Forging the Heroes of Undarin

Monday, October 8, 2018

Greetings from Playtest HQ! The time has come for us to move on from the River Kingdoms, closing out Part 4 of Doomsday Dawn. Now we turn our attention north, to a land ruined by demonic powers. That's right, we're going to the Worldwound in Part 5, The Heroes of Undarin!

Now, I don't want to give away any spoilers, but for those of you who are playing, make sure to touch base with your GM, as they have very special instructions for you as to how you should make your character for this dangerous mission!

As a reminder to all of you playtesters out there, the surveys for all of the previous parts of Doomsday Dawn are still open. Once you and your group have completed playing Part 5, The Heroes of Undarin, make sure to take the following surveys! Your feedback is vital in making sure we get the game right for its final release!

Player Survey | Game Master Survey | Open Survey

If you have completed the Doomsday Dawn surveys, consider giving us your feedback in the general surveys for Ancestries, Classes, Rules, and the Bestiary. These surveys can be found on the Pathfinder Playtest landing page.

Update 1.4 - All About Ancestry

The past two weeks have been a real whirlwind for us in the design pit. In the two weeks since the release of Update 1.3, which brought some pretty big changes to the game, we've been hard at work on Update 1.4. While this one is much more modest in terms of scope, it nevertheless brings a pretty big change to your game: an overhaul of the ancestries!

The one thing we've heard mentioned over and over (as well as in our Ancestry Survey) is that many of you felt like the ancestries weren't quite giving enough at 1st level. We also saw a number of responses saying that taking a feat to be a half-elf or half-orc was too steep a price to pay. This update makes changes to the way that ancestries work, while also giving you some additional high-level ancestry feats to use in your game!

Starting with this update, when you make a character, you select not only an ancestry, but also a heritage from within that ancestry. Your heritage gives you additional physical characteristics based on your lineage, and your choice of heritage is in addition to the ancestry feat that you gain at 1st level. Half-elf and half-orc are now choices within the human heritage list, which means that you can play a character from one of these heritages, and still take a 1st-level feat from either of your parents as well!

So go grab Update 1.4! Those new feats might just give your characters a shot in the arm for the upcoming challenges they must face in the horrible, demon-infested lands to the north!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

Join the Pathfinder Playtest designers every Friday throughout the playtest on our Twitch Channel to hear all about the process and chat directly with the team.

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Kobolds to have +4 to all stats at 1st level and gain multiple class abilities at once 11/10 !!


LordVanya wrote:

I feel like Human Ethnicities should also be part of the Heritage system.

I fell like each Heritage should be more robust and flavorful to justify having to choose only one.

And I feel Ancestry Feats should be rolled into General Feats.

Otherwise, I think this setup is much better than before.

And thank you for the tweak to Ranger Animal Companions.
Now do a real fix for Hunt Target! :P

Wait, how are Animal Companions changed?


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ChibiNyan wrote:
Wait, how are Animal Companions changed?
Quote:
In Full-Grown Companion, at the end, add this Special entry: “Special If you have the Hunt Target action, your animal companion will assault your target even without your orders. During an encounter, even if you don’t use the Command an Animal action, your animal companion can still use 1 action that round on your turn to Stride towards or Strike one of your hunted targets.”.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
There is a weird incentive now that most Gnomes are now likely to be Svirfneblin or Bleachlings instead of more "standard" Gnomes. Looks like Sharp-Nosed Gnome is kind of the 'normal' Gnome now, with the other three being exotic sub-variants, but are all more attractive.

This is something that struck me too, and not just Gnomes. Elves only have one "normal" Elf Heritage, and the rest are all about servicing specific "Ethnicities", without actually openly saying that. Desert Dwarves likewise.

But the thing is, they haven't been formally tied to those "ethnicities" at all. It feels like they are taking material appropriate to those groups, and then letting everybody use it without caring about the setting context, which seems counter to goal of "Golarion centric/conscious game" they set. It seems pretty obvious that we can now see plenty of Darkvision Elves, who won't even claim to come from Jinin... Some stuff like "Jungle Elf" is trivially re-fluffed to fit a Kyonin Ranger, but it feels like too much of this stuff is threatening the unique niches of Racial outliers / regional cultures. Of course not all are like that, Dwarves have Ancient/StrongHeart/Unburdened as "classics', and I think Fell is not far removed from normal Gnome schtick and Bleachling is something that happens to normal Gnomes. The Goblin Heritages mostly stick to normal Goblin tropes, as do Halfling and Human ones (although latter lacks variety outside the 'Half-X's shoehorned into your race').

