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How would you like your Elves: regular or extra crispy?

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I enjoy Tolkien-type elves just fine. But it would be kinda cool if for once in a game they were more like...oh, I dunno, maybe like this:

 

250px-Dobby_dh.jpg

 

...I'm not, btw, a Potter fan. Dobby's actually a little too "child like" for my tastes (the huge eyes). I just like the idea that Dobby is a "house elf." eg elves could be short, a little weird looking rather than some kind of humanoid ideal, physically weak, magical, and perhaps even timid/shy until circumstances finally push them towards action.


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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I prefer elves in the way they were done in 3.5E of the forgotten realms D&D pretty much. Which I guess comes under "Tolkien'esque". Probably because elves are a part of my ancestors mythology, which Tolkien based his elves on.

 

Though my favorite elf race overall is the Drow. White hair and black/grey skin? Yes please!


image-163149-full.jpg

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Since there doesn't seem to be any reason for a tech v magic situation in PE, how about having the knife-ears swinging for an industrial revolution with the best of them? For once I'd like to hear about the feared magical matchlocks of the elves rather than their longbows. And maybe make them expansionistic to give them something to justify the smugness.

Wait, thats it! Make the elves into the stereotypical British upper class. Ticks all the boxes: they're smug, refined, and they like nature... it gives them somewhere to hunt.

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`This is just the beginning, Citizens! Today we have boiled a pot who's steam shall be seen across the entire galaxy. The Tea Must Flow, and it shall! The banner of the British Space Empire will be unfurled across a thousand worlds, carried forth by the citizens of Urn, and before them the Tea shall flow like a steaming brown river of shi-*cough*- shimmering moral fibre!` - God Emperor of Didcot by Toby Frost.

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Deep fried and served with Frank's Red Hot Sauce. Because I put that **** on everything.

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Edited, as I was somewhat wrong, and found out a few seconds after posting.

Edited by HansKrSG

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If souls are central to the design of PE, make every races different in regards to how their souls "work" or what becomes of it in the afterlife.

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...I'm not, btw, a Potter fan. Dobby's actually a little too "child like" for my tastes (the huge eyes). I just like the idea that Dobby is a "house elf." eg elves could be short, a little weird looking rather than some kind of humanoid ideal, physically weak, magical, and perhaps even timid/shy until circumstances finally push them towards action.

 

The "physically weak" part was invented by D&D for the sake of game balance. It has no foundation in Norse myth, or Tolkien's mythos for that matter.

I've personally always hated the frail and slightly effeminate elves of most modern fantasy settings.


"We have nothing to fear but fear itself! Apart from pain... and maybe humiliation. And obviously death and failure. But apart from fear, pain, humiliation, failure, the unknown and death, we have nothing to fear but fear itself!"

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We all know the classic fantasy elf, what you might call the Tolkienesque elf. Immortal (or nearly immortal), in touch with nature, given to frolicking and laughing and living in tree houses and the like. Pointy ears and beautiful. Used to have a vast empire but are currently dying out and/or leaving the mortal world for someplace magical and wondrous that lowly humans can't go. Tend to use lots of bows, be extraordinarily adept with magical stuff and not get along with dwarves.

 

You know the drill. Most of the elves we've seen in fantasy have been variations of this, with differences to account for setting.

 

But it has seemed to dawn on a number of writers, extending back for quite some time, that the typical fantasy elf can be goddamn annoying. They get under the skin for the same reason people despise the Mary Sue: anyone or anything, even an entire race, which comes across as the writer trying to force perfectly pure pureness and goodness down your throat tends to create a gag reflex. If a person or a race is good at everything and everyone loves them except for the misinformed or the evil, who typically hate them because of jealousy, then there will be a backlash.

 

With this in mind, we have seen wild variations of Elf Classic, ranging from Dragon Age and its Jew Elves (no longer the Master Race, now living in ghettos and treated as second class citizens) to Skyrim and its Nazi Elves (pretending to be the master race, hated by everyone) and so on. The subversion of Elf Classic has become almost as prevalent as Elf Classic itself.

 

So, long post made short, how would you like your elves served in P:E? Are you looking for your typical fantasy elf? A subversion of your typical fantasy elf? What kind of elf makes you happy and what kind makes you gag?

