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OACSNY97
2018-02-18, 09:49 PM
If dogs are considered mankind's best friend and there's an opinion that humans and canines here on Earth may have co-evolved each other, what about the other fantasy races?

What if cats (or some kind of bird) are to elves as dogs are to humans?

Diamond Dragon
2018-02-19, 10:40 AM
To a certain extent, a species that co-evolved with another humanoid race would behave like dogs. The domestic dog was changed far more dramatically than any other domestic animal because it's been with us for much longer - estimates range up to over a hundred thirty thousand years. Humans and dogs are quite skilled at recognizing each other's emotion and intent for utterly different species with no common language (many dogs can recognize pointing gestures, for example, and they're very good at learning from observing humans), and we display convergent evolution towards an oxytocin loop - basically, when you look in a dog's eyes, and the dog looks back, both of your brains are giving you the love chemical. Predators normally tend to see prolonged eye contact as a sign of aggression, not affection.
Cats, by contrast, are still largely in the 'convenient living arrangement' phase of evolution. We feed them, they chase pests away from our crops.

So if elves had evolved with cats the way humans had evolved with dogs, I'd expect to see friendlier, less independent cats who look to their pet elves for companionship, support and problem solving - this bit is relevant. Dogs are less intelligent than wolves, presumably because they've had humans around to figure things out, and if they're presented with a problem they can't easily solve, they often look to nearby humans for help. I'd expect them to better recognize elven emotions and themselves have moods more easily recognized by elves.

hymer
2018-02-19, 11:04 AM
Cats, by contrast, are still largely in the 'convenient living arrangement' phase of evolution. We feed them, they chase pests away from our crops.
https://d1ejxu6vysztl5.cloudfront.net/comics/garfield/1978/1978-06-21.gif

You make a lot of sense, but it should be possible to give a more creative answer. Think of dolphins training humans to help them fish, e.g. A particular kind of naked mole rat can detect a coming earth quake, and prods the hole-dwelling halflings to get outside and protect the mole rat for the duration of the stay above ground.
Or with elves and cats, elven needs could be different from that of humans. Elves firmly tell pests to go play in the woods, but attracted cats because they need the sound of their tread to make potions of stealth. Elven cats have developed particular stealth capabilities, and can sense magic users, who are likely to feed them.

RobD
2018-02-19, 01:08 PM
I actually kinda like the idea of Humans and their near relations (Halflings, Half-eves, etc) being the only ones among the PC races to domesticate animals. Like, Elves and Dwarves are just completely floored when they consider how Humans took Wolves and made them into Dogs over the course of centuries. Whether they're jealous or horrified probably depends on which one you ask...


I'm also pretty sure humans invented agriculture in D&D as well. Doesn't seem a very Elven pursuit.

Mr Beer
2018-02-19, 05:18 PM
I actually kinda like the idea of Humans and their near relations (Halflings, Half-eves, etc) being the only ones among the PC races to domesticate animals. Like, Elves and Dwarves are just completely floored when they consider how Humans took Wolves and made them into Dogs over the course of centuries. Whether they're jealous or horrified probably depends on which one you ask...

"Wait what, you murdered the aggressive ones and turned the submissive ones into your willing slaves? Charming."

Aliquid
2018-02-19, 08:09 PM
A bird that amazingly co-evolved with humans
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/07/unusual-bird-human-partnership-runs-even-deeper-scientists-thought

Joe the Rat
2018-02-19, 09:38 PM
I'm rather taken by alternative domestcations - the forest-dwelling elves using deer and elk the way we use horses, for example.
Not having a good workbeast means dwarves travel by foot and do the grunt labor themselves. No wonder they're surly.

Lvl 2 Expert
2018-02-20, 08:30 AM
Let's see...

Orcs might have some sort of domesticated swines, but more dogs than pigs. Maybe with the idea that orcs are already good at hunting, but can use some help in gathering. Thog think truffles great.

Dwarfs would have something that can help in mining, so a donkey/pony thing. Maybe evolved from the cow lineage, to keep it a little fresh.

Lizardfolk out in there swamps might have domesticated giant rats, basically dogs as well, but more suited for a watery environment, and suitably wild and creepy to look good together with scaly savages.

There's probably at least one species that managed to take falconry further than humans ever have. Elves could work, or if the birds are large enough a small race would be nice. Flying goblins, run for your lives.

Another small race could have a huge beast of burden. Maybe like a rhinoceros serving the role of an oxen. Both kobolds and gnomes are good candidates because of their tinkering. If we go with kobolds we can give the gnomes some sort of burying best friend, maybe a badger or a dire hare or so. Or they just both get huge bests of burden, and then they go to war with each other.





Ogres get kittens.




Trolls don't get kittens, they never keep their promise not to eat this one.

