Help with half elf background





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  1. #1
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    Help with half elf background

    While working up the background for my half elf I am unsure where I should place him (and his sire). So far I have Girth as the product of the rape of his human mother by some elf or eladrin. Reading the wiki I can't work out where best to have this happen. I considered the wooded interior of Daunton but that didn't seem to fit the Eladrin bit but could fit an elf?

    Then there is the story of the 'rapine etc that went on when Allaria was cut off. That could fit - but where?

    Also the Imperium seems heavily Eladrin. Perhaps this all happened over there and Girth has only quite recently arrived in the area - perhaps looking for his father? To avenge his mother? This would be my preferred option as it provides some hooks and also cuts him off from home which could add some more stress!

    Any comments or suggestions? Also if he is from the Imperium what would his original language be? I can't find that.

 

  • #2
    Well Graf is your main man for the Imperium. Personally I prefer the Imperium option, and it would be nice to have a character from there for diversity. Looking for his father would also serve as a nice kicker.

    As for the being from the interior of Daunton my adventure path is beginning with a group of Eladrin who have recently been forced to flee a Formorian incursion in the Feywild. So ther is at least one group in the interior, although having only been there for a matter of months it would be challenging to use in a half-elven backstory.
    Back after a long absence, and feeling rather sheepish.

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    Digger,

    Sorry to keep you waiting. I'm gonna get back to you today, but it may take a little bit longer.
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    ...disquieting...
    There was no end to his patience and endurance. He played day and night, his obsession was somewhat disquieting. It was less as if he were playing to dispel gloom or beguile tedium than as if he were giving himself up to the fangs of gaming devils."
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    The 'r' word

    This is just a general comment but rape isn't really something that people foreground in roleplaying games right now. Wizards largely dropped the half-orc apparently because they felt that it necessarily involved abuse; which was yucky and not really something that ought to be in a game for kids.

    When half-x are retained in modern setting they are usually presented as a sort of separate culture. Eberron has the Khorvaire (half-elves with their own racial identity) and the racially blended human/orc/half-orc culture of the Shadow Marches.

    A cue was taken from them in the development of the setting, the Imperium half-elves are Temperavir (you can see the little blurb about them); a sort of bureaucratic middle class that help the Imperium function. (You can think about India where I am under the impress something similar happened during the colonial period during british rule)

    Of course their powerful eladrin patrons frequently maintain families of half-elven associates and servants, partially so that any children that result from their dalliances can easily be "fostered off". (which is appalling on the social level; and is part of the moral ambiguity present in the Imperium).

    Again that doesn't mean that violent behavior doesn't happen in the Imperium; it means that it's (and it's close relation coercive behavior) is so common there's actually a system in place for it.

    But all of this sort of ignores a fundamental question... why do you want your character to have this sort of background? What sort of story are you trying to tell?


    Personally I would suggest being "from the Imperium" if you want to be from the Imperium.
    However half-elves who are fostered with Temperavir families are quite common in the Imperium; so that wouldn't really make your character unusual. Since it's so common most children aren't looked down upon. At least that was my intent in the original setting, but the current writeup of the Imperium doesn't get into those sorts of details.

    So you'd potentially have chances to interact with your parent under social circumstances from a young age (if they were interested in keeping tabs on you) or you'd have no idea who they were (and your foster parents may have no idea, depending on who your eladrin parent was).

    If you were here to meet him clandestinely after years of search you could easily be looking to meet the same person that Amicus (a PC I'm considering playing) was here to meet (a grizzled old Eladrin paladin).
    Of course a traditional paladin wouldn't take advantage of someone, let alone violently, so that may or may not work in the story you want to tell.

    If you're looking for a father who is more of a traditional "green-tights in the woods" type character then a typical Eladrin from the Elvin Court would make more sense. Of course... if your father just appeared, attacked your mother and then left... you have realistically, very little chance of ever finding him.

    Also...
    And this is just a personal thing...
    My interest, as a DM, in running a story about this sort of thing is pretty low (i.e. near zero).

    I don't, personally, tend to run games that go in that direction; I introduced it as an element in the Imperium because the eladrin were there and ruling over humans in very close circumstances so it sort of fit (half-elves should have a place in the setting as a race I thought...) but I tried to work hard to keep it as small and non-yucky as possible.

    The majority of Temperavir are just born to other Temperavir who were born to Temperavir; they have eladrin somewhere up there the same way that most Americans are originally from somewhere else, but its not necessarily important to a given individuals identity.

    So you may find it difficult to really explore this whole thing in a game; in the sense that DMs may not be interested in bringing it up.
    Interested in playing 4th edition online? The Living 4th EnWorld Campaign is open! [character creation wiki forum]
    I am in an interesting period of my life; I will post in games that I run three times a week (M,W,F); and try to maintain obligations in existing games.
    ...disquieting...
    There was no end to his patience and endurance. He played day and night, his obsession was somewhat disquieting. It was less as if he were playing to dispel gloom or beguile tedium than as if he were giving himself up to the fangs of gaming devils."
    Kawabata Yasunari - The Master of Go

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    Thought I'd chime in here to note that not all DMs necessarily shy away from including PCs with social realistic backgrounds, even though they may not always be family-friendly.

