Big Beards and Pointy Ears

Friday, April 6, 2018

You know, after all this time being stuck next to each other in game books, dwarves and elves might be getting pretty sick of each other. Well, too bad for them—they get no respite in the Pathfinder Playtest! Today, we'll be looking ahead to the newest versions of these classic folk by delving into their ancestry entries.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Dwarves

Adventuring is for the stout-hearted. Be stable. Be dependable. Be a dwarf! These fine folk live in isolated citadels, their surface empire having fallen long ago, but from time to time they venture out into the world of adventure.

As a dwarf, you get three ability boosts: one to Constitution, one to Wisdom, and one to the score of your choice. You take an ability flaw to Charisma, though your clan mother says you're quite charming. You get 10 Hit Points from your ancestry—more than the other ancestries and MUCH more than the elves! Your speed is 20 feet, perfectly adequate for adventuring, and you can ignore the speed reduction from your armor. You speak Common and Dwarf, as you may expect, and you can see in the dark just fine.

All that represents what's common to all dwarves, and comes from their innate tendencies. Ancestry feats go farther, reflecting mostly the cultural propensities of the ancestry. For example, you likely grew up among your dwarven kin, training with the weapons of the Weapon Familiarity feat. Battleaxes, picks, warhammers... those are good, dependable weapons. And let's not forget the special weapons with the dwarf trait, like the dwarven waraxe or your beloved clan dagger (forged for you at birth and capped with a gemstone sacred to your clan). Your training might have included the best ways to battle creatures like derros, duergar, giants, or orcs. In that case, you might pick up the Ancestral Hatred feat to give you a bonus on damage against these enemies—a bonus that goes up for 1 minute if one of those wretched creatures critically hits you!

Now, this isn't to say ancestry feats deal exclusively with your upbringing. Heritage feats are a special type of ancestry feat that reflect special physiological traits of your ancestry. Because they're inborn, you can select them only at 1st level. Hardy is one of these, letting you resist poisons and recover from them more quickly. (This kept Ron Lundeen's dwarven barbarian up during a recent playtest—even though he was still pretty sick, he didn't take any damage during all those rounds he spent retching after getting exposed to a poison!)

Because each ancestry entry is your starting point, it also gives you some ideas for how you might build or advance your character. For instance, the dwarf suggests backgrounds suitable for many sorts of dwarves (acolyte, nomad, or warrior) or for those who specifically follow a traditional dwarven way of life (barkeep, blacksmith, farmhand, and merchant).

Elves

An elf can live up to 600 years, an amount of time fit for appreciating the beauty of the natural world, of elegant arts, and of refined magic. Demons may haunt ancient elven lands, but you have plenty of time to plan their demise.

Elves' grace gives them an ability boost to Dexterity, and their years of study give them one to Intelligence. Their third ability boost can represent the other score they developed over the years. Their physical frailty is represented by their ability flaw in Constitution, as well as their low racial hit points of 6. They speak the Common and Elf languages, and are likely to have an Intelligence high enough to select a third language. Elves can see in dim light, and have the highest speed of all the ancestries at 30 feet. (Going to three actions per round brought the other ancestries that were as fast as elves in Pathfinder First Edition down to 25 feet from 30.)

Elves' ancestry feats can help them fight demons, teach them arcane cantrips, or make their hearing better with the Keen Hearing heritage feat. Elves can pick up many things in their long lives, and the Ancestral Longevity feat reflects how some of their life experiences might fade from the forefront of their memory until they focus on them. This feat allows your elf to become trained in a skill of your choice when she prepares for each day. If elves' 30-foot speed isn't enough for you, you can even take the Nimble feat, which increases your speed by 5 feet and lets you ignore a square of difficult terrain during each stride action you take.

Good background options for elves include hunter for those raised in the wild; noble or scholar for more cosmopolitan elves; and acrobat, entertainer, or scout for an elf with a more adventurous bent. Elves make good rangers or rogues, and those who wish to study spells can pursue the path of the wizard.

So which do you think has it better? Elves or dwarves? We'll let you think about that and see you again here on Monday, when we talk about another class elves' Intelligence points toward: the alchemist!

Logan Bonner
Designer

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So Dwarves are still sub-optimal for Sorcerer's and Bard's. That's too bad, I really would have liked to run that one day.

