The Quintessential Elf
Author Alejandro Melchor
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2002
With their long lives, elves have the chance to become legends among their people and still be around to receive the accolades and train the younger generations. The apprentice is the pupil of one such legend. It may be that he is the child of the elf hero, or simply one studying under him. The fact remains that the apprentice bears a great weight upon his shoulders, trying to meet the expectations of the community, his family, and his master. He has endured long years of harsh training under the best possible mentor, and strived to absorb as much Wisdom as possible and now it is his turn to make a name for himself, putting all that he has learned to good use. But first, he must learn to depend on his own skills and create his own reputation out of his master’s shadow.
Adventuring: An apprentice’s goal in life is to prove himself the equal of or better than his master, and adventuring is the best opportunity for fame and recognition, especially if his master was an adventurer himself. Lawful apprentices will wait until their mentor considers that they are ready to strike out on their own, while ones that are more chaotic will escape one night, taking with them a useful treasure from their master, just in case they need it. Adventuring is the true test for apprentices, proving if they are capable or not of following in their master’s footsteps or if they should choose a different road. Whatever is the case, an apprentice is an enthusiastic, if sometimes reckless, adventurer. His eagerness to prove his skills puts him in situations of danger, but also hones him into a sharper tool than the one that left the mentor’s forges.
Role-Playing: The apprentice hides his inexperience behind a mask of self-confidence, hoping that he paid enough attention to his master to survive whatever he is facing at the moment. He might trust his training or be unsure about how he absorbed his master’s Wisdom, but he will often choke down his fear and stand in the front lines, living up to the expectations. He gets angry when the inevitable comparison arrives, but tries to hide it and prove the comparison wrong. When faced with a situation that his training did not cover, he hesitates, but if he comes up with a way out by himself, his confidence grows much more. However, failure also affects him much more, as he believe that he is failing his master.
Bonuses: Apprentices begin their careers with a head start, trained by one of the best in the field. They begin character creation with an extra feat and a masterwork item related to their class, with a market price no higher than 320gp.
Penalties: The apprentice has high expectations of himself, and gets frustrated whenever he fails to meet his masters standards. If the apprentice fails an attack roll or skill check by more than 5, he loses some self-confidence and is at -2 to all attack rolls and skill checks until he has had a chance to rest. If the failed result is a 1, he suffers -4. This penalty remains until the character reaches 5th level in the class he trained in under a mentor, thus proving once and for all that he is a worthy heir of his master’s knowledge.