>>44895147 Long lived but not absurdly so. Not like standard DnD elves where they're considered young adults at 200 years. I prefer them to live for about 200 - 300 years, although they spend a comparatively longdr time of their lives in peak condition than humans (ie. their childhood is only slightly longer than humans and they only suffer the effects of old age shortly before death).
>Elves were human once, long ago, until the proud sorcerer-kings who led them conducted a great ritual that was to grant them immortality as gods. The ritual was flawed, and they and all their people were forever bound to the circles of the world. They do not grow old, and when an elf dies their spirit lingers for a time before reincarnating in an elven infant. Most of their memories fade with the process, but not all, and elves are sometimes possessed by the desire to complete goals that their former incarnations never managed to achieve. They organize themselves in “Creeds” as groups of like-minded elves share similar philosophies or goals. Elves have very keen senses, and can see in starlight as well as a human can at midday
>>44895147 I like them a bit more longer-lived than humans; like, 150 years or so. It kinda depends on the setting, though.
Warcraft elves, for instance, live thousands of years, which isn't so bad in itself, but they don't really ACT like they've lived that long outside of a little haughtiness. Same issue with the draenei, but without the haughtiness. It's also really obnoxious in RP, since a lot of roleplayers don't really consider the effects living that long would have on one's psyche, and just play them like humans.
>>44896324 Night elves used to be immortal, but then they had to sacrifice their immortality and major wellspring of power to stop the demons. They still live thousands of years, but they're really self-conscious about it.
>>44895147 In my post-apocalyptic fantasy setting elves were once immortal, but somehow lost that power during that time of upheaval. The setting doesn't say HOW elves used to be immortal, so the GM is free to (if they want to) reveal during the campaign that it was due to one of several options presented in the book. These include divine favour that was revoked, demonic pacts that got voided because of a loophole, elves actually having once been True Fey but being banished from that realm for some great crime, or my personal favourite of elves never ACTUALLY being immortal, but secretly knowing a stupendously powerful version of the Raise Dead spell that restored corpses to the height of their youth. Elves basically just committed suicide when they started to get grey hairs and were then resurrected into early middle age.
The campaign's built around exploration and discovery, and finding out the source of the ancient elves' immortality can be an excellent adventure for high-level PCs.
Currently they're just a near relative to Humans, same with Orcs and Halflings. So they all live to be roughly the same age (fifty or so years, with really lucky ones living to ninety-something at the most.)
But it's also set in an early bronze age society which has a lot to do with that.
Slightly higher lifespan, probably with longer physikal and mental peak-phase. If humans are at their peak between 18 and 30, and are still decent until 50 on average, elves get to be at their peak until their fiftees and decent until their 90s.
And even an increased lifespan to 120 or 150 on average creates problems if you don't watch out. A human can already accomplish so fucking much in one lifespan, imagine what one could do if he stuck around for two, three or even ninehundred years. That's why settings with incredibly long-lived races are often fucking retarded. If your elves get to live to 1000 on average, they'd fucking blow out everyone out of the water because of their technological, mathematical and magical advancements. It wouldn't even be a contest.
Huh. I'm making a campaign setting which is an extrapolation of what would happen if a medieval fantasy setting technologically advanced into a modern tech level. However, half of the world has their devices powered by magic, Eberron-style, while the other half uses science like we do, and magic and science are incompatible. My lore for elves is that thousands of years ago they were immortal, but thanks to "taint" from breeding with humans, they lost that immortality, and most of them live just as long as humans do (but they age without degrading as much as humans do). However, there are still a couple of "pureblood" elves left over. They're basically Nazis who have founded a fascist state and advocate for "elven supremacy."
>>44897007 >magic and science are incompatible Why? Where's the difference? "Magic" is just the manipulation of a fundamental form, hell, it even follows certain rules. Otherwise magic formulas, rituals and spells wouldn't be a thing. Spellcasting, Enchanting and all that shit would just be a regular part of science, unless there is something artificial keeping them apart, like with oWoD Changeling.
>>44897053 They're incompatible because in my setting magic ultimately stems from a cosmic force (the Far Realms) that wants to destroy reality and replace the laws of physics with the laws of magic. It's just that nobody knows about it.
