Deep Elf

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Version 0.21: 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.

This is an Elven species 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 (including necromancy and earth magic), and adapted physically to their new environment, becoming shorter, weaker, and losing all colouration. They are poor at melee combat, but excellent at fighting from a distance.

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, due to their low HP. Moreover, their low aptitudes in fighting and most weapons mean that becoming proficient in melee will require either higher experience investment or else a narrower selection of weaponry (e.g., staves). Despite these disadvantages, Deep Elves have by far the best overall aptitudes for magic, which complements their high intelligence.

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
Axes -2 Shields -2 Charms 4
Maces & Flails -3 Summonings 1
Polearms -3 Necromancy 2
Staves 0 Translocations 1
Unarmed Combat -2 Transmutation 1
Fire Magic 1
Throwing 0 Ice Magic 1 Invocations 1
Slings -2 Air Magic 0 Evocations 1
Bows 1 Earth Magic 1
Crossbows -1 Poison Magic 1 Experience -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.

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Intermediate HumanKoboldDemonspawnCentaurSprigganTenguDeep ElfOgreDeep DwarfGnoll
Advanced Vine StalkerVampireDemigodFormicidNagaOctopodeFelidBarachiMummy