Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 67
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Justifying Anachronisms

    Technological anachronisms are fun. Full plate and rapiers, atlatls and guns, bolt action rifles and mail armour and maces. The question is, how to justify it.

    How would you/do you explain anachronistic technology/society/whatever in your settings? There are cases in real life we can base this off of, that atlatls and guns is a reference to the conquistadors and Mayans. And there were a few cases of maces being tried in WW1/2, but I'm not sure about mail armour.


    One of the more popular methods is to have the lost civilization with advanced technology, which has rare surviving example and everyone battles for it. But there are no doubt some other examples that've been used.
    "Dying", a WAG Game Jam game, and my first video game. A narrative platformer with a hidden mystery, where you progress through dying: http://mask.itch.io/dying

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Mesquite, TX

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Abberations such as Illithids are commonly fluffed as Alien invaders who crashed here long ago and got 'stuck' when the invasion failed. So a mind-flayer 'temple' may in fact be a downed spaceship. The Illithids themselves are only able to maintain some of fantastic machines of thier past due to a lack of certain rare elements, particularly radioactive elements being very difficult to obtain and work with without the specialized tools of their homeworld.

    Another fun one is the "Obsessive Tech Horder" civilization, who possesses technology far in advance of their neighbors but who also aggressively send agents to prevent any of that tech from falling into "barbarian" hands.

    but most of my settings schizo tech is devolved primarily by humans, orcs and goblins, with the explanation that due to their shorter lifespans, outdated tech and ideas are more quickly discarded(forgotten), promoting a much more rapid development of technology then that of longer lived races who tend to be set in their ways.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    High level characters who travel the Planes often find themselves in a fictional counterpart of IRL. Those characters find their way back to the Prime Material Plane and bring with them cultural ideas and artifacts.

    A form of "cultural leakage".

    Over the course of several generations... these novel, off-world, cultural phenomena become a part of the D&D culture.
    Rule Zero is not a House Rule.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Cealocanth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Colorado
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    I usually go with "It's an alternate history. Technology advanced a little differently than in real life, and so that's why crossbows and laser cannons." I suspect, however, that you're looking for settings or themes that would allow such anachronisms.

    The societies of the world are isolated and xenophobic. There are few empires that actively attempt to conquer, and those that do are restricted by deserts, mountain ranges, or water. As a result, the different technological focuses of the societies of the world have led to different advancement and specialization among the races. War and pillage based races - as well as the victims of these - have access to more advanced weaponry, armor, and tactics. More peaceful and isolated races are likely to be further behind weapon-wise, but also likely to have more advanced political, religious, or educational systems. A lack of universalizing cultures and a rarity of travelers make these specializations quite extreme.

    Time travel. Yes, this is an excuse for everything, but when you have people from the era of laser guns and invisibility watches go back to the era of pointy rocks and fire, you get an anachronism.

    Magic made a certain technology obsolete. Society has all-but abandoned armor because there's no point being slowed down by full plate when the simplest magic missile pierces through. Warfare has advanced to more modern-style wars of attrition, all soldiers are agile magic users of some variety, but the most you will find in the ways of actual physical weaponry are swords, axes, maces, and bows.
    Currently RPG group playing: Endworld (D&D 5e. A Homebrewed post-apocalyptic supplement.)

    My campaign settings: Azura; 10,000 CE | The Frozen Seas | Bloodstones (Paleolithic Horror) | AEGIS - The School for Superhero Children | Iaphela (5e, Elder Scrolls)

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    You can build of the Mayans/Conquistadors situation - which is ultimately a case of isolated continents developing their technology at different rates due to a variety of factors. If you reposition the continents on a hypothetical world so that they are less effectively linked than they are on modern Earth, you could easily end up with five to ten civilizations developing largely in isolation to each other. Upping the ratio of water to land and making the seas particularly violent (perhaps by having multiple moons and thus considerably worse tidal forces) can be used to justify this.

    If seafaring/magic is only able to have cultures on the different land masses contact each other erratically, you might also be able to introduce small quantities of advanced technologies that local populations cannot duplicate, and fail to prepare for because they have to deal with more pressing local problems.

