I'm reading throught Elantris from Brandon Sanderson (great book by the way) and I'm also a D&D (3.5) DM with a great love for psionics.
What struck me was the similarity between the Elantrians from Sanderson's book and the Elan race from the Expanded Psionics Handbook (XPH) for D&D 3.5 (apart from the name of the races):
- The Elantrians are a race of immortal beings with great powers, and the members of the race are "born" by transformation (the Shaod) of randomly selected humans from the Arelon nation. Upon the transformation the appearance of the person changes to a silver skin with white hairs.
- The Elans from XPH are a race of immortal beings with psionics powers, and the members of the races are humans that voluntarily go through a transformation process after being accepted by the council of the Elans. Their appearance doesn't change after the transformation.
So, both Elantrians and Elans don't need to sleep and eat, are immortal, have innate powers and they're not born but made. Of course there are differences, for example Elantrians are regarded as gods in Elantris while Elans are just some people with cool powers which try to keep their nature a secret.
I've read elsewhere (https://www.reddit.com/r/brandonsanderson/comments/6rec76/anyone_know_if_brandon_ever_playedplays_dd/dl5b9oj?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x) that Brandon Sanderson is (or has been) a D&D 3.5 player, but has there been any statement regarding whether Elans and D&D psionics has been the source of inspiration for Elantris lore?
Since I'm at the start of the book please avoid any spoiler.