Half-Orc / Half-Elf


Ancestries & Backgrounds

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Gug on the Silver Mountain wrote:
The stuff below:

1) If you don't count the Growing communities in the Iron Archipelago and on the Isle of Kortos for Half orcs, plus the popularity of half-orc gladiators in just about any city with an arena.

The first couple feel like fine adds for a regional rulebook, but in the vast rest of the world half-orcs tend to be monsters or grimly marginalized. Sort of like tieflings. It's not that there aren't tieflings, and if you're playing in Korvosa or Cheliax you can find rules for them there.

2) I feel bad for breaking this to you, but you don't need to settle down or decide to start a family to create a child. Those drifters and outcasts need to do something on all those centuries of cold winter nights. How many half elves do you think a Calistrian could farther in 500 years of adulthood? Even one deciding that Bachelor's snuff was too expensive or they didn't like the side effects, and you couldn't exactly call half elves rare.

Don't feel bad. I don't expect you need to settle down to start a family in order to have kids--but it's sort of like a human cast loose in the land of orcs (because really in terms of build and habits, humans are to elves as orcs are to humans). I don't expect him to act like a randy madman running from town to town in crazy hookups--because to the refined sensibilities of an elf, even the most ravishing human is kind of like the most ravishing orc, plus I just get the feeling that they're the rampaging libedo monsters that humans can be. Granted the forlorn are a bit broken inside and may engage in "gross" human hookups for a variety of reasons. But on the whole, I tend to see wandering lone elves as more lonely and sad and less roving babymaking factories.

3) Both Cross bloods breed true, I'm sure I've read your as likely to have only one or two similarly 'half' parents than be the direct offspring of a human and a member of another ancestry.

I hadn't heard any of that. The canon as far as I knew was that halfbreed + human = human and halfbreed + elf/orc = elf/orc. If it's otherwise, then Pathfinder is taking a page from 4e D&D and I'd expect to see more halfbreed communities in Golarion than there seem to be. It seems like overall it's a world of humans with a few pockets of other stuff.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Steven Constant wrote:
Charts scare new players, tbh.

I've never understood people like that, or people who 'hate' math, or numbers, or anything that even looks like it might involve math. Makes no sense to me whatsoever. <shrug>


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

There is this thing I vaguely remember from high school biology (I'm a physicist/engineer, not a biologist). Something about cross-species mating possibly producing offspring, but not offspring that can reproduce. For example, mules. It's always seemed to me that D&D and its ilk (Pathfinder, for example) kind of hand-waved that away, treating the major PC races (human, elf, dwarf, halfling, orc, gnome) as different species, but allowing cross-species mating between at least human and elf or human and orc. I don't recall any other cross-species (among these races - there are tieflings of course) hybrids. I like the way David Weber handled this in his tales of Bahzell Bahnakson, Paladin of the War God Tomanak: there are five sub-species of human; humans themselves, elves, dwarves, halflings, and Hradani. Since they're all of the same species they can interbreed and produce offspring that can reproduce — though the idea of a halfling-Hradani crossbreed boggles the mind. :-)

Note: I say they can interbreed, but Weber has not, so far as I know, provided any examples of that, so maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, the thought that they're all the same species is what piques my interest.


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Grimcleaver wrote:
I hadn't heard any of that. The canon as far as I knew was that halfbreed + human = human and halfbreed + elf/orc = elf/orc. If it's otherwise, then Pathfinder is taking a page from 4e D&D and I'd expect to see more halfbreed communities in Golarion than there seem to be. It seems like overall it's a world of humans with a few pockets of other stuff.

That would not so much be taking a page from 4e D&D, but, rather, from 3.5e D&D courtesy of Eberron. In Eberron, half-elves were originally born from the union of Aereni elves and Sarolonian humans on the continent of Khorvaire thousands of years ago, but nowadays most half-elves have half-elf parentage and live in half-elf communities. Many even insist on being called 'Khoravar' rather than half-elves, as they see themselves as the true "children of Khorvaire." Half-elves are fairly populous on the continent of Khorvaire with communities all across the Five Nations. They are common in Breland, Aundair, Thrane, and Valenar. They even have two of the twelve Dragonmarked Houses: House Lyrander and House Medani.

Eberron also made half-orcs relatively common, though less so, due to the intermingled populations of peaceful druidic orcs and outlander humans of the western Shadow Marches.

I would say that 4E likely took a page from Eberron by turning them into a true-breeding "race" rather than simply the offspring of a tragic interracial love story.


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The advantage of half-orc/half-elf is that you get those 2 free assignments that can go along with low-light and 2 hp or low-light and +5 foot movement. At least those 2 are the most mechanically powerful and the half-elf one is equal to a general feat that gives +5 foot movement and the 2 hp is like half of toughness at low level.

The Half-orc Ancestry feats don't seem that good but neither is half-elves but elves have some decent ones like gaining another +5 foot of movement could be fun. Anyone planning on playing a half-elf with 35 foot movement at level 1 and 40 at level 3, even more if you go barb or monk?

Perhaps half-orc and half-elf should get a choice of 2 of the weaker ancestry feats as well to balance it out a bit since they're using the ancestry feat to be like elves or orcs(which are similar to dwarves which we can actually play).

Just realized half-elf over an elf gets 2 more hp in addition to not losing con which is potentially 2 more hp at every level..

Liberty's Edge

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I'm really starting to want to have two Ancestry Feats at first level. Make the orc vision feat a Heritage feat and then the most real complaint about this is solved. As overvalued as I feel vision is, I'd still pay both ancestry feats at level 1 to get it.

Really, I feel like more feats is the answer to most of the problems I've seen so far.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The best argument in favor of 2+ ancestry feats is the Player Companion book Bastards of Golarion. A conversion of that book to PF2 is simply not possible with only a single ancestry feat at 1st level.


Virellius wrote:

Why can't my half-orc access Orc Weapons at level one? Why does he have to wait FOUR LEVELS to use a weapon he should have grown up knowing about?

It makes 100% no sense.

Well, to play devil's advocate, if you grew up in an orc tribe where they made you learn to use the weapon odds are you wound up with a class that gave you that proficiency anyway. ;)

Yes, I realize other races don't need to be a specific class to get their ancestral weapon. My tongue was mostly in my cheek with that comment, and personally I think getting 1 heritage feat + 1 ancestry feat at first level seems like it could work out nicely. That's what I'm hoping for.


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Haldo, Everyone!

I just downloaded the Playtest PDF and this is the first forum I sought out. I am deeply curious as to others' impressions because the treatment of Half-Elves and Half-Orcs caught me off guard. I feel they are getting the short end of the stick in this current iteration of the rules.

