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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:44 pm  
    cultures of Greyhawk

    is there a site, source, compendium, file done on what real world cultures some of the lands in greyhawk are based on? i admit knowing the thillonrian peninsula is rw scandinavia, furyondy is most likely medieval france, perrenland is medieval switzerland, the lands past ket are arabic in nature, shieldlanders are either teutonic or templar in nature, the rovers sound like apaches and the nomad tribes are close to the mongols. I believe the yoemanry is akin to saxon england. but are there goth states? lands of picts? alans, avars, rus, scythians, vandals, outremer, tartars, woad, scots, celtic etc? if not what does everyone think applies to certain lands? thanks in advance.
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:55 am  

    You'll find this site is rife with discussions of which cultures are represented in the Flanaess - including more than a few 'debates' about who's right or wrong on the subject. I suspect the consensus - if you can call it that - is that no Earth culture is truly represented anywhere on Oerth, even though Earth cultures do inspire various aspects of Oerth cultures. In other words, while Furyondy might be inspired by medieval France, there are lots of ways in which it does not resemble that country. Likewise for Oerth's various other cultures. This is especially true for the Flan, as there are strong opinions as to whether they resemble Native Americans, Celts, some combination of the two, or something else entirely.

    Personally, I think the Flan should be modelled after stereotypical 1950s-style California surfers - but that's just me. Cool
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    Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:19 am  

    Yay bubbagump, I can just picture it an Ur-flan summons up some demon or contacts other plane and says "whoa dude". Shocked

    Sry couldnt resist.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:32 pm  

    Bissel to me always struck me as Balkan in flavor, as they were at the gateway to Europe/the Flannaess. Ket, liekwise struck me as more Turkish than Arab, while the Bakluni states were somewhere in the Persian/Arab spehere.
    The Great Kingdom definetly had echoes of a decaying Holy Roman Empire (something for which there was not a precedent in the Middle Ages, that would have to wait for a short Corsican). Nyrond might be seen as a version of that Empire in its Prime. Tenh always struck me as somewhat like Wales, while the Pale as Spain during the Inquisition or England under Cromwell. Greyhawk and the other free cities reminded me of the Italian City States, focused on trade, and jockying for position.

    As to the Sheldomar Valley, I found the Gran March to be along th elines of the Teutonic Knights. The Ulek States where more fantastic, so they are hard to categorize, while The Geoff and Sterrich could easily be any Alpine state (Czechoslovakia, Romania). Keoland is probably the hardest to figure. It is very inward looking, which reminds me of 18th century Spain or even pre-revolutionary China. As for the Sea Princes, they kind of reflect the idealized "pirate havens" of Madagascar in the 17th/18th century.

    Again, these are just how these felt to me.
    GreySage

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    Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:57 am  

    tarelton wrote:
    Ket, likewise struck me as more Turkish than Arab, while the Bakluni states were somewhere in the Persian/Arab sphere.


    All interesting takes, to be sure. I've never given quite that much thought to categorizing each of the Flanaess states individually, it seems that I'll have to start doing so. Evil Grin

    Its true that the Arabs and Turks are much influenced by their common predecessor, the Persians. But the Arabs are no more Persian than the Turks. Both came from the same source, but developed along slightly different paths. I've always thought of the Baklunish states as more Persian than anything else, but perhaps a slight differentiation between the "modern" states is necessary; One as Persian, one as Arab, another is Turkish, etc.

    I need to examine each one in a little more detail, then post my thoughts here. Wink
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    GreySage

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    Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:12 am  

    Nothing fits exactly, but here are some quick ideas:

    Furyondy = Burgundy (France)
    Veluna = Genoa (Italy)
    Keoland = England
    Geoff = Wales
    Sterich = Scotland
    Onnwal = Cornwall
    Perrenland = Switzerland
    Rovers of the Barrens = Cossacks
    Tiger Barbarians = Mongols
    Wolf Barbarians = Mongols
    Ket = Turkey
    Zeif = Iran
    Ekbir = Iraq
    Ull = Afghanistan
    Plains of the Paynims = Arabia
    GreySage

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    Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:57 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    Nothing fits exactly, but here are some quick ideas:


    I like your overall take here, but in truth Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan are all modern nations and are all shaped by Islamic influences. Confused

    I like going just a little further back. After all:

    Iraq was Babylon/Babylonia.

    Iran and Afghanistan were Persia.

    Modern day Turkey derived from the Assyrians, the Hittites, ancient Troy and the Romans, to name a few. The Ottoman Empire maintained a Persian type flavor about it, but was very strongly influenced by Islam.

    I prefer to "think" in those terms, rather than associate the nations of the Flannaess with any modern day counterparts here in our real world. I just like to "look" a little bit further back in time for my influences.

    Are any of the "modern" Flannaess nations of Baklunish origin militant enough to compare to Islam? Eschewing all other gods, even of their own pantheon?
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:43 am  

    Interesting take Rasgon, I think that you would have to add a date to the European/Asian nations in order to clarify.
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:38 am  

    Far be it from me to argue; rasgon Wink

    I have always considered the Rovers of the Barrens Native American influenced similar to the great plains tribes like the sioux, cheyenne with some apache stealth thrown in the mix rather then cossack.
    GreySage

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    Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:57 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    I like your overall take here, but in truth Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan are all modern nations and are all shaped by Islamic influences.


    Why, yes. And you'll note that all the European nations I referenced were shaped by Christian influences (I said France, not Gaul, for example). It'd be very strange if it were okay to take inspiration from medieval Europe in building Greyhawk, but taboo to take inspiration from western Asia in the same era. Gary Gygax was pretty obviously influenced by Islam when designing the countries in question. That's why Beygraf Zoltan of Ket was named "shield of the True Faith" - the intent is something like monotheistic zealotry despite the polytheistic trappings of the society, rather than the different relationship between, say, Babylon and its patron Marduk, in which Marduk was held up as the greatest of the gods but the faith wasn't substantially different from that of most of its neighbors, who worshiped similar gods in similar ways.

    The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer made the Muslim influence much more explicit, describing Ekbir as the historical seat of a caliphate founded by Al'Akbar, and Zeif is the larger, older empire that once included it.

    I'm aware that Iran and Iraq are modern nations derived from the British division of the Ottoman Empire, but the names are convenient to describe the regions I mean. Iraq is where Baghdad is, the seat of the Muslim caliphate which Fred Weining was specifically mimicking in the LGG.

    But then, it was Gary Gygax that decided Ekbir was a caliphate. Caliph is, of course, a specifically Muslim title referring to the successors of Mohammad. Fred made the parallels more explicit (making Al'Akbar basically a Mohammad stand-in), but he was very much following Gygax's lead.

    I'm not sure if "Sultan" was ever used by Persian rulers, however. While Persia under, say, the Ayyubid dynasty is what what I was thinking of for Zeif, Gary Gygax might actually have been thinking of something more like Egypt under the reign of the Sultan Saladin.

    The leader of the Rovers is an ataman, which is a Cossack title. Of course there's some Plains Indians inspiration too, especially post-Gygax.

    I'll make a correction to the above, though. The leader of the Wolf Nomads is the "Tarkhan," which probably points toward the Khazars.
    GreySage

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    Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:56 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    And you'll note that all the European nations I referenced were shaped by Christian influences (I said France, not Gaul, for example). It'd be very strange if it were okay to take inspiration from medieval Europe in building Greyhawk, but taboo to take inspiration from western Asia in the same era . . . While Persia under, say, the Ayyubid dynasty is what what I was thinking of for Zeif


    Duly noted. However, I was not thinking along those lines -- i.e. "Christian influences." I have no objections to including all cultures in Greyhawk.

    I wasn't thinking "Christianity" for the simple reason that Christianity is monotheistic, and most especially during the medieval time period being referenced here. The nations of the Flannaess are not by any means monotheistic.

    You will undoubtedly recall the Inquisition, which took place everywhere, not just in Spain -- though it was probably worse there than anywhere else. Other religions were actively wiped out and by governmental authority -- which was "in bed" with the Church.

