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Moon Elves $3.75
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Moon Elves
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Moon Elves
Publisher: Dark Quest Games
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/25/2012 06:27:26

This is a sourcebook describing a variant version of the standard d20 elf. (I'm not sure where the title comes from, incidentally, as they are never referred to as "moon elves" in the book, and they don't seem to have any obvious lunar connection). The intention, however, isn't for a minor race of elves in some obscure place, but as a replacement for the standard version - although there wouldn't be anything to stop you using it as the former, of course.

For the most part, these elves do follow the usual tropes, and they are instantly recognisable as elves - there's nothing dramatically weird or different here. However, there are changes to the usual version here and there. For example, they tend to be more lawful in nature, and they age at a different rate to the d20 default. So it's a distinct vision, but not a radical re-imagining.

Around a third of the book is taken up with a very detailed account of elven society, that covers just about anything you'd want to know concerning any culture. This really comes alive (although its not going to be very relevant to a dungeon-focussed campaign), and is both well thought out and thorough. It is accompanied by excerpts from the diary of a human compelled to live among elven society, that's rather better than most such fiction, and complements, rather than distracting from, the main text.

The next section covers elven items, both magical and mundane. There are a range of clothes described here, many of which are for flavour, rather than providing specific rules effects. Others, however, range from providing minor bonuses up to 5th level magical items. This is followed by some potions and a host of magical items of various kinds. Most are low to moderate level, but with some that are much higher. In general, there isn't a strong elven feel to them, beyond the descriptions, but they are fitted into the culture outlined in the first section.

The weapons and armour are rather more obviously elven, and there's a great section on magical arrows, with a number of examples. That's followed by even more magical items, presenting a wide range of different powers; many of these have a 'nature' theme, although the actual effects are quite broadly applicable. There are three unique magical artefacts (although one's essentially a joke) and three cursed items - something one rarely sees in these sorts of supplements.

The third section of the book deals with magic. There are many spells here, most of them between first and third level, although with a few stretching all the way up to ninth. Rangers and druids are best served here, since many spells have a natural theme, but there are also a number of sorcerer/wizard spells, related primarily to stealth and grace. There are ten clerical domains included, based around elven themes such as nature and beauty. On the whole, these are going to be more useful in wilderness or social/city based campaigns than down a typical dungeon. Some of the granted powers might even be a little overpowered for the latter.

The fourth and final chapter provides prestige classes. Presumably, they're intended only for elves, although, technically, the class requirements don't mention this. Foresters are a way for rangers and druids to specialise in stealth and sneak attacks, although they don't really provide anything else. The carouser is a party animal who specialises in social skills such as Diplomacy and Bluff, and therefore is obviously only going to work in certain campaigns. Nor is there any particular reason why they should be restricted to elves that I can see.

Noble warriors are more obviously combat oriented, but giving a mix of social and leadership abilities. Rather more directly useful in a fight are the sword-singers, with abilities related to rapid movement and enhanced damage. Similarly, rune-blades are warriors with some magical abilities bound into their swords - there are a range of different options for this one.

Spotters specialise in, well, Spot checks, with a few other vision-oriented abilities thrown again. Which can doubtless be useful, but is probably rather narrowly focussed for most tastes. Finally, there are masters-of-tongues, with abilities relating to subterfuge and infiltration; some of these are combat related, although they're probably more useful in an urban setting than elsewhere.

Most of the interior artwork is reasonable, although no more than that, but the cover, and the pictures used for the prestige classes are rather better. On the whole, the book is well written, and well laid out, although there's a fair bit of colour that may be a problem if you're intending to print it all out. At over 100 pages, it's also quite a hefty tome, and very good value for the price, causing me to nudge it up into the 5-star bracket.

If there's a downside, it's that this is not so useful for traditional D&D style games. To my mind, that's not a bad thing; this book, like the elves it described, focusses on social interaction and on agility and perception rather than brute force. Some of it, at least, is therefore going to be useful in any campaign with those themes, whether or not elves are a major focus. But it's probably wise to be aware of that.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Moon Elves
Publisher: Dark Quest Games
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/01/2011 14:29:42

Moon Elves came out very early in the d20 boom, and to a degree it shows in its imperfect command of the system. However, it fulfills my requirements for what makes a good d20 supplement, so I'm going to give it high marks.

First of all, there are two versions in the zipfile, one marked "B&W", though both are color PDFs, with a color cover, color margin art in the introduction, and so on, the "B&W" version changes some color "journal entries" into normal text. This is a pretty primitive stab at printer/memory friendliness, but at least it's there.

This book expands on the race of elves presented in D&D3 (or Pathfinder's corebook, for that matter). Imagine that you were able to "expand" that section - it would pretty much be a book like Moon Elves. This is a good trait because it gives a simple puzzle-piece style supplement for a GM to include (or not include), and isn't dependent on other setting material (like the Forgotten Realms, for example.)

