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Gorum

Irontruth's page

6,231 posts (6,233 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 2 aliases.


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Quark Blast wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

You don't like my solution. Got it.

Anything else?

Not really. What were we trying to solve anyway? Something about railroading? :)

I didn't intend this much of a derail. Sorry if it came out harsher than I'd meant. It's a good technique. Worth bringing up. Works for a lot of people.

LOL, Ironthruth does not have Ironskin :)

Really? You think this is the best way to keep the thread going?


Mathmuse wrote:

Sharing the creative burden with the players has the same problem as the pure sandbox: without plot hooks the PCs could end up exploring the dull parts of town. However, I do use this when the plot overlaps an area from the PC's background. I don't want to stomp all over the PC's backstory by setting up his father as the evil overlord when the player wanted a nice father, or vice versa. But this is best worked out with the player in email outside of gaming time. That makes it a surprise for the other players, but lets me plan ahead.

Nevertheless, I don't see how sharing the creative burden works with a railroad plot. Giving players more choices, choices about not just their character but also the setting, would lead to more derailments.

Agreed, sharing the creative burden does NOT work with a canned plot. I mostly suggest it as a way of reducing GM prep work. A common complaint of why people say they don't GM, or say that railroading is necessary, is because of the prep work involved. Sharing that creative burden is one way to reduce (sometimes even eliminate) GM prep work needed to play the game.

On the flip side, if the players are truly interested in what the GM has prepped and the GM enjoys doing that prep, that can make for an awesome game.

I run both prep heavy games and zero prep games. I really do see the value in both, though in my high prep games, I still don't railroad and let the players go where their actions take them instead of wherever I thought it was going to go.


thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

You don't like my solution. Got it.

Anything else?

Not really. What were we trying to solve anyway? Something about railroading? :)

I didn't intend this much of a derail. Sorry if it came out harsher than I'd meant. It's a good technique. Worth bringing up. Works for a lot of people.

Apologies.

We'll have to figure out how to not have this conversation. You don't like this stuff and that's fine.


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:
Might want to check something like this out.
For someone who complains about other's bullying on the forums, you sure do bully a lot.

Don't belittle other people's views if you don't want pushback, even if it's unintentional, and don't make assumptions. As an experienced poster here, you should know that by now. And then don't play the victim when your cack-handed posting style provokes.

Well, that's certainly killed off the friendly atmosphere. Again. There's a reason I rarely bother with the non-PbP threads these days.

Unfortunately, I'm not making assumptions. I've had this conversation with participants before, I've asked people what games they've tried. The responses have been limited in scope and represent one end of the spectrum of games.

"I don't like it" is a valid reason not to use or do something. It gets a little old to debate against though.

Tormsskull wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
For someone who complains about other's bullying on the forums, you sure do bully a lot.
It's bullying to point out that someone is being defensive?

The way you did it? Yes.


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Tormsskull wrote:
Might want to check something like this out.

For someone who complains about other's bullying on the forums, you sure do bully a lot.


You don't like my solution. Got it.

Anything else?


thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:


Lastly, I off-load some of that creative burden onto my players. I'll even be blunt and tell them I don't have anything prepped. Then, when they ask me a question about an NPC, location, object, etc... I turn the question back around on them. I usually add something as well. For example:

Player: Is there a magic shop in town?
Me: Yes. You find it in a quiet part of town, something about the shop seems really off to you. What about the shop unnerves or creeps your character out?

As the player starts describing stuff, I take a moment to absorb what they're saying and prep an idea or two for myself. I once ran a 16 hour game over 3 days basically using that technique (combined with some generic prep and some other techniques), both players and I had a blast.

I'll just say that as a player, I hate this technique. Making up world stuff in play breaks me out of character, making me think about the game and setting in way the character wouldn't be. Some of that is unavoidable, but I'd rather not add more than necessary.

Me: Have you tried Indian food? Some of it's really good.

Complainer: I tried it once, didn't like it.
Me: Just once? And you formed a complete opinion on it?
Complainer: Yep.
Me: But you were just complaining that you wish you could try new foods...
Complainer: Yup, I want to try new foods, but I don't like new foods.


