Wise Elves, Crafty Dwarves


Prerelease Discussion


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It was implied by mark that they have switch halflings to a be a +Wis ancestry instead of a +Cha ancestry

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If they are open to switching ancestry boosts around I would prefer that elves be a +Wis ancestry instead of a +Int and similarly Dwarves be +Int instead of +Wis.

This would mean that elves have a natural predisposition to be good at perception, nature, and survival which are all very elfy things and dwarves would be naturally good at Crafting and History which seems very dwarfy.

Am I alone in this opinion? Is there just too much inertia or Golarion lore for this to be a reasonable change for PF2? I've actually been doing this as a simple homebrew rule for years and will end up doing so even if it isn't changed officially but I like it and thought it was worth at least bringing up in case others felt the same.


Those are actually pretty good points. Order of the Stick does make me feel that elfs should be good wizards and dwarves should be good clerics, but that's probably just from being used to their stat bonuses.

I think elves are also known for their craftiness and their lifespan seems to lend itself to history, though.


I feel like Dwarves are also stoic, stubborn, practical, driven, and sensible just as a species which is befitting of wisdom more than intelligence.


Captain Morgan wrote:


I think elves are also known for their craftiness and their lifespan seems to lend itself to history, though.

True, elves are know to be good at everything. That's probably Tolkeins fault, elves in middle Earth are just better than other people, perk of being imortal I guess.

Now that I think of it I can probably attribute my initial discomfort with the attribute distribution to tolkein as well. He always described elves as wise.

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I find the current ability arrays reflect my views of the two ancestries. I am glad for the floating stat bonus that can make for especially woodsy elves or crafty dwarves.


KingOfAnything wrote:
I find the current ability arrays reflect my views of the two ancestries. I am glad for the floating stat bonus that can make for especially woodsy elves or crafty dwarves.

Fair enough. I think the floating ability boosts is really a useful mechanic for allowing all sorts of concepts to work better.


I like the floating bonus to cover this, not that a different type of ancestry mechanic similar to the execution of half-elves and half-orcs couldn't be available to enable other races to expand their own genealogy.

That might be an interesting new route that PF2's analogue to the Advanced Race Guide could take.

Silver Crusade

No bueno on the wise halflings if it's true. That hint is pretty cryptic and I'm not sure that that's actually what he meant to imply, but if it's true it's kind of b*******. Halflings are supposed to be Plucky and charismatic. As much as I can understand wanting one of the small races not to be Charisma boosted, I can certainly think of two better candidates for that.

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ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
No bueno on the wise halflings if it's true. That hint is pretty cryptic and I'm not sure that that's actually what he meant to imply, but if it's true it's kind of b*******. Halflings are supposed to be Plucky and charismatic. As much as I can understand wanting one of the small races not to be Charisma boosted, I can certainly think of two better candidates for that.

The whole thread for the halfling and gnome ancestries is full of reasons for the change. Paizo's halflings are much less plucky and charismatic and more perceptive and resilient. Many are charismatic, too, but that isn't quite the default on Golarion.

And the probability Mark made that specific comment in a world with Charisma halflings is vanishingly small.


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I'd rather just hack stat boosts away from races, ditch the pointless stereotypes and give all starting characters 2 free stat ups.

Just kill race dictates class entirely, rather than just fudge some of it.


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I never saw halflings as charismatic, to be honest. I saw them more as prudent, down-to-earth, sensible folks. Charismatic adventurous halflings are more the exception than the rule.


Voss wrote:

I'd rather just hack stat boosts away from races, ditch the pointless stereotypes and give all starting characters 2 free stat ups.

Just kill race dictates class entirely, rather than just fudge some of it.

That could work too. Really with the flexible boost it seems like ancesties mostly describe what you are bad at. Maybe something like a background would work better.

E.g. Elves get +2 Dex or +2 Int (Wis in my home brew games) and then a +2 floating. That way you keep a bit of flavor but don't pigeonhole anyone. Probably two ancesty feats at first level would be needed along side that to keep ancestries somewhat distinct though. Not that I'm saying that's bad.


I think it works pretty well as is, both races have a core attribute that's higher than normal, but are still predisposed to focusing on a few other things not typically associated with that stat.

But I do agree they should be swapped. I tend to think of wisdom as awareness and intelligence as focus, so it is weird to me that elves are more focused and dwarves are more aware. Then again, I'd also like to drop both dexterity and charisma from the stat list, so I may not be the best judge on what stats mean.


