Has Anyone Else Had To Deal With The "Historical Accuracy" Fallacy?


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Meh. Still don't call Star Wars fitting unde fantasy.

A space opera is a work set in a far future space faring civilization, where the technology is ubiquitous and entirely secondary to the story. It has an epic character to it: The universe is big, there are lots of sprawling civilizations and empires, there are political conflicts and intrigues galore.

That's Star Wars.

May have elements of fantasy around it, but all of the above defines it pretty thoroughly.


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RDM42 wrote:
Meh. Still don't call Star Wars fitting unde fantasy.

Star Wars has magic, is set in the ancient past, and protagonists go around swinging swords against the evil mages. It's fantasy. Still sci-fi. But fantasy as well.


You could probably say A New Hope was Space Operate with Fantasy elements, but the additional movies in the series shift into Space Fantasy.

[The prequels even moreso, if you count them.]


Milo v3 wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Meh. Still don't call Star Wars fitting unde fantasy.
Star Wars has magic, is set in the ancient past, and protagonists go around swinging swords against the evil mages. It's fantasy. Still sci-fi. But fantasy as well.

Its only set in the ancient past because it tells us so. Otherwise it looks like the future. There's also spaceship battles, the swords have lasers, and the plot revolves around a planet kabooming spaceship....

While science fiction and fantasy attract the same crowds because they have a lot of the same elements it would be MUCH, much easier to take out the fantasy than the science fiction. Just reflavor it as psycic rather than magical. You could (and it would certainly be interesting to) film it as an entirely fantasy series with boats instead of star ships or something, but the science fiction aspects are by far the more prominant. Like... 90% Labrador 10% poodle.


Milo v3 wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Meh. Still don't call Star Wars fitting unde fantasy.
Star Wars has magic, is set in the ancient past, and protagonists go around swinging swords against the evil mages. It's fantasy. Still sci-fi. But fantasy as well.

So if a story which is science fiction has psychics does it suddenly become fantasy? Is dune fantasy because you see people using swords or blades and having a medieval structure to things and Bene Gesserit witches, etcetera?

And how are the prequels MORE fantasy when the prequels specifically try(poorly perhaps, but still try) to put a scientific veneer on the force with the 'midicholorians'(spelling?)


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RDM42 wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Meh. Still don't call Star Wars fitting unde fantasy.
Star Wars has magic, is set in the ancient past, and protagonists go around swinging swords against the evil mages. It's fantasy. Still sci-fi. But fantasy as well.
So if a story which is science fiction has psychics does it suddenly become fantasy? Is dune fantasy because you see people using swords or blades and having a medieval structure to things and Bene Gesserit witches, etcetera?

Yes, Dune is another genre blender.

Quote:
And how are the prequels MORE fantasy when the prequels specifically try(poorly perhaps, but still try) to put a scientific veneer on the force with the 'midicholorians'(spelling?)

Because they were MORE about Magic. The focal point of the whole story was the fall of this order of magic knights. [And the rise of an empire of course.]

Are you telling me Vancian spellcasting isn't fantasy because it's based on Math and formulas?


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RDM42 wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Meh. Still don't call Star Wars fitting unde fantasy.
Star Wars has magic, is set in the ancient past, and protagonists go around swinging swords against the evil mages. It's fantasy. Still sci-fi. But fantasy as well.

So if a story which is science fiction has psychics does it suddenly become fantasy? Is dune fantasy because you see people using swords or blades and having a medieval structure to things?

I think it's not so black and white, and also it has a lot to do with themes. Many of the themes common in typical fantasy - the battle between good and evil, the legacy of a family name, honor and chivalry against egoism and pride - are all in Star Wars. The Star Wars universe (as depicted in the movies - not taking EU into account) is quite black and white, and the stories center around the Objectively Good(tm) vs the Objectively Bad(tm). Honorable knights fighting evil wizards. That to me makes it feel a lot like fantasy; the lightning bolts just reinforce that. Dune is also somewhat to that direction, but much less so.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Meh. Still don't call Star Wars fitting unde fantasy.
Star Wars has magic, is set in the ancient past, and protagonists go around swinging swords against the evil mages. It's fantasy. Still sci-fi. But fantasy as well.
So if a story which is science fiction has psychics does it suddenly become fantasy? Is dune fantasy because you see people using swords or blades and having a medieval structure to things and Bene Gesserit witches, etcetera?

Yes, Dune is another genre blender.

Quote:
And how are the prequels MORE fantasy when the prequels specifically try(poorly perhaps, but still try) to put a scientific veneer on the force with the 'midicholorians'(spelling?)

Because they were MORE about Magic. The focal point of the whole story was the fall of this order of magic knights. [And the rise of an empire of course.]

