In My Campaign
New / Modified Race

Version

1.0

 

 : 2001/Feb/18

Elves, Mystaran

Mystaran elves mingle freely with the other races throughout the Known world. They are well known for their poetry, dance, song, lore, and, especially, their magical arts -- in Mystara, everyone "knows" that even the lowliest elf is capable of arcane spellcasting. Most elves favour things of natural and simple beauty, although there are some Mystaran societies where elves have come to not only understand but respect and pursue the materialistic and complicated ways of humans, such as those found in Darokin. Whenever danger threatens them and theirs, whether they are in the woodland homes of their traditional lands or the towns and cities of their adopted homes, they quickly reveal a strong martial streak, demonstrating skill with sword, bow and battle strategy.

Personality: Elves are more often amused than excited, more liekly to be curious than greedy. With such long lives, they tend to keep a broad perspective on events, remaining aloof and unfazed by petty hapenstance. When pursuing a goal, however, whether an adventurious mission or learning a new skill or art, they can be focused and relentless. The are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. The reply to petty insults with disdain and to serious insults with vengeance.

Physical Description: The elves of Mystara are short and slim, standing about 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 feet tall and typically weighing 85 to 135 pounds, with elven men the same height as and only marginally heavier than elven women.

The elves of Mystara have delicate features and pointed ears and are generally fair-skinned and fair-haired; they tan lightly and never sunburn.

In general, elves prefer simple, comfortable clothes, especially in pastel blues and greens, and they enjoy simple yet elegant jewelry. Elves possess unearthly grace and fine features. Many humans and members of other races find them hauntingly beautiful.

Elves live naturally to between 400 and 600 years old. A very few have reached 800 years old; and more have died of disease or violent deaths before their 500th birthday. They take about 20 years to grow to full size, then have a free-spirited "adolescence" of about 80 years. It is during this time that an elf chooses whether to remain in the forests of her birth or follow the wandering path of the adventurer.

Relations: Elves relate to the other common races in the following ways:

Dwarves. Elves do not understand the dwarven work ethic or the dwarven need to create only things that last, just as the dwarves cannot comprehend the elven need for the emphermeral pleasures of hunting and playing. In essence, there exists between elf and dwarf a deep misunderstanding resulting from total racial incompatibility.

Gnomes. To elves, gnomes are more reasonable than dwarves. Gnomes like the forest, work with things other than rock and metal, have a lot of imagination, and a sense of humor. Moreover, gnomish inventions never fail to fascinate and amuse the elves... even if they don't always work.

Halflings (Hin). If there is a race that the elves truly like, it is the halflings. The short folk seem to have an elf-like joie-de-vivre, even without having elf-like lives. True, the halflings are entirely too tied up in taming the land rather than living with it, but that is obviously the influence of the humans. If halflings had the proper influence of elves around, they would probably be good foresters. It's a pity about that human influence though.

Humans. Elves are often in awe of humans. That short-lived beings can achieve such skills with magic and weapons amazes the elves. yet it is amazement mixed with fear, for the elves still remember tales of Blackmoor, of wrongful technology ... and the punishment of the Rain of Fire, all brought on by humans. It happened once, it will happen again.

Humans now like to think of elves as their friends. yet given the choice, [most] elves would choose not to deal with humans. When they do deal with humans, they are often aloof, distant, even insulting, expressing pity in a negative way; attitudes which mask the elven fear and distrust of this prolific, powerful, and unpredictable race.

Orcs. Orcs hate elves, elves hate orcs (though the cosmopolitan elves of Alfheim Town have learned to telerate what they think of as "their" orcs). Records in the Mealidor Library suggest that the mutal hatred predates even the oral tradition of history.

Wherever elves go, it seems that orcs soon follow (or vice versa). Some scholars believe the orc/elf struggle may have cosmic significance. In all likelihood, the truth lies buried under the southern polar ice cap in what was once Evergrun, the elven homeland.

