Half Elves, Elven Spirit and Lightbringer.


Pathfinder Society


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I did search for this, thought my search-fu may be a little rusty. Found a single thread, on the general Pathfinder board, though nothing Society focused.

Half Elves have a feat called Elven Spirit. This feat gives them the Elven Racial Trait, Elven Magic, and an option to swap it for a different trait that replaces Elven Magic.

Now I'm wondering if we could swap it for Lightbringer.

Feat in cut.

Elven Spirit:

Prerequisite: Half-elf.

Benefit: You possess the elven magic racial trait of the elves, granting you a +2 racial bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance. In addition, you receive a +2 racial bonus on Spellcraft checks made to identify the properties of magic items. Alternatively, you can instead gain any one racial trait that elves can exchange for the elven magic racial trait.

Special: You can only take this feat at 1st level. If you take this feat, you cannot take the Human Spirit feat.

The traits which replace Elven Magic are: Desert Runner, Envoy, Eternal Grudge, Lightbringer, Silent Hunter, Spirit of the Waters and Woodcraft.
Spirit of the Waters is out as you need Weapon Familiarity, which Half Elves lack. Besides, the important part can be mimicked by Water Child.
Lightbringer again requires an additional cost of Elven Immunities, a trait that in name, form and function, both Races share.

So can it happen, legally within Pathfinder Societies?

And yes, I ask as I wish to play a glowing half elf when I give Society Play another try, hopefully better than my first time.

5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Hamburg

Well, I looked up a few things, and I can't find anything that explicitly says Yes or No, either.

Personally, I would say it works. The feat clearly states you can replace Elven Magic for anything an elf can replace it for, and you do have the additional racial trait to replace.
Both instances of "Elven Immunities" are exactly the same. Same name, same rules text.

But don't take my word as an official ruling. All I can do here is express my understanding of how it should be handled.

5/5

I'm pretty conservative on rulings and I can't see anything wrong with this either - go for it!

Paizo Employee 5/5

Personally, barring official clarification to the contrary, I would rule that the swap is legal.

I can't say for certain, since I can see a reading that would not allow the swap. You are technically replacing more than just the Elven Magic racial trait explicitly listed in Elven Spirit. That interpretation seems awkward though.

Dark Archive

additional resources ARG
Note: Alternate racial traits, racial archetypes, racial evolutions, racial feats, and racial spells are only available for characters of the associated race. Racial equipment and magic items can be purchased and used by any race as long as the specific item permits it (for example, only halflings can purchase and use solidsmoke pipeweed).

this runs into the racial heritage feat problem.

in Pfs you cant take the extras ( Elven Magic are: Desert Runner, Envoy, Eternal Grudge, Lightbringer, Silent Hunter, Spirit of the Waters and Woodcraft )

in a home game yes, but pfs adds extra limitations

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm going to say no on this because Lightbringer requires replacement of two traits not just one. You have to swap out both elven magic and elven immunities to obtain it.

The feat only allows you access to traits that can be bought wholly by swapping out elven magic alone.

Lightbringer isn't one of them.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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LazarX wrote:
I'm going to say no on this because Lightbringer requires replacement of two traits not just one. You have to swap out both elven magic and elven immunities to obtain it.

Thing is, half-elves (such as the PC in question) have "elven immunities". Thus, swapping it out is no problem. So if it functions as you say ("you have to swap out both"), then it does work.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane

Ok, here goes...

Elven Spirit is a Half Elf feat from the ARG which satisfies the requirement in note of the Additional Resources entry.

Elven Spirit grants the access to the Elven Magic Racial Trait and allows the replacement of Elven Magic with any Racial Trait that elves can swap Elven Magic for.

Both Elves and Half Elves have the Elven immunities Racial Trait .

Lightbringer is accessible at the cost of Elven Immunities and Elven Magic.

