Posted by : David Guyll September 29, 2014

I had planned on posting some elf drawings today, but ran into a problem concerning the look of them, namely that I'm not sure what they are "supposed" to look like: do they look like people with pointed ears (like you'd expect from D&D/Tolkien), or are they more animal and/or plant-like?

If I hit up elf on Wikipedia, the only picture is a bunch of people wearing white robes dancing about. Is that it? I don't get anything really different when I look up light and dark elves from Norse mythology (though I guess the latter might just be dwarves).

In The Dresden Files they are described as being about three feet tall, so initially I figured that they could replace halflings as a "small race", along with the kobold. But, since most of the art I find depicts them as almost identical to humans in size and appearance, I'm thinking that maybe I should just change the race entry to Faerie (or Fae), and use the Look to determine your size and appearance.

What do you think? Stick with the "traditional" elf, make them halfling-sized, give them some animal/plant features, let you mix and match your size and appearance, or do something else entirely?

Anyway, to at least showcase some art today, here is a sketch of an enthollow:


Grown, not made, and the size of ogres, these help elite elven soldiers deal with the fomorians. Not only are they stronger, more durable, and much larger than a normal elf, they can also safely wield massive cold-iron swords (since they aren't actually fey). Some contain dryad pilots, but otherwise an elf (or whoever is piloting it) has to have a thoughtroot implant, which is a plant-like symbiote that integrates into the spine to transmit your thoughts.

And for something simpler, here's one design of an elemental bombard:


They are basically big-ass wands that draw on elemental cores for energy. You slot in a core--usually fire, lightning, or stone--and with a command word it unleashes a corresponding blast of energy or matter.

Bombards can be made of anything that a wand or staff could be: stone, metal, crystal, ice, bone, wood, light, godsteel, etc. Similarly, wizards can also use them without a core, but they take a lot of fatigue in doing so.

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  1. I'm a fan of the animal aspects, but you've already got both Kobolds with their animal forms and Scions with their Egyptian style animal attributes. I still prefer the idea of them being more than simply humans with pointy ears, so my vote is on leaning toward the plant side of things: leafy, mossy, or twig-like hair; woody or bark-like skin; petal-shaped irises; and so on. I might even go so far as to make dryads a subtype of Elf.

    And thinking about other classical faeries (and similar myths from elsewhere), it could make for some interesting twists. Like having redcaps with mushrooms (the classical toadstool, perhaps) growing from their heads or Satyrs whose horns are more like branches and whose fur is similar to spanish moss.

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    1. @Svafa: That's what I was thinking of with the Fey/Fae race. You can be an elf, satyr, 3-foot-tall something or other.

      I like the idea of the plant-aspect. It would help differentiate them from other races.

      Of course, I could just include them all as new races. Hrm...

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