Spam Spam Spam Humbug: Episode 26 – Fantasy Settings, Legends, and Histories
We were joined for this episode by Chlorthos Dragon — and we learn how to pronounce that, actually — to discuss a topic of his suggestion: the generic nature and feel of Britannia versus the more fleshed-out settings of other RPGs.
Less-detailed settings like Britannia only give as many details of the world as are necessary for the story it’s trying to tell, and it’s not above tweaking them as necessary — there’s a reason retcons both minor and major are so ubiquitous in the series, after all. And while a setting playing loose with its own canon can be jarring and immersion-shattering when done wrong, when done right, it, again, serves more as an invitation to the player to figure out their own explanations, rather than laying out all the answers right there. Arguably, a setting that isn’t entirely self-consistent often feels more believable than one that is — what’s to say everything is remembered correctly, recorded infallibly, passed on completely?
And in some respects, we can even abstract the difference between Britannia and other, more fleshed-out fantasy realms as being akin to the difference between history and legend. Britannia is very much a setting of legend; there is some history woven in, but the story of the past changes over time as the legend is changed to fit the present-day context. Whereas other RPG settings are much more history-focused; the story of the past is more consistent and fleshed out because the developers want to lay down a foundation of history, rather than one of legend.
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