I'm curious how they're going to handle this in the first AP that's set in a place where your less common ancestries are concentrated. They're probably setting the first couple in the main inner sea region since that's what they have the mechanics to support, with a few new ancestries under their belt they have the tools to set APs in places with significant non-core ancestry populations.
Or even if these things are thematically related. Like if you're setting an adventure near the gravelands that's about "taking the fight to the Whispering Tyrant" then you should be able to play an Orc, because the Orcs of Belkzen are at war with Tar-Baphon and their lands abut the gravelands.
I quite like the idea but would probably go for a 'everybody gets only one' cap
I think the thing that makes it safe to give out "free feats" somewhat liberally is that feats are now essentially "versatility enhancers" and not "math enhancers". Like if you were to give a character every single fighter feat, they wouldn't be better at archery than a fighter who just took all the archery feats; they'd just be able to pick up a polearm or two kukris, or a flickmace and a shield and do better than the archer could.
I mean, the animal folk are still part of the setting. We just got the lizard people, and the APG is going to have the cat people and the crow people. I'm more hoping we get stats for the cuddly spider people as a playable ancestry than concerned about not getting the fox people or the snake people or whatever.
But there's also nothing stopping your GM from providing class feats at every level up.
The one thing I'm interested in exploring is offering bonus feats as a narrative reward. Like if you were to help out an organization and they repay you by making you members (granting the dedication as a bonus feat), or the old hermit teaches you to make snares for helping him out of a jam, or after putting down the blight-corrupted wolf you can adopt the surviving puppy as an animal companion, etc.
I think a lot of time the ancestry of a given character is a core part of the concept and the player comes to the GM with "Hey, I really want to play [whatever weird thing]" in most cases the GM is not going to say "no" without a really good reason (e.g. a Hobgoblin PC in Ironfang Invasion is a lot more work for the GM), or unless it's something truly weird (like a Kasatha or an Astomoi).
If the concept of your character is "a Cecaelia explorer who is a good-natured flibbertigibbet" You're probably going to get to do that most of the time if it's not singularly inappropriate.
I think the rules for uncommon ancestries are just "in general, ask the GM if this works for the game" with certain ancestries being called out as good choices for certain campaigns (because of where they are set.)
It's entirely possible that the GM will have a general policy of "a Nagaji in Cheliax? Everything's fine, really" but other GMs will want to keep the Dhampirs near Ustalav, the Androids near Numeria, etc.
If you think about it "check your character with the GM in session 0" is a much less onerous implication of rarity than "so, how do I get myself a Katana or the Teleport spell?"
That was a note on population in the area and not a limitation on PC's though. The guide didn't prohibit kitsune from playing the AP for instance.
It also says
Other races could work, but they may seem a bit too exotic or out of place for the adventures in Iron Gods for some groups.
Which is precisely the same as saying "Kitsune (etc.) are uncommon in Numeria."
Probably. I mean, the Player's Guide in PF1 APs already did this. Consider the following from the Iron Gods Player's Guide:
Translating to PF2, this would mean that for the Iron Gods Adventure Path the Aasimar, Tiefling, Changeling, and Orc ancestries are common and the Android ancestry, normally rare, is uncommon.
I mean, "Wait for more books so my character is fun" is something that afflicted a great number of non-wizard classes in the last edition, which nonetheless ended up pretty decent so this is not an unworkable situation.
When designing a new edition, without knowing what those things are, it's probably wisest to err on the side of making the weakest things from the old edition too strong and the strongest things from the old edition too weak. Which is why the CRB rogue and fighter are now excellent and the wizard is a bit underwhelming.
I feel like uncommon is a useful concept to have in the game just to point out "some things are more common in certain parts of the world than others." The problem with a "if it's in a book, you can have it" approach is that it's kind of a pain to continually justify how Arcadian magic guns, Minkaian blade techniques, Vudrani psychic magic, and a Storm Kindler all ended up in the River Kingdoms. It's even more of an issue when it's less "essential to the notion of the character" and more "this thing I saw in a book is neat."
Like I played a Terrakineticist in Ironfang Invasion, which was a very thematic choice. But in the middle of the campaign Heroes of Golarion came out and I had to weigh "I should take the clockwork talents because I can and they're useful" versus "there's no plausible way I would have picked this up in the course of the campaign."
