Races: Blood Elves

Blood ElvesBlood Elves, or Sin’dorei (meaning “Children of the Blood” in their native Thalassian tongue), are a somewhat tragic race. Like the other Azerothian elves, the sin’dorei have suffered from an addiction to magic. It’s hit them particularly hard, though, and with the loss of their Sunwell they have resorted to dark and fel magics to get their fix.

As a result, blood elves are largely mistrusted or despised, with some exceptions. It’s true that many of their numbers fall fully into madness from their arcane addiction. These elves truly deserve their sobriquet of “The Wretched,” for truly they are wretched creatures. Rather than trying to resist, they give themselves fully to the hunt for magical energy, and will risk anything and stop at nothing to sate their thirst for it.

Still, at least as many of the blood elves take pains to hold back their addiction. To these strong ones, the idea of becoming one of the wretched is a fate worse than death. Alone or together, it is every blood elf’s goal to find a cure for their race’s affliction.

For a much more indepth description of blood elves, see their entry on WoWWiki.

Racial Traits

Average Height: 5’3″-5’11″
Average Weight: 120-170 lbs.

Ability Scores: +2 Charisma, +2 Dexterity
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Low-light

Languages: Common, Thalassian
Skill Bonuses: +2 Arcana, +2 History

Magical Addiction: Every day, you must absorb magical energy or suffer the effects of withdrawal. You may absorb the magical energy in one of the following ways:

  • Sacrifice a daily spell whose level is within 10 of your own.
  • Have someone else sacrifice such a spell on your behalf.
  • Drink the blood of an immortal, aberrant or elemental creature. The blood may not be more than a week old.

If you fail to absorb magical energy on some day, you take a -1 penalty to your will defense and lose one healing surge. The penalty and amount of healing surges lost double each consecutive day you fail to feed your addiction.

Spell Mastery: You gain a +1 racial bonus on all attack rolls with spells.

Arcane Torrent: You can use Arcane Torrent as an encounter power.

Arcane Torrent Blood Elf Racial Power
For the briefest moment, you allow yourself to succumb to your intense hunger for arcane energy and siphon it from all those around you.
Minor Action Close burst 2
Target: All other creatures in area.
Attack: Charisma + 2 vs. Fortitude
Hit: Target cannot use any spells until the end of your next turn. It is the up to the DM’s discretion what monster powers count as spells

Blood Elf Magister Level 8 Elite Controller
Medium Fey Humanoid (blood elf) XP 700
Initiative +7 Senses Perception +9, low-light vision
HP 176; Bloodied 88
AC 24; Fortitude 20, Reflex 22, Will 24
Saving Throws +2
Speed 6
Action Points 1
M Staff (Standard; at-will)
+13 vs. AC; 1d8+5 damage
R Magic Missile (Standard; at-will) ♦ Arcane, Force
Ranged 20, +12 vs. Reflex, 2d8+5 damage
r Magister’s Hand (Minor; at-will) ♦ Arcane, Force
Ranged 20; +12 vs. Reflex; 1d8+5 damage and target is slid 4 squares.
c Magister’s Rebuff (Standard; encounter, recharge when bloodied) ♦ Arcane, Force
Close burst 2; enemies in area; +12 vs. reflex; 4d8+5 damage and target is pushed back 4 squares and knocked prone. Miss: Half damage and target is not knocked prone.
a Genuflecting Burst (Standard; recharge 56) ♦ Arcane, Force
Area burst 2 within 20 squares; +12 vs. reflex; 3d10+5 damage and target is knocked prone.
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common, Thalassian
Skills Arcana +15, History +15
Str 12 (+5) Dex 17 (+7) Wis 20 (+9)
Con 16 (+7) Int 17 (+7) Cha 22 (+10)

