List of Ancestries


Ancestries

Source Core Rulebook pg. 33
Your character’s ancestry determines which people they call their own, whether it’s diverse and ambitious humans, insular but vivacious elves, traditionalist and family-focused dwarves, or any of the other folk who call Golarion home. A character’s ancestry and their experiences prior to their life as an adventurer—represented by a background—might be key parts of their identity, shape how they see the world, and help them find their place in it.

Core Ancestries

Dwarf

Dwarves have a well-earned reputation as a stoic and stern people, ensconced within citadels and cities carved from solid rock. While some see them as dour and humorless crafters of stone and metal, dwarves and those who have spent time among them understand their unbridled zeal for their work, caring far more about quality than quantity. To a stranger, they can seem untrusting and clannish, but to their friends and family, they are warm and caring, their halls filled with the sounds of laughter and hammers hitting anvils.

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Elf

As an ancient people, elves have seen great change and have the perspective that can come only from watching the arc of history. After leaving the world in ancient times, they returned to a changed land, and they still struggle to reclaim their ancestral homes, most notably from terrible demons that have invaded parts of their lands. To some, the elves are objects of awe—graceful and beautiful, with immense talent and knowledge. Among themselves, however, the elves place far more importance on personal freedom than on living up to these ideals.

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Gnome

Long ago, early gnome ancestors emigrated from the First World, realm of the fey. While it’s unclear why the first gnomes wandered to Golarion, this lineage manifests in modern gnomes as bizarre reasoning, eccentricity, obsessive tendencies, and what some see as naivete. These qualities are further reflected in their physical characteristics, such as spindly limbs, brightly colored hair, and childlike and extremely expressive facial features that further reflect their otherworldly origins.

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Goblin

The convoluted histories other people cling to don’t interest goblins. These small folk live in the moment, and they prefer tall tales over factual records. The wars of a few decades ago might as well be from the ancient past. Misunderstood by other people, goblins are happy how they are. Goblin virtues are about being present, creative, and honest. They strive to lead fulfilled lives, rather than worrying about how their journeys will end. To tell stories, not nitpick the facts. To be small, but dream big.

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Half-Elf

A half-elf is born to an elf and a human, or to two half-elves. The life of a half-elf can be difficult, often marked by a struggle to fit in. Half-elves don’t have their own homeland on Golarion, nor are populations of half-elves particularly tied to one another, since they often have very disparate human and elven traditions. Instead, most half-elves attempt to find acceptance in either human or elven settlements.

Half-elves often appear primarily human, with subtly pointed ears and a taller stature than most full-blooded humans. Half-elves lack the almost alien eyes of their elf parents, though they do have a natural presence—and often a striking beauty— that leads many to become artists or entertainers. Despite this innate appeal, many half-elves have difficulty forming lasting bonds with either humans or elves due to the distance they feel from both peoples as a whole.

Half-elves live longer than other humans, often reaching an age around 150 years. This causes some of them to fear friendship and romance with humans, knowing that they’ll likely outlive their companions.

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Halfling

Claiming no place as their own, halflings control few settlements larger than villages. Instead, they frequently live among humans within the walls of larger cities, carving out small communities alongside taller folk. Many halflings lead perfectly fulfilling lives in the shadows of their larger neighbors, while others prefer a nomadic existence, traveling the world and taking advantage of opportunities and adventures as they come.

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Half-Orc

A half-orc is the offspring of a human and an orc, or of two half-orcs. Because some intolerant people see orcs as more akin to monsters than people, they sometimes hate and fear half-orcs simply due to their lineage. This commonly pushes half-orcs to the margins of society, where some find work in manual labor or as mercenaries, and others fall into crime or cruelty. Many who can’t stand the indignities heaped on them in human society find a home among their orc kin or trek into the wilderness to live in peace, apart from society’s judgment.

Humans often assume half-orcs are unintelligent or uncivilized, and half-orcs rarely find acceptance among societies with many such folk. To an orc tribe, a half-orc is considered smart enough to make a good war leader but weaker physically than other orcs. Many half-orcs thus end up having low status among orc tribes unless they can prove their strength.

A half-orc has a shorter lifespan than other humans, living to be roughly 70 years old.

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Human

As unpredictable and varied as any of Golarion’s peoples, humans have exceptional drive and the capacity to endure and expand. Though many civilizations thrived before humanity rose to prominence, humans have built some of the greatest and the most terrible societies throughout the course of history, and today they are the most populous people in the realms around the Inner Sea.

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Other Ancestries

Hobgoblin

Taller and stronger than their goblin kin, hobgoblins are equals in strength and size to humans, with broad shoulders and long, powerful arms.

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Leshy

Guardians and emissaries of the environment, leshies are immortal spirits of nature temporarily granted a physical form.

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Lizardfolk

Lizardfolk are consummate survivors, heirs to empires considered ancient even by the elves.

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