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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    A lot of beloved fantasy from my childhood has giant fruit and vegetable. Jack and the Bean Stalk, James and the Giant Peach and several less famous examples.

    My world has a lot of magical sites that create food, especially underground or in the sea, but I am thinking of throwing some more above ground.

    Whether a being creating a magical food site is a agriculture deity, powerful druid, or some kind of plant wizard, In a serious fantasy story or RPG is there any practical reason to have a magic tree that grows giant apples as opposed to say a magic tree that grows five times as many normal sized apples?
    Last edited by Scalenex; 2020-09-21 at 09:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scalenex View Post
    A lot of beloved fantasy from my childhood has giants fruit and vegetable. Jack and the Bean Stalk, James and the Giant Peach and several less famous examples.

    My world has a lot of magical sites that create food, especially underground or in the sea, but I am thinking of throwing some more above ground.

    Whether a being creating a magical food site is a agriculture deity, powerful druid, or some kind of plant wizard, In a serious fantasy story or RPG is there any practical reason to have a magic tree that grows giant apples as opposed to say a magic tree that grows five times as many normal sized apples?
    A giant version of edible thing is obviously a supernatural bounty, while higher yield is wonderful but less explicitly miraculous. Both represent a boon...and/or a show of power...but have different overall implications.

    If you're a near-subsistence agriculturalist then "a lot more of a thing than usual" would be very welcome but also mean a lot more labor...picking and hauling and processing that (5 x normal apples) yield over however much time the apples ripened (at varying speeds, as is the whim of nature), while all of the fruit was subject to the same hazards and causes of loss as normal crop.

    By contrast, the "giant version of a thing" is the fantasy of great reward for a lot less effort, with all the gain arriving in at the same time in a single package. It represents a different kind of bounty...conspicuous in it excess and immediacy...that can immediately be accessed.

    Giant food seems silly in most settings because food is undervalued, one of the great anachronisms/unrealities of fantasy being the food system in which comestibles are all circulated as commodities, as opposed to most people having limited diets because they can only eat what they grow and gather within a limited range of their domicile. Given that it's a trope that every town has an inn, and the inn always has chunks of meat and ale enough to satisfy a gouty Tudor duke, it would take extra effort to rough out the idea that "yeah, most people don't eat this way and a giant turnip actually would be exciting to them."

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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    We've cultivated many vegetables (and animals) to grow bigger. It's not that weird, but at some point it becomes unprofitable. The cucumbers you can buy in the supermarket are... small. They can grow much bigger, it's just that you only want to eat so much cucumber, so why would you pay extra for a bigger cucumber?

    Than there are those big juicy strawberries at the supermarket that are actually just... big watery flavourless strawberries. Bigger doesn't have to be better.

    So bigger fruits and vegetables aren't that interesting. Quantity means you get to sell to more customers. (Provided the market for your produce is big enough.) Nutritional value is another factor that you could use. Taste is more of a novelty.

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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Giant fruit will almost certain spoil faster than an equivalent mass of smaller bits of fruit, especially once you start eating it (people who grow zucchini are very familiar with this particular problem late in the season). As a result, gigantic versions of fruits and vegetables are only useful if its a cultivar you can preserve long-term, and really the general benefit would be if the giant version allows you to dramatically reduce processing time somehow. Humans have long worked to increase the size of cereal grains for that very reason. Of course, many fruits and vegetables, if made gigantic, might become almost impossible to process. Imagine trying to cut open a coconut the size of a car.
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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Funny but "how to open a coconut the size of a car" sounds like a wonderful fantasy challenge.

    Explains how that one guy with an adamantine pickax over time added a couple elephants, a drying and milling facility, and husk rope facility, and now has become the baron of the town for example.