We could "fix" some of this by making them have specific "Ethnicity" pre-reqs, but that instantly makes them alot more narrowly applicable (underlining need for more 'normal' Heritage options) AND gives un-natural impetus for playing these formerly marginal groups, some like Snirfneblin never considered normal PCs in first place. If CRB is Inner Sea focused, it just doesn't make to sense to have Jinin affiliated option, even if they formalize the Jinin requirement. Still, the others are present in Avistan+Garund so including them with appropriate Ethnicity pre-req would be coherent, assuming they include plenty more for other Ethnicities/ "standard" culture examples... And this could go along with more Human Ethnicity-specific options, as others have mooted here (with all these Ethnicities also able to serve as pre-req for General/Skill or even Class Feats) ...Although personally I don't want to see Human (or Elf/Orc) Ethnicity options excluded from Half-Elves/Orcs (although I'm happy for the Halfs- to be their own Race/Ancestry, that just shares Ethnicities with parents).

So lots of positive potential here mechanically, and I like the more diversity, but it feels like too threatening to the very Golarion setting that Paizo says it prioritizes. It was pointed out in other thread that this hardly has gone thru full Editorial process with Golarion setting experts, this is more about testing the mechanical concept, which I think is fine roughly speaking. Obviously if Paizo is serious about "Golarion centric game", those people would be more involved in process closer to final product.

Definitely I would like to see further revision of this before Playtest ends... On which point, I think the Playtest Rules PDF is crying out for a real update (integrating changes) by the next Update or 2, the Updates are just introducing enough changes that it's harder to use the Rules PDF as one would hope to.

EDIT: I do agree the Energy Resistance stuff is kind of over the top, and un-necessarily extreme for non-"Planar" species. I mean SOME might be OK, but 1/2 level seems bizarre... Bonus to Saves seems more appropriate (which can be just as good, in avoiding rider effects)


Charon Onozuka wrote:
  • Desert Dwarf, Arctic Elf, and Snow Goblin are off-putting to me... They seem like something that should be a general heritage anyone could select based on what climate the were born/grew up in. I don't see the thematic sense in making Dwarves the best desert race and Elves the best arctic race (especially when I'd personally see them as being flipped). Not to mention that Humans are generally portrayed as the most adaptable race to living in various climates/regions, yet are now less able to deal with the harsh temperatures when compared to Dwarves/Elves.
  • Yea, I see what you mean here; thinking back, an old AD&D Dragon magazine has Snow Elves. 2nd Ed FR Great Glacier has some type of arctic dwarves, and 2nd Ed Maztica, Dark Sun, and Al-Qadim all have desert dwarves and elves (and other desert races). In 3rd Ed Frostburn, you got glacier dwarves, snow elves, ice gnomes, tundra halflings, and in Sandstorm you got badland dwarves, painted elves, and scabland half-orcs.

    So, probably best to open up environmental variants to all races.


    So a level 9 Dwarf Barbarian with 18 Con, Mountain Stoutness, Toughness, and Unbreakable (from the Grey Maiden archetype) has 181 HP, increasing to 410 HP at level 20 if Con is increased to 20, which is 50 less than a Balor.

    Silver Crusade

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    DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
    Charon Onozuka wrote:

    First Reactions:

  • Dislike Cavern Elf. I had a problem with how common Darkvision was among player races in PF1 and am not excited to see that return.
  • No Drow Heritage? I foresee some people being disappointed by this.
  • Reading between the lines "Cavern Elf" is Drow Heritage.

    I could easily see Drow feats being printed to give them their classic levitate/faerie fire stuff with "Cavern Elf ancestry" as a prerequisite.

    It's interesting that they didn't explicitly name "Cavern Elf" Drow, while calling Bleachling Gnomes by their name.

    Yeah, especially since they’re called Drow in the Playtestiary. They might just be Elves that live underground that aren’t Drow (which would be okay with me since Drow in my setting don’t live underground).


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    * I think some of the less inspired Heritage names are a simple function of the design turnover, and as Jadon said, they are concepts to be proved, not stellar nominative final appellations...

    * I'm yet to have Session 0.1 with my son as the changes are coming thick and fast. The first Session 0 was ok, but now should be much happier. However:

    - Not to be greedy, but the first General Feat at 3rd level is totally annoying.
    - Not to beat a dead horse, but growing into your Ancestry is totally annoying.

