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In response to "D&D Is the Apocalypse" from The Escapist Forum: It's not all that surprising, really. One day, I was wondering why post-apoc fiction is so prevalent if there has never been an apocalyptic event. Then I remembered there was - the Dark Ages. The Roman Empire was a massive civilization, spanning what at the time was half the known world, and one day it ended. A single, centralized, highly technoligcal, democratic (or at least closest to democracy as it could be during the dark ages) civilization ended, leaving nothing but the ruins of their aqueducts and coliseums, replaced by several small powerless city-states of no greater importance. The Roman Empire may not have collapsed in a grand fashion, after a war or plague or meteor or zombies, but the aftermath is just the same. Since DnD and all similar fantasy works take place in an era with roughly Middle Ages technology, it's obvious that post-apoc would apply - it's based on the only post-apocalyptic period of real human history.
That is certainly Zak Smith's best quote. It burnt into my mind when I read it. The idea of what monsters mean, really, and why our society (for instance) now loves vampires and is preparing for a zombie apocalpypse, interests me to no end.
Intriguing - on some level I've always been aware of the whole "nothing is as good or grand as that which came before" trope in fantasy settings, but I honestly hadn't drawn the now rather obvious parallel with my personal favorite fictional universe until I saw it spelled out in this article: the bits about the treatment of technology (the anecdote about the pipe organ in particular) could easily have been describing Warhammer 40,000.
That's always been one of the various elements of the 40K setting I really dug - the mystical reverence of technology without understanding, civilizations with plasma pistols that believe proper maintenance and 'prayers to appease the machine spirit' are equally important, the monolithic decaying empire venerating the relics of the ancient past while remaining leery of the implications unearthing it might have (mankind's collective technological height is labeled the "Dark Age of Technology" by the inhabitants of the 'modern day' Imperium, not because it was a literal dark age but rather because the enforced ignorance the "Priesthood of the Machine" brought about was missing from it) - there's just something about the backwards notion that "ancient means way better" that I find fascinating.
Which is essentially how fantasy settings like D&D's treat magical artifacts: nobody wants a new sword when they could have one from the dawn of time itself - that one is obviously going to be way better.