What do you want from ancestries?


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We know that ancestries will let you take more and more feats, kind of like the racial prestige classes from 3.5. The examples thus far have included a dwarf so dwarfy he just ignored being poisoned for a fight. What I'm most looking forward to is the human ancestries. I'd love to see a tian ancestry that hands out exotic weapon proficiency (katana) or a taldane exotic weapon proficiency (falcata). A tian ancestry could completely replace the samurai class, by having a couple of the ancestry give tian weapon proficiency and class feats for a challenge like power (which makes equal sense for knights as it does for samurai). It also cuts down on the need for archetypes.

What else are people hoping we get from ancestries?


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The choice to decouple ancestry from general was a good one. Im looking forward to the choices going beyond level 1. I want that flavor to follow the character all the way up in level. I dont have any specific wants just that they are numerous and flavorful.


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I'm hoping for ways to mix and match race and culture.

Halflings raised by elves. Dwarves raised by goblins.

I'd love to see the cultural stuff decoupled from race. I don't like that *all* dwarves get blacksmithing (not a real example); but if everyone raised by dwarvish culture got blacksmithing, regardless of their actual race, and if dwarves who have never seen another dwarf didn't get that, I'd be happy.

I'm also hoping to see either more race mixing (half elf-dwarf), or none at all. I was never a fan of only humans being able to cross breed with other races. Let's either open up the possibilities, or just remove it entirely.


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I’m looking forward to my favorite races being converted to ancestries. I’m also hoping that we’ll get easier access for some more- gnoll for instance. Maybe things like tiefling heritages will be more specific- div-spawn can get some unique stuff, for instance.


I look forward to seeing whether there will be different human ancestries for Golarion.

Dark Archive

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My hopes:
- Humans as a collection of distinct ancestries not generalists. (i.e. a tree of human feats reflecting a seafaring culture, a tree of human feats for a highly mercantile culture, etc.)
- High Level Ancestry feats, possibly with prerequisites outside just race. Things like, if you're an Elf, have Master Bow Proficiency, and Spell Casting, you can take feats for Arcane Archer legacy powers.
- Enough feats that any 3 characters of the same race can get to 20 without taking ANY of the same ancestry feats.
- Enough Ancestry feats granted over 20 levels so that it actually feels like they matter and make a Lvl 20 Elf Fighter and a Lvl 20 Dwarf Fighter distinct and different from one another.


QuidEst wrote:
I’m looking forward to my favorite races being converted to ancestries. I’m also hoping that we’ll get easier access for some more- gnoll for instance. Maybe things like tiefling heritages will be more specific- div-spawn can get some unique stuff, for instance.

I wonder how this will fare for playing exotic or monstrous races! Before you just needed to slap some ability score bonuses and basic traits and you had yourself a race to be anything you wanted. Now if Ancestries are this super in-depth thing, it's gonna be a lot crazier to convert them.


Hopefully it will allow a measure of customization commensurate with the current system, but without requiring separate write-ups for each nationality or subrace. If every one of the above gets its own individual description, however, I can only see bloat resulting.


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I hate to be stick in the mud, but I really hope that race adopted by other race is not a way to grab the best goodies of each ancestry without any of the weaker options. I dont mind the idea of multi-ancestry for the game I just hope it makes sense and doesnt promote an ancestralless system.

*Gods, I get that the term race has baggage, but hell if it isnt easier to use than ancestry for discussion.*


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Didn't backgrounds exist in PF2? If so, I'd like to have ancestry handle only the biological parts of an individual (like Darkvision) and leave the cultural part (like racial weapon proficiency) to BGs.


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I will second that I want culture, and stuff like weapon Proficiency and the like which go with it, entirely decoupled from ancestry and moved to background traits.

I want kobolds as a core ancestry, damn it.

If we still have to have racial ability penalties, your ancestry should let you choose one of two stats to put the penalty in, to help enable more builds. So for dwarves, maybe you get -2 to your choice of Dex or Cha; not all dwarves are stuck with the same deprecated ability.

