Monday, October 7, 2019

And what of the people there?


       
         A wild and dizzying array of cultures can exist in any fantasy setting, from savage nomadic tribes, to learned and cultivated scholars. Existing side by side and contending with one another with concerns and forces that we ourselves never had to adapt to, their solutions and ways of living can be as strange as our imaginations allow; governance by the ghosts of their ancestors, living atop the backs of great stag beetles, under the yoke of a dragon, the possibilities are endless. These groups war, intermix and render themselves anew.


          The fifth in my series on rolling up a community through tables, this entry focuses on the overall structure of the polity itself, how it conducts itself, what it values and how they interact with the world around them. It can be difficult to craft fantasy societies without resorting to either stereotyping or riffing off of real world cultures. My solution to this was to mix the overall qualities until the end result is more than simply 'Germans/French/English...but' by dint of their random nature. I specifically did not mention any kind of humanoid, such a Dwarf, Elf, etc. as to keep these tables as setting neutral as possible. To use this table, roll 4d8 and then resolve and further results with 1d4s.

d8
What is their general character?
1
Martial.
2
Mercantile.
3
Faithful.
4
Agrarian.
5
Reserved.
6
Mercantile.
7
Peaceful.
8
Decadent.


d8
How are they Governed?
1
By a monster or eldritch being, such as a(n)...1: Fiend/Celestial, 2: Aberration, 3: Dragon, 4: Undead or Spirits.
2
A noble or member of royalty.
3
A Council, perhaps of elders or potentates.
4
Anarchy, law & order has broken down, or perhaps never existed in the first place.
5
Criminals. They've overwhelmed the proper authorities, or perhaps it was their town to begin with.
6
A Cabal, such as group of...1: Spellcasters, 2: Militants, 3: Merchants, 4: Priests. The cabal may be popular or they may be despised.
7
An Oppressor, such as a...1: Nearby polity, 2: Far-away empire, 3: Tyrant, 4: Puppet governor.
8
Democratically.


d8
What are they known for?
1
Fine crafts.
2
Being the site of a great battle.
3
The grave of a great king or hero.
4
Luxurious hospitality.
5
Livestock.
6
Physical prowess, such as...1: Swimming, 2: Hunting, 3: Agility, 4: Strength.
7
Skilled warriors or soldiers.
8
Knowledge or learning.


d8
What unique customs do they hold?
1
They are bound to service or stewardship of a(n)...1: Fiend/Celestial, 2: Military Order, 3: Faith, 4: Monster.
2
These people are nomadic, whether by inclination or necessity, the community is where they are.
3
Currency does not exist here, instead "gifts" & barter are the rule.
4
Justice here is decided by...1: The mob, 2: Combat, 3: Augury, 4: Written law.
5
The people here dress themselves in strange clothes or odd adornments.
6
They dwell in an odd or otherwise unusual living space such as...1: In trees, 2: Underground, 3: On or under water, 4: An animal or some other huge beast.
7
Interactions here follow a sort of script or tradition; it is taboo to break with them.
8
Fear or hatred is held here towards...1: Spellcasters, 2: A certain faith, 3: Members of a certain race or ethnicity, 4: Outsiders


1 comment:

  1. I'm liking this series, I can see how these tables would be very useful. It would be cool to have these as automatized javascript generators. You should check out Meandering Banter's Automatic list to html generator.

    ReplyDelete