Does anyone else want playable serpentfolk?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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I've seen comments that suggest they're one of few remaining "always Evil" ancestries in 2e, which is immensely disappointing to me for a couple reasons.


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I want playable everything so yeah.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think we will eventually get all Golarion intelligent species as playable eventually. It would make for a nice PF2 ARG come to think of it.

Which is completely different from having "very very often Evil" ancestries. Because really there has never been such a thing as "always Evil" in Golarion, except on an individual level. Doubly so for mortal species.

Note also that just because the previous Paizo books might have shown most depicted members of a given species in a negative light, it is not necessarily representative of the whole species in Golarion. Goblins are a great example of this.

One of the big things I think are deities. If some serpentfolk out there worship a benevolent snake deity of say Healing and Wisdom, it is easier to not see all serpentfolk as the Evil cultists of Ydersius.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Serpentfolk were a 5 HD race in PF1, so I highly doubt their power level would be toned down far enough to make them a playable ancestry in PF2. You can expect some small adjustments with 2 HD PF1 races (as we've already witnessed with Lizardfolk), but a CR 4 creature with level 2 SLAs, SR and poison? Not gonna happen.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Serpentfolk were a 5 HD race in PF1, so I highly doubt their power level would be toned down far enough to make them a playable ancestry in PF2. You can expect some small adjustments with 2 HD PF1 races (as we've already witnessed with Lizardfolk), but a CR 4 creature with level 2 SLAs, SR and poison? Not gonna happen.

I think it can happen. What you wont get is a level 1 character with all the bells and whistles. But some level 5 feats can do a lot of work.

Mix it with a description that has a cultural period of extended adolescence such that lower level serpentfolk out in the world arent seen so much (and an Uncommon tag on the ancestry) and it could work out.

Silver Crusade

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There’s also more than one version of Serpentfolk so having “level 1” versions aren’t that far out there.

I don’t care about their innate spells (or whatever the abilities Serpentfolk get), I just wanna play a snake person.


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If we do, I hope we get a heritage that doesn't have legs. Just one long tail.


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According to James Jacobs, he'd prefer serpentfolk stay separate from PC ancestries.

James Jacobs wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Nagaji are the best "snake people" option in Pathifnder, and there's potentially some room to explore this with the vishkanya as well.

I really want to keep serpentfolk set aside as a monster, though.

I'm actually kind of surprised, the whole "sentient people who are exclusively monsters" thing seemed to be something you guys were intentionally trying to get away from, may I ask if there's something specific about Serpentfolk that makes them different from Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins, etc? I wasn't around for any of the pf1e stuff.

That philosophy is more of a Starfinder one—with most aliens in that game potentially being options for player characters. While we have adjusted the themes for some of the classic "monster societies" in Pathfinder's 2nd edition, such as what we've done with goblins, hobgoblins, orcs, and so on, it's important that we do retain some creatures in the role of monster for the game so as to keep them thematic options for adventures without the potential of having a PC ancestry be an awkward fit for that adventure.

As a general rule, this applies to creatures that in 1st edition had racial Hit Dice, whereas creatures that did not and were presented as "characters" in 1st edition tend to be those that we want to explore as player character ancestry options. There's some exceptions—but usually only for creatures that in 1st edition had only a few racial Hit Dice, like lizardfolk. Once something gets 3 or more racial Hit Dice, chances are good that we'll want to retain them as monsters and not player character ancestries.

Liberty's Edge

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Gorbacz wrote:
Serpentfolk were a 5 HD race in PF1, so I highly doubt their power level would be toned down far enough to make them a playable ancestry in PF2. You can expect some small adjustments with 2 HD PF1 races (as we've already witnessed with Lizardfolk), but a CR 4 creature with level 2 SLAs, SR and poison? Not gonna happen.

Not necessarily. With the way PF2 Ancestries are designed, you can pretty readily have all their unique features as Class Feats and basically make a 1st level PC an immature or otherwise less powerful Serpentfolk. I think that's very buildable, and the folks at Paizo have noted a willingness to do something similar with, for example, were-creatures, so I think they'd also agree it's mechanically doable as well.

I mean, really, what do Serpentfolk have (aside from things irrelevant to making them an Ancestry PF2 like Natural Armor, good stats, and HD)?