I want each ancestry to have enough feats to actually matter, and for the feats linked to each ancestry to be as good as every other ancestry. I /do not/ want any ancestry feats that just lock in a certain ancestry as being the only logical choice for an optimal character of a given class; please try to keep them separate enough from what the classes can do.

If "favored class" (ugh) returns, the only form I want to see it in is letting you take class feats from certain classes as ancestry or class feats without having to be those classes.

I want Small ancestries to actually be viable martial characters. If their weapon damage /has/ to be penalized, do it with a flat modifier like -1 instead of actually changing the die size of the weapon.

Speaking of Small, I'm hoping a lot of Ancestry feats key off named abilities or traits, instead of just race. So, instead of having "Halfling" as a prerequisite, a feat might require Small size. That extra dwarfy poison resistance might have "Hardy" as its prerequisite instead of "Dwarf" so when they give Hardy to another ancestry down the line that race can also take those feats.

I also second that they should either get rid of the half races, or build the ancestries in such a way that anything can be a half race. Don't do the limp half measure of only half human-orcs and half human-elves. Open it up or just get rid of them.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
I also second that they should either get rid of the half races, or build the ancestries in such a way that anything can be a half race. Don't do the limp half measure of only half human-orcs and half human-elves. Open it up or just get rid of them.

I kinda agree with this idea, at least as someone who is not the biggest fan of half-races as a default. On the other hand, I also kinda disagree because I know that in one of my absolute favorite D&D settings - Eberron - the half-elves are ethnically and culturally distinct from both humans and elves in many respects. They are a self-breeding species/ancestry to the extent that the hyper-majority of half-elves are born from half-elf parents. They even refer to themselves as Khoravar, as in "the Children of Khorvaire." Eberron's approach to half-elves has been highly influential in how I use half-elves.


-Improving existing racial abilities.
-Adding new racial/cultural abilities.
-Getting interesting powers/abilities that fit your race.
Examples:
Dhampir- can get wolf form, bat form, fast healing 1, spider climb, ability to effect undead with fear/intimidation etc.
Ifrit- increased fire resistance, fire damage to weapons/natural attacks/unarmed strikes, efreeti themed spell powers, etc.
Catfolk- scent, claws, climb speed, increased luck, increased damage/effectiveness vs rodents and rodent like monsters and humanoids, etc.
Dwarf- natural armor bonus, increased defenses against spells and poison, earth based/themed spell powers, increased damage/effectiveness vs earth/stone based creatures, etc.


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More cultural diversity for races other than humans would be nice. We have "nations" of humans which are massively diverse - tian vs avistan for example, but all the nonhumans have only 1 or 2 cultural backgrounds, for example, there are stereotypical dwarves, and the pahmet desert dwarves, and that's about it... Seems just a little unrealistic.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd love to have wings on a human, or tengu sword training (eventually) etc. Even if they didn't come on-line fully right away, it'd be a neat bit of flavor.

Also, a rogue that was raised by kobolds Kobolds Kidnapped my Kid, raised her as theirs? would just be terrifyingly awesome to behold, imo?


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I wonder if "raised in this culture" is going to be represented with "Ancestry Archetypes" that can be bolted on to any ancestry. Specifically thinking about things like Changelings where they don't grow up with other Changelings, so a Changeling who was born in Irrisen and a Changeling who was born in the Shackles are going to have a pretty different acculturation process.

After all, a Dwarf from Nex and an Elf from Nex are going to have more in common with each other than "they know how to get around Nex."


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...one would hope!


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Worried mix and match ancestry is gonna result in everyone picking the same/craziest one(s) for optimization... Being raised by another culture should be the exception, not the norm.


half human-dwarves.


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ChibiNyan wrote:
Worried mix and match ancestry is gonna result in everyone picking the same/craziest one(s) for optimization... Being raised by another culture should be the exception, not the norm.

