Author Topic: What Do Elves Do!?!  (Read 2409 times)

Dar

  • Posts: 1168
What Do Elves Do!?!
« on: February 14, 2017, 02:09:51 PM »
Quote
Tuluk (350,000)
219,000 humans (50% are slaves) (62.6% of total)
108,500 elves (10% are slaves) (31% of Total)
3,500 dwarves (65% are slaves) (1% of Total)
3,500 half-giants (80% are slaves) (1% of Total)
7,000 half-elves (40% are slaves) (2% of total)
1,500 muls (98% are slaves) (0.4% of total)
7,000 unknown/other/mutant (25% are slaves) (2% of Total)


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)

I recently had to look this up. These are the numbers of 2006-2008, or therebouts. So while they might be wrong, I doubt they are draaaastically different now.

One thing that made me wonder though. There are roughly 155k free humans and some chump change of demi humans.  Which means that free elves are almost identical in number with free humans.

So I gotta ask. What do elves do to survive? They cant survive primarily on stealing. They just dont have enough humans to steal from.  Does it mean that elves actually do things to actively participate in the city's economy? If so? What do they do? They're not grebbers, due to their agoraphobia and unwillingness to leave the city gates. In fact, they need to rely on in-city resources, or other beings to procure resources for them, whether by honest means, or not. And it's difficult to steal from slaves on account of them not owning anything.

Every city has slums. Every city has a percentage of population that does not produce anything and lives off on the prosperity of others. But that percentage is not HALF. Or even a third, really.

Thoughts?

Raptor_Dan

  • Posts: 313
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2017, 02:28:16 PM »
"Every city has slums. Every city has a percentage of population that does not produce anything and lives off on the prosperity of others. But that percentage is not HALF. Or even a third, really."

Maybe it is, in Allanak?

Also, there can be hunters, inside the city, that hunt in-city animals. Warriors, tailors, prostitutes, wetnurses, jugglers, con-artists of a different variety than just stealing, teachers, caretakers. I mean, just take any job there is, and you can pretty much apply it to elves, except miners and salters, right?
I'm just looking for a general consensus. Or Moe's opinion. Either one generally can be accepted as canon.

Riev

  • Posts: 4796
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2017, 02:37:26 PM »
I consider an elf's 'propensity' to steal to be more of "just something they do". Like the Akai Sjir in Tuluk, they can come together and be wonderful artisans, traders, own a gambling den, join the T'zai Byn. Elves do a lot, they aren't all just thieves and murderers despite what the roundears would have you believe.

While you may not find an elf travelling the Known, trading goods among the various populations, you very well may find one willing to buy and trade in the city. Whether they trade in hides, or scalps, is anyone's guess.

But I guess the point is, an elf CAN do most anything. One runs a shop in Red's, others are tailors, some use their 'sharp minds' (heh) to make fine armor or weapons. Some tell stories, some might even consider in-city grebbing for trash that can be sold.

There are so many, which means their economy must be decent. Probably some good cooks in the necker-dens.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5941
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2017, 02:39:35 PM »
Quote
So I gotta ask. What do elves do to survive? They cant survive primarily on stealing.

You are very correct.  The unfortunate part of how RPG's are formulated is that things can get too die-hard interpreted, as can be seen in a number of facets here (we all do it in some way on certain topics).

Because of the documentation and how it's worded, I sometimes think we push elves into too 'hard coded' of a theft platform.  We think of it too directly, where really it fits better as a subtlety of their culture; they don't respect possession as much, and they, as a result, are more likely to take things they want or to spite someone else, or what-have-you.  Same with testing.  It isn't that they think 'I'm gonna test this motherfucker and see if he can be trusted.'  It's that they just naturally swindle so many people that they are actively anti-being-swindled; trust builds over repeated events.

To directly speak to the question above though, I think that the playerbase pushes the 'I don't like elves' bit too far in one way, and not far enough in another.  -Everyone- will be dealing with elves, fairly often; elves are entrepreneurs and active go-getters.  They aren't people who steal so that they can do the least work possible, in my eyes.  So people that instantly get all 'protect my belt!' are reacting to the state of elves as we've made them by this hyperbolic reading of the documentation, where what it should be is that elves value cunning over prowess, or rather, their prowess is based on cunning.  They are interlinked into the community, and being wary of elves is the natural state of knowing that someone is always trying to make every interaction some sort of 'win'; they want to get something, and they're driven in getting it.

