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How do you survive a fantasy,realistically

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Elvin Cross, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. Elvin Cross

    Elvin Cross Dreamer

    Hello,I just registered and just wanted to ask because I'm no survivalist.

    Yes,I think there was that one other thread but it was more like how to survive trough the cliches of high fantasy.

    I'm writing a story mainly set in the victorian era.Gunpowder was never a thing because they discovered high explosives first,so they typically set hidden minefields to counter enemy cavalry and the like and just fling them over walls to siege.Oh btw,there is that one OP race that just stays hidden from the affairs of the world,but that's another matter.

    The level in magic in this world depends really on how much you understand the world(physics).But the principle is that your using a special language understood by the spirits and just tell them what to do.Runes and magic circles are like letters and pictures to a spirit,and do what is instructed.More complex magic needs more complex instructions for the spirit to understand,so you just can't say,"set off a nuclear explosion".You need full understanding of the laws of how it does that,or else it will be a waste of mana.

    Enough with my crude magic theory

    So there is set of characters are from another world and they're professionals of what they do.And story behind why they got into this fantasy world is that they were meant to explore this world in the first place.Basically where they came from is a world of sufficient technology to invent a stargate.They do have a prepared self sufficient base with robots and guns for research and protection. But,the connection of two worlds was cut off mysteriously somewhere after they arrived,and now they have to stay incognito and careful not to waste bullets as there are no more supplies coming from earth.

    But this isn't sci-fi,yet.The main character is actually a young elf who bumped into them and got lucky she met their good side and got off with a decade worth of formal education and she applies that to magic.

    Anyways,back to the pioneers,how would a railgun fair being matched against a flying lizard the size of a biplane.How do you stay incognito while they travel in very suspicious carbon based nano tube armor.Where do they look/buy materials that could be useful to them.How would they learn the foreign language(there is already an answer, just giving an example). Things that ask those kinds of questions.
  2. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    They cannot pass as locals so they do not. Instead, they claim that they, and their equipment are from a nation overseas or on the far side of the world that *could* account for their language, equipment, and attire.
    FifthView and Elvin Cross like this.
  3. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    Maybe they could find an ally in the world, someone who himself lives on the edge of the normal society but is not unknown to that society, and the narrative goes something like this: "Paynorla asked the spirits to send protectors, and these folks are the ones the spirits sent." Heh. That might not fit within the scope of the story you are telling; it's just a general idea.
  4. Elvin Cross

    Elvin Cross Dreamer

    Yeah,I was also thinking along those lines,but in this magical world,there are indeed very fast ways to transport information,like flying beast mounts. So even if they claim to be,they gotta say they are from another continent,and then more reasons why they are in this country in the first place.And even if the locals are convinced,the local government would just notice them and get all suspicious.And if by stereotypical chance of them got "accidentally" dragged into trouble, specially if there are witnesses,you know where it head off from there.

    But I also don't want all the attention focus to them. There is still that Main Character,and now I wrote this far,I realized she could one way or another help them.
  5. Malik

    Malik Archmage

    You're staring down the barrel of the reason that many authors abandon portal fantasy concepts early-on.

    Portal fantasy is tricky; it's as much about problem solving as it is about creativity. A lot of your plot points are going to reside in how you tackle these issues. Your solutions will contribute to your worldbuilding, and your suspension of disbelief is going to reside in how believably your characters deal with it all. There's also pressure to solve these issues without falling back on the same old cliches that readers have seen a hundred times before.

    No one can fix these things for you. You're the writer; you figure it out, your own way. This is that part of writing that involves listening to music and twirling a pen while staring at the wall for hours. Figuring it all out is the fun part of writing portal stories.

    The fact that it's the fun part is also why portal fantasy authors probably drink more than any others. Douglas Adams famously said that it's important to buy yourself a sturdy desk that won't collapse when you beat your head against it. He should know; his entire Hitchhiker's Guide series is effectively portal SF.
    Thoras and Elvin Cross like this.
  6. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    My first question is, why are these people coming out of hiding at all? They are trapped in an alien land. It sounds like they feel threatened. If I were in that situation, I'd use my existing tech to lay low in some remote area where the hunting was good, and work like a demon to find a way home. I don't want any truck with these people. I'd set up some kind of high-tech beacon so any homeworld rescue party could find me quickly.

    All of which is by way of saying I don't see the plot trigger here. Getting home is Job One. Something has to come along to change that priority. Whatever that is will probably guide the characters in coming up with a convincing, or at least serviceable, explanation of who they are, why they are here, and where they came from. One option is always to tell the truth.

    Did you ever read Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury? He has a wonderful chapter (all the chapters are pretty wonderful) in which Earthmen arrive on Mars and are promptly put into an insane asylum by the Martians. Because obviously nobody can travel through space. So, you might want to put some thought to how the natives will react to whatever story your heroes have to tell. That elf girl, for example--what story do they tell her, and does she believe it? And does she believe it correctly or does she misunderstand in some significant way?
  7. Elvin Cross

    Elvin Cross Dreamer

    After thinking about it and writing down the finer details of my outline/draft,I decided to scrap the idea of the pioneers being stranded, and replaced it with the idea of them making connections with other characters living in this world.

    Now I have more or less things to think about,and I'm more motivated to finish the first volume by the end of the year

    Thanks for the advice! :)
    Malik likes this.

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