Comic Talk and General Discussion *

How do you go about World building?
bravo1102 at 4:00AM, July 31, 2015
(offline)
posts: 5,266
joined: 1-21-2008
Actually across cultures elves, dwarves and orcs are mytholgical archetypes.  Most cultures have mythical beings that are refined nature spirits (elves), short workers of the earth (dwarves) and nasty brutes (orcs).

It is as you said that D&D codified these races and everyone is so accustomed that they glom unto them without thinking.  You third generation of the use of the idea as opposed to going and finding another interptation of the same archetypes and using it.  That's why anime can be so refreshing to see the Japanese/Asian mythologies or their twist on the common Tolkien archetypes. Some do it badly as if it's a game system as a TV show and others fly away with it.  

Unfortunately it takes a little searching to find fantasy even based on the older traditions of faerie.  I know one series set in Elizabethan times that has Oberon as a player in English politics and extrapolates faeire culture based on traditional sources and Midsummer's Night Dream.  There was the wonderful mini-series Merlin which added traditonal English folklore to the legend of Merlin with Queen Mab and gnomes and nothing Tolkienesque in sight so it can be done.  But it just takes work on the part of the creators.  

As a former Dungeon master (I rarely ever got to play always  you're so imaginative you run stuff!) I often did change-ups because everyone had read the Monster Manual.  I worked over the world and made orcs into a primitive human and a dying speices, elves into evolved orcs and dwarves as short guys who worked in tight places.  All branches of humanity with their own quirks but still part of the same evolutionary path.  Me and evolutionary biology. Helped so much to put it all together. A little research goes a long way in world building.
last edited on July 31, 2015 4:02AM
ozoneocean at 4:44AM, July 31, 2015
(offline)
posts: 27,469
joined: 1-2-2004
That sounds like a Robert E Howard way of doing things. He did a similar thing with the Aesir and Vaniar of Norse myth- reimagining them as tribes… back when he was still on the 19th century style racialist kink and imagining Conan as part of a racial continum of supermen decended from Aryan heroes in the distant past (along with Krull and Cormac Mac Art, and Solomon Kane, and all the rest…)
 
I'm rambling now, but part of Morcock's rationale for Elric was that he was an anti-Conan: skinny, sickly, albino, royalty, a sorcerer with a demon sword, a member of a non-human dying hyper civilised race…
But in reality he was exactly the same.as Conan intrinsically: an avatar of an eternal hero as well as the author's idea of a fantasy fulfilment kick-arse warior god who triumphs in spite of awesome odds. The differences were just superficial.
 
To tie it together:
Michael Morcock is not a great story writer, he's just not very good at character interation or development, but he is a brilliant idea man, fantastic at concepts, scenes and world development. In his stories he's come up with dozens of different and exciting new fantasy worlds that don't need elves or trolls, dwarves, or Orcs… Though technically Elric is some sort of high elf thing I suppose.
 
bravo1102 at 5:35AM, Aug. 1, 2015
(offline)
posts: 5,266
joined: 1-21-2008
ozoneocean wrote:
That sounds like a Robert E Howard way of doing things. He did a similar thing with the Aesir and Vaniar of Norse myth- reimagining them as tribes… back when he was still on the 19th century style racialist kink and imagining Conan as part of a racial continum of supermen decended from Aryan heroes in the distant past 
That's where the deep background of Mask of the Aryans came from that wonderful race based mythology that stood in for archeology in the 19th and early 20th Centuries.  The same genius that brought us the white race originating in the Caucasus (hence whites are caucasians) and the Aryans originating in Atlantis via Thule and living on Vril enegy defeating the brutal Neaderthals in hand-to-hand combat.  Guess that was the only chapter in the Blavatsky books he could get through.
Now that was a world builder.  Look up the stuff Madame Blavatsky came up with as the history of life on earth. Look up Ignatious Donnelly's ruminations on Atlantis.  Fantasy world building pretending to be archeology.  Then there is Zecharia Stitchin and his reinterpretation of Sumarian myth.  One of his last works was the Lost Book of Enki which if anything is a novel purporting to be a lost history of the Annunaki.

Forgot Password
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved Google+