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    Canonfire :: View topic - Elves and Eladrin
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    Elves and Eladrin
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    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:49 pm  
    Elves and Eladrin

    I'm not a big expert on official stuff for the outer planes, since I use a very non standard cosmology. Are elves and eladrin supposed to be related in the official rules? Or is that another new change for 4e like the biblical devils and no demonic succubi?

    The quote is from the new Design and Development article on elves:

    "elves have gone a different route than their cousins, the eladrin. Elves rely on hard-won intuition and senses tuned to an arrow’s point instead of reason, intellect, or debate as eladrin are more wont to do. However, like eladrins, they possess a pure hate for their shared distant drow relatives."
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    Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:48 pm  

    There was talk in greychat the other night about this. It seems grey elves have been merged improperly to eladrins who only superficially look like elves iirc. Off the top of my head I cannot think of another outsider race that could be wholly mistaken for a mortal race like this. I blame this as you say on the consolodation that 4e seems to be doing on creatures and classes. Dumbing down I call it.
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    Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:49 pm  

    In 2E and 3E/3.5, eladrins were/are a race of C/G elf-like outsiders from Arborea. There are many different kinds of eladrin - firre, bralani, ghaele and others - not just one kind. Aparently, there is going to be an elf-related base eladrin race in 4E, and at some point (according to the article) the drow, elves and eladrin split.

    So in 4E we get tieflings and eladrin, no aasimar...
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    Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:10 pm  

    Seriously, I think I'm gonna bust a vein. No, eladrins have never had anything to do with elves other than a superficial similarity in appearance and a connection with Arborea.

    To me this is sort of like saying that because dogs have a superficial resemblance to cats and a connection with animal shelters that they were all born from cows.
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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:50 am  

    I think this is going to another change that we are going to react to with a smile, a gentle pat on the head and a "That's nice dear." and then return to what we were using before.
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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:18 am  

    I like an elves eladrin connection. I know it doesn't pass the "Planescape" test but piddle on that. Smile Givng the elves a celestial counterpart is, IMO, cool. Sort of, and I use this term very broadly, "elven angels." THAT I find very useful, IMC, and have used such. I was not aware 4e was getting with the program in this respect. Wink I guess there are some things about 4e to like. Cool
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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:34 am  

    You make me sad, GV.
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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:50 am  

    Elves are suppose to be elves, demons and devils are suppose to be just that, and gnomes always existed. When WOTC changes to many basic concepts like this, we are no longer playing anything close to what the creators of D&D had in mind, which in my opinion is no longer D&D.

    WOTC is interested in making a new game and simply carrying on the D&D logo in order to retain sales. Changes like the elves/eladrin factor are not part of the game so far as I am concerned.

    DM's who have to make so many changes will be less willing to play any new version of what they now call D&D. These individuals will eventually go back to playing the old editions, some other game completely, or just give up the hobby all together. The younger crowd will say "cool" because they don't care for and have an appreciation for the games traditions.

    In my opionion, the people that design the games at WOTC or are in positions of power fall into this category, THE YOUNGER CROWD. Get rid of the old folks, lay them off (Roger Moore, so I heard), set aside their "classic" game world, we can do what we want attitude.

    Elves should remain elves. Period, end of story!
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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:29 pm  

    To put on my heretic hat let me say a few things about the crumbs we have been given about 4e.

    A radical reworking of monsters and their roles in D&D is in the works. They have said this directly and indirectly in the dev blogs at WotC and the articles on the D&D main page.

    My take from their limited info is that history is great, but monster role trumps history every time... I don't think this is to attract younger gamers but to fit the new directive on monsters:

    The role defines the monster, the MM is a tool box of monster roles to mix and match for encounters.

    Thus if two monsters fill the same role either one will either be change to fill another role or be axed.

    Quite frankly, this is one of the problems with 3.5. We have a ton of monsters that are the same thing over and over again with only cosmetic differences (Orcs, Gnolls, Hobgoblins anyone).

    My two coppers....

    Bryan Blumklotz
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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:54 pm  

    bubbagump wrote:
    You make me sad, GV.


    Honestly, I didn't think anyone was really _using_ the eladrin, as written. At least if hooked up with the elves, they might actually appear in some games or accessories. Or maybe I'm mistaken. Have people actually used eladrin as written and so have a practical complaint, or is this more of an intellectual objection to the change?
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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:46 pm  

    How unimaginative! Eladrins are no more related to elves than slaadi are to frogs, or formians to ants, devils to gargoyles, or modrons to polyhedron dice. Who doesn't understand the concept of supernatural beings taking on forms for symbolic purposes without actually being that race? Is an arcanadaemon related to a jackal? Is Orcus an evolved sheep?

    Fundamentally, what we need is not yet another thrice-damned race of elves in a game already oversaturated with the vermin. We need, and what eladrins provide in 2e and 3e, is a celestial counterpart to demons, and a chaotic equivalent to archons. We need a chaotic good equivalent to devils and daemons and rilmani.

    We need personifications of the chaotic good alignment, exemplars to uphold that corner of the cosmos - something as distinctive to the Olympian Glades as demons are to the Abyss. We need exalted beings for CG player characters to strive to emulate and perhaps, after their death, become. Not angels, those servants of the gods who merely squat on the planes, but beings born from the substance of benign chaos as demons are born from malign evil and as modrons are born from pure Law.

    Eladrins, admittedly, have never been perfect in this role, and I've been critical of them in the past. They're very samey-looking, far too elfin/faerie in appearance to really effectively demonstrate the range of chaotic good races. The Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II, which wasn't written by the core Planescape design team, did some damage to the game with its somewhat unimaginative new celestial races. I respect the attempt to provide equivalents of the archons, which have been with us since the 1e Manual of the Planes, but they could've come up with something more evocative, flexible, and interesting than the guardinals and eladrins.

