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1  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: A sensitive matter to discuss on: 16 November 2006, 03:33:44
(Hm. Board is still up. Don't know how long. I assume this post will make it into the archive, and will possibly even be read if the board re-opens later. Anyway...)

Quote
The way I read the 'playing white people' incident, it wasn't white people who were playing white people, it was people from the middle east or africa who were playing white people. That can hardly be described as 'playing what you know', can it? So why would they do that? Do they have the feeling that the white race is superior? Do they think they are 'better' people when they're white? (This has to do with Arti's argument that people play fantasy to become a 'better' self).

In fact, it's the opposite of "playing what you know", and to be encouraged in my opinion - it would be similar to you (sorry for making assumptions, but your post seemed to be written from a Western perspective) or I playing characters from the Middle East or Asia - or just opposite genders. As has been said, that is a part of what roleplaying is about; broadening horizons and trying to change perspectives. If they are playing something they aren't, they are simply good roleplayers.

-----

This does not cover the other points mentioned, of course - the orcs cast as Native Americans, Tolkien's southerners and easterners being described as a filthy lot of savages, etc.

A lot of trouble results from the fact that most great literature - the works we look up to when writing - was made early in the last century, when racism was all the rage. Besides Tolkien's Haradrim and C.S. Lewis's "Tash", just look at Lovecraft's incessant comments about swarthy, untrustworthy immigrants who are usually demonic cultists and murderous savages. The problem is that these books are good. So we find ourselves either condemning good authors who were but a product of their era, or defending works which would today be acknowledged as ridiculously offensive.
2  Organization and General Discussions / Announcements and Web Design / Re: Inmotion Irritation on: 16 November 2006, 02:37:30
Arti: If you would like a temporary place to communicate, I have some space to spare for a small forum. It's nothing fancy, but it's more convenient than email.

We did it like that for another board that moved and crashed quite frequently - we always kept a small Interim forum on another site, so we could still talk if the main place went down, and the community didn't shatter as badly.

Just saying. It would be just as easy to use another forum host like InvisionFree (or ezboard, if we must...).
3  Organization and General Discussions / Announcements and Web Design / Re: Inmotion Irritation on: 15 November 2006, 09:59:53
Edit: Sorry, stupid question. They'd already told you that the CPU and RAM usage was so high you needed a dedicated server.

--

I can't quite understand why this is, however. The dev board itself isn't that heavily used - if I understand it right, the really big traffic is on the (static) compendium pages. Do you have some way to get a statistic on CPU and RAM usage for each script file?

Perhaps there is just a broken script somewhere that drives up the CPU usage...
4  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: Best Fantasy book series on: 25 September 2006, 21:57:33
There are really only two ways to handle fantasy languages: Leave them out, or spend a lot of time on them. They aren't essential, anyway.

There is practically no conlang in David Eddings (except for some phrases in Ulgo that that are never translated afaik). There is none in Harry Potter either, and when it occurs in Terry Pratchett, it's  a joke anyway:

Quote
Otto: "You know zat another term for an iconographer would be 'photographer'? From the old word photus in Latation, vhich means--"
William: "'To prance around like a pillock ordering everyone about as if you owned the place'."

But if a fantasy story will use constructed languages, the author will have to put a real effort into developing them, not just slap some Celtic and Latin together.
5  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: Best Fantasy book series on: 17 September 2006, 09:16:23
You haven't seen fantasy until you read two authors: Tolkien and Pratchett. They're benchmarks for fiction in a way.

About Drizzt... the whole concept of Drow fascinates me, and I read the first book, but was a bit disappointed. What I saw everywhere dark elves or Drow were mentioned was this idea of an alien mindset with different morals (or lack thereof), and the fascinating part was to see the world from their perspective. Instead, the first book unilaterally depicted the whole city of Menzoberranzan as evil, and turned Drizzt into a kind of idealized "goody-two-shoes" hero who wouldn't hurt a fly. In other words, the disappointment was that I expected to see for a first time a kind of "shades of grey" mentality in fantasy, and instead there was the usual "pure good hero, ugly evil villain" binary world. Oh well...
6  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: Best Fantasy book series on: 11 September 2006, 20:58:27
The poll needs the possibility for two votes. Here's another Discworld fan, but c'mon, I can't forego the Tolkien vote, can I?

