Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

Has Pathfinder given up on being fantasy?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

101 to 150 of 450 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
GeraintElberion wrote:

I don't really feel it valuable or interesting to insult other peoples pleasures with a tone of absolute and condescending self-assurance.

I would hope that others might consider this when writing about popular authors.

Reasonably put. Classy even.

That said, to be fair... I'm not defensive with regards to the things I like. Not everyone gets British humour, and it's perfectly possible to carve up say... Douglas Adams' works (which I quite like most of).

Where I disagree - fairly strongly - is the "or interesting" bit. I find many popular works of art suffer from a case of The Emperor's New Clothes. Folk hear that X is good, so they shy away from saying "um, really... why? I didn't find it that way." Shedding some scornful illumination encourages people to revisit their views and come forward, admitting that they can't see the new clothes.

Out of conflict, understanding arises. If I just stay silent, nobody will ever be aware why I see things the way I do, so they can't educate me.

Incidentally, that tone? It's also known as humour. Mona Lisa? The colours are rubbish, the brush strokes those of an epileptic seal with one flipper amputated, and the perspective clearly that of a demented and blind infant. <<-- Funny. At least to people who haven't had the bit of their brains responsible for detecting humour removed with a rusty ice-cream scoop. <<-- Also funny. Hyperbole, see?

Anyway, certainly, no insult intended.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oh yea, gunslingers are fine. But you know what Wolf Munroe?

Screw printingpressslingers. They are a total break from my pristine fantasy world.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm sorry, but all this dismissive talk regarding Tolkien smells to high heaven of gamer hipsterism. "I find Tolkien ever so drab and dull. I prefer reading Beowulf in the original Old English."

Whatever your attitude toward it, you really have to give the old boy props for popularizing the genre and giving it credibility. He took fantasy out of the dime store pulp racks and onto the bookshelves. This hobby of ours would not exist, were it not for the inspirational value of Tolkien.

Tolkein is dry? I have taught Beowulf. My students get glassy eyed every time Beowulf repeats his lineage and accomplishments, again, to whatever new lord he comes across.

Tolkien has no character development? He trucks in Jungian archetypes, which were themselves derived, like the works of Campbell, from tales of yore. Beowulf does not so much develop as a character as shift from the broad stroke archetype of the youth to the broad stroke archetype of the father/old man.

Tolkein is overly descriptive? Read the Illiad, Odyssey, or Anead. THEN come talk to me about descriptive.

Is Tolkien a cup of tea not enjoyed by some? Absolutely. There is no accounting for taste, mine or yours, but he didn't suck, he was an innovator, and his works were crucial to the development of the role playing hobby. Recognize.

This issue reminds me of the one kid brother who likes the Packers more because his whole family consists of Bears fans than any appreciation for the team.


Meh, I read The Dresden Files, now that's some serious fantasy. Though I do wish he wouldn't harp on a few subjects, like the way magic works in his world/Dresden's head, so often. I also wish that Dresden and Murphy would stop being cowards and take a chance with each other already, they've only been dancing around each other for a freaking decade, and they aren't getting any younger.


The White wrote:
@ TOZ. Fantasy in this case meaning High Fantasy, generally something akin to Tolkien. You know, that style of setting that 90% of D&D games have been set in since it began. It is generally what the word fantasy means unless there is a different context in play

Um...no. D&D was never designed to be High Fantasy in that way. D&D was, more than anything, born and bred on pulp fantasy like Conan, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Elric, etc. I have a hard time believing that 90% of D&D games are Tolkien-esque, especially in Pathfinder which has, if anything, more solidified its pulp roots.


The rangers, halflings, elves and orcs would like a word with you.

As would the dwarves (with a "v") and their mithril. Sorry, mithral.

