PDA

View Full Version : Dealing with Immortality... Questions



Squatting_Monk
2006-11-10, 04:01 PM
For my personal campaign setting, I'd like to change elves... a lot. I don't think the PHB rules really reflect the type of creature I imagine. I've done a lot of work on making them more in tune with the natural world (and weak when they're not in a familiar type of terrain). But the biggest thing I've been dealing with is... immorality.

I'd like my elves to be immortal. In the Tolkien sense, that is. They can be slain, but they don't just die of old age. Eating, rest (meditation, not sleep), and breathing are all still necessities. I've got problems beyond those.

First off, an infinite life is a huge asset. Characters can easily get to epic levels just by not getting killed (easy challenges would contribute small amounts of XP, and it would pile up after thousands of years). So I've gotta make downsides. The first I've come up with is the problem of raising. If elves are immortal, then they shouldn't have souls, so they can't be raised. For adventurers, that probably outweighs the benefit of immortality, especially if they are frequently getting over their heads in encounters.

I've got another twist, too. Elven immortality derives from the Elder Tree in the elven homeland. In my mythology, the elves were originally born from seeds of the elder tree, and the tree bears a leaf that represents each one. If the leaf representing a particular elf can be identified and destroyed, the elf will also die. If the elves are to leave the elven homeland, they become mortal, though they still have long lives by human standards (I'm picturing the normal lifespan for elves from the PHB). If they return to the homeland, they are immortal again, but the aging process only halts. Once they've spent enough time away from the elven lands, the aging process finally kills them.

With no soul, adventurers who are elves will be severely limited, and the players might be very reluctant to play them. So I got a compromise. A journey to the elven homeland could let a party discover the leaf of the Elder Tree that used to hold the elf's essence. Assuming they can find the proper leaf, they could use a miracle spell to convince the elven gods to grant the elf a soul, which would be placed within the leaf. The leaf could then have raise dead or similar spells cast on it to raise the elf, but he would be forever mortal.

The sheer difficulty of getting back a fallen elven comrade is enormous (especially considering that the elves never let non-elves step foot on their shores, and only high-level parties have the means to cast the necessary spells). The question is... how enormous is the challenge? Does the way I've dealt with elven immortality put a serious enough cramp in elves as characters that I can justify beefing up their other abilities? If so, how much of one? On the other hand, does it not really matter that much? If so, how could I change the system to make the consequences more dire for dead elves?

Oh, one other note: practically all games will happen away from elven lands. the elven homeland is more of a mythical realm across the sea that few (including the elves who live in human lands) have seen in the whole of history. This means the benefits of elven immortality will rarely come into play in our games.

KIDS
2006-11-10, 04:14 PM
First of all, it's a great idea. Particularly with the leaves and the Elder Tree!
DMG suggests that balancing immortality with an extremely low birthrate is a way to go.
But!
First of all, this is your game. As you've put it, with immortality, they should all be epic level simpy by amassing thousands of small chunks of xp (rp, border patrol, anything). This is where diminishing returns come in. An elf of higher level will not gain experience from killing goblins. If he avoids danger and does not get killed, he will not gain any xp (or will gain it at a declining rate). Just be reasonable and do not PHB or DMG convince you that "simply living gives xp". To get an epic level, your immortal elves would have to pass the same dangers and challenges that mortals do.
Still, immortality has some effect on level. Due to the diminishing returns and unlimited life, by going on border patrols, performing rituals, and simply, well... living, it is quite reasonable to assume that a vast majority of elves are lvl 3 or above. There is no such thing as "an unexperienced elf" Unlike humans, whose vast majority is lvl 1. This leads to the evening of the level curve, so to say.

Personally I do not see a reason why immortal being shouldn't still have a soul, nor that it is so extremely detrimental. But that is your decision after all.

Mike_Lemmer
2006-11-10, 04:15 PM
Given the average lifespan of adventurers, any race that lives longer than a kobold might as well be immortal. I think you could say elves are immortal and leave it as just flavor text. Now, the consequences of dealing with 10+ generations of ancestors...

Jack_Simth
2006-11-10, 05:21 PM
The "doesn't age" version of Immortality is just one of those things. In character, it's very often something to be strived for.

Doesn't particularly affect the player playing the character, though, unless for whatever reason he's only allowed the one, or there's 10+years of game time between adventures/sessions.

Okay, an Immortal Elven Expert-1 could be rich, if he's saved up for a thousand years (if you've got a Craft check modifier of +4, and take 10, you get about 7 gp/week. If you can survive on an average of 9 sp/day, you net 7 silvers a week. At 52 weeks a year, for 1,000 years, that's 364,000 silvers, or 36,400 gp - equipment for, what, an 8th level PC?). Mind you, that kind of wealth attracts theives, so no Expet-1 is actually going to have it....

Fizban
2006-11-10, 07:29 PM
Love the tree of life idea. My own spin on it: An elf's soul resides in their leaf. This grants elves an immunity to spells that would actually imprison or remove their soul, instead merely killing them with negative energy. As an elf ages, their leaf changes color just like leaves in the fall, and when an elf dies their leaf falls to the ground, where it eventually decomposes and rejoins with the tree. If one can find the leaf of an elf who died before their time, and reunnite it with the elf's body, or fragments thereof, the elf can be raised. (true ressurection never needs a body part, just the leaf).

Seryntas
2006-11-10, 10:38 PM
I think the answer here is that elves in your game are fey, rather than humanoids. Based on the rules for the Killoren in Races of the Wild, a fey passes through adulthood, through middle age, and into old, where they remain forever. This may correct some of the problems you have here.

Squatting_Monk
2006-11-10, 11:54 PM
Thanks. Glad to know you guys liked the tree idea. I worked hard to give elves a unique flavor in my world. And yes, Seryntas, elves will be closely related to fey in my setting, though I do prefer them as humanoids.

My biggest concern is how immortality (as I've drawn it anyway) will affect game balance. Does it make things tough for elven characters, or not all that much?

Thanks for th input, guys. :smallsmile:

Behold_the_Void
2006-11-10, 11:58 PM
Do elves really need to be PCs? If you want them to have such a mystical feel to them, why not make them unattainable to normal play?

Jack_Simth
2006-11-11, 12:14 AM
Thanks. Glad to know you guys liked the tree idea. I worked hard to give elves a unique flavor in my world. And yes, Seryntas, elves will be closely related to fey in my setting, though I do prefer them as humanoids.

My biggest concern is how immortality (as I've drawn it anyway) will affect game balance. Does it make things tough for elven characters, or not all that much?

Thanks for th input, guys. :smallsmile:
In changes NPC's somewhat. Unless the passage of time is going to be a big element in your campaign for whatever reason, immortality in and of itself doesn't touch game balance. The difficulties getting him raised? That will affect game balace (but only somewhat, depending on your rules for integrating new characters).

Oh, and the Elder tree? Guard it as you may, any area effect damage spell will cause trouble. Which could make quite a few plot points....

Fizban
2006-11-11, 01:31 AM
I would assume the life tree is guarded by multiple super-epic mages, probably granted demi-god status by the tree, while the area probably has an innate ability to muck up hostile magic.

Now, the biggest problem I can see is that mysteries of the past evaporate if their are elven elders old enough to still remember them, and therefore pass them on. But that all depends on how xenophobic they are.

Jack_Simth
2006-11-11, 11:22 AM
I would assume the life tree is guarded by multiple super-epic mages, probably granted demi-god status by the tree, while the area probably has an innate ability to muck up hostile magic.

Yes, and then if the elves ever decide something's important, nobody can stand against them. Without them leaving the tree. Does bad things to your campaign's politicical structure, unless of course you say the elves get basically everything important to them.


Now, the biggest problem I can see is that mysteries of the past evaporate if their are elven elders old enough to still remember them, and therefore pass them on. But that all depends on how xenophobic they are.
Nah, just put in rules for elven forgetting - they have a "span" of a Int Score * 100 years or something. Anything more than that? "Well, I'm told I was there... wrote it down in my diary, even.... but there's limits as to what one elf can remember."

