Bestiary: A ghast’s paralysis even affects elves???


Rules Questions


That's what the Bestiary says (page 146). But I can't find anything about elves being immune to paralysis. I guess this is another one of the zillion leftovers from previous editions, the copy-paste legacy that plagues the entire Pathfinder line?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Ghoul entry says that elves are immune to the ghoul's paralysis.

The Ghast sub-entry mentions that their paralysis affects elves.

I guess this is another one of the zillion examples of people not reading the rules right, the selective blindness that plagues some on Paizo forum ?


encorus wrote:
That's what the Bestiary says (page 146). But I can't find anything about elves being immune to paralysis. I guess this is another one of the zillion leftovers from previous editions, the copy-paste legacy that plagues the entire Pathfinder line?

The copy paste legacy isnt nearly as bad as you make it out to be, and ermm.. what Gorbacz said.

The immunity to paralysis from ghouls is a leftover from previous editions, that paizo chose to keep, prolly sentimental value :p

Scarab Sages

Well Elves need to be put in their place... "Evil laugh"

In my empire they serve as wonderful servants and slaves!

Dark Archive

As per PC1: Tall Tales of the Wee Folk Pg 24 wrote:
"And, like elves, fairies are immune to the paralysis of ghouls, since this preys on a victim's fear of death. Ghasts are a more powerful version of a ghoul, and some say closer to the evil that spawns them, thus why they can overcome the fey immunity."

That's going back to 1st edition stuff, so I am going to say it was selective...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That's a pretty long stretch of copy-paste there ;-)


It's from Chainmail, I believe. So cheap units of undead can't PWN expensive Elven troops. It's more about ghouls than elves though.

Ironically, since elves now die of old age (as of 3.0 and 3.5, I would have to doublecheck pathfinder), the reason given in Tall Tales of the Wee Folk no longer applies. Since they aren't immortal, they can fear growing old and dying.

Dark Archive

Gorbacz wrote:
That's a pretty long stretch of copy-paste there ;-)

You are correct. The interwebz are ur frindz

Dark Archive

Lazarus Yeithgox wrote:

It's from Chainmail, I believe. So cheap units of undead can't PWN expensive Elven troops. It's more about ghouls than elves though.

Ironically, since elves now die of old age (as of 3.0 and 3.5, I would have to doublecheck pathfinder), the reason given in Tall Tales of the Wee Folk no longer applies. Since they aren't immortal, they can fear growing old and dying.

I agree, they should be effected by ghoul touch, I was mearly referring back to the fact that it appears that we are holding onto old values in a newer version of the system. Some things need to be changed, some need further revision and in my home games (house rules) they are subject to the same as any person who come across a ghoul (or ghast). One of those things that never really gets a lot of press, so few people (if any) look into it when they are updating editions or creating new worlds.


THATS RIGHT, SUCK IT KNIFE-EARS!

*ahem* sorry. Yeah that does appear to be true.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

encorus wrote:
That's what the Bestiary says (page 146). But I can't find anything about elves being immune to paralysis. I guess this is another one of the zillion leftovers from previous editions, the copy-paste legacy that plagues the entire Pathfinder line?

It's actually not a copy-paste error at all. As others have pointed out, elves are immune to ghoul paralysis; this is something that's been in the game from nearly the start, and we chose to leave it in Pathfinder because it's something we like, and because of nostalgia, and because of compatibility, and because it's an interesting bit of flavor.

Ghasts have always been able to paralyze elves; that's all part of them just being tougher than ghouls.


I can understand leaving it in for nostalgia, but I think that paizo has done a good job stripping out all the racial handouts given to them by 20 years of legacy favoritism (like the no-sleeping, and the secret door spidey-sense). Is there any backstory as to why elves are immune to ghoul paralysis?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Anburaid wrote:
I can understand leaving it in for nostalgia, but I think that paizo has done a good job stripping out all the racial handouts given to them by 20 years of legacy favoritism (like the no-sleeping, and the secret door spidey-sense). Is there any backstory as to why elves are immune to ghoul paralysis?

Sometimes, though, those "racial handouts" are fun. The actual backstory as to why elves are immune to ghoul paralysis is as mentioned above; a legacy from the chainmail rules.


James Jacobs wrote:
Anburaid wrote:
I can understand leaving it in for nostalgia, but I think that paizo has done a good job stripping out all the racial handouts given to them by 20 years of legacy favoritism (like the no-sleeping, and the secret door spidey-sense). Is there any backstory as to why elves are immune to ghoul paralysis?
Sometimes, though, those "racial handouts" are fun. The actual backstory as to why elves are immune to ghoul paralysis is as mentioned above; a legacy from the chainmail rules.

