The Quintessential Elf
Author Alejandro Melchor
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2002
Elf society is open and tolerant, but there are times when one of them breaks a sacred law or commits a crime that fills his peers with horror. Elves being respectful of all life, they reject the death penalty, considering that exile is a far worse punishment for an elf. The outcast might have valid reasons for doing what he did, he might be innocent or as corrupt as his community claims he is, the fact is that he is no longer welcomed among his brethren, and is openly shunned. He wanders the land, associating with other races and holding tight to what he has left from his heritage.
Adventuring: Outcast elves take to adventuring because they have few other choices. While they could settle among other races, they seldom become comfortable and prefer to keep on the move. They often join with adventuring parties in search of the companionship denied to them, but if there is another elf frictions are inevitable. Some outcasts seek out adventure in an attempt to clear their name or atone for their crimes, hoping that good and honourable deeds will earn them pardon. Or they might actually be looking for a way to take revenge. Being forcefully separated from his fellows is a mark that no elf will just get over – it will always colour his actions and motivations.
Role-Playing: Depending on the nature of the crime, the outcast might be melancholic and taciturn, staunchly convinced of the righteousness of his actions, or a bitter individual who takes his frustration out on the people he meets. Whatever the case, the outcast elf is always a strong individualist, forced to live on his own and cut off from the support of others of his kind. Most relationships he forms will be at first an attempt to fill the void left by his exile, but they seldom become true friendships or something deeper. The mistrust can fade over time, as the elf learns to accept his place among his new family, or he can die alone, never forming any new bonds to replace the severed ones.
Bonuses: The outcast has been forced to travel and deal with other races to survive, giving him a +1 bonus to Gather Information, Bluff and Sense Motive. These skills are also considered class skills regardless of the character’s class.
Penalties: Outcasts carry the stigma and shame of their status wherever they go. There is a 20% chance that any elf or elf-friend the character meets has heard of his infamy, causing him to suffer a -4 circumstance penalty on all Charisma-based checks with that elf or elf-friend. In an elven community, or any settlement with an elf population, this chance increases to 30% and it takes only one person to recognize the outcast for word to travel around and the penalty to apply to all of that community.