I went through the first page of an extensive forum from 2010 that asks a similar question and doesn't get an answer. Now that there is more information on the subject, I'd like to know for a build I'm working on, a Half-Elf Sorcerer/Oracle/Mystic Theurge: to what extent are half-breeds treated as humans?

Normally I'd just assume that half-elves/orcs can lean towards whatever side of their ancestry they want, but it seems to be controversial enough that I do need to ask what the RAW is. What are half-humans allowed to take that is usually reserved for their halves only?

I'm looking primarily for a RAW answer, but I'd take an RAI answer if no RAW answer exists. Normally I'd be the first to agree that "effects" has nothing to do with favored class bonuses, but it would appear to be accepted that half-elves can take human-only classes, which are not effects by any means.

The half-races in question are primarily half-elves and half-orcs, and at least as far as Favored Class Bonus is concerned the side-bar on those two pages would appear to confirm that yes, half-elves/orcs can take the Favored Class Bonuses of either elves/orcs or humans, but in a broader sense it could also apply to the planar races (aasimars, tieflings, sylphs, ifrits, oreads, and undines, possibly more) that have the following ability (or close variation thereof; this is taken from Aasimar):

Scion of Humanity Some aasimars’ heavenly ancestry is extremely distant. An aasimar with this racial trait counts as an outsider (native) and a humanoid (human) for any effect related to race, including feat prerequisites and spells that affect humanoids. She can pass for human without using the Disguise skill. This racial trait replaces the Celestial language and alters the native subtype.

The biggest reason that this partially extends to them as well is because they now have the Humanoid (Human) type with this trait, which is fine by itself, but according to the sidebar on the same page any humanoid could be an aasimar (or any of the other planar races). As a sub-question to this one, if the prerequisite for human/elf/orc/etc.-only feats, race traits, classes, favored class bonuses, etc. is to have the "Human/Elf/Orc/etc." subtype... would these races with that ability be able to qualify for those things as well?

  • Awkwardly, I feel like this is a better-asked question that the prior ones I am marking it as a duplicate of, but nonetheless this question has been asked and answered. – KRyan Feb 27 at 19:08
  • Isnt this a different case? While that question might have similar (or the same) answer, it affects a more general group of races, not only half-elves. – ShadowKras Feb 27 at 19:19
  • The dupe closure is being discussed on meta and may be reversed or rearranged: rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/7783/… (for now I'm reopening it since I'm interested in seeing the potential for better dupe closure directions.) – doppelgreener Feb 27 at 19:58
  • To ensure that the question is not a duplicate of those, I have edited it to make it apply to more than just the FCB of half-elves, which has been answered by Paizo and reflected in the side-bar of the race pages in the SRD. – Brandon Olson Feb 27 at 20:40
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They can take any race-restricted character option

As pointed out in this answer, in Pathfinder, most half-breeds of humans are also treated members of both parent races, and thus, also treated as humans. This rule extends to:

Orc Blood: Half-orcs count as both humans and orcs for any effect related to race.

Elf Blood: Half-elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race.

  • Aasimars with Scion of Humanity racial trait:

Scion of Humanity: Some aasimars’ heavenly ancestry is extremely distant. An aasimar with this racial trait counts as an outsider (native) and a humanoid (human) for any effect related to race, including feat prerequisites and spells that affect humanoids.

  • Tieflings with Pass for Human racial trait:

Such a tiefling doesn’t need to succeed at a Disguise check to appear to be human and count as humanoid (human) as well as outsider (native) for all purposes (such as humanoid-affecting spells like charm person or enlarge person).

Such geniekin appear to be human, save perhaps minor features like unusual eye color, and they count as humanoid (human) as well as outsider (native) for all purposes (such as humanoid-affecting spells such as charm person or enlarge person).

Fetchlings with this racial trait count as outsiders with the native subtype and humanoids with the human subtype for any effect related to race, including feat prerequisites and spells that affect humanoids.

You count as both human and your race for the purpose of taking character options, such as archetypes, feats, spells, traits, and prestige classes.

Keep in mind that planar half-breeds exist for non-human races, as pointed out in Blood of Angels (Aasimars) and Blood of Fiends (Tiefling). Such variants would be an exception to this, as pointed out on the sidebar of Blood of Angels, for instance:

Non-human aasimars have the same statistics as human aasimars with the exception of size. Thus a halfling aasimar is Small but otherwise possesses the same statistics and abilities as a human aasimar-the difference is purely cosmetic. Non-human aasimars do not possess any of the racial abilities of their base race. However, they are usually raised in the same cultural context as other members of their base race, and thus generally adopt the same fighting style as their peers, use the same types of weapons and armor, and study the same skills.

So from a rules-as-written perspective, an Aasimar that has an elf parent and takes Scion of Humanity would count as humanoid(native) and still count also as humanoid(human) instead of humanoid(elf).

But are also affected by any race-specific effects

This may sound strong, but keep in mind that this also affects race-specific effects or effects based on creature type, like the Bane special weapon property, or an Intelligent Magic Item that wishes to defeat/slay all members of a specific race.

A half-orc, for example, is both a humanoid(orc) and a humanoid(human) creature. Meaning that they are affected by both a Human-Bane weapon and a Orc-Bane weapon (luckily, bane doesn't stack). A half-elf would meet the requirements of crafting a Cloak of Elvenkind. And so on.

Repeating myself, but...

Yes, hybrid races can take options designed for either of their parent races, as well as options designed specifically for their race. It’s one of the reasons half-elves are so potent (many say overpowered) in Pathfinder (half-orcs less so, since the orc and half-orc options aren’t nearly as good as elf or half-elf options).

From the FAQ, we have a rule that hybrid races may freely select from “rules elements” of both parent races:

Half-Elf or Half-Orc: Can a character of either of these races select human racial archetypes (such as from Advanced Race Guide?

Yes. Half-elves and half-orcs may select racial favored class options, archetypes, traits, and so on, as if they were a full member of both races (a half-elf can select elf and human rules elements, a half-orc can select human and orc rules elements).

Edit 9/26/13: This is a reversal of an earlier ruling. This resolves a discrepancy between this FAQ and two Advanced Player's Guide FAQs.

This certainly covers both half-elves and half-orcs, and the wording is extremely broad—a “rules element” is apparently literally anything under the rules. So, is it an option for humans, or for elves? Then a half-elf can take it just as easily as those races. Likewise for half-orcs and human or orc options. There are absolutely zero caveats or qualifications offered here. They get it all, all at once. They don’t have to pick one side that they favor, they don’t count for some things and not others, they just count, period.

As for aasimar and other planetouched, it certainly seems to me that the intent would be that they qualify just as well as the fully-hybrid races. Explicit reference is given to qualifying for requirements as if they had the Humanoid (Human) type, which isn’t actually a thing any requirement explicitly references—instead, requirements just say you have to be human. The question of race vs. subtype for meeting qualifications is somewhat murky and unclear (and I will attempt to find more information on the subject), but this is circumstantial evidence, at least, that having the human subtype is the same as being of the human race as far as requirements are concerned. And given that the wording of the elf blood racial feature is even less broad than the wording of scion of humanity, it seems basically unreasonable to not apply it to aasimar as well.

The option of aasimar and other planetouched to actually be descended from other humanoid races is something that was kind of tacked on to them later, and it’s always been kind of awkward. Presumably, the scion of humanity feature should also change when using that option.

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