In Dungeons and Dragons, one of my favorite characters is the half-elf. Combining what some claim to be the greatest traits of their elf and human parents, they navigate two very different worlds.
Are half-elves immortal in DND?
Half-elves are not immortal in DND. As a blend of both humans and elves, they develop at a pace comparable to that of humans, reaching adulthood at about age 20. Ultimately, they outlive humans and frequently live for more than 180 years. Half-elves can use magic to gain immortality.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to answer the question, “Are half-elves immortal in DND?”
Are Half-Elves Immortal in DND? (Official Answer)
In Dnd, half-elves are not immortal but they do live a long time.
According to the Player’s Handbook pg. 34:
“Half-elves attain adulthood at roughly age 20, maturing at the same rate as humans. They frequently outlive humans by 180 years, which is a lot longer.”
Most humans live to approximately age 80.
We can even round up to 100 to take centenarians into consideration. Even then, half-elves live two to three times as long as average humans.
Again, not immortal, but living three human lifespans gives you some life experience wiggle room.
Also, I should note that half-elves have a shorter life span than elves.
This is illustrated in the PHB pg. 33:
“Some half-elves coexist with humans, distinguishable from one another by their emotional and physical quirks. They watch as friends and loved ones grow older yet time barely registers on them. Some live among the elves, becoming restless as they grow older in the elven realms of time while their peers carry on living as children.”
In other words:
- Half-elves watch their human counter-parts grow old around them
- Half-elves who live among full-blooded elves watch themselves grow old while the elves remain young
Can Half-Elves Be Immortal?
A Paladin of the Ancients or one of the mystic archetypes can learn the clone spell, which grants immortality in the sense of never growing old.
Technically, any undead including half-elves can also achieve this by becoming a lich.
Another choice is a Potion of Longevity.
This potion can make a character 1d6 + 6 years younger by drinking it, but it also has a 10 percent cumulative chance to make them older instead.
Thus, it shouldn’t be used too frequently.
As we mentioned earlier, half-elves develop at the same rate as humans until age 20, then significantly slow down their aging process.
Since they frequently live 180 years longer than humans, we can calculate their lifespan.
If humans live to around 80 or 90 years old, then:
- 80 + 180 = 260
- 90 + 180 = 270
How Can Half-Elves Be Immortal?
Half-Elves can attain immortality in a couple of different ways.
They can be immortal by using powerful magic:
- Clone spell
- Magic Jar spell
- Resurrection spell
- Wish spell
Other than pure magic, half-elves can also use magic items, help from a divine creature, or DND homebrewing to live forever.
According to the PHB pg. 203:
As a defense against death, this spell creates an inert copy of a live being. After 120 days of growth inside a sealed vessel, the clone is fully grown and mature.
It is dormant and lasts eternally.
That is, provided its vessel is not disturbed. If the original creature passes away at any point after the clone reaches adulthood, its soul can transfer to the clone as long as it is free and willing to do so.
The clone is identical to the original in terms of personality, physical appearance, memory, and abilities but is devoid of the latter’s apparatus.
If the original creature’s physical remains are still there, they turn inert.
They also can not be brought back to life again because the creature’s soul has already left them.
You need a medium-sized vessel that costs at least 2,000 GP and can accommodate a Medium creature, a diamond that costs at least 1,000 GP, and at least 1 cubic inch of the target creature’s flesh for the spell to consume.
The spell has a casting time of an hour.
According to PHB pg. 236, this spell requires a 6th level necromancy and a casting time of 1 minute.
During the spell, as your soul departs your body it enters the container you employed as the spell’s material component.
Your body proceeds to enter an impassive state.
In this state, your soul can become aware of its surroundings just like if it were in the container’s space. However, you are powerless to speak or act.
You can only project your soul up to 100 feet out of the container, after which you must decide whether to try to take over a new body or to go back to your living body to reverse the curse.
You might try to take possession of any visible humanoid within 100 feet of you.
