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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".

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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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Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post
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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Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post
(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
atomiclich
 
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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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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
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 09-10-2019, 01:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

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At a very practical level Utopias cannot exist for the very simple reason one person's Utopia is another's Dystopia.
I grant that as an argument for disbelieving in utopias in the real world. But I don't see that it invalidates utopia as a fictional premise. There are very practical reasons that FTL, or immortal beings, or postscarcity societies can't exist in the real world, but people still write fiction about them, and play games set in worlds that have them.

The point of my comments wasn't at all about the unworkability of fictional utopias, but about the literary difficulties in running a campaign set in a utopia, which is quite a different issue and one that even an outright fantasist must face.
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

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I grant that as an argument for disbelieving in utopias in the real world. But I don't see that it invalidates utopia as a fictional premise. There are very practical reasons that FTL, or immortal beings, or postscarcity societies can't exist in the real world, but people still write fiction about them, and play games set in worlds that have them.

The point of my comments wasn't at all about the unworkability of fictional utopias, but about the literary difficulties in running a campaign set in a utopia, which is quite a different issue and one that even an outright fantasist must face.
You already know this, Bill, but to offer a suggestion to the OP, probably the most well-known version of this idea appeared in Star Trek: TNG. Gene Roddenberry quite frankly acknowledged that series as his take on The Republic in space.

Picard represented intellect in command of the self; Riker the "will" to act ("thumos"); and Troi the compassion for others, as well as the exercise of healthy appetites so as to maintain physical and emotional well-being.

In many ways, a lot of the stories had as common themes the conflicts between sane and balanced people with those of unbalanced minds.

Klingons represented personalities in which thumos ruled over intellect, and created a race driven by violence. The Ferengi represented personalities enslaved to their own appetites.

Other races represented different mindsets and philosophies Roddenberry considered terribly flawed in ways that caused harm to others.

While Star Trek isn't great science fiction (and only barely adequate space opera), as an examination of modern issues in which conflict is driven by widely varied (and sometimes irrational) world-views, the show is tough to beat.

For a campaign such as this, the OP might want to think in terms of such metaphors, and look to Star Trek for ideas.
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

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You already know this, Bill, but to offer a suggestion to the OP, probably the most well-known version of this idea appeared in Star Trek: TNG. Gene Roddenberry quite frankly acknowledged that series as his take on The Republic in space.
He has precedents. Robert Heinlein's Space Cadet explicitly spells it out that there are three basic human types: The professional man who is motivated by the desire to adhere to an ethical standard; the man who's motivated by pride and honor; and the economic man. The Space Patrol are said to be the first type, and the Space Marines the second; implicitly the merchant marine are the third.
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