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  • posted a message on Theros: Beyond Death Elspeth
    Quote from Creedmoor »
    I always thought that Ravnica seemed more like a collective of worldviews and civilizations blended into one "urban" world. It never seemed like it was taken from one culture only to me, so I don't see where people get that from.


    Not everyone enjoyed equal citizenship or representation, but Rome itself was very cosmopolitan. How far, I wonder, does one need to penetrate beneath a surface level understanding before they remember just how vast - culturally and geographically - the Roman empire was? Not to be snide, but we teach this exact subject in 7th grade.

    I thought you'd be more excited that I consciously steered the conversation back toward Theros. Did you have some input along those lines?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Theros: Beyond Death Elspeth
    That sounds like a solid, efficient ability for standard, but one that would ultimately be difficult to implement mechanically. Unless they opted for a whole lot of reminder text to remove the creature type once a certain threshold is met (in this case, a replacement effect for entering the 'yard), they'd probably have to revisit the flip or transform mechanics, both of which I find unlikely. I'm also a little bit skeptical about the thematic implications of a creature being transformed into an abstract, magical concept when the entire point of a netherworldly locale is that their consciousness is transported to another realm completely. Not saying it's impossible, mind you; if anyone has the vision to achieve such a feat, it would be the WotC creative team.

    The enchantment-based components of Theros 1 were mostly linear: the enchantment type was stapled onto nearly every other type of permanent, and then you'd profit from ETB (Constellation) or targeting (Heroic) triggers. The only thing that feels assured at this point is the return of devotion, everything else could well be turned on its head. That's especially true considering how hard it is for me, right now, to square a journey through - or out of - the underworld with the association between certain deities and the night sky. Those two places strike me as mutually exclusive in terms of their potential impact, mechanically and thematically.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Theros: Beyond Death Elspeth
    Quote from Dom4419 »
    Fiore is already based on Rome. Maybe not the time of gladiators and such but i doubt they'll make two planes based on the same real world location just different eras.


    Fiora is based on Italy during Renaissance (and particularly Firenze). While that is certanly linked to the roman empire, it's not the same.


    No, but - interestingly enough - this set may be the closest Wizards comes to styling a set after one of my literary pet favorites, Dante's Inferno (which prefigured the Renaissance by a scant few decades). Consider that Orpheus, Aeneas, and Hercules are all Greek figures with iconic underworld narratives, two of which figure prominently in the Inferno as biblical parallels. This may be one of the few circumstances where it would actually be more... precise to use the term Greco-Roman, since Virgil himself wrote his most influential literary piece sub Julio.

    If Beyond Death is indeed underworld themed, how does everyone suppose enchantment-based mechanics will play into that? I already suspect that Alela, Artful Provocateur is a plant for Theros, so probably something in Esper colors.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Theros: Beyond Death Elspeth
    I find it both strange and fascinating that you would demand of me evidence that Wizards has admitted Ravnica has Roman inspiration (which I don’t believe is necessary for my point to be valid), and at the same time continue to insist that there is public consensus about how “pop culture” has defined Greece and Rome to be ostensibly the same without any evidence whatsoever. Who are all these people, besides yourself, loudly proclaiming them to be “two sides of the same coin”? It honestly feels like you’re putting a whole lot of words in other people’s mouthes, and believing it justified with your repetitive, nebulous use of that expression. I’d prefer something a little more substantive than an assumption that other people share your exact perspective.

    Look, we can continue to disagree about the source material that inspired Ravnica, but it ultimately doesn’t matter. The biggest hurdle facing Wizards, if they choose to move forward with a Roman themed block, will be dissociating it from each of those myriad elements I discussed before. If they can craft another plane with a senate, the legions, blood sport, barbarians, the church, etc, and have it not be easily mistaken for Ravnica, then more power to them. The gods and monsters of Theros really needn’t be a consideration, at all.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Theros: Beyond Death Elspeth
    Quote from H3RAC71TU5 »
    It's not so much wrong as it is less precise language, something we usually tolerate in colloquial contexts. You're right that people wont ever learn to be more precise if they aren't corrected, that is, assuming that they need to be corrected and aren't just using broad language.


    I'm fine with calling it either; the distinction doesn't bother me.

    Quote from user_938036 »
    It is explicitly not an opinion that Ravnica is not Roman but Slavic. Being wrong isn't a crime but being smug and wrong should be.


    If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, but MaRo tells you it's an elephant, are you still capable of making up your own mind? Never mind that what you quoted isn't remotely mutually exclusive with my analysis. Eldraine is pretty clear (if recent) proof that a set can have more than one inspirational component.

    Quote from Creedmoor »
    Once again, another forum corrupted by the bickering of nerds.


    Is that not what internet forums are for? Apart from trolling, I guess. I'm sorry that our friendly debate wasn't as enriching as the raw positivity you so clearly bring to the table.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Theros: Beyond Death Elspeth
    Quote from Xeruh »
    If you want to claim they built Ravnica to be a Rome plane feel free, but unless you're going to actually cite where WotC did that at best you're arguing something to the effect of subconscious influences which is very wishy washy territory.


    You're right, it's either 100% intentional or completely coincidental. Pretty sure I could have just stopped at the senate and legions in my comparison above and it would have clicked for most people, though.

    Quote from Xeruh »
    And I'm not really sure why referencing Gladiators/Spartacus somehow invalidates my "Empire/Gladiator" bit with regards to pop culture.


    Because they’re prime examples of how pop culture depictions of Rome has absolutely nothing to do with the Greek mythology you keep espousing.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Theros: Beyond Death Elspeth
    Quote from H3RAC71TU5 »
    This argument seems to ignore the fact that the phrase "Greco-Roman" pretty much exists in the first place because in popular culture they're largely conflated, a conflation of those cultures which occurs because of their perceived similarity, and the point that Theros can be characterized as purely Greek in its source material is the kind of nit-picking detail that the general audience doesn't care about. Probably why people were calling Theros "Greco-Roman" to begin with.



