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Has Pathfinder given up on being fantasy?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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deinol wrote:
CunningMongoose wrote:
This text will explain my point better that I can do: Is Google Making us stupid

I stopped reading that article half-way through. Mostly when I realized he had a bunch of rambling anecdotes with little data to back it up. People have lost patience for pointlessly long writing. Because we now have a plethora of information sources available.

Is the Internet making us stupid? I say no. I know more now than I ever did. I'm learning more on my own time than I ever did in college. Do I always sit down and do deep research on any topic I become interested in? No. But the breadth of knowledge I've acquired from "power browsing" is astounding.

Is the Internet changing the way we research and think? Yes. It's making us smarter.

You are right, this article does not have a great scientific value. I pointed to it in order to illustrate something, not a a proof by and it inself.

Maybe you'll find this one more to your taste : http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/content-externalism/

I think there is a lot to be said about the technical tools we use for information gathering and processing affecting the way we think. A lot of research has been done in the past few years in cognitive sciences pointing to proper results.

I'm by no far an expert but one of my co-worker is (did his Ph.D on the subject) and he pointed me to the first article as a good way to introduce sudents to the problematic.


Students to the problem? ;p


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CunningMongoose wrote:

You are right, this article does not have a great scientific value. I pointed to it in order to illustrate something, not a a proof by and it inself.

Maybe you'll find this one more to your taste : http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/content-externalism/

I think there is a lot to be said about the technical tools we use for information gathering and processing affecting the way we think. A lot of research has been done in the past few years in cognitive sciences pointing to proper results.

I'm by no far an expert but one of my co-worker is (did his Ph.D on the subject) and he pointed me to the first article as a good way to introduce sudents to the problematic.

It's funny, I love reading philosophy, but dry summaries of a collection of philosophers ideas I find hard to follow.

I definitely think that the internet is changing the way we think. Every new experience we have changes the way we think. Some experiences may have a greater impact than others, but our brains are constantly adjusting. My complaint about the original article is that I don't think it's a bad change.

I'm not certain how the content externalism relates. Also, if it tastes like water, acts like water, and keeps me alive, it's water. ;)

Silver Crusade

If you are speaking of authors Tolkin is not high fantasy he med fanstay low magic. High Fantasy authors IMO are Roger Zelazny {Nine Princes in Amber series] Robert Jordan [Wheel of TIme] Jim Butcher
Dresden Modern High Fanstay.

As far as Pathfinder goes IMO the Setting is High Fanstay Moderate magic
only due to the DEV's wanting PF to be more like Grey Hawk as opposed to the Forgotten Realms.


I always figured Paizo was just offering these stats for those that want them. Clockworks, gunslingers...
Of course, Golarion is another matter entirely. I think Golarion is just what we call 'Genre Busting'.

Taldor

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

So...

Tolkein's rubbish!
No he's not!
These are just taste!
Tolkein's irrelevant!
No, he's vital!
These ideas are unprovable and pure opinion!
Grrrr Raarrrr Bllaaahhhh

Have I understood the Tolkein talk?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kirth Gersen wrote:


Hitdice wrote:

Tars Tarkas, man. Tars Tarkas!

Seriously -- run with that -- the fighter class arguably owes far more to Burroughs than any other single influence. The assassin base class is from ERB. Hell, the whole idea of "dungeons" as places to adventure is from ERB -- and that's the root of the game! I'd therefore give him a much higher fraction than Tolkien!

But your point regarding percentages is dead on, because if I keep Tolkien as 20% based on races, Vance 25% for magic and so on, Burroughs 50% for dungeons and so on, Anderson and Leiber and Howard and deCamp & Pratt for their major contributions, I very quickly end up with totals a LOT higher than 100%!

*sigh* No real desire to get involved in the percentage assigning game. The original Assassin class (original D&D Blackmoor supplement and 1st edition AD&D) was lifted from history, not ERB. It's based on the Moslem Assassins of the Middle Ages, right down to having a Grandfather of Assassins etc. This view of the assassin gets adulturated over time with a hired killer being the more predominate view in later editions. Oh, and throw in a hint of Ninja on the side :) My 2 cp on classes.