    I think only The Pale can be compared to that. So I think that the Flannaess might be influenced by medieval Europe's overall lifestyle, but not its religion.

    And I do use "western Asia" as I've eluded to, just not the same time period that others here do.

    Interestingly, the Gauls adopted much of Roman culture and technology, while keeping their individual identity. So I think I might prefer them to a more modern "France," though I heartily agree that Furyondy has more of a "Three Musketeers" feel, than it does a Gaelic one. Laughing Laughing

    But I really do like the way you think, Rasgon. Keep feeding me those ideas. I'm flexibly! Happy
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    GreySage

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    Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:03 pm  

    I actually see the Suel religions as more similar to Roman Empire polytheism, the Flan religions as more similar to Celtic druidic faiths, and the Oeridian religions as being more broadly Christian in tone, in a Crystal Dragon Jesus sort of way. Not just the Pale by any means. The default paladin and cleric classes, for example, are clearly based on Christian tropes (the perfect Christian knight and the militant crusader priest who uses a mace to avoid shedding blood, respectively). The Canon of Veluna and Holy Censor of Medegia strike me as, more or less, popes. Several of the big Oeridian-inspired churches in the Flanaess seem to be Catholic parallels in the way they have hierarchies of bishops and so on.

    And similarly, I think Zoroastrianism is a good model for some aspects of Baklunish religions, and even Buddhism, not just Islam. I don't really see any good opportunities for Babylonian, Sumerian, or ancient Egyptian parallels in those countries, though.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:28 pm  

    Mystic Scholar Wrote:
    Quote:
    Its true that the Arabs and Turks are much influenced by their common predecessor, the Persians.


    I'd be careful claiming that the turks and arabs had a common predecessor... sounds like a good way to start a fight with either group. As I understand, the turks were originally from central Asia, whereas the Arabs have been in the near East since one can remember.

    Overall though, I find this an exciting conversation.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:47 am  

    This is an interesting post. Thanks guys for the insights!

    I also think of the Suel as based on the Romans, in terms of their decadence and lust for power as well as their religion. They too are a bygone power.

    Very interesting read, thanks again!
    GreySage

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    Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:31 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    Not just the Pale by any means.


    When I made the comparison with The Pale, I was referring to its fanaticism.

    rasgon wrote:
    The default paladin and cleric classes . . . The Canon of Veluna and Holy Censor of Medegia strike me as, more or less, popes. Several of the big Oeridian-inspired churches in the Flanaess seem to be Catholic parallels in the way they have hierarchies of bishops and so on.


    There are certainly parallels of Roman Catholic Christianity to be found throughout the religions of the Flannaess, as well as Greek Orthodoxy. But the Canon of Veluna doesn't try to physically suppress the other faiths of his pantheon. Or does he?

    I'm not that "up" on the Censor of Medegia, so I can't comment. But I'm happy to take your word for it.

    Babylon and Egypt might well be represented outside of the Flannaess however; Kingdom of Erypt maybe? Shocked Laughing

    Well . . . maybe. Wink

    Tarelton wrote:

    Quote:
    I'd be careful claiming that the turks and arabs had a common predecessor... sounds like a good way to start a fight with either group.


    I'm not trying to start any fights here, they do that well enough on their own. They're both Muslim nations. And the Shia and the Sunni have been killing each other for centuries and for no other reason than an argument over who's supposed to be Mohammad's heir.

    I was referring to their "lifestyles," architecture, et al; Ali Babba and the Forty Thieves, Sinbad, etc. The Persians overthrew Babylon and ruled for a longer period, thus having a greater influence on the conquered peoples. I won't mention the Eastern Roman Empire at Constantinople, a.k.a. Istanbul. But that's all I meant. Cool

    Warlock wrote:

    Quote:
    This is an interesting post. Thanks guys for the insights!


    Happy to entertain! Happy Laughing Laughing Laughing
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    GreySage

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    Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:38 am  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:

    There are certainly parallels of Roman Catholic Christianity to be found throughout the religions of the Flannaess, as well as Greek Orthodoxy. But the Canon of Veluna doesn't try to physically suppress the other faiths of his pantheon. Or does he?


    I don't think so. Hopefully there's more to Catholicism than that.
    GreySage

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    Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:56 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    Hopefully there's more to Catholicism than that.


    Laughing Laughing Laughing

    Undoubtedly! Happy

    I was just wondering -- in speaking of Islam and Catholicism in regards to Oerth -- if there were any faiths/nations in the Flannaess that manifested such monotheistic fanaticism? Confused

    Though I see similarities of these faiths throughout, I don't see this aspect anywhere except in The Pale. And, of course, in The Pale other faiths are merely suppressed, as Pholtus is seen as the most important member of the pantheon, not the only god of it.

    Or am I reading that wrong? Confused
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    Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:01 pm  

    Greetings one and All
    I am a long time Greyhawk fan, so having read this site many times, I thought I might contribute to this discussion.

    Being a keen wargamer as well as roleplayer, my group has tried to allocate certain cultures to the Greyhawk World and this is what we have come up with (using FoG miniture army lists/rules):-

    Barbarians
    Frost - Post Viking Scandinavian (ties with Ratik)
    Snow & Ice - Viking

    Stonefist - Medieval Irish
    Ratik - Later Medieval Swedish
    Bone March - Monsters
    Knurl - Late Medieval Danish
    Great Kingdom of Northern Aerdy - French Ordonnance
    United Kingdoms of Ahlissa - Santa Hermandad Nueva Castillian
    Idee - Medieval Castillian

    City of Rel Atra - Medieval Aragon
    Sea Barons - Later Sicilian

    Sunndi - Medieval Portugese
    Irongate - Dwarvish
    Onwal - Navarrese

    Nyrond - War of Roses English
    Urnst County - Burgundian Ordonnance
    Urnst Duchy - Medieval Burgundian (less well developed than County)
    Pale - 100 yrs War English
    Tehn - Later Polish (Winged Hussars)

    Furyondy - LAter Medieval German
    Shield Lands - Later Teutonic Knights
    Veluna - Later Medieval Feudal German
    Verbonoc - Medieval German City League
    Perrenland - Swiss
    Celene - Elvish
    Highfolk - Elvish
    Greyhawk - Medieval German City League (Hamburg, Port City)
    Pomarj - Orcs
    Iuz - Monsters

    Keoland - Condotta Italian
    Bissel - Medieval Cypriot
    Geoff - Medieval Welsh
    Gran MArch - Early Teutonic Order
    Ulek - Condotta Italian (close links to Keo)
    Sterich - Communal Italian
    Yeomanry - Later Low Countries
    Sea Princes - Latin Greece

    Zeif - Later Ottoman Turks
    Ekbir - Later Byzantine
    Tusmit - Early Ottoman Turks
    Ket - Post Latin Conquest Byzantine (a mixing pot of cultures)
    Ull - Seljuk Turks
    Wold & Tiger Nomads - Tartar
    Rovers - A problem, we have still not decided

    Enjoy

    Avalon AB
    GreySage

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    Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:12 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:

    I was just wondering -- in speaking of Islam and Catholicism in regards to Oerth -- if there were any faiths/nations in the Flannaess that manifested such monotheistic fanaticism?


    The people of the Pale are monolatrous; they don't deny other deities exist, but the worship of gods other than Pholtus are suppressed.

    This isn't entirely unique in the Flanaess. Iuz does the same thing. The worship of Hextor in the old Great Kingdom was in a similar vein, although they also made room for the false god of wealth, Baalzy (actually the pit fiend Baalzephon).

    And of course you don't have to be monotheistic or monolatrous to be a fanatic. The Scarlet Brotherhood is polytheistic, but it views its own gods as superior just as much as the ruling Palites view Pholtus as the only god fit to worship.

