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37 votes

Is the offspring of an elf and a half-elf an elf or a half-elf?

XGtE suggests the result is a Half-Elf This book includes a table (p. 62) for determining parent races when your character is a half elf. It includes the possibility of: One parent was an elf and ...
Sdjz's user avatar
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33 votes
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Are half-elves and half-orcs sterile, or can they interbreed with each other(their respective race) like normal races?

Half-elves and half-orcs are not sterile. Xanathar's Guide to Everything, p62: Nonhuman Parents. If your character is a half-elf, a half-orc, or a tiefling, you can use one of the tables below to ...
Shivers's user avatar
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30 votes
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Can a Half-Elf have Drow Ancestry?

Yes, a half-elf could be half-drow. Drow and humans can have children, and the resulting children are half-drow. In previous editions, half-drow were a bit mechanically different to normal half-elves, ...
Carcer's user avatar
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29 votes

Compatibility of races

Monster Manual p245: The orcs' drive to reproduce runs stronger than any other humanoid race, and they readily crossbreed with other races. When an orc procreates with a non-orc humanoid of ...
Protonflux's user avatar
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28 votes
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Is there any major mechanical advantage to playing a Drow Elf (full) rather than a Drow Half-Elf?

Superior Darkvision is the major advantage The most significant mechanical advantage that a Drow has over a Half-Drow, and indeed most other races, is their 120-foot darkvision. Drow can see in the ...
Carcer's user avatar
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26 votes
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Can a Half-Elf choose the same Ability Score for the +1's of Ability Score Increase?

No, you can't choose the same ability score twice. Here's why: The intention is usually in the wording - in this case, this, and two other ability scores of your choice to me this means you ...
Stanfrancisco's user avatar
24 votes
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Sleep's hp total and (half-) elf targets

You have it exactly correct. A (half-)elf in the area of the spell is affected in ascending HP order and sucks up the appropriate amount of the 'payload', it's just going to have no effect, and ...
Darth Pseudonym's user avatar
23 votes
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Do half-elves get the abilities of both their races?

No The PHB section (page 39) on Half-elves is quite specific. Half elves get Ability Score Increase of CHA +2, and two other ability scores increase by 1. Darkvision to 60'. Fey Ancestry: You have ...
UrhoKarila's user avatar
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23 votes
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Variant Half-Elf: is this meant to be Keen Senses AND another trait?

The Keen senses option is indeed inherently weaker Your analysis regarding the Keen senses is correct - it gives you proficiency in a single particular skill when you could have proficiency in two ...
kviiri's user avatar
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22 votes

Sleep's hp total and (half-) elf targets

I disagree. Magic can't put the half-elf to sleep; he is immune to magical sleep. The sleep spell will act as if he is not there. A normal human who is unconscious doesn't get his HP subtracted ...
Phil Boncer's user avatar
19 votes

Can a Half-Elf choose the same Ability Score for the +1's of Ability Score Increase?

No, you can't choose the same ability twice. The trait specifies two other ability scores of your choice. This phrasing means that you can't choose Charisma, of course, but it also means you can't ...
V2Blast's user avatar
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18 votes
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Does the race of half-elves on Khorvaire in Eberron have its own name?

The technical term is "Khoravar". From the section on half-elves in the Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron (p. 77-78), under the heading "The Khoravar": When two half-elves conceive, ...
Kyle Willey's user avatar
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15 votes

Is there any major mechanical advantage to playing a Drow Elf (full) rather than a Drow Half-Elf?

In Xanathar's Guide to Everything p. 74, there is an excellent racial feat available only to drow called Drow High Magic, which I think is worth being a full-blooded drow for. It allows you to cast ...
Sam Lacrumb's user avatar
  • 11.1k
14 votes

Not clear on number of skills my character can have

Yes, if your DM is ok with you making a custom Background Everything you've listed looks good to me, but be wary that your DM might not allow custom backgrounds. Allowing players to create their own ...
lithas's user avatar
  • 4,510
13 votes
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Compatibility of races

It's always the GM's decision how this work in each specific campaign. To my knowledge, there have never been any orc-elf crossbreeds in official D&D sources and no half-elf/half-orc ones either. ...
Yora's user avatar
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13 votes

