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


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Darche Schneider wrote:
Also somewhere down the line there was a half-kobold. Unless we're going with the blood injection theory of old kobolds.

It doesn't need to be a half-human/half-kobold.

Maybe a Sally the kobold mated with Boris the dragon and gave birth to Jimmy. Jimmy and a couple of generations of his own offspring mated exclusively with dragons, until Patty was born. Now, Patty was indistinguishable from a full dragon, the kobold blood in her just a tiny speck. Patty had a thing for humans though, and one of her egg batches produced a clutch of human half-dragons, one among them a scaly fellow called Archibald. Archibald inherited his mothers predilection for hot human love and passed this on to his own offspring, all of them mating exclusively with humans. Generations came and went and eventually, it was impossible to tell that the family was anything other than human.

And then one day, Peewee was born. Peewee was a throwback to old, forgotten Sally the kobold. Unfortunately, Peewee was a litte soft in the head and wouldn't stop talking about his imaginary tail.


PatientWolf wrote:
Darche Schneider wrote:


Also, No NPC is going to recognize you as a human regardless. By RAW, the moment you take racial heritage, despite having absolutely NO physical changes, every NPC out there knows you're more than human. Somehow every NPC knows just how a (insert race)'s eyes flutter when they lie, or how (insert race) is all shifty and can instantly and easily identify you.

Also somewhere down the line there was a half-kobold. Unless we're going with the blood injection theory of old kobolds.

Where are you getting that by RAW every NPC automatically recognizes your character as something other than human? That is definitely not RAW.

He is refering to another gap in the rules, there is no mechanic for identifying a creature's type. The knowledge skills imply you need to make a check but the DC modifier is left up to the GM (My personal opinion is that it is absurdly high as no physical signs show) but on the other hand, anyone with a favored enemy kind of bonus immediately knows on sight if you are of their favored sub type (It was been brought up before and a Ranger never needs to make a check to apply their bonuses, it is automatic for them).


Forseti wrote:
Darche Schneider wrote:
Also somewhere down the line there was a half-kobold. Unless we're going with the blood injection theory of old kobolds.

It doesn't need to be a half-human/half-kobold.

Maybe a Sally the kobold mated with Boris the dragon and gave birth to Jimmy. Jimmy and a couple of generations of his own offspring mated exclusively with dragons, until Patty was born. Now, Patty was indistinguishable from a full dragon, the kobold blood in her just a tiny speck. Patty had a thing for humans though, and one of her egg batches produced a clutch of human half-dragons, one among them a scaly fellow called Archibald. Archibald inherited his mothers predilection for hot human love and passed this on to his own offspring, all of them mating exclusively with humans. Generations came and went and eventually, it was impossible to tell that the family was anything other than human.

And then one day, Peewee was born. Peewee was a throwback to old, forgotten Sally the kobold. Unfortunately, Peewee was a litte soft in the head and wouldn't stop talking about his imaginary tail.

Come on man, i put a lot of thought into that character, not cool for you to just up and steal the concept like that ;P


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Forseti wrote:
Darche Schneider wrote:
Also somewhere down the line there was a half-kobold. Unless we're going with the blood injection theory of old kobolds.
And then one day, Peewee was born. Peewee was a throwback to old, forgotten Sally the kobold. Unfortunately, Peewee was a litte soft in the head and wouldn't stop talking about his imaginary tail.

Pretty much this.

At this point, it's time I use one of those Direct TV commercials I see as a flow chart:

When you take Racial Heritage as a human, you want to have a tail.

When you want to have a tail, you need to give evidence that supports you having a tail.

When you need to give evidence that supports you having a tail, you use the book.

When you use the book, you try to look for relevant factors.

When you try to look for relevant factors, you don't find any.

When you don't find any, you make stuff up.

When you make stuff up, you go into houserules.

When you go into houserules, you differ from the book.

When you differ from the book, your argument becomes wrong.

When your argument becomes wrong, people start to call you insane and ridiculous.

Don't let people start to call you insane and ridiculous. Get rid of Racial Heritage, and switch to the Kobold Race.


Torbyne wrote:
The rules make no such distinctions and the game is full of part reptile mammals as is. The pure RAW states this, "Any time anything requires you to refer to your character's race (Type and sub type(S)) you add in the humanoid sub type of the species chosen by Racial Heritage". There is no game mechanic to say that is 1/2, 1/64 or exactly %3.14159, those are all left to role play how the player wants. Trait wise the human or half-elf/orc traits always win out, you dont have any traits or physical signs of your heritage with just the heritage feat but there are no rules to say that automatically makes you less of species X, that is just people trying to apply real world logic to the game. A very bad idea. And as far as PFS goes, i am fairly sure the feat is allowed and the GM cant just up and throw out a player if they dont like a legal build.

These concepts are mutually exclusive. Yes, you are a kobold for the purposes of qualifying for the Tail Terror feat and other things that might affect only kobolds.

However, the question is, specifically, "does taking the Racial Heritage (kobold) feat then taking a race-specific feat which requires a property of the heritage race grant you the properties of that race?" and the answer is a resounding NO, because mechanically, you are a human with a racial heritage feat, not a human/kobold hybrid. You do not grow a tail because somewhere way back in history, your great-great-great-great-great grandfather was a kobold. Period. If you want your character to use Tail Terror, you must have a tail, and that is not granted by either the Tail Terror feat or the Racial Heritage feat. If you honestly think that, I'm glad you're not my GM. It's totally illogical.


Darksol, <3.


el cuervo wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
The rules make no such distinctions and the game is full of part reptile mammals as is. The pure RAW states this, "Any time anything requires you to refer to your character's race (Type and sub type(S)) you add in the humanoid sub type of the species chosen by Racial Heritage". There is no game mechanic to say that is 1/2, 1/64 or exactly %3.14159, those are all left to role play how the player wants. Trait wise the human or half-elf/orc traits always win out, you dont have any traits or physical signs of your heritage with just the heritage feat but there are no rules to say that automatically makes you less of species X, that is just people trying to apply real world logic to the game. A very bad idea. And as far as PFS goes, i am fairly sure the feat is allowed and the GM cant just up and throw out a player if they dont like a legal build.

These concepts are mutually exclusive. Yes, you are a kobold for the purposes of qualifying for the Tail Terror feat and other things that might affect only kobolds.

