My main concerns for P2


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Liberty's Edge

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I somewhat prefer Ancestry to Race, though I don't think it's the biggest issue ever.

It will help avoid confusion once we get used to it, especially with new players (since in PF1 'race' is a commonly used real word with a highly divergent in-game definition), will probably make some people feel more comfortable (since some people do indeed feel 'race' to be a loaded term), and allows the 'ABCs of Character Creation' joke/mnemonic, which I actually like.

Now, all those are debatably minor upsides (I think a few people being more comfortable is a major up side, but that's a matter of opinion)...but I always struggle to find a down side. Seriously, the only 'down sides' I can come up with is 'this is new' or 'this is different from D&D'...and for a product seeking to differentiate itself from D%D and establish a clearer brand identity, those are actually more like up sides.

But really, like a lot of arguments regarding 'politically correct language' I just feel like, if a piece of language legitimately bothers someone and you lose no clarity by changing it, you should generally change it, because that makes someone's life better at no cost to you. It befuddles me the degree to which people find the idea that they should maybe change their language a little to make others lives better in some small way somehow offensive. This is common courtesy, to my way of thinking.

Now, as a serious free speech advocate, there is the unfortunate fact that some people try and legislate such language changes, even ones that do cause communication issues, and that legislating people's language is pretty much always a terrible idea that results in badness.

But that's in no way what Paizo is doing. Frankly, I still say 'Race' most of the time in reference to 'Ancestry'. It's a habit at this point, and will take a while to go away. Paizo goons have not broken down my door to correct me as of yet, and I doubt they'll be doing so any time soon. This is not an enforced change in the speaking habits of anyone, it's a change in official terminology to something the creators of the game prefer. Which seems fine to me, and weird for people to object to.

I mean, I guess there's a purely aesthetic objection, but frankly, Ancestry is, by most standards, just a prettier word than Race, so that one rings a bit hollow to me.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:

I somewhat prefer Ancestry to Race, though I don't think it's the biggest issue ever.

It will help avoid confusion once we get used to it, especially with new players (since in PF1 'race' is a commonly used real word with a highly divergent in-game definition), will probably make some people feel more comfortable (since some people do indeed feel 'race' to be a loaded term), and allows the 'ABCs of Character Creation' joke/mnemonic, which I actually like.

Now, all those are debatably minor upsides (I think a few people being more comfortable is a major up side, but that's a matter of opinion)...but I always struggle to find a down side. Seriously, the only 'down sides' I can come up with is 'this is new' or 'this is different from D&D'...and for a product seeking to differentiate itself from D%D and establish a clearer brand identity, those are actually more like up sides.

But really, like a lot of arguments regarding 'politically correct language' I just feel like, if a piece of language legitimately bothers someone and you lose no clarity by changing it, you should generally change it, because that makes someone's life better at no cost to you. It befuddles me the degree to which people find the idea that they should maybe change their language a little to make others lives better in some small way somehow offensive. This is common courtesy, to my way of thinking.

Now, as a serious free speech advocate, there is the unfortunate fact that some people try and legislate such language changes, even ones that do cause communication issues, and that legislating people's language is pretty much always a terrible idea that results in badness.

But that's in no way what Paizo is doing. Frankly, I still say 'Race' most of the time in reference to 'Ancestry'. It's a habit at this point, and will take a while to go away. Paizo goons have not broken down my door to correct me as of yet, and I doubt they'll be doing so any time soon. This is not an enforced change in the speaking habits of anyone,...

Here forking here.


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TBH I haven't minded the short buff durations, but that's because stupid levels of pre-buffing were a HUGE problem in a couple of my PF1 games. Like it got seriously stupid. Especially if Psionics got involved but even without. Though with the bonuses and the nature of buffs handled differently I can see the merit to better durations now that the knee-jerk reaction of "Oh thank God massive pre-buffing is dead" has passed. I do still want to see a good number of 1 minute buffs though. But also I love the idea of that Treat Wounds and lose buffs vs. spend spells on healing and keep them dynamic, now that there's more than a snowball's chance of ever running low on spells.

