What Makes Dark Fantasy Dark?

Discuss our dark fantasy adventure tabletop roleplaying game based on BioWare's computer game, Dragon Age Origins.

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Postby Drew D Scott » Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:12 pm

It would trivially easy to transplant DA to your milieu of choice, too. Greyhawk, The Old World of Warhammer, it goes on. Setting-appropriate backgrounds can be whipped up very quickly, with restricted classes drawn from the existing three and refluffed cosmetically. Want to play a cleric? Create a mage and portray his spells as being divine in origin. Looking for orcs? Use their appropriate darkspawn analogues. In the absence of an exact fit you can always generate your own; the mechanics are simple enough to make it almost effortless. I could cobble together an ettin in five minutes if I needed to.
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Postby Warden-UK » Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:15 pm

discuit wrote:Mate, just do whatever you want with Thedas! I mean only a small fraction has been fleshed out so far, so if you want Halflings then just add them, and say they come from a far off land! Done! :wink:


Hmmm...

Dear Mr Pramas,

Please would you include halflings in set 2?

Yours sincerely

Warden


Seriously though, I may do that

RE: Darkspawn
My initial issues were that the game's beasties would be nothing but darkspawn. I hope there's a healthy beastiary coming
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Postby areola » Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:08 pm

Are there halflings in the video game? Because if there isn't I don't see a reason why the boxset ought to have it as well...
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Postby Brokensoul » Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:17 pm

I would laugh my rear end off if Dragon Age came out with rules for halfling before the new edition of Warhammer Fantasy. I mean that is one of the biggest grips I hear about the new Warhammer box set is it doesn't have rules for halflings and they are cannon in the setting.
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Postby Warden-UK » Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:43 pm

Brokensoul wrote:I would laugh my rear end off if Dragon Age came out with rules for halfling before the new edition of Warhammer Fantasy. I mean that is one of the biggest grips I hear about the new Warhammer box set is it doesn't have rules for halflings and they are cannon in the setting.

Exactly, what a rip off at £65

Oh and I heard elves (who taught humans) cant use magic
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Postby Zapp » Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:42 pm

Canon
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Postby Warden-UK » Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:23 am

Zapp wrote:Canon

Specifically what canon?
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Postby Zapp » Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:16 am

Warden-UK wrote:Specifically what canon?

Halflings are canon (or "established as fundamental") in the Warhammer setting. It's not spelled cannon.
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Postby Warden-UK » Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:13 am

Zapp wrote:
Warden-UK wrote:Specifically what canon?

Halflings are canon (or "established as fundamental") in the Warhammer setting. It's not spelled cannon.

I didn't spell it cannon.

I think I'm misunderstanding you. I thought you were saying canon is what defines dark. I was saying yes, but how so?

Doesn't matter now anyway. I'm having Daleks originate in Orlais as well
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Postby Batgirl III » Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:21 am

Of course, Games Workshop's relationship with their own canon is... let be kind and say "inconsistent."

Mention any of the following to a GW fan or employee who has only been followign the hobby for a four years or less and they will give you blank stares: Hashut, Chaos Dwarves, Malal, the Star Child, Sensei, Melkirth, Halflings, Imperial Ogres...
BARON wrote:I'm talking batgirl with batgirl. I love you internet.
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Postby Balgin Stondraeg » Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:18 am

Batgirl III wrote:Of course, Games Workshop's relationship with their own canon is... let be kind and say "inconsistent."

Mention any of the following to a GW fan or employee who has only been followign the hobby for a four years or less and they will give you blank stares: Hashut, Chaos Dwarves, Malal, the Star Child, Sensei, Melkirth, Halflings, Imperial Ogres...


You forgot Squats! :p
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Postby Aldaris » Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:31 am

And Zoats!
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Postby lordmalachdrim » Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:34 am

Fimir
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Postby Aldaris » Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:13 am

Hrud.

We could play this little game of PingPong all day long...
:lol:
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Postby Caomgen » Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:48 am

Euch....Halflings. Gnomes. Silly races.

Still, to each his own. I'd prefer more bestial player races myself. I'm not a fan of the "human-esque" races like the dwarves and elves. Kobolds, gnolls, lizardfolk...those are the races I'd import.
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Postby Dracosong » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:52 am

I saw this thread and I just had to sign up on these forums and give my opinion (and maybe to steer this back on track a little :P ).