Maybe add an option to change your negative stat from CHA to DEX?


Fuzzypaws wrote:

Static HP is the most common house rule in the history of D&D. To the extent that in dozens of tables since 2E in the 90s as a kid, I have never once seen a table enforce rolling HP. Because when you roll HP, Murphy's Law says you'll roll 1s and 2s and be screwed forever.

Finally just listing static HP for the classes is simply codifying reality.

I'm going to call shenanigans on that - aside from 1st level, I've never played in or a seen a game IRL where HPs weren't rolled for each level.

Personally, I'm a fan of "Roll, but re-roll initial 1's", but not giving out static HPs each level.

Liberty's Edge

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Any random element of character creation or advancement is absolutely terrible. Sorry you rolled low, you get to suck forever now.


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dysartes wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Static HP is the most common house rule in the history of D&D. To the extent that in dozens of tables since 2E in the 90s as a kid, I have never once seen a table enforce rolling HP. Because when you roll HP, Murphy's Law says you'll roll 1s and 2s and be screwed forever.

Finally just listing static HP for the classes is simply codifying reality.

I'm going to call shenanigans on that - aside from 1st level, I've never played in or a seen a game IRL where HPs weren't rolled for each level.

{. . .}

Several PbPs on these message boards use average or near average hit points after 1st level, implemented as ({hit_die_size} / 2) + 0.5 (comes out 0.5 above average) or alternating this with ({hit_die_size} / 2) - 0.5 (amortizes to truly average).


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I've been giving my players the option to roll or take the average with the caveat that if they roll, they have to take what comes up on the die.

Nobody has rolled yet.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
dysartes wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Static HP is the most common house rule in the history of D&D. To the extent that in dozens of tables since 2E in the 90s as a kid, I have never once seen a table enforce rolling HP. Because when you roll HP, Murphy's Law says you'll roll 1s and 2s and be screwed forever.

Finally just listing static HP for the classes is simply codifying reality.

I'm going to call shenanigans on that - aside from 1st level, I've never played in or a seen a game IRL where HPs weren't rolled for each level.

Personally, I'm a fan of "Roll, but re-roll initial 1's", but not giving out static HPs each level.

Which is one of the things I find ridiculous. "We use random stats/hp, but follow these rules to ameliorate the worst results of randomness. What a surprise that often shifts the bell curve slightly above just taking average or points."

Silver Crusade

I actually really hope the next race preview is humans. Because while you may say "they're just the basic choose a stat, feat and a skill per level race."

But now since it appears EVERY race gets that choose a stat +2 (and can use it to negate their penalty). I'm REALLY curious to see what they will be like. Do they get +2 to two stats? Do they get only a +2 BUT all other stats (maybe even including the chosen +2 stat) get a +1 bonus? How will the "+1 skill rank per level" convert? will you just get one proficiency up at the start (talking about the new "proficiency level" system)? will you get one every x levels? (although to be fair, the base template of the races seems to be MASSIVELY trimmed and turned into the feats so the skills may be moved to that).

Not to mention what racial (I know they're called "ancestral" but i'm just going to use racial) feats they'll will have access to. Since the elves have something for a skill which they can swap every day. Humans might have the pathfinder 1ED feat (which name of which book I can't remember :( ) which allows them to once per day, gain a combat feat they don't have and are capable of learning for 1 round, to show the ingenuity and versatility of humans (although considering how you seems to get feats at EVERY level it could be they just make it similar to elves except its a feat instead).

Because how the other races are being handled to be more versatile it will be interesting to see how human will either "one up" to stay the versatile kings OR if they will actually have a sort of "direction" for human like maybe more imperial (for example) in nature (although I doubt this will be it since humans have always been known as the "no great strengths, no great weaknesses" race which can be made to fit anything)


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I'm good with Static HP per level. My table has been moving more and more that way as the years progress.

We started with the basic "roll, take what you get." years ago. Moved on to, "Half+1" and currently are using "Get half, roll half" where if you're a d10 class you get d5+5 so you're getting at least half+1. Might as well just take that last step at this point and toss rolling entirely.


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The static HP thing is one of the few things about 2e I like other then the big stat pumps at level 5, 10, 15, and 20.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Berine Eidelweiss wrote:
I actually really hope the next race preview is humans.

I can guarantee you, it won't. Why?

