What was the elf doing growing up?


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I do find the "physically mature as fast as humans" part to be even harder to believe, especially if mental maturity is assumed to come with it and the delay is strictly cultural.

And physically mature, without mental maturity seems even weirder in many ways. Are they sexually mature? But too scatterbrained to responsibly raise kids? Are they physically mature, but without puberty? Does that even make sense?


Well, in modern society you are expected to first get an education as a child/teen, then after school/college, at an age somewhere between 18 and 2X you are expected to get a job. In ye olde times children already learned a profession and started working at quite a young age.

Shadow Lodge

thejeff wrote:
And physically mature, without mental maturity seems even weirder in many ways. Are they sexually mature? But too scatterbrained to responsibly raise kids?

Well, they do tend towards Chaos...


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TOZ wrote:
thejeff wrote:
And physically mature, without mental maturity seems even weirder in many ways. Are they sexually mature? But too scatterbrained to responsibly raise kids?
Well, they do tend towards Chaos...

It's actually kind of a neat idea to think that elves go through an extended pseudo-adolescence, focused on sex and raising children, while remaining very immature in other ways. Only after that time is past do they become really adult and start working on their eventual career.

Doesn't really fit with how they're usually portrayed and I'm not sure how elves raised outside elven lands would fit in, but it would be an interesting alternate take. All the PC elves would have multiple grown children and grandchildern.


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Sissyl wrote:
Since then, the elf has fought tooth and nail in the arena and learned to become a lvl 1 brawler.

That kind of backstory is a problem for any race. If we're starting a level 1 campaign, it's unreasonable to have in your backstory things that would imply the PC to be more advanced. A few significant encounters/situations/whatever are alright, they contributed in making you a 1st level PC class rather than a Commoner, but years of arena fighting, surviving trips across Hell and Abyss, working as an assassin for a powerful lord, and whatnot, are just ridiculous.

It's kind of like when in videogames you fight some guy who's uber strong, then he joins your team and you have him as a level 1 who gets killed by fluffy bunnies staring at him.
Either the campaign starts at level higher than 1, or things like "he's been fighting for years" have to be removed, no matter if it's an Elf, a Human or a talking pair of pants.


Note that I said "since then". I did not imply eighty years of fighting. You did. As I pointed out, that would put the elf at lvl 43 brawler. So if a twenty year old elf is what the player wants, is the starting age table more important to you?


I'm pretty sure my dog looks at me and thinks, "That dude took a whole lifetime to reach maturity? Did he spend all that time learning how not to roll around in garbage and have a really great time?"

Personally, I role play elves who adventure with humans as doing something similar to running the Iditarod. They depend on the humans around them, and the relationship's about as equitable as humanly (elvenly?) possible, but different rate of maturation is the least of the differences between them.


Ultimately this is a question of society and biology. (Actually, it is, ultimately, a concept in a made up game).

Americans, who are usually all human, have had an adolescence that lasts differing lengths of time based on society and economics. Previous generations (up until about 40 years ago) were generally thought of as adult at the age of 18. An arbitrary number designated as legal majority in American law. You hit 18, graduated from high school, got a job and got out of your parents' home. You might get married or not, but you were usually on your own.

As college became more necessary, adolescence tended to last longer because the kids went away to college at 18 but still needed financial assistance from the parents and usually went back home for holidays and laundry service.

When the economy started to turn, college graduates who couldn't get a career had to get a job instead and ended up (sometimes) back at home while earning and trying to get themselves started off. The phenomenon has become prevelant enough to have a name, boomerang children.

Starting age is not one thing, it is several. It is a combination of physical and mental maturity plus the length of time required for education/training and may be limited to a societal requirement to not let an elven child out of the house until they can act like their society demands.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sissyl wrote:
The people who say they do what everyone else does but take longer doing it miss the fact that in the typical harsh fantasy world with monsters and everything, nobody gets to relax in the sun for sixty years. Especially not in a race in decline.

And you seem to be missing the point. Unless they take a major defensive posture and arm themselves with every advantage they can... They DO decline in the face of faster breeding competition.

