Half-elves are the most common mixed-race beings. The relationship between elf, human, and half-elf is defined as follows: 1) Anyone with both elven and human ancestors is either a human or a half-elf (elves have only elven ancestors). 2) If there are more human ancestors than elven, the person is human; if there are equal numbers or more elves, the person is half-elven.

Half-elves are usually much like their elven parent in appearance. They are handsome folk, with the good features of each of their races. They mingle freely with either race, being only slightly taller than the average elf (5 feet 6 inches on average) and weighing about 150 pounds. They typically live about 160 years. They do not have all the abilities of the elf, nor do they have the flexibility of unlimited level advancement of the human. Finally, in some of the less-civilized nations, half-elves are viewed with suspicion and superstition.

In general, a half-elf has the curiosity, inventiveness, and ambition of his human ancestors and the refined senses, love of nature, and artistic tastes of his elven ancestors.

Half-elves do not form communities among themselves; rather, they can be found living in both elven and human communities. The reactions of humans and elves to half-elves ranges from intrigued fascination to outright bigotry.

Of all the demihuman races, half-elves have the greatest range of choices in character class. They tend to make good druids and rangers. A half-elf can choose to be a cleric, druid, fighter, ranger, mage, specialist wizard, thief, or bard. In addition, a half-elf can choose from the following multi-class combinations: cleric (or druid)/fighter, cleric (or druid)/fighter/mage, cleric (or druid)/ranger, cleric (or druid)/mage, fighter/mage, fighter/thief, fighter/mage/thief, and mage/thief. The half-elf must abide by the rules for multi-class characters.

Half-elves do not have a language of their own. Their extensive contact with other races enables them to choose any of the following languages (plus any other allowed by the DM): common, elf, gnome, halfling, goblin, hobgoblin, orc, and gnoll. The actual number of languages the character knows is limited by his Intelligence (see
Table 4) or by the number of proficiency slots he allots to languages (if that optional system is used).

Half-elven characters have a 30% resistance to sleep and all charm-related spells.

Half-elven infravision enables them to see up to 60 feet in darkness.

Secret or concealed doors are difficult to hide from half-elves, just as they are from elves. Merely passing within 10 feet of a concealed door (one hidden by obstructing curtains, etc.) gives the half-elven character a one-in-six chance (roll a 1 on 1d6) of spotting it. If the character is actively seeking to discover hidden doors, he has a one-in-three chance (roll a 1 or 2 on 1d6) of spotting a secret door (one constructed to be undetectable) and a one-in-two chance (roll a 1, 2, or 3 on 1d6) of locating a concealed door.

(See also
Monstrous Manual and Player’s Option: Skills & Powers)

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