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Adopted Trait


Rules Questions

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Staff response: no reply required.

After picking the adopted trait are we limited to traits in the companion Pathfinder products? I.e. can a character select a race trait listed in the Player's Handbook. Good example Human Rogue takes adopted trait, and is dwarven adopted, could they choose Darkvision under the Dwarven Race Trait tree. With the current wording of the trait and the lists in the PHB it seems sound.


Morgan Leger wrote:
After picking the adopted trait are we limited to traits in the companion Pathfinder products? I.e. can a character select a race trait listed in the Player's Handbook. Good example Human Rogue takes adopted trait, and is dwarven adopted, could they choose Darkvision under the Dwarven Race Trait tree. With the current wording of the trait and the lists in the PHB it seems sound.

No, it's been clarified that there are race character traits (a type of character trait) and racial traits that each race has in PF. Some modules contain race character traits. But you can't use a racial trait from a race as a race character trait.

Linkified source

Scarab Sages

Correct, it's an unfortunate wording choice, but the "Traits" that are half-feats are different from the Racial Traits in the Core book. The Adopted feat is referencing the Traits (half-feat version) that require a specific Race, not the Racial Traits from the core book.


Other question: I just had a GM rule in a pathfinder society game that the trait Adopted let you pick the other trait as per your race. In effect, you only get one trait if you choose adopted.

Here is the exact text:
Adopted: You were adopted and raised by someone not of your actual race, and raised in a society not your own. As a result, you picked up a race trait from your adoptive parents and society, and may immediately select a race trait from your adoptive parents’ race. Race traits can be found in other sources — if you don’t have access to a selection of race traits, it’s best to simply pick a different social feat.

I need the official interpretation of this trait.


ArcTanGentleman wrote:
Other question: I just had a GM rule in a pathfinder society game that the trait Adopted let you pick the other trait as per your race. In effect, you only get one trait if you choose adopted.

Eric Clingenpeel summed this up in a post on the other Adopted trait thread (still listed on the main page of the Rules forum).

Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Karui Kage wrote:
Correct, it's an unfortunate wording choice, but the "Traits" that are half-feats are different from the Racial Traits in the Core book. The Adopted feat is referencing the Traits (half-feat version) that require a specific Race, not the Racial Traits from the core book.

"core book"

You talking about the Advanced Player's Guide? The one that has the same Race Trait (Rapscallion) as the Racial Combat Trait (Rapscallion) presented in the Gnome of Golarion?

Or am I missing something?


thaX wrote:
You talking about the Advanced Player's Guide? The one that has the same Race Trait (Rapscallion) as the Racial Combat Trait (Rapscallion) presented in the Gnome of Golarion?

The core book is the Core Rulebook (CRB).

In it, under the Races chapter, are the list of core races and the racial traits they get. For example, under Gnome Racial Traits you find things like Illusion Resistance, Keen Senses, and Obsessive.

In the Advanced Player's Guide (APG) under New Rules, you find Traits. There are five categories of traits, one of which is Race Traits. Gnome Race Traits include things like Animal Friend and Rapscallion.

Adopted lets you use a Race Trait (A trait from the Race category), not a Racial Trait (something most members of that race get, like Low-Light Vision or Defensive Training.

Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Racial special abilities, like Low Light vision and such?

Yes, I can see how things can get confusing.

Adopted actually talks about "traits" within the traits section, so I went under that thing called "common sense" to know that it meant other traits, not the Race's special abilities that are in the Race section of the Core book. (Which are called racial traits, it seems)

It makes me wonder if getting a gnome racial trait through the adopted trait would allow one to gain the replacement once a day racial spells, or if one has to already have them to replace them.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

thaX wrote:

Adopted actually talks about "traits" within the traits section, so I went under that thing called "common sense" to know that it meant other traits, not the Race's special abilities that are in the Race section of the Core book. (Which are called racial traits, it seems)

It makes me wonder if getting a gnome racial trait through the adopted trait would allow one to gain the replacement once a day racial spells, or if one has to already have them to replace them.

Your common sense was correct. A race trait is not the same as a racial trait and the Adopted trait gives you the former, not the latter (wording in certain sourcebooks notwithstanding).


thaX wrote:
It makes me wonder if getting a gnome racial trait through the adopted trait...

Adopted grants you a race trait, not a racial trait. Alternate Racial Traits replace normal racial traits and are not race traits. You cannot use Adopted to get Eternal Hope or Pyromaniac.

