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

Stormonu

Legend
Oh, I don't mean that conservative = out of touch. Only that old elves should probably be out of touch with the youth. With the faster paced aspects of society and fads and the like. The "Grandpa asking about the Youtubes" angle, specifically.
Eh, I could see elves being like Dax from DS9. When they get bored with their old lives, they simply reinvent themselves and start anew. In that way they could easily keep up with the times.

Needless to say, I don’t agree with your premise. Run elves how you want, not how someone else perceives them. They’re fantasy things anyways.

<Edit> I really feel like @Steampunkette is leaning into Agism. “You are old, therefore you MUST be stuck in your ways”
 

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Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
The indignant scoff I let out to that one, @Stormonu, would have made my father proud.

I've specified in multiple posts in this thread that it isn't about being trapped in the past or stuck in one's ways, but about disconnecting from short-lived stuff because you're more used to the stuff that has been around a long time, and being less affected by "Big Events" (that are short lived) because you've seen it all before.

If you'd gone for "Ageism via jadedness" that might've actually had some weight to it.
 

The indignant scoff I let out to that one, @Stormonu, would have made my father proud.

I've specified in multiple posts in this thread that it isn't about being trapped in the past or stuck in one's ways, but about disconnecting from short-lived stuff because you're more used to the stuff that has been around a long time, and being less affected by "Big Events" (that are short lived) because you've seen it all before.

If you'd gone for "Ageism via jadedness" that might've actually had some weight to it.
look I am likely younger than you both biologically and developmentally and I am more jade and disconnected than most of you combined.
 



The indignant scoff I let out to that one, @Stormonu, would have made my father proud.

I've specified in multiple posts in this thread that it isn't about being trapped in the past or stuck in one's ways, but about disconnecting from short-lived stuff because you're more used to the stuff that has been around a long time, and being less affected by "Big Events" (that are short lived) because you've seen it all before.

If you'd gone for "Ageism via jadedness" that might've actually had some weight to it.
In fairness, Youtube is 17 years old and owned by one of the worlds largest tech companies. It has all kinds of media hosted including from many major news outlets some of which have had a channel on the platform for over a decade. At this point it's getting a little hard to argue that Grandpa vs. Youtube is really about Grandpa just not caring about short term trends and more about Grandpa's deteriorated technological adaptability.

But then I also disagree with there being a more logical or sensible way such long-lived beings should act. To me, enlightened hedonistic curiosity and detached ascetic contemplation seem equally sensible.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Reverie was a form of meditation with mental exercises that elves could choose to do instead of sleeping, and it helped with their memory... but what you've written, there, sounds way more involved than anything I read about it.
Late to the game, so someone's probably written this, but that's mostly from Mordenkainen's.

Even in FR they're written as CG or NG their whole societal structure is LG AF, with strong central governments (Monarchies, mostly, but occasionally Religious or Druidic rulership) and almost always a class system which puts specific elves above other elves in a hierarchy of citizenship.
Elves have something of a class system, but they're rarely written as having interclass strife or bigotry (unless that's mentioned in a novel or something), which suggests that the classes are seen as equal, especially since they're also Good.

Actually Chaotic (Free spirited, independent) elves? Would probably not have a society in short order... instead, they'd be rugged individualists off on their own living in the wild lands, farming, hunting, fishing, building their homes. Coming together only to mate and raise a child before going off on their own, again. Unattached to people, places, or identities beyond their own weird enjoyments out in the woods. They might swing by a friend's place, now and then, or entertain the occasional visitor... but mostly they'd just be alone.
That's really only one view on chaos, though. You can have a chaotic society built on individual freedoms. While you disagree with the US Government being CG (with good reason!), it is at least supposed to be--there are supposed to be limitations on what the government can do (as opposed to limitations on what the people can do), and each individual is supposed to be equal and free and have full say in what the government does. An elven society might actually manage to achieve these things. It's a fantasy world, after all!

I would go so far as to say that, without a society, the elves would be Unaligned, not chaotic or good.

But since you chose philosophy and art:

Why should elves care about art? Art, by it's very nature, is more ephemeral and fleeting than a spear or a shirt. A spear kept well can last multiple human lifetimes, but within a generation we see art change a dozen times into a dozen new permutations with one of the latest being DEEP FRIED MEMES.
They might not.

Or their art might be like sand mandalas, made to be beautiful, to be viewed once, and then destroyed.

(Art is for creating, not for preserving)

Or it could be that they make their surroundings beautiful, with lovely architecture and design (since they have to live here and all; might as well make it look nice), but don't actually do art in the way that others think. There might not be a single painting or sculpture in an elven city, but the buildings themselves make others weep from the beauty.

Or they could create ever-changing, magical artwork that responds to the changing seasons or to the movements of the stars or even to the thoughts and emotions of elves who are nearby.

1657479014886.png


(People in a fantasy world are unlikely to ever do memes the way we do them, as they don't have fast-enough communication available to everyone.)

Similarly: Once you have seen a tree a hundred times what beauty is left to be found in that one tree? Or one mountain? Or one anything. Though we could toss it over to the Elf Lord and the Mayfly.
1657479625922.png


The second-to-last paragraph is what's important here for an elf (who, not being an evil undead perversion doesn't likely view a short-lived being as meaningless). A tree isn't just a tree. It's an entire microcosm of the universe. An elf could easily spend decades studying every nook and cranny of the tree and its history, and the way each animal that has lived in that tree has shaped it, and how the tree has shaped their lives in return.

But in the next few years I won't be able to buy a car with windows that roll down using a crank because there won't be any left. That design is gone, and all the parts to repair it are rusted or discarded. Not unless I can make it myself or hire a machinist to do it as a custom order.
But don't forget, to an elf--or indeed, to probably every race in a fantasy world--every order is a custom order.
 


Zardnaar

Legend
Elves are humans there's no guarantee they think like us. They're however the DM or author portrays them.

I don't think I've done CG tree hugging hippie types with longbows since 2E.

Hell for all we know they could spend 100 years contemplating the colour purple.
 

The long-lived races are the ones with a vested interest in the future. No way they're going to sit by and let the upstarts mess things up for a few decades of short-sighted selfishness.
The opposite might exist too. They may understand the pendulum inevitably swings, and therefore, be complacent to sit back and wait to see what happens.
Edit (added): It would probably be a mix, much like it is with anyone.
 

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