    More mystically you can use cross-planet and cross-planar conflict to justify the presence of advanced technologies or magic that is too many steps ahead to effectively reverse engineer.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    mephnick's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneMRoth View Post
    High level characters who travel the Planes often find themselves in a fictional counterpart of IRL. Those characters find their way back to the Prime Material Plane and bring with them cultural ideas and artifacts.

    A form of "cultural leakage".

    Over the course of several generations... these novel, off-world, cultural phenomena become a part of the D&D culture.
    That's kind of a cool idea. I guess I have a similar thing in my setting. Black powder was only developed after the gnomes came from the feywild. The powder is created using a plant only found on that plane. The dwarves, who the gnomes originally befriended, found the explosive properties and have a monopoly on the creation of it.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    ...rapiers and fullplate did coexist, both developing (or rather, the rapier developing and fullplate reaching its peak) during the renaissance. The rapier was primarily a civilian weapon.

    Not precisely full plate, but curiassers initially wore 3/4ths plate (missing the back of the legs, due to being primarily cavalry) while armed with wheel-lock firearms.

    Atl-atls and slings would be useful hunting tools for peasants even with bows and crossbows around, being cheaper to make (if harder to use). Aztec atl-atls could penetrate chain armor worn by the Spanish, though not the plate of their heavier-armored troops.

    Plate and chain coexisted for quite some time, and chain was also used to supplement plate around the joints.

    Maces have been around much longer than chain armor, going back to the bronze age and earlier. Some bronze-age maces and even some stone-age maces had flanges.

    Bolt-actions are the only really tough ones to justify there.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    JAL: Sort of missing the point. Maces have been around basically forever, in some form or another, but if someone used one today in battle it'd be news-worthy. So unless you have a super hero setting where everyone is looking for a theme, you won't see bad guys with maces and atlatls today, alongside PCs with similar anachronisms. WW1/2 did have a few cases where interesting melee weapons were improvised, like flails and maces. To be used in tunnel fighting, defending/attacking trenches, or fighting in no-man's land (since gunfire attracts machine guns), so it's a case where you might justify some medieval-associated hardware.

    Rapiers and plate is a commentary on technologies at odds coming together. A rapier is useless against armour (despite what video games tell you), yet there were rapiers around during the later stages of plate (not used in battle, though, they were weapons to scare off beggars and duellists). A true example of anachronism or simply senseless technology would have rapiers being used on the battlefield, alongside full plate. That could work, if a percentage of the fighters had no armour.

    What was interesting about atlatls and guns in America, was that the atlatls and slings were military weapons, not something a few farmers used because a crossbow was too expensive or they thought it was fun. Interestingly, you could justify that fairly easily with the right setting, having an equivalent to the Balearic islands stay relevant to more of the game's/setting's battles. Or, just have a lot of poor farmers go to war.
    "Dying", a WAG Game Jam game, and my first video game. A narrative platformer with a hidden mystery, where you progress through dying: http://mask.itch.io/dying

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    The reason people still use swords when there are guns is because swords are fashionable. That's the only reason I can think of that makes a semblance of sense to me.
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Brother Oni's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cippa's River Meadow
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    The reason people still use swords when there are guns is because swords are fashionable. That's the only reason I can think of that makes a semblance of sense to me.
    Or firearms are banned from civilian ownership while swords are still a cultural item (eg Edo era Japan).

    Alternately, firearms are still not developed enough to achieve the rate of fire required to replace melee weapons (eg Napoleonic War era, possibly American Civil War), or the conditions of warfare promote melee weapons (WW1 trench raids required stealth which removed firearms from use except as a last resort).

    Quote Originally Posted by Cealocanth View Post
    I usually go with "It's an alternate history. Technology advanced a little differently than in real life, and so that's why crossbows and laser cannons." I suspect, however, that you're looking for settings or themes that would allow such anachronisms.
    There's a sci fi short story I heard about where Earth is invaded by spacecraft and as the aliens attack, they're surprised to find the invaders are still using black powder weapons. Apparently during Earth's development, we somehow missed the rather simple discovery of levitation and after the aliens are defeated in short order, their leader realises the terror they've unleashed on the universe as humanity starts to reverse engineer their space craft to develop their own.

    The reason for the missing discovery could be anything from a particular necessary element not being present on our planet, to nobody thinking about it and missing the obvious.
    Last edited by Brother Oni; 2015-07-22 at 05:13 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    Or firearms are banned from civilian ownership while swords are still a cultural item* (eg Edo era Japan).

