Ancestries and my initial thoughts.


Ancestries & Backgrounds


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Just to re-post my initial post.

Okay, I know that the playtest has not even been out for a day yet, but I need to get this off my chest; I dislike the new way they have done races.
Races are now exceedingly bland, all racial abilities, besides Low-light and Dark-Vision (and that dwarven encumberance ability), are more or less bought with "Ancestry Feats", of which you gain one at first level an then 1 more every four levels (5,9,13,17).
This means, that every person in Golarion is now slowly evolving into their race, instead of starting out as one.
Now, I get that weapon familiarity and other things like that might be more connected to cultural background could be taken as feats, that seems more than fine to me, but having to choose between being trained with dwarven weaponry OR being resistant to poisons just seems a bit off to me.
I get that they have tried to make races less powerful and all that, but it just seems wrong to me, that dwarfs aren´t poison resistent unless they use "Speicies Points" to get it over all the other racial traits that they usually had.
Or that Elves aren´t naturally immune to sleep spells, they have to evolve that ability through adventuring.

Thing is, if you want a character to have the starting racial abilities from 1st Edition, you need to be level 17 to do it. And some races would still not be fully fleshed out.

Now, what I do like about the system; race means something for starting HP and some of the Ancestry Feats are cool and flavorful, I can see quite a potential in the way it is made, I just disagree with the choice to make the races bare-boned and then having to choose between illusion-sense or obsessive for my gnome characters. I´d rather have to choose between starting with a familiar or weapon-training or an expanded spell list based on my race, for example.

Anywho, I´m going back to reading.


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Agreed. I'm okay with the equivilent of PF1E racial feats, where really cool things like flight are later levels.

But... all the absoloute basic racial things being feats and only getting one is a kick in the teeth.

I'll run Doomsday Dawn as written for feedback's sake, but the two homebrew games I'm running in 2E? They're getting 2, if not 3, ancestry feats at first level so they can actually play their race. Possibly fewer later for the same total. Haven't decided that yet.


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(I've Flagged this so a Mod can move it into the Playtest: Ancestries subforum.)

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Yeah, I think every character should get to pick two Ancestry feats at 1st level, maybe limit it to only one Heritage feat though. Right now each ancestry feels way too "thin" and generic. The non-human ancestries don't evoke their classic counterparts from Fantasy and just feel like slightly different, near-flavorless variations that exist solely for mechanical roll-playing over role-playing.


I think 1 heritage and 2 others.


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The thing is, I can actually see a potential with the current system, if they divorce themselves from the idea of "balanced" races and treat the Ancestry Feats as Traits from 1st Edition.

Have dwarfs start out with their normal poison resistance and magical stunting stubborness, maybe a connection to stone. Then have the Ancestry Feats work as a way to flesh out the culture and/or heritage of said dwarf; did he come from a clan of dwarven warriors that habitually fought with giants?? Take Weapon Familiarity and Giant Bane!
Maybe he grew up in a mountain valley that was raided from time to time by duergar and orcs? Take Rock Runner and Ancestral Hatred.

That would work so much better, than the current "Evolve-into-1E-dwarf-over-17-levels" deal that they are currently going for.

Race should be a very big impact on your character, not just a difference in +2 hit points vs +5 movement speed.


I confess I am genuinely excited to play a Dwarf with -3 resonance at level 1, who is stubbornly difficult to magic. Offering tradeoffs like this is fantastic, but it's certainly not something you're going to want to do to every Dwarf.

What I would honestly like to see is more things like the Dwarf Heritage feat with a *strong* effect, but a significant drawback.


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Completely agree. If I wanted to play a dwarf with all the PF1 core abilities, it would cost 6 ancestry feats! I will admit fighting particular creature types might not be for every dwarf, but some of that innate hardiness is intrinsically dwarven. At the very least I would expect the bonus versus magic and toxins and stone cunning to be a default part of the race. And this is only talking about dwarves, let alone the other ancestries.

I still like the concept of these feats, but I think more needs to be made into ancestries traits instead!


