[petition] Please fix or ban "Racial Heritage" feat


Pathfinder Society

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The Racial Heritage feat from the APG allows humans to "count as both human and [another humanoid] race for any effects related to race."

However, in PFS, the ARG and most racial sources include the caveat "Alternate racial traits, racial archetypes, racial evolutions, racial feats, and racial spells are only available for characters of the associated race" in their Additional Resources entry. In essence, this makes the Racial Heritage useless for non-core sources, which is where most people would prefer to choose their alternate traits/archetypes/etc from. This leads to a lot of confusion and a feat that isn't terribly useful.

Possible fix: Make Racial Heritage the exception to the AR restriction. However, this will result in the opening of a number of things that I suspect have not yet been evaluated for Society play (such as the Scarred Witch Doctor and God knows what else).

Proposed Solution: I recommend the feat be banned, since its function is severely limited in non-obvious ways.

Shadow Lodge

I'd rather see it banned then made an exception, since making it an exception would effectively reverse the ruling that racial feats are for the associated race only.

However at the same time, I would not want to see the Scion of Humanity alternate racial trait for Aasimars banned, since it has a very real bonus currently of allowing the character to be effected by spells like Enlarge and Reduce Person (and adversely by Charm Person).

However, unless both these are "fixed" or banned, we will keep seeing the same questions over and over.

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston aka Netopalis

I've come across more than a handful of people not realizing how this worked - it needs updating or banning, clearly.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Or people can just accept that it works the way it works, and understand that racial sources after the ARG are not viable targets for said feat.

The feat, however, is far from useless, as you can use it for many, many, many other things that aren't in the ARG (or sources published after the ARG.)


Dylos wrote:

I'd rather see it banned then made an exception, since making it an exception would effectively reverse the ruling that racial feats are for the associated race only.

However at the same time, I would not want to see the Scion of Humanity alternate racial trait for Aasimars banned, since it has a very real bonus currently of allowing the character to be effected by spells like Enlarge and Reduce Person (and adversely by Charm Person).

However, unless both these are "fixed" or banned, we will keep seeing the same questions over and over.

Scion of Humanity at least does other things. I don't think that Scion also being broken is a reason for Racial Heritage to be left broken.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

There's the related issue of how Half-Elves and Half-Orcs are treated.

It would be very strange if a Human with 'Racial Heritage: Elf' (representing a human with a little bit of Elven blood) were allowed access to "Alternate racial traits, racial archetypes, racial evolutions, racial feats, and racial spells" from the Elf list, but a Half-Elf (with even more Elven blood) were not allowed access to those same things (as is currently the case).

So my vote would be to *either* open all those things up to both of the half races as well as those with the Racial Heritage feat *or* ban Racial Heritage and keep the status quo.

2/5

Banned in my home game (Adventure Path). It's just an excuse for cheese.


Mid-business-hours bump. :D


Bumping again. This feat should be banned if can't be fixed.


Jason S wrote:
Banned in my home game (Adventure Path). It's just an excuse for cheese.

Really? How so? I would like to know how this feat is cheesy or has been used for cheese. I mean, if its for picking a particular class then its a problem with that class, and if its with a particular spell then its with that spell, isn't it?


MrSin wrote:
Jason S wrote:
Banned in my home game (Adventure Path). It's just an excuse for cheese.
Really? How so? I would like to know how this feat is cheesy or has been used for cheese. I mean, if its for picking a particular class then its a problem with that class, and if its with a particular spell then its with that spell, isn't it?

Dwarf Scarred Witch Doctor. Elves with nine magical tails (although there's a hell of a feat tax on that one). What's that class with the wish magic? That, on anything.

I'd almost rather the feat was banned, personally, but I think if it's going to be available, it should work.


Racial heritage is human only I thought? The magical tail feat is a rip and rather broken in the other direction because no one has that many spare feats. A dwarf scarred witch doctor isn't any more powerful than an orc or human or half orc scarred witch doctor.

3/5

I agree that the feat is broken so severely by the PFS additional resources rules that something needs to be done about it. It obviously does not function as intended under the PFS house rules.

Shadow Lodge

Patrick Harris @ MU wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Jason S wrote:
Banned in my home game (Adventure Path). It's just an excuse for cheese.
Really? How so? I would like to know how this feat is cheesy or has been used for cheese. I mean, if its for picking a particular class then its a problem with that class, and if its with a particular spell then its with that spell, isn't it?

