This site is games | books | films

Urban Elf

The Quintessential Elf

Author Alejandro Melchor
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2002

It is rare, but not unthinkable, for an elf to grow up and be raised inside a city of a different race. The reason for this may be that he belongs to a long-standing embassy in a human city or his family moved in while fleeing from some menace. The fact is that the elf child is more attuned to the comings and goings of an urban environment instead of the gentle flows of nature. Somehow, his family managed to instill elven values and education in him, but he took a liking to the city and only adventures into the wild to get to another city. An urban elf is more cosmopolitan and open in his relationships with others, and has a feel for how a city works the same way that another elf knows every bend of a river.

Adventuring: Urban elves prefer the thrill of social interaction with members of other races to long nights spent in the open. Theirs is not a life of exploration, and they are looked down upon by other elves for this, but they make themselves valuable for the link they provide to what happens in the fast-moving world of a large city. The character is likely to belong to an organisation or prestige class that does not see many elves joining, like the city’s watch, the priesthood of a non-elven deity or even a human Thieves’ guild. These elves prefer to stay in the world they know, just like their cousins. The difference is that theirs is made of stone and plaster instead of wood and wind.

Role-Playing: Urban elves are knowledgeable in the ways of the city, exchanging greetings with neighbours and vendors while walking down an avenue, and generally being open about how they interact with people in general. The crowded urban environment has forced them to be more tolerant about the failings of others, and to learn to rely on the help of trusted neighbours, their race not mattering one bit. Depending on what part of the city he was raised, an urban elf might sport an ‘ivory tower’ attitude towards the needs of the common citizen, or be distrustful of everyone outside a small circle of friends. His relationships across the settlement can be true friendships or just business contacts, but he is not afraid to approach people.

Bonuses: Urban elves enjoy a +2 racial bonus to Hide checks inside a city or any place where there is a lot of people, as they know how to lose themselves in a crowd or into alleys as well as other elves do among trees. Their open nature also grants them a +1 permanent bonus to Gather Information checks.

Penalties: Urban elves miss having the familiar landmarks of buildings and streets, and suffer a -2 penalty to Intuit Direction checks while in the wilderness. They also feel uncomfortable and out of place, suffering a -2 penalty to Wilderness Lore checks.

Scroll to Top