So the 'too much in one way' is we immediately treat them all like expert pickpockets, and the 'not enough in the other' is not respecting the mentality itself; they're deeply entrenched in psychology and manipulation and setting themselves up for success in their endeavors.  The latter part of this statement makes it so that elves can be wildly successful in a much larger variety of fields without the idea that they're just stealing everything from everyone else all the time to get by.  They're doing what jobs they can as mercenaries, tradesmen, hawkers, labor, and what have you, the same as anyone else, but they're constantly trying to stack things into their favor which makes their 'management' hard to maintain.  They don't tend to be underlings well, because they will undermine your authority to increase their personal power in that relationship unless they respect said authority.

Or something.  Elves are cool.  We just one-dimensionalize them a lot.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Riev

  • Posts: 4796
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2017, 02:49:05 PM »
Sometimes I wish there were more groupings that hired elves. I can understand why most wouldn't, but the semi-recent attempt at an all-elf unit in the Byn seemed met IN GAME by a lot of "why ever" and "nobody is going to hire them for shit".

You know who I want protecting my priceless artifacts? Ex-thieves and mercenaries. All the bad guys in movies do it. The best white-hats are former black-hats, and maybe you SHOULD have an elf who knows how THEY would steal that silver anklet, and not 'just another soldier who looks scary'.

Elves can be awesome, but they're limited by the fact that if you see one, they're immediately a pickpocket. (Which somehow is more griefer than mon-one-hit-fireball-kill-1000-degree-shortsword)
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5941
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2017, 02:49:18 PM »
I actually have a long term gripe that when people want to play an antagonist, they pick elf.  Or people pick elf, then act like the epitome of villainy.  The result is a longstanding tradition of elves being true, -total- scumbags in every notable occurrence, rather than a fluid and real seeming character with a different perspective that is based on being a persecuted, tight knit community of cunning individuals.  They aren't evil; they just aren't giving you any benefit of the doubt.

It doesn't really cut the right figure; humans regard elves as lowlifes because they get cheated by elves.  But that isn't an evil, malicious action, that's a sensible one, to the elf.  A lot of people, when dipping their toes into playing elves, are out to play the 'human stereotype' of an elf, rather than let elves be their own thing to experience.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Riev

  • Posts: 4796
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2017, 02:54:33 PM »
So they're kind of like Dragonlance Kender. In a way. They have no real sense of ownership, they just "find" things that they like. Only they're less "childlike" than the kender, and definitely know that they're taking things from other people. But so long as its "in the Family" then everyone benefits.

Qui Bono? YOUR MOM BONES.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5941
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2017, 03:00:49 PM »
So they're kind of like Dragonlance Kender. In a way. They have no real sense of ownership, they just "find" things that they like. Only they're less "childlike" than the kender, and definitely know that they're taking things from other people. But so long as its "in the Family" then everyone benefits.

Qui Bono? YOUR MOM BONES.

Eh.  I wouldn't put it that way.  Kender were...thoughtless about it.  I'd view elves as very full of intent and conscious about it, but just not viewing it as that big of a deal.  Throw in that they're bullied a lot and not given the same social backing, and theft is probably a viable way to return bad attention to those who care too much about their possessions.

It's about the balls.  The gumption.  The pride.  They aren't going around just taking things for the hell of it.  Some of them -do- make their living off of it.  But all of them are prone to deciding that your prized possession is up for the taking just to show that no matter how powerful you think you are, they can one up you and humble you.  When you overreact and send mobs at them, it's a show of insecurity and struggle.  I had one thief who held someone's prized blade for a long time, just waiting for the moment to sell it back to them as a show of resourcefulness and ability.  They got pissed instead.  Stoopid hoomans don't get it.

Edit:  Derailing because I splurge about elves.  To realign with the original post, you are correct to feel like things are a little off, and I think it's because the playerbase as a whole is a little shallow as far as how they regard the elven race as a concept.  They have goals and aspirations in many fields like anyone else, they just have some different values and methodologies in attaining their goals.  You should expect to run into elven mercenaries.  You should run into elven crafters, elven shops, elven farmers, elven everything.  They are not limited to thieving, as you correctly inferred.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 03:04:38 PM by Armaddict »
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Jingo

  • Posts: 4791
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2017, 03:14:49 PM »
Yeah. Elves tend to get treated like warsaw ghetto jews. Which gets ridiculous when you consider the population stats and the various elven npcs.

And thats ontop of other problems of elven roleplay.

There have been many measured, thoughtful posts on this very topic.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 03:18:08 PM by Jingo »
Now you're looking for the secret. But you won’t find it because of course, you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.