    I'm really pumped to finally play a new, streamlined version of Pathfinder, but these two participles are sticking in my throat. Gah.

    I love level 1 and level 2, low level play. I don't care if I'm squishy (now not such a problem with all those lovely HP) but a general feat to get us going actively would be awesome.

    And as I love low level play (quick lebelling in the new system notwithstanding) I don't want to wait until level 9 to flower as a scion of my race. If this were "a youth maturing-finder" sure, and I like those games too, but sheesh, not every time...


    I would really like to see something about aasimars and tieflings, just to see how are we approaching this ancestries. From now I'm on the side that would prefer half-breeds to be completely independent ancestries.

    I'm still a bit unsatisfied by the way "races" were downgrade into "ancestries and feats". I prefer the old race system. But the heritage options are indeed closer to what races used to be... Are they?

    I'm an elf x I'm becoming an elf

    It's cool to have a lot of options, as now I can be a completely different elf from my friend's elf, albeit through an heritage and feats, with close to no really unique ability tied to my ancestry choice alone... What I mean is that I'm now officially forced to chose an heritage to be a functional or at least a "cool" elf.

    In the past an heritage and feats would give us alternative options for an already functionaly independent race, and I see no need to regress from this rules. This options should just improve already existing features or give new cool options to reflect level progression and not be the way for an elf to be an elf - I see no need to change an already consolidated rule.


    Souphin wrote:

    Is this a typo

    ** spoiler omitted **
    Because the penalty is already there for a 2nd attack and it gets worse for not being an agile weapon.
    Worst case is
    1st Action +X,-7
    2nd Action -12,-19
    3rd Action -24,-31

    MAP is capped at -10 (-8 for agile)

    So it's
    Non agile / agile
    ± 0/-7. . . 0/-6
    -10/-12. . -8/-10
    -10/-12. . -8/-10


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    The Gold Sovereign wrote:

    I would really like to see something about aasimars and tieflings, just to see how are we approaching this ancestries. From now I'm on the side that would prefer half-breeds to be completely independent ancestries.

    I'm still a bit unsatisfied by the way "races" were downgrade into "ancestries and feats". I prefer the old race system. But the heritage options are indeed closer to what races used to be... Are they?

    I'm an elf x I'm becoming an elf

    It's cool to have a lot of options, as now I can be a completely different elf from my friend's elf, albeit through an heritage and feats, with close to no really unique ability tied to my ancestry choice alone... What I mean is that I'm now officially forced to chose an heritage to be a functional or at least a "cool" elf.

    In the past an heritage and feats would give us alternative options for an already functionaly independent race, and I see no need to regress from this rules. This options should just improve already existing features or give new cool options to reflect level progression and not be the way for an elf to be an elf - I see no need to change an already consolidated rule.

    Well, in 3rd/PF1, you have racial variants that swap out traits for new ones, so they are trying to keep it core, and then you slap on a variant.


    So this has been probably been mentioned before but is it intended that a half-elf won't be able to access the new Elf Step Ancestry feat(lvl 9)? For an elf to get it they would need the Fleet general feat and the Nimble ancestry feat. 30+5+5=40. The old Half-elf ancestry feat could get it by getting the Half-elf feat, Nimble feat, and Fleet feat. 25+5+5+5=40. Now the new Half-elf has no dreams of getting it. 25+5+5=35. Out of all the feats, this is one of the few that does not require a previous feat per say but a stat requirement that can only be reached by certain feats. Maybe there is an item that can boost your speed but I feel sad for Half-elfs that want to go fast.

    Is this an intended balance from Paizo or an oversight? Would be interesting to know. I rather be told it was a "nerf" then stay up wondering if this was an error.


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    So, in the end, after reading 1.4 again, I have to say the following about ancestries:

    Pros:

    I like the idea of Heritage feats. I think it's a step in the right direction but there are several issues here that need to be addressed.

    Cons:

    - Most of the names for Heritages range from somewhat weird to openly bizarre.
    For instance, if Cave Elf is meant to be Drow...why not call it Drow?
    And if it's not meant to be Drow, then it's even weirder.

    - Terrain variations should not be heritage feats for specific ancestries.
    An Arctic Elf and Snow Goblin and exactly the same, mechanically. This is because adapting to a specific environment is not something restricted to some races, anyone can do it.
    These terrain heritages should become available to all ancestries and the ones that have them should receive REAL heritage feats instead, something that pertains to their ancestry and their ancestry only.