I think he means Golarian lore-wise. What connection is there between the elves and Ghouls that prevents elves from being paralyzed--storywise.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

meatrace wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Anburaid wrote:
I can understand leaving it in for nostalgia, but I think that paizo has done a good job stripping out all the racial handouts given to them by 20 years of legacy favoritism (like the no-sleeping, and the secret door spidey-sense). Is there any backstory as to why elves are immune to ghoul paralysis?
Sometimes, though, those "racial handouts" are fun. The actual backstory as to why elves are immune to ghoul paralysis is as mentioned above; a legacy from the chainmail rules.
I think he means Golarian lore-wise. What connection is there between the elves and Ghouls that prevents elves from being paralyzed--storywise.

The backstory for why works this way in Golarion is covered in "Classic Horrors." I'll cut and paste the relevant parts here:

Spoiler:

Classic Horrors Revisited wrote:


Beyond their hunger and the virulent disease they can inflict on the living, one other quality defines the dangers a ghoul presents—its paralytic touch. Mere touch is not enough to visit this doom on a foe—the ghoul must pierce flesh with tooth or claw and actually inflict damage before the paralysis can seize the victim’s body. Victims of this hideous affliction who survive describe it as a sudden and overwhelming hunger that causes the limbs to go limp with weakness—while paralyzed by a ghoul, a victim can do little but lie in a nerveless heap of incapacitating hunger. Unfortunately, the paralysis afforded does not deaden physical sensation, and the despair and horror of those who are eaten by ghouls while paralyzed must be terrible indeed. The fact that elves have an unusual immunity to this paralysis is curious indeed, but most point to Kabriri’s form (and to the almost elven features of most ghouls) as the answer. They say that before he succumbed to his cannibal urge and became a demon, Kabriri himself was an elf. The long ears and slender bodies that most ghouls develop, despite their original race, is thus an echo of Kabriri’s legacy—and the fact that their paralytic hungers have no effect on elves is but another manifestation of this strange bit of history.

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
meatrace wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Anburaid wrote:
I can understand leaving it in for nostalgia, but I think that paizo has done a good job stripping out all the racial handouts given to them by 20 years of legacy favoritism (like the no-sleeping, and the secret door spidey-sense). Is there any backstory as to why elves are immune to ghoul paralysis?
Sometimes, though, those "racial handouts" are fun. The actual backstory as to why elves are immune to ghoul paralysis is as mentioned above; a legacy from the chainmail rules.
I think he means Golarian lore-wise. What connection is there between the elves and Ghouls that prevents elves from being paralyzed--storywise.

The backstory for why works this way in Golarion is covered in "Classic Horrors." I'll cut and paste the relevant parts here:

** spoiler omitted **

...

Good call, but again how does the Ghast come into this? Is it the "next evolution" of the ghoul, and thus the ability is stronger?


And of course for the REAL ruling on the fact that Elves suffer from Ghasts but not Ghouls... LOL

Defense is for Losers OOTS 107

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dagon wrote:

Good call, but again how does the Ghast come into this? Is it the "next evolution" of the ghoul, and thus the ability is stronger?

Ghasts are simply stronger versions of ghouls in the game; they're stronger in pretty much all categories, including their paralysis ability which not only can affect elves but also has a higher save DC due to their advanced template.

Ghasts themselves as "tougher ghouls," by the way, is pretty much from Lovecraft, and folks eager to read about how this relationship began should check out "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath."


James Jacobs wrote:
Ghasts themselves as "tougher ghouls," by the way, is pretty much from Lovecraft, and folks eager to read about how this relationship began should check out "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath."

That is one awesome story, btw.

Back on tread now.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

I'm curious. Does ghoul paralysis affect half-elves?

d20PFSRD.com wrote:
Elf Blood: Half-elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race.

Soooo... they count as elves (immune) AND as humans (affected). What trumps?

Silver Crusade

It worked to my advantage once that the GM and I were both unaware that my elvish character was immune to the ghoul's paralysis. Having paralyzed me, the ghoul figured that I was no longer a threat and attacked someone else ("I'll eat that one later...").

When we learned that I should have been immune, the GM ruled that I was playing 'possum.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Charlie Bell wrote:

I'm curious. Does ghoul paralysis affect half-elves?

d20PFSRD.com wrote:
Elf Blood: Half-elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race.
Soooo... they count as elves (immune) AND as humans (affected). What trumps?

Half-elves count as elves for the purposes of things like that. So yup; half-elves are immune to ghoul paralysis.


Anburaid wrote:
I can understand leaving it in for nostalgia, but I think that paizo has done a good job stripping out all the racial handouts given to them by 20 years of legacy favoritism (like the no-sleeping, and the secret door spidey-sense).

"WHAAAAAAT?!"

*stops rubbing the elven rogue against the stone wall and sets him on the floor*

"Sorry sir, it appears you WERE telling the truth. I hope we can still be friends."

