either deleted or deleted and replaced by a feat with a different name that does something totally different (unlike, for example, the feat Diehard (PH 93), which replaces the feat Remain Conscious (MW 25) yet does the same thing and is an official replacement):

  • Ambidexterity (PH (2000) 80).
  • Artist (Oriental Adventures 61). Note: Still available is the feat Artist (PG 33).
  • Beast Companion (Epic Level Handbook 51). Note: Use instead Magical Beast Companion (SRD section “Epic Feats”).
  • Born Duelist (OA 61). Note: The Dragon #318 article “Oriental Adventures Update: Eastern Flavor” (32-48) deletes and replaces this feat.
  • Courteous Magocracy (Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 34).
  • Epic Ancestral Daisho (Epic Insights Web column “Epic Insights: A Compilation and Revision of the Epic Insights Column through July 2003” 39)
  • Epic Psychic Meditation (Epic Insights Web column “Epic Insights: A Compilation and Revision of the Epic Insights Column through July 2003” 54)
  • Great Stamina (OA 63). Note: The Dragon #318 article “Oriental Adventures Update: Eastern Flavor” (32-48) deletes and replaces this feat.
  • Honest Merchant (OA 63). Note: The Dragon #318 article “Oriental Adventures Update: Eastern Flavor” (32-48) deletes and replaces this feat. It was replaced, amusingly, with the feat Infamous Traitor (Dragon #318 39).
  • Intense Psychic Meditation (Expanding Your Mind Web column “Chance Favors the Prepared Mind: An Inside Look at Psychic Meditation”).
  • Multidexterity (Monsters of Faerûn 9).
  • Soul of Sincerity (OA 66). Note: The Dragon #318 article “Oriental Adventures Update: Eastern Flavor” (32-48) deletes and replaces this feat.
  • Spell Specialization (Tome and Blood 42).

The parentheticals above are the feat's last publication; the feat might've been published elsewhere prior. (For example, the feat Multidexterity originally appeared in Masters of the Wild.)

Psionics Handbook-style psionic combat feats

While not removed from the game, all of the feats dealing with Psionics Handbook-era psionic combat are likely useless to a creature in a campaign that uses for its psionics rules the Expanded Psionics Handbook. I'm thinking a creature could probably still take them, but a scenario in which a creature would is so convoluted it hurts. ("Pun-Pun has run out of psionic feats! O, wait, here are some!") These feats include the following:

  • Bonus Mode (Expanding Your Mind Web column “Alter Your Basic Psionic Combat”).
  • Disarm Mind (Psionics Hanbook 25).
  • Greater Psionic Combat Buffer (Expanding Your Mind Web column “The Battle of the Mind (Three New Feats and a Psionic Item)”).
  • Mental Adversary (Psionics Handbook 27).
  • Mind Blind (Dragon #287 55).
  • Mind Trap (Psionics Handbook 27).
  • Psionic Combat Buffer (Expanding Your Mind Web column “The Battle of the Mind (Three New Feats and a Psionic Item)”).
  • Psychic Assault (Expanding Your Mind Web column “The Battle of the Mind (Three New Feats and a Psionic Item)”).
  • Psychic Bastion (Psionics Handbook 28).
  • Quicken Mode (Expanding Your Mind Web column “Alter Your Basic Psionic Combat”).
  • Resculpt Mind (Dragon #287 55, 56).

(With DM permission, even a creature in a campaign that uses for its psionics rules the Expanded Psionics Handbook can access Psionics Handbook 0-level powers by taking the feat Trade-off, opening up some otherwise closed-off feat options.)

Summary

Everything else should be available. A lot of it, again, won't be very good, and you might have to search for the most recent version, but it's all on the table. For example, if you want your warforged to take—instead of Mithral Body (Races of Eberron 119-20)—the feat Mithral-laced Body (Dragon #318 88) because he kicks it old school Eberron style, technically, it can. Heck, if, because of flaws or whatever, you want that warforged to take both those feats (although that's pointless and weird), it can. With the DM's permission, of course.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow. That's what I call a comprehensive answer. Am I getting you right: You are working on this data base listing the legal versions? That would really be an incredible resource. \$\endgroup\$ – Giorin Jan 17 '16 at 21:30
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Giorin Don't get me wrong: I've been working on documenting all the feats on my own for personal use only off and on for about a year (that's why my own more recent questions have been about obscure feats), but I really have absolutely zero affiliation with any site that puts Wizards of the Coast material in a searchable form on the Web without permission. (That's not even, like, a fake-denial denial but a real, honest denial.) However, I think it would be wonderful were Hasbro to realize how much goodwill would be earned and grant such a site such permission. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jan 17 '16 at 22:12
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ On that note I'm pretty sure (as usual IANAL) a list of names and their source citations is legal to compile. Such references are not generally considered to be anywhere near infringing on copyright or moral rights. It would likely be hard if one tried using the OGL, but easy with normal IP law. Might be worth looking into it more. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 17 '16 at 22:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I will occasionally use overlapping mechanical concepts to highlight regional differences in the societies and cultures of my worlds. I will even take it to extremes, such as using items from completely different versions of D&D, and labeling them "antique wand of fireball (2e)", for example. It's a fun way to reference "the way things were" in an in-game context, and for players to have to deal with something unexpected. (fireball calculated by volume/area, anyone? ) When they beat the bad guy using it on them, they are quite happy with the few charges left. ^^ \$\endgroup\$ – nijineko Jul 20 '16 at 17:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.