Review: Rite Publishing – 101 Alternate Racial Traits (Pathfinder)

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101 Alternate Racial Traits
101 Alternate Racial Traits is an epic fantasy supplement from the 101 Series for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game published by Rite Publishing and written by Steven D. Russell.
By Aaron T. Huss

101 Alternate Racial Traits presents users with new possibilities for what type of unique character they create. These new racial traits take the place of (most of them) one or more racial traits from the Pathfinder core rulebook. These new traits allow players the flexibility of creating a character similar to what they had envisioned. 101 Alternate Racial Traits truly puts creativity in design back into the players hands by allowing them to create the character types they really want without unnecessary racial traits.

CONTENT

101 Alternate Racial Traits brings in options for racial traits during character creation. Instead of the standard racial traits within the core rulebook, you can replace those (one or more) with new ones found herein. The list goes through dwarf, elf, gnome, half-elf, half-drow (new options for creating half-elves with a dark elves lineage), half-orc, halfling, and human. My favorite: Gnomish Humor – “Once per encounter as a free action gnomes can make a spontaneous remark about a situation and potentially break their opponent’s concentration as they are overcome with laughter.”

The races presented within the core rulebook almost pigeon-hole you into creating certain types of characters with specific races to properly utilize the given racial traits. New traits within feature a variety of flavors including personalities, bloodlines/lineage, simple abilities and new traits tied to different aspects of that race. An example of this last one is the half-orc racial traits with a grouping that leans toward the human aspect and another grouping leaning toward the orc aspect. However, some of these racial traits also step outside of the standard stereotypes like the half-orc trait Noble Savage. One major function of the supplement is to create characters that do not conform to that race’s typical traits.

This supplement presents a large number of new bloodlines/lineages that allow you to “trace your heritage” back to some interesting sub-races. A great example of this is the Grendle Ancestry within the human racial traits section. Now you can really create some interesting adventuring groups.

OVERALL

More options! Many of us yearn for more options. To create a character that is truly unique and conforms to the background that you have envisioned. That’s what 101 Alternate Racial Traits is about, the ability to create the character you want to create. Instead of racial traits that are useless, unnecessary or just don’t work with what you want, you can now maximize your characters abilities. Or at least come closer to maximizing their abilities. Even with 101 traits, you can probably find 101 more.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
101 Alternate Racial Traits is very well organized with a clean presentation and simple layout. Rite Publishing has a habit of creating high-quality publications and this is no different. Some illustrations are sprinkled throughout, but a supplement like this doesn’t really need many. What it does need, and definitely has, are easy-to-read entries that are also easy-to-find (when reference back through the material).

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
I love the variety of new racial traits, especially the different bloodlines and supernatural abilities. Sometimes you feel like creating a stereotypical dwarf, and sometimes you feel like creating one with your own vision. While 101 Alternate Racial Traits may not give you every option you’re looking for, it definitely gives you plenty to choose from. Even if you don’t find what you want, you can use these new traits as a template for creating your own.

Value Add: 9 out of 10
I am a big fan of supplements that provide more options during character creation. It’s very easy to take the easy route during character creation by building a typical adventurer with the given racial bonuses and penalties. This could be the equivalent of creating sub-races or just creating a flavor for your adventurer that corresponds with the background they created (or want to create). The only problem with more options is finding the right ones to choose. While this may seem a daunting task for many, it can be well-worth the time spent.

Overall: 10 out of 10
Supplements that enhance character creation (by offering more options) is worth purchasing. The key to 101 Alternate Racial Traits is the sheer number of new options you are given (including racial traits for a half-drow) that make it even more worth purchasing. If you’re looking for an easy way to create unique characters, this supplement is for you. If you’d rather keep with the standard options, then you won’t find much value within the supplement.

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