(To preface, these two have always been my favorite core races to play flavor-wise and mechanics-wise.)

Here are my thoughts and concerns:

  • They are literally treated as a footnote under Table 1-1: Ancestries on page 13: "*Half-elf and half-orc ancestries are accessible through human ancestry feats."

  • On page 23, their portraits are relegated to the bottom of a page that is not even dedicated to them, but rather explaining the creation rules (languages, traits, ancestry feats, etc.) for the actual base races. It is a bummer that every other race receives a dedicated page, but the Half-Elves and Half-Orcs are merely subsections under the Human entry, which leads into my next point.

  • Their inclusion under the Human entry on page 36-37 feels forced. It is crammed between all the Human options making it difficult to navigate. I do agree with what Grimcleaver previously posted on Sunday, August 5: "I just hope they can reorganize the section so they don't bury the list of human ancestry feats." Albeit for different reasons because Grimcleaver also wrote: "The setting is probably better without them--but if they're going to be in the books, having them be a feat for humans to buy seems a fair enough way to do it." Folks who like to play mixed-races (or, in this case, mixed-ancestries) shouldn't have to be penalized just because others believe them to be too "devilishly rare" for the lore of the world for anyone to play them (I mean, people are going to be playing Goblins as a core race and folks have been playing Aasimars and Tieflings at tables as well, which are considerably rarer).

  • Having to spend your one-and-only 1st-Level Ancestry Feat just to become a Half-Elf or Half-Orc feels like a punitive deterrence. I'm assuming that the long-term benefit is that you can select from either Human, Elf or Orc ancestry options (increasing your overall versatility to create something pretty unique), but your next Ancestry Feat cannot be selected until 5th-Level, which is a long time just to feel like you are playing the race of your choosing. (However, I did note that on page 278 under Leveling Up it appears you gain a level every 1,000 XP, so perhaps reaching 5th-Level at 5,000 XP - if I am understanding the rules correctly - does not take that long. Then again under XP Rewards on page 339 it looks like how XP is disseminated is completely overhauled.)

  • Lastly, I know this is not intentional by any means, but I find it ironic that the game with a detailed Gaming Is For All section (pages 5-6) seems to be marginalizing the two races that are traditionally marginalized in Golarion. Granted, I recognize this as a stretch, but the representation of Half-Elves and Half-Orcs does not seem to align with the overall ethos as explained under Gaming Is For All. The counterargument to this would be: "In the in-game world or Golarion these two races are marginalized lore-wise and are rare comparative to their parent races." To that I would rebut: "The players themselves should not be marginalized for wanting to play these traditionally core races simply because in-game they may be slightly more rare than a stock elf or human."

Thank you for reading, everyone. It is fun posting on here. :)

Cheers!

- D.B.


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Malthraz wrote:
Virellius wrote:

Why can't my half-orc access Orc Weapons at level one? Why does he have to wait FOUR LEVELS to use a weapon he should have grown up knowing about?

It makes 100% no sense.

It's because level 1 characters are no very good at things. Orc weapons are hard.

You think being a half orc teaches sorcerers how to use falchions from level 1? 100% don't agree.

But being a goblin sorcerer teaches you how to use a horsechopper from level 1. Or a gnome sorcerer with a hooked hammer.

It makes no sense for orc concepts to be specifically punched in the gut for weapon proficiency when literally no one else is. Frankly, after my pre-release conversation with Mark where he supported my excitement for making a falchion-wielding battle bard I feel lied to. That concept is not viable in any game that starts prior to level five. If I wanted to play a goblin with a horsechopper that would be fine though, because... reasons.


One idea I had was to give humans 2 ancestry Feats. Then they can have the classic human edge, while giving half elf and half orc am ancestry feat


Aldarc wrote:
I would say that 4E likely took a page from Eberron by turning them into a true-breeding "race" rather than simply the offspring of a tragic interracial love story.

Oh yeah, totally. I would say that's true of a lot of things in 4e. They were in love with Eberron and used it as the template for a lot of the things they did differently in that version of the game.


Dysphoria Blues wrote:
Goblins and Tieflings are rarer than half-elves and half-orcs.

I'd argue with as big a role as Korvosa and Cheliax have, tieflings merit inclusion in the core book. They are a big part of one of the largest and most powerful empires in Golarion. Goblins, likewise, are everywhere and have a mystique of being lovable despite their creepy depravity--something which has begun gravitating them more and more toward longshank society.

But again, this isn't a matter of me thinking half-elves and half-orcs shouldn't exist (or half-dragons and drow for that matter, which seem tremendously popular as characters). Rather that they feel niche enough that I'd be okay seeing them introduced in a regional book that covers the Kyonin area or the Isle of Kortos, where they appear frequently enough that mentioning them makes sense.

Liberty's Edge

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My first Pathfinder Society character was a half-orc inquisitor of Cayden Cailean. I used some of the unique racial traits and built a character that, though lacking a lot of power, still had some interesting elements and tactics in play. He was still a fun and engaging character in RP.

I understand that the lack of a class can change a character a bit. So I could be a cleric. That isn't a huge loss. I can still play him the way I wanted to.

So I can't be someone who goes around tripping foes left and right, to play up the 'bouncer' angle, but I can choose the Bartender background which I like, so I can still play the same concept.

Yet, when I look at the entry for Half-orc, my heart falters. Without anything aside from regional dialects to work from, ALL humans get are their Ancestry feats for customization. They're pretty powerful, including a free feat or broad skill bonuses to ALL untrained skills. That's very good, or I can trade any of those choices. To be a half-orc.

If I chose a dwarf or elf or gnome, the options are wide and allow a plethora of options. I get an inherent visual sense. I get inherent racial languages. I can get weapon training. I can get extra spells.

Or I can get none of those additional options and play a half-something. I MIGHT be able to eek by with just a racial vision (which is inherent to everyone else but halflings and humans). Maybe get a skill trained. I guess that's nice. Can I pick the skill from a list? Oh. no. I can't. It's the same. No weapon training options. None of that until level 5.

I'm heartbroken over this. Genuinely heartbroken. I stuck around with certain games all the way through the current edition. I have very little room in my heart for hatred in tabletop RPGs. But this, this I genuinely, absolutely hate. I hate it. I think it's a terrible choice. It's novel, sure, but it's short-sighted, under-powered and lacks the signature Paizo care that I expected.

2e is a chance to do better than the previous edition, not take a step back and bottom-shelf two VERY popular race choices.

Liberty's Edge

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Dysphoria Blues wrote:

Haldo, Everyone!