    As for extra large foodstuffs there are some good story purposes.
    As a prelude to big (dire) animals, as a press for centralization (as centralized processing would have a serious advantage with supersized veg esp for preservation purposes (if they pickle stuff for example)
    May be able to reduce the land area of farming to support a given population....which would make even small landholder more wealthy, probably have more money for same time and work inputs, and so have larger social impact, leisure time, and spare goods like weapons, etc.
    Generally match up to show an area as special to nature/nature deities. (Oh you have basil trees here?)
    And if they are root veg that's just great (but would still promote large group meals as people would still take units to be cooked whole....think how turkey or goose is normally associated with extended family meals)
    As local identity....if a town grows peaches the size of a cantaloupe they may be well know for it and will help your players remember and map the world.
    Or if you have 200' beanstalks...think of the rights of manhood of becoming a podcutter (who drop the pods down to the people above....between a hunter, a freeclimber, and an ironwalker in views...how they build houses part of the way up the beanstalk (first for rest areas for the podwalkers but in time a fair amount of the village) and how this protects them from many types of raiders.
    And think about what else besides people may eat such giant food.
    Its hard to collect lots of calories without some area effect or very rich targets...just time wise....and D&D has some very large monsters....so they make good monster bait.
    as another example of a social consequence of super large food. Think about those giant coconuts...how does a town harvest them? to they just wait for them to fall? this implies a degree of passivity in the culture and waiting for rewards to drop from heaven and would have a different social system then those who climb the tree to harvest them....but how would they do so? encourage wizardry and the mastery of the fly and levitate spells? or a group exercise with a rope and a team in a loop who all keep tension on the rope as only a couple individuals move up the tree at a time...the latter would lead to probably lots of practices in the off season, tight team building etc and that would translate into other social fields...such teams may also act together as militia units, sports teams, or even be politically important people in the village. So how that town responds could well encourage divine pleading (and such spellcasters), a monastery (learning how to wait), a wizard tradition, or a powerful system of physically fit teams who everyone else looks to for food etc.
    and also such giant food can be linked to other things in the world....in quite possibly less obvious ways....I mean a permanent summon Yggdrasill spur/gate magical item would be expensive. More expensive than a cow for example....that was a good deal.
    Last edited by sktarq; 2020-09-21 at 12:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    They don't realize that the veggies are normal sized and they shrunk.

    Those giant vegetables served a story purpose and were conspicuously abnormal within the setting. There was one giant peach and one beanstalk, and they were movers of the plot.

    Growing and harvesting a giamt watermelon is great for a farmer, but adventurs are rarely about winning the blue ribbon at the local harvest fair. Now if you need bait to capture the giant jungle-fowl to overfeed the giant who has been eating the villagers so you can kill him as he sleeps off the bar-b-que...

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yanagi View Post
    A giant version of edible thing is obviously a supernatural bounty, while higher yield is wonderful but less explicitly miraculous. Both represent a boon...and/or a show of power...but have different overall implications.

    If you're a near-subsistence agriculturalist then "a lot more of a thing than usual" would be very welcome but also mean a lot more labor...picking and hauling and processing that (5 x normal apples) yield over however much time the apples ripened (at varying speeds, as is the whim of nature), while all of the fruit was subject to the same hazards and causes of loss as normal crop.

    By contrast, the "giant version of a thing" is the fantasy of great reward for a lot less effort, with all the gain arriving in at the same time in a single package. It represents a different kind of bounty...conspicuous in it excess and immediacy...that can immediately be accessed.
    As the difficulties of a giant coconut reply demonstrates, larger produce doesn't necessarilymean less effort, just different effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yanagi View Post
    Giant food seems silly in most settings because food is undervalued, one of the great anachronisms/unrealities of fantasy being the food system in which comestibles are all circulated as commodities, as opposed to most people having limited diets because they can only eat what they grow and gather within a limited range of their domicile. Given that it's a trope that every town has an inn, and the inn always has chunks of meat and ale enough to satisfy a gouty Tudor duke, it would take extra effort to rough out the idea that "yeah, most people don't eat this way and a giant turnip actually would be exciting to them."
    I hadn't thought about food shortages being realistic.

    My PCs are very heroic types who generally refuse payment for their heroic services but they usually do ask for food. I could have a case like the Magnificent Seven movie where the townspeople barely have enough food to live and they give the most/best food to their protectors.

    Giant food would seem less silly if I described places where food was not plentiful.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    We've cultivated many vegetables (and animals) to grow bigger. It's not that weird, but at some point it becomes unprofitable. The cucumbers you can buy in the supermarket are... small. They can grow much bigger, it's just that you only want to eat so much cucumber, so why would you pay extra for a bigger cucumber?
    Diverse varied food is mostly a product of a post-industrial society. Even lower income people in First World country eat better than the kings and queens of old. I figure boring repetitive food is the norm for a lot of medieval people.

