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simast
01-02-2012, 10:06 AM
I have always thought magic was a silly thing for an RPG. Used and overused because it has somehow become some sort of an industry standard (hey, I suppose it is always a great way to show some fancy particle effects). I realize that some games that are not set in your typical medieval-fantasy setting will simply rename the thing somehow (Mass Effect biotics), but basically it's THE same thing.

As for elves, well, if there are elves, there is Legolas somewhere and the rest of Tolkien crew.

So the question is, are there any good RPGs floating around that are original within their lore and are not afraid to take on things differently?

Mihkel
01-02-2012, 10:15 AM
Fallout series, Arcanum, Deus Ex series and Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines I guess.

Grizzly
01-02-2012, 10:20 AM
Alpha Protocol, too.

simast
01-02-2012, 10:29 AM
As for Arcanum (quote from Wikipedia):


The world is inhabited by various races resembling those from the works of Tolkien, including humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, orcs, ogres, and various wildlife.

And didn't bloodlines had something similar to magic?

As for other recommendations - thanks. Alpha Protocol looks interesting.

Althea
01-02-2012, 10:31 AM
Jade Empire has "magic" but is pretty darned different.

Voon
01-02-2012, 10:33 AM
Deu Sex, Folout


Alpha Protocol, too.

I second this. Just try be patient with the bugs and slightly confusing gameplay. Same goes to Vampires: Bloodlines: The Masquerade. Both games can be a very rewarding experience

hamster
01-02-2012, 10:46 AM
Sorry to hijack the thread but anyone know any RPGs with real time skill based combat and no annoying stats?

Vexing Vision
01-02-2012, 10:50 AM
Zelda and Darksiders (same thing really) come to mind, Hamster.

Both have magic though.

Voon
01-02-2012, 10:50 AM
Sorry to hijack the thread but anyone know any RPGs with real time skill based combat and no annoying stats?

Dunno, but maybe, just maybe, Demon/Dark Souls may fit your description.

Grizzly
01-02-2012, 10:54 AM
Sorry to hijack the thread but anyone know any RPGs with real time skill based combat and no annoying stats?

Mass Effect?

R-F
01-02-2012, 10:54 AM
Global Agenda? Xsyon? Earthrise?

All MMORPGs, but none of them have magic or elfses.

agentorange
01-02-2012, 10:55 AM
Wasteland, Bloodnet; The Gothic series doesn't have most of the typical fantasy races, with the exception of orcs, but it does have magic; Mount & Blade if you count it as an RPG, and E.Y.E has magic but it's weird techno-psychic stuff rather than fireballs.

Subatomic
01-02-2012, 10:59 AM
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=sans-serif]As for Arcanum (quote from Wikipedia):



And didn't bloodlines had something similar to magic?


That depends on what your definition of 'magic' is. If you want a game without any supernatural elements whatsoever, Bloodlines is obviously not for you. Some of the clans don't have overtly 'magical' abilities though, just avoid the Tremere (blood magic).

Mihkel
01-02-2012, 11:08 AM
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=sans-serif]As for Arcanum (quote from Wikipedia):



And didn't bloodlines had something similar to magic?

As for other recommendations - thanks. Alpha Protocol looks interesting.


Ah yeah but I thought I'll mention them anyways cuz one is some crazy steampunk world and other is modern LA.

trjp
01-02-2012, 11:46 AM
Taking magic out of an RPG would be like taking grenades out of an FPS, it's possible but it's one of the major elements of the design (the ability to buff/debuff/aoe or even just remotely damage someone is a core mechanic).

What you're asking for is a game where people (and not fantasy races) have melee weapons and bows/guns and that's it?

Sounds a touch dry...

Mihkel
01-02-2012, 12:04 PM
Taking magic out of an RPG would be like taking grenades out of an FPS, it's possible but it's one of the major elements of the design (the ability to buff/debuff/aoe or even just remotely damage someone is a core mechanic).

What you're asking for is a game where people (and not fantasy races) have melee weapons and bows/guns and that's it?

Sounds a touch dry...

I would say it entirely depends on the setting and lore. If anything magicless and elfless RPG's are more imaginative than the regular fantasy fare.

icemann
01-02-2012, 12:45 PM
Shadowrun (the SNES and Genesis ones) in regards to "are original within their lore and are not afraid to take on things differently?". Though there is magic and elves + the usual races in there. Though it is done in such a different way that it is truly unique and awesome regardless.

System Shock 2 and Deus Ex 1-3 for the other end of the spectrum. Though you can use magic in SS2 though that is 100% optional.

Stellar Duck
01-02-2012, 01:00 PM
Sorry to hijack the thread but anyone know any RPGs with real time skill based combat and no annoying stats?

STALKER, sort of.

Theblazeuk
01-02-2012, 01:08 PM
System Shock 2! 'Nuff said. Well and Fallout obviously.

Vamp: Bloodlines is great if you patch it with the community fixes, can find articles + links on the main RPS site.

I agree RPGs are a little too reliant on cliches, though I enjoy them nonetheless. Oh and there's also Anachronox, but I have never really played that.

sabrage
01-02-2012, 01:56 PM
Dunno, but maybe, just maybe, Demon/Dark Souls may fit your description.
Demon's Souls is very stat-based. I'm assuming that Dark is the same way.

R-F
01-02-2012, 01:59 PM
I have always thought magic was a silly thing for an RPG. Used and overused because it has somehow become some sort of an industry standard (hey, I suppose it is always a great way to show some fancy particle effects). I realize that some games that are not set in your typical medieval-fantasy setting will simply rename the thing somehow (Mass Effect biotics), but basically it's THE same thing.

As for elves, well, if there are elves, there is Legolas somewhere and the rest of Tolkien crew.

So the question is, are there any good RPGs floating around that are original within their lore and are not afraid to take on things differently?

Sorry to hijack the thread but anyone know any RPGs with real time skill based combat and no annoying stats?

It depends on your definition of RPG (Wizardry would rage at this, for example) but the Monster Hunter games are both of these things. Kind of, at least.

Voon
01-02-2012, 02:17 PM
It depends on your definition of RPG (Wizardry would rage at this, for example) but the Monster Hunter games are both of these things. Kind of, at least.

Monster Hunter's got some stats that you need to take account of. Attack, Defence, Elemental Resistance, all the basic shit. Also, buffers and abilities(after eating food, buying charms or attaching decorations). Anything else is hack-n-slash, though not in a Devil May Cry kind of hack-n-slash.


Demon's Souls is very stat-based. I'm assuming that Dark is the same way.

I see. I never played Demon's/Dark Souls per se (but always wanted to), so I don't know much about it.

sabrage
01-02-2012, 03:34 PM
I see. I never played Demon's/Dark Souls per se (but always wanted to), so I don't know much about it.
Honestly, it's like a refined Monster Hunter.

Arona Daal
01-02-2012, 03:37 PM
The (old) Buck Rogers Games
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R3_o6NvLtI&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFK4SI_RNw0

Maybe the Worlds of Ultima Series (not sure about Magic)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzVZc00ZyNI&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OUYnWBqSTM&feature=related

Giaddon
01-02-2012, 03:40 PM
Fallout (as had been said), Gorky 17, Darklands maybe, Precursors, Jagged Alliance 2, Mount and Blade, Freedom Force, Darkspore, Space Rangers 2, the Star Wolves games, Alpha Protocol (as has been said), maybe the Geneforge games.

SeanybabeS
01-02-2012, 04:00 PM
Does Borderlands fit the perview? RPG/FPS hybrid.

Lilliput King
01-02-2012, 04:03 PM
Arcanum's elves (actually pretty much all the non-human races) aren't handled in the traditional way. It's pretty cool.

