Noob question: Are traits overpowered?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Hello everyone,

I'm about to play my first game of pathfinder with a couple of friends in 2 weeks. I've read through the core rulebook and searched the web a bit, where I stumbled upon traits. At first I was confused because there's nothing about traits (except the racial ones) in the core rulebook, but now I know that they are an additional feature from the advanced player guide. We are likely going to stick to the core rules for the first game, so this is purely out of curiosity and for the future.

I'm aware that they are part of the official game, but I assume that the advanced player's guide was released after the core rulebook, and therefore traits give you an advantage for free. I'm the kind of person who doesn't want to have any unfair advantages that make the game easier, I would feel like I was cheating. Does anyone feel the same? Or am I just making up problems?


Traits give you a minor advantage for free; they're supposed to be worth about half a feat, so taking the two traits is roughly the equivalent of getting an additional bonus feat at the beginning of the game. (Obviously, balancing is a tricky thing, so some traits are more powerful than others.)


I knew that much, I was rather wondering if there's any way to counter the gained advantage. It bothers me that the game would be easier for characters created with the advanced player's guide versus the core rulebook. Am I the only one?


Drawbacks, to take any more than those 2 traits you have to take a drawback as well. You could make a house rule requiring 1 drawback in addition to those 2 traits instead if you are really worried about it.

Looks like they were added with Ultimate Campaign(?) although more have been added in various Player's Handbooks.

Here is a link to all of them.


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so since they are official and really well supported and widely used they are a part of the game. Games can play with traits or without, but the official game designers expect/intend/assume it's happening.

Like, new classes have been added in books since core. Are you going to assume that those give people unfair advantages? I can now use arcane magic and weapons in the same round with the magus.

If you can't tell, my vote is you're making up problems.


Usually, the GM states in advance what books they're using. Yours has said "just Core," which is fine. "Core & APG" would be fine -- although there's a better list of traits in Ultimate Campaign. I've picked "Core, all the Advanced books, & all the Ultimate books," although that could be anything on the "Rules Archive (PRD)" (to the left of your screen) just as easily. A lot of others pick "Anything Paizo," meaning what's on the PRD plus anything in sourcebooks that Paizo has published -- a pretty wide spread. Many GMs pick anything Pathfinder -- Paizo or third party. And finally, you get the ones who even mix in 3.5 material.

None of these positions is wrong. None are too limited or too powerful. Yes, the more options you have, the more you can come up with combinations that create powerhouse characters. But whatever position the GM takes, all the players have the same basic options. And the GM will be prepared for them! There's no question of an "unfair advantage" or "cheating."

It would be cheating, of course, if you intentionally bring a character with traits to your game, where the GM has specified "just Core."

Do you see the difference?

A footnote -- be careful of using the d20pfsrd. It's a great resource, but when you or the GM has restricted the material, it can lead you off-map. It's tricky sometimes to figure out where a specific entry comes from. It could be Paizo stuff on the PRD, Paizo stuff from proprietary sourcebooks, or third party material.

{A second footnote -- There's a big advantage to adding the APG to Core, actually, at least for the Oracle class. Beginners usually have an easier time playing sorcerers than wizards, and oracles are like divine sorcerers -- easier to play than clerics.}


Thanks for the reply bitter lily! That totally makes sense, obviously the GM can adjust the difficulty level so everyone gets the challenge he wants.


Some are... but generally those are traits that were only intended to be used in the AP's they're found in. Such as the trapfinding trait in Mummy's Mask.


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Some traits are not only more powerful than most feats, but give you a unique benefit that no feat can do. For example:

- Magical Lineage & Wayang Spellhunter reduce the cost of applying metamagic feats. IIRC the only other way to do this in PF is with Spell Perfection (a 15th level feat) or Mythic abilities.

- Fate's Favored improves any luck bonuses on you by 1. It's an effective +1 to all saves for Half Orcs, +1 to hit/damage for characters that use Divine Favor, etc.

- Lessons of Chaldira lets you reroll any save once per day. Contrast with Improved [Save] feat which is the same thing but for just one save type.

- The traits Student of Philosophy, Bruising Intellect, Clever Wordplay, and Pragmatic Activator let you move various CHA-based skills to INT, and Wisdom in the Flesh lets you move any physical stat-based skill to WIS.

- Magical Knack gives you two caster levels that you would otherwise lose to Multiclassing or playing a full-BAB casting class like Ranger or Paladin. 3.5 had the Practiced Spellcaster feat that did the same thing (but gave up to 4 caster levels); no equivalent exists in PF.

