Pathfinder Companion: Elves of Golarion (OGL)

3.60/5 (based on 14 ratings)
Pathfinder Companion: Elves of Golarion (OGL)
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Elves have been a part of the world for as long as anyone can remember. Caretakers of the natural world, warriors against the tide of savagery, and scholars of the deepest secrets of magic, elves are among Golarion’s most mystical and mysterious races. This book presents the definitive word on how elves live, fight, worship, and relate with other races. The information contained herein presents a wealth of information about the elven race, with new rules, details on making elven characters, and an extensive exploration of their society, history, and goals as a people. Even if you aren’t playing an elf, this booklet contains new spells, magic items, and character options perfect for any character.

    Inside this Pathfinder Companion, you’ll find:
  • Details on the elven people of Golarion—where they live, their arts and magic, their pantheon of deities, and more!
  • An exploration of the beautiful—yet sometimes deadly—elven nation of Kyonin, the heart and soul of the Fair Ones on Golarion, including details on Queen Telandia herself
  • More Character Traits specifically designed to enhance and expand a new elf character’s history and background
  • Alchemical archery and new magic arrows, sacred pacts with elven gods, a plethora of magical meals, and the brightness seeker prestige class

Pathfinder Companion is an invaluable resource for players and Game Masters. Each 32-page bimonthly installment explores a major theme in the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting, with expanded regional gazetteers, new player character options, and organizational overviews to help players flesh out their character backgrounds and to provide players and Game Masters with new sources for campaign intrigue.

Written by Jeff Quick and Hal Maclean

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-143-5

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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3/5

The price was a little high, I thought. I realize it was illustrated, but I can buy a 300 pg Kindle book for the same price. I would have liked more detail, especially about elven death and culture. It would be nice to have a full book about the elves of Golarion, at the very least like AD&D Complete Book of Elves.


Useful Supporting Details

5/5

This supplement is full of useful detail about Elves in the Golarion setting. It's important to my own campaign, for example, because of the player characters is an Elf and lives in Varisia. With this book, I am able to tell him about where his character comes from in Varisia.


4/5

@TheEqualizer:Look,I kinda've agree with you that it's not fair and a bit spotty on some parts,but I mean...dude.Are you seriously getting THAT uppity about this?

Anyways,I enjoy the alchemical arrows the most,and I love them for my ranger.I love all the companion books and all the details they give.Solid buy.


4/5

Well Okay I liked that it had more information on the elves that the original campaign setting and the personality and culture sections were well written.
If you like elves you might like the book,
my only complaint is that I did not really care for the brightness seeker prc.

overall I give the book a 4 stars our of 5.




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magnuskn wrote:

So, I am just asking myself: Do Elves in Golarion really only need to go into trance for four hours, or is this a relic from the 3.5 days? James Jacobs said that Elves sleep eight hours, like everyone else, but it seems we have in-lore writings specifically for the setting versus his words.

Can we get another "official" clarification in this product thread, where it won't get lost so easily in the shuffle? :)

I think a better question would be do the 3.5 rules for Golarion still take precedence unless specifically over ruled?

It might also be better to put this in the rules thread so it can be FAQ'd or ask him about it in the Ask James Jacobs thread.


magnuskn wrote:
So, I am just asking myself: Do Elves in Golarion really only need to go into trance for four hours, or is this a relic from the 3.5 days?

The Elves of Golarion book was written for the 3.5 ruleset. As you pointed out, James Jacobs has said that elves now sleep just like other races.


Are wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
So, I am just asking myself: Do Elves in Golarion really only need to go into trance for four hours, or is this a relic from the 3.5 days?

The Elves of Golarion book was written for the 3.5 ruleset. As you pointed out, James Jacobs has said that elves now sleep just like other races.

I just noticed that was a 2010 ruling. You are correct.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The problem here being that his ruling is in some obscure thread lost on the boards. I already got a "But elves trance for four hours only! It's written in the book!" from one of my players in my upcoming second Kingmaker campaign, so I was hoping to see James or Lisa put a post down here in the product thread. :)

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
magnuskn wrote:
The problem here being that his ruling is in some obscure thread lost on the boards. I already got a "But elves trance for four hours only! It's written in the book!" from one of my players in my upcoming second Kingmaker campaign, so I was hoping to see James or Lisa put a post down here in the product thread. :)

Ok, like they said, that was made prior to Pathfinder RPG, once they Made Pathfinder RPG they took that out of the elves. You got your ruling from the Book, because it is not in there.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I'm feeling naughty.

With respect, the "elves trance" thing isn't a 3.5 game rule, it's a Forgotten Realms world rule.(See 3.5 rules on elves.)

This probably comes from the AD&D rules that elves are immune to magical sleep, which 3rd Edition, and Pathfinder continue.

Also, Sean K. Reynolds has noted that in at least one case where the Elves book conflicts with Pathfinder RPG rulebook, that being elvish age, the Elves book should be followed, "because the rules book isn't world specific, and Elves of Golarion is." To be consistent, if the Elves book says that Golarion elves trance, and the Pathfinder rulebook says that generally speaking, elves sleep, then the Elves book would win out for adventures set on Golarion.

In this case, though, we have a post by James Jacobs, somewhere on the internet, and that supercedes the published book.

Okay. Enough of being naughty.