Josh M. wrote:

I share some sentiment with the OP, given how many fantasy versions of modern technology the game has, or at least were present in one Pathfinder game I played in. Gas masks, guns, explosives, I mentioned to the DM at several points "are we playing Pathfinder or Rainbow 6? Might as well play Shadowrun or d20 Modern."

But really, all the game is is a set of tools. However much fantasy the game is, is dependent solely on the group playing it.

Since Pathfinder is a rule set you could play 1920 London and still play Patfinder ;)

Truth to be said I can't remember when Golarion ever was without these things. All published setting books that I've seen so far had Alkenstar in it and it was always described as a land where guns are made. Don't forget that 3E had guns in core rules, so they didn't have to have the rules reprinted in setting books that were made with 3E in mind. Same goes for explosives.

As far as gas masks go it could be that Curse of the Crimson Throne has for example those long nosed doctors, that wear something that was actually a real world creation - a porcelain mask with long nose filled with smelly herbs. It was believed to help against the plague and in fantasy world it actually works!

I think that for playing in more tolkienesqe setting you'd have to use places like Brevoy or Lands of the Linnorm Kings.


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Abraham spalding wrote:
Students to the problem? ;p

Oh, right. Problematic is not a noun in english, only an adjective. Thanks!


deinol wrote:

My complaint about the original article is that I don't think it's a bad change.

If you had finished reading the article, you would have seen the author is himself not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing. Thus the question mark in the title.


CunningMongoose wrote:


Again, your ONLY source is from ONE guy under a lawsuit for intellectual property...

NO. Wrong. The quote is from 1974 WELL BEFORE any lawsuits. So he wasn't trying to cover his ass, he was trying to describe a game that was JUST coming out to an interviewer. And that "just one guy" was one of the two names published on the piece.


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meatrace wrote:
CunningMongoose wrote:


Again, your ONLY source is from ONE guy under a lawsuit for intellectual property...
NO. Wrong. The quote is from 1974 WELL BEFORE any lawsuits. So he wasn't trying to cover his ass, he was trying to describe a game that was JUST coming out to an interviewer. And that "just one guy" was one of the two names published on the piece.

Ok, man. As I said, lets just agree to disagree. You won't convince me Tolkien was a minor influence on the game, I won't convince you his influence is on-par with other major influences. You have read the red box and see it as "void of" Tolkien influence. I see it as influenced by Tolkien a lot.

I think we argued enough. You did not convince me he was a "secondary at best" influence. Even if Gygax himself said it. He said a lot of think I don't agree with, all due respect, that would be only one more. And the mere fact there was a lawsuit should suffice to show I'm not the only one to think that way.

I played the game since the red box. I started playing the game when I was 10, before ever reading Tolkien. When I first read the basic set, it was so clear to me a lot of this game was based upon some of Tolkien's ideas, I don't think you could hope to convince me otherwise. The whole red box is screaming Tolkien (and Vance.)

And before you accuse me again, no, I don't think Tolkien is the only author that influenced D&D, far from it. But trying to downplay it like you do, well, as I said, have it your way!

Peace, and have fun with the game. :-)


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Again though, you provide no evidence whereof I have.
I never said it had no influence from tolkien, I said VIRTUALLY devoid. If it weren't for the Hobbits you would have almost nothing to hang your argument on.

All I've been trying to say is that there are at LEAST a dozen authors whose entire body of work was immensely influential. Even if we assume they are equally so, which I think would be the fairest thing, you're left with 8% Tolkien, not 20. Kirth broke it down for you.

If you won't believe the guy who created the game about where he drew inspirations, then there can never be convincing you of anything. Ever. In any subject. "Hey man, 2+2=4" "Nope, I don't see it that way, let's just agree to disagree."

But yeah, it's obvious no one can convince you. My only recourse is to mock your complete lack of reasonable argument here. I provide evidence, quote from the original designer, examples of a preponderance of things from the original game that didn't/couldn't be derived from Tolkien. All you say is "I dunno, when I first cracked that Red Box I thought it seemed Tolkien-esque" which is the subjective opinion of a 10 year old.

