Sea Elf Playable Race Guide in D&D 5e

From lore and descriptions to traits and abilities, learn all about Sea Elves in D&D 5e

Elves are graceful beings that originated from the Feywilds. They have slender features, pointed ears and are mostly hairless other than their head. Sea Elves are those Elves that chose to explore the depths of oceans and seas rather than the realms above. In doing so, their bodies have adapted to be capable of breathing both air and water and Sea Elves are also excellent swimmers able to traverse equally as comfortable on land and in water.

Sea Elves are generally distrustful of other races and will typically hide away from them. Many races do not respect nature and the seas and are often seen as destroyers. While other Elves might view Sea Elves as being a bit “wild” and “unrefined”, they are not savages and are simply knowledgable of those things outside of the typical book learning you might observe from a High Elf for example.

If you want to play as a Sea Elf in D&D 5e, then our guide is here to help you with everything you need to know from description and background to their traits and abilities.

What are Sea Elves?

Elves came from the Feywilds many centuries ago and have settled across the many settings of the D&D universe from the Forgotten Realms to Eberron and all of Wildspace in between. There are many types of Elves that populate these settings with many Elven groups splitting off and becoming their own subspecies. Many of these subspecies have become playable races in D&D 5e, these include:

Elves can be identified by their slender features, pointed ears and mostly hairless bodies. They’re typically a little shorter than humans but fit within the normal range for humans standing between just under 5ft to just over 6ft tall. Sea Elves appear similar but tend to have a blue or green tint to their skin.

With a long lifespan of about 700yrs, Sea Elves have a longer view on things and are less brash and quick to judgement as humans are. Often, they will choose to wait to see if a problem solves itself rather than rushing to action. This can create conflict with the shorter-lived races who do not have the time to spend years resolving their problems.

Sea Elves embody the Elven affinity with nature more than even most other Elven subspecies though they care much more for the seas than for the forest as the Wood Elves do. They will protect the seas at all costs, though are generally happy to allow others to pass through their waters as they travel, as long as they harbour no ill intent.

How to play as a Sea Elf

Like most races, Sea Elves come in many types. However, you will likely take on at least some of the traits typical of your race. Below are some typical traits to consider when playing a Sea Elf as well as some considerations though you can certainly choose to play as an outlier among your race. If you do, consider why you might have different characteristics to the rest of your race:

  • Isolationist – Sea Elves rarely reveal themselves willingly to non-Elves. As an adventurer, you may want to consider what has drawn you away from your home. Exile or a mission perhaps? You may also want to consider how you deal with being among other people and civilisation.
  • Affinity with nature – You love nature and are at home in it, especially the seas. You abhor those that seek to destroy it and while open to diplomacy, will defend your lands aggressively if provoked. You are likely educated in the ways of nature knowing different plants and animals and how to tend them. You may want to consider how you view those that may destroy or abuse nature.
  • Grace and poise – You not only appear graceful, but act with grace too. Consider how you fight. You have likely been trained in combat by other Elves meaning your combat is likely less barbaric and more refined with fluid motions and attacks with precision. You probably aim for arteries and organs that will cause the most damage than the brute force approach of an Orc for example.

Sea elf features in 5e

Ability Scores+2 to one ability score and +1 to another or +1 to 3 different ability scores
Creature TypeHumanoid
Speed30ft (swimming and walking)
LanguagesCommon and 1 other language
TraitsChild of the Sea, Darkvision, Fey Ancestry, Friend of the Sea, Keen Senses, Trance
Book found inMordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the MultiverseMordenkainen’s Tome of Foes

If you want to play as a Sea Elf, your character will have the following traits and abilities:

Sea elf Traits

Child of the Sea – You can breathe air and water, and you have resistance to cold damage.

Darkvision – You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You discern colors in that darkness only as shades of gray.

Fey Ancestry – You have advantage on saving throws you make to avoid or end the charmed condition on yourself.

Friend of the Sea – Aquatic animals have an extraordinary affinity with your people. You can communicate simple ideas to any Beast that has a swimming speed. It can understand your words, though you have no special ability to understand it in return.

Keen Senses – You have proficiency in the Perception skill.

Trance – You don’t need to sleep, and magic can’t put you to sleep. You can finish a long rest in 4 hours if you spend those hours in a trancelike meditation, during which you retain consciousness.

Whenever you finish this trance, you can gain two proficiencies that you don’t have, each one with a weapon or a tool of your choice selected from the Player’s Handbook. You mystically acquire these proficiencies by drawing them from shared elven memory, and you retain them until you finish your next long rest.

Published by DM Ben

Ben is an experienced dungeon master and player who's been immersed in the D&D universe since he was a teenager over 20 years ago. When he's not writing for Dungeon Mister, Ben loves creating fiendish puzzles and devious dungeons for his players. He's an especially big fan of the Ravenloft and Dragonlance settings.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: