Re-skinning traits?


Pathfinder Society


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'm wondering how flexible the backgrounds implied by having a given trait are. To avoid making this too vague, I'll start with an example:

Let's say I want to make a dagger-based character. I decide to go for the River Rat trait, since it synergizes nicely with the concept. River Rat assumes the following about your character's background:

1. They grew up near a river.
2. They were a member of a gang that used them to cut boats loose of their moorings.

Are any of these points flexible? I'm inclined to think that point 1 is not flexible at all, because River Rat is a regional trait, and being near a river is an important distinction for a region. Besides, it's not terribly limiting,as nearly every nation in Golarion contains a river. But for the sake of argument, what if a player wanted to say that they were near a port on the sea instead of a river? Would this matter?

Secondly, what about the criminal element? Surely there are other activities, possibly even legal ones, that could lead to a childhood of dagger expertise? Perhaps the character grew up near a river, and was paid a copper piece by the local captains to scrape barnacles from their ships with a knife? Or perhaps the local port authorities paid urchins to act as shock troops during raids on pirates (they're small, nobody will miss them, and they probably sneak well...for an evil nation, it's a good solution)

Mechanically, I can't think of anything that would change by allowing the second point, and even the first one seems relatively innocuous, but I understand that rules have to be enforced or you'll just have anarchy. So I'm curious what the official ruling on this kind of thing is.

Shadow Lodge

Reskinning is not allowed. If the trait says "this was your life" then it was. Research shows that quite a few Pathfinders were bullied as children, making them very Reactionary. Someone should do a study...

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

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Mystic Lemur wrote:
Reskinning is not allowed. If the trait says "this was your life" then it was. Research shows that quite a few Pathfinders were bullied as children, making them very Reactionary. Someone should do a study...

It is allowed for traits.

See Mark Moreland's post here.

Shadow Lodge

I know this is slightly off tangent, but if reskinning is allowed for traits, is it acceptable for archetypes?

Take Razmiran Priest for example, the flavor text for the class states

Inner Sea Magic wrote:

The so-called “priests” of Razmir are magical charlatans—missionary servants of the Living God who spread his fervent devotion wherever they travel. Altered by Razmir’s magic, he can perform feats impossible for other sorcerers. A Razmiran priest has the following

class features.

However never does the archetype mention that you have to worship Razmir, and the fact that it doesn't have a section on Ex-Razmiran Priests leads me to believe that indeed the character can progress in the archetype even if they decide they want nothing to do with Razmir anymore.

So, since flavor text is not binding for traits, is it binding for archetypes?

5/5 5/55/55/5

That would be good to know. I have a dumb as a box of rocks sorcerer that could easily be convinced he was a cleric of aroden...

Dark Archive

I never assumed that flavour text for archetypes was binding to the character. None of the monks I've created ever had an eastern style either.

Shadow Lodge

Thanks, Rob. That's interesting, and good to know. So much for my funding grant. :D

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain aka TwilightKnight

Re-skinning in any form is dangerous in an organized play environment where the GM changes from event to event. Feel free to call it a strawman argument, but I GUARANTEE that if Mike loosens up the reskinning rules players will continue to push the limits until such time as the rules no longer carry any weight. I'm not making a value statement on whether or not I think we should/not have more re-skinning freedom, only that the rules are what they are.

Animal companions and items are specifically listed in the FAQ, but based on Mike's responses to this topic it is clear the intention is re-skinning is not permitted. AFAIK, only traits have been specifically afforded an exemption. If you want to re-skin aspects of the game, I suggest you save that for your home campaigns. It'll save everyone a lot of headaches in the long run.

Explore! Report! Cooperate!

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

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Dylos wrote:

I know this is slightly off tangent, but if reskinning is allowed for traits, is it acceptable for archetypes?

Take Razmiran Priest for example, the flavor text for the class states

Inner Sea Magic wrote:

The so-called “priests” of Razmir are magical charlatans—missionary servants of the Living God who spread his fervent devotion wherever they travel. Altered by Razmir’s magic, he can perform feats impossible for other sorcerers. A Razmiran priest has the following

class features.

However never does the archetype mention that you have to worship Razmir, and the fact that it doesn't have a section on Ex-Razmiran Priests leads me to believe that indeed the character can progress in the archetype even if they decide they want nothing to do with Razmir anymore.

So, since flavor text is not binding for traits, is it binding for archetypes?

No, reskinning is not acceptable for archetypes.

Shadow Lodge

Alright, its a shame but good to know, thanks Mike


Dylos wrote:
So, since flavor text is not binding for traits, is it binding for archetypes?

At the very least, surely you can just not bring it up in conversation.

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