Are Titan Nagaji automatically trained in their own scales?


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Dark Archive

Relevant rules text from AoN: "Your scales are medium armor in the plate armor group that grant a +4 item bonus to AC, a Dex cap of +1, a check penalty of –2, a Speed penalty of –5 feet, a Strength value of 16, and have the comfort trait. You can never wear other armor or remove your scales. You can etch armor runes onto your scales."

The way I read it, nothing suggests you should be. But having a heritage that makes you incapable of wearing armor while not guaranteeing that you can use the Scales armor feels wrong to me.

If I were GMing for a PC with this ancestry who was not proficient in medium armor, I'd at least make them automatically trained in the Scales armor, specificity.
Later down the line, I'd have to check their AC vs another light armor PC to see if they're taking behind.
If they are not, I might have their proficiency in scales match their class armor progression. I'm not home atm so I can't adequately check right now.


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I agree it does seem wrong not to be trained in your own scales. However that seems to be the way it is written.


It’s a heritage choice and is a permanent part of the body. Yet, it gives stats as if it is actual armor and even calls it medium armor. It would be quite strange for this game to make a heritage unusable for a multitude of classes, but it also doesn’t give any indication that it is unarmored. Therefore, it seems to be a heritage limited to those who have training in medium armor.

I am sure it will eventually get errata (key word being eventually).

Dark Archive

To a lesser extent, this question also applies to Kashrishi who take the Tough Skin feat. That's at least a bit more of a choice.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Also the automaton 'reinforced chassis' feat.

In all cases, the RAW answer is no, you don't get free proficiency so if you don't have medium armor, don't pick that option.

Paizo has been very stingy with proficiency options in PF2, so it doesn't seem unintended to me either.

Dark Archive

Yeah. Make sense.
Just kinda feels worse to have a whole heritage cut off from a bunch of classes compared to not being able to select a particular ancestry feat.


Ectar wrote:

Yeah. Make sense.

Just kinda feels worse to have a whole heritage cut off from a bunch of classes compared to not being able to select a particular ancestry feat.

You can take it. You should follow up with the general armour proficiency feat, or the Sentinel archetype, or the Champion multiclass archetype etc etc.

From what I can tell the best use case for this type of armour is if you are a Druid as it gets around the metal anathema. Of course Hide Armour does as well but you will need more Dexterity for that.

That you can sleep in it is nice. I find it annoying that game systems go out of their way to make not armour options as good as armour options, but always have scenarios where the PCs are caught out of armour. Yes it is good that heavy armour is a little bit better. I find the runes on the padded undercoat to be too ridiculous.

Another factor is this armour may have different floatation characteristics - talk to your GM.

But mostly it is a flavour option that will save you a couple of GP at the start of the game.


Not only do classes soft lock you out of this heritage, the heritage also locks you out of monk since you can't take off your skin.


I agree RAW you are not proficient in your scales. The way I would play it would be that you are trained, but the proficiency doesn't increase unless you get a class feature that increases your medium armor proficiency (see Sentinel dedication).

Liberty's Edge

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Nobody else is concerned about the fact that crafting/etching the Runes requires at BARE MINIMUM that the Nagaji give up 4 days worth of time spent on the Crafting process and on top of this you, and ONLY YOU, are able to etch the Runes in the first place?

This is a HUGE drawback to this in that it completely locks you out of quickly upgrading your armor to something better or even taking a side-grade while the work order is finished. This feature is just downright AWFUL to the point where the GM is either going to have to handwave it and ignore the RAW or otherwise impose a MASSIVE Feat and Downtime Tax for every single one of these PCs after around level 4.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Themetricsystem wrote:

Nobody else is concerned about the fact that crafting/etching the Runes requires at BARE MINIMUM that the Nagaji give up 4 days worth of time spent on the Crafting process and on top of this you, and ONLY YOU, are able to etch the Runes in the first place?

This is a HUGE drawback to this in that it completely locks you out of quickly upgrading your armor to something better or even taking a side-grade while the work order is finished. This feature is just downright AWFUL to the point where the GM is either going to have to handwave it and ignore the RAW or otherwise impose a MASSIVE Feat and Downtime Tax for every single one of these PCs after around level 4.

Transferring runes only takes one day. 90% of the time you'll be transferring a rune, not crafting a new one from scratch. I don't see anything that prevents you from transferring here-- transferring is still etching.

Liberty's Edge

Ok, true, that allows you to cut down on the time investment but that is still a full day of downtime spent plus the PC is still required to be able to do the Crafting personally which for most Characters is a pretty massive investment for the Feat and also the Skill prof inventment (that you need to continue to spend as you level in order to Craft higher level Runes) requirement tax on Craft just in order to have an AC that meets the dead-bottom assumptions of the system math.


