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Beyond The Flanaess Contribution Questions

 
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CruelSummerLord
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Joined: Apr 26, 2002
Posts: 333
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:19 pm    Post subject: Beyond The Flanaess Contribution Questions Reply with quote

I've been away from the Flanaess for quite a while now due to other writing projects and various real life issues, and so I missed getting in on the ground floor for this Beyond the Flanaess project. I would, however, like to get in on it, if I may. I've been helping Crag with some of the things he's been producing for the project, and I'm interested in making some contributions of my own. I have a few questions to ask when it comes to contribution...

1) I'm an absolutely terrible artist, and I can't really draw anything properly. One of the reasons my own original Beyond the Flanaess ideas fell through was because I couldn't draw a worthwhile map to complement my writing efforts. How do authors who can't draw translate their cartography ideas to the people who are handling the cartography in the project?

2) How much original content is being putting in? I ask because I've always been interested in seeing how other non-European cultures would look if they were adapted to a traditional D&D world. These would be the pre-colonial societies, mind you-the old African kingdoms, the North American First Nations, the southern Mesoamerican cultures, and so on. To an extent, I like to think of the Flanaess as analogous to North America, in that the indigenous human cultures were largely overrun by the new lighter-skinned arrivals. As far as other parts of the world...

-West of the Flanaess: A west-to-east equivalent of Asia, starting out with the Turkish and Arabic-flavored cultures of the Baklunish West, going into more Chinese, Cambodian, Thai, Indian and Japanese-flavored cultures the further west you went until you reached approximately the mid-point of the map.

-South of the Flanaess: A series of Mesoamerican and African cultures, in Hepmonaland, on the Oerik mainland south of the Flanaess, and eventually onto the northern half of the southern continent. The rest of that southern continent would be akin to Dark Ages-Europe, which was dominated by tribes rather than fully developed countries-the Franks, the Goths, the Gauls, the Vandals, etc., although their technological level would be on par with the rest of the world. Religions in these European-based cultures would be monotheistic, all of whom in fact worship the same deity but don't fully realize that. It would be as if the Christian God and Allah were in fact the same deity worshipped by faiths that have some similar beliefs but otherwise differ markedly in the nuances of their faith.

-East of the Flanaess: Part of this would be pre-colonial Native American societies, which are distantly related to the Flan and are in fact descended from the same people before they were separated during an ancient splitting of the continents. Other parts would be similar to a lot of the broad mythology of the world-Norse, Greek, Japanese, African, whatever you like. Many of the people from here would have migrated from other parts of the world.

3) Are demihumans and humanoids presumed to be spread all around the world as humans are? We've seen how European-based medieval cultures would interact with these races, but I'm interested in seeing how Iroquois First Nations would interact with dwarves, how Great Zimbabwe would interact with halflings, or how gnomes might live in the Aztec Empire. I have a number of ideas I can share, if anyone's interested.

4) Had it been determined exactly how the various human ethnic groups are spread around the world? I'm curious as to how much editing would be necessary to make everybody's widely disparate ideas come together, particularly if they end up contradicting one another.

Jared.
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SirXaris
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Joined: Jul 26, 2010
Posts: 2352
Location: LG Dyvers

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quickly, two things came to mind while reading your post.

First, a question. East of the Flanaess? Do you mean the farthest west one can go on the extended map of Oerik? The part where the comic by that French artist supposedly takes place? (Can't remember, but there's a recent thread about it...)

Second, if you want an early American type of civilization (Iroquois, Aztec, etc.) and you want them to trade and otherwise consort with demi-humans, you'll have to make the demi-human tribes just as technologically lacking or come up with believable explainations as to why the human tribes don't have metal weapons, don't have powerful arcane spellcasters, etc.

SirXaris
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CruelSummerLord
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Joined: Apr 26, 2002
Posts: 333
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SirXaris wrote:

First, a question. East of the Flanaess? Do you mean the farthest west one can go on the extended map of Oerik? The part where the comic by that French artist supposedly takes place? (Can't remember, but there's a recent thread about it...)


Yes, you're exactly right. When I talk about "east of the Flanaess", I do mean the westernmost part of Oerik.

SirXaris wrote:

Second, if you want an early American type of civilization (Iroquois, Aztec, etc.) and you want them to trade and otherwise consort with demi-humans, you'll have to make the demi-human tribes just as technologically lacking or come up with believable explainations as to why the human tribes don't have metal weapons, don't have powerful arcane spellcasters, etc.


No you don't. The European-inspired parts of settings like Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms are not particularly faithful representations of what medieval Europe was really like, so why should they be as faithful in recreating other cultures?

In fact, I think that these cultures DO in fact have metal weapons and arcane spellcasters, resulting from interaction with other nonhuman races. In real life, the Native American cultures entered into trade relations with the European arrivals, giving furs in exchange for guns, knives and other manufactured goods, so why should it be any different for cultures that interact with demihumans?

An Iroquois-inspired human culture, for instance, could trade things like fresh water, vegetables, grain and meat in exchange for metal swords and shields, mead and ale, oil, etc. Similarly, interacting with elves or gnomes could teach such a culture arcane magic, leading it to create its own arcane spells and its own types of spellbooks in order to master magic. Not to mention that they could learn to manufacture their own goods, as well, eventually crafting their own swords or steel arrowheads as necessary.

From there, we can further imagine how these other cultures would adapt to the realities of a D&D world, instead of the realities of our real one. African-inspired cultures who live in sweltering deserts or humid jungles might not be too interested in heavy plate armor, preferring things like gorgon scales or ankheg shells when they want heavier armor similar to plate, but they'd be quite happy to wield more easily-crafted metal swords and shields to fight orcs and goblins on even terms. Wizards in Indian-inspired cultures might rank highly within the social castes of their societies, given that they possess power many of their peers otherwise lack. Gnomes might generally be revered in a Chinese-inspired or Arab-inspired society for their technological prowess at things like woodblock printing, mathematics or astronomy. An Iroquois-inspired human culture might enter into a beneficial relationship with its halfling neighbours, providing military protection from rampaging humanoids in exchange for the halflings providing their unique agricultural skills to grow more grain than the humans might on their own. Every culture that learned arcane magic-and I see no reason why every human culture wouldn't learn this sooner or later-would need to create spellbooks, which would in turn lead them to develop written forms for their languages once they start realizing what they else could do with books besides use them to relearn spells.

Based off that, Oerth would be one of those worlds where large-scale colonialism like what happened in real life would be essentially impossible. Clerics who can cure diseases would have an easier time preventing large-scale outbreaks of disease similar to the kind that decimated the Native Americans, and since every culture learns metalworking or at least obtains metal weapons in trade or from defeated enemies they can all count on a roughly equal level of technology, particularly since firearms don't work on Oerth, which precludes any European-based culture outgunning any African-based one the way it happened in real life.
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Bluebomber4evr
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Joined: Jan 13, 2012
Posts: 116

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suggest you check out the following topics, if you haven't already:

Empire of Lynn, Tharquish Empire, Ishtarland, etc.

Mapping beyond the Flanaess

The Sundered Empire

Erypt

"Nippon", Nippon Dominion, Zindia and Shaofeng
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jamesdglick
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Joined: Jul 09, 2003
Posts: 1156
Location: Clarksville, TN

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BUMP!

Anything more done with this?
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