The description given of the game heavily implies a late medieval-ish kinda world. Most fantasy games and stories, however, don't take their medieval setting much beyond 'people fight wearing armor, use swords and bows, and there are some vaguely medieval-ish rulers and political systems around with titles like 'Lord' and 'Prince' and 'King'.' Medieval sensibilities and culture and customs and beliefs can crop up, but are much less emphasized.
Of course, there's a reason for that. The culture, sensibilities, customs and beliefs of the late middle ages were (in many cases) really, really awful by modern standards.
So the question: how much 'Medieval' do you want in your Medieval European Fantasy? Would you like to encounter cultures which more or less reflect the real late middle ages....that is, overflowing with misogyny, brutality, religious intolerance, disease, famine and all the other sordid unpleasantries that remind you why you should be happy to live in the 21st century? Or would you prefer that sort of thing be toned down in favor of the surface feel of the medieval without seriously delving into the worst of it?
This aspect of the game is very important for me. I want the setting to discuss all the issues resulting from it's various premises.
So, from what we know from interviews and such:
- The general technology level will be roughly equivalent to Late Medieval Europe
- The printing press has NOT been invented
- Gunpowder has been invented, but guns are still primitive
- We will see colonization, probably roughly similar to what historically happened in the 16th century
- Iron is common enough to allow adventurers access to plate armor
If magic is easy to learn and comes to a person naturally (if D&D- style sorcerers are common), it might serve to flatten out class differences (because it's hard to have serfs if one of them can throw a fireball in your face anytime). On the other hand, if it takes a lot of time and resources to learn, then we might see magocracies where class differences are even more pronounced than historically. Also, if magic is hereditary the magocracies will probably look like traditional kingdoms in their government structure, if not, well, they won't.
Healing magic can serve as an explanation to why plagues and diseases are not more common - on the other hand, plagues could perhaps also be magically engineered.
Intolerance is actually a topic that is often treated in fantasy games. Too bad that it's often extremely black and white, where the "bad guys" are intolerant of everything except their race/ religion, and the "good guys" are tolerant of everything. It's naturally a very, very easy plot device. A more realistic approach would be that intolerance should be more spread out. Here, magic adds the dimension of intolerance of magic users.
Colonization could be vastly impeded by magic, if the colonized areas had a magic- using population.
Arcanum was a setting which gave magic(k) and fantasy races a very serious treatment. No matter how historical Obsidian wants to make the setting of Project Eternity, I hope they will copy Arcanum in offering serious explanations to why the societies look like and work like they do.
Edited by Rostere, 06 October 2012 - 12:25 PM.