Tender Tendrils wrote:
To be honest, if they release feats to make heavy crossbows better, I would much rather they be fighter feats, as the heavy crossbow generally isn't a weapon I picture being used by a ranger. (the heavy crossbow is probably similar to what historically was known as an arbalest, which was usually wielded by a guy in a mixture of plate and mail hiding behind a pavise, who generally wasn't very well suited to the scouting and skirmishing we would associate with a ranger).
I imagine we're eventually going to get repeating crossbows as an advanced weapon, and the fighter is absolutely the best chassis to use any advanced weapon with. That's probably close enough. But with how armor works it's going to be a hard sell to combine "high dex, because you use a crossbow" with "wears heavy armor".
Well, if we're doing this on a ranger (because we keep talking about ranger feats) we might want to also have an action occasionally to use the ranger's signature class feature- hunt target.
Running reload lets you move, but not do any of those other things you might want to do.
This is the real issue on the matter. The two action reload makes it too difficult to be used consistently. Certain feats like Penetrating shot and Deadly Aim make it good, but not a much better choice over a regular Crossbow.
I feel like what we need are feats that improve the action economy, not "reducing the number of actions needed to reload" since the heavy crossbow is fine as a one shot/round weapon, but things like running reload that let you combine interact actions to reload with "other things you might want to do anyway."
Whether or not it's the witch, I want a "prepared pick-a-list" class eventually. It doesn't need to step on the toes of the Wizard, Cleric, or Druid any more than the Occult sorcerer steps on the toes of the Bard or the Divine sorcerer steps on the toes of the Oracle.
I personally want a dedicated prepared and a dedicated spontaneous caster for each of the four lists, and a "pick a list" option for both prepared and spontaneous. If we get a third kind of casting, then that's five more classes I want.
Power creep is pretty much inevitable, since even if all you're doing is adding purely situational options, the overall power level is going to be higher since those options are going to be better in the situations they are tailored for than previous options.
Plus, it's not necessarily a bad thing, since it helps the lower end of the power curve more than the higher end. Like the Fighter gained significantly more from the Player's Companion line than the Wizard did.
Really, the things that exclusively affect player characters (like how class abilities or spells work) changing when there's a new edition is no different from how these same sorts of things change when a new book comes out that has options that weren't previously available. Golarion had no shapeshifting martials at all before the Metamorph alchemist in Ultimate Intrigue and when Ultimate Wilderness came out suddenly the Shifter class had always been part of the world.
Flexibility and wiggle-room opens doors to enjoyable, playable, fun concepts at our tables and the moment the CRB says "these are the alignments allowed", the doors close. Sure, you can petition a GM for variance, but you've got to expect a "no" on the basis that the GM will look at the book and say "Paizo indicates this shouldn't happen".
Well, what if we just did heretical or idiosyncratic clerics who nonetheless get powers from the god as a class achetype?
It seems reasonable to do it this way since this says "the overwhelming number of clerics of [whomever] are [these alignments]" while allowing the possibility of some different ones to be rare or unusual.
Where I think Wizards suffer in comparison to other classes is that their class feats simply aren't as exciting as class feats that other casters get. Primarily the Wizard's feats are about getting more, or more versatility out of spell slots... which is all well and good, but it's not exactly as evocative as wild shaping or that mime spell.
The thing about Wands was that one of the questions they asked in one of the playtest surveys was about "does it matter if wands are essentially a bulk consumable" and the response was overwhelmingly "no, it does not."
While one use per wand per day seems pretty restrictive, there is additional space for archetypes or feats to enable a character to get more out of their wands.
Int in PF1 effectively gave you "legendary" proficiency in an additional skill. You got 1 skill rank per level, so you could maximize one other skill. These aren't exactly comparable of course, but I feel that's a reasonable way to look at it. Level to everything (trained) does make this equation significantly different.
I think you're wrong about this. Trained is precisely equivalent to "one rank per level"- it's literally "add your level." Legendary is like "one rank + per level, plus skill focus, plus a class feature like trapfinding or consummate liar."
Pharasma had Achaekek kill Aroden, because Aroden caught wind of Pharasma's scheme.
I'm not saying the Lady of Graves has a nefarious scheme, but she was the last one out alive from the last version of reality so she's almost certain to take steps to be the last one out alive from this version of reality, even if doing so is not for the ultimate benefit of this reality.
It feels like "your PC intersects the path of a traveling circus" is a vastly looser hook than "your PC is from Kintargo" or "you were visiting Sandpoint on the wrong day" or "you have a prior relationship with a specific Ustalavic academic/noble" (they did this one twice!).
The circus needs lots of different people, after all, and lots of different kinds of people will find "traveling with a circus" to be useful for them.