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I highly recommend: Never Unprepared (available here on the paizo store). It's a good how-to book on how to reduce the time you spend prepping, and increase the efficiency of the time you do spend. It's a good read and odds are you'll find something useful in it.

Second, I also recommend playing a few games outside your normal comfort zone. Playing some of the more improvisational roleplaying games has improved my GMing significantly. You get to spend time roleplaying AND practicing skills that are useful.

Creativity isn't an innate talent, it's a skill you have to practice. Find ways to incorporate that practice into the hobby you already enjoy.

Lastly, I off-load some of that creative burden onto my players. I'll even be blunt and tell them I don't have anything prepped. Then, when they ask me a question about an NPC, location, object, etc... I turn the question back around on them. I usually add something as well. For example:

Player: Is there a magic shop in town?
Me: Yes. You find it in a quiet part of town, something about the shop seems really off to you. What about the shop unnerves or creeps your character out?

As the player starts describing stuff, I take a moment to absorb what they're saying and prep an idea or two for myself. I once ran a 16 hour game over 3 days basically using that technique (combined with some generic prep and some other techniques), both players and I had a blast.

On the extreme other end of the spectrum, I also spent 6 months, on and off, working on a single location for another game, because I knew that a year long arc was going to conclude there and I wanted to have tons of stuff drawn out and prepped as best as I could. For that I knew the players would go there because they all had a group motivation and individual goals there as well. Not everything about it got used, but that just means I have some prep done in my pocket that I can repurpose if I need to.


The presence or absence of conflict is not a determining factor of sandbox vs. railroad. In fact, conflict is usually the centerpiece of a story, regardless of type (there are a few literary styles without conflict, but they aren't as common).

Something to consider, are you catering to the PC's (fictional people) or to players (you know, the other people at the table). I don't cater my games to the PC's, I cater my games to the players. I find out what they're interested in and build around that.

As a GM, I don't see the game session as a means to and expose my precious prep. Rather, I see my prep as the necessary work required to have my game session. I could give two s*&@s about my prep work as long as the session is fun. I'm willing to throw all my work out the window at the drop of a hat if the players lead me in another direction that seems fun, because that fun (for me and them) is more important than the notes I prepped.

I can always recycle my notes for something else in the future. I can't get back the time spent on the session right now.


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Note that the rule doesn't say "destroyed". It says "destroyed or rendered useless".

Destroyed =/= disintegrated
Destroyed = not usable

An arrow that hits is no longer useful as an arrow. The matter involved doesn't cease to exist though. There's still pieces of wood, feather and metal that exist are somewhere on the battlefield.

I agree, they might not necessarily be attached to the invisible person though.


In the context of his statement,"players complaining about GMs", is the GM complaining about themselves?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

To me, the question is which do you prefer:

A) playing and having unexpected things happen
B) talking about what you did last time in gaming

If you prefer A, then don't plan and don't railroad. If you like B more, then railroad is for you. I've known people who genuinely liked B more than A. They liked A, they just liked B more.

As both player and GM, I prefer A.


Again, that runs counter to my (and others) experiences.

I've had great experiences with people at conventions. People are polite and enthusiastic about gaming. They are there for a special occasion and want to be there.

My home games, while we're all friends, sometimes people bring their baggage with them and feel like they can unload it on the table. Sometimes that's okay, sometimes it isn't.

When PFS has problems, it's because stores aren't willing to establish rules and enforce them. It's all about boundary setting and establishing expectations. When the organizer of a space does a good job of this, you will rarely have problems... or when they do happen, they get resolved quickly. If the organizer just lets people run a muck (like a GM that can't say no) then things can go to hell in a hand basket.

It has less to do with the type of setting and much more to do with how good people are at maintaining order and etiquette. We've all been to home games that were chaos and shenanigans, and I've heard stories of bad cons as well.


Over the past 4 years, I've ran games at conventions for about 40-50 people. I don't get to pick the people who sign up for my games, I sit at my table and players pick my game. I've had two mildly disruptive players, but neither was so bad that I couldn't steer the game back on course NOR did I have to kick them out. The games were still a ton of fun for me.

Based on that sample size, it's roughly 4-5% of random strangers are disruptive to my games (but they don't ruin my sessions).

