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I Have Come to Absolutely Despise Traits


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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When traits were first introduced in the APG, I was pretty excited about them. They seemed like nifty little customizations that could could give you a small boost in power while giving some nice flavor at the same time.

However, as more and more traits have been coming out, I have become more and more disappointed, until the point that I've actually really began to hate them. Although, Campaign Traits have been somewhat better.

The biggest problem with traits are the artificial requirements and restrictions put on them.

Only Humans can be Aspiring Bards.
Only people from the River Kingdom could have been Bandits.
Only worshipers of Cayden can be Good Natured.

It's completely asinine. Seriously, it's like one department comes up with a good trait, and then another department randomly picks 1-3 requirements from out of a hat. And it really frustrates me that like 10 new traits are added every month, but I never even consider using 9 of those. So when I slog through a few hundred traits, trying to find anything that fits my concept and actually does something remotely useful, I usually end up disappointed. So I wind up falling back on the handful of most useful and most open traits (eg Resilient and Reactionary) once again, and wonder why I bothered.
___________________________________________________________________________ _____________________

I honestly wish Paizo had done something like this instead:

Skilled Background: Pick 1 skill. Get a +1 trait bonus on that skill and always treat it as a class skill.

Resilient Background: Get a +1 trait bonus on one of Fortitude, Reflex, or Willpower saving throws.

Native Weapon: You gain proficiency in one weapon, depending on your homeland. *Big list of locations/weapons (eg Brevoy- Aldori Dueling Sword; Tian Xia- Katana; Qadira- Scimitar, etc...)

Hometown: Pick 1 city where you grew up. You get a +2 trait bonus on Kn. Local and Kn. History checks about this city, as well as a +2 trait bonus on Diplomacy checks made to Gather Information while within the city. You can make such checks untrained.

Do a few more big sweeping general traits like these, then you can have the rest of the traits introduced be unique, flavorful, and actually have sensible requirements.

For example, Aasimar's could have traits that give them DR 1 or 2/Evil, the ability to bypass 5 points of /Good DR, or how about the ability to intensify their Daylight SLA (say it can be Widened, but only works 1 min/level instead of 10)?

How about a Favored Lineage trait where Half-X's can use the Favored Class Bonuses of one of their parents?

The possibilities are endless, but they just need the fluff requirements to match the actual mechanics (and the mechanics can't be worthless, either). Am I the only one who really feels this way about traits?


I am not totally soured on traits but I can see where you are coming from. As I actually do not run any campaigns set in Golarion I tend to mine the traits for my home-brew custom world of Il-Pareth and my home-brew Greyhawk campaign. Looking back at them I realize I am much less restrictive as far as requirements go.

I do like your generalized set of traits, though. I might just riff off of that idea myself. :-)


I just use the presented traits as a general examples and let them work like OP described: grant +1 to a single skill and make the skill a class skill, a proficiency with a weapon and masterwork weapon of that type, +1 caster level with single spell, +1 to AC or attack roll in specific circumstances, +1 to single saving throw, etc.

Shadow Lodge

I tend to be really lenient with traits and requirements, but then I'm lenient that way about a lot of things. Why should only Human Sorcerers be able to spend favored class bonuses to learn a new spell? Things like that.


I understand where you are coming from. I still love traits, but agree with some of the problems you have brought up.

Generic traits would be a big plus. As it is, some skills have many traits associated with them, while others have very few. Really, why the heck is Climb so unpopular? However, I doubt we will see this. Paizo generally treats traits as a way to imbue the ever ephemeral "flavor," and reducing them to dry mechanical bonuses with a "fill your own flavor in here" slot would be rather surprising for them.

It would be great for categories and restrictions to be lifted. First, get rid of the "one trait per category" thing. Some characters may have backgrounds that fit well with two traits in a single category, but are arbitrarily restricted from it. There seems to be little balance reason for this restriction, as every new book creates more "crossover" traits that let you snag bonuses with different trait types. Second, a line about regional, religious, or racial traits being acceptable for characters from that group "and those with similar experiences" would be great. Obviously GMs can already do this, but it would be a boon for those with strict GMs or PFS (does PFS use traits?).

