|#1ferratusMar 07, 2004 11:26:58||My mamma's an elf and my pappa's an Ogre, on the next Opera. I know you are all saying Terry, what is your fascination with introducing ogre/elf crossbreeds?|
Well, I have a few reasons, which I consider valid.
1) Elves, Ogres and Humans are the most numerous and most dispersed races on Krynn, being the mortal races on Krynn. Sure the dwarves, kender, gnomes, etc have been really successful species, but they don't even date past pre-history. For example the dwarves have only been around 4,500 years, and they were descended from half of one very small army that laid seige to a single wizard's tower. Certainly the elves have suffered many reverses in those 4,500 years, but not enough, I think, for the dwarves to overtake them in population. Even considering the long life spans and low birth rates (which the dwarves suffer from as well). To draw an analogy, it would perhaps be like saying that the descendants of Alexander's greek hoplites are more numerous than the indigenous populations of North America. Therefore, half-ogres, half-elves, and ogre/elves deserve to have special attention as well.
2) Half-ogres are not ECL 0. This means that the role of the half-orc as the "monstrous PC on the fringes of society" hasn't really been filled in Krynn. Half-Ogres and Half-elves are on the fringes of their own societies, and thus have a role to play in those societies. Other monstrous humanoids have their own cultures and societies and don't mix with dominant societies all that much. Goblins aren't seen walking down the streets of Palanthas the way that half-elves and half-ogres are for instance.
3) Goblins are not the most interesting species to play. I'm not saying you cannot play an interesting goblin PC, but let's face it goblins are living jokes in the minds of most players. Having an ogre/elf will have a clean slate, and it is much easier to imagine heroic qualities in a creature that has the some of the grace of an elf and the strength of an ogre, than a goblin.
So now you know my reasons for wanting to do a ogre/elf crossbreed, and make it one of the core PC races. I actually would include among the halfbreed races of Krynn for PC emphasis as follows: half-dwarf, half-kender, half-gnome, half-elf, half-ogre, and ogre/elf.
The rest of the crossbreeding on Krynn would avoid the "everything goes" model of many modern fantasy settings to keep a classical romantic fantasy tone rather than wierd and exotic fantasy. Therefore I designed a rather simple system. Elves can breed with the subraces the graygem created from the elves, humans can breed with subraces created from humans (kender, dwarves, gnomes) and ogres can breed with the monstrous humanoids that are descended from them. The reason for this is that monstrous humanoids can always benefit from a boost of strength, demihumans from a boost in versatility (why else play a half-kender?) and elvish daughter races from a boost of mortality.
Thus, I'd cover it with templates giving the other races a bit of elven, human or ogre flavor, rather than covering all possibilities one at a time.
Oh, but I'm getting sidetracked here. Now, to discuss the two issues of the ogre/elves that are most important, which are the in-world explanation for why we have ogre/elves in significant numbers now, and the rules for such a species. I'll cover the rules in another thread, but the in-world explanation is relatively simple. There has been a war between the Ogres and the Elves for the last couple decades, and a war in which the Ogres have deliberately been taking elven slaves. Many are used in the Titan ritual, but I imagine many are kept for other reasons as well. Besides the war in the east, elves have been living cheek and jowl in Southern Ergoth for half a century now. Before the War of the Lance the elves were in complete isolation, so there wouldn't have been many ogre/elves created. However, there is ample opportunity now to create a generation of them.
|#2zombiegleemaxMar 07, 2004 12:33:28||I think the elf would die giving birth. |
Unless the Ogre was giving birth...
|#3ferratusMar 07, 2004 12:36:27||Well, if you want to be realistic, two things would make half-ogres (nevermind ogre/elves) unfeasible. For one, genetic dissimilarity would prevent a successful conception, and the mother would die if the infant is too large.|
In fantasy though, we stretch things a bit. Namely, we make the infant medium size (despite the size of the father) and we veiw creatures more as nebulous masses to apply templates to rather than genetically distinct species. ;)
|#4zombiegleemaxMar 23, 2004 10:41:30||What about Irda/Elf|
|#5darthsylverMar 23, 2004 13:12:17||Personally I would like to see an official ogre\elf crossbreed. But maybe that is because of my fasination with Two-Edge.|
One of my favorite characters from the Elfquest comic book by WARP (Wendy and Richard Pini.)
