Jump to content

Real-world/historical influences in RPGs  

60 members have voted

  1. 1. What time period(s) do you prefer for RPGs to draw upon, in terms of culture, architecture, and themes?

    • Ancient era (Egypt, Homeric Greece, Bronze Age).
    • Classical period (Greece city states, Roman Republic/Empire).
    • Dark Ages/Early Medieval (Vikings, King Arthur, Early Christianity, etc.).
    • High Medieval (Norman England, Crusades, Joan of Arc).
    • Gothic/Late Medieval (Notre Dame, Vlad the Impaler, palace castles).
    • Renaissance (da Vinci, Marco Polo, Black Death, artistic patronage).
    • Age of Discovery (conquistadors, pirates, colonies, exploration).
    • Early Modern period (Reformation, Enlightenment, citizen militia, etc.)
    • Late Modern period (Napoleon, Industrial Revolution, Manifest Destiny)
    • Something more recent/not included here.
  2. 2. Which broad cultural group(s) should Project Eternity draw upon?

    • Sub-Saharan African
    • Oceanic and/or Native American
    • Middle East/Islamic
    • Celtic and/or Scandinavian
    • Slavic/Eastern European
    • East Asian/Japanese
    • Near Eastern/Greek/Hebrew
    • South Asian/Indochina
    • Central Asian/nomadic
    • Southern European/Romance/Iberian
  3. 3. Which genre(s) of RPGs do you enjoy the most?

    • Fantasy
    • Science fiction
    • Steampunk/retro-futuristic
    • Post-apocalyptic/dystopian
    • Gothic/horror
    • Western or Modern
    • Historical


Recommended Posts

I admit I really want to see a good CRPG -- an excellent CRPG -- set in Sub-Saharan Africa but with the equivalent of Gothic Architecture.  It would be a powerful test of the imagination to generate a plausible yet divergent architectural style for any civilization.  Sub-Saharan Africa appeals strongly to me (and I feel *should* appeal strongly to me) because it's not been done and because we have a growing focus on multiculturalism and easier information resources than ever.

 

I like the idea of the various peoples and music and art.

 

Also, the Asias outside Japan and China aren't large focii of gaming.  India seems largely suitable for role-playing games and I do remember one game being proposed for a Hindi style setting based on the Mahabharata (or maybe it was the Ramayana) but that game never arose to fruition.

  • Like 2

"This is what most people do not understand about Colbert and Silverman. They only mock fictional celebrities, celebrities who destroy their selfhood to unify with the wants of the people, celebrities who are transfixed by the evil hungers of the public. Feed us a Gomorrah built up of luminous dreams, we beg. Here it is, they say, and it looks like your steaming brains."

 

" If you've read Hart's Hope, Neveryona, Infinity Concerto, Tales of the Flat Earth, you've pretty much played Dragon Age."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm already working on a story for a mod. I've never really modded before (save from some tiny tiny stuff) so it'll be cool to get to do this.

  • Like 1

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whenever Western game designers look toward the far East, the result is American Ninja/Mortal Kombat-esque results. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't trust a bunch of white guys of European descent to accurately or interestingly portray any ethnic group or culture they're not familiar with (i.e. anything other than Europe.)

It's getting better though, Sleeping Dogs portray Hong Kong quite accurately.

Although there's a bit hiccup with casting a Korean actor who can't speak Cantonese as the Cantonese protagonist.

I mean, the protagonist is supposed to grew up there from childhood, yet he speaks English instead of native Cantonese to everybody. It's so weird :))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always wanted to see less-used cultural themes in works.
Even in terms of Europe, there's some that are rarely seen. I've seen lots of generic western europe, british, celtic, germanic, french, spanish, italian, or nordic themes.

I'd love to see something more eastern European or Russian, not just as bit characters or "gypsies from afar"  but for a whole section of the setting to have that flavor.

Also would like to see more Finnish influences.

I also want the "exotic"  cultures to use different styles too. In a typical European-inspired fantasy, the "exotic"  cultures are always Arabian or Oriental. While I suppose that makes sense geographically compared to the real world, I'd still love to see different cultures.

Oceanic cultures is something I never see. Would love to see some Samoans in my fantasy.
 

