Elves, by their very nature, are a race with a wide variety of traits and features, many of which are drawn from the environment in which they live. The following rules represent some of those varied aspects, and while many are themed to one environment or another, they can be taken by any elf character.
Alternate Racial Traits
The following racial traits may be selected instead of the standard elf racial traits. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.
Bond of the Land: Some elves have strong ties to specific kinds of terrain. These elves gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC when in a specific terrain type selected from the ranger list of favored terrains. This choice is made at character creation, and cannot be changed. This racial trait replaces keen senses.
- Deep Warrior: Some elves dwell in the deep and dangerous tunnels of the earth. Elves with this racial trait grew up facing the abominations that live deep beneath the surface. They receive a +2 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the aberration type and a +2 racial bonus on combat maneuver checks made to grapple such creatures (or to continue a grapple). This racial trait replaces elven magic.
- Deepsight: Some elves are specially adapted to the lightless depths of the oceans, but not to air-filled environments. They can see in the dark up to 120 feet while underwater, but do not gain this benefit out of water. This racial trait replaces low-light vision.
- Guardian of the Deep: Some elves spend most of their time beneath the waves. Elves with this trait are amphibious and can breathe both air and water. They also gain a swim speed of 30 feet. This racial trait replaces elven immunities.
- Lorekeeper: Elves keep extensive records about their history and the world around them. Elves with this racial trait receive a +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (history) checks that pertain to elves or their enemies. They can make such skill checks untrained. This racial trait replaces keen senses.
- Spirit of the Waters: Some elves have adapted to life in tune with the sea or along the reedy depths of wild rivers and lakes. They gain a +4 racial bonus on Swim checks, can always take 10 while swimming, and may choose Aquan as a bonus language. They are proficient with longspear, trident, and net. This racial trait replaces elven magic and weapon familiarity.
- Stonecunning: Some elves possess an affinity to the earth instead of trees. Elves with this trait gain a +2 bonus on Perception checks to notice unusual stonework, such as traps and hidden doors located in stone walls or floors. They receive a check to notice such features whenever they pass within 10 feet of them, whether or not they are actively looking. This racial trait replaces keen senses.
- Xenophobic: Isolationist elves despise non-elven humanoids. They speak only Elven and do not gain any bonus languages from possessing a high Intelligence score. In addition, they learn only one language per 2 ranks of Linguistics they possess. However, their untrusting nature gives them a +1 bonus against mind-affecting effects, except for fear affects. This racial trait replaces an elf's normal languages.
You can combine various alternate racial traits to create elven subraces or variant races, such as the following.
- Deep Elf: Elves living in the dark tunnels beneath the surface of the earth have the darkvision, deep warrior, stonecunning, and xenophobic traits.
- Forgotten Elf: Elves of the first royal bloodline usually have the envoy and lorekeeper traits.
- Sea Elf: Elves living beneath the waves of the sea have the deepsight, guardian of the deep, and spirit of the waters.