Overpowered? Compared to most other traits sure, but frankly most other traits suck.


Traits really are pretty bonkers. I've played with them my entire Pathfinder career, but they very much influence how I build characters. The half a feat thing is trotted out in any discussion of traits, but I have never really agreed with that valuation.

Setting aside the traits that feats do not replicate (as referenced by Athaleon above), even something as benign as +1 to a skill and making it a class skill isn't actually half of Skill Focus. If I take two such traits, I end up with +4 to two skills (+1 and the class skill bonus) for a grand total of +8, whereas Skill Focus gives a maximum of +6 to a single skill. So I'm getting more bang for my buck and spread across two skills instead of one. Now granted, that means my ceiling in a particular skill is lower than if I had taken Skill Focus instead (by 2), but I generally find I prefer the spread competency over the specialization. Then we get into the metamagic cost reducers or the reroll trait, or the shifting stat mod traits and... well... feats look worse and worse.

I'm not advocating the removal of traits, nor am I intending to rail against their existence, this is more just a musing and observation. I love traits, and really enjoy the benefits they provide. They're just really, really good.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Traits give you a minor advantage for free; they're supposed to be worth about half a feat, so taking the two traits is roughly the equivalent of getting an additional bonus feat at the beginning of the game. (Obviously, balancing is a tricky thing, so some traits are more powerful than others.)

Well, that's the thing. Traits are supposed to be worth about half a feat (so the feat Additional Traits gives you two of them), and overall that's probably roughly correct, but the variation in quality is enormous. (Of course, the same could be said for feats.) Campaign Traits (which, if used properly, are specific to a campaign, although sometimes Adventure Paths share one or more Campaign Traits) are supposed to be somewhat more powerful than average traits, and again, overall this is probably roughly correct, but again the variation in quality is enormous, especially in (but not limited to) the earlier Adventure Paths. The most insanely overpowered example that I can think of is the Legacy of Fire Campaign Trait Finding Haleen, which lets you get both an extra skill point and an extra hit point in your favored class, either of which could be swapped for a Favored Class Bonus if you want, thus making it as strong as a feat like Toughness except without the front-loading (and if you really cheese it, this trait even gets you an extra favored class, thus making it even stronger than one Toughness-class feat). The runner-up overpowered Campaign Trait that I can think of is from more recent times: the Mummy's Mask Campaign Trait Trap Finder, which lets you say "We don't need a Rogue in this campaign"(*) -- although it doesn't give the scaling bonus that Rogue's Trapfinding(**) does, it gives you the essential part that lets you use Disable Device on magical traps.

(*)More generously, you can interpret it to mean that you can afford to take a Rogue archetype that trades out Trapfinding (most Rogue archetypes do), or be a Ninja (which doesn't get it).

(**)Investigators also get this, as do a few archetypes of other classes, and Slayers can get it with a Talent starting at 2nd level (unless their archetype trades out that Talent).


I, as a GM, like to give myself the traits according to the backstory that each player gives me. This helps to keep the game balanced, as I try to give each player something that is equally useful for each character, and also encourages the players to develope their character concepts. And as I am the one giving the traits I don't have the same 4 or 5 traits repeated over and over again. I wouldn't like to have to GM 3 stories about «the revenge of the bullied ones».


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No traits aren't overpowered, the game assumes you have them, the more books you introduce the more options the players will have. This is intended. I have no idea how they could publish books without having more options for characters in them ...

Grand Lodge

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bitter lily wrote:
A footnote -- be careful of using the d20pfsrd. It's a great resource, but when you or the GM has restricted the material, it can lead you off-map. It's tricky sometimes to figure out where a specific entry comes from. It could be Paizo stuff on the PRD, Paizo stuff from proprietary sourcebooks, or third party material.

Bitter lily is entirely correct for most of this, but this bit is ever so slightly incorrect. On each Spell, Feat, Trait, Talent, Domain, Bloodline and Class page etc, there's a book reference at the bottom.


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WhoDKnee wrote:
I was rather wondering if there's any way to counter the gained advantage.

Generally 'four characters and 15-point buy and a mixture of divine, arcane and martial abilities' is the baseline for the game's difficulty system. Do you have all that? There's no point in trying to maintain balance by compensating for traits if you're not balanced in the first place.

And there are much bigger sources of potential imbalance in the game, like how much your players optimize.


