Half-elves and sleep




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    Half-elves and sleep

    Looks like I screwed up here. I wanted to see if anyone else had done something similar.

    When I created my current half-elf character, I noted that half-elves have the exact same racial benefits as full elves when it comes to "immunity to sleep spells and similar magical effects." My DM and I read the racial descriptions for both elves and half-elves and, lacking specific information to the contrary, decided that the business of 'trancing' rather than sleeping was probably as much a cultural/training thing as it was biological -- akin, perhaps, to those Vulcan mental disciplines we Trekkies hear so much about -- and that the immunity to sleep spells was tied to the fact that elves don't sleep.

    If both these things were true, then it could also be true that half-elves, IF raised exclusively in the culture of their elven parent, could also 'trance' instead of sleep. We didn't think we were making a house rule change at the time, we thought we were just extrapolating from what was already there.

    So it has been for 7 levels; Robyn the half-elven Ranger has gone into a meditative trance for 4 hours every night and has not felt a need for sleep, owing to his childhood years of training in Vulcan -- er, elven -- mental disciplines.

    In our current adventure, the 'correctness' of all of this has suddenly been called into question, as we've run into something which may be a Nightmare spell...a spell which specifically says it affects half-elves but not elves.

    At this point we'll probably have to house-rule that the way I've been running Robyn all this time is valid, and continue treating him that way. Now, a question: if we do so, would we have to consider him immune to the Nightmare spell, as elves are, given the logic outlined above (i.e., elves are immune to Nightmare because they do not sleep; Robyn does not sleep for the same reasons elves do not, ergo...?)

    I hadn't counted on getting my character any extra benefits when he was created, but I do enjoy logical consistency, so if one thing should logically follow another, I don't want to ignore that.

 

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    Re: Half-elves and sleep

    Originally posted by Damon Griffin
    At this point we'll probably have to house-rule that the way I've been running Robyn all this time is valid, and continue treating him that way. Now, a question: if we do so, would we have to consider him immune to the Nightmare spell, as elves are, given the logic outlined above
    Would you have to? No.

    Consider - the fact that Robyn does not sleep and dream as a normal human does not imply that he cannot do so. Perhaps in this world half-elves have a choice - they can rest in either the human or elven modes. In this manner the previous description stays intact, but the character does not violate the spell description.

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    Re: Half-elves and sleep

    Originally posted by Umbran


    Would you have to? No.

    Consider - the fact that Robyn does not sleep and dream as a normal human does not imply that he cannot do so. Perhaps in this world half-elves have a choice - they can rest in either the human or elven modes. In this manner the previous description stays intact, but the character does not violate the spell description.
    So, barring a successful save, the spell will always affect him because he's physically capable of sleep, whatever he's been choosing to do. And if the presumption is that all elves are actually physically incapable of sleep, not just that they've found a way to overcome the need, there is no logical inconsistency.

    Yes, that could work.

    (Makes one wonder who the elves ticked off, to be deprived of sleep as a race...)

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    Although this is the D&D Rules forum, I will suggest a house rule that half-elves dream during their 4 hour meditation.

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    Re: half-elves and sleep

    Originally posted by Kershek
    Although this is the D&D Rules forum, I will suggest a house rule that half-elves dream during their 4 hour meditation.
    My assumption has been that the meditation elves undertake performs the same 'maintenance' functions as dreams in humans; if half-elves dream while meditating, it seems like the two systems would, at best, be redundant (and at worst, in conflict with each other.)

    As you note, this is the Rules forum, and I appear to be taking this thread increasingly far afield, so I'll probably move to a more appropriate venue if I think of anything further to say on this.

  • #6

    Another Tangent but hey

    I've always hated the idea that elves don't sleep but the above diascussion on half-elf dreaming has given me a new epiphany. What if the difference between Human sleep and Elven Trance is the 'control' which each gets in their dreams.

    Humans have random and uncontrolled dreams - <add psychological purpose of dreaming here>-

    Elves however are able to conciously 'participate' in their dreams organising and structuring things - <add psychological purpose of dreaming here>-

    True elves are immune to sleep spells and Nightmare etc because they are able to conciously 'disbeleive'. Half-elves can't disbeleive and so are effected.

    I like this because Elves now relate back to their 'Fey/Sidhe' origin a bit more clearly...

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    Re: Another Tangent but hey

    Originally posted by Tonguez
    True elves are immune to sleep spells and Nightmare etc because they are able to conciously 'disbeleive'. Half-elves can't disbeleive and so are effected.
    Methinks you need to break things up a bit. Sleeping and dreaming are not synonymous.

    Being able to disbelieve dreams is an excuse for immunity to Nightmare, but doesn't really speak to Sleep. And being immune to Sleep doesn't make half-elves immune to Nightmare. The two are thematically related, but have slightly different mechanisms.

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