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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    The thing is, creating cultures is hard. Creating cultures with which human players and readers can identify is even harder.

    In over fifty years of reading fiction I've seen it tried many times. Usually it fails miserably. Sometimes it doesn't kill the story. I've seen C. J. Cherryh do it well. Once.

    Why?

    Because humans understand one societal arrangememt and anything else is just confusing.

    Don't believe me? Watch someone interact with their dog. Invariably they will treat it like a human child. Dog trainers will tell you this is a mistake, and everyone will say they know, but almost everyone does it anyway.

    Culture is programmed at a very early stage of development and the unconscious assumptions we make hundreds of times a day happen at such a basic level of our consciousness that most of us never examine them.

    A writer of a new culture would have to spend enormous effort explaining the culture or the reader wil make assumptions and the entire effort will have been wasted. Not only that, but it risks losing the reader.

    So, what do the masters of new fictional cultures do? Mostly they go: "They are just like humans, (or a romanticized human subculture,) except..."

    Example: every creature in Tolkien's work was a version of one or another class of Englishman.

    Counterexample: Heinlein's Martians were never developed as a culture except through the lens of Smith learning to be human.
    It's horribly hard, you've seen me grappling with it in the thread you were (very kindly) contributing (good) stories to -- I freely admit that other than the Twilight People / Zath, the cultures there are "just" remixes of existing or mythic cultures. The Moon People are mythic Fianna and mythic "gypsies" and so forth blended together, for example.

    The Twilight People are in some ways "what if an entire culture was built on how my brain works?"

    I do have the dubious advantage in this whole endeavor of feeling like an alien among my own species and within the overall culture of my country (or any other I suspect).
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    I do have the dubious advantage in this whole endeavor of feeling like an alien among my own species and within the overall culture of my country (or any other I suspect).
    Oh so, similar to me then. I get that feeling sometimes to, can't get how anyone withstands small talk or whatever.

    mostly my solution for making sure aliens are truly alien is to start with changing reproduction. it is the beginning the cycle to which all returns and altering that first makes sure there is a fundamental difference that cannot be bridged by human social mores. like for example, a race that reproduces through setting things on fire.

    while my solution for making sure fantasy races are plausible are to say they are humans who have altered themselves magically to become them and all such fantasy-like races are literally just humans who decided to make themselves that way. that all playable fantasy races a literally magically altered offshoots of humanity, and are defined by reasons and purposes of their alteration. for these purposes I am currently working on a few archetypical reasons why humans would do this to put them into a few broad categories so that they will be organized, and I find many fantasy races suddenly make a lot more sense with this kind explanation and system.
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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Oh so, similar to me then. I get that feeling sometimes to, can't get how anyone withstands small talk or whatever.

    mostly my solution for making sure aliens are truly alien is to start with changing reproduction. it is the beginning the cycle to which all returns and altering that first makes sure there is a fundamental difference that cannot be bridged by human social mores. like for example, a race that reproduces through setting things on fire.

    while my solution for making sure fantasy races are plausible are to say they are humans who have altered themselves magically to become them and all such fantasy-like races are literally just humans who decided to make themselves that way. that all playable fantasy races a literally magically altered offshoots of humanity, and are defined by reasons and purposes of their alteration. for these purposes I am currently working on a few archetypical reasons why humans would do this to put them into a few broad categories so that they will be organized, and I find many fantasy races suddenly make a lot more sense with this kind explanation and system.
    This is an example of what I was trying to say: they make sense to you in a human context.

    Let's take the reproductive bias as an example. Let's assume the issue is resolved the way corals do it and that the social distinctions male and female are not relevant. Now construct a society based on that.

    No chivalry.
    No art.
    No marriage.
    No crimes of passion.
    No passion.

    In fact, humans will have a hard time identifying with the oyster-people on any level.

    One of the fundamental building blocks of human culture is the wonderful difference between the sexes, and without it things get bland fast.

    And that's one of many such unspoken assumptions humans make. What about a culture which values children as much as corals do, or even sees them as pests? Or a culture that has fatal 'adulthood exams?' Or a culture that eats its elderly?

    The farther from human we go the fewer readers or players we have who will stick with us to the end of the story.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    This is an example of what I was trying to say: they make sense to you in a human context.

    Let's take the reproductive bias as an example. Let's assume the issue is resolved the way corals do it and that the social distinctions male and female are not relevant. Now construct a society based on that.

    No chivalry.
    No art.
    No marriage.
    No crimes of passion.
    No passion.