Voss wrote:

I'd rather just hack stat boosts away from races, ditch the pointless stereotypes and give all starting characters 2 free stat ups.

Just kill race dictates class entirely, rather than just fudge some of it.

Listen to this man, let me play Small races who focus on STR.


Secret Wizard wrote:
Voss wrote:

I'd rather just hack stat boosts away from races, ditch the pointless stereotypes and give all starting characters 2 free stat ups.

Just kill race dictates class entirely, rather than just fudge some of it.

Listen to this man, let me play Small races who focus on STR.

The floating bonus lets you basically do this with goblins now, at least.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
Voss wrote:

I'd rather just hack stat boosts away from races, ditch the pointless stereotypes and give all starting characters 2 free stat ups.

Just kill race dictates class entirely, rather than just fudge some of it.

Listen to this man, let me play Small races who focus on STR.
The floating bonus lets you basically do this with goblins now, at least.

And small weapon damage dice don't get the shaft.


I'm still super curious what size does. I really want to try a goblin strength build.


Captain Morgan wrote:
I'm still super curious what size does.

Me too, how it effects larger weapon damage (swords the size of Buicks), also, does it effect AC, or anything like that. Arms and armour will be one of the first things I check out.


Wisdom instead of charisma for halflings?! Well another reason not to like this train wreck.


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You know I actually think wisdom makes more sense. Unless were going with small races are cute mindset.


Wis totally makes sense for hobbits/halflings, good natural instincts, natural survivors, etc.


As small races go I think something like:
wis halfling
Chr kobolds
int gnomes/goblins


Captain Morgan wrote:
I'm still super curious what size does. I really want to try a goblin strength build.

My main playtest build is going to be a goblin wizard who's highest attribute is STR. I am trying to really push the expected character design and see how "suboptimal" builds compare to optimal builds, since it seems like a lot of effort has gone into bringing both into a narrower range.


Vidmaster7 wrote:

As small races go I think something like:

wis halfling
Chr kobolds
int gnomes/goblins

INT Goblins is not a Golarion thing.

It's PF1 thing, a WoW thing, but not something we've seen represented.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
I'm still super curious what size does. I really want to try a goblin strength build.

likely just limits access to bigger weapons.

I suspect a goblin strength build is going to feel like any other strength build.


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Secret Wizard wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

As small races go I think something like:

wis halfling
Chr kobolds
int gnomes/goblins

INT Goblins is not a Golarion thing.

It's PF1 thing, a WoW thing, but not something we've seen represented.

Yeah, comparing Golarion Goblins with Azeroth Goblins really shows that Golarion Goblins are not an Int race. Goblins in WoW are renowned geniuses that can build anything as long as you accept that it will explode. While Paizo's goblins are not astoundingly stupid they certainly aren't notably intelligent either.

Personally I think goblins aren't very charismatic either and their stat distribution should have been +Dex and Con/-Wis, though Paizo likely thought it would be OP for an ancestry to be capable of getting stat boosts in all three physical stats. If goblins have to have a strong mental stat, then the next step is to ask "what mental-based class should goblins be naturally good at?" and I think the easy answer there is Bard.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

As small races go I think something like:

wis halfling
Chr kobolds
int gnomes/goblins

INT Goblins is not a Golarion thing.

It's PF1 thing, a WoW thing, but not something we've seen represented.

Yeah, comparing Golarion Goblins with Azeroth Goblins really shows that Golarion Goblins are not an Int race. Goblins in WoW are renowned geniuses that can build anything as long as you accept that it will explode. While Paizo's goblins are not astoundingly stupid they certainly aren't notably intelligent either.

Personally I think goblins aren't very charismatic either and their stat distribution should have been +Dex and Con/-Wis, though Paizo likely thought it would be OP for an ancestry to be capable of getting stat boosts in all three physical stats. If goblins have to have a strong mental stat, then the next step is to ask "what mental-based class should goblins be naturally good at?" and I think the easy answer there is Bard.

I agree with all of this, for sure. I actually think Kobolds would be a decent choice (down the road) fot a small +2 Int race. Good trap crafters and tactically inclined. Seems reasonable, no? Then, probably +2 Dex, and either -2 Strength, or maybe even -2 Charisma because they're arrogant/unlikeable. Well, except to me and some others. We like Kobolds. :)

Oh, and this of course goes off the presumption that Kobolds don't need to be hideously underpowered anymore.