I have never wanted to play a dwarf with all the PF1 core abilities in PF1, though. I'm almost always looking for something good to replace defensive training, hatred, greed, and stonecunning with. Hardy and sometimes weapon familiarity are the only racial traits I'm generally interested in keeping.

So getting rid of a lot of the cruft in ancestries is good from my perspective, like when was the last time a +2 to appraise checks to identify non-magical precious metals and gems was useful?


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Mad Beetle wrote:

The thing is, I can actually see a potential with the current system, if they divorce themselves from the idea of "balanced" races and treat the Ancestry Feats as Traits from 1st Edition.

Have dwarfs start out with their normal poison resistance and magical stunting stubborness, maybe a connection to stone. Then have the Ancestry Feats work as a way to flesh out the culture and/or heritage of said dwarf; did he come from a clan of dwarven warriors that habitually fought with giants?? Take Weapon Familiarity and Giant Bane!
Maybe he grew up in a mountain valley that was raided from time to time by duergar and orcs? Take Rock Runner and Ancestral Hatred.

That would work so much better, than the current "Evolve-into-1E-dwarf-over-17-levels" deal that they are currently going for.

Race should be a very big impact on your character, not just a difference in +2 hit points vs +5 movement speed.

So essentially placing the "biological" features of the race back in as defaults, and leave the things that could be "cultural" as Ancestry Feats/Heritage Feats?

Dark Archive

I do honestly like ancestry feats and how ancestries work, but I do think one heritage feat and one ancestry feat at first level or otherwise having them more often would make it more interesting. Getting ancestry feat at level 17 isn't that exciting anymore either so I wouldn't mind it if by level 10 you would have gotten all ancestry feats you can get.


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modus0 wrote:
Mad Beetle wrote:

The thing is, I can actually see a potential with the current system, if they divorce themselves from the idea of "balanced" races and treat the Ancestry Feats as Traits from 1st Edition.

Have dwarfs start out with their normal poison resistance and magical stunting stubborness, maybe a connection to stone. Then have the Ancestry Feats work as a way to flesh out the culture and/or heritage of said dwarf; did he come from a clan of dwarven warriors that habitually fought with giants?? Take Weapon Familiarity and Giant Bane!
Maybe he grew up in a mountain valley that was raided from time to time by duergar and orcs? Take Rock Runner and Ancestral Hatred.

That would work so much better, than the current "Evolve-into-1E-dwarf-over-17-levels" deal that they are currently going for.

Race should be a very big impact on your character, not just a difference in +2 hit points vs +5 movement speed.

So essentially placing the "biological" features of the race back in as defaults, and leave the things that could be "cultural" as Ancestry Feats/Heritage Feats?

Yeah, that is essentially what I´m saying. It would make far more sense that way.


Mad Beetle wrote:

Just to re-post my initial post.

Okay, I know that the playtest has not even been out for a day yet, but I need to get this off my chest; I dislike the new way they have done races.
Races are now exceedingly bland, all racial abilities, besides Low-light and Dark-Vision (and that dwarven encumberance ability), are more or less bought with "Ancestry Feats", of which you gain one at first level an then 1 more every four levels (5,9,13,17).
This means, that every person in Golarion is now slowly evolving into their race, instead of starting out as one.
Now, I get that weapon familiarity and other things like that might be more connected to cultural background could be taken as feats, that seems more than fine to me, but having to choose between being trained with dwarven weaponry OR being resistant to poisons just seems a bit off to me.
I get that they have tried to make races less powerful and all that, but it just seems wrong to me, that dwarfs aren´t poison resistent unless they use "Speicies Points" to get it over all the other racial traits that they usually had.
Or that Elves aren´t naturally immune to sleep spells, they have to evolve that ability through adventuring.

Thing is, if you want a character to have the starting racial abilities from 1st Edition, you need to be level 17 to do it. And some races would still not be fully fleshed out.

Now, what I do like about the system; race means something for starting HP and some of the Ancestry Feats are cool and flavorful, I can see quite a potential in the way it is made, I just disagree with the choice to make the races bare-boned and then having to choose between illusion-sense or obsessive for my gnome characters. I´d rather have to choose between starting with a familiar or weapon-training or an expanded spell list based on my race, for example.

Anywho, I´m going back to reading.

