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Which historical elements to you want to see in Project Eternity: the Poll

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Poll: Just how historical should the setting of PE be? (208 member(s) have cast votes)

Which historical social issues would you like to see?

  1. Misogyny - Women are subservient to men (91 votes [8.90%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.90%

  2. Voted Disease - Diseases are common and potentially deadly (145 votes [14.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.17%

  3. Brutality - Harsh punishments and torture are common (148 votes [14.47%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.47%

  4. Class differences - The poor are serfs or have no say in society (170 votes [16.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.62%

  5. Intolerance - Religious and ethnic divides are more pronounced (166 votes [16.23%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.23%

  6. Colonization - "Modern" societies are exploiting more "primitive" ones (150 votes [14.66%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.66%

  7. Religion - Religious institutions have real influence on the governments (153 votes [14.96%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.96%

How big impact should magic have made on the society?

  1. Huge - Societies are nothing like their real- world historical counterparts (25 votes [12.02%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.02%

  2. Large - Societies differ a lot from those in the history books (97 votes [46.63%])

    Percentage of vote: 46.63%

  3. Voted Medium (61 votes [29.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.33%

  4. Small - Societies are by and large similar to historical ones (22 votes [10.58%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.58%

  5. Tiny - Societies are exact analogies of historical ones (3 votes [1.44%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.44%

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#41
Gyor

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Not just medevil Europe, Midevil India was interesting too.

#42
Ywerion

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I always found medieval Turkey very interesting, and what would be absolutely amazing, the implementation of Cossacks. I hope creators will pull satisfying balance between magick users vs arcane less heavy enviroment and population. From my viewpoint humans always tended to evolve the foremost in develpoing more and more ways how to kill one another in 1000 ways. What always strucked negatively in RPGs was that like almost everywhere the mages was guys who coul literally wipe out small army with snap of their fingers, but most of them didn't because... well, probably had better things to do, and was under all those beards and stuff good duys of sorts. I mean in fantasy world like PE for common folks any wizard must look like potential threat, but high ups/leaders/kings whoever surely don't take kindly for individuals with power of cannon battery. So logical result would be development of tools, tactics or weapons, something advanced enough to keep mages in check, while the things being accepted and working protection, that just makes magic user equal or at least not so drastically overpowered.

Edited by Ywerion, 10 October 2012 - 01:11 AM.


#43
Vargr Raekr

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I would be interested to see various sorts of currency in circulation (sometimes multiple currencies in a single area), sea travel that is unpredictable (perhaps not an instakill, but you might not end up where you had intended, in fact certain side quests could be started this way), a scholarship language like Greek, Latin, Arabic, or Sanskrit used by the educated classes, the ability to attend important political events like the Icelandig Althing and ...

*Reads thread.*

http://youtu.be/9zSHz7Thvbc

I've been playful up until now, but I feel I need to be, if not rude, then a bit sharp.

You know, loading the game chock full of Alan Moore-on-a-bad-day Grimdarktm is not all that historically accurate.

Life expectancy was less, death was more common, violence was a way of life, and one nice thing about churches is that you probably wouldn't be killed by bandits if you traveled to one. Unless the bandits were Vikings. Then you would be extra killed.

But if your read through things like Skaldic Poetry, the Anglo - Saxon chronicle, the Icelandic family Sagas, and the Gesta Danorum; you'll find societies full of life and vitality, with a keen ear for a good yarn and an eagerness to experience life to the fullest (and with nowhere near the vitriol that has been on these fora for the past month.)

And that was the bad part of town, as far as the medieval world went. Byzantium, Keevan Rus, Arabia, and of course China had it even better. The Outlaws of the Marsh, for example, is a high spirited story about a small rebellion (108 active fighters) against what at the time was probably the biggest empire on the planet (China.)

The last thing Project: Eternity needs is for its fanbase to create innumerable threads begging the developers - who made Knights of the Old Republic II and Planescape: Torment with all of the accompanying mature themes therein - to add so much Alan Moore-on-a-bad-day Grimdarktm to the game that it is no longer recognizable as a human story. Their reality (and our reality) had all the bad things on this poll, and the other polls, and the other threads, and the flame wars, and everywhere.

But to glob it all into a single narrative is a guarantee for piss poor storytelling.

