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    Canonfire :: View topic - Elves in Geoff
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    Elves in Geoff
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    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Dec 07, 2003
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    Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:54 am  
    Elves in Geoff

    I'm about 1/8 through my home made Geoff gazeteer. One thing I have noticed is that in 1e the nation had a 'high' population of high elves (6,000) which seems to have vanished in the conversion to 3e. I checked the descriptions of the numerous forests and it appears that the only elves mentioned therein are sylvan elves.

    I know there are high elves in the Yeomanry, possibly in Sterich (?), so a population of high elves is not illogical. I also know that the land is battle-ravaged and that the elves would have fled in any event but I was wondering if anybody knew why the high elves were retconned out of existence?

    More to the point, if I am returning to 1e population distributions in my gazeteer, should I retcon the high elves back in, and if so, where should I put their settlements?

    High elves are the once elven race whose psyche I don't quite get. I see them as less rural than the wood elves but less grandiose and magically obsessed than the grey elves (now eladrin). The high elves of the Vesve live in wooden forest settlements, Highfolk, and in High Vale. The elves of Ulek live in towns and cities. So what makes a typical high elf tick?

    Does anybody know anything about the 1e ecology of the western high elves? My instinct is to concentrate their settlements in the wooded foothills of the mountains. All suggestions welcome.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
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    From: Orlane, Gran March

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    Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:18 am  

    IMC the elves, both high and sylvan were concentrated in the Oyt and Dim forests, with very old populations in the Hornwood. I think you would find the Liberation of Geoff very helpful, though it is not the most imaginative or well written product.

    I also have large numbers of the elves as refugees living with other elves in the portions of these forest controlled by the Gran March.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 20, 2008
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    Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:48 pm  

    I have found many things the RPGA (whom I have gathered did much of the 3e Greyhawk setting) have altered about Greyhawk from the older versions. This is not at all a bad thing, it just things are different in many places.

    I really cannot dig through and name many of these, I just happened to notice little things when I was digging through material over the last couple months in research for a campaign.

    I figure that the Flaeness is a big place, and elves are pretty witty and I imagine could make it anywhere, especially if you shake the Tolkien-esque notion of them being whiney babies.
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:38 am  

    Yes I'm using a lot of RPGA stuff and Liberation of Geoff for inspiration such as settlements, dungeon locations, npc names etc and I'm trying to use the outcomes from the modules to advance the timeline.

    Once I've got the framework I will tweak some of the information to be more in keeping with my own campaign (lower magic, reduce the power of all these regional wizards' guilds, add in some 4e classes etc).

    I think the influence of Tolkien's elves is inevitable on an old style gamer like me and this part of the problem. DnD high elves are not all that like Tolkien's elves. They're sort of middle class elves with only a passing nod to the elves of Rivendell.

    So my question is, if you can't put a high elf in the forest, where would people put them? Geoff is very celtic, with most settlements being made of wood and skins. Any suggestions on how to give an elfy feel to those kind of settlements?
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:03 am  

    PaulN6 wrote:
    So my question is, if you can't put a high elf in the forest, where would people put them? Geoff is very celtic, with most settlements being made of wood and skins. Any suggestions on how to give an elfy feel to those kind of settlements?


    I've see a lot of celic or at least fey british art with elves that I think would give you an idea. What I would envision for the High is a lot more art and quality materials. I would look for pics first to get an idea.
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    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 21, 2003
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    From: Germany

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    Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:02 am  

    Paul, do you have the 2E Complete Elves HB ? There's also an article about Elven Cities & Settlements in Dragon # 224. Finally look to the chapters on woods in the WoG boxed set or the FtA set. Do the Geoff areas you have in mind have elves mentioned?

    I see them as living in the woods but being more sophisticated than the wood-elves. High elves build real cities, wood-elves build tree-towns more in tune with nature, and grugach are quasi nomadic barbarians/indians living in tents.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:18 am  

    Cheers guys - I think one of my players bought elfy supplement and I'll see if I have the Dragon issue.

    Unfortunately the forest populations only mention the wood elves. I think it harks back to the 1e method of only mentioning inhabitants in the population stats that DON'T dwell in any of the geographical features. So I took it that the high elf settlements were integrated outside the woods in Geoff proper and were thus included in the population stats or at best, on the fringes of the forests. The wood elves are only in forests and so are not shown in the main population stats.

    I'll see what inspiration I can draw from the pointers you've given. a lot of the forests border the moutains so I might put a chunk of the (abandoned) high elf settlements in the wooded foothills.

    Thanks for the help.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 21, 2003
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    From: Germany

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    Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:59 am  

    Iīve thought of one other source which could be of use. The 1E WoG boxed set has a table where a PC can roll for his land of birth, by race. So look if there are any entries under Highelf, for Geoff, Sterich, or regions near to that.

    Also the 1E UA has tables for social class, and i believe it has separate entries for demihuman races. So if you wonder how high elves live thatīs another place to look.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    From: So. Cal

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    Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:31 pm  

    There could be some elves in the mountains/wooded hills in Geoff too.

