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General For the Love of Greyhawk: Why People Still Fight to Preserve Greyhawk

Personally, I have no need of such a product, and neither do most existing fans of the setting. They'll only get so much out of it. You seem to want to capture a new generation of fans for the setting. This is not in any way a bad idea.....but I think that the question then becomes: "how do you make Greyhawk seem as awesome to people today as it did to the early gamers?"

And that's kind of tough.
Simple, it's a place where you can build your own kingdom. It happened a few times in my campaigns. Yes we did a lot of reset. But the fun is being able to do it and how it will turn out.
 

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Stormonu

Legend
The old school fan who doesn’t want anything updated and is still running out of the 1983 box is already not a potential customer. They’re not going to buy a 5e Greyhawk because they are not in the market for one. You make a 5e Greyhawk for those who are open to it and never concern with those who put themselves out of the demographic for it.
Not necessarily - I bought into Curse of Strahd and greatly enjoy it, but I'm not overly fond of the likes of the Domains of Dread - especially events after the Great Conjuction. Curse of Strahd deals only with Barovia without pulling all of the Domains of Dread baggage in, and it works. While not WotC, something similar was done with the L5R rpg - for several years they had been rolling the campaign world forward to keep up with the CCG, but lately they rolled the campaign back to its first iteration - prior to the Scorpion Coup - and it is doing well.

I think the same could be done with Greyhawk - roll it back to the '83 box set state of affairs and flesh the entries out. There could be hints at later events such as the Greyhawk Wars and beyond, but not actually implemented.

Now, if they could roll back FR to before the Time of Troubles, that would be a feat...
 


Hussar

Legend
A slightly separate point: @Hussar, I agree with some of what you say about cast. REH's Conan stories are in a certain sense personal or initmate. I think this is connected to the short-story/novella form. I don't think this fully connects to "epic" vs S&S: the Earthsea stories are likewise rather personal/intimate but in my view, considered as fantasy stories, have more in common with LotR than REH's Conan.
To be fair, there are more sub-genres in Fantasy than just S&S and Epic fantasy. The Earthsea stories are YA fiction, which is a genre unto itself.
 


Zeromaru X

Arkhosian scholar and coffee lover
Simple, it's a place where you can build your own kingdom. It happened a few times in my campaigns. Yes we did a lot of reset. But the fun is being able to do it and how it will turn out.
In any campaign setting you can build your own kingdom. If the players want to. If they don't, no matter in what setting are they playing, there will be no appeal to that idea.

So, why use this particular idea for publiciting a setting? There is no particular appeal to this kind of play, and is not an exclusive Greyhawk thing.
 

Simple, it's a place where you can build your own kingdom. It happened a few times in my campaigns. Yes we did a lot of reset. But the fun is being able to do it and how it will turn out.
Okay, but that’s not something unique to Greyhawk. I’ve GMed or played in multiple settings where we built our own kingdom.

I’m honestly not knocking the setting. I just think that it’d be a tough product to create.

The old school fan who doesn’t want anything updated and is still running out of the 1983 box is already not a potential customer. They’re not going to buy a 5e Greyhawk because they are not in the market for one. You make a 5e Greyhawk for those who are open to it and never concern with those who put themselves out of the demographic for it.
I’d be all for this approach, myself. Although I suppose the concern would then be losing some of the elements that made it distinct and enjoyable in the first place.

But I agree that if I had to pick an audience to appeal to, a new audience is the only sensible answer.
 

In any campaign setting you can build your own kingdom. If the players want to. If they don't, no matter in what setting are they playing, there will be no appeal to that idea.

So, why use this particular idea for publiciting a setting? There is no particular appeal to this kind of play, and is not an exclusive Greyhawk thing.
Try that in the Realm... It's too full. Greyhawk has a lot of empty space to do it. Of course you can still do it in other setting, but Greyhawk is especialy good for this.
 

