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D&D General elf definition semantic shenanigans

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I'm going to be real with you; my love of Star Wars dimmed during the Disney era and I haven't really kept up with the new continuity. Aside from the movies and some of the TV shows, I can't really tell you what is in continuity and what is not. So I stick with the movies as the primary source because it's one of the few things that hasn't changed. If some official source says Wookiees can deadlift 600 lbs and eat nothing but tar for sustenance, that's Disney's right to say that is now true, just like its WotC's to say what is or isn't continuity in their IP.

But the old stuff was a lot of campfire storytelling because Lucas's world building focused more on one family's intergenerational drama and the universe that suffered for it. He was never interested in explaining random cantina alien #34, just make him look cool for background scenes and action figures.
Fair enough, you can stop wherever you want. But you can't make a general statement about canon while ignoring large portions of it, not without calling that out.
 

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Remathilis

Legend
Fair enough, you can stop wherever you want. But you can't make a general statement about canon while ignoring large portions of it, not without calling that out.
I kept my comments on the movies and how the RPGs have referenced that. All the RPGs are based on the old EU continuity, which is why I have not addressed it. If a new Star Wars RPG references some new cannon novel where Chewbacca bench presses an X Wing, I'll admit wookiees have need beyond normal strength. But until then, the idea that wookiees are exceptionally strong comes from a few lines of dialogue and EU writers extrapolating from that.

A line that can be misinterpreted, it is.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
When it comes to aliens, Star Wars has only ever treated them as costumes and any attempts at world building with them have been ignored by the next set of movies.

If you watch all 9 main movies, you will notice that aside from certain characters who are aliens (Chewie, Yoda) there are very few alien species that appear from one trilogy to the next. Mon Calamari and Sullustan appear in the OT and ST, wookiees in the PT. but many of the "common" alien species (durros, zabrak, ithorians, etc) appear in one scene or character in one movie and then never again. We STILL have never seen a bothan on screen! How do you construct species lore and abilities out of a guy in a rubber mask standing in the background of a bar/cantina/crime boss layer?

I remember a Stars Wars special I watched long ago that discussed the design of Sebulba the Dug, in particular Dugs using their arms for walking and their 'feet' to manipulate objects. The 'science' was that they descend from an arboreal species using their arms to hang from branches and their feet for grabbing, when the planet faced desertification, they used their stronger arms to walk ...
I thought that was a nice piece of worldbuilding even if its never come up again
 
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When it comes to aliens, Star Wars has only ever treated them as costumes and any attempts at world building with them have been ignored by the next set of movies.
All that is true, but it is worth pointing out that in some respects D&D is even lazier than Star Wars.

Despite Bruenor Battlehammer being a dwarf, his clan name is in Common. Same thing with virtually every Dwarf character in D&D. It’s kind of like a French person introduced themselves as John “from the bridge”, just because their last name was Dupont.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
All that is true, but it is worth pointing out that in some respects D&D is even lazier than Star Wars.

Despite Bruenor Battlehammer being a dwarf, his clan name is in Common. Same thing with virtually every Dwarf character in D&D. It’s kind of like a French person introduced themselves as John “from the bridge”, just because their last name was Dupont.

I have occasionally jokingly introduced myself as Wagonmaker by the River.
 

Mecheon

Sacabambaspis
Much of that lore is effectively fan fiction though. Much of it came from West End who had to make stuff up for their RPG and it developed into the EU setting Bible until Lucas opted to cherry pick some parts for the prequels and ignore the rest, and eventually Disney made it non canon and didn't replace it. WEG made a lot of guesses that became the backbone of the EU.

I think a good way to think of this if so: Tolkien built a backstory and added a story to show it off. Lucas wrote a story and added just enough background to tell it.
Twas canon at the time. Also frankly, any time you dredge further you're going to hit 'fan-fiction' territories because that's the ones caring about this side of things.

The only difference between fanfiction and canon is where its published, and there's a lot more fanfiction out there that's better done than a lot of canon sources for both Star Wars and D&D
 

Remathilis

Legend
Twas canon at the time. Also frankly, any time you dredge further you're going to hit 'fan-fiction' territories because that's the ones caring about this side of things.

The only difference between fanfiction and canon is where its published, and there's a lot more fanfiction out there that's better done than a lot of canon sources for both Star Wars and D&D
Long ago, Star Wars had two levels of Cannon.