I don't mind Haste as single target 1 minute though honestly, seeing as it's MAD good compared to PF1 haste. Like seriously, it's so cool to be able to do various things with all 3 actions and STILL get a Strike at full accuracy (depending on actions taken) compared to PF1 Haste just reinforcing the stand and full attack meta.

I also like the idea of there being an actual potential for some buffs to run out during a fight, as I think that can make for an interesting dynamic or cinematic, maybe even something to base a fun boss fight around. I also like it because with how combat is in PF2 you may actually find yourself considering casting a buff in combat because it feels like it may be worth the actions. I almost never saw this in PF1, the nearly sole exception being the Psychic Warrior's stupidly OP buffs (And maybe Quickened buffs occasionally), even if extensive pre-buffing was not done, because it was almost always more effective to just throw destruction out in battle. In PF2 combat feels in such a way that this isn't necessarily the case, it's a little hard to explain how though.


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I just want things like alter self and unseen servant not to have such barking useless durations (and concentration to leave off from US). The flavor of a wizard being able to send something to do mundane tasks while they doing serious wizarding work is perfect. Having to focus on it while it doesn't even have time to make a decent meal or clean a room is both sad and immensely lore breaking.

And alter self should get its name back.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Edge93 wrote:

TBH I haven't minded the short buff durations, but that's because stupid levels of pre-buffing were a HUGE problem in a couple of my PF1 games. Like it got seriously stupid. Especially if Psionics got involved but even without. Though with the bonuses and the nature of buffs handled differently I can see the merit to better durations now that the knee-jerk reaction of "Oh thank God massive pre-buffing is dead" has passed. I do still want to see a good number of 1 minute buffs though. But also I love the idea of that Treat Wounds and lose buffs vs. spend spells on healing and keep them dynamic, now that there's more than a snowball's chance of ever running low on spells.

I don't mind Haste as single target 1 minute though honestly, seeing as it's MAD good compared to PF1 haste. Like seriously, it's so cool to be able to do various things with all 3 actions and STILL get a Strike at full accuracy (depending on actions taken) compared to PF1 Haste just reinforcing the stand and full attack meta.

I also like the idea of there being an actual potential for some buffs to run out during a fight, as I think that can make for an interesting dynamic or cinematic, maybe even something to base a fun boss fight around. I also like it because with how combat is in PF2 you may actually find yourself considering casting a buff in combat because it feels like it may be worth the actions. I almost never saw this in PF1, the nearly sole exception being the Psychic Warrior's stupidly OP buffs (And maybe Quickened buffs occasionally), even if extensive pre-buffing was not done, because it was almost always more effective to just throw destruction out in battle. In PF2 combat feels in such a way that this isn't necessarily the case, it's a little hard to explain how though.

Haste is mad good for gish builds, it's true. I turned the Mirrored Moon Dragon into a caster and haste was super helpful to him. Move >> Strike >> Breath Weapon or Move >> Strike >> Spell is great.


Voss wrote:

I just want things like alter self and unseen servant not to have such barking useless durations (and concentration to leave off from US). The flavor of a wizard being able to send something to do mundane tasks while they doing serious wizarding work is perfect. Having to focus on it while it doesn't even have time to make a decent meal or clean a room is both sad and immensely lore breaking.

And alter self should get its name back.

Yeah, I can get behind that one. I expect those are candidates for 1 hour durations at least. And I expect concentration will bugger off of US in the final book.


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Until someone can tell me how "dwarven weapon training" in biologically inherent, I'm fine find with ancestry.

I don't care about the politics (class has plenty of political implication as well), but it's just a more accurate if your including both physical and cultural traits to call it ancestory.

Unless they split racial fears and cultural feats into 2 sections. But that sounds like it would be a pain to balance, and there are probably enough feat buckets as is.