    However, a little imagination goes a long way, and they do the job sufficiently when interpreted creatively. They're, IMC, sapient whispers, living mysteries, subtle and sly, stories and songs and weavings made flesh, passion incarnate.

    THAT SAID, I wouldn't mind this change very much - no more than I ever mind elves getting more attention than they're due - if they replace the eladrins with a superior race of chaotic good celestials - ones that are more than humanoid, with a good coherent theme. If we have an excuse for hundreds of good-aligned celestial princes, mirror images of the lords of the Abyss, I will be a very happy gamer indeed.
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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 6:26 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Have people actually used eladrin as written and so have a practical complaint, or is this more of an intellectual objection to the change?


    Actually, yes, I have used them as written. Rather extensively, in fact.
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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 6:55 pm  

    Saracenus wrote:
    To put on my heretic hat let me say a few things about the crumbs we have been given about 4e.

    A radical reworking of monsters and their roles in D&D is in the works. They have said this directly and indirectly in the dev blogs at WotC and the articles on the D&D main page.

    My take from their limited info is that history is great, but monster role trumps history every time... I don't think this is to attract younger gamers but to fit the new directive on monsters:

    The role defines the monster, the MM is a tool box of monster roles to mix and match for encounters.

    Thus if two monsters fill the same role either one will either be change to fill another role or be axed.

    My two coppers....

    Bryan Blumklotz
    AKA Saracenus


    This is a perfect description of what's bothering me about the 4e design philosophy. It's not necessary to change all these things if all they're doing is redesigning the game. They're approaching the game in a mathematical, mechanical manner and thereby are sacrificing all the artistry and quirkiness that made it great.

    If they want to apply that philosophy strictly to the rules, then I'm all for it. But why must they do so to the fluff and flavor? If they're so concerned about having a workable, easy-to-use, internally consistent set of rules, then all they have to do is change a few odds and ends and print a new PHB. Any established creatures/settings/fluff that doesn't fit their philosophy can just be avoided.

    Consider, for example, their redesign of the nature of devils. Obviously they need devils to fill a particular role, so why not just print their stats in 4e format, list their abilities, and limit themselves to saying that devils are "evil outsiders who come from Hell" or something generic like that? Then any campaign-specific information can be released later in a form that is consistent with what already exists.

    As far as eladrins themselves are concerned, as has been suggested on this forum they're not used that often so why bother to change them at all? Just don't print a 4e version, since there are already tons of other creatures that can easily fill their role without modification. If for some reason they must print a 4e version of eladrins, all they have to do is print the 4e stats, say that they're good spirits who spend their time fighting tyranny and righting wrongs and leave it at that. There's no need to address, much less change, the fluff part of their description.

    As far as all this crap about monster roles is concerned, they've got to be kidding. Let's take their reasoning to its logical conclusion, shall we? One role that has to be filled is that of the heavy-hitting combat machine. Okay, let's fill that role. Choosing at random, we'll say that ogres are perfect for what they have in mind. So from now on that role is covered and every situation that calls for a combat monster that causes lots of damage by smacking stuff will involve ogres. Every adventure will have lots of them. Forget about trolls, elephants, fighters with high strength scores, giants, really big animals, and all the other crap. The role is filled.

    Does that sound like a satisfying solution? Of course not. They're going to need a variety of creatures to fill every role. Some of those creatures will need to be crossover creatures that can do some things not in their traditional role. Some will need to be stealthy, for example. Already we're starting to describe the situation that already exists: there are a variety of monsters to fill a variety of roles and some of them are similar but different enough to fit quirky situations.

    If WotC pares everything down just to meet some overly-rational design criterion, they're going to have to reverse their decision before long just to satisfy the demand for heavy-hitting monsters that can do more than bash people.

    Either they're getting trigger happy with their changes, they've lost control of themselves, or they're deliberately trying to screw with the game as it stands. No innocent claim that "it just makes sense that way" really fits.
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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:32 pm  

    Bubba, et. al.,

    I remember the heady days leading up to 3e, people where either stoked by the prospect of a new edition or claiming the sky was falling. Its Deja-vu all over again.

    We are making judgments about an edition that is not even done yet, from intentionally incomplete information. Until I see a play test version of the rules (highly unlikely) or the final release product (I will probably buy the 3 core books to see what they have done) we are shaking branches at the thunder and lightning.

    I am going to enjoy my 3.5 campaign that I am running. I am going to keep reading the info that is dribbed and drabbed out to us and I will make my judgment on 4e until I see it as a whole…

    Personally, I thought they left a few too many sacred cows in 3e. I hated the grappling rules (too complex), polymorph (broken and way to complicated), and vancian/gygaxian magic (5 min adventure syndrome). I remain hopeful about some of the changes.

    I will say this WotC and D&D R&D are not stupid. They have had a huge test bed in form 3.0/3.5 D&D in which to see what works, what doesn’t and everything in between. They now have an opportunity to really take D&D to a new level. Whether they can deliver remains to be seen.

    Bryan Blumklotz
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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:37 pm  

    Well, there hasn't been much bitching about the game mechanics here, mainly about the 'world sense'. Particularly in this thread, which is about an apparent change to the function of the eladrin.

    They've established they are altering the story on devils and demons. Now it seems they are doing the same with eladrin. And so far, the concepts seem to be inferior on the whole. Though I do like the effort to make demons and devils more distinctive in play, that is really something that ought to be addressed in a more roleplaying oriented way, not attaching a dubious new backstory to them.

    I don't use eladrins as written, but neither do I use them as 'angels for the elves'. Are we going to have dwarf angels and halfling angels and so on? Or is this just more of the 'elves are special' stuff that always shows up?

    I pretty much agree with Rasgon in this. If they are going to have demon lords and archdevils independent of the evil gods, they ought to have archangels and eladrin lords that are likewise not just servants of the gods.

