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Elves and sleep


Rules Questions

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

14 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the errata.

Okay, so I've heard that in earlier editions of D&D, elves didn't sleep at all. But in Pathfinder, there's nothing in the race description in the Core Rules (unless I'm just blind) saying that they don't sleep. They're immune to magical sleep effects, but there's nothing saying they don't sleep naturally every night.

But then I just happened to stumble across the spell nightmare, which says (near the end of the text) that "Creatures who don't sleep (such as elves, but not half-elves)..."

Okay, what? Did they just forget to delete that? Or did they forget to include text in the Races chapter stating that they don't sleep?

Or am I just not seeing something?


They sleep. No where in the post-beta materials will you find that Elves don't sleep.

Also:

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderR PG/general/elvesAndSleepienessWhyAreElvesImmuneToMagicalSleep&page=1&am p;source=search#5


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps Subscriber

I'd assume they sleep. That could be a big problem otherwise, especially since a lot of Elven PCs in Pathfinder turn out to be Wizards, who prepare their spells after 8 hours of sleep.

Maybe elves choose to sleep when they take the path of the wizard.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

So then there needs to be eratta in the nightmare text, yes?


Elves in Pathfinder sleep, they are just do it when they want not when someone magically forces them to. Nightmare spell is probably just a case of "copied from 3.5 without correcting" error. Or maybe Elves are intended to be immune to nightmare but not because they do not sleep but their immunity to magical sleep effects.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Drejk wrote:
Or maybe Elves are intended to be immune to nightmare but not because they do not sleep but their immunity to magical sleep effects.

Couldn't be that, because it doesn't say "elves are immune to this spell", it says that creatures who don't sleep are immune to it, and then lists elves as an example of creatures who don't sleep.

I guess we should collect FAQ clicks to get nightmare corrected, eh?

FAQ the OP, please!


Yes, the Nightmare spell needs an errata. I see no reason why elves would be immune to it in Pathfinder.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The elves not sleeping thing is a Forgotten Realms thing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Its talked about it Elves of Golarion. Not sure if its official or not but...

Elves of Golarion:
Sleep:
Though elves are immune to magical sleep effects, the idea that they never rest is a myth. Instead, though they do not fall unconscious the way other humanoids do, elves may enter a deep trance that has the same refreshing effect on the mind as human sleep. An elf only needs to meditate in this fashion for 4 hours per day, though some prefer longer periods. During this rest, an elf performs habitual mental exercises, reviews old memories, allows his intuition to seek enlightenment, and so on. Some mischievous elves enjoy perpetuating the myth that their kind is always awake and elven towns have no beds; the truth is that while some elves prefer to meditate in a chair or on a couch, others enjoy the comfort of an actual bed.


Ishmell wrote:
Its talked about it Elves of Golarion. Not sure if its official or not but...** spoiler omitted **

Elves of Golarion is a 3.5 edition book. It wasn't written for Pathfinder.

Elves did trance in 3.5 because it specifically said they did in the racial description in the Player's Handbook.

JAmes Jacobs had this to say on EN World about the matter:

Quote:

Elves not sleeping is indeed relatively setting specific, and while trances are in Elves of Golarion, it's something we'll honestly probably be moving away from in Golarion. We've done a fair amount to reimagine our elves, and by having them sleep (or at least implying they sleep) does help to make Golarion's elves more Golarion and less Forgotten Realms (which is the actual only setting in which elves don't sleep, I believe... even though they seem to still be on a day-night cycle and often have beds in their homes...).

BUT! If you prefer the non-sleeping elves, that certainly still works in your game. Unless I'm wrong, there's nothing in the elf flavor text in the PRPG that says they DO sleep, is there?


It does specifically say that Elves are immune to magical sleep. In 3.5 they meditated, but they simplified it to just normal sleep in pathfinder.

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
blackbloodtroll wrote:
The elves not sleeping thing is a Forgotten Realms thing.

