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    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Default Re: What if Generic Medieval European Fantasy was brave enough to commit to it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kalbfus View Post
    Main thing is though, Europeans are rather clannish A Viking would have more in common with an Italian or a Spaniard than it would with an orc, especially back in the middle ages when the population of Nordic countries weren't quite as diverse as they are today. A typical Viking, even if he did live by raiding coastal villages, would view an orc as a monster! I don't think human Vikings and orcs would work well together.
    A historical European from the real world wouldn't have much in common with an Orc, no, but remember, this isn't the real world. This is D&D, where Orcs are just as natural as humans, and if you grew up in a village that was half populated with Orcs and half populated with humans, then you wouldn't think there's anything particularly weird about Orcs.

    People can get used to some weird stuff, if they grow up around it.

    Quote Originally Posted by TripleD View Post
    That’s really more of an Early Modern (late-15th to early 16th) attitude towards magic than a medieval one. The mass burnings we associate with witch trials happened long after the Middle Ages.

    The attitude of the Catholic Church towards magic in the medieval era was complicated and varied by place and time. The other problem is that your average peasant or priest of the time probably wouldn’t have understood what we mean by “magic”. There wasn’t the division we have between the natural and supernatural; the medieval worldview was fundamentally supernatural and there were “right” and “wrong” ways to navigate it.

    D&D style magic, as an observable and testable phenomenon, doesn’t conflict with this worldview. If anything I’d think monasteries and universities, with the focus on preserving knowledge and transcripting texts, would be ground zero for wizards.

    This is getting long-winded, but if you really want to commit to a realistic Middle Ages, and you want the Church to be against wizards and sorcerers, you first have to explain why the Romans and classical Greeks were against them as well. The church fathers were mostly well-off Roman citizens trained in the classics, and Early Christian philosophy is basically just late-Roman philosophy with some names swapped around. Aristotle, Archimedes, Galen, etc. formed much of the bedrock of the Catholic Church’s worldview. What was Aristotle’s explanation for the origins of a fire bolt spell, and why did someone like Augustine of Hippo reject it?
    On a related note, the Roman Empire is also a great way to explain certain things D&D introduces. "Where'd all these dungeons come from?" "They used to be Roman fortifications but now they've sunk into the earth, and also into disrepair." "What about these high-level magic items, when the highest level Wizard we've ever seen was 7th level?" "Leftovers from the Roman Empire, which had the infrastructure to produce mighty Archmages."
    Last edited by HorizonWalker; 2019-07-17 at 02:33 AM.