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Themetricsystem wrote:
you, and ONLY YOU, are able to etch the Runes in the first place?

I don't read this you as an exclusive you. That doesn't seem to be the intent.

Horizon Hunters

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Agreed. It would have said "Only you..." if that was the intent.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Gortle wrote:
Themetricsystem wrote:
you, and ONLY YOU, are able to etch the Runes in the first place?
I don't read this you as an exclusive you. That doesn't seem to be the intent.

Same. And regarding it still taking one day of downtime... That's kind of piddly. You're not gonna go adventure while your magic armor is in the shop, so you're just losing out on a day's Earn Income, which is not especially significant. That's like 1gp at level 5.

Horizon Hunters

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Crafting a Tattoo takes 4 days, so what if a Rune does? You can't even transfer tattoos.


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aobst128 wrote:
Not only do classes soft lock you out of this heritage, the heritage also locks you out of monk since you can't take off your skin.

Monk can actually work with armor - a number of APG stances don't care.


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

Not all monk stances care about armor, but monk has no path to make armor proficiency come anywhere close to their unarmored proficiency.

Armor Proficiency general feat and Sentinel can both only get them to Trained.
Champion or Hellknight Archetypes can get them to Expert around the time their unarmored is Master, and stay there as they go the Legendary.


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I don't have the book yet, but this sounds basically identical to the Conraau's Rite of Reinforcement.

And I really don't see the issue. It's a poor choice for some characters. So... don't choose it for those characters?


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

Yes, it is exactly the same situation as the conrasu and automaton equivalents already were.

Dark Archive

Super Zero wrote:

I don't have the book yet, but this sounds basically identical to the Conraau's Rite of Reinforcement.

And I really don't see the issue. It's a poor choice for some characters. So... don't choose it for those characters?

"Just don't make bad choices" isn't a super helpful response.

I don't think that it's unrealistic for a player to read this heritage and think it's a great way to give their monk or wizard a better unarmored defense, only to be disappointed later to find out it doesn't work like that.

Also, you can't really undo those choices legally: you can't retrain heritage and each of those feats say you can't retrain them, too.

Finally, it's just kind of weird. A whole heritage more or less prevented from taking a particular bucket of classes because of immutable physical characteristics beyond their control.
That's the kind of blatant, native restrictions that the most played ttrpgs have been moving away from for a while now.

Edited because I misread the feat: you can train OUT of them, but not in to them. Still can't retrain heritage, tho.


If someone were to make a character who takes a "your body is medium armor" heritage without a way to get medium armor proficiency with your class (and without an archetype like sentinel that gives you scaling) and nobody caught how this is going to be a problem before the character was played, that's a case where you do let someone retrain something not normally retrainable (like a heritage).

The reason you can't retrain a heritage is basically "it doesn't make sense" not that there would never be a good reason to let it happen. It's better to have the game be fun than to hold the line against things that don't make sense.


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I note that there are interesting lore implications here... like the fact that you basically have to have 16 str to be a functional adult of that heritage. This isn't just talking about PCs or heroes or anything. Heritages apply to everyone. Titan Nagaji need to have 16 strength, or they will suffer and strain under the weight of their own body basically at all times.

I feel like they should have had heritage-locked racial feats that would have given medium armor proficiency, though, at least up through expert. Like, one at level 1 that woudl give trained, and another at 13 that would require the first and give expert. it feels like the sort of thing that would come naturally when the medium armor literally is your body.

Sovereign Court

Yeah, I want to like these kinda feats/heritages, but the actual group of classes that really benefit from them is sooo narrow.


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There's the basic problem with a non-Str/Dex primary class, if you're martially inclined and want to be Str>Dex, then you're going to need to finagle medium armor somehow ASAP even if it's through a general feat you're going to retrain.

Like an Investigator who starts with an 18 Int and a 16 Str can't afford more than 14 dex, so you're going to want medium armor proficiency ASAP (generally through versatile human but cataphract fleshwarp is now an alternative) because you're otherwise going to be down at least 1 AC. If you get your armor proficiency bump to expert at 13th level, you can just start with 12 Dex, boost it at 5th and 10th then be fine with light armor thereafter.

But "you get free medium armor and medium armor proficiency" is a little strong for a heritage since people do take heritages just for the latter.


There is also the factor that this is the only Medium "armor" to exist with the Comfort trait, so having a trait unique to this "armor" adds something that simply taking a proficiency feat doesn't.

