Heritage feats are problematic.


Ancestries & Backgrounds

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Let me demonstrate with goblins.

So, goblins have two Heritage feats. One gives them sharp pointy teeth, the other one makes their skin thick.

This means, when you meet a goblin in the wild, it will either have sharp teeth, fire retardant skin, or neither. You will never find one with both features. That is some weird genetics.

Some gnomes have keen sense of smell and other just pretend.
Elves ditto but for hearing.
Halfling ditto for eyesight.

And where is the general feat that allows you to take another heretage feat at first level.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16, 2010 Top 4

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Joe Mucchiello wrote:
And where is the general feat that allows you to take another heretage feat at first level.

Page 163:

ANCESTRAL PARAGON FEAT 1
Whether instinctively, through study, or through a mystic sense, you feel a deeper connection to your ancestry than most of those who share that ancestry. You gain a level-1 ancestry feat.


This actually allows for more diverse PCs and you get a total of five over your adventuring career. Have you never met an individual with color blindness who had developed an uncanny attention for detail to compensate? Or met a guy who was ridiculously strong, able to curl the back end of a truck? This kind of genetic diversity exists.

That being said, monsters and other NPCs aren't built using the same rules as PCs are.


I mean, some humans are Grace Jones and other humans are Zelda Rubinstein, so "all goblins you meet don't have the same physical traits" isn't that weird. Frankly, it'd be weirder if they were all the same.


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Alexander MacLeod wrote:
Joe Mucchiello wrote:
And where is the general feat that allows you to take another heretage feat at first level.

Page 163:

ANCESTRAL PARAGON FEAT 1
Whether instinctively, through study, or through a mystic sense, you feel a deeper connection to your ancestry than most of those who share that ancestry. You gain a level-1 ancestry feat.

Except that you can not take a /Heritage/ feat after the first level, and general feats happen at the 3rd level. So, by RAW, the Ancestral Paragon won't grant you the second heritage feat.


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The feat over rides the general rule.


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Tursic wrote:

The feat over rides the general rule.

Does it say that in the book?


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Is it just me or is the decision as to which Feats were assigned the Heritage tag seem a bit arbitrary?


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I think it does. Page 299 outlines that specific rules Override general rules. Feats offer specific mechanics (rules) which sometimes allow you to do things not accounted for in the general rules, or that explicitly contradict general rules. So the Ancestral Paragon feat taken at 3rd level or above can still grant a heritage feat.

Dark Archive

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Tursic wrote:

The feat over rides the general rule.

Except you can't take the Ancestral Paragon feat until 3rd level.

Heritage feats can only be taken at 1st level.

Ancestral Paragon allows you to take a level-1 ancestry feat at, at minimum, 3rd level.
It does not include wording that enables you to count as a 1st level character. You gain a feat that is level-1.

So no, the feat does not override a general rule, or if it is meant to, the wording of it does not.


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Heritage feats should be something that changes what you are at a base level.
Any Goblin could learn to chomp things better with the teeth they *all* have, but you can't (short of a Reincarnation) have a Human that decides one day "I'm gonna be part Orc."

Edit: Another example would be Elves and "I can hear a bit good I guess."
That's not a Heritage feat type of change.
What IS a Heritage feat would be something like Aquatic Elves; you've got gills and can breath under water.


I'd be pretty happy if characters got a general feat and possibly another ancestry feat at level one.

Right now I'm trying to build a barbarian, and I'm trying to decide if I want to be proficient with shields from the get-go or if I want to be a half-orc. I can't do both, and I won't be playing the character again until level 9 so I can't just wait and get a shield later . . . one part of the character concept or the other has got to give.


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"Ok Graghr, do you feel like a shield is your thing, or do you feel like maybe someone somewhere in your lineage was perhaps, I dunno...AN ORC?!?"

Exo-Guardians

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Wolventad wrote:
Tursic wrote:

The feat over rides the general rule.

Except you can't take the Ancestral Paragon feat until 3rd level.

Heritage feats can only be taken at 1st level.

Ancestral Paragon allows you to take a level-1 ancestry feat at, at minimum, 3rd level.
It does not include wording that enables you to count as a 1st level character. You gain a feat that is level-1.

So no, the feat does not override a general rule, or if it is meant to, the wording of it does not.

The book states that Specifics override general rules, thus the Feat does in fact override the no Heritage Feats beyond level one rule.

The Specific > General concept has existed in Pathfinder, and every edition of D&D pretty much since AD&D 2e as far as I've found.

And if you wonder where I found it in the playtest doc, it's literally in the sections about playing the game, right after most of the fun crunchy class stuff.