Squatting_Monk
2006-11-11, 02:30 PM
Do elves really need to be PCs? If you want them to have such a mystical feel to them, why not make them unattainable to normal play?

I really do want them as PCs. Otherwise, there wouldn't be much of a problem with the raising issue and I can make them as uber-powerful as I want. My focus is on trying to keep this system of immortality (for the sake of the mythology) while balancing it for play. All elven PCs (with extremely rare exceptions wholly dependent on the game I'm running) will be of the few settlements living in human lands. Thus, the magic of the Elder Tree will not be providing them with immortality, and elven PCs will generally suffer the drawbacks of being soulless and (practically) unraiseable without the benefits of immortality. (Does that make sense? Sounds wordy and complex to me.)

So the question remains: how big a setback is the problem of raising elven PCs?


Oh, and the Elder tree? Guard it as you may, any area effect damage spell will cause trouble. Which could make quite a few plot points....

Oh yes, this will be a big issue in my campaign setting. It's also one of the reasons why elves will never allow non-elves into their lands. A fireball being able to slay all the elves in one fell swoop introduces a very strong sense of vulnerability to the seemingly invulnerable elven society, and it provides a great goal for the evil powers-that-be. :smallwink:

Were-Sandwich
2006-11-11, 02:36 PM
I assume there is a continuous Forbidance effect around the tree, otherwise an enemy could just 'port in, fireball, 'port out.

NullAshton
2006-11-11, 04:41 PM
Apocalypse from the sky... ooo, elves just got OWNED.

Pegasos989
2006-11-11, 05:02 PM
Well, I would assume that the elder tree in itself could have divine ranks as a plant type elven god. :S

The thing I wonder: if there is thousands of elves and 1 tree, the tree has leaves for every elf (even those that are currently outside elven lands)... There is a LOT of leaves.

I would personally say that every elven village has it's own tree of life and they might all be connected by roots to the main tree or something.

knightsaline
2006-11-11, 09:30 PM
the wizards website has an article dealing with immortallity. http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fey/20030411a is the article. it details what the DM can do with immortallity, including if immortals can renounce thier immortallity, if they can be affected with diseases and a poison that removes immortallity

Triaxx
2006-11-12, 12:33 PM
You might try Pheonix stlyed immortality. When Elf A dies, he's reborn shortly after, but back at the home of the elves. Design each leaf with a seed at the end. So that when an elf dies, the leaf withers, and the seed falls, being reborn into another elf. The elf could then go through a period of 'childhood', relearning who he or she was, and why he or she left the homeland. That means while they can't be resurrected, they also don't need to be.

Myatar_Panwar
2006-11-12, 02:04 PM
^ But would they retain their class abilities once they realized who they were? Or am I misunderstanding what your saying?

Triaxx
2006-11-12, 05:04 PM
Not unless they spent time relearning them. But instead they'd be able to change classes if they wanted. So being a Wizard got them killed? So this time they'll be a fighter. Either way, they'd begin at level 1 again. However, if you wanted to add another special power to compensate for starting over, you could give them a +10% XP bonus if they were re-entering the same class.

The problem comes with sorcerors. Does dying become a conveinent way to reset your spells, or do you keep them after death, and are simply unable to cast them if you don't take sorceror levels?

Grey Knight
2006-11-12, 06:49 PM
I had an interesting idea, partly triggered by the elsethread discussion of racism. It seems plausible that immortals might be subject to a fair amount of bigotry from the short-lived races: for instance, an elf can clean up on long-term investment opportunities, perhaps leading to them being banned from such endeavours - that little straw could be all it takes to spark full-blown prejudice in society. Politicians who want things of the past forgotten would have issue with people who were there at the time, as another example. You can probably think of more; in a world dominated by people with finite, short, and more-or-less similar lifespans, the existence of a few handfuls of immortals is going to cause some strife, I think.

Perhaps the other races have developed a detect soul spell used to enforce segregation in society? And perhaps the elves have come up with a counterfeit soul to combat it.

