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PhilFleischmann

Fantasy Immersion and the Things that Ruin it.

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I really liked how the Elder Scrolls series handled this.  Humans aren't all just humans.  Each race of humans has unique stat bonuses and unique magical powers.  Nords are not Bretons are not Imperials are not Redguards.

 

If each subrace of elf and dwarf has distinct stats and powers to go along with their distinct appearance - might as well sign the humans up for the ride.

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2 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

I really liked how the Elder Scrolls series handled this.  Humans aren't all just humans.  Each race of humans has unique stat bonuses and unique magical powers.  Nords are not Bretons are not Imperials are not Redguards.

 

If each subrace of elf and dwarf has distinct stats and powers to go along with their distinct appearance - might as well sign the humans up for the ride.

 

Well, while I prefer the opposite, this is a good way to go if you want to make the distinctions. 

All one way or all the other. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

You know, I could probably tolerate a party full of Keebler Elves..... 

 

Our early game that had the Society of Ternaugh* also had Queblar Elves, who were known for their uncommonly good magical baked goods. One of the more useful combat spells expanded a special cookie into a decoy to draw fire.

 

 

*Ternaugh was a wizard who gained his inspiration for spells by scrying nearby dimensions. Spells usually had box somewhere in the title**, and they also had really odd Side Effects for when the Magic Skill roll was flubbed. It's probably everything that people in this thread feel breaks fantasy immersion, but we had a lot of fun with it, and that's all that really matters.

 

**Examples include:

Ternaugh's Box of Puffed Grain and Nuts with a Secret Magical Surprise, which was an Aid spell with a requirement that the target must use the Secret Magical Surprise found within in order to gain the benefits. Eating the Cracker Jack was optional.

Ternaugh's Box of Slightly Questionable Liquid Refreshment summoned either a case of Sprite soda, or a really angry sprite if the wizard failed the magic skill roll.

Ternaugh's Box of Summoning created a phantom telephone booth that pulled a creature into it. The wizard needed to pick up the ghostly receiver, drop a coin into the slot, and dial the number of the creature so desired. Failures would result in "wrong numbers", which would summon a different creature.

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12 hours ago, Ternaugh said:

Our early game that had the Society of Ternaugh* also had Queblar Elves, who were known for their uncommonly good magical baked goods. One of the more useful combat spells expanded a special cookie into a decoy to draw fire.

 

Way to break immersion . . . we all know that the Queblar was that weird newspaper in Harry Potter . . . :snicker:

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17 hours ago, Spence said:

 

Understand your point. 

But my point is that they are not different species.  Differences are "cosmetic" or cultural.

 

A human is a human.

A elf is an elf.

 

You could designate cultural or occupational packages to predesignate what and how well a "Wood Elf" performs in a skill from how a "Sea Elf" does, but they would not be "racial" differences, they would be cultural based on where they were raised and their occupations.

 

 

 

Only if that's how you want them to be.  Remember there are no such things as elves, sea or otherwise.  So the only thing that matters is how we want our games to work.

 

On the one hand you've got Legolas, who is supposed to be like 6'4" or something.  Then you've got Tom Cruise in Legend,  who appears maybe 5'6".  You think we can't call both groups "elves"?

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Was Tom Cruise's character in Legend supposed to be an elf? I was under the impression he was a human "wild child," sort of semi-feral. And that film also used short actors and little persons in the cast, so Cruise's height was not an issue.

 

Anyway, the point I was originally making is that, unless these sub-types of Elves have some fundamental physical distinction from other Elves, like the water-breathers Ninja-Bear suggests above, there's no reason to consider them as separate "races," aside from how we in the real world refer to "race."

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3 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

Was Tom Cruise's character in Legend supposed to be an elf? I was under the impression he was a human "wild child," sort of semi-feral. And that film also used short actors and little persons in the cast, so Cruise's height was not an issue.

 

 

It's been a long time since I saw that movie.  I was thinking Tom Cruise had big pointed ears in it, but after Googling I think I'm confusing him with another character in the film.  Still, there was a short elf character.

 

Quote

Anyway, the point I was originally making is that, unless these sub-types of Elves have some fundamental physical distinction from other Elves, like the water-breathers Ninja-Bear suggests above, there's no reason to consider them as separate "races," aside from how we in the real world refer to "race."

 

I generally agree with you, there's not really a need to have a bunch of different types of elves, or dwarves, or whatever.  But I don't think it's immersion breaking to have it, even if the differences in each group are small.  Small differences in character construction probably won't ever come up after that in actual play.

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On 3/13/2020 at 12:22 PM, Spence said:

And the last for this post is zombies.  I am sick of them and will simply walk away from a game when they appear.  Zombies are even worse than the Vampire/Werewolf craze of the 80/90's.

 

I dunno.

 

Even though they've been done . .. to death (sorry) . . . I still kind of like 'em for a game setting.

 

It neatly bypasses the "moralistic issues" that may arise when needing "a despicable something "that the players can just mindless decimate without having to worry about it being analogous to something in the real world.

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As one of a variety of encounters, zombies are tolerable me. As the main threat, like a zombie apocalypse, I just find them so boring. They have no personality, nothing to really interact with. And they're so disgusting. Intellectually I grasp why people want to use them, but emotionally and physically they repel me. :sick:

 

 

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9 hours ago, Vanguard said:

It neatly bypasses the "moralistic issues" that may arise when needing "a despicable something "that the players can just mindless decimate without having to worry about it being analogous to something in the real world.

