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Thread: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

  1. #41
    Chapter Master Khaines Wrath's Avatar
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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    Quote Originally Posted by GMillar View Post
    Can a setting really be low or high fantasy by itself? I feel like it depends more on the actual stories told - obviously the Old World being destroyed and Sigmar hurting through space on a rock is about as high fantasy as it gets, while a mercenary warband exploring Mordheim is pretty damn low. To me, it's all about the scale of the story being told. I'm much more intrigued by a band of humans defending a village from beastmen than by some golden god engaged in a massive struggle with evil powers trying to take over the world. I find these massive, over the top stories to be dull and uninspiring, clearly conceived by a marketing team, not a creative team. What are these mortal realms all about? Who lives in them? What problems do they struggle with? Until I know that, I couldn't care less about the Sigmarines and their struggle with chaos. I like the idea that the new setting has limitless potential just like 40k's infinite universe, but it remains to be seen if GW is going to actually do anything compelling with it.
    Again, yes an individual story could make itself higher or lower on the scale. Though I'd argue Villagers fighting off Beastmen is already higher on the list than most low fantasy stories considering the Beastmen faction is an absolute menagerie of monsters and folk tales.

    But again it doesnt change the fact that the setting, as in the the geographical and historical location of this particular franchise contains all the hallmarks of high fantasy in spades.
    "Whom the Gods notice they destroy...be small and you will escape the jealousy of the great" The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick.

  2. #42
    Chapter Master RobC's Avatar
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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    From a certain point of view, Warhammer is in fact post-apocalyptic SF. Advanced alien race uses science and 'magic' (high-end science including psionics) to terraform a world, introducing experimental species. Their science gets the best of them (the warp gates collapse), stranding survivors among their experiments.

    But perhaps we're getting off the original point.

  3. #43
    Chapter Master Khaines Wrath's Avatar
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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    Quote Originally Posted by RobC View Post
    From a certain point of view, Warhammer is in fact post-apocalyptic SF. Advanced alien race uses science and 'magic' (high-end science including psionics) to terraform a world, introducing experimental species. Their science gets the best of them (the warp gates collapse), stranding survivors among their experiments.

    But perhaps we're getting off the original point.
    Technically that's still fantasy, in the same way that Star Wars is technically fantasy. But that's a whole other topic regarding the sometimes contentious issue of what constitutes true science fiction.
    "Whom the Gods notice they destroy...be small and you will escape the jealousy of the great" The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick.

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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    Quote Originally Posted by Khaines Wrath View Post
    I reiterate the points of my earlier post.

    1. A percentage of the population of a single faction that does consist of wizards, monstrous cavalry, an active god that responds to prayers and arcane warmachines does not make WHF low fantasy.

    2. Peasants of the Empire are neither the focus of the game, the novels of black library or even the setting as a whole. You can make them so by all means but that doesn't change the fact that Elves roam the western seas, greenskins attack frequently, a territory of the Empire is overrun with the undead, theres a continent of lizardmen and theres a race of rat people living below the Empire plotting its destruction.

    3. A fantasy setting having low fantasy elements does not make it low fantasy. Your attraction to the low fantasy elements does not make it a low fantasy setting. It is a high fantasy setting with low fantasy elements. AoS simply did away with the low fantasy elements which was a stupid mistake because it lost any sense of grounding it had.
    A percentage of the population? I would say that percentage would be around 90%.

    If you actually counted up the number of wizards and heavy cavalry in the empire, along with all the other military fantastical elements, they probably wouldn't exceed the population of small Empire town.

    Just as 1 million space marines is a stupidly small percentage of the imperium's total population. But they play a stupidly big role in the IMAGE of the imperium.

    So the argument comes down to whether image is more important or not, imo.
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  5. #45
    Chapter Master Khaines Wrath's Avatar
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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellebore View Post
    A percentage of the population? I would say that percentage would be around 90%.

    If you actually counted up the number of wizards and heavy cavalry in the empire, along with all the other military fantastical elements, they probably wouldn't exceed the population of small Empire town.