OACSNY97
2018-02-20, 08:46 AM
You might have a point regarding that if cats co-evolved with elves they would behave in a more dog-like manner.

I started this thread because I was wondering how co-evolving with different species might effect different fantasy races' behavior and thought patterns. Humans are adaptable, endurance predators and their usual DnD stats back it up or at least don't contradict it, but what about the other major races?

I'd like to help differentiate the traditional DnD races from each other a bit more while trying to avoid the rubber forehead alien problem and singled out elves in my opening post as I could see building a pretty good argument that they're lurker predators where humans are endurance predators. As lurker predators, I could see early elves desiring different traits in the animals that share their lives than humans have valued in canines.

(And yes, for all he's Drow, Drizzt and his panther, Gwenwyver, would probably fight right into this stereotype, oops)



To a certain extent, a species that co-evolved with another humanoid race would behave like dogs. The domestic dog was changed far more dramatically than any other domestic animal because it's been with us for much longer - estimates range up to over a hundred thirty thousand years. Humans and dogs are quite skilled at recognizing each other's emotion and intent for utterly different species with no common language (many dogs can recognize pointing gestures, for example, and they're very good at learning from observing humans), and we display convergent evolution towards an oxytocin loop - basically, when you look in a dog's eyes, and the dog looks back, both of your brains are giving you the love chemical. Predators normally tend to see prolonged eye contact as a sign of aggression, not affection.
Cats, by contrast, are still largely in the 'convenient living arrangement' phase of evolution. We feed them, they chase pests away from our crops.

So if elves had evolved with cats the way humans had evolved with dogs, I'd expect to see friendlier, less independent cats who look to their pet elves for companionship, support and problem solving - this bit is relevant. Dogs are less intelligent than wolves, presumably because they've had humans around to figure things out, and if they're presented with a problem they can't easily solve, they often look to nearby humans for help. I'd expect them to better recognize elven emotions and themselves have moods more easily recognized by elves.

Khedrac
2018-02-20, 08:53 AM
Elven (or at least faerie) Horses and Hounds are a staple of myth and legend (hint - if you see white animals with read heads and feet you may have just crossed into faerie-land).

D&D has had domesticated liazrds and flightless birds for some races in various versions.

3.5 D&D added the Brixashulty as a halfling-raised species of goat.

Rather than doing this by race, I favour doing this by environment - so all races will domesticate what lives in the same places that they do, but I can see that humans have dogs everywhere that we can so there is a definite place for a racial bias too...

OACSNY97
2018-02-20, 08:57 AM
I especially like your last point. It does help explain why humans are frequently the dominate playable race in DnD settings from an internal world building perspective. Why _have_ the humans been able to not only avoided either merging with or being subsumed by the other races/species that have the same traits that made humans the dominate species on Earth (namely, thumbs, fire, brains and a willingness to mate with just about anything) but dominate Faerûn and Greyhawk as well as they have since the other traditionally playable races have all the extra bonuses? Agriculture actually makes sense since it allows for a more compact civilization to grow.


I actually kinda like the idea of Humans and their near relations (Halflings, Half-eves, etc) being the only ones among the PC races to domesticate animals. Like, Elves and Dwarves are just completely floored when they consider how Humans took Wolves and made them into Dogs over the course of centuries. Whether they're jealous or horrified probably depends on which one you ask...


I'm also pretty sure humans invented agriculture in D&D as well. Doesn't seem a very Elven pursuit.

Eloel
2018-02-20, 09:01 AM
Eberron has halflings with dinosaurs. It's glorious.

Iamyourking
2018-02-20, 07:25 PM
I feel like Dwarves would logically keep cats. In addition to the Dwarf Fortress connotations, cats are small-and therefore well suited to narrow tunnels, useful for keeping vermin away from the grain stores that they use for brewing, and able to see in the dark.

Aliquid
2018-02-20, 08:24 PM
I feel like Dwarves would logically keep cats. In addition to the Dwarf Fortress connotations, cats are small-and therefore well suited to narrow tunnels, useful for keeping vermin away from the grain stores that they use for brewing, and able to see in the dark.Ferrets meet those criteria too, and naturally like being under ground.

redwizard007
2018-02-20, 08:40 PM
You would have to consider the limitations of the animals involved, and what negative effects they would suffer from. Also, animals that form group bonds are far more likely to become domesticated.

The pony/donkey example probably wouldn't work due to the equines going blind in dark environments (as they did in RW mines.) Rinos are poorly tempered for domestication and do not have a group dynamic to exploit. Deer and moose could be good candidates except that their spine wouldn't support the weight of a rider or load.

Having said that, we are using six limbed monsters all through D&D, many of whom can propel massive body weights with rather small wings, so probability, evolution and physics are already weeping in the corner.

Iamyourking
2018-02-20, 08:53 PM
Ferrets meet those criteria too, and naturally like being under ground.