Dwarf Scarred Witch Doctor. Elves with nine magical tails (although there's a hell of a feat tax on that one). What's that class with the wish magic? That, on anything.

I'd almost rather the feat was banned, personally, but I think if it's going to be available, it should work.

Except that racial heritage is a human feat, still a human scarred witch doctor does seem a bit cheesy (actually, that whole archetype is cheesy).

Its worth noting however that it only can take Humanoid choices, so you couldn't pick Racial Heritage (Ifirt) to get the wishcrafter.

It's also woth noting that RAW a scion of humanity Aasimar qualifies for Racial heritage, so you could by RAW see a scarred witch doctor Idyllkin or Lawbringer, but again that's more an issue with scarred witch doctor.

Venture-Captain, Germany–Hannover aka Hayato Ken

Elves with magical tails from kitsune are nowhere in that feat as i read it.

1. It´s only for humans. Not for elves. Not for dwarves. Not for others.
2. Even humans do not have that sort of tail to begin with, so no magical tails for humans.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I statted up an Elven Zen Archer, but realized that Human was really the better path. If I go that route, I'd like to take Racial Heritage (Elf) so I can take Elven Accuracy.

My vote would be to leave it the way it is. It can initially be confusing, but if we do our jobs as experienced players and GMs and explain why it works the way it does to new players there shouldn't be too many problems.

Besides, if it was banned, would it be retroactive? I'm sure at least one player would have to rebuild. IMO, banning is messier than what we have now.


Yes, yes, my mistake, it's human only. Someone else come up with examples of cheese, then.

The point of this thread isn't whether it's cheesy, it's that it's broken. It should be fixed, or removed from play.


How is someone taking the scarred witch doctor with this? In the AR it explicitly states nothing from the orc section of the ARG is PFS legal.


Well, seeing as Scarred Witchdoctors are banned from PFS, a bit of a bad example on that regard.

Still, on to the issue at hand, Half Elves and Half Orcs now qualify for it as well, at least since the ruling on the 26th.

Pathfinder Design Team wrote:

Two FAQs updated: Core Rulebook FAQ on racial archetypes, Advanced Player's Guide FAQ on racial favored class options. Half-elves and half-orcs may select racial favored class options, archetypes, traits, and so on, as if they were a full member of both races (a half-elf can select elf and human rules elements, a half-orc can select human and orc rules elements).

This resolves a contradiction between Core Rulebook and Advanced Player's Guide FAQs that gave contradictory answers.

Now how does this affect those races, as if I'm understanding this correctly, by RAW through just having the Core Rulebook and Advance Players Guide, Half Elf/Orc characters can select Human and Elf/Orc options, including favored class bonuses. The ban on racial choices is only noted on the Advanced Race Guide, so does this mean that you suddenly lose options when you buy the ARG?

That does not make sense.

The Half Elf Elven Spirit feat needs to be addressed as well, as the feat gives you an Elven Racial trait and an option to exchange it for a different one, but according to the restrictions in the ARG where it is found, you can't do that.

Dark Archive

It takes up a feat. I use it on my sorcerer to get silvertongue as a dwarf. Its fine as is.

Shadow Lodge

I vote that it should be allowed, as it isn't OP. Even the most creative uses (Like a human underfoot adept for Huge+ size tripping shenanigans) aren't going to be broken.


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Racial Heritage and (X) Blood should both allow post ARG options from the whole list.

the only proper source of racially exclusive content, is the ARG

and it would Make the ARG more usable

i also recommend opening up the following races in question to All PCS without needing a boon

Ifrit
Sylph
Undine
Oread
Fetchling
Suli
the Darkvision and Drow Blooded Alternate Racials for Elves and Half Elves

other races i'd appreciate opening up without needing a boon, that can be fine with an easily Acquirable Boon are

Samsaran
Changeling
Dhampir

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

That's a rather extreme position, don't you think?

Shadow Lodge

I agree on the alternate races Umbriere, but I think this thread should keep to racial heritage.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Tampere aka Rei

Umbriere Moonwhisper wrote:
the Darkvision and Drow Blooded Alternate Racials for Elves and Half Elves

This isn't going to happen. Golarion drow just don't work like that, period. They're all irredeemably evil, hate elves, and have no interest in having half-breed offspring with them.


Rei wrote:
Umbriere Moonwhisper wrote:
the Darkvision and Drow Blooded Alternate Racials for Elves and Half Elves
This isn't going to happen. Golarion drow just don't work like that, period. They're all irredeemably evil, hate elves, and have no interest in having half-breed offspring with them.