I still have a soft spot for it, but I cant ignore how many things get overlooked
>Night elf has literally lived for thousands of years, was immortal at one point
>Less wise than 15 year old human
>Draenei had literally lived for 10s of thousands of years, no particular reason, their lifespan is just super long >Still make bad decisions and rash decisions as if they were no more intelliegent than the average character
>>44898491 >High elf source of power, the Sunwell, gets blown up by undead >Large number of high elves turn to demonic power to sustain their strength, becoming the blood elves >Holy powers are granted by kidnapping a naaru (holy alien being, basically the personification of the Light) and forcibly stealing its power >Blood elves become assholes to everyone, especially the draenei >Blood elf plot arc ends when kidnapped naaru sacrifices itself to reignite the Sunwell
>Draenei show up at the end and say "from the naaru on, literally all of this was our idea"
Elves once had lifespans that could reach a millenia or even a little beyond. Then they were wiped out by Man in his ascendancy. Modern elves are uncommon, and only live to 400 at most. They come about when two half-elves make a baby and it hits the genetic jackpot and winds up with most or all elven features. Some elves want to start a breeding program to rebuild the elven empire of yore, but it seems these "true" Elves have difficulty conceiving.
>>44895147 Under 200 years old maximum, sometimes lower, and that goes for dwarves, too. It really screws up the timescale, and it's hard to have myths and legends and old stories when the elf can pipe up and say, "no my dad was there that shit didn't happen"
>>44895585 Standard D&D has then be adults a 100 and old at 200-300. In some settings (like FR), they actually GROW at the same right as humans but elven society doesn't consider them adults until they reach a century of age, just like we don't consider 17 and 18 years olds "adults" psychologically even though in many cases they're basically fully grown. This means most "elf adventurers" in FR are technically supposed to be teenagers; adventuring is something "elf kids do" between the ages of 25 and 100 sometimes before growing up and settling down with a nice elf woman or man and actually contributing to society.
Elves in my games don't live longer than anyone else. No PC races have abnormally (by human standards) long or short lives. Instead, other things, like actual cultural and physiological issues, differentiate them.
>>44895147 Comparable lifespans to humans, perhaps a bit longer. Anything longer than that (like the canonoical 700 or so years for D&D elves 5th edition) would mean they're too longlived to relate to or be relatable for humans and other mortal races, which is a shitty deal for a playable race. 150 years or so would be my max: about 1.5 times longer lived than humans. Still incredibly long lived with enviable life spans, but still short enough to have a comparable perception of time to that of humans, and for them to date humans. Stories of elf widows spending their last years in grief would still be a thing, but those last years in grief would be about 40 years, not fucking half a millenium.
Of course, this difference in life span would encourage relationships with age gaps. Elves in their early 40s could easily hunt for teenage boys, who are still young enough to be molded into perfect marriage material
>>44900304 I like the idea that the elves are fading. The first elves are immortal and very powerful. Later elves are just long lived and a little powerful. Orcs are basically elves that tried to become as powerful as their ancestors but got corrupted.
>>44897016 The funny thing is, that's how Tolkien's elves worked (aside from the sexuality bit). In his notes about elves, they're noted as physically growing up at roughly the same rate as humans (except they stop aging when reaching adulthood), but mentally they grow up much faster. A one year old elf can already speak, and a five years old elf can carry a conversation with an adult human, and is actually probably more emotionally mature than most humans.
>>44898491 That's how I feel, too. I think Warcraft lore is really fun, but it's filled with so many holes, especially as WoW has aged. Warcraft III and vanilla WoW were the sweet spot, I think, with some bits of Burning Crusade, since Warcraft III helped break Warcraft out of the "generic fantasy setting" mold and established the more unique aspects of the universe, and early WoW expanded on it even more without getting too absurd.
>>44896979 >If your elves get to live to 1000 on average, they'd fucking blow out everyone out of the water because of their technological, mathematical and magical advancements. It wouldn't even be a contest. That's one problem from having extremely long lived, races, although you could also argue that the long lifespan would make them extremely conservative and resistant to change. Most paradigm-changing inventions and ideas have come from relatively young people, while the old people, especially if they're already on the top of their field, tend to be dismissive of new ideas, because they've managed fine without the new inventions and the new theories might mean the way they believe things work could be wrong. So immortal or nearly-immortal elves could very well dismiss this newfangled "iron" thing as a fad, only to get their asses kicked by the humans who've learned how to forge plate armour and iron weapons while elves are only starting to accept that bronze might be better than copper.
