[Speculation] How will half-breed races (Tieflings, Aasimars, Dhampirs, etc) be implemented?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


Given the new system, specifically Half-elves and Half-orcs, I suspect they'll just make them Heritages - which I actually quite like.

However, I'm wondering will they make them human-only, or will they extend those heritages to be available to all the core races?

I do expect they'll make them their own race with Heritages reflecting the daemon/devil/angel/whatever they come from.

However, it could also be interesting if they make it clear or give them ability to also specify other race heritage and thus gain access to those Ancestry feats. But this would probably be a bit too complicated.


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They will be universal heritages that any race can take (not just core), similar to human being able to take half-elf or half-orc. This one was covered by the devs.


QuidEst wrote:
They will be universal heritages that any race can take (not just core), similar to human being able to take half-elf or half-orc. This one was covered by the devs.

Thanks, I didn't know that! Sounds good. :)


NemoNoName wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
They will be universal heritages that any race can take (not just core), similar to human being able to take half-elf or half-orc. This one was covered by the devs.
Thanks, I didn't know that! Sounds good. :)

Enjoy! X)


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Also, the half-elf and half-orc heritages can already be applied to the other races. It's not explicitly stated in the core book, but the devs mentioned that the adjustments are very minor. You literally just replace every mention of "human" in the description with whatever other ancestry you want to apply.

Half orc half dwarf? Apply the half-orc heritage to dwarf and gain access to the orc and half-orc feats.

I'm not sure, but I think you can mix and match just about any race this way with a bit more effort. Half-dwarf? Apply a made-up ancestry that gives access to both human and dwarf feats. Dwarf/Gnome? Apply an ancestry that gives access to both dwarf and gnome feats.


I know devs said they were looking at them for being heritages. I'm okay with the elemental races and Dhampir being that...

But pleeeaaase don't do that to Aasimar and Tiefling! If they are heritages then they won't get heritages and you won't be able to choose what type you are. A kyton Tiefling and qlippoth Tiefling should be different just like an archon Aasimar and azata Aasimar should be. I know that any race can be them but reducing both to heritages would be so disappointing. If they want to make each possible fiend or celestial type a heritage I would be okay with that though but if you look at blood of fiends, most are so different looking from their parent race on the Tiefling side it would be weird for them to be just heritages


PFSocietyInitiate wrote:

I know devs said they were looking at them for being heritages. I'm okay with the elemental races and Dhampir being that...

But pleeeaaase don't do that to Aasimar and Tiefling! If they are heritages then they won't get heritages and you won't be able to choose what type you are. A kyton Tiefling and qlippoth Tiefling should be different just like an archon Aasimar and azata Aasimar should be. I know that any race can be them but reducing both to heritages would be so disappointing. If they want to make each possible fiend or celestial type a heritage I would be okay with that though but if you look at blood of fiends, most are so different looking from their parent race on the Tiefling side it would be weird for them to be just heritages

Or, each type of tiefling and aasimar could be a separate heritage, with a wide variety of ancestry feats, some of which requiring a specific tiefling/aasimar heritage as a pre-req.

Silver Crusade

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I figure the specifc heritages will be Ancestry Feats, and it'll be more about skills and quirks rather than ability boosts.


QuidEst wrote:
They will be universal heritages that any race can take (not just core), similar to human being able to take half-elf or half-orc. This one was covered by the devs.

So is it possible to have a half-elf aasimar? I'm thinking it's not, but I may be misunderstanding the system.


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I don't see what is stopping the tiefling heritage to say, "As you select this feat, choose your infernal parentage: demon, daemon, or devil, this effects which feats are available to you."


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PFSocietyInitiate wrote:

I know devs said they were looking at them for being heritages. I'm okay with the elemental races and Dhampir being that...

But pleeeaaase don't do that to Aasimar and Tiefling! If they are heritages then they won't get heritages and you won't be able to choose what type you are. A kyton Tiefling and qlippoth Tiefling should be different just like an archon Aasimar and azata Aasimar should be. I know that any race can be them but reducing both to heritages would be so disappointing. If they want to make each possible fiend or celestial type a heritage I would be okay with that though but if you look at blood of fiends, most are so different looking from their parent race on the Tiefling side it would be weird for them to be just heritages

The game have a Half-Elf feat called Elf Atavism that let them chose what kind of Elf the character is closer to and can only be picked at lvl 1.