 

Sub-Saharan Africa? Now you're just pulling my leg. Can you even name any RPG that has a Sub-Saharan African setting/theme? Or even Saharan Africa?

 

Closest thing I can think of is Quest for Glory 3.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that pointing out the flaws in a games depiction of a certain culture, when that game Is set on a different planet entirely, seems to be a trap that many fall into...

as long as it makes sense in the game world then mixing up influences from one or more cultures is fine. But the closer games get to portraying a real historic culture, the more people point out the differences. The same goes for equipment, there are plenty of posts on here saying "but they didn't use that weapon at that time" or whatever...as though they think the game is set in earths history.

 

I like fantasy as a way to tell a story in a historic type setting without having to slavishly follow history.

 

Myself, I'd like to see a move away from Europe, and twee Tolkien rip offs. I don't care where really, just somewhere new. But at the same time I like my fantasy worlds to be grounded in a consistent believable reality. I'm not a fan of power fantasies either, I'd rather play as a person living in that world than as the uberlord of that world.

 

I haven't voted in the poll since I'd just pretty much tick every box

Edited by motorizer
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that pointing out the flaws in a games depiction of a certain culture, when that game Is set on a different planet entirely, seems to be a trap that many fall into...

as long as it makes sense in the game world then mixing up influences from one or more cultures is fine. But the closer games get to portraying a real historic culture, the more people point out the differences. The same goes for equipment, there are plenty of posts on here saying "but they didn't use that weapon at that time" or whatever...as though they think the game is set in earths history.

bit of uncanny valley, maybe.
  • Like 1

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could actually have voted for everything, because I'm not in love with any genre, time period, or cultural influence in particular. I do care about consistency and coherence though. Whatever the influences, it should hang together. Massive anachronisms or cultural weirdnesses bug me; I wouldn't like to see, say, knights in full Gothic plate wielding katanas, nor samurai with poleaxes for that matter. That wouldn't make sense.

 

However, I'm a bit bored with generic-pseudo-medieval-western-fantasy, generic-samurai-fantasy, generic-kung-fu-fantasy, generic-space-opera etc. I think there's a huge range of underused settings and cultural influences out there, and I think they would make for a refreshing change of pace. Sumer or Babylon, pre-Columbian America, Pharaonic Egypt, pre-dynastic China, Oceania, sub-Saharan Africa... the possibilities are endless. So I omitted the ones closest to these IMO overused ones and voted for the others. 

 

I'm also not super-excited about historical RPG's as such; there are too many things to trip over. Like being overly constrained by the historical setting and not daring to do exciting things because they conflict with it, or drifting too far off it so it just looks anachronistic and embarrassing, like you didn't know better. If done well it could rock though. But instinctively I would prefer a fictional setting inspired by real-world history and culture – I'd rather have, say, an ocean setting with islands and war canoes and haka and moai, without stating that it's specifically Fiji and Tahiti and what have you.

  • Like 3

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there's a fair amount of... pressure... to conform to a certain aesthetic, that is particular to your "inspiration culture".
That this is part of why you don't see so many "mixed" or "original" style cultures.
 

Also, there might be an odd idea that you can't mix too many cultural elements into it, even though other fantasy does that all the time.

 

Medieval fantasy draws on the entirety of Europe, and there are always elements brought in from Asian or Arabian cultures by way of trade, travel, etc. Asian fantasy, particularly as created in the west, often tends to blend Chinese, Japanese, and miscellaneous elements into the same work. The Middle East is also a pretty big area to work with, and Arabian flavored works blend stuff in from Arabia to Persia to Turkey across several era (i.e. pre-Islamic Arabic vs. Ottoman Turkey).
Likewise, European works can vary from Holy Roman Empire through the Rennaissance.

And people who read fantasy are used to all these fusions and conflations.

But if you say, based on Pharaonic Egypt, isn't that kind of limiting? And it might be, especially since we might not know quite as much about such an ancient and distant culture, you have a bit less to draw a lot of setting elements from, and there's stuff that just doesn't exist in Egyptian mythology or lore. And Egypt is still a pretty popular setting for stuff.

Stuff like Oceania, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Americas, that's even moreso. And those you might still have considerably less archaeology to draw influences from. But who says you can't expand it? Who says you have to be limited to just that small section of culture? Since most standard fantasy influences clearly haven't limited themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...