How NOT to Conworld.

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Thakowsaizmu
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Thakowsaizmu » 09 Jul 2012 17:35

hubris_incalculable wrote: I'm looking at you, Star Wars.
Star Wars is pretty much the model of how not to conworld.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by thaen » 10 Jul 2012 00:39

taylorS wrote:A Sci-Fi pet-peeve:

<span class="gti-match gti-match-paragraph gti-match-paragraph-30">Aliens who all look like funny-looking humans (complete with fingernails and breasts) and <span class="google-translation-immersion-group google-translation-immersion-highlight-sticky"><span class="google-translation-immersion-original" style="display:none;">can</span><span class="google-translation-immersion-outer-word-wrap"><span class="google-translation-immersion-inner-word-wrap">se</span></span></span> hybridize with us (like Spock's parents). It is highly unlikely for another intelligent species too look so similar to us. Yes, <span class="google-translation-immersion-group google-translation-immersion-highlight-sticky"><span class="google-translation-immersion-original" style="display:none;">there might be some</span><span class="google-translation-immersion-outer-word-wrap"><span class="google-translation-immersion-inner-word-wrap">podría haber alguna</span></span></span> convergent evolution (opposible digits for using tools and reduced jaws because of cooking), but they will otherwise look very different. Read the novels of David Brin's "Uplift" universe for realistic aliens. </span>
What if the "aliens" were really humans who ended up on another planet (by other aliens, perhaps?), and the only differences is that they adapted slightly differently to their atmosphere?
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Keenir » 10 Jul 2012 02:11

thaen wrote: What if the "aliens" were really humans who ended up on another planet (by other aliens, perhaps?), and the only differences is that they adapted slightly differently to their atmosphere?
Catherine Asaro wrote that series.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by xBlackWolfx » 10 Jul 2012 11:18

just as all the idiots on this site believe that you're only a good conlanger if your conlang is completely and utterly alien (and most likely unintelligible to anyone but maybe yourself) you think anyone who makes a world with a few cliches has no idea wtf they're doing.

tell me, if you cant feature elves and dwarves and gnomes and maybe hobbit-rip-offs, what else is there? mostly the only alternatives are animal ppl, catfolk, minotaurs, werewolves, frog people. sure you can do something wierd like the zombies in WoW or the 'warforged' in eberron (warforged purely and simply are magic androids, or golems according to actualy DnD books). but the warforged are completely uninteresting, and unnecessary (they appear to exist solely so half-orcs dont have to be a playable race). and the zombies in WoW dont make any sense, infact the intro for the undead makes it clear that their joining the horde was purely and simply an 'alliance of convenience' and 'they harbor no true loyalty to their new allies'.

yes, you can do wierd shit that makes no sense, but that just ends up looking stupid. and honestly, who the hell can relate to a zombie or an android? if you relate to such characters, you're probably schizophrenic.

the reason everyone keeps using elves and dwarves and other cliches is bc its nigh impossible to think of something that isnt just plain stupid, they just go with what clearly works. its like throwing away a perfectly good machine that works fine purely bc everyone else has one, and replacing it with a machine that doesn't work purely bc no one else is using it. and besides, its quite difficult to create a fantasy race that doesnt look like a dwarf or elf or hobbit or gnome or w/e without it looking like something from startrek rather than a fantasy setting. look at the dark crystal for instance, though normally billed as fantasy movie it does have alot of science fictiony elements. some of the flora and fauna of the world look like something from star wars. and gelflings look like a hybrid between elves and hobbits, and females have fairy wings (i've also noticed that reviews tend to refer to the gelflings as being 'elfin').

and what about single biome-planets? there's plenty of them in our own solar system, infact earth is the only plant we know of with a diverse biome, but even that has fluctuated over time. ocean worlds, tundra worlds, and desert worlds are all real and its not unreal to assume that life could exist on such planets (since we have animals on our own world that do perfectly fine in each of these environments). hell, the only place on our planet where there is no animal or plant life is in salt flats, (but it has recently been discovered that some forms of microbial life thrive in salt flats).

and honestly, why the fuck would you even care? clearly some ppl like that, infact despite all their cliches DnD, star wars, and star trek all have huge followings, they may not be mainstream, but its not like there's only a single group of five nerds buying DnD books, or star trek DVDs, or star wars. the main point is to be entertaining, not bizarre and unrelatable.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Ànradh » 10 Jul 2012 11:31

"What are things that people tend to do with their conworlds that make you lose interest? From stuff that simply makes you roll your eyes to stuff that makes you throw your hands up and walk away."
From the OP, emphasis mine.
Edit: Oh, and I don't appreciate the schizo' comment, troll.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Micamo » 10 Jul 2012 12:32

Look, the reason we like to see new things isn't because we're hipsters who are just too good for the "mainstream," It's because exploring unfamiliar ideas is part of what makes conworlding/conlanging so much fun. If you're just going to regurgitate English/Tolkien... then why conlang/conworld at all?
xBlackWolfx wrote:but the warforged are completely uninteresting, and unnecessary (they appear to exist solely so half-orcs dont have to be a playable race)
The Warforged are extremely important because they're a major part of Eberron's theme on the nature of sentience and the rights of non-humans. They represent other important ideas as well, such as parenthood and even the value of humanity (read up on the Warforged religions in Faiths of Eberron). They work so well precisely because they zoom out and let us look at the issue through a different perspective.


