As a half-elf, maybe you were born into a family of half-elves living within human society. Or maybe you are one of the rare half-elves born to the union of an elf and a half-elf, or even of an open-minded elf and a human who disdains iron. Perhaps you adventure because the traditions of your half-elf clan felt onerous to you, or because you prefer not to watch your human friends age and die around you. Perhaps the prejudice that elves feel towards humans drove you out of elf society. Maybe you seek to learn more about elves, humans, or both. Of course, you may be motivated by the same drives as any human or elf.
Introduction: Long ago, before humans discovered how to smelt iron, before they had come to dominate the civilized world, elves were delighted to find and mentor them. Since that time, there has been a continuing tradition of families of elvish descent living among humans. Amid the wide diversity of humanity, it is not uncommon to find tall, graceful people with slightly pointed ears.
Appearance: Combining the vigor and energy of humans with the grace and otherworldly beauty of elves, half-elves tend to have an arresting presence that is intriguing to members of both parent races. They usually top six feet in height, with eyes and ears that recall their elvish side, and with the variety in coloration that all humans display. Seeking to blend in, they usually adopt the clothing style and speech of those near whom they live.
Society: Within human nations, half-elf families tend to cluster, meeting privately to practice elf traditions, music, and language; they marry other half-elves for the most part. They do not keep their traditions secret, exactly, but they know that humans sometimes target with prejudice those who are different, so they try to be discreet, assimilating into human society. They often seek leadership roles -- as diplomats, clerics, knights, and paladins -- both because they have a natural talent for that, and as a form of cultural insurance. When they live among elves, half-elves face contempt for their human descent, although sometimes friendship and love trump bigotry. Some half-elves seek to prove their worth within elf society, and the most charismatic ones are likely to find it. There is an elvish custom of using half-elves as mercenaries, and half-elf paladins as officers.
Character Creation: Apply the following adjustments to every half-elf player character.
- Ability Score Adjustment: +2 Charisma.
- Saving Throw Bonuses: +2 on Reflex and Will saving throws.
- Extra Hit Points: +4.
- Skill Bonuses: +3 to Diplomacy, Gather Information, and Perform. You are proficient in these skills.
- Size: Medium.
- Move: 30 feet.
- Vision: Low-Light Vision.
- Languages: Human and Elven. Bonus Languages: Common, Draconic, Dwarf, Gnoll, Gnome, and Goblin.
- Special: Adaptable - You receive a bonus gallimaufry (skill) feat at 1st level. You count as both an elf and a human for any effect related to race.
- Weakness: Eager to Please, with Minor Iron Allergy - You suffer a -1 racial penalty on saving throws against enchantments. Also, wearing iron or steel armor and shields gives you the queasy condition.
Tyro Tier (character level 3): Select one from among these powers:
- Power: Favored Class (Paladin) - Your levels as a paladin do not count against you when determining experience point penalties for multiclassing.
- Power: Integrated - You are skilled in the art of blending into a community. You are proficient with the Bluff, Disguise, and Knowledge (local) skills. Once per day you can reroll a failed check using one of these skills.
- Power: Choose Homesteader OR Tinker (from the human power list) OR Elf Cantrip OR Lesser Elf Magic (from the elf power list).
Adventurer Tier (character level 8): Select one from among these powers:
- Power: Friendly Face - You seem trustworthy to others, and they let their guard down around you. The saving throw DCs of spells and spell-like abilities that you initiate out of combat are increased by +1, and you gain a +1 racial bonus on initiative checks.
- Power: Choose Explorer (from the human power list) OR Trance OR Elf Weapons (from the elf power list).
Hero Tier (character level 13): Select one from among these powers:
- Power: Third Way - Transcending the limits of both your parent races, you may multiclass freely without penalty, you shed your minor iron allergy, you gain a lionheart point, and all of your descendants will be half-elves.
- Power: Choose Inventor OR Leader (from the human power list) OR Elf Crafting OR Greater Elf Magic (from the elf power list).
Legend Tier (character level 18): Select one from among these powers:
- Power: Inspiring - When you give morale or aid another bonuses to others (by any means), the size of the bonuses is increased by +3.
- Power: Choose Talented OR Skilled (from the human power list) OR Woodland Hunter OR Loremaster (from the elf power list).
Note: Half-elves may not select a lower tier power in place of a higher tier power.