Author Topic: Allanaki City Elves  (Read 45737 times)

Jherlen

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #50 on: October 29, 2013, 11:41:42 AM »
I think Quirk's done a good job here and elsewhere bringing up some contradictions that need to be addressed, one way or another. The docs describe nearly all city elves as thieves and liars who wouldn't do honest work and would prefer to steal and swindle. Yet staff statements have also said city elves are by far the most populous nonhuman race in both cities, making up a large chunk of the total commoner population. It's a bit of a stretch to say all those elves are thieves and none of them contribute at all in a positive way to the city?

I wonder if the best solution for now isn't to just acknowledge the reality of the playable game world in 'nak and revise the number of elves in the city downward a bit. Instead of the ~130000ish number, something like 50000 might make more sense, and the majority of those in the 'rinth. I'd love to see more opportunity for elven warriors, elven merchants and elven craftsmen, but unless we either create new clans or change hiring policies in existing ones, I don't know if those are very playable roles in Allanak right now.
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Eurynomos

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #51 on: October 29, 2013, 11:48:49 AM »
I don't think we said 'by far'? I could be mistaken. But I don't think I am.

There needs to be some suspense of belief with the game -- There are plenty of things that don't make perfect sense, but are glossed over for the sake of playability. This is probably one of them.

It is true that the Jaxa Pah will be getting a documentation revamp treatment -- Viewing this thread/discussion provides some insight into problem areas for the race in general for players, and will be taken into consideration when the revamp is under way.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2013, 11:50:39 AM by Eurynomos »
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Jherlen

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #52 on: October 29, 2013, 11:57:31 AM »
Eurynomos, I was referring to this (somewhat old) post that had population numbers for both cities:

http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,38969.0.html

Quote
Allanak (481,880)
310,000 humans (50% are slaves) (150,000 free) (64.3% of total)
150,000 elves (10% are slaves) (135,500 free) (31.1% of total)
7,500 dwarves (65% are slaves) (2,600 free) (1.8% of total)
3,800 half-giants (20% are slaves) (3,150 free) (0.8% of total)
5,800 half-elves (40% are slaves) (3,400 free) (1.3% of total)
1980 muls (99% are slaves) (18 free) (0.4% of total)
2,800 unknown/other/mutant (40% are slaves) (1,400 free) (~0.6% of total)

So there are supposed to be 20 times as many elves as dwarves in Allanak, and just a little under 10x as many elves as all other nonhumans combined, by those numbers. Maybe they could be updated?
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Patuk

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #53 on: October 29, 2013, 12:49:15 PM »
Eurynomos, I was referring to this (somewhat old) post that had population numbers for both cities:

http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,38969.0.html

Quote
Allanak (481,880)
310,000 humans (50% are slaves) (150,000 free) (64.3% of total)
150,000 elves (10% are slaves) (135,500 free) (31.1% of total)
7,500 dwarves (65% are slaves) (2,600 free) (1.8% of total)
3,800 half-giants (20% are slaves) (3,150 free) (0.8% of total)
5,800 half-elves (40% are slaves) (3,400 free) (1.3% of total)
1980 muls (99% are slaves) (18 free) (0.4% of total)
2,800 unknown/other/mutant (40% are slaves) (1,400 free) (~0.6% of total)

So there are supposed to be 20 times as many elves as dwarves in Allanak, and just a little under 10x as many elves as all other nonhumans combined, by those numbers. Maybe they could be updated?

See, the problem of this all is that there's no proper way out.

If you say 'it makes sense if there's less elves,' it still doesn't, because the elves would get wiped out within the decade if they behave the way Italis said i.e. stealing everything not bolted down.

If you say 'that many elves get by because they can steal everything' it still doesn't, just because there's not that much to steal.

I still think the third solution, 'not all elves get by on thievery,' makes the most sense, but apparently it isn't a reason that seems very appealing to staff.
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Blur

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #54 on: October 29, 2013, 12:51:12 PM »
I think those elven docs need to be reworded too. Someone else had this line of thinking which I thought was great. Perhaps the docs should be reworded to something like this :

Quote

Elves enjoy getting something for less than it is worth, whether that be goods or services. Elves generally
have a hive mentality towards their tribe thus the things they often do will benefit them and/or their
tribe the most. Thus elves would rarely if ever do something out of the kindness of their hearts in regards
to an outsider they do not yet trust at least. They would rarely if ever give water to a dying person unless
they could profit or benefit from helping them in some way. This ideal can take many forms such as
haggling, negotiating, alliances (you can work with someone even if you don't completely trust them)
and yes even stealing and raiding. To elves, this ideal of taking full advantage of people or situations is
simply a valuable survival tactic and is therefore an admired trait within elven culture. Due to this behavior
other races often regarded elves as swindlers, con artists and thieves.