    Do we really need a race of outsider elves that hate the drow (and, presumably, Valley elves too)? I don't see what it adds to the game. If they are the servants of the Seldarine, then big whoop. And if they are supposed to be the servants of the chaotic good gods like Kord, why are they related to elves? And if they are wholly separate, again, what do we gain by linking them with the elves in particular?
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    Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:50 am  

    Saracenus wrote:
    Bubba, et. al.,

    Personally, I thought they left a few too many sacred cows in 3e. I hated the grappling rules (too complex), polymorph (broken and way to complicated), and vancian/gygaxian magic (5 min adventure syndrome). I remain hopeful about some of the changes.

    Bryan Blumklotz
    AKA Saracenus


    It's not the rules changes I'm concerned about (except, perhaps, for that whole Vancian magic thing). Personally I'm fine with the rules as they are, and I don't think they need to do anything more than clarify/simplify a few sticking points. If they want to completely redo the rules, though, I'm fine with it. To me rules are like car parts: I can put chevy parts under the hood and make them work, but it still looks like a ford on the outside. Similarly, they can change the rules of D&D by going from 2e to 3e, but my Greyhawk game will still go on undisturbed.

    What concerns me is that so many of the changes they've mentioned don't affect the rules at all. Rather, they're changing the tone and flavor of the game. Eladrins as elves? That's not a rules change; it's a flavor change. This, combined with the changes to devils, the loss of gnomes, the redefinition of elves, and several other proposed changes directly effect the game as it has been played for almost 4 decades. Could I tweak all the fluff in the same way I tweak all the crunch? Sure I could. But I don't want to.

    I (and lots of others) take this stuff personally because we simply can't figure out why it's happening unless it's being done to remove us from the playing field. As mentioned in an earlier post there's no need to change eladrins (or demons, or the Great Wheel, or whatever) for the sake of better rules. They must be doing it because they want to send a message to their customer base. Why pay a designer to redesign an existing monster when it would be cheaper and easier to just leave it out of the book? There are plenty of monsters that could fill any role you choose and all they'd have to change is the stat block. There must be something more going on.
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    Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:29 am  

    One of the biggest things I've seen about 4e, bubba, is that they are making not only a few small stylistic changes, but a few large stylistic changes as well. This particular revamp is more akin to the 2e to 3e change, as opposed to 1e-2e and 3 - 3.5. Yes, there are rules changes, but I think we will see major changes in the style.

    Beyond that, it seems to me that they are asking us not to look to the past - at our knowledge of older game systems to take us forward. The feeling I get is that they want new mythos, histories, planar orgianizations . . . all the big things - rules included.

    Here's what I see happening: (very unofficial, this is just a guess)
    DM: Coming around the corner of the massive fallen pillars is a gangly, green clawed creature. You recognize it as a troll.

    Player 1: Cool, I draw my sword and make sure I have my torch in my off hand.

    Player 2: I'm digging into my pouch for my flasks of acid.

    DM: As the troll advances, you lob your acid flask at the troll. It breaks over his head, showering him with acid. While it seems to burn the troll, he doesn't seem overly worried. Player 1, as you strike the troll with the torch, he seems singed, but not hurt.

    Player 1 and 2: BUT IT'S A TROLL!!?? THE FIRE AND ACID SHOULD HURT IT!

    DM: In 3x, yes, but this is 4th edition remember. In this world, trolls were born out of fire and are not harmed especially by it or acid. . .


    Now this is just a guess, I have no advance knowledge of trolls, but I think the system and the metasetting of D&D is being changed, and we are being challenged to think outside the box. In a way, I think that is neat, because things are fresh and new again, like when you first started playing. What does this particualr monster do? I have no idea, but it's big, green, and ugly!

    Again, please remember this is just a guess, I have no foreknowledge of 4e, just what I have gathered from the Wiz site.
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    Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:07 pm  

    Mechanics changes are par for the course and expected. The loss of Vancian magic may or may not work out, we'll see. But other than that, I'm not really concerned. As long as D&D is class based and has an abstract, hp based combat system it'll pretty much be the same game.

    But I really don't understand the need to reinvent the wheel on all this background fluff. The elves described in the article are interesting, but my experiences in 20+ years of gaming is that damn few people play their elves anything like that. And they are apparently finally ditching the Great Wheel concept, which has been slowly going away (see the changes to the FR cosmology, the Eberron cosmology, etc). Either that, or they completely fail to understand the function of the outsider races like demons, devils, and eladrins in that cosmology.

    Btw, did I miss an article where they said something about ditching gnomes? Several folks have made comments that imply that's happening, but I didn't read it anywhere myself.
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    Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:45 pm  

    Vormaerin wrote:
    Btw, did I miss an article where they said something about ditching gnomes? Several folks have made comments that imply that's happening, but I didn't read it anywhere myself.


    Vormaerin,

    Nothing explicit has been said but they did say that one class and one race from 3.5 is going bye-bye in 4e. From all the postings on races in 4e only gnomes have not been mentioned so far... so its a good bet they are going to get the ax.

    Most of this info is spread out over the blogs, eDragon, and Gleemax. So, I wouldn't be surprised if all of us are missing some of the puzzle pieces...

    ENWorld is compiling info on 4e here:
    http://www.enworld.org/index.php?page=4e

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    Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:07 pm  

    According to this post on gleemax, http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=13484347&postcount=9 , the gnome is not core in 4E, at least not in the first PHB.
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    Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:59 pm  

    MichaelSandar wrote:
    One of the biggest things I've seen about 4e, bubba, is that they are making not only a few small stylistic changes, but a few large stylistic changes as well. This particular revamp is more akin to the 2e to 3e change, as opposed to 1e-2e and 3 - 3.5. Yes, there are rules changes, but I think we will see major changes in the style.

    Beyond that, it seems to me that they are asking us not to look to the past - at our knowledge of older game systems to take us forward. The feeling I get is that they want new mythos, histories, planar orgianizations . . . all the big things - rules included.