    Personally, I like mature games dealing with mature themes, such as poverty, class difference, and so on.

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    I do think that good fantasy stories and settings can explore certain real life themes in a an interesting.

    I kinda put poverty and class difference in a vastly different categories than hunting for one's father/the rapist of one's mother. I mean... what's your social theme?
    Male feelings of weakness translating into violent action, dehumanization of the other...?

    I may be selling it short, but rape is, given all the other issues involved, probably the most difficult issue to really address and roleplay in a realistic/meaningful/interesting/enjoyable way.
    (And if your goal is not to be those things then I'm not sure it has a place in a living online rpg game -- people game to have fun and all that.)

    I have had characters with similar backgrounds in my rl games... but it's four people I know well in a private setting.
    Interested in playing 4th edition online? The Living 4th EnWorld Campaign is open! [character creation wiki forum]
    I am in an interesting period of my life; I will post in games that I run three times a week (M,W,F); and try to maintain obligations in existing games.
    ...disquieting...
    There was no end to his patience and endurance. He played day and night, his obsession was somewhat disquieting. It was less as if he were playing to dispel gloom or beguile tedium than as if he were giving himself up to the fangs of gaming devils."
    Kawabata Yasunari - The Master of Go

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graf View Post
    I kinda put poverty and class difference in a vastly different categories than hunting for one's father/the rapist of one's mother. I mean... what's your social theme?
    Usually identity. People often want to know where they come from, not just to understand why they came to be the way you are (understanding motivation behind rape is hardly fulfilling), but to understand why they themselves behave in certain ways.
    Perhaps the character has a hot temper or is prone to take things slow, yet such traits are not reflected in his/her upbringing - the explanation may lie with the parent he/she has never known. To my understanding, its often similar questions that drive adopted children to seek out their blood relative.

    Particularly in a medieval setting most people believe that we are a product of more than our environment, even though they may not then have called the other contribution genetic heritage. "The blood of a great warrior/mage flows in your veins", and all that.

    It was my impression that Digger's PC wouldn't be prone to hunt his biological father out of a desire of vengeance, but to understand why he's so different from those he grew up with - but I could be mistaken. He certainly seems to be looking for answers, considering his overt willingness to give in to outside agents that offer him insight (his warlock patron).

    Quote Originally Posted by Graf View Post
    I may be selling it short, but rape is, given all the other issues involved, probably the most difficult issue to really address and roleplay in a realistic/meaningful/interesting/enjoyable way.
    I agree that its hard to pull off, but it certainly can make a compelling and involving story to follow. I know I've seen it accomplished well before.
    Last edited by Dunamin; Monday, 15th September, 2008 at 11:10 AM.

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    First of all can I apologise for putting you all on slightly the wrong track with the 'r' word.

    I went back and read my original post and realised I had been far too simplistic (read 'tired and trying to get finished!)

    I don't know if anyone has glanced at my part-written chatacter sheet yet but the story does not talk of rape but implies a kind of seduction-

    -mother disappears (into the woods?) for several days/weeks
    -comes back pregnant and slightly mad - think 60's hippy chick, flowers in hair, flowing flimsy dress, dreamy look, skipping and dancing, making daisy-chains etc
    -all she says is "He is so beautiful!"
    -half-elven child is born but mother never really recovers
    -child grows up a bit odd and does not really fit in with village life, starts to develop strange powers and is asked to leave
    -so who was this strange father, why was the character himself so odd
    (there is a possible sub-plot here that my 'Patron' herself wants to find the same person and that is why she selected me.)

    Wife needs a lift now so I'll have to go. I may get back to this later tonight but I hope I have explained enough to be going on with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunamin View Post
    Thought I'd chime in here to note that not all DMs necessarily shy away from including PCs with social realistic backgrounds, even though they may not always be family-friendly.

    Personally, I like mature games dealing with mature themes, such as poverty, class difference, and so on.
    While I have done games w/ all of the above in RL, remember, Morrus' grandma's rule applies even to PbP games. So some mature content cannot be RP'd here. That's what CM is for.

    Now, as long as the detail is not too graphic and its mostly BG, that hasn't been a problem here. But just something to keep in mind.
    stonegod -- LEB judge and spawn of Khyber since 2005 (Blog)

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Digger View Post
    I don't know if anyone has glanced at my part-written chatacter sheet yet but the story does not talk of rape but implies a kind of seduction
    Some of the points you mention made me suspect you didn't want to paint an entirely negative picture, but I was thrown off track by the mention of nightmares haunting Girths mother, the implication that her memory was magically modified to forget the encounter that led to her impregnation, and the timing of her disappearance just before her wedding (I'm betting the farmer she was betrothed to didn't see it in a positive light).
    Now that you've made your intention explicit, though, that answers a lot. Id recommend expressing some parts of the background differently to avoid such misunderstanding, but of course thats your call.

    Quote Originally Posted by stonegod View Post
    While I have done games w/ all of the above in RL, remember, Morrus' grandma's rule applies even to PbP games. So some mature content cannot be RP'd here. That's what CM is for.

    Now, as long as the detail is not too graphic and its mostly BG, that hasn't been a problem here. But just something to keep in mind.
    Noted, thanks. Some of your abbreviations escape me, though BG is background I take it, but whats CM?

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