4 comments on “Elves We Need, and Elves We Don’t

  1. What BX/BECMI sources do you recommend I take a look at if I want to understand how they depicted elves? It seems more interesting than the forced rationalisation of elves you describe.

    And yeah even Pathfinder neglects to do anything interesting. You’d think being unable to rely on wotc IP would force them to be creative. Drow are still underground demon-worshippers, and even though all (?) elves come from the equivalent of Venus rather than another plane, this has zero effect on their characterisation.

    • The Gazetteer series for BECMI, outlining the world of Mystara, is where it all is. While AD&D was limiting what players could play, BECMI was constantly expanding it. The Elves of Alfheim, and the Shadow Elves modules are where you want to look. BECMI elves were part of their world, and had a very Norse/LotR feel about them; although they went in some weird directions fast with Shadow Elves. At the same time establishing the tree-home stuff we now take for granted. Another example of different directions they took is in the Orcs of Thar, where race/classes for all the goblinoids are presented, and that was while AD&D was still adamant that only the conventional player races were acceptable.

      • Thanks for the quick reply — I’ll check out those volumes of the GAZ series.

        It’s a shame Mystara doesn’t get more love. Obviously wotc’s pushing Forgotten Realms to the exclusion of everything else, but the 5e players I see who use other TSR settings typically go with Greyhawk and Planescape.

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