Elves and Dwarves?

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Archer
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Postby Archer » Sat Jun 10, 2006 3:57 pm

GbajiTheDeceiver wrote:
Archer wrote:Perhaps the rules were not so closely tied to the setting as they are percieved to be. Perhaps they only were well adapted to work with Glorantha, but works equally well for other settings?
It was always more the Cults and the uniqueness of many of the creatures rather than anything specific in the rule mechanics.

If you drop the Cults and import a load of more generic creatures, it should be very readily adaptable to any setting.
Which evidently is what has been done in the past. So I agree.
GbajiTheDeceiver wrote: You could deal with the "everyone knows magic" element in somewhat different terms: such as a warrior type who prays to his god, or dangles charms from his weapon, before entering combat. Something like: "oh great lord of war, grant me courage and a true blade to smite this foe". This can then replicate the effect of a spell, but it need not necessarily be seen as casting a spell. I think this was very probably the original RQ intention, but it's ended up being muddied by people who were unable (or unwilling???) to view it in those terms.
I agree on this as well.
And I actually like this solution better than what has been done in many other fantasy games, as it allows you to use that part of the rules if you wish or not. Makes it for example much easier to use the rules to play in an historical setting.
Try to do the same with D&D3+ and remove the magic out of the characters...
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Postby andakitty » Sat Jun 10, 2006 4:56 pm

It definitely works with any setting; I have GMed many games over the years, almost exclusively some version of BRP and nto used Glorantha since 1985 or thereabouts. The only break from it was a fairly brief period of running a game called Fifth Cycle. BRP as a whole is very modular, and RQ is no exception. I've used it for fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and historical. It is in no way irrevocably tied up with Glorantha.
estarriol
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Postby estarriol » Sat Jun 10, 2006 5:24 pm

Archer wrote: And now I wrote a much longer post than I had intended. I never intended this thread to explode in such a fashion as it has done. I just wanted to know if the elves and dwarves were of the generic or the bizarre sort... :roll:
Actually they had a liscence for melnibone stuff for a while but it didn't sell well and was dropped, the melniboneans were revamped into High elves, the pan Tangians I have not seen again, which is a pity as I have a ruck of them.

The Elves and Dwarves of Glorantha are Gloranthan, whether those are the ones in the main rule book I don't know, it depends on how cleansed of a setting that is.

As to derivative, of course it is, all fiction is, to a greater or lesser degree, I was just commenting that elves in whrpg might now be different from tolkien etc, but they didn't start that way, and in whfb the elves are still very tolkien.
Archer
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Postby Archer » Sat Jun 10, 2006 5:35 pm

estarriol wrote: Actually they had a liscence for melnibone stuff for a while but it didn't sell well and was dropped, the melniboneans were revamped into High elves, the pan Tangians I have not seen again, which is a pity as I have a ruck of them.
Ok, it was quite some time ago, so I do not remember the specifics about how they lost the rights to produce melniboneans etc. I have an elric minature that I bought as a GW Dark Elf soon after they had that legal issue.
estarriol wrote: The Elves and Dwarves of Glorantha are Gloranthan, whether those are the ones in the main rule book I don't know, it depends on how cleansed of a setting that is.
And what exactly Gloranthan means, I guess will depend on what version of Glorantha you look at (which RQ version). Seems there has been many versions of elves, when it comes to their appearance.
estarriol wrote: As to derivative, of course it is, all fiction is, to a greater or lesser degree, I was just commenting that elves in whrpg might now be different from tolkien etc, but they didn't start that way, and in whfb the elves are still very tolkien.
True. They started very tolkien (no wonder, the Warhammer world feels like it stole a lot from Merp, RQ, Stormbringer, etc. that GW had license to for some time).
And they still are not totally beyond the realm of tolkien elves, in that some parts of their culture and history has been lifted or inspired by the works of Tolkien.
But that is not to say that they are tolkien elves, in the strictest sense of the word.
When I write tolkien elves, and that I would like to see such in RQ, I do not mean it in the strictest sense of the word either. If they look like "normal" elves, they can be as much plants as they want to be, and their culture can be as different as possible. It is the look I have to sell to my players, it easier to sell them on a strange culture than strange looks.
My personal favorite flavour of elf are the Malachdrim elves of Gemini (a swedish RPG I think was translated into english). And they are pretty much as much non-standard elves as you can get without going to bizarre lengths.
estarriol
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Postby estarriol » Sat Jun 10, 2006 5:49 pm

