View Full Version : Fantasy or Not?

2007-04-21, 10:05 AM
I was wondering: Which rule sets (ToB, Psionics, Incarnum, etc) or classes (monk, samurai, etc) do you have a hard time seeing fit with your vision of a fantasy world? This can be any supplimental rules.

Please remember these are peoples opinions. Don't argue just because you don't agree.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-21, 10:09 AM
My vision of which fantasy world? They aren't and shouldn't be all the same.

And what's so sacred and inviolable about opinions?

2007-04-21, 10:11 AM
I can't really see psionic in fantasy world, at least not like it's written in XPH- though I've seen psionics in fantasy. But overall, it depends solely on world. I couldn't put monk or samurai in my campaing setting because I didn't bother with putting any oriental themes there, but most setting include some japan-like land.

2007-04-21, 10:18 AM
I had trouble getting my head around Incarnum in a traditional fantasy setting like Greyhawk. ToB, the less flashy parts of XPH Psionics, most of the Tome of Sorcery stuff I could see, but Incarnum was just a mental leap I couldn't make. Mea culpa :smallconfused:

2007-04-21, 10:18 AM
Which ever fantasy world (please specify though).

It's not that opinions are sacred, but you aren't going to change them by arguing (normally). I figured that a lot of things said on this might cause animosity and was just trying to avoid it.

2007-04-21, 10:23 AM
I was wondering: Which rule sets (ToB, Psionics, Incarnum, etc) or classes (monk, samurai, etc) do you have a hard time seeing fit with your vision of a fantasy world? This can be any supplimental rules.

Please remember these are peoples opinions. Don't argue just because you don't agree.
I see all classes in my fantasy except arcane casters like Wizards: bat guano? Really!?

It is impossible to suspend belief about these silly things. You make a TV set basically for Scrying (read the spell compenents).

The new rule sets make sense. Truenaming is in a lot of fantasy.

2007-04-21, 10:24 AM
Psionics do not fit into any of my fantasy worlds. I don't like the intonation implied by them.

2007-04-21, 10:25 AM
Honestly? I can see any of them fitting. The pseudo-Asia classes and such work just as well as the pseudo-Europe ones. Whether or not to use them depends on the flavor of the campaign world at hand (and even then, many of them aren't as tied to flavor as you'd think. Nothing's stopping you from changing the class' origins to suit your own needs and keeping the mechanics intact... or not, as you like).

As to psionics and the Tome of Battle/Magic, I have no trouble with them, either. Just depends on the campaign.

EDIT: I know nothing about Incarnum, so can't say.

2007-04-21, 10:26 AM
Psionics can fit many fantasy worlds, but not as written in XPH. As written in XPH I honestly can't see it in most of fantasy worlds. It shouldn't really be something with rules, items etc.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-21, 10:33 AM
Psionics do not fit into any of my fantasy worlds. I don't like the intonation implied by them.

Dude,they're just "mind powers". There isn't anything implied by them.

2007-04-21, 10:42 AM
I typically base my fantasy view off of Lloyd Alexander's Pyridian Cronicles and some Tolkien elements. Because of this, all of the core classes (except monk), scout, beguiler, and warlock fit my view well.

In the campaign world I'm working on (which is based in a later time period with firearms and cannon) the same seems to apply for the most part. There are ofcourse some changes, and I do my best to not be too restrictive on classes.

Many PrCs, ToB, and Psionics just don't fit my view of a fantasy world. I have never read Incarnum or ToM, but am reluctant to add new magic systems.

2007-04-21, 10:54 AM
I never thought that monks fit in medieval Europe type fantasy settings, which a lot of D&D settings I've seen seem to be.

2007-04-21, 11:06 AM
Psionics always seemed out of place in most fantasy settings (FR and Greyhawk, which are the ones I mostly play in, particularly). I'm also not a big fan of magic as technology or guns in such 'high fantasy' settings, but that's more a personal taste thing.

2007-04-21, 11:09 AM
Everything fits for me. :smallsmile:

2007-04-21, 11:15 AM
I do not like "magic as technology" or guns in most fantasy settings, but some (which have more or a Renaissance or later feel) are fun, particularly when you are doing searfearing battles. I could never get used to ballista on ships, but cannons feel right.

