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Guns in my Fantasy?! HERESY says my critics.

Discussion in 'World Building' started by AFistfulofBalderdash, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. Yeah, Shadow Fox, I'd like to know why you feel so confident you know how the magic system in my world works better than I do. I think this would be a fascinating topic of conversation.
     
  2. Shadow Fox

    Shadow Fox Dreamer

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    and that's why I started by saying "depending on -" I was stressing that i was not assuming his magic did or did not work that way, i was simply making the point that it could.
     
  3. Geldor

    Geldor Scribe

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    Maybe instead of muskets and rifles, use hand guns, fire arms of the Renaissance, if you insist on having rifles, how about having a very small number though the men using them are veterans and expert marksmen.
     
  4. Regrix

    Regrix Dreamer

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    Hi.

    Thinking from a historical mindset guns were coming into the equation at the end of the dark ages/beginning of the Renaissance, admittedly their accuracy was terrible unless the target was fairly close but anything they hit was messed up significantly. I too see no problem with early guns showing up in fantasy works. I don't think a S.A.W. would be appropriate but flintlocks and muskets absolutely.
     
  5. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    I think in a fantasy setting incorporating both magic and technology; it would be a great idea to incorporate magic into the construction and usage of firearms. I could see a rifle magically fortified so they don't explode, the hammer using a "spark" spell to set off the oil of impact or flash powder (alchemical creations of course). Perhaps the simple bullet enchanted is with a haste spell to have greater range and the rifle with a limited clairvoyance spell or "far seer glass" to emulate a scope. When you are talking fantasy, ANYTHING is possible. :)
     
  6. crash

    crash Scribe

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    I'm okay with guns in fantasy and I think you can use them and describe how they work like you would in contemporary settings. It all depends on what level of tech you want to use, what era your most drawing from, etc. At the end of the day, it's your work and you have the ultimate control and final say about what gets put in and what gets left out
     
  7. Regrix

    Regrix Dreamer

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    Saigonnus, Those are some excellent ideas... imagine a pistol that shoots fireballs... or lightning bolts.... of (Dear God!!!) a Disintegration spell. You're quite correct that absolutely ANYTHING is possible.
     
  8. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    It's been done, but I never get tired of it.
     
  9. Addison

    Addison Auror

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    First off, ignore the critic. It's your story, your tech, your choice. And if they can't take guns in fantasy then they haven't seen how they can kick butt against a fantasy antagonist. (Check out Hansel & Gretel, Witch Hunters.) If it's set in a contemporary or urban setting then good. But if it's more medieval or something then describe it as different from guns in this world. Hansel had a rifle with a muzzle that folded up and out when he needed. And besides, it's good to have something in the world to balance out the magic and fantastic things in it.
     
  10. Regrix

    Regrix Dreamer

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    I would say that all critics exist for a single purpose, to inspire the creation of characters to use such weapons on. :)

    It's always been a favorite tactic to use those who were annoying to me as game NPCs or background characters in stories, typically the ones that the horrible things happen to... Vindictive? Perhaps. Petty? I suppose. In my defense though it is fun.
     
  11. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    I didn't like firearms in Fantasy, until I played WOW. Now I am more open to them, but they limit the need for armor, and reduce the power of low level mages.
    Why study magic if you can just practice with a firearm?
    Why study melee weapons if you can simply shoot a foe?
    With firearms, it usually means there is also explosives, feudal systems build around the castle, explosives quickly limit the usefulness of castles, thus castles central society is limited.
    When people can get firearms, they can defend themselves, so why allow the noble to control everything needed in society? Merchants earn wealth, wealth becomes power, nobles lose power, economy is more based on goods and services, rather then just food production and supporting the noblemans army.
     
  12. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    This depends entirely on the magic and an assumption that it needs to be studied. Magic doesn't have to be mages tossing around flaming projectiles. It can be much more subtle or it can be far more overpowered when compared to a firearm.

    If this logic is true then why did arms and armor remain on the battlefield for hundreds of years after firearms came into use? It can bring a balance of power between men, that's true. It's the old adage "God created men. Sam Colt made them equal." That type of upheaval can be great for a story.

    Modern explosive rendered medieval fortifications obsolete. However, forts did not just go poof the minute explosives appeared in warfare. Fortifications have morphed and evolved for centuries to keep pace with advancements in warfare.

    Great point.... Again, does this have to be a bad thing for story telling? Furthermore, there are a multitude of reasons people might accept leadership other than protection.

    I don't see a point here.... Wealth has always equaled power.
     
