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

D&D medieval times can be broken down to Early Medieval period of 1945 to 1965 which cover Errol Flynn, Robin Hood and them movies with a castle. The Late Medieval Period of 1982 to 2005 which covers Cona, That Lord of Rings movies, and them there movies with castle and jump cuts.
I would divide them into the Pre-Mud and Post-Mud period. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) being the first D&D movie with mud.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Yora

Legend
Player's buying into the setting has been my biggest problem with attempts to run a Star Trek game (and less frequently with Star Wars).
Star Trek just really doesn't seem to lend itself well to RPGs, in my view.
The heroes of Star Trek are all captains and command crews who are in charge of hundreds of people while also acting on orders they get from above. This leads to a combination of too much responsibility and not enough freedom. There is no real space for just wandering off chasing after something that catches your interest and goof around to see what happens.
You could play a game in the Star Trek setting playing characters who aren't Starfleet officers. But why would you want to play a Star Trek game that isn't about what Star Trek is 98% all about?

Star Wars is a completely different situation. You can just hop into your own private space ship and run off to whatever little planet catches your curiosity and get into swashbuckling shenanigans with the authorities and criminals, blow everything sky high, and then fly off into the sunset with no further consequences.
You could play Rebel soldiers, but I never really see that mentioned when people talk about Star Wars campaigns.
 

Hussar

Legend
Excellent thread and excellent points being made!

Just to clarify my own position since I was part of the original conversation that spawned this.

My basic point was that in much of fantasy (both as a genre and an RPG) we tend to gloss over (the term I used was lampshade) the icky parts of what I mistakenly referred to as feudal periods. Again, people got a bit more caught up in chewing up the exact definitions rather than the point I was trying to make.

The point is this - yes, we use a Ren-Faire approach to a fantasy setting that is very loosely based on pre-industrial cultures, typically from Europe, although certainly not exclusively that. But, we then completely romanticize the whole thing. We have "good kings" that do good things and are "good kingdoms".

Meanwhile, players will absolutely lose their minds over things like the Wall of the Faithless in Forgotten Realms. Or the Cataclysm in Dragonlance. But, have no problems with autocratic governments where your character really has no rights or freedoms. But, because we ignore all that (mostly in service to creating an "old west" approach - itself incredibly ahistorical and romanticized) we wind up with these settings that, if you step back and pull off the lampshade, you realize that these settings are hiding a lot of nastiness that we just gloss over.

The reason for this whole sidebar was a comment about how war-games of the 1970's which formed the basis for a lot of D&D, also lampshade a lot of the more icky parts of history in service to fanstasy.

Again, of course we do. Heck, how many people play Grand Theft Auto and love it? Are they horrible people for liking the game? Of course not.
 

Star Trek just really doesn't seem to lend itself well to RPGs, in my view.
It works just fine if the players are Star Trek fans.
The heroes of Star Trek are all captains and command crews who are in charge of hundreds of people while also acting on orders they get from above. This leads to a combination of too much responsibility and not enough freedom.
You watched Star Trek? The crew are just moving wallpaper, there are only a few characters who matter.
There is no real space for just wandering off chasing after something that catches your interest and goof around to see what happens.
True. But for many players having a clear mission objective is an advantage. They don't want to goof around in the hope that something interesting turns up.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Star Trek just really doesn't seem to lend itself well to RPGs, in my view.
The heroes of Star Trek are all captains and command crews who are in charge of hundreds of people while also acting on orders they get from above. This leads to a combination of too much responsibility and not enough freedom. There is no real space for just wandering off chasing after something that catches your interest and goof around to see what happens.
You could play a game in the Star Trek setting playing characters who aren't Starfleet officers. But why would you want to play a Star Trek game that isn't about what Star Trek is 98% all about?

Star Wars is a completely different situation. You can just hop into your own private space ship and run off to whatever little planet catches your curiosity and get into swashbuckling shenanigans with the authorities and criminals, blow everything sky high, and then fly off into the sunset with no further consequences.
You could play Rebel soldiers, but I never really see that mentioned when people talk about Star Wars campaigns.
If the assumed operation state of RPGs is murderhobo, than yeah Star Trek is a hard sell. Star Trek tends to be a smaller sandbox the sides are easy to see. For many that instantly means railroad. There is so much opportunity working inside such well defined boxes as Star Trek. YMMV.
 



Jer

Legend
Supporter
If the assumed operation state of RPGs is murderhobo, than yeah Star Trek is a hard sell.
That's true, but it isn't just the murderhobos who might object. There are players who don't like having a "mission framework" for their games and prefer to have independent operators. Any kind of authority telling them to go somewhere and do something is immediately seen as a railroad, so they reject the premise of a standard idea of a Star Trek game.

(I say standard idea because in fact I'd think that a Star Trek game could make a perfect sandbox. Set it on an exploration vessel out on a five year mission to explore the fringes of known space, let the players figure out where they want to go, and it's basically a big sandbox. But a lot of folks - especially those who are thinking Next Gen - see Star Trek and think "Starfleet command structure" and think it's going to be all mission based.)
 

Zubatcarteira

Now you're infected by the Musical Doodle
Excellent thread and excellent points being made!

Just to clarify my own position since I was part of the original conversation that spawned this.

My basic point was that in much of fantasy (both as a genre and an RPG) we tend to gloss over (the term I used was lampshade) the icky parts of what I mistakenly referred to as feudal periods. Again, people got a bit more caught up in chewing up the exact definitions rather than the point I was trying to make.

The point is this - yes, we use a Ren-Faire approach to a fantasy setting that is very loosely based on pre-industrial cultures, typically from Europe, although certainly not exclusively that. But, we then completely romanticize the whole thing. We have "good kings" that do good things and are "good kingdoms".

Meanwhile, players will absolutely lose their minds over things like the Wall of the Faithless in Forgotten Realms. Or the Cataclysm in Dragonlance. But, have no problems with autocratic governments where your character really has no rights or freedoms. But, because we ignore all that (mostly in service to creating an "old west" approach - itself incredibly ahistorical and romanticized) we wind up with these settings that, if you step back and pull off the lampshade, you realize that these settings are hiding a lot of nastiness that we just gloss over.

The reason for this whole sidebar was a comment about how war-games of the 1970's which formed the basis for a lot of D&D, also lampshade a lot of the more icky parts of history in service to fanstasy.

Again, of course we do. Heck, how many people play Grand Theft Auto and love it? Are they horrible people for liking the game? Of course not.
From skimming some Forgotten Realms modules and wiki pages, I think I can safely say that 20% of the population are polymorphed Ancient Dragons, 30% are Archmages, and the rest are Zentharim. No wonder no one wants to show the bad stuff, the players are screwed if they try to fight anyone.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
That's true, but it isn't just the murderhobos who might object. There are players who don't like having a "mission framework" for their games and prefer to have independent operators. Any kind of authority telling them to go somewhere and do something is immediately seen as a railroad, so they reject the premise of a standard idea of a Star Trek game.

(I say standard idea because in fact I'd think that a Star Trek game could make a perfect sandbox. Set it on an exploration vessel out on a five year mission to explore the fringes of known space, let the players figure out where they want to go, and it's basically a big sandbox. But a lot of folks - especially those who are thinking Next Gen - see Star Trek and think "Starfleet command structure" and think it's going to be all mission based.)
Sure, pretty much addressed in my comment.

Edit: Though, yes I did think about the 5 year mission and you are totally right. Thats how you get away from Fleet command and allow the players to do as they like. Well, assuming they are following the prime directives... ;)
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top