2007-04-21, 11:15 AM
Psionics seems to me to fit perfectly well alongside, say, arcane magic in a setting. I've heard objections that the jargon of it is too modern and psychological, but really, if you have people poking around in one another's minds you'd expect a reasonably solid theory of mind to emerge, or at least a vocabulary to build up. Magic doesn't have "spirits" and "four elements" and "positive and negative energy" because they're too primitive to know how the world really works, it has those things because, in-game, that's how the world is.

ToB seems to fit quite well into any setting, it's just a thematic or stylistic issue. Tome of Magic, from what I've heard, should work anywhere normal magic does. Incarnum, I don't know much about.

It seems to me that the real problem cases for fitting a particular element into a setting are classes like monk and samurai which are built on particular fluff. Fighters are hugely generic. Samurai require a culture of warriors with paired swords handed down ancestrally. The latter might or might not fit into a particular setting. It's not really a question of whether it fits in "fantasy", though.

2007-04-21, 11:37 AM
I could see every D&D sourcebook I've read fitting into the same extensive setting (though I wouldn't want to play it, since it would have BoED stupidity stuck in), except for Tome of Battle.

I'd like to be able to wrap my mind around it, too, but I'm basically stymied at the way it regards wreathing your weapons in flame as requiring exactly the same sort of talent as attacking exceptionally rapidly, and the like. The premise of advanced combat mastery by intense study of particular techniques is fine with me...but the idea that the exact same sort of study yields bursts of fire and so on I just can't handle. Adding in martial scrolls scripts makes it even stranger. There are other bits that strike me as odd (Why can't I prepare more than one copy of the same maneuver again?) but less hopeless.

Oh, and the PHB monk. Lost me at "set up vibrations within the body..."

Psionics jargon seems well rooted in psycho-technobabble, and thus should be burned. But you can burn it without doing the same to the classes, so do so and enjoy.

2007-04-21, 11:51 AM
Few classes are non-fantasy to me. But then, I've grown up with many and very varied concepts of fantasy in a myriad of different mediums, from The Lord of the Rings, to the Wheel of Time series, to Discworld, to Record of the Lodoss War to The Legend of Zelda (to cite some that anyone can recognize). Therefore, I believe that, as long as the world is internally consistent, pretty much everything is fair game. Suspension of disbelief and all that jazz.

That said, I usually do not admit oriental-like WotC classes like samurai or ninja in my campaigns -I'm as much of an anime fan as any drooling fanboy you may find around, believe me, but, precisely because of that, in my worlds, a lot of anime-like details are already canon and base for the world, and therefore, things like those classes are largely unnecessary (because the anime spectacularity part is already covered, and, y'know, anyone who wanted to create an historically accurate samurai or ninja would be looking anywhere but there), and nothing but a trap for players who don't realize this.

The only other thing I do not consider fantasy is technology. Magic resembling technology (as seen in Eberron, for example)? No problem, as long as it is not horrendously blatant. But pure, actual technology? Nope, sorry, we're steering into steampunk territory here. I don't have problems in running a steampunk campaign, but we're changing systems then ;).

Apart from those things, I can add anything to my fantasy worlds if my players ask me to. Incarnum? Allow me to read it thorougly, and start getting your soulmelds ready. Psionics? Do not even ask, I haven't created a psionics-less world since I bought the XPH, and it's more likely that I would cut the divine casters than the psionicists. Tome of Magic? 'K, no problem, just give some time to make half a dozen extra vestiges based on the setting and find a way to powerup truenaming so that you aren't totally useless ;).

2007-04-21, 12:36 PM
I was wondering: Which rule sets (ToB, Psionics, Incarnum, etc) or classes (monk, samurai, etc) do you have a hard time seeing fit with your vision of a fantasy world?Which vision? Depending on campaign plans, even the same fantasy world might have different limitations.

For example, my most recent D&D world project is meant to have a grittier and less epic flavor than default worlds. As such, there are no casters with access (or potential access) to all spells on a list. In other words, wizard is replaced by sorcerer, cleric by favored soul, and the druid is modified to use spells known as a favored soul. But that's simply one "vision" with classes tweaked to provide a specific result. In a more epic game I might go the opposite way and say there are no casters who have to limit spells known.

That's one of the strengths of fantasy worlds in my opinion. They can contain anything you care to incorporate simply by tweaking the back story a bit. Want psionics in your game but don't like the idea of "mental powers"? Call it channeling. Even better, swordsages, shadowcasters, warlocks, and psions could all be channelers...they are simply channeling different energy sources or the same source in different manners.

