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Old 11-26-2018, 04:10 PM   #21
The Colonel
 
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Default Re: Elven Poltics

When I'm not in an elves-as-fae mood I've often been amused by the idea of elves as a herd of cats.
Basically they have no formal social structure and deal with one another mainly as individuals - they have friends and relatives and people to whom they listen and give respect, but no real society.
Of course it helps that I tend to prefer my elves extremely rare and superhuman.
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Old 11-29-2018, 05:33 AM   #22
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Default Re: Elven Poltics

Internal politics may be just another kind of game - a way to defeat boredom. Just like they play chess, and have poetry competitions, they also jockey for position. It's not something as crudely human-like as casting votes, it's more like gaining largely unstated respect, reputation and standing. The oldest Elves - the ones closest to Going Somewhere Else - can grant the most respect, of course. As with all games, some Elves take it in stride and for fun, others can be very competitive.

Things change when there is a clear external threat, of course. Then the internal rivalries are set aside. After all, any external threat from non-eternal beings is just a temporary hassle, so deciding who'll be the Green Forest's Keeper can wait.
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Old 12-03-2018, 03:40 PM   #23
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Default Re: Elven Poltics

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Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
When I'm not in an elves-as-fae mood I've often been amused by the idea of elves as a herd of cats.
Basically they have no formal social structure and deal with one another mainly as individuals - they have friends and relatives and people to whom they listen and give respect, but no real society.
Of course it helps that I tend to prefer my elves extremely rare and superhuman.
Cats form very strong social structures with pretty clear hierarchy, at least once you get to a sufficient density of well fed ones.

They're not entirely stable social hierarchies, but few are.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:23 AM   #24
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Cats form very strong social structures with pretty clear hierarchy, at least once you get to a sufficient density of well fed ones.

They're not entirely stable social hierarchies, but few are.
I've never been a big cat fan, but I was under the impression that even in a colony cats live "alone together" - they may share space and have a hierarchy, but they tend not to socialise much with one another whilst they do it.
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:28 AM   #25
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I've never been a big cat fan, but I was under the impression that even in a colony cats live "alone together" - they may share space and have a hierarchy, but they tend not to socialise much with one another whilst they do it.

My household includes too many cats. They do a lot of socializing with each other. What they don't do is leverage that socialization for anything other than sharing space. Cats are constantly reaffirming relationships with each other, via tail position, grooming of each other (the grooming is done by a friendly but dominant cat), blinking of the eyes, and how close they lay down next to each other. They also give each other gifts of food.



Remember that to live with humans cats need social skills. Exceptional social skills, in fact. They just don't use them for anything but territory sharing. However sharing territory with humans is well worth the investment in those exceptional social skills, because we generate so many rodents and keep most predators and competitors away.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:21 PM   #26
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I feel like Elven Politics would be very fierce but also very conservative. When you live for centuries you have to carefully weigh the value of expending energy of bothering with things outside your borders at all. And when you decide you must there would still be factions that encourage minimalist intervention outside the borders of the Forrest. I feel like if you were an non-elf that came into a deliberation chambers whoever brought you in would apologize and explain that elves don't really see you like a fussy child, that's all just political stagecraft.

I think that Elven politics would constantly be a battle to preserve or erode laws that elves find abrasive year after year. There would be endless debates and passionate speeches over trivial crap like weather or not it was legal to walk in an ornamental garden outside of the city hall. I think elves spend a very short amount of time as a hip cool ranger and decades as a cranky old judgemental elf. Even small elven settlements would have these battleground debates over trivial matters that have been going on for generations.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:49 PM   #27
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A lot of this discussion is also predicated on elven psychology being reasonably close to human psychology, and that just might not be the case. If your natural lifespan is millennia, maybe ennui just doesn't set in the way it does for humans; maybe you can spend decades contemplating a single thing, or you're constantly finding new things to be engaged by even in familiar subjects. (Or maybe you have terrible long-term memory and you're re-learning things and reinventing yourself every century or two.)

You could get some interesting politics out of seasonal/cyclical elven courts, too, of course. Kingdoms of Amalur, of all things, has a fun take on this, actually...
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:28 AM   #28
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Yeah ... it occurs to me that so much of this depends on one of the core problems of a generic ruleset. In this case "first, define your elves".
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:39 AM   #29
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Granting the assumptions that the elves we're talking about have longevity that effectively Unaging once they finish their 100 year adolescence, and due to their magic they economically live in effectively post scarcity prestige economy.

I was consider ennui be a one of the intractable issues that divide their politics which the major divisions would mastering a skill vers dabbling in many. What do you see the political system evolving out of this situation?
I think we need to see the Elven template and know what type of magic they have.
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