True, but ferrets have traditionally been associated with Gnomes. There's no reason they can't both use them, but I thought that an exotic animal like that should be tied to a specific race.

Cluedrew
2018-02-20, 09:18 PM
One thing, none of them would likely be an X, where X is the animal we know. It would probably be a variant of that, after undergoing domestication. Sort of like wolves and dogs. A wolf isn't mankind's best friend, a dog (with millennia of evolutionary work put into it) is.

So maybe dwarfs have some pet lizard create that can sense things through walls and after countless generation have become trainable interwoven with dwarfs as dogs have with people. And know I have some ideas for elves having been a little to successful breading their intelligent monkey pets.

Kitten Champion
2018-02-20, 11:11 PM
One of our settings had elephants as a significant aspect of the elven lifestyle. Mirroring some of the significance they hold in places like Thailand. Aside from the labour they provide, they are commonly found in their art, sports, architecture, and folklore. They were largely responsible for forming the nascent roadways which were necessary for the elves to have an inter-tribal economy and common culture through the jungle which covers much of their domain.

They also live quite a while naturally - and they were bred for increased longevity - which allows for greater emotional attachment than what elves experience with other animals, that could be seen as comparable to how we view goldfish or hamsters relative to dogs or horses. The elves will still outlive them, but they aren't tossing them down the toilet after a few months -- so to speak.

Vitruviansquid
2018-02-20, 11:39 PM
Humans have doggos.

Orcs have froggos.

Kaptin Keen
2018-02-21, 12:18 AM
Play World of Warcraft:

Humans: Horses
Elves: Cats
Orcs: Boars
Dwarves: Bears (I believe their first mount vendor actually sells horses, but that's just boring)

And so on. Trolls ride lizards, but ... that doesn't much work for dnd trolls =)

Of course the OP isn't about mounts, but still.

Kitten Champion
2018-02-21, 03:44 AM
There's also Warcraft III

Humans - Horses
High Elves - Dragonhawks... or large colourful mountable birds
Night Elves - Sabertooth panthers/tigers
Dwarves - Griffins
Orcs - Wolves, wyverns, and kodo beasts... or large saurian quadrupeds
Trolls - Giant mountable bats

The Undead have giant spiders, kinda.

Not sure who got the best deal there, but the Dwarves seem to enjoy themselves immensely.

Black Jester
2018-02-21, 04:18 AM
Well, if Dwarves live in mountain ranges by preference or default, their prime domesticated animals probeably should be adapted to this environment as well. Therefore i think that dwarves should probably have a thing for a) birds and b) mountain goats. It is quite possible to train eagles for hunting purposes (in Mongolia, they used to train eagles to hunt wolves) and a mountain eagle companion fits a dwarf very well. The alliance between dwarves and intelligent birds (especially raven9 is also quite Tolkienesque, so there is this additional classic element to it. Large goats - perhaps large enough to be ridden- also fits the dwarven environment well - goats, at least in fables and cliché, are tough, stubborn, frugal and tend to be in a constant bad moot - they are bascially quadruped dwarves with horns. Goats are also ridiculously sure-footed, what helps in a mountaineous environment. So, I can totally see a dwarf noble riding on a huge ibex or a shaggy mountain goat, carrying his golden eagle on a gauntlet while hunting goblins and wolves.

Anonymouswizard
2018-02-21, 08:05 AM
I actually kinda like the idea of Humans and their near relations (Halflings, Half-eves, etc) being the only ones among the PC races to domesticate animals. Like, Elves and Dwarves are just completely floored when they consider how Humans took Wolves and made them into Dogs over the course of centuries. Whether they're jealous or horrified probably depends on which one you ask...

I'm using this in the fantasy setting I'm developing. Elves will use animals but they won't tame or domesticate them, at the most their priests will charm them or shapeshift into one. Dwarves fight a never ending battle with the animals infesting their stores. High dwarves (read: gnomes) don't bother, they make the best tools and walls that no post can get through, so they don't have the need.

Humans domesticated dogs and later on horses, and will tame useful animals. When they manage to build larger empires they try to use cross generational record keeping to domesticate longer lived animals (you see those Wyverns over there? The end result of an attempt by a truly ancient human empire to domesticate dragons. Strangely that empire eventually fell to a mixture of cone and line breath weapons). Other races are terrified that humans keep trying to range the Tarrasque for some bizarre reason, and have managed to range and domesticate some less dangerous monsters as as griffins.

It is said among the other races that if a human discovers beings that man was not meant to know they immediately declare it to be a great big cutie pie and that it'll get along great with their dog.

Cespenar
2018-02-21, 08:19 AM
Tolkien orcs had wargs, IIRC. Which are even more brutal than normal wolves.