That said, unrelated to Adopted and other traits, if you don't have Gnome Magic, you can't take Pyromaniac or any other alternate racial trait that replaces Gnome Magic.

Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It seems that we are talking about three things. Race traits, Racial Traits (which are in the race books and Adopted is mentioned in relation to them) and Racial Abilities that are also somehow thought of as Racial Traits (which Adopted has nothing to do with since it is a part of being that race, not a additional "trait" that is taken at the time of character creation)

Some are confusing my calling some traits "racial traits" with the racial abilities. I only call the traits in the Gnome book specifically "racial" as that is the way they are referred as within that book.

Just trying to clarify.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well my GMs and even I allow for say a Human that was raised in an Elf Ranger Villiage with lil light as baby his eyes would adapted to the low light with the adopted trait allowed it to happen.


thaX wrote:
It seems that we are talking about three things. Race traits, Racial Traits (which are in the race books and Adopted is mentioned in relation to them) and Racial Abilities that are also somehow thought of as Racial Traits (which Adopted has nothing to do with since it is a part of being that race, not a additional "trait" that is taken at the time of character creation)

Traits: Five categories of 'half-feats' tied to your character background.

Race Traits: One category of trait, keyed to specific races or ethnicities.

Racial Traits: Abilities most members of a race get as part of being that race, including things like Darkvision, Orc Blood, and Halfling Luck.

Adopted: "You were adopted and raised by someone not of your actual race, and raised in a society not your own. As a result, you picked up a race trait from your adoptive parents and society, and may immediately select a race trait from your adoptive parents' race."

Adopted, which is a Social Trait, grants you one Race Trait, which is a trait from the Race category of traits. It does not grant you a racial trait.

This could be house ruled, like Jem'Nai does, but this can be unbalancing, especially considering racial traits like Skilled or Bonus Feat, not to mention +2 to an ability score.

thaX wrote:
Some are confusing my calling some traits "racial traits" with the racial abilities. I only call the traits in the Gnome book specifically "racial" as that is the way they are referred as within that book.

If the gnome book refers to it's Race Traits (traits in the race category) as "racial" traits, then that's a mistake and explains all the confusion. It should probably be changed to match the APG via errata.

Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

To be more specific, Traits that can be gotten with Adopted have specific names (Excitable - Rapscallion - Sprint - First Memories - Zealot - Charlatan - Naturally Gifted {Which may be excluded because it deals with the Gnomes Spell abilities} - Brastlewark Businessman - Collector - Explorer - Etymologist {The last four has been deemed excluded because they are also Social Traits} - and Animal Friend for the gnome specifically) are the traits of which I talk, not the stat bonus and physical qualities of the race which are in the race entries.

I repeat myself specifically because I never confused traits with actual race specific abilities. Most traits give bonuses to skills and/or add something to other stats in given situations. (Excitable gives +2 trait bonus to initiative, for example), not Darkvision or such.

Not sure why anyone would confuse the two.


thaX wrote:
Not sure why anyone would confuse the two.

Because the names are nearly identical, and in some products have been used incorrectly.

A social trait grants a race trait not a racial trait but some books list race traits as racial traits instead, so depending on your source, you might understand race traits and racial traits to be the same thing, thus looking at other sources, find a list of racial traits and consider them to be available as a race trait.

For example, if you look at the Archives of Nethys, it lists "Racial" as a category of Trait. And the version of Adopted listed there (from "Pathfinder RPG Character Traits") specifically says you "may immediately select a Racial Trait from your adoptive parents' race."

So it's fairly easy for someone to confuse the two.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Perhaps, when the Advanced Player Guide and/or Race book are reprinted, "Racial Trait" might be retermed something less confusing. Alternative racial qualities, perhaps.

Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Still wish that you could use social race (Racial?) traits with Adopted.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Jem'Nai wrote:
Well my GMs and even I allow for say a Human that was raised in an Elf Ranger Villiage with lil light as baby his eyes would adapted to the low light with the adopted trait allowed it to happen.

Low-light vision is a product of Elven Biology, not culture. and Lysenko was wrong.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

thaX wrote:
Still wish that you could use social race (Racial?) traits with Adopted.

I'd argue that you can, because the interpretation by which statements in the published sourcebook make sense is you can take one as a race trait, not as a social trait. However, an argument is all it would be.

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