What was the elf doing growing up?


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thejeff wrote:
Dragonamedrake wrote:
Spend 120 years becoming a Level 1 Ranger. Spend two weeks adventuring with a party of mixed races... Double your experience to level 2. Depending on the adventure... you could Spend 120 years "Growing up" and 1 or 2 years later your at your max level of experience (20th level). The wizard that spent 100 years learning to cast light is now creating his own Dimi-Plane a few years later. Hmmm.... Yes it doesn't make alot of sense. Also on that same adventure you have a Human who according to lore develops more quickly because of their short life span... but you just reached the same penacle as he did in the same amount of time. He has maybe 60 years left to life... you have... Hundreds of years left to live all the while being 20th level.

I don't see the "And then you can reach level 20 in a year or 2" really changing the argument any. That's basically just as ridiculous for a human who spent 15 years growing up and another (average) 7 years training to be a 1st level wizard as it is for an elf. If you're adventuring regularly, the power curve is ridiculous, regardless of race.

For reasons of plot, basically. There are far too many games you can't run if you need to spread leveling over years or decades.

And the fastest way to reach first level wizard is to take an intuitive class first, then multiclass into wizard and skip all the years of formal training. Ridiculous, but anything else essentially bans multiclassing.

no, on the scale of humans and real life, thats actually pretty common.

18 year old goes off to the army, comes back 15 weeks later after basic training and everyone can comment on how much he has changed.

Send that kid off on ONE enlistment and 2-3 years later he's not the same kid, he's a Sergeant and a Man.

Men who left to go fight world war two came home 2-4 years later and their own family members didn't recognize them and they were they same people as when they had left.

Most of those people came home and had massive impact on the shaping of America as most of us know it.

all of that change happened to those people in the space of a few years, whether they were 17 or 30 when they left.


Mathmuse wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:
A human wizard who goes through RotRL matures from 18 year old bumbler to super-awesome knower of all things and cosmic reality bender in less than a year.

This is why I don't worry about a 100-year-old first-level elf. Pathfinder and D&D define leveling up as adventure dependent, not age dependent.

An 1st-level human Alchemist PC bids farewell to his father, a 5th-level Expert NPC in Alchemy, to head off to the orc wars.

SON: Thanks, Pa, for the training and the potions. I will use them well.
FATHER: I wish I had more for you, but I sold my stock to the army.
SON: I love the alchemist's kit you made for me. It will never leave my side.
FATHER: Keep safe.

A year later the son returns. After hugs and tears of joy that he returned home, the son asks about the task on his father's workshop.

FATHER: A sunrod. Tricky thing, they fail half the time. How about you aid me? That improves the odds by 10%.
SON: Oh, Pa. Let me try it. We just need to check the chemical balance, tweak it a bit, where is your flask of flax oil, one drop, there, done.
FATHER: That was so effortless for you. They put you to Alchemy full time in the army?
FATHER: No. You won't believe the adventures. Our squad, just four of us, became separated from the army. We had to hide in tunnels underneath the old ruin that the orcs were using as a base. The monsters there were worse than any single orc soldier. Most of my alchemy was bombs. Make and throw, make and throw. By the time we left the tunnels my bombs were five times as powerful as before and we decided to take out the orcish high command. It is nice to be able to take my time on a sunrod.

The son in one year of adventuring gained twice the levels that father in thirty years of crafting had gained. That is how Pathfinder works. I view PCs as destined characters, who learn unnaturally fast because of that destiny.

An elf learns at only one fifth the speed of a human? That is nearly the same compared to a PC learning at sixty times...

this is what i said… bout "oh no! first level pcs don't have a special spark" because NPCs with tons of PC levels and and well dragons!

Silver Crusade

Wheldrake wrote:
Rogar Stonebow wrote:
Even though may be spending their time in their villages "growing up" they are becoming accomplished in music, art, combat... etc.

This makes the most sense in game terms. Elves spend those first 120 years trying their hands at a dozen different crafts. Learning Elven lore & history. Learning how to coax trees into stairways, treehouses, bridges and what not. Learning profession (cook) and profession (fletcher) and profession (sand art) and profession (basket weaving).

As others have already pointed out on this thread, the problem with this whole line of thought is that if elves spent the first 120 years trying their hands at all these crafts-- how is that beginning elven adventurers don't have stacks of skill points invested in a dozen different crafts? And so on-- because 3.0, 3.5, and Pathfinder made all these non-combat skills, hobbies, background talents and such quantifiable-- it makes the total lack of elven growth beyond that of a 16-year old human rather inexplicable. Now, some of the other theories (out of time, memory doesn't work right, stuck in cocoons for a century, etc) explain it better.

