The issue of firearms, airships, and steam punk.

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DurHandler
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Re: The issue of firearms, airships, and steam punk.

Post by DurHandler » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:25 am

Personally I think if they can't have firearms then cannons should go too, because the pounds of gunpowder argument just comes across as a cop out. I had really hoped to see this setting actually go somewhere but from the looks of things it's never going to change nor progress. Ah well, it was a nice sentiment whilst it lasted.

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Re: The issue of firearms, airships, and steam punk.

Post by Karras » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:16 am

I've said this in the OOC but I thought I'd put my thoughts here.

As BDI's self-professed archivist, I can mention that about 12/13 years ago the issue of gunpowder was raised onto the BDI mailing list by a person wanting to know if gunpowder was accepted or not in BDI's setting. By this state there'd already been arbitrary posts about large-rigged ships with 'cannon' which we assume use gunpowder, but this was never elaborated on. The answer from the ops was a straight-cut NO. No gunpowder of any sort or any kind in the setting.

The arguments came back asking for at least old, medieval style gunpowder, akin to those found on galleys and old ships and similar to say the Ottoman cannons (bronze, dangerous black powder that often explode, might only fire once or twice and that's it). The answer, then and there, was still NO. It was an argument that dragged through the mailing list for weeks.

How we went from there to now where we have ships with cannon and the like is anybody's guess, a lot of time passed and maybe the no gunpowder whatsoever was eased, I'm not totally sure. But I think the reason that the main argument many of the ops made at the time that there was no place for gunpowder in BDI's setting was this: If you have a ship with cannons and black powder, sooner or later someone will come along and say 'but if we have ships with cannon, then gunpowder exists and so I should have a gun, too'. Which is exactly what's happened here.

I have never liked the idea of any sort of gunpowder in BDI, ships, on land, or anywhere. Some others use the cannon idea on ships, and that's their idea and that's fine, since it is (I gather) acceptable to the setting. But the thing we have to consider here is that the genre of BDI's setting has always been high fantasy. I think 'Medieval Fantasy' (the coin termed by Angelsin) is a bit of a misnomer but refers to any such sort of high fantasy type genre ( Tolkien / Eddings / Hobb / George Martin etc). None of these author's high-fantasy works have any mention of gunpowder whatsoever (and the ball used by Sauron in The Two Towers to breach walls in a siege wasn't explicitly written as being gunpowder, if I recall, it was more something that the film creators chose to make it easier on the audience.) If they do in some shape or form, they're minuscule and not highly relevant to the plot or setting.

Since is the type of setting and genre I think BDI has always tried to emulate, then it's all the more reason we should stick to the formula. There is nothing stopping you devising any other means of magic or alchemy or some fantastical device that might be similar to the effect of a gun. Why must it be gunpowder in a setting that has no place for it? If you can devise magic to do any sort of thing within the boundaries of magic lore, and alchemist's fire is explosive and deadly, I don't see what the issue is with using these methods instead for character development or RP ideas.

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Re: The issue of firearms, airships, and steam punk.

Post by Suzthulhu » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:03 am

DurHandler wrote:Personally I think if they can't have firearms then cannons should go too, because the pounds of gunpowder argument just comes across as a cop out. I had really hoped to see this setting actually go somewhere but from the looks of things it's never going to change nor progress. Ah well, it was a nice sentiment whilst it lasted.

Because the vast majority of people in this thread don't want to see PEWPEWPEW guns, that means ALL IS LOST? Really? That sort of childish throwing up of one's hands is a big factor in why the answer is repeatedly "no."

I agree with JD's sentiment as well regarding the military cannons and the airships. Cannons are not common even within the realm of naval battles, which are rare in and of themselves to begin with. Seeing 15 people with airships all floating over the city is an even less appealing idea than individual firearms.
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Re: The issue of firearms, airships, and steam punk.

Post by KnightErrant » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:44 am

I guess I'll throw in my own 2 cents to this discussion.

I don't think we can get away from this being a biased conversation. The nature of the setting is based on preferences of some individuals, that's why it's medievalish/fantasy and not WWII for example. I'll admit my bias up from, I dislike having gunpowder period. While I can deal with the use of early type cannons and such, it does change the feel of the setting. It makes me think about how castle walls will soon become irrelevant, etc. Granted, this didn't happen all in an instant in history, but just knowing it's heading in that direction changes the feel of the game for me. And for me, it's the feel of the environment that I play in.

I really enjoy fantasy, Tolkien, Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, I roleplay because i enjoy making up characters to act in that kind of environment. But then again, it is a matter of bias, some people enjoy the strict medieval/fantasy setting, other's enjoy including elements to my brain, seem to belong in a different time and place.

