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Old 06-28-2007, 02:43 PM   #81
Gavynn
 
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Default Re: Lord of the Rings Elven Racial Template

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
The lore and craft stuff was cultural though. Maybe the Vanyar's shtick was poetry?
Possibly. I had actaully just highlighted that passage in The Silmarillion earlier today for inclusion in the next revision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
I think that the Nandor in Ossiriand wandered around with "no fixed abode" or something along those lines.
That is how I thought of them as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
I'm not sure we can make a single template for Avari. That grouping includes many different cultures and ethnic groups. Linguistically, their languages differed as much from each other as from the Eldarin tongues, so I would expect their cultures were equally diverse.
On the other hand, you could change it to an Avari lens, sort of an anti-lens for the shared traits of the Eldar.
I think there can be a basic Avari template, but I was begining to come around to the idea or reducing the ST, DX, IQ, HT differneces between the different elves. Largely, I think that you are right in saying they should all be biologically similar, but I would not have a problem with the Vanyar and the Noldor being the greater cousins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
One thing the Eldar have is a sort of Code of Honor: their culture forbid certain things in warfare such as using poison of any kind, torturing prisoners, or killing prisoners (even orcs) who asked for mercy. Of course some Eldar (Eol) violated this Code of Honor, but even nasty folk like Curufin stuck to it.
Can I get a passage reference for said code. If it is in Unfinished Tales I am about to start a reread of it. Lots of cultures don't use poison in warfare, but that does not mean they have a code against it. It just means it is impractical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
Some Avari disliked mortals and avoided them, but some were evidently friendly, as they taught the Edain various things before they reached Beleriand. I would instead give them a Quirk: Distrusts Eldar because they tended to consider the Eldar as deserters who abandoned the true Elves.
Well, that is why I put it at the quirk level, rather than anything more. Even being mildly xenophobic would allow for befriending some people - such as Men while they wandered in the East. Did the Avari consider themsleves to be the True Elves?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
The Vanyar speak Quenya.
Ooops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
I would reserve this for those who are released from Mandos and reincarnated. Nothing in the books suggests to me that Vanyar are morally perfect or immune to imperfection. We simply don't get to see much of them as individuals, because they aren't the focus.
I was thinking about this myself as I started to consider the possibilty of Vanyar characters more and more. I like the Blessed advantage, but because we don't hear of much of them in the narrative, I would hate to rule of the possibilty of the odd Vanyar hear or there that is an interesting conflicted character.

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Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
I would give all elves BIG racial bonuses to Dexterity and Health. And a bonus to Willpower.
How big do you want big to big? DX 12? DX 14? DX 16? I think you will find a tremendous amount of disagreement on the board about just what a big bonus to DX would be. To some, even a +1 in GURPS goes a long way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
I don't agree with this one. They recover from injuries much more easily than humans, but there are references to elves (such as Gwindor) having scars.
Can you provide the quote please? I cannot recall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
What does this do again? I forget. (and I'm lazy) :)
Keeps elves from having bad breath, body odor and other things like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
I would change this to Less Sleep. Elves do sleep, there are references to them doing so in the Silmarillion and the Peoples of Middle-Earth. They need less than mortals, and don't have a psychological need for dreams because they have their Memory instead, but they do need to rest sometimes. On the other hand, with a combination of high Will and Health, they can probably force themselves to stay awake longer than they normally would and continue to function normally, as long as they "make it up" later.
The sleep thing I admit is one thing that still needs to be hammered out. I agree elves sleep some, so just "No Sleep" is not 100% accurate. However, IDHMBWM but for some reason I remember several levels of less sleep night adding up right either. It was one of the rare instances the GURPS mechanics were not doing exactly what I wanted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
As I said, I'm certain this is cultural, not racial, and is limited to the Eldar, and not even all of them.
Admittedly I think the racial/cultural divide blurs a bit sometimes (when they are one in the same) but I think the dwarf thing is going to be best handled in a sidebar explaining who should likley have it and who should not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
My opinion about writing: Many Nandor/Sylvans, especially in the earlier Ages, would be illiterate. Avari are probably mostly all illiterate, except in later ages as the "Dwarven" alphabet (really Sindarin Cirth) was gradually carried eastward, and maybe some Avari picked it up from them.
Fair, I would say.
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Old 06-28-2007, 03:12 PM   #82
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Default Re: Lord of the Rings Elven Racial Template

