In an alternate timeline, Gycakovich and Arnesov invent D&D in the 1974 Soviet Union instead of the US. How is the game different and how does this affect the history of tabletop roleplaying?
>>86174598Being the inventor of something doesn't mean shit in face of a good business model and sufficient investment capital to get that business off the ground.
>>86174598>Soviet Unionit's more gurps than d&d
>>86174598I'm guessing it's like Red Sun where they seize control of communism and take over half the world. Then the U.S. turns to angry christian soccer moms to protect them.
>>86174698Commissair vs Karen.
>>86174598Stronger party ties. Like group leveling, quota based xp, or objective based xp. Adventures focus more on communities than dungeon delving. Save the commoners from the big monster, overthrow the evil oligarchs, debate the local lord on his tax policy, lead the commoners into battle/public works projects. Invade evil nation, and redistribute their ill gotten wealth to the commoners. Actually, dungeon delving could also work now that I think about it. Just more wealth redistribution, and less personal glory.
It's seen as subversive capitalist propaganda and strangled in the crib. Along with its author.
>>86174598It never makes it to the western market and dies in obscurity.
>>86174598they would probably sell the rights to different people in different countries and after the dissolution of the ussr it would become a clusterfuck...but we would have 20 different versions of d&d for the different countries or even different contracts for different companies instead of one
>>86174598The mercenary nature of early DnD and the focus on Lords as figures of power would be nonexistent or reversed.Likely we would have a focus on local community based adventures exalting the village counsel and local headman as figures of law and justice and the game would more likely consist of adventuring groups being given a select set of supplies and sent out to protect the village/town/city. Most of the monster's and the tone would have that distinct eastern European bend drawing upon folklore of the USSR territories.On that same note the original Law Chaos system would likely be replaced with some for of communal good vs selfish evil system.As for tabletop in general I still think it would be a big hit on their side of the iron curtain. A game where all you need is a book, some paper, and a pencil would do great (and it would likely be in one book) but I think I would fade into the crowd and die by the 2000s post Soviet Collapse as without DnD slamming down like a meteor in the west we likely would have had a wider Varity of games and a tabletop development closer to ironically the actual history of tabletop in Germany.
>>86174598Few people on /tg/ remember the USSR. So expect a bunch of rehashed memes.
>>86174650I feel robbed
>>86174598It's based on d6.And is classless.And has skills.>>86174748Like Tetris, right?
>>86174781Without Nintendo nobody would've ever heard of tetris.
>>86174753> drawing upon folklore of the USSR territories.Wouldn’t that be illegal/considered inappropriate at the time for promoting reactionary superstition?
>>86174753Unironically sounds pretty comfy. So long as it wasn't hardline propaganda, and was just communism in theme
>>86174858Certainly the mobile game port was the most influential.
>>86174781>And is classless.It would have classes, just not called classes. Soviet socialism was obsessed with everyone having a profession and doing their part for the motherland. So every character would still be a class, it would just be called a "profession". Also, I believe crafting would have a much stronger focus right from the very start, as hands-on work was highly prized while book-learning wasn't (at least in Stalin's era). So more crafting, fewer wizards.
>>86174598It’ll be a drinking game
>>86174759Tabletop gaming in the Soviet system was peculiar. You have chess dominance, but even wargames had it hard because even the theoretical idea of playing as the Axis was controversial. Considering that fantasy was considered a children's genre, the true Soviet system for a theoretical RPG would have been sci-fi and essentially positive, think Star Trek. So little focus on items and economy and more on struggles and exploration. Soviet sci-fi is actually nice in its more experimental attempts.
>>86175088>Point>(You)Zoomers gonna zoom
>>86174598It's not fantasy, probably some kind of sci-fi. Also I just don't think it would take off at all. There's a reason ttrpgs started in America. Regardless of their spread after that, they are very individualistic focused and require a lot of leisure time devoting to largely a useless set of skills. What I'm saying is, it's way too bourgeoisie for the Soviet Union and would have likely been banned.