Besides, Eberron is one of the most popular (if not THE most popular setting after homebrew and maybe FR) precisely BECAUSE it goes out of its way to shatter the genre conventions of fantasy and offer something new and fresh. Magic is utilized for industry, instead of inexplicably the domain of old men in pointed hats who lock themselves away in towers. The gods are absent, and possibly nonexistant. All the standard fantasy races are given radically different new roles within the setting, e.g., instead of mindless little chunks of XP that that attack people for no reason so level 1 adventurers can slaughter them en-masse, Goblins built (and were then thrust out of) Sharn, the most heavily populated city in the world.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Ceresz » 10 Jul 2012 13:17

You know, when it comes to writing a story I get the idea of wanting characters that your reader can easily relate to (usually humanoid characters), but this doesn't necessarily have to apply to conworlding as well. The presence of humanoid characters and having everyone speak English in a science fiction/fantasy movie for instance is just convenient. You don't want to distract your viewers from the actual plot, do you?

Honestly I don't know how you can blame people for wanting to explore something other than your typical fantasy setting when working on their conworlds, Blackwolf. I myself am very boring when it comes to my conworlding, usually going for a familiar earth setting with a few additions/alterations to various species maybe. It all depends on your design goals and whatnot, I guess. This is just a personal preference of mine. I simply prefer having humans speak my conlangs. It just makes things easier for me, you know.
Micamo wrote:It's because exploring unfamiliar ideas is part of what makes conworlding/conlanging so much fun.
This isn't necessarily fun for everyone but I get your point. I guess it all depends on how you define creating something new. Does it have to be funky alien creatures speaking a funky alien language, or can it be a human speaking a new language on a new planet similar to earth but with a different history, different cultures and so on?

Anyway, the one thing I can't stand when it comes to conworld is an entirely Utopian setting. It just gets too boring. There are other things that bother me as well, but those (including the Utopion setting) have probably already been mentioned in this thread before.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by xBlackWolfx » 10 Jul 2012 13:29

since when was eberron the most popular? the sole reason it even exists is bc some kid won a contest, and most ppl like to criticize it it seems. and besides, i've played that dnd online thing, which takes place in eberron, i find the setting to be very very bland. infact, in the entire beginning area, the most amusing thing that happens, is when you're supposed to sneak past a dragon, but a female cleric and her group (consisting of a warforged sorcerer and a very cliche halfling rogue) who's supposed to be HELPING you charges in out of nowhere and wakes it, and as i was running away i looked back and saw the dragon chasing ME. and i was only like lvl 3 at the time (the leveling system in the game is wierd btw). yeah, of the entire beginnig area, the only part that amused me at all was getting chased by a dragon at lvl 3, after an npc cleric foolishly woke it up. and to be honest, i liked the island more before it was all sunny (the ice dragon is apparently freezing the entire island, which ironnically is normally tropical). i wasnt amused at the game at all, infact i never even bothered to go to stormreach i was so unimpressed. and that's ignoring the rather dull and simple gameplay, which honestly i dont think was all that bad, outside the fact that you need a way to pick locks in order to progress through the 'free' part of the game, which you have to pay real money for if you're not a rogue. there are mercenaries you can get without real money, but not one of them can pick locks (i think your options are a fighter, a barbarian, and a cleric)

and btw, how is eberron religion different from the forgotten realms? there's still a pantheon of gods, there's still clerics, and in dnd online one quest has you destroying altars to a god called the 'devourer'. only difference i know of is eberron does NOT make it clear the atheists are the only individuals that are truly punished in the afterlife. but it doesnt say that it ISNT true. in the forgotten realms, there is no freedom, you either worship one of the tyrannical parasitic gods or you're thrown into a wall that slowly digests souls until they cease to exist. i know the forgotten realms is popular, but i for one dispise it, and to be honest, i find it rather paradoxical that the forgotten realms is so popular despite the fact that it centers around a polytheistic relgion, when the united states is a heavily christian nation. hell, polytheistic relgions in the united states are rare, the only other relgions that could possibly be considered common are mormonisn and judaism, both of which again are monothetistic and highly xenophobic just like christianity.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Micamo » 10 Jul 2012 14:01

