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Adoniis
2008-02-03, 12:10 PM
I have a question about races having children in game that I can't seem to figure out.

I know that a Half-Elf is Human/Elf, but what happens if Elves have kids with other races? Specifically Dwarves and Gnomes.

I can't really find the answer anywhere that is very specific. As far as I found, Half-Dwarves only exist in Dark sun?

Morty
2008-02-03, 12:14 PM
They, can't at least by the rules. I guess that since there are no listed elf/dwarf crossbreeds, that means even if *nudge, nugde, wink, wink* happened between elf and dwarf, they couldn't have children.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-02-03, 12:18 PM
Glib answer: there's no reason a half-elf also has to be half-human.

Non-glib answer: It's one of those genre conventions. In fantasy, humans are the baseline, with other races existing only to provide contrast to humanity. Dwarves are like humans, but stockier and more fond of mining, elves are like humans but thinner and immortal, Orcs are like humans but savage and violent. Any half-breed is half-human, because other races are really only humans with exaggerated traits anyway. A half-elf-half-orc makes no sense in that context, because Elves and Orcs aren't sufficiently well thought out for their "crossbreeding" to make sense. A half-whatever is a human with a touch of the "whatever" traits. "Half" in this context essentially means "less than full."

DarknessLord
2008-02-03, 12:21 PM
Or someone would have to homebrew them.

Although, it seems to me that Elf x Orc could baby could happen, if you consider that humans and elves appear to be the same species (from a scientific definition of it anyway [they can make a baby that can have babies of itís own]) and humans and orcs are the same species by the same token. If A=B and B=C, therefore A=C.

Unless Iím wrong about Half elvesí/orcsí ability to have kids.

Thane of Fife
2008-02-03, 12:26 PM
I know older editions specified that elves and orcs absolutely could not have children - indeed, elves were specified as just about the only race incompatible with orcs.

Storm Bringer
2008-02-03, 12:35 PM
The roots of the half-breed concept are baically part wish ferfillment, part justifcation. The former is just humans wishing to have some of the traits of elves (the long lifes, the great grace, etc), and the latter allows you to have a human, empathic hero to a storywho is still more powerful than a normal human could be, and thus able to challenge threats beyond mortal ken.

In short, it's a desire to be more than human, to be more than normal. So, you have, in a way, got the wrong end of the stick. It's the humans that pocess the genes that seem to match with anything, not the elves.


However, nothing stops you having, say, a orc-like child born of elfkind, but you'd have to play it right in order not to make it sound stupid.

I'd probly go for a person who was torn between his cultured upbringing and his somewhat barbaric nature.

kamikasei
2008-02-03, 01:00 PM
Although, it seems to me that Elf x Orc could baby could happen, if you consider that humans and elves appear to be the same species (from a scientific definition of it anyway [they can make a baby that can have babies of itís own]) and humans and orcs are the same species by the same token. If A=B and B=C, therefore A=C.

Warning: catgirl neutering ahead -

It is in fact possible for two populations each to be able to breed with a third, but not with each other. The phenomenon is referred to as ring species (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_species) and occurs when a population spreads out in two directions. You can end up with a line or ring (if, for example, the population ends up spread out around the pole) of slightly varying animals where each can breed with the one next to it, but at the two ends, you have very different animals who can't produce viable offspring together. It's one of the problems with the species concept: it's fundamentally fuzzy, and sometimes something can't be cleanly broken up into the categories we impose.

In this case, if humans were the base species and both elves and orcs had evolved from humans over a long period, each remaining adjacent to and crossbreeding with the humans but not one another, you could conceivably end up with a world that allows half-elves and half-orcs but no other combination. Of course, that's not how the fluff says these races work, and it doesn't account for any other races. But ring species are cool, so :smalltongue: .

mikeejimbo
2008-02-03, 01:14 PM
I was actually just thinking about writing a setting where Orcs, Elves and Humans could all freely interbreed. I'd have to make a half-elf/half-orc, I suppose, and assume that the current half-elf and half-orcs are also half-human.

I don't know about halflings, but I also decided that gnomes and dwarves would be able to interbreed. I'd also have to make a half-gnome/half-dwarf.

