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TheThan
2006-01-10, 06:49 PM
I know itís been a while since I posted one of these ďtweakedĒ standard races. I had to put this project on hold for a little while. But I did manage to finish another race. If you havenít seen my pervious work feel free to check out Revenge of the Dwarves (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=gaming;action=display;num=1132009423 ;start=) and also Attack of the Gnomes (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=gaming;action=display;num=1131439784 ). As always I appreciate any questions or comments you may have. Please feel free to tear them apart.
So now I bring you the much -awaited continuation of the 3 part (possibly 6 part) series:

Elves
The mystical elves are one of the oldest races in the world. They are innately magical beings. Some of the most powerful wizards and sorcerers are elves. Many years ago a powerful wizard organization tried some sort of magical experiment (hoping to enhance the elvesí natural talent for magic, though few know this). This experiment went horribly wrong and destroyed the elf lands. Now the elves are refugees trying to get by in the world. This deed is never spoken of. The names of the wizards responsible for the destruction of their home are now used as curses.

Personality
The elven people were once a proud and noble race. Until the great cataclysm forced them from their ruined land. The destruction of their land dampened their spirit and tarnished their honor. Despite the amount of emotional trauma the elven race has been through. They tend to radiate an energetic personality and can be quite engaging when the situation calls for it, or when they feel very strongly about something. But once the subject of their homeland comes up they quickly become withdrawn and sullen. When the day of the great cataclysm rolls around on the calendar the whole of the elven population seems to hit an emotional slump for a few days. Some villages and groups have taken up the practice of holding a festival of sorts. Where the survivors gather and talk about their beloved homeland. They refer to this as the Festival of Morning.

While many elves have resigned to their fate (possible extinction.) there are some that are determined to survive and see the restoration of their land. Some have taken all of this in stride and wear their improvised state as a badge of honor. They are trying to show the world what happens when you mess with the order of things. So others wonít repeat their mistakes.
Physical description
Elves posses very large, pointy ears, petite noses and large eyes. They tend to have small faces, which make their eyes look even larger than they really are. Elves tend to have fair skin. Their hair and eye color are as varied as the rainbow, but tend to be light in hue. Common colors are blond, blue, white and green. More rare colors are red, black, and brown. Most elves wear their hair long and in a variety of styles.
Men often wear long, thin drooping moustaches, especially men who take up the magical arts. Beards are very rare. Elves average about 5 feet tall in height. They typically are small in frame and are notoriously thin. Most elves choose to dress in whatever style and cut is common in the area they live.
The elven refugees are poor, and as such they are forced to wear whatever they can get. They are often dirty and are in need of a bath, something that mocks their once proud heritage.
Refugees are naturally easy to prey upon by evil beings. Elven refugees have seen their share of tragedy befall them because of evil beings preying upon them in their weakened state. As a result elves have begun to train their children in the basics of martial combat. Utilizing the sword and the bow.

Elves live for an average of 300 years old. They reach adult hood at about 60 years old. Due to their long lives elves do not breed as quickly as other races do. And their natural frailness often causes negative effects during pregnancy and birthing. Though magic does exist to lessen and sometimes prevent these effects.