Think of the human spirit found, for example, carved on a late classical Germanic sword: "Ulphr, of no small fame." That's all we know about Ulphr, that he owned a sword 1700 years ago, and that he had so much swag that he just knew he'd be renowned after his death. That makes a much better story focus than his sister marrying an abusive man, or his lord taxing him unfairly, or amazon delivering his pre-order three days late, or whatever else is on this list.

Start with a story, and tell that story honestly; and the "mature elements" will fall into place without the need of a checklist.

I'm beginning to wonder if I should back this project.

Edited by Vargr Raekr, 10 October 2012 - 02:29 PM.

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#44
Death Machine Miyagi

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Start with a story, and tell that story honestly; and the "mature elements" will fall into place without the need of a checklist.

I'm beginning to wonder if I should back this project.


...you're second-guessing your commitment to a project because you don't like the premise of a thread on the project's forum?

This thread was not made by the developers, you know.
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#45
ddillon

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Start with a story, and tell that story honestly; and the "mature elements" will fall into place without the need of a checklist.


Well said, +1 to that.

I'm beginning to wonder if I should back this project.


Tbh, I've felt that way after reading these forums, too. Focusing on what the developers are saying (especially the Kickstarter updates and Feargus' posts there) helped to bolster my faith in the project. Also, Obsidian seems to be listening to backers and providing features we want without surrendering the integrity of the setting.

#46
Brannart

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I am a big fan of religion in role playing games. Religion is such a touchy subject IRL so it is fun to play with it in a fictional setting. And generally I think RPGs do this really well. But with all this soul metaphysical stuff going on in PE I am sure there will be religion around.

I would love to have actual interesting and realistic ethnic and national conflicts and rivalries but generally RPGs do not do great at these. Even though they surround us IRL they require radically different cultures and perspectives and language barriers and all that. Also it is harder to simulate the intense emotional nature and family and blood ties and sense of identity and all that that go with those sorts of things. But if they could do it it would be fun.

So I guess those are two things I would find fun and interesting.

But at the end of the day what I most want to see are whatever elements from history that enhance the story they are trying to tell.

Edited by Brannart, 10 October 2012 - 08:06 PM.


#47
Brannart

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Actually nevermind just listen to Vargr Raekr

#48
Redwulf

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I personally would like to see a game world where the females are dominant and rule in a matriarchy. This would, make the world feel a bit different then what we are used to, and I think it would be rather refreshing.

#49
Shaz

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Just one question, re: misogyny.

In a world that is aware of souls, is aware of souls being reborn, where souls can fracture and split into multiple bodies, where multiple souls can reside in the same body, where souls are not gender-based, and everything is highly focused on the strength of souls....

...where a woman could have a pure, strong soul and a man might have a weak, fractured soul...

...where religions are vastly different...

...would it be likely that the same misogynistic culture would develop as has developed in many of our own?

Wouldn't the soul be the important thing in this world and not the gender?

(And on that note, one might question all the other options in the poll, seeing as how this game is not set on our Earth, is not set in our history, so it's kind of hard for it to be historical in the way we would be familiar with.)

Edited by Shaz, 10 October 2012 - 11:12 PM.

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#50
Potemkin

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Class conflict of course! As discussed in this thread class stuggle must be in!

#51
Jojobobo

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Nice poll, I went for everything but misogyny and class differences and for magic to have a large impact on the societies. It is a fantasy game so the socities should be only vaguely analogous to real societies IMO, and I feel like misogyny and class differences are the least interesting of all the options posed. If I had to pick one, it would be disease as I've never seen that given a good treatment in a game yet.

#52
Jarmo

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Everything but colonization, even that might be kicking in about now.

Assuming magic has a large impact, more primitive might not be less powerful.
So maybe cultures with more magic would be the ones on top.

Except now, with the gunpowder weapons starting to put the hurt in.
If twenty years of mage training can be countered by 4 recruits who've
spent a weekend at the range, that's tilting the balance quite a bit.


As for the rest, well... it really depends. I think I'll be ok with whatever is presented.
That's just stuff I'm ok seeing and I'd really like to see a realism filled rpg
set in medieval europe one of these years. Because there's not a whole lot of those.

Edited by Jarmo, 10 October 2012 - 11:48 PM.


#53
Rostere

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You know, loading the game chock full of Alan Moore-on-a-bad-day Grimdarktm is not all that historically accurate.

Life expectancy was less, death was more common, violence was a way of life, and one nice thing about churches is that you probably wouldn't be killed by bandits if you traveled to one. Unless the bandits were Vikings. Then you would be extra killed.