Are you telling me Vancian spellcasting isn't fantasy because it's based on Math and formulas?

Where do you get inserting the word "magic" before knight so? Because it seems that's what ninety percent of your theory calling it fantasy relies on. You could just as easily call them psychics or psions. Let's see. Telepathy. Telekinesis ... You can go down the list.


Gaberlunzie wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Meh. Still don't call Star Wars fitting unde fantasy.
Star Wars has magic, is set in the ancient past, and protagonists go around swinging swords against the evil mages. It's fantasy. Still sci-fi. But fantasy as well.

So if a story which is science fiction has psychics does it suddenly become fantasy? Is dune fantasy because you see people using swords or blades and having a medieval structure to things?

I think it's not so black and white, and also it has a lot to do with themes. Many of the themes common in typical fantasy - the battle between good and evil, the legacy of a family name, honor and chivalry against egoism and pride - are all in Star Wars. The Star Wars universe (as depicted in the movies - not taking EU into account) is quite black and white, and the stories center around the Objectively Good(tm) vs the Objectively Bad(tm). Honorable knights fighting evil wizards. That to me makes it feel a lot like fantasy; the lightning bolts just reinforce that. Dune is also somewhat to that direction, but much less so.

Heck, those themes show up In allot of things, if you dilute the fantasy genre that much you would have to call half the fiction out there fantasy.


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RDM42 wrote:


Where do you get inserting the word "magic" before knight so? Because it seems that's what ninety percent of your theory calling it fantasy relies on. You could just as easily call them psychics or psions. Let's see. Telepathy. Telekinesis ... You can go down the list.

Psychics, Psions, Jedi, Wizards, Thaumaturgies, Witches... they all use magic.

Magic is defined as "the power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces." Having magic be called psionics doesn't make the sci-fi suddenly not fantasy, it's just making sure the fantasy still fits the thematics of the story being told, since the story is primarily sci-fi.


So now you have anything using unexplained abilities being fantasy. Welcome to making fantasy encompass two thirds of non historical fiction.


RDM42 wrote:
So now you have anything using unexplained abilities being fantasy. Welcome to making fantasy encompass two thirds of non historical fiction.

Yes, this is why many individuals prefer to use terms like speculative fiction instead of fantasy.


Milo v3 wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
So now you have anything using unexplained abilities being fantasy. Welcome to making fantasy encompass two thirds of non historical fiction.
Yes, this is why many individuals prefer to use terms like speculative fiction instead of fantasy.

That would be a definition so broad as to be useless as a definition.


RDM42 wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
So now you have anything using unexplained abilities being fantasy. Welcome to making fantasy encompass two thirds of non historical fiction.
Yes, this is why many individuals prefer to use terms like speculative fiction instead of fantasy.
That would be a definition so broad as to be useless as a definition.

Except it is actually basically the same definition as normal fantasy, except without the baggage of everyone automatically imagining knights poking dragons with pointed metal sticks.


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RDM42 wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Meh. Still don't call Star Wars fitting unde fantasy.
Star Wars has magic, is set in the ancient past, and protagonists go around swinging swords against the evil mages. It's fantasy. Still sci-fi. But fantasy as well.
So if a story which is science fiction has psychics does it suddenly become fantasy? Is dune fantasy because you see people using swords or blades and having a medieval structure to things and Bene Gesserit witches, etcetera?

Yes, Dune is another genre blender.

Quote:
And how are the prequels MORE fantasy when the prequels specifically try(poorly perhaps, but still try) to put a scientific veneer on the force with the 'midicholorians'(spelling?)

Because they were MORE about Magic. The focal point of the whole story was the fall of this order of magic knights. [And the rise of an empire of course.]

Are you telling me Vancian spellcasting isn't fantasy because it's based on Math and formulas?

Where do you get inserting the word "magic" before knight so? Because it seems that's what ninety percent of your theory calling it fantasy relies on. You could just as easily call them psychics or psions. Let's see. Telepathy. Telekinesis ... You can go down the list.

Telepathy, Telekinesis, Healing, Body Manipulation, Energy Absorption, Lightning...

I don't know why you keep splitting this Magic/Psychic hair. They're two different words for the same thing, Psychic is just a specific type of magic.


I feel like several people have responded to a definition of fantasy that they don't like (romantic medieval Europe+magic) by poiting a absolutely useless definition of fantasy (>0 supernatural occurances=fantasy).

I've always thought that the dividing line should be in how much world building was requiried. In your typical horror film the supernatural elements have little or no effect of world at large outside the events of the film. Nobody explains what the world of Night of the Living Dead is like before the titular night, because they don't need to. There's no world building and therefore it's a horror film rather than sci-fi/fantasy. Day (not Dawn) and Land of the Dead on the other hand are sci-fi films because they happen in a post-Dead world which the film has to explain to you.


