Deep Elf

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This page deals with the player race; for those deep elves met as monsters, see Deep elf (monster).

Deep Elves are 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 and weaker than other elves and losing all colouration. They are poor at hand-to-hand combat but excellent at fighting from a distance.

Innate abilities

  • Deep Elves receive a bonus when using elven weapons and armour.

Preferred backgrounds

Deep elves prefer to become Enchanters, Wizards, Conjurers, Summoners, Necromancers, Fire Elementalists, Ice Elementalists, Air Elementalists, Earth Elementalists, and Venom Mages.

Level bonuses

  • Deep elves get an Intelligence increase every 4 levels starting at level 4.
  • Deep elves have 20% less HP than average.
  • Deep elves have 30% higher MP than average.
  • Deep elves get 4 magic resistance per level.

Starting equipment and skills

Deep Elves start with the equipment and skills listed for their background, with the following exceptions:

  • All equipment is of elven quality, where such variants exist.

Difficulty of play


Deep Elves are a moderately difficult race to play, because of their similarity to the stereotypical "RPG mage": low HP, over-reliance on mana points, and little ability to use armour and most physical weapons. Despite these disadvantages, Deep Elves have by far the best overall aptitudes for magic, and have high attributes as well.

Skill aptitudes

The higher the value, the better the aptitude.

Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude
Attack Miscellaneous Magic
Fighting -2 Armour -2 Spellcasting +4
Short Blades 0 Dodging +2 Conjurations +1
Long Blades -1 Stealth +2 Hexes +3
Axes -2 Stabbing +1 Charms +4
Maces & Flails -3 Shields -2 Summonings +1
Polearms -3 Traps 0 Necromancy +2
Staves 0 Translocations +1
Unarmed Combat -2 Transmutation +1
Fire Magic +1
Throwing +1 Ice Magic +1 Invocations 0
Slings -2 Air Magic +1 Evocations +1
Bows +1 Earth Magic 0
Crossbows -1 Poison Magic +1 Experience 140


Deep Elves are the masters of spellcasting in Crawl. They make superlative spellcasters in all schools of magic. Played with care, this magical ability more than compensates for their extreme physical fragility (but certain hybrid classes like Enchanters are still very difficult for a Deep Elf). Experienced players may also choose to play Deep Elves as Fighters for challenge games.

Deep Elf Air Elementalist/Summoner/Necromancer guide