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jeffjerwin

A pretty good take on Sartarites versus Lunars in my book (Britannia)

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11 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Romans are way too monolithic at the time of the conquest of Britannia.

Um, no. For an introduction to the topic, I suggest the two volume Religions of Rome by Beard, North & Price.

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On 1/18/2018 at 1:13 PM, M Helsdon said:

Um, no. For an introduction to the topic, I suggest the two volume Religions of Rome by Beard, North & Price.

:blink:

This is one of the things I love about the RQ/Glorantha community.  Every time someone accuses us of being too pedantic / academic, I can show them stuff like this to prove them wrong!

:D

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On 18/01/2018 at 8:09 AM, Jeff said:

A few reactions. One, Dragon Pass and Peloria are far more culturally interlinked than Britain and Rome ever were. Part of that is distance -the distance from Glamour to Furthest is less than the distance from Marseilles to Trier.

Part of that is trade - Dragon Pass is the link between the Pelorian Heartlands and the rich ports of Kethaela. Think of Dragon Pass as Central Asia during the Silk Road.

Part of that is also history. Dragon Pass has ruled Peloria before the Lunar Empire and Peloria has ruled Dragon Pass before the Lunar Empire. These people know each other and their mythologies have long recognised each other.

Another reaction is wealth, literacy, and social structure. Dragon Pass is not an illiterate and uncivilised backwater. It has two large cities, many smaller cities, and cults of literacy and trade. It is mostly tribal but those tribes are mostly tied to cities - a type of social organisation that was common in the ancient world (if anyone is particularly interested, I recall a chapter on the subject this in The Babylonian World, edited by Gwendolyn Leick.

Rome's conquest of Britains conjures up extremely strong associations in British culture (admittedly less so in America, and very little in France and Germany) - concepts that come with baggage that is often misleading for Glorantha. If it works for you, great. But I tend to avoid it as strongly as I do associating the medieval world with the Gloranthan West. If anything, I imagine the Lunar Provinces and Dragon Pass as being somewhat analogous to Macedon, Thessaly, and the Ionian cities under the Persian Empire. But that analogy has lots of problems as well (but at least it avoids the modern image of British actors and actresses wearing face paint and yelping around Stonehenge in the mist). 

Jeff i now understand you reticence in the roman/celt thing for the lunar/orlanthi situation a little more.  

However it does leave us with an analogory that would be meaningful to very few people, and with few pivots in popular culture. I consider myself of having some interest in ancient history and with a very good understanding of the the culture and situation of the old testament , and I couldn't make practical use the comparison with the Persian empire. 

The lunar Rome illustration still works for a quick introduction to players for me for a number of reasons;

  • It establishes the game in antiquity
  • both are the major powers of the day
  • both are aggressively expansionist
  • both have shown the ability to assimilate surrounding cultures
  • the roman-greek thing and Lunar-Dara Happen thing have similarities
  • both tie the religion and the Empire Together
  • players generally know and understand these facts about the roman empire
  • some common touch points in popular culture

I can see why the British Celtic thing doesn't work well for the reasons you outlined above , but again i find the General Celt/Orlanthi thing does work for a number of reasons some similar.

  • It again establishes the game in antiquity.
  • The celts were varied people with significant variation
  • Tribal people with petty kings
  • Both Celts and Orlanthi have varying technical and social levels
  • Complex loyalties that can work for or against the lunars
  • there is some understanding of these traits with most gamers,
  • again some touch points in  popular culture

so for me comparisons to the Gauls, Iberian, Thraican and alpine celts, work better than british celts 


 

Edited by Jon Hunter
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I have written this elsewhere in an earlier thread, but it's still relevant here.

Beyond the contemporary product art (as well as cherry picking earlier art), I often use Ospry book art from Google Images and show pictures of ancient warriors and civilians to help portray the Gloranthan cultures. 

I use Thracians as the base for Orlanthi culture, then add in another variant from Mycenaean Era to get closer to the way Orlanthi are currently presented.