Magnets. How does they work? Therefore, fantasy.


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Degnanigans wrote:

I feel like several people have responded to a definition of fantasy that they don't like (romantic medieval Europe+magic) by poiting a absolutely useless definition of fantasy (>0 supernatural occurances=fantasy).

I've always thought that the dividing line should be in how much world building was requiried. In your typical horror film the supernatural elements have little or no effect of world at large outside the events of the film. Nobody explains what the world of Night of the Living Dead is like before the titular night, because they don't need to. There's no world building and therefore it's a horror film rather than sci-fi/fantasy. Day (not Dawn) and Land of the Dead on the other hand are sci-fi films because they happen in a post-Dead world which the film has to explain to you.

Well most modern zombie movies are actually Sci-fi in nature technically due to to the utilization of science to explain the phenomena (the spread of a new virus or something similair).

But yes, Fantasy is a rather encompassing Genre. Deal with it. Here from Dictionary.com

Dictionary.com Fantasy wrote:

Also, fantasia. Literature. an imaginative or fanciful work, especially one dealing with supernatural or unnatural events or characters:

The stories of Poe are fantasies of horror.

complaining about it is really dumb. It's like complaining about how Metal is such an all encompassing genre. The only things you really need to be "metal" is heavy drums and heavily distorted guitar. Beyond that, anything is up for grabs.

Slow and Melodic? Funeral Metal and Doom Metal

Want a lot of classical elements? Symphonic Metal.

Want a contrast growler and clean singer? Gothic metal tends to utilize the "beauty and the beast" type singing.

Want fast and technically complicated? Mathcore is for you

Want Dragons and epicness? Power Metal and Viking Metal...

But of course, a lot of people seem stuck on the idea that metal is only:

"Lead Singer who does primarily Growls and Screams"
"Guitar that is heavily distorted, most likely down tuned to drop D or drop C and plays fast"
"Drums that utilize heavy blast beats"

i.e. things that tend to fall into Thrash, Black, Death, Heavy, and Grindcore. But congratulations, you have forced metal into just a tiny sub-set of what metal really is.

Fantasy is the Exact same way. Yes Fantasy is a very all encompassing genre. That is why we have things like Medieval Fantasy, Modern Fantasy, Steampunk, Sci-fi Fantasy, Victorian Fantasy, Horror Fantasy, ect.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:

Magnets. How does they work? Therefore, fantasy.

They work on the generation of a magnetic field from the poles of all the atoms in the magnet being aligned in the same direction, with all the electrons all flowing in that direction, causing a magnetic field.

Project Manager

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Bluenose wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Books are shades. Genres are colors. Trying to argue that something isn't fantasy because it's also horror or because it doesn't have as much fantasy as LotR is just without any point at all.

Taxonomy of RPGs. Individual books are Species. The Pathfinder RPG is one species. Books in a series are a Genus. All the D&D 3.x derived material is a genus. D&D and it's derivatives are a Family, and includes AD&D, ACKS, BD&D, 4e D&D, and plenty of others. Fantasy RPGs are an Order, with D&D and Runequest and Exalted and others. And RPGs in general are a Class, with Orders including Fantasy, Horror, SF, Alternative History, and History below it.

For taxonomy of literary genres, you'd have different categories, but a similar sort of result including a few things that would create arguments. Biologists have been doing that for years -and the arguments go on.

Nah, because you can only be one species. A book can easily fit into multiple genres.

Project Manager

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Degnanigans wrote:

I feel like several people have responded to a definition of fantasy that they don't like (romantic medieval Europe+magic) by poiting a absolutely useless definition of fantasy (>0 supernatural occurances=fantasy).

I've always thought that the dividing line should be in how much world building was requiried. In your typical horror film the supernatural elements have little or no effect of world at large outside the events of the film. Nobody explains what the world of Night of the Living Dead is like before the titular night, because they don't need to. There's no world building and therefore it's a horror film rather than sci-fi/fantasy. Day (not Dawn) and Land of the Dead on the other hand are sci-fi films because they happen in a post-Dead world which the film has to explain to you.

Urban fantasy largely takes place in the real world. (The real world, that is, if magic were real, much as Night of the Living Dead takes place in the real world if zombies were real.) So that method doesn't really work.

Gotta admit, especially given the rise of Amazon and the decline of the brick and mortar, the obsession with making each book fit into one genre seems silly to me.

It sort of made sense when you had to decide what shelf to put it on, but now that you can tag it with as many genres as you want, what's the point?

