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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 181 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Priorities: Race and nationality  (Read 2945 times)
Andrew Mure

Posts: 43

« on: July 06, 2004, 02:53:17 AM »

Here's something I've been thinking about lately, I'd be interested in any comments either way.

It seems to me that some of the nationality packages are considerably better than others. Also in someways a player who is say determined to play a Japanese samurai in a medieval european setting(!) is as much making it a priority as someone who wants to play a dwarf or an elf in a largely human fantasy setting. Is it just me or aren't there plently of folk who like to prioritise that their character is in some way exotic?

Anyway here are some optional idea for the race priority which makes being in any way foreign a priority. It is also good as being a foreigner is a good excuse to pick Slave or prisoner (F) as class as folk tend to overlook slavery if its not 'our people' being enslaved.

Firstly when setting up the campaign the seneschal defines the starting region for the campaign, this can be as small as a single country or as large as a single world (in say sci-fi campaigns) and the ethnic group(s) in that area and any package deal they get for characters.

The F priority on race means the character is human and native of the starting region. They can either use any nationality packages associated with that region or base the character without a package.

e.g. If the starting region is Farrenshire, all characters placing F in race are humans from Farrenshire.

The E priority on race means the character is human and hails for a region with close geographical and cultural links to the starting region. They can chose a nationality package from any nation that the seneschal judges as fitting that priority, however one nation may be restricted by the seneschal for narrative reasons.

e.g. With our Farrenshire campaign the seneschal defines Mainlund as the priority E area, however as they intend to use the Geluroise as antagonists that nation is restricted.

The D priority opens all nationality packages in the setting.

e.g. Priority D opens humans from all over Weyrth, including if a player wishes it the very narratively important role of a Geluroise exile.

I haven't quite decided how this figures for non-humans, though I erring on the side of allowing them full pick of nationality at base, despite personally feeling Geluroise gifted should be A priority.

Posts: 158

« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2004, 03:16:13 AM »

I quite like this idea.

It especially fits the way I organise my campaigns. I tend to base them in one area of Weyrth and prefer characters to come from that area. This way allows players to be exotic or play the nationality they like best, but kind of outlines their foriegness.

It works well for me as I don't tend to use gifted or Fae PC's in my campaigns either.

The Priority D could also be coupled with a minor flaw 'Outsider' working in a similar way to the minor version of bad reptutation flaw.

Andrew Mure

Posts: 43

« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2004, 03:53:44 AM »

Seems to be the favourite way TROS is run.

The way I see the D priority working is for nationalities who are so alien that the advantages their culture provides is a major edge in the setting. Selim, Morgan Freeman's saracen character in 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves' (and arguably the best thing in that film after Alan Rickman's sheriff) would be a good example of a D priority under these rules. Yes, certainly some sort of complusory flaw to represent fear of the other would be appropiate for such characters.

One idea I am currently playing with is something to represent people who due to mixed parentage (or otherwise) are equally familiar with two societies. This seems to be a popular literature archetype though I am worried how to do this without over powering it.

Posts: 19

« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2004, 09:02:59 PM »

Yes!  Excellent!  Have you seen my post on "A New Way of Dealing With Race & Sorcery"?  I was trying to deal with similar issues/concerns.  It bugs me that the published table has D, E, and F all being exactly the same in one column.  D should be significantly noticeable/better/more important!


The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed subcategory.

-Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

Posts: 41

« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2004, 01:05:00 AM »

Quote from: Deliverator
D should be significantly noticeable/better/more important!

Indeed. But I don't feel the race packages are _significantly_ different. (compare D/E/F for anything else...)
If the point is to discourage players from being foreigners, sure. If the point is to 'balance' the game, the differences between national pri D and F should be bigger.

1) Personally, I'd tie nationality to social class; peasants or low freemen may not be foreigners, high freemen can be merchants/mercenaries/agents from other lands, and nobility are anyway free to travel wherever they like, but may lose a lot of their advantages when they travel to other cultures. (This limits "i'll choose that package because the bonuses are good", put encourages F in race).

[Alternatively, since it takes resources to travel, you *could* assign a gold cost for nationalities: neighbour country about 2 gp, other side of world (european samurai...) about 50 gp or something...]

2) To make the race/nationalty priority work (worth it) I'd ad-hoc rewrite the nationality packages, based on character concept and setting. (why would a guy from X live in Y - what kind of guy is he? Imported elite guard, foreign agent, merchant?) Give out some extra bonuses, more for pri D, less for pri E. Bonuses to skill packages could be relevant (in the renaissance, "everyone" knew the dutch were the best sailors, the spaniards the best soldiers, the moslems the best scholars etc).

*Immigrants would obviously speak at least two languages, have some knowledge of geography, cultures etc. They probably settled in their new country because they have some useful skill - quite likely they are extra good at their 'national skills'.
*Foreigners will be treated as freemen or nobles, and probably have no liege lord. Lower classes should not be foreigners unless they are refugees or captured slaves. (or sailors if mercantilism is common).
*Well-travelled people might get a type 'area knowledge' gift that applies to a larger area, but with a worse TN.
*Foreigners may have access to equipment, fighting styles, religions etc. otherwise unaccesssable in the land.

3) one other problem - if you have characters with insight, there may not be a F priority, and thus no need to 'go native'. OTOH, insightful characters have probably been places and done stuff anyway.

...just another opinion...
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