    They can not care about it and still be wrong. How does one stop being wrong if nobody takes the time to correct them, nit-picky or otherwise? We’ve all got our prerogatives.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Theros: Beyond Death Elspeth
    Quote from Xeruh »
    You're really only making my case as most people probably wouldn't view Ravnica as very Rome-like, and most of your examples are probably not very heavily noticed in pop culture.


    And yet not only are those the fundamental differences between Greece and Rome, but Wizards thought they were distinct enough to revisit arguably the most popular plane inspired by them twice now. They're also pretty clearly represented in pop culture, if you're willing to concede that "pop culture" - as you keep referencing - is more than just Percy Jackson or Clash of the Titans. Have you even seen Gladiator? The HBO series Rome, or Spartacus? If those don't fit your definition of Roman pop culture references, then what does?

    Quote from Xeruh »
    Ravnica is clearly not a Rome inspired plane so it doesn't really change things.


    That's just, like, your opinion, man.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Theros: Beyond Death Elspeth
    Quote from Xeruh »
    As for whether or not they will do a Rome plane they seem interested in it. I just think they're going to have to add in other elements, and it'll probably be a bottom up set that gets a Rome theme tossed on as opposed to a top-down Rome set. Note that this isn't about whether or not an in depth look at two different cultures has enough for them to stand on their own, that question is fairly obvious. It's what happens when you look at a very shallow, pop culture focused view on a subject that I'm talking about.


    As I've mentioned now on more than one occasion, Ravnica is very much "Rome + other elements." Consider the following shared aspects: a ruling bureaucracy; an independent military; prevalent blood sport and spectacle; a burgeoning Gothic church, doomed to certain corruption; barbarians at the gates; pagan nature worship; and, more tenuously, the mystery cults. The only thing that makes the comparison less obvious is the abject lack of steampunk wizards in Roman history books.

    Quote from Xeruh »
    Saying "gladiators and empires" is not casting it in a minor feature of public consciousness, it is saying it is one of two things. And I don't think either of those are enough to stand on their own. Empire and Gladiator World isn't exactly a very exciting sounding plane to me.


    Then I guess you're not a big fan of some of the more recent sets. Wink
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Theros: Beyond Death Elspeth
    Quote from Xeruh »
    Beyond gladiators and empires I doubt there is much people do know about Rome from a pop culture subject.


    And that's exactly where I disagree; you cast the "empire" of Rome as a minor feature in public consciousness when compared to the Olympians or mythological monsters, but the empire is very much its defining feature in every popular medium that I can think of off the top of my head. Do I need to be more worldly in my approach to pop culture references to overcome my bias, or can we admit that mainstream portrayals of Greece and Rome are largely a product of American cinema anyways? My point wasn't expressly about my views as a U.S. citizen, but rather a demonstration of how distilling different periods in time to their most basic, common elements can be unproductive in the extreme.

    Quote from Xeruh »
    I feel like calling a "pop culture movement" indicates there is some sort of focused effort to do so when it's merely the result of what looking at something very shallowly will end up with. Much as one may, for instance, look at Japan and come to the conclusion all there is are ninja and samurai.


    If Wizards believed we'd had our fill of "sword fighting Asians" after Kamigawa, Khans would never have been a thing.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Theros: Beyond Death Elspeth
    I'd like you to bear in mind that 1), I'm not the one advocating for a Roman themed plane, and 2), it's never been my intent to argue for or against such a plane being able to "stand on its own." My sole point of contention is that there is no such pop culture movement to conflate Greece and Rome, which was the argument forwarded so long ago when I first attempted to correct posters' misuse of the term "Greco-Roman" when referring to Theros. It is, admittedly, difficult for me to empathize with the lay person on this subject given that the bulk of my undergraduate studies focused both on Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire (I have a BA in History from UCLA). I strongly suspect, however, that the head plumage I mentioned before isn't enough to fool even the most casual observer into believing that they're nearly as identical in the public view as you make them out to be, at least not any more so than they should believe depictions of Colonial America and WWII America are the same because "dudes with gunz." The question I posed before was made in earnestness, and I gave you some examples of my own as an act of good faith. Suffice it to say, I know exactly how much Greece and Rome are tied together, which is a great deal more than your average forum poster.

    In your opinion, do you really feel that the shared mythological elements, like the pantheon, are too much for the general public to look past? Personally, I feel there's enough to differentiate the two culturally, geographically, and militarily that separate planes could be possible, if the major elements of Roman history weren't already present in Ravnica.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Theros: Beyond Death Elspeth
    Quote from Xeruh »
    ... I don't expect much from a Rome plane that would stand on its own relative to a Greek plane, because from a pop culture standpoint the two are similar enough.


    I respectfully disagree. What aspects of pop culture do you believe other people are conflating? Personally, I can't think of two more prominent and yet vastly different historical representations than 300 and Gladiator, which apart from the occasional head plumage and melee blood spillage, nobody should ever confuse for being similar. If we really want to distill a given genre, we could say that any fantasy settings would be too much alike, since they all have wizards / knights / etc.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on My Little Pony silver-bordered crossover set releases Oct 12
    I'm clearly not the target audience for this, since I don't identify as any variety of 'pony.'

    Quote from Cursed »
    whats night time?


    It's when you can take off any lower garments at instant speed, not just denim.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Theros: Beyond Death Elspeth
    I don't think I remember seeing that in the Common Core State Standards. Weird
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Theros: Beyond Death Elspeth
    There’d actually be fewer overlaps with Theros than there are with Ravnica.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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