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The 4e Elf

Wizards have posted the elf racial entry from the 4th Edition Player's Handbook. Looks pretty good....


Quick, wary archers who freely roam the forests and wilds.

Racial Traits

Average Height: 5' 7"-6' 0"
Average Weight: 100-130 lb.

Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom
Size: Medium
Speed: 7 squares
Vision: Low-light

Languages: Common, Elven
Skill Bonuses: +2 Nature, +2 Perception

Elven Accuracy
Elf Racial Power

With an instant of focus, you take careful aim at your foe and strike with the legendary accuracy of the elves.

Free Action

Effect: Reroll an attack roll. Use the second roll, even if it's lower.

Elven Weapon Training: You gain proficiency with the longbow and the shortbow.
Wild Step: You ignore difficult terrain when you shift (even if you have a power that allows you to shift multiple squares).
Group Awareness: You grant non-elf allies within 5 squares a +1 racial bonus to Perception checks.
Elven Accuracy: You can use elven accuracy as an encounter power.

Wild and free, elves guard their forested lands using stealth and deadly arrows from the trees. They build their homes in close harmony with the forest, so perfectly joined that travelers often fail to notice that they have entered an elven community until it is too late.

Play an elf if you want …

  • to be quick, quiet, and wild;
  • to lead your companions through the deep woods and pepper your enemies with arrows;
  • to play a ranger, a rogue, or a cleric.

Physical Qualities

Elves are slender, athletic folk about as tall as humans. They have the same range of complexions as humans, tending more toward tan or brown hues. A typical elf's hair color is dark brown, autumn orange, mossy green, or deep gold. Elves' ears are long and pointed, and their eyes are vibrant blue, violet, or green. Elves have little body hair, but males often grow long sideburns. They favor a wild look to their hair, which is often a shaggy mass of braids.

Elves mature at about the same rate as humans but show few effects of age past adulthood. The first sign of an elf's advancing age is typically a change in hair color -- sometimes graying but usually darkening or taking on more autumnal hues. Most elves live to be well over 200 years old and remain vigorous almost to the end.

Playing an Elf

Elves are a people of deeply felt but short-lived passions. They are easily moved to delighted laughter, blinding wrath, or mournful tears. They are inclined to impulsive behavior, and members of other races sometimes see elves as flighty or impetuous, but elves do not shirk responsibility or forget commitments. Thanks in part to their long life span, elves sometimes have difficulty taking certain matters as seriously as other races do, but when genuine threats arise, elves are fierce and reliable allies.

Elves revere the natural world. Their connection to their surroundings enables them to perceive much. They never cut living trees, and when they create permanent communities, they do so by carefully growing or weaving arbors, tree houses, and catwalks from living branches. They prefer the primal power of the natural world to the arcane magic their eladrin cousins employ. Elves love to explore new forests and new lands, and it's not unusual for individuals or small bands to wander hundreds of miles from their homelands.

Elves are loyal and merry friends. They love simple pleasures -- dancing, singing, footraces, and contests of balance and skill -- and rarely see a reason to tie themselves down to dull or disagreeable tasks. Despite how unpleasant war can be, a threat to their homes, families, or friends can make elves grimly serious and prompt them to take up arms.

At the dawn of creation, elves and eladrin were a single race dwelling both in the Feywild and in the world, and passing freely between the two. When the drow rebelled against their kin, under the leadership of the god Lolth, the resulting battles tore the fey kingdoms asunder. Ties between the peoples of the Feywild and the world grew tenuous, and eventually the elves and eladrin grew into two distinct races. Elves are descended from those who lived primarily in the world, and they no longer dream of the Feywild. They love the forests and wilds of the world that they have made their home.

Elf Characteristics: Agile, friendly, intuitive, joyful, perceptive, quick, tempestuous, wild.

Male Names: Adran, Beiro, Carric, Erdan, Gennal, Heian, Lucan, Peren, Rollen, Soveliss, Therren, Varis.

Female Names: Adrie, Birel, Chaedi, Dara, Ennia, Farall, Harrel, Iriann, Lia, Mialee, Shava, Thia, Valenae.

Elf Adventurers

Three sample elf adventurers are described below.

Varis is an elf ranger and a devout worshiper of Melora, the god of the wilds. When a goblin army forced his people from their woodland village, the elves took refuge in the nearest human town, walled and guarded by soldiers. Varis now leads other elves and some human townsfolk in raids against the goblins. Although he maintains a cheerful disposition, he frequently stares into the distance, listening, expecting at any moment to hear signs of approaching foes.

Lia is an elf rogue whose ancestral forest burned to the ground decades ago. Lia grew up on the wasteland's fringes in a large human city, unable to quite fit in. Her dreams called her to the forests, while her waking hours were spent in the dirtiest parts of civilization. She joined a group of adventurers after trying to cut a warlock's purse, and she fell in love with the wide world beyond the city.

Heian is an elf cleric of Sehanine, the god of the moon. The elven settlement where he was born still thrives in a forest untouched by the darkness spreading through the world, but he left home years ago, in search of new horizons and adventures. His travels lately have brought rumors to his ears that danger might be brewing in the ancient forest, and he is torn between a desire to seek his own way in the world and a sense of duty to his homeland.




( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 23rd, 2007 10:24 am (UTC)
Interesting. There are several references I don't understand: shifting? And the names of the gods are different, too. Wonder if they're going to post any more and make that expensive book even less good value?
Dec. 23rd, 2007 12:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Hmmm
Shifting is, I think, the 4e term for a five foot step. There is a new pantheon for 4e which includes Bahamut and Bane (from Forgotten Realms). Sehanine was previously elven goddess of the moon; Melora is a new one.
Dec. 28th, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC)
I notice that the stat bonuses are all positive. I wonder how the human is going to compensate for this - perhaps +2 on any two stats to keep the flexibility thing going?

The fact that they've got new gods involved rather suggests they've got a new default campaign world in mind. Have they said anything about how prominent this is likely to be?

Dec. 28th, 2007 03:36 pm (UTC)
Not sure about the human, but I reckon you're on the right lines. All races are just getting stat bonuses.
I don't think it's much more than an implied setting: gods, some background stuff including references to fallen empires and so on for flavour. Definitely not Greyhawk-lite this time though.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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