    - There is a distinct balance issue with many of the ancestry feats.
    I'm pretty sure I'm going to see a lot of Barbarians (or just generally warrior-type characters) that have a Gnome best friend now.
    Vivacious Conduit is way too powerful.
    Same with Multitalented. I don't look forward to DMing for these characters that have two archetypes already by level 9.
    I have had multiclassed characters in 1st edition but, most of time, it's just a combination of two different classes, no more.
    One of my players is now rolling a Sorcerer/Ranger/Cleric.
    I don't feel good about this.
    At this point, it's basically just stitching different parts on a character and it makes it feel more like a golem than a real person...


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    dnoisette wrote:

    - Terrain variations should not be heritage feats for specific ancestries.

    An Arctic Elf and Snow Goblin and exactly the same, mechanically. This is because adapting to a specific environment is not something restricted to some races, anyone can do it.
    These terrain heritages should become available to all ancestries and the ones that have them should receive REAL heritage feats instead, something that pertains to their ancestry and their ancestry only.

    Yes, elemental and environmental variants should be open to any race (jungle gnome, fire elf, whatever). I am on the fence about Planetouched.


    42nfl19 wrote:

    So this has been probably been mentioned before but is it intended that a half-elf won't be able to access the new Elf Step Ancestry feat(lvl 9)? For an elf to get it they would need the Fleet general feat and the Nimble ancestry feat. 30+5+5=40. The old Half-elf ancestry feat could get it by getting the Half-elf feat, Nimble feat, and Fleet feat. 25+5+5+5=40. Now the new Half-elf has no dreams of getting it. 25+5+5=35. Out of all the feats, this is one of the few that does not require a previous feat per say but a stat requirement that can only be reached by certain feats. Maybe there is an item that can boost your speed but I feel sad for Half-elfs that want to go fast.

    Is this an intended balance from Paizo or an oversight? Would be interesting to know. I rather be told it was a "nerf" then stay up wondering if this was an error.

    you can get additional speed from class (and subsequently multiclass), like from monk and barbarian from the top of my head.


    shroudb wrote:
    42nfl19 wrote:

    So this has been probably been mentioned before but is it intended that a half-elf won't be able to access the new Elf Step Ancestry feat(lvl 9)? For an elf to get it they would need the Fleet general feat and the Nimble ancestry feat. 30+5+5=40. The old Half-elf ancestry feat could get it by getting the Half-elf feat, Nimble feat, and Fleet feat. 25+5+5+5=40. Now the new Half-elf has no dreams of getting it. 25+5+5=35. Out of all the feats, this is one of the few that does not require a previous feat per say but a stat requirement that can only be reached by certain feats. Maybe there is an item that can boost your speed but I feel sad for Half-elfs that want to go fast.

    Is this an intended balance from Paizo or an oversight? Would be interesting to know. I rather be told it was a "nerf" then stay up wondering if this was an error.

    you can get additional speed from class (and subsequently multiclass), like from monk and barbarian from the top of my head.

    That is a lot of work to get to 40 speed where you did not have that before. Now making a fast ranger or even rogue is a crapshoot unless I sacrifice things to get into monk or whatever.


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    Vic Ferrari wrote:
    dnoisette wrote:

    - Terrain variations should not be heritage feats for specific ancestries.

    An Arctic Elf and Snow Goblin and exactly the same, mechanically. This is because adapting to a specific environment is not something restricted to some races, anyone can do it.
    These terrain heritages should become available to all ancestries and the ones that have them should receive REAL heritage feats instead, something that pertains to their ancestry and their ancestry only.
    Yes, elemental and environmental variants should be open to any race (jungle gnome, fire elf, whatever). I am on the fence about Planetouched.

    I'd rather not have this. If you're playing Reign of Winter, then arctic elf is the best choice for elf. I don't want it to be the best choice for every single character regardless of their race; that's just going to get boring.


    42nfl19 wrote:

    So this has been probably been mentioned before but is it intended that a half-elf won't be able to access the new Elf Step Ancestry feat(lvl 9)? For an elf to get it they would need the Fleet general feat and the Nimble ancestry feat. 30+5+5=40. The old Half-elf ancestry feat could get it by getting the Half-elf feat, Nimble feat, and Fleet feat. 25+5+5+5=40. Now the new Half-elf has no dreams of getting it. 25+5+5=35. Out of all the feats, this is one of the few that does not require a previous feat per say but a stat requirement that can only be reached by certain feats. Maybe there is an item that can boost your speed but I feel sad for Half-elfs that want to go fast.