  • For Esrolians I use Thracians + Minoans
  • For Sartarites I use Thracians + Achaeans
  • For Pavasites I use Thracians + Balearic (plus a bit of Galatians)
  • For more alpine rural Orlanthi I might go Thracian + Dacian

For Darra Happan I use early Persians and Babylonians as a base, then mix things up a bit

  • For traditional Dara Happans I use Achaemenid Era Persians & Assyrians
  • For Sun Domers I use Achaemenids + Spartan Armour
  • For Lunar Imperial Soldiers I use Achaemend + Roman Legionaries approx Punic War era (I guess the Roman flavour is still in my Glorantha to a degree, but the Lunars are much more 'Persian' than I used to portray them). However there are so many colonial conscripts that things get quite varied. I keep the Punic War era Roman armour as the 'uniform', but add in alot from the other culture. 

These analogies are certainly not spot on. They are only visual portrayals, however they do help to present these cultures with a flavour that feels very ancient, and it moves things away from the Imperial Romans vs Britons/Celts portrayal. 

God knows how I'll portray the Malkioni at this stage, but the medieval assumptions are clearly out. I'm tentatively looking at mixing early era Byzantium Empire + Vedic India to see if that hybrid gets me somewhere in the ball park; however this will be pretty much up in the air until a Malkioni source book is published.

I'm looking forward to more artwork in future Gloranthan releases to help me portray these cultures more accurately.

 

Edited by Mankcam

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I wonder whether Hannibal's Hispanic allies would be another good fit for Orlanthi (with the core of the Punic forces possibly another model for Arkat's army or the Carmanians)?

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Yeah the Hispani / Iberians could be a good influence as well, certainly they have some of the right flavour. Maybe they would make good Pavasites perhaps

Edited by Mankcam
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10 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

Jeff i now understand you reticence in the roman/celt thing for the lunar/orlanthi situation a little more.  

However it does leave us with an analogory that would be meaningful to very few people, and with few pivots in popular culture. I consider myself of having some interest in ancient history and with a very good understanding of the the culture and situation of the old testament , and I couldn't make practical use the comparison with the Persian empire. 

The lunar Rome illustration still works for a quick introduction to players for me for a number of reasons;

  • It establishes the game in antiquity
  • both are the major powers of the day
  • both are aggressively expansionist
  • both have shown the ability to assimilate surrounding cultures
  • the roman-greek thing and Lunar-Dara Happen thing have similarities
  • both tie the religion and the Empire Together
  • players generally know and understand these facts about the roman empire
  • some common touch points in popular culture

I can see why the British Celtic thing doesn't work well for the reasons you outlined above , but again i find the General Celt/Orlanthi thing does work for a number of reasons some similar.

  • It again establishes the game in antiquity.
  • The celts were varied people with significant variation
  • Tribal people with petty kings
  • Both Celts and Orlanthi have varying technical and social levels
  • Complex loyalties that can work for or against the lunars
  • there is some understanding of these traits with most gamers,
  • again some touch points in  popular culture

so for me comparisons to the Gauls, Iberian, Thraican and alpine celts, work better than british celts 


 

I'm going to make a broader statement - I'm not a big fan of making strong one-to-one historical analogies for any Gloranthan culture. A mixing point of analogies is great (they're like the Thracians, Homeric Greeks, continental Celts, Iroquois, Macedonians, Mahajanapadi, Bronze Age Near Eastern Anatolia, etc. all mixed together), because its clear that these are just thrown out as sources of inspiration and not as "what they are". Once you reducing that mix, my experience is that it is an inexorable law that people start assuming that the setting is really a pastiche of your reference. So I strongly resist that.

Of course the Roman Empire can be one analogy for the Lunars - it pretty much defines our idea of "ancient empire" (especially since it still has legal and philosophical heirs even today). But by itself it is a very poor model for understanding the Lunar Empire - it is just too different. I tend to draw more from Achaemenid Persia, the Abbasid Caliphate, the Neo-Assyrian Empire, the Bene Gesserit, the Mughals, etc.for understanding the Lunars than I do on the Roman Empire. 

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12 hours ago, Jeff said:

But by itself it is a very poor model for understanding the Lunar Empire - it is just too different. I tend to draw more from Achaemenid Persia, the Abbasid Caliphate, the Neo-Assyrian Empire, the Bene Gesserit, the Mughals, etc.for understanding the Lunars than I do on the Roman Empire. 

+1 for Bene Gesserit. Dune would, I think, be an excellent fit for HeroQuest. Alas I am none too fond of the posthumous books and the license seems to be even more cursed than Middle-earth...

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