Lots of magic going on though. Magic v Tech is kind of what the game is going for.

Wizardry
01-02-2012, 04:07 PM
Sorry to hijack the thread but anyone know any RPGs with real time skill based combat and no annoying stats?
It's amusing how you managed to troll everyone but your intended target.

Anyway, back on topic, the majority of science fiction RPGs would count. So would Darklands.

Voon
01-02-2012, 04:11 PM
I'd second the original Shadowrun, but two things. Not on PC (unless you're willing to use an emulator) and some magic in the game (shamans)

P.S I knew you're gonna post in here, Wizardry

hamster
01-02-2012, 06:17 PM
It's amusing how you managed to troll everyone but your intended target.

Anyway, back on topic, the majority of science fiction RPGs would count. So would Darklands.

So i'm a troll because I asked people to recommend me a good RPG with real time combat and no stat play? I think you attribute to much importance to yourself, Wizardry. The world does not revolve around you.

Wizardry
01-02-2012, 06:23 PM
So i'm a troll because I asked people to recommend me a good RPG with real time combat and no stat play? I think you attribute to much importance to yourself, Wizardry. The world does not revolve around you.
Well, you jumped into this thread with a "sorry to hijack this thread but" reply. Perhaps you should start an entirely new thread instead. What sort of reaction would I have received if I came into a science fiction FPS thread and asked for a turn-based FPS?

Grizzly
01-02-2012, 06:28 PM
Well, you jumped into this thread with a "sorry to hijack this thread but" reply. Perhaps you should start an entirely new thread instead. What sort of reaction would I have received if I came into a science fiction FPS thread and asked for a turn-based FPS?

We'd give you Fallout, obviously.

EDIT: Acronym reading fail: We'd tell you to go to the shooting club.

Fiyenyaa
01-02-2012, 06:45 PM
Mount and Blade: Warband. Mount and Blade: Warband. Mount and Blade: Warband.

This is essentially exactly what you are asking for, and also has a really satisfying combat system.

vecordae
01-02-2012, 07:03 PM
Yeah. Mount and Blade is pretty awesome. There are also about a bajillion decent mods for it if you don't like the vanilla game. The Original Mount and Blade has some good mods unique to it, so it's still worth a serious look.

Nalano
01-02-2012, 07:42 PM
Used and overused because it has somehow become some sort of an industry standard (hey, I suppose it is always a great way to show some fancy particle effects). I realize that some games that are not set in your typical medieval-fantasy setting will simply rename the thing somehow (Mass Effect biotics), but basically it's THE same thing.

Hold on, are you conflating the term "magic" with "applied phlebotinum?" Because that sort of wide brush is why sci fi and fantasy tend to stock the same shelves, when they are separate genres.

Giaddon
01-02-2012, 07:52 PM
Fantasy of and Science Fantasy (Mass Effect, for example) are only superficially different genres.

Nalano
01-02-2012, 07:55 PM
Fantasy of and Science Fantasy (Mass Effect, for example) are only superficially different genres.

Asimov has FTL travel in most of his books - most notably the Empire, Foundation and Robot series. That's applied phlebotinum. Is it still fantasy? We have a Mohs scale, after all.

PeopleLikeFrank
01-02-2012, 08:14 PM
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Ours is just a little more thinly-veiled than most." - Basically every Sci-Fi RPG developer ever


Hold on, are you conflating the term "magic" with "applied phlebotinum?" Because that sort of wide brush is why sci fi and fantasy tend to stock the same shelves, when they are separate genres.

This annoys me to no end. Go to Kobo books, click on "Sci-Fi & Fantasy", click on sub-genre "Science Fiction". Oh (http://www.kobobooks.com/browse/Science_Fiction/b4BdGE4ruUGguwOzZHdRtg-1.html).

sabrage
01-02-2012, 08:16 PM
Today on RPS:
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_levsv4EOUY1qze8b3o1_500.jpg

DaftPunk
01-02-2012, 08:17 PM
Mount And Blade.

vecordae
01-02-2012, 08:20 PM
Is it still fantasy?

Fantasy and Science Fiction really need to be separate genres. That said, most works considered to be science fiction ARE fantasy stories that replace magic and elves with technology and aliens. Even "Hard" sci-fi will include fantastic elements from time to time. It's really difficult to make hard rules as to what constitutes fantasy and what constitutes sci-fi, though. A bit like trying to determine where, exactly, on the light spectrum red ends and purple begins.

archonsod
01-02-2012, 08:44 PM
As for Arcanum

Arcanum has a Victoriana style setting though, so while it does have Elves, Orcs and Magic, it's not your usual Tolkien crap.

On top of those already recommended:

Space Rangers 2
Xenus : White Gold (it's similar to Precursors, except modern day rather than sci-fi)
Anachronox
System Shock & SS 2(although it does have psionics)
Silent Storm (more of a hybrid RPG/tactical combat game)
Hellgate London (provided you don't pick a magic class)
A Farewell to Dragons (which has magic and fantasy races. But is more of a steampunk setting, and you're playing a guy from the 1920s who's fell through a magic wardrobe)
Hard to be a God (no fantasy races or magic, similar premise to above - you're a modern day guy thrust back into the medieval era)
Planet Alcatraz (sci-fi, no fantasy races or magic)
A.I.M 1 & 2 (Sci - Fi in which you play a robot. No fantasy races (indeed very few organic lifeforms in the first place) or anything remotely close to magic)
Hardwar, Tachyon : The Fringe, Darkstar One and Spaceforce Rogue Universe - All hybrid space sims / RPGs
Star Wolves - Space based RPG / RTS hybrid

MMO Wise you have Global Agenda, APB and Star Trek Online.



Fantasy and Science Fiction really need to be separate genres. That said, most works considered to be science fiction ARE fantasy stories that replace magic and elves with technology and aliens.

Generally the difference between Sci-Fi and Science Fantasy is that the former tends to offer some explanation (even if it's not strictly speaking entirely scientific) while the other doesn't, or stuff has a tendency to "just work".

vecordae
01-02-2012, 09:31 PM
Generally the difference between Sci-Fi and Science Fantasy is that the former tends to offer some explanation (even if it's not strictly speaking entirely scientific) while the other doesn't, or stuff has a tendency to "just work".

An internal logic and consistency is often found in well-written examples of any kind of speculative fiction. Science fiction settings tend to have some pretense towards being plausible in the future or near-future. Star Wars, for instance, is not science fiction. It is fantasy in space. The Time Machine, despite containing fantastic-seeming elements, was science fiction simply because HG wells based his world on what the current scientific theories at the time hinted might be possible. It was this pretense at plausibility, rather than simple explanation, that pushed it out of the firm "Fantasy" genre.

Nalano
01-02-2012, 09:33 PM
Even "Hard" sci-fi will include fantastic elements from time to time.

Not "from time to time." All sci-fi includes fantastic elements. That's kinda the point of the genre. Otherwise it's just fiction.

I'm trying to make the point that a hard-and-fast no fantastic elements rule rules out... well, a lot.

Berzee
01-02-2012, 09:37 PM
Not "from time to time." All sci-fi includes fantastic elements. That's kinda the point of the genre. Otherwise it's just fiction.

Non-fantastical sci-fi -- just a book about a man staring into a petri dish, and then sighing in exasperation.

vecordae
01-02-2012, 09:44 PM
All sci-fi includes fantastic elements.

Probably. I haven't read it all, though, and what counts as "fantastic" changes every year. Also, I don't have a degree in English Literature and don't feel qualified to make definitive statements about something like that. Rather than getting into semantic debate, it is probably safe to say that my idea of what constitutes "fantastic" is probably unduly restrictive or completely incorrect.