    In fact, humans will have a hard time identifying with the oyster-people on any level.

    One of the fundamental building blocks of human culture is the wonderful difference between the sexes, and without it things get bland fast.

    And that's one of many such unspoken assumptions humans make. What about a culture which values children as much as corals do, or even sees them as pests? Or a culture that has fatal 'adulthood exams?' Or a culture that eats its elderly?

    The farther from human we go the fewer readers or players we have who will stick with us to the end of the story.
    Back up -- no art?
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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Back up -- no art?
    Honestly I question the existence of "no passion" as well. the passion and art may be different, but it would still exist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Honestly I question the existence of "no passion" as well. the passion and art may be different, but it would still exist.
    It's valid to question it, I have for many years. Go to any museum in the world and look for the great artistic works of eunuchs.

    For that matter, go to a patent office for the same.

    There are many studies by people who get paid to study such things, so you should be able to get started on your research with a google search.

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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    that seems like biased sampling. I doubt many people are eunuchs at all in the modern age, much less eunuch artists. not really equivalent to an alien species that never had sex to begin with, they would have to figure out some way of entertaining them even if they do it for the same reasons.
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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Eunuchs were common enough that the number of gelded artists should be above 0.

    But let's take another aspect of culture: language. Let us assume the culture never invented it.

    It is, in fact, strange that humans did. It may have happened only once about 120,000 years ago, and we modern humans are all descended from a strange little woman who made weird noises with her mouth.

    Non-lingual cultures existed before this, and it may have been a major difference between us and Neanderthals.

    So, what aspects of culture change, and what does it take for us to find an empathic link to such people?

    Again, art does not exist. The same part of the brain that creates language creates art. This takes romance out of the picture as well because romance is sexuality on a symbolic level. The question then becomes, how do I get readers to empathize with such people?

    It's done by emphasizing the things we have in common. In other words, by showing how the invented culture is just like us, except...

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    eunuchs weren't seen as a positive thing. why would anyone in power want their works to be remembered? history is written by the winners after all. and being a eunuch is quite the physical loss- no sons or daughters, no legacy, no one to tell their tales or pass on what they valued. time erodes many things, and there is much about the past that isn't known. lack of evidence of eunuch art is proof of nothing. how would you even tell if a piece of art was made by one? its not as if there are specific brands or signifiers on art for "this was made by someone infertile". its very possible that they simply did not survive the march of time if not deliberately destroyed because people are prejudiced jerks. it wouldn't be the first time humanity has done such a thing, its not as if they need a reason aside from their stupidity.

    there is simply too many other factors to reliably conclude what you have.
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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Back up -- no art?
    I think the "no art" would be dependant on mental faculties of the species/individuals. If we assume they are able to perceive beauty - by any standards - the "no art" becomes "different art".

    Maybe more geometrically driven - creating new shapes, new connections, colours. Or even new flow of air/water between one's body parts

    And that could apply to most of Brian 333's list.

    No Chivalry then becomes Different Chivalry (maybe protect the weaker/smaller/less intricate? protect clan/structure? give way to young/older/different colour?).

    I would agree about the "no marriage".

    No passion/crimes of passion could be "Different Passion" - maybe one connected to very different values? Again - with "oystercoral" people this could be related to flow of air/water around their bodies, purity of water one has available... or even spatially-focused passions ("You ruined my perfect plan for settling this rock, now choke on my children!").

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    In fact, humans will have a hard time identifying with the oyster-people on any level.
    I definitely would, I'll give you that. But that's the best part about roleplaying for me - identifying with something you are not.

    Someone likes their elves as beautiful humans with pointy ears and certain set of advantages - I like the idea of elf that is ageless, has been around for hundreds of years, knew the fort we are delving into when it was just a village surrounded by forests, and basically yells at humans (in his mind; elven etiquette/courtesy disallows such outbursts outside one's mind) "get off my lawn forest, I worked my elf-shaped bottom to get it this way for last 2400 years!". What would it be to go on adventure with someone whose life expectation is equal to our view of flies? As GM I am always angry when players refer to NPCs (especially those titled nobles) with "that fat guy"... but in case of elves in human society? Completely acceptable. "Oh, I don't remember the names and you humans look almost the same when you've seen 50,000 of them in last 1472 years... baron of this, baron of that - your barons switch places so fast I don't even manage to remember one..."

