Friday, October 9, 2020

Friday Snark

High Elves: More than any other kind of Elf, the High Elves allow little to interfere with their lives of pleasure. They are the core of their race, living in the cities of the Elven Kingdoms and scorning travel. To these people, working for a living is regarded as a sign of personal failure. Few High Elves ever leave the Elven Kingdoms, though a few younger, more adventurous individuals might do so as a form of vacation, or for the 'experience.' These travelers cannot help but irritate the other races they encounter by their patronizing and overbearing attitude. Lynchings of such individuals are not uncommon.

One might think I'm quoting a passage from Blood Bowl, a game that both satirizes and parodies American football (and fantasy game species) with a snarky...if good spirited...attitude. But I'm not. Instead I'm quoting the "grimdark" RPG known as Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, specifically the section of the game's bestiary dealing with elves. 

What I find especially amusing about this passage is setting it down next to the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons PHB which states in no uncertain terms that

Elven player characters are always considered to be high elves, the most common sort of elf.

[emphasis added by yours truly]


WFRP is a good game, and one that I never got to play enough of "back in the day." But that's (mainly) because I had D&D, as well as DragonQuest and Stormbringer (both of which filled particular needs not met by D&D). And for all its neat ideas, it's not much different from D&D in terms of system. But it's a great read and full of punchy attitude.

ANYway...just a little break from the Blood Bowl talk. Started a post about penalties, but I'll save that for tomorrow or something.

Happy Friday.

: )


  1. I read that passage as someone having a knock at a certain class of southern English person. The type of person who might think that they run/own the country and that everyone else is an oik.

    WFRP, WD and GW products up to about 1993 had a thick vein of social commentary disguised as fantasy or SF.

    1. I have no doubt there is meant to be social commentary there...and it's not the only RPG to offer such.

      Funny, I can see it being applied (today) to "ivory towered liberals" in my own country.

  2. To be honest, the "insufferably snooty elf" archetype wasn't exactly uncommon in the D&D games I've played in either, so WFRP's take on them isn't all that far out there to me. And the Warhammer Old World setting only had three types of elves, all of who sprang from the High Elves. Wood Elves were effectively abandoned/stay-behind colonists who didn't return to Ulthuan (aka High Elf Atlantis) and "went native" by tying themselves to Old World nature spirits. Dark Elves were the losing side in a civil war and were just generically evil and sadistic with a touch of Chaos worship - and moved en masse to the setting's equivalent of North America and Canada, which probably says something about GW's feelings about their customer base. And High Elves are the aloof elitist pricks no one really likes but they're powerful enough that everyone needs them against Chaos.

    1. I don't disagree; I just find it amusing how far they push the concept. Tolkien's elves are stiff-necked, but they're kind enough to "lesser" mortals.

      There's a real "working class" vibe to the game and its setting, kind of a "what would Game of Thrones be like if the protagonists were are from the smallfolk class instead of 'great house' nobles?"