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Ok, this is kind of a weird post.

As a gamer I tend towards more realism and less fantastical elements in my games. I'm not a big fan of bikini armors and one-handed swords large enough to row a trireme, for example. A million years ago, before the advent of the internet, I played a Praxian Rhino Rider and decided to do some research into rhinos, their habits and so on. While I'm in no way an expert [I've only seen a rhino twice and I've never touched one], the research did give me some valuable insight on the breed and, by extension, the people who might use it as their totem animal.

I encourage anyone who is playing the rider of an exotic mount to do whatever real-world research might be available for your tribal animal. It really does add interesting layers to your character. Obviously, this won't work for all you hippogriff riders out there and it'll be a stretch [pun entirely intended] for all you High Llama nomads, but it's pretty easy for the sable antelope people and bison people.

When you're a nomad, your mount isn't just a truck with legs. Your mount is an extension of yourself and you are an extension of it. You're a partnership and both of you are only a third as effective alone. Treat your mounts as more than a plot device. Even if you did name your zebra 'Nodwick' ūüėĀ

[Below is a youtube link to the veterinary care of a zoo rhino by name of Jabari. Much of it is kind of, well,... cute. Enjoy]

 

 

Edited by svensson
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I love this. When we were kids we had a slogan, "the analogy stretches until it snaps." To the extent to which these are rhino-like creatures, experience and accounts of earthly rhinos informs and enr

Hm, realism on a cube that has a Sun rotating around it. In a land where people ride most any kind (ostriches and bola lizards?) of mount by divine fiat except horses (of course, the horse riders don’

Ok, this is kind of a weird post. As a gamer I tend towards more realism and less fantastical elements in my games. I'm not a big fan of bikini armors and one-handed swords large enough to row a

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Ah, but we have been told in recent times that Gloranthan bisons aren't the same as our bisons.  Therefore we can feel free to posit Praxian rhinos that live on lemon drops and dew and weigh less than a pixie.

Alternatively, of course, we could - I suppose, and under protest - go the realistic option and research the creatures upon which Greg based his creations.ūü§™

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I'm not sure what recent statements you're referring to, but our bison haven't been bred (or mythically transformed) to be riding beasts, and Praxian Bison have. It seems reasonable to me that implies some differences, at least to the extent that horses are adapted from their wild ancestors.

Or maybe it's the riders that have adapted. Actually that could explain Bison Riders.

Edited by simonh
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9 hours ago, svensson said:

As a gamer I tend towards more realism and less fantastical elements in my games. I'm not a big fan of bikini armors and one-handed swords large enough to row a trireme, for example. A million years ago, before the advent of the internet, I played a Praxian Rhino Rider and decided to do some research into rhinos, their habits and so on. While I'm in no way an expert [I've only seen a rhino twice and I've never touched one], the research did give me some valuable insight on the breed and, by extension, the people who might use it as their totem animal.

 

Hm, realism on a cube that has a Sun rotating around it. In a land where people ride most any kind (ostriches and bola lizards?) of mount by divine fiat except horses (of course, the horse riders don’t agree). I don’t buy it. I am happy to use a mythic realism... Atoms as building blocks, pish posh, that would be runes, my good man. I am happy to use simulation. I mean realism makes the game easier to parse, but I don’t let reality ruin my Glorantha experience. The logic here is not earth’s and where they do align it is the result of the sense of humour of a bunch of hippies from the seventies more than an indication that this is as it should be.

Those are the negatives I find in the idea of hoisting realism above fantasy thus far. The good things that I find? Well, loving me some research about the world around us, I find myself enjoying romps down rabbit holes as I look up items that I have questions about. That they improve my game is great, that they improve my understanding of our world... priceless. 

Of course, each to their own must be our guiding principal, but you are posting on public fora and I thought someone should be the voice of unreason. 

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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1 hour ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Hm, realism on a cube that has a Sun rotating around it. In a land where people ride most any kind (ostriches and bola lizards?) of mount by divine fiat except horses (of course, the horse riders don’t agree). I don’t buy it. I am happy to use a mythic realism... Atoms as building blocks, pish posh, that would be runes, my good man. I am happy to use simulation. I mean realism makes the game easier to parse, but I don’t let reality ruin my Glorantha experience. The logic here is not earth’s and where they do align it is the result of the sense of humour of a bunch of hippies from the seventies more than an indication that this is as it should be.

Those are the negatives I find in the idea of hoisting realism above fantasy thus far. The good things that I find? Well, loving me some research about the world around us, I find myself enjoying romps down rabbit holes as I look up items that I have questions about. That they improve my game is great, that they improve my understanding of our world... priceless. 

