Friday, December 3, 2010

Gypsy Elves for Basic Era Games

Another in my series of posts for Basic era (late 70's to early 80's) games.
This one expands on my sub-race of elves known as Gypsy Elves.

The Gypsy Elf

"Thousands of years ago the elves were a unified race.  The elven people stood strong and diverse.
Then the War came and the Elves were Sundered. The elves were divided by the war.
But some chose not to fight, some took in their brothers and sisters from all sides.
These elves were cursed by the Great God of the Elves to wander the lands till the day when all elves stood as one people again.  The other elves took pity on them, calling them, in their own tongues The Wanderers.  But not the Wanderers themselves.  They knew a powerful secret.

They knew they were Free."

- From the Songs of the Ranagwithe

The Witches Beck by Nichole Marie Grubb
by Nichole Grubb
The Gypsy Elf, or as the call themselves "The Free Elves" (Ranagwithe in their own language) , wander the world, in and out of the land of faerie, searching for their lost home.  They will find it only on the day when all the elves are reunited as a race.  Until then they wander.

Like their human counterparts, Gypsy Elves travel all over the known world. However, unlike the Human Gypsies, Gypsy Elves are much more gregarious and less xenophobic. The origins of the Gypsy Elves date back to what has become to be known as the Sundering of the Elves. When the Dark elves broke free from the light elves they split into several races.

There were elves that remained outside of the conflict. One group was a band of light elves that protected both the dark and light elves from each other. When the gods split the elves apart, the gypsy elves were left without a home to call their own. Since they never harmed another elf before they were not forced into the dark underground. Ever since then the Gypsy Elves have wandered from place to place looking for a home. While Gypsy elves tend to be neutral to all other races, they are always treated as “good” to other elves. There are several universal elven customs that apply only to Gypsy Elves.

  1. No Gypsy Elf may harm another Elf. Even Dark and Light elves.
  2. No other elf, Dark or Light, may harm a Gypsy Elf.
  3. No Elven community may refuse lodging to a band of Gypsy Elves. The Gypsy then must agree to be on their way soon after.
At any point in time other elven species may be found in a group of Gypsy Elves, as they may freely travel as long as they abide by the Gypsy Elves rules and lifestyle. These “Free Wanderers” can make up to 10% of the tribe’s population.

As long as the other elves do not fight amongst themselves or the other Gypsy Elves they may remain with the tribe as long as they like. Also any Gypsy Elf is invited to remain in any Elf community, but few rarely do.

Gypsy Elves are on friendly terms with humans. They find Human Gypsies to be too xenophobic for their tastes, but they will travel with them for mutual benefit.

Gypsy Elves, like their Elf cousins, produce fine art, in particular music and dance. Many have excelled in woodcarving and sell these pieces of art in communities they pass through. What these elves cannot make, they buy. In this respect they are very good terms with humans.

Gypsy Elves are careful never to take more from the land or their hosts then they absolutely need. It has been said that there will be no evidence of a gypsy elf camp 24 hours after they leave.

Gypsy Elf  (Ranagwithe)
Armor Class: 6
Hit dice: 1*
Move: 120' (40')
 - Caravan: 90' (30')
Attacks: 1 Weapon
Damage: By Weapon
No. Appearing: 2-8 (2d4) / 5-40 (5d8)
Save As: Elf 1
Morale: 12 or see below
Treasure: Same as Elf
Intelligence: 12
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 5

Monster Type:  Demihuman (race)
Gypsy Elves are typically found traveling in caravans across the world.  Any given caravan will have 5 to 40 members with an a advance scouting troop of 2 to 8 members.  Each caravan has a "Caravan Master" who will be a 5th level or greater elf and a "leader", typically an Elf Seeress (known as a "Kuruni") of 6th level or higher.  Most gypsy elves will be armed with a short sword (75%) or a cross-bow (25%).  All will have daggers as well.

There will also be a variety of random faerie creature travelling with the gypsy elves.  These creatures do not fight if the caravan is attacked, but will flee.

Each Gypsy Elf will know a 1st level elf spell, the Kuruni will know spells as a 6th level elf.  The Caravan Master and the Kuruni will typically have magic items appropriate for a fighter and a wizard respectively of their level.

Moral will be 12 unless their Caravan Master or Kuruni is dead, then it will be 9. If both are killed it will drop to 6.

Like elves, gypsy elves are immune to the touch of a ghoul.

Section 15 Copyright Notice

Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

System Reference Document Copyright 2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Liber Mysterium: The Netbook of Witches and Warlocks is Copyright© 2003, Timothy S. Brannan and the Netbook of Witches Team.

Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game Copyright © 2006-2008. Chris Gonnerman.

Labyrinth LordTM. Copyright © 2007, Daniel Proctor. Author Daniel Proctor.

"Gypsy Elve for Basic era FRPGs" Copyright ©2010, Timothy S. Brannan


Andres said...

I wonder if you would draw a link between the Gypsy Elves and the "Flamenco Elves" from the D&D Known World, given the RW close connection between Gypsy and Flamenco cultures in Spain.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I'll have to look into that. The gypsy elves though were a staple in my old Mystara games back in the day.