Does the Racial Heritage feat, combined with a feat that improves an inherent feature (claws, poison, etc) grant you that feature?


Rules Questions

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Explain how taking Racial Heritage makes you differ from "normal humans." Because I hate to say it, they really aren't, considering that by RAW, your (sub)type does not change, which means you're still Humanoid (Human).

Because normal humans do not count as kobolds.


Doomed Hero wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Explain how taking Racial Heritage makes you differ from "normal humans." Because I hate to say it, they really aren't, considering that by RAW, your (sub)type does not change, which means you're still Humanoid (Human).
Because normal humans do not count as kobolds related to race.

So now we're going to sit here and contradict our position, with the other side first saying that no matter how deformed and different humans are from eachother, they're still normal humans, to "normal humans don't count as kobolds"? Logic. [And ironically enough, by RAW they were correct with their first claim in this regard.]

Except, all humans (which includes normal humans) can count as kobolds for effects related to race. They just choose (a better way to say this is that they are born/built) not to. Just like how I can choose to not take an Attack of Opportunity, or take a feat that enhances a limb I currently possess (or gives me a limb that I otherwise do not possess).

It's either you're a Humanoid (Human), or you're a Humanoid (Kobold). Racial Heritage does not give you a (sub)type, so do not treat it as if you get that (sub)type.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Doomed Hero wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Explain how taking Racial Heritage makes you differ from "normal humans." Because I hate to say it, they really aren't, considering that by RAW, your (sub)type does not change, which means you're still Humanoid (Human).
Because normal humans do not count as kobolds.

ummm here it is for the ...so many, many times... it's in the PRD.

You can even find it for yourself but typing the feat into google, I even bolded the bit for you.

Racial Heritage
The blood of a non-human ancestor flows in your veins.
Prerequisite: Human.
Benefit: Choose another humanoid race. You count as both human and that race for any effects related to race. For example, if you choose dwarf, you are considered both a human and a dwarf for the purpose of taking traits, feats, how spells and magic items affect you, and so on.

Subtype isn't even discussed... no need to muddy the water of the discussion.

The PC with the Racial Heritage trait is simply counted as both races as above RAW. End. of. Discussion. (well on this point).


What the heck does subtype have to do with this?

The rules here are really simple.

Do you count as a Kobold? If yes, you can take (and use) Tail Terror.

It is really not this complicated.

I feel like I'm having This Conversation.


Doomed Hero wrote:

What the heck does subtype have to do with this?

The rules here are really simple.

Do you count as a Kobold? If yes, you can take (and use) Tail Terror.

It is really not this complicated.

I feel like I'm having This Conversation.

What do "normal humans" have to do with it? If it is irrelevant, why are you responding to it and not flat out saying "It's irrelevant, take the nonsense elsewhere."

And once again, you're ignoring the fact that a tail is required in order to make a Tail Attack granted from Tail Terror. Just like how hands are needed for standardized manufactured weapons, the same as legs and feet are needed for walking and running and jumping, etc.

It doesn't change the fact that you need the limb to perform the attack, it doesn't change the fact that the limb isn't an effect related to race, it doesn't change the fact that Racial Heritage cannot modify a character's limb availability, especially when said limb availability is not an effect related to race.

If we want to talk about what conversations we've been having in this thread this best sums up what we've amounted to so far.

**EDIT**

@ lastblackknight: So then why are you bringing up Humans as being what would appear to be a completely different race from Humans with the Racial Heritage feat? If you are saying that (sub)types have nothing to do with your claim, then why are you implying that the two subjects are, by RAW, completely different (sub)types of races from each other?

It's quite clear you can't portray your thoughts concisely, since there is this contradiction of intent and verbiage. Make up your mind as to what it is you want to have me infer, so that we can save ourselves some time and resources.

In the mean time, I'm tired of this, and need some rest...


That song is Chacarron Macarron by El Chombo. It's actually one of my favorite internet finds. Cracks me up every time.

-------------back on track-----------------

A tail is not part of the requirements for Tail Terror. Being (or counting as) a Kobold is.

A tail is presupposed by the feat.

The only thing that is hard to understand about this is that it's a very metagame approach to understanding how the rules effect the in-game reality. The mechanics take precedence over the descriptive text.

Which means, even if you might not normally have a tail (which is certainly debatable under racial heritage), once you take Tail Terror, you have one.

You have one because you qualify, not the other way around.

If you qualify for a feat, you get to use it. A bald person could still take Fire-Haired. Having hair isn't one of the prerequisites.

It doesn't matter if it's counterintuitive. It's the way the system works.

Explain it in-game however you want to.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

@Darksol the Painbringer

Racial Heritage
The blood of a non-human ancestor flows in your veins.
Prerequisite: Human.
Benefit: Choose another humanoid race. You count as both human and that race for any effects related to race. For example, if you choose dwarf, you are considered both a human and a dwarf for the purpose of taking traits, feats, how spells and magic items affect you, and so on.

what I meant by saying Subtype isn't even discussed... is simply that, the Racial Heritage trait makes no mention of changing the Subtype of a PC by RAW in the text above. It's therefore irrelevant to the discussion.

@Doomed Hero

Your last post pretty much sums it up...succinctly.

A tail is not part of the requirements for Tail Terror. Being (or counting as) a Kobold is.

A tail is presupposed by the feat.

The only thing that is hard to understand about this is that it's a very metagame approach to understanding how the rules effect the in-game reality. The mechanics take precedence over the descriptive text.

Which means, even if you might not normally have a tail (which is certainly debatable under racial heritage), once you take Tail Terror, you have one.

You have one because you qualify, not the other way around.

If you qualify for a feat, you get to use it. A bald person could still take Fire-Haired. Having hair isn't one of the prerequisites.

It doesn't matter if it's counter-intuitive. It's the way the system works.

Explain it in-game however you want to.


Doomed Hero wrote:

That song is Chacarron Macarron by El Chombo. It's actually one of my favorite internet finds. Cracks me up every time.