Of course, each to their own must be our guiding principal, but you are posting on public fora and I thought someone should be the voice of unreason. 

Well, clearly some fantastical elements have to be there and gaming would be a poor thing without some suspension of disbelief... We all joke about the Oregon Trail game, but nobody wants to game out a Donner Party Death March every freaking week ūüėĀ

But taking the time to learn a bit about horses, zebras, llamas, rhinos, lions isn't the dumbest thing you ever did as a gamer... you know, like that time you tried to use a pike as a pole vault ūüėāūü§£ [there's an old SCA tee-shirt featuring Squire Alpo Dogmeat doing just that...]

OK, seriously, there are legit reasons to know something about your mount's species, the least of which being that your character starts to treat it like a living thing instead of a 'truck with legs'. This doesn't mean that your mount gets a treasure share or votes in a party council. Unless, of course, it's your Allied Spirit's vessel... that's a separate negotiation altogether. But there's a lot of fun to be had riding about in Geralt's Roach or Sir Sparhawk's Faran. In the case of my character Grettir's mount, Windbreak, Grettir would take Lunars and melt them down into little silver rings for each kill Windbreak made by himself... with a gold ring for each fifth [what can I say, at the time I was a tanker in a US Army regiment -- we all wanted 'kill rings']. Eventually, the GM gave Windbreak an extra +2 to head butt damage because his horn had been 'stiffened'... Impressed the Hell outta my Khan too.

Edited by svensson
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8 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

go the realistic option and research the creatures upon which Greg based his creations.ūü§™

I love this. When we were kids we had a slogan, "the analogy stretches until it snaps." To the extent to which these are rhino-like creatures, experience and accounts of earthly rhinos informs and enriches our Gloranthan insight. We can even stretch that simile to derive new hypotheticals: they eat something like this, they breed something like that, the leather needs these techniques to work, the smell sure must be something. 

992198687_aloys-zotl-le-rhinoceros.jpeg.21dc3d61d11fe01e7262aec6bb883db9.jpegSometimes experience reveals a point where the analogy breaks down. Greg didn't know something about rhinos and just made it up / quested deep into the true lozenge or there was a typo and now Praxian rhinos always had four toes and ivory dentition like a hippo. It happens. Then all the hypotheticals need to make room for the new data point and resolve contradictions. Suddenly there's ivory on the chaparral. The desert trackers prick up their ears. It's a little like experimental heroquesting. Maybe they have actual plates that provide instant two-point armor, but I don't actually think so because it would wreck everything we know about the local economy. Pixie rhino milk probably tastes like a ginger lime rickey though.

Some seek Glorantha one way, chasing the analogy until it snaps, and others go the other. And then there's those who go both ways. The rhino emerges. Rhino riding, to paraphrase Eco, requires a rhino. It's how we get to where we're going. Go as far as you can.

 

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3 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

I love this. When we were kids we had a slogan, "the analogy stretches until it snaps." To the extent to which these are rhino-like creatures, experience and accounts of earthly rhinos informs and enriches our Gloranthan insight. We can even stretch that simile to derive new hypotheticals: they eat something like this, they breed something like that, the leather needs these techniques to work, the smell sure must be something. 

992198687_aloys-zotl-le-rhinoceros.jpeg.21dc3d61d11fe01e7262aec6bb883db9.jpegSometimes experience reveals a point where the analogy breaks down. Greg didn't know something about rhinos and just made it up / quested deep into the true lozenge or there was a typo and now Praxian rhinos always had four toes and ivory dentition like a hippo. It happens. Then all the hypotheticals need to make room for the new data point and resolve contradictions. Suddenly there's ivory on the chaparral. The desert trackers prick up their ears. It's a little like experimental heroquesting. Maybe they have actual plates that provide instant two-point armor, but I don't actually think so because it would wreck everything we know about the local economy. Pixie rhino milk probably tastes like a ginger lime rickey though.

Some seek Glorantha one way, chasing the analogy until it snaps, and others go the other. And then there's those who go both ways. The rhino emerges. Rhino riding, to paraphrase Eco, requires a rhino. It's how we get to where we're going. Go as far as you can.

 

PROTIP: Rhinos are not 'tamed'. They are 'negotiated with'. There are a lot of dumb things that happen in Glorantha [as with any world, real or mythical], but very few things are dumber than Rhino Rider thinking that spurs are gonna be of any help....

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33 minutes ago, svensson said:

But taking the time to learn a bit about horses, zebras, llamas, rhinos, lions isn't the dumbest thing you ever did as a gamer... you know, like that time you tried to use a pike as a pole vault ūüėāūü§£ [there's an old SCA tee-shirt featuring Squire Alpo Dogmeat doing just that...]

