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D&D 5E (+) Halfling Appreciation and Development Thread

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
See, you’re ASSUMING elves in tree cities aren’t using magic, and I’m not so sure that’s a safe assumption.

It‘s extremely hard to grow food crops under the tree canopy by mundane means. So there’s 3 options: elven tree cities are surrounded by mundane farms; they’re using magic to grow crops under the tree canopy; they’re using a mix of magical & mundane methods in their agricultural system.

(Personally, I think it’s option #3.)
Or they only eat tree crops, meat, and things that grow under the tree canopy, but yeah it’s probably partly magic regardless. Why wouldn’t it be, after all?
 

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Zardnaar

Legend
See, you’re ASSUMING elves in tree cities aren’t using magic, and I’m not so sure that’s a safe assumption.

It‘s extremely hard to grow food crops under the tree canopy by mundane means. So there’s 3 options: elven tree cities are surrounded by mundane farms; they’re using magic to grow crops under the tree canopy; they’re using a mix of magical & mundane methods in their agricultural system.

(Personally, I think it’s option #3.)
If I've always gone with mostly low population, limited agricultural production with a bit of hunting and foraging.

You can grow a huge amount of vegetables /fruits/nuts on a small amount of land.
The cities are low density and each household has a fruit tree or 4 and a garden plot.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Or they only eat tree crops, meat, and things that grow under the tree canopy, but yeah it’s probably partly magic regardless. Why wouldn’t it be, after all?
Elves are different enough that acorns probably wouldn’t be toxic to them, granted. But to have enough to feed a city? While leaving enough to feed the wildlife? AND propagate the next generation of oaks?*



* That’s without addressing the oaks or ents offspring identification issue.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Elves are different enough that acorns probably wouldn’t be toxic to them, granted. But to have enough to feed a city? While leaving enough to feed the wildlife? AND propagate the next generation of oaks?*
It’s not like I suggested they only eat acorns. Have you seen how big citrus trees can get? My parents two story house had a lemon tree that you could see over the top of the house. We got on the roof to harvest it because it was easier and safer than climbing that high. No reason an elf forest couldn’t have fruit trees big enough to build a house or two in.

Not to mention hanging gardens in the canopy itself, mushrooms, insects, fish and other river fauna, plus the fact that elves don’t pack in nearly as densely as humans do, and probably a higher percentage of elf druids per capita than humans, and a higher percentage that is willing to grow food for a city.
* That’s without addressing the oaks or ents offspring identification issue.
What issue? its (edit: forum at the rest of this) an acorn, not a tree or an ent.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
You can grow a huge amount of vegetables /fruits/nuts on a small amount of land.
The cities are low density and each household has a fruit tree or 4 and a garden plot.
…with abundant sunlight, which is in short supply under tall trees (if we’re talking woodsy elven settlements).

Personally, instead of going full-on Endor, I reserve structures like that for sacred or politically important sites, with elves living in proper cities.

HOWEVER…

Those cities are festooned with horticultural abundance. Every Avenue off the main arteries of commerce are lined with trees of various kinds- nut or fruit bearing, ornamental. Some even toxic…

All of them manipulated by means mundane and arcane into complex, interwoven canopies. Think…Art Nouveau crepe myrtles, or the circus trees of Gilroy Gardens.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
It’s not like I suggested they only eat acorns. Have you seen how big citrus trees can get? My parents two story house had a lemon tree that you could see over the top of the house. We got on the roof to harvest it because it was easier and safer than climbing that high. No reason an elf forest couldn’t have fruit trees big enough to build a house or two in.

Not to mention hanging gardens in the canopy itself, mushrooms, insects, fish and other river fauna, plus the fact that elves don’t pack in nearly as densely as humans do, and probably a higher percentage of elf druids per capita than humans, and a higher percentage that is willing to grow food for a city.

What issue, its
The typical clime elves get plunked down in isn’t going to support giant citrus trees.

Plus, regardless of forest type, big trees create shade, and shade is anathema to the kind of mass agriculture required to support anything bigger than a village.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
…with abundant sunlight, which is in short supply under tall trees (if we’re talking woodsy elven settlements).

Personally, instead of going full-on Endor, I reserve structures like that for sacred or politically important sites, with elves living in proper cities.

HOWEVER…

Those cities are festooned with horticultural abundance. Every Avenue off the main arteries of commerce are lined with trees of various kinds- nut or fruit bearing, ornamental. Some even toxic…

All of them manipulated by means mundane and arcane into complex, interwoven canopies. Think…Art Nouveau crepe myrtles, or the circus trees of Gilroy Gardens.

Forests have clearings, you can clear the undergrowth and thin out trees to let in more light.