I say CHR for kobold cause of their relation to dragons.


I think Kobolds should get +4 str dex con int wis chr!


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
I say CHR for kobold cause of their relation to dragons.

For me, I'd say Int. They are "hardworking, clever, and blessed with a natural talent for mechanical devices and mining" along with a "profound sense of inadequacy". To me that says +int and -cha. For me, the relationship to dragons would be better off as a heritage like Dragon Affinity from pathfinder classic that treats their Cha higher for the draconic bloodline and kobold bloodline.


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graystone wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I say CHR for kobold cause of their relation to dragons.
For me, I'd say Int. They are "hardworking, clever, and blessed with a natural talent for mechanical devices and mining" along with a "profound sense of inadequacy". To me that says +int and -cha. For me, the relationship to dragons would be better off as a heritage like Dragon Affinity from pathfinder classic that treats their Cha higher for the draconic bloodline and kobold bloodline.

But We so Cute!


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I agree with Int for kobolds because I mostly associate the ancestry with cleverness and trap-making.


As much as I'm behind Halflings getting a bonus to Wisdom instead of Charisma, wasn't it flat out stated in the Halflings and Gnomes blog post that they still get +2 Dex and +2 Cha?

Logan Bonner wrote:
Halflings have nimble fingers, giving them an ability boost to Dexterity, and are jovial, getting another ability boost in Charisma.

I don't think Mark would lie about Halflings getting a Wisdom bonus instead of a Charisma bonus, so unless the Halfling blog post was flat out not telling the truth, I think we might be putting too much emphasis on Mark's use of the word "wise" in that post.


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Friendly Rogue wrote:

As much as I'm behind Halflings getting a bonus to Wisdom instead of Charisma, wasn't it flat out stated in the Halflings and Gnomes blog post that they still get +2 Dex and +2 Cha?

Logan Bonner wrote:
Halflings have nimble fingers, giving them an ability boost to Dexterity, and are jovial, getting another ability boost in Charisma.
I don't think Mark would flat out lie about Halflings getting a Wisdom bonus instead of a Charisma bonus, so unless the Halfling blog post was flat out not telling the truth, I think we might be putting too much emphasis on Mark's use of the word "wise" in that post.

The halfling blog told the truth as it was at the time of its posting; the playtest wasn't at the printers yet when that blog was made, and after a pretty significant call for action on the forums it seems Paizo made the decision to change halflings to a wis ancestry prior to printing.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
I agree with Int for kobolds because I mostly associate the ancestry with cleverness and trap-making.

And charisma cause we cute! and wisdom cause we need to no get surprised, and dex cause we fast! and con cause we tough! and str because we wirey! yes!


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Definitely NOT a certain Kobold wrote:
graystone wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I say CHR for kobold cause of their relation to dragons.
For me, I'd say Int. They are "hardworking, clever, and blessed with a natural talent for mechanical devices and mining" along with a "profound sense of inadequacy". To me that says +int and -cha. For me, the relationship to dragons would be better off as a heritage like Dragon Affinity from pathfinder classic that treats their Cha higher for the draconic bloodline and kobold bloodline.
But We so Cute!

I agree. Look at this cute belt and boots! the scales match. I just need some gloves... Which kobolds are black scaled ones again? ;)

Friendly Rogue wrote:
I don't think Mark would lie about Halflings getting a Wisdom bonus instead of a Charisma bonus, so unless the Halfling blog post was flat out not telling the truth, I think we might be putting too much emphasis on Mark's use of the word "wise" in that post.

I think they took comments about all short people having Cha to heart after the blog in question as Marks comments about wise halflings came AFTER the blog came out.


Arachnofiend wrote:
The halfling blog told the truth as it was at the time of its posting; the playtest wasn't at the printers yet when that blog was made, and after a pretty significant call for action on the forums it seems Paizo made the decision to change halflings to a wis ancestry prior to printing.
graystone wrote:
I think they took comments about all short people having Cha to heart after the blog in question as Marks comments about wise halflings came AFTER the blog came out.

That's actually a pretty fair point, I failed to consider that as a possibility, and in that regard Halflings getting a +2 to Wisdom would definitely be appreciated.

