"Modern" things in your game?


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haiiro

First Post
Gender equality is a common one, as is near-universal literacy. Clean cities and a high availability of good steel also seem to crop up a lot.

I tend to include the first and last item, but deliberately avoid the other two for the most part.
 


WayneLigon

Adventurer
Shamelessly stolen from the Paksenarrion and Lackey books: a common wild flower that, when chewed or made into a tea, makes pregnancy impossible a few days. Without the worry of unwanted pregnancy, women have a larger role in society in general.

Some of the environmentalism, though I don't see that as a 'modern' idea but rather an outgrowth of what happens when you can have people that can go to The Land and talk to it and it's spirits, find out 'hey, what we're doing is bad for the land and - by direct result, us - and here's what we should be doing, and why'.

Those are the most common ones I'll use, and usually about the only ones. Things are, in fact, usually even worse than they were in the High Middle Ages.
 

Buttercup

Princess of Florin
Gender equality and literacy as a common state are the two biggies. However, there are some ways in which my players' world view colors their responses to things. Slavery, for instance. Social tolerance, also for instance.

I think that in general, certain behaviors that we (and the standard D&D alignment) consider non-good, wouldn't have been looked at that way in the middle ages.

For instance, we value the lives and rights of individuals much more highly than was done in the past. Indentured servitude was common & accepted by everyone. No doubt those who were indentured would have prefered otherwise, but society as a whole, and the nobility in particular did not consider a commoner's wishes to be worth worrying about. Generally, our modern notions of justice would have only applied to the nobility, and sometimes not even then. Children were not treated tenderly, as we do now. They were beaten, starved, stuffed into armor (go look at the tiny sets of armor at the Tower of London if you want to get a queasy stomach) and given sticks to hit each other with...if they were lucky. Otherwise they were just put to work as scullions or rag pickers or the like.

And let's consider hygene. Bathing was considered dangerous, so everybody stank like the alcoholic street bum on the corner. Everybody had lice, and fleas and probably lots of rashes and oozing sores as well. Being in a crowded venue such as a church must have been a torment. Also, if you got some sort of infection, if your immune system did not overcome it then you would either have a chronic illness for the rest of your wretched life, or it would kill you outright in an acute bout of suffering. Nearly everyone had rotten teeth, so that means their smiles were a horror, and their breath was worse than a sewer. And that just scratches the surface.

No, modern players, including me, wouldn't be all that enamored of playing in a truly realistic medieval setting.
 
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CRGreathouse

Community Supporter
haiiro said:
Gender equality is a common one, as is near-universal literacy. Clean cities and a high availability of good steel also seem to crop up a lot.

I tend to include the first and last item, but deliberately avoid the other two for the most part.

Doug McCrae said:
Modern environmentalism practised by elves and druids.

I have a somewhat modern approach to gender equality in my game, a compromise if you will between the Middle Ages and today.

I try hard to avoid many of the modernisms: universal literacy, cheap steel, and modern environmentalism. About 10% of the population of my world is literate (this varies by nation; some have lower literacy). Steel is only used for masterwork items and the like; nonmasterwork items are generally made of iron or copper.

I don't allow the 'hippy ecoterrorist' model for druids. They are the keepers of nature, the guardians of the world against destruction by dispassionate Nature.
 

Mulkhoran

First Post
CRGreathouse said:
I don't allow the 'hippy ecoterrorist' model for druids. They are the keepers of nature, the guardians of the world against destruction by dispassionate Nature.


I'm sorry, could you expand on this a bit? Do you mean here that races could rapidly expand and strip-mine the entire planet, and the druids would do nothing? Or do you mean something less extreme?
 

VirgilCaine

First Post
CRGreathouse said:
I have a somewhat modern approach to gender equality in my game, a compromise if you will between the Middle Ages and today.

I try hard to avoid many of the modernisms: universal literacy, cheap steel, and modern environmentalism. About 10% of the population of my world is literate (this varies by nation; some have lower literacy). Steel is only used for masterwork items and the like; nonmasterwork items are generally made of iron or copper.

I don't allow the 'hippy ecoterrorist' model for druids. They are the keepers of nature, the guardians of the world against destruction by dispassionate Nature.

Universal literacy IMC is helped by the old Greyhawk deity Lydia (or was it Lirr...) whose priest(ess)s teach basic literacy and numbers to commoner children. Richer people take care of their own children mostly, so just about everyone knows how to read on at least a basic level. You have to be a pretty backwards person not to in most countries IMC.

As for "hippy ecoterrorist" druids--they exist IMC, but they're the Neutral Evil ones. Your model is right on target for how people would really see Nature.

Nature is where the werewolves and goblins and dragonnes/wyvern/dragons and monsters come from, so someone saying not to thin out the forest so the army/adventurers/mercs can get to the goblin tribe easier is not well received by most normal people IMC.

Do you mean here that races could rapidly expand and strip-mine the entire planet, and the druids would do nothing? Or do you mean something less extreme?

Don't be so dramatic.
Remember all those MONSTERS in the wilds? That'll slow down the "rapid expansion" a lot. Besides, it's impossible that the whole planet will be strip mined because we need farms too.

IMC, NG druids support developing resources for (demi-)humankinds benefit. They'd be in the scouting parties making sure that the mining area is safe from monsters.

TN druids would want to balance the industry with what would keep the area stable in terms of animal populations and such. Not that they would oppose the development, but they would advise some restraint, perhaps. And they also would be on the front lines, fighting the dragons or wyverns or hippogriffs or whatnot.

CN druids? Wouldn't care.
LN druids? They'd help fight the monsters also. Survival of the fittest, you see.
NE druids? These guys would actively fight the other druids and the adventurers/mercs the miners/loggers hired.
 
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der_kluge

Adventurer
When I thread the subject, my mind immediately raced to something very literal.

In high school, the norm in my area was to take characters with you from game to game. So, often times, you would play with someone's character who had been ran under multiple DMs. Anyway, one of the guys I played with had a character who had come across, in a treasure horde of some kind, a Black & Decker power drill, or something like it. Of course, it had a plug-in, so was absolutely worthless. But, as a curiosity, he carried it around with him.

I always thought that was funny.
 

Keeper of Secrets

First Post
hygene, lack of plagues breaking out all the time, ease of travel . . .

Rarely do I as a GM feel the need to describe commoners covered in dung and filth working in the fields.
 

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