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Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
The power over the unseen I would reduce in power, and transfer some of it to the reincarnated elves, since I think Glorfindel seems to be the main source of this idea.
Actually, I tend to agree. I like my Calaquendi lens, but in retrospect having an army of elves with this lens descend on anything would be overpowering, especially if we take the approach of equalizing the biological stats of the elves a bit more and adding some bonuses to the Calaquendi. I like the idea of splitting it into two lens, a Calaquendi lens and a Reincarnated Lens. I will ponder that. I had already thought about making two or three Calaquendi lenses of different power levels.

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Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
My only big gripe though, other than the lack of attribute bonuses, is Unfazeable. *snip*
Point taken and understood about unfazeable. I like what it does mechanically, but everything does not fit 100%, and you have certainly provided lots of examples of passionate firey elves.

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Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
Faded Elf *snip*
I like this starting point. I am going to have to research the way GURPS handels things like this a bit more. For instance, I think that they could still have their ST score, but being insubstantial it can have no effect on the material world. Actually, I could be totally wrong on how to work that, I will have to consult my books tonight. This is a great idea though, and I can feel it having a neat place in the plot. I would say "Doesn't Breathe" for sure.

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Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
Manu (Reincarnated Elf)*snip*
This is giving me so much to work on, but I really like the way that it is going. This provides the needed divide for Calenquendi and then those that are "something more".

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Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
I should have added that they also would have Light Sleeper.
Someone else might have recommended this. I will check into it more.

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Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
Finally, although I don't have the text that says whether all elves are ambidextrous or only some of them, I do know that elves in general can write either right-handed or left-handed whenever they please, which seems to be a Perk.
I don't think all elves are ambidextrous. Maedhros had to learn to use his sword with the other hand. If you could provide the passage where it says they could write with both hands thoug, that would be great. Certainly perk worthy!
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Old 06-28-2007, 03:29 PM   #83
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Default Re: Lord of the Rings Elven Racial Template

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Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
I don't agree with this one. They recover from injuries much more easily than humans, but there are references to elves (such as Gwindor) having scars.
Were they picked up when he was Morgoth's Prisoner for 14 years? If Morgoth can turn elves to orcs, Affliction (Negate: Perk: Doesn't Scar +10%) is probably within his capability.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
I would change this to Less Sleep. Elves do sleep, there are references to them doing so in the Silmarillion and the Peoples of Middle-Earth. They need less than mortals, and don't have a psychological need for dreams because they have their Memory instead, but they do need to rest sometimes. On the other hand, with a combination of high Will and Health, they can probably force themselves to stay awake longer than they normally would and continue to function normally, as long as they "make it up" later.
Doesn't Sleep doesn't mean you don't sleep, it means you don't need to sleep, maybe they do it for fun.
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Old 06-28-2007, 04:02 PM   #84
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Default Re: Lord of the Rings Elven Racial Template

Nice templates. But I would cancel most of "for All elves" list of advantages and decide it is just magic. As in the books they seem to use it with ease or in manner wich different from the human way (incantation etc...) I would use a custom form of magic for them that would be more instinctive (may be based on Per rather than IQ for example, see Magic 4th ed for suggestions) and high levels of magery and connect it with th epower of the silmarils (Noldor have more magery than Sindar and Sindar mor than Sylvan). I would leave magery 0 for dunadans and maybe half-elves. As young elves have already lived for at least a century, that leave them a lot of time to master their skills, so high spell skills would'nt be suprising.