As I mentioned much, much earlier in the thread - Erik Mona. He's a Greyhawk fan from way back, has done products in the setting and has lots of experience working for WoTC.
My criteria includes "availably" and isn't Erik Mona currently in charge of Publishing over at Pazio? Getting him to do it seems like a really long shot to me...
 


Mort

Hero
Supporter
My criteria includes "availably" and isn't Erik Mona currently in charge of Publishing over at Pazio? Getting him to do it seems like a really long shot to me...
Why?

1. He loves Greyhawk
2. 5e is the big boy on the block, they left on slightly bad terms, but I bet Paizo wouldn't mind working on a big project with WotC - helps promote their brand too.

If they WotC wanted it, they could make it work.
 
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billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Why?

1. He loves Greyhawk
2. 5e is the big boy on the block, they left on slightly bad terms, but I bet Paizo wouldn't mind working on a big project with WotC - helps promote their brand too.

If they WotC wanted it, they could make it work.
He may love Greyhawk, but he probably loves Paizo and Golarion too. And they have a prior claim on his time - which is probably pretty busy.

The problem with Paizo getting back into bed with WotC for Paizo is getting back into bed with the 800 lb gorilla. Their prior relationship was too dependent on WotC and WotC's business decisions - and that nearly killed them. I can see individuals from Paizo doing freelance work, but I doubt Paizo will do anything in an official capacity - and if they ever do, it's a signal that they're just gonna ride the coattails and don't mind slowly diminishing into the sunset.
 

I apologize for a long post talking to many different people. But I was grabbing posts in 10 minute chunks of time over the last 8 hours trying to catch up, while dealing with other things. I didn't really feel like making a separate post for each.

Ok, @Chaosmancer, you're not even trying to argue in good faith now. If you honestly want to claim that LotR has 20 characters? Lessee, who did you leave out? Off the top of my head - Faramir, all the hobbits in Hobbiton like Ruby and the ones that steal Bilbo's home and the farmer with the mushrooms, The Nine Ringwraiths, Gollum, the big spider thingie whose name I forget, Galadriel. And I'm not even a big Tolkien fan.

These are named characters with histories and whatnot.

Note, LotR is ONE book, not three. It was never meant to be published as a trilogy. So, comparing it to three books is a bit unfair as well.

Like I said, this sort of discussion gets REALLY tedious when half the discussion refuses to get any sort of education in the issue but insists that his or her opinions must be taken as valid. If you want to refute the points being brought up, LEARN about the texts first.
It was never meant to be published as a trilogy... but it is always published as a trilogy. You buy it most often as a trilogy, even the movies were made as a trilogy. It is nearly a thousand pages long. The three books I compared it to are closer to 750.

And every character has a history, sure, but not every character is important. You say Nine Ring Wraiths, but to my knowledge only one of them gets named, and they all share the same backstory. You want to count all of the hobbits in the Shire, characters who barely get any screentime and can be completely cut without changing the story at all?

In fact, since it is "the farmer with the mushrooms" or "The hobbits stealing Bilbo's home (which happens in the Hobbit, not the Lord of the Rings)

Sure, maybe I missed a character or two, but that isn't the point. The point isn't that there are exactly X named characters in the single story that has been broken into a trilogy.

The Point is the number of characters in a story does not determine the genre. Genre is not defined that way. And I don't understand why you want to accuse me with not being familiar enough with the texts to know that it is 34 named characters instead of 20, when that is never the point of the discussion.

You are jumping from discussing an epic tale to an aetiological one? Why? But yes, the characters in The Illiad and The Odyssey are being measured against an external morality, with some failing and achieving those moral expectations. But there is also moral codes of honor in regards to combat. Or how one treats the dead.
Sure, but that is still the case in any story. Just because Conan doesn't get smited by the gods doesn't mean there isn't a morality at play.

Heck, most "strong savage man" stories are about how society is corrupted an immoral compared to the simpler and therefore more moral framework presented by the character who challenges society.

