Elven subraces. What do they look like in 3E? Have they changed like the halfling?
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  1. #1

    Elven subraces. What do they look like in 3E? Have they changed like the halfling?

    I'm sick of not having a *true* mental picture of what the elven subraces look like when compared to each other.

    You see, I like the picture of the Greyhawk human "subraces" in the LGG. This picture helped me visualise the human subraces when, previously, I was just going by some vague written descriptions.

    Now I'd like to see the same done for the *true* elven subraces (as opposed to FR elven subraces . . . Moon elf, Sun elf, etc.). Now the *true* GH elven subraces are all detailed in the 1E Unearthed Arcana. There is: High elf, Gray elf, Wild elf, Wood elf, Valley elf (from the Valley of the Mage), Drow elf, and Aquatic elf.

    You see, the Realms has elven subraces that were clearly modelled on the above GH subraces but, if you read the 3E FR Campaign Setting, the description of those elven subraces does not match descriptions of elven subraces as described by EGG in 1E MM and 1E UA. I know that the elves of FR have different names, but the parallel is not hard to find. For example, Moon elves would be your GH High Elf. The only problem is that the Moon elf description is not that of a GH High elf. High elfs in GH are described by EGG as having dark hair, not light hair as in FR. Also, the FR Wood elf is described as having very tan skin. In GH, the Wood elf is decribed as being even fairer than all other elves.

    So has anyone fully fleshed out the elven subraces? Appearance, dress, culture, etc?

    Is the FR vision (and possibly the Dragonlance vision) of the elven subraces now the *default* for D&D 3E elves? Just like the Dragonlance vision of the halfling (the kender) is now the default vision of the D&D 3E halfling (appearance wise, that is)?
    Last edited by dead; Friday, 24th September, 2004 at 04:11 AM.

  2. #2
    In Fr, the Moon Elves look like the Gray Elves of the PHB, but are described as having the personality of the High Elves. The Sun Elves look like the High Elves, but have the personality of the Grey Elves.

    Otherwise they are basically the same as Greyhawk elves.

    (I think I got the descriptions right.)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dead
    I'm sick of not having a *true* mental picture of what the elven subraces look like when compared to each other.
    Would an actual picture help? Because the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting and Player's Guide to Faerun both contain illustrations that have all the subraces lined up. The 3.0 Dungeon Master's Guide also has an illustration that shows a wood elf, a wild elf, and a drow lined up.

    Now the *true* GH elven subraces are all detailed in the 1E Unearthed Arcana. There is: High elf, Gray elf, Wild elf, Wood elf, Valley elf (from the Valley of the Mage), Drow elf, and Aquatic elf.
    So Gary Gygax was the man who started the "gazillion elf subraces" epidemic that affects RPG books? That actually surprises me, considering some of the comments he made about elves in the Q&A threads.

    For example, Moon elves would be your GH High Elf. The only problem is that the Moon elf description is not that of a GH High elf. High elfs in GH are described by EGG as having dark hair, not light hair as in FR.
    Moon elves commonly have black, blue-black, or silver hair.

    So has anyone fully fleshed out the elven subraces? Appearance, dress, culture, etc?
    Yes, Races of Faerun does so for Forgotten Realms elves. I assume that the upcoming Races of the Wild will do so for default D&D elves as well.

    Is the FR vision (and possibly the Dragonlance vision) of the elven subraces now the *default* for D&D 3E elves? Just like the Dragonlance vision of the halfling (the kender) is now the default vision of the D&D 3E halfling (appearance wise, that is)?
    Default D&D elves (grayhawk elves) are different from Forgotten Realms elves. Regular D&D elves are shorter than humans. FR elves are the same height as humans, but lighter; when creating an elf in FR, you use the human height guidelines, but the half-elf weight guidelines.

    Drow in FR are shorter and slimmer than surface elves, however. In their case, you just use the regular elven height and weight guidelines.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by dead
    I'm sick of not having a *true* mental picture of what the elven subraces look like when compared to each other.

    You see, I like the picture of the Greyhawk human "subraces" in the LGG. This picture helped me visualise the human subraces when, previously, I was just going by some vague written descriptions.

    Now I'd like to see the same done for the *true* elven subraces (as opposed to FR elven subraces . . . Moon elf, Sun elf, etc.). Now the *true* GH elven subraces are all detailed in the 1E Unearthed Arcana. There is: High elf, Gray elf, Wild elf, Wood elf, Valley elf (from the Valley of the Mage), Drow elf, and Aquatic elf.

    You see, the Realms has elven subraces that were clearly modelled on the above GH subraces but, if you read the 3E FR Campaign Setting, the description of those elven subraces does not match descriptions of elven subraces as described by EGG in 1E MM and 1E UA.

    I know that the elves of FR have different names, but the parallel is not hard to find. For example, Moon elves would be your GH High Elf. The only problem is that the Moon elf description is not that of a GH High elf. High elfs in GH are described by EGG as having dark hair, not light hair as in FR. Also, the FR Wood elf is described as having very tan skin. In GH, the Wood elf is decribed as being even fairer than all other elves.

    So has anyone fully fleshed out the elven subraces? Appearance, dress, culture, etc?

    Is the FR vision (and possibly the Dragonlance vision) of the elven subraces now the *default* for D&D 3E elves? Just like the Dragonlance vision of the halfling (the kender) is now the default vision of the D&D 3E halfling (appearance wise, that is)?
    Well, you could use the Kingdoms of Kalamar elves, but there are some slight differences there too. I've attached a small picture - apologies for the quality, but I had to scan it from KoK Player's Guide since I don't have access to my art files at the moment.

    The wood elves ("aralarai") are rustic, dark-skinned (tree bark), blonde/brown hair.

    The wild elves ("seleeris") are darker skinned (similar to mahogany), black/brown/blonde hair, ears more swept back.

    The gray elves ("doulathan") are tall, more golden in tone, light hair, and the only elves to have facial hair. ("Gray" refers more to personality than color.)

    The high elves ("lathlani") are the standard PHB elves.

    The dark elves are also the standard dark elves in appearance, with eyes of amber, blood red or shades of violet. White eyes are rare and special.

    We also added the twilight elves in the recent Blood and Shadows: the Dark Elves of Tellene. These are tall, muscular, militaristic, and quite beautiful. These are the remants of the original dark elf population, how they looked long before they went underground.

    Shameless plug time: Friend and Foe: the Elves and Bugbears of Tellene will be out early next year, and it's going to have a LOT of detail perfect for any fantasy campaign.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Plemmons
    The wood elves ("aralarai") are rustic, dark-skinned (tree bark), blonde/brown hair.

    The wild elves ("seleeris") are darker skinned (similar to mahogany), black/brown/blonde hair, ears more swept back.
    Yeah, it's funny, in the olde days, these elves were described as being the *fairest* of the lot. Now every source makes wild elves very tanned or dark skinned.

    I'm cool with that, though . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by dead
    So has anyone fully fleshed out the elven subraces? Appearance, dress, culture, etc?
    see the Kalamar comments from Mark Plemmons

    Is the FR vision (and possibly the Dragonlance vision) of the elven subraces now the *default* for D&D 3E elves? Just like the Dragonlance vision of the halfling (the kender) is now the default vision of the D&D 3E halfling (appearance wise, that is)?

    OD&D elves had beards. were short. and slept. in the 3 booklets.

    as the supplements were released... elves changed.

    they continue to do so as each edition tries to place its own stamp on the name.

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