ACG Racial Archetypes?


Advanced Class Guide Playtest General Discussion

Scarab Sages

Can we honestly expect to see some racial archetypes for the various hybrid classes?


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Honestly, I hope not. The vast majority of the ARG racial archetypes fit perfectly well with any race. Making them "racial" just restricted the choice for characters from other races, even if those races are as (if not more) thematic than the associated race.

There are 10 classes in the ACG, all of which need support in terms of feats/spells/etc. There have also been references to material for the existing classes, to allow them to interact with the new ACG mechanics. Given this, there will be a limited amount of space for archetypes. Given that limited space, I would hope they would spend it dealing with concepts that can be applied to as large a group as possible rather than arbitrarily restricting them to a single race.


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Most racially-restricted game mechanics have no reason to be so restricted, so I'm going with 'no'.


I agree with those two. Racial archetypes should exist in only three circumstances:

1) They tie directly into the mechanics in a way that literally would not work otherwise, like one that directly modifies an SLA. These are okay, but should be seriously awesome to justify being such narrow material. Pathfinder has few, if any of these.
2) The archetype is intentionally more powerful than most in order to help a thematic combination that's otherwise weak. Pathfinder has basically exactly one of these, and they're a dangerous area to play around in.
3) The thematics are so tightly integrated that it's literally inconceivable that anything besides that race could ever in any circumstance have the mechanics associated with the archetype. Pathfinder has zero of these.

Pathfinder has maybe three racial archetypes that are even remotely justified. They were a sort of neat idea that fit okay in the book they were in, but they are not something that I ever want to see again unless they wildly revise their approach to them.


I honestly hope we do. Because I'll always reskin them to be accessible for almost anyone - but it is the design impetus that creates the racal archetype that creates the often weird, wacky and downright awesome racial archetypes - Half-Orc Bloodgod Disciple and Orc Scarred Witchdoctor I'm staring you guys straight in the face.

I hate the restrictions, but i love the flavor. And the flavor can be tweaked. Tell me, anyone, surely some of these Hybrids have inspired specific fantasy, sic-fi or real world tropes, and some of those are race related…

Tiefling and Aasimar Slayers. Buffy, do you hear me? My Slayer in a PbP has been nicknamed Buffy - by the GM!!!

Half-Orc/Orc/Half-Ogre/Troll/Ogre ferocious grendel style Brawlers - arm soup anyone?

Were/Lycan Hunters - a no brainer.

Elven Uber-Arcanist

Dwarven Warpriest - ultra defendo-tank.

Undine underwater specialist Hunter…..

And this all off the top of my head as I write…

Now none of these need mechanical interpretations as Racial Archetypes, but you can bet this sort of thing can and will be done, either by Paizo or 3PP's, and there will be some real gems….


And here is one:

Post from The black raven

Here's the pertinent part:

The black raven wrote:

...My concepts for ACG archetypes :

- Swashbuckler :

- the Metal Dancer : a heavy-armored dwarven racial archetype

So, yes it could be for any race, but it is the mere fact that the perception of fantasy dwarf tropes led to this concept - and there will be more, I promise you… :)


Joyd wrote:
I agree with those two. Racial archetypes should exist in only three circumstances:

I'd also add that racial archetypes are a good way to allow a race to play an class that fits them thematically, but their stats don't support. Which is to say, Stonelord Paladin for Dwarves.


That's exactly what I was trying to get at with number two. The reason I consider that dangerous design space is that undershooting creates trap options (which many racial archetypes are anyway) and overshooting creates odd cases where one race (or characters taking the race spoofing options that let them qualify) become dominant choices for the class in general.


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I think Stonelord is actually a really good example of the minefield that is racial archetypes. Yes, it makes it easier to have Dwarven Paladins, which is awesome. However, the class also perfectly fits Oreads (both mechanically and thematically), but they are arbitrarily barred from it. Svirneblin would like the stat changes and idea of it too, and any Paladin of an Earth diety would appreciate the theme.

Restricting it to dwarves adds nothing, it just took away the option from other races. After the game has specifically been altered to allow other races to be "Dwarven" Defenders and non-elves to take up Arcane Archery, I see absolutely no reason to regress by making racial archetypes (at least those that do not rely on specific racial mechanics) a thing.

Contributor

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
I honestly hope we do. Because I'll always reskin them to be accessible for almost anyone - but it is the design impetus that creates the racal archetype that creates the often weird, wacky and downright awesome racial archetypes - Half-Orc Bloodgod Disciple and Orc Scarred Witchdoctor I'm staring you guys straight in the face.

Then why not pull a Kitsune Rogue Talent and include text like this:

Kitsune Rogue Talents wrote:
The following rogue talent may be chosen by any rogue who qualifies, though it is more common among kitsune rogues.

instead of this:

Racial Archetypes wrote:
Typically, only members of the section's race can take the listed archetype, bloodline, or order, though such options rarely interact with the racial traits or alternate racial traits of that race. An archetype usually features a thematic link to the race, granting it class features that complement the abilities and the background of the race. Because adventurers are often social outliers, sometimes these archetypes feature a theme that is an exception to the norm for racial tendencies.

