Blood of Shadows and Drow-Related Half-Elf Options


Pathfinder Society

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Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Agent, Finland—Tampere aka CorvusMask

Blended view does mention character having drow blood though so that would require trait's description being changed.

I'm just kinda surprised that poison minion trait is legal considering how Society seems to want making poison based characters really hard <_<

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

CorvusMask wrote:

Blended view does mention character having drow blood though so that would require trait's description being changed.

I'm just kinda surprised that poison minion trait is legal considering how Society seems to want making poison based characters really hard <_<

Not really. Thanks to Nefreet's list o'links, we do have precedent of having traits reskinned So having tiefling/aasimar/other planetouched/orc somewhere in the past fluffed is just fine.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Morag the Gatherer wrote:
John Compton wrote:
Rei wrote:
John Compton wrote:

This was an oversight I made while attempting to clean up how the Additional Resources entry read, and it is not intended to signal a relaxing of drow options. There are, however, some very fun drow options that the campaign has not yet incorporated, and you can bet I'm watching for the right opportunity for the Society to clash with drow, recover some of those strange techniques and technology, and include it on a Chronicle sheet.

The revised language should read, "All of the alternate racial traits on pages 4–6 and 10 are legal for play except dimdweller, shadowhunter, and blended view. Behind the veil is not available to halflings." This is flagged to be fixed in the next Additional Resources release.

So Drow Magic remains legal, then?
Yes, those are entirely legal. Also, looking at that spread, it looks like I neglected to add Drow Spirit to the list of prohibited options. Sorry for the confusion.

Just to be clear. Except to the limitations listed by you & Rei, it is legal in PFS to have a half-elf drow character.

Morag

No, it isn't. That is why those options were made illegal.

The Exchange 5/5

Matthew Morris wrote:
Not really. Thanks to Nefreet's list o'links, we do have precedent of having traits reskinned So having tiefling/aasimar/other planetouched/orc somewhere in the past fluffed is just fine.

The ruling you linked was about traits, and not about racial abilities possessed by a particular race. They aren't the same thing.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Vinyc Kettlebek wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
Not really. Thanks to Nefreet's list o'links, we do have precedent of having traits reskinned So having tiefling/aasimar/other planetouched/orc somewhere in the past fluffed is just fine.
The ruling you linked was about traits, and not about racial abilities possessed by a particular race. They aren't the same thing.

Never said it was. I said there was precedent to 'refluff' something.

Silver Crusade 5/5

Matthew Morris wrote:
Vinyc Kettlebek wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
Not really. Thanks to Nefreet's list o'links, we do have precedent of having traits reskinned So having tiefling/aasimar/other planetouched/orc somewhere in the past fluffed is just fine.
The ruling you linked was about traits, and not about racial abilities possessed by a particular race. They aren't the same thing.
Never said it was. I said there was precedent to 'refluff' something.

But, as per Mike Brock from his stint as OPC, no half-drow are allowed, I think the link is either earilier in this thread, or in the other thread about drow. So, while some refluffing is allowed, not this refluffing.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

UndeadMitch wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
Never said it was. I said there was precedent to 'refluff' something.
But, as per Mike Brock from his stint as OPC, no half-drow are allowed, I think the link is either earilier in this thread, or in the other thread about drow. So, while some refluffing is allowed, not this refluffing.

*sigh* Ok I'm not being clear...

Fluff on blended vision refers to half drow parent

Precedent exists, per provided link, to refluff something (you can have the rice runner trait, even if you grew up in Irrisen, for example)

Thus blended vision could be allowed if 'drow parent' were waived. (as is, gnomes and drow can breed with each other?)

As I'm hiding in your closet stated, there need to be more options for multitalented.

Silver Crusade 5/5

I get what you're saying now.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Mike Brock wrote:
You can't reskin a character to look like a drow. You also can not play a character who is descended from a Drow, including a half-elf with drow ancestry. Since this is, unfortunately, not clear, I will make sure it is documented where it needs to be.