1) Paizo has replaced the concept of "race" with the concept of "ancestry". So there are no "race previews".
2) The "race" formerly known as human will be blasted into its component pieces, according to culture.

So instead of human, we will have Varisian, Shoanti, Chellaxian, Ulfen, Mwangi, Tian and so on.

It seems likely that the ancestry-linked feats will be culturally-specific feats of the sort we have previously seen in books dealing with regions of Golarion. Like the Thunder and Fang feat for the Shoanti.


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Wheldrake wrote:
Berine Eidelweiss wrote:
I actually really hope the next race preview is humans.

I can guarantee you, it won't. Why?

1) Paizo has replaced the concept of "race" with the concept of "ancestry". So there are no "race previews".
2) The "race" formerly known as human will be blasted into its component pieces, according to culture.

So instead of human, we will have Varisian, Shoanti, Chellaxian, Ulfen, Mwangi, Tian and so on.

It seems likely that the ancestry-linked feats will be culturally-specific feats of the sort we have previously seen in books dealing with regions of Golarion. Like the Thunder and Fang feat for the Shoanti.

I still suspect their will be some just human ancestry but that they will probably be mostly as you suggest.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I still suspect their will be some just human ancestry but that they will probably be mostly as you suggest.

I can't say for certain that you're wrong, but that would seem to negate the stated goal of the ancestry concept. Nobody is "just human". Everybody is "human from somewhere", meaning from a specific culture.

There may well be a baseline human, but even that ought to be grounded in some regional origin, like Taldan or Osirion.

One thing it would be nice to see in the PF2.0 CRB, would be at least a hint or suggestion that the ancestries shoehorned under a racial designator (elf, dwarf, halfing, goblin, etc) are in fact more diverse than that, and that in future books we might see more specific ancestries similar to the Forgotten Realms elf spectrum of Moon Elf, Sun Elf, Wood Elf, Wild Elf, etc.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:

So Dwarves are still sub-optimal for Sorcerer's and Bard's. That's too bad, I really would have liked to run that one day.

Maybe add an option to change your negative stat from CHA to DEX?

We don’t know how point buy works yet, so this might not be a worry.

For example, if racial bonuses are applied before point buy (like in Starfinder), then this won’t be a problem.

Likewise, if there’s a 1-1 point buy system (as in Starfinder), then even if racial bonuses are applied after point buy (giving different races different maximums), it won’t be so bad.

In any case, I share your hope that things will be set-up in a way that doesn’t make Dwarven Bards or Sorcerers sub-optimal.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Wheldrake wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I still suspect their will be some just human ancestry but that they will probably be mostly as you suggest.

I can't say for certain that you're wrong, but that would seem to negate the stated goal of the ancestry concept. Nobody is "just human". Everybody is "human from somewhere", meaning from a specific culture.

There may well be a baseline human, but even that ought to be grounded in some regional origin, like Taldan or Osirion.

One thing it would be nice to see in the PF2.0 CRB, would be at least a hint or suggestion that the ancestries shoehorned under a racial designator (elf, dwarf, halfing, goblin, etc) are in fact more diverse than that, and that in future books we might see more specific ancestries similar to the Forgotten Realms elf spectrum of Moon Elf, Sun Elf, Wood Elf, Wild Elf, etc.

The various sub-ancestries for humans will probably come through in the form of the Heritage feats. If you want the fact that your character is noticably Taldan, you can take the Taldan heritage with whatever that gives. I think that is far more likely an outcome than there being several pages of humans that are almost identical and share 90% of the Ancestry Feat options.


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I think elves should be shorter and live to at least 1000 years if not more. But there are things missing since the days of First Edition AD&D that have watered down the elves.

When you read background materials on elves over the years, they all mention in detail how elves practice on moving quietly and wear clothing that does not make any noise. This should grant a +2 in stealth or at least make it an automatic class skill.

Second, those same background stories tell how elves love to learn things on their own. Most elven communities lack a dedicated smithy or bakery because elves learn to do their own tasks. This should grant elves the bonus feat at first level and bonus skill point per level instead of the humans having that racial feature.

Next, I have NEVER understood how elves are fascinated with magic, but don't possess much benefits from this. Sure, they have the +2 to overcome spell resistance. But the bonus to identify magic properties and not have the ability to use it makes no sense. "Hey, that's a 12.7cm Russian machine gun, I see it in the magazines all the time. But I don't know how to use it," is what I am saying. Paizo should change this into making the Use Magic Item skill as a class skill for elves.