 

This is the fulcrum, dare I say the spearpoint our differences balance on. I do ask my players to be on the cusp of believably, but sometimes I wonder if I am missing the point. Why should my poor victims learn to act like real soldiers (as postulated in another thread, surely we can spare them that horror)

If they wish to do the stupid and inexplicable and then pull it off with impossible die rolls are they not the¬†beneficiaries¬†of an experience worthy of Chuck Jones! Is this not closer to a game then how did you put it, ‚Äúa Donner Party Death March every freaking week.‚ÄĚ Yep, that says a lot.¬†

 

33 minutes ago, svensson said:

OK, seriously, there are legit reasons to know something about your mount's species, the least of which being that your character starts to treat it like a living thing instead of a 'truck with legs'.

On this point I find the ‚Äúspearpoint‚ÄĚ tipping me into your court. I said that earlier, explore away, and have a ball doing so. I do!¬†Should you learn something as well, fantastic. I just figure it should not be a chore, so it should not be a task one should undertake.. a rule or axiom¬†or that one should¬†even aspire to it. But, if that rabbit hole should yield treasures, bonus!

33 minutes ago, svensson said:

But there's a lot of fun to be had riding about in Geralt's Roach or Sir Sparhawk's Faran

There we go, total agreement! 

 

24 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

I love this. When we were kids we had a slogan, "the analogy stretches until it snaps." To the extent to which these are rhino-like creatures, experience and accounts of earthly rhinos informs and enriches our Gloranthan insight. We can even stretch that simile to derive new hypotheticals: they eat something like this, they breed something like that, the leather needs these techniques to work, the smell sure must be something. 

 

I have always said that analogies always break, the good ones break later!

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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15 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

I love this. When we were kids we had a slogan, "the analogy stretches until it snaps." To the extent to which these are rhino-like creatures, experience and accounts of earthly rhinos informs and enriches our Gloranthan insight. We can even stretch that simile to derive new hypotheticals: they eat something like this, they breed something like that, the leather needs these techniques to work, the smell sure must be something. 

992198687_aloys-zotl-le-rhinoceros.jpeg.21dc3d61d11fe01e7262aec6bb883db9.jpegSometimes experience reveals a point where the analogy breaks down. Greg didn't know something about rhinos and just made it up / quested deep into the true lozenge or there was a typo and now Praxian rhinos always had four toes and ivory dentition like a hippo. It happens. Then all the hypotheticals need to make room for the new data point and resolve contradictions. Suddenly there's ivory on the chaparral. The desert trackers prick up their ears. It's a little like experimental heroquesting. Maybe they have actual plates that provide instant two-point armor, but I don't actually think so because it would wreck everything we know about the local economy. Pixie rhino milk probably tastes like a ginger lime rickey though.

Some seek Glorantha one way, chasing the analogy until it snaps, and others go the other. And then there's those who go both ways. The rhino emerges. Rhino riding, to paraphrase Eco, requires a rhino. It's how we get to where we're going. Go as far as you can.

 

Yah.  Interesting.  So I'm okay with the lemon drops and dew and lighter-than-a-pixie rhinos then?  

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12 minutes ago, svensson said:

PROTIP: Rhinos are not 'tamed'. They are 'negotiated with'. There are a lot of dumb things that happen in Glorantha [as with any world, real or mythical], but very few things are dumber than Rhino Rider thinking that spurs are gonna be of any help....

I always imagined a Rhino rider to be something of a mahout until the danged thing got moving, then a passenger along for the ride - a passenger with a nasty pointy thing...

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1 minute ago, Bill the barbarian said:

I have always said that apologies always break, the good ones break later!

When Rhino Tribe breaks wind no apologies are required because there are no survivors. 

Love this totem talk. The lemon drop ones might need to convince some people that they're part of the stretch but I give those heffalumps the benefit of the doubt until Rhino Khan kicks his truth into me. On the other hand my vision isn't that great.

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Just now, Ali the Helering said:

I always imagined a Rhino rider to be something of a mahout until the danged thing got moving, then a passenger along for the ride - a passenger with a nasty pointy thing...

I seem to recall reading that (real) rhinos are extremely near-sighted -- which may influence charging at any moving object outside the range of visual acuity (it may be a threat).

Hopefully Praxian rhinos take "steering" hints well...

 

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1 hour ago, Baron Wulfraed said:

Hopefully Praxian rhinos take "steering" hints well...

Apparently parent rhinos 'steer' their young by prodding with their horn, so if you stuck with this as a training regime, it should be a possible method.  Damn big prod needed, though.

