ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS®
2nd Edition Player's Handbook Rules Supplement
The Complete Book of Elves
Written by Colin McComb
Edited by Dori Hein
Overseen and Advice Given by Steve Winter
Color Illustrations by Brom, Larry Elmore, and John & Laura Lakey
Black and White Art by Terry Dykstra
Decorative Art by Robin Raab
Typeset by Gaye O'Keefe
Invaluable assistance or sustenance (in one form or another) given by L. Richard Baker III, Wolfgang Baur, Tim Beach, Wendy Bienvenu, Elaine Cunningham, William W. Connors, Jeff Dettweiler, Slade Henson, Brad "Sun Dog" Matheson, Roger Moore, Paul Nelis, Kevin Pohle, John Rateliff, Teresa W. and Thomas M. Reid, James M. Ward, and David Zenz. These people (including those listed in the other credits) sparked the creative urge, and thanks are due each of them. Special thanks are given to all the fantasy/sci fi writers who, in one way or another, influenced my writing. Thanks are also due all the gamers who have preceded me and inspired me. The Helm of Valor is dedicated to TSR's Siberia Six. Dedicated to the McCombs, the Garbetts, and the rest of my relatives. Thank you all.
Special thanks from the editor to Timothy B. Brown and James M. Ward, for letting her do Elves in the second place and in the first.
TSR, Inc. TSR Ltd.
201 Sheridan Springs Road 120 Church End, Cherry Hinton
Lake Geneva Cambridge CB1 3LB9
WI 53147 U.S.A. United Kingdom
ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, AD&D, DRAGONLANCE, DRAGON, FORGOTTEN REALMS, GREYHAWK, RAVENLOFT, DARK SUN and SPELLJAMMER are registered trademarks owned by TSR, Inc. AL-QADIM, DUNGEON MASTER, DM, and the TSR logo are trademarks owned by TSR, Inc.
All TSR characters, character names and the distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks owned by TSR, Inc.
Distributed to the book and hobby trade in the United Kingdom by TSR Ltd. Distributed to the toy and hobby trade by regional distributors. This book is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any reproduction or other unauthorized use of the material or artwork contained herein is prohibited without the express written consent of TSR, Inc. Printed in the U.S.A.
Copyright ©1992 TSR, Inc. All Rights Reserved.ISBN 1–56076–376–0 2131
Table of Contents
Chapter One: The Creation of Elves
Chapter Two: Variations on a Theme
Elves of the Worlds
Al-Qadim® Campaign World
DARK SUN® Campaign World
DRAGONLANCE® Campaign World
FORGOTTEN REALMS® Campaign World
GREYHAWK® Campaign World
RAVENLOFT® Campaign World
SPELLJAMMER® Campaign World
Chapter Three: Physical Attributes
Resistance to Heat and Cold
Other Elven Abilities
Stages of Life
The Elven Bond
Chapter Four: Mental Attributes
Emotion and Logic
Attitudes Toward Other Races
Chapter Five: Elven Society
The Elven Language
Elven Holy Days
Chapter Six: The Elven Myths
The Legend of Fiona Cassiltenirra
Jarsali and the Treant
Chapter Seven: The Death of Elves
Accidental or Violent Death
Chapter Eight: Elven Dwellings
The Grey Elves' City
The High Elves' Tree Town
The Sylvan Elves' Encampment
Chapter Nine: Optional Rules
Level Limit Expansion
Bladesong Fighting Style
Using Bows as Weapons
Arrow Breakage and Loss
Chapter Ten: Character Creation and Kits
Standard Elf Abilities
The Elf Subraces
Elf PC Kits
A Kit for Any Class
Chapter Eleven: Elven Equipment
Elven Plate Armor
Chapter Twelve: The Magic of Elves
New Elf Spells
Swords and Armor
Helms of Valor
Chapter Thirteen: Elven Campaigns
The Elf Campaign
The Human Campaign
The Dwarf Campaign
The Evil World Campaign
The Aquatic World Campaign
The Outcast Campaign
MC: Avariel (Winged Elf)
Character Record Sheets
We do not deign to acknowledge the slanderous propaganda spread by the stunted humans who call themselves dwarves. The little miners have always had a rather, shall we say, biased outlook on history and the true workings of reality. They call themselves the finest creatures to grace the worlds with bodies like that, we suppose one would have to have an active fantasy life.
