How do we make sense of "I didn't have this aspect of the culture I grew up in until level 5"?


Ancestries & Backgrounds

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Hugolinus wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
bookrat wrote:
A goblin can love fire, and simply hainghe extra fire damage at level 5. A dwarf can have an ancestral hatred and simply not get the +1 until later....
This really, really does not work with weapon proficiency. You can't roleplay using a falchion when you're not proficient in falchions.

Actually you can. Here's an example: I grew up with a mother who played acoustic guitar. I was quite familiar with it and fond of it. But I didn't actually learn how to play guitar myself until later. My familiarity and fondness for guitar -- part of my upbringing -- didn't actualize in my ability to wield a guitar musically until years later when I spent time practicing to do so.

A character can begin at first level with a falchion they practice with in their spare time. Or they can express their love of the falchion, and speak fondly of great performers or warriors who demonstrated great skill with it. They can praise it to others as a superior weapon or lament that they neglected practicing it when younger. Or narrate tales of family derring do with a falchion. Or many other options.

And eventually and unsurprisingly they can later master what they admire.

I don't understand how you can't grasp the concept that being unable to use the weapon you envision your character using at level one is deeply unsatisfying. This is the most utterly basic piece of the puzzle for putting together a weapon-based character and half-orcs are denied it.


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You can use the weapon you love at level 1. You take a -2 untrained penalty for it. But you can use it.


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Joe Mucchiello wrote:
You can use the weapon you love at level 1. You take a -2 untrained penalty for it. But you can use it.

So two people love the Dwarven Waraxe but have no acumen for them, but both insist on using them whenever possible- they go on the same adventures together and (somehow) make it to level 5, one of them becomes proficient because they are a dwarf and the other does not because they are not a dwarf. Why?


To be fair, there are other ways to be proficient with those weapons than ancestry feats. Fighters are expert in all martial weapons and trained in all exotic weapons, and weapon proficiency is a feat. Falchions are a martial weapon.

There is some more bad news however, If the cultural weapon is uncommon you need the weapon familiarity feat to purchase it. So any half orc can buy a falchion, but an Elf fighter that grew up among other elves can't start with an elven curve blade unless they take weapon familiarity.


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to be fair:
\
90% of ancestral feats need to be given for free at level 1, and then have actual, meaningful, flavorful, exciting and useful, ancestral feats printed.

1st edition PF feats with racial prerequisites are a very good place to look for what an ancestral feat should look like. 1st edition BASE RACE FEATURES are not.

again, excellent system, subpar execution.


shroudb wrote:

1st edition PF feats with racial prerequisites are a very good place to look for what an ancestral feat should look like. 1st edition BASE RACE FEATURES are not.

again, excellent system, subpar execution.

Some "1st Edition BASE RACE FEATURES" were incredibly overboard when it comes to how many goodies they gave out for free - dwarves come immediately to mind - while many also were not thrilled with the in-baked cultural aspects of the races. So a healthy balance between what they have in PF1 and PF2 should do the trick. That and actually restoring Half-Elves and Half-Orcs to proper ancestries.


I think I might have to take Adopted Ancestry (Human) on all my non-human chaaracters.


Milo v3 wrote:
I think I might have to take Adopted Ancestry (Human) on all my non-human chaaracters.

Since "level 1 class feats" appear to be generally better than ancestry feats, this might become an issue, I agree. Like what Paladin wouldn't like to have all three of their first level class feats?

Scarab Sages

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They should give out more ancestry feats at 1st level (2 to 3) and maybe 3 to 4 for humans. Especially the one that are more biological. Such as dwarf resistance to poison, etc.

Or maybe do something back in the 2E AD&D Powers And Skills:

Each race and class had a number of set point to buy racial or class abilities.

Back then I played a cleric elf that was using two maces and very resistance to negative energy and undead affects. I used my point to get these and other unique abilities and forfeited using points in elf weapons, using a shield, medium and heavy armor.


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Aldarc wrote:
shroudb wrote:

1st edition PF feats with racial prerequisites are a very good place to look for what an ancestral feat should look like. 1st edition BASE RACE FEATURES are not.

again, excellent system, subpar execution.