xBlackWolfx wrote:since when was eberron the most popular? the sole reason it even exists is bc some kid won a contest, and most ppl like to criticize it it seems. and besides, i've played that dnd online thing, which takes place in eberron, i find the setting to be very very bland. infact, in the entire beginning area, the most amusing thing that happens, is when you're supposed to sneak past a dragon, but a female cleric and her group (consisting of a warforged sorcerer and a very cliche halfling rogue) who's supposed to be HELPING you charges in out of nowhere and wakes it, and as i was running away i looked back and saw the dragon chasing ME. and i was only like lvl 3 at the time (the leveling system in the game is wierd btw). yeah, of the entire beginnig area, the only part that amused me at all was getting chased by a dragon at lvl 3, after an npc cleric foolishly woke it up. and to be honest, i liked the island more before it was all sunny (the ice dragon is apparently freezing the entire island, which ironnically is normally tropical). i wasnt amused at the game at all, infact i never even bothered to go to stormreach i was so unimpressed. and that's ignoring the rather dull and simple gameplay, which honestly i dont think was all that bad, outside the fact that you need a way to pick locks in order to progress through the 'free' part of the game, which you have to pay real money for if you're not a rogue. there are mercenaries you can get without real money, but not one of them can pick locks (i think your options are a fighter, a barbarian, and a cleric)
While I've never played DDO, the thing about it is it takes place in Xen'drik which is basically a gigantic uninhabited jungle with some ruins here and there. Where Eberron really shines as a setting (and where the most effort was placed) is in Khorvaire, which, AFAIK, DDO never touches.

Also, Eberron has by far the most 3rd edition books out of any of the official settings. The only one that tops it, I think, is 2nd edition Forgotten Realms. I realize this is anecdotal but I see much more love than hate of Eberron (and the eberron hate is always either from people who really badly misunderstand the setting, or they hate it precisely BECAUSE it's different).
and btw, how is eberron religion different from the forgotten realms? there's still a pantheon of gods, there's still clerics, and in dnd online one quest has you destroying altars to a god called the 'devourer'. only difference i know of is eberron does NOT make it clear the atheists are the only individuals that are truly punished in the afterlife. but it doesnt say that it ISNT true. in the forgotten realms, there is no freedom, you either worship one of the tyrannical parasitic gods or you're thrown into a wall that slowly digests souls until they cease to exist.
The difference is, in the Realms, you can walk up and talk to a god, in the flesh, if you really want to. You can even try to kill one if you've got the balls for it. You can cast Plane Shift and actually wind up in Heaven so you can visit your Great Grandma Judy.

Not so in Eberron. Nobody has any definitive proof the Sovereign host exists, and clerical magic explicitly works differently than in other settings: Rather than being granted directly by their god, divine spellcasters in Eberron draw their power from their devotion to an ideal, not necessarily that of a religion. It's perfectly possible to be a cleric who isn't devoted to a god at all. The only religions with "real" deities are things like the Undying Court, the Path of Light, and the Church of the Silver Flame, and those aren't really "gods" in the traditional sense.

One final note, the afterlife works differently in Eberron as well: Everyone, regardless of their alignment or who they worship, winds up in Dolurrh, an endless, bleak expanse, where they're neither rewarded nor punished. Some believe that souls in Dolurrh eventually pass on to their true afterlife, but nobody has any proof of this.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Tanni » 10 Jul 2012 14:47

Micamo wrote:Look, the reason we like to see new things isn't because we're hipsters who are just too good for the "mainstream," It's because exploring unfamiliar ideas is part of what makes conworlding/conlanging so much fun. If you're just going to regurgitate English/Tolkien... then why conlang/conworld at all?
For exploring a conworld, you need some stories that take place in that conworld, otherwise it's just a coulisse. If someone randomly puts in weird and unfamiliar ideas, the conworld may end up messy and inconsistent. Then, fantasy ends up in an algorithm to randomly select form a huge set of most wierd ideas, which isn't fantasy at all.

