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Toward a Better Kralorela

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3 minutes ago, albinoboo said:

Your position is that the creative act cannot be valid unless you have the right colour of skin. 

Not at all.

My position is that if you want to create things that reflect those different from yourself, you would do well to involve them in the process, or at the very least get feedback to make sure you're not accidentally being disrespectful.

Is it really a stretch to suggest that If I wanted to write a supplement that is set in Quebec,  that it would likely turn out better if I ran a draft past my friends in Montreal and listened to what they had to say about it?

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2 minutes ago, JonL said:

Not at all.

My position is that if you want to create things that reflect those different from yourself, you would do well to involve them in the process, or at the very least get feedback to make sure you're not accidentally being disrespectful.

Is it really a stretch to suggest that If I wanted to write a supplement that is set in Quebec,  that it would likely turn out better if I ran a draft past my friends in Montreal and listened to what they had to say about it?

No you are still saying that the creative process must be validated by race. That is the point you have made in every single post. You have demanded the right to censor on the basis of skin colour. You have decided that Chaosium writers are racists because they wrote a fantasy with elements of Chinese culture because they are not Chinese. 

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I make no demands.

I have observed how past mistakes have had unintended negative consequences, and suggest common-sense approaches to avoid those same mistakes in the future, and make better games in the doing.

17 minutes ago, albinoboo said:

You have decided that Chaosium writers are racists because they wrote a fantasy with elements of Chinese culture because they are not Chinese. 

I point out that even well-intentioned people who grew up in an environment where Racism is present are likely to unknowingly carry some of that that forward in their work, and that listening to people unlike themselves is the best way to avoid doing that. 

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1 hour ago, Leingod said:

Well, China's Bronze Age lasted longer than it did in the West.

About as long as the Nordic (or indeed Transalpine/trans-Balcans Bronze Age), for much the same reasons (the Carpathian basin wasn't cut off).

 

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Similarly in China, chariots were only phased out in favor of cavalry much later, and they in fact reached their peak of use during the Spring & Autumn Period (~771-476 BC), and the process of phasing them out more or less entirely as military units was only complete somewhere toward the end of the Han Dynasty. As late 119 AD, Chinese generals like Wei Qing were making use of chariots in war even against horse nomads like the Xiongnu (in this case, supposedly by using a ring formation of heavily-armored chariots as a mobile fortress).

The Hussite tactic, repeated by the conestoga trains of the US settlers?

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So while cavalry had certainly supplanted chariots in the leading role (relegating chariots mostly to a support role), the full changeover from chariots to horses wasn't completed until well into the ADs in China.

But that's where the draconic and other fantasy elements enter when we are discussing Kralorela.

Plus the craft aspect of alchemy (and however much practitioners of alchemy may have striven for some philosophical immaterial elixir, their approach was through transsubstantiation of very real substances, with lots of intermediate products, side products and accidents that would prove valuable in practical application).

Not black powder - their Octamonist babadi (dwarf) neighbors didn't have that, either. But lots of other incendiary vileness.

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So, you know, the trajectory of moving on from bronze and chariots to iron/steel and horse cavalry is yet another thing in history that didn't take place all at once and in the same ways and at the same time.

Yes. To me, Bronze Age means early Hallstatt and Nordic Bronze Age, while Fertile Crescent gets an unrelated period of its own that has nothing to do with hill forts, priest kings and sun wagon rites as described by Tacitus and corroborated by finds from the Cimbrian peninsula (where I live).

 

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So it wouldn't beggar belief to me if at least one culture is still using chariots as a major component of their military, and not as a result of backwardness or isolation.

I wouldn't be astonished to see super-heavy crossbows or warded summoning circles mounted on chariot-like vehicles in Kralorela. After all, the Kralori destroyed a dwarf colony in the northern Shan Shan, which means they conquered a lot of (octamonist) dwarf technology without anyone disputing their claim.  I can see them as command platforms, and possibly as mobile infantry force delivery taxis. I don't see them as shock forces, and neither as in-motion archery/crossbow platform. Possibly as delivery vehicle for incendiary jugs to toss on enemy formations.

At the same time, the Kralori have access to draconic creatures, which make at least as good combat platforms. The EWF learned from them...

Edited by Joerg
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12 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The Hussite tactic, repeated by the conestoga trains of the US settlers?

Quote

Wagon forts are an widespread and ancient way of dealing with cavalry. If I recall correctly, Romans used it against Goths, and of course Boers used it against various enemies (who may or may not actually have been mounted).

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13 minutes ago, Joerg said:

the Kralori destroyed a dwarf colony in the northern Shan Shan, which means they conquered a lot of (octamonist) dwarf technology without anyone disputing their claim.

