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D&D General elf definition semantic shenanigans

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.
That isn’t an unreasonable answer, though from an immersion perspective, which sounds more alien: Bruenor Battlehammer or Chewbacca from Kashyyyk? Which looks more alien?

Follow-up question: is Luk Skywalker a dwarf?
 

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Yaarel

He-Mage
In a name like Bruenor Battlehammer, "Battlehammer" might be a nickname, in which case it is specific to the person.

Depending on the culture, even in a situation where some clans have a name, such as Yngling, the clan name might not be a normal part of a persons name. The formal name might typically be "child of so-and-so" or a nickname.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
In a name like Bruenor Battlehammer, "Battlehammer" might be a nickname, in which case it is specific to the person.

Depending on the culture, even in a situation where some clans have a name, such as Yngling, the clan name might not be a normal part of a persons name. The formal name might typically be "child of so-and-so" or a nickname.
That's still missing the point of the Dwarfs moniker being in Common rather than Dwarf.
Bruenor Kaujahamur (apologies for my faux latvian) as a nickname works too, the ubiquity of Dwarfs with non-Dwarfish names says a lot about the culture of the setting. On earth use of English names by non-english is either due to colonization or assimilation (sometimes by choice, eg Li Jun-Fan using the name Bruce) but those things tend to be ignored in game.

Of course in the setting Common might just be a dwarf language, which makes it moot
 

Yaarel

He-Mage
That's still missing the point of the Dwarfs moniker being in Common rather than Dwarf.
In this case, I see the Common name for the Dwarf as identical to saying in English, "Harold Fairhair", instead of the real Norse name, Haraldr Hárfagri.

The real name of the Dwarf isnt Common. But there is a Common equivalent to it.

By the way, indeed, Haraldr has a son whose name is Eiríkr Blóðøx ... aka "Erik Bloodaxe".
 

Of course in the setting Common might just be a dwarf language, which makes it moot
In the Earthdawn setting, the Dwarf language is the common language. ;)

Dwarfs in Earthdawn are similar in appearance to the classic D&D or Tolkien dwarfs. They are the predominant race in Barsaive, and the dwarf language is considered the common language. Their culture, especially of the dominant Throal Kingdom, can be considered more of a Renaissance-level culture than in most other fantasy settings, and forms the main source of resistance to a return of Thera's rule in Barsaive.
 

Hriston

Dungeon Master of Middle-earth (he/him)
in a different thread, it came up that defining the fantasy peoples of DND seems to be hard thus making certain what an elf is difficult let alone the less common options.
so I decided that we should discuss what each of the next blocks of phb handbook options as soon as someone tells me them as the internet is nothing but shovel articles and I need proper data.

no humans as we know what we all are.

elf
dwartves
halfling
gnomes
dragonborn
teifling
???

if you're asking about the title I am trying to be funny I know I am not funny hence the try.
In this post, I'll define these peoples for the purposes of my own games which is all I think anyone is doing or could possibly do in this thread.

Elves, together with humans, form the peoples for whom the Material Plane was originally created in its ideal state to be their home — something like the Garden of Eden — an earthly paradise. They are the elder branch of what we would call Homo sapiens sapiens but with spirits destined to dwell within the bounds of the created Multiverse (the Inner and Outer Planes) for its duration, a fate they share with the outsiders, spirits from the Positive Plane who entered the created Multiverse at the beginning of time, whereas human spirits may depart in death to the Positive or Negative Planes, or maybe elsewhere. Having come into being at the appointed time and place in a less than ideal world corrupted by evil, the elves came under the tutelage of the Archfey from whom they derived much of their culture which we would call magic and which they used to preserve themselves in as close to an ideal state as possible, given the fallen state of the world, in order to better fulfil the destiny of their spirits to be the life of the created world until its end.

Dwarves are somewhat of an antithesis to elves. Having been created in response to the fallen state of the world, they are hardier and better equipped to physically endure its challenges, such as extremes of heat or cold. This preserves the lengths of their physical lives, although not indefinitely. The destiny of their spirits is a mystery known only to them or perhaps to be resolved in play.

Halflings are a type of diminutive human. Their chief characteristics are they favor comfort over adventure but are fiercer and tougher than they look when push comes to shove.

Gnomes are the diminutive cousins of dwarves, created not only to endure the fallen state of the world but also as protectors and healers of the natural world -- the earth, plants, animals, etc.

Dragonborn are (similarly to gnomes) created as representatives and protectors of dragons and draconic creatures in particular -- whether those corrupted by evil, defenders of good, or in their natural state as beasts of the world.

Tieflings are humans or perhaps members of other peoples whose lineage has been influenced by or derives from fiends, corrupted outsiders deriving much of their power from the Negative Plane and necromancy, so evil, darkness, undeath, and punishment are themes associated with them.

??? - Treants would be an important people to mention here. They're like dragonborn, except they represent and protect the trees and forests. Aarakocra and tabaxi could serve the same purpose for birds and felids respectively, as I suppose gnolls could for hyenas. Orcs, goblinoids, and kobolds are another important group of peoples. They are humans and/or elves who have been corrupted through breeding (in some cases with breeding stock derived from outside the species) and the influence of goblinoid Archfey whom they resemble. Ogres, trolls, and other giant-type peoples ultimately derive from primordial beings and are closely related to treants, but there seems to have been corruption through breeding of ogres and trolls in particular.
 
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Starfox

Hero
I'm not 100% what the question is in the OP.

I think the original ideas of races were enough defined, but now with the 5.5/Tasha's rules, I'm not sure. Elves used to be the smarter and more magic-like then humans and halflings used to be more shorter, weaker, but more dexterous than humans. Now they all seem just a bag of features that anyone can take. It seems to take away any advantages but with some disadvantages each of the races would have over the base human. The game could be just mutant humans with different powers at this point.
I am generally abord with races not modifying ability scores, but it does create some very weird synergies. Playing a mountain dwarf mage is suddenly very attractive for the armor proficiency, for example. Whereas the high elf's extra cantrip is more interesting for a martial than for a caster. I hope 5.1 will rectify this, but I've not seen anyone make the case.
 

Yaarel

He-Mage
I am generally abord with races not modifying ability scores, but it does create some very weird synergies. Playing a mountain dwarf mage is suddenly very attractive for the armor proficiency, for example. Whereas the high elf's extra cantrip is more interesting for a martial than for a caster. I hope 5.1 will rectify this, but I've not seen anyone make the case.
The 2024 Dwarf lacks armor training. Instead it has features like Tremorsense (aka Stonecunning). Things like armor training and weapon proficiency are part of class.

Hypothetically there could be backgrounds that grant armor or weapons, like Town Militia Trainee or Deer Hunter. These backgrounds might even work by allowing a choice to swap a class feature, like two cantrips for light armor.


The 2024 Elf gradually gains a cantrip, slot 1 spell, and slot 2 spell. This is probably better for a martial class, but the extra spells also help a low tier caster class too.

A perk that would be mostly flavor but still appealing to casters, the Elf casts any and all spells "innately" without a material component.
 

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