--

On another note, I object to listing Douglas Adams tremendous work here. Neither the genre of Fantasy nor Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy are done a favor when the latter is classed among the former. Sci-Fi is it's own group!  ;)

--

Also, I've heard some criticisms of Paolini's work, but the only time I've heard it praised was in a phrase like "it's amazing how someone that young can...". So I have to ask: Is it "good" in its own right, actually, when compared with works of adult writers like Tolkien or Pratchett? I'll read it myself in a week or two after I finish Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, but I'd like to know.
7  Santharian World Development / Languages and Runes / Question: Styrásh words of parting on: 08 September 2006, 18:07:17
Somehow, the words "Avá artanhe" are stuck in my memory as a customary parting in Styrásh. But I don't remember where I got that from, and I don't see it mentioned anywhere on the site.

From the dictionary, I'd translate this as something like "Ava bless you", because "artan" is "to bless", but the form "-he" doesn't appear anywhere in the conjugation table.

So is this phrase correct? And what does it mean literally? And if not, what *would* be the correct phrase - surely there's been an occasion where one was needed?
8  Organization and General Discussions / General Santharian Discussions / Re: Languages in Santharia on: 30 August 2006, 21:45:14
I'd view Tharian in the way Tolkien used Westron.

Our goal is to make our fictional world as real and submersive as possible. That includes "removing" all traces of the creative process, so that it will appear to be for all purposes a "real" world that we gained knowledge about in some way (like JRRT did through his "Red Book of Westmarche" that he "found").

For readability, we need to write the actual texts in English, but since English can't exist in Caelereth, we just assume (as you said) there is some lingua franca that has the role English does for us, and that all our entries are "translated" from after we "found" them. This also means we don't really need to picture how Tharian actually sounds, because every time somebody speaks Tharian in the story, we just use English.

Still, we can use conjecture and a bit of linguistics to reason out a few Tharian words and names, because it's likely that it was in some ways influenced by the languages around it.

In Tolkien's appendix to LotR, he explains that some names were transcribed into English-sounding names from Westron by translating their Westron meaning into Old English and then evolving the name as it would have through the gradual modernization of English: "Samwise, son of Hamfast" was actually "Banazir, son of Ranugad", where "Banazir" means "half-wise" (or "sam-wis" in OE), and Ranugad means "stay-at-home" (or "ham-foest" in OE).

In the story itself, these true names never appear, and I guess we don't need to put real Tharian into the entries either.
9  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: Some good news for a change on: 30 August 2006, 21:23:01
Of which Patty Hearst is likely the most dramatic and interesting. Can you imagine being abducted and then helping your captors in a bank robbery (where "helping" includes carrying an automatic pistol and threatening people) weeks later? Wow.

--

By the way, she (Natascha Kampusch) wrote a public letter.
10  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: Some good news for a change on: 28 August 2006, 23:14:07
There's another movie (or novel) called The Collector which has a similar premise.

Eight years, wow. I'm trying to remember what I did eight years ago, and how much happened in the meantime. That was 1998 - I remember around this time my grandmother died. Ancient past, I can't imagine spending the time between then and now in some cellar. o_O

I don't know if it was CNN's headline that named her a "sex slave", but the BBC article I just read claims she only mentioned having sexual contact recently - long after the headline was published. Meaning it was speculation - but whatever sells the papers goes, apparently.
11  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: Happy Birthday, dear Masterbard! on: 23 August 2006, 19:57:04
Argh! I'd marked this day in my calendar, and still I missed it.

Happy belated birthday, Judy!
12  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: Population Drop on: 18 August 2006, 22:36:19
If there actually is a population drop, I really have no idea how it could be countered (or if it should be countered). Bringing in waves of new people has an unfortunate side-effect of changing the face of the community very quickly - it's disorienting to have a lot of new people to get to know at once. Minigames, or anything else that doesn't attract people to the primary focus (which is writing, not playing games or even roleplaying...) have the added side effect of getting in a lot of people who frankly aren't that interested in writing entries.

Personally, I'm planning to do my share to bring up the active population up by at least one (I just have to rummage around in my dev schedule to see what I wanted to develop last century).
13  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: Belated Return on: 16 August 2006, 14:23:40
Yayness!
14  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Shadowmancy on: 30 July 2005, 07:34:00
Summoning and Weavers. Aw gosh, we talked about this for a long time in Landshut, but I don't remember if we came to any conclusion. ^^


If Fire is Earth desiring to be Wind,
And Water is Wind trying to be Earth,
What then is Fire wishing to be Water?

Santharia, a place of world creation and roleplaying.

15  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Krean cosmology - will eventually form the basis of magi on: 19 October 2005, 07:01:00
Quote:
No, I'm studying law - not that it's any less complicated!


Who'd have thought?:p  

Now that is a scary kind of magic - legalese.;)  

--
Aran

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