Question about Darklands Guide


Rules Questions

Silver Crusade

Darklands Guide
Source Blood of Shadows pg. 5
Those who brave the lightless tunnels below Golarion’s surface learn to identify the dangerous phenomena that characterize the Darklands. Characters with this trait gain a +2 bonus on initiative checks, and on saves against traps and hazards when underground (from a lifetime of dodging accursed pools, cave-ins, and green slime).

Drow and half-elves can take this trait in place of keen senses. Tieflings can take this trait in place of the darkness spell-like ability.

I'm not a native English speaker so here is my question.
Does the +2 bonus on initiative checks needs to be underground too?


Yes.


you want to look things up on the online RAW Pathfinder Resource Document(PRD) at aonprd, such as
Drow race {<-- that's a hyperlink to the website}

Keen Senses: Drow gain a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks. {RAW is in light blue, How to format your text [Show]button is down on this web page}

then under alternate racial traits
Darklands Guide where the text boils down to, "... Characters with this trait gain {A}, and {B} when underground ({comment})." The final restriction applies to A & B and for any race that takes this option.

Structurally text in parenthesis (like this){this}[or this] are comments and are used for examples, asides, and defining an abbreviation. Commas "," are a bit tricky but in lists you can go "C, D, and E" or "C, D and E". For or it can go "C, D, or E" and "C, or D, or E" where each is an XOR. "C, D or E" can be misinterpreted as C AND ( D OR E ) but it should be all XOR. It can get complicated and we refer to those as "word problems"... lol. I'm sure someone will pipe up to comment on the technical english but there are style guides online

commentary
the +2 perception(Prcp) reduces the Light Blindness penalty.
Darklands Guide trades that away for +2 Init and +2 sv vs traps and hazards when underground.
If your campaign is totally underground then it might be worth it but the +2 Prcp is nice as it is not limited and would apply to spotting those traps and hazards in the first place.


I rule that no, it does not require you to be underground for the +2 bonus to initiative checks, because the comma is dividing the two clauses, which to me indicates that only the bonus to saves against traps and hazards requires you to be underground.

Incidentally, if you use the Terrain Bond spell as a Ranger who specializes in the favored terrain (underground), it seems you could treat any terrain as underground and obtain the benefits.

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