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Author Topic: [& Sword] Humanity = Honor?  (Read 4139 times)

Posts: 642

« on: September 24, 2005, 06:44:38 PM »

I'm putting a "Sorcerer & Sword" game together -- rough notes here--and was trying to narrow down what Humanity means in this genre.

In the supplement (which I don't have with me right now) Humanity is basically defined as being good to your in-group.  Which I recast as Honor---

Humanity is defined by Honor. It's related to concepts like dignity, pride, trustworthiness, justice, reputation, duty and so on. If you read the old epics like The Iliad and Beowulf there's a huge emphasis on these concepts, which is repeated in the Conan stories and others.

You Gain Honor By...

    * Keeping a promise
    * Being loyal to servants and family
    * Service to your lord
    * Rewarding loyalty
    * Repaying those who wrong you
    * Accomplishing an epic task
    * Defeating sorcerers/demons/supernatural stuff
    * (for men in some cultures) Warrior prowess
    * (for women in some cultures) Gentle conduct
    * (posthumous) Receive a terrific funeral

You Lose Honor By...

    * Violating sacred customs of your people
    * Mistreating those who are loyal to you
    * Betraying your lord
    * Breaking a promise
    * Contacting, Summoning, or Binding
    * Travel into the Astral Plane
    * Getting tainted by a demon
    * (for men in some cultures) Failure to look after family
    * (for women in some cultures) Infidelity
    * (posthumous) Receive a disgraceful funeral

When Humanity Reaches Zero
You no longer care about anyone else. You are totally self centered, and lose all human feeling. This could be wild sensuality, inhuman coldness, or slowly becoming a grovelling, pathetic worm of a human being. Alternately you might wander off into the Astral Plane, never to return.

Some questions:
1.  Is this reasonably true to the source material?
2.  What does this mean for Lore?
3.  In "Sorcerer & Sword," travel to the Other World threatens humanity... what would that mean here?
4.  Has anyone run S&S this way?

Lisa Padol

Posts: 365

« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2005, 06:58:07 PM »

If someone has a disgraceful funeral and loses honor, um, how does this work? I mean, the person's dead, so, in theory, the honor/humanity loss is irrelevant. In game reality, what happens? Is it possible that someone who dies at Humanity 1 and hits Humanity 0 as a result of a disgraceful funeral then becomes a demon? I'm really curious.


Posts: 642

« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2005, 07:27:38 PM »

In a bunch of the old epics the protagonist voyages into the underworld, or at least some Mythical Other Place, and encounters the shades of those he'd known in life.  A ghost might care how he or she is remembered.  I'm not saying it would necessarily come up in the game, but it seems to fit the source material: having a great death, and a splendid funeral, is something epic heroes worry about from time to time. 

Note that in this game there'd be a couple of different culture groups:

* The people of the Ten Thousand Tribes.  This would encompass most of the (pseudo) prehistoric world.  So there'd be wild horsemen in Mongolia, jungle tribes in Africa, Viking villages, and that sort of thing. 

* The Atlanteans and their human client states.  This would have a high classical flavor: Rome, Greece, Egypt, Babylon. 

* The Orient.  The civilizations that flourished far from Atlantis.  This would mostly be China, but might include Japan and India as well.

So, the quesiton might be -- how to inflect tribal, classical, and Eastern types of honor in the game?

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