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Full Version: Immortal Elves and Essence, etc.
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Ok, the topic title basically says it all. This is yet another Immortal Elf thread(why won't those bastards all die! lol), this time I'm asking if they get more than the standard 6 Essence for elves. I would think they would, because Drakes and vampires both do, but I do know that vampires are a different beast.

Anyone know anything about this? twirl.gif
Shapeshifters in 3rd started with 8 essence as well.
Okay, well...

Immortal Elves seemed to exist largely to bridge the gap between "Shadowrun" and "Earthdawn". They also enabled the creation of a few conspiricies and elements that made for some good reading, and a couple of decent "book sized" adventurers, but have ultimatly been a bit of a problem when trying to deal with Shadowrun as a stand alone universe.

As cool as Harlequin and his Brethren in the Tirs were at one time, I think they have worn out their welcome, and someone should pretty much take them all out of the picture and let the game develop without that paticular metaplot. The current "style" of writing is a bit differant from what it used to be and is not quite as condusive to this development as it once was. Plus it's not something many gamers have ever felt comfortable playing around with in their "Around the table" sessions in my experience for fear that they could 'ruin' the game by departing too much from the canon if they did (this is important to many people, despite my general lack of caring).

*THAT* said my impression is that all elves are more or less immortal, none have died since the first onces were "born" and nothing that I have seen has ever given them a lifespan.

The "Immortal Elves" are very old and steeped in magic, and quite probably made it through the ages because of their magical abillity, but I have seen little evidence (other than treating them differantly for story purposes) to imply that they began as anything other than normal elves.

I'd imagine that a genuine magical prodigy given several centuries to perfect their craft, and countless grades of initiation, might wind up on the same level. It simply goes beyond the scope of the games for PCs to ever develop like that.

As a result I wouldn't treat them as having any more inherant essence, unless it's something they get from their research along the way. Maybe something that comes from doing weird kinds of alternative initiations. <shrugs>


I agree with Therumancer's take on it. It's kind of how I always thought it would be like.

Although I've recently started to wonder if somewhere along the way a normal elf (who could live for a long, long time (like say an entire "age")) might find a way to become an Immortal Elf and survive between the "ages" of magic.

Maybe it is a process along the lines of how an Adult Dragon becomes a Great Dragon.

Maybe some elves from the 4th or 2nd age learned how an adult dragon transforms into a Great Dragon and were able to duplicate the process on themselves. Giving birth to Immortal Elves.
Jack Kain
Immortal Elves are different then normal elves.

First they said to be immune to disease and most poisons. Though that may be due to ritual.

Jane Foster is an immortal elf born into the 6th world and is a student of Harlquin. So yes they are born different.


Actually, if you go back to Earthdawn, I recall that Harlequin gained his immortality in some sort of ritual or accident (in a tower?) somewhere. But then he is the eternal joker in the pack and Jane Foster is, by cannon, born as an immortal elf.

I statted up Harlequin (it's on my site if you're interested) and I did give him an Essence of seven. Whether you interpret Essence as spirituality, life-force, soul or a kind of magical integrity I thought Harlequin qualified as exceptional in all of them. The only other tweak I made was allowing him two Exceptional Attribute qualities.

Shadowrun 4th is grittier and focuses more on the low-level gutter shadows, but that doesn't mean that there aren't giant forces casting those shadows. I got some stick for statting up Harlequin, but I thought it fitted SR4 better to (a) have actual figures so it wasn't just GM-fiat and (b) to make him something that, although powerful, was at least within the bounds of understandability. Roughly, he could take on one of the great dragons face to face in my version, but the message is that he has obviously survived through the ages due to his wits rather than any super-powers.

I think it's good to keep the immortal elves around in 4th edition. They may never be encountered, but I like powerful figures moving through the shadows. I play Harlequin very dark and he adds to the sinister otherworldliness of the magic that has returned to haunt the world of 2070.

My take,

Kyoto Kid
...where Harlequin is concerned, I agree. He's the only IE that I like because as someone once inferred, hanging around for thousands of years is going to make a person batty.
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