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Medieval vs. Sci-Fi

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i would like to know why RPG''s tend to stick with medieval time periods as opposed to sci-fi. is it because everyone knows of knights and dragons and sci-fi characters are created by the designer? is it due to the fighting nature of the medieval times? what r your thoughts?
--I don''t judge, I just observe Stuck in the Bush''s, Florida

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It''s the legacy of tabletop RPGs - the majority of which are fantasy based.

I think the fighting factors in as well, easy to implement conflict-reward system.

Another question is why do we see sci-fi, medieval fantasy, but hardly any other settings? I can only name one pre-historic RPG (Savage Empire). What about Emperial England, the Bronze Age, the Twentieth (does Earthbound {SNES} count in some strange way???) Century, and other potentially interesting settings that we seem to completely ignore?

-pwd

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quote:
Original post by pwd
It''s the legacy of tabletop RPGs - the majority of which are fantasy based.

I think the fighting factors in as well, easy to implement conflict-reward system.

Another question is why do we see sci-fi, medieval fantasy, but hardly any other settings? I can only name one pre-historic RPG (Savage Empire). What about Emperial England, the Bronze Age, the Twentieth (does Earthbound {SNES} count in some strange way???) Century, and other potentially interesting settings that we seem to completely ignore?

-pwd


yeah, i agree. i was wondering about that too just yesterday. i looked at the tv guide cover of a western and i was like "why not make a western?" i don''t know why other time periods don''t get exposure. i guess the conflict-reward system is the safe way 2 go 4 designers.



--I don''t judge, I just observe

Stuck in the Bush''s, Florida

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IMHO, medieval and sci-fi are all that seem to sell....

what other non-medival-like settings or non-sci-fi-like settings have actually sold well? Not as many as those two... Maybe some developers are worried that if they do make one out of those bounds, that they will lose money... or they cant come up with a good enough gmae system or story....



Neo-Toshi - The City That Never Sleeps

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Well it seems that only sci-fi can claim to rival the medieval setting in terms of richness and complexity. Westerns are limited by their time period. By then people weren''t believing in monsters, the legends of dragons and goblins and stuff were dead. However, there wasn''t enuff technological variety yet to create an alternative to monsters. The caveman era, well, that could potentially be very interesting for an RPG, but once again there is a bit of a lack of weaponry.

Medeivel is sweet because of the huge and interesting variety of weapons avialable, the rich folklore, the belief in magic and all sorts of interesting potions, the castles and all the secrets they held, the way the royalty lived, there is a huge sense of awe and wonder in medievel times. There is much creative liberty that can be taken here.

Sci Fi has the advantage of tremendous technology, as well as also allowing monsters through aliens. There have been a tonne of sci fi stories written, and there''s plenty of interesting technology and development that can be explored. All sorts of topics such as cloning, chemical/biological warfare, guns, transportation technology, pollution/another holocaust/apocolypse, etc can be explored. And since this is the future and not the past, there is much potential to excite the player and maybe scare him psychologically in a way that is impossible with stories from the past.

Medievel and Sci Fi as i hope i showed, allow a lot of creative freedom that many other time periods just don''t. And with RPG being such a demanding genre in terms of the amount of variety u need in enemies/equipment/weaponry/exploration/etc, they are the ones that fit best with it.

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well its purely taste in that would u want to play an rpg during the roman empire? or french revolution? there is not much variety, if u make it hundreds of years in the past or future or an alternate world u have more creative freedom to make what would be more entertaining then being like an archer in the french revolution

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There are monsters and superstitions in these other time periods...

Lady Bathory
Ghost Trains (Western)
Whatever Caveman Superstitions would be
Conspiracy Theories/Psychic Phenomenon (Modern)
The natives during the Emperial England period (pygmies, etc)

And I stand corrected, there are a few Sci-Fi/Emperial England crossovers, Space 1889, The Worlds of Ultima games... Sort of a Jules Verne feel.

A Western could be good, you''ve got gunslinging, indians and their mythology, ghost trains, etc... I''m not saying to model reality 100%, go with some of the superstitions of the time. Break the mold, dig down and get a little more primal than just Dragons, orcs, and laser beams.

-pwd

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quote:
Original post by pwd

There are monsters and superstitions in these other time periods...

Lady Bathory
Ghost Trains (Western)
Whatever Caveman Superstitions would be
Conspiracy Theories/Psychic Phenomenon (Modern)
The natives during the Emperial England period (pygmies, etc)

And I stand corrected, there are a few Sci-Fi/Emperial England crossovers, Space 1889, The Worlds of Ultima games... Sort of a Jules Verne feel.

A Western could be good, you''ve got gunslinging, indians and their mythology, ghost trains, etc... I''m not saying to model reality 100%, go with some of the superstitions of the time. Break the mold, dig down and get a little more primal than just Dragons, orcs, and laser beams.

-pwd


exactly, and there are pirates and the greeks w/ their mythologies, there are many eras to portray in an RPG. i honestly still believe that the medeival periods are simply the safest route 2 take. i''m not denying the great possibilities of medieval times, and the fact that EVERYONE already knows about the myths and magics(don''t need a lot of creativity to make a good game), i just think more people should test the waters. going w/ what Ferinorius said, i beleive it''s gonna take an independent programmer to take this gambe, someone with not as much 2 lose by trying.



--I don''t judge, I just observe

Stuck in the Bush''s, Florida

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quote:

well its purely taste in that would u want to play an rpg during the roman empire?


Actually, I would love to.

"Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time"
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail
We are creating a Multi-player space strategy/shoot-em-up/RPG game.
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Bah, who needs ''Monsters through aliens'' when you can have a 7 foot tall troll whose been cybered to the point of essence-oblivion!
Hehehehe...ignore the Shadowrun fan, everybody, just point and laugh....


-Ryan "Run_The_Shadows"
-Run_The_Shadows@excite.com
"Doubt Everything. Find your own light." -Dying words of Gautama

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