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It would be great if ancestries offered the same as PF1, but after being balanced to tone down the strongest races and buff up the weakest and less used. Everything that it's biological should be either already given to the ancestry or available as one of your initial options, with the player having at least three of those options, if they intend to keep these lame ancestry feats that barely do anything, or fewer choices with more relevant options. These initial options should be mostly cultural (weapon training, hatred, magical affinity, etc) and ancestry tendencies (curiosity, learning, stealth, etc)

Then, after these initial options are made, later down the line the new ancestry feats should be paths from your initial choices, creating branching trees.

The system shouldn't just stay as it is currently, because it was my biggest let down and one of the only things I'm actively against in PF2e, not even the dreadful mandatory items are so unbearable for me.


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Mellored wrote:
Until someone can tell me how "dwarven weapon training" in biologically inherent, I'm fine find with ancestry.

Dwarves are just a hot mess in general as far as this is concerned.

See, back in AD&D days, the assumption was very much that the non-human races were more insular, so cultural components could reasonably be part of racial traits. This was especially true in OD&D when races were classes unto themselves. We've mostly moved past that, which I think is part of the motivation behind the switch to ancestry, but you can still see remnants of it if you know where to look. For example, humans are allowed to have multiple languages, even just within the Inner Sea Region, but the elves of Kyonin and Jinin apparently speak exactly the same Elven language.

Some races are good about this and are almost exclusively biological, like 1e elves and halflings. They have the standard issue racial weapon familiarity and language, but except for elven magic and fearless, virtually everything else could be biological. Contrast with dwarves and gnomes, which typically have more cultural abilities. This is especially true with dwarves, because it's typically in the form of things like a bonus to Appraise, which is probably one of the least used skills.

Crayon wrote:

Perhaps, but the term is inaccurate in the context of the game. Even more so when where things like half-elves, tieflings, and the like get involved. Nothing resembling these creatures exist in the real world which is why no specific real world terms apply to them. Hence we're left with three options:

1. Misuse a real world term like 'species' or 'race'.
2. Make something up out of whole cloth 'metasapients'
3. Confer a specialized meaning to a vague RL term like 'ancestry'

Personally, I favour option 3.

As a partial counterargument, the phrase "the human race" exists.

My primary issue with "ancestry" is that, to me, it sounds more like aasimar having angelic ancestry than dwarves having distinctly dwarven physiology than, say, elven physiology. But at the same time, something like "species" isn't accurate. It would cover things like dwarves, halflings, and gnomes, sure. But aasimar are very distinctly not a separate species from their parent race, and the fact that humans can consistently have viable and fertile offspring with either elves or orcs, but that elves and orcs can't with each other raises all sorts of questions about biology in the standard fantasy setting.

The fact of the matter, which you referenced, is that there isn't anything in the real world that resembles this hodgepodge of biologically distinct species, genes not native to this plane of existence that can magically switch between dominance and recessiveness, and whatever's going on with humans, elves, and orcs, which is conventionally called race. I just draw a different conclusion, where I prefer continuing to just use "race" because it's the least wrong on average, rather than using something like "species" or "ancestry" which accurately describes some of the options (dwarves, gnomes, and halflings for species, or aasimar, tiefling, and other planetouched for ancestry), but not others.


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RazarTuk wrote:
As a partial counterargument, the phrase "the human race" exists.

"The human race" is a common phrase and the game had "Race: Human". So, from that point of reference it makes perfect sense.

Elves, dwarves, etc are not humans so elf race, dwarf race for "not members of the human race" are easily understandable terms.

Ancestry could be seen as worse than race as the term is most commonly used for humans of different ethnicities e.g. Swedish or Italian ancestry, or Tutsi or Tibetan ancestry.
In this day and age the term ancestry is closely associated with genealogy and ethnic origins of one's ancestors.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So, ignoring the topic that Paizo has said is not up for debate...

OP, let me strongly, [b]strongly[/i] agree with your point about Clerics and divine magic. As someone who really liked the playtest overall, that is probably my number one remaining concern about the system.

I really want to be able to build a Good-aligned Cleric that is terrible at healing but still contributes fully to the party. I also really want a Cleric of Abadar or Desna really anyone but Sarenrae to not be shoehorned into a healer role. Even Clerics of Sarenrae, really, although they should definitely be the best healers.