I think the large number of mechanically weak traits is the largest issue, and the one most easily addressed. I applaud Paizo for trying new things with traits on occasion, but they could really use some standardization on quality. For example, I loved the new Shoanti and Varisian Tattoo traits from Varisia, Birthplace of Legends were great. They gave small but mechanically useful bonuses linked with proficiency in some nice "flavor" weapons. A character with these traits would "feel" very different, for example a Varisian Bard properly wielding a Bladed Scarf from level 1. Similarly, Regional Recluse and Regional Influence were great, combining a generic "+1 to skill" with other small bonuses to make them more interesting than the generic "+1 to skill" traits while still not making them massively more powerful.

However, many new traits are pretty awful. From Varisia, you have things like Savage Breaker, which are so situational that I don't feel like such a character would really play much differently. Knights of the Inner Sea was particularly bad, with many traits being boring. They tried new things with the Mount traits and Code traits, but both types combined small, situational bonuses with various restrictions that make me doubt I will ever find a reason to give them a second thought. Movement towards the unique and flavorful over the weak and situational would be a wonderful thing for traits, in my belief.

I do hope, with time, Paizo further refines their trait design. More unique abilities that make a character feel mechanically different or open new build options, less generic or incredibly restrictive/situational stuff. However, until that time, I will still enjoy the versatility that the current traits provide.\

EDIT: My goodness that was more than I intended to write. So...
TL;DR: Generic traits and traits that allow unique characters good. Restrictions and super situational traits bad. Hopefully we will move towards the former and away from the latter.


I am sorry you feel that way. Many of my players love hunting through the traits for something that not only fits their character concept but also provides that nice flavorful, and mechanical bonus for them. They treat it like a little treasure hunt. When you find the trait that works well with your concept it feels great. Also, I've seen players design entire character concepts off of a trait (meaning they saw a cool trait they designed their character knowing they wanted him/her to have it).

Shadow Lodge

Quote:
First, get rid of the "one trait per category" thing. Some characters may have backgrounds that fit well with two traits in a single category, but are arbitrarily restricted from it.

I keep forgetting that's a rule, so I guess I just houserule that away too.


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MendedWall12 wrote:
I am sorry you feel that way. Many of my players love hunting through the traits for something that not only fits their character concept but also provides that nice flavorful, and mechanical bonus for them. They treat it like a little treasure hunt. When you find the trait that works well with your concept it feels great. Also, I've seen players design entire character concepts off of a trait (meaning they saw a cool trait they designed their character knowing they wanted him/her to have it).

This. Generic is like picking a feat.

Traits are designed to provide a background hook or story element as well as an in-game mechanic.
If a player really wants a trait for fluff but doesn't qualify, I'd be happy to bend but they need to explain why that is not "I want that bonus"...

Silver Crusade

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I require background stories to justify the traits; hard to believe how many "reactionary" folks are out there and all met up to adventure with one another. Anyways, I try to simplify by providing 1 list of campaign traits, leaving only 1 trait to be chosen from the never-ending list.

Taldor

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The idea is an excellent one, but the implementation is like the posters have described. Archetypes suffer from the same problems. There are just so many archetypes written by so many different authors producing so many different levels of quality. So, only the top archetypes and traits are worth considering, and all the others are junk.

Generic traits are a good idea. This wouldn't really work for generic archetypes; the best we could do there is having alternate class features instead archetypes. That way, a player can choose his abilities when he levels up instead of all at the beginning.

I don't know about you guys, but personally, I've been having a hard time building Pathfinder characters, because of so many choices all being front-loaded. In trying to make a choice, there are so many things to choose from that I have trouble choosing at all.

At least with generic traits, the "hunt-time" for a desired trait is vastly reduced, and I don't have to worry about certain traits being just better than others. MendedWall's treasure hunt might seem fun, but as more traits, archetypes, feats, races, alternate racial features, spells, etc. get released, it's taking longer and longer to go on that hunt.