I especially hate the the last sentence I quoted here; it basically says "screw the race's flavor and mechanics, this is a racial archetype for the race because we say it is."

To that end, I want to give a shout-out to Patrick Renie and everyone else who worked on Blood of the Moon. It is an absolute perfect example of how to handle racial options; it adds a host of new abilities that are themed to skinwalkers and lycanthropes without actually requiring a character to be a skinwalker or lycanthrope to take them. How racial options are handled in that book is exactly how Paizo should handle racial options going forward, and I wouldn't say 'No' to an Advanced Race Guide errata either. As Mort said, the current system is a regression in Paizo's design philosophy; especially since the Arcane Archer got an errata that removed its prerequisites not even two months before the Advanced Class Guide was released.


Alexander Augunas wrote:


Racial Archetypes wrote:
Typically, only members of the section's race can take the listed archetype, bloodline, or order, though such options rarely interact with the racial traits or alternate racial traits of that race. An archetype usually features a thematic link to the race, granting it class features that complement the abilities and the background of the race. Because adventurers are often social outliers, sometimes these archetypes feature a theme that is an exception to the norm for racial tendencies.
I especially hate the the last sentence I quoted here; it basically says "screw the race's flavor and mechanics, this is a racial archetype for the race because we say it is."

In some cases that like makes sense. Things like the Redeemer obviously go directly against the theme of the race.

Still don't think they should be limited to specific races though. There's room for a Human Redeemer same as a Half-Orc one within narrative space.

Contributor

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Ilorin Lorati wrote:

In some cases that like makes sense. Things like the Redeemer obviously go directly against the theme of the race.

Still don't think they should be limited to specific races though. There's room for a Human Redeemer same as a Half-Orc one within narrative space.

Tiefling Redeemer

Goblin Redeemer
Drow Redeemer
Strix Redeemer

I could keep going. :-)


I had mixed feelings about the racial archetypes. I thought some were flavorful and pretty good fits, and really wouldn't make much fluff sense for some races.

Probably the worse were the half-races and humans, just because humans are so common and culturally diverse that it's hard to think of any archetypes which would be unique to humans as a whole.

On the other hand a racial prereq is literally the easiest thing to handwave. If a player asked to play a Oread Stone Paladin and had a backstory that fit it, I would say yes.

Over all though, racial archetypes are probably a better fit for a campaign setting book than a world neutral hardcover.

Scarab Sages

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I do agree that restricting an archetype to one race is less fruitful.

An example is Stonelord. It fits dwarves well and acts as a band aid to cover the race's weaknesses that would normally be present if they were to join that class. Yet I do agree that Oread, Svirneblin, and any deity who is a patron of earth would appreciate it equally as much.

However I am also of the mind where I find it hard to believe to see an Undine or Slpyh Stonelord.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
I honestly hope we do. Because I'll always reskin them to be accessible for almost anyone - but it is the design impetus that creates the racal archetype that creates the often weird, wacky and downright awesome racial archetypes - Half-Orc Bloodgod Disciple and Orc Scarred Witchdoctor I'm staring you guys straight in the face.

Then why not pull a Kitsune Rogue Talent and include text like this:

Kitsune Rogue Talents wrote:
The following rogue talent may be chosen by any rogue who qualifies, though it is more common among kitsune rogues.

instead of this:

Racial Archetypes wrote:
Typically, only members of the section's race can take the listed archetype, bloodline, or order, though such options rarely interact with the racial traits or alternate racial traits of that race. An archetype usually features a thematic link to the race, granting it class features that complement the abilities and the background of the race. Because adventurers are often social outliers, sometimes these archetypes feature a theme that is an exception to the norm for racial tendencies.

I especially hate the the last sentence I quoted here; it basically says "screw the race's flavor and mechanics, this is a racial archetype for the race because we say it is."

To that end, I want to give a shout-out to Patrick Renie and everyone else who worked on Blood of the Moon. It is an absolute perfect example of how to handle racial options; it adds a host of new abilities that are themed to skinwalkers and lycanthropes without actually requiring a character to be a skinwalker or lycanthrope to take them. How racial options are handled in that book is exactly how Paizo should handle racial options going forward, and I wouldn't say 'No' to an Advanced Race Guide errata either. As Mort said, the current system is a regression in Paizo's design philosophy; especially since the Arcane Archer got an errata that removed its prerequisites not even two months...

Umm...Go ahead and do so if you like. I'm not a fan of any type of restriction. I dislike the concept almost entirely that only one "race" has an affinity or ability/capability to "be" something.

I still like the concept as an aid to design. After that, remove the restriction. As I said already upthread - I always will. I've created a few Homebrewed RA's, but apart from a Drider Cavalier Racial Archetype (Arachnid Charger), all of them were easily portable to another race. Even with a few tweaks the Ogre Dreadnaught Cavalier Racial Archetype is a great fit for Medium Humanoids.

@Alexander - I have no truck with PFS so if your beef comes from trying to integrate with that organized play format, my apologies for that and more power to you in your fight against draconian restrictions.


I don't have the book yet, so can anyone update us if there are racial archetypes in there?

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