In my setting, though, I did go with the idea that their long lifespan would allow the elves to blow everybody out of the water. They built an empire the like of which had never been seen before or since. Unfortunately, their reach ended exceeding their grasp and they tore a hole in reality and blew up their empire. Now the survivors willingly forsake most magic and technology, living in close association with nature and practicing only druidic magic, in order to avoid repeating their mistakes. Or they belong to a cult worshipping the eldritch beings that indirectly destroyed their old empire as gods and want to take over the world, turning it into an eldritch hellscape. Although even they don't really have much left over from their highly advanced empire, since there wasn't really much functional technology left. Essentially from the point of view of the elves they're living in a post-apocalyptic world.
>>44895147 In D&D or D&D inspired settings, elves just plain aren't mythical enough for me to tack true unaging or immortality on them. It's too discordant to my mind with a creature that's basically a scrawny pretty human. I make them long-lived, and also that they grow up only slightly slower than humans. 400 years or so expected life span (given widespread magical healing and food purification, expected human life ranges from 80 to 115 depending on wealth).
I also play Burning Wheel semi-regularly, and elves in that explicitly Tolkienesque setting are definitely immortal.
In a majority of my home brew fantasy settings I do have a fairly good analog to Tolkien's elves, but they're usually named after and more directly inspired by old Irish (and related) myths: aos síhdë. Immortal, capable of strange and potent magics because they simultaneously see and walk in this world and the spirit one; cunning and capricious, more than wise; almost child-like, they grow slowly, mentally, because they live permanently in the moment.
I like them to be at least very long-lived, on the order of centuries, potentially outright immortal. However, I do admit that this poses some serious hurdles with respect to giving them a logical place in a setting, particularly as a playable race, due to the way centuries of personal experience and time to develop skills would affect an individual and a society.
Personally, I work around the issue by having elves need to essentially "reboot" every 100 years or so, give or take a few decades. Kind of like Time Lord regeneration, but the reverse: Instead of gaining a brand new body with a more or less unchanged mind, the body is refreshed with negligible change while the mind is more or less reset. They retain a basic level of memory and capability sufficient to get along in ordinary adult life -- they don't need to relearn how to talk, or dress themselves, or cook basic meals, etc. -- but any sort of more advanced knowledge/skills are lost, and detailed memories of people, events, etc. become hazy and ephemeral, easily mixed up with the dreams/hallucinations experienced during the regenerative process. So while they retain the same appearance and roughly the same basic personality, they're starting over from a clean slate in most respects (including, in game terms, things like levels, skill ranks, etc.)
>>44896979 But think of individual years. If population sizes remain similar, your 1000 year old elf has, you know, 980 or so productive years. All you need are 10 or so humans to match actual number of years, and then a couple spares to recoup the fact that each new human has to "waste" some time relearning everything from scratch. But even that produces certain efficiencies. The elf has to waste time unlearning the old stuff once he realizes that it was wrong, and might forever after be plagued by brief sparks of memory that go, "Oh! So that makes sense with that phlogiston reaction that- FUCK, no! Phlogiston was discredited four hundred years ago YOU KNOW THAT." Not to mention that every new human is a chance for some literal genius new way of looking at the world that would literally never occur to that elf, no matter how old he got.
>>44897053 >>44897222 This is one of the only explanations for magic and science being incompatible that doesn't trigger me.
>>44901673 Let's game in the Culture setting! (Except remove the weird bit where Iain Banks, limited by having grown up in modern culture that celebrates mandatory death, made suicide at 400 a cultural norm in a society that has no aging and no resource limitations.)
>>44903075 Well, not quite as fast. From his letters, a 25 year old elf is said to be physically similar to a human 12 year old, even though they're mentally similar to a human of that age or older.
Oh, and to add to the discussion, somebody did an actuarial study once. Ignoring potential changes in laws, behaviors, and suicide rates; if we found a way to completely cure and prevent aging, eliminating all deaths caused by complications of old age, the average human lifespan would be right around 1000 years.
I prefer dealing with one pole or the other: Either immortal Tolkien elves treated as decently nonhuman beings, or barely more than human elves treated as, well, barely different than human. I can deal with elves in the 5e range: physically grown about when humans are, considered full adults by their society much later, and living to a max of something like 300. The awkward midrange of 500 years to a few thousand but treated as mortal/normal humanoids is just hard to manage unless you approach things somehow. >>44903848 's reset idea (which reminds me of Moons of Mirrodin -- one of the good ideas in an otherwise terrible novel) is the sort of thing that does that.
