Ancestry feats far too infrequent and weak


Ancestries & Backgrounds


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I love the idea of ancestry feats making your character "more" dwarfy or elfy or whatever, but the minimum baseline for your racial/ancestral feats needs to be changed. As it is written now you have to take your entire character's career to become the baseline of your ancestry. For example your halforc spontaneously develops dark vision at 5th level...?

The base ancestries should include the basics. Your feats should draw on unique and interesting aspects of racial/ancestral identity. Not just get you to the starting gate.


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IMHO, all 5 feats should be rolled into ancestry/race and at 1st,5th,9th,13th,17th level give general feats.


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I don't necessarily like that Ancestry feats are a required part of your build, especially considering how VERY LIMITED the Ancestry Feat selection actually is. In the core materials, most races have x10 Ancestry Feats to pick from (Half-Orcs & Half-Elves have some additional options at the cost of x1 Ancestry Feat).

You will be required to pick x5 of those x10 total Ancestry Feats by 17th level. And as noted above - many (most) of the Ancestry feats are WEAK, highly situational, or have thematic/RP problems later (as VinDrago notes: Why does a half-orc spontaneously develop darkvision at 5th level? How would my Halfling get intraining and practice with Halfling weapons while adventuring with, say, a bunch of humans? It's arbitrary, non-immersive gating).

Forcing me to take feats I don't want isn't fun. The Ancestry Feats either need to be reworked OR we need A LOT MORE OF THEM to choose from right off the bat.

Oh! But there IS a way to open up access to more Ancestry Feats via the Adopted Ancestry General Feat! Except that feat is so broken I nearly wept while trying to make it work for my 4th level Sorcerer "In Pale Mountain's Shadow".

Adopted Ancestry:

  • Can't be taken at 1st level because it is a General Feat, and most (if not all) PCs don't get a General Feat until 3rd level. It strikes me as absurd that characters can't start with this feat at 1st level. Additionally, this means you are forced to take at least one feat from your biological ancestry even if that doesn't make any sense for your "adopted" character.
  • Gives you ZERO benefit when you initially take it. Literally you can buy the feat at 3rd level but because you don't get another Ancestry Feat until 5th level. So you buy this feat, for no benefit whatsoever at 3rd, and wait two whole levels before you can use it at all. Why???
  • As written, I can't see a single reason to ever take Adopted Ancestry, and I say that as a diehard roleplay nerd who desperately wanted to have my high-wisdom, high-charisma goblin sorceress adopted by gnomes.


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    VinDrago said wrote:
    The base ancestries should include the basics. Your feats should draw on unique and interesting aspects of racial/ancestral identity. Not just get you to the starting gate.

    Agreed.

    As is stands, if you burn your ancestry feat at level 1 to be a Half-something, you have to burn your 5th level ancestry feat just to get the rest of those Half- traits. In total, you only get 4 additional ancestry feats past level 1.

    For example, you decide to play a Half-Elf. You take Half-Elf as your ancestry trait. You get to pick two of the following four: elven speed (+5 move), elven tongue (speak Elven), gifted speaker (trained Diplomacy), low-light vision. At 5th level you can forego picking from the Elf, Half-Elf, or Human ancestry feats to get the other two half-elf traits you're missing. AT FIFTH LEVEL.

    Leaving you then 3 total ancestry feats to choose from by level 18.

    TheBlueFairy said wrote:
    Adopted Ancestry Feat... Additionally, this means you are forced to take at least one feat from your biological ancestry even if that doesn't make any sense for your "adopted" character.

    Not only is the cost incredibly high (burning 2/5 feats merely to even play a half-race), but I agree with previous comments that gating it all behind leveling is immersion-breaking.


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    VinDrago wrote:
    The base ancestries should include the basics. Your feats should draw on unique and interesting aspects of racial/ancestral identity. Not just get you to the starting gate.

    Yes. It takes a PF2 Elf until level 13 to have the same racial traits as a PF1 Elf. This makes absolutely no sense to me.

    At level 1 you should start with at least 3 ancestry feats. But I understand not wanting to give players too many options at level 1. I like how Ultimate Race gave you base traits for your race and if you were an advanced player, you could swap traits in and out to customize your character. Doing it this way was good for the new player AND the advanced player.

