Elf Abilities.

darksoul
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Elf Abilities.

Post by darksoul » Fri May 24, 2019 10:09 am

Ok, while scouring the AFF books lately I went through Phantoms of Fear and made a list of what the book lets an elf do. For anyone who is interested, here is what an Affen Forest Elf can do and some of their traits.

-Are Vegetarian.
-Rarely leaves beyond a half days journey from his home.
-Is confident in his ability to collect food along the way and doesn't use provisions.
-Has extensive knowledge of the creatures in the forest and their nature.
-Has keen senses(Is able to hear something from far away)
-Has low light vision(like a cat) but cannot see in complete darkness. For anyone who want so to know what that looks like... https://www.businessinsider.com/picture ... ld-2013-10
--has knowledge of the plants in their forest and their uses/dangers.
-Is nimble in combat
-Can tread lightly in the forest.
-Has knowledge of Khul as a land but not of other continents. Nor does he know much about Khul's other cities.
-Name their swords

This translates mechanically into the following-

Skills:
Forest Lore(Knowledge of food gathering, Animals and habits, plants and uses)
Stealth
Awareness

Takents
Low light vision-can see in low light but not complete darkness
Elven nimbleness-Using his nimbleness. The elf is able to fight multiple opponents one at a time(3 at most) with no need to make a defending roll. This ability does not work in enclosed spaces nor does it work against other elves like Dark Elves who can match the nimbleness.(I thought this was really interesting as a combat ability)

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Re: Elf Abilities.

Post by SkinnyOrc » Sat May 25, 2019 8:21 am

That adds up to a decent amount of information and gives us a good example of a Titan forest elf. It's useful the details go beyond abilities that go on a character sheet to cultural info like naming their swords.

The vegetarian bit wasn't something that's ever occurred to me for elves but makes sense if they're a group that's taken the harmony with nature thing further than most. I still like the idea of some groups of elves being skilled hunters, but there's plenty of room on Titan for both. Even then I can see taking a deer being a ritualised thing where they're very careful about which they take and how often.

I'm fine with Elven Nimbleness for NPCs but it might be a little over powered for PCs compared to the other Talents. An alternative might be opponents never get an AS bonus for outnumbering them? That's still quite a benefit. Either way it's interesting and fits what makes elves unique. I'd like to see race specific Talents for the other demi-humans too.

Rather than a new Talent for how they see I just make it Dark Seeing is low-light vision rather than no-light vision. There's no such thing in nature as no-light vision that uses eyes. Creatures like snakes that can see heat do it with other sensors and it's only good enough for finding prey, not the complicated activities a sentient race does all the time.

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Re: Elf Abilities.

Post by HedgeWizard » Sun May 26, 2019 3:02 pm

I wouldn’t fix the nimbleness as part of the outnumbering Rules but instead give a discretionary bonus on the part of the Director when the general grace, agility and balance of an elf would help them.

It’s also a strong narrative element which can be used to change how the character behaves and as a result how they interact in the story. Basically you want people to play them as elves rather than just humans with pointy ears.

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Re: Elf Abilities.

Post by darksoul » Thu May 30, 2019 6:09 am

HedgeWizard wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 3:02 pm
I wouldn’t fix the nimbleness as part of the outnumbering Rules but instead give a discretionary bonus on the part of the Director when the general grace, agility and balance of an elf would help them.

It’s also a strong narrative element which can be used to change how the character behaves and as a result how they interact in the story. Basically you want people to play them as elves rather than just humans with pointy ears.
The Nimbleness feature was taken from Phantoms of Fear. It wasn't called that in the books though. I thought it might make an interesting "elf only" talent.
I think the book did exactly what you said. It gave you a benefit in that situation but also mentioned that your elven nimbleness was useful in one or two other passages when moving through a forest. I added it as a way for players to choose something that would make them more "Elfish". It's a sort of Racial talent.

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Re: Elf Abilities.