If you fail, your soul enters the victim’s body, and the victim’s soul is imprisoned in the container. If you succeed in possessing the goal, you are unsuccessful in doing so for the next 24 hours.
When you take over a creature’s body, you have control over it.
The creature’s game statistics are replaced with your own while maintaining your alignment and your Wisdom, Intelligence, and Charisma scores.
You continue to profit from your own class’s characteristics.
You cannot do anything with the target’s class features if such exist. Using its senses, the possessed creature’s spirit can see through the container, but it is entirely immobile and powerless to move or act.
You can use your action to return from the host body to the container depending on whether the hosting creature is within 100 feet of where you are.
The host creature should also be in its body.
You must attempt a Charisma saving throw versus your own spellcasting DC if the host body passes away while you are still inside it.
You return there if the test is successful and the container is within 100 feet of you. If not, you’ll pass away. When the spell expires or the container is destroyed, your soul instantly returns to your body.
If your body is more than one hundred feet away from you or if you try to reach it and it’s already dead, you’ve died.
If a container holds another creature’s soul and it is destroyed, the other creature’s soul will return to its body as long as it is still alive and within 100 feet of the destroyed container.
The creature perishes if not. The container is obliterated after the spell expires.
The Resurrection Spell
The PHB (pg. 250) says that you make contact with a deceased creature that hasn’t been dead for more than a century, wasn’t an old person, and wasn’t undead.
The target regains all of its health points and comes back to life if its soul is free and willing.
This spell removes any poisons and heals whatever ailments the creature had at the time of its death.
However, it doesn’t remove magical ailments, curses, and the like.
If these effects aren’t eliminated before casting the spell, they will affect the victim upon its resurrection. All mortal wounds are sealed by this spell, and any body parts that have been lost are replaced.
Again, we turn to the trusty PHB (pg. 265).
It may be possible to completely avert death using this spell, which is the strongest in Dungeons & Dragons. You have the power to change reality’s basic foundations by simply stating your desires out loud. This spell can be used to copy any other spell that is 8th level or lower.
That spell has no preliminaries, not even costly ingredients. The spell only has an impact.
Alternately, you can produce any one of the results listed below:
- You can create one non-magical item with a maximum gold cost of 25,000. The object appears in a clear region that you can see on the ground, and its maximum size in any direction is 300 feet.
- For a whole eight hours, you can protect up to ten creatures from a single spell or any other magical effect. You could, for instance, protect everyone nearby from a lich’s life-drain attack.
- You can only provide resistance to one kind of damage to 10 creatures that are in your view.
- You can stop all effects acting on up to twenty creatures in your line of sight, allowing them to regain all health points as described in the greater restoration spell.
- You can undo one recent incident by asking for a reroll of any recent roll. Reality is adjusted to fit the new result. For instance, a wish spell can undo a friend’s failed to save attempt, a foe’s critical hit, or a rival’s successful save.
Here is a good video about Half-Elves and immortality:
How Do Half-Elves Fit Into the Elven Reincarnation Cycle?
The multiclassing preview in the official DND books tends to imply that the half-elf racial ability is more complicated than “get one multiclassing feat as a bonus feat.”
The sample half-elf does not have the Arcana skill.
But the description, “Arcane Initiate Int 13 Wizard: Arcana skill, wizard power 1/encounter” corresponds to the sample character’s Wizard power 1/encounter bit.
The half-elf may be the only race in the PHB to give the potential to be triple classed if the abilities are wholly independent of one another. Although multiclassing appears to be quite limited, the additional direction might be helpful for the half-elf.
The prospect of stacking the multiclassing accomplishment and half-elf ability is intriguing.
A half-elf who chooses the multiclassing feat, for instance, might be able to access an at-will power from a different class at any time, as opposed to just one time per encounter with either ability separately.
Final Thoughts: Are Half-Elves Immortal in DND?
Half-elves can live for more than 200 years. Although they are not immortal, some spells can be employed to achieve immortality.
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