    But mostly, when I say that D&D clerics and religious orders are influenced by Christianity, I don't mean to say that they're monotheistic or monolatrous. I mean that elements of their church structure and iconography are influenced by that of the dominant religion of medieval Europe. There are cathedrals dedicated to Pelor and Rao, St. Cuthbert's star-symbol looks suspiciously like a cross at times, and the various churches have bishops, canons, prelates, and other ranks that historically were the ranks of Christian priests. And saints.
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    Sat Oct 30, 2010 6:11 am  
    cultures of Greyhawk

    This has caused some consternation for me trying to attribute real world cultures to Greyhawk regions. Mostly I am doing this so I can reflect idiosyncrasies amongst the different peoples/regions (manner of dress, social structure etc.). While not 100% complate this is my current line of thought:

    Bissel- Balkan/Germanic mix
    Gran March- Norman
    Geoff- semi-Welsh
    Sterich- Scottish
    Yeomanry- Saxon England
    Keoland- Med. England

    Perrenland- Med. Swiss
    Veluna- Carolingian
    Furyondy- Med. France
    Shield Lands- Teutonic

    Frost- Danish/Rus mix
    Snow- Viking
    Ice- Viking
    Stonehold- Slav/Cossack

    Tiger- Mongol/Hun mix
    Wolf- leaning more towards Khazar/Tartar mix
    Rovers- Plains indians/Avar/Alan mix

    Paymins- arab nomad
    Zeif- mamluk Egypt
    Ekbir- Arab/Syrian
    Tusmit- Persian
    Ket- Turk
    Ull- undecided

    I still want to have a region based on the Goth tribes. I need to dwell on the other regions some more.
    GreySage

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    Sat Oct 30, 2010 6:29 am  
    Re: cultures of Greyhawk

    qwerty1971 wrote:
    This has caused some consternation for me trying to attribute real world cultures to Greyhawk regions. Mostly I am doing this so I can reflect idiosyncrasies amongst the different peoples/regions (manner of dress, social structure etc.)


    Entirely proper, qwerty1971. Happy

    There's not really any "consternation" here, mostly folks are just pointing out that comparisons made with our real world nationalities are not canonical. So, looking for such comparisons in any of the printed material is a waste of time. Sad

    All that can be offered here is opinion. And, as you know, opinions are many and varied, thus the various and multiple opinions and suggestions offered and expressed here. Evil Grin

    We all just hope that what we offer, in our back and forth, can be of use to you in your game. If so, mission accomplished! Cool Happy
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    Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:00 am  
    cultures of Greyhawk

    The discussion amongst the community is exactly what I wanted to spark thought lines and such. My ulterior motive is to write a gazetteer for portions of Oerth/Flaneass not already covered (Ivid, Iuz, Marklands, SB) that interest me and I believe I will start on the Thillonrian Peninsula. This helps me shape relations and flesh out customs.
    GreySage

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    Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:03 am  
    Re: cultures of Greyhawk

    qwerty1971 wrote:
    I believe I will start on the Thillonrian Peninsula.


    Will you start your work and/or history with Slerotin's Tunnel and the Houses of Pursuit? Happy
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    Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:23 am  
    cultures of Greyhawk

    about 15 years ago i came across a version of the flight of the suel due to the conflict with the baklunnish empire that i liked. it started in 5059 SD and talked about 8 clan families passing through crystalmist mountains into the flanaess. the story told of how the 8 families splintered off with one journeying to the amedio jungle, 2 peacefully settling in parts of the eastern flanaess, 2 fighting 3 lesser clans and losing then being banished, one to the thilvanot peninsula and one going far northwest (Blackmoor i presumed). the remaining 3 lesser clans were harried to the thillonrian peninsula where they drew lots for land. that is how the barbarian states were made. what that product did not have was the empire of vatun. I took liberties with the product and made a warrior called Rhiza who lead those 8 tribes east, and a warrior named thillonr who lead the three lesser tribes to the northeast. i will research to see if there is new canon material i can either use/incorporate into what i already have.
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    Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:05 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    But the Canon of Veluna doesn't try to physically suppress the other faiths of his pantheon. Or does he?


    I think Veluna is probably a less religiously-tolerant society than often imagined. Reading through the Dungeon #41 adventure, "Hopeful Dawn," one can find quite a few examples of harsh rhetoric.

    For example, in the Raoan faith, Dark Night is known as the Night of Hopeful Judgment, a night in which “Rao shall cleanse the world” by consigning “the unholy to an eternity of suffering.”

    Also, the Velunese legal system calls for punishments such as facial branding for thievery and imprisonment for blasphemy, and poor farmers who don't pay the required church taxes might end up dying in prison, even if their excuse is that the harvest was bad (again, see "Hopeful Dawn").
    GreySage

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    Sun Oct 31, 2010 3:00 pm  

    Wow! Shocked

    Thanks Rob! I'd say that's slightly Inquisition/Islamic style treatment. Evil Grin

    Good information in Dungeon #41! Happy

    I guess we can leave "merciful" out of Rao's title. Laughing
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    Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:18 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    Nothing fits exactly...


    -Agreed.

    If the geography fits, the ethnicity or language looks funny, or if the culture and political system fits, then the climate is off, etc. Even if that fits, its neighbors won't fit in with the meme. I do not normally spend too much time trying to get precise equivalents, especially not in the way Avalon has, since I think it requires too many compromises.

    But here is how I see them, with these caveats:

    1) I DM CY 578;

    2) Regarless of the analogy, the technology is usually of our AD 1445, with magic and fantasy thrown in.

    I'll start off with the fact that no one came up with a Ratik analogy. Besides the common sources, there is Dragon 57, which had an article on Ratik.

    I figure Ratik as a cross between:

    1) The Anglo-Scottish Border 13-18th century i.e.,a northern land which is a little on the wild side, but no Barbarians. I think it works, particularly on the military side. Besides, "Volunteer Borderers" sort of sticks out; Laughing

    2) Arthurian i.e. 5-6th century Britain during a time of relative peace and unity, i.e., the Great Kingdom is gone, and they are now on their own. This would be particularly true for the mostly Oeridian upper class, although like the post-Roman British, they've wiped the hands of the decadent empire- it is the idea of what the Empire once was that they hang on to...

    3) Finland 1917-1940 i.e., the scrappy little country with the big, mean, stupid neighbor. Throw in mass conscription;

    4) Israel 1950s ditto, with the conscription of women, sometime during the Greyhawk Wars or before- I have not gone there yet.

    The Living Greyhawk Ratik seemed to give the Dwarvish tribes Hawaiian names.

    Sure. Why not?

    BTW, Avalon makes reference to the Burgundian Ordinannance (for Urnst). The military organization in Dragon 57 seems to make Ratik's army such- 10 x Infantry Companies of 225 men each, and 4 x Volunteer Borderer Companies of 225 men each. I do not think this makes Ratik = Burgundy in 1476, only that Archbaron Lexnol is trying to be trendy. The Burgundian companies were also mixed infantry and cav', but...

    FWIW, the rest...

    rasgon wrote:
    ...Gary Gygax was pretty obviously influenced by Islam when designing the countries in question. That's why Beygraf Zoltan of Ket was named "shield of the True Faith" ...The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer made the Muslim influence much more explicit, describing Ekbir as the historical seat of a caliphate founded by Al'Akbar, and Zeif is the larger, older empire that once included it...


    -Most of Western Greyhawk is an obvious Islamic World equivalent.

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    ...I wasn't thinking "Christianity" for the simple reason that Christianity is monotheistic, and most especially during the medieval time period being referenced here. The nations of the Flannaess are not by any means monotheistic...


    -I agree with Rasgon. Obviously not a literal Christianity or Islam (although Pholtus in the Pale comes close to monotheism, as Rasgon pointed out).

    tarelton wrote:
    ...while the Bakluni states were somewhere in the Persian/Arab spehere.


    ...or Turk or Berber.

    rasgon wrote:

    Ket = Turkey


    tarelton wrote:
    Ket, liekwise struck me as more Turkish than Arab...


    -"Beygraf" is a combination of Turkish "Bey" and German "Graf". Islamic/Ottoman Balkan rather than Christian Balkan.

