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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    A week ago I received my Kickstarter package with WaXP in it, and I discovered that Rich had used Babylon 5, Starman, and others to help him get a feel for using a more preplanned plotline and foreshadowing in OotS.

    That got me to thinking about what else he could use or have used to help. No doubt to me, the Sword of Truth series (from which my screen name comes) is in this category as it is highly preplotted as well with fantasy characters in a small group that change the world around them. Also there is the military science fiction series by David Weber with its lead character, Honor Harrington, whose tactical planning looks like it could have been an inspiration for the war section in WaXP.

    If anyone else has something to add to these or contribute their own post it below.
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    JustIgnoreMe's Avatar

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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    Well, we know Monkey Island is not a source; IIRC we have Word of Giant that he'd never played any of the series. When the Dashing Swordsman class first appeared, lots of people (myself included) said "Pun fighting! You fight like a dairy maid!", but it turns out to be just one of those strange coincidences.

    I'm really not seeing any inspiration from Sword of Truth (which I liked, but would never have called "highly preplotted": at times it really felt like the author was making it up as he went along) or Honor Harrington (which I love to bits, but is best described as "Hornblower in Space": the battles are completely different to anything you see in OotS).

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    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    Frankly, I'd object (heh) to the "Sword of Truth" books being called a series at all. It would more accurately described as "several fantasy novels followed by a lengthy statement of the author's political beliefs".

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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    Which mainly consist of "Damn commies!"
    Last edited by Maxios; 2012-10-09 at 09:51 PM.
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    Nimrod's Son's Avatar

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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    Quote Originally Posted by JustIgnoreMe View Post
    Well, we know Monkey Island is not a source; IIRC we have Word of Giant that he'd never played any of the series. When the Dashing Swordsman class first appeared, lots of people (myself included) said "Pun fighting! You fight like a dairy maid!", but it turns out to be just one of those strange coincidences.
    Does anyone have a reference for that? I know he's said he's never read any Discworld, and that he's never played Knights of the Old Republic, but I've definitely never seen any official comment on Monkey Island one way or the other.
    Last edited by Nimrod's Son; 2012-10-09 at 11:52 PM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    Quote Originally Posted by Nimrod's Son View Post
    Does anyone have a reference for that? I know he's said he's never read any Discworld, and that he's never played Knights of the Old Republic, but I've definitely never seen any official comment on Monkey Island one way or the other.
    I don't think it's in the index of his comments, but I believe he mentions it in one of the discussion threads during the "Elan becomes a Dashing Swordsman" strips.

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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    He's also on record as not reading TVtropes and having any terms in common being a coincidence of industry jargon (e.g. MacGuffin and lampshade hanging).
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    Anarion's right on the money here.
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    @ti'esar and maxios: I won't disagree with your statements about Sword of Truth books (If anything the nature of the economic climate of the Old World makes me agree that Imperial Order is Communist), but SF/ Fantasy can be broken down into two main camps. One is hard science and almost never touched by fantasy. The other is social/soft science which the series is classified under.

    For everyone else just because there is no "Dashing Swordsman" class does not mean he didn't create it from other material in a fashion to fit the Elan needs better fighting skills niche.

    Also this thread was more designed to guess if and where his creative juices fuel from as to his storytelling as they rarely come out of a void.
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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    I don't think it's in the index of his comments, but I believe he mentions it in one of the discussion threads during the "Elan becomes a Dashing Swordsman" strips.
    He also mentions the series approvingly in one of the book commentaries.
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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    He's also on record as not reading TVtropes and having any terms in common being a coincidence of industry jargon (e.g. MacGuffin and lampshade hanging).
    The term MacGuffin predates TV Tropes and the internet by more than half a century. See Hitchcock, Alfred.

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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    The term MacGuffin predates TV Tropes and the internet by more than half a century. See Hitchcock, Alfred.
    That didn't stop people from claiming otherwise, if I recall correctly. (And in fairness, Hitchcock's definition of a MacGuffin doesn't really match the modern usage).

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    That didn't stop people from claiming otherwise, if I recall correctly. (And in fairness, Hitchcock's definition of a MacGuffin doesn't really match the modern usage).
    Oh? How so? The only definition I'm familiar with is the one Hitchcock used: it's an object that mechanically drives the plot and motivates the characters without actually mattering in and of itself. It could be swapped out for a golden nugget or a coded diary without affecting the plot. (Or, as Hitchcock put it, "the audience don't care.") The Maltese Falcon and the briefcase in Pulp Fiction are the two classic examples that first come to mind for me. How do people use it now?