About bonus to IQ, I agree to say that not all elves seem to be near genius, but they all recaive a high leve of education and again, they have long lifetime, even the young. As GURPS IQ is not only raw brain power but also education and general knowledge, I think elves deserves this IQ bonus.

About ST, elves ahve a slender build and are not accustomed to physical labor as humans and dwarf do. This justifies for a -1 adjutment in my opinion, except maybe for the Noldor, though I think the power of the silmarils have more to do with body HT and magical power than physical build.

Last edited by Twyll; 06-28-2007 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 06-28-2007, 04:18 PM   #85
Vaevictis Asmadi
 
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Default Re: Lord of the Rings Elven Racial Template

Quote:
Can I get a passage reference for said code. If it is in Unfinished Tales I am about to start a reread of it. Lots of cultures don't use poison in warfare, but that does not mean they have a code against it. It just means it is impractical.
I'm sorry... I don't know where it is. I was thinking it may be the War of the Jewels but I've looked through it where I thought it should be, and didn't find it. I know the passage I'm thinking of, though. I just for the life of me can't recall where it was.

What I meant about Curufin (in War of the Jewels) is that Curufin didn't kill Eol, because the Eldar had laws against killing in revenge for any reason, no matter what the other person had done - even abducting and raping your cousin! And Tolkien goes on "Curufin could have slain Eol (as he greatly wished!) ... But this would have been in Eldarin law and sentiment murder..." although later after Eol murders Aredhel, Turgon does have him killed.

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Did the Avari consider themsleves to be the True Elves?
Well, there is this in War of the Jewels:
"They were, it seems, filled with an inherited bitterness against the Eldar, who they regarded as deserters of their kin, and in Beleriand this feeling was increased by envy... and by resentment of their lordliness."
In this passage the Nandor and Avari are both being described. "Inherited" I take to mean culturally taught, not inherited in the blood.
Also "They were actually unfriendly to the Noldor, and jealous of their more exalted kin, whom they accused of arrogance." Most of them called themselves "Elves" and the Eldar "Deserters", in their various languages.

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How big do you want big to big? DX 12? DX 14? DX 16? I think you will find a tremendous amount of disagreement on the board about just what a big bonus to DX would be. To some, even a +1 in GURPS goes a long way.
I really don't know. I'm first of all, not familiar enough with GURPS. I can't even figure out my own attributes in this system! Anyway, it is vague how much, but going from 4E Lite, DX 14 might be an appropriate racial average. That is considered Very Good by human standards, almost Amazing. The thing is, because of having immortality and all that goes with it, their spirits have a much greater mastery and control over their physical form. Not only a resistance to pain, hunger, addiction, and so on, but sheer gracefulness and bodily control. Your choice to give them Perfect Balance reflects the same thing. They are lithe, graceful creatures in nearly full control of their bodies.
In terms of HT, this may be harder. They can survive and recover from serious wounds, but they can still be killed in battle, even by orcs. On the other hand Calaquendi, at least, seem to be quite tough and difficult to take down. More than sheer hit points in the face of injury, they seem to be enduring and tireless, able to exert themselves a great deal, or go for a long time without food or water, before weakening. I'd keep their average Strength at 10, but give them a lot of extra FP.

Quote:
Can you provide the quote please? I cannot recall.
I believe the old Alliterative Lay of the Children of Hurin. Which admittedly is from the late 1920s. But the texts up to the most recent (just published) text say that he was weakened and all bent over from being long enslaved in the mines of Angband. I guess that is a different thing, though.

Quote:
Keeps elves from having bad breath, body odor and other things like that.
Oh, that makes sense! I can't imagine elves having bad breath. On the other hand, is there a Disadvantage that does the opposite that you can give to Orcs? Probably an Odious Personal Habit.