Without Tolkien's influence, our conception of these things and others would be very different or nonexistant.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
The White wrote:
After looking through some of the books (namely UM and UC), it has occurred to my group that PF has pretty much given up on being a fantasy game and just gone "screw it, let's go Steampunk". Especially after UC. I mean, just look at the picture of the Spellslinger Wizard... Not that this is a bad thing, just an observation and a thread to see if anyone else has noticed this and what people's thoughts are on it. Personally, I quite like it.

No it just refuses to confine fantasy to a narrow box.

Remember that the ruleset is made to be more broader than Golarion, the Spellslinger for instance, does not exist in Golarion. Neither do advanced firearms.

The ruleset is much like it was in 3.5, not all of it is necessarily meant to be used in any one campaign world.


Hudax wrote:

The rangers, halflings, elves and orcs would like a word with you.

As would the dwarves (with a "v") and their mithril. Sorry, mithral.

Without Tolkien's influence, our conception of these things and others would be very different or nonexistant.

I don't like rangers, halflings, elves, and orcs. However Dwarves are cool.

Shadow Lodge

Quite simply, you wouldn't use a handsaw when stonelaying, but you'd still have it for when you needed to do carpentry.

It's the same with the PF books.


TOZ wrote:
Some of us have never read Tolkien.

The books are still in book stores. There is no expiry date:) Never too late, and you will probably enjoy it.

Shadow Lodge

I may do the audio books.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Hudax wrote:

The rangers, halflings, elves and orcs would like a word with you.

As would the dwarves (with a "v") and their mithril. Sorry, mithral.

Without Tolkien's influence, our conception of these things and others would be very different or nonexistant.

If Gygax had never read tolkien, the game would probably still be pretty much the same, minus perhaps some of the things he lifted from it and filed the serial numbers off of.

Tolkien's main contribution was to put fantasy forward as serious literature. Before that it had been either a forgotten genre, or dumbed down to children story level. While Tolkien isn't responsible for much of the game we play, his reinvigoration of the fantasy genre is probably much of the reason it remains more than a niche game.

Folks who have problems with the Oxford Don's writing style also need to be reminded on how old this is. Tolkien wrote the work over a 12 year period beginning in 1937.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
TOZ wrote:
I guess Arthur, Cu Chulain, Beowulf, Gilgamesh, and all the others didn't do the job.

quite the contrary, as proffeseur tolkein was an authority on heroic literature. Middle earth was inspired by these tales. Gygax drew the skeleton of d&d through tolkein and fleshed it out with the other worthy writers.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

This thread reminds me of a conversation with my father-in-law, when he saw me reading the latest Brust novel:

Him: "I'm not really into the fantasy stuff. Give me Jack Reacher any day!"
Me: "Wait a minute. Reacher is the strongest man in the world, the smartest man in the world, the best marksman in the world, and the best fighter in the world. He wears his clothes until they fall off, and yet all women swoon over him. How exactly is that not fantasy?"
Him: "That's a point! I guess I more meant, 'I'm not really into pseudo-medieval settings'."


Cathedron wrote:

Some of us are into RPing because we have vivid imaginations. Some of you just have highly destructive OCD and want to share your torment like a plague. Those with OCD can never be happy; they can just have moments of reprieve from the voices in their head that shout math equations. I used to think I was OCD, then I got into D&D and I felt like the one-eyed man in the valley of the blind.

When I was a kid, you just liked fantasy and sci-fi and read anything you could. D&D was supposed to be a way to actually PLAY the story and it was fun. Then all the damn OCDivas come along and start dividing everything into sub-sub-sub-sub-genres and picking fights about it. Take your nerd gangs somewhere else. I can enjoy Star Trek right along side Star Wars, I can read about John Carter and then read about Aslan, and I can have cowboys vs ninjas in my Pathfinder if I want to.

If you set any limit on fantasy, you are missing the point of fantasy.

only in gaming. These genres are well defined in academia.


TOZ wrote:
I may do the audio books.