BenWah
01-02-2012, 09:51 PM
Superhero League of Hoboken

was COMPLETELY realistic!!

OK maybe not but it didn't have spells or gay elves, and was pretty funny

Nalano
01-02-2012, 09:55 PM
Probably. I haven't read it all, though, and what counts as "fantastic" changes every year. Also, I don't have a degree in English Literature and don't feel qualified to make definitive statements about something like that. Rather than getting into semantic debate, it is probably safe to say that my idea of what constitutes "fantastic" is probably unduly restrictive or completely incorrect.

Brunner was prophetic about the general principles of the internet and what it meant for society, but his definition of the specifics was ridiculous. Likewise Gibson and Stephenson. Robinson spent a great deal of time figuring out the specifics of the impossible when he described how to terraform Mars. Anderson and Anthony were pretty standard stargazers, where Card and Clarke and Heinlein and Herbert were above-average stargazers. Dick was half on an acid trip. Asimov's stuff was pretty much all "if this actually worked, how would things play out?" and Lem - who's pretty fucking hard on the Mohs scale - basically applied current scientific practices to fantastic scenarios and concluded "damn, we suck."

But really, we're still talking about the point on the Mohs scale that basically accepts "one big lie," eg: FTL travel.

Mass Effect, arguably, is only a step softer than that, because it has phlebotinum (Element Zero), but then sits and thinks about how its rather specifically-defined properties work everything else that is fantastic in the universe.

Outright Villainy
01-02-2012, 10:21 PM
Mass Effect, arguably, is only a step softer than that, because it has phlebotinum (Element Zero)
You mean aside from all the bipedal aliens that look just like humans? Because, really, that's the most fantastical thing about mass effect. Every alien body is really human looking.

Nalano
01-02-2012, 10:31 PM
Every alien body is really human looking.

Except for the hanar, elcor, volus, keepers, rachni, the thorian, and piles of non-sapient creatures.

Of course, there's plenty of speculation as to what aliens would look like should we ever come across any, but the likelihood of a technologically advanced species being vaguely humanoid is significantly more than none (and far likelier than actually finding another technologically advanced species in the first place) due to the efficiencies of this particular arrangement of limbs.

That, and the first author that comes to mind that didn't make human-sized human-shaped aliens was Lem, and the entire point of his books were, "we can't hardly comprehend the truly alien." I mean, Heinlein and Card had us share our universe with insectoids, but that's really it.

R-F
01-02-2012, 10:37 PM
Brunner was prophetic about the general principles of the internet and what it meant for society, but his definition of the specifics was ridiculous. Likewise Gibson and Stephenson. Robinson spent a great deal of time figuring out the specifics of the impossible when he described how to terraform Mars. Anderson and Anthony were pretty standard stargazers, where Card and Clarke and Heinlein and Herbert were above-average stargazers. Dick was half on an acid trip. Asimov's stuff was pretty much all "if this actually worked, how would things play out?" and Lem - who's pretty fucking hard on the Mohs scale - basically applied current scientific practices to fantastic scenarios and concluded "damn, we suck."

But really, we're still talking about the point on the Mohs scale that basically accepts "one big lie," eg: FTL travel.

Mass Effect, arguably, is only a step softer than that, because it has phlebotinum (Element Zero), but then sits and thinks about how its rather specifically-defined properties work everything else that is fantastic in the universe.

First off, I have no idea why people still have issues with the concept of FTL travel. Lightspeed is a very arbitrary barrier. Approaching those speeds is difficult to impossible, but so is moving faster than the speed of sound when you're on two legs.

Otherwise, though, you were doing well until you claimed that Mass Effect is only slightly softer than stories with FTL. In a universe of trite clichés, overused stereotypes and camp '60s sci-fi B-movie settings, you cannot say it is only slightly softer.

Nalano
01-02-2012, 10:50 PM
First off, I have no idea why people still have issues with the concept of FTL travel. Lightspeed is a very arbitrary barrier. Approaching those speeds is difficult to impossible, but so is moving faster than the speed of sound when you're on two legs.

Then the lie is finding large enough, clean power sources. Still a lie, as the phlebotinum becomes the generator.


Otherwise, though, you were doing well until you claimed that Mass Effect is only slightly softer than stories with FTL. In a universe of trite clichés, overused stereotypes and camp '60s sci-fi B-movie settings, you cannot say it is only slightly softer.

Such as?

Inventing alien species that we can interact with isn't so much impossible as it's making a series of assumptions - that technologically-advanced aliens exist, that they're humanoid, that they communicate in a fashion that we can understand is communication - each of which having their own chances of occurring. In other words, it's not impossible, but extremely unlikely, but so was the evolution of us.

R-F
01-02-2012, 11:02 PM
Then the lie is finding large enough, clean power sources. Still a lie, as the phlebotinum becomes the generator.

Such as?

Inventing alien species that we can interact with isn't so much impossible as it's making a series of assumptions - that technologically-advanced aliens exist, that they're humanoid, that they communicate in a fashion that we can understand is communication - each of which having their own chances of occurring. In other words, it's not impossible, but extremely unlikely, but so was the evolution of us.

Not so much a lie as currently an impossibility.

The race of sexy blue-skinned aliens who only have a single gender (which is female in appearance) who can magically breed with every other species? The big bad lizardmen who are a warrior species like EVERY OTHER SPACEFARING LIZARD SPECIES in all other fiction? The naughty naughty precursors? The mad AI race who don't make any god damn sense?

And I disagree with that completely. Even Card, the derivative bugger that he is, can invent very interesting sentient and cross-species communicative creatures. His generic bug aliens are very intelligent and emotional but only one in a billion is truly sentient (and that's the queens) and his little pig-men are kind of interesting alone.

I think we might be having different conversations here, though.

Keep
01-02-2012, 11:07 PM
Not "from time to time." All sci-fi includes fantastic elements. That's kinda the point of the genre. Otherwise it's just fiction.

I'm trying to make the point that a hard-and-fast no fantastic elements rule rules out... well, a lot.

Can we assume this universe is real, i.e. has one particular, factual history?

Reality is: stories that, within the laws of the universe, definitely have happened/will happen.

Sci-fi is: stories that, within the laws of universe, could* but won't/didn't happen (and also, that don't overlap with the stories we currently think of as "reality" -that overlap is where fiction, historical fiction, etc. happen)

Fantasy is: stories that, within the laws of the universe, can't* happen at all. Impossible.


(Adding in a * for "according to what the author could've reasonably known when they wrote it".)

Fantasy is a deliberate break from reality. Sci-fi is a deliberate extension of it.

R-F
01-02-2012, 11:11 PM
You know what term I really hate? Speculative fiction. :|

God, I hate that god damn term so much.

Smashbox
01-02-2012, 11:28 PM
When I saw this thread title, I thought to myself "I bet you they're talking about science fiction in there." I don't have a coherent thesis about this, but I think it might point to the fact that we need some original settings in games.

Anyway, carry on, this is actually an interesting chat.

Nalano
02-02-2012, 12:18 AM
And I disagree with that completely. Even Card, the derivative bugger that he is, can invent very interesting sentient and cross-species communicative creatures. His generic bug aliens are very intelligent and emotional but only one in a billion is truly sentient (and that's the queens) and his little pig-men are kind of interesting alone.

Card's series devolved past the first one, and the whole gist of the first one was "we can't understand the bugs at all" (hence the war in the first place.) All the rest of it was paternalist nonsense.

I won't argue that Mass Effect doesn't love to hump a lotta standard genre tropes, but still.


Sci-fi is: stories that, within the laws of universe, could* but won't/didn't happen (and also, that don't overlap with the stories we currently think of as "reality" -that overlap is where fiction, historical fiction, etc. happen)

Nononono, historical fiction and scifi are two different things.

