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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All? ***
« on: June 19, 2003, 10:50:14 PM »
Lately, I have been playing The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and the makers have given me an interesting idea. In the world of the Elder Scrolls, there are no more dwarves. They have dissapeared. While they still lived underground, like normal fantasy dwarves, they had an advanced level of technology and magic. In fact, they were among the premier magic-users of the world of Elder Scrolls. The biggest difference between Elder Scrolls dwarves and conventional fantasy dwarves? They were elves.

How could this be, you ask? Well, first of all, their name was the Dwemer, which was corrupted into the human language as Dwarves. They were the Deep Elves, who lived beneath the ground and constructed magical robots and weapons. They even looked just like other elves.

So, what I'm getting at here, is that what if dwarves are actually another species of elves?
« Last Edit: December 03, 2005, 11:45:58 PM by MoonHunter »
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Offline sniperspy

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2003, 11:07:44 PM »
possible, but then y are they so short and not immortal?
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2003, 11:40:38 PM »
First of all, "y" is not a word. It's a letter.

Second of all, be creative.
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Offline sniperspy

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2003, 12:27:42 AM »
Its called shorthand. much easier! And I dont want to be that creative, I think they are still different species!
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Offline MoonHunter

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Why can't they be...
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2003, 12:53:57 AM »
In the Mythology, they are both different subtypes of the same species. All Fey creatures are nothing but manifested spirits bound to the land.  Dwarves (Hobs, and other names) are different than most Fey because they are bound to the deep rock and metal, rather than the Green, air,or water.  

They are not as immortal, because they are bound to the dust of the Earth...the mortal coil. Because of their binding, they are able to handle metal/ iron which no other fey creature can do.  And who says they don't have pointed ears?  

The only reason you think they have to be two different species is because Tolkein and D&D where your primary training in Western Fairy Mythology.  Unfortunately, LotR are the only Western Fairy Mythology training they ever get.  There are dozens of ways to divide the Fey races, or make them totally different races (as some writers do).  

<rant/>
And Sniper, Y is a letter, punctuation is not an option, and capitalization at the begining of a sentence is a good thing. In IM or fon-tex, I am all for doing the abv thing (especially when you are charged by the character transmitted). However, this is a forum, in English (last I checked).  Using the basic rules of English is just good form, and much, much easier on those on the board that are not primary English speakers.  
</rant>
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Offline sniperspy

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2003, 01:42:37 PM »
I hardly think 1 letter will kill people. Also, I get my ideas of mythology and fantasy from several different sources, and I say that Dwarves and Elves are different races, descended from different species, or perhaps even being the beginning of their lineage. Also, I believe that mythology in itself is subject to the beliefs of the individual, and therefore we will always disagree on these matters!
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Offline Agar

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2003, 09:19:14 PM »
Sniperspy has a valid point that reinforces Moonhunters point as well. Different mythologies view different races in different ways. In D&D elves AND dwarves were short, heck everything besides humans were shorter!, and every race was different. In other mythologies, elves and dwarves were simply different members of the fay race, similar to the differences humans have with anglos, orientals and such.

As Sniperspy and Moonhunter have demonstrated, we all have our own points of view. The idea Captain Penguin presented from Elder scrolls is a though provoking one. It could carry over into other races, like orks perhaps being simply a more voilent and primal strain of humans. I don't know if it could be applied to centaurs or manticors, but it does present interesting ideas.



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Offline MoonHunter

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Lets try this at anothe tact....
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2003, 01:30:01 AM »
What makes an Elf and Elf and a Dwarf a Dwarf?  


Once we do that... if all of these are different species, why can they all interbreed with humans?  Doesn't that make them subspecieis of the human line (with "humans" being one of those).
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Offline forgottengods

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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2003, 09:01:06 PM »
first morrowind rulez

ok maybe the dwarves and elves are diferent but well elves are not inmortal or they are??

they live almost the same years bothe of them and i think they were the first races in any world ??

i think dwarfs are better than elves they are better warriors and more creative dont you think??

a good fighter can kill a good sorcerer

you can dodge a fireball but you cant dodge a batleaxe of a dwarf.

but anyway thats just my opinion
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Offline Agar

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2003, 09:14:40 PM »
I think that MoonHunter was asking more about What makes the different races distinguisable from other different races.