If you dislike a particular flavor of a class or set of classes, change it. Or don't use it. But saying "it doesn't fit fantasy" is simply forcing fantasy into too narrow a definition. With imagination, there is no single vision.

2007-04-21, 01:26 PM
Most stuff fits for me. The biggest thing that I don't like is the wizard base class. I see wizards as spellcasters who have learned to control their magic in ways that other arcane casters haven't, not as commoners who've somehow 'learned' magic. The wizard base class doesn't support this concept. I've replaced it with a prestige class, so that one has to already be able to cast spells in order to write them into a spellbook.

I also don't like how there isn't real good support for PC-quality priest. The cleric is too martial (not that I have any problems with martial clerics, but they don't fit the priest concept), and there aren't really any other classes that work for a deity-centric divine caster. I've remedied that by creating my own priest class, which (mechanically) looks a lot like the Shujenga, replacing the elemental focus with domains.

Psionics - and many of the other alternate rules - fit just fine for me. The problem I have with them is that there's no reason to add the in to my concept of fantasy. There's already divine and arcane magic, why should I bother with a third type of spellcaster, especially when the mechanics are so different?

2007-04-21, 01:29 PM
There's already divine and arcane magic, why should I bother with a third type of spellcaster, especially when the mechanics are so different?

I agree.
I also like the idea with giving the shuninja domains and not elemental focus, so as to make a non-martial priest.

2007-04-21, 01:31 PM
Since I put "Final" into "Fantasy" in my games, the stuff from DND is only a minority of things I consider in spirit of what fits my gaming world.

I also don't play DND, which I must point out on every occasion, proud of it as if it was a virtue, just like people who do not play optimised characters.

2007-04-21, 02:02 PM
Guns and swords

If one nations have guns, ther greater tech implied from that, why wouldn't they ether wipe out/intergrate all of the other cultures.
Ether use one or the other, D-20 modern or D&D

2007-04-21, 02:03 PM
Anyone with just ONE vision of fantasy is kind of missing the point of fantasy, in my (not very humble) opinion.

I mean... a lot of fantasy conventions were made up whole cloth by Tolkein, and then Gygax & co. took some of those and made up some of their own, and now people always accept all these things as being the gospel of fantasy. When something new and different like psionics or incarnum comes up, yeah, it might not fit into the "traditional" fantasy mold perfectly. But having a mold for imagined worlds kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it? It's not that hard to imagine a world where they DO fit, and maybe it's not your favorite sort of world but you might at least give it a try now and then. And while you're at it try envisioning some worlds that are missing traditional elements. The initial post comes right up and says any supplements, but who says everything in the core game fits with every fantasy vision?

2007-04-21, 02:04 PM
Hmm... To be honest SPELLCASTING doesn't make sense in my fantasy worlds. As in "What the hell man!? You need to wave your hands and spout gobbldigook to bend reality to your will!? That is so yesterday! And what about all this X spells per day?"

Yeah, I know it's done for the sake of balance, but recharge variant works far better, in my mind at least. I can't see a mage go, "Right, three magic missiles and a fireball today, and not a penny more!" Even if it worked for Gandalf in "the Hobbit", it just doesn't work for me...

In fact, Psionics, in my opinion fit better than magic- rename the spells if you don't like the sound of them, but at least you don't have any of this dumb handwaving and shouting nonsense. In an idealised fantasy world, I wouldn't have any spellcasting classes- or I'd replace their spellcasting with psionics of equal level and call it spellcasting.

If I really felt snarky, I'd remove it all together, since I like my fantasy low-magic or magic-magic as opposed to mundane-magic.

EDIT: As for their being a kazillion types of fantasy- you're right, there are, but for heaven sakes, we're not narrow minded, we just like having a nice, comfy, familiar, unchanging imaginary world to go back to in the evenings.

2007-04-21, 02:11 PM
Suit yourself, then, but I still think you're missing out.

2007-04-21, 02:19 PM
I meant suppliments or core (hence why I included monk as and example for classes)

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-04-21, 02:47 PM
I'm a big fan of kitchen sink worlds, where anything and everything can happen. I used to dislike psionics just because it seemed sorta cheesy, but now that I've read over it and all I don't have any trouble with using it when world building. I also have a habit of inventing new races and classes to suit players that just can't find a particular class or race that they like.