Some "1st Edition BASE RACE FEATURES" were incredibly overboard when it comes to how many goodies they gave out for free - dwarves come immediately to mind - while many also were not thrilled with the in-baked cultural aspects of the races. So a healthy balance between what they have in PF1 and PF2 should do the trick. That and actually restoring Half-Elves and Half-Orcs to proper ancestries.

funny that you mention that, because Dwarves are the clear winners of ancestries as well.

base class features=/=balance

you could have a flavorful +to saves without being overbearing and wihtout needing to be the master godlike 20lvl lord of the dwarves to actually have it


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Hugolinus wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
bookrat wrote:
A goblin can love fire, and simply hainghe extra fire damage at level 5. A dwarf can have an ancestral hatred and simply not get the +1 until later....
This really, really does not work with weapon proficiency. You can't roleplay using a falchion when you're not proficient in falchions.

Actually you can. Here's an example: I grew up with a mother who played acoustic guitar. I was quite familiar with it and fond of it. But I didn't actually learn how to play guitar myself until later. My familiarity and fondness for guitar -- part of my upbringing -- didn't actualize in my ability to wield a guitar musically until years later when I spent time practicing to do so.

A character can begin at first level with a falchion they practice with in their spare time. Or they can express their love of the falchion, and speak fondly of great performers or warriors who demonstrated great skill with it. They can praise it to others as a superior weapon or lament that they neglected practicing it when younger. Or narrate tales of family derring do with a falchion. Or many other options.

And eventually and unsurprisingly they can later master what they admire.

I thought we disliked locking weapons behind feats in PF1 so why do we want to lock it behind a Feat here?


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Tried to create a pair of characters with my remaining playtesters and this aspect of extreme dilution of ancestry benefits proved to be a dealbreaker for them... they immediately compared what their character had at 1st level, elf and half orc respectively, in PF1 to what they'd currently get and, well, didn't go over well, at all.
the main point of contention for me and for them is that's there's no justification for sprading what were once frontloaded benefits trough all the character levels... specially when getting some of the last racial characteristic at level 17 is more than underwhelming


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
I think I might have to take Adopted Ancestry (Human) on all my non-human chaaracters.
Since "level 1 class feats" appear to be generally better than ancestry feats, this might become an issue, I agree. Like what Paladin wouldn't like to have all three of their first level class feats?

I wasn't saying that as a balance statement, I was saying that because human seems to have the only ancestry feats that don't force you to play characters obsessed with your ancestral culture.


Philippe Perreault wrote:

It gets even more weird when you consider retraining during downtime.

"I used to be able to see clearly in the dark but now I can't.
But those orcs won't stand a chance now!"

I thought this was going to be a problem when frequent retraining first appeared in D&D 4E, but in my actual experience, it never was: if something is an important part of your character, you just wouldn't retrain it away.


I just can't get over the "I get more elfie" as I increase in level at all. I don't see how that works at all in the game world.


you could do this instead of feats at 1st level,5th level, 9th level, 13th level,and 17th level.

you have at 1st
1 Heritage feat
4 others that are not heritage

so for ex. a dwarf would have
ANCIENT’S BLOOD -heritage
GIANT BANE
ANCESTRAL HATRED
WEAPON CUNNING (DWARF)
WEAPON FAMILIARITY (DWARF)


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It comes down to some things are learned, some things are genetic. If it is genetic, ie darkvision, immune to sleep, resistance to poison, you should just have it. If it learned, racism, racial weapons, able to better fight giants, then it can be an option and learned later in life. Pretty simple if you ask me


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It's a terrible mechanic. Leveling up in your ancestry is just kind of a bad idea. It doesn't make sense. Having core parts of each ancestry broken into feats makes them no longer part of a shared ancestral identity, which I don't like. The fact that some elves have exceptional hearing while others have gained experience from a long life seems like a false dichotomy. Elves should have both.

That said, in execution most of the bonuses are small enough that the difference between an elf with keen hearing and one that doesn't isn't something you see in the mechanics. Its more like a slightly better chance than other people to detect unseen enemies in a cone. So...in some ways it doesn't seem to matter at all? Like, if you want to be the elf with Legolas eyes, put your +'s in Wis. That's the only real way to get 'keen hearing' for real. But it feels awful that that's the only way to do it, like you're having to make sacrifices with how you spend your points to make up for shortcomings in how the ancestry writeup is put together. Really, if elves actually do have big ears that help them hear even the tiniest whisper of sound--then give them Alertness not weird sonar, because that's what keen hearing would give you. And give it to all elves, not just some.