-------------back on track-----------------

A tail is not part of the requirements for Tail Terror. Being (or counting as) a Kobold is.

A tail is presupposed by the feat.

The only thing that is hard to understand about this is that it's a very metagame approach to understanding how the rules effect the in-game reality. The mechanics take precedence over the descriptive text.

Which means, even if you might not normally have a tail (which is certainly debatable under racial heritage), once you take Tail Terror, you have one.

You have one because you qualify, not the other way around.

If you qualify for a feat, you get to use it. A bald person could still take Fire-Haired. Having hair isn't one of the prerequisites.

It doesn't matter if it's counterintuitive. It's the way the system works.

Explain it in-game however you want to.

No. This doesn't even make sense. Tail Terror was not a feat designed to be taken with Racial Heritage or to work in conjunction with racial heritage. It is a feat from the Kobold splat book and it has been said many times before that the splat books don't get vetted nearly as much so sometimes things in them end up creating inconsistencies with the core game.

Considering this feat was meant to be taken only by kobolds and this incompatibility with CORE, we can conclude the two feats do not work together nor were they intended to grant a tail. Whoever okayed this Feat did not consider the implications, and this information needs to be included and considered when interpreting the written rules. This is why we need a FAQ/errata for the situation. No amount of arguing is going to convince the other side of their interpretation but I'm willing to bet that we get a ruling from the developers in favor of, "No tail, no tail slap." In addition, I'm willing to bet we get an errata/FAQ answer for racial heritage that clarifies that taking racial heritage does not grant a character the physical characteristics of their heritage race.

The two feats are incompatible, because humans do not have tails. Humans do not have tails and they do not gain a tail either from Racial Heritage or Tail Terror. If you do not have a tail, you cannot make a Tail Slap natural attack, no matter how hard you try, even if you have a feat that says you can use your tail to make a tail slap natural attack, because you still do not have a tail. If you are a human and you have a tail, chances are, in Golarion and elsewhere, you probably aren't human.


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Actually, returning to skim the thread, I want to ask people about something: if you accept that making a claw attack (via Barbarian rage power) does not need a claw (as in the standard definition thereof), but instead lets you use your fingernails - or, barring that, your fingers - to deal slashing damage equivalent to a scimitar, can you also accept that you your "tail" is not a swishy flapping tail (as per the standard understanding), but rather the (very typical) human backside (see definitions 5 or 6), and thus you can use that to make the bludgeoning attack that is a tail slap?

Or does that, too, stretch the suspension of disbelief?


As a player I would never insist upon tail access for my human. As a GM I would allow this bizarre combination of feats and genetics at character creation. But I DO NOT agree that human finger nails can do 1d6 points of damage. Sorry no. Ignore my earlier post as you wish but the issue I address is exactly the same as OP. There IS a precedent for growth of a completely absent physical feature. Claws. APG minor beast totem rage power. Not dagger like ,Sword like ,Scimitar like 1d6 claws!


Thanks for that nod of recognition Tacticslion.


Frederic wrote:
As a player I would never insist upon tail access for my human. As a GM I would allow this bizarre combination of feats and genetics at character creation. But I DO NOT agree that human finger nails can do 1d6 points of damage. Sorry no. Ignore my earlier post as you wish but the issue I address is exactly the same as OP. There IS a precedent for growth of a completely absent physical feature. Claws. APG minor beast totem rage power. Not dagger like ,Sword like ,Scimitar like 1d6 claws!

I disagree. If you're a raging barbarian who has a beast totem, you can probably do a lot more with your fingernails while raging than the average person can. The problem is you're comparing these attacks to a scimitar, when they're not a scimitar or even a bladed weapon -- they just do equivalent damage. A better comparison is a monk's unarmed strike at level 1 -- that does 1d8! Are we saying now that a monk's fist is like a longsword? I don't think so. It's all just an abstracted way of representing combat through dice. Don't over think it.

Maybe the damage is equivalent not because you have giant claws but because you can be that much more precise with your fingers than with a 30" blade. Both do damage and that's as far as the comparison should go.


el cuervo wrote:
Frederic wrote:
As a player I would never insist upon tail access for my human. As a GM I would allow this bizarre combination of feats and genetics at character creation. But I DO NOT agree that human finger nails can do 1d6 points of damage. Sorry no. Ignore my earlier post as you wish but the issue I address is exactly the same as OP. There IS a precedent for growth of a completely absent physical feature. Claws. APG minor beast totem rage power. Not dagger like ,Sword like ,Scimitar like 1d6 claws!
I disagree. If you're a raging barbarian who has a beast totem, you can probably do a lot more with your fingernails while raging than the average person can. The problem is you're comparing these attacks to a scimitar, when they're not a scimitar or even a bladed weapon -- they just do equivalent damage. It's an abstraction and not meant to be compared in that way. Maybe the damage is equivalent not because you have giant claws but because you can be that much more precise with your fingers than with a 30" blade. Both do damage and that's as far as the comparison should go.

It's a fairly apt comparison to me, look at greater beast totem. Are those regular human hands that share damage and crit multiplier with a Battle Axe? That's not normal no matter how angry you are.


Frederic wrote:
As a player I would never insist upon tail access for my human. As a GM I would allow this bizarre combination of feats and genetics at character creation. But I DO NOT agree that human finger nails can do 1d6 points of damage. Sorry no. Ignore my earlier post as you wish but the issue I address is exactly the same as OP. There IS a precedent for growth of a completely absent physical feature. Claws. APG minor beast totem rage power. Not dagger like ,Sword like ,Scimitar like 1d6 claws!

"As a plyer or GM allowing" takes this out of RAW and into Rule Zero territory which has already been said that's fine if that's how YOU want to run it.. but RAW, it doesn't give you a tail.

As for the fingers/nails/claws. Your'e right.. a human hand cant deal that kind of damage under normal circumstances. But when you're a Barbarian under the effects of Rage... then yeah, sure, all manner of things are possible. from viciously clawing people with your fingernails, to biting them, to manifesting spectral dragon wings and gaining the ability to fly, to getting more HP out of thin air because your CON score changes. They're temporary changes, sure. But they're noted changes to things that you have.