James Jacobs has said that on a couple of occasions, by way of explaining that Elven trance/sleep was removed because it was only FR setting info, but it is erroneous.

The idea of Elves resting via a trance rather than sleep first appears (to my knowledge) in The Lord of the Rings, and has been in the game for years. I believe it is also the basis for their resistance to magical sleep and ghouls' paralyzing touch.


CBDunkerson wrote:

The idea of Elves resting via a trance rather than sleep first appears (to my knowledge) in The Lord of the Rings, and has been in the game for years. I believe it is also the basis for their resistance to magical sleep and ghouls' paralyzing touch.

Its not the basis for those abilities. Elves not needing sleep was introduced in 2nd edition D&D (Complete book of Elves) as a possible explanation of why elves were immune to sleep.

Elves have immunity to sleep and ghoul paralysis as balancing mechanisms that date back to the Chainmail miniatures game that D&D grew from. Making elves not need to sleep was a way to explain why elves were immune to sleep magics.

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Jeraa wrote:
Its not the basis for those abilities. Elves not needing sleep was introduced in 2nd edition D&D (Complete book of Elves).

Hmmm, I thought I remembered it from before that (though that's still 20 years ago), but I'm not seeing it in my dusty D&D Basic Rules or AD&D PHB. Of course, I read Tolkien before either of those came out so maybe that's why I remember it from way back.

In any case, it was in non-setting source books for v2, v3, v3.5, and v4... thus not a 'Forgotten Realms only' kind of thing.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

In the end, Pathfinder elves sleep.


Half-elves are immune to magical sleep as well, so why they are specifically called out as not being immune is odd, considering all the core races sleep in Pathfinder.


As I understand it the Core Rules don't ever specifically say anyone has to sleep for any other reason than to get back spells. It provides no mechanical penalty for not sleeping. Interestingly it does provide a penalty for sleeping in armor (which might lead an optimizer of a strictly martial character to never sleep). D20pfsrd.com has collected some old rules and common house rules, but if you look through the entire core book you'll only find rules about what happens if you sleep in armor, or the necessity of sleeping to get back spells.

Collected rest rules


After a little bit of searching, elves trancing may have been introduced into D&D by the Forgotten Realms setting. The first Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting was published in 1987, while the Complete Book of Elves wasn't published until 1992.

Its possible that the Complete Book of Elves took it from the Forgotten Realms, and applied it to elves as a while. Later editions just took it from there, and it continued. (The Complete Book of Elves detailed elves from several settings, like Greyhawk, the Realms, Dark Sun, etc.)


It is an artifact of earlier editions (although I liked it)


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I am unsure why, but elves in general leave a bad taste in my mouth. Kender, and anything related to them though, make me cry blood in the madness of rage.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
I am unsure why, but elves in general leave a bad taste in my mouth. Kender, and anything related to them though, make me cry blood in the madness of rage.

Kender are awesome, but that's another thread.

I think it was something meant to point out different elves were from humans. Since elves were like fey, and fey don't sleep. then elves don't either. I'm not a fan of it as it just seems too easy an way to make them different. Can't we come up with more interesting flavor text for elves? Maybe elves are immune to sleep spells just because of their resistance to magical enchantments and familiarity with such magic (like Puck's fairy dust from a Midsummer's Night Dream).

I do think the Nightmare spell is a copy pasta mistake.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
darth_borehd wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
I am unsure why, but elves in general leave a bad taste in my mouth. Kender, and anything related to them though, make me cry blood in the madness of rage.

Kender are awesome, but that's another thread.

I think it was something meant to point out different elves were from humans. Since elves were like fey, and fey don't sleep. then elves don't either. I'm not a fan of it as it just seems too easy an way to make them different. Can't we come up with more interesting flavor text for elves? Maybe elves are immune to sleep spells just because of their resistance to magical enchantments and familiarity with such magic (like Puck's fairy dust from a Midsummer's Night Dream).

