RQII Generic Fantasy setting

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RQII Generic Fantasy setting

Postby danbuter » Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:29 am

I'm surprised this hasn't come out already. Generic fantasy settings tend to do very well. Something like Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, or Golarion would be awesome.
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Postby TrippyHippy » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:55 am

What's wrong with Glorantha?
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Postby danbuter » Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:31 pm

It's not generic.
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Postby TrippyHippy » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:38 pm

Well, neither is Forgotten Realms, on that basis really. Glorantha has certain precepts to it, but having read through it, the world itself is pretty broad - it exploits the full ruleset of RQ2 also, including all the monsters and powers - and it lends itself to as many styles of game as any of the D&D settings would.

It's a high fantasy (i.e. an entirely created fantasy world, with its own history), but it's a pretty malleable beast.
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Postby PhilHibbs » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:45 am

TrippyHippy wrote:Well, neither is Forgotten Realms, on that basis really.
"Generic fantasy" means Tolkienesque. Dwarves and elves that aren't weird like Gloranthan ones, orcs, halflings, etc., magic that is is fairly uncommon and scary. All D&D settings (with the exception of Dark Sun) are "generic fantasy".
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Postby TrippyHippy » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:59 am

Well that's your definition. Tolkienesque is not generic fantasy insofar that it's a story written by a single author. Yes, his stories have been imitated a lot - and really, you'd have to still say that Glorantha's major influence is LotR too, if we are going to be honest - but they aren't generic. Indeed, proper Tolkien is very canon specific.

The notable thing that Tolkien introduced in his fantasy, that differed to most previous fantasy authors was the idea of a detailed 'secondary world'. There were some precursors to this, but it was the idea of mapping out and creating a viably fantasy world, with a history, cultures and languages that was significant (and arguably laid the foundations the whole world creating/interactive RPG concept). It established what is now termed 'high fantasy' - as opposed to 'low fantasy' which is conventionally set in an alternative version of our own history (like Deus Vult, for example).

Glorantha is what I call a second generation fantasy world (post Tolkien), as it basically took the Middle Earth concept and developed it in a slightly different way. However, even with the differences, I'd still suggest that it's recognisable as Tolkienesque - or at least heavily Tolkien influenced. Same thing with Elric, too, incidentally. Following on, I'd argue that the Old World of Warhammer is probably a third generation fantasy setting, as it largely draws ideas from the secondary sources (like Glorantha and Elric) as well as Tolkien.

Generic basically means 'inclusive' or general in application, though. Glorantha is pretty much that too. You can integrate a whole lot of generic stuff into it, from pretty much any source.
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Postby PhilHibbs » Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:59 am

TrippyHippy wrote:Well that's your definition. Tolkienesque is not generic fantasy insofar that it's a story written by a single author.
"-esque" means "-like", so by definition it's generic.
Yes, his stories have been imitated a lot.. The notable thing that Tolkien introduced in his fantasy, that differed to most previous fantasy authors was the idea of a detailed 'secondary world'. There were some precursors to this, but it was the idea of mapping out and creating a viably fantasy world, with a history, cultures and languages that was significant (and arguably laid the foundations the whole world creating/interactive RPG concept). It established what is now termed 'high fantasy' - as opposed to 'low fantasy' which is conventionally set in an alternative version of our own history (like Deus Vult, for example).
Tolkien popularised it, but Fritz Leiber beat him to it by several decades (I highly recommend the "Sword" series, for anyone who hasn't come across it). Oh, and Middle Earth is our world, according to Tolkien.
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Postby andyl » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:44 am

I guess a better word would be derivative rather than generic. What some call extruded fantasy product.

I have no interest in such. It is fairly trivial to pick up a world gazetteer and fill in the blanks yourself - because the races, the tropes, the situations are so well worn. So much so that we can all laugh along with Diane Wynne Jones Tough Guide To Fantasyland.