However, the question is, specifically, "does taking the Racial Heritage (kobold) feat then taking a race-specific feat which requires a property of the heritage race grant you the properties of that race?" and the answer is a resounding NO, because mechanically, you are a human with a racial heritage feat, not a human/kobold hybrid. You do not grow a tail because somewhere way back in history, your great-great-great-great-great grandfather was a kobold. Period. If you want your character to use Tail Terror, you must have a tail, and that is not granted by either the Tail Terror feat or the Racial Heritage feat. If you honestly think that, I'm glad you're not my GM. It's totally illogical.

The answer is a resounding "Maybe" with certain restrictions and condictions that apply. Ten foot long tongue? (flipped out stomach, but whatever.) That is ok. Oversized retractable cat claws (1D6 being larger than any other PC attainable claw i can find) and that is fine too. Giant bird wings and a clearly inhumanly long nose? Still GTG bro. Tail Terror is a corner case as it lacks the wording about gaining or growing, it just says strengthening which implies needing a pre-existing tail. But that does not in any way change the wording of Racial Heritage, for anything that requires you to have a race you are a full fledged %100 Racial Heritage race. This is another area where the Racial Heritage feat could use some clarification, 'cause thats some logic defying, head scratching going on.

Shadow Lodge

Torbyne wrote:
The answer is a resounding "Maybe" with certain restrictions and condictions that apply. Ten foot long tongue? (flipped out stomach, but whatever.) That is ok. Oversized retractable cat claws (1D6 being larger than any other PC attainable claw i can find) and that is fine too. Giant bird wings and a clearly inhumanly long nose? Still GTG bro. Tail Terror is a corner case as it lacks the wording about gaining or growing, it just says strengthening which implies needing a pre-existing tail. But that does not in any way change the wording of Racial Heritage, for anything that requires you to have a race you are a full fledged %100 Racial Heritage race. This is another area where the Racial Heritage feat could use some clarification, 'cause thats some logic defying, head scratching going on.

Racial Heritage does not make you 100% of a race because you take a feat that requires that race. It only allows you to COUNT as the race for meeting the prereqs. It doesn't actually MAKE you that race. Look at the prereqs for Tail Terror. Is the word tail in there? No it is not. The requirement for a tail is not from the prereqs which are granted by Racial Heritage. The requirement for a tail is from the text in Benefits which says "You can make a tail slap attack with your tail.


PatientWolf wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
The answer is a resounding "Maybe" with certain restrictions and condictions that apply. Ten foot long tongue? (flipped out stomach, but whatever.) That is ok. Oversized retractable cat claws (1D6 being larger than any other PC attainable claw i can find) and that is fine too. Giant bird wings and a clearly inhumanly long nose? Still GTG bro. Tail Terror is a corner case as it lacks the wording about gaining or growing, it just says strengthening which implies needing a pre-existing tail. But that does not in any way change the wording of Racial Heritage, for anything that requires you to have a race you are a full fledged %100 Racial Heritage race. This is another area where the Racial Heritage feat could use some clarification, 'cause thats some logic defying, head scratching going on.
Racial Heritage does not make you 100% of a race because you take a feat that requires that race. It only allows you to COUNT as the race for meeting the prereqs. It doesn't actually MAKE you that race. Look at the prereqs for Tail Terror. Is the word tail in there? No it is not. The requirement for a tail is not from the prereqs which are granted by Racial Heritage. The requirement for a tail is from the text in Benefits which says "You can make a tail slap attack with your tail.

Looking at this, "Benefit: Choose another humanoid race. You count as both human and that race for any effects related to race." The next line is an open ended example so i dont see it as relevant for the point. From this i am getting the interpetation of "Any time ANY THING checks against your race, which is defined as a combination of type and sub type, you include the race chosen with Racial Heritage." Meaning that while the feat does not allow you to write down "Humanoid (human) (Racial Heritage Sub type)" on your character sheet, those words are forever more branded in invisibile ink and you can not ever ignore that. This is a very wide catch all wording that means there is no functional difference between you and your heritage race any time it is called into question. Thus, you are %100 percent of that race in addition to whatever race you started with in character creation. At the same time there is no provision for allowing any physical alterations of your character's appearance. This leads to weird states of being such as a kobold without a tail or a hairless catfork. Thus the feat is confusing to more than just one or two players and the community is asking for clarification on what the intent of the feat is. I expect it will be either "No feats that allow physical changes" or "Any feat that does not rely on a racial trait and changes to physical appearance are subject to GM's approval."

Shadow Lodge

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Torbyne wrote:
Looking at this, "Benefit: Choose another humanoid race. You count as both human and that race for any effects related to race." The next line is an open ended example so i dont see it as relevant for the point. From this i am getting the interpetation of "Any time ANY THING checks against your race, which is defined as a combination of type and sub type, you include the race chosen with Racial Heritage." Meaning that while the feat does not allow you to write down "Humanoid (human) (Racial Heritage Sub type)" on your character sheet, those words are forever more branded in invisibile ink and you can not ever ignore that. This is a very wide catch all wording that means there...

First you quote the actual text then make a statement completely of your own invention. It specifically says you COUNT as that race for effects related to race. It does NOT say "You are 100% of both human and that race ."

All racial heritage does is allow you to look at as spell like Boil Blood and say "Oh that effects me like an Orc even though I am not one."

It lets you look at a feat like Ironguts and say "Oh I qualify as if I were an Orc even though I am not one."

It allows you to look at Tail Terror and see the requirement Kobold and say "Hey I qualify to take this feat as if I were a Kobold even though I am NOT one."

That is it. That is all it does. Nothing else. Racial Heritage doesn't give you any new body parts.

However, some feats do such as Tengu wings. So what about Tail Terror? Anything in there about growing, sprouting or developing a tail? Nope, it just says you can use one, IF you have it available, to make a Tail Slap.


PatientWolf wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
Looking at this, "Benefit: Choose another humanoid race. You count as both human and that race for any effects related to race." The next line is an open ended example so i dont see it as relevant for the point. From this i am getting the interpetation of "Any time ANY THING checks against your race, which is defined as a combination of type and sub type, you include the race chosen with Racial Heritage." Meaning that while the feat does not allow you to write down "Humanoid (human) (Racial Heritage Sub type)" on your character sheet, those words are forever more branded in invisibile ink and you can not ever ignore that. This is a very wide catch all wording that means there...