I agree with you except the part about racial hit point, which I really don't like the idea of.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

PROBLEM

Not enough Ancestry Feats / races too limited

FEEDBACK

Came here for this discussion, talking with my fellows via chat all day. We need to separate what is inborn vs. learned/awakened. However, the fact that little separates different races but senses, speed, and hit points is odd to me. And within a race, it takes time and adventuring before you really seem different/special. An elf not having better senses or immunity to magic is just odd.

SUGGESTION

I think more abilities need to be standard and/or more ancestry feats at the beginning. I understand the wanting to avoid "alternate racial traits" need so maybe 2 or 3 ancestry feats to start is the way to go.


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I'd suggest: every physical, biological feat should be gained at lvl 1 (everything else is just weird) and then just get creative and flavorful with the rest of the heritage/ancestry feats. If paizo gets a couple of writers that are passionate about the different races, so that they can build up on the racial traits that are already there instead of spreading them out over 17 levels


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So far I feel ancestries have gutted what the PF1 races were...

While the basic idea is interesting and a different way to codify what were before the variant race traits, the bastardization and assimilation to what were in PF1 racial feats meant to expand on the base racial traits of the character,result in races so damn bland and uninteresting as being simply generic mechanical traits for the character class, not at all what I and my players were awaiting from the blog previews.

Completing a character race at level 17 is an utter b@é#(=it aberration, especially considering the apparent spontaneous manifestation of what are the typical phisical traits of the race, and not sudden divinely granted or inflicted "mutations", this idiocy is further aggravated by the fact that often campaigns don't even last that far, with the end resultaping what was done with the book of advanced races, only with no rationale to the arbitrary and absolutely eccessive delay in accessing signature traits of the various species.

I resent the change in nomenclature as well, as the current term of ancestry pretends to roll race/species, culture and upbringing all in an a single term for no reason.

What I feels should have been done is:
- Physical traits typical to the race should be all available at level 1, it makes no sense popping dark vision or lowlight vision only after a character started adventuring;
- Cultural traits from the race or the upbringing until the start of the adventuring life of the character should be starting content as well...
preferably with multiple choices available based on the original PF1 alternate racial traits of the race;
- Unusual or rare abilities for the race, maybe awakened trough access to racial lore, secrets or training,should come online no further than level 10, better if by level 5 as many campaigns don't last that long nowadays...

The only races I've ever seen needing the kind of traits dilution we got in this playtest, were those in the book of advanced races and some other sources having innate acces to problematic abilities in their kit like permanet flight ability, multiple resistences, multiple spellike abilties and at will powers, on top of their full set of starting signature traits and innate abilities!

Take for example the drows evolving from run of the mill "generic darkskinned sociopathic elf with a propension for murder" to drow matriarch, with all the inerent power of the role: multiple resistances, a pletora of innate x/day spells, a consistent number of at will spellike abilities, de facto a complete racial class! - that's what my group was expecting from the ancestry system when we heard of unlocks as far as 17th level and that's what the system whoefully fails to deliver while gutting the feel and abilities inherent to the various races...
What we instead got is much less, is diluted too much over the career of the character and makes no sense in game and mechanically


I think that the thread is correct about rhe dismantling of the races. I mean if you have to build into being any race why not allow drow from the get go. They are probably more popular than foblinw.


I'll work with the Ancestry rules for the playtest, but I think they're all bungled up in ways others have mentioned above.

I think races should be defined by the GM (homebrew game) or the setting. Paizo could turn some of the current Ancestry text into an interesting toolkit for GMs to make races.

Ancestry, to me, would be more about your family. Stuff like "Dad was an adventurer, so I start with a sword. Grandpa was a legendary craftsman, so I get free training in the craft skill."

I suppose in Golarion, elves might become more elven as they level up, but that's just weird and not what I want for my homebrew setting.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I may have missed it in another post, but one suggestion I was working with was letting you "drop" one of your 4 free boosts to get an extra feat at 1st level. It can be any 1st level feat, not just ancestry, but it could open up half-orcs with ferocity and such. Makes it feel better about the ancestries. It's a sweetspot that I think works without making More powerful characters.

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