What? On 59 CDs? ^^


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The White wrote:
After looking through some of the books (namely UM and UC), it has occurred to my group that PF has pretty much given up on being a fantasy game and just gone "screw it, let's go Steampunk". Especially after UC. I mean, just look at the picture of the Spellslinger Wizard... Not that this is a bad thing, just an observation and a thread to see if anyone else has noticed this and what people's thoughts are on it. Personally, I quite like it.

I assume you mean fantasy as in Tolkienesque style. If so I think your expectations were never in the right place. Pathfinder and especially Golarian has always had a kitchen sink approach. Everything has a place in it whether it be hyper intelligent sorcerer kings/queens, gun wielding warriors, or good old gothic horror settings. You find everything in Golarian and for me that only adds to the majestic beauty of the setting

If Pathfinder was ever to add official psychics to it I kind of expect it would be a science fantasy based setting akin to Star Wars.


Carl Cascone wrote:
only in gaming. These genres are well defined in academia.

You are joking yes?

Shadow Lodge

Yora wrote:
TOZ wrote:
I may do the audio books.
What? On 59 CDs? ^^

People still use those?


Hudax wrote:

The rangers, halflings, elves and orcs would like a word with you.

As would the dwarves (with a "v") and their mithril. Sorry, mithral.

Without Tolkien's influence, our conception of these things and others would be very different or nonexistant.

I've been doing a lot of work on races recently and trying to dig up interesting ones to use. All those races are in mythology all over the world. It's actually kind of disappointing how unoriginal we are as a species.

Elves: Pretty magical folk. Aside from the fact their Norse roots, you can find plenty of similar creatures through out myths.

Dwarves: Oh boy are there a bunch of guys who do similar things in myths all over the place.

Gnomes: Small magical people. Again magic little folk out in the wilderness are found all over the place.

Halflings: Small domestic people. Of course without Tolkien it might be acceptible for Halflings to go on rampages, like a lot of others of their type do.

Goblins: Ugly evil people. Goblins and Orcs are the same in LotRs rather than seperate. The name Orc might have been lost as I think they were a swiss mining dwarf originally. But still, we'd probably have both types possibly with some name changes.

Rangers: there was plenty of call for wilderness warriors long before Tolkien. Robinhood was the name up front when they used to give character example with the class. Of course I'd say that the D&D ranger had little in common with rangers in LotRs, as I don't recall Aragorn casting spells or being specifically good at killing a select few creatures.

Mithral: all Tolkien.

I think that these concepts would still exist in a game even if Tolkien wasn't around. The names might change, but the concepts would probably remain.


Skaorn wrote:
Hudax wrote:

The rangers, halflings, elves and orcs would like a word with you.

As would the dwarves (with a "v") and their mithril. Sorry, mithral.

Without Tolkien's influence, our conception of these things and others would be very different or nonexistant.

I've been doing a lot of work on races recently and trying to dig up interesting ones to use. All those races are in mythology all over the world. It's actually kind of disappointing how unoriginal we are as a species.

Elves: Pretty magical folk. Aside from the fact their Norse roots, you can find plenty of similar creatures through out myths.

Dwarves: Oh boy are there a bunch of guys who do similar things in myths all over the place.

Gnomes: Small magical people. Again magic little folk out in the wilderness are found all over the place.

Halflings: Small domestic people. Of course without Tolkien it might be acceptible for Halflings to go on rampages, like a lot of others of their type do.

Goblins: Ugly evil people. Goblins and Orcs are the same in LotRs rather than seperate. The name Orc might have been lost as I think they were a swiss mining dwarf originally. But still, we'd probably have both types possibly with some name changes.

Rangers: there was plenty of call for wilderness warriors long before Tolkien. Robinhood was the name up front when they used to give character example with the class. Of course I'd say that the D&D ranger had little in common with rangers in LotRs, as I don't recall Aragorn casting spells or being specifically good at killing a select few creatures.

Mithral: all Tolkien.

