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orionx103

For God's sake, why Elves?!

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Okay, I can understand the need to have multiple races in a story. When it comes to fantasy and games, multiple races provide a little variety and make things more interesting, or are meant to. We've been using multiple races since the 1950's, at least. Back then they were using Elves and Goblins and Orcs and Dwarves. They were NEW then. It was okay. But now, sheesh. Fifty years have passed and we're still using the same old races. There's a lot less variety in our American-made RPG's because we just use the same old formula OVER and OVER and OVER. The EGOD thing has been driven into the ground and I'm frankly surprised people are still trying to use it. It should be dead by now. We're using the same prototypes: Tall Magical Archer, Short Blacksmith Axman, et cetera. Why don't we change it, even in the simplest manner? AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STOP USING ELVES. </end rant>

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Seriously. Tolkien's Celtic/Norse thing worked fine for Tolkien, but that's not the only possible conception of "fantasy". I think that world designers these days lack either the willpower to defy the cliches of the genre, or the competence to draw from primary mythological sources like Tolkien did.

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I assume you mean the standard "High Fantasy" versions of these races. Orcs, Dwarves, Goblins, Gnomes, Elves, and other bread-and-butter fantasy races have been in fairy tales for thousands of years. I agree, though, that we need a bit of fresh blood in the genre. However, the Chr'raskkrl, lobster-rhino-giraffe-people of the sea, is pushing it. I think what really needs to be reinvented is how we use them; right now, very often, each race is stereotyped to an extreme. I cannot relate to an entire race of magicians/archers/smiths/whatever. For me, the concept that an entire race of beings have the same interests is worn out. We don't need new races, but we do need new, deep, cultures.

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Quote:
Original post by Sneftel
I think that world designers these days lack either the willpower to defy the cliches of the genre, or the competence to draw from primary mythological sources like Tolkien did.


I agree, and I think those who have that willpower will go further than those who won't.

Even if you change it up in the slightest, that's so much better. Make your two non-human races short magical people and weaponsmithing tall people. Name them something other than "Elves" and "Dwarves." Try looking into mythology. Japanese, Indian, Persian, Greco-Roman, Etruscan, Egyptian, Africa, Mayan, Aztec, Russian, whatever. Anything that doesn't have a God damn Elf, Orc, Goblin, or Dwarf.

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Original post by silverphyre673
However, the Chr'raskkrl, lobster-rhino-giraffe-people of the sea, is pushing it.

Oh, well goodness, we certainly don't want to push it.

Yes, elves and goblins have been around for awhile. But then, so have ifrits, and shedu (shedus?), and kappas. And even if they hadn't been, someone could invent them tomorrow. There's nothing to be gained, and much to be squandered, by sticking to the same races as everyone else (even with depth added).

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I still have a soft spot for elves, myself; I was planning on putting them in one of my game worlds (although technically they were more Fey, based on the Seelie and Unseelie Courts; I prefer my faerie folk to be the kind you'd prefer to avoid as they tend to stitch you right up [smile]). But I do understand what you mean; the Tolkein thing has been done to death. Having elves and dwarves and orcs together, with the same roles as in Tolkein, over and over again is a bit like a broken record.

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Quote:
Original post by Sneftel
Yes, elves and goblins have been around for awhile. But then, so have ifrits, and shedu (shedus?), and kappas. And even if they hadn't been, someone could invent them tomorrow. There's nothing to be gained, and much to be squandered, by sticking to the same races as everyone else (even with depth added).


Ifrits are used in like, one series, and that's because it's a series. How many people could tell you that shedim were originally mythical beasts that demonized into goat demons by Christians, or that a Kappa is a water spirit in the form of a green monkey in a turtle shell? Exactly.

Everyone knows what an elf is, or what a dwarf is. Give them something they don't know and that should prove more appealing.

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I have to say, and this is a very small post, that my favourite type of "race", which is highly underused, is the Djinns.

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The Jinn (singular Jinni) are interesting, in so much as there are five separate types of them. There's the Jann, Jinn, Ifrit/Efreet, Marid, and Shaitan. Of them all, the Shaitan are supposed to be inherently evil, if I recall correctly.

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You know for a bunch of game developers noone seems to hit on the main point, which is echoed not only in the game development world, but in phychology (yes you heard me)

there is a rhyme and reason for the reuse of the middle earths races and sterotypes, and the reason is the same thing you are discriminating against. That is, they already have something to build on, the charactors already have history, and already have similarity in the eyes of 90% of the market. There is a phychological complex associated with this behavior. This is good for both the gameplay aspects , and for the marketing of the game idea itself.

Yes, lets get inventive here, lets not leverage any preexisting symbolism. Lets remove the english language and revert to a new and foreign type language which is only refered to via a language dictionary included as an instruction manual.

Let me just go ahead and get to my point here. You need to deal with 2 seperate things here to create a sellable fantasy setting. You need your fantasy, and you need your immersion. These are, in reality, a contradicting set of traits. When you read hear or see something that just doesent make sense in your brain, you go into nonsense mode and immersion is lost. So then how do you build a world thats fun (ie: not the real world) that is also immersive? Build on something that people already know, or that they will make some assumptions based on.

Anyways, im drunk, goodnight.

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