I just downloaded the Playtest PDF and this is the first forum I sought out. I am deeply curious as to others' impressions because the treatment of Half-Elves and Half-Orcs caught me off guard. I feel they are getting the short end of the stick in this current iteration of the rules.

(To preface, these two have always been my favorite core races to play flavor-wise and mechanics-wise.)

** spoiler omitted **...

In regards to the last bit. Orcs and other Monstrous races are often supported and co-opted by LGBT communities due to how 'other' they tend to be. They're generally not belonging to either race exclusively, and thus end up something of their own. This is very much in line with the marginalized LGBT communities where culture tends to be invented, rather than just borrowed.

I remember one tumblr post where folks were discussing the Babadook being a representation of LGBT, and how creepy, unwanted monsters that are merely misunderstood are often 'coded' LGBT (for those who don't know that means they have traits in common with LGBT individuals without being explicitly so).

It's one of the reasons why I tend to play half-elves and half-orcs myself. To see them treated this way.. makes me feel unhappy.


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@Grimcleaver: Thank you for reading my post! I deeply appreciate it. I know I name-checked you, so it is cool that you took the time to read what I wrote and respond. My fear - after having submitted - was that I may have sounded too combative. Hopefully this response can dispel that. I appreciate your opinion (specifically your comment stating that "[it] isn't a matter of [you] thinking half-elves and half-orcs shouldn't exist..."). I perhaps was a bit too zealous upon reading your initial comment haha. I appreciate your argument regarding the lore, though. I still take umbrage with the fact that Goblins get a seat at the "core" table (Paizo making note that they have been ostracized for a millennia) while the Half-Elves and Half-Orcs are relegated to the kids' table. However, this is my personal belief and feelings toward the game and I know everyone will not share that - which is a good thing! :)

@Sean R: Wow. Thank you for the initial post you made. It was very eloquent and it certainly captures a portion of my own feelings as well.

Regarding your second post, I believe I am following along, but you hit the nail on the head with the concept of "the other." It is why I like playing the half-races as well. Not in order to play the trope of the "special snowflake" per se, but in order for me - as a player - to experience the catharsis that comes with being "the other" that has badass powers and agency and purpose in a high-powered world of swords and sorcery.

I remember at PaizoCon in Seattle some years back ('14? '15?) there was a workshop (panel?) with some of the Paizo brains (I cannot recall the specific people, unfortunately, so I will not attempt to name drop anyone) and it centered around their push for inclusivity within the gaming community, namely LGBT gamers and persons of color gamers. It was really cool, engaging and as someone who feels "other" it was liberating to hear their sincerity.

Now, I do not doubt their sincerity here, but I do agree with you wholeheartedly, Sean R., when you say: "To see them treated this way... makes me feel unhappy."

Granted, for anyone else who reads this, I do not mean to come across like I am trying to push my agenda on the game while standing on my soapbox. Far from it. Attempting to legislate this kind of stuff in a game can be off-putting and I do not condone virtue signaling (which I am not attempting to do here). I guess when something like playing a Half-Elf or Half-Orc feels so personal for close to twenty years of tabletop gaming for me now, it is "heartbreaking" to feel like your chosen shtick in a game is getting shirked.

I will admit that once I actually get the chance to play this, perhaps I will discover that they are not getting bottom-shelved. However, the presentation thus far leads me to believe that they are an afterthought.

Anyway, thank you, both, again for responding! It means a lot. :)

Cheers!

- D.B.


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Steven Constant wrote:
Rycke wrote:
There's no feat tax. You get all the abilities of a human except the extra chosen ability. Instead, you get 2 abilities from the other race. If anything, you're getting 2 things for the cost of one.

The feat tax is exactly as you state - Even if the feat is free I have to spend it to be "Half-"whatever. Another character has a slight edge over this Half-race.

In the long term a smart player will skip this to get a more powerful ancestry feat. Or, if this method gives a feat that is too powerful, there will be no human characters.

Not really.

Take a half elf as an example.

You pick up +speed and low light vision.

You now have an Elf that pick a level 1 ancestry feat that reads "gain 2 HP and the general feat "adopted(human)".

Half-X do get the equivalent of a "racial feat" on the form of a feat that basically doubles their available choices for later on.


Sean R wrote:

My first Pathfinder Society character was a half-orc inquisitor of Cayden Cailean. I used some of the unique racial traits and built a character that, though lacking a lot of power, still had some interesting elements and tactics in play. He was still a fun and engaging character in RP.

I understand that the lack of a class can change a character a bit. So I could be a cleric. That isn't a huge loss. I can still play him the way I wanted to.

So I can't be someone who goes around tripping foes left and right, to play up the 'bouncer' angle, but I can choose the Bartender background which I like, so I can still play the same concept.

Yet, when I look at the entry for Half-orc, my heart falters. Without anything aside from regional dialects to work from, ALL humans get are their Ancestry feats for customization. They're pretty powerful, including a free feat or broad skill bonuses to ALL untrained skills. That's very good, or I can trade any of those choices. To be a half-orc.

If I chose a dwarf or elf or gnome, the options are wide and allow a plethora of options. I get an inherent visual sense. I get inherent racial languages. I can get weapon training. I can get extra spells.

Or I can get none of those additional options and play a half-something. I MIGHT be able to eek by with just a racial vision (which is inherent to everyone else but halflings and humans). Maybe get a skill trained. I guess that's nice. Can I pick the skill from a list? Oh. no. I can't. It's the same. No weapon training options. None of that until level 5.

I'm heartbroken over this. Genuinely heartbroken. I stuck around with certain games all the way through the current edition. I have very little room in my heart for hatred in tabletop RPGs. But this, this I genuinely, absolutely hate. I hate it. I think it's a terrible choice. It's novel, sure, but it's short-sighted, under-powered and lacks the signature Paizo care that I expected.

2e is a chance to do better than the previous edition, not take a step back and...

So using your specific example, I feel I need to point out some stuff.

1) You absolutely can run around tripping people from level 1, and much easier than before. It costs you training in one skill. Compare this to needing to spend 2 feats and a raise what is probably a bottom of the barrel attribute to 13 to not provoke... You come out ahead there. Actually, you don't even need to be trained, though I fully expect you'll want to be. Cayden Caileen even made it a signature skill for you. You're also full BAB now, so that's an improvement. (In fairness, a Falchion isn't the optimal choice for tripping, but it wasn't really in 1e either.)

2) You may not get proficiency with the Falchion at level 1 without the GM working with you (Lamashtu clerics get the Falchion so it isn't especially unbalanced) but you can get it at level 2 with the fighter dedication which has lots of other benefits for your type of character (especially if they didn't pick Cayden Caileen.) At level 3 there's at least 3 different ways to get it, one of which lets you pick up the critical specialization at 5th. Because of retraining you can also swap these options out later if they aren't quite ideal for the final build.