    I'm thinking this is right. The name remains the same but not the continuity with prior editions' backstory or the "meta setting," as I've heard it called - the set of assumptions about the multiverse D&D operates in and describes. This would be major break as from 1e through 3e the metasetting held pretty constant.
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    Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:44 pm  

    MichaelSandar wrote:
    Beyond that, it seems to me that they are asking us not to look to the past - at our knowledge of older game systems to take us forward. The feeling I get is that they want new mythos, histories, planar orgianizations . . . all the big things - rules included.

    Now this is just a guess, I have no advance knowledge of trolls, but I think the system and the metasetting of D&D is being changed, and we are being challenged to think outside the box. In a way, I think that is neat, because things are fresh and new again, like when you first started playing. What does this particualr monster do? I have no idea, but it's big, green, and ugly!


    This is my whole point! What they're proposing is NOT D&D. It wasn't the rules set that got me into roleplaying in the first place. It was a chance to explore the world those old versions set out to describe - the metagame. The rules didn't even matter. With all the changes rules-wise and non-rules-wise 4e is going to be nothing more than another copycat game. If I wanted to play a D&D-esque game I'd start playing Castles and Crusades, Runequest, or something else. Hell, after almost 30 years of roleplaying I think I could probably come up with a pretty good set of rules myself.

    But I don't WANT to play another game. I want D&D, complete with gnomes, a great wheel, Greyhawk, lots of quirky creatures, and the ability to add another published book of knowledge every now and then. The whole reason I'm upset about 4e is that WotC is taking a very underhanded and disrespectful approach to telling me that they're not going to support my hobby anymore. If I wanted everything to be fresh and new I'd just buy another game.

    How would you feel if you were a motorcycle enthusiast and they told you there would no longer be any motorcycles, bike parts, bike clubs, or national rallies? You'd be pretty pissed, especially if they told you they were coming out with something sort of like a motorcycle that they called a "car" but that it was wholly incompatible with anything you'd ever seen before. Sure, the technology might be better but your hobby has just blown out the window no matter how you sugar-coat it. You could ride your bike until the wheels fell off but you couldn't fix it after that, you wouldn't have anybody to ride with after a while, and you wouldn't be able to revel in all the history and social atmosphere that goes along with being a bike enthusiast.

    To reiterate my former position, I'm sure some of the rules changes will be pretty good. I don't mind that, especially since there never has been a perfect system. I do mind the deceitful and disrespectful way that WotC is going about changing everything, and I do mind that they're changing far too many sacred cows. I also mind very much that they're trying to get us to believe that "the game remains the same" when that's demonstrably not true. In effect they're throwing D&D in the trash and slapping the name on something else. They may as well buy the rules for Warhammer FRP and start calling that D&D.
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    Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:52 pm  

    Personally, I am all for the death of demi-human subtypes. Make all elves be elves. Make elves, eladrin, and drow distantly related but their own distinct creatures in the same respect as goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, and norkers. Hopefully they also kill dwarven, gnome, and halfling sub-types.
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    Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:38 am  

    bubbagump wrote:

    How would you feel if you were a motorcycle enthusiast and they told you there would no longer be any motorcycles, bike parts, bike clubs, or national rallies? You'd be pretty pissed, especially if they told you they were coming out with something sort of like a motorcycle that they called a "car" but that it was wholly incompatible with anything you'd ever seen before. Sure, the technology might be better but your hobby has just blown out the window no matter how you sugar-coat it. You could ride your bike until the wheels fell off but you couldn't fix it after that, you wouldn't have anybody to ride with after a while, and you wouldn't be able to revel in all the history and social atmosphere that goes along with being a bike enthusiast.


    While I see your point, remember that there have been people feeling this way since OD&D, not to mention those who played BECMI, 1e, 2e, 3e, and now 3.5. When you get right down to it, there are still tons of people who play these (very different) game systems, each with their own take on the cosmology and different races.
    Plus, with a little time and effort, I have yet to see one D&D supplement for any edition that wasn't at least marginally compatible with another edition. It just takes a little work Wink
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    Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:10 am  

    Vormaerin wrote:
    I don't use eladrins as written, but neither do I use them as 'angels for the elves'. Are we going to have dwarf angels and halfling angels and so on? Or is this just more of the 'elves are special' stuff that always shows up?


    A first note - I don't care for the new 4e elves as described. The eladrin connection I can deal with.

    Maybe this should be a seperate post entirely but I view the Great Wheel and its inhabitants from two perspectives. And I don't claim canon of any sort here.

    1st - There are those inhabitants of the Great Wheel who epitomize their home plane or could be said to have grown from the aligned (as in alignment) nature of the plane. These would be indigenous inhabitants.

    2nd - There are those inhabitants of the Great Wheel who exist strictly as servitors of the gods, usually groups of gods. While they will demonstrate aligned characteristics that may match the plane on which they are found, their first salient characteristic is service to their god or group of gods.

    3rd - I suppose one group could do double duty but I have no problem with Rasgon's position that each plane should have its signature aligned and indigenous inhabitants seperate from or at least not necessarily seconded to any deities.

    Thus, for me, eladrin as servitors of the Seldarine works very well. If that means we need some non-servitor but similarly aligned planar race, I'd be okay with that.

    By the same token, addressing the question quoted above, "yes." Servitors or very broadly "angels" of the dwarven pantheon would be entirely appropriate IMC and IMV. Same with other demi-human and humanoid pantheons too.

    I think I come to this from a position whereby the gods as inhabitants of the planes are more important to me than the planes just as the planes, even though the planes are comparatively enduring in a way gods are not. Gods as merely one among a number of planar inhabitants doesn't strike me as appropriate.

