Elf

See also Dark Elves

Quick Stats:

  • Ability Score Adjustment: +1 Dexterity, -1 Constitution
  • Class Level Limits: See Racial Level Limits
  • Multi-Class Options: Mage (may be a specialist) + any one non-wizard, or Fighter/Mage/Thief
  • Height (M/F): 55 in / 50 in +1d10
  • Weight (M/F): 90 lbs / 70 lbs +3d10
  • Aging:
    • Starting: 100 +5d6 years
    • Middle/Old/Venerable: 175 / 233 / 350
    • Maximum: 350 +4d1001
  • Languages:
    • Bonus Languages: Common, Espruar
    • Recommended Languages: Chuklian, Daraktan, Gnim, Gnoll, Faerie, Luiric
  • Movement: 12
  • Thief Skills:
    • Pick Pockets: +5%
    • Open Locks: -5%
    • Find/Remove Traps:
    • Move Silently: +5%
    • Hide in Shadows: +10%
    • Detect Noise: +5%
    • Climb Walls:
    • Read Languages:
  • Special Abilities:
    • Elven characters have 90% resistance to sleep and all charm-related spells. (See Chapter 9: Combat for an explanation of magic resistance.) This is in addition to the normal saving throw allowed against a charm spell.
    • When employing a bow, or when using a short or long sword, elves gain a bonus of +1 to their attack rolls.
    • An elf can gain a bonus to surprise opponents, but only if the elf is not in metal armor. Even then, the elf must either be alone, or with a party comprised only of characters with similar abilities (halflings, bugbears, etc.), or 90 feet or more away from his party (the group of characters he is with) to gain this bonus. If he fulfills these conditions, he moves so silently that opponents suffer a -4 penalty to their surprise die rolls. If the elf must open a door or screen to attack, this penalty is reduced to -2.
    • Elven infravision enables them to see up to 60 feet in darkness.
    • Secret doors (those constructed so as to be hard to notice) and concealed doors (those hidden from sight by screens, curtains, or the like) are difficult to hide from elves. Merely passing within 10 feet of a concealed door gives an elven character a one-in-six chance (roll a 1 on 1d6) to notice it. If actively searching for such doors, elven characters have a one-in-three chance (roll a 1 or 2 on 1d6) to find a secret door and a one-in-two chance (roll a 1, 2, or 3 on 1d6) to discover a concealed portal.
    • All elves have the inborn ability to share their experiences, their feelings, and their lives with those elves they love or trust implicitly. This sharing, called communion, can only be undertaken by fully willing elves. Communion requires all elves involved (to a maximum of four) to be in a state of total relaxation. While in this trance, communing elves are totally vulnerable to anything that might happen to them physically, for they cannot defend themselves against any attacks while communing. Mentally, they are even more vulnerable to attack, saving at –4 against most mental attacks, for their minds are totally unguarded. The benefit of communion is not only that elves learn the most secret facets of others. Because of the sharing, they also become intimately acquainted with others’ habits, fighting styles, and ways of thinking. For the day immediately following communion, the bonded elves can fight in perfect harmony, one’s weapon following through where another left an opening. If fighting side by side against common foes, they gain a +2 to attack rolls and +1 to AC for the next day only, and only if they work together. All the elves must have at least one partner from the communion at their sides if this bonus is to be brought into play. Communion can only be effected once a week.
    • Despite the fact that elves are shorter than humans and often appear childlike because of their height, they are usually not discounted as such. When elves wish, they have an imposing presence. Suddenly, they can seem far larger, more there, than their actual height and weight would indicate. This manifestation grants a +3 on NPC Reactions checks (reactions for enemies would be –3), as well as drawing attention to the elf in question. Aside from impressing people, the power is largely useless. Elves are immune to this ability and any displays of it.
    • Yet another difference between elves and the other humanoids of the worlds they share is that elves do not sleep in the typical sense, though they can enter that state if they desire. Instead, they gain their rest through a process known as the reverie. When they enter reverie, elves do not usually close their eyes unless there is a bright light present. During this time, they are aware of their surroundings, but they cannot act to influence them any more than a human can while asleep. Only by an act of will can an elf tear herself from reverie, and she will be confused for a short time, just as a human would be who has torn himself from sleep. Although the reverie provides rest, it is primarily an important memory tool that helps the elf maintain a strong sense of identity.
    • Elves can withstand up to 100°F with only mild discomfort. Likewise, they can remain clad in their usual clothes to a low of the freezing point of water and be only mildly uncomfortable. Below 32°F, they suffer the same ill effects as anyone else, but until that point they feel little different. Above 100°F, they suffer as do others but exhibit no undue stress until that temperature is surpassed. They lose no body water to sweat, nor do they need to lighten their clothing.
    • Despite their frail appearance and lowered Constitutions, elves have a remarkable resistance to ordinary disease. While it is not on a scale with the paladin’s total immunity to nonmagical diseases, elves are only rarely afflicted by disease. Mundane diseases have only a 50% chance of affecting an elf.
    • In their long lives, elves tend to accumulate a wide range of skills. Elves gain 1 bonus non-weapon proficiency slot for every 50 years of life (thus most elves start with at least 2 extra proficiencies). These are usually used for skills such as singing, dancing, or various crafts, but there are no hard limitations on what proficiencies may be taken.
  • Special Restrictions:
    • none

Background: Elves tend to be somewhat shorter and slimmer than normal humans. Their features are finely chiseled and delicate, and they speak in melodic tones. Although they appear fragile and weak, as a race they are quick and strong. Elves often live to be over 1,200 years old, although long before this time they feel compelled to depart the realms of men and mortals. Where they go is uncertain, but it is an undeniable urge of their race.

