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I'd rather they steer clear of any copy/pasted Chinese or Japanese cultures. Why not use for inspiration any of the multitudes of other less known foreign (for a westerner) cultures like Scythian, Sumerian/Akkadian, Minoan (please!), Maori, Tibetan, Persian/Iranian among others?

 

Maori- inspired warrior monk who comes from a distant ocean- faring civilization who don't have any access to iron for making weapons. Yes please!

 

But all that is presupposing warrior monks are from a culture foreign to where the game takes place. The ideal solution would be that monks are part of any of the main cultures we will get to see in the game. I'm open to monks being a "different" part of that culture though, perhaps like Sikhs are is in todays India, or like Jews are in Europe.


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Let me note that he would have been more important, if an early planned variant of Jade Empire 2 would have been made, it would have been about an envoy going to the home of that character to sign a trade deal and make a diplomatic introduction, so while the char was funny he was indeed a part of the setting, a member of an existing culture/nation of that world, unlike (as example) throwing in Arnie as Terminator into the game as an easter egg /cameo.

True. But he wasn't a representative of the setting(the nation of Jade Empire). We didn't see people with muskets or pantaloons running around. And the setting was an ancient China-like Empire with magic. Not the whole world.

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there are also martial artists and schoold in Europe today, opened and expanded by non-asian students who became masters

 

It is the simplest way to explain monks in an Europe-like setting, students from those schools "naturalized" the teachings and art style by importing and spreading it, by making it accepted.

 

Just as how chess or coffee or tea became a part of "European culture" as well, or how Hungarian, Polish, and Mongolian riders reintroduced light cavalry to the warfare of Europe once.


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Let me note that he would have been more important, if an early planned variant of Jade Empire 2 would have been made, it would have been about an envoy going to the home of that character to sign a trade deal and make a diplomatic introduction, so while the char was funny he was indeed a part of the setting, a member of an existing culture/nation of that world, unlike (as example) throwing in Arnie as Terminator into the game as an easter egg /cameo.

True. But he wasn't a representative of the setting(the nation of Jade Empire). We didn't see people with muskets or pantaloons running around. And the setting was an ancient China-like Empire with magic. Not the whole world.

you seem to misunderstand something:

 

The nation was the Jade Empire and also the theme of the game was build upon that, the setting is its world itself however, which included that character, its origin, and many-many other cultures which were not even introduced in JE1. If you play Baldur's Gate you don't call the city or the title "Baldur's Gate" the setting, the setting is still Faerun/Forgotten Realms.


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There are several different monk concepts that I'd like see:

 

-The traditional god worshipping monk, but, also someone who aims to reflect the worshipped god. For example, monks who worship a god of fire would use fire and fire based weapons, because it would be "pure" in their view, as it may be sacred in that cult.

 

-Then, monks who take the "my body is my temple" in a way that they worship themselves(or their souls!), if you catch my drift. They hone themselves in order to reach perfection, to be like gods, or as much as a mortal can be.

 

-And finally fighter monks, who just use the monk-ish concentration and the sort, to reach better fighting prowess and physical fitness. And mental as well perhaps.


Dude, I can see my own soul.....

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you seem to misunderstand something:

 

The nation was the Jade Empire and also the theme of the game was build upon that, the setting is its world itself however, which included that character, its origin, and many-many other cultures which were not even introduced in JE1. If you play Baldur's Gate you don't call the city or the title "Baldur's Gate" the setting, the setting is still Faerun/Forgotten Realms.

You seem to take into account the "what ifs" for JE2.

 

The world JE isn't as fleshed out as Faerun. And Baldur's Gate is a city, the Jade empire represents the Chinese culture equivalent of that world(admittedly though, we haven't seen much of the empire, like the Prosperous East, so I'm going by what we've seen and know). Besides which setting is the scene, not the world. If something is set in ancient China, the setting is ancient China. If it's set in Medieval Europe, the setting is medieval Europe. Oblivion was set in Cyrodil, that(and partly Oblivion) are the setting(s) of the game. You can't count Morrowind as Oblivion's setting. Though you can say "Nirn" is part of the larger setting in TES series/world.

