On Role-playing True-to-Canon Elves Despite Fellow Players Promoting Orcs

While I have read all the 3.5 sourcebooks — and had some practically memorised, I haven’t played that many campaigns. One of the few that I did, I went with a Lawful Neutral Grey Elf Wizard, and as part of my backstory wanted my character to be very conservative and traditional, and entrenched in his beliefs, steeped in that which was important to Elven culture, most specifically including the Elven hatred, loathing, contempt, and desire to utterly expunge the Orcs. I felt it meshed well with the rest of my backstory, with our campaign setting, and with the campaign details I was given. However, unbeknownst to me, another player chose to be a half-Orc. This would have been problematic were it not for the fact that his love of leaping into combat got him killed right off the bat, but his replacement character, a human Paladin, chose to make it his mission to proselyte to and convert the Orcs into law-abiding beings, while one of my long-term goals was to eventually cleanse the Material Plane of every last drop of Orc blood. I chose to roleplay this and take the conflicting dynamic as an opportunity for immersion, but my fellow players grew rather frustrated by my character’s unwillingness to give up his heritage for another’s whims, and the scenario collapsed before any solution arose. I am not trying to argue that Orcs shouldn’t be considered capable of alignment shift or civilised behaviour, or that my character’s actions were Good (his moral component of alignment was Neutral), but how does one reconcile character motivations that conflict in a manner where for one to succeed the other must fail? Do we go by precedence, allowing the Elf’s mission to succeed because he was around longer? Do we choose by dragging modern era moral systems into feudal societies and ban canon racial hatred as racist, despite how very pertinent such attitudes and behaviours were in those societies, thus removing part of that aspect of realism that makes the game so well-beloved?

Why do elves suffer aging effects in 3.5E?

D&D 3.5 rules specify the effects of aging when reaching middle, old, and venerable age. These effects are the same for all races, with only the age at which they’re reached changing. Forgotten Realms lore states that elves age gracefully and remain full of life until near death. So why should they get the same penalties of age that humans get? Has this ever been addressed?

Is 4 hours long enough for a long rest for Elves?

The Long Rest rules read:

A long rest is a period of extended downtime, at least 8 hours long, during which you sleep or perform light activity: reading, talking, eating, or standing watch for no more than 2 hours of the rest period. If the rest is interrupted by a strenuous activity—such as attacking, taking damage, or casting a spell—you must start the rest over to gain any benefit from it, unless the interruption takes less than an hour. You must have at least 1 hit point to take a long rest. At the end of the rest, you regain all your hit points and half of your maximum number of Hit Dice (round up). You cannot benefit from more than one long rest in a 24-hour period.

The elven Trance racial trait reads as:

Trance: Elves do not need to sleep. Instead, they meditate deeply for 4 hours a day. (The Common word for such meditation is “trance.”) While meditating, you can dream after a fashion; such dreams are actually mental exercises that have become reflexive through years of practice. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.

I have heard two views regarding these rules:

  • An Elf can get the benefit of a Long Rest in only 4 hours.
  • The 4 hours only applies to not being exhausted, 8 hours is still required get the benefits of a Long Rest.

Which is it? Please provide supporting information, possibly from previous versions.

Can elves, half-elves, warforged, and/or kalashtar be affected by Dream of the Blue Veil?

The Fey Ancestry racial trait shared by elves (Player’s Handbook, p. 23) and half-elves (p. 39) states “magic can’t put you to sleep.” Warforged’s Constructed Resilience trait is similar: “You don’t need to sleep, and magic can’t put you to sleep” (Eberron: Rising from the Last War, p. 36). Kalashtar have a racial trait called Severed from Dreams, which reads (p. 31):

Kalashtar sleep, but they don’t connect to the plane of dreams as other creatures do. Instead, their minds draw from the memories of their otherworldly spirit while they sleep. As such, you are immune to spells and other magical effects that require you to dream, like dream, but not to spells and other magical effects that put you to sleep, like sleep.

The spell dream of the blue veil begins with the following paragraph (Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, p. 106; emphasis mine):

You and up to eight willing creatures within range fall unconscious for the spell’s duration and experi­ence visions of another world on the Material Plane, such as Oerth, Toril, Krynn, or Eberron. If the spell reaches its full duration, the visions conclude with each of you encountering and pulling back a mys­terious blue curtain. The spell then ends with you mentally and physically transported to the world that was in the visions.

