Mist elf is a playable race in ADOM, that first appeared in version 1.2.0.
Mist Elves are a truly ancient race, literally born from the mists of time. They are almost immortal and some of their ancient members are believed to have been present at the dawn of creation. Their incredible lifespan gives them a very different and aloof outlook on life and civilization as they regard even Gray Elves as mere toddlers. Combined with the fact that Mist Elves are a very magical race, their bodies being made from magically solidified mist, they appear frightening, uncaring, cold and wise at the same time. They scoff at the views of the younger races and life doesn't mean much to them, having seen many empires rise and crumble within the span of a single Mist Elf's life.
Mist Elves are even larger than Gray Elves but thin and frail beings. Their skin is almost white, their hair is pearly white and it seems to move with a slight breeze all the time. Their breath is misty and their eyes are pearly, violet, pink or yellow. Mist Elves move almost without sound. Their physique is weak and they are not very strong. Additionally they are the most fairy-like of elves, going so far that the prolonged touch of mundane metal burns their skin like acid. Thus they prefer to wear and wield weapons and armaments of precious metals, like mithril or adamantium. Despite their weak physique they are dangerous warriors as the mist-like makeup of their body greatly reduces damage taken in melee combat.
Gray Elves despise Mist Elves, viewing them as uncaring beings devoid of emotion and lacking the general elven love for life. Mist Elves just chuckle about the antics of their baby cousins. Mist Elves, having been lifted from the mists of time themselves during creation, have a very specific grasp of necromancy. Most of them - if not drawn towards Chaos due to boredom - hate undead and are very powerful in combatting them by using their magical powers to wreak great harm upon undead. Mist Elf necromancers are able to create special creatures and engage in an act of creation rather than infusing dead beings with unholy energies, called white necromancy by themselves.
Mist Elves are the rarest of all elves. You will encounter a thousand Gray Elves before you see one Mist Elf. They are rumored to live in misty areas high in mountain valleys or deep in the hills, but no known mortal has ever seen one of their settlements. Some sages believe them to be physical manifestations of the dreams of gods, others regard them as leftovers from the act of creation itself. Mist Elves just chuckle and move on at such useless ponderings.
For those who are interested in using white necromancy, mist elven PCs are the only ones that have this skill. Alertness is a very desirable skill for many players that can't be wished for, so they might choose either a mist elf, drakeling or dark elf if the PC's class doesn't offer it. Guaranteed Concentration and Literacy combined with their magical talents means that almost any mist elf—with the exception of mindcrafters—can have some potential to learn and cast spells. Stealth and Dodge are also useful skills to have.
Mist elves are in spirit what trolls are in body. They have unbelievably high Appearance, stellar Mana, and excellent Learning scores. Their magical powers greatly surpass those of gray and dark elves, which were the most magically orientated races in v. 1.1.1. Like their distant elven relatives, they also have very high Dexterity and Perception scores.
On the downside, mist elves have by far the lowest racial HP gains per level; the player would be lucky to play a mist elf that has over 40 HP at level 10. This makes traps and vortices (if lacking the right elemental resistances) potentially fatal for a long part of the early game. Mist elves tend towards terrible Strength and Toughness scores. Like other elves, they also tend towards low Charisma scores.
Due to their allergy to iron and steel, mist elves often start out with mithril items, making them often better equipped than other races. Many classes focused on melee are excellently equipped, with elven chain mail, mithril boots and mithril weapons. Classes that usually wear robes or clothes anyway don't get any special advantages, though, as mist elves have no objection to starting work wearing these.
Mist Elves start at an average of 7,000 years of age. Testing with wishes for "death" reveal an average of 63800 for regular Mist Elves, and closer to 70,000 for those who are "long lived", making them by far the longest-lived race. It is safe to assume that unnatural aging will never be a concern for a mist elf PC.
Power Point and Hit Point Regeneration Rate
As might be expected, mist elves regenerate power points extremely quickly but regenerate hit points very slowly. A potion of insight reveals the rates to be about 80 turns for hit points and about 15 turns for power points.
Relations with Other Races
Mist elves are outsiders in Ancardia, and they appear to be hated by all shopkeepers. Mist elven shopkeepers likewise make terrible deals with adventurers of all races.
Death to impure metal
Mist elves have a unique problem: "impure metal" causes their skin to burn, meaning they will lose hit points each turn for each impure metal item they have equipped. The amount of damage depends on the type of item: one hit point for amulets, bracers or gloves; two hit points for boots, headgear or weapon; and four for body armor. Impure metal refers to any item made of iron or steel. Since mist elves are an extremely frail race, it is definitely not a good idea to have iron-based items equipped for too long or at all; the PC should certainly have some means of uncursing handy when equip-IDing items.
Mist elves can wield weapons and shields made of iron without being harmed, provided they are wearing gauntlets. Of course, wearing iron gauntlets will cause damage themselves. Likewise the damage from iron girdles is prevented by body armor. Mist elves can also wear one ring made of iron without taking damage.
It is worth noting that with the Immune to Pain talent, the damage from wearing only one of an amulet, pair of gloves or a set of bracers is completely negated. This allows the mist elf to safely wear an iron-made item like an amulet of life saving, which would otherwise end up taking the elf's life as well as saving it, for example. Unfortunately there is no way for a mist elf to wear iron headgear or body armor without taking any damage.
Other gameplay effects
- Mist armor: Mist elves take half the usual damage from melee attacks. This reduction is applied after PV.
- Frail: Mist elves get half the normal HP bonus from Toughness, Strength, and Willpower. In addition, effects that directly increase maximum HP, such as potions of ultra healing, are around half as effective.
- Racial crowning gift: Mist elves can be crowned with the Staff of Creation instead of the usual crowning gifts for their class.
- Racial crowning exclusions: Mist elves cannot be crowned with iron artifacts.
- Slower hunger: Mist elves lose 0.5 fewer satiation points per turn. This does not stack with other hunger-reducing effects.
Not only do mist elves have outstanding magical abilities, due to their ability to greatly reduce damage they take in melee combat they also perform reasonably well in melee-oriented classes. Their power as pure spellcaster classes like Wizards is unsurpassed, and they are also very good as semi-casters such as Paladins. They are not terrible choices for Barbarians either, guaranteeing Literacy as well as Concentration for some chance to learn spells.
The main problem that any mist elf will face is their low HP; while this not a problem in melee since mist elves take reduced damage from physical attacks anyway, many mist elves will face significant danger from traps and magical attacks such as vortex explosions, especially frail classes like Wizards. Thus, when considering an easy race-class combination for a mist elf, the player should maybe consider a class that can survive against traps and similar hazards. Barbarians or Chaos Knights are good choices for their high endurance (the latter especially for their excellent mithiril equipment), as are Weaponsmiths as they train in detect traps and start with a source of fire resistance. Thieves are experts at dealing with traps, though the class is arguably not a good fit for a mist elf since it does not do much to help their poor physical stats.