Older editions-- actually enabled better explanations by leaving all those other hobbies and skills nebulously defined in the background. No, I'm not advocating a return to 1E-- I do prefer PF over past D&D iterations-- just pointing out that since profession, craft, and knowledge became specific, numbered game skills-- it's kind'a hard to hand wave a lot of time in a character's background as doing/learning something else other than adventuring, with no corresponding skills to show for it.

In home games anyway-- I'm going with the thought that all of these races do reach initial, adventuring ready maturity, in their teens and 20s... it strikes me as something that makes sense and doesn't require me to make up a whole set of new rules for expanded pre-adventurer skill-sets for the longer-lived, by-the-book-slower-to-mature races.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

That's pretty much the reason for breadth of experience.


Elven spell casters start with a lot more than the human in a similar class. They get 4 weapon proficiencies and the equivalent to spell penetration. That is like getting the feats of a 10th level character at level 1. It’s the non-spell casting elves that are getting the short end of the stick.

There are some alternative racial traits that replace elven magic to give the non-spell casters abilities they can actually use. Envoy is pretty decent for a non-spell caster as it gives you almost the equivalent of a first level spell casters spells. Silent Hunter is also decent, but you will probably be high level before you are making stealth rolls while running.

Elven weapon familiarity is pretty bad for a class that already has proficiency with martial weapons as the only elven weapon is the elven curve blade. None of the alternative racial traits give anything really decent. What they really need to do is to create some decent exotic elven weapons.

The way I run elves are much more likely to have a PC class instead of an NPC class. I have no elven commoners all elves start as at least an expert. The typical elven warrior is a ranger not a warrior. And Magic using classes like bard, witch and wizard are fairly common. This means the average elf is a lot more skilled than an equivalent human. This does not change anything for the player characters, but it does give elven culture a unique feel. Compare an elf expert to a human commoner and the elf is way more skilled.


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Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Elven spell casters start with a lot more than the human in a similar class. They get 4 weapon proficiencies and the equivalent to spell penetration. That is like getting the feats of a 10th level character at level 1. It’s the non-spell casting elves that are getting the short end of the stick.

There are some alternative racial traits that replace elven magic to give the non-spell casters abilities they can actually use. Envoy is pretty decent for a non-spell caster as it gives you almost the equivalent of a first level spell casters spells. Silent Hunter is also decent, but you will probably be high level before you are making stealth rolls while running.

Elven weapon familiarity is pretty bad for a class that already has proficiency with martial weapons as the only elven weapon is the elven curve blade. None of the alternative racial traits give anything really decent. What they really need to do is to create some decent exotic elven weapons.

The way I run elves are much more likely to have a PC class instead of an NPC class. I have no elven commoners all elves start as at least an expert. The typical elven warrior is a ranger not a warrior. And Magic using classes like bard, witch and wizard are fairly common. This means the average elf is a lot more skilled than an equivalent human. This does not change anything for the player characters, but it does give elven culture a unique feel. Compare an elf expert to a human commoner and the elf is way more skilled.

don't be silly.

elves get 4 related, fixed feats to balance out the human I get to spend an extra feat on what ever I want.
coupled with a free skill point forever.
So technically, the human starts out with more skills than an elf, and anyone building a character would rather have the choice of a feat of their choice, over a cache of weapon proficiencies.
That;s hardly equal to the feats of a 10th level character.

No one would ever spend a feat on longsword AND rapier, or Longbow AND short bow.
never mind the full bab elf, where did his sudden extra years of experience go? Oh poof. gone.

sorry, not a reasonable comparison or argument.

IF they translated to weapon FOCUS if your class already got the WP, then it would be where I think It should be.

after all original rules sets DID give them +1 with swords and bows.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Eltacolibre wrote:
That's pretty much the reason for breadth of experience.

That feat really looks like something that every 100-plus-year-old PC (elf, dwarf, etc) should get for free, without having to spend a feat on it.

In which case much of this discussion would be moot.

I also agree with the other poster who mentioned that it isn't logical for humans to get more skill points than elves who've had all those extra years to learn stuff.
By the same token, it isn't logical at all for a PC to learn a new language (via a rank in linguistics) after a couple days or weeks swinging his sword at mooks in some dungeon.

