Easy ancestry fix, front load more ancestry feats?


Ancestries & Backgrounds

Dark Archive

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It seems like a lot of people feel like we aren't getting enough ancestry features, and that we end up waiting an oddly long time to get things we're used to having as baseline parts of the ancestries.

For most races, the only "Free" benefit is low light vision or dark vision.

No weapon skills, no innate resistances, etc.

Having to choose between Dwarven Poison resistance or Dwarven Magic resistance. Not developing skill with your ancestral weapons until possibly level 9.

Would it fix things if we front loaded something like 3 ancestry feats at 1st level instead of 1?

Then your dwarf could Start with Hardy (poison resist) Weapon Training(Dwarf) and Giant Bane. Or which ever. But at the same time keep the ancestry feats at 5/9/13/17, so you can still grow within your ancestries culture.

I think it would bring us closer to the alternate race features from PF1.


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I like the idea but probably makes first level characters more powerful than Paizo wants. And the ancestry feats don't seem very balanced with some being just plain more powerful than others. Human Extra Class feat for example.

Maybe get two ancestry feats at Level 1

One more at Level 2

Then the normal progression of 5/9/13/17

And make ancestry feats like Human Extra Class Feat a Level 2 ancestry feat.

That will let you
1. get more of your ancestry flavour pretty early in your career

2. Gate some of the more powerful level 1 ancestry feats away from the initial level while not scrapping them entirely

3. Provide two more ancestry feats overall, which I think is fine.

It'll let the half ancestries get a little more of their flavour quicker too.


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I've been saying for a while now that all characters should get two free heritage feats at level 1, in addition to everything else. This would give some much needed flavor and better represent the kind of inherent traits that they are meant to be.

I'd also let characters take one of those heritage feats from another ancestry (with GM approval) in order be a half-race. That way half-races would actually feel like half-races.

Shadow Lodge

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This seems like a general trend with these playtest rules. They are overly stingy with everything.

Scarab Sages

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I agree with this. At least one extra heritage or racial feat would be ok with me. Absolutely no more than three though.

Another thing I'd like to propose (and do a small write up on), is let the ancestries have more inherent traits (ie things like resistances and weapon specializations) but create and allow the racial feats that we select build upon what we have.

Like for the Dwarf for example. Allow us to pump up the Weapon Familiarity feat at later levels that give you more bonuses to your strikes or reduces the multi strike penalty sustained for multiple strike actions. Or Mountain Roots which likewise can either increase the bonus, or allow it to be used in other scenarios. Like shaking off charm or enchantment spells (Stubborn these hardy folk are)

These are amateurish examples admittedly, but I feel this method gives a lot more 'Growth' to the feel of your character as it levels; and also makes your ancestries feel more unique.


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I like the idea. There's one problem I have with it. I think that General training and natural ambition would be too strong when taken together and we end up with humans being the natural default again.
Of course they could just add into those two feats that you can't take them together at level 1 or something. say that the human character only has time to develop one, or some other superficially plausible handwave.

Scarab Sages

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Hmmm, I was gonna say Humans should just get a bonus feat in general (not general the feat type, general meaning ‘in basic practice’), especially since they get feat taxed if playing a half breed. I think if we do that as a badic trait you won’t need thise two feats.

Or perhaps you can just combine the two into one feat and you choose one or the other?


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I would plead for 2 ancestry feats at level 1. With just one, the ancestries fee a little anaemic, especially if you have to spend your one feat on being half-elf or half-orc.


I don't think ancestries need a fix. Getting ancestry feats over the course of the character's career adds an aspect of characterprogression and a even a chance for giving a character more depth.

Examples for this are:
- You play an elf. One of your party members dies. -> pick forlorn next time you get an ancestry feat. And till you get the game mechanic you can already play the character going into that direction.

- You play a gnome. Picking obsessive not from the start allows you to go crazy in character about your new obsession.

- You play a human. You want to pick adapted spell. You can roleplay out where you find that spell, convince someone to teach you, etc.

So many possibilities. I'm really getting annoyed by all the people who want everything from the start. I assume because they are used to it from other systems and older editions. I think the way it is handled in this edition is refreshing and very appealing to me.


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

The absolute bare minimum fix needed would be to grant a single general feat at first level. One of the available general feats is Ancestral Paragon, which lets you take that precious 2nd level ancestry feat that is needed for most ancestry heavy character concepts.


Based on what I have read so far (and I still have a ways to go) I strongly support getting more ancestry feats on the front end as well. MOST of them are already situationally specific and aren't particularly powerful. Also, spending a feat to play a half race feels like it will discourage that choice.

I do realize the play test most likely doesn't include all the ancestry feats that will eventually be released.

