Thread: Elves of LOTR vs Elves of AD&D
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...
A BIG ELF FAN!
Personally, I don't think AD&D elves could make a mark on a LOTR elf.
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.
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.
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).
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
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!!!
I’m just glad I have social life... by the way, can I be your friend?
Anywho, I never liked the way Dwarves are portrayed in say, Disney’s Snow White. With colorfull clothing, and a pickaxe to mine. 7 Dwarves? The closest I can think of is the Petty Dwarf in Nan i hin Hurin. That’s more like it. Grumpy, Sleepy, Drunky, Toasty, Hippie, Trippy, and Chuck!?!? In the words of all mighty Loni: "Sababa!"
But i dont think i've upset anyone on PT just yet?
Back to the subject matter, If Elvis was an Elf, and he exited a room full of elves, would anyone say, "Elvis the King of Elveses has left the building!"?
I must laugh for all of us. That was a good one!
Also, Never question a declared friendship. If they say you are loved by everyone, don’t you think that you probably are? Specially because I am sure you don’t really know Them, as I am sure you know they don’t really know you. And thus, the word on the stree... on the posts is that you are loved by them. Cool huh?
On another note, you really hadn’t to read between the lines to judge I am a happily single man. If nice girls are harder to get, so are nice boys. I’ve invested too much time, money and effort on many a nice girl. It’s time for girls to invest now. The hardest thing about not wanting a girl is that you are all undeniably beauti-full.
Other than that, I`ll have to say that even in Elvenstone, the comic, Elves are very small and bigheaded. And if you could grant a mix up of some kind between cultural styles, imagine a Comic Book with Japanim’ narrative of the Lord of the Rings. Man, that would be the bestest!
Gandalf the White, as offering something of perspective, was a mere 75 - 80 level. Now i appreciate this was only an opinion of a band of game developers but it did offer some notion of how it was conceivable for the great Elven heroes to battle and defeat Balrogs, Dragons and challenge Morgoth & the like. I think this impression stuck with me, and was why i was always reticent and disappointed with other game systems "dumbing down" of the Elven races.
I'd like to play one of the big online games like Everquest etc, but I fear if I even glanced in, that would be it, I'd never come out. Things have come on a long way from the early days of graph paper and dice.
since i am a huge lotr fan
Everyone here is a huge lotr fan, that goes for everyone!
I agree. The Elves in TLOTR are better than short, ugly little creatures.
Ya'll had just about reawakened my attraction to MERP, and then Aelric comes along. Let's play GURPS now! It's still the most realistic system I've ever seen, and I won't say I'm having trouble finding a game, but I live in Austin and I'm still stuck with "All In a Nights Work" or nothing. Let's face it, Max the Guard was NOT designed to take on mages (hehe.) All we need now is a GM willing to take on the complex minutiae of GURPS, but it's still more logical than the alternative complexities of Chartmaster. And, of course, with GURPS, if we wanna play in Middle Earth, we just do it, and if Capt. Kirk, Han Solo, and Sherlock Holmes wanna come along, they can.(though they oughtta have to pay for literacy, tech level or no, since it would likely be a skill in Middle Earth, especially in the Elder Days.) Silmarils: the Ultimate Powerstones, and the only quirks were in Feanor. Besides, the Basic Set examples of delusions still contains one of my all time favorite quotes: "Ice cream makes machines work better, especially computers. Spoon it right in."