    I like in Second Hand Lions where the characters are tricked in buying a lot of corn seeds thinking it was varied plants so they ended with a garden full of corn. Cut to a scene later they are eating massive amounts of corn because the men of that movie were a pragmatic lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    Than there are those big juicy strawberries at the supermarket that are actually just... big watery flavourless strawberries. Bigger doesn't have to be better.
    I'm still fine tuning my magic system in my homebrew system. I'm still on the fence whether Plant magic can increase crop yields to crazy levels or if Plant magic just prevents blights and plant diseases. Bigger but largely flavorless would be the result of a "marginal success" roll.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    So bigger fruits and vegetables aren't that interesting. Quantity means you get to sell to more customers. (Provided the market for your produce is big enough.) Nutritional value is another factor that you could use. Taste is more of a novelty.
    Nod

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Giant fruit will almost certain spoil faster than an equivalent mass of smaller bits of fruit, especially once you start eating it (people who grow zucchini are very familiar with this particular problem late in the season). As a result, gigantic versions of fruits and vegetables are only useful if its a cultivar you can preserve long-term, and really the general benefit would be if the giant version allows you to dramatically reduce processing time somehow. Humans have long worked to increase the size of cereal grains for that very reason. Of course, many fruits and vegetables, if made gigantic, might become almost impossible to process. Imagine trying to cut open a coconut the size of a car.
    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    Funny but "how to open a coconut the size of a car" sounds like a wonderful fantasy challenge.

    Explains how that one guy with an adamantine pickax over time added a couple elephants, a drying and milling facility, and husk rope facility, and now has become the baron of the town for example.

    As for extra large foodstuffs there are some good story purposes.
    As a prelude to big (dire) animals, as a press for centralization (as centralized processing would have a serious advantage with supersized veg esp for preservation purposes (if they pickle stuff for example)
    May be able to reduce the land area of farming to support a given population....which would make even small landholder more wealthy, probably have more money for same time and work inputs, and so have larger social impact, leisure time, and spare goods like weapons, etc.
    Generally match up to show an area as special to nature/nature deities. (Oh you have basil trees here?)
    And if they are root veg that's just great (but would still promote large group meals as people would still take units to be cooked whole....think how turkey or goose is normally associated with extended family meals)
    As local identity....if a town grows peaches the size of a cantaloupe they may be well know for it and will help your players remember and map the world.
    Or if you have 200' beanstalks...think of the rights of manhood of becoming a podcutter (who drop the pods down to the people above....between a hunter, a freeclimber, and an ironwalker in views...how they build houses part of the way up the beanstalk (first for rest areas for the podwalkers but in time a fair amount of the village) and how this protects them from many types of raiders.
    And think about what else besides people may eat such giant food.
    Its hard to collect lots of calories without some area effect or very rich targets...just time wise....and D&D has some very large monsters....so they make good monster bait.
    as another example of a social consequence of super large food. Think about those giant coconuts...how does a town harvest them? to they just wait for them to fall? this implies a degree of passivity in the culture and waiting for rewards to drop from heaven and would have a different social system then those who climb the tree to harvest them....but how would they do so? encourage wizardry and the mastery of the fly and levitate spells? or a group exercise with a rope and a team in a loop who all keep tension on the rope as only a couple individuals move up the tree at a time...the latter would lead to probably lots of practices in the off season, tight team building etc and that would translate into other social fields...such teams may also act together as militia units, sports teams, or even be politically important people in the village. So how that town responds could well encourage divine pleading (and such spellcasters), a monastery (learning how to wait), a wizard tradition, or a powerful system of physically fit teams who everyone else looks to for food etc.
    and also such giant food can be linked to other things in the world....in quite possibly less obvious ways....I mean a permanent summon Yggdrasill spur/gate magical item would be expensive. More expensive than a cow for example....that was a good deal.
    This is a gold mine for making memorable setting. I really like the idea that the difficulties of harvesting giant produce would shape the culture and aptitudes of the local people!


    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    They don't realize that the veggies are normal sized and they shrunk.

    Those giant vegetables served a story purpose and were conspicuously abnormal within the setting. There was one giant peach and one beanstalk, and they were movers of the plot.

    Growing and harvesting a giant watermelon is great for a farmer, but adventurs are rarely about winning the blue ribbon at the local harvest fair. Now if you need bait to capture the giant jungle-fowl to overfeed the giant who has been eating the villagers so you can kill him as he sleeps off the bar-b-que...
    Your ideas are valid but I guess I wasn't looking for giant produce to drive the plot so much as to provide local color to make a setting more memorable.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    A couple additional things....

