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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:34 am Post subject:  Elven Arrogance (quoted)
 
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Unsure as to the origin, but perhaps this might be of interest to Arcanum players...or RPG players in general:



Quote:
"For a thousand years or longer, the elf has insisted on his inherent superiority to the races with which he shares this blessed continent.

However for that to be true, we must understand what makes a people superior. The elf contends that it is the longevity of his people and civilization, as well as the uniformity of his people in culture, religion and language that makes his people, and language that makes his people, and no others, the most superior among races.
Let us assume then, for the moment, that the elven argument holds water. That the superiority of a species depends on it's long life, and it's sameness to others of that species in behavior rather than it's achievements.

Let us ignore the constant innovation in all fields that some shorter lived species have engaged in. Let us ignore the elven weakness in war to the point where,
in a thousand year period, they have only survived the constant sackings of their cities through a blend of their own predisposition of hiding in the forests and through concealing magic that further locks their cities away from the world.
This is not to say, of course, that the elves use of magic is not ancient in origin- ten thousand years before anyone else discovered how to manipulate the currents of mana, and bind those currents to specific words and amulets with which to control that ambient energy.




Neither are the elven cities ruined or ugly. Rather they are beautiful, grand centers of art and literature that has held up through the centuries.

Their defensive warfare suits them, since their offensives have become completely ineffective due to their low birth rate and high rate of decentralization the elven kings find it difficult to gather armies of more than a few thousand.
However, in a thousand years the elves have not produced a single author of note. When they come to the market every once in a while, the goods they bring remain the same.

While the outside world has enriched itself on the back of an ever increasing store of knowledge with which to create superior weaponry, cities, better organized societies and governments- the elf has stagnated.



How can a race that so utterly lacks any kind of creative instinct be considered "superior". How can any race that that cannot even grasp the glories of war, the intricacies of strategy and the ability of a strong commander, with a powerful government backing him, to mobilize a great army and allow his sub-commanders to make use of their resources in order to destroy the enemy.
In short, the elves are not a superior race. Our studies of genetics, alongside the works of human and dwarven scientists, have proven that the elf is not in fact descended from a tree god or fairies from another world. No, the elf- like the human and the dwarf, is descended from a great ape. However the elven ancestor actually returned to the forests after having left.
Such a cowardly beast seems to have done so out of the lack of ability to compete for food in the open like the other races.

Gorged on the fruits of the forest, the elf-ape evolved to a sapient state more quickly, but at the sacrifice of the traits needed to sustain it's evolution.
A long-lived race of lazy apes was created, and even to this day they swing from tree to tree as their ancient furry ancestors must have done, whining as we cut their trees for lumber to supply our most modern of industries.
Then what do the elves have? Longevity we have established. And that is all they have. A long life. Then, if the elves are so unproductive as a race that in our race's three thousand years of civilization we have surpassed their twelve thousand, then the best option I can recommend for the elves would be their quick enslavement to our people, their long lives and immunity to disease
ensuring a high rate of slave survival irregardless of how we are effected by disease or old age.



The elven arrogance must end, and this is the most effective solution for the elven race. Let us not engage in wanton genocide when we have at last stumbled upon a way in which we may free the great bulk of our people from menial labor, in order that we may engage in the great pursuits of war and dueling that much more.

-Kragskraw Mograw, twenty-first Orcish chancellor in an address to the Orcis


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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:49 am Post subject: 
 
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I refuse to believe this was written by an Orc. The very notion is preposterous.

In fact, its...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D58LpHBnvsI

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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:42 am Post subject: 
 
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That seems like something out of somebody's Tolkien fan fiction, since it basically presents a counterargument to ideas that are used to explain why all orcs are evil and elves are morally superior to practically everybody.

At least at the time of Lord of the Rings. The Silmarilion paints a more complicated story.

One of the signs that the orcs are bad is that they're heavily into mining and industrialization. It's also portrayed as a bad thing that they're developing explosives and new siege weapons.

Meanwhile, the fact that elven culture hasn't changed much in thousands of years is supposed to be a sign of their noble characters. And hiding out in secure places like Rivendell is just good sense. You don't want to attract Sauron's attention any more than necessary.


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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:25 am Post subject: 
 
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Elves as described by Tolkien would only survive in a world suffering from medieval stasis, and even then they tend towards annihilation. The orcs would definitely be the superior race here, into industralism as they are.

Progress is king, and if you want to portray the elven race as something capable of survival while simultaneously keeping them out of the technological race, they would have to be heavily devoted to magical research (and have the racial capability to be the only ones able to put said research into good use, lest the orcs simply raid an elven library and end up having warlocks as powerful as elven dittos as well as mechanized infantry).

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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:24 pm Post subject: 
 
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You speak much truth. Tolkien elves sometimes created cool magic swords and things (like cloaks that change color and what amounts to enchanted nylon rope). But Tolkien's opposition to anything more high tech than a longbow really put them at a disadvantage.