That's why in settings like Middle Earth and Faerun, the only reason that elven kingdoms ever existed was that the elves established themselves FIRST, and enjoyed a long period without any real competition which enabled them to live with a magic superiority. Then humans and orcs come along and upset the applecart which puts the race in the present position of decline.

That's the who Elven Retreat thing in Forgotten Realms was all about. In worlds where elves dominate, they do so by having other edges besides numbers... mainly magic. Typical example would be Melnibone in moorcock's world. When Chaos was strong they were the race most closely tied to it and thus they ruled the world. When Chaos started retreating in the face of Law, the Melniboneans retreated along with it.


Sissyl wrote:
Note that I said "since then". I did not imply eighty years of fighting. You did. As I pointed out, that would put the elf at lvl 43 brawler.

It's implied by the official starting age and the "enslaved ... at age twenty"part.

Of course the simplest fix to using that backstory would be to change the "at age 20" to "at age X", where X leaves the amount of time you feel appropriate to become a 1st level brawler in the arena.

This reduces the problem to the general case of "what was the elf doing before then and why don't they start adventuring sooner?"


And yet this happens to ALL elven children. Even one growing up among goblins. A century it is. I mean, you gotta uphold the long sword training and the five decades of useless elven poetry.


thejeff wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Note that I said "since then". I did not imply eighty years of fighting. You did. As I pointed out, that would put the elf at lvl 43 brawler.

It's implied by the official starting age and the "enslaved ... at age twenty"part.

Of course the simplest fix to using that backstory would be to change the "at age 20" to "at age X", where X leaves the amount of time you feel appropriate to become a 1st level brawler in the arena.

This reduces the problem to the general case of "what was the elf doing before then and why don't they start adventuring sooner?"

Okay, one in support of the starting age table. Explanation falls under the sphere of unobtainium. Anyone else?


Sissyl wrote:
And yet this happens to ALL elven children. Even one growing up among goblins. A century it is. I mean, you gotta uphold the long sword training and the five decades of useless elven poetry.

Which is why I prefer the "elves actually mature slower, both physically and mentally" approach.

Doesn't matter what the culture around you thinks you should be, if your body and brain are the equivalent of an 8 year old human, you're not going to be adult.


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80 years at a party college, maybe?


thejeff wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
And yet this happens to ALL elven children. Even one growing up among goblins. A century it is. I mean, you gotta uphold the long sword training and the five decades of useless elven poetry.

Which is why I prefer the "elves actually mature slower, both physically and mentally" approach.

Doesn't matter what the culture around you thinks you should be, if your body and brain are the equivalent of an 8 year old human, you're not going to be adult.

Which puts us at the moron cocoons.


Sissyl wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
And yet this happens to ALL elven children. Even one growing up among goblins. A century it is. I mean, you gotta uphold the long sword training and the five decades of useless elven poetry.

Which is why I prefer the "elves actually mature slower, both physically and mentally" approach.

Doesn't matter what the culture around you thinks you should be, if your body and brain are the equivalent of an 8 year old human, you're not going to be adult.

Which puts us at the moron cocoons.

Only in your mind.

Children are not morons. They're children.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sissyl wrote:
And yet this happens to ALL elven children. Even one growing up among goblins. A century it is. I mean, you gotta uphold the long sword training and the five decades of useless elven poetry.

If you're going to base your arguments around hypothetical bizarre corner cases, there really is no point in discussing this further.


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Sissyl wrote:
I did not imply eighty years of fighting. You did.

The starting ages table implied it.

Basically there are three questions about elves:
1 Do they physically age much slower than humans (and look like a four year old at age 20)?
2 Do they emotionally/mentally age much slower than humans (and are therefore incapable of gaining PC class levels at age 20)?
3 Do they have cultural values stopping them from going adventuring until they're much older?
If the answers in your gameworld are:
1 No, 2 No, 3 Yes
...then it's sensible to have elves with unusual childhoods having younger starting ages.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
I did not imply eighty years of fighting. You did.

The starting ages table implied it.