On the note of change, I do not think we need to include guns in order to have the setting and channel feel alive. If that were so, how would many fantasy authors keep readers enthralled through multiple books. I advocate change through replying on story plots, planned events and global conditions that create atmosphere. I consider this to be "active change" whereas tweaking inanimate aspects of the setting to be "passive change." And yes, I am working on some story plot ideas so that I'm not just blowing smoke. It's just been my experience, though roleplaying over the last 7 years, and running a small channel of my own at one point, that
"active change" as I described is keeps things hopping better than "passive change." That's just my opinion.

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Re: The issue of firearms, airships, and steam punk.

Post by Pigasus » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:14 am

If you'd rather stay consistent, I vote for banning gunpowder altogether.

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Re: The issue of firearms, airships, and steam punk.

Post by laytrayin » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:06 pm

After reading the myriad of posts to this thread i keep hearing this is ffrp. it is ffrp but in a structureed setting and we should remember this. perhaps guns should not be allowed but we have had cannons on naval ships before. and if i recall correctly there was one airship that was owned by either an individual representing a country or a country itself, i dont remember exactly. but magical guns ....or even real guns i think should be highly restricted if asllowed as it does come too close to future things that have long been disallowed in setting. it was suggested that the player have at least 2 or 3 weeks in channel to be allowed such. i would amend that to 2 or 3 weeks of play and not just sitting and observing.
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Re: The issue of firearms, airships, and steam punk.

Post by DurHandler » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:18 pm

Well Suz, whilst rotating on the elitist stick up your ass, maybe you should consider this. For so long as there's gunpowder in this setting, people are going to pose the argument. "We should be able to have guns too." It's like a carrot and a stick but the stick is radoactive and the carrot is laced in rat poison.

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Re: The issue of firearms, airships, and steam punk.

Post by Nymphetamine » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:18 pm

While true, we have one tech savvy country that I can think of in the setting, that also operates with a high degree of magic. It's entirely possible that there are countries and territories in BDI that don't or can't use magic, but so far, they don't exist at the moment. So far, no one's given us a good reason to have them, other than "I waaaaaaaaaaaaaant them!"

And honestly, that's kinda what this seems to be coming down to. "I want them!" is being justified by the same things:

1. BDI's past regimes were so anti-firearms that the discussion was never had.

It was just a flat out, inexplicable no. Whether this is right or wrong shouldn't be the point, or the rallying argument for allowing guns. Saying "The past ops wouldn't allow it because they were so protective, they didn't allow anything" doesn't actually mean anything when trying to make your points for having firearms. It's a true and undeniable fact that yes, the Old Regime was that protective and refused to listen, that they wouldn't even allow to consider a presentation of why it should be included. Using this as an argument as why firearms should be allowed doesn't make a lot of sense. Because the past ops refused to listen about it, doesn't automatically turn it into a good idea -now-. What the Old Regime allowed or disallowed doesn't give you a platform to make this idea good.

IE: Stop saying that because the ops in the past wouldn't allow it, it should be allowed now. It's not an argument. It doesn't help the cause, it doesn't explain why firearms should be allowed, it doesn't suggest how it can be kept to a minimum or used effectively. This isn't a debate about what the Old Regime did, or what the revival team is trying to do. The very fact that we invited this public discussion of firearms is lightyears ahead of the Old Regime's methods. It's a little discouraging to see people say that we're not changing, or just doing the same things as the past ops because Dan and I happen to disagree with firearms in the setting. There are lots of other people weighing in on this topic who also disagree with firearms.


2. Change, no matter what, is good, no matter what the change is.

I get that, again, this has a lot to do with how the Old Regime ran things, already enumerated above. Forcing change, or changing things that don't make sense, or in this case, adding guns when a lot of people are against adding them, isn't good. This idea that changing things regardless of what they are bothers me because it's like the previous argument. It doesn't really have to do with why firearms would be a good addition to BDI (or not).

You have to understand that part of BDI's charm IS its traditional fantasy feel and vibe. This includes the lack of firearms or high tech. It's considered 'medieval' for a reason. This means that steam powered tech, or clockworks, or even sophisticated guns are not apart of this. When we think of "medieval fantasy", most people tend to think of Tolkien and Middle Earth and its feel, not "Golden Compass" (or the His Dark materials books, for those who are familiar with the movie's source material) or... dare I use an anime reference, and say Full Metal Alchemist? (As of this writing, Suz suggested "League of Extraordinary Gentleman," as well, so examples are keen!)

