Elves in games, and fantasy in general, are a interesting subject. The basic idea (whichever incarnation you want to consider ‘basic’) is such a fun idea that everyone and their brother likes messing around with it. Then everyone wants to make their version special and the fantasy genre ends up with countless variations that have just one or two details different, or a terrain in front of ‘elf’.
In my game I try to keep elves pretty close to the immortal almost-human template and still make them interesting and different. So I play up the immortal aspect and have been trying to tweak the classic haughty outlook to something a little more fun. See other posts around the blog about what I’ve been doing with elves.
Was reading a blog post about half-elves and I got an idea. A little extra something to make elves more magical and less normal. My idea is still in the formulative stages and I am planning on thinking about it more before putting it into any ‘formal’ format in any of my settings. Basically I was thinking that elves don’t have normal biological reproduction. They have sex and enjoy it, but don’t have kids. Elves have kids via magical ritual. A ritual that has to be done every day for a set amount of time, i.e. pregnancy.
Lots of details to be worked out of course. Does only the mother do the ritual? Both parents? Is there any growing of the kid, or simply a baby popping into life when the final ritual is finished? I think that it is a good way to make the elves less mortal if even the most basic act of reproduction is complicated and elegant and magic.