*cheeky dwarven grin*


Random Dave wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Ghasts themselves as "tougher ghouls," by the way, is pretty much from Lovecraft, and folks eager to read about how this relationship began should check out "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath."

That is one awesome story, btw.

Back on tread now.

I actually didn't like it much. The general back and forth path of the story, along with the ghouls "meeping pitifully" just didn't really do much for me. I much prefer ghouls as per Pickman's Model. That was a great story.


Anburaid wrote:
I think that paizo has done a good job stripping out all the racial handouts given to them by 20 years of legacy favoritism (like the no-sleeping, and the secret door spidey-sense).

Now it's time to get rid of dwarf favoritism. I mean, it's a big favour they're allowed to exist. That needs to go now.

I propose that we shave them before we kill them!


James Jacobs wrote:


Sometimes, though, those "racial handouts" are fun. The actual backstory as to why elves are immune to ghoul paralysis is as mentioned above; a legacy from the chainmail rules.

Which ceased to make sense at least 13 years ago. And that was before it somehow jumped to a completely different world system.

Quote:
Half-elves count as elves for the purposes of things like that. So yup; half-elves are immune to ghoul paralysis.

That just raises more questions!


KaeYoss wrote:
Anburaid wrote:
I think that paizo has done a good job stripping out all the racial handouts given to them by 20 years of legacy favoritism (like the no-sleeping, and the secret door spidey-sense).

Now it's time to get rid of dwarf favoritism. I mean, it's a big favour they're allowed to exist. That needs to go now.

I propose that we shave them before we kill them!

Ugh, you want to get that close? I'd say use fire instead. They're soaked with so much ale, getting them to ignite should be no problem;)


Big question that decides a TPK here. Ghouls attack in an anti-magic area. Is the paralysis an ex ability or a su ability? Taking a dinner break - opinions desperately requested!


Skummyone wrote:
Big question that decides a TPK here. Ghouls attack in an anti-magic area. Is the paralysis an ex ability or a su ability? Taking a dinner break - opinions desperately requested!

The ghoul or ghast ability is an Ex ability. Well, according to D&D Monster Manual.

It is not listed as any type in the Bestiary.
(by the way how do you know what type it is in Pathfinder?)


The 3.5 manual lists it as SU, and Pathfinder seems to be untyped. Back of book says EX or SU. Paralysis description says it can be SU or spellike. So book seems to be all over the place.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Skummyone wrote:
The 3.5 manual lists it as SU, and Pathfinder seems to be untyped. Back of book says EX or SU. Paralysis description says it can be SU or spellike. So book seems to be all over the place.

There's nothing wrong in a case like this with the GM making a judgement call as the case pops up, first of all.

But if you want something official... ghoul/ghast paralysis is supernatural.

My general guideline—if the creature is a vermin or an animal and it has a special attack, that attack is always exceptional and never supernatural. For other types of creatures, when you have an ability like paralysis that could be either one, it's best to look at the creature itself. in the case of the ghoul, you have something that is fundamentally a supernatural creature, and thus it makes more sense that it merely touching you and causing paralysis would be supernatural.


Skummyone wrote:
The 3.5 manual lists it as SU

Huh... My Monster Manual 3.5 says it is Ex, not Su.

The fever is lited as Su, but the paralysis is listed as Ex.


In a potential TPK situation, would feel better if the rule was correct. Made the call on PC's behalf already but thanks for the clarification!


Charlie Bell wrote:

I'm curious. Does ghoul paralysis affect half-elves?

d20PFSRD.com wrote:
Elf Blood: Half-elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race.
Soooo... they count as elves (immune) AND as humans (affected). What trumps?

If you read under the Ghast section in Ghoul in the Bestiary I, it says that elves are NOT immune to the paralysis of Ghasts. They are still immune to the ghoul's though.


Classic Horrors Revisited posted by James wrote:
Victims of this hideous affliction who survive describe it as a sudden and overwhelming hunger that causes the limbs to go limp with weakness—while paralyzed by a ghoul, a victim can do little but lie in a nerveless heap of incapacitating hunger.
PRD wrote:
Paralysis (Ex or Su) This special attack renders the victim immobile. Paralyzed creatures cannot move, speak, or take any physical actions. The creature is rooted to the spot, frozen and helpless.

This leads to a quick question: Are creatures paralyzed from something like a ghoul attack, frozen in the position they were in when they failed their save, (say holding up a heavy object)? Or do they become blobs with zero strength? Should a character drop everything and go prone when they become paralyzed?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
encorus wrote:
That's what the Bestiary says (page 146). But I can't find anything about elves being immune to paralysis. I guess this is another one of the zillion leftovers from previous editions, the copy-paste legacy that plagues the entire Pathfinder line?

Ghasts were created in 1st Edition specifically to target cocky elves. They carry on that tradition today.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Bestiary: A ghast’s paralysis even affects elves??? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.