I guess all I can do is challenge you to go back, now, presumably after having read Howard, Leiber, Zelazny, Dunsany, Burroughs, Moorcock, Lovecraft, Anderson, Vance, etc. and look critically at the content of the game. See if you still see 1/5 of the ideas presented therein as being inarguable and uniquely Tolkienesque.


meatrace wrote:
NO. Wrong. The quote is from 1974 WELL BEFORE any lawsuits. So he wasn't trying to cover his ass, he was trying to describe a game that was JUST coming out to an interviewer. And that "just one guy" was one of the two names published on the piece.

The lawsuit is the main cause that lead to the revisions between the 74 and the 77 editions of the game. I think it's safe to assume Gygax had at leat been contacted by the rightholders at that time.

meatrace wrote:

Again though, you provide no evidence whereof I have.

I never said it had no influence from tolkien, I said VIRTUALLY devoid. If it weren't for the Hobbits you would have almost nothing to hang your argument on.

All I've been trying to say is that there are at LEAST a dozen authors whose entire body of work was immensely influential. Even if we assume they are equally so, which I think would be the fairest thing, you're left with 8% Tolkien, not 20. Kirth broke it down for you.

If you won't believe the guy who created the game about where he drew inspirations, then there can never be convincing you of anything. Ever. In any subject. "Hey man, 2+2=4" "Nope, I don't see it that way, let's just agree to disagree."

As I said man, peace. Relax. Have a decaf.

So, have it your way. Please continue to insult me by saying I'm being "obtuse" and "nonsensical" and imply that I'm so irrational I can't do basic maths if you find that fun. Whatever.

You ignored almost everything I said that did not fit the position you were trying to have me fit in order to attack it more easily.

I'm done unwillingfully impersonating the caricature you want me to be in order to give yourself an easy target. I told you more than once you were twisting my claims. You not only ignored me, but now I find you frankly insulting.

So, lets agree to disagree. Not because I'm so irrationnal I can't recognise the truth, but because I'm fed with your tone, and I recently gave myself the rule to never to argue with someone that is not able to at least be polite.

Have fun with the game, and peace. Seriously. I wish we had this discussion around a drink. Probably we would had been able to drop the internet bashing.


AdAstraGames wrote:
(At least it doesn't have Wiccan sexpot monster hunter detectives who collect vampire, werewolf and Unix sysadmin boyfriends and get power ups from having lovingly described orgies where all these powerful male figures serve only to please her...)

Mr. Fishy choked on his drink...

Shadow Lodge

And for a fish, that's an accomplishment!


Mr. Fishy's Trollop read those books...and complained about that very thing.
Mr. Fishy stopped reading that series around the third book before it got weird.


GeraintElberion wrote:

So...

Tolkein's rubbish!
No he's not!
These are just taste!
Tolkein's irrelevant!
No, he's vital!
These ideas are unprovable and pure opinion!
Grrrr Raarrrr Bllaaahhhh

Have I understood the Tolkein talk?

Pretty much.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Mr. Fishy dislikes Tolken as well. Mr.Fishy read and enjoyed the Hobbit. The Lord of the Rings...Mr. Fishy got to the council of Treebeard...and just couldn't take it any more.

Tolken wrote a book that some people like it, some do not. Mr. Fishy loves Howard, has read Moorcock and Lieber, enjoyed the Dragonlance Trilogy and been influenced by them all. Love him or hate him Tolken is a major name in fantasy literature, he has influenced the game and the writers who came after just a like Howard and Moorcock and a dozen others. Live it with it.

Don't make Mr.Fishy come back in here, with his hickory axe handle "Whuppin."

Damn Kids!


CunningMongoose wrote:


You ignored almost everything I said that did not fit the position you were trying to have me fit in order to attack it more easily.

You have not said anything other than "zomg elves/hobbits" which no one disagreed with, in essence, and a bunch of subjective stuff about your childhood.

Is there some evidence you presented that I missed?