3) You have an entire new resource pool to flesh out your concept in Skill Feats. I think one big failing is that I don't think you can get Intimidate as a signature skill, and I assume that was a big deal for a half orc Inquisitor bouncer. That aside, demoralize builds look more viable in the new action economy, and you probably got training in the skill from the heritage feat. I suspect you'll wind up using your If we get Signature Skills removed (or otherwise opened up; make any skill you sink an expert level skill feat into for example) your half orc will be scarier than ever. :)

As an alternative, you can also build the Inquisitor the other way through the cleric multiclass feats. A fighter (or better yet, a paladin if your GM relaxes alignment restrictions) gets you a really solid base to add magic to.


They need to fix the imbalance and make the options for the non-human races both better and more interesting.


I had not seen this blog by Jason Bulmahn yet before I posted yesterday. I discovered it from Vic Wertz posting it on this new thread here today.

It's worth checking out if you are invested in the Half-Elf, Half-Orc discussion. :)

-D.B.

Liberty's Edge

Dysphoria Blues wrote:

@Sean R: Wow. Thank you for the initial post you made. It was very eloquent and it certainly captures a portion of my own feelings as well.

Regarding your second post, I believe I am following along, but you hit the nail on the head with the concept of "the other." It is why I like playing the half-races as well. Not in order to play the trope of the "special snowflake" per se, but in order for me - as a player - to experience the catharsis that comes with being "the other" that has badass powers and agency and purpose in a high-powered world of swords and sorcery.

I remember at PaizoCon in Seattle some years back ('14? '15?) there was a workshop (panel?) with some of the Paizo brains (I cannot recall the specific people, unfortunately, so I will not attempt to name drop anyone) and it centered around their push for inclusivity within the gaming community, namely LGBT gamers and persons of color gamers. It was really cool, engaging and as someone who feels "other" it was liberating to hear their sincerity.

Now, I do not doubt their...

Why thank you. I don't like to politicize tabletop gaming, to be honest, but when you're a teen and struggling with finding role models in a world that is bereft of them (we're talking the 1990s), you tend to find characters with relate-able traits. For some, it's scoundrels and outcasts. For some it's courtly vampires or the struggles against beings from beyond the stars, or it could be cartoon characters, or any number of options.

I know of the panel you speak of, though I did not attend. I have found a very inclusive community where I live and it's fantastic that I am able to play characters from varied walks of life. But I also come from a time period where that wasn't possible. I know that there are still many places where that remains true. So, personally, I feel the need to protect these races. They're important to both the game, and to the people who play them.

So thank you again.

Liberty's Edge

Captain Morgan wrote:
Sean R wrote:

My first Pathfinder Society character was a half-orc inquisitor of Cayden Cailean. I used some of the unique racial traits and built a character that, though lacking a lot of power, still had some interesting elements and tactics in play. He was still a fun and engaging character in RP.

I understand that the lack of a class can change a character a bit. So I could be a cleric. That isn't a huge loss. I can still play him the way I wanted to.

So I can't be someone who goes around tripping foes left and right, to play up the 'bouncer' angle, but I can choose the Bartender background which I like, so I can still play the same concept.

Yet, when I look at the entry for Half-orc, my heart falters. Without anything aside from regional dialects to work from, ALL humans get are their Ancestry feats for customization. They're pretty powerful, including a free feat or broad skill bonuses to ALL untrained skills. That's very good, or I can trade any of those choices. To be a half-orc.

If I chose a dwarf or elf or gnome, the options are wide and allow a plethora of options. I get an inherent visual sense. I get inherent racial languages. I can get weapon training. I can get extra spells.

Or I can get none of those additional options and play a half-something. I MIGHT be able to eek by with just a racial vision (which is inherent to everyone else but halflings and humans). Maybe get a skill trained. I guess that's nice. Can I pick the skill from a list? Oh. no. I can't. It's the same. No weapon training options. None of that until level 5.

I'm heartbroken over this. Genuinely heartbroken. I stuck around with certain games all the way through the current edition. I have very little room in my heart for hatred in tabletop RPGs. But this, this I genuinely, absolutely hate. I hate it. I think it's a terrible choice. It's novel, sure, but it's short-sighted, under-powered and lacks the signature Paizo care that I expected.

2e is a chance to do better than the previous edition, not

...

Thank you! I'll try my best.. still not a fan of giving up character options to play a Half-orc, and he used a Heavy Flail as a weapon, which was something granted to him via racial weapon option. I know it's splitting hairs, but looking at the viability of old characters in the new system is important, to me, to seeing how robust the new system is. It's more robust.. EXCEPT where Half-races are concerned.


Almarane wrote:
I feel like people are overestimating most ancestry feats. Sure, they can pretty well round up your character concept. But they seem pretty low in power compared to class feats, so "missing" one ancestry feat doesn't seem very harsh to me.

Except the Humans have an Ancestry Feat which allows you to take a class feat.

I probably am not going create any half-orc or half-elf probably as feel thatI would lose too much in comparison to any other ancestry.


keras_terune wrote:
Almarane wrote:
I feel like people are overestimating most ancestry feats. Sure, they can pretty well round up your character concept. But they seem pretty low in power compared to class feats, so "missing" one ancestry feat doesn't seem very harsh to me.

Except the Humans have an Ancestry Feat which allows you to take a class feat.

I probably am not going create any half-orc or half-elf probably as feel thatI would lose too much in comparison to any other ancestry.

A level 1 only class feat.

Plus halfX actually are better than most Ancestries atm.

Most Ancestry feats are weak, like really weak. With halfX you get to cherry pick the best options out of 2 Ancestries.

If you wanted to do that normally, you'd pick Adopted. HalfX is basically a better adopted (orc Ancestries are better than rest, Elf gives you +2hp compared to playing an Elf with Adopted (human))


Objectively the Half-It feats would be better than the Adopted general feat (as they also include benefits comperable to a skill feat)... Except that they can only be taken by Humans, for whom it is a trap to take them.

The only thing humans have going for them is the ability to convert their 1st level Ancestry Feats into a single 1st level class feat, a single general feat, or two of a vert specific Skill Feat. In exchange for this 'low-level versatility', most of the other ancestries recieve several feats worth of fixed initial benefits, as well as access to much larger feat lists than the human draws from.
One of which, Unconventional Weaponry isn't even worth the space it was printed on. Besides being described in the blogs as something GMs can/should give out as backstory rewards (access to a single uncommon weapon)... It's benefit isn't even on par with having killed a creature (like a goblin) and taken the selected item (a dogslicer) because you spent a feat, and still have to actually acquire the item.

