On Elves

Recently on G+ the questions were asked, "What do you feel are the essential components of being an Elf, something that you feel should be true across all systems and settings? In the opposite vein, what is your favorite sub-type of Elf and why?"

I have always liked playing elves, both in D&D and in WarHammer.  There is something that's different enough from humans that really attracts me. I don't think an elf should be a human with pointed ears. Here's my answer to the question:

Essential components for elves include long life spans and inherent magic (like dragons). While human may be capable of magic, elves should have an affinity or even a dependence. Magic should not be foreign or uncomfortable to them. In this vein, I think all elf subtypes could have their own inherent spells, much like Forgotten Realms Drow. 

My favorite sub-type is usually a wood elf, or a savage elf, but that's just because it reflects my likes. I like the idea of being able to nimbly run through the forest and defend it against invaders. These elves are usually stronger and less refined than other subtypes. 

My archetype elf would be a very powerful practitioner of magic. No magic like demonology or necromancy, but conjuration, illusion, evoke/invoke, alteration, sun magic, moon magic, etc.  These elves could be world-changers, but the changes would be so subtle and maybe not even noticed by other races. The changes would reflect the desires of that race, not of men or dwarves.  It would be more about keeping choas from degrading the world.

As an aside (for game designers) I get kinda ticked at games that make my elf start without abilities that I consider to be elvish. Don't make me play a human with pointed ears. If I have to start with more Skills/Talents or better stats...so be it. Take it away from me elsewhere...maybe needing more XP to advance.

This has me wanting to create my own world, with my own spin on races. I never want to do that. 

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