BTW, I'll be GMing at GenCon at the Games on Demand room this year. I run a game about thieves and another one about murdering gods. Possibly a third, but only if the author asks me to.


Norman Osborne wrote:
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
How about the child is not a child at all. It really is a powerful key to unlocking a series of magical defenses, keeping a magical demon at bay?

Instead of a baby, it's a teenage girl.

And her name is Dawn Summers.

And she's 50-feet tall.


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The Usual Suspect wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Oh, get your badge mailed to you. Unless you want to waste several hours in line to get it.

Last year the line for badges was several city blocks long, every morning.

The line is horrible during the day, but Will Call is open 24/7. Arrive at the con on Wednesday and you can get into Will Call late in the evening or even at midnight and there's no line to speak of. But you have to be willing to show up in the middle of the night. If you're not forgetful have your badge mailed to you. If you are, just plan ahead on when you intend to spend time getting your badge.

Last year we arrived in town Wed, about 6:30 local. The line was a city block long. We went, had dinner, my friends got a shave and haircut at the barber, the line was still a city block long. My friend went back at 11 pm, the line was still a city block long.

Getting the badge shipped only costs $10 and comes with a 100% replacement guarantee.


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Setting boundaries and expectations is important. Having them well established reduces the number of times you have to say "No", plus when you do say it, you aren't just being arbitrary, mean GM, you're just enforcing the already established elements.

I also make a point to give my players as much outlet for their creativity and boundary pushing as I can. Often, I give room for this beyond just their own character as well. It has the nice side effect of reducing the creative energy I need to use for the game, letting me focus on being creative on the stuff that might surprise them.


The food trucks are good. There was one with pulled pork my friends were raving about, but was gone the day I went down there. The one I had was Korean tacos and was so good I went back for seconds and thirds.

If you're budgeting for a more expensive meal, St. Elmo's is fabulous. It's a very old school steakhouse. Everything I had was very classic, nothing new or novel, but it was all prepared expertly. One of the best steaks I've ever had at a restaurant. My meal (with lots of alcohol) clocked in around $120, but I'm setting aside money to do it again (I scored a free badge and hotel room this year). The shrimp cocktail... I've remembering it and am craving another one.

The nicer restaurants are definitely a little easier to get into. They're still busy, but most con-goers are already spending so much money other places, they don't spend it on food.


Concerning dinner, it's good to just have plans. If you know you only have an hour between events, don't go to a restaurant, find a food truck or eat some snacks. The more expensive restaurants will sometimes have shorter waits. Also, the further you go from the convention center, the shorter the wait. A lot of people never go more than 5-6 blocks from the convention center. A short taxi/uber ride will get you out of that zone and greatly reduce the number of people. I think last year I never went more than 3 blocks, but I only ate at restaurants twice and had planned for lots of time both occasions.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Where are you moving to?

Not far. I really liked the neighborhood, but my precinct is only like 10 blocks by 10 blocks. Once I'm in a different precinct, I'd need to get nominated for an open seat in that precinct. Most likely, I won't even be in the same senate district.

Oddly enough, if I move to another senate district, I'm more likely to find a vacant seat.

Also, I'm going back to school on my GI bill, so I'm going to look for a place close to school. Planning on a degree in history, then getting certified for teaching. Social Studies will be a little harder to break into, but it's the subject I love the most. Ideally, I'll want to get a masters/doctorate eventually in my subject and I don't think I could do math/physics/chemistry that far.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oh, get your badge mailed to you. Unless you want to waste several hours in line to get it.

Last year the line for badges was several city blocks long, every morning.


If Tracy Hickman has influenced your life at all, I highly recommend stopping by his booth. He's one of the most sincere and friendly people I've ever met and odds are you will be able to stand and talk to him for 5 minutes. So if you haven't met him, set aside a couple minutes in the trade hall to track him down and talk.

Related, go to his Killer Breakfast. Even if you can't get a stage spot, he puts on a fun gaming style show where he kills several hundred PC's in amusing fashion. It's usually Saturday morning. I've been to it twice and highly recommend it.

Try games you've never played before. Pretty much the entire industry is at GenCon. Either that game your group refuses to try, or just something that sounds interesting. There will be people playing anything and everything, so get in something you can't get at home. Personally, I'll spend most of my time at Games on Demand, an event space that hosts small press games.