Dark Archive

On the other hand, it locks you out of a versatile heritage, most of which are quite good and allow more feat flexibility, and into a pair of specific ancestries.

With as strong as the versatile heritages are, I don't hate non-versatile heritages getting a few strong options to compensate.
Assuming you are a class that can benefit from always-on medium armor.

Liberty's Edge

Every time an ability you gain stipulates "you can" it very specifically is talking about what the Character who takes it is able to do and has no bearing whatsoever on what other creatures can do. The previous sentence ALSO uses the exact same "you can" phrasing to indicate that your PC can never wear other Armor.

What you propose MAY have been the RAI but the phrasing here is rock-solid in that it enables the Nagaji who has this feature to place Runes on the Scales and that Nagaji only (not even OTHER Titan Hertigate Nagaji).

This needs either clarification to elucidate the point I'm making to let it be widely known that this is part of the drawback to this Heritage (if intended) or errata to FIX IT, personally, I say that it needs to be FIXED because with this strict reading this Ability is CRIPPLINGLY awful.


It's already fairly strong, since it's a free breastplate that has the comfort trait which is not normally a thing available at any price.

Diagetically I would just hold the line on "Titan Nagaji are strongly encouraged to pursue martial professions" if a player *really* wanted to tell a story about "a titan nagaji who nonetheless became a witch even though their parents were pushing for warpriest or barbarian or inventor or thaumaturge or fighter or ruffian rogue or ranger or gunslinger or whatever" I would strongly encourage the player to address the armor issue with archetyping.

It feels reasonable to limit the theoretical space for character options to work together while still making it possible for specific characters people have an idea for to work.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Super Zero wrote:

I don't have the book yet, but this sounds basically identical to the Conraau's Rite of Reinforcement.

And I really don't see the issue. It's a poor choice for some characters. So... don't choose it for those characters?

I mean mechanically the answer is pretty obvious, yeah.

But, like many of the game's proficiency hiccups, it's just kind of lame.


Themetricsystem wrote:
I say that it needs to be FIXED because with this strict reading this Ability is CRIPPLINGLY awful.

I agree it should be cleaned up. But the fact that you think it cripples the ability means that it can't be right.

1) the ability should explicitly state it provides, or explicitly deny that it provides, proficiency in the armour
2) the wording on applying runes should have YOU taken out of it. It is terrible phrasing.
3) it should also clearly state whether or not it interferes with the Monks abilities. Most people here are assuming it does. But it is still a valid question to be clarified.


I think the you clause is fixable just by changing it to "you can have runes etched on your scales" which is natural sounding and pretty clearly (to me at least) what they meant.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think the you clause is fixable just by changing it to "you can have runes etched on your scales" which is natural sounding and pretty clearly (to me at least) what they meant.

Yes it sounds very natural. It is a colloquial way to say things. It is not precise, and the writer should have known better.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Diagetically I would just hold the line on "Titan Nagaji are strongly encouraged to pursue martial professions" if a player *really* wanted to tell a story about "a titan nagaji who nonetheless became a witch even though their parents were pushing for warpriest or barbarian or inventor or thaumaturge or fighter or ruffian rogue or ranger or gunslinger or whatever" I would strongly encourage the player to address the armor issue with archetyping.

It feels reasonable to limit the theoretical space for character options to work together while still making it possible for specific characters people have an idea for to work.

This is actually included in the text of the ability:

You were raised to be a warrior or a bodyguard, and your specialized diet and bulging muscles have made your scales as strong as armored plates. Your scales are medium armor in the plate armor group that grant a +4 item bonus to AC, a Dex cap of +1, a check penalty of –2, a Speed penalty of –5 feet, a Strength value of 16, and have the comfort trait. You can never wear other armor or remove your scales. You can etch armor runes onto your scales.

This isn't just a heritage about your genetics. It literally says you were raised to be a super strong warrior and fed a special diet to make that happen. So conceptually there's nothing weird about these people... Becoming warriors.

It is also why Sanity's point about needing a 16 strength to be a functional adult kind of misses the mark. You aren't born a Titan Nagaji. You need to develop a 16 strength to qualify as one.

Sovereign Court

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
There is also the factor that this is the only Medium "armor" to exist with the Comfort trait, so having a trait unique to this "armor" adds something that simply taking a proficiency feat doesn't.

It has too, you can't take it off.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
It is also why Sanity's point about needing a 16 strength to be a functional adult kind of misses the mark. You aren't born a Titan Nagaji. You need to develop a 16 strength to qualify as one.