They have a poisonous bite, immunity to mind-effecting stuff and poison (probably both reduced to Resistance in PF2), SR, ventriloquism and disguise self at-will, and once per day blur, mirror image, and suggestion.

That sounds like a Heritage for a bite, and Ancestry Feats being mostly immunities and innate spells. That sounds super doable, honestly. You probably won't have quite the default Serpentfolk load-out at 5th level just from Ancestry Feats, but if you go Occult Sorcerer (and an Occult Serpentfolk Bloodline could be included in the book, and seems eminently appropriate), I see no reason you can't manage all that by 7th level, plus a bunch of other spells to boot.

Now, James Jacobs thematic objections are an entirely separate issue and one that obviously has nothing to do with mechanics, but I don't buy that it's not mechanically doable.


I am not sure if there is enough narrative space to be worth it right now given the archetypes they represent have a lot of overlap with lizardfolk.

They are scaly races. Their races are often in a hostile situation with other civilized races around them. They descend from ancient empires that once held a large power over the world, but have since faced decline. That history gives them perspectives and secrets that are distinct from the human cultures in power today.

The only immediate narrative difference is that lizardfolk tend to have a martial and druidic lean, while serpentfolk lean more towards occult magic and maybe some arcane.

If you aren't specifically doing a serpentfolk focused campaign, I feel it would be hard to notice the difference between the races in a party. This isn't like having a goblin (chaotic, hyper) and a hobgoblin (disciplined, utilitarian) in the same party.


lemeres wrote:
They descend from ancient empires that once held a large power over the world, but have since faced decline. That history gives them perspectives and secrets that are distinct from the human cultures in power today.

Is the empire of Droon in decline? I got the impression that the Iruxi empire was still going strong but simply doesn't care about the Inner Sea region so we don't get a lot of details about it

Liberty's Edge

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Paradozen wrote:
Is the empire of Droon in decline? I got the impression that the Iruxi empire was still going strong but simply doesn't care about the Inner Sea region so we don't get a lot of details about it

Depends on one's definitions, I suppose. My impression is that the ancient Iruxi Empire was much more expansive than Droon, making Droon, like Taldor, technically an empire in decline, not because it's not currently large and powerful, but compared to what it once was.


I can't find anything in the lost omens source material that suggests that Droon is in decline. Only that the Iruxi are having to deal with other races more often and that's putting strain on their traditions of isolationism. The only real contents on its scope are that it's one of the most powerful empires in Garund.


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I'm all for snakey PCs, but wouldn't playable serpentfolk be like playable alghollthu?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm curious if they wound up beasts or humanoids. Monstrous humanoids seemed to wind up split in both directions. I'll know pretty soon I suppose.

We'll also know for sure what hey wound up with as far as features go, and so be better positioned to gauge how tough to power down to an ancestry they'll be.

Silver Crusade

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Closer to playable Drow.

Serpentfolk aren't some unknown horror with completely alien mindset.

Also they're humanoid in shape with the standard adventurer set of limbs and appendages.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Paradozen wrote:
lemeres wrote:
They descend from ancient empires that once held a large power over the world, but have since faced decline. That history gives them perspectives and secrets that are distinct from the human cultures in power today.
Is the empire of Droon in decline? I got the impression that the Iruxi empire was still going strong but simply doesn't care about the Inner Sea region so we don't get a lot of details about it

Nope; Droon is going strong.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

OK, after seeing that the lowliest Serpentfolk are level 2 in Bestiary 2, I think they could work as a playable ancestry :)


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
Is the empire of Droon in decline? I got the impression that the Iruxi empire was still going strong but simply doesn't care about the Inner Sea region so we don't get a lot of details about it
Depends on one's definitions, I suppose. My impression is that the ancient Iruxi Empire was much more expansive than Droon, making Droon, like Taldor, technically an empire in decline, not because it's not currently large and powerful, but compared to what it once was.

While I am not sure on full extent of the current lore, I am more talking about the broad historical strokes that was used across both editions. I think most of my info is sourced from "Classic Monsters Revisted", but even the current ancestry and bestiary descriptions appear to allude to this.

