I like elves. Specifically, I like the elves of Middle-earth, and in particular I like the fact that they were truly immortal; even their deaths merely meant they would be reborn back into the elven race [if I remember the Silmarillion correctly).
Most RPGs have elves as a long-lived race, but rarely are they truly immortal. I can’t recall the maximum ages of all the elves I’ve come across, but I know that in ACKS they have a maximum of roughly 200 years or so; but I much prefer elves as being this immortal race, that reach certain adult perfection and then never age, and are immune to normal diseases, dying only as a result of their wounds, if such are inflicted. For my next campaign, whenever and wherever that is, I want elves to be an immortal race– or at least a race that used to be immortal– because that is much more fascinating and interesting that simply a race that lives a generation or two longer than humans.
Imagine what a race like that would be like. How would it affect their progress? Slow it down? Allow them to achieve great accomplishments because they have the time to discover new technologies, to indulge lengthy research and experimentation? Would such a race eventually become corrupt, their egos overinflated by their obvious superiority over short-lived races, and would they use their superiority and long lives to conqueror other races, perhaps mistakenly thinking that they are doing them a favour?
Would their cities expand until they enveloped wide regions, spanning continents, but built in harmony with the natural world?
I would also like to have elves less inclined to arcane power, and more linked to divine power. Clerics rather than mages. I’d argue that Tolkien’s elves would be better suited as clerics anyhow, since they are closer to the ‘gods’ and many dwelt with or close to them. At least that’s one way to look at them.
I also like the idea of the elven race being less ‘good-guys’ and more the ‘bad-guys’ of a story. The corrupted elves. Maybe cursed too, by the gods, by other races, by their own misused powers.
I have an idea of Blighted Elves, corrupted by too much power, mutated and warped in body and mind. Also, Burning or Shining Ones, an idea I keep coming back to, which would be elves that have consumed so much power that they are literally burning up from the inside, their life-spans drastically reduced as a result. Elves that once had a vast empire that has since fallen into ruin; elves that enslaved the other races, until those races broke free by rebelling and fighting back; elves that stole their power from the gods, reducing these divine beings to mortals– albeit powerful mortals– and trapping that power, tapping into it to fuel the elves own magic.
Elves that vanished. Elves that are coming back, and bringing an eternal winter with them. Why? No idea. It just sounds interesting.
Anyway, I like elves, and I want to use them in more interesting ways than I used to.
Next Time: I Like Halflings!