D&D General Why Fantasy? Goin' Medieval in D&D

Gravenhurst48

Explorer
The overlap between how American fantasy conceptions came about in D&D, and how America created a mythic and fantastical "Old West...."


.....are not a coincidence. IMO.

(Remember that many of the people who created D&D in the 70s and 80s grew up consuming Westerns when they were younger)
No coincidence is correct. It has been mentioned the success of Star Wars by George Lucas, was influenced by other genres, like samurai films from Akira Kurosawa, and from Westerns by Sergio Leone. And in similar fashion, it has been mentioned, Appendix N in the AD&D DMG showcases the influences Gary Gygax and others had with the fantasy genre D&D was set upon, which included Lovecraft horror and Boot Hill too.
 

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Alzrius

The EN World kitten
The only ones I can think of are Pro Wrestling RPGs - which really pushes the boundaries of what I'd call a "sport" but as a "soap opera stunt show" can make a pretty good environment for an RPG.
I kind of want to find a copy of the World Wrestling Federation Basic Adventure Game after listening to Spoony's review of it (he rates it highly compared to the d20-based Know Your Role! game).

 

Gravenhurst48

Explorer
Conan looks like a powerful action hero to me! He doesn't have superpowers, he is just better than everyone else. Which is really even more fantastical.

And there are plenty of mighty heroes in Tolkien, he just chooses not to focus on those characters.
Many Louis L'Amour cowboys were heroes in my books.
 

Gravenhurst48

Explorer
Why bother, some tables excepted, D&D is not exploring any history. The medieval period has been beaten into something that we can all use. Where a potboy can mouth off to a lord and survive the experience (again there may be tables where this is not so) and it is a thing of its own.
It has a much resemblance to anything historic as the "Mystic Knights of Tír na nÓg" has to the Book of Conquests
Or the Knights that say "Ni"!
 

Gravenhurst48

Explorer
It certainly could exist. Action Heroes can do whatever the plot requires them to do. They have far fewer limits than superheroes, whose abilities are limited by their powerset.

Who would win in a fight between Conan and Hercules? Conan, because Hercules only has superstrength, whereas Conan's abilities are always just enough for him to win.
Bruce Willis in Die Hard films, Sgt. Rock WW2 comic, Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon, Reacher, Nightwing aka Robin, and...RAMBO!
 

Gravenhurst48

Explorer
I bother. I like history. Even if it is infused with fantastic elements like actual magic, or gods that actually exist and intervene. Fantasy needs to be grounded in some semblance of historic verisimilitude to have any appeal for me. And since—and this is a purely personal opinion of mine—I don't like magitech and steampunk, I prefer going back instead of forward in time. I just can't stand swashbuckling musketeers riding magic trains and wearing laced velvet shirts.

Something like Design Mechanism's "Mythic Britain/Logres", TLG's "Codex Nordica/Germania/Slavorum/Celtarum" or Mongoose's "Vikings of Legend" is right up my alley.
You might be interested in the fantasy series with Percy Jackson, The Olympeans and Heroes of Olympus, are modern fantasy stories based on old world gods of mythology, walking around present day Earth. A third series is in the works too. The film 'Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief', may be geared to teenagers, but may be easier to watch with family than the light read of the novels, which are good compared to D&D novel writers.
 


Gravenhurst48

Explorer
I don't like arguments like this because they read as, "you and most everyone who posts here are irrelevant to modern D&D, so stop cluttering up the internet with your outdated opinions".
How is his comment argumentative?
Quote, "Good for you but aside from knowledge of the period in question D&D as is, caters to you." To me, your response generates an argument. Lol. The first guy wants historical theme, thus D&D Medieval themes will work for him, or he can change setting to his own theme with work.
And I do not mean to begin an argument. Just pointing out the original comment.
 
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Gravenhurst48

Explorer
Honesty pretty much every RPG company up until Wizards decided to try a different model with D&D 5e. Every one I know of at least.
Yes, Open Gaming License has flooded the market with rules for everything WOTC won't create themselves. Too many IMO. But, many historical fantasy Medieval themed downloads and print options are available from DRIVETHRU RPG, will keep many of us old schoolers happy if not just create your own material now or purchase from new RPG developers. Kickstarter comes to mind with new and familiar gaming campaign wants.
 


