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On 5/27/2019 at 4:45 PM, Bill the barbarian said:

This is a real thing?¿? No, seriously?

You brits is crazy!
I want to play!

Or there's the Ottery tar barrel running as well as the Brockworth cheese rolling - like ski jumping but without the snow, and with a cheese.

Edited by Byll
I hadn't noticed the earlier link went to Cooper's Hill too

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The Royal Game of Ur

This looks like a game that could be played, treasured, passed down, consulted as an oracle*. It came from Ur about 3 millennia ago to the British Museum, today. Myself, I am thinking of relocating it to the green lozenge for my game sometime just before the Hero Wars™, about teatime.

ur.jpg.d6b0898ebfde8679fb143c46910faec1.jpg

Picture from an article at Mental Floss  by MARK MANCIN Ihttp://mentalfloss.com/article/62089/11-ancient-board-games

From Wikipedia

The Royal Game of Ur

...also known as the Game of Twenty Squares or simply the Game of Ur, is a two-player strategy race board game that was first played in ancient Mesopotamia during the early third millennium BC. The game was popular across the Middle East among people of all social strata and boards for playing it have been found at locations as far away from Mesopotamia as Crete and Sri Lanka. At the height of its popularity, *the game acquired spiritual significance, and events in the game were believed to reflect a player's future and convey messages from deities or other supernatural beings. The Game of Ur remained popular until late antiquity, when it stopped being played, possibly evolving into, or being displaced by, an early form of backgammon. It was eventually forgotten everywhere except among the Jewish population of the Indian city of Kochi, who continued playing a version of it until the 1950s when they began emigrating to Israel.

The Game of Ur received its name because it was first rediscovered by the English archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley during his excavations of the Royal Cemetery at Ur between 1922 and 1934. Copies of the game have since been found by other archaeologists across the Middle East. The rules of the Game of Ur as it was played in the second century BC have been preserved on a Babylonian clay tablet written by the scribe Itti-Marduk-balāṭu. Based on this tablet and the shape of the gameboard, British Museum curator Irving Finkel reconstructed the basic rules of how the game might have been played. The object of the game is to run the course of the board and bear all one's pieces off before one's opponent. Like modern backgammon, the game combines elements of both strategy and luck.

A graffiti version of the game carved with a sharp object, possibly a dagger, was discovered on one of the human-headed winged bull gate sentinels from the palace of Sargon II (721–705 BC) in the city of Khorsabad.

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Basic Rules to 

The Royal Game of Ur

(from Wikipedia)

Diagram showing board with arrows showing the direction of play
Diagram showing the most likely direction in which the players race to move their pieces off the board, with "safe" spaces shown in blue and "combat" spaces shown in green[16][17]
100px-Royal_Game_of_Ur_movements.svg.png
Less likely, but possible, course in which the players double back over four squares of the middle section, thus making the game longer

The Game of Ur is a race game[14][4][6] and it is probably a direct ancestor of the tables, or backgammon, family of games, which are still played today.[4][18] The Game of Ur is played using two sets of seven checker-like game pieces.[11] One set of pieces are white with five black dots and the other set is black with five white dots.[4][13] The gameboard is composed of two rectangular sets of boxes, one containing three rows of four boxes each and the other containing three rows of two boxes each, joined together by a "narrow bridge" of two boxes.[19] The gameplay involves elements of both luck and strategy.[11] Movements are determined by rolling a set of four-sided, pyramid-shaped dice.[11][13] Two of the four corners of each die are marked and the other two are not, giving each die an equal chance of landing with a marked or unmarked corner facing up.[4][13] The number of marked ends facing upwards after a roll of the dice indicates how many spaces a player may move during that turn.[20] A single game can last up to half an hour[11] and can be very intense.[11]

The object of the game is for a player to move all seven of his or her pieces along the course (two proposed versions of which are shown at right) and off the board before his or her opponent.[21] On all surviving gameboards, the two sides of the board are always identical with each other, indicating that the two sides of the board belong to each player.[13] When a piece is on one of the player's own squares, it is safe from capture,[17] but, when it is on one of the eight squares in the middle of the board, the opponent's pieces may capture it by landing on the same space, sending the piece back off the board so that it must restart the course from the beginning.[17] This means there are six "safe" squares and eight "combat" squares.[17] There can never be more than one piece on a single square at any given time,[22] so having too many pieces on the board at once can impede a player's mobility.[23]