Linky

The drow. They multiply.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Oregon—Portland aka Gornil

Hey Can we get this corrected on the Additional Resorces with John's clarification? Had some players surprise me with half-drow characters based on the mistake John mentioned. Pointed them to this thread, but having the Additional Resources fixed would make sure others don't make the same mistake.


I like all of the legal stuff as options, the only ones I see that needs any look at is Shadowplay for elves and Drow Spirit. Otherwise, please leave them alone, they aren't hurting anyone.

4/5

Half-Drow break the immersion of the game world, so they do hurt the game for some people.


So do gunslingers, but they aren't banned/restricted.

Liberty's Edge 4/5

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Gunslingers are part of the campaign setting, drow and half-drow as accepted members of society are not.


obviously, but some people find firearms or tech weapons just as, or more, repugnant as drow/half-drow.

i even know someone that hates all but the core races, and wishes they weren't used.

its all a matter of opinion.


One is established as canon in the game world. The other expressly breaks canon.

-k

4/5

zook1shoe wrote:

obviously, but some people find firearms or tech weapons just as, or more, repugnant as drow/half-drow.

i even know someone that hates all but the core races, and wishes they weren't used.

its all a matter of opinion.

The difference is one breaks the immersion of the game setting, and the other breaks people's personal ideal of that game setting. Those aren't the same thing.

Gunslingers are an established part of the setting and many gunslinger archetypes are banned when they don't fit the flavor of the Golarion setting.

Drow as a race walking around above ground and mating with humans is against the lore established for Golarion.

PFS isn't a generic fantasy game, it's a Golarion game. Having things in a PFS game that aren't in golarion is grating to people who want to play a game in Golarion and not in Greyhawk or the Forgotten Realms.


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If Golarion doesn't have half-drow about the place, then why do Golarion specific splat books have a bunch of half-drow options in the first place?

4/5

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Do you really want to see Kreighton Shane go full psychopath? Because if the drow-blooded start walking around in Absolom, you'll see him use his hundreds of years of accumulated knowledge for murder.

4/5

Mighty Squash wrote:
If Golarion doesn't have half-drow about the place, then why do Golarion specific splat books have a bunch of half-drow options in the first place?

They get what 2 pages of content shared with Drow in the how many hundred of Golarion setting books? I'm not sure that constitutes a bunch. They aren't non-existent they are rare to the level of practically non-existent.

Catfolk and Androids are at least a thousand times more populated in Golarion then half-drow and only one person gets to play a Catfolk in PFS and like two get to play Androids.

Plus drow options sell, because not everyone buys Golarion books to use in Golarion.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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Mighty Squash wrote:
If Golarion doesn't have half-drow about the place, then why do Golarion specific splat books have a bunch of half-drow options in the first place?

Since there have been a number of boons that apply to a different PC I'd love to see a scenario with a boon like this:

"Forsaken Rescue: Due to your actions a number of half drow slaves/children/extras were freed and given shelter by the Society. You may include a copy of this chronicle with a new PC. The PC gains no boons or rewards from this sheet, but may access the half drow racial traits if the PC is a half elf."

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Asheville

Here is why this half-drow stuff is such a bad idea. I ran a 7-11 game tonight (playing down, four-player adjustment). I had a player with a half-drow Shadowdancer (Level 8 character) that had darkvision, a Stealth skill of +29 (with something that let him take 10 on stealth in combat for a 39), Spring Attack, Hide in Plain Sight and able to cast Deeper Darkness and actually still see in it while doing all this Spring Attacking. I didn't catch any of this until we were almost an hour into the game, just assumed it was a half-elf shadowdancer. I stated that I was pretty sure that half-drow were not PFS legal.

The player swore that he had done the research and everything was PFS legal. Not wanting to hold up everything and eat up a bunch of time, I took him on his word and let him play the scenario with this obviously broken-ass character that I now realize wouldn't survive 30 seconds of GM auditing.

So if you want to know why allowing drow and half-drow is a bad idea, take it from me, this kind of thing is going to be everywhere is no time flat.....


I'd point out that my shadowdancer has pretty similar numbers and he's completely human.