You mean like how Fey are apparently amazing at raising Paladins?

I just hope they don't change the races too much. I feel PF1 right now is good at allowing tons of customisation thanks to alternate Racial Traits.

As long as "Ancestries" are good at keeping the core of the Race they're replacing while allowing customisation, I'll be satisfied.


ChibiNyan wrote:
Worried mix and match ancestry is gonna result in everyone picking the same/craziest one(s) for optimization... Being raised by another culture should be the exception, not the norm.

I think of this in terms of like an adventure path player's guide- these always point out "in addition to [most common things], [all these other things] are found in and around [place]."

So there's Half-Orcs in Cheliax, because Half-Orcs were a core race and we want to make sure people can play them in campaigns set there. If we set this up right we can just print "an ancestry archetype for the locals" in every campaign setting book or AP. If there are Gnomes in Varisia, Katapesh, Cheliax, Brevoy, Ustalav, Irrisen, the Shackles, Mendev, Osiron, Numeria, Belkzen, and Nirmathas (and there are) then gnomes being raised in a culture that is not predominately gnomish isn't that rare.

Even though you can end up with some fun backstories if you connect the dots from your disparate background traits deftly enough, I think the "mix and match" issue is going to be solved primarily via ancestry archetypes being a whole package of things. So your half-orc being raised as a shaman's apprentice would preclude you from also growing up in the big city.


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TheFinish wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Worried mix and match ancestry is gonna result in everyone picking the same/craziest one(s) for optimization... Being raised by another culture should be the exception, not the norm.

You mean like how Fey are apparently amazing at raising Paladins?

Don't forget about the army of Sarenrite maguses who all learned to hunt with shocking grasps in some remote island on the other side of Golarion.

Or how all half orcs are oddly favored by destiny and always pack an amazing bunch of tattoos.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I want to see two different types of Ancestry feats--physical/biological/race and cultural/social/background. You get a base level version of each at 1st level, together defining what racial features are physical and subject to change if you're, say, reincarnated, and which ones are 'mental' and would remain in such a circumstance. Even at the base level, there's a variety of different cultural options, so that not only is a Taldan human different from a Kelishite, but so is a Taldan born to a noble family different from a Taldan farmer, and a member of the Ulfen Guard might have more in common with Taldans than with Ulfens who only leave their homelands to reave.


Being raised by different cultures/races/creatures would be cool to see done through ancestor feats.


I hope there are some more generalized ancestry feats so that converting some of the PF1 races is easier.


I want to get alternate racial traits in a less-complicated manner while at the same time having them be more robust. This looks like it will do it.


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Lucas Yew wrote:
Didn't backgrounds exist in PF2? If so, I'd like to have ancestry handle only the biological parts of an individual (like Darkvision) and leave the cultural part (like racial weapon proficiency) to BGs.

Please, this. Please no racist s&&& like being proficient with katanas because of the colour of your skin.

_
glass.


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I want kobolds as a core ancestry

-Me too


It looks like PF2 is already going to give me what I want-- ancestry being mechanically substantial at high levels, so that class doesn't completely overshadow it.

I'd like to see Elves and Gnomes made inherently magical, so they have magical abilities-- maybe even spells-- regardless of class.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

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bookrat wrote:
but if everyone raised by dwarvish culture got blacksmithing, regardless of their actual race

Like Corporal Carrot from the discworld novels.

Rylar wrote:

I want kobolds as a core ancestry

-Me too

Right there with you! The noble kobold deserves his day!


What if they strip back all the bonuses you normally got at first and distribute them over the levels?


I sorta hope ancestries don't affect ability scores, have it affect other things instead.


I'm all in with the folks hoping it plays out with your (base) ancestry offering some basic abilities (Ability Scores, Hardiness, etc) and that the cultural aspects are detached and available as feats.


I hope it doesn't require any golarion knowledge to understand human ancestries, and that you don't end up having to take cultural aspects from your ancestry unless you want to.


