Ancestry "Kits"


Ancestries & Backgrounds


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I know a lot of people have discussed the problems with Ancestry especially how it feels sparse, and once again another definition of "Feats" which can be a bit daunting.

One of the commonly proposed solutions is to simply add an additional Feat at first level for Ancestry, which would definitely curve the "feel" of an Ancestry up, however, I think there may be a better solution:

Divide Ancestry Feats into three categories, and drop them down to something "less" than a traditional feat.

Culture - Culture based feats, things that your Ancestry would have based on their upbringing. Weapon Familiarity, Ancestral Hatred, Demon Skirmisher, etc. fall under this category

Heritage (Physical) - Literal physical representations of Ancestry, these are physical attributes that you manifest as part of your Ancestry. Keen Hearing, Nimble, Ancient's Blood, Discerning Smell, etc. fall under this category

Aptitude - This covers things your Ancestry excels at, but aren't necessarily culturally related or physical manifestations. First World Magic, Rough Rider, Very Sneaky, Clever Improviser, etc. fall under this category.

Then at Ancestry selection, you pick one of each or potentially a combination based on Ancestry (i.e. Humans might just get 2 Innates and 1 Culture)

Lastly, a slight re-balancing would need to occur where each category is balanced against each other respectively instead of against ALL Ancestry feats.

This gives a stronger background to the character as you can't just select the strongest category of Feats multiple times (unless of course that Ancestry allows it) but gives your Ancestry a feeling of "depth".

Final Thought - A more restrictive approach to the above could be pre-defining the selections into groups of 3. I felt this was a little too close to how Ancestry (races) used to work in PF1, but it could be employed as an option.

In a less restrictive way, you could advise "sub-types" of Ancestries through groupings, i.e.:

If you are playing a Wood Elf, the suggested kit could be a predefined group to ease players that want to play a specific type of Elf but don't want to bother reading through every selection to build that elf. Would be extremely useful for newer players and easy to spin up new suggested kits based on homebrews or new areas introduced to Golarion.

I realize this might not be revolutionary, but I thought it was worth discussing.

Happy Gaming :)


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Midnightoker wrote:

I know a lot of people have discussed the problems with Ancestry especially how it feels sparse, and once again another definition of "Feats" which can be a bit daunting.

One of the commonly proposed solutions is to simply add an additional Feat at first level for Ancestry, which would definitely curve the "feel" of an Ancestry up, however, I think there may be a better solution:

Divide Ancestry Feats into three categories, and drop them down to something "less" than a traditional feat.

Culture - Culture based feats, things that your Ancestry would have based on their upbringing. Weapon Familiarity, Ancestral Hatred, Demon Skirmisher, etc. fall under this category

Heritage (Physical) - Literal physical representations of Ancestry, these are physical attributes that you manifest as part of your Ancestry. Keen Hearing, Nimble, Ancient's Blood, Discerning Smell, etc. fall under this category

Innate - This covers anything that doesn't come from your cultural upbringing, but isn't really a physical manifestation of your race. First World Magic, Rough Rider, Very Sneaky, Clever Improviser, etc. fall under this category.

Then at Ancestry selection, you pick one of each or potentially a combination based on Ancestry (i.e. Humans might just get 2 Innates and 1 Culture)

Lastly, a slight re-balancing would need to occur where each category is balanced against each other respectively instead of against ALL Ancestry feats.

This gives a stronger background to the character as you can't just select the strongest category of Feats multiple times (unless of course that Ancestry allows it) but gives your Ancestry a feeling of "depth".

Final Thought - A more restrictive approach to the above could be pre-defining the selections into groups of 3. I felt this was a little too close to how Ancestry (races) used to work in PF1, but it could be employed as an option.

In a less restrictive way, you could advise "sub-types" of Ancestries through groupings, i.e.:

If you are...

Innate is almost like Heritage and I think shouldn't form a new category.

