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

Just how historical should the setting of PE be?  

208 members have voted

  1. 1. Which historical social issues would you like to see?

    • Misogyny - Women are subservient to men
      91
    • Disease - Diseases are common and potentially deadly
      145
    • Brutality - Harsh punishments and torture are common
      148
    • Class differences - The poor are serfs or have no say in society
      170
    • Intolerance - Religious and ethnic divides are more pronounced
      166
    • Colonization - "Modern" societies are exploiting more "primitive" ones
      150
    • Religion - Religious institutions have real influence on the governments
      153
  2. 2. How big impact should magic have made on the society?

    • Huge - Societies are nothing like their real- world historical counterparts
      25
    • Large - Societies differ a lot from those in the history books
      97
    • Medium
      61
    • Small - Societies are by and large similar to historical ones
      22
    • Tiny - Societies are exact analogies of historical ones
      3


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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.

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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

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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)?

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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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.

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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.

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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

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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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

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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.

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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

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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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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.)

 

Now that would be an interesting twist, nice point :-)

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I'd enjoy all the poll options, but still this is a fantasy game and magic has probably played a major significance in the politics and social issues in this world. A bad example on how to implement both realistic themes and fantasy into a game is Lionheart, which didn't feel immersive at all since fantasy and realism were mixed together in a confusing way. In Arcanum this interaction between realism and fantasy worked much better.

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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.

 

Well it is not like dynasties fell all the time and sure people had to pay taxes and so forth to the powers that be. And when the lords and states did go over whatever line the peasants recognized as reasonable it did not end up well for anybody. But they also had easy times of the year and were always surrounded by their family and community. People lived like this reasonably happily for hundreds if not thousands of years. I dont find the picture that grim. Sure there were grim times of course.

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I also have a bit of a problem with gender relations and how they are presented as if in the past societies were woman hating, they certainly did not think of themselves that way. Yes they were pretty crap from a modern perspective but people in the past were not modern people and more to the point the women of the past were rough and tough people, it was not like they were just sitting their meekly being repressed for thousands of years. So when you put modern thinking people into a society like that it just wouldn't work. So I am not a big fan of trying to model some sort of historical gender relations thing.

 

Besides that it is just too soon. It is not like those sorts of gender structures are ancient history or do not exist anywhere in the world today.

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