    And in regard to the thread title, apologies to anyone named "Geoff".
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    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:19 am  

    Yeah - poor Geoff must really have hacked off the 2e design team considering how they worked over the Grand Duchy - burning his Dim Forest and polluting his White Oyt. That's got to smart.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: May 27, 2003
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    From: Spindrift Isles, Scotland

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    Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:45 am  

    I just read this, an article on the historical context of elves up to and including Tolkien, on the Lord of the Rings Plaza (www.lotrplaza.com), written by one of my fellow senior members. I just thought some of you may find it useful, or at the very least interesting.

    http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=226540
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue May 06, 2008 1:47 am  

    Groovy background! My problem remains number crunching though. Confused

    I'm still confused over my population distributions. 1e didn't include demi-human populations at all except sizeable populations, which for Geoff was 6,000 high elves or about 8% of the population. 1e also did not usually include the populations of substantial geographical regions in the figures, so the Dim, Hornwood, Oytwood, and Stark Mounds populations were separate and often non-specific.

    3e was a bit more helpful but it moved the goal posts rather inconsistently. 3e includes demi-human populations but does not seem to include the geographical locations because we know that the Stark Mounds contains some 10,000 gnomes and Geoff's population distribution obviously does not include this. Obviously, the invasion would have a substantial effect on population figures in any event.

    Elven population is listed as 8% (or 5,600) retconned to 4,500 sylvan elf and 2100 high elf but does this mean that these are elves who live outside the forest regions? That doesn't make a lot of sense given the political turmoil at the time.

    LG split the elves between sylvan (Dim), high (Hornwood), and grey (Oyt) but this is a rather artificial slpit that contradicts canon which lists wood elves in one of the forests at least. Plus we have high, sylvan, and grey elves living in the same forest in the Vesve, so I think that mixing them would be acceptable without contradicting canon.

    Grey elves (soon to be eladrin) don't register on the distribution chart and so must be less than 1% of the population or about 600 elves. This compares to the population of the Vesve and the 7,000+ elves that populate Celene so I'm good with that.

    I'm really confused about the other distributions though. The Marklands Vesve has a surprisingly low elven population density (about 10,000 sylvan, 3,000 high, 1,000 grey) so I want to keep the figures relatively in line with this.

    LG Hornwood states 'many thousands' of high elves. Since Geoff's general population suggests 2,100, I could stick at 2,000 high elves (to account for those killed and driven off by the invasion) plus some sylvan elves.

    LG Dim has always been vague on its elven population. Gran March lists 9,000 sylvan elves in the eastern portion of the forest but this is based on denser 3e population distribution. I'd probably go with 6,000 elves here. Geoff Dim lists most of the elves in the southwestern portion, which is quite a small area and they are udner regular attack.

    I was thinking of using the official population figures as a base for the elves (since the number of gnomes is already officially established) for the following:

    Oytwood: 600 grey, 750 sylvan
    Hornwood: 2000 high, 1500 sylvan
    Dim: 6000 sylvan (Gran March), 2500 sylvan (Geoff)

    Do these figures sound plausible?
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: May 27, 2003
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    Wed May 07, 2008 6:41 am  

    I'd say your numbers are pretty good, and accurate. One could perhaps say that settlements such as Hocholve, though a predominantly-elven town in hte Hornwood, could have been the location of many high elves. One could equally argue that the numbers might be in the hundreds rather than thousands, but given the numbers given in 1e it's not entirely implausible, and certainly helps to diffuse the numbers across Geoff.

    Smaller settlements in wooded foothills or mountains, since overrun in the giant invasions, might similarly have existed, and thus be the base for more numbers of elves. Living in woodlands, or "tree-villages" would fit with high elven living, being on a similar level to the celtic/rustic background of the human inhabitants of Geoff, while not detracting from their relative art and cultural style. Grey elves were far more given to living in cities (of their own devising) than were high elves, or any other type of elf for that matter, though individuals of all types can obviously be found mostly anywhere. Again, 1e stated that PC elves were almost always high elves, the most commonly found and sociable of elves, which would suggest that one might find them anywhere!
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun May 11, 2008 2:35 pm  

    Ok, in the end I applied some common sense to the maths. I've been going through the LG gazeteer and returing to populations more in keeping with the 1e Greyhawk supplements because I think lower population densities are going to make it easier to go with the points of light philosophy. What I've found is that the free city and nomad populations are ok, if you divide most other countries' populations by 3, you get to figures that are slightly above the original 583 CY populations. A few other countries get to similar 1e figures if you divide by 2.

    In Geoff's case, 1e pre-invasion population was 65,000 humans and 6,000 high elves (about 9%). Dividing the 3e population of 70,000 by 2 gives us a population of 35,000, includng 28,000 humans plus 9% high elves, and the 3e % for halflings, dwarves, non-Stark Mound gnomes etc. That sounds about right to me. If you then add on 10,000 Stark Mound gnomes plus use the elves listed in the 3e gazeteer (i.e. 9% of 70,000) you get an extra 5,730 sylvan elves (90%) and 630 grey elves to add on.

    This comes to a total population of about 52,000 in the region, half of which (25,000) is in the region of Hochoch. That looks pretty realistic. You also end up with about 6,000 wood elves to split between the three forests, about 2,500 high elves split between Hornwood and Hochoch, and 600 grey elves in the Oyt. I think I will settle for those figures for now and adjust upwards as the combined armies slowly drive the giants back.
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