As it is, an Elf that takes Adopted By Humans at 3rd is objectively better than a Half-Elf that took Prodigal Ancestry at 3rd (leaving them in the exact same position in terms of expended feats). Both have access to Natural Ambition (the only Human Feat worth taking at this point; the two half-elf options are a joke). Meanwhile the elf got to start with 150% of the initial benefits of the Half-Elf feat, and also got to select an Elven Ancestry Feat at 1st level. Several of which are quite good and cannot be acquired by Half-Elves until at least 3rd, and often 5th levels.


Cantriped wrote:

Objectively the Half-It feats would be better than the Adopted general feat (as they also include benefits comperable to a skill feat)... Except that they can only be taken by Humans, for whom it is a trap to take them.

The only thing humans have going for them is the ability to convert their 1st level Ancestry Feats into a single 1st level class feat, a single general feat, or two of a vert specific Skill Feat. In exchange for this 'low-level versatility', most of the other ancestries recieve several feats worth of fixed initial benefits, as well as access to much larger feat lists than the human draws from.
One of which, Unconventional Weaponry isn't even worth the space it was printed on. Besides being described in the blogs as something GMs can/should give out as backstory rewards (access to a single uncommon weapon)... It's benefit isn't even on par with having killed a creature (like a goblin) and taken the selected item (a dogslicer) because you spent a feat, and still have to actually acquire the item.

As it is, an Elf that takes Adopted By Humans at 3rd is objectively better than a Half-Elf that took Prodigal Ancestry at 3rd (leaving them in the exact same position in terms of expended feats). Both have access to Natural Ambition (the only Human Feat worth taking at this point; the two half-elf options are a joke). Meanwhile the elf got to start with 150% of the initial benefits of the Half-Elf feat, and also got to select an Elven Ancestry Feat at 1st level. Several of which are quite good and cannot be acquired by Half-Elves until at least 3rd, and often 5th levels.

An elf isn't 150% better than a half elf And has a racial feat. It's like 80% of a half elf but has a feat.

A half elf is an elf with +2 HP but 1 racial feat less. Both have 2 languages, 30ft speed, low light, half elf has 8 HP, elf has 6,elf has a lvl 1 ancestral feat.

The elf that loses a general feat to pick up Adopted and at level 5 pick up Extra class feat has 1 less General feat and 2 less HP than the Half elf that simply picks up half elf at level 1 and extra class feat at level 5.

So, in reality, we're comparing a general feat and 2 HP, vs a Ancestral feat. Since for the most part ancestral feats are a joke, I prefer General feat. I mean, the only thing of worth are a cantrip, Fleet, the extra lvl1 class feat, and maybe weapon specialization if you are a weapon based class that you don't get that from your class.

On the other hand, imp initiative, toughness, perception, extra speed, extra RP, expert saves, are all very good.

With Ancestral paragon (which I wouldn't usually pick) a half elf is Objectively BETTER than the elf by 2 HP AND earlier access to extra class feat.

Edit:
Level by level comparisons :
Elf level 1: 6hp, 30ft, 2 languages, lowlight, Cantrip (as an example)
Half elf level 1: 8hp, 30ft, 2 languages, lowlight, Halfelf

Elf wins here, a cantrip is better than 2 hp

Elf level 3: 6hp, 30ft, 2 languages, cantrip, Adopted (human)
Halfelf level 3: 8hp, 30ft, 2 languages, lowlight, Cantrip(paragon), Halfelf

Halfelf by now is Objectively better. He has everything the elf has but 2 extra HP. In addition, if cantrip wasn't important for him, he can instead pick up Extra Class Feat, something the Elf has to wait to minimum level 5 to get.

Plus, adopted is worse than being a half because you don't qualify for anything physiological.


I couldn't care less about the Racial Hit Die. Even the frailest wizards start with more than 10 HP, and end up with more than 100 HP. The up to +4 HP I can get from Ancestry (comparing Elf and Dwarf) is effectively worthless. It might as well be flavor text to me.

Likewise I don't really care about the Human's 'Flexible' Array, as it is only an advantage to the player during character generation. It's not like a player is going to play a purposefully hamstrung ancestry/class combination, so the differences are irrelevent in-play so long as every Ancestry provides the same total ability score modifier (+4).
Half-Its still learn their regional language as "Humans", so that is comperable to Elves learning Elven.

Which means that an Elf gets the two best initial benefits of the Half-Elf feat for free: +5 ft. Speed (which is worth a general feat by itself), and Low-Light Vision (which is probably underrated as only being worth a skill feat). In addition to their Ancestry feat, instead of at the cost of it.

To create balance, the Human Ancestry has to improve significantly compared to its current form.


Cantriped wrote:

I couldn't care less about the Racial Hit Die. Even the frailest wizards start with more than 10 HP, and end up with more than 100 HP. The up to +4 HP I can get from Ancestry (comparing Elf and Dwarf) is effectively worthless. It might as well be flavor text to me.

Likewise I don't really care about the Human's 'Flexible' Array, as it is only an advantage to the player during character generation. It's not like a player is going to play a purposefully hamstrung ancestry/class combination, so the differences are irrelevent in-play so long as every Ancestry provides the same total ability score modifier (+4).
Half-Its still learn their regional language as "Humans", so that is comperable to Elves learning Elven.

Which means that an Elf gets the two best initial benefits of the Half-Elf feat for free: +5 ft. Speed (which is worth a general feat by itself), and Low-Light Vision (which is probably underrated as only being worth a skill feat). In addition to their Ancestry feat, instead of at the cost of it.

To create balance, the Human Ancestry has to improve significantly compared to its current form.

But that's the point of halfelves.

Even if you don't care about better racial HP, or better accessibility to Ancestral feats (2.5 lists vs 1.5) if you EVER want to pick a human feat like extra class feat, a half elf is objectively better at it.

It gains the same things plus more.

There isn't a single reason to pick up adopted(human) as an elf (statistics wise) and NOT go Halfelf instead.

For any campaign going over 3rd level, Halfelves are just flat out better, however little that may seem to you.


shroudb wrote:

But that's the point of halfelves.

Even if you don't care about better racial HP, or better accessibility to Ancestral feats (2.5 lists vs 1.5) if you EVER want to pick a human feat like extra class feat, a half elf is objectively better at it.

It gains the same things plus more.

There isn't a single reason to pick up adopted(human) as an elf (statistics wise) and NOT go Halfelf instead.

For any campaign going over 3rd level, Halfelves are just flat out better, however little that may seem to you.