First off, it's each individual GM's campaign. You should rule for elves (how they age, how they sleep, how they marry, how they turn into drow...) however you please, keeping in mind that you want answers to those questions that support the kinds of stories that you and your friends want to tell.

Every campaign, by dint of the imagination of its GM and players, becomes non-canon. (As soon as the original Campaign Setting for Golarion came out, I set a play-by-post campaign in Ustalav, in Carrion Hill. My Carrion Hill is not remotely the same as the one that subsequent Paizo releases have outlined. I'm not losing any sleep over that.)

Lastly, it's the job of the Paizo staff in general, and James' team in specific, to fine-tune the Golarion campaign setting to that it tells the kinds of stories they want to tell. Some of this requires ret-conning. As it turns out, wand-rifles aren't the kind of fluff James wants in Golarion, but guns are. Paladins of Asmodeus are not, but psionics, as an exotic field of study, are. And as the focus gets better defined, bits and pieces of published material (Arazni as a mummy rather than a lich) are corrected for official Paizo canon.

But if you want trancing elves, wand-rifles, paladins of Asmodeus, or what-you-please in your campaign, go for it. Because the buck stops with you. Everything that Paizo publishes is a tool for the GM, to use as she pleases to lead players in telling cool stories and having a fun time.


Chris Mortika wrote:
With respect, the "elves trance" thing isn't a 3.5 game rule, it's a Forgotten Realms world rule.

Wrong. It's very much an actual 3.5 rule.

3.5 Player's Handbook (page 15) wrote:
Elves do not sleep, as members of the other common races do. Instead, an elf meditates in a deep trance for 4 hours a day.

It's not part of the SRD, but that doesn't make it non-existant.

The Exchange

Chris Mortika wrote:


With respect, the "elves trance" thing isn't a 3.5 game rule, it's a Forgotten Realms world rule.(See 3.5 rules on elves.)

This probably comes from the AD&D rules that elves are immune to magical sleep, which 3rd Edition, and Pathfinder continue.

It came from the AD&D rules that elves trance.


If the pathfinder elves and golarion elves now have to sleep, then why mind you do they still have immunity to sleep.
just give them freedom of movement or let them trance....

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Chris Mortika wrote:
With respect, the "elves trance" thing isn't a 3.5 game rule, it's a Forgotten Realms world rule.
Are wrote:

Wrong. It's very much an actual 3.5 rule.

3.5 Player's Handbook (page 15) wrote:
Elves do not sleep, as members of the other common races do. Instead, an elf meditates in a deep trance for 4 hours a day.
It's not part of the SRD, but that doesn't make it non-existant.

Thank you.


I've seen the elven four-hour trance used as a little trick, to allow elven spellcasters to rest less, memorize more quickly, make more actions. In a way, a tool to get around a weak con.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
I've seen the elven four-hour trance used as a little trick, to allow elven spellcasters to rest less, memorize more quickly, make more actions. In a way, a tool to get around a weak con.

But if I recall correctly, just because elves only require 4 hours of 'trance' instead of 8 hours of 'sleep', that does not mean they can memorize spells after that 4 hours.

I'll have to find the rule, but I thought the "8 hours of 'rest'" was across the board, whether creatures slept, or tranced, or did nothing at all (like I'd imagine undead would do). I also seem to recall there being something in 3.0 that allowed for "fast resting" that was done away in the 3.5 transition.

(goes and looks for reference)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

(nods to 3.5 Loyalist) Since elves still can't refresh spells faster than once every 24 hours, I've found that the 4-hour "trance" period has been used when the party is on watch at night. It allows the elves to take the deep-night watch and still prepare spells in the morning.


Yeah quite right, always something to watch out for.

The four hours can allow them to be on watch on noon and early morning, when their low-light can work well. The spellcaster must put a little into perception to fill this role well though.

On the product, wish there had been a bit more on elven fencing. Notable fencers who have taken it a bit more seriously, perhaps a few stat blocks. Common feats taken by elven swordsmen, etc etc. One of the reasons I was so critical was it didn't seem the culture took it very far. Perhaps using too much perform and not enough feats and bab.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Yeah quite right, always something to watch out for.

The four hours can allow them to be on watch on noon and early morning, when their low-light can work well. The spellcaster must put a little into perception to fill this role well though.

On the product, wish there had been a bit more on elven fencing. Notable fencers who have taken it a bit more seriously, perhaps a few stat blocks. Common feats taken by elven swordsmen, etc etc. One of the reasons I was so critical was it didn't seem the culture took it very far. Perhaps using too much perform and not enough feats and bab.

One thing to keep in mind is that at point of writing Elves of Golarion, Paizo wasn't sure if they will keep 3.5, go 4e or perhaps something else entirely. Pre-PFRPG books tend to be crunch-light as a result.


Interesting discussion. What I think is going on with elves is this:

They've been good wizards and fighters since 1e, when they were both at once. While they're described as beautiful, they're not necessarily very personable, particularly with other races. The study or codification of arcane magic has a long tradition in D+d, and many sourcebooks speak of a time long past when elven magic was da bomb. Not so much in Golarion, but the dex and con modifiers (and now the +2 int) points to a continuation of 3.x memes. Being, on average, 2 points smarter than the other PC races gives them a natural edge for wizardry.

It makes sense that they would be more likely to be bards or sorcerers, according to the fluff, but that extra skill point makes them better at those vocations, too. More instruments to play, more successful spellcraft, etc. You don't necessarily need a +2 to charisma to be an awesome bard. An extra skill point makes you a more versatile and knowledgeable one.

