I was wondering when creating a race in Pathfinder 1e, are you able to give them two racial type qualities like Fey and Humanoids for example or is it just one type only? I ask because I was looking to create a race and I wanted to understand how loose the race creator is for Pathfinder 1e.

  • \$\begingroup\$ To summarize my question, I want to know when creating a race in Pathfinder 1e, can you make a fey humanoid hybrid or are hybrids only for half-races like half-elves and half-orcs? \$\endgroup\$ – user62908 Jun 23 '20 at 23:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil I merely wanted to do this mostly for Flavour reasons. I wanted to see if it is possible to create a Humanoid (Reptilian) Fey and if that was ok to do. \$\endgroup\$ – user62908 Jun 24 '20 at 0:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ (For anyone curious, I've deleted the other question per request. That'd be why you aren't seeing two of them anymore). \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jun 24 '20 at 0:44

The rules for creating new races start with selecting racial type qualities. Just before this section it states:

You must select an option from each of the following quality categories. [emphasis added]

Similarly the language in the type qualities section is singular.

This strongly implies to me that the assumption is that you can only select one type. This is certainly the case in Hero Lab's implementation of these race creation rules (Hero Lab is not an official source, and is simply used to provide corroboration of my interpretation).

It is possible that two racial qualities would give you access to a combination of abilities that would 'break the game' more than the options already available can. However, if that stuff is not your goal, then I as a GM would still let you take more than one racial quality. I.e. I would vet the overall build for balance against the other party members - as I would do anyway even if you didn't use more than one racial type.

As per KRyan's comments, the rules don't define what multiple racial types means, and a book using them wouldn't get published without working out those definitions, but for a home game this is not an issue.

Besides the concern above, taking more than one racial quality in and of itself is unlikely to unbalance the game.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The difficulty is that creatures must be one of the types (Fey, Humanoid, etc.) for a variety of effects, requirements, and so on. Even the designers limit themselves to one type, and the game rules assume just one pervasively. The better approach is to pick one type, and then give the race abilities that spell out what they get from the other type, when they count as each type, and so on. If you just list two types, that leaves a whole lot of questions unanswered. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 25 '20 at 17:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Most such effects I can think of, off the top of my head at least, would be fine. They meet any criteria that requires a humanoid, and also any for Fey. For example Hold Person would work against them, as would Hold Fey (which I didn't even realise was a spell till just now). That said, I suspect that you could be right that a better solution is to pick one, then take thematic abilities to represent the other, but that will likely depend on what exactly his end goals are. \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Sep 25 '20 at 20:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ I mean, for point of reference, I have worked on Pathfinder races professionally—not for Paizo, but for Dreamscarred Press, on their Bloodforge line, which is literally focused on hybrids and these kinds of things. We would not have published a race with two types. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 25 '20 at 20:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Purely to sate my curiosity, do you remember why that was the case? -- no worries if not, I probably wouldn't be able to answer a similar question about my own work from even last year. \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Sep 26 '20 at 12:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Because the rules don’t define what that means, and it leads to tons and tons of unanswered questions. The role of the designer is to answer those questions; leaving questions for the players/DM to answer means we aren’t doing our job. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 26 '20 at 16:54

In the rules for creating new races the Humanoid type states:

Every humanoid creature also has a subtype to matchits race, such as human, giant, goblinoid, reptilian, or tengu. If you are making a new humanoid race, you should either find an existing sutype to match or make a new one by using the name of the race as the subtype. If you are making a half-breed race, it should have the racial type of both parent races.

So while you can only choose one racial type, the Humanoid race type can have multiple subtypes. And the rules on humanoid subtypes simply let you create a Humanoid(fey) subtype to use for half-breeds. Mechanically this presents little to none difference to actually using the Fey-type.

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    \$\begingroup\$ These rules are vague, as they are all intended to only be used by a GM/with a GM's vetting. That said, I do not believe this is correct by RAW. Specifically choosing the Fey subtype would grant access to traits that require the Fey subtype, but not the Fey type - which is by far the largest mechanical difference between the Fey and Humanoid types (besides low-light vision). As an example, compare the Rodent Empathy trait, which requires the Ratfolk subtype (not type), with the Fey Damage Resistance trait, which requires the Fey Type (not subtype). \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Sep 25 '20 at 10:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is access to those traits which primarily explain why the Fey type costs 2RP, while the Fey subtype of the Humanoid Type costs zero RP. \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Sep 25 '20 at 10:29

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