The whole experience and skill system is not based on logical principles, it is simply a game conceit to allow for fun character development using easily quantifiable markers. So the initial question of what that 147-year-old 1st-level elf has been doing all these years isn't really relevant.


Seems that elf children are very dumb, being hardly able to do other things than listen to beautiful music, smell flowers and watch butterflies. Only when they get close to maturity their brain starts functioning normally.
And besides elves don't seem to be nice people because besides dwarves they are the only core race that can't have a cha bonus. So the combination of elf children being special people and the race lacking empathetic teachers leads to them growing up slowly.


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."

I don't think anyone who actually follows that chart would tell this(elves mature as early as humans) to a player in an actual game so it would not come up. If he intended to ignore the then he would tell the player.


Sissyl wrote:
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?

I stopped trying to make sense of a lot of rules a long time ago. If it became an issue because I had a really immersive group then I will allow them to have their 20 year old elf, but I would likely change elf society or the the behavior of an elf so that they are less likely to adventure or be able to focus one thing long enough to get really good at it. If that does not work then they can find a solution that works, as long as they understand they can't be 300 years old and get free class levels.


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I don't know how to defend or refute a lot of the stuff going on in this thread. One thought occurred to me though. There are 35 core skills; 21 of these are Int and Dex based. Of these 21, 7 can be used untrained, one of which is Craft which has a number of different permutations. When an elf begins play at level 1 they have a +2 to Int and Dex. This means, on top of the basic stat bonuses they also get one extra skill rank to start and one extra language.

What if, on top of maturing a little slower than a human, they are trying lots of different untrained skills. Not sitting and focusing on them mind you (not a ton of skill ranks piling up) but one day they try Craft: basketweaving; the next couple days they try their hand at acrobatics; for the next week they alternate between watching grass grow and attempting to appraise old tapestries in the great hall.

After 100 years they've only managed to master a few ranks worth of skills, but they've actually attempted every kind acrobatic move, appraisal, craft, escape trick, flying, riding any kind of animal they could mount up on, practiced stealth in any situation imaginable and mastered a second language.

They've also practiced with short and long bows, rapiers and longswords, elven curve blades (maybe they're not proficient but they've messed with one a bit so it's martial instead of exotic) and they've studied the very basics of magic properties on items (+2 to identify properties with Spellcraft). They've also honed their senses. Not just one or 2 but ALL FIVE senses to acct for their +2 Perception.

Elves at 1st level are jacks (or jills) of all trades but masters of only, say, one or 2.

Another explanation would be a racial ADHD that they learn to finally cope with and work around by, say, age 90.


Pendagast wrote:


don't be silly.

elves get 4 related, fixed feats to balance out the human I get to spend an extra feat on what ever I want.
coupled with a free skill point forever.
So technically, the human starts out with more skills than an elf, and anyone building a character would rather have the choice of a feat of their choice, over a cache of weapon proficiencies.
That;s hardly equal to the feats of a 10th level character.

No one would ever spend a feat on longsword AND...

The fact that it is not optimized does not mean that it did not take time to learn. The whole point of the thread is that elves should start knowing more. Whether you would rather take something else is also beside the point. The fact of the matter is that elves spend time learning to use weapons, and being trained in magic. For a human or any other race to get these things would require 5 feats. Since you get feats every two levels that means that it would take a non elf character until 1oth level to get.

As I have said before humans are not the base race that everything is based on that they were in the previous editions. They are the dominant race of the game for a reason. Every guide for any class has humans as the most optimal race. If they are not the optimal race they are a close second. We need to stop comparing the elf to the human, and instead use a generic race.

As pointed out by Eltacolibre elves also have access to Breadth of Experience. Which means they can start out knowing a lot more than a any other race.


Well the honest truth is that all elves from age 16 and up must spend 104 years cavorting with one another. Since the elves are not very fertile this is what allows the elves to continue to exist. This also explains they do not have anything to show for that time. We all know that one with constant sex on the brain are unable to form coherent thoughts.


So for more than a hundred years, all they think about is sex and food?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So decided to take the time to re-read elves of Golarion again and found an interesting paragraph about all that stuffs.

Many non elves essentially wonder why many elves aren't expert swordsmen, great wizards etc...Essentially Elves measure success differently than other races. Amassing wealth and crushing enemies are just a distraction or a necessities from time to time. Essentially like most people have said before, Elves don't think or act like humans at all. They even mention Elven adventurers are actually the weird ones in their society. As most don't even understand why you would even bother doing that.