Aasimar and Tiefling could just have a lvl 1 Ancestry feat that let you chose what kind of planar stuff you want to be closer, this way any race can have it and still have the option to be able to pick what kind of Tiefling the character is.


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Does Elf Atavism give the character anything but the ability to count as a certain Elf heritage for future ancestry feats?


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David knott 242 wrote:

Does Elf Atavism give the character anything but the ability to count as a certain Elf heritage for future ancestry feats?

You gain the effects of the Elf Heritage, like Darkvision of cavern elves, resistance to cold of artic elves and so on.


I really like that the heritages can be applied as seen fit, already got an half-elf/half-orc in one of my first campaigns :P


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Everyone always throws out Aasimars, Tieflings, and Dhampirs. And while they are really cool, to be sure, I WANT MY GANZI AND APHORITES! (okay, mostly just Ganzi).

I want my Elf who feels wrong in the world and goes out to find his origins until he reaches the Maelstrom and finds an ancient Protean once decided to have some fun with an Artic Elf warrior woman. GIVE ME MY CHAOS SERPENT MAELSTROM DADDY!!!

...

Sorry, I may have gotten a little excited there...


If we do tieflings etc. as heritages how are we going to handle the cases where the heritage adds a stat flaw and extra bonus, when depending on the base ancestry these might not stack?

Like being a tiefling or a changeling or something should change a human from a +2/+2 to a +2/+2/+2/-2, but what would it do to an elf or a dwarf?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

If we do tieflings etc. as heritages how are we going to handle the cases where the heritage adds a stat flaw and extra bonus, when depending on the base ancestry these might not stack?

Like being a tiefling or a changeling or something should change a human from a +2/+2 to a +2/+2/+2/-2, but what would it do to an elf or a dwarf?

My Assumptions is they will implement it in one of four ways

A] They never make universal heritages that affect ability scores (unlikely)

B] The ability score modifers for your base ancestry are entirely overwritten by the heritage (i.e. you get the same array of pluses and minuses for that heritage no matter what your ancestry is).

C] The heritage forces you to use your free boost from your ancestry (every ancestry currently has at least one (I don't see that changing; as I see it; its there to encourage playing all classes on any ancestry)) on a specific (or choice of two for some heritages) ability score with no specific clause about 2 boosts to the same ability score

D] As C] but if it would boost a score to 14 you get a free choice again that doesnt make any score better than 12. (To curtail power gaming)

I think D is probably most likely or maybe B. It really strikes me as them trying to avoid locking specific builds behind a specific ancestry in this edition.

In short, i stongly suspect that Paizo will do whatever they can to not make it so that 'That Guy' at the table can't brow-beat someone else because you have to be an aasmir gnome to be a bard because thats the only way to get two 18's (which isnt allowed anyway) and other such arguements people make.

I'm hoping that PF2 makes it so that 1.] You have to actively try to make a non-functional character as opposed to them being unhappy accidents and 2.] Cutting down on the ability for people displaying toxic behaviour to have a strong mechanical basis for their claims of 'badwrongfun'.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

If we do tieflings etc. as heritages how are we going to handle the cases where the heritage adds a stat flaw and extra bonus, when depending on the base ancestry these might not stack?

Like being a tiefling or a changeling or something should change a human from a +2/+2 to a +2/+2/+2/-2, but what would it do to an elf or a dwarf?

I don’t think any of the existing heritages modify ability scores. It seems very complicated to have universal heritages modify your stats. I think they used the different ability score mods like aasimar had in PF1 as an example of something that could be handled with the floating ancestry bonus. And, with the trade of two penalties for a bonus allowing you to make any given score a bonus or a penalty on any ancestry, it seems unlikely to me that they would have aasimar, tiefling, etc. modify your ancestry’s ability scores.


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Some Kind of Chymist wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

If we do tieflings etc. as heritages how are we going to handle the cases where the heritage adds a stat flaw and extra bonus, when depending on the base ancestry these might not stack?

Like being a tiefling or a changeling or something should change a human from a +2/+2 to a +2/+2/+2/-2, but what would it do to an elf or a dwarf?

My Assumptions is they will implement it in one of four ways

A] They never make universal heritages that affect ability scores (unlikely)

Why do we think this is unlikely?

Personally, ability scores were the biggest problems with the off-shoot tiefling/aasimar races in PF1.