Movement is 30 feet. So are most other races. If they really want elves quick as a cat, either bump it up to 40 feet, grant the Dodge feat, or grant a +2 in initiative.

Next, Paizo needs to make armor specific to elves. Elven Chainmail really isn't very good.

Finally, officially bring back the Sylvan, Highborn, and Grey elves for more variety.

I can go on, but I'll stop here.


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dysartes wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Static HP is the most common house rule in the history of D&D. To the extent that in dozens of tables since 2E in the 90s as a kid, I have never once seen a table enforce rolling HP. Because when you roll HP, Murphy's Law says you'll roll 1s and 2s and be screwed forever.

Finally just listing static HP for the classes is simply codifying reality.

I'm going to call shenanigans on that - aside from 1st level, I've never played in or a seen a game IRL where HPs weren't rolled for each level.

Personally, I'm a fan of "Roll, but re-roll initial 1's", but not giving out static HPs each level.

To be fair, I’ve played with five different D&D groups in two different cities over the past 15 years, and every single one had some kind of static hit point rule (max die, half die round down, half die round up), so at the least it is a very common house rule. It does carry the advantage that between that, point buy attributes, and static money, absolutely nothing is left to randomly determine for character generation or level up, meaning such is easily handled away from the table without GM oversight, very useful for play in environments where implicit trust between table-mates is not a given, such as PFS play.

My only concern there is the sheer number of hit points - my current group does about 10 point buy and half die round down, and this is going to be a bit of table shock when the 10th level dwarf fighter is wandering around with 160 hit points or so. However I’m curious to see how it plays in light of new damage values for DPR.


magnuskn wrote:

So Dwarves are still sub-optimal for Sorcerer's and Bard's. That's too bad, I really would have liked to run that one day.

Maybe add an option to change your negative stat from CHA to DEX?

They're less suboptimal than before, though.

Making a guess based on the previews and demo games, a dwarven bard will be able to start with either a 16 or 17 in Cha, rather than a max possible of 18 (instead of a max of 20). Plus, because if it's not point buy, then your other stats won't have to suffer as much for the sake of that score.

Grand Lodge

Serum wrote:
Mobility in 2E has already been mentioned by the developers as being a benefit for moving at half speed.

And it’s a playtest so this would seem the perfect opportunity to express dislike of the “half” system and to try static penalties. I think there would be a large number of players in favor of that.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
ElfChampion466 wrote:
Movement is 30 feet. So are most other races. If they really want elves quick as a cat, either bump it up to 40 feet, grant the Dodge feat, or grant a +2 in initiative.

In P2e, standard movement is 25 feet, so elves are the quickest (of the ancestries we've seen so far, anyway). Also, there's no more initiative; now you roll Perception or another skill you're using before combat begins.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

[QUOTE="ElfChampion466"

Movement is 30 feet. So are most other races. If they really want elves quick as a cat, either bump it up to 40 feet, grant the Dodge feat, or grant a +2 in initiative.

Most of you post seems to read as "I want Elves to be stronger than other choices" but this part is just factually wrong. Standard speed is now 25ft. Elves are faster, can get even faster with ancestry feats and also initiative doesn't exist.


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Never cared much for Pathfinder's version of elves, I always liked them to be around 5' tall and have a connection to fey instead of being 6'+ tall aliens. Also I do miss the sylvan, grey, and high born elves.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

What would be interesting is if there are Ancestry-specific Archetypes that you could play that helps counteract the Stat Penalty. Thus the Earthblood Sorcerer Archetype would gain an equivalence of +1 to the DC of saves against their Earth-based magic, and consider their Charisma to be two higher when it comes to bonus spells.

Similarly a Dwarven Chanter would consider his Charisma to be 2 higher for duration of Bardic chant and saves against it... or gain some other benefit that helps negate that -2 to Charisma that many other races don't face.

This could also work in the case of Tieflings with their probable Charisma penalty, or on some other race's Intelligence penalty if they were playing a race-specific Archetype for Wizard. While the floating +2 does help negate that penalty, these races will always be inferior to other races who gain a bonus in that stat or even who just don't get a penalty.