>>44903668 No. Most book stuff for them says they are officially at old age around 250 and are venerable at 300-ish. I have no idea where the past 500 years thing even comes from; my guess is people confusing shit like anime WoW and Tolkien with D&D rules and not really bothering to to check if it's true.
>>44903475 >So immortal or nearly-immortal elves could very well dismiss this newfangled "iron" thing as a fad That isn't how it works at all. If you live long enough to see multiple complete technological changes, you lose all resistance to change. Instead of being conservative, you prioritize not bandwagoning on THE HYPE, research to see if its shit or not would be done.
Elves would be less change resistant than Humans, because change in Humans happens because old people die.
>>44904327 A LOT of people do that make a lot of assumptions that because the basic names and occasionally appearances of Tolkien and other setting elves are the same when it comes to the details too. Example; a lot of folks think Tolkiens orcs are short-lived, when most of the evidence we have (not much) suggests the opposite, that orcs are actually functionally immortal like the elves are and just die frequently due to the harshness of their lifestyle.
I think it's best to treat fantasy concepts the same way scifi treats aliens; you might find some similarities and basic concepts akin to each other (warrior cultures, space barbarians, space elf guys), but Klingons aren't Kilrathi or whatever and a lot of the fine print might be pretty off.
>>44904559 Yeah. I think they brought it in because their was a thing in PF (I think) where your stats could be affected by your age so knowing whether your character was ''venerable'' or whatever was relevant in crunch as well as maybe influencing RP.
Personally, I use the ''its a homebrewed setting, we can probably find a reason'' approach. Like one of my guys wanted to play shorter lived elves so I decided the homeland of elves is the centre of magical cancer that makes them shorter lived.
As for why he wanted that, I dunno. RP and fluff I figure.
>>44902870 That's sort of interesting - orcs rape and pillage because that's all they see existence being, and since they have thousands of years, why not do what they enjoy best?
The short-lived elves would decide that they needed to live on by their works, making leaps and bounds in the study of magic and natural forces, with a huge drive to perfect their civilization and the humbleness of the shortness of even the greatest man's works hanging over them.
>>44904651 I like the FR explanation; that they're physically mature when they're younger and that's when they're most likely go adventuring (explaining why most adventurer elves are lower level) and they just aren't considered adults mentally until much later. I also don't have the automatic assumption an elf who isn't killed WILL live to reach old age; they aren't any more immune to disease then humans are and divine casters aren't necessarily so widespread that they can fix all diseases that come along among them, especially if it's the wood elf style "isolated forest village" type of settlement with few numbers.
It's easy enough to explain why there are so few high-level elves.
>low birth-rates >some sort of cataclysm they're still recovering from >high-level elves get tired of living, and go hibernate/travel to a magical location >elves are constantly at war against evil races >elves have a large amount of lethal social rituals
>>44895147 Long lived in different ways. It has interesting consequences because the world keeps changing around you. Even if you're an elf, the world leaves you behind.
When you live around 200, you may take some personal projects, like retired people take trips or some job. If you look forward into 500, the issues of countries and cities stop mattering, and your growing experiences are a fog. Get beyond that and the elf only has one constant in life: himself. It is enough to know what season it is and what he wants to do in a healthy body with a very complex and mismatched psyche.
>>44904379 >If you live long enough to see multiple complete technological changes, you lose all resistance to change. But science and technological growth is exponential. Elves being resistent to change on the early ages of technological advancement means that they will make less technological advancements. Depending on the life span of elves that could mean that they simply will not want to advance beyond sticks and stones, because that worked on their first 5000 thousand years of their life, which implies that it's fiable and changing it could lead to unknown problems.
>>44903870 >Oh, and to add to the discussion, somebody did an actuarial study once. Ignoring potential changes in laws, behaviors, and suicide rates; if we found a way to completely cure and prevent aging, eliminating all deaths caused by complications of old age, the average human lifespan would be right around 1000 years. do you have sauce on this? It's relevant to my interests
Unaging and otherworldly. The players shouldn't see enough of them to understand how a society of immortals can work and or why they're not all super-geniuses. If it comes up I'll say they're incapable of learning and there are no elf children.