If I had my druthers, I'd do for classes what gets done to ancestries and vice versa. You pick a fighter, you get a list of feats that represent fighter like things: Heavy armor proficiency, Proficiency with all kinds of weapons, attacks of opportunity, and cherry pick the most iconic Fighter Feats. Have the player pick four. Now all of a sudden you have a sprinting fighter who moves fast and does opportunity attacks but only wears medium armor and shields and only uses simple weapons and is basically a Greek hoplite. You start getting variety. Maybe an archer commander type fighter. Same with all the classes. I'd make up a big list of feats that make up what that class COULD be. Rogues are stealth, disguises, disarming traps, unlocking doors and chests, sneak attacking, climbing walls, beguiling enemies with awesome lies. Pick four.

For me that'd be a much more useful way to express my individuality with my characters. For races I'd have it be very much like the way classes are now: these are the four things that are part of your race, maybe make a choice or two about how they manifest specifically with your character, but for the most part you get all of them.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Phantasmist wrote:
the majority of ancestry feats should be upfront at level 1 instead of spread out over 20 levels, I like to think we all deep down inside know this, but for some reason the folks making the game had a moment and simply forgot that it would be sensible to do so.

Agreed, while I *like* that it makes alternate racial traits much more intuitive to implement than P1's method of swapping things in and out, it would be nice to have better continuity with accepted lore for such traditional fantasy mainstays like elves and dwarves. The only way to do this as the ancestry feats are written would necessitate allowing multiple picks at 1st level.

For instance, when I look at the elf, it feels like Keen Hearing is of similar flavor to Keen Senses, Unwavering Mien to the sleep portion of Elven Immunities, Forlorn to the enchantment portion of Elven Immunities, Otherworldly Magic to Elven Magic, and Weapon Familiarity to the 1E trait of the same name.

As another example, half-orcs having the option to suddenly develop the ability to see-in-the-dark at 5th level just feels... bizarre. To me, this strengthens my feeling that characters should have access to more than 1 ancestry feat at first level, and perhaps that some feats should only be available at 1st level (much like heritage feats).

Now I realize that many of the 2E versions seem to be more powerful than their 1E counterparts, but it still feels like it dilutes the uniqueness of each ancestry too much having to select only a single one of those instead of a suite. Were these the final rules rather than a playtest, I would probably houserule that players could select 3 or 4 at first level.

That said, it makes me wonder if the current approach is Paizo's answer to allowing GMs some authority over the basic power level of their game.

How so?

Well remember in 3.5 and P1 how the method of setting the game's power level revolved around how big of a point-buy players were allowed? What if the small number of Ancestry and Class feats granted at first level is actually the equivalent mechanism for P2?

For instance, instead of screwing up the underlying math that balances everything the way a 25 or higher point buy often did, perhaps the designers intend for the number of feat selections allowed at first level to govern this.

Example:

  • Low Fantasy = 1 Ancestry Feat & 1 Class Feat @ 1st
  • High Fantasy = 2 Ancestry, 2 Class @ 1st
  • Epic Fantasy = 3 Ancestry, 3 Class @ 1st
  • Superheroes = 4 Ancestry, 4 Class @ 1st level

Near as I can tell, this wouldn't throw as much of a wrench into the inner-workings of the math the same as elevated ability modifiers. Instead, it would simply increase the complexity of the game since GMs and players would have to manage characters with more tools at their disposal.

IMO, this might be a viable way of letting some groups enjoy a simpler, more 5E-like experience, while letting others enjoy the "fantasy superhero" experience we've become accustomed to in P1... All without making the stats of NPCs and monsters in APs and Bestiaries as meaningless as they've often felt [to me] when using 25+ point buy PCs in a published adventure.

Thoughts?


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I think that the Ancestries need some work, as well.

What I am unsure of, though, is whether the bare-bones nature is a deliberate choice of the playtest (to reduce the variation from a starting character's "race"). If the ancestries are something that will be expanded (such as by giving more than a single Ancestry feat at 1st level and additional, higher-level Ancestry feats) before the actual PF2 release, there does seem to be a lot of potential here.

That might be something for a more targeted playtest, though.


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Kodyboy wrote:
I find this concept dumb as well. Just give every class three racial feats/traits at first level.

I really do love this idea as a solution. The modularity introduced in 2E is winning me over wholeheartedly, but the ancestry feats have been feeling lackluster. I built my first 2E character for a playtest campaign today, and while building (gnome) I simply couldn't decide which Ancestry feat to pick.