Lutagar

  • Posts: 263
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2017, 04:26:55 PM »
At this point I unironically think it'd be better if city elves were made virtual. Just.. everything about them is a huge suspension of disbelief and the more you think into them the less sense they make.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5941
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2017, 04:30:20 PM »
I disagree.  They make a ton of sense to me, as I explain in almost every elf thread.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Riev

  • Posts: 4796
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2017, 04:34:17 PM »
I'm not certain what it is about elves that "doesn't make sense". What is the suspension of disbelief, other than the part where they're based on Dark Sun elves, which are dissimilar to elves in most other canons?
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Lutagar

  • Posts: 263
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2017, 04:35:13 PM »
Like you've got to wonder what the first elves who arrived in Allanak (or any human settlement) were thinking.

"Yes, this seems like a nice place, I'm sure I can trust these nice humans to have my best interests at heart so I'll happily adapt to a lifestyle doing menial labor that barely pays enough for me to be able to eat and forgo being able to hunt or any kind of self-sufficiency. "

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5941
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2017, 04:36:11 PM »
Like you've got to wonder what the first elves who arrived in Allanak were thinking.

"Yes, this seems like a nice place, I'm sure I can trust these nice humans to have my best interests at heart so I'll happily adapt to a lifestyle doing menial labor that barely pays enough for me to be able to eat and forgo being able to hunt or any kind of self-sufficiency. "

Said the bottom 99% of Allanak.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Lutagar

  • Posts: 263
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2017, 04:42:34 PM »
That's kind of the point. We're told the difference between c-elves and d-elves is lifestyle. At some point, c-elves literally chose being invalids so they could live alongside humans.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5941
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2017, 04:48:59 PM »
That's kind of the point. We're told the difference between c-elves and d-elves is lifestyle. At some point, c-elves literally chose being invalids so they could live alongside humans.

You're kind of assuming they came upon Allanak as it is.  Suppose they were there beforehand in the pre-Allanak that was desert trading, partial buildings, constant in and out traffic, and a very loose, profitable atmosphere for a smart elf.  That's what they stuck around in.  They didn't stumble on a huge city, find the shittiest part of it, and say 'This is the place'.

Edit:  Or below, meshing in with the already-established city rather than a bunch of elves descended from elves who chose it in a different state.  I don't see any need for suspension of disbelief, just acknowledgement of a different history, culture, and mindset from a typical human.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 04:52:53 PM by Armaddict »
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Riev

  • Posts: 4796
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2017, 04:49:23 PM »
At some point, a number of desert-dwelling people decided to instead live in a protected cultural city that benefitted them as an individual, and didn't care if they were Soh, or Sun Runner, or Dunestalker. They and their mates could be free to build a family based however they want, and without the restriction of tent space and natural predators like anakore and braxat, they flourished.

I don't understand why I have to suspend my disbelief. I can believe that some elves, long ago, wanted to be different. That's how tribal cultures expand, and why you see similar beliefs among varying cultures. City-based elves just decided they prefer to work with the constraints of a city and bend/break rules, while desert elves prefer there to be no rules but the ones they personally enforce.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Dar

  • Posts: 1168
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2017, 04:52:42 PM »
Like you've got to wonder what the first elves who arrived in Allanak (or any human settlement) were thinking.

"Yes, this seems like a nice place, I'm sure I can trust these nice humans to have my best interests at heart so I'll happily adapt to a lifestyle doing menial labor that barely pays enough for me to be able to eat and forgo being able to hunt or any kind of self-sufficiency. "

As far as I know, the coded tribes currently in the cities all have an IG reason for choosing to live in the city. I cant discuss it, because it's part of the tribe docs. But it's described in oral history, and various historical depictions In Game. Seem to make mostly good sense.

I'm glad there are others who think the same of elves. As far as them not surviving off thievery alone. They have to have methods of earning income that does not only revolve around servicing other elves. They have to produce services, goods, and labor that humans purchase as well. Since humans and the State are the main source of resources flowing into the city. Not saying that average elven standard of living should  equal that of humans. Obviously it doesnt. I imagine higher standard of living for an elf 'does' come from theft, or tribe related activities. But there must be something 'productive' performed by the entire species to guarantee some sort of subsistence levels of surviving.