A sidebar next to the spell reads (p. 106, emphasis mine):

Transit between [different worlds on the Material Plane] is rare but not im­possible and can be accomplished in various ways. […One] method is the Dream of Other Worlds; trav­elers fall into a deep slumber and dream themselves into a new realm. The spell dream of the blue veil em­ploys this method of transit.

My question is, can elves, half-elves, warforged, and/or kalashtar be affected by dream of the blue veil?

My current interpretation of RAW is that the answer is “no” for all four creatures. The sidebar outright states that dream of the blue veil induces “slumber” (thus excluding elves, half-elves, and warforged from being affected) and causes its targets to dream (excluding kalashtar). However, there are a few reasons I might be wrong.

Nowhere in the spell’s actual text do the words “sleep,” “slumber,” or “dream” appear. It refers only to creatures becoming “unconscious” and experiencing “visions.” Contrast this with sleep, which “sends creatures into a magical slumber” and refers to its affected targets as “sleepers” (PHB, p. 276). Contrast also with dream, which “shapes a creature’s dreams,” doesn’t affect a target until it’s “asleep,” and explicitly states that “Creatures that don’t sleep, such as elves, can’t be contacted by this spell” (p. 236).

Commenters in this Reddit thread largely agree that the lack of sleep- and dream-related language in the spell’s text means RAW is that kalashtar can be affected. One commenter points out the similarity to the spell catnap, which can affect elves.

Maybe the Tasha’s Cauldron sidebar, like the title of the spell, is simply some extra lore that doesn’t affect gameplay. However, I see no reason to exclude sidebars from RAW. Many important rules, such as the ones for hiding (PHB, p. 177) and some rules governing wizards’ spellbooks (p. 114), appear only in sidebars.

Another Reddit commenter points to “Spell Spotlight: Dream of the Blue Veil,” a D&D Beyond article which contains the following sentence:

A kalashtar wizard who uses the dream [created by dream of the blue veil] to flee the agents of the Dreaming Dark by escaping to Krynn may buy themself enough time to gather new allies, new resources, and return to Eberron with a bold new plan to defeat their enemies.

This obviously implies that kalashtar can be affected by the spell. I imagine that this could be an oversight, and I don’t especially see why this article should be considered RAW. But again, I could be wrong.

Fey Ancestry says “Magic can’t put you to sleep” and Brass Dragon has the ability to “exhales sleep gas”. Does the breath weapon affect elves?

I always assumed that elves/half elves were just immune to sleep effects, but re-reading Fey Ancestry, it says “magic can’t put you to sleep”.

Brass Dragons and Kamadans (Tomb of Annihilation p225) have Sleep Breath, and I just assumed it wouldn’t affect elves, but now I’m not so sure.

Am I just overthinking it?

Are there any other magical sleep effects besides the Sleep spell? If not, then I would assume it’s intended to include sleeping gas. But maybe the Fey Ancestry is a mix of magic resistance and “elves don’t sleep” so it really is just against magical sleep?

Do (some) Halflings have pointy ears like Elves?

I was under the impression that Halflings in D&D look pretty much like little humans.
But when I browse online concept art and fan art, I see a lot of Halfling images with Elf-like pointy ears… and it isn’t always clear which art is canonical and which isn’t.

So: In D&D, do Halflings (or some types of Halflings) have pointy ears akin to Elves?

Even if they generally don’t, are there exceptions?
If it depends on the D&D version or campaign setting, which ones exactly?

Do elves sleep instead of trance in Pathfinder?

On the Common Terms page of the d20PFSRD website, the "Rest" section says:

The Pathfinder Core Rulebook is somewhat vague on the requirements of resting and sleeping […]

I found that this is true.

Is there any errata that addresses the argument about how elves sleep/trance/rest?

Their immunity to magic sleep seems to indicate that designer either forgot to mention that elves don’t sleep as humans do, or they mistakenly left that immunity from 3.5 re-design.

In “Elves of Evermeet”, how does the “construction” spell work?

This is in the 2nd edition book: Elves of Evermeet. On page 65 there is the description for a spell: Construction. Part of the description says:

The caster can create any object with a volume equal to 1,000 cubic feet (10x10x10 feet) per level. Each 1,000 cubic feet so created takes one entire day. Once created, the object can be added to at the same rate (1,000 cubic feet per day) for as long as the caster wishes.

This made me wonder, assuming a level 20 caster, how much volume can be created/added to in a day? Is it 1000 cubic feet/level, or only 1000, in which case, what is the point of mentioning the caster level?