Settings which do something different to the norm are the most interesting - be they by Mongoose or by someone else.
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Postby TrippyHippy » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:13 am

PhilHibbs wrote:"-esque" means "-like", so by definition it's generic.
Generic does not mean 'like'. Generic means general, inclusive - "without any individual characteristics". By definition, you're way off.
Tolkien popularised it, but Fritz Leiber beat him to it by several decades (I highly recommend the "Sword" series, for anyone who hasn't come across it). Oh, and Middle Earth is our world, according to Tolkien.
The term "Secondary World" was actually coined in essays by Tolkien himself ("On Fairy Tales" - first delivered in 1939, later expanded in "Tree and Leaf") and it was his intention to create livable, legible fantasy paradigms to base stories in from very early on. Leiber first started work on his characters Fafhrd and the Gray Mauser about the same time, but only as a series of picaresque tales, spanning decades of writing. The Nehwon ("nowhen") setting was only organised into a fully fleshed secondary world much later - (60s/70s) - and again, this could be said to have been influenced by Tolkien. Tolkien did not say that Middle Earth is our world - you will need to cite that one.
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Postby PhilHibbs » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:28 am

TrippyHippy wrote:Tolkien did not say that Middle Earth is our world - you will need to cite that one.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle-ear ... y_of_Earth
"I am historically minded. Middle-earth is not an imaginary world... The theatre of my tale is this earth, the one in which we now live, but the historical period is imaginary."
Anyway, this is all getting rather distant from the main point. Whether you associate "Tolkienesque" with "generic fantasy" is I guess a matter of personal interpretation, I accept that.
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Postby TrippyHippy » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:13 pm

PhilHibbs wrote:Anyway, this is all getting rather distant from the main point. Whether you associate "Tolkienesque" with "generic fantasy" is I guess a matter of personal interpretation, I accept that.
Well, the point I was trying to make originally, is that Glorantha is a generic fantasy setting, in the same mould as Forgotten Reams, and indeed has been significantly influenced by Tolkien too. OK, the elves and dwarfs are diffferent, as well as the aspects of mythology, history and culture - but the differences merely highlight the similarities at the core of what both settings try to do.
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Postby PhilHibbs » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:02 pm

TrippyHippy wrote:Well, the point I was trying to make originally, is that Glorantha is a generic fantasy setting, in the same mould as Forgotten Reams, and indeed has been significantly influenced by Tolkien too.
Again, a matter of opinion. I'd say a setting is only "generic" if it has been deliberately designed to be inclusive, so players or storytellers could mostly do whatever they want in it. Middle Earth and Glorantha are not generic, by that (my) definition, since they were both created by writers as their own particular vision of a world with its own peculiarities. Not many literary fantasy settings are generic, the only one I can think of off the top of my head would be Thieves' World (although it originally had no non-humans), which started off being generic, but became less so as more writers laid down more rules and quirks. Most settings that are designed for roleplaying - Greyhawk, Birthright, Avalon Hill's Fantasy Europe, The Gathering (the LARP), these are all deliberately generic settings (by, I admit, my definition), and most generic fantasy settings are described as "Tolkienesque" if they have elves and dwarves that are, basically, like D&D elves and dwarves.

So, a call for a "generic" RuneQuest setting would (in my interpretation of the word) be a call for a new fantasy world that has most of the common tropes of fantasy worlds that anyone can play their favourite stereotype. e.g. "I wanna drunk drawf wit a big ax".
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Postby TrippyHippy » Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:59 am

PhilHibbs wrote:
TrippyHippy wrote:Well, the point I was trying to make originally, is that Glorantha is a generic fantasy setting, in the same mould as Forgotten Reams, and indeed has been significantly influenced by Tolkien too.
Again, a matter of opinion. I'd say a setting is only "generic" if it has been deliberately designed to be inclusive, so players or storytellers could mostly do whatever they want in it.
But that's the thing - having read through the Second Age book in recent months, I'd say it is actually very broad in application (albeit wit a distinct flavour), that is very inclusive as a setting. The premise is that myths are real - making it like a historical version of the paradigmatic style modern games (like Mage or Unknown Armies). I'd say you could do pretty much anything you want with it.
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Runequest in the world of Legend

