Worlds of Design: Citing Your Sources - Page 2
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  1. #11
    Most fantasy products copy from history. So I decided to cut out the middleman and also take my inspirations directly from history.
    Last edited by Derren; Saturday, 25th May, 2019 at 07:37 PM.

  2. #12
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    "Reality is stranger than fiction."

    I use all sorts of everything in making adventures. The last adventure, I used a player's backstory of a warrior monk that was interested in Marcus Aurelius, so created an order of future Hospitallers, in a Roerich painting style setting, and mixing Bilal's The Hunting Party with the assassination of Pompey. I do also use pre-made material, when I can hide the origin, the main issue being that players might have read it before.
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  3. #13
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    On published material vs. home grown...

    The hardback 5E adventures seem to sell pretty well. Most of those sold are probably being played at some point. I started playing in 1974 (I'm a dinosaur, I know) and I always did (and do) my own setting / adventure material. I own pretty much no modules / adventures from back in the day (with a few exceptions). I did buy (and still do) buy setting material from which I crib ideas for my own setting. I own most of the new 5E hardbacks. I'll never run the adventures, but I read them, look for ideas, and make them available to the kids in the game club I advise at school (I keep an extra set of the core books at school as well). My students seem more comfortable running published adventures. One of them has ventured to run his own as well as using published material. This isn't statistically relevant, but anecdotally it seems to back up Lew Pulsipher. These are new players. Judging by the popularity of D&D right now there are a lot of new players (and DMs) out there...

    Other things...

    I remember the Role of Books articles fondly. I have always used "outside materials" (I have degrees in history and cultural anthropology) as well as reading pretty much every fantasy and science fiction book available back in the day. Not so much anymore btw -- I'm short on time and, to be blunt, there is a lot of mediocre material seeing publication today. I suspect that was true "back in the day" as well, but I wasn't as discriminating then as I am now

    Another discussion that probably can't be settled without information we don't have access to. The upside of that: everybody can say "I'm right". With a straight face

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by MGibster View Post
    I'm one of those weird people who likes to make up my own adventures though I'm not too proud to use a published adventure.
    At least according to a lot of what WotC has said, a lot more people run their own and/or customize published materials, certainly than WotC would like for their own sales figures.

    I'll steal stuff from published material but rarely run things as written.


    You're absolutely right that we've all got greater access to game supplements and fantasy media than we did back in the 1980s. I can hit up Youtube and watch other people gaming whereas back in 1987 the only way to learn how to play was to just do it.

    I do think there's still value in looking at non gaming sources for gaming material. We can still find interesting ideas looking at modern fiction as well as historical stuff.
    Yeah, there can be some really great inspiration in non-gaming material, especially in historical stuff. NPCs, plot lines, ways of making the world feel "real", and so on. One source now that was not available back in Ye Goode Olden Tymes is YouTube. There are TONS of great history videos one can watch. Also there are a number of videos that are aimed at people writing stories which help go through how to devise an effective plot, characterization, etc.
    Last edited by Jay Verkuilen; Monday, 27th May, 2019 at 10:23 PM.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    I do agree with an earlier post that material outside pop-culture is more likely to be "unknown" to players.
    I got busted by this. Way back when I stole the name "House Targaryen" from the very first Game of Thrones book for the ruling house of a country who were Weredragons. I found GoT really tedious and didn't bother reading further in the series. At the time my players hadn't read any of the novels and the show wasn't even a glimmer in anyone's eye. Unfortunately, that's just not something I can actually use in my campaign now. :/
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  6. #16
    Immortal Sun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Verkuilen View Post
    I got busted by this. Way back when I stole the name "House Targaryen" from the very first Game of Thrones book for the ruling house of a country who were Weredragons. I found GoT really tedious and didn't bother reading further in the series. At the time my players hadn't read any of the novels and the show wasn't even a glimmer in anyone's eye. Unfortunately, that's just not something I can actually use in my campaign now. :/
    Yeah, I try real hard to avoid using exact names from any material really. I might copy a character whole cloth from something and make some minor changes (different hair, different skin tone, etc...), but I'll always give them their own name.