    Is this an intended balance from Paizo or an oversight? Would be interesting to know. I rather be told it was a "nerf" then stay up wondering if this was an error.

    Half-orc got access to five new feats. Half-elf got access to six, but one of them is hard to access (it's class-locked for now).

    The feat also doesn't make you go fast. It's just letting you five-foot-step twice with one action. I don't really know why folks would want to take it at all, given the rarity of needing to take a five-foot-step in the system, compounded by the rarity of needing to immediately take a second one.

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    QuidEst wrote:
    42nfl19 wrote:

    So this has been probably been mentioned before but is it intended that a half-elf won't be able to access the new Elf Step Ancestry feat(lvl 9)? For an elf to get it they would need the Fleet general feat and the Nimble ancestry feat. 30+5+5=40. The old Half-elf ancestry feat could get it by getting the Half-elf feat, Nimble feat, and Fleet feat. 25+5+5+5=40. Now the new Half-elf has no dreams of getting it. 25+5+5=35. Out of all the feats, this is one of the few that does not require a previous feat per say but a stat requirement that can only be reached by certain feats. Maybe there is an item that can boost your speed but I feel sad for Half-elfs that want to go fast.

    Is this an intended balance from Paizo or an oversight? Would be interesting to know. I rather be told it was a "nerf" then stay up wondering if this was an error.

    Half-orc got access to five new feats. Half-elf got access to six, but one of them is hard to access (it's class-locked for now).

    The feat also doesn't make you go fast. It's just letting you five-foot-step twice with one action. I don't really know why folks would want to take it at all, given the rarity of needing to take a five-foot-step in the system, compounded by the rarity of needing to immediately take a second one.

    I can see it being used a bunch against Large creatures with Reactions.


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    QuidEst wrote:
    Vic Ferrari wrote:
    dnoisette wrote:

    - Terrain variations should not be heritage feats for specific ancestries.

    An Arctic Elf and Snow Goblin and exactly the same, mechanically. This is because adapting to a specific environment is not something restricted to some races, anyone can do it.
    These terrain heritages should become available to all ancestries and the ones that have them should receive REAL heritage feats instead, something that pertains to their ancestry and their ancestry only.
    Yes, elemental and environmental variants should be open to any race (jungle gnome, fire elf, whatever). I am on the fence about Planetouched.
    I'd rather not have this. If you're playing Reign of Winter, then arctic elf is the best choice for elf. I don't want it to be the best choice for every single character regardless of their race; that's just going to get boring.

    But if only one ancestry has an arctic option, would not everyone choose that ancestry for a Reign of Winter or Frostfell campaign?


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    Eh. This doesn't really address any of the problems I had with ancestry. It just adds more magical knowledge about your culture (or physiology) that you gain from being away from your culture (ie, out adventuring).

    'Heritages' are just flavorless min/max choices. Your choice of cold resist, fire resist, darkvision, more feats/skills (for humans) or something oddball.

    ----
    Oddly enough with everyone but dwarves on the 25' movement train, this update makes the ancestries feel even less unique and more a pile of bonuses to Voltron together for class efficiency.


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    Voss wrote:

    Eh. This doesn't really address any of the problems I had with ancestry. It just adds more magical knowledge about your culture (or physiology) that you gain from being away from your culture (ie, out adventuring).

    'Heritages' are just flavorless min/max choices. Your choice of cold resist, fire resist, darkvision, more feats/skills (for humans) or something oddball.

    ----
    Oddly enough with everyone but dwarves on the 25' movement train, this update makes the ancestries feel even less unique and more a pile of bonuses to Voltron together for class efficiency.

    Players were asking for more stuff, but probably not like this. Really just 2 versions of each race would have been fine just to show the proof of concept. What people actually wanted was more of the feats being baked in at the start. Like the regular sky citadel/underground Dwarf could get Stonecunning, Poison resist and Unburneded all together at the start and be more like a PF1 one.

    This does mean you have to come up with new low level ancestry feats that actually feel like feats, though.


