When you are given access to a feat without needing to meet the prerequisites for the feat, do you actually get to use that feat regardless of the prerequisites?

For instance the magus archetype spire defender gives me dodge which has a requirement of dex 13, so it gives me the feat, but if my dex is under 13 do I gain that dodge bonus to AC or do I just have a feat which is doing nothing?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Seems interesting that this question is getting down-voted. Seems perfectly coherent to me. The OP is wondering if you get the feat, but the feat becomes inactive or worthless due to not meeting the prereqs. Might be obvious that this isn't the case to all us players who have played for a while, but it's actually a really good question! \$\endgroup\$ Jan 5, 2017 at 16:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ I dont understand why its being down voted either. I do feel that because I was given the feat without needing to meet the requirements I will still benefit, but I dont actually know that, and I tend to really over think things until I end up confusing myself, so I get 3rd party confirmation. This also helps prevent me from making mistakes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Jan 5, 2017 at 16:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ It wasn't my downvote, but if you hover your mouse over the downvote button it says "This question does not show any research effort." The answer to your question is in the link you provided under the description of the class feature titled "Bonus Feats." \$\endgroup\$ Jan 5, 2017 at 18:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Narrower context, broader same answer. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 5, 2017 at 18:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I'm tempted to say that's a duplicate isn't it? Just using a different example? \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jan 6, 2017 at 3:16

2 Answers 2


At 1st level, the spire defender gains Combat Expertise and Dodge as bonus feats, even if he doesn’t meet the prerequisites.

(emphasis mine)

Every class that grants a bonus feat should specify whether or not you need to meet the prerequisites. Usually, if you get one specific feat, you don’t need the prerequisites; if you get to pick off a list, you have to meet the prerequisites of the one you choose.

If a bonus feat specifies that you do not need to meet its prerequisites, that effectively changes the feat for you so that it does not have prerequisites. You can have it and use it without them.

If you do not meet the prerequisites of a (specific) bonus feat that requires you to meet them, then you get it but cannot use it (because you must meet a feat’s prerequisites to use it). If you do not meet the prerequisites of any of the feats on a list of bonus feats, then you get nothing (because you must meet a feat’s prerequisites to select it).


As far as I am aware, there is no provision in the game for having a feat but not getting the benefit of that feat (specific instances may trump this of course). So if something gives you a feat, you have that feat and can use it to the full extent of its powers.

The reason it says "even if [you don't] meet the prerequisites" is that normally you can only take a feat if you meet its prerequisites, but your class or whatever is allowing you to take it anyway for free.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The text does explicitly say you need to meet the prereqs to select or use the feat, and you can select a feat while meeting the prereqs and later lose your qualifications, resulting in a feat you cannot use. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ The provision is in the feats section, paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/coreRulebook/feats.html A character can't use a feat if he loses a prerequisite, but he does not lose the feat itself. If, at a later time, he regains the lost prerequisite, he immediately regains full use of the feat that prerequisite enables. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wyrmwood
    Jan 6, 2017 at 18:59

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