For those graced with true vision, Elves comprise the finest race in all the worlds. We are that which other races aspire to be: Our longevity, our beauty, and our craftsmanship are all the stuff of legends. Certainly, each of these attributes can be recreated in some fashion by the lesser races, but theirs is an artifice of face and form and creation never as fine as those that come naturally to us.
Our lives are long and filled with happiness, for we recognize the impermanence of all things, excepting ourselves. Indeed, we do not suffer death as do the mortals. Only through violence, accident, or disease do we die at all.
Although we vanish from the ken of mortal knowledge after hundreds of years of existence in this plane, you may rest assured that we continue on elsewhere. Even those who perish on the battlefield do not truly die, but instead become part of the earth's cycle of growth and rebirth. Our spirits linger on, for we are intimately tied to the world and its core. Indeed, we are the integral part of that core.
We would turn now to other matters, for to continue on in this vein would, no doubt, lead you to believe that we are boasting of elven prowess. We do not boast. Anyone who has seen even the slightest fraction of elven ability knows the truth of what we say within these pages.
Yes, we are a proud race, but do we not have just cause? Are we not Elves—creatures of most wondrous might? Simply understand that we are what we are and that nothing you can do will change us—then may we become good friends. But beware: We are a complex race, and the workings of our lives will ever be a mystery to you, our dreams foreign from yours. You will never truly understand us, no matter how you try.
Enigmatic and powerful, elves have dominated the fantasy landscape for years. Although their civilizations and powers have always been a mystery to those who travel in the realms of fantasy, their influence is undeniably strong. Abandoned cities, lost technology, forgotten lore . . . all these things and more lie within the mystique of the elves. Their land, their culture, and their philosophy remain cryptic mysteries to those not blessed with the love of elves.
No longer. With The Complete Book of Elves, many of the elves' mysteries are open for perusal. But take care with the information gleaned; some secrets of the elven way of life still remain hidden—knowledge forever forsworn from non-elves. Be forewarned: The pieces of fact and fiction learned within can, if incorrectly applied, spell destruction for those who misuse this knowledge.
The AD&D® Game Elf
Monstrous Compendium® I and II as well as the Player's Handbook (PHB) present elves in some detail. Are those the final word on elves? Hardly not! Here, at last, is the book that deals with elves in depth, in all their myriad facets and mysterious ways. While this book may not answer every question about elves, it will provide answers and ideas for dealing with the typical elf.
Although elves often follow the same patterns in their lifestyles and have similar thought processes, there is no such thing as a "typical" elf. Even more than with humans, no two elves are alike. They may react in a like way in various situations, but they are completely different individuals. Elves have loves and hates, fears and superstitions, honors and ethics. To assume they are all the same grievously insults them.
Chapters One through Eight deal with elven lore, including tendencies, societies, lives, and more. Chapters Nine through Thirteen detail elven role-playing. It is important to remember that there are always exceptions to the rules, both those presented here and elsewhere. What is presented in this book is the "typical" elven way of life—facets that players can add to their favorite elf character. Ultimately, character creation is something best left to the imagination of the player and the mandates of the Dungeon Master. This book offers suggestions for such creation and for the role-playing of these elves.
Other Complete Handbooks
Like The Complete Book of Elves, the other books in the Complete Handbook (PHBR) series offer useful advice on the creation of unique characters. However, none of these books is essential to the play of the game. All that is absolutely necessary for playing are the core rules: the Player's Handbook and the DUNGEON MASTER™ Guide (DMG). The other PHBR books are recapped below, and their usefulness to elf PCs is explained.
The Complete Fighter contributes important fighting styles and offers more weapon proficiency rules. These can be especially useful to the elf PC, allowing him or her to demonstrate absolute mastery of a weapon. Furthermore, the section on combat rules adds an interesting flavor to a campaign.
Naturally, everything presented in this book is optional to each campaign. Just as the DM has the final say on whether any of the rules presented in the core books (the PHB and DMG) apply to his or her campaign, so does the DM have the last word on whether to accept the ideas presented in this book.
