The Inner Sea Races Heritage Appendix

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Illustration by Carolina Eade

The majority of Inner Sea Races focuses on how the human ethnicities and non-human races of Golarion see themselves, are seen by others, fit into the world, and interact with one another. However, Chapter 4 focuses on the mechanics of building and equipping characters of different races and ethnicities, and contains a wealth of different traits, feats, spells, and equipment for creating a vibrant character immersed in the culture and practices of his or her homeland. It also features a handy heritage appendix, which summarizes the mechanical effects of choosing a particular race for your character in one place.

One of my favorite features in this chapter is a short section written by Creative Director James Jacobs, explaining that a character raised in a region where Taldane (Common) is not the most widely spoken tongue can choose their regional language as their starting language instead of Common. From a mechanical perspective, it makes sense to give all characters a language in common. However, from an in-world perspective, it seems odd that a character born and raised in Wati would grow up speaking Taldane and have to learn Osiriani as a second language, rather than the other way around. So, I'm glad that Inner Sea Races allows players and GMs to choose to represent that Taldane isn't a native tongue for many of the residents of the Inner Sea region.

Whenever the Common tongue is listed as a race's starting language (or among the race's available choices for starting languages or bonus languages), you can substitute for Common any of the other widely used human languages listed on page 6 (for example, an elf who was born and raised in Varisia might choose Varisian as one of the bonus languages she knows due to a high Intelligence score, or a gnome raised in an isolated monastery in Jalmeray might speak Vudrani as his native tongue rather than Common). In these cases, Common always remains an option to choose at a later date if you wish.

In other news: aquatic elf enthusiasts, rejoice! The heritage appendix in Inner Sea Races now presents the stats for aquatic elves in the same format as those for all the other races of the Inner Sea region. You'll be able to find them on page 242!

Jessica Price
Project Manager

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Great to see Carolina Eade's art again! I hope there's multiple pieces in this book, I love her art so much.


Rosgakori wrote:
Great to see Carolina Eade's art again! I hope there's multiple pieces in this book, I love her art so much.

It sure is.


Huzzah! Really looking forward to getting this!


That had to be said officially? Couldn't trust that GMs would figure that out on their own?

To be fair to Paizo based on the horror stories I hear the answer to those questions is "Yes". It's still maybe a bit saddening that precious space, even as little as it is, has to be devoted to pointing that out.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

The book doesn't directly address this, but based on Inner Sea World Guide, it should still (officially) work this way.

Aquatic elves can still take feats, traits, and alternate racial traits as if they were elves... right?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

That chick dresses like my wife did in High school, except for the eye patch that is:-D

So hot!

Project Manager

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SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:

That had to be said officially? Couldn't trust that GMs would figure that out on their own?

To be fair to Paizo based on the horror stories I hear the answer to those questions is "Yes". It's still maybe a bit saddening that precious space, even as little as it is, has to be devoted to pointing that out.

We've found that for some people, you have to explicitly give them permission or they think they're not allowed to do things. Different people play in different ways, and that's not a bad thing. :-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kalindlara wrote:

The book doesn't directly address this, but based on Inner Sea World Guide, it should still (officially) work this way.

Aquatic elves can still take feats, traits, and alternate racial traits as if they were elves... right?

Aquatic elves are still elves. They have the (aquatic, elf) subtypes after their humanoid type, so anything an elf can take or do, they can do. Alternate racial traits might not work since a few of their racial traits are different than the standard elf traits, but if they match, they're good to go.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:

That had to be said officially? Couldn't trust that GMs would figure that out on their own?

To be fair to Paizo based on the horror stories I hear the answer to those questions is "Yes". It's still maybe a bit saddening that precious space, even as little as it is, has to be devoted to pointing that out.

And particularly in the case of PFS events and games, we HAVE to spell things like that because GMs do not have the agency to make house rules or table calls to the same extent that GMs who run home games do.

And even if we didn't, I think that this section is a GOOD ADDITION to the book, and thus a perfect and honorable and excellent use of the so-called "precious space" in the book.


Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

OMG we finally get stats for Aquatic Elves!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Lantern Lodge

Does this applies to Pathfinder society?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Secane wrote:
Does this applies to Pathfinder society?

I believe PFS has its own rules for non-humans, racial bonus languages, and Golarion-specific languages. It's in the Guide. An upcoming update to Additional Resources might synchronize the two, though.

Aquatic elves are not legal, unless we get a race boon for them (or Mr. Compton makes some extremely unlikely decisions when updating Additional Resources).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Brinebeast wrote:
OMG we finally get stats for Aquatic Elves!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Well... you finally get them in an obvious spot, that is. Stats for aquatic elves have been in print since the Inner Sea World Guide, but they were kinda hard to notice, buried in the text for the elf entry as they were.


Correct me if I'm wrong (this may have changed since I last played PFS), but as I understand it in PFS humans get Taldane and any Ethnicity based languages (such as a Kellid's Hallit) as automatic languages. A Garundi begins play with Taldane, Osirioni, and any langues due to high intelligence (including other Human Ethnicity languages). Human Ethnicity languages are available as languages due to high intelligence to any core race.