It's also not particularly user-friendly.

I like fantasy. I like some horror. Many of my favorite fantasy novels could easily be classified as horror, but I'm always going to go to the fantasy section first when browsing. A novel like Barbara Hambly's Those Who Hunt The Night (which I found in the SF/F section) could go in either. If it's tagged with both the fantasy and horror genres, both I and people who like fantasy but head for the horror section first can find it.

Moreover, tag it with "vampires" and "Victorian," too, and there's a good filtering system both for finding what I'm in the mood for, and possibly finding more like it if I enjoy it.


Jessica Price wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Books are shades. Genres are colors. Trying to argue that something isn't fantasy because it's also horror or because it doesn't have as much fantasy as LotR is just without any point at all.

Taxonomy of RPGs. Individual books are Species. The Pathfinder RPG is one species. Books in a series are a Genus. All the D&D 3.x derived material is a genus. D&D and it's derivatives are a Family, and includes AD&D, ACKS, BD&D, 4e D&D, and plenty of others. Fantasy RPGs are an Order, with D&D and Runequest and Exalted and others. And RPGs in general are a Class, with Orders including Fantasy, Horror, SF, Alternative History, and History below it.

For taxonomy of literary genres, you'd have different categories, but a similar sort of result including a few things that would create arguments. Biologists have been doing that for years -and the arguments go on.

Nah, because you can only be one species. A book can easily fit into multiple genres.

Exactly. Genres are, by definition, broad, sweeping categories. It's easy to imagine a story that could fit across three or four different genres.

A detective in a magical steampunk version of the Old West is being stalked by a mysterious serial killer, and must learn the killer's identity before they become the next victim.

Fantasy (There's magic)
Sci-fi (Steampunk)
Western (It's in the Old West)
Horror (Protagonist being stalked by a killer)
Mystery (Protagonist must find out who the killer is)


Jessica Price wrote:
I like fantasy. I like some horror. Many of my favorite fantasy novels could easily be classified as horror, but I'm always going to go to the fantasy section first when browsing. A novel like Barbara Hambly's Those Who Hunt The Night (which I found in the SF/F section) could go in either. If it's tagged with both the fantasy and horror genres, both I and people who like fantasy but head for the horror section first can find it.

Indeed. Fantasy and Horror don't really conflict with one another in any way, because the two genres are focused on different things. Fantasy is about your setting, while Horror is about what kind of story you're telling.


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Chengar Qordath wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
I like fantasy. I like some horror. Many of my favorite fantasy novels could easily be classified as horror, but I'm always going to go to the fantasy section first when browsing. A novel like Barbara Hambly's Those Who Hunt The Night (which I found in the SF/F section) could go in either. If it's tagged with both the fantasy and horror genres, both I and people who like fantasy but head for the horror section first can find it.
Indeed. Fantasy and Horror don't really conflict with one another in any way, because the two genres are focused on different things. Fantasy is about your setting, while Horror is about what kind of story you're telling.

Which really goes back to what Asimov said about science fiction/fantasy not being a genre, so much as the level of technology and/or magic in the world.


PIXIE DUST wrote:
Degnanigans wrote:

I feel like several people have responded to a definition of fantasy that they don't like (romantic medieval Europe+magic) by poiting a absolutely useless definition of fantasy (>0 supernatural occurances=fantasy).

I've always thought that the dividing line should be in how much world building was requiried. In your typical horror film the supernatural elements have little or no effect of world at large outside the events of the film. Nobody explains what the world of Night of the Living Dead is like before the titular night, because they don't need to. There's no world building and therefore it's a horror film rather than sci-fi/fantasy. Day (not Dawn) and Land of the Dead on the other hand are sci-fi films because they happen in a post-Dead world which the film has to explain to you.

Well most modern zombie movies are actually Sci-fi in nature technically due to to the utilization of science to explain the phenomena (the spread of a new virus or something similair).

But yes, Fantasy is a rather encompassing Genre. Deal with it. Here from Dictionary.com

Dictionary.com Fantasy wrote:

Also, fantasia. Literature. an imaginative or fanciful work, especially one dealing with supernatural or unnatural events or characters:

The stories of Poe are fantasies of horror.

complaining about it is really dumb. It's like complaining about how Metal is such an all encompassing genre. The only things you really need to be "metal" is heavy drums and heavily distorted guitar. Beyond that, anything is up for grabs.

Slow and Melodic? Funeral Metal and Doom Metal

Want a lot of classical elements? Symphonic Metal.

Want a contrast growler and clean singer? Gothic metal tends to utilize the "beauty and the beast" type singing.

Want fast and technically complicated? Mathcore is for you

Want Dragons and epicness? Power Metal and Viking Metal...

