Pathfinder Elves in Dragonlance

What’s Different: Pathfinder elves receive a +2 racial bonus to Intelligence, something Silvanesti elves already benefit from in Dragonlance. Applying this modifier to all Dragonlance elves in a Pathfinder game doesn’t make sense from a flavor standpoint or a game balance one. This would increase the Silvanesti racial bonus to Intelligence to +4, too drastic an increase for a core, non-level adjusted race in light of the other benefits they would receive in a Pathfinder game. The Kagonesti have always been described as being less cerebral then their “civilized” cousins and more in tune with nature. Therefore, an Intelligence increase would contradict the basic perception of the Kagonesti people in a Dragonlance Pathfinder campaign. While an Intelligence increase wouldn’t hurt the Qualinesti from a game balance standpoint it doesn’t do anything to make them stand-out from their cousins either. All of the racial bonus increases applied to races have Pathfinder have played up unique aspects of the race in question, something this would not do for the Qualinesti.

Therefore, instead of giving each elven race a blanket boost to the same stat the Kagonesti and Qualinesti now receive a +2 racial bonus to a different mental stat, Wisdom and Charisma respectively. The Silvanesti racial modifiers remain unchanged, while the Kagonesti and the Qualinesti racial modifiers are put “on par” with theirs. To avoid unbalancing the already level adjusted Dargonesti and Dimernesti sea elves their racial ability score modifiers remain the same in Dragonlance Pathfinder games. The fiery winged phaethon however, would benefit from the standard +2 Intelligence racial bonus of Pathfinder elves without seriously unbalancing the race, despite their current +2 level adjustment.

The range at which elves can automatically make Search checks to find secret or hidden doors was increased from 5′ to 10′ in Pathfinder. This is a fairly minor change and easily applied to all Dragonlance elven races without disrupting game balance. Elves also gained proficiencies in all weapons that are listed as having the name “Elven.” This means all elves gain a proficiency in the elven curve blade or great kukri, a martial weapon added to the Equipment section in Pathfinder. This too is a small change, easily implemented. Elvensight would remain as if for each type of elf in Dragonlance as well. In fact, after upgrading the Pathfinder half-elf’s low-light vision to elvensight the race can be used as is in Dragonlance games.

Now we come to the rules differences that are unique to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Elves now gain a new racial ability called Elven Magic. This grants them a +2 racial bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance and a +2 racial bonus on Appraise skill checks made to identify the properties of magic items. Appraise has a number of new uses in Pathfinder. Characters can now evaluate the value of any object, pick out the most valuable item in a treasure horde, and if the character is trained in this skill, they can use it in conjunction with the spell detect magic to ascertain the properties of a magic item. Since all Krynnish elves have an affinity for one of the various spellcasting classes this can be applied to all of them without issue.

Pathfinder elves also receive +2 racial bonuses on sight and sound-based Perception skills. Pathfinder merged the 3.5 Listen and Spot skills into a singular skill called Perception. This new skill also accounts for a person’s ability to differentiate tastes, smells, and how things feel to the touch. In the case of Pathfinder elves this is exactly the same as the +2 racial bonuses they received to Spot and Listen checks in 3.5.

Lastly, Pathfinder elves may choose either wizard or ranger as their favored class at Level 1. This change from standard D&D is completely appropriate for the Silvanesti and Qualinesti elves. Wizard is replaced with druid for the Kagonesti and added as a choice for the Dargonesti and Dimernesti sea elves. Phaethon gain cleric as a second favored class in addition to their pre-existing monk option. Once a character has chosen one class as their favored class at Level 1 that choice cannot be changed.

Using these easy to implement guidelines players should find it very easy to play a Dragonlance flavored elf of any kind using the complete Pathfinder rules set.

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