I think that these concepts would still exist in a game even if Tolkien wasn't around. The names might change, but the concepts would probably remain.

The mere fact you are having this argument is a testimony to Tolkien's influence over the hobby. Never saw a "Moorcock" had no influence on D&D, you could find all his things in other books."

This kind of argument (X had no real influence on Z because you can find idea Y, that is attributed to X, in other sources) is also, in itself, very weak. You could use it to show Darwin had no influence on biology because Anaximander had the idea 550 years B.C.

You may not like Tolkien, but saying he did not have a large influence on the hobby is bordering negationist history.


If I remember correctly Aragorn used magic both at the watch hill where Frodo was first stabbed and in the last book to help save Merry and the girl who killed the witch king.

It's not much but each time it was just enough to keep them around long enough for someone of better skill to get there to save them.


@Skaorn "I don't recall Aragorn casting spells or being specifically good at killing a select few creatures"

In AD&D, rangers got a bonus specifically against goblinoid creatures due to Tolkien's Rangers protecting the frontier from Orcish incursion.


Skaorn wrote:


I've been doing a lot of work on races recently and trying to dig up interesting ones to use. All those races are in mythology all over the world. It's actually kind of disappointing how unoriginal we are as a species.

This surprises you?! :D

Skaorn wrote:


Elves: Pretty magical folk. Aside from the fact their Norse roots, you can find plenty of similar creatures through out myths.

Tolkein mined Scandinavian myhology heavily. The Elves of D&D could have walked right out of Tolkein. Rather "angelic:, Tolkeins Elves. If you want a different, more Nordic, take on Elves try Poul Anderson's "The Broken Sword". If you think "Elric" after reading about the Elves in it you're not alone. This story (1954) was a significant influence on Moorcock's Elric stories (including Stormbringer).

Skaorn wrote:


Dwarves: Oh boy are there a bunch of guys who do similar things in myths all over the place.

Again D&D Dwarves are stright out of Tolkein (who relied on Scandinavian myth, but made significant changes to the nature of the various beings).

Skaorn wrote:


Gnomes: Small magical people. Again magic little folk out in the wilderness are found all over the place.

That's fine. No Gnomes in Tolkein :)

Skaorn wrote:


Halflings: Small domestic people. Of course without Tolkien it might be acceptible for Halflings to go on rampages, like a lot of others of their type do.

Halflings were originally referred to as "Hobbits" in D&D. One lawsuit later they became "Halflings" which was another name for them in Tolkein's books but was not contested due to the generic nature of the term.

Skaorn wrote:


Goblins: Ugly evil people. Goblins and Orcs are the same in LotRs rather than seperate. The name Orc might have been lost as I think they were a swiss mining dwarf originally. But still, we'd probably have both types possibly with some name changes.

The terms "goblin" and "orcs" are in common use in Northwestern European mythology. The idea of them being related / identical evil races as they are in D&D is pure Tolkein.

Skaorn wrote:


Rangers: there was plenty of call for wilderness warriors long before Tolkien. Robinhood was the name up front when they used to give character example with the class. Of course I'd say that the D&D ranger had little in common with rangers in LotRs, as I don't recall Aragorn casting spells or being specifically good at killing a select few creatures.

The original Ranger class (in the Strategic Review -- later Dragon Magazine) directly called back to Tolkein and Aragorn. The magic comes from Aragorn's use of healing magic (the "hands of the King") and the specialized nature of their enemies is also a call back to Tolkein's rangers who hunted the Enemies minions (Orcs, Trolls, etc.).

Skaorn wrote:


Mithral: all Tolkien.

Yep.

Skaorn wrote:


I think that these concepts would still exist in a game even if Tolkien wasn't around. The names might change, but the concepts would probably remain.

More than just the names would have changed. Many of the basic concepts would. Gygax spent quite a bit of time denying the relation because it was rather apparent. A lot of other author's works are important in D&D's pedigree of course (Moorcock, Leiber, Burroughs, et al) but denying Tolkein's influence is difficult at best.