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Specific>General rule is correct, but the Specific is on Heritage feats:

Heritage Feats (page 23) wrote:
Ancestry feats that have the heritage trait are feats that your character can select only at 1st level. Unlike with other feats, you cannot retrain your character to learn a heritage feat or exchange a heritage feat for one that was selected at 1st level. Your character can never have more than one heritage feat.

The specifics of Ancestral Paragon states that you gain a level-1 ancestry feat.

The specifics of Heritage Feats state that Heritage feats can only be selected at 1st level.

It's probably a point of debate, but for me the text of Heritage Feats is more specific than the text of Ancestral Paragon.


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Ancestral Paragon gives you a feat but does not say you can avoid is perequisites. No conflict and no heritage feat :)


Did anyone have a problem with the advanced race guide options? I never had anyone in my groups think it was wierd and often they would use them to their advantage all the time.

Heritage feats are just like these and maybe you never liked those either but even if heritage feats were limited to half-elf and half-orc and the like ancestry feats have the same problem that heritage feats have, not all goblins can take the goblin get all the feats and one might not take something till level 10 that you would have taken at level 1.

And to the whole ancestral paragon feat it is just trying to avoid you taking a feat you can't take till level 5.


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Ancestral Paragon only grants you access to an ancestry feat, it contains no language over-writing the heritage limitation, it doesn't mention heritage at all.


This discussion is pointless. The charactercreation-system doesn't apply to NPC's. And not having access to everything for playercharacters is obviously a balancing tool.


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Asuet wrote:
This discussion is pointless. The charactercreation-system doesn't apply to NPC's. And not having access to everything for playercharacters is obviously a balancing tool.

This suggests that adventurers are all deficient. If you're a goblin and were born with good teeth, a thick skin and a robust tummy it's expected that you stay at home and never even think about being an adventurer. However, that goblin over there, with the lazy eye, drooling on himself, now that's adventurer material.

I understand wanting diversity, but it seems kind of opposite that being an adventurer is only a career choice for the weakest least able members of any given race.

It probably makes more sense to get most if not all of your ancestry feats up front at 1st level and the only way to get extra is by taking a feat like ancestral paragon.


I wouldn't mind ancestry feats so much if the power disparity between them was so obvious. You have one or two really good ones per race (usually) and the rest are garbo.

Same with skill feats.

So much book space wasted on things hardly anybody is going to be excited to take.

That was a big problem in 1E and it's already a big problem with 2E, even moreso because a lot of the spells are now boring/nerfed too.


Sparksfanboy wrote:

I wouldn't mind ancestry feats so much if the power disparity between them was so obvious. You have one or two really good ones per race (usually) and the rest are garbo.

Same with skill feats.

So much book space wasted on things hardly anybody is going to be excited to take.

That was a big problem in 1E and it's already a big problem with 2E, even moreso because a lot of the spells are now boring/nerfed too.

Welcome to the Paizo ten to one. My biggest issue with this whole company!

Here are ten, pre-nerfed, garbage options that no one will take so we don't have to playtest it, think about it, or worry that someone is going to do something surprising with it.

Here's one option that is CLEARLY better than previous options. Thanks for buying our books!

I don't know what I expected. I don't know who these options are for. LUCKILY! In this edition, an unoptimized character is only one point behind an optimized one.

Want to be a dwarven bard? How about a halfling barbarian? Not a problem, they're all viable because we didn't give anyone anything that's too good.

This. This I don't hate.

Honestly, there's nothing I hate as of yet. Am I disappointed? Oh yeah, yeah. Locking a race behind a series of feats I probably won't take? That needs to be better. I'm not interested in playtesting ANY of the races other than human. Races need a favored class or two that they can take class feats in place of racial feats.

And background feats. Here is a perfect example of the 10 to 1. Yes, it is fun to make a character that's from the circus. It shouldn't be every character every time.


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Shane LeRose wrote:


And background feats. Here is a perfect example of the 10 to 1. Yes, it is fun to make a character that's from the circus. It shouldn't be every character every time.

Urm...whut? Every Background feat gets exactly the same: One fixed Ability Boost, one free Ability Boost, one Skill feat and one Lore Skill

Which means every GM can make up the Background Feats for their homebrew campaign on the fly, which is great. That is actually the single one thing in PF2 that stands out as better than PF1

Now of course you could say that some Skill Feats are better than others and you would be right, but...Steady Balance seems far from the best lowlevel Skill Feat in tthe repertoir so far

Edit: Why am I defending PF2?


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I believe this to have already been settled, but to the OP (John Mucchiello) I believe dragonhunterq is spot on. Here's all the pertaining text (any emphasis placed is mine):

Heritage Feat, page 23 wrote:
Ancestry feats that have the heritage trait are feats that your character can select only at 1st level ... Your character can never have more than one heritage feat.
Ancestral Paragon, page 163 wrote:
Whether instinctively, through study, or through a mystic sense, you feel a deeper connection to your ancestry than most of those who share that ancestry. You gain a level-1 ancestry feat.

