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Greetings, been a long time my friends. A long time indeed.

I'll try to keep this relatively short. I require assistance. I am intrigued by this new Wrestler archetype. It reminds me of the old tetori, just beaten severely with a nerf bat of course. Nonetheless, I like the concept and hope the character can be optimized. I have a few questions which I am hoping you experts can answer.

1) Which class would you recommend for this wrestler?

2) Which Race?

3) Which feats?

What am I looking to achieve? Picture this, Zangief from Street Fighter, a guy who's juiced up to the gills, who likes charging enemy's, grabbing them and suplexing them to the ground or if its more optimal to grab them and choke them out then that's what ole Zangief would like to do.

Blessings be upon you my Paizonians.


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Wrestler can work with a lot of classes. Barbarian, Monk, Rogue, Fighter, Swashbuckler are probably the best with it.

My personal favourite is Swashbuckler for when you get Derring-do, I'm pretty sure many GMs will allow it to apply to most of the feats from Wrestler which gives you a great chance of success.


I like monk best.

He simply has so many options for how to execute maneuvers.

Flurry of maneuvers, mixed maneuvers, clinging shadow, whirling throw and etc are all awesome for a maneuver specialist imo.


1) as Guntermech said, lots of good classes
Barbarian has good support with some grapple feats
swashbuckler can make an interesting option with gymnast
Monk is the most straightforward and best supported way to go
rogue can work their sneack attacks in

2)As often in PF all ancestries work to a certain degree but looking over the options myself I found that the Gnoll is an especially interesting option since they got a natural weapon that can gain the grapple trait that leaves their hands free

3) you can just go down completely the wrestler eine? I am not entirely sure how you mean that question


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I'd probably go with an animal barbarian.

Human ( or with adopted ancestry human) to get multitalented monk and flurry of blows respectively at lvl 9 and 10.

Another fun on may be the classic monk with clinging shadow initiate, for either reach and +2 circ DC to athletics DC for what, concerns grapple checks.

Keep also in mind that because how it is ( poorly? Intended? ) written, the stance doesn't require you to use shadow grasps to benefit from the circumstances bonus.

I liked my monk thrower very much.

1st action: flurry of maneuvers ( grapple, grapple)
2nd action: whirling throw*
3rd action: whirling throw*

*if restrained, hold them in their place.

To maximize grapple damage, get brutal bully from barbarian dedication.


Guntermench wrote:

Wrestler can work with a lot of classes. Barbarian, Monk, Rogue, Fighter, Swashbuckler are probably the best with it.

My personal favourite is Swashbuckler for when you get Derring-do, I'm pretty sure many GMs will allow it to apply to most of the feats from Wrestler which gives you a great chance of success.

If you are level 10 or over the Gymnast Swashbuckler with DerringDo is very good.

I prefer not to do it with a Fighter as you are setting aside the Fighters biggest asset. Try a Champion of Desna instead, with a Bastard Sword, or a Gill Hook, or just a Shield. Then take Sleepwalker Dedication and Vision of Foresight.


I don't think you're setting aside the Fighter's asset, there's several feats from Wrestler that are Strikes. Suplex into Combat Grab is pretty okay. What you lose in terms of control options you regain in style points.


I'm trying to do different things than you. I'm not really that fond of Combat Grab (due to the Press Trait) and it's inability to restrain the target.


HumbleGamer wrote:

I'd probably go with an animal barbarian.

Human ( or with adopted ancestry human) to get multitalented monk and flurry of blows respectively at lvl 9 and 10.

Another fun on may be the classic monk with clinging shadow initiate, for either reach and +2 circ DC to athletics DC for what, concerns grapple checks.

Keep also in mind that because how it is ( poorly? Intended? ) written, the stance doesn't require you to use shadow grasps to benefit from the circumstances bonus.

I liked my monk thrower very much.

1st action: flurry of maneuvers ( grapple, grapple)
2nd action: whirling throw*
3rd action: whirling throw*

*if restrained, hold them in their place.

To maximize grapple damage, get brutal bully from barbarian dedication.