In that respect, iruxi used to hold a prominent role as one of the ruling races of the ancient world during their hey day. Their decline is usually presented as a result of differences in adolescent growth and reproduction rates. The faster growing human population eventually pushed them out of many locations, forcing them to take refuge and adapt to less hospitable habitats, such as water drenched swamps or dry deserts.

Current empires, such as Droon, likely have developed their own niche, and built solid foundational strength that make them more resistant to outside interference, but represent a much, much smaller line of defense compared to the ancient and expansive empires.

Actually, I am pretty sure ALL of the major scaly races get this kind of narrative treatment. Lizardfolk have less confrontation about it, and it was more gradual and a slow retreat to current locations. Serpentfolk were actively beaten back due to their aggression. And troglodytes? Their culture got pretty much curb stomped/murder hobo'd by Aroden (although that culture always had its roots as an underground power to start with, since it relied on relics in an Orv Vault).

Scarab Sages

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Squiggit wrote:
Is the empire of Droon in decline? I got the impression that the Iruxi empire was still going strong but simply doesn't care about the Inner Sea region so we don't get a lot of details about it
Squiggit wrote:
I can't find anything in the lost omens source material that suggests that Droon is in decline. Only that the Iruxi are having to deal with other races more often and that's putting strain on their traditions of isolationism. The only real contents on its scope are that it's one of the most powerful empires in Garund.

Per Classic Monsters Revisited, lizardfolk were more populous and dominant before Earthfall, which was especially unkind to them, than they are now.

While CRM was published in 2008 and most of the content will be re-examined for the Lost Omens, I think the above will remain true.

Certainly lizardfolk are better off now than the serpentfolk or xulgaths. Don't know about kobolds or vishkanya.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Droon is still going strong! It's at least as roubust as a place like Taldor or Osirion. Maybe more!


Rysky wrote:

There’s also more than one version of Serpentfolk so having “level 1” versions aren’t that far out there.

I don’t care about their innate spells (or whatever the abilities Serpentfolk get), I just wanna play a snake person.

I think we're more likely to get a PF2 version of the nagaji.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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As I mentioned in the post I was quoted in above, nagaji are indeed our current "snake people for PCs" focus. We'll get to presenting them as an ancestry some day, I suspect... which is more than I'm currently comfortable saying about serpentfolk.

(Which is one way that 3rd party publishers can step in and help provide more options for gamers—we can't do everything ourselves, nor do we want to!)

Silver Crusade

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Staffan Johansson wrote:
Rysky wrote:

There’s also more than one version of Serpentfolk so having “level 1” versions aren’t that far out there.

I don’t care about their innate spells (or whatever the abilities Serpentfolk get), I just wanna play a snake person.

I think we're more likely to get a PF2 version of the nagaji.

I’m not a fan of Nagaji, they’re something entirely distinct from Serpentfolk and really only have “I have some snake aesthetics” in common.

I like Vishkanya more than them, but still Vishkanya are also entirely distinct from Serpentfolk.

(I also really like Iruxi, but they’re not snakes :3)


James Jacobs wrote:
Droon is still going strong! It's at least as roubust as a place like Taldor or Osirion. Maybe more!

I understand that it is going strong as a nation, but that is separate from the general decline of the race as a whole.

There is a difference between being a strong nation, and being one of several dozen nations with a shared race and culture. Such nations could cooperate against a shared enemy, or work together on major projects. For example, Iruxi are noted for ancient engineering projects that redirected rivers and created new swamp lands (for settlement) that still exit to this day.

I would imagine that Droon would find it difficult to pull off such a project unless it had no side effects outside of its borders. If the neighbor was also an iruxi nation, then they might join in since they could gain similar benefits from the geographical change. But human nations? They an inconvenience at best, and an outright attack at worst, since humans don't enjoy the same environments as iruxi.

Droon might still be thriving in its current situation, but it has to curtail its activities in this manner because its neighbors have such basic differences in biology and lifestyle.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I fail to see how their being a 5 HD race in 1st Edition has any baring whatsoever to how they'd present as a 2nd Edition ancestry.

It'd be as easy to make them into an ancestry as it would be an ogre, bugbear, drow, catfolk, minotaur, or vishkanya.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ravingdork wrote:

I fail to see how their being a 5 HD race in 1st Edition has any baring whatsoever to how they'd present as a 2nd Edition ancestry.