    Just as 1 million space marines is a stupidly small percentage of the imperium's total population. But they play a stupidly big role in the IMAGE of the imperium.

    So the argument comes down to whether image is more important or not, imo.
    Personally I'd say 90% is the polar exaggeration of 1%. But again this is missing the point entirely. We are talking about a single faction in a game consisting of lizardmen, skaven, 2 factions of undead, 3 factions of Elf, daemons, beastmen, ogres, greenskins, dwarfs and a whole other faction of humans living on the edge of a literal open realm of gods. All of them mostly prominent presences in the world and at the doors of the Empire.

    Warhammer is High fantasy in both its presentation and its content.
    "Whom the Gods notice they destroy...be small and you will escape the jealousy of the great" The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick.

  6. #46

    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    Quote Originally Posted by Khaines Wrath View Post
    Technically that's still fantasy, in the same way that Star Wars is technically fantasy. But that's a whole other topic regarding the sometimes contentious issue of what constitutes true science fiction.
    To get even more technical, it's 70s/80s fantasy (there having been a vogue back then for providing a science-fantasy rationale to 'make sense of the magic' in an otherwise medieval-fantasy setting--think the early Dragonriders of Pern novels for instance).

    And also parallel-world / alternative-Earth fantasy, another trend at the time (cf: the shape and placement of the Warhammer World continents and nations).
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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    Quote Originally Posted by Khaines Wrath View Post
    True low fantasy is something like The Song of Ice and Fire series where things like magic and mythical beasts are a factor but neither central to the plot or inherently widespread. .
    ASoIaF certainly does not fit your standards for low fantasy.
    Westeros is mostly mundane, yes, and so are the areas around Pentos that we've seen with Daeneris, but the moment you step out of those places, things are quite different.
    North of the walls? Direwolves, giants, mammoths, ice spiders, elf-like creatures, undead, white walkers, shape-shifters, they can't all be dismissed because they're the usual suspects, on the contrary. North of the wall = High fantasy.
    East of the Dothraki Lands? Valyria's red waste, which by the sound of it is Martin's own little Chaos wastes (just go read its description in the lastest book, when the ironborne ship sails near it). Magic isn't exacty absent, with the shapeshifters, the raising of the dead, Melissandre birthing some weird shadow assassin, etc.
    We don't have any idea what the rest of the world is like, and by the looks of it, the farther we go, the weirder it gets.
    What about the whole planet? I mean, the irregular seasons, that reeks (hahaha, Reek) of magic.
    ASoIaF feels low fantasy only because we're seeing it from an era that is mostly human-centric, in a geographical position that is mostly human-centric. We'd know only Warhammer from books describing the age of the four emperors (that was four, right?), it'd feel pretty much the same. No chaos incursion, greenskins tame, and Von Carstein acting undercover. Mostly human versus humans. Not even colleges of magic. Those would be very GoT-like books. On the other hand, had Martin chosen to write aGoT (the first book) with Ygritte as one of the main characters, following the normal chronology of the series, oh boy would the outlook be different.
    Last edited by Urgat; 17-03-2016 at 18:44.

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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    Again, WH is a what I call a buffet fantasy: is there so you can use as many type of fantasy as you want: the old ones and the lizard are "sci fi in a fantasy world" Chaos have almost four flavours(satanic overlords, lovecraftnian abomination, the pagan view of jerkass gods and moorick chaos vs order) Brettonia is clasical high fantasy knight, with the empire can range from a modern high fantasy(with steampunk, shcool of wizard,etc) but the roleplay game is really low fantasy

  9. #49
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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    People seem to define high and low fantasy differently. I think the more useful distinction is between what I'd call high and low perspective in story telling. To me, LOTR is a low-perspective fantasy because the story is from the POV of hobbits, not Gandalf or Galadriel. The Silmarillion has a much higher perspective. In ASOIAF the perspective is mostly quite low; we generally don't get POV chapters from even the human movers and shakers, let alone the unseen magical powers that are driving the backdrop story (of ice and fire). Marvel Comics is high perspective; the protagonists are the ones with the super powers.

