Underground terrain Clarification


Rules Questions

Sczarni

Hello everyone,

I went into minor discussion with a friend today about the underground terrain during a session. Fortunately, it wasn't that important, but I am at a big dilemma on how to handle it. He is playing svirfneblin, which receives +2 additional Stealth underground.

But what qualifies as underground?

I am sure that many will mention underground terrain (caves and dungeons) per ranger rules for favored terrain as an example, but this is what brings dilemma. "Dungeons" is a term which can be interpreted for pretty much anything. When people mention "dungeons" in Pathfinder in DnD, they mean on a big place with a lot of rooms full of monsters and treasure. But in my view, "dungeon" is a prison-complex.

Does anyone see this minor dilemma here? It's not that big of a deal really, but I am curious to find out the answer. The players are currently in a underground worked complex made of stone, so...

Thanks for answers,

Adam


For my view on underground, would be any place that that you are Surrounded by natural unmoved earth. A building made of stone blocks dose not quality.


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have you descended into the earth? if yes, you are underground.

could be a cavern, could be a mine, could be a basement, could be a mountain bunker, could be a badger's burrow, could be a massive subterranean dwarven fortress, etc.


Yeah, if you are below surface level and fully enclosed you are by definition underground.

Sczarni

So, if you are in a room with no windows, and you shift it 5 feet below the ground, the terrain becomes underground even though nothing changed from the perspective of character? Sewers are listed as urban for example as terrain, yet they are commonly underground. Do they qualify as underground terrain also?

Adam


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Sure, why not? If our definition of 'underground' is 'below surface level', then those would work.

Maybe sound echoes differently when you're in a room with no windows that has been shunted 5 feet below the ground, and the svirfneblin can instinctively attune itself to these echoes.


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Malag wrote:

So, if you are in a room with no windows, and you shift it 5 feet below the ground, the terrain becomes underground even though nothing changed from the perspective of character? Sewers are listed as urban for example as terrain, yet they are commonly underground. Do they qualify as underground terrain also?

Adam

some places can be more then one specific terrain.

for example a from above a dwarven underground city would be both underground and urban.
could be arctic jungle
underground lake
etc etc.


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Malag wrote:

So, if you are in a room with no windows, and you shift it 5 feet below the ground, the terrain becomes underground even though nothing changed from the perspective of character?

Adam

Literally magic.

Sczarni

I guess I am having hard time believing that terrain can have be both underground and urban. I always thought that it can be only one type of terrain present and it's probably confusing me.

It answers my question completely. Thanks for responses!

Adam


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

Urban areas are generally built in areas that were originally some other type of terrain, so it is all but mandatory for an urban area to qualify as at least two types of terrain.


David knott 242 wrote:
Urban areas are generally built in areas that were originally some other type of terrain, so it is all but mandatory for an urban area to qualify as at least two types of terrain.

If a city area was once a forest or jungle, you probably don't get the benefit for that.

Grand Lodge

A better example is an underground forest (of which several exist in the Darklands). It'd be weird for that to not count as underground.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Thought Experiment

You are standing in a closed room, no windows, one door.

a) The room is surrounded on all six sides by rock and earth.
b) The room is surrounded on five sides by air, and one side (the floor) by rock and earth.
c) The room is surrounded on six sides by water.

You're going to have subtle differences in how sound reverberates, at the very minimum. Air is going to flow differently. Vibrations coming from the top of the room are going to feel different from vibrations coming from under your feet.

Probably other effects that your svirfneblin can notice.

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