Elves are a magical people of otherworldly grace, living in the world but not entirely part of it. They live in places of ethereal beauty, in the midst of ancient forests or in silvery spires glittering with faerie light, where soft music drifts through the air and gentle fragrances waft on the breeze. Elves love nature and magic, art and artistry, music and poetry, and the good things of the world.

ith their unearthly grace and fine features, elves appear hauntingly beautiful to humans and members of many other races. They are slightly shorter than humans on average, ranging from well under 5 feet tall to just over 6 feet. They are more slender than humans, weighing only 100 to 145 pounds. Males and females are about the same height, and males are only marginally heavier than females.

Elves’ coloration encompasses the normal human range and also includes skin in shades of copper, bronze, and almost bluish-white, hair of green or blue, and eyes like pools of liquid gold or silver. Elves have no facial and little body hair. They favor elegant clothing in bright colors, and they enjoy simple yet lovely jewelry.

Elves can live well over 700 years, giving them a broad perspective on events that might trouble the shorter-lived races more deeply. They are more often amused than excited, and more likely to be curious than greedy. They tend to remain aloof and unfazed by petty happenstance. When pursuing a goal, however, whether adventuring on a mission or learning a new skill or art, elves can be focused and relentless. They are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. They reply to petty insults with disdain and to serious insults with vengeance.

Like the branches of a young tree, elves are flexible in the face of danger. They trust in diplomacy and compromise to resolve differences before they escalate to violence. They have been known to retreat from intrusions into their woodland homes, confident that they can simply wait the invaders out. But when the need arises, elves reveal a stern martial side, demonstrating skill with sword, bow, and strategy.

Most elves dwell in small forest villages hidden among the trees. Elves hunt game, gather food, and grow vegetables, and their skill and magic allow them to support themselves without the need for clearing and plowing land. They are talented artisans, crafting finely worked clothes and art objects. Their contact with outsiders is usually limited, though a few elves make a good living by trading crafted items for metals (which they have no interest in mining).

Elves encountered outside their own lands are commonly traveling minstrels, artists, or sages. Human nobles compete for the services of elf instructors to teach swordplay or magic to their children.

Elves take up adventuring out of wanderlust. Since they are so long-lived, they can enjoy centuries of exploration and discovery. They dislike the pace of human society, which is regimented from day to day but constantly changing over decades, so they find careers that let them travel freely and set their own pace. Elves also enjoy exercising their martial prowess or gaining greater magical power, and adventuring allows them to do so. Some might join with rebels fighting against oppression, and others might become champions of moral causes.

Elf Traits

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
  • Age. Although elves reach physical maturity at the same age as humans, the elven understanding of adulthood goes beyond physical growth to encompass worldly experience. An elf typically claims adulthood and an adult name around the age of 100, and can live to be 750 years old.
  • Alignment. Elves love freedom, variety, and self-expression, so they lean strongly towards the gentler aspects of chaos. They value and protect others' freedom as well as their own, and are good more often than not. Drow are exception; their exile into the Underdark has made them vicious and dangerous. Drow are more often evil than not.
  • Size. Elves range from under 5 to over 6 feet tall and have slender builds. Your size is Medium.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • Darkvision. Accustomed to twilit forests and the night sky, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
  • Keen Senses. You have proficiency in the Perception skill.
  • Fey Ancestry. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can't put you to sleep.
  • Trance. Elves do not sleep. Instead they meditate deeply, remaining semi-conscious, for 4 hours a day. The Common word for this meditation is "trance". While meditating, you dream after a fashion; such dreams are actually mental exercises that have become reflexive after years of practice. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit a human would from 8 hours of sleep.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Elven.


The avariel are winged elves. These rare creatures were more common when the worlds of the multiverse were young, but frequent conflicts with dragons much reduced the winged elves’ number. Still, a few colonies persist here and there in the Material Plane and on the Plane of Air.

