Elysian Fields: [?] Of Nymphs and the Combat Skill - Elysian Fields

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[?] Of Nymphs and the Combat Skill

#1 User is offline   Aella Icon

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:44 PM

I found something a bit baffling regarding skill availability: all races except Nymphs and Aides have the combat skill as one of their options. Aides have various combat-like skills, such as regeneration, might, and speed, whereas Nymphs only have Elemental Manipulation and Transmute (which requires the nymph to physically touch the target first), with Beast Taming and Demesne skills opening up once they become an adult (this is an either or option, it seems, unless I am mistaken depending on the class the nymph chooses). Perhaps Nymphs do not get combat as a skill for background purposes, based on the Sylvan Creed. However, it is specifically stated in the wiki and elsewhere that Nymphs must at times cull their demesne in order to maintain balance. What about the combat skill contradicts the Nymph's passivity, when the skill seems preparatory in nature? It represents knowledge of weaponry and defense, not the required use of it in an aggressive fashion.

I feel that Nymphs should have the option to train in the combat skill in order to effectively defend their demesne without reliance on elemental or mental manipulation. I can imagine a nymph trying in vain to protect her slice of wilderness from strange impeding mythical beasties, without a clue how to handle a weapon or how to handle herself properly in battle.

My suggestion is to have the combat skill for nymphs require the same pre-requisite as elemental manipulation (urbanitis of level equal or greater than skill level), thus serving as its physical duality: they can seek control over themselves (combat) or over the world around them (elemental manipulation). Nymphs can still be a passive race, but passivity does not equate to unpreparedness.
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#2 User is offline   Xanth Icon

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 05:33 PM

This may be a hole in the explanation of culling, but the idea for Nymphs is that they shouldn't need the combat skill at all. They use their bond with their demesne/companion and their element to defend themselves (and do their job in regard to culling and such) instead. I can see your point regarding the strategy aspect, but the Combat skill is primarily focused on weapons training (even if the weapon in question is the fighter's own body, such as with the martial arts), which Nymphs aren't allowed to pick up. (The Creed forbids physical violence, but they are permitted to defend themselves with the elemental skills they've learned.)

Even without the Combat skill, Nymphs are very well equipped to defend themselves and their demesnes/companions in the normal course of events (not so much the urban aspect of life, but still). It's assumed that, by the time they're strong enough to perform the second ritual, they have all the skills necessary to defend the demesne/companion they bond with, and that bond only makes them stronger with a broader range of abilities. (Dryad Wardens, for instance, can entangle intruders in a net of thorny bushes, or have the trees grow together to become impenetrable.)

While the information on the elemental skill pages doesn't actually state as much (again, this may be a hole in the information, though Nymph skills have always been more open to interpretation than most others), it's probably safe to assume that part of their training could be considered strategy insofar as they're trained in how to deal with the most common threats to their area be that monster hydras, poachers, or even groups of bandits.

So, unless I'm misunderstanding part of your question (?), giving Nymphs access to the Combat skill seems unnecessary (even for Furies who are permitted to instigate elemental violence in order to proactively defend their communes). As you've mentioned, it really goes against the background for that group. On another note (regarding "rogue" Nymphs), I would be open to discussion with anyone wanting a Nymph who willingly breaks the Creed, and the consequences of her taking up the Combat skill, so there is room for customisation there. It's just not something I'd encourage to the extent of adding Nymphs to the Combat list.

In regard to the Aides: Combat isn't a Xanth-granted power, so they aren't listed there. They'd come by combat (or other such) skills according to their race (so a Rutilus Aide would have a ton of combat training while Nymph Aide would have none).

I hope this fills in some of the blanks for you, and thank you for voicing your opinions and concerns. :D
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#3 User is offline   Aella Icon

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 09:24 PM

It does, thank you very much for the quick and thorough reply! I think that this was an issue on my behalf for not understanding the breadth of the skills fully, and for not being wholly familiar with Nymph customs. I was focusing solely on the combat tactics aspect of the combat skill rather than weapon proficiency; I just did not want Nymphs to be completely clueless on matters of self-defense! It sounds like they have options after all.

I did not know that about Aides, so it's a bit enlightening.

I may have to discuss with you options for Aella in the future! I had read your request for Ayads and evil characters, especially Nymphs who use their demesne in creative ways, and this interested me greatly. I will send you a PM when I have all my thoughts sorted out, but regardless it will not be any time in the near future.

Again, thank you!
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#4 User is offline   Xanth Icon

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 02:14 PM

No problem! There are more holes in the setting and game information than I'd like, so please don't hesitate to raise any concerns or issues you have in the future as well. There's so much of it, as well, that familiarising with the game can be a slow process, so please don't hesitate to raise any issues or concerns you might have in the future as well. :)

I'm very interested to hear your ideas, so I look forward to your PM! :D
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