View Full Version : Elvish childhood

Mr Teufel
2007-02-12, 07:34 AM
The Childhood of Elves

I wrote this, being dissatisfied with the Official D&D non-explanation as to how elves start the game as centenarians, but with no more skills than a 20yo human.

The first hundred years of an elf’s life is quite unlike that of humans. At about ten an elf has the physical development of a 4yo human, but with better co-ordination, larger eyes and ears. At this point the elfling becomes totally wild and uncontrollable. Elves call them “wildlings”. The elf-child will run off into the forest that always surrounds an elvish settlement. There it will join a gang of up to a dozen wildlings in various stages of their development. Usually there’s one gang per thousand elves in the settlement.

These wildlings grow up in the forest for the next sixty or seventy years. During this time they are totally wild. They have no sense of property. They play tricks on travellers and woodcutters and have no sense of proportion, so these pranks can sometimes be dangerous – leading someone off the track in a dense forest, or into a swamp, or to the lair of a fierce creature.

Sometimes they’ll invite a human or other child to join them in their games in the forest.

But having no sense of time nor any concept that someone could get lost in a forest, they may get bored with their playmate days and miles from where they met, with possibly dire consequences for the non-elf child.

They play at holding court, and older ones who are nearly through their wildling years may attempt to seduce a human as a game.

Despite all this, if anyone tries to gain revenge by harming a wildling, they are likely to face the whole elf settlement. Elves don’t take outside threats to their wild children lightly, although they are surprisingly blasé to the natural threats posed by the forest itself.

When the wildling reaches their seventies they are physically like late teenage humans, and they start hanging around their elder’s settlement, gravitating to an adult whom they start to copy and aid. Soon this adult becomes their guardian and skill-master.

Their memories of their wildling years fade quickly as they become part of the less anarchic adult world. But an elf will always know their forest, having spent most of a century exploring every inch.

An elf may still have an enemy they made during their wildling years, possibly the victim of a nasty prank or their descendants, or an abandoned love interest.

Game Effects:

Adult elves have +8 to knowledge and tracking rolls involving the forest they grew up in, and always know which way is north when in their home forest.

Wildlings have the following differences to basic elf stats.

HD: 1d6

Size: Small (+1 AC, +1 BAB, +4 Hide)

Movement: 20’, 20’ climb

Attributes: +4 Dex, -2 Wis, -2 Con,

Skills: +8 Climb, +8 (total) Hide, +4 Move Silently, +8 Knowledge (nature), +4 Survival

Feats: Track

Weapon proficiency: Shortbow only.

Wildlings can instinctively tell the medicinal or nutritional use of a plant by tasting it; they lose this ability in adulthood.

CR: 1

Advancement: special/none.

I think this gives elves a more medieval/changeling vibe, where fae are known tricksters; but it keeps the adult elves as playable adventurers, and put's paid to Vaarsuvius' complaint about how much faster the other races learn than elves do.

Comments and criticisms encouraged, please.:smallsmile:

Yuki Akuma
2007-02-12, 09:07 AM
Unfortunately, Races of the Wild disagrees with you.

2007-02-12, 10:09 AM
This makes sense (no matter what the Spooky Wizards' 'Races of the Wild' says - this is the Homebrew board, after all :smallbiggrin:).

It's a bit like the Star Trek vulcan childhood, if I recall the brief glimpses we get of that in the shows and films correctly - a chaotic, amok time before that settled adult life.

What seems a little odd about it is that all those skills and knowledge are entirely lost. Could there be a Birth Feat to allow a residue of childhood Wildling knowledge to be rreatined, say as a +2 bonus to those skills?

Mr Teufel
2007-02-12, 07:54 PM
Thank you, Altair. I see no reason one couldn't base a feat or more on the concept that not all elves forget their childhoods so completely. It might go along with an obligation, in that you remember something chaotic you did to someone that you now regret, and want to make amends.

I'm also attracted to the idea of a party of PC's running into a gang of wildlings, who are utter nuisances and likely to steal something important. But the PC's know a) these are children, b) there must be a settlement of Elves nearby who'll be Very Angry Indeed if harm should come to their little ones.