    At higher levels, the feats I want to see are feats that you could have taken in Ultimate Race in PF1. Really cool feats that are unique to the race. Like half-orcs ignoring crits once a day.

    Silver Crusade

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    None of the ancestries feels much different from each other you need to have more ancestry feats or abilities at 1st level, then turn the higher level ancestry feats to general feats with the appropriate ability as a pre-req.


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    Personally, I think they're a silly idea and want them omitted myself. Ancestry being cosmetic only is probably the best option available under the new rule set and I for one think it would be a refreshing change

    Grand Lodge

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    I think more ancestry feats at 1st level is the best option. I don't think you need more trickling in later, but maybe something as simple as getting 2-3 ancestry feats at level 1.

    Or even better make the number you get part of your race - this would open a bit of design space so they can include more baseline in an ancestry if they give you less feats up front.

    Because of adoption & other ways to access other ancestries, all the feats have to roughly balance (so that we don't get everyone adopted by the OP race) which currently means all race baselines have to roughly balance (As they have the same number of roughly equal feats). This could help give designers one more variable they can use if they want to add some flair to a new base ancestry (Like a swim speed etc).

    It would mean trying to add some more ancestries to some races though, currently a lot of races really have ancestry feats that are very specialized (Like goblin which has a ton that suit either rogue or alchemist, but nothing for anyone else) and need a few more well-rounded ancestry options that could apply to any class.

    Liberty's Edge

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    I feel like the following changes would be interesting:

    1) Increase the first level feats to 2-3.

    2) Include more Heritage Feats to represent the in-born stuff.

    3) Have a distinct feat-chain for many of the Heritages to improve them. So a dwarf with magic resistance might be able to use a reaction to reroll a save against a magical effect at higher level or the like.

    4) Have a pool of other feats for cultural things that an elf could realistically pick up later. Weapon training is a good example of this.

    5) Do something to normalize Darkvision and its value over the races. Right now, it feels like Darkvision is valued very haphazardly (goblins vs. halflings, for instance).

    6) Dwarves getting Unburdened is... odd. It's the only core racial ability we see, and there's no good reason for them to have it while no one else does.

    Really for 5 and 6, I feel like having a race builder type system for the races from day one (and not the kludged-together-backwards version we had in PF1) would be a solid choice from a game design standpoint. There's no reason playable races shouldn't all be designed in the same manner (not that they should all be the same, just balanced against each other).


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    I'd also like to chime in and point out that Low Light vision is literally worthless now. Torches (lanterns, etc) don't shine low light any more. It's X feet of bright and that's it.

    The only time you'll see "low light" is if the dungeon was specifically built that way.


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    Yeah, at the moment I don't find these that interesting. It slowed down character creation when I made my Gnome, and if they give me more of them... I frankly don't care a lot. None of the options are particularly interesting or powerful.

    I'd actually rather getting *fewer* feats and having them be stronger. That wouldn't bog me down with uninteresting choices. Give me one or two that have some real impact instead of five that don't.

    Scarab Sages

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    I would go :

    - Take 5 Ancestry Feats at level 1. Make them so they scale up as you level up (like a poison resistance starting at 2, then 5 at level 5, then 8 at level 10, and so on)

    - Replace the Ancestry Feats gaigned by level by another kind of Feats. I would say Class Feats if there was around 2 or 3 times more class feats for each class. Also end the Chain Feats and make Class Feats scale with level (for exemple only 1 feat for poisonous weapon of the rogue, that became automatically Improved poisonous weapon at level 8.
    That would need a heavy rework of the classes though.
    And maybe it would make Multiclassing too strong.


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    Boulderbrock Fireaxe wrote:
    None of the ancestries feels much different from each other you need to have more ancestry feats or abilities at 1st level, then turn the higher level ancestry feats to general feats with the appropriate ability as a pre-req.

    Agreed. The only thing that feels really important in ancestry is speed. And taking a speed penalty race is a massive, massive hit that I would never choose.

