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Elves and Eladrin
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Vormaerin
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:49 pm    Post subject: Elves and Eladrin Reply with quote

I'm not a big expert on official stuff for the outer planes, since I use a very non standard cosmology. Are elves and eladrin supposed to be related in the official rules? Or is that another new change for 4e like the biblical devils and no demonic succubi?

The quote is from the new Design and Development article on elves:

"elves have gone a different route than their cousins, the eladrin. Elves rely on hard-won intuition and senses tuned to an arrow’s point instead of reason, intellect, or debate as eladrin are more wont to do. However, like eladrins, they possess a pure hate for their shared distant drow relatives."
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was talk in greychat the other night about this. It seems grey elves have been merged improperly to eladrins who only superficially look like elves iirc. Off the top of my head I cannot think of another outsider race that could be wholly mistaken for a mortal race like this. I blame this as you say on the consolodation that 4e seems to be doing on creatures and classes. Dumbing down I call it.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In 2E and 3E/3.5, eladrins were/are a race of C/G elf-like outsiders from Arborea. There are many different kinds of eladrin - firre, bralani, ghaele and others - not just one kind. Aparently, there is going to be an elf-related base eladrin race in 4E, and at some point (according to the article) the drow, elves and eladrin split.

So in 4E we get tieflings and eladrin, no aasimar...
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seriously, I think I'm gonna bust a vein. No, eladrins have never had anything to do with elves other than a superficial similarity in appearance and a connection with Arborea.

To me this is sort of like saying that because dogs have a superficial resemblance to cats and a connection with animal shelters that they were all born from cows.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is going to another change that we are going to react to with a smile, a gentle pat on the head and a "That's nice dear." and then return to what we were using before.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like an elves eladrin connection. I know it doesn't pass the "Planescape" test but piddle on that. Smile Givng the elves a celestial counterpart is, IMO, cool. Sort of, and I use this term very broadly, "elven angels." THAT I find very useful, IMC, and have used such. I was not aware 4e was getting with the program in this respect. Wink I guess there are some things about 4e to like. Cool
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You make me sad, GV.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elves are suppose to be elves, demons and devils are suppose to be just that, and gnomes always existed. When WOTC changes to many basic concepts like this, we are no longer playing anything close to what the creators of D&D had in mind, which in my opinion is no longer D&D.

WOTC is interested in making a new game and simply carrying on the D&D logo in order to retain sales. Changes like the elves/eladrin factor are not part of the game so far as I am concerned.

DM's who have to make so many changes will be less willing to play any new version of what they now call D&D. These individuals will eventually go back to playing the old editions, some other game completely, or just give up the hobby all together. The younger crowd will say "cool" because they don't care for and have an appreciation for the games traditions.

In my opionion, the people that design the games at WOTC or are in positions of power fall into this category, THE YOUNGER CROWD. Get rid of the old folks, lay them off (Roger Moore, so I heard), set aside their "classic" game world, we can do what we want attitude.

Elves should remain elves. Period, end of story!
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To put on my heretic hat let me say a few things about the crumbs we have been given about 4e.

A radical reworking of monsters and their roles in D&D is in the works. They have said this directly and indirectly in the dev blogs at WotC and the articles on the D&D main page.

My take from their limited info is that history is great, but monster role trumps history every time... I don't think this is to attract younger gamers but to fit the new directive on monsters:

The role defines the monster, the MM is a tool box of monster roles to mix and match for encounters.

Thus if two monsters fill the same role either one will either be change to fill another role or be axed.

Quite frankly, this is one of the problems with 3.5. We have a ton of monsters that are the same thing over and over again with only cosmetic differences (Orcs, Gnolls, Hobgoblins anyone).

My two coppers....

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GVDammerung
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bubbagump wrote:
You make me sad, GV.


Honestly, I didn't think anyone was really _using_ the eladrin, as written. At least if hooked up with the elves, they might actually appear in some games or accessories. Or maybe I'm mistaken. Have people actually used eladrin as written and so have a practical complaint, or is this more of an intellectual objection to the change?
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How unimaginative! Eladrins are no more related to elves than slaadi are to frogs, or formians to ants, devils to gargoyles, or modrons to polyhedron dice. Who doesn't understand the concept of supernatural beings taking on forms for symbolic purposes without actually being that race? Is an arcanadaemon related to a jackal? Is Orcus an evolved sheep?

