D&D General Alien Character Mindsets: Elves should be pretty conservative about almost everything.

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
I love how out of all of that quote on elves I pulled from D&D, you focused on "Guardians of the world" and ignored everything else. You ignored where it explicitly says that elves are not mired in the past and stagnant, but use what they relive the past to learn for the future. And you ignored where elves don't change the world because the world will change itself, not because they are against change. The conservatism you mention in your OP doesn't exist in D&D elves as a race, though certainly there can be some individuals who are that way.
"Elves aren't mired to the past!"

writes about how Elves are mired to the past like Elrond thinking of all humans as corrupt like Isildur

"Elves aren't stagnant!"

Elven Society is presented as unchanging and ethereal across practically every setting

"Elves use what they take from the past to shape their future!"

Thranduil refuses to help the Dwarves fight Smaug but gets ready to kick 4 other armies butts in order to take their stuff even though the stuff he wants from the dwarves is stuff they made or stole or whatever from other elves showing that they're capable of holding onto it and also just killed a dragon that he wasn't sure his people could defeat

"Elves aren't against change, they just know the world will change itself without their interference!"

Every Half-Elf's parents had a torrid hidden romance 'cause the elders wouldn't approve of them mingling with other races, often characterized as 'lowering' themselves or being 'doomed' by their love in a setting-reinforcing magical manner

The writers -say- they're not these things, but then make them exactly these things. In various stories of the Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk or Dragonlance it is the actions of Humans and Half-Elves and Hobbits and Dwarves that shake things up because the Elves act in a largely stagnant matter citing past battles and situations as the reason for their continued stagnation and refusal to do things that might upset the status quo, even when the status quo is horrible.

"Show, don't tell" is alive and well in media. And it shows us that Elves don't fit the blurbs and excerpts that get assigned to them.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
"Elves aren't mired to the past!"

writes about how Elves are mired to the past like Elrond thinking of all humans as corrupt like Isildur

"Elves aren't stagnant!"

Elven Society is presented as unchanging and ethereal across practically every setting

"Elves use what they take from the past to shape their future!"

Thranduil refuses to help the Dwarves fight Smaug but gets ready to kick 4 other armies butts in order to take their stuff even though the stuff he wants from the dwarves is stuff they made or stole or whatever from other elves showing that they're capable of holding onto it and also just killed a dragon that he wasn't sure his people could defeat

"Elves aren't against change, they just know the world will change itself without their interference!"

Every Half-Elf's parents had a torrid hidden romance 'cause the elders wouldn't approve of them mingling with other races, often characterized as 'lowering' themselves or being 'doomed' by their love in a setting-reinforcing magical manner

The writers -say- they're not these things, but then make them exactly these things. In various stories of the Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk or Dragonlance it is the actions of Humans and Half-Elves and Hobbits and Dwarves that shake things up because the Elves act in a largely stagnant matter citing past battles and situations as the reason for their continued stagnation and refusal to do things that might upset the status quo, even when the status quo is horrible.

"Show, don't tell" is alive and well in media. And it shows us that Elves don't fit the blurbs and excerpts that get assigned to them.
You do realize that I was quoting D&D elves, right? Not Tolkien. Tolkien's elves have no bearing on what I quoted or D&D elves. So once again, in D&D Elves are not mired in the past or conservative the way you described in the OP. A few counter examples don't change that. Given time, you can find errors and contradiction in just about any fiction.
 

jgsugden

Legend
There are a lot of good ideas in this thread that are being buried under “shoulds” that SHOULD be replaced with “cans”.

D&D Elves are not a single thing. They're nothing more than a starting block for DMs to evaluate, interpret and present. There is no ‘right’ answer to what elves should be … and I my setting there isn’t a single answer. Elves that exist in different regions, or different heritages, that faced different circumstances … they’re all different. Assuming elves should end up being a certain way is like assuming all humans should end up the same way in the real world – when we know we’ve developed very different cultures across this globe.

We’re telling stories. Explore your options.
 



Vaalingrade

Legend
Only if you let them. 😉

I have had fun giving them more nuanced then that.
Well yeah. But what is officially done with them remains.

Hell, teiflings are awesome SOLELY on the power of the fanbase aside from the move to a standardized body form and a lack of chance to just stink really bad... which the fandom then customized the crap out of.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Yes. What humans have written about elves.

Because Elves aren't real. Elves don't -actually- have a mindset. They don't have brain chemistry. They don't exist. All we have is the fantasy of what has been written for a given campaign setting.

And based on what we have, which is not "Evidence" but the sum totality of all that exists in relation to elves, they're largely "Human But" because, again, it cannot be stressed any harder, they are inventions of the human mind.

They have kingdoms. With the same positions. With the same ideals of "Royal Bloodlines blessed by the Gods". Divine right to rule and all that. Guardians of the world? Who appointed them to that position? Right. Gods. Of course. Like Arthur was ordained by God to be the keeper and protector of England.

Because we are human. Elves that exist in media, whether comic books, movies, TV shows, Lord of the Rings, whatever else, have the same emotions and ideas and lives that we do, just on a grander time scale. Even when we create mythical magical explanations for how they interact with the world, like being 'One with the Forest' it is always described in human terms and in ways that humans can comprehend because it would be impossible for a human to describe something in terms that are not human and in a way that is incomprehensible to humans because it would be a human saying it.

Now if you wanna -create- an Elven mindset that is more alien, I am 100% down for it. I'm -eager- to see new mindsets that aren't just "Human but"... But.

It won't be an elf. Not in the way they exist in culture or media. It'd be something new you'd slap the name "Elf" on to. And that's not a -bad- thing, just, y'know. Recognize our limits in the face of cultural momentum.
It looks like your wanting to play elfs as Vulcans
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
"Elves aren't mired to the past!"

writes about how Elves are mired to the past like Elrond thinking of all humans as corrupt like Isildur

"Elves aren't stagnant!"

Elven Society is presented as unchanging and ethereal across practically every setting

"Elves use what they take from the past to shape their future!"

Thranduil refuses to help the Dwarves fight Smaug but gets ready to kick 4 other armies butts in order to take their stuff even though the stuff he wants from the dwarves is stuff they made or stole or whatever from other elves showing that they're capable of holding onto it and also just killed a dragon that he wasn't sure his people could defeat

"Elves aren't against change, they just know the world will change itself without their interference!"

Every Half-Elf's parents had a torrid hidden romance 'cause the elders wouldn't approve of them mingling with other races, often characterized as 'lowering' themselves or being 'doomed' by their love in a setting-reinforcing magical manner

The writers -say- they're not these things, but then make them exactly these things. In various stories of the Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk or Dragonlance it is the actions of Humans and Half-Elves and Hobbits and Dwarves that shake things up because the Elves act in a largely stagnant matter citing past battles and situations as the reason for their continued stagnation and refusal to do things that might upset the status quo, even when the status quo is horrible.

"Show, don't tell" is alive and well in media. And it shows us that Elves don't fit the blurbs and excerpts that get assigned to them.
An awful lot of Tolkien being used to refute the writing of a property that wasn't written by him.

What Elrond and Thranduil did in the Hobbit and LoTR is irrelevant.
 



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