Most people not knowing is missing the point. JRRT has a vision regarding the divine right of kings and divine providence at work here. There are a lot of expectations on Aragorn placed there by both Elrond and Gandalf that he will ascend to become king of Gondor. And once we get to the Council of Elrond, we are constantly hearing Aragorn being referred to as Isildur's heir. From the moment that he learns of his identity, Boromir begins judging Aragorn as heir.
JRRT having a vision does not equate to anything as far as I can remember.

If my few decades old memory is right, Aragorn doesn't want to be king because he feels he isn't worthy of the title. Aragorn has a vision of the divinity of kings and he knows that he doesn't match that image, so he doesn't take up the crown. This is his own morality. The world doesn't force it upon him, he comes to accept that he is the best man for the job (and it isn't like the mad and weak kings he finds in power are doing much better than he would anyways)


This is what I don't get about the argument. It isn't that Aragorn gets a divine light from Heaven telling him when he is worthy to be King. There is no object of destiny that he frees like Excalibur (in fact, he has no power or way to fix his sword, and doesn't get it back for a while if memory serves). The decision to become the King of Gondor is entirely Aragorn's.



This likely demonstrates that you either fail to understand the point that is being made or going out of your way to misconstrue it. The moral code that Conan adheres to is his own. The moral code that Elric adheres to is his own. These are not external moral codes of society (or religion), but, rather, internal ones. Furthermore, even if one were to say that his code is that of a Cimmerian, Conan is not a Cimmerian in Cimmeria, but a Cimmerian who is constantly traveling the world and applying his own moral ethic to it rather than conform to society's.
Which is what people do when they travel? Like, he doesn't conform to the morals of societies that are not his own, but he does conform to the morals he was given from his father right? That's what that whole thing in the trailer about the sword is right?

I don't get the argument here that his Moral Code as a Cimmerian doesn't count because he isn't in his home country. I don't suddenly lose my moral code I grew up with if I cross an international border, that isn't how things work.



I agree with Hussar that it's hard to imagine that you are arguing in good faith anymore. You do not seem interested in coming to any understanding, only to distort arguments people are making about genre. You are trying to disprove particular points of the argument about a genre, but doing so horribly while completely missing or ignoring - hard to say with you - the point people are making. In your latest bout of bad faith arguments, you are trying here to counter Hussar by simply counting characters. But the point Hussar making about LotR is that there is a difference in SCALE. It is not just a rote function regarding the number of characters but also their histories and how they fit into the setting. And often these characters bring with them their host of unnamed characters: Entbeard brings the ents; Theoden brings the Rohirrim; Aragorn has his Dunedain; Denethor II has Gondor; Faramir has his rangers; Imrahil has his swan knights and the men from western Gondor, etc. There is a tremendous amount of chronological/historical SCALE that contextualize the action of the characters.
I agree with scale

I disagree that character's are how you measure that scale. Jim Butcher wrote the Dresden Files to take place in Chicago, and he references Chicagoan history quite often. That is a scale too, it brings with it the entire weight of American history. But that doesn't count.

Every character in the setting tends to fit into it, every character tends to have a history hinted at or even mentioned,, especially if they are important. This is just a function of writing in a fantasy world.

"This story has a lot of important characters, and those characters have a backstory" does not feel like it is enough to earn the genre of Epic Fantasy. There is more to it than that. Or maybe there is a lot more Epic Fantasy than I've ever given credit for, because that covers a lot of Fantasy.




Ok. Apparently school needs to come into session. Fair enough.

Features of Epic Fantasy

Note, not every example of epic fantasy will have all of these features, but, all will exhibit at least one of these features and typically more than one.

1. Epic Numbers - Just like epics in any other genre, you will have epic numbers of characters. Cast of thousands. Everyone will have a name and everyone will have a story.

2. Epic Themes - By an large epic fantasy will be large in scope - clash of cultures type stories. There will typically be multiple sides and factions, shifting alliances, and a focus on big picture events.