    AvalonAB wrote:

    Zeif - Later Ottoman Turks
    Ekbir - Later Byzantine
    Tusmit - Early Ottoman Turks
    Ket - Post Latin Conquest Byzantine (a mixing pot of cultures)
    Ull - Seljuk Turks
    Wold & Tiger Nomads - Tartar


    ...and...

    rasgon wrote:

    Tiger Barbarians = Mongols
    Wolf Barbarians = Mongols
    Zeif = Iran
    Ekbir = Iraq
    Ull = Afghanistan
    Plains of the Paynims = Arabia


    -Zeif's "Sultan" is Turkish, Ekbir's "Caliph" is Arab-Islamic, Tusmit's "Pasha" is Turkish, Ull's "Orakhon" is a derivative of the Mongol "Khan". The southern Paynims also use "Khan" (like the Tiger and Wolf Nomads), while the northern and western Paynims use "Amir/Emir" (Arab = Prince) or Shah (Persian).

    Of course, the culture doesn't have to slavishly follow the histrorical language, although Ekbir as the Baghdad of the 1001 Nights sounds good. Afghanistan uses Persian and (more rarely)Mongol titles (and names), depending on the group. I t think The Plains would be a mix between North Africa (including Berbers), the Arabian desert (Beduoin), and Central Asia. Again, for most, I am not looking for a tight fit.

    rasgon wrote:
    The leader of the Wolf Nomads is the "Tarkhan," which probably points toward the Khazars.


    -"Khan" is Mongol, or sometimes Central Asian-Turkic, title e.g. Jinghiz Khan.

    tarelton wrote:
    Bissel to me always struck me as Balkan in flavor, as they were at the gateway to Europe/the Flannaess...


    -Agreed. Christian Balkan rather than Islamic Balkan...

    AvalonAB wrote:
    Bissel - Medieval Cypriot


    -I kept it largely as a generic medieval Euro' place on the frontline of the Islamic world. But as a flat, landlocked area, either the northern Balkans or Spain [Castile/Leon] might be a better fit than Cyprus, which is heavily shaped by a sea-going way of life...

    tarelton wrote:
    ...while The Geoff and Sterrich could easily be any Alpine state (Czechoslovakia, Romania)...


    ...or...

    rasgon wrote:

    Geoff = Wales
    Sterich = Scotland


    ...or...

    AvalonAB wrote:

    Geoff - Medieval Welsh
    Sterich - Communal Italian


    -I think Geoff was intended to be Wales with a bit of Faerie mixed in. It certainly looks that way in Living Greyhawk. Strerrich is harder. I considered Scotland, but I was never hung up on it.

    tarelton wrote:
    ...Keoland is probably the hardest to figure. It is very inward looking, which reminds me of 18th century Spain or even pre-revolutionary China...


    ...and...

    rasgon wrote:

    ...Keoland = England


    -I ignore the the fact that the names end in "-os", and use it as a cross between medieval England (without the longbow) and 18-19th century America. The Neheli parts (North Eastern) work as a decaying New England (or old England), while the Rhola parts have an iron-fisted Plantagenet feel. Most of the west could pass for the American south or midwest. In "The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh" (U1), Seaton is described as "small south coast English fishing village of the 14th century."

    I once converted a Boot Hill scenario from Dragon, "The Taming of Brimstone", and set it in the Good Hills about a days travel from Flen.

    AvalonAB wrote:
    Gran MArch - Early Teutonic Order


    ...or...

    tarelton wrote:
    ...As to the Sheldomar Valley, I found the Gran March to be along th elines of the Teutonic Knights...


    -At first, but then it shifted. A mounted 19th century Prussia without the stereotypes? Of course, what fun is it without the stereotypes? For Gran March circa 578, I leave it somewhat generic, except the for the mounted conscripts, which would have to have some sort of impact on their attitude. Maybe a little bit of Israel? Anyway, don't pick a fight with a guy just because he's a shopkeeper...

    AvalonAB wrote:
    Ulek - Condotta Italian (close links to Keo)


    ...or...

    tarelton wrote:
    ...The Ulek States where more fantastic, so they are hard to categorize...


    -According to Fate of Istsus, Junre had a definite Victorian/Edwardian England feel to it. I accept it.

    AvalonAB wrote:
    Yeomanry - Later Low Countries


    -I have to say that I thought that the Yeomanry has one of the few direct and obvious parallels- an idealized Merry Ole England of the late Tudor reign.

    Except set in a land locked sub-tropical place... Laughing

    AvalonAB wrote:
    Sea Princes - Latin Greece


    ...and...

    tarelton wrote:
    ...As for the Sea Princes, they kind of reflect the idealized "pirate havens" of Madagascar in the 17th/18th century...


    -I always had it figured for the 17-19th century South, which coincidentally were pirate havens for a while, but my focus was more on the slave plantations and the "filibusterers" going to the Amedio.

    rasgon wrote:

    Furyondy = Burgundy (France)
    Veluna = Genoa (Italy)...


    ...or...

    AvalonAB wrote:

    Furyondy - LAter Medieval German
    Veluna - Later Medieval Feudal German
    Verbonoc - Medieval German City League


    -I had Furyondy and Veluna pegged as generic medieval, with Furyondy as the somewhat strong monarchy, and Veluna as the benign theocracy.

    The Velunnese image (other than Rao/St. C/Heironeous) seems to be that of the silly, light-weight foppish nobleman. 18th century France, Spain, or England?

    Based on Hommlet and Nulb (which are admittedly the southern fringe), I had Verbobonc as a cross between 18-19th century America and medieval north west Europe.

    rasgon wrote:

    Perrenland = Switzerland


    ...and...

    AvalonAB wrote:
    Perrenland - Swiss


    -Yeah, I thought that was another slam dunk- 15-early 19th century Switzerland. But considering the heavy Flann component, very dark Swiss...

    I think Perrenland came from the original Blackmoor campaign when it was wargame based, so I will bet that Mr. Perren played the Swiss.

    tarelton wrote:
    ...Greyhawk and the other free cities reminded me of the Italian City States...


    ...and...

    AvalonAB wrote:
    Greyhawk - Medieval German City League (Hamburg, Port City)


    -Greyhawk is more like a corrupt American city 1920s-1950s shifted to a fantasy medieval setting...

    No one covered the Bandit Kingdoms! Surprised

    On the same page as above, Stoink is a corrupt American city. Boss "Dhaely" is the hint. Wink

    I'll get to the rest later...


    Last edited by jamesdglick on Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:56 pm; edited 4 times in total
    GreySage

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    Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:24 pm  

    Dang James! Shocked

    That's what I call "catching up!" Laughing Laughing Laughing

    Nice work. Wink
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    GreySage

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    Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:39 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:

    rasgon wrote:
    The leader of the Wolf Nomads is the "Tarkhan," which probably points toward the Khazars.


    -"Khan" is Mongol, or sometimes Central Asian-Turkic, title e.g. Jinghiz Khan.


    Yes, but the title "tarkhan" isn't etymologically related to "khan" (at least, according to Wikipedia). The similarity is a coincidence.

    I take back what I said about it pointing toward the Khazars, though. Probably not, actually.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Posts: 1240
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    Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:30 am  

    ...continuing the compare & contrast of the Flaneass with real world socieites.

    Again, the following caveats in place:

    1) My campaign is CY 578-79;

    2) The technology for all of them is usually around the mid-15th century, with magic and fantasy thrown in. When I say the Greyhawk is like a corrupt early-mid twentieth century American city, I don't mean they have Thompson SMGs...

    rasgon wrote:
    Nothing fits exactly...


    ...I think EGG may have planned it that way, although there were exceptions.

    AvalonAB wrote:
    Ratik - Later Medieval Swedish


    -Sorry, I missed that from Avalon.

    BTW, when I make Ratik partly an Arthurian 5-6th century Britain:

    jamesdglick wrote:

    ...Arthurian i.e. 5-6th century Britain during a time of relative peace and unity, i.e., the Great Kingdom is gone, and they are now on their own. This would be particularly true for the mostly Oeridian upper class, although like the post-Roman British, they've wiped the hands of the decadent empire- it is the idea of what the Empire once was that they hang on to...