But of course, a lot of people seem stuck on the idea that metal is only:

"Lead Singer who does primarily Growls...


137ben wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
I like fantasy. I like some horror. Many of my favorite fantasy novels could easily be classified as horror, but I'm always going to go to the fantasy section first when browsing. A novel like Barbara Hambly's Those Who Hunt The Night (which I found in the SF/F section) could go in either. If it's tagged with both the fantasy and horror genres, both I and people who like fantasy but head for the horror section first can find it.
Indeed. Fantasy and Horror don't really conflict with one another in any way, because the two genres are focused on different things. Fantasy is about your setting, while Horror is about what kind of story you're telling.
Which really goes back to what Asimov said about science fiction/fantasy not being a genre, so much as the level of technology and/or magic in the world.

Indeed. Asimov himself was quite fond of showing how you could tell just about any type of story within the scope of science fiction.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Well, that's where the Rich Parents trait comes into effect, Milo. :P
Rich parents isn't anywhere near close for affording a decent defensive item (or even a pathetic defensive item) a parent would give to help stop their kid from dying.

Any real defenses—defenses that are likely to actually benefit a character enough to let them win fights they would otherwise die in—would cost a hell of a lot and probably get the puny first level wizard mugged anyways. :P

A better question: Why the f$$! would any parents of means allow their kid to give up a safe life as a member of the idle wealthy to take one of the ugliest, most dangerous jobs in the world? I'm running Age of Worms right now as a play-by-post on these forums. My PCs just had to crawl though seventy feet of poop water so they could fight parasitic maggot monsters. Any parent that lets their kid grow up thinking adventuring is a good idea for them is, by default, the worst parent ever. The lack of extra funding is just icing on the cake. You want to know what the cake is made out of? Probably not. Some adventurers found it in a dungeon and they're trying to pawn it off as soon as possible. Probably cursed.

I give you Micheal Rockefeller:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Rockefeller


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Adventurers in general are incredibly wealthy. You are among your peers. The Gold Baron has found his equals at last!

My dear lad, The Gold Baron HAS no equals!

*throws half-coppers at KC and vanishes into the night*


Jessica Price wrote:


Nah, because you can only be one species. A book can easily fit into multiple genres.

Coywolves

Taxonmists are people who like to split hares.


Degnanigans wrote:

I feel like several people have responded to a definition of fantasy that they don't like (romantic medieval Europe+magic) by poiting a absolutely useless definition of fantasy (>0 supernatural occurances=fantasy).

I've always thought that the dividing line should be in how much world building was requiried. In your typical horror film the supernatural elements have little or no effect of world at large outside the events of the film. Nobody explains what the world of Night of the Living Dead is like before the titular night, because they don't need to. There's no world building and therefore it's a horror film rather than sci-fi/fantasy. Day (not Dawn) and Land of the Dead on the other hand are sci-fi films because they happen in a post-Dead world which the film has to explain to you.

it's more that people are classifying specific genre's of fantasy like epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, etc as being ONLY what fantasy is. Elaborate world building is usually a condition of epic fantasy, but I have read books fully in the Urban fantasy category that have pretty elaborate world building, even if they don't exist in a secondary world. And fantasy books with fairly light world building. For instance, I would argue American Gods probably has more elaborate world building than...say...The Shannara or Goodkind books.


DrDeth wrote:
Anzyr wrote:


Super easy.

If you want to be wealthy you take the Rich Parents trait and then take crafting feats. I run crafting using the CRB rules, so if you craft all your own stuff you'll have up to 50% more WBL then the other party members. Invest skill points in craft skills to make items at a discounted cost. If you want to stretch this even further use a means of negating costly material components (like say Razmiran Priest 9th level ability) and masterwork transmutation. You'll easily have a ton of cash more then everybody else.

If you want to play a Doc Savage, you use your 20 points to pick up 4 14's, then invest in Belt of Physical Perfection and Headband of Mental Superiority (or invest in Craft Wondrous Item to make them for yourself faster). You can use your level up ability score increase to make the remaining stats also 20 or even get inherent bonuses off of Wish. Easily done.

Bah! ;-) Not good enuf. I want to be incredibly wealthy to start, not just with a little more money. I want more like a millions gps. At first level. That's my concept.

And Doc didnt depend on no magic items, and I want straight 18's to start.

You're nerfing my concepts!!! ;-)

You are entitled to play any concept you want. You just aren't entitled to start as it. =P

If it makes you feel better Angel Summoner doesn't really get going til 7th+ level.


MMCJawa wrote:
Degnanigans wrote:

I feel like several people have responded to a definition of fantasy that they don't like (romantic medieval Europe+magic) by poiting a absolutely useless definition of fantasy (>0 supernatural occurances=fantasy).