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2 hours ago, simonh said:

I'm not sure what recent statements you're referring to, but our bison haven't been bred (or mythically transformed) to be riding beasts, and Praxian Bison have. It seems reasonable to me that implies some differences, at least to the extent that horses are adapted from their wild ancestors.

Or maybe it's the riders that have adapted. Actually that could explain Bison Riders.

Never say I don't check for sources!  There are numerous occasions when bisons have been broken to the saddle, apparently there was even a TV series at some point in the past.  Being bred to be a riding beast isn't the only way to become one.

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12 hours ago, svensson said:

Ok, this is kind of a weird post.

No.  It isn't.  Having read it, I think it's a good post.

2 hours ago, svensson said:

PROTIP: Rhinos are not 'tamed'. They are 'negotiated with'. There are a lot of dumb things that happen in Glorantha [as with any world, real or mythical], but very few things are dumber than Rhino Rider thinking that spurs are gonna be of any help....

In my game, the way you harness a rhino is to attach blunt light hooks in its ears and nose.  Nothing that could draw blood, but something you can tug on and elicit a response.  These areas are more tender than other parts.  In my game, there is a somewhat common plant called Bumpstalk, that is the rhino equivalent of catnip (or heroin), that you can feed to them along with certain cactuses whose peeled flesh they especially enjoy eating.  Bumpstalk actually propagates in symbiosis with Rhinos. That renders them very fond of humans, if a bit pushy.  The rhino riders help this by scratching them with rakes, which they love, and grooming them for parasites, which they would otherwise rely on birds for.  In this way, the rhino begins to see humans in the most positive light, and becomes dependent on them.  These are special Rhino-Waha and Rhino-Eiritha secrets.

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32 minutes ago, Darius West said:

No.  It isn't.  Having read it, I think it's a good post.

In my game, the way you harness a rhino is to attach blunt light hooks in its ears and nose.  Nothing that could draw blood, but something you can tug on and elicit a response.  These areas are more tender than other parts.  In my game, there is a somewhat common plant called Bumpstalk, that is the rhino equivalent of catnip (or heroin), that you can feed to them along with certain cactuses whose peeled flesh they especially enjoy eating.  Bumpstalk actually propagates in symbiosis with Rhinos. That renders them very fond of humans, if a bit pushy.  The rhino riders help this by scratching them with rakes, which they love, and grooming them for parasites, which they would otherwise rely on birds for.  In this way, the rhino begins to see humans in the most positive light, and becomes dependent on them.  These are special Rhino-Waha and Rhino-Eiritha secrets.

Well, thanks for the vote of confidence, no sarcasm intended.

IMGU, rhinos are 'steered' [yeah, I don't know another word for that either] via a bridle about the snout. In that decision I took into account that a rhino's two principle senses are smell and hearing, and I just think the idea of someone reefing on the reins attached to such sensitive area as the nostrils or earlobes might be just a teesy bit counter-productive.

Rhinos are pushy and willful and much of the Rhino People's Animal Lore skill will be skills in how to coax the bloody thing into working during work time and sleeping during sleep time. Of course, 'sleep time' includes a mid-day siesta and periodic mud wallows... like I said, it's a negotiation.

Another thing that I found out is that rhinos [African white rhino in this case] live a HELL of a long time. With care they can live up to 40+ years. So this militates towards a Rhino People boy being given a two-or-three year old calf and the two are trained as a team. It's entirely possible that a Rhino brave has one or two mounts his entire adult career. So I could see a Rhino Rider having a primary mount and a remount, but nothing like the string of steppe ponies that, say, a Mongol warrior or Sioux dog soldier might have.

 

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21 hours ago, svensson said:

A million years ago, before the advent of the internet, I played a Praxian Rhino Rider and decided to do some research into rhinos, their habits and so on. While I'm in no way an expert [I've only seen a rhino twice and I've never touched one], the research did give me some valuable insight on the breed and, by extension, the people who might use it as their totem animal.

The hide on their face is surprisingly soft.

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23 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

which almost begs the question, and do they make remarkably gentle lovers?

To another rhino, probably. There are Some Things That Heortlings Are Not Meant To Know ūüėĀ

Edited by svensson
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5 hours ago, Bren said:

The hide on their face is surprisingly soft.

In comparison to their flanks, where the hide is thickest, absolutely. And being ruminants, their lips are surprisingly dexterous and flexible, much like a horse's.

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4 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

which almost begs the question, and do they make remarkably gentle lovers?

Here is some rhino porn so you can answer that question for yourself. ūüėČ

 

Edited by Darius West
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