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# Most used setting or time period?

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What do you guys think is the most used setting or time period for RPGs? I have seen alot of futuristic and fantasy games recently... Sir Darkan Fireblade

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RPGs are generally medieval (or however you spell it). So try to avoid that if you want to be different .

A present day rpg wouldn''t hurt.

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I think personally that RPG''s can set into any period of time. It''s supposed to be character role playing after all and I think maybe its percieved too much to be a fantasy/medievalism concept when it can be applied to any period and genre type..

I mean if you look at Interplay''s Fallout series, that''s a great concept of RPG taken into the future away from the more common medieval/fantasy genre, and it has a good story/concept to revolve around the game too, not to mention some interesting NPC''s/AI thrown in for the extra effect.

But I feel that not many good RPG''s are made too often these days, perhaps a direct affect of games moving towards the more hyped 3D centred, multi-playing genre or the console based machines.

I think if you develop a consistent setting for an rpg, allowing the character to develop along the way, it has good potential.

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Sorry to get off on a tangent, but I just can''t see character roleplaying in computer roleplaying games. I loved in PPRPG (Paper and Pen RPG''s) how I''d talk in character and interact with the GM and the other players. In computer games, I wouldn''t feel like I''m acting out the role of a character...I''d feel like I was manuevering a piece in a chess set. In other words, characters in computer RPG''s are just like units are in Strategy games. They give you access to different skills, powers, abilities etc. I think RPG''s try to give the idea that it is personalized by increasing stats and skills, but somehow the concept has just never really floated my boat.

Now for the reason why I took this off on a tangent Since I feel like there really isn''t any acting involved in RPG''s, I think you instead have to concentrate on the skills, powers, and equipment of the characters. This obviously depends on the setting of the RPG. Deep down, most players want to play something which is extraordinary, whether it be fantasy, sci-fi, horror, or modern setting games. I think that the LOTR trilogy will definitely revitalize fantasy interests, especially since its the first fantasy film that will really make players go, "wow, so that''s what REAL fantasy is like....no fairy elves, no fireballs blasting out of mages fingertips, and no shiny platemail armor or potions of health!!". I think what all settings must have in common is something EPIC.

It has to be in a setting which is pivotal, monumental, earth-shattering and in dynamic flux. This is why almost every RPG setting has a war as a backdrop. I personally think this is the more important asset to look at than the cool powers, equipment, characterisitcs, and combat system. Howard Jackson said that the most important character in the LOTR trilogy was Middle Earth itself. I think this was true for the Babylon 5 series too. Yes the races were cool and the fight scenes were cool, but what was really interesting was how involving the storyline and the universe was.

So, enough generic abstractions. If you had to peg me down for an answer, I''d say go for a sci-fi setting. My current game design and storyline is a sci-fi setting (albeit for a strategy game and a pure story). Sci-fi has the unique ability to ask, "what if?" and to make us question what could be. My second choice would be a toss up between fantasy, and alternate history. There are so many intriguing possibilities for alternate histories that Id love to make a game based on one one day (it''d probably be about what would have happened had Paul not been converted to Christianity, and therefore the Epistles weren''t written and the Church system as we know it today never existed). If you''d like to see a really good example of an alternate Earth RPG (PPRPG) check out a game called Ars Magica. Very interesting game setting and system, and won numerous awards for its day.

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I''ll admit that my "character roleplaying" line was maybe misleading. You have some good points there Dauntless, perhaps I should have initially spent more time explaining what was I trying to say about character roleplaying.

Using the Fallout game as my example, where you were out on a mission to "save your people", but you started with mere basics for skills, well this was where I was really trying to talk about character roleplaying. That is, where you set out to improve your character''s skills and equipment through the quest(s) as well as doing good (and evil) deeds which enhanced the character''s "in-game" reputation/status. That was how I see it as character role playing, developing the character compared to shoot em ups (which I think shouldn''t be classed as RPG''s) where you get bonuses and better weapons through levels or the like.

The science fiction genre definitely allows you create your own vision of the future where you could determine the extent of technology advances, eg warp drives, exo-armours, plasma/laser, teleportation, gravitrons, etc.. Or even the extent of decay society may have fallen into, eg the gap between the have and have-nots has grown so far apart that its impossible without the haves contributing to bring it back closer. Basically its your imagination here that''s the limit.

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back to the original question...
ww2 egypt(early 20th late 19th c)
2000

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Quote from Dauntless'' post:

I think what all settings must have in common is something EPIC.

It has to be in a setting which is pivotal, monumental, earth-shattering and in dynamic flux. This is why almost every RPG setting has a war as a backdrop. I personally think this is the more important asset to look at than the cool powers, equipment, characterisitcs, and combat system.

Ahh, no no, I thought you were on it for a moment, Dauntless, but I think ya lost it. Unfortunately people lose sight of what the true purpose of a story is. Is it the action? Is it the special effects (in the case of movies and games)? Is it the detailed world? Is it the love scene? Is it the victory at the end that makes us all smile and thing that at least for a minute the world is perfect? No. Although all of these can be entertaining or have their parts in a story, regradless of medium, the fact of the matter is the best stories of all time are about the characters and the meaning behind the story.

The land of LOTR is great, and I have decided in my games to try to create a world just as complete, but by no means do I plan on having that be the end of my creativity. We truly enjoy stories when we are really there. And a nice history and descriptive scenery is good, but it is no substitute for realistic characters.

This post is actually pretty well placed considering that someone is asking what''s the best setting for a RPG. The fact is this quesion is not as important as you''d think. You can pick any setting and make it seem realistic or involving for the player as long as the people in the story act real.