Gravenhurst48

Explorer
Are Dresden Files and the various WoD games superhero games?
I followed your link and the Dresden Files novel's are included as Urban Fantasy, along with Ghostbusters, Buffy Vampire Slayer, Teen Wolf, Gremlins. This is interesting because any vampire, werewolf, undead theme would be classed as an Urban Fantasy, I suppose? I did not see Lovecraft listed, possibly due to Horror has its own category type?
Then the Underworld films would be classed under urban or horror? I guess it depends in the purpose of the story. If the monster is meant to only kill you and to be hunted as a pest, then it is classed as a Horror. And if the monsters co-live in your society, thus film/comic Blade would be Urban fantasy, like the Larping games Werewolf and Vampire, and video game Cyberpunk? This would be good to start another blog thread to answer this maybe? Lol.
 

Gravenhurst48

Explorer
I think your basic point is valid. It's even more valid because I agree with it.


True story: I rented GTA:III from a video store (remember those?) and the first time I shot someone in the head with the sniper rifle and a geyser of blood gushed into the air I laughed out loud. When I had to return the game I went out and bought it immediately. Good times.
Oh man, I could start a new thread topic about gratuitous violence in gaming. Not a fan since becoming a father, but when I was teenager I can relate to anything that is bad because I experimented or did anways.
 

Gravenhurst48

Explorer
Relative lack? - are there any sports RPGs out there?

The only ones I can think of are Pro Wrestling RPGs - which really pushes the boundaries of what I'd call a "sport" but as a "soap opera stunt show" can make a pretty good environment for an RPG.

I'm really curious to go off to Drive Thru or itch and see if I can find a football RPG now...
Games Workshop has Warhammer BLOODBOWL!
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Well, Blood Bowl isn't really an RPG. It's a skirmish war/board game with miniatures, with two players opposing each other to win the game. You can organize a league to play a whole campaign/season, but there's normally no referee/GM to adjudicate any shenanigans outside the strict rules, and each player runs a team, not an individual character.
 

Gravenhurst48

Explorer
Well, Blood Bowl isn't really an RPG. It's a skirmish war/board game with miniatures, with two players opposing each other to win the game. You can organize a league to play a whole campaign/season, but there's normally no referee/GM to adjudicate any shenanigans outside the strict rules, and each player runs a team, not an individual character.
Bloodbowl is Warhammer FANTASY or 50K, thus still RPG related, to be technical, so totally disagree. D&D had reincarnated Chainmail based off Battlesystem if I recall, trying to compete with Game Workshops 50k miniature army games. I know its not an actual RPG but Chainmail and Bloodbowl are implied as RPGS because they borrow from the RPG rules and mechanics from their parent RPG company.
A Bloodbowl Team could be a PC group who are captains of their squads. Just like gambling night in D&D with Knuckle Bones and Dragon Chess, etc.. The players are at a tavern drinking and gambling to win the oot. The same can be done with Bloodbowl to include more roleplaying scenarios and incorporate the bloodbowlers as a PC class, like a gladiator on weekends in the arena, and when not in the arena, a hired bodyguard, mercenary, killer, thug, adventurer to pay for better protection and cleats, etc.. And if you know Warhammer, it is based on career paths so, Bloodbowl can be easily adapted into an RPG because it uses Warhammer RPG mechanics.
Way off topic, as I only contributed to above comments to someone else comments, which ain't important because they ain't related to the thread topic. LMAO. I love Warhammer as much as D&D.
And to steer this back onto discussion, which I have yet to fully contribute my own opinion own the topic, Dungeons and Dragons works best in the middle ages because the fantasy of make believe is relatable, like fantasy football instead of jousting.
 

gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
As far as A goes, I agree. I do play Old West, and Sci-Fi, though both are fantasy as well with the latter being Starfinder, which is science fantasy.

B and C, in general I agree at least, but I'm a bit corner case, like some, in that I sometimes seek distinct historical cultures and delve more deeply, seek more nuance, and in a sense achieve more historic accuracy, despite operating as a fantasy setting. Noting of course, like my Kaidan setting of Japanese Horror (PFRPG) which is set in a feudal Japan analog, it's not Japan. So doesn't have to cleave to every historical aspect of Japan, even though I tried to be as authentic as I could in it's development.

In a previous personal setting, I ran a 8th century inspired Vikings, Anglo Saxons & Celts England analog campaign, which I limit access to weapons, armor and the technologies of the time. So while my personal and published settings are fantasy, and often cleaving to some historical epoch at least in inspiration. I know most people aren't so specific in their "medieval fantasy", but some people, like myself, to a degree are at least moreso.
 


gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
I avoid any sort of historical setting because I would be so worried about getting it wrong that I wouldn't be able to have fun. Fantasy is fantasy, not history.
That's why I only use historical inspiration, I don't do true history, though emulating it closely is still a goal. Still it's not historical fantasy, but I find it immensely fun, especially if you can provide a immersive setting doing so, that even educates to a degree. I don't find it an obstacle in creating great environments, or in any way lessens the fun to be had.
 

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