To me at least, dark fantasy isn't so much about the violence, segregation and sex as it is about difficult moral issues. Sure, violence, segregation and sex have their place, certainly moreso in a darker setting than in a more traditional fantasy game. But I feel that what truely defines the feeling of dark fantasy is the complex and hard issues that can confront the players.

Mmm, lemme think of a way to make my thoughts a little clearer...

Okay, for example, say you have a tyrinical overlord who is set on conquering or destroying the lands around him. In a stock standard fantasy game the heroes defeat him and all generally ends up well. Depending on how the GM wishes to portray this overlord he may have some redeeming traits (such as being an honourable man, or showing mercy to the weak) or just be a sick sadistic man given power. But ultimately killing him is for the greater good and things generally become better.

With a dark fantasy, killing the overlord may result in his nation falling into depression or even ruin. Perhaps he ran horrific and cruel experiments on his prisoners of war which resulted in an amazing and beneficial advances in magical knowledge and/or the healing arts. The people of his nation, instead of being glad they they are now free from the cruel clutches of their tyrant, resent the players for murdering whom they considered to be a hero.

* DA:O Spoilers *
Perhaps the best portrayal of this within Dragon Age Origins is the Dwarf part of the main quest, specifically choosing between Harrowmont and Bhelen. Harrowmont is a good and just man, whilst Bhelen is decietful and willing to lie and cheat his way to the top. And yet if you choose to side with Harrowmont, the dwarves end up isolating themselves further from the surface and falling into stagnation (assuming you don't go with noble dwarf origin anyway). Choosing Bhelen will result in a more prosperous future for the Dwarves, although he brings up his own problems when he disolves the council.
* End Spoilers *

Anyway, better sum up before I drivel on nonsensically for another few paragraphs. These hard choices my players have to make is why I love running this sort of darker themed campaign. I love watching them squirm as they struggle to make the right choice... Or at least the less evil one. I love giving them something to think about as they leave the game that isn't always along the lines of how awesome killing that dragon was.
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Postby sillyxander » Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:56 pm

Most fantasy seems to be dark fantasy, all of these worlds share some common themes.
The Lord of the Rings is not that light. I know that dark fantasy has heroes doing things that aren't always so good. And maybe that's where Rings is different, the characters for the most part do the right thing. But look at how the Ring corrupts, and our main hero Frodo fails in his quest if not for Gollum Frodo would've walked out right into Saurons arms.
One of the reasons Dragon Age is dark is because of the elves being in a different position then other books but even in Lord of the Rings there time is coming to an end and that always made me feel sad. Everything about the 3rd age in the LOTR seems like its ending or about change so much that it won't be recognizable.
Dragonlance near the end was all about the end of many eras. Mercedes Lackeys books about the last herald mage too feel sad. I'm not sure how much dark fantasy and sadness go hand in hand but the only time I've felt like I'm reading light fantasy was with Spiderwick I think, the Dark Towers are as dark as it can get, even Harry Potter near the end had a very dark tone, so maybe all my fave fantasy have been dark. I'm just rambling so I hope no one kills me for my opinion,
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Postby Zapp » Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:33 pm

Warden-UK wrote:I didn't spell it cannon.

My original post wasn't directed at you.

(I understood your question to me "what canon?" as confusion over why I wrote my original post)

Dracosong wrote:I saw this thread

Welcome to the forums! :)
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Postby Saisei » Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:03 am

sillyxander wrote:...so maybe all my fave fantasy have been dark. I'm just rambling so I hope no one kills me for my opinion,


I think 'dark' is just the hip cool thing nowadays. Almost all the new fantasy books on the shelf claim to be the next big thing in 'dark fantasy'.

Hell even in movies now it's the same. Look at any of the superhero movies released lately (Excluding our beloved Mr. Stark): X-Men: Last Stand (Dark and crap), Spider-Man 3, Edward Norton Hulk, and of course Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.


Swashbuckling high fantasy seems to have fallen by the way side for the moment. Maybe it just reflects what a bleak and depressing race we are... :D
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Postby Caomgen » Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:53 am

I think it's cyclical. Part of the "dark" movement is bringing back the pulpy feel of my beloved Sword and Sorcery heroes like Conan, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

Soon people will tire of bleak, depressing settings in favor of more light-hearted fare (maybe Blue Rose will get a chance in the spotlight, eh?). I look forward to playing a knight, coated in shimmering plate, riding astride a unicorn, who freely offered its assistance to my knight, in search of far-off lands and damsels to be saved.
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