Tail Terror changes the Tail that's already there. It does not, however, magically grow one... because it doesn't say 'you grow a tail with which you can slap people'.


So you prefer to interpret these rules as not providing claws with which to attack for d6 damage, thereby removing any prior example of spontaneous physical change in order to undermine the likelihood of a prehensile tail? Well, why? Realism?


Frederic wrote:
So you prefer to interpret these rules as not providing claws with which to attack for d6 damage, thereby removing any prior example of spontaneous physical change in order to undermine the likelihood of a prehensile tail? Well, why? Realism?

My argument against a barbarian growing claws from lesser beast totem has nothing to do with the argument. It is not to undermine anything. You don't need to grow claws to have a claw attack, especially since it only works when you're raging and it's quite obvious the damage is being done with your fingernails. Unless you can point me to the text that says you spontaneously grow claws when raging...

It is not a stretch to think that a barbarian with a beast totem would act like an animal and have abilities similar to an animal without growing claws. Do you know how easy it is to rip someone's throat out with your fingernails? Not that I speak from experience, but it's not a stretch in the least.


Torbyne wrote:
el cuervo wrote:
Frederic wrote:
As a player I would never insist upon tail access for my human. As a GM I would allow this bizarre combination of feats and genetics at character creation. But I DO NOT agree that human finger nails can do 1d6 points of damage. Sorry no. Ignore my earlier post as you wish but the issue I address is exactly the same as OP. There IS a precedent for growth of a completely absent physical feature. Claws. APG minor beast totem rage power. Not dagger like ,Sword like ,Scimitar like 1d6 claws!
I disagree. If you're a raging barbarian who has a beast totem, you can probably do a lot more with your fingernails while raging than the average person can. The problem is you're comparing these attacks to a scimitar, when they're not a scimitar or even a bladed weapon -- they just do equivalent damage. It's an abstraction and not meant to be compared in that way. Maybe the damage is equivalent not because you have giant claws but because you can be that much more precise with your fingers than with a 30" blade. Both do damage and that's as far as the comparison should go.
It's a fairly apt comparison to me, look at greater beast totem. Are those regular human hands that share damage and crit multiplier with a Battle Axe? That's not normal no matter how angry you are.

Monks do a buttload of damage with their bare hands. Why is this unreasonable? If the rage power says you grow claws, you grow claws. Otherwise, I'm left to believe the damage is done quite barbarically (there's that word again) with bare hands and fingernails. I mean, look -- Aspect of the Best actually changes your form to give you claws (or some other animal feature), and it says so right in the description. It seems pretty obvious to me that there is a design paradigm here implemented by the game designers: feats which cause you to grow or gain body parts say so right in the description.


Well the ability says that you gain two "Claw Attacks". I guess I just interpret that as gaining like... claws to like... attack with. I mean HalfOrcs with "Toothy", big old tusk like teeth, only do d4 with a "Bite Attack". Even when they're angry. So for d6 I honestly imagine some claws. I get you with the abstraction bit. I'm just trying to keep it all in context.


Frederic wrote:
Well the ability says that you gain two "Claw Attacks". I guess I just interpret that as gaining like... claws to like... attack with. I mean HalfOrcs with "Toothy", big old tusk like teeth, only do d4 with a "Bite Attack". Even when they're angry. So for d6 I honestly imagine some claws. I get you with the abstraction bit. I'm just trying to keep it all in context.

Toothy is an alternate racial trait.. They might be angry. However a)they're not barbarian rage angry. and b) while barbarian rage angry, you get a lot more force out of them big ole ragin muscles you grow outta nowhere.


Frederic wrote:
Well the ability says that you gain two "Claw Attacks". I guess I just interpret that as gaining like... claws to like... attack with. I mean HalfOrcs with "Toothy", big old tusk like teeth, only do d4 with a "Bite Attack". Even when they're angry. So for d6 I honestly imagine some claws. I get you with the abstraction bit. I'm just trying to keep it all in context.

Maybe it's in the name of balance. It would suck to be a barbarian who does 1d4 on both hands and to scale up to only 1d8. It would seem beast totem rage powers are designed to keep the barbarian balanced and make it as viable an option to play as a regular old axe-swinging barb. I don't think you need to actually grow claws.

Again, the rules don't say you do, you just gain "claw attacks" when you're raging. I can claw people with my hand, and I can therefore claw attack people, and I don't have grotesque animal claws at the ends of my regular human arms. Look to Aspect of the Beast for an example of a situation where you actually grow body parts.

You're picking and choosing which parts of my logic to accept and which to ignore, which isn't entirely fair. Putting together all of my arguments from my last two posts you should have a pretty good understanding of where I'm coming from, so don't act like you don't.


I understand you. I know about the Ranger, its Archetypes and Aspect of the Beast. Spell casters of many types share in the ability to alter and transform themselves. Also, as you suggest, certain rage powers grant similarly supernatural abilities. "Elemental Rage" for example allows anger to manifest in magical energy, such as Fire or Electricity, doing d6 or more extra damage.

It is certainly possible to claw at someone with blunt fingers and yes, RL "Monks" using Tiger style Kung Fu or even Jiujitsu use it to tear throats etc., just as you describe. I'm all for allowing Barbarians to rage their way there. I just honestly imagined claws when I read the "gain claw attacks" bit from the rage power description.

So if I follow your reasoning, it is the supernatural quality of Rage that allows "Claw attacks" and "Elemental Damage", such that simple feats like Racial heritage would not allow a prehensile tail because that feat is NOT supernatural but basically genetic.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
@cuatroespada: You're arguing about something that is irrelevant to the topic. Morals have no place in a discussion of rules and mechanics of a game, and quite frankly we're not discussing about the hurt feelings of those who have tails in comparison to those who do not, we're here to discuss whether the ability to have a tail from simply possessing Racial Heritage (and another corresponding feat that requires limbs). Either contribute relevant factors to the thread, as Doomed Hero is, or take your business elsewhere to those who would discuss it with you. (Such as making your own thread on the matter.)

no... i'm really not. because despite the fact that we've already explained how that is actually relevant to a discussion of the interpretation of rules, i don't actually care whether or not you recognize your moral reprehensibility. my last comment wasn't for you at all, it was clearing up a misapprehension about the quoted text. get over yourself.