I do think the Nightmare spell is a copy pasta mistake.

As far as Golarion is concerned, elves are

Spoiler:
aliens from the planet Castrovel

and that's likely the reason behind their sleep resistance.


Are elves immune to poisons that cause sleep, like that of the pseudodragon?


No. They are only immune to magical sleep effects. As an Extraordinary ability (Ex), the pseudodragons poison is nonmagical, and the elf is not immune to it. Spell-like (Sp) and Supernatural (Su) abilities are magical, however.

Special Ability Types


http://www.d20pfsrd.com/basics-ability-scores/glossary

under rest, it shows the benefits and penalties. There are many more rules than "armored or unarmored." It also notes the following:

"For most creatures resting means sleeping. In some worlds some races can gain the benefits of rest simply by sitting quietly maintaining an awareness of their surroundings, while in other worlds those races must sleep, which leaves them vulnerable to attack."

Therefor I believe it not only depends on the module, but the DM. Which in the end, will always be the final say.

just my 2 cents, hope it helps.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Arise, thread! Thread, arise!

Elves, by default, sleep. They may not have to sleep on some worlds, but RAW they could still be induced to sleep by non-magical means. No rule in the section on sleeping states that elves do not sleep, nor does the elf write-up. Ruling that they don't sleep is fine, exactly as much as ruling that dwarves have no sweat glands.

For that matter, not all elves are immune to magical sleep effects. The dreamspeaker alternate racial trait replaces elven immunities and would make little sense if elves never slept--dreamspeakers would never use their ability to send messages to other elves, only non-elves or elves with alternate racial traits replacing elven immunities


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

But how long do elves sleep? Assume that spells are not in play. Must all races sleep the same length of time?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Frank Daniels wrote:
But how long do elves sleep? Assume that spells are not in play. Must all races sleep the same length of time?

Same. Unless noted otherwise.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've run elves as having the ability to trance, but it being mildly uncomfortable. Not debilitating, but not something the average elf would do unless circumstances demand it. The only kind of elves who make regular use of trance in my games are active soldiers and monastic orders, the former for tactical advantage, the latter for self-control and meditation.


This was all covered in length, back when the second darkness AP came out and the original CRB debuted.

during the SD AP, the PCs encounter elves in their native setting, and….they DO not have beds.
They have trance mats.
They don't sleep.

BUT that changed when pathfinder went LIVE.
So basically, that was retconned.

At the time, the argument for it was that by having an elf in the party, no one needed to arrange a nighttime rest guard schedule as the elf could cover it… then here was the discussion about elves not regaining spells because they didn't sleep and etc etc.

so In Golarion, elves sleep


Gorbacz wrote:
darth_borehd wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
I am unsure why, but elves in general leave a bad taste in my mouth. Kender, and anything related to them though, make me cry blood in the madness of rage.

Kender are awesome, but that's another thread.

I think it was something meant to point out different elves were from humans. Since elves were like fey, and fey don't sleep. then elves don't either. I'm not a fan of it as it just seems too easy an way to make them different. Can't we come up with more interesting flavor text for elves? Maybe elves are immune to sleep spells just because of their resistance to magical enchantments and familiarity with such magic (like Puck's fairy dust from a Midsummer's Night Dream).

I do think the Nightmare spell is a copy pasta mistake.

As far as Golarion is concerned, elves are

** spoiler omitted **
and that's likely the reason behind their sleep resistance.

Except that origin isn't certain, only that they exist in both places and used to travel back and forth when the elf gates were fully functional, prior to earth fall.


MendedWall12 wrote:
As I understand it the Core Rules don't ever specifically say anyone has to sleep for any other reason than to get back spells. It provides no mechanical penalty for not sleeping.

Note: this may have been true in 2012, but the FAQ now says that if you miss a night of sleep you are fatigued.

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