Dwarves: Short, stocky, hairy, smelly, loud, often inebreated. Much like Captian Penguin.

Elves: Often short, lithe and thin, what little hair they have is fine, smells like flowers or forest plants if anything, speaks gently, rarely inebreated. More like Ria Hawk.

The problem with these classifacations is that they aren't exclusive. Sometimes the members of a given race can overlap. Elves can be short, if they were part of the guard they would likely be more muscled than the average elf, constantly wearing hide armor isn't gonna make them smell that good and could roughen their body hair up, and they might be shouting out orders all the time and drinking when they're off duty. If you meet this elf, how are you going to tell he's not a dwarf?

Conversly, when a drawf meets you, how's he gonna tell you're not an elf?
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Offline Michael Jotne Slayer

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2005, 07:34:10 PM »
The fanatic in me just have to ask, even though it means waking up an old thread with no more than a question for the Cap.

Quote
They were the Deep Elves, who lived beneath the ground and constructed magical robots and weapons. They even looked just like other elves.


The dwarfes did not look the like other elves. Though the dwarfes are gone in Morrowind there is still one remaining. He lives in some caves under a magicians tower. The mage keeps him alive and almost sane.
And looks like a normal fantasy dwarf with beard...

...If you forget about the fact that he has robot legs.
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Offline Kinslayer

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2005, 01:59:55 AM »
Shadowrun used the premise that Elves, Dwarves, Orks, and Trolls were subsets of Humanity.  That is, there are five different subspecies (or more, in supplements) of Homo sapiens.  

In some of the older myths, terms like Elf, Dwarf, et al, were used interchangably. Even things that we might not think of as being part of a larger Fae collection were sometimes lumped together, such as giants, Dragons, and spirits of the dead.  

I've played with the idea of having Dwarves be corrupted descendants of immortal Fae for Midian.  I've similarly hinted that Dwarves, Ghouls, and Trolls were all descended from ancient Humans, from before the "official" invasion of Humanity during the Adventus Sanguis.  The creator of Orcks and Ogres for Midian has already stated that they were descended from the same species.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2005, 05:20:59 PM »
So perhaps Elves, Dwarves, et all, are all part of the same race, with certain inherient racial abilities which get focused towards a given element (Wood- Elves, Earth-Dwarves/ Gnomes, Darkness- Goblins, SeaElves-Water, Air-WingedFolk, and so on). Choose what ever element force you want to use for this sytem.  Desert, Sea, Lightning, Light, Spirit, Mountain, and what ever works for you.

General Immortality. Aging is optional. Food and breathing, as long as you are in your element would be optional.

Their shape is technically variable, you wear the basic shape your clan takes (each clan having an element associated and perhaps their own special- So Dwarves and Gnomes would both be Earth associated Fey with different looks).

You would have the ability to pass through your elemental force. So Dwarve Tunnel, Gnomes Earth Pass, Elves pass through the forest quickly and without a trace, Goblins have stealth in shadows, and so on.

You would have skills with crafting/ manipulating said element. Elves Woodworking, Dwarves Metal Smithing, Gnomes Stone Work, and so on.

Thoughts on this subject?

Note: This dovetails with True Trolls, I posted up a while back.
http://www.rpgcitadel.com/guild/index.php?topic=2092.0&start=0

These would follow the original idea, rather than the revised idea about the "left turn" these people made a long time ago. So insert Fey were we would troll... or perhaps the troll are the "wild" "evil" "insane" fey.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2005, 10:02:58 AM »
Quote from: "Kinslayer"
Shadowrun used the premise that Elves, Dwarves, Orks, and Trolls were subsets of Humanity.  That is, there are five different subspecies (or more, in supplements) of Homo sapiens.  


Lets see:

Elves- Lyrans
http://www.rpgcitadel.com/guild/index.php?topic=1753.0

Orcs - Orcen
http://www.rpgcitadel.com/guild/index.php?topic=2330.0
They are Orc substitutes (and Conan based Barbarian Substitutes as well)


Trolls
http://www.rpgcitadel.com/guild/index.php?topic=2092.0&start=0
(one of the options mid thread... has Trolls being Humans who developed a different kind of "technology" back in the pre-stone age.)