In regards to Elves and Dwarves, I feel that the Elven +2 to Int can easily just represent how damn long they live in general and how they just pick up knowledge as they go along, and that the Dwarven +2 to Wis represents their sheer resolve and is one side of the coin of durability (with the other side being Con).

Shadow Lodge

Wise dwarves was always an odd choice to me. The classic fantasy dwarf is foolish. They are constantly digging too deep and too greedily and unwittingly releasing the terrible thing in the depths because they are the opposite of wise. It's pretty much what dwarves are known for.


That and their Scottish accents!


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
That and their Scottish accents!

That and their dulcet sounds of the clan bagpipe choir...


gnoams wrote:
Wise dwarves was always an odd choice to me. The classic fantasy dwarf is foolish. They are constantly digging too deep and too greedily and unwittingly releasing the terrible thing in the depths because they are the opposite of wise. It's pretty much what dwarves are known for.

That's... a fair point actually. Given the dwarf habit of breaking into song about the Good Ol Days at every given opportunity it's probably easier to justify a penalty to wisdom than it is a penalty to charisma.


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Yeah Its kind of weird how jumbled all the fantasy races seem to be. Also is it just me or are santa's elfs more likely to be gnomes?

Or possibly even dwarfs really... IF they had beards.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:

Yeah Its kind of weird how jumbled all the fantasy races seem to be. Also is it just me or are santa's elfs more likely to be gnomes?

Or possibly even dwarfs really... IF they had beards.

They're clearly kobolds in fat suits.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

Yeah Its kind of weird how jumbled all the fantasy races seem to be. Also is it just me or are santa's elfs more likely to be gnomes?

Or possibly even dwarfs really... IF they had beards.

They're clearly kobolds in fat suits.

I mean, Kobolds make traps... Santa's elves make toys... They're both small...

Yeah. This checks out


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

Yeah Its kind of weird how jumbled all the fantasy races seem to be. Also is it just me or are santa's elfs more likely to be gnomes?

Or possibly even dwarfs really... IF they had beards.

They're clearly kobolds in fat suits.

SSSHHHHHH don't tell our secrets!


I like Elves with beards, like in Ralph Bakshi's Wizards.


Except for gnomes getting a Charisma bonus, I really like the current 1st ed. racial bonuses. And as people said, floating boost is great because it covers woodsy elves and whatnot.

My view always was that elves were the masters of arcane magic, that was what 3rd ed. told me, even though elves were not really good wizards back then (unless you went gray elf from Monster Manual). So then I was really thrilled when Pathfinder gave elves a bonus to Int.

Reflecting on my home Greyhawk campaign setting though, that changed a bit, I use a system where High Elves get +Dex, -Con and get to choose between +Int or +Cha. Because although they still live in forests I prefer my High Elves more cultured and sophisticated than woodsy lumberjacks. That said, you can still find Legolas in my home Greyhawk setting, that's why Wood Elves get +Wis instead of choosing between Int or Cha. Gray Elves always get Int instead of choosing as well, as they are more scholarly and high-minded even than the High Elves. Wild and Snow Elves get Wis same as their Wood cousins, so you see, as the original poster suggested, elves should be wise, three of my home subraces get Wis, they just aren't a majority in the setting, High Elves being more common than all the other varieties, Grays, Wild, and Snow being positively more rare, in that order of less to most rare.

My Rock Gnomes get Int while their Forest cousins get Wis. Svirfneblins are a thing. And if you really want to get Charisma as a gnomes on my home games use 2nd ed's floating bonus or select a Wildflower Gnome. They get Cha, but aren't a subrace, they are born to either Rock or Forest gnome families at random, and are different than their fellows in that they are much more whimsical and prankish than even a regular gnome, and are born with one vibrant hair colour. They are said to be touched by wild magic.


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I feel like the Dwarf bonus to wisdom makes sense in light that "willpower" and "wisdom" are conflated (since Wis adds to your will save) and Dwarves are some of the most intractably stubborn beings in existence. I admit that "not changing your mind when you don't want to" is perhaps not "wise" in the conventional sense, but it does kind of make sense in Pathfinder. So we can think of it as "Dwarves are self-assured in a way that few other people are".

Plus, I mean the Rivethun is one of the niftiest things in Pathfinder IMO and it only really makes sense in terms of "Dwarves are wise"

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