[RPG] Are an inquisitor’s teamwork feats just numbers when no ally has them


The the 3rd-level inquisitor class feature solo tactics reads

At 3rd level, all of the inquisitor’s allies are treated as if they possessed the same teamwork feats as the inquisitor for the purpose of determining whether the inquisitor receives a bonus from her teamwork feats. Her allies do not receive any bonuses from these feats unless they actually possess the feats themselves. The allies’ positioning and actions must still meet the prerequisites listed in the teamwork feat for the inquisitor to receive the listed bonus.

Emphasis mine. Some folks apparently read this as though it says benefit not bonus (e.g. this thread). This difference is huge. Using this alternate reading, it means an inquisitor with the feat Shield Wall gains the bonus from that feat when an ally doesn't also possess that feat, but it also means the inquisitor with the feat Coordinated Reposition gains the benefit of that feat even if no ally also has that feat.

Does the inquisitor's class feature solo tactics grant the inquisitor only the numeric bonuses from his teamwork feats if an ally doesn't also possess the teamwork feat, or does the class feature solo tactics grant the the inquisitor the benefit of his teamwork feats if an ally doesn't also possesses the teamwork feat?

That is, is the definition of bonus broader in this case for some reason?

Best Answer

First of all, I always assumed Bonus=Benefit in the context of solo tactics. Anything else didn't even occur to me.

Regarding your question, the FAQ offers a precedent for Benefit = Bonus in the context of Outflank's secondary ability.

Benefit: [...] In addition, whenever you score a critical hit against the flanked creature, it provokes an attack of opportunity from your ally.

An attack of opportunity is most definitely no Bonus in the sense of the rules. However, the FAQ states, with regard to exactly this part:

Inquisitor: If an inquisitor uses Solo Tactics (Advanced Player's Guide, page 40) with the Outflank feat (APG, page 165), does the enemy provoke attacks of opportunity when hit with a critical hit?

Yes, but only when the inquisitors allies score a critical hit against a foe that they both flank. In this case, the enemy provokes an attack of opportunity from the inquisitor. The reverse is not true, since her allies can only gain bonuses from teamwork feats if they themselves possess them.

So for the purpose of Solo Tactics, "getting an AoO" is considered a Bonus, however "granting your ally an AoO" is not, which to be honest, is a little odd, since the Benefit of the feat clearly describes the latter.

I think the general rule with Solo Tactics can be expressed as

"Anytime it would be good for you if one of your allies had the same Teamwork feat as you, you can pretend he has it."

This is compatible with the FAQ ruling and may or may not be RAI (We might never find out). Some specific Examples as to what this reading means:

  • Outflank: "If your flanking buddy ally lands a critical hit, if he had Outflank, you could make an AoO."
  • Coordinated Reposition: "If your ally makes a 5 foot step, if he had Coordinated Reposition, you could also make one as an immediate action"
  • Escape Route: "If your ally threatens a square, if he had Escape Route, you could walk right through there without provoking an AoO."