Elves of LOTR vs Elves of AD&D

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lord aelric
Posts: 546

Elves of LOTR vs Elves of AD&D

Post#1 » Wed Mar 10, 2004 5:54 am

Ok this the first thread i've started, so go easy on my ass...

But i want to throw open a debate on how in Fantasy Literature post-LOTR and especially in PnP Roleplaying games (i make specific mention of TSR's infamous AD&D), Elves are depicted variously as effete , magical but in a fey/twee way, live a very long time(but not immortal in most cases) routinely wear green tights, use only shortbows cos their not quite tall? enough, and other BlurB that kinda makes MERP/LOTR Elves seem like an entirely different concept altogether!

I hope i am not alone in this belief, but for those that wanted to roleplay the kind of elven heroes akin to fellas in the Sillmarillion, then to see them dwarfed into comic, inneffectual shadows of what you imagined!"PffffT"

So on a another level "how many AD&D elves would it take to beat one reasonably adequate LOTR Elf(Noldor)? Place your bets Now!

(Even ICE Rolemaster/MERP failed, though i concede they came closest)

Appreciate your views folks...
:angryelf: :elf: :pixie: :elfroleeyes: :elfwink: :elfbiggrin: :elfconfused: :tongueelf: :happyelf:A BIG ELF FAN!

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Nilgaerien
Posts: 624

Elves of LOTR vs Elves of AD&D

Post#2 » Wed Mar 10, 2004 8:45 am

Okay, I'm disgusted at the way LOTR's elves get thrown into the shuffle at times, finally morphing into who-knows-what-that-thing-is.

Personally, I don't think AD&D elves could make a mark on a LOTR elf. :veryevil:

Hmmm....anything else I need to say in my defense? I like the short and sweet defensive posture, so if you want more, you'll have to post more. :wink:

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valedhelgwath
Posts: 4233

Elves of LOTR vs Elves of AD&D

Post#3 » Wed Mar 10, 2004 12:02 pm

Yep, you're right Aelric. AD&D Elves are slender, willowy things. Rolemaster elves have Silmarillion descriptions, but their stat bonuses still appear to make them agile rather than strong, when really they were both.

I was playing AD&D before I ever read LotR, and my first impression of Tolkien's elves was that he had got them all wrong. Elves after all, were supposed to be small and willowy, not seven feet tall. All the early fairy stories I read had small elves too. Weren't the Celtic Sidhe of a similar build too?

When I first read the Hobbit, I felt the elves were still small there, and very light hearted. They seemed to grow as the book went on, however. Maybe it was a case of my early preconceptions being broken down.

As a side note. I always found it totally unrealistic how AD&D limited the level advancement of elves to quite low levels. That was one of the first rules I scrubbed out.

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Elves of LOTR vs Elves of AD&D

Post#4 » Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:45 pm

Yeah, it always bugs me that if I want a high level mage I have to settle for a human one. If Elves are long lived, they should be able to learn more from all those years of living experience. And another thing in some of the AD&D computer games I've played Elves can't be resurrected while humans can; that's a double whammy against using them as pure mages; may as well make them rangers or duel them as fighter-mages.
'Share and enjoy'

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lord aelric
Posts: 546

Elves of LOTR vs Elves of AD&D

Post#5 » Thu Mar 11, 2004 3:03 am

HAHA my good fellow Rpg'ers... i recall having a reasonably potent high elf in ad&d, Multi-class fighter(7)Mage (7)thief(6), but could it live with the dual-classed half-elves or humans, or worse still, the pure level human rangers or fighters ... NOPE!

I just couldnt follow TSR's reasoning on all of the points that Val & Grondy have just raised, if it was the case that it was justified b/c non-human races started with stat bonuses @ 1st level, but had all these bizarre counter-intuitive level restrictions later on... All i know is that i played some good characters with some good mates in AD&D (Spelljammer, Ravenloft, Forgotten Realms & Dragonlance) but none of us could bear the system. Eventually we adopted the GURPS system, but even that had its limitations.

Rolemaster has to be one of my personal faves though, and like you said Val, I think the makers of the game were themselves troubled by ill-conceived preconceptions, and were more intent on maintaining game (player) balance than accurately representing all the races properly. E.g, i remember on many occasions there being too many Elves in the PC groups, and virtually no-one had the courage to be the relatively runt-like humans.