Elves are chaotic, overall, and prone to dabble in things over their lifespan. They can all use swords and bows. Many, if not most, are exposed to magic from their youth, and can pick up a level of wizard or what have you from their friends, far more casually than most dedicated wizards.

Given the fluff and PF fiction about them, most would, after a couple of centuries, have levels in some PC classes. They make good archers and wizards, and have some role in the local militia; going on patrols, training for combat, etc. Taking your turn keeping Treerazor's domain in check, patrolling the borders, driving out various intruders, etc., would get you some levels over time. Leveling may not be a big deal to some elves, but they do it, anyway. Some, depending on their own inclinations, might find a certain class to be a calling, and focus intently on gaining a lot of levels in it, leaving the gardening and crafting to others.

I don't have much of a problem with elves as described here. They have fighter types, bards, rogues, sorcerers, druids and clerics among them, with some notable rangers and wizards leading patrols and governing alongside the aristocracy, such as it is. I can't see adult elves with levels of commoner at all. Experts, yes, and some aristocrats, but most with at least a level or 2 of some PC class, more likely 5 or 6 at least, after 400 years.

Just MHO. Like any part of Golarion, it's what you want it to be.


A good weighing-statement, accepting that they level over time even when their philosophy is a bit of a hindrance. Cross classing would surely occur, bard/wizard or wizard/swashbuckler might also be other common combos, but cross-classing can be quite the weakness at times against specialists if you engage in the specialist's game when it comes down to a challenge or a combat.

"Some, depending on their own inclinations, might find a certain class to be a calling, and focus intently on gaining a lot of levels in it, leaving the gardening and crafting to others."

I believe it said all garden, this is one of the reasons I put forth the "they over-generalise" argument. Gardening to provide for oneself, takes a lot of time. From p. 21:

"Kyonin’s agriculture is central to its isolated well-being. The nation cannot become dependent on an outside supplier for any necessity, and thus, no elf fails to participate in growing something, even if it’s just an act of impromptu gardening. In this way, elves maintain an abundance of grains, fruit, and leafy vegetables year-round, enough to feed Kyonin and occasionally export delicacies to their neighbors at extravagant prices."

They are all farmers or gardeners to an extent. It is necessary to protect the elven way of life of not being outwardly dependent. Producing enough food for self-sufficiency year-round also requires a bit of work and time. Time that could have been spent gaining pc levels or other pursuits. It may clash with other ideas we have on elves, but the book is clear.

To "Many, if not most, are exposed to magic from their youth, and can pick up a level of wizard or what have you from their friends, far more casually than most dedicated wizards."

The way it is taught, the formality of it, the complex techne to be imparted and from what the rule-books tell us, it takes 10d6 years for that first level. An elf who learned it quickly and used it casually would be breaking the traditions and fighting his people's ideas on magic. It would be like someone trying to become a medical doctor outside of the accepted institutions.

On sorcery the book explains it is quite unusual amongst elves. Considered lesser by the influentual wizard elites and quite rare. From page 7:

"Sorcery is often considered an oddity in elven society,
a practice better suited to the short-lived races. Magic so
clearly operates according to complex-but-manageable
principles that choosing to not follow those principles,
though certainly practicable, seems obviously inferior,
like refusing to use the proper tool for woodcarving even
though it lies right in front of you. The longevity of elves
affects this perception, since a wizard may live to have
a thousand spells in a library of spell books whereas a
sorcerer of the same age and power knows only a few dozen.
Obviously some individual elves have a certain gift for
inborn magic, but choosing to operate with only a handful
of instinctively cast spells when an available option is so
clearly superior strikes the average elf as bizarre."

An elven sorcerer or warlock who trained to become quite the anti-wiz spell duellist would be a good character. One day, I'll show em!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Or, the gardening might take a few minutes of casting cantrips to weed the garden and plant the seeds and water the plants a day. And they wouldn't have to get their hands or their knees dirty, either!

And the elves are naturally ignoring the downside of wizardry. Wizardry is like having a whole cabinet full of woodcarving tools, and in front of you is a canvas to be painted. It doesn't matter how many tools you own...if you don't have the right one at the right time, it's useless.

===Aelryinth


Sure, what cantrips are those?

Planting, tending and harvesting food is hard work. Especially if you want to be entirely self-sufficient for the bare necessities.


Growing crops for sustenance is very different from planting flowers in a garden to make it look pretty. Spend afew minute per day and that will suffice? Highly doubtful. Besides, if one is so afraid of getting dirt on themselves farming will take even longer. Since they have to ensure as little dirt as possible gets on them. Magic helps but does it have the exact effect you want? Won't even go into duration and how many of those they have. Many issues, too many to just sweep under the rug of "they use magic".

Sovereign Court

In all honesty, it seems odd to have people debating so seriously over this source book as it is one of the worst Paizo publications (It sits in the box of shame with the Guide To Darkmoon Vale and the Council of Thieves Player's Guide). Only the Brightness Seeker really makes this a worthwhile read.

I would consider the well-written PFRPG publications (The Inner Sea Guide and some fiction) as more interesting and authoritative sources.


I do not think it was that bad.

