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David Scott

Praxian Tribal beasts are not terrestrial animals - a Bison diversion

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One of the underlying themes of the Prax book is that Praxian animals are not Earth animals. They behave differently, eat differently, but look similar to their Earth counterparts. I do however need at starting point so that readers and players have some idea what I'm talking about:

 

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Praxian Tribal beasts are not Earth animals

Praxian tribal beasts may look like their Earth counterparts and be generally the same size and weight, but that’s as far as it goes in most cases. They eat different food, drink much less water, their general behavior, and their mating details are different. Unlike their Earthly counterparts, all but herd-men are ridden, and all produce milk for consumption. In the Wastelands, the major tribe’s herds are mostly the offspring of Storm Bull and Eiritha, so all males are bulls, all females are cows, and babies are called calves, regardless of their earthly names.

 

Major Tribe Herd Beasts

Bison are visually and behaviorally based on the North American Bison (Bison bison bison).

 

Herd-men are based on modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens). They are physically identical, with identical growth patterns, but with only animal intelligence. Their behavior can be roughly based on those of living primates of the Pongidae family; orang-utans, bonobos, chimpanzees, and gorillas. There are many sources of fiction, such as Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle and its spinoffs that can be used as examples of humans as animals.

 

High Llamas are based on an extinct ancestor of the camel, Aepycamelus giraffinus, formerly called Alticamelus. This very tall prehistoric camel lived from the middle through late Miocene period. Visually it is based on museum skeletons and reconstructions, and behaviorally on Bactrian camels (Camelus bactrianus). High llamas are not humped like earth camels.

 

Impala are visually and behaviourally based on the Impala (Aepyceros melampus).

 

Sables are visually on the Giant Sable Antelope (Hippotragus niger variani) and behaviourally on the on Sable Antelope.

and then I came across this really cool site:

http://prehistoric-fauna.com

and more specifically

http://prehistoric-fauna.com/Bison-priscus

Are praxian bison an more ancient kind of bison like Bison priscus? The other bison form do exist in the Wastes certainly bison latifrons.

Anyone out there interested in bison?

 

Edited by David Scott
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54 minutes ago, David Scott said:

One of the underlying themes of the Prax book is that Praxian animals are not Earth animals. They behave differently, eat differently, but look similar to their Earth counterparts. I do however need at starting point so that readers and players have some idea what I'm talking about:

 

A small aside: maybe use the term 'terrestrial' rather than 'Earth', as 'Earth' is also the name for one of the Gloranthan Elemental Runes. And more confusingly these animals do have an Runic Earth connection?

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So the situation is something like Gloranthan metals sharing RW names, but differing somewhat in characteristics.

Quote

so all males are bulls, all females are cows, and babies are called calves, regardless of their earthly names.

I must confess that I will miss the term "Storm Buck".
 

Edited by Mark Mohrfield

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4 hours ago, jongjom said:

A small aside: maybe use the term 'terrestrial' rather than 'Earth', as 'Earth' is also the name for one of the Gloranthan Elemental Runes. And more confusingly these animals do have an Runic Earth connection?

I second this. I read the topic title and thought that my Glorantha had just been given a smack upside the head.

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7 hours ago, David Scott said:

Are praxian bison an more ancient kind of bison like Bison priscus?

That's certainly a great idea having Animal Barbarians riding the larger bison similar to the prehistoric bison. It certainly is in keeping with other Animal Barbarians, such as the Sable Riders whose sables are obiviously much larger than our contemporary variety..

Yeah go down this path David, it's already making the Praxians much more interesting

Edited by Mankcam
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20 hours ago, David Scott said:

One of the underlying themes of the Prax book is that Praxian animals are not Earth animals. They behave differently, eat differently, but look similar to their Earth counterparts. I do however need at starting point so that readers and players have some idea what I'm talking about:

This reminds me of the "Gloranthan metals are like terrestrial metals but different " statement that completely confused people.

If they look like our bison, eat like our bison and behave like our bison then why make a distinction?

 

 

Are praxian bison an more ancient kind of bison like Bison priscus? The other bison form do exist in the Wastes certainly bison latifrons.

Anyone out there interested in bison?

What is different about them?

Most differences can be dealt with by having slightly different stats (RuneQuest) or different skills (RQ/HQ) or different behaviours.

I can easily imagine the bison in the Elder Wilds being a different type to Praxian Bison, as they are bigger and have a potentially different mythical basis (Not part of the Survival Covenant). Pelorian Bison are probably the same as praxian Bison, as they are descended from Praxian Bison.

Having different sub-species of Bison is Ok, as long as they are there for a good reason.

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14 hours ago, Mankcam said:

That's certainly a great idea having Animal Barbarians riding the larger bison similar to the prehistoric bison. It certainly is in keeping with other Animal Barbarians, such as the Sable Riders whose sables are obiviously much larger than our contemporary variety..

Yeah go down this path David, it's already making the Praxians much more interesting

From 10 mins of google search, they are actually 20% shorter than the great north american bison, but with about the same body mass.  I guess for most gamers, we don't know Bisons well enough to understand what terrestrial bison are really like, so nuances on the variations maybe lost. 

This may have some relevance to me because on my NPC's has brought some bison riders through Gon Ortas pass and they are currently trying cross breed praxian and Elder Wilds bison. However i'm prone to think they are similar stock.

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I never understood why the animals in Glorantha weren't given their own names in the first place.

