Half-elves
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Travelers, adventurers, traders, and diplomats, half-elves are born leaders whose glib tongues invite friendly smiles and inspire welcoming arms. Half-elves appear throughout Faerûn wherever elves and humans dwell together. Half-elf settlements exist, but they are unusual. Half-elves learn to bridge the divide of their racial heritage, becoming adaptable individuals who feel at ease among different cultures and societies. As a result, many half-elves travel widely and adopt professions that are not attractive to many humans and elves.

Description and Homelands

Half-elves are said to have the best traits of elves and humans. Physically, they often share the metallic skin tones and rich hair colors of their elven kin. However, unlike the more slender elves, half-elves have sturdy bodies and bulky muscles. The combination of their force of personality and their physical presence makes them stand out in almost any crowd.

A half-elf's complexion, accent, and mannerisms vary according to his or her culture, though these are by no means an indication of an individual's home. Half-elves are found from Chult to Thay, and many affect different accents and characteristics depending on the places through which they travel. Someone gifted in glib and adaptable speech is often said to have "the tongue of a half-elf."

The largest populations of half-elves are found in Aglarond, Gulthandor, the Dales, and Luruar. Many of the half-elves formerly occupying Cormyr and the area that is now Evereska moved northward over the past few decades, finding the human-dominated lands to the north welcoming.

The only truly "half-elf nation" is Aglarond. Despite the disappearance of the Simbul, Aglarond remains steadfast in its opposition to Thay. Half-elves from around Faerûn venture to this land, often just to experience this anomalous country, other times to explore the fey portals of the Yuirwood or offer aid in the nation’s defense.

Half-elves' natural leadership qualities enable them to rise to prominent positions in both elven and human communities. Elves respect the avant garde attitude of their cousins and appreciate that they are less reckless than most humans, while humans are drawn to the light-hearted and plucky demeanor that is absent in elves.

Playing a Half-Elf in Toril

Many half-elves are content to lead the simple lives of their parent races, earning livings as traders, merchants, farmers, or craftsmen. Others gradually acquire a curiosity about the world at large, a condition the elves refer to as "the human habit." This wanderlust afflicts many half-elves in early adulthood, causing them to set out with little more than the clothes on their backs.

The motivations of such wandering half-elves vary considerably. Some members of the race seek simply to slake a thirst to see the world and experience new cultures. Others take a more aggressive attitude, joining adventuring companies or taking to the high seas in search of treasure and action. Half-elves maintain an optimistic outlook despite the troubles their travels might bring.

Half-elves are naturally charismatic, though this quality manifests itself differently from one individual to another. Many half-elves earn respect through confidence and bravery, while others make friends through their cordial and polite manner. Despite gaining friends and a place of honor among any number of societies, many individuals still feel the isolation and division inherent in their heritage. Many half-elves struggle with this fundamental schism, and the conflict can ultimately manifest in negative and villainous qualities.

Not every half-elf is born of a loving relationship between an elf and human. Half-elves who are troubled by their past, whether because of unsavory parents or an unhappy family, feel burdened by other people’s expectations of them. Most humanoids know that half-elves are friendly, fun-loving companions, and they expect each half-elf to behave that way. The pressure of this stereotypical thinking leads some half-elves to become bitter.

A half-elf's combination of physical and mental attributes makes almost any pursuit a viable option. While half-elves are not often found tucked away in a library studying dusty arcane tomes, they might be found following virtually any other endeavor in Faerûn, regardless of geography or adversity.

Half-Elf Characteristics: Accommodating, adaptable, charming, confident, gregarious, open-minded
Half-Elf Names: Typically elf or human names, though some half-elves have names more typical of other races

Half-Elf Adventurers

Three sample half-elf adventurers are described below.

Daran, half-elf warlord

Daran is a half-elf warlord and an enthusiastic tactician. He has no aspirations to march at the head of an army; he is content leading a small band of friends in a quest for personal glory. Wealth is a welcome benefit of adventuring, and between adventures, he enjoys spending his time and wealth in the world's cities. He wins friends easily, draws on a wide network of contacts to find adventuring opportunities, and can call in favors across the land.

Shuva, half-elf warlock

Shuva is a half-elf warlock whose brooding force of personality inspires more fear than loyalty. Unlike many of her kind, she grew up feeling part of neither human nor elven society. She has always been a loner and is accustomed to relying only on herself. Now that she's part of an adventuring group, she's slowly learning to trust her companions.

Calder, half-elf paladin

Calder is a half-elf paladin of Amaunator, the god of the sun. A strong sense of compassion leads Calder to aid those in need and alleviate their suffering in any way he can. Often he fights against evil forces that prey on the weak, whether the forces are bandits harrying caravans or gnolls laying waste to farmsteads. He refuses to let fighting define him, however, and spends more time helping the victims of hardship than he does celebrating his successes.

Half-elf Racial Traits

Average Height: 5' 5"–6' 2"
Average Weight: 130–190 lb.

Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Low-light

Languages: Common, Elven, choice of one other
Skill Bonuses: +2 Diplomacy, +2 Insight
Dilettante: At 1st level, you choose an at-will power from a class different from yours. You can use that power as an encounter power.
Dual Heritage: You can take feats that have either elf or human as a prerequisite (as well as those specifically for half-elves), as long as you meet any other requirements.
Group Diplomacy: You grant allies within 10 squares of you a +1 racial bonus to Diplomacy checks.

Play a half-elf if you want …

  • to be an outgoing, enthusiastic leader.
  • to be a charismatic hero equally at home in two different cultures.
  • to be a member of a race that favors the warlord, paladin, and warlock classes.

Character Races
Player's Handbook DragonbornDwarvesEladrinElvesHalf-ElvesHalflingsHumansTieflings
Player's Handbook 2 DevasGnomesGoliathsHalf-OrcsShifters
Player's Handbook 3 GithzeraiMinotaurShardmindWilden
Forgotten Realms Player's Guide DrowGenasi
Character Races

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