Archer wrote: When I write tolkien elves, and that I would like to see such in RQ, I do not mean it in the strictest sense of the word either. If they look like "normal" elves, they can be as much plants as they want to be, and their culture can be as different as possible. It is the look I have to sell to my players, it easier to sell them on a strange culture than strange looks.
My personal favorite flavour of elf are the Malachdrim elves of Gemini (a swedish RPG I think was translated into english). And they are pretty much as much non-standard elves as you can get without going to bizarre lengths.
The big advantage of Gloranthan creatures in general was that elves did not feel like pointy eared humans in the game, and in too many games thats exactly what they are, faster better looking perhaps but basically pointy eared humnas. Few of the Glorantha races felt that way as they had there own way of the world, there own gods etc.

The best thing about Glorantha is that its not a normal fantasy world, it has its own feel, its own quirks and no hobbits, sorry halflings.....
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Postby Wulf Corbett » Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:07 pm

homerjsinnott wrote:Ah nostalgia! tell me, what was it like in the good old days?
Well, for one thing, RuneQuest was popular back then. Then they started changing how things looked and acted...

Wulf
Last edited by Wulf Corbett on Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Archer
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Postby Archer » Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:08 pm

estarriol wrote: The big advantage of Gloranthan creatures in general was that elves did not feel like pointy eared humans in the game...
Well, that is a matter of perspective. In some ways, they will always be an aspect of humans. It is inevitable.
estarriol wrote: ... and in too many games thats exactly what they are, faster better looking perhaps but basically pointy eared humnas...
They are always an aspect of humanity, so in that sense they will always be pointed-eared humans. But if that is really bad pointed-eared like Vulcans in star trek, or good pointed eared (you basically see them as another culture, the ears does not matter) is something that varies alot.

For your basic run-of-the mill D&D setting they are pretty much Vulcans in their aspect as pointed-eared-humans (although Eberron has some more intresting elves). In warhammer I have to say they are in between the two, depending on which elves you are talking about. The basic Wood elves certainly are the most boring of the bunch, and I would give them a 6/10 on the Pointed-Ear scale. High elves are a bit more intresting, but that is mostly because they have inherited a part of the Melnibonèan culture as I see it. The same goes for druchii. Both High elves and druchii actually feels like a culture of their own, so they are a bit different from most RPG elves. But without problems they could have been developed a bit further to distinguish themselves (without changing their looks).
estarriol wrote: Few of the Glorantha races felt that way as they had there own way of the world, there own gods etc.
That just proves one of the points I have been trying to make. It is the culture, the religions etc. that makes a race distinct. Just changing the appearance to be "original" or "cool" does not make an elf (or a dwarf, or whatever). It is better to develop the cultural aspect of the race, than their appearance. Though to some extent, apperance should reflect their culture, as long as it does not become rediculous.
And the last part is actually something that I have seen Glorantha excell at. It has had a vast host of creatures that just feel plain rediculous (just like D&D). It might be that I have the RQ3 Deluxe box, with the RQ Bestiary, and the images there, to have formed my opionion. But most of the creatures therein, I would not even consider using in a campaign setting. Many feels like they have escaped from a bad scifi movie out of the 50's and 60's (same actually goes for D&D).
estarriol wrote: The best thing about Glorantha is that its not a normal fantasy world, it has its own feel, its own quirks and no hobbits, sorry halflings.....
It is both a strength and a weakness.
Too much uniqueness and it ends up being not very unique at all, just bizarre. From the time I GMed RQ in Glorantha (which basically was with the RQ3 Deluxe box and RQ Bestiary only), the strength I see in it is the extent it draws upon historical sources for it's mythology, and through that actually becomes rather generic fantasy, in the sense that it draws upon our classical heroic tales.
It is very much a setting (as I have percieved it) in the sense of the tales of the Illiad etc.
Archer
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Postby Archer » Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:09 pm