Remember, there are no right or wrong rules—whatever fits the style of the campaign is acceptable. As long as each rule is reasonable, appropriate, and fair, any additional house rules the DM cares to impose are permissible. If the players do not like these new rules, they have the option of discussing them with the DM or choosing another campaign. On no account should players or DMs try to force their views regarding optional rules down another's throat—regardless of how appropriate that action may seem to be.
Anyone using this book should be aware that it is designed for use with the AD&D® 2nd Edition game. References to the Player's Handbook and the DUNGEON MASTER™ Guide refer to the AD&D® 2nd Edition books. Those using older books must consult the index of the first-edition books to find the subject mentioned and ignore the page numbers mentioned therein.
Furthermore, many of the rules mentioned in this book are dependent on the use of optional proficiency rules. It is strongly recommended that all players and DMs familiarize themselves with these rules in order to fully enjoy this book. Otherwise, they are cheating themselves out of the opportunity to fully exploit the rules contained here.
Lastly, since elves make no distinction between male and female, the personal pronouns in this book alternate between genders. Not all examples will be only of "he" or "him"; some will consist of only "she" or "her."
But, come: The elves are waiting.
Chapter 1: The Creation of Elves
From the primordial turmoil at the center of the universe sprang the gods full-fledged, full-formed. Each claimed jurisdiction over certain effects, all being equally endowed with the power and force of the cosmos. They cooperated for the first (and the last) time to create the worlds. But some gods used their powers more wisely than their brethren.
An early alliance formed among these wiser gods. They knew how to manipulate their power. This gathering of gods, who called themselves the Seldarine (or the Brothers and Sisters of the Wood), imparted their very essence into creating certain aspects of the worlds.
While other gods squabbled over jurisdiction and possession of this virtue and that attribute, the Seldarine modified some of the lands, making their worlds lush and green and beautiful. In addition, they created vessels that would one day hold the spirit of the first sentient life to set foot upon these worlds—the race of beings known as Elves. They crafted these vessels with thought and care, and gave them extraordinary beauty. The other gods grew black with jealousy, and they thirsted to imitate the Seldarine.
These gods hastily fashioned their own vessels, vying against those created by the Seldarine. But they would not invest the time vital to creating a race, and so their results were flawed—the gods did not care. Their creations were nothing like those shaped by the Seldarine. Most were Monsters, creatures that would one day haunt the dreams of Elves. Of all the crude creations, only the vessel reserved for Man held a glimmer of potential, for they would one day have the ability to change the land as would the Elves.
The gods of the new races tried too hastily to reproduce a feat that had taken the wiser gods eons. But neither group's constructs would not come to life until the historic meeting between Corellon Larethian and Gruumsh, leader of the Anti-Seldarine.
priest of Corellon Larethian
In the subject of elven mythology, the gods have strangely little to say, leaving one to ponder it as may be.
The elves believe that their religion is closer to actual history than are the religions of other races. There may be some truth in this belief, since the elves have such long lifespans, with memories to match. They have far fewer generations between their creation and the present day. Thus, they claim, there has been far less dilution of the truth; unlike the other stories, they state, the elven chronicle is pure.
The countless years that have passed since the beginning of the universe have seen hundreds of generations of elves. By way of comparison, thousands—even millions—of generations of other races have lived and passed into dust during that time. Small wonder, then, that the elves feel their histories have been less tainted through the vagaries of time than those of other races.
There are far fewer variations on the creation story in the elf race than in any other. The humans have untold numbers, practically one for each town. The dwarves have several more, and they constantly change them to glorify their race and their tribe over others. Halflings and gnomes, too, have excessive myths, although they are less likely than dwarves to extol their own virtues in such a manner. Likewise, the orcs and other evil humanoids all have their favorite stories to comfort them in their dank, smoky caves.
Following is a continuation of the elven story of creation as told by Larian Songshine. While not necessarily an impartial retelling, it does manage to capture the essential ingredients of the elven story of creation.
