Tag Archives: knight

Archetypes

11 Feb

This post will differ completely from the normal topic of my blog. This post is about game/sci-fi/fantasy archetypes. Now I’m not a hardcore gamer, nor do I play World of Warcraft, or Dungeons and Dragons, so forgive me if I over simplify your favorite race/whatever.

It seems to me that there are usually in fantasy three main classes, with lots of differentiations flowing from those classes. I’m talking about elves, wizards/mages, and fighters. Elves usually are all about stealth, speed, agility, and ranged attack. Wizards/mages usually just have ridiculous colorful spells that defy the laws of nature (it is magic after all), and fighters usually beat the shit out of things. Here are some typical representations:

legolas_logo2mage2the-blessed-paladin

You see variations of these three archetypes everywhere. I personally LOVE the third. I love a fighter, covered head to toe in armor, charging into the center of the fight causing as much damage as possible, and just soaking up the damage in return. It’s manly and a force to be reckoned with.

Elves and mages piss me off, and so do their variants. To me they’re just a bunch of wimps.  I’m not a real man so I’m going to dance around over here with my tights and my bow, hiding in the bushes shooting arrows at you! Or the mage who is the over educated nerd that can’t build muscle to save his life. All he has is a cloak and if you hit him with a stick you’d probably break his arm. Instead he just waves his staff and does something messed up with pretty, colorful magic. He has to rely on that to fight his battles for him.

Two games that have sort of these dynamics are Starcraft and Warhammer 40k. (regular Warhammer would fit better, but I haven’t played those yet)

As for Starcraft, we have Protoss, Terran, and Zerg. Protoss are basically advanced space elves. Along with the Eldar in Warhammer 40k:

protoss1eldar2

The Zerg bring up another archetype that I hate, the gooey, spikey, organ like thing. It’s just a disgusting bug covered in spikes.

zerglingYes, it might be a bad ass bug, but it doesn’t fit my personal tastes. Along the same vain (pun intended) as the spike theme are things like Chaos from Warhammer 40k:

chaos-marineThese guys bug me too. I’m just not into the whole dirty, demonic, spikey horde thing. This includes Orks! The idiots in haphazard armor with shit that’s practically duct-taped together. Sorry. It’s just barbaric spikes, blood, and more spikes. Yet luckily for me, in both games there are human like bad asses covered in armor.

40k_011terran2

These guys are well armored, carry a shitload of firepower, and are clean. (well, clean in the sense that they don’t have spikes and shit) I just love the imperial/knight aspect to them.

I guess this bias towards this type of archetype is the combination of me growing up doing 100 years war living history, where I was building a suit of plate armor, and watching Gundam Wing Zero as a kid. I just love Gundam. The mech suits just seemed to exemplify the archetype that I love.

wingzero1The Armored Core serries is also kick ass for this reason.

armored-coreIt’s just something about the raw power behind these things. It’s extremely hard to explain. If you ever get to wear a full suit of plate armor, and I’m talking real armor, not wussy plastic, leather, or rubber, you just get this feeling that you can take on anything. You’re a juggernaut. I guess that’s the word I’ve been looking for, juggernaut.

There are a few things in real life that I think this archetype draws its inspiration from:

knightsbattleshipfiring2

tank22f-22

Sexism and Racism in Living History?

13 Jan

This is a very touchy topic, and I honestly haven’t seen it come up much in living history, although the thought has always been there.

If your group is trying to portray a time period / group of people as accurately as possible, what do you do about people who want to join who are of historically inaccurate sex/race? I mean, lets face it, women and people of color did not have all the opportunities back then that they do today. It was not normal to have female knights, there were no black archers at Agincourt.

So what do you do about this? I don’t know of any woman who’s tried to be a knight in one of the more accurate medieval living history groups. There are a handful in the SCA and larp, and that’s cool, but those groups aren’t going for accuracy of portrayals.

I know of one WWI combat group that says right on their website “Sorry, but this group is exclusive to males, not trying to be sexist, but that’s how it was” (I can’t find their page in my bookmarks for the life of me)

But this brings up another question, should even white males not portray another ethnicity? I’m 5’6 white male with English/German decent, I’d look off if I tried to play a viking, Italian, or Saracen.  I think the one thing that sticks out the most is when a white guy, especially a fat white guy tries to portray a samurai. The result just makes me cringe every time I see it. I know people are obsessed with samurai, but if you’re a western male it just doesn’t work!

Thoughts?

bad

Living history vs farb…..

13 Jan

First off, I want to say that there is nothing wrong with people who commit farb crimes, as long as they are not at an event that is trying to show the general public “how it was back then.”

For non living history/ reeanctor readers, jargon definition:

Farb: a derogatory term used in the hobby of historical reenacting in reference to participants who exhibit indifference to historical authenticity, either from a material-cultural standpoint or in action.

I know this post is going to sound arrogant and condesending, but that’s not how I mean to come across. I’m sure doing LARP and SCA* stuff is really fun, I know people who have a great time doing it, I have nothing against that. What I do have something against is those same people coming to living history / reenacting events that are open to the public and bringing their farb ways with them. (*I am aware not all SCA is the same, and that some groups try very hard to be accurate.)

The point at those events is to educate the public, and to have fun doing it. If you’re not interested in properly educating the people by presenting as accurate depictions as possible, then go have your own group event. Just don’t come to a educational one with your drink coolers, pop up tents, plastic armor, and stainless steel swords. Again, there is nothing wrong with having that stuff, using it, and enjoying yourself, but just not at these events.

Some people think it’s just too much work to get the real thing, and put an expert kit together, but the quality shows. Let me give you some examples.

In camp: farb with coolers, pop up tents, bamboo mats, and obviously no period cloth for clothing:

farb1farb2Ok now here is an example of a non farb campcamp1camp2

Can you spot the difference? How about a compare/contrast with armor and fighting?

Farb:

armorfarb1armorfarb2

Ok, now for the non farb guys:

non farb 1non farb 2

Can you tell a quality difference? One group looks like a renfaire and the other looks like a movie set?

I must admit, when I first started doing living history at age 12, I was a farby. Here is the proof:

It takes time, a long time to put together an expert kit, but the effort you put in it really shows.

The two living history groups used as good examples in this post are Lord Grey’s Retinue and The Guild of Saint Olaus.