Wednesday, July 13, 2022

OSR: Race-as-Class: Elf

Ideas borrowed from here and here.

Part 2, the Chaos table for Spell Failure, is now done.   

One thing that immensely disappointed me about Lamentations of the Flame Princess was the total lack of class abilities, hence why I started writing my own version of the Fighter, Thief, etc.

But most egregious of these deficits were the race-as-class options.  In LotfP, you can play as an Elf, Dwarf or Halfling.  Yet besides a chart based on how much XP it takes to level up, there is barely any details about what that means or what an Elf can do.  What's the point of playing an Elf or Dwarf or whatever if it's just a Human with a wonky XP chart? 

Also, I absolutely hate that thing that some fantasy authors do where they just present a "standard" fantasy race like an Elf and then don't bother to elaborate on what that means for this setting.  I'm not expecting you to reinvent the wheel, but at least describe what an Elf looks like.  Don't just plomp it down in front of me and say, "You know how Elves work".  Yes, I am well aware that Tolkien is the foundation for all modern fantasy, whether you or I like it or not.  That being said, at least put some effort in.  I'm not asking for the Moon on a stick. 

Anyway, that's enough whining on my part.  This is my Elf Race-as-Class.

by Linda Lithen

You are an Elf, a mysterious Forest Creature associated with the Folk and the Fey.  You mostly resemble humanity, but are clearly removed from them.  Depending on where you are, your kind will be looked upon as a mysterious and untrustworthy foreigner or as a danger to be hunted down and destroyed.  You can pass as human if no one looks too closely, but close examination will reveal otherwise. 

Where do you come from?


1- Over the tw'st of the Rainbow, from the midst of the Crystal Castles and the Glittering Court.  You danced here over the colors, avoiding Old Black and made your way down to the Mud, where you found much to your liking. 
2- From the pearly glow of the witchlight lanterns, shaded deep under the canopy of the Old Growth, your people's songs filled the ancient places, harmonizing with the brook and resounding off the stones.  The Furred Peoples did not approve of you and stayed away, warning each other that you stole children and fanciful youths.  And you did, but only because they were clearly more suited to your world of heart-breaking sorrow and mind-splitting joy. 
3- Past the shimmer of the looking glass, there is another world.  Many have stared at their reflection, only to see another glancing back, wondering what this not-quite-real thing is.  That was your face.  There was another world past that barrier, unreachable, until now. 
4- When the Children dream, they come to a land of sugarplums and white cobbled roads, where trees hum quiet songs and horses knicker to deers as they splash in the glowing waters of the bay.  Here, under the laughing Moon they sing and dance in the gardens of the Ancient Ones, who look on with gentle smiles.  When they suffer nightmares, they are cast out of the darkness, where the Under-dwellers slither from the shadows to weave cloth of fear and armor of shed tears.  And just like those children, you miss the Laughing Moon and the smiles of the Ancient Ones.  How you long to go home.    

Why are you here?


1- A child was the guest of a friend.  But that child got lost and ended up tumbling back into this world.  You must find them and bring them back, before they lose the ability to ever leave Mudworld. 
2- You have come to claim the heart of a pure maiden, break it into fragments and return it to the Queen of Air and Darkness to make her tea.  This is a grave responsibility and a deep honor.  Do not fail, lest the servants of Winter come to educate you on the depth of your failure. 
3- The Queen has reneged on her promise to the Ancient Ones, and this slight must be punished.  You are to seduce and impregnate her, then when the time is right, you are to break her heart and whisk the child away as payment for her grevious breach of etiquette.  Do not reroll this result if you are playing a female Elf, the Ancient Ones are still confident you can handle it.
4- A young man has asked one of your Elders how he can attract the attention of the girl he loves.  You are to ensure the two of them fall in love, by whatever means you think best. 
5- You are an exile, sent away for grevious rudeness, outrageous fashion sense and inappropriate comments about cucumbers.  You are to suffer, bleed, moan, beg, plead and weep bitter tears. Only then will you be permitted to return. 
6- A creature with a foul soul has stated, to the amazement of all who saw it that it was the most beautiful thing in all the world.  You are to educate the creature of it's rampant foolishness and tell it of all the joyous laughter it's absurd statement provoked.

artist unknown

Starting HP: 1/3 Con
Fighting Spirit: +1 per Elf Level, up to COG modifier
Atk Modifier: +1 per Elf Level, caps at +6
Starting Equipment: Shimmering Clothes, Staff or Bronze Sword, Bow and 20 Flint-tipped Arrows, Book of Human Customs and Idioms, Exotic Snacks, Fabulous Hair

Prerequisites: To have no levels in any other class.  At character creation, choose this for your first class level.

