James Ruhland wrote:

> Are you claiming your method of play is "literary" and "historical" (while
> presumably mine is not)? Because I don't recall making such statements
> about your method of play. And since you are good at pulling quotes from
> memory, I request that you pull the quote where I called your method
> "literary". And, if you can't, then you possibly owe me something, since
> you are a "literalist" (which is not the same as being "literary," by the
> by), as evidenced below:

No, I'm not claiming your method of play isn't "literary" or "historical" per se.
You didn't call my style literary, I think your word was "storyteller" which I
actually like just as much.... ;-) I wouldn't describe my own as being particularly
"historical", for that matter. There are other Listers who I would consider (and
who I think consider themselves) having a more "historical" theme than I do. Those
are just categories that I've come across on this list, and since we were talking
about style, I used them to describe two styles that have been pretty well espoused
around here. You've described your method as different from the "box" and I've been
unsure what that meant, since I haven't heard the style described in the kind of
idiosyncratic detail that the "literary" and "historical" types have gone into in
the past. I consider my own style "literary" because that is how I thematically
approach the game. (And I put it in quotes because... well, it's not REALLY
literary any more than playing Monopoly is capitalistic. Reading and analyzing
literature is literary. One can, at best, play an RPG in a "literary" style.) I
emphasize plot as a DM, and develop the "character" of NPCs, while the players
improvise and accomplish goals that I set for them or that they set and I
adjudicate. Other folks have stressed historical allegories as their major
emphasis. They want to play PCs who parallel historical figures and stress
comparisons to RL, historical situations. That's what I meant by "literary" and

> > no one has responded to the original response. The original message was
> about how
> > there shouldn't really be alliances because there weren't in the medieval
> period
> > (untrue)
> >
> If you think that alliances of the type that frequently appear in
> Birthright were de rigur, then you're sadly mistaken.

OK, so cite some examples. I've cited (and others have cited) several examples of
alliances that support the premise that they are larger than any I've ever seen in a
PBeM; the Wars of the Roses in England, feudal Italy, medieval Germany. I'd argue
that all the major nations of the medieval period were really just collections of
exactly the kind of alliances you are saying are so un-real. If you are playing in
a PBeM set in Anuire and the entire game solidified into two factions each would
still be smaller than many of the nations of the medieval period.

> > declaring war was viewed in a negative manner unreasonably and
> unmedievally
> > (again untrue)
> >
> If you think that warfare wasn't considered a way of life and the highest
> calling of the ruling classes in the midieval world, then you're also sadly
> mistaken (the "peace of god" notwithstanding. . .endemic warfare was
> lamented by the devout, repeatedly. . .because it was and remained
> endemic).

Well, I've argued that the "way of life" you are talking about actually represents a
very small fraction of the population, and was really secondary to diplomacy even in
the medieval period. Since the argument was framed as "unmedieval" that seemed to
put it in a historical basis, so responded to it on that premise. It's certainly
the more flamboyant and historically notable (from a popularized standpoint) than
the reality, which is that even in periods of open warfare, the actual wars took up
a relatively small portion of the time.

The rhetoric of the period might lead one to believe that they were constantly at
one another's throats, but rulers of that period and their vassals would spout off
such things for political reasons that really are the same now as they were then.
That is, so that they can puff up for their people and stay in power. Even Spartans
(pre-medieval, but what the hell?) who emphasized war as a way of life actually
spent more of their time pruning olive trees and herding goats than they did
fighting according to archeological digs in the past fifty years or so.

> I got bored reading the rest and decided that responding to it (which was
> just some personal exchanges between us better droped at some point rather
> than continued anyhow), and went to go finish reading "Corporate Download"
> instead.

Fair enough.


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