    Alternately, firearms are still not developed enough to achieve the rate of fire required to replace melee weapons** (eg Napoleonic War era, possibly American Civil War), or the conditions of warfare promote melee weapons (WW1 trench raids required stealth which removed firearms from use except as a last resort).
    *Fashionable

    and

    **That's not anachronistic, the guns were still bad enough that it was practical to put blades on the rifles to turn them into spears. Historically people have used whatever weapon is the most practical and the most fashionable, in that order. So the only reason to not use the most practical weapon is that it's fashionable.

    Perhaps I should restate my original post. The only reason people use anachronistic weapons is because it's fashionable.
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Mask View Post
    How would you/do you explain anachronistic technology/society/whatever in your settings? There are cases in real life we can base this off of, that atlatls and guns is a reference to the conquistadors and Mayans. And there were a few cases of maces being tried in WW1/2, but I'm not sure about mail armour.
    By declaring that we're playing a game of let's-pretend set in D&Dland with magic wizards and flying dragons, and that this is not an attempt to simulate any real-life place or time period.

    Not only do we not care about making our magic elf game exactly like 1500s Europe, but it takes place in a world which bears only a mild superficial resemblance to our own (it doesn't even have the same physical laws as ours, much less the same cosmology, geography, ecosystem, or politics!), so one can't possibly expect things to have turned out in a similar way.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Brother Oni's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cippa's River Meadow
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    *Fashionable
    I think we have slightly different interpretations of the term 'fashionable'. If the current style and trend is towards muskets and rifles, but people are still carrying around swords then how are swords 'fashionable'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    **That's not anachronistic, the guns were still bad enough that it was practical to put blades on the rifles to turn them into spears. Historically people have used whatever weapon is the most practical and the most fashionable, in that order. So the only reason to not use the most practical weapon is that it's fashionable.

    Perhaps I should restate my original post. The only reason people use anachronistic weapons is because it's fashionable.
    I think the issue is that sometimes 'most practical' and 'fashionable'/'anachronistic' coincide, for example, the reports of bayonet charges during recent conflicts (example). Other times you get the real characters, like Lt. Col. Jack Churchill, the only Allied officer to score a confirmed enemy kill with a longbow during WW2.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    I think we have slightly different interpretations of the term 'fashionable'. If the current style and trend is towards muskets and rifles, but people are still carrying around swords then how are swords 'fashionable'?



    I think the issue is that sometimes 'most practical' and 'fashionable'/'anachronistic' coincide, for example, the reports of bayonet charges during recent conflicts (example). Other times you get the real characters, like Lt. Col. Jack Churchill, the only Allied officer to score a confirmed enemy kill with a longbow during WW2.
    It's not anachronistic if it actually happened in history. Anachronism is when you combine elements from different epocs in fiction
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Mask View Post
    JAL: Sort of missing the point. Maces have been around basically forever, in some form or another, but if someone used one today in battle it'd be news-worthy. So unless you have a super hero setting where everyone is looking for a theme, you won't see bad guys with maces and atlatls today, alongside PCs with similar anachronisms. WW1/2 did have a few cases where interesting melee weapons were improvised, like flails and maces. To be used in tunnel fighting, defending/attacking trenches, or fighting in no-man's land (since gunfire attracts machine guns), so it's a case where you might justify some medieval-associated hardware.

    Rapiers and plate is a commentary on technologies at odds coming together. A rapier is useless against armour (despite what video games tell you), yet there were rapiers around during the later stages of plate (not used in battle, though, they were weapons to scare off beggars and duellists). A true example of anachronism or simply senseless technology would have rapiers being used on the battlefield, alongside full plate. That could work, if a percentage of the fighters had no armour.

    What was interesting about atlatls and guns in America, was that the atlatls and slings were military weapons, not something a few farmers used because a crossbow was too expensive or they thought it was fun. Interestingly, you could justify that fairly easily with the right setting, having an equivalent to the Balearic islands stay relevant to more of the game's/setting's battles. Or, just have a lot of poor farmers go to war.
    "Maces in modern day" wasn't how it was phrased. The way I read it was implying the two technologies ("X and Y") being found side-by-side at once was itself anachronistic--or even in the case of all of the above at once, the only one that stood out from "the renaissance" generally was bolt-actions.