Of course Two-Edge was a crossbreed between an ancient elf (a tall elf, one of the original elves to come to the world) and a troll (who would probably be a dwarf in 3e).
So anytime I see an elf crossbreed with a ogre\orc\dwarf I remember Two-edge.
He was a cool character even if he was a little chaoticly insane.
|#6zombiegleemaxMar 23, 2004 13:44:52||I think the ogre/elf is a little more unfeasible than the half-ogre though as far as giving birth, and the biological aspect (with the exception of some half-elves) of it is something I don't really want to ignore in my game. |
The possibility of a human woman giving birth is more likely simply because a human woman has hips, and elven women barely have any at all. Look at many pictures of elven women (those that don't resemble ordinary humans with pointed ear prosthetics), such as Mialee or the elven female in the races section of the PHB, and you will notice a clear difference between human women and elven women.
But, if you do want some ogre/elves, I would say they are so few in number as to be practically absent. Much fewer than half-elves or half-kender, or any other racial mix.
Yes, the ogres may keep some of the elves for "other reasons," but I really doubt if it would be for anything other than slaves, sport, or food. As a culturem the ogres would probably have their own standards of beauty, disparate from most humanoid standards. It makes sense from an anthropological standpoint.
However, if any ogre/elves were born, I don't think it would be going out on a limb to say that 99% of them are killed at birth or left to exposure. Infanticide would probably be so common as to be the rule regarding a child born between such hated enemies, at least among the evil-aligned ogres. If the child was born in Elven society, then the mother and child may very well be branded Dark Elves (since the elves are so intolerant), and then there is again a good chance the child may die of exposure (though not intentionally). Probably the only reason Silvanoshei lived past infancy is because people were willing to help Alhana, and she had such a large entourage. But, a single mother and a bastard ogre-child, even in a tolerant late-medieval setting, would probably receive much worse treatment.
With all that said, I'd be very interested to see your write-up of the aforementioned ogre/elf.
|#7lily_knightMar 23, 2004 16:16:29||The DM screen had a handy little book which described many of the creatures of Kyrnn. It mentioned something about elf/ogre crossbreeds already being goblins.|
I don't have the booklet here, so I could be wrong.
|#8brimstoneMar 23, 2004 16:24:51||Yep...it's not officially official (it's been stated in two previous sourcebooks before, though).|
Ogres and elves lay together...a little Goblin is born. And the Goblins are like the Aghar...they breed faster than any other race...enabling them to survive as a race (much like insects do).
Odd, isn't it, that the hybrid creatures (Aghar are Dwarf/gnome mix) are the ones like this?
|#9daedavias_dupMar 23, 2004 16:27:43|
Originally posted by Brimstone
Isn't it odd that they both don't really show the good traits of either parent?
|#10lily_knightMar 23, 2004 16:47:04|
Originally posted by Brimstone
In my Dragonlance campaign I have borrowed a leaf from LotR ( : Dogdes thrown bottles and cans : ) . Goblins where once elves but where captured and magically changed by the High Ogres.
This explains the pointy ears of a gobo, much to the satisfaction of one of my more...unique...players.
|#11brimstoneMar 23, 2004 16:59:16|
Originally posted by Lily_Knight
Dragonlance Ogres have pointy ears, too.
|#12darthsylverMar 24, 2004 12:42:48||In the newest edition of the DL screnn (for 3.5E) yes it does say that it is a commonly held "belief" that goblins are the offspring of elves and ogres. |
But as far as for real proof, there is none. This is perhaps because as shadowalk states, any offspring from these two races would probably be slaughtered straight from the womb.
But say perhaps somewhere in obscure ogre history there is a prophecy, say from when ogres were the irda, the prophecy states that "One born from the mixing of the first races (ogre\irda, human & elf) shall lead the ogre race to its rightful place as the rulers of krynn.
