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Old 09-10-2019, 08:39 AM   #1
atomiclich
 
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Default Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

As the title said has anyone ever made a backround that would be based on the Plato's "ideal/utopian" republic? It would not be hard to translate these ideals to later ages (Transhumanist colony living on Platos Republics principles might be intresting).

Ok, I'm lazy because i'm asking has someone "done-this-before".

--Mika P.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

Yes, but it was just a shadow of what I expected.






(Waits for audience applause. Not a sausage.)
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

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Yes, but it was just a shadow of what I expected.



(Waits for audience applause. Not a sausage.)
Get back in your cave. ;-)

A whole campaign based on The Republic might be a bit limited, but introducing a fictional society based on those principles seems feasible - of course there will be some element of author onboard as to how you calculate the outcomes of such a setup, just as there is with any form of theoretical government - for everyone who looks at any given Utopia and sees an ideal state with few if any problems (a Eutopia if you will), there will be others who see an impractical mess or a downright dystopia. If you happen to be a big Plato fan, resist the desire to create a setting that showcases his philosophy too much - polemic sometimes works in a novel, rarely in a game.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

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(Waits for audience applause. Not a sausage.)
FX: Storms of recorded applause.

Considerable assistance in creating such a campaign could be had from Jo Walton's The Just City and is sequels. They're a fantasy series in which a society based on Plato's Republic is set up by Athena and Apollo.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

No promises yet.

I'.m thinking of making a netbook/blog out of it....

It just has so much potential.

--mp
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

I have played with the idea of writing GURPS Utopia, a guide to campaigns set in utopian societies. Kind of the mirror image of dystopian settings like Paranoia. The big limiting factor is conflicts. Utopias don't have Man vs. Society; they normally have advanced enough ethics to minimize Man vs. Man; their people may have enough insight to minimize Man vs. Self; their technology is humane designed and avoids Man vs. Technology; and if there are gods, they're probably devoted enough to worshiping them to avoid Man vs. God, unless utopianism is a defiance of the gods. You can do Man vs. Nature, obviously, and if there are nonutopian societies you can do Society vs. Society.

Now I think of it, that's a lot like a classic "space cadet" campaign.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

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I have played with the idea of writing GURPS Utopia, a guide to campaigns set in utopian societies. Kind of the mirror image of dystopian settings like Paranoia. The big limiting factor is conflicts. Utopias don't have Man vs. Society; they normally have advanced enough ethics to minimize Man vs. Man; their people may have enough insight to minimize Man vs. Self; their technology is humane designed and avoids Man vs. Technology; and if there are gods, they're probably devoted enough to worshiping them to avoid Man vs. God, unless utopianism is a defiance of the gods. You can do Man vs. Nature, obviously, and if there are nonutopian societies you can do Society vs. Society.

Now I think of it, that's a lot like a classic "space cadet" campaign.
At a very practical level Utopias cannot exist for the very simple reason one person's Utopia is another's Dystopia.

It was one of the reasons I had (and still have) such a distain for the D&D alignment system.

For example, in the old Deities and Demigods Maglubiyet (deity of goblins and hobgoblins) fights Gruumsh (deity of Orcs) in endless battle in one of the planes of Hell as their slain spirit armies reform.

Yet the Norse pantheon also appears in the book and what happens in Valhalla (the Norse Heaven) is avoided ie the fight, kill each other, and reform to do it all again the next day in preparation for Ragnarok...which they know they are all going to die in.

Even back then the person dies and get everything they ever wanted in life in what they think is Heaven but quickly become bored and ask to be sent to Hell...only to find out they are already there was cliche.
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Old 09-12-2019, 01:23 AM   #8
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

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I have played with the idea of writing GURPS Utopia, a guide to campaigns set in utopian societies. Kind of the mirror image of dystopian settings like Paranoia. The big limiting factor is conflicts (...)
Sounds great.

Now, isn't conflict the actual element to make a story around utopias? Something like, the struggle to keep the status quo in front of their perpetrators (which usually are, outsiders).

Suddenly I recall the planet of the apes.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

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As the title said has anyone ever made a backround that would be based on the Plato's "ideal/utopian" republic? It would not be hard to translate these ideals to later ages (Transhumanist colony living on Platos Republics principles might be intresting).

Ok, I'm lazy because i'm asking has someone "done-this-before".

--Mika P.
Arguable The Republic is just the old principle of separating the sword from the purse to keep the merchants from raiding and the warriors from taking bribes. Many societies, perhaps most, adopt this at least nominally and some go to ridiculous lengths about it. Europe has long been more practical. It has always had societies of fighting merchants even if those were not the majority and Athens was among them (Sparta however...). But it also had societies that tried to enact this separation, including sumptuary laws, and social cachets for being part of a "pure" warrior and political class as opposed to fighting from time to time. There are still traces of that even in America; not only can police not loot crime scenes but soldiers have to turn in loot even if it was the property of legitimate enemies. And of course often you can bribe a politician with an art object, or a concession to his clients when you couldn't do so with cash.

So The Republic is not a Utopia in the sense of not reflecting real societies. What it is that it's disadvantages are to great to make up for the problems it averts.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:45 AM   #10
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

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Arguable The Republic is just the old principle of separating the sword from the purse to keep the merchants from raiding and the warriors from taking bribes.
Yes. It's the principal-agent problem and Plato's solution to it. He actually has quite a lucid explanation of the gains from trade and the productivity of a market economy early on. But then he supposes that the result wealth will attract thieves, robbers, and invaders; that you need protectors; and that you have to avoid those protectors trying to enrich themselves at the expense of the "protected." It's really the mirror image of the problem of how you prevent the democratic majority from voting to enrich themselves at the expense of productive capital.

Jane Jacobs writes about this in her short book Systems of Survival, which is about the need for the warrior ethic and the trader ethic to coexist, even though each regards the other as immoral.
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