Wulf Corbett wrote:
homerjsinnott wrote:Ah nostalgia! tell me, what was it like in the good old days?
Well, for one thing, RuneQuest was popular back then. Then they started changing how things looked and acted...

Wulf
LOL, like a spear in the gut....
*Wulf rolls 01, an Impale!*
Last edited by Archer on Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Wulf Corbett
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Postby Wulf Corbett » Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:13 pm

Archer wrote:LOL, like a spear in the gut....
*Wulf rolls 01, an Impale!*
It would have been better if I'd spelled 'RuneQuest' correctly... :roll:

Wulf
Archer
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Postby Archer » Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:14 pm

Wulf Corbett wrote:
Archer wrote:LOL, like a spear in the gut....
*Wulf rolls 01, an Impale!*
It would have been better if I'd spelled 'RuneQuest' correctly... :roll:

Wulf
LOL, I thought I messed that up, so I just fixed that in my reply.
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Re: Ducks, Mostali and the Aldryami

Postby Adept » Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:16 pm

Archer wrote:
Adept wrote: People who want generic elves/dwarves can play D&D (or Earthdawn, or GURPS, or Hârnmaster...). Glorantha thrives on being, well, Glorantha.
What if you hate those systems, and great parts of the world, but like much about Glorantha and the RQ system, except for the elves and dwarves that should have been more generic?
Pretty obvious really. Then you change the bit(s) you don't like. Change enough, and you propably shouldn't call it Glorantha, but each of us to our own.

One can always go back to the generic and familiar, it's the varied and original that is hard to come up with.
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SteveMND
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Postby SteveMND » Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:22 pm

Speaking of Gloranthan cultures, was there ever anything published even remotely close to the depth of Trollpak for the elves or dwarves? If not, that may account for some of the reason why it was more common among many gaming groups to have troll PCs along with humans than elf or dwarf PCs... as neat a race as they were, they somehow -- to me at least -- just felt "unrealized" as a potential PC race because of that lack of detail in comparison.
the strength I see in it is the extent it draws upon historical sources for it's mythology, and through that actually becomes rather generic fantasy, in the sense that it draws upon our classical heroic tales.
Absolutely. IIRC, Stafford was a big fan of Campbell's books on religions, and he used a lot of the basic principles and theories described therein when creating Glorantha. I think the most compelling aspect of that work is that fact that different cultures in different parts of Glorantha can have wildly varying accounts of how the cosmos works, and yet they are both equally correct. :)
Last edited by SteveMND on Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Archer
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Re: Ducks, Mostali and the Aldryami

Postby Archer » Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:25 pm

Adept wrote:
Archer wrote:What if you hate those systems, and great parts of the world, but like much about Glorantha and the RQ system, except for the elves and dwarves that should have been more generic?
Pretty obvious really. Then you change the bit(s) you don't like. Change enough, and you propably shouldn't call it Glorantha, but each of us to our own.
True, you can change things. But then, I can start playing in another setting altogheter. There is no short supply of fantasy settings these days. Finding the correct setting made for the rules you want, that is another matter...
Adept wrote: One can always go back to the generic and familiar, it's the varied and original that is hard to come up with.
I agree. I find that most settings that try to be original either ends up being just so bizarre that it stops being amusing (world of synnibarr springs to mind), or it takes what is familiar and adds a little twist to become more intresting. What that little twist is, and how it is done is something that is very varied. And not everything works that well either (Arrowflight springs to mind here, a world where Elves are the standard, and humans are rare).
Archer
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Postby Archer » Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:28 pm