The XXXXX, similar to Bison, are the most numerous of the creatures ridden in Prax. 

Then draw some hairy, horned, slightly bovine creature and Bison's your uncle.

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Accessibility is the answer.

Not a dig a Dave specifically, but something I think all us glorantha nuts do is become obsessively focused on details that can distract at times.

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And like all animals in Glorantha, a proportion of them are sentient (intelligent and can talk)?

 

Edited by Steve

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58 minutes ago, Iskallor said:

I never understood why the animals in Glorantha weren't given their own names in the first place.

The XXXXX, similar to Bison, are the most numerous of the creatures ridden in Prax. 

Then draw some hairy, horned, slightly bovine creature and Bison's your uncle.

It generally creates distinction without difference. You'll end up with things that look like Impala, behave like Impala, but are called Ornarl.

And while that's a perfectly good name in Praxian, it can be confusing for outsiders (like players) to keep track of.

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Simon makes a good point:

3 hours ago, soltakss said:

If they look like our bison, eat like our bison and behave like our bison then why make a distinction?

Because they only look like our bison. Their diet is different due to the nature of the Wasteland's flora. They eat less and are magically sustained to a degree and their breeding cycle is different. I'm considering bison priscus as it seems more fitting to use its look. I just realised the pic I was looking at was missing from the links above:

Bizons-size-738x591.jpg

Herd sizes are also different due to the covenant.

 

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1 hour ago, Steve said:

And like all animals in Glorantha, a proportion of them are sentient (intelligent and can talk)?

Yes, but it's a tiny percentage. Likely the same as the River Folk - less than 1 in a 1000 (River of Cradles page 176). I'm veering towards 1 in 5000.

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3 hours ago, David Scott said:

Yes, but it's a tiny percentage. Likely the same as the River Folk - less than 1 in a 1000 (River of Cradles page 176). I'm veering towards 1 in 5000.

Wait...

I have previously understood "the River Folk" to be the Zola Fel cultures of small tribes (whether living in fixed location or not) of both human and Lutrine (and possibly other?) stock... but all intelligent, and breeding "true," all living on the water (not "at the water's edge" but actually ON / IN the water, and/or caves with water-only access...) .

Your remark (unless I misunderstand) seems to suggest that:  (a) "the River Folk" is specific to the "Lutrai;" (b) there are over 1000:1 otters:Lutrai in the Zola Fel; (c) sometimes otters/Lutrai interbreed, and/or Lutrai are born to "normal" otters.

Are any or all of these "understandings" correct?

 

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 Think we al should understand animals in fantasy games are much different then animals in real life.

 If nothing else they are far more aggressive,e seems to need to eat less( As there seem to be more large carnivore per square mile then could be supported on Terra) and breed faster .

 The fact that Praxian animals can be trained to take a rider shows they are different then Terran Animals as most animals on Terra cannot be trained to do so.

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26 minutes ago, g33k said:

Wait...

I have previously understood "the River Folk" to be the Zola Fel cultures of small tribes (whether living in fixed location or not) of both human and Lutrine (and possibly other?) stock... but all intelligent, and breeding "true," all living on the water (not "at the water's edge" but actually ON / IN the water, and/or caves with water-only access...) .

Your remark (unless I misunderstand) seems to suggest that:  (a) "the River Folk" is specific to the "Lutrai;" (b) there are over 1000:1 otters:Lutrai in the Zola Fel; (c) sometimes otters/Lutrai interbreed, and/or Lutrai are born to "normal" otters.

Are any or all of these "understandings" correct?

 

This reference in RoC is talking specifically about fish that join the Zola Fel cult. 

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4 hours ago, David Scott said:

Simon makes a good point:

Because they only look like our bison. Their diet is different due to the nature of the Wasteland's flora. They eat less and are magically sustained to a degree and their breeding cycle is different. I'm considering bison priscus as it seems more fitting to use its look. I just realised the pic I was looking at was missing from the links above:

Bizons-size-738x591.jpg

Herd sizes are also different due to the covenant.

 

The first one suits Easy Rider Storm Bisons, with reins on the end of the horns.

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7 hours ago, Tindalos said:

 

And while that's a perfectly good name in Praxian, it can be confusing for outsiders (like players) to keep track of.

What, with all the other freaky names in Glorantha? Hardly, but I get your point.

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3 hours ago, Roko Joko said:

One has to admit that Khan of Khans is the definitive visual reference at this point, though.

;)

All my Herdmen are scampering around like dogs as I speak.... :)

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23 hours ago, David Scott said:

Yes, but it's a tiny percentage. Likely the same as the River Folk - less than 1 in a 1000 (River of Cradles page 176). I'm veering towards 1 in 5000.

Indeed, but that's still quite a few intelligent animals out there, no? Some interesting scenario possibilities.

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6 minutes ago, Steve said:

Indeed, but that's still quite a few intelligent animals out there, no? Some interesting scenario possibilities.

Yes and certainly. Almost all become initiates of a spirit society (as per RoC). Cows join Eiritha with a few becoming shaman/priestesses at the Paps. Bulls are slightly different. Most join Waha or Storm Bull (or in the case of the sables, the Hidden Ancestor), with a few becoming khans or shaman  at the Paps.

17 hours ago, Iskallor said:

What, with all the other freaky names in Glorantha? Hardly, but I get your point.

You could always go for the silent g or k in front of their names :-) gsables, kmorokanth, gbison...

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