If a Half Elf takes the Elven Spirit Feat and takes Lightbringer instead of Elven Magic at the cost of Elven immunities, I would have to say it is legal.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
LazarX wrote:
I'm going to say no on this because Lightbringer requires replacement of two traits not just one. You have to swap out both elven magic and elven immunities to obtain it.
Thing is, half-elves (such as the PC in question) have "elven immunities". Thus, swapping it out is no problem. So if it functions as you say ("you have to swap out both"), then it does work.

The Elven spirit feat allows you by text to swap out ONLY elven magic for some other feat that can be wholly traded for it. It does not allow you to swap out any other racial talents to get that trait. Things only allow what they specifically say they allow. That's how the game works. There's nothing in the text that says you can swap out elven magic and any other racial trait you want to swap out. I assume that this is an intentional limitation on the Elven spirit feat.

You wanted a rules text answer and I gave you one. If the DM wants to allow a variation to let you swap both, more power to you both. If this is for PFS, it can't be done.

Shadow Lodge

Preston Hudson wrote:
Elven Spirit is a Half Elf feat from the ARG which satisfies the requirement in note of the Additional Resources entry.

Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you here. The half-elf is still a half-elf and not a full elf, and as such they only options they would have for replacing Elven Magic are those listed in the Advanced Player Guide, which are: Desert Runner, Eternal Grudge, Lightbringer, and Woodcraft.

Any of the other choices in the Advanced Race Guide would not be allowed because the character is not the associated race (Elf, not Half Elf).

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

LazarX wrote:
The Elven spirit feat allows you by text to swap out ONLY elven magic for some other feat that can be wholly traded for it.

According to what? It just says something that you "can exchange for the elven magic racial trait". The "only" and "wholly" are your words, not the feat's words. Everything the feat says is being satisfied by the proposed build.

Quote:
You wanted a rules text answer and I gave you one.

No you didn't, you added things that aren't in the text and answered based on that. That's not a "rules text answer".

5/5

Dylos wrote:
Preston Hudson wrote:
Elven Spirit is a Half Elf feat from the ARG which satisfies the requirement in note of the Additional Resources entry.

Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you here. The half-elf is still a half-elf and not a full elf, and as such they only options they would have for replacing Elven Magic are those listed in the Advanced Player Guide, which are: Desert Runner, Eternal Grudge, Lightbringer, and Woodcraft.

Any of the other choices in the Advanced Race Guide would not be allowed because the character is not the associated race (Elf, not Half Elf).

However in this case there is still the issue of Lightbringer replacing more then just elven magic. While I agree that you could get Lightbringer with this feat, I am of the opinion that if you do not do it at first level (i.e. if you do not get the feat at first level) you must use the retraining rules in ultimate campaign to change the trait.

This means that if you don't take the feat at first level, you would need to have access to three books, if you take it at first level you would only need access to two books.

With the feat, you HAVE to take it at first level. You can't use re-training to get around prerequisites for the feat itself.

Shadow Lodge

Sniggevert wrote:
Dylos wrote:
Preston Hudson wrote:
Elven Spirit is a Half Elf feat from the ARG which satisfies the requirement in note of the Additional Resources entry.

Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you here. The half-elf is still a half-elf and not a full elf, and as such they only options they would have for replacing Elven Magic are those listed in the Advanced Player Guide, which are: Desert Runner, Eternal Grudge, Lightbringer, and Woodcraft.

Any of the other choices in the Advanced Race Guide would not be allowed because the character is not the associated race (Elf, not Half Elf).

However in this case there is still the issue of Lightbringer replacing more then just elven magic. While I agree that you could get Lightbringer with this feat, I am of the opinion that if you do not do it at first level (i.e. if you do not get the feat at first level) you must use the retraining rules in ultimate campaign to change the trait.

This means that if you don't take the feat at first level, you would need to have access to three books, if you take it at first level you would only need access to two books.

With the feat, you HAVE to take it at first level. You can't use re-training to get around prerequisites for the feat itself.

