In Pathfinder 2e, races have been replaced by ancestries. Functionally, though, ancestries and races perform the same role.

When editing this question about PF2e ancestry ability boosts, I ran into a bit of a conundrum. It is presently tagged . However, someone searching for PF2e information (which this question is about) is more likely to use the term "ancestries", and currently that tag doesn't exist.

Should we:

  1. Create a new independent tag?
  2. Just use the tag?
  3. Make a tag synonym to ?
  4. Some other option I'm not considering?
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since you aren't using chat, consider this a ping — are you going to add the tag wiki as well? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 24, 2021 at 22:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu you re-tagged all the questions from races to ancestries yesternight, while the accepted answer here calls to have them all have [races] - synonym is "auto replace this tag with that tag* here, not "have this tag, appears on another search" \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Dec 25, 2021 at 10:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trish I re-tagged three questions in the interim. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 25, 2021 at 11:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trish Generally, there would also be no issue to re-tag the seven obvious ones to measure the effectiveness of the synonym unless it obstructs site-working — which three or even seven edits would not. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 25, 2021 at 11:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu - added tag wiki. To keep with the pattern set by [races], I just copy-pasted the usage guidance down to it. \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Dec 28, 2021 at 4:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast (or other mods) - looks like my synonym proposal isn't getting any votes (it's currently at negative 1); would a mod just have to create it? \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Dec 28, 2021 at 4:31
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @ESCE: I'm a CM now, but... Yes, if a proposed synonym doesn't get enough votes (from the main tag's synonyms page) to be implemented automatically, then the only other way for it to actually become a synonym is for a mod to do it. If there's clear consensus on meta that it should be a synonym, then if the mods haven't acted on it yet after a while, you can raise a custom flag on the post to help bring it to the mods' attention. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Dec 31, 2021 at 3:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ (That said, it looks like both [ancestries] and [ancestry] have now been approved as synonyms of [races]... The only thing left to do, if appropriate, is to merge the [ancestries] tag into the [races] tag. Per this post on MSE: "All good tag synonyms should eventually be merged [...]. This retags all questions tagged with another tag – which is not automatically done when a synonym is created. As merging is not (easily) reversible, it should be done with caution. Only moderators can perform a merge.") \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Dec 31, 2021 at 3:40

3 Answers 3


Make [ancestries] a tag synonym to [races]

The tag we currently define as:

For questions about races, a term used to delineate creatures encountered in a game world, often but not always sentient. Examples include humans, orcs, green dragons, kzinti, and griffins.

While the real-world terms have different definitions, the game term "ancestry" in Pathfinder 2nd edition serves the same function that "races" do in many other tabletop RPG systems. It also fits the definition that we currently have for the tag.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ This makes sense, I wish races was a synonym of ancestries because the term is less problematic — but our convention of use is clearly established. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 20, 2021 at 19:08
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu I agree with you. PF-2 uses Ancestry instead of Race for exactly that reason. We should consider making that transition too. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin Mod
    Dec 21, 2021 at 2:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ similarly: in Shadowrun, you'd technically say "metahuman subspecies" but everybody calls ork/elf/troll/dwarf/human "race" \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Dec 21, 2021 at 10:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu I'd prefer all to be a synonym to species, as ancestries are not species. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Dec 21, 2021 at 10:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trish I think species might be a good new tag that we could introduce that describes something different - as you say species aren't ancestries. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 21, 2021 at 10:10
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu Race is technically equivalent to (a subgroup of) the proper biological term "Subspecies" but above "strain" (for virii). E.g. Homo sapiens is a species Homo sapiens sapiens is the subspecies - and then you are in genetic-marker-territory \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Dec 21, 2021 at 10:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Trish [citation needed] I think you will have a very hard time finding a “technical” definition of either “race” or “subspecies” that is consistently used by the broad majority of researchers across the majority of disciplines that concern themselves with these issues. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Dec 21, 2021 at 15:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu on the matter of which direction the synonym "points," we can always restructure it to go the other way if/when the industry and community settle on using the term "ancestry" to supplant "race." Or we could even choose, ourselves, to be on the forefront of such a move. Either way, I think that'd need its own dedicated meta discussion. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Dec 21, 2021 at 17:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tried to create an ancestries tag, but am confused by the process. And I accidentally created it as "ancestry" instead... smh \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Dec 22, 2021 at 16:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ESCE: Looks like you just edited the title of your question, not the tags. To suggest a tag as a synonym of an existing tag, you have to do so from the synonyms page of the existing tag that you want it to be a synonym of... But as noted on the "create tag synonyms" privilege help page, however, you need a total answer score of 5+ in a tag to suggest or vote on synonyms for that tag, so it's easiest for mods to do it. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Dec 23, 2021 at 18:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ahhh gotcha - I suggested "ancestries" as a synonym, and tagged the question with the new [ancestries] tag. \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Dec 24, 2021 at 22:37

Call a spade a spade.

If a game system is deliberately using a non-dnd term, we should use that as the tag.

It's what somebody starting to play would expect, especially as the change was made deliberately mid-edition.

We can update the usages of each tag to point you the right way.

Otherwise we might as well tag as or as .

It would also portray some of the rare ancestries more accurately.


Ancestry has a confusion potential.

While Ancestry might be a less loaded term than races (and I would prefer something even less loaded), an tag runs the problem of possibly being confused with things that would fall under an tag - the latter for example being a specific type of merit in or a type of feat - which has nothing to do with how Ancestry is used in Pathfinder-2e.

This makes an easier distinguishable tag and speaks for enforcing a synonym.

  • \$\begingroup\$ We have 0 questions tagged ancestor. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 25, 2021 at 12:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu we had 0 questions tagged ancestry till you acted. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Dec 25, 2021 at 12:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ We had 1 question tagged ancestries, also that has nothing to do with this argument. The argument that you make here is purely speculating on the odd chance that we might potentially have a conflicting situation in the future — we generally don't operate like that, except for very few and distinctive cases. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 25, 2021 at 12:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Confusion potential is a factor in tagging. We have in the past rebranded tags because they were highly confusable for the wrong system or because they were used on things that were not part of the definition provided. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Dec 25, 2021 at 12:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Absolutely, and again that doesn't apply here - we don't have the tag in question and even if we had it, this doesn't demonstrate why it would create confusion. A recent good case of speculating on a tag, and being preemptive about it is the Strixhaven tsg discussion. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 25, 2021 at 12:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ancestor traits that would fall under an ancestor tag are generally "I have [specific person/being] as ancestor" while PF2 is "I am an [elf]", which have a small overlap but generally being of the line of X does not make you belonging to a larger category like elf, orc, whatever it might be named. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Dec 25, 2021 at 12:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ If I understand correctly, this answer is advocating that merging [ancestry] into [races] (as also suggested by MikeQ) is the correct move, on the basis that [races] is very clear and [ancestry] is less clear. As in, Trish is agreeing with the merge & saying it's the least confusing way to handle things. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 25, 2021 at 17:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener correct. I say merge and use races due to the races tag being less confusing, even as it is loaded \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Dec 25, 2021 at 20:03

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