Not saying drow are a good idea, but that particular build can be broken no matter what species.

A bigger concern is the player either deliberately cheating, or somehow getting through a couple dozen scenarios or so without anyone pointing out that he's wrong.

-j

5/5

John Lance wrote:

Here is why this half-drow stuff is such a bad idea. I ran a 7-11 game tonight (playing down, four-player adjustment). I had a player with a half-drow Shadowdancer (Level 8 character) that had darkvision, a Stealth skill of +29 (with something that let him take 10 on stealth in combat for a 39), Spring Attack, Hide in Plain Sight and able to cast Deeper Darkness and actually still see in it while doing all this Spring Attacking. I didn't catch any of this until we were almost an hour into the game, just assumed it was a half-elf shadowdancer. I stated that I was pretty sure that half-drow were not PFS legal.

The player swore that he had done the research and everything was PFS legal. Not wanting to hold up everything and eat up a bunch of time, I took him on his word and let him play the scenario with this obviously broken-ass character that I now realize wouldn't survive 30 seconds of GM auditing.

So if you want to know why allowing drow and half-drow is a bad idea, take it from me, this kind of thing is going to be everywhere is no time flat.....

Hide in plain sight requires dim light within 10 feet. It cannot work with deeper darkness. Even if it could he is getting 1 attack per round at the cost of screwing over his teammates.

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Asheville

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I don't think there is any deliberate cheating, just min/maxing and a little hastiness in checking out the Additional Resources and forums. As for no one noticing, he built the shadowdancer using a bunch of credit from running PFS-sanctioned modules, so I was probably one of the first GMs to see it in action. Not really his fault, he just made what he thought was a cool character and wanted to see how it stacked up against "normal" PFS classes and archetypes. I completely understand that aspect of it, but it seems like I'm constantly running into these kinds of situations these days, where I almost want to stop the game and do an audit to make sure my scenario will even present a challenge, but don't because I realize that would kill the fun everyone is having. And I really, really don't want to do that.

The guy with the shadowdancer is a good player and I really enjoy having him at my tables, but like some other good pathfinders in our lodge, he can't just play a well-built character, everything about it has to be right on the line of PFS legality. It can't just be a shadowdancer, it has to be a completely munchkin'd-out half-drow shadowdancer with deeper darkness and the see in darkness universal monster ability.

And it isn't just him. Another similar guy in one of my games was playing a human barbarian. Problem was, he had found something in the splatbook "Humans of Golarion" that gave him the idea that he could build a Feral Gnasher barbarian archetype from the goblin section of the Advanced Race Guide. So he gave his "half-goblin" human a 1d6 bite attack (from the hard head, big teeth alt racial trait) and was excited about getting the Lockjaw grab ability at 3rd level. He was basically playing a goblin barbarian archetype...as a human.

I finally had to point out the Additional Resource ARG blurb that made this all a no-go for PFS ("Note: Alternate racial traits, racial archetypes, racial evolutions, racial feats, and racial spells are only available for characters of the associated race"). He was kind of bummed out about being told "No, sorry, that isn't PFS legal" but what was I supposed to do? He's a really great guy and a good player and GM, just like the guy with the shadowdancer, but all that stuff is reserved for people that are lucky enough to get a racial boon, that's why they have that sentence in the Additional Resources. If he really wants a goblin feral gnasher, there are lots of ways to play one around here. With all the home games of PF going on in this area, there are plenty of opportunities to play non-PFS classes and races, hell, we even do that with the PFS-sanctioned modules we run all the time.

If the two guys I'm referring to read this, I hope they don't take it the wrong way and think I'm slamming them in public. I salute their creativity and I really do enjoy playing with both of them. But the scenarios have to present some kind of a challenge and if everyone starts building these ridiculous characters that I can't handle because I'm running the scenario "as written" and my hands are tied, then what's the whole point of organized play? The new players who don't have the time or knowledge to create these kind of characters are just going to quit playing because they'll feel like they contribute nothing to the scenarios and are just "along for the ride". Some GMs will stop GMing because they'll feel like every scenario is a cake-walk with zero chance of the characters getting hurt, much less killed, as they one-shot everything in the game on their way to a one or two round domination of the BBEG.

