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Sartarite Tribal Relations


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What are the Sartarite tribal relations like? Like would a Colymar be able to safely walk the roads to the Gray Dog Inn and have a drink unmolested by the Gray Dogs (althought maybe ribbed a little)? Or how about a Lismelder going to Clearwine fort... would the Colymar harrass him short of attacking? I guess if the certain clans have a beef with each other, then it could be hostile. So conversely if not hostile, are other tribes allowed to walk thru another tribes lands? (Maybe yes but their expected to announce themselves?)

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I'd imagine like you suggest it depends on their relationship. If their friendly you'd probably be treated as a guest.

Unfriendly tribes could range from rude abuse to physical assault depending on why they don't like each other.

In a lot of ancient societies crossing into another tribes/clans land was done only with intent and respect or to cause trouble.

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I think that clan relationships may often trump tribal relationships.

There haven't been any inter-tribal wars for the entire reign of the Princes of Sartar. Since the Lunar conquest, there has been the Telmori war, the Cold Wind uprising and the Duck Hunt.

Without such a recent history of intertribal warfare, tribal relationships or clan relationships are influenced by their stance towards the occupation forces. The division in collaborator tribes and rebel tribes that was given in Barbarian Adventures was a gross simplification, though - each tribe, and to some extent probably each clan will have some constituents proposing to cooperate with the occupation forces as far as necessary and/or profitable, and some in fundamental refusal to cooperate.

Feuds are usually pursued between clans, and may extend across tribal borders, but needn't do so. Marriage ties between the host clan and the visitors' clan play a most important role, too. Relationships to third clans in feud with either of these will play a role, too - if the visitors are friendly with a clan in active feud with the host clan, their reception will be quite reserved unless there is an ongoing stronger relation between the two clans.

A traveler should be prepared to know which of his clan's daughters married into the clans in the area. Upon meeting representatives of a clan, it is good to cite blood ties with some of their females (provided these are in good standing with their clan).

Intra-clan politics may invert a relationship bonus or penalty for certain individuals, as will relationships to other clans.

How united are the clans of a given tribe? This may vary greatly. Some clans may have declared or undeclared feuds with other clans inside their own tribe. Others may still be sullen about lack of tribal support in their conflict (whether legal or armed) with another clan.

Shared tribes or shared city confederations may be good for name-dropping of tribal leaders one deems friendly or supportive for one's position. I don't know how much further tribal authority will go.


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29 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I think that clan relationships may often trump tribal relationships.

I'd agree with this at the broad level.  From SKoH we get that the Orlmarth and the Greydogs hate each other, but both were at the Clearwine Earth Temple for the Feast of Beasts.  But the other Colymar and Lismelder clans may be more neutral or even potentially friendly.  We see similar clan relations in the Coming Storm between Cinsina, Dinacoli, and Culbrea clans.

Probably of most note are the War Clans.  The Varmandi (of the Colymar), the Orleving (of the Malani), the Two-Pine (of the Culbrea) are all troublemakers and cause problems for other tribes and are among those more widely hated or feared.

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To paraphrase Hannibal Lecter, while it is in many ways a "blunt little tool" I have always liked the Cult Compatibility Charts from the Rune Quest Companion, Cults of Prax, Cults of Terror etc.  They are great for being able to tell at a glance what relations are like between factions.  They are a good ready reckoner for all political intrigue scenarios and I have imported them into pretty much all my games where factions and politics are important (which is pretty much all of them).  To that end, I have attached a word doc file table that you can use for arranging the relationships between tribes.  The idea being that you can tell at a glance what relations are like and flesh out or update relations as you go, based on historical forces and what your players get up to.

For those who are unfamiliar, (there are often a couple), the table creates a matrix of numbers between 0 (enemy) to 4 (allied) representing how different tribes relate towards each other. The left hand side is the active reading side (as the active arrow indicates), and the top line is passive i.e. the active side indicates the opinion of that tribe, while the passive is there to have the opinion of others about a given tribe described. Note that this is not necessarily a simple mirror image.  It is quite possible for one clan to feel very friendly towards a clan that holds them in low regard, especially if they need something.  For all that there will be very few true enemies, as that is generally the sort of relationship reserved for Chaos and Trolls, and involves a "terminate with extreme prejudice" caveat.  

Note also that this listing doesn't include the Lunar Allied Maboder Tribe, who were annihilated by the Telmori in 1607 and subsequently avenged by the punitive expedition of Jomes Hostralos, the Lunar General later known as Jomes Wulf.  In many ways this was a prelude for Starbrow's Rebellion in 1613, and many Sartarite rebels supported the Telmori. Arguably the Maboder and Telmori probably had a true 0/0 enemy relationship, and the Maboder were wiped out because of it.  Based on this I propose that most relationships are unlikely to be worse than a 1, even for a generational feud, but feel free to argue the point if you disagree.

Note: This table is a base template.  I have not filled in the fields, as I am hoping that other people will put forwards their ideas of what they think the relationships are.  Also, as the relationships can be a bit fluid, you may want to change them.  If you are feeling very enthusiastic you may want to do a year by year political update using the chart.

I hope you find this of some use:

Sartar Tribal Compatibility Chart.docx

Edited by Darius West
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It might be useful to use something like the Cult Compatibilty Chart for the various tribes, to give a matrix of which tribes like/hate the others. In fact, something exactly like the table that Darius West posted, but filled in.


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