Hmm, clinging shadows does give the +2 circ bonus to grappling, however if I were to go barbarian as a base instead of Monk the barbarian can gain that same bonus with Furious Bully. I guess what I need is an excellent grappler, but someone who can kill mooks with his bare hands with strikes is better than wasting a turn grabbing them. Would Giant instinct be a good instinct to go for a Barbarian wrestler? I know you recommended Animal, but Giant size seems to really help for reach and that additional size makes feats like Whirling Throw quite a bit better?


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Just about all the strength-based martials should be fine, as well as the Swashbuckler (Gymnast) with its focus on using Athletics to do things to enemies.

There are only two issues I can think of regarding race. One is size; sprites are not known for being able to take on ogres. But Titan Wrestler will let your halfling tag in and layeth the smacketh down.

The other is whether a natural weapon is a good idea to you. This is entirely subjective as far as I know, but there is some fun to imagine by going Zangief on someone you've grappled with a good bite attack.

Feats? Titan Wrestler, of course. Assurance can help when you're looking at lots of multiple attack penalty. Aside from that, can't think of much else, although whether you consider Virtuosic Performer (Oratory) for the +1 to cut a promo as more vital than Multilingual to make sure the audience understands you is an individual choice.


Gortle wrote:
Guntermench wrote:

Wrestler can work with a lot of classes. Barbarian, Monk, Rogue, Fighter, Swashbuckler are probably the best with it.

My personal favourite is Swashbuckler for when you get Derring-do, I'm pretty sure many GMs will allow it to apply to most of the feats from Wrestler which gives you a great chance of success.

If you are level 10 or over the Gymnast Swashbuckler with DerringDo is very good.

I prefer not to do it with a Fighter as you are setting aside the Fighters biggest asset. Try a Champion of Desna instead, with a Bastard Sword, or a Gill Hook, or just a Shield. Then take Sleepwalker Dedication and Vision of Foresight.

Oh I see if I have a barbarian or monk chassis, I can only get Derring-Do at level 20?


Correct, as a level 10 feat.

Of course if you grab it at 20 as a Barbarian you're basically never going to fail unless you roll double 1s all the time.


Here's what I've put together, I really wish I could fit in Stunning First but I am too Feat starved :(

Level 1:
Class feat: Dragon Stance

Level 2:
Class feat: Wrestler Dedication

Level 4:
Class feat: Suplex

Level 6:
Class feat: Flurry of Manuevers

Level 8:
Class feat: Clinch Strike

Level 9:
Ancestry feat: Multitalented (Swashbuckler Gymnast)

Level 10:
Ability Boosts: Str, Dex, Con, Wis
Class feat: Clinging Shadows Initiate

Level 12:
Class feat: Whirling Throw

Anyone have any advice? Its a difficult choice between FoM and Mixed Maneuvers, but I think FoM is slightly better. Still want this character to he able to hit things when grabbing isn't an option.


First, you can't take Clinging Shadows without first taking one of the level 1 ki powers.

Second, the wrestler feats tend to be not as good as the class feats for the same thing. Often they are the same feats, at a slightly higher level. I'd suggest filling in your class feats first, and then fitting the wrestler feats around them. Like... you're taking a monk grappler, but missing out on Crushing Grab.

Third, monk definitely has some payoff on the grappling side of things, but balancing strength and dex can get a bit tricky.

If you really want to work the wrestler feats, I might suggest a swashbuckler. The only really mandatory feats are Agile Maneuvers (6) and Derring-Do (10), plus the built-in panache bonuses. That lets you take Crushing Grab at 4 via wrestler, then your choice of the many shiny wrestler maneuvers at 8. You could even potentially drop Agile Maneuvers for a second wrestler feat without losing too much. Basically, swashbuckler has panache, with you get for free, and a major bonus at 10, and a whole bunch of free space to spend on wrestling moves other than that, while the barbarian and monk benefits (while quite real) are a lot more feat-hungry.

You'll also want to take an ancestry with a good unarmed attack. There's a fair few out there, and I'd suggest you choose between them primarily based on which makes the coolest image in your head.


Yes sorry, I am taking Natural Ambition which gives me Ki Rush. Definitely don't want Crushing Grab as it does very little damage and scales terribly into the higher levels, an extra 4-5 damage for a grab IMO isn't worth spending a class feat on.