First you quote the actual text then make a statement completely of your own invention. It specifically says you COUNT as that race for effects related to race. It does NOT say "You are 100% of both human and that race ."

All racial heritage does is allow you to look at as spell like Boil Blood and say "Oh that effects me like an Orc even though I am not one."

It lets you look at a feat like Ironguts and say "Oh I qualify as if I were an Orc even though I am not one."

It allows you to look at Tail Terror and see the requirement Kobold and say "Hey I qualify to take this feat as if I were a Kobold even though I am NOT one."

That is it. That is all it does. Nothing else. Racial Heritage doesn't give you any new body parts.

However, some feats do such as Tengu wings. So what about Tail Terror? Anything in there about growing, sprouting or developing a tail? Nope, it just says you can use one, IF you have it available, to make a Tail Slap.

Its down to interpeting the words "counts as" than. Any time someone asks if i am a duck, since i have Racial Heritage (Duck) (just go with me on this one) i have to say "yes" or to be exact i have to say "I count as one." I count as looking like a duck even though i dont, i count as acting like a duck even though i dont and i count as sounding like a duck even though i dont. Hence i am a duck, or at least count as a duck which is just an obtuse way of saying, "yes, i am indeed a duck". (Possibly i float in water and am a witch and must be burned because of this) There needs to be a line drawn for the feat otherwise there are more absurdities than just the tail issue. i.e. Razortusk, i look completely human but have a viscious bite or Catfolk exemplar, i have completely human looking hands that will tear you to shreds. Or you actually are part non human instead of just getting to lie about it when applying for feats and do have weird physical characteristics to represent this, perhaps massive jaws with tusks and furry arms endding in catfolk like hands.

(The descriptive text of the feat says, "The blood of a non-human ancestor flows in your veins" so that kind of explicitly states you are, in some undefined percentage, of a non human species. but people cant agree if that is flavour or rules.)

That being said, i am not trying to argue the Racial Heritage feat by itself allows any physical changes, but it is pretty clear that you have a new hidden sub type. And that some feats will branch from this and affect physical changes to a characters body.

Grand Lodge

PatientWolf wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
Looking at this, "Benefit: Choose another humanoid race. You count as both human and that race for any effects related to race." The next line is an open ended example so i dont see it as relevant for the point. From this i am getting the interpetation of "Any time ANY THING checks against your race, which is defined as a combination of type and sub type, you include the race chosen with Racial Heritage." Meaning that while the feat does not allow you to write down "Humanoid (human) (Racial Heritage Sub type)" on your character sheet, those words are forever more branded in invisibile ink and you can not ever ignore that. This is a very wide catch all wording that means there...

First you quote the actual text then make a statement completely of your own invention. It specifically says you COUNT as that race for effects related to race. It does NOT say "You are 100% of both human and that race ."

All racial heritage does is allow you to look at as spell like Boil Blood and say "Oh that effects me like an Orc even though I am not one."

It lets you look at a feat like Ironguts and say "Oh I qualify as if I were an Orc even though I am not one."

It allows you to look at Tail Terror and see the requirement Kobold and say "Hey I qualify to take this feat as if I were a Kobold even though I am NOT one."

That is it. That is all it does. Nothing else. Racial Heritage doesn't give you any new body parts.

However, some feats do such as Tengu wings. So what about Tail Terror? Anything in there about growing, sprouting or developing a tail? Nope, it just says you can use one, IF you have it available, to make a Tail Slap.

Pretty much my line of reasoning.

Taking Racial Heritage followed by Tail Terror wouldn't give you a tail any more than Power Attack would provide you with a weapon with which to power attack.

To me, qualifying for a feat does not guarantee a means by which to carry out the feat, unless said feat explicitly says so, such as the Tengu Wings.

Shadow Lodge

Torbyne wrote:
That being said, i am not trying to argue the Racial Heritage feat by itself allows any physical changes, but it is pretty clear that you have a new hidden sub type. And that some feats will branch from this and affect physical changes to a characters body.

That I can pretty much agree with even if we differ on some of the semantics.


PatientWolf wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
That being said, i am not trying to argue the Racial Heritage feat by itself allows any physical changes, but it is pretty clear that you have a new hidden sub type. And that some feats will branch from this and affect physical changes to a characters body.
That I can pretty much agree with even if we differ on some of the semantics.

Cool beans man. Here is a weird one for you though, in another thread someone brought up the idea of a Scion Of Humanity Aasimar taking Racial Heritage (Half-Elf) to qualify for Paragon Surge but since they wouldnt gain any racial traits they would lack Elf Blood and not count as an Elf. Now that is a strange little corner case.


Torbyne wrote:
It looks like your bias is entering in here, you do in fact count as a full member of the heritage race and can not take any cosmetic changes no matter what your intent.

Please refrain from accusations of bias and other personal attacks.

You count as a member of that race for the purpose of feats, spell/ability effects, and items. But you will never be a kobold with this feat. A half-elf may count as an elf, but he will never actually be an elf. This feat does not actually change your race in any form - you are and continue to be a human.

If the King of the Mountain must be a dwarf, it's incredibly unlikely this feat qualifies you because you are not actually a dwarf. If the sacrifice of a gnome is what triggers the BBEG's doomsday ritual, the feat qualifies you. If the BBEG's ritual requires the tail of a troglodyte, your tail *would* work if you had one, but you don't have one to provide, because you are not actually a troglodyte; you're a human, who are by definition tailless ape-people, not tailed frog-lizard-people.

The feat doesn't specifically allow for cosmetic alterations; it's just that I don't mind allowing for cosmetic alteration if they are cosmetic; i.e. completely non-mechanical. The potential ability to capitalize on the existence of a tail for a mechanical benefit is not cosmetic, and therefore is where I draw the line.


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I think we're getting pretty far afeild from the source of this whole question. The entire issue came about because some guy in another thread wanted to play a humanoid dragon.

The whole build was based around having claws, bite, tail slap, wing buffet, breath weapon, the works.

Tail Terror is pretty much the only way of getting a tail slap at all, and it's actually thematically appropriate because of the Kobold/Dragon connection.