Post by SkinnyOrc » Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:48 am

HedgeWizard wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 3:02 pm
I wouldn’t fix the nimbleness as part of the outnumbering Rules but instead give a discretionary bonus on the part of the Director when the general grace, agility and balance of an elf would help them.
I don't dislike the concept but my opinion is it doesn't fit as a Talent based on the ones in the rulebook. Those are all defined tightly and of similar power to make the point buy character gen system work. It maybe could be a race ability but if it's for PCs not sure how you'd pay for it.
HedgeWizard wrote:It’s also a strong narrative element which can be used to change how the character behaves and as a result how they interact in the story. Basically you want people to play them as elves rather than just humans with pointy ears.
It probably would help a player channel their inner elf. I'm a strong believer though that not everything needs to be an ability or stat on the character sheet. Elves are quite alien to humans but a lot of that is cultural and in how they think, not abilities. Defenders of the Forest (for WFRP) is a great resource for elf background info.
darksoul wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 6:09 am
The Nimbleness feature was taken from Phantoms of Fear. It wasn't called that in the books though.
I've not got around to playing that one to know what different things it let you do. But couldn't a lot of it be covered by a variety of Special Skills?

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Re: Elf Abilities.

Post by darksoul » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:47 pm

SkinnyOrc wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:48 am
HedgeWizard wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 3:02 pm
I wouldn’t fix the nimbleness as part of the outnumbering Rules but instead give a discretionary bonus on the part of the Director when the general grace, agility and balance of an elf would help them.
I don't dislike the concept but my opinion is it doesn't fit as a Talent based on the ones in the rulebook. Those are all defined tightly and of similar power to make the point buy character gen system work. It maybe could be a race ability but if it's for PCs not sure how you'd pay for it.
I'm going to have to reread the talents section in AFF2 book. That way I have a contrast.

HedgeWizard wrote:It’s also a strong narrative element which can be used to change how the character behaves and as a result how they interact in the story. Basically you want people to play them as elves rather than just humans with pointy ears.
SkinnyOrc wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:48 am
It probably would help a player channel their inner elf. I'm a strong believer though that not everything needs to be an ability or stat on the character sheet. Elves are quite alien to humans but a lot of that is cultural and in how they think, not abilities. Defenders of the Forest (for WFRP) is a great resource for elf background info.
I think a lot of that is Alien-ness should also be because most people in Titan are stuck in their little cities or town. That's hard to convey to players though. That alien-ness is harder to understand in a world that is as multicultural as ours. Also, we as people who are interested in fantasy genre have a deeper understanding of Elven society then those who have never read the material and it's hard to separate that out and present it to players who have also probably read it. Titan explains what humans find strange about elves and it's not that odd.
darksoul wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 6:09 am
The Nimbleness feature was taken from Phantoms of Fear. It wasn't called that in the books though.
I've not got around to playing that one to know what different things it let you do. But couldn't a lot of it be covered by a variety of Special Skills?
[/quote]
Possibly. It's be more of an innate ability I think. Let me reread Aff2 and get back on that.

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Re: Elf Abilities.

Post by HedgeWizard » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:10 pm

I was looking at OOTP, BTP and Titan and it struck me that Elves really are a varied folk on Titan compared to other fantasy worlds. You have many types of elves adapting to their homes which I think hints at something special for them in Titan compared to other settings. They physically change in quite dramatic ways!

They are also (for fantasy elves) relatively short lived: only 200-250 years which makes them functionally immortal for Titan’s humans but not actually immortal.

Perhaps we should put together a guide pulling on all of this on how to get the most out of your Elves in AFF.

Also @SkinnyOrc I agree 100% not everything needs to be fixed with numbers.

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Re: Elf Abilities.