  • Flight. You have flying speed of 30 feet. To use this speed, you can't be wearing medium or heavy armor.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Auran.

Dark Elf (Drow)

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
  • Superior Darkvision. Your darkvision has a range of 120 feet, instead of 60.
  • Sunlight Sensitivity. You have disadvantage on attack rolls and Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight when you, the target of the attack, or whatever you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight.
  • Drow Magic. You know the dancing lights cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast faerie fire once, and it recharges after a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast darkness once, and it recharges after a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
  • Drow Weapon Training. You have proficiency with rapiers, shortswords, and hand crossbows.


  • Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score or Charisma score increases by 1 (your choice).
  • Elf Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow.
  • Fey Step. You can cast the misty step spell once using this trait. You regain the ability to do so when you finish a short or long rest.
  • Shifting Seasons. At the end of each short or long rest, you can align yourself with the magic of one season, regardless of the season that is dominating your personality. Doing so allows you to cast a certain cantrip, as shown in the Shifting Seasons Cantrips table. When you align yourself with a season’s magic, you lose the cantrip associated with the previous season and gain the cantrip associated with the new season. Your spellcasting ability for these cantrips is Intelligence or Charisma, whichever is higher.
Season Cantrip
Autumn Friends
Winter Chill touch
Spring Minor Illusion
Summer Fire bolt


The grugach of the world of Greyhawk shun contact with other folk, preferring the solace of the deepest forests and the companionship of wild animals. Even other elves draw their suspicion. The grugach tend toward chaos and neutrality. They feel no special duty to anyone beyond their own folk and the forest that is their home. Troubles beyond their borders are best kept there. At the same time, they harbor little ambition beyond a peaceful coexistence with nature. If anyone is fool enough to disturb a grugach realm, these elves take to arms and fight in earnest. Grugach master the basic weapons needed to hunt and forage in the wood. Every copse of trees becomes a sniper’s nest, and each forest meadow is an ambush point. The grugach set pits filled with stakes, snares that leave an intruder helpless to grugach arrows, and other snares designed to kill rather than capture. The grugach fight to the death to preserve their realms.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
  • Grugach Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the spear, shortbow, longbow, and net.
  • Cantrip. You know one cantrip of your choice from the druid spell list. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for it.
  • Languages. Unlike other elves, you don’t speak, read, or write Common. You instead speak, read, and write Sylvan.

High Elf

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
  • Elf Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow.
  • Cantrip. You know one cantrip of your choice from the wizard list. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for it.
  • Extra Language. You can read, speak, and write one additional language of your choice.

Sea Elf

The sea elves fell in love with the wild beauty of the ocean in the earliest days of the multiverse. While other elves traveled from realm to realm, the sea elves navigated the deepest currents and explored the waters across a hundred worlds. Today, they form small, hidden communities in the ocean shallows and the Plane of Water.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
  • Sea Elf Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the spear, trident, light crossbow, and net.
  • Child of the Sea. You have a swimming speed of 30 feet, and you can breathe air and water.
  • Friend of the Sea. Using gestures and sounds, you can communicate simple ideas with Small or smaller beasts that have an inborn swimming speed.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Aquan.


Sworn to the Raven Queen’s service, the mysterious shadar-kai venture into the Material Plane from the Shadowfell to advance her will Once they were elves like the rest of their kin, but now they exist in a strange state between life and death, their skin pale and their bodies marked by piercings and eerie tattoos.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
  • Cantrip. You know one of the following cantrips of your choice: chill touch, spare the dying, or thaumaturgy. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for it.
  • Blessing of the Raven Queen. As a bonus action, you can magically teleport up to 15 feet to an unoccupied space you can see, and you gain resistance to all damage until the start of your next turn. During that time, you appear ghostly and translucent. Once you use this ability, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Wood Elf

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
  • Elf Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow.
  • Fleet of Foot. Your base walking speed increases to 35 feet.
  • Mask of the Wild. You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena.
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