When a player rolls a number using the dice, he or she may choose to move any of his or her pieces on the board or add a new piece to the board if he or she still has pieces that have not entered the game.[21] A player is not required to capture a piece every time he or she has the opportunity.[24] Nonetheless, players are required to move a piece whenever possible, even if it results in an unfavorable outcome.[21] All surviving gameboards have a colored rosette in the middle of the center row.[13][20][19] According to Finkel's reconstruction, if a piece is located on the space with the rosette, it is safe from capture.[20] In order to remove a piece from the board, a player must roll exactly the number of spaces remaining until the end of the course plus one.[21] If the player rolls a number any higher or lower than this number, he or she may not remove the piece from the board.[21]

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In our RQ2 game, when we were at a loss for things to do, we sometimes played "Rich Merchants". Basically we'd dress in fine clothes with big coin bags hanging from our belts and wander down into the rough areas of town, talking loudly about how quaint these places were. When we were attacked by thugs or local hoodlums, we would "reluctantly have to defend ourselves", normally with a mixture of extreme violence and magic. When the Guard or Watch turned up, we would explain very carefully what had happened. Normally, we'd only do this once per town, otherwise the authorities would catch on.

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This is often mentioned as a roman game (ergo the name) a viking game, something  definitely in the iron age of our world, but wikipedia hints of older origins... making me think of a couple of Lunars sitting under an apple tree on a rise. Below them the mass of stinking barbarian slaves...

Not good for spit says the first and moves a piece boldly to the centre of the board. Aye says the second a waste of good skin if ya ask me. He counters moving a piece tentatively on the side of the board... Yelm's Beard, its hot today,, care for some vinegar. Nothing beats the heat like it? No, I want to get home (pushes a piece) to my missus an our orchards, the cider ah the cider, not like the piss these wind worshippers drink... Gotcha now!

 

From our real world FAQ: Wikipedia...

Latrunculi

History

Sources

The game of latrunculi is believed to be a variant of earlier Greek games known variously as Petteia, pessoí, psêphoi, poleis and pente grammaí, to which references are found as early as Homer's time.[1] In Plato's Republic, Socrates' opponents are compared to “bad Petteia players, who are finally cornered and made unable to move.” In the Phaedrus, Plato writes that these games come from Egypt, and a draughts-like game called Seega is known to have been played in ancient Egypt.

In his Onomasticon, the Greek writer Julius Pollux describes Poleis as follows:

The game played with many pieces is a board with spaces disposed among lines: the board is called the “city” and each piece is called a “dog;” the pieces are of two colors, and the art of the game consists in taking a piece of one color by enclosing it between two of the other color.

Among the Romans, the first mention of latrunculi is found in the Roman author Varro (116–27 BC), in the tenth book of his De Lingua Latina (“On the Latin Language”), where he mentions the game in passing, comparing the grid on which it is played to the grid used for presenting declensions.[2] An account of a game of latrunculi is given in the 1st-century AD Laus Pisonis:

When you are weary with the weight of your studies, if perhaps you are pleased not to be inactive but to start games of skill, in a more clever way you vary the moves of your counters on the open board, and wars are fought out by a soldiery of glass, so that at one time a white counter traps blacks, and at another a black traps whites. Yet what counter has not fled from you? What counter gave way when you were its leader? What counter [of yours] though doomed to die has not destroyed its foe? Your battle line joins combat in a thousand ways: that counter, flying from a pursuer, itself makes a capture; another, which stood at a vantage point, comes from a position far retired; this one dares to trust itself to the struggle, and deceives an enemy advancing on its prey; that one risks dangerous traps, and, apparently entrapped itself, counter traps two opponents; this one is advanced to greater things, so that when the formation is broken, it may quickly burst into the columns, and so that, when the rampart is overthrown, it may devastate the closed walls. Meanwhile, however keenly the battle rages with cut-up soldiers, you conquer with a formation that is full, or bereft of only a few soldiers, and each of your hands rattles with its band of captives.[3]

 

These fellows seem to illustrate the game better then anything else so...

