from over here
Posted By: Marshall BurnsPosted By: ValamirWhy should humans have a bunch of distinct cultures but all elves in the world are the same. Why should each different elven culture require a different elven race? Why do "wood elves" and "high elves" have to be different races? Why can't they just be elves who live differently? That sort of thing.
Oh, wow, this reminds me of a game that I sketched up in my teens but never actually played. It was supposed to start in an early Bronze Age, prehistory kind of thing, with a handful of different cultures per race, with different ability biases and environments. And, periodically, play would shift forward a generation or two, and changes to the world and cultures would occur based on the cultures' statistics and the things that the PCs accomplished in the preceding interim.
(WTF, why didn't Iplay
Anyway, I can remember a few of them. The humans all started off as totemic cultures; I remember a Crow Clan, a Lion Clan, and a Bear Clan, but there were probably others. Their abilities were based on their totems; e.g. the Crows were scavengers, had a written language already, and were more likely to develop tools first; the Lions were hunters, and better suited to warfare; the Bears were gatherers and fishermen, and were the hardiest of the humans. All of this wasstarting out
, mind you; this stuff was subject to change from generation to generation. Cultures could splinter, and so on.
Let's see, I can remember the Dire Rock dwarves, who were stocky, hairy, and started with bronze technology. The Haunt Rock dwarves were taller, and thin, with longer beards but less hair in general, and they had a good chance to develop magic, and also cloth.
The elves started off unified, but would, in one of the first few generations of play, receive dispensations from three conflicting deities, which would almost certainly prompt a three-part schism (or four-part, if a group declined to worshipany
of the three gods). And then a war, which any combination of the elven cultures might survive or be annihilated.
I can't remember the ogres, but I know they were there. Trolls were there too, but for some reason didn't evolve to trolldom until a few generations into play. There were several clans of goblins (I've never really felt comfortable about using the term "orc" outside of Middle Earth, so my goblins are actually a combination of Tolkien's orcs and your contemporary fantasy goblins -- it just depends on whether a given goblin is born big and scary or scrawny and sharp), of which I can only remember the Dead Crow clan, who started with witchcraft and were the most likely to contact demons first.
Man, I gotta see if I can find the old notes for this fucker.
Posted By: Valamir
Yes, yes you should.
Well, I couldn't find my notes. They're either gone, or they're not with all my other old game notes. I can distinctly remember writing up a huge tech tree when I was supposed to be taking notes in class. It was probably stupid, given my age at the time, but I remember doing it, and I remember it going from flint to lasers.
Also, I think I may have
played this once, for a brief amount of time. I can remember one of my cousin James' characters killing one of my characters with a flint knife, and I can only surmise that it was this game.
But, since I can't find the notes, I suggest brainstorming.
First off: cultures need stats for:
- Discovering new things. Both resources and features of the environment, and scientific & magical principles once appropriate tech has been attained
- Inventing new things. Inventions would of course rest on the discoveries you've made so far.
- Engineering. I.e. a stat that determines the quality
of your tech, and your ability to improve on it.
- Warfare. Mass battles would be abstracted.