Hzurr
2008-02-03, 02:29 PM
At this point, I would like to bring up a fiercely relevant quote from Randel.



Human: Hey elf, you look like a girl.
Elf: To a human, everything must look like a girl.
Human: What?
Elf: Half-orcs, half-ogres...
Human: ... shut up.
Dwarf: Half-dragons, half-kobolds.
Human: I said shut up!
Elf: ...
Dwarf: ...
Human: ...
Elf: Centaurs.



Maybe the answer is that Humans simply have lower standards?

That, or our sperm/eggs are exceptionally non-picky.

DarknessLord
2008-02-03, 02:43 PM
Warning: catgirl neutering ahead -

It is in fact possible for two populations each to be able to breed with a third, but not with each other. The phenomenon is referred to as ring species (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_species) and occurs when a population spreads out in two directions. You can end up with a line or ring (if, for example, the population ends up spread out around the pole) of slightly varying animals where each can breed with the one next to it, but at the two ends, you have very different animals who can't produce viable offspring together. It's one of the problems with the species concept: it's fundamentally fuzzy, and sometimes something can't be cleanly broken up into the categories we impose.

In this case, if humans were the base species and both elves and orcs had evolved from humans over a long period, each remaining adjacent to and crossbreeding with the humans but not one another, you could conceivably end up with a world that allows half-elves and half-orcs but no other combination. Of course, that's not how the fluff says these races work, and it doesn't account for any other races. But ring species are cool, so :smalltongue: .

Hmm, didn't know that, learn somthing new every day...
Doesn't the cat girl thing only apply to physics? Or is that why their only being Neutered? XD
Either way, you did Bob Barker proud!

Mark Hall
2008-02-03, 03:10 PM
At this point, I would like to bring up a fiercely relevant quote from Randel.


Ya know, centaurs look distinctly elfy to me..

Blackadder
2008-02-03, 03:21 PM
Ya know, centaurs look distinctly elfy to me..
There's always Satyr's, Nymph's, Dryads, Merfolk, Yuan-ti who also look rather Elfish.

thorgrim29
2008-02-03, 03:27 PM
You know what? Take the half-orc template, the half-elf template, and mix them while ignoring the stat mods and things born of attitude instead of genes. Have it looks more or less human. You'd have immunity to sleep effects, +2 vs enchantments, +1 to listen, search, spot, darkvision and low-light vision, orc blood and elf blood. Thats a bit funny, because this character could theoritically qualify for darkwood stalker and eye of gruumch....

Miles Invictus
2008-02-03, 04:49 PM
I think the Half-XXX stuff makes more sense as a template than as a race.

Ceres
2008-02-03, 05:06 PM
In my setting Hobgoblins are half elf/half orc, though from way back, so they're pretty much their own race now. I'm waiting for half-dragonborn. Naughty humans.

puppyavenger
2008-02-03, 05:25 PM
In my setting Hobgoblins are half elf/half orc, though from way back, so they're pretty much their own race now. I'm waiting for half-dragonborn. Naughty humans.

Aren't dragonborn Bahumaunts palidans?

The_Snark
2008-02-03, 05:32 PM
I think the Half-XXX stuff makes more sense as a template than as a race.

Ah, but if you have a half-elf/half-orc, do you use an elf with the half-orc template or an orc with the half-elf template?

Citizen Joe
2008-02-03, 05:45 PM
You could take the mule example such that the two pure species can result in half breed children, but those halfbreeds are sterile thus preventing the rest of the argument.

Devils_Advocate
2008-02-03, 05:57 PM
At this point, I would like to bring up a fiercely relevant quote from Randel.




Maybe the answer is that Humans simply have lower standards?

That, or our sperm/eggs are exceptionally non-picky.
Well, if humans are the most common, widespread, populous humanoid race, to the point that they make up a majority of all humanoids, that alone is sufficient to account for most humanoid hybrids being part human.