Dwarves-
We need Dwarves that are Human subgroups...
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Offline Siren no Orakio

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2005, 05:34:01 PM »
Expounding on other examples, this conversation occurred, copied over by order of MoonHunter.  :lol: :
18:10:14 [Siren_no_Orakio]
In Shanarra, four of the five major races were descended from humans, three of them mutated by the need to survive in a post nuclear war-world over hundreds of thousands of years. And i've got the salsa. And the mountain dew.

ALL HAIL THE DEW!

Trolls came from the irradiated mountains and deserts of the deep north, their skin grown thick and calloused, their bodies grown huge in order to have the physical strength and endurance to handle the environment, the gnomes had become knurled and close to the ground, but agile and quick to handle the deep underbrush of the forests and swamps

And the ancestors of the Dwarves sought shelter in the caves, becoming thick and heavy and strong and short due to the needs of underground living... and quixotically, a horrible racial claustrophobia

What caused Elves?

They were actually Fae, left over from the first cycle of life

There are a few other races, but they're minor players in the world.

And then there's the Demons. :-p

Demons were from the second book, the Elfstones. The demons are roughly half of the original Fae races, which the Elves sealed away in a pocket hell a long time ago. The book's plot is that they get out.
They can't be fought and killed with iron and steel, and the Elves, having lived amoung Men in the world for so long, are no longer Fae, but rather mortal men...

Thus we have several races spawned by men and Elves and Demons being mutually spawned.

Offline Siren no Orakio

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2005, 05:48:03 PM »
Ahah, another literary example of the 'human subculture' phenomenon. (I feel like my purpose is to spout quotes from a library some days.)

The races of the Death Gate Cycle. The Sartan are the descendants of the human wizards who had the first insight into the true nature of probability magics and the Balance of Runes, their ancient enemy, the Patryn, those who learned to approach that Balance in a different fashion. The humans are there, and have bred the elves and the dwarves from the power of their imagination and racial memory during the time after science and the subconcious reinforcement of a single probability stream went silent.

--
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Offline MoonHunter

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Re:http://www.strolen.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=34213#34213
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2005, 11:04:03 AM »
Re: http://www.strolen.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=34213#34213

The Doroken - Human Dwarves  They are now in process.
You can check them at the link:
http://www.rpgcitadel.com/guild/index.php?topic=2526.0

You see, if they "went away", they would become legends... and become magical... they would become the mythic Dwarves of these people.
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Offline Kinslayer

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2005, 06:10:59 PM »
Quote from: "MoonHunter"
Quote from: "Kinslayer"
Shadowrun used the premise that Elves, Dwarves, Orks, and Trolls were subsets of Humanity.  That is, there are five different subspecies (or more, in supplements) of Homo sapiens.  
Dwarves-
We need Dwarves that are Human subgroups...


Reposted from the Dokoren thread:
Quote from: "I"
One possible tangent to this is that another (perhaps invading or pseudo-invading) group took over the surface territory after it was abandoned or nearly so following the fall of the empire. Following historic precedent, these "barbaric invaders" can emulate the Dokoren culture, and may preserve traditions that have been long forgotten by the Dwarves themselves. This is much more likely if the Imperium was the dominant power in the region prior to the collapse. For example, the Gothic kingdoms in what is now Spain had a Roman style culture long after Rome itself was no longer a power.


This could give us Dwarves as a Human subgroup.  That is, they are completely Human, but have much of the Imperial Dwarven culture, moreso than the Dokoren themselves.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2005, 09:02:50 AM »
So, back more on topic.

What would this base fey race look like? It's genetics (and I use that term loosely) would have to allow for radically wide variations in appearance and build as "ethnic groups"/ races (in the non politically correct terminology). It would have to have a variety of features, or no features at all. This is the basis of Castle Falkenstein's fey folk.

From: http://enigma.cs.ucla.edu/games/falkenstein/supernatural.htm
Check the Italicized part. Also, do not get "hung up" upon the whole seelie/ unseelie thing or the references to Castle Falkenstein geopolitics.


