Elves are a magical people of otherworldly grace, living in places of ethereal beauty, in the midst of ancient forests or in silvery spires glittering with faerie light, where soft music drifts through the air and gentle fragrances waft on the breeze. Elves love nature and magic, art and artistry, music and poetry.

Elf Features

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
  • Age. Although elves reach physical maturity at about the same age as humans, the elven understanding of adulthood goes beyond physical growth to encompass worldly experience. An elf typically claims adulthood and an adult name around the age of 100 and can live to be 750 years old.
  • Alignment. Elves love freedom, variety, and self-expression, so they lean strongly towards the gentler aspects of chaos. They value and protect others' freedom as well as their own, and are good more often than not. Drow are an exception; their exile into the Underdark has made them vicious and dangerous. Drow are more often evil than not.
  • Size. Elves range from under 5 to over 6 feet tall and have slender builds. Your size is Medium.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • Darkvision. Accustomed to twilit forests and the night sky, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
  • Fey Ancestry. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can't put you to sleep.
  • Trance. Elves do not sleep. Instead they meditate deeply, remaining semi-conscious, for 4 hours a day. The Common word for this meditation is "trance". While meditating, you dream after a fashion; such dreams are actually mental exercises that have become reflexive after years of practice. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit a human would from 8 hours of sleep.
  • Keen Senses. You have proficiency in the Perception skill.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Elven.

Dark Elf

Source: Player's Handbook

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
  • Superior Darkvision. Your darkvision has a range of 120 feet, instead of 60.
  • Sunlight Sensitivity. You have disadvantage on attack rolls and Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight when you, the target of the attack, or whatever you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight.
  • Drow Magic. You know the Dancing Lights cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the Faerie Fire spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the Darkness spell onceand regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
  • Drow Weapon Training. You have proficiency with rapiers, shortswords, and hand crossbows.

Eladrin

Source: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Eladrin are elves native to the Feywild, a realm of beauty, unpredictable emotion, and boundless magic. An eladrin is associated with one of the four seasons and has coloration reminiscent of that season, which can also affect the eladrin's mood:

  • Autumn is the season of peace and goodwill, when summer's harvest is shared with all.
  • Winter is the season of contemplation and dolor, when the vibrant energy of the world slumbers.
  • Spring is the season of cheerfulness and celebration, marked by merriment as winter's sorrow passes.
  • Summer is the season of boldness and aggression, a time of unfettered energy.

Some eladrin remain associated with a particular season for their entire lives, whereas other eladrin transform, adopting characteristics of a new season.

When finishing a long rest, any eladrin can change their season. An eladrin might choose the season that is present in the world or perhaps the season that most closely matches the eladrin's current emotional state. For example, an eladrin might shift to autumn if filled with contentment, another eladrin could change to winter if plunged into sorrow, still another might be bursting with joy and become an eladrin of spring, and fury might cause an eladrin to change to summer.

The following tables offer personality suggestions for eladrin of each season. You can roll on the tables or use them as inspiration for characteristics of your own.

Autumn
d4 Autumn Personality Trait
1 If someone is in need, you never withhold aid.
2 You share what you have, with little regard to your own needs.
3 There are no simple meals, only lavish feasts.
4 You stock up on fine food and drink. You hate going without such comforts.
d4 Autumn Flaw
1 You trust others without thought.
2 You give to the point that you leave yourself without necessary supplies.
3 Everyone is your friend, or a potential friend.
4 You spend excessively on creature comforts.
Winter
d4 Winter Personality Trait
1 The worst case is most likely to occur.
2 You preserve what you have. Better to be hungry today and have food for tomorrow.
3 Life is full of dangers, but you are ready for them.
4 A penny spent is a penny lost forever.
d4 Winter Flaw
1 Everything dies eventually. Why bother building anything that is supposedly meant to last?
2 Nothing matters to you, and you allow others to guide your actions.
3 Your needs come first. In winter, all must watch out for themselves.
4 You speak only to point out the flaws in others’ plans.
Spring
d4 Spring Personality Trait
Every day is the greatest day of your life.
2 You do everything with enthusiasm, even the most mundane chores.
3 You love music and song. You supply a tune yourself if no one else can.
4 You can’t stay still.
d4 Spring Flaw
1 You overdrink.
2 Toil is for drudges. Yours should be a life of leisure.
3 A pretty face infatuates you in an instant, but your fancy passes with equal speed.
4 Anything worth doing is worth doing again and again.
Summer
d4 Summer Personality Trait
1 You believe that direct confrontation is the best way to solve problems.
2 Overwhelming force can solve almost anything. The tougher the problem, the more force you apply.
3 You stand tall and strong so that others can lean on you.
4 You maintain an intimidating front. Better to prevent fights with a show of force than to harm others.
d4 Summer Flaw
1 You are stubborn. Let others change.
2 The best option is one that is swift, unexpected, and overwhelming.
Punch first. Talk later.
4 Your fury can carry you through anything.
  • Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
  • Fey Step. As a bonus action, you can magically teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. Once you use this trait, you can't do so again until you finish a short or long rest. When you reach 3rd level, your Fey Step gains an additional effect based on your season; if the effect requires a saving throw, the DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier. The effects are as follows:
    • Autumn. Immediately after you use your Fey Step, up to two creatures of your choice that you can see within 10 feet of you must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by you for 1 minute, or until you or your companions deal any damage to it.
    • Winter. When you use your Fey Step, one creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of you before you teleport must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be frightened of you until the end of your next turn.
    • Spring. When you use your Fey Step, you can touch one willing creature within 5 feet of you. That creature then teleports instead of you, appearing in an unoccupied space of your choice that you can see within 30 feet of you.
    • Summer. Immediately after you use your Fey Step, each creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of you takes fire damage equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1 damage).

