ZEITGEIST Trying To Understand Eladrin and Elves in this Setting
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  1. #1
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    Trying To Understand Eladrin and Elves in this Setting

    I do apologize if this topic has been answered before - my google-fu was sadly insufficient and I wasn't able to find a clear answer.

    I'm trying to wrap my head around how Eladrin and Elves both fit into the Zeitgeist setting, but a few things confuse me.

    So I'll just come out with a few questions.


    1. Was the empire of Elfhaivar made up of elves AND eladrin or just eladrin?
    2. Did elves also worship Srasama and therefore did their womenfolk also die?
    3. Can elves and eladrin interbreed?
    4. If the Eladrin have been retreating into the dreaming, what have the elves been doing?
    5. If some eladrin womenfolk try to pass themselves off as elf women, does that mean that they didn't die out and if so why don't eladrin and elves intermingle?
    6. If the eladrin are flavored as they are in 4e, in that they're elves with a stronger fey connection, then what beliefs and culture do the elves have or are they just trying to be like eladrin but never got the special teleporty powers?
    7. Where are the elves right now?


    I hope you can sympathize, the players guide sadly does not go into detail on how each race fits in but in the adventure itself both eladrin and elves are mentioned but it seems the vast majority if not all of elven npcs are eladrin not regular elves. So I'm really confused how elves fit into this setting in relation to eladrin.

  2. #2
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    Elves and eladrin are two completely different races with maybe common anscestry. In case of ZG specifically, read the Player's Guide section about Risur, I believe that is the only canonical description of elven culture and nation in Lanjyr. In short, primitive elves lived in Risur before Kelland, coexisting with titans, and still live there, constituting 6% of population.

  3. #3
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    Often in older D&D the rules differentiated between 'wood elves' and 'high elves.' Wood elves did all the archery and druid stuff, and high elves did the wizardry.

    Legolas would have been a wood elf.
    Galadriel would have been a high elf.

    (And then they added in sea elves and dark elves and so on.)

    When 4th edition D&D came out, instead of having elf subraces with different stats, Wizards of the Coast just made two different races - elves were basically all wood elves, and eladrin were basically all high elves.

    Meanwhile, Pathfinder came out, and they only had one elf race.

    We published ZEITGEIST for 4e and PF, and since I started working on it for 4e, I made used elves and eladrin. Elves are mostly native to Risur, the Yerasol Archipelago, and the lands north of Drakr. Eladrin are specifically the people who were in Elfaivar, back before it collapsed five centuries ago, and their descendants. There are no doubt small settlements of both groups scattered around the world.

    Originally in 2011, we used "elf and eladrin" in 4e, but "wood elf and high elf" in Pathfinder. That got confusing, so when we did the hardcover compilations, we created a new 'eladrin' race for the Pathfinder version, so we could use the same terminology for both.

    So that's the Out of Game explanation.

    In the setting of ZEITGEIST,

    1. Elfaivar was just eladrin (except for, like, immigrants and such).

    2. Elves did not worship Srasama. Elf women didn't die off.

    3. Sure, they can interbreed. They might take after either parent, when it comes to stats. Definitely some eladrin men after the Great Malice moved to elvish settlements, but they were foreigners - like having a guy from India move to a small town in Scandinavia or something. Generally they'd be mistrusted, especially as post-Malice revenge attacks began. By the way, a half-human/half-eladrin would probably just have the stats of a half-elf.

    4. The elves just, like, live in settlements in the woods mostly, like typical D&D elves. Some of them have moved to the more human-dominated cities for jobs.

    5. Eladrin women are really objectified by people in the setting, so to avoid hassle when traveling, some will pose as elves, by hiding their eyes or using magic to conceal them (because eladrin eyes glow if they use magical abilities), and using makeup to look more pale, and faking a different accent. Eladrin are rare enough that an average person who saw one, they'd just think it was a tanned elf.

    Elves and eladrin do intermingle in some places. Outside of Elfaivar, expatriate eladrin men might have over centuries integrated into elf communities and maybe even have had kids who are basically elves. But inside Elfaivar, the drive among eladrin to maintain their identity is strong, so it's not like they're inviting elves to come settle.

    6 & 7. Eladrin all originated from Elfaivar, but other elves live all over the place and have all sorts of local customs and beliefs. Eladrin specifically had their empire overlap this world and the Dreaming, which is how their people developed the fey step power over thousands of years.