How to become an Elf: You can only be born as an Elf. 

1: Truth-Teller, Iron Allergy, Agelessness, Sharpened Senses, Folkish Nature
2: Meditative Trance, Citizen of Mab's Kingdom, Sylvan Ally
3: Spell-weaver
4: Adventurer in the Land of Dreams
5: Instinctive Caster
6: Other Worlds than These
7: Noble of the Faerie Courts
8: Whisper of the Woods
9: Call the Wild Hunt

1: Truth-Teller, Iron Allergy, Agelessness, Sharpened Senses

Truth-Teller: You cannot lie.  You can twist the truth, evade questions or choose not to answer, but stating direct falsehoods is impossible for you.

Iron Allergy: You take +1 damage from iron weapons.  You have disadvantage when using iron weapons or wearing iron armor.  This also applies to iron alloys, such as steel, though the effects of some alloys are less pronounced.

Agelessness: You are an Ageless creature.  You do not age and cannot be aged magically.

Sharpened Senses: Your senses are far stronger than those of a human's.  You can see in dim light as if it were bright light, hear things beyond the range of a human's ears and sense minute vibrations.  When making a check to perceive something, you add double your COG modifier to any roll made to notice or detect something.

Folkish Nature: Your connection to the Folk and the Fey cannot be understated.  Roll on this table at level 1 and then once again for each Elf Level you gain. 


1- You have too many, or not enough, fingers on one hand. 
2- Your eyes are slitted, like a cat's. 
3- You constantly smell of flowers, pine, or damp earth. 
4- Your hair is an odd, unusual or unnatural color, such as white-blonde, dark green or purple-black.
5- Your skin is an odd, unusual or inhuman color, such as lilac, dandelion yellow or blood red. 
6- You grow small, delicate horns from your forehead.  Rolling this result again makes your horns grow longer and more impressive.
7- Flowers grow naturally in your hair. 
8- Your hair is long, falling to your hips normally.  If cut, it regrows at rate of 1d6 inches per day.  Rolling this result again means you can control the color of your hair, though it is always long unless cut.
9- You are extremely androgynous, and could easily pass as male or female unless completely naked.
10- Your shadow moves when you do not and doesn't seem to copy your movements, as per normal. 
11- Your fingernails are long and pointed. 
12- Your teeth are sharp and pointy. 
13- You move with a subtle grace, making your movements unnatural and enthralling looking.  You move like a wildcat or a flowing stream. 
14- Your tears transform into small crystals which shatter on the ground. 
15- Your blood, if spilled on the ground, makes blood-red flowers bloom in the same spot 1d6 minutes later. 
16- Your skin is slightly translucent when seen in star or moonlight. 
17- Your are very, very thin. 
18- You are very, very tall. 
19- Your ears twitch and can move independently, like a horse's.  They tend to betray your mood, swiveling and turning against your will. 
20- You are followed around by songbirds, butterflies and colorful insects wherever possible.  Non-intelligent creatures tied to civilization (horses, dogs, pigs) tend to find you frightening and will react negatively if forced to interact with you.  

2: Meditative Trance, Citizen of Mab's Kingdom, Sylvan Ally

Meditative Trance: You can enter a meditative trance instead of sleeping.  You must trance for at least four hours.  This trance functions as sleep for you, though you can awaken from it at any time.  You cannot be forced to enter this trance.

Citizen of Mab's Kingdom: You do not need sleep (see above).  You cannot be put to sleep magically.  You do not dream.

Sylvan Ally: The beasts of the field and the wild, along with the inhabitants of such lands consider you a natural ally and will not attack you, unless they are in desperate straits or you have aggressed against you.  Such creatures feel more favorably toward you, recognizing you as one of their own.  A Bear might still kill and eat you, but it would do so because it was hungry, not because it hated you.  