My personal preference is that Channel Energy function as a different spell effect (or maybe a non-spell effect) depending on your deity, although I can see that being hard to balance across the board.


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Jeven wrote:
Ancestry could be seen as worse than race as the term is most commonly used for humans of different ethnicities e.g. Swedish or Italian ancestry, or Tutsi or Tibetan ancestry. In this day and age the term ancestry is closely associated with genealogy and ethnic origins of one's ancestors.

That's exactly my issue. Like I said, when I hear the word "ancestry", I sooner expect something like an aasimar talking about having celestial ancestry, not a dwarf talking about having dwarven ancestry. The addition of heritages does a bit to mitigate this, but devoid of any names for things, I'd still assume "ancestry" refers to the thing called heritage in the playtest, not to the standard RPG concept conventionally called race.


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MaxAstro wrote:
So, ignoring the topic that Paizo has said is not up for debate...

At least in my opinion, it can still be useful to discuss, since it so strongly borders on what we expect to get from ancestry. For example, whether dwarves are best described as a species, a race, or an ancestry and what the choice of word is meant to imply is related to where things like Weapon Familiarity (Dwarf) should go. As an example of that, if calling the concept "ancestry" is meant to emphasize that this is a biological thing, without the complications that arise with calling them species (again, aasimar), then does it make really make sense to say that only creatures with dwarf ancestry can get Weapon Expertise (Dwarf)?

Liberty's Edge

As of right now, anyone can get Weapon Expertise (Dwarf). You just need the 'Adopted' General Feat to have been raised in the right (ie: Dwarven) culture.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
As of right now, anyone can get Weapon Expertise (Dwarf). You just need the 'Adopted' General Feat to have been raised in the right (ie: Dwarven) culture.

The feat also has a clause that you can't take the ancestral feat if it depends on their physiology, as determined by the GM. Ideally, you wouldn't even need a clause like that because race/species/ancestry and culture would be completely separate. Continuing to pick on dwarves, because again, they're the worst offenders in 3.PF for continuing the culture-as-biology trend, a lot of the feats are fairly clear-cut. Ancestral Hatred and Weapon Familiarity (Dwarf) are both cultural, while Ancient's Blood and Hardy (both Heritage feats, overloading the word, I just realized) are physiological. But what about something like Giant Bane which mentions cultural and physiological aspects. Emphasis mine:

Playtest Rulebook, p. 25 wrote:
Your squat stature and your hatred for giantkind give you an edge when fighting them. You gain a +1 circumstance bonus to your Armor Class against giants; Fortitude and Reflex DCs against giants’ attempts to Disarm, Grapple, Shove, or Trip you; Survival checks to track giants; Perception checks to notice giants; and Stealth checks to avoid being noticed by giants.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Another thing to add is that with the heritage update Ancestry choice isn't just about "Dwarf" or "Elf" but you also define as part of that option whether you are dwarf whose family hails from the desert, or from an important noble line. Ancestry combines both race and more specifically "who your parents/grand parents/great grand parents" were.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
RazarTuk wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
As of right now, anyone can get Weapon Expertise (Dwarf). You just need the 'Adopted' General Feat to have been raised in the right (ie: Dwarven) culture.

The feat also has a clause that you can't take the ancestral feat if it depends on their physiology, as determined by the GM. Ideally, you wouldn't even need a clause like that because race/species/ancestry and culture would be completely separate. Continuing to pick on dwarves, because again, they're the worst offenders in 3.PF for continuing the culture-as-biology trend, a lot of the feats are fairly clear-cut. Ancestral Hatred and Weapon Familiarity (Dwarf) are both cultural, while Ancient's Blood and Hardy (both Heritage feats, overloading the word, I just realized) are physiological. But what about something like Giant Bane which mentions cultural and physiological aspects. Emphasis mine:

Playtest Rulebook, p. 25 wrote:
Your squat stature and your hatred for giantkind give you an edge when fighting them. You gain a +1 circumstance bonus to your Armor Class against giants; Fortitude and Reflex DCs against giants’ attempts to Disarm, Grapple, Shove, or Trip you; Survival checks to track giants; Perception checks to notice giants; and Stealth checks to avoid being noticed by giants.

