According to d20 Pathfinder SDR site in the Common Terms (Rest) section...

The Pathfinder Core Rulebook is somewhat vague on the requirements of resting and sleeping [...]

I found that this is true.

Is there any errata that addresses the argument about how elves sleep/trance/rest?

Their immunity to magic sleep seems to indicate that designer either forgot to mention that elves don't sleep as humans do, or they mistakenly left that immunity from 3.5 re-design.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd argue that leaving the immunity in isn't necessarily a mistake even if they do sleep, there could be plenty of reasons why a creature is immune to magical sleep but still requires natural sleep. \$\endgroup\$ – Cthos May 4 '11 at 14:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, that's correct, but my feeling is that someone missed something at some point during re-design :) \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Burigo May 4 '11 at 15:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ New arrivals - this is asking for an answer according to Pathfinder rules, not speculation or Tolkien lore or whatnot. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Feb 6 '15 at 19:12

From the Unofficial Pathfinder FAQ (Q: Do Elves Trance?), quoting Creative Director James Jacobs:

Elves not sleeping is indeed relatively setting specific, and while trances are in Elves of Golarion, it's something we'll honestly probably be moving away from in Golarion. We've done a fair amount to reimagine our elves, and by having them sleep (or at least implying they sleep) does help to make Golarion's elves more Golarion and less Forgotten Realms [...]

They dropped trance because they felt it was setting specific. Default Pathfinder Elves don't trance, but they could in your setting.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes. You can choose what you like for your campaign. The magic rules descriptions of how to prepare spells for arcane and divine casters seem written specifically to side-step the issue completely. It doesn't seem to really matter, mechanically speaking, whether Elves sleep or not with respect to spell-casting. Make a call for your world, and be consistent is all that matters, I suspect. \$\endgroup\$ – Viktor Haag May 4 '11 at 14:12

The SRD eliminates the notations specific to elves in the section on preparing wizard spells, which I recall from D&D 3.0 (and I believe it was in 3.5 as well).

One of the elf alternative racial traits is called 'Dreamspeaker':

Dreamspeaker: A few elves have the ability to tap into the power of sleep, dreams, and prescient reverie. Elves with this racial trait add +1 to saving throw DCs for spells of the divination school and sleep effects they cast. In addition, elves with a Charisma of 15 or higher may use dream once per day as a spell-like ability (caster level is equal to the elf’s character level). This racial trait replaces the elven immunities racial trait.

Neither of these, nor the base elf race explicitly mention that elves do not sleep.

A thread at Giant in the Playground's forums is inconclusive.

Essentially, I think it depends on the campaign setting, as the GitP link indicated, but I would lean towards, "Yes, they DO sleep for 8 hours."

Not sleeping is an explicit trait in D&D 3.x and the lack of that trait in Pathfinder indicates they are no longer special in that regard.


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