    While adventurers may not be after the blue ribbon at the local harvest fair, such fairs are a great setting for drama, especially for lower level characters. It can be where rivalries, forbidden love affairs, and alliances that shift other things in a story line. A curse that runs out of control may have originated from someone trying to block a rival in local carrot cake competition. . . And adventurers have been called in to deal with the wereboars that somehow resulted. So there can be lots good drama to be wrung of such things.

    Also how I mentioned that large ingredients can incentivize large (and thus large group) meals? That is another great driver to get your adventurers involved with other people and from there adventure hooks.

    There is final sociological thing that more thinking has brought out....so say someone was growing pumpkins the size that Hagrid (from the Harry Potter 3 movie/book)...how much additional labor does that take? Does a tree that grows 10 times the food need 10 times the labor? That could shift the farmer's demographic dominance...they would still be the majority but probably a smaller one.

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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    As a young man, one of the chores me and my cousins had to do was turning the watermelons. If you don't, one side will be white and never ripen. Pumpkins grow lop-sided, though we only grew a dozen or s6 of those. All gourds must be tended to ripen properly. (They are the original GMO.)

    I can envision melon fields in which the children set the budding melons on carts in early summer anticipating their final size at harvest.

    I am also reminded that I introduced a high-yield wheat into my campaign to explain the large number of carnivores running around. Lots of fodder, lots of herbivores, lots of carnivores.

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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scalenex View Post
    Whether a being creating a magical food site is a agriculture deity, powerful druid, or some kind of plant wizard, In a serious fantasy story or RPG is there any practical reason to have a magic tree that grows giant apples as opposed to say a magic tree that grows five times as many normal sized apples?
    Well, it could be that magic just doesn't work that way.

    The hedge wizard can alter growing berries, but can't make berries grow from somewhere the plant wasn't trying to grow them.

    Or maybe "enlarge fruit" is one spell slot and so is "extra" fruit, so it takes four spells to make the five times the fruit and only one to enlarge it.

    Or maybe they only enlarge produce that look especially promising. (so it's the top 1% or even one in a million that gets enlarged).

    Also, maybe there's a "preserve produce" spell that works by number objects and not volume/mass. So even if only a small fraction of produce is giant, it's noticeable because it's what ends up on the Duke's feast table.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scalenex View Post
    I'm still fine tuning my magic system in my homebrew system. I'm still on the fence whether Plant magic can increase crop yields to crazy levels or if Plant magic just prevents blights and plant diseases.
    Maybe it you're uncertain, may be have magic capable of doing crazy things, but it being marginal whether to expend the effort.

    For example, if the hedge wizard lives in the village, it's worthwhile for them to spend their time enhancing their neighbors' produce. However, hiring one from out of town to visit cost more money than the giant produce is worth.

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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    There's also the option of 'giant' not being ridiculously huge. An apple doesn't need to be big enough to climb into to be called giant. A more modest interpretation of giant fruit and veg can make for a more grounded divine fertility scenario, with less implications for how people actually utilise the oversized produce. Grapes the size of brussels sprouts are a usefully mundane form of magic.

    It also helps to limit the feritility to one kind of crop, which reflects a lot of traditional folklore about why certain places produce better produce. It's also easier for single crop types being super fertile to not distort the setting they're in. If a valley produces twice as much wine as normal it's a richer valley and by extension the ruling country is wealthier, but it's not going to let them end famine within their borders.
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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    There's also the option of 'giant' not being ridiculously huge. An apple doesn't need to be big enough to climb into to be called giant. A more modest interpretation of giant fruit and veg can make for a more grounded divine fertility scenario, with less implications for how people actually utilise the oversized produce. Grapes the size of brussels sprouts are a usefully mundane form of magic.
    Yeah I should probably contextualize what I said before that I was thinking terms of "giant" more along the scale in stories I grew up with--grapes the size of apples and magic peaches as big as a baby--rather than "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" big.

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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Crops do not have to be exceptionally large to be interesting. I had an unused plot about natually blue apples in a valley. Their main export was blue apple cider, the problem was they needed more blue coloring, as the blue apples still made normal colored cider.