Yes, compared to other bigger issues, a trait can hardly be unbalancing.
I've always thought of them as a tool to give more relevance to character backgrounds than a source for powerful stuff.
Said that, I've lost account on how many times my witch has avoided a terrible fate because of having a +1 Fort trait.


Nitro~Nina wrote:
bitter lily wrote:
A footnote -- be careful of using the d20pfsrd. It's a great resource, but when you or the GM has restricted the material, it can lead you off-map. It's tricky sometimes to figure out where a specific entry comes from. It could be Paizo stuff on the PRD, Paizo stuff from proprietary sourcebooks, or third party material.
Bitter lily is entirely correct for most of this, but this bit is ever so slightly incorrect. On each Spell, Feat, Trait, Talent, Domain, Bloodline and Class page etc, there's a book reference at the bottom.

I could have sworn this was missing on some of the oldest stuff, but now that I went back and looked, even things from the Core Rulebook seem to have this, so maybe they went back and made sure nothing was missing this.


I don't really see the reason we would want to balance characters in one campaign versus characters in another campaign entirely.

Certainly, characters made with the core rules are going to be at a disadvantage compared to characters made with access to every single printed rule. But is that really different from how characters created with a 15 point buy are going to be generally weaker than characters made with a 25 point buy?

You can run a 15 point buy campaign and not worry that somebody else is running a 25 PB campaign, or vice versa. You can do one in one campaign and the other in the next. It's much the same with traits.

Though in terms of "characters are too powerful" I find that this problem never really happens with things that low level characters can have. If "character power" does become a problem, it's almost always due to high level spellcasters.

Honestly, the biggest problem I have with traits is that choosing them can be frustrating. There are so many of them, and they're not particularly well organized anywhere.


Id say finding haleen is on the overpowered side. Some traits are, specifically i kind of think the metamagic level reduction ones are.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Id say finding haleen is on the overpowered side. Some traits are, specifically i kind of think the metamagic level reduction ones are.

Well, they only apply to a single spell. You could try to focus on using it, but if you overspecialize, you actually corner yourself and the PC becomes weaker than without this trait.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
UnArcaneElection wrote:
I could have sworn this was missing on some of the oldest stuff, but now that I went back and looked, even things from the Core Rulebook seem to have this, so maybe they went back and made sure nothing was missing this.

There are some bestiary entries that do not contain the sourcebook information. Probably stuff that was OGL'd, then added to a bestiary later. I found this out trying to figure out where certain pawns might be found. The easy way is to check d20pfsrd, the hard way is to search all of the critter lists on the boxes themselves or the product pages.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Athaleon wrote:

Some traits are not only more powerful than most feats, but give you a unique benefit that no feat can do. For example:

- Magical Lineage & Wayang Spellhunter reduce the cost of applying metamagic feats. IIRC the only other way to do this in PF is with Spell Perfection (a 15th level feat) or Mythic abilities.

These two "traits" are the worst examples of abuse that I can think of, especially if the unsuspecting DM allows both of them to be used on the same spell simultaneously.

IMHO, Wayang Spellhunter simply should not be available, since it states:

Wayang Spellhunter wrote:
You grew up on one of the wayang-populated islands of Minata, and your use of magic while hunting has been a boon to you. Select a spell of 3rd level or below. When you use this spell with a metamagic feat, it uses up a spell slot one level lower than it normally would.

Don't let *all* of the magic-users in your game be orphans from Minata. It's just silly.

Also note IIRC that there was a FAQ or errata somewhere specifying that the level reduction could not reduce a spell below its original level.

I suggest you disallow these two traits, as well as any campaign trait not specifically designed for your current campaign. Consult Archives of Nethys when in doubt as to the actual origin of a given trait, feat or other power, since those elements are of necessity expunged from the pfsrd.


And that's why I give the traits myself instead of letting players choose. I listen to suggestions and if they want specific traits I might give them what they want, but if they are developing bizarre concepts that do not fit the campaign only to try to exploit powerful traits I might give them something different from what they want.
Said that, I like giving my players powerful traits that suit their characters, not useless ones, it's just that I like them to work more on the concept for their characters than trying to get powerful traits.


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The thing about traits is that they should, technically, feed into your character's backstory and can shape how they are played. In other words, if you are taking a trait, you should have a backstory that justifies it. This isn't necessarily a requirement, but if you are the GM, then you can MAKE it a requirement. If your players can't justify it with their backstory and/or how they are going to role play their characters, don't let them take it.