>>86174858>Without Nintendo nobody would've ever heard of tetris.That's not true at all, Tetris was already becoming immensely popular. Tetris was actually already being marketed by several people and companies in the West before Nintendo ever even became aware of its existence.
>>86175088Imagine pushing political bullshit, because you are so fucking clueless, you can't even spot the point that's being made
I imagine it would be about how noble and righteous the local leaders and peasants are and how evil the feudal overlords. Even merchants could be seen positively vs feudal overolds since Marxism sees Capitalism a positive improvement over Feudalism.
>>86174949Depends on what era we're talking about. In different periods it was considered more acceptable to explore that. Postwar Stalinism went hardcore Russian chauvinism, for example. As long as you took the "right" lessons from the material, you could often make out okay: there were plenty of periods where just the discussion / exploration of the existence of such material wasn't seen as wrong. For example, there's a classic Polish communist movie about the defeat of the Teutonic Knights: they don't gloss over the nobility and religious piety and all that, but at the same time they make sure that it's the charge of the peasantry that saves the day and wins the glorious victory.
>>86175737>already being marketed by several people and companies in the West before NintendoSort of missing the forest for the trees. The point is that tetris exists because of companies and western style marketing.
Explorations of how medieval life sucked.
>>86175890As opposed to life in the Soviet Union, which was just so happy.
>>86176387The Soviet Union did pretty well in the decades after people had the guts to watch a Stalin die.Really, in a way, at that moment, the Soviet Union absolutely was that hallowed nation where one could drown the government in a bathtube and get a better one right afterwards.
Probably more emphasis on group and distributed better, without any big profit motive. Probably surprisingly popular too, since fantastical things of that nature were gaining traction in the USSR at that time. I could see groups at libraries or clubs or apartment blocks getting together to play and have fun after work or school.It'd probably be better.
>>86176387If you were in a core region of the USSR during the 70s and didn't have much ambition more than living a stable comfy life it was the best it has ever been baring entertainment. The CIA even released old reporting documents about how the Soviets were feeding their people healthier more nutritious foods on a regular basis compared to the states. The big internal issue was the lack of choice in consumer goods causing discontent and a stagnating leadership of geriatrics (but that's everywhere after enough time), so for example everyone had shampoo but it was the one type, compared to the US where you had like 50 competing brands and people get to choose. In such an environment I can definitely see DnD taking off but it would likely just stay DnD with regional homebrew to the rules depending on the distance from each other for any variation.
>>86176587And the inevitable “Cyborgs & Cosmonauts” expansion. Science fiction was huge then.
>>86174598Without correct friends they would never get the capital (heh) necessary to promote it outside of what passed for alternative circles in 80s russia, slowly fading into even bigger obscurity as 90s roll over and decimate russian entertainment with flashier and exotic and most importantly much more promoted western entertainment. If they had the capital then it would've been lobbied to shit by people with correct friends, thus never even printed because it angers the correct people when someone not-correct makes money.If they had the correct friends then regardless of capital it would never be published because they would've been siphoning funds meant for paper production (or whatever they would be "advising" on), just how their correct friends are milking other industries.t. slav
>>86174598Probably a weird mix of wartime propaganda novels and the post-war optimistic SF (of course optimistic in the sense of the eventual success of the communist ideal).That is, if it took off at all, even SF took quite a bit of cleverness to get past the censors, and fantasy? Not even historical stuff to prop up the regime legitimacy, but actual fantasy? If this some fucking bourgeois shit, comrade?Then again, it might do well in samizdat form, deliberately subversive and aimed venting the dissatisfaction with the dreary commie grayness. Maybe even starting the "popadantsy" genre before its time, who knows.
