Sunday, October 24, 2010

Elves of Midrea: Origins

These guys were a real chore to get right. I don't much care for the proliferation of Elves like we see in most games these days and to tell you the truth, don't much like Elves as PC's either. Its just a thing.

However they are essential in most generic fantasy worlds, so well I had to make something.

Eventually my Elves became a smidgen of Gamer Elf, a drip of Katerine Kerr's Deverry, lots of folklore Elves, a tablespoon of Terry Pratchet's Lords and Ladies and a spalsh of home brew.

The White Elves got a dash of Tolkien, The Grey Elves a tad of Star Trek Vulcans (who yes are in fact Space Elves) and the Drow got both Gygax and Realms style addenda.

Probably the most jarring changes in appearance were removal of pointed ears and the cats eyes from all of them (Elves look like perfect humans,usually Nordic types on Midrea) and the corpse white skin of the Drow.

Yes corpse white, I mean come one they live in a grim, albeit well lit cavern deep underground.

Ignoring the unfortunate implications of the skin color, Black skin rankles my makes no sense even for fantasy instincts and so has to go. Of course they are going to be palid, not black skinned.

The general non religiousness of Elves just felt right to me. Tolkien's elves were semi divine beings and religiously faithful types (well for whatever religion they have on Middle Earth) and I wanted to get away from this. The gamer elves just have pantheons, which bugs me too.

So I made them non religious (excepting Drow, ignore that implication too) -- to paraphrase -- works for me ....

Also to rant I really hate the Wood Elf, High Elf Split, Sea Elf, Plastic Elf, Hospital Elf, ettc etc etc so that had to go.

White Elf (Basically OK with humans) Grey Elf (more standard folkloric Elf with a hint of scholar ) and Dark Elf, suited me better.

Hopefully my players (who have yet to play an elf) will like it as much as I do.


  1. I have felt the same way about Drow ever since I first heard of them. Cave, no sun = albino. I had already read Moorcock though, so I was concerned about portraying a 'race of Elrics' in my games. Thus, I went with obsidian skin, explaining it away in my mind as the result of Silmarillion-esque corruption.

  2. Obsidian + Corruption hmm, clever that works for me.

    I'd have no issue with a race of Elrics myself. My players have no clue who Moorcock is for one (they started with 2e as kids) and second, thats a decent enough way to do Drow.

    The fact that Drow are the only religious Elves is yet explained but yes alas it does mean that a Drizzt type is possible. I am OK with that though, he is fare from popular with the group.