Wretched Spellleech Level 4 Brute
Medium Fey Humanoid (blood elf) XP 175
Initiative +5 Senses Perception -1
HP 63; Bloodied 31
AC 16; Fortitude 16, Reflex 16, Will 17
Speed 6
M Rapier (Standard; at-will)
+7 vs. AC, 1d10+4 damage
R Sling (Standard; at-will)
Ranged 10; +7 vs. AC, 1d6+4 damage
r Mana Tap (Standard; encounter)
Ranged 5; +5 vs. Fortitude; if target has any unexpended encounter spells, it loses one (targets choice) and the wretched heals 15 hp.
c Arcane Torrent (Minor; encounter)
Close burst 2; other creatures in area; +5 vs. Fortitude; target cannot any spells until the end of the wretched’s next turn.
Alignment Evil Languages Common, Thalassian
Skills Arcana +10, Stealth +10
Str 14 (+4) Dex 16 (+5) Wis 8 (+1)
Con 13 (+3) Int 13 (+3) Cha 18 (+6)

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13 Responses to “Races: Blood Elves”

  1. Wow. I like!

    Keep ‘em coming, Asmor.

    greywulf’s last blog post..Moon Dance

  2. I kind of worry about the blood elves being shoe-horned into playing an arcane class, due to their addiction… Actually, if you’re not playing a campaign heavy with enemy aberrants, immortals and elementals (with blood, of course), I’d probably recommend ignoring the addiction all together, or at least limiting it to, say, -2.

    Incidentally, it’s not obvious at first, but the reason elementals are on there is because (according to WoWWiki), drinking the blood of demons helps the blood elves stave off their addiction for several days. I figured aberrants and immortals would help “round out their diet,” so to speak.

    Do you think the lack of a PDF for the race is a big deal?

  3. Nice! I don’t even play WoW and they sound like an interesting race. While I ordinarily don’t like lots of elves running around, these blood elves and something like Earthdawn’s blood elves are distinct and dramatically reimagined. Thanks!

    For adventuring groups and the like, I can imagine arcane power from potions, or wands might sustain them. That’d be a fun exchange:
    “What kind of wand is that?”
    “I dunno… tastes like blueberries.”

    ScottM’s last blog post..Link clutter buildup severe. Initiate dump.

  4. What are Earthdawn’s blood elves like?

    A while back on ENWorld someone mentioned the idea of extravagantly rich people snorting residuum as a drug… Now that you mention it, that seems like it would work beautifully with blood elves.

  5. From the wikipedia/Earthdawn article:
    A subspecies of Earthdawn elves are called the Blood Elves. The blood elves rejected the Theran protective magic, and attempted their own warding spells. These wards failed, and a last-ditch ritual caused thorns to thrust through the skin of the blood elves. These ever-bleeding wounds caused constant pain, but the self-inflicted suffering was enough to protect the blood elves from the worst of the horrors.

    There’s more information at the following link, but it uses lots of Earthdawn specific terminology. http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Blood-Elf-(Earthdawn)

    ScottM’s last blog post..Next game: Everyone’s busy, date unsure

  6. Long time reader, first time poster. Loved the Blood Elf idea, and pitched it to one of my players (we started H1 a couple of weeks back). I agree with your concerns about the race being too arcana-oriented, and about the addiction being a little too restrictive. So for my campaign, I introduced the following changes:

    2 Int OR Dex
    2 Cha

    At character creation, choose between Spellbound or Ritualbound mastery.
    -A Spellbound Blood Elf gains a 1 to all his Spell rolls.
    -A Ritualbound Blood Elf gains a 1 to his Attack rolls with a ‘bound’ magic weapon. To bind a magic weapon, the player must perform a 10-hour ritual with his own blood (2 healing surges) as a material component. Only one weapon may be bound at any given time.

    Blood Elves are addicted to raw magic and will attempt to consume it in the following ways:
    -Drinking the fresh blood of an elemental, aberrant or immortal creature. A Tiny creature supplies one dose; double it with each increase in creature size. In combat, drinking the blood of a dead (or Unconscious) adjacent enemy is a Standard action and grants Combat Advantage. If carried in vials, it can be taken in the same way as a potion. Blood in vials remain fresh for one week.
    -Taking an extended rest in a high-magic zone (as defined by the DM, but could include e.g. dimensional rifts).
    -(Spellbound only) Expending a random daily Attack power. In combat, channeling this energy is a Standard action and grants Combat Advantage.
    -(Runebound only) Snorting residuum. Each dose is equivalent to half the amount obtainable from an item of the character’s level (e.g. 36gp at level 1). Snorting in combat is a Standard action and grants Combat Advantage.