Faeries come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny brownies to massive ogres, from the ugliest goblins to beautiful nymphs and dryads. Most of the supernatural creatures of fairy tales were faeries of one kind or another -- Rumplestiltskin is a well-known example, the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk is another. Very few, however, have reason to move in the circles of High Society. One exception are the Sidhe, who are the aristocrats of the Faerie world, known commonly as Faerie Lords and Ladies.

Faeries are also divided into two camps -- the Seelie and Unseelie. The Unseelie are Evil. Full stop. Not just nasty, or mischievous, but evil. They bear humanity an undying enmity, and seek constantly to corrupt and destroy humankind. They are prevented from doing so because of the terms of an ancient Compact to which they agreed upon entering this world (tricked into it, some say, by the Sidhe). By the terms of this compact, they agreed not to use their powers to destroy humanity. The Unseelie abide by the letter of this Compact, but not by its spirit. They use their supernatural power to encourage humanity's baser instincts, and delight in tricking humans into destroying themselves. It has been said that the Unseelie are behind many of the worst wars and atrocities that have plagued the world, and most recently that their help was essential in Prussia's rapid rise to the first rank of world powers. The relationship between Bismarck and the Unseelie following Prussia's' defeat by the Bavarian Luftmarine, however, is unclear, especially in light of the Iron Chancellor's recent adoption of a diplomatic policy over his traditional love of blood and iron. Still, individual humans should beware. The Compact defends Humanity, but should an individual human attract the malevolent attention of powerful Unseelie enemies, his fate could be most dire. Humans have been known to drop dead from exhaustion after a night's pursuit by the terrors of the Wild Hunt, or to plunge themselves and their entire families into ruin pursuing some will o' the wisp (literal or figurative) conjured by venomous Unseelie.

If the Unseelie are evil, it should not be thought that the Seelie Faeries are angels. They have standards of behavior and morals that can diverge quite startlingly from human norms. While it is true that a friendly faerie can help a person tremendously, offending a faerie can be both a confusing and dangerous experience.

All Faeries possess certain powers. Because they are not corporeal beings in the strictest sense of the term (more on this below) they have more control over the material of their bodies than humans. Some can dematerialize, others fly, still others change their shape and appearance. Additionally, faeries have certain special powers depending on their race -- brownies can perform prodigious feats of household labor, sirens have voices of supernatural beauty that can lure sailors to their doom, banshees can howl such howls as leave men cold and dead.

Still, the Faerie are not omnipotent. Indeed, they have several important weaknesses. Perhaps most importantly, they are incredibly sensitive to iron, which is inimicable to their beings. Cold iron (that is, iron from space, such as arrives on earth borne by meteors) will strike them dead with a blow. Even ordinary steel will deal blows twice as severe as it deals to humans (i.e., double damage from all weapons of iron or steel). Even large quantities of iron or steel can make faeries uncomfortable -- traveling on a train can plunge a faerie into a nausea equal to the worst seasickness.

Perhaps more subtly, Faeries are Not of This World, and while this conveys to them several advantages in terms of special powers they possess, it also conveys several disadvantages. As mentioned above, faeries are not fully corporeal beings in the human sense. They originate from "beyond the veil" in a dimension other than our own, where they exist as incorporeal entities. Because their own world lacks material existence, they do not have our instinctive understanding for both the rules and possibilities of corporeal existence. More importantly, they rely upon our world to provide shape and structure to their own, by serving as a model. The Unseelie deeply resent this of our world, and their resentment has turned to unabiding, irrational hatred. The Seelie understand the important links between their kind and ours, and seek to perpetuate it.

Because the Faeries do not possess our instinctive understanding of the material world, they lack what we would call Creativity. They are bound, or bind themselves, to very rigid traditions and models of behavior. These may take many forms, and are usually shaped by the particular Faerie's understanding of the material world. Thus, Rumplestiltskin was forced to yield when his true name became known, and brownies work for bread and milk, not for silver and gold. More generally, faeries lack the ability to create for themselves -- they must rely on the material world to give order and meaning to their lives.