Postby muriwo » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:20 am

TrippyHippy, I know and like Glorantha (unfortunately where I live there are NO other gamers, and my attempts to find a sustainable Glorantha-based online campaign to play in have always been flummoxed), but I do get danbuter and PhilHibbs point. Glorantha is imbued with a different flavour and this is what makes a lot of people love it. Equally, it means that while you COULD use the Second Age for a wide variety of settings and flavours, IMHO you'd be swimming against a fairly strong tide. I have seen this view echoed in several other forums over the years.

A longish time ago (3rd Ed? I get confused - it was about 1990) I tried to play RQ in the "Fantasy Earth" setting they added, but we found it TOO dry and low fantasy.

Now, one thing I have often thought of is using RQ for the world of Legend (the default Dragon Warriors setting). If "Classic D&D" is medium-high fantasy, then DW is low-medium. And it does have a slightly skew-whiff view of the world which makes it less than 100% Generic. However it is a lot closer to what I think danbuter, PhilHibbs and others are meaning.

Especially now that OQ and MRQII which are a bit simpler, are out, it could be a strong candidate. Since Magnum Opus Press recently announced that they are discontinuing the DW line, but there are a lot of us authors out there keen to keep it going, I am trying to promote a debate about "Dragon Warriors and new/other systems" at this page:
http://dragonwarriors.wetpaint.com/page ... vs+Setting

You'd be very welcome to contribute.

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Re: Runequest in the world of Legend

Postby PhilHibbs » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:35 pm

muriwo wrote:TrippyHippy, I know and like Glorantha (unfortunately where I live there are NO other gamers, and my attempts to find a sustainable Glorantha-based online campaign to play in have always been flummoxed), but I do get danbuter and PhilHibbs point.
I'm a huge Glorantha fan. In fact, the reason I dispute that it is "generic" is that I regard that as an insult to it!
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Postby TrippyHippy » Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:58 am

I, for one, would welcome the World of Legend to the RQII fold....
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For me, settings...

Postby Tamerlin » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:43 pm

Savage Worlds has a host of settings for it already, some that sound very interesting... RQ doesn't seem to have all that many.

Since the most well-known RQ setting is, AFAIK, Glorantha, it might actually be discouraging people from getting into RQ. It's not that there's anything wrong with Glorantha, but it has a reputation for being pretty weird, which could turn quite a few folks off to it. I personally like it quite a bit, but I'm into odd settings :)

What convinced me to purchase RQ II was the combination of a new Elric setting + Clockwork and Chivalry for RQ II. Otherwise, it would probably have stayed in the back of my mind as a neat system to keep an eye on, but not much to do with it outside of Glorantha, and I don't have time to build a world for it. I did discover when I visited Mongoose's web site after learning about Clockwork that there are other RQ II settings, but they don't seem to be discussed much on the RPG.net forums.
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Postby muriwo » Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:46 pm

I pretty much agree with Tamerlin. RQ is PERCEIVED to be mainly about Glorantha. Glorantha is (not unfairly) perceived to be somewhat weird.

Which may make some people never get round to trying out RQ or its cousins, and realise that its actually a great system for many kinds of RP settings.
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Postby Tamerlin » Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:55 pm

I accidentally edited out another comment -- I agree that Legend would be an interesting setting to add.

From what I've heard, Dragon Warriors is very similar, and there is some talk about re-launching it with a new system? (That's about all I know about it :))

I'd be interested in Conan for RQ as well.
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Postby TrippyHippy » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:26 am

I think Conan would have been a major flagship for the RQII rules, and provide a more 'straight-up' Sword and Sorcery setting, for sure.

We can but hope.....
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