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People have been saying that they want to see monks that are more like European monks than Asian monks, but I'm pretty sure that's what priests are supposed to be.

 

http://eternitywiki.com/Priest

 

Religious folks who get power from their faith in their chosen deity. That's what priests are going to be. Monks have to be something different, or else we're left with a redundant class.

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What is this logical talk of migration and crap?

 

No asia in my europe plz


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People have been saying that they want to see monks that are more like European monks than Asian monks, but I'm pretty sure that's what priests are supposed to be.

 

http://eternitywiki.com/Priest

 

Religious folks who get power from their faith in their chosen deity. That's what priests are going to be. Monks have to be something different, or else we're left with a redundant class.

Not every deity need supply power to their followers through a specific form of divine magic and there's really no need to be cookie-cutter about the approach. Instead of Priestly spells, some deities may instead provide knowledge, guidance, natural assistance, or mystical power. Thus, just as there are multiple branches of arcane lore (wizard, bard, cipher, alchemy), there can be different branches of divine inspiration (priests, druid, monk, philosophy).


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People have been saying that they want to see monks that are more like European monks than Asian monks, but I'm pretty sure that's what priests are supposed to be.

 

http://eternitywiki.com/Priest

 

Religious folks who get power from their faith in their chosen deity. That's what priests are going to be. Monks have to be something different, or else we're left with a redundant class.

Not every deity need supply power to their followers through a specific form of divine magic and there's really no need to be cookie-cutter about the approach. Instead of Priestly spells, some deities may instead provide knowledge, guidance, natural assistance, or mystical power. Thus, just as there are multiple branches of arcane lore (wizard, bard, cipher, alchemy), there can be different branches of divine inspiration (priests, druid, monk, philosophy).

 

The deities don't provide any power to anyone, as far as I can tell. As it says in the link, "Such men and women have found a divine link to their chosen deity, but their abilities stem solely from within." It sounds to me like you're saying that priests don't all have to be exactly alike, nor does any other class. If that's the case, then I completely agree, and I didn't mean to suggest otherwise.

 

The thing is, every class gets its abilities from the power of their soul (or in some cases, other people's souls). Each class uses a different method to access this power. Priests use their faith, wizards use their knowledge and research, chanters use the power of storytelling to convince ambient spirit energy to help them out, etc. Since monks are a separate class from priests, I don't think they should use the same method to get their powers.

Edited by Bacon Pancakes

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Right, let me explain my position for what it's worth on the subject.

 

I feel that the problem I have, and which many others I believe have, is that the monk as it's usually portrayed doesn't mesh well in most settings they are used in. Now before anyone starts accusing me of 'not wanting asian in the setting' or claiming that it's a fantasy setting and therefore anything goes (anything doesn't go but that's a topic for another time), the default fantasy is very western-influenced, with the societies portrayed in them based on western societies and ideals whether we like them or not, and more importantly for this discussion so are the weapons: real-life monks used their fists and 'special monk weapons' because the cultures they were in restricted the use of weapons, hence why many of the monk weapons are actually re-purposed peasant tools. And this is the actual problem, it's not that they use these weapons but that they use these weapons and other trappings without any consideration to how it fits with the world around them.

 

People never seem to adapt the monk to the setting they are being used for, they are just dumped wholesale with their monk robes and sandals with no attempt to adapt them to the setting or to explain their role within that society. Why do monks dress like that when no one around them have remotely similar clothes? Why use those weapons when no one else seems to? Take Neverwinter Nights 2: the monks there follow Tyr, yet why would a follower of Tyr seek enlightenment by fighting with their fists and wearing robes, what has that got to do with Justice? And why would they restrict themselves to those weapons?

 

Now before anyone says "But Obsidian will do them right!" we have no guarantee that they will: they are, after all, still only human and can still make mistakes, hell I'd argue that it was the ego-stroking of it's fans that encouraged Bioware to become what they are today, so I will wait to see what Obsidian come out with before I declare it okay. In the meantime I will express my distaste for how the standard monk is shoehorned into any setting regardless of where it fits.