I've always thought that the dividing line should be in how much world building was requiried. In your typical horror film the supernatural elements have little or no effect of world at large outside the events of the film. Nobody explains what the world of Night of the Living Dead is like before the titular night, because they don't need to. There's no world building and therefore it's a horror film rather than sci-fi/fantasy. Day (not Dawn) and Land of the Dead on the other hand are sci-fi films because they happen in a post-Dead world which the film has to explain to you.

it's more that people are classifying specific genre's of fantasy like epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, etc as being ONLY what fantasy is. Elaborate world building is usually a condition of epic fantasy, but I have read books fully in the Urban fantasy category that have pretty elaborate world building, even if they don't exist in a secondary world. And fantasy books with fairly light world building. For instance, I would argue American Gods probably has more elaborate world building than...say...The Shannara or Goodkind books.

Some people are doing that - guns don't exist in fantasy because I think of fantasy as only medieval type stuff.

Others are doing the reverse - Guns exist in some subgenres of fantasy, therefore they must fit in whatever subgenre PF play is in.

World-building is very definitely not a bright dividing line. Plenty of science fiction, for example, does as much world-building as any fantasy - even if they tack a "long ago we all came from a planet called Dirt or something" onto it. Other subgenres of fantasy are often very light on it - urban a good chunk of the time. A lot of shorter fantasy stuff doesn't bother doing any world-building outside of the immediate needs of the short story - and works just fine that way.

There doesn't even need to be any explicit magic. I don't think all the
Conan stories had actual magic in them, for example - though it existed in the world.


How is the default method that Golarian not completely fitting for high fantasy anyway?

The general gist of the story is Alkenstar is next to the Mana Wastes, a region that was ravaged, even on the scale of physics, due to the war between the nations of Nex and Geb (both of which are nations named for their level 20+ mage overlord-both are high magic nations). This made the Mana Wastes into a magic dead regions- where magic does not work at all. Or some places have 'primal magic', which makes your basic buff just as likely to blow you up.

Basically, you had a region that could not rely on magic. And unfortunately, along with the warped magi-physics, the mana wastes also have a large supply of creatures that were mutated. So, the people of Alkenstar had to master techniques using mundane physics, and thus they produced guns.

In setting, almost all guns are probduced by Alkenstar, used as an export made intentionally scarce to keep up prices (and who can blame them- this is the result of their struggles and ingenuity, and they have to deal with a region were farm lands is scarce because of...you know...WARPED PHYSICS, and they have to import food.) Alkenstar also has a large berth of experience with mechanics, alchemy, and metallurgy due to the same situation, and they use that to their advantage as well

In a high magic would, it woudl in fact MAKE SENSE that they would develop fire arms.

The reason everyone else has not developed technology is the same reason the Wizards in Harry Potter have not. They have no need. With Magic, they don't need fire arms and such.


thejeff wrote:
Others are doing the reverse - Guns exist in some subgenres of fantasy, therefore they must fit in whatever subgenre PF play is in.

In fairness, by default guns do exist in whatever category of fantasy you want to put Pathfinder in, because there are gun and gun-using characters in the rulebook and default Golarion setting.

Now, whether guns belong in a particular game being played with the Pathfinder rules (even if that game is set in Golarion) is another matter entirely.


Guns exist in whatever category you want to put _Golarion_ in, you mean.


PIXIE DUST wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Magnets. How does they work? Therefore, fantasy.

They work on the generation of a magnetic field from the poles of all the atoms in the magnet being aligned in the same direction, with all the electrons all flowing in that direction, causing a magnetic field.

Right. Magic, to those who don't understand it. ;)


Categorizing settings is like making stereotypes about people:

You can easily recognize trends in groups, but as soon as you start putting names on them and telling others, someone gets offended.

Is Star Wars fantasy? Maybe. But if you had to pick between Sci-Fi and Fantasy, anyone with two brain cells to rub together would identify it overwhelmingly as Sci-Fi. Space ships? FTL drives? Yep...

Same for Dune.

Are there elements in them that could qualify them as Fantasy? Sure.
They both include an element of mystical mumbo-jumbo, but in neither case are those powers called 'Magic'. In both cases they are explained to some degree as being understood, using existing science.

I have Portugese in my background though, and I don't identify myself as Portugese...


RDM42 wrote:
Gaberlunzie wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Meh. Still don't call Star Wars fitting unde fantasy.
Star Wars has magic, is set in the ancient past, and protagonists go around swinging swords against the evil mages. It's fantasy. Still sci-fi. But fantasy as well.