Again these are just ideas I've read from other people on the GDB. It needs a bit more work and fluff perhaps but that would be the general idea. It pulls the wording away specifically from theft and instead focusing getting something for less, taking advantage of situations or people, which of course theft easily falls upon.  Also the idea of it being some sort of test of courage as opposed to something more practical like just survival instincts. Again I don't think it would be a retcon or  change just slightly different wording that better reflect how elves are probably played in game right now.
 
« Last Edit: October 29, 2013, 01:47:32 PM by Blur »

Quirk

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #55 on: October 29, 2013, 01:53:47 PM »
Eurynomos, I was referring to this (somewhat old) post that had population numbers for both cities:

http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,38969.0.html

Quote
Allanak (481,880)
310,000 humans (50% are slaves) (150,000 free) (64.3% of total)
150,000 elves (10% are slaves) (135,500 free) (31.1% of total)
7,500 dwarves (65% are slaves) (2,600 free) (1.8% of total)
3,800 half-giants (20% are slaves) (3,150 free) (0.8% of total)
5,800 half-elves (40% are slaves) (3,400 free) (1.3% of total)
1980 muls (99% are slaves) (18 free) (0.4% of total)
2,800 unknown/other/mutant (40% are slaves) (1,400 free) (~0.6% of total)

So there are supposed to be 20 times as many elves as dwarves in Allanak, and just a little under 10x as many elves as all other nonhumans combined, by those numbers. Maybe they could be updated?

See, the problem of this all is that there's no proper way out.

If you say 'it makes sense if there's less elves,' it still doesn't, because the elves would get wiped out within the decade if they behave the way Italis said i.e. stealing everything not bolted down.

If you say 'that many elves get by because they can steal everything' it still doesn't, just because there's not that much to steal.

I still think the third solution, 'not all elves get by on thievery,' makes the most sense, but apparently it isn't a reason that seems very appealing to staff.

The impact of having less elves that I find most interesting is less half-elves, potentially to the point of wiping out VNPC half-elves. Knock elven numbers down by a factor of twenty, and half-elves come down too. If we did that, we'd possibly be down to 170 free half-elves in Nak - and then it seems entirely plausible that PCs could "use up" those 170 half-elves within the space of a year or two and we'd need some kind of conservation project to keep the poor endangered species alive.
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Timetwister

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #56 on: October 29, 2013, 01:55:36 PM »
I find the fact that there are apparently more city-elves than desert-elves somewhat disturbing. This seems to be a hole in the documentation never explained which is unfortunate.

Patuk

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #57 on: October 29, 2013, 02:22:47 PM »
I find the fact that there are apparently more city-elves than desert-elves somewhat disturbing. This seems to be a hole in the documentation never explained which is unfortunate.

I'm not sure if this should be so disturbing. More, certainly, but not by the magnitude where there's more city than nomad humans.
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Timetwister

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #58 on: October 29, 2013, 02:29:22 PM »
I find the fact that there are apparently more city-elves than desert-elves somewhat disturbing. This seems to be a hole in the documentation never explained which is unfortunate.

I'm not sure if this should be so disturbing. More, certainly, but not by the magnitude where there's more city than nomad humans.

Either way I guess I always thought an elf is an elf is an elf. Why are there "city" elves and "desert" elves. I just don't understand that. Why can't elves choose to be both, as needed?

Patuk

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #59 on: October 29, 2013, 02:54:08 PM »
I find the fact that there are apparently more city-elves than desert-elves somewhat disturbing. This seems to be a hole in the documentation never explained which is unfortunate.

I'm not sure if this should be so disturbing. More, certainly, but not by the magnitude where there's more city than nomad humans.

Either way I guess I always thought an elf is an elf is an elf. Why are there "city" elves and "desert" elves. I just don't understand that. Why can't elves choose to be both, as needed?

That is another issue. And one I might as well agree with, too, but then I don't think this is the thread for discussing just that either.
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Quirk

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #60 on: October 29, 2013, 02:54:21 PM »
I don't think we said 'by far'? I could be mistaken. But I don't think I am.

There needs to be some suspense of belief with the game -- There are plenty of things that don't make perfect sense, but are glossed over for the sake of playability. This is probably one of them.