*edit* And I see three people chimed in above me on it :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Wooo, poking Tolkien fans is always so fun! :D


Gorbacz wrote:


Wooo, poking Tolkien fans is always so fun! :D

He's not my favorite fantasy author (probably Moorcock or Poul Anderson) but it's difficult to deny the place he has in the history of the game. That kind of revisionism tends to bring out my teacher side :)


CunningMongoose wrote:


The mere fact you are having this argument is a testimony to Tolkien's influence over the hobby. Never saw a "Moorcock" had no influence on D&D, you could find all his things in other books."

This kind of argument (X had no real influence on Z because you can find idea Y, that is attributed to X, in other sources) is also, in itself, very weak. You could use it to show Darwin had no influence on biology because Anaximander had the idea 550 years B.C.

You may not like Tolkien, but saying he did not have a large influence on the hobby is bordering negationist history.

Actually, there have been a lot of people who have already stated that pulp Sword and Sorcery by authors such as Moorcock, had a lot of influence on D&D and PF. I'm also not saying Tolkien didn't have an influence on them too. What I was addressing was the comment "Without Tolkien's influence, our conception of these things and others would be very different or nonexistant." What I'm saying is that these archetypes are common in cultures around the world. D&D has always been about designing the hero you want to play that can do awesome things and take a serious beating without ill effect, until you die. More choices allow for more character concepts, so chances are the archetypes I list would still be in D&D. Thus my reply.

LotR is not about elves, magic, and monsters. It's about war and change. The stuff listed above was just the candy coating.

Also, when did I say I don't like Tolkien? Yes I could never get through the second half of the Two Towers even though I can blow through the first part with no problem at all. The only thing I hate about his works is something I hate when ANY author does this: put song lyrics in their freaking books. It drives me nuts and I skip over it because I can't actually hear the music. My one comment on the thread about Tolkien was something along the lines of "like him or hate him, he made perhaps the most detailed fictional world".


Gorbacz: You're kind of making my point.

Skaorn: "The only thing I hate about his works is something I hate when ANY author does this: put song lyrics in their freaking books."

Easily my least favorite part of the books. It's self indulgence that I liken to a band putting their name in one of their songs.


If you look into current trends, you'll also see the rise and settling of what's called Urban Fantasy.

Paizo is following trends and interests by mixing in more steampunk elements. The fantasy genre itself is mixing. Urban Fantasy is little more than traditional tropes translated into a modern setting, where they're more relatable and understanding.

It isn't too difficult to see that if things are mixing, we'll see more interest in steampunk and gears alongside Tolkien's elves.

It's marketing, and my guess is that they're just following their audience.


@R_Chance: I'm aware of where Tolkien got most of his mythology from, as I grew up on Norse mythology. I'm stating that the archetypes of those things exist all over. Even if Tolkien hadn't been around, I'd say that chances are good that they would still be in D&D.

As for Aragon and magic, I never did make it past the second half of Two Towers, so I can say for certain there. But with Weathertop I'm pretty sure it was his skills and not magic that helped Frodo. He was the Batman of the fellowship. As for favored enemies, hey seemed just as good at killing anything that he could fight (Balrog, being the one that springs to mind that he had no shot at) not just Orcs. Ranger was influenced by Aragorn, but saying that it wouldn't exist if Tolkien hadn't written it seems wrong to me. The wilderness warrior is a fairly common concept. I will admit that my bias against Rangers slipped into my original statement as I've never really liked how they turned out in 3.X, so I apologize for that.

Again I'm not denying Tolkiens Influence on D&D, I'm stating that these concepts would still exist because they are common in cultures around the world.


Skaorn wrote:
CunningMongoose wrote:


The mere fact you are having this argument is a testimony to Tolkien's influence over the hobby. Never saw a "Moorcock" had no influence on D&D, you could find all his things in other books."

