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Half-Elf not outsiders in Golarian

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  • Half-Elf not outsiders in Golarian

    Half-Elf are not outsiders in Golarian unless they are Half-Drow. The Outsider -2 penalty to persuasion is pretty punishing for a race that if anything is often MORE diplomatic and very naturally a fit for the bard class or a face character of any sort. Outsider seems more appropriately reserved for Half-Orcs.

    I recommend -1 to vigor rolls (half that of Elves) OR eliminating elven magic or keen senses.

    It looks like a -1 to vigor rolls would leave put half-elves short 1 race point. If that is chose, maybe start them with d6 in persuasion for being naturally diplomatic!


  • #2
    Appearance:

    Some half-elves look more like their human ancestors, while others favor their elven progenitors in appearance. This variance can often lead to social stigmas, as the more human-looking half-elves are more-easily accepted in human society, and vice versa.

    Society:

    Most half-elves do not fit completely into either human or elven culture.

    Their dual ancestry can create a conflict within them, as their elven and human sides clash, and their elongated elven sense of time finds itself in opposition to their human impulsivity. This conflict often leads to a mental fragility that belies their outward beauty, and often ends in madness.

    Childhood:

    Half-elves raised in human societies often have particularly difficult adolescences, as they mature slower than their siblings or friends. This can lead them to be scarred by experiences for which they are not emotionally mature enough. Similarly, those raised among the elves often become frustrated with their parents slow, dispassionate responses geared towards raising a child over the course of a century rather than a few decades.

    In human society:

    Half-elves who live among humans often keep their emotional distance, as they fear becoming too attached to their shorter-lived neighbors.

    Those who want to blend in often go to extremes to do so, and often develop mental issues in their effort to adapt.[/QUOTE]

    i.e. Half-elves have problems fitting in to either Human and Elven culture and risk madness if they try to adapt to one or the other. Got a better way to represent that?

    Comment


    • #3
      If you want them to struggle with madness, then -1 to Spirit rolls would be the way to go. Crazy people can be quite persuasive if you don’t recognize their madness. :P

      Little Red Fox, I’m not sure where you got your text. The DnD 3.5 SRD that Pathfinder was based on gives Half-Elves a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy and Gather Information checks.

      The Pathfinder SRD gives Half-Elves a bonus Skill Focus feat, which could be Diplomacy. It does note they do not fully fit in with Humans or Elves, while emphasizing their versatility and their openness to all other races.

      It is seems to me that people of multiple heritages are more likely to be skilled in persuasion because they’ve had to deal with others who don’t think like them. I don’t see how it makes sense that Half-Elves would be worse at persuasion with halflings, gnomes, or dwarves than elves or humans.

      Perhaps they would have a harder time with Elves and maybe Humans, who might look down on them. But that would not be because Half-Elves are less skilled at persuasion but instead because of Elves’ perception of them. For the “Negative Racial Abilities” that would be more like “Racial Enemy” than “Skill Penalty."

      Comment


      • Deskepticon
        Deskepticon commented
        Editing a comment
        ^ This.
        The Outsider Hindrance means the character/race has a hard time with all other races except their own because of the other races' perceptions. The text that Littleredfox posted is more indicative of a half-elf's internal conflict at being torn between two cultures. Honestly, they can probably live amongst gnomes (who share a similar lifespan) fairly easily, but then they'd go mad having to deal with everything being made for smaller people. LOL

        I'm not sure if -1 to Spirit is entirely appropriate, as that would affect rolls to resist magic. If this characteristic absolutely NEEDS to be represented (and I'm not sure it does), I'd give half-elves the Cautious Hindrance. There's no hard mechanic to it, and it's just fluffy enough to represent the half-elf's hesitancy to become attached to any one culture.

    • #4
      It's Golarion, not Golarian.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by Compost View Post
        Half-Elf are not outsiders in Golarian unless they are Half-Drow. The Outsider -2 penalty to persuasion is pretty punishing for a race that if anything is often MORE diplomatic and very naturally a fit for the bard class or a face character of any sort. Outsider seems more appropriately reserved for Half-Orcs.

        I recommend -1 to vigor rolls (half that of Elves) OR eliminating elven magic or keen senses.

        It looks like a -1 to vigor rolls would leave put half-elves short 1 race point. If that is chose, maybe start them with d6 in persuasion for being naturally diplomatic!
        I agree that Outsider doesn't really fit Half-elves. Half-orcs, sure, but not half-elves.

        The other options you listed would also work well.


        Comment


        • #6
          Outsider does not fit the half-elf as the universal diplomat.

          Looking at the PF Half-Elf and what was taken/lost from the Elf, I think the hindrance should be a role-playing one, not a mechanical one. I suggest replacing Outsider (Minor) with one of the following:
          • Cautious (Minor)
          • Quirk (Minor) - Empathic (always considering the feelings of others) - Maybe a new hindrance?
          • Shamed (Minor) - Half-human and half-elf?
          Last edited by Techogre; 03-30-2021, 01:07 PM.