Published on Jan 9, 2012
 
 
Roman dice games - how to play Latrunculi. Download more free resources from nationaltrust.org.uk/chedworth-roman-villa/learning/
 
Cheers
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Senet

SenetBoard.jpg.2376c4cb37308bb76faba1edd0f34ba2.jpg

Picture from discoveringegyptdotcom

Today's contribution comes from Egypt of 5,000 or more ago. Seems like a interesting exotic and possibly magical transplant to Dragon Pass. It will be a bit of a journey to get there  though. For that we will give it a bit of a back story.

Hmm, So, where on the lozenge does this fine game originate? Let’s make it a southern nation, dry exotic and foreign in flavour,and old (still existing?) much like our marble’s Egypt coincidentally.  Not knowing Pamatela very well (at all, really) someone else will have to decide the place where the game was first played and its route to the neighbouring cultures (more than likely known only by the LM or their ilk). On the marble according to Wikipedia It traveled as follows:

Quote

Senet also was played by people in neighboring cultures, and it probably came to those places through trade relationships between Egyptians and local peoples.[7] It has been found in the Levant at sites such as Arad[8] and Byblos, as well as in Cyprus.[9] Because of the local practice of making games out of stone, there are more senet games that have been found in Cyprus than have been found in Egypt.[10]

To get to Genertela  will require sailing, and up to the end of the second age this was not a problem, Cursed, the Oceans spend most of the third age impossible to sail. With the the ending of the third age comes a sea change and with it the opening, sailors are returning and bringing their colourful and hieroglyph embellished boxes of Senet to northern ports for the first time this age 

So, ports than. Anywhere sailors gather, I would imagining one could find a game being played, Perhaps in foreigner or hip enclaves in Notchet the game continued to find favour through the years of the Closing as well, Pavis was once a great port, so let’s say it lived on there as well, with the Lunars discovering it during the occupation and have taken it back home (some to the heartlands and provinces, many to Tarsh) after the liberation by Argrath.  Non LM folk will have a common tale of its origin and a place name that will not only be wrong but possibly a bastardization of a real place or not a place at all. The gameplay section of Wikipedia's article (see below) mentions that the rules vary from place to place and considering its travels and centuries of isolation this makes sense for the lozenge as well.

An interesting note from the same Wikipedia article  ties this game to death rune at a later point in its blue marble Egyptian history so incorporating it into the mysteries of Glorantha death cults might not be improbable The article says"

Quote

At least by the time of the New Kingdom in Egypt (15501077 BC), senet was conceived as a representation of the journey of the ka (the vital spark) to the afterlife. This connection is made in the Great Game Text, which appears in a number of papyri, as well as the appearance of markings of religious significance on senet boards themselves. The game is also referred to in chapter XVII of the Book of the Dead.[6]:

any ideas on which cults and how to place it  game context... and to what effect? I welcome any discussion that you feel worth adding. 

Cheers

Bill

 

From Wikipedia:

History

Senet in hieroglyphs
O34
N35
X1

Senet (Sn.t, "passage/gateway")
Maler der Grabkammer der Nefertari 003.jpg
Painting in tomb of Egyptian Queen Nefertari (1295–1255 BC)

Senet is one of the oldest known board games. Fragmentary boards that could be senet have been found in First Dynasty burials in Egypt,[2] c.  3100 BC. A hieroglyph resembling a senet board appears in the tomb of Merknera (33002700 BC).[4] The first unequivocal painting of this ancient game is from the Third Dynasty tomb of Hesy (c. 2686–2613 BC). People are depicted playing senet in a painting in the tomb of Rashepes, as well as from other tombs of the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties (c. 2500 BC).[5] The oldest intact senet boards date to the Middle Kingdom, but graffiti on Fifthand Sixth Dynasty monuments could date as early as the Old Kingdom.[3]

Gameplay

The senet gameboard is a grid of 30 squares, arranged in three rows of ten. A senet board has two sets of pawns (at least five of each). Although details of the original game rules are a subject of some conjecture, senet historians Timothy Kendall and R. C. Bell have made their own reconstructions of the game.[11] These rules are based on snippets of texts that span over a thousand years, over which time gameplay is likely to have changed. Therefore, it is unlikely these rules reflect the actual course of ancient Egyptian gameplay.[7] Their rules have been adopted by sellers of modern senet sets.

