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Author Topic: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...  (Read 13407 times)

Gunslinger

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I want to read this in its entirety...

I'd put this in General Discussion, but I'm unsure if it violate the rules. A live journal post from someone in 2011.

Only thing that would be better? If they had done this about the American Revolution. That is some serious unbelievable author fiat...

"As I mentioned in my last entry, I've been watching Babylon 5 lately. It's not a perfect show, but it has one big advantage: it's consistent and believable.

Contrast this with Doctor Who. Doctor Who is fun to watch, but if you think about it for more than two seconds you notice it's full of plot holes and contradictions. Things that cause time travel paradoxes that threaten to destroy the universe one episode go without a hitch the next. And the TARDIS, the sonic screwdriver, and the Doctor's biology gain completely different powers no one's ever alluded to depending on the situation. The aliens are hysterically unlikely, often without motives or believable science, the characters will do any old insane thing when it makes the plot slightly more interesting, and everything has either a self-destruct button or an easily findable secret weakness that it takes no efforts to defend against.

But I guess I'm not complaining. If the show was believable, the Doctor would have gotten killed the first time he decided to take on a massive superadvanced alien invasion force by walking right up to them openly with no weapons and no plan. And then they would have had to cancel the show, and then I would lose my chance to look at the pretty actress who plays Amy Pond.

So Doctor Who is not a complete loss. But then there are some shows that go completely beyond the pale of enjoyability, until they become nothing more than overwritten collections of tropes impossible to watch without groaning.

I think the worst offender here is the History Channel and all their programs on the so-called "World War II".

Let's start with the bad guys. Battalions of stormtroopers dressed in all black, check. Secret police, check. Determination to brutally kill everyone who doesn't look like them, check. Leader with a tiny villain mustache and a tendency to go into apopleptic rage when he doesn't get his way, check. All this from a country that was ordinary, believable, and dare I say it sometimes even sympathetic in previous seasons.

I wouldn't even mind the lack of originality if they weren't so heavy-handed about it. Apparently we're supposed to believe that in the middle of the war the Germans attacked their allies the Russians, starting an unwinnable conflict on two fronts, just to show how sneaky and untrustworthy they could be? And that they diverted all their resources to use in making ever bigger and scarier death camps, even in the middle of a huge war? Real people just aren't that evil. And that's not even counting the part where as soon as the plot requires it, they instantly forget about all the racism nonsense and become best buddies with the definitely non-Aryan Japanese.

Not that the good guys are much better. Their leader, Churchill, appeared in a grand total of one episode before, where he was a bumbling general who suffered an embarrassing defeat to the Ottomans of all people in the Battle of Gallipoli. Now, all of a sudden, he's not only Prime Minister, he's not only a brilliant military commander, he's not only the greatest orator of the twentieth century who can convince the British to keep going against all odds, he's also a natural wit who is able to pull out hilarious one-liners practically on demand. I know he's supposed to be the hero, but it's not realistic unless you keep the guy at least vaguely human.

So it's pretty standard "shining amazing good guys who can do no wrong" versus "evil legions of darkness bent on torture and genocide" stuff, totally ignoring the nuances and realities of politics. The actual strategy of the war is barely any better. Just to give one example, in the Battle of the Bulge, a vastly larger force of Germans surround a small Allied battalion and demand they surrender or be killed. The Allied general sends back a single-word reply: "Nuts!". The Germans attack, and, miraculously, the tiny Allied force holds them off long enough for reinforcements to arrive and turn the tide of battle. Whoever wrote this episode obviously had never been within a thousand miles of an actual military.

Probably the worst part was the ending. The British/German story arc gets boring, so they tie it up quickly, have the villain kill himself (on Walpurgisnacht of all days, not exactly subtle) and then totally switch gears to a battle between the Americans and the Japanese in the Pacific. Pretty much the same dichotomy - the Japanese kill, torture, perform medical experiments on prisoners, and frickin' play football with the heads of murdered children, and the Americans are led by a kindly old man in a wheelchair.

Anyway, they spend the whole season building up how the Japanese home islands are a fortress, and the Japanese will never surrender, and there's no way to take the Japanese home islands because they're invincible...and then they realize they totally can't have the Americans take the Japanese home islands so they have no way to wrap up the season.

