The feat Apprentice (Dungeon Master's Guide II 176 but the full description spans 175-9) says that

Once the apprentice reaches 5th level, he graduates from his apprenticeship. He continues to gain the benefits of the Apprentice feat, but no longer needs to work with his mentor. The mentor’s associated skills remain class skills for purposes of determining the maximum rank he can have in those skills, and he still retains the secondary benefits, but an associated skill can only be purchased as a class skill if he gains a level in a class that has that skill as a class skill. He no longer needs to tithe to his mentor upon gaining levels. (178)

Does a creature with 5 or more racial Hit Dice graduate automatically upon entering play?

"Who cares?" The Dragon #297 epic feat Battle Dance (29) has as a prerequisite Perform 30 ranks, typically putting the feat out of reach of an upcoming campaign's big bad, a 50-Hit-Dice leShay. (Its maximum number of cross-class skill ranks are only 26). The feat Apprentice makes the skill Perform a class skill, but graduation from the apprenticeship immediately upon taking the feat Apprentice means paying 60 skill points for those 30 Perform skill ranks instead of 30 skill points, a not insignificant amount given that the leShay must already spend cross-class ranks on Balance, most Knowledge skills, Spellcraft, Tumble, and Use Magic Device! I am aware of other effects that make skills class skills—I'll probably use the Dragon #326 anarchic feat Flexible Mind (80) for the skills Tumble and Use Magic Device, for instance—, but a leShay's Apprentice feat's ability to also possibly find level 25 admirers is an awful valuable resource!

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    \$\begingroup\$ I guess the real question is does a creature with ranks in Monstrous Humanoid or any other racial class count as level 1 for the purposes of meeting the perquisite for this feat? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 17, 2016 at 14:08

4 Answers 4


Lower the Bar

While the creatures presented are complete, they're quite generic. The Apprenticeship feat could easily have been during the LeShay's youth, when it actually did have lower RHD. As dragons demonstrate, creatures can grow from much weaker versions.

The SRD states:

Characters with more than 1 Hit Die because of their race do not get a feat for their first class level as members of the common races do, and they do not multiply the skill points for their first class level by four. Instead, they have already received a feat for their first Hit Die because of race, and they have already multiplied their racial skill points for their first Hit Die by four.

So this merely means that the LeShay had the Apprentice feat as it started its career; whenever it was considered to be 1st level. The feat is essentially backstory anyway. The feat actually adds the class skill to the creature's skill lists for any classes it had from level 1-5 (Most likely Fey RHD).

Dungeon Master's Guide II, p175

Upon becoming an apprentice, a character immediately gains two new class skills and two bonus skill points to spend on these class skills. These new class skills are added to the class skill list for any character class or prestige class she gains.

Dungeon Master's Guide II, p178

The [apprentice]’s associated skills remain class skills for purposes of determining the maximum rank he can have in those skills, and he still retains the secondary benefits, but an associated skill can only be purchased as a class skill if he gains a level in a class that has that skill as a class skill.

This clause doesn't remove the associated skills from the lists of any classes the Apprentice took levels in during his apprenticeship, merely reiterates the normal skill rules and stops the feat adding the skills to more classes as the character continues to gain levels.

That is if a Krenshar (2 Racial Hit Dice, LA +2) were to take the Apprentice: Woodsman feat, in place of its Multiattack feat, Knowledge (Nature) and Survival would be on its list of skills for its Magical Beast Hit dice. Additionally, if it took a level of say, Fighter, as its 5th level (ECL 5), then Knowledge (Nature) and Survival would be class skills for its Fighter levels, even in levels beyond 5th. If the Krenshar were advanced with more Magical Beast hit dice or Fighter levels, the class skills would remain such for those classes, but not for, say Knight levels.

The Answer

Any creature can have taken the Apprentice feat as its 1st level feat; you must merely decide to customize the creature's feats. The skills would be class skills for it "Racial Class", as well as for any classes it has gained levels in up until 5th level.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Might not be a bad idea for some creatures, but “young leShay” is a contradiction in terms. LeShay are creatures that somehow survived the annihilation of the previous incarnation of the multiverse and transitioned to this one—when it began. They are literally the oldest things in the setting, by definition. It is not at all clear to me that this logic would make sense with one. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Apr 4, 2017 at 12:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you're saying that they were always as they are now, and never different, I disagree. LeShay are "...a once-great race whose origins are lost to history. They claim to predate the current multiverse..." First, there's nothing saying that there aren't more being made. But, even if not, the LeShay's 1st HD would still exist. The feat occupies that feat slot, and the benefits still go to the LeShay's 'Racial Class'. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chemus
    Apr 4, 2017 at 15:27

I was hoping someone else would answer this as I'm not too experienced with creatures with racial HD. However, speaking purely from a RAW standpoint, if a leShay were to take Apprentice with its first level racial HD feat, it would count as being level 5 thanks to it's 5 racial HD, in the same way making a level 5 human character would.


Srd kind of suggests, that it should not be possible

Creatures with Hit Dice of 1 or less have normal, class-based Hit Dice and features. They get skills and feats appropriate to a 1st-level character (even if they have a level adjustment).

Those with 2 or more Hit Dice have statistics based on these Hit Dice plus Hit Dice for class levels (if any).

As you can see the second paragraph doesn't include the part about "feats appropriate to a 1-st level character", so it could be understood as a no.


There are two possible situations:

In the case you treat the creature as level 5 or above, it may not take the feat. The creature must be exactly level 1.

In the case you treat the creature as exactly level 1, the creature may take the feat, but may not immediately graduate because they're not level 5 or above.


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