It's kind of silly at that. Dwarves are renown from Tolkien's time of being quite musically adept (to the point just about every one of the 13 Dwarves in Thorin's band had a musical instrument of some sort that they brought with them just because). So the history of Dwarvish Bardic talents is renown with Dwarves who might be gruff and blunt, but are also talented musicians.

Similarly other ancestries should have established methods of compensating for their own weaknesses. This is where Archetypes come in - to help those races overcome those racial weaknesses.


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Eh…

I regularly played my charisma-bonus Sorcs as 18 charisma instead of 20 in PF1. I don't think ancestries need to be able to be optimal at everything, so long as they can at least be good at anything. And how many Bards actually played with maxed out starting charisma?

Speculation:

Spoiler:
The other thing is that we don't know that these are actually +2s/-2s. They mentioned that how you apply stat increases at character creation and at later levels is the same, and similar to Starfinder. Suppose ancestries give an advancement like Starfinder's stat bumps at fifth level. A dwarven Sorcerer would miss out on one advancement to charisma… and end up starting as 17 instead of the (I'm guessing) normal limit of 18. So, at levels 5-9 and levels 15-19, they would have the same charisma bonus.


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A pretty common house rule in Pathfinder was "No starting attributes above 18 after racial modifiers". So I wouldn't be surprised if it's like Starfinder and it will be a +2 if you're at 16 or below and +1 otherwise.

In a lot of ways I prefer the Starfinder point buy to Pathfinder 1st edition's. If nothing else "flat point buy values"is a lot easier to do in your head while "no benefit to dumping stats" is probably the right approach.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:


Just don't look too closely. IK's internal logic breaks hilariously under scrutiny.

That's not fair, most fantasy internal logic breaks if you look at it too much. IK also didn't have the extra fluff/splats to fill in holes. Or open wider ones.

Which is a worry some of us do have when we go to make the jump into 2e

I agree it's not particularly fair, but I still get a laugh at some of the internal goofiness that springs up in IK. My personal favorite is some stats that Immoren by all acounts should be entirely extinct at least once over comparing casualties to population sizes or something to that effect.

I think that's pretty standard for fantasy settings. An understanding of numbers and casualties is not the strong suit of fantasy writers.


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eddv wrote:
But the thing that super busted them was that there were all those alternate ancestries that just turned them into the omni-race.

While the various kinds of aasimar were not weak (for the reasons I snipped), this is a nonsensical criticism. The existence of periblooded does not make angelkin any stronger, and more than the existence of elves makes dwarves any stronger.

_
glass.


glass wrote:
eddv wrote:
But the thing that super busted them was that there were all those alternate ancestries that just turned them into the omni-race.

While the various kinds of aasimar were not weak (for the reasons I snipped), this is a nonsensical criticism. The existence of periblooded does not make angelkin any stronger, and more than the existence of elves makes dwarves any stronger.

_
glass.

But the existence of human makes the category of core races stronger. Aasimar became a category like "core races" is. Original Aasimar wasn't too bad, because only two classes really cared about getting Wis and Cha. But all Cha classes also care about a Con or Dex boost, Paladin/Cavalier/Bard/Skald/Bloodrager/Medium care about getting Str with Cha, all Wis classes care about a Con or Dex boost, and Arcanist/Psychic care about getting both Int and Cha.

So, Aasimar is really good (better than any core race) for all Cha and Wis casters, two arcane full casters, and the martial charisma classes. That does sound like an omni-race, able to do nearly everything.


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I sort of wonder if we can't balance Humans vs. Aasimar by giving each of them "two stat bonuses to whatever you want and no stat penalties" and letting the rest of the differences being something other than stats.


Wheldrake wrote:
Berine Eidelweiss wrote:
I actually really hope the next race preview is humans.

I can guarantee you, it won't. Why?

1) Paizo has replaced the concept of "race" with the concept of "ancestry". So there are no "race previews".
2) The "race" formerly known as human will be blasted into its component pieces, according to culture.

So instead of human, we will have Varisian, Shoanti, Chellaxian, Ulfen, Mwangi, Tian and so on.

It seems likely that the ancestry-linked feats will be culturally-specific feats of the sort we have previously seen in books dealing with regions of Golarion. Like the Thunder and Fang feat for the Shoanti.