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Originally Posted by NineDaysDead
Doesn't Sleep doesn't mean you don't sleep, it means you don't need to sleep, maybe they do it for fun.
No, I'm pretty sure they go to sleep because they need it. They rest when tired, just like anybody else, except they need less. I can't imagine why they would sleep for fun. What's the point? It isn't as if they have dreams as mortals do, all they have are recurring vivid memories, which they experience when awake just as easily. Having no physical need to rest the body is like not needing food. Elves are tough and unaging, but they have physical bodies. Anyway, for an example, Finrod and Turgon when traveling together in Beleriand, slept on the banks of the Sirion. "...and they slept upon his banks beneath the summer stars." And when Miriel laid down in Lorien she seemed as though asleep, even though actually she died. Again, when Feanor and his sons sailed to Middle-Earth, the first thing they did was hit the sack on the shore. Or after escaping from Angband, Gwindor fell asleep in the Forest of Deadly Nightshade, because he was "exhausted."

Elves can become "besotted with wine" as well, if we believe the words of Angrod in the Silmarillion.

The Ambidextrous thing is something for which I do not own the text. It is in a document which was published in the periodical Parma Eldalamberon, which somebody on the Tolkien mailing list mentioned. I tend to agree with you that they would not be ambidextrous in every way, but they can write with both hands. This is something which is in the linguistic research of people who study the elvish languages, and although I read some of what the linguists have to say in their writings, I don't have copies of most of the linguistic texts that they study. It is a text concerning the different alphabets they had, which were designed to be legible either left to right or right to left, or even written boustrophically which means alternating lines start at the right or the left. This was Feanor's invention, after the first elf to invent writing made it in vertical columns, like Chinese.
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Old 06-28-2007, 04:23 PM   #86
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Default Re: Lord of the Rings Elven Racial Template

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Originally Posted by Twyll
As young elves have already lived for at least a century, that leave them a lot of time to master their skills, so high spell skills would'nt be suprising.
Yes, but they reach adulthood at age 50, not 100.
And to magery... think of the huge number of spells, such as flinging fireballs, healing wounds instantly, casting Gates, that can be cast with high Magery. When has an elf ever flung fireballs or teleported people by magic gates? That kind of magic doesn't even exist in Middle-Earth, except as something that Maiar and Valar might do.

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As GURPS IQ is not only raw brain power but also education and general knowledge, I think elves deserves this IQ bonus.
Good point.

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Originally Posted by Twyll
About ST, elves ahve a slender build and are not accustomed to physical labor as humans and dwarf do. This justifies for a -1 adjutment in my opinion, except maybe for the Noldor, though I think the power of the silmarils have more to do with body HT and magical power than physical build.
Um.. what power of the Silmarils? The Noldor don't have inherent racial "silmaril power" but it sounds like that's what you're talking about. I don't understand what you mean.

As for strength... Tolkien once wrote (in Letters you can read it) of his irritation that people kept thinking that Legolas is girly. He wrote that legolas is strong and graceful, tall and lithe as a young willow, and not at all girly. Many elves were strong and deadly warriors. Being slender hasn't got a thing to do with being strong. And as for physical labor... they did all sorts of things. Hunting, hiking, smithing swords and armor, fighting with swords and bows and axes, mining and quarrying, carving stuff, climbing trees, building boats and ships, building huge buildings made of stone blocks...also several individuals such as Beleg and Angrod are described specifically as being very strong.

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Old 06-28-2007, 04:51 PM   #87
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Default Re: Lord of the Rings Elven Racial Template

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Originally Posted by Vaevictis Asmadi
What I meant about Curufin (in War of the Jewels) is that Curufin didn't kill Eol, because the Eldar had laws against killing in revenge for any reason, no matter what the other person had done - even abducting and raping your cousin! And Tolkien goes on "Curufin could have slain Eol (as he greatly wished!) ... But this would have been in Eldarin law and sentiment murder..." although later after Eol murders Aredhel, Turgon does have him killed.
Very interesting, but I think it would have to go beyond Eldarin law to qualify for a a vow or other sort of thing. Typically I would not give out character points for a character who follows the laws of his lands.