    Rysky wrote:
    QuidEst wrote:
    42nfl19 wrote:

    So this has been probably been mentioned before but is it intended that a half-elf won't be able to access the new Elf Step Ancestry feat(lvl 9)? For an elf to get it they would need the Fleet general feat and the Nimble ancestry feat. 30+5+5=40. The old Half-elf ancestry feat could get it by getting the Half-elf feat, Nimble feat, and Fleet feat. 25+5+5+5=40. Now the new Half-elf has no dreams of getting it. 25+5+5=35. Out of all the feats, this is one of the few that does not require a previous feat per say but a stat requirement that can only be reached by certain feats. Maybe there is an item that can boost your speed but I feel sad for Half-elfs that want to go fast.

    Is this an intended balance from Paizo or an oversight? Would be interesting to know. I rather be told it was a "nerf" then stay up wondering if this was an error.

    Half-orc got access to five new feats. Half-elf got access to six, but one of them is hard to access (it's class-locked for now).

    The feat also doesn't make you go fast. It's just letting you five-foot-step twice with one action. I don't really know why folks would want to take it at all, given the rarity of needing to take a five-foot-step in the system, compounded by the rarity of needing to immediately take a second one.

    I can see it being used a bunch against Large creatures with Reactions.

    It also helps you safely do "hit and run" tactics, bobbing and weaving in and out of danger. Step in, Smack, Step out without risk of attacks of opportunities.


    Rysky wrote:
    Yeah, especially since they’re called Drow in the Playtestiary. They might just be Elves that live underground that aren’t Drow (which would be okay with me since Drow in my setting don’t live underground).

    Golarion has a second group of Elves who went underground to survive Earthfall, right? These ones tunneled to Tian Xia instead of going deep underground and getting corrupted by Rovagug, so they are not evil.

    So Cavern Elf is probably a catch all for those folks, Drow, and any other elves who mighty have been living underground.

    Edit: I just remembered the name- Jinin, who are "cavern elves" but are strongly LG as a society.


    Hey I just thought of something, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's been brought up before. If so, I'd love it if someone could give me a link to the thread because I'm curious what's been said on this previously.
    I was reading the comments about people wondering if it was intentional that half-elves can't get up to 40 feet move speed to take that new feat, and it got me thinking. Is there a way the system could be adjusted so that Half-Elves could have Elf as their base ancestry instead of human if that's how the player wanted to build? As the Ancestries are now, I could see an argument that it would be overpowered, but I'd be super interested to see if this could be done. That way you could have your faster half-elf. Half-orcs could also work this way if Orc is ever added as a playable race in a future book. If it can be done, I think it adds a bit more flexibility to what I think is already a very flexible system. Figured I'd throw it out there as a curiosity at the very least.


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    It's a positive change overall, but dwarves effectively net 0 or negative change (if you took the feats that are now heritage) compared to other races.

    Dwarf cleric on Sunday - I can get away with wearing medium armor because it doesn't reduce my speed any more than a human wearing said armor. I also resist enemy magic so that I can focus more on healing my allies and not worry about potentially being knocked out with a spell.

    Same cleric today - I can avoid magic, but you might die while I make my way over to you for healing unless I want to spend my entire round healing you from here, in which case you get fewer hit points back which are likely to be negated by the very next swing against you.

    It would have been equally easy to just leave the ancestries and their feats as they were and let characters pick 2 at 1st level instead of 1 (limit 1 heritage feat). It feels like needing the sink fixed so you can wash dishes, then getting a combo dishwasher, disposal, and compactor instead. It is very nice and appreciated, but the sink still leaks water when you turn it on.


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    Vic Ferrari wrote:

    Yea, I see what you mean here; thinking back, an old AD&D Dragon magazine has Snow Elves. 2nd Ed FR Great Glacier has some type of arctic dwarves, and 2nd Ed Maztica, Dark Sun, and Al-Qadim all have desert dwarves and elves (and other desert races). In 3rd Ed Frostburn, you got glacier dwarves, snow elves, ice gnomes, tundra halflings, and in Sandstorm you got badland dwarves, painted elves, and scabland half-orcs.

    So, probably best to open up environmental variants to all races.

    ...But this is Pathfinder, and Golarion, not D&D, and "D&D did it" is a bad argument.

    Personally I want any environmental variants to represent meaningful cultural groups that actually exist in Golarion (such as snow elves and desert dwarves) not just "let's have a variant of every environment and every race". Heritages in general should represent meaningful cultural groups, not races that could theoretically exist (but don't).


    ChibiNyan wrote:
    Voss wrote:

    Eh. This doesn't really address any of the problems I had with ancestry. It just adds more magical knowledge about your culture (or physiology) that you gain from being away from your culture (ie, out adventuring).

