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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Compare the modern phenomenon of people who believe that the pyramids could only have been built by super-advanced space aliens. I still can't figure out what those people are on about.
    I think it's a combination of two things: Dunning - Kruger effect, and people buying too hard into concept of progressivist history.

    For the first, most modern people don't work in pyramid construction, so they unsurprisingly are largely useless at gauging how difficult building a pyramid would actually be. They literally cannot comprehend how a pyramid could've been made without technology familiar to them.

    For the second, people have a simplistic idea of society and technology developing on a smooth upward curve. The corollary to that is that if modern people are this smart and capable, ancient people must've been really dumb and inept.

    From this viewpoint, ancient humans couldn't have been smart enough to build pyramids, so an additional non-human civilization with modern or beyond-modern technology is assumed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    And here I thought you meant like literally the same 1000 years. A "groundhog day"-style millennium long time loop. Ooooo...

    Maybe it's cyclical? No matter what civilization tries, from glorious utopia to war-ravaged hellscape, the big bad always finds a way to calamitously end the current civilization at exactly the 1000 year mark. Whether we accidentally tech ourselves to death, die in a nuclear apocalypse, cause catastrophic climate change, etc. the big bad is always behind the scenes manipulating the big picture...
    For an added twist, the Big Bad is actually a wannabe Big Good, and keeps getting the reputation he's got because of his meddling...and his FAILURES are what give him the reputation for SUCCESS (wherein he fails to stop calamity, and thus is blamed for causing it). He's getting increasingly desperate, each loop, wanting to save everybody, save his beloved homeland, and he keeps. failing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    I think it's a combination of two things: Dunning - Kruger effect, and people buying too hard into concept of progressivist history.

    For the first, most modern people don't work in pyramid construction, so they unsurprisingly are largely useless at gauging how difficult building a pyramid would actually be. They literally cannot comprehend how a pyramid could've been made without technology familiar to them.

    For the second, people have a simplistic idea of society and technology developing on a smooth upward curve. The corollary to that is that if modern people are this smart and capable, ancient people must've been really dumb and inept.

    From this viewpoint, ancient humans couldn't have been smart enough to build pyramids, so an additional non-human civilization with modern or beyond-modern technology is assumed.
    The only real mistake is assuming people were stupider in the past. Often they WERE physically weaker (we have generally better nutrition today than at most times in human history, but conversely we don't exercise as much, so there's some counterweight there), and we have a higher proportion of highly-educated people, especially in broad swaths of subjects. But we're not, overall, smarter. Shoulders of giants, and all that.

    However, technology doth march on, and we do have a general upward trend in wealth, productivity, technological prowess, knowledge of the universe and how it works, etc. Assuming that we know more about, say, what fire is than Aristotle is pretty accurate. Assuming that we are smarter than Aristotle, however, is baseless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Compare the modern phenomenon of people who believe that the pyramids could only have been built by super-advanced space aliens. I still can't figure out what those people are on about.
    That is a very nice and interesting correlation. Thank you for that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuc Xac View Post
    I hate it when characters on another world are obviously speaking English. Not just "their words are translated into English for the benefit of the reader" or something like many books do, but actually speaking English.

    This is usually a result of authors who only speak English and ignorantly assume every other language works the same way and all the vocabulary is just a word for word substitution cypher of English. It's obvious when something like a pun or riddle only works in English or, worse yet, depends on English spelling in the Roman alphabet.

    "Oh! Don't you see? The king's signet ring with a sun symbol on it wouldn't open the magic gate because we need the prince! The prophet meant 'the king's son' not "sun'!" English is probably the only language on Earth where that works. Why would it work on another planet or plane of existence that knows nothing of Earth?
    You mean just that specific example, right? You're not saying other languages don't do this, too, and are suggesting that we start using other languages' homophones in our work?