Also, don't let them take campaign traits unless you are running the campaign they were created for. They can definitely be more powerful than other traits, but they are also designed to tie directly into their respective campaigns and sometimes have story reasons that tie directly in and can balance or justify the power.


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Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Nitro~Nina wrote:
bitter lily wrote:
A footnote -- be careful of using the d20pfsrd. It's a great resource, but when you or the GM has restricted the material, it can lead you off-map. It's tricky sometimes to figure out where a specific entry comes from. It could be Paizo stuff on the PRD, Paizo stuff from proprietary sourcebooks, or third party material.
Bitter lily is entirely correct for most of this, but this bit is ever so slightly incorrect. On each Spell, Feat, Trait, Talent, Domain, Bloodline and Class page etc, there's a book reference at the bottom.

Most of the time this is true, but in some cases there are features that are in multiple books, and as far as I've seen the d20pfsrd only lists one source for each feat/spell/item/other.

For example, Ultimate Campaign contains traits that were printed in the Advanced Player's Guide (such as Reactionary). Going strictly by the pfsrd, someone restricted to Core and APG only would have no idea what traits they have access to.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
bishop083 wrote:

The thing about traits is that they should, technically, feed into your character's backstory and can shape how they are played. In other words, if you are taking a trait, you should have a backstory that justifies it. This isn't necessarily a requirement, but if you are the GM, then you can MAKE it a requirement. If your players can't justify it with their backstory and/or how they are going to role play their characters, don't let them take it.

Also, don't let them take campaign traits unless you are running the campaign they were created for. They can definitely be more powerful than other traits, but they are also designed to tie directly into their respective campaigns and sometimes have story reasons that tie directly in and can balance or justify the power.

I definitely agree with both your general statement regarding traits as well as your specific statement regarding campaign traits.

As for the first, you better come up with a good reason for a trait, or I won't allow it. By making my players provide a backstory, deciphering this is rather easy. Fortunately, my guys are good about it. I also make sure they don't take conflicting benefits. We houserule know (local) as a class skill specifically for the region/town/whatever in which you grew up. You can't take river rat and then claim know (local) in Kintargo because you need the swim skill.

As for campaign traits in an AP, I solve that by requiring they take one campaign trait from the AP we are playing (most of what we do is AP). Since you can't have more than one trait from the same type of source, that effectively eliminates cross-traiting.


I was not going to presume he was playing an AP. And since he was professing some unfamiliarity with the traits system as a whole and others were referring to them, I wanted to get that point out there. Actually, what I probably should have said is that, per the rules on traits, he should only allow campaign traits if he is running that specific campaign. The fact that all campaign traits have the same type does mean they can't mix and match campaign traits (unless you are crazy like my one GM) but it's worth pointing out they need to be tied to the campaign you are actually running.

Along that line, it is totally possible to create your own traits for your homebrew campaign for your players to choose from if you want. It's probably not a good idea to do that until you are more familiar with traits, but it is an option.


SheepishEidolon wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Id say finding haleen is on the overpowered side. Some traits are, specifically i kind of think the metamagic level reduction ones are.
Well, they only apply to a single spell. You could try to focus on using it, but if you overspecialize, you actually corner yourself and the PC becomes weaker than without this trait.

intensified Shocking grasp/rime frostbite spell magus would beg to differ.

The big thing is that its a trait, which in many games you get just as a bonus that amounts to a mid to high level class ability or half of a level 15 feat.

Finding haleen is either toughness or cunning, but its also an entire feat.

Most of the other traits are pretty solidly 1/2 a feat particularly the skill ones.


I like the concept of traits, but I don't like how they've been implemented.

I understand that Paizo's business model relies on rolling out new options for players, one of which is traits, and I'm fine with that. I like how they can reinforce a character's background, or make subtle changes to a perfectly reasonable build (such as making one skill a class skill, for example).

What I don't like about traits is that they're a gross example of bloat. There's over 1,000 traits, already. Options are great, but I hate picking out traits because I don't like spending an hour considering all of the traits that might be beneficial to my character. Instead, I'll usually just pick a certain trait that improves initiative and then one of a handful of other recurring traits depending on the type of character I'm playing. There's too many options to be worth the time considering them all, and the influx of new traits just adds to that problem.


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I filter traits to have a narrower range of options that cover what I think that fit the backstory that the player has given me. Sometimes I look for specific options that give a specific skill as a class skill. It makes easier to select traits among so many ones.