Going by that logic, if we correlate savageness with a penchant for taming, then the worst tamers would be elves. They would just let the animals roam free or whatnot.

hymer
2018-02-21, 08:28 AM
Tolkien orcs had wargs, IIRC.

You do recall correctly, but the Orcs and Wargs were more allied than the Orcs were taming them. Wargs are intelligent, have their own language, and they liked to cooperate in raiding with mountain Orcs.

Kitten Champion
2018-02-21, 10:51 AM
I forgot the Hippogryph for the Night Elves.

Which is actually an interesting direction for animal domestication in a fantasy setting. When you can construct your own chimeras to fit numerous roles with magic, you can go pretty biopunk with your Elves.

Cespenar
2018-02-21, 11:01 AM
You do recall correctly, but the Orcs and Wargs were more allied than the Orcs were taming them. Wargs are intelligent, have their own language, and they liked to cooperate in raiding with mountain Orcs.

I remember more capturing and enslavement than alliance, but anyway, that's beside the point.

Kaptin Keen
2018-02-21, 11:55 AM
herefore i think that dwarves should probably have a thing for a) birds and b) mountain goats.

Rams! God's, how could I forget. They ride rams.

Diamond Dragon
2018-02-21, 11:58 AM
You might have a point regarding that if cats co-evolved with elves they would behave in a more dog-like manner.

I started this thread because I was wondering how co-evolving with different species might effect different fantasy races' behavior and thought patterns. Humans are adaptable, endurance predators and their usual DnD stats back it up or at least don't contradict it, but what about the other major races?

I'd like to help differentiate the traditional DnD races from each other a bit more while trying to avoid the rubber forehead alien problem and singled out elves in my opening post as I could see building a pretty good argument that they're lurker predators where humans are endurance predators. As lurker predators, I could see early elves desiring different traits in the animals that share their lives than humans have valued in canines.

(And yes, for all he's Drow, Drizzt and his panther, Gwenwyver, would probably fight right into this stereotype, oops)

Well, humans likely evolved to be endurance hunters on their own, and learned pack hunting from wolves. Though along those same lines, I could see elves AND dwarves being lurkers, with improved night vision across the board, sharper senses and agility/stealth for elves, and affinity for burrowing/tinkering for dwarves. Proto-dwarves building primitive pit traps? From there I could see elves potentially domesticating (and being domesticated by) cats of whatever variety using similar hunting tactics - proto-humans and proto-dogs are speculated to have met doing roughly the same thing in running down weak prey - and...well, I'm drawing a blank on dwarves. Trap door spiders?
When you get too exotic, the dog comparison kind of goes out the window. There's a distinct 'domestic phenotype' that mammals display (look up the russian fox experiment) with a smaller, rounder skull, reduced cranial capacity, lower aggression and more social activity. Dogs show this in comparison to wolves, and we show this in comparison to neanderthals. However, as far as I know, this only applies to mammals.

But yes...in broad strokes, for any given humanoid, I'd figure out how they hunt, and then figure out what critters they met hunting the same way. That more than anything will form the basis for cooperation and cohabitation prior to the development of civilization.

Mark Hall
2018-02-21, 12:05 PM
I actually kinda like the idea of Humans and their near relations (Halflings, Half-eves, etc) being the only ones among the PC races to domesticate animals. Like, Elves and Dwarves are just completely floored when they consider how Humans took Wolves and made them into Dogs over the course of centuries. Whether they're jealous or horrified probably depends on which one you ask...


I'm also pretty sure humans invented agriculture in D&D as well. Doesn't seem a very Elven pursuit.

This ties with my version of humans that get a Charisma bonus... because we're generally the race that gets along with EVERYONE.

hymer
2018-02-21, 12:17 PM
I remember more capturing and enslavement than alliance, but anyway, that's beside the point.

The Hobbit - Out of the frying-pan into the fire

The Wargs and the goblins often helped one another in wicked deeds. Goblins do not usually venture very far from their mountains [...]. But in those days they sometimes used to go on raids, especially to get food or slaves to work for them. Then they often got the Wargs to help and shared the plunder with them.
'Goblin' is another word for 'Orc'. The quote above is made while the Wargs are gathering, and waiting for the goblins/Orcs to show up for a scheduled raid. The Wargs are clearly not slaves.

OACSNY97
2018-02-22, 12:47 PM
I bolded your final paragraph because this highlights exactly what I had been contemplating before my initial post.

Humans are endurance hunters partnered with pack hunters.
Elves are ambush/lurker predators partnered with same.
But... dwarves, gnomes, halflings, orcs, etc...?

What kind of predators/hunters were they in the pre-history?
Were all of these races/species predators? Should they all be?
This is where I get stuck and why I turned to the Playground looking for ideas.

I noticed someone else had mentioned Eberron halflings and dinosaurs, which is really cool, but I've struggled to figure out what this says about halflings and how they subconsciously interact with their world.



