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Re: Input
NaiyaNaiya 14 Feb 2018 20:58
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Asar

Ha. Are you telling me that my compulsive need to justify everything I say or do comes out in my writing too?

Re: Input by NaiyaNaiya, 14 Feb 2018 20:58
Re: Input
AsheAshe 06 Feb 2018 01:31
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Asar

It is, and so is just culturally valuing children without any biological factor. In any case, there can be veils. ;)

Re: Input by AsheAshe, 06 Feb 2018 01:31
Re: Input
NaiyaNaiya 06 Feb 2018 01:21
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Asar

No problem. I don't have to build a biological reason to celebrate children. Difficulty conceiving is more than enough of a reason to celebrate both pregnancy and birth… because then I can justify my desire for veils to be worn / used in fertility rites and celebrations

Re: Input by NaiyaNaiya, 06 Feb 2018 01:21
Re: Input
AsheAshe 06 Feb 2018 00:30
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Asar

The abilities seem fine at first look.

The rest I think is fine, with the caveat that stuff may be tweaked when the full picture of the race and culture come together. I'm not sold on the "not surviving pregnancy w/o aid" bit — that's pretty serious consequence for not being justified biologically — but I'm not going to get into details there right now either, so it can stand.

Home polity should remain Vishaza, because that has more to do with their distribution in game, not their history. That is basically shorthand for "if you want to play an Azar, see Vishaza".

Re: Input by AsheAshe, 06 Feb 2018 00:30
Input
NaiyaNaiya 06 Feb 2018 00:10
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Asar

As usual I've made things up with little idea what I'm doing. When y'all get a few minutes to spare I'd like to know what you think of the changes and the abilities I've defined. Abilities are based off human average with the addition of arbitrary amounts so that I could offer firm rules for behavior.

Input by NaiyaNaiya, 06 Feb 2018 00:10

We're all slow, it's fine.

Thank you for this. I'll put it on the to-do list.

Apologies again. I am, as usual, slow.

Main aspects:
Artisans - esp in reference to Ways

Marshland/swamp (think we settled on prairie potholes?)

Agriculture manned by slaves

Mentorship for craft skills - young children are encouraged to move through the city trying different crafts with different people until they find their skill (heart skill? needs a name leads to a celebration of finding it)
- I had at one point written this as a cultural value although it is written as an attribute of the race "To cultivate beauty is a task of spiritual and external efforts, one must not only create inner beauty and emotions but to create beauty in themselves externally through care for oneself and through the expression of craft skills."

Clothing in vibrant colors/ luxurious veils… mostly the veils… ( asar reproduction is difficult, long time between estrus. Lead to the wearing of a veil to signify fertility, carried over to the city as a fashion statement for eligible young women, fertile women, or women actively attempting to conceive) — this is why there is a pregnancy celebration, but perhaps it is better to have a fertility holiday/celebration… both?
- Cultuivation of internal and external beauty in order to please, become closer to the mother goddess (creation story; shaped from mud by the goddess, gemstone eyes to show her favor for the asar, seeps into polity culture?)

-
I think that's all I have…

Re: Values -- Ways
AsheAshe 14 Aug 2017 22:55
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Vishaza

Note that "vocation" is quite literally the Latin for calling, summons, so yes. This ability would particularly overlap with Evocation, because that is centered around calling forth a specific property, e.g. evoking brown from pigment, evoking a therapeutic compound from an herb, etc., and then applying it to something else.

As a general rule, I don't mind overlap on specific functions — having multiple means of reaching the same end is fine by me — but this hits the core mechanics underlying Shamanism and Witchcraft, so I'd consider it to be too much overlap.

Also, I still don't think the ability fits into the core premise of this Way. It has applications, as you say, in being used to purify colors… which can make things pretty… but I think it has wandered afield from the essence of the lifestyle. It feels… industrialized, in a sense. Rather than taking something natural and beautiful and enshrining its own inherent glory, you isolate one little specific property, extract it, and fold it into something manufactured that doesn't necessarily have any association whatsoever with the original source. You could, I don't know, use blueberry concentrate to turn a knife purple or something (to give an extreme example). That doesn't really say 'Living Beauty' or 'Natural Beauty' to me.

Does that make any kind of sense? I find myself trying to explain an impression that's really subjective and abstract here.