Nitro~Nina wrote:
bitter lily wrote:
A footnote -- be careful of using the d20pfsrd. It's a great resource, but when you or the GM has restricted the material, it can lead you off-map. It's tricky sometimes to figure out where a specific entry comes from. It could be Paizo stuff on the PRD, Paizo stuff from proprietary sourcebooks, or third party material.
Bitter lily is entirely correct for most of this, but this bit is ever so slightly incorrect. On each Spell, Feat, Trait, Talent, Domain, Bloodline and Class page etc, there's a book reference at the bottom.

I've seen tables with no attribution, although the examples that come to mind right now were from books on the PRD. Looking for examples, I pulled up a table on armor. Yes, if you pay attention, the last column on the table tells you which book an item is from. If you don't pay attention, everything is all mixed in together, and you could grab something "illegal" unwittingly.


WhoDKnee wrote:
I'm the kind of person who doesn't want to have any unfair advantages that make the game easier, I would feel like I was cheating. Does anyone feel the same? Or am I just making up problems?

You're overthinking it...like way over thinking it.

Grand Lodge

bitter lily wrote:
Nitro~Nina wrote:
bitter lily wrote:
A footnote -- be careful of using the d20pfsrd. It's a great resource, but when you or the GM has restricted the material, it can lead you off-map. It's tricky sometimes to figure out where a specific entry comes from. It could be Paizo stuff on the PRD, Paizo stuff from proprietary sourcebooks, or third party material.
Bitter lily is entirely correct for most of this, but this bit is ever so slightly incorrect. On each Spell, Feat, Trait, Talent, Domain, Bloodline and Class page etc, there's a book reference at the bottom.
I've seen tables with no attribution, although the examples that come to mind right now were from books on the PRD. Looking for examples, I pulled up a table on armor. Yes, if you pay attention, the last column on the table tells you which book an item is from. If you don't pay attention, everything is all mixed in together, and you could grab something "illegal" unwittingly.

Come to think of it, you're correct. It's rare but, for instance, the Alternate Crafting Rules on the Craft page aren't attributed as 3PP, even though they are the 3PP ones instead of the Unchained ones.


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Wheldrake wrote:


These two "traits" are the worst examples of abuse that I can think of, especially if the unsuspecting DM allows both of them to be used on the same spell simultaneously.

IMHO, Wayang Spellhunter simply should not be available, since it states:

Wayang Spellhunter wrote:
You grew up on one of the wayang-populated islands of Minata, and your use of magic while hunting has been a boon to you. Select a spell of 3rd level or below. When you use this spell with a metamagic feat, it uses up a spell slot one level lower than it normally would.
Don't let *all* of the magic-users in your game be orphans from Minata. It's just silly.

I do agree that these traits are so powerful that they should only be available (if at all) as feats with non-trivial requirements for high level characters. But anything can be refluffed, in fact it makes a lot more sense than keeping highly specific fluff strictly tied to generic effects. See also Reactionary and Fey Foundling. It is indeed silly for every magic user to be an orphan from Minata who used spells to aid in hunting (which is where refluffing comes in). It's even sillier to rule that (for example) a Magus who's been casting Shocking Grasp his entire adventuring career can't gain the generic benefit that Wayang Spellhunter provides, because he's not an orphan from Minata etc.

Quote:


Also note IIRC that there was a FAQ or errata somewhere specifying that the level reduction could not reduce a spell below its original level.

Doesn't stop anyone from using the two traits together to reduce the cost of two +1 metamagics, or one +2.


Athaleon wrote:
Quote:
Also note IIRC that there was a FAQ or errata somewhere specifying that the level reduction could not reduce a spell below its original level.
Doesn't stop anyone from using the two traits together to reduce the cost of two +1 metamagics, or one +2.

Nothing like pulling out your magus, born as an orphan on Minata, whose parents made new spells, and used his spells while hunting, getting his intensified shocking grasp as a cantrip.


It's not unfair if everyone has them.