3. Epic Geography - Epic fantasy will typically involve the entire setting. You won't be (generally) focused on a single city or location. The story will rove from hither to yon and back again. (which is why the examples of Lankmar and Urban Fantasy aren't examples of epic fantasy)

4. Epic Time scales. - Epic fantasy will generally cover a pretty lengthy period of time. Years, if not decades. Often generations are also involved - it's entirely possible that the children or grandchildren of the original protagonists are the ones to resolve the story.

Note, there are other elements as well, but, those four are probably enough to keep things in mind.

Is that clear enough?
Thus my entire point.

A large character cast alone with no other aspect considered does not equal Epic Fantasy. You need more than a large cast of named characters.

I don't know why simple points that everyone seems to agree on keep getting my raked over the coals.


I'm not really sure what to say to you here. You're rather continuing to prove my point that if you don't understand a thing, and try and argue about it, you may get confused.

It's not correct to say it's a transitional period, because that would suggest one thing turned into another. Rather it's a parallel kind of fantasy, that exists before Tolkienian fantasy, and after it, that influenced RPGs, computer games, and so on more than it did literary fantasy post-1990. S&S was massively influential on D&D and thus fantasy RPGs in general, Warhammer (and thus Warcraft), and via those sources massively influential on how fantasy computer games are.

I'd say it's extremely useful and important because it's a major influence on fantasy, particularly non-literary fantasy, that does not relate to Tolkien at all. There's a strong tendency in writing about fantasy to essentially attribute almost everything to Tolkien. I saw a very literal example of this in the NYT or some such paper not long ago, where it was being claimed "all fantasy" owed a debt to Tolkien. That would be true to say of epic fantasy - as a genre it barely exists, if at all, before Tolkien, and literally all the examples I can think of since have at least some influence in the terms of approach to world-building. But it's not true of all fantasy, and it's particularly less true of the kind of fantasy we find in RPGs, which typically picks up some of the world-building and aesthetic elements from Tolkien, but very much leans towards the spirit in actual play of S&S.

Epic fantasy is defined largely by being extremely long - literally epics. Maybe this is a difference that is more obvious? Virtually all S&S is short stories and novellas and the like. Even normal novel-length is rare. Giant fantasy novel length is unheard-of with S&S (I can't think of a single example), whereas it's routine/expected with epic fantasy.

Heroic fantasy is rarely-used term with far less of a consistent definition than S&S. S&S at least has a clear canon, a clear body of work - it's pretty clear what works are S&S (even if there's some debate, compared to other genres/subgenres, it's well-defined!). It's unclear what "heroic fantasy" is - it seems like it's a term people use when they think S&S is too "trashy", and seems to be a subset of S&S. I see L. Sprague de Camp literally said it was a synonym for S&S, and he's the originator of the term. His definition of S&S seems more purely escapist than a lot of S&S though, so perhaps you could say heroic fantasy is "particularly escapist S&S"?
I suppose the issue is how you go about defining things.

The idea that "Epic Fantasy" doesn't exist before Tolkien is something I find laughably absurd. How do we define The Journey to the West, The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odessey, The Illiad, The Epic of Beowulf, Dante's Divine Comedy? All of these are works of Fiction, all of them are epic in scope, and feature fantastical elements.

In fact, Tolkien was trying to create a mythology. If we assume he mostly succeeded, then Mythology is very similiar to Epic Fantasy.


And, since S&S seems to have developed and run it's course in a mere decade or two, and it is mostly known today by what it inspired, being a transition of one thing to another seems completely logical. Writing changes all the time, aspects of genres shift and transition all the time. I don't see that as a bad thing, but it certainly helps explain the short life-cycle and oddly contradictory stuff you keep claiming about S&S




You seem to be talking here about the focus/centre of the story. I'm talking about what the story presents as the relationship between the characters and events. To speak a bit crudely, what does the story tell us about the nature of agency? REH's Conan is an agent par excellence. Whereas what characterises Frodo is that he so often refrains from agency. In the Earthsea trilogy, we see the perils of agency (in Book 1, Ged's agency brings trouble upon himself; in Book 3, Cob's agency brings trouble upon everyone).
Ah, okay, that is a much more clear way to phrase what you mean. I understand what you are saying now. And I find myself agreeing. Thank you for the clarification.