So they invent a completely implausible superweapon that they've never mentioned until now. Apparently the Americans got some scientists together to invent it, only we never heard anything about it because it was "classified". In two years, the scientists manage to invent a weapon a thousand times more powerful than anything anyone's ever seen before - drawing from, of course, ancient mystical texts. Then they use the superweapon, blow up several Japanese cities easily, and the Japanese surrender. Convenient, isn't it?

...and then, in the entire rest of the show, over five or six different big wars, they never use the superweapon again. Seriously. They have this whole thing about a war in Vietnam that lasts decades and kills tens of thousands of people, and they never wonder if maybe they should consider using the frickin' unstoppable mystical superweapon that they won the last war with. At this point, you're starting to wonder if any of the show's writers have even watched the episodes the other writers made.

I'm not even going to get into the whole subplot about breaking a secret code (cleverly named "Enigma", because the writers couldn't spend more than two seconds thinking up a name for an enigmatic code), the giant superintelligent computer called Colossus (despite this being years before the transistor was even invented), the Soviet strongman whose name means "Man of Steel" in Russian (seriously, between calling the strongman "Man of Steel" and the Frenchman "de Gaulle", whoever came up with the names for this thing ought to be shot).

So yeah. Stay away from the History Channel. Unlike most of the other networks, they don't even try to make their stuff believable."

Darrian Wolffe

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #1 on: 25 July 2013, 22:20:27 »
I'd prefer it if EVERY time somebody bitches about "author fiat", you copy-pasted this as a direct response.

EVERY TIME.

Well done.
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Kitsune413

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #2 on: 25 July 2013, 22:37:45 »
If an author writes something I love its good writing. If they write something I hate its fiat.

Ok. Ive never called fiat. But still
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rebs

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #3 on: 25 July 2013, 23:22:35 »
Nice post, Gunslinger. 

I've only mocked the idea, like many.  Writers are the facilitators of the true fiat that comes from the developers.  It's pure fiat at that level.  :)  So pure it would make a nerdrager's head explode.
« Last Edit: 27 July 2013, 19:59:05 by rebs »

Sabelkatten

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #4 on: 26 July 2013, 07:01:51 »
I'd say that's a pretty nonsensical description of WWII, but whatever.

IMHO "Writer's fiat" is a reasonable response when one side in a story get completely unwarranted advantages. IMHO CBT isn't really there, even with all the complaints about the FS and later CC - it's like complaining about the Brits getting "fiat" when they attacked Denmark back in the early 1800's.

Valid complaints could be the Rebellion in Star Wars, when we have the Prequels - Palpatine really has to become completely senile to not be able to manage that after what he's done!

In general, when one side suddenly loses every bit of competence and power they've had as soon as the other side shows up, then I'll call "writer's fiat". If the first side doesn't have the competence and/or power in the first place, then it's not so strange the other side can pull a fast one, is it?

Biggles Antilles

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #5 on: 26 July 2013, 07:17:43 »
Hilarious, and accurate. It's everything a growing boy needs.

By accurate I mean an excellent example of fiat achieved through hyperbole, not that it was a true examination of the war; eg. history notes well many flaws in the heroes and many positives in some of the villains. Although truth IS stranger than fiction.
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Mecha82

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #6 on: 26 July 2013, 07:34:07 »
Author fiat can fit to some stories while it can't fit to some other stories. I usually use Stackpole's BT novels and SW novels as example of this. SW is already rather B&W so obious good guys having author fiat on they side is only natural even if it makes bad guys look far more incompetent than they would be. How ever in my opinion that dosen't fit BT as way I see it no one is really good or evil in it and all sides to morally gray things even if wobbies took that to whole new extreme. Its more about one man's hero being other man's villain. Then again there has been some things about SW universe like Tie Fighter on PC that have potrait Galactic Empire just as force that wants to keep order in galaxy instead of being shown outright evil.
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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #7 on: 26 July 2013, 09:10:43 »
I laughed, bravo.  [applause]
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False Son

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #8 on: 26 July 2013, 10:26:58 »
Clearly the British were OP and history is racist against the French.
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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #9 on: 26 July 2013, 10:56:24 »
History is something that has happened. You can't really compare it to author fiat that is about fictional work even if records of historical events in some times are written by victors or changed during time. Those historical events still took place even if records of them might not be unbiased. 
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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #10 on: 26 July 2013, 11:30:21 »
History also doesn't have to sell you on the idea of a balance of power maintained by attrition over 2 centuries, just to throw it out the window.
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JadeHellbringer

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #11 on: 26 July 2013, 12:07:45 »
I deeply object to this post, on the grounds that it implies that History still shows anything about history at all. Had this been about pawn shops and aliens, I'd believe it, but WWII? Nonsense.