-Matt

Shadow Lodge

I've seen someone suggest that archetypes be treated more like racial traits, where you can swap out an individual property for another equivalent (or more than one, for certain abilities), and mix-and-match between archetypes to get the pieces you want. Been considering allowing it on a trial basis for my group with my next campaign, though that'll be a year or so down the road.


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I'm pretty neutral on traits in general, but I hate hate hate that I have to be a Halfling or have been adopted by them in order to be Helpful. I despite halflings, but I still want to Aid Another a lot. BS.


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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Merkatz wrote:
Only Humans can be Aspiring Bards.

To be fair, this one is technically v3.5 material from Taldor: Echos of Glory and was originally restricted to not only humans, but Taldans. I suspect the Kitharodian Academy and the Rhapsodic College are uptight about non-humans attending. THAT's why a lot of the traits are so restricted, because they're from supplements geared to a specific setting/location.

When I check the SRD for this trait, it's listed as FAN CONVERTED material (removing the restriction of Taldan).


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BltzKrg242 wrote:
MendedWall12 wrote:
I am sorry you feel that way. Many of my players love hunting through the traits for something that not only fits their character concept but also provides that nice flavorful, and mechanical bonus for them. They treat it like a little treasure hunt. When you find the trait that works well with your concept it feels great. Also, I've seen players design entire character concepts off of a trait (meaning they saw a cool trait they designed their character knowing they wanted him/her to have it).

This. Generic is like picking a feat.

Traits are designed to provide a background hook or story element as well as an in-game mechanic.
If a player really wants a trait for fluff but doesn't qualify, I'd be happy to bend but they need to explain why that is not "I want that bonus"...

But too many traits have super specific details and requirements, only to give an extremely general mechanic. And if I am not taking a trait because "I want that bonus," why take traits at all? If it's just fluff with no benefit, I can already make that up without needing any rules for it.

However, I do agree that traits should be good for a background hook or story element. So if you let your players take one of those generic traits, have them explain why that works. I mean, if you already let your players re-fluff and ignore prereq's, what is the difference between that and having a couple generic feats, making them fill in the blanks?

Andoran

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I have to be reminded of the traits when making characters. I forget the favored class bonus half the time as well.

Thank Hero Lab for helping me out!


SlimGauge wrote:
Merkatz wrote:
Only Humans can be Aspiring Bards.

To be fair, this one is technically v3.5 material from Taldor: Echos of Glory and was originally restricted to not only humans, but Taldans. I suspect the Kitharodian Academy and the Rhapsodic College are uptight about non-humans attending. THAT's why a lot of the traits are so restricted, because they're from supplements geared to a specific setting/location.

When I check the SRD for this trait, it's listed as FAN CONVERTED material (removing the restriction of Taldan).

And to be fair, it is still PFS legal and D20PFSRD has been making a bunch of mistakes on labeling traits (there are a bunch of APG traits labeled as FAN CONVERTED for instance).

Okay, lets say I buy the story about Taldorans being racists and can only let Humans into their Bardic Academies. Taldor is not the only place in the world with Bard Colleges. But this flavorful trait with a useful bonus to me is out of my reach because I live in Cheliax, and wandered around the Bard Colleges in Westcrown. Too bad they didn't reprint an Aspiring Bard trait in the Cheliax guide. Guess I am SOL.

That's the problem with traits. They don't cover every instance, they cover super specific instances. There are dozens of Bard Colleges all over Golarion, and the bonus is a very generic one. However, only Taldoran Humans can be Aspiring Bards. No one else.


Of course part of the motivation for taking traits is the bonuses, but that shouldn't be the only reason to take them. Characters with clear conceptualizations from level one (at least in my experience) are often characters that get roleplayed in a much more robust and complex way. Certainly traits can be abused mechanically, but so can any other part of the game. There's a reason half-orc barbarians are a stereotype, they tend to work very well mechanically.

Also, I just wanted to point out, that part of the greatness of this game is that you don't have to use any part of it that you don't want to. If you hate traits, cross them off of your "to use" list, and move on.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Is it the name of the trait that bothers you, because it has a generic sounding name (Aspiring Bard) but cannot be taken by all aspiring bards, or is it the fact that traits exist that are restricted to certain regions (almost all the regional traits), races (race traits), religions (religion traits), etc. ?