I'd argue that the things that don't make sense which are being glossed over are the things that hurt playability, not help it. A simple reading of the elven roleplay docs shows them set on a collision course with the world, ramping up their thefts until their courage outweighs their competence and they perish. Because this isn't even sustainable on a single PC level, it's impossible to conceive of a whole race plausibly existing like this. They're all career criminals wearing a sign on their ears saying "Hi, I'm a career criminal"? That's a pretty futile role to play as well as being one that makes baby Darwin cry. And I'm not dismissing those who manage to add some spice to that role despite being handicapped, they're awesome - but literally interpreting the docs will be a handicap to them.

If we looked hard at how a race with the elven traits could survive in an environment which is predominantly hostile to them, I think we would come up with a bevy of answers that were actually useful to PC roleplay and that opened interesting territory to explore. I'm not saying they can't be incredibly crooked and sociopathic to those outside their tribe, I'm saying that if PCs are to play these crooked sociopaths, having some explanation of how they make a living in a way that doesn't encourage society to just wipe them out would be useful.


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Potaje

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #61 on: October 29, 2013, 03:24:44 PM »
Because in Allanak the human race is the supreme race and they don't pretend to like/affiliate with sharps.  Personally I'd rather keep the longnecks in the alleys and if they're going to let 'gicks fraternize they'll be doing it in shadow, like the subspecies they are.

The longnecks aren't a small number of skulking alley dwellers, they're almost half the free portion of the city. Most independent humans should be bloody careful in how they go about bad-mouthing a sharp.

Edited to add: I'm talking about working with gemmers, not ungemmed, of course. Keeping ungemmed tribemates doesn't seem smart, unless you really are a bunch of filthy alley-dwellers. But working with a gemmer? That I can see.


I'm just going to bring up the obvious, Templars control the gemmed, they control the magickall of Allanak. They would control the magickall of the known, and most times try.

Why do Templars do this and with the acceptation of Oash or perhaps other noble houses, do other organizations not control and collaborate with the gemmed?

Simply because its about power and magickers, the gemmed, off balance things in a drastic manner. Or they can. 1. Nobles and Templars are Largly sponsored roles that have the trust to not abuse certain aspects of power (or over abuse), one being the use of a army of magickal pcs. 2. A templar would not stand for any organization, group, or otherwise maintaining open or even hushed use of such power, tipping the scales of strength. 3. Elves in allanak are not the elves of Tuluk, they do not, have not, will most likely not attain a position of greater standing, and certainly not on par with a noble, which if one could even get the Templaret to look the other way about this magick thing, you would not get them to.

You can argue it all you want, rationalize it till you discover the meaning of the universe within it, but it is very doudtfull it would be allowed, and allowed being the key word, icly nor oocly.

Let's face it Templar's are possessive power mongering, baby snatching Lords of the manner. They sit around with a glass of brandy in one hand and a finger on the red button of absolute nuclear annihilation with the other, that is the gemmed. And they don;t like other fingers on their buttons.
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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #62 on: October 29, 2013, 05:18:26 PM »
Quote

Elves enjoy getting something for less than it is worth, whether that be goods or services. Elves generally
have a hive mentality towards their tribe thus the things they often do will benefit them and/or their
tribe the most. Thus elves would rarely if ever do something out of the kindness of their hearts in regards
to an outsider they do not yet trust at least. They would rarely if ever give water to a dying person unless
they could profit or benefit from helping them in some way. This ideal can take many forms such as
haggling, negotiating, alliances (you can work with someone even if you don't completely trust them)
and yes even stealing and raiding. To elves, this ideal of taking full advantage of people or situations is
simply a valuable survival tactic and is therefore an admired trait within elven culture. Due to this behavior
other races often regarded elves as swindlers, con artists and thieves.


This is how I've always seen elves.

Kinda like how Vikings and Klingons are always view as being "HONOR ABOVE ALL DIE IN BATTLE RAWR" yet they're not all the crazy wtf in-your-face warriors like many aspire to be.

Quirk

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #63 on: October 29, 2013, 06:10:45 PM »
Quote

Elves enjoy getting something for less than it is worth, whether that be goods or services. Elves generally
have a hive mentality towards their tribe thus the things they often do will benefit them and/or their
tribe the most. Thus elves would rarely if ever do something out of the kindness of their hearts in regards
to an outsider they do not yet trust at least. They would rarely if ever give water to a dying person unless
they could profit or benefit from helping them in some way. This ideal can take many forms such as
haggling, negotiating, alliances (you can work with someone even if you don't completely trust them)
and yes even stealing and raiding. To elves, this ideal of taking full advantage of people or situations is
simply a valuable survival tactic and is therefore an admired trait within elven culture. Due to this behavior
other races often regarded elves as swindlers, con artists and thieves.