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Well, there is this in War of the Jewels:
"They were, it seems, filled with an inherited bitterness against the Eldar, who they regarded as deserters of their kin, and in Beleriand this feeling was increased by envy... and by resentment of their lordliness."
Great find! That is going in...

Quote:
About ST, elves ahve a slender build and are not accustomed to physical labor as humans and dwarf do. This justifies for a -1 adjutment in my opinion, except maybe for the Noldor, though I think the power of the silmarils have more to do with body HT and magical power than physical build.
I agree completely with Vaevictis on this one. Nothing in the text leads me to think Tolkien intended for elves to be any less strong than Men - there is evidence to the contrary in fact.
Fantastic find. Thank you. That is going in...

Quote:
Elves can become "besotted with wine" as well, if we believe the words of Angrod in the Silmarillion.
And the woodelves of Mikwood certainly drunk themselves to sleep allowing for Bilbo's plan of escape.
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:42 PM   #88
Vaevictis Asmadi
 
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Default Re: Lord of the Rings Elven Racial Template

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Originally Posted by Agemegos
I can think of exceptions.

Finrod engaged in (and lost) a duel with Sauron of 'songs of power'. A lot more subtle than D&D magic, but not alchemy.

Luthien turned Beren into a 'werewolf' and herself into a bat-like creature. She also enthralled Morgoth with song, made herself invisible to him, and put him and all his court to sleep. I think she also sang a song that made her own hair growth hundreds of feet so that she could make a rope of it to climb out of a prison in a tree.
True, the song of power is magic. How could I forget about that? And Beorn turning into a bear...
But Luthien had weird powers, she was half Maia. I would not use her as a yardstick for what elves in general are capable of.

Skilled elven bards do have the ability, while they sing, to conjure in the minds of their audiences visions of the stories they weave in song. But that (along with Galadriel's trick in the Fellowship of the Ring) is psionic, not magical. There is an essay which Tolkien wrote about telepathy, and what is and is not possible in Arda, and what elves can do with it, but unfortunately it was published in a periodical which I don't have (and I need to buy it). There is some stuff about telepathy in War of the Jewels however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
I would expect Glorfindel to take bigger part in the War than we see on the page. Likewise Elrond, Galadriel, the Kings of Dale and the Lonely Mountain, and even Thranduil. But don't forget that there were whole campaigns of the War of the Ring that we read about only in the appendices.
Sure, but by that time Gildor was on a boat halfway across the ocean. There wasn't a chance for him to be in any "off-screen" action!
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:51 PM   #89
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Default Re: Lord of the Rings Elven Racial Template

About the Silmarils, the books said their power changed the elves who lived in their light : their more powerfull, healthier, fairer ....

About magic, spell lists can be and must be limited by GMs according to the cmapaign you're running. It is a basic job that is done in every GURPS fantasy campaign book. So no fireballs, no gates, no resurrection... A LotR campaign would obviously need some tuning as magic is very special and dangerous (remember the Eye of Sauron) to use.

About DX, I think more than +1 is abused for a racial templates. Elves are not cats, and they aren't all able to sprint on tree branches.

About IQ, don't misunderstand maturity with age, these are definitely different. A kid aged 50 will have a broader knowledge than a kid aged 10 and probably a human aged 30.
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Old 06-28-2007, 06:14 PM   #90
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Default Re: Lord of the Rings Elven Racial Template

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Originally Posted by Twyll
About the Silmarils, the books said their power changed the elves who lived in their light : their more powerfull, healthier, fairer ....
Actually, that was the Trees, not the Silmarils. Admittedly, the Silmarils did contain the Light of the Trees, but I don't believe there's much evidence that being around a Silmaril had quite the same effect as the full on Trees.
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