Fundamentally, what we need is not yet another thrice-damned race of elves in a game already oversaturated with the vermin. We need, and what eladrins provide in 2e and 3e, is a celestial counterpart to demons, and a chaotic equivalent to archons. We need a chaotic good equivalent to devils and daemons and rilmani.

We need personifications of the chaotic good alignment, exemplars to uphold that corner of the cosmos - something as distinctive to the Olympian Glades as demons are to the Abyss. We need exalted beings for CG player characters to strive to emulate and perhaps, after their death, become. Not angels, those servants of the gods who merely squat on the planes, but beings born from the substance of benign chaos as demons are born from malign evil and as modrons are born from pure Law.

Eladrins, admittedly, have never been perfect in this role, and I've been critical of them in the past. They're very samey-looking, far too elfin/faerie in appearance to really effectively demonstrate the range of chaotic good races. The Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II, which wasn't written by the core Planescape design team, did some damage to the game with its somewhat unimaginative new celestial races. I respect the attempt to provide equivalents of the archons, which have been with us since the 1e Manual of the Planes, but they could've come up with something more evocative, flexible, and interesting than the guardinals and eladrins.

However, a little imagination goes a long way, and they do the job sufficiently when interpreted creatively. They're, IMC, sapient whispers, living mysteries, subtle and sly, stories and songs and weavings made flesh, passion incarnate.

THAT SAID, I wouldn't mind this change very much - no more than I ever mind elves getting more attention than they're due - if they replace the eladrins with a superior race of chaotic good celestials - ones that are more than humanoid, with a good coherent theme. If we have an excuse for hundreds of good-aligned celestial princes, mirror images of the lords of the Abyss, I will be a very happy gamer indeed.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GVDammerung wrote:
Have people actually used eladrin as written and so have a practical complaint, or is this more of an intellectual objection to the change?


Actually, yes, I have used them as written. Rather extensively, in fact.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saracenus wrote:
To put on my heretic hat let me say a few things about the crumbs we have been given about 4e.

A radical reworking of monsters and their roles in D&D is in the works. They have said this directly and indirectly in the dev blogs at WotC and the articles on the D&D main page.

My take from their limited info is that history is great, but monster role trumps history every time... I don't think this is to attract younger gamers but to fit the new directive on monsters:

The role defines the monster, the MM is a tool box of monster roles to mix and match for encounters.

Thus if two monsters fill the same role either one will either be change to fill another role or be axed.

My two coppers....

Bryan Blumklotz
AKA Saracenus


This is a perfect description of what's bothering me about the 4e design philosophy. It's not necessary to change all these things if all they're doing is redesigning the game. They're approaching the game in a mathematical, mechanical manner and thereby are sacrificing all the artistry and quirkiness that made it great.

If they want to apply that philosophy strictly to the rules, then I'm all for it. But why must they do so to the fluff and flavor? If they're so concerned about having a workable, easy-to-use, internally consistent set of rules, then all they have to do is change a few odds and ends and print a new PHB. Any established creatures/settings/fluff that doesn't fit their philosophy can just be avoided.

Consider, for example, their redesign of the nature of devils. Obviously they need devils to fill a particular role, so why not just print their stats in 4e format, list their abilities, and limit themselves to saying that devils are "evil outsiders who come from Hell" or something generic like that? Then any campaign-specific information can be released later in a form that is consistent with what already exists.

As far as eladrins themselves are concerned, as has been suggested on this forum they're not used that often so why bother to change them at all? Just don't print a 4e version, since there are already tons of other creatures that can easily fill their role without modification. If for some reason they must print a 4e version of eladrins, all they have to do is print the 4e stats, say that they're good spirits who spend their time fighting tyranny and righting wrongs and leave it at that. There's no need to address, much less change, the fluff part of their description.

As far as all this crap about monster roles is concerned, they've got to be kidding. Let's take their reasoning to its logical conclusion, shall we? One role that has to be filled is that of the heavy-hitting combat machine. Okay, let's fill that role. Choosing at random, we'll say that ogres are perfect for what they have in mind. So from now on that role is covered and every situation that calls for a combat monster that causes lots of damage by smacking stuff will involve ogres. Every adventure will have lots of them. Forget about trolls, elephants, fighters with high strength scores, giants, really big animals, and all the other crap. The role is filled.

Does that sound like a satisfying solution? Of course not. They're going to need a variety of creatures to fill every role. Some of those creatures will need to be crossover creatures that can do some things not in their traditional role. Some will need to be stealthy, for example. Already we're starting to describe the situation that already exists: there are a variety of monsters to fill a variety of roles and some of them are similar but different enough to fit quirky situations.