Reasons Drow would have halfbreeds with elves (or for elves and half elves with darkvision in general)

* Drow forces Elf into an unwilling union to produce more slaves of the lowest caliber at great consequence to the poor elf
* an abused male drow escapes the darklands, survives, and seeks a wife who won't abuse him, falls in love with a female human or elf
* Some elves and half elves, called "Moon Children" in their native tongue, are elves born attuned to the darkness as an uncommon genetic disorder, while not quite of Drow descent, these "Moon Children" are mistaken for being of Drow blood for their affinity for the shadows
* an elf or half elf, was born in an area with a strong connection to the plane of shadow, and the planar essence granted a portion of its life into the recently born child


Rei wrote:
Umbriere Moonwhisper wrote:
the Darkvision and Drow Blooded Alternate Racials for Elves and Half Elves
This isn't going to happen. Golarion drow just don't work like that, period. They're all irredeemably evil, hate elves, and have no interest in having half-breed offspring with them.

I thought that was the exact opposite of what second darkness said about them? In other news, half orcs...

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Can't really exhibit drow features if drowism is a hereditary disease that somehow goes away when you do good acts. Being evil is, afterall, forbbidden in PFS.

And until there's a canon surface elf subrace with darkvision etc, PFS can't just reflavor the half-elf alternate traits to point that way.


Muser wrote:
Can't really exhibit drow features if drowism is a hereditary disease that somehow goes away when you do good acts. Being evil is, afterall, forbbidden in PFS.

Wait? Is that how that works? If your a drow and you turn good your drowism just goes away? I'm not finding that at all on the pathfinder wiki, or in the beastiary, or in the ARG. At best there's a short mention of stories about hateful evils maybe turning into drow. It also doesn't work because biology, but not the first time that's been overlooked.


Please forgive me if I'm off base here, but I believe that "Racial Heritage" still technically works under PFS rules. With "Racial Heritage", it states that "You count as both human and that race for any effects related to race"; thus I believe that you are technically considered to be a character of that race for all effects and purposes. If that's true, then the ARG errata should have no effect on the feat. "Only available for characters of the associated race" aspect of the errata would not come into play because your character is considered to be of that race.

Also this FAQ may be a bit old, but racial heritage was stated to work for archetypes of a specific race. link: http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fn#v5748eaic9pka
However, the FAQ and additional resources may not necessarily contradict each other due my reasoning behind the first paragraph.

Shadow Lodge

Exitius wrote:

Please forgive me if I'm off base here, but I believe that "Racial Heritage" still technically works under PFS rules. With "Racial Heritage", it states that "You count as both human and that race for any effects related to race"; thus I believe that you are technically considered to be a character of that race for all effects and purposes. If that's true, then the ARG errata should have no effect on the feat. "Only available for characters of the associated race" aspect of the errata would not come into play because your character is considered to be of that race.

Also this FAQ may be a bit old, but racial heritage was stated to work for archetypes of a specific race. link: http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fn#v5748eaic9pka
However, the FAQ and additional resources may not necessarily contradict each other due my reasoning behind the first paragraph.

The problem is if not to prevent racial heritage, half humans and scion of humanity aasimars from taking other things, why even include the note in the additional resources?


Dylos wrote:
Exitius wrote:

Please forgive me if I'm off base here, but I believe that "Racial Heritage" still technically works under PFS rules. With "Racial Heritage", it states that "You count as both human and that race for any effects related to race"; thus I believe that you are technically considered to be a character of that race for all effects and purposes. If that's true, then the ARG errata should have no effect on the feat. "Only available for characters of the associated race" aspect of the errata would not come into play because your character is considered to be of that race.

Also this FAQ may be a bit old, but racial heritage was stated to work for archetypes of a specific race. link: http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fn#v5748eaic9pka
However, the FAQ and additional resources may not necessarily contradict each other due my reasoning behind the first paragraph.

The problem is if not to prevent racial heritage, half humans and scion of humanity aasimars from taking other things, why even include the note in the additional resources?

I was assuming that the note in the additional resources is meant for characters that accidentally took spells/feats meant for other races without a qualifying feat. The ARG errata includes everything released after the book; therefore someone could for example, mistakenly take "Chameleon Scales" in "Kobolds of Golarion" since it has no racial prerequisites stated in the spell. However, with the note in the additional resources, that cannot happen.

Of course this is just my interpretation and I could be gravely wrong.