Belteshazzar
2006-11-12, 07:15 PM
Sounds alot like Night Elves From WoW (the whole tree of immortality). In my world I made the Fae (including elves), Dwarves(including gnomes), Draconic, and a hombrew Mindflayer race all immortal because they are simply living representations of the elements air, earth, energy, and water. I simply ballenced them out by making them breed slowly along with a large war between the Mindflayers and Fae coupled with a simultanious Deamonic Invasion befor the advent of man in order to allow mortals to spread like the weeds they are.

Mike_Lemmer
2006-11-12, 09:20 PM
Re: Immortality

I doubt you'd have to worry about extremely ancient elves. What are the odds of them surviving every disease, war, demonic invasion, and accident they have over 1000 years or more?

Plus, after a while, ancient knowledge becomes a detriment.

"Look, that halfling isn't strong enough to pull a bow. He can't hit me. A crossbow, what's that?"
*ka-CHUNK*

Re: The Tree

Just having one giant tree with lifeleafs is too risky. I'd suggest making multiple trees interconnected through giant roots through the earth. Makes it harder to commit genocide with one big fireball.

By the way, have you thought of making it a coniferous tree? They're a bit more sturdier than the wussy deciduous trees.

Squatting_Monk
2006-11-12, 11:38 PM
the wizards website has an article dealing with immortallity. http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fey/20030411a (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fey/20030411a) is the article. it details what the DM can do with immortallity, including if immortals can renounce thier immortallity, if they can be affected with diseases and a poison that removes immortallity

Ahh... I had read this but haven't thought at all about how I could apply it to elves. Thanks for the tip. :smallsmile:

One of the things it brought up was disease, and I've been wondering about making elves immune to natural disease (though magical and supernatural diseases and afflictions are still possible). This would contribute to Grey Knight's idea about discrimination against elves, which I want to play a strong role in my story.

The elven homeland, Almaren (a continent unto itself), is an almost celestial paradise unspoiled by the festering plagues that ravage human lands. Men already hate elves for being immortal, so what if the elves also did not contract the horrible diseases that the humans did? What if the humans in turn began to suspect the elves of starting the plagues themselves? Ooo... I'm getting ideas, and it fuels the concept of an eternal war between men (or at least the central mannish empire, as other mannish lands are more tolerant of other races), which I've had for a while.

I really like the idea of racial discrimination, although I didn't reply to the thread on it on this forum because I haven't really solidified how I want it to work in my world. But I do want a strong sense of racial pride among at least men, who think they're superior to all of the other races. This culminates in slavery, pogroms, and mass genocide of other tribes and races. Altogether, it helps give the world a darker, more mature feel that I want. I don't want it to be a generic medieval fantasy world, but a grown-up one that deals with modern, grown-up problems.

That said, elves and their ilk are really the only shred of beauty in this world, and I want to keep them (especially as pure and upright immortals) if only as a beacon of hope in an otherwise grim and hopeless world.

You guys are giving me some really great ideas to chew on as far as how to deal with the nature of the immortality itself, and especially how to integrate the tree into that (btw, I'll have to look up the night elves thing to make sure I'm not too close to it; never played WoW). Any advice though on how not being able to be resurrected would affect the power level of elven PCs, though?

Thanks for the great input, all. I appreciate it. :smallsmile:

lsfreak
2006-11-13, 01:54 AM
Actually, I don't think people would reach epic levels simply by being around that long. As a little kid, if you outrun that spider, it's a big thing. Assuming you're not arachiphobic, by mid-teens it's no longer a big deal (sure they might gross you out as they pop out from under your keyboard, but still). Same thing goes here - dimishing returns to the point where your average elf, while perhaps much higher in level than your average person, still isn't epic-level. Unless there's some serious spider problems... ;)

As for balancing it out... I'd say perhaps give them an innate ability to resist disease, poison, maybe even very small amounts of damage resistance due to race. On the other hand, something you might consider to make the whole process of raising them seem less overwhelming is to make ressurection spells rarer - for example, in my world (which, admittedly, is much more for writing than playing games in) the top ten or so beings alive have access to the magic needed to actually return someone to life without potential backfiring. Probably a bit much for your world, but perhaps simply make death a more permenent, toublesome thing for everyone.