Elves are often considered frivolous and aloof. In fact, they are not, although humans often find their personalities impossible to fathom. They concern themselves with natural beauty, dancing and frolicking, playing and singing, unless necessity dictates otherwise. They are not fond of ships or mines, but enjoy growing things and gazing at the open sky. Even though elves tend toward haughtiness and arrogance at times, they regard their friends and associates as equals. They do not make friends easily, but a friend (or enemy) is never forgotten. They prefer to distance themselves from humans, have little love for dwarves, and hate the evil denizens of the woods.

Their humor is clever, as are their songs and poetry. Elves are brave but never foolhardy. They eat sparingly; they drink mead and wine, but seldom to excess. While they find well-wrought jewelry a pleasure to behold, they are not overly interested in money or gain. They find magic and swordplay (or any refined combat art) fascinating. If they have a weakness it lies in these interests.

There are five branches of the elven race; aquatic, gray, high, wood, and dark. Elf player characters are always assumed to be of the most common type (high elves) although a character can be another type of elf with the DM’s permission (but the choice grants no additional powers). To the eye of outsiders, the differences between the groups are mostly cosmetic, but most elves maintain that there are important cultural differences between the various groups. Aquatic elves spend their lives at sea and have adapted to these conditions. Gray elves are considered the most noble and serious-minded of this breed. High elves are the most common. Wood elves are considered to be wild, temperamental, and savage. All others hold that the subterranean dark elves are corrupt and evil, no longer part of the elven community.

1 Upon achieving maximum age, an elf does not die. Rather he feels compelled to migrate to some mysterious other land, departing the world of men.


A Note About Dark Elves

The dark elves (also known as Drow) are evil cousins of the other elves. Driven beneath the surface long ago by the light-loving elves, these sinister beings have made a home for themselves in what they call the Underdark, the niche they have brutally carved in the underground caverns. They have become the masters and mistresses of dark grottoes, and any intelligent creature shuns them.

The drow are reputedly as widespread as the other subraces of elves—perhaps even more so. No one not of drow heritage knows exactly how far their underground holdings extend. It is well known that they have a certain grasp on inter-dimensional magic, for they use it to travel long distances. They hate the light, and they have extensively researched ways to travel while avoiding the sun, which is anathema to them. The drow have extensive tunnel networks, which may or may not canvass their world.

Their society is usually matriarchal, with the female drow holding the majority of power. Male drow are entrusted with the relatively unimportant jobs of swordplay and some sorcery. Females, on the other hand, command the important positions in drow society. They are the priestesses of their dark goddess, Lolth, Queen of the Spiders. These females wield their tremendous goddess-given power mercilessly. Using the threat of intense punishment, they keep the males cowed and submissive. They are the top of the social hierarchy in the Underdark; they jealously guard their power against lowly males who might try to take that power away.

Since drow females have greater power than males and are physically stronger and more intelligent as well, the drow have a difficult time believing that males can hold power in other societies. Thus, they do not believe that any threat mustered by males could seriously threaten the drow.
Despite their chaotic evil nature, the society of the drow is rigidly structured and divided. Social strata and classifications are virtually immutable. A drow can advance in her caste, certainly, but cannot advance beyond it. The chaotic nature of the drow is most evident when one seeks advancement—an advancement typically made through death.

Quick Stats:

  • Ability Score Adjustment: +1 Dexterity, -1 Constitution
  • Class Level Limits: Same as Elves
  • Multi-Class Options:
    • Males: Fighter + any one Wizard or Rogue, or Fighter/Mage/Thief
    • Females: Cleric + any one Non-priest
  • Height (M/F): 50 in / 55 in +1d10
  • Weight (M/F): 70 lbs / 90 lbs +3d10
  • Aging:
    • Starting: 100 +5d6 years
    • Middle/Old/Venerable: 175 / 233 / 350
    • Maximum: 350 +4d100
  • Languages:
    • Bonus Languages: Elvish, Undercommon, Drow Sign Language
    • Recommended Languages: Dwarven, Gnomish, Illithid, Kuo-toa, Bugbear, Orcish
  • Movement: 12
  • Thief Skills:
    • Pick Pockets: +5%
    • Open Locks: -5%
    • Find/Remove Traps:
    • Move Silently: +5%
    • Hide in Shadows: +10%
    • Detect Noise: +5%
    • Climb Walls:
    • Read Languages:
  • Special Abilities:
    • Drow infravision enables them to see up to 90 feet in darkness.
    • Surface-dwelling Drow (include all PCs) are identical to surface elves (see above), and gain no additional abilities.
    • Drow that have never seen the sun can use the spells dancing lights, faerie fire, and darkness, each once per day. They achieve this through force of will, rather than spell components. A 4th-level drow can cast levitate, know alignment, and detect magic once per day. These abilities are lost permanently if the drow spends more than two weeks away from the underdark.
    • Drow that have never seen the sun also gain Magic Resistance of 50%, plus 2% per level, and gain an additional +2 on saving throws against rods, staves, wands, and spells. These abilities are lost permanently if the drow spends more than two weeks away from the underdark.
  • Special Restrictions:
    • All other elves hate the drow, and reactions to them are with at least a –4 penalty. Only after a particular elf comes to accept a particular drow as a friend, does this penalty disappear.
    • The major disadvantage of the drow is their inability to see in bright light. Any light greater than that of torches (including bright sunlight or continual light spells) will blind them and severely affect their ability to fight. Wan light, like that of a light spell, does not trigger this disadvantage. Bright light causes the drow to suffer, temporarily, –2 to Dexterity. Attack rolls are made at a –2 penalty, and opponents gain a +2 save against drow spells if they are within the light. Drow that have spent significant time on the surface (including all PCs) do not have this disadvantage.

Elf

Ruins of Adventure Brand_Darklight Brand_Darklight