In any case, here are a couple possible alternatives:

  • Fixation - Permanently fixing something in its current state. This would, for example, prevent dyes from fading, cut/pressed/dried flowers from deteriorating, furs from losing their hair, paints/pigments from flaking off, etc. It might even extend to preventing oxidation of metals (rust/tarnish). I would probably have it only preserve appearances, so it doesn't act as a stasis technique; i.e. you can't fix fruit and then expect to get any nutrition from eating it after, nor fix seeds and then expect them to sprout. It could also be that Fixation only applies to surfaces, so you can fix colors and prevent tarnish/rust, but not prevent plants from wilting; that version would be less abusable.
  • Echo of Life - Conferring the temporary illusion of vitality on dead/dried things. Maybe only plants. This would allow, for example, pulling a dried garland out of storage and giving it all the substance, vibrancy, and scent of its original living self for say the period of a day. Possibly more appropriate than Fixation, since it wouldn't need to be hedged around with can't-dos; it could also complement Fixation if that only applied to surfaces/coloring.

You could argue that "fixation" has the same problems as "color-purifying", except… Given the tech level, there is no mundane means of fixing colors, aside from using mordants with dyes and maybe some varnishes/glazes on murals — which don't work on stuff like dried flowers. They have no equivalent of aerosolized artist's fixative, nor rust/tarnish proofing that isn't "pack it in oil". So as something that can't really be done any other way, that makes sense for an ability. And because it specifically preserves 'beauty' where it already exists, where it was natively grown, that fits with the core of the Way.

Both of these abilities can also preserve natural beauty independent of any artistic skill on the part of the user. Any Follower can take a pretty flower, fix its colors, and hang it on a wall to enjoy its beauty forever. There's a lot more oomph if someone with a crafting skill goes on to make things using such flowers, or whatever, but that's an amplification not a prerequisite; there is still magic and beauty to be realized even if one doesn't have cooking or tailoring or pottery or whatever skill.

My two cents.

Re: Values -- Ways by AsheAshe, 14 Aug 2017 22:55
Re: Values -- Ways
NaiyaNaiya 14 Aug 2017 21:48
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Vishaza

I read it as a way to bring forward the pigment from a mineral, or a richess of color from a fruit… not that that isn't invocation/evocation because clearly my grasp of that is slippery.

But I want it to be an ability to bolden or purify colors in extracted pigments, or pull the color of flower petals used into the food they cook. Is that still the same thing?

Re: Values -- Ways by NaiyaNaiya, 14 Aug 2017 21:48
Re: Values -- Ways
AsheAshe 14 Aug 2017 17:01
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Vishaza

Bear in mind that's essentially what Invocation and Evocation do. I also don't think it ties into the central premise of "beauty".

Re: Values -- Ways by AsheAshe, 14 Aug 2017 17:01
Re: Values -- Ways
NaiyaNaiya 14 Aug 2017 16:13
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Vishaza

Calling - Bring forth the commonly extracted materials from a plant or mineral with added ease and purity (this could apply to healing aspects in another Way) it could concentrate to make this less fantastically strong…? It would also require the philtering/ extraction skill that is the basis of this

Re: Values -- Ways by NaiyaNaiya, 14 Aug 2017 16:13
Re: Values -- Ways
AsheAshe 10 Aug 2017 16:45
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Vishaza

It's a good start. I like the idea, and it's nicely distinct from everyone else in this region. Artistic paths are definitely lacking up to this point.

Paths are probably what I want to work on next, after I get the Okudani and Shamanism mostly done. (Of course, there's still a lot pending on those…)

Name-wise, I would propose the "Way of Living Beauty", how's that?

Re: Values -- Ways by AsheAshe, 10 Aug 2017 16:45
Values -- Ways
NaiyaNaiya 10 Aug 2017 16:21
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Vishaza

I've been mulling over a few things… I think that Vishaza would value finding beauty in nature or cultivation the earth to encourage beauty. Not dissimilar to the Akalak tradition law? of keeping the city beautiful. 'Path of unbridled nature' 'Path of earthen beauty' 'Path of the mother's beauty' I suck at naming things

Aspects
Edge of Civilization - Prefers to be close to nature, finds cities to be overly uniform
Transience - Finds beauty in every stage of life or use
Cultivation - Seeks to bring the beauty of nature into all aspects of one's life

Abilities
Nourishing Touch - promoting growth and fecundity (e.g. improving plant health, aiding sickly young animals)
Green Communion - plant communication
Cultivating - encourages shifts in color depth and tone; shifts in blending of plants and genetic growth

Clearly there will need to be more, but… it's a start

Values -- Ways by NaiyaNaiya, 10 Aug 2017 16:21
Re: Info Dump
AsheAshe 01 Aug 2017 21:28
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Livestock

There's a comment on that page you linked which describes spinning wool from the Lincolnshire Curly, which was itself crossbred with the Hungarian breed. So spinning could be done.