>>86176830> this some fucking bourgeois shit, comradeDepends on the exact place and time, 1974 is already pretty progressive Soviet
>>86176830> If this some fucking bourgeois shit, comrade?Not really, even around deep Stalin there were writers making sci-fi (heavily influenced by socrealism) and fantasy (just retellings of folk tales). And as >>86176984 points out the further time went the more lax rules became, Strugatsky and Lem both started writing, or at least publishing, immediately after the Stalinist Thaw. What needs to be pointed out is that there were also limitations on printing that weren't even intended by the state. Anything that wasn't either classics (i.e. popular enough to sell, but not aggravating the state), necessities (e.g. school books) or state-approved (i.e. propaganda) had to sit and wait in a looooooong queue either for the machines to be available or in certain periods for the paper to be available again. And that's after the equally long approval process, you can't just pay to pre-order a print session. You might not get your approval and anything can happen in-between.
>>86177251>or in certain periods for the paper to be available againVery current year problems, mind you.
>They print the rulebook only to be forced to eat it when the next famine hits
>>86174598People drop it like a hot potato when Russia fights Ukraine.
>>86176830Forgot to add that the reason why you've never heard of any early communism fantasy/scifi was twofold:a) There was no such thing as a professional writer, there was however a string of related professions, for example language teachers and journalists that had sufficient skills and connections to write something down and get it printed. Youth magazines usually had sections dedicated to amateur writers like that, occasionally filled in by some of their journalists under pseudonyms. Then you get the issue that to get something officially printed ("unofficially" would be a crime) you usually had to be a member of the Writers Union or some official body, which came with its own standards such as insistance on non-individualism (i.e. you usually weren't allowed to write down your name even any name to your work) as well as it came with its own crab bucket where other crabs not only pulled you back in but also called the cook on you.b) Sci-fi and fantasy was intended for youths (real homo sovieticus should be reading Tolstoy, culturally superior man of the common class folded thousand times) thus printed in state-owned generalist/hobbyist youth magazines as USSR didn't really have dedicated fiction magazines like in the west. Aside from obviously not being seen as high literature worth archiving, paper it was printed on was in high demand for various other reasons. For example the first toilet paper factory in USSR opened in 1969, what do you think they wiped their asses with before that.
Dungeons and Dragons starts as an expansion for chess to include long-term narrative play over multiple sessions and a standard set with some minor modifications is required to play.D&D stays a niche game until its released to the public around the same time Tetris left the East. The bulk of what we'd consider 'tabletop games' are more strict war games, and the idea of cooperative 'communist' chess is considered a novelty. because OSR was partially owned by the Soviet Union, it's considered partially public domain, in that basically every company can and will rip it off. Instead of a Satanic Panic affecting D&D, it's a Red Scare, and the modern culture war will still consider it somewhat dangerous.
>>86177596On closer reading of your post>earlymakes a significant difference.
>>86174735...that's not a bad basis for a campaign.
>>86174598Anyone would like to inform an ignorant third-worlder what happened in the Soviet Union circa 1974 that's interesting and/or relevant to this?
>>86182663Pepsi started being sold there.
>>86174598The hobbied dies in the gulags before 1979
>>86174598I grew up on soviet cartoons (still have around 100 dvds worth of those things in a binder) in post-comie country and it would definitely be Sci-Fi instead of Fantasy. There's a shit ton of adventures in retrofuturist worlds like The Mystery of the Third Planet or Guest from the Future, though it was mostly aimed at school-aged audience. My parents testify that all kids would evaporate from the streets to watch those things.It also allows to push grand Soviet narrative - things set in the far/not-so-far future that showcase how much USSR improved the world make for very good propoganda material.
>>86174949>>86174753>>86174735Just because the USSR was communist doesn't mean their fiction had no supernatural elements or competition. Morons.
>>86184357People are referring to the fact that in some early stages there was a lot of suspicion of fiction that promoted "superstition".
>>86184387Tolkien was popular and much of their animation was around traditional Russian mythology
In a society less focused on commerce maybe they'd make a version of D&D that is less autistic about your equipment and finances and uses a different model for how you manage your resources.
>>86184958Anon, you might argue (and it is an argument, make no mistake) that Soviet Russia was less focused on commerce, but it was ABSOLUTELY OBSESSED with technical and scientific detail. If anything, the equipment lists would be even more autistic.