    The sun metaphor...German Sohn vs Sonne could be confused when spoken, so it's possible? I think you're right, though, that most aren't going to have that one. Non-English writers will have their own wordplay, and you'd have to read the original to truly grasp the effect they're going for, but I won't have enough proficiency to do that for awhile in any other language...'cept German, sometimes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    And here I thought you meant like literally the same 1000 years. A "groundhog day"-style millennium long time loop. Ooooo...
    Actually, that would be a pretty interesting plot hook, with the stipulation that unlike in Groundhog Day, nobody's memories are preserved. (Or, the only person whose memories are preserved - the Phil Connors of the setting - lives at the end of the loop, and won't be born until 965 years in...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    The only real mistake is assuming people were stupider in the past. Often they WERE physically weaker (we have generally better nutrition today than at most times in human history, but conversely we don't exercise as much, so there's some counterweight there), and we have a higher proportion of highly-educated people, especially in broad swaths of subjects. But we're not, overall, smarter. Shoulders of giants, and all that.
    That metaphor's going too far in the opposite direction. It's more like a stony coral

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    However, technology doth march on, and we do have a general upward trend in wealth, productivity, technological prowess, knowledge of the universe and how it works, etc. Assuming that we know more about, say, what fire is than Aristotle is pretty accurate. Assuming that we are smarter than Aristotle, however, is baseless.
    Yeah, Aristotle could be the poster boy for "garbage in, garbage out"

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBPuffin View Post
    You mean just that specific example, right? You're not saying other languages don't do this, too, and are suggesting that we start using other languages' homophones in our work?

    The sun metaphor...German Sohn vs Sonne could be confused when spoken, so it's possible? I think you're right, though, that most aren't going to have that one. Non-English writers will have their own wordplay, and you'd have to read the original to truly grasp the effect they're going for, but I won't have enough proficiency to do that for awhile in any other language...'cept German, sometimes.
    Other languages do use wordplay and puns and stuff, but if we're reading the "English translation" of it, then it won't be a pun or homophone in English. Even that specific example of "son" and "sun". In German, "Sohn" is one syllable and "Sonne" is two syllables and the "o" is a different vowel sound ("Sauna" and "Sonne" are pretty close, but that doesn't lead to the puzzle's answer being the prince). Imagine if you were reading the French translation of that and the characters were acting like it was obvious that "soleil" and "fils" were homophones. You would need to include a translator's footnote to explain that the two words sound the same in the original language, because they aren't homophones in French. That's how puns should appear if the characters aren't speaking English.

    Or, for example, in the movie "The Goonies", they are translating a bunch of map clues from Spanish into English. All the English translations form rhyming couplets, but the Spanish version doesn't rhyme and the two lines of the couplet would be very different lengths so they couldn't have the same meter. It's obvious that the writers came up with the English "translation" first and then added in some "original" Spanish words.

    Fantasy characters engaging in wordplay that only works in English makes as much sense as them referencing things that only exist on Earth. If your fantasy warrior in Greyhawk or Eberron faces a druid who summons a giant rooster to peck your face off, you shouldn't be saying "Where's Colonel Sanders when you need him?" because there is no Colonel Sanders in your world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBPuffin View Post
    You mean just that specific example, right? You're not saying other languages don't do this, too, and are suggesting that we start using other languages' homophones in our work?

    The sun metaphor...German Sohn vs Sonne could be confused when spoken, so it's possible? I think you're right, though, that most aren't going to have that one. Non-English writers will have their own wordplay, and you'd have to read the original to truly grasp the effect they're going for, but I won't have enough proficiency to do that for awhile in any other language...'cept German, sometimes.
    He's talking about fantasy languages. What are the odds they'd have all the same homophones and rhymes as whatever language the author speaks. Moreover I think he's talking specifically about fantasy languages that are handwaved; it's far less egregious when it's by someone like Tolkien who generally has actually constructed a language to have the right sounds in the right places and will show you both versions side by side to prove it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    He's talking about fantasy languages. What are the odds they'd have all the same homophones and rhymes as whatever language the author speaks. Moreover I think he's talking specifically about fantasy languages that are handwaved; it's far less egregious when it's by someone like Tolkien who generally has actually constructed a language to have the right sounds in the right places and will show you both versions side by side to prove it.
    I haven't really thought about that - but yeah, I can see it. Find a tomb built 1000 years ago, the puzzle still makes sense even though it's written in "undercommon." Even if it was in common/English it probably wouldn't translate the same just because of the years, let alone another language entirely. On that note I also am not a fan of races that live damn near forever.