Basically there are three questions about elves:
1 Do they physically age much slower than humans (and look like a four year old at age 20)?
2 Do they emotionally/mentally age much slower than humans (and are therefore incapable of gaining PC class levels at age 20)?
3 Do they have cultural values stopping them from going adventuring until they're much older?
If the answers in your gameworld are:
1 No, 2 No, 3 Yes
...then it's sensible to have elves with unusual childhoods having younger starting ages.

Note that the, admittedly optional, rules for children in Ultimate Campaign strongly imply that the official answer to the first two questions is Yes. Elves at 55 are treated mechanically as humans of ~8. That's the bottom age for playing them as children and they have the same stat adjustments.

If you're going to houserule differently, then you might as well feel free to adjust the starting age rules as well.


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Elven math class:

teacher: what's 2+2?
student: ?
teacher: it is 4
student: ok
teacher: what's 2+2?
student: I feel like I should know this...hold on...nope
teacher: it is 4
student: oh! right, 4
teacher: so, what is 2+2?
student: ummm...
teacher: don't worry we will be going over this for a decade


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Last month I began a new Pathfinder campaign with an Elven wizard. He's 147. He presents himself as a "fighter-magic user" (like in old school D&D). What's that about?

Well, he has proficiency in longbow & longsword, carries them and uses them. He has that +2 initiative trait for elves. So his story is that he trained for years as a scout / militia yeoman protecting an elven community before moving to human lands and apprenticing in magic. (Sure, he's not very *good* with a sword (+0 at 1st level) or with a bow (+3 thanks to his dex), but he *is* trained in them, which a human wizard is not).

But he knows a lot about history and what's been happening in the world. Heck, he was around when Aroden died! When the Chelaxians lost influence in Varisia. When Sandpoint was founded. So, in game, he can offer a lot of bits of knowledge that the far younger human PCs know little about.

Logically, I would think elves should have ranks in non-critical skills like profession (gardener), profession (poetry), performance (lute) and so on. I can roleplay that kind of thing without actually having ranks on my character sheet, and may even convince my DM to pony up on ranks, if I want to translate the backstory into actual game mechanics terms.

In the meantime, I'll keep taking ranks in some of those things as I level up, and suppose that most of those skills really came from my 147 years of life rather than going from level one to level 2, 3, 4 and so on.

Do we need special rules to give elves loads of backstory-linked skill ranks? WOuldn't hurt. Is it necessary? Naaaah!

Just roleplay it! Isn't that what an RPG is all about?


thejeff wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
And yet this happens to ALL elven children. Even one growing up among goblins. A century it is. I mean, you gotta uphold the long sword training and the five decades of useless elven poetry.

Which is why I prefer the "elves actually mature slower, both physically and mentally" approach.

Doesn't matter what the culture around you thinks you should be, if your body and brain are the equivalent of an 8 year old human, you're not going to be adult.

Which puts us at the moron cocoons.

Only in your mind.

Children are not morons. They're children.

55 year olds that are as smart as normal 8 year olds are, you know... not very bright. Children or not.


There's skills for Knowledge. So... you can't just "roleplay it", other than by blatant and unashamed metagaming, which is frowned upon.
And a young human can have the same knowledge as your 147 year old elf.


LazarX wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
And yet this happens to ALL elven children. Even one growing up among goblins. A century it is. I mean, you gotta uphold the long sword training and the five decades of useless elven poetry.
If you're going to base your arguments around hypothetical bizarre corner cases, there really is no point in discussing this further.

It is not a problem in bizarre corner cases only, however. It is a problem in any backstory that doesn't boil down to "my character lived in an elven village until the cows came home".


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Sissyl wrote:

Lots of people claim physical maturity comes as early as with humans, too. The concrete problem here is that it doesn't account for different back stories. What would you say to a player who wanted his character to have been enslaved after a raid on his elven village at age twenty. Since then, the elf has fought tooth and nail in the arena and learned to become a level one brawler.