    ...I mean a combination of the real thing, plus the Arthur of myth and legend. I don't think the best comparisons to real world history are neccessarily "real" world.

    I'll back up a little to include qwerty, et al:

    qwerty1971 wrote:

    Paymins- arab nomad
    Zeif- mamluk Egypt
    Ekbir- Arab/Syrian
    Tusmit- Persian
    Ket- Turk
    Ull- undecided


    -Anyway, I might argue the details of which Flaneass culture supposedly equals which real culture, but I think everyone buys the Bakluni = Islamic World thing, even though the Baklunish religion is not very Islamic. However, if you consider Al'Akbar (the Greatest) on his own, it's close enough for me.

    rasgon wrote:
    Yes, but the title "tarkhan" isn't etymologically related to "khan" (at least, according to Wikipedia). The similarity is a coincidence...


    -Are you sure?

    I punched in "Tarkhan", and got this for the title:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarkhan

    "Tarkhan... is an ancient Central Asian title used by various Indo-European (i.e. Iranian and Tokharian) and Altaic (i.e. Turkic and Mongolian) peoples, especially in the medieval era, and prominent among the successors of the Mongol Empire...
    The origin of the word is not known. Various historians identify the word as either Iranian (most likely East Iranian Sogdian or Scythian), Turkic, or Mongolian."

    ...although I did find this for a people:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarkhan_(Punjab)

    "The Tarkhan... are considered a Punjabi tribe in Pakistani Punjab while a caste in Indian Punjab. They are carpenters (ṭhokā) by occupation..."

    ...I'll go with the first definition.

    qwerty1971 wrote:

    Tiger- Mongol/Hun mix
    Wolf- leaning more towards Khazar/Tartar mix


    -Again, we can argue over exactly which Central Asian/Great Steepe culture equals which group in the Flaneass, but everyone seems to buy off on the basic concept-- I haven't seen anyone claim that the Wolf Nomads are just like the Romans. Happy

    qwerty1971 wrote:

    Bissel- Balkan/Germanic mix


    -Agreed. The alternative might be Spain, but I think the south-eastern Holy Roman Empire/Austro-Hungarian Empire is closer.

    qwerty1971 wrote:

    Gran March- Norman
    Geoff- semi-Welsh
    Sterich- Scottish
    Yeomanry- Saxon England
    Keoland- Med. England


    -Hmmm... The Normans in Wales is a good fit I hadn't considered. But the Knights in Gran March originallly had a religious orientation, like the Teutonic knights, but that's minor. But the Teutonic knights aren't a perfect fit, either. It could be another combination i.e., Gran March = Normans in Wales + Teutonic Knights in Prussia. When I need more detail on Gran March again, I'll consider it.

    Most people go with the Geoff = Wales, Sterrich = Scotland (Lowland?) analogy (sorry, Tarelton!).

    I still think the Yeomanry is a slam dunk for Merry Ole England (mostly Tudor).

    I'll go with the Keoland = England + Colonial & 18-19th century America thing. BTW, when I posted this:

    jamesdglick wrote:
    The Neheli parts (NE) work as a decaying New England (or old England), while the Rhola parts have an iron-fisted Plantagenet feel. Most of the west could pass for the south or midwest...


    ...I meant that the Neheli parts were in the northeast of Keoland, not Neutral Evil. Laughing By "south" and "midwest", I meant that western Keoland could pass for those parts of America, including "cowboy" like horse and cattle herders. Just in case anyone was paying attention. Razz

    qwerty1971 wrote:

    Perrenland- Med. Swiss


    -Yeah, that seems to be unanimous.

    qwerty1971 wrote:

    Veluna- Carolingian
    Furyondy- Med. France
    Shield Lands- Teutonic


    -Again, I'm not stuck on a specific analogy for any of these, except that they feel northern European, although Veluna's system does seem like the Carolingian dioscean system.

    Robbastard wrote:

    I think Veluna is probably a less religiously-tolerant society than often imagined. Reading through the Dungeon #41 adventure, "Hopeful Dawn," one can find quite a few examples of harsh rhetoric.

    For example, in the Raoan faith, Dark Night is known as the Night of Hopeful Judgment, a night in which “Rao shall cleanse the world” by consigning “the unholy to an eternity of suffering.”

    Also, the Velunese legal system calls for punishments such as facial branding for thievery and imprisonment for blasphemy, and poor farmers who don't pay the required church taxes might end up dying in prison, even if their excuse is that the harvest was bad (again, see "Hopeful Dawn").


    -I don't have Dungeon 41, and haven't read it, but it seems right.

    1) Harsh rhetoric against who?

    2) If Rao cleanses the world, what is he supposed to do with the "unholy"? Put them in his personal bodyguard? Laughing

    ...I'll continue when I get the chance...
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:46 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    ...continuing the compare & contrast of the Flaneass with real world socieites.

    Robbastard wrote:

    I think Veluna is probably a less religiously-tolerant society than often imagined. Reading through the Dungeon #41 adventure, "Hopeful Dawn," one can find quite a few examples of harsh rhetoric.

    For example, in the Raoan faith, Dark Night is known as the Night of Hopeful Judgment, a night in which “Rao shall cleanse the world” by consigning “the unholy to an eternity of suffering.”

    Also, the Velunese legal system calls for punishments such as facial branding for thievery and imprisonment for blasphemy, and poor farmers who don't pay the required church taxes might end up dying in prison, even if their excuse is that the harvest was bad (again, see "Hopeful Dawn").


    -I don't have Dungeon 41, and haven't read it, but it seems right.

    1) Harsh rhetoric against who?

    2) If Rao cleanses the world, what is he supposed to do with the "unholy"? Put them in his personal bodyguard? Laughing

    ...I'll continue when I get the chance...


    The harsh rhetoric is directed against "pagans" and followers of "false gods". Even if the worshipers of Rao are normally rational and peaceful the occurrence of The Night of Hopeful Judgement in conjunction with the fervent preaching of less than tolerant members of the priesthood could result in a temporary temporary religious craze with an atmosphere of ugliness toward "pagans". I wouldn't think it's representative of how things normally are in Veluna City. The harsh rhetoric is less telling to me than the punishments handed out by the canon courts. Again though, our concepts of morality are butting up against medieval concepts of morality. To me, branding thieves and imprisoning blasphemers doesn't really go against what I would consider normal for an enlightened medieval society. Imprisonment for being unable to pay tithe taxes seems pretty harsh to us, but you can't undervalue the weight of such obligations in a medieval society. To a god of reason the farmer may have failed in his obligation to set aside his harvest from better years to offset bad harvests in lean years. Still, I take the religious fluff in this adventure with a grain of salt since there is also a Hextoran group that tried to overthrow the Censor of Medegia because as a god of disorder (the author's characterization), Hextor was annoyed by the order within Medegian society. If it were just the group interpreting Hextoran dogma that way I'd have no problem with it, but the author states that Hextor was actually annoyed. Confused
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:27 pm  

    ...and now into new territory:

    AvalonAB wrote:
    Highfolk - Elvish


    -There's more to Highfolk than the Elves...

    I think of Highfolk and the Vesve as having a "Last of the Mohicans" French & Indian War feel to it, with the Humanoids & Iuz's guys filling in for the Algonquins & French Canadians.

    AvalonAB wrote:

    Iuz - Monsters

    [/quote]

    ...but Iuz and the Horned Society? Either one could pass for either of the WWII totalitarian dictatorships, but since we know...

    Spoiler Alert for anyone still in 578

    ...that it's the Horned Society which loses...

    End of Spoiler Alert

    ...I think of the HS as being more like the Third Reich, and Iuz's Empire as more like the USSR. Besides, the only thing more dangerous than being Stalin's worst enemy was being Stalin's best friend, which sort of fits in with the whole Iuz's Court think (see Gord). But Giulian Mortidus does come off la bit like a North Korean Commissar, doesn't she?

