Deep Elf

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Version 0.29: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

This page deals with the player race; for those deep elves met as monsters, see List of deep elves.

The Deep Elves are a species of Elves who long ago fled the overworld to live in darkness underground. There, they developed their mental powers, evolving a natural gift for all forms of magic, and adapted physically to their new environment, becoming weaker and losing all colouration. They are poor at melee combat and physical defense, although they are capable at using bows in ranged combat.

Innate Abilities

Deep Elves have a base Strength of 5, Intelligence of 12 and Dexterity of 10 (before Background modifiers). They have two extra base magic points.

Preferred Backgrounds

Level Bonuses

Starting Equipment and Skills

Deep Elves receive all the skills and equipment listed for their background.

Difficulty of Play


Deep Elves are a moderately difficult race to play, largely due to their frail nature. Their low aptitude in Fighting mean even less health, and low weapon aptitudes make most forms of melee a pipe dream. Despite these disadvantages, Deep Elves have by far the best overall aptitudes for magic, which complements their high intelligence.

Deep Elves have a surprisingly good Ranged Weapons aptitude, which allows them to be decent Hunters or Arcane Marksmen.

Skill aptitudes

The higher the value, the better the aptitude.

Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude
Attack Miscellaneous Magic
Fighting -2 Armour -2 Spellcasting 3
Short Blades 0 Dodging 2 Conjurations 1
Long Blades -1 Stealth 3 Hexes 3
Maces & Flails -3 Shields -2 Summonings 1
Axes -2 Necromancy 2
Polearms -3 Invocations 1 Translocations 1
Staves 0 Evocations 1 Transmutations 1
Unarmed Combat -2
Experience -1 Fire Magic 1
Throwing 0 Ice Magic 1
Ranged Weapons 3 Air Magic 0
Earth Magic 1
Poison Magic 1


Deep Elves are the masters of spellcasting. They make potent spellcasters in all schools of magic. Played with care, this magical ability can compensate for their physical fragility. Experienced players may also choose to play Deep Elves as Fighters for challenge games.


Simple Hill OrcMinotaurMerfolkGargoyleArmataurDraconianTrollGhoulGnoll
Intermediate HumanKoboldDemonspawnDjinniSprigganTenguDeep ElfOgreBarachi
Advanced Vine StalkerVampireDemigodFormicidNagaOctopodeFelidMeteoranMummy