My point is that half-elves are objectively worse regardless of which list you want to choose from because they cannot choose from any of them until 3rd level. An Actual human could have had Natural Ambition at 1st level, and an actual elf could have Nimble at 1st level (giving them a speed of 40 ft. BTW). Half-Its pay more than either of their parents, and recieve less in return.

My opinion is exactly the opposite of yours: There is no reason to pick Human (Half-Elf), over Elf (Adopted By Humans). They are flat out worse, at any given level of play, but most notably at 1st and 2nd level when your pool of choices is so very limited.


Cantriped wrote:
shroudb wrote:

But that's the point of halfelves.

Even if you don't care about better racial HP, or better accessibility to Ancestral feats (2.5 lists vs 1.5) if you EVER want to pick a human feat like extra class feat, a half elf is objectively better at it.

It gains the same things plus more.

There isn't a single reason to pick up adopted(human) as an elf (statistics wise) and NOT go Halfelf instead.

For any campaign going over 3rd level, Halfelves are just flat out better, however little that may seem to you.

My point is that half-elves are objectively worse regardless of which list you want to choose from because they cannot choose from any of them until 3rd level. An Actual human could have had Natural Ambition at 1st level, and an actual elf could have Nimble at 1st level (giving them a speed of 40 ft. BTW). Half-Its pay more than either of their parents, and recieve less in return.

My opinion is exactly the opposite of yours: There is no reason to pick Human (Half-Elf), over Elf (Adopted By Humans). They are flat out worse, at any given level of play, but most notably at 1st and 2nd level when your pool of choices is so very limited.

Math disagrees with you.

Level 5 elf:
30 ft speed, low light, 6 HP, nimble, extra class feat
Level 5 half elf:
30 ft speed, low light, 8 HP, nimble, extra class feat, bigger lists to choose things from

There is no place where the elf is better.

Elf gets nimble faster (level 1 instead of 5), halfelf gets extra class feat faster (level 3 instead of 5), extra feat is always better since it's the reason (presumably) that you went adopted(human) in your elf

You see, math, Objectively, (and not subjectively) only has 1 answer.

And +HP, +bigger lists, +faster class feat is what the halfelf will have over the elf ALWAYS


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The answer to fixing this seems painfully obvious: you make a Half-Breed Ancestry with rules/limitations for any/all cross-breeds. It would probably take up LESS space than putting in two specific ones that don't really work. Then you balance all of the other ancestries to that one.


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The 5th level Adopted Elf and Half-Elf both have speeds of 35 actually (assuming both took Nimble).

However I will concede that Half-Elf pulls ahead of an Elf trying to be exactly like a Half-Elf by 2 HP at 5th level, and remains 2 HP ahead of said Adopted Elf for the rest of their careers.

I don't think that justifies the four levels it took the half-elf to catch-up to the severely suboptimal adopted elf I've presented as our baseline for comparison. Nor does the comparison allow for the half-elf to choose either of the more flavorful options the heritage feat presents: For example, taking the language instead of speed is equivalent to losing a general feat (which could have been 4-20 HP if you'd taken Toughness) for half of a skill feat (Multilingual).


Cantriped wrote:

The 5th level Adopted Elf and Half-Elf both have speeds of 35 actually (assuming both took Nimble).

However I will concede that Half-Elf pulls ahead of an Elf trying to be exactly like a Half-Elf by 2 HP at 5th level, and remains 2 HP ahead of said Adopted Elf for the rest of their careers.

I don't think that justifies the four levels it took the half-elf to catch-up to the severely suboptimal adopted elf I've presented as our baseline for comparison. Nor does the comparison allow for the half-elf to choose either of the more flavorful options the heritage feat presents: For example, taking the language instead of speed is equivalent to losing a general feat (which could have been 4-20 HP if you'd taken Toughness) for half of a skill feat (Multilingual).

It doesn't take 4 levels if both take the extra class feat at 5,it takes 2 (half elf picking nimble at 3 and class feat at 5 like the elf)

It took 4 in my example only because half elf took class feat 2 levels earlier than the elf.

As for the other options, yes, they are garbage (unless you get dark vision from a class feature, then drop lowlight for one of the other benefits), but so are half of the ancestral feats in general. That's why I see the ability to pick from more than 2 lists as a tangible benefit because that allows you to pick actually good feats and not garbage after a point.

Liberty's Edge

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Cantriped wrote:

The 5th level Adopted Elf and Half-Elf both have speeds of 35 actually (assuming both took Nimble).

However I will concede that Half-Elf pulls ahead of an Elf trying to be exactly like a Half-Elf by 2 HP at 5th level, and remains 2 HP ahead of said Adopted Elf for the rest of their careers.

I don't think that justifies the four levels it took the half-elf to catch-up to the severely suboptimal adopted elf I've presented as our baseline for comparison. Nor does the comparison allow for the half-elf to choose either of the more flavorful options the heritage feat presents: For example, taking the language instead of speed is equivalent to losing a general feat (which could have been 4-20 HP if you'd taken Toughness) for half of a skill feat (Multilingual).

I had a realization.

If the argument FOR the half-elves is that they get a broader selection of feats later on, I'm going to turn it around.

Every other race (except half-orcs) get a broader selection of feats from the get-go. This sort of falls into the fighter-wizard dichotomy of gaining a benefit later at the expense of choice now, and, personally, I see that as bad design.

Players feeling like their characters are 'lesser' or 'less useful' or 'weakened' is something that bleeds into gameplay. Folks root for the underdog, but it should never come at the expense of an enjoyable experience for all.


Sean R wrote:
Cantriped wrote:

The 5th level Adopted Elf and Half-Elf both have speeds of 35 actually (assuming both took Nimble).

However I will concede that Half-Elf pulls ahead of an Elf trying to be exactly like a Half-Elf by 2 HP at 5th level, and remains 2 HP ahead of said Adopted Elf for the rest of their careers.

I don't think that justifies the four levels it took the half-elf to catch-up to the severely suboptimal adopted elf I've presented as our baseline for comparison. Nor does the comparison allow for the half-elf to choose either of the more flavorful options the heritage feat presents: For example, taking the language instead of speed is equivalent to losing a general feat (which could have been 4-20 HP if you'd taken Toughness) for half of a skill feat (Multilingual).

I had a realization.

If the argument FOR the half-elves is that they get a broader selection of feats later on, I'm going to turn it around.

Every other race (except half-orcs) get a broader selection of feats from the get-go. This sort of falls into the fighter-wizard dichotomy of gaining a benefit later at the expense of choice now, and, personally, I see that as bad design.

