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Notes on The Elfin Legal Defense

This proved to be the cult which attracted the most interest from players.  Although none of them ever became a member, several took a keen interest in discovering whether the group still existed, and one announced an intent to join-would have done so had the party held together long enough for his fighter/magic user to reach top level in magic.  Thus I was more prepared for this group to prove itself a present reality than for any other.  On the other hand, many years have passed since then, and many of my notes have been filed into misplaced folders, lost for the moment.  So I shall reconstruct from memory what I can, and leave the rest to the invention and imagination of you, the DM and creator of your own game world.

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I agree with the level limits on non-human races, and with the restriction that they not change classes.  An elf may live almost two thousand years, and may be barely a hundred when he begins his profession.  Given that expanse of time to grow and improve, it is clear that all of the greatest wizard, warriors, and whatevers would be elves, and it would be difficult to justify playing a human in a world dominated by elves.  I played a kensai in a game in which the DM did not enforce either of these rules, and could foresee a time when my non-human character would have achieved incredible levels as a kensai, and as a shukenja, and as a monk, and finish his career by pursuing magic use into the sixtieth level.  At some point, he would have turned to one of the peasants to whose aid he had come, and said, "I suppose compared to you, I am a god."  It is not reasonable to allow a character that level of power.

Yet elves are a popular race.  Despite the fact that they cannot be resurrected (an oft-overlooked nuance of the rules--many referees allow them to be resurrected either because they overlook the distinction between characters with souls and those with spirits, or because they don't see the importance of putting this limit on a character with such a long life expectancy), players are attracted to the combination of strong levels in good basic classes, a good compromise height and weight which allows horseback riding and the use of most weapons but keeps the character light and the mount unencumbered, and the infravision and other abilities.  Several of the strongest characters in my games have been elves--as the party approaches mid-levels, they bloom as strongly as any, even when held back by the burden of multi-class.

Yet for every elf, the day arrives when he can advance no further.  The character stagnates, and the player watches others pass by him on their way to greater power.  Without undoing the important limits, I wanted to give them something more.  So I created the Elfin Legal Defense, for those who chose to be lawful good.

The levels are as described in the original page.  The character begins as an initiate, by announcing his intent to become part of the group.  Assuming he is worthy, he is contacted by a Minor Council and given an Elven Cloak and Boots.  After 250,000 experience points (in which he is to prove his dedication to and comprehension of law and good), the character becomes Fourth Class, and is given a badge with four bars and a +1 Ring of Protection.  I would require 250,000 experience points per level to advance through the classes, removing one bar from the badge and swapping the ring for one plus better each time.  The next level is Single Star, and should be twice as far--500,000 experience points--from the last.  Moving through the five stars (Minor Constellator being a pattern of four stars and Major Constellator a pattern of five) at that rate per level, the character eventually reaches Minor Council.  As mentioned, if the character is a fighter he is given the specified swords--+1, +2, +3, Sword of Sharpness, Vorpal Sword--to be returned (but for the last) on advancement to the next level.  I had lists of appropriate magic items for magic users and clerics, but I no longer have them; I believe the magi used increasingly powerful wands, and the clerics had weapons appropriate to their class.  Through this time, the elf's responsibility is to seek to do good and preserve justice wherever he may.  Advancement is treated as it was before, requiring the expense of time and money based on level and grade, treating only his level within the Defense.

A Minor Council receives a magic item of a different type--something useful and permanent, appropriate to the class.  He also has a new aspect to his position:  he is to find and train a new initiate, becoming his contact to the sect.  He becomes mentor and trainer to the new initiate, and provides the necessary items (which he acquires from his mentor as needed).  He continues to advance more slowly--750,000 experience points to reach Minor Council and the same to reach Major Council is appropriate.

Beyond that, it should take 1,000,000 points to reach Captain of Elves, then Major of Elves, then Minor General, then Major General.  At this point, the gifts change:  the character is advanced in ability scores, one full point in his prime requisite first, then in constitution, then dexterity.  If desired, the next can be ten hit points.  These are intended to strenthen the character significantly, and should be allowed to raise any attribute score a full point, with the only limitation being that no score may exceed 25.

1,500,000 experience points is an appropriate distance to reach each of the next levels.  The character will reach Elfin Commander, Elfin Lord, and Elfin Prince.  I recommend that the DM hand-pick items especially suited to the character, based on his history, class, and special skills and strategies.  Any character who reaches this point will be weell understood by the referee so selection of such an item should not pose too great a problem.  It may be desireable to custom design an item appropriate to the character--very powerful but less than an artifact.

An additional 2,000,000 points will bring the character to the final level, that of Elfin Defender.  At this point, the rewards will be significant.  The character should receive an additional +1 on his prime ability score, and +1 on another score which he and the council agree would benefit him greatly.  He will also be given any known magic item which is not unique (i.e., not an artifact or relic) of his choice.  The choice must be made based on the character's knowledge of magic items within the game, and does not require that the referee reveal any secrets from the DMG or other books.  The details of the item, if not fixed, may be randomly determined by the referee--that is, a Ring of Multiple Wishes will have a randomly determined number of wishes, not the maximum number allowed; but a ring of three wishes will have three wishes.  In addition, if the character does not select an item which intrinsically has wishes, he will be granted one wish, which he may make immediately or at any time he returns to the council to make his request known.  Thereafter, for every 2,000,000 experience points the character gains in pursuit of the objectives of the Elfin Legal Defense, he will be granted one wish.

That's more than you need.  Have fun with it.

Do you have the spirit of adventure?

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