Nitro~Nina wrote:
bitter lily wrote:
Nitro~Nina wrote:
bitter lily wrote:
A footnote -- be careful of using the d20pfsrd. It's a great resource, but when you or the GM has restricted the material, it can lead you off-map. It's tricky sometimes to figure out where a specific entry comes from. It could be Paizo stuff on the PRD, Paizo stuff from proprietary sourcebooks, or third party material.
Bitter lily is entirely correct for most of this, but this bit is ever so slightly incorrect. On each Spell, Feat, Trait, Talent, Domain, Bloodline and Class page etc, there's a book reference at the bottom.
I've seen tables with no attribution, although the examples that come to mind right now were from books on the PRD. Looking for examples, I pulled up a table on armor. Yes, if you pay attention, the last column on the table tells you which book an item is from. If you don't pay attention, everything is all mixed in together, and you could grab something "illegal" unwittingly.
Come to think of it, you're correct. It's rare but, for instance, the Alternate Crafting Rules on the Craft page aren't attributed as 3PP, even though they are the 3PP ones instead of the Unchained ones.

Actually, at the beginning of this section it says "The following alternative crafting rules first appeared in Making Craft Work, by Spes Magna Games", but since the attribution for each thing is usually at the end or in the rightmost column of a table, but this is at the beginning and formatted to appear in the first paragraph of normal text, its REAL EASY to miss.

Another example of something 3rd party whose attribution is easy to miss is a large subset of the Changeling's "Other Racial Traits", which has the attribution at the end of each entry (NOT in table format)(*), and tricky because alternate racial traits further down the page ARE grouped into standard and 3rd party.

(*)And the 3rd party entry that still gets me is "Wind Breaker" -- I just can't picture the ability described in this entry as being anything like a jacket . . . .


Found an unattributed spell on www.d20pfsrd.com: Prismatic Spray -- presumably Core Rulebook; they have marked a lot of things as belonging to the Core Rulebook, but I guess they haven't gotten all of them yet. So don't be totally surprised if a few scattered traits don't have attribution (as well as the problem others mentioned above of things that are really from more than one source but only attributed to the most recent one).

Grand Lodge

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Nitro~Nina wrote:
bitter lily wrote:
Nitro~Nina wrote:
bitter lily wrote:
A footnote -- be careful of using the d20pfsrd. It's a great resource, but when you or the GM has restricted the material, it can lead you off-map. It's tricky sometimes to figure out where a specific entry comes from. It could be Paizo stuff on the PRD, Paizo stuff from proprietary sourcebooks, or third party material.
Bitter lily is entirely correct for most of this, but this bit is ever so slightly incorrect. On each Spell, Feat, Trait, Talent, Domain, Bloodline and Class page etc, there's a book reference at the bottom.
I've seen tables with no attribution, although the examples that come to mind right now were from books on the PRD. Looking for examples, I pulled up a table on armor. Yes, if you pay attention, the last column on the table tells you which book an item is from. If you don't pay attention, everything is all mixed in together, and you could grab something "illegal" unwittingly.
Come to think of it, you're correct. It's rare but, for instance, the Alternate Crafting Rules on the Craft page aren't attributed as 3PP, even though they are the 3PP ones instead of the Unchained ones.

Actually, at the beginning of this section it says "The following alternative crafting rules first appeared in Making Craft Work, by Spes Magna Games", but since the attribution for each thing is usually at the end or in the rightmost column of a table, but this is at the beginning and formatted to appear in the first paragraph of normal text, its REAL EASY to miss.

Another example of something 3rd party whose attribution is easy to miss is a large subset of the Changeling's "Other Racial Traits", which has the attribution at the end of each entry (NOT in table format)(*), and tricky because alternate racial traits further down the page ARE grouped...

Ah, my apologies. I should have been more careful.


For the most part traits don’t really increase the power level that much. They are more about allowing you to tailor your class to fit a concept a little better. One of the most common use of a trait is to give a +1 bonus to a particular skill and make it a class skill. This is often useful where it makes since to have a particular skill as a class skill, but your class does not. It really makes sense for some characters to have a skill as a class skill even if it other of your class does not. For example if you were a guard who’s duty it was to spot things have perception as a class skill really make sense. You could take skill focus in perception and get the same result, but then so can a ranger and now he is +3 above what you can do.

Also if everyone has 2 traits it is not overpowered it is just the way things are. To be honest that is the expectation of almost any game I have been in since the APG came out. Most people consider it part of the rules and are very surprised when traits are not available.

I also use the traits for plot hooks for characters. If you take the trait criminal to get disable traps as a class skill you will have a criminal background and may be recognized as such from time to time. If you chose child of the temple you I will use your religion as bait and expect you to follow the teachings of your religion. When a player takes a trait they are giving you an opening to exploit. It’s actually written on their character sheet so it is fair game.

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