Frederic wrote:

I understand you. I know about the Ranger, its Archetypes and Aspect of the Beast. Spell casters of many types share in the ability to alter and transform themselves. Also, as you suggest, certain rage powers grant similarly supernatural abilities. "Elemental Rage" for example allows anger to manifest in magical energy, such as Fire or Electricity, doing d6 or more extra damage.

It is certainly possible to claw at someone with blunt fingers and yes, RL "Monks" using Tiger style Kung Fu or even Jiujitsu use it to tear throats etc., just as you describe. I'm all for allowing Barbarians to rage their way there. I just honestly imagined claws when I read the "gain claw attacks" bit from the rage power description.

So if I follow your reasoning, it is the supernatural quality of Rage that allows "Claw attacks" and "Elemental Damage", such that simple feats like Racial heritage would not allow a prehensile tail because that feat is NOT supernatural but basically genetic.

Yeah, except Rage is an extraordinary ability, not a supernatural ability. There is no magic attached to it. EDIT: Lesser Beast Totem is in fact a SU ability, but I still don't believe it physically transforms the user.

As for the other question, I wouldn't even take it as far as genetics because Golarion is a fantasy world where weird **** happens all the time. I would say it's just a part of your lineage and leave it at that. And you know, if they would just specify that having a tail is a prerequisite of Tail Terror in addition to being Kobold and BAB +1, that would clear this whole thing up. There are a few other feats that I would have no problem with a human with racial heritage (kobold) taking, like Merciless Magic, Merciless Precision, Kobold Ambusher, Kobold Sniper, and so on...

Question: would anyone have a problem with a human who has racial heritage (kobold) taking draconic aspect? How about draconic breath?

You gain a breath weapon that is determined by your scale coloration by either the Draconic Aspect feat or the dragon-scaled racial trait

Do you suddenly become a human with scales? Are you even human then? At what point do we say we are just making this **** up as we go along?


el cuervo wrote:


Question: would anyone have a problem with a human who has racial heritage (kobold) taking draconic aspect? How about draconic breath?

You gain a breath weapon that is determined by your scale coloration by either the Draconic Aspect feat or the dragon-scaled racial trait

Do you suddenly become a human with scales? Are you even human then? At what point do we say we are just making this **** up as we go along?

I would say either your skin would take on the color change, or nothing happens at all since you dont have scales. You'd still choose a dragon type, and you'd still get the breath weapon tho.

RAW, it's legal until Errata'd.

Rule Zero? I wouldn't allow it at my table.


Personally I share your distaste for absurdity. Some gamers like a lot of fantasy in their game. While, again I would not pursue that as a player, I would probably allow it as GM if the player had build his concept around it at Character Creation against my efforts to dissuade them. Such weird traits would not go unnoticed by NPCs.


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cuatroespada wrote:
i don't actually care whether or not you recognize your moral reprehensibility.

This needs to stop.


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I'd allow a dragonling kobold build all day, this whole thread discussion that originally started with Torbyne actually made me spend my lunch break working one out.. and while slightly sub-powered.. I would love to play it.


Neonpeekaboo wrote:
I'd allow a dragonling kobold build all day, this whole thread discussion that originally started with Torbyne actually made me spend my lunch break working one out.. and while slightly sub-powered.. I would love to play it.

But that's a kobold dragonling, right? Not a human with racial heritage (kobold)?

I think part of the problem here is Racial Heritage has an obvious intent to allow a human (or half-human) to qualify for racial feats and abilities they wouldn't normally qualify for in order to showcase how awesome and flexible humans are. When the feat was written, a lot of the races that exist now were not part of the Pathfinder racial "pantheon."

If you look through the race list for "humanoid," there's a lot there that really just doesn't make sense. I mean, an Abyss Gigas is humanoid, do we have to allow that as an option for Racial Heritage? Where do we draw the line on human ancestry?

In my opinion, these options should be available to GM alone, as plot points, and leave Racial Heritage reserved for humanoid races that are actually compatible with human anatomy. Of course, my opinion doesn't count here because we're in a rules forum, so it would be great to get some concrete ruling on this.


Doomed Hero wrote:

That song is Chacarron Macarron by El Chombo. It's actually one of my favorite internet finds. Cracks me up every time.

-------------back on track-----------------

A tail is not part of the requirements for Tail Terror. Being (or counting as) a Kobold is.

A tail is presupposed by the feat.

The only thing that is hard to understand about this is that it's a very metagame approach to understanding how the rules effect the in-game reality. The mechanics take precedence over the descriptive text.

Which means, even if you might not normally have a tail (which is certainly debatable under racial heritage), once you take Tail Terror, you have one.

You have one because you qualify, not the other way around.

If you qualify for a feat, you get to use it. A bald person could still take Fire-Haired. Having hair isn't one of the prerequisites.

It doesn't matter if it's counterintuitive. It's the way the system works.

Explain it in-game however you want to.

And once again, we get into the argument of "If I take a feat that requires the limb to function, I get the associated limb." No, it does not work that way. I can't just take Multi-Weapon Fighting and automatically gain an arm associated with the 3rd hand, whereas before it would've been an abnormal mutation (2 hands on one arm) without the feat.

I'm also sure in your games characters with their hands cut off can still use standardized manufactured weapons, with no legs can still move at their full speed, and you give them wings whenever they get a fly speed, whether from the Fly spell or otherwise. Don't even get me started on the Dead Condition...

Of course, that's assuming your superfluous logic is correct. It isn't. The rules you propose aren't intended to supersede the precedent of natural attacks requiring limbs to carry the attacks out with. It's never been a problem given the feat in question is designed for a race who commonly has a tail. When you take it out of that intended circle, you circumvent all of the assumptions that would otherwise take place, ergo your "growing a tail when I put a feat to it" simply fails. Just like how you need hair in order to carry out the effects of the feat, you need a tail to carry out the Tail Terror attack.