There have always been restrictions. And players have always chafed under them. See all the complaints about <class> having to be <alignment>, <prestige class> having to be <race>, etc. Dawnflower Dervishes having to worship Sarenrae, etc. What makes traits especially grating ?


MendedWall12 wrote:
Of course part of the motivation for taking traits is the bonuses, but that shouldn't be the only reason to take them. Characters with clear conceptualizations from level one (at least in my experience) are often characters that get roleplayed in a much more robust and complex way.

I think the issue is that there are an infinite number of character backgrounds, but a finite number of traits.

For example, I am making a Bard that worked as locksmith. So, I either have to worship Brigh or have a Vagabond Youth. If neither of those is appropriate for the background I imagined, I am out of luck. The bonus would make my character mechanically reflect his background, but a trait that perfectly reflects this simply hasn't been published. The same can be said for a great many things, where the mechanical benefit reflects the background perfectly, but the predetermined flavor does not.

MendedWall112 wrote:
Also, I just wanted to point out, that part of the greatness of this game is that you don't have to use any part of it that you don't want to. If you hate traits, cross them off of your "to use" list, and move on.

I think the problem the OP has is not necessarily that he does not like traits, but that they aren't meeting his hopes. Just because something doesn't work as well as one would hope is not necessarily a reason to jettison it completely, but rather advocate for a better implementation of the rule. While I would not have gone so far as to say I "despise" traits, I do think that knowing what people like and don't like about traits would be useful information to Paizo, and hopefully would influence their design decisions going forward.


Merkatz wrote:
But this flavorful trait with a useful bonus to me

...ok, I can buy that the trait is flavorful, but useful? I don't see how. Do people really take the +1 skill traits to get just a +1? I assumed they were always taken to get an effective +4 because it usually makes that skill a class skill.


SlimGauge wrote:

Is it the name of the trait that bothers you, because it has a generic sounding name (Aspiring Bard) but cannot be taken by all aspiring bards, or is it the fact that traits exist that are restricted to certain regions (almost all the regional traits), races (race traits), religions (religion traits), etc. ?

There have always been restrictions. And players have always chafed under them. See all the complaints about <class> having to be <alignment>, <prestige class> having to be <race>, etc. Dawnflower Dervishes having to worship Sarenrae, etc. What makes traits especially grating ?

I actually find traits with overly specific fluff less annoying than prestige classes with overly specific fluff.

Why? Because it sometimes seems to me that Golarion prestige classes are designed with appealing fluff in lieu of good abilities (e.g. Pathfinder Chronicler), or vice versa (e.g. Hellknight Signifer). Whereas most traits are about equally good (with a few exceptions), regardless of fluff.


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Here's what I do:

When I go for traits, I typically have my players (and me) scour through the traits section to get an idea of what kind of bonuses a trait provides. Then, I have them make their own traits that fit within the background of their characters and are reasonable within the setting.

It would be nice, however, to get more generic traits in here. I love playing half-orc characters and it's insane how limiting some of the traits are, especially when hardly any of them work for the character concepts I have in mind.


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Houserules are your friend.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was thinking this was a complaint about how many reactionary people there are.

Qadira

Warning apparently I'm being opinionated today.

I really wish traits were provided in an organized way. Like geographically and getting more specific. So i can go im from the inner sea region, hmm let me check to see if I want to be from this country, how about this city- great i love this ill be from here.

Traits should be about fitting in not being a special snow flake. Magic traits I'm looking at you.

Traits should have different regions attached if it fits, not just one.
Like when a new book comes out they should say, these existing traits are also appropriate.


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You could formulate traits more generally, without losing the flavor entirely. For example:

Practiced Rider
Maybe you grew up on the steppe, where children are practically born in the saddle. Or perhaps you served as a courier, or in the cavalry. Maybe you used to train horses for a living. Ride is always a class skill for you, and you get a +1 trait bonus to Ride checks.


mplindustries wrote:
Merkatz wrote:
But this flavorful trait with a useful bonus to me
...ok, I can buy that the trait is flavorful, but useful? I don't see how. Do people really take the +1 skill traits to get just a +1? I assumed they were always taken to get an effective +4 because it usually makes that skill a class skill.