A prophecy such as this may cause a twisted mind of an ogre to try and create such an offspring.
As half-elves, and half-ogres are already known to exist in a fair number (not to say common) and there are no known elf\ogre offspring, one may conclude that this is precisely what the prophecy refers to.
Of course, the elves (who are normally against the killings of any innocent child) would slaughter any elf\ogre offspring they know of.
Accordingly a prophecy such as this could refer to a irda\elf offspring.
Now for the past few ages ogres have not been known for their intelligence. But with the transformation of ogres into titans it is possible that they may come across this prophecy. In fact some ogres may even think that the prophecy refers to ogres becoming titans. As such even the titans themselves may try to stop the ogre who tries to create a true ogre\elf offspring through normal natural birth.
|#13zombiegleemaxMar 24, 2004 16:05:48||Actually, I belive in one of the short story books concerning krynn after the Chaos war had an Ogre who was half elf. The explination was they had raped an elven women then kept her alive and she thought of commiting suicide rather than give birth. But she came to the realization the child shouldnt suffer death just because she decided it so she bore him. I forget the story, the guy was basically the leader of the ogre camp and ended up outsmarting the solomnic knights in the region.|
|#14zombiegleemaxMar 24, 2004 21:37:52|
Originally posted by Darkend
That was one of the best DL short stories ever written, along with Definitions of Honor. The elf-ogre was taught to be all smart-and-stuff by his mother, Elfmom(that was her name), as well as using a kongbow and longsword, and his father, Ogredad, taught him to be all ogre-y. His was quite terrifieing, although he wasn't really a bad guy, he tricked the Solamnics and used them as bait to destroy a whole bunch of Knights of Takhisis, and then apologized for it. The Solamnic leader prayed that he would be among one of the listed dead in the Chaos War, and it ended. Oh yeah, his mother and father's name weren't really named Elfmom and Ogredad.
|#15brimstoneMar 25, 2004 8:56:41||I tend to rarely (if ever) count the short stories as canon. Just because they're usually so far off, it's not even funny.|
I mean, come on...the gnomes created an atomic bomb in one.
|#16ferratusMar 25, 2004 12:41:58||The reasons why I wanted a ogre/elf crossbreed are:|
1) I want to emphasize that ogres,elves, and humans are the core races of the campaign setting.
2) I wanted an ECL 0 monstrous PC that didn't have its own culture
3) I wanted something more interesting to play than the average goblin.
Now, I'm perfectly aware that these guys are goblins (or proto-goblins) as per DL canon, but they are little more impressive.
|#17darthsylverMar 25, 2004 12:49:14||Hey Brim some people prefer to count only what Margaret & Tracy write as canon and everything else as non. So we all got our own little versions of krynn.|
|#18brimstoneMar 25, 2004 14:48:00|
Originally posted by darthsylver
That was my point. I said my view of the ogre/elf combo. They said there was one in a short story. I explained why I discounted that.
I didn't say it should be discounted by everyone...I gave my personal opinion on why it is discounted in my own little version of Krynn. I didn't try to tell anyone how it is...just my view on it.
I mean...it's not like I said, "do as I say and you'll be rewarded with sex with 72 virgins in heaven!"
|#19cam_banksMar 25, 2004 14:59:39|
Originally posted by Brimstone
Yes, and he's on the same page as you in regards to personal viewpoints. It's good to be on the same page, isn't it.
As for myself, I can't get enough of goblins. Every campaign of mine features them prominently. Mild bias.
|#20lily_knightMar 27, 2004 1:54:06|
Originally posted by Cam Banks
Call me sick, but goblins in the dragonlance campaign help to majorily contribute in the form of mindless slaughter. I have known players to be bored with roleplaying (which i can't understand) after a long while so I throw in a mid-numbered group of kyrnnish goblins (lead by some Draci's) raiding a caravan. Sure, bit of blood here, big explosion over there, great relief.
This does not mean to say, that goblins don't have their own unique plots and BBEGs. On memorable BBEG was a half-goblin/half-kender who actually stole a flying citadel and attacked Caergoth (sp?). Oh man...that was one WACKED adventure!