Especially given how vague he was about the elves' magic powers. Some of them at least had telepathic and/or clairvoyant abilities or what amounts to the first two Necromantic White spells... But there's a distinct lack of stuff that would be useful in combat except with a few characters like Luthien and Glorfindel.

Some elves in the First Age were tough enough to kill balrogs, but Tolkien doesn't really explain how they did it other than talking about their hand-to-hand combat skills and writing a lot of stuff about glowing eyes.

Your average wood elf is physically superior to an average human in various ways, but otherwise not much of a threat once he runs out of arrows.

Which is fine... Until somebody invents better weapons.

I read a great Tolkien fan-fic called "The Last Ringbearer" where the elves are actually evil and the Orcs are just misunderstood humans. In that story, elves could be stopped pretty easily by winch crossbows.


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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:25 pm Post subject: 
 
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Hawkthorne wrote:
You speak much truth. Tolkien elves sometimes created cool magic swords and things (like cloaks that change color and what amounts to enchanted nylon rope). But Tolkien's opposition to anything more high tech than a longbow really put them at a disadvantage.
This is representative of Tolkien's dislike for industrialization in general, which winds it's way through the whole series. When one actually examines the series however, even in his pointed dislike of industrialization and the moment where he has nature fight back against it (the Ents march to war), it's clear to see that the Elves aren't capable of surviving in such a world. It's why, at the very end of the series, they gtfo.

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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:03 pm Post subject: 
 
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... which is why pragmatism always trumps idealism.

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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:25 am Post subject: 
 
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Fairly certain he just wrote an entertaining story for his son at war.

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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:49 am Post subject: 
 
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They have to be utterly devoid of industrial progression otherwise they would be too broken. Just think about a Tolkien elf with an automatic sniper rifle. Fuck, they wouldn't even need a scope, they can naturally see in the dark, and some of them are telepathic. That leaves them with the only weakness of a low birthrate.

... Now I kinda want to play a game with Tolkien elves with automatic sniper rifles.

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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:13 pm Post subject: 
 
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Tolkein's high elves are the most broken race ever. Their power is 'best at everything ever' including technology; in the Silmarilion they learned smithing from the valar who created the dwarves, and quickly surpassed him. The rings and silmarils and palantir are all a kind of high-technology.

I think what Tolkein really hated was crowded, polluted cities, as well as Asians, Africans and Germans.


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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:34 pm Post subject: 
 
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I agree about Tolkien hating cities. I'm not completely sure I agree about the racism. Although it is a problem that orcs are actually supposed to look Asian (he described them once as looking like really ugly Mongoloids).

As far as the German thing goes, it's interesting that Tolkien's version of an ubermensch is more like "Black Irish". Practically every Tolkien character who is supposed to be really awesome has brown or black hair and gray eyes. To the point where it got kind of annoying after a while during my last reading of The Silmarilion. Galadriel stands out because she's one of the few characters with blonde hair.

The High Elves are definitely "broken." If Tolkien hadn't deliberately kept their weapons technology at a pre-gunpowder level, they could have easily defeated the forces of Morgoth and Sauron by inventing things like tanks and fighter planes several thousand years early. A guy who was only half-high elf somehow defeated a dragon in single combat while flying around in his magic ship that could travel on both sea and air. Imagine if they had a whole fleet of those things equipped with some kind of cannons...

I don't get Tolkien's obsession with height. It's a constant thing in his Middle Earth stories that your magic potential, your goodness and all sorts of other things are directly related to how tall you are.

There's an idea floating around in some of his stuff that the elves who decided not to go live with the Valar eventually became Victorian-style gnomes and fairies and elves (where they might have some cool magic powers, but they're about four to six inches tall). So, all the stuff about about First Age elves being really tall makes sense with that in mind.

But it got totally out of control at some point. Gandalf gets taller when he shows off some of his true power. There's all this weird Hobbit bashing stuff just because they're short. When Merry and Pippin become true heroes, they get taller. Naturally, Gollum is about the size of a Hobbit (short = weak and evil, except in a few rare exceptions). Some orcs are about the same height as dwarves and they're definitely inferior to the taller ones. On and on it goes.

Why did Tolkien hate short people so much?


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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:59 am Post subject: 
 
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You do know Tolkien was high when he had the idea for the Lord of the Rings series, including The Silmarillion and especially The Hobbit.

And I'm not making this up, lot's of people that lived around him said that...

Getting high made him famous, lol.

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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:09 pm Post subject: 
 
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That explains why the heroes are always chasing the pipeweed, not to mention his frequent segues into folk-music and gay fantasies.


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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:17 pm Post subject: 
 
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Clearly elves are the final product of Darwinism. The implications are staggering!

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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:54 am Post subject: 
 
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Elves are arrogant and rightful to be so. Why you ask?

