Tuesday, July 19, 2011

B/X Wood Elf

[because I really HAVEN'T kicked off 'dwarf week'...this one's for the other side]


More closely related to the wooded faerie folk (pixies, sprites, etc.) the rustic cousins of standard elves are less concerned with the acquisition and collection of magic than with hunting and merry-making. Though taller than their 'high elf' brethren (as they call normal elves), they are slighter of build and light of foot, and prefer walking to riding whenever possible. They are excellent archers and evil creatures do well not to stray within bowshot of a wood elf forest.

The prime requisites for a wood elf are Strength and Dexterity. A wood elf character whose Strength or Dexterity is 13 or greater will receive a 5% bonus to earned experience. Wood elves whose Strength and Dexterity are 13 or greater will receive a bonus of 10% to earned experience.

RESTRICTIONS: Wood elves use six-sided dice (d6) to determine their hit points. They may advance to a maximum of 9th level of experience. Wood elves may use any weapon, armor, or shield just as a normal elf; however, they do not use magic and do not cast spells. They use the same attack and saving throw tables as an elf of equal level and can use any magic item normally useable by fighters. Wood elves must have a minimum score of 9 in Dexterity.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Wood elves have the same infravision, ability to detect secret doors, and immunity to ghoul paralysis as other elves. They are very accurate with missile weapons and receive a +1 bonus to attack rolls when using them. Outdoors, wood elves are difficult to spot, having the ability to seemingly vanish into woods or underbrush; wood elves have only a 10% chance of being detected in this type of cover. All wood elves speak Common and Elvish, as well as the language of orcs, hobgoblins, pixies, and treants.

Wood elves that reach Name (9th) level may build the same kind of forest stronghold as normal elves, developing the same friendship with animals in the region. Wood elves never hire non-elven mercenaries, though they may employ specialists and retainers of any species, including creatures of the forest that share the wood elf's alignment.

Level.....Title.....Experience Points.....Hit Dice
1.....Wood Elf Scout.....0.....1D6
2.....Wood Elf Warrior.....2500.....2D6
3.....Wood Elf Swordmaster.....5000.....3D6
4.....Wood Elf Hero.....10,000.....4D6
5.....Wood Elf Swashbuckler.....20,000.....5D6
6.....Wood Elf Warden.....40,000.....6D6
7.....Wood Elf Champion.....80,000.....7D6
8.....Wood Elf Superhero.....150,000.....8D6
9.....Wood Elf Lord (Lady).....300,000.....9D6

[***EDIT: For higher level play, like the type discussed in the B/X Companion, use the Elf as the basis for continuing advancement with regard to multiple attacks, saving throws, and attack rolls. A wood elf that gains 500,000 XP attacks and saves as if 10th level, though they do not gain an extra hit die; advancement thereafter exactly corresponds to the Elf class***]


  1. Very nice! but I would increase the maximum level to 10, and I would reduce their XP requirements to the dwarf's table; it doesn't seem to look more powerful than the dwarf; to the contrary, it has lower saves and lower HD which I don't think are balanced by the hiding (just compare with the halfling.)

  2. This is a B/H halfling with elven vision and worse saves. Is that enough to justify a 20% XP penality?

  3. @ Antonio: Yeah, you may be right (that the dwarf table is a better match), but I didn't want the wood elf to advance as fast as the dwarf.

    The halfling has many disadvantages not immediately apparent...weapon restriction for one (moreso if one uses Variable Weapon Damage). But just being a shorty means a lot of the magical gear found in the dungeon will be non-useful to the halfling. Same holds true for dwarves (unless you're raiding an ancient dwarf mine).

    Adding wood elves to the game means multiple elf tribes and thus allies for the wood elf...not to mention kinship to forest creatures. Picking up a bear as a buddy/retainer is pretty useful!

    And the COMBO of certain abilities give the wood elf a leg up over both the dwarf and halfling. Yes, halflings make good snipers, but wood elves can snipe in the dark (Infravision)...useful both outdoors and in the dungeon. And the immunity to paralysis is a real winner when you're facing a three attack creature like a ghoul. And while I didn't specifically state so in the class description, I'd give wood elves the same long lifespan of normal elves, an advantage over ALL the player character races.

    These are all the things I considered when I used the higher XP table. As with the troll slayer posted yesterday, the wood elf may not be suitable for everyone...but the cunning player can make it work!
    : )

  4. @ Tsojcanth:
    Hey...some people just prefer elves. Pay to play, man.
    ; )