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Old 04-04-2018, 06:44 PM   #51
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: Stretching the bounds of typical fantasy races -OR- What makes an elf?

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Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post

I've tended to consider his elves divergent from their source material in not being a pack of terrifyingly unpredictable psychopaths ... I grant you the reversion from the Victorian nonsense, but he's still a long way from most Anglo-Scottish mythos, likewise Scandinavian Troll-lore. I suppose if he had been aiming for Irish Tuatha we might have a point ... because they match his elves reasonably well.
Chaotic Neutrality did not fit with the Tolkien franchise well. The first edition of Broken Sword was written at the time(it was sent back because fantasy was out of fashion then) and had elves a bit like that.

Tolkien's elves do have Irish counterparts. Russian ones too. There were a few other's. If I remember reading Gurps Faerie "White Ladies" have some characteristics like that. The "Fair Folk" is subverted in Tolkien, as men of Gondor and Rohan think elves are like that.

Actually the predominant element of elves before the Victorian ones was not so much evil(that's as may be)but wildness and mystery. It is not so much that they are hostile as you cannot tell what they will be because they are to strange to you.
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:57 AM   #52
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Default Re: Stretching the bounds of typical fantasy races -OR- What makes an elf?

In the Traveller settings I’ve always thought of the Darrians as Space Elves... and Sword Worlds as Space Orks... both are human cultures but they fill those niches.

In any setting Elves appear unpredictable to outsiders not because they actually are capricious but because they make their decisions on a different, unknown, set of premises and values.
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Old 04-05-2018, 01:39 PM   #53
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Default Re: Stretching the bounds of typical fantasy races -OR- What makes an elf?

I'm probably repeating myself from another thread, but when I make racial templates, I try to list a bunch of "Common Traits" that are not automatically part of the template itself, and hence don't count toward the template cost, but are likely to be encountered among a sampling of average members of the race.

For a Dwarf, the Common Traits would include Greedy, Loner, the Pickaxe Penchant, Business Acumen, and Artificer Talents, the Axe/Mace and Two-Handed Axe/Mace skills, and the Sure-Footed perk, among others.
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Old 04-05-2018, 02:00 PM   #54
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Default Re: Stretching the bounds of typical fantasy races -OR- What makes an elf?

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For a Dwarf, the Common Traits would include Greedy, Loner, the Pickaxe Penchant, Business Acumen, and Artificer Talents, the Axe/Mace and Two-Handed Axe/Mace skills, and the Sure-Footed perk, among others.
...and Quirk: “ Bad Scottish Accent”
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Old 04-05-2018, 02:09 PM   #55
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Default Re: Stretching the bounds of typical fantasy races -OR- What makes an elf?

That is a weird trope. At least England and Wales have loads of Elvish myths. Scotland isn't known for many Dwarven myths that I know of.
Mostly, I thought Germany and Scandinavia were chock full of them.
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Old 04-05-2018, 02:34 PM   #56
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Default Re: Stretching the bounds of typical fantasy races -OR- What makes an elf?

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At least England and Wales have loads of Elvish myths. Scotland isn't known for many Dwarven myths that I know of.
In the US at least Scotsmen are thought of as miserly, good engineers, good brawlers and a bit off... which is how most fantasy dwarves are portrayed.

It’s less about what Scotsmen think of dwarves and more about what we think of Scotsmen.
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Old 04-05-2018, 02:46 PM   #57
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Default Re: Stretching the bounds of typical fantasy races -OR- What makes an elf?

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...and Quirk: “ Bad Scottish Accent”
My Dwarves are more German and Norwegian than Scots. No haggis for them.
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Old 04-05-2018, 02:48 PM   #58
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Default Re: Stretching the bounds of typical fantasy races -OR- What makes an elf?

The origin of the stereotypical Scottish dwarf has been much debated online. Poul Anderson used one in his book Three Hearts and Three Lions. That is, so far as I can tell, the earliest attested version, though whether he spawned the whole thing or it was reinvented again later I don't know.
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Old 04-05-2018, 03:05 PM   #59
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Default Re: Stretching the bounds of typical fantasy races -OR- What makes an elf?

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It’s less about what Scotsmen think of dwarves and more about what we think of Scotsmen.
I think I may incorporate some Glaswegian stereotype into my dwarves going forward. Incredibly friendly, but they tend to measure their friendships by how many teeth they've knocked out of one another.
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Old 04-05-2018, 03:07 PM   #60
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Default Re: Stretching the bounds of typical fantasy races -OR- What makes an elf?

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In the Traveller settings I’ve always thought of the Darrians as Space Elves... and Sword Worlds as Space Orks... both are human cultures but they fill those niches.

In any setting Elves appear unpredictable to outsiders not because they actually are capricious but because they make their decisions on a different, unknown, set of premises and values.
I've always heard the Sword Worlders referred to as "Space Dwarves". And your latter description of Elves has been discussed here and elsewhere as "Blue/Orange morality", a take on Elves that I personally favor.
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