Okay. That's fair. Objection withdrawn.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The flavor text also makes it pretty clear this is not a heritage for puny wizards, IMO. And since that's the first part of the ability I don't have a lot of patience for the idea of someone picking it thinking they could use it to sneak Medium armor proficiency in. If you're ignoring flavor and intent then it starts to look like cheese to me, and if you're gonna cheese than you should at least know how to cheese correct.


I think it would have been reasonable to have it be trained and have it upgrade to expert with a 13th level ancestry feat. Proficiencies aren't too uncommon when it comes to ancestry abilities. It's just armor proficiency in particular is the rarity.


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aobst128 wrote:
I think it would have been reasonable to have it be trained and have it upgrade to expert with a 13th level ancestry feat. Proficiencies aren't too uncommon when it comes to ancestry abilities. It's just armor proficiency in particular is the rarity.

Armor proficiency, weapon proficiency, casting proficiency, saves proficiency, and perception proficiency are all core stuff, and really not trivial to raise. Skill proficiencies are a lot cheaper, especially just at the trained level, and lore proficiencies cheaper still.

Getting both built-in armor and proficiency in it from your heritage would be way too much. A heritage is worth roughly the same as an ancestry feat (plus unlocks) and an ancestry feat would get you one or the other, not both.

I think it would have been reasonable to offer trained proficiency as a level 1 ancestry feat, and a later bump as another feat, but packaging them together would be way too much... and given what CPT Morgan pointed out about their origins, offering ancestry feats for armor proficiencies would have been a bit redundant.


Sanityfaerie wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
I think it would have been reasonable to have it be trained and have it upgrade to expert with a 13th level ancestry feat. Proficiencies aren't too uncommon when it comes to ancestry abilities. It's just armor proficiency in particular is the rarity.

Armor proficiency, weapon proficiency, casting proficiency, saves proficiency, and perception proficiency are all core stuff, and really not trivial to raise. Skill proficiencies are a lot cheaper, especially just at the trained level, and lore proficiencies cheaper still.

Getting both built-in armor and proficiency in it from your heritage would be way too much. A heritage is worth roughly the same as an ancestry feat (plus unlocks) and an ancestry feat would get you one or the other, not both.

I think it would have been reasonable to offer trained proficiency as a level 1 ancestry feat, and a later bump as another feat, but packaging them together would be way too much... and given what CPT Morgan pointed out about their origins, offering ancestry feats for armor proficiencies would have been a bit redundant.

Proficiencies do usually come from ancestry feats rather than heritages. I don't think there is an example of one actually aside from versatile humans. That would be pretty similar in power to a heritage that gives a proficiency in armor. But it might make more sense as a feat chain with a 13th level upgrade like many ancestry weapons or innate casting.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Sanityfaerie wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
I think it would have been reasonable to have it be trained and have it upgrade to expert with a 13th level ancestry feat. Proficiencies aren't too uncommon when it comes to ancestry abilities. It's just armor proficiency in particular is the rarity.

Armor proficiency, weapon proficiency, casting proficiency, saves proficiency, and perception proficiency are all core stuff, and really not trivial to raise. Skill proficiencies are a lot cheaper, especially just at the trained level, and lore proficiencies cheaper still.

Getting both built-in armor and proficiency in it from your heritage would be way too much. A heritage is worth roughly the same as an ancestry feat (plus unlocks) and an ancestry feat would get you one or the other, not both.

I think it would have been reasonable to offer trained proficiency as a level 1 ancestry feat, and a later bump as another feat, but packaging them together would be way too much... and given what CPT Morgan pointed out about their origins, offering ancestry feats for armor proficiencies would have been a bit redundant.

I'm a little torn. Proficiency is clearly out of bounds for what Paizo normally offers, because they're very careful about proficiencies, so I get where you're coming from.

On the other hand, unless you're getting regularly ambushed in your sleep, something that might never happen in some campaigns, Titan Nagaji is a heritage worth... 8 GP. That has some serious diminishing returns. The heritage as is kind of feels like a power writeoff for a neat idea.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Squiggit wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
I think it would have been reasonable to have it be trained and have it upgrade to expert with a 13th level ancestry feat. Proficiencies aren't too uncommon when it comes to ancestry abilities. It's just armor proficiency in particular is the rarity.

Armor proficiency, weapon proficiency, casting proficiency, saves proficiency, and perception proficiency are all core stuff, and really not trivial to raise. Skill proficiencies are a lot cheaper, especially just at the trained level, and lore proficiencies cheaper still.

Getting both built-in armor and proficiency in it from your heritage would be way too much. A heritage is worth roughly the same as an ancestry feat (plus unlocks) and an ancestry feat would get you one or the other, not both.