This is why they've decided to go with Heritage feats being free, a bigger deal and based mostly on physiology and Ancestry feats less so. They made some headway into that with the errata but are looking to go even further on release.


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Malk_Content wrote:
Another thing to add is that with the heritage update Ancestry choice isn't just about "Dwarf" or "Elf" but you also define as part of that option whether you are dwarf whose family hails from the desert, or from an important noble line. Ancestry combines both race and more specifically "who your parents/grand parents/great grand parents" were.

What would be far cooler, IMO, would be to have /both/ race and ancestry. You choose your race then choose an ancestry (ethnic and geographical background) within that race.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Desna's Avatar wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Another thing to add is that with the heritage update Ancestry choice isn't just about "Dwarf" or "Elf" but you also define as part of that option whether you are dwarf whose family hails from the desert, or from an important noble line. Ancestry combines both race and more specifically "who your parents/grand parents/great grand parents" were.
What would be far cooler, IMO, would be to have /both/ race and ancestry. You choose your race then choose an ancestry (ethnic and geographical background) within that race.

Thats exactly what your are doing though? Just without defining it as two separate fields.


Malk_Content wrote:
Desna's Avatar wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Another thing to add is that with the heritage update Ancestry choice isn't just about "Dwarf" or "Elf" but you also define as part of that option whether you are dwarf whose family hails from the desert, or from an important noble line. Ancestry combines both race and more specifically "who your parents/grand parents/great grand parents" were.
What would be far cooler, IMO, would be to have /both/ race and ancestry. You choose your race then choose an ancestry (ethnic and geographical background) within that race.
Thats exactly what your are doing though? Just without defining it as two separate fields.

Dividing it into two fields adds more granularity and increases the possible variables, thereby giving more player options. Superior outcome IMO.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Desna's Avatar wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Desna's Avatar wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Another thing to add is that with the heritage update Ancestry choice isn't just about "Dwarf" or "Elf" but you also define as part of that option whether you are dwarf whose family hails from the desert, or from an important noble line. Ancestry combines both race and more specifically "who your parents/grand parents/great grand parents" were.
What would be far cooler, IMO, would be to have /both/ race and ancestry. You choose your race then choose an ancestry (ethnic and geographical background) within that race.
Thats exactly what your are doing though? Just without defining it as two separate fields.
Dividing it into two fields adds more granularity and increases the possible variables, thereby giving more player options. Superior outcome IMO.

How though? There are still the same number of options, whether you separate them or not. It is purely aesthetic.

There is no difference in the amount of options between the character sheet having Ancestry on which you write Ancient Blooded Dwarf, Desert Dwarf, Stoneheart Dwarf and one on which you write Dwarf in the Race field and then Ancient/Desert/Stoneheart in the Ancestry field.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

You know, adopted ancestry would make more sense as a heritage that anyone could take.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
You know, adopted ancestry would make more sense as a heritage that anyone could take.

I think I still like the biological idea of heritages. That said I would like it if Adopted wasn't a General feat but rather an Ancestry feat available to all Ancestry.

That way you could represent a dwarf of noble blood whose family had to give her up to humans be represented by being Ancient Blooded Dwarf with the Adopted (Human) feat at level 1. You would be weaker than other level 1 AB Dwarves who picked up a dwarf feat but your concept would be solid and the human options later could easily balance that initial weakness out.


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Malk_Content wrote:
Another thing to add is that with the heritage update Ancestry choice isn't just about "Dwarf" or "Elf" but you also define as part of that option whether you are dwarf whose family hails from the desert, or from an important noble line. Ancestry combines both race and more specifically "who your parents/grand parents/great grand parents" were.

I agree with Desna's Avatar that it would work better as two separate fields. For one, it's inconsistent between heritages what they are. For example, Twilight Halfling is fairly explicitly Darwinian, while Nomadic Halfling is extremely cultural. Why are only halfling nomads able to get extra languages because of their extensive travels?