    Each day a Blood Elf cannot feed his magic addiction, he suffers the following effects:
    -A cumulative penalty of -1 to all skill checks
    -A cumulative penalty of -1 to Fortitude, Reflexes and Will
    -A cumulative loss of 1 healing surge

    My players like it so far, but I still need to flesh out a few more things. For instance, there should probably be at least one or two racial feats available…

    Any thoughts?

  7. How about simplifying Magic Mastery a bit like so:

    Any implement or weapon a blood elf wields is treated as having an enhancement bonus 1 greater than normal.

    This is basically a net racial +1 attack and damage, but it seems a bit more elegant.

    I’d definitely make the racial bonuses +2 Int, +2 Cha. Fits the BEs well, and I don’t know of any other race which gives a choice like that (humans excluded).

    I just really don’t care for the split between spellbound and runebound BEs. Just my opinion of course, if you and your players are happy with it then run with it, that’s what really matters!

  8. You’re right about the need for simplification. In fact, our rules as I wrote them are the result of ‘organic’ development that just happened naturally when a player of mine wanted to have a BE Warlord: “but your powers aren’t Spells!” “well, can I instead have the +1 to weapon attacks then?” “hmmm OK, but only if the weapon is magical and… umm… you bind it with a ritual”.

    Another reason for the separation is that I didn’t want our BE Warlord regularly feeding his addiction with daily powers, and didn’t want to argue with my (mostly new to 4E) players about the difference between a “power” and a “spell”.

    I wanted our Warlord to have to work for the +1, so I made the spell sacrifice off-limits to him (otherwise he’d always expend it on days in which no combat was expected, such as long journeys… which sort of defeated the purpose). In retrospect, arcane classes should probably also be made to work for the bonuses. Besides, at higher levels, a single daily is often not a big deal. So I should probably scratch that out, and leave it at residuum/blood/mana as the only fixes.

    And about the enhancement bonus, I agree about making it universal for any weapon or implement wielded by the BE – but still I’d require that it be magical, and that it be ritually bound to the wielder.

    About the Dex/Int bonus, again it’s basically the result of us wanting to have a BE Warlord (dope fiend overlord!), so the option was simply tacked on to what you wrote. I suppose depending on the campaign or the party’s needs, it might make sense for a DM to allow it either way like we did, but a more ‘official’ racial template should indeed probably stick with Int+Cha.

    Thanks for your feedback!

  9. good!

  10. Though the write-up looks impressive, I think you’re missing out on an important fact of 4e: you aren’t penalized for any choice, ever. Sure, there are better choices (shortsword has a better proficiency bonus than a spear, for example) but the race shouldn’t have a built-in penalty. Get rid of the addiction. The great thing about flavor is this: it’s flavor. If your players can’t roleplay addiction without some kind of mechanical crutch they shouldn’t be playing blood elves in the first place.

    And a final nitpick, Arcane torrent should say “…cannot use encounter or daily spells…” never keep someone from using at-wills, another integral part of 4e. :)

  11. That’s one design element I don’t agree with. I’m not saying the 3e way of giving every race a bonus and a penalty is the correct way to do things, far from it. Penalties shouldn’t be the norm.

    That said, there’s no reason in specific cases penalties shouldn’t be applied. I like it, in this example (obviously, else I wouldn’t have used it).

  12. Anyone do you know what is name of the cloth who Blood elf wear in the Cinematic? (the female)
    And what’s the weapon name. Please tell me if someone now.
    Thank you.

  13. Very interesting. I played WoW for a couple of years and it’s cool to see the BE in 4e form. What intrigues me is the magical addiction; I could use something like that when my adventurers venture into the Mournland.

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