My favourite is High Fantasy, with Science-Fantasy as a close second.
While we decide the map that we will use, I thought we could also deal with this issue.
Here are some suggestions to help our reflection:
Fantasy: magic is common and generally accepted* Keep in mind that this list is non-exhaustive and of course it's also possible to mix the genres
-Dark fantasy (not horror) close to horror but different,. Horror emphasis on fear while dark fantasy emphasis on despair (The Brothers Grimm, Van Helsing or the Witcher)
-Fairytale or light fantasy: not as tragic as the dark fantasy but no need to be funny (Shrek, the discworld)
-High fantasy/heroic : in another world with an epic character or story (Lord of the ring)
-Low fantasy : often in real world is generally humoristic or horrific (Conan the barbarian ?)
Science fiction: technology or social engineering is the central element
-Post (apocalyptic) : after the destruction of civilization (Fallout 3, 28 Days Later, the last of us)
-Cyberpunk: emphasis on artificial intelligence and cybernetics or transhumanism (Deus ex, Brave new world, Shadowrun)
-Hard (obey to a complex system and/or based on real technology knowledge ( Isaac Asimov)
-Soft (fringe science) an approximate conception of science
-Steampunk: emphasis on steam-powered devices with anachronisms and future technologies incorporated into the Victorian era (Final fantasy 9, Eberron, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells)
Science fantasy: mix of science fiction and fantasy (most of the Final fantasy games)
Fantastique: magic is uncommum and the unknown generate fear so it's similar to horror but not always( H.P. Lovecraft, Guy de Maupassant,Edgar Allan Poe)
Alternate reality or alternate history if it’s on Earth: no magic, same physic but with a different political/cultural background (Batman)
Gurps and Traveller have already made a classification :
Tech Level Comparison Chart - Traveller
Traveller: Technology level - Traveller
Gurps: Tech Level - GURPS Wiki
*It‘s also possible to mix eras and have anachronisms just like most of the Final Fantasy games
No magic: real life
Low magic: it is rare, only a few know how it work (Game of thrones, Star Wars, mutants?)
Common magic: you can go to Waterdeep to buy magical goods (Forgotten realms, Harry Potter)
Even more magic: other planes of existence (dungeon and dragon: Sigil), the whole society is based on magic and without it, it is doomed.
So, what is your favorite setting ?
Mid Fantasy, era 1600 Earth (plate armour, really basic gunnes, horse calvary, castles)
Low to Common Magic
with Steampunk/sci-fi elements al la 1800 earth (Trains, ships and airships pretty much)
Possible post apocalypse with reversing technology (could explain the steampunk/sci-fi stuff still being around)
I like steampunk and fantasy and I think it could be interesting to mix them in a middle age/renaissance setting, but fantasy would be great too. One thing we need is something to make tghe world feel unique.
Anyone else ?
I prefer the level of technology to be set either very low (definitely pre-gunpowder/steam era) OR high-tech futuristic to the point where it begins to look borderline fantastic. There's also the option of going for WEIRD technology, with things working in wildly different ways from reality.
Ok so what I'm getting so far is generally more high fantasy and pre-gunpowder technology set in a medieval to renaissance era. I'd be happy to go with that. When I think of that I think along the lines of AD&D, or Jack Vance or Conan (if it was wholly in the dark ages for Conan though) sort of worlds. What level of magic does that imply? I tend to think of big magic thats essence is inaccessible to the general/uninitiated/trained population but wholly available for the right kind of cash. And also natural magic for many limited populations of people, creatures or beings.
Any ideas towards Azelor's worthwhile suggestion for something unique to set the world apart?
Gunpowder was used before the beginning of the Renaissance. As for the magic, I would prefer an easy access for some that know how to use it. And also accessible for the others via items or by paying a mage.
By natural magic I suppose you mean those spell-like abilities, like the firebreath of the dragon ?
Yes, gunpowder was used pretty early, but doesn't need to be included in a fantasy Renaissance era, which is why it should be dealt with separately.
Yeah thats what I meant with all the magic, just not as well expressed. Natural magic would also include humans with innate magical gifts as well. And faeries and the like.