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    Oh? How so? The only definition I'm familiar with is the one Hitchcock used: it's an object that mechanically drives the plot and motivates the characters without actually mattering in and of itself. It could be swapped out for a golden nugget or a coded diary without affecting the plot. (Or, as Hitchcock put it, "the audience don't care.") The Maltese Falcon and the briefcase in Pulp Fiction are the two classic examples that first come to mind for me. How do people use it now?
    The most common modern usage of MacGuffin is simply any object that's central to the plot, regardless of whether it's actually "interchangeable" or not.

    I don't think the Gates are Hitchcockian MacGuffins, for instance.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    The most common modern usage of MacGuffin is simply any object that's central to the plot, regardless of whether it's actually "interchangeable" or not.

    I don't think the Gates are Hitchcockian MacGuffins, for instance.
    I have no doubt that the gates exist as MacGuffins, but are they becoming Double MacGuffins?
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    I think Hitchcock would recognise the gates as Macguffins. Consider your classic 'coded diary' Macguffin: it's an artifact of tremendous power, but that power is irrelevant to the story, which is about the interactions between a small group of characters who are chasing and colluding and double-crossing each other around it.

    Or the Ring in 'Lord of the Rings'. Artifact capable of enslaving the world. Yeah, yeah, but all it ever actually does, plotwise, is make someone 'invisible' - and even that petty level of power isn't supposed to be used. If the Ring were instead an indestructible cursed Pepsi bottle, the story would be the same.

    So far, at least, the gates fall into the same category. They could be nuclear devices, or gemstones that need to be collected by the Four Heroes of Light, or Grape-Flavored Chapsticks of Doom, and the only difference would be a few cosmetic changes to a handful of frames around the things themselves.
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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    Lirian and Dorukan's gates just sate there, yeah, but the Azure City gate had an impact on the plot by exploding.
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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    And the precise nature of how the Gates work is a plot point, although thus far its actual effects have been indirect. They cannot be replaced with any other doomsday device without altering the plot (unless we think of "the plot" in the most general terms).

    They're certainly MacGuffins in the common sense of the term, but they don't match Hitchcock's original definition.

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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    Well, most of the time, they do act like the traditional Macguffin; until we go into their back story, all we really need to know is that Xykon wants them, and it's bad news if he gets them, but it's kind of a shame to just destroy them outright. Otherwise, the Order could have been guarding books or rings or jars and the only other requirement would be that they couldn't move them without risking the cookies going stale or something.

    However, the gates' back story is also called upon for foreshadowing and world-building purposes, so they're not JUST macguffins, which is nice. I guess it kind of depends on your definition of, "interchangeable," as to whether they count at all.
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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    There were McGuffins earlier in the story but that changed as the Azure City Arc went along.
    Last edited by Winter; 2012-10-12 at 01:47 AM.
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    Default Re: Sources and Potential Sources for and of the Giant

    Leaving aside the discussion about whether the gates are MacGuffins or not, back to the original topic: As a fellow DM it is quite obvious that "the Giant" is writing this story as he would be playing a typical D&D-Campaign - just with the advantage of the player characters doing exactly what he wants them to do (something that you can bet is hardly ever happening in roleplay). Instead he switched to the audience being the players, using the traditional tools of a good DM to keep the players interested and motivated. The strongest of all the tools is information - give them enough to understand the plot and the need to follow it, but never give out everything. Keep information hidden, either by simply not telling it or by hiding it as redundant and/or cryptic info (which usually is called foreshadowing) which will be only making sense later on. All this while you yourself are aware of everything that goes on, so that it makes sense if the missing information is revealed.
    This spiced up with interesting and diverse NPC's (honestly, not a single campaign that I was leading had such a bunch of diverse yet convincing evil overlords at once as it is found in OotS) and a good sense for the possibilities and borders of a comic strip.

    In the end it comes to the point that actually there isn't much additional sources needed besides this what is already inside the D&D-world. The story and the used themes do not need to feed so much on non-D&D-stuff, if you take the outgame-jokes aside. It may seem like this from time to time, but this is mainly due to the fact that D&D itself is, of course, feeding on other themes as well, specifically fantasy-themes (neither D&D nor Tolkien were the ones to invent things like gods, dragons, dwarves, trolls, elves, sorcerers or orcs - they just took the stuff, mixed it up and added here or there some variation, rarely something really new).
    Last edited by Fridolin; 2012-10-12 at 01:57 AM.

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