Yes, partly. +1 Sense Motive is good for my Snake Style using MoMS, and it doesn't hurt that he's a worshiper of Irori. And Achaekek but that's 100% pure flavor.

What kinda peeves me are the "____ of the Society" family of traits. They're consistently useful and perfectly fit whatever class you're playing, but nooooo, you have to be a part of the Pathfinder Society.

My GM was nice enough to look at that, say "That's stupid." and let me take Honored Fist though. Partly because my new char had no conceivable way to get the Campaign Traits for Serpent's Skull, but still.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:

What kinda peeves me are the "____ of the Society" family of traits. They're consistently useful and perfectly fit whatever class you're playing, but nooooo, you have to be a part of the Pathfinder Society.

My GM was nice enough to look at that, say "That's stupid." and let me take Honored Fist though. Partly because my new char had no conceivable way to get the Campaign Traits for Serpent's Skull, but still.

If you're playing PFS, of course there's a Society. If you're not playing PFS, well then houserule away ! I have a monk in a campaign where we escaped the destruction of our home continent (it got subducted atlantis style). The GM said "Sure, take the trait during character creation, but the Society is going to disappear along with the continent, so don't get too attached to them. You'll still have the benefit, because it's knowledge in your head by then."

Silver Crusade

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The problem with traits is the fact that they are not all created equal. You have some traits that are obviously better than others.

If they kept all traits with in a strict formula then they wouldn't be bad at all.


shallowsoul wrote:

The problem with traits is the fact that they are not all created equal. You have some traits that are obviously better than others.

If they kept all traits with in a strict formula then they wouldn't be bad at all.

This has GOT to be the worst argument against traits. EVER.

Have you seen the list of Feats?
There are some that are so useful you rarely find certain classes without them and there are quite a few more that are so specific and situational, you'll be lucky to find two characters on Earth wasting a slot on them.


BltzKrg242 wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

The problem with traits is the fact that they are not all created equal. You have some traits that are obviously better than others.

If they kept all traits with in a strict formula then they wouldn't be bad at all.

This has GOT to be the worst argument against traits. EVER.

Have you seen the list of Feats?
There are some that are so useful you rarely find certain classes without them and there are quite a few more that are so specific and situational, you'll be lucky to find two characters on Earth wasting a slot on them.

I'm pretty sure he wasn't arguing against Traits, he was just arguing against creating largely worthless Traits.

That's my interpretation of "strict formula" anyway. That they have to fit certain criteria A.) Useful B.) Not TOO useful C.) Not arbitrarily restricted (specific region/group restriction is bad. Religion restriction is good), D.) Not too much overlap with Feats.

^My personal criteria anyway. If it doesn't make sense why a certain group should be the only one to get this bonus, then it shouldn't be restricted.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I like the restrictions, personally. The fact most people dont get it is almost the point to my way of thinking.

I see it more as giving a minimal mechanical advantage to tie in with where you came from. I dont generally use it to lift one skill/ability im already good at but rather to boost a secondary or surprising feature my class wouldnt usually excel at.


Sometimes I find lots of traits for a pc and even take additional traits as a feat, sometimes I don't find anything any just take any two.

Especially the Campaigntraits are most of the time slots I more or less fill randomely because they never fit my pcs.


Actually, this gives me an interesting idea.

You know what would be a lot of fun? Next time everyone is creating new characters, the GM can make a list of 40 or so cool but nearly worthless traits, then use dice to select one at random and give everyone a free random mostly worthless trait at character creation, in addition to whatever traits they pick.

I just think that would be a lot of fun and cool roleplaying, and make characters a little more unique even though it would rarely have much of an in-game effect. "Hey, look at that, my character can run down hills slightly faster without tripping!" "Yeah, well my character is slightly better at swimming downstream in a river!"


