“Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.”
J.R.R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings
- +2 Awareness
- -2 Ability
- Dwarf: “Elves are snobby elitists, forever pondering metaphysical poetry and obscure lore. You can never get a decent day’s work out of an elf.”
- Elf: “Elves are balanced and serene. Even the most complicated problems yield simple solutions given enough reflection.”
- Giant: “Elves are a proud and noble, if rather impractical, race. They could do great things if they would only applied the knowledge they strive so hard to attain.”
- Gnome: “Elves could learn so much more with experimentation. A prototype that blows everything up will teach you more than a dusty tome any day!”
- Goblin: “Elves are selfish knowledge hoarders. They should at least offer some high-priced seminars or training courses. What a waste!”
- Halfling: “Elves are boring old fossils. A walking stick and untrod road will teach you everything you need to know.”
- Human: “Elves are useful from time to time, although they can be vague. When dealing with elves, one must sift through the riddle to find the kernel of useful information.”
- Orc: “Elves are completely useless! They need to get off their pointy eared perches and actually do something.”
- Troll: “We know the Elves are up to something. We will find out what it is, and use it for our own plans.”
Elves are the ancient and wise race of the deep forests. They are extremely long-lived and spend centuries pondering the most minute mysteries of life. They have forgotten more knowledge than other races have ever learned and strive for perfection, in both thought and craft.
This insight and ability comes at a cost, however. Elves are largely withdrawn from the world’s day-to-day application, preferring instead to sift through the realm of theory and art. Elves are content to retreat into their forest castles and leave the mundane matters to lesser races.
By observing pattern, Elves are often able to predict the outcome of any given situation– as long as they have all the information. As a result, elves can be amazing oracles of the future, although they often don’t try to translate their information into another’s language. Consequently, most other races disregard elven advice, despite its consistent accuracy. Others simply can’t understand how elves can come to such detailed conclusions.
1. Perfect Perspective
Elves carefully consider all the possible outcomes to any given situation. They enjoy taking the time to work through different scenarios and coming up with the probability of each outcome. As a result, elves make extremely lucid arguments and produce works that are both aesthetically pleasing and well designed.
The elves’ reflective nature enables them to confidently find their way in the world. Their knowledge of the landscape allows them to avoid traps set by foes and to find refuge amidst storms. It is nearly impossible to “get the drop” on an elf. Also, elves are able to make their way without leaving a trace of their passing. This means that elves are likely to be aware of the plans of others while keeping their own plans unknown.
Elves take the long view when making decisions. This means that it can take a considerable amount of time for a group of elves to come to decision on a course of action. The product of their deliberation will often yield great results, but at the cost of timeliness. Fast, intuitive, and spontaneous decisions are difficult for an elf, who sees it as hasty and brash. He is not likely to be content until all the options have been considered and thought through. If his final conclusions are not heeded, the elf will likely be the first to point out that he had suggested a different course of action.
4. True Strike
Elves are not given to combat if they can avoid it. They view it as an exercise of a weak mind. When forced into such situations, however, elves can be fearsome foes. Elves study their opponents at great length and know exactly how to exploit their weaknesses. Agile and focused in battle, elves are able to strike their opponents with mortal precision.
5. Elven Immunity
Elves are skilled in every method of rhetoric and will not be distracted by charm or mind-affecting tactics ( i. e. charm, sleep, or feeblemind spells) when engaging with others. Elves have extremely disciplined minds and are able to keep a clear perspective through bias, fallacious arguments, and rhetorical traps. Further, elves will be be able to use this immunity to gain the upper hand in most arguments.
1. Think Tank
Groups of elves tend to organize themselves in a think-tank or council-based structure. They engage in thought-provoking conversations which produce many interesting hypothetical possibilities. They eagerly test and iterate on these hypotheses until several working models can be determined. This process is extremely valuable when there is a need to create knowledge and explore new possibilities; however, it is a liability when one needs to make fast assessments.
2. Environmental Harmony
Elves have spent a great deal of time living in and working with their environment. Their timeless nature helps them efficiently use resources and plan for renewable ongoing solutions. Elves find an equilibrium with their environments in which they live, avoiding its pitfalls, and using the best paths to get their work done. This makes elves a valuable resource when trying to discover more efficient ways of doing things. Elves have little patience for classes or races that are wasteful with their resources.
3. Ancient Lore
In addition to their own history, elves are familiar with a large amount of lore from other cultures. Elves are interested in collecting histories and stories of everyone they encounter. Information that they don’t have immediate use for is stored in great libraries which they can reference, should the need arise. Elves enjoy tasks which require them to spend a great many hours researching through these storehouses.
4. Xenophobia (Fear of Outsiders)
Elves tend to be insular, preferring to stick to themselves rather than explore new people or events. They prefer to learn about the world through study and reason over experience. Elves believe that they can truly discover the “right” path, if they are only provided with enough information and time to process it. Elven xenophobia can lead them to disregard the opinions of those outside of their immediate enclaves.
5. Atychiphobia (Fear of Failure)
If elves are to be criticized for something it would be their tendency not to act when needed. Elves tend to suffer from “analysis paralysis,” which prevents them from picking a course of action and running with it. This can make it difficult for elves to direct other, more impulsive, races, or to take advantage of time-based opportunities.
1. Knowledge Fount
Elves will want to analyze all the possible outcomes of a problem or decision. Be sure to give them access to historical reports, projection figures, benchmarkers etc… for their recommendations. Further, elves need to have access to their favorite tools in order to consume and analyze the data. Provide elves with as much information and tools as possible in order to take advantage of their keen insight.
2. Path Amidst Possibilities
Managers who have offered elves resources and processing time will be rewarded with extremely accurate and detailed recommendations and models. Given too much time, however, it is likely that managers will get back far too much speculation. Offer elves the opportunity to explore the three most likely possible outcomes and set a deadline for review, from which you can choose a course of action.
3. Cassandra Complex
Elves often offer advice about outcomes even when not asked. This tends to irritate other people and make it difficult to heed the elf’s words, even when it is important. Over times, Elves become frustrated with being ignored, and may refrain from offering advice at all. This will end up hurting the company in the long run. Take the time to consider elven advice, even when you are in a rush to get things done.
4. Strike Force
Elves, regardless of class, will have a unique insight into overcoming obstacles. They will have thoroughly reflected on the best way of winning the encounter in a resource efficient way (not including the research costs, that is.) Because elves don’t have the same resilience as other classes, use elves sparingly or in special strike forces. If the assignment is going to last for a longer period of time, it is best to mix the party with sturdier races or classes for protection.
5. Make Them Mix
Left to their own devices, elves will tend to isolate themselves from the rest of the group or company. This bad for the company, which will not be able to take advantage of the elf’s insight. Find ways of getting the elf to interact with other races and other classes. It may be awkward and uncomfortable at times, but it will benefit both the elf and the company.