 

As long as the elf chicks are skinny with big boobs and wearing almost no clothing have angular faces and big ears and cat like eyes and my nerd gag reflex is going off like crazy.

 

I think a lot of settings don't take the time to think about what a long lived race would actually be like. Imagine we had people walking around that were alive 300 years ago. It would change our understanding of history. Want to know what the wild west was like? Ask bob, he was only 120 or so around then. So either take into account the impact of a long lived race or make their lifespans moderate.

 

I like my elves to be fae like. Part of the seelie and unseelie court. Light and dark.

 

I like my elves to be very specifically mystical in one way... so if they are attuned to nature, then go all out. Make them blend with he trees, have nature magic, etc. I dont like my elves to be magic generalists.

 

Example:

 

Crappy Elf Design

 

Long lived magic people.

+1 dex

+1 spell penetration

Prof with bows and swords regardless of class

 

Fun Elf Design

 

Seelie Elf

+1 dex during the day

-1 con at night

+1 to stealth in natural environments

+1 to attack in natural environments

-1 to attack in subterranean environments

X, Y and Z nature spells cost less mana to cast

 

Unseelie Elf

 

+1 dex at night

-1 con during the day

+1 to stealth in subterranean environments

+1 to attack in subterranean environments

-1 to attack in natural environments

X, Y and Z darkness spells cost less mana to cast

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We all know the classic fantasy elf, what you might call the Tolkienesque elf. Immortal (or nearly immortal), in touch with nature, given to frolicking and laughing and living in tree houses and the like. Pointy ears and beautiful. Used to have a vast empire but are currently dying out and/or leaving the mortal world for someplace magical and wondrous that lowly humans can't go. Tend to use lots of bows, be extraordinarily adept with magical stuff and not get along with dwarves.

 

You know the drill. Most of the elves we've seen in fantasy have been variations of this, with differences to account for setting.

 

But it has seemed to dawn on a number of writers, extending back for quite some time, that the typical fantasy elf can be goddamn annoying. They get under the skin for the same reason people despise the Mary Sue: anyone or anything, even an entire race, which comes across as the writer trying to force perfectly pure pureness and goodness down your throat tends to create a gag reflex. If a person or a race is good at everything and everyone loves them except for the misinformed or the evil, who typically hate them because of jealousy, then there will be a backlash.

 

With this in mind, we have seen wild variations of Elf Classic, ranging from Dragon Age and its Jew Elves (no longer the Master Race, now living in ghettos and treated as second class citizens) to Skyrim and its Nazi Elves (pretending to be the master race, hated by everyone) and so on. The subversion of Elf Classic has become almost as prevalent as Elf Classic itself.

 

So, long post made short, how would you like your elves served in P:E? Are you looking for your typical fantasy elf? A subversion of your typical fantasy elf? What kind of elf makes you happy and what kind makes you gag?

 

As long as the elf chicks are skinny with big boobs and wearing almost no clothing have angular faces and big ears and cat like eyes and my nerd gag reflex is going off like crazy.

 

I think a lot of settings don't take the time to think about what a long lived race would actually be like. Imagine we had people walking around that were alive 300 years ago. It would change our understanding of history. Want to know what the wild west was like? Ask bob, he was only 120 or so around then. So either take into account the impact of a long lived race or make their lifespans moderate.

 

I like my elves to be fae like. Part of the seelie and unseelie court. Light and dark.

 

I like my elves to be very specifically mystical in one way... so if they are attuned to nature, then go all out. Make them blend with he trees, have nature magic, etc. I dont like my elves to be magic generalists.

 

Example:

 

Crappy Elf Design

 

Long lived magic people.

+1 dex

+1 spell penetration

Prof with bows and swords regardless of class

 

Fun Elf Design

 

Seelie Elf

+1 dex during the day

-1 con at night

+1 to stealth in natural environments

+1 to attack in natural environments

-1 to attack in subterranean environments

X, Y and Z nature spells cost less mana to cast

 

Unseelie Elf

 

+1 dex at night

-1 con during the day

+1 to stealth in subterranean environments

+1 to attack in subterranean environments

-1 to attack in natural environments

X, Y and Z darkness spells cost less mana to cast

 

Seelie/Unseelie refers more to fairies I believe, which is kind of a separate archetype. Furthermore this seems a little OP.

