Half Orc / Half Elf Racial Ruling


Pathfinder Society


First, I'd like to thank all the staff and the many people who argued the points clearly in the threads to get this ruling posted.

FAQ wrote:

Half-Elf or Half-Orc: Can a character of either of these races select human racial favored class options?

Yes. 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).

Edit 9/26/13: This is a reversal of an earlier ruling. This resolves a discrepancy between this FAQ, another APG FAQ, and a Core Rulebook FAQ.

—Pathfinder Design Team, Thursday

Just curious, since Aasimar and Tiefling are required to be half-human, will this ruling apply to them as well? PFS requires half human, so should they have the same benefits/penalties? (I know about the Scion of Humanity, but tieflings don't have that option.)

Sczarni 4/5

They are native outsiders. They might have some human blood in them, but not enough to qualify them as half-human. Mechanically, they would have to have "Aasimar Blood" racial trait, as half-orcs or half-elves have their own Elf Blood and Orc Blood traits.

That's should solve your issue I believe.

Adam

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Aasimars and Tieflings are only "human" in that they aren't Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, or Orc. The FAQ was meant only for Half-Elves and Half-Orcs. Not Ifrit, Oreads, Aasimars, Tieflings, or any other Native Outsiders.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'm curious which ruling has priority. the FAQ clarifies that yes half-elves and half-orcs can take elf and orc related archetypes. but Mike ruled a narrower scope "no" for PFS. Now that both racial heritage feat and the _-blooded race traits indicate that you can take elven and orc archetypes, will we be able to see a half-elven treesinger or a half-orc scarred witch doctor in pathfinder society?

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Vincent Colon-Roine wrote:
I'm curious which ruling has priority. the FAQ clarifies that yes half-elves and half-orcs can take elf and orc related archetypes. but Mike ruled a narrower scope "no" for PFS. Now that both racial heritage feat and the _-blooded race traits indicate that you can take elven and orc archetypes, will we be able to see a half-elven treesinger or a half-orc scarred witch doctor in pathfinder society?

Well, Scarred Witch Doctor is still not allowed per the Additional Resources page, but otherwise I think a change to the rules overrides a campaign-specific ruling on a previously gray area.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

so it wouldn't preclude a half-elven treesinger now, as treesingers are approved? cool.

Dark Archive

Vincent Colon-Roine wrote:
so it wouldn't preclude a half-elven treesinger now, as treesingers are approved? cool.

additional resources mucks that up

Note: Alternate racial traits, racial archetypes, racial evolutions, racial feats, and racial spells are only available for characters of the associated race. Racial equipment and magic items can be purchased and used by any race as long as the specific item permits it (for example, only halflings can purchase and use solidsmoke pipeweed).

there is no work around to that, for pfs you STILL have to be the race

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The ruling in PFS is that feats/traits/spells/and most items from the ARG are meant for only "members of that race". Not "members of another race", no matter what they're treated as.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Name Violation wrote:
Vincent Colon-Roine wrote:
so it wouldn't preclude a half-elven treesinger now, as treesingers are approved? cool.

additional resources mucks that up

Note: Alternate racial traits, racial archetypes, racial evolutions, racial feats, and racial spells are only available for characters of the associated race. Racial equipment and magic items can be purchased and used by any race as long as the specific item permits it (for example, only halflings can purchase and use solidsmoke pipeweed).

there is no work around to that, for pfs you STILL have to be the race

Oh, I didn't catch that. I take back what I said.


Name Violation wrote:
Vincent Colon-Roine wrote:
so it wouldn't preclude a half-elven treesinger now, as treesingers are approved? cool.

additional resources mucks that up

Note: Alternate racial traits, racial archetypes, racial evolutions, racial feats, and racial spells are only available for characters of the associated race. Racial equipment and magic items can be purchased and used by any race as long as the specific item permits it (for example, only halflings can purchase and use solidsmoke pipeweed).

there is no work around to that, for pfs you STILL have to be the race

As that caveat is only found in the ARG section, is that restriction only on content from the ARG?

There are race specific options in the APG, but no caveat there.
So can Half Elves take Elven Accuracy or Light Step?
What about Half Elves taking the Elven Lightbringer trait or other racial traits through the use of the Elven Spirit feat?

According to the ruling, both Half race can take favoured class options, among other things, of Humans and Half Elves can snag Elf ones as well, in addition to their own racial choice, and they aren't restricted by the caveat in the ARG correct?

All I'm looking for really is either the caveat be added to the APG and Core Rulebook sections of the Additional Resources section for clarity's sake, or left out to allow access to those book's options. The caveat could also be altered or expanded to allow the ruling to work within PFS or the ruling be refuted for Society Play.
What I don't expect to see is the Half races getting banned from play for being too difficult to use, so those would be the logical assumptions I can come up with.

Really, I'd like to know which options are allowed by the Elven Spirit feat, or if you are stuck with Elven Magic, despite the option to change it being presented in the feats text, due to the ARG restriction.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I think it's simpler to just restrict access for the ARG. The human feat Racial Heritage was released in the APG. Wouldn't make much sense to apply the same restrictions that are place for the ARG to the APG.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

got it, so its still a headache in PFS even with the FAQ on how its ruled for the rest of the world.


Oh man, half orc and half elf barbarians can get the human bonus to superstition? That's amazing!

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Also, the ARG isn't the only Additional Resource with this kind of "race-only" restriction. Only Goblin PCs can utilize material from Goblins of Golarion.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah, but you can't play a half-goblin. You can play a half-Orc and a half-elf

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

There is nothing preventing a human from taking Racial Heritage (Goblin), though. He just won't be able to utilize any material from the ARG or GoG.


That's a pretty wild ruling. Doesn't do anything in PFS, as others have said, but for everyone else it opens a lot of doors.

"Rules element" is about the blanket-est term possible.

1) Roll a new Half-Elf Witch.
2) Trade out Elven Immunities racial trait for Elf's Dreamspeaker.
3) Take Racial Heritage: (Half-)Orc.
4) Per UC retraining rules, spend 10 days to change your archetype to Scarred Witch-Doctor.

You are now a Con-based full caster that qualifies for Paragon Surge. You also have +1 to the DC of all your slumber hexes, and extra spells known from Human/Half-Elf FCB.

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