- "Sorry, you can't play an elf who hasn't gone through the massive time waste?"
- "Sorry, that is not a possible back story, since all elven villages are protected by spherical walls of unobtainium?"
- "Sure, you are now a level 43 brawler after eighty years in the ring?"
- "Sure, only your character has been the mascot and laughing stock in the ring for eighty years without a single win since elves can't learn until they are 100?"
- "No because ultra-powerful elven commandos rescue you and offer you an eighty year training program of becoming a lvl 1 brawler?"

Please, what would you say? Perhaps one could hope for "Sure, let's ignore the fossil age table and get you a character you'd enjoy playing."

I can't imagine any kind of slaver putting a 20-year old elf child into an arena to do anything except die. They just aren't physically capable of fighting anything, being roughly equivalent in size and strength to a 3-year old human child at that point in their lives.

More than likely they would become a whipping boy/girl, a house servant, or sold into the sex trade.

That is what I would say.


Ravingdork wrote:
Sissyl wrote:

Lots of people claim physical maturity comes as early as with humans, too. The concrete problem here is that it doesn't account for different back stories. What would you say to a player who wanted his character to have been enslaved after a raid on his elven village at age twenty. Since then, the elf has fought tooth and nail in the arena and learned to become a level one brawler.

- "Sorry, you can't play an elf who hasn't gone through the massive time waste?"
- "Sorry, that is not a possible back story, since all elven villages are protected by spherical walls of unobtainium?"
- "Sure, you are now a level 43 brawler after eighty years in the ring?"
- "Sure, only your character has been the mascot and laughing stock in the ring for eighty years without a single win since elves can't learn until they are 100?"
- "No because ultra-powerful elven commandos rescue you and offer you an eighty year training program of becoming a lvl 1 brawler?"

Please, what would you say? Perhaps one could hope for "Sure, let's ignore the fossil age table and get you a character you'd enjoy playing."

I can't imagine any kind of slaver putting a 20-year old elf child into an arena to do anything except die. They just aren't physically capable of fighting anything, being roughly equivalent in size and strength to a 3-year old human child at that point in their lives.

That is what I would say.

Except the premise for this line of argument was that "physical maturity comes as early as with humans".


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The reason why they aren't incredibly skilled from all of those years is that they aren't really mature enough to make any great strides. Don't focus on the age. They aren't playing by human terms. They aren't humans. They aren't even from the same planet. Yeah, it seems weird to us because by all means it should. Elves simply aren't humans, and don't play by our rules.


Sissyl wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
And yet this happens to ALL elven children. Even one growing up among goblins. A century it is. I mean, you gotta uphold the long sword training and the five decades of useless elven poetry.

Which is why I prefer the "elves actually mature slower, both physically and mentally" approach.

Doesn't matter what the culture around you thinks you should be, if your body and brain are the equivalent of an 8 year old human, you're not going to be adult.

Which puts us at the moron cocoons.

Only in your mind.

Children are not morons. They're children.
55 year olds that are as smart as normal 8 year olds are, you know... not very bright. Children or not.

Except if you meet them, you meet someone behaving like an normal 8 year old human. Just as bright, just as shy, just as rambunctious, just as clever. They just don't grow up as fast.

They're much smarter and more developed than normal 8 year old elves. They are normal. They're just normal for elves.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't have a problem with elves being children/adolescents for longer. That's frankly the entire premise of their society. For a human 70 years is a long time, even a lifetime for some people, for an elf it's basically nothing.

Now if some people chooses to play elf being mature at 20 years that's their prerogative, but never going to do that at my gaming table.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Sissyl wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
And yet this happens to ALL elven children. Even one growing up among goblins. A century it is. I mean, you gotta uphold the long sword training and the five decades of useless elven poetry.

Which is why I prefer the "elves actually mature slower, both physically and mentally" approach.

Doesn't matter what the culture around you thinks you should be, if your body and brain are the equivalent of an 8 year old human, you're not going to be adult.

Which puts us at the moron cocoons.

Only in your mind.

Children are not morons. They're children.
55 year olds that are as smart as normal 8 year olds are, you know... not very bright. Children or not.

That elf child has a +2 bonus to Intelligence over his human counterpart.