In terms of the shiny level 8 feats for the Wrestler, I only see Whirling Throw as being good. Which others do you like?

The swashbuckler chassis is interesting indeed good call, but losing out on FoB early and getting it at 10 has it's issues.


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Atalius wrote:

Yes sorry, I am taking Natural Ambition which gives me Ki Rush. Definitely don't want Crushing Grab as it does very little damage and scales terribly into the higher levels, an extra 4-5 damage for a grab IMO isn't worth spending a class feat on.

In terms of the shiny level 8 feats for the Wrestler, I only see Whirling Throw as being good. Which others do you like?

The swashbuckler chassis is interesting indeed good call, but losing out on FoB early and getting it at 10 has it's issues.

FOB is a MAP accelerator. If you want to go all-in on the wrestler side of things, you're generally going to want to be making a single wrestler action (which can't be FoBbed) and at least one other action (like a grab) which means that at best FoB is winning you an extra attack at -8 or -10. That's not a bad thing, but it's not exactly key. As a human, taking the archetype at 9 and the FoB at 10 is pretty solid.

...and it depends what you want to do. If you want to be a lockdown wrestler, then things like Clinch Strike, Strangle, Submission Hold, and Spinebreaker all have advantages. If you want to be damage-focused... then you probably shouldn't be a wrestler.

I mostly suggest Crushing Grasp because it's free damage for something that you're going to be doing regularly anyway. It's true that it's probably worth retraining out as you get higher in level and the damage gets comparatively anemic, but early on? Potentially pretty worthwhile.

Eh... I dunno. I've run out of ergs for this. The only other thing I'd say is that you might want to retrain out of Suplex once you have Whirling Throw. Having two *different* ways of making your opponent prone while dealing damage to them and releasing them from a grab is probably a bit excessive.


I don't find Whirling Throw to be a very reliable way of making an enemy prone. Suplex is better for that. For the Swashbuckler though I do really like the options you mentioned thank you I think I will mock one up and compare vs the Monk. With a Swashbuckler what weapon should I be wielding with a Wrestler (Gymnast)? And can I wield some sort of a buckler or do I need to have an empty hand entirely for grabbing?


Sanityfaerie wrote:
... The only other thing I'd say is that you might want to retrain out of Suplex once you have Whirling Throw. Having two *different* ways of making your opponent prone while dealing damage to them and releasing them from a grab is probably a bit excessive.

I think there's place for both. Suplex targets AC with an attack and makes the target prone on a success with no size limits. Whirling Throw targets Fortitude DC, with size penalties that are not mitigated by Titan Wrestler, but no MAP, and the target lands prone on a critical success rather than a success.

Having the flexibility to target different DC's and to either keep the target there (Suplex) or move the target somewhere else (Throw) is pretty nifty.


Atalius wrote:
... With a Swashbuckler what weapon should I be wielding with a Wrestler (Gymnast)? And can I wield some sort of a buckler or do I need to have an empty hand entirely for grabbing?

All of the Wrestler strikes require Unarmed Attacks, so you probably should not use a weapon. Thankfully, you can buckle swashes all day long with Agile Unarmed attacks. If you insist on a weapon, then the Bladed Gauntlet with the Free-Hand trait is probably best. Bucklers also have the Free-Hand trait and work just fine with the Wrestler.


Pixel Popper wrote:
Atalius wrote:
... With a Swashbuckler what weapon should I be wielding with a Wrestler (Gymnast)? And can I wield some sort of a buckler or do I need to have an empty hand entirely for grabbing?
All of the Wrestler strikes require Unarmed Attacks, so you probably should not use a weapon. Thankfully, you can buckle swashes all day long with Agile Unarmed attacks. If you insist on a weapon, then the Bladed Gauntlet with the Free-Hand trait is probably best. Bucklers also have the Free-Hand trait and work just fine with the Wrestler.

Ah I see, thank you. Yes I prefer unarmed for sure, how much damage would it do? 1D6?


