How far off is your fantasy setting from modernizing Veeky Forums?

How far off is your fantasy setting from modernizing Veeky Forums?

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Pretty far, since it's actually the post-apocalypse future and AI satellites destroy any civilization that splits the atom.

It's currently in the process of moving from the bronze age to the iron age, with all the military and societal upheaval that implies.

Now, that got me thinking - did China and India go through their own version of late bronze age collapse or was it a local event?

It's not a relevant concept. Modernisation is a process that occurs in real world history. There's no reason it should ever apply to a fantasy setting.

Does it though?

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Note that there's a difference between 'Should' and 'Could'.

Someone applying the concept of modernisation to a fantasy setting is perfectly reasonable. But there's nothing that would oblige you to do so, and it doesn't make a setting inherently better. Hamfisting it can very easily make things worse, squandering familiarity for a half arsed, wonky implementation of 'modernisation' that just restricts options and makes the setting less interesting.

Medieval stasis? Things don’t last forever user, Wild West has to go some day

Personally I see no reason for why fantasy should be held exclusively in a technological level behind our own. Dune and 40k get away with it just fine, and don't tell me those are hard sci fi.


It did in the real world, sure.

But why does every setting need to obey those same laws and tendencies? Frankly, they don't, and if a writer wants to focus on a single era or aesthetic, they're entirely free too, projecting it as far into the past or future as they like. They should do so mindfully and with an awareness of the choices they're making, but doing so is no less valid than attempting to emulate a 'realistic' progression.

>le medieval fantasy is actually just the wild west meme
I can't believe anyone still takes this seriously.

How long a period of time is my campaign going to cover? A few months, game time? A few years? The lifetime of one or two generations of characters?
There are plenty of places in the real world where 1000 looked pretty much like 1200 with different political players.

Because it invites questions. Why doesn't it advance? Why doesn't anything ever change or improve? We know, from history, that continual advancements in society, philosophy, and technology will happen amongst a civilization and these advancements will eventually either solve problems or create new problems, which is an impetus for further advancement. For instance, the state of the slave market - and with it wide-ranging ideas on everything from the value of human life to the concept of liberty to law enforcement techniques - changes over and over again throughout historical eras along with the invention of labor-saving and labor-needing techniques. Urbanization is also a trend that gradually introduces huge social changes in every society over time. Frankly, I could spend all day giving examples.

Because we know these are forces that logically should be there, any reader or player interested enough in the setting to actually think about it will come to ask basic questions about why the setting is different. If the author's answer is "because I don't want it to," I mean, that's their right, but I'm going to think the work is poorly fleshed out and weaker for it if the author can't answer basic questions about where it's been and where it's going.

That's not relevant to the thread's question, though.

>Because it invites questions. Why doesn't it advance? Why doesn't anything ever change or improve?
Because we don't want it to

Well, the two competing empires (humans and elves) just finished their massive railway system and have somewhat primitive but improving steam (or hybrid steam/magic) engines. Being super competative, they made sure their railway system was incompatible. The humans use two rails, the elves use monorails.

Then I'm going to think the work is poorly fleshed out and weaker for it.

If the author can't be assed to care about his setting enough to thoroughly think about it, why should I?

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They're currently in the late renaissance culturally and technologically, and are moving towards the cusp of industrialization.

The author can't help it if you're autistic

>just turn your brain off bruh

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Infinitely far, after mortal-kind developed atomic weapons and tried to use them against the gods, the gods set a firm barrier on technical advancement, and will always, absolutely definitely, destroy any society that crosses it.

My setting is basically Western Europe on the eve of the Age of Discovery (think Battle of Flodden/Pavia) + Elves and Wizards and regular D&D shit. The local Wizards are pretty strict in not using their power for political ends (e.g. there are no 'court wizards,' no wizard is allowed to hold public office or influence the outcome of a war) but this rule may not hold true for civilizations on other continents. It'll probably look pretty crazy in a few decades.