If you want to give people limbs for them, fine. But that's GM FIAT and houseruling. Not RAW, and most certainly not RAI.


@el cuervo , oh yeah, that's a kobold, definitely. While rule-speak says a human with the Racial heritage could legally could take the appropriate feats for such, I would never make/allow that at my table.

You and I are on the same page. :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
lastblacknight wrote:
thaX wrote:

Lastblackknight...

Please, please read this.

We are talking about a human.

That the human can take feats and traits from another race and be effected as that race doesn't change the fact that it is still a human. It does not change him, doesn't change his type (like the aasimar Scion of Humanity does for that race) or make him any less human. You count as that race only to check for what effects that character.

Racial Heritage doesn't make him a Half-Kobold. He simply has a history. One that can be used, by him or against him.

Edit... At vs. As

Except for the RAW bit in the trait that say's ...You count as both human and that race for any effects related to race. For example, if you choose dwarf, you are considered both a human and a dwarf for the purpose of taking traits, feats, how spells and magic items affect you, and so on...

what part of ...both a human and a dwarf for the purpose of taking traits, feats,... do you have issues with?

The RAW doesn't need to go into what percentage of your blood is ancestor and frankly it doesn't matter. At no other point in the rules does they comment on other racial predominant physical traits either.

Who has an issue with what?

You are reading more into the phrase than what is actually there. Did you read my post above? I have no issue with someone actually taking the feat in question (Tail Terror). It is that a human doesn't actually have a tail to use the feat with. That phrase is not saying all creatures with Racial Heritage are half-beings, it is saying that when something effects (targets) that character, it checks both races to see if that something could do, make use of, be taken by the character, or have an effect (enchant/hurt/hate/judge...) on that character.

It does not grow him/her a tail.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Tacticslion wrote:

Actually, returning to skim the thread, I want to ask people about something: if you accept that making a claw attack (via Barbarian rage power) does not need a claw (as in the standard definition thereof), but instead lets you use your fingernails - or, barring that, your fingers - to deal slashing damage equivalent to a scimitar, can you also accept that you your "tail" is not a swishy flapping tail (as per the standard understanding), but rather the (very typical) human backside (see definitions 5 or 6), and thus you can use that to make the bludgeoning attack that is a tail slap?

Or does that, too, stretch the suspension of disbelief?

I and others have maintained that "Twerking" is not enough to satisfy the use of the Feat. It would be an odd maneuver that requires one to bend slightly and twist, or do a wrestling move (Rear View down by one of the Paradactles Divas). It isn't an attack one can do as a part of a full round attack action, that is, doing a tail slap in addition to other attacks. To "Twerk" one would conceivably need a full round action just to do the one attack. That isn't what the feat in question provides.


thaX wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

Actually, returning to skim the thread, I want to ask people about something: if you accept that making a claw attack (via Barbarian rage power) does not need a claw (as in the standard definition thereof), but instead lets you use your fingernails - or, barring that, your fingers - to deal slashing damage equivalent to a scimitar, can you also accept that you your "tail" is not a swishy flapping tail (as per the standard understanding), but rather the (very typical) human backside (see definitions 5 or 6), and thus you can use that to make the bludgeoning attack that is a tail slap?

Or does that, too, stretch the suspension of disbelief?

I and others have maintained that "Twerking" is not enough to satisfy the use of the Feat. It would be an odd maneuver that requires one to bend slightly and twist, or do a wrestling move (Rear View down by one of the Paradactles Divas). It isn't an attack one can do as a part of a full round attack action, that is, doing a tail slap in addition to other attacks. To "Twerk" one would conceivably need a full round action just to do the one attack. That isn't what the feat in question provides.

Nevermind the part of the feat regarding kobold tail attachments... I'd like to see someone attach one to their very human rear end. XD

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
lastblacknight wrote:


Which means, even if you might not normally have a tail (which is certainly debatable under racial heritage), once you take Tail Terror, you have one.

You have one because you qualify, not the other way around.

It doesn't matter if it's counter-intuitive. It's the way the system works.

See, this is what the debate is about. Boil it down to a very simple premise, that a feat gives a power/ability to the character. This particular one is used with a tail.

What you seem to forget and are stuck on, the Human race already is set before the feat is taken. Racial Heritage allows a human to take this feat, but no where does it say that the tail is produced for the feat to use. This is because it is presumed that a Kobold would take this feat, one that already has the tail in question.

Racial Heritage allow you to take the feat, that you count as a Kobold to do so, but it does not grow you a tail.

This is one of those moments I had provided a fuax quote for "Well, of course a human gets a tail, it doesn't say it right there."

Description of one's character and descriptive text are one of two separate things. When you describe your own character, you comment on various attributes that mostly involve the face (Hair color, beady eyes, green teeth, bulbous nose) and the build of the character (Skinny, buff, fat, tall, hunched over, knock kneed). A tail is not a part of that. The actual description of the Human race does not include a tail.

Precluding description, taking precedence over it, is not what this feat does. It can not with a short one sentence description of synopses and a two sentence blurb on what the feat does, with an adamendem that one is proficient in using tail attachments.

To say that one has a tail if they qualify for a feat means that all humans have tails. I am sure that is not what you meant. Humans do not have tails, that doesn't change because you can be effected as a kobold, you are still only human.


This thread is nuts, in sometimes funny, sometimes sad ways. Don't take this stuff too seriously guys, I feel like I'm going to get a heart attack just from the tension here. Also, for my 2 cents.... a feat that lets you attack with a tail you don't have is useless. Use some magic, get a magic item, whatever, then you can put it to use. It just seems like common sense to me. But obviously some people disagree.

(At least this isn't as bad as that one player who kept insisting you could just abuse the crap out of outsiders with that one spell, and because the spell says something along the lines of "the outside may seek revenge for your actions", he was arguing that NO other creature could seek revenge as well, because the spell description didn't say they could..... that was epically ignorant.)