Given the language of Ancestral Paragon, I do not believe this feat to affect Heritage Feats whatsoever. The specific-overrides-general section (under the Game Conventions heading on page 299) does not apply to Ancestry Feats with the Heritage tag.

Perhaps I've just been spoiled all these years, but it is disappointing that races (ancestries now) no longer receive a blanket of benefits. To use Dwarves as an example, you have to choose between things like Hardy, Stonecunning and Weapon Familiarity at 1st-Level as opposed to just receiving those benefits for simply being a dwarf. Perhaps, when in play, it is more rewarding to feel like you have customized your dwarf with these options or perhaps I have played 3.X and Pathfinder for so long now that anything less than all the options feels lackluster.

Lastly, to echo Crayon, the Heritage tag on some of these feats do seem slightly arbitrary.

Apologies if I'm going off-topic here.

Cheers!

- D.B.


Heritage feats should only represent an expression of Biology. I don't think it has been applied consistently to feats across Ancestries.

It's disappointing that the options are a mix of what was once race features and race traits. What should be a common phenotypical expression for a given race is now made a niche. I'd appreciate more abilities from Ancestry to be front loaded. Subsequent Ancestry feats should be about becoming a paragon of something your race already does, a novel expression of what your race already does that isn't crusical at first level (e.g. Elven longevity should be a feat they take instead of starting having lived a life time) or assimilating into the culture of another race or region.

As ancestry does absorb some of what used to be traits, I imagine generic NPC's won't possess any of the features represented by Ancestry feats.

I think additional heritage feats for voluntary flaws is better than no trade off.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

Without the heritage feats is a dwarf much different than a human? Does a halfling feel like a halfling?

Each ancestory should have its heritage feats combined and be mandatory at level one - or not be a feat at all and become features of the ancestory like languages and ability boosts. Personally I would keep them as heritage feats so that you can represent subspecies or ethnic groups. Give humans an extra ancestory feat to compensate just like in PF1.


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since GenCon is over, maybe some paizo officals could pop in and explain why they decided to make every Ancestry except humans so extremly bland and what the goal for that design choice was. I'd appreciate a look into that thought process.


Hythlodeus wrote:
since GenCon is over, maybe some paizo officals could pop in and explain why they decided to make every Ancestry except humans so extremly bland and what the goal for that design choice was. I'd appreciate a look into that thought process.

1.) The ancestries don't strike me as bland. I enjoy the package of abilities and feat-driven systems.

2.) I still think that they could be improved.

You can be critical without implying that the devs intentionally made subpar or uninteresting options.


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Saedar wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
since GenCon is over, maybe some paizo officals could pop in and explain why they decided to make every Ancestry except humans so extremly bland and what the goal for that design choice was. I'd appreciate a look into that thought process.
1.) The ancestries don't strike me as bland. [...]without implying that the devs intentionally

Really? They stripped the races 'unintentionally' of everything that made them interesting? sorry, it is hard to believe that experienced devs don't follow a design goal with that, because the other option would be sheer incompetence, which I don't think is true.

And the little bit that's left of the ancestry when you start out is still not bland enough for you? they are a little more than numbers on the paper without at least two or three ancestry feats that push them back to where they were in PF1


Hythlodeus wrote:
they are a little more than numbers on the paper without at least two or three ancestry feats that push them back to where they were in PF1

I think the main problem here is that people feel something has been taken away from them. Which is a fair point. From my perspective I really like the way they balanced the races. You could argue that some races have better options for feats than others but that strikes me as a minor issue. I feel they all have their own flair.

If you feel that only game mechanics can make a race interesting and not bland then I highly recommend using roleplay to make the difference. Neither sleep immunity nor meditation make an elf what she is. It's the player who makes her what she is.


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yeh, using roleplay. what a genius idea, why didn't I think of that? /sarcasm


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Asuet wrote:
If you feel that only game mechanics can make a race interesting and not bland then I highly recommend using roleplay to make the difference.

We're talking real, physical differences though. You roleplay that you are good at resisting poison? See in the dark? Move faster? Hear better? That you can speak to animals? Have a bite attack? Roleplay only goes so far and doesn't cover these kind of abilities.

Hythlodeus wrote:
yeh, using roleplay. what a genius idea, why didn't I think of that? /sarcasm

Nothing says 'roleplaying' like stumbling around in the dark for a 1/2 orc before 5th...

'Yep, I can SURE see in the dark like other 1/2 orcs...' *crash* :P


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MER-c wrote:
The book states that Specifics override general rules, thus the Feat does in fact override the no Heritage Feats beyond level one rule.

