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"Realistic" things that no-one actually wants to deal with in fantasy games

GRAAK

Registered User
Validated User
Regarding armor, the fact that walking casually in full plate is commonly accepted in gaming groups. Go to a re-enactment fair and put a hand on a chest plate exposed under the sun: it's hot as a grill! On the other hand it's ice-cold in winter. It's not something you dress up with just because you own it and you feel safer in it!
 

Rangdo

I used to be Ovid.
Validated User
I enjoy verisimilitude in my games as well. One reason why I love WFRP is the career system. For all its own lack of realism, it makes you feel rooted in a real world.

It's also why I'm suspicious when game designers say they want to focus on "playability" and argue for "getting to the good stuff".
 

Ven

Registered User
Validated User
I enjoy verisimilitude in my games as well. One reason why I love WFRP is the career system. For all its own lack of realism, it makes you feel rooted in a real world.

It's also why I'm suspicious when game designers say they want to focus on "playability" and argue for "getting to the good stuff".
Quite so. Much of the time the appeal of roleplaying to me is being in the shoes of another and exploring what their world looks like from their point of view, their thoughts and feelings as well as their action. Perhaps it is the archaeologist and re-enactor in me :) .
 

GRAAK

Registered User
Validated User
I enjoy verisimilitude in my games as well. One reason why I love WFRP is the career system. For all its own lack of realism, it makes you feel rooted in a real world.
Exactly! And with wfrp I started inserting common sense limitations to the (ab)use of armor and plate armor in particular. Now we have achieved the wonderful result that PCs put on heavy armor only when they have the time to do it before a dangerous battle or assault.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
In fact, they decided to head back to civilization and either hire someone else to clear the dungeon, or maybe forget about adventuring and just go into a more sensible line of work entirely.
This is exactly the kind of reasoning I come up with regarding why I don't personally like systems/settings that set out to be "deadly": it's not that I want to fight everything, it's that the logic I value most is the logic of "risk vs reward".
 

Quantum Bob

Fear and Loathing
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I enjoy verisimilitude in my games as well. One reason why I love WFRP is the career system. For all its own lack of realism, it makes you feel rooted in a real world.

It's also why I'm suspicious when game designers say they want to focus on "playability" and argue for "getting to the good stuff".
Our sytem preferences are sooooo different that I would worry about shaking your hand, because of the possibilty that we would annihilate each other in a huge matter/antimatter explosion ;)

Back to topic ... I think I like glossing over the minutae of medieval life because I enjoy the trappings, especially for LotR or D&D style fantasy. But the more I learn about the really real pre-modern life the more I find it deeeeeeply unpleasant. Really deeply.

So I actually welcome all sorts of modern influences and anachronisms in my games while ignoring all the day-to-day unpleasantries.
 
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Gussick

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Back to topic ... I think I like glossing over the minutae of medieval life because I enjoy the trappings, especially for LotR or D&D style fantasy. But the more I learn about the really real pre-modern life the more I find it deeeeeeply unpleasant. Really deeply.
I think we moderns tend to either romanticize it or condemn it. The reality I've seen from doing 14th century living history is somewhere in the middle. For one thing it wasn't nearly as filthy as we sometimes imagine. They knew how to bathe in western Europe. And linen turns out to be an excellent fabric for resisting bacteria and keeping clean. The stuff that wasn't washed thoroughly was at least sun-bleached. The technology was limited but very effective once you learned how to use it. More effective than modern tech in many respects. Certainly you could DIY for most material. A town could grow or otherwise produce everything from clothing to food and even pens to write with. Though in practice by the late medieval importing the nicer stuff was pretty common.

In my own kit, my linen and wool clothing, goose feather quills, food, furniture and even most of my ink ingredients would have been local or regionally made. And the clothing is not only durable but *superior* to most modern gear. For example when my linen-lined wool hood gets sweaty in the sun I can take it off for a few minutes then put it back on and PRESTO it is a MEDIEVAL AC UNIT! I fricking love linen. The full body clothing we tend to view as oppressively hot actually works not only to keep cool in summer and warm in winter, but is remarkably good at repelling insect bites. I've found even our Alaska horse flies cannot penetrate a layer of 100% linen. I would wear it all the time everywhere if I could. I wore a linen gown at my wedding.

And while medieval people didn't go on goblin hunting adventures, they did go on pilgrimages pretty frequently. You could take off with little more than a few days worth of food, since you'd be able to walk from village to village and locals would give or sell you food and shelter. Read Chaucer's tales and you get a pretty good picture of the joy of this process. It was like one massive, moving party.

Of course you've got the down side like the black plague, but hey. It opened up a lot of job positions.
 
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Quantum Bob

Fear and Loathing
RPGnet Member
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I think we moderns tend to either romanticize it or condemn it. The reality I've seen from doing 14th century living history is somewhere in the middle.

Snip
Yeah, no. I am not buying it. I mean I buy that you think it is, but I know too much about medicine or rather about the myriad ways the human body just fails, I deeply loathe any government that isn't democratic or more liberal, I find the permanent uncertainty abhorrent, the lack of knowledge about ... anything.

I am the kind of spoilsport who responds to: "You get tranported into (insert fantasy setting)" scenarios with "great, I fucking kill myself on the odd chance that I wake up back home"
 

Gogmagog

Registered User
Validated User
Yeah, no. I am not buying it. I mean I buy that you think it is, but I know too much about medicine or rather about the myriad ways the human body just fails, I deeply loathe any government that isn't democratic or more liberal, I find the permanent uncertainty abhorrent, the lack of knowledge about ... anything.

I am the kind of spoilsport who responds to: "You get tranported into (insert fantasy setting)" scenarios with "great, I fucking kill myself on the odd chance that I wake up back home"
Somehow I can see you getting teased with fake science items. "It cures halitosis and baldness!" :)
 

WistfulD

Registered User
Validated User
Yeah, no. I am not buying it. I mean I buy that you think it is, but I know too much about medicine or rather about the myriad ways the human body just fails, I deeply loathe any government that isn't democratic or more liberal, I find the permanent uncertainty abhorrent, the lack of knowledge about ... anything.
I think the point is that, after over-romanticizing, the second most common thing to do with 'ye olden times' is to pretend that they were an unbroken stream of abject misery.
 
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