Sure, the player could have just decided to play a Kobold, but they didn't want to. They wanted to play a half-orc for the larger size and strength. The whole racial heritage issue is just a workaround to be able to play an interesting concept that the rules don't support well.

So my question, when interpreting this combination isn't does racial heritage grant you new body parts? it's actually Does this combination allow the player to play they character they want to play? and is this combination too powerful?

Clearly, sinking two feats into a 1d6 tail slap isn't powerful. It's not even good. I would certainly never pick it.

But I see no reason that someone else shouldn't be allowed to, if that's what they really want.

Interpreting rules so that they allow more options is pretty much always better than being arbitrarily restrictive.


Quote:
Cool beans man. Here is a weird one for you though, in another thread someone brought up the idea of a Scion Of Humanity Aasimar taking Racial Heritage (Half-Elf) to qualify for Paragon Surge but since they wouldnt gain any racial traits they would lack Elf Blood and not count as an Elf. Now that is a strange little corner case.

I think that calls for an, er, judgment call. Half-Elves are humanoid (human, elf), so some things would still count for them, but nothing that requires being a high elf (the race, as opposed to the humanoid subtype).


Doomed Hero wrote:

I think we're getting pretty far afeild from the source of this whole question. The entire issue came about because some guy in another thread wanted to play a humanoid dragon.

The whole build was based around having claws, bite, tail slap, wing buffet, breath weapon, the works.

Tail Terror is pretty much the only way of getting a tail slap at all, and it's actually thematically appropriate because of the Kobold/Dragon connection.

Sure, the player could have just decided to play a Kobold, but they didn't want to. They wanted to play a half-orc for the larger size and strength. The whole racial heritage issue is just a workaround to be able to play an interesting concept that the rules don't support well.

So my question, when interpreting this combination isn't does racial heritage grant you new body parts? it's actually Does this combination allow the player to play they character they want to play? and is this combination too powerful?

Clearly, sinking two feats into a 1d6 tail slap isn't powerful. It's not even good. I would certainly never pick it.

But I see no reason that someone else shouldn't be allowed to, if that's what they really want.

Interpreting rules so that they allow more options is pretty much always better than being arbitrarily restrictive.

Pretty much. At this point the debate has boiled down to "The rules don't say you can do it", which is true vs "The rules don't say you can't do it" which is also true. Sigh.


Quote:
Clearly, sinking two feats into a 1d6 tail slap isn't powerful. It's not even good. I would certainly never pick it.

For that character, it's quite powerful. Such a character would already have numerous investments made into empowering his natural attacks; each additional natural attack is a magnifying power.

Conceptually, it's reminiscent of rogues. Adding more attacks is significantly more important for rogues than it is for others, much like how adding Crit range/power is less important for them.


Doomed Hero wrote:

I think we're getting pretty far afeild from the source of this whole question. The entire issue came about because some guy in another thread wanted to play a humanoid dragon.

The whole build was based around having claws, bite, tail slap, wing buffet, breath weapon, the works.

Tail Terror is pretty much the only way of getting a tail slap at all, and it's actually thematically appropriate because of the Kobold/Dragon connection.

Sure, the player could have just decided to play a Kobold, but they didn't want to. They wanted to play a half-orc for the larger size and strength. The whole racial heritage issue is just a workaround to be able to play an interesting concept that the rules don't support well.

So my question, when interpreting this combination isn't does racial heritage grant you new body parts? it's actually Does this combination allow the player to play they character they want to play? and is this combination too powerful?

Clearly, sinking two feats into a 1d6 tail slap isn't powerful. It's not even good. I would certainly never pick it.

But I see no reason that someone else shouldn't be allowed to, if that's what they really want.

Interpreting rules so that they allow more options is pretty much always better than being arbitrarily restrictive.

Except this is the rules forum, not the "what would I allow at my table" forum. I agree the feat combo is not overpowered, and I've already said I would allow it at my table, but neither of those things change the RAW of the feat. If you're not discussing the RAW then you're in the wrong place. (No offense intended)


Bizbag wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
It looks like your bias is entering in here, you do in fact count as a full member of the heritage race and can not take any cosmetic changes no matter what your intent.

Please refrain from accusations of bias and other personal attacks.

You count as a member of that race for the purpose of feats, spell/ability effects, and items. But you will never be a kobold with this feat. A half-elf may count as an elf, but he will never actually be an elf. This feat does not actually change your race in any form - you are and continue to be a human.

If the King of the Mountain must be a dwarf, it's incredibly unlikely this feat qualifies you because you are not actually a dwarf. If the sacrifice of a gnome is what triggers the BBEG's doomsday ritual, the feat qualifies you. If the BBEG's ritual requires the tail of a troglodyte, your tail *would* work if you had one, but you don't have one to provide, because you are not actually a troglodyte; you're a human, who are by definition tailless ape-people, not tailed frog-lizard-people.

The feat doesn't specifically allow for cosmetic alterations; it's just that I don't mind allowing for cosmetic alteration if they are cosmetic; i.e. completely non-mechanical. The potential ability to capitalize on the existence of a tail for a mechanical benefit is not cosmetic, and therefore is where I draw the line.

Apologies for that coming across as a personal attack, it was never my intention. I was going for, "The feat has gaps in its wording that currently must be address at each table, your statement reflects your interpetations to fill in those gaps but are not entirely supported by the writting of the feat." also, the feat is really weird in that if the throne of The King Of The Mountain is enchanted to kill any non dwarf who dares sit in it, you are cool bro. Granted most dwarves would assume this means the chair is broken or their gods have abandonded them but really its because that human is a dwarf (or at least counts as one). Not going for any attacks against anything other than the feat though.


PatientWolf wrote:
Darche Schneider wrote:


Also, No NPC is going to recognize you as a human regardless. By RAW, the moment you take racial heritage, despite having absolutely NO physical changes, every NPC out there knows you're more than human. Somehow every NPC knows just how a (insert race)'s eyes flutter when they lie, or how (insert race) is all shifty and can instantly and easily identify you.

Also somewhere down the line there was a half-kobold. Unless we're going with the blood injection theory of old kobolds.

Where are you getting that by RAW every NPC automatically recognizes your character as something other than human? That is definitely not RAW.