Post by SkinnyOrc » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:08 am

darksoul wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:47 pm
Possibly. It's be more of an innate ability I think. Let me reread Aff2 and get back on that.
Maybe make a list of the times in the gamebook where they seem to use an elf ability and what happened? I was thinking it included stuff like moving silently and unseen in the forest, tracking, hearing danger before they saw it and so on. Those could all be covered by Special SKills. But other stuff maybe not.
HedgeWizard wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:10 pm
I was looking at OOTP, BTP and Titan and it struck me that Elves really are a varied folk on Titan compared to other fantasy worlds. You have many types of elves adapting to their homes which I think hints at something special for them in Titan compared to other settings.
True and if you include races like elvin said to be related to elves then even more so.
HedgeWizard wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:10 pm
Perhaps we should put together a guide pulling on all of this on how to get the most out of your Elves in AFF.

Also @SkinnyOrc I agree 100% not everything needs to be fixed with numbers.
It definitely can be hard to get the culture and ways of thinking of other races across to players. That Defenders of the Forest has a lot of GM info and is probably a bit much to ask a lot of players to read. It'd be great to extract a brief guide to playing an elf out of it and other sources like Titan and Phantoms of Fear.

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Re: Elf Abilities.

Post by HedgeWizard » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:06 pm

SkinnyOrc wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:08 am
It definitely can be hard to get the culture and ways of thinking of other races across to players. That Defenders of the Forest has a lot of GM info and is probably a bit much to ask a lot of players to read. It'd be great to extract a brief guide to playing an elf out of it and other sources like Titan and Phantoms of Fear.
I liked Defenders of the Forest and agree that it is GM resource for the most part. But it was (naturally) focused on WFRP’s image of elves which has some important differences. They are much closer to Tolkien than AFF.

What we can do is make a GM resource (with a players section) giving a more in-depth view into Elves in Titan and suggested rules/alterations/ideas to help people channel their inner elf across all the different types. It would also look at creatures who are similar or related to them and how best to include them and more background.

Who’s interested in collaborating on this?

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Re: Elf Abilities.

Post by SkinnyOrc » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:18 am

I'll get together a list of ideas from Defenders of the Forest that I think are worth considering for Titan elves, especially stuff for a guide to playing one.

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Re: Elf Abilities.

Post by SkinnyOrc » Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:55 pm

I haven't checked yet how well these match up against the FF and AFF books, some of it may need adjusting. One difference I did account for is that in WFRP the dwarves are old enemies of the elves and regarded with at least as much suspicion as humans. As far as I know that's not the case on Titan.

How other races see them:

Proud - Elven culture is sophisticated and ancient. Elves believe their culture is superior to that of other races but most are self-aware enough to understand it would appear arrogant to say so. However it may sometimes be apparent in their actions and attitude.

Aloof - Elves are often seen as cold and unemotional while amongst other races. This is in fact a technique taught to young elves to control their feelings and keep their minds clear. In unfamiliar company or surroundings they will tend to fall back on this. However their natural demeanour is passionate, emotional and prone to easy laughter.

Fickle - Amongst humans and dwarves the elves have a reputation for being unpredictable, perhaps killing those they encounter or perhaps aiding them. Other races fail to appreciate it is their own treatment of the natural world that determines their reception when trespassing in elven territory.

Suspicious - The elves have learnt through bitter experience that humans vary widely in how much they deserve their trust and will wait for each to prove themselves.

Indecisive - Humans particularly can be frustrated by elven reluctance to rush to action. It would be more accurate to say the elves are patient, often choosing to see how events unfold before committing to a course.

Other characteristics of the elves:

Nature - A core of elvish belief is the balance of the natural world. Animals and plants are not just resources to be exploited, they are fellow beings deserving of respect. They see their position as a dominant species as a responsibility to protect this natural balance.

Magical - Elves are a magical race and not easily impressed by spellcasting or arcane phenomena. They may use magic for trivial purposes such as pranks.

Equality - Males and females have equal status and both are equally likely to take any role in society.

Inhibition - Elves see nudity and sex as part of nature, and find other races discomfort about these subjects amusing.

