This is the final installment in The Iron Tavern’s weekly series looking at Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG character classes. Each week I have taken a look at one of the classes, some of its highlights and features and provided my own opinion of the class. In previous weeks I have looked at the Warrior, the Thief, the Dwarf, the Cleric, the Halfling, and the Wizard.
This brings us to the final character class to take a look at – the Elf.
DCC RPG elves are long-lived with lifespans that cross a thousand years. The long-lived elf prefers woodlands and natural terrain. They typically settle away from the shorter-lived races. This long lifespan allows an elf a tremendous amount of time to become proficient with both the ways of magic and martial ability.
Elves are trained in a variety of weapons and include the ability to use longswords, longbows, and even the two-handed sword. Elves are able to wear armor of mithril, though this does affect their spellcasting when doing so.
Elves use a d6 for a hit die putting them towards the lower end on amount of hit points, though more than a Wizard character. Elves tend away from a lawful alignment with neutral or chaotic being more prevalent.
Elves have infravision out to 60’ in DCC RPG and have what many would consider to be the typical elven immunities being immune to sleep and paralysis. They also have increased senses and receive a bonus to finding secret doors and are entitled to a check when simply passing by a secret door even if they are not actively looking.
Elves frequently draw their magic from other creatures and beings. Their longer lifespan can even allow them to become more familiar with a particular patron over the years, an opportunity a wizard may not have. Despite this elves still obtain their spells randomly, though they do receive the invoke patron and patron bond spells in addition to their normal spell slots.
Elves do have an unusual vulnerability. They have an extreme sensitivity to iron. Prolonged contact actually causes a burning sensation to the elf and if continued causes the elf hit point damage each day.
I am beginning to sound like a broken record, but once again I like how the mechanics of the DCC RPG elf works out. My first D&D character ever was an elf, an elf named IronWolf. That mere fact alone made be curious as to how race as class for demi-humans would work out. Mixing the martial prowess and the magical art is a strong start.
The blend between martial prowess and the magical art helps reinforce the old school feel I have for an elf from my early days of playing D&D. The tie-in of elves to patrons as a source of power is a distinguishing factor from a human wizard, which I find a nice touch. Whether an elf draws from more natural elements or from more foul beings the mechanic to do so is easily granted to them.
The vulnerability to iron struck me as a little different. I may just not be as well versed in ‘Appendix N’ reading as I should be though. In either case, I think it is important for a judge to make sure to remember this vulnerability in order to help keep the elf from being the ultimate in character class. I think if a judge does not remember to enforce this vulnerability the elf could become somewhat of a dominant class.
I think Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG has once again done well with striking that old school feel for the elf while bringing modern mechanics to the class.