    'Heritages' are just flavorless min/max choices. Your choice of cold resist, fire resist, darkvision, more feats/skills (for humans) or something oddball.

    ----
    Oddly enough with everyone but dwarves on the 25' movement train, this update makes the ancestries feel even less unique and more a pile of bonuses to Voltron together for class efficiency.

    Players were asking for more stuff, but probably not like this. Really just 2 versions of each race would have been fine just to show the proof of concept. What people actually wanted was more of the feats being baked in at the start. Like the regular sky citadel/underground Dwarf could get Stonecunning, Poison resist and Unburneded all together at the start and be more like a PF1 one.

    This does mean you have to come up with new low level ancestry feats that actually feel like feats, though.

    This would be the best solution. A number of minor traits at level 1 feats and at higher level the feats would grant more specific traits that reflect the progression of the first traits.


    4 people marked this as a favorite.

    It does feel pretty weird to have to choose between "good at carrying stuff" and "hardy" when the overwhelming number of PF1 Dwarves were both.

    I'm not sure "I'm not getting anything from Unburdened, I wear light/no armor" is something worth making big changes for. Since there's still the possibility of having to carry a whole bunch of gear (snare kits are 8 bulk) where it would be useful.


    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    Since there's still the possibility of having to carry a whole bunch of gear (snare kits are 8 bulk) where it would be useful.

    That would be sweet for the Iconic Ranger.

    Liberty's Edge

    I have seen people mention an improvement to the Ranger's Animal Companion, but cannot seem to find anything about that in the Rulebook Update document. Could someone point out where this is?


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    MaxAstro wrote:
    Vic Ferrari wrote:

    Yea, I see what you mean here; thinking back, an old AD&D Dragon magazine has Snow Elves. 2nd Ed FR Great Glacier has some type of arctic dwarves, and 2nd Ed Maztica, Dark Sun, and Al-Qadim all have desert dwarves and elves (and other desert races). In 3rd Ed Frostburn, you got glacier dwarves, snow elves, ice gnomes, tundra halflings, and in Sandstorm you got badland dwarves, painted elves, and scabland half-orcs.

    So, probably best to open up environmental variants to all races.

    ...But this is Pathfinder, and Golarion, not D&D, and "D&D did it" is a bad argument.

    Not really, I know they are infusing more Golarion into the CRB, but PF1 is a game, like D&D, to tell stories in many worlds. Apparently, the majority of people prefer home-brew worlds.


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    Jace Nailo wrote:
    I have seen people mention an improvement to the Ranger's Animal Companion, but cannot seem to find anything about that in the Rulebook Update document. Could someone point out where this is?

    Scroll past the "rules updates" sections (which contains 1.4 through 1.1) to the "other changes" section- new things are outlined in grey, for the Ranger's Full Grown Companion change look at the bottom of page 12.

    Liberty's Edge

    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    Jace Nailo wrote:
    I have seen people mention an improvement to the Ranger's Animal Companion, but cannot seem to find anything about that in the Rulebook Update document. Could someone point out where this is?
    Scroll past the "rules updates" sections (which contains 1.4 through 1.1) to the "other changes" section- new things are outlined in grey, for the Ranger's Full Grown Companion change look at the bottom of page 12.

    Ok, thanks!


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    I'm not sure how I feel about a huge number of PC gnomes being Svirfneblin all of a sudden. Like "Darkvision" is super, super useful so I can see people picking it over Scent, Animal Friend, or a Cantrip.

    Likewise a lot of Elves are going to come from Caves.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    PossibleCabbage wrote:

    I'm not sure how I feel about a huge number of PC gnomes being Svirfneblin all of a sudden. Like "Darkvision" is super, super useful so I can see people picking it over Scent, Animal Friend, or a Cantrip.

    Likewise a lot of Elves are going to come from Caves.

    Those "heritages" are so niche in Golarion that they should be restricted to a Campaign Setting softcover.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    Vic Ferrari wrote:

    Not really, I know they are infusing more Golarion into the CRB, but PF1 is a game, like D&D, to tell stories in many worlds. Apparently, the majority of people prefer home-brew worlds.

    "D&D did it" is still bad argument, even if you are right.

    From what I have heard, though, Paizo is moving towards tying PF2e even more strongly to Golarion than 1e is, hence why rules like deity-less Clerics were cut.

