Savage Worlds: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura
Chapter 3e The Median Races - Half-Elves
Half-elves are a hybrid race, the product of human and elven parents. There is no general rule for their conception; they are as likely to be born from congress between an elven woman and a human male as by an elven male’s interference with a human woman. The issue of any such union is a person who shows some traits from each race, but fully belongs to neither – a fate universal to all hybridized individuals.
Half-elves tend to show the physical build of the human parent, but this is not always the case. They range widely from 60 to 75 inches in height, and weigh between six hundred and eleven hundred stone. At times they can pass as fully human or fully elven, but they can almost always be spotted by the trained observer by a blend of features which is common to neither race. Even when they are small in stature, they have ordinary human proportions and lack the elongated arms, legs, fingers and toes of an elf. They almost always show the pointed ears of the elven parent, and may also have some of the classic elven complexion, but the color of the hair will often give away an admixture of human blood.
Half-elves are not harshly discriminated against in human and elven society, but neither are they ever entirely at ease. When they live among elves, their pure-blooded relations rarely greet them as “brother” or “sister”, even if they are closely affiliated with the half-elf’s elven parent; a half-elf is instead called “cousin”, a firm reminder that they are not-entirely-welcome outsiders, and always will be. Among humans they mix freely in society, finding their own way as others do, but their longevity is something of an obstacle to forming lasting attachments; half-elves have a natural lifespan of some 400 years or more.
The character of any given half-elf depends largely upon his or her upbringing, and whether they were chiefly raised in elven or human company. Although they lack the deep and ingrained relationship with living things which elves exhibit, they do seem to commune somewhat with Nature, and often express a love of animals or spending time out-of-doors. They do not display any of the arrogance which one associates with elves, and very rarely show an elven prejudice against other races; the only exception to this rule appears to be full-blooded orcs, whom they instinctively loathe, just as humans and elves do.
Half-elves show the same innate magickal quality which one associates with their elven genitors, although to a lesser degree. They make very fine mages, should they choose to study the Art. They are also not entirely free of an elf’s difficulty in mastering the uses of Natural Law, and often find themselves at something of a disadvantage in becoming Technologists…but this can be easily overcome with concentration and hard work, when the student is properly motivated. In any case, they can hold any sort of profession they desire, and the lack of overt racial prejudice makes them fine barristers, tradesmen and shop-keepers. A great many half-elves also live in rural areas and work as farmers, herdsmen and hunters; with the keen vision and marksmanship afforded by their elven heritage, half-elf hunters and guides are much sought-after.
- Gender Restrictions: None.
- Heritage: Some half-elves retain the grace of their elven parent. Others gain the adaptability of their human ancestry. A half-elf may either start with a free Edge of his choice (as a human), or a d6 in Agility instead of a d4.
- Low Light Vision: The character’s eyes amplify light like a cat’s, allowing him to see in the dark. He ignores attack penalties for Dim and Dark lighting.
- Natural or Supernatural Practice: Due to their mixed heritage, Half-elves start play with either the Luddite or Technological Bias hindrance to represent which side of their ancestry they have grown into.
- Nature vs Nurture: Thanks to their elven heritage, most half-elves are very beautiful by civilized standards. However that is not the case for all half-elves, others make up for their “average” looks with time spent learning valuable skills. Start play with either a +2 Charisma or start with a d6 in any skill.
- Outsider: Half-elves aren’t true outsiders (as per the Hindrance of the same name), but neither are they ever quite comfortable around humans or elves as one of their own, so the effect is the same.