All in all, this makes for individuals without much scope for player initiative. There is one exception, though -- the Sidhe, who are not fully Faerie. Faeries have always taken human lovers -- dryads seducing woodsmen or, more sinisterly, dark Unseelie lords luring innocent maidens to their doom -- and as a consequence, the blood of the Sidhe (both Seelie and Unseelie) has become mixed over time. Sidhe look like the "elves" of fairy tales -- tall, slim, and elegantly beautiful. Their mixed blood has resulted in certain weakening of the Faerie powers, but it does also give the Sidhe a more instinctive understanding of the rules and potential of material existence, an thus allows them more creativity than their more pure-blooded faerie cousins who are tied to trees or streams or the beck and call of whoever fulfills some obscure and strange set of conditions. Players who wish to play a Faerie character will play Sidhe. Still, as mentioned above, Faerie characters are subject to approval by the GMs.
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Offline Kinslayer

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2005, 01:06:43 PM »
The genetics wouldn't have to be extraordinary.  Modern Humans are a very homogeneous species.  The differences we perceive between races/ethnicity is purely because we are geared to recognise these subtle cosmetic differences for our own species. In other species--or even our own, if we look back several thousand years--there is a much greater genetic diversity.  This can allow for a wide variety of appearances and capabilities.  For example, compare Canis familiaris, dogs. There are many different types, sizes, and appearances, all within the same species.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2005, 04:31:31 PM »
The advantage of canis is that the "generation" is 3.5 years. For your average sentient species we are aware of, it is 33 years. If the lifespan of said speices is longer than human's then its generation would be longer. As for Dogs, they go through 8 generations during one human one. And that is also forced breeding. That is why the breeds have such narrow genetics, and are prone to a number of issues due to genetics. A "wild" species, one without a eugenics program will take longer to select diverse traits.

Sure, humans are diverse, but they all fit within a general range of size and shape. Those variations are statisical blips. Especially when you compre differences in size and shape between pixies, shidhe, giants, black dogs of the moor (intelligent fey people), pooka, and some of the really strange ones (like the one which is aquatic and looks like a decomposing horse or a humanoid tree). Now these are statisical variations!

So to be honest, you need to move beyond physical genetics and into some other medium.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2005, 06:53:21 PM »
It's magic, you hosers. Why do faeries need to have genetics? When you start explaining the mystical beings of nature in terms of breeding and eugenics and DNA and all that, it just sucks all the mysticality out of it. You d**n realists have gone and done it again- you've ruined a perfectly good mystery by turning it into something scientific.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2005, 04:29:10 PM »
Magic has rules and laws as well. They are usually analogous to material scientific laws as well. To the scientific mind, some of the rules and connections seem spurious, but their is an underlying reasoning behind all these mystic rules.

As for magical eugenics programs, isn't that how we have gotten a number of "races" in a variety of fantasy. A wizard needs some warriors, so he whips a few basic ones up in the old lab, and then breeds them for the traits he desired. Overmen come to mind, but orcs, trolls, goblinoids, and a couple of races in Talisantia, all were made and bred by mad wizards in a variety of stories and game settings.

Is this really any different that some biogenticist decanting a few template forms, then selecting through a breeding and training program the best of the templates? It is just a matter of special effect.

But I do agree that these beings need to be far beyond the material to express this level of diversity. That is why I like the semi-material Fae of the CF and legends.

The question you should be asking CP is "WHY the fey are as diverse as they are?"
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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2005, 10:15:26 PM »
Why are they diverse? Because they're magical.
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Elves and Dwarves: Not So Different After All?
« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2005, 06:51:11 PM »
CP: Everything in the magical universe has a cause and follows a reason, the causes and reasons just don't follow "scientific rational". for example something's cause could be a future event that reaches back into the past to make sure something in the future, their present, will be there to oppose it. The reasoning behind the magics might be hard to follow, but it is there.

So Should we design a Proto-Fey species, beings of great adaptable power. Those powers are then channeled into specific roles based on environment and "profession". These proto-fey would then become members of these specific races (Elves, Dwarves, etc)

Or is this a dead horse and we should let it go?
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