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    What about a culture which values children as much as corals do, or even sees them as pests? Or a culture that has fatal 'adulthood exams?' Or a culture that eats its elderly?
    These are nice, can we discuss these instead of the whole "eunuch" thing?
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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Another idea related to the OP:

    Folklore had a place for most of the races we find in the Monster Manual. Go back to these roots.

    Dwarves delve in mountains seeking gold and gems. You see them occasionally in human cities, but mostly they live apart and uninterestedin human affairs.

    Gnomes live in homes beneath oddly located or shaped hills, and visitors who consume their mead/ale lose about a decade of time to wake naked in a strange place.

    The Seelie and Unseelie fey courts, house sprites, and etc. all coexist with contemporary humans, and when a human sorceror or other magic user type summons them orcs swarm from their warrens to serve as soldiers in a monster-armt.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by HorizonWalker View Post
    Now, there's the fact that you, personally, might prefer to have "civilization" consist almost entirely of humans. Ultimately, I can't stop you. But I can tell you that sounds boring and uninteresting,
    On a related note, anyone who doesn't think its boring and uninteresting has clearly never studied Medieval European history. Without fantasy elements it's just a laundry list of dates when kings decided to send people to fight each other for stupid and/or irrelevant reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    that seems like biased sampling. I doubt many people are eunuchs at all in the modern age, much less eunuch artists.
    That really depends on how you define it. Ignoring the social baggage of the term there are plenty of people who have had testicular cancer requiring amputation and plenty of postoperative transsexuals. If we take an even more aggressively nihilistic approach to the historical social baggage of the term (which I do) we can also include people who have had ovarian cancer requiring amputation.

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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    On a related note, anyone who doesn't think its boring and uninteresting has clearly never studied Medieval European history. Without fantasy elements it's just a laundry list of dates when kings decided to send people to fight each other for stupid and/or irrelevant reasons.
    (not sure if you were serious or sarcastic, but I'll go with serious; also: using publicly available sources as I have no access to the library where I read the account below)

    On global level, this view can be considered quite accurate. When we look at year

    On personal level... not so much.

    Let's say 1611... relatively unremarkable year by global standards. Denmark declares war on Sweden. King James Bible is published in England. Gustavus Adolphus succeeds his father as King of Sweden. Mutiny on Discovery. An uprising occurs in Moscow against occupying Polish forces, resulting in a major fire. (source: Wikipedia)

    On global level: this is really boring. No dragon attacks (only fire in Moscow), no mystical elements, nothing special.

    On personal level: Thibault participated on fencing tournament in Rotterdam, where he claimed first prize. According to some courses, he held a multi-day demonstration of his fighting style, where he invited any and all who would like to test their skill against him, beating everyone. Imagine Ip Man when he beat all those masters... but the main hero is a Belgian guy with a rapier. Definitely would like to see that.

    So yes and no. Fantasy elements could make "the year" more colorful but from the viewpoint of individuals, the years themselves could have a lots of cool stuff. It's a matter of perspective.

    Of course, in reality there will be definitely few months, even years where you can safely state "and nothing interesting happened". But my immersion is broken if I get a fantasy village where everything happens all the time
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    Eunuchs were common enough that the number of gelded artists should be above 0.
    There are thousands of eunuch artists. Just have a look at societies that actually had court eunuchs and eunuch officials and be impressed by the wide range of art they produced. Even if you ignore Chinese poetry there is quite a lot left.

    You also need some social status to have time for art or get someone to pay you for doing art professionally or to get credit for your art. That is the reason there is little eunuch art of Europe.

    I also don't think that gender is a particularly important part of modern culture and have no problem imagining societies without it.

    What about a culture which values children as much as corals do, or even sees them as pests? Or a culture that has fatal 'adulthood exams?' Or a culture that eats its elderly?
    The only one of those i have not yet played is "eat the elderly". And i really don't see a problem with playing something nonhuman that actually does behave differently based on different biology.
    Last edited by Satinavian; 2019-08-02 at 06:22 AM.

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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    What if we added amazons as a fantasy race, replacing orc hordes for instance? Just one gender, they mate with humans or elves to produce others of their kind.

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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    I think something very important for capturing a truly medieval feel for a setting is to focus the setting around the perspective of the medieval society you are playing as. {Scrubbed} It would be an easy leap to make Orcs vikings but paint them not only as barbarians, but a divine scourge to punish some wrongdoing in the land.

    {Scrubbed}
    Last edited by Ventruenox; 2019-08-06 at 02:19 PM. Reason: Forbidden content

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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Would that mean that you can not really have a party that includes a cleric of certain deity and a druid due to imminent conflict?