It'd be as easy to make them into an ancestry as it would be an ogre, bugbear, drow, catfolk, minotaur, or vishkanya.

How many HD a monster had in 1st edition doesn't really matter, you're right. What does matter is whether or not we want to make a monster into an ancestry. Not every creature is a great option for the game's themes and needs and brand and story, and serpentfolk are in that category.

That may change some day, but that day's not gonna be soon.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'd love to see Serpentfolk as a playable ancestry, their 2nd edition artwork is just wonderful, they're very sleek and vibrant. Honestly their story is compelling too.

The few pictures I can find of Nagaji from first edition aren't immensely inspiring to me so I'd much prefer Serpentfolk (also Naga are... Whew, I'm sure it was meant to be unnerving, but boy is it unnerving), but lots of creatures got art updates, so maybe this could wind up being one them.

I can't find much actual story about them.

Dark Archive

The-Magic-Sword wrote:

I'd love to see Serpentfolk as a playable ancestry, their 2nd edition artwork is just wonderful, they're very sleek and vibrant. Honestly their story is compelling too.

The few pictures I can find of Nagaji from first edition aren't immensely inspiring to me so I'd much prefer Serpentfolk (also Naga are... Whew, I'm sure it was meant to be unnerving, but boy is it unnerving), but lots of creatures got art updates, so maybe this could wind up being one them.

I can't find much actual story about them.

That is mostly because there is barely any Tian Xia content in 1e. Like I think book with most nagaji content out of any 1e content is... Single pfs scenario with nagaji village iirc?

So since they haven't gotten cameos in Inner Sea, pretty much only thing known about nagaji is that they are snake like humanoids created by Nagajor's nagas as servitors. (I hope they don't have eyelids though :p but let's face it, someday writer will describe them winking or artist will draw them with eyelids) They pretty much worship nagas so uh yeah, they are more isolationist than "random naga characters pop up everywhere" type deal.


Having read serpentfolk's game backstory and much of the literature that inspired them, I have difficulties in seeing how one could be played as a functional member of an average adventuring group without completely divorcing it from the backstory. Stats are irrelevant. If they were allowed in their full glory, they would be completely unbalanced. If they were allowed in a diluted form, their mysterious and threatening nature becomes a joke.

I know everyone has their favorite monster race(s) they want to play as. I am equally guilty. But playable goblins or hobgoblins are nothing compared to playable serpentfolk in Pathfinder (or Starfinder).

Dark Archive

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Naal wrote:

Having read serpentfolk's game backstory and much of the literature that inspired them, I have difficulties in seeing how one could be played as a functional member of an average adventuring group without completely divorcing it from the backstory. Stats are irrelevant. If they were allowed in their full glory, they would be completely unbalanced. If they were allowed in a diluted form, their mysterious and threatening nature becomes a joke.

I know everyone has their favorite monster race(s) they want to play as. I am equally guilty. But playable goblins or hobgoblins are nothing compared to playable serpentfolk in Pathfinder (or Starfinder).

In which case they should introduce multiple different snek ancestry varieties for all of us reptilian PC fans ;D


I don't know if "multiple versions of [insert animal]-people" are really a can of worms we want to open.

I mean, we just got pug people, so if there's 3 kinds of snake people imagine how many types of cat, dog, and bird people that could lead to.


Naal wrote:

Having read serpentfolk's game backstory and much of the literature that inspired them, I have difficulties in seeing how one could be played as a functional member of an average adventuring group without completely divorcing it from the backstory. Stats are irrelevant. If they were allowed in their full glory, they would be completely unbalanced. If they were allowed in a diluted form, their mysterious and threatening nature becomes a joke.

I know everyone has their favorite monster race(s) they want to play as. I am equally guilty. But playable goblins or hobgoblins are nothing compared to playable serpentfolk in Pathfinder (or Starfinder).

This feels like the same argument that could be made against any of the 'evil' races given ancestries - a bit problematic as the serpentfolk art is Asian thematically.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Naal wrote:

Having read serpentfolk's game backstory and much of the literature that inspired them, I have difficulties in seeing how one could be played as a functional member of an average adventuring group without completely divorcing it from the backstory. Stats are irrelevant. If they were allowed in their full glory, they would be completely unbalanced. If they were allowed in a diluted form, their mysterious and threatening nature becomes a joke.

