Lions, diretigers, and owlbears, oh my! There’s definitely no shortage of monsters in the realm of fantasy role playing. If you’re in need of something to crawl out of the gloom and harry your party’s progress, whether it be the 13th Age core rulebook, 13 True Ways, or 13th Age Bestiary, you’re definitely covered. Best part is that there’s more on the way with the shadowy and mysterious Bestiary 2 on the horizon.
What about fighting potentially friendly and reasonable adversaries? We have little to work with, some half-orc tribesman in the regular book along with some humans, drow-a-plenty in the Bestiary. I find myself yearning for more, since I definitely enjoy moral conflict. Fighting somebody where there’s a chance that the conflict could be avoided adds some interesting dynamic to a story. Elves will be the first friendly race gone awry we’ll visit. As a race, they tend to be snooty, arrogant, condescending and slow to anger in regards to patience with other races. Of course, the Three Shards of the Crown all have different personalities and racial tendencies. With the drow covered by official material, I think we’ll simply look at the wood elves and high elves here.
Elvenkind is fractured in the Dragon Empire, the war with the dwarves has created unrest and hostility between the three shards. This single fact alone could put elven PC’s at odds with one of the other two species simply for being around. Perhaps they unwittingly wandered into an area where the relationship is so shaky that they’re outright banned. This could be a good cause for physical conflict, with some verbal conflict prior being a fantastic way to set the scene. Here are some plot hooks to give some conflict with elves:
- You’ve unwittingly stumbled across a treaty line and have since been discovered. The elves tell you that you’ve strayed in the wrong direction but according to your map, the place you need to go is somewhere within their proclaimed boundaries. Things might get complicated…
- You’ve been labeled by the Elf Queen as criminals. She’s clearly mistaken, but she’s put a death mark on the party. Elves hunt you, and they don’t seem like they want to talk much.
- An Icon thinks that the Elf Queen’s containment of the Green is insufficient. They’ve caught wind that the Blue and the Black have a plan to break him out in an attempt to make their influence more prevalent. Their power lust can’t be ignored, the Green must be moved but the Elf Queen is perhaps over confident in the security of her Court of Stars. The time to take forcible action is now.
- The High Druid and her wild elves have started to reclaim various forests around the Dragon Empire. Many Icons believe this is a move to usurp the land from them. Maybe there’s more to the picture than initially though. Whose side do you choose?
High elves tend to be more arcanely inclined traditionally. With their racial bonuses in the core book, it leads me to believe they make sufficient paladins or rogues as well. However, as we encourage here at the Heavy Metal GM, don’t let yourself be bound to a mold or trope, explore! Here are some high elf adversaries:
High Elf Infantry
Orderly, prideful, trained. High elves are bent on preserving their culture and traditions, these ones are willing to die for it.
4th level troop
Weapon of war +10 vs. AC – 11 damage
Natural even hit or miss: The target takes +1d6 damage.
R: Longbow +10 vs AC – 7 damage
Natural 18+: Treat the attack as a critical hit.
High Blood Teleport: Once per battle, the high elf infantry can teleport to a nearby location it can see.
Infantry unit training: If more than one high elf infantry engaged with the target, a missed attack deals half damage.
PD: 15 HP: 48
High Elf Alchemist
Their wizard friends think they’re a schlub, but don’t be fooled, they’re just following a hobby that they’re good at. Extremely good.
5th level spoiler [Humanoid]
R: Flask Surprise! (3 nearby enemies in a group) +10 vs. PD – 12 damage and 5 ongoing random energy damage (see Sorcerer class)
Tricksy poisoned dagger +7 vs. AC – 10 poison damage
Natural 16+: The target starts making last gasp saves. The target also takes 5 damage for every failed last gasp save. Potent poison can be surprising!
High Blood Teleport: Once per battle, the alchemist can teleport to a nearby location it can see.
Potion quaffer: The first time the high elf alchemist is staggered, it will quaff a potion for a random effect. Roll 1d4:
1: Wrong Potion!: The alchemist suffers 3 damage
2: Potion of Oakflesh: +2 to all defenses until the end of the alchemist’s next turn
3: Marksman’s Potion: The alchemist gains this spell:
C: Detriment +7 vs MD – 5 damage and the target is hampered, save ends
4: Healing potion: Recover 2d6 hit points
Does this smell like…?: The first time the alchemist is engaged, the target is confused and popped free.
PD:16 HP: 65
High Elf Wizard
Pompous and intelligent can be two qualities that are a nuisance in their own right. Combined with a slathering of magic, it can turn from annoying to deadly.
7th level caster [Humanoid]
Ironwood Staff +13 vs. AC – 25 damage and the target is dazed until the end of its next turn
C: Fireball (3 nearby enemies in a group) +12 vs. PD – 46 fire damage
Limited use: 1/day and it can damage the caster’s engaged allies for half damage.
C: Magic Missile +15 vs. PD – 28 force damage.
High Blood Teleport: 1d3 times a battle, the high elf wizard can teleport to a nearby location it can see.
Counter Magic: Once per day, the high elf wizard can cancel a spell by using this attack:
C: +12 vs. MD – The high elf wizard suffers no damage or effects, but still suffers any miss damage or effects.
PD: 17 HP:120
Stay tuned and Stay Metal \m/