    This could of course work if both sides would enjoy the tussle, but could not be easily applied in all groups.
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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Quote Originally Posted by lacco36 View Post
    Would that mean that you can not really have a party that includes a cleric of certain deity and a druid due to imminent conflict?

    This could of course work if both sides would enjoy the tussle, but could not be easily applied in all groups.
    This focuses on a mediaeval world linked to a specific geographic region, namely Europe. There are other parts of the mediaeval world with their own perspective, there is the middle east, and the far east, there is the New World, {Scrubbed}
    Last edited by Ventruenox; 2019-08-06 at 02:19 PM. Reason: Forbidden content

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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Quote Originally Posted by lacco36 View Post
    Would that mean that you can not really have a party that includes a cleric of certain deity and a druid due to imminent conflict?

    This could of course work if both sides would enjoy the tussle, but could not be easily applied in all groups.
    {Scrubbed}

    I think having party members be different brands of the same overall religion is a much more realistic party tension than being of completely different religions. In a truly medieval setting the latter is extremely not likely, and would kill more roleplay than it would create imo.

    {Scrubbed} The literal existence of a church wards off monsters for miles around. Holy water sprinkled on grain keeps the necro-locusts away. {Scrubbed} A public display of piety can dispel a band of orcs.

    Theres a lot to play around with when you take things at face value and interpret them literally.

    But all that relies on it being actually true (to some degree) and not relative.

    {Scrubbed} Thats how to avoid the D&D kitchen sink where gods are just kind of floating around and "evil" is terribly mundane.
    Last edited by Ventruenox; 2019-08-06 at 02:22 PM. Reason: Forbidden content

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trask View Post
    {Scrubbed post, scrubbed quote}
    Theres a lot to play around with when you take things at face value and interpret them literally.

    But all that relies on it being actually true (to some degree) and not relative.

    {Scrubbed post, scrubbed quote} Thats how to avoid the D&D kitchen sink where gods are just kind of floating around and "evil" is terribly mundane.
    {Scrubbed}
    Last edited by Ventruenox; 2019-08-06 at 02:24 PM. Reason: Forbidden content

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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Not to be That Guy, but I'm afraid for this thread's future if the discussion keeps going along these lines.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Not to be That Guy, but I'm afraid for this thread's future if the discussion keeps going along these lines.
    oof yeah i forgot about that rule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Not to be That Guy, but I'm afraid for this thread's future if the discussion keeps going along these lines.
    My suggestion is to look at how fantasy creatures are used in classic fairy tales and then use them in that way. I'll give you an example. Lets take Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. How common are dwarves in the fantasy world where Snow White and her stepmother the evil Queen live? The dwarves live in a forest, it appears to be a mining camp, no female dwarves are mentioned. What does this say about dwarf society if we use this example?

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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Mödley Crüe: As a reminder - when you play ball here, the churchyards and government property are considered out of bounds. Resume game.
    Last edited by Ventruenox; 2019-08-06 at 02:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ventruenox View Post
    Mödley Crüe: As a reminder - when you play ball here, the churchyards and government property are considered out of bounds. Resume game.
    A castle is government property. I assume by government, you don't mean kings, queens, dukes, earls, counts, barons in a fantasy setting.

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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Mödley Crüe: a lighthearted attempt to say "avoid real world politics and religion in this discussion."
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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    @Ventruenox: Thanks for the reminder. Will try to stick to non-volatile points.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kalbfus View Post
    What if we added amazons as a fantasy race, replacing orc hordes for instance? Just one gender, they mate with humans or elves to produce others of their kind.
    First idea: Would different racial combinations produce different result?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trask View Post
    I think having party members be different brands of the same overall religion is a much more realistic party tension than being of completely different religions. In a truly medieval setting the latter is extremely not likely, and would kill more roleplay than it would create imo.
    I prefer different "Faith". And while likely, with direct intervention from divine powers of different types (e.g. Thor & Dark One both having their clerics with wondrous power) and a pantheon (or several competing pantheons) you would get party members of different brands.

    Historically, I can not say - I am not that knowledgeable - but I assume you could get very interesting roleplay, and mainly in such combative environment as standard RPG campaign you would find characters of different faiths fighting alongside. For country, for ideals, for survival... for money, for power... many possibilities.

    Of course, in Faith-focused campaign the focus would be different. And I agree - this can go bad really fast - depending on the GM and the players.