Personally, I think we should have at least 3 starting ancestry feats at level 1, without any later unless you specifically pick a feat to gain one (maybe a General feat can grant you one of these), with Heritage feats being reserved solely for the purpose of major changes in your ancestry. Different types of Elves, Dwarves, Half-lings, Gnomes and all the others, making each of these new variations have different physical (heritage) characteristics that would warrant a new branch of these, even if currently there isn't much distinguishable differences beyond just where some of the ancestry lives, that doesn't mean at all that Paizo couldn't take their time actually thinking of significant differences this alternative ancestry societies could have.

Which would give Heritage feats a lot of weight, since you would only be picking one and everything else would reflect your character's cultural baggage. This way, you will not be buying back your ancestry over levels.

Of course, this would mean that the vast majority of Heritage Feats featured in the game would go back to where they belong, in the Ancestries' starting point.


Lightning Raven wrote:
Innate is almost like Heritage and I think shouldn't form a new category.

Innate was a bad wording for what I would consider something akin to "aptitude" or "learned", something that your Ancestry is adept at, but not necessarily apart of your culture or physical attributes.

For instance, being able to learn Class Feats quicker, that's not really a "physical" attribute, neither is being able to train most things for riding (Goblins).

Those are just things those races happen to excel at.

Innate was a poor word choice. I will edit the original to reflect this.

Quote:
Of course, this would mean that the vast majority of Heritage Feats featured in the game would go back to where they belong, in the Ancestries' starting point.

One could easily lock those out at later levels, or lock out ones that don't "evolve" into greater versions.

Then you could always introduce exceptions to that rule, where your physical attribute "awakens" later on due to another higher level Ancestry feat:

Awakening - Feat 9
You may choose a single Heritage Ancestry of level 1.


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I don't really see any reason to have more than two categories: genetic/racial and cultural. Nature and Nurture. Other than that, I'm all for dividing up Ancestries.


Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
I don't really see any reason to have more than two categories: genetic/racial and cultural. Nature and Nurture. Other than that, I'm all for dividing up Ancestries.

My argument would be there are somethings that are neither:

Culture is something that you pick up from the society you grew up in, such as the ability to notice stone works, using preferred weapons, etc.

Physical attributes are literal physical manifestations, your blood, your hearing, your sight, etc.

Aptitude reflects things your Ancestry may have an affinity for, but not because of how you were raised and not because of your ears/nose/eyes. This represents your ability to learn things as an Ancestry.

So in short here is how I am thinking:

Culture is your upbringing.

Physical is what you were born with.

Aptitude is what you can learn to do or are apart of you as a character because of Ancestry.

I am sure not all Gnomes have a Cantrip or a Familiar in a society, and that doesn't really fall into "physical" either. Same thing for Class feats and Humans.

And I think all of those things are important parts of Ancestry.


Midnightoker wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
Innate is almost like Heritage and I think shouldn't form a new category.

Innate was a bad wording for what I would consider something akin to "aptitude" or "learned", something that your Ancestry is adept at, but not necessarily apart of your culture or physical attributes.

For instance, being able to learn Class Feats quicker, that's not really a "physical" attribute, neither is being able to train most things for riding (Goblins).

Those are just things those races happen to excel at.

Innate was a poor word choice. I will edit the original to reflect this.

Quote:
Of course, this would mean that the vast majority of Heritage Feats featured in the game would go back to where they belong, in the Ancestries' starting point.

One could easily lock those out at later levels, or lock out ones that don't "evolve" into greater versions.

Then you could always introduce exceptions to that rule, where your physical attribute "awakens" later on due to another higher level Ancestry feat:

Awakening - Feat 9
You may choose a single Heritage Ancestry of level 1.

That makes more sense indeed! But I still think these should be cultural for the majority of it, unless, of course, there's a significant amount of these types of feat to warrant a new section.


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You could have innante/aptitude as a set of cultural feats that have ancestry as a prerequisiste (which excludes adopted ancestry characters from taking them even though they aren't heritage feats)


Lightning Raven wrote:
That makes more sense indeed! But I still think these should be cultural for the majority of it, unless, of course, there's a significant amount of these types of feat to warrant a new section.

