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Everything posted by Agelastos

  1. Except that's exactly what I was talking about. And when I said 'old' I did not mean 'not contemporary'. But for the sake of argument... I think if you play out gender inequality in a game there's no way to not make it a bit demeaning in nature, otherwise the whole thing doesn't affect the player. If you want to portray an archaic patriarchal society it just begs to express views like 'women aren't built for physical labour or warfare, so they must be kept in the house' (and I'm not even going to argue if that is truly misogynistic, that's semantics). You still haven't explained what makes it a sci-fi trope rather than a fantasy trope, and/or why it would be wrong for P.E. (even if it's just one out of many cultures represented in the game). Please explain!
  2. Israel's main strength is its drive. It is driven to survive and so it ivests heavily in the tools it needs. It invests in science, tech, weapons, education, industry, etc. Its rivals while deeply passionate, care more for spiritual matters and have ignored pretty much everything else. They have little industry, science, education, etc. As long as they keep putting religion above everything else, Israel will be stronger. As soon as they figure that out the status quo is doomed. ... or as soon as Shas becomes the ruling party of Israel...
  3. O really? I thought we had moved past that since the 80's but my overview of general fiction isn't wide enough to argue that. BTW I was talking about the 'Amazonian women enslave/ abuse male drones' kind of trope, not any old variation of matriarchy Did you even read the rest of my post? I think I mentioned some contemporary "matriarchal" societies. A matriarchal society doesn't have to be misandric. Just like a patriarchal society doesn't have to misogynistic.
  4. Of course this could all work the other way. We could also see matriarchal societies, where men are the ones facing discrimination. isn't that more of a sci-fi trope? It's common in fantasy, alternative/speculative history, and other speculative fiction genres too. For instance, pre-proto-Indo-European societies are often depicted as matriarchal/gynocractic in fiction (mostly because of the widespread cult of the cthtonic "Mother Goddess"). The definition of the term "matriarchal", in archaeological and anthropological contexts, has changed pretty drastically since it was first coined. It's no longer exclusively used for gynocracies (which have probably never existed). Today it is also used to refer to any society that is/was matrifocal and is believed to be/have been gender egalitarian. Some contemporary hunter-gatherer societies in Melanesia could be described as "matriarchal".
  5. Even among anti-communists. The most bizarre expression of this has to be National Bolshevism.
  6. You mean people over the age of 60 eat rotten fish (in Norway too, btw). Every country has at least one delicacy that the rest of the world finds disgusting. And being the 3rd largest exporter of pop and rock music in the world, it can't all be "crap", right? Don't bother to answer, it's 100% subjective anyway. To answer BruceVC's question (now that I've had my 6th cup of coffee and is beginning to feel like a human being again), MY problem with the Nordic model, or at least with the Swedish "folkhemmet", is that it is so socialized, so focused on "equality", that individual liberties are being suppressed. Not in a deliberate, top-down authoritarian way, but from the bottom-up. While we may appear to be very individualistic (everyone under the age of 30 seems to be part of some more or less extreme sub-culture, Stockholm is the most tattooed city in the world [per capita], etc.), it's all just an illusion. Our Lutheran and Social Democratic heritage has given rise to a cultural phenomenon called the "Law of Jante": This "Law of Jante" is pretty much the bedrock of Scandinavian culture, and have thus had a great impact on the Nordic model. We may not have governments that enforce uniformity with violence (even if they've made extensive use of social engineering in the past), but this way of thinking is so deep-seated in our culture that we basically enforce it ourselves through peer pressure. This means that there's usually only room for one school of thought in any discipline. Criticize the dominant school and you run the risk of getting shunned by your peers. Say something that isn't considered politically correct, and you'll never hear the end of it. No one will stop you from doing it, and there won't be any legal ramifications (unless you break the hate speech law), but you can be damn sure that it will have consequences. As a result, income taxes on the rich are extremely high. I'm personally in favor of high income taxes, but in Sweden, they are so high that most people who are successful or lucky enough to become truly wealthy choose to move abroad. It's not only about the redistribution of wealth, it's also about "How dare you make more money than us?! You think you're something special, just because you had a few hit singles? Huh? You think you're better than us?" There is no such thing as Gifted or Talented Education. If you even suggest that one child might be smarter than the majority of children his/her age and deserves the right to be challenged instead of being held back, you might as well carve a swastika into your forehead because apparently you've just admitted to being pro-eugenics (which is equated with being a neo-fascist). But you have to get used to being called a "neo-fascist" and "racist" anyway, because those are our favorite straw men. I originally listed more examples (mostly about the social welfare system and about how easy it is to exploit), but realized that I was just ranting, so I deleted them. Edit: I know that I came across as extremely negative. That wasn't my intent. But I think the lesson is this: Equality and Individual Liberty are two ends of one scale. You can't have complete equality without giving up on freedom, and vice versa. People who think otherwise are just kidding themselves. There is no Utopian state.