Edited by jezz555

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I enjoy Tolkien-type elves just fine. But it would be kinda cool if for once in a game they were more like...oh, I dunno, maybe like this:

 

250px-Dobby_dh.jpg

 

...I'm not, btw, a Potter fan. Dobby's actually a little too "child like" for my tastes (the huge eyes). I just like the idea that Dobby is a "house elf." eg elves could be short, a little weird looking rather than some kind of humanoid ideal, physically weak, magical, and perhaps even timid/shy until circumstances finally push them towards action.

 

That is a depiction of elves that fits with real world mythologies, pre-Tolkien/Bowdler.

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The "physically weak" part was invented by D&D for the sake of game balance. It has no foundation in Norse myth, or Tolkien's mythos for that matter.

I've personally always hated the frail and slightly effeminate elves of most modern fantasy settings.

I've never had the impression that such elves are actually "frail" - just slender and agile. You don't need to be Conan to be fair in physical combat, even if you won't ever be a serious tank.

 

I have not seen (playable) Elves like Dobby from Potter in D&D cRPG's that I've played (not that I've played a great deal of them), so I'm not sure what you're referring to about my post, exactly. When I'm thinking of physically weak, I mean pretty much useless in physical combat, period. Child-like size for one thing, generally just not strong musculature for another. eg, like Dobby in the picture.


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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Arcanum in my opinion got it's elves pretty spot on - they were the nature loving into song and dance types but many also saw themselves as inherently superior and more sophisticated than the other races (someone due to their longevity, they believed that their very long lives gave them more wisdom than other races). This lead to great city destroying wars and the rise of dark elves (which in Arcanum was just an ideology) - who believed whole-heartedly that the other races were weak and needed shepherding by elves.

 

Here you can see some of the classic stereotype has been adhered too but there is also a nice twist (and not illogical one at that - the elves kind of do have a point that longer lives should lead to greater wisdom) on what is wholly conventional. I'd like to see a similar twist in P:E elves, and for the dwarves too in that regard. A nice balance is always a good thing.

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I enjoy Tolkien-type elves just fine. But it would be kinda cool if for once in a game they were more like...oh, I dunno, maybe like this:

 

250px-Dobby_dh.jpg

 

...I'm not, btw, a Potter fan. Dobby's actually a little too "child like" for my tastes (the huge eyes). I just like the idea that Dobby is a "house elf." eg elves could be short, a little weird looking rather than some kind of humanoid ideal, physically weak, magical, and perhaps even timid/shy until circumstances finally push them towards action.

 

That is a depiction of elves that fits with real world mythologies, pre-Tolkien/Bowdler.

Norse myths disagree.
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You know what I hate? How not only are they dying/leaving the world, but that everyone in the world accepts it as fate and a good thing because its the 'Time of Man' or some other bollocks and that elves who reject this are viewed as evil even by humans. Yet if the situation was reversed, if it was humanity who were dying off it would be the heroic quest to save them, to fight against fate! I find this one sided, hypocritical and basically wank. Even the The Witcher series portray the elven fight for freedom in a bad light. If we have to have this in the game then I want to see the elves fighting to save themselves, portrayed in a heroic light as they fight the human scum! Humans shouldn't have a monopoly over heroic fights for survival.

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"That rabbit's dynamite!" - King Arthur, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail

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If you are going to do elves then just make them in the traditional style with a twist like Arcanum did. The more interesting question to me is what to do with Half elves...Beloved by all or outcast by both ?.

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two words, fair folk , make them weird, with weird culture, weird, food, weird dress code, and as such , give elves, imperium, big advanced culture, but make it weird,

When human will see their cities, he should , feel something similar to , first european visiting far east. They should not understand everything about their culture think that some traditions are weird, stupid and so on but certenly see that this is something big, the game world shoudn't be just human world with diffretn cultures, traditions and so on... and there are also some elves, make them look like their history is equal to that of human nation, don't make them central point , but rather land of another story.

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If you are going to do elves then just make them in the traditional style with a twist like Arcanum did. The more interesting question to me is what to do with Half elves...Beloved by all or outcast by both ?.