Atalius wrote:
Pixel Popper wrote:
Atalius wrote:
... With a Swashbuckler what weapon should I be wielding with a Wrestler (Gymnast)? And can I wield some sort of a buckler or do I need to have an empty hand entirely for grabbing?
All of the Wrestler strikes require Unarmed Attacks, so you probably should not use a weapon. Thankfully, you can buckle swashes all day long with Agile Unarmed attacks. If you insist on a weapon, then the Bladed Gauntlet with the Free-Hand trait is probably best. Bucklers also have the Free-Hand trait and work just fine with the Wrestler.
Ah I see, thank you. Yes I prefer unarmed for sure, how much damage would it do? 1D6?

Basic Unarmed Attacks (Fist) are 1d4.


Jeez that's bad, I guess that's why people take Monk Dedication?


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Atalius wrote:
Jeez that's bad, I guess that's why people take Monk Dedication?

...or pick an ancestry that comes with. According to Gisher's guides, you can get 1d6 agile out of Automaton, Catfolk, Goloma, and Lizardfolk,


Sanityfaerie wrote:
Atalius wrote:
Jeez that's bad, I guess that's why people take Monk Dedication?
...or pick an ancestry that comes with. According to Gisher's guides, you can get 1d6 agile out of Automaton, Catfolk, Goloma, and Lizardfolk,

Would the Ratfolk Sharp Fang be a good option? That D8 dmg looks nice. Would these fangs have the agile trait? I'm looking for something with the agile trait for those Agile Manuevers:)


They'd need Agile and Trip/Grapple for you to benefit from Agile for the Maneuver.

Agile Maneuvers the feat doesn't have any benefit for using an Agile weapon.


Atalius wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
Atalius wrote:
Jeez that's bad, I guess that's why people take Monk Dedication?
...or pick an ancestry that comes with. According to Gisher's guides, you can get 1d6 agile out of Automaton, Catfolk, Goloma, and Lizardfolk,
Would the Ratfolk Sharp Fang be a good option? That D8 dmg looks nice. Would these fangs have the agile trait? I'm looking for something with the agile trait for those Agile Manuevers:)

I assume you mean Lizardfolk (Ratfolk get a d6 from their version). I think this may depend on how much you lean into the Swashbuckler side of things. Swashbucklers rely on an agile and/or finesse weapon for a lot of their features, which most unarmed attacks are. Sharp Fangs ... isn't. Don't forget, not all unarmed attacks are agile/finesse.


Qaianna wrote:
Atalius wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
Atalius wrote:
Jeez that's bad, I guess that's why people take Monk Dedication?
...or pick an ancestry that comes with. According to Gisher's guides, you can get 1d6 agile out of Automaton, Catfolk, Goloma, and Lizardfolk,
Would the Ratfolk Sharp Fang be a good option? That D8 dmg looks nice. Would these fangs have the agile trait? I'm looking for something with the agile trait for those Agile Manuevers:)
I assume you mean Lizardfolk (Ratfolk get a d6 from their version). I think this may depend on how much you lean into the Swashbuckler side of things. Swashbucklers rely on an agile and/or finesse weapon for a lot of their features, which most unarmed attacks are. Sharp Fangs ... isn't. Don't forget, not all unarmed attacks are agile/finesse.

Oh, would be a Human and just using the D4 unarmed attack qualify as Agile?


Guntermench wrote:

They'd need Agile and Trip/Grapple for you to benefit from Agile for the Maneuver.

Agile Maneuvers the feat doesn't have any benefit for using an Agile weapon.

Ohhh, so I could even not get this feat and grab something else perhaps from the Wrestlers list.


Also note, the Agile / Finesse requirement only really matters for the Precise Strikes class feature and some (most?) Finishers. If you're not really using those, instead keeping Panache for the Athletics bonus and, later, Derring-Do, then the Agile / Finesse may be less of an issue.


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Atalius wrote:
Oh, would be a Human and just using the D4 unarmed attack qualify as Agile?

Yes. Humans' basic unarmed attack is Fist and is both Agile and Finesse.


I am not entirely sure how to play the swashbuckler with the Finisher, do I just grapple and trip enemies, or do I grab them then "Finish" them then reattempt the same thing the following round? I guess the finished would just be the D4 damages whatever other bonuses the Finisher's have.


As for a swash buckling wrestler, can I hold a shield in one hand and go unarmed in the other?