Let's talk about the elephant in the room when it comes to these variations:

These were commonly picked by powergamers that wanted a specific ability boost but also wanted to be able to get the "tiefling/aasimar" goodies. You could get nearly the entire ability scores spread combinations across a single Tiefling/Aasimar.

This made it to where you could play any class and still be a demon/angel/whatever, but it also made the base races they were compared to not quite as appetizing when these were all available.

Now, given what we can expect, ability scores are already modified by your base Ancestry and supposedly these "Universal Heritages" will just open you up to your extra-planar side. You can still play a demon/angel/whatever of every class.

So not only do I not agree with it being "unlikely", I would consider it likely and the least aggravated solution.

There are ways to incorporate Kyton/Azata/Daemon/whatever flavors via Ancestry Feats or an initial selection of the Universal Heritage without having to have ability score changes (you can even faux aspects of this with Skill/Action/Spell/whatever boosts).

Literally, any time a player asked to play a variant Tiefling/Aasimar I rolled my eyes. It was almost always so they could have perfect ability scores, Glitterdust as a Spell-like, or natural weapons so they could attack 5 times in one turn at level 1 (exaggerating). Almost never have I see anyone pick these races on backstory/concept alone, it was always mechanically that supported the choice first. I would rather see someone playing a Kyton Tiefling because they have something interesting to say with the character, and not just because they really wanted to have a +2 to INT and DEX and a -2 CHA so they could be the best possible Magus.

They don't need ability score changes to be meaningful choices. Later level Ancestry Feats are where these types of Ancestries are going to find their real footing anyways (those are the tropes they best fill, "awakened power" is a common fantasy trope) to me.


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Half-human
(Heritage)

Because it is a truth universally acknowledged that a human adventurer with a pocket full of plundered gold and a belly full of ale will shag pretty much anything.


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They could just go with making a recommendation for the floating boost (or one of the floating boosts, if the character has a human ancestry) -- for example, "Peri-born aasimar usually apply a floating boost to intelligence, or to charisma if they already have a fixed boost to intelligence." Note that this sentence does not require the player to do anything but offers suggestions as to what characters with that heritage usually do.


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I'm just going to find it odd to have tieflings without cha flaws, changelings/dhampir without con flaws, etc.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm just going to find it odd to have tieflings without cha flaws, changelings/dhampir without con flaws, etc.

That's where the additional/optional flaw system when making your character comes into play :3


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm just going to find it odd to have tieflings without cha flaws, changelings/dhampir without con flaws, etc.

"Due to your infernal nature, you receive a +1 circumstance bonus whenever you use Deception to convince someone of a lie. Consequently, you receive a -1 circumstance bonus on any attempt to improve someone's attitude with respect to you in Diplomacy"

Not only is the above an effective "flaw" it also fits with the conceptual idea that Devils are good liars.

Ability scores IMO, are too broad to modify things appropriately anyways with respect to planar heritage.

As for the Con flaw, it would be extremely easy to just modify starting Hitpoints.

Basically, there are other ways to skin that cat that don't involve actual ability score changes.

And as Rysky said, if you want to really lean into it, you can always grab flaws.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm just going to find it odd to have tieflings without cha flaws, changelings/dhampir without con flaws, etc.

Given the new system of being able to gain an extra floating bonus in exchange for two floating flaws, there could also be recommendations as to where to place a floating flaw....


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Another idea: Grant additional ancestry abilities in exchange for an additional fixed flaw.


Rysky wrote:
That's where the additional/optional flaw system when making your character comes into play :3

But the system gives you one boost for two flaws, so what if I want just one flaw.

My preference has always been to do tieflings etc as their own ancestry, just give them the ability to take ancestry feats from another ancestry, just so we can get the stat mods right, but that does not seem to be the path they are pursuing.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Rysky wrote:
That's where the additional/optional flaw system when making your character comes into play :3
But the system gives you one boost for two flaws, so what if I want just one flaw.

I believe you can lower a stat with no boost, like Starfinder.

Or just leave that stat at 10 and play up whatever drawback you would associate with it previously.


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And you can always opt not to boost a given stat at a later stage of character creation for a similar result to taking a flaw.


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Midnightoker wrote:
This made it to where you could play any class and still be a demon/angel/whatever

I'm not really convinced that was ever actually a problem. Like, yeah, one Tiefling might make a good wizard and another tiefling might make a good fighter and a third might make a good cleric, but they were all mutually exclusive so why does that matter? The cleric stat spread existing didn't suddenly make wizard tieflings any stronger or vice versa.