The one big crazy anachronism I allow in my setting is artificial currency. 'Gold pieces' aka 'crowns' are actually fake gold coins issued by royal edict. Most of the actual gold in the kingdom is kept in a vault in the Royal Palace in order to enforce use of the official currency. This is so we can use the prices of stuff as listed in Pathfinder without my brain splitting.

>black powder weapons
>printing press causing widespread literacy
>germ theory
>adaptation of ancient technology leading to anachronisms (big stompy magitek armour, for example)

I dunno. Would you say it's getting there?

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I don’t know. Though one of my players wants us have a game that’s set in the same setting but it’s modern day and wants to have a Holy Grail with the various PCs and NPCs as servants

>That's not relevant to the thread's question, though.
Good thing I wasn't replying to OP, cockeyes.
See Modernization may well fall outside the scope of the planned campaign. I don't need to know a thousand years of projected future for the same reasons I don't need a thousand years of meticulous history - it's outside the scope of a fifty-year goblin stabbing window. Wasted prep.

>black powder weapons
>printing press causing widespread literacy
>germ theory
>adaptation of ancient technology leading to anachronisms (big stompy magitek armour, for example)

... Is that ed greenwood's forgotten realms before TSR said they had to reduce the tech and wotc removed the stuff TSR ignored?

Modernizing Veeky Forums sounds like a tall order, I don't think they'll make it that far. Veeky Forums is pretty stuck in its ways, after all.

I know China had something similar

Pretty far. It's actually a post apocalyptic world wherein everyone, from the humans to the lizard people to the giants are descended from phenotype engineering programs to create people that can adapt to different planets and extreme ecosystems, in the vein of Ilium's Moreveks or the space race from Hyperion (wait those are both Dan Simmons). They have a limited history, only a few centuries

Another planet that was connected with the fantasy world survived much more intact. It is a high tech sci-fi world that has reached a level of technologic dormant because it's a technocracy that has reached the level of political stagnation that inevitably hits every political system, and higher education has warped to becoming a twisted gatekeeping method of who can vote, and who can hold office, with most officials only doing the barest minimum to be electable.

If the players manage to destroy the world, an 'angel' in the form of a couple well meaning scientists in a flying saucer will save them.

Cant speak for everyone but here is why i dont normally go beyond the renaissance period for a setting. Basically, the Victorian age and onward was a time of extremes, with assembly lines and factories making their way in, it led to a small amount of people getting very rich while the rest got poor. Farming was untouched for a good while, but eventually when tractors came along it to slowly became field after field handled not by families but a few workers under the boss. The old order of trade guilds fell apart and with them the security and stable pricing as well as retirement. Artisans watched as their businesses, some several generations deep, were rendered inefficient and they to were forced into a factory or the military to make do. This led to the rise in Ideologies such as marx and his communist manifesto, Several schools of reactionary thought, and of course democratic supporters.
These are all active ideals that are fought over today and quite frankly one cannot do such a setting justice without going into them. This means no matter what your going to end up playing your own ideals in it inadvertently or at least pissing someone off. It hits to close to home.

My setting is literally early medieval Norway. However, my players are all products of the American education system, so they think it's the best fantasy setting ever.

No, it's Final Fantasy 6.

Though, if it is indeed a fantasy setting, one must consider how things magical and alchemical would change the notion of progress.
For example, I see no worldly reason why any national entity would not support druids just as much as mages. For every magic school there should be a druidic one or at least a branch of the magic school offering the druids path. Rather said school is governmental or privatized is irrelevant.
You have a group who can make any crop or orchard flourish. Who can calm the mightiest of beasts and commune with the spirits of nature itself. Would it not be progress to support these people and reap the benefits?
You would see fields with standing stones, carved with druidic symbols that double the harvest size. You would see beasts such as gryphons and owlbears tamed and put to work in matters of labor and warfare either as attack animals or mounts. You would see fruit giving trees the size of castles where an entire small village is needed to tend to them.
And what would the cost of all this be? Not clear cutting for endless pathways and fields? Keeping the cities green with parks and planters and gardens? There is all to gain and nothing to lose unless you play druids as full civilization hating hippys.

>mfw have renaissance culture but 900s technology
Who's /disorder/ here?

