"All elf creatures, such as Woodland-elf, Gray-elf, Elf-lord, etc, may be spawned with one in their starting inventory. Any given elf has a 1 in 3 chance of being spawned with an Elven broadsword."
I'm fairly certain I got that right, but the referenced page was awfully confusing about it:
elf an elven mithril coat or cloak (50%); an elven leather helm (50%) or if that fails, elven boots (25%); an elven dagger (50%); and either: * an elven shield (25%); an elven short sword (66%); an elven bow; 3-14 arrows, or * an elven broadsword; an elven shield (50%), or * an elven spear and an elven shield
Specifically, the line "or if that fails." This could be taken to mean that the latter section only applies if the former check FAILS, and not always, as my 1 in 3 comment says. The fact that there was a semicolon afterwards makes me think the two are to be taken singly, with "and either" to mean they're equally weighted, three options, ergo, 1 in 3.
I can speak from personal experience, however, that the odds of getting one is pretty good. They're actually sort of hard to avoid, especially in the early game being on the receiving end, rather than minmaxing end.
Feagradze 14:11, June 29, 2010 (UTC)