The knowledge skill. Granted, yes, they'd have to make the check. Now since human is a common humanoid type, Your DC at level 1, is about 5 or so. This is so common anyone can make it. Allowing them to know your heritage.

And yes, Rangers would know you're a kobold or whatever other race you are.

Shadow Lodge

Doomed Hero wrote:

I think we're getting pretty far afeild from the source of this whole question. The entire issue came about because some guy in another thread wanted to play a humanoid dragon.

The whole build was based around having claws, bite, tail slap, wing buffet, breath weapon, the works.

Tail Terror is pretty much the only way of getting a tail slap at all, and it's actually thematically appropriate because of the Kobold/Dragon connection.

Sure, the player could have just decided to play a Kobold, but they didn't want to. They wanted to play a half-orc for the larger size and strength. The whole racial heritage issue is just a workaround to be able to play an interesting concept that the rules don't support well.

So my question, when interpreting this combination isn't does racial heritage grant you new body parts? it's actually Does this combination allow the player to play they character they want to play? and is this combination too powerful?

Clearly, sinking two feats into a 1d6 tail slap isn't powerful. It's not even good. I would certainly never pick it.

But I see no reason that someone else shouldn't be allowed to, if that's what they really want.

Interpreting rules so that they allow more options is pretty much always better than being arbitrarily restrictive.

I agree and in my home game I encourage a little bit of looseness occasionally in the rules. Others groups want to follow the rules exactly. The purpose of this forum is to determine what the rules actually say so that then individual GMs can make an informed decision for their own game.

So whether or not this is combo is overpowering or interesting or anything else is irrelevant to what the RAW say.


Doomed Hero wrote:

I think we're getting pretty far afeild from the source of this whole question. The entire issue came about because some guy in another thread wanted to play a humanoid dragon.

The whole build was based around having claws, bite, tail slap, wing buffet, breath weapon, the works.

Tail Terror is pretty much the only way of getting a tail slap at all, and it's actually thematically appropriate because of the Kobold/Dragon connection.

Sure, the player could have just decided to play a Kobold, but they didn't want to. They wanted to play a half-orc for the larger size and strength. The whole racial heritage issue is just a workaround to be able to play an interesting concept that the rules don't support well.

So my question, when interpreting this combination isn't does racial heritage grant you new body parts? it's actually Does this combination allow the player to play they character they want to play? and is this combination too powerful?

Clearly, sinking two feats into a 1d6 tail slap isn't powerful. It's not even good. I would certainly never pick it.

But I see no reason that someone else shouldn't be allowed to, if that's what they really want.

Interpreting rules so that they allow more options is pretty much always better than being arbitrarily restrictive.

Unless there was another guy, i started the last thread about the Half-Orc for a specific concept that put flavour ahead of optimiization. but this isnt the optimize/hate on optimizers forum, its about rules or in this case what some percieve to be a gap in the rules.

(Although i didnt think the build was going to be that weak really, mix in a few levels of fighter and gain martial versatility... end up with dragon styling for four natural attacks/round at 3x full bab and 1x at bab -5, all for STR X 1.5, maybe add in some weapon spec. and improved natural attack for them as well. It wasnt such a bad idea, was it?)


@ Doomed Hero:

At no point are we saying that he can't have that in his own game, nor are we saying that it's overpowered. People play the game how they want to play it with their friends/family, and that's fine. Nobody's saying he's not allowed to do it for his home game.

But the argument in this thread, not the original question, which is in its own thread, is whether or not it's allowed by RAW, and whether it makes sense in terms of RAI or if it's a bunch of garbage.

The RAW of the feat makes no indication whatsoever of being able to grow body parts by taking the feat, regardless of when and where they take it (i.e. at character creation or during their adventuring career); first point goes to our side arguing that it's not valid.

The RAI of the feat is designed to allow Humans to be eligible to select feats and traits that are dependant upon race. At no point are we saying that the PC can't take Tail Terror as a feat with the Racial Heritage (Kobold) feat in combination. We are saying that even taking the feat, lacking the proper limbs needed to carry out the attack, the feat does nothing for them. Because they don't have a Tail in which to make a Tail Attack with.

Everyone arguing the other side has been trying to say that Racial Heritage allows the growth of a tail; but they have yet to produce evidence of Racial Heritage being capable of doing this. I've been on the side that while the feat combination is completely valid, the feat does nothing for the PC in question, and so has several other people in this thread.

If the PC develops a tail through other means, or even has a prosthetic tail crafted for them that can be attached to their armor or body in some fashion, then I'll allow said PC to make Tail Attacks. But it's the same problem we run into with a character trying to make Claw Attacks with a stump on their arm after getting their hand cut off.

A 1D6 + Full/Half-Strength Natural Tail attack is nice in the lower levels, and slowly becomes more and more useless as this attack comes across DR and other similar issues. That's never been an issue in debate on this thread. The issue has always been whether the feat grants limbs or not. And so far, the other side has yet to produce evidence to support their claim, and thusly their arguments are but one legged dogs, only able to stay afloat by their persistence.


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Well if all everyone is concerned about is what the Rules As Written say on the matter, the answer to that question is pretty straightforward.

It's ambiguous.

There's no clear answer one way or another. Therefor the only applicable rule to resolve the ambiguity is Rule 0. Ask your GM.

So why bother continuing the argument? It seems that this thread has explored all the possible answers already. At this point the dead horse has been thoroughly beaten.

If we can't discuss the possible implications of ruling one way or another without having people point to the Rules Forum sign to derail that whole train of thought, then it looks like all there is left to do is wait for the Dev team to get around to an FAQ ruling.


Doomed Hero wrote:

Well if all everyone is concerned about is what the Rules As Written say on the matter, the answer to that question is pretty straightforward.

It's ambiguous.

There's no clear answer one way or another. Therefor the only applicable rule to resolve the ambiguity is Rule 0. Ask your GM.

So why bother continuing the argument? It seems that this thread has explored all the possible answers already. At this point the dead horse has been thoroughly beaten.

If we can't discuss the possible implications of ruling one way or another without having people point to the Rules Forum sign to derail that whole train of thought, then it looks like all there is left to do is wait for the Dev team to get around to an FAQ ruling.