Keep
02-02-2012, 12:39 AM
Nononono, historical fiction and scifi are two different things.

Yeah, that's kinda bugging me tbh. I was thinking it over after posting. Even plain fiction is different.

BUT I would still think the key difference between sci-fi and fantasy holds up.

R-F
02-02-2012, 12:50 AM
Card's series devolved past the first one, and the whole gist of the first one was "we can't understand the bugs at all" (hence the war in the first place.) All the rest of it was paternalist nonsense.

I won't argue that Mass Effect doesn't love to hump a lotta standard genre tropes, but still.

Yeah, Card's went into the Failzone in terms of writerhood, but you can't deny that his early races were rather deep and interesting. It's not really "We can't really understand the bugs at all" so much as "We don't really want to make an effort at understanding them". Once someone (Ender) takes that first step, the bugs are simple enough creatures.

The issue with Mass Effect is that it really DOESN'T play out the interactions between it's factions. They exist pretty much seperately with a few major incidents. There's no blending of cultures, of languages or of concepts you see in actually good sci-fi (see the Uplift novels for an example of this done very well, and how you can see it evolve over hundreds of years as humans become more integrated with galactic society), and instead you get "WE ARE SPACE LIZARDMEN WE LIEK FIET" and "WE IZ SPACE CONCUBIENZ WE LIEK CRAPPY SEX 4 GENETIKZ".


Yeah, that's kinda bugging me tbh. I was thinking it over after posting. Even plain fiction is different.

BUT I would still think the key difference between sci-fi and fantasy holds up.

I think saying fantasy and sci-fi are genres is the issue. They're setting categories, not genres. It'd be like having every other category divided into "WAR" and "MARRIAGE" and "WOMAN HUMOUR" or something.

Anthile
02-02-2012, 12:53 AM
"It's been said that science fiction and fantasy are two different things; science-fiction the improbable made possible, fantasy the impossible made probable."

Fumarole
02-02-2012, 02:12 AM
No mentions of Talislanta?

732

Sure it's an RPG and not a CRPG, but it's sort-of appropriate for the thread's theme. And it is free (http://talislanta.com/?page_id=217#1) now, apparently.

Fumarole
02-02-2012, 02:13 AM
doublepost

Lilliput King
02-02-2012, 02:28 AM
A Scanner Darkly doesn't really include any fantastical elements (maybe because it's partly autobiographical) but it's still SF. Fantastical elements aren't what separate SF from regular, uh, F.

Buggered if I know what it is that does, though.

sabrage
02-02-2012, 02:35 AM
A Scanner Darkly doesn't really include any fantastical elements
What about the scramble suits?

KilgoreTrout_XL
02-02-2012, 03:31 AM
I know that this has been mentioned in this thread previously, but if you're looking for an RPG that does things differently, and happens to also be probably the best one I've ever played (really), you should check out Dark Souls if you have the means. I could bore you with a hundred accolades, but I'll try keep it brief.

You'll never get a better sense of accomplishment from any game made to date. Much has been written about it's difficulty, and it *is* difficult, but it's the most perfect "difficult" you can imagine. There are literally dozens of battles which seem unfair at first, and maybe for ten or eleven attempts after. But when I would finally learn the proper technique, which usually requires patience and concentration, and succeed, I felt pure bliss. I've never felt as happy or as satisfied by the progression of a game. I jumped and shouted in triumph when I finally beat the (MFing) last boss, and I texted a bunch of people right away. That was a first (not even Demon's Souls could claim that).

The art design is incredible, and the use of sound in-between long bouts of silence, is excellent. The entire game permeates an astounding sense of despair. It's quite often terrifying as well. And the item and progression system is completely impenetrable without constant review of any of the several excellent online community articles- though having played Demon's Souls helped. I think that's kinda neat

The swordplay is fantastic, and the multiplayer is unlike anything you've ever seen (especially now that Humanity drop rates were increased in the latest patch).

Oh, there are no elves, and because I play a dex build, I never cast spells (mages got the nerfbat recently too, which is nice.) Give it a try. Better yet, play Demon's Souls first.

Theblazeuk
02-02-2012, 04:12 AM
Non-fantastical sci-fi -- just a book about a man staring into a petri dish, and then sighing in exasperation.

A book about a boot stamping on a human face, forever. Perhaps.


Of course, there's plenty of speculation as to what aliens would look like should we ever come across any, but the likelihood of a technologically advanced species being vaguely humanoid is significantly more than none (and far likelier than actually finding another technologically advanced species in the first place) due to the efficiencies of this particular arrangement of limbs.

And of course it's worth noting that the only technological, intelligent (or at least properly exploitive) lifeform we know of is humanoid. So odds are definitely more than zero.

I like how this thread has wandered offtopic :)

Lilliput King
02-02-2012, 10:37 AM
What about the scramble suits?

Granted. They're just masks, though, really. They have no impact on the plot whatsoever. They don't make anything possible that wouldn't have been possible without them, and without them the book would've still been SF. Still, there's probably a better example out there.

fiddlesticks
02-02-2012, 11:08 AM
A book about a boot stamping on a human face, forever. Perhaps.
1984: The RPG. The only winning move is not to play.

icemann
02-02-2012, 12:43 PM
If a good Lone Wolf (fantastic gamebook series from the 80s & 90s) game ever comes out I'd put that in this list right away. Not an Orc or Elf in sight and you don't use magic. More an equivalent of the force from Star Wars, except far more advanced and diverse in what you could do with it.

Odeon
02-02-2012, 05:55 PM
I found Clarke's aliens in the Rama series to be distinctly well-designed intelligent non-humanoids, at least the ones that seemed to be running the show. There were plenty of shapes and sizes in the cylindrical ships running around with a wide variety of intelligence levels and communications issues with humans. Hell, I liked the series so much that I even found the Rama PC game (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rama_(video_game)) to be pretty fun.

I like Star Trek, but I could never get over the way that all aliens look like humans with some form of facial deformation. I like Babylon 5 much more for that reason along with a host of others. Star Wars is somewhere in between for me, probably because it very much is a fantasy world with advanced technology that makes it appear to be sci-fi at face value.

Anyway, if MMOs are in consideration for either simast or hamster, my game of choice fits both bills. There is zero magic, zero non-human sentient species, zero stats, zero classes or builds, everything is based on a "flat" skill system where the skills you get are entirely dependent on what you do, and combat is real-time. It's in late beta right now and it's called AfterWorld. The game's site is www.AfterWorld.ru (http://www.AfterWorld.ru) and it's worth a serious look for anyone interested in a great MMO. Unless of course that anyone is looking for magic, elves, stats, classes, and all that WoW jazz.

Wizardry
02-02-2012, 05:56 PM
Can you stop plugging your game in every single thread you post in please? It's rather irritating.

Odeon
02-02-2012, 05:57 PM
Not my game, just my game of choice. I plug it because I love it and it's under-appreciated.

vecordae
02-02-2012, 08:13 PM
Can you stop plugging your game in every single thread you post in please? It's rather irritating.

I don't know, mate. Would it be better if he just changed his forum handle to AfterWorld?

Nalano
02-02-2012, 08:40 PM
I don't know, mate. Would it be better if he just changed his forum handle to AfterWorld?

Zing!

10char

Wizardry
02-02-2012, 08:41 PM
I don't know, mate. Would it be better if he just changed his forum handle to AfterWorld?
No. That would mean he'd be advertising even more.

vecordae
02-02-2012, 09:01 PM
No. That would mean he'd be advertising even more.

Exempted from your own laws, wot?

Berzee
02-02-2012, 09:08 PM
Exempted from your own laws, wot?

