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Tsol'aa Ears

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  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    edited January 2015
    Kayeil said:
    I agree focusing on a characteristic like that would be racist irl, but Achaea IC can be pretty racist sometimes, too. Have you seen those dwarves in Inbhir Ness? lol. Not that I am pro-racism at all. My character will kill any sort of race/denizen if she feels like it, regardless if they are the same race as her or not.
    Hey, at least you're all about giving everyone equal opportunity to die! If you want to kill everyone, you're not racist, just a psychopath. ;)

    For those who love your pointy ears, just call it body modification or a birth defect. Makes more sense than arguing with the Logos about whether you're meant to have those pointy ears or not.
    Sure, as I said, feel free to stick horns or tusks or pointed ears or whatever you want on your characters. We don't care, and it's darn unlikely that rounded vs. pointed ears is ever going to be something that the game code pays any attention to whatsoever. It's incredibly minor. We'll be adding a note about the ears into help tsol'aa to clarify, but beyond that, hard to imagine it ever mattering.
    Kayeil
  • AegothAegoth Member Posts: 2,755 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    My question then, is: What is it that distinguishes a Tsol'aa from being anything other than a tall, skinny human?
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    edited January 2015
    @Aegoth Ok, question: Did you read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and have any problem distinguishing Elves from Humans? 

    What let you distinguish the two?
    AchimrstElowin
  • NimNim Member Posts: 2,015 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Their ancient, worldly nature. The fact they're not half-immortal half-chaos spawns. They can HIDE in forests too I think.
    Elowin
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    @Nim Yes. Race is not just about physical appearance.
  • AegothAegoth Member Posts: 2,755 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Mostly the ears and frumpy clothes
    Shara
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    edited January 2015
    No offense, but that's simply not true.

    Tolkien doesn't ever refer to Elves as having pointed ears in the Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings or even the Silmarillion.
     

    Not one single time.

    And yet you were able to distinguish between them anyway. Maybe race isn't just about outward physical characteristics?

    Whether they have pointed ears at all is a subject of a lot of debate in Tolkien fandom. None of the published writing that Tolkien did gave them pointed ears, for instance. The only evidence that exists for them is in the works his son Christopher compiled and edited after his death (he also did the Silmarillion, though that has no evidence for pointy elf ears) and he is open about the fact that his father's unpublished writings are full of contradictions, as they spread over 50+ years and JRR was always revising right up until death.

    Tolkien was actually explicit in some of his notes about the fact that humans and elves could be mistaken for each other and that because they could produce fertile offspring, they are, in biological terms, the same race.

    'Race' in fantasy doesn't have to be as simplistic as you're trying to make it out to be.
    KerriaAnnui
  • AradorArador Member Posts: 1,696 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Tsol'aa - An ancient, intelligent, forest-dwelling race with elegant features and lithe builds that are also known by their other name: "NOT ELVES!!!"

    YaeSharaAchimrst
  • ValentinusValentinus Los Angeles, CAMember Posts: 31 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    This thread just reminded me of an unrelated thing, but I used to play another MUD game a bit back where it was like, you didn't know another person's name until they introduced themselves to you (there was a special command for it).  It would be kinda cool, roleplay-wise, if this game had something like that, but there are other repercussions that just make it impractical at this point.


    I take commissions.
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    edited January 2015
    @Arador Oh, they definitely play off some of the same archetype characteristics, no doubt, just like Dwarves do, but similar to Tsol'aa not having pointed ears, Achaean Dwarves don't have any particular fear of the ocean. 

    (Though worth pointing out that it's only the reject or fallen Elves in Tolkien's universe that are forest-dwelling. Galadriel = reject after failed rebellion against the Valar, and the forest elves in the Hobbit are so primitive as to be barely the same race. The coolest/most powerful elves lived in cities like Tirion and Alqualondë, on Valinor, before the Kinslaying and the wars against Morgoth.)
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    @Valentinus Yeah, is completely impractical. That's a not-quite-fundamental but still pretty basic game design decision to make. I'm not actually aware of any commercially viable game that does that. There are all sorts of areas where it just makes life more difficult rather than cool, and in a game like Achaea it wouldn't be long before you knew every other major player anyway, so why bother.
  • JukilianJukilian Member Posts: 1,579 @ - Epic Achaean
    You could change the 'Elf' descriptor that was screenshot on the first page to something like 'Lithe people, similar to elves'
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    edited January 2015
    I'm thinking more like something along the lines of incorporating 'ancient' but am open to suggestions.

    Edit: Especially as Tsol'aa can be fat, apparently unlike Tolkien elves, for instance.

  • AradorArador Member Posts: 1,696 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I think the point here is that people are looking for a way to distinguish themselves from just humans. And to do that they are drawing from a similar archetype.

    Is it perfectly accurate in terms of LotR lore? No. It is still taken as a common interpretation of that Archetype, yes it is. So I do not think it is the worst thing in terms of giving themselves some distinguishing features.

    Taking pointy ears from the common interpretation of elves is a lot less annoying than things like giant Dwarves or soft-skinned Horkvals.

  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    Like I said, feel free to add it to your descriptions. It's not canon though, any more than horns for elves are. If that bothers you, either describe yourself in isolation in a chat room, or go with canon here.

    Were I a player, the canon wouldn't bother me in this case though. I'd have no problem with giving myself fangs or pointed ears or anything relatively minor. Maybe some people would accept it. Maybe some wouldn't. The 'game' wouldn't, but so what - nothing is ever going to depend on ear shape and I can pretend to have fangs perfectly well. Pretending to have four arms would be pushing it, and claiming to have the ability to cause earthquakes with my eyebrows (@Mishgul - yeah, I know what you're thinking) would be way over the line, but there's room to push things on the individual RP level in my opinion, regardless of canon. 

    Canon exists, from my point of view, to maintain a solid base that can be relied on not to change at all or absolutely minimally though, to my mind.

    This is one of the beautiful things about a text game vs. a graphical game where this stuff would have to be firmly represented graphically to be taken seriously. 
    AradorNimElowin
  • SantarSantar Member Posts: 2,382 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    What about the +2 listen checks?

    image

    Shara
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    edited January 2015
    Santar said:
    What about the +2 listen checks?
    Denied. 

    Provisionally, at least. I understand @Tecton has a form you can file to petition to get a hearing about the possibility of getting at least +1 listen check. Maybe. 
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    edited January 2015
    Closing this thread now.

    TL;DR:

    Tsol'aa don't have pointed ears. That has been canon since before we opened in 1997. 

    If you want to describe yourself as having pointed ears or whatever other minor variation, go for it. We don't care! Do try to have an RP explanation of why and how it fits in Achaea, however. Maybe your Tsol'aa has spent years carving its ears to points and they're a scarred-up mess, for instance.

    There's room to make minor personal adjustments to canon within the larger world of Achaea, as long as you don't try to RP imposing it on everyone else or going too far. Your fellow players and Gods will let you know in various ways if you're going outside acceptable boundaries. 
    Post edited by Sarapis on
    SharaAchimrstAnnui
This discussion has been closed.