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #12 on: 26 July 2013, 12:27:37 »
Haha nice.
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Matti

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #13 on: 26 July 2013, 12:51:00 »
And how about the men (and women) fighting the wars? Just look at Simo Häyhä: he has highest kill record in the history, he made (most of) it with bolt-action rifles without scope, and in just 3 months! Who'd believe THAT in work of fiction?


Then again there has been some things about SW universe like Tie Fighter on PC that have potrait Galactic Empire just as force that wants to keep order in galaxy instead of being shown outright evil.
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« Last Edit: 26 July 2013, 13:02:56 by Matti »
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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #14 on: 26 July 2013, 12:58:51 »
I deeply object to this post, on the grounds that it implies that History still shows anything about history at all. Had this been about pawn shops and aliens, I'd believe it, but WWII? Nonsense.

 ^-^

Yeah, is this "WWII" before the Pawn shop guys or after Larry the Cable Guy?  ;)

Nice post.  I believe "fiat" is near to "munchkin" in by book of Terms to Hate.

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #15 on: 26 July 2013, 14:48:15 »
. . .The problem people have with author fiat is not that it's unrealistic.  It's that it's not a compelling enough of a story to let them ignore the inherently unrealistic parts of said story.

All stories have parts that are inherently unrealistic.  If you don't believe me, here, let me tell you a story about Peter, a young peasant who dreamed that one day he would be a knight.  He used his what little time free time he had away from the fields to practice swordcraft with sticks, until the day came when he was twelve that a priest came to town preaching that from the peasantry shall arise a humble leader to free the Holy Land from the Moslem infidels.  Peter took up the call, and armed only with a stick, he began his march to the Holy Land.  Unfortunately, he managed to get only twenty miles from home before he caught cholera, and he died alone pleading for water with blood-streaked watery stool staining his legs and smock.  The end.

Is that story realistic?  Unfortunately, yes, it's very realistic.  Why do we not bother to tell that story?  Because the reasons we tell stories are not to convey accurate historical information.  It's to cut and tailor reality into a story that gives our actions meaning and purpose in a universe where our acts and hopes and expectations are so frequently left unfulfilled.  We want to believe that by being just and right and decent, our goodness will be rewarded.  We want to believe that what we do matters.  We want to believe that our hopes and dreams will be fulfilled if we work hard enough to achieve them, despite the fact that the universe is all too often utterly indifferent, inflicting misery on the just and unjust alike, and elevating people without regard for whether they do or do not deserve it.  The answer to the Just World Hypothesis (short version:  people get what they deserve) isn't that the universe is unjust; it's that it is utterly indifferent to the notion of justice.  Our stories, however, need not be so.

When I criticize authorial fiat, what I'm really criticizing is the author not doing enough to cloak the fact that it is a story with characters I believe in and hope for.  When the heroes win only because the villains are idiots, it's not compelling.  When the heroes are beleagured only by their own ineptitude, it's not interesting.  When the story could be solved in five minutes, without trouble, if only various parties had not pulled their brain out of their heads, it's not satisfying.  And because it's not compelling, nor interesting, nor satisfying, I take my satisfaction out in nit-picking the details of the story and generally claiming that it only happened because the universe needed one side to win in order to reinforce the Status Quo is the One True God nature of the Battletech universe.  Because rest assured, I do not nitpick stories that are done well.  I've never once commented that the real reason The Galactic Empire lost is because they never developed a device known as a "grate."  I give people who say Frodo should have just flown to Mordor on the back of an Eagle the deadliest McKayla Maroney-face I can manage.  And I do it because I love the stories, and feel that those who try to create solutions that nullify the climax to be missing the point.  The point of stories isn't to tell what would happen in a perfectly plausible universe.  It's to tell me a story that is meaningful.
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pensiveswetness

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #16 on: 26 July 2013, 14:59:12 »
i complain about 'Author's fiat' everytime i watch an episode of Sponge Bob Square Pants...