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For the past few years, I have been compulsively running a setting with spaceships, world-terraforming, Dyson spheres, laser guns, ansible-internet-connected computers and smartphones, televisions, memory uploads and VR sensoriums, mind-recording and mind-resleeving into new bodies, artificial intelligences, bioaugmentations and cybernetic implants (some of which are hereditary), controversies over implants, cloning, nanomachines, and so on. People travel to different planets. There are megacorporations.

However, all of it is literally magic, and the setting is Planescape's Great Wheel (focusing on the Outer Planes) with a touch of 4e's World Axis.

The spaceships are highly advanced spelljammers, world-terraforming is an alchemical balancing act of Inner Planar elements, the Dyson spheres hook up directly to the Inner Planes of fire/radiance/positive energy, the laser guns project arcane force, the ansible-internet-connected computers and smartphones are matrices of divination and illusion, the televisions work through scrying, the memory uploads and VR sensoriums work via the Society of Sensation, the mind-resleeving into new bodies is advanced reincarnation at the hands of the Believers of the Source and the Dustmen, the artificial intelligences are incorporeal constructs, the bioaugmentations and cybernetic implants are biomancy (also hereditary), there are huge controversies over things like altralothic implants, the clones are illusory simulacra and necromantic clones, the nanomachines are elementites, etc.

There is planet-hopping, plane-hopping, constellate-petting, exploration of the uncharted reaches of the infinite multiverse, portal networks ranging from intra-city to inter-planar, and Dyson capital ships that enshroud stars. The Great Wheel's factions are cyberpunk-like monolothic megacorporations, only with more benevolence and PC-appeal.

Is this a setting that anyone would find entertaining? What can better sell people on "sci-fi by way of magic"?

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Another thing to consider is 'magitech'. The combining of technology as we know it with magic or at least the kind of magic we are familiar with.
The most obvious way to do this is compare modern things we are familiar with and consider how they could be done with magic instead. For example, a refrigerator could simply be an box with a enchantment of chill touch or some other relativity low level spell.
However it is much more difficult to take the mindset of a character from such a time of swords and sorcery and think forward rather than us thinking back and adding the magic factor.
For example, the druid thing there is on the right path. This is something we know we can do. This is something that is greatly beneficial. This is something that costs little. Therefor it will be done.
Another example could be the creation of places or power or of great importance. Say how Rome had its famous aqueducts and stadiums and how Babylon had the hanging gardens.
If even a level 1 cleric can cast create water once, that is still 10 gallons. Could not the temple of said clerics then support the township? Think of it, as part of the city temple there would be a great silo or container where the clergy cast water from heaven down into. From there, through aqueducts and pathways it could go to bathhouses, wells, markets, fields, public restrooms even.
Another is the mending cantrip. This is a fucking miracle for engineering upkeep and reclamation. Even the most foolish of wannabe mages, if they can at least learn mending, should be offered a job to simply go around the township, roads, bridges, whatever and fix any flaws he sees. Hell call them "Menders" its literally a open and shut case of practicality,

The Gods love things just the way they are, so it's never going to modernize. Medieval stasis forever!

From this we can see societies being shaped vastly different from the standard feudal/freeman kind of setting. Such a temple as mentioned, would be a vital part of the city's infrastructure and therefor its faith basically solidified as a necessity. Possibly even control of the city would be in the hands of the high priest or ruling council of said temple.
In a way, the very existence of magic and direct interactions of faiths would mean the world at large is closer to the bronze age position of priests, magi, and kings far more then the medieval.
This is not to say large nations would not exist or that all would be ruled by magic or priest, but that they would be guaranteed to have some sort of say on government measures.
Off the top of my head, and to fit in,line with the more standard idea of a setting. The head of each wizard school as well as the head priest of every major temple would have as much say as a duke. In a way kind of like the Orthodox patriarchs used to. (And still do in some areas)

Its Age of Exploration right now, but the gods are getting worried by the firearms in use already, so the different pantheons are working together to stagnate military science. So, unless someone can fight literally all the gods, it's a very long way off.