So if a story which is science fiction has psychics does it suddenly become fantasy? Is dune fantasy because you see people using swords or blades and having a medieval structure to things?

I think it's not so black and white, and also it has a lot to do with themes. Many of the themes common in typical fantasy - the battle between good and evil, the legacy of a family name, honor and chivalry against egoism and pride - are all in Star Wars. The Star Wars universe (as depicted in the movies - not taking EU into account) is quite black and white, and the stories center around the Objectively Good(tm) vs the Objectively Bad(tm). Honorable knights fighting evil wizards. That to me makes it feel a lot like fantasy; the lightning bolts just reinforce that. Dune is also somewhat to that direction, but much less so.
Heck, those themes show up In allot of things, if you dilute the fantasy genre that much you would have to call half the fiction out there fantasy.

Again, it's not so black and white - genres are a nebulous thing. It's the combination of all these things that makes Star Wars (and to some lesser degree, Dune) feel like fantasy, while The Caves of Steel and 2001: A Space Oddesey do not.

Some themes and tropes are very common in combination in fantasy - Good vs Evil, chivalry, the legacy of family, magic in particular and the supernatural in general, the Quest, prophecies etc. Also coming of age stories, but those are very common in every genre.

Some themes and tropes are very common in combination in sci-fi; transhumanism, technology outpacing culture, speculation in how society could evolve in the future or would have evolved given a few different nudges through history, gender, time travel, outer space etc.

These aren't _unique_ to the genres, and most works contains a few of these. Some works that feel very squarely in the fantasy genre contains things mostly associated with Sci-Fi; the dragonlance saga has time travel and some focus on the effects of it, for example. But some works tend to blend the tropes and themes much more in a way that makes one perceive the work as being a mix of the genres, such as Star Wars which has mostly fantasy themes but in a setting more commonly associated with sci-fi. Meanwhile, few would claim the reimagined Battlestar: Galactica is fantasy, despite having supernatural components and prophecies as part of it's themes, because most of the time it's dealing with more typical sci-fi themes.

alexd1976 wrote:


Is Star Wars fantasy? Maybe. But if you had to pick between Sci-Fi and Fantasy, anyone with two brain cells to rub together would identify it overwhelmingly as Sci-Fi. Space ships? FTL drives? Yep...

Pathfinder has spaceships and you can move faster than the light. Just sayin'.

alexd1976 wrote:


They both include an element of mystical mumbo-jumbo, but in neither case are those powers called 'Magic'. In both cases they are explained to some degree as being understood, using existing science.

Whether they use the word "magic" is largely irrelevant, though? I mean, pathfinder wouldn't be less fantasy just because the magic chapter got renamed to "powers"?

Also, the Force is far less explained than Pathfinders' magic system, midi-chlorians and all.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Technically, I don't think Pathfinder has faster-than-light travel. All of its ultra-fast travel involves interdimensionality of some sort, whether that's via the Divinity Drive's wormholes or a teleport spell using the Astral Plane.


Gaberlunzi, like I said, I have Portugese in my background, that doesn't make me Portugese.

The existence of elements of one genre does not immediately classify something as existing in that genre.

Unless you want to argue that Pathfinder is Sci-Fi, not Fantasy.

I'm saying that if we chose one or the other, it is pretty easy to identify SOME things that way, but not all.

Example: Shadowrun RPG... it has both magic and technology in large amounts, it easily fits multiple categories...

Technology is NOT a central theme in Pathfinder, guns are not introduced until after the CRB.

I'm not arguing that for the purposes of something like an Amazon listing that you can't include something in more than one genre, but do that too much and the search function stops being useful...


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I still say that most of the confusion is from focusing on the two top level divisions (Sci-fi vs fantasy) and ignoring all the subgenres that exist precisely for this reason. "Science fantasy" and "sword and planet" were both coined for a reason.


thejeff wrote:
I still say that most of the confusion is from focusing on the two top level divisions (Sci-fi vs fantasy) and ignoring all the subgenres that exist precisely for this reason. "Science fantasy" and "sword and planet" were both coined for a reason.

I'm old school. Not familiar with either of these terms.

It's kinda like classifying music, there are so many styles, you basically just have to know which specific songs you like...

I don't like EVERYTHING that VNV Nation has made, but I like a lot of it... :D


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thejeff wrote:
I still say that most of the confusion is from focusing on the two top level divisions (Sci-fi vs fantasy) and ignoring all the subgenres that exist precisely for this reason. "Science fantasy" and "sword and planet" were both coined for a reason.

Wasn't D&D Spellcasting ripped straight out of a Science Fantasy series?


kyrt-ryder wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I still say that most of the confusion is from focusing on the two top level divisions (Sci-fi vs fantasy) and ignoring all the subgenres that exist precisely for this reason. "Science fantasy" and "sword and planet" were both coined for a reason.
Wasn't D&D Spellcasting ripped straight out of a Science Fantasy series?