    As for crops being on the larger side of normal? This is probably a fairly normal result of the enrichment option of Plant Growth or similar magics.
    As a side note, I think the amount of enrichment has changed over editions. I remember it doubling the crops in 2e. Which was the last time any of my characters cast it.
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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    The answer to the original question is yes. It just depends on the purpose to which the autior uses it and how it is used.

    The examples cited were plot elements, but the author may use them for worldbuilding or McGuffins, or whatever.

    The real question is, how remarkable are these giant vegetables? If they are common, then the characters won't notice them. It will be normal to them that a squash feeds a party of twelve. In my experiena, describing something common to characters but uncommon to readers is difficult; how impressed will a character be by a watermelon the size of a wagon if he's only ever seen them that size? And if it's ordinary to the character, why would he notice it?

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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yanagi View Post
    Yeah I should probably contextualize what I said before that I was thinking terms of "giant" more along the scale in stories I grew up with--grapes the size of apples and magic peaches as big as a baby--rather than "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" big.
    I see no issue with it. Hell, look at all the previous stuff that our own crops used to be like:







    Hell, make your crops ten times bigger. That's literally what happened to Teosinte, creating our modern corn.

    A good story purpose can be having a strange new crop that gives far more food for far less work in far less land (for example, the potato) and then you can talk about how this sudden abundance of food can cause social upheavels, toppling entire dynasties and rewriting the social scene. A food which can grow in the harshest of lands with little to no tending and water means that people now have the option of running into the wasteland with nothing but a basket and clothes on their backs to escape oppression. A food which can grow in previously non-arable land can rewrite entire wars, as previously food-barren kingdoms now have a surplus of men to fight in wars. A food that requires a tenth of the manpower means that there is now; 1, more food, and 2, a lot of peasants who are now angry and out of work.

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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    Funny but "how to open a coconut the size of a car" sounds like a wonderful fantasy challenge.

    ...

    D&D has some very large monsters

    ...
    This raises the question of if any of said monsters could fly away with it if they gripped it by the husk
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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    This raises the question of if any of said monsters could fly away with it if they gripped it by the husk
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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    How about giant apples raised not for food, but for cyanide
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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    How about giant apples raised not for food, but for cyanide
    Or for spell ingredients.

    "Powerful sneaky spell you'd want to use in a dungeon somewhere
    Material components: one car sized apple, which is consumed by the spell."
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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    For cyanide I'd lean toward giant stonefruit. Far more effective.
    Or almonds.

    But the real key....why do people want so much cyanide? What do they do with it?
    Are they growing giant apples or peaches to grind up the seeds in order leach gold out of some lower quality ore? And would that really be easier than acid arrow trap to mobilize gold ions?

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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    I would imagine that there would HAVE to be giant fruit.

    I can understand from the human exerienced point of view that large plants are silly in certain aspects.


    But to think that Giants, dragons, and such live off of earth apples is , to me, ridiculous. But not as much so as the imagined need to large plants to exist to be solely supernatural in origin.


    Maybe not giant version of earth plants but a combination of that and actual 'native' fruits and vegetables that happen to be massive compared to a human

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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by ngilop View Post
    I would imagine that there would HAVE to be giant fruit.

    I can understand from the human exerienced point of view that large plants are silly in certain aspects.


    But to think that Giants, dragons, and such live off of earth apples is , to me, ridiculous. But not as much so as the imagined need to large plants to exist to be solely supernatural in origin.


    Maybe not giant version of earth plants but a combination of that and actual 'native' fruits and vegetables that happen to be massive compared to a human
    Like Snozzcumber.
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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Non-serious fantasy would have people using the crops as a residence, I wonder how much of that could be brought into the serious world. Like, you probably wouldn't want to live in an actual room-sized hollowed-out pumpkin for too long, but reasonably thinking things out, more fruit and vegetables means more fruit and vegetable byproducts. Maybe the faster-rotting fruit attracts bugs, and bugs are a more reliable source of protein than more standard cattle? Larger jute and cotton harvests should prop up textile production, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ngilop View Post
    But to think that Giants, dragons, and such live off of earth apples is , to me, ridiculous. But not as much so as the imagined need to large plants to exist to be solely supernatural in origin.
    Random trivia distraction, "Earth Apple" is basically the literal translation of the Dutch word for potato.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by OracleofWuffing View Post
    Non-serious fantasy would have people using the crops as a residence, I wonder how much of that could be brought into the serious world. Like, you probably wouldn't want to live in an actual room-sized hollowed-out pumpkin for too long, but reasonably thinking things out, more fruit and vegetables means more fruit and vegetable byproducts. Maybe the faster-rotting fruit attracts bugs, and bugs are a more reliable source of protein than more standard cattle? Larger jute and cotton harvests should prop up textile production, too.
    Gourds and bamboo have been hollowed out and used as water bottles. I'm sure that various pumpkins can be selectively bred to have a weaker and more fragile interior while having a harder shell to keep out the wind and rain. You can even get them to produce different colours.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    The world was once run by an extinct race of giants, crops are sized for them not us. Grapes the size of pumpkins and pumpkins the size of buildings because whale sized giants ruled the world, we just inherited their stuff when they died.