Well, humans likely evolved to be endurance hunters on their own, and learned pack hunting from wolves. Though along those same lines, I could see elves AND dwarves being lurkers, with improved night vision across the board, sharper senses and agility/stealth for elves, and affinity for burrowing/tinkering for dwarves. Proto-dwarves building primitive pit traps? From there I could see elves potentially domesticating (and being domesticated by) cats of whatever variety using similar hunting tactics - proto-humans and proto-dogs are speculated to have met doing roughly the same thing in running down weak prey - and...well, I'm drawing a blank on dwarves. Trap door spiders?
When you get too exotic, the dog comparison kind of goes out the window. There's a distinct 'domestic phenotype' that mammals display (look up the russian fox experiment) with a smaller, rounder skull, reduced cranial capacity, lower aggression and more social activity. Dogs show this in comparison to wolves, and we show this in comparison to neanderthals. However, as far as I know, this only applies to mammals.

But yes...in broad strokes, for any given humanoid, I'd figure out how they hunt, and then figure out what critters they met hunting the same way. That more than anything will form the basis for cooperation and cohabitation prior to the development of civilization.

Kaptin Keen
2018-02-22, 12:54 PM
'Goblin' is another word for 'Orc'.

While Tolkien indubitably thought so, later research has proven him to be mistaken =D

hymer
2018-02-23, 03:45 AM
While Tolkien indubitably thought so, later research has proven him to be mistaken =D

That sounds interesting, Do go on.

Khedrac
2018-02-23, 04:28 AM
'Goblin' is another word for 'Orc'.

While Tolkien indubitably thought so, later research has proven him to be mistaken =D
I don't think we can say that Tolkein thought this, I think all we can say is that Tolkein used it this way. Tolkein re-used a lot of old mythological creature names (e.g. "hobytla") adapting them to his purposes, that does not mean he thought they originally meant that.

Etymologically "orc" seems to have meant "monster" coming from "orcneas" - a very similar derivation to "orca" meaning "sea monster". (And "goblin" probably could mean "monster" so while "orc" might not mean "goblin", "goblin" could mean "orc"...)

hymer
2018-02-23, 04:57 AM
I don't think we can say that Tolkein thought this, I think all we can say is that Tolkein used it this way. Tolkein re-used a lot of old mythological creature names (e.g. "hobytla") adapting them to his purposes, that does not mean he thought they originally meant that.

Etymologically "orc" seems to have meant "monster" coming from "orcneas" - a very similar derivation to "orca" meaning "sea monster". (And "goblin" probably could mean "monster" so while "orc" might not mean "goblin", "goblin" could mean "orc"...)

About the word and how he used it, Tolkien had this to say, from The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, letter 144:


Orcs (the word is as far as I am concerned actually derived from Old English orc ‘demon’, but only because of its phonetic suitability) are nowhere clearly stated to be of any particular origin. […] They are not based on direct experience of mine; but owe, I suppose, a good deal to the goblin tradition (goblin is used as a translation in The Hobbit where orc only occurs once, I think), especially as it appears in George MacDonald, except for the soft feet which I never believed in.

I have never heard of 'holbytla' existing prior to Tolkien inventing it as an explanation of derivation for the word 'Hobbit'. The individual elements in Old English exist, of course, but putting the two together would make little sense, except in the sense of Hobbit holes, which are as much built as dug.

Drascin
2018-02-23, 05:50 AM
I noticed someone else had mentioned Eberron halflings and dinosaurs, which is really cool, but I've struggled to figure out what this says about halflings and how they subconsciously interact with their world.

I mean, the basic Talentan dinosaur is the Clawstrider, which is a pack hunter that lives and hunts in likely-familial social groups. Which should sound pretty familiar.

What it probably tells you is that Halflings are probably the most similar to humans among the races. And that there are no wolves in Talenta :smalltongue:.

Khedrac
2018-02-23, 08:11 AM
About the word and how he used it, Tolkien had this to say, from The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, letter 144:
I did not know that - thank-you. That said, I still think that is a valid meaning of "goblin".


I have never heard of 'holbytla' existing prior to Tolkien inventing it as an explanation of derivation for the word 'Hobbit'. The individual elements in Old English exist, of course, but putting the two together would make little sense, except in the sense of Hobbit holes, which are as much built as dug.
I don't recall the actual source and I may have miss-spelt it but it looks as if Tolkein adapted a world to get "hobbit" rather than inventing it. I don't believe it was an English word.