That's intense. I can never remember where the extinct colonies are . . . is this the only one? I'd never put it together before how there are Stone Beings under Taktari living in Walalash as well as Metal Beings under Babadi. Strikes me that one caste complex or the other was wiped out / assimilated and the other became Diamond Mountain. (Heen is almost certainly a totally different problem.)

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The problem with Kralorela isn’t that that Kralorela is confused with historical China. The problem is that is very recognisably Fantasy China, and a pretty Western view of fantasy China at that. Every other Gloranthan culture is less obviously an analogue for a single Earth culture, and has more uniquely Gloranthan elements. 

It is certainly true that we want to avoid a simple too obvious analogy for Pamaltela and other parts of Glorantha that have an obvious, non-European, analogue. But generally the effort has been put in to develop them as unique cultures not directly relatable to a single earth culture. 

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

Which means pants, a style of clothing available in the mesolithic.

who said you can't wear pants as an Orlanthi, this comment just confuses me

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Yeah, it says in the guide's section on Orlanthi clothing that trousers or a skirt are common (36). RuneQuest: Glorantha says they're typically worn in winter (408), but a pair of them (or a skirt) is assumed for all adventurers (64).

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3 hours ago, JonL said:

I make no demands.

I have observed how past mistakes have had unintended negative consequences, and suggest common-sense approaches to avoid those same mistakes in the future, and make better games in the doing.

I point out that even well-intentioned people who grew up in an environment where Racism is present are likely to unknowingly carry some of that that forward in their work, and that listening to people unlike themselves is the best way to avoid doing that. 

You have an overblown sense of your on importance. You not the moral arbiter of the universe and the world does not revolve around you and your  observations. You don't get tell everyone else what they can or cannot create. 

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5 minutes ago, albinoboo said:

You have an overblown sense of your on importance. You not the moral arbiter of the universe and the world does not revolve around you and your  observations. 

I am of no particular consequence. Ironically, the only person trying to center this discussion on me is yourself.

9 minutes ago, albinoboo said:

You don't get tell everyone else what they can or cannot create. 

It is fortunate then that I have done no such thing, but instead pointed out an approach for making richer creations without alienating people.

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In my Kralorela, the dwarves were defeated, but it wasn’t a total genocide - instead, dwarves have become a scattered minority, smaller groups of dwarves living across Kralorela. Some in isolated villages, some in ghettos, some as communities of artisans that move from city to city. Most have become somewhat culturally Kralorized, to varying extents.

it just made no sense to me that defeat meant they disappeared entirely, until we were to assume one of the most brutal pogroms in Gloranthan history. 

There are, of course, communities of Mostali who still hate the Empire, and I’m sure they are listed in the list of Imperial Foes. 

Edited by davecake
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41 minutes ago, JonL said:

I am of no particular consequence. Ironically, the only person trying to center this discussion on me is yourself.

It is fortunate then that I have done no such thing, but instead pointed out an approach for making richer creations without alienating people.

Please tell me what right you have to tell others what to do. You are the person trying to tell Chaosium what to do and accusing them of racism. I'm telling you that you have no right to tell anyone what to do. 

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6 hours ago, albinoboo said:

Please tell me what right you have to tell others what to do. You are the person trying to tell Chaosium what to do and accusing them of racism. I'm telling you that you have no right to tell anyone what to do. 

Since when have Gloranthophiles and fans NOT told Chaosium the stuff they do -- and don't! -- want to see?

I'm not seeing that this topic has crossed over into any new territory in any fundamental way.

Edited by g33k
Not lovin' the mobile interface!

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22 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Handing out trophies on all sides because this thread is basically heroquesting and the process might take us somewhere great depending on how people identify with the material (are "we all" this "us?" can we be? should we be?) and the humility, respect & compassion it entails. 

 

thanks scott-martin, Just discovered this thread and find it quite good!

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The whole thing would probably be more productive If we assume that what's in the Guide is locked in as canon, and focus on how additions could be made at the margins and with new non-contradictory information. It seems exceeingly unlikely that there would be a major re-write at this point.

At least if the target is published material rather than just one's own game.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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32 minutes ago, g33k said:

Since when have Gloranthophiles and fans NOT told Chaosium the stuff the do -- and don't! -- want to see?

I'm not seeing that this topic has crossed over into any new territory in any fundamental way.

You missed this bit then. 

4 hours ago, JonL said:

I point out that even well-intentioned people who grew up in an environment where Racism is present are likely to unknowingly carry some of that that forward in their work, and that listening to people unlike themselves is the best way to avoid doing that. 