Lets create a scenario like that. You are a 30 years old man with some some serious concerns about politics, environment human rights and whatnot. One day you see a 11 years old kids' gang bullying someone with glasses and taking off his lunch. When you approach you learn that they are doing this everyday and to almost everyone who cant protect themselves. But for some reason (which is probably hormonal food) they are extremely overgrown and muscled!

When you ask then to stop, they threaten to beat you too and police is not acting at all because these kids are children of the police! You are now totally powerless against them.

Elves are like the man in 30s here. They are few in numbers, they have high ethic values concerning the world about all being having a place and harmony must be kept. Humans are the small bullies. They are too much in number and increasing even more. Due to their short lifespan they do not care about world but themselves. They beat other races (orcs/halforcs/elves) with their new toy : legal powers. They are taking off magic from land and turning forests into wastelands because it is profitable to do so for them, and they can.
Police is the industrial council and their gnomish/human merchant politicians who put their interests before world's.

I totally agree upon the Dark-elf philosophy now and my first act will be going back to Thanatos and killing off Nasrudin for his crimes against this world! (hmm I guess got carried away a little)

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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:19 am Post subject: 
 
Nemesis of the Ancients
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symban wrote:
Elves are arrogant and rightful to be so. Why you ask?

Lets create a scenario like that. You are a 30 years old man with some some serious concerns about politics, environment human rights and whatnot. One day you see a 11 years old kids' gang bullying someone with glasses and taking off his lunch. When you approach you learn that they are doing this everyday and to almost everyone who cant protect themselves. But for some reason (which is probably hormonal food) they are extremely overgrown and muscled!

When you ask then to stop, they threaten to beat you too and police is not acting at all because these kids are children of the police! You are now totally powerless against them.

This is a very weak example. I can see your point, but it's muddled by your attempts to make your example painfully blatant (but don't worry, I say blatant like it's blat-ant).

Elves, at one point in time, were a superior race. I think that their magical prowess is an example of that, but they are in the twilight of their empire, and are dying out due to an inability to compete. Most games/fantasy realms/etc. portray elves in that manner, or in a similar one.

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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:11 am Post subject: 
 
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Elves are like bitter old people claiming their generation was superior and have a disdain of the youth. Everyone ignores them, their significance withered a long ago.

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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:59 am Post subject: 
 
No Hole is Sacred
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Frigo said it best

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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:41 am Post subject: 
 
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Kaitol wrote:
... Now I kinda want to play a game with Tolkien elves with automatic sniper rifles.


Me too. I understand the racial penalty in Arcanum, but the idea of being a Legolas-type character with a .50 caliber rifle instead of a bow is just too awesome.

John M. Ford wrote a cool book called "The Last Hot Time" that had elves going around using sawed off shotguns and other firearms in modern-day Chicago. His elves were fairly Tolkien-esque, but it made sense that they drove cars and liked going to movies and doing other urban things. Ever since I read that book, the idea of an elf with a gun has been rattling around in the back of my head and it's a little disappointing that I shouldn't do that in Arcanum.


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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:45 pm Post subject: 
 
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I played the D20 World of Warcraft game with my friends, and one of them played a hunter who was a night elf. Not quite a .50 cal sniper rifle, but a powerful boomstick in any case. I played a monk, of course.

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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:52 pm Post subject: 
 
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Hawkthorne wrote:
Ever since I read that book, the idea of an elf with a gun has been rattling around in the back of my head and it's a little disappointing that I shouldn't do that in Arcanum.


Ever played Shadowrun?

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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:53 am Post subject: 
 
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No. But I read one of the Shadowrun novels a long time ago and it seemed like a fun campaign setting. That book featured, among other characters, an elf hacker who dressed like a stereotypical punk rocker. I liked the idea of mixing cyberpunk and fantasy.


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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:03 am Post subject: 
 
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Shadowrun is all kinds of fun. It's cyberpunk/magic, and fits into the arcanum lore well.

My friend made an elf assassin with a customised sniper rifle which could take down a dragon.


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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:05 am Post subject: 
 
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I was obsessed with the cyberpunk genre a few years ago. I read a Shadowrun novel and bought hundreds of Shadowrun, Cyberpunk, and NetRunner cards from Ebay. I'd say it is accurate to take the Arcanum world and advance it 300 years to get a feel for the Shadowrun world.

As intriguing as the Shadowrun world is, it still feels somewhat disjointed. Quite honestly, the Arcanum world did a better job of blending the dichotomy of magic and technology. I think Shadowrun lost it by using our Earth as the setting for its universe; I'm too familiar with the laws of my world to believe that what is happening in Shadowrun is plausible. It is as if Arcanum requires a simple suspension of disbelief while Shadowrun demands that it be abandoned altogether.

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 PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:42 pm Post subject: 
 
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But Shadowrun includes the Awakening of magic, just as Arcanum has its decline. Assuming the magic was absent altogether for those 300 years, then it fits almost seamlessly.

Blending the lore, we could postulate that magic began leaving Arcanum when the last dragon died.

Then it returns with the dragons 21 Dec, 2011. Just you wait and see...


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