Some of my player characters have a race from a template but without monster hit dice (like half-orc) and others have a race from a template with monster hit dice (like ogre). Now in the back of Monster Manual I there are some monster feats, like Awesome Blow. It says these are available to monsters so I guess the half-orc character cannot select these, but what about the ogre character? It does have monster hit dice after all.


The Monster Manual feats aren't limited to monsters

A feat can be taken by any creature that qualifies for the feat based on the feat's type (for example, the most common type of feat is general, but the Player's Handbook also includes the feat types item creation and metamagic) and that meets the feat's prerequisites and that fulfills any conditions explained in the feat's description, benefit, special, or note (if any).

So, while the Monster Manual feats are "typically used only by monsters" (MM 303), if a PC meets the requirements for taking such feats, nothing technically prevents the PC from taking feats from the Monster Manual.

The DM can always say No

If the DM—for whatever reason—doesn't want a feat in the campaign, the DM can make a house rule saying that feat is excluded from the campaign. As an aside, while it's usually easier to say, "No feats from this book," it's often better to ask a player's plan for his character instead then assess feat choices individually. Usually, a particular book has a mix of strong and weak feats, and banning a book means eliminating both reasonable and unreasonable choices.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Exactly this, keep in mind that feats such as "Awesome Blow" are incredibly easy for a DM to counter because of their high requirements. \$\endgroup\$
    – Drew Major
    Jun 16 '16 at 12:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, most "monster" feats have prerequisites that a normal player character would not be able to meet. It's worth remembering however that a character who doesn't innately have a particular ability but can reliably attain it can take a feat which depends on that ability. For instance, a Druid who can use Wild Shape to become a creature with claw attacks could take Improved Natural Weapon (Claw), it just only applies when they are in the appropriate form. Or a fighter with Wings of Flying could take Flyby Attack. If you can do it reliably enough to practice it, you can take the feats. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Jun 16 '16 at 22:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer Can you cite a source for that? While that's a deeply reasonable house rule (and I don't use the term disparagingly), I am pretty sure a creature must meet a feat's prerequisites upon being able to take a feat to take a feat. That is, even if a creature can gain temporary abilities that enable the creature to meet a feat's prerequisites, if the creature doesn't meet the prerequisites when the feat would've been taken, the creature can't take it. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 16 '16 at 23:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I wish I could but I've tried to search it now and realising I might have been conflating different things. This question has some relevance. However I think I was specifically thinking about Pathfinder, where the Fly skill states: "You cannot take this skill without a natural means of flight or gliding. Creatures can also take ranks in Fly if they possess a reliable means of flying every day (either through a spell or other magical manner, such as a druid’s wild shape ability)." \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Jun 17 '16 at 7:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer It's cool. An example of how complicated it can be to take feats for which the creature only temporarily meets the prerequisites is detailed in my answer here if you're interested. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 17 '16 at 14:11

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