That's just it, it isn't ambiguous. There is nothing that states "you gain a tail" so you don't.

The only argument on the pro-tail side that makes sense requires you impose restrictions on the feat which are not included.

"Well if you take it at first level then...."

Nothing in the feat restricts it to being taken at first level. So that argument doesn't fly.

Every single other argument is completely ridiculous.

Unless the feat says "you grow a tail" then you, in fact, do not grow a tail.


You know, surprisingly there is no NPC that has racial heritage. There is a half-elf with Jackal Heritage though, who does have somewhat of an appearance like the shifters in 3.5 Ebberon.

In the same rival guide, there is ahuman who's picture has hi m missing a hand. No mention of it in the statblock.. and he duel wields and suffers no arane spell failure for having a missing hand.

Overall, the descriptions of the NPCs is rather lacking more so than that of the player characters.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

So this keeps going.

I have to say, the fact that this feat combo does not grow one a tail should be getting through. I have noticed that Grady has not posted for a bit.

Every competent GM would look at this and say "how do you get your tail?" and will most likely be unconvinced on the theory of it sprouting forth at the time of Feat Acquisition.

The question everyone should ask themselves is "Am I trying to get something through a rules loophole?" and check up and retreat when the answer is "Yes."


Darche Schneider wrote:

You know, surprisingly there is no NPC that has racial heritage. There is a half-elf with Jackal Heritage though, who does have somewhat of an appearance like the shifters in 3.5 Ebberon.

In the same rival guide, there is ahuman who's picture has hi m missing a hand. No mention of it in the statblock.. and he duel wields and suffers no arane spell failure for having a missing hand.

Overall, the descriptions of the NPCs is rather lacking more so than that of the player characters.

Prosthetic Limbs do all kinds of things. Why do you think we see pirates with wooden legs and hooks on their hands? Why do you think I've been suggesting that as an alternative to having a natural tail (since the rules don't call for it)?

Because they are makeshift limbs that fulfill the same purposes as natural limbs.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

From the very beginning of this two thread discussion, I had suggested a mechanical tail as a part of the Half-Orc's armor. That would give him a tail to use the Tail Terror Feat with. It is clear from others that this would not be good enough, that the sprouting of a tail is wanted and nothing else.

Is it the added cost of the item? It would be up to GM's discression, but I think it would be ikin to a quarter of the overall armor's cost, and used differently cosmetically for the different types of armor, such as swinging around to slap with a leather tail much like a strap with barbs on the end, to the twist of the hips to clack the mechanics to strike with the tail with metal.

Is it that the character would not have it when he is without his armor? That is the downside of choosing feats that are for another's race.

Is it because it still requires GM approval instead of having the player wave a FAQ clarification in the GM's face and going "Ne Uhh... it says right here I can do it anyway!" Sorry, but that is just the way it goes.

I suggest that if you want to play fast and loose with the rules ya might wanna try a different game.

Perhaps Solitaire.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Sorry for the multi posts, but I want to comment on the Grippli Tongue feat (forgive, I don't know what it is called atm)

The fact is, it is still using an existing feature that a human does, in fact, has. A tongue. That it does stuff a normal human's tongue could not even think about doing is immaterial.

I am surprised no one has though of the first X-Men movie when this example came up.

Perhaps it is because they want to forget that Ray Park played Toad.

Oh, and Storm? The answer isn't "The same thing as everything else." It is "It Croaks."


So then a pony tail would work?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Pony tail, in my mind, is in the wrong area. Wriggling your hips is different than swiping your head about. It is only a "Tail" in respect of it's being trailed behind a person. The pony tails that Pippy Longstocking has, for example, are up in the air and unable to do anything.

Still up to GM discretion, of course.


Pippi's hair is pigtails.

I'm talking on the level of Tangled, no maybe that long, but at least butt length.


Darche Schneider wrote:
So then a pony tail would work?

Is your character a pony?


BigDTBone wrote:
Darche Schneider wrote:
So then a pony tail would work?
Is your character a pony?

His name is Richard Simmons


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I find it interesting that in a game where characters can suddenly gain Prehensile Hair or a sprout a Vestigial Arm, the idea of suddenly growing a tail seems to stretch some people's belief.


Doomed Hero wrote:
I find it interesting that in a game where characters can suddenly gain Prehensile Hair or a sprout a Vestigial Arm, the idea of suddenly growing a tail seems to stretch some people's belief.

I don't think it's the idea of suddenly growing a tail that is causing a problem, it's that neither of those feats explicitly cause you to grow a tail. For example, the Mark of Evil feat could cause your enemies to suddenly grow a tail, because it is written right in the feat description.


Doomed Hero wrote:
I find it interesting that in a game where characters can suddenly gain Prehensile Hair or a sprout a Vestigial Arm, the idea of suddenly growing a tail seems to stretch some people's belief.

I have said this over a dozen times, and I'm not sure if it's due that you don't see it or if you think it doesn't matter, but I'll say it again:

Because the abilities specifically call out that they receive them on the spot.

Look at Prehensile Hair's language:

Prehensile Hair wrote:
The witch can instantly cause her hair (or even her eyebrows) to grow up to 10 feet long or to shrink to its normal length, and can manipulate her hair as if it were a limb with a Strength score equal to her Intelligence score. Her hair has reach 10 feet, and she can use it as a secondary natural attack that deals 1d3 points of damage (1d2 for a Small witch). Her hair can manipulate objects (but not weapons) as dexterously as a human hand.

This ability works when the creature has hair (or even eyebrows), and is a Supernatural effect; it surpasses the laws of realism and standard natural growth, so expanding its growth "out of nowhere" makes a lot more sense than the standard convention of it growing 5.2 femtometers every yacht-second.

Look at Vestigial Arm's language:

Vestigial Arm wrote:
The alchemist gains a new arm (left or right) on his torso. The arm is fully under his control and cannot be concealed except with magic or bulky clothing. The arm does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round, though the arm can wield a weapon and make attacks as part of the alchemist’s attack routine (using two-weapon fighting). The arm can manipulate or hold items as well as the alchemist’s original arms (for example, allowing the alchemist to use one hand to wield a weapon, another hand to hold a potion, and the third hand to throw a bomb). The arm has its own “hand” and “ring” magic item slots (though the alchemist can still only wear two rings and two hand magic items at a time).