Assuming average scores, that means most elven children are a good deal smarter than many human adults, much less their offspring.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Something funny I just recalled:

Elves aging differences is even used as a plot hook for half-drow. The Half-drow tends to be bullied during childhood by other drow children but they mature faster and become the bullies. Of course in drow society, the parents don't interfere in children quarrels and even consider that their children are failure to get beaten by a half-drow.


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Have you read the sixtet of the dragonlance series? It is a good read. Youll get an idea of how high-elves were raised. Tanis Half-elven was one of my favorite characters.


In fact the series is a good read to get into the mind of an average dwarf as well.

Scarab Sages

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Answer: Achieving a firm basic grasp of archery, swordplay, and magic, receiving a solid general education (which one could view as contributing to the Intelligence bonus) learning to take the long view in all things and stop and smell the roses, and gaining a breadth of experience.


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Anarchy_Kanya wrote:
I ignore age guidelines. It made my experience better.

Ditto.

I also generally go the 4e route with maximum ages, elves topping out at 300-350.

Dark Archive

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I found this pdf that does a pretty good job (imho) at explaining how elves grow up.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Albatoonoe wrote:
The reason why they aren't incredibly skilled from all of those years is that they aren't really mature enough to make any great strides. Don't focus on the age. They aren't playing by human terms. They aren't humans. They aren't even from the same planet. Yeah, it seems weird to us because by all means it should. Elves simply aren't humans, and don't play by our rules.

Hallelujah! Someone gets it!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

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Humans spend one-third of their lives sleeping.

So do elves. Elves just happen to do all of their sleeping up front so they don't need to worry about it later in life. Sometime before adulthood, they vanish into a faerie realm that exists beyond sleep. Only after experiencing an entire lifetime of dreams do they reappear in the mortal world, now fully grown and immune to sleep effects.

Gnomes don't dream all their dreams at once, but are so full of wanderlust, they find themselves lost in dreams for years at a time. And gnome children sometimes forget to grow older instead of younger, so they're constantly reverting to their younger, less-experienced selves. It takes gnomes a while to learn other mechanisms of coping with hardships and boredom.

Dwarves, meanwhile, are too practical for dream-related shenanigans. They start so late in life because they undergo a natural process of petrification during adolescence. They remain in statue form for decades, during which time family members and well-wishers constantly attempt to perfect them with stonemason's tools. Botched dwarves become duergar.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Epic win for Epic Meepo!


Sissyl wrote:

Lots of people claim physical maturity comes as early as with humans, too. The concrete problem here is that it doesn't account for different backstories. What would you say to a player who wanted his character to have been enslaved after a raid on his elven village at age twenty. Since then, the elf has fought tooth and nail in the arena and learned to become a lvl 1 brawler.

-"Sorry, you can't play an elf who hasn't gone through the massive time waste?"
-"Sorry, that is not a possible backstory, since all elven villages are protected by spherical walls of unobtainium?"
-"Sure, you are now a level 43 brawler after eighty years in the ring?"
-"Sure, only your character has been the mascot and laughing stock in the ring for eighty years without a single win since elves can't learn until they are 100?"
-"No because ultra-powerful elven commandoes rescue you and offer you an eighty year training program of becoming a lvl 1 brawler?"

Please, what would you say? Perhaps one could hope for "Sure, let's ignore the fossil age table and get you a character you'd enjoy playing."

Broke armses and legses take time to heal, especially wit delicate elven constitutions. Havin an elven pit fightah is a mark of prestige and while the pit foremen and owners don't mind if dere pointy-eared "guest" is injured, dey certainly don't want 'im slain. (And dey is always male. Best not to axsk what 'appens to captured elven females...)


UnArcaneElection wrote:

Related to this is all the characters I hear about that somehow start out at only 1st Level in late middle age after having had a lot of life experience in their backstory. This includes the Iconic Wizard Ezren. How come they are so far behind others of their own race?