    For a couple of them, the 1st level ancestry feat matters. When messing about with character creation, I might pay attention to the 5th level choice. At 9th level, I essentially feel like I'm assigning a feat at random, as it no longer matters and I don't care.

    ---
    Though I feel like that about skill and general feats too. The first one is vital to the character I'm making, the second might be important, and the rest are just filler garbage.

    Unless playing sorcerer or wizard, in which case the third general feat is also needed to fix being randomly punished on saves.


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    My solution for this would be ancestry feats with leveled effects. Select one at level 1 and gain on-theme benefits when leveling.

    Here's 2 examples:

    ANIMAL SPEAKER (GNOME ANCESTRY FEAT)
    You recognize the chittering a ground creatures as a language of its own.

    At 1st level, you can ask questions of, receive answers from, and use the diplomacy skill with animals that have a burrow speed. The DM determines which animals count for this ability.

    At 3rd level, you gain one of the following:
    - You gain a familiar with a burrow speed.
    - You can speak to and understand all animals.

    At 7th level, you gain one of the following:
    - Your familiar becomes an enhanced familiar.
    - You gain a +2 bonus to diplomacy checks with animals.
    - You gain the level 3 option that you didn't take. Your familiar no longer requires a burrow speed and you can also communicate with beasts even if you do not share a language.

    At 13th level, you gain one of the following:
    - If your familiar dies, you can replace it during your daily preparations at the cost of one Elixir of Life.
    - When you make an impression on an animal or beast, you treat a critical failure as a failure.
    - You gain all level 7 options that you didn't take.

    ELEGANT WARRIOR (ELF ANCESTRY FEAT)
    You are trained in the creation, maintenance, and use of weapons unique to Elven culture.

    At 1st level, you are trained with all bows, longswords, and rapiers. You also have access to the Elven curve blade. You are trained in Elven Lore and can use this skill when crafting, repairing, or recalling knowledge about the above mentioned weapons.

    At 3rd level, you gain access to the critical specialization effect of the above mentioned weapons.

    At 7th Level, you know the formulas for Elven Chain, Malyass Root Paste, Boots of Elvenkind, and master-level versions of all the above mentioned weapons. You can craft these items from memory and can use your Elven lore skill when doing so.

    At 13th level, add the Cloak of Elvenkind and Keen weapon rune to the list of formulas you possess. Additionally, your movement speed increases by 10 when not wearing heavy armor and not encumbered.

    Perhaps you pick 2 ancestries and the effects of one beyond 1st level are delayed 2 levels (to 5th, 9th, and 15th level). My elf can be a forlorn elegant warrior or a nimble keen observer.

    This makes ancestry feel more meaningful while reducing the decision space. Rather than picking one of 10 or so ancestry feats at level one, I'm choosing 2 of 5 or so. It also drives more tangible level excitement. Rather than "I get another ancestry feat next level," it's "I can't wait to hit next level and get this specific power."


    Ephfive wrote:

    My solution for this would be ancestry feats with leveled effects. Select one at level 1 and gain on-theme benefits when leveling.

    Here's 2 examples:

    ANIMAL SPEAKER (GNOME ANCESTRY FEAT)
    You recognize the chittering a ground creatures as a language of its own.

    At 1st level, you can ask questions of, receive answers from, and use the diplomacy skill with animals that have a burrow speed. The DM determines which animals count for this ability.

    At 3rd level, you gain one of the following:
    - You gain a familiar with a burrow speed.
    - You can speak to and understand all animals.

    At 7th level, you gain one of the following:
    - Your familiar becomes an enhanced familiar.
    - You gain a +2 bonus to diplomacy checks with animals.
    - You gain the level 3 option that you didn't take. Your familiar no longer requires a burrow speed and you can also communicate with beasts even if you do not share a language.

    At 13th level, you gain one of the following:
    - If your familiar dies, you can replace it during your daily preparations at the cost of one Elixir of Life.
    - When you make an impression on an animal or beast, you treat a critical failure as a failure.
    - You gain all level 7 options that you didn't take.

    ELEGANT WARRIOR (ELF ANCESTRY FEAT)
    You are trained in the creation, maintenance, and use of weapons unique to Elven culture.