If WotC pares everything down just to meet some overly-rational design criterion, they're going to have to reverse their decision before long just to satisfy the demand for heavy-hitting monsters that can do more than bash people.

Either they're getting trigger happy with their changes, they've lost control of themselves, or they're deliberately trying to screw with the game as it stands. No innocent claim that "it just makes sense that way" really fits.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bubba, et. al.,

I remember the heady days leading up to 3e, people where either stoked by the prospect of a new edition or claiming the sky was falling. Its Deja-vu all over again.

We are making judgments about an edition that is not even done yet, from intentionally incomplete information. Until I see a play test version of the rules (highly unlikely) or the final release product (I will probably buy the 3 core books to see what they have done) we are shaking branches at the thunder and lightning.

I am going to enjoy my 3.5 campaign that I am running. I am going to keep reading the info that is dribbed and drabbed out to us and I will make my judgment on 4e until I see it as a whole…

Personally, I thought they left a few too many sacred cows in 3e. I hated the grappling rules (too complex), polymorph (broken and way to complicated), and vancian/gygaxian magic (5 min adventure syndrome). I remain hopeful about some of the changes.

I will say this WotC and D&D R&D are not stupid. They have had a huge test bed in form 3.0/3.5 D&D in which to see what works, what doesn’t and everything in between. They now have an opportunity to really take D&D to a new level. Whether they can deliver remains to be seen.

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Vormaerin
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, there hasn't been much bitching about the game mechanics here, mainly about the 'world sense'. Particularly in this thread, which is about an apparent change to the function of the eladrin.

They've established they are altering the story on devils and demons. Now it seems they are doing the same with eladrin. And so far, the concepts seem to be inferior on the whole. Though I do like the effort to make demons and devils more distinctive in play, that is really something that ought to be addressed in a more roleplaying oriented way, not attaching a dubious new backstory to them.

I don't use eladrins as written, but neither do I use them as 'angels for the elves'. Are we going to have dwarf angels and halfling angels and so on? Or is this just more of the 'elves are special' stuff that always shows up?

I pretty much agree with Rasgon in this. If they are going to have demon lords and archdevils independent of the evil gods, they ought to have archangels and eladrin lords that are likewise not just servants of the gods.

Do we really need a race of outsider elves that hate the drow (and, presumably, Valley elves too)? I don't see what it adds to the game. If they are the servants of the Seldarine, then big whoop. And if they are supposed to be the servants of the chaotic good gods like Kord, why are they related to elves? And if they are wholly separate, again, what do we gain by linking them with the elves in particular?
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saracenus wrote:
Bubba, et. al.,

Personally, I thought they left a few too many sacred cows in 3e. I hated the grappling rules (too complex), polymorph (broken and way to complicated), and vancian/gygaxian magic (5 min adventure syndrome). I remain hopeful about some of the changes.

Bryan Blumklotz
AKA Saracenus


It's not the rules changes I'm concerned about (except, perhaps, for that whole Vancian magic thing). Personally I'm fine with the rules as they are, and I don't think they need to do anything more than clarify/simplify a few sticking points. If they want to completely redo the rules, though, I'm fine with it. To me rules are like car parts: I can put chevy parts under the hood and make them work, but it still looks like a ford on the outside. Similarly, they can change the rules of D&D by going from 2e to 3e, but my Greyhawk game will still go on undisturbed.

What concerns me is that so many of the changes they've mentioned don't affect the rules at all. Rather, they're changing the tone and flavor of the game. Eladrins as elves? That's not a rules change; it's a flavor change. This, combined with the changes to devils, the loss of gnomes, the redefinition of elves, and several other proposed changes directly effect the game as it has been played for almost 4 decades. Could I tweak all the fluff in the same way I tweak all the crunch? Sure I could. But I don't want to.

I (and lots of others) take this stuff personally because we simply can't figure out why it's happening unless it's being done to remove us from the playing field. As mentioned in an earlier post there's no need to change eladrins (or demons, or the Great Wheel, or whatever) for the sake of better rules. They must be doing it because they want to send a message to their customer base. Why pay a designer to redesign an existing monster when it would be cheaper and easier to just leave it out of the book? There are plenty of monsters that could fill any role you choose and all they'd have to change is the stat block. There must be something more going on.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the biggest things I've seen about 4e, bubba, is that they are making not only a few small stylistic changes, but a few large stylistic changes as well. This particular revamp is more akin to the 2e to 3e change, as opposed to 1e-2e and 3 - 3.5. Yes, there are rules changes, but I think we will see major changes in the style.