Triaxx
2006-11-13, 02:59 PM
Perhaps the previously suggested 'Long Arduous Quest'? Though that gets old after a while.

Telonius
2006-11-13, 03:15 PM
Another possibility... reincarnation. A tree loses leaves, but they grow back again in the spring, correct? No reason the same part of the tree couldn't leaf out again. And the tree adds a ring and gets bigger every "year," so more potential leaves and more elves. (This could also explain that pesky Glorfindel paradox of Tolkien's). Of course a "year" for the tree could be several thousand years for the elves. Anyway, doing a "raise dead" for the elf might be the equivalent of regrowing the leaf. I'd probably raise the material component or XP requirement for it, though; the tree might be uber-powerful, but might not have an infinite amount of vitality.

NullAshton
2006-11-13, 04:20 PM
If you go by treating all trivial encounters as CR 1 encounters, that would mean the max level for NPCs would be level 9. Beyond that, they need a CR 2 challenge or more.

Squatting_Monk
2006-11-14, 09:03 PM
Okay, I worked on redefining elves to fit the image I want for my world. I nailed down how I thought their immortality should act. So, in light of the fact that the campaign will likely never run an adventure in the elven homeland of Almaren, how balanced would these stats be for elven PCs? Please note that these stats are not in addition to the stats in the PHB. Rather, they are in place of them. Also, please note that the more powerful abilities are conditional, and a PC will not always be able to gain their benefit.


Elf

Size/Type: Medium Humanoid (Elf, Fey)

+2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, -2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom: An elf is a creature of unearthly grace and beauty, even to human standards. Outside of their homeland, however, elves become frail and very disoriented.

An elf’s base land speed is 30 feet.

Feytouched (Ex): Fey blood runs through elves because of their faerie ancestors. While still considered Humanoids, elves gain the Fey descriptor as well. For all effects related to type, the elf counts as both Humanoid (Elf) and Fey types. She may use magic items crafted for either Elves or Fey. If a single type is required for some reason, an elf counts as a Humanoid (Elf).

Tree-Link (Su): An elf’s enduring nature flows from the Elder Tree of Almaren. While the elf is within the area of effect of the Elder Tree (generally, anywhere within the borders of Almaren), she gains the following effects, detailed below: Immortality (Su), Disease Immunity (Su), and Strongheart (Su). These effects may be suppressed by dispel magic or a similar spell centered on the elf (caster level check equal to 20 + the character’s level), but she may regain these abilities as a free action at the beginning of her turn. An elf that is outside the area of effect of the Elder Tree loses these abilities, but she regains them when she re-enters the area of effect. An elf may willingly sever her connection with the Elder Tree, but if she does so she may never again restore the link.

Immortality (Su): An elf does not suffer from the detrimental effects of aging and has no maximum lifespan, but she can still be killed by other means (such as battle). She still gains the bonuses, though at a greatly reduced rate (though overall, an elf may gain more bonuses due to age than a mortal may), as shown in Table: Immortality. An elf shows no sign of aging after reaching adulthood. Outside the Elder Tree’s influence, the character advances in age categories and bonuses and penalties accrue as normal for elves (see PHB), and signs of aging become apparent. If the elf re-enters the Elder Tree’s influence, her aging process halts but does not reverse. It begins again where it left off if the elf leaves the Elder Tree’s influence again. An elf may die from aging outside of the Elder Tree’s influence.

Table: Immortality
{table=head]Age Category|Age In Years|
Benefit
Middle Age|
2000|+1 WIS, INT, CHA

Old|
3500|+2 WIS, INT, CHA

Venerable|
5000|+3 WIS, INT, CHA[/table]

Disease Immunity (Su): Due to the elf’s magical nature, she is immune to all natural diseases (though magical and supernatural afflictions and diseases affect her as normal). An elf who receives a natural disease outside of the Elder Tree’s influence still retains the disease, but gains a +4 circumstance bonus on any Fortitude saves to resist its effects or overcome it.