Sleep's hp total and (half-) elf targets

Ported from the question posed by Mindwin: Are undead and creatures immune to charm excluded from the HP count of Sleep? Looking at those two fragments: Creatures within 20 feet of a point you choose ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 2,890
12 votes

History and Lore of Elves

The best resource for D&D elves, in my opinion, isn't any book at all, but rather afroakuma’s So You Want to Play an Elf. He is probably the foremost expert on D&D lore on the internet (at ...
KRyan's user avatar
  • 354k
12 votes

Mixed race from half-elf and half-dwarf

The simplest solution is to use a Custom Lineage If your table uses, or has access to, Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, you can apply the Custom Lineage option (p. 8) to any mix that the books do not ...
KorvinStarmast's user avatar
11 votes
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Do all Half-Elf subraces forgo the Skill Versatility feature?

The confusion seems to come from the fact that the half-elf page is an aggregation of all text relating to half-elven stats, rather than the actual direct source of this information. The text you're ...
CTWind's user avatar
  • 19.4k
11 votes

Do half-elves get the abilities of both their races?

In the core books, no There's a reason for that. Getting all of the half-elf's bonuses, see @UrhoKarila's answer, and additional elven bonuses would be far more powerful starting out compared to all ...
KorvinStarmast's user avatar
11 votes
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Is the offspring of an elf and a half-elf an elf or a half-elf?

XGtE suggests that you are free to make it up. Ideas, not rules (XGtE, 61): Even though these pages are full of tables [...] they don't make up a rules system - in fact, the opposite is true. ...
Akixkisu's user avatar
  • 19.7k
11 votes

Is half-orc and half-elf a possiblity?

Traditionally no, but it may be possible, if rare. According to AD&D-era lore, elves cannot breed with orcs at all. In Dragon magazine #60 (April 1982), the article "The Half-Elven Point of View" ...
Quadratic Wizard's user avatar
10 votes
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After a Mark of Detection half-elf casts a spell using the Magical Detection trait, can they cast the trait's other spells before taking a long rest?

Yes, you can still use the trait to cast other spells The spell text clearly differentiates repeatedly between the trait and the spells that are cast with it. If it intended to exclude any use of the ...
Ryan M's user avatar
  • 1,026
9 votes

History and Lore of Elves

Your best bet is the published books. If you don't already have it, the Players Handbook has the basic history/lore for the races. If you've got a bit more cash-to-splash, you can pick up the Sword ...
Kadin's user avatar
  • 1,855
9 votes

Sleep's hp total and (half-) elf targets

By my reading of the RAW (Half-)Elves would indeed 1: Be affected by the spell, thereby 2: Have their HP substracted from the total (on their "turn") and 3: Not actually fall asleep. This is because ...
Aechirfin's user avatar
  • 142
9 votes

How many proficiencies and languages does a noble half-elf Knowledge Domain cleric start with?

The instructions for building a character and how proficiency bonuses are applied are detailed in the Player's Handbook, Chapter 1: Step by Step Characters. The specifics relevant to your particular ...
Quadratic Wizard's user avatar
7 votes
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What does an Aquatic Half-Elf Variant mean?

"Aquatic Elves" are Sea Elves; therefore, "Aquatic Half-Elves" are half-Sea Elves The half-elf variant was first published in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (SCAG), which was ...
NathanS's user avatar
  • 79.1k
7 votes

Is the offspring of an elf and a half-elf an elf or a half-elf?

Probably an Elf The Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (the 5e Forgotten Realms sourcebook) does't specify but the 1e FR Campaign Set has this to say (on page 47 of the Cyclopedia). Half-elves may ...
Greenstone Walker's user avatar
6 votes

Not clear on number of skills my character can have

Yes, that is correct. When customising a background (instead of choosing one of the existing ones), you need to ask your DM first. Most players will pick one of the example backgrounds.
Temp's user avatar
  • 9,310
6 votes
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To what extent are half-breeds treated as humans?

They can take any race-restricted character option As pointed out in this answer, in Pathfinder, most half-breeds of humans are also treated members of both parent races, and thus, also treated as ...
ShadowKras's user avatar
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