Milo v3 wrote:
I hope it doesn't require any golarion knowledge to understand human ancestries, and that you don't end up having to take cultural aspects from your ancestry unless you want to.

A lot of the Golarion stuff is fairly easy to export since like "barbarian tribes of the frozen tundra" or "A society of pirates" or "a land of monsters and witches" or "a devil worshiping fascist state" are things that can exist anywhere.

Pretty much anything you would need to make sense of Cheliax from the mechanics for "people from Cheliax" should be included in the flavor text, since it's not like the 2nd edition core rulebook is going to assume people read all the setting books, APs, and tie-in novels from the 1st edition.

My hope is that the book is going to provide enough examples that it will be easy to produce your own for those kinds of societies that don't exist in canonical Golarion, since "No, our Elves are different" is one of the great joys of homebrew.

Silver Crusade

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glass wrote:
Lucas Yew wrote:
Didn't backgrounds exist in PF2? If so, I'd like to have ancestry handle only the biological parts of an individual (like Darkvision) and leave the cultural part (like racial weapon proficiency) to BGs.

Please, this. Please no racist s@&# like being proficient with katanas because of the colour of your skin.

_
glass.

FWIW, Jason and Stephen discuss PF2 Backgrounds in this presentation, starting at 43:00. It's a good overview. Some highlights.

Jason wrote:
Building your characters is following your ABCs: Pick your Ancestry, your Background, and your Class ... You pick your Ancestry, that's where you came from, that's how you were born; you pick your Background, which is how you grew up; and then you pick your Class, which is what you've trained to be.

Stephen describes Backgrounds as a more-robust system that serves about the same function as PF1 traits. "We wanted something a little more robust and mostly, that Adventure Path people could play with." The Core Rulebook will present generic Backgrounds (e.g., old barkeep, ex-slave, "all sorts of stuff") but the goal is to allow AP writers to create Backgrounds that really fit into the world of the AP (much like the AP traits from PF1).

Stephen: The Background system "affects the skills that you're good at and it also your ability scores to a certain degree."

Jason adds that your Background gives you one Lore for free, which is a highly specific Knowledge skill. He gives as examples Lore (Alcohol) and Lore (Warfare) (which Valeros has).


I do not think that I will enjoy these backgrounds.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I expect there will be a "generic" background for those characters that don't quite fit with the ones provided.

However, if they are expanded upon as well as themes from Starfinder have been, I am very excited to see some setting-specific backgrounds in supplemental rulebooks.


KingOfAnything wrote:

I expect there will be a "generic" background for those characters that don't quite fit with the ones provided.

If so, let's hope it's better than Themeless.


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I really hope they don't follow starfinders lead. Themes take forever to actually give you abilities and themeless is punishing concepts just because you think up something Paizo hasn't gotten around to yet.


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Being hobbled because you opted out of a role play restriction is... disappointing.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I don't think backgrounds do anything at higher levels, they just affect your level 1. My expectation is that a generic background would lose out on a skill proficiency at most.


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Worried mix and match ancestry is gonna result in everyone picking the same/craziest one(s) for optimization... Being raised by another culture should be the exception, not the norm.

You mean like how Fey are apparently amazing at raising Paladins?

Don't forget about the army of Sarenrite maguses who all learned to hunt with shocking grasps in some remote island on the other side of Golarion.

Or how all half orcs are oddly favored by destiny and always pack an amazing bunch of tattoos.

Yeah, if they make it part of a Sarenrite background from Qadira to be able to get Dex to damage on Scimitar, we would end up with a disproportionate number of Keleshites all of a sudden!

Then if they put the +2 Initiative trait on, say... Kyonin. Can quickly start seeing stuff that doesn't make sense.


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pad300 wrote:
More cultural diversity for races other than humans would be nice. We have "nations" of humans which are massively diverse - tian vs avistan for example, but all the nonhumans have only 1 or 2 cultural backgrounds, for example, there are stereotypical dwarves, and the pahmet desert dwarves, and that's about it... Seems just a little unrealistic.