    As for rapiers on the battlefield...rapiers no. But the spada da lato / side-sword, yes. It looked like a thicker-bladed rapier, and sometimes not by much. While some were true cut-and-thrust, designed to be equally good (or rather equally middlin' but versatile) at both, albeit with a slight emphasis on the point over the edge, thinner variants existed which could cut but were ill-suited for it, being mostly thrusting weapons. The spada da lato was a military battlefield weapon meant to handle a mix of armored and unarmored opponents, and eventually evolved into (and continued alongside) the rapier. It's fairly simple to say that the "rapiers" of D&D are misnamed side-swords, particularly if two-handed swords and hand-and-a-half swords aren't allowed to thrust despite being capable of it (since by the weapons table they only do slashing damage).
    Last edited by JAL_1138; 2015-07-22 at 07:43 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Brother Oni's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cippa's River Meadow
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    It's not anachronistic if it actually happened in history. Anachronism is when you combine elements from different epocs in fiction
    The problem is that you have to draw a line somewhere. For example, multiple rocket launchers have been known since the 14th century and were reputedly used against the Japanese during the Imjin Wars.
    There's also the bombardment of Kagoshima, where the British shelled the Japanese due to a cultural misunderstanding, putting it mildly.

    If samurai coming under attack from rocket artillery or modern naval artillery doesn't stretch your sense of credulity, I don't know what will.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    One possibility for explaining why heavy crossbows and articulated plate exist alongside javelins and slings alongside ring maille and battle axes is that you have a world composed of several isolated civilizations that have fairly recently come into contact with one another. The reasons for this could be geographical or magical.

    The political environment of this world is likely one where the most advanced of these societies is gradually absorbing the others, either by proximity and peaceful trade and cultural assimilation, or by conquering. But artisans and traditions of many cultures will still be present and warriors of each culture might still favor the weapons and armor of their own traditions, although you will see mixing and matching in places where cultures intersect and depending on wealth level.

    So you could have a barbarian that wears hides and is an expert with sling and javelins, that has also picked up a two handed sword which his own culture could never have crafted.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    *Redacted*

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Quote Originally Posted by mephnick View Post
    That's kind of a cool idea. I guess I have a similar thing in my setting. Black powder was only developed after the gnomes came from the feywild. The powder is created using a plant only found on that plane. The dwarves, who the gnomes originally befriended, found the explosive properties and have a monopoly on the creation of it.
    Ha ha. My campaign setting has a similar thing. Gnomes descend from the local halfing population of an isolated island who interbred with shipwrecked dwarves. The gnomes are the only culture which possesses the knowledge of how to make and produce gunpowder (with the exception of some isolated xenophobic duergar) and they trade exclusively with their cousins, the dwarves.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Jake View Post
    Kill a PC's father? Well that's just the cost of doing business.
    Steal a PC's boots? Now it's personal.
    Please take everything I say with a grain of salt. Unless we're arguing about alignment. In which case, you're wrong.

    Former EMPIRE2! Player: Imperator of the Nihoni Dominion
    Former EMPIRE3! Player: Suzerain of the Phnīx Estates
    Former EMPIRE4! Player: Margrave of the Margraviate of Rhune
    My Awesome Campaign Setting

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Brother Oni's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cippa's River Meadow
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrudd View Post
    So you could have a barbarian that wears hides and is an expert with sling and javelins, that has also picked up a two handed sword which his own culture could never have crafted.
    So kinda like Colonial era Philippines where you have conquistadors rubbing shoulders with Ming Dynasty soldiers, the indigenous natives, Japanese wokou and other pirates of all stripes.