I think it would do best to have it re written.... but thats not likely to happen.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

YOu need a cantrip to make a hole to put seeds into. Reusable infinitely.
You need a cantrip to maybe mound up the earth a tiny bit for a new plant. Reusable infinitely.
You need a cantrip to pull out a weed from the ground. Reusable infinitely.
You need a cantrip to maybe clean vermin off a garden plant (we can assume elves go in for gardens and not massive fields of wheat), or the branch of a fruit tree.
You need a cantrip that might create water when plants need it.
You need a cantrip to harvest the stuff from each plant when it's time, repeatable infinitely.
You need something to keep away larger pests, like rabbits and mice. hello, what's this familiar I have good for?

And you have a race of centuries old creatures with a talent for wizardry, who can develop all those extremely minor spells and use them.

Huh. And that's without a simple casting of Unseen Servant to do all this rote, mundane labor without you lifting a finger. The only 'heavy' lifting is going to come at harvest time, and floating disks and mage hands and all sorts of minor spells can save you hours and hours. Just being able to summon a mount and hitch it to a wagon means you don't have to supply food and shelter to the beast the other 11 months out of the year...huge savings in time and effort.

Heck, you can probably use Summon Swarm to help pollinate your garden and fruit trees, if you think about it.

C'mon, it's not even a challenge. With just minor magic you can cut the amount of time you need to spend on agriculture in half or more. With a few cantrips, you can clean a room in under a minute, as opposed to ten or more. Time savings are immense.

====Aelryinth


Aelryinth wrote:

The whole 'memory edit' and 'willfull forgetfulness' is a direct steal from the Elves of Warhammer FRP. The Elves edit out their own bad or unwanted memories to make room for more pleasant ones, and so can completely forget they were good friends with a human and a dwarf if it becomes stylish to never have associations with such creatures.

Makes dealing with Elves highly unpredictable, because they can and do deliberately forget about dealing with you before, and their opinions get colored by 'other' events. You thought you had a rapport, some twit in another country aced his cousin, and your good friend is now looking for an excuse to death duel you in revenge.

Chaotic, indeed.

==Aelryinth

Wouldn't their ability to edit their memories make the idea that longer lived individuals would be more knowledge a bit circumspect?


Aelryinth wrote:

YOu need a cantrip to make a hole to put seeds into. Reusable infinitely.

You need a cantrip to maybe mound up the earth a tiny bit for a new plant. Reusable infinitely.
You need a cantrip to pull out a weed from the ground. Reusable infinitely.
You need a cantrip to maybe clean vermin off a garden plant (we can assume elves go in for gardens and not massive fields of wheat), or the branch of a fruit tree.
You need a cantrip that might create water when plants need it.
You need a cantrip to harvest the stuff from each plant when it's time, repeatable infinitely.
You need something to keep away larger pests, like rabbits and mice. hello, what's this familiar I have good for?

And you have a race of centuries old creatures with a talent for wizardry, who can develop all those extremely minor spells and use them.

Huh. And that's without a simple casting of Unseen Servant to do all this rote, mundane labor without you lifting a finger. The only 'heavy' lifting is going to come at harvest time, and floating disks and mage hands and all sorts of minor spells can save you hours and hours. Just being able to summon a mount and hitch it to a wagon means you don't have to supply food and shelter to the beast the other 11 months out of the year...huge savings in time and effort.

Heck, you can probably use Summon Swarm to help pollinate your garden and fruit trees, if you think about it.

C'mon, it's not even a challenge. With just minor magic you can cut the amount of time you need to spend on agriculture in half or more. With a few cantrips, you can clean a room in under a minute, as opposed to ten or more. Time savings are immense.

====Aelryinth

Wizards are not warlocks, they cannot cast spells infinitely. See 1st ed, see 2nd ed, see 3rd ed, see 3.5, see even pathfinder beta. It is only core which says, sure! Let's just go from 3-4 to possibly thousands of cantrip castings per day, yeah they are not expended when cast, sounds right.

Immense cheating! An immense break with the past limitations of wizardry long-indicated in numerous editions.

Also even if it wasn't a break, a little garden doesn't feed a person for long, and it states they push for self-sufficiency. You need fruit trees, rows of vegetables and good management.

Summon swarm will also damage agriculture. Summon swarm does hp damage.

What ranks in agriculture does the unseen servant have? None? Well it's a bad job then.

As for cutting time, not a chance. You cast the spell and direct it to do small actions without much weight or force--dig this, move that. A quick and practiced hand could do it quicker. Imagine trying to make a sandwich with small little magic effects, each a separate spell. Or you actually just make the sandwich like you have done thousands of times before. Magic isn't always the best answer.

And lastly, don't forget it takes 110+10d6 years to get that first level of wizard allowing the cantrips. Don't pass them off like a racial bonus or benefit. Learning to use magic to do farm-work takes a long time.


Thats another thing about core. Making cantrips infinite. That just infringes on how spells regardless of whether they're level 9 or level 0 spells are still expended once cast. The only class which got that was the warlock. You can say "they're only cantrips" but still feels wrong. A cleric which has prepared cure minor wounds could heal the party to full hp after an encounter. Too convenient. Part of the game is also about survival. If you take the potential threat of a new encounter chancing upon the party while they are injured away, the game becomes too safe.

Or if the wizard had prepared mending, he just repairs everyone's equipment while casting it over and over. Sure, magic item qualities don't return but the weapon is pretty much back to usable. What if the wizard had detect magic prepared? he now can cast it infinitely? A first level wizard potentially gains a level 2 warlock ability. The list goes on with what they can do with level 0 spells. These are cantrips, the weakest of the weakest spells. Saying they don't run out makes their usefulness through the roof post encounter.