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    This is more of RPGs than fantasy in general, but people who make these games have no idea how weapons work.

    Rapiers being a valid choice of weapon against all armor types

    Swords being superior in damage to guns

    Bows being used by linguine armed archers. Draw strength being an unknown concept

    Plate armor being used in a world with widespread firearm use

    I could keep going with this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8BitNinja View Post
    This is more of RPGs than fantasy in general, but people who make these games have no idea how weapons work.

    Rapiers being a valid choice of weapon against all armor types
    Swords being superior in damage to guns
    Bows being used by linguine armed archers. Draw strength being an unknown concept
    Plate armor being used in a world with widespread firearm use
    I could keep going with this.
    Agree but bolded happened, at least for a given value of 'widespread'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    He's talking about fantasy languages. What are the odds they'd have all the same homophones and rhymes as whatever language the author speaks. Moreover I think he's talking specifically about fantasy languages that are handwaved; it's far less egregious when it's by someone like Tolkien who generally has actually constructed a language to have the right sounds in the right places and will show you both versions side by side to prove it.
    Just expanding on the Tolkien point: he went so far as to have versions of the names that would form the pun or carry the same connotation in the "original" language, then "translate" that by coming up with an entirely different English name that would preserve the homophones. Meriadoc's name was Kalimac, for example, and "kali" had the same sound as a word that meant "merry" in the conlang. (In reality it was probably a back formation, but he wrote the "translation notes" with the Literary Agent Hypothesis dial cranked up to 11.)

    I need to dig my copy out sometime and reread the bit on the translation. It's some really fascinating stuff.

    For that matter his note to translators for other languages shows how much research went into some of the English names...and which ones he just basically picked out of the blue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8BitNinja View Post
    Swords being superior in damage to guns
    I'm actually the opposite. I've never tested it but I image that being chopped with sword does more damage than being shot with a handgun. It might be superior in other ways (say: range) but damage, I've seen people crank it up just because it is more advanced and "advanced" means a lot more than damaging.

    In an extreme example: SUE stated Star Wars blasters with higher damage than Warhammer 40k bolters*. Now I agree that blasters are much more technically advanced than a bolter. But the blasters are much lighter weapons and most of that advancement has gone into ease of use, a blaster can go hundreds of shots without needing to replace the battery, a bolter probably has a clip size in the dozens, has no stun setting and has a bit more kick-back to it.

    So ironically, if it came down to it (from what I know) I would both rather use and get shot by a blaster. Which conforms with the general trend of I would rather live in Star Wars than 40k. What was the original question?

    * This may actually be incorrect, but I doubt anyone cares enough to defend that system.

    On Tolken: A description of Lord of the Rings that relates to the subject: "... so he wrote a story to explore the setting he created to explain where these languages he made came from." I'm not entirely sure how accurate that is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I'm actually the opposite. I've never tested it but I image that being chopped with sword does more damage than being shot with a handgun. It might be superior in other ways (say: range) but damage, I've seen people crank it up just because it is more advanced and "advanced" means a lot more than damaging.
    They're damaging in different ways, with one or the other being "more damaging" depending on where you're wounded and a lot of other factors.

    A pistol round to the head or torso might very well not kill you. Or you might die in moments.

    A butter knife or screwdriver wound 2" deep in the wrong place can kill you... other places it can go completely through your body and hurt like hell and leave a nasty pair of scars.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I'm actually the opposite. I've never tested it but I image that being chopped with sword does more damage than being shot with a handgun. It might be superior in other ways (say: range) but damage, I've seen people crank it up just because it is more advanced and "advanced" means a lot more than damaging.
    Cavitation counts for A LOT when it comes to dealing damage and swords are bad a cavitation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    Oh yeah, this. And related "magic interferes with technology".
    This is one of the reasons I like the Evil Dead series. For those of you unfamiliar in Evil Dead 1 demons are summoned via a tape recorded incantation and in the videogame Evil Dead: Fistfull of Boomstick a large scale zombie outbreak/demonic incursion starts as a result of someone reading a passage from the Necromomicon on live network television

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    They're damaging in different ways, with one or the other being "more damaging" depending on where you're wounded and a lot of other factors.