Ancestral Paragon let's you gain a level-1 ancestry feat. It does not, however, allow you to gain a level-1 ancestry feat for which you do not meet the prerequisites. Heritage feats have the prerequisite that they are taken at (character) level 1. If Ancestral Paragon overwrote that, then it would also allow you to take a level-1 ancestry feat from another ancestry.


LordKailas wrote:
Asuet wrote:
This discussion is pointless. The charactercreation-system doesn't apply to NPC's. And not having access to everything for playercharacters is obviously a balancing tool.

This suggests that adventurers are all deficient. If you're a goblin and were born with good teeth, a thick skin and a robust tummy it's expected that you stay at home and never even think about being an adventurer. However, that goblin over there, with the lazy eye, drooling on himself, now that's adventurer material.

I understand wanting diversity, but it seems kind of opposite that being an adventurer is only a career choice for the weakest least able members of any given race.

It probably makes more sense to get most if not all of your ancestry feats up front at 1st level and the only way to get extra is by taking a feat like ancestral paragon.

I don't know, it makes sense in a way:PCs have always been characterized as weirdoes and misfits and not being able to hold down a steady job is as good an explanation for why characters go around fighting monsters than a good percentage of players' backstories.


graystone wrote:
Asuet wrote:
If you feel that only game mechanics can make a race interesting and not bland then I highly recommend using roleplay to make the difference.

We're talking real, physical differences though. You roleplay that you are good at resisting poison? See in the dark? Move faster? Hear better? That you can speak to animals? Have a bite attack? Roleplay only goes so far and doesn't cover these kind of abilities.

Hythlodeus wrote:
yeh, using roleplay. what a genius idea, why didn't I think of that? /sarcasm

Nothing says 'roleplaying' like stumbling around in the dark for a 1/2 orc before 5th...

'Yep, I can SURE see in the dark like other 1/2 orcs...' *crash* :P

Real physical differences are covered by feats with the heritance trait. And you can't get these beyond lvl 1 anyway. The only reason you think it's part of playing a specific race is because you are used to it from older editions. And there people where complaining that some races were just so much better than others because of what they start out with. This edition at least tries to get every raced balanced out. If you are the GM of your campaign just give all elves their old feats from previous editions and deny any future racial feats. Oh wait...that's bland.


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whut? no, you give them their old feats from previous editions and then give them Ancestry feats that make them even better.

and

Quote:
The only reason you think it's part of playing a specific race is because you are used to it from older editions

no. just no. have you ever read genre fiction? or even read the fluff texts PF products?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Reynard-Miri wrote:
Vlorax wrote:
Everyone starts with unarmored defense trained, was already posted in an Errata.
Wait, what? Where is this errata?

Jason Bulman said:

Quote:

Fifth, there are a few pieces of early errata that we need to get up immediately.

All PCs are trained in being unarmored.
Both Alchemists and Druids should be trained in 3 skills (+ Int Mod) each (instead of 2 and 4 respectively).
Alchemists can use Quick Alchemy for any alchemical item in their formula book.


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Asuet wrote:
Real physical differences are covered by feats with the heritance trait.

I have a questions for you. What level does a 1/2 orc gain darkvision again?


graystone wrote:
Asuet wrote:
Real physical differences are covered by feats with the heritance trait.
I have a questions for you. What level does a 1/2 orc gain darkvision again?

Fluffwise you could say that darkvision is the brain adjusting low-light vision to dark environments which has to be trained and since you probably didn't grow up in caves as a half orc you have to get some experience before you actually get access to that.

What people need to understand is that ancestries are a balancing tool. I agree though that the wording for the darkvision feat is poorly done and that specific feat should be part of the half-orc feat. Like pick 2 of the choices and when you pick low-light vision you can upgrade that as a second choice to darkvision.


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Asuet wrote:
What people need to understand is that ancestries are a balancing tool.

I think everyone understands the theory/reason for it: A lot of us just find it awful jaring and don't find the justifications for it in game very satisfying.

Secondly, I think there are quite a few of us that aren't seeing the balance reasons that the 'races' can't be more front loaded: I'm seeing a lot of suggestions that multiple ancestry feats at 1st are needed.


graystone wrote:


Secondly, I think there are quite a few of us that aren't seeing the balance reasons that the 'races' can't be more front loaded: I'm seeing a lot of suggestions that multiple ancestry feats at 1st are needed.

Your argument is rooted in fluff. Every elf, half-orc, dwarf, etc. should have his heritage traits because that's what makes them what they are. Giving another feat doesn't fix that because people still can distribute their points in other feats than heritage feats. And if you give for all races one extra feat that can only be spent on heritance then you end up with the old system with humans having one more feat. People are already complaining that humans have the best feats. Will be fun to see how the forum goes crazy about that.


Honestly, just omit them from your game. It gets rid of a lot of headaches...

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