Elves don't take a lot of issues seriously, as they can be changed in time. As they just consider most situations, small set back, of course something small could be considered quite big for a human.

Edit: Essentially its a mix of stoic and apathy that make them, take their time in not doing anything with their lives most of the time.


Douglas Adams wrote:
...just generally outliving the hell out of everybody.


Rogar Stonebow wrote:
Well the honest truth is that all elves from age 16 and up must spend 104 years cavorting with one another. Since the elves are not very fertile this is what allows the elves to continue to exist. This also explains they do not have anything to show for that time. We all know that one with constant sex on the brain are unable to form coherent thoughts.

So "eternal" teenagers?


Anarchy_Kanya wrote:
Rogar Stonebow wrote:
Well the honest truth is that all elves from age 16 and up must spend 104 years cavorting with one another. Since the elves are not very fertile this is what allows the elves to continue to exist. This also explains they do not have anything to show for that time. We all know that one with constant sex on the brain are unable to form coherent thoughts.
So "eternal" teenagers?

Effectively. Minus a great deal of responsibility.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Anarchy_Kanya wrote:
Rogar Stonebow wrote:
Well the honest truth is that all elves from age 16 and up must spend 104 years cavorting with one another. Since the elves are not very fertile this is what allows the elves to continue to exist. This also explains they do not have anything to show for that time. We all know that one with constant sex on the brain are unable to form coherent thoughts.
So "eternal" teenagers?
Effectively. Minus a great deal of responsibility.

Hey dad, i met this girl at the cavorting house... I think Im in love...she is so mature and beautiful she only has one more year in the house.

Son, be careful... we lost your sister there 65 years ago. We dont want to lose you too.

A sister?

Yep she would be turning 120 next year.

that would make her the same age as Silverena.

Son your sisters name is Silverena.

Wait. What...oh gross.!!!


Mark Hoover wrote:

I don't know how to defend or refute a lot of the stuff going on in this thread. One thought occurred to me though. There are 35 core skills; 21 of these are Int and Dex based. Of these 21, 7 can be used untrained, one of which is Craft which has a number of different permutations. When an elf begins play at level 1 they have a +2 to Int and Dex. This means, on top of the basic stat bonuses they also get one extra skill rank to start and one extra language.

What if, on top of maturing a little slower than a human, they are trying lots of different untrained skills. Not sitting and focusing on them mind you (not a ton of skill ranks piling up) but one day they try Craft: basketweaving; the next couple days they try their hand at acrobatics; for the next week they alternate between watching grass grow and attempting to appraise old tapestries in the great hall.

After 100 years they've only managed to master a few ranks worth of skills, but they've actually attempted every kind acrobatic move, appraisal, craft, escape trick, flying, riding any kind of animal they could mount up on, practiced stealth in any situation imaginable and mastered a second language.

They've also practiced with short and long bows, rapiers and longswords, elven curve blades (maybe they're not proficient but they've messed with one a bit so it's martial instead of exotic) and they've studied the very basics of magic properties on items (+2 to identify properties with Spellcraft). They've also honed their senses. Not just one or 2 but ALL FIVE senses to acct for their +2 Perception.

Elves at 1st level are jacks (or jills) of all trades but masters of only, say, one or 2.

Another explanation would be a racial ADHD that they learn to finally cope with and work around by, say, age 90.

Except that ALL elves know this... not just elves raised among other elves... so it is more a natural thing to them than something they spent years learning...


The other issue this causes is that even in Golarian, more than a few elves live among and are born among humans... so if elves do just grow up REALLY FREAKING SLOW, this would look rather... odd among the humans...

And Honestly I feel humans wouldn't have the highest opinion of them if they saw that they spend as many years in a diaper as most humans spend walking without a cane.


I am not denying the problems brought up here but it feels we are picking at the periphery of what the system is trying do address if at all. I we are addressing how fluff or unstated fluff gels with how the mechanics addresses things where it codifies starting adventuring age.

I get the well if the elf is 90 years older why isn't that reflected in their skill set reflecting that education. I think Mark Hoover pointed out that a bonus to int and dex covers applies a big bonus to many of the skills that can be used without taking ranks in them.

A few things. The 1 to 7 ration of "dog years" is really a misnomer. The last chart I saw had a fast childhood, slightly longer adolescence with several healthy active years before middle age and old age. So the several decades in diapers is a possible abstraction though a simple one. It does not take into account the ways changes in development taking place in nature.


