Clerics of Self-Realization gain Paragon Surge as a 4th level domain spell, except that theirs "always matches [their] actual race". It's clear this ought to change the target entry (normally it's one half-elf that is also you), but it's not clear how the rest of the spell is supposed to work. Do you still "temporarily [embody] all the strengths of both elvenkind and humankind simultaneously"? Might you still suddenly not be allowed to use the spell cause it's a racial spell and your DM is a jerk? What, exactly, is changed by the spell matching you 'actual' race?


Is there a reason you wouldn't use the obvious interpretation? It's the same as paragon surge, but any reference to human/elf/half-elf are replaced with your race. Mechanically, nothing needs to change. All the references to race look like fluff, effectively.

From the linked SRD:

You surge with ancestral power, temporarily embodying all the strengths of both elvenkind and humankind simultaneously your race, and transforming into a paragon of both races, something greater than elf or human alone your race. Unlike with most polymorph effects, your basic form does not change, so you keep all extraordinary and supernatural abilities of your half-elven form as well as all of your gear. For the duration of the spell, you receive a +2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity and Intelligence and are treated as if you possessed any one feat for which you meet the prerequisites, chosen when you cast this spell.

The first time each day that you cast this spell, you must select a feat and make all the associated choices that come with it. Once that choice is made, it is set for the day and additional castings must make the exact same decisions.

Another possible interpretation - that the bonuses you receive would be based on your race is too ill-defined to be reasonable, in my opinion. If other races would receive different bonuses, then it would have been stated more explicitly, either with a comprehensive list (impossible, due to the breadth of Pathfinder), or with examples and direction to have the DM make a judgement call (not in the style of pathfinder).

The final, and least reasonable interpretation is one that you seem to hint at in your question - if you're not a half-elf it still doesn't work "cause it's a racial spell and your DM is a jerk". If your DM refuses to allow you to benefit from a thing that your character can do, you may have bigger problems than poorly worded rules (the DM is a jerk)

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ That is the obvious interpretation, but presumably the bonuses to Dex and Int are from the half-elf's elf side and the feat from the half-elf's human side. I think TDW may be wondering if those should be changed based on the caster's actual race. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 13 '17 at 13:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would think that if the authors had expected the mechanical bonuses to change, they would have indicated that more strongly, like a list of example changes for some races, or the like. The issue with that interpretation is that it isn't uniform, as there is too much DM fiat in it, which doesn't really match the way Pathfinder usually works. Different tables could rule the same race gets different bonuses from casting it. Would a single-raced character still get two benefits? What if they don't get ability increases at all? It's ill-defined if you want to interpret it that way. \$\endgroup\$ – Tal Oct 13 '17 at 14:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree, and you may want to incorporate that comment's sentiment into the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 13 '17 at 15:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.