This ability comes out and says they get a new limb. It's an Extraordinary effect caused by the Alchemist discovering how to safely grow a fully controllable limb in an instant with little to no adverse effects. Not only does this borderline our modern-day "playing God," but its context is cut and dry in regards to whether a limb is present or not.

Even look at Prehensile Tail's language:

Prehensile Tail wrote:
Many tieflings have tails, but some have long, flexible tails that can be used to carry items. While they cannot wield weapons with their tails, they can use them to retrieve small, stowed objects carried on their persons as a swift action. This racial trait replaces fiendish sorcery.

The trait comes out and says that most Tieflings have a Tail Limb, and the trait gives the Tail Limb a mechanical benefit; whereas without them, it's a flavor feature.

These all explain what you can do with the physiology and/or what the ability says you can do with them. I can tell you that without a Tail, or Hair and Eyebrows, they're not allowed to use the Prehensile Tail/Hair abilities and their features. But they're more than welcome to take them. They just don't do a thing for them, because they lack the required physiology for it. The abilities are built assuming you have a Tail, or Hair/Eyebrows. When you lack those features, how can you use them? Can you use a sword with just a stump of a hand? Perhaps. But not without prosthetics, which requires an attachment of a false limb, meaning the limb is still needed to properly use the sword.

Vestigial Arm has a slightly different angle; it comes out and says it grants you a limb, in converse to it being an effect which requires a certain sort of physiology. It then lists the limitations of said "additional limb" in contrast to what a normal limb of the same type would normally be.

We understand your "counter-skepticism" perfectly, and I've answered it to the best of my ability. But you have yet to answer ours:

At what point does Racial Heritage or Tail Terror come out and say it alters a character's physiology or supersedes the requirement of limbs?


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It's not that growing a tail is any more unbelievable than the Prehensile Hair or the Vestigial Arm.
The difference is that those latter two additions are specifically given to you as part of your character class (by spending a hex or discovery receptively).
If there was a hex, or discovery, or arcana, or domain, or feat, or anything else that specifically called out that you grow a tail, that would be completely fine.
But unfortunately, tail terror is not that feat, and only applies greater power to an existing limb, rather than granting a completely new one.


I agree with the argument that you don't necessarily grow a tail by taking tail terror. I also agree that if you don't have a tail, you can't make a tail slap.

On the other hand, I don't think it's unfair to allow someone with racial heritage (kobold) to gain a tail slap through tail terror. In this case, each feat is essentially doing what it was intended to do; racial heritage (kobold) is giving you access to a kobold feat, tail terror is granting your character a tail slap. I wouldn't call that abusive. Besides, if you want to say that your human has a kobold tail because of his racial heritage (kobold), hey, that's no more absurd than having kobold heritage in the first place.


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this was the primary topic of discussion on the LAST thread, O.o why did we need a second one to go in circles in?


Rhatahema wrote:

I agree with the argument that you don't necessarily grow a tail by taking tail terror. I also agree that if you don't have a tail, you can't make a tail slap.

On the other hand, I don't think it's unfair to allow someone with racial heritage (kobold) to gain a tail slap through tail terror. In this case, each feat is essentially doing what it was intended to do; racial heritage (kobold) is giving you access to a kobold feat, tail terror is granting your character a tail slap. I wouldn't call that abusive. Besides, if you want to say that your human has a kobold tail because of his racial heritage (kobold), hey, that's no more absurd than having kobold heritage in the first place.

The main problem which has been argued over this entire thread was whether it was allowed by the rules.

We've stated time and again, that it's not allowed by the rules, both as it's worded, and as it's intended. We've even went so far as to say that allowing it in your home games isn't broken at all. It's actually inoptimal, as the math and mechanics show.

The issue is there are people who believe that Racial Heritage (Kobold) + Tail Terror = Free Tail, and have no evidence to back their claim other than trying to use irrelevant links of fantasy (which, for this game, is backed by the rules and mechanics of the game, and if it isn't, then it doesn't apply), or ignore the requirement entirely (which contradicts rules already written for those who make natural attacks with limbs, a Tail Attack of which is included).

At this point, we won the arguments because the evidence shows for us (and not for them), and if they refuse to admit that they were wrong, then it's just a vicious circle of back and forth. I've said all I've needed to say, and now I know for sure that we've explored everything possible. The only thing that could possibly change their minds is the Dev post that comes out and says it's not allowed by the rules, and that's what I'll wait for.


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Because nowhere in this thread explicitly states that everything in this discussion has already been fully explored, (even though the subject matter implies it) and the people who don't like the idea don't want to just let it die and wait for an FAQ. Maybe there's a chance someone might concede their argument if they keep grinding away long enough.


Doomed Hero wrote:
Because nowhere in this thread explicitly states that everything in this discussion has already been fully explored, and the people who don't like the idea don't want to let it die and wait for an FAQ. Maybe there's a chance someone might concede their argument if they keep grinding away long enough.

Except nobody is willing to concede. I won't concede my point because no other, more valid point from the opposite side has been made. And until one is, then there's no sense in conceding in something that's (so far) been proven to be correct.

I doubt this will die any time soon. Not only are we going in vicious circles, but others have weighed in their opinions, as well as there being more people just like the original person asking for this to happen. This isn't the first thread about this, and most certainly not the last.

Until the Devs come in, (which they should any second now,) it's just back-and-forth arguing, and that gets old really fast, considering we're all hung up on the same thing for the past week (or month).


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

from the PRD, on Kobolds
...They have powerful jaws for creatures of their size and noticeable claws on their hands and feet. Often kobolds' faces are curiously devoid of expression, as they favour showing their emotions by simply swishing their tails...

Racial Heritage allows a Human (to be counted as another Humanoid race, for the for Traits, Feats, Spells - as published and ignored countess times in this thread).

Kobolds = Humanoid

Kobolds have tails (even though this is not explicitly mentioned in the Stat block it is in the PRD - I included it word for word above).

The Tail Terror feat allows Kobolds to use their tail as a weapon.

Simple, Yes?

The complaint seems to be that the child of a union between a Kobold and a Human doesn't gain the characteristics of the parent. Even though every single other blending and some classes carry taints in the their respective bloodlines down generations.