The point on agriculture is a fine one. If that was the case, most non-elf farmers don't start with a first level of expert. They start with a level in wizard or adept, moonlighting in arcane study in the evening or something. Cutting costs and time is that easy with the arcane, who wouldn't do it? However, assuming the average farmer can't throw chromatic orbs, spout rays of enfeeblement from his eyes or release magic missiles from his fingertips, the point of "the arcane cuts time and costs drastically" is too laughable. Doesn't matter what spell or tools are used. At the end of the day it comes down to skill checks (remember those?) profession farmer/ knowledge agriculture or something similar.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
The equalizer wrote:
Thats another thing about core. Making cantrips infinite. That just infringes on how spells regardless of whether they're level 9 or level 0 spells are still expended once cast. The only class which got that was the warlock. You can say "they're only cantrips" but still feels wrong. A cleric which has prepared cure minor wounds could heal the party to full hp after an encounter. Too convenient. Part of the game is also about survival. If you take the potential threat of a new encounter chancing upon the party while they are injured away, the game becomes too safe.

You...are aware that this is impossible in PF right? There is no heal HP cantrip. So your free heal up scenario doesn't exist and the world didn't implode!


He is indeed incorrect on the cleric 1hp healing cantrip.

What of his other points?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

He is indeed incorrect on the cleric 1hp healing cantrip.

What of his other points?

He has any? :)

Sovereign Court

The equalizer wrote:

Thats another thing about core. Making cantrips infinite. That just infringes on how spells regardless of whether they're level 9 or level 0 spells are still expended once cast. The only class which got that was the warlock. You can say "they're only cantrips" but still feels wrong. A cleric which has prepared cure minor wounds could heal the party to full hp after an encounter. Too convenient. Part of the game is also about survival. If you take the potential threat of a new encounter chancing upon the party while they are injured away, the game becomes too safe.

Or if the wizard had prepared mending, he just repairs everyone's equipment while casting it over and over. Sure, magic item qualities don't return but the weapon is pretty much back to usable. What if the wizard had detect magic prepared? he now can cast it infinitely? A first level wizard potentially gains a level 2 warlock ability. The list goes on with what they can do with level 0 spells. These are cantrips, the weakest of the weakest spells. Saying they don't run out makes their usefulness through the roof post encounter.

The point on agriculture is a fine one. If that was the case, most non-elf farmers don't start with a first level of expert. They start with a level in wizard or adept, moonlighting in arcane study in the evening or something. Cutting costs and time is that easy with the arcane, who wouldn't do it? However, assuming the average farmer can't throw chromatic orbs, spout rays of enfeeblement from his eyes or release magic missiles from his fingertips, the point of "the arcane cuts time and costs drastically" is too laughable. Doesn't matter what spell or tools are used. At the end of the day it comes down to skill checks (remember those?) profession farmer/ knowledge agriculture or something similar.

Access to training, natural ability to cast spells (intelligence)... is all culture utterly practical (with a kind of practicality based upon meta-game knowledge).


Okay, but here's the rub, and the problem with over-generalistion. Elf goes into magic, uses it to somehow aid his gardening, and let's overlook for now, the idea that they can cast infinite cantrips issue.

How is that elf also a good archer? Wizards have terrible bab, due to their scholarly focus. If he put the feats into magic related areas, he isn't the fine archer which the text claims all elves are (able to without trouble, hit small targets easily at reasonable range). Not only that, the fort is low and the ability to persist and move well in forests is also not gained (no stealth, survival or perception on the wizard skill list). One could perhaps be a wizard gardener, but a wizard gardener ranger, or wizard gardener fighter (archer focus) and its starts to look like someone trying to do too much. Don't forget the elves are not the most determined species, they do not have an unusual level of drive as a people.

Elves are supposedly this, elves are supposedly that, but it doesn't make much sense with the class system. Unless the typical elf is: wizard (agricultural cantrips), expert (poetry, agriculture, dancing, other high arts), fighter/ranger (archer related feats and forest know-how). What an unusual figure emerges. This character does not look very good for Kyonin's defence, and without much war or domestic conflict, it will take many years to get into the three classes. Do you see why I also found the deadly reputation and a lack of invasions odd?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

You're missing the point on what cantrips can do.

Because Cantrips in PF are infinitely repeatable, you can spam them to accomplish in one round what might take a minute or ten minutes.

That's TIME savings.

For teh exact same skill as their human counterparts, elven farmers/gardeners can get the task done in 1/10th the time, giving them plenty of time to work at things they enjoy more.

Furthermore, if you go with the higher level due to age shtick, the simple addition of a Permanent Unseen Servant around the home, cast by gold earned through years of savng/trading/favors, is going to free up even more time.

Time is the key thing here. Magic cuts down on required time. Higher level spells cut down on it immensely. Shape Stone, level 3, means you never need to really hire a stone mason...you can make it all yourself, bit by bit, every day, and stone becomes a viable building material.

Look at some of the old 1E spells. One that springs to mind is a spell that did nothing but race through your library looking for bookworms to scrunch. Change that to vermin eating your plants, and you have great stuff. You can summon a swarm to help polinate your stuff. The same spell to clean up mold in your house you can use to clean off your plants in the garden.