I missed the special part of the feat, yes you have to take it at first level, please ignore the part about not having the feat at first level.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
LazarX wrote:
The Elven spirit feat allows you by text to swap out ONLY elven magic for some other feat that can be wholly traded for it.

According to what? It just says something that you "can exchange for the elven magic racial trait". The "only" and "wholly" are your words, not the feat's words. Everything the feat says is being satisfied by the proposed build.

Quote:
You wanted a rules text answer and I gave you one.
No you didn't, you added things that aren't in the text and answered based on that. That's not a "rules text answer".

The feat says ONLY that you can take a feat that be traded for the elven magic trait. I challenge you to show me the text in that feat that says you can trade other racial traits in addition to Elven magic to get a desired trait.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

You can't just insert extra restrictions that don't exist in the rules and then say "I challenge you to show me where it says this restriction I made up doesn't apply".

There's a difference between "you can take any trait that can be exchanged for X" and "you can take any trait that can be exchanged for only X". If it had meant the latter, it would say the latter. But it doesn't. It says the former. You don't get to add extra restrictions just because the author didn't see you coming and preemptively say "also this other restriction that you might have come up with on your own doesn't apply".

Stop adding things to the text and claiming your inventions are rules.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane

LazarX wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
LazarX wrote:
The Elven spirit feat allows you by text to swap out ONLY elven magic for some other feat that can be wholly traded for it.

According to what? It just says something that you "can exchange for the elven magic racial trait". The "only" and "wholly" are your words, not the feat's words. Everything the feat says is being satisfied by the proposed build.

Quote:
You wanted a rules text answer and I gave you one.
No you didn't, you added things that aren't in the text and answered based on that. That's not a "rules text answer".
The feat says ONLY that you can take a feat that be traded for the elven magic trait. I challenge you to show me the text in that feat that says you can trade other racial traits in addition to Elven magic to get a desired trait.

"Alternatively, you can instead gain any one racial trait that elves can exchange for the elven magic racial trait."

Lightbringer requires the sacrifice of both Elven Magic (gained by taking the Elven Spirit feat) and Elven immunities (Racial Trait for Half as well as full Elves). The text above does not say that you can gain any one racial trait that replaces only Elven Magic.

Basically, take the Elven Spirit feat to gain the Elven Magic racial trait
Replace the feat gained Elven Magic and existing Elven Immunities with Lightbringer.

I do agree that this must be done at character creation.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Jiggy, I think LazaX has the "rules as written" in this case. In normal English parsing, the simple "trade X for Y" implies that there's no additional requirement on either side.

"I traded a nickel for a quarter."
"How'd you do that?"
"I also gave him two dimes."

Having said that, I agree with you that, if a character has Elven immunities and Elven magic traits at character creation, she should be able to trade them out for Lightbringer.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane

Dylos wrote:
Preston Hudson wrote:
Elven Spirit is a Half Elf feat from the ARG which satisfies the requirement in note of the Additional Resources entry.

Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you here. The half-elf is still a half-elf and not a full elf, and as such they only options they would have for replacing Elven Magic are those listed in the Advanced Player Guide, which are: Desert Runner, Eternal Grudge, Lightbringer, and Woodcraft.

Any of the other choices in the Advanced Race Guide would not be allowed because the character is not the associated race (Elf, not Half Elf).

Dylos,

As far as being able to take the Elven Spirit feat from the ARG, is what I was referring to with the Additional Resources entry for the ARG being satisfied.

Note: Alternate racial traits, racial archetypes, racial evolutions, racial feats, and racial spells are only available for characters of the associated race. Racial equipment and magic items can be purchased and used by any race as long as the specific item permits it (for example, only halflings can purchase and use solidsmoke pipeweed).

Taken from the ARG entry in Additional Resources

Since the PC in question is a Half-Elf, the note is satisfied since the Half-Elf is taking a Half-Elf feat. I do agree that this must be done at character creation. The main question still remains on being able to gain Lightbringer after taking the Elven Spirit feat. Sounds like this is going to be one of those table variation issues.

