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#36: Post-apocalyptic Games

Curtis Cook

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#2
This is a response to post #38, because I can't post a comment in that thread (or for post #37).

If you're looking for a different take on elves you need look no further than Tolkien. He had an enormous variety of elves in Middle Earth and environs.

The high elves (Vanyar) were essentially lotus-eaters who had withdrawn from interaction with the material world and (whenever possible) only associated with the angels (valar and maiar).

The Noldorin elves were as good with crafts as the naugrim (dwarves), with whom they got along quite well, and liked to live in cities and work at industries… as the term was used pre-1500. They made marvelous weapons and loved to interfere in other people's business. They were adventuresome and very much 'out in the world'.

The Teleri were Middle Earth's best shipbuilders and sailors. They were noticeably withdrawn, but not xenophobic, and they were perfectly willing to associate with other races or nationalities with whom they got along. They mostly lived in seaports of pretty substantial size.

The Sindar were the best singers and tale-tellers. Like the Noldor they invented their own form of writing, but theirs became much more popular and widespread amongst non-elves and was the basis for many human languages. They were also notably crafty, but not to the extent of the Noldor. They tended to live in caverns underground and (especially after one unfortunate event) did NOT get along with dwarves. They were quite reclusive and defensive (in contrast with the offensive Noldor), and in later years tended to form a ruling elite above the silvan elves. These are the elves most 'classic' frpg use as their template, but they were always a pretty small minority in Middle Earth.

All of these first four groups had an 'aura' to them which beings of other races would react to with (usually) awe. These are the elves who long for a homeland in the Uttermost West, far beyond the sea.

Among the 'common' elves were the Nandor, a subset of whom (the Laiquendi) were the original under race to the Sindar. The only differences between the Nandor and the sylvan elves were their rarity (extreme for the Nandor/common as dirt for the sylvan), and supposedly the Nandor were slightly larger and more intelligent… as least to hear them tell it. They were forest-dwellers and tended to reclusivity, though not as much so as the Sindar. The Sindar tended to regard them as trustworthy lieutenants.

The most common elves were the sylvan types, who Tolkien called the Avar. They lived in the woods and were quite silly and unserious. They loved to sing and dance and feast, and could be disturbingly capricious. Some — or perhaps all, but only sometimes — were mean and nasty, others fun-loving and frolicsome, and others yet mischievous and tricksy. They had a low regard for non-elves, but might do you a good turn if you caught them in a benevolent mood. These (and to a lesser extent the Nandor) were generally unarmored and only lightly armed, though still deadly — which is what 7000+ years of practice will get you.

The last group were the orcs (erch, uruks), which were Avar who had been led astray by The Enemy back during prehistory and warped in both body and soul. Yes, orcs really are elves, too… at least in Middle Earth, and there, but for the grace of Eru, go us all.

And so you have seven different races of elves, just in one world (okay, so the Vanyar and most of the Noldor and Teleri are no longer in the world, but the point remains). Tolkien also had a series of stories about the North Polar Elves, but these are just Avari (or possibly Nandor), with Father Christmas as their Sindarin overlord.
 

Lewd Beholder

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#3
a post apocalyptic game has to develop beyond mere survival.

Fallouts best game (new vegas) isn't dealing with digging your way personally out of the abyss, but deciding who inherits the earth.

It's why I prefer post-post apocalypse: yeah the apocalypse happened, but it got better.

www.drevrpg.com is how I did my own interpretation of it.

but if I had to say what you need.

1. start small with your group. a vault or tribe is a good place to start. This also includes lines and veils as you need to decide where the lines are before you begin.
2. figure out what your players want. For example, I'm a sucker for MacGyvering your way out of problems and this genre really plays to that.
3. what icons are going to appear to show you are in the apocalypse even in the backdrop. Planet of the Apes was most iconic with their use of the statue of liberty, but fallout new vegas made it a war over the hoover dam. Thundarr the barbarian was amazing for using a city for the backdrop without referring to it for the plot.
4. Plot, plot never changes. It's super easy to take a favorite module or adventure and push it through the filter of post-apocalypse.
 
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