High Elf

Source: Player's Handbook

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
  • Cantrip. You know one cantrip of your choice from the Wizard spell list. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for it.
  • Elf Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow.
  • Extra Language. You can read, speak, and write one additional language of your choice.

Sea Elf

Source: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Sea elves fell in love with the wild beauty of the ocean in the earliest days of the multiverse. While other elves traveled from realm to realm, the sea elves navigated the deepest currents and explored the waters across a hundred worlds. Today, they live in small, hidden communities in the ocean shallows and on the Elemental Plane of Water.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
  • Sea Elf Training. You have proficiency with the spear, trident, light crossbow, and net.
  • Child of the Sea. You have a swimming speed of 30 feet, and you can breathe air and water.
  • Friend of the Sea. Using gestures and sounds, you can communicate simple ideas with any beast that has an innate swimming speed.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Aquan.

Shadar-Kai

Source: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Sworn to the Raven Queen's service, the mysterious shadar-kai venture into the Material Plane from the Shadowfell to advance her will. Once they were fey like the rest of their elven kin, and now they exist in a strange state between life and death. Eladrin and shadar-kai are like reflections of each other: one bursting with emotion, the other nearly devoid of it.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
  • Necrotic Resistance. You have resistance to necrotic damage.
  • Blessing of the Raven Queen. As a bonus action, you can magically teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. Once you use this trait, you can't do so again until you finish a long rest. Starting at 3rd level, you also gain resistance to all damage when you teleport using this trait. The resistance lasts until the start of your next turn. During that time, you appear ghostly and translucent.

Wood Elf

Source: Player's Handbook

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
  • Elf Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow.
  • Fleet of Foot. Your base walking speed increases to 35 feet.
  • Mask of the Wild. You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena.

Pallid Elf

Source: Explorer's Guide to Wildemount

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
  • Incisive Sense. You have advantage on Investigation and Insight checks.
  • Blessing of the Moonweaver. You know the Light cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast Sleep once, and it recharges after a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast Invisibility (Self Only) once, and it recharges after a long rest. You do not need the material components required of the spells. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Mark of Shadow Elf

Source: Eberron - Rising from the Last War

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1
  • Cunning Intuition. Whenever you roll a Dexterity (Stealth) check or a Charisma (Performance) check, roll a d4 and add the number rolled to the total ability check.
  • Shape Shadows. You know the Minor Illusion cantrip. Starting at 3rd level, you can also cast the Invisibility spell with this trait. Once you cast either spell with this trait, you can't cast that spell again until you finish a long rest. Charisma is your Spellcasting Ability for these spells.
  • Spells of the Mark. If you have the Spellcasting or Pact Magic class features, the spells on the Mark of Shadow Spells table are added to the spell list of your spellcasting class.

Mark of Shadow Spells

Spell Level Spell
1st Disguise Self, Silent Image
2nd Darkness, Pass Without Trace
3rd Clairvoyance, Major Image
4th Greater Invisibility, Hallucinatory Terrain
5th Mislead

Avariel Elf (UA)

Source: Unearthed Arcana 46 - Elf Subraces

The avariel are winged elves. These rare creatures were more common when the worlds of the multiverse were young, but frequent conflicts with dragons much reduced the winged elves’ number. Still, a few colonies persist here and there in the Material Plane and on the Plane of Air.

  • Flight. You have a flying speed of 30 feet. To use this speed, you can't be wearing medium or heavy armor.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Auran.

Grugach Elf (UA)

Source: Unearthed Arcana 46 - Elf Subraces

The grugach of the world of Greyhawk sun contact with other folk, preferring the solace of the deepest forests and the companionship of wild animals. Even other elves draw their suspicion.

The grugach tend toward chaos and neutrality. They feel no special duty to anyone beyond their own folk and the forest that is their home. Troubles beyond their borders are best kept there. At the same time, they harbor little ambition beyond a peaceful coexistence with nature.

