Pandaren RP Influences

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    Baochai
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    Pandaren RP Influences

    Post  Baochai on Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:18 am

    This is just a general comment on the tone and influences of the guild. Take these as rambling suggestions, not as gospel that you can't have influences besides these that don't fit this list (and of course you're invited to suggest yur own.)

    Anyway tl;dr version? Chinese stuff.

    A bit longer:

    I'm of the opinion (as I've often opined) that when it comes to influences to draw on for Pandaren roleplay, you can't beat stuff about/from China. I am pretty flexible here - Chinese classic texts like Confucius' Analects or Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching or Sun Tzu's Art of War fit in right alongside the martial arts films of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.


    Of course, stuff about medieval China is particularly good. One major influence for me is Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the massive and sweeping Chinese epic with a cast of thousands and a sweep of decades, full of noble warriors, master strategists and elaborate political machinations and betrayals and pretty much everything you'd want for a damn good time. Other massive and pretty awesome Chinese epics - Outlaws of the Marsh in particular, but also Dream of the Red Chamber and Journey to the West - are also really good.

    That sound too much reading for you? Fine. Romance of the Three Kingdoms just got a movie you lazy sonofa...


    Onto wuxia!


    You can never, ever go wrong - when it comes to depicting our fantasy-version of pseudo-China - with a few nods to wuxia films (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Hero, The House of Flying Daggers). What is wuxia? Shortest answer is it's Chinese fiction (books, TV and otherwise - mostly famously in the West as film though) set in the fictionalized Chinese past with an emphasis on martial arts going beyond the impossible with swords and stuff. It's good days, good days...


    And when I say Chinese, it doesn't mean that it has to have been actually a Chinese product - foreign films about China (like The Last Emperor) and yes, American cartoons about China (or fantasyland pseudo-China) like Mulan or Avatar: The Last Airbender or foreign videogames like Jade Empire are also perfectly fine sources of inspiration for your RP.


    ...so where am I going with this? Uhhh. While I'm not going to burn you at the stake if you decide to run around stealing Japanese or Korean influences, that's not the preferred direction. Dynasty Warriors, sure (and it's based on ROTK, above), Final Fantasy.... not so much. It's not a hard and fast rule, just a general recommendation of skewing towards.

    Feel free to post lists of stuff you think are good influences in this thread. I'll probably throw up more in time too, why not.


    Last edited by Kegg on Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:45 am; edited 1 time in total

    Baochai
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    Re: Pandaren RP Influences

    Post  Baochai on Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:04 am

    What About Anime?

    Let's address the elephant in the room. When I'm emphasizing all these various Chinese or quasi-sorta Chinese influences, the fact there's one kind of Asian media that's pretty popular with many gamers may as well get namechecked.

    Anime is Japanese, and as such, it's suitability as an influence mostly fits under what I mentioned about foreign media, above - when set in China, or some kind of fantasy equivalent to China, then it's a perfectly okay thing to draw on.

    For example, there's the anime series Guardian of the Sacred Spirit, which is set in a fantasy world basically inspired by mainland Asia and by that I mean largely China. Stuff like that is fair game.



    Stuff like that is also rare. The vast majority of anime is set in Japan or somewhere other than China, and thus isn't really your go-to source for inspiration. In Western terms it's a bit like saying 'hey, the Dwarves are inspired by Scotland, let's get a lot of French influences!' And no, I don't care if Dragonball is inspired by Journey to the West - no Goku, period.

    ...and no, no -san, -sama, -chan, -tan, etc. Monsieur Bronzbeard sound right? No? Exactly.


    Addendum: Wong Kar-wai Is The Man

    While I had little excuse to write about him in the main post, I love the heck out of Wong Kar-wai. He's one of my favourite living directors, and as a Hong Kong director obviously most of his films are set in China (albeit he never goes back further than then the 1950s). Many of his best films have beautifully elegant bits - like this sequence from In the Mood For Love Maggie Cheung in a cheongsam:



    Wong Kar-wai is of course best known for his demented, hilarious and poignant and wonderful film called Chungking Express:



    Can't think of a lot of ways to use my love of Wong Kar-wai (well, beyond wanting a cheongsam for Baochai). But there you go, anyway, he's awesome.

    Guest
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    Re: Pandaren RP Influences

    Post  Guest on Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:18 am

    Not to.. uh.. burst your bubble.

    Pandaren are a Han Chinese, Korean, Japanese amalgamation with a base in Japanese culture. The origins of the race was a panda version of 'Lone Wolf and Cub' manga from the 1970s.
    Only in the latest iteration have the Pandaren gained a distinct Chinese flavor. This was a result of criticism from Officials of The People's Republic of China.


    Baochai
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    Re: Pandaren RP Influences

    Post  Baochai on Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:24 am

    Naren wrote:
    Only in the latest iteration have the Pandaren gained a distinct Chinese flavor. This was a result from criticism from Officials of The People's Republic of China.
    That's the key term right there.

    On the one hand we have the Pandaren as they are depicted in the Mists of Pandaria expansion of World of Warcraft, which is where - obviously - this RP guild is set. They are actually unusually specific in how they tie the Pandaren to China in this expansion - I mean stuff like having faction names like 'Tushui' and 'Huojin' actually be derived directly from Chinese words.

    Compare this to Dun Morogh, which sounds vaguely like Scots Gaelic but doesn't mean anything (and Dwarves don't even use 'Dun' in the sense Gaelic does). Likewise Trolls may have heavy Jamaican accents but there's no Jamaican influence in their naming and they have heavily Mesoamerican architecture, Draenei have vaguely Slavonic accents with a melange of influences from Biblical Israel to Byzantium to Babylon 5's Minbari, and so on.

    In previous iterations the Pandaren had heavier non-Chinese influences... and then these were, you know, retconned. In the first two Warcraft games the Orcs were basically evil.

    But hey, this is a matter of suggestion. I'm not insisting everyone binge on Chinese media to roleplay their Pandaren, and for me inspiration is a starting point - I take what I can, then I make it my own (there were very few overt references to the Minbari in how I rolepalyed my Draenei, although I did point out it was a major influence on me).

    If you'd really like to take your cues from Lady Snowblood or whatever, you know. Your call.

    Sergee

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    Re: Pandaren RP Influences

    Post  Sergee on Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:18 pm

    Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.

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