Regardless, the Tolkien Estate lawsuit didn't happen until after the quotes I linked happened. That Gary was trash talking and downplaying Tolkien well before any legal action, to me, adds credence that he wasn't just trying to weasel out of a lawsuit. Dates matter in this argument.

What do you say to the idea, which Gary himself and other TSR employees have proffered, that Hobbits, Elves and Dwarves were only added to sort of cash in on Tolkien, rather than put there out of some genuine respect for the work?

If you don't want to respond, that's fine. I don't think I've been that much more impolite than yourself, and you've continually misrepresented my side as well. I guess I can chalk it up to English not being your first language (which, TBH, I wouldn't have guessed had you not said it) but you've done some twisting yourself.

I'm just trying to get to some sort of concrete reason why you have come to believe what you do, because for myself (and plenty of others who grew up without LotR) it's pretty plainly obvious D&D was meant to be Sword and Sorcery, not Epic Fantasy.


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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 tend to disagree. Published D&D has included, from the early years (I'm talking mid '70s through the early 80s) dinosaurs, kung Fu monks, psionics, alien spacecraft, boom sticks, Cthulhu, dimension hopping, mushroom people, fearless vampire hunters,color coded dragons, a certain gunslinging paladin-wizard, various slime monsters straight out of 50s sci fi, old comic book stuff, B&W Hollywood horror flicks, Greek mythology, and a whole lot of other things. The game was a laundry list of things that Gygax and his friends liked. It's always been a weird, pulpy melange. And the things I mentioned show up in TSR published, official products.

I'm not even getting into homebrew or third party stuff.

Of course, it might be your experience of actual play is quite different from mine. As always, YMMV.

I think that Tolkien's works have had a big impact on the game mainly in the lineup of 'player races', in the ranger class, and in several monsters (orcs...cough). Beyond that? Not all that much seems to have been drawn from Tolkien. Most D&D rules and setting assumptions seem to derive from either war gaming concepts or swords and sorcery pulp fantasy (REH, Jack Vance, Fritz Lieber).


meatrace wrote:


I'm just trying to get to some sort of concrete reason why you have come to believe what you do, because for myself (and plenty of others who grew up without LotR) it's pretty plainly obvious D&D was meant to be Sword and Sorcery, not Epic Fantasy.

I'd say it's an eclectic mixture, with a extra-large helping of Swords and Sorcey themes. It also includes some Epic Fantasy tropes.

IME, it tends to play S&S at low levels and becomes either epic or just 'superheroes' at higher levels.

I don't think there's a single right way to play the game, of course! I lean towards grittier, lower powered stuff. I do enjoy a change of pace now and then, though, and epic fantasy certainly works for me.

D&D/PF works well for comic/absurdist fantasy too. :)


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.

My reply to this would be that the game is as much or as little fantasy as you want it to be. Those books you mentioned are 'supplemental' and, as in all of the books, you're given license to use as much or as little of them as you'd like for your own campaign.

The books cover a whole array of genres from what I've seen. From classic high fantasy, to dark and gritty swords and sorcery, to feudal Japanese-esque lords and weapons, to - yes - some steampunky designs and ideas. Is there anything wrong with variety? Particularly when they actually state you can use as much or as little as you like?

I like the variety. It gives me plenty of room to pick and choose the bits and pieces that work for my own campaign and the freedom to throw the rest out if I don't like it.


Mr.Fishy wrote:
AdAstraGames wrote:
(At least it doesn't have Wiccan sexpot monster hunter detectives who collect vampire, werewolf and Unix sysadmin boyfriends and get power ups from having lovingly described orgies where all these powerful male figures serve only to please her...)
Mr. Fishy choked on his drink...

Mother of god.... what series is this so I can avoid it with everything I've got?


ewan cummins 325 wrote:


I think that Tolkien's works have had a big impact on the game mainly in the lineup of 'player races', in the ranger class, and in several monsters (orcs...cough). Beyond that? Not all that much seems to have been drawn from Tolkien. Most D&D rules and setting assumptions seem to derive from either war gaming concepts or swords and sorcery pulp fantasy (REH, Jack Vance, Fritz Lieber).

Thank you.

