- ----- Begin Included Message -----

"We must borrow"? That's so ridiculous, I'm not even going to
respond to that comment.<

> Yes we must. The very premise of AD&D is borrowed from western european Medieval history. Castles, dragons, swords and sorcery- without history we have no common ground for story telling. It's my contention that
> infusing history into the game adds more detail and thus makes it seem more real. That way we can really immurse ourselves in Cerilia on our by-weekly trips there. Whether we go there to escape the rigors of the day,
> learn about other (medieval based) cultures and thus ourselves, or hack and slash. Personally I vary week to week :)

Now where'd I put that soapbox? Oh, here it is...

I was a double major, English Lit. & History, in school so my take on history is often colored by my literary interpretations of events and vice versa. To me, the best Lit has historical or real world significance, and
the best history is a really good read. I think it's important, however, not to confuse the two. Literature is not meant to be factual and history is not supposed to be invented. Sometimes literature has a factual
basis, and sometimes historians inject dialogue and narrative into their work that is their own interpretation of the facts. These things are done, however, for thematic reasons and a good writer would never tell you that
he was telling "the real story" any more than a good historian would tell you that his narrative/dialogue were the absolute facts.

I have a similar objection to the argument that AD&D is a historical game. I just don't see it that way. It's literary. The addition of magic (which I don't think exists in the real world or in history) dragons, elves,
etc. is just WAY too much to ever to be considered history. The historical basis of AD&D is much further afield than I have ever experienced in a history class, but pretty similar to what can happen in an English Lit
class. Even if I didn't find that was the case, I would note that AD&D is based much more on the literary works of Tolkien, Moorcock, E. R. Burroughs, etc. than it is upon the work of Acton, Clark, Gibbon or Marx. The
work of these authors (the lit. guys, I mean) has an historical basis, but their work is literary not historical. Their work is fiction. So is AD&D. When I write an AD&D adventure I am as likely to draw ideas from
astronomy, botany, political science or the latest episode of Friends as I am to draw from history. Because the settings are usually medieval (there are futuristic settings too) doesn't mean the game is historical any
more than playing Monopoly makes one a landlord.


- ----- End Included Message -----

Aha. So we agree. It was pretty much a semantics problem with the word "borrow". I may tend to take
details (crossbows due more damage, the first bombards should be under development etc) more from history
than you, but it certainly isn't the only source I use. I no way imply that AD&D is a historical game.
It's just that some of BR's core ideas are drawn from RL history- Divine Right, Brechts are Hanseatic
Germans in disguise etc. This fact makes cultural history more of a source than in many other settings.
I'd say the only one that surpasses it is Ars Magica, which is set in mythic Europe.