Workshops/lectures/seminars are good. I assume there are some that fill up, but I've never been to one. Usually, even if you don't have a pre-registered ticket, they're first come/first serve. If the names of the speakers aren't ultra-famous and it's not a major event (big company talking about their future releases for the next year), there's space.

If you're going to a restaurant, plan on it taking 2-3 hours during peak times (dinner peak is like 5pm to 10pm). There are 50,000 other people trying to get dinner too. Eating out all the time is also expensive. I recommend picking up some semi-healthy snacks from the grocery store and stocking your hotel room. If your hotel is downtown, you can keep everything there, otherwise pack 1-2 meals worth and bring it with you for the day. The foodtrucks have improved the past few years and can sometimes have lines, but are often a good bet for something reasonably fast and well priced.

If your voice starts to give out, cough drops and hot tea can preserve it.


I don't think you understand the purpose or usage of the "Yes and..." technique. It's not a blanket statement for all things at the table. It's an improv technique (it's a common warm-up technique or practicing tool for improv actors).

Instead of deciding things ahead of time, when a player asks a question about the story or game-world, you say "Yes, and...."

It's not a technique for talking about rules, table behavior or similar things.

I suppose we could also complain about how bad screwdrivers are for cutting lumber to appropriate lengths.


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Some of it has to do with GMing being a skill set. Some skills as a player translate over, but it doesn't cover all the bases. Different game systems require different skill sets from the GM as well. Some require you to prep, some require you NOT to prep (it's a harder thing than it sounds if you're used to prepping things for games).

Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master's Guide to Session Prep

This is a pretty good book. It's good for new GMs as it lays out a lot of the things you'll need to do to prepare for a game session. It's great for experienced GMs who've found their life has changed now that they have careers/kids and don't have the time they used to to devote to prepping game sessions.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I run games at conventions. In every long term group I play in the majority of group members GMs something eventually.


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I tried offering my players carrots, but they went for the dorritos instead.


Sorry if the joke wasn't more obvious.


A priest of Gorum.


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Curing a second batch now with maple syrup and bourbon. When I flipped it at the half-way point I took a slice to fry up and test. It tasted off, will see if another 3-4 days improves it.

Either too much air in the container (tried a different packing method) or I *gasp* used too much bourbon. Will do a third batch to test what went wrong.


The BBEG abducts children to brainwash them and train them as his minions.


From a game which has my favorite GM advice section (and probably stolen from somewhere else):

•Make the world fantastic
•Fill the characters’ lives with adventure
•Play to find out what happens


Going back to school after nearly 20 years. Got my acceptance letter last week, so went and picked up a bottle of scotch to treat myself. Brought home Compass Box's Peat Monster ($50). It's very, very peaty, but also very well balanced. The peat is a little overpowering on the nose, but once you take a drink it mellows out. The flavors really linger as well.

It's not the best islay I've ever had. It's not the smoothest, peatiest, saltiest, smokiest, etc. It's a really good combination of those elements though and at it's price, is actually a really good buy IMO.

I like the Lagavulin 16, Laphroaig 18, Coal Ila 18 and several others better than this, but they're also all nearly double the price (or more). I wouldn't call this cheap, but it will satisfy my islay cravings more reasonably.


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I caucused this year for the first time. Now I'm on the standing committee for the state senate district. I didn't take a leadership role, cause I'm going to be moving soon, but I could have very easily.

It's an interesting learning experience though.


I've the last segment of a campaign coming up in 2 months and we're looking to add a layer of mechanics as a resource for the players and to help track/adjudicate progress.

Long story short, the players were part of a crusade that fell apart. The players went off on their own and have resurrected a god and restored a portion of their religion. Now they're going back to the mortal plane and will be attempting to build a coalition army to vanquish their foes.

I'm looking for suggestions of any game/supplement that handles this in a mechanical fashion. Please limit suggestions to things that are in print or are easily obtainable.

Not looking for mass combat rules, or single scene diplomacy/intrigue rules, but rather long term diplomacy rules, ideally stuff that operates on the scale of months or years.


Jacob Saltband wrote:
Thanks for the info....is this the same group that's doing Dungeon World?