It's only high intensity agriculture requires lots of light. Personally I've seen wild raspberries growing in forests and there's other edible things like mushrooms and truffles.

We got taught at young age what you can safely eat. Great outdoors and all that. If they don't need to export and don't have large cities I don't think you would even need magic.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The typical clime elves get plunked down in isn’t going to support giant citrus trees.

Plus, regardless of forest type, big trees create shade, and shade is anathema to the kind of mass agriculture required to support anything bigger than a village.
Le sigh.

Again, low population density, and many sources of food. I specifically mentioned several options, including foods that grow in low light (like mushrooms), and hanging gardens in the canopy. Ya know, where the sun reaches.

Idk why you keep nitpicking single examples as if I’m saying they could survive off that singular food by itself.
 

Faolyn

Hero
See, you’re ASSUMING elves in tree cities aren’t using magic, and I’m not so sure that’s a safe assumption.
No, I specifically said that elves would be using magic to shape their cities. It's the halflings that likely wouldn't use magic to grow crops.

It‘s extremely hard to grow food crops under the tree canopy by mundane means. So there’s 3 options: elven tree cities are surrounded by mundane farms; they’re using magic to grow crops under the tree canopy; they’re using a mix of magical & mundane methods in their agricultural system.
Forest farming is a thing. It's unlikely that elves would grow the same type of crops that humans (and halflings) do.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Forests have clearings, you can clear the undergrowth and thin out trees to let in more light.

It's only high intensity agriculture requires lots of light. Personally I've seen wild raspberries growing in forests and there's other edible things like mushrooms and truffles.

We got taught at young age what you can safely eat. Great outdoors and all that. If they don't need to export and don't have large cities I don't think you would even need magic.
also this, yeah. Stuff grows in the forest.

The population density factor is huge. Elfs don’t build densely packed cities.
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
You’ve also brought this up twice now. I’m not sure why. General elf art isn’t…a rule? Like…okay?
Look at where elven communities wind up on typical FRPG maps. Again, not exactly FL or CA.

Add to that: what is the archetypal ranged weapon for elves? Bows. What kinds of woods can you use for bow-making? Ash, yew, etc. Not exactly from the same climate as your larger fruit trees.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
also this, yeah. Stuff grows in the forest.

The population density factor is huge. Elfs don’t build densely packed cities.

I'm thinking of the ideal property here. The old ones often have fruit trees. One could have a few more, the road outside can be more trees, a park is a farm, divide population by ten.

There's a big difference between wild forest and a managed one as well. Native bush you can barely move in some if it.

Thin some trees, plant crops in clearing and along the river and clear the undergrowth and have a few small farms here and there I think you could do it on earth. As long as the population is smaller.

Cities used to be a lot smaller as well as long as you're not dropping a metropolis in a forest and a small city (say 8-20k) is in a clearing or spread out.

Don't need citrus grow apples, plums and root vegetables in cooler climates.
 




Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Walking my dog at night and thinking this through: Elves, Gnomes and Halflings all produce remarkable things via their mix of mundane & magical agricultural methods:

Elves: can grow things where and when they shouldn’t be able to. If it grows, they can grow it. But they don’t try to create new varietals or grow anything exotic in such large amounts to compete with importers- all exotic crops are consumed within the confines of Elvish society, be it state, city, home ir private room.

Gnomes: are constantly trying to innovate, so their successful experiments are often sought after near & far. Their unsuccessful experiments may seek YOU out…

Halflings: cultivate nothing dangerous or exotic, nor anything surprisingly out of season, but the flavors they coax out of fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, grains and nuts are unequaled.

Soooo, an Elf might serve you a piece of fresh citrus in the middle of winter. A Gnome might serve you one tasting faintly of fennel. And a Halfling will feed you one whose flavor will make you weep.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Walking my dog at night and thinking this through: Elves, Gnomes and Halflings all produce remarkable things via their mix of mundane & magical agricultural methods:

Elves: can grow things where and when they shouldn’t be able to. If it grows, they can grow it. But they don’t try to create new varietals or grow anything exotic in such large amounts to compete with importers- all exotic crops are consumed within the confines of Elvish society, be it state, city, home ir private room.

Gnomes: are constantly trying to innovate, so their successful experiments are often sought after near & far. Their unsuccessful experiments may seek YOU out…

Halflings: cultivate nothing dangerous or exotic, nor anything surprisingly out of season, but the flavors they coax out of fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, grains and nuts are unequaled.

Soooo, an Elf might serve you a piece of fresh citrus in the middle of winter. A Gnome might serve you one tasting faintly of fennel. And a Halfling will feed you one whose flavor will make you weep.

Athasian Halfling serves you a cooked Elf.
 


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