    A pistol round to the head or torso might very well not kill you. Or you might die in moments.

    A butter knife or screwdriver wound 2" deep in the wrong place can kill you... other places it can go completely through your body and hurt like hell and leave a nasty pair of scars.
    Yeah, a pistol ought to use a single large die where another weapon might use a couple of small dice. It could do nothing or it could kill you instantly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypersmith View Post
    I haven't really thought about that - but yeah, I can see it. Find a tomb built 1000 years ago, the puzzle still makes sense even though it's written in "undercommon." Even if it was in common/English it probably wouldn't translate the same just because of the years, let alone another language entirely. On that note I also am not a fan of races that live damn near forever.
    Though you have to admit that they mitigiate the language-shift-over-time problem. Undercommon over the last 1000 years might have only shifted as much as english has since the united states civil war because that's about the same number of human lifetimes to drow lifetimes

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    Oh. Okay, yeah, this is a fantasy thread after all...I'm down for conlanging to make a language with its own homophones and whatnot to explain why a puzzle is the way it is. The norm involves a lot less work, though, so most times writers won't bother. A shame that's how things are.

    Re: Tolkien. Lord of the Rings was an intersection of his war experience and his lifelong love of conlangs and language I general. Part therapy, part tracing his languages' roots, never meant to be the world spanning classic it became.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    I think it's a combination of two things: Dunning - Kruger effect, and people buying too hard into concept of progressivist history.
    There is a very obvious third thing, as obvious as the broken-off nose on the Sphinx's face.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arbane View Post
    There is a very obvious third thing, as obvious as the broken-off nose on the Sphinx's face.
    ......They were good enough to do it somehow, but not THAT good?

    anyways, its pretty easy to see how they did it: through slaves and not caring about the lives lost. anything is possible when you don't have to worry about work breaks, unions, or paying your workers, or treating them properly, and so on and so forth. In China's case it was particularly horrific, how the Great Wall of China was built: on the corpses of dead chinese peasants. Literally, they just used corpses in the construction, a worker fell dead? put him in, it'll save on bricks and cement. there is an actual chinese legend of a sad wife going forth to search for her husband and asking where he husband is on the Wall as, as he had been missing and the Wall itself allowing the corpse of her husband to slide out in response.

    so yeah, anything great can be achieved as long as your willing to sacrifice lots of human lives to do it. but even then, some of these structures probably took like, centuries to fully build, I think? point is, they took a really long time to build, it wasn't just a few months thing, or even a couple years thing, this was a decades or more thing to build any of these, you could be a young man, start a family, raise a son, have that son grow to adulthood and join you in the construction because they'd probably inherit your job, then you die of old age without the darn thing even being finished yet and your son having to take up your duties in your place and maybe they and your grandson sees the end of it. thats the kind of construction we're talking about. of course by then the pharoah proclaims "oh good! my great grandfathers tomb is done! now get started on mine and be quicker about it.".........
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    Actually, most of the people who worked on the pyramids were paid workers... But of course, what's considered "reasonable wage and working conditions" has changed a lot in the millennia that passed since then...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    ......They were good enough to do it somehow, but not THAT good?
    so yeah, anything great can be achieved as long as your willing to sacrifice lots of human lives to do it. but even then, some of these structures probably took like, centuries to fully build, I think? point is, they took a really long time to build, it wasn't just a few months thing, or even a couple years thing, this was a decades or more thing to build any of these, you could be a young man, start a family, raise a son, have that son grow to adulthood and join you in the construction because they'd probably inherit your job, then you die of old age without the darn thing even being finished yet and your son having to take up your duties in your place and maybe they and your grandson sees the end of it. thats the kind of construction we're talking about. of course by then the pharoah proclaims "oh good! my great grandfathers tomb is done! now get started on mine and be quicker about it.".........
    I was under the impression that these tombs and such usually managed to be constructed within the lifetime of the ruler who would be interred therein. Cathedrals probably had a worse construction rate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    I think it's a combination of two things: Dunning - Kruger effect, and people buying too hard into concept of progressivist history.