I was going to make the same joke, vecordae (and I still chuckled because let's be honest: *chuckle* ... it took me a good, oh, ten or fifteen minutes of deliberation before I walked away from the joke; I'm glad you made it, it seems like one of those things that had to be done to complete the Great Work) but I think that Wizardry thinks/thought that Odeon was advertising for the game with a vested interest. Unless Wizardry The Man was one of the developers for Wizardry The Game, slightly different situation.

(In short, he is only making accusations of suspicious behavior on the internet, instead of holding double standards on the internet =).

Nalano
02-02-2012, 09:14 PM
(In short, he is only making accusations of suspicious behavior on the internet, instead of holding double standards on the internet =).

No, it's still pretty much double standards on the internet.

Berzee
02-02-2012, 09:26 PM
No, it's still pretty much double standards on the internet.

I regret to say that I DISAGREE. >_<

In other news, Odeon, is that game of choice of yours f2p and/or free trialish? I wasn't able to find out on the site because of a lack of ambition, but if it is, mayhaps I will take your recommendation and give it a gander.

ffordesoon
02-02-2012, 09:27 PM
It's galling that there aren't more sci-fi RPGs that actually try to do space travel and different planets and such, isn't it? I love Mass Effect, but there's so much more that could be done in that space (LOL I AM HILARIOUS). I'd love to see CD Projekt's take on the ME formula, you know? Or Pirahna (sp?) Bytes' take.

I really want to play Space Fascist: The Game, for example, and Bioware would never do that.

...Well, on purpose, anyway.

Wizardry
02-02-2012, 09:37 PM
It's galling that there aren't more sci-fi RPGs that actually try to do space travel and different planets and such, isn't it? I love Mass Effect, but there's so much more that could be done in that space (LOL I AM HILARIOUS). I'd love to see CD Projekt's take on the ME formula, you know? Or Pirahna (sp?) Bytes' take.
There are a few of them. Star Command, Starflight 1 and 2, Sentinel Worlds, Hard Nova, MegaTraveller 1 and 2, Planet's Edge etc. The problem is that a lot of these are hit or miss, mainly due to real-time combat being incredibly horrid from that era of games.

archonsod
02-02-2012, 09:38 PM
Non-fantastical sci-fi -- just a book about a man staring into a petri dish, and then sighing in exasperation.

The Andromeda Strain? :P


The mad AI race who don't make any god damn sense?


I thought the AI was actually handled quite well.

It's galling that there aren't more sci-fi RPGs that actually try to do space travel and different planets and such, isn't it?

Precursors, Space 1889, Megatraveller : The Zodani Conspiracy. Generally speaking though the problem tends to be space. It's big and empty, so you're kinda forced into either making the space bits interesting, or making the planet bits interesting.

Wizardry
02-02-2012, 09:45 PM
Precursors, Space 1889, Megatraveller : The Zodani Conspiracy. Generally speaking though the problem tends to be space. It's big and empty, so you're kinda forced into either making the space bits interesting, or making the planet bits interesting.
Or both! I still think space RPGs have by far the best scope for a quality character system. You could make a pilot type character with skills involving spaceship control and leave him on board during surface missions. You could assign different characters to different posts on board your ship while travelling between planets.

But what do we get? Mass Effect.

vinraith
02-02-2012, 09:48 PM
Damn I wish Precursors wasn't Starforced.

Flint
02-02-2012, 10:53 PM
Or that it wasn't so mechanically wonky / badly translated that it's actually awkward and frustrating to play.

AlexisPius
03-02-2012, 03:29 AM
Sorry to somewhat change the subject, but...

What is wrong with fantasy settings? They all seem to be how Simast described in the first post here. Pseudo-medieval settings with magic and elves and all that stuff.

But you can do anything in fantasy. ANYTHING. You can have a world where humans live on giant floating boulders in the sky and use stone-age technology in a war against giant sentient pterodactyls. I wish more people would have original settings like that.

Wizardry
03-02-2012, 04:04 AM
But you can do anything in fantasy. ANYTHING. You can have a world where humans live on giant floating boulders in the sky and use stone-age technology in a war against giant sentient pterodactyls. I wish more people would have original settings like that.
Well it's because developers just don't do these things. Not that it matters, though. RPGs are all about manipulating statistics until the credits appear anyway.

c-Row
03-02-2012, 09:22 AM
There are a few of them. Star Command, Starflight 1 and 2, Sentinel Worlds, Hard Nova, MegaTraveller 1 and 2, Planet's Edge etc.

*throws in Whale's Voyage*

Serenegoose
03-02-2012, 09:25 AM
There are a few of them. Star Command, Starflight 1 and 2, Sentinel Worlds, Hard Nova, MegaTraveller 1 and 2, Planet's Edge etc. The problem is that a lot of these are hit or miss, mainly due to real-time combat being incredibly horrid from that era of games.

Oh goodness, I loved starflight.

deano2099
03-02-2012, 01:06 PM
Plenty of JRPGs - Resonance of Fate and Valkyria Chronicles come to mind.

Grizzly
03-02-2012, 03:44 PM
Sorry to somewhat change the subject, but...

What is wrong with fantasy settings? They all seem to be how Simast described in the first post here. Pseudo-medieval settings with magic and elves and all that stuff.

But you can do anything in fantasy. ANYTHING. You can have a world where humans live on giant floating boulders in the sky and use stone-age technology in a war against giant sentient pterodactyls. I wish more people would have original settings like that.

Obviously because it worked for the Lord of the Rings.
Although I'd say that Lord of the Rings worked for an entirely different reason, there's no denying the effect of LoTR on just about everything. Which is unfortunate. But I expect that we will be seeing a lot of games done the "Game of Thrones" way in the next few years .

Reinhardt
03-02-2012, 03:44 PM
Sorry to somewhat change the subject, but...

What is wrong with fantasy settings? They all seem to be how Simast described in the first post here. Pseudo-medieval settings with magic and elves and all that stuff.

But you can do anything in fantasy. ANYTHING. You can have a world where humans live on giant floating boulders in the sky and use stone-age technology in a war against giant sentient pterodactyls. I wish more people would have original settings like that.

And that's my single biggest qualm with fantasy settings. When every way you turn you find something bizarre or unfathomable, it all starts to lose its significance. The fantastic needs juxtaposition against the mundane in order to be surprising and enjoyable for me.

Vexing Vision
03-02-2012, 03:59 PM
On the other hand, I'm usually not playing any RPGs outside of medieval fantasy. I find the escapism to these worlds very tempting, and I like my dwarves being dwarvish and my elves being elvish, to various degrees.

I'm also kind of a fan of Forgotten Realms for the sheer amount of crazy color it has, while still limited by strict rules.

Wizardry
03-02-2012, 04:49 PM
*throws in Whale's Voyage*
Whale's Voyage is more of an adventure game. It just has a good character creation system which ends up being next to useless.

IDtenT
03-02-2012, 05:21 PM
Can we assume this universe is real, i.e. has one particular, factual history?

Reality is: stories that, within the laws of the universe, definitely have happened/will happen.

Sci-fi is: stories that, within the laws of universe, could* but won't/didn't happen (and also, that don't overlap with the stories we currently think of as "reality" -that overlap is where fiction, historical fiction, etc. happen)

Fantasy is: stories that, within the laws of the universe, can't* happen at all. Impossible.


(Adding in a * for "according to what the author could've reasonably known when they wrote it".)

Fantasy is a deliberate break from reality. Sci-fi is a deliberate extension of it.
This. Pretty much. I think there needs to be the realisation though that both fantasy and sci-fi is speculative in nature, so it doesn't include all of fiction.

simast
03-02-2012, 08:25 PM
But you can do anything in fantasy. ANYTHING. You can have a world where humans live on giant floating boulders in the sky and use stone-age technology in a war against giant sentient pterodactyls. I wish more people would have original settings like that.