If I'm reading this right, this would allow an Osirion Half-orc to know Orc and Osirioni before high int languages, but these rules would have no real benefit to a Garundi, as she already speaks both Osirioni and Taldane. In PFS, of course.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong (this may have changed since I last played PFS), but as I understand it in PFS humans get Taldane and any Ethnicity based languages (such as a Kellid's Hallit) as automatic languages. A Garundi begins play with Taldane, Osirioni, and any langues due to high intelligence (including other Human Ethnicity languages). Human Ethnicity languages are available as languages due to high intelligence to any core race.

If I'm reading this right, this would allow an Osirion Half-orc to know Orc and Osirioni before high int languages, but these rules would have no real benefit to a Garundi, as she already speaks both Osirioni and Taldane. In PFS, of course.

More or less, yes. These rules finally bring the non-human races up to par with how humans already had increased access to those languages. Which is the way it was always intended, but the disconnect between the world-neutral core rulebook and the setting itself caused a sort of glitch.

Shadow Lodge

Hmm. I get the feeling that it won't be picked up in PFS, as you could then get characters at the table with no way to communicate with each other. Which can be fun if all the players are on board with it (7th sea) but problematic in organized play.

In universe: I can see the society requiring that all its agents speak Taldane before becoming field agents. Similar how anyone involved in air travel is required to speak English.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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thistledown wrote:

Hmm. I get the feeling that it won't be picked up in PFS, as you could then get characters at the table with no way to communicate with each other. Which can be fun if all the players are on board with it (7th sea) but problematic in organized play.

In universe: I can see the society requiring that all its agents speak Taldane before becoming field agents. Similar how anyone involved in air travel is required to speak English.

Actually, one of the reasons I wanted to make sure this was in print was SO it could be used in PFS. Believe it or not, we do want you to have fun.

Shadow Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
thistledown wrote:

Hmm. I get the feeling that it won't be picked up in PFS, as you could then get characters at the table with no way to communicate with each other. Which can be fun if all the players are on board with it (7th sea) but problematic in organized play.

In universe: I can see the society requiring that all its agents speak Taldane before becoming field agents. Similar how anyone involved in air travel is required to speak English.

Actually, one of the reasons I wanted to make sure this was in print was SO it could be used in PFS. Believe it or not, we do want you to have fun.

I know you do! I just foresee possible complications with running a party where someone doesn't know common. If you're already working on it, then great!


Hello pf community, this post is a little off topic, but I figured I might find what I seek here. I am currently working on a writing project and would like to use mention of the iconic character Kyra, but need to know her birth year. I've searched the Pathfinder wiki site, and so far no luck, which brought me here. So if someone has that info, or can lead me in the right direction, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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thistledown wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
thistledown wrote:

Hmm. I get the feeling that it won't be picked up in PFS, as you could then get characters at the table with no way to communicate with each other. Which can be fun if all the players are on board with it (7th sea) but problematic in organized play.

In universe: I can see the society requiring that all its agents speak Taldane before becoming field agents. Similar how anyone involved in air travel is required to speak English.

Actually, one of the reasons I wanted to make sure this was in print was SO it could be used in PFS. Believe it or not, we do want you to have fun.
I know you do! I just foresee possible complications with running a party where someone doesn't know common. If you're already working on it, then great!

That's something that individual GMs, and more to the point, individual PLAYERS need to do. When you play any RPG, you're engaging in a sort of social contract, and unless there's prior understanding to the contrary, it's important for your players to be able to communicate, both among themselves and via their characters. It's just proper gaming etiquette to build a player character who can interact with the other PCs and NPCs... in the same way it's proper to not build a character that's all about PVP. That said... certain players DO take delight in building deliberately disruptive characters, and there's not much I can do about that other than to beg everyone who reads this to NOT BE THAT PERSON at the game table.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Zarnithian wrote:
Hello pf community, this post is a little off topic, but I figured I might find what I seek here. I am currently working on a writing project and would like to use mention of the iconic character Kyra, but need to know her birth year. I've searched the Pathfinder wiki site, and so far no luck, which brought me here. So if someone has that info, or can lead me in the right direction, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

None of the iconics have birth years nailed down. This is intentional, so that they can remain somewhat "timeless" even as the real-world years pile on.

AKA: You get to make up whatever works for you for your writing project.


Thanks Mr. Jacobs, appreciate the response. I'll be sure that, you are one of the first few people to see the finished product, when my story is done.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just picked up the book and am really liking what I'm seeing so far, but I had one question: Was the Kuru excluded for a reason? As far as I can tell it (and the Shabti) were the only races not represented...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

PhibbyRizo wrote:
Just picked up the book and am really liking what I'm seeing so far, but I had one question: Was the Kuru excluded for a reason? As far as I can tell it (and the Shabti) were the only races not represented...

Book wasn't big enough for everyone, and the Kuru are overall pretty obscure when it comes to humanity, and on top of that aren't really great PC options anyway. They work better as GM options, and leaving them mysterious is a compelling reason to not say much about them.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

Book wasn't big enough for everyone, and the Kuru are overall pretty obscure when it comes to humanity, and on top of that aren't really great PC options anyway. They work better as GM options, and leaving them mysterious is a compelling reason to not say much about them.

That makes sense, they are pretty obscure indeed. I was wondering since I was intendeing to play a disaffected, banished kuru that was trying to keep her bloodlust in check. Just means I get to be creative!

Thank you for such a quick response! Love the book!

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