Relations:
Elves used to get along with few people easily. Though with their near extinction they now are willing to accept aid from nearly any source. This has made them more capable of approaching others. Dwarves see them as a way to further their monetary goals. Gnomes don't trust anyone easily.
Alignment: elves have always believed in personal freedom and independence and therefore favor chaos over law. But they are generally a good aligned race. Despite their self-reliant nature they have begun see the advantages of teamwork and have been remarkable quick at adapting it to their lives. They have realized that if they donít pull together their entire race is will die out.
Elf lands
The land of the elves was once a beautiful and pristine place. With ivory towers that touched the sky, forests and fields that stretched as far as the eye could see. It had crystal clear water, and blue sky. The elves lived in near perfect harmony with nature, yet they still embraced magic and became very skilled with it.
Unfortunately the great cataclysm of the elves destroyed their paradise home. The lakes and rivers boiled up, the forests and fields burned the towns and cities demolished, the great towers crumbled; the very air scorches the lungs. The land is now nothing more than a barren and cracked wasteland.
Two thirds of the elven population was wiped out in mere moments. The remaining population fled their doomed homeland. These refugees took shelter wherever they could. Over time small populations of elves popped up all across the landscape, most are located outside of villages and towns. But many places cannot support these refugees and must force them to move on.
There are some groups of these refugees who have moved into the more wild places of the world and are now forming small villages. Unfortunately as with the nature of any group of refugees, disease famine and other calamities are befalling the elves and taking their toll on the population.
Religion:
Elves used to worship a god of magic. But with the destruction of their homeland at the hands of magic users many are turning away from their beliefs and are searching to find a new spiritual hold. Despite this they still retain their natural magical talent.
Language
Elves speak Elfish, but they have no problems speaking other languages.
Names
Adventures
Elf racial traits
+2charisma Ė2 constitution: elves are lovely and have a strong presence, but they are frailer than other races.
medium sized (no bonuses or minuses due to size)
land speed 30ft
Dark vision out to 60 feet
Weapon proficiency: elves receive the martial weapon proficiency for the long sword, rapier, short bow, and long bow (this includes composite short bows and composite long bows.)
+2 racial bonus on listen, search and spot checks. (This does not include the ability to spot hidden doors).
Teamwork: Elves have been forced to work together for simple survival. As a result whenever an elf uses the Aid another special action (both for skill checks and in combat). The elf grants an additional +1 bonus to the skill check. For attacks the elf imparts either an additional +1 to AC or attack roll (which ever it is being applied to).
Favored class: sorcerer

Blade-Bearer_Ian
2006-01-10, 07:16 PM
That's actually one of the few good elf variants I've seen. I like them, it's great for a post apoctalyptic (spelling?) setting..

ReluctantDragon
2006-01-10, 07:19 PM
Very nice variant to elves. I like the fact you got rid of the secret doors search ability. Overall your tweaks to the races have been very good, very serviceable. More importantly they are completely stealable!!!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

*cough*

Well done.

TheThan
2006-01-10, 09:23 PM
Payments can be made in full to:

Ahem, just kidding. Seriously though I donít mind if you use my stuff, just give credit where itís due all right. In fact Iíll take it as a complement on how good of a job I am doing on this stuff.
;D

Everyman
2006-01-11, 02:12 AM
I like the stats. You've moved the elven race away from a nimble, studious race to a more...fey-like one. I can definately see the carefree elf, so the stats and how they work together (especially with the history you listed) make a lot of sense. I only have one issue: the charisma bonus.

No, I don't think a charisma bonus is a bad thing. It makes a lot of sense if their favored class is sorcerer. However, you describe your variant as sullen and humble, which doesn't sound like a race that would gain any Cha bonus. In fact, it sounds like they should have a penalty.

I'd go back and rework the description of their personalities. Yes, they can be sullen about the loss of their homelands. However, why not mention that they are extremely passionate about day-to-day life, they don't allow themselves to be lost in the crowd, they have forceful personalities when dealing with others, etc. Anything like that would help cover that inconsistency, and then this would be perfect. :)

Democratus
2006-01-11, 12:38 PM
Are they tall or short?

WampaX
2006-01-11, 12:57 PM
Are they tall or short?

Considering that I read the subject as "The Phantom Elvis", I would ask are they fat or skinny. ;D

TheThan
2006-01-11, 03:37 PM
Ok where to beginÖ


Thanks for pointing that out Tarkahn. Its something I over looked. It also looks like I didnít quite finish the physical description. I figure they will be short and skinny. Hope that answers your questions. I'll get around to fixing this stuff when i can. thanks for the input. :D

The_Werebear
2006-01-11, 04:44 PM
I would let them keep their extra racial weapon proficiencies, or give them inniate spell like abilities. In my opinion, the charisma bonus alone doesn't balance the constitution penalty.

TheThan
2006-01-11, 10:32 PM
Well I did consider giving them some spell-like abilities but I decided not to. Partly because I noticed that the elf variant the people working on the community world building section has both a charisma bonus and spell like abilities. Also I was afraid giving them some spell like abilities would push the LA up. I want to keep it at 0. Not that itís a bad idea, its just something I didnít want to do.