But if your read through things like Skaldic Poetry, the Anglo - Saxon chronicle, the Icelandic family Sagas, and the Gesta Danorum; you'll find societies full of life and vitality, with a keen ear for a good yarn and an eagerness to experience life to the fullest (and with nowhere near the vitriol that has been on these fora for the past month.)

And that was the bad part of town, as far as the medieval world went. Byzantium, Keevan Rus, Arabia, and of course China had it even better. The Outlaws of the Marsh, for example, is a high spirited story about a small rebellion (108 active fighters) against what at the time was probably the biggest empire on the planet (China.)

The last thing Project: Eternity needs is for its fanbase to create innumerable threads begging the developers - who made Knights of the Old Republic II and Planescape: Torment with all of the accompanying mature themes therein - to add so much Alan Moore-on-a-bad-day Grimdarktm to the game that it is no longer recognizable as a human story. Their reality (and our reality) had all the bad things on this poll, and the other polls, and the other threads, and the flame wars, and everywhere.

But to glob it all into a single narrative is a guarantee for piss poor storytelling.

Think of the human spirit found, for example, carved on a late classical Germanic sword: "Ulphr, of no small fame." That's all we know about Ulphr, that he owned a sword 1700 years ago, and that he had so much swag that he just knew he'd be renowned after his death. That makes a much better story focus than his sister marrying an abusive man, or his lord taxing him unfairly, or amazon delivering his pre-order three days late, or whatever else is on this list.

Start with a story, and tell that story honestly; and the "mature elements" will fall into place without the need of a checklist.

I'm beginning to wonder if I should back this project.

I don't really see how anything of this applies to what has been written in this thread. Just for my curiosity: did you think Arcanum was "grimdark" as well (whatever that means)?

#54
Gyor

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I always found medieval Turkey very interesting, and what would be absolutely amazing, the implementation of Cossacks. I hope creators will pull satisfying balance between magick users vs arcane less heavy enviroment and population. From my viewpoint humans always tended to evolve the foremost in develpoing more and more ways how to kill one another in 1000 ways. What always strucked negatively in RPGs was that like almost everywhere the mages was guys who coul literally wipe out small army with snap of their fingers, but most of them didn't because... well, probably had better things to do, and was under all those beards and stuff good duys of sorts. I mean in fantasy world like PE for common folks any wizard must look like potential threat, but high ups/leaders/kings whoever surely don't take kindly for individuals with power of cannon battery. So logical result would be development of tools, tactics or weapons, something advanced enough to keep mages in check, while the things being accepted and working protection, that just makes magic user equal or at least not so drastically overpowered.


Priests would be the counter balance, a few priests and under priests with maybe a few allied Paladins and Chanters in some cases would be the magic protection a village gets.

Far more dangerous them an in your face Wizard trying to blow your village up would be a Cipher inflitrating your village and sublety taking control of you mind and maybe your soul too. The Priest/s might never know until its too late or never when thier subverted.

#55
Vargr Raekr

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...you're second-guessing your commitment to a project because you don't like the premise of a thread on the project's forum?

This thread was not made by the developers, you know.


There is wisdom in your words, Miyagi-sensei. It's just that I recall at least four of these sorts of threads, and if the developers listen to them (as they have listened to other postings so far), I fear it will affect the end product for the worse; and we only have a few days left to make up our minds about the project.

I don't really see how anything of this applies to what has been written in this thread. Just for my curiosity: did you think Arcanum was "grimdark" as well (whatever that means)?


A. You're right. Nothing I wrote fits in this thread. The key, I suppose, is that I defined "historical elements" as cool, real life features of past civilizations that could be used and adapted to make the game world richer, while other posters seemed focused only on including the grittier aspects of history (perhaps they weren't, indeed I suspect they weren't, but that's where the discourse was focused). There's no poll option for "scholarly language" or "unsafe sea travel" or "multiple currencies," for example, but there is a fair litany of humanity's darker aspects.

Basically this: "historical elements" should include realities good and bad; and this thread hasn't really done that.

B. Arcanum did not simply try to lump in all of the more striking and disturbing elements of Alan Moore's Watchmen because the developers mistook those elements are the basis of Watchmen's success instead of the quality of the artwork, characterization, storytelling, etc. - so no, I don't. That previous sentence is also my working definition of Grimdarktm.

I waited a day to cool off before posting again because I don't want to start an online slugging match; so if you are still unsatisfied with my point, then I'd rather just leave it lie. The developers can read it and decide if I am full of turkey stuffing or not.

