Lesson #13: .lst - Feats (Part 2 - prerequisites)

By Professor Chris Chandler (Barak)

File(s) Covered: *feat.lst

Tags used/discussed:


This tutorial will cover the use of prerequisite tags (which we refer to as PRExxx tags in general) in feats as they relate to actually qualifying for the feat. They may also be used to limit the application of the benefits of the feat, but that usage will be discussed in the tutorial on the BONUS tags at a later time.

As with the CHOOSE tag from the previous tutorial, there are *many* PRExxx tags. I will cover some of the ones I believe you might commonly see/use, but for a full listing and syntax rules, you should browse the PRExxx section of the documentation included with PCGen.

A few general notes in regards to using PRExxx tags in feats:

1) To be a feat PRExxx (used to qualify you to actually take the feat itself) it must *not* be attached to another tag.

2) You may put as many PRExxx tags on a feat line as you want and *all* must be met before the feat can be taken (unless the feat is granted by a tag that allows the user to bypass PRExxx tags, such as the VFEAT tag).

3) You may use PRExxx attached to other tags within the feat to control what bonuses are applied and where and when, but they will not be used in the determination of whether or not you can take the feat itself. While VFEAT will bypass PRExxx tags for the taking of the feat, the ones attached to other tag will still be active.

4) The general format of a PRExxx tag is either PRExxx:#,y=z,y=z for those that compare something to a number or PRExxx:#,z,z for those that do not compare to a number.; The # determines how many of the y=z pairs (or z specs) you must qualify for to be considered as having met the prereq. Although, as with almost everything in life, there are exceptions.

5) In the documentation, some of these tags are referred to as "Global". This means that they are supposed to work in any file type (feat, template, spell, etc.) *NOT* that they will work with any tag. This is an important distinction. If a tag is not documented as being able to have PRExxx tags applied, then it most likely will not function if you try to do so.

6) When a PRExxx tag is doing a comparison with a number, it is assumed to be met if equal to or greater than in most instances. Those tags that do not function this way have suffixes (explained further below) that modify the comparison behavior.

7) Any PRExxx tag may be prefixed with a "!" character (!PRExxx) in order to invert the requirement. The PRExxx tag will be evaluated as normal, then the result reversed (meaning you CAN NOT have the things listed in this tag) when determining whether the prerequisite is passed or not.


There are several tags that do comparisons other than the normal "greater than or equal to" that is the standard. In these cases there are suffixes that get attached to the tag to tell it what type of comparison is desired to make it evaluate as true. Those tags that these suffixes go with will not function without them, so make sure and note which tags use them.

The suffixes and their meanings are:

EQ - > Equal
NEQ -> Not Equal
LT -> Less Than
LTEQ -> Less Than or Equal
GT -> Greater Than
GTEQ -> Greater Than or Equal

So when in use you would basically see "<base tag>EQ" or "<base tag>LTEQ:", and that is the condition that must be satisfied for that PRExxx tag to be evaluated to true.

I will note which tags take these suffixes when I cover them below.


This tag is one of the exceptions mentioned above to the standard PRExxx format rule. This one takes the format of PREALIGN:<align1>,<align2>,etc. To pass this PRExxx you need only meet one of the listed criteria.

You may use number or text representations for the alignments. The identifiers for the alignments are as follows:

0 or LG = Lawful Good
1 or LN = Lawful Neutral
2 or LE = Lawful Evil
3 or NG = Neutral Good
4 or TN = True Neutral
5 or NE = Neutral Evil
6 or CG = Chaotic Good
7 or CN = Chaotic Neutral
8 or CE = Chaotic Evil
9 or None = None
10 or Deity = Deity's alignment



Must be Lawful Good or Chaotic Good alignment


Character's alignment must match that of their chosen deity.


This tag checks the value of the characters Base Attack Bonus (the attack bonuses granted from class advancement and race). If the character's BAB is equal to or greater than the number given the PRExxx is met.

This is another tag that does not follow the standard format. It takes the form of PREATT:#.



Characters BAB must be 3 or greater


These tags compare the value of the check(s)/saving throw(s) against the number(s) you supply in the tag and if the value of the check is equal to or higher than the prereq value given, the prereq is considered to be met.

The PRECHECKBASE compares the base save (defined in game play as the total from classes... in program terms, it will add in anything defined by BONUS:CHECKS|BASE.<checkname>|#). The PRECHECK compares the total (which would include bonuses from items, stats, etc.) of the check to the given number.

The check/save to be checked *must* be one of the ones defined in your gamemode files or the tag will fail.



Would evaluate as true if the character's base Fortitude meets or exceeds 1 or their base Reflex meets or exceeds 3


Would evaluate as true if any 2 of the 3 three listed conditions were met.


This tag is used to check class levels, and whether the character meets or exceeds the specified level(s). The general format is PRECLASS:#,<classparameter>=<level>.

