Tantus wrote:Unless a sim specifies otherwise, I will assume a parallel timeline to Earth.
Is what I did. In so far as I thought about it. Which wasn't a lot.
And yes to what Blue said.
The example Anarch brought up (of the serious non-Gor player asking about the specific date) is interesting. Because it shows how most people in SL Gor are unused to thinking in these terms. And I don't think there is anything wrong with that.
But I do think it signals a difference between Gor and many other venues. In SWRP, the time setting does make a pretty big difference. Did the republic fall and the empire emerge, already? In an earth setting, whether you play in 1751, 1989, 1963 or 2017 makes A WHOLE lot of difference. In GoT (never played in those sims), I guess it also matters whether winter has come or not.
Anarch Allegiere wrote:Such details might seem minute, but in the grand scheme of things they aren't. The landscape of Gor got changed rather drastically over the storyline of the books, relevant to Illyros for example pre-Tarl Port Kar is a lot different from post-Tarl Port Kar (same goes for Tharna), same goes for the other big players, same even might go in terms of what kind of Torvaldslander storylines we can expect, same goes for the (in our sim yet non-existing Panis), same goes for the activity of pirates on the Vosk, Same goes for knowing which cities are at war with one another, or had a past war, which /is/ important for us to know because we use those detail in our bigger sim storyline, or try and plan to...
You are right. Things do change in the books. Especially in the earlier ones. Whole cities (and budding empires) fall or change (Tharna, Kar, Ar, etc.). The political landscape changes (and the Science fiction stuff with the PK's and the Kur changes too, of course). It is not static.
But the overall world is, in a way. Dynamic, but cyclical. It fits in with the view of history often associated with ancient Greece (I think Norman must have read his Aristotle and Thucydides pretty well), the idea that history goes in circles. So, a city emerges, maybe from a trade center. And from that arises a civil semi-democratic government. If the city becomes a power-player, it is more likely to be controlled by a military leader (Ubar). See ancient Rome. The PK's don't want empires, so no one city will become all powerful, so it is likely to fall (like Ar), maybe to arise from the ashes once more. Cities may die, be reborn. Others may rise up. But the dynamic doesn't really change much. And the way of life of the people in those cities doesn't change radically, quickly (though Norman IS time-sensitive when it comes to culture, often pointing out how things can change over time).
So, if you were to imagine a Gor 200 years after the books, you might find that Cos is no longer any sort of power. Maybe Port Kar is the new Ar. Maybe Treve was found and destroyed utterly. Maybe the Vosk went dry. And maybe FW veils did go out of fashion. Or got replaced by full masks. Maybe Kajirae are now called Slutirae.
But it would still be the same sort of thing: mostly independent cities doing their thing, sometimes warring, sometimes not, a few of the more powerful ones locked in long-term struggles. Sword and spears and shields. Tarnsmen. No muskets and cannons. Peasants working the land. No harvesting machines.
Many cities in SL Gor aren't supposed to be accurate portrayals of a city in the books at any particular point in time. Some are cities with names not featured in the books (which is fine, since not all cities are supposed to be mentioned). Many are, but usually not linked to any of the book-events.
Now, you obviously CAN create a sim and situate it just-so in the whole political landscape as described in the books. That does offer some detail RP-ers might make use of (like being able to talk about the wars and politics going on there or elsewhere). But you also LOSE something if you do that.
If you are writing a historical novel, you accept certain confines. You can have your 19th century rakish protagonists meet Queen Victoria. Maybe even share a secret kiss with her. But you can't have him topple her from her throne, assume the kingship of the United Kingdom and invade France. It stops being a normal historical novel if you do that and becomes 'alternative historical fiction'.
If you are writing fantasy or science fiction, you have no such limitations. Anything can happen, including very big things, nations falling, planets exploding, etc. It offers a blank slate in terms of politics, war, etc. that you don't have if you stick to a pre-existing time-line of larger events.
So, in that sense, you limit what you and others can do if you pick a setting for a Gorean sim that is set during the on-going story of the books. Of course, SL being SL, it isn't likely that one city would utterly destroy another as a result of a war (because it is unlikely the sim-owner of the destroyed sim is going to go along with his SL project being influenced that much over IC events. He or she is paying for it, after all), but in theory, you could do things like that. But not if one of those sims is Corcyrus and the other Argentum if you set the time to be 1970 = 10121 Contasta Ar, because it will conflict with the lore.
Maybe it doesn't matter much. And I am not saying that having every RP avenue open is always 'the best' thing. But this would be a further reason why it might be a good idea to take the time-setting to be 'the now' (in 'earth terms').
And obviously... if sim 1 selects time X and sim 2 selects time Y, you will make it impossible for any cross-sim RP to exist between the two sims, as long as people pay attention to those details. Which may be the intention, all along.