No. Dungeon World was a hack of Apocalypse World. Apocalypse World is the game that Dungeon World got it's rules from. The core mechanices (roll 2d6, get a 10+ or 7-9) are the same, but the game plays very, very differently.

Vincent Baker wrote Apocolypse World and it was released with either an OGL, CC or similar type license. He's also the author of Dogs in the Vineyard.

The good thing about AW is that it lends itself to short campaign arcs and require virtually no planning on the GM's part. In fact, planning is actively discouraged in the game. The down side, is it doesn't do epic, long campaigns well and the mechanics will actively fight you if you try to have a plan.

With a single set of characters, the game can play really well out to about 12 sessions (or about 40-50 hours of game play). After that, you'll either want to start retiring characters and bringing in new ones, or wrap up the story.

There is some resource management in the game, scarcity and even lack of certain things, but it focuses more on the brutality surrounding those scarcities. Think of the Mad Max movies for example. The resources of gas and water are rare, but often as not, the real story is about how people act around those rare resources.


Tels wrote:
I hope they don't do the Destiny thing and keep it out of the game, I'd love to learn more about the history and setting of the game, along with the characters. I just don't want to have to go out of game to do it.

Just curious, what do you think that would look like in a game that's entirely designed around PvP matchmaking where matches last about 10 minutes?

The game doesn't have a single player mode, there is no story mode. The game is entirely built around PvP.


Well, there's Apocalypse World. There's a second edition coming soon, but you still check out the first edition to start learning it.


Well.. that's true of any game. If you don't like the genre of game, you're probably not going to like a specific game within that genre.


Anyone playing on PC?


thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

thejeff, I want to make it clear...

I'm not arguing that these don't share elements of Medieval European Fantasy, my point is that THAT is the proper term for it... not "traditional fantasy". There is no genre of "traditional fantasy"... or if you go ahead and look around at sites that do use the term, you're going to find a really wide breadth and width which is going to include things like Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter. And I highly doubt that when you and Tormskull used the term "traditional fantasy" for your games, you were looking to include those two works within your definition.

Medieval European Fantasy = good term
Traditional Fantasy = bad term

I agree traditional fantasy isn't a genre. Nor, for that matter is Medieval European fantasy.

The problem is that we're mixing levels here which is a common problem talking about fantasy sub-genres. We're really talking about setting, not genre. You can take that MEF and have a Tolkienesque high fantasy, a Fafhrd-like sword and sorcery piece, or a young adult story. You can have it grimdark or noblebright, still with the same basic setting components.

Since this particular digression started with TV Tropes, I'll add this one. Standard Fantasy Setting

Yup, there can be a lot of components to a game/book/story/etc. Which is why I think specific and accurate terminology serves the conversation much better than using words that relies on the assumption that everyone has all had the same set of experiences and preferences.


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thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

And yet the majority of classics in the genre have nothing to do with Arthurian/Tolkien fantasy.

Basically, your point boils down to...

"this is what I'm used to, therefore, we must use the word 'normal'"

Even if it isn't "normal" or "traditional" to someone else.

I'm very curious what "majority of classics" you think don't fit?

Can you give a few examples?

Just to see if I'm missing something or if you're using a narrower definition than I am.

Burroughs, Howard, Zelazny, Leiber, Vance, Camp, Lovecraft and Moorcock (most are listed as influences on D&D in the AD&D DMG as well). I'm not saying they're the only important authors, but rather important authors who's work doesn't fit the mold of Arthurian/Tolkien fantasy.

And before someone responds "But those are science fiction", yes, they're fiction, but there really isn't any science in them, and many works are broadly accepted as being within the fantasy genre.

At least some works by most of those authors fall within the broad definition I'm using. Others wouldn't, admittedly. Not Arthurian/Tolkien fantasy, but I wouldn't limit it that far. Definitely within the TVTropes "Medieval European Fantasy" bit quoted earlier.