The feats themselves feel.... underpowered, or underwhelming? While I haven't perused the other ancestries as deeply as Gnome, it would have been much more fun to choose 3 or so out of the feats (with maybe one at lvl 5 and one at lvl 10 after?). I'll echo the other sentiments that it feels ...odd to chop up so much of what is loved about each race to dole out over 17 levels.


MerlinCross wrote:
Slurmalyst wrote:

I think the simple explanation is that a race represents having certain innate talents, but talent is nothing without training (i.e. experience). Just as being an Olympian requires both a certain level of talents/genetics and a lot of training. You might have the world's greatest swimmer's body, but if you seldom jump in a pool, it doesn't count for much.

Dwarves are taught to hate giants, and taught stories about the weaknesses of giants their whole lives, but to a growing dwarf, those are just stories. Once the dwarf starts to learn about the hack and slash of combat, and begins to see how justified those hatreds are, he finally understands the importance of those lessons and how they can be applied to the chaotic hack and slash of combat.

Many half-orcs have low-light vision, but developing this into darkvision is harder for them than pure-blooded orcs. It takes training, practice, focus, and discipline, and when they're among ordinary folk, they don't really feel the need to develop it. Only once they start adventuring do they appreciate how truly dark and full of terrors the night can be and find it within themselves to develop this latent talent.

My dwarf was a soldier that was stationed at an outpost to guard against giants which he did for several years. However in one brutal attack, the outpost was wiped out and the dwarf fled in self shame. Now he joins ups with an adventuring band.

With this story I should have 1 of two things. The trait that gives a bonus vs Giants, or thanks to PF2, I should be level 5.

And that's the thing about a Roleplaying game as bookrat put it. If you can make up a background explaining why you don't have it, you can also make up a background to say why you have it. I know we're stuck with the whole level thing but level 1s shouldn't be mewling kittens that just picked up the sword or spell book last week.

But it isn't supposed to be a background. It's supposed to be ancestral. The story about your dwarf is nice, but why would it only work for dwarves?


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I see a problem with the way ancestries are designed right now, however I think it is a cool idea to make the ancestries have some mid/lategame impact/changes.

I think overall the identity is lost with the current system which is a problem. Especially on genetic traits but also with things like weapon familiarity (with a higher emphasize on dwarfs/elves and other longliving species). Like if someone starts to go on an adventure when he is 50 years or older there should be enough room for practice in some shared cultural items.

What I like is that there is some diversity among the ancestries so not every Elf is the same, which is especially nice for half/elves/orcs where you can decide how elven/orcish you want to be.

So I would like to propose a negative selection lets say you have 4 ancestry feats, choose 3. And then include the option to buff those choices up at higher levels.


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Scarlette wrote:
It comes down to some things are learned, some things are genetic. If it is genetic, ie darkvision, immune to sleep, resistance to poison, you should just have it. If it learned, racism, racial weapons, able to better fight giants, then it can be an option and learned later in life. Pretty simple if you ask me

In total agreement with this. Genetics shouldn't be "acquired" as you level. Cats don't grow a tail and whiskers as they age. It makes no sense. If they wanted to set up alternatives to how races thrive this was accomplished in 1e with many options you could pick and choose while losing the standards.

It would make more sense to set up the basic race templates, toss in a few options if you wanted to adjust your character's race to a different climate (elves with darkvision or nomad dwarves that never lived under mountains and stone cunning) then set up an Ancestry/Background guide that all races could come to as they develop, like an Adventurer's path. You want a Demon-hating elf? start from here. Want a dwarf who's love of magic and all things that go boom? Take this path. One simple guide that all can borrow from to spice up the character.

This is just me spitballing an idea but it would not take away from the Genetic portion of the race and give players an option to pursue as they create their character.


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Even some biological things can be learned and grown. The great Pearl Divers in the Pacific have some minor ability to hold their breaths longer than most humans, but a lot of it is practicing and pushing themselves.

Even things like Darkvision I can see as only coming on-line later on in your life. Baby's aren't born with object permanence, but it's a biological thing due to brain juju, and that's one of the traits that separates homo sapiens from many other animals (aka: a racial feature).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
DFAnton wrote:

I guess I should be less harsh about it. You can, but it will almost necessarily always take the form of "I know all this but neglected it so now I have to actually spend time on it."