This is how I've always seen elves.

Kinda like how Vikings and Klingons are always view as being "HONOR ABOVE ALL DIE IN BATTLE RAWR" yet they're not all the crazy wtf in-your-face warriors like many aspire to be.

I see the actual theft-focused mentality the docs suggest as workable, and a bit like being football-mad.

If you're football-mad and have some talent, when you grow up you've got hopes for a while of being a great player and of making a living from the game. Most teenage footballers don't eventually make it to the big leagues, but they likely retain their love of the game, keep their hand in when they get a chance and follow the best in the sport avidly. There's a time and a place for football, as physically tackling the boss on Monday morning isn't the best of career moves, and so it has to fit round the sordid business of making a living - but you know, it's football, and if they can chat about some game with a fellow fan in a break, so much the better.

For me, the career criminal is to the average elf as the football pro is to such a football fan: someone to be admired, envied, and talked about with the appreciation that what they do is immensely difficult. I imagine elven workplace conversation turning from news of some daring heist to a bit of petty one-upelfship between the workers comparing their recent form on the most minor of minor thefts - stuff safe to steal, stuff unimportant to its owners, but still stuff, stuff that can be finessed away from where it was meant to be with skill and elegance. Then, perhaps, some grizzled elf chimes in with a legitimately daring story from his youth, and the old-timers talk about how nobody really steals like they used to, not any more, until the break's over and everyone has to go back to work.

I don't think tribes will necessarily be happy with elves in them that ambitiously bite off more than they can chew. The trouble's almost secondary - being the laughing stock of other tribes is in some ways much worse. So, I actually think the elven career criminal is either someone whose tribe trusts them not to fuck up and wreck the tribe's reputation, or some tribeless elf hoping to prove themselves to the point that the tribes that shun and despise them want to be associated with their legend.

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Jherlen

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #64 on: October 29, 2013, 09:14:23 PM »
Here's a crazy idea - what if we came up with six or seven southsider city elf tribes for elf pcs to use as backgrounds? They wouldn't need coded support, just a name, some customs and a brief description. Maybe having some more documentation around city elf tribes would help city elves be more playable?
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Blur

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #65 on: October 29, 2013, 09:30:19 PM »
Here's a crazy idea - what if we came up with six or seven southsider city elf tribes for elf pcs to use as backgrounds? They wouldn't need coded support, just a name, some customs and a brief description. Maybe having some more documentation around city elf tribes would help city elves be more playable?

This would actually be a nice improvement since it would provide some foundational background for city elves. Right now if you want to start a city elf, you are basically responsible for coming up with your own virtual tribe.

Timetwister

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #66 on: October 29, 2013, 10:05:36 PM »
Here's a crazy idea - what if we came up with six or seven southsider city elf tribes for elf pcs to use as backgrounds? They wouldn't need coded support, just a name, some customs and a brief description. Maybe having some more documentation around city elf tribes would help city elves be more playable?

To be honest I'd rather see city elves given the same running capability as desert elves, it would basically fix all of the problems associated with them. The docs say they are the same race but I don't get how you "forget" how to run? I've also seen this brought up numerous times before on the boards. It just seems like long ago it was coded this way because a coder wanted it that way and so it never got changed to something that made more sense, such as letting the city elves run in the desert as well.

HavokBlue

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #67 on: October 29, 2013, 10:06:49 PM »
I don't know if staff would go for that but I guess there's nothing to stop someone from creating a player-created tribe in the vein of the Akai where unclanned elves can join up.
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Eurynomos

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #68 on: October 29, 2013, 11:53:08 PM »
I don't know if staff would go for that but I guess there's nothing to stop someone from creating a player-created tribe in the vein of the Akai where unclanned elves can join up.

There is, actually. We currently don't allow tribe-calls via players. We had abuse of this in the past, which lead to family roles requiring previous approval. The terminology difference between tribe and family may seem blurry -- especially where elves are concerned. It's something we have discussed in the past, but this is current policy as it stands.

I suppose technically your elf could start a tribe, but there doesn't seem to be enough of a PC presence in the city elf population to warrant this ever really coming about. It looks like a catch 22, at times -- players imagine a world where city elves are a more playable race, but the niche that elves fit via documentation doesn't allow for most of that.

