Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Humanistic Fantasy

I ran across the term "humanistic fantasy" while I was reading the primer for Rogue Games' Shadow, Sword & Spell. Here is their definition:
Humanistic fantasy is fantasy in which humans take the center stage. It is fantasy largely without the races familiar to fantasy today - elves, dwarves and the like.
This is the type of fantasy and fantasy role-playing game I prefer. It is one of the reasons I like Barbarians of Lemuria so much. Now I have a term for it.

So, why do I like humanistic fantasy so much? Good question. I'm glad you asked. I've been thinking about it since I read the primer. The only conclusion I have come to is that it is more about feeling than logic. It just doesn't feel right to me to have humanoids be a common occurrence. They should be rare and mysterious. Not something you see hanging out at the corner pub. So uncommon that, perhaps, they are endangered or even one of the last examples of their race. Just as I feel magic should be rare and dangerous, not something you use every morning to heat your tea. And, hey, these are characteristics of the sword and sorcery genre.

Oh, and my copy arrived today.

(As a side note, I googled the phrase and discovered that it is used frequently by religious folk to describe the world view of non-believers. But that's another story.)

1 comment:

  1. Than sign me up as a Humanistic Fantasyist too. I was gonna start my new campaign with only humans until one of the players requested to play a dwarf. I may still limit the starting races to human.