If they aren't, then the explanation most likely comes down to humans being exceptionally diverse. Their distinguishing feature as a race is a dearth of distinguishing features that apply to an overwhelming majority of them. This is true to the extent that there really is no such thing as a normal human, since every member of the race will in fact somehow differ from the norm in many ways. (This may very well not be true of, say, dwarves.) One of the upshots of this is that a disproportionate number of humans will have unusual tastes. I think you can see where I'm going with this.

In practice, any excess of part-humans is probably due to humans possessing a combination of above-average population, above-average diversity, and above-average fertility, compared to demihumans (which humans need to make up for their short lifespans (http://www.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WeAreAsMayflies)).

Finally, one should note that creatures that literally look part human are not, in a normal setting, the result of interbreeding at all. They were made that way because a lot of racial deities opt to make new races by mixing and matching existing critters in ways that strike them as cool. That's not even dumb or anything; being able to run like a horse and use tools like a humanoid, for example, is really pretty convenient.

"I know I want a race of fish people, but I can't decide whether they should be humanoid-shaped with scaled skin and fins on their arms and legs, or just human from the waist up with a fish tail instead of legs. Oh, what the heck, I'll make one of each."
- Eadro


I have a question about races having children in game that I can't seem to figure out.

I know that a Half-Elf is Human/Elf, but what happens if Elves have kids with other races? Specifically Dwarves and Gnomes.

I can't really find the answer anywhere that is very specific. As far as I found, Half-Dwarves only exist in Dark sun?
WoTC has not, to my knowledge, provided us with rules for hybrids of every possible combination of two races, nor rules for generating the stats for one based on its parent races. (Such a thing may exist in some third-party sourcebook somewhere. I would almost be surprised if no one has put up homebrewed rules for making crossbreeds between anything and anything else online.) Presumably crossbreeds not covered in the books are too rare to warrant inclusion. It's not like a DM who wants to include something not yet statted up can't make up whatever he wants himself.

The lack of stats for all possible crossbreeds is not, however, due to an inability to interbreed; see the mongrelfolk from Races of Destiny. Maybe demihumans are all sufficiently closely related to each other to allow for this, or maybe in D&D anything can interbreed with anything. It's not like the gameworld could plausibly be said to obey the real world's laws of biology anyway. Of course, that raises the question of why there would even be distinct "species" in the first place. My answer is, again, that the gods made them that way. Direct divine intervention can account for a hell of a lot, and in D&D, it probably does.


Take the half-orc template, the half-elf template
Those are races, not templates.

Ganurath
2008-02-03, 06:01 PM
Ah, but if you have a half-elf/half-orc, do you use an elf with the half-orc template or an orc with the half-elf template?Just go human, with asthetic elements like pasty skin and pointed ears to show the elven and orc elements of the bloodline.

BRC
2008-02-03, 06:02 PM
Heres what I want to know, If 2 half elves had a child, would their child automatically be a half elf, or would there be a a 25% chance of the child being a human and 25% chance of the child being a full elf, as genetics would tell us.

Talya
2008-02-03, 06:06 PM
I saw a neat homebrew race online once that was the offspring of halflings & elves. I liked it...can't find it now though.

CASTLEMIKE
2008-02-03, 06:22 PM
Heres what I want to know, If 2 half elves had a child, would their child automatically be a half elf, or would there be a a 25% chance of the child being a human and 25% chance of the child being a full elf, as genetics would tell us.

Depends on the setting:

In ECS Half Elves breed true, a half elf and a human have a 50/50 but a half elf and a elf will have a half elf.

In other settings a half elf and a elf is 50/50 and even in FRCS a half elf and a human can still have a half elf child (Original box set City of Splendors).

There is an interesting Flaw for the thread Quarter Elf that was introduced in Dragon:

http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Quarter_Elf,all

The_Blue_Sorceress
2008-02-03, 07:00 PM
You could take the mule example such that the two pure species can result in half breed children, but those halfbreeds are sterile thus preventing the rest of the argument.

Except there's plenty of fluff that indicates that both half-orcs and half-elves are fertile.

-Blue

RTGoodman
2008-02-03, 07:43 PM
Despite the various reasons already pointed out, I think I've got it.

