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    CruelSummerLord
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    PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:35 pm    Post subject: Making Elves More Sympathetic? Reply with quote

    There are two trends I hate in fantasy gaming and fiction. The first is making the elves a "perfect" race that are somehow more enlightened, more moral, more skilled, and overall better than humans in general, the Our Elves Our Better trope. I also hate the backlash against this that turns elves into obnoxious, judgmental losers, the Screw You Elves trope. While the latter trope can be cathartic for some viewers/readers/players, it gets tiresome for people like me when that's all that's done with elves anymore.

    So I'm wondering-how could elves be depicted to make them sympathetic and actually likable without changing them beyond recognition from their D&D/Tolkien selves?

    I wrote a Canonfire article about the People of the Testing and how it's tied to the fracturing of the elven race, which itself stems from the short-sightedness of the elven gods, particularly Sehanine Moonbow. As I see it, the elves not just of the Flanaess, but of all of Oerth are fractured and deeply divided. Given that they live for a millennia or more, old memories die very hard among them. They are very accomplished and have much to be proud of, but they can't generally organize that into long-term success on the same scale as humanity has.

    Also, elves generally only seem like they're arrogant and judgmental. In truth, they often just have difficulty connecting with shorter-lived races, and can otherwise be quite friendly to those they feel comfortable with. They generally stay in their own enclaves in other races' towns and countries, and interact with other races through only a few intermediaries. Traders and visitors from other realms are welcome in the elves' own communities, and the elves make them feel welcome, although they generally prefer to keep to themselves as much as possible.

    Elves also participate heavily in the world economy. They produce lots of foodstuffs, from wine to mead to honey to grain to fruit, and goods such as cloth, leather, wool and even lumber, which they allow human loggers to gather under very close supervision. They are generally self-sufficient in terms of the things they produce themselves, and export the surpluses to other races. In exchange, they import many different kinds of stones and minerals since they don't do much mining. They also produce various trade goods such as fine furniture, jewelry and glassware, which are prized by other races for their quality.

    Elves are actually quite accepting of other races, including other races living in their lands. While humans and other races living in countries like Celene generally don't get involved in elven politics, slandering and discriminating against them is seen as extremely bad form. Elven bigots who try to stir up their kin against human and other minorities usually end up just burning themselves. There are racist, arrogant elves, of course, and they have a general disdain for dwarves, but in turn there are just as many racist, arrogant dwarves and the dwarves are often just as prejudiced against the elves.

    Thoughts?
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    rasgon
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    PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Making Elves More Sympathetic? Reply with quote

    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    So I'm wondering-how could elves be depicted to make them sympathetic and actually likable without changing them beyond recognition from their D&D/Tolkien selves?


    By including multiple factions among them, so they're not all just one thing. For example, Queen Yolande's isolationism versus Prince Brightflame and his Knights of Luna's eagerness to aid the greater cause of Good abroad.
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    Cebrion
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    PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    One could choose to play up the gregarious fun-loving fey nature of elves in conjunction with something elves highly value - life experiences.

    Imagine the elven point-of-view seen through the lense of childhood. The average 5-year old human child is learning the alphabet and letter sounds, how to recognize simple words, how to write their own name, how to count to 100, the basic concepts of adding and subtracting, colors, the days of the week, and other simple things. The elven equivalent to that 5-year old will be around 30 years old, and started learning those same things at age ten, and has progressed far beyond because they've had another twenty years to learn. The elven child may look about the same age as a five year old human child, but they are going to be the most precocious "5-yearl old" you have ever met. While the elven child won't necessarily be any more mature than the human child, the real difference would be in the depth of knowledge and experience - it would be like comparing a lake to an ocean. It simply might be amusing to an elven child that their human equivalent (and even older human children) knows so little. The human child might know the names and be able to identify the sounds of common animals, while the elven equivalent might know the names and be able to identify the sounds of most every animal in the area in which they live. But their enjoyment of those things is still exactly the same - both children think animals are fun to learn about!

    "Look! A baby crow!"
    "That's not a baby crow, silly! That's a magpie! You can teach them to say things!"

    The elf might grow older, and yet still be just this same way. The ignorance of the human does nothing to color how they elf views them, as they are both capable of enjoying the same things. The elf obviously has a much greater variety of experience, but the variety is not key - the experience itself is - and so the elf and human enjoy things together in the moment. This colors the elf's perception of humans in most ways. The elf acknowledges that the human is just as capable as they are; the human just has less time to be so. And so...