This. I still remember when Dragon Age was in early development and the big news was that Bioware were dropping D&D license in favor of their own lore/world. I really thought they will do something amazing with it. Not really. Looking back I think all they did was to replace bad Orcs with badder Darkspawn.

I am not sure, maybe creating a unique fantasy world is just too risky and time consuming for AAA game studios?

Nalano
03-02-2012, 08:32 PM
I really thought they will do something amazing with it. Not really. Looking back I think all they did was to replace bad Orcs with badder Darkspawn.

I don't think you're giving them enough credit. What they did was change from a high fantasy setting to a low fantasy setting - one rife with a great deal of racism, xenophobia and infighting, not unlike Conan. The kings are fops or monsters, regular people are mistrustful and dangerous, and locations tend to range from "seedy" to "sleep with one eye open."

simast
03-02-2012, 09:06 PM
I don't think you're giving them enough credit. What they did was change from a high fantasy setting to a low fantasy setting - one rife with a great deal of racism, xenophobia and infighting, not unlike Conan. The kings are fops or monsters, regular people are mistrustful and dangerous, and locations tend to range from "seedy" to "sleep with one eye open."
Did they? I don't see how it's different from their previous fantasy stuff (D&D). And if I recall, they never did any Conan "sword and sorcery" games.
Actually, I thought Conan is considered a low fantasy nowadays (contrary to LoTR)?

Wizardry
03-02-2012, 09:27 PM
I don't think you're giving them enough credit. What they did was change from a high fantasy setting to a low fantasy setting - one rife with a great deal of racism, xenophobia and infighting, not unlike Conan. The kings are fops or monsters, regular people are mistrustful and dangerous, and locations tend to range from "seedy" to "sleep with one eye open."
That's rubbish. BioWare claimed it would be a low fantasy setting early on but what we got was anything but.

R-F
03-02-2012, 09:29 PM
This. I still remember when Dragon Age was in early development and the big news was that Bioware were dropping D&D license in favor of their own lore/world. I really thought they will do something amazing with it. Not really. Looking back I think all they did was to replace bad Orcs with badder Darkspawn.

I am not sure, maybe creating a unique fantasy world is just too risky and time consuming for AAA game studios?

Actually, they just ripped off R Scott Bakker instead.

Chevy
03-02-2012, 09:32 PM
Actually, I thought Conan is considered a low fantasy nowadays (contrary to LoTR)?

That's exactly what Nalano said.

archonsod
03-02-2012, 10:32 PM
I don't think you're giving them enough credit. What they did was change from a high fantasy setting to a low fantasy setting

Dragon Age is still high fantasy.



I thought Conan is considered a low fantasy nowadays

It always has been, at least the Howard stuff.

IDtenT
03-02-2012, 10:55 PM
Dragon Age is still high fantasy.
How so? What is absurd about it? What's unrealistic about it within the world created?

Berzee
04-02-2012, 01:54 AM
How so? What is absurd about it? What's unrealistic about it within the world created?

There's Wikipedia in your eye!


High fantasy is defined as fantasy fiction set in an alternative, entirely fictional ("secondary") world, rather than the real, or "primary" world. The secondary world is usually internally consistent but its rules differ in some way(s) from those of the primary world. By contrast, low fantasy is characterized by being set in the primary, or "real" world, or a rational and familiar fictional world, with the inclusion of magical elements.

Berzee
04-02-2012, 01:57 AM
How so? What is absurd about it? What's unrealistic about it within the world created?

There's Wikipedia in your eye!


High fantasy is defined as fantasy fiction set in an alternative, entirely fictional ("secondary") world, rather than the real, or "primary" world. The secondary world is usually internally consistent but its rules differ in some way(s) from those of the primary world. By contrast, low fantasy is characterized by being set in the primary, or "real" world, or a rational and familiar fictional world, with the inclusion of magical elements.

By contrast


Low fantasy has been defined as "nonrational happenings that are without casuality or rationality because they occur in the rational world where such things are not supposed to occur."

I didn't know these things precisely until just now either.

Anthile
04-02-2012, 01:59 AM
Call of Duty is more high fantasy than Dragon Age.

SamuelH
04-02-2012, 03:45 AM
Call of Duty is more high fantasy than Dragon Age.

That's a little harsh. While ill agree the general standard of the writing wasn't great, they did manage to create a decent setting.

Its going to be interesting to see where they go with the third one.

caesarbear
04-02-2012, 04:19 AM
Before there was Dwarf Fortress, there was Liberal Crime Squad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnxOvkQDcbM&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL6003C432F76AD93E).

deano2099
04-02-2012, 04:40 AM
This. I still remember when Dragon Age was in early development and the big news was that Bioware were dropping D&D license in favor of their own lore/world. I really thought they will do something amazing with it. Not really. Looking back I think all they did was to replace bad Orcs with badder Darkspawn.

I am not sure, maybe creating a unique fantasy world is just too risky and time consuming for AAA game studios?

I thought they did a really good job actually of creating something different while still having the regular fantasy touch-stones. Nalano touched on a few things but for me it was really the religions and related magic 'system' that stood out - how the beliefs interacted and drew people in different directions... I really enjoyed just discovering the universe of the first game.

Nalano
04-02-2012, 05:33 AM
FFS.

High Fantasy: Lord of the Rings
Low Fantasy: Conan the Barbarian

High Fantasy likes to keep to its pretenses of origin mythology, while Low Fantasy keeps to its roots of pulp fiction. More importantly, High Fantasy tends to dwell upon conceptual ideals while Low Fantasy trudges through human drama.

To present an example, a high fantasy setting would not in any realistic way depict the uglier aspects of racism or, say, rape, whereas low fantasy would easily do such.

It was through Bioware's setting that I was able to play a city elf that was bent on revenge and very angry at every human she met.

Chevy
04-02-2012, 06:17 AM
FFS.

High Fantasy: Lord of the Rings
Low Fantasy: Conan the Barbarian

High Fantasy likes to keep to its pretenses of origin mythology, while Low Fantasy keeps to its roots of pulp fiction. More importantly, High Fantasy tends to dwell upon conceptual ideals while Low Fantasy trudges through human drama.

To present an example, a high fantasy setting would not in any realistic way depict the uglier aspects of racism or, say, rape, whereas low fantasy would easily do such.

It was through Bioware's setting that I was able to play a city elf that was bent on revenge and very angry at every human she met.

This is correct. All of it.

Moraven
04-02-2012, 07:38 AM
Infinite Space is a good fun sci-fi space RPG. Although it is on Nintendo DS.

Wizardry
04-02-2012, 03:42 PM
FFS.

High Fantasy: Lord of the Rings
Low Fantasy: Conan the Barbarian

High Fantasy likes to keep to its pretenses of origin mythology, while Low Fantasy keeps to its roots of pulp fiction. More importantly, High Fantasy tends to dwell upon conceptual ideals while Low Fantasy trudges through human drama.

To present an example, a high fantasy setting would not in any realistic way depict the uglier aspects of racism or, say, rape, whereas low fantasy would easily do such.

It was through Bioware's setting that I was able to play a city elf that was bent on revenge and very angry at every human she met.
So in conclusion to that, Dragon Age is high fantasy.

Berzee
04-02-2012, 07:59 PM
Well if you want to use Low Fantasy to mean Dark and Gritty instead of the useful genre distinction, that's okay too. =P (And it's probably closer to the common vernacular meaning)

Nalano
04-02-2012, 09:02 PM
Well if you want to use Low Fantasy to mean Dark and Gritty instead of the useful genre distinction, that's okay too. =P (And it's probably closer to the common vernacular meaning)

Do you know what pulp fiction is?

outoffeelinsobad
05-02-2012, 01:26 AM
Do you know what pulp fiction is?