    I have always wanted to run a Thumbilina campaign where 3 inch tall people try to navigate a normal sized world after humans go extinct, with enemies like a Snapping Turtle acting like the Tarrasque.
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by ngilop View Post
    I would imagine that there would HAVE to be giant fruit.

    I can understand from the human exerienced point of view that large plants are silly in certain aspects.


    But to think that Giants, dragons, and such live off of earth apples is , to me, ridiculous. But not as much so as the imagined need to large plants to exist to be solely supernatural in origin.


    Maybe not giant version of earth plants but a combination of that and actual 'native' fruits and vegetables that happen to be massive compared to a human
    I was just at the store staring at a 60lb jackfruit--beloved of elephants and rhinos, with seeds the size of my thumb--and...this is a good point.
    Last edited by Yanagi; 2020-10-08 at 07:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    Those giant vegetables served a story purpose and were conspicuously abnormal within the setting. There was one giant peach and one beanstalk, and they were movers of the plot.
    And you can add The Carrot Seed to that list.

    In times long past, one of those mad wizards who create monstrous creatures (of course with the best of intentions, sometimes) decided to try his hand at making monstrous plants. His experiments met with little success. Some became vicious, and had to be slain by great heroes. Some were horribly toxic, and were burned out by lords and kings. Others yielded giant produce, but only a single one, and were deemed failures. Most just died or never grew.

    Over the centuries though, every once in a while, some trace left behind by those plants with the giant produce emerges. No one knows why or when or where it will happen. When one of these grows in a farmer's field, it is truly enormous, and is considered a great blessing. The farmer may cut the thing up for preservation and feed his family for a year with it, or with what he can receive for the jars in trade.

    But more often, the farmer brings the giant thing to his village. And for a day, everyone eats well. A festival is held, in which the farmer and his family are treated to (some of) the best of what others have. There is a celebration, with cooking, music, eating, dancing, and drinking. And no one seems to mind that all of the food is a potato, or a pumpkin, or a turnip (or what have you) cooked in many ways, because everyone goes to bed with full bellies.
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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Have any of you ever read The Color Out of Space

    "...Then fell the time of fruit and harvest. The pears and apples slowly ripened, and Nahum vowed that his orchards were prospering as never before. The fruit was growing to phenomenal size and unwonted gloss, and in such abundance that extra barrels were ordered to handle the future crop. But with the ripening came sore disappointment, for of all that gorgeous array of specious lusciousness not one single jot was fit to eat. Into the fine flavour of the pears and apples had crept a stealthy bitterness and sickishness, so that even the smallest of bites induced a lasting disgust. It was the same with the melons and tomatoes, and Nahum sadly saw that his entire crop was lost. Quick to connect events, he declared that the meteorite had poisoned the soil, and thanked Heaven that most of the other crops were in the upland lot along the road..."
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2020-10-15 at 01:45 PM.
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    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    There's also the fact that giant trees (and occasionally other plants, like vines or brambles) are, if not a staple, at least a well accepted trope in fantasy. Such giant plants creating giant fruit may not be necessary, but it is consistent.

    Now I'm imagining a sorcerer creating a giant bramble wall/maze around their tower... and then it reproducing and spreading into the wild, walling off sections of the forest to those that can't slip between the thorns but producing giant blackberries.
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Is there a good story purpose for giant fruit and vegetables in serious fantasy?

    Well, monsters are usually carnivores. Giant monsters would be giant carnivores. Giant carnivores eat giant herbivores. And giant herbivores would likely eat giant plants. So logically, if you have giant carnivorous monsters you would probably have giant plats as well! Bonus points if you add giant carnivorous plants like venus fly traps.

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