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Fantasy nerds please syop talking about realism when you mean internal consistency, these are different things

@ackthrice but we just mean that universals are distinct from their instantiating particulars♥♥♥

@Sandra
These words are too complicated for me... Please simplify?

@ackthrice The word “realistic” (in the context of aesthetic philosophy) can also mean a world where specific things (like potions of water breathing that work for one hour) are “instances” or examples of a class that in some sense exist.

As in, the world is “realistic” if it’s implied that there “exists” a class of items that are, say, 1h-water-breathing potions, whereas the world is “idealistic” if only the specific, individual bottles that we have seen SO FAR “exist”. It’s a fight over what the word “exists” means.

So if a fan says “They were down there for three hours? That’s not realistic, potions of water breathing only last for an hour!” they are correctly pointing out that the piece of fantasy fiction seems more aligned with Berkeleyan idealism than with philosophical realism BUT that fan might still be wrong if there are more than one kind of potion of water breathing in this world. You are right, here’s absolutely a huge overlap between this kind of realism with consistency, but, crucially, it also involve consistency external to the on-screen narrative (i.e. the sessions we’ve actually played and said out loud) but still internal to the fictional world as a whole (i.e. planet al-Toril in my case).

I’m gonna tag in @lumpley because I’m trying to teach off-screen canonicity to him.♥

@ackthrice The Strawberry Fields is an example of fantasy that isn’t realistic because there’s nothing to get hung about. It’s purely idealistic♫

@lumpley, curious to see how your “principles but everything has a but” thing looks in a #blorb context. Got to say, I use that all the time for wallpaper stuff or I would but improvising, it’s less a conscious process and more of a “once the tap in my head is open, I just see it” thing; the blorb principles are more to reign me in than to support me.

@Sandra
I think I get your point, but tbh the context of the discussions I usually see on this point are much less nuanced.

Its more like Clarke's scifi or Dresden files are realistic because they are trying to ground in 'our reality' where something like 40k or Middle Eartg is not realistic but it is internally consistent.

Something like Discworld or Xanth is neither because thats kinda the point.
@lumpley

@Sandra
And there is a spectrum from Middle Earth anally-internally consistent to Weaveworld or the Dark Tower where the real world bits are realistic to highlight a lack of internal consistency in the otherworlds. But lacking realism =/= lacking internal consistency =/= bad writing =/= lacking realism

@ackthrice @lumpley Discworld or Spelljammer tries to make a mythological world consistent which is part of the wonders of those works♥

Just saying that although one sense of the word “realistic” is “connected to, snd evocative of, our everyday experiences”, the word (confusingly enough but this is the curse of all words) also has this other more ontologically related sense.

So I’m not saying you are wrong in your usage♥ Just that the other fans might not be wrong either, they just mean it a little differently. S’all good is what I’m saying♥♥

I love realism. La Comédie humaine was the 19th century equivalent of a Claremont run♥♥

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