Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Tree-hugging hippies!

I've been bouncing some ideas around for a D20/D&D type game for publication and, apart from the rules I'm going to use, I've been thinking about the setting. Now, I have some love for fantasy stereotypes, considering that my first love is Tolkien, but I'm a bit concerned about portraying Elves. I don't want that high-born aloof tree-hugging hippy naturalist approach you get with most (ie all) other settings. I also don't want to flip that on it's head and go for that dark-and-dirty 'oh, Menzoberranzan is the place to be' evil Elf that's the stark opposite of the hippies just so that they're different. And if I give them closer-to-human abilities, then what's the point?

I was thinking of something smaller, like about two foot tall, but rich in culture and history. Drop the pointy ears, perhaps, but keep them in the forests hidden behind veils of magic so that wanderers and travellers miss them. Okay, maybe three foot.

I don't know. It's just that when I think of Elves I think of the way that Tolkien portrayed them and if I do that then what's the point? I'll be joining the 90% that already do that. I guess my point is that I'm having difficulty making my fantasy setting unique, Elves or no.

Damn you, saturated genre.

1 comment:

  1. If you want to make your fantasy system different then the first step I would take is not to use any of the races. Make completely new ones. The number of nearly identical fantasy games out there is staggering. Each promises something different and something new. Few rarely do.

    As soon as you say 'Elves' everyone (designer, GM and player) will make a raft of assumptions. Even if you turn a race its head, you will find that someone will have a preconception - such as Dark Elves.