If anyone is fool enough to disturb a grugach realm, these elves take to arms and fight in earnest. Grugach master the basic weapons needed to hunt and forage in the wood. Every copse of trees becomes a sniper's nest, and each forest meadow is an ambush point. The grugach set pits filled with stakes, snares that leave an intruder helpless to grugach arrows, and other snares designed to kill rather than capture. The grugach fight to the death to preserve their realms.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
  • Grugach Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the spear, shortbow, longbow, and net.
  • Cantrip. You know one cantrip of your choice from the Druid spell list. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for it.
  • Languages. Unlike other elves, you don't speak, read, or write Common. You instead speak, read, and write Sylvan.

Bishtahar and Tirahar Elf (Kaladesh)

Source: Plane Shift - Kaladesh

Elves who dwell in the forest and countryside are known as the Bishtahar. Most live in isolated communities away from other races, though they still trade with them. In fact, much of Kaladesh’s food supply is grown by elves. Bishtahar cultivators grow food, decorative flowers, wood for building, and elaborate living sculptures in their meandering gardens and fields. They use the plane’s ubiquitous technology to foster the growth of plants and animals, utilizing automatons as gardeners and herders, and employing elaborate, nearly invisible systems controlling heat, water, and nutrients.

Elves who forsake technology entirely are called the Tirahar. Some elves with Tirahar sympathies live within cities or farms, but most simply withdraw to the wilder areas of Kaladesh. No more than one in a hundred elves is counted among the Tirahar, and many members of other races are unaware that these reclusive elves even exist.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
  • Elf Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow.
  • Fleet of Foot. Your base walking speed increases to 35 feet.
  • Mask of the Wild. You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena.

Vahadar Elf (Kaladesh)

Source: Plane Shift - Kaladesh

The Vahadar are elves who dwell in the cities of Kaladesh. They are comfortable with technology, and work as planners, architects, aether-seers, or inventors. Some of them use the techniques of Bishtahar cultivators to grow food on rooftops, towers, and greenways. The Vahadar are generally integrated into the rest of society on Kaladesh, living in cities dominated by the other races (though, as in Ghirapur, many of them live in specific garden-like neighborhoods) and engaging in trade.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
  • Elf Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow.
  • Cantrip. You know one cantrip of your choice from the Druid spell list. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for it.
  • Extra Language. You can speak, read, and write one extra language of your choice.

Elf (Zendikar)

Source: Plane Shift - Zendikar

Elves are strongly associated with nature, the magic that flows through their forest homes. Their shamans and druids channel this magic of life and growth, communing with the land or the spirits of the departed. Striving to live in harmony with nature, they celebrate the ties between their communities and their connection with the broader world around them.

The elves of Zendikar have much in common with the elves of other worlds. Your elf character has the following traits.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 2. This replaces the standard elf Ability Score Increase presented in the Player’s Handbook
  • Subrace. Ancient divides that arose as the elven people migrated across Zendikar resulted in three main elf nations: the Tajuru, the Mul Daya, and the Joraga. Choose one of these subraces.
    • Tajuru Nation
      • The Tajuru nation is the largest of the three main elven nations, concentrated in Murasa and spread across other parts of Zendikar as hundreds of far-flung clans. Tajuru elves are the most open to people of other races, seeing their skills and perspectives as valuable new tools for survival. The Tajuru are also more open to new lifestyles, be it living in a mountaintop citadel or roaming grassy plains.
      • Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
      • Skill Versatility. You gain proficiency in any combination of two skills or tools of your choice.
    • Juraga Nation
      • The elves of the imperious Joraga nation of Bala Ged have little respect for any other race of Zendikar— or even for other elves. The survival of their nation and its traditions is the Joraga elves’ only goal, and they view the influence of others as a weakness. The Joraga eschew the goods and habits of others, even avoiding the pathways blazed by the Tajuru when possible. Many view the nomadic Joraga clans as little more than bands of roving murderers, but a complex culture hides behind those clans’ aggressive exterior.
      • Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
      • Elf Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow.
      • Fleet of Foot. Your base walking speed increases to 35 feet.
      • Mask of the Wild. You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena.
    • Mul Daya Nation
      • Elves of the Mul Daya nation of Bala Ged are set apart from other elves by their relationship with the spirits of their elven ancestors. To the Mul Daya, the spirit world and the mortal realm are different only in terms of their tangibility. Death and the spirits of the dead are as much a part of the lives of the Mul Daya as is the natural world. This is not a macabre sentiment to the elves; they simply view it as the truest sense of the natural order.
      • Mul Daya elves can often be recognized by their face painting and tattooing. Many Mul Daya decorate their skins with an enwrapping vine motif, and make use of poisons and acids collected at great cost from strange creatures and plants in the depths of Kazandu.
      • Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
      • Superior Darkvision. Your darkvision has a radius of 120 feet.
      • Sunlight Sensitivity. You have disadvantage on attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight when you, the target of your attack, or whatever you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight.
      • Mul Daya Magic. You know the chill touch cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the hex spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the darkness spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
      • Elf Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow.