Friday, February 15, 2013

The Wood Elf

I'm hoping to get my brother into RPGs, so for Christmas I gave him a copy of Frank Mentzer's Player's Manual from the 1983 basic set of Dungeons & Dragons.  I chose that particular edition because the opening pages are the best introduction to the hobby that I've ever seen anywhere.

Well, it doesn't make sense to give him a book if I don't plan on running a game, so I gathered a few friends and started a weekly old-school D&D campaign.  My goal is to use this campaign to introduce him to the hobby, then switch over to my re-write of Dekahedron.

One of the players--James--wanted to play a Ranger.  But Rangers were in AD&D, not D&D.  So I split the difference and made a new race for him: The Wood Elf.  If the original D&D elf is a hybrid fighter-magic user, then the wood elf is a hybrid fighter-druid, which is exactly what I think a fantasy ranger should be.

Here's the write-up:

Wood Elf

RequirementsWisdom score of 9+
Neutral alignment
Prime RequisitesStrength
5% Experience BonusStrength of 13+ *and* Wisdom of 13-15
10% Experience BonusStrength of 13+ *and* Wisdom of 16+
Hit Dice1d6 per level up to 9th level
10th level, + 1 hit point, and Constitution adjustment does not apply
Maximum Level10
ArmorRestricted to organic-based armors only (Leather armor)
shield permitted if made only of wood and leather
WeaponsAny, but must be entirely constructed of organic materials
Save asElf of the same level
Fight asElf of the same level
Special AbilitiesFighter Maneuvers (Lance Attack, Set Spear vs. Charge; at 850,000 XP, Combat Options for Fighters);
half damage from dragon breath at 1,600,000 XP;
extra languages (elf, gnoll, hobgoblin, orc);
1 in 3 chance to detect and follow tracks in the wilderness;
immunity to ghoul paralysis;
Druid spells;
Most Cleric spells

More so than the other Elfin sub-races, Wood Elves are one with nature. They live in isolated communities scattered throughout The Dreadwood, each lead by a self-proclaimed Elfin Princess. Unlike the more common Elves that dwell in great forest-cities, Wood Elf communities are intentionally kept small in order to reduce the environmental impact on the local area. When a community gets too large for the local area--usually when it reaches a population of 500 or so--an Elfin Maid will be named Princess and gather a group to form a new community.

Like the other Demi-Human races, most Wood Elves do not adventure. Those that do are almost always from the Priest-caste, which is presented here. They go out into to the wider world sometimes to spread their views on nature love, and other times to judge the other races for their treatment of the Wood. in fact, some believe that the Cataclysm that gave rise to The Dreadwood was caused by a Wood Elf ritual as an attempt to restore their view of "natural balance."

Wood Elf priests are not limited bludgeoning weapons like the Human clerics, but any weapon that they do carry must be 100% organic, with (for example) no stone or metal parts. For example, the arrows used by Wood Elf priests are often tipped with ivory arrow heads, costing twice as much as normal arrows.

While Wood Elf priests can technically wear any type of armor, the requirement that it be 100% organic effectively limit them to cloth or leather armor with a wooden shield. There are rumors of other types of armor made from organic materials, but such things are rare.

Wood Elves may cast any Druid spells supported by their current level. They may also cast any Cleric spell that does not relate to good, evil, law or chaos. For the number of spells per day, see the level progression chart.

Level Progression

Spells per day by level

*Per The Dreadwood house rule, 1st level clerics and Wood Elves receive 1 first-level spell every-other-day.

EDIT: I forgot to mention it earlier, but I used an excellent article, "Building the Perfect Class" by Erin Smale to help me determine the XP progression.

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