  7. That's pretty much what we've got here. It's far from ideal, though. http://en.wikipedia....ki/Nordic_model http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Folkhemmet Excellent and informative links, I know that no economic system is perfect but I firmly believe that the Scandinavian countries have the correct balance. What would you say are the issues with the Scandinavian economic system? Oh, my... how much time do you have? I've barely slept in 72 hours, so I can't think straight right now. I'll try to get back to you once my mind is less clouded. What?! Maybe in Norway.
  8. Like with any literary genre there is pulp and there is quality. Nothing wrong with Pulp Fantasy like Sword & Sorcery. It has its own B Action/Horror Movie-esque charm.
  9. Ah, yes. Trans- and posthumanism are very fascinating subjects. Read Archeofuturism by Guillaume Faye?
  10. That's pretty much what we've got here. It's far from ideal, though. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_model http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folkhemmet
  11. Yes to Prestige/Specialization Classes you have to unlock by joining a faction, completing a long quest, and/or performing a ritual. Yes to special stances, blocks, and/or attacks that you can learn from teachers. Some only available to members of certain factions, some hidden away (hermits). No to flashy jRPG-ish super powers.
  12. I think Bioware only started to make the protagonists of their later games heroes (or at least very accomplished) from the very start because a lot of people, myself included, were sick of the whole "regular farm boy (who may or may not be the rightful heir to the throne, or a demi-god raised by human foster parents) chosen by fate/circumstance to become the savior of the world" routine. Prophecy This, extra-planar sword shard stuck in belly That. "The Hero's Journey", as described by Joseph Campbell in The Hero With a Thousand Faces, is a classic but it's also the most over-used fantasy trope there is, and I'd rather see something different in P.E. At least Shepard and the (various) protagonist/s in DA:O were chosen because of their skill and/or strength. They were perfectly suited for the missions they were assigned.
  13. I'm hoping for about the same amount of VO as in Mask of the Betrayer. All the major NPCs had full VO (unlike the IE games where they usually just had a few lines of VO per conversation), but all other NPCs were completely "mute".
  14. Appearance could affect NPCs' initial reactions toward your character (Hostile, Neutral, Friendly, etc.), some dialogue (I hate it when random NPCs call my half-orc blackguard a "pretty boy", just because his Charisma score is above average), and some persuasion checks (Seduction checks could be 1d20 [just an example] + Persuasion rank +/- your Appearance stat bonus, instead of your Charisma bonus which would still be used for Diplomacy checks, etc. Maybe a negative Appearance score could even grant a bonus instead of a penalty to Intimidation checks).
  15. He was supposed to be a Rashemi barbarian, but because there was no Barbarian class in BG1 they made him a ranger instead and then just added the Rage ability in BG2.