Strongheart (Su): Away from the Elder Tree, elves are frail and disoriented (reflected by their racial penalties to Constitution and Wisdom). Within its area of effect, however, the bodies and minds of elves are strengthened, nullifying their racial penalties to Constitution and Wisdom and granting them a further +2 morale bonus to Constitution and Wisdom.

Soulhome (Su): An elf’s soul resides not in her body but in a specific leaf on the Elder Tree. She is thus immune to spells that attempt to attack or displace her soul (such as magic jar or soul bind) unless they are cast on her leaf. However, non-harmful spells that affect her soul (such as clone or astral projection) also have no effect on her unless cast on her leaf. If the elf’s leaf on the Elder Tree is destroyed, she dies with no saving throw. If an elf dies (through any means other than the destruction of her leaf), her leaf withers and falls from the tree. She cannot be resurrected or reincarnated by anyone except the elven gods, and only the High Queen of Almaren may request such an act (through the use of the miracle spell). The High Queen must possess the deceased elf’s Soulhome leaf to do so. A resurrected elf is treated as unconnected to the Elder Tree. The Soulhome leaf of an elf that has severed her connection to the Elder Tree transfers its contained soul to her and withers. The elf then loses all effects of the Soulhome trait. This trait is always active and is not affected by an antimagic field.

Cold Iron Anathema (Ex): Although cold iron does not specifically harm elves, they find its touch disheartening due to their fey heritage. An elf that has had physical contact with any item made of cold iron in the past three rounds suffers a -1 morale penalty to all rolls. If the elf has contact with any cold iron object during her turn, she suffers a -2 morale penalty to all rolls until the beginning of her next turn (this penalty does not stack with the former one).

Enchantment Resistance (Ex): Elves receive a +2 racial bonus to saving throws versus enchantment spells or effects. These bonuses double versus spells and effects cast by Fey or spells and effects with the Fey descriptor.

Keen Senses (Ex): Elves receive a +2 racial bonus to Listen, Search, and Spot checks.

Low-Light Vision (Ex): An elf can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and details under these conditions.

Nature Scholar (Ex): Knowledge (Nature) is always a class skill for elves, and they receive a +2 racial bonus to all Knowledge (Nature) checks.

Sleepless (Ex): Elves do not sleep (and are thus immune to sleep and related effects). Rather they meditate. During this period, they suffer only half the normal penalties to Listen checks during sleep. An elf need only meditate for four hours to get a full night’s rest; however, she must rest a full 8 hours to replenish spells and spell-like abilities.

Wild Empathy (Ex): This ability functions as the Druid class ability of the same name, except the elf gains a +4 racial bonus on the check.

Woodland Affinity (Ex): Elves are lovers of trees, and an elf within a woodland is within her element. While within Forest terrain, the elf gains a +4 competence bonus to all Handle Animal, Hide, Knowledge (Nature), Move Silently, Survival, and Wild Empathy checks. She also gains a +2 competence bonus to all Listen, Search, and Spot checks.

Faerie Fire (Sp): As a result of her fey heritage, an elf may cast faerie fire three times per day as a spell-like ability.

Weapon Proficiency: Elves are trained in the use of their race’s favored weapons and receive Martial Weapon Proficiency for the Shortbow, Longbow, and Elven Scimitar. Elves treat the Elven Scimitar as a Martial Weapon rather than an Exotic Weapon.

Automatic Languages: Elven (regional dialect), Elven Sign Language, and Sylvan. (Elves who live in human lands also speak the regional mannish tongue.) Bonus Languages: Any (other than secret languages such as druidic). See the Speak Language skill.

Favored Class: Bard and Ranger, or Bard and Druid (choose at first level). A multiclass elf’s Bard and Ranger or Druid classes does not count when determining whether she takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.

