In my Pathfinder 1e campaign, one of my players is playing a shackleborn/Kyton-Spawn Tiefling from the "Blood of Fiends" Player companion.

We're a bit confused as to what the exact racial traits etc. should be after applying the background/heritage. Some seem straightforward: The Shackleborn's Attributes of +2 Con, +2 Cha and -2 Wis replace the inherent +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Cha Likewise the skills and spell-like ability are replaced 1-for-1 between the original and the variant.

However, the shackleborn "Traits" segment states "The following are race traits for shackleborn", then lists Chain Master and Pain Artist.

Do these two traits come on top of all the regular Tiefling traits? Or do they replace any? If so, which ones? ALL of them? It feels punishing to give up Darkvision, Friendish Resistance AND Fiendish Sorcery for these two. Also, none of the alternative Tiefling heritages have darkvision - this seems odd if you assume Darkvision is lost to acquire the 2 listed traits for each one.

Additionally, which trait replaces which one is important if you want to swap out others. Is there some clarity to be had on this?


1 Answer 1


There's always confusion about traits, because Pathfinder has chosen poor words for these two different kinds of traits.

The traits mentioned here, Chain Master & Pain Artist, are just a recommendation to take when you choose traits/drawbacks during character creation.

These traits are not related to (alternate) racial traits, which are part of your race selection during character creation.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Ah I see. Character creation says that you typically obtain 2 traits during creation. Since we're playing Curse of the Crimson Throne, I assume these 2 are the Background and Campaign traits. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mookuh
    Aug 24, 2021 at 18:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, if you play with traits (GM decision), then every character can select 2 traits. You cannot select traits from the same category, so if you already chose a campaign trait, you can't chose another campaign trait; but you can still select a faith/race/region/… trait. If you choose a drawback, you can gain a third trait. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theaitetos
    Aug 24, 2021 at 23:11

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