    YMMV
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    Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:14 am  

    Just slightly off-topic here, but... I agree with you GVD. My group is currently working on a shared world campaign, building it from the ground up. We've come to the planes, and the concept is that the Divine Realms, aka the Outer Planes, are the creations of the Gods who dwell there. Their very existence creates the plane they reside in, and the God and the plane are intertwined. The inhabitants of those planes are inherently part of the plane, as well as servitors of the Gods. Thus, eladrins are chaotic good inhabitants of the appropriate plane (in this case the Dales of Pharonis) and serve the lord of the plane (Pareis, God of Hope, Benevolence, Joy, Beauty, Song, and Light). I prefer this take on planar inhabitants, rather than having them spring up from the essence of the plane itself, or come from "somewhere else", and just end up where they are.

    Eladrins as elves? No. Eladrins, however much or little you use them, are supposed to be planar inhabitants that superficially resemble elves. Fudge WotC in their ear.

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    Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:20 pm  

    I don't mind the new vision of elves on its own, if this were a fresh product. But I don't understand why they would suddenly create a vision of elves that is basically at odds with all the existing visions out there. That just isn't how the vast majority of the players think of their elves. Its actually not that far from how I do things (though mine aren't quite as emotion over reason). So I am well aware of how at odds even a less extreme version of WotC's vision clashes with the conceptions of the playerbase.

    Rules changes are lot easier for a DM to deal with than fundamental changes to "setting" material like this.

    Regarding the eladrin, I don't use either the Seldarine or the Great Wheel, so in that sense its not a big deal to me what they do with the eladrin. I've already recast the celestials and other Outsiders...

    But, again, if they are going to make arbitrary and substantial changes to long standing "setting" material, it really needs to be sensible and serve a useful purpose. Granted, we are just getting bits and pieces so far, so they may have some cool grand vision. If so, fine with me.

    What I see so far is either they are tossing out the Great Wheel and Planescape conceptions entirely or they are complete morons. Because the changes they are making are fundamentally incompatible with it.
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    Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:36 pm  

    [quote="GVDammerung"]
    Vormaerin wrote:
    1st - There are those inhabitants of the Great Wheel who epitomize their home plane or could be said to have grown from the aligned (as in alignment) nature of the plane. These would be indigenous inhabitants.


    Just of curiousity, what of the planes in between alignments? Are there to be a whole slew of planar creatures with lawful-lawful-good, chaotic-neutral-good, lawful-neutral-evil, and other hybrid alignments for the planes that epitomize a confluence of alignments?
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    Tue Sep 11, 2007 5:19 pm  

    To some extent, there already are (demodands in Tartarus, formians native to Arcadia, windblades in Pandemonium, and the whole hierarchy of animals, animal wardens, and animal lords in the Beastlands). Most of the other in-between planes have at least one distinctive race (barghests and vaporighus in Gehenna, lillends, bariaurs, and fensir in Ysgard, maugs and chronotyryns in Acheron). There are others I haven't mentioned. The only one left out is the Twin Paradises, which are stuck with air sentinels and adamantine dragons, neither of which really feels like a native, and things like the ni'aths and ethyks, which are just nonsapient animals.

    But yes, absolutely. Giving each plane its own distinctive natives really helps bring the plane to life. With the upper planes, in particular, this is necessary, as the upper planes don't have as much detail.
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    Wed Sep 12, 2007 3:07 pm  

    MichaelSandar wrote:
    While I see your point, remember that there have been people feeling this way since OD&D, not to mention those who played BECMI, 1e, 2e, 3e, and now 3.5. When you get right down to it, there are still tons of people who play these (very different) game systems, each with their own take on the cosmology and different races.
    Plus, with a little time and effort, I have yet to see one D&D supplement for any edition that wasn't at least marginally compatible with another edition. It just takes a little work Wink


    This falls into the category of "if you don't like it you can just change it" comments that I always get when I gripe about WotC. Yes, I know people have always complained and I know lots of people do it differently and I know I can always customize the system. That's not the point. The point is, I have an opinion and I'm expressing it. For the record, ONE MORE TIME, it's not so much what they're doing as it is how they're doing it.

    I must also confess that I'm more than a little torn when I complain about such things. From a business standpoint the changes they're making are brilliant. I'm part owner of 4 LGS's and I foresee a tremendous increase in business if WotC can pull off their strategy. On the other hand, I get the distinct feeling that the kind of roleplaying I've been participating in for the last 30 years is soon to be gone forever. It'll probably begin to die out slowly starting just after the release of 4e. This isn't likely to affect me personally, but I hate to see it go. I can sympathize, I think, with all those old cowboys who saw their way of life dying with the invention of the pickup truck.

    If my hobby is to die, then so be it. I can deal with that. I just wish it could be allowed to die a slow natural death. The disrespectful and dishonorable way that WotC has gone about introducing 4e is, IMHO, shameful and unnecessary. I think they could've introduced the changes without deliberately sabotaging everything that's been built to this point.

    It was an underhanded, spiteful, thing to do. Thus, I say again, "Get bent, WotC."
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    Wed Sep 12, 2007 4:59 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    To some extent, there already are (demodands in Tartarus, formians native to Arcadia, windblades in Pandemonium, and the whole hierarchy of animals, animal wardens, and animal lords in the Beastlands). Most of the other in-between planes have at least one distinctive race (barghests and vaporighus in Gehenna, lillends, bariaurs, and fensir in Ysgard, maugs and chronotyryns in Acheron). There are others I haven't mentioned. The only one left out is the Twin Paradises, which are stuck with air sentinels and adamantine dragons, neither of which really feels like a native, and things like the ni'aths and ethyks, which are just nonsapient animals.

    But yes, absolutely. Giving each plane its own distinctive natives really helps bring the plane to life. With the upper planes, in particular, this is necessary, as the upper planes don't have as much detail.