    "You haven't tried Celenian Wine? Oh, we are going right now!"

    ...a bit later...

    "THIS IS AMAZING!!!"

    "I know, right?! And this is only the 100 year old, but it is still pretty good."

    "We are drinking wine bottled in the time of my great-great-great-great grandfather?!"

    "Yep! You should really try the 400 though. That's about as good as it gets! And now we have a new goal - to make the 400 more rare!"

    "Huzzah!"

    The elf enjoys the experience of seeing that enjoyment of life for the first time in the human, as it brings them back to a time when they themselves first experienced it years, decades, or even centuries before. Adults experience this with children all of the time, and yet they don't hold the children in disdain because of it, do they. And so the elf has absolutely no issue connecting with humans or otherwise, and that gives you a more lighthearted and friendly elf, rather than a haughty or condescending elf.
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    JasonZavoda
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    PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I never saw Greyhawk Elves as very Tolkien. More Poul Anderson types or something from one the less vile Moorcock versions.
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    SirXaris
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    PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Very nice, Cebrion! I appreciate that possible elven perspective. I will certainly incorporate it into some of the more positive elven PCs in my campaign. Smile

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    edmundscott
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    PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I've been thinking a lot about elves lately, so I hope it won't be interpreted as threadjacking if I post a few of my own questions:

    • For those playing editions after 1e, did you retain the elven lifespan (1000s, not 100's, of years) from the original DMG, or did you shorten it according to the appropriate ruleset? If you retain the longer lifespan, do you make elder elves depart in some Tolkeinesque way after 700 years or so, or are there numerous old grey elves in Celene who might have actually personally witnessed the Invoked Devastation or Rain of Colorless Fire?

    • I've heard somewhere that Tolkein's elves were mainly based on Nordic myth while Gygax intended Greyhawk's elves to derive more from Celtic/Irish myth. I've heard this touted as a significant distinction, but I don't actually know what this would imply for the different characters of elves. I would personally love it if Greyhawk elves were closer to the spooky characters of legend (like Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel) but that doesn't seem to be the way they're portrayed anywhere.

    • How are Greyhawk elves different from Forgotten Realms elves, or Krynn elves, or Golarion elves? Perhaps lifespan, as above. Certainly height as distinct from Golarion elves. But is there a different Greyhawk elf character? Does anyone think the Roger Moore article from Dragon #60 should be authoritative concerning Greyhawk elven personality?

    • Finally--and this bugs me a lot--does anyone else find it odd how many elven realms are primarily plains, not forest? Sunndi, Duchy Ulek, and most especially Celene. Are Greyhawk elves primarily farmers or plains dwellers? Or are we to assume numerous micro-woodlands everywhere too small to be represented on the map? In Celene, for instance, is it possible the grey elves and sylvan elves all live around the periphery in Welkwood, Suss, and Gnarley while the human and halfling population dominates on the plains?

    Again, please ignore if anyone feels I'm way off-topic here.
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    SirXaris
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    PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    edmundscott wrote:

    • Finally--and this bugs me a lot--does anyone else find it odd how many elven realms are primarily plains, not forest? Sunndi, Duchy Ulek, and most especially Celene. Are Greyhawk elves primarily farmers or plains dwellers? Or are we to assume numerous micro-woodlands everywhere too small to be represented on the map? In Celene, for instance, is it possible the grey elves and sylvan elves all live around the periphery in Welkwood, Suss, and Gnarley while the human and halfling population dominates on the plains?


    The above question is the only one I can offer any constructive comment on.

    First, yes, the elven realms you mentioned do seem to be mostly plains, rather than forests. However, there are many other elven realms that are within vast forests. For example, the Vesve has both a High Elven realm and a Wood Elven realm. Also, the Adri, the Fellreev, the Dim, the Dreadwood, the Celadon, and pretty much every other temperate forest in the Flanaess has a large elven population that presumably is part of some elven realm, even if it isn't named as such.

    Second, yes, I generally assume that areas depicted as plains in elven realms such as Celene are pocked with micro-forests scattered across the area. Conversely, I assume that those elven realms within what is depicted as vast forest areas are pocked with micro-glades cleared for crop production.