Players feeling like their characters are 'lesser' or 'less useful' or 'weakened' is something that bleeds into gameplay. Folks root for the underdog, but it should never come at the expense of an enjoyable experience for all.

that "later" part is literally at level 3 to become "equal" and level 5 to pull ahead

it's not like you lose something for half your gamelife to achieve something bigger, it's just the first 2 levels.

and similary, the gains are much smaller, it's just a couple of hp and broader selection of stuff.

to give you an example, the character i was literally making (one of the 3^^) was a downtroden city elf alchemist/thief (assasin type with poisons, tessting poison builds)

now, initially he was an elf. Stricktly because i wanted fast access to swordswords and shortbows.

as the character soon got realized i figured i don't need the weapon proficiencies. He was switched to half elf, it fit the scoundrel bastard (probably better as well) raised on the streets and going poison user, I kept most of the stuff the same as well as when i would get the ancestral feats, but just switched some of the later ancestral feats (level 9) for some faster general feats.

So, if anything, they are on par. One gets to pick his 1st ancestral feat earlier, the other one has a bit of flexibility on feats due to being halfhuman (which gives access to general or level 1 class feat).

I gained a few early HP when it was actually meaningful (going from 14 to 16 for level 1 does matter, that's half a feat) and got alertness or imp initiative or toughness 2 levels earlier (still can't decide which will be the 1st of that trio). But I'm not proficient at swordswords or shortbows.

If i wanted, instead of the extra general feat, I could have picked the extra ancestral feat, and be a carbon copy of the elf (well, a bit sturdier but having to suffer without my weapons for the 1st 2 levels)

My points were mostly to show that they are more or less EQUAL.


They can keep half-races feat based. It's a cool implementation. :) However,

  • Each half race should still get its own actual entry / subchapter, just like the other races. Hiding them as a footnote inside human is awful.
  • Explicate that the entry feat can be taken by any race, not just humans.
  • Add what a half-human gets if the Half-Elf feat is taken by an elf or the Half-Orc feat is taken by an orc. On a side note, this will force them to actually give humans an intrinsic ability or three like the other races, which is good.
  • Let characters take more than one ancestry / heritage feat at 1st level, so a half-whatever can pick an actual ancestry feat at 1st.

This would solve basically all of my problems with the current execution of an otherwise great idea. :)


Half-X are already the better humans. If you give more then one ancestry feat at level 1 then there is literally no incentive to not go half-X.
I'm glad to see that over the course of this thread more and more people seem to realize that the initial posts assumption, that half-X are just a tax, is wrong.


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Balancing half-x's so that they're slightly better humans is part of the problem. Half-orcs lost darkvision because giving humans that ability at level 1 would be OP. And all this talk of what's "balanced" or not still doesn't solve the problem that anyone who wants to play an orc has to wait until level 5 before they can use the orc weapon they envisioned their orc using.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Balancing half-x's so that they're slightly better humans is part of the problem. Half-orcs lost darkvision because giving humans that ability at level 1 would be OP. And all this talk of what's "balanced" or not still doesn't solve the problem that anyone who wants to play an orc has to wait until level 5 before they can use the orc weapon they envisioned their orc using.

Level 3 actually.

You can pick ancestral paragon with your general feat. (and if you feel that's cheating you out of a general feat for a racial feat, you can pick it back at level 5 with the human racial that gives a general)

Really, humans are the most flexible race for feat order.

Also why would giving halforcs dark vision at 1 be OP? Dwarves have it and it's one of the reasons they're one of the best race.


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Level 3 isn't any better. I won't accept anything other than Level 1.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Level 3 isn't any better. I won't accept anything other than Level 1.

Well, if you want to play an orc, I guess you then will have to wait until orc ancestry is actually released.

If you want to play something that's orc-ish then you'll have to do with level 3.

I think halfX is actually one of the very few "good" things in ancestries myself. I WISH all ancestries were like that, where you picked elf and then as an example got to pick between High, Wood, Dark, etc and each gave a pool of starting options to choose from.


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Half-orcs could have proficiency in orc weapons at level 1 in PF1. In PF2, every ancestry can have proficiency in their weapons at level 1 other than half-orcs. I really don't think I'm being unreasonable here.


That's the downside of having been brought up in two worlds. You still can get that. Just not all at once. Stop thinking in terms of what you got in previous editions. If fluff was a deciding factor and not balancing then goblins should get -6 str and -4 constitution and -4 intelligence. Good that it isn't.


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shroudb wrote:

to give you an example, the character i was literally making (one of the 3^^) was a downtroden city elf alchemist/thief (assasin type with poisons, tessting poison builds)

now, initially he was an elf. Stricktly because i wanted fast access to swordswords and shortbows.

as the character soon got realized i figured i don't need the weapon proficiencies. He was switched to half elf, it fit the scoundrel bastard (probably better as well) raised on the streets and going poison user, I kept most of the stuff the same as well as when i would get the ancestral feats, but just switched some of the later ancestral feats (level 9) for some faster general feats.

So, if anything, they are on par. One gets to pick his 1st ancestral feat earlier, the other one has a bit of flexibility on feats due to being halfhuman (which gives access to general or level 1 class feat).

I gained a few early HP when it was actually meaningful (going from 14 to 16 for level 1 does matter, that's half a feat) and got alertness or imp initiative or toughness 2 levels earlier (still can't decide which will be the 1st of that trio). But I'm not proficient at swordswords or shortbows.

If i wanted, instead of the extra general feat, I could have picked the extra ancestral feat, and be a carbon copy of the elf (well, a bit sturdier but having to suffer without my weapons for the 1st 2 levels)

My points were mostly to show that they are more or less EQUAL.

So Half-Elf is okay 'because you can cheat and play them as elves through level(s) 1 and 2 instead' is quite possibly the stupidest argument I've ever heard for a rule being balanced.

Also "equal" isn't quite right: Half-Elves only pull ahead of 'Elves Adopted by Humans' at 3rd level, and only if both parties make very specific choices designed to equalize them. Choices which for the half-elf are optimal, but the elf sub-optimal. Who would really waste a General feat on Adopted By Humans as an Elf? The human list is tiny and filled with feats that are largely worthless to an elf after 1st level. By 3rd level everyone will have already chosen their most important Class, Skill, and General feats to 'hit concept' anyway. The 'human advantage' is the potential to 'hit concept' at 1st instead of 3rd.

As a side argument. What if you just wanted to play a half-elf for flavor? The rules as is punish you for your entire career if you don't make the optimal choices; generally picking speed and low-light vision, followed by taking Natural Ambition and any Elf Feat ASAP. However, even if you do make the optimal choices, you still have to wait until 3rd level for whatever flavorful option you actually wanted.