In any campaign setting you can build your own kingdom. If the players want to. If they don't, no matter in what setting are they playing, there will be no appeal to that idea.

So, why use this particular idea for publiciting a setting? There is no particular appeal to this kind of play, and is not an exclusive Greyhawk thing.
This is something we've addressed once or twice actually. In many of the other settings, the powers that be are incredibly entrenched. In Eberron, there is no real way to challenge the Dragonmarked houses, or even a lot of land to try and build your own kingdom on. Q'Barra is about it on the main continent.

In FR, most of the major city-states have immense power, especially if you take the results of them logically. You can't realistically challenge the rule of people wealthy enough to buy dragons.



In Greyhawk though, there are not a lot of major powers who are well known on the political scale. The majority of the nations are actually on the brink anyways, and an upstart kingdom has a chance to thrive and turn into an Empire. Making Greyhawk uniquely suited as a backdrop for the rule set, which yes, could be applied to other settings, but would require quite a bit more work to actually be effective in nation-building (unless you build with handwavium or go to one of the less focused on areas.)
 


Aldarc

Legend
If my few decades old memory is right, Aragorn doesn't want to be king because he feels he isn't worthy of the title. Aragorn has a vision of the divinity of kings and he knows that he doesn't match that image, so he doesn't take up the crown. This is his own morality. The world doesn't force it upon him, he comes to accept that he is the best man for the job (and it isn't like the mad and weak kings he finds in power are doing much better than he would anyways)
This is kinda the whole "only those who are humble enough to think they are unworthy are actually worthy" trope. The world definitely thrusts kingship on him though. "Want to marry my daughter Arwen? Be king of Gondor and Arnor." "Want to draw Sauron out? Show Sauron that Isildur's heir lives." "Want to save Gondor? Walk the Path of the Dead as the royal wielder of Narsil/Anduril." "Want to save the lives of these injured people? Use your healing hands as foretold of the king."

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be Blade that was Broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

— Bilbo's poem about Aragorn
This comes up during the Council of Elrond. There is NEVER a "will he/won't he" with Aragorn's story becoming king. It's simply a matter that he will. And given the name of the third book, it's not exactly a surprise.

This is what I don't get about the argument. It isn't that Aragorn gets a divine light from Heaven telling him when he is worthy to be King. There is no object of destiny that he frees like Excalibur (in fact, he has no power or way to fix his sword, and doesn't get it back for a while if memory serves). The decision to become the King of Gondor is entirely Aragorn's.
Gandalf crowning Aragorn as King Elessar isn't exactly subtle. Nor are any of the other aforementioned signs of kingship. ;)

Aragorn actually gets Anduril soon after the Council of Elrond. As for objects and such of destiny, see above.

Which is what people do when they travel? Like, he doesn't conform to the morals of societies that are not his own, but he does conform to the morals he was given from his father right? That's what that whole thing in the trailer about the sword is right?

I don't get the argument here that his Moral Code as a Cimmerian doesn't count because he isn't in his home country. I don't suddenly lose my moral code I grew up with if I cross an international border, that isn't how things work.
But the entire point is that the morals we are primarily seeing him exerting are his own on those of society around him. He is the outsider. It's him imposing his values on the social values around him.

I disagree that character's are how you measure that scale. Jim Butcher wrote the Dresden Files to take place in Chicago, and he references Chicagoan history quite often. That is a scale too, it brings with it the entire weight of American history. But that doesn't count.