I think it would have been reasonable to offer trained proficiency as a level 1 ancestry feat, and a later bump as another feat, but packaging them together would be way too much... and given what CPT Morgan pointed out about their origins, offering ancestry feats for armor proficiencies would have been a bit redundant.

I'm a little torn. Proficiency is clearly out of bounds for what Paizo normally offers, because they're very careful about proficiencies, so I get where you're coming from.

On the other hand, unless you're getting regularly ambushed in your sleep, something that might never happen in some campaigns, Titan Nagaji is a heritage worth... 8 GP. That has some serious diminishing returns. The heritage as is kind of feels like a power writeoff for a neat idea.

It is worth quite a bit more for druids... At least until Treasure Vault gives us wooden breastplates. It also saves on Bulk, which is actually somewhat significant. There are ways around bulk but they cost a pretty penny.

Also, I think most heritages just save you a bit of gold it you take a long enough view. Darkvision, energy resistance, cantrips, niche terrain benefits... All that can be bought. Some are more difficult or expensive to emulate than others, but they aren't enormously powerful.


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Bulk is a bit less significant if you're starting with someone who has at least 16 str... and while it might be useful for druids, that's not at all the core concept that the heritage is built around.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Sanityfaerie wrote:
Bulk is a bit less significant if you're starting with someone who has at least 16 str... and while it might be useful for druids, that's not at all the core concept that the heritage is built around.

2 bulk breastplate (worn)

2 bulk maul (or warhammer + shield)
2 bulk longbow
1 bulk adventurer's pack

That's already 7 of the 8 bulk on a 16 strength character without trying very hard-- just getting a two handed weapon an a back up ranged weapon. If your group asks you to hold the bag of holding you're already maxed out. Big strong characters just don't have the spare carrying capacity they used to.

It isn't a tremendous advantage... but then again, neither is darkvision if you aren't a scout and your party needs a light source anyway.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
It is worth quite a bit more for druids... At least until Treasure Vault gives us wooden breastplates.

Other than Wild Shape Druids (who fight in forms where their armor doesn't really matter much) is there another effective kind of druid that wants Str>Dex?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
It is worth quite a bit more for druids... At least until Treasure Vault gives us wooden breastplates.
Other than Wild Shape Druids (who fight in forms where their armor doesn't really matter much) is there another effective kind of druid that wants Str>Dex?

Why wild shape druids? Battle forms have fixed stats so I can't imagine they care much either.


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Squiggit wrote:
Why wild shape druids? Battle forms have fixed stats so I can't imagine they care much either.

Because of this clause in the Wild Shape Order Spell:

Quote:
When you choose to use your own attack modifier while polymorphed instead of the form's default attack modifier, you gain a +2 status bonus to your attack rolls.

So if you maximize Str, and invest in handwraps you end up with better accuracy than the default bonus in your battle form.

You still don't care about armor though. I don't think there's a druid that wants to hang around and hit people with weapons though, as much as I'd like to play one.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Why wild shape druids? Battle forms have fixed stats so I can't imagine they care much either.

Because of this clause in the Wild Shape Order Spell:

Quote:
When you choose to use your own attack modifier while polymorphed instead of the form's default attack modifier, you gain a +2 status bonus to your attack rolls.

So if you maximize Str, and invest in handwraps you end up with better accuracy than the default bonus in your battle form.

You still don't care about armor though. I don't think there's a druid that wants to hang around and hit people with weapons though, as much as I'd like to play one.

That is just not the case.

All the wildshape spells have this text If your unarmed attack bonus is higher, you can use it instead So you can only ever add your +2 status bonus if you max out your strength (or dexterity) at one level. That is at level 4 only. You can get the +2 status bonus if you have to deliberately take a lesser form with poorer statistics - which is a bit odd.

Druids want Strength for some feat prerequisites eg From Control. If they have the Strength then they may want to use it for a backup weapon.

Armour is always useful for everyone. Even casters who try to stay out of melee.


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aobst128 wrote:
Proficiencies do usually come from ancestry feats rather than heritages.

Warrior Android gets you "trained in all simple and martial weapons". Trained in built in 1 armor seems to track with this IMO.


graystone wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
Proficiencies do usually come from ancestry feats rather than heritages.
Warrior Android gets you "trained in all simple and martial weapons". Trained in built in 1 armor seems to track with this IMO.

Huh, that is a weird and kinda poor heritage. But it is in line with that. I think the major thing about armor proficiency being rarer is that is scales a lot slower than weapon proficiencies so it has more value earlier on. Especially if you give an expert at 13th feat since that's right on time for many classes while weapon or spell progressions at 13th are quite delayed.

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