>>86174598>infiltrate the dragon's cave to redistribute his wealth to the peasantry so they can invest in improved irrigation
>>86184387>>86174949>>86174744meme understanding of history
>>86186398>defending proto-communist communes against feudal local lordsYou know, like in that Monthy Python sketch.
>>86186967Please enlighten us, comrade anonovich.
Gulags and Gopniks
>>86174598Monster manuals would be based more on slavic mythology instead of whatever japanese monser toys an american could buy from bargain stores.
>>86174598Having both been forced to work jobs in a factory for below living wages, they did not have time to develop dungeons and dragons and two other Americans developed it instead.
>>86192107Depends on their jobs. They could've been petty bureaucrats. In Soviet Russia, those guys had more free time than anyone in America could dream of.
>>86193104>all those administrative division meetings that went absolutely nowhere for years were actually a cover for playtesting sessions with the party members
>>86193507Hello darkness my old friend.
>muh WW2>muh ideology>muh indoctrination>muh thinly veiled chauvinism>muh cryptorevanchism>muh abloobloonegropoopooism>ctrl+f "socialist realism">0 resultsIf you ever watched Star Trek Original or especially TNG, then you've seen Soviet sci-fi. The core context in which sci-fi was created was less western exploration of possibilities (implication - through the prism of current problems) as much it was either the strange problems of our glorious tomorrow (implication - the future for which we must suffer today, dear young reader). Then you had the outliers writing something completely detached from reality, usually analogies of folk tales, except they're told by robots or aliens. Then glorious tomorrow never came, what came in eastern europe was the 90's. Frankly I miss gay space communism sci-fi soviets had, now it's all either western grimdark, noir, or Pajeets-in-spandex' wild ride.
>>86192091Ah, an average 5e game.
I read some Soviet science fiction (that I could find in English, that is; my grandparents died before they could teach me to read Russian), but what about fantasy? Was there popular fantasy fiction in Russia before, like, Sergey Lukyanenko? What was it like?
>>86193667Diplomacy doesn't really work tho
>>86193687I understand that Fairytales were popular and politically permissionable.
>>86174598For one thing, their game would be sci-fi. Soviet censors hated fantasy and loved sci-fi.
>>86194172This seems to be the main argument in the thread so far. Does anyone have more concrete evidence for either side?
>>86175579If it was created in 1974, it would've been banned for sure. Brezhnev era bureaucracy was ridiculously ban-happy.
>>86184435Not just Russian, Russia simply had the biggest animation studio's.I'm particularly fond of Armenian cartoons for their innovative animation techniques:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmB4DfG-3K4
>>86194742Ah, yes, a workable adventure module concept right there.
>>86194172>Soviet censors hated fantasy and loved sci-fi.Spoken like a true, clueless Ameritard>>86194186It's utter bullshit. It's not "fantasy was censored", it was "why the fuck would I write fairy tales for kids in the first place". Anything that falls under the label of "fantastic literature" (so horror, sci-fi and fantasy) was almost completely ignored by censorship, which traditionally considered it to be fairy tales for children. On top of that, sci-fi was the most fucked of the three, since there was a period where you HAD TO write platitudes to the virtues of communism and/or its future successes, while having no such obligations in other genres (since, again, fairy tales). But once that wrapped up (mid-60s), sci-fi was pretty much the easiest way to sneak commentary on how fucked the system is, because censors didn't care, didn't take it serious and their regulations (because they had to follow those, rather than doing whatever-the-fuck they wanted) didn't cover for having a dissident manifesto disguised behind green men from space and boob-bibbit robots. You had to really cross the line to get shit shanked by censorship when writing fantastical tales. Fantasy, at least in western meaning, didn't arrive until tail end of the 80s, and mostly in tune of either being quasi-pulp aping sword and sorcery from American movies of the era (which weren't censored and relatively easy to see in cinemas - again, fairy tales, so why censor or limit them) or experimentation to "subvert the expectations" (hence why so many fantasy novels and stories from tail end of commie period in entire Eastern Block is just actual fairy tales with some post-modern twist to them).All of which has jack and shit to do with tabletop games, genre influence, censorship or whatever. Anyone insisting it "has to be sci-fi, because fantasy was haram" is pulling shit from his ass. Fantasy was simply ignored, considered to be lesser than anything else, a trite not worth making.
