Dolmenwood / B/X: Fairy Elf Race-Class


For a long time, since the dawn of Dolmenwood (long before the Wormskin epoch), I've wanted to write up a fairy-themed elf class for the setting. I've had notes lying around for it in rough form for ages and this afternoon felt inspired to have a look at them. It seems that the stars were in alignment, because an hour later I've hammered out the rough notes into an at least half-finished draft.

Here you go:

Elf (Race-Class)
Ability Scores: Minimum CHA 9, minimum DEX 9, minimum INT 9
Prime Requisite: CHA
Hit Dice: 1d6
Maximum Level: 10
Allowed Armour: Any, including shields
Allowed Weapons: Any
Languages: Alignment language, Woldish, Sylvan, High Elfish

Ageless denizens of Fairy who sometimes cross over into the mortal world for reasons that they seldom reveal. Player character elves are assumed to be rare individuals who spend most of their time in the mortal world -- they may be exiles from the undying land or adventurers fascinated by the exotic scents of time, decay, and mortality.

Physically, elves are similar to humans, though they tend to be lithe of frame and fair of face. Despite their surface similarity to mortals, it is always possible to identify an elf for they carry an air of “otherness” about them, seeming somehow more vibrantly present than mortals. Additionally, most elves have at least one physical characteristic that makes him or her obviously non-human: pointed ears, violet eyes, or iridescent skin are examples of common qualities.

Prime Requisite
An elf with a CHA of 13 or greater gains a +5% bonus to experience gained. If the elf’s CHA is 16 or greater, the bonus increases to 10%. Contrary to the standard rule, an elf may raise his or her CHA score by point swapping, during character creation.

Class Abilities
Combat: Elves are naturally talented fighters and may use any weapons and armour.

Immortality: Elves can be killed but do not die naturally. They are immune to the mundane illnesses of mortal-kind, but may be affected normally by diseases of magical origin (e.g. cause disease, lycanthropy, the touch of a mummy). Elves also cannot die of thirst or starvation, though a lack of sustenance drives them insane and sadistic.

Unearthly beauty: As mentioned above, all elves -- both kind and wicked -- are beautiful, by mortal standards. For CHA tests which are purely based on physical attractiveness, an elf is always treated as having a CHA score of at least 14.

Subtle sight: Elves have a 3-in-6 chance of noticing passages to the Otherwold.

Magic resistance: As beings of Fairy, where magic is in the very fabric of things, elves have an increased resistance to magic. They are immune to sleep spells, gain a +2 bonus to saving throws against charms and illusions, and are unaffected by the paralysing touch of ghouls.

Glamours: Elves are able to make use of a number of minor magical abilities known as glamours. The number of glamours known by an elf are determined by his or her level and are selected at random (see the list, later on). Glamours may be used any number of times per day. (Though mortals regard these abilities as “magic”, elves do not view them as such.)

Runes: An elf may be granted the use of magical runes by performing services for a fairy lord or lady. Each rune has a different effect and a limitation on its usage (once per day, once per week, once per experience level, once ever, etc). An elf may know a maximum number of runes equal to his or her level.

Read magic: Given an hour of peace and solitude, an elf may read magical scripts and runes, as if by the magic-user spell read magic.

Magic items: Elves have a natural affinity for the arcane and are able to use any magic items usable by magic-users. This includes casting spells from scrolls (with the use of their read magic ability).

Vulnerabilities and Drawbacks
Cold iron: As fairies, elves are vulnerable to iron weapons, suffering double damage on a successful hit.

Silver: Elves find mortal silver base and disgusting. An elf in physical contact with silver is sickened and suffers a -2 penalty to attack rolls and saving throws.

Resistance to divine aid: There are no gods in Fairy and the gods of mortals are loathe to aid its folk. Whenever an elf is the subject of a beneficial clerical spell, there is a 2-in-6 chance of the spell having no effect on the elf.

Reaching 9th Level
Upon reaching 9th level, an elf may establish a stronghold and domain, according to the standard rules.

Level Progression Chart







Saving Throws
Level
XP
Hit Dice
AC0
Glamours
Death
Wands
Paralysis
Breath
Spells
1
0
1d6
19
1
12
13
13
15
12
2
4,000
2d6
19
2
12
13
13
15
12
3
8,000
3d6
19
3
12
13
13
15
12
4
16,000
4d6
17
3
10
11
11
13
10
5
32,000
5d6
17
4
10
11
11
13
10
6
64,000
6d6
17
5
10
11
11
13
10
7
120,000
7d6
14
6
8
9
9
10
8
8
250,000
8d6
14
6
8
9
9
10
8
9
400,000
9d6
14
7
8
9
9
10
8
10
600,000
9d6 + 1*
12
8
6
7
8
8
6

* Hit point modifiers due to CON no longer apply.

Elf Glamours

  1. Vanishing. The elf disappears from another creature’s sight for one round. This glamour may only be used on any individual once per day.
  2. Changeling. The elf’s facial features are malleable according to his or her will. Subtle features (e.g. eye colour, hair colour) may be switched in a moment. More dramatic changes take a turn of concentration to effect.
  3. Seeming. The elf may make his or her garb appear as he or she wishes. The glamour is only visual, however, and is revealed by touch.
  4. Silver tongue. By using ancient modes of the high elfish tongue, the elf is able to communicate with any being, including dumb animals. This ability may only be used to communicate in one language per day (e.g. one mortal tongue or the speech of one species of animal).
  5. Disguise object. An object in the elf’s hand is made to appear as something else (of similar dimensions). The glamour lasts until the object is touched by another being.
  6. Moon child. The elf’s eyes perceive night as it were day. Even the blackest tomb is perceived as if by gentle moonlight.


Work in Progress...

  • I want to add more glamours.
  • I will detail the elf runes and how they're gained.
  • I will add more detail (including some options) to the stronghold ability at 9th level.
  • Of course, none of this has been play-tested.


6 comments:

  1. Love it.

    I enjoyed your first crack at this several years ago and am looking forward to the final version.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yeah, this class has been brewing for years, ever since my first iteration in the original Theorems & Thaumaturgy. It's nice to have finally got the core of it finally written up!

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  2. Another weakness you may want to consider is the sound of iron bells. Or silver bells if you want to make it rarer in the setting. In either case those people using such bells to drive off these fairies will have to deal with their kin that aren't vulnerable.

    Any why not include plants and fungi with Silver Tongue? It isn't that powerful and considering how pervasive fungi are in Dolmenwood, the elves would find it useful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a cool idea about the bells! Makes me wonder about whether fairies can be turned by clerics...

      You're right about the fungi too :)

      Delete
    2. The bells come from The Broken Sword, a Poul Anderson novel from the 50's. Except the bells were church bells as the elder people (elves, trolls and kin) couldn't face the power of Christ. So, yes, turning elves does have some fictional precedence.

      Though I am not sure if you would want to include that. An entire PC race vulnerable to clerics is a major turn off for many players.

      Delete
    3. Ah I didn't know about that Poul Anderson book referring to elves being repelled by church bells. That's really cool. In folklore, fairies are also afraid of sanctified ground and such.

      Delete