    GW mixes it up: much of the background is ordinary human perspectives on various unearthly antagonists, but we also get material from a higher or non-human perspective. The End Times moved to a higher perspective, with various backdrop characters becoming essentially protagonists of their own stories. AOS seems high perspective with all the characters and armies being supernaturals (I think some ordinary humans appear briefly in some of the books?). GW has also sometimes moved to a higher perspective on particular races in 40k; the Necrons used to be a vague horror viewed from a human perspective but these days we have stories about the individual Necron overlords, their powers and their foibles. They dance around the issue with their Horus Heresy books; should the story be about the Emperor and the Primarchs (high perspective) or about the people who have to live in a world with the Emperor and Primarchs (low perspective)?

    Some people think the low perspective is more interesting and some the high. There doesn't seem to be much low-perspective material on the Age of Sigmar for the former group, so they don't like it.

  10. #50
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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    Quote Originally Posted by de Selby View Post
    To me, LOTR is a low-perspective fantasy because the story is from the POV of hobbits, not Gandalf or Galadriel.
    I agree, it's difficult to make a POV that's lower than that of a hobbit.

  11. #51
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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    Quote Originally Posted by Urgat View Post
    I agree, it's difficult to make a POV that's lower than that of a hobbit.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRq1Ksh-32g

    More seriously, Low Fantasy is a very broad term, but I think TV Tropes has a very good checlist for it: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LowFantasy

    So, let's see... Mundane setting. Gods, dragons, vampires, orcs, ogres, ratmen, mechanical horses, wizards, elves, dwarfs... yeah, the Old World wasn't mundane, that's for certain.

    Cynicism. Unless you're named Gotrek or Felix, this is an incredibly cynical setting. Check.

    Human dominance. Nope; orcs, beastmen and the undead are all individually a threat to the Empire.

    Plot scope. While you could argue about wheter Warhammer even had a plot, the setting was about the perpetual threat of human extinction, albeit BL's novels covered far more local conflict. Let's give this one half a check.

    Heroism. Mostly anti-heroes or villain protagonists, with a few true heroes. Check.

    Methods. Combat, combat, combat. The Power of friendship is pulling your buddy in front of the Norseman who's swinging a sword at you. Check.

    Tone. Darker (Chaos, Dark Elves, Beastmen, Daemons, Undead), and more comedic (Orcs, Ogres, Skaven). Check.

    Sorcerers. Magic is bad juju in this setting. Check.

    War. Except for the War of the Beard, and possibly some conflicts between the Empire and Brettonia (though I can't think of any) most major battles mentioned seem to be between Good and Evil. No check.

    Total Low Fantasy score: 5.5/9.

  12. #52
    Chapter Master Mike3791's Avatar
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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    Warhammer was definitely high fantasy. Even the average empire citizen knew about orcs and beastmen, as their villages were always in constant fear of being raided by them. Those were the "common enemies" of the empire.

    Also as I become more of a fan of Star Trek, I can blatantly see how 40k based CW/Dark Eldar off of Vulcans and Romulans respectively. Same common ancestry, one is logic and psychic.. other is emotional and non-psychic. Borg=Necron. Some overlap with Klingon and Orc. Etc.

    Imo Gav is right, AoS is no less silly then 40k. Image is certainly in the eye of the beholder.

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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    You've got to separate perception from reality.

    1000 years ago the average peasant truly thought that there were witches, trolls, goblins, fey etc.

    The only difference between that peasant and an Empire peasant is that the empire peasant happens to be correct. But in their day to day life, believing something to be true doesn't make it affect you any more.
    "Humanity's Insignificance pales in comparison to its Ego." (Sir Rumplestiltskin)

    "The capacity to think does not assign importance to your thoughts, it merely indicates you can." (Sir Rumplestiltskin)

  14. #54
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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    Aren't humans massively outnumbered by goblins, orcs, beastmen, and skaven?

    I'm not sure you can really describe the Fantasy world as Low Fantasy when there are far more fantastical creatures running around then there are human beings.

    Not to mention entire civilizations made up of walking skeletons, Lizardmen etc.

