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Everything posted by Calmar

  1. Yeah, thecape of the Obsidian Order should be enchantable. Otherwise its about completely useless.
  2. People want a gritty, violent and 'realistic' world but complain when one dude has prejudices?
  3. I don't agree with the OP, but I like Titan Quest and the video he posted is misleading. Normally, defeated enemies don't fly around much, only a critical hit sends them flying *a bit*. In the video, however, we see a powerful high level character fighting very weak low-level enemies. Naturally he does overwhelmingly high damage to them, causing to be hurled away for unusual distances.
  4. "Sergeant," asked the old man, "I've come to See my son." "There," said the sergeant, "There he lies across his gun." "Across his gun, you say? Then Johnny stood his ground?" "He stood there like a rock until they cut him down." The old man left, his John part of the battle won. "Yes," said the sergeant, "John was too damned dumb to run." Chicken, chicken, chicken; Hoorah for Johnny Zero! He wasn't worth a **** alive; but dead he is a hero... from The Tomorrow Testament by Barry B. Longyear, p.7
  5. Basically, it does work. The cucial difference is that one word is charged with strong negative connotations while the other isn't. A word by itself is just a sound that is given a meaning by human use. Every word could be used as insult (as it might happen with mobbing). When, for instance, we go back to the olden-timey example of World War I propaganda posted earlier, we find that "hun" is used as a hostile and derogatory term to refer to Germans. It is not difficult to envisage that it could evoke strong emotional reactions a century ago. To-day, however, it is again just a word that doesn't cause even the slightest stir.
  6. Actually, "dark skinned and tribal" (or green-skinned) are the aspects of to-days depiction of Orcs that I quite dislike. I like my Orc to be inhuman and militaristic, a foil to whatever culture's perspective we share in the narrative; not a racist depiction of another culture. But I maintain that it should be avoided to interpret everything in fantasy with the goal to discern some racist undertone, lest we have worlds where every conflict is blurred diluted by a filter of misguided need of harmony. Everything can be misinterpreted into being racist or offensive. You can achieve satisfying orcishness with pale skin.
  7. World War I is over for 96 years and WW2 has ended seven decades ago and there is peace now - the anti-German and anti-Japanese hostility in fiction must end!
  8. I'm fairly positive that Tolkien's idea of the orcs began to develop before any Asian powers or supposed threats began to make any significant appearances in Europe. Here is an interesting essay on Tolkien's orcs. Note for instance that according to that site, it is "often theorized that Orcs represent German soldiers. There certainly are similarities between them. Orcs are almost caricatures of the German enemy of trench warfare: the hordes of gray, pitiless warriors who overwhelm the brave and outnumbered defenders of the West." ^ That boy looks cooler than racist-stereotype-Japanese-guy in any case. You can interpret any fantasy race as a racist caricature with more or less effort. What I find more convincing is that the Orcs are inspired by the trench fighter of the Western Front in general - a person who has lost his hope and his humanity in the endless battles of the hellish trenches. * * * The discussion here reminds me of a very interesting take on the question whether Watto from Star Wars Episode I is an anti-Semitic stereotype on jewornotjew.com: "If a character is designated as Jewish and is portrayed as loving money, having a big nose, being henpecked by women, whatever, that's a negative Jewish stereotype and the creator should be called to task. But if a character has a big nose and loves money and the anti-defamation league or whoever says that makes him/her Jewish, well, that's not the creator of the character spreading negative stereotypes. That's the Jews themselves." I think fantasy races should first of all be considered by themselves.
  9. Using genuine orcs and goblins is ok - they're as much part of the fantasy-mythology as are angels, trolls, or wyverns. Using stuff that clearly behaves and feels like orcs and goblins but pretends to be an original creature (about every usually-evil race of usually-minions) is rubbish.
  10. Where does this even come from? Is it a Warcraft thing? Orcs in Tolkien are different.
  11. I think rape is among the most boring devices to establish someone as a villain. Worse are only burning orphanages and kicking puppies. Your example is basically a scenario about a guy who's unable to cope with his suffering. That's fine. Having him being a man of virtue and reputation who's raped by monsters looks more like morbid excitement about and fascination with the violence and humiliation itself, as opposed to the effect it had on him. I agree with you, but at the same time I wonder if violence and war (tried and true story devices) don't have the same effect on those who had to endure them in real life.
  12. To me, the Icewind Dale series is a great experience *because* it is so linear - all focus is put on its plot and atmosphere, like in an interactive book (th ebox and cut scenes even *are* books). Baldur's Gate 1+2 are great games, in comparison, but the experience derives from the sense of freedom created by the numerous side-quests, not from the pretty straightforward and simple main story.
  13. Shoulder eats crossguard! But it looks cool! Where is this picture from?
  14. Don't know if this approach is the best, but I definitely like it, too. The hero narrating her or his own story sounds a bit too self-absorbed, so it's got to be someone who's trustworthy, but not too deply connected with the actual adventure.
  15. I like realistic armor, but the more nitpicky the the discussion becomes, the less fun it it. Why don't we just trust the devs to create armor that doens't look silly? I mean, IF they want totally unrealistic stuff in their game really hard, they'll include it no matter what.
  16. Ciphers seem like psionics to me, mostly mindy powers, not the stuff you find on the standard wizard spell list. If you don't want to learn your spells from nerdy books, they automatically end up mindy, don't you think? Where else should your spells and your knowledge of them come from? Unless you are happy to play a druid or priestess as a wizard.
  17. If you had ever had the joy of running a tabletop rpg for characters whose concept is basically 'I boycott the game', you wouldn't propose such dialogue options. Just hit the 'Farewell'-option everytime someone talks to your character. Bsides, from the looks of it, noples in Eternity are warrior-elite and rulers, not fancy layabouts who spend their days wasting money and attending diner parties...
  18. Personally, I am not particularily interested in PC-game romances, but by your logic, there needn't be any kind of relationship or interaction whatsoever between "almost faceless bunch of pixels in a random video game".
  19. First the game has to convince me that the setting is good enough for me to warrant any effort on reading books set therein. Besides, how is an author to know how the setting really feels like before the game is released? Authors writing novels without really knowing the world they write about have a fair chance to end up writing stuff like the Baldur's Gate novel.
  20. It's a good system. The alternative is to not balance the two, so that you can just pick 7 merits and -5 flaws and be an uber-person. Given the two choices, I'd go with balanced "merits" and "flaws" (whatever their names). The games that don't let you pick them separately tend to just pair them up anyway, a la Arcanum or Fallout. "You get this good thing, but also you kind of suck like so..." etc. In my experience it means "pick a flaw that's irrelevant to your character and gain extra points. I've seen a few melee fighters with a crippling penalty on the ranged attacks they never made, or cowardly wizards who flew from monsters they wouldn't have attacked in close combat anyway... The only kind of flaws I respect are the ones that actually hinder you. Besides, aren't combat injuries going to mar characters in PoE?
  21. It's funny that you react so angrily, because no matter how much you dislike me, or the LotR books, or Tolkien in general, and no matter how much you question my ability to read and comprehend them, you a) indeed did not read my post very carefully because I b) never talked about the books in the first place. My example was the films. And no matter how much the films may deviate from Tolkiens work, visually they "[t]ake reality as a baseline" in a considerably large degree; as I originally said, the swords, armour, &ct. seen there may be at times a bit outlandish in appearance, but they do not look outright ridiculous, or unwieldable for the most part. You are free to disagree with me, but at least I am among those who have concrete examples for what they consider mature in a fictional setting. Also, there is a good reason why orcs are (apparently) always evil, but that doesn't belong in this discussion.
  22. Methinks you stopped reading my comment after "Lord of the Rings"...
  23. That's pretty much irrelevant to the question of the degree of 'maturity' they display, however.
  24. Let's be controversial: I say the Lord of the Rings films are mature. A dark, but not overly desparate setting. Evil and cruel villains, but no explicit-violence- porn. Fantastic, but believable, 'realistic' clothes and equipment (and architecture).
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