I can definitely get behind this concept of splitting physiological and cultural abilities. But if ancestry feats are going to be the residing place of cultural things, then I very much question if they should still be called ancestry feats. There aren't currently any feats for focusing on Chelian/Vudran/Tien/Ulfen heritage, but if they ever add feats like that (which I expect to happen in the equivalent of the Dragon Empires Gazetteer), ancestry feats would thus be the most logical place to put them. But if that also means my elf from Jinin needs to take something like Adopted (Tien) to qualify for those feats, it will mean we've taken a massive step back toward race-as-class, regardless of the terminology used.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
RazarTuk wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
So, ignoring the topic that Paizo has said is not up for debate...
At least in my opinion, it can still be useful to discuss

I don't see the point in discussing the benefits of changing things that Paizo has told us there is no chance they will change, at least not on Paizo's official forums where they have already asked the matter not to be discussed.

I do think there are great discussions to be had about what exactly ancestry should mean in Pathfinder and how it should be represented mechanically, though. The fact that ancestry represents both biological and cultural things, sometimes unevenly, is an interesting point, and I think there's a lot to talk about as far as where that line should be, or how much of which aspect should go into heritages.


MaxAstro wrote:

So, ignoring the topic that Paizo has said is not up for debate...

OP, let me strongly, [b]strongly[/i] agree with your point about Clerics and divine magic. As someone who really liked the playtest overall, that is probably my number one remaining concern about the system.

I really want to be able to build a Good-aligned Cleric that is terrible at healing but still contributes fully to the party. I also really want a Cleric of Abadar or Desna really anyone but Sarenrae to not be shoehorned into a healer role. Even Clerics of Sarenrae, really, although they should definitely be the best healers.

My personal preference is that Channel Energy function as a different spell effect (or maybe a non-spell effect) depending on your deity, although I can see that being hard to balance across the board.

Eh, they have Variant Channeling they could have looked towards. Or Starfinder's connections for possible ideas.


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MaxAstro wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
So, ignoring the topic that Paizo has said is not up for debate...
At least in my opinion, it can still be useful to discuss

I don't see the point in discussing the benefits of changing things that Paizo has told us there is no chance they will change, at least not on Paizo's official forums where they have already asked the matter not to be discussed.

I do think there are great discussions to be had about what exactly ancestry should mean in Pathfinder and how it should be represented mechanically, though. The fact that ancestry represents both biological and cultural things, sometimes unevenly, is an interesting point, and I think there's a lot to talk about as far as where that line should be, or how much of which aspect should go into heritages.

That second part is what I said. Race/ancestry seems relevant largely because of the history and how we wound up mixing biology and culture. But especially given the argument about cultural things moving over to ancestry feats, I'd hope they're willing to discuss whether ancestry feats are even connected to this whole concept traditionally called race at all.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think I'm a bit unusual in that I'm not particularly bothered by ancestry feats granting biological abilities. It's weird, but not particularly weirder than a feat granting you the ability to get so angry that you turn into a dragon.


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MaxAstro wrote:
I think I'm a bit unusual in that I'm not particularly bothered by ancestry feats granting biological abilities. It's weird, but not particularly weirder than a feat granting you the ability to get so angry that you turn into a dragon.

Nor am I. My issue is that cultural and biological things are being tossed into the same pool. Feat that makes your already hardy dwarven body even hardier? Great. Feat that makes you better at using traditional dwarven weaponry? Great. Just give them separate names. For example, make the former ancestry and the latter heritage. But whatever you call the concept traditionally referred to as race in the end, let's end the days of assuming all dwarves are necessarily raised in a culture that teaches them to hate orcs.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Removed some posts and their replies.

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Sam Phelan wrote:
That said, please keep the conversation on the original topic and points of the thread, and do not detract from that content by introducing other fractionalizing topics. If you notice that the conversation is developing a tangent, please create a separate thread to hold that conversation.

I already did. I started a thread over in the Ancestry and Backgrounds subforum about whether ancestry feats should still have the ancestry name attached.

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