What kinda fool has never seen that?! It came out in '94!

I'm not sure what gangsters have to do with fantasy though.

Nalano
05-02-2012, 01:31 AM
What kinda fool has never seen that?! It came out in '94!

I'm not sure what gangsters have to do with fantasy though.

http://ihasahotdog.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/funny-dog-pictures-not-sure-if-trolling-or-just-stupid.jpg

sabrage
05-02-2012, 01:40 AM
I'm glad I skipped to the end on this argument, it was well worth it.

Berzee
05-02-2012, 05:29 AM
Do you know what pulp fiction is?

I don't think so...I always assumed it was a word for those throwaway cheap exciteable novels (aka penny dreadfuls) but I don't know why that would relate, so it must mean something else?

The Google and Wikipedia suggest it is something of that kind except in a magazine form -- but as we've seen with Low and High Fantasy, I can't rely on you to surrender your independence and merge with the collective consciousness on every definition. ;)

outoffeelinsobad
05-02-2012, 05:38 AM
http://lh5.ggpht.com/-KaVkVEFiC5U/TTxJYJQ8RKI/AAAAAAAAAOo/3S0NnDijCgU/memes%252520shootinz.JPG

JackShandy
05-02-2012, 05:57 AM
Ah, ancient 4chan memes. My favourite part of any thread.

Is A Song of Ice and Fire low fantasy?

sabrage
05-02-2012, 06:10 AM
Is A Song of Ice and Fire low fantasy?
It is the very essence of low fantasy.

Edit: Actually, I looked up the criteria defining the two and I don't understand any of this.

Nalano
05-02-2012, 06:57 AM
I don't think so...I always assumed it was a word for those throwaway cheap exciteable novels (aka penny dreadfuls) but I don't know why that would relate, so it must mean something else?

The Google and Wikipedia suggest it is something of that kind except in a magazine form -- but as we've seen with Low and High Fantasy, I can't rely on you to surrender your independence and merge with the collective consciousness on every definition. ;)

Cheap paperbacks that go for volume rather than quality. Page-turners. It doesn't take much to write shit about daring spacemen and hard-boiled detectives. The book version of shovelware, and definitely the vast majority of shit that comprises Sturgeon's Law. Thematically similar to "penny dreadfuls" in that they're filled with the sorts of crap that people love: Violence and sex.

It's in that last point that they're pertinent to the current topic. A lot of it's shit, but the diamonds in the rough are pretty damn insightful and, being decidedly outside the realm of "literature," allowed their authors - many of whom were famous, "legitimate" wordsmiths, who produced this sort of stuff for regular paychecks - a means to write with fewer restrictions. Pulps are lurid, derivative and exploitative, but are sometimes fascinating dioramas in a way that more sober fiction rarely attempts. Low fantasy is born from pulps.

JackShandy
05-02-2012, 09:48 AM
Defining pulps as Mostly Shit is unhelpful. This is Pulp:

http://www.jaspergoodall.com/projectpics/horror-posters.jpg

It's mostly about stealing the Crystal Blood Skull from the Psychic Doom Temple of the Lesbian Piranha-Women... From Hell!!!

Nalano
05-02-2012, 10:15 AM
It's mostly about stealing the Crystal Blood Skull from the Psychic Doom Temple of the Lesbian Piranha-Women... From Hell!!!

Well, I thought I made it fairly clear that it's mostly lurid shit that focuses on sex and violence. More ripped bodices, plzkthx. :P

archonsod
05-02-2012, 12:52 PM
To present an example, a high fantasy setting would not in any realistic way depict the uglier aspects of racism or, say, rape, whereas low fantasy would easily do such.

What you're doing is confusing "gritty fantasy" for "low fantasy", which is kinda like saying Noir sci-fi is the same as hard sci-fi. There's plenty of low fantasy aimed at kids, and plenty of high fantasy in which rape, racism and murder are fundamental aspects of the societies within.
High and low is to fantasy what hard and soft is to sci-fi, i.e. it merely refers to how much fantasy is involved. As a general rule, if it's set in the real world (whatever time period) with fantastical elements it's low fantasy, if it's set in a completely different world with elves, orcs, magic and the like it's high fantasy. What the elves and orcs get up to is largely irrelevant to whether the work is high or low fantasy. Mary Gentle's Grunts! and Moorcock's Hawkmoon are both High Fantasy; Mary Norton's The Borrowers and Conan the Barbarian are both low fantasy.



Is A Song of Ice and Fire low fantasy?

Nope. High.

Grizzly
05-02-2012, 02:51 PM
Nope. High.

It is, esentially, high, although at the start it does not show it.

Fiyenyaa
05-02-2012, 05:40 PM
High and low is to fantasy what hard and soft is to sci-fi, i.e. it merely refers to how much fantasy is involved. As a general rule, if it's set in the real world (whatever time period) with fantastical elements it's low fantasy, if it's set in a completely different world with elves, orcs, magic and the like it's high fantasy.

What if it's set in a different world, but with no fantastical elements?

Berzee
05-02-2012, 06:06 PM
What if it's set in a different world, but with no fantastical elements?

As quoted from Wikipedia on the last page,


By contrast, low fantasy is characterized by being set in the primary, or "real" world, or a rational and familiar fictional world, with the inclusion of magical elements.

Not sure what happens if it's a very unfamiliar, but not magical, different world, though.

outoffeelinsobad
05-02-2012, 06:37 PM
Sorry to derail the discussion, but I've spent a few minutes on Mobygames and found the following:

http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/dawn-of-discovery_
Civ-like strategy game. Idle Thumbs recommended it, if I recall correctly.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/age-of-wonders
Another strategy game, but this time more RPG-ish. I'm sure many board members are familiar with it.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/age-of-conan-hyborian-adventures
The infamous MMORPG. I think you can sign up for a free trial. No orcs and elves in conan canon, though there is probably some magic.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/venetica
Not sure if this was ever released in the US. Looks sorta like Fable.

And of course http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/trine
Though there is definitely A WIZARD, one could opt to play as only the rogue and warrior.

Nalano
05-02-2012, 07:17 PM
What you're doing is confusing "gritty fantasy" for "low fantasy", which is kinda like saying Noir sci-fi is the same as hard sci-fi. There's plenty of low fantasy aimed at kids, and plenty of high fantasy in which rape, racism and murder are fundamental aspects of the societies within.

No, I'm saying what we call low fantasy is born of pulps, and pulps are everything from superhero serials to softcore porn.

Wizardry
05-02-2012, 07:30 PM
Though there is definitely A WIZARD, one could opt to play as only the rogue and warrior.
You can do this in RPGs too. If this is acceptable then this entire thread is irrelevant.

Berzee
05-02-2012, 07:42 PM
Nalano, are you just admittedly using a different definition than the Wikipedia/"official" defition of low and high fantasy?

Because by that meaning, a game about a ten-year-old girl who lives with her mom and dad and a puppy on Long Island and on the first day of school discovers a magical talking butterfly that guides her to a fifty dollar bill would be Low Fantasy.

If it turned out that every butterfly in the world was secretly a magical talking butterfly and they were plotting to take over the world and seal up all the humans in cocoon-like prisons, it would be High Fantasy. :(


Sorry to derail the discussion

lol, sorry outtof, you're right =T I will leave it be now and try to think of some games that fit the original bill

Edit: suggestions so that I don't become entirely useless
Did anyone mention the A.Typical RPG yet? Did I? Memory fail, but I'll mention it now. =P Even though it hasn't got standard RPG...anything. 'Coz it's A.Typical, I suppose.