    In part because if people put 2+2 together they start having expectations about how the character should behave based on the source material. In other part because my luck has always been there's that one guy who knows these names.

    I mean, I literally wrote Thanos into my last campaign but called him "Ja'Gor" and nobody even noticed.
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  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    Yeah, I try real hard to avoid using exact names from any material really. I might copy a character whole cloth from something and make some minor changes (different hair, different skin tone, etc...), but I'll always give them their own name.
    Yeah usually I'd change things but for some reason I hadn't, or at least not much. My House Tregaryan really bore no resemblance to the one from GoT except for the draconic blood and the name.


    In part because if people put 2+2 together they start having expectations about how the character should behave based on the source material. In other part because my luck has always been there's that one guy who knows these names.
    Yeah I'm a lot more careful and my players were cool about it, though to be fair at the time there was no sign GoT would even take off as a fantasy novel series, much less become a worldwide phenomenon, but it is unnecessarily jarring.


    I mean, I literally wrote Thanos into my last campaign but called him "Ja'Gor" and nobody even noticed.
    I have a hard time taking a villain named "Thanos" seriously. It's a really common Greek man's name!

  8. #18
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    - Role-playing is not just about fantasy. One can have a historical setting, or maybe historical-with-a-peculiar-twist. And historical isn't just medieval, either. So the over-abundance of fantasy fiction isn't all that relevant if I'm preparing a Cliffhangers scenario set in the 1930s. Not if it is historically accurate, and not if the occult or alternate-history aspects aren't elves and wizards.

    - Even assuming we stay in the fantasy genre, we might want something more resembling our Earth's middle ages, with wizards thrown in. "Gritty", "realistic" fantasy, I believe, sometimes is better served by knowing how actually likely it would be to find a physician in a small market town in Northern France in the 1200s, than by relying on D&D assumptions. Of course, that may not be true if go for "high" fantasy.

    - Exactly because players may have seen movies and TV series, they may well find something new at my table if I go to the actual sources, instead. If I know they prefer something new, then that's a good choice. There is the possibility they want a canonical Game of Thrones game, of course; in that case, they'll let me know well in advance and we'll use canonical fictional sources.

    - Free material is often worth what it costs.

  9. #19
    Immortal Sun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Verkuilen View Post
    I have a hard time taking a villain named "Thanos" seriously. It's a really common Greek man's name!
    And that's why so many people underestimated "Bob from Accounting".
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  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Michele View Post
    - Role-playing is not just about fantasy. One can have a historical setting, or maybe historical-with-a-peculiar-twist. And historical isn't just medieval, either. So the over-abundance of fantasy fiction isn't all that relevant if I'm preparing a Cliffhangers scenario set in the 1930s. Not if it is historically accurate, and not if the occult or alternate-history aspects aren't elves and wizards.

    - Even assuming we stay in the fantasy genre, we might want something more resembling our Earth's middle ages, with wizards thrown in. "Gritty", "realistic" fantasy, I believe, sometimes is better served by knowing how actually likely it would be to find a physician in a small market town in Northern France in the 1200s, than by relying on D&D assumptions. Of course, that may not be true if go for "high" fantasy.
    I've gotten more interested in some alternate settings than just pseudo-Medieval Western Europe. For instance, I'm pondering a campaign world (tentatively named Norrebe, which is "Eberron" backwards) that's modeled on early Modern to 19th Century Europe. However, the big twist is that humans are incredibly rare, having been largely wiped out by Plague several hundred years before, and thus the main nations would be demi-humans and/or civilized humanoids. The pseudo-France and pseudo-Germany would be halflings, pseudo-Italians dwarves, pseudo-Japanese dragonborn, etc. Part of this was to totally f--k with the stereotypes that have grown up around these races, such as "all dwarves are either alcoholic Norse or Highlanders". A variant on this would be more human-centric but oriented around the early Modern period during the constant warfare in Eastern Europe that went back and forth after the Fall of Constantinople through to the Siege of Vienna.

    So, doing some reading or YouTube videoing on the eras is very helpful.


    - Free material is often worth what it costs.
    Heh, true dat.

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