"You can't" is better suited to the biological feats, which simply should not exist.

Biological feats make sense if you must take them at level 1. Otherwise, I agree that they don't make sense.


Cheapy wrote:
Even some biological things can be learned and grown. The great Pearl Divers in the Pacific have some minor ability to hold their breaths longer than most humans, but a lot of it is practicing and pushing themselves.

It reminds me more of a Background Feat or a General Feat. It could perhaps be a Class Feat if Pearl Diver was a class.


extinct_fizz wrote:
The feats themselves feel.... underpowered, or underwhelming? While I haven't perused the other ancestries as deeply as Gnome, it would have been much more fun to choose 3 or so out of the feats (with maybe one at lvl 5 and one at lvl 10 after?). I'll echo the other sentiments that it feels ...odd to chop up so much of what is loved about each race to dole out over 17 levels.

This. So much this.


Carmeilliken wrote:

Genetics shouldn't be "acquired" as you level. Cats don't grow a tail and whiskers as they age. It makes no sense. If they wanted to set up alternatives to how races thrive this was accomplished in 1e with many options you could pick and choose while losing the standards.

It would make more sense to set up the basic race templates, toss in a few options if you wanted to adjust your character's race to a different climate (elves with darkvision or nomad dwarves that never lived under mountains and stone cunning) then set up an Ancestry/Background guide that all races could come to as they develop, like an Adventurer's path. You want a Demon-hating elf? start from here. Want a dwarf who's love of magic and all things that go boom? Take this path. One simple guide that all can borrow from to spice up the character.

This too.


For things like combat training against a particular foe or skill with a bunch of weapons the rationale is easy: you never received the associated training.

The rationale for you receiving it at later levels on the other hand...is less so. Unless you also spent downtime like Milo suggests, returning to you people to become more Ancestry-y.

Like multi classing into wizard


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Philippe Perreault wrote:

It gets even more weird when you consider retraining during downtime.

"I used to be able to see clearly in the dark but now I can't.
But those orcs won't stand a chance now!"

To be fair ALL retraining doesn't make any sense. People don't just spend a week forgetting how to do one thing and learning how to do another in its place. Memory doesn't really work like that.


maybe all characters are adolescences and we don't actually become adults until level 17. People have been wanting to play as children for awhile, now it's the default.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Joe Mucchiello wrote:
You can use the weapon you love at level 1. You take a -2 untrained penalty for it. But you can use it.
So two people love the Dwarven Waraxe but have no acumen for them, but both insist on using them whenever possible- they go on the same adventures together and (somehow) make it to level 5, one of them becomes proficient because they are a dwarf and the other does not because they are not a dwarf. Why?

Two people love the saxophone. They play them for 5 years constantly. One of them is just better than the other. Why? Because he's just better than the other guy. It happens. Just because you practice, practice, practice does not guarantee you a day in Carnegie Hall.

And to your example, maybe at 10th, that other guy with finally "get it".


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I don't think this is hard to justify at all. The vast majority of the non-heritage ancestry feats are really just the result of training, and you can be become better trained in things you had some degree of training in as a child, or even just a loose familiarity with back then. Developing a natural talent later in life is hardly counter-intuitive.

It is obvious that you can learn more about stonework, or better at tinkering with junk, or sneaking. Learning to better tap into magic inherent to your blood as you level up (Otherwordly Magic/Fist World Magic) is the entire basis for the sorcerer class. Similarly, getting better with weapons as you level is the basis of the fighter class. I don't see why becoming a master in a particular group of weapons like swords is less weird than learning how to use the ancestral weapons of your people.

Monks learn to be more nimble, so why can't elves? Do you have your monk go back to the monastery every time they level up and gain a new feat or ki power? If not, I don't see why you really need your dwarf to travel home to learn how to Boulder Roll.

Stuff like Hardy and Eat Anything can be developed as well. You can build up tolerances to harmful substances. "I've built up an immunity to iocane powder" and so on. Heck, it doesn't have to be anything that deliberate. A dwarf or goblin can begin to lean into their sterotypes for excessive drinking or eating respectively to get better at shaking off various forms of toxins.

Even the Hatred type stuff can be justified as learning specific techniques to combat orcs/goblins/demons/whatever. If you don't like that, well, learning to lean into hatred and anger is how the barbarian gets their power. Or you can can just say the character did whatever a Ranger did to get better at fighting a particular favored enemy.