I think I've read somewhere that humans and elves can't mate in PE. (All for the better if you ask me)

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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The "physically weak" part was invented by D&D for the sake of game balance. It has no foundation in Norse myth, or Tolkien's mythos for that matter.

I've personally always hated the frail and slightly effeminate elves of most modern fantasy settings.

I've never had the impression that such elves are actually "frail" - just slender and agile. You don't need to be Conan to be fair in physical combat, even if you won't ever be a serious tank.

 

I have not seen (playable) Elves like Dobby from Potter in D&D cRPG's that I've played (not that I've played a great deal of them), so I'm not sure what you're referring to about my post, exactly. When I'm thinking of physically weak, I mean pretty much useless in physical combat, period. Child-like size for one thing, generally just not strong musculature for another. eg, like Dobby in the picture.

 

I wasn't the talking about house elfs. I was talking about modern post-Tolkien fantasy elves always being portrayed as physically weak in comparison to humans, which wasn't the case in Norse mythology, or in Tolkien's mythos for that matter. I also dislike the fact that modern artists tend to interpret them as androgynous.


"We have nothing to fear but fear itself! Apart from pain... and maybe humiliation. And obviously death and failure. But apart from fear, pain, humiliation, failure, the unknown and death, we have nothing to fear but fear itself!"

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Why not return to ye olde medieval beliefs then :D?

A mischievous, often dangerous, magical intelligent being.

But medieval-style elves are tiny, it wouldn't sell to CRPG crowd as a companion. Might need a few adjustment.

 

I, for one, would like to see a remorseless elven spellcaster and prankster :p

Like, Mel Gibson level of practical pranks.

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I enjoy Tolkien-type elves just fine. But it would be kinda cool if for once in a game they were more like...oh, I dunno, maybe like this:

 

250px-Dobby_dh.jpg

 

...I'm not, btw, a Potter fan. Dobby's actually a little too "child like" for my tastes (the huge eyes). I just like the idea that Dobby is a "house elf." eg elves could be short, a little weird looking rather than some kind of humanoid ideal, physically weak, magical, and perhaps even timid/shy until circumstances finally push them towards action.

 

That is a depiction of elves that fits with real world mythologies, pre-Tolkien/Bowdler.

I hate to repeat myself, but:

 

I wouldn't consider those to be the "original" elfs. The álfar were twisted into what you described after the christianization of Scandinavia. The álfar actually had, or has, more in common with Tolkien's elves than they do with the pixie-like elfs of Medieval folklore. They are semi-divine beings closely associated with the Vanir (Norse gods of fertility and wisdom, distinct from the Aesir) and are described as more beautiful than any other people.

 

They also looked like humans, only more beautiful (not in an androgynous way). They didn't have pointy or leaf-shaped ears, and the males had no problem growing beards.


"We have nothing to fear but fear itself! Apart from pain... and maybe humiliation. And obviously death and failure. But apart from fear, pain, humiliation, failure, the unknown and death, we have nothing to fear but fear itself!"

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Most kinds are acceptable from my point of view (we can roleplay-dodge the stereotypes, hm?). What makes me gag are Sapkowski's elves.

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You know what I hate? How not only are they dying/leaving the world, but that everyone in the world accepts it as fate and a good thing because its the 'Time of Man' or some other bollocks and that elves who reject this are viewed as evil even by humans. Yet if the situation was reversed, if it was humanity who were dying off it would be the heroic quest to save them, to fight against fate! I find this one sided, hypocritical and basically wank. Even the The Witcher series portray the elven fight for freedom in a bad light. If we have to have this in the game then I want to see the elves fighting to save themselves, portrayed in a heroic light as they fight the human scum! Humans shouldn't have a monopoly over heroic fights for survival.

 

I too am getting a bit bored stiff with the detached resign the world to the age of man setup. I think this is part of the reason driving the cRPG fixation for Drow (which is also getting a bit annoying since Drizzt Do'Urden). I participated in a PnP game long time ago where the wild elves (inspired by the green faction of the old strategy game Alpha Centauri) are essentially Eco-Terrorist who would set off these Weapon of Mass "Reclaimation" that basically reclaim farmland and village by having plants and tree grew completely out of control that ripped building apart. That's different and with Obsidian talent pool, I hope they can come up with some thing that's neither Tokienesque nor Drow.

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