Communal - The elves live communally, sharing tasks, including responsibility for training the young. Elves cannot understand how humans tolerate having neighbours they barely know or may even dislike.

Spendthrifts - Elves use barter of goods and services amongst themselves and are unused to coin. Also in their barter they give the most favourable trade to those elves with the most need, so they find other races charging as much as possible to be surprising and greedy. As a result elves amongst humans tend to be bad with money, at least to begin with.

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Re: Elf Abilities.

Post by darksoul » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:17 am

The list I gave above was only based on Phantom's of Fear. If I added what I got from Titan the list would be a bit longer and somewhat conflicting.

I have a problem I'm trying to figure out and deal with right now that goes like this...
Elves are pretty much human + . They have better eyesight, better hearing, nimble, more magical. Now, I hate to use the word "Balanced" but it occurs to me if I run a game where players have a choice between a human, elf and dwarf, the players are more inclined to choose the Elf.
Sure there are fewer of them in the world, but that's not something that has an immediate impact on the players. It could. If I spent some time on it I could maybe think of something in relation to that. I'd have to give human's and dwarves something that makes them equally appealing or....give elves penalties.
I'm just throwing this out right now as something to ponder.

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Re: Elf Abilities.

Post by HedgeWizard » Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:53 pm

SkinnyOrc, great list to start with. Something which was interesting in Titan is that they do not hate anyone. The idea is baffling to them, even with Orcs they are at best neutral to them. This means that things like bearing a grudge or wanting revenge will also be alien concepts to them. They will still get angry (emotion has no moral value in and of itself) but will not stay angry against an individual or group.

This has quite a big effect on how you need to role play with them and how they will react to other players who have these reactions.

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Re: Elf Abilities.

Post by HedgeWizard » Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:55 pm

darksoul wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:17 am
The list I gave above was only based on Phantom's of Fear. If I added what I got from Titan the list would be a bit longer and somewhat conflicting.

I have a problem I'm trying to figure out and deal with right now that goes like this...
Elves are pretty much human + . They have better eyesight, better hearing, nimble, more magical. Now, I hate to use the word "Balanced" but it occurs to me if I run a game where players have a choice between a human, elf and dwarf, the players are more inclined to choose the Elf.
Sure there are fewer of them in the world, but that's not something that has an immediate impact on the players. It could. If I spent some time on it I could maybe think of something in relation to that. I'd have to give human's and dwarves something that makes them equally appealing or....give elves penalties.
I'm just throwing this out right now as something to ponder.
I think again we’re heading into the territory of fixing everything in the rules as bonuses and penalties again. We should be giving perhaps some optional special rules but mainly helping people channel their inner elf as SkinnyOrc put it. They should be guided to a way of playing rather than just chasing abstract dice roll modifiers.

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Re: Elf Abilities.

Post by SkinnyOrc » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:38 am

darksoul wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:17 am
The list I gave above was only based on Phantom's of Fear. If I added what I got from Titan the list would be a bit longer and somewhat conflicting.
Phantom of Fear is about a wood elf though right? Titan covers elves in general and although most types of Titan elves have a lot in common there are differences too.
darksoul wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:17 am
Elves are pretty much human + . They have better eyesight, better hearing, nimble, more magical. Now, I hate to use the word "Balanced" but it occurs to me if I run a game where players have a choice between a human, elf and dwarf, the players are more inclined to choose the Elf.
I'd assume the starting character elf is a little less mature and experienced than the humans in the party, which offsets their natural advantages (with their long life spans they might still be a similar age though). The end result is they're balanced against other starting characters as per the AFF2 points buy system.
HedgeWizard wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:53 pm
Something which was interesting in Titan is that they do not hate anyone. The idea is baffling to them, even with Orcs they are at best neutral to them. This means that things like bearing a grudge or wanting revenge will also be alien concepts to them. They will still get angry (emotion has no moral value in and of itself) but will not stay angry against an individual or group.
That definitely needs adding to my list, it has a big effect on how to play them.

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