Half-Elf, Variant (4e Racial Trait Variant)

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Children of elf and human blood, those of ageless immortality and tragic mortality

Race: Half-elf

  • Ability scores: Replace +2 Constitution with +2 Dexterity
  • Speed: Increase from 6 to 7
  • Skills: Replace with +2 Arcana or Nature, +2 to any other of your choice
  • Dual Heritage
  • Group Diplomacy
  • Knack for Success or Dilletante
New Traits
  • Bonus At-Will Power: You know one extra 1st level at-will attack power from your class.
  • Bonus Feat: You gain a bonus feat at 1st level.
  • Elf Will: You gain a +1 racial bonus to your Will defense.
  • Fey Origin: Your ancestors were native to the Feywild, so you are considered a fey creature for the purposes of effects that relate to creature origin.
  • Half-Blood: You can have feats that have eladrin, elf and human as a prerequisite (as well as those specifically for half-elves), as long as you meet any other requirements.

Rarely, an elf will fall in love with a human. Such a coupling is not meant to last; for an elf will outlive a human by millennia. But the tragedy of mortality brings a new joy to the heart of elfkind; a child of half-elven blood. Such a child belongs neither to the mortal humans or the immortal elfkind, so a half-elf must decide between an eternity among the elves or a lifespan among humanity.

Play a half-elf if you want...

  • To have the grace of the elves and some of the adaptability of humanity.
  • To belong to the fey world of the elves, and yet be apart from your kin.
  • To be a member of a race that favors the sorcerer, ranger and warlord classes.

Physical Qualities[edit]

To the eyes of a mortal human, a half-elf is identical to all other elves, with a graceful build, fair face and pointed ears. To an elf, however, the differences between a half-elf and an elf are obvious, for an elf can see the humanity in a half-elf; the human features in an elven face and less grace in the half-elf's movements and speech.

Like elves, a half-elf's skin is pale. Half-elven hair is very similar to elven hair, though it has a broader range of colors. Only the eyes of a half-elf are indistinguishable to that of elf-kind (even to elves), having the bright green or blue hue common to elves.

A half-elf usually reaches maturity slightly earlier than an elf, taking some eighty years or so to reach full maturity. Half-elves possess the agelessness of the elves, but unlike elves, they are not necessarily immortal. A half-elf must, eventually, choose between immortality and mortality, between an eternity among elfkind and a lifespan among humans. Even a mortal half-elf has a long life-span, living for some six-hundred years or so before growing weary of the world.

Playing a Half-Elf[edit]

To others, the elven heritage of a half-elf is plain to see. Like elves, half-elves have a deep felt love for nature and magic, also having the stronger emotions that elves are so well known for. But while the human blood in a half-elf is not plain to see, it is still there, and as a result half-elves do possess some of the adaptability of humanity.

Half-elves are usually brought up by their elven parent (who is usually the mother), as their human parent has not the lifespan to see the child to adulthood. This often results in a child well-learned in the lore of the elves, but sadly ignorant of humans. Rarely, however, a benevolent elven deity may take pity on the short life of the human parent and grant them a longer lifespan- usually 200 years or so- so they can see their child grow to adulthood.

The human blood of a half-elf does not diminish the elven love of nature deep within the half-elf's soul. Half-elves, like their elven kin, are often found wandering the forests in the dark of the night, or singing to the seas in the moonlight. This love of nature often makes it hard for them to settle in the civilized lands, and often manifests in a strong wanderlust that drives them, with all of the determination of humanity, to seek adventure.

Even though half-elves often adventure to sate their wanderlust, it would be a sorry half-elf who did not wish to help the suffering free themselves from the darkness of evil, and, like their elven relatives, they often rise to fight against evil, as a bastion in the defense of the innocent. This attitude comes both from their strong elven emotions and their empathy for others, and this combination makes it just as unbearable for them to ignore suffering as it is for elves.

Though half-elves gain much from their human blood, they must also pay a great price. They must make a very difficult choice; a choice between an eternity among elfkind and a lifetime among humans. This choice is, for many half-elves, the single most difficult choice of their lives. For others, it is only too easy. Most half-elves choose immortality to live among elves, along with the terrible cost of eternity, but some (mostly those that have fallen in love with a human), choose mortality.

Half-Elf Characteristics: Free, intuitive, charismatic, emotional, graceful, perceptive, joyful, tempestuous, magical, swift, adaptable.

Half-Elf Names: Typical elf names.

Half-Elf Adventurers[edit]

Three sample Half-Elf adventurers are described below.

Caerioth is a half-elf warlord who grew up in the Feywild among elves. He has always been intrigued by humanity, due in no small part to his human blood. When he was old enough, he set out into the natural world. When he found the mass suffering of so many humans, he immediately resolved to help them in any way he could.

LĂșthia is a half-elf ranger who grew up in the enchanting forests of the natural world. She has a love of nature that is deep within her soul, but when her mother grew ill with a deadly and unnatural disease, she set out into the world to find a cure, and she will not rest until she has found it or died trying.

Inglar is a half-elf sorcerer who was born on an island in the middle of a vast and beautiful ocean, however, when a band of adventurers uncovered something dark in the depths of the ocean, evil stirred in the dephs, and now his home is under threat. He set out from his home to seek the one weapon that can destroy the beast of the depths, wishing to destroy it forever.

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