5/5

The note in the additional resources entry for the ARG means that only humans can take stuff in the human section, elves from the elves section, etc with very few exceptions for some equipment.

Mike Brock has made numerous posts, creating a PFS house rule, saying that feats/traits such as scions of humanity or racial heritage do not allow you to bypass that restriction for material in the ARG.

Campaign staff has not yet revisited this house rule restriction in light of the new halfblood FAQ.


Brian Lefebvre wrote:

The note in the additional resources entry for the ARG means that only humans can take stuff in the human section, elves from the elves section, etc with very few exceptions for some equipment.

Mike Brock has made numerous posts, creating a PFS house rule, saying that feats/traits such as scions of humanity or racial heritage do not allow you to bypass that restriction for material in the ARG.

Campaign staff has not yet revisited this house rule restriction in light of the new halfblood FAQ.

Thanks for the clarification Brian, its much appreciated. However, I was wondering if you could link Mike's PFS rule regarding feat/traits that allow you to be considered as other races ("Scion of Humanity" and "Racial Heritage")? It's just for my own references (I tried searching it, but all I found was his ruling regarding half-elves taking elven feats; which is not the same thing).

Dark Archive

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2okbh?Human-Treesinger#21

The first post around this ruling


Caderyn wrote:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2okbh?Human-Treesinger#21

The first post around this ruling

Thanks so much Caderyn! I completely overlooked that post. I guess the ruling for "Racial Heritage" currently only allows for archetypes/spells/feats/traits from books before the ARG. I understand the necessity for a clarification of this feat now.

5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Hamburg

MrSin wrote:
Muser wrote:
Can't really exhibit drow features if drowism is a hereditary disease that somehow goes away when you do good acts. Being evil is, afterall, forbbidden in PFS.
Wait? Is that how that works? If your a drow and you turn good your drowism just goes away? I'm not finding that at all on the pathfinder wiki, or in the beastiary, or in the ARG. At best there's a short mention of stories about hateful evils maybe turning into drow. It also doesn't work because biology, but not the first time that's been overlooked.

As far as I know, Golarion's Drow are evil because they lived for such a long time in an evil society (the Darklands).

They developed their dark skin colour because elves in Pathfinder adopt coloration of their environment when they live at a place for very long.

Nefreet wrote:
Besides, if it was banned, would it be retroactive? I'm sure at least one player would have to rebuild. IMO, banning is messier than what we have now.

Rebuild? Maybe I would just retire my character that uses Racial Heritage.

As it stands now, Racial Heritage simply can't grant access to anything that's printed in the Advanced Race Guide only. This choice is understandable, because the ARG includes a lot feats and archetypes that are sometimes quite powerful, which is lessend by giving them to a single race only. (You can think of that stuff as "elite" knowledge that isn't simply taught to any random half-blood.)
Still, there are a lot of useful feats that Racial Heritage grants a human access to.


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Andreas Forster wrote:
As it stands now, Racial Heritage simply can't grant access to anything that's printed in the Advanced Race Guide only.

Or the race traits in Ultimate Campaign. Or anything from Blood of the Night. Or Goblins of Golarion.

Also, it has been announced that race-related options in future books will all have the same restriction, which means the list of options this feat should (by RAW) work on will continue to grow, but the list of options it does work on will not.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The preferable fix is to remove the racial restrictions on the ARG. Limiting creativity is the order of the day for PFS though, so I'm not holding my breath.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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The Morphling wrote:
The preferable fix is to remove the racial restrictions on the ARG. Limiting creativity is the order of the day for PFS though, so I'm not holding my breath.

Yeah, the 100+ sourcebooks of legal material are pretty stifling. ;)


The Morphling wrote:
The preferable fix is to remove the racial restrictions on the ARG. Limiting creativity is the order of the day for PFS though, so I'm not holding my breath.

How will the world go on if elves lose their unique aspect of stabbing people with arrows! Everyone knows that's an elf only thing and that they're well known for it.

Yeah, I wouldn't hold my breath. Ideally things specific to race make them more unique and add to the race rather than take from everyone else. Just a bit of a disconnect there when things that have nothing to do with being a particular race are limited. I mean ideally its a good thing, just doesn't work out that way for reasons.

Jiggy wrote:
Yeah, the 100+ sourcebooks of legal material are pretty stifling.

I'm pretty sure that's not what Morphling meant. Why so hostile?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Wouldn't have thought that counted as "so hostile", but I'll edit for better conveyance of tone. Thanks for the heads-up.