    From the point of view of an Empire peasant this creatures might be myths, but when empire peasants make up 1% of the global population that just makes them the ignorant minority, just like (insert your own offensive remark relating to an ignorant subset of our own population).
    Last edited by Denny; 24-03-2016 at 16:13.
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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike3791 View Post

    Imo Gav is right, AoS is no less silly then 40k. Image is certainly in the eye of the beholder.
    This may be true in a broad sense. But when I read the Age of Sigmar free excerpts on the BL website (for the novels they launched with the game), it was "Eye of Argon" levels of purple prose and bad writing. It was just turgid and comically bad in a way that most whfb and 40k fiction wasn't/isn't. I've read some of Gav Thorpe's books and he isn't that bad, so maybe his ones are better, but at least the initial wave of fiction was hilariously terrible, and that combined with people being upset with the loss of the developed whfb setting was a one-two punch that has given AoS a bad rep for quality.
    Last edited by Mudkip; 24-03-2016 at 16:39.

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    Chapter Master Mike3791's Avatar
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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellebore View Post
    You've got to separate perception from reality.

    1000 years ago the average peasant truly thought that there were witches, trolls, goblins, fey etc.

    The only difference between that peasant and an Empire peasant is that the empire peasant happens to be correct. But in their day to day life, believing something to be true doesn't make it affect you any more.
    Are you calling my ancestors liars?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mudkip View Post
    This may be true in a broad sense. But when I read the Age of Sigmar free excerpts on the BL website (for the novels they launched with the game), it was "Eye of Argon" levels of purple prose and bad writing. It was just turgid and comically bad in a way that most whfb and 40k fiction wasn't/isn't.
    It's always varied from author to author. Hopefully more novels from good writers add more depth to the franchise. "Warbeast" sounds like a good start, since it gives the individual Stormcast perspective. This is the first AoS novel I'm genuinely interested in, especially as being a fan of the Ultramarine series.

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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mudkip View Post
    This may be true in a broad sense. But when I read the Age of Sigmar free excerpts on the BL website (for the novels they launched with the game), it was "Eye of Argon" levels of purple prose and bad writing. It was just turgid and comically bad in a way that most whfb and 40k fiction wasn't/isn't. I've read some of Gav Thorpe's books and he isn't that bad, so maybe his ones are better, but at least the initial wave of fiction was hilariously terrible, and that combined with people being upset with the loss of the developed whfb setting was a one-two punch that has given AoS a bad rep for quality.
    This. I'm particularly put off by the naming direction they've taken, In the case of the Stormcast they seem to want to overload a model with endless extra titles based on their weaponry, organisation etc, to differentiate what are largely identical models with designations like Liberator Vindicator Persecutor Vigilator etc of the thunder strike demolisher brotherhood of the conqueror chamber of the Golden Grahams.. and as for the Khorne Bloodbound Bloodreaving bloodstoking bloodsnorting bloodbleeding bloody blood warriors..
    Having said that, some on warseer have been joking about things like Canis Wolfborn on his wolf and his wolf claws and his wolf earrings etc for years, and I have a dark fear that if I'd never heard of GW until today rather than being hooked age 11, 23 years ago, I'd find all of 40k and old Warhammer as childish and silly as AoS..
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  18. #58
    Librarian Mudkip's Avatar
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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    I think we're on the same page here. Warhammer has always had a bit of Age of Sigmar in it, but Age of Sigmar is pretty much all Canis Wolfborn, all the time.

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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    I'm still waiting for the AoS equivalent of Skavenslayer/Lord of the Night. That said, I actually like the short stories they released around christmas (The Unending Storm, The Gift of Khorne, The Prodigal, Gorechosen, The Eighth Victory), but then, I like the Khorne Bloodbound in general.

  20. #60
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    Re: Gav Thorpe Author Notes (AoS)

    I'm glad to see this validates my theory that this was planned as far back as 7th edition and 8th edition was written intently with End Times and to a lesser extent Age of Sigmar in mind.
    Trying to figure out how to play 9th Age with round bases...

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