Seeing this question made me curious as it seems that a magic item is used to meet a feat's prerequisite.

Can items or spells be used to satisfy a feat's prerequisites? I know that if the character loses the item or the spell's duration runs out the character loses the ability to use the feat, but, until then, could the character take the feat?

For example, could a character with Strength 11 put on a belt of giant's strength +2 or have the spell bull's strength cast on him so that he could take the feat Power Attack that has as a prerequisite Strength 13?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Heavily related (same question in D&D 3.5, which uses exactly the same rules for this as Pathfinder) \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Mar 5, 2017 at 14:18

1 Answer 1


The feat itself doesn't care how its prerequisites are met when the feat's taken. Employing spells and magic items to meet a feat's prerequisite means that when the spell's duration expires or if the magic item's lost the creature won't be able to use the feat anymore, but if that's a risk worth taking then it's legit to meet a feat's prerequisites using spells, magic items, or whatever. Also, a feat a creature took for which the creature's subsequently lost the prerequisites can still be used to meet the prerequisites of other feats, for example.

However, the difficulty comes in taking a feat in such a fashion in the first place. Usually feats are gained upon advancing a level, and

A character advances in level as soon as he earns enough experience points to do so—typically, this occurs at the end of a game session, when your GM hands out that session’s experience point awards.

This means to meet the prerequisites of a feat like Power Attack by using a spell like bull's strength the creature must have the spell bull's strength in effect when he gains those XP at the session's end! This isn't particularly shady ("Yay! I took a feat I can only use sometimes!"), but it is weird and the GM may still just say No, no matter how rules-legal the option might be.

  • \$\begingroup\$ On the last point, it may be worth explicitly stating that you’re just never going to get bull’s strength to apply during level-up unless the GM lets you, so really you should just ask if the GM is cool with you getting Power Attack based on your ability to cast bull’s strength (and then only using it then). \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Mar 5, 2017 at 16:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Huh. You're right that it should be talked over with the GM, but the answer already includes the line about the GM just saying No. I mean, seriously, no player should surprise the GM with this bit of legalese; that's asking for trouble. Do you want that more explicit? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 5, 2017 at 17:05

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