Edit2: Also, unreal world?

archonsod
05-02-2012, 09:14 PM
What if it's set in a different world, but with no fantastical elements?

Surely "a different world" is a fantastical element? Unless of course it was some kind of multiverse exploration, in which case it might be on the border of sci-fi


No, I'm saying what we call low fantasy is born of pulps, and pulps are everything from superhero serials to softcore porn.

I can't think of a literary genre you couldn't apply that to. Autobiographical maybe?

Subatomic
05-02-2012, 11:04 PM
Surely "a different world" is a fantastical element? Unless of course it was some kind of multiverse exploration, in which case it might be on the border of sci-fi?

Not neccessarily. For example the novel "Fatherland" by Robert Harris (adapted to a movie starring Rutger Hauer) takes place in an alternate version of the 60s in which Germany won WW2. It's a novel with nothing fantastical about it whatsover, aside from the setting in an alternate (but fairly believable) version of history. There's no in-universe reason why the novel's world differs from ours, it just serves as a "what if?"-setting.

c-Row
06-02-2012, 09:21 AM
http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/age-of-wonders
Another strategy game, but this time more RPG-ish. I'm sure many board members are familiar with it.

But not exactly free of magic or elves. Other than that, quite a good game indeed.

Fiyenyaa
06-02-2012, 10:03 AM
Surely "a different world" is a fantastical element? Unless of course it was some kind of multiverse exploration, in which case it might be on the border of sci-fi

I suppose it depends how you spin it, really. I'm not sure how inherently fantastical a different world (i.e. somewhere like Earth but with different geography) is, especially considering such a place could conceivably exist in real life.

vecordae
06-02-2012, 05:14 PM
There is only one fantastical alternate universe worth worrying about and that is the Good Ole US of A.

archonsod
06-02-2012, 08:32 PM
Not neccessarily. For example the novel "Fatherland" by Robert Harris (adapted to a movie starring Rutger Hauer) takes place in an alternate version of the 60s in which Germany won WW2. It's a novel with nothing fantastical about it whatsover, aside from the setting in an alternate (but fairly believable) version of history. There's no in-universe reason why the novel's world differs from ours, it just serves as a "what if?"-setting.

It's not an alternate world - it's the exact same world up until the twentieth century at which point we have an alternate history. It's questionable whether you'd classify it as fantasy in the first place since really it's simply historical fiction (or if set in the 'present' time simply fiction). Note too that Conan is set on Earth, albeit one where Atlantis existed, magic works and mythology is real. It's still low fiction.
The other thing to note is that world in this instance is used in the literary rather than literal sense - it refers to the universe as portrayed in the work rather than the actual planet. You could set the novel on Mars and still be writing low fantasy for example.


I suppose it depends how you spin it, really. I'm not sure how inherently fantastical a different world (i.e. somewhere like Earth but with different geography) is, especially considering such a place could conceivably exist in real life.

Yes, but we're getting into borderline cases there. There are some novels which you can argue fit into either category (Gulliver's Travels for example). If you're getting nitpicky then technically it would simply come down to whether the author claimed it was Earth (whether an undiscovered continent, different period of history et al) or a world of it's own. Although as above, there's a good chance that if it were Earth you might re-categorise it as historical fiction instead. In actual practice it generally depends on the author - you could argue some of Cornwell's novels are low fantasy (his Arthurian novels for example), but they tend to be categorised as historical fiction simply because he already had a strong reputation in that genre.

Pertusaria
06-02-2012, 10:04 PM
@Berzee - Thank you so much for the line about non-fantastical sci-fi being frustratedly staring into a Petri dish. Favourite post of the day.

The two serious suggestions that I thought of have already been made - apologies for not being able to remember who to credit. Geneforge does have magic as far as I can tell (summoning creatures), but it's not a Tolkien-like setting.

As for the Lone Wolf books, I recommend the Seventh Sense software, which does all the dice rolls for you, keeps track of stats and even lets you choose how much you want to "cheat". It and the books available for free download are available here: http://www.projectaon.org/en/Main/Books. I think Lone Wolf does have a bit of magic, but the main character isn't a magic user (in Book 1, anyway). RPS did a great post about choose-your-own-adventure style books in general a while ago: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/10/15/cardboard-children-bionic-horse/.

I think Nalano's "pulp fiction" concept of low fantasy matches mine pretty well, and also matches a lot of the stuff published by Baen (although you might have to make up a term called "low sci-fi"). I'm sure he'll correct me if I'm wrong.

Less serious suggestions:
Most people will probably go "Yuck" here, but there are or have been online games based on Anne McCaffrey's Pern. If any of these still exist, they wouldn't involve elves or magic. However, the cutesy dragon theme may be a turn-off as big.

Also, games such as Football Manager and perhaps Crusader Kings aren't RPGs, but they do involve playing a role over an extended campaign and making decisions that affect the world around you, while the NPCs make decisions that affect you. First-person strategy maybe? Neither of these has elves or magic in it.

Edit: I really must pick up Darklands - it keeps coming up in interesting contexts.

Odeon
06-02-2012, 10:56 PM
In other news, Odeon, is that game of choice of yours f2p and/or free trialish? I wasn't able to find out on the site because of a lack of ambition, but if it is, mayhaps I will take your recommendation and give it a gander.
It's F2P. I'm not well-versed in the whole F2P changeover that many an MMO is doing these days, so I'm not sure what makes a game a "microtransaction" game to most people, but from what my Wikipedia reading tells me, AW is one. It uses a very different method of microtransaction from other games I've read about, but not being interested in most other MMOs, I could be wrong. In AW, everything that you use in the game - weapons, tools, med kits, etc. - is player-made and everything is made by "renting" time from a crafting machine, which is where the microtransactions come into play.

Like most F2Ps (I think), it's entirely possible to never spend a dime playing AW, but it's pretty difficult to do so. Part of the reason for all of this is because it's an RCE ("Real Cash Economy") game, meaning you can not only buy game money with real money, but that you can also sell game money for real money (down the road, since it's not quite "live").


Oh goodness, I loved starflight.
I totally spaced (sorry for the bad pun, but it couldn't be helped) Starflight! I was pretty young when my dad bought it for me to play on our 386SX 16 (16 MHz Turbo!) PC (with RAM upgraded to 4 MB!!!) and it was a bit too difficult for me to figure out. Back in those days I don't think I'd even heard of BBS or anything and I didn't know another PC gaming soul, so I eventually had to just give up on it. 8-(


And that's my single biggest qualm with fantasy settings. When every way you turn you find something bizarre or unfathomable, it all starts to lose its significance. The fantastic needs juxtaposition against the mundane in order to be surprising and enjoyable for me.
This! Terry Brooks does a good job of it with both high fiction (the Shannara series) and low fiction (The Word and The Void series), but also with a hybrid version that's distinct from both settings. His Landover series takes place mostly in a full-fantasy world that's attached to the real world, with the main character being an ex-trial lawyer from Chicago. I suppose the fact that there is a "real Earth" element to it technically makes it low fiction (at least as defined by Wikipedia)?

@Pertusaria: You're missing some words from your signature:
Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia;" but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line!"

Pertusaria
07-02-2012, 09:49 PM
@Odeon - Fixed! Well, kind of - I don't want the whole quote. Glad you got the reference. ;-)

Odeon
09-02-2012, 07:36 AM
There's a probably-too-large portion of my brain reserved just for all things The Princess Bride because I love that movie just a little too much. So yeah, almost anything that even comes close to a line from that movie instantly starts the scene that it's from (or could be from) to start playing in my head.