Shadow Lodge

Preston Hudson wrote:
Dylos wrote:
Preston Hudson wrote:
Elven Spirit is a Half Elf feat from the ARG which satisfies the requirement in note of the Additional Resources entry.

Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you here. The half-elf is still a half-elf and not a full elf, and as such they only options they would have for replacing Elven Magic are those listed in the Advanced Player Guide, which are: Desert Runner, Eternal Grudge, Lightbringer, and Woodcraft.

Any of the other choices in the Advanced Race Guide would not be allowed because the character is not the associated race (Elf, not Half Elf).

Dylos,

As far as being able to take the Elven Spirit feat from the ARG, is what I was referring to with the Additional Resources entry for the ARG being satisfied.

Note: Alternate racial traits, racial archetypes, racial evolutions, racial feats, and racial spells are only available for characters of the associated race. Racial equipment and magic items can be purchased and used by any race as long as the specific item permits it (for example, only halflings can purchase and use solidsmoke pipeweed).

Taken from the ARG entry in Additional Resources

Since the PC in question is a Half-Elf, the note is satisfied since the Half-Elf is taking a Half-Elf feat. I do agree that this must be done at character creation. The main question still remains on being able to gain Lightbringer after taking the Elven Spirit feat. Sounds like this is going to be one of those table variation issues.

It is qualifying for taking a half elf feat, but the restriction for alternate racial traits is that it must be an elf, not a half elf, so my argument is it can only pick the alternates in the APG not the ARG, Lightbringer is still in the APG however, but it would require both books.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane

But the nature of the Elven Spirit Half Elf feat is giving access to the Elf alternate racial traits by granting Elven Magic or the ability to replace it with another Elf racial trait at the cost of Elven Magic. So only the ARG would be required.

Shadow Lodge

Preston Hudson wrote:
But the nature of the Elven Spirit Half Elf feat is giving access to the Elf alternate racial traits by granting Elven Magic or the ability to replace it with another Elf racial trait at the cost of Elven Magic. So only the ARG would be required.

And the nature of Racial Heritage in the APG is to allow a human to take anything from the selected race, and the nature of Scion of Humanity from the ARG is to allow an aasimar to take anything from human, but the additional resources still state the following under the ARG:

Note: Alternate racial traits, racial archetypes, racial evolutions, racial feats, and racial spells are only available for characters of the associated race. Racial equipment and magic items can be purchased and used by any race as long as the specific item permits it (for example, only halflings can purchase and use solidsmoke pipeweed).

A half elf with elven spirit is no more an elf for alternate racial traits then a human with racial heritage (elf) is an elf for racial feats, but both are restricted from taking anything from the ARG that does not appear in their racial entry.

5/5

Dylos wrote:
A half elf with elven spirit is no more an elf for alternate racial traits then a human with racial heritage (elf) is an elf for racial feats, but both are restricted from taking anything from the ARG that does not appear in their racial entry.

I'm sorry, but that is laughable. It's the *purpose* of the feat to grant access. Your statement has no bearing on the ability to take an ability that requires trading out more, it would prevent the feat from work at all, at least for traits from the ARG.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Majuba, I think Dylos is right. (And you're right, it prevents the feat from working with material from the Advanced Race Guide.) Sorry for the bad news, Tumskunde.

5/5

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Majuba wrote:
Dylos wrote:
A half elf with elven spirit is no more an elf for alternate racial traits then a human with racial heritage (elf) is an elf for racial feats, but both are restricted from taking anything from the ARG that does not appear in their racial entry.
I'm sorry, but that is laughable. It's the *purpose* of the feat to grant access. Your statement has no bearing on the ability to take an ability that requires trading out more, it would prevent the feat from work at all, at least for traits from the ARG.