Gnomezrule wrote:

I am not denying the problems brought up here but it feels we are picking at the periphery of what the system is trying do address if at all. I we are addressing how fluff or unstated fluff gels with how the mechanics addresses things where it codifies starting adventuring age.

I get the well if the elf is 90 years older why isn't that reflected in their skill set reflecting that education. I think Mark Hoover pointed out that a bonus to int and dex covers applies a big bonus to many of the skills that can be used without taking ranks in them.

A few things. The 1 to 7 ration of "dog years" is really a misnomer. The last chart I saw had a fast childhood, slightly longer adolescence with several healthy active years before middle age and old age. So the several decades in diapers is a possible abstraction though a simple one. It does not take into account the ways changes in development taking place in nature.

The racial attribute bonus have nothing to do with age though. An elf child will still have those bonuses. Those bonuses are essentially how the race compares to the "average" human (10s across the board)


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If I were creating a setting:

Elves under ideal circumstances would mature at approximately 1/2 the rate of Humans, and then slow down aging thereafter -- not a sudden slowdown, but more of an asymptotic approach towards the very slow aging characteristic of their long lifespan. This would cut down the educational developmental delay to a factor of 2, which you could explain (in conjunction with their Chaotic tendencies) as being due to extreme ADHD. And yes, Humans would look at them funny for this. But nonideal conditions such as nutritional insufficiency, poison, or disease would slow down their development, but not do permanent damage unless truly extreme -- their bodies would automatically slow down or even pause growth until conditions got better, whereas Human bodies would wreck themselves trying to grow up at a fixed rate even when resources are not available. (And likewise I would make Elves actually hardier against such adverse conditions than Humans, with the exception of direct mechanical or energy damage.)

Dwarves would mature at approximately 5/8 the rate of Humans, and then slow down aging thereafter -- again not a sudden slowdown, but more of an asymptotic approach towards the very slow aging characteristic of their long lifespan. Their explanation for the educational developmental delay (of 1.75) would be what somebody posted above, of having no flexible fast learning phase, so that they have to learn everything as if they were adults even when they are children (also hence the Charisma disadvantage and the relatively rigid culture).

Gnomes and Halflings would mature at approximately 3/4 and 7/8 of the rate of Humans. Their educational developmental delays would be from lesser versions of those affecting Elves and Dwarves, respectively.

Elemental-touched, Plane-touched (including Elemental-touched), Undeath-touched, and Fey-touched/Changelings would mature at approximately the same rate as members of their base races, and all of these would be Templates added to any other race rather than being separate races.


RDM42 wrote:
So for more than a hundred years, all they think about is sex and food?

right… this brings us back to 100 year old teenagers!


I dunno, a hundred years of cavorting should probably give a pretty serious Profession (cavorting) skill.


RDM42 wrote:
So for more than a hundred years, all they think about is sex and food?

Wait, wouldn't that mean a lot of "young" elf pregnancies? Maybe they're all with humans. That's why there are so many half-elves to dedicate a whole race to it.


Ragnarok Aeon wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
So for more than a hundred years, all they think about is sex and food?
Wait, wouldn't that mean a lot of "young" elf pregnancies? Maybe they're all with humans. That's why there are so many half-elves to dedicate a whole race to it.

If you think about it. If humans lived as long as elves, earth would be standing room only. I mean look at china.

They have to sex more often just to sustain themselves. That is why they must cavort for 104 years to increase chance of giving birth.

That is why life is usually so precious to elves. It is difficult for them to create new life.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

They celebrate each birth, its exceedingly rare. Like it's more than a week long celebration, at least that what they do in Golarion, now whatever they do in your setting is up to you.


RDM42 wrote:
So for more than a hundred years, all they think about is sex and food?

I thought we said elves AREN'T like humans?


Mmmph . . . they're probably spending most of this time playing World of WarCraft.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

Mmmph . . . they're probably spending most of this time playing World of WarCraft.

Profession (gold farmer).


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There are fields Neo; vast fields. Elves are no longer born... they are GROWN.

Could be that elves ripen like fruit. Not figuratively but literally. They are drawn to nature because they grow as part of the local flora for roughly 100 years at which point they go through a metamorphosis from Plant to Humanoid creature type.