In a presentation to the XX Board Games Studies Colloquium at the  University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Espen Aarsethasked if the game Senet could be said to still exist, given that the rules were unknown.[12] In response, Alexander de Voogt of the American Museum of Natural History pointed out that games did not have a fixed set of rules, but rules varied over time and from place to place. Moreover, many players of games, even today, do not play (or sometimes do not even know) the "official rules".

Games historian Eddie Duggan (University of Suffolk) provides a brief resume of ideas related to the ancient Egyptian game of senet (together with an overview of the so-called "Royal Game of Ur") and a version of rules for play in his teaching notes on ancient games.[13]

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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So,  above I call out  a couple of talking points 

1 Which Pameltelan country do you think the game

          a originated from

          b and how did it travel to the sailor's ports who brought it to Genertela

         c what do the masses mistakenly say of its origins

2 The tie in with death mentioned above, I say it is ties with the death rune but did not name cults, mechanics, and effects. I left that open as well

Any comments?

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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I'll add Mancala to the list.  It's a fun game, of uncertain antiquity (at least 1300 years).  It may be much, MUCH older, though -- fist-sized pits in the ground, & seeds or stones, make a good set-up for play.  Not exactly perfect material for the archeological record!

There are a lot of variations... hundreds?  It's a "family" of games, say the scholastics who scholasticize about such things.

It is widely played to this day; including its variations, it's actively played worldwide, and may be the oldest game in continuous play.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mancala

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSJk6CYsf6c

 

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1 minute ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Mancala, eh? Thanks for the links I'll have to check 'em out.

Cheers

Given a background of pits-in-the-ground and seeds for pieces... and a game-play that can trivially be interpreted as sowing the seeds & harvesting... and occasional evidence back an extra 1000-2000 years before the "solid" evidence 1300 years ago...

 

 

There are some wild-eyed speculations that it may date from the early days of agriculture itself, over 10000 BCE.

 

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12 minutes ago, g33k said:

Given a background of pits-in-the-ground and seeds for pieces... and a game-play that can trivially be interpreted as sowing the seeds & harvesting... and occasional evidence back an extra 1000-2000 years before the "solid" evidence 1300 years ago...

 

So the game I played to pass time in the '70s as a teen is a direct descendent of early agriculture teaching games. Did you note the resemblance of Mancala to Backgammon,? Same can be said of Senet,

Oh I see! The cones in Senet are grain silos (I had recognized that when watching the video) and the spindles (hourglasses/near fertility symbols really) are grain sheaths and as much as they tie to with death in Egypt that would also tie in  to its opposite (fertility)  in Glorantha. 

Neat trick! 

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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If there is anything that roleplayers should take from this thread, it's that board games (or similar games not requiring an actual board) have been incredibly widespread throughout history, even among poor people, and especially fine sets have been status symbols - so feel free to incorporate these as natural and commonplace social activities to pass the time or just good fun pretty much everywhere.

This is more medieval, but still pretty plausible: the Tafl family of games.

They're perhaps best described as a kind of asymmetric chess or checkers. I have a set home that I bought at the Jorvik Viking Museum in York. It's a reconstruction, so probably not 100% historically correct, but hey, that's how it goes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tafl_games


 

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So I'll just add this little bit... 

Much as I love me some good ol' antiquarian games, and real-world references/inspirations for Gloranthan cultures/etc...   I'm underwhelmed by directly-lifted verbatim copies.

 

That said, I think I see a way to render Senet into a VERY Orlanthi-flavored game, and will think a bit about how to tweak the rules...

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Oh, lest we not forget:  draughts/checkers is another game believed to be descended from a very ancient game (or games)... Plato alleging it came from Egypt! (according to that font of perfect wisdom*, Wikipedia).

 

 

 

 

* At leas, that's what Eurmal teaches.

 

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2 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

f there is anything that roleplayers should take from this thread, it's that board games (or similar games not requiring an actual board) have been incredibly widespread throughout history, even among poor people, and especially fine sets have been status symbols - so feel free to incorporate these as natural and commonplace social activities to pass the time or just good fun pretty much everywhere.