I suppose a question I have is -- Do players enjoy playing city elves enough to warrant these kinds of changes? I played several city-elves in the past, both in the Labyrinth and Allanak, and didn't have much trouble playing to the documentation and having a great time. They are a difficult race to get into, but i'm unsure if broad changes to the race as a whole are going to solve the problem for some people. Should they be a more accessible race? Should they be karma restricted?
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HavokBlue

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #69 on: October 29, 2013, 11:59:00 PM »
Sorry for the confusion, that's what I meant. ICly creating a tribe and recruiting in-game in the same manner that Amos the hunter can go create his own hunting group or whatever.

I think that while Quirk's posts about a sustainable elven society and what not make sense, but I can suspend my disbelief and ignore it in-game since the docs work well enough for non-virtual elves. 150,000 elves can't survive entirely on theft, but 5-10 non-virtual elves can, and I can accept that. I like the niche they have, and I don't think they need to be "easier", but I think part of the reason interest in tribes like the Jaxa and city elves in general is so low is because players perceive city elves as being a bad choice both for coded and in-character benefits, and there aren't enough roleplay opportunities present or obvious to make up for that.
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The7DeadlyVenomz

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #70 on: October 30, 2013, 12:19:06 AM »
The elven role in society really oughta be looked at and probably revamped somewhat. It's pretty odd to have that many elves around as portrayed by docs and not have had full out genocide yet.
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Timetwister

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #71 on: October 30, 2013, 12:21:48 AM »
The elven role in society really oughta be looked at and probably revamped somewhat. It's pretty odd to have that many elves around as portrayed by docs and not have had full out genocide yet.

I don't necessarily mind the numbers. We have to stretch things like that from time to time. Not everything can be realistic. My main concern is their unplayability. It comes down to simple mechanics, every c-elf I've ever tried just sits around and does nothing. It's a very sedentary lifestyle for such an -active- race. D-elves aren't like that. They just -feel- like two totally different races to me and that is... unfortunate.

RogueGunslinger

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #72 on: October 30, 2013, 12:25:22 AM »
I don't know if staff would go for that but I guess there's nothing to stop someone from creating a player-created tribe in the vein of the Akai where unclanned elves can join up.

I suppose a question I have is -- Do players enjoy playing city elves enough to warrant these kinds of changes? I played several city-elves in the past, both in the Labyrinth and Allanak, and didn't have much trouble playing to the documentation and having a great time.


 "Do players enjoy city elves enough to warrant these changes?" If players were enjoying city elves, they would not need these changes. Nobody would bother asking for anything or making thread about them if they thought everything was fine. That's a seriously weird question to ask, it's precisely that people ARE NOT enjoying city elves and how they are protreayed that they would even make threads such as this.

 I'm glad to see you personally have had fun with city elves "to the documentation" in the past... Really thank you for so vaguely letting us know how easy it was to accomplish that task. Guess what. I've had fun playing elves in the past too. It's fun being an ineffectual pest and nuisance that gets swatted down by everyone and has little to no sense of growth or accomplishment... Once or twice.

You say elves being playable is a niche that the documentation doesn't allow for in the thread where people are calling for a change to documentation, and even providing suggestions on how to do so. Did you even read those posts? I really don't understand how you can say that, while at the same time excepting an entity like the Akai Sjir in Tuluk...

HavokBlue

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #73 on: October 30, 2013, 12:29:38 AM »
The elven role in society really oughta be looked at and probably revamped somewhat. It's pretty odd to have that many elves around as portrayed by docs and not have had full out genocide yet.

I don't necessarily mind the numbers. We have to stretch things like that from time to time. Not everything can be realistic. My main concern is their unplayability. It comes down to simple mechanics, every c-elf I've ever tried just sits around and does nothing. It's a very sedentary lifestyle for such an -active- race. D-elves aren't like that. They just -feel- like two totally different races to me and that is... unfortunate.

I've had plenty of fun on my city elves, but that fun has consisted of stealing things, hitting people to steal their things, and trying to make friends who also like stealing things. You can't go looking to clans or other players for something to do if you play a city elf. The stigma against elves and your inability to travel easily outside the city means you're gonna have to make your own fun.
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RogueGunslinger

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Re: Allanaki City Elves
« Reply #74 on: October 30, 2013, 12:36:36 AM »
You say elves being playable is a niche that the documentation doesn't allow for in the thread where people are calling for a change to documentation, and even providing suggestions on how to do so. Did you even read those posts? I really don't understand how you can say that, while at the same time excepting an entity like the Akai Sjir in Tuluk...

Or for that matter a number of D-Elf tribes who partake in many various different trades and traditions, few of which are based solely on theft.