Life experience does not necessarily equal class experience. As for Ezren, the backstory you cited explains why he is a 1st level wizard at a late age. It also specifically calls out Ezren as an unusual exception in the category of starting age for both wizards and adventurers in general.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I guess humans and other races come across to elves much the way the Ocampa on Star Trek: Voyager would come across to us. For those of you who are not familiar with that show, the Ocampa were a short lived race who were fully mature at 1 or 2 years of age and had a life span of 9 years. I would imagine that elves would have the same view of humans that humans would of Ocampa.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
blahpers wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Related to this is all the characters I hear about that somehow start out at only 1st Level in late middle age after having had a lot of life experience in their backstory. This includes the Iconic Wizard Ezren. How come they are so far behind others of their own race?

Life experience does not necessarily equal class experience. As for Ezren, the backstory you cited explains why he is a 1st level wizard at a late age. It also specifically calls out Ezren as an unusual exception in the category of starting age for both wizards and adventurers in general.

He's also the callback to the days when his starting age was THE NORM for First Edition Magic-Users.


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I think the only time when there is a problem with starting ages are when someone has a specific backstory and fails to take into account that their character is an elf. I don’t buy into the idea that elves mature at the same rate until adolescence and then spend decades reaching mental maturity. I figure that elves mature slower than a human, but part of the elf starting age is learning all the elven culture and training in the things they get for being an elf.

Let’s break down the Elven racial traits and give a reason for them. The following are my own interpolations of the reasons and not in any way official doctrine.

The reason elves get a +2 INT is because they value learning and creativity. Since all craft skills, and knowledge skills with a DC of 10 or less can be used untrained that means that elves are better at these things than humans. To me this means that all elves raised in an elven culture have a lot of formal education. They have spent a lot of time learning and also involved in artistic endeavors.

The reason Elves get a +2 DEX is because they spend a lot of time playing games. Most of these games are based on agility and dexterity so elves develop their reflexes. They also spend a lot of time on mental games which is another reason for the +2 INT.

The reason Elves get a -2 CON is because they are isolated and protected during childhood. Elves are a very magical race and use this and their own isolation to protect their homes so there is less danger. They also have good healers even without using magic so they are less exposed to disease and therefor more susceptible to it.

Elven magic is because all elves are giving training in magic. I would suggest trading out this trait for non-spell casters who do not plan on picking up a spell casting class. Envoy, or Silent Hunter make the most sense. The ability for a non-spell caster to cast even a limited number of spells is a major advantage and this will take a long time to learn.

Elven weapon familiarity means that every elf has spent a lot of time practicing with weapons. Unfortunately there are no good alternative traits for martial classes and there are not a lot of exotic elven weapons. Personally I think this is something that should be addressed.

Keen senses come from belonging to a culture that routinely hides their settlements. Elves tend to build their dwellings to fit in with the surroundings. Their language is very tonal and full of subtleties that non-elves may not be able to distinguish. The artwork is equally subtle using shades of color that are also difficult to distinguish.

Elven Immunities come from living in a society where magic is common. Elves value freedom and recognize that many enchantments take away this freedom so condition their children to resist enchantments by exposing them to these types of spells. They do the same for sleep spells for military purposes. Elves commonly use sleep as a means of defense so if they are immune to it, they can safely use it without fear of affecting their own people.

Low light vision seems to be a purely physical trait, as the only way to change it seems to be born of a racial stock that has it. The only other purely physical trait seems to be the elven life span. This is why I would have problems with someone wanting to play a 20 year old elf. About the only time I have seen this is when someone wants to play an elf without worrying about the race. They usually want all the benefits of being an elf, but want to ignore the rest.

If someone wanted to play an elf captured as a child I would say he need to forfeit most if not all of the elven racial traits. The earlier he is captured the more he forfeits. If he just wants to be slightly younger than most elves that is fine, so say around 90 to 100 years old would not be a problem.


