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Sunday, July 31st, 2005
2:39a - Civilization 2
Okay, I was discussing with some staff members on an online game about society and civilization, and how they would probably operate. In the setting, the homeland of two nations were completely destroyed or ravaged by demons and undead. The surviving refugees escapes to another nation, and were granted allowance to make refugee camps in the area.

Now, one nation had necromancers and infernalists, and were your stereotypical 'dark and despotic' region. The other was a sultanate. The place they moved into was a very 'good' region, ruled by a single mage who has a peace keeping force. The place is peaceful, centralized, and the Peace Keepers do an excellent job of enforcing the law. (Your tyical 'lawful good' sort of region). The wizard had banned 'noble' titles. The merchant class has nominal influence due simply to trade, but the Peace Keepers are the end-all and be-all of law. 20 years pass, and the city that took in the refugees expanded and grew due to the new influx.

Okay. One of the themes I've added for the setting is a conflict between the landless nobles from the 'evil' region, trying to enforce class distinction in the new territory. They also hate the Peace Keepers for butting in and enforcing the law of the land in the new district which is controlled by the refugees from the 'evil' territory. They brought their own guards and the old city police force from the destroyed land, and are trying to enforce their own rule.

One staffer was upset that the nobility didn't have any 'title' in the region, and the Peace Keepers had control. She didn't think it was realistic, and I had to explain the circumstances. I tried using some real world references to help explain the circumstances. She felt that the district should be able to just throw the Peace Keepers out, and declare the region theirs. What I explained:

1) She didn't understand the concept of a nation without nobility. I tried to explain that, using pre-Roman Europe. A number of villages with 'village heads', and one lord who overlooked the villages to ensure peace. Not a perfect fit but it helped.

2) The refugees from the Sultanate and the 'Evil' nation are akin to the nobility of France having lost their land during the Reign of Terror, post French Revolution. They escaped to other nations with their titles, but had to answer to the laws of the land they had entered. My example was, 'what of 2000 French nobility moved into Berlin, then 20 years later said that Germany's laws no longer applied to them?'

Now, one of the other staff members commented on this, and I've heard this sort of comment before: They did not like the idea of me using real world historic examples for how events play out. In a few cases, I use it to explain how current events exist, but I've also used it to explain how cultures clash, or societies grow. Apparently, some people take exception at trying to use real-world rules for the movement of nations.

I can't understand that line of thinking. Yes, it is a fantasy setting, but it should also make sense and hold to some level of consistancy. Throwing out real world history because it is real world doesn't make sense. It works as a useful point of reference for trying to see how a nation may adapt or react, or how a culture may interact with its surroundings.

Am I so off-base to try to explain a fictional setting by using real life references? I could never stand the 'it doesn't have to make sense, it is fantasy' argument.


current mood: tired

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