 

Now, having said this, I am not totally opposed to a sort of monk-like character being available, as long as it is properly adapted to the setting, and would point to one character that I feel embodies what I mean the best:

 

Dak'kon, from Planescape Torment.

 

This guy, while not using his fists, embodies the true essence of what it is to be a monk while being adapted perfectly to his setting: he seeks enlightenment by *knowing* oneself, and his weapon actually embodies this ideal perfectly, being an extension of his will. He doesn't preach like those self-absorbed zen master-wannabes who think reciting haikus make one wise (waxing yourself off is not a sign of enlightenment), instead he encourages you (well the Nameless One) to learn to know yourself and then learns from you later. He embodies the essence of 'Monkdom' while not clinging to the trappings that people seem desperate to shoehorn in. People anyone complains about 'changing the class' well guess what: the fighter class has already been altered drastically with the addition of soul powers, as have the rogues and the paladins, all of which have often been portrayed in very different ways in other game systems other than D&D, and so I see no reason why the monk should be special. It's like if a group of people got together to run a gritty game set in World War 1 except for one who demands to play a time travelling rabbit-monkey, and they insist on playing this character in every game they run.

Edited by FlintlockJazz
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Except that ethnic groups develop as a result of climate and geography and you can't just put a bunch of different cultures in a games, but make them all white guys, it's a little racist. Kind of goes back to that whole realism thing everyone was talking about...

 

What cultures are they putting in the game again? Because so far it all seems entirely fictional to me, with any basis in real world cultures being purely a source of inspiration. Beyond that they're free to mix, match and say who developed what in their world freely. They can introduce a fictional Asian culture that developed the Monk's martial arts and surrounding lore, sure, but they don't have to. The Monk, their form of martial arts, and all their surrounding lore can be the result of any story Obsidian would look to tell, actual real world cultures and what they developed need never come into it. Elves could have developed martial arts and all that is the Monk in P:E for all we know, and it's simply been passed onto Humans.

 

If Monks and Forton have eastern elements to them, then Obsidian obviously have a place for that in P:E. If they don't have a place for that in P:E, then there wouldn't be any eastern elements to them. Simple and plain.

 

It always seems to come back to this doesn't it? Obsidian can do whatever they want because they are Obsidian. We freakin' know. If PE wan't to include a group of people that are exactly styled after asians, but all caucasian, they can, but I will think it's stupid. If they want to jam a bunch of different cultures together, with no reasonable explanation, I can't stop them. I'm not arguing from any sort of authority here or telling anybody what to do, I'm simply stating my opinion on what creates verisimilitude in games. While we are at it lets include a group of people who come from the a frozen tundra climate and all look like Nigerians, that's how these things work right?

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This is a fantasy setting with a 16th century level of technology, I don't see any reason why a monk party member couldn't be a traveler from some far off asiaesque continent. The whole monk archetype is supposed to be evocative of real world martial arts traditions, I think having him as an Asian foreigner furthers that idea as well as playing up the exotic nature of his abilities.

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Dak'kon, from Planescape Torment.

 

Agree with your views on the matter!

 

 

That said...

 

 

Even though I'd *rather* not see asian influenced stuff, it wouldn't ruin the game for me.

My main problem with the typical RPG Monk, is the whole unarmed thing. As FlintlockJazz said, there needs to be a good reason for it.

 

Were the P:E Monks supposed to imbue their fists with soul power?

In that case, why not give them the ability to imbue weapons made from organic material, like wooden staffs, with the same power?

In effect making their wooden staffs be as durable and damaging as iron staffs, but lighter.

That would give them more reach and make sense.

 

By all means, let them be able to imbue their fists too, in case they lose their staff.

Or if someone simply wants to specialize in unarmed combat.

 

I messed around a bit with my own concept art of a Forton/Monk I would be ok with. It ended up looking, I think, a little bit like a mix between

an asian and a european monk. Maybe others will think differently.

 

I also played with the thought that, maybe this particular Monastic Order had dedicated themselves to the mysteries of chemistry.

