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Morashitar
05-18-2014, 08:32 AM
If you were to create a dark elf society - a town let us say - what kind of buildings, stores, or events would you add to it?

DMMike
05-21-2014, 04:58 PM
Care to list your assumptions with the term "dark elf?"

In Forgotten Realms they're spider-worshiping elves who live way below the surface of the planet.

In Final Fantasy there's a lone dark elf who speaks poor English, is an accomplished spellcaster, and lives in a ruined castle.

I think dark elves are best used as nomads, hermits, or barbarians, so they're a little mysterious and originate far away. Their buildings would most likely be relatively crude, and if you somehow caught one running a store, he'd be selling taboo objects like shrunken heads or drugs.

Morashitar
05-22-2014, 07:49 AM
Hello DMMike!

In my novel I have the dark elves living in the Dwanen Mountains way below the surface also like in Forgotten Realms. They do not worship a spider queen (R.A. Salvatore) or anything though. They do practice dark magic and are of evil alignment. They were once high elves until persuaded to live in the mountains giving promise to great powers by a lord named Pythonian. Over many many centuries their features changed and were not recognized as high elves anymore by surface dwellers (like the stories of the Drow from the Orcadian and Shetlandic folklores) - As the story goes, the dark elves had planned to invade the demon world (further down in the underworld - 12th Abyss) but lost the war forcing everyone (goblins, orcs, etc.) to retreat to the surface disturbing the surface dwellers. The demon's victory only had them greedy wanting to also conquer those on surface.

Torak the Black a dark elf master necromancer escaped with a griffon to the highest peak of the Dwanen Mountains to where he erected a magical tower. There he sits in his throne untouched or unharmed for the time being.

At the dark tower (as I call his location) a small community of followers grew. Here I have the inventive gnomes the chance to fiddle with gadgets to invent practical things such as a steamship or visors to see long distances. Dark Elves (those of what left of them) usually join the guard flying around the tower on griffons to protect the location. Some dark elves become apprentices of Torak the Black (called red robes) to learn dark magic, which was first introduced by Lord Pythonian before he died during a major campaign fighting Lord Morashitar of the demon hordes. The Draconian also join the guard and feel comfortable at the Dark Tower.

I have already a few stores to visit for - draconians, gnomes, and dark elves - yet I am not satisfied - I would like to have at least 5 more stores for a roleplayer to enjoy if they choose to roleplay a dark elf, gnome, or a draconian - as they compliment each other for the game I created.

Here is my question - if a dark elf society existed on the surface - what kind of stores would they perhaps offer?

If you are familiar with a computer game called Morrowwind we have the Dunmer (which is their version of dark elves) you will see that they have stores to visit, yet they are no different then other races would have. I want to have a few unique stores of their own likings.

Any ideas?


Thanks DMMike for replying!

Malruhn
05-23-2014, 09:35 PM
Any society would have the generics - markets for food, markets for sundries, textiles, weapons, armor, magic, etcetera.

Now, the question would be how would they look to Joe the Adventurer? Just because they are evil doesn't mean that a food market will be substantially different than one of ours. Sure, Chaos may rule, but general food items will be there - proteins, starches, veggies - even underground.

Sam the Drow will still need boots... and pants... and a snazzy headband (why have a hat - no sun!). He will still need a sword, and poison for his hand-crossbow.

Events would be similar to regular life - with an evil twist. Public executions, public tortures, slave auctions for exotic slaves, plays involving deviant activity (imagine Punch and Judy with sex toys...), and more. There can be carnivals with evil games (imagine throwing blunted darts into Halflings or Gnomes!). They would still like things like a 3-ring circus - death defying feats (Flying Wallendas), exotic animals ("Oops, the elephant crushed her head... so sorry!").

Public interaction would be more secretive than "normal" for us - think: NYC, where everyone wears black and nobody makes eye contact or speaks to one another. Bars/taverns would be common but only friends would talk and it wouldn't be a "club" scene - for those, it would be private parties, invite-only, when people would actually speak and open up (less than what we would expect, because you never know who is a spy). Everything you do would be seen as a possible step in a plot to do something. Go into a shop to get a new jacket and the tailor would make small-talk - but you never know who's paying him to get info from his clients! Not full-blown paranoia, just lots of hesitation to speak with anyone outside of your family/clan/gang unit.

There would still be old folks telling young kids about when they went "up above" and the horrors they saw there ("An' I seen this huge ball of fire in the sky an' it never went out until many hours later! An' if you shot an arrow up, there wasn't nothin' to stop it - it would just go forever and ever!! Can you imagine?!?!")