One complexity of these sorts of derivations is what two people meant by the same word (e.g. goblin) may have been very different even when they were neighbours - it comes down to what individuals understood to be "out there". Add in that fact that there was a fair bit of trade and even when people in one locale did agree on what a "goblin" was, a trader might intoduce them to a new word for the same thing or a different meaning for the word they already knew...

jhonny
2018-02-23, 08:15 AM
I believe that not only animals and beasts, but also some beastman should co-evolved and be in a best friend relation, but I would like to ask if what your asking is some familiar dependence like what magic classes summon or truly indenpent friends atitudes to be best friends.

Kaptin Keen
2018-02-23, 10:23 AM
That sounds interesting, Do go on.

What, no - I was trying to be funny. Though, to be honest, the world at large seems to work on the assumption that orcs and goblins are two distinct races.

hymer
2018-02-23, 01:05 PM
What, no - I was trying to be funny.
Oh, I see. Haha. :smallsmile:


Though, to be honest, the world at large seems to work on the assumption that orcs and goblins are two distinct races.
That sounds interesting. Do go on. :smallbiggrin:

FabulousFizban
2018-02-23, 03:32 PM
lol, kobolds are a dragon's best friend

a_flemish_guy
2018-02-23, 07:36 PM
dwarves: a large size mole to help digging (also meat and milk) and maybe bats in the way that we used canaries in the mines (to detect gasses), the usual mountain goats are also a good idea considering the terrain they need to cross when they do have need for cavalry but only on the surface
bats as dwarven pets could also give them a very logical way to be the inventors of gunpowder as they usually are, bat guano is a very good source of nitrogen

hobbits: the same as humans except smaller, also probably no dogs except if they took them over from humans and even then no systematic guard or hunting dogs (they don't suit the way of life for hobbits)

elves: none really, with them being so focussed on nature as it is and bending it with magic rather then by hand they 1) wouldn't likely see the benefit of animal labor and 2) be opposed to the thought, individual elves could make friendly relationships with individual animals and even utilise them for a purpose but there's no systematic husbandry

gnomes: who knows, they're crazy

orks: despite their cliche: large wolves are actually a pretty good choice as a replacement for wolves, they're also marathon runners, accostumed to working in groups and have a bonus in rugged terrain
as pack animals: camels, orks usually live in desolate places so they need efficient large animals

goblins: no goblin has ever thought long term enough to consider not eating an animal that he could and if he did then the next goblin will do it for him

dragons: kobolds

Kaptin Keen
2018-02-24, 02:10 AM
That sounds interesting. Do go on. :smallbiggrin:

Well - have you ever seen any other RPG or work of fantasy that treats them as the same race? Even the LOTR movies have them as pretty distinctly different races of greenskin.

hymer
2018-02-24, 02:12 AM
Well - have you ever seen any other RPG or work of fantasy that treats them as the same race? Even the LOTR movies have them as pretty distinctly different races of greenskin.

Oh, I see. I thought you meant the world at large considered Tolkien's Orcs and goblins to be separate.

Kaptin Keen
2018-02-24, 03:24 AM
Oh, I see. I thought you meant the world at large considered Tolkien's Orcs and goblins to be separate.

Well - yes and no. Consider orcs and goblins an ontological phenomenon. One observer of this phenomenon is in disagreement with all the others. Chances are the others are right, and he's wrong. See? =)

Khedrac
2018-02-24, 03:51 AM
Well - yes and no. Consider orcs and goblins an ontological phenomenon. One observer of this phenomenon is in disagreement with all the others. Chances are the others are right, and he's wrong. See? =)

If you mean me, I am just saying that historically they are not necessarily distinct. Tolkein definitely re-introduced the word "orc" into modern usage (and I accepted the evidence that Tolkein claimed they meant the same thing - which still surprises me).
Personally I think that in Middle Earth they are the same ("goblin" is the common word, "orc" is the elvish), in pretty much every D&D world (and those derived therefrom) orc and goblins are separate races to the extent that orcs are not necessarily even goblinoids.

Anyway that is getting pretty far off topic for this thread (something that I am partially to blame for) - so let's get back on topic.

I like the idea of different types of main domesticated animals for the different races, this is something I think worthy of expanding - I think it gives increased color to the world, so how abut a few more?

Lizard men usually live in swamps - so what about crocodilians.
Bullywygs have to have giant frods/toads.
Kobolds (before they became mini dragons) probably get dire rats.
Kobolds (as mini dragons) have to get something more draconic - either lizards or lizard rats or something like that.
Elves, if we ignore that traditional myths, living in temperate forests rather limits the available fauna - perhaps a range of domesticated birds for different purposes?
Elves in tropical rain forests (thinking of Gloranthan "runners") might domesticate monkeys or apes (perhaps that is where humans come from?)
Gnomes, with the D&D ability to speak to burrowning animals get burrowing animals - badgers or something.
Dwarves - dwarves are hard to think for, whether surface dwelling or not. Hmm.

Kaptin Keen
2018-02-24, 04:15 AM
If you mean me

Um no. I meant the guy I quoted.