Even Create water. C'mon, never having to tote around a watercan, or refill it? Never being susceptible to drought? Having the time and years to invest in making your farm easier to run, partly because you don't have to labor twenty hours a day to make it productive?

Magic can do incredible things.

And yes, humans SHOULD learn some magic, if they are smart. But half of humanity isn't smart enough, or charsimatic enough, or wise enough to do so, and 99% of humanity is NPC classes. So, they are stuck.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Okay, but here's the rub, and the problem with over-generalistion. Elf goes into magic, uses it to somehow aid his gardening, and let's overlook for now, the idea that they can cast infinite cantrips issue.

How is that elf also a good archer? Wizards have terrible bab, due to their scholarly focus. If he put the feats into magic related areas, he isn't the fine archer which the text claims all elves are (able to without trouble, hit small targets easily at reasonable range). Not only that, the fort is low and the ability to persist and move well in forests is also not gained (no stealth, survival or perception on the wizard skill list). One could perhaps be a wizard gardener, but a wizard gardener ranger, or wizard gardener fighter (archer focus) and its starts to look like someone trying to do too much. Don't forget the elves are not the most determined species, they do not have an unusual level of drive as a people.

Elves are supposedly this, elves are supposedly that, but it doesn't make much sense with the class system. Unless the typical elf is: wizard (agricultural cantrips), expert (poetry, agriculture, dancing, other high arts), fighter/ranger (archer related feats and forest know-how). What an unusual figure emerges. This character does not look very good for Kyonin's defence, and without much war or domestic conflict, it will take many years to get into the three classes. Do you see why I also found the deadly reputation and a lack of invasions odd?

You're again underplaying the time implications.

All apprenticeships are long. Once you are an adult, training takes much less time, because you have all the fundamentals.

A level 2 Wizard is -1 Th vs a level 2 Fighter...and can use true strike 3t/day to NEVER MISS.

You're also underplaying AGAIN the role of tons of free time. The human farmer labors from dawn to dusk. The elf spins spells for an hour, and then goes off and learns to fight. Over a century, his caster level improves from the constant use of minor magic, and he's not too far behind a fanatically strange elf who focuses just on being a swordsman, except he's gathered up over the last century some spells that are useful in combat to even the odds up.

You have a character of high wealth, higher levels, able to use magic, and from an advanced culture, and this is the Average Elf.

Compare to a level 2 human warrior, a level 2/3 Fighter/Wizard elf is going to be a hideously dangerous thing to fight.

As for skill points, that is what High Intelligence is for...and taking one point in several skills is what dilettantes do, with maybe multiple points in a favorite skill.

At low to midrange levels, elves are going to be clearly superior to any shorter lived race. Once you get to higher levels, gaps start showing, as lack of specialization has its consequences.

But this isn't about high level elves, this is about average elves. And average elves should be really dangerous compared to normal humanoids, because of free time, long years, and the wealth that brings.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

pres man wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

The whole 'memory edit' and 'willfull forgetfulness' is a direct steal from the Elves of Warhammer FRP. The Elves edit out their own bad or unwanted memories to make room for more pleasant ones, and so can completely forget they were good friends with a human and a dwarf if it becomes stylish to never have associations with such creatures.

Makes dealing with Elves highly unpredictable, because they can and do deliberately forget about dealing with you before, and their opinions get colored by 'other' events. You thought you had a rapport, some twit in another country aced his cousin, and your good friend is now looking for an excuse to death duel you in revenge.

Chaotic, indeed.

==Aelryinth

Wouldn't their ability to edit their memories make the idea that longer lived individuals would be more knowledge a bit circumspect?

Think of it like clearing out your hard drive.

They edit memories to get rid of the junk, and keep what's useful to them. Sure, they might toss something important, but having the rest of their head unencumbered with useless junk makes the whole thing run smoother, and keeps them sane.
Being able to get rid of mentally scarring experiences that could lead to insanity or worse is another benefit.
It also presumes that Elves aren't capable of bearing up under the weight of their own long years. I find that hilarious.

===Aelryinth


"Access to training, natural ability to cast spells (intelligence)... is all culture utterly practical (with a kind of practicality based upon meta-game knowledge)."

it may be culture but what are you really getting at? The average elf is wizard 1/ranger 1/expert 1? Each is at least a level 3 character? There is something which is a part of culture and then there is furthering the discipline. Culture introduces you to a discipline but it doesn't necessarily give you more levels. Thats up to the individual regardless of any race. I don't buy the "they live longer so they gain levels over time" argument. You actually may not if you're not being really tested. Thats how individuals gain levels.

Natural ability to cast spells? highly doubt it. Wizadry is atill drawing on an arcane flow of energy. There is nothing innate or natural about it. Assuming they can cast it naturally because they practice it for hundreds of years is nonsense. Depends what level they are and more importantly how they spend their time. Focusing on magic or dividing it among three or four disciplines.


Good points on some more uses of magic in agriculture. To get the most out does require investiture (many levels in wiz, cleric or druid). Now on cantrips, just because in core, they are at will and spell-like (another break from the rules of previous editions) does not mean they don't take actions. So are you saying an elf wiz 1 can cast 50 cantrips in a round, what about 100? Do you see what I am saying about the cantrip business being cheating, if by core, wizards get unlimited cantrips and if one takes your interpretation, you could cast over 9000 cantrips (heh heh) in a round, and head off to do something else. This isn't even about agriculture or elves anymore, this is about using cantrips to cheat and not following the cost in time behind actions.