PS:

For the record. Trusting the stats issued by Nyr so many years ago. The numbers of Celves in a single city outnumber pretty much all tribes put together. So despite all the physical strength of a Delf, considering that Celves managed to reach SUCH high populations, kind of hints on the fact that surviving in the city IS easier then out in the wastes.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 04:56:36 PM by Dar »

Riev

  • Posts: 4796
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2017, 04:56:08 PM »
I can see an elf stealing someone's apartment key/attaining one for themselves, and "living in affluence" off someone else's riches. Or even Apartment-Sniping out a lease just to show that they 'deserve' it just as much as you do.

A necker in silks? I can see it. But every necker not in their Family will be targeting them too, because this sharp-on-sharp crime has GOTTA END MAN.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Lutagar

  • Posts: 263
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2017, 04:59:20 PM »
I don't understand why I have to suspend my disbelief. I can believe that some elves, long ago, wanted to be different. That's how tribal cultures expand, and why you see similar beliefs among varying cultures. City-based elves just decided they prefer to work with the constraints of a city and bend/break rules, while desert elves prefer there to be no rules but the ones they personally enforce.

Because elves are:

A) Inherently paranoid
B) Inherently proud of their ability to run

Even the most "different" of elves are born with these traits. But at some point, elves traded what they most celebrate and prize to go live with strangers. I'll drop it now since I'm probably beating a dead horse, but it's just, ugh.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5941
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2017, 05:04:43 PM »
Paranoia is further along the extreme of the scale that elves fall on.  They are distrusting of outsiders, that is not the same as every outsider being the boogeyman.  They are loyal to their own over outsiders, that doesn't mean they don't associate with outsiders.  This is actually the quality that leads to their cunning, as mentioned above.

City elves still run.  They have the fastest movement speed in the game, as a matter of fact, and many rooms in cities don't cost them movement.  An elf doesn't need to try hard to lose a shadow; just run everywhere and leave all non-sharps in the dust a few rooms down the line.  I don't see why they'd lose their pride in running just because they no longer see the opportunity to thrive out in the wilds after living in the city for generations and their entire personal life.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Erythil

  • Posts: 1227
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2017, 05:30:03 PM »
I would assume a lot of them have jobs not unlike humans have jobs, just in parallel, poorer, segregated society where they primarily provide services to their own kind.  I imagine a lot of them would be day laborers, grocers, butchers, craftsmen, hunters, farmers, etc.  The same as their human counterparts.  Just maybe a little more distrusting of outsiders and a little more likely to embezzle some of the day's proceeds.

Jihelu

  • Posts: 2580
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2017, 05:33:50 PM »
If I recall in good ole Dank Sun elves that lived in the city didn't really 'live' in the city.

Your family either was horribly slaughtered and you were too much of a panzy to kill your self or live on your own in the wilds and moved to the city, OR you were stationed in the city by your family to sell trade goods/services that your family would bring every now and then.
I think it was even vague enough you could have elven mercenaries and what not in a city.

That being said in Arm elves are a bit different. Primarily because they are two complete different race sheets and junk for whatever reason with one not being able to run good and the other....idk.

Seeing as in Arm they live live in the city as opposed to 'live' in the city I could see an elven -insert any human profession here- working.
Just because they pride stealing, either via stealth or with words or lives, doesn't mean they have to:
1: Steal all the time
2: Be obvious about it.

Getting a few more coins for a vase that was obviously a bit low in quality? That's stealing.
Etc.

Elves also don't steal from their families, so I imagine their inner workings are much more solid and compact compared to actual human families. How big elven families are, however, is something I don't know.
Shade, profits, and George Bush did 9/11

Miradus

  • Posts: 1758
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2017, 08:53:35 PM »

I've tried city elf. I really didn't dig it at all.

Walk out of the rinth. A human says, "Don't touch my stuff!" A soldier says, "Get back in the rinth."

>enter rinth

Another city elf says, "Give me yer stuff, k?"

That and the fact that you've got about 14 coded rooms where you're SUPPOSED to be and it made for a very boring experience. I'd like to hear that it isn't the whole city elf experience, but that was my one shot at it.

Jihelu

  • Posts: 2580
Re: What Do Elves Do!?!
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2017, 12:14:41 AM »
I feel like the 'fuck being an elf' experience partially comes from the 'lets kill people or make their lives hell over fucking nothing' mentality.
Human says "Fuck off"
You say "Eat shit round ear"
Next thing you know the human and his noble contact are killing you because ????

Same with soldier, only with prison and coded power.


Theres no way to be a huge ass hole, usually, without getting smacked the fuck down.
This also goes to the whole "Npc elf tribe" stuff.




I feel like I defend elves oocly more than I even like them.
#makeelvesgreatagain2k17
Shade, profits, and George Bush did 9/11