Beyond that, it seems to me that they are asking us not to look to the past - at our knowledge of older game systems to take us forward. The feeling I get is that they want new mythos, histories, planar orgianizations . . . all the big things - rules included.

Here's what I see happening: (very unofficial, this is just a guess)
DM: Coming around the corner of the massive fallen pillars is a gangly, green clawed creature. You recognize it as a troll.

Player 1: Cool, I draw my sword and make sure I have my torch in my off hand.

Player 2: I'm digging into my pouch for my flasks of acid.

DM: As the troll advances, you lob your acid flask at the troll. It breaks over his head, showering him with acid. While it seems to burn the troll, he doesn't seem overly worried. Player 1, as you strike the troll with the torch, he seems singed, but not hurt.

Player 1 and 2: BUT IT'S A TROLL!!?? THE FIRE AND ACID SHOULD HURT IT!

DM: In 3x, yes, but this is 4th edition remember. In this world, trolls were born out of fire and are not harmed especially by it or acid. . .


Now this is just a guess, I have no advance knowledge of trolls, but I think the system and the metasetting of D&D is being changed, and we are being challenged to think outside the box. In a way, I think that is neat, because things are fresh and new again, like when you first started playing. What does this particualr monster do? I have no idea, but it's big, green, and ugly!

Again, please remember this is just a guess, I have no foreknowledge of 4e, just what I have gathered from the Wiz site.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mechanics changes are par for the course and expected. The loss of Vancian magic may or may not work out, we'll see. But other than that, I'm not really concerned. As long as D&D is class based and has an abstract, hp based combat system it'll pretty much be the same game.

But I really don't understand the need to reinvent the wheel on all this background fluff. The elves described in the article are interesting, but my experiences in 20+ years of gaming is that damn few people play their elves anything like that. And they are apparently finally ditching the Great Wheel concept, which has been slowly going away (see the changes to the FR cosmology, the Eberron cosmology, etc). Either that, or they completely fail to understand the function of the outsider races like demons, devils, and eladrins in that cosmology.

Btw, did I miss an article where they said something about ditching gnomes? Several folks have made comments that imply that's happening, but I didn't read it anywhere myself.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vormaerin wrote:
Btw, did I miss an article where they said something about ditching gnomes? Several folks have made comments that imply that's happening, but I didn't read it anywhere myself.


Vormaerin,

Nothing explicit has been said but they did say that one class and one race from 3.5 is going bye-bye in 4e. From all the postings on races in 4e only gnomes have not been mentioned so far... so its a good bet they are going to get the ax.

Most of this info is spread out over the blogs, eDragon, and Gleemax. So, I wouldn't be surprised if all of us are missing some of the puzzle pieces...

ENWorld is compiling info on 4e here:
http://www.enworld.org/index.php?page=4e

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to this post on gleemax, http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=13484347&postcount=9 , the gnome is not core in 4E, at least not in the first PHB.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MichaelSandar wrote:
One of the biggest things I've seen about 4e, bubba, is that they are making not only a few small stylistic changes, but a few large stylistic changes as well. This particular revamp is more akin to the 2e to 3e change, as opposed to 1e-2e and 3 - 3.5. Yes, there are rules changes, but I think we will see major changes in the style.

Beyond that, it seems to me that they are asking us not to look to the past - at our knowledge of older game systems to take us forward. The feeling I get is that they want new mythos, histories, planar orgianizations . . . all the big things - rules included.


I'm thinking this is right. The name remains the same but not the continuity with prior editions' backstory or the "meta setting," as I've heard it called - the set of assumptions about the multiverse D&D operates in and describes. This would be major break as from 1e through 3e the metasetting held pretty constant.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MichaelSandar wrote:
Beyond that, it seems to me that they are asking us not to look to the past - at our knowledge of older game systems to take us forward. The feeling I get is that they want new mythos, histories, planar orgianizations . . . all the big things - rules included.

Now this is just a guess, I have no advance knowledge of trolls, but I think the system and the metasetting of D&D is being changed, and we are being challenged to think outside the box. In a way, I think that is neat, because things are fresh and new again, like when you first started playing. What does this particualr monster do? I have no idea, but it's big, green, and ugly!


This is my whole point! What they're proposing is NOT D&D. It wasn't the rules set that got me into roleplaying in the first place. It was a chance to explore the world those old versions set out to describe - the metagame. The rules didn't even matter. With all the changes rules-wise and non-rules-wise 4e is going to be nothing more than another copycat game. If I wanted to play a D&D-esque game I'd start playing Castles and Crusades, Runequest, or something else. Hell, after almost 30 years of roleplaying I think I could probably come up with a pretty good set of rules myself.