…I'm not sure about refinement. I still have this conception of the pigs being a low-class thing, and the Veraat being totally snobbish about not having them in their neighborhoods. Felted pig wool could also be a low-class thing, and totally different from imported Okudan felt… except when used to fraudulently imitate Okudan goods…

Maybe it could be mixed with ramie, which seems to benefit from blending. Ramie is mildew-resistant, which would be appropriate for the Asar. The plant's not frost-tolerant, but it could be something else they brought along.

Re: Info Dump by AsheAshe, 01 Aug 2017 21:28
Re: Info Dump
NaiyaNaiya 01 Aug 2017 13:11
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Livestock

I'm not sure about them in nomadism either, but it was interesting to find their fur is felted rather than spun, it made them distinctly Okudani in my mind. But you're right, it may, too, be a topic of the Asar. Small scale felting there or…?

It is a very fun idea that each family might have any number of pigs roaming the streets, branded or otherwise marked as their own. A family sigil might add a sense of refinement… on letters, clothing, shops, and pigs!

Re: Info Dump by NaiyaNaiya, 01 Aug 2017 13:11
Re: Info Dump
AsheAshe 31 Jul 2017 14:15
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Livestock

That is interesting. I don't think pigs are well-suited to nomadism — I've never run across them in any of the nomad cultures I've read about — but we can definitely fit these in somewhere. Maybe Vishaza, or Kothinar; could also go somewhere later. I read an interesting thing about hogs in early Manhattan here, which might be particularly relevant to low-class Asar.

I'm planning on Okudan having mostly sheep and goats. A limited amount of primitive-type cattle, like these, on the idea that the aurochs still exists and the Okudani 'recently' domesticated them. Hadn't gotten as far as breeds of the other livestock yet. Been trying to finish up the actual city.

Re: Info Dump by AsheAshe, 31 Jul 2017 14:15
Info Dump
NaiyaNaiya 31 Jul 2017 13:47
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Livestock

I saw wooly pigs in a TV show — apparently, they are Hungarian in origin. Mangalista

A page dedicated to mongolian livestock

Info Dump by NaiyaNaiya, 31 Jul 2017 13:47
Re: Mixed Blood
AsheAshe 26 Jul 2017 15:44
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Races

Say you are a Human-Asar mix, could you take two non-cosmetic options? For this example, say you wanted your human to have half-webbed digits, and gills is that an option…

You can take two traits from the option list, whatever those options are finalized to be. Gills may not be one of them; water breathing is the defining trait of an aquatic species. Everything else is window dressing — it's the gills that really open up underwater environments for a character. (Well, that or holding breath for a very long time.) If Asar mixes had gills, they would be aquatics even if their capacity was nominally reduced, and lack the dependence on water that pureblood Asar have. So that doesn't balance.

When it comes down to it, there are relatively few fundamental distinctions between our nonhuman races and humans. They're still mammalian, primate-based bipeds. Asar are large, but not really outside the range of human phenotypes; they have dark skin (not outside human range), colorful eyes (pure cosmetics), and jump high (whatever "high" means; human record is 5+ feet from a standing start). So if an Asar-Human mix inherits gills, what's really the difference between them and a pureblood, anyway?

Plus, once you start specifying limits, you have to justify and enforce them. If Asar have water breathing of indefinite duration and mixes only get twenty minutes, why? What's the biological reason for that? Plus you wind up in the position of having to enforce a time limit on anyone who chooses to disregard it, and I don't think that's a potential conflict we need to set ourselves up for. It's one thing to say gills don't transmit to children at all, another to say they do but only work for so long "because we said so".

I'd rather spend admin energy on herding people into playing IC cultures correctly. There's going to be enough details on that front for players to keep track of.

Also, don't forget we've hardly even scratched the surface concerning magic. There are a lot of other mechanisms for people to get water breathing besides having gills. Invocation, Evocation, Charmcrafting, and abilities from a water-centric Way could potentially all confer facility in aquatic environments upon anybody in one way or another, irrespective of their race.

I would say that Asar mixes can have partial webbing and treat that as some advantage in the water (greater mobility/speed) without getting the full and easy access that Asar have. Another option could be a nictating membrane that protects their eyes. So mixes can potentially move through and view underwater environments significantly more easily than plain humans, without competing on the same level as pureblood Asar.

If that was an option at all, should it be limited on one or even both ends? Say that an Asar mix with gills only gains a few extra minutes of dive time, or a Suari mix with night vision can't see in complete darkness.