To be honest, it wouldn't be that much different than up above - just differences in diet (loads of lichen soup/stews and mushrooms).

EDITED TO ADD

As for "special stores", I would think poison shops and trap shops would be more common. Also, "rare" items in an apothecary would be on open display ("Does ya needs a Gnome tongue today, good Wizard? What about Dwarven braids from a beard and shaved hair from a Halfling foot? I gots three Halflings in my cellar an' I be's shaving they's feet every so often. How's about a human baby brain? You needs tears from a virgin that's been hung? Gimme a week and I'll have some!")

Morashitar
05-24-2014, 11:44 AM
Hi Malruhn!

Not only is the information helpful but also funny! Thank you for the time spent in explaining what could be added to a dark elf society. It does help me add a few more stores to visit in my campaign. In essence, it does help to read everything about dark elves. I might add some amulet shops that summon spirits or magical beasts, staff shops for necromancers, scimitar weapon store, and a shop that offers odd commodities as you have mention in your post. A circus is also a great idea - odd circus that is - that can make the roleplayer compete in one to feel part of the whole event would be enticing.

Thanks for the tips Malruhn!

Malruhn
05-25-2014, 11:24 PM
You may not steal any of my ideas... they are freely given. I post nothing online that isn't for public consumption - and I try my bestest to make everything presentable to my grandmother... PG to PG13.

The biggest "problem" with asking for help and sharing info is that everyone has their own take on stuff like this - you already said that your dark elves didn't worship Lolth and I tried to be as generic as possible.

One thing I'd push is to have some serious "negatives" for those wanting to play Drow - and top on that list is SERIOUS sun-phobias and inability to see due to bright sunlight. I also like to see the "disintegrating" armor/weapons when they hit the sunlight as well. It keeps them below-ground and in the shadows. Everyone needs an Achilles Heel, and that is the easiest one to pick.

But - that's just me. In _MY_ world, evil is something to play AGAINST - and I wouldn't want my PC's to use the Drow as PC races. Like I said, everyone has their own take.

nijineko
05-26-2014, 03:48 PM
i'd been holding back responding to this one... after all why is anyone called "dark" anything? shadow affinity? evil affinity? genetic quirk? what's the point of there being a dark something in your world/plot/setting/campaign/etc? how does it fit into the timeline and story? is that how they view themselves or how others view them; why?

Morashitar
05-27-2014, 04:10 PM
Dark elves are called dark because their skin is of dark color and so they are seen as dark elves for they had once the same characteristic as high elves. In my novel the dark elves were once high elves. Mind you I am not following exactly the Dungeons & Dragons version as everyone knows the Drow as. Afterall, it is fantasy, I can create my own rules to it all...that is the whole fun of creating something from your own imagination. It so happens to work well for my roleplayers.

The game I host allows a roleplayer to choose to play an evil character that is trying to conquer the lands or if so choose to play a good alignment character trying to defend it from evil. It so happens that two evils were at war with each other forcing one type of evil to settle on the surface - dark elves - which I created a small location for them to stay - high up in the Dwanen Mountains. Dark Elves are aware they were once high elves as their ancestory kept the history preserved in such a manner. Lord Pythonian the snake lord influenced high elves to follow him to the underworld to attain powers beyond what high elves could ever imagine of having- which influenced a group to follow. These high elves learned the dark magics, personality changed, characteristics as physical appearance changed over the milleniums of eras passed on. The roleplayers that enjoy my game like the flexibility to choose the wide variation of races and classes. They also like the opportunity to see what it would be like to play on the opposite side.

Partially the idea came from a Dungeons and Dragons game called "Reverse Dungeons & Dragons" where one can choose from a goblin class and the goal was to defend the goblin lair against a group of good adventurers that want to roam its halls and take the goods.

In my novel I have a detailed time line as of chapters that indicate the history of each race and factions. My roleplayers want to delve into a richer and more believable world, so I wanted to give them a few more exotic buildings to enjoy shopping at - for those that play dark elves that is.

I do however have roleplayers that would never try an evil alignment type of character and go against what the norm would normally play with the traditional adventure pack you find in most tabletop games. It is a matter of taste for everyone, yet I feel that the whole point of gaming is to explore other avenues also. I think that is what keeps my roleplayers on the toes by not expecting the usual - but something different - which includes playing the opposite side for a change. :)

nijineko
05-27-2014, 10:11 PM
ah, good old reverse dungeon, module 11392. ^^ have you ever played ex1 or ex2?