In conclusion, the term 'Progress' is quite vague when it comes to matters where magic, faith, and alchemy are all active, physical forces.
The idea we could compare 'progress' in a setting by our own terms of technology and ideology is a foolish thing.
In fact I would say the stagnation so often complained about is largely due in part to the fact that considering how such a setting would advance from the position of the average joe is difficult for us to do. We much easier fall into the trap of "reverse engineering' existing inventions we are familiar with and adding magic.
Why invent planes, when you have gryphons and magic?.
Why have mega-farms when every family can grow thrice the amount with a single druidic totem.
Why have serfs when food and animals are easier to grow by the dedicated free?
Why have factories when such an amount of free men would allow a large number of artisans of every kind?
Why allow the ways of magic to only a select few when even the dropouts can cast mending and be useful?

I seem to recall you talking about this setting before. As I recall the thread mostly came down to people trying to explain that even with sci-fi elements, and qualities conducive to any good sci-fi, if the setting didn't look and feel sci-fi, they couldn't treat it as such.

As to the questions you raised though:
There are entertaining elements that I shall at least consider for future world-building endeavors of mine.
And honestly, the biggest complaint I have heard, at least from my group, when a setting isn't really 'sci-fi enough' for them, is based on the ability for someone to get shadowrun style wired reflexes (alternatively Rifts style Juicer augmentation), or Rifts style powered armor with railguns as a plus.
Usually the existence of one or the other, combined with the fact that such augments/armors can be serious fight enders, gets people to calm down about the setting not feeling sci-fi.

Really far. It's a neolithic age with some "ancient alien" bs thrown in.

Who said it's important to the story or themes? Who said we had to show you it to you?

Not necessarily.

The existence of magic would likely prevent the emergence of the scientific method.

Negative 500 or so. It's a Science Fantasy.

That depends on if the villain wins.

Reminder magic advancement would take the place of technology advancement

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*would take place alongside

It's about a 16th century tech level on the main continent. However, the empire has a locomotives and a single railway, all imported from the steampunk-frankstein-soldiers-ruled-by-analytical-engine in the northern continent.

On the cusp of the renaissance, close to collapse due to the end of the times of cold, causing a gradual desertification of the savannah steppes over 300 years, leading to vast migrations yadiyadiyadah

I have several.
One will never modernize. It's kept in a perpetual medieval stasis by extraterrestrial powers who are studying magic on a mystical ringworld. These powers rarely interact with the setting (their official messenger sometimes talks to the pantheons posing as the pantokrator). Forcing the inhabitants into never modernize makes them get creative with magic more.

The second will never modernize for a different reason. The world seems to be ill fated. "Dungeons" exist because society collapses for one reason or another every 20,000-500,000 years resetting global tech levels to almost pre-sapient levels. Local apocalypses cycle every 500-3,000 years and wipe entire civilizations out.

The third already has societal modernization but not technological modernization. Capitalism, fascism, and nation states have existed for hundreds of years (only because the species involved are predisposed to certain forms of government, and none are human) and will remain strong for decades. What exactly is "modern" for tech anyway? In setting their are printing presses, well built roads, concrete for buildings, simple firearms (for some nations, others think they are a waste of time and stuck with crossbows) but no factories, steam power, steel buildings or anything like that. Those shouldn't be around for another two centuries or so. Tech developed differently on this world.


Gunfag please fuck offFUCK OFF

>The existence of magic would likely prevent the emergence of the scientific method.


Humans are optimization machines - we constantly strive to improve what we have (if only to nuke those fuckers who live over that hill). Whether modernization would be done with tech, or with magic, we'll do it.

One can argue that powerful tool such as magic would actually hasten the modernization - it ignores our conventional laws of physics, a thing our world's scientists would sell their soul for.


It's got some trappings of standard fantasy so, so my players feel about as surprised by progress as people who grew up in that world do.

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The story takes place JUST before the Industrial revolution.

Mine is set in an early Victorian era technology wise but a lot of the cultures are still very medieval in some ways. Knightly Orders wearing plate mail and guns not being too popular for example.

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Infinitely. Modernity is cancer and fantasy exists to mentally escape from it.