[RPG] How perceptive are trancing elves


The description of Elves' Trance racial trait says (emphasis mine):

Elves don’t need to sleep. Instead, they meditate deeply, remaining semiconscious, for 4 hours a day. (The Common word for such meditation is “trance.”) While meditating, you can dream after a fashion; such dreams are actually mental exercises that have become reflexive through years of practice. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.

The bold words seem to imply that even when an elf is in a trance he can make perception checks (possibly at a disadvantage), because they are semiconscious instead of unconscious.

Is that true and is that different than the way other races are when they sleep?

Best Answer

Sleeping is treated as being unconscious. Thus if an elf maintains consciousness throughout their trance, they are fully aware.

The big difference here is that the elf maintains consciousness. We do not at this time, have rules for what perception is like when a PC is sleeping (considering the use of unconscious, I'd guess it's automatic failure), so we can't necessarily determine what effect the semi-conscious meditation has on perception checks.

I'd say it's safe to assume that an elf can make perception checks (though generally for this kind of thing, passive is used), as normal with no penalty while meditating.