    I would, of course, expect any extensive elven cities to be within the larger wooded areas of the realm, but that doesn't have to bee the case. The capital of Celene is, apparently, in the plains, if I recall correctly. Remember Rivendell as depicted in The Lord of the Rings movie? It was a canyon city with a few trees growing on the outside of the halls and living quarters carved into the rock. This was even more true of Thranduil's realm in the Myrkwood, but Lothlorien seemed purely within the forests heights.

    So, Enstad could even be built on a hill in the middle of the plain. I would assume that the elves have planted many trees within that city, if it didn't begin as a forested hill, so that it seems so from a distance and feels like walking through a park when inside it. Smile

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    PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    SirXaris wrote:
    The capital of Celene is, apparently, in the plains, if I recall correctly.


    Remember that the Darlene map doesn't have a particularly fine granuality; each hex represents one terrain type or location, but doesn't tell you more than that. So if a hex is blank, it means that hex isn't predominantly forested, but neither does it mean it's all plains. If a hex has a city in it, we know the city is somewhere in that hex, but not necessarily exactly where it looks like on the hex map. If a city is within one hex of a river (as Enstad is), it's probably meant to be on the river, even if the Darlene map doesn't clearly show that.

    The Dungeon Magazine map of the Flanaess (Dungeon #118-121) shows the brownish shading that represents the Kron Hills extending as far as Enstad, suggesting Enstad might be in the foothills of the Lortmil Mountains—that map's granuality isn't particularly fine either, but it doesn't use the strict "one terrain type per hex" style the Darlene map does.

    Anna B. Meyer's map doesn't place Enstad in a hilly region, or even on the Handmaiden River, but instead adds a small lake near the Handmaiden, surrounded by light forest, and places Enstad on the shore of the lake.

    My own interpretation of Enstad is something like this Tim Hildebrandt painting, hilly, lightly forested, and directly on the Handmaiden River.
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    SirXaris
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    PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    rasgon wrote:
    SirXaris wrote:
    The capital of Celene is, apparently, in the plains, if I recall correctly.


    My own interpretation of Enstad is something like this Tim Hildebrandt painting, hilly, lightly forested, and directly on the Handmaiden River.


    That is a good vision of Enstad, in my opinion.

    I tried to find a video I saw years ago that showed a long model of a forested village built on a hillside with a stream full of waterfalls and cascades running the length of the model, but I failed. It is what I imagine many elven villages look like.

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    CruelSummerLord
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    PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    edmundscott wrote:
    I've been thinking a lot about elves lately, so I hope it won't be interpreted as threadjacking if I post a few of my own questions:

    • For those playing editions after 1e, did you retain the elven lifespan (1000s, not 100's, of years) from the original DMG, or did you shorten it according to the appropriate ruleset? If you retain the longer lifespan, do you make elder elves depart in some Tolkeinesque way after 700 years or so, or are there numerous old grey elves in Celene who might have actually personally witnessed the Invoked Devastation or Rain of Colorless Fire?

    • I've heard somewhere that Tolkein's elves were mainly based on Nordic myth while Gygax intended Greyhawk's elves to derive more from Celtic/Irish myth. I've heard this touted as a significant distinction, but I don't actually know what this would imply for the different characters of elves. I would personally love it if Greyhawk elves were closer to the spooky characters of legend (like Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel) but that doesn't seem to be the way they're portrayed anywhere.

    • How are Greyhawk elves different from Forgotten Realms elves, or Krynn elves, or Golarion elves? Perhaps lifespan, as above. Certainly height as distinct from Golarion elves. But is there a different Greyhawk elf character? Does anyone think the Roger Moore article from Dragon #60 should be authoritative concerning Greyhawk elven personality?

    • Finally--and this bugs me a lot--does anyone else find it odd how many elven realms are primarily plains, not forest? Sunndi, Duchy Ulek, and most especially Celene. Are Greyhawk elves primarily farmers or plains dwellers? Or are we to assume numerous micro-woodlands everywhere too small to be represented on the map? In Celene, for instance, is it possible the grey elves and sylvan elves all live around the periphery in Welkwood, Suss, and Gnarley while the human and halfling population dominates on the plains?

    Again, please ignore if anyone feels I'm way off-topic here.


    Oh, don't worry about it. These are all really good questions. As for answers...

    -The elves live their entire lifespans in the here and now, but very few of them actually live that long due to all the real hazards that exist out there. Elves have weaker constitutions than humans, so it's not surprising that older elves die of disease even more easily than older humans, to say nothing of all the monsters and other races that could kill them in the meantime.

    -I have no idea what the mythical influence here is, so I can't add anything.

    -For me, at least, Greyhawk's elves are a lot less full of themselves than their Krynn counterparts. The only ones who aren't are the People of the Testing-and while Yolande seems to be listening to them, you also have Melf, the Knights of Luna and all the other elves who are trying to help the other races fight threats like Iuz and Turrosh Mak. Maybe I haven't read the sources that depict elves as pompous jerks, but Greyhawk's elves seem to be actively debating how and when they should be involved in the affairs of the larger Flanaess.

    -I agree with Rasgon and SirXaris that the Darlene map doesn't entirely represent every single part of a map. Hell, it leaves out a lot of towns that are too small to be represented. My own Silver Wolf stories have depicted the Cairn Hills as having quite a few forests in them, and ditto for the Iron Hills. So there probably are a lot of microforests for the elves to live in. And if you think the elves produce a lot of foodstuffs like I mentioned above, they'd need some areas cleared for orchards, farming fields, etc. I also like to imagine that the elves herd animals like deer and moose in addition to the more conventional herd animals real-life farmers raise. That might be another fine source of clothing and food the elves produce for export.
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    SirXaris
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    PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    I also like to imagine that the elves herd animals like deer and moose in addition to the more conventional herd animals real-life farmers raise. That might be another fine source of clothing and food the elves produce for export.


    Awesome! I can't believe I never considered that. Razz

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    PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Okay, three more elven questions:

    1) Is CruelSummerLord's article from the postfest the only speculation/follow-up/source for what's going on in the Spindrift Isles? It's the only thing I've ever seen, but there sure might be something I'm missing from an old Oerth Journal or LG module or even the Greyhawk 90's stuff.

    2) If Celene is predominantly CG as the LGG states (not N, NG, LN as the Gazeteer states), what the heck does Chaotic Good feudalism look like? I have a hard time imagining feudalism that isn't hierarchical & rather hide-bound.

    3) Since grey elves are subdivided into grey elves & faeries, has anyone differentiated these subgroups geographically—for instance, faeries are found in Celene, but grey elves in Sunndi?
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    PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    edmundscott wrote:

    2) If Celene is predominantly CG as the LGG states (not N, NG, LN as the Gazeteer states), what the heck does Chaotic Good feudalism look like? I have a hard time imagining feudalism that isn't hierarchical & rather hide-bound.


    Chaotic Good feudalism could be like most real-world feudalism, except that the hierarchy is much less imposing upon those beneath it. For example, you can compare the historical Alfred the Great's rule - allowing the people and nobles more freedom and actually using taxes to better the lives of the citizens - to that of King John who kept the nobles under a crushing thumb and imposed his will on all his subjects as if he were God himself.

    An extreme CG feudal King would demand small tribute from his nobles and have no care how they ruled their own fiefs as long as they provided the agree-upon levies and knights when called upon to do so. He would also sit as judge for disputes between his nobles and on rare occasion, hear an appeal from a commoner against a noble. Otherwise, he wouldn't interfere much in the affairs of his subjects.

    Quote:
    3) Since grey elves are subdivided into grey elves & faeries, has anyone differentiated these subgroups geographically—for instance, faeries are found in Celene, but grey elves in Sunndi?


    I couldn't help but be reminded of the Dragonmirth cartoon wherein orcs dressed like punks (leather jackets, spiked mohawks, chains attached to their wallets, etc.) are painting graffiti on a wall. The graffiti says, "Grey elves are fairies." Razz

    I searched and searched online for a link to that cartoon strip, but failed to find one to post here. If anyone else has a picture or link, I would love to see it again. Smile

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    PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Making Elves More Sympathetic? Reply with quote

    CruelSummerLord wrote:


    So I'm wondering-how could elves be depicted to make them sympathetic and actually likable without changing them beyond recognition from their D&D/Tolkien selves?



    I like the way the RockSeer Elves are introduced and portrayed in the Night Below boxed set. They are definitely "Elven", but still very different (in alignment, powers, origin, goals) from the ways most Elves are portrayed elsewhere. Their origin backstory also has sympathetic elements that align with this thread. If you're not familiar with the Rockseers, check them out.
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    PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    edmundscott wrote:
    1) Is CruelSummerLord's article from the postfest the only speculation/follow-up/source for what's going on in the Spindrift Isles? It's the only thing I've ever seen, but there sure might be something I'm missing from an old Oerth Journal or LG module or even the Greyhawk 90's stuff.


