The Coral-Folk: Reef Elves (LotFP class & monster)

This began as a Secret Santicore 2017 request for Dungeon Crawl Classics. That post has already been published here. I intended to write it up for LotFP simultaneously but since the relative power levels of the two systems are substantially different it took some time for me to write something I considered usable. The Reef Elves as written here are present in my campaign and available to players.

Reef Elves live below. Some, it is said, have never seen the sunlight, so deep are they beneath the waves.They take many forms, when it suits their purpose: as fish, as half-fish merfolk, or when they take to land, as bipeds nearly indistinguishable from common elves but for the coral growths down their spine, which they are careful to keep hidden. Deep, hidden in dark crevices and the lava floes of mountains long consumed by the sea, they reside in their reefs; they live among the coral and foster its growth. The coral makes their homes, their tools, and their altars. On these altars are their sacrifices. The land-walking races foolish enough to sail on dark seas, to fish in their waters, or to venture below. These offerings are bound to the coral, magically molded into its structure, crucified. They are picked apart by eels and the creatures of the ocean floor, and their bones join the coral.
These deep elves are happy beneath the waves, in the darkness, with their coral and their bones. The sea provides for them. The only reason that they ever venture above is to claim more sacrifices, which they will happily do through trickery, kidnapping, or bloodshed. A rare one, given to wandering or born an outsider, may take to the adventuring life, but will never forget the call of the sea and the embrace of the coral.There are tales of long lost cousins of the Reef Elves who live above on a floating coral island, roaming the shallows and coexisting peacefully with the land-walkers. No Reef Elf in living memory has seen one of these folk, but are sworn to kill them on sight for forsaking the ways of the deep.

Geographically, Reef Elves primarily reside in the cold northern waters, where their coral is sustained by dark magical energies despite the cold climes. They are present in all seas in the Northern hemisphere, with their populations becoming less dense towards the equator. Their interactions with other races are largely unknown except as tales of the mysterious disappearances of ships. Some hold alliances with pirates, allowing them safe passage in exchange for the sacrifice of captives.

Class Features:

Level progression, saves and HP as standard Elf class.

Changed and Additional Abilities:
  • Reef Elves practice magic and use the same progression for spells as land elves, but use a Druid spell list. They only know 1 spell at level 1, although the maximum number they can learn through study is the same as an Elf of equivalent level. It is up to the player to find a Druid spell list approved by the Ref. If they cannot or do not do so, they don’t know any spells.
  • The standard Elf’s Search skill is replaced by the Transform skill and progresses at the same rate. They can change form up to twice per day to bipedal, half-fish (similar to mer-folk) or fish form. They must have a piece of the type of creature they wish to transform into, and may only transform into a fish form with Hit Dice equal to their Transform skill level or lower. Transforming takes 10 minutes, and does not affect any carried items. Many Reef Elves carry special pouches to store their items before they change shape. They can carry them in any of their forms (as long as a fish form is large enough) as if they had equal encumbrance.
  • Underwater it takes five additional items for a Reef Elf to gain the first encumbrance point. Any encumbering items made of metal or stone take 2 encumbrance slots in their inventory on land.
  • Can use echolocation to “see” up to 90’ both above and below water. It is audible to normal hearing and harmful to creatures with keen hearing.
  • Save vs magic for half damage against any water-based spell or magical effect.
  • Take 2d6 damage from Holy Water and must save or be paralyzed for one round. 
  • Track creatures which leave a scent with a 2 in 6 chance or 3 in 6 if the creature is bleeding.
  • Breathe underwater as well as on land. 
  • Swim 30’ per round in bipedal form and 60’ per round in mer- or fish-form.
As Monsters:

Armor 13, Move as humans on land, swim 30′ (bipedal), 60’ (mer/fish form), 1 Hit Dice, 3hp, attack method as weapon or 1d3 unarmed, Morale 8.

Reef Elves possess echolocation up to 90', may save vs magic for half damage against any water spells or effects, and take 2d6 damage from Holy Water and must save or be paralyzed for one round.

No. Appearing: 1 or a hunting party of 2d4

A hunting party of Reef Elves will often be accompanied by trained fish such as sharks, eels, or other carnivorous sea creatures. There is a 50% chance that there will be 1 such creature per 4 Reef Elves encountered, with the creatures possessing 1d4 Hit Dice each.
1 HD: Fish
2 HD: Eel
3 HD: Octopus
4 HD: Shark


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