I know everyone has their favorite monster race(s) they want to play as. I am equally guilty. But playable goblins or hobgoblins are nothing compared to playable serpentfolk in Pathfinder (or Starfinder).

I’m not sure how having them be playable “dilutes” them or turns them into a joke.

It hadn’t done that for Drow. Just because a lot of people might like playing them doesn’t mean there’d be a swarm of canonical Serpentfolk all over the surface world now.

Silver Crusade

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I don't know if "multiple versions of [insert animal]-people" are really a can of worms we want to open.

I mean, we just got pug people, so if there's 3 kinds of snake people imagine how many types of cat, dog, and bird people that could lead to.

We already do,

Amurran and Fanglord for Cats.

Shoony, Rougarou, and Witchwolves for Dogs.

(Gnolls as Hyena for the inbetween).

Strix, Syrinx, Tengu, and Aerieborn for birds.

And that’s not taking into account Planar Scions that are descended from Immortals that resemble those creatures.

So Nagaji, Vishkanya, and Serpentfolk for “snek” folk isn’t too overburdening.

Edited


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Also they're humanoid in shape with the standard adventurer set of limbs and appendages.

Spoiler:
Yep, they're humanoid in the preview. I assumed that would be the case, but like I said monstrous humanoids went in both directions. I wonder if "bipedal" is in fact the determinant?
Rysky wrote:
(Gnolls as Hyena for the inbetween).

Don't forget Kitsune!

Scarab Sages

I'm against snakefolk as an ancestry option because 1) some monsters are best left as monsters, like ogrekin, redcaps, and urdefhans.

2) I think paizo should further develop the reptilian ancestries it already has (iruxi, nagaji, vishkanya and kobolds) before they add more. I couldn't make a 1E vishkanya PC, for example, because I don't have enough flavor information about them.


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I think more options are better. I would not be displeased in the slightest if 2nd Edition went ancestry crazy like Starfinder does with its races.

If you don't want snake-people in your games or something, then simply don't use them in your games.

Don't limit other GMs and players just because you don't like the idea of a given option.

Paradozen wrote:
In the context of golems I think it is reasonable to say golem antimagic, one of the features that defines the monster category, is one of the best-known features about golems and available with a success.

I agree. I think that would be totally reasonable.

Captain Morgan wrote:

While the exact utility of Recall Knowledge is going to vary from table to table, one should keep in mind what the Recall Knowledge action actually says happen:

"You recall the knowledge accurately or gain a useful clue about your current situation."

That means that when you Recall Knowledge about a monster, you either need to be given information you specifically asked for or the information needs to be useful. Useful information means something that you can use, not just something the creature has that you can't do anything about.

This has always been a thing, even in 1st Edition. Sadly, I had a few GMs who didn't seem to realize that.

We once had a cloaker swoop down and envelop one of the PCs. AFTER having witnessed that and rolling a natural 20 on my knowledge check, the GM told me that it can fly, and envelops its victims. I was pissed because he didn't give us anything we didn't already know..

Rysky wrote:
Strix, Syrinx, and Aerieborn for birds.

How on earth could you forget our beloved TENGU!?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I did, edited my post (not the biggest fan of Tengu)

AnimatedPaper wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Also they're humanoid in shape with the standard adventurer set of limbs and appendages.

** spoiler omitted **

Rysky wrote:
(Gnolls as Hyena for the inbetween).
Don't forget Kitsune!

A) possibly?

B) Kitsune are foxes :3 I was putting Gnolls as Hyenas in there as an “inbetween” cats and dogs.

There’s a bunch of other furry and scaley ancestries but I was just listing the ones brought up, cats, dogs, and birds.


shrug
I stated an opinion, which is what this thread is for. Some people don't like goblins or tengu. Others hate the kitsune. One crew I regularly play with allows gnolls, drow, and strix, but has absolutely zero tolerance for gnomes. Not every change in the game is going to please everyone. Feel free to allow or disallow any ancestry in your home games.

