Player > Races > Half-elves
Half-elves are Medium humanoids with both the elf and human subtypes.
Half-elves receive Skill Focus as a bonus feat at 1st level.
Half-elves are immune to magic sleep effects and receive a +2 racial bonus to saving throws against enchantment spells and effects.
Half-elves receive a +2 racial bonus to Perception skill checks.
Half-elves can see dim light as if it were normal light. See Vision and Light on page 261.
If it’s true that opposites attract, then elves and humans are the best proof. Despite their general distrust of non-elves, many elves find humanity’s passionate energy, dedication to living in the moment, and ability to accomplish so much in their short lives deeply appealing—a flame that burns all the brighter for its brevity. At the same time, many humans are attracted to elves’ lean bodies, elegant style, and centuries of wisdom. Where the two populations interact, half-elves occasionally result.
Half-elves are the interracial children of human and elven parents or the descendants of such children. While they can often pass for human by hiding their modestly pointed ears, they nevertheless tend toward the tall, slim physiques of their elven parents, with life spans twice as long as those of their human kin. Despite being seen as generally attractive by both races, half-elves often feel like outsiders in both societies, always exoticized and never quite accepted as part of either group. This leads many half-elves to band together with others of their kind, or else abandon both their parent races in favor of new friends and families among aliens who lack those preconceptions. Since half-elves breed true, many second- or third-generation half-elves have no firsthand knowledge of their parent cultures.
Sovyrian, the elven homeland on Castrovel, is open to half-elves, as the government’s Blood Right policy invites any with discernible elven blood to return to the homeland, though this has recently become controversial due to high-profile conflicts with half-elf dissident groups who resent their status as second-class citizens. Half-elves are also relatively common on Absalom Station, one of the few places where elven emissaries and humans live and work together in large numbers.
Predominantly half-elf settlements are rare, though of late several half-elf homesteader townships have sprung up just beyond the comfortable edge of Verces’s terminator line, and the tropical extrasolar colony of Shanavan is specifically recruiting fellow half-elves. As cultural chameleons, half-elves slide easily into other societies, adapting smoothly to alien mind-sets. They have a particular affinity for androids, ysoki, and any groups treated as outsiders by mainstream society, as well as for alien races like the shirrens who are different enough biologically that it would never occur to them to focus on such minor racial differences as pointed ears or eye color. Many half-elves are fond of wandering, with a strong desire to prove themselves, seeking out new worlds in the Vast for fame and glory or in the hope of establishing new colonies. Though their often complicated relationship with their parent races makes them natural iconoclasts, they also tend toward kindness and understanding.
With their extreme versatility, half-elves are a perfect fit for nearly any profession, though in recent years an unusually large number have become operatives or soldiers for the Stewards, perhaps seeing in the enforcement of the Pact a chance to foster understanding and build a single system-wide culture that no longer strands half-elven children between two worlds.
Most half-elves stand from 5-1/2 to 6-1/2 feet tall and weigh 100–200 pounds. They’re considered adults at 20 and naturally live up to 180 years.