This kind of argument (X had no real influence on Z because you can find idea Y, that is attributed to X, in other sources) is also, in itself, very weak. You could use it to show Darwin had no influence on biology because Anaximander had the idea 550 years B.C.

You may not like Tolkien, but saying he did not have a large influence on the hobby is bordering negationist history.

Actually, there have been a lot of people who have already stated that pulp Sword and Sorcery by authors such as Moorcock, had a lot of influence on D&D and PF. I'm also not saying Tolkien didn't have an influence on them too. What I was addressing was the comment "Without Tolkien's influence, our conception of these things and others would be very different or nonexistant." What I'm saying is that these archetypes are common in cultures around the world. D&D has always been about designing the hero you want to play that can do awesome things and take a serious beating without ill effect, until you die. More choices allow for more character concepts, so chances are the archetypes I list would still be in D&D. Thus my reply.

LotR is not about elves, magic, and monsters. It's about war and change. The stuff listed above was just the candy coating.

Also, when did I say I don't like Tolkien? Yes I could never get through the second half of the Two Towers even though I can blow through the first part with no problem at all. The only thing I hate about his works is something I hate when ANY author does this: put song lyrics in their freaking books. It drives me nuts and I skip over it because I can't actually hear the music. My one comment on the thread about Tolkien was something along the lines of "like him or hate him, he made perhaps the most detailed fictional world".

Ok, my bad. My reply was aimed at the general idea I saw your post as a representative of. My position stands, but I can appreciate yours now I undertstand you are aiming for the middle ground.

Sure, maybe Tolkien's influence is somehow overstated, or understated by some people, but saying (and you did not, my bad again) that he had no or very little influence strikes me as serious case of bad faith.


@ CM: No worries, I'm not going to be the one to cast the first stone for misinterperating some one on the internet.


Never dug the LotR, I've tried several times to finish Two Towers and it never happens. I can read about 150 pages an hour, so when I feel something is taking too long, it's kind of a problem.

I love Tolkien himself though and I point out a quote in his "official" autobiography (bundled with the box set for a while.)

Writer: "people say you suck as a writer, what's up with that?"
The Man: "well I'm not really a writer, I'm a historian of a fictional world."

So yeah, when the author himself admits he sucks at writing, I'll take his word for it. I will happily stipulate he changed the world we live in with his books, but I'm not going to say I like his style.

Although kudos to you if you can wade through it and enjoy it, never let it be said an opinion about what's entertaining is wrong!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The idea that Tolkien wasn't a great writer is ludicrous. He was one of the great stylists of the 20th century. Unlike most of the fantasists before (and after) he cared deeply about crafting great sentences, and great paragraphs, and great stories within the larger epic. Read the lengthy treatments of his writing process that are available and you'll see that this was a man who cared about his art. That's one.

Equally important is the fact that, unlike most fantasists before or since, he cared deeply about the psychology and inner lives of his characters. LOTR isn't "sword and sorcery" fantasy and it's also not a traditional epic. In both of those forms, the characters often have very little depth. Tolkien's characters feel profoundly. They suffer, they rejoice, they doubt.

Which brings me to the most profound way that he towers above almost all the writers you guys have mentioned: Most fantasists are creating escapist adventure. We love the idea of being the killer-swordsman or the bad-ass wizard or the sick-style ninja, because it's just cool.

Tolkien's characters you would NEVER want to be. They are absolutely wrecked by what they experience. Frodo Baggins is scarred profoundly for the rest of his life. The innocence of the Shire is permanently tainted. The power of the elves is shattered.

To tell that story, you have to be a great story-teller, but you also have to know how to string powerful words together. Tolkien did that better than all but a handful of other writers.

Marsh


1 person marked this as a favorite.

One man's fantasy is another man's 5 to 10 without the chance of parole


Maybe it wasn't clear from my post on page one, I wasn't saying Tolkien was a bad writer, I was saying, given the level of the man's scholarship it's just lucky for all the ADD-monkeys out there that he didn't write the whole book in Elvish and be done with it.