    For the first, most modern people don't work in pyramid construction, so they unsurprisingly are largely useless at gauging how difficult building a pyramid would actually be. They literally cannot comprehend how a pyramid could've been made without technology familiar to them.

    For the second, people have a simplistic idea of society and technology developing on a smooth upward curve. The corollary to that is that if modern people are this smart and capable, ancient people must've been really dumb and inept.

    From this viewpoint, ancient humans couldn't have been smart enough to build pyramids, so an additional non-human civilization with modern or beyond-modern technology is assumed.
    I dunno. Belittling ancient cultures is practically my religion but come on, how hard is it to stack one rock on top of another? All they'd need are ramps, chisels, dray animals, and some kind of simple vehicular technology (whether it be based on wheels, runners, or rollers)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    Actually, most of the people who worked on the pyramids were paid workers... But of course, what's considered "reasonable wage and working conditions" has changed a lot in the millennia that passed since then...
    It's my understanding that a not insignificant portion were neither slaves nor paid workers but rather sycophants and religious fundamentalists looking to suck up to the royal family

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    Default Re: Fantasy Tropes/Cliches that Annoy You

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbane View Post
    There is a very obvious third thing, as obvious as the broken-off nose on the Sphinx's face.
    I can't brain today, so feel free to share what this obvious third thing is supposed to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    I dunno. Belittling ancient cultures is practically my religion but come on, how hard is it to stack one rock on top of another? All they'd need are ramps, chisels, dray animals, and some kind of simple vehicular technology (whether it be based on wheels, runners, or rollers)
    There are people alive today who have never held a chisel, never even seen a ramp used in construction, never handled any animals and never lifted any rocks. Why would they have any idea of how easy or hard something is?

    ---

    Re: "pyramids were built by slaves."

    Current understanding is that they were built by free workers and loyal supporters of whatever regime the pyramid was made for.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Fantasy Tropes/Cliches that Annoy You

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    I dunno. Belittling ancient cultures is practically my religion but come on, how hard is it to stack one rock on top of another? All they'd need are ramps, chisels, dray animals, and some kind of simple vehicular technology (whether it be based on wheels, runners, or rollers)
    Progress is easy: Just be the first to invent something and than put that something into practice.
    I still don´t understand why we don´t have starships, can teleport or have mass converters, because in theory it is more or less easy to do....

  29. - Top - End - #179
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    Guizonde's Avatar

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    Default Re: Fantasy Tropes/Cliches that Annoy You

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Progress is easy: Just be the first to invent something and than put that something into practice.
    I still don´t understand why we don´t have starships, can teleport or have mass converters, because in theory it is more or less easy to do....
    money, dear boy, money. that, and it's more fun and profitable to kill each other than further human progress. unfortunately.
    Spoiler: quotes
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    regarding my choice of sustenance:
    Quote Originally Posted by Raimun View Post
    I'm going to judge you.
    My judgement is: That is awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by DigoDragon View Post
    GM: “If it doesn't move and it should, use duct tape. If it moves and it shouldn't, use a shotgun.”
    dm is Miltonian, credit where credit is due.

    when in doubt,
    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Ask the beret wearing insect men of Athas.

  30. - Top - End - #180
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    Default Re: Fantasy Tropes/Cliches that Annoy You

    Quote Originally Posted by Guizonde View Post
    money, dear boy, money. that, and it's more fun and profitable to kill each other than further human progress. unfortunately.
    No amount of "less war" and "more money for research" over all of human existence would give us mass converters and teleporters at this point in time... they're not easy and may not ever happen.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    Planet Mercenary RPG Discussion

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