(This could tie into Forton's whole drug addiction thing, I just realised)

As such, maybe the Monk could have a class skill to create things like thrown weapons, like P:E equivalents of gas grenades/bombs and other such

effects. Which is why in my little piece of concept art he holds some weird vial thing in his left hand. I know, it's very blurry and unclear.

Nevermind the crudeness. I made it fairly quickly and couldn't be arsed to be too neat. But at least it conveys the general idea.

 

Of course, only my own, highly personal preference.

 

Forton001.jpg

Edited by Vargr

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While we are at it lets include a group of people who come from the a frozen tundra climate and all look like Nigerians, that's how these things work right?

 

See Vailians....


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It always seems to come back to this doesn't it? Obsidian can do whatever they want because they are Obsidian.

 

Obsidian are creating a world and its lore, it's not a case of 'they can do what they want because they're Obsidian' though they certainly can. I simply mean, these elements exist in 'thier' story, one could stop and think for the barest split of a single second that they might actually try to make the things fit together, instead of just moving wildly to the most extreme conclussion that it'll be a random mish mash with zero explanation.

 

If PE wan't to include a group of people that are exactly styled after asians, but all caucasian, they can, but I will think it's stupid.

 

There are no Caucasians or Asians. It's a fictional setting. They're Human, and their racial traits, regardless of how they look, may mean something wholly and completely different from something similar looking in reality.

 

If they want to jam a bunch of different cultures together, with no reasonable explanation, I can't stop them.

 

Yes, I realize you can jump to a wild conclussion that it'll be a mish mash of cultures with no reasonable explanation. Let's not suppose that, if such a mish mash exists, there might be an actual explanation. Let's assume there's a mish mash in the first place, for that matter, and dismiss that the society as a whole may have developed into a combined style for some reason. Let's completely dismiss popular works of fiction that actually have combined various cultures together, purposefully, for different reasons. We may as well assume all Obsidian's writers are hacks with no talent by your logic.

 

Look at Firefly, on a base level your setting is science fiction about a large eastern and western culture absorbing one another and creating something new. If you were to nit pick about there being eastern elements in your western elements, you'd be wrong to do so . . . why? Because the show explained it. So why can't you take the barest of split seconds and think that 'if' there is a mish mash . . . that it might be, dare I say, "explained" nay, "justified" within the lore? But no, let's judge it before we've even seen the lore in the first place, and assume that's it's all in shambles, ruins, it's a catastrophe - a failure - abandon all hope, jump ship she has sailed her last voyage.

 

It's not like Obsidian and Black Isle are known for creating some of the more impressive writing, lore, characters and dialogue in the industry or anything.

Edited by Umberlin
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Yes, I realize you can jump to a wild conclussion that it'll be a mish mash of cultures with no reasonable explanation. Let's not suppose that, if such a mish mash exists, there might be an actual explanation. Let's assume there's a mish mash in the first place, for that matter, and dismiss that the society as a whole may have developed into a combined style for some reason. Let's completely dismiss popular works of fiction that actually have combined various cultures together, purposefully, for different reasons. We may as well assume all Obsidian's writers are hacks with no talent by your logic.

 

Look at Firefly, on a base level your setting is science fiction about a large eastern and western culture absorbing one another and creating something new. If you were to nit pick about there being eastern elements in your western elements, you'd be wrong to do so . . . why? Because the show explained it. So why can't you take the barest of split seconds and think that 'if' there is a mish mash . . . that it might be, dare I say, "explained" nay, "justified" within the lore? But no, let's judge it before we've even seen the lore in the first place, and assume that's it's all in shambles, ruins, it's a catastrophe - a failure - abandon all hope, jump ship she has sailed her last voyage.

 

It's not like Obsidian and Black Isle are known for creating some of the more impressive writing, lore, characters and dialogue in the industry or anything.

 

You're conflating a sci-fi setting which is supposed to be the product of thousands of years of globalization with a fantasy setting where travel and cross-cultural exchange would be much more limited. I'm all for meeting a few exotic travelers over the course of the game (possibly the monk, as per my last post) but having a fully multi-cultural/ethnic society is pushing it considering the level of technology/advancement that Obsidian has described.

