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PhilFleischmann

Fantasy Immersion and the Things that Ruin it.

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I really liked how the Elder Scrolls series handled this.  Humans aren't all just humans.  Each race of humans has unique stat bonuses and unique magical powers.  Nords are not Bretons are not Imperials are not Redguards.

 

If each subrace of elf and dwarf has distinct stats and powers to go along with their distinct appearance - might as well sign the humans up for the ride.

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2 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

I really liked how the Elder Scrolls series handled this.  Humans aren't all just humans.  Each race of humans has unique stat bonuses and unique magical powers.  Nords are not Bretons are not Imperials are not Redguards.

 

If each subrace of elf and dwarf has distinct stats and powers to go along with their distinct appearance - might as well sign the humans up for the ride.

 

Well, while I prefer the opposite, this is a good way to go if you want to make the distinctions. 

All one way or all the other. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

You know, I could probably tolerate a party full of Keebler Elves..... 

 

Our early game that had the Society of Ternaugh* also had Queblar Elves, who were known for their uncommonly good magical baked goods. One of the more useful combat spells expanded a special cookie into a decoy to draw fire.

 

 

*Ternaugh was a wizard who gained his inspiration for spells by scrying nearby dimensions. Spells usually had box somewhere in the title**, and they also had really odd Side Effects for when the Magic Skill roll was flubbed. It's probably everything that people in this thread feel breaks fantasy immersion, but we had a lot of fun with it, and that's all that really matters.

 

**Examples include:

Ternaugh's Box of Puffed Grain and Nuts with a Secret Magical Surprise, which was an Aid spell with a requirement that the target must use the Secret Magical Surprise found within in order to gain the benefits. Eating the Cracker Jack was optional.

Ternaugh's Box of Slightly Questionable Liquid Refreshment summoned either a case of Sprite soda, or a really angry sprite if the wizard failed the magic skill roll.

Ternaugh's Box of Summoning created a phantom telephone booth that pulled a creature into it. The wizard needed to pick up the ghostly receiver, drop a coin into the slot, and dial the number of the creature so desired. Failures would result in "wrong numbers", which would summon a different creature.

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12 hours ago, Ternaugh said:

Our early game that had the Society of Ternaugh* also had Queblar Elves, who were known for their uncommonly good magical baked goods. One of the more useful combat spells expanded a special cookie into a decoy to draw fire.

 

Way to break immersion . . . we all know that the Queblar was that weird newspaper in Harry Potter . . . :snicker:

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17 hours ago, Spence said:

 

Understand your point. 

But my point is that they are not different species.  Differences are "cosmetic" or cultural.

 

A human is a human.

A elf is an elf.

 

You could designate cultural or occupational packages to predesignate what and how well a "Wood Elf" performs in a skill from how a "Sea Elf" does, but they would not be "racial" differences, they would be cultural based on where they were raised and their occupations.

 

 

 

Only if that's how you want them to be.  Remember there are no such things as elves, sea or otherwise.  So the only thing that matters is how we want our games to work.

 

On the one hand you've got Legolas, who is supposed to be like 6'4" or something.  Then you've got Tom Cruise in Legend,  who appears maybe 5'6".  You think we can't call both groups "elves"?

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Was Tom Cruise's character in Legend supposed to be an elf? I was under the impression he was a human "wild child," sort of semi-feral. And that film also used short actors and little persons in the cast, so Cruise's height was not an issue.

 

Anyway, the point I was originally making is that, unless these sub-types of Elves have some fundamental physical distinction from other Elves, like the water-breathers Ninja-Bear suggests above, there's no reason to consider them as separate "races," aside from how we in the real world refer to "race."

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3 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

Was Tom Cruise's character in Legend supposed to be an elf? I was under the impression he was a human "wild child," sort of semi-feral. And that film also used short actors and little persons in the cast, so Cruise's height was not an issue.

 

 

It's been a long time since I saw that movie.  I was thinking Tom Cruise had big pointed ears in it, but after Googling I think I'm confusing him with another character in the film.  Still, there was a short elf character.

 

Quote

Anyway, the point I was originally making is that, unless these sub-types of Elves have some fundamental physical distinction from other Elves, like the water-breathers Ninja-Bear suggests above, there's no reason to consider them as separate "races," aside from how we in the real world refer to "race."

 

I generally agree with you, there's not really a need to have a bunch of different types of elves, or dwarves, or whatever.  But I don't think it's immersion breaking to have it, even if the differences in each group are small.  Small differences in character construction probably won't ever come up after that in actual play.

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