I think it is a cool idea, and the easiest fix is to just give a little bit more upfront so your race feels like something more special.


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

Correction to my previous post: I meant to say "2nd ancestry feat", not "2nd level ancestry feat".

Silver Crusade

The Half-Races get to each choose two abilities (from a set of four), and I think they make that choice a balance.

That said, I agree that races seem weaker and less distinct than 1e because of a lack of these feats, and fewer choices.


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you get 5 ancestry feat overall.

They are so bad that you can get all 5 of them at 1st level.

add general feats at lvl 5,9,13,17.

If there is any improvement of a racial feature, make it cost general feat to get. Buff it if needed.


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I think some of the weaker Ancestry feats should be Automatic.

Who is gonna take Stonecunning and Sleep Immunity, really? Just bake them into the race.


I think some specifics need to be improved on ancestry feats. Make them a bit closer in line with each other. Would giving out like 5 of them at 1st be silly yes 2 hmm. maybe..


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Asuet wrote:

I don't think ancestries need a fix. Getting ancestry feats over the course of the character's career adds an aspect of characterprogression and a even a chance for giving a character more depth.

So many possibilities. I'm really getting annoyed by all the people who want everything from the start. I assume because they are used to it from other systems and older editions. I think the way it is handled in this edition is refreshing and very appealing to me.

But a lot of these things aren't exciting to progress into, or might not make a lot of sense for it to be something you suddenly acquire. How did my dwarf suddenly gain stonecunning at 5th level without a teacher? Oh it's because dwarves are just naturally good at that? Well then why couldn't he do that at level 1? Oh because he resists poison, ok. I can see how being resistant to poison would prevent you from having common ancestral knowledge passed on by all the dwarves you knew growing up.

Oh nobody in the party died, so sorry elf, you really shouldn't take forlorn, because it doesn't make sense. Oh you're 300 years old and lots of people have died in your past? Why didn't you have it before? Oh you didn't have it before because you were too busy making sure you could hear things well or you'd never be able to do that in the future, since it's a heritage feat.

Having these things built in to the ancestry may take away from the progression, sure, but that's not the end of the world. There's lots of other things your character can progress in (that are likely to make more sense, like the class features you're learning as you practice them, rather than ancestral knowledge that's suddenly sprung into your head).


It's up to the player to explain how he got a new skill/feat. Just because no one in your party died doesn't mean you can't come up with another good reasoning that makes sense in character to take forlorn.

And let's be fair. Getting stonecunning after lvl 1 makes as much sense as getting a legendary in a lore skill without ever having to make any research in that topic. Again... if you want to make sense of getting the stonecunning feat just come up with something in character. Like your character actually visited a relative in your downtime who teaches you. It works the same way how you have to explain all the other skillincreases that are not based in repetetive use.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I pre-planning our playtest last night, we had some discussion on this. What I thought might be interesting is:

Ancestry feats are divided into nature and nurture (as I suggested elsewhere). Each ancestry is designed with nature feats, such as darkvision, keen senses, claws, wings, etc. You get those. Because they're biological. Perhaps make it so if you sacrifice two, you can pick up one from another ancestry, because you're a cross-breed.

Same thing happens with nurture; a bunch are designed, and you select some, and you can purchase one from another ancestry (because you were adopted, for instance) at the cost of two.

Balance is maintained to avoid cherry-picking, but flexibility both in blood and in behaviour is enabled.

Dark Archive

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Step 1> Add more ancestry feats, with better ones at higher levels.

Step 2> Demote the weakest feats to "Level 0 Feat"

Step 3> At creation you get 2-Level 0 feats and 1-level 1 feat. Keep the Anc. Feat progression (5-9-13-17).

Also, the level 5 racial weapon feats are weak. I think they should grant expert in your racial weapons.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
TiwazBlackhand wrote:

Step 1> Add more ancestry feats, with better ones at higher levels.

Step 2> Demote the weakest feats to "Level 0 Feat"

Step 3> At creation you get 2-Level 0 feats and 1-level 1 feat. Keep the Anc. Feat progression (5-9-13-17).

Also, the level 5 racial weapon feats are weak. I think they should grant expert in your racial weapons.

I like this idea. I haven't gotten to play yet, but when I heard about ancestry traits, I thought we were going to start with the races being basically the same as the races in 1st. With ancestry being a broader term, I was looking forward to feats based on where you grew up, what your parents taught you, stuff like that.


ChibiNyan wrote:

I think some of the weaker Ancestry feats should be Automatic.

Who is gonna take Stonecunning and Sleep Immunity, really? Just bake them into the race.