Basically, players enjoying the game is more important to me than making a sensible world. If a PC really wants to be a warforged in a Faerun campaign, then setting rules be damned.

2007-04-21, 02:54 PM
I have difficulty envisioning a fantasy world in which _all_ the systems exist simultaneously (unless it were a fantasy multiverse, anyway), but aside from that, there's really not much that doesn't fit into a fantasy environment. I mean, it's not like you can get too fantastic for fantasy. The only way to un-fantasy an aspect of a fantasy world is to make it into science fiction.

And even then, you just end up with a sci-fi/fantasy world.

2007-04-21, 03:05 PM
With the mess of religions/philosophies/cultures we have in the real world, I have no difficulty imagining a world populated by guys who get power from study (Wizards, Archivists), guys who get power by faith (Clerics, Druids, Paladins, Crusaders), guys who get power from their mind (Psions), guys who draw power from souls (Incarnates), and guys who are really skilled with swords (Swordsages, Warblades).

2007-04-21, 03:05 PM
I avoid most of the oriental classes because seriously should be the difference between the ninja and a proper rogue besides the name. However, I don't use core sorcerers in my world because psionics fits the flavor better, seriously why a sorcerers still using the wizardly vancian system.

2007-04-21, 03:20 PM
I'm about to run a first century A.D. Iron Heroes style D&D campaign for my RL group.

So far I've elimated the following: Duskblades, Favored Souls, Hexblades, Knight, Ninja, Samurai, Shugenja, Swashbucklers, Paladin, Warmages, Wizards, Wu Jen, and any PrC I dont think fits thematically.

The idea is that things are pre-medieval and arcane magic isnt codified yet. I'm still not sure about psionics.

Thexare Blademoon
2007-04-21, 03:21 PM
For the setting I've developed (with someone else, but just my portion of it), only two classes of all that I know of.

Fighters and Samurai.

Now, the material components for arcanists, and Sorcerers not using power points, and armored clerics getting full spellcasting, Paladin alignment restrictions, and scaly Kobolds... those don't fit in the setting either, but as far as entire classes go, just the Fighter and Samurai; the other stuff's easier to change.

They're too mundane (even with the Ancestral Daisho for the Samurai). From what I've read of the ToB classes, they'd be replacing the Fighters, as would Duskblades, Rangers (and/or variants thereof), and other martial classes with some sort of special ability. Basically, Talanris is one of those worlds where every sufficiently-trained fighter is able to do something that would normally seem highly unrealistic. Sometimes that's magic, sometimes it's supernatural skill with their chosen weapon, sometimes it's just blowing **** up with their mind. I like a good low-magic setting as well, but the one I made most certainly is not, and Fighters just don't fit in.

On a semi-related note, Dragon Disciples are a perfect fit, since there's an entire pantheon of dragons...

2007-04-21, 05:34 PM
Uh if it's fantastic.. it's fantasy, just about anything can fit.

I could have a giant pollution belching mechanical spider-like thing that can move around and serves as a mage tower. Keep the scientific explanations for how things work out of it, and it's suitably fantastic part of the world, give a detailed blueprint for this marvel of engineering and its no longer fantastic.

Imagination is the only limit.

2007-04-21, 06:55 PM
Fighters and Samurai.QFT, at least under RAW.

I have no problems with "Oriental" classes aside from Orientalism. (Not even in "historic" settings, where reality was much more interesting than most fantasy.)

But under RAW they're too bound by the constraints of reality to survive, especially in competition with warblades.

2007-04-21, 07:13 PM
Well, in Default D&D Greyhawk], pretty much anything goes, that's how it was designed.

Personally, I'm not a great fan of The Tome of Battle, though I like some of the ideas it presents, nor do I like Psionics overmuch. I like to keep my games reasonably simple and most of the 'clutter' out.

On the other hand, I don't have a problem playing in those kind of environments, especially if the Campaign Setting supports them, as with Spell Jammer, Dark Sun, Planescape and so on.

2007-04-21, 11:06 PM
Psionics jargon seems well rooted in psycho-technobabble, and thus should be burned. But you can burn it without doing the same to the classes, so do so and enjoy.
Actually, there is no technobabble. There is Greek, Latin, and other ancient languages used to create the names but no technobabble.

Heck, we still use these ancient words in language.