    Carl Sargent hinted at some vast working the elves were attempting. With fiends infesting the world, the power of Iuz waxing, and Tharizdun stirring in his slumber, some of the eldest among the elves decided that something must be done.

    The Marklands wrote:
    If anyone were to ask Calandryen why the grey elves choose this path, she would say, “Great magic is afoot which you know nothing about. Iuz has been upon Oerth barely a century. I have been here for six, and my people for longer than any other race can tell. I saw Iuz born, and I will see him perish. He is barely a small wave coming to the shoreline of history.” She is a priestess of Labelas Enoreth, and it is impossible to convey any urgency or haste to her.


    What exactly they're trying to do is unclear (and, ultimately, up to the DM) but my impression is that they're trying to repair the foundations of the Oerth, to shore up the world's defenses before they shatter completely. This is probably tied somehow to the mysterious monoliths being erected by the Walker and the appearance of Philidor the Blue.

    Monster Mythology wrote:
    If Mellifleur's origin is extraordinary, that of Kanchelsis, the Eternal Elder Vampire, is a desperate secret. Often taking half-elven aspect, the deity is said to have been born of the collective blood of the Seldarine, mingled with that of a human creator-god. Blood itself, from such sources, was intended as a creative force to maintain the life of worlds.


    Oerth is dying, and the elves are trying extreme measures to renew its life.

    The closest analogy is the elven high magic detailed in Forgotten Realms sources, particularly, and most forebodingly, the Sundering, a high magic ritual that created the Isle of Evermeet as a place of refuge for the elves but, as an unforeseen side effect, sundered the continents of Toril.
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    CruelSummerLord
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    PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    edmundscott wrote:
    Okay, three more elven questions:

    1) Is CruelSummerLord's article from the postfest the only speculation/follow-up/source for what's going on in the Spindrift Isles? It's the only thing I've ever seen, but there sure might be something I'm missing from an old Oerth Journal or LG module or even the Greyhawk 90's stuff.

    2) If Celene is predominantly CG as the LGG states (not N, NG, LN as the Gazeteer states), what the heck does Chaotic Good feudalism look like? I have a hard time imagining feudalism that isn't hierarchical & rather hide-bound.

    3) Since grey elves are subdivided into grey elves & faeries, has anyone differentiated these subgroups geographically—for instance, faeries are found in Celene, but grey elves in Sunndi?


    I can't speak to your first or third questions, but in regards to your first I would say that chaotic good feudalism is rather decentralized, with fewer strict requirements of the lords to the monarch and a generally loose social structure. The elves of Oerth, particularly in Celene, hate it when anyone tries to order or control them in an authoritarian way, and excessively tight legal codes, but they cooperate very well and regularly come together in times of crisis. This explains why, while Yolande and many of the People of the Testing prefer isolationism, Melf and the Knights of Luna want to help the other races fight evil without any major social sanctions.
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    PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    ...The elves live their entire lifespans in the here and now, but very few of them actually live that long due to all the real hazards that exist out there. Elves have weaker constitutions than humans, so it's not surprising that older elves die of disease even more easily than older humans...


    -I give elves a +4 bonus vs. natural disease and a +2 bonus vs. natural parasitic infection. Other wise, they'd never make it to 100!
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    PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    rasgon wrote:

    The closest analogy is the elven high magic detailed in Forgotten Realms sources, particularly, and most forebodingly, the Sundering, a high magic ritual that created the Isle of Evermeet as a place of refuge for the elves but, as an unforeseen side effect, sundered the continents of Toril.


    How would this compare to the Cataclysm from Dragonlance? How would a post sundering Greyhawk look?
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    PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Gonna make my feeble plug for 2e products...

    "The Complete Book of Elves" goes into elven psychology and relations with other races as well as their life style and overall society. Might be worth a gander if you can get your mitts on a copy.

    -Lanthorn
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    edmundscott
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    PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    SirXaris, I know absolutely nothing about Alfred the Great. Is there a source you recommend or should I just wikipedia?

    Thanks both to you and CruelSummerLord for helping me understand how well a laissez-faire monarch might embody CG feudalism.

