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ravells
05-08-2014, 05:42 PM
There is a very interesting Reddit thread here:

What common medieval fantasy tropes have little-to-no basis in real medieval European history? : AskHistorians (http://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/24xlsw/what_common_medieval_fantasy_tropes_have/)

Bogie
05-08-2014, 06:48 PM
Thanks for the info, very interesting.

Pineapple
05-14-2014, 05:10 PM
Thanks for posting.

I will say a lot of it boils down to, "Yes, that sometimes happened, but it wasn't particularly common." Frankly, I think that's to be expected. Fantasy stories aren't really expected to depict every day life for the rural peasant in the 12th century, they're supposed to tell extraordinary stories.

Edit: There's also not much in the way of sources cited, unless I just missed them.

Damage_Inc89
06-19-2014, 11:22 PM
Here's a Cracked article from about a year ago that I read once. It doesn't discuss fantasy, but general misconceptions about the entire medieval period.

Myths About the Middle Ages - Cracked.com (http://www.cracked.com/article_20186_6-ridiculous-myths-about-middle-ages-everyone-believes.html)

Turanil
06-20-2014, 12:38 PM
Very interesting. BTW: I also learned that gun silencers do not exist...

Midgardsormr
06-20-2014, 08:03 PM
I think you may have been misled. SilencerCo Suppressors ? SilencerCo. Firearm Suppressors (http://www.silencerco.com/products/)

jtougas
06-20-2014, 09:48 PM
I think much is made of the fact that most of what we consider "medieval" fantasy is far more made up than reality. I'm slightly confused by this considering that (for example) if there were a "peasant farmer" character class in your favorite RPG, would you want to play it? (DM)" you have to go bale by hand and take it to the barn....roll a d20 to see if you succeed...." I'm all for "accuracy" but IMO it's called Fantasy for a reason.... :)

Damage_Inc89
06-21-2014, 01:30 AM
Very interesting. BTW: I also learned that gun silencers do not exist...


I think you may have been misled. SilencerCo Suppressors ? SilencerCo. Firearm Suppressors (http://www.silencerco.com/products/)

Not that it's particularly relevant to medieval fantasy tropes, but what I think he meant was that although suppressors do obviously exist, they're just that: "suppressors," and the gun may make less noise, but it's never "silent" like you would see in TV/film.

Turanil
06-21-2014, 07:22 AM
I'm slightly confused by this considering that (for example) if there were a "peasant farmer" character class in your favorite RPG, would you want to play it? (DM)" you have to go bale by hand and take it to the barn....roll a d20 to see if you succeed...." I'm all for "accuracy" but IMO it's called Fantasy for a reason.... :)
It all depends on how said class is being designed. If (in D&D terms) it's a Commoner class with d4 hit-points, very poor BAB/ThAC0 progression, and only skills in farming: yes, nobody will ever want to play it.

But now, consider that during the 15th century all peasants in England had to learn to use a bow and accompany their lords on the battlefield. So they your basic peasant can become an archer class, in addition to having skills in farming. Then, add to this skills for living/surviving in the wilderness and such, and you can get a decent class that some people might want to play.

jtougas
06-21-2014, 12:00 PM
It all depends on how said class is being designed. If (in D&D terms) it's a Commoner class with d4 hit-points, very poor BAB/ThAC0 progression, and only skills in farming: yes, nobody will ever want to play it.

But now, consider that during the 15th century all peasants in England had to learn to use a bow and accompany their lords on the battlefield. So they your basic peasant can become an archer class, in addition to having skills in farming. Then, add to this skills for living/surviving in the wilderness and such, and you can get a decent class that some people might want to play.

This is very true. I probably should have put more thought into my response :)

Vidgange
06-23-2014, 11:35 AM
Yeah, the Middle Ages aren't always how me imagine them... That whole Romanticism movement in the 19th Century really skewed our viewing of 1000 years or so...

Gamerprinter
06-23-2014, 12:06 PM
I can honestly say, I was heavily influenced by the original Harn setting, that while fantasy based cleaves a lot closer to reality than many other socalled Euro-centric settings. That said, unlike D&D, much of medieval Europe's emphasis was the control of Europe by a single church (at least initially), though definitely a single deity. The fact that D&D settings use a pantheon of deities is a serious departure from the historic record. Pantheons of gods are pre-Christian and is more like an amalgamation of classical history shoe-horned into medieval history.

@Vidgange - yeah, I basically toss out all concepts touched upon during the Romanticism movement. My view of druidism, for example, coincides with Celtic beliefs/history, not with the Romanticism movement, nor modern alternative religious concepts of druidism. Druids of the past and socalled druids of today, have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Romanticism views on fey are nothing like the beliefs a century before or a thousand years before. I rely on Katherine Briggs views on fey lore, and not what Arthur Conan Doyle thought it was. Tiny tinkerbell fairies are a product of Romanticism, and not Elizabethan and older Celtic views on fey. At the same time the Color series of fairy books (ie: the Blue Book of Fairies) created during the late 19th century are actually fairly reliabe sources of fey lore. However, any topics touched upon in late 19th century, especially during the Victorian period/Romanticism Era, needs to be taken with a grain of salt, and very often should be eschewed as useless nonsense. It is better to research deeper, if you want to hope to better emulate reality or past beliefs. It is best to steer clear of any Romanticism notions.

Ghostman
06-24-2014, 09:16 AM
The fact that D&D settings use a pantheon of deities is a serious departure from the historic record. Pantheons of gods are pre-Christian and is more like an amalgamation of classical history shoe-horned into medieval history.

Most of the time they fail to grasp the nature of old polytheist faiths though, the greater number of deities being about the only aspect adopted from them. The end result resembles a bizzarre cluster of monotheist sects that all agree to a common set of beliefs about the universe, morality, afterlife, etc while being each focused on a particular godhead.

Gamerprinter
06-24-2014, 10:21 AM
Most of the time they fail to grasp the nature of old polytheist faiths though, the greater number of deities being about the only aspect adopted from them. The end result resembles a bizzarre cluster of monotheist sects that all agree to a common set of beliefs about the universe, morality, afterlife, etc while being each focused on a particular godhead.

That is also true. Indeed most worshippers of polytheistic faiths might have a primary god honored above all in the pantheon, but the other deities are honored as well - such is not the case in D&D polytheism.

Azelor
06-24-2014, 12:09 PM
That is also true. Indeed most worshippers of polytheistic faiths might have a primary god honored above all in the pantheon, but the other deities are honored as well - such is not the case in D&D polytheism.

It depends, in the Forgotten realms, some gods go hand in hands with each other like Azuth and Oghma for example. Often, one person will worship more than one god because other gods have similar affinities. But I admit that the default dnd gods are less alike.