"At low to midrange levels, elves are going to be clearly superior to any shorter lived race. Once you get to higher levels, gaps start showing, as lack of specialization has its consequences."

I don't think the elf wiz 3/fighter 2 is going to do very well against a barb 5 human, orc or dwarf. True strike isn't bad, I've seen it used well. So you hit, what's the damage? Oh it isn't a two-handed axe on full rage. Ah, alas. Or a 5 fighter into focus and spec. The numbers don't look good, as much as the fighter/wiz has a lot of choice, he'll run out of hp fast. Ah and if you wan't high ac, don't forget spell chance failure. That would be cheating to ignore that.

Or let's go higher, wiz is up to some fireballs and a decent attack, at say, level 8. Pit that elf against a level 8 rogue, who dodges the magical attacks, has the same bab as the wiz/fighter. Starts to get exciting, but all that generalisation means there are weaknesses (they emerge very quickly, not even at high levels), such as sense motive. The rogue can feint and sneak, the wiz fighter is okay at to hit and damage with some nasty damage spells--but ah, high reflex from the rogue.

Or the wiz/fighter goes some spells and archery. Nice choice for options, but what will it be? High number of archery feats, more damage and to hit there, or spells? This build is incredibly vulnerable when confronted in close, and you don't have the feats left over to beef up movement.

Now multi-classing can sure be nice (I like sticking melee classes together or with a tad of rogue), but if the elf wants to do so much and never specialise, there are so many weaknesses on the numbers (BAB, HP, AC).

And I have said it before. Don't assume the elves are so high level, or of a higher level than their opponents, they don't get out much, the book is clear on that. Got to be challenged to go high.

To more good discussion!

Dark Archive

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
I don't think the elf wiz 3/fighter 2 is going to do very well against a barb 5 human, orc or dwarf.

This is an interesting discussion. I have played a (3.5) half orc barbarian 5, and trust me when I say little that was level-appropriate would fancy standing toe to toe with him.

However, the hypothetical Elf Wizard 3 / Fighter 2 isn't interested in taking on the barbarian in a fair fight. He is going to out-think him (not difficult - my 3.5 character had Int 6, although a Pathfinder one is probably a bit higher). The half orc is likely to be fatigued (due to injudicious use of rage), blinded by glitterdust, lose his weapon to grease and be slowly shot to pieces by an archer forever out of his reach.

Incidentally, elves are perhaps more likely to go for wizard 3 / ranger 3, with favoured enemy "you" and favoured terrain "where they live", which would explain why invasions are not popular.

Dark Archive

Steelfiredragon wrote:

I do not think it was that bad.

I think it would do best to have it re written.... but thats not likely to happen.

Well, it was bad enough to cause me to cancel my Pathfinder Companion subscription but YMMV.


Simply put. Too convenient. Too simplified. Too all-encompassing. Doesn't make a lick of sense logically. Even in the context of a fantasy world.


amethal wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
I don't think the elf wiz 3/fighter 2 is going to do very well against a barb 5 human, orc or dwarf.

This is an interesting discussion. I have played a (3.5) half orc barbarian 5, and trust me when I say little that was level-appropriate would fancy standing toe to toe with him.

However, the hypothetical Elf Wizard 3 / Fighter 2 isn't interested in taking on the barbarian in a fair fight. He is going to out-think him (not difficult - my 3.5 character had Int 6, although a Pathfinder one is probably a bit higher). The half orc is likely to be fatigued (due to injudicious use of rage), blinded by glitterdust, lose his weapon to grease and be slowly shot to pieces by an archer forever out of his reach.

Incidentally, elves are perhaps more likely to go for wizard 3 / ranger 3, with favoured enemy "you" and favoured terrain "where they live", which would explain why invasions are not popular.

You're thinking of the ideal situation. Battle is however never necessarily ideal even for defenders. You might gain surprise and shoot him. You're now at -20 to stealth. Barbarians move faster than ranger/wizards unless you put feats in dash. Highly doubtful given everything they are putting their feats into.

If you're thinking of casting glitterdust, thats great but you'd pray that he fails the will save. If he doesn't? Then it becomes a cat and mouse game where he will close to melee and that just happens to be what their great at.

The last point. Favored terrain grasslands and trees which is everywhere in their homeland is great. But a ranger only has so many favored enemies. Favored enemies do not change automatically, they are fixed. Even more limited for individuals who are not pure ranger.
So define "you". This is also taking into account your favored enemy bonuses are not as high as a pure ranger since you multi-classed.

The assumption that because one is knowledgeable in a discipline and assumes they are the best is a common failing. To assume that the race of the invaders will be your favored enemy. To assume that the barbarian will just stand there and blink stupidly while he is shot at. To assume that he will walk into every single trap you set. To assume you know enough about your foes to defeat them. Thats a lot of assumptions. Highly unlikely that even half of those conditions will be met should an invasion occur.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Cantrips take a round per casting. But they can instantly do what requires multiple rounds of time, even minutes, to accomplish otherwise.

Having an unseen servant around that is basically tireless to do all your grunt work for you, never stopping, is priceless.

being able to mend items instantly instead of taking time and money to fix them?

You made the example of a sandwich. We've all seen cartoons where the knives and forks animate and slabs of meat and bread and cheese go flying through the air faster then any person could make them.

time leverage is made of simpler things then that. And it's also made of not having to spend time and money on things you can just do with magic yourself.