    I believe a famous author once wrote that the difference between fact and fiction, is that fiction has to make sense.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Jorgenfist
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    I think we have slightly different interpretations of the term 'fashionable'. If the current style and trend is towards muskets and rifles, but people are still carrying around swords then how are swords 'fashionable'?
    Extreme gilt.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    +3 Girlfriend is totally unoptimized. You are better off with a +1 Keen Witty girlfriend and then appling Greater Magic Make-up to increase her enhancement bonus.
    Homebrew
    To Do: Reboot and finish Riptide

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    I've seen a lot of cultural arguments in this thread, and geographical (separate cultures). I think nobody mentioned extreme capitalism or more simply poverty yet: the technology is there, but not everyone has the money to afford it.
    This happens in the real world too. I was once involved with a project of texting auctions on mobile phones in ***** - a lot of farmers there didn't have the materials or money to transport their cattle to auctions far away. However, every single one of them had a high-tech mobile phone. I don't know why - for some weird economical reason one tank of gas was much more expensive than a cellphone.
    So in a fantasy world, say, everyone knows how to make guns, but iron is simply enormously expensive: everyone walks around in leather armor, but a Lucky few carry a gun.

    As a second suggestion: the anachronism is done on purpose. In a highly segregated setting, with for example a lot of small but powerful guilds, technology could be limited to those who are member of the right group. Say, the capital city syndicate knows how to make steam engines, but no one else does. The mercenary guild knows how to make high-quality plate armor, no one else does. The alchemist labour union knows how to make plasma rifles, no one else does. An adventuring party could consist of members of different groups, all using their own (anachronistic) technologies, guarding the information as far as they can

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    The problem is that you have to draw a line somewhere. For example, multiple rocket launchers have been known since the 14th century and were reputedly used against the Japanese during the Imjin Wars.
    There's also the bombardment of Kagoshima, where the British shelled the Japanese due to a cultural misunderstanding, putting it mildly.

    If samurai coming under attack from rocket artillery or modern naval artillery doesn't stretch your sense of credulity, I don't know what will.
    History is crazy, but if that actually happened, if the British actually bombed Japanese samurai then it's anachronistic in a game that takes place in that time. There's no point in justifying anachronism if it genuinely happened.
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    mikeejimbo's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    There's a sci fi short story I heard about where Earth is invaded by spacecraft and as the aliens attack, they're surprised to find the invaders are still using black powder weapons. Apparently during Earth's development, we somehow missed the rather simple discovery of levitation and after the aliens are defeated in short order, their leader realises the terror they've unleashed on the universe as humanity starts to reverse engineer their space craft to develop their own.

    The reason for the missing discovery could be anything from a particular necessary element not being present on our planet, to nobody thinking about it and missing the obvious.
    "The Road Not Taken" by Harry Turtledove? (Yes the title intentionally refrences the Frost poem and characters in the story do draw parallels.)
    Last edited by mikeejimbo; 2015-07-22 at 01:42 PM.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    hamishspence's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    I vaguely remember his Worldwar series (with the lizardy aliens), having them be amazed and caught aback by human tech progressing much faster than they were expecting.
    Marut-2 Avatar by Serpentine
    New Marut Avatar by Linkele

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Segev's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    The main reason that some things are NOT used when we know what they were is because they're obsolete in today's world, for one reason or another. Full plate is useless against most modern weapons, so isn't used anymore. Same with swords, most of the time. Knives/daggers are still useful as utility tools as well as last-ditch weapons, and are not as bulky as swords; if you're in range for a blade to be useful, the reach of a sword isn't so useful, so the convenience of the knife (combined with, agian, its non-combat utility) makes it see use to this day.

    Most "reach" weapons are obsoleted by guns.

    We rarely see mounted cavalry because our vehicles are capable of going into nearly all the same terrain and are safer and faster. (They still see use in certain situations where the horse is just superior, such as crowd-navigation in urban areas.)


    If you want to explain anachronisms, do it by giving reasons for those things to still be used. I'm fond of the idea of creating some unique mechanics for each weapon or device. If, for example, Conan had some super-powerful techniques for using the Greatsword which made him a formiddable foe even for infantry armed with rifles or automatic weapons, then that would be a reason for greatswords to still see use (as, theoretically, others could also learn those greatsword techniques).

    It does require a setting where magic and may-as-well-be-magic powers can be exercised by sufficiently powerful warriors or sufficiently skilled experts, not "just" through spellcasting, but it's doable. (It's why, for instance, the First Age in Exalted still featured magical supergreatswords (called "daiklaives") even though the magitech made things that were akin to modern weaponry feasible and such saw active use: the daiklaives and those who wielded them were more than a match for normal people armed with the highest tech of weapons, and the wielder of the daiklaive was not necessarily any stronger for using a high-tech weapon. (Even if he was super awesome with a high-tech weapon, it was in a different way and wasn't MORE than he was awesome with the daiklaive.)