When the god Gruumsh saw the creation of the Seldarine, the Elves, he regarded it as an abomination—and he became enraged. For the first time, desire for blood pulsed in a god's veins. Gruumsh prepared to crush the Seldarine, and some gods flocked to his standard while others stood aside. Still more, such as Moradin Soul-Forger and Garl Glittergold, aligned with the Seldarine, for they had—though not in conjunction with the Seldarine—set aside areas of the world for their own purposes.
When the inflamed Gruumsh attacked Corellon Larethian, the leader of the Seldarine, a mighty battle began: the Godswar. How long it raged over the pristine fields of the planets, no one knows. Each combatant drew great wounds from the spirit and the body of his or her foe. While the other contenders fell by the wayside (badly hurt, though not mortally wounded), Gruumsh and Corellon would not break off. Instead, they continued their fierce combat. They traversed the planes, and they splashed the other's blood across the lands.
As night drew near, the powers of Gruumsh strengthened, while those of Corellon waned. All seemed lost for the Seldarine. Tears from the moon landed on Corellon's upturned, stricken face, and they mingled freely with his blood. Then Corellon looked to his companions—and it was there he found fortitude. He drew back his sword and, with one fearful blow, clove out the orb of Gruumsh (who became known as Gruumsh One-Eye). The god howled in pain, black ichor spewing from the wound. Gruumsh turned and fled to the netherworld. There he nursed his hate, seeking forever after ways to shape the enemies of the Seldarine. And the greatest of his creations, made in the burning heat of rage and the blackness of his blood, was the Orcs. That is why, to this day, the Orcs and the Elves are such bitter enemies. From the beginning, even before their creation, the very essences of their gods strove against one another.
With Gruumsh's defeat, the Seldarine and their allies continued with their works. The Seldarine gathered the moon's tears and the blood shed by Corellon in that great battle, placed these into the vessels they had created, and infused them with their own spirit. Each god imparted virtue into his or her creation, feeding and nurturing the newly formed race. Thus were the Elves born from the blood of Corellon Larethian, mixed with the soil of the world, blessed with the tears of the moon, and given their nearness to divinity.
The other gods saw this example and set about infusing life into their own sadly misshapen vessels, with varied results. Alas, all other races were but sad imitations of the Elves.
The tale of the Godswar explains some of the elven traits, both physical and mental. Being formed of the blood of the god Corellon Larethian accounts for why elves possess such long lifespans. Tears from the moon provide a rationale for the elves' ethereal beauty—a beauty that often led the lesser races to think of elves as gods. The soil of the earth explains the connection all elves feel with the land.
To the elves, their legends provide some measure of assurance that they play a grand role in the scheme of things. Study of elven legends explains why elves are so certain of their rightful place in life, and why they rarely worry about afflictions that would be crises for lesser beings.
Other elven myths provide different insights into the elf character. Following is an accounting from Sarathos-Telanith, which sheds further light on elf history—specifically, the times that were responsible for initial fragmenting of the elf nation: the Elfwar.
After the Godswar, the deities divided the world among themselves so that their creations could prosper and grow. The Seldarine chose the forests for their children, the Elves, but secretly encouraged them to spread as they would. The other gods did likewise, and the races fought for land: The hatred introduced by Gruumsh the Cursed One had spread to the mortal species.
The Elves were, at this time, all one people. There were variations, but these were individual, rather than any sort of societal rift. All differences were a matter of personal inclination, and the Elves lived in harmony with one another.
There were those who lusted for power, and those who could not bear to live within the confining walls of a city. Others were rabidly xenophobic, wanting to bar outsiders such as Humans and Dwarves from the Elflands, keeping away the taint of those "unfavored by the gods." Still others, more moderate in most things, were scorned by their brothers or even despised.
Each Elf thought he knew best, and each tried to impose his views on his brother. Evil flourished in this atmosphere of distrust and dissent. The great Elf cities of old deteriorated, and the Spider Queen Lolth gained a foothold in the hearts of many Elves. They used her to gain greater power and influence, and her evil ways led them even further astray. These Elves practiced dark magic and forbidden lore to make themselves mighty, and they turned from the light they had loved so much.
The tension grew unbearable. The Elves who had embraced the teachings of Lolth marched into the cities and slaughtered their brethren. The first attack came under cover of darkness, and the other Elves could not mount a defense. But they had seen the dark time to come, and they had readied themselves for war. Their preparations were not in vain. They returned fire.
