Ancestry vs Backgrounds.


Playtest


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Let's be quick and simple here: If we want to split up traits that comes from a character's… for the lack of a better word, let's say genetics, and traits that comes from a character's culture and how they grew up, wouldn't splitting the two between ancestry and backgrounds make more sense than trying to put it all into ancestry?

I imagine this can help with characters who were born a dwarf but was raised by elves, for instance, exhibit both dwavern racial traits along side elven cultural ones.


Maybe, but there's an argument to be made that every decision made about a character is a function of its background. In any case, the decision seems to be driven by an attempt to get the math to work so it's best thought of as an abstraction.

Liberty's Edge

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There's already a distinction within Ancestry Feats between Heritage Feats, which are inborn, and all others, which are cultural. You can easily do the adopted thing with that distinction alone and no need to bring Backgrounds into it at all.

Backgrounds currently serve the very real niche of your role within a culture (like farmer or warrior) rather than your culture itself (which tends to fall under Ancestry). I think that's actually a good division, personally.


Meophist wrote:

Let's be quick and simple here: If we want to split up traits that comes from a character's… for the lack of a better word, let's say genetics, and traits that comes from a character's culture and how they grew up, wouldn't splitting the two between ancestry and backgrounds make more sense than trying to put it all into ancestry?

I imagine this can help with characters who were born a dwarf but was raised by elves, for instance, exhibit both dwavern racial traits along side elven cultural ones.

Yeah, the talk of having ancestry decoupled from race seems a bit odd when you can still apparently have only one. Or maybe there are feats that represent being physically one ancestry but being raised in another culture, but that's problematic because the feats seem to already be spreading racial traits fairly thin to begin with. And if you're having to decide between cultural and biological feats, then that's just more options competing with your scarce number of choices. The idea of ancestry being used for certain nationalities or even noble houses has been mentioned, but does that mean we have to choose one of the other? It just doesn't seem to fit the given reasoning of changing race to ancestry. Your way of splitting the cultural aspects into background makes much more sense to me.

But maybe I'm thinking about it wrong and it'll make more sense when I see the whole thing.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

There's already a distinction within Ancestry Feats between Heritage Feats, which are inborn, and all others, which are cultural. You can easily do the adopted thing with that distinction alone and no need to bring Backgrounds into it at all.

Backgrounds currently serve the very real niche of your role within a culture (like farmer or warrior) rather than your culture itself (which tends to fall under Ancestry). I think that's actually a good division, personally.

But you've only got so many feats. So the example of a dwarf raised by elves is going to have to dedicate more of their feats just to making the concept work. It seems a bit like the way MAD works for stats in PF1, but for feats. It already looks like you won't be able to have all the racial traits of a 1st level PF1 character until like level 15 or so as it is. Having to split those between the two gets even worse. And those heritage feats apparently are only available at level 1 anyway. So if you want one you have to spend your starting feat on it.


Doktor Weasel wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

There's already a distinction within Ancestry Feats between Heritage Feats, which are inborn, and all others, which are cultural. You can easily do the adopted thing with that distinction alone and no need to bring Backgrounds into it at all.

Backgrounds currently serve the very real niche of your role within a culture (like farmer or warrior) rather than your culture itself (which tends to fall under Ancestry). I think that's actually a good division, personally.

But you've only got so many feats. So the example of a dwarf raised by elves is going to have to dedicate more of their feats just to making the concept work. It seems a bit like the way MAD works for stats in PF1, but for feats. It already looks like you won't be able to have all the racial traits of a 1st level PF1 character until like level 15 or so as it is. Having to split those between the two gets even worse. And those heritage feats apparently are only available at level 1 anyway. So if you want one you have to spend your starting feat on it.

A better comparison would be TWF versus THF, or Archery versus Throwing or Crossbow options, one needing vastly more feats just for the same level of competence, yet be different and have some slight versatility and conceptual coolness.

In my opinion, the ancestry rules and such as they stand are good enough. I wasn't too fond of having things like Racial Heritage as a feat (it might still be a feat in PF2, but I doubt it will work the same) just so people can have ManBearPig type characters. I'd rather they simplify this stuff because coming up with a Human/Halfling/Aasimar character is pretty nuts, one that I find people would not appreciate too much due to its power-gamey nature, no matter how well I justify it in the game lore.

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