(Edited to fix a typo.)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
wiki wrote:

Human embryos have a tail that measures about one-sixth of the size of the embryo itself.[1] As the embryo develops into a fetus, the tail is absorbed by the growing body. The developmental tail is thus a human vestigial structure.[2][3] Infrequently, a child is born with a "soft tail", which contains no vertebrae, but only blood vessels, muscles, and nerves, although there have been several documented cases of tails containing cartilage or up to five vertebrae.[4]

Humans have a "tail bone" (the coccyx) attached to the pelvis, formed of fused vertebrae, usually four, at the bottom of the vertebral column. It does not protrude externally.

I wanted to put this out there to discount the RL human having tails means tailed humans in a fantasy game exist. It is clear, by this blurb, that the "tail" a human would have in this respect would not be able to effect the attack in question. It isn't long enough, have the support or the structure to carry the attack out.

I have no idea why MrTsFloatingHead had made this out to be something to work into a player describing his character as having a tail. It isn't viable as the "tail" would nothing more than a flap of skin and a hindrance for a character in a role playing game.

Ok, sorry for the interruption, carry on. Having been past this, when Taticslion posted this wiki post as a part of the question asked, I had to call this out to be complete.


Off Topic response to Neonpeekaboo:
Neonpeekaboo wrote:
cuatroespada wrote:
i don't actually care whether or not you recognize your moral reprehensibility.
This needs to stop.

why? i mean until you said something i was done with this discussion, but since you brought it up, it is my opinion that marginalizing or discounting a subset of humanity because you don't consider them normal enough is morally reprehensible. that is no more a personal attack than saying that i find human sacrifice to be morally reprehensible. if you participate in human sacrifice, you would probably find that insulting, but that you find it insulting changes nothing about the nature of the statement which is a simple expression of opinion about a behavior you choose to demonstrate. would you object to calling rape morally reprehensible because someone here claimed to be a rapist and offended?

anyway, that was entirely off topic, but there's really nothing more to say on the topic. neither side's conclusion is incorrect (though the some—not all—of the reasoning that leads to one of those conclusion seems morally questionable as has been mentioned). RAW supports this being a decision that is left up to GM discretion. that's not taking it out of RAW territory as Rule 0 is the first and most important rule as written. unless/until a dev weighs in, though, i'm done.

no hard feelings (because it's the internet, i don't know any of you IRL, and hard feelings are a waste of time and energy). peace.


cuatroespada wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

anyway, that was entirely off topic, but there's really nothing more to say on the topic. neither side's conclusion is incorrect (though the some—not all—of the reasoning that leads to one of those conclusion seems morally questionable as has been mentioned). RAW supports this being a decision that is left up to GM discretion. that's not taking it out of RAW territory as Rule 0 is the first and most important rule as written. unless/until a dev weighs in, though, i'm done.

no hard feelings (because it's the internet, i don't know any of you IRL, and hard feelings are a waste of time and energy). peace.

There is nothing immoral here. Humans don't have tails. If you have a tail, you are not normal; you are a statistical outlier. This is the very definition of abnormal. Playing the moral high ground card is a poor strawman argument. Your opinion on morality is 100% irrelevant, since what is considered "normal" humans is what Pathfinder humans are based on. If you want a humanoid with a tail, play a tiefling.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
lastblacknight wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Explain how taking Racial Heritage makes you differ from "normal humans." Because I hate to say it, they really aren't, considering that by RAW, your (sub)type does not change, which means you're still Humanoid (Human).
Because normal humans do not count as kobolds.

ummm here it is for the ...so many, many times... it's in the PRD.

You can even find it for yourself but typing the feat into google, I even bolded the bit for you.

Racial Heritage
The blood of a non-human ancestor flows in your veins.
Prerequisite: Human.
Benefit: Choose another humanoid race. You count as both human and that race for any effects related to race. For example, if you choose dwarf, you are considered both a human and a dwarf for the purpose of taking traits, feats, how spells and magic items affect you, and so on.

Subtype isn't even discussed... no need to muddy the water of the discussion.

The PC with the Racial Heritage trait is simply counted as both races as above RAW. End. of. Discussion. (well on this point).

You pass over the main point. Subtype isn't even mentioned, so you don't gain the Kobold subtype. That is why the feat is worded in such a way, to avoid having a bunch of half beings instead of having humans with a past history of Kobolds in their ancestry. You count as both only as far as how you are effected. You can take the feat, but it still does not grow you, as a human, a tail. The character is no a Half-Kobold.

Magical items, in particular, sometimes have abilities that only work for a particular race, such as elves. In the Core Rulebook, the only races and race feats where for the Core races. This expanded quite a lot as products came out, one reason for the feat to be published in the Advance Player Handbook, and it should be understood that when Racial Feats and Traits are written, they do not take Racial Heritage into account. They don't need to, as they are built for the race that would normally take it.

When applying those feats to a human via Racial Heritage, some of that common sense needs to be used to adjust to the changes between the races. Tail Terror is one of these, that a human doesn't have a tail so some other means needs to be put forth to gain that character a tail to use with Tail Terror. There is an item call Monkey Belt, though that is only ten minute a day.

No tail is grown, poison doesn't well up in the veins, wings do not sprout forth. You need the appropriate appendage to get the ability, such as hands for claws, mouths for bites, tongues for long reaching tongues, and so on.

That is, unless the feat/ability/class feature/trait actually says you gain that appendage. (Tail Terror does not)


el cuervo wrote:
Neonpeekaboo wrote:
I'd allow a dragonling kobold build all day, this whole thread discussion that originally started with Torbyne actually made me spend my lunch break working one out.. and while slightly sub-powered.. I would love to play it.

But that's a kobold dragonling, right? Not a human with racial heritage (kobold)?

I think part of the problem here is Racial Heritage has an obvious intent to allow a human (or half-human) to qualify for racial feats and abilities they wouldn't normally qualify for in order to showcase how awesome and flexible humans are. When the feat was written, a lot of the races that exist now were not part of the Pathfinder racial "pantheon."

