Salutations friends! I hope you are ready to learn more about the wonderful lore of Xadia since today we’ll be reviewing Earthblood Elves, what makes them unique, and how to play one!
What Makes Them Unique
In the magical lands of Xadia there are six kinds of elves: Moonshadow, Skywing, Sunfire, Earthblood, Tidebound, and Startouch. All elves share a set of distinct physical traits—pointy ears, four fingers on each hand, a pair of horns on their head, and more. Each type of elf is born with a unique and magical connection to the primal source for which they’re named.
When it comes to the Earthblood elves, they are among the most physically diverse of all elf types, thanks to their varied places of origin around Xadia. Earthblood features are often suited to, and sometimes reflect, their respective environments.
For example, those who come from the Uncharted Forest typically have antler-like horns and plant-like features, while those from Xadia’s more mountainous regions tend to have crystalline horns and hardened skin similar to that of stone. It is said that even the longest-lived Earthblood elves slowly become one with the Earth itself.
Despite their differences, many Earthblood elves share some traits of personality and habit. As a group, these elves tend to have practical natures and are usually more concerned with comfort and efficiency than ceremony and formalities.
Earthblood elves are fantastic people with a rich lore. So fantastic, in fact, that we should dive into exactly how to play one!
How to Play an Earthblood Elf
Diving into character creation is always fun in Tales of Xadia since you can pick and choose various options. The first is who our people are. In this case, we are choosing the Earthblood Elves and will give our character the name of Hektor.
Community is the first section we decide when it comes to character creation. Looking at the chart on page 113 of the handbook, Earthblood Elves will gain a +1 for Truth and a 1d6 for the die value.
Who was your family? Where did your customs and culture come from? For this section, we’ll be choosing Elves and gain a +1 devotion.
What do you do to earn a living? We’ll have Hektor be an Athlete. This means that their Value is glory and they gain the SFX of Pulse Racing: When you spend a Plot Point to push your Exhausted or Injured stress, do not step it up.
Adjectives provide context for your chosen vocation. What is it that makes this Earthblood Elf a capable athlete? For their adjective, we’ll go with Headstrong, meaning they gain a +1 to their Glory.
Headstrong provides the SFX of Fond Memories: Recover either Afraid, Exhausted, or Insecure stress when you spend a scene interacting with someone or something from your home.
The thought process is that all of their life they have had a healthy bit of confidence which came in handy for physical activities involving risks and rewards.
These adjectives allow you to have vocation distinctions that are specific to where they have spent the most time. For Hektor, because he is an Earthblood Elf, we’ll choose the Mountain as your location.
Mountain Familiarity: When you are interacting with or present within the environment related to your vocation, spend a Plot Point to step up or double this distinction for the duration of a test, contest, or challenge.
Quirks are what make your character unique and personable. For Hektor, we are doubling down on the idea of them being this confident, and sometimes reckless, mass of muscle by giving them the Quirk of Courageous Combatant.
Courageous Combatant provides the following SFX: Get Behind Me: Gain a Plot Point when you put yourself in danger to protect someone else.
Now we decide how exactly to build Hektor’s primary attributes. Agility, Awareness, Influence, Intellect, Spirit, and Strength. Every character has a rating in these six traits from a lowly 1d4 to a world-class 1d12.
You always include one of your attributes in your dice pool when you attempt a test, contest, or challenge. Which attribute you include depends on the circumstances so these values are important!
Because of this, we are going with a more focused build providing Agility and Strength with a 1d10, Spirit and Influence get a 1d18, Awareness gets a 1d6 and Intellect gets a 1d4. This will mean Hektor is top-notch when it comes to anything even remotely physical but if a situation calls for tact or strategy, they may not be the best choice.
The six values that Distinctions affect are: Devotion, Glory, Justice, Liberty, Mastery, and Truth. At the beginning, all of these values will be a 1d4. Through our choices we’ll step up the die value. Reviewing our previous choices here is what we have:
- Family: Devotion
- Vocation: Glory
- Adjective: Glory
- Location: Mastery
- Quirk: Justice, Devotion
This results in the following:
- Devotion: 1d8
- Mastery: 1d6
Now, we may place three additional steps in any values we like as long as it does not exceed a 1d12. So we’ll provide a step up to Glory, Mastery, and Liberty. Making our new values:
- Devotion: 1d8
- Mastery: 1d8
Beyond your distinctions, attributes, and values, your character is aided in their adventures by two important types of traits: their specialties and assets. You can start with as many as three specialties.
For Hektor, we are going to make their Specialties:
- Unarmed Combat: Using your bare hands, feet, and other body parts. 1d8
- Medicine: Treating others who are sick. 1d6
- Cooking: Making meals for yourself and others. 1d6
Assets are things that are important to your character, and which help them during an adventure. They don’t even have to be physical objects, just something that helps the character. A character can start with up to three assets.
For Hektor, we are going to give them:
- Daunting Mask 1d8
- Iron Bracers 1d6
- Ciara the Therapy Chicken 1d6
Now it’s time to pick Hektor’s special effects (SFX). These are exceptions to the way the game works that you can invoke during tests, contests, and challenges, and some other times. Every character gets the Hinder SFX three times, once for each distinction.
Hektor’s three Hinder SFX are already unlocked. Of the remaining nine SFX that we picked, we may choose to unlock two of them. These unlocked SFX may be used in play. The rest must be unlocked by using growth.
Here are the nine:
- Composure: When you spend a Plot Point to push your Exhausted or Insecure stress, do not step it up.
- Elf Might: Spend a Plot Point to step up your Strength die in your dice pool for a test, contest, or challenge that factors in your elven power and endurance.
- Head in the Clouds: Spend a Plot Point to step up or double your Devotion value in your pool for the duration of a test, contest, or challenge when you use your vocation distinction.
- Heart-to-Heart: When you spend a recovery scene comforting others, step down their Afraid or Insecure stress an additional time.
- I’ll Hold Them Off: Spend a Plot Point to step up or double your Strength attribute in your pool for the duration of a test, contest, or challenge when you use your vocation distinction.
- I Can Do This All Day: When you push Exhausted stress, you do not have to spend a Plot Point.
- Reliable: Spend a Plot Point to reroll your dice when creating an asset with a test. You must keep the result of this new roll.
- They Seem Nice: Gain a Plot Point when putting your trust in someone else lands you in a bad situation.
- Tough: Spend a Plot Point to convert your Injured or Exhausted stress into another kind of stress. If you already had stress of that new type, step up that stress.
Now that we have that sorted, Hektor the Earthblood Elven athlete is ready to embark on adventures!
What kind of Earthblood Elf do you want to create for your next Tales of Xadia game? Let us know in the comments below!
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