Von Jankmon

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #17 on: 26 July 2013, 16:08:31 »

Ok, lets put this in perspective before too many people drink the fanboi Kool Aid.

I want to read this in its entirety...

I'd put this in General Discussion, but I'm unsure if it violate the rules. A live journal post from someone in 2011.

Only thing that would be better? If they had done this about the American Revolution. That is some serious unbelievable author fiat...

Rebels lost most of the battles but won the war, it would make pretty balanced reading translated into fiction.

Contrast this with Doctor Who. Doctor Who is fun to watch, but if you think about it for more than two seconds you notice it's full of plot holes and contradictions. Things that cause time travel paradoxes that threaten to destroy the universe one episode go without a hitch the next. And the TARDIS, the sonic screwdriver, and the Doctor's biology gain completely different powers no one's ever alluded to depending on the situation. The aliens are hysterically unlikely, often without motives or believable science, the characters will do any old insane thing when it makes the plot slightly more interesting, and everything has either a self-destruct button or an easily findable secret weakness that it takes no efforts to defend against.

OK, we are starting way off scale.  The Doctor is not to be compared to Kai Allard or another BT hero, despite normal appearances he is an alien superhero.  If you want to compare him to anyone try Superman.  He wears tweed as his form of spandex.  Who wins between Kai Allard and Superman?  In an episode where The Doctor faces off against The Clans, all of them, he wins and the Clans go home to Strana Mechty plotting revenge, to be thwarted again later.

I think the worst offender here is the History Channel and all their programs on the so-called "World War II".

Let's start with the bad guys. Battalions of stormtroopers dressed in all black, check. Secret police, check. Determination to brutally kill everyone who doesn't look like them, check. Leader with a tiny villain mustache and a tendency to go into apopleptic rage when he doesn't get his way, check. All this from a country that was ordinary, believable, and dare I say it sometimes even sympathetic in previous seasons.

I wouldn't even mind the lack of originality if they weren't so heavy-handed about it. Apparently we're supposed to believe that in the middle of the war the Germans attacked their allies the Russians, starting an unwinnable conflict on two fronts, just to show how sneaky and untrustworthy they could be? And that they diverted all their resources to use in making ever bigger and scarier death camps, even in the middle of a huge war? Real people just aren't that evil. And that's not even counting the part where as soon as the plot requires it, they instantly forget about all the racism nonsense and become best buddies with the definitely non-Aryan Japanese.

Biting off more than they can chew is part of the ego of being a mad dictator.  And why not, Amaris did it, so did The Master, and it was complained about less than other plot elements. This sounds incredulous until you realise just how often in history this has happened.

Not that the good guys are much better. Their leader, Churchill, appeared in a grand total of one episode before, where he was a bumbling general who suffered an embarrassing defeat to the Ottomans of all people in the Battle of Gallipoli. Now, all of a sudden, he's not only Prime Minister, he's not only a brilliant military commander, he's not only the greatest orator of the twentieth century who can convince the British to keep going against all odds, he's also a natural wit who is able to pull out hilarious one-liners practically on demand. I know he's supposed to be the hero, but it's not realistic unless you keep the guy at least vaguely human.

Ok. Churchill appeared in quite a few episodes prior to World War 2, most of those prior to Gallipoli.  There was the episode where he led a successful cavalry charge in the modern age, where he escaped from capture by the Boers and made a lengthy escape run across southern Africa,  then there was the episode as a war correspondent/adventurer in Cuba.
Before people point him out as a Mary Sue he had many failures too to counterbalance.  Including political career failures and the Gallipoli episode.  He did an impressive amount but the script writer showed his failings fairly. He also made mistakes in the World War 2 episodes also.


So it's pretty standard "shining amazing good guys who can do no wrong" versus "evil legions of darkness bent on torture and genocide" stuff, totally ignoring the nuances and realities of politics. The actual strategy of the war is barely any better. Just to give one example, in the Battle of the Bulge, a vastly larger force of Germans surround a small Allied battalion and demand they surrender or be killed. The Allied general sends back a single-word reply: "Nuts!". The Germans attack, and, miraculously, the tiny Allied force holds them off long enough for reinforcements to arrive and turn the tide of battle. Whoever wrote this episode obviously had never been within a thousand miles of an actual military.