I recommend subscribing to the Player Companion line before July. ^_^


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I want the draconic ancestry like in Legacy of Dragons. Same for elemental ancestry.

I want Sorcerer Bloodlines as ancestries. That would be a better way to do Eldritch Heritage in my opinion. If you take a class with that bloodline, allow it to be switched out (like amateur investigator can be) or have it give an additional bonus.

I think this has the potential to be one of the more interesting features of PF2 and greatly look forward to seeing what they have in the initial offerings.


KingOfAnything wrote:
I don't think backgrounds do anything at higher levels, they just affect your level 1. My expectation is that a generic background would lose out on a skill proficiency at most.

In exchange of that, it probably will pick the other skill proficiency/ies.

IE: if you pick "noble" maybe you get Diplomacy, Ride and Heraldry (or whatever), but if you pick Themeless, you get 2, but any 2 you want.


As long as these backgrounds are broader, deeper and more flavorful than the Starfinder backgrounds, and there are more of them, then I'm all in. It would cut down on the abusive out-of-character trait minmaxxing from PF1 as well.

Please do make the "Themeless" background actually good this time though.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
I don't think backgrounds do anything at higher levels, they just affect your level 1. My expectation is that a generic background would lose out on a skill proficiency at most.

In exchange of that, it probably will pick the other skill proficiency/ies.

IE: if you pick "noble" maybe you get Diplomacy, Ride and Heraldry (or whatever), but if you pick Themeless, you get 2, but any 2 you want.

That seems like a fair ratio; three specific skills for themed vs whatever you want for themeless. Or a feat from a specified subcategory plus a thematic background-tied ability, vs just just the one feat for themeless without an extra ability but it's any feat you want.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

An issue I can see arising with backgrounds is that it may be difficult to both make them meaningful and not restrict options. I felt like the traits were quite good at doing this; they were (mostly) relatively minor and there were a bunch of them, so you could pick what you wanted. At the same time, they didn't define your whole character. (I actually really like picking traits for characters.)

It's a tough balancing act, probably, because if they're too broad, they won't have much meaning and could feel fairly irrelevant, but if they're too restrictive, people will get annoyed if they don't have a way to do a concept they want.

The Starfinder themes weren't my favorite, so I personally hope the backgrounds are more like traits than those.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:

We know that ancestries will let you take more and more feats, kind of like the racial prestige classes from 3.5. The examples thus far have included a dwarf so dwarfy he just ignored being poisoned for a fight. What I'm most looking forward to is the human ancestries. I'd love to see a tian ancestry that hands out exotic weapon proficiency (katana) or a taldane exotic weapon proficiency (falcata). A tian ancestry could completely replace the samurai class, by having a couple of the ancestry give tian weapon proficiency and class feats for a challenge like power (which makes equal sense for knights as it does for samurai). It also cuts down on the need for archetypes.

What else are people hoping we get from ancestries?

I want Ancestries and their related feats to be significant. Powerful. Personally, I'm tired of "races" that are little more than minor stat modifications and maybe a special sense or two that, hopefully, the GM lets you make fun uses of. What I want is the ability to become powerful as a member of that given Ancestry; the tough-as-boulders Dwarf was a good example. I'd love to play an Elf with senses so keen she puts most predatory creatures to shame, so graceful her movements are dreamlike. I look to Legolas and his incredible feats of far-seeing, or the walking the strange paths of Elvish dreams even as they marched, and so on. I think of the Iksar of EverQuest and their adaptability, their ruggedness in both land and water.

I'd also like some strong guidelines or full-on rules for creating our own Ancestries. I love to build and tinker and would really like to make a bunch of them. Heck, I have my own setting that I've been developing as a prehistoric fantasy, and if the OGL allows, I think it might be fun to create such a setting, replete with Ancestries, for PF2E.

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