In human societies there are groves or stands or woodlots or parks or fungal patches or gardens or whatever that house developing elves. These humanoids stumble out naked into society and without elven guidance are generally confused and isolated. Their natural proclivity towards dexterity and intelligence coupled with a general physical frailty due to a weakened constitution in relation to human counterparts ensures that most other races either kill them outright as weak monsters or take them in out of pity.

Otherwise I like the "they only have one child every hundred years" thing.


Gnomezrule wrote:

I am not denying the problems brought up here but it feels we are picking at the periphery of what the system is trying do address if at all. I we are addressing how fluff or unstated fluff gels with how the mechanics addresses things where it codifies starting adventuring age.

I get the well if the elf is 90 years older why isn't that reflected in their skill set reflecting that education. I think Mark Hoover pointed out that a bonus to int and dex covers applies a big bonus to many of the skills that can be used without taking ranks in them.

A few things. The 1 to 7 ration of "dog years" is really a misnomer. The last chart I saw had a fast childhood, slightly longer adolescence with several healthy active years before middle age and old age. So the several decades in diapers is a possible abstraction though a simple one. It does not take into account the ways changes in development taking place in nature.

Which Chart was that Gnomez? From everything I've seen, elves' slow maturation rate is physical in PF/Golarion (as in, the child character rules in Ultimate Campaign give the same attribute mods to a human eight year old and an elven fifty-five year old) and cultural in D&D (as in, elves mature at roughly the same rate as humans and declare themselves adult at around one hundred years old). Different systems handle it differently, which can get a bit weird when PF, an OGL system, has a different take than D&D, the originator of the OGL, but everything I can think of from PF supports "dog years."


LOL the chart was actually at the vets office. My point was people are applying a ration to maturation when nothing like a straight ratio actually is scientifically accurate. I was trying (unsuccessfully) to point out that the working 7 to 1 ration for dogs isn't really accurate so using an analogous ration for humans to elves might make it easy to understand but not terribly realistic.

As for what PF supports the only thing that I have found RAW is starting adventuring age. I looked through the PF elves book very little is said about how they grow up.

I am extremely sympathetic to the argument if they spent 60 years in school they should have higher skills but what I was hoping to express is that I think the starting ages where an attempt to point to the general age or earliest age you could expect to meet an adventuring elf.


If we consider what motivated the crap starting ages table in the first place, I would say that it's one of two things: Either some nerd thought that since elves live for hundreds of years, their adolescence and childhood must remain the same percentage of total lifespan that a human does, or they considered it important that you could play elves that got to say things like "I may look younger than you, but I actually taught your great-grandfather how to fight."

In Drakar och Demoner, a swedish BRP game of the 80s, the problem was even bigger. The description of elves stated that they could live forever, and that some were as old as thirty thousand years. EVERY SINGLE ELF PLAYER I talked to drew the conclusion that 30000/3=10000 years old was a brilliant starting age for elves, just like 60/3=20 years was for a human.

I find the table to be b~%#+@&~, a leftover of how someone had a bit of unluck when thinking that somehow has remained in the game for various editions now. It leads to moronic problems, it is never adressed, and it rules out younger elf characters which would be a rather interesting proposition.


It looks like the child age in Ultimate Campaign was just the age of adulthood divided by two (and rounded) for all races. I'm not sure how much thought actually went into it.

Just crunching the age numbers a little bit and using the dog years metaphor: It looks like elves age differently than humans in each age category. Rounding to whole numbers during childhood it's 1:7, but as an adult it's only 1:3, slowing to 1:5 during middle and old age, then 1:10 till maximum Venerable.

Personally, I'd smooth those numbers out a bit and probably even skew them the other way. The traditional image of elves is eternally adult, but young, not spending their long-lives in the old folks home, but PF elves can spend more than half their lives Venerable and almost a 3rd of their pre-Venerable lives as children.
Maybe to something like 75|250|400|500|500+2d%

If you just smoothed it out to match humans based on the maximum age, you'd get 102|239|361|477|750

Or based on the Venerable age: 75|175|265|350|550


Sissyl wrote:

If we consider what motivated the crap starting ages table in the first place, I would say that it's one of two things: Either some nerd thought that since elves live for hundreds of years, their adolescence and childhood must remain the same percentage of total lifespan that a human does, or they considered it important that you could play elves that got to say things like "I may look younger than you, but I actually taught your great-grandfather how to fight."

In Drakar och Demoner, a swedish BRP game of the 80s, the problem was even bigger. The description of elves stated that they could live forever, and that some were as old as thirty thousand years. EVERY SINGLE ELF PLAYER I talked to drew the conclusion that 30000/3=10000 years old was a brilliant starting age for elves, just like 60/3=20 years was for a human.