Now about the weapon proficiencies I suppose I could give them to Ďem. Itís not too much to ask and shouldnít push the LA up at all. Thatís most likely what I would do. Thanks once again for the advice and please keep it coming!

Munchy
2006-01-11, 10:34 PM
This effect stacks when two or more elves aid another

This could create problems if you have a party of elves. E.g You could end up with a +8 bonus if they completely surround a medium creature. You may want to give this an upper limit.

Sciurusaurus
2006-01-12, 01:37 PM
This could create problems if you have a party of elves. E.g You could end up with a +8 bonus if they completely surround a medium creature. You may want to give this an upper limit.



Aid another is a standard action. A creature aiding someone else would not be able to attack. Thus, yes, you could get a huge bonus if you surrounded a creature and everyone (edit : except for one attacker, of course) aided. 21 if they are phantom elves, or "only" 14 if they are normal people.

Edit : keep in mind, the +1 bonus is added to the "Aid another" bonus, and would not come into play unless the elf decided to use a standard action to aid someone.

TheThan
2006-01-12, 05:41 PM
Itís no worse than if a party of rogues flanked someone and sneak attacked it to death. Only instead of adding damage its simply a to hit bonus.
With a party of six a surrounding a medium sized creature the bonus adds up to 15 (thatís 3x5=15). Which is a big bonus but thatís really the only way I can see it abused. Maybe you guys are missenturpiting how the ability is supposed to work.

Itís supposed to simply add an additional +1 to aid another effects. I missed the line in the srd that says multiple people can aid the same person and the effect stack. So I put a little reminder line in there. That might be giving the wrong impression.


Would it clear it up if I took out the part that reads:

TheThan This effect stacks when two or more elves aid another. This effect is in addition to the normal +2 bonus received for the aid another special action.

so that it read

TheThan
Teamwork: Elves have been forced to work together for simple survival. As a result whenever an elf uses the Aid another special action (both for skill checks and in combat). The elf grants an additional +1 bonus to the skill check. For attacks the elf imparts either an additional +1 to AC or attack roll (which ever it is being applied to) instead?

Munchy
2006-01-12, 09:30 PM
Itís no worse than if a party of rogues flanked someone and sneak attacked it to death.

IMHO this is a broken feature in game mecanics. I usually tweak sneak attack rules in combat.



Itís supposed to simply add an additional +1 to aid another effects. I missed the line in the srd that says multiple people can aid the same person and the effect stack. So I put a little reminder line in there. That might be giving the wrong impression.


Oh, ok. So not everyone gets a huge bonus. That seems fine.

McMouse
2006-01-12, 11:09 PM
Worst I've ever seen that particular mechanic get is when I mistakenly let a druid in my party take a bunch of eagles as animal companions. The "raptor master" as it were, would -completely- surround the enemy, and have each one of her companions use Aid Another to give a -huge- bonus on the attack, which she would then Power Attack or Expertise, depending, away. Yeah, she lost some to AoO's and AoE's, but giving a party memeber +18 attack to play with was pretty juicy. In my defense, I was new to the whole game and thought that the idea was cool-sounding.

EladrinStarmist
2006-01-13, 12:30 AM
That is an extremly cool variant elven race. ^__^ *thumbs up* I'll have to go check out your dwarves and gnomes now too.

One variant elven race I liked was the Ghost Elf, featured in Dragon Magazine a while back. Ethereal ties, spooky colouring, etc. Very nifty. If I can find the actual issue # I'll post it up.

TheThan
2006-01-13, 01:41 AM
Ok I finally got around to updating the main entry. I reworked some of the flavor text and descriptions. I also gave back their normal weapon proficiencies. That should keep them balanced. I also fixed the Teamwork ability text so it makes better sense. You all should check it out and comment on it.

EladrinStarmist:
Not to be a vigilante mod here, but itís against the rules to post something that isnít in the srd. Iím not sure about Dragon articles so you should at least check with a mod before you do. Donít want to see someone get in trouble on my account.

Democratus
2006-01-13, 11:53 AM
Not to be a vigilante mod here, but itís against the rules to post something that isnít in the srd.


I wasn't aware that Phantom Elves were in the SRD. ;)