    Another obvious analogy no one mentioned, maybe because it's so obvious:

    Rhennee = Gypsies with Riverboats.

    Of course, there is that one group of Rhenee who travel on lands in wagons, making them:

    Rhenee with Wagons = Gypsies!

    Is anyone going to argue with that?

    AvalonAB wrote:
    Urnst Duchy - Medieval Burgundian (less well developed than County)...Urnst County - Burgundian Ordonnance...


    -Militarily, the County's army was heavy on the Heavy, according to the "Greyhawk Wars" cards. The Ordinnance of 1473 (?) would fit. But any generic european medieval would fit overall, I think.

    But am I the only one who thinks of the pre-"Fate of Istus" Karll as a Richard the Lion-Heart type? (making allowances for the Duke being a ranger, etc).

    AvalonAB wrote:

    Nyrond - War of Roses English

    [/quote]

    ...and...

    tarelton wrote:
    ...Nyrond might be seen as a version of that Empire in its Prime...


    -Nyrond I always saw a "generic" medieval Western European.

    AvalonAB wrote:
    Pale - 100 yrs War English


    ...and...

    tarelton wrote:
    ...while the Pale as Spain during the Inquisition or England under Cromwell...


    -Or Puritan New England. It has a pseudo-Christian tilt to it. That comes thru in EGGs Gord book.

    AvalonAB wrote:
    Tehn - Later Polish (Winged Hussars)


    ...and...

    tarelton wrote:
    ...Tenh always struck me as somewhat like Wales...


    -I figure it as Inka/Armenian. "From the Ashes" describes the runners who were sent to warn Calbut before the Stonefister attack. Sounds like the Inka messenger system. The Armenian is to make it a little more western. But I'm not picky. Laughing

    Crag wrote:
    ...I have always considered the Rovers of the Barrens Native American influenced similar to the great plains tribes like the sioux, cheyenne with some apache stealth thrown in the mix rather then cossack.


    -Bingo. Northern Plains Indians is how I use see them. They even look and sound right, as far as names go (Kishwa Dog Teeth?). Even the War Dog warrior societies are like the Plains Indians.

    AvalonAB wrote:

    Stonefist - Medieval Irish

    [/quote]

    ...and...

    rasgon wrote:

    Rovers of the Barrens = Cossacks


    The "Fist" organization (5 x 25 man "fingers", plus a 75-150 man "palm") sounds more organized than anything the indians normally did, and the medieval Irish generally had companies of 100 (minus some spots for the Captain's compensation). Of course, the classic cossacks used 100 man "Sotnias".

    Anyway, I'd call the Stonefisters "cartoon" cossacks, anyway.

    The Rite of Battle Fitness rings a bell, but I can't remember what it is, or whether it was a real world analogy or a fictional one.

    Any ideas?
    GreySage

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    Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:37 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    -Are you sure?

    I punched in "Tarkhan", and got this for the title:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarkhan


    Pretty sure. If you scroll down that article, you can read:

    "What is certain is that Tarkhan is not related to the Altaic royal title Khan/Khaqan."

    The northern Flanaess in general has quite a lot of Russian influence. Including, I'd argue, Iuz (though it's more of a fantasy Mordor) and the Horned Society.

    As for the Tenha, I made them a civilized high fantasy culture with Plains Indian, Aztec, and Inca influences, but note that their duke's name is Hebrew, and Gygax identified the Flan with Ethiopians.

    I see Nyrond and Aerdy as being like the two fragments of the ancient Roman Empire, with Nyrond something like the early Holy Roman Empire while Aerdy is more like Byzantium.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:58 pm  

    I always pictured the eastern Great Kingdom more akin to a Holy Roman Empire, if it had been effective. I view the North Kingdom/Province as having strong Prussian overtones, while the South Province/Ahlissa has a more Hapsburg/Austrian feel.

    Similarly, at the GK's greatest extent, I think the Carolingian Empire provides a better analogy than does the Roman Empire, given the fact that the Flanaess as a whole has a more medieval European than ancient Mediterranean feel.
    GreySage

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    Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:39 pm  

    Well, it does in the present day.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:05 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    Well, it does in the present day.


    True. But even even in the past as well. The Kingdom of Aerdy emerged from a tribal society of barbarians, more akin to the Franks than the Romans. The GK was also never much of a maritime power, unlike Rome. Note that I'm not saying the Carolingian Empire is a perfect fit, only a better one.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:08 pm  

    Robbastard wrote:
    Similarly, at the GK's greatest extent, I think the Carolingian Empire provides a better analogy than does the Roman Empire...


    Good. I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Smile
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:33 am  
    What about Scarlet Brotherhood?

    The Scarlet Brotherhood I imagined the Spanish Inquisition mixed with occult Nazism, with all the pomp and the regalia, sailing in Spanish armadas, and a little bit of the movie Beastmaster populated with deranged bond Villains who know karate.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:39 pm  

    rasgon wrote:

    Pretty sure. If you scroll down that article, you can read:
    "What is certain is that Tarkhan is not related to the Altaic royal title Khan/Khaqan."


    -Ah! I got it.

    FWIW, my original point was that "Tarkhan" is Central Asian (Turk or Mongol), rather than Arab Persian.

    rasgon wrote:
    ...The northern Flanaess in general has quite a lot of Russian influence...


    -Yeah, I can see the "old Russia" in Iuz and Stonefist.

    qwerty1971 wrote:

    Stonehold- Slav/Cossack

    Frost- Danish/Rus mix
    Snow- Viking
    Ice- Viking


    ...and...

    AvalonAB wrote:
    Barbarians
    Frost - Post Viking Scandinavian (ties with Ratik)
    Snow & Ice - Viking


    ...and...

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:

    There's not really any "consternation" here, mostly folks are just pointing out that comparisons made with our real world nationalities are not canonical. So, looking for such comparisons in any of the printed material is a waste of time...


    -I think I have an exception to this. When EGG introduced the Barbarian class in Dragon magazine (issue 60s or 70s, IIRC), he specifically said that the Cold Barbarians and Stonefist were like the Viking and Slavic barbarians (presumably the Coldies are Viking, the Stonefisters Slavic). At that time, I think EGG was still canonical. I don't have my stuff with me, but I'm sure someone can find it. Smile

    I'm not that worried about exact (e.g., Frost = Denamrk) comparisons, although the result would be natural.

    BTW, I think the Cold Barbarians = Vikings comparison is one of the few everyone seems to agree with so far; Perrenland = Switzerland being the other. I haven't seen anyone disagree with my Rhenee = Roma (Gypsies), either.

    rasgon wrote:
    ... Including, I'd argue, Iuz (though it's more of a fantasy Mordor) and the Horned Society...


    -Yeah, although Iuz is sort of a sorry Sauron. Razz

    I still like my Nazi/Soviet vs. Soviet (Russia?)/Nazi analogy.

    Ah! The north! I almost forgot Blackmoor.

    Based on the original campaign, I'd say Blackmoor = Scotland (both Lowland & Highland) at various periods of time. IIRC, the guys in the swamps were even called "Picts". And Tusking Strand even has some Norse-like settlers, like the Northern and Western Isles 9-11th century.

    rasgon wrote:
    ...As for the Tenha, I made them a civilized high fantasy culture with Plains Indian, Aztec, and Inca influences, but note that their duke's name is Hebrew, and Gygax identified the Flan with Ethiopians...


    -Yeah, that's what I meant when I posted few things fit exactly, and that EGG may have done that intentionally; one of the examples I pointed out is that the Perrenlanders are a slam dunk for the Swiss, but considering the Flann component, they'd be mighty dark Swiss...

    I remember a thread where someone mentioned EGG's Flann = Hamite, at least as far as appearance goes. I don't think he meant it to extend to culture.

    FWIW, EGG was explicit in the WOG Glossography that Bakluni does NOT = Oriental, in terms of appearnce (too many green eyes?).

    rasgon wrote:

    ...I see Nyrond and Aerdy as being like the two fragments of the ancient Roman Empire, with Nyrond something like the early Holy Roman Empire while Aerdy is more like Byzantium.


