Half-Elf, Redux (3.5e Race)

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What follows is a "redux" of the half-elf presented in the Player's Handbook. As most people would agree, it is simply a boring, unimaginative, and arguably underpowered racial option for what should be a much more interesting and dynamic character concept.


Half-elves are extremely charismatic and confident individuals, a necessary development due to the constant hardship they suffer on their journeys. Many find them to be charming, even if only in a sort of off-beat way, and half-elves have no qualms about putting others to the side if it benefits their own goals.

Physical Description[edit]

Despite expectations to the contrary, half-elves tend to be slightly taller than a normal human and often (but not always) have pointed ears, albeit much more subdued than their elven parent's. Their eyes slant, but not the same way elves do and they have much sturdier frames than their woodland ancestors. Half-elves maintain some sort of natural grace but theirs is much more...rough, more a cocky force of personality than actual physical beauty. Confidence goes a long way, after all.

That said, half-elves do inherit the coloration tendencies of both their parents, with their skin tones tending towards an amalgamation of the two. For example, a half-elf of human and drow parentage will likely have ash-colored skin, but is just as likely to have white hair as they are brown, black, red, or blonde hair. Facial hair is also fairly common amongst half-elves, a trait inherited from their human ancestors.


With the exception of humans and elves, most other races have no particular views on half-elves since they're not really a race, strictly speaking, and as a result they tend to treat them as either a human or elf depending on the situation. That said, individual half-elves usually have no problem getting people to like them. Of all the standard races, half-orcs are the ones most likely to identify with half-elves straight-up, though the feeling is not always mutual.

As for humans and elves, they see half-elves as having all the worst attributes of their opposing race while still (begrudgingly) accepting them as one of their own.


Most half-elves lean towards a neutral alignment, though chaotic tendencies are quite common as well.


As a crossbreed race, half-elves do not have lands of their own and instead can be found in any community willing to take them in.


Half-elves tend to worship whatever gods their were raised amongst, which in turn means either human or elven pantheons.


Half-elves are raised speaking both elven and common, and often enjoy expanding their repertoire of languages.


Half-elves tend to adopt whatever names are most common amongst the people they live with. Nicknames are quite common, however, usually with the half-elf adopting what was originally considered a slur and wearing it as a badge of honor. Tanis Half-Elven of Dragonlance fame is a shining example of this tendency.

Racial Traits[edit]

  • +2 Charisma and -2 Wisdom: Half-elves have strong but likable personalities, a result of nurture rather than nature. However, they rely on their sly wits and charming disposition far more than they do from lessons learned, thus gaining a Charisma bonus in exchange for a hit to their Wisdom scores.
  • Humanoid (Human, Elf). For all effects related to race, prerequisites, or other special conditions, a half-elf is considered both an elf and a human.
  • Medium size: Half-elves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Half-elves base land speed is 30 feet.
  • Exceptional Diplomats: Half-elves make great ambassadors and diplomats. They gain a +4 racial bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, and Sense Motive checks, and they always treat those skills as class skills.
  • Low-Light Vision: A half-elf can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color in these conditions.
  • Stubborn Charm: Half-elves may use their Charisma modifier in place of their Wisdom modifier when making Will saves.
  • Versatility: Like humans, half-elves gain an extra skill point at each character level (multiplied by 4 at 1st level).
  • Automatic Languages: Common and Elven. Bonus Languages: Any.
  • Favored Class: Any.

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Half-Elf Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
20 years +1d6 +2d6 +3d6
Table: Half-Elves Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
100 years 200 years 350 years +5d20+50 years
  1. At middle age, −1 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  2. At old age, −2 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  3. At venerable age, −3 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
Table: Half-Elves Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 5' 0" +2d12 120 lb. × (2d4) lb.
Female 4' 8" +2d12 90 lb. × 2d6) lb.

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