Half-Orcs. When Mystaran elves encounter half-orcs in civilized regions, they regard them with unrelenting suspicion. Half-orcs raised among their orcish relations are reviled and hated as much as their orc parent would be.

Half-Elves. Most Mystaran elves consider half-elves to be a figure of legend. These fabled creatures are thought to have all the benefits of both elf and man, with none of the problems.

In truth, throughout most of the Mystaran continent of Brun, in the area identified as "The Known World", the true half-elf is virtually unknown. Occationally, there are elf-human matings. Apparently the two races are sufficiently similar to be interfertile. However, the product of such unions are either elves or men, though their outward appearances sometimes fool watchers.

As far as can be told, the elven traits are inherited through the femal line. The product of a union between human female and male elf is always human. Moreover, the male children are always stilborn.

When female elf mates with male human, the male children are always elves, the female children always human.

Of course, all of these female "human" children have the potential for growing up to bear elf or human children of either sex, depending on the genetic make up of their partner.

Alignment: Elves love freedom, variety, and self-expression. They lean strongly toward the gentler aspects of chaos. Generally, they value and protect others' freedom as well as their own, and they are more often good than not.

Elven Lands: {Need something here, merging details from Gaz5 and the 3E PHB}

{Should also mention the existance of "humanized" elves found in areas such as Darokin and Minrothad}

Religion: Most elven religious life among the elves in Alfheim is tied to the worship of the first elven Immortal, Ilsundal. Some elves, especially in the Mealidil clan, extend their worship to Mealiden, who followed Ilsundal's path to Immortality.

Other Immortals favored by elves throughout the Known World include Calitha Starbrow, Eiryndul, and Ordana. Generally, most elves in a single clan or group follow the same Immortal.

Since most elves practice arcane magic rather than divine magic, many elves see no need for any patron Immortal.

Language: All Mystaran elves speak a single common elven language, a fluid language of subtle intonations and intricate grammar. Slight differences in dialect reveal the origin of the speaker but do not interfere with mutual understanding.

While Elven literature is rich and varied, it is the language's songs and poems that are most famous. Many bards learn Elven so they can add Elven ballads to their repertoires. Others simply memorize Elven songs by sound. The Elven script, as flowing as the spoken word, also serves as the script for Sylvan, the language of dryads and pixies.

Names: {Need to create a write up based on the Celtic/Norse naming tradition of Mystaran Elves, with a mention of the Spanish influence of the Belcadiz}

{Should also discuss the concept of "use name" as a means of keeping ones "true name" secret for "magical" reasons.}

Male Names: {pick out male names from Gaz 5 p47}

Female Names: {pick out male names from Gaz 5 p47}

Clan Names: Alfheim: Chossum, Erendyl, Feadiel, Grunalf, Long Runner, Mealidil, Red Arrow. Glantri: Belcadiz. Karameikos: Callarii. Thyatis: Vyalia. (Any others?)

Adventurers: Elves take up adventuring out of wanderlust. Life among humans moves at a pace that elves dislike: regimented from day to day but changing from decade to decade. Elves among humans, therefore, find careers that allow them to wander freely and set their own pace. Elves also enjoy demonstrating their prowess with the sword and bow or gaining greater magical powers, and adventuring allows them to do so. Good elves may also be rebels or crusaders.