=====
The 'test' argument falls flat, too. People test themselves against friends and neighbors and peers. There is ALWAYS a pecking order, and nothing in the book says the elves are not proud, are meek and modest. They strive, they are obsessive about doing things the perfect way. That does NOT sound like a people who stay 'untested'...they just don't adventure and kill alien creatures to test themselves, which is a faster process.

But they have centuries. They don't have to go butchering things to become great.

I don't think I have to enumerate the ways a Wiz/3 f/2 could wreak havoc with a barb/5, starting with shooting him starting 200 yards away and not missing five times in a row. Able to cast Expeditious Retreat and easily outrun him. Able to turn invisible. Able to levitate. Able to grease, able to glitterdust, able to mirror image. Not all these, sure, but any of them could be a viable tactic. And in between, they can ply sword and bow as well as any ftr/3.

If a Ranger, able to use a 1/day gadget to switch his FE to YOU as needed for a few rounds.

Also, that barb/5 is to his folk what an Elf/8 is to his. So we're talking one of the toughest people of the average invader this side of their commanding heroes, taking on a 'line soldier' of the elves. An elf who might have been in five times as many combats as that barbarian, and really knows how to be a nasty, annoying bastard in a fight, all without being hugely powerful.

===Aelryinth

Dark Archive

The equalizer wrote:
amethal wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
I don't think the elf wiz 3/fighter 2 is going to do very well against a barb 5 human, orc or dwarf.

This is an interesting discussion. I have played a (3.5) half orc barbarian 5, and trust me when I say little that was level-appropriate would fancy standing toe to toe with him.

However, the hypothetical Elf Wizard 3 / Fighter 2 isn't interested in taking on the barbarian in a fair fight. He is going to out-think him (not difficult - my 3.5 character had Int 6, although a Pathfinder one is probably a bit higher). The half orc is likely to be fatigued (due to injudicious use of rage), blinded by glitterdust, lose his weapon to grease and be slowly shot to pieces by an archer forever out of his reach.

Incidentally, elves are perhaps more likely to go for wizard 3 / ranger 3, with favoured enemy "you" and favoured terrain "where they live", which would explain why invasions are not popular.

You're thinking of the ideal situation. Battle is however never necessarily ideal even for defenders. You might gain surprise and shoot him. You're now at -20 to stealth. Barbarians move faster than ranger/wizards unless you put feats in dash. Highly doubtful given everything they are putting their feats into.

If you're thinking of casting glitterdust, thats great but you'd pray that he fails the will save. If he doesn't? Then it becomes a cat and mouse game where he will close to melee and that just happens to be what their great at.

The last point. Favored terrain grasslands and trees which is everywhere in their homeland is great. But a ranger only has so many favored enemies. Favored enemies do not change automatically, they are fixed. Even more limited for individuals who are not pure ranger.
So define "you". This is also taking into account your favored enemy bonuses are not as high as a pure ranger since you multi-classed.

The assumption that because one is knowledgeable in a discipline and assumes they are the best is a common failing. To...

That's a good reply, and I appreciate all of your points. I also don't have a dog in this fight, so am happy to lose the argument.

However, if you are worried about invasion from x, then Favoured Enemy is x. If you are worried about x,y and z then you have three groups of rangers and you put them in the appropriate places. It doesn't work against surprise attacks by unforseen enemies, but I'm assuming the elves are smart enough to anticipate the likely scenarios. Catch them by surprise and they die as easily as anyone else.

Re saving throws, it isn't about 1 v 1, so if you are generous to the elves and give them a surprise round plus an advantage in initiative, there are a significant number of opponents who fail the first save, fail the second save and are in a lot of pain.

In fairness to the Elves book, they aren't claiming the Elves are unbeatable - after all, a bunch of dwarf rangers with the steel soul feat would hack them to pieces - but instead that they are able to use versatility as a strength rather than a weakness (at low levels, at least).

As for praying, bringing clerics into the equation complicates things beyond where I want to go :)

Contributor

These latest posts have become less about the product in question ("Elves of Golarion") and more about other topics. I suggest moving it to another forum (the Pathfinder RPG General Discussion forum, for example).

Silver Crusade

HAY GUYS

Liz Courts wrote:
These latest posts have become less about the product in question ("Elves of Golarion") and more about other topics. I suggest moving it to another forum (the Pathfinder RPG General Discussion forum, for example).

New thread ready-made.


good points amethal. I'm not unaware of the possibility of skirmishing to victory in a battle. It is possible and skirmishing is deadly if properly improvised. However, it is not the only strategy out there. Its not so much winning an argument as its is more pointing out potential flaws in defensive strategy. No one strategy is perfect and unbeatable.Everything as a counter to it. I'm glad you acknowledged that part. Perhaps the last post was ended a bit harshly.

I wasn't targeting you or anyone but more specifically the book. It somehow paints them generalising across disciplines but at the same time able to get away with the drawbacks. Generalization and specialization both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Yet the fact that so much is given to them and they can get away with indirectly pissing in people's chips without consequences is seeming like a way to escape the limitations of being "mortal". Everyone else just tolerates them? Not sure about that.


The book presents them as generalists and specialists (as I have posted on the other forum, thanks Mikaze), but they also aren't that adaptive or enthused about hard work and achievement, apparently. Contradictions abound.

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