  16. What you're desicribing sounds more like Dwarves, to me. Since Dwarves are confirmed in the game, I feel confident they will fill this niche. With Orcs, there's an opportunity to present true nastiness, and I'd like to see that. Really though, most of it comes down to setting. Do the developers want Project Eternity's gameworld to be characterized by huge, multicultural cities like Baldur's Gate 2, or do they want more racial separation like Lord of the Rings? I don't prefer one over the other, but the decision affects the way you design the races. D&D Orcs can't realistically exist in a diverse city because they're always chaotic evil. They have to be a NPC race that exists outside the borders of the playable races' domains. Elder Scrolls' Orcs can coexist with other races because they're not particularly violent, just dumb and strong. If you want evil Orcs in a multiculturally harmonistic setting, you could portray them as trying (and often failing) to repress their innately chaotic evil nature in order to survive and thrive in their more civilized environment. The elephant in the room is that everyone knows Orcs are evil and that they would, if only given the chance, enslave the entire free world and rule as merciless tyrants. But the Orcs know they'll never survive if they carry that attitude openly. So they adapt as best they can. Some genuinely try to supress it, causing a great deal of inner turmoil; others merely try to hide it, holding shady occupations and secretly plotting/hoping for a day when they no longer have to tolerate their non-Orcish neighbors and their loathsome ideals. I guess I didn't make this clear in my post (often a problem I have), but something a bit like that was my idea, except more lawful evil - stylisticly closer to the uruk-hai than tolkeinian orcs. Evil though they were, there was something to admire in the uruks with their dedication to duty and sheer refusal to give up - honour of a sort, you might say. I can see honourable mooks betraying a dishonourable leader for moral reasons. But even then, even if the orcs actually do turn good, they are still naturally evil and default to evil. Every orc is a battleground between their good culture and evil nature. The orcs that become good mostly do so by strict self-discipline, resulting in lawful tendencies. Even then though, there's still the voice in the back of their head telling them to be evil, so people don't trust them as much. While it's a good point that they might seem to similar to dwarves (I'm kicking myself for not making the connection), I still think there can be enough difference to keep them, um, different. e.g. Since all good orcs remain so by iron-self control, they have an utterly unforgiving attitude to those who cannot meet those standards - so, if a drunk hits a man out of anger, a dwarf would slug him in the face, and maybe chuck him in the dungeon for a couple of days to think about what he did, while an orc puts a sword through him, either because he's angry or because he despises the man for letting himself go. Note to self: Try and remember the whole idea in first post.... ... and now they sound more like Qunari. But I like it.
  17. I waited until Extended Cut and Leviathan were released before I played it, so I never even experienced the original ending/s and don't know why people were so upset about it/them. All I know is, I didn't find the Synthesis ending depressing at all.
  18. Hehe! Well, I guess that depends on how "natural" you want your language to be. Creating a naturalist artlang is very complicated, at least IMO. I've spent 5+ years working on mine (an artlang loosely based on the reconstructed proto-Indo-European language), and I'm nowhere near finished. I didn't major in linguistics (we don't even have a major/minor system over here), but I did take some courses in Indo-European Studies, have read the Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World from cover to cover (well, more or less ), and have spent plenty of time on the Conlang.org forums. But maybe I'm just a compulsive perfectionist. But, I'm derailing the thread. Sorry!
  19. Actually I imagine a made up language, properly handled, could be a neat addition. If properly handled. If. I stand by my earlier commentary in the thread though, despite this admission. Then they'd have to hire linguists, like Bioware did for The Old Tongue in Jade Empire (which still felt very rudimentary and unnatural, even for an artlang). Not something Obsidian should sink their resources into IMO. Although, I guess they could always crowdsource it...
  20. No real VO, just random Simlish nonsense to go along with all the text. "Oh, it's not gibberish. It's the Aedyr(-ish? -ian? -ic?) language." Problem solved. Everyone loses.
  21. The first book was awful IMO (it was his first novel and it was originally written as a screen play), and I nearly gave up after the second book even though it was a great improvement over the first one. They do get a lot better however, if you persevere.
  22. Hm. An ability like KotOR's Force Persuasion or Dominate/Dementation/etc. from VtmB would be nice, IMO. As long as it's not overpowered.
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