    Also: playing completely different system, my focus is also different. When a player asks to be a divine caster, it's actually a big deal and they are not reduced to magical band-aid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kalbfus View Post
    My suggestion is to look at how fantasy creatures are used in classic fairy tales and then use them in that way. I'll give you an example. Lets take Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. How common are dwarves in the fantasy world where Snow White and her stepmother the evil Queen live? The dwarves live in a forest, it appears to be a mining camp, no female dwarves are mentioned. What does this say about dwarf society if we use this example?
    ...that maybe some of the Seven Dwarves were actually female but we were unable to tell?

    Silly idea.

    Regarding fairy tales - Sapkowski has done some work with this idea already (7 gnome miners turned bandits; little mermaid; etc.). Depending on what country you are from, you get wildly different fairy tales. Some of my favourites - Fearless and Good-for-nothing the Best Knight - could be turned into adventure paths

    We also have quite many local legends - every castle (and if I remember correctly, there are 100+ of them even though most are ruined) has a legend on its own (especially the ruined ones). But for worldbuilding...:
    13th of December: the name day for Lucia (Lucy). If you craft a stool from one piece of wood (you need to work on it every day and use no nails) and sit on it on crossroads, you get to see all the witches you ever met. Other version states that by doing so you not only see them - and their true visage - but you pull all of them towards yourself (so you better run fast). Third version states you need to make a hole into the stool and when you look into the hole, you will see the witches' world.
    Call me Laco or Ladislav (if you need to be formal). Yes, that is my name. Feel free to use it.
    Currently GMing:
    Riddle of Steel: Soldiers of Fortune

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Quote Originally Posted by lacco36 View Post
    @Ventruenox: Thanks for the reminder. Will try to stick to non-volatile points.



    First idea: Would different racial combinations produce different result?



    I prefer different "Faith". And while likely, with direct intervention from divine powers of different types (e.g. Thor & Dark One both having their clerics with wondrous power) and a pantheon (or several competing pantheons) you would get party members of different brands.

    Historically, I can not say - I am not that knowledgeable - but I assume you could get very interesting roleplay, and mainly in such combative environment as standard RPG campaign you would find characters of different faiths fighting alongside. For country, for ideals, for survival... for money, for power... many possibilities.

    Of course, in Faith-focused campaign the focus would be different. And I agree - this can go bad really fast - depending on the GM and the players.

    Also: playing completely different system, my focus is also different. When a player asks to be a divine caster, it's actually a big deal and they are not reduced to magical band-aid.



    ...that maybe some of the Seven Dwarves were actually female but we were unable to tell?

    Silly idea.

    Regarding fairy tales - Sapkowski has done some work with this idea already (7 gnome miners turned bandits; little mermaid; etc.). Depending on what country you are from, you get wildly different fairy tales. Some of my favourites - Fearless and Good-for-nothing the Best Knight - could be turned into adventure paths

    We also have quite many local legends - every castle (and if I remember correctly, there are 100+ of them even though most are ruined) has a legend on its own (especially the ruined ones). But for worldbuilding...:
    13th of December: the name day for Lucia (Lucy). If you craft a stool from one piece of wood (you need to work on it every day and use no nails) and sit on it on crossroads, you get to see all the witches you ever met. Other version states that by doing so you not only see them - and their true visage - but you pull all of them towards yourself (so you better run fast). Third version states you need to make a hole into the stool and when you look into the hole, you will see the witches' world.
    You could simply have human bandits, orcs are just a substitute for those. Orcs don't add any unique abilities, they serve as bad guys, bags of menacing hit points that pcs need to kill.

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kalbfus View Post
    You could simply have human bandits, orcs are just a substitute for those. Orcs don't add any unique abilities, they serve as bad guys, bags of menacing hit points that pcs need to kill.
    I normally use human bandits - and in one case elven bandits - since the game world I normally play is quite human-centric.

    Also, I would suggest you to take a look at how Burning Wheel manages orcs. It's quite interesting.

    In my current game world, the orcs are a bit different - not only bags of menacing hit points (no hitpoints also, detailed wound system) - during worldbuilding one of the players came with an idea for a half-orc character, a friendly wild guy with nature-loving streak, who can - and will - kill you with your own arms torn off if you make him too angry. Result is in spoiler.

    Spoiler: Elves and Orcs
    Show
    I never viewed Elves as "nature loving hippies" and also liked Sapkowski's version (basically: elves are planehopping race that usually travels somewhere, subdues the available races, sucks resources and goes on, but they were "stranded" in local plane and can't get away unless they open some planar gates; the elves that are born on local plane are basically "wild" elves - not "high" elves, but they like to pretend they are this ancient natural race).
    So elves - they are the "magic" race. Long-lived, careful not to upset the balance, but still able and willing to exploit natural resources to their limit. They build cities, castles, utilizing magic as far as possible.