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Brother Oni's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cippa's River Meadow
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeejimbo View Post
    "The Road Not Taken" by Harry Turtledove? (Yes the title intentionally refrences the Frost poem and characters in the story do draw parallels.)
    Probably, I only remember the two line synopsis while scanning through a TV Tropes page.

    Thanks for that - I've been meaning to find the story and read it.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Quote Originally Posted by Murk View Post
    However, every single one of them had a high-tech mobile phone. I don't know why - for some weird economical reason one tank of gas was much more expensive than a cellphone.
    Infrastructure. Cell phones are extremely technologically complex, and the actual manufacture of cell phones requires advanced high tech facilities. Once the technology is there and the cell phones are being produced elsewhere though, the infrastructure is relatively easy. Cellphones need to get distributed - they're small, they're light, they don't need frequent replacement, it's not a problem - and cell lines need to be placed, which are often basically just above ground wires and wire towers. It's way cheaper than something like plumbing is, the logistics are easier than bringing in and storing gasoline (where you need some fairly specific stuff on site and the amount brought in per person over the period of one cell phones use is way higher by mass and volume, with specific transport vehicles needed), and there's a whole host of other less technologically advanced things with far more difficult implementation problems.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Chainmail was used by tank drivers in WW1 to protect them from shrapnel:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-shrapnel.html

    It is still used in protective gear today:

    http://www.schlachthausfreund.com/bu...ty/gloves.html

    and it's even marketed as body armour:

    http://www.ringmesh.com/ChainMail_Protection_s/2.htm

    and when it comes to anachronism, how about making chain mail on a 3-D printer?

    http://www.thingiverse.com/image:188998
    Last edited by Kami2awa; 2015-07-23 at 02:11 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Brother Oni's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cippa's River Meadow
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    Quote Originally Posted by Kami2awa View Post
    Chainmail was used by tank drivers in WW1 to protect them from shrapnel:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-shrapnel.html

    and when it comes to anachronism, how about making chain mail on a 3-D printer?

    http://www.thingiverse.com/image:188998
    Body armour isn't a particularly anachronistic concept and the designs are still applicable even with modern materials. A number of militaries experimented with body armour during WW1; for example this German infantry armour has more in common with modern body armour designs than medieval plate harness or Early Modern cuirasses.

    Spoiler: German infantry armour circa 1918
    Show


    The Dragon Skin body armour system is based on scale armour, but the use of overlapping modern ceramic plates inside a glass fibre textile rather than steel/iron/bronze metal plates sewn onto a leather/fabric backing makes it decidely non-anachronistic.
    Likewise use of stainless steel links for PPE for butchers and divers isn't particularly anachronistic.

    As for the mail on a 3d printer that's been displayed, that's more a curiosity than anything useful, since the material isn't very durable, they're split links which can't be closed, plus the large hexagonal link shape raises questions of flexibility.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Terra Australis

    Default Re: Justifying Anachronisms

    I have a few justifications for the anachronisms I use. First, magic; sure it's a cop-out, but a Protection from Arrows spell, scroll, or wand will negate a rifle's effectiveness. I also tend to rule that while a nonmagical gun can penetrate nonmagical armor, nonmagical guns can't penetrate magical armor. When the +1 on +1 full plate costs less than the full plate itself, most wealthy knights, lords, and men-at-arms will probably make that investment.

    Then there's economy; if Joe Farmer can't afford a knight's fighting sword, how will he afford the materials and crafting expertise required for a firearm, let alone its ammunition? Or ecology; a rifle might penetrate armor well enough, but against tough monsters - say, a bulette - you're not going to put it down with one shot, regardless of whether or not you penetrate its hide. On the other hand, the armor you invested in sure can't stop guns, but the bulette's teeth can't penetrate it so easily.

    Also, alternate and competing technologies; sure, full plate's the pinnacle of human armor-smithing, but elven chain nevertheless remains competitive because the elves use their own techniques which make their chain lighter, stronger, and more flexible than conventional chain mail.

    Ultimately, though, it comes down to the fact that the world's a big place and people are constantly fiddling around with old and new technologies, and ideas can only travel so far on their own.
    Last edited by Worgwood; 2015-07-23 at 05:00 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •