Realism in Middle-earth

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Glorelendil
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Re: Realism in Middle-earth

Post by Glorelendil » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:09 am

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:25 am
cuthalion wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:53 am
Case in point--the compass rose exists in ME, but the cardinal point isn't N it's W.
Well, if I recall correctly, that only applies to dwarven maps.
Doesn't that illustrate the point equally well?
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Glorelendil
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Re: Realism in Middle-earth

Post by Glorelendil » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:28 am

cuthalion wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:53 am
Glorelendil wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:56 pm
And, just to clarify, it's not that dice (and dice games) that are exactly like ours would "spoil my immersion", but they wouldn't contribute to it, either, in the way that something similar-but-different would. Like round doors with doorknobs in the middle do. It would be a lost opportunity to make M-e something more magical than just a fictional re-skinning of Middle Ages Europe. Does that make sense?
I hate to be the voice that's just continually egging you on, without ever offering any firm resolution/help--but yes, I for one totally get what you mean.

Case in point--the compass rose exists in ME, but the cardinal point isn't N it's W. Or, a completely different example: on Hobbit birthdays you give presents. It's that feeling of the uncanny that Tolkien had a real knack for.

HOW you emulate it I don't know. I'm not a great writer or anything. But I think your ambition is great--stick in there Glorelendil!
Thanks. When I started the thread I couldn't quite articulate what I was thinking, but this discussion has gotten me closer.

It occurs to me that in the design of "things" (term used broadly) there are features that are dictated by functional requirements, and aesthetic features that are dictated by culture/tradition. For example, the basic design of a sword is constrained by physics, physiology, and its intended purpose. But the decorative elements vary widely. If you were to mess with the functional design (e.g. a double-bladed sword) it comes across as improbable and artificial, but if you are inventive with the aesthetic features it helps weave the illusion. I would even argue that if don't mess with the aesthetic feature it threatens the illusion, because inhabitants of a different world would be unlikely to evolve the exact same traditions.

The map is a great example: it would be silly (mathematically) to have a 5-pointed compass rose, but the orientation of maps is more arbitrary. So you tinker with the latter to create a feeling of "differentness".

You could also think about how they are crafted--most likely carved from wood, or perhaps antler/tusk/things like that. But even very early dice seem to have used pips--so I'm not sure how you get away from that in a ME-y way. I can't remember what Robert Jordan's dice have on them, but I think the are numbers connected to certain personalities in the lore of the game. Seems a bit cliched.
I think dice would probably still be cubes because they are the easiest of the platonic solids to craft. And therefore they would probably be numbered 1 to 6, although perhaps with runes or even just six figures (animals?).

Or...maybe "dice" come in pairs, each die with its own unique six symbols. Only true Loremasters know that the traditional symbols originally represented the Valar, one male die and one female die. (Manwë and Varda are not included because....um...it would be disrespectful. Or something. Or maybe they figured out how to make 7-sided polygons. Fëanor could have invented it. Suck on that, Plato.) Anyway, the symbols have evolved over the years to become nigh unrecognizable, but people still call them The Tree, The Hammer, The Wave, The Hound, etc., but most don't know why.

Then there's the question of what games they play with them. That's going to be a combination of mathematical constraints and culture/tradition. So I would expect the games to vaguely approximate ours, but have different rules. A 7 is still the most common result for two dice, but I doubt their game would either be called Craps or have the same rules.

EDIT: What three symbols would M-e residents use for Rock-Paper-Scissors?
Last edited by Glorelendil on Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Otaku-sempai
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Re: Realism in Middle-earth

Post by Otaku-sempai » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:30 am

Glorelendil wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:09 am
Doesn't that illustrate the point equally well?
Sure it does. My (probable, but undiagnosed) OCD sometimes compels me to post such corrections. I never tried to imply that it invalidated cuthalion's point.
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Glorelendil
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Re: Realism in Middle-earth

Post by Glorelendil » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:45 am

Glorelendil wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:28 am
EDIT: What three symbols would M-e residents use for Rock-Paper-Scissors?
To answer my own question after a few minutes to think about it.

Proposal A:
Rock dulls Axe, Axe fells Tree, Tree splits Rock

Rock looks like our rock
Axe looks like our paper
Tree looks like our paper, but with fingers spread wide
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Wbweather
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Re: Realism in Middle-earth

Post by Wbweather » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:16 pm

Since the Riddle game was so important and had such well established and strictly adhered to rules, I have always thought that there might be some who might wager a bet on a good riddle match late at night in a tavern, and not just in a seedy tavern, but even the Green Dragon or the Prancing Pony.

Jussi Marttila
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Re: Realism in Middle-earth

Post by Jussi Marttila » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:55 pm

This was on the first page, but not having huge amounts of dental issues would be somewhat realistic in a medieval setting. Issues with teeth only really got bad once sugar became readily available as a luxury, which happened around the 16th century in England and France.
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Wbweather
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Re: Realism in Middle-earth

Post by Wbweather » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:09 pm

Jussi Marttila wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:55 pm
This was on the first page, but not having huge amounts of dental issues would be somewhat realistic in a medieval setting. Issues with teeth only really got bad once sugar became readily available as a luxury, which happened around the 16th century in England and France.
Of course one wonders how the elves managed to keep from wearing out their teeth after thousands of years...

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Re: Realism in Middle-earth

Post by Majestic » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:41 pm

Glorelendil wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:45 am
Glorelendil wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:28 am
EDIT: What three symbols would M-e residents use for Rock-Paper-Scissors?
To answer my own question after a few minutes to think about it.

Proposal A:
Rock dulls Axe, Axe fells Tree, Tree splits Rock

Rock looks like our rock
Axe looks like our paper
Tree looks like our paper, but with fingers spread wide
To really challenge you, come up with the complete game: Rock/Paper/Scissors/Lizard/Spock! :o

Dragon would be a good substitute for Lizard, and we could use an Elf (Elrond?) for Spock (Vulcans, after all, are space Elves). But the Vulcan spread-fingers symbol should be modified to look more Elvish.
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