    Elves really weren't prominent. They live in remote areas and have not lately had any great nations that influenced world politics. For this adventure path, they weren't really that important. As I recall, there's like one half-elf (Nilasa in adventure 2) and two elves (Ottavia in adventure 4, and Lauryn the Risuri Minister of Infiltration). Likewise, I think there are only a handful of gnomes and halflings (Tinker Oddcog, the Waryeye family in adventure 2, and a guy named Alloquicious making a steamsuit in adventure 3).
    XP hirou, Tormyr, Shimrath, SanjMerchant, Tizbiz gave XP for this post

  4. #4
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    Here is what happened in the game I'm playing in -

    Eladrin and elves are distinct but can interbreed. My character's father was very driven to have an heir, and had a child with an elven sorceress... but the child didn't "turn right" and he abandoned it, in search of a better heir. My character was built using the elven stats, but with partially eladrin parentage. When his father died, his sword was presented to my character (no other heirs materialized) - a bronze sword, over 3000 years in age, wielded by the bodyguards of Srasama.... (the character is a blackblade magus).

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by RangerWickett View Post
    Often in older D&D the rules differentiated between 'wood elves' and 'high elves.' Wood elves did all the archery and druid stuff, and high elves did the wizardry.

    Legolas would have been a wood elf.
    Galadriel would have been a high elf.

    (And then they added in sea elves and dark elves and so on.)

    When 4th edition D&D came out, instead of having elf subraces with different stats, Wizards of the Coast just made two different races - elves were basically all wood elves, and eladrin were basically all high elves.

    Meanwhile, Pathfinder came out, and they only had one elf race.

    We published ZEITGEIST for 4e and PF, and since I started working on it for 4e, I made used elves and eladrin. Elves are mostly native to Risur, the Yerasol Archipelago, and the lands north of Drakr. Eladrin are specifically the people who were in Elfaivar, back before it collapsed five centuries ago, and their descendants. There are no doubt small settlements of both groups scattered around the world.

    Originally in 2011, we used "elf and eladrin" in 4e, but "wood elf and high elf" in Pathfinder. That got confusing, so when we did the hardcover compilations, we created a new 'eladrin' race for the Pathfinder version, so we could use the same terminology for both.

    So that's the Out of Game explanation.

    In the setting of ZEITGEIST,

    1. Elfaivar was just eladrin (except for, like, immigrants and such).

    2. Elves did not worship Srasama. Elf women didn't die off.

    3. Sure, they can interbreed. They might take after either parent, when it comes to stats. Definitely some eladrin men after the Great Malice moved to elvish settlements, but they were foreigners - like having a guy from India move to a small town in Scandinavia or something. Generally they'd be mistrusted, especially as post-Malice revenge attacks began. By the way, a half-human/half-eladrin would probably just have the stats of a half-elf.

    4. The elves just, like, live in settlements in the woods mostly, like typical D&D elves. Some of them have moved to the more human-dominated cities for jobs.

    5. Eladrin women are really objectified by people in the setting, so to avoid hassle when traveling, some will pose as elves, by hiding their eyes or using magic to conceal them (because eladrin eyes glow if they use magical abilities), and using makeup to look more pale, and faking a different accent. Eladrin are rare enough that an average person who saw one, they'd just think it was a tanned elf.

    Elves and eladrin do intermingle in some places. Outside of Elfaivar, expatriate eladrin men might have over centuries integrated into elf communities and maybe even have had kids who are basically elves. But inside Elfaivar, the drive among eladrin to maintain their identity is strong, so it's not like they're inviting elves to come settle.

    6 & 7. Eladrin all originated from Elfaivar, but other elves live all over the place and have all sorts of local customs and beliefs. Eladrin specifically had their empire overlap this world and the Dreaming, which is how their people developed the fey step power over thousands of years.

    Elves really weren't prominent. They live in remote areas and have not lately had any great nations that influenced world politics. For this adventure path, they weren't really that important. As I recall, there's like one half-elf (Nilasa in adventure 2) and two elves (Ottavia in adventure 4, and Lauryn the Risuri Minister of Infiltration). Likewise, I think there are only a handful of gnomes and halflings (Tinker Oddcog, the Waryeye family in adventure 2, and a guy named Alloquicious making a steamsuit in adventure 3).
    So, would you say that it's elves that are an offshot of the eladrin, eladrin the offshot of the elves, or just two unrelated races that are kinda similar to each other? Or is that a detail best left up to individual DMs to resolve as they see fit (if at all)?

  6. #6
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    It's a semantic debate. Did 'white people' split off from 'black people', or vice versa? Nah, neither is true. There were ancient humans, and they sorta descended into a lot of groups with different facial features.
    XP SanjMerchant, Tizbiz gave XP for this post

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