Edited by Mandragore
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It always seems to come back to this doesn't it? Obsidian can do whatever they want because they are Obsidian.

 

Obsidian are creating a world and its lore, it's not a case of 'they can do what they want because they're Obsidian' though they certainly can. I simply mean, these elements exist in 'thier' story, one could stop and think for the barest split of a single second that they might actually try to make the things fit together, instead of just moving wildly to the most extreme conclussion that it'll be a random mish mash with zero explanation.

 

If PE wan't to include a group of people that are exactly styled after asians, but all caucasian, they can, but I will think it's stupid.

 

There are no Caucasians or Asians. It's a fictional setting. They're Human, and their racial traits, regardless of how they look, may mean something wholly and completely different from something similar looking in reality.

 

If they want to jam a bunch of different cultures together, with no reasonable explanation, I can't stop them.

 

Yes, I realize you can jump to a wild conclussion that it'll be a mish mash of cultures with no reasonable explanation. Let's not suppose that, if such a mish mash exists, there might be an actual explanation. Let's assume there's a mish mash in the first place, for that matter, and dismiss that the society as a whole may have developed into a combined style for some reason. Let's completely dismiss popular works of fiction that actually have combined various cultures together, purposefully, for different reasons. We may as well assume all Obsidian's writers are hacks with no talent by your logic.

 

Look at Firefly, on a base level your setting is science fiction about a large eastern and western culture absorbing one another and creating something new. If you were to nit pick about there being eastern elements in your western elements, you'd be wrong to do so . . . why? Because the show explained it. So why can't you take the barest of split seconds and think that 'if' there is a mish mash . . . that it might be, dare I say, "explained" nay, "justified" within the lore? But no, let's judge it before we've even seen the lore in the first place, and assume that's it's all in shambles, ruins, it's a catastrophe - a failure - abandon all hope, jump ship she has sailed her last voyage.

 

It's not like Obsidian and Black Isle are known for creating some of the more impressive writing, lore, characters and dialogue in the industry or anything.

 

I dislike firefly, so that really wasn't the best example you could have used to attempt to sway me. It's fair to say that Obsidian will come up with an explanation for the way their world works, I hope they do, but typically in fantasy they don't, or the explanation that they do come up with is unsatisfying. This is fantasy, and it is Obsidians world, that was never up for debate. The fact is however that ethnicities exist for a reason, and unless otherwise stated there is no reason why they wouldn't. For example in Dungeons and Dragons, Drow have dark skin and yet they live underground where their is no sunlight, seems a little weird. Now I'm sure they have their own explanations for this like the Drow are black because Lolth left them in the oven too long or w/e but I don't like it, and I hope PE chooses to create a world that is internally consistent and realistic. Notice I never said they had to, but I would like it if they did.

 

Furthermore it has to do with scale. The world we live in, in game, is presumably but a slice of an entire planet, assuming that the planet isn't just incredibly tiny. If everyone is a mishmash of cultures with random ethnicities, it makes the world feel much smaller because you don't have vast parts of the world that have developed separately and feel total different and alien to one another, because you can just walk a few blocks away from your house and find a different culture.

 

You seem to be positing the idea that I think that the game will fail completely if it doesn't take my suggestions and that I have no faith in Obsidians writing ability so to quell that idea now, let me say that I do. I hope they provide a better fleshed out world than others have, for the final time, these are opinions and ideas, not demands.

Edited by jezz555

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I'd like to see monks reflect the Knights Templar model. Sort of warrior monks, pious and good-natured, but ready and able to fight if need be, with protections and enhancements given by the powers of their order. And maybe quite good at special close-in fighting techniques; perhaps disarms, stuns, things of that sort, unusual stuff that other classes don't use. Something that gives them their own style, with a variety of cool specializations that a character of that class can choose to focus on, to be even more unique.

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Dak'kon, from Planescape Torment.

 

Agree with your views on the matter!