They held not because of "Nuts" but because the bad guys executed prisoners shortly prior to this.  Knowing it was surrender or die they were motivated to hold.  Plausible bit of plot writing I think.  After all TPTB consider 'when in death ground, fight' to be an integral part of the fluff to the series.

....So they invent a completely implausible superweapon that they've never mentioned until now. Apparently the Americans got some scientists together to invent it, only we never heard anything about it because it was "classified". In two years, the scientists manage to invent a weapon a thousand times more powerful than anything anyone's ever seen before - drawing from, of course, ancient mystical texts. Then they use the superweapon, blow up several Japanese cities easily, and the Japanese surrender. Convenient, isn't it?

It sounds far fetched, but introducing a new supertechnology as a plot device or for a deus ex machina ending is ok, so long as its persistent to the fluff.  The 'atom bomb' technology introduced remained in future episodes and became presistently central to the plot in the Cold War series.  It's ok to dream up a super weapon so long as its not forgotten about in the next episode.  Star Trek makes that mistake every time Kirk fires a phaser at a door to no effect.  The door is closed as a plot device, but no one thinks to remove the door and copy its materials as armour for the ship.
Atom bombs however while not subsequently used except in the episode 'Test' are a concurrent theme that the script writers took the time to weave into the entire meta-plot.


...and then, in the entire rest of the show, over five or six different big wars, they never use the superweapon again. Seriously. They have this whole thing about a war in Vietnam that lasts decades and kills tens of thousands of people, and they never wonder if maybe they should consider using the frickin' unstoppable mystical superweapon that they won the last war with. At this point, you're starting to wonder if any of the show's writers have even watched the episodes the other writers made.
Evidently you watched the Vietnam episode story arc but missed out on the Cuba story arc.  It was all explained especially with the Kruschev character that was part of the recurring cast prior to Vietnam.


I'm not even going to get into the whole subplot about breaking a secret code (cleverly named "Enigma", because the writers couldn't spend more than two seconds thinking up a name for an enigmatic code), the giant superintelligent computer called Colossus (despite this being years before the transistor was even invented), the Soviet strongman whose name means "Man of Steel" in Russian (seriously, between calling the strongman "Man of Steel" and the Frenchman "de Gaulle", whoever came up with the names for this thing ought to be shot).

Got me there, so ripped off Superman, DC comics should sue the Soviets for plagiarism.
 
So yeah. Stay away from the History Channel. Unlike most of the other networks, they don't even try to make their stuff believable."
« Last Edit: 26 July 2013, 16:10:06 by Von Jankmon »
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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #18 on: 26 July 2013, 16:27:47 »
I had no idea that reality was so unreal.


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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #19 on: 26 July 2013, 16:58:29 »
"Reality...you can't make this **** up...."
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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #20 on: 26 July 2013, 19:16:49 »
I had no idea that reality was so unreal.

The quote people are looking for is:

"The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction must be plausible"

-commonly attributed to Mark Twain


It reminds me of when I asked a BT community elsewhere for feedback on a campaign game I was running during the Amaris Coup.  The SLDF PCs were aboard a bunch of barely-servicable DropShips that would fly in and deliberately crash basically on top of a major bridge so the defenders didn't have time to blow it.  It was criticized for being "entirely unrealistic", and  that "no military would ever deliberately crash airborne troops onto an objective to achieve surprise"
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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #21 on: 26 July 2013, 19:31:38 »
Yeah, well, Audie Murphy would like to argue that Kai was a slacker.

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #22 on: 26 July 2013, 20:10:08 »
The quote people are looking for is:

"The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction must be plausible"

-commonly attributed to Mark Twain


It reminds me of when I asked a BT community elsewhere for feedback on a campaign game I was running during the Amaris Coup.  The SLDF PCs were aboard a bunch of barely-servicable DropShips that would fly in and deliberately crash basically on top of a major bridge so the defenders didn't have time to blow it.  It was criticized for being "entirely unrealistic", and  that "no military would ever deliberately crash airborne troops onto an objective to achieve surprise"

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #23 on: 26 July 2013, 20:20:34 »
Yeah, well, Audie Murphy would like to argue that Kai was a slacker.

really who had the most fiat? Mruphy or Sgt York?