If you look through the race list for "humanoid," there's a lot there that really just doesn't make sense. I mean, an Abyss Gigas is humanoid, do we have to allow that as an option for Racial Heritage? Where do we draw the line on human ancestry?

In my opinion, these options should be available to GM alone, as plot points, and leave Racial Heritage reserved for humanoid races that are actually compatible with human anatomy. Of course, my opinion doesn't count here because we're in a rules forum, so it would be great to get some concrete ruling on this.

Related to the racial heritage questions, by RAW i could play an Aasimar based off a tailed race, take the Scion of Humanity trait and grab RH: Kobold and Tail Terror to get a tail slap, correct?

*off topic post about RP stuff and build plans*

While most people are looking at the combo from the good old fashioned way of mixing species my concept was actually based on a few generations down from magical experimentation to create a natural born warrior race. The plan was for natural weapons and armor to remove the logisitcs burden on an armry while keeping higher level mental functions to obey orders and understand plans. The charcter would be from well after the experiments were deemed a failure but over the course of generations the mutated tribe starts to normalize into a tailed reptillian/orcish hybrid species. It was never meant to be game breaking optimization and relied heavily on fereal combat training and martial versatility to stay relevant at higher levels. (dragon styling 4x natural attacks, 3x primary looked comparable to other melee builds at around level 10-12. Aasimar now looks to be a better race to build off and lets me go up to 5x natural attacks though thats 3x secondary.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Look, here's an idea. If you want to play the "some humans are born with a tail in the real world so it should apply here" game, then let's do it.

How many people have been born with tail-like appendages reported to medical journals? According to Wikipedia, only 23 since 1884. Take into consideration that approximately 12 billion people were born in that time.

So you have, 23/12,000,000,000. Okay, now roll 1d12,000,000,000 and hope you get within 1.916666666666667e-9 percent to determine if you are a human born with a tail.

Problem solved, thread closed. Let's move on.

EDIT: fixed my math. For clarification, that's a 0.000000001916666666666667% chance of being born with a tail.


Torbyne wrote:
el cuervo wrote:
Neonpeekaboo wrote:
I'd allow a dragonling kobold build all day, this whole thread discussion that originally started with Torbyne actually made me spend my lunch break working one out.. and while slightly sub-powered.. I would love to play it.

But that's a kobold dragonling, right? Not a human with racial heritage (kobold)?

I think part of the problem here is Racial Heritage has an obvious intent to allow a human (or half-human) to qualify for racial feats and abilities they wouldn't normally qualify for in order to showcase how awesome and flexible humans are. When the feat was written, a lot of the races that exist now were not part of the Pathfinder racial "pantheon."

If you look through the race list for "humanoid," there's a lot there that really just doesn't make sense. I mean, an Abyss Gigas is humanoid, do we have to allow that as an option for Racial Heritage? Where do we draw the line on human ancestry?

In my opinion, these options should be available to GM alone, as plot points, and leave Racial Heritage reserved for humanoid races that are actually compatible with human anatomy. Of course, my opinion doesn't count here because we're in a rules forum, so it would be great to get some concrete ruling on this.

Related to the racial heritage questions, by RAW i could play an Aasimar based off a tailed race, take the Scion of Humanity trait and grab RH: Kobold and Tail Terror to get a tail slap, correct?

*off topic post about RP stuff and build plans*

While most people are looking at the combo from the good old fashioned way of mixing species my concept was actually based on a few generations down from magical experimentation to create a natural born warrior race. The plan was for natural weapons and armor to remove the logisitcs burden on an armry while keeping higher level mental functions to obey orders and understand plans. The charcter would be from well after the experiments were deemed a failure but over the course of...

Yes. While it's weird, I have no problem with that. As I and others have stated throughout this thread, the problem isn't with racial heritage and tail terror, really, but that you need a tail to use tail terror. It does not grant you one, but hey, if you play an aasimar or tiefling who could realistically have a tail, and you want to be part kobold or whatever, more power to ya.


el cuervo wrote:

Look, here's an idea. If you want to play the "some humans are born with a tail in the real world so it should apply here" game, then let's do it.

How many people have been born with tail-like appendages reported to medical journals? According to Wikipedia, only 23 since 1884. Take into consideration that approximately 12 billion people were born in that time.

So you have, 23/12,000,000,000. Okay, now roll 1d12,000,000,000 and hope you get within 1.916666666666667e-9 percent to determine if you are a human born with a tail.

Problem solved, thread closed. Let's move on.

EDIT: fixed my math.

Hopefully real life citations are closed and done with, but that stuff was never relevant to the FAQ... so please dont give the PDT any ideas that we dont want a FAQ on Racial Heritage please ;)


Torbyne wrote:
el cuervo wrote:

Look, here's an idea. If you want to play the "some humans are born with a tail in the real world so it should apply here" game, then let's do it.

How many people have been born with tail-like appendages reported to medical journals? According to Wikipedia, only 23 since 1884. Take into consideration that approximately 12 billion people were born in that time.

So you have, 23/12,000,000,000. Okay, now roll 1d12,000,000,000 and hope you get within 1.916666666666667e-9 percent to determine if you are a human born with a tail.

Problem solved, thread closed. Let's move on.

EDIT: fixed my math.

Hopefully real life citations are closed and done with, but that stuff was never relevant to the FAQ... so please dont give the PDT any ideas that we dont want a FAQ on Racial Heritage please ;)

Of course not; I just wanted to put to rest the idea that a human being born with a tail is a normal occurrence. Hopefully, realizing that it is a literal 1 in ~500 million chance is enough to sway that opinion. Of course, pointing out the odds of rolling it on a 1d12,000,000,000 was a bit hyperbolic but I believe it communicated my point rather well. :D

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I had mentioned this and have read the blurb in question. When getting a non-human Aasimar, it specifically says it does not retain any human qualities. It is also understood that these off race Aasimar are actually from a union between one of the off race and a celistrial.