Tolkin is most intriguing, most of us would like to live in such a world. If someone creates his own world, he -- at least in his fantasy -- also wants to live in that world, too, isn't it? Some people call that escapism, but that's only due to the fact that we have fantasy, isn't it?
xBlackWolfx wrote:just as all the idiots on this site believe that you're only a good conlanger if your conlang is completely and utterly alien (and most likely unintelligible to anyone but maybe yourself) you think anyone who makes a world with a few cliches has no idea wtf they're doing.
Some people strive for a completely and utterly alien conlang for aliens, we had threads on that topic. To my mind, even that is not recommended, as I don't think that there are completely and utterly alien beings. The constraints of life and the need to communicate limit the possibilities.
xBlackWolfx wrote:tell me, if you cant feature elves and dwarves and gnomes and maybe hobbit-rip-offs, what else is there? mostly the only alternatives are animal ppl, catfolk, minotaurs, werewolves, frog people. sure you can do something wierd like the zombies in WoW or the 'warforged' in eberron (warforged purely and simply are magic androids, or golems according to actualy DnD books). but the warforged are completely uninteresting, and unnecessary (they appear to exist solely so half-orcs dont have to be a playable race).
Besides human-like people, I have sentient giant spiders, bat-like beings (the Catys) and dog-like beings (the Canisides) and an animal species which has small and long tentacles with nettles.

Never heard of Eberron.
xBlackWolfx wrote:and honestly, who the hell can relate to a zombie or an android? if you relate to such characters, you're probably schizophrenic.
Actually, that's a question of your skills as a writer. There are SF series where most weird characters are depicted sucessfully in extremely unusual situations, e.g. robots, human brains in robot bodies, clones, bodyly copies of certain beings, spirits living in hyperspace, minds of dead beings put into living beings to fulfill tasks, biological plasma beings, crystal beings, computers or robots with something like a ''mind'', either because they are extremely sophisticated or because they have biological plasma or brains as components, psionic ''remnants'' of already dead people who act by influencing living people, intelligent birds, insects, worms, fishes, intelligent beings floating in the atmosphere of a giant gas planet, intelligent plants, all of them maybe with psionic capabilities
xBlackWolfx wrote:the reason everyone keeps using elves and dwarves and other cliches is bc its nigh impossible to think of something that isnt just plain stupid, they just go with what clearly works.
Or just because they love elves and dwarfs. Paolini made me think better of dwarfs, actually.
xBlackWolfx wrote:its like throwing away a perfectly good machine that works fine purely bc everyone else has one, and replacing it with a machine that doesn't work purely bc no one else is using it.
Sometimes, it really seems to be like that.
xBlackWolfx wrote:and besides, its quite difficult to create a fantasy race that doesnt look like a dwarf or elf or hobbit or gnome or w/e without it looking like something from startrek rather than a fantasy setting.
Yes!
xBlackWolfx wrote:look at the dark crystal for instance, though normally billed as fantasy movie it does have alot of science fictiony elements. some of the flora and fauna of the world look like something from star wars. and gelflings look like a hybrid between elves and hobbits, and females have fairy wings (i've also noticed that reviews tend to refer to the gelflings as being 'elfin').
I like the Dark Crystal movie. Why shouldn't it be possible to give a fantasy world some SF elements?
xBlackWolfx wrote:the main point is to be entertaining, not bizarre and unrelatable.
Yes, agreed, but some people need more than just entertainment.

BTW, welcome back, xBlackWolfx!
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Thakowsaizmu » 10 Jul 2012 15:40

xBlackWolfx wrote:the sole reason it even exists is bc some kid won a contest, and most ppl like to criticize it it seems
Check your facts, dude.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Micamo » 10 Jul 2012 15:46

That's not even entirely correct, because there's plenty of differentiation to be found on Mars, Venus, Titan... The differences just don't matter as much to us because it's all uninhabitable anyway.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Keenir » 10 Jul 2012 16:39

xBlackWolfx wrote:and what about single biome-planets? there's plenty of them in our own solar system,
only if you redefine "biome" to mean something nobody else does.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by hubris_incalculable » 10 Jul 2012 23:41

xBlackWolfx wrote:who the hell can relate to ... an android?
A few names to consider:

Data
Marvin
C-3PO
Gir
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by kiwikami » 11 Jul 2012 01:00

hubris_incalculable wrote:
xBlackWolfx wrote:who the hell can relate to ... an android?
A few names to consider:

Data
Marvin
C-3PO
Gir
I am proud that I know each and every one of those.

Although... anyone who can relate to Marvin might have issues. Anyone who can relate to Gir... even more so. :roll:
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by thaen » 11 Jul 2012 21:12

I suppose that my and thakowsaizmu's comments concerning Christianity were deleted.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Thakowsaizmu » 11 Jul 2012 21:13

thaen wrote:I suppose that my and thakowsaizmu's comments concerning Christianity were deleted.
Moved and locked, actually.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Ossicone » 11 Jul 2012 21:14

thaen wrote:I suppose that my and thakowsaizmu's comments concerning Christianity were deleted.
Simply moved. I do not like deleteing posts without permission.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by thaen » 11 Jul 2012 22:23

Thanks. Sorry to have contributed to starting that, but I don't enjoy people making unfounded comments like that, especially when they are talking (though very indirectly, and perhaps unknowingly) about me/my family.
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