Fizban
2006-11-15, 01:30 AM
Sounds alot like Night Elves From WoW (the whole tree of immortality). In my world I made the Fae (including elves), Dwarves(including gnomes), Draconic, and a hombrew Mindflayer race all immortal because they are simply living representations of the elements air, earth, energy, and water. I simply ballenced them out by making them breed slowly along with a large war between the Mindflayers and Fae coupled with a simultanious Deamonic Invasion befor the advent of man in order to allow mortals to spread like the weeds they are.
Please tell me you know that WoW was not the first game there. Warcrafts 1, 2, and 3 came first. Wc3 introduced night elves. Actually, on the reign of chaos disk, there's a pdf with the whole history of their continent.

Just to tie up that loose end: night elves used to have all sorts of magical and elemental resistances and immunities as well as immortality granted to them by the world tree, grown over the well of eternity (source of arcane magic) to protect it from corrupting people into bringing on another demon war. In Wc3, the world tree is sacrificed to destroy the archdemon Archimonde, mortalizing the night elves. According to the Warcraft Campaign setting, night elves have wisdom penalty, resistance to fire and cold 5, and SR 5+hit die, among other things.

Whoo, long post, but to summarize:
Love what you've ended on S Monk, beautiful.

Triaxx
2006-11-15, 08:51 AM
I'm surprised the favored class is not Druid, considering the advantages thereof. The worst failing there is the -2 Wisdom, which I don't agree with. I'd say -1 Intelligence and -1 Wisdom. If I'm confused, I'm not thinking clearly, and unable to recall knowledge as clearly.

Squatting_Monk
2006-11-15, 01:37 PM
Whoo, long post, but to summarize: Love what you've ended on S Monk, beautiful.
Glad you like it. :smallsmile:


I'm surprised the favored class is not Druid, considering the advantages thereof. The worst failing there is the -2 Wisdom, which I don't agree with. I'd say -1 Intelligence and -1 Wisdom. If I'm confused, I'm not thinking clearly, and unable to recall knowledge as clearly.
As for the class, I chose Bard for more of a cultural reason. In my campaign, elves are one of the few races that can spontaneously cast arcane spells. Humans can do it too, but they usually have a bloodline (such as fey, dragon, etc.) that gives them this ability. Sorcerer just didn't work well, and Wizard is out because the elves are creatures of magic; they don't need to study it to make it work.

As for Ranger, I just kinda chose it, though Druid would work equally as well, I suppose. Do you think I should let people choose between Druid and Ranger? Say...

Favored Class: Bard and Ranger, or Bard and Druid (choose at first level).

Triaxx
2006-11-15, 03:57 PM
I like that. Druid's get more interesting spells, and being able to summon monsters, then sing/play/dance them bonuses is always fun.

---

"Flee fools, from my song buffed army of demon bears!" Random Bard/Druid Elf.

"And this is why most elves don't leave home..." Random party member.

Gamebird
2006-11-16, 11:23 AM
This is really interesting stuff. I was going to do something like it in my game world, though it doesn't affect the PCs much. For my homebrew setting, the ancient elves picked a place to build their "Elfhome". This involved the planting of the magical Great Trees, which start as fairly mundane trees and grow into redwood-sized semi-god-like beings. After a tree attains a certain size, it becomes the home of an elf who melds with it very similarly to how a dryad is merged with her tree. An elf-inhabited tree can/will grow in whatever form the elf desires. They usually sprout ladders and platforms and the elven people live within them. The tree is also capable of animating and moving. An elf so bound to the tree gains a number of immunities and gains immortality. If their body is slain, they will reform within their tree a few days later (like a liche with their phylactery).

The Great Trees grow more slowly than elves, even with the slow reproductive rate of the elves. So there are many more elves than there are Great Trees. With the addition of each Great Tree, the Elfhome grows and the combined power and magical might of the elves grows. Theirs is a very long term strategy.

This doesn't affect PCs because the adventure doesn't take place in the Elfhome (it's pretty boring there, what with the elves wiping out any internal enemies and not having a lot of factional battles that play out on a scale a mortal understands). An elf born elsewhere is a normal PHB elf.