Or, alternatively, I meant Tolkien.

hymer
2018-02-24, 05:11 AM
Well - yes and no. Consider orcs and goblins an ontological phenomenon. One observer of this phenomenon is in disagreement with all the others. Chances are the others are right, and he's wrong. See? =)

I'm disinclined to grant your premise, but what exactly do you mean by 'ontological phenomenon'?

Kaptin Keen
2018-02-24, 05:27 AM
I'm disinclined to grant your premise, but what exactly do you mean by 'ontological phenomenon'?

Ontology is ... the science of what is, and what we consider to be. It's a branch of philosophy.

Consider Tolkien to claim that two types of dinosaurs are the same thing - and the rest of the world to hold that, no, they're related, but still different species.

I honestly don't really care enough about defending my joke to keep this up.

hymer
2018-02-24, 05:53 AM
I honestly don't really care enough about defending my joke to keep this up.

What do you feel this lack of care says about the situation?
No, seriously, nice chatting with you. :smallsmile:

paddyfool
2018-02-24, 07:32 AM
Don't Eladrin have a kind of short distance teleport in some editions? Because if so, blink dogs seem a perfect form of pet / natural ally.

I also like the idea of dwarves raising goats, since they eat everything, are hardy, do well in mountains etc. Also, in settings like the stickverse where many worship Thor, highly appropriate since his chariot was pulled by goats. Goats and mountain birds as mentioned by other posters both work especially among dwarves who live in the open air; dwarves who live underground might do better with moles (raised for both skin and meat), ferrets (pest control) and/or guinea pigs (meat).

Rabbits are perfect for the more rustic versions of gnomes. Maybe also ferrets or meerkats or something of that general shape. Or badgers as guard pets.

Lizardmen or other swamp dwellers might well raise nutria for their flesh. Maybe giant monitor lizards for mounts, or crocs/alligators for guard beasts.

Ogres and kittens? Has someone been watching the shrek films? ;-)

Elves ... generally would favour the flashy and elegant. But they've been associated with every kind of creature in different fiction. It all depends in what way you want your elves to be different. I can see them breeding whatever species they do domesticate for both longevity and intelligence though.

Not sure what I make of only some species domesticating animals, though. Domestication gave various historical human cultures so much of an edge over rivals that I can see that being very unbalancing.

FabulousFizban
2018-02-24, 09:22 AM
i'm telling you, dragons domesticated kobolds. imbued them with magic to raise their intelligence, then bred them to be cowardly and subserviant. the kobold is the dragon version of a dog.

Kaptin Keen
2018-02-24, 10:43 AM
What do you feel this lack of care says about the situation?
No, seriously, nice chatting with you. :smallsmile:

Hey likewise - but ... it was just a silly joke =D

dps
2018-02-24, 12:17 PM
One of our settings had elephants as a significant aspect of the elven lifestyle. Mirroring some of the significance they hold in places like Thailand. Aside from the labour they provide, they are commonly found in their art, sports, architecture, and folklore. They were largely responsible for forming the nascent roadways which were necessary for the elves to have an inter-tribal economy and common culture through the jungle which covers much of their domain.

They also live quite a while naturally - and they were bred for increased longevity - which allows for greater emotional attachment than what elves experience with other animals, that could be seen as comparable to how we view goldfish or hamsters relative to dogs or horses. The elves will still outlive them, but they aren't tossing them down the toilet after a few months -- so to speak.

In the real world, humans have never actually domesticated elephants--we tame them instead. The reason is that elephants have such a long gestation period, and then it's such a long time before a newborn elephant reaches maturity, that it isn't worth the effort. For elves, who are much longer lived than humans, that wouldn't be such a big deal, so elves having domesticated the elephant makes a lot of sense.

OTOH, I seem to recall some fantasy settings in which wooly mammoths, a relative of elephants, had been domesticated by the dwarves, though I'm not sure that mammoths make much sense in an underground environment. I suppose they would have a large cargo capacity, though, which would be useful if they were expected to carry ore.

hymer
2018-02-24, 12:55 PM
Hey likewise - but ... it was just a silly joke =D

I take Tolkien very seriously. :smallwink:

Vizzerdrix
2018-02-25, 04:49 AM
I could easily see lizardfolk (or other swamp dwelers) using river otters the way humans use dogs. They are big and nimble enough to be effective hunters on land and in the water, are warm blooded so make good cuddle buddies at night, and are smart enough for training.

I could also see beavers being kept and used to help expand areas for habitation.

Jay R
2018-02-25, 10:19 PM
A few moments of reflection came up with:

Bobcats live in the forest, hunt, and are independent. They seem obvious for the elves. [Only somebody with an absurd sense of humor would add that they also have pointy ears.]

Badgers live in holes in the ground, rarely leave their own territory, but are fiercely protective of it. Hobbits.