    Politically/Socially, I see a little bit of the HRE in Nyrond, but I wouln't overdo it, thus "generic European".

    tarelton wrote:
    ...The Great Kingdom definetly had echoes of a decaying Holy Roman Empire...


    ...and...

    Robbastard wrote:

    But even even in the past as well. The Kingdom of Aerdy emerged from a tribal society of barbarians, more akin to the Franks than the Romans. The GK was also never much of a maritime power, unlike Rome...


    -Yeah, but the HRE never quite had the "mad emperor" thing going on. I see the Great Kingdom as a combination of both a decaying "Mad Emperor" Rome AND a decaying HRE (18th century?). I'd even throw in the Persian Empire. I think most of the analogies of WOG to real societies are "mixes," and there are a lot of duplicates.

    AvalonAB wrote:


    Great Kingdom of Northern Aerdy - French Ordonnance

    United Kingdoms of Ahlissa - Santa Hermandad Nueva Castillian[/quote]

    ...and...

    Robbastard wrote:

    I view the North Kingdom/Province as having strong Prussian overtones, while the South Province/Ahlissa has a more Hapsburg/Austrian feel...


    -I think the South Province was meant to be pseudo-Germanic (despite the Oriental Dragon on the Coat of Arms).

    I assume that a North Province = Prussia analogy is based on the Hextor cult? I still don't see it, as far as "feel" goes. North Province is a large political entity with a less than mediocre army, while the Prussians were a tiny kingdom with a better than average army (even in 1806). The "feel" is off.

    warlock wrote:
    ...I also think of the Suel as based on the Romans, in terms of their decadence and lust for power as well as their religion. They too are a bygone power...


    -Agreed. The Great Kingdom is the Oeridian equivalent of the Suel Imperium- the once great power for Good fallen to Evil and decadence.

    More later...
    GreySage

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    Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:16 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    FWIW, EGG was explicit in the WOG Glossography that Bakluni does NOT = Oriental, in terms of appearnce (too many green eyes?).


    Well, in the same sense that the Flan, Suel, and Oeridians don't parallel any real-world ethnic groups exactly. All of them are deliberately a little off, so that they're clearly fantasy races.
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    Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:35 pm  

    rasgon wrote:

    Well, in the same sense that the Flan, Suel, and Oeridians don't parallel any real-world ethnic groups exactly. All of them are deliberately a little off, so that they're clearly fantasy races.


    -Yeah, but it gets forgotten- the Suel always get the "Nordic" tag, even though thy're supposed to have curly or kinky hair. I think someone mentioned that when it come to art, although the picture of Wee Jas in the Dragon had her with curled hair, it looked like styled. Razz The other Suel dieties had straight or wavy hair, IIRC.

    In EGG's 2nd Gord book, the monk Gord captures from the SB has curly blonde hair.

    I'll get to the SB eventually. Wink

    Doh! I was looking thru' the WOG books. It was North Province which had the Oriental Dragon on the coat of arms, not South Province. I don't think they're eastern, either...

    I forgot to mention the Bright Desert as another place capable of supporting plenty of North African/Arabian/Central Asian type cultures.

    AvalonAB wrote:

    Bone March - Monsters

    Knurl - Late Medieval Danish[/quote]

    -Keeping my previous analogies for Ratik in mind, I think of the Bone March as sort of the Scottish Highlands or the Barbarian Conspiracy- or at least as they appeared to their enemies.

    According to Dragon 62 (?) and Unearthed Arcana (AD&D1), it looks the patron deity of the Death Moon tribe would be Shargraas, while the Vile Rune's would be Luthic.

    As for Knurl, I could see any generic European Dark Ages/Medieval culture (or mix thereof), but maybe I'd pick something more land-locked than Denmark. Of course, none of the comparisons are perfect (see my Yeomanry = Merry Old Tudor England set in the tropics...). But Knurl should have the desperate feel of "civilized outpost holding off barbarism" feel too it (at least in CY 578).

    AvalonAB wrote:

    City of Rel Atra - Medieval Aragon


    -I think Aragon was too rural, but other than "generic medieval European city", I don't have a better analogy. But Drax strikes me as a 15-16th century Italian Renaissance Prince and/or an 18th centrury Enlightened Despot.

    AvalonAB wrote:

    Sea Barons - Later Sicilian


    -I thought of the Sea Barons as being like Elizabethan sea dogs. But I can see a little bit of the Siclilian there, only a little more organized.

    I think Medegia was supposed to be the Hextorian equivalent of the Vatican/Papal States, which sort of fits in with the Great Kingdom = HRE analogy.
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    Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:29 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    I forgot to mention the Bright Desert as another place capable of supporting plenty of North African/Arabian/Central Asian type cultures.


    Well seeing as one of the tribes in the western hills of the Bright are described as being a lot like the Tuareg I would say that is a good analogy.
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    Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:11 pm  

    Normally I find myself annoyed with those cultures being analogous with Bright Desert cultures, but the Tuareg are kind of anomalous anyway so that works pretty well for me.
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    Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:25 am  

    The Tuareg have a very interesting culture. Unfortunately they are having a pretty rough time coping with the modern world right now.
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    Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:01 pm  

    AvalonAB wrote:

    Onwal - Navarrese

    [/quote]

    ...and...

    rasgon wrote:

    Onnwal = Cornwall


    -Onwall I can see as Cornwall geographically and topographically, and Navarre topographically, but not so much culturally.

    AvalonAB wrote:

    Irongate - Dwarvish


    -More Human (OS, IIRC) than Dwarvish. The city sort of strikes me as an Italian Renaissance city, but the portage system to Northanchor reminds me of the Corinthian system designed to go around the Peloponnesus. Plus ther slingers from the hills has an Ancient Greek feel. Perhaps a cross of the two...

    I don't know how many "Cobb Darg is a Red Dragon/Gold Dragon/Greyhawk Dragon/Avatar/Half-Dwarf/whatever". If he were any of those things, you'd think that one of the Flaneass' intelligence services would have figured it out by now.

    I think the most original thing to make him ca CY 578 would be a 3rd Level Expert with high INT, WIS, CHA, and plenty of points in Bluff, Diplomacy, and Sense Motive.

    illustr8or wrote:
    The Scarlet Brotherhood I imagined the Spanish Inquisition mixed with occult Nazism, with all the pomp and the regalia, sailing in Spanish armadas, and a little bit of the movie Beastmaster populated with deranged bond Villains who know karate.


    -Based on it's location on a peninnsula in the south, and the time it was written (70s), they probably had a combination of Fourth Reich wannabes in South America mixed with South Africa, at least in CY 576. I think Fate of Istus threw in Sparta, and you get a hint of that in Scarlet Brotherhood, too, but with monks substituting for hoplites.

    But the look could be 16th century Spain, although the "Armadas" would be the Mediterranean type with galleys rather than galleons, I think.

    Sort of hard to know what to make of the native hordes, tho'.
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    Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:30 pm  
    Khan nationals

    Just thought I would pop in and give my take on one - maybe two - tidbits.


    My first true love of GH cultures are the Rhennee. They are, as pointed out earlier, clearly gypsies. Let's keep in mind, however, that IRL history merely inspires the fantasy of our GH games. As Bubbagump once said in a discussion on Rhennee and their classes ...
    bubbagump wrote:
    After all, the Rhennee were inspired by the fictionalized, stereotypical kind of gypsies rather than the real, historical ones.
    There's a lot of this type of culture in various gaming settings , such as the Vistani of Ravenloft. Many other settings have more generic gypsies as well.
    But, ours are River Gypsies. In my game, I use the appearance and many cultural flavors of European Gypsies, but there's another culture that I would like to point out as a great resource: the real-world people called the Moken (or Mogen) of Myanmar. There are many resources on the ‘net for them; just Google it – especially National Geographic. They are called the Sea Gypsies and are very close in theme to the Rhenee. They don’t look Rhenee, but their life and culture is very similar. They are made to travel by an ancient curse, they do not have a priestly group of people – though they are somewhat animistic, they are exploited and harassed, i.e., stopped to pay extra taxes, prohibited from trading areas, jailed for lacking fishing permits, but are driven away by illegal fishermen, they are insular and keep to themselves… and interestingly, the Gypsies only believed in a purely cosmic, universal, non-anthropomorphic (not person shaped) power or force. They called it the “Del”. And the other peoples of their nations view them as thieves, malingerers, and worse. But in the end, if one crosses the Sea Gypsies' seaborne culture with the traditional European Gypsies they'd have what I believe to be a very close approximation of the Rhenfolk.

