The Ghoul's Claw attack in the Monster Manual (p.148) has the rider of forcing a save or paralyzing a creature if the target:

... is a creature other than an elf or undead ...

My question is this:

Is a Half-Elf required to make the saving throw, or is it immune, like Elves and Undead are?


A half-elf needs to roll a saving throw to avoid being paralyzed

Elves and half-elves in 5e share a common trait:

Fey Ancestry You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can't put you to sleep

But this says nothing about paralysis, so in this case we are looking at a specific rule about elves and undead in the MM, and half-elves aren't included.


RAW, probably not.

However, as I DM, I would personally rule that they are. The shared Fey Ancestry is a small point in the half-elves favour, but, historically (in 3.5 anyway), half-species have counted as both parent species for effects that target race.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ They're only partial elves, so not with the guarantee out. Maybe just give them advantage on the save. \$\endgroup\$ May 3 '16 at 15:28

"Elves" are anything with the elf subtype. Half-elves have both the human and elven subtypes, so therefore they are immune to anything that elves are immune to.

Conversely they are also affected by anything that affects humans or elves, such as elf bane arrows.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have a reference for that? We like answers to be supported here on RPG.SE. The PHB does not reference the subtypes of character races, or about half-elves being mechanically both human and elf. "Half-elf" could very well be its own subtype, neither human nor elf. Anyway, welcome to RPG.SE. Remember to take the tour and check out the help center some time. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBeast
    Sep 28 '20 at 12:23

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