Komodo dragons for kobolds.

I'd have to invent a deep, deep burrower for dwarves. Or possibly a race of blind dogs.

Mark Hall
2018-02-26, 11:41 AM
Elves already have the cooshee in D&D, I will point out.

Gnomes, of course, befriend pretty much every burrowing mammal they can. They don't so much "domesticate" as "negotiate".

Vizzerdrix
2018-02-26, 02:17 PM
Elves already have the cooshee in D&D, I will point out.

Gnomes, of course, befriend pretty much every burrowing mammal they can. They don't so much "domesticate" as "negotiate".

Gnomes confuse me. Arent they supposed to be the kooky tinkerer types? Wouldnt that make their friends lawn mowers or something?

Kitten Champion
2018-02-26, 04:39 PM
Gnomes confuse me. Arent they supposed to be the kooky tinkerer types? Wouldnt that make their friends lawn mowers or something?

In their folklore they're underground-dwelling sprites, and they're often used as a term for Earth Elementals outside of D&D and derived works. So, they being connected to chthonic creature makes a certain degree of sense, also why garden gnomes are a thing.

The association with tinkering appears to be from the folklore stories such as those about brownies and the like that do skilled mechanical labour in secret, and Tolkien's concept for the Noldor as the skilled craftsman of his Elves. As well as - presumably - a general association with alchemy from Paraceleus, who invented them.

The tinkerer thing is more unique and interesting than Earth-dwelling - they're are also Dwarves as a thing - so that gets more prominence, but it's still there as a thing with their living in burrows and whatnot.

Mark Hall
2018-02-26, 04:54 PM
Gnomes confuse me. Arent they supposed to be the kooky tinkerer types? Wouldnt that make their friends lawn mowers or something?

Gnomes have undergone several iterations over time. AD&D gnomes had the ability to speak with burrowing mammals... it was one of their language selections. They were mildly technical... not as good with locks and traps as dwarves, but better at things that involved stealth and senses. Thieves on par with Halflings, really, with the added bonus that they might be illusionists.

Dragonlance introduced the idea of tinker gnomes, and it kinda stuck, partially because gnomes didn't have a strong central concept than "semi-dwarves". So gnomes became more tinkerish as time went on, but 3.x started pushing them in a fey direction, leaving you with the two types of gnome... tinkerish professor types and fey wildings.

Personally, I think they can work well together, where you have gnomish settlements involving lots of free-roaming wild animals that get along with the gnomes but aren't domesticated, and some gnomes who like the technical co-existing with nature-lovers.

Anonymouswizard
2018-02-26, 06:24 PM
Gnomes confuse me. Arent they supposed to be the kooky tinkerer types? Wouldnt that make their friends lawn mowers or something?

Gnomes are weird. In 5e there are two types, my preferred Rock Gnomes who tinker and Forest Gnomes who speak with animals. You can roughly think of then as the 'dwarf gnomes' and 'elf gnomes'.

Now I like rock gnomes because they remind me of mythological dwarves with their crafting and proficiency with magic. My current character is a rock gnome lore bard (I was considering wizard to make use of the Int boost, but the character wasn't really a scholar of magic as much as somebody skilled in it). She doesn't create magic items but does alter and refine her instruments which she then uses to create magic (hoping to pick up carpenter's tools proficiency during our first period of downtime so I can do it with my bagpipes as well as my French horn and flute). If her culture was associated with animals in the way forest gnomes are associated with burrowing animals it would probably be either otters or bats, but she's not from a gnome culture that lives underground, rather one that lives near rivers and streams.

Floret
2018-03-04, 07:29 AM
For something completely different:

Rat people (The type that are hungry for shiny things, like L5R Nezumi, GW Skritt and I swear I've seen that trope elsewhere) could try and tame magpies. Like hunting falcons for shinies...

Mastikator
2018-03-04, 08:46 AM
I'm surprised worgs haven't been mentioned yet, which all the goblins and orcs have as their best friend.

For elves I'd argue they shouln't domesticate animals, just tame them. Since elves are closer to nature and domestication takes the animal away from nature. If anything elves should view domestication as unnatural and weird.

Mark Hall
2018-03-05, 10:58 AM
I'm surprised worgs haven't been mentioned yet, which all the goblins and orcs have as their best friend.


Considering they're a sentient race of their own, it's a little bit less of a domestication and more of a cultural rapport.

Jay R
2018-03-05, 01:47 PM
Considering they're a sentient race of their own, it's a little bit less of a domestication and more of a cultural rapport.

My custom goblin race is at least half bestial, and are easily cowed by a strong leader. When they are riding wolves, the leader is the alpha wolf, not the goblin on riding him, and they use wolf tactics - trying to cut a single weak adventurer out of the party to drag off and eat.