Ah, man can not live by bread alone,

Understood, and as much fun as I have had researching games we could use some other stuff here.Me, I have told all the public domain jokes I can think of, Got a whack more but....

Alas the culinary thread did not end up here (just as well, it took off and needed a whole thread)  and I am currently seeking permission from the copyright holders for some awesome filk tunes (folk songs that have been repurposed, usually for LARPing). No excuses...

But this gives the excuse to say have a look at the OP and bring your jokes pigs in pokes and songs down and fill this here place up.

Until then
cheers

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45 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

... and I am currently seeking permission from the copyright holders for some awesome filk tunes ...

If they are posted online anywhere (anywhere (c)-legal, not pirated) then you can at least LINK to them here!   😎

 

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One thing that's stuck with me from King of Dragon Pass for my portrayal of Orlanthi pastimes is kite-flying games and competitions, like this one:

Quote

The shepherds of your clan are invited to participate in a fighting kite festival.  They stamp the borders between the clan in a way that expresses Orlanth's battling, stormy nature through friendly competition.  The festival takes place over several days.  The competitors use sharp edges on their kites to try to cut the strings of the other kiters.  The clan that wins the most matches is thought to have the favor of Orlanth.

I think there's even a line somewhere that a kite-fight was how Orlanth convinced Kolat to join the Storm Tribe.

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1 hour ago, Leingod said:
Quote

The shepherds of your clan are invited to participate in a fighting kite festival.  They stamp the borders between the clan in a way that expresses Orlanth's battling, stormy nature through friendly competition.  The festival takes place over several days.  The competitors use sharp edges on their kites to try to cut the strings of the other kiters.  The clan that wins the most matches is thought to have the favor of Orlanth.

 

Awesome, that should be quite colourful, any images to go with this?

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4 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

 

Awesome, that should be quite colourful, any images to go with this?

Just the one from the event itself, but yeah, it seems to run the gamut from pretty basic designs to stuff like what you see in the foreground here.

latest?cb=20130314020308

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3 minutes ago, Leingod said:

Just the one from the event itself, but yeah, it seems to run the gamut from pretty basic designs to stuff like what you see in the foreground here.

 

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about!

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Oh, and there's also a tidbit from a loot table in the Runequest: Glorantha Quickstart adventure that describes a board game that apparently dates from the time of the EWF:

Quote

A rotten leather bag containing almost a dozen small pieces of colored minerals, each about the size of a finger-tip, carved figures of men, women, children, and dragonnewts, with some smaller rounded tokens. A successful Empire of Wyrm’s Friends Lore roll identifies this as a popular children’s boardgame. The board was a piece of cloth, now rotted away. A critical success lets the adventurer remember the rules. The set is worth about 200 L to a collector, maybe 50 L for the value of the stones.

Given that you can "remember" the rules I assume it's still played in the Third Age. I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't some reference I'm not getting (I never really played a lot of board games growing up).

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8 hours ago, Leingod said:

Just the one from the event itself, but yeah, it seems to run the gamut from pretty basic designs to stuff like what you see in the foreground here.

latest?cb=20130314020308

Does this mean Orlanthi can make... paper?

Or are there other similar materials that make for lightweight bearing? Can you make parchment thin enough to let a kite take off?

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13 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Does this mean Orlanthi can make... paper?

Or are there other similar materials that make for lightweight bearing? Can you make parchment thin enough to let a kite take off?

Kites were popular and important throughout the Polynesian diaspora, as far-off as New Zealand; these were made with cloth rather than paper. In Tahiti, they even used them to help propel their rafts.

http://islandheritage.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/RNJ_12_2_Henry.pdf

Just look up "Polynesian kites" and you can see some of the designs:

20100415-wubbo-ockelsvliegers-om-energie

Edited by Leingod
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8 hours ago, Leingod said:

Just the one from the event itself, but yeah, it seems to run the gamut from pretty basic designs to stuff like what you see in the foreground here.

latest?cb=20130314020308

I just knew I had to see that. Gorgeous! Any idea about the purple kite and does it have meaning or representation other than to be scary?

Cheers

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