You can reference the classes in several ways; by explicit name, type (TYPE.Base, TYPE.PC, TYPE.Monster, TYPE.Prestige, etc), whether the character has spellcasting levels in general (SPELLCASTER) or of a specific type (SPELLCASTER.Arcane or SPELLCASTER.Divine).



Must have three levels in the Fighter class


Must have one Prestige level and three levels in a spellcasting class


Must have one level in an arcane casting class


This PRExxx checks for equipment items that you have equipped. It will ignore items that are not set as "equipped".

The format for this tag is PREEQUIP:#,<itemspecifier>,<itemspecifier>,etc. The item may be specified by name or by type (which refers to the TYPE tag used in the equipment definition file). If you use the name option you may use a wildcard (the % symbol) in it.

You may also specify the item by it's wield category (by using WIELDCATEGORY=... this basically referring to weapons). You may use any wield category that is defined in the game mode files.



Must have an item with the exact name "Longsword" equipped.


Must have both a piece of equipment with "Armor" contained in its TYPE tag and one with "Shield" contained in its TYPE tag equipped.


Must have a weapon equipped that has a wield category of One Handed.


Used to check for the character having the specified feats (or not having them when reversed. This tag is used very frequently, so it would be advisable to learn this one well.

This tag has a slightly different format in that there are not x=y pairs. The basic format is PREFEAT:x,y,z. The x is the number of feats (or instances of the same feat in certain circumstances) that the character must have. Y is an optional parameter called "CHECKMULT" that makes the tag count each instance of a feat that can be taken multiple times separately. For example: if you do not use the CHECKMULT tag and are checking for the Spell Focus feat and the character had it in three different schools, it would only count as one feat. Z would be the feat parameters themselves.

This tag also has a special option to allow you to specify that the character *doesn't* have a certain feat (while still specifying that they do have others). This is done by enclosing the feat specification in brackets.

The feat specifications can be done either by the feat name or the feat type. For feats that have choices, you can specify the general feat only, or a certain specific version of it by adding the specific choice in parentheses following the feat name (with no space in between).


PREFEAT:1,Dodge,Combat Reflexes

Must have the Dodge feat or the Combat Reflexes feat


Must have two feats with a type of Fighter


Must have any two Spell Focus feats

PREFEAT:1,Spell Focus(Evocation)

Must have Spell Focus in the Evocation school

PREFEAT:2,CHECKMULT,Spell Focus,[Spell Focus(Evocation)]

Must have two Spell Focus feats, and *not* have Spell Focus(Evocation)


This PRExxx checks for items in a characters possession. Note that these items do not have to be equipped or carried, they must just appear in the characters inventory.

It has the general format of PREITEM:#,<itemparameter>. The item may be specified by name or by type (which refers to the TYPE tag used in the equipment definition file). If you use the name option you may use a wildcard (the % symbol) in it.



Must have an item named "Longsword"

PREITEM:1,Longsword %

Must have an item that has Longsword as the beginning of the name. This would match "Longsword +1" and "Longsword (Soulstealer)" but not "Soulstealer Longsword"


Must have a "Longsword" and a "Shortsword"


Must have two different items that have "Sword" in the TYPE tag of their .lst definition


This tag checks for the total number of class levels. Note that it includes monster hit dice and levels.

The format is PRELEVEL:#, where # represents the total number of levels the character must meet or exceed to pass the PRExxx.



Character must have at least four levels between all class levels, monstrous hit dice or monstrous class levels.


This tag sets the maximum level. It only counts character (non-monster) levels. To meet the PRExxx you must be of the specified character level or lower.

A special note about this token: when used as a PRExxx for a feat you will not be allowed to take the feat after the specified level, but as long as you take the feat before you reach that level you will still receive the benefits of the feat even after you are above the level specified (however, it *will* show in red on your feat list in the GUI).



Character may not have more than three character (class) levels


This tag checks that the character meets or exceeds the specified types/rates of movement specified. It takes the format of PREMOVE:#,<movementtype>=<movementrate>,etc.



Character must have a Climb movement rate of 10' or more or a Brachiate movement rate of 10' or more


Character must have both a Walk movement rate of 30' and a Fly movement rate of 30'


This tag in itself does not check anything. It is used to allow the combination of different types of PRExxx tags into one. This helps cover those options where you have a PRExxx that states "Must have the Dodge feat or Dex of 15" (that "or" in there is the kicker that couldn't be handled prior to this tag being created).

This tag may also be nested within itself.

The tag takes the following format: PREMULT:#,[<PRExxx>],[<PRExxx>]. The number is the number of the other bracketed PRExxx conditions you need to meet.



Must have the Dodge feat or a Dex of 15


Must have Strength of 15 and a base attack bonus of 3 *OR* have the Combat Expertise feat


This tags can check for a characters race, race type (as defined by the TYPE tag), racial type (as defined by the RACETYPE tag), or racial subtype (as defined by the RACESUBTYPE tag).