    I'm very curious if any DMs out there did anything definitive with the elves in the Sprindrifts/Philidor/Walker, such as nailing down which specific threat they're focused on? It's kind of a shame there's no adventure that throws PCs into some kind of interaction/opposition to these forces. (Hey, maybe we should get Carlos to do something . . . )

    Lanthorn, do you think the Complete Book of Elves is superior to Moore's elven treatment in Dragon? I sort of remember folks being unhappy with the 2e Complete Elves because it made elves so much better at everything than everyone else. (I myself remember only really being satisfied with the 2e Complete Book of Dwarves, in terms with its vision of the race aligning with Greyhawk.)
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    rasgon
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    PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    mindseye wrote:
    How would this compare to the Cataclysm from Dragonlance? How would a post sundering Greyhawk look?


    There's a YouTube video about it. I think the answer is "pretty much any changes you want," up to and including the creation of a duplicate world to trap Tharizdun in.
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    Theala_Sildorian
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    Joined: Nov 11, 2003
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    PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    mindseye wrote:
    rasgon wrote:

    The closest analogy is the elven high magic detailed in Forgotten Realms sources, particularly, and most forebodingly, the Sundering, a high magic ritual that created the Isle of Evermeet as a place of refuge for the elves but, as an unforeseen side effect, sundered the continents of Toril.


    How would this compare to the Cataclysm from Dragonlance? How would a post sundering Greyhawk look?


    Well, the origins of the Nyr Dyv have never really been explored. It's way too deep for an inland sea, and the inhabitant of the lake just screams at some king of powerful magic being a root cause. It also explains why Tenser lives there; he could be researching that.
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    Theala_Sildorian
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    PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    edmundscott wrote:
    SirXaris, I know absolutely nothing about Alfred the Great. Is there a source you recommend or should I just wikipedia?

    Lanthorn, do you think the Complete Book of Elves is superior to Moore's elven treatment in Dragon? I sort of remember folks being unhappy with the 2e Complete Elves because it made elves so much better at everything than everyone else. (I myself remember only really being satisfied with the 2e Complete Book of Dwarves, in terms with its vision of the race aligning with Greyhawk.)


    Any decent book on the history of Saxon England should help a lot, edmund. Alfred united England into a single nation, ultimately, through a long and difficult process through constant Viking raids and attacks. Wikipedia has a basic outline that will give you the idea, though.

    When I read the history of elves, particularly after what was published in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, I see a people who have lost their purpose and way. They live so long, they have forgotten that Corellon wanted them to change and grow. Instead, they became static; or so it appears from human eyes.

    They're not really better than anyone else. They just had more, and are good at self promotion.

    I like Tolkien's elves so much better.
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    SirXaris
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    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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    PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Theala_Sildorian wrote:
    edmundscott wrote:
    SirXaris, I know absolutely nothing about Alfred the Great. Is there a source you recommend or should I just wikipedia?

    Lanthorn, do you think the Complete Book of Elves is superior to Moore's elven treatment in Dragon? I sort of remember folks being unhappy with the 2e Complete Elves because it made elves so much better at everything than everyone else. (I myself remember only really being satisfied with the 2e Complete Book of Dwarves, in terms with its vision of the race aligning with Greyhawk.)


    Any decent book on the history of Saxon England should help a lot, edmund. Alfred united England into a single nation, ultimately, through a long and difficult process through constant Viking raids and attacks. Wikipedia has a basic outline that will give you the idea, though.


    Yes, what Theala_Soldorian said.

    I am a student of history and just told you what I knew off the top of my head. I have read many books detailing the history of the British Isles that include Alfred (the only British monarch ever to earn the respect of the people to the degree that they added 'The Great' to his name.)

    Basically, he was a good king that suffered many hardships living in hiding with his people while they were fighting the saxons and vikings, so he learned to empathize with their suffering and used his power to actually build up the nation's infrastructure and learning in order to benefit the common people.

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    Raymond
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    PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:56 am    Post subject: Portal Reply with quote

    Sometimes I think Nyr Dyv contains a portal to Moria and the Tolkien races were trapped in Oerth and couldn't get back and here the Elves are diminished by getting smaller...but that seems to break the TSR background regarding Corellon. Just part of me wants to find an in-game excuse for the OD&D references to Ents, Hobbits, Dwarves, Nazgul, etc.
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