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #24 on: 31 July 2013, 07:20:29 »
Ok, lets put this in perspective before too many people drink the fanboi Kool Aid.

Can I just say this post was awesome, so awesome I had to rub my laptop all over my oiled body just to feel close to its awesomeness.
War is hell. This on the other hand is a popular tabletop game and is reasonably enjoyable.

Von Jankmon

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #25 on: 31 July 2013, 08:04:50 »
really who had the most fiat? Mruphy or Sgt York?

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Von Jankmon

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #26 on: 31 July 2013, 08:07:01 »



It reminds me of when I asked a BT community elsewhere for feedback on a campaign game I was running during the Amaris Coup.  The SLDF PCs were aboard a bunch of barely-servicable DropShips that would fly in and deliberately crash basically on top of a major bridge so the defenders didn't have time to blow it.  It was criticized for being "entirely unrealistic", and  that "no military would ever deliberately crash airborne troops onto an objective to achieve surprise"

That is acceptable because its Amaris coup, however in 3025 calls of 'totally unrealistic' would be supported, as dropships were too precious to waste this way.
COVID-19 infection rates will increase.  Peak infection for most western countries will be April-June.
Please prepare NOW, buy tins, powdered milk and dried stores as priority while risk of exposure is relatively low.  You do not want to have no choice but to expose yourself by shopping during peak virus.

Marwynn

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #27 on: 31 July 2013, 09:15:44 »
Believe it or not (Hah) I used to be cry "Fiat" every once in a while in my younger days, though I use the word ironically these days I'd like to defend these people.

This is a game universe.

It is not modeled on realism, though it has realistic aspects. Vast swathes of it are painted over with "Just go with it". So does the argument that this sorta stuff happens in reality hold water when we ignore the economy for the most part? Or physics?

And while the fluff and the histories are well written and at many times very sober but creatively done, there's still a buy-in that this is a fictional universe.

Is it at all relevant that the US became such a powerhouse and therefore it's okay that--in the eyes of many fans--a certain faction still wins even when it loses? Or for whatever elicits cries of "Fiat!" nowadays.

Is it fair for a fan to expect that ill-defined of most qualities, balance, in such a universe that they're invested in? Do you expect a fan of a single faction to have that perspective? Is that fair for you to expect that?

Or maybe we all have different perspectives on what should be, and what is fair. I mean, fiat is the will of the author(s) in fictional universes. God, or whatever force you do or don't believe in, can be blamed for unbelievable stuff in reality as well. And I'm sure we have plenty of real people crying to the heavens about good or bad events.

Yes, there are fans who say stuff like "that's totally unrealistic" given from their point of view. That's usually a knowledge problem.

Anyway, this is as philosophical as I'll get without some caffeine in me.

Biggles Antilles

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #28 on: 31 July 2013, 09:28:18 »
It's just life fiat, which as we age becomes history fiat, which influences another generation as cultural fiat, which means sometimes we lose objectivity for creative or other reasons, and write fiat. It's deus ex machina and Chehkov's gun [which I'm sure has already been mentioned I'm sorry] but if it's not wrapped in a cogent and well-thought out package then it becomes so obvious we lose the illusory quality that makes good writing good writing I suppose.

Then you can cry fiat, but it's pedantic to point it out all the time and being a pedant is like so totally lame. [btw I know that's not what we're saying, unless somebody said it, in which case don't be a pedant it's lame]
War is hell. This on the other hand is a popular tabletop game and is reasonably enjoyable.

Kitsune413

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Re: Everytime I hear someone complaining about "author fiat"...
« Reply #29 on: 31 July 2013, 09:33:30 »
The ultimate success is that people care enough to debate about it. Its a fictional universe that allows you to choose a faction and be invested in it. There is no way to avoid people claiming that the arbitrary way the story is advanced by authors isnt based on favoritism. We want our factions to win. To do well. Im not a huge fan of people who call fiat but thats because its a poor debate crutch and used to defend some pretty weak points.

The universe is decided logically and arbitrarily by authors.

But so is history. Not just writers. Leaders are the authors of our world. Alexander, charlemagne. Ghengis khan, julius ceasar, bismark, frederick the great, ghandi, etc wrote some pretty crazy stuff.
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