On the point f the Sidhe, or Tuatha De Danaan, as a celt myself (Welsh/Oirish stock) the Sidhe traditionally are primaeval nature spirits, and have a variety of forms - the most common being a pixie-like, elfin creature in popular mythology. But this is also a very recent dumbing down of what they actually represented, equally they were as gigantic as they were small, as fair as they were ugly, alien and yet possessed of human traits when it suited them. In, addition to that is the close similarity between the Valar of the Undying Lands and the Tuatha de Danaan of Elysium, i'm sure JRR cited local Brythonic Celt lore and mythos as well as the much vaunted Scandinavian legends (Grendel, Beowulf, Sagas blah dee blah).

loni
Posts: 1519

Elves of LOTR vs Elves of AD&D

Post#6 » Fri Mar 12, 2004 4:48 pm

Please, someone tell me what AD&D stands for, and I'll say my views.

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lord aelric
Posts: 546

Elves of LOTR vs Elves of AD&D

Post#7 » Mon Mar 15, 2004 2:09 am

Advanced Dungeons and Dragons... It's Evil and so are all Rpg'ers, hehe!

:mad2: :funnylaugh: :mad2:

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valedhelgwath
Posts: 4233

Elves of LOTR vs Elves of AD&D

Post#8 » Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:45 pm

It's Evil and so are all Rpg'ers,


I don't know about evil, but I do know I sold a good proportion of my life to playing them. I was 18 when I first discovered AD&D, and I was hooked about an hour later. During my university days I was playing maybe 4 or 5 nights a week when I should have been studying etc. After that I introduced it to my friends at home and continued playing 2 or 3 nights a week until I discovered Rolemaster a few years later. I continued playing until I was 35, at which time I realised I was spending a little too much of my time living with the elves (because I was Dungeon Master, as well as playing, I'd spend hours and hours designing the following evening's game).

Anyway, I finally packed my books away five years ago and concentrated on living in the world. Two years ago, however, I discovered Planet Tolkien, and now I'm back to spending a little too much time with the elves again. About a year ago the Rolemaster books were pulled out again because my son was keen to play. He's so in to it, he's just designed his own set of rules so he can play it at school.

It's powerful stuff... Be careful :mad2:

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Azadhel
Posts: 144

Elves of LOTR vs Elves of AD&D

Post#9 » Mon Mar 15, 2004 1:14 pm

First of all, I guess no one here would ever agree that Elves are as depicted in those cartoony looking story lines. Perhaps that is why they need to be depicted that way. Elves are not small helpless creatures hidding from the Human world, making cookies inside a tree. Also, language is a disadvantage for the genre: in spanish they are called "Duendes". And you would never confuse a "Duende" with an "Elf". I guess misticism and magic is here portraying what each of us needs to have portrayed. A lot of people out there don´t know the difference (sadly), and trully don´t care. Take my mother for example. She knows I know, and if came to it, she knows she can ask me about it. She would never do it, though. Also, I´ve been wanting to learn and play AD&D for decades now. I had class 14 Master Jedi in SW RPG, but its not the same. :elf:
Namärie!Quel marth mellonamin,
Merin sa haryallë alassë!
Namarië!
A.Z.

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lord aelric
Posts: 546

Elves of LOTR vs Elves of AD&D

Post#10 » Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:05 am

Take Val's Advice, play a decent format, like Rolemaster, Whitewolf or GURPS, although AD&D is simple and relatively easy to pick up - it quickly reveals all of its short-comings as a system and the most of the Source content is focused toward young teenagers and hence very basic.

And btw, i was being ironic about "all RPG'ers being evil", as like you Val i have invested a great deal of time for the benefit of friends and consequently myself, in devising and creating (what i believe to be) enjoyable games and rich, involving stories. Not all of it was a waste of time, but i appreciate that sometimes the hobby can be a distraction verging on obssession when you ought to be doing something else instead (I too was a student that took refuge in RPG just to avoid doing work, fortunately i gotta girlfriend and was saved! lol)

Still love it though, cheapest form of social entertainment I know of!!!

:grin:

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