I find the table to be b&$+&+~%, a leftover of how someone had a bit of unluck when thinking that somehow has remained in the game for various editions now. It leads to moronic problems, it is never adressed, and it rules out younger elf characters which would be a rather interesting proposition.

OTOH, I think it's stupid to have a long-lived race and never play by the rules any character who actually takes advantage of it. I do think it's important 'that you could play elves that got to say things like "I may look younger than you, but I actually taught your great-grandfather how to fight."'

If all PC elves should be the same age as the PC humans, you lose part of the interest in playing a long lived race.


But you wouldn't have to deal with a hundred years of nothing, which is a very obvious retort for the younger race: "Okay, I get it, you're more than a hundred years old. And my magic missile is STILL the same as yours, retard."


Gnomezrule wrote:

LOL the chart was actually at the vets office. My point was people are applying a ration to maturation when nothing like a straight ratio actually is scientifically accurate. I was trying (unsuccessfully) to point out that the working 7 to 1 ration for dogs isn't really accurate so using an analogous ration for humans to elves might make it easy to understand but not terribly realistic.

As for what PF supports the only thing that I have found RAW is starting adventuring age. I looked through the PF elves book very little is said about how they grow up.

I am extremely sympathetic to the argument if they spent 60 years in school they should have higher skills but what I was hoping to express is that I think the starting ages where an attempt to point to the general age or earliest age you could expect to meet an adventuring elf.

Oh, right, a chart that wasn't in an RPG book; I would have thought of that eventually. :P

I think you're right about the starting ages. It seems like this topic gets a new thread every three to four months, but no one worries about what the dwarf clerics were doing for the first seventy years of their lives when a human starts at twenty-seven. Don't ask me.


Sissyl wrote:
But you wouldn't have to deal with a hundred years of nothing, which is a very obvious retort for the younger race: "Okay, I get it, you're more than a hundred years old. And my magic missile is STILL the same as yours, retard."

It's easy to devolve into that if not used with care, yes.

I'd rather use it more as a way of connecting with some of setting's history.
And yes, the mechanics don't really support it well.


Hitdice wrote:
Gnomezrule wrote:

LOL the chart was actually at the vets office. My point was people are applying a ration to maturation when nothing like a straight ratio actually is scientifically accurate. I was trying (unsuccessfully) to point out that the working 7 to 1 ration for dogs isn't really accurate so using an analogous ration for humans to elves might make it easy to understand but not terribly realistic.

As for what PF supports the only thing that I have found RAW is starting adventuring age. I looked through the PF elves book very little is said about how they grow up.

I am extremely sympathetic to the argument if they spent 60 years in school they should have higher skills but what I was hoping to express is that I think the starting ages where an attempt to point to the general age or earliest age you could expect to meet an adventuring elf.

Oh, right, a chart that wasn't in an RPG book; I would have thought of that eventually. :P

I think you're right about the starting ages. It seems like this topic gets a new thread every three to four months, but no one worries about what the dwarf clerics were doing for the first seventy years of their lives when a human starts at twenty-seven. Don't ask me.

They were stoned. Get it? 'Cuz they're dwarves?

...

Whatevs. This topic will never be resolved.


I had, in one game I played, a excel chart which basically just applied a gradually increasing multiplier to actual age vs effective age. So, for example, a twelve year old elf might be the equivalent of a ten year old human, a twenty year old elf might be the equivalent of a sixteen year old human, and so on until it reaches a plateau at the appropriate age. Sort of applying a slowly growing drag to their effective vs actual age.


thejeff wrote:
Sissyl wrote:

If we consider what motivated the crap starting ages table in the first place, I would say that it's one of two things: Either some nerd thought that since elves live for hundreds of years, their adolescence and childhood must remain the same percentage of total lifespan that a human does, or they considered it important that you could play elves that got to say things like "I may look younger than you, but I actually taught your great-grandfather how to fight."

In Drakar och Demoner, a swedish BRP game of the 80s, the problem was even bigger. The description of elves stated that they could live forever, and that some were as old as thirty thousand years. EVERY SINGLE ELF PLAYER I talked to drew the conclusion that 30000/3=10000 years old was a brilliant starting age for elves, just like 60/3=20 years was for a human.