Primary: The Movies and their novelizations.
Secondary: Novels, comics, games, RPGs, toys, etc.

The general rule was if there was a conflict between sources, primary took precedence over secondary. (It got more complicated than that, such as the validity of the old Marvel comics SW stories or when the novelizations contradicted the movies). It was rarely an issue because WEG acted as stewards of cannon through the dark period between Jedi and the Phantom Menace, and most authors use their RPG books as guidance for writing EU. Of course, all that changed with the prequels and Lucas himself had a take-it-or-leave-it attitudes with the EU (He did use Courscant as the name of the Old Republic capital which was coined in the EU, but his origin for Boba Fett or the Clone Wars was absolutely a retcon of the EU).

The reason I call out the EU as being glorified fanfiction is that the WEG writers often didn't have a lot to work on as far as lore. So they made stuff up. For example, Hutt's were listed as being resistant to the Force. Why? Because Luke's mind trick doesn't work on Jabba. Despite Obi-Wan insinuating that strong-minded individuals are less susceptible to Mind Tricks, WEG turned that one encounter into a racial trait. Think of it this way; Because Jabba made his saving throw, Jabba now has advantage on all saves vs Force abilities. Did Lucas mean for all Hutts to have resistance to Force abilities? IDK. I don't think he ever thought about it. So, the ability came from some RPG writer to fill a Hutt statblock and the EU ran with it. If I recall correctly, there were very few rules the EU had to abide by (not naming Yoda's species being a classic example). Otherwise, Lucasflim and such were pretty hands-off.
 

Remathilis

Legend
All that is true, but it is worth pointing out that in some respects D&D is even lazier than Star Wars.

Despite Bruenor Battlehammer being a dwarf, his clan name is in Common. Same thing with virtually every Dwarf character in D&D. It’s kind of like a French person introduced themselves as John “from the bridge”, just because their last name was Dupont.
I have always assumed most races translate their names to common because they feel humans (and sometimes other races) are too stupid to pronounce it correctly. My namesake went by "Remy Eveningwind" despite his name being Remathilis Naïlo.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Epigenetics isn't completely unrelated to basic genetics; its more of a case of genetic traits that just may or may not express themselves depending on environmental factors.
AIUI, and note I am better versed in chemistry/physics than biology/biochem, while epigenetics is not totally divorced from genetics, it is often something that arises from things like previously non-coding genes, from modifications of how a section of genome is expressed* which are themselves not actually directed by the genome,

I did a whole speech about this in HS. TL;DR: Imagine a gene has five blocks, ABCDE. In the past, we thought that was all there was to a gene, it has a start codon and a stop codon and you get those five sections in that order. However, complex organisms (and humans show this to a greater degree than any other form of life on Earth, IIRC) can start late and make protein BCDE or even CDE, stop early (making ABCD/ABC), both of those (BCD), or skip one or more internal sections (ACDE, ABDE, ABCE, ACE, etc.).

That means a single section of coding DNA may actually code for a dozen or more different proteins, all of which can do radically different things, and which one actually happens depends on the general cell chemistry, not just the other expressed genes. And all of that isn't even considering the impact of stuff that can mitigate or suppress genes that are present and active, but which are defeasible by environmental impacts.

This stuff is hella complicated.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
AIUI, and note I am better versed in chemistry/physics than biology/biochem, while epigenetics is not totally divorced from genetics, it is often something that arises from things like previously non-coding genes, from modifications of how a section of genome is expressed* which are themselves not actually directed by the genome,

I did a whole speech about this in HS. TL;DR: Imagine a gene has five blocks, ABCDE. In the past, we thought that was all there was to a gene, it has a start codon and a stop codon and you get those five sections in that order. However, complex organisms (and humans show this to a greater degree than any other form of life on Earth, IIRC) can start late and make protein BCDE or even CDE, stop early (making ABCD/ABC), both of those (BCD), or skip one or more internal sections (ACDE, ABDE, ABCE, ACE, etc.).

That means a single section of coding DNA may actually code for a dozen or more different proteins, all of which can do radically different things, and which one actually happens depends on the general cell chemistry, not just the other expressed genes. And all of that isn't even considering the impact of stuff that can mitigate or suppress genes that are present and active, but which are defeasible by environmental impacts.

This stuff is hella complicated.

I might have been overly simplified in my phrasing, but that was why "not completely unrelated".
 

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