    From the marketing standpoint of Wizards of the Coast, are they better off concentrating on a design philosophy of a score of different outsider types for each of the planes to satisfy someone like yourself whom is well versed in their interactions. Or are they better off concentrating on angels as good outsiders, demons and devils as evil outsiders for someone like myself that does not take the time to learn the intricacies of the planes?

    Quite frankly, I have never used any of the Eladrin through some 7 years of 3rd edition because they do not have a solid archetype, but rather, gravitate toward using the angels for good outsiders and therefore am pretty much using only lawful good because of it. I would be overjoyed if angels encompassed all good alignments.
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    Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:10 pm  

    bubbagump wrote:
    On the other hand, I get the distinct feeling that the kind of roleplaying I've been participating in for the last 30 years is soon to be gone forever.


    May I ask that you elaborate with specifics on how you see this happening? Basically everything they have hinted at thus far is dead on what I would like to change in the game, granted they have only given hints and no specifics. I certainly plan to keep on playing the same as I have the past two decades and what I have read sounds like it will improve that experience. I cannot say I have heard anything that sounds like the traditional tabletop game will stop being viable.

    It is sounding like a Greyhawk game will be able to get a good boost. Adri axe warriors truly specialized in their weapons. Wizards will not have to stop the delve into the Temple of Elemental Evil because they ran out of spells. Everyone stops running back to the good ole magic shop in Verbobonc because magic items are de-emphasized. I will not have to worry about where the heck 3e rules are for Valley Elves when the party goes into the Valley of the Mage because all elves are the same. Hopefully I will no longer have to pull out a Forgotten Realms book just to use the beloved bullywugs. All good stuff.
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    Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:14 pm  

    OleOneEye wrote:
    From the marketing standpoint of Wizards of the Coast, are they better off concentrating on a design philosophy of a score of different outsider types for each of the planes to satisfy someone like yourself whom is well versed in their interactions.


    The issue isn't what they "concentrate" on; this is something I couldn't care less about. It's perfectly possible to concentrate on angels without saying that races personifying the individual Upper Planes don't exist at all, or are reduced to a kind of "super-elf."

    Perhaps an analogy would work: imagine that they decide it's too complicated for the uninitiated to grasp the difference between a hobgoblin and an orc, so they make hobgoblins into orcs with class levels (hobgoblins are orcish monks, while bugbears are orcish barbarians - that sounds like something they'd do). In my mind, it'd be better if they didn't use hobgoblins at all in the core books than shut the door for all future designers who might want to use hobgoblins in the "classic" way.

    A similar dynamic's at work here. If they want celestial elves, I'd rather they used celestial elves, and leave the name "eladrin" out of it. At least than I'd have hope that one day a more creative, thoughtful, and respectful designer could reintroduce eladrins in a more intelligent way.

    The desire for simplicity and the desire to preserve some vestige of past continuity aren't mutually exclusive.

    I do like some of the proposed rule changes. I only wish they'd leave the design of planar matters to someone with a more interesting take on them. I'm not opposed to change so much as I'm opposed to such tedious and banal ideas. It's not a matter of what I do in my own campaign, but of not wanting to see official sourcebooks filled with material that isn't very good.
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    Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:22 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    OleOneEye wrote:
    From the marketing standpoint of Wizards of the Coast, are they better off concentrating on a design philosophy of a score of different outsider types for each of the planes to satisfy someone like yourself whom is well versed in their interactions.


    The issue isn't what they "concentrate" on; this is something I couldn't care less about. It's perfectly possible to concentrate on angels without saying that races personifying the individual Upper Planes don't exist at all, or are reduced to a kind of "super-elf."

    Perhaps an analogy would work: imagine that they decide it's too complicated for the uninitiated to grasp the difference between a hobgoblin and an orc, so they make hobgoblins into orcs with class levels (hobgoblins are orcish monks, while bugbears are orcish barbarians - that sounds like something they'd do). In my mind, it'd be better if they didn't use hobgoblins at all in the core books than shut the door for all future designers who might want to use hobgoblins in the "classic" way.

    A similar dynamic's at work here. If they want celestial elves, I'd rather they used celestial elves, and leave the name "eladrin" out of it. At least than I'd have hope that one day a more creative, thoughtful, and respectful designer could reintroduce eladrins in a more intelligent way.

    The desire for simplicity and the desire to preserve some vestige of past continuity aren't mutually exclusive.

    I do like some of the proposed rule changes. I only wish they'd leave the design of planar matters to someone with a more interesting take on them. I'm not opposed to change so much as I'm opposed to such tedious and banal ideas. It's not a matter of what I do in my own campaign, but of not wanting to see official sourcebooks filled with material that isn't very good.


    I apologize for feeling somewhat piques today, but what the hey.

    The analogy to hobgoblins and orcs is not quite the same. Hobgoblins have a mythological history long predating the modern era, and so, have a meaning outside of DnD culture. Largely due to Tolkein, the same can be said of orcs. However, I cannot find a reference to Eladrin prior to Warriors in Heaven c. 1999. At least I had never heard of them prior to the current edition Monster Manual. Hence, the level of egregiousness in eliminating the eladrin's role in the game is less than that of the analogy. Regardless, I am doing nothing more than splitting hairs here.

    Mayhaps you could find some satisfaction through wordplay in calling the elves new cousin an Aeladeryn in your home game rather than Eladrin? Certainly any Greyhawker must indulge in some wordplay to avoid things like Nippon or Orc Reich.

    On the side, other than the obvious same name as 3e eladrin, has there been anything that suggests 4e eladrin will be celestial in the slightest? Perhaps just a more magical fey?
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    Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:56 am  

    OleOneEye wrote:
    bubbagump wrote:
    On the other hand, I get the distinct feeling that the kind of roleplaying I've been participating in for the last 30 years is soon to be gone forever.


    May I ask that you elaborate with specifics on how you see this happening?