An accusation of racism is crossing over the line. The demand that Chaosium runs their creative process on Kralorela past someone of East Asian origin is crossing the line. I'm rather tried of self appointed moral arbiters seeking to draw artificial boundaries. The entirety of human history and pre history is full of technology, customs and religions spreading across the world, to the general benefit of the human race. The demand that everyone to stick to thier culture or be accused of culture appropriation is ahistorical and denies the human creative impulse and desire to explore. 

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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

The tribe is a great but also difficult community, with a lot of creative people who often get hurt when their creative input (subjectively) gets trampled on or plowed under.

 

SO true...

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5 hours ago, albinoboo said:

No you are still saying that the creative process must be validated by race. That is the point you have made in every single post. You have demanded the right to censor on the basis of skin colour. You have decided that Chaosium writers are racists because they wrote a fantasy with elements of Chinese culture because they are not Chinese. 

I read at least two logical fallacies here...

Firstly, confusing "skin colour" with "culture" or history. Secondly, ignoring the effects of cultural racism with active and direct racism. 

Now, as I recall, when the team started writing about shamans, a LOT of time was spent trying to get it right and.not be offensive or disrespectful. How is @JonL saying anything different?

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3 hours ago, davecake said:

The problem with Kralorela isn’t that that Kralorela is confused with historical China. The problem is that is very recognisably Fantasy China, and a pretty Western view of fantasy China at that. Every other Gloranthan culture is less obviously an analogue for a single Earth culture, and has more uniquely Gloranthan elements. 

It is certainly true that we want to avoid a simple too obvious analogy for Pamaltela and other parts of Glorantha that have an obvious, non-European, analogue. But generally the effort has been put in to develop them as unique cultures not directly relatable to a single earth culture. 

Absolutely!!!

I'm sure this has been said (probably many times before), and often forgotten/ignored, but.... Glorantha is a very Euro-centric land. The main materials written so far centre around a Dragon Pass and environs that mimics various European (with some middle eastern influence) earth history.

To the east is the mystical, forbidden Empire of the Drago, where foreigners ate killed on sight, have "mandarins", and mimics some fantasy China (from a European/America perspective, as @davecakewrote above).

Further east and south are apparently analogues of Japan and south east Asia.

On the southern continent are the Pamaltelans... Analogous to sub-Saharan Africa.

To the north is Valind's Glacier, reindeer people, etc.

If, for some reason, they decided to add an Australian aboriginal or Maori type, I'd expect them to show up on an island far off in the south, far to the east of Pamaltela..   just because!

 

Glorantha, being a fantasy world with *every* decision being arbitrary, could have made the world completely different... But didn't. 

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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

Using names indistinguishable from Praxian or Orlanthi names would help? How so?

 

Tolkien did it... You can learn to speak Quenya or Sindarin.

Star Trek did it. And people do speak Klingon. I imagine also Vulcan and Romulan. 

And, of course, Navi from Avatar. 

Do people complain about how easy it is to mix them up? (Probably, but if you're a fan, it's not an issue).

Edited by Shiningbrow
Grrr.... Auto-correct! And a HUGE snip of quote
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1 hour ago, Shiningbrow said:

Tolkien did it... You can learn to speak Quenya or Sindarin.

Ah, good point. So, which Oxford professor with a doctorate in philology shall we ask to spend years crafting entire artificial languages for a fantasy setting to increase its verisimilitude?

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44 minutes ago, Leingod said:

Ah, good point. So, which Oxford professor with a doctorate in philology shall we ask to spend years crafting entire artificial languages for a fantasy setting to increase its verisimilitude?

Tekumel did it first (in terms of RPGs; I know JRRT's original material predates MARB's... but Tekumel's RPG was published before the first Middle Earth RPG).

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1 hour ago, Leingod said:

Ah, good point. So, which Oxford professor with a doctorate in philology shall we ask to spend years crafting entire artificial languages for a fantasy setting to increase its verisimilitude?

Oh, heck, ask me and while yer at it, you can fire those writers and runners who work for Paramount on all the Star Trek Franchises and millions of fan boyz and girlz who help build the series with languages and other thangs... I'll take that gig too!

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37 minutes ago, g33k said:

Tekumel did it first (in terms of RPGs; I know JRRT's original material predates MARB's... but Tekumel's RPG was published before the first Middle Earth RPG).

Ah, so we can instead just hire a professor of South Asian Studies who had a professed lifelong love of language and wrote grammar books and dictionaries for obscure languages like the (extinct as of 2003) Klamath language and also taught Urdu. Seriously, I couldn't even guess how many languages Baker was fluent in.

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