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Friday, December 2, 2011


Today, Stuart at Strange Magic makes a good case for making elves less human. This might potentially even include making elves and humans incapable of cross-breeding. That means no half-elves, right?

Wrong. You could redefine half-elves in terms of something other than sex. I think one good use for them is for fey-touched humans. In fairy tales, there are stories of people taken to Faerie who later return and are out of place in the human world; there's also stories of fairies stealing children and replacing them with changelings, which tends to focus on what happens to the replacement instead of the fate of the child. What if the child is raised by elves, and returns as an adult? The result is a freak: a human being who doesn't act human, who might even be referred to as a "half-elf" by townsfolk.

It's a tempting redefinition.


  1. Interesting thought. My campaign has a fair amount of fey influence, with sidhe alongside normal elves, something akin to brownies or leprechauns instead of halflings, etc. The idea of the changelings other half coming back as a sort of half-elf is intriguing.

  2. I'm thinking also that for half-elves (and half-orcs,) players should just decide whether they are more human-like (and just use standard classes) or more elvish/orcish (and use the standard for *that* race.) I don't like the racial ability score rules and can't see the need for special half-elf racial rules.

  3. I believe Evan of 'In Places Deep' decided to go this route for his Nightwick campaign. I've never allowed half-elves in my campaigns, but I would definitely allow them in this way :)