My advice is don''t get caught up in what color the wizard wears, or if he will hold a cane or a shotgun. Rather, think of what you want to tell the player, be it a specific meaning, or just a realistic portrayal of some aspect of life. Present a situation, and rather than have the characters act out what you want to happen, have them live out what would really happen in your mind. You may be surprised to find out the two can be very different, and you just might like the more "realistic" results.

--Vic--

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Neolithic & Early Mesopotamian civilization hasn''t been done yet. Though, maybe because the choice of weaponry is limitted to rocks and feces.

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Inmate, don''t forget the combination of the two. Nothing quite so terrifying as a high-velocity poo-rock.

Fantasy and Sci-fi are obvious choices because they allow the (crappy) system of hit points. You can raise levels until getting hit in the eye with an axe doesn''t really hurt all that much. This requires either magic or a personal shield generator. So, build a world that has one or both of those, and you can handle a vast array of injuries with a single byte of data.

If you want to set it somewhere else, you''re going to need either realism or suspended disbelief. Realism is really really hard, and suspended disbelief is a lot easier when the rest of the game requires it, too.

If you''re riding a dragon underwater for ten minutes without breathing while weilding a sword that''s bigger than a small car and shooting lightning bolts out of your eyes, nobody''s going to say, "Hey, there''s no way in hell that he could get hit with a fireball and not be horribly burned." So you fill the world with wild, weird, crazy shit, and then you can cut corners on your code without anyone saying anything.

For the scifi perspenctive, just put the prefixes "plasma-" and "star-" in front of all the crazy ideas in the above paragraph.

Also, there are no diseases in RPGs unless they''re magically induced or else they''re a plague that''s wiping out a civilization. Nobody ever gets a little alert message saying "Moramnir the destroyer has typhoid". If you set your game in the Civil War, you''re going to have to include things like dysentery, which killed thousands of people. Besides being tough to simulate and nasty, it ruins gameplay. Who wants to play a game as a character who''s bedridden and wallowing in his own liquid feces for thirty days and then dies? Nobody, that''s who.

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Roof Top-
You''re right in that in a roleplaying setting, ultimately the characters and their experiences are the most important thing. But I think it''s the background that really helps contrast the characters and their personal story. Why as gamers do we prefer settings involving chaos, war and destruction? Because the stories they tell are more poignant and more existential than if if the story takes place in a peaceful and calm society. That''s not to say that you can''t, and indeed, sometimes I wish that stories were told around backdrops of such a nature. But I think the world is the most important prop and backdrop to the story, and from the world the characters and storyline are born. In other words, the world helps create and mold the characters and storyline.

Lofty-
I see what you''re saying now. The purposes and objectives of RPG characters are more about the devlopment of storyline and personal questing, rather than playing for the sheer sake of fulfilling a mission.

I really hope that RPG development steers along a path ore closely related to MUD development and PPRPG''s. MMORPG''s have a chance, but there needs to be some sort of moderator that guides storylines along (which is what NeverWinter Nights supposedly does...but I haven''t played it).

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quote:
Original post by Inmate2993
Neolithic & Early Mesopotamian civilization hasn''t been done yet. Though, maybe because the choice of weaponry is limitted to rocks and feces.
i think that''s a very stereotypical kind of thinking. they are ancient doesn''t mean they use rocks and feces only. i believe there''s gotta be something more.

back to topic: i hate it when they combine future and past. MM series is one of them, some japanese RPGs...i just hate looking at characters bashing with swords and spears while they have guns. it just doesn''t look appropriate.

return 0;

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quote:
Original post by Inmate2993
Neolithic & Early Mesopotamian civilization hasn''t been done yet. Though, maybe because the choice of weaponry is limitted to rocks and feces.

Actually, some of the "ancient primitive" civilizations had shockingly advanced weapons technologies. Ever heard of the atlatl? It''s a short grooved stick that you use as a lever to help you throw spears. It chucks them helluva far, and helluva fast. There were also stone axes and knives - even "swords" made by embedding sharp obsidian flakes in a line along a piece of wood. Remember, ancient Americans - even the plainsdwelling hunter-gatherers - took down two-ton bison, and six or seven-ton mammoths. How''s that for a battle?

Making a rock weapon isn''t as easy as you might think either. Modern archaeologists have fits trying to reproduce Clovis spearpoints, with their distinctive nocking grooves. It took time and skill to craft those spear and arrowheads, and it took trade across vast distances to get the raw materials.

In Michigan, natives smelted copper from rich ore veins. In Europe, the Ice Man had a bronze axe and was probably crossing the mountains to trade goods with villages on the other side. And this is to say nothing of the Mound Builder culture in the 1200''s midwest, or the Anasazi cliff dwellers, and don''t even get me started on the central and south American empires...

I think the pre-Columbian Americas, or a fictional equivalent thereof, would make a fascinating setting for an epic adventure. For one thing, it becomes much more believable that characters can craft their own weapons. Also, you really would get "treasure" in the form of meat, bones, sinew, and hide from "monsters" you kill. You could have a profoundly different magic system involving shamanism, herbalism, and ritual trances and drug use. Strikingly different cultures could meet and interact - even go to war. A wide variety of climates could be traversed - from the jungles of Brazil to the deserts of Mexico, to the plains of the Midwest and the icy lands of northern Canada and Alaska. Plus, you could work with some Native Americans as consultants to make sure you get things right and portray people fairly, and therefore get a PR boost among indigenous activists. Hell, what''s not to like?

Just tossing some things out, from an archaeological perspective.

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-SpittingTrashcan

You can''t have "civilization" without "civil".