Also, I don't think you can really judge his style by reading only LotR; maybe it's just the thread topic, but Farmer Giles of Ham with its blunderbusses and dragons springs to mind.


zen bullet wrote:

Never dug the LotR, I've tried several times to finish Two Towers and it never happens. I can read about 150 pages an hour, so when I feel something is taking too long, it's kind of a problem.

I love Tolkien himself though and I point out a quote in his "official" autobiography (bundled with the box set for a while.)

Writer: "people say you suck as a writer, what's up with that?"
The Man: "well I'm not really a writer, I'm a historian of a fictional world."

So yeah, when the author himself admits he sucks at writing, I'll take his word for it. I will happily stipulate he changed the world we live in with his books, but I'm not going to say I like his style.

Although kudos to you if you can wade through it and enjoy it, never let it be said an opinion about what's entertaining is wrong!

NOBODY said he sucked as a writer. What the biography says is people criticized him for not being a novelist.

It would be as if Arthur C Clark was called a terrible writer because to many 2001did not flow well. They would be ignoring his writing contribution to engineering.
Tolkein wrote lotr as a history, not a novel. I would say he was a professional writer who did not specialize in novels. His writing far surpasses that of most novelists.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Yeah, LotR alone is half bad. It's Silmarillion where lembas hits the fan.


R_Chance wrote:


That's fine. No Gnomes in Tolkein :)

I'm pretty sure he referenced gnomes in his other middle earth works.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
Yeah, LotR alone is half bad. It's Silmarillion where lembas hits the fan.

silmarillion was published after his death from notes. It is hard to find the characteristics of a novel within the silmarillion.

By far my favorite writer is Michael moorcock, with Tolkein coming in second. There is a marked difference in reading writers like moorcock, Lovecraft, tolkein, and china mieville as compared to the forgotten realms and 'game' novelists. The game novelists are perfect for what they do, but they are A- writers compared to the likes of Lieber, mieville, or moorcock.

Game novels explore the campaign world. Tolkein, moorcock and others explore culture through their fantasy.


Also I'm certainly not a scholar of middle earth -- I just like pointing out the parts I can remember of my readings. I got through Lays of Beleriand and mostly through the Silmarillion but those were a bear to read (yeah if you think it's hard reading the two towers do NOT attempt the books he never finished)!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Glen Cook's Black Company books is where my heart is at, as far as fantasy literature goes.

His Garrett P.I. series, while not "traditional" (OH HAI SUBGENREZ WERE U AT) fantasy, is great as well.


Skaorn wrote:

@R_Chance: I'm aware of where Tolkien got most of his mythology from, as I grew up on Norse mythology. I'm stating that the archetypes of those things exist all over. Even if Tolkien hadn't been around, I'd say that chances are good that they would still be in D&D.

As for Aragon and magic, I never did make it past the second half of Two Towers, so I can say for certain there. But with Weathertop I'm pretty sure it was his skills and not magic that helped Frodo. He was the Batman of the fellowship. As for favored enemies, hey seemed just as good at killing anything that he could fight (Balrog, being the one that springs to mind that he had no shot at) not just Orcs. Ranger was influenced by Aragorn, but saying that it wouldn't exist if Tolkien hadn't written it seems wrong to me. The wilderness warrior is a fairly common concept. I will admit that my bias against Rangers slipped into my original statement as I've never really liked how they turned out in 3.X, so I apologize for that.

Again I'm not denying Tolkiens Influence on D&D, I'm stating that these concepts would still exist because they are common in cultures around the world.

You and me both. And the archtypes do exist, but the similarities to the Tolkein versions are incredibly strong. What you would have would be very different without Tolkein.