Not Barsoom - no real magic, too many tech type toys and explicitly set on another real planet.
Conan, definitely.
Zelazny's very broad. Having written everything from pretty hard SF to fantasy. Most of his stuff doesn't qualify, in my mind.
Leiber, yes.
Vance, I think, though I haven't read much in a very long time.
deCamp, certainly. The Incompleat Enchanter stuff takes place in worlds of European legend.
Lovecraft is mostly horror. Even the more fantasy Dreamlands stuff isn't much like anything I've ever seen in a D&D game.
Moorcock is another very broad author, but much of the Eternal Champion stuff would qualify. Elric, especially.

thejeff, I want to make it clear...

I'm not arguing that these don't share elements of Medieval European Fantasy, my point is that THAT is the proper term for it... not "traditional fantasy". There is no genre of "traditional fantasy"... or if you go ahead and look around at sites that do use the term, you're going to find a really wide breadth and width which is going to include things like Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter. And I highly doubt that when you and Tormskull used the term "traditional fantasy" for your games, you were looking to include those two works within your definition.

Medieval European Fantasy = good term
Traditional Fantasy = bad term


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thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

And yet the majority of classics in the genre have nothing to do with Arthurian/Tolkien fantasy.

Basically, your point boils down to...

"this is what I'm used to, therefore, we must use the word 'normal'"

Even if it isn't "normal" or "traditional" to someone else.

I'm very curious what "majority of classics" you think don't fit?

Can you give a few examples?

Just to see if I'm missing something or if you're using a narrower definition than I am.

Burroughs, Howard, Zelazny, Leiber, Vance, Camp, Lovecraft and Moorcock (most are listed as influences on D&D in the AD&D DMG as well). I'm not saying they're the only important authors, but rather important authors who's work doesn't fit the mold of Arthurian/Tolkien fantasy.

And before someone responds "But those are science fiction", yes, they're fiction, but there really isn't any science in them, and many works are broadly accepted as being within the fantasy genre.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
And yet the majority of classics in the genre have nothing to do with Arthurian/Tolkien fantasy.

The genre of roleplaying games - tabletop or computer? (That's what I'm speaking about, not novels).

Quote:

Basically, your point boils down to...

"this is what I'm used to, therefore, we must use the word 'normal'"

Even if it isn't "normal" or "traditional" to someone else.

My view is:

This is what most people mean by "traditional", therefore we should use the word "traditional" if we wish to be understood by them.

Where did normal come into it? I don't think that's a synonym for traditional.

So, your definition of "traditional" is anything in D&D before say... 1985?


And yet the majority of classics in the genre have nothing to do with Arthurian/Tolkien fantasy.

Basically, your point boils down to...

"this is what I'm used to, therefore, we must use the word 'normal'"

Even if it isn't "normal" or "traditional" to someone else.


thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

Anyone who thinks that Tolkien defines classic fantasy, has a painfully constricted definition of the genre. Michael Moorcock is about as anti-Tolkien as you can get, but he fits as classic fantasy as far as I'm concerned.

Then again, also note what I've said about genres earlier.

I wouldn't say "defines", but certainly was a huge influence on - long before the movies. Conan would also fit that broad TVTropes quote - vaguely feudal, there is magic and gods and fights with swords and shields - though he doesn't usually use a shield, anymore than Aragorn does. As would most of Moorcock's Eternal Champions books, certainly Elric.

Part of the divide here may be that we're talking setting more than genre. You can have very different genres with the same basic setting elements. LotR is High Fantasy set in a vaguely Medieval European setting. Conan is Sword and Sorcery set in a vaguely Medieval European setting.

But which one is "traditional fantasy"? Or is it Burroughs' Barsoom series?

In the context of the original poster - all of them. Though probably not Barsoom, even if it was an influence on D&D.

Since we're talking setting elements, it doesn't really matter whether it's a grand sweeping epic struggle of noble heroes against a Dark Power or petty thieves and mercenaries down in the much.
If you've got magic and kings and nobles and guys on horses with swords and such weapons then you're probably covered. Keep out too much influence from non-European traditions (especially anime) and keep out any modern tech and you're good. You could probably work in some super-science as long as it's lost ancient knowledge and functions as the setting's magic.
You could divide things that fit in that broad category into more subgenres, but the broader one is useful too.