So, when you take the Scion race trait, it is for the human centric Aasimar. I maintain you would, if allowed to take a Scion trait, be treated as the race your Aasimar is from. (negating the need and indeed the ability to take Racial Heritage)

For example. An Aasimar that is from the Kobold race taking Scion of the Kobold (a renaming of the Scion of Humanity) would gain that character the (sub)type Kobold and remove the language Celistrial.

That is my take on it.


thaX wrote:

I had mentioned this and have read the blurb in question. When getting a non-human Aasimar, it specifically says it does not retain any human qualities. It is also understood that these off race Aasimar are actually from a union between one of the off race and a celistrial.

So, when you take the Scion race trait, it is for the human centric Aasimar. I maintain you would, if allowed to take a Scion trait, be treated as the race your Aasimar is from. (negating the need and indeed the ability to take Racial Heritage)

For example. An Aasimar that is from the Kobold race taking Scion of the Kobold (a renaming of the Scion of Humanity) would gain that character the (sub)type Kobold and remove the language Celistrial.

That is my take on it.

That is an elegant house rule but wouldnt fly for PFS. Still the GM is not PFSOG, he just sticks to RAW/FAQ/Errata whenever possible so i might be able to swing this (and grab an extra feat out of the deal!)


el cuervo wrote:
Yes. While it's weird, I have no problem with that. As I and others have stated throughout this thread, the problem isn't with racial heritage and tail terror, really, but that you need a tail to use tail terror. It does not grant you one, but hey, if you play an aasimar or tiefling who could realistically have a tail, and you want to be part kobold or whatever, more power to ya.

100% This.


el cuervo wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
el cuervo wrote:

Look, here's an idea. If you want to play the "some humans are born with a tail in the real world so it should apply here" game, then let's do it.

How many people have been born with tail-like appendages reported to medical journals? According to Wikipedia, only 23 since 1884. Take into consideration that approximately 12 billion people were born in that time.

So you have, 23/12,000,000,000. Okay, now roll 1d12,000,000,000 and hope you get within 1.916666666666667e-9 percent to determine if you are a human born with a tail.

Problem solved, thread closed. Let's move on.

EDIT: fixed my math.

Hopefully real life citations are closed and done with, but that stuff was never relevant to the FAQ... so please dont give the PDT any ideas that we dont want a FAQ on Racial Heritage please ;)
Of course not; I just wanted to put to rest the idea that a human being born with a tail is a normal occurrence. Hopefully, realizing that it is a literal 1 in ~500 million chance is enough to sway that opinion. Of course, pointing out the odds of rolling it on a 1d12,000,000,000 was a bit hyperbolic but I believe it communicated my point rather well. :D

And I will reiterate my counter argument. Being left handed isn't normal either. You only have about a 1 in 10 chance to be left handed. Exactly where do you draw the limit on your players? 1 in 500 odds deformities are allowed, but nothing with less probablity than that?

The normal humans only rule is a silly and stupid limitation that is not supported in the rules.


Charender wrote:
el cuervo wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
el cuervo wrote:

Look, here's an idea. If you want to play the "some humans are born with a tail in the real world so it should apply here" game, then let's do it.

How many people have been born with tail-like appendages reported to medical journals? According to Wikipedia, only 23 since 1884. Take into consideration that approximately 12 billion people were born in that time.

So you have, 23/12,000,000,000. Okay, now roll 1d12,000,000,000 and hope you get within 1.916666666666667e-9 percent to determine if you are a human born with a tail.

Problem solved, thread closed. Let's move on.

EDIT: fixed my math.

Hopefully real life citations are closed and done with, but that stuff was never relevant to the FAQ... so please dont give the PDT any ideas that we dont want a FAQ on Racial Heritage please ;)
Of course not; I just wanted to put to rest the idea that a human being born with a tail is a normal occurrence. Hopefully, realizing that it is a literal 1 in ~500 million chance is enough to sway that opinion. Of course, pointing out the odds of rolling it on a 1d12,000,000,000 was a bit hyperbolic but I believe it communicated my point rather well. :D

And I will reiterate my counter argument. Being left handed isn't normal either. You only have about a 1 in 10 chance to be left handed. Exactly where do you draw the limit on your players? 1 in 500 odds deformities are allowed, but nothing with less probablity than that?

The normal humans only rule is a silly and stupid limitation that is not supported in the rules.

That some humans are left-handed is an accepted paradigm. It's not abnormal or weird to be left handed. Having a 10% chance to be left handed? Totally feasible. Roll 1d10 - did you get a 1? Congratulations, you're left handed.

Are you born with a tail? No, because the odds are astronomical. Quite literally, a 0.0000000002% chance of it. That is 11 orders of magnitude worse off than being left-handed (a 10% chance). See my previous posts for more details on how I came to this conclusion. There is nothing common or accepted about a human tail with these kinds of odds. If you have a tail, you're a freak of nature and an enormous statistical outlier. Offended? Too bad -- that's the truth by all definitions. To put this into perspective, you'd have to roll 8 consecutive natural 20's to get a tail. I mean, jeez, what more do I have to say? If you want a tail, play a race with a tail. Don't play a human and claim birth defect. It's bullscat.

Dark Archive

Much as I dislike to repost, where the rules are unclear, we can certainly look at the precedent of similar feats to understand how it should work, as Paizo Devs have suggested a number of times.

Here are rule texts from various feats that grant the use of extra attacks and/or limbs (regardless of how much we may or may not like the feats or think they are 'silly').

Paizo wrote:


Aspect of the Beast - You grow a pair of claws

Draconic Glide - You grow a pair of wings

Angel Wings - You gain a pair of gleaming feathered wings

Agile Tongue - You have a prehensile tongue

Sharpclaw - You gain two claw attacks

The language is quite clear, 'you gain', 'you have' or 'you grow', these clearly indicate you possess the related body part, 'you can' indicates no such possession, basic English language. Nowhere in Tail Terror is such language present, RAW you do not grow or gain a tail, one must already be present.

For those in favour of Tail Terror granting you an actual tail, can you see the problem?

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