Elves and Song

From: Lemens, Chris (CLemens@exchange.webmd.net)
Date: Tue 29 Aug 2000 - 16:46:08 EEST


PM:
>The sensations generated by the forest are so strong that many
>> >elves lack any sense that they are separate from the forest.

CL:
>>What I took away from this is that "many" is less than "most" and
>>far less than "all". Thus, there would be a majority that have a
>>sense of separation from the forest.

PM:
>But I originally said most elves _purposely_ lose themselves in the Song.
>Whether or not a particular elf is capable of feeling individuality, it is
>something that most of them shun.

I think I agree with this. Even within my "most" that do have a sense of
separation from the forest, "some" (enough to turn "many" into "most", I
think) would dislike the sense of separation enough to engage in all sorts
of stuff to get back to nature.

PM:
>> >Most Aldryami are content to bask in the Song that washes over
>> >them and consequently any magic they use is unthinking.

CL:
>>I thought this contradicted by the prior statement that only
>>"many" lacked any sense of separation.

PM:
>It isn't. If I had intended the senses that you infer, I would have
>it explicit rather than make it decipherable to only those with the
>abilities of Venn Diagrams 17, Aldryami Floragraphics 12 and
>Read English 1w.

Bah. It is impossible to make everything explicit in 256 pages.
There will always be points that are not explicitly explored.
There is an age old problem in legal theory about what weight to give
the opinions of an author expressed where the author's printed work
either disagrees with the opinion or is susceptible to multiple meanings
on its face. In any case, the best option is to show that there is no
conflict.

So, in an effort to show that there is no conflict, I could see that:
1. There are "many" who lack a sense of separation.
2. There are "some" who have the sense of separation and try to lose
it.
3. The "many" plus the "some" equals "most".
Is that consistent?

PM:
>> >So of the elves in the forest, we have roughly three groups:
>> >i) the normal elves that have no sense of individuality or
>> >purposely lose it in the woods.

CL:
>>I'd say this is "many"; i.e. a large minority.

PM:
>What's wrong with them being a majority?

As described above, I'll abandon my position and say that the two groups you
describe in (i) together constitute a majority.

PM:
>In particular how does it suddenly make elves unplayable or uninteresting
if
>most of them are as individualized as human farmers or mobs?

At the root of my objection are beliefs that (a) I play RPGs in part to
express and explore
different aspects of myself and (b) I have more fun when I do so.. I think
this is generally
true of role players. Expressing a group mind does not do so, even in the
slightest.
Perhaps it does for some folks. To make Aldryami revolve around a group
mind makes them
difficult to play. The ordinary elf is not attractive or comprehensible to
me if it is an instance
of a group mind. So I'd like to see a majority of elves be individuals. It
is fine for a lot
of them to be yearning for utopia or nirvana or whatever. I suspect you
would see the same
in humans if you could verifiably prove that a group mind existed in some
large part of
humanity. Their need for belonging in the group mind (which is generally
unattainable by
individual effort) is an understandable urge. But a society in which the
group mind is the norm
and any individuals are the oddballs is unattractive and incomprehensible to
me.
That makes it unplayable. All IMO.

Chris Lemens

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