Elven Racial Traits

  • +2 Intelligence, -2 Constitution: Mystaran elves value study and contemplation over the feats of agility learned by most elves of other worlds.
  • Medium size: As Medium-size creatures, elves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Elven base speed is 30 feet.
  • +2 racial saving throw bonus against all Enchantment spells or effects.
    (Note the lack of an immunity to magic sleep spells and effects. Mystaran elves also lack the ability to trance for only four hours and must sleep a full eight hours like all other common races.)
  • +2 racial bonus on Listen, Search and spot checks. And elf who merely passes within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door is entitled to a Search check to notice it as if she were actively looking for the door. And elf's senses are so keen that she practically has a sixth sense about hidden portals.
  • Elves with Intelligence scores of 10 or higher may cast the 0-level spells (cantrips) daze, detect magic, and prestidigitation, each once per day. These are arcane spells, and as such the elf suffers spell failure penalties for wearing armour. Treat the elf as a 1st-level caster for all spell effects dependent on level. See the spell descriptions in the Player's Handbook for more details.
  • Low-light Vision: Elves can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. The retain the ability to distinguish colour and detail under these conditions.
  • Proficient with either longsword or rapier; proficient with shortbow, longbow, composite longbow and composite shortbow. Elves esteem the arts of swordplay and archery, so all elves are familiar with these weapons.
  • Automatic Languages: Local Regional Language, Local Common (if different from Local Regional Language) and Elven. Bonus Languages: Additional Regional Languages, {etc... }
  • Favoured Class: Wizard. A multiclass elf's wizard class does not count when determining whether she suffers an XP penalty for multiclassing (see "Experience for Multiclass Characters", Player's Handbook, page 56). Wizardry comes naturally to elves (they sometimes claim to have invented it), and fighter/wizards are especially common among them.

Vital Statistics [Age, Height and Weight]

Mystaran Elves mature at a different rate than standard 3E Elves. Replace the information for standard elves found in Table 6-4 and Table 6-5 on page 93 of the Player's Handbook with the following information.

Table 6-4: (modifications) Random Starting Ages
                                Brd      Clr
                       Brb      Ftr      Drd
                       Rog      Pal      Mnk
Race     Adulthood     Sor      Rgr      Wiz
Elf      20 years      +1d6     +1d10     +2d10

Table 6-5: (modifications) Aging Effects
         Middle                                 Maximum
Race     Age          Old          Venerable    Age
Elf      200 years    350 years    500 years    +4d% years

Elves mature at the same rate as humans up to the age of 6. This slows to 2/3rds of the human maturation rate until they reach their early 40's when they are roughly as mature and as capable as any human at age 30. At this point their maturation rate slows yet again, so much, in fact, that to a casual, non-elf, observer, they do not appear to age at all for more than 300 years. Around the age of 350 years they are, in fact, similar in maturity and physical capability to humans in their early 40's. At this point, their aging rate actually increases again, but only to 1/5th that of human maturation rates. As a result, it isn't until roughtly the age of 500 years that they become as venerable as a 70 year old human.

Although female elves can actually bear children from about the age of 17, most elves do not begin breeding until well after their mid-40's, when their "slowing" has taken hold. They may have several children over their life, but they will rarely be closer than 20 years apart, and never less than 10 years apart. Additionally, most elf couples will usually stay together for a period of between 40 and 60 years and then agree to break off their long term relation ship and take their lives in separate directions. As a result, most elves will have at least two, if not three or four significant, long term, relationships during their lives and it is not at all uncommon for a given elf to have several step-siblings and half-siblings as well as (or even instead of) full-blood siblings. Note that this practice of "mutual separation" is seen as perfectly normal behaviour among almost all elf communities, and it is often pointed out to those who chastise elves for their tendency toward "infidelity" that elves of both sexes frequently stay with each one of their many long-term partners longer than many human marriages even last.

Notes

This conversion assumes that elves raised in traditional elven societies/regions also gain access to the following special rules and feats:

 

Rule Modifications:

Fighting Mages: Traditional elves place a great emphasis on equal use of arcane and martial training. As a result, those they train in the ways of the Wizard class are taught the method of casting arcane magic while wearing armour with no fear of failure rather than the methods of how to construct spell scrolls.

Prerequisite: You have been trained in your 1st level of the Wizard class by members of a traditional elven society, or someone else so trained.

Result: Rather than gaining the Scribe Scroll feat as a 1st-level Wizard, you gain the Still Spell feat instead, enabling you to instantly cast any cantrips while wearing armour of any kind.