Sorry for the long, rambling post, but more than anything, I just wanted to explain why I may be coming across as "that guy", the one who always has to rain on someone's parade when they come up with some new, exciting character to play in PFS. I'm not trying to be a kill-joy, just trying to keep some kind of balance between the players and the scenarios in terms of lethality and challenge. Believe me, I enjoy playing weird classes and races as much as anyone, I just do it in the "non-PFS" Pathfinder games that happen outside (and sometimes inside) organized play.


You're 100% right. Things do need to be reined in. This is completely independent of the drow issue.

I GM PFS, when I do, so that others can play not because I particularly enjoy it. I love running my home game. PFS caters so much to the "push the envelope" players that casual players feel unwanted and locally a lot have left for DDAL and so have an awful lot of GM's.

Back on topic why are the half drow options still in the AR? It's been months.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

John Lance wrote:


The guy with the shadowdancer is a good player and I really enjoy having him at my tables, but like some other good pathfinders in our lodge, he can't just play a well-built character, everything about it has to be right on the line of PFS legality. It can't just be a shadowdancer, it has to be a completely munchkin'd-out half-drow shadowdancer with deeper darkness and the see in darkness universal monster ability.

The sad fact is that he isn't munchkin'd out and the munchkin'd version is completely legal. So much for your flood theory.

Shadow Lodge

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RealAlchemy wrote:
Do you really want to see Kreighton Shane go full psychopath? Because if the drow-blooded start walking around in Absolom, you'll see him use his hundreds of years of accumulated knowledge for murder.

I... I do. I really do.

I want a 7-11 where the entire mission is spent finding Kreighton Shane, and covering up his bloody rampage through the streets of Absalom.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

John Lance wrote:

Here is why this half-drow stuff is such a bad idea. I ran a 7-11 game tonight (playing down, four-player adjustment). I had a player with a half-drow Shadowdancer (Level 8 character) that had darkvision, a Stealth skill of +29 (with something that let him take 10 on stealth in combat for a 39), Spring Attack, Hide in Plain Sight and able to cast Deeper Darkness and actually still see in it while doing all this Spring Attacking. I didn't catch any of this until we were almost an hour into the game, just assumed it was a half-elf shadowdancer. I stated that I was pretty sure that half-drow were not PFS legal.

The player swore that he had done the research and everything was PFS legal. Not wanting to hold up everything and eat up a bunch of time, I took him on his word and let him play the scenario with this obviously broken-ass character that I now realize wouldn't survive 30 seconds of GM auditing.

So if you want to know why allowing drow and half-drow is a bad idea, take it from me, this kind of thing is going to be everywhere is no time flat.....

Yes because half orcs, gnomes with darkvision, bone created or grandfathered planetouched or current elemental kin could never do that...

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

Matthew Morris wrote:
John Lance wrote:

Here is why this half-drow stuff is such a bad idea. I ran a 7-11 game tonight (playing down, four-player adjustment). I had a player with a half-drow Shadowdancer (Level 8 character) that had darkvision, a Stealth skill of +29 (with something that let him take 10 on stealth in combat for a 39), Spring Attack, Hide in Plain Sight and able to cast Deeper Darkness and actually still see in it while doing all this Spring Attacking. I didn't catch any of this until we were almost an hour into the game, just assumed it was a half-elf shadowdancer. I stated that I was pretty sure that half-drow were not PFS legal.

The player swore that he had done the research and everything was PFS legal. Not wanting to hold up everything and eat up a bunch of time, I took him on his word and let him play the scenario with this obviously broken-ass character that I now realize wouldn't survive 30 seconds of GM auditing.

So if you want to know why allowing drow and half-drow is a bad idea, take it from me, this kind of thing is going to be everywhere is no time flat.....

Yes because half orcs, gnomes with darkvision, bone created or grandfathered planetouched or current elemental kin could never do that...