Here are a list that I feel qualifies as "aptitude" based feats (things your race can do but not necessarily because of where you come from or your genetic make up:

Dwarf:
Boulder Roll
Rock Runner

Elf:
Ageless Patience
Ancestral Longevity
Forlorn
Otherworldly Magic
Unwavering Mien

Gnome:
Animal Accomplice
Animal Speaker
Animal Whisperer
First World Magic
Obsessive

Goblin:
Burn It
Eat Anything
Junk Tinkerer
Rough Rider
Very Sneaky

Halfling:
Distracting Shadows
Lucky Halfling
Plucky

Human:
Adapted Spell
Clever Improviser
Cooperative Nature
General Training
Haughty Obstinacy
Natural Ambition
Skilled

Half Elf:
Inspire Imitation

Half Orc:
Superstition


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Midnightoker wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
That makes more sense indeed! But I still think these should be cultural for the majority of it, unless, of course, there's a significant amount of these types of feat to warrant a new section.

Here are a list that I feel qualifies as "aptitude" based feats (things your race can do but not necessarily because of where you come from or your genetic make up:

Dwarf:
Boulder Roll
Rock Runner

Elf:
Ageless Patience
Ancestral Longevity
Forlorn
Otherworldly Magic
Unwavering Mien

Gnome:
Animal Accomplice
Animal Speaker
Animal Whisperer
First World Magic
Obsessive

Goblin:
Burn It
Eat Anything
Junk Tinkerer
Rough Rider
Very Sneaky

Halfling:
Distracting Shadows
Lucky Halfling
Plucky

Human:
Adapted Spell
Clever Improviser
Cooperative Nature
General Training
Haughty Obstinacy
Natural Ambition
Skilled

Half Elf:
Inspire Imitation

Half Orc:
Superstition

Motion to accept the new category: Accepted.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I think kits would be a nice improvement. They don’t need to take up much space or even be mandatory, just list the traits that make sense for that subrace


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I watched some of the twitch stream from this afternoon and they spoiered that they are working on something like this for update 1.4 (Monday). Sounds like every ancesrty gets a heritage in addition to their ancestry feats. Half-Orc and half-elf are human heritiges and others are snow elves, extra sneaky halflings, and sone sort of unseelie gnome. (Not real names).


Bardarok wrote:
I watched some of the twitch stream from this afternoon and they spoiered that they are working on something like this for update 1.4 (Monday). Sounds like every ancesrty gets a heritage in addition to their ancestry feats. Half-Orc and half-elf are human heritiges and others are snow elves, extra sneaky halflings, and sone sort of unseelie gnome. (Not real names).

Interesting. Thanks for the update! I'll be curious to see how it looks in 1.4.


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I just think anything that fits under Aptitude could still be categorized as either inherent or cultural. Where is, say, goblins’ propensity for dealing fire damage coming from if not either their genes or their culture? These aptitudes don’t come from nowhere. Either gnome magic is in their blood, or the gnomish people have a tradition of practicing it, but the gnomish knack for magic can’t just have manifested ex nihlo.


Charlaquin wrote:
I just think anything that fits under Aptitude could still be categorized as either inherent or cultural. Where is, say, goblins’ propensity for dealing fire damage coming from if not either their genes or their culture? These aptitudes don’t come from nowhere. Either gnome magic is in their blood, or the gnomish people have a tradition of practicing it, but the gnomish knack for magic can’t just have manifested ex nihlo.

Because it's something they can learn more easily than another race maybe because of their lives as a gnome to the point or just because they figured out they could via their struggles or endeavors.

All gnomes of a society guard would probably use gnome weapons, and because they were part of that society they had that skill.

Now the cantrip might have made more sense as a physical, but the ability never referenced their fey blood (like the other races outright did) and I kinda just made a swift call here.

However things lik very sneaky and rock runner are things not every person in a culture would have, but some would have found they had an affinity for it.

Sort of like a combination that shouldn't be exclusive.

In essence it makes little difference now, the new rules set to be released sounds like they will mostly scratch the above itch anyways and I'll want to see how they play given that.

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