If that is the route in the CRB, I hope there is at least one ancestry for 'generic' humans, or else there are several ancestries for all of the core races (snow elves, desert dwarves, gear gnomes, swamp goblins, etc). Generic humans could be the result of large urban areas (Absalom?) where human cultures mix thoroughly enough that not everyone is clearly taldan/shoanti/chelish/etc. Alternatively, most of the core races have subraces in PF1 that could be ancestries in their own right in PF2. And a book detailing a lot of new ancestries for the core races could be a nice idea for expansion before or after a book with more unusual ancestries like Tengu or Wayang.


There's still going to be a "Human" race, ancestry, starting point, whatever you want to actually go with. Here I'll start you off.

Probably 25 Speed.
Hit dice 8/d8.
No low light vision.
No Stat penalty, with a possible floating Stat bonus to something of your choice.
Speak Common and probably 1 bonus Language of your choice or region
Possible other bonus to make up for the limited bonuses that come with playing "Average".

There's your Human Race for Pathfinder 2e. Now your Ancestry could probably effect that like "Ancestry Osirion - Immune to first level of Environmental Heat" , "Ancestry Mwangi - Bonus save vs Poison/Con" and so on.


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Paradozen wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:
Berine Eidelweiss wrote:
I actually really hope the next race preview is humans.

I can guarantee you, it won't. Why?

1) Paizo has replaced the concept of "race" with the concept of "ancestry". So there are no "race previews".
2) The "race" formerly known as human will be blasted into its component pieces, according to culture.

So instead of human, we will have Varisian, Shoanti, Chellaxian, Ulfen, Mwangi, Tian and so on.

It seems likely that the ancestry-linked feats will be culturally-specific feats of the sort we have previously seen in books dealing with regions of Golarion. Like the Thunder and Fang feat for the Shoanti.

If that is the route in the CRB, I hope there is at least one ancestry for 'generic' humans, or else there are several ancestries for all of the core races (snow elves, desert dwarves, gear gnomes, swamp goblins, etc). Generic humans could be the result of large urban areas (Absalom?) where human cultures mix thoroughly enough that not everyone is clearly taldan/shoanti/chelish/etc. Alternatively, most of the core races have subraces in PF1 that could be ancestries in their own right in PF2. And a book detailing a lot of new ancestries for the core races could be a nice idea for expansion before or after a book with more unusual ancestries like Tengu or Wayang.

There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that there won't be a bunch of human Ancestries. It would raise quite a lot of eyebrows if Humans from different places of Golarion had different physical and mental attributes.

I mean can you imagine how this board would explode if it turns out Garund Humans are speed 30 and +2 Dex/+2 Wis/+2 Floating/-2 Int (to make an incredibly offensive example).

No, I guarantee the ancestry will be "Human" and then, as someone upthread said, different Heritage/Ancestry feats to mold what culture you were from. It's the easiest and most elegant way to do it.


TheFinish wrote:


There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that there won't be a bunch of human Ancestries. It would raise quite a lot of eyebrows if Humans from different places of Golarion had different physical and mental attributes.

I mean can you imagine how this board would explode if it turns out Garund Humans are speed 30 and +2 Dex/+2 Wis/+2 Floating/-2 Int (to make an incredibly offensive example).

No, I guarantee the ancestry will be "Human" and then, as someone upthread said, different Heritage/Ancestry feats to mold what culture you were from. It's the easiest and most elegant way to do it.

I was about to write the same.

Another reason is because ability bonuses would work different for humans than for other ancestries.

As a dwarf, you can put your floating ability bonus into whatever fits your needs class-wise, but humans get a bonus in a specific ability because they come from a specific culture? That would be really weird.


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@TheFinish

I mean it doesn't need to be just humans either. I can see most races if not all being able to have different... Regional feats/buffs? I would expect a Dwarf clan that lives in Osirion to be different than one that made it's home in The Shackles. They should still have I suppose "Baseline" but have access to different traits/feats based off local issuses. LIke the Desert Dwarfs laugh at heat while the Skull Dwarfs get Swim for free.

No idea, just spitballing here. Personally I think the ABCs of Character creation should be Ancestry, Background, Culture.


