Non-magical Variation

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Non-magical Variation
« on: March 03, 2014, 03:58:40 PM »
One thing that surprised me was the mechanic relationship with a specific realm/lore.

AW and DW (I know .... not your game) at that are generic enough for the MC/GM to dictate what kind of game is being created.

The play books and the lore are tied into the mechanics, so a bit harder to do. Not bad, just surprised me.

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lumpley

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Re: Non-magical Variation
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 04:08:37 PM »
I don't follow! Ask again?

-Vincent

Re: Non-magical Variation
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 04:14:29 PM »
I agree with you on this one.  If it was to be more like vikings magic wouldn't exist, and I would also be very interested in such a variant.  What I would say though it just remove certain classes.  IF you remove the troll-killer you don't have monsters.  Also magic could just  be roleplayed as mysticism if it wanted.  I think without much trouble mysticism can be the role and it's not "magic".  Just remove Dragons and Monsters and replace with more natural occuring ideas.  In the Dark Ages, the unknowing world was magic enough. The Mongol Horde were so advanced in horse archery they were considered Centaurs.  A 7foot tall man was considered a "Giant".  Just make magic the reality of the scary life of the unknown.  To the English Vikings were monsters and so forth.  Change moral codes and you can get magic without having magic. 

Although you are right the game tends to the Game of Thrones World of fantasy when it doesn't necessarily have to be so specific.

Re: Non-magical Variation
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 04:15:45 PM »
When I read through AW I noticed a lack of specifics. Here, I am seeing Troll Killer, Dragon Herald, Empire of Eagles, Xristos, ect....

Just saying that so far I noticed a lot more specific lore than I did in AW.

I should have altered the title, being Magic vs non magic related. When I started the thread, I was thinking very Knights and Vikings (real worldish compared to GoT), but by the time I ended the thread I took that some of the Lore could be used as fictional elements that were more myth based than factual based.

Re: Non-magical Variation
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2014, 04:17:56 PM »
I agree with you on this one.  If it was to be more like vikings magic wouldn't exist, and I would also be very interested in such a variant.  What I would say though it just remove certain classes.  IF you remove the troll-killer you don't have monsters.  Also magic could just  be roleplayed as mysticism if it wanted.  I think without much trouble mysticism can be the role and it's not "magic".  Just remove Dragons and Monsters and replace with more natural occuring ideas.  In the Dark Ages, the unknowing world was magic enough. The Mongol Horde were so advanced in horse archery they were considered Centaurs.  A 7foot tall man was considered a "Giant".  Just make magic the reality of the scary life of the unknown.  To the English Vikings were monsters and so forth.  Change moral codes and you can get magic without having magic. 

Although you are right the game tends to the Game of Thrones World of fantasy when it doesn't necessarily have to be so specific.

Doing so helps with the mechanic section of things, but what bothered me more was as mentioned the specific realms relations like "The Gods of the Empire of Eagles."

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Non-magical Variation
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2014, 04:21:38 PM »
"Realms relations"? I'm still not following. What's a "realm"? What's a "realms relation"?

-Vincent

Re: Non-magical Variation
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2014, 04:26:13 PM »
I am calling it realms, but I am using that as a generic term for specifics than you have placed within the mechanics that define it to a particular setting.

"The Gods of the Empire of Eagles" is a specific, unlike the other term "Old Gods" which could be Viking, it could be Game of Thrones. Because this has such specifics, it guides players to have to either follow them or ignore them, rather than leaving them vague enough like "Old Gods" to create the ones that fit the setting they as MC's/ Player's want to make.

Hope that makes more sense.

Re: Non-magical Variation
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 04:56:58 AM »
I take trayburn as saying "you seem to have crafted a specific setting, with specific names of gods and previous empires, rather than, as in apocalypse world, left things open by saying 'there was an apocalypse, there's a psychic maelstrom -- decide in play what these mean'".

So that, for instance, there's no specific name of a character, institution, place(except the quasi-place "the psychic maelstrom"), or belief system which is a mandated part of AW as opposed to an example. Your game might have mudfish and someone named Dremmer, but then again it might not. In your AW:DA game, unmodded, there's a Xristos, there was an Empire of Eagles, etc.

In other words, AW:DA is not just a ruleset, it's a ruleset with a setting, the way that, say, Runequest came to you already boxed with Glorantha.

I don't think this is a flaw. I think it goes with the setting, in the sense that in AW you have a world which has no verities; no status quos, no reliable institutions, all is in flux. The Apocalypse swept everything durable away, including history, so that even the mounds of sun-bleached Happy Meal toys have become pure signs, signifiers whose significance is lost.

While AW:DA is not quite that. There wasn't an apocalypse; there was the fall of an Empire. It's not quite the same thing. People are bound by networks of oaths, they have lineages, they have ancestral rights. Much is in flux, but much is also rooted deeply. So that the fact that there's a Xristos and a defunct Empire of Eagles when the game begins, that not everything is determined in play, reflects the experience of the characters; they were born into a rough but ordered world, however much that order may be under tension and stress and threat. It works. (Of course, it's moddable, like anything, but one's tendency in modding would be probably to replace these verities with other verities.)

I think people have a tendency to take certain aspects of AW -- there should be a sex or other per-character special move, say, or the game has no mandated setting elements, or whatever -- and treat them as given parameters which must be replicated when making an "AW hack", as opposed to things which follow from the specific worldview, milieu, and setting of AW itself. But these are flavor-first games, not structure-first games. The structure fits the flavor.



Re: Non-magical Variation
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 08:35:03 AM »
plausiblefabulist,

Quote
I take trayburn as saying "you seem to have crafted a specific setting, with specific names of gods and previous empires, rather than, as in apocalypse world, left things open by saying 'there was an apocalypse, there's a psychic maelstrom -- decide in play what these mean'".

So that, for instance, there's no specific name of a character, institution, place(except the quasi-place "the psychic maelstrom"), or belief system which is a mandated part of AW as opposed to an example. Your game might have mudfish and someone named Dremmer, but then again it might not. In your AW:DA game, unmodded, there's a Xristos, there was an Empire of Eagles, etc.

In other words, AW:DA is not just a ruleset, it's a ruleset with a setting, the way that, say, Runequest came to you already boxed with Glorantha.

You are correct in your assumption of what I meant.

BTW, I probably mispoke when I said "bothered." There is some wonderful stuff here, it just caught me off guard as I did not expect it. I play Shadows of Esteren, which a 100% defined setting and I love that game. That was my fault for making assumptions of how the system was going to play out before even receiving the document.

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Non-magical Variation
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2014, 10:10:28 AM »
It's cool! I'm not offended. (I'm difficult to offend.)

I understand better now, thanks! I see what you mean.

-Vincent

Re: Non-magical Variation
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2014, 07:30:01 PM »
Having some explicit setting details helps, I think.

Because the game is trying to evoke a particular period with its own social and political status quo, more explicit setting details help the players get a quicker start, and helps direct play to get the right feel.

Setting it in a fictional approximation also allows you to remove a lot of historical baggage with our own dark ages.