Just ask yourself - what kind of self-respecting dwarf would want to mate with an elf? :smallwink:

horseboy
2008-02-03, 07:46 PM
Hmm, another alternative, drop the halves completely, then give the offspring a 60/40 chance of being one species or the other.

Kantolin
2008-02-03, 07:49 PM
Just ask yourself - what kind of self-respecting dwarf would want to mate with an elf?

A very drunk one.

Of course, it's also reasonable for there to be an dwarf who's just into tall skinny women/men.

Personally, the lack of stats for them to me represents that they are significantly rare to the point of not being nearly nonexistant, not that they don't exist at all. But hey.

Talya
2008-02-03, 07:55 PM
Just ask yourself - what kind of self-respecting dwarf would want to mate with an elf?

A very drunk one.

Which begs another question:

How do you stat a half-dwarf/half-sheep?

Neek
2008-02-03, 07:57 PM
I don't know, but here's a half-goat/half-halfling: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2833390&postcount=21

Rift_Wolf
2008-02-03, 07:58 PM
Book of Erotic Fantasy had a table of which races could mate and produce viable offspring, though no actual stats were given for these hybrids. I tried statting out every possible combination once, then got bored and went on miniclip.com instead :-)

Devils_Advocate
2008-02-03, 09:07 PM
Heres what I want to know, If 2 half elves had a child, would their child automatically be a half elf, or would there be a a 25% chance of the child being a human and 25% chance of the child being a full elf, as genetics would tell us.
Um... It only works that way if elves and humans each only have one pair of chromosomes (or if all the genes related to race are on one pair of chromosomes). In the real world, humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. So, no, that is not what genetics tells us.

Sorry, Liquid.

sonofzeal
2008-02-03, 10:04 PM
Warning: catgirl neutering ahead -

It is in fact possible for two populations each to be able to breed with a third, but not with each other. The phenomenon is referred to as ring species (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_species) and occurs when a population spreads out in two directions. You can end up with a line or ring (if, for example, the population ends up spread out around the pole) of slightly varying animals where each can breed with the one next to it, but at the two ends, you have very different animals who can't produce viable offspring together. It's one of the problems with the species concept: it's fundamentally fuzzy, and sometimes something can't be cleanly broken up into the categories we impose.

In this case, if humans were the base species and both elves and orcs had evolved from humans over a long period, each remaining adjacent to and crossbreeding with the humans but not one another, you could conceivably end up with a world that allows half-elves and half-orcs but no other combination. Of course, that's not how the fluff says these races work, and it doesn't account for any other races. But ring species are cool, so :smalltongue: .
Wrong. Sorry, nice try, but wrong.

Ring Species do exist, and several have been documented. And species at the opposite ends do not breed. HOWEVER, this is a behavioral trait, not a physiological inability. As near as I can tell from a look through the research available online (and I spent about a week researching this once), species at the opposite ends are, in every single known example, interfertile.

Still.... meh, it's fantasy. It positively thrives on faulty science. So, if you want justification, mumble something about ring species and move on. It's at least plausible technobabble.

Talya
2008-02-03, 10:13 PM
It can be a size limitation, as well.

Technically, English Mastiffs and Chihuahuas are geneticly the same species and biologically compatible. Good luck on the mating process, though.

(Oh, and for the record, Napoleon Dynamite's Ligers and Tigons really exist, too.)

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-02-03, 10:24 PM
I don't know, but here's a half-goat/half-halfling: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2833390&postcount=21Satyrs (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/satyr.htm) were too much trouble for you, eh?

Hyozo
2008-02-03, 10:27 PM
I'm waiting for half-dragonborn. Naughty humans.

Unless you're talking about the race from forth edition which has absolutely no connenction to the race from RotD, it can't happen. It says right in the racial fluff that Dragonborn can't breed with ANYTHING.

John Campbell
2008-02-04, 12:34 AM
Ah, but if you have a half-elf/half-orc, do you use an elf with the half-orc template or an orc with the half-elf template?

If the races are properly balanced (if using that word about D&D isn't a bad joke), I don't see any reason that it shouldn't be left up to the player. Some half-elf-half-orcs'll be more elf-like, some'll be more orc-like. I don't see a problem with this.