The weirdest I think it gets is for stuff like Dark Vision, but I don't think "honing the senses" as you level is any weirder than lots of other stuff that happens as you level up. It also isn't new. PF1 had lots of racial feats which let you gain scent or improved your dark vision. Actually, racial feats in PF1 let you do lots of stuff that was wackier than this as you leveled up, like develop new natural weapons, improve your natural armor, or grow freaking wings.

Other fun stuff from PF1 racial feats which is literally the same as PF2: includes expanding racial hatred options for gnomes and dwarves. Elves being able to better ignore difficult terrain. Learning a new cantrip (only 3 times per day.) Become better at using a certain set of weapons. Being able to become better at recovering from poison, or being able to eat a rougher range of food and resist poison in the first place.I think I could probably find a racial feat equivalent of any PF2 ancestry feat, to be honest.

Arachnofiend wrote:
Hugolinus wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
bookrat wrote:
A goblin can love fire, and simply hainghe extra fire damage at level 5. A dwarf can have an ancestral hatred and simply not get the +1 until later....
This really, really does not work with weapon proficiency. You can't roleplay using a falchion when you're not proficient in falchions.

Actually you can. Here's an example: I grew up with a mother who played acoustic guitar. I was quite familiar with it and fond of it. But I didn't actually learn how to play guitar myself until later. My familiarity and fondness for guitar -- part of my upbringing -- didn't actualize in my ability to wield a guitar musically until years later when I spent time practicing to do so.

A character can begin at first level with a falchion they practice with in their spare time. Or they can express their love of the falchion, and speak fondly of great performers or warriors who demonstrated great skill with it. They can praise it to others as a superior weapon or lament that they neglected practicing it when younger. Or narrate tales of family derring do with a falchion. Or many other options.

And eventually and unsurprisingly they can later master what they admire.

I don't understand how you can't grasp the concept that being unable to use the weapon you envision your character using at level one is deeply unsatisfying. This is the most utterly basic piece of the puzzle for putting together a weapon-based character and half-orcs are denied it.

This though, this I totally get. And it is why I advocate for getting 2 ancestry feats at 1st level. (Probably one heritage, and one not.) But I don't think this is a problem with ancestry feats as a concept.


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Joe Mucchiello wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Joe Mucchiello wrote:
You can use the weapon you love at level 1. You take a -2 untrained penalty for it. But you can use it.
So two people love the Dwarven Waraxe but have no acumen for them, but both insist on using them whenever possible- they go on the same adventures together and (somehow) make it to level 5, one of them becomes proficient because they are a dwarf and the other does not because they are not a dwarf. Why?

Two people love the saxophone. They play them for 5 years constantly. One of them is just better than the other. Why? Because he's just better than the other guy. It happens. Just because you practice, practice, practice does not guarantee you a day in Carnegie Hall.

And to your example, maybe at 10th, that other guy with finally "get it".

To add to this, I actually feel like dwarven weaponry is a pretty good example of stuff that a specific ancestry would have an edge with. Dwarves are pretty different physiologically from humans, especially when you look at things like reach and center of gravity. I think certain weapons would be easier for them to leverage successfully. I recall a scene in "Men at Arms" by Terry Pratchett where a dwarf city guard is being reamed out for being bat at using the standard issue longsword in the training yard, and he gets frustrated and retrieves his family axe. The training dummy is rapidly reduced to splinters.

I feel like the Weapon Familiarity feats are a pretty good demonstration of this. Dwarves without general martial proficiency can learn to use an axe, hammer, or pick easier than other weapons. And if you do have martial weapon training you can use the dwarfiest weapons of all, honed most specifically to the body and proclivities of a trained dwarf warrior.


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I thought the point of the ancestry feats was mostly to separate out the cultural aspects that logically not every member of a given race would have, and also to let you hone in on and improve your racial traits through training. So each ancestry / race would still biologically express a lot of what was intrinsic to that race, but you could then get /better/ at what you wanted to focus on over time. Much like the racial feats from PF1 but with incentive to actually take them because they wouldn't be competing with all the other general feats you could take instead. I was excited for that.

In practice, it's so... Meh. As others have noted, the implementation here is that you just spend your whole career becoming a dwarf, instead of becoming a dwarfier dwarf. What even happened?

There also aren't any high level ancestry feats. That's disappointing too.

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