>>86194882Oh, and one more thing:Why writing fantasy novel, when you instead can write historical fiction? Which was like the bread and butter of "quick entertainment" in Eastern Block, both the classics from the 19th century and early 20th, but also new output. And not just limited to own country/region. I mean shit, one of the most popular teen novels in my country was about a Greek kid assisting a Median "magi" on a diplomatic mission to unfuck the Peloponnese before Persian invasion. It even used to be a required reading for 5th grade.
>>86194967>>86194882because "fantasy" is what fueled some of the core gameplay assumptions of early TRPGs, like dungeon crawling, magic options, monsters, etc.can't really get that when you replace the Conan and Elric inspiration sources with idk Ivan Tsarevitch and the Wolf or Sadko or something. I don't really know Slavic fairytales.
>>86174598>How is the game different and how does this affect the history of tabletop roleplaying?It's mostly a mish-mash of slavic folklore and mythology, with heavy influence from contemporary soviet authors.
>>86194882I may not be a 50 year old geriatric loser who remembers Brezhnev personally, but anyone born in the USSR (like me) knows about the rabid censorship first-hand. If you claim otherwise, either YOU are the clueless burger, or, most likely, you're a buttblasted commie trying to sugarcoat what was a comically oppressive society banning songs about forests and mountains.
>>86195016You can get Conan for sure. Conan was in part inspired by Howard's fascination with the cossacks. As a cossack-type character of the basest background regularly robbing kings and priests, Conan could be a big success, if not for the lewdness and violence. Well, he was eventually a huge success when he did get published in the USSR. Unauthorised Conan sequels were a huge genre in Eastern Europe at the end of the century.
>>86195528That's still historical fiction, though. Cossacks didn't fight giants and dragons and sorcerers and shit. And they sure didn't use magic themselves.
>>86195541Not every Conan story has supernatural elements. Really, those elements would not be an issue at all. Harryhausen Sindbad movies (with Caroline Munro tiddies cut out) were shown on the Soviet TV to great success. Lewdness and gore were the real issues.
>>86195016>can't really get that when you replace the Conan and Elric inspiration sources with idk Ivan Tsarevitch and the Wolf or Sadko or something.>I don't really know Slavic fairytales.I mean you've kinda answered your own "problem" and the stupid-ass assumption you've made.>>86195541>I don't know local fairy tales, legends and folklore nor even historical fiction>This will not prevent me from talking with authority about all that shit and make stupid claimsNigga, what if I told you that you're just flat-out wrong?>>86195487>t. born in Russian Federation and having no fucking clue what the censorship was even likeCool story, anon. Did you get your mobilisation card already?
>>86195667There was no Russian federation in 1985
>>86195667He's more like 2nd generation immigrant, who only knows grandpa stories about how horrifying Stalin period was (which were true, just simply got dated very fast) and how they've cheated the system to pretend they are Jews to run away in 1971
>>86195678But there was one in '98, when you were born>>86195703Point taken. And even if wrong, it's still the old beat-up record of "Entire soviet history was just Stalin-era oppression, with no thaws, changes or alternations. Khrushchev? Who's that?" that clueless Westeroids spew, insisting they "know shit".Well, they kinda do know shit.
>>86195734>more baseless adhominems spat out by a buttblasted commie
>>86174646Wait...I know you...
>>86174598We never hear about it, they die in a gypsum mine.
>>86197008In fairness, bauxite is more likely.
>>86174598The game would be optimistic science fiction about heroic explorers somewhat similar to original Star Trek in feel.