 

Really? Who would be crazy enough to do that?! ;)

 

That said...

 

 

Even though I'd *rather* not see asian influenced stuff, it wouldn't ruin the game for me.

My main problem with the typical RPG Monk, is the whole unarmed thing. As FlintlockJazz said, there needs to be a good reason for it.

 

Exactly, if the explanation is that the monks are from some other place then I would expect their weapons to be used by those from that other place even if they are not monks (and therefore the weapons to be valid weapons for other classes too), while being hard to come by outside those places and for 'home-grown' monks to adapt their abilities to the clothes and weapons of the local area.

 

Were the P:E Monks supposed to imbue their fists with soul power?

In that case, why not give them the ability to imbue weapons made from organic material, like wooden staffs, with the same power?

In effect making their wooden staffs be as durable and damaging as iron staffs, but lighter.

That would give them more reach and make sense.

 

By all means, let them be able to imbue their fists too, in case they lose their staff.

Or if someone simply wants to specialize in unarmed combat.

 

I was thinking something similar: that the weapons they use are the manifestation of their wills or souls, as each monk could then have their 'weapon' manifest in different ways that is symbolic to them in some way (and allow for character customisation). So Forton's 'weapons' manifest as some sort of gauntlet or sheath around his hands, another as claws and yet another as an abstract geometric shape that changes dependent on his mood.

 

I messed around a bit with my own concept art of a Forton/Monk I would be ok with. It ended up looking, I think, a little bit like a mix between

an asian and a european monk. Maybe others will think differently.

 

I also played with the thought that, maybe this particular Monastic Order had dedicated themselves to the mysteries of chemistry.

(This could tie into Forton's whole drug addiction thing, I just realised)

As such, maybe the Monk could have a class skill to create things like thrown weapons, like P:E equivalents of gas grenades/bombs and other such

effects. Which is why in my little piece of concept art he holds some weird vial thing in his left hand. I know, it's very blurry and unclear.

Nevermind the crudeness. I made it fairly quickly and couldn't be arsed to be too neat. But at least it conveys the general idea.

 

Of course, only my own, highly personal preference.

 

Forton001.jpg

 

I like it, though that's just my personal preference. :) I think the concept of monks needs to be expanded outside the usual shaolin monk to include others such as the crazed old hermit guy in the woods (and I'm not just talking about the old drunken Zen master here, but all hermit types across all cultures, such as the druidic type as well though obviously actual druids are already covered by their class).


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Any I the only person here who noticed some of the European fans being extremely xenophobic whenever another foreign culture crosses their medieval European culture? You people are aware how Europe got things like gunpowder and firearms in the first place? Both Asia and Europe have been in contact with each other during that period.

Edited by bonarbill

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I like it, though that's just my personal preference. :) I think the concept of monks needs to be expanded outside the usual shaolin monk to include others such as the crazed old hermit guy in the woods (and I'm not just talking about the old drunken Zen master here, but all hermit types across all cultures, such as the druidic type as well though obviously actual druids are already covered by their class).

 

Now that you mention it...does PE have druids? Anyway, the Monk class despite its namesake is not synonymous with a cleric. Religion is not the main driving force in a monk's life, it's just some philosophy or discipline. I don't think the Monk class needs to be expanded, or at least not in that direction, because at that point you start encroaching on other territory

 

Any I the only person here who noticed some of the European fans being extremely xenophobic whenever another foreign culture crosses their medieval European culture? You people are aware how Europe got things like gunpowder and firearms in the first place? Both Asia and Europe have been in contact with each other during that period.

 

You are right to point out that there was a fair amount of trade between Europe and Asia during the period in question. I really can't understand those who posit that suggesting the fact that other cultures exist outside of the European ones would somehow ruin the setting and be out of place. D&D and other fantasy settings like those in Conan and Game of thrones are set largely in medieval Europe but in all of those settings other cultures exist, this is an entire planet we are talking about, unless it's so small that it only encompasses Europe and a few surrounding territories, we are going to see travellers from far off lands. It would be unrealistic not to.

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