Aragorn's use of magic is subtle (as is all magic in LotR). The herb he uses (Kingsfoil in the Common speach) will only work for someoen of his lineage. The Ranger as originally created was specfically based on Aragorn. I have the issue of Strategic Review it's in (yes, I'm an old geezer). They've just expanded on it since then.

As I said above, the concepts might be there but very different. No CG Elves for example (maybe CN or NE if you read The Broken Sword and go with the more Nordic version of Anderson).


Gorbacz wrote:


Glen Cook's Black Company books is where my heart is at, as far as fantasy literature goes.

His Garrett P.I. series, while not "traditional" (OH HAI SUBGENREZ WERE U AT) fantasy, is great as well.

The Black Company books were good but Garrett is excellent stuff. Should be a mandatory read for any DM who runs a city type adventure or just wants that 40s noire take on fantasy.

Cheliax

mplindustries wrote:
The White wrote:
@ TOZ. Fantasy in this case meaning High Fantasy, generally something akin to Tolkien. You know, that style of setting that 90% of D&D games have been set in since it began. It is generally what the word fantasy means unless there is a different context in play

I would never consider Tolkein to be High Fantasy. It's a low magic setting. I would suggest that there's really never been a significant or well known piece of media that depicted a world as fantastic as the assumptions of D&D/Pathfinder.

And for the record, I grew up loving the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings cartoon movies, and I enjoyed the Peter Jackson epics, but I absolutely despise the books. The writing style is awful--no sense of pacing and way too much description.

Hmh, I loved the movies but it was the books that originally got me interested in fantasy fiction; and for what it's worth, I thought the descriptions and the slow pacing were the best parts in them. Tolkien, Vance, Leiber, Moorcock, leGuin, Pratchett, Greenwood and Cooper were my favourite authors growing up, but I've noticed that a lot of younger readers have different assumptions and expectations for "good" fantasy novels these days.

Anyway, it's really hard to define what belongs to low or high fantasy, or even draw a clear line between fantasy or science fiction (or horror, for that matter). Ask a dozen literary experts and likely you'll get a dozen different answers. There is a lot of overlap between subgenres, but authors also deliberately mix them in their works to avoid clear-cut definitions or categorization. And terminology evolves as more subgenres are coined (such as "new weird" or "barbarian fantasy").

As for the Hobbit or LotR, I'd define them as high fantasy; not only because Tolkien himself (IIRC) said that "secondary world fiction" (stories that feature a world explicitly different and separate from our own, occasionally accessed by a portal such as in the Narnia novels) belong to high fantasy, but also because magic and myths are very prelevant in Middle-Earth (note that while magic in ME may not be as "powerful" or "flashy" as in, for example, D&D, it's still present in many forms in the books). However, this would mean that Harry Potter novels (unless you argue that Hogswart fulfills the definition of a "secondary world") would be low fantasy, while Lankhmar stories would be high fantasy (and I'd be hesitant to call most of Leiber's stories that). On the other hand, HP features plenty of fantastic monsters, magical items and powerful spellcasters, and no matter how you look at it, magic in HP is more or less all-pervasive in the stories. Another common definition is also the struggle between good and evil, and HP and LotR both qualify for that, but Vance's Dying Earth or Lankhmar would not.

Just my two copper pieces. :)

Cheliax

Carl Cascone wrote:
only in gaming. These genres are well defined in academia.

I completely disagree; see my post above.


Asgetrion wrote:
but I've noticed that a lot of younger readers have different assumptions and expectations for "good" fantasy novels these days.

+1

I find younger readers seems to like a much more rapid (almost ADHD) pacing, like the Dresden files. Don't misread me, I really like the Dresden files, but I do enjoy slower, immersive, descriptive prose once in a while.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:
I find it funny that Tolkien is considered high fantasy --

In the taxonomy of literature it's not. It's classified as Sword & Sorcery; same as Conan. Make of that what you will.

101 to 150 of 450 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / General Discussion / Has Pathfinder given up on being fantasy? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.