    Which works for me - I have a huge investment in Golarion after having run adventures in it for so long, and the biggest appeal of Pathfinder for me is the setting and the adventure paths.

    I'm not saying there shouldn't be rules for other settings/homebrew to take advantage of, but the core rules IMO should be the most used rules, and should therefore tie to the most used setting.


    4 people marked this as a favorite.

    I'm not offended people here were not familiar with groups like Jinin, but it points out to me that these "generic" names (but indubitably aimed directly at schtick of these ethnic groups) will absolutely ruin appreciation of them.

    People will play with this "Heritage" not knowing about Jinin, not caring about their specific cultural norms, and maybe one day they learn about Jinin... But they'll basically then be like "so what? I already did this without that LG baggage, or being stuck amongst the Tien heathen. Fine, they can be like that, but I'm still gonna do this Darkvision Elf thing separately because that's what I've been doing all along and the rules never said it was only for Jinin".

    Conversely, if Paizo makes the nomenclature more explicitly Golarion-correct, I have to ask why they would be introducing Jinin into CRB when it is otherwise Inner Sea focused, with very very slight treaatment of Tian Xia? Why Jinin, but not other Tian cultures? It doesn't make sense, and trivializes them into "Darkvision Elves" even if they use the correct name for them... Which can even be worse than above example, because people won't connect to specific culture and heritage but will know the name, so if/when they later encounter real Jinin culture they won't accept it as something legitimately new, but just some conceit that somebody says they should be Lawful now (and why do that when they weren't all along, and rules never said they needed to with their Darkvision).

    I don't feel opposed to mechanics for Jinin using Heritage like this, but it doesn't at all seem appropriate to include in CRB like this, whether vaguely or specifically named. Including Darkvision option for Elves in CRB just isn't a strict need for Core. It's a specific thing for specific part of Tian Xia, and it just feels to cheapen the setting by shoe-horning it in for the Darkvision benefits, into a product that otherwise can't give Tian Xia the time of day. ...OK, Tien ethnicity was mentioned, but that's it, and Jinin are hugely more obscure in Tian Xia itself, and Elven insularity was not indicated to have changed, so Jinin are not expected to have notable Absalom presence like Tien. Obviously this is getting heavy into setting stuff, but this seems a serious setting concern, and if Rules devs are still considering including this in some form, I hope they get Setting dev's opinion on implications of this.


    8 people marked this as a favorite.
    ChibiNyan wrote:


    Players were asking for more stuff, but probably not like this. Really just 2 versions of each race would have been fine just to show the proof of concept. What people actually wanted was more of the feats being baked in at the start. Like the regular sky citadel/underground Dwarf could get Stonecunning, Poison resist and Unburneded all together at the start and be more like a PF1 one.

    This does mean you have to come up with new low level ancestry feats that actually feel like feats, though.

    This is a perfect summary of what I expected from this update, and thus the reason why I am currently very disappointed.

    I can't shake off the feeling that players in 2nd edition are asked to buy back everything a race would previously give them - and at an agonizingly slow pace, as well.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    I just feel like if you named them "Darklands Elves" or something like that it would be better than "Cavern Elf" and also cover Drow, Jinin, and any other Subterranean elves.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    I just feel like if you named them "Darklands Elves" or something like that it would be better than "Cavern Elf" and also cover Drow, Jinin, and any other Subterranean elves.

    It does sound better, not so blatantly ignoring the setting context in a supposedly setting-specific rulebook. But there isn't really any canon group of Darklands Elves aside from Jinin (or Drow who don't need this mechanic themselves). But whether a still-overly-generalist-but-plausibly-"Golarion" "Darklands" or more specific "Jinin", I think this is still inappropriate be trading in the schtick of Jinin in the CRB, a product that can't be expected to give them serious coverage. And even if it did give them equal coverage to other ethnicities etc in Core, the question would be WHY when hardly anything else outside Inner Sea is? "Because Darkvision" is pitiful trivialization of them, that would just lead to many players choosing them with no heed to real context.

    If you have a Feat for Darkvision why woudn't you take it? When other option is "you can spend action to search for people you can't see, maybe with +2 bonus". That's no contest, and it will simultaneously undercut "normal" Elves and water down Jinin culture. Not a good look for supposedly Golarion-world-centric product. I mean, maybe we shoudn't be too serious about that claim, but it seems basic to me. I think there's a tendency to think anything and everything can be put into 2nd Ed CRB. IMHO, that's not only un-necessary, but not advisable, here as other cases.

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