But I don't WANT to play another game. I want D&D, complete with gnomes, a great wheel, Greyhawk, lots of quirky creatures, and the ability to add another published book of knowledge every now and then. The whole reason I'm upset about 4e is that WotC is taking a very underhanded and disrespectful approach to telling me that they're not going to support my hobby anymore. If I wanted everything to be fresh and new I'd just buy another game.

How would you feel if you were a motorcycle enthusiast and they told you there would no longer be any motorcycles, bike parts, bike clubs, or national rallies? You'd be pretty pissed, especially if they told you they were coming out with something sort of like a motorcycle that they called a "car" but that it was wholly incompatible with anything you'd ever seen before. Sure, the technology might be better but your hobby has just blown out the window no matter how you sugar-coat it. You could ride your bike until the wheels fell off but you couldn't fix it after that, you wouldn't have anybody to ride with after a while, and you wouldn't be able to revel in all the history and social atmosphere that goes along with being a bike enthusiast.

To reiterate my former position, I'm sure some of the rules changes will be pretty good. I don't mind that, especially since there never has been a perfect system. I do mind the deceitful and disrespectful way that WotC is going about changing everything, and I do mind that they're changing far too many sacred cows. I also mind very much that they're trying to get us to believe that "the game remains the same" when that's demonstrably not true. In effect they're throwing D&D in the trash and slapping the name on something else. They may as well buy the rules for Warhammer FRP and start calling that D&D.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I am all for the death of demi-human subtypes. Make all elves be elves. Make elves, eladrin, and drow distantly related but their own distinct creatures in the same respect as goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, and norkers. Hopefully they also kill dwarven, gnome, and halfling sub-types.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bubbagump wrote:

How would you feel if you were a motorcycle enthusiast and they told you there would no longer be any motorcycles, bike parts, bike clubs, or national rallies? You'd be pretty pissed, especially if they told you they were coming out with something sort of like a motorcycle that they called a "car" but that it was wholly incompatible with anything you'd ever seen before. Sure, the technology might be better but your hobby has just blown out the window no matter how you sugar-coat it. You could ride your bike until the wheels fell off but you couldn't fix it after that, you wouldn't have anybody to ride with after a while, and you wouldn't be able to revel in all the history and social atmosphere that goes along with being a bike enthusiast.


While I see your point, remember that there have been people feeling this way since OD&D, not to mention those who played BECMI, 1e, 2e, 3e, and now 3.5. When you get right down to it, there are still tons of people who play these (very different) game systems, each with their own take on the cosmology and different races.
Plus, with a little time and effort, I have yet to see one D&D supplement for any edition that wasn't at least marginally compatible with another edition. It just takes a little work Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vormaerin wrote:
I don't use eladrins as written, but neither do I use them as 'angels for the elves'. Are we going to have dwarf angels and halfling angels and so on? Or is this just more of the 'elves are special' stuff that always shows up?


A first note - I don't care for the new 4e elves as described. The eladrin connection I can deal with.

Maybe this should be a seperate post entirely but I view the Great Wheel and its inhabitants from two perspectives. And I don't claim canon of any sort here.

1st - There are those inhabitants of the Great Wheel who epitomize their home plane or could be said to have grown from the aligned (as in alignment) nature of the plane. These would be indigenous inhabitants.

2nd - There are those inhabitants of the Great Wheel who exist strictly as servitors of the gods, usually groups of gods. While they will demonstrate aligned characteristics that may match the plane on which they are found, their first salient characteristic is service to their god or group of gods.

3rd - I suppose one group could do double duty but I have no problem with Rasgon's position that each plane should have its signature aligned and indigenous inhabitants seperate from or at least not necessarily seconded to any deities.

Thus, for me, eladrin as servitors of the Seldarine works very well. If that means we need some non-servitor but similarly aligned planar race, I'd be okay with that.

By the same token, addressing the question quoted above, "yes." Servitors or very broadly "angels" of the dwarven pantheon would be entirely appropriate IMC and IMV. Same with other demi-human and humanoid pantheons too.

I think I come to this from a position whereby the gods as inhabitants of the planes are more important to me than the planes just as the planes, even though the planes are comparatively enduring in a way gods are not. Gods as merely one among a number of planar inhabitants doesn't strike me as appropriate.

YMMV
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