          Comment


          • Deskepticon
            Deskepticon commented
            Editing a comment
            A good option is to allow the player their choice of the three. That way the character isn't forced into a narrative and the player has more freedom when designing a backstory.

        • #7
          I don't think all Half-Elves are shamed. (Tanis from Dragonlance was, but that's Krynn.) The houserule/suggestion I made was that Half-Elves got to pick 3 out of the 4 Benefits (Adaptability, Elven Magic, Low Light Vision and Keen Senses) and drop the Minor Hinderance. Alternately, they could nerf Elven Magic to a -1 penalty and their Low Light Vision just ignores the penalty for Dim Illumination.

          Comment


          • #8
            I'll admit, I'm not actually familiar with the Pathfinder setting. I backed the Kickstarter because I wanted to see a SWADE take on a high fantasy setting.

            That being said, I think it makes more logical sense for half-elves to be Outsiders. Why would a half-elf be a "universal diplomat?" I understand that we're all playing a game here and things don't necessarily have to be grounded in reality, but both history and storytelling are full of examples of children born of mixed ethnicity and/or culture not being accepted in either, and part of the Outsider hindrance reflects how that experience growing up also warps the character's personality and perception of self. If you grow up feeling like you don't belong anywhere, that's probably going to translate to some awkwardness around other people.

            "It is seems to me that people of multiple heritages are more likely to be skilled in persuasion because they’ve had to deal with others who don’t think like them." That's not really how that normally works. It's pretty difficult to persuade people who don't want to be persuaded.

            If a player wants to make a Half-Elf who's good at Persuasion and is very likable despite their Outsider status, there are ways to do that. And situational modifiers are a thing. Pg. 36 "The GM should modify the [Persuasion] roll as appropriate based on roleplaying, any pertinent Edges or Hindrances that affect the conversation, and the circumstances." In other words, if the GM feels like the half-elf says or does something, or has earned some kind of reputation that should make them more persuasive in any given situation, or they're in an environment where half-elves are common, they're welcome to give the half-elf a +2 (or more!) to their roll to offset the penalty.

            Comment


            • Deskepticon
              Deskepticon commented
              Editing a comment
              Outsider is not appropriate because it is couched in other races' perceptions of the character. Why would half-elves have a harder time dealing with halflings or gnomes or dwarfs? The fluff text indicates that it is an internal conflict the half-elf is going through, not an external one.

              Though I never really liked it, I get why DnD/PF gave them a Diplomacy bonus; if you're always having to compromise your own experiences with those of the culture raising you, you'll probably end up being good at mediating disputes. I generally dislike role-playing abilities tied to races unless there is a REALLY good reason for it though. More often than not they just shoehorn the character into a particular play style. Say I want to play a half-elf raised by a dwarven hermit... how the heck does that improve diplomacy? Sure, I can always work with the GM to swap it out, but then it'd probably just be better to give the race a more neutral starting point.

              Tumola might find this informative too.
              Last edited by Deskepticon; 03-31-2021, 04:25 AM.

            • Tumola
              Tumola commented
              Editing a comment
              Yup, I agree with that. But you have traditional races here, so building a half-elf that was raised by dwarves is not possible without customizing the ancestry. As long as the abilities mix biology and culture, you only have an „average“ ancestry. I‘m still unclear where this diplomacy bonus is coming from, but mechanically you need a drawback. Or work with the GM to replace Outsider with another Hindrance.

          • #9
            From the Pathfinder SRD:

            Half Elf: Often caught between the worlds of their progenitor races, half-elves are a race of both grace and contradiction. Their dual heritage and natural gifts often create brilliant diplomats and peacemakers, but half-elves are often susceptible to an intense and even melancholic isolation, realizing that they are never truly part of elven or human society.
            To me, this seems to be more in line with the Outsider hindrance. However, Outsider usually prevents you from being a diplomat, even though you still can do it as ellipses pointed out. Also, I don't see anything in the Pathfinder rules that would justify giving Half-Elves a Persuasion bonus. I do find it a little repetitive that both "half" races are Outsiders.

            Comment


            • #10
              Also, unlike a lot of the other Ancestry drawbacks, Outsider (Minor) is specifically a Hindrance. Hindrances can be bought off for an advance, if your half-elf (or half-orc, for that matter) hates the -2 penalty so much.

              Comment


              • Tumola
                Tumola commented
                Editing a comment
                I don't know if it works like this, it does not specifically identify it as Hindrance. But I would definitely allow it as a GM because it makes sense narratively. Good idea!

              • Samurai007
                Samurai007 commented
                Editing a comment
                Even if it does work like that, I'd prefer they don't have the Outsider trait by default. That is a "they only get along well with their own kind" Hinderance, which is not at all part of the Half-elven story in Golarion in general. First because they are not common enough or insular enough to have only "half-elven communities" (in fact, it's the exact opposite, they are able to get along better with other races because they have a history of 2 cultures). So if we have to buy off a hinderance, I'd rather it be something that is sometimes actually true to the setting! Anemic would be a better choice than Outsider, IMO.
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