  13. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    It really depends on how you handle them for your story. If you're going along with fantasy, then it is reasonable that guns (especially "basic" guns) are not the game changer they became in our world. In WotA, every species has their own magickal ability that really makes it a level playing field no matter what. In fact, this goes beyond even "basic" guns, and I have a race of sentient robots that use (what they call) plasma weaponry. Although in the year 2013, being shot with one of these would eviscerate a human, "humes" in the 10,000+ can survive blasts from these if they have "leveled up".

    I'm not going to address most of your other points because they seem to be "why study art if you can study science" type questions, but for castles, how is gunpowder that much different than magick? If a mage can summon fire to blast castle doors, that's going to cause a significant reworking.

    I think we are missing a key thing that is frequently found in fantasy that would make castles obsolete — fliers. Having a gryphon or hippogriff or pegasus or zeppelin or magic carpet or whatever can take away a drastic portion of the benefit of a castle. Now, does this mean that you can't have castles? No, it means that you should probably redesign them though.

    As far as forts and encampments go, it makes sense that forts would still be walled because it is unlikely the average people that would come across a fort or encampment would be prepared to lay siege to it.
     
  14. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

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    A valid point. The thing about guns is the same as it is about battle wizards, or plate armor, or siege-equipped armies: saying some threats out there have it doesn't mean most will. Planning and action start finding their own balance of how much you have to be ready for, where the biggest threats are and when they're fully prepped to strike, and so on.

    And I agree, fliers are a bit different from the others because so many worlds have whole species of winged mounts (or squads of flying carpets). Gunpowder and mages might be tricky, but you know it only takes five griffin riders on a night raid to do terrible things to your battlements, let alone bribing a dragon to drop boulders from 1000 feet up.

    Of course, (Lord of the Rings) - (Nazgul Air Force) = 5-page book and some very smug eagles. :D
     
  15. Ayaka Di'rutia

    Ayaka Di'rutia Troubadour

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    To me, the concept of "anachronism" in fantasy is a huge joke. Our real world has anachronisms galore; we're sending ships into space, and there's undiscovered tribes in the Amazon. I've included guns in my own fantasy, as well as electricity and machinery, as well as sword and sorcery. To me, the concept of having advanced technology along with more "middle ages" type and what naught simply makes the world more realistic.
     
  16. Jabrosky

    Jabrosky Banned

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    I'm in the process of outlining a new story, and it will probably feature guns in the bad guys' hands. I have two main villains, a Greek pirate and an Asian crime lady whom he serves. The crime lady gives the pirate and his cronies Song/Ming Dynasty-style firearms so he can plunder for her. However, the Asians (or, more properly, equivalent thereof) are the only people in the world who manufacture any gunpowder technology; everyone else uses good ol' swords, spears, or bows.

    The challenging part is that my two protagonists are in the no-guns lot, yet they have to defeat both the pirate and crime lady. Would it be possible to defeat an enemy with guns without any guns yourself?
     
  17. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    The third act of The Stone Front will include a company of gunwomen in the protagonists' army. There are only fifty of them; the time necessary for reloading and their relative vulnerability during that time mean that their use in battle has to be coordinated very precisely.

    One of the protagonists also tried to convince a nearby province to contribute some battle mages to the war effort, but they declined. If they'd said yes, there would have been a whole different slew of advantages and disadvantages. Asking "why study magic when you can use a firearm" is only applicable if both are omnipotent, and I've never found omnipotence very interesting.

    Insert Ewoks GIF here.

    Seriously though, of course you can. As my kung fu black belt parents would tell you, any weapon can be bypassed, and once you're in arm's reach (or sword's reach), the fight gets a lot simpler. In the moments leading up to that, the people without guns can act while the people with guns are reloading. Or they can employ a diversion to draw gunfire and get up nice and close to the shooters that way. Just gotta be smarter than the gun, and guns are pretty dumb. ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
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  18. Lucas

    Lucas Troubadour

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    Then I guess my 20th century fantasy world would be considered ultimate satanic blasphemy by purists...
     
  19. Lucas

    Lucas Troubadour

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    Disagreed.

    Early 14th century firearms were worthless in comparison to good crossbows. They took an eternity to reload, exploded quite easily (thus maiming the rifleman). It was first in the 17th century, during the Thirty Years War, that the pike became obsolete. The pike was actually more of a game-changer during the late middle ages imho.
     
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  20. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    He didn't state "guns made everything obsolete immediately". Although it took several hundred years before the firearm dominated the battlefield, they did eventually render other weaponry obsolete.

    Unless you're writing historical fiction, these sorts of timelines can be altered any way you please. You may want to keep somewhat close to our real timeline, to maintain believability, but it certainly isn't required in fantasy.
     
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