Cantriped wrote:
shroudb wrote:

to give you an example, the character i was literally making (one of the 3^^) was a downtroden city elf alchemist/thief (assasin type with poisons, tessting poison builds)

now, initially he was an elf. Stricktly because i wanted fast access to swordswords and shortbows.

as the character soon got realized i figured i don't need the weapon proficiencies. He was switched to half elf, it fit the scoundrel bastard (probably better as well) raised on the streets and going poison user, I kept most of the stuff the same as well as when i would get the ancestral feats, but just switched some of the later ancestral feats (level 9) for some faster general feats.

So, if anything, they are on par. One gets to pick his 1st ancestral feat earlier, the other one has a bit of flexibility on feats due to being halfhuman (which gives access to general or level 1 class feat).

I gained a few early HP when it was actually meaningful (going from 14 to 16 for level 1 does matter, that's half a feat) and got alertness or imp initiative or toughness 2 levels earlier (still can't decide which will be the 1st of that trio). But I'm not proficient at swordswords or shortbows.

If i wanted, instead of the extra general feat, I could have picked the extra ancestral feat, and be a carbon copy of the elf (well, a bit sturdier but having to suffer without my weapons for the 1st 2 levels)

My points were mostly to show that they are more or less EQUAL.

So Half-Elf is okay 'because you can cheat and play them as elves through level(s) 1 and 2 instead' is quite possibly the stupidest argument I've ever heard for a rule being balanced.

Also "equal" isn't quite right: Half-Elves only pull ahead of 'Elves Adopted by Humans' at 3rd level, and only if both parties make very specific choices designed to equalize them. Choices which for the half-elf are optimal, but the elf sub-optimal. Who would really waste a General feat on Adopted By Humans as an Elf? The human list is tiny and filled with feats that...

What exactly mean "cheat and play them as elves"?

They get to pick out of 4 choices, by picking speed and lowlight, which are the best, I am cheating?

You clearly don't understand what I'm talking about, and clearly don't see why they are, balance wise, the same.

Yes, being able to make about the same character with 2 different races is THE DEFINITION OF EQUAL.

As for pulling ahead, again: one has a relatively low disadvantage in early levels, the other has a relatively minor disadvantage on later level (+2hp on level 5,when I have 53 is like nothing)

I call this equal.

In the case of MY characters, if you even bothered to read, you'll notice they have differences, they aren't the same.

The elf is proficient with bows and swords, the half elf isn't, the reason didn't even have to do anything with Ancestries, it's just easier to use poison with crossbows. If you want to blame something, blame that alchemist doesn't have Class DC for his stuff (would have made bows better than xbows, making elf the superior choice) or worthwhile, nonbomb, level 1 feats (would have made human the superior choice). Instead I got half elf... Just because I could.

So yes. They are the same.

As per "cheating", if you think that picking the good options is cheating, you're free to play a str fighter wearing leather and using clubs. And then accuse those who picked martial weapons as cheaters.


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I did bother to read, perhaps you misstated your actions, because above you said: "now, initially he was an elf..." and followed with "He was switched to half elf, it fit the scoundrel bastard..."
Together, these statments mean that a given character, "Bill" (since you left him unnamed in your example) was an elf at 1st level because you needed the weapon proficiencies a half-elf literally couldn't have at 1st level. Then at a later level, "Bill" traded his Elf Ancestry for Human and took Half-Elf as his heritage feat in lieu of Elven Weapons. Per RAW retraining either your Ancestry or Heritage Feats is prohibited.

Per the appropriate ancestries blog, those two-to-four levels you go without an ancestry feat are the opportunity cost for access to multiple ancestry lists. The validity of that principle notwithstanding, rebuilding a character in a manner explicitly prohibited was exploitive, and doing so simply to avoid paying an opportunity cost you are trying to argue is fair undermines the credibility of your position and arguments.


Cantriped wrote:

I did bother to read, perhaps you misstated your actions, because above you said: "now, initially he was an elf..." and followed with "He was switched to half elf, it fit the scoundrel bastard..."

Together, these statments mean that a given character, "Bill" (since you left him unnamed in your example) was an elf at 1st level because you needed the weapon proficiencies a half-elf literally couldn't have at 1st level. Then at a later level, "Bill" traded his Elf Ancestry for Human and took Half-Elf as his heritage feat in lieu of Elven Weapons. Per RAW retraining either your Ancestry or Heritage Feats is prohibited.

Per the appropriate ancestries blog, those two-to-four levels you go without an ancestry feat are the opportunity cost for access to multiple ancestry lists. The validity of that principle notwithstanding, rebuilding a character in a manner explicitly prohibited was exploitive, and doing so simply to avoid paying an opportunity cost you are trying to argue is fair undermines the credibility of your position and arguments.

I haven't even PLAYED the character yet. Let alone switch.

He will get his first time in a table tomorrow.

I'm just designed his progression from 1-17.

The "switch" happened during the design period, not during actual gameplay.

I was trying to find a way to use potent poisons with bows/melee (his reason d'etre is checking poison based alchemist) I found that the only way is xbows instead of bows.


Then you misstated your actions, and I apologize for my confusion and the offense it caused.


Cantriped wrote:
Then you misstated your actions, and I apologize for my confusion and the offense it caused.

Yeah, no probs. Sometimes written language doesn't confer stuff as good as spoken.


Virellius wrote:

Why can't my half-orc access Orc Weapons at level one? Why does he have to wait FOUR LEVELS to use a weapon he should have grown up knowing about?

It makes 100% no sense.

This is something I noticed right away, probably because my current 1E group has two half-orcs in it. I'm not opposed to taking an Ancestry feat to become a half-orc, but there is a discrepancy. Every character gets one - just ONE - Ancestry feat at 1st level. If you are a half-orc, you used that one feat to become one, and you get nightvision and toughness or something. Which means you have nothing left to spend on Half-Orc Ancestry feats. So... you can't get Orc Ferocity or Orc Weapon Familiarity or Superstition until 5th level, even though they are all marked as Feats that are available at 1st level.

In fact, all the Ancestries seem pretty pale at 1st level. You get so few options and they are all kinda feeble. It all seems a little strange too, that something you have been born into or raised up using doesn't manifest until later in your adventuring career. What, you raided a few dungeons and found a magic sword so now all of a sudden you learn how to see in the dark?

I can see that after playtest is over, if this doesn't change, many groups will probably House-Rule that all characters start with TWO Ancestry feats instead of just one. That would solve the problem (although learning new things about being an elf or orc that just don't manifest until later is still weird).

... just a suggestion.

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