Every character in the setting tends to fit into it, every character tends to have a history hinted at or even mentioned,, especially if they are important. This is just a function of writing in a fantasy world.
I suspect that you are likely missing a not so subtle difference in scale between the characters in Middle Earth and the Dresden characters in Chicago. But if we look at characters in historical epics, there is likely a hint at the sort of characters and scale that commonly feature in epic poetry or prose: King Gilgamesh of Ur, King Beowulf of Geatland, King Odysseus of Ithaca, Prince Achilles of Phthia, and King Arthur. We are often dealing with characters who are operating on the scale of kingdoms, nations, and tribes.

Going to science fiction we can similarly see this sort of scale in Space Operas such as Dune (e.g., Duke Leto Atreides, Baron Harkonnen, Padishah Emperor, etc.), Star Wars (Princess Leia, Emperor Palpatine, Queen Amidala, General Kenobi, etc.), Barsoom (Princess Dejah Thoris, Jeddak Tar Tarkas, Princess Thuvia, etc.), or even Flash Gordon (e.g., Emperor Ming the Merciless, Princess Aura, Prince Barin, Prince Vulton, etc.).

Note: I am not saying this is distinct from S&S, because there are characters like King Conan, King Krull, or Emperor Elric, but there are also some important differences between this set. Conan does not become king by divine providence or fate, but takes it through his own hands. Whereas Elric was intentionally written as an anti-Conan who would lose his empire by his own hands.

"This story has a lot of important characters, and those characters have a backstory" does not feel like it is enough to earn the genre of Epic Fantasy.
Yeah, it's almost as if epic fantasy has other common features that contribute to the genre, and epic scale is only one such feature. But that would require reading what other people have written and contextualizing their arguments appropriately through good faith readings. However, let's rid ourselves of the ridiculous reductionist take here that this amounts to "This story has a lot of important characters, and those characters have a backstory." Or maybe we can say that there is no difference between the noir genre and teenage monster romance genre because both feature stories with beginnings, middles, and ends. But such reductionism would obviously be intellectually dishonest. So we should likewise avoid reducing the argument about characters fitting in settings with grand historical scale to simply "The story has a lot of important characters, and those characters have a backstory." In fact, maybe one should refrain from making further bad takes on arguments in the future? They are not particularly conducive to fruitful discussions.
 
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qstor

Adventurer
Why?

1. He loves Greyhawk
2. 5e is the big boy on the block, they left on slightly bad terms, but I bet Paizo wouldn't mind working on a big project with WotC - helps promote their brand too.

If they WotC wanted it, they could make it work.
I think he's wrapped up with Pathfinder and Paizo now.

I think WotC isn't invested in Greyhawk at this point. The Forgotten Realms has been the "go to" setting for a long time. The new Icewind Dale book shows that. Eberron is probably a close 2nd.
 

Mort

Hero
Supporter
I think he's wrapped up with Pathfinder and Paizo now.

I think WotC isn't invested in Greyhawk at this point. The Forgotten Realms has been the "go to" setting for a long time. The new Icewind Dale book shows that. Eberron is probably a close 2nd.
Sure, but this thread is about IF they put out a Greyhawk supplement.

Though, as I stated earlier, they kind of have - Ghosts of Saltmarsh isn't shy about being in Greyhawk.
 

I suppose the issue is how you go about defining things.

The idea that "Epic Fantasy" doesn't exist before Tolkien is something I find laughably absurd. How do we define The Journey to the West, The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odessey, The Illiad, The Epic of Beowulf, Dante's Divine Comedy? All of these are works of Fiction, all of them are epic in scope, and feature fantastical elements.

In fact, Tolkien was trying to create a mythology. If we assume he mostly succeeded, then Mythology is very similiar to Epic Fantasy.
You seem to undermining yourself pretty badly here.

Epic fantasy is a modern genre. Claiming Journey to the West is "epic fantasy" is both misunderstanding what a myth-cycle which formed over millennia is, and rather insulting to a pretty important culture myth. Likewise the others. I doubt most Greeks in say, 700 BCE, thought the Iliad was very "fantastical".

The Divine Comedy is the only one which is remotely comparable, and it has none of the features of the modern, 20th-century and later genre "epic fantasy".