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MerlinCross wrote:

@TheFinish

I mean it doesn't need to be just humans either. I can see most races if not all being able to have different... Regional feats/buffs? I would expect a Dwarf clan that lives in Osirion to be different than one that made it's home in The Shackles. They should still have I suppose "Baseline" but have access to different traits/feats based off local issuses. LIke the Desert Dwarfs laugh at heat while the Skull Dwarfs get Swim for free.

No idea, just spitballing here. Personally I think the ABCs of Character creation should be Ancestry, Background, Culture.

That's the thing, you don't need different Ancestries for this, all you need is different Heritage Feats, and have them lock Ancestry Feats.

Like for example:

All Dwarves have access to X Ancestry Feats. And then have, say, Shackles Dwarf, Pahmet Dwarf, Five Kings Dwarf as Hertiage Feats. These feats all give you something special, but most importantly, they open up a different set of Ancestry Feats that you can only take if you have the requisite Heritage Feat. You can also go beyond and have the Heritage Feat disallow some of the normally available Ancestry Feats.

That's much more elegant than having a bunch of Ancestries that are exactly the same except for what Feats they get.


I wonder if you can´t do "I was born in the Shackles" less an ancestry and more an ancestry archetype- which has no cost, save for preventing you from taking a different archetype (since no was born in both the Shackles and Osiron.)

So all you need to do then is publish feats that people with a given archetype can choose to take, that reflect "people who grew up here are likely to know this sort of thing."

Silver Crusade

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Like to see elves not be so fragile (not Lords Of The Ring elves), but not as strong and have the ability to swap low light vision for dark vision.


Ximmrik wrote:
Like to see elves not be so fragile (not Lords Of The Ring elves), but not as strong and have the ability to swap low light vision for dark vision.

The difference in hit points between combinations of ancestry and class are quite high. We're likely going from 12+con-modifier (e.g. elven wizard) to 22 (dwarven barbarian). With the elven -2 con and the dwarven +2 this results in a range of 12 points at level 1.

Seems like a lot, but relatively, it stays about the same as in Pf1, only with higher numbers.

Nevertheless, I don't feel comfortable with this huge difference.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
A pretty common house rule in Pathfinder was "No starting attributes above 18 after racial modifiers".

I have to say I've never seen any games use this rule and I've seen quite a few. As such, I'm not sure how common it is.


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graystone wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
A pretty common house rule in Pathfinder was "No starting attributes above 18 after racial modifiers".
I have to say I've never seen any games use this rule and I've seen quite a few. As such, I'm not sure how common it is.

I do have to say at least online it seems to be a common house rule enough that you can't go beyond X with base stats along with Below X.

Example, I couldn't get above 18 at the start of a Strange Aeon game. But I also couldn't dump CHA to below 8.


Leyren wrote:

We're likely going from 12+con-modifier (e.g. elven wizard) to 22 (dwarven barbarian). With the elven -2 con and the dwarven +2 this results in a range of 12 points at level 1. [12 vs 24, 1:2]

Seems like a lot, but relatively, it stays about the same as in Pf1, only with higher numbers. Nevertheless, I don't feel comfortable with this huge difference.

PF1 actually had MORE proportional difference...

6 vs 14 (12 + 2 CON DIF) i.e. < 1:2 ratio (~133% increase), while what you described was exactly = 1:2 ratio (100% increase) including CON differential.
So introduction of racial HD/HP to 0HD races is LESS disparate than existing PF1 differential between Wizards/Barbarians.
There just isn't much difference vs. P1E starting play at Level 2 or with 1 NPC level to avoid swinginess except the extra HD is racially defined here.
You also ignore that one can choose to put floating bonus into negating racial penalty, CON in this case, if that is important to PC concept.


MerlinCross wrote:
I do have to say at least online it seems to be a common house rule enough that you can't go beyond X with base stats along with Below X.

I play exclusively online and don't remember ever see it. Plenty of alterations to build points, some gestalt builds, races/classes/rules cut and altered but not a limit on legal buys within the point system. This is over several years in more games than I can count.

Now it may be a difference in where we game online as different places have different trends.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Online is a big umbrella that encompasses all sorts of play. The PFS sections will follow organized play rules, but online home games run the gamut from fairly conservative to wild and anything goes. It’s a place where GMs will often experiment with a crazy idea in one campaign just to see how it works. As a result, online play is hard to categorize other than saying that it is diverse, multinational, and a fairly popular alternative to in person games — mainly for its scheduling advantages.

