Is feat chaining legal? Is it confusing?


Rules Questions


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

At least one of my friends has complained about everything being labeled "feats" in P2E. "Why not just call them what they are: class abilities or racial traits? Using the same term over and over again for different things does not make things clear!" he'd say in frustration.

I dismissed the notion at the time (after all, we've always had different types of feats), but now that I'm beginning make characters for myself, I'm starting to wonder if he didn't have a point.

Case in point: I'm making a halfing fighter "giant slayer" concept. For my 5th-level halfing heritage feat, I'm going to take Cultural Adaptability, which gives me the Adopted Ancestry feat. The Adopted Ancestry feat lets me pick another ancestry and poach one of their 1st-level heritage feats. So I chose Human, and decided to pick up the General Training heritage feat. That feat says I can pick up a 1st-level General feat, which could also be a Skill feat.

Still following along? Good. Here's the feat chain we've built thus far:
Cultural Adaptability > Adopted Ancestry > General Training > General Feat or Skill Feat

And that's assuming you don't read the...
You gain the Adopted Ancestry general feat, and you also gain one 1st-level ancestry feat from the ancestry you chose for the Adopted Ancestry feat.
...text of Cultural Adaptability to mean that you get both the effects of Adopted Ancestry (which grants a feat) AND one other feat!

So we've used one feat to get 4, maybe 5, feats spanning across no less than three of the feat categories. Under the latter reading, if I took Natural Ambition as well, I could also have a class feat, effectively getting one of every kind of feat for the price of one.

God forbid anyone decides to use their feat chain to pick up up a feat that allows for an infinite loop of free feats someday. I sure hope Paizo stays on top of it enough to never let that happen in the first place.

So what do you think? Did you make it to the end without getting turned around at all? Is either interpretation legal? Does it seem as confusing to you as my friend surmised it might be?


I think you are confusing something.

Cultural Adaptability will give you Adopted Ancestry Feat and allow you to pick one 1st level Ancestry Feat.

Adopted Ancestry does not give you a feat.

With your 1 feat from Cultural Adaptability you can then take General Training or one of the other Ancestry feats but only one.

If you select General Training with that then you get 1 feat that must be a general feat (any feat with the general tag). Thats it.


Adopted Ancestry doesn't give you a feat, it just gives you the ability to pick racial feats.

That aside, I dunno. Cultural adaptability gives you a feat from another race and you're using that option to pick up a general feat as that race permits.

It feels like you're overstating how big of a deal this is.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
mavbor wrote:
Adopted Ancestry does not give you a feat.

Thank you for the clarification. Seems I was mistaken on that point. So that limits it to 4 feats then.

mavbor wrote:
If you select General Training with that then you get 1 feat that must be a general feat (any feat with the general tag). That's it.

Every skill feat also has the general tag insofar as I'm aware, so that's not much of an issue.

Thank you for clearing up and eliminating the second interpretation.

Squiggit wrote:
It feels like you're overstating how big of a deal this is.

It's not that big of a deal to me anyways. Like my friend, I was just wondering if people found the sheer number of feats (and just about everything being called a feat now) to be at all confusing.


Important note, Adopted Ancestry doesn't give you a racial feat. It only opens the selection up to you. It's Ancestral Paragon that gives you a level 1 Ancestry feat.

So it is down to Ancestry Feat to get Ancestry Feat to get General Feat. Which is a little silly, but really not that hard to wrap the head around, and you're probably not going to do that unless you're wanting to do that, at which point I'm not sure there's an issue.

The "can be General Feat or skill feat" may seem a little confusing to some, I don't personally mind it, but it might help to recall that what we call Skill Feats are Technically General feats, just ones with the Skill Trait (and your bi-level "Skill Feats can only be feats with the Skill Trait, which is why they tend to be called Skill Feats.

Or to put it how the book does on Page 255, Skill Feats are a subset of General Feats.

All that said, I'm glad they made Ancestral Paragon a level 3 General Feat, because in the Playtest you could take the Human Ancestry Feat General Training to take the General Feat Ancestral Paragon to take a level 1 Ancestry Feat.

An Ancestry Feat to take a General Feat to take an Ancestry Feat.

And I think it might have gone even deeper with one of those being choosable multiple times, I forget. THAT kind of chain is silly, because the feat-hopping doesn't do anything, it's just for the lulz.

Using an Ancestry feat to get a General Feat (even if the Ancestry Feat you use was itself from a different ancestry feat) is fine IMO, and clear enough.

As an aside, you could use that same setup as in the OP and take Natural Ambition instead of General Training, get a level 1 class feat instead of a level 1 General Feat. I think thats fine too. And this is a specific thing of Human Ancestry Feats, a manifestation of their flexibility allowing them to convert these resources to a degree (as an aside I like this design way more than I ever liked flexible ability scores+bonus feat).

As to the potential for infinites, given that Paizo deliberately rubbed out the closest thing we had to that in the Playtest, I expect they'll keep an eye for such things in the future. And honestly I don't think there's much potentual for them anyway. You'd only get that by having two or more feats that can be taken repeatedly and can be used to take each other. General Training can be taken repeatedly, but it has been specifically designed to not be able to take Ancestral Paragon, the feat that could loop back to General Training. Plus, Ancestral Paragon cannot be taken repeatedly. So to have infinites we would need a feat that is straight better than General Training in allowing higher level general feats while still being taken repeatedly and a general feat that is straight better than ancestral Paragon by being multi-choosable. Or General Training as-is and a lower level multi-choosable version of Ancestral Paragon.

There are other potential infinites, but all require one or more deliberately stronger or multi-choosable versions of existing feats and that seems unlikely.


Darn, ninja'd by shorter replies. XD


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Edge93 wrote:
Which is a little silly, but really not that hard to wrap the head around, and you're probably not going to do that unless you're wanting to do that, at which point I'm not sure there's an issue.

How does one write it all on their character sheet though?

Does retraining have any impact? For example, Cultural Adaptability grants Adopted Ancestry, but the latte feat is not really necessary for the bonus feat from the first. Could you retrain Adopted Ancestry to get a more useful feat?

Retraining rules likely block it I'd imagine, but there's nothing whatsoever refuting the idea that I do in fact have Adopted Ancestry as a feat. That alone might have some odd interaction with some future mechanic (but we'll cross that bridge when/if we come to it).


I’d write down the feat I’d gained from another feat in parentheses next to the feat that granted it in addition to being listed itself. That way you can track feat dependencies. Or use symbolic superscripts or something. Retraining a feat that grants another would cause you to remove both, cascading however long the chain is.

The Exchange

Is it possible to use the Adopted Ancestry feat at level one? to use your Ancestry feat from a different Ancestry?


No. You choose your first ancestry feat in step 3 of character creation and your first general feat in step 7.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Alchemical Wonder wrote:
No. You choose your first ancestry feat in step 3 of character creation and your first general feat in step 7.

Maybe. Human's versatile heritage says "as with your ancestry feat, you can select this general feat at any time during character creation." I don't know if that a rule specific to humans of this type or a restating of a general rule.


calling all the things which provide feat(ures) to your character feats is not confusing - not even when you can turn one categorization of those into another categorization of those.

If gamers can survive the use of one word for numerous unrelated things (level) without actually being confused, the use of one word to cover all manner of thing which are essentially the same (feat) won't even register as a speed bump.

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