For attributes all the guides are telling me to get Dex first but I need athletics maxed out for grabs/trips.

Human or Half Elf

Str 18
Dex 16
Con 14
Int 8
Wis 10
Cha 8


I've been fiddling with ideas for a Swashbuckling gymnast wrestler. Most of my ideas centre on an amurrun, so she's got the claws going for her. Empty and buckler are fine, and I've been told a gauntlet can help if you'd rather go another route with some Swash feats.

Swashbuckler as base class is a Dexterity class, so that's why you see them going there, but even those will advise Gymnasts to keep Strength up for all the Athletics they need. A base Swashbuckler can't start with eighteen Strength.

I forget if you were going to start as a Monk and pick up Swash dedication. If so, that array won't work since Swash has a requirement of fourteen Charisma.


Ugh, ya this stat line was for a Full on Swash no Monk Dedication at all. With an 18 Dex and 16 Str that hurts a bit but whaddya do I guess. Could I use my fist for "Combination Finisher" and benefit for the -3 agile second attack due to the Fist being an Agile weapon?


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Atalius wrote:
I am not entirely sure how to play the swashbuckler with the Finisher, do I just grapple and trip enemies, or do I grab them then "Finish" them then reattempt the same thing the following round? I guess the finished would just be the D4 damages whatever other bonuses the Finisher's have.

You can Grab or Trip (gaining Panache), then use a Finisher; rinse and repeat. But that's a generic Gymnast routine and sort of seems to defeat the purpose of going Wrestler.

As a Wrestler, I think I would gain Panache and not "spend it" performing a Finisher [more on that below]. Rather, I'd want to do things like Grab + Suplex (or Whirling Throw) + Raise Shield.

Atalius wrote:
As for a swash buckling wrestler, can I hold a shield in one hand and go unarmed in the other?

Yes. I recommend Spellguard Shield.

Atalius wrote:
Ugh, ya this stat line was for a Full on Swash no Monk Dedication at all. With an 18 Dex and 16 Str that hurts a bit but whaddya do I guess. Could I use my fist for "Combination Finisher" and benefit for the -3 agile second attack due to the Fist being an Agile weapon?

Fists are Finesse which allows your strikes to benefit from your 18 Dex and, when you have Panache, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus to your panache-gaining actions. For a Gymnast, that includes combat maneuvers which will help offset the starting 16 strength.

At level 10, you can get Derring-Do which, while you have Panache, lets you roll twice and take the better result on your panache-gaining actions.


Awesome, I'm taking notes! What do I do if I'm fighting and ooze or a ghost?


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Oozes are very easy to trip - don't ask me why. Probably the easiest creature in the game right up there with Giants and Zombies. Maybe you will want to use a weapon, as grabbing them should be a bad idea.

Ghost? Take Ghost Touch or have some Ghost Oil for on your weapon or hand wraps. That should work, though some GMs might argue it as the langauge is not completely tight.


Which weapon would you recommend in the event I encounter an ooze which I need to deal damage to?


Atalius wrote:
Which weapon would you recommend in the event I encounter an ooze which I need to deal damage to?

That depends what class you are. But my general advice for a strength based martial is Bastard Sword or Dwarven War Axe. Use it in one hand for d8 damage normally so you can Trip or Grapple, but go two handed for d12 damage when there is no point.

For an Ooze. A sling.

Typically trip it, move 30ft away. Strike it with a bludgeoning ranged attack from a sling.

They are immune to critical hits, precision damage, and sometimes piercing damage. But their movement rate, AC and reflex saves are terrible. If it has to waste an action standing, and 2 moving towards you, it will never have an action for an attack.


Better yet, avoid playing a rogue or swashbuckler if playing The Slithering.


Gortle wrote:
Atalius wrote:
Which weapon would you recommend in the event I encounter an ooze which I need to deal damage to?

That depends what class you are. But my general advice for a strength based martial is Bastard Sword or Dwarven War Axe. Use it in one hand for d8 damage normally so you can Trip or Grapple, but go two handed for d12 damage when there is no point.

For an Ooze. A sling.

Typically trip it, move 30ft away. Strike it with a bludgeoning ranged attack from a sling.