Sorcerers have bloodlines.(take your pick of inherited abilites)

Half-Elves have part of parents racial abilities as do Tieflings - in fact tieflings use their tails to carry and stow items.

The issue is that some people don't like the idea of the descendant of a Kobold having a tail which is racist :-) in the truest sense of the word.

I will happily wait for our Dev's to comment, but as it stands it's ok by RAW, (not sure if it's legal for PFS - I haven't checked).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

In PFS, getting race feats/traits/abilities that would normally be allowed to get in the books is not available unless allowed by the Additional Resources list. As it stands, you would need a boon to play the race in question to get the race feats and etc. for that race.

Currently, there is few Goblin boons out there and no Kobold boons that I know of. (I want one of these oh so very badly)

I believe a clarification needs to be done to allow combinations like this for the current and past boon races, though this particular one still would not do anything for a tailless character.

Oh, and lastblacknightthatcan'tusespacesinhisname? It is not a Half-Kobold. It is either a human, a Half-elf, or a half-orc with the ability to gain abilities/teachings of their past ancestors. Tail Terror is simply an ability that needs a prosthetic of some sort.


lastblacknight wrote:

from the PRD, on Kobolds

...They have powerful jaws for creatures of their size and noticeable claws on their hands and feet. Often kobolds' faces are curiously devoid of expression, as they favour showing their emotions by simply swishing their tails...

Racial Heritage allows a Human (to be counted as another Humanoid race, for the for Traits, Feats, Spells - as published and ignored countess times in this thread).

Kobolds = Humanoid

Kobolds have tails (even though this is not explicitly mentioned in the Stat block it is in the PRD - I included it word for word above).

The Tail Terror feat allows Kobolds to use their tail as a weapon.

Simple, Yes?

The complaint seems to be that the child of a union between a Kobold and a Human doesn't gain the characteristics of the parent. Even though every single other blending and some classes carry taints in the their respective bloodlines down generations.

Sorcerers have bloodlines.(take your pick of inherited abilites)

Half-Elves have part of parents racial abilities as do Tieflings - in fact tieflings use their tails to carry and stow items.

The issue is that some people don't like the idea of the descendant of a Kobold having a tail which is racist :-) in the truest sense of the word.

I will happily wait for our Dev's to comment, but as it stands it's ok by RAW, (not sure if it's legal for PFS - I haven't checked).

Because they come out and say that they are. Racial Heritage, as the Feat, makes no mention of this.

And as I've said before, nobody is saying they can't take the feat. Everyone is saying the feat does nothing because there is no limb to carry out the Tail Attack with. It is, as I've said before, just like trying to make claw attacks with a stump of an arm. You just can't, because you have no hand to make the claw attack with. Just like how Humans can't make Tail Attacks, because they don't have a Tail; just a Tail Bone.

You then say Racial Heritage allows the possibility of growing a tail. Except nowhere in the feat does it say you get one. It just says you count as that race to select feats and traits, and for spells and abilities that affect you. The combination is legit; the execution of it is not.

Because the book expressly comes out and says it. They say that Half-Elves carry traits of both Humans and Elves equally. The same is said with Half-Orcs, Tieflings, you name it. Because these are not altered by Racial Heritage, they are altered by pre-written rules posted in the book, an entity separate from what Racial Heritage is capable of.

And to clarify, it even says in the description of the Prehensile Tail ability, that most, NOT ALL, MOST Tieflings have Tails, and then goes on to say that some, NOT ALL, SOME of them are long and flexible enough to be able to pick up items and stow them away or carry them, provided they fit the guidelines.

Not only are the chances of a Human who mated with a Tiefling having such a feature is very damn slim (if not absolutely impossible) by genetics alone, but taking into mechanical consideration that the ability only changes how feats, traits, spells, and abilities affect you, as well as the pre-disposition of the character assuming to have something that, which, infact, they do NOT possess, disproves the argument altogether.

It's not being racist to say that Humans with Racial Heritage (Kobold) can't have tails, especially when the rules, a complete arbitrary subject on the matter, say the same exact thing. That Humans with just Racial Heritage (Kobold) don't have tails come out from nowhere, with no mechanical statement or explanation behind it. And when you can't prove something is, then it isn't.

Then we shall wait. And I can assure you, if it's not legal in PFS (which I am absolutely positive that it isn't), it sure as hell isn't legal by RAW.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I can't disagree more with the idea that using racial heritage and tail terror would NOT result in the mechanical advantage that RAW allows. All the arguments against it seem to boil down to "Humans don't have tails, so that's not a valid choice", or else to incredulous outrage that the feat "makes a tail spontaneously grow".

First, humans can, currently, be born with tails. It's extremely rare, but it does happen. Thus, it is factually incorrect to base your position on the claim that humans can't/don't have tails. Further, I argue that if I wanted to specify that my purely human character had a non-functional, vestigial tail, I am allowed to do so, just like I would be allowed to describe him/her as being bald, or having 6 fingers, or any number of other features humans might have that aren't "standard". Fair warning - disagreeing with this position will put you in the uncomfortable situation of having to define what a "standard" human is. Good luck not sounding like a jerk!

Second, since it's clear that there is absolutely no legitimate reason to deny a purely human character a vestigial tail, it seems silly in the extreme to say that a character who burns a feat to specifically access a distant bit of non-human ancestry should be denied the ability to have a tail. What seems to get people's goat here is the idea that the feat caused the tail to spontaneously grow. That's not necessarily true, though - maybe the tail has been there the whole time, but the character kept it tucked away, because it wasn't useful, and he/she didn't talk about it because reasons. Or, heck, in a world where people can devote themselves to unlocking their dragon ancestry and thus gain wings, fangs, claws, and a breath weapon, why is it unreasonable to roleplay taking the feat as causing physiological changes?

Basically, it boils down to this: If I'm a purely human character, can I describe myself as having a tail, or any other congenital defect? If no, why not? What rule forbids it? If I can, then why can't a character who is specifically related (albeit distantly) to a race with a tail manifest that relation via a tail? If I can have a tail, seems clear that tail terror works. If your problem is that you think it sounds stupid to grow a tail, too bad. That's not a reason to deny something that's perfectly legal within the rules, and perfectly reasonable within the logic of a game world that routinely lets people manifest other race-based physiological changes.

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