Citing advancement as a logical progression is all well and fine. But is that what we want? Do we want our ultra-traditional medieval fantasy smorgasboard of awesome to develop and progress away from that? Do we want to progress our setting and mutate it into something else away from our origins?

Autocrat wrote:And it's not simply an issue of firearms or steam, but advancement as a whole. You may not like the argument for change, but then how about the argument that the setting is stale? Or that only a minority pay any more attention to it than a cursory glance and brief nod. Maybe we need to incorporate new or radical elements to it, maybe even make a plot point of it for players to get involved. Surely there are some out there who might be interested in a cultural and technological revolution.
It's not the setting that's gotten stale, Alex. BDI's setting is still as rich, vivid and wonderful as it's always been. It's maybe your tastes aren't to the time period right now. You might have stayed playing in BDI for -so- long that you're burned out on it. There are other channels that address this. Their time periods are different, their technology more advanced. Which is why I disagree with the notion of going through and "updating BDI 20 years", or giving it more advance tech.

This is also why I, personally, usually have my attention spread between a variety of genres and time periods in my RP. I get bored in one setting and time period for long stretches of time. I spread out and dabble in different genres. This is why multiple people are in modern fantasy channels, or mutant superhero, or scifi, or WOD, etc. This self imposed variation keeps me from getting stale with BDI. When I want to play medieval fantasy, I come to BDI. When I want to get my vamp on, I try to find a oWod/VtM channel that isn't a clusterfuck of free form that disregards the lore. I know what I want from my settings, and I find the channel to match. I don't try to force what I happen to be interested in at the time to fit the channel. Which is what it sorta feels like, trying to shoe horn more advanced tech into BDI.

BDI is a medieval fantasy setting. This is why people come to the channel, looking for the medieval fantasy feel. If you want a more advance feel, or more tech, or guns, or whatever, maybe making a more advance time period setting is the better option, rather than trying to advance BDI away from its core intentions.


PS:

We ARE on Darkmyst now. There are channels that cater to steampunk fantasy and modern fantasy, and all of that. This isn't like still being on Sorcery were your RP options were the various different ways you wanted to have sex. If you want or need help trying to find these channels, pop into #RPG-Hub and ask. It's really that easy.

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Re: The issue of firearms, airships, and steam punk.

Post by Nymphetamine » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:25 pm

Suzthulhu wrote:
DurHandler wrote:Personally I think if they can't have firearms then cannons should go too, because the pounds of gunpowder argument just comes across as a cop out. I had really hoped to see this setting actually go somewhere but from the looks of things it's never going to change nor progress. Ah well, it was a nice sentiment whilst it lasted.
Because the vast majority of people in this thread don't want to see PEWPEWPEW guns, that means ALL IS LOST? Really? That sort of childish throwing up of one's hands is a big factor in why the answer is repeatedly "no."
DurHandler wrote:Well Suz, whilst rotating on the elitist stick up your ass, maybe you should consider this. For so long as there's gunpowder in this setting, people are going to pose the argument. "We should be able to have guns too." It's like a carrot and a stick but the stick is radoactive and the carrot is laced in rat poison.

This exchange ends now. It's completely inappropriate.

I invited Alex on to discuss this and to see how other players in the channel feel about it. It would seem that the majority favours preserving BDI's traditional path over adding and advancing the technology that would change it. I would appreciate it if you both kept your attitudes out of this discussion.

Unlike a lot of the Old Regime, or the people who constantly said no, I was actually interested in seeing what other people felt about this topic. It was never intended to be a flat out, consistant no. I honestly wanted to see what the channel's feelings were about this.

It would appear that the overall opinion on the matter -hasn't- changed in all this time, however. It's not because we don't want to change and progress the channel, but because we don't want to ruin or alter things in such a way that we lose why the channel was started 17 1/2 years ago.

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Re: The issue of firearms, airships, and steam punk.

Post by DurHandler » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:38 pm

The channel I signed up for some ten years ago and the channel that is now were completely different settings, because things have changed. There are at any given time, 40+ people sitting in the channel idle and on a good night, five or six of them might go IC. People don't want firearms "Just because", they want a little more flexibility.

It isn't an issue of stagnation, it's an issue of wanting to break away from the same changes that saw the channel go into ruin to begin with. If folks keep hitting the "You Can't Do That" wall then they can hardly be blamed for only seeing 'The Old Regime(tm)', because that was the exact issue they ran into back then and are yet again running into now. I think at the very least there should be some consideration to trail them.

Something that encourages rp is better then "Ehh, no thanks. It's working as intended."

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