For items in the ARG, that is exactly the issue. The Additional Resources permissions currently require you to be of a specific race to take anything from that race's write up in the book. You are not granted access with this feat or the Adopted(I think that's the feat) feat to other races racial traits, traits, feats, items, etc. that are part of the ARG allowed items.

Now, as he's been pointing out, this racial trait also appears legally in the APG, so you could use THAT version of it with the Elven Spirit feat.


Ok, I think I've followed this.
As long as I have both The Advanced Players Guide and Advanced Race Guide, I would be able to take Elven Spirit from the ARG to qualify for the Lightbringer Elven racial trait in the APG?

If so, no worries, as they are the only two books I currently own or still have in my possession since the fiasco that was to be my first try with Pathfinder Society play 2 years ago. I'll need a few months to repurchase the rest of the books I'll need, at least my new LGS doesn't add a +200% markup on everything.


I found something today that clarifies this issue.
This thread has a response from the design team:

Pathfinder Design Team wrote:

Two FAQs updated: Core Rulebook FAQ on racial archetypes, Advanced Player's Guide FAQ on racial favored class options. Half-elves and half-orcs may select racial favored class options, archetypes, traits, and so on, as if they were a full member of both races (a half-elf can select elf and human rules elements, a half-orc can select human and orc rules elements).

This resolves a contradiction between Core Rulebook and Advanced Player's Guide FAQs that gave contradictory answers.

As this should allow what I asked about and more, as it stems from the APG, not ARG, I guess the issues closed?

Well, atleast for options from the APG, though it does let Half Elf and Half Orc sorcerers possibly take the Human Favored Class Bonuses from the APG as well.

Sczarni

yeah I was going to post that myself tumskunde after reading that lol.

But until a change is made it still doesn't work for PFS.


lantzkev wrote:

yeah I was going to post that myself tumskunde after reading that lol.

But until a change is made it still doesn't work for PFS.

How so? As per the Core Rulebook and Advanced Players Guide, a Half Elf/Orc is both a Human and an Elf/Orc and can take thier racial options. The ban on racial choices is only noted on the Advanced Race Guide, so which takes precedence? Most would either argue the Core book or which ever books you owned, but does this mean that you suddenly lose options when you buy the ARG?

That does not make sense, I know PFS rules are a set of house rules decided on by the PFS organizers, but as far as I can see, as it currently stands, one could make a Half Elf with Lightbringer or a Half Orc Sorcerer with the Human favoured class bonus for extra spells.

I'm not trying to be 'that guy', but I'd like to push for a ruling on this, as it's a bit of a mess to try and figure out.

Dark Archive

I did think that the Elven Spirit feat was an exception that allowed a half-elf to take something from the ARG. If I was mistaken, I suppose I'll have to fix one of my characters. :o


Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
I did think that the Elven Spirit feat was an exception that allowed a half-elf to take something from the ARG. If I was mistaken, I suppose I'll have to fix one of my characters. :o

This is how I would interpret it as well, as the feat itself grants a specific, narrow selection of traits. This is unlike Racial Heritage, in that it doesn't open the door to everything involving Elves anytime, just a narrow set of choices at character generation.


Now, the real question is: Can this combination of traits and feats negate the light blindness penalty of the "Drow-Blooded" trait for half-elves?

Silver Crusade 2/5

So, thread necro for an illegal option?

additional resources wrote:
Half-Elves: all alernate racial traits except drow-blooded and drow magic are legal for play; all racial subtypes except drow-descended are legal for play; all favored class options are legal for play; all racial archetypes except wild caller are legal for play. For the bonded witch archetype, energy siege shot is replaced with resounding shot (Advanced Player's Guide 238) at 10th level and arcane cannon is replaced with fire brand (Advanced Player's Guide 222) at 14th level under the bonded item weapon entry; all half-elven equipment, magic items, and spells are legal for play; all half-elven feats except Half-Drow Paragon are legal for play.

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