I find the table to be b&$+&+~%, a leftover of how someone had a bit of unluck when thinking that somehow has remained in the game for various editions now. It leads to moronic problems, it is never adressed, and it rules out younger elf characters which would be a rather interesting proposition.

OTOH, I think it's stupid to have a long-lived race and never play by the rules any character who actually takes advantage of it. I do think it's important 'that you could play elves that got to say things like "I may look younger than you, but I actually taught your great-grandfather how to fight."'

If all PC elves should be the same age as the PC humans, you lose part of the interest in playing a long lived race.

Taught his great-grandfather how to fight? The elves in my homebrew selected his great-grandparents on both sides because they were trying for best in breed at the Westminster Human Show. Okay, look, that's one of those things that sounds worse than it is when you say it out loud. It's certainly less exploitive than a "wandering minstrel" who leaves a trail of half-elves across the countryside.


Mark Hoover wrote:
Whatevs. This topic will never be resolved.

It can't be resolved. The fundamental problem is a conflict between the system mechanics and our natural expectations. The mechanics say that learning things comes from overcoming challenges in game and that every starts at 1st level*, regardless of what they've done before the game or how old they are or how complicated a backstory they've written.

The problem is most exaggerated with elves, but if there were no elves, we'd be b@#+!ing about dwarves or gnomes or whoever was the oldest. If all the races started off at the same age, the problem would still exist. Even one of the human iconics has it. Ezren's in his 40s, right? Or older? And he's got nothing to show for it. No mechanic to give him extra skills for all that time he spent before learning to be a wizard. It's the same problem.

Time has nothing to do with learning in PF. Take 10 years of downtime and don't learn a thing, then pick up 5 or 6 levels in a month of adventuring. Makes no sense. So what. That's the game.

*Or pick a higher level as you and your GM prefer, but it's still not going to be based on age and it's going to be the same for everyone.


Sissyl wrote:

If we consider what motivated the crap starting ages table in the first place, I would say that it's one of two things: Either some nerd thought that since elves live for hundreds of years, their adolescence and childhood must remain the same percentage of total lifespan that a human does, or they considered it important that you could play elves that got to say things like "I may look younger than you, but I actually taught your great-grandfather how to fight."

In Drakar och Demoner, a swedish BRP game of the 80s, the problem was even bigger. The description of elves stated that they could live forever, and that some were as old as thirty thousand years. EVERY SINGLE ELF PLAYER I talked to drew the conclusion that 30000/3=10000 years old was a brilliant starting age for elves, just like 60/3=20 years was for a human.

I find the table to be b@+&#~%#, a leftover of how someone had a bit of unluck when thinking that somehow has remained in the game for various editions now. It leads to moronic problems, it is never adressed, and it rules out younger elf characters which would be a rather interesting proposition.

Well if we go back far enough to Basic where elf was a class in of itself and they were spiritual, magical, swashbucklers it make a little more sense. All the adventuring elves were magical, could find trap doors, were taught elven martial weapons, etc. Most elves didn't even adventure, it was the occasional elf who had mastered all those skills and decided it was time to put them to use by hanging out with some humans.


thejeff wrote:
Ezren's in his 40s, right? Or older? And he's got nothing to show for it. No mechanic to give him extra skills for all that time he spent before learning to be a wizard.

If you're old, you get bonuses to your mental stats, which improves your skills... slightly.


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Sissyl wrote:
But you wouldn't have to deal with a hundred years of nothing, which is a very obvious retort for the younger race: "Okay, I get it, you're more than a hundred years old. And my magic missile is STILL the same as yours, retard."

The retort to that

that may be true, but i slept with your mom, grandma, great grandma, oh and your sister too.


thejeff wrote:
I do think it's important 'that you could play elves that got to say things like "I may look younger than you, but I actually taught your great-grandfather how to fight."

What's stoping you?

Quote:
If all PC elves should be the same age as the PC humans, you lose part of the interest in playing a long lived race.

Who said they should?

Sovereign Court

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I'm going to repeat this...

It doesn't matter how long you live, you're still going to spend your whole life as a level 1 peasant unless you hit the heroic jackpot.

A human who gets granted eternal life will still stay at level 1 for all of eternity unless they get adventuring (or GM/advernture-designer fiat elevates them for story reasons).

The lifespan doesn't matter. If you've got a 6 intelligence then you'll just go from stupid kid to stupid adult to stupid relic.

The real controversy is that after the age of 70 humans don't have to roll a save against senility every year! Paizo are idiots...

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