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Old 08-15-2019, 10:09 AM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: Elven maturation and population growth

Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
In Tolkien and every edition of D&D I know of, elves don't reach adulthood until age 100 or so. This has always struck me as extremely weird. It suggests elven education for "children" could be the equivalent of dozens of PhDs, and there's a general question of how you even roleplay someone who is 100 years old but just starting their career.
There's a hidden assumption you are making there - something like "young elves learn at a rate comparable rate to human teenagers". Maybe they don't or can't. Maybe they have a memory limit and don't want to saturate it early, or maybe they aren't capable of learning stuff at all until they are adults and the low elven reproduction rate is partly explained by the infant mortality rate involved in being an entirely helpless infant for a *century*

There's also the general question of what keeps the elven population under control regardless, since centuries of childbearing years for women presents its own problems regardless of whether they start having children at 20 or 120.
Though again, there's no reason elves have to work like humans. Giant Sequoias live a really long time, and produce lots of pollen and seeds, but haven't replaced all other trees, let alone covered the entire planet. Why not? Well most seeds never sprout, or die young, often because they are shaded out by their parent. The limited souls number of souls idea is rather like that - the living elves use up so much of some limiting resource new ones can't grow.
MA Lloyd
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