Suspension of disbelief breaks at different points for different people. For me, serpentfolk have always been cold-blooded monsters known for their millenia-spanning subjugation, devouring, and sacrificing of those they considered lesser creatures. Creatures who had impenetrable minds, great magical talents, and absolutely no mercy for the weak. The moment they would become legal, PFS would be elbow-deep in funny snakes named Hissssssteria, Slytherin, and that one wrestler Monty Python-Haul with 'arms as thick as anacondas'. It is inevitable. And due to game balance issues, they would have the same hp and baseline abilities as other player ancestries.

It's all right to have fun. But funny serpentfolk would shatter my immersion like a Rovagug-worshiper in a porcelain factory. I would rather have the otyugh as a playable ancestry. I would welcome playable otyughs, even (and especially) because they would be funny.

As for specific issues, drow are still disallowed in organized play. And comparisons between real-world cultures and fantasy creatures are inevitable since it is very difficult to create something entirely new. For myself, I have only seen serpentfolk as vaguely mesoamerican due to Aztec blood sacrifices. The only asian elements I can think of are the long silken robes.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

A serpentfolk ancestry would be convenient for me, because in my setting the PCs lost Serpent's Skull (very very badly, Vaults of Madness is a crazy adventure) and so there is a small serpentfolk empire in the Mwangi Expanse that - much like Oprak - is too small to conquer the world militarily and trying to figure out how to go about it other ways.

I've taken a "Yuan-ti" style approach to it and in 1e used a varient of Vishkanya as a "serpentfolk infiltrator"-type race... I'll probably end up doing the same thing again, assuming we get Vishkanya again.

Actual playable serpentfolk would be cool, but my circumstance is very niche and I don't really expect Paizo to cater to it. :P


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Naal wrote:

shrug

I stated an opinion, which is what this thread is for. Some people don't like goblins or tengu. Others hate the kitsune. One crew I regularly play with allows gnolls, drow, and strix, but has absolutely zero tolerance for gnomes. Not every change in the game is going to please everyone. Feel free to allow or disallow any ancestry in your home games.

Suspension of disbelief breaks at different points for different people. For me, serpentfolk have always been cold-blooded monsters known for their millenia-spanning subjugation, devouring, and sacrificing of those they considered lesser creatures. Creatures who had impenetrable minds, great magical talents, and absolutely no mercy for the weak. The moment they would become legal, PFS would be elbow-deep in funny snakes named Hissssssteria, Slytherin, and that one wrestler Monty Python-Haul with 'arms as thick as anacondas'. It is inevitable. And due to game balance issues, they would have the same hp and baseline abilities as other player ancestries.

It's all right to have fun. But funny serpentfolk would shatter my immersion like a Rovagug-worshiper in a porcelain factory. I would rather have the otyugh as a playable ancestry. I would welcome playable otyughs, even (and especially) because they would be funny.

As for specific issues, drow are still disallowed in organized play. And comparisons between real-world cultures and fantasy creatures are inevitable since it is very difficult to create something entirely new. For myself, I have only seen serpentfolk as vaguely mesoamerican due to Aztec blood sacrifices. The only asian elements I can think of are the long silken robes.

Man, they almost sounds as bad as humans : P


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Ravingdork wrote:
I would not be displeased in the slightest if 2nd Edition went ancestry crazy like Starfinder does with its races.

Well, a PF2 ancestry is a lot more work (and page space) than a Starfinder race (which can fit in a sidebar in the alien archive) because we have the whole "ancestry feats" system.

And if we're going to go wild with lots of ancestries, it would be nice to cover some more different ground (ooze people, crystalline people, otter people, slug people, etc.) than doing another reptillian ancestry.

Like I would set the agenda as:
1) Replicate everyone's favorite races they played in prior games.
2) Figure out what isn't covered by all those ancestries and fill those gaps.


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Yeah, I'd definitely start with the common races (orcs, kobolds, drow, etc.) before breaking into the really weird or uncommon stuff.

Dark Archive

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I say though that saying that there needs to be arbitrary limit of single type of animal people ancestry is like saying core book shouldn't have 6 variant of human ancestry in it or that elves having multiple different variants is silly ;P

Silver Crusade

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Naal wrote:

shrug

I stated an opinion, which is what this thread is for.