And, since S&S seems to have developed and run it's course in a mere decade or two, and it is mostly known today by what it inspired, being a transition of one thing to another seems completely logical. Writing changes all the time, aspects of genres shift and transition all the time. I don't see that as a bad thing, but it certainly helps explain the short life-cycle and oddly contradictory stuff you keep claiming about S&S
Okay, I'm done.

You're not even trying, argument-wise. A decade or two? Where are you getting this totally false stuff from?

REH wrote Conan stories between 1932 and 1936, when he committed suicide. They were republished for decades, up to the present day, and still popular enough that people based films on them in 1982 and 2011. Even before him there were authors considered to be either S&S or closely related to it.

Other writers, often inspired by REH's works, continued the genre onwards, and it continued into the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s in literary format. The term wasn't coined until 1961, by a then-young Fritz Leiber. Moorcock didn't even start writing until the 1960s.

In the late 1980s and 1990s, and particularly '00s, all fantasy which isn't post-Tolkenian epic fantasy, whether it's S&S, or just fantasy that doesn't consistent of lengthy series of lengthy books has been increasingly, over that period, squeezed to the margins of the genre in terms of financial success, and the short-story magazines and collections which were where S&S was largely published have gradually faded away.

But not so outside literary fantasy. In RPGs, in TV/movie fantasy, in comics (especially in comics!), in video games, S&S was the dominant aesthetic, and remained so up to perhaps the 2000s, but it's still a common aesthetic, or even integrated into the aesthetic.

You're saying you've read articles and so on, but when you say "a decade or two", it's clear you haven't even read the wikipedia article, which I would think would normally be the starting point:


Either way I'm done, given that you've completely proven my point that if you don't try to find out about something, you will do a terrible job of arguing about it - this could scarcely be more perfectly illustrated than by summing up "1930 to 1990" as "a decade or two".
 

Hussar

Legend
/snip

I agree with scale

I disagree that character's are how you measure that scale. Jim Butcher wrote the Dresden Files to take place in Chicago, and he references Chicagoan history quite often. That is a scale too, it brings with it the entire weight of American history. But that doesn't count.
You're seriously comparing a single, American city, with a history that's measured in decades, to the epic scale of something like Middle Earth which has a history measured in millenia? Seriously?

I don't know why simple points that everyone seems to agree on keep getting my raked over the coals.
Because you aren't even trying to understand. The fact that I had to list out all those elements means that you actually don't know what you're talking about and are making zero effort to be informed before jumping in to criticize.


I suppose the issue is how you go about defining things.

The idea that "Epic Fantasy" doesn't exist before Tolkien is something I find laughably absurd. How do we define The Journey to the West, The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odessey, The Illiad, The Epic of Beowulf, Dante's Divine Comedy? All of these are works of Fiction, all of them are epic in scope, and feature fantastical elements.

In fact, Tolkien was trying to create a mythology. If we assume he mostly succeeded, then Mythology is very similiar to Epic Fantasy.
Sigh. Epic Fantasy is a Fantasy form, number one, which doesn't exist in literature prior to the 19th century. It's also referring to the NOVEL form, which, also, doesn't really exist before the 18th century. Good grief, this is basic Lit Crit from high school.

And, since S&S seems to have developed and run it's course in a mere decade or two, and it is mostly known today by what it inspired, being a transition of one thing to another seems completely logical. Writing changes all the time, aspects of genres shift and transition all the time. I don't see that as a bad thing, but it certainly helps explain the short life-cycle and oddly contradictory stuff you keep claiming about S&S

/snip
I suggest you look at Heroic Fantasy Quarterly - Prose. Poetry. Pulp. or Black Gate before you begin writing off S&S as a genre. Or, look up Glen Cook's Black Company novels for another current example.

IOW, THIS is why you are getting raked over the coals. You are making zero effort to actually understand what's being explained to you and you are now forcing the rest of us to regurgitate crap that you should have learned in high school English classes. This is just freaking ridiculous.
 

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