In DnD, merely slightly long lived. Otherwise shit doesn't make sense. You are starting with a 200 year old elf who has the same experience and skill as a 16 year old human? Elves must be dumb fucks then.
In fiction, I prefer extremely long lived elves. Makes them less "pointy humans" and more "mythical race".
Fun fact: D&D elves typically are portrayed as living 750+ years.
IRL, someone who was an immortal of the unaging variety has been speculated to live only about 600 years before some accident takes his life.
So in all likelihood, unless you drag healing magic into it, its 100% possible for none of the the mortal-but-longlived elves in a setting to know that they can even die of old age.
FWIW, I think the best take on elves is Birthright, in which they have immunity to aging, terrainwalk+pass without trace, and immunity to disease.
Anyone have the maths as far as how fast/slow immortal elves would have to reproduce to maintain a high average age? Like if you wanted the average elf in your setting to be 600 years old, how would I calculate how slowly their population could be raised?
>>44895147 Extremely short lived. Thus driving them to magical greatness to find some artificial way of extending life. Thus they sneer at those who have failed to gain magical immortality, whether their own people or other races, as lazy and unmotivated.
>>44896324 >since a lot of roleplayers don't really consider the effects living that long would have on one's psyche, and just play them like humans.
Since its almost entirely "muh opinions" as to how differently they'd act, can you blame them? Get 100 different true roleplayers into a room and you will get 100 different opinions on how a real centuries-old elf would act, other than etc. etc. pretentious tree hugging stuff in there.
Hell, one could argue that if they're eternally young and fertile, they'd probably permanently have teenager hormones, and thus "arrogant teenager" probably sums up perfectly how they'd act.
>>44896820 >>44897016 In some interpretations (Pathfinder etc) elves do age slower, so it makes perfect sense they'd become fully intelligent at the same rate a human would unless elves have crushing mental stat deficiencies in your setting.
>>44907737 They are still resistent to change. Look a old people resisting to use smartphones or the internet. My great-grand mother didn't like the TV and sticked to the radio. Humans and other races will be making discoveries but most elves will refuse to use them. And for the time they adapt, the other races will be ahead again.
>>44903475 They'd probably be extremely conservative, but that doesn't imply they'd progress at tech slower. One thing that hampers RL science/technological progress is people leaving the field, retiring, or straight up dying in a way that hampers advancements.
Its probably why Tolkien and AD&D elves had spaceships and shit before other races had gunpowder and in AD&D's case even had highly advanced prosthetics.
>>44907449 And Sylvanas and her followers tried very hard to come up with a way of annihilating all life, so its a good thing we have a new Lich King. She's a hell of a lot more dangerous and threatening than, say, post-Burning Legion Arthas was.
>>44908421 >Let's not even go to the issues of Sylvanas.
Why not? She and her Royal Apothecary Society is relevant to discussing exactly how dangerous a second plague free willed undead really are. The civilian body count of the Scourge is, at best, not that much higher than that of the Forsaken, and that includes when the Scourge served the Burning Legion.
>>44908597 Plot-induced stupidity, which is a very common element across WoW lore.
>>44908573 She is relevant when you put it that way, but the only reason that she managed to match the Scourge is exactly because WoW lore is all over the place. If characters weren't stupid and actually tried to counter Sylvanas' threat, she wouldn't be at that level.
>>44908015 >Tolkien >spaceships I'm pretty sure that's of the points of the legendarium that was abandoned by Tolkien. A major point in his stories of Middle-Earth, as attested in his letters, is the conflict between Conservers and Reformers, with the Elves taking on the role of Conservers and Melkor and Sauron being Reformers, of which Tolkien said both were in the wrong. Change is part of Eru's plan, but it must happen at the pace that Eru has declared.
>>44915546 This is only relevant in settings where magical races are used as stand ins for real life cultures to the extent that every race has exactly one and only one culture. Elves are Celts, Dwarfs are Norse, Orcs are Mongols and so on, and Humans are usually some boring distilliation Germans and Brits.
However, every good fantasy setting I know of has many different cultures for both its humans and its magical races.
>>44895147 I prefer Nigh-immortality, but only when living in an enchanted forest, essentially if you want eternal youth, you isolate yourself. You have to grow old and die with the rest of the world by leaving your forest.
Also the enchanted forest is as easy to destroy as a normal forest so it must be protected.
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