Tuesday, September 3, 2013

30 Day D&D Challenge, Day 2: Favorite Playable Race

Tanis, sans beard.
You have to remember, when going into these blog memes, there are those that think they're not worthwhile. And you know what? They might just be right! But I've never been the most prudent fellow, and have been know to do some corny-ass stuff, so...onward with the post for Day 2! *

* I know I'm still a day behind. Working on my Day 3 post for later today, in order to catch up.

I love the half-elf. This affection might have started with Tanis Half-Elven, tormented co-protagonist of Dragonlance fame. I suppose, like any socially awkward youth, I related to the character's internal struggles.

In the image above, the ears are way too pointy for my tastes. They scream "full elf" to me. I like my half-elf ears to be a lot more subtle.

Anyway, the half-elf also appeals because in 1E AD&D, as well as 2E and my beloved Castles & Crusades, they have some elf abilities but not the weaknesses. OK, I'm generalizing quite a bit with that statement. I'm not an "RPG scholar" and I don't have the books in front of me (and for the purposes of this post, I don't feel an urge to study too hard), but here's what I'm going on based on memory (which could very well be pretty sketchy):
  • In 1E, the half-elf is a bit less restricted in class choice compared to the elf.
  • 2E introduced the concept of elves getting +1 to Dex and -1 to Con. Half-elves did not suffer this, but instead the whole "child of two races, accepted by neither" was reinforced. Cry me a river. I'll take a "roleplaying incentive" over a mechanical penalty any day. 
  • Castles & Crusades did a sort of Middle-Earth thing with half-elves. Meaning, they can choose to take after the elven or human side, and doing so gives different benefits (see Elrond and his, uh, dead brother who chose to lean toward the human side). Translation = made half-elves even cooler.

Again, for any of the above, I welcome corrections/expansions of what I've written.
Now, over the years, I haven't played much D&D, but rather mostly served as GM. But those few times I've played, I've mostly gone with half-elves. There was one half-elf ranger in there, of course, as cliched as that is (did I mention I'm a Dragonlance fan?). Most recently, I played a half-elf paladin (named Drance, of course) in a Castles & Crusades-based City-State of the Invincible Overlord campaign.
Anyway, that's me and half-elves. Onward to the next challenge post!


  1. I picked the same race! Great minds think alike... and so do ours!

    In case you didn't see, I'm participating but doing so over on my Google Plus and Facebook Fan Page for Daddy Rolled a 1, so head over there to read what I posted so far.


  2. I enjoyed the Half-elf too. Maybe I liked them because they were more like Human+.

  3. I can't speak for 1E, but one of the biggest incentives for playing a half-elf in 2E was that they had multiclass options out the wazoo. More than any other race, hands down. Plus, they had some unique combinations, like cleric/ranger and cleric/fighter/mage. I remember them being a very popular race in my 2E campaigns.

    (All the angst didn't hurt, either. Hey, it was a room full of teenage boys--what better way to express our existential despair and ennui?)