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Jiggy wrote:
Wouldn't have thought that counted as "so hostile", but I'll edit for better conveyance of tone. Thanks for the heads-up.

One day we'll have a way to read tone on the internet so I can know if its sarcasm, humor, or nerd rage. It'll be both horrifying and fantastic.

btw, I don't want just 100+ sourcebooks. I want 101+ and to use everything in it. Unappeasable fanbase is unappeasable! Funny enough, the fact I want to use it means I do like it. I just don't like having pointy ears personally.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

MrSin wrote:
I just don't like having pointy ears personally.

*looks at avatar*

*scratches head*

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Jiggy always comes off as a bit hostile on these boards. :P

It's not that PFS stifles all creativity, they just lock down a lot of very fun concepts and ability combinations that aren't unbalancing. It doesn't hurt anyone if my mutant human has an Agile Tongue since his grandfather was a Grippli, or my Half-Elf learned to be an Ancient Loremaster.

When in doubt, PFS will ban it. Not that it's a bad thing, necessarily, it just bugs me when a solid half of the characters I've tried to build for the Society end up being banned, since I don't like to be generic.


Let's not beg for the banhammer, here. It would be nice to have, at least, a humanoid flavored human (perhaps with a racial archetype) if the race in question isn't unlocked. This has been the hard adjust for me, knowing the great wealth of resources and options Paizo offers, yet seeing the bottleneck that PFS forces it through for one reason or another. Please remember, your ban recommendation, if followed, will affect EVERY PFS table EVERYWHERE.


Baron Ulfhamr wrote:
Let's not beg for the banhammer, here. It would be nice to have, at least, a humanoid flavored human (perhaps with a racial archetype) if the race in question isn't unlocked. This has been the hard adjust for me, knowing the great wealth of resources and options Paizo offers, yet seeing the bottleneck that PFS forces it through for one reason or another. Please remember, your ban recommendation, if followed, will affect EVERY PFS table EVERYWHERE.

Yes. I know. That is how PFS works. Rulings affect every table everywhere. That's the whole point of the rulings, in fact.

As noted above, I would prefer to see the feat work as written. Since it doesn't, and that's unlikely to change, we should not make it available in a limited format that leads to confusion.

Scarab Sages

So I can be a Half-Elf Paladin (Stonelord, Dwarf Only) or a Half-Orc Druid (Treesinger, Elf Only) because I took the Racial Heritage feat? Interesting.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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The Morphling wrote:
...lock down a lot of very fun concepts and ability combinations that aren't unbalancing. It doesn't hurt anyone if...
Baron Ulfhamr wrote:
...the bottleneck that PFS forces it through for one reason or another.

Like many, many people before you who have wanted more content to be legal, the two of you seem to be of the mindset of "If it's not broken/unbalanced/etc, then why wouldn't it be allowed?"

Now I'm going to venture a guess here, and I could be wrong, but I imagine that most (non-PFS) Pathfinder campaigns around the world don't categorically allow anything that's not "unbalanced". For instance, one campaign might have a nautical theme, another might be political intrigue, another might be about saving a village from an undead uprising, and another might be about a team of evil PCs trying to take over the world.

Now, there are going to be character concepts that would be more appropriate to one campaign than another. For instance, a raging barbarian who hates undead because they killed his family would be a fun concept for plenty of folks; it would also work just fine in the aforementioned nautical campaign, and would be GREAT in the "save the village from zombies" campaign. But it would probably be a bad fit for the political intrigue campaign, and could cause inter-party conflict in the evil campaign if another PC's preferred tool is undead. Similarly, a manipulative bard with great bluff skills could be great in the political or evil campaigns, but would probably be frustrated in "stop the zombies".

Paizo doesn't publish all their material with the assumption that most games are going to use it all (or even most of it). Rather, they're aware of how many different types of campaigns exist, so they publish books with a wide variety of options so that all those diverse campaigns can pick and choose the content that's right for them, and leave the rest behind, then come back to it when they start a different campaign without having to buy a separate book each time.

Now, maybe you already know all that. What I would ask you, then, is this: Why is PFS any different? Why isn't Pathfinder Society allowed to be a campaign like any other, where some stuff is appropriate to the setting and themes while other stuff isn't?


Tactical Monkey wrote:
So I can be a Half-Elf Paladin (Stonelord, Dwarf Only) or a Half-Orc Druid (Treesinger, Elf Only) because I took the Racial Heritage feat? Interesting.

As written, yes.

In PFS, no.

I'm good with either option, I just don't like this in-between state.

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