Elf cleric proficient in longsword?

In "Races," it reads "When you attack with a longsword, a shortbow, or a longbow with which you have proficiency, the damage die for that weapon increases by one step."

This sentence is ambiguous.  Are all elves proficient in longsword?  Or do only elven fighters get this bonus?

Thanks!
Ken
right now, the only way to gain weapon proficiencies is through your class.

elves are not proficient with longswords by default. 
Only elven fighters (and rangers and paladins) get this bonus.
Everything expressed in this post is my opinion, and should be taken as such. I can not declare myself to be the supreme authority on all matters...even though I am right!
If you go war cleric you get martial melee I believe, but you still cant use a longbow.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

The determining factor here is the phrase "with which you have proficiency." It does not automatically grant use of those weapons just a bonus if your class or other options give you proficiency.
In "Races," it reads "When you attack with a longsword, a shortbow, or a longbow with which you have proficiency, the damage die for that weapon increases by one step."

This sentence is ambiguous.  Are all elves proficient in longsword?  Or do only elven fighters get this bonus?

Thanks!
Ken

Speaking strictly grammatically, the sentence is mildly ambiguous. However, it cannot be correctly interpreted to say that all elves are proficient with the longsword.

The ambiguity is over whether you get the larger damage die with a longsword or shortbow with which you are not proficient. In other words, the list can be parsed two ways:


  • (longsword), (shortbow), or (longbow with which you have proficiency)

  • (longsword, shortbow, or longbow) with which you have proficiency


I believe the intent is clear enough that the latter parsing should govern. It would not make sense to have the proficiency requirement on only the longbow.

But I wouldn't mind if they added a comma after "longbow".
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
In earlier editions elves were proficient with long sword because they were elves, meaning, their society trained them as younglings with the longsword. Why would it be different in the current statement, why talk about parsing this or that way ?
Because this isn't earlier editions. They're out to change stuff, so I try not to assume anything based on precedent if it's regarding race and class features.

I can see this both ways. If you're a wizard, what are the odds that you really got any good with a longsword, even if you grew up in a society that favors them? You wouldn't be as good with it as someone who grew up to be a fighter and would have dedicated their time in youth to learning the art.

On the other hand, ALL high elves get to learn a cantrip, even fighters, but not all elves get the benefit of the weapon familiarity.

On the third hand, a martial weapon proficiency is a lot more useful than a single 0-level spell.

But then, on somehow a fourth hand, I don't want my human fighter to do less base damage with a longsword than an elf wizard just by virtue of not being an elf.

It might make more sense if they bring back exotic weapons with the "elven" and "dwarven" and such descriptors, so the elf knows how to use better longswords rather than just being better with a longsword.
In earlier editions elves were proficient with long sword because they were elves, meaning, their society trained them as younglings with the longsword. Why would it be different in the current statement, why talk about parsing this or that way ?



Because they've finally realized, perhaps, that races aren't all clones, that not all elves are brought up by elven society, and that not all elves who did grow up in elven society are going to be interested in learning to swing a sword?

Racial packages should be pure genetics, not cultural or societal.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
But, if your DM (or you as a DM) say it'd be more fun to give elves proficiency with longswords... do it! I'm sure the rules will change in the future. Just make sure to give feedback to WotC about it.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
Elven clerics do not start with longsword proficiency. However, if you choose Warbringer as your cleric deity, you get Disciple of the Warbringer, which gives you proficiency with martial and heavy weapons. Therefore, an elven cleric is a totally legit build, especially when considering the amount of basic attacks you'll be getting in with Word of Power spells. 
In earlier editions elves were proficient with long sword because they were elves, meaning, their society trained them as younglings with the longsword. Why would it be different in the current statement, why talk about parsing this or that way ?



Because they've finally realized, perhaps, that races aren't all clones, that not all elves are brought up by elven society, and that not all elves who did grow up in elven society are going to be interested in learning to swing a sword?

Racial packages should be pure genetics, not cultural or societal.



I absolutely disagree with the lsat statement.

First, if races are purely genetic then most racial abilities should be stripped. Dwarves aren't born with an instinctive knowledge of mining and stonework, but they all learned it from the dwarven society. Ditto with elven archers, &c.

Second,  if races are only genetic then they are nothing more than numbers packages. There is no difference in playing an elf versus a dwarf versus a human if this is so. Everyone's just "humans in funny hats." No greedy, skilled mason-dwarves, no flighty, other-focused elves. Just humans with different plusses.
In earlier editions elves were proficient with long sword because they were elves, meaning, their society trained them as younglings with the longsword. Why would it be different in the current statement, why talk about parsing this or that way ?



Because they've finally realized, perhaps, that races aren't all clones, that not all elves are brought up by elven society, and that not all elves who did grow up in elven society are going to be interested in learning to swing a sword?

Racial packages should be pure genetics, not cultural or societal.



I absolutely disagree with the lsat statement.

First, if races are purely genetic then most racial abilities should be stripped. Dwarves aren't born with an instinctive knowledge of mining and stonework, but they all learned it from the dwarven society. Ditto with elven archers, &c.



That may be, but why would an elf who spent their entire childhood poring over arcane texts and studying the planes have been interested in learning to swing a sword or shoot a bow? On the other hand, if the character was interested in such things, they would be better with those weapons than a human with the same background due to superior elven martial arts or something, hence the damage die increase, but not automatic proficiency. They're still special.

I don’t see how this doesn’t supersede class. Im not a fan of doling out racial weapon bonuses. At the very least alternative types could have the option to trade for another weapon. As its written any Elf has this bonus regardless of class.