#56
Nonek

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Some nice innovative uses of torture by the victorious, but involving souls and magic. The old Vikings had quite a flair for the dramatic with the blood eagle, and anyone who's read Egil's saga will remember the last scene of the battle of Clontarf, where the enemy has his guts nailed to a tree and is led around that flora slowly disembowelling himself. Sick but perfect for that moment of sitting back and remarking (as our colonial cousins would) that the manure just materialised into physicality. Add to that all the cruelty and torment that a cunning mage or cipher could inflict on the undying soul of a creature, and you've got some pretty fine incentivisation.

I suppose i'm thinking of the disturbing nature of some of the vault experiments in New Vegas, especially 11, I really wanted to make somebody pay for those. Made me glad I blew up the oil rig.

I thought the phrase "Grimdark" was taken from the opening mantra of Warhammer 40,000: In the grim darkness of the fourty first millenia there is only war, and was indicative of the pitch black amoral quagmire presented therein?

Edited by Nonek, 11 October 2012 - 10:14 AM.


#57
limaxophobiacq

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I'd like to see some realism in the portrayal of kingship*. As for what I mean I think the metaphor of the kind as shepherd is appropriate; the shepherd guides the sheep and protects them against predators, because the shepherd wants to feed of them himself. The ancient egyptians had the right of it; the King is the one who devours the people.

*And in extension nobility, so this falls under class differences.

And that was the bad part of town, as far as the medieval world went. Byzantium, Keevan Rus, Arabia, and of course China had it even better. The Outlaws of the Marsh, for example, is a high spirited story about a small rebellion (108 active fighters) against what at the time was probably the biggest empire on the planet (China.)


I think that if you look at the actual history rather than fiction, calling imperial China the nice part of town seems fairly absurd. Life as a subsistence farmer was never particularly nice to start with and add to that their exploitation by the state and the land-owners, the threat of bandits and raiders in times a turmoil, the living conditions of the convict work-gangs, and the chaos when dynasties fell and the picture is pretty grim. The amazing thing is that people still seem to have managed to find some small bit of happiness despite all this.

Edited by limaxophobiacq, 11 October 2012 - 10:29 AM.


#58
limaxophobiacq

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I thought the phrase "Grimdark" was taken from the opening mantra of Warhammer 40,000: In the grim darkness of the fourty first millenia there is only war, and was indicative of the pitch black amoral quagmire presented therein?


Yes. I think the it was used because a lot of the discussion that has been framed as being about realism has really been about wanting more darkness and grimness. 40k gets references because 40k is a setting that is (intentionally) designed to be as horrible as possible rather than striving for any kind of realism.

#59
AGX-17

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Most RPGs tend to avoid the misogynistic patriarchal realities of human history (thought it varied, the Greeks were balls-out misogynists whose ideal sexual relationship was between a man and an underage boy, the Romans reputedly reminded their Greek subjects/slaves of that immoral behavior and saw the pleasures of a woman as much superior,). It'd be nice to see maybe one country/society with a matriarchal power structure (something which has rarely occurred in human history,) but other lands mirror reality to a greater degree, and female characters in those lands are expected to be submissive wives and mothers.

Any women adventurers would be unusual, have to come from a nonconformist/outcast background and have to work twice as hard and smash a lot of heads to gain respect from the powers that be and men in general. It's disingenuous when a developer says they're making a medieval style RPG and have women functionally indistinguishable from men. Women in the USA still only earn 70 cents for every dollar a man makes doing the same job, and they often have to work harder and longer just to be considered as valuable as a man in the workplace, if they're lucky. If a female PC accomplishes some great feat, it should be news/rumor that emboldens women and troubles men, there should be knights and nobles and thugs who refuse to believe it, and that female PC should get a chance to prove her mettle by dueling said knights and just trashing the thugs (and winning, of course. Unless you lose and GAME OVER.)

Edited by AGX-17, 11 October 2012 - 10:55 AM.


#60
Wombat

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I'm beginning to wonder if I should back this project.

Probably, you shouldn't. If you are into history, I'd recommend you waiting for some other works. Sawyer implies that he wasn't able to find enough people who are intrested in making something like Darklands even in Obsidian. Also, none of your material fits 1400-1500 time-line.

In any case, personally, I expect PE to have various historical essences for cultural varieties and different views to explore human conditions. Rather, I've gotten an impression that something "surrealistic" can play well with the writing powers of Obsidian.





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