Has anyone tried to explain the ahistorical features of the standard fantasy setting in-universe?

Umbran

Mod Squad
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When a player asks me about an ahistorical Dungeon Fantasy (D&D) element, I put forth an honest attempt to make the strange things fit. But once I make eye contact with the Dragonborn PC, I just give up.

Well, you should have the same problem when you present a dragon, or a gelatinous cube. There's any number of biological anomalies that D&D presents.
 

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Well, the point is to try to explain the ahistorical elements common to our fantasies, not to dismiss them.
True, although my point is that in this specific case, there really is no explanation if you're not using D&D, with its modern concepts and economy.
 

Anyway while peasants in early medieval times may have been too poor to support thieves, there was still theft and criminality in the era. Equally the DnD game takes inspiratiom a very broad swath of history and isnt all north west europe..
As I clearly noted, I don't use D&D.
 

But if they are going to nail it down to the year, that's not about mythology, but history. The Minoan Eruption happened about 3600 years before today, so around 1600 BCE, not 3113 BCE.
The reason why the Shadowrun RPG has dates for when one world ended and another began was to show how the flow of magic on this alternate Earth came in cycles that lasted thousands of years.

The Cycle of Magic
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
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True, although my point is that in this specific case, there really is no explanation if you're not using D&D, with its modern concepts and economy.

Well, D&D doesn't actually have an economy - a thing many people complain about. There is no underlying model telling you how many people have stuff worth stealing. It is purely a setting conceit, not really specific to D&D - D&D took it from fantasy fiction, after all.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
The reason why the Shadowrun RPG has dates for when one world ended and another began was to show how the flow of magic on this alternate Earth came in cycles that lasted thousands of years.

I am well aware. But that date is still ahistorical by about 1500 years - a large chunk of a cycle.
 



Umbran

Mod Squad
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I am at a bit of a loss as to why this is a problem.

So, it is a "problem" insofar as it is far easier to explain an Atlantis somewhere else that was completely destroyed on the date in question, than it is to explain an ahistorical specifically Theran eruption in-game.

This is an issue with fantasies set in the "real world" - changing the history of our world gets people thinking about the consequences of those changes in ways that having an entirely fictional world have a different historical path than ours does not.

If you want to have a mostly-historic London in the year 1200, with a thieve's guild, that's hard to make sensible, because of the real world size of London and the economy of the British Isles you're up against.

In the Forgotten Realms, though, you just note that the presence of divine and arcane magic in the FR allows for generation of wealth far beyond what we saw at the same technological level in our world - harvests are larger, disease less of an issue, and so on - allowing for larger cities with larger upper-middle and upper-classes that have stuff worth stealing, sufficient to support some forms of organized crime.
 


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