Man, the more he gets namechecked here, the more I realize I need to read more Vance.


meatrace wrote:
ewan cummins 325 wrote:


I think that Tolkien's works have had a big impact on the game mainly in the lineup of 'player races', in the ranger class, and in several monsters (orcs...cough). Beyond that? Not all that much seems to have been drawn from Tolkien. Most D&D rules and setting assumptions seem to derive from either war gaming concepts or swords and sorcery pulp fantasy (REH, Jack Vance, Fritz Lieber).

Thank you.

Man, the more he gets namechecked here, the more I realize I need to read more Vance.

Vance rocks my world.

Anyone who wants to get a sense of the roots of the game has only to browse Appendix N.

http://www.digital-eel.com/blog/ADnD_reading_list.htm

Of course, fantasy/SF/weird literature is only part of the picture. Wargaming, medieval history, ancient myths,pop culture paleontology, horror movies, comic books, etc were all part of the mix that spawned and nourished D&D. Gugax describes most of that at the beginning of the appendix, in fact.

We seem to have similar views on these matters- no doubt as a result of reading the same sources.

Andoran

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Blue Star wrote:
Mr.Fishy wrote:
AdAstraGames wrote:
(At least it doesn't have Wiccan sexpot monster hunter detectives who collect vampire, werewolf and Unix sysadmin boyfriends and get power ups from having lovingly described orgies where all these powerful male figures serve only to please her...)
Mr. Fishy choked on his drink...
Mother of god.... what series is this so I can avoid it with everything I've got?

Sounds an awful lot like Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake series. It starts off as standard "I don't date vamopires, I kill them" for a few books then kind of turns into badly written orgy porn.


Paul Watson wrote:
Blue Star wrote:
Mr.Fishy wrote:
AdAstraGames wrote:
(At least it doesn't have Wiccan sexpot monster hunter detectives who collect vampire, werewolf and Unix sysadmin boyfriends and get power ups from having lovingly described orgies where all these powerful male figures serve only to please her...)
Mr. Fishy choked on his drink...
Mother of god.... what series is this so I can avoid it with everything I've got?
Sounds an awful lot like Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake series. It starts off as standard "I don't date vamopires, I kill them" for a few books then kind of turns into badly written orgy porn.

The name sounds familiar to me, like she's made some other incredibly bad stuff that made it to the printing press.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
ewan cummins 325 wrote:
The game was a laundry list of things that Gygax and his friends liked. It's always been a weird, pulpy melange.

....that dissolves nicely in Mountain Dew. :)


LazarX wrote:
ewan cummins 325 wrote:
The game was a laundry list of things that Gygax and his friends liked. It's always been a weird, pulpy melange.
....that dissolves nicely in Mountain Dew. :)

Gelatinous Dew! Run Away!


meatrace wrote:
CunningMongoose wrote:


You ignored almost everything I said that did not fit the position you were trying to have me fit in order to attack it more easily.

You have not said anything other than "zomg elves/hobbits" which no one disagreed with, in essence, and a bunch of subjective stuff about your childhood.

Is there some evidence you presented that I missed?

Regardless, the Tolkien Estate lawsuit didn't happen until after the quotes I linked happened. That Gary was trash talking and downplaying Tolkien well before any legal action, to me, adds credence that he wasn't just trying to weasel out of a lawsuit. Dates matter in this argument.

What do you say to the idea, which Gary himself and other TSR employees have proffered, that Hobbits, Elves and Dwarves were only added to sort of cash in on Tolkien, rather than put there out of some genuine respect for the work?

If you don't want to respond, that's fine. I don't think I've been that much more impolite than yourself, and you've continually misrepresented my side as well. I guess I can chalk it up to English not being your first language (which, TBH, I wouldn't have guessed had you not said it) but you've done some twisting yourself.

I'm just trying to get to some sort of concrete reason why you have come to believe what you do, because for myself (and plenty of others who grew up without LotR) it's pretty plainly obvious D&D was meant to be Sword and Sorcery, not Epic Fantasy.

I only disagree with you as to the extent that Tolkien influenced the game. I think it deserves much more credit than you give it.

