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


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Modern Urban fantasy has the same problem as SciFi to an even greater extend. People know how the modern world works which limits the power fantasy before it breaks versimilitude and the chance to run into things you want to escape from while gaming is bigger.
That's an issue with "urban", not with fantasy, medieval, or science fiction. As soon as you remove your PCs from "civilisation" the problem goes away. Many medieval societies where far more structured and authoritarian than our world, and you can't depend on "well, the players are ignorant".
 

Ixal

Adventurer
That's an issue with "urban", not with fantasy, medieval, or science fiction. As soon as you remove your PCs from "civilisation" the problem goes away. Many medieval societies where far more structured and authoritarian than our world, and you can't depend on "well, the players are ignorant".
Yes but when you go full Harry Potter parallel world, whats the point of calling it modern urban?
 



Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Modern Urban fantasy has the same problem as SciFi to an even greater extend. People know how the modern world works which limits the power fantasy before it breaks versimilitude and the chance to run into things you want to escape from while gaming is bigger.
That's the beauty of it. You don't play any fully normal people in urban modern fantasy BECAUSE you know they are weak.
 




Dracula and Frankenstein was when?
Whist parts of Dracula would work as an RPG, Frankenstein really does not without huge deviations from the novel. Both of those have already been done in D&D fashion anyway.

And I would question if 19th century is what people mean by "modern". Eberron is more "modern" than either of those.

Also, Frankenstein is science fiction, not fantasy.
 
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MGibster

Legend
Dracula and Frankenstein was when?
From before urban fantasy was a genre? I’m usually pretty flexible and take a big tent attitude towards inclusion on fantasy and science fiction and I think Dracula is a great book. But I don’t classify it as fantasy and the same goes for Frankenstein.
 

dragoner

solisrpg.com
where are the Marxist revolutionaries?
Marxism is mostly central planning, and Hegelian dialectical - the whole "class war" thing is from the enlightenment ensconced in things such as the US Constitution, where to quote Adams: "the US will be a country of laws, not men" and proceeded to ban titles of nobility, or from Smith's Wealth of Nations, where he envisioned a free market where goods and services are exchanged, free of interference by wealthy nobles.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
From before urban fantasy was a genre? I’m usually pretty flexible and take a big tent attitude towards inclusion on fantasy and science fiction and I think Dracula is a great book. But I don’t classify it as fantasy and the same goes for Frankenstein.
It's urban fantasy.

Now of course modern urban fantasy is more recent. Since it's modern.

That is usually called superhero game and not modern urban fantasy.
Being a werewolf, dhampir, wizard, or kitted out fighter with buffs isn't superhero.
 

I don't think people actually believe that.

You find more lawless frontiers in science fiction than pretty much anywhere else. The galaxy is big.
The galaxy is big in gross terms, but when travelling at the speed of plot, a parsec and across a bridge are the same distance, so long as they both divide civilization from unpoliced territory.
That's an issue with "urban", not with fantasy, medieval, or science fiction. As soon as you remove your PCs from "civilisation" the problem goes away. Many medieval societies where far more structured and authoritarian than our world, and you can't depend on "well, the players are ignorant".
Real medieval societies maybe not, but fantasy ones the frontier is often right outside town limits. That's one assumption that a lot of fantasy RPGs make -- that there is a place the PCs can relatively easily go where there is little oversight from society at large (so that problems that need solving can flourish and that a trusty band of men and women of action can be the solution to said problems).

The usual approach to doing urban is to make the PCs outlaws (and the society dystopian so they don't have to be villains). Then the city becomes the wilderness. That works the same if the PCs are shadowrunners or Robin Hood.
Also super-spies. Anyone for whom the standard rules don't count (or you're badass enough to avoid regular cops), and you can't really call upon the standard power structures of police/military/courts to do what needs to be done.

My general point is that I think science fiction and fantasy can do the same thing -- create a convenient place where the PCs can rattle about being the heroes, antiheroes, heroes in name only, or outright rapscallions (so, every flavor of adventurer). What is required is something to be gained or solved (that can be gained or solved by a group of adventurers/occasionally a small army led by a group of adventurers) and an explanation for why this won't be/already wasn't done by some large and organized powers-that-be.
 


It's an assumption most RPGs make, it doesn't have to be fantasy. And the more you try to be "realistic" and "historical" the less plausible it becomes.
Too true. Perhaps why you don't see many historical fiction-style* RPGs, despite there being plenty of historical fiction and historically accurate (to a given level of granularity) wargames and the like.
*note to self: Johnny Tremain RPG-look into it!.
 

dragoner

solisrpg.com
Too true. Perhaps why you don't see many historical fiction-style* RPGs, despite there being plenty of historical fiction and historically accurate (to a given level of granularity) wargames and the like.
*note to self: Johnny Tremain RPG-look into it!.
Zweihander just did a american revolution rpg, and other historical ones: call of cthulhu, haunted west, etc. are pretty big, also one like the mythic series from mythras.
 

Zweihander just did a american revolution rpg, and other historical ones: call of cthulhu, haunted west, etc. are pretty big, also one like the mythic series from mythras.
I think we're getting into a 'define many' situation (also, if we are making a list, there's a Traveller port called Mercator). I would put the big names (some more recently than others) as CoC and the White Wolf Storyteller games -- and each of them have a very solid explanation as to why the police/other IRL powers that be don't step in and solve the problems the PCs are instead to solve -- no one believes the Miskatonic University crew team just turned into shark people, the Camarilla have all the police detectives on payroll, magical forces keep the locals from seeing the magical firefight on 4th and Main, etc.
 

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