I feel like Stonecunning is one of those things you absolutely don't want to have automatic, since it doesn't make sense for "My Dwarf grew up in the swamp" or "My Dwarf grew up in a port town on a sandbar" unless you want to say that "Dwarves know about rocks" is somehow genetic.


TiwazBlackhand wrote:
It seems like a lot of people feel like we aren't getting enough ancestry features, and that we end up waiting an oddly long time to get things we're used to having as baseline parts of the ancestries.

I completely agree.

I actually posted about it here.

To make a PF1 Elf in PF2, he would need to be level 13 to get all of the traits he has in PF1.

I'm not sure why they curved the power back. Making players pick ancestral feats actually makes the character creation process longer and harder, not easier.


I like the concept of ancestry feats handling alternate racial (ahem, ancestry) abilities, which is [I presume] a large part of why Paizo shunted off the existing ones into feats. However, the scarcity of ancestry feats does more than just dribble out "starting abilities" over the course of twenty levels...

1) It makes ancestry almost meaningless at low levels. With so few ancestry abilities at low-levels, there's very little difference between ancestries with *different* attribute bonuses - how are ones with similar ones going to feel any different. The ancestries lose a lot of their flavor with so few options at low level. With only one Ancestry feat at level 1, the ancestry choices are incredibly bland at low levels.

2) Presumably, they will add more ancestry feats as the game progresses (the old racial feats from the Advanced Players Guide and the Advanced Race Guide, as well as ones that replace the old "alternate racial traits"). With so few ancestry feat slots available, this will make it so that flavorful feat choices like Stonecunning will inevitably get shelved and never used in favor of ones that provide less situational bonuses. Moreover, you may seldom even get to take these more other choices because you are so feat-starved...

3) As others have mentioned, this is also unfair to hybrids and half-breeds, who must give up a feat just to select their ancestry; while I like this idea as a means of making it easy to make other hybrids (such as elven tieflings or the like), this makes such choices less viable; while giving something up for versatility is fine, giving up such a large amount of your total abilities makes that versatility almost meaningless. Also, we need a >HALF-HUMAN< feat as a counterpart, to make half-elves and half-orcs that favor their nonhuman parent more than the human one. (and Orc as a standard choice to make that meaningful).

Front-loading extra feats (either +2 at level one, or +1 and level one and another at level two) would definitely do a >LOT< to restore some of the diversity to the ancestries and make them interesting beyond nostalgia and personal bias. Perhaps an additional solution would be to allow General Feats to be used to gain Ancestry Feats (unless I've missed a rule that already allows this).

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Gaining more ancestry feats wont be exciting if I dont even want them. For most races I would be happy if there was just one ancestry feat that was interesting for the character.

Even the baked in benefits like speed and hp feel like hindrances. Attribute penalties seem severe when +/-1 modifier to hit or AC is so important.

please dont make benefits just to remove madatory penalties. Unburdened is frustrating as a baked in ability - just give them a speed of 25 and make a version of unburdened a feat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I can see stripping down the chassis; effectively that's what we've got now with racial variants.

I think there should be two ancestry feats at level 1 to put something back on the chassis.

Potentially some of these ancestry feats could be expanded later; for example a "Dwarven Tougness" that gives a small advantage vs magic and poison, and an expanded "Hardy" and "Magicproof" that require "Dwarven Toughness" as a pre-req.

Two ancestry feats means someone could start with both half-orc feats if they wished.

Regardless of above, I am happy for humans to get a "wilcard" feat as part of their chassis, but I don't think one list should be inherently more powerful than another. Eventually someone is going to find a way to get and abuse that list. As @Vigmortis says, this makes humans the "natural" half-breed race. A dwarf who is a half-breed orc is pretty much JUST a DwOrc. A half-orc human still has some flexibility.

Dark Archive

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I agree with much of what has been posted here. At first level my Gnome, Goblin and Halfling are pretty hard to tell apart, outside of the obvious role playing.

I would make a few changes:


  • Grant any race without Darkvision a 2nd Ancestry feat at 1st level.
  • An alternative to that is to give every race 2 Ancestry feats at 1st level but also limit all races to a maximum default of low light vision, and offer a feat similar to Orc Sight to upgrade Dwarves or Goblins to Darkvision.
  • In addition, Orc Sight should be a level 1 feat.
  • Any Feats that are particularly strong (General Training/Natural Ambition…) could have mutually exclusive limitations placed on them to balance out the fact that a 2nd Ancestry feat is allowed.
  • To continue with the early separation of Ancestry flavor, add one more Ancestry Feat at 2nd level.

While this wouldn’t bring the power curve back up to PF1, it would start to differentiate characters of various Ancestries much earlier on – which I think is what many of us really want to see.

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