Here is a quote from Gygax:

"How did it influence the D&D game? Whoa, plenty, of course. Just about all the players were huge JRRT fans, and so they insisted that I put as much Tolkien-influence material into the game as possible. Anyone reading this that recalls the original D&D game will know that there were Balrogs, Ents, and Hobbits in it. Later those were removed, and new, non-JRRT things substituted–Balor demons, Treants, and Halflings."

http://archives.theonering.net/features/interviews/gary_gygax.html

Indeed he also goes on to site how other authors were just as influential. So nothin in that interview disputes what you are saying. Everything I read with Gygax and Tolkien however seems to point to a situation where it was IMPOSSIBLE not to have the (Tolkien) influence on the game. It is not that Gary loved Tolkien, it was that Tolkien was so influential on fantasy he could not help it.

As an aside I find it interesting how people will write they did not read tolkien because of its slow pace, yet they read all of Gygax's game books. I think Gygax was just as pedantic as Tolkien if not more so. I however enjoy reading them both.


Has this thread given up on being about 'Has Pathfinder given up on being fantasy?'?
;P

Shadow Lodge

Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Has this thread given up on being about 'Has Pathfinder given up on being fantasy?'?

;P

Yes.


meatrace wrote:


I guess I can chalk it up to English not being your first language (which, TBH, I wouldn't have guessed had you not said it)

Thank you! I always feel a little akward when writing in english. It may not seems so, but I find it very difficult to say exactly what I want to mean. I often need to use a wording approximating the meaning I have in mind, but never quite can find the one nailing it.

Carl Cascone wrote:

Here is a quote from Gygax:

"How did it influence the D&D game? Whoa, plenty, of course. Just about all the players were huge JRRT fans, and so they insisted that I put as much Tolkien-influence material into the game as possible. Anyone reading this that recalls the original D&D game will know that there were Balrogs, Ents, and Hobbits in it. Later those were removed, and new, non-JRRT things substituted–Balor demons, Treants, and Halflings."

http://archives.theonering.net/features/interviews/gary_gygax.html

Indeed he also goes on to site how other authors were just as influential. So nothing in that interview disputes what you are saying. Everything I read with Gygax and Tolkien however seems to point to a situation where it was IMPOSSIBLE not to have the (Tolkien) influence on the game. It is not that Gary loved Tolkien, it was that Tolkien was so influential on fantasy he could not help it.

Nice quote. The interview is very nice also. I guess it will give somes a little to think about. I really like the fact he says that, even if he did not like LotR that much, he "loved THE HOBBIT, read it once to himself, then about three or four times aloud to his children."


Now, I only read the first page and the last page of this thread, so I'm probably missing something, and aside from that the actual topic was derailed long ago. Still, I think it's odd that people seem to be focusing entirely on the definition of fantasy and ignoring the definition of steampunk, which is much more concrete and narrow.

Modern steampunk was invented as the anachronistic half-brother of cyberpunk: it achieves the same themes of technological dystopia from a different direction, mirroring the inventions and social trends of the industrial revolution in 19th century Europe. Though some authors insert steampunk elements into fantasy (like the China Mieville's Bas Lag books) or fantasy elements into steampunk (like Phil Foglio's webcomic Girl Genius), the genre would probably be categorized as "soft science fiction" by default.

The presence of firearms does not make Pathfinder steampunk for two reasons. First, a weapon would not be considered steampunk-themed in and of itself unless it exceeded the technological boundaries of the 19th century while still maintaining its trappings (for example, a rail gun powered by Tesla coils). The guns in Ultimate Combat are historically accurate, or at least superficially so. Second, they are a deviation from the game's central themes. There are martial artist monks in Pathfinder, but that does not make the game wuxia.

Golarion could be considered to have the rare hint of steampunk. Mostly, this is limited to the Mana Wastes and its billowing factories. But then again, Golarion is a pathwork of fantastical genres, from sword and sorcery to Lovecraftian horror.


Mr.Fishy wrote:

Mr. Fishy's Trollop read those books...and complained about that very thing.