    At 1st level, you are trained with all bows, longswords, and rapiers. You also have access to the Elven curve blade. You are trained in Elven Lore and can use this skill when crafting, repairing, or recalling knowledge about the above mentioned weapons.

    At 3rd level, you gain access to the critical specialization effect of the above mentioned weapons.

    At 7th Level, you know the formulas for Elven Chain, Malyass Root Paste, Boots of Elvenkind, and master-level versions of all the above mentioned weapons. You can craft these items from memory and can use your Elven lore skill when doing so.

    At 13th level, add the Cloak of Elvenkind and Keen weapon...

    Except the paradigm of this game is that no individual feat, spell, or ability scales with level.


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    I genuinely want higher level ancestry feats that are honest to goodness worthy of being higher level feats. Like there's no reason a 9th level ancestry feat can'.t be every bit as splashy as an 8th level class feat.

    I think "an advanced technique of your people you haven't been able to master before now" is a less weirdly incongruous than some of the ancestry feats coming on at later levels.


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    thorin001 wrote:
    Except the paradigm of this game is that no individual feat, spell, or ability scales with level.

    Tell that to BASIC CLERIC SPELLCASTING and some of that later chain and the related feats for Wizard.


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    Draco18s wrote:
    thorin001 wrote:
    Except the paradigm of this game is that no individual feat, spell, or ability scales with level.
    Tell that to BASIC CLERIC SPELLCASTING and some of that later chain and the related feats for Wizard.

    Using a higher level slot is not an spell scaling by itself.


    Cough:

    Quote:

    At 6th level, you gain a level 2 spell slot that you can

    use to prepare a level 2 cleric spell. At 8th level, you gain a level 3
    spell slot that you can use to prepare a level 3 cleric spell.

    It says "at 6th level" and "at 8th level." It scales.

    Power Attack also scales:

    Quote:

    If you’re at least a

    10th-level fighter, you deal two extra weapon damage dice.


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    the idea was good the execution was terrible. they should just have given us our pf1 base race. and then added ancestry feats that made sense.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Agreed they need to give you three options to choose at first level in your ancestry. Alternatively just give the current one ancestry feat at first and increase the number of fixed abilities you gain (to keep character creation simple).

    High level ancestry feats ought to be comparable to high level skill feats imo. They shouldn’t really grant new powers, unless you somehow mutated..


    Ephfive wrote:

    My solution for this would be ancestry feats with leveled effects. Select one at level 1 and gain on-theme benefits when leveling.

    Here's 2 examples:

    I'm on board with this. I feel something that scales as you grow is perfectly fine for ancestries. I would prefer more than one of these options personally but i at least like hte direction something like this would lead.

    Either that or utilise a point system for ancestries, obviously that class feat is a lot more valuable than the a gnome's illusion sense in how often it'll come up as well as overall strength.

    I always liked alternate racial traits, when i first heard about ancestries i thought they would make more use of that type of system. I was rather disappointed that was not the case.


    The idea of ancestry feats makes a lot of sense as a replacement for the long list of alternate racial traits in PF1. However, they've been implemented in a way that dilutes ancestry differentiation and feels punitive. For example, if I want something as basic as using the weapon associated with my ancestry, I must forgo any other ancestry-related option until level 5. This may be a valid choice for those who want to optimize their weapon options, since ancestry-specific weapons are designed to be slightly superior to regular ones. But it is really damaging from a flavor perspective.

    Another issue is balance between ancestries. Right now, the baseline ancestry features are HP, speed, vision, and languages. This results in egregious imbalances, that others have noted well before me (halflings really get the short end of the stick). The set of ancestry feats should be roughly equivalent in value (otherwise they would create other balance problems), so they can't compensate.

    I think the baseline ancestry definition should encompass at least 2 or 3 of the existing ancestry feats. Likely candidates are those feats presented as heritage feats, but some re-balancing may be necessary. Then, I would expect the addition of many additional ancestry feats including more powerful ones at higher levels.

    This would have 2 benefits:
    - Making ancestries more clearly differentiated and flavorful from level 1.
    - Opening design options to get more balanced ancestries.

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