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Question is as the title says, "Is there a way for a human barbarian to acquire the cold-honed half-elf racial trait?"

Maybe through feats or traits? Something adopted?

(The racial trait is available from the books Bastards of Golarian and Heroes of the Fringe.)

It doesn't have to be exactly cold-honed, but instead just the ability to ignore snowy terrain and such.

Snowborn can move through natural snow and ice at their normal speed and gain a +4 racial bonus on Fortitude saves to avoid nonlethal damage from cold environments.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The specific trait, and not equivalent boni? \$\endgroup\$
    – From
    Jan 10, 2023 at 14:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @From is right to ask. Do you need this specific trait for prerequisites or sth like that? Or just the mechanical effects that are equivalent? What exactly are you trying to achieve? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Jan 10, 2023 at 14:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Adding to the above two asking for clarification: If you're willing to spend feats on it, isn't it easier just to BE a half-elf barbarian instead of a human barbarian? There's not much point to be a Human instead of a Half-Elf if you spend your (human bonus) feat on it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theaitetos
    Jan 10, 2023 at 20:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually yes, the equivalent would be fine. As for being a half-elf, well, this isn't a new character. I'm playing in Reign of Winter and it would be something my character learned or developed in game, not something from his background. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 12, 2023 at 13:50

2 Answers 2

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I don’t believe there is.

I haven’t been able to find one with a lot of digging, and the little I have turned up seems to suggest there isn’t any.

The Adopted feat allows you to take a “race trait” from another race, but a “race trait” is (incredibly) distinct from a “racial trait.” It refers to a trait—the kinda-sorta half-feats that you get two of—from the race category. Not to the racial traits you get for being a given race, or to the alternate racial features you can choose, like cold-honed.

Even the third-party Bloodforged, which is all about mixing and matching racial features, doesn’t seem to enable this in any manner.

And searching for other ways of achieving similar results doesn’t turn up anything much either:

  • The Winter mystery includes the revelation Child of Winter, which allows you to move across regular snow normally, but heavy snow still has some penalties, and ice isn’t mentioned.

  • Ice body allows moving through ice and snow, as if swimming, but it’s also a 7th-level spell.

And as far as I can tell, that’s it. Cold-honed is only available—officially—to half-elves. You might speak to your GM about it, though—it certainly seems reasonable that others might have such skills.

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Maybe Mythic Racial Heritage

Mythic Racial Heritage states:

You gain a single racial trait of your choice from the race you picked when you took non-mythic Racial Heritage. That racial trait can’t modify your size or ability scores. You also gain the racial language of the race (if any) if you don’t already know it. For races with multiple racial languages, you gain all of them.

This allows you to get a racial trait from Half-Elf as a human. However, the issue is that Cold-Honed is an Alternate Racial trait, which has the following set of rules (APG pg. 8) (Emphasis mine):

The following race discussions also describe alternate racial traits for each character race. It is important to note that these racial traits are not the same as the trait rules. Those traits are effectively half-feats, intended to tie characters to the specific nations, cultures, regions, and races of the Golarion campaign world. Racial traits, on the other hand, are those racial abilities described at the bottom of each race’s descriptive page. Some races have few racial traits, like half-orcs and humans. Others, like dwarves and gnomes, have many. All of these racial traits represent typical members of the race and the kinds of special abilities they gain from their heritage, whether from biology, racial attitudes, or otherwise.

This chapter also contains a list of alternate class features for each race. [lol, no it doesn't] Some of them play on racial archetypes not reflected in the standard racial traits, like a gnome’s love of languages or tinkering or a halfling’s mastery of thrown items or of slipping through a battlefield under the feet of larger races. In order to choose one of these racial traits, you must exchange one or more of the existing racial traits available to your character. These racial traits replace a character’s normal racial traits; they are not abilities gained in addition to them. In many cases, racial abilities are exchanged on a one-to-one basis; you give up one racial ability from the Core Rulebook to gain one presented in this book. In other cases, you may have to exchange more than one racial trait to take one of these alternate racial traits.

This means that while Cold-Honed is a racial trait, whether the (mythic) feat could simply grant it is up in the air. In it's favor, Cold-Honed is a simple 1-to-1 replacement of a base racial trait, but at the same time, it's still not something that's standard for the race.

Therefore, you would need to ask your GM whether this method works for you. As a GM I'd probably allow it (it is a mythic feat after all), but yours may disagree.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is the right answer, but it lacks the final step: Since Mythic Racial Heritage has the normal Racial Heritage feat as a prerequisite, a Human with Mythic Racial Heritage (Half-Elf) also counts as a Half-Elf, and the Retraining rules for racial traits then allow that Human to retrain his "Elven Immunities" racial trait (gained from MRH) into Cold-Honed. aonprd.com/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Theaitetos
    Jan 10, 2023 at 20:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I disagree with that working for a couple of reasons: 1) "The old and new racial traits must replace the same standard racial trait." Elven Immunities does not replace itself, therefore it's ineligible to be replaced. 2) Mythic Racial Heritage would be granting Elven Immunities, not Cold-Honed. Whether you can retrain an ability granted by a feat is very much debatable, and how the feat would continue to work is also very much debatable. If this worked, the feat should continue granting the 'Elven Immunities' racial trait in addition to you now having cold-honed. \$\endgroup\$
    – willuwontu
    Jan 11, 2023 at 0:04

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