3: Spell-weaver

Spell-weaver: You gain the ability to cast spells.  You gain Mana Dice (MD) equal to your CON+COG modifiers (min 1).  You can learn and memorize spells like a Wizard.  Your spells burn out on a 5 or 6.  If you roll Doubles or Triples, roll on the Elf Chaos table (see here).

4: Adventurer in the Land of Dreams

Adventurer in the Land of Dreams: By touching a sleeping person, you may enter their dreams.  While inside someone's dreams, they will be in total control of the dream along with everything in it.  They cannot hurt you, though they can make it very unpleasant for you.  If the person wakes up for any reason, you are ejected from their mind and returned to their own.  If a creature dies while it is sleeping and your mind is inside it's dreams when it happens, your soul will be trapped within their decaying mind and will need to be rescued. 

From a creature's ordinary dreams, it is possible to enter the Spirit World under some circumstances, though this requires specialized knowledge.   

5: Instinctive Casting

Instinctive Casting: As an action, you can cast a spell without making any of the required gestures or speaking aloud.  Alternatively, if you cast a spell by speaking aloud and using the proper gestures, you can also make a melee attack against one target within range.  You may only use a Quick or Balanced weapon to do this with.     

6: Other Worlds than These

Other Worlds than These: You can sense the presence of Weak Points in the fabric of the world within 1 mile of your location.  By touching one of these, you may enter the Spirit World through one of these locations. 

Example Weak Points include, but are not limited to: mirrors, pools of still, reflective water, rabbit holes, wardrobes or old, dead trees with holes in the trunks.  Consult your Referee for other potential weak Points. 

7: Noble of the Faerie Courts

Noble of the Faerie Courts: You gain a title among the Folk, along with a degree of prestige.  When in the wilderness, you can place a summons and call local Faeries or wildlife to attend you.  You can command enough creatures equal to your level in HD.  So you could command 7 HD worth of Wolves or a 2 HD Satyr, a 1 HD Cloud of Pixies and a 4 HD Black Bear.  These creatures will attend you until you do something to offend them or you dismiss them.  Offense can involve you doing harm to them, but it can also mean not providing rewards they feel are due to creatures of their station, being rude or inattentive, taking advantage of them, etc.

To keep your title, you must return to Court at least 4 times a year, once per Monarch.  Should you fail to show respect to one, they will curse or punish you.  Fail to respect 2 or more and you will lose your title.  Fail to respect 3 or more and you're likely going to die very, very soon.  Expect the worst in that case.   

8: Whisper of the Woods

Once per day, by meditating, you enter a state of perfect calm and serenity.  During this time, your soul leaves your body and enters the surrounding wilderness.  While meditating, you can possess the body of any plant or animal within 1*[COG modifier] square miles.  During this time, you can perceive things as through that creature's senses and report that information back to anyone near your meditating body or remember it for later. 

You can also consult with the Wilderness itself and ask it a number of questions equal to your CHA modifier.  These questions can include anything that relates to the current wild area you are in, including what creatures currently live in it or are traveling through it, the location of any artifacts of civilization polluting the landscape, the presence of invaders reeking of perfume with iron tools, etc.    

9: Call the Wild Hunt

Call the Wild Hunt: You may, by performing a ritual under a Hunter's Moon, call the Wild Hunt.  This consists of a small army of Faeries, Green Cultists, Maddened Wild-life and other creatures of the Deep Wilds.  You may direct the Hunt toward one discrete target, such as an individual, a group all located within the same area, all creatures of a specific type, etc.  For example: The King and his Household, the Royals and Nobility of the City, all land-owners and banksters.  The Hunt will then go on a rampage, destroying everything in it's path, laying waste to anyone who tries to stop them.  They will target those you directed them to hunt but those who attempt to interfer or happen to be in the way may also be hunted, depending on their vulnerability/the challenge they might pose/if the Huntsmen feel like it.

By the end of the night, whatever target you requested the Hunt pursue will likely be dead (it's not 100%, but the chance of survival is so low it might as well be), wherever they were will be destroyed and the local region will suffer mass outbreaks of madness, nightmares, hallucinations and wild animal attacks, as well as increased activity from Nature Cults and Faerie intrusion for the next 1d100+20 years.  Your allies will have to find their own way to safety, but you will have joined the Wild Hunt and departed the world of mortals.  I hope you said good-bye, because once you join the Wild Hunt, you only leave it to go into the ground or become their prey.

by Konstantin Tamchenko

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