If they had all been printed as separate races nobody would have bat an eye at them, but somehow having alternate stat spreads on one race instead is problematic. It seems like a really arbitrary thing to get upset over.


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Squiggit wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
This made it to where you could play any class and still be a demon/angel/whatever

I'm not really convinced that was ever actually a problem. Like, yeah, one Tiefling might make a good wizard and another tiefling might make a good fighter and a third might make a good cleric, but they were all mutually exclusive so why does that matter? The cleric stat spread existing didn't suddenly make wizard tieflings any stronger or vice versa.

If they had all been printed as separate races nobody would have bat an eye at them, but somehow having alternate stat spreads on one race instead is problematic. It seems like a really arbitrary thing to get upset over.

I think maybe you're missing the main premise of what I was saying, which was that the Tiefling/Aasimar race variations specifically appealed to powergamers.

In actuality, the ones that wanted to play demon/angel (insert class here) just went ahead and did it.

But then there were those that wanted to play the "perfect race + class combination", which is where this aspect becomes unhealthy.

For Example:

Aasimar gives a +2 to Wis and Cha, which is nice.

It gives various other things including Daylight and some skill bonuses.

it however, is not super conducive for playing a lot of classes, since those two ability scores are very dependent for Casters but not for others.

Rogue comes to mind, while the CHA is good, the rest of the race is just decent additions to anyone (not particularly optimal).

By itself with no bloodlines, Aasimar is a wonderfully designed race, but it has no real flavored history to it in terms of the lineage specificity (and tbh, idk that it should, because we're talking about being planar-touched not a half-race but that's a separate point).

Lets take a look at "Azata-Bloodline"

+2 Dex/+2 Cha

Already we have red flags, because instead of two mental attributes, we're getting a physical (DEX) and not just any physical but one of the best ones (because it's literally good on any class in PF1).

This is exceptional on a lot more Classes than the previous Ability combinations, if only for the DEX, but it also compliments well with Classes that aren't even by nature "good" Classes (Rogue and Sorcerer do extremely well here, although Archer Paladins do as well).

And then you have the Spell-like replacement for Glitterdust, which takes a pretty weak and non-game changing ability (IMO) of Daylight to a once per day AoE SoS + Invisibility Purge that starts off with an above average save, and never loses value on the Invisibility front.

On top of that, they only swap for one unfavorable choice (Skill bonus goes from Perception -> Perform) for most classes. And even then, the Bard would make an excellent choice here.

IMO, objectively on ability scores alone, Azata Aasimar is better than most base Races, even it's own parent Race.

If they had printed "Azata Touched" as it's own base race, it would have been pretty easy to tell that it's better than almost any other Race.

You get 5 resistance to 3 separate energies, you get Glitterdust 1/per day at full caster, you get to "pick" your ability scores (just like a Human does, except you did it under the guise of "variant race"), you get your two skill increases, and you get Darkvision 60ft.

So effectively, the main issue I have with it is that most people selected these "variants" for powergaming reasons, and because they had a full spread of ability scores covered they were effectively "humans that got to have their cake and eat it too" because they could choose whatever variant that had the ability score combinations they wanted.

Now, you remove Ability Score changes from the variants, and I have a lot less issues with them, but they even have issues on the Spell front.

When you throw all these variants under one basket, what you're doing is effectively letting them pick and choose their exact combination of racial abilities.

If you compare Azata Aasimar for a Bard to any other race, it almost unequivocally would come out as the "best" choice (if you throw away thematics).

Should they? Maybe they should be one of the better choices, but it shouldn't dwarf others by comparison (pun intended).

In short:

Bloodlines of planar races would be welcomed!

I would like if they were chosen on concept and not mechanics.

In PF1, my experience was they were always chosen on powergame necessity (if they were allowed, I rarely allowed the variants).


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In addition, the "native outsider" part where you Dodge all of this "hold person" effects is just icing on the cake.


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Then that seems more like an issue with some of the options being overpowered than the options existing being the problem, which I think is a slightly different discussion (and a lot harder to argue against because some of them are pretty dumb).


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Squiggit wrote:
Then that seems more like an issue with some of the options being overpowered than the options existing being the problem, which I think is a slightly different discussion (and a lot harder to argue against because some of them are pretty dumb).

To me the ability score piece is systemic. It offers the same flexibility as a Human without the “cost” but I do agree to some extent.