For one, night vision isn't about seeing in complete darkness. But yes, sensory adaptations will be defined and constrained. As I was getting at above, they'll be fairly broad — for example, Suari might have color night vision and see clearly by starlight, roughly as if it were a full moon night. Suari mixes might then have non-color night vision and see by the quarter-moon. Details will be finalized eventually. The other races aren't really my priorities right now; I have Okudan and magic and

Re: Mixed Blood by AsheAshe, 26 Jul 2017 15:44
Re: Mixed Blood
NaiyaNaiya 26 Jul 2017 14:20
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Races

say that all Asar mixes are large-framed. They might optionally have half-webbed hands, gem-toned eyes, or be hairless. (I always include one trait in the list that suggests something didn't blend well in the cross.) Which basically makes the mix a glorified human

I like this. There is a genetic modifier that has to exist for the mix, such as large framed among Asar mixes, but then options that we delineate in the mix blood page. I also like the adoption of two choices for human mixes, because you can take the really intriguing adaptation from one race, pair it with a neat cosmetic option, and then play as a little more than a human. Say you are a Human-Asar mix, could you take two non-cosmetic options? For this example, say you wanted your human to have half-webbed digits, and gills is that an option, or are you limited to one?

Additionally, it seems reasonable to limit the use of the adaptations from the other race as well. Say you wanted an Asar-Suari mix and you chose both gills and night vision. If that was an option at all, should it be limited on one or even both ends? Say that an Asar mix with gills only gains a few extra minutes of dive time, or a Suari mix with night vision can't see in complete darkness.

Re: Mixed Blood by NaiyaNaiya, 26 Jul 2017 14:20
Re: Mixed Blood
AsheAshe 20 Jul 2017 00:09
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Races

Yeah, I've kinda been coming back around to "what benefit" for Humans, too, thinking about special features, and I think it's just going to be a case of indirect benefits. Partly, Humans are an easy in for players. Also, I imagine Humans are far and away the most prevalent race; for one, everything else builds off a human base, and also Humans are probably the most adaptable.

Humans may not have any particular advantages, but they don't have any huge disadvantages either. The Asar depend on water; they should have some sort of limitation in that regard. The Suari have delicate frames without the advantage of flight, so they're fragile and more vulnerable than Humans. The Elyani and Fel are each weird in the head, as it were, and incapable of real social cohesion on their own merits, in the absence of other races.

The Qualloni are the only nonhuman race that as of yet doesn't have any particular drawbacks.

There could be no racial exclusion for humans in any city, while other races may be. That may be a slippery slope to many things that exclude all but humans.

I don't want to flat exclude any race from any city, so we should just stay off that slope altogether.

There should be no race that is categorically incompatible with the others, socially. Not even the Fel. Fel are 'high functioning sociopaths', clever and ambitious and totally amoral, which can make them really good at business, politics, trade, and the like if they choose to apply themselves thus. (They can also be violent, because amoral, but it's not nearly as pervasive a trait as with, say, the Zith. Particularly not among Fel who have self-selected into city life to begin with.)

There are going to be plenty of actual monsters to fill the incompatible-with-civility beast niche.

Now, that established — on the flip side, yes, there should be a sizeable percentage of Humans in every polity, even ones where the primary population is nonhuman. Even there, Humans are likely to be the second most common race, although that may translate to e.g. 10% Humans versus 90% Asar.

On the other hand, to take only human mixes as viable would mean that a mix is a loss rather than a benefit. If you are mixed blood you are Asar but limited by your humanity.

Actually, I'm going to disagree with you here. Mixes are always a loss with respect to any parent race except Human.

Regardless of whether an Asar mix's other parent is Human or Qualloni or Fel or whatever, they will never have more than a couple Asar-like traits, and most of those are going to be cosmetic. For example, you might say that all Asar mixes are large-framed. They might optionally have half-webbed hands, gem-toned eyes, or be hairless. (I always include one trait in the list that suggests something didn't blend well in the cross.) Which basically makes the mix a glorified human, as it is… no matter what, they are not Asar.

Neither do the special traits propagate, for mixes. Within two generations, they're gone.

The only time any mix is a "benefit" is in comparison to a Human base, where they 'gain' features that Humans cannot normally have. Even a mix between two nonhuman races, such as Asar and Qualloni, will never have enough of either's adaptations to equate to a pureblood, never mind improve upon them.

One thing we could do is allow Human mixes to take two optional traits from the nonhuman parent instead of just one. So an Asar-Qualloni mix might get half-webbed hands, but an Asar-Human mix could take both half-webbed hands and gem-toned eyes, since they gain nothing special from their Human parent.

Re: Mixed Blood by AsheAshe, 20 Jul 2017 00:09
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