Mr. Fishy stopped reading that series around the third book before it got weird.

Agreed -- it was a shame because they were almost good up until that point.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
meatrace wrote:
Regardless, the Tolkien Estate lawsuit didn't happen until after the quotes I linked happened. That Gary was trash talking and downplaying Tolkien well before any legal action, to me, adds credence that he wasn't just trying to weasel out of a lawsuit. Dates matter in this argument.

I think you're reading more into that Grognardia article than is actually there. Yes, it appears that Gary wasn't personally a huge fan of Tolkien, but it by no means supports your idea that D&D was 'virtually devoid' of influence from Tolkien either. I've quoted the article itself below, which certainly doesn't draw the conclusion that Tolkien didn't meaningfully influence D&D. I think Gygax's point is to be clear that Tolkien is just one of many ifluences, not that Tolkien was not an influence.

Grognardia article wrote:
Throughout, his repeated point is that, while both games "owe a great deal to him," "fantasy wargaming goes beyond Tolkien" because, in fantasy, "there are no absolutes or final boundaries simply because it does draw upon all of these sources with the bonus of individual imagination added by those who play it."

Andoran

Abraham spalding wrote:
Reynard wrote:
You don't know the definition of high fantasy.
Oooh, do you have the definition readily available?

This definition will do: http://www.warr.org/high_fantasy_genres.shtml

As will the Wikipedia definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_fantasy

In either case, one of the defining characteristics of high fantasy as a genre is that it is epitomized by Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (The Hobbit isn't actually High Fantasy, though it is still wonderful). I was responding to one poster who suggested that LotR was "mid low fantasy", whatever that is.

For reference, low fantasy is defined by the wiki as: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_fantasy

To be clear: high fantasy has nothing to do with "high magic." The highest magic we tend to see actually occurs in sword and sorcery fiction, another distinct sub-genre of fantasy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_and_sorcery The works of Clark Ashton Smith and, of course, Robert E Howard both included "high magic" worlds where powerful forces and/or beings were regularly at work. Not surprisingly, both were extremely influential on Gygax and the development of D&D.

As an aside, I have read that the Tolkien influence on D&D was largely a function of Gygax's players, fantasy fans who had read Lord of the Rings and wanted to be elves and hobbits and rangers and such. I don't have a reliable reference for that, however.


So if your setting doesn't have gods and especially gods that interfere in the affairs of mortals it's not high fantasy (first definition). It also requires non-human races and magic.

Second definition only requires that it takes place in its own world and is 'fantasy'... which could have easily included much of Anne McCaffery for example (among others) -- technically the Camelot falls into this too.

Either way neither definition sits with the other meaning we still don't have "the" definition... which was my point (again, though the first time with you specifically).

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

Removed posts. Please post civilly.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Liz Courts wrote:
Removed posts. Please post civilly.

Heheheh

Looks like there's a lot of that going around; this is like the third thread I've seen that exact comment in :)


gbonehead wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
Removed posts. Please post civilly.

Heheheh

Looks like there's a lot of that going around; this is like the third thread I've seen that exact comment in :)

Really though, what is there to be uncivil about in this regard?

This amazes me.


Lord Fyre wrote:
Ringtail wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Some of us have never read Tolkien.

*raises hand*

That'd be me. Though not for lack of trying. I can get almost 3 pages into the Lord of the Rings before I just can't do it anymore.

I ran into issues in the "travelog" section of The Two Towers.

I enjoyed the Hobbit and LoTR. I even read them a couple of times.

.
.
.
When I was 14.

When I got older and had access to worlds with more plausible character development and dialogue, I found I could not read LoTR anymore. The characters seem 2D and the descriptions feel ponderous.

{sigh, oh well}


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.

Back to the OP.

I would not say it has 'gone steampunk.'
I would say they have given you the option to go steampunk. Many do not allow guns in their campaigns. Some make no use (or almost no use) of the alchemist and all the alchemical stuff.

Shadow Lodge

Guns =/= steampunk


Kthulhu wrote:
Guns =/= steampunk

No but giant steam-powered robots are pretty much the definition of steampunk.

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