Soft Serve
05-28-2014, 03:16 PM
If you are familiar with a computer game called Morrowwind we have the Dunmer (which is their version of dark elves) you will see that they have stores to visit, yet they are no different then other races would have. I want to have a few unique stores of their own likings.

In response to this part in particular (Morrowind is one of my favorite games of all time.)

Morrowind (the game) takes place on Vvardenfell which is an island inside the province of Morrowind (the land) which is the home of the Dunmer. Each of the ten races has their own main province. Argonians have Black Marsh, the Altmer have Summerset Isles, and so on. Morrowind (the province) is not very far away from Cyrodil and honestly isn't much different from it (You see glimpses of this in the Mournhold expansion for Morrowind [the game] where you visit the capital of Morrowind which is not on Vvardenfell with the rest of the game.)

The point I'm making is that the common trade goods found in game are reflective of the land, not the race. Muck, Cliff Racer Plumes, Scrib Jelly and Eggs, are all unique to Vvardenfell because that's where Muck Sponges, Cliff Racers, and Scribs are from. You won't find them anywhere else.

So to use this as an example, maybe the unique stores you want to create should be more reflective of the land. What would these traders be able to offer that no one else would?

Morashitar
05-28-2014, 03:18 PM
Hi Nijineko!

I never played any extensions, but I have hosted the Reverse Dungeon AD&D game to a group of players. We had a lot of fun together because we actually tried to act in character -Goblins- , so it brought in a lot of laughs. It was great to get rid of a cleric, mage, a fighter, and a rogue. :)

Morashitar
05-28-2014, 03:21 PM
In response to this part in particular (Morrowind is one of my favorite games of all time.)

Morrowind (the game) takes place on Vvardenfell which is an island inside the province of Morrowind (the land) which is the home of the Dunmer. Each of the ten races has their own main province. Argonians have Black Marsh, the Altmer have Summerset Isles, and so on. Morrowind (the province) is not very far away from Cyrodil and honestly isn't much different from it (You see glimpses of this in the Mournhold expansion for Morrowind [the game] where you visit the capital of Morrowind which is not on Vvardenfell with the rest of the game.)

The point I'm making is that the common trade goods found in game are reflective of the land, not the race. Muck, Cliff Racer Plumes, Scrib Jelly and Eggs, are all unique to Vvardenfell because that's where Muck Sponges, Cliff Racers, and Scribs are from. You won't find them anywhere else.

So to use this as an example, maybe the unique stores you want to create should be more reflective of the land. What would these traders be able to offer that no one else would?


Yes you are right and good idea. I have been starting to do this, yet Dark Elves have just moved into a land where surface dwellers have been living all along. I guess I have to look at it on how an immigrant would adapt to society and make their own communities. I chose the Dwanen Mountains for not live on top of them or very little. Torak the Black chose it because he knew it would be safe their for his people. It is good to get ideas from everyone..thank you!

I love Morrowwind, Oblivion, and Skyrim...such addictions though!

Soft Serve
05-28-2014, 07:20 PM
Yes you are right and good idea. I have been starting to do this, yet Dark Elves have just moved into a land where surface dwellers have been living all along. I guess I have to look at it on how an immigrant would adapt to society and make their own communities. I chose the Dwanen Mountains for not live on top of them or very little. Torak the Black chose it because he knew it would be safe their for his people. It is good to get ideas from everyone..thank you!

I love Morrowwind, Oblivion, and Skyrim...such addictions though!

Could be an adventure hook even. Foreign Trader comes in selling awkward and illegal wares. The PCs check the store and see this stuff and see nothing relatively useful. When they don't buy anything the store owner begs them for help to find more "normal" supplies.

Whether this involves stealing them from other shops or acquiring them legally is up to the PCs or the NPC I guess.

Morrowind, specifically, is one of my favorite games ever. Oblivion is good, but not great and Skyrim and I aren't friends right now.

Morashitar
06-04-2014, 10:08 PM
Thanks for the suggestions Soft Serve. Very kind of you. :)

Soft Serve
06-05-2014, 12:13 PM
Sure. Anytime.

Morashitar
06-10-2014, 01:36 PM
Next up are the Catfolks as I call them. Face looks like a tiger or lion and the body is primarily human. They do have tails also.

Soft Serve
06-10-2014, 04:17 PM
Nijineko is like that in real life. The keyboard is hard on his paws.

Malruhn
06-11-2014, 09:01 AM
And on this date, let it be known that Soft Serve won the internet.

Soft Serve
06-11-2014, 11:50 AM
And on this date, let it be known that Soft Serve won the internet.

Thank you, thank you. This might be my new signature.