 

I don't know, I have never seen the issue.  The selection of a non-existent "race" of "beings" as irredeemable enemies that are to be exterminated for the good of all is not that hard whether they are called zombies or goblins. 

 

I just don't like zombies because they have been overused.  I've started to use Vampires and Were's more since they have fallen out of favor. At least they are not in every single anything about anymore.

 

 

 

 

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For that purpose I prefer animated skeletons to zombies. Not overused, and IMO less repulsive and cleaner. It helps that I'm also a fan of Ray Harryhausen films like The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts. 😎

 

When I needed to upgrade them to make them tougher foes, I introduced metal-plated skeletons (an idea I got from an Aaron Alston adventure in Adventurers Club). 😈

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Oh, LL:

 

I do not want to dismiss the humor in the video (who the hell was that last guy?), 

 

I need to point out that the day I take "How to be a horrifying villain" advice from Voldemort----  the day I consider him to be a terrifying world destroyer---

 

is the day that I forget he could kill a baby.

 

I mean _Dude_!

 

I know your magic wand is all cool and sparkly or whatever---   but babies....    well, they're not that tough.  Step on it.  Chuck it out a window.  Whatever.

 

(No: I would never -- I mean _NEVER_ -- kill a baby.  But to judge Voldemort's level of "bad assery," I have to accept that it is _remarkably_ easy to do.)

 

 

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As Voldemort says in another of those HISHE Villain Pub episodes: "He was a magic baby!" Apparently much harder to kill. ;)

 

If by "that last guy," you mean the one acting all superior? That's meant to be Benedict Cumberbatch's Khan Noonien Singh, from the movie, Star Trek: Into Darkness. It's a running gag in the Villain Pub that when he enters everyone shouts, "Khan!" in homage to "Norm!" from the TV series Cheers.

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24 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

As long as we're being irritated by fantasy races

 

(we are still being irritated by those, right?)

 

Why are there eleven kinds of elf, four kinds of dwarf, and one kind of human?

 

As I've written elsewhere, if we treat most of those "kinds" of elves, dwarves etc. as ethnicities, and include some of the same for humans, it looks much more balanced.

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Believe me, I am not discounting what you said, and frankly, I agree with it.

 

However, as presented by their respective publishers and creators, this is not the actual case: they are whole different kinds of things.  But not humans.   We can make do with character classes and a wider range of hair and skin colors.    Feh--!

 

 

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7 hours ago, Spence said:

 

I don't know, I have never seen the issue.  The selection of a non-existent "race" of "beings" as irredeemable enemies that are to be exterminated for the good of all is not that hard whether they are called zombies or goblins. 

 

I just don't like zombies because they have been overused.  I've started to use Vampires and Were's more since they have fallen out of favor. At least they are not in every single anything about anymore.

 

I haven't seen the issue either and didn't think it was one till I read one of the other threads on here.

 

But yes, they have been overused in the recent years.  Although, they do seem to be (heh) dying out as I believe most of the shows (with the exception of The Walking Dead) are either being cancelled and/or on their last season. (Not sure if they can be called "cancelled" or not when that happens)

 

12 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

As one of a variety of encounters, zombies are tolerable me. As the main threat, like a zombie apocalypse, I just find them so boring. They have no personality, nothing to really interact with. And they're so disgusting. Intellectually I grasp why people want to use them, but emotionally and physically they repel me. :sick:

 

This is very true.  I've found that I've had the most fun when the zombie encounter is a one off or part of a larger storyline that doesn't revolve solely around the zombies.  To me, trying to run an entire campaign that's based on The Zombie Apocalypse just doesn't seem to be viable in the long term.  Not unless you're planning, and everyone's onboard with, just making a pure survival campaign.  Where the players know that there's nothing that they can do and that, in the end, they're probably doomed.

 

7 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

For that purpose I prefer animated skeletons to zombies. Not overused, and IMO less repulsive and cleaner. It helps that I'm also a fan of Ray Harryhausen films like The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts. 😎

 

When I needed to upgrade them to make them tougher foes, I introduced metal-plated skeletons (an idea I got from an Aaron Alston adventure in Adventurers Club). 😈

 

I did think about skeletons right after I posted  . . . They're another type of "inconsequential" enemy type that shouldn't evoke . . . issues.

 

Metal Plated? Aren't those just zombies in armor or do they have actual plates grafted to the bones?

 

5 hours ago, tkdguy said:

Not a fan of zombies either. However, I have used vampires and werewolves alongside Highlander-style immortals in my urban fantasy campaign.

 

All three are good ones.  We used the Highlander type immortals in the Gatecrashers game I used to play in a while back.  That was a mishmash of just about every type of genre out there.  Was a blast to play.

 

True to make Highlanders work in Hero was a bit of a mental exercise but even that was fun.

 

4 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

is the day that I forget he could kill a baby.

 

If I remember correctly, he couldn't kill Harry because the his mom sacrificed herself to protect him.  He sacrifice created some kind of magical feedback thingy that made Voldemort's spells rebound back at him and wouldn't allow Volde to touch him without causing pain/damage.  

 

At least that's what I recall from misty memory.  It's been a while since I've watched the movies and haven't really felt the urge to watch them again so could be misremembering.

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