Its always been easy for me to see the numbers when i look at it not as when the elf is as mature as the 17 year old human, but when the elf culture considers them mature.
By 17 in human years u have gained enough life experience to become considered an adult because how long the life span is. For human culture u are at that age seasoned enough with the limited years of 17 to be seen as an adult and start doing adult things because by then ur lucky enough to have maybe 60 more years to really make ur mark and define urself.
now look how long elves usually live for. Quite a few hundreds of years, anywhere between 3 to 4 hundred years. With that lifespan, the elf could learn just as much as the 17 year old human at age 17 and by human standards the elf would be considered an adult, BUT to the other elves, they woukd see someone who hasnt even begun to scratch the surface. 17 years is a very small amount compared to 2 to 4 hundred years old elves. Because they live soooo long, they would view 17 years as an adequit number of years to be seen as mature to other elves.
Now onto WHY the 100+ elf knows the same amount of spells as the human? Well that is where i don my flame resistance suit and evoke Loial from WoT series. Humans live such short lives compared to elves and dwarves so they are quicker to see and get results than the longer lived races. A job that would take 20 yrs to do would take a good portion of a humans life to do while it doesnt have as much impact to a dwarf or full elf because 20 years isnt as dauntingbto someone who regularly lives a couple hundred years. So humans could be "hasty" because they ahve a short time to live whereas elfs wouldnt see the rush and would take their time because they plenty of it.
I also believe that if a human and an elf were side by side and had the exact same stats and both added their racial modifiers to int, the int for the human would be because they are exceptional or naturally brilliant whereas the elf gets the agility and that is natural for them and the int would be because of the result of 100+ years they experienced.

Now with this u can take it or leave it, but this is what i have told my group when it came up and they seem to be satisfied with the answer.


Maybe puberty just comes very late and they don't even bother with starting any real training until they are sure the kid is physically and mentally ready. Until then it is elementary school basics and play

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Elven weapon familiarity means that every elf has spent a lot of time practicing with weapons. Unfortunately there are no good alternative traits for martial classes and there are not a lot of exotic elven weapons. Personally I think this is something that should be addressed.

I think it's addressed adequately enough when you take into account that even the lowliest Elf commoner is proficient with longsword, rapier, and both the normal and composite forms of long and shortbow. Those even slightly martially inclined are even proficient in the curved blade as well.


LazarX wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
And yet this happens to ALL elven children. Even one growing up among goblins. A century it is. I mean, you gotta uphold the long sword training and the five decades of useless elven poetry.
If you're going to base your arguments around hypothetical bizarre corner cases, there really is no point in discussing this further.

Ok, Elf raised among humans...

Considering average life spans and such they would go through multiple human generations before even being an adult.


I have to say, the age tables are kinda screwed up... They are are designed with the idea of all races kind of having an average bell curve like thing with age...

But it completely falls apart with races like Aasimar...

Aasimars do not reach "adulthood" until 60 years of age... But the problem is, if you read Blood of Angels (aka the book on the physiology on Aasimars from PAIZO THEMSELVES), aasimars pretty much reach physical adulthood at the same time as humans. In fact, most of the traits of aasimars do not really show themselves until puberty kicks in.

In fact, Aasimars are described like how the Dunedain are in Lord of the Rings, in that they mature like humans but their "Golden Years" last MUCH longer than normal humans. This makes for the effect of the king who never ages. It would be very much like asian people are in our world. Many asians are very well known for... pretty much not aging for a long time. You see 40-50 year old asian people and they often still look 20-30. The aasimars are like that but to an extreme (at least how Blood of Angels portrays them).

So yeah... even Paizo can't keep it straight...

Just throwing that one out there...


LazarX wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Elven weapon familiarity means that every elf has spent a lot of time practicing with weapons. Unfortunately there are no good alternative traits for martial classes and there are not a lot of exotic elven weapons. Personally I think this is something that should be addressed.
I think it's addressed adequately enough when you take into account that even the lowliest Elf commoner is proficient with longsword, rapier, and both the normal and composite forms of long and shortbow. Those even slightly martially inclined are even proficient in the curved blade as well.

That is kind of my point. Rangers and fighters are already proficient with these weapons and the only thing they get is the elven curve blade. Dwarves get a ton of exotic weapons. I think there should be more exotic elven weapons. Maybe some cool bows or other unusual weapons. There should be a better alternative racial trait for martials.

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