Hmm

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Pappy wrote:
This may have been stated already, but are ancestry backgrounds essentially an ancestral archetype? I hope to still see something akin to archetypes for the classes as well as this ancestral background feature. Archetypes have been fun.
I believe backgrounds are a separate component of character creation, representing what you did prior to your adventuring life and giving commensurate bonuses. So your Dwarf could be a scout and your Elf could be a blacksmith if you really wanted, it's just that Dwarven smiths are much more common than Elven ones because of cultural forces (Dwarves see this as a more noble calling.)

One thing that I am wondering is how close backgrounds are to the themes of Starfinder. If they offer a class skill and some specializations, they might be the themes of the Playtest. I kind of hope they are, because I am a huge fan of the theme system. The theme system has made characters more customizable, allowing them in many cases to explore a concept away from character stereotype. So you can have priestly mechanics of Triune, or mercenary mechanics who have an army background, or iconic mechanics who star in their own fix-it web series. I am hoping that background can allow us to subtly flavor PF2 characters in different ways.

As for the whole debate between elves and dwarves, the answer is simple: GNOMES. There. I’ve said it all.

Hmm


Quandary wrote:
Leyren wrote:

We're likely going from 12+con-modifier (e.g. elven wizard) to 22 (dwarven barbarian). With the elven -2 con and the dwarven +2 this results in a range of 12 points at level 1. [12 vs 24, 1:2]

Seems like a lot, but relatively, it stays about the same as in Pf1, only with higher numbers. Nevertheless, I don't feel comfortable with this huge difference.

PF1 actually had MORE proportional difference...

6 vs 14 (12 + 2 CON DIF) i.e. < 1:2 ratio (~133% increase), while what you described was exactly = 1:2 ratio (100% increase) including CON differential.
So introduction of racial HD/HP to 0HD races is LESS disparate than existing PF1 differential between Wizards/Barbarians.
There just isn't much difference vs. P1E starting play at Level 2 or with 1 NPC level to avoid swinginess except the extra HD is racially defined here.
You also ignore that one can choose to put floating bonus into negating racial penalty, CON in this case, if that is important to PC concept.

I tried to express that the relative difference is more or less the same, but not completely. 33% is a huge difference, I seem to have underestimated those 2 hit points there :P


Hmm wrote:
Online is a big umbrella that encompasses all sorts of play.

Oh, to be sure. I've seen bare core with 10 point buys to 3 class gestalt with any 3rd party material and everything in between. So I'm sure there are places that use that rule and some places it's popular.

Liberty's Edge

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I ran a Wrath of the Righteous game (sadly it didn't last long) where I gave everyone an 18/16/14/14/12/10 array then add race, etc. Also full HP at each level. Because if we're going Mythic, why go half-way? :)


graystone wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
I do have to say at least online it seems to be a common house rule enough that you can't go beyond X with base stats along with Below X.

I play exclusively online and don't remember ever see it. Plenty of alterations to build points, some gestalt builds, races/classes/rules cut and altered but not a limit on legal buys within the point system. This is over several years in more games than I can count.

Now it may be a difference in where we game online as different places have different trends.

Possible. I tend to play on Roll20 as opposed to play by post. While it wasn't Pathfinder, I have bad experiences with Play by Post just stalling out and my voice is weird so play by text on a digital tabletop makes it easy for me to run games or be understood without repeating myself.


MerlinCross wrote:
Possible. I tend to play on Roll20 as opposed to play by post.

Yeah, I'm PbP. I never got into Rolld20 because I didn't used to have high speed internet so a virtual tabletop was a no go at the time. Now I PbP because I'm used to.


That's a not uncommon limit on characters in online games outside of PbP style, regardless of what site. I've run into frequently enough going through IRC, roll20, and at least three other virtual tabletops.


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I play mostly PBP and I don't recall seeing the "can't start above X or below Y" rules before.

I've seen games limit stats simply by the number of dice allowed or only allowing an array. I've also been in PBP games with several 5s in stats (one PC had a 5 Wis, another PC had a 5 Int and Cha). Both those PCs were generated by rolling for stats.

I've seen PBP games where you used point buy but couldn't buy down (you could drop if you wanted, but no point gain for it).

Needless to say, if that's a common house rule in your experience but not in mine, then all it really showcases is the vairiety of online play. :)

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