Yosarian wrote:
I just think that would be a lot of fun and cool roleplaying, and make characters a little more unique even though it would rarely have much of an in-game effect.

Would it, though? If these minor effects never actually come up in gameplay, have they really imparted any flavor at all? Like a teaspoon of paprika in a ten gallon vat of chili, a super weak, situational ability is rarely something that can be detected at the table. You know it is there, but nobody else will unless you tell them. And if you can't taste it, does the flavor really exist?

Also, randomly rolling for traits seems to sort of defeat the purpose. Traits let you customize a character and get mechanical effects for important aspects of their background. A random ability would have to be shoehorned into a character's backstory, and may not fit. While there is nothing wrong with games that let you roll for background elements (many fun RPGs do), limiting it to one tiny, tiny area seems a bit pointless.

But, obviously, that is just my take. If you find it fun it is fun. There is no wrong way to play Pathfinder.


Yosarian wrote:

Actually, this gives me an interesting idea.

You know what would be a lot of fun? Next time everyone is creating new characters, the GM can make a list of 40 or so cool but nearly worthless traits, then use dice to select one at random and give everyone a free random mostly worthless trait at character creation, in addition to whatever traits they pick.

I just think that would be a lot of fun and cool roleplaying, and make characters a little more unique even though it would rarely have much of an in-game effect. "Hey, look at that, my character can run down hills slightly faster without tripping!" "Yeah, well my character is slightly better at swimming downstream in a river!"

How about instead of making up 40 traits, the GM just makes one per character based on the back story the player has provided?

Fits the character concept perfectly every time.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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Merkatz wrote:
That's the problem with traits. They don't cover every instance, they cover super specific instances. There are dozens of Bard Colleges all over Golarion, and the bonus is a very generic one. However, only Taldoran Humans can be Aspiring Bards. No one else.

(All IMHO)

That's not a bug, it's a feature.

Setting traits, to me, make it easier to integrate into the campaign, and the bonuses are small enough that it doesn't cripple you elsewise. Being an aspiring bard doesn't make you a Taldan, but being a Taldan means you can be an Aspiring Bard. It's akin to how Rey has ranks in alchemy, but isn't an alchemist.

If I take a regional trait, that ties me to the region. Rey's precocious spellcaster trait and elven reflexts trait tie into his 'fairy godmother' background, as does his speaking sylvan. A "You are skilled in X, add +1 to X and treat X as a class skill." doesn't tell you anything, it's a bonus. traits tell you something about the character.


The flavor and restrictions in the traits makes it difficult to make sense of ever taking the extra traits feat!


Merkatz wrote:

I honestly wish Paizo had done something like this instead:

Skilled Background: Pick 1 skill. Get a +1 trait bonus on that skill and always treat it as a class skill.

Resilient Background: Get a +1 trait bonus on one of Fortitude, Reflex, or Willpower saving throws.

Native Weapon: You gain proficiency in one weapon, depending on your homeland. *Big list of locations/weapons (eg Brevoy- Aldori Dueling Sword; Tian Xia- Katana; Qadira- Scimitar, etc...)

Hometown: Pick 1 city where you grew up. You get a +2 trait bonus on Kn. Local and Kn. History checks about this city, as well as a +2 trait bonus on Diplomacy checks made to Gather...

This is precisely what I do in my games. Almost verbatim. lol


I think the reason for the restrictions is because traits are not suppose to be feats. They are something to give characters with a particular background extra flavor. If you remove the restrictions from all traits then you are basically giving the character 2 extra feats. I remove the restrictions on a case by case basis.


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Arslanxelan wrote:
I think the reason for the restrictions is because traits are not suppose to be feats. They are something to give characters with a particular background extra flavor. If you remove the restrictions from all traits then you are basically giving the character 2 extra feats. I remove the restrictions on a case by case basis.

First, traits are defined as being "half a feat," so the total benefit is only one feat, not two. Worse than that, really, since they can't be used to cover prerequisites for feat chains.