Supernatural darkness counteracts dark vision though the premise is correct. In that tier range its not unheard of and even then there is a better spell than deeper darkness for shenanigans.


Unless I am mistaken, grandfathered Tieflings can take Fiend Sight twice to get See in Darkness if they really wanted to optimise themselves and try and pull out the build above.

I can see why people dislike Half Drow options for not fitting very well into existing campaign setting as mentioned several times above, although I dislike John's post above for implying that because one player optimised itself heavily using half drow traits - every player will - and that this in itself is a reason to remove it from play.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
ginganinja wrote:

Unless I am mistaken, grandfathered Tieflings can take Fiend Sight twice to get See in Darkness if they really wanted to optimise themselves and try and pull out the build above.

I can see why people dislike Half Drow options for not fitting very well into existing campaign setting as mentioned several times above, although I dislike John's post above for implying that because one player optimised itself heavily using half drow traits - every player will - and that this in itself is a reason to remove it from play.

Le Sigh. Very well, my Drow Paladin of Torag will wait another year.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

MadScientistWorking wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:

[

Yes because half orcs, gnomes with darkvision, bone created or grandfathered planetouched or current elemental kin could never do that...
Supernatural darkness counteracts dark vision though the premise is correct. In that tier range its not unheard of and even then there is a better spell than deeper darkness for shenanigans.

I missed the 'see through supernatural darkness feat'. Though an elixir of darksight does the same thing. My characters often keep one on the 'utility belt'.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Indiana—Hammond

I have a player in my group in Northwest Indiana who has some questions about the status of half-drow in our local Pathfinder Society group. He has a character concept, and I am curious if there has been an update on the status of such a character. I will ask him to post his character concept.

I understand the concern about drow. I have a PFS character whose idea of dealing with drow (after two adventures with them) is to collapse the ceiling around them TWICE to make sure. However, I believe in making sure that my players are following the rules -- as I hold myself to the rules as a GM.

I don't have a problem with an Ekujae elf from the Mwangi and a human having a child. Depending on genetics, such an offspring could be light-haired.


I would be the aforementioned player.

The concept is an Empyreal Knight Paladin of Ragathiel. The reason I felt the half-drow heritage fit was due to how brutalized they are during their formative years in relation to other races.


My suspicion is that these traits are only legal for the one or three people that have those drow chronicles purchased from the charity auctions.


That's just it. It isn't a trait. It's a heritage listed in the Bastards of Golarion book. It would, outside of organized play, allow access to an optional racial trait, but that is the only thing actually specified on Paizo its self.

The Exchange 5/5

Rorik Markley-Kolwyck 311 wrote:
That's just it. It isn't a trait. It's a heritage listed in the Bastards of Golarion book. It would, outside of organized play, allow access to an optional racial trait, but that is the only thing actually specified on Paizo its self.

Drow and half drow characters were banned by previous campaign coordinators. Current campaign staff posted in this thread that allowing this material into the AR was an error, and the current campaign coordinator hasn't lifted the ban. Which means you currently can't create a drow or half drow character in PFS unless you find a boon somewhere that opens up those options.


Thank you for the full clarification.

Shadow Lodge

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Yes, all legal options are banned.

You could find a gray skinned humanoid picture and call it a half elf (I saw really cute one a few days ago), use only legal options and say "raised by my father never met my mother" and be ambiguously Drow like.

I hope you don't. I speak from experience.

I once started a brilliant character, a kitsume Oracle from Arcadia named Coyote with profession: future diety. Character was a blast to play and liked by fellow players. But I played him two sessions and found myself thinking he doesn't fit

Spoiler:
he's now in LA in the novel I'm writing helping Odin find the murderer of his son who has escaped prison.
the pfs campaign. So I benched him because he didn't fit the campaign and I respected the campaign.

The setting of the PFS campaign is Drow adverse. If you were a gm in home who laid out the "ground says, "here are the ground rules" it would not be appreciated if a player found an exception introduced what you didn't want in the game.

Same rule a applies here, only its a larger world.

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