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Old 12-07-2017, 09:40 AM   #1
b-dog
 
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Default Dungeon Fantasy races in a real world medieval town

I am curious about how a real world medieval town would react to the Dungeon Fantasy races coming into their town. Of course the reaction towards ogres, trolls, goblins and orcs would be terrible but how about elves, drwarves, gnomes and halflings? Since most people would follow the Judeo-Christian world view as man created by God in His image and descended from Adam what would they think about the other races and where they came from? Just curious...
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: Dungeon Fantasy races in a real world medieval town

Let's see...

Elves: Well clearly pointed ears are reminiscent of the Devil's horns, so Elves = the work of the Devil.

Dwarves: They come from underground. Hell is underground, so Dwarves = the work of the Devil.

Gnomes: Crafty dwarves... work of the Devil.

Halflings: Stories of little folk might make these guys acceptable. But little folk are often associated with fey... and that means... you guested it, work of the Devil.

Cat-folk: Not even a question. Cat's are mostly evil already, so Cat People are probably demons (ie, the work of the Devil).

:-D
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: Dungeon Fantasy races in a real world medieval town

What area are you looking at for "medieval"? Holy Roman Empire (modern-day Germany, Austria, and Czech Republic), the Arab-held Iberian peninsula, Viking-dominated Scandinavia, the small fading Eastern Roman Empire (aka Byzantine Empire), the Muslim Caliphates, northern Italy, the Papal States of central Italy, southern Italy, or the fractured area that was beginning to form as France, which IIRC at the time included the Low Countries?
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Dungeon Fantasy races in a real world medieval town

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Originally Posted by JMason View Post
the work of the Devil.
Without a doubt, this is 100% correct.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Dungeon Fantasy races in a real world medieval town

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMason View Post
Let's see...

Elves: Well clearly pointed ears are reminiscent of the Devil's horns, so Elves = the work of the Devil.

Dwarves: They come from underground. Hell is underground, so Dwarves = the work of the Devil.

Gnomes: Crafty dwarves... work of the Devil.

Halflings: Stories of little folks, might make these guys acceptable. But little folks are often associated with fey... and that means... you guested it, work of the Devil.

Cat-folk: Not even a question. Cat's are mostly evil already, so Cat People are probably demons (ie, the work of the Devil).

:-D
I figure the Dwarves, Halflings and Gnomes might be able to pass themselves off as "Little People" in a pinch. As for the Elves, as long as they keep their hoods up, can just pass as ordinary good-looking people.

The Cat-person, however, is kinda screwed.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:48 AM   #6
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Default Re: Dungeon Fantasy races in a real world medieval town

I'd probably give a generic -3 reaction for "weird and not from around here" and then the race's Appearance modifier, if any. Possibly a +1 if it can pass for human, -1 if it's obviously extremely inhuman.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dungeon Fantasy races in a real world medieval town

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Originally Posted by b-dog View Post
I am curious about how a real world medieval town ...
Where and when exactly is this town? That'd be an important thing to know first.

ETA: ...much as Phantasm said.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Dungeon Fantasy races in a real world medieval town

Note, though, in Viking lands and areas where the old Teutonic beliefs still linger (much of the Holy Roman Empire/Hapsburg Empire, and surrounding lands into the German Alps) the Elves would be revered as Alfar (light elves); Dwarves viewed as Duergar (dwarves), Svartalfar (dark elves), or whatever the Norse word for 'troll' is (the three terms appear to be used interchangeably); Gnomes probably as Duergar or Svartalfar, or some kind of underground fae spirit; and Halflings as some kind of fae spirit.

In Ireland, Halflings are definitely Leprechauns, and will be chased for their pots of gold....
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: Dungeon Fantasy races in a real world medieval town

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Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
Note, though, in Viking lands and areas where the old Teutonic beliefs still linger (much of the Holy Roman Empire/Hapsburg Empire, and surrounding lands into the German Alps) the Elves would be revered as Alfar (light elves);
Álfar/Huldufólk ('The Hidden People') would hardly have been revered in the Germanic beliefs I'm familar with. They were treated with respect, but it was a fearful respect, as they were known to curse those who were less than respectful, steal children and abduct desirable mates. According to Christian theology, they were also soulless and in league with the Devil.

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Dwarves viewed as Duergar (dwarves), Svartalfar (dark elves), or whatever the Norse word for 'troll' is (the three terms appear to be used interchangeably); Gnomes probably as Duergar or Svartalfar, or some kind of underground fae spirit; and Halflings as some kind of fae spirit.
Duergar is a Northern English name for Dvergar, the Norse dwarves. I agree that Svartálfar is more or less synonomous with it, but tröll ('trolls') are an entirely different folkloric creature.

Gut feeling is that dwarves, gnomes and halflings would be viewed as slightly less demonic than elves by Germanic-speaking, Northern European Christians.

Still would be greatly feared and distrusted, of course. Extreme xenophobia and vile bigotry has been the human norm for most of our history.

Just slightly less likely to be immediately burnt at the stake.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:11 AM   #10
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Default Re: Dungeon Fantasy races in a real world medieval town

As far as what city or place I guess anywhere in Europe would be good and it would be fine if they were treated differently in different places.

One thing I was thinking is that they might be thought of as nephillum where they were the children sired by fallen angels and then retreated underground and survived the the. Biblical Flood. Maybe Freyr could be a fallen angel that was the father of the elves? Dwalen the father of the dwarves and so on? They were sired with human women so the elves and dwarves would be mortal but maybe long lived and have some extra powers?
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