    The other culture I want to mention are the "mongol" tribes of the Wolf and Tiger Nomads: I happen to oddly be a bit of an amateur history buff when it comes to Genghis Khan, and the Nomads are one of my favorite regional groups. There's a lot of source material to draw from, but even before that there are some interesting correlations ...

      *Temujin (Genghis Khan's personal name) was raised from a tribe that was believed in their mythology to have descended from a basically divine creature - a Blue Wolf. Obviously, thus Wolf Nomads.
      *The Tiger Nomads seem to mirror the more Eastern Horde under Kublai Khan when he and his ilkhans ruled what would become China ... where there just happens to be, you guessed it, tigers.
      *That tribe came from the earlier Relentless Horde, and was split into successors, much as the children and grandchildren of Temujin divided his empire.
      *Many words used in the Gazetteer to describe the Nomads (like various khan derivatives, noyon, and yassa) are specifically Mongolian.
      *In fact, the Great Book of Yassas was the lawbook of both Ogobanuk, and that of Temujin.
      *Even the name Weguir, seems similar to the Uirtag.
      *If one were to look at the correlations between the Hordelands of FR and the Hordes of GH, there are numerous other correlations with the great Mongolian Horde.


    So, there are as I said above, really great resources for many of the cultures of the Flanaess, these just happen to be my favs. Please note that some of the above is quoted from my own posts in an earlier thread on the Rhenee. ... things like this always bear repeating for those who weren't part of other conversations.
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    Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:32 pm  

    Speaking of the Rhennee, I just finished a Sorcerer bloodline for a Rhennee sorceress NPC that's gonna show up in my Ket campaign. the bloodline is called the Riverborn. True it's for Pathfinder RPG's version of the Sorcerer and possibly useless given I'm not sure what edition you're using but if you'd like a look at it let me know.
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    Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:46 pm  

    some interesting discussions and observations. whoever thought of this topic should have enough info to fill out their GH world. thanks for the discussions. keep it going.
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    Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:55 am  

    A very interesting topic. It is something that I am currently turning my attention to.

    I agree that Greyhawk does not lend itself to taking cultures or specific real world examples and shoehorning them into the setting without some serious compromises. I am currently approaching this in a slightly different way, by breaking each Kingdom / realm etc. into a serious of categories - Political / Social / Architectural / Military and working through each one.

    In that way my version of the Flanness starts with largely early Ottoman Turkic style in Ekbir / Zeif, moving to Balkan and Byzantine style in the Sheldomar valley and Veluna, and Eastern European influences in Furyondy towards a more Renaissance Italian style around the Wooly Bay / Relmor Bay area. Of course this is then overlaid with fantasy and demi-human influences.

    The political and social element then is wholly different, and whilst taking elements of real world, is heavily influenced by how each of these states would interract in the fantasy setting. So for me a Veluna which has Papal States political feel, with a Byzantine Greek architecture and some nods to ancient Aerdy and specific Raon influences. In terms of military of course the look is heavily borrowed from Renaissance Italy in look.

    Overall then, each area has several real world elements included, but mixed in a way that is relevant to my campaign, and with some completely new fantasy elements included. There are of course, some areas which lend themselves to fairly close association with historical examples, especially the Suloise Barbarians, Tiger Nomads, Perrenlanders et al. However I still think they benefit from being re-imagined to ensure that they mesh with other local cultures which will have had a significant influence.

    If it is of interest to anyone, I may post the various imaginings which my Greyhawk campaign have in the different categories. I appreciate it will not necessarily be cannon in feel in some respects, although the original folio and boxed set will always be the basis for my imaginings (hence you will not find a Wolf Nomad culure with romano influences, as I think one poster alluded to as being clearly off piste).

    For me the look and feel of the areas of the Flanness are very helpful in creating an effective sandbox which enables me to focus on story with the backdrop in place. So I continue to read views of the posters here with interest Smile
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    Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:23 pm  
    The Riverborn Rhenee

    SC-Kerilin wrote:
    Speaking of the Rhennee, I just finished a Sorcerer bloodline for a Rhennee sorceress NPC that's gonna show up in my Ket campaign. the bloodline is called the Riverborn. True it's for Pathfinder RPG's version of the Sorcerer and possibly useless given I'm not sure what edition you're using but if you'd like a look at it let me know.


    Kerilin - just thought I would take a moment to mention that though I never mentioned it on this thread (I believe we may've talked about it in GreyTalk, or in chat) the player that I had that was a Rhennee witch/wise-woman really enjoyed the Bloodline that you crafted. You based it on other abilities from other Bloodlines and balanced it very nicely. I have kept it around for later use, I believe, in my notes somewhere.
    ... so, kudos! Happy :cheer:
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    Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:52 am  

    This thread is hitting the same turf as the Cultures in Greyhawk thread. I agreed with Rasgon, that it few things fit exactly, and then...


    jamesdglick wrote:
    rasgon wrote:
    Nothing fits exactly...


    -Agreed.

    If the geography fits, the ethnicity or language looks funny, or if the culture and political system fits, then the climate is off, etc. Even if that fits, its neighbors won't fit in with the meme. I do not normally spend too much time trying to get precise equivalents, especially not in the way Avalon has, since I think it requires too many compromises...


    I accidentally posted this here, but I guess it fits...

    ...went on for several pages to try to do that anyway. Confused

    As for this thread, I'd always thought Wales, and that's where Living Greyhawk went (in a rather overly literal way, I thought...).

    And Mystic Scholar has a new avatar. Not creepy like the last one, but I still prefer the "sage in repose" look.
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    Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:27 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    This thread is hitting the same turf as the Cultures in Greyhawk thread. I agreed with Rasgon, that it few things fit exactly, and then...


    -Bump for this topic:

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=58913#58913

    Odd, this comment is:

    jamesdglick wrote:
    ... And Mystic Scholar has a new avatar. Not creepy like the last one, but I still prefer the "sage in repose" look.
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    Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:49 pm  

    I'm late to this thread, but I figured I'd chuck in some inputs anyway.

    In the time of the Frankish Empire, Charlemagne established the Spanish March to act as a buffer between Frankish lands and Muslim lands in Spain. The Gran March and Bissel appear to serve an identical function. I suppose that doesn't really say much about the feel of the location, though...

    The Rovers of the Barrens suffer from an identity crisis, as (according to LGCS) they are nominally headed by an Ataman (usually Cossack title?), but also have a sachem (Native American leadership title). The combat style described (lariats, bows and arrows, lances, axes and daggers, fighting on horseback) is clearly supposed to be Plains Indian. However, I prefer to interpret it as Scythian/Sarmatian, since they fought in this manner as well. Evil Grin No mention of armor made of horse hooves or working in gold, of course, but this is an intentional deviation from the canon on my part. (Given that the northern Flan all have a Slavic feel to them, and that the Sarmatians are viewed by some as being related to the Slavic peoples as well as the Celts, I feel this works out.)

    Despite the fact that their culture is largely Germanic (via the Allemani), Switzerland strongly asserts it's Gallic roots; the name they use for their own country (Helvetica) is a term that goes back to when it was all Gauls up in the Alps. Assuming you can accept Flans = Celts (and the Gauls being a Celtic people), then the Perrenlanders are a perfect match for the Swiss, even if dark.

    My two coppers.
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    Sat May 04, 2013 1:19 pm  

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FantasyCounterpartCulture
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