They are immune to critical hits, precision damage, and sometimes piercing damage. But their movement rate, AC and reflex saves are terrible. If it has to waste an action standing, and 2 moving towards you, it will never have an action for an attack.

The class would be a Swashbuckler/Wrestler. What type of weapon should I have on my person in the rare event I can't grab or trip, do swashbucklers normally use a rapier or?


Here's the rebuild, no more Monk.

Swashbuckler Wrestler

Str 16
Dex 18
Con 14
Int 8
Wis 12
Cha 8

Level 1:
Human
Ancestry Feat: General Training (Toughness)
Versatile Heritage: Adopted Ancestry (Unfettered Halfling)
Class feat: Buckler Expertise
Background: Martial Disciple

Level 2:
Class feat: Wrestler Dedication

Level 4:
Class feat: Suplex

Level 5:
Ancestry feat: Halfling Luck
Ability boosts: Str, Dex, Con, Wis

Level 6:
Class feat: Precise Finisher (retrain at level 10 for a different feat because I want to keep panache only for the circumstance bonus to grappling)

Level 8:
Class feat: Whirling Throw

Level 9:
Ancestry feat: Guiding Luck

Level 10:
Ability Boosts: Str, Dex, Con, Wis
Class feat: Derring-Do


Atalius wrote:


The class would be a Swashbuckler/Wrestler. What type of weapon should I have on my person in the rare event I can't grab or trip, do swashbucklers normally use a rapier or?

A fun weapon for that build could be a fangwire. It’s not really good for oozes at all, but otherwise can be a great weapon to match your class and archetype.

https://2e.aonprd.com/Weapons.aspx?ID=143
(Sorry. Don’t know how to link)


That looks cool! Unfortunately it's uncommon, what weapon would you recommend at level 1 before I can start using my fists?


The rapier is probably going to be your best choice for pure damage especially if you crit, but I do like the main-gauche due to its parry trait (along with finesse and agile) for a decent combat finisher weapon with defense. Plus it allows for your free hand to grapple and trip, while poking and parrying with your other hand.


Because you will be dealing with MAP a fair bit as a gymnast. I think you want an Agile Finesse weapon. So Short Sword is a perfectly good starting place. Not every attack will be a finisher.

Rapier can be more damage if there is no penalty, it just depends how often you are going to Strike

But have a ranged weapon like a composite bow as well.

A Whip may be occasionally useful.


Awesome, I guess pre level 10 I should be using the 1 handed weapon to do my Finisher and when I'm not using the weapon I can use the hand with the buckler to grab people correct?


Playing a small ancestry is going to make Whirling Throw a challenge to use.

Regarding weapons- I had a /facepalm moment realizing I forgot all about the short sword. That is probably your best choice if you plan to use a buckler. Whips are nonlethal, which could be an issue for many enemies, but it allows trip and disarm attempts at 10’. Rapiers are less an issue with MAP if you use acrobatics for gaining panache. I wouldn’t bother with bows and instead focus on increased movement (which you get with panache) as there is little to no way for you to get panache with a bow as a gymnast. A sword cane could be a good alternative to a short sword if you plan to utilize the subtlety of its design.


Lucerious wrote:

Playing a small ancestry is going to make Whirling Throw a challenge to use.

Regarding weapons- I had a /facepalm moment realizing I forgot all about the short sword. That is probably your best choice if you plan to use a buckler. Whips are nonlethal, which could be an issue for many enemies, but it allows trip and disarm attempts at 10’. Rapiers are less an issue with MAP if you use acrobatics for gaining panache. I wouldn’t bother with bows and instead focus on increased movement (which you get with panache) as there is little to no way for you to get panache with a bow as a gymnast. A sword cane could be a good alternative to a short sword if you plan to utilize the subtlety of its design.

I am playing Human with adopted Halfling ancestry


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Atalius wrote:


I am playing Human with adopted Halfling ancestry

I was skimming and didn’t notice the human notation for your ancestry. That said, Adopted Ancestry doesn’t give a free feat as part of the benefit. It only allows access. You may need to take Unfettered Halfling as your general feat and wait until level 3 to take Toughness via Ancestral Paragon, or take Unfettered Halfling then at level 3 via AP.

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