Frieren elves

Frieren elves

· Caio Lente · #d&d  #system  #species 

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End (Sōsō no Furīren) is the name of a manga being published since 2020 and its anime adaptation airing since 2023. It is, and this is by no means an exaggeration, brilliant. The premise of the series is as follows:

After the party of heroes defeated the Demon King, they restored peace to the land and returned to lives of solitude. Generations pass, and the elven mage Frieren comes face to face with humanity’s mortality. She takes on a new apprentice and promises to fulfill old friends’ dying wishes. Can an elven mind make peace with the nature of life and death? Frieren embarks on her quest to find out.

If you haven’t read/watched it yet, you should. It is beautiful, emotional, engaging, charming, thrilling, deep, and no amount of adjectives can express how much its story has moved me. If you care about this kind of stuff, at the time of writing, Frieren has surpassed Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood as the best rated anime on MyAnimeList by 0.3 point1.

One of the things that inspired me the most in Frieren was how elves are portrayed, especially the main character herself. Tolkien elves, D&D elves, and Pathfinder elves are all said to be aloof and distant because of their long lives, but seldom this is the main focus of their personalities.

Frieren, on the other hand, basically forgets that time exists. It’s hard for her to create meaningful connections with the rest of her party despite spending more than 10 years traveling with them. She has a hard time getting up in the morning, focusing on her quests, or even understanding why her human companions are so eager to get things done.

Watching the anime made me want to play a Frieren elf in D&D. Not “humans” with pointy ears that can meditate for four hours and be good to go; I want some mechanics that reinforce the aloofness and the fact that they can live for thousands upon thousands of years.

So I took it upon myself to create a variant elf species for D&D 5e based on Frieren! Since the series hasn’t talked about a lot about elves in general, I modeled my species on Frieren (the character) instead. Here you go2:

Variant Elf

Elves are a longevous, distant people. They have an innate affinity for magic, and some choose to devote their long lives to the study of the arcane. Because of the length of their lifespans, they have a warped sense of time that makes it hard for them to engage with other people. Many even have difficulty expressing their emotions.

On the other hand, most elves need to fight off the boredom that comes with living for millennia. Some spend their days traveling, some take up multiple crafts, and some become daring adventurers.

Variant Elf Traits

Creature Type: Humanoid.

Size: Medium (about 5–6 feet tall).

Speed: 30 feet.

Life Span: Thousands of years on average.

As a variant elf, you have these special traits.

  1. For context, you have to go all the way down to position 34 in order to find an anime that is 0.3 point below FA:B. ↩︎

  2. I tried to follow the One D&D playtest template instead of the regular 5e one. I hope this makes my variant elf a little bit more future proof. ↩︎