5 Geeks. One Roundish Table. In this GTRT, we talk about moving the spotlight from overly dramatic players, playing PC’s not in the players manual, and the eternal battle of SciFi vs Fantasy. Plus, a special End of the World GTRT attached at the end for your listening pleasure.
Intro Music: Rising to the Challenge by Daniel Allardyce
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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:31:46 — 42.6MB)
3 comments on “GTRT Ep 31: Reducing Drama, Out there PC’s & Fantasy vs SciFi”
Hey thanks for answering my question! I’ll have to try some of this in my games.
Also Daniel’s changeling set up sounds like an awesome game, I’d love to hear that.
I’m also glad to see the feline star of the show is still making himself known.
Oh boy. There were a lot of topics in there! Can’t say I agree with the final count there. I for one enjoy meeting the personification of Q and teaching him that maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t always need to hang out with U. U can be a bit selfish sometimes.
I’d like to give a few points that may have helped (that Billy touched on) about the ‘Chosen One’ idea. A lot of this will be stream of consciousness, so forgive me.
There are times in fantasy where you have the Chosen One syndrome. Something has chosen you, yes you, to be the hero. This can be from strange women living in ponds to having an otherworldly prophecy that you qualify for. And personally I don’t have much of an issue with it. But this leads to the idea that, well, not everyone can be a hero. Be it from choice or circumstance, some people don’t have the stuff. This isn’t unique to fantasy.
Because this is an actual play podcast, I’ll focus on this in RPGs. In D&D, at least modern editions, you’re a cut above the rest. You are almost undeniably better than any commoner that you’ll come across. You don’t run from the horrible CR2 monster. Most people, seeing the bones around a cave entrance, will stay away. You’ll, on a meta level at least, think, “Here there be loot & xp”. World of Darkness, same thing. You’re better than most mortals, but with the right mix of luck and insane thinking, you can diablerize your way to the top. Or you’ve seen the writing on the wall and ascended. Or maybe you decide to go for the path of enlightenment, and end up with a third eye. Shadowrun, you’re much much better than the average wageslave or ganger. You aren’t going to save the world, but you can move up in it.
Anyway, that isn’t something that’s only in fantasy’s court. Look to Dune for the concept of a Chosen One. In Star Trek, the Enterprise is filled with Federation trained navy. They’re a cut above the rest. This idea that not everyone can be a hero might be more obvious in fantasy, but it is a shared trope.
When it comes to the Deathwatch game – I thought you did a fantastic job. You made the existence of a female space marine by the focus of the campaign, specifically because of how odd it was. Though, frankly, assigning anything to a Space Marine other than “Traitor” or “Loyalist” is silly, given that they’ve been specifically modified far beyond humanity.
Oh, and 40K did interact with an alternative, fairly rational human society that had rebuilt to a technologically advanced position, robots and all, after the Dark Age of Technology. It was known as the Interex. Bad times ensued. 🙁
When racism was brought up in games, Dragon Age was brought up. There was quite an interesting social dynamic in there. Different nationalities hated each other (humans), the special class of people who could use magic either ruled as blood tyrants (Tevinter) or were feared and guarded at all times (South Thedas), led their people (the barbarians & Dalish) or enslaved (the Qunari). Dalish looked down on City Elves, Dwarves had a caste system – it was quite well made world. But I was going to say, most fantasy worlds have some level of racism & classism. Sometimes it’s even baked into the mechanics (Gnomes hate Goblins, Dwarves hate Orcs, take a +2 bonus). Half orcs or half monsters are looked down upon most of the time regardless of the game. Check out The Witcher (games or books) if you have some time.
I cannot wait for Jerry to become the singularity and make his dreams (read: anime) real.
And then the final question is… is it Scifi that you chose, or do you enjoy Space Fantasy? Oryx and Crake with a side of original Star Trek, or do you like the Firefly & Star Wars side of things?
When the interex first showed up in the horus heresy, I will admit a small part of me hoped they would somehow survive. I knew it wasn’t going to happen, but dammit, a man could hope.
As for which type of scifi, I prefer the star treks and expanse with a smattering of dark matters for good company. Sometimes though I’ll wash it down with some legends of galactic heroes and firefly if I’m in a fanciful mood. And if I really want to get up there, I’ll take a strong hit of Farscape and Lexx.