The Elfwar raged for decades, neither side gaining victory. Thousands of Elves perished on both sides, and the number of wounded grew ever higher. The Elves of Lolth took the name Drow to signify their new allegiance, and they took the cities they had captured as their homes. They massed for the final battle, and Lolth covered the land in loathsome clouds of black to strike fear in the hearts of mortal Elves. The Drow were prepared to win—but then the gods themselves intervened.
Corellon Larethian and his companions struck deep into the heart of Drow territory. Long and hard they fought, seeking the evil in that land. Finally, Corellon Larethian came upon the dread Spider Queen, and he attacked. Magic flared and spat; blood merged in rivulets. Then Corellon struck Lolth a telling blow, driving her deep into the earth. With her defeat, the haze over the battlefield lifted, allowing the bright light of the sun to bathe the land in its healing rays.
The Drow turned their faces away from the sun's purification, preferring instead their fallen goddess. They consciously chose the shadows over light, and Corellon decreed that such treachery would forever show upon their faces. It is for this reason that the skin of the Drow is dark.
Corellon forced the evil Elves into the rift where he had banished Lolth the Spider. After the last Drow was driven underground, he and his fellow gods abandoned the Elves to their own devices, preferring instead the plane of Arvandor.
The rifts and turmoil created by the Elfwar have permanently scarred the elf psyche. Although many factions were appalled at the breaking away of the drow, some could not contain their discontent. Several such groups chose to strike out on their own: an event called the Fractioning. Thus, the division of elves, begun by the drow, continued. The elven race divided into the grey elves, who had chosen the mountains as their home; the sylvan elves, who had returned to the forests of their birth; and the high elves, who chose to remain in the elven cities and be the keepers of the elven way of life. Still more sought farther afield, roaming the oceans, the arctic wastes, and the skies above.
In time, these elven nations grew further apart, each coming to develop special characteristics. The grey elves became ever more aloof, while the sylvan elves grew as wild as the forests. The explorers adapted themselves to new lands, regardless of where they settled. Still others continued to roam, leading a nomad's life. In campaigns, these nomadic elves are considered high elves.
These nomadic elves encountered the other races that had been so haphazardly scattered about the world. The elves were often a source of legend to the dwarves, humans, gnomes, and halflings. Initial contact was relatively peaceful, particularly with gnomes and halflings. But suspicions remained, and tensions grew, particularly between elves and dwarves.
None are truly sure of the reason behind the war with the dwarves. Some claim the dispute was a territorial matter, while others hold it was a difference in ideologies. Of course, both elves and dwarves name the other as instigator. Whatever the cause, they fought brutal, bitter wars for many years. They have since reconciled to a degree, but there has never been total trust between the two races.
The first elven contact with humans has been lost to the mists of time. Since the elves were figures out of human myth, the humans were more inclined to hold them in awe. This attitude has carried over even unto the present day, and the elves remain enigmas to humans.
Although elves and humans have not gone to full-scale war with one another, there have been a number of small clashes. Many of these are over human encroachment into the forests and their heavy-handed techniques for logging. The elves take exception to the death of virgin forest. Further, some humans, out of greed and jealousy, have taken advantage of the elves' trust to slay and destroy them.
Thus, elves have come to mistrust humans as well; many have withdrawn beyond human ken. While some remain in the lands known to humans, more have returned to the fabled Elflands.
The elves are a proud people. They see the unbridled thirsts in the human race; that, coupled with their amazing fecundity, make them a serious threat to all that the elves originally accomplished. The elves watch the humans, and there is fear in their hearts.
1. /Player Handbook.doc
1. /Ivrel/Core Rules/Addendums/Monster Addendum 1 [Draconians].doc
1. /Darko Kajfez and Pierre Guillon. Dielectric Resonators, 2nd Edition.djvu
1. /Roger W. Haines. HVAC Systems Design Handbook/0071449515_ar001.pdf
1. /Player's Sheet/CHARREC.DOC
|Academia Latina III 2nd –10th August 2008 Rome|
|'I won't be a cruel king. I won't kill dragons and peasants. I'll love my|