I'm fine if we want to use the term "Medieval European Fantasy", because I can get behind and understand that term. I'm going to point out flaws when people say "traditional fantasy" though. Because usually they're talking about "Medieval European Fantasy" which is only a subset of fantasy and isn't necessarily even "traditional". Other subgenre's are older and have deeper roots.


thejeff wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

Anyone who thinks that Tolkien defines classic fantasy, has a painfully constricted definition of the genre. Michael Moorcock is about as anti-Tolkien as you can get, but he fits as classic fantasy as far as I'm concerned.

Then again, also note what I've said about genres earlier.

I wouldn't say "defines", but certainly was a huge influence on - long before the movies. Conan would also fit that broad TVTropes quote - vaguely feudal, there is magic and gods and fights with swords and shields - though he doesn't usually use a shield, anymore than Aragorn does. As would most of Moorcock's Eternal Champions books, certainly Elric.

Part of the divide here may be that we're talking setting more than genre. You can have very different genres with the same basic setting elements. LotR is High Fantasy set in a vaguely Medieval European setting. Conan is Sword and Sorcery set in a vaguely Medieval European setting.

But which one is "traditional fantasy"? Or is it Burroughs' Barsoom series?


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
What is "traditional fantasy"?

Anything recognizably derivative of Tolkien. Especially in the 1970s and 1980s, it seemed like half the novels on the fantasy shelf were so derivative they should have been put with the calculus textbooks instead.

Having said that, it's a formula that works well -- and that demonstrably did work well for a long time. TV Tropes, as usual, summarizes the formula well.:

Quote:


No matter where a fantasy story may be written, whatever rich history the author's homeland might have, most fantasy stories take place in Medieval Europe (or a facsimile thereof, possibly reasonable). People will fight with swords and shields, and the government is usually vaguely feudal: it may not map well to any real-world political system, but it usually has hereditary monarchs and nobles (which many other cultures also have, but if European titles are used, you're in a Medieval European Fantasy). Medieval European Fantasy settings are sometimes littered with Schizo Tech, though Fantasy Gun Control is often a limiting factor.

The modern age's Ur-source for Medieval fantasy is The Lord of the Rings, which Tolkien based heavily on European folklore. This trope also has its roots in the tendency for pre-Tolkien fantasy works to outright take place in the Medieval era, especially if they were connected to or influenced by the tales of King Arthur.

And, yes, D&D qualifies -- it had "hobbits," for the love of Mike, until the Tolkien estate suggested that the term might be a trademark -- and by extension most of much of the D&D canon (see the TV Tropes exemplar list for details).

The article you linked on TV Tropes is "Medieval European Fantasy", are you making the claim that this is "traditional"?

I'd point out, that if you look in the AD&D DMG, page 224, you'll find a lot of authors who get their work classified under different tropes on that website, such as Sword and Sorcery, which is held as different by most sources (including TV Tropes).

In fact, on that page you won't find many authors who fit Tolkien's mold, other than Tolkien. There are some similarities, but there are also significant differences as well.

Tolkien was definitely AN influence on D&D, but he wasn't the only one. Some of the other influences include science fantasy and science fiction writers.


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What is "traditional fantasy"?


Picked up a bottle of Rowan's Creek. The whiskey comes from an unidentified source, as Rowan's Creek "Distillery" is just a bottler. The whiskey does come from a Kentucky source, just don't know which one.

It's a bit rough around the edges, the 100 proof definitely rears it's head in both the nose and the taste. It has most of the classic bourbon smells/tastes, vanilla, leather, caramel, but also a hint of mint. It's a pleasant bourbon, but nothing out of the ordinary. It does have enough bold flavor that I think it would make some really good cocktails though.

I got mine for $32, which just wasn't worth it for me. It's not a bad whiskey and I can drink it neat, it just doesn't have enough individuality to hold a spot in my cabinet.


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I just finished making my own bacon. Made a few mistakes, but it's really forgiving. Kept it simple, honey, sugar, salt and pepper. Cured it for 7 days, then loaded it into the smoker with hickory for about 4 hours. The smoker got a little hot on me, so it cooked the bacon a little and rendered some of the fat, but it still tastes delicious.

The biggest pain is the space it takes up in your fridge. Other than that, it's ridiculously easy and this is probably the 3rd best bacon I've ever had, even with all the mistakes.

Costco in our area now sells whole pork belly. It's not the highest quality pork, but it was good enough for our purposes.

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