Second, the restrictions do not seem to solve the problem you state. Traits do indeed give characters with a particular background extra flavor. However, why can't my flavor be someone who is a "Child of the Temple" because of her "Sacred Touch?" If it would make sense for my character to be stealthy, why must she be from the Highlands? If I want an initiative bonus I can be a Reactionary or a Warrior of Old, not based on background but depending on what trait type I've already used. The restrictions do nothing to promote flavor, and do everything to impede legitimate, balanced, and flavorful choices.


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I just allow players to reflavor traits, but the category stays the same.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:

What kinda peeves me are the "____ of the Society" family of traits. They're consistently useful and perfectly fit whatever class you're playing, but nooooo, you have to be a part of the Pathfinder Society.

My GM was nice enough to look at that, say "That's stupid." and let me take Honored Fist though. Partly because my new char had no conceivable way to get the Campaign Traits for Serpent's Skull, but still.

I'm just annoyed that they don't cover the classes from the APG or UC. I want my Witch/Inquisitor/Gunslinger of the Society!


As I've said before, the introduction section about traits says that, in effect all characters should gain 2 traits to start which amounts to a bonus feat at first level.Therefore I allow players to either have 2 traits OR opt for an additional feat at level one. We also use the hero point system which has an 'anti hero' clause,allowing a character to permanently opt out of gaining hero points and instead gain an additional bonus feat at level 1. So, in our games it's not unusual for say a non human ,non fighter to have 3 starting feats, a human non fighter to have 4, or a human fighter to start with 5 feats. This seems to alleviate problems because everyone likes feats, not everyone likes traits/hero points AND it gives a way to alleviate 'feat starvation', that is such a common topic on these boards.


It sound to me like the main problem is that the list of possible traits is far from complete.

Some things never get added to, are foundational, like ability scores (only six since we gave up Comeliness). Skills for that matter are also pretty set. Races, we get a new one every once in a while (Tengu, Assimar). Classes, a couple more (Gunslinger, Ninja, Magus). More Archetypes, more feats. Equipment options. And at the end of that list, most minor of all pieces of a character, we now have traits.

There could conceivably be 10,000 traits to choose from some day, they just haven't been published yet. I believe the guiding rule is they should amount to half a feat. So, anything with about that much power, add whatever flavor you like, now you have a trait.

PFS of course you have to wait for it to be published, home game = house rules.

Mostly I use traits to complement a character build. Some traits are overused becuase people aren't sure yet at 1st level what their character is going to become yet, or they don't want to commit.

If you know you're going to be focusing on flanking, great, a couple of nifty traits for you. Going for wide (keen) crits? That +1 to confirm will be handy for you. Wielding x4 crit weapon? The +crit multiplier to crit damage might be worth it.

Or just to fill in the gaps. My poor Andoran ranger just can't seem to convince anybody to do what's right... until he takes Ease of Faith and gets effectively +4 Diplomacy.

So I see (I hope) what your gripe is, yes, there should be 10x as many traits available as are currently published, and then you'd finally get to take the one just right for you. But I haven't personally come to the point of being bothered by traits. Handy little things to flesh out my character. Always something useful to take.


The OP's ideas is perfect, or would be properly when fleshed out. The number of traits available is rediculous.


I see a $45 book of 10,000 traits in the future... with half the book just various kinds of indices.

Yeah, that would be ridiculous. Maybe just a generalized table with major bonus (+1 and make class skill), minor bonuses (take two, like just +1 to skill), and flavor types/restrictions (need one, can take two to add a minor bonus.)


I make up my own traits, so...

As they are in the APG I find them unusable.


Azaelas Fayth wrote:

I make up my own traits, so...

As they are in the APG I find them unusable.

How so?


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
rangerjeff wrote:
Maybe just a generalized table with major bonus (+1 and make class skill), minor bonuses (take two, like just +1 to skill), and flavor types/restrictions (need one, can take two to add a minor bonus.)

While I agree that many of the traits as written are unnecessarily narrow in their restrictions, I would have no interest in a trait system like this. It stops being something about your background and becomes just another mechanical bonus. Granted, that's how many people treat them now, but I appreciate the effort to make them not just a free bump during character creation.

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