You said having them be playable would dilute the "mystery and threat" and turn them into a joke.

That's not a simple "I like/don't like them" and is definitely going to prompt a how?

How does having them be playable take away from the mystery and threat of their culture? How does making them playable turn them into a joke?

Why are you assuming everyone will play them as a joke?

Why are Drow different? Secondly Drow are not "still" disallowed because they haven't been made into an Ancestry yet for P2 period.

Whether either is allowed in P2FS if made into Ancestries is a discussion for the PFS campaign, it is not a question of whether either of those should be made into Ancestries for P2 in the first place.


I personally don’t have a problem with “always evil” races and think there should probably be a few more

I don’t think serpentfolk being one is problematic in anyway since they seem based more on a popular conspiracy theory than a real world culture

I would understand there being a problem with them being always evil if they were a clear allegory .

As to whether I want them a playable race, speaking as a forever GM, I would say No. They would present more problems by rocking up in an adventuring group than the lengthy threads of goblins suggest people think goblins would.

But it isn’t happening by the sounds of it. This thread caught the eye of the Creative Director who has weighed in on it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I do hear that folks are eager for a PC snake themed ancestry, and that will probably push nagaji closer to the top of the to-do list. While we do weigh customer feedback and requests when deciding what content we wish to produce, though, it's not the only factor that helps us make decisions. For serpentfolk, the 9 reasons above also come into play, for example.

As for drow, they are different for a few reasons.

1) Drow are very similar in appearance to humans, and even closer to elves, both already core ancestries.

2) There's a multi-decade tradition of non-evil drow; like it or not, Driz'zt has done more than any one other thing to popularize PC drow as options.

3) Serpentfolk have a long tradition in literature as being evil and antagonistic monsters.

4) Serpentfolk history and culture still has a lot of mysteries to explore in the context of adventures that feature them as adversaries.

5) The creative director of the campaign setting prefers serpentfolk as one of many types of creatures to be reserved as monsters rather than to "normalize" them by granting them PC ancestry status.

6) Nagaji are already our serpent-themed PC race, and I'd rather continue to explore them in that role rather than skip them over for something less appropriate. Note that this includes potentially reworking or standardizing their appearance, which we were kinda all over the place on in 1st edition, like catfolk.

7) If we made serpentfolk a PC ancestry, we'd have to soften their themes as villains, and we've done that enough already with numerous other ancestries in 2nd edition; for a game that focuses mostly on combat, it's important to maintain combat targets for heroes to fight against, and the less human in appearance things get, the easier it is to maintain the creatures as monsters.

8) Golarion's (and thus Pathfinder's) thematic focus on ancestries is on humanocentric creatures. The further one drifts from a human, the less likely it is that we'll open that one up to being an ancestry as a result, in order to preserve this core theme of the game and setting.

9) Wide ranging player options for ancestries is something we've fully embraced in Starfinder, to the extent that it's become one of that game and setting's defining features. The fewer differences between the games we have, the less reason we have to have two games.


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One of the nice things about Nagaji is that Pathfinder is already somewhat invested in normalizing Nagas, who traditionally were usually just weird monsters despite fans in popular culture.

Like easily the best romance in any of the Pathfinder novels was between Celeste and Torius Vin.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

2 & 3) And why do you have to cleave to "tradition" in certain aspects rather than creating something new?

4) Would having them be playable really take away all of the mystery. To me most mystery is "robbed" when they're put into the Bestiary.

5) That's perfectly valid ^w^

6) What about Vishkanya? I have honestly had zero interest in Nagaji due to their genesis (humans genetically modified to have scales, creepy and unnerving, but not in a cool or interesting way) and their art and design.

7) Why so? Cheliax and House Thrune didn't have to be softened despite Humans being one of the most played Ancestries.

8) *looks at Shoony and Leshies and Iruzi*

9) What? Huh? Starfinder and Pathfinder are different systems with two opposite settings, putting more Ancestries in one isn't gonna make people stop playing the other.

I don't care for Sci-fi, it doesn't matter how many playable species they add I'm not inclined to play it. Adding more Ancestries in Pathfinder isn't going to make people stop playing Starfinder.

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