    I'd be happy to. First, let me say that in some ways I agree with you. Some of the changes WotC has mentioned do look pretty good from a rules standpoint. Also, I repeat my statement that it is not the changes themselves that I object to, but rather the way in which they are being implemented.

    Also, let me state clearly that I know dozens of gamers who are playing and will continue to play in more-or-less the old-school way. My comments were not meant to imply that after 4e there won't be any more of us around. My own game will remain completely unaffected probably until the day I die. I realize that changing editions doesn't mean all of us must change by a specific deadline or perish.

    And though it pains me to do so, I have to admit that WotC's changes seem to be truly brilliant from a business standpoint. Were I more interested in profit than I am, I'd be cheering. But I love my game more than I love the paltry income that comes my way from the LGSs in which I own an interest.

    That said, back to the rant. Some indications that tabletop roleplaying in the form that I prefer is dying have already occurred. There has already been a massive shift toward including a heavy emphasis on miniatures. A bad thing? Of course not. It's just a small shift in the way the game is played. Another shift is an increased emphasis on character builds rather than character development. This is part of a greater shift towards an emphasis on combat rather than an emphasis on roleplaying. Another shift that I believe will lead toward the eventual death of roleplaying as I prefer to do it is the shift toward an online "centralized authority" (if you will) that exerts an inordinate influence on the way the game is played. A further change is harder to describe; it is a change in philosophy as demonstrated by newer generations of roleplayers. Spending a little time around WoW'ers, Vampire players, et al, is useful at this point. I haven't the space here to describe the shift adequately; suffice it to say that newer generations don't think - and therefore don't play - the way we did in the old days. All of these factors and more lead me to believe that roleplaying in the future will be significantly different than it has been - different enough to be considered practically a different form of entertainment.

    Clearly, it is not necessary for any individual to participate in these shifts. I myself choose not to. However, when WotC and other forces introduce these shifts most people will make the change. As the crowd goes in the designated direction, more and more old-schoolers will either join in or find something else to do. Eventually roleplaying as I prefer it will cease to exist.

    So, I repeat my objection yet again in hopes that people will finally stop telling me to just change it if I don't like it: I don't want to change, I don't like the changes that are being made, and I don't see why they had to take deliberate steps toward destroying what has already been built. It would have been cheaper and easier for them to simply introduce a new set of rules without changing all the sacred cows. None of those changes are necessary. Therefore, they must have been done for some other reason; I suspect the reason was to piss off old-schoolers like me and marginalize us so we don't put so much pressure on WotC to dance to our tune as we have in the past. They want new customers who will drink their kool-aid, not old customers who prevent them from making the necessary business-dictated changes. Do I blame them? No. But I think they could have gone about it in a much more respectful and honest way.
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    Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:47 am  

    OleOneEye wrote:
    The analogy to hobgoblins and orcs is not quite the same. Hobgoblins have a mythological history long predating the modern era, and so, have a meaning outside of DnD culture. Largely due to Tolkein, the same can be said of orcs. However, I cannot find a reference to Eladrin prior to Warriors in Heaven c. 1999.


    Eladrins first appeared in the Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II, in 1996. D&D hobgoblins have little or nothing to do with the hobgoblins of folklore (which were similar to brownies and pixies - Robin Goodfellow was called a hobgoblin). The D&D ones're based on Tolkien's Uruk-hai, which means they're more or less just more powerful orcs (without the daylight penalty). Gygax exaggerated the difference between orcs and hobgoblins somewhat, making orcs pig-like and hobgoblins baboon-like, but even so they don't fill dramatically different places in the game. They even had the same alignment until 3e. As such, nobody outside of D&D fandom is going to care if WotC turned them into orcs with class levels.

    Nonetheless, it'd be an unnecessary and needlessly alienating change. Better, as I said, to leave hobgoblins out altogether than to use them in a way that would be perceived by fans as "wrong."

    Quote:
    Mayhaps you could find some satisfaction through wordplay in calling the elves new cousin an Aeladeryn in your home game rather than Eladrin?


    As I said, this has nothing to do with what I can do in my home game; that's a canard that really has to stop now. Using the "but you can always change it" argument, it's not legitimate to ever express annoyance at anything WotC does, and it should be obvious that that isn't conducive to an enjoyable discussion.

    It seems to me that on a message board like this it ought to be acceptable for someone to say "I like this better than such and such" without being shot down with such a conversation-killer as that.
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    Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:45 pm  

    bubbagump wrote:

    That said, back to the rant. Some indications that tabletop roleplaying in the form that I prefer is dying have already occurred. There has already been a massive shift toward including a heavy emphasis on miniatures. A bad thing? Of course not. It's just a small shift in the way the game is played. Another shift is an increased emphasis on character builds rather than character development. This is part of a greater shift towards an emphasis on combat rather than an emphasis on roleplaying.


    Star Wars Saga is easier to run without miniatures than OCR/RCR was (other than the horrid measurement system of everything in squares). As I use a blend of sometimes using miniatures and sometimes not, I hope that Saga is a foreshadowing of how DnD combat is to be. As an aside, 1st edition will always hold the warmest place in my heart, as it is where I started. I do not recall much of any rules for outside of combat, so the trend is not unprecedented.

    bubbagump wrote:
    Another shift that I believe will lead toward the eventual death of roleplaying as I prefer to do it is the shift toward an online "centralized authority" (if you will) that exerts an inordinate influence on the way the game is played. A further change is harder to describe; it is a change in philosophy as demonstrated by newer generations of roleplayers. Spending a little time around WoW'ers, Vampire players, et al, is useful at this point. I haven't the space here to describe the shift adequately; suffice it to say that newer generations don't think - and therefore don't play - the way we did in the old days. All of these factors and more lead me to believe that roleplaying in the future will be significantly different than it has been - different enough to be considered practically a different form of entertainment.