    So with Player X's basic premise for nature-loving orc, the wheels in my brain started working and voilá - ORCS are the nature race. Wild, free, naturalistic, predatory, animalistic - they live in harmony with nature. Elves are wary of long-term consequences, but still change and manipulate nature, an orc just lies down in middle of forest and takes a nap, hunts only to feed himself and his clan - something inspired by an old book of native american tales I read a long time ago (no idea about RL counterparts).

    Orcs have camps, no real cities - and where possible, try to have as small impact on nature. So when they build actual settlements, they build them in ruined cities, temples - even dungeons - so they "use" the space provided instead of building a new city. And some of them also have druidic magic available - the only "natural" source of magic.

    Orcs still have their "dark side" - when they are in line with nature, they are calm and peaceful. But when they see nature suffer, they start slowly to hate - and in the end the hatred consumes them.

    Oh and the wars between human nations and orcs? Human nations - most of them - still think this is orcish "warlike nature" and desire to conquer. But the wars originated from the basic conflict - humans took too much from nature too fast; orcs tried to take it back.


    But back to the discussion:

    Which fairy tales would you use in your games?
    Last edited by lacco36; 2019-08-08 at 01:34 AM.
    Call me Laco or Ladislav (if you need to be formal). Yes, that is my name. Feel free to use it.
    Currently GMing:
    Riddle of Steel: Soldiers of Fortune

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Quote Originally Posted by lacco36 View Post
    I normally use human bandits - and in one case elven bandits - since the game world I normally play is quite human-centric.

    Also, I would suggest you to take a look at how Burning Wheel manages orcs. It's quite interesting.

    In my current game world, the orcs are a bit different - not only bags of menacing hit points (no hitpoints also, detailed wound system) - during worldbuilding one of the players came with an idea for a half-orc character, a friendly wild guy with nature-loving streak, who can - and will - kill you with your own arms torn off if you make him too angry. Result is in spoiler.

    Spoiler: Elves and Orcs
    Show
    I never viewed Elves as "nature loving hippies" and also liked Sapkowski's version (basically: elves are planehopping race that usually travels somewhere, subdues the available races, sucks resources and goes on, but they were "stranded" in local plane and can't get away unless they open some planar gates; the elves that are born on local plane are basically "wild" elves - not "high" elves, but they like to pretend they are this ancient natural race).
    So elves - they are the "magic" race. Long-lived, careful not to upset the balance, but still able and willing to exploit natural resources to their limit. They build cities, castles, utilizing magic as far as possible.

    So with Player X's basic premise for nature-loving orc, the wheels in my brain started working and voilá - ORCS are the nature race. Wild, free, naturalistic, predatory, animalistic - they live in harmony with nature. Elves are wary of long-term consequences, but still change and manipulate nature, an orc just lies down in middle of forest and takes a nap, hunts only to feed himself and his clan - something inspired by an old book of native american tales I read a long time ago (no idea about RL counterparts).

    Orcs have camps, no real cities - and where possible, try to have as small impact on nature. So when they build actual settlements, they build them in ruined cities, temples - even dungeons - so they "use" the space provided instead of building a new city. And some of them also have druidic magic available - the only "natural" source of magic.

    Orcs still have their "dark side" - when they are in line with nature, they are calm and peaceful. But when they see nature suffer, they start slowly to hate - and in the end the hatred consumes them.

    Oh and the wars between human nations and orcs? Human nations - most of them - still think this is orcish "warlike nature" and desire to conquer. But the wars originated from the basic conflict - humans took too much from nature too fast; orcs tried to take it back.


    But back to the discussion:

    Which fairy tales would you use in your games?
    Have King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table rule Britian. Britain gets is a war with a bunch of evil cloud giants that live in the clouds, from Jack in the Beanstalk. Alladin is living somewhere in Morroco. Robin Hood and his Merry men are fighting a guerilla war against the cloud giants who are occupying a part of Britain. The Snow White story takes place in the kingdom of Bavaria. The Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire is a little nuts, he was seen prancing about without any clothes on, saying he was wearing invisible clothes. Cinderella is French. An Ice Queen rules Norway. There is a toymaker in Italy who made an animated puppet.

    A few ideas. Of course you may want to replace King Arthur with Beowulf, that works too.

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