SteveMND wrote: I think the most compellign aspect of that work is that fact that different cultures in different parts of Glorantha can have wildly varying accounts of how the cosmos works, and yet they are both equally correct. :)
Such things are alawys intresting, and make for a more life-like campaign setting, even if it can sometimes be a headache for a GM.
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Dr. Who elves

Postby Adept » Sat Jun 10, 2006 10:35 pm

Darran wrote:This is how I see the Aldryami. :wink:

Yasmin Bannerman as "Jabe" in Dr Who.
Yes, that _is_ brilliant! The female is human looking (pretty) enough, and the warriors look much more convincingly scary than any pretty boys. The Aldryami are _alien_ and known as "forest demons" by people in the Western Glorantha, for instance.
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Postby Adept » Sat Jun 10, 2006 10:48 pm

Archer wrote:estarriol: Of course it is derivative. But they are not the same elves that you find in D&D. Elves in the Warhammer world are not the nice, goody-good-two-shoes tree huggers that you find in D&D.
Especially the High elves and the druchii.
Uh. I think the elves of Silmarillion are very much like the elves in Warhammer. The elves of Rivendell are old, tame and civilized (those in The hobbit & Lord of the Rings). The elves of old were arrogant, warlike and very fierce. Much like the people in Irish legends.
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Re: Dr. Who elves

Postby Archer » Sat Jun 10, 2006 10:48 pm

Adept wrote:
Darran wrote:This is how I see the Aldryami. :wink:

Yasmin Bannerman as "Jabe" in Dr Who.
Yes, that _is_ brilliant! The female is human looking (pretty) enough, and the warriors look much more convincingly scary than any pretty boys. The Aldryami are _alien_ and known as "forest demons" by people in the Western Glorantha, for instance.
Well, if that is the case, then they should probably stop using the name elf for that race. With not a single word-reference to "elf" I can accept the Aldryami as strange plant like beings that has nothing at all to do with elves, and pretty much nothing to do with Glorantha as I know it either (RQ3).

And if Aldryami are so alien, they should not be a playable race. But I do not belive them to be alien. A human has written and thought up the idea behind them, so they are a product of a human mind (or more). That by definition prohibits them to be truly alien. At most they can achieve bizzarre or very very odd.

If I want to play a fantasy setting with creatures that feels like "it came from the xxxxxxxxxxxxx, TaTaTaTAAAA! *woman screeming*", I would have. But I do not.
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Postby Archer » Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:06 pm

Adept wrote:
Archer wrote:estarriol: Of course it is derivative. But they are not the same elves that you find in D&D. Elves in the Warhammer world are not the nice, goody-good-two-shoes tree huggers that you find in D&D.
Especially the High elves and the druchii.
Uh. I think the elves of Silmarillion are very much like the elves in Warhammer. The elves of Rivendell are old, tame and civilized (those in The hobbit & Lord of the Rings). The elves of old were arrogant, warlike and very fierce. Much like the people in Irish legends.
Well, it has been quite some time since I read the Silmarillion (15 years to be exact), but if what I recall is correct, not even the descriptions in this book paints a picture that make the warhammer Wood elves (which I think is the most like if any) look alike in the aspect of their culture.
The wood elves (depending which group of them you refer to), are mostly being portrayed as the old celtic warriors, in their most savage and dark aspect.
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Re: Dr. Who elves

Postby Adept » Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:10 pm

Archer wrote:
Adept wrote:
Darran wrote:This is how I see the Aldryami. :wink:

Yasmin Bannerman as "Jabe" in Dr Who.
Yes, that _is_ brilliant! The female is human looking (pretty) enough, and the warriors look much more convincingly scary than any pretty boys. The Aldryami are _alien_ and known as "forest demons" by people in the Western Glorantha, for instance.
Well, if that is the case, then they should probably stop using the name elf for that race. With not a single word-reference to "elf" I can accept the Aldryami as strange plant like beings that has nothing at all to do with elves, and pretty much nothing to do with Glorantha as I know it either (RQ3).
But the core of Glorantha is the mythology of the place. Aldrya has her own central place, as do the very nonhuman Elder Races. The elves (and all forets) flow from Aldya and Flamal (the father of seeds), and it's pretty obvious why they are as they are. Saying that they are un-gloranthan is very weird.
Archer wrote: And if Aldryami are so alien, they should not be a playable race. But I do not belive them to be alien. A human has written and thought up the idea behind them, so they are a product of a human mind (or more). That by definition prohibits them to be truly alien. At most they can achieve bizzarre or very very odd.
That's a very depressing view to take on the limits of human creativity. The elves work well as an NPC species (and many games would benefit from this), but Shannon Applecline is writing more and more Aldryami culture as we speak, and they are very playable for a gamer who want's something different and challenging.

One of the oldest and longest running characters in my Glorantha campaigns is a brown elf. The player was absolutely thrilled as more stuff about the plantiness of the Aldryami came out, and has been very happy running the character as such. The character is a young willow elf, and fairly human in appearance for an elf still (no leaves, but huge one color eyes, and large, non spock, ears). You still couldn't mistake him for a human except on a very dark alley.
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Re: Dr. Who elves

Postby Archer » Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:33 pm

Adept wrote:
Archer wrote: Well, if that is the case, then they should probably stop using the name elf for that race. With not a single word-reference to "elf" I can accept the Aldryami as strange plant like beings that has nothing at all to do with elves, and pretty much nothing to do with Glorantha as I know it either (RQ3).
But the core of Glorantha is the mythology of the place. Aldrya has her own central place, as do the very nonhuman Elder Races. The elves (and all forets) flow from Aldya and Flamal (the father of seeds), and it's pretty obvious why they are as they are. Saying that they are un-gloranthan is very weird.
I do not dispute that they are plants. What I dispute that they look like a miniature ent. I do not find it original, or even amusing, if you take an ent (which is a humanoid tree) and shrink it, and then label it an "elf".
If they looked like an elf, they would be an elf. That is my point.

As it is now, all I can see is that they are trying to make then "cooler" just so that Glorantha should be different and "original".

What I am saying is that they look very un-gloranthan, since the original elves in Glorantha looked like elves.
Archer wrote: And if Aldryami are so alien, they should not be a playable race. But I do not belive them to be alien. A human has written and thought up the idea behind them, so they are a product of a human mind (or more). That by definition prohibits them to be truly alien. At most they can achieve bizzarre or very very odd.
Adept wrote: That's a very depressing view to take on the limits of human creativity.
It has nothing to do with human creativity, and all to do with how a player relates to his character. If you had read some of my earlier posts, you would have seen why I make this comment.
Adept wrote: The elves work well as an NPC species (and many games would benefit from this), but Shannon Applecline is writing more and more Aldryami culture as we speak, and they are very playable for a gamer who want's something different and challenging.
Different and challenging, yes. But make it different and challenging through their culture, not the way they look.
Adept wrote: One of the oldest and longest running characters in my Glorantha campaigns is a brown elf. The player was absolutely thrilled as more stuff about the plantiness of the Aldryami came out, and has been very happy running the character as such. The character is a young willow elf, and fairly human in appearance for an elf still (no leaves, but huge one color eyes, and large, non spock, ears). You still couldn't mistake him for a human except on a very dark alley.
And mine is a duck assassin (not Glorantha). What is your point?

Why have you chosen to make that elf look "fairly human"? why not a shrub, with lots of leaves, and lots of branches? perhaps even some roots to grow in the soil?

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