Half-elves are the most common mixed-race beings. The relationship between elf, human, and half-elf is defined as follows:
- Anyone with both elven and human ancestors is either a human or a half-elf (elves have only elven ancestors).
- If there are more human ancestors than elven, the person is human; if there are equal numbers or more elves, the person is half-elven.
Half-elves are usually much like their elven parent in appearance. They are handsome folk, with the good features of each of their races. They mingle freely with either race, being only slightly taller than the average elf (5 feet 6 inches on average) and weighing about 150 pounds. They typically live about 160 years. They do not have all the abilities of the elf, nor do they have the flexibility of unlimited level advancement of the human. Finally, in some of the less-civilized nations, half-elves are viewed with suspicion and superstition.
In general, a half-elf has the curiosity, inventiveness, and ambition of his human ancestors and the refined senses, love of nature, and artistic tastes of his elven ancestors.
Half-elves do not form communities among themselves; rather, they can be found living in both elven and human communities. The reactions of humans and elves to half-elves ranges from intrigued fascination to outright bigotry.
(AD&D Player's Handbook)