I think advancing the bloodline aspect with ancestry Feats makes way more sense in the context of Aasimar/Tiefling.

Early, you should manifest less of your background, and as you level you select the Kyton bloodline which is an Ancestry Archetype that locks your next three Feats for Ancestry (where you get chain weapon bonuses, bleed damage attacks, etc)

Basically, you’re just a Tiefling unless you invest in your bloodline with Feats (or maybe you decide your “elf heritage overpowers your Tiefling lineage” as a character defining thing and invest your Feats there).

Then how much bloodline affects you is directly tied to your Ancestry Feat investment.


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BlueJay64 wrote:

Also, the half-elf and half-orc heritages can already be applied to the other races. It's not explicitly stated in the core book, but the devs mentioned that the adjustments are very minor. You literally just replace every mention of "human" in the description with whatever other ancestry you want to apply.

Half orc half dwarf? Apply the half-orc heritage to dwarf and gain access to the orc and half-orc feats.

I'm not sure, but I think you can mix and match just about any race this way with a bit more effort. Half-dwarf? Apply a made-up ancestry that gives access to both human and dwarf feats. Dwarf/Gnome? Apply an ancestry that gives access to both dwarf and gnome feats.

Actually, it is explicitly stated in the core book.

The human ancestry has a footnote stating that with GM permission, any ancestry can take the half-elf or half-orc heritages - including orcs and elves.

The note even goes so far as to imply that half-elves descended from halflings and gnomes, as well as half-orcs descended from halflings, goblins, and dwarves, are canon to Golarion (although I imagine rare).


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MaxAstro wrote:

The human ancestry has a footnote stating that with GM permission, any ancestry can take the half-elf or half-orc heritages - including orcs and elves.

The note even goes so far as to imply that half-elves descended from halflings and gnomes, as well as half-orcs descended from halflings, goblins, and dwarves, are canon to Golarion (although I imagine rare).

Finally my dreams of playing a half elf half-elf can become a reality!


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shadram wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:

The human ancestry has a footnote stating that with GM permission, any ancestry can take the half-elf or half-orc heritages - including orcs and elves.

The note even goes so far as to imply that half-elves descended from halflings and gnomes, as well as half-orcs descended from halflings, goblins, and dwarves, are canon to Golarion (although I imagine rare).

Finally my dreams of playing a half elf half-elf can become a reality!

Would that be a quarter-elf?


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Midnightoker wrote:


Then how much bloodline affects you is directly tied to your Ancestry Feat investment.

I actually think that's a really good solution and makes a lot of narrative sense too. A tiefling who pours a lot of resources into their ancestry would be, narratively, one who embraces their evil heritage or at least decides to leverage it to their own advantage, whereas one who doesn't is one who rejects that heritage and remains a lot closer to human (or whatever their base ancestry is).

Sort of like how in PF1 kitsunes could spend feats to add extra tails, effectively investing resources into improving their 'innate' racial power. Only hopefully more interesting than magical tail was.


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shadram wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:

The human ancestry has a footnote stating that with GM permission, any ancestry can take the half-elf or half-orc heritages - including orcs and elves.

The note even goes so far as to imply that half-elves descended from halflings and gnomes, as well as half-orcs descended from halflings, goblins, and dwarves, are canon to Golarion (although I imagine rare).

Finally my dreams of playing a half elf half-elf can become a reality!

I believe the note meant to imply that elves could take half-orc and orcs could take half-elf (voldur, yay!), but honestly that footnote is very poorly worded.


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Squiggit wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:


Then how much bloodline affects you is directly tied to your Ancestry Feat investment.

I actually think that's a really good solution and makes a lot of narrative sense too. A tiefling who pours a lot of resources into their ancestry would be, narratively, one who embraces their evil heritage or at least decides to leverage it to their own advantage, whereas one who doesn't is one who rejects that heritage and remains a lot closer to human (or whatever their base ancestry is).

Sort of like how in PF1 kitsunes could spend feats to add extra tails, effectively investing resources into improving their 'innate' racial power. Only hopefully more interesting than magical tail was.

It would certainly be a lot more organic to progress.

In DnD 3.5 there were monster levels that you could take, level 1 manifesting some of the abilities and then at the level you reached the total "modifier" of the template (vampires were 8 I believe) you just became that race effectively.

Implementing something that gives the same feel without all the complexity and issues that came with it feels very doable with Ancestry Feats and Ancestry Archetypes.

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