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Ontario Pathfinder Society | Ontario Pathfinder Lodge Forum » General » Additional Resources Discussion » Is a Training Harness usable by Half-Elves?

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Author Topic: Is a Training Harness usable by Half-Elves?
Zolan
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Posts: 4
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Post Is a Training Harness usable by Half-Elves?
on: November 26, 2013, 01:25

This is listed as being an option for Humans to purchase for 10GP to add +2 to Handle Animal checks for the animal it's bought for (from the Advanced Race Guide). My question is whether I can buy it (and use it) as a half-elf druid for my animal companion? Core rulebook says "Elf Blood: Half-elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race." but it isn't really an effect.

Thanks in advance.

Paul-
Jackson
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Posts: 692
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Paul Jackson
Post Re: Is a Training Harness usable by Half-Elves?
on: November 26, 2013, 13:05

Equipment can be used regardless of race unless the equipment specifies that it is race specific.

So, yes, you can use the training harness.

EricMcG
Pathfinder
Posts: 276
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EricMcG
Post Re: Is a Training Harness usable by Half-Elves?
on: November 26, 2013, 15:37

No, you are not Human, so you do not have access to Human equipment. You do have access to Half-Elf equipment, Star Charts, Maple leaves, etc.

GM discretion allows some of these to be used by other races. At Paul's table you can, at my table you can't. The same is true of Spells and Magic Items. Elven equivalents are treated likewise.

Paul-
Jackson
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Paul Jackson
Post Re: Is a Training Harness usable by Half-Elves?
on: November 26, 2013, 17:05

Eric: I am certainly interpreting the Additional Resources document differently than you are. I interpret it that all racial equipment from legal races is PFS legal

Racial equipment and magic items can be purchased and used by any race as long as the specific item permits it (for example, only halflings can purchase and use solidsmoke pipeweed).

Zolan
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Posts: 4
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Post Re: Is a Training Harness usable by Half-Elves?
on: November 27, 2013, 00:07

Thank you both for your response. The very different answers do worry me though.

I thought one of the main purposes of PFS was that everyone agreed on a set of rules and what is legal/illegal for play to enable someone to bring their character to any table to play. While I understand there may be slight differences in interpretation of how some rules operate and how various GMs want to run their table, surely the legality of my character and whether I can play it, based on one item, should not be up to 'GM discretion'?!

It seems to suggest equally silly solutions, such as 'should I should bring multiple characters to a game, just in case a GM doesn't let me play one character because of the way they interpret a particular item?', or 'contact GM beforehand and get his ruling on whether it's valid first'

The same point is equally (if not more) valid if we consider the legality of spells and magic items. Am I missing something? I'm hoping there is, has been or can be consensus on this, not ambiguity!

Paul-
Jackson
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Posts: 692
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Paul Jackson
Post Re: Is a Training Harness usable by Half-Elves?
on: November 27, 2013, 11:23

The unfortunate reality is that pathfinder is a complicated game with lots of subtle rule interactions. And absolutely every GM will get some rules wrong, as well.

In general, it is best to not build a character around areas that are ambiguous. When you know that you have a character who relies on things where GM variation occurs it is best to discuss it before the game (for example, GMs vary on whether animal companions roll their own initiative.)

But most of the time the GM variation isn't huge. To use the harness as an example, A +2 on a skill isn't a huge deal. You get it my table, don't get it at Erics. No biggy. Less important than the mistake that I now KNOW that I made last night :-).

Unless the issue is really major, best just to accept the GMs ruling at the time and move on. Discuss it after the game.

EricMcG
Pathfinder
Posts: 276
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EricMcG
Post Re: Is a Training Harness usable by Half-Elves?
on: November 27, 2013, 13:13

The Rules As Written try to quantify as many options as possible into a single die roll using the minimum number of words. Unfortunately people are creative and come up with options not explicitly covered, doubly problematic since RP players tend to be more creative than average people. FAQs deal with some of the issues, minute dissection of the wording deals with the rest, we are not allowed to make reasonable judgements as to what is intended by the rules in PFS since "reasonable" varies widely by individual.

It his particular instance, there is a section for Half-Elves and a section for Humans. The appropriate wording is "the following equipment is usable by Humans." followed by a list of items. There is similar wording in each section for each race. If you aren't Human, you can't use it, same with Elven, Dwarven, Orc equipment. There is an out in the term "GM discretion", hence the difference in opinion between myself and Paul.

In a home game, I may allow a Half-Elf to use the item if they had a good reason (squire to a Human Knight for example). However I would not allow the item for a druid or any other class that has an animal companion. The reason being this is a choke chain, spurs, riding crop, spike bit or some other device used to force an animal to do something against its will. A Druid would not need the +2 Handle Animal in most circumstances, the Training Harness would only be used to push the companion. Since an animal companion is almost as close to a character as his own children, he would not even consider using such a device.

Anyhow this is my thought process on the matter.

sam_the_av-
atar
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Posts: 17
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sam_the_avatar
Post Re: Is a Training Harness usable by Half-Elves?
on: November 27, 2013, 16:50

I think the case with the Training Harness is fairly unambiguous. Though the RAW does describe it as racial equipment in the Advanced Race Guide and Eric's interpretation is reasonable, Additional Resources goes on to provide the necessary PFS-wide houserule to allow racial equipment:

Note: Alternate racial traits, racial archetypes, racial evolutions, racial feats, and racial spells are only available for characters of the associated race. Racial equipment and magic items can be purchased and used by any race as long as the specific item permits it (for example, only halflings can purchase and use solidsmoke pipeweed).

The Training Harness in the Human Equipment's ARG section section does not have any language preventing non-humans from using it, so as per Additional Resources, it is legal for play for a half elf.

Training Harness: This specialized gear must be tailored to a specific type of animal. A training harness provides a +2 bonus on Handle Animal checks made with an animal wearing it.

Bring the ARG and Additional Resources and you should be fine.

EricMcG
Pathfinder
Posts: 276
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EricMcG
Post Re: Is a Training Harness usable by Half-Elves?
on: November 27, 2013, 21:18

I now agree, there is no restriction on using any racial item from ARG. I recant my previous objections.

Zolan
Applicant
Posts: 4
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Post Re: Is a Training Harness usable by Half-Elves?
on: November 28, 2013, 03:54

Thanks to everyone who responded. I appreciate the input and I'm glad we achieved consensus!

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