The language is very simple, aimed clearly at introducing players to roleplaying elements of an elven character. A considerable portion of the book discusses cultural elements of elves and provides good notes for players who wish to bring a cultural aspect to their roleplay.

There's the obligatory "new items" and "new spells" section, which can be used to add flavor to treasure or magic, but thankfully Moon Elves doesn't overreach as many d20 supplements do to providing new insanely great items. These feel like a natural counterpart to the society described. Similarly, the spells mirror the spells in D&D3 relatively closely.

The prestige classes are all right, but didn't really integrate with the cultural elements described in such detail in the beginning of the book.

Moon Elves is one of the more solid early entries into the d20 field - it's well worth a look even in these Pathfinder days. The price is exceptional for what you get. Who doesn't like elves? Nobody, nobody doesn't like elves. And that's a fact.

I'm reviewer tilting one star up for nostalgia purposes. D&D3 was when I really got excited about D&D again and Moon Elves is a supplement that will help you sustain and flesh out your campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Moon Elves
Publisher: Dark Quest Games
by Daniel P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/16/2004 00:00:00

I purchase this on sale, and for the price, it was a great buy. I like elves a lot, and this book delievered on the subject. A good mix of fluff and crunch makes it an enjoyable read. While I am not the kind of GM that likes to uber-detail, the ideas in this book are generic enough that I can spread them out among other elven sub-races if I feel the moon elves are getting too crowded with options. As a player, it made me want to play an elf again and use a few of the options. As a GM, it gave me some nice tools to break the monotony and shake my player's perceptions and assumptions of elves. If you play an elf (and have a nice GM that will allow you to incorporate the book into the campaign) or if your campaign features elves in a prominent position (and there are few that don't), this book is a good addition to the library.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Moon Elves
Publisher: Dark Quest Games
by DJ H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/28/2004 00:00:00

Okay product, I found the prestige classes will be easy to implement than some of the other rules. The magic items and spell would need some work to incorporate a campaign, but definately present some neat ideas.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Moon Elves
Publisher: Dark Quest Games
by James T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/17/2003 00:00:00

Well thought out and helpful for players and DMs for envisioning the mindset of various elves



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Moon Elves
Publisher: Dark Quest Games
by Anna D.
Date Added: 11/15/2002 00:00:00

An excellent pdf about elves! I only hope they do one about dwarves.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Moon Elves
Publisher: Dark Quest Games
by Michael R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/13/2002 00:00:00

A short review:

Chapter One : Elves 34 pages. Nothing 'crunchy'. Basically a slightly different take on the culture of elves. Wood Elves, Stone Elves, Urban Elves and High Elves all differ primarily in living location (no in-game stat differences).

Chapter Two : Elven Items 15 pages. Lightly 'crunchy'. 2 pages of elven versions of the PHB outfits (clothing). Normal items grouped with Magic items. Balance may be a problem with some items. The 'Goldendew', for example, maximizes a potion for 75 gp. Too expensive for low level potions, but an extreme bargain for higher level effects. The Weapons lack a simple/martial/exotic designation and Armor similarly lacks a light/medium/heavy listing. Balance may also be a problem here (both high and low). The 'Elven Fighting Sticks' are portrayed as a favored fighting style, yet are worse than a simple club (identical stats without a range increment). The 'Shimmerleaf Armor' on the other hand is strictly better than Half-Plate and arguably better than Full Plate, but costs only 500 gp.

Chapter Three : Elven Spells 16 pages. Mostly ?crunchy? (some of the spell descriptions are longer than necessary). Many Ranger/Druid spells with a sprinkling of spells for other classes. Several new domains. In general, the spells appear to fit the subject matter of elves and wilderness, though there are a few possible balance issues. ?Obscuring Leaves?(Drd 1, Rgr 1) gives a 40% miss chance compared to ?Blur? (Brd 2, Sor/Wiz 2) which gives a 20% miss chance. There are also many 1st and 2nd level spells that give circumstance and competence bonus? ranging from +5 to +8 (with 3rd level versions effecting 1 target per level). The skills given this bonus are of the Spot/Listen/Hide/Move Silently type.

Chapter Four : Prestige Classes 17 pages. 7 Prestige Classes. As with all prestige classes, you mileage will vary. DMs will probably have to make adjustments. Balance problems exist (but when is that not the case with prestige classes?). For example, at 2nd level the Elven Forester may, once per day, automatically turn any hit into a critical.

Overall The text formatting could have been better. While a larger font is sometimes nice, in this case it seems to have been used just to increase the page count. Some of the prestige classes stretch for 3 pages and the class table for most take up a third of a page.

I don?t regret the purchase.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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