2011-04-24, 09:44 PM (ISO 8601)
Re: What should the elf be like? [3.5]
As regards swords, Mayhem, forging a sword takes quite a bit of specialized knowledge - maybe that's what they're spending 85 years learning, but the rules show no evidence for that.
As regards longbows, elves are short according to the rules. They max out at what, 5'6" or so? Effective use of a longbow requires height because the physics of the weapon (assuming it's not composite, in which case what the hell is it doing in a fantasy setting, composite bows?) depend on both, well, a long bow, as well as a long draw distance, to deal damage and be effective at range. Yeah, historically humans were the same height or shorter for most of history - but D&D humans are significantly taller than D&D elves, so....
Really, I'd be 100% behind an elf overhaul, though I disagree that the primary style of elven warfare involves strength and endurance - I disagree that there is a primary style of elven warfare, in fact. I could say that the primary style of elven warfare involved massive-scale bribery due to hyperefficient industry and cite the incredible production capabilities of Santa's elves as evidence, and that would be just as valid as quoting Tolkein or anyone else.
I'd be very tempted to simply play on the long life and make them skillmonkeys. Take away the current racial characteristics, ability score modifiers included (especially the bloody trance and everything associated with it), give them racial skills (skills all elves have as class skills) and something like 4 extra skill points per level. And then get rid of the "there's an elf for that" thing!