WHY are elves so danged cool?

Claudius Gaius

First Post
Pretty much every RPG character is a bit of wish-fulfillment or what-if-I-could daydream. They can all do things you can't. That's why "Papers-and-Paychecks" is a joke instead of something marketable.

Plenty of people can be short, ugly, short-lived, fat, or dour, and most of them don't really like it. Everybody can be human. Of all the basic races, only elves get to have longer lives, see in the dark, and be abnormally good-looking by human standards. Most people would like to have those qualities, so many players like elves.

The dedicated role players often want something more exotic of course, which is why you get cat-people, aliens with tentacles, and all the other oddities.

Try offering a shapeshifting dragon as a no-penalty racial choice, and see just how fast Elves fall to second place on the favorites list.
 

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Thurbane

First Post
Never found elves particularly cool - except Arwin, but she's more hot than cool. :p

I identify with Dwarves - surly, bearded, and love their grog. :lol:
 

Orius

Legend
Becaue they're elves, thhey always have fans. They've had fans since the publication of LotR. Personally, I really haven't liked elves since 2e, but my opinion might improve with 4e.
 

Orius

Legend
diaglo said:
in OD&D(1974) they couldn't wear armor and cast spells.

I'm pretty sure that was the case in all the pre-3e rules. I know for a fact that they couldn't cast while wearing armor in 2e if they were fighter/mages, and I'd imagine it was the same with 1e.
 

Orius

Legend
billd91 said:
Perky elven babes that stay perky for centuries?

I blame Tolkien as much as anything else. The elves in LOTR and Silmarillion are just plain awesome. And I don't mean the tweaked-out action hero that Legolas was in the movies. They are simultaneously light and joyful and yet have this gravitas that is alluring. They have an eternity to them that most other races don't have.

Exaclty what I said. It's Tolkien's elves that are to blame, but at least his elves are pretty kickass. Look how they defy Morgoth in the Silmarillion. Heck, there's Fingolfin challenging him to a duel and cutting him, even if Fingolfin ended up literally getting stomped into the dirt.

D&D elves just feel like cheap copy.
 

GSHamster

Adventurer
Maybe the "immortal, tragic badass" archetype is inherently cool. In many ways, Vampires (at least the cool ones) tend to be portrayed very much the same as Elves are. Eternally young, perfect, powerful, yet with a core of tragedy.

Clearly this means that Elven Vampires are the epitome of coolness.

Perhaps another example of this archetype is Fallen Angels, for example Lucifer from Dante's Paradise Lost or Gaiman's Sandman.
 

Ripzerai

Explorer
GSHamster said:
Maybe the "immortal, tragic badass" archetype is inherently cool. In many ways, Vampires (at least the cool ones) tend to be portrayed very much the same as Elves are. Eternally young, perfect, powerful, yet with a core of tragedy.

Clearly this means that Elven Vampires are the epitome of coolness.

That reminds me of the cappuccino-drinking beatnik vampire elves from Simon Hawke's The Reluctant Sorcerer.
 

Aus_Snow

First Post
Ripzerai said:
That reminds me of the cappuccino-drinking beatnik vampire elves from Simon Hawke's The Reluctant Sorcerer.
Must have been what, the 80s?

Isn't it chai latte now? Or whatever.


Oh yeah, elves. Blame Tolkien.
 

1 hp

First Post
GSHamster said:
Maybe the "immortal, tragic badass" archetype is inherently cool.

IMO, the only "tragic" elves are dark elves. Dark elves are inherently cool.

Sunlight elves are tragic? I don't see it. Unless you mean paperback-novel elves, not D&D elves.

What is tragic about the official D&D elf? That they might live long enough to get bored with dancing in a meadow with daffodils in their hair?
 


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