Last time, in the final installment of my discussion of the Four Principles for Game World Design, I discussed the non human races of D&D and how the demi-human races in particular failed to stand out as truly authentic cultures. In a follow up to that article I shall attempt to outline two elven culture groups, one wood elf and one high elf, which continue to reflect the game mechanics of the race, yet are as distinct, complex, and interesting as real-world human cultures. First though, for this article, I would like to consider some basic features of elves in general and some issues with their presentation in the current edition.
There are two elven qualities that I believe provide a profound insight into elven culture in general. The first of these, the longevity of elves, has little effect on game mechanics, but the second trait, the race’s proficiency with a number of particularly effective martial weapons, is both culturally and mechanically profound. Let’s start by discussing the effects of a long life span on elven culture and how it might force us to rethink some fundamental game mechanics assumptions. [Read more…] about Exemplary Elves: Game World Design