Jump to content

War vs. Fantasy?

Recommended Posts

Easiest question, people.


For a standard RPG, do you prefer themes of war or themes of fantasy? Sure, there can

be a mix of the two, but I'm talking as if one doesn't come anywhere near the other.


And this is not to say that the two can't combine at all, but if you had to choose between what

you like in a game, would you rather have kingdoms warring with each other, for example, or

would you rather seek out a lost orb that could save humanity from certain destruction?


Some examples of war RPGs that I've played...




-Fire Emblem

-Elder Scrolls (Needless to say, only in certain areas)



...And some fantasy examples...



-Virtually anything by Square Enix (FF, KH, CT&CC)

-Tales of Series

-Eternal Sonata :3




Also, don't treat this as realistic vs. non-realistic. All the war games I listed still have magical stuff

in them, but that is another question for another time, i.e. not now.


So, what do you guys think? War or Fantasy? Or maybe some other subdivision of RPGs

that I'm missing?

Edited by Arco

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say fantasy, maybe because I'm a girl and don't really like war (and I'm not making a generalization here, to those who are easily offended), but also because I enjoy things that can't happen currently IRL. And fantasy opens up a whole new genre of...stuff.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

When it comes to themes, I really tend to find War more compelling.

Somehow, trying to save a kingdom from being overrun and destroyed is more of an incentive for me than trying to find some kind of magical crystals.


But that's just me.


Personally, I would love to see a game that has War themes in combination with Fantasy mechanics - because I'm not smart enough for all that strategy stuff.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I find that war games tend to be more strategic and complex and fun in terms of gameplay, such as with Fire Emblem, FF Tactics, Ogre Battle, etc.  But you did say in a standard RPG, so maybe that doesn't apply.  I have a hard time not rolling my eyes at how cliche' the story is for most war RPGs.  You start in a small town, fight bandits, join the resistance, slowly move towards the enemy capital of some monarch who is mistreating the common folk but has stumbled upon an ancient magical power that lets him take over everything, they underestimate you until you're at their door, and so on.  Now, I also don't want to fetch the 7 orbs of power, but at least you get that epic quest feel.  I guess I'd side with fantasy. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

What if we could move around in a fantasy world like dragon quest/final fantasy/whatever and then when a battle starts it switches to something like shining force/final fantasy tactics/fire emblem?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Opinions seems to be really divided, and that's good to read (see).
But we can put the whole in an other angle by putting that in everyday life...

Is War a nice thing in real life? Tons of innoncent killed... usually 2 clans fighting for territory, money or glory... or Conquest!
We can surely affirm that War is REAL. War is concret and does exist... you know what's going on on our planet... USA, Russia, Arabic Countries... The worst war I think is Religion war... because they hide worst behind it. They hide secret alliance and corruption... All the times, the media as a hugly role to play... The Mass media determine who is the GOOD, and sadly who is the BAD.

In a RPG I know it's totaly different :
War is heroic
War is romantic
War is for the peace...
And it's a bit true, there's no peace if there's no war, and vice-versa.

I've talk a lot without even putting my own opinion.
That's why I'll give it a try :

I like war because I like Knights, Kingdom, Armies, Fighting, Glory, Winning, Romance... but I think that War is a subject more limited than ''Fantasy''.

Fantasy is :
Abstraction of War or Peace
Blue, Red or Incolors
Hugly or Beautiful
Sad or Happy
True or False...

I think, personnaly, that Fantasy is stronger than war. Fantasy is a ''Children'' subject if I can call it like that... and we ALL know that a Kid's mind is definitely most developped than an Adult mind, in term of Imagination...
The only problem with child is that they need to develop their brain to express what they see in their mind... but the more they develop their little brain, the more they tend to be adult.
That's why as ''Makers'', we must keep our child mind, like Peter Pan.
And I'm sure that if we're here on a RPG Maker Community, that's because we have the power to do so!
I don't want to destroy ''War'' as a RPG subject... not at all.
But Fantasy as much more to offer. From what I think.

Wo... lots of blabla!
Hope it helps, my opinion is just an opinion, like every others.
I liked reading all of yours too.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've dabbled in both, but must say from a maker point of view, war is more involved IMO.


Rather than just saying hey these two are fighting, you get to develop many nice insights on both ends, try and make both sides seem like their reasoning is sound, draw your player into wanting to know who wins, or maybe even pick a side. 


You can explore complex relationships of people on both sides, turncoats, allies, and those that want to stay out of the fray.

It can be very complex or very simple.


I generally head that direction because it is something I know about firsthand.

It helps me to write believable dialogue when battle scenes come around, or when troop mobilization, logistics, etc come into play.

Now not only are you playing a game set in a war, but you see that it's not just a bunch of dialogue(if that makes sense) 

There is talk of ration shortage, equipment delay, etc, to really pull it together and add depth.


But that's my .02

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

My problem with war themes in games, is that although compelling and offer a great drive to resolve, the party dynamic is often poorly explained. Why you the player and a couple of others are given such tasks? There are hundreds, probably thousands of others who are involved in the conflict, so how are you making the difference in the conflict when you number so few?


Yes you can fulfil these sorts of story requirements, but I've found that the party of 4 or 5 guys is poorly explained as it is, let alone when you involve hundreds of others which might be more suited to the task!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer Fantasy based Themes in a game. War Themed games  and Stories can be great but it gets pretty complicated soon and unless you have a really good story line, I don't see how it gets everyone interested in it. However, Just take a simple Fantasy based Theme and it would get most people interested in it. Perhaps,This is because of Simplicity and greater feeling of being Involved. 


What would be interesting to play is a game where you start of as a Single Player or few players and head on a Fantasy based Adventure and end up with a War themed ending. Not sure I can think of any Games but I could point out an Anime based on a game - Tower of Druaga, It got pretty intense in the end yet started out so simple in the beginning.

Edited by Hikitsu

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like both as long as the story is interesting.


War is easier to do on the surface than fantasy, because it's easier to relate to something that actually goes on and write from that than to delve into your imagination and create something fantastical. That said, war is easy to make boring and generic because it's easy to write and it's been done. It's all to easy to write a story about a small country getting invaded by an EVIL empire, but it's been done to death and is not on it's own interesting.



That said, I feel that this is comparing apples and apple trees: one is a story type, the other is a setting.


You can have fantasy war, fantasy thriller, fantasy romance etc. you can have steampunk war, thriller, romance, or modern realistic war, thriller, romance. 

Even if your story is a "war romance", you still need to know if its ancient greek historical war romance or tolkienesque fantasy war romance or distopian future war romance.


If the story is interesting enough, people won't be thinking "oh this is a war story", they'll be thinking "this is a good story"

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Top ArrowTop Arrow Highlighted