Eyup. Because everything else was associated with satan.


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alexd1976 wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I still say that most of the confusion is from focusing on the two top level divisions (Sci-fi vs fantasy) and ignoring all the subgenres that exist precisely for this reason. "Science fantasy" and "sword and planet" were both coined for a reason.
I'm old school. Not familiar with either of these terms.

You were born before 1912? Because "sword and planet" was coined to cover stuff like ERB's Barsoom stories. And "science fantasy" has been in general use since 1950 or so.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I still say that most of the confusion is from focusing on the two top level divisions (Sci-fi vs fantasy) and ignoring all the subgenres that exist precisely for this reason. "Science fantasy" and "sword and planet" were both coined for a reason.
I'm old school. Not familiar with either of these terms.

You were born before 1912? Because "sword and planet" was coined to cover stuff like ERB's Barsoom stories. And "science fantasy" has been in general use since 1950 or so.

*shrugs* As this thread shows, putting a label on things is a choice not everyone agrees with, so I never really bothered trying to categorize everything.

I just read it.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

star wars is definitely Sci fi fantasy. it's MOSTLY fantasy with a high tech overlay. the difference between sci fi and sci fi fantasy is the difference between star trek and star wars. In star trek you have things that work and are explained, everything works with physics or it;s own interpretation of physics. in sci fi fantasy, technology is never explained and everything just works, almost as if by magic. ;)

the setting is futuristic but it is still largely a fantasy story.

sci fi also revolves around story wise, the problems or hurdles technology place on humans, Fantasy instead focuses on the old memes that create problems or hurdles for humans. Star wars is largely about good versus evil, while star trek is largely about how even with the best of intentions technology can still destroy, though we still shouldn't be afraid to take one more step forward.

people confuse setting and genre too much, a genre is the story not the setting. This creates problems everywhere though, such as video games(who confuse control scheme for genre), FPS for instance applies to any and all games that are first person, regardless of what they're about. Portal is a FPS as much as CoD is. :/


Bandw2 wrote:

star wars in definitely Sci fi fantasy. it's MOSTLY fantasy with a high tech overlay. the difference between sci fi and sci fi fantasy is the difference between star trek and star wars. In star trek you have things that work and are explained, everything works with physics or it;s own interpretation of physics. in sci fi fantasy, technology is never explained and everything just works, almost as if by magic. ;)

the setting is futuristic but it is still largely a fantasy story.

Star Trek has Q and numerous other inexplicable entities like him.

Only one sentient android (to start)-revealed to be exceptionally rare, has one similar (Lore) revealed later and makes a daughter. Three in total, in the whole setting.

Star Wars refers to the hyper drive BY NAME, has droids everywhere, and shows a lot more familiar technology than Star Trek (wires, sparks, smoke)-Star Trek is all plastic and lights...

Force users are exceedingly rare in Star Wars, but the story focuses on them.

Inexplicable technology/magic is the theme of the day in Star Trek.

I don't agree with your assessment.


Really I'm just playing Devil's advocate here. I sort shows/movies into a single category when storing them.

I wouldn't put Star Trek under Fantasy. Or Star Trek.

I would, however, put the Dungeons and Dragons movies there.

No, actually, I would put those in the recycle bin, but that's another story. :D


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
alexd1976 wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:

star wars in definitely Sci fi fantasy. it's MOSTLY fantasy with a high tech overlay. the difference between sci fi and sci fi fantasy is the difference between star trek and star wars. In star trek you have things that work and are explained, everything works with physics or it;s own interpretation of physics. in sci fi fantasy, technology is never explained and everything just works, almost as if by magic. ;)

the setting is futuristic but it is still largely a fantasy story.

Star Trek has Q and numerous other inexplicable entities like him.

Only one sentient android (to start)-revealed to be exceptionally rare, has one similar (Lore) revealed later and makes a daughter. Three in total, in the whole setting.

while true star trek focuses on and explains how these things work, the technology is the focus. there is Q, who is revealed to be an inter dimensional being he however usually pits the crew agaisnt technological hurdles.

We also have the Borg, which are a personification of letting technology control people.

first generation was definitely more sci fi fantasy now that i think about it. It did talk on technology and how it didn't do everything for us, but largely still had simple themes.

General episodes were about technology and what they could do to people however, how technology could do us harm and yet also do good. It took place during the cold war and thus during the nuclear scare so you have to also watch it with that mind set.

A line i always remember is "how can we have the power to destroy an entire planet, and yet be so helpless?"

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