Using this PRExxx you can do things such as checking for Incorporeal Undead, Giants, etc.

There are a couple of special additions for this tag. First, as in a few other tags you may use the % symbol as a wildcard. Second, if you wish to exclude a race, you may put square brackets around it.



Must be a Dwarf


Must have both a race type of "Undead" and a subtype of "Incorporeal"


Must have a race type of "Giant"

PRERACE:1,Elf%,[Elf (High)]

Must be one of the "Elf" races, except "Elf(High)".


This tag checks the characters current size. It is one of the tags that I wrote about in the introduction that requires a suffix (EQ, GTEQ, LT, etc). So what you would actually see in the .lst files would be "PRESIZEGTEQ" or "PRESIZELT", etc.

The one oddity to this tag is that it does not compare to a number but to a letter representing the different sizes. Those letters are (and in order from least to greatest):

F = Fine
D = Diminutive
T = Tiny
S = Small
M = Medium
L = Large
H = Huge
G = Gargantuan
C = Colossal

The format for this PRExxx is a nonstandard one. It is PRESIZE<suffix>:<sizeidentifier>



Must be Large size


Must be of Huge size or greater


This tag checks that a characters ranks in the specified skill(s) are equal to or greater than the specified number.

The tag is in a non-standard format. It looks like this: PRESKILL:#,<skillspecifier>,<skillspecifier>=#. You may specify the skills by exact name or by TYPE.



Must have ten ranks in the Spot skill


Must have ten ranks in the Spot or Listen skill

PRESKILL:2,TYPE.Perform,Perform (Dance)=5

Must have 5 ranks in Perform (Dance) and 5 ranks in one other skill with "Perform" in the TYPE tag


This tag is used to check the characters spellcasting ability.

You may specify that it be in divine casting classes, arcane casting classes, or psionic and you specify how many of spells of a certain level are required. You may use "Arcane|Divine" in the <spelltype> slot to specify Arcane *or* divine.

This tag is not in any of the standard formats. It looks like this: PRESPELLTYPE:<spelltype>,<numberofspells>,<spelllevel>.



Must know at least two third level Arcane spells


Must know at least one fourth level Divine spell


This tag checks the character to make sure they have the specified ability score equal to or greater than the number specified.

The tag takes the format of PRESTAT:#,<statabbrev>=#,<statabbrev>=#. You may use any ability that is defined in the statsandchecks.lst file from the game mode you are in. The ability/stat is specified in the PRESTAT tag using the three letter abbreviation for it that is defined in the above mentioned game mode file.



Must have a strength of at least 15


Must have a strength of 12 or more *and* a dexterity of 13 or more


Must have an intelligence of 12 or more *or* a wisdom of 12 or more


This is a unique PRExxx tag in that it doesn't check for anything. :)

It is used to show a requirement that is (usually) not a game mechanic and hence not coded into PCGen so that it can be checked. Anything put in this tag will be displayed in the PCGen GUI so the user knows what the requirement is, but beyond that it will not prevent the user from taking the feat or template.

The format it simply PRETEXT:<text>


PRETEXT:Must be a member of the Church of the Ninja Monkey


This tag checks the value of program or user created variables. It is one of the tags that I wrote about in the introduction that requires a suffix (EQ, GTEQ, LT, etc). So what you would actually see in the .lst files would be "PREVARGTEQ" or "PREVARLT", etc.

This is one of the most commonly used PRExxx tags in .lst files. It can be used to check the values of any of the computer generated variables (these are usually indicated by being entirely capitalized), such as SPELLFAILURE and HP. For a list of all the computer generated variables, see the documentation for the DEFINE tag. It may also be used to check the value of any variable defined by the user via a DEFINE tag in the dataset (distinguished by having the first letter of each word capitalized with no spaces in between).

It takes the format of PREVAR<suffix>:<varname>,<value>



Spell failure must be less than ten


RageTimes variable must be two or more


TurnUneadTimes variable must be greater than two *and* SneakAttack variable must be greater than 3

With that, I've gone on in this lesson long enough. :p

To bring us back to our feat topic, I will add the required PRExxx for the Improved Critical feat.

"Prerequisite: Proficient with weapon, base attack bonus +8". We dealt with the proficiency requirement in our CHOOSE statement (it offers only weapons you are proficient with) so we can leave that one out, which leaves the base attack bonus of 8. If you look up a ways you'll see we need to use the PREATT tag. So it would be "PREATT:8".

For quick reference, we currently have the following for our feat so far (new lines should tab characters):

Improved Critical
DESC:With your selected weapon you know how to hit where it hurts.
BENEFIT:When using the weapon you selected, your threat range is doubled.
SOURCELONG:Revised (v.3.5) System Reference Document

The next tutorial up will be a discussion of BONUS tags (and in there the use of PRExxx tags with them).

LST Chimp