    As I have never played WoW or any of the other online games, nor do any of my fellow gamers, I trust your judgement that it is different. Having hosted a few live action Vampire games back in the early-mid nineties, that game was all about roleplaying and had nothing to do with builds or character options. Well, it was really more about flirting with girls in all honesty, not really having anything to do with tabletop roleplaying or affecting it in any way. Perhaps things are different nowadays?

    bubbagump wrote:
    Clearly, it is not necessary for any individual to participate in these shifts. I myself choose not to. However, when WotC and other forces introduce these shifts most people will make the change. As the crowd goes in the designated direction, more and more old-schoolers will either join in or find something else to do. Eventually roleplaying as I prefer it will cease to exist.


    If the changes you see taking place are primarily the result of WoW and similar games, than it is not WotC forcing the shifts, but rather, WotC following the market to avoid future death. Where would the NBA be today had they never allowed the 3 point shot? Games must change with the target audience.

    bubbagump wrote:
    So, I repeat my objection yet again in hopes that people will finally stop telling me to just change it if I don't like it: I don't want to change, I don't like the changes that are being made, and I don't see why they had to take deliberate steps toward destroying what has already been built. It would have been cheaper and easier for them to simply introduce a new set of rules without changing all the sacred cows. None of those changes are necessary. Therefore, they must have been done for some other reason; I suspect the reason was to piss off old-schoolers like me and marginalize us so we don't put so much pressure on WotC to dance to our tune as we have in the past. They want new customers who will drink their kool-aid, not old customers who prevent them from making the necessary business-dictated changes. Do I blame them? No. But I think they could have gone about it in a much more respectful and honest way.


    You present a thoughtful argument, and as it certainly appears you interact with far more new gamers than I, you almost certainly have a more keen awareness of what the new crowd wants. I would be quite interested in what you would consider a more respectful and honest manner of developing 4e.
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    Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:19 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    Eladrins first appeared in the Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II, in 1996.


    This is why you are my single favorite poster. Your encyclopedic knowledge of the game seems to have no equal.

    rasgon wrote:
    D&D hobgoblins have little or nothing to do with the hobgoblins of folklore (which were similar to brownies and pixies - Robin Goodfellow was called a hobgoblin).


    Undeniably. Unless I am mistaken, the hob- prefix means small, or some derivation thereof.

    rasgon wrote:
    The D&D ones're based on Tolkien's Uruk-hai, which means they're more or less just more powerful orcs (without the daylight penalty). Gygax exaggerated the difference between orcs and hobgoblins somewhat, making orcs pig-like and hobgoblins baboon-like, but even so they don't fill dramatically different places in the game. They even had the same alignment until 3e. As such, nobody outside of D&D fandom is going to care if WotC turned them into orcs with class levels.


    Likewise, nobody outside of DnD fans will care if trolls, bugbears, ogres, and troglodytes are nothing but orcs with class levels either. But each of these has a place in popular culture outside of DnD. The same cannot be said of Eladrin. Hence the slight difference in your original analogy. But as I said before, I am doing nothing but splitting hairs here and not really addressing your true argument.

    rasgon wrote:
    Nonetheless, it'd be an unnecessary and needlessly alienating change. Better, as I said, to leave hobgoblins out altogether than to use them in a way that would be perceived by fans as "wrong."


    I much preferred DnD's original pig-like orcs, and was not terribly happy that they looked like big goblins in 2e. It is quite possible I will not like the new incarnation of the Elves and Eladrin. Guess I will have to wait and see.

    rasgon wrote:
    As I said, this has nothing to do with what I can do in my home game; that's a canard that really has to stop now. Using the "but you can always change it" argument, it's not legitimate to ever express annoyance at anything WotC does, and it should be obvious that that isn't conducive to an enjoyable discussion.

    It seems to me that on a message board like this it ought to be acceptable for someone to say "I like this better than such and such" without being shot down with such a conversation-killer as that.


    Fair enough. No slight intended.
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    Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:46 pm  

    OleOneEye wrote:
    I would be quite interested in what you would consider a more respectful and honest manner of developing 4e.


    It's quite simple, really (I've covered this elsewhere, for those who don't wish to read yet another of my rants). Since none of the non-rules-related changes are necessary to produce a better game system, they must be doing it for reasons other than what they're telling us. (I've explained why these changes are unnecessary above and elsewhere; I won't go into it here.)

    Therefore, if they want to do things in a more respectful way they could simply tell us why they're trying to piss us off - or better yet, they could just stick to producing a good rules set and leave the fluff so many of us love alone.

    It would be much easier to take if they simply said, "We believe the game needs to go in X direction in order to remain economically viable. Therefore, we're making Y changes. We know some of you won't like it but we feel it's necessary," or something to that effect. I may not like the changes or the reasons behind them, but I can at least accept it as fact. But telling me that eladrins need to become elves because it makes D&D easier to play? Please - that's the flimsiest smokescreen ever. Either they're really stupid or they have other motives (and whatever I may think of WotC's designers, I don't think they're stupid).

    To answer your question in clearer terms: They should at least give us a greater degree of disclosure when it comes to the reasons behind their changes. They should also be more forthcoming when they tell us why 4e is coming so soon. You simply can't convince me that 3.5e is so broken that it requires another edition already. Additionally, I'm still pissed about the way they "surprised" us with 4e. There was no reason to do so unless they were deliberately trying to keep the gaming community's direct involvement to a minimum. If they wanted to keep us out of it (and personally I can see how that could be a good thing), then they should have simply come out with 4e without the song and dance routine. Finally, they should drop the "the game remains the same" schtick. Clearly, it doesn't. They should tell us the truth if they tell us anything at all.
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    Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:55 am  

    If eladrin replace grey elves that would actually work out ok in Greyhawk. It could justify the otherworldly detachment of Celene and the elves of the Timeless Tree. The Kingdom of Sunndi might need a bit of work but generally speaking, grey elves are already a bit 'out there' in the Greyhawk setting.
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