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Storm Bringer
2008-07-29, 10:25 AM
Okay, so, I'm enguaged in some idle world building (becuase i'm the sort of guy to likes to write creativly while listening to music for relaxsation), and while pondering how to make my orcs different form the classic mook brigade, A question struck me:

How would a semi-nomadic culture differ form normal if it's primary scorce of devine magic and spritual leadership was druidic, not clerical? How would that affect their views on others, and of themselves?

I'm really just trawling for ideas, to be honest.

Dan2
2008-07-29, 01:29 PM
First, I also like to world build in free time. :smallsmile:

Well, it seems to me that the group would be a bit more nomadic, less "civilized", and more feral.

If their spiritual leadership is coming from "nature", then you have a group that is most likely going to be Transcendentalist.

It's also likely that they'd follow the "rule of the strong" and they'd probably remain a small group, rather than gaining a lot of members and slowing down (even settling).

They might have picked up a sort of Animistic cultrue (like tribes in Sub-Saharan Africa)...

Really, you have a huge range of possibilities for such a group, you just need to decide in which direction they go. :smallwink:

kamikasei
2008-07-29, 01:39 PM
Depends on how you think of druids, really.

Obvious possibilities: more animals and better treated/trained. You could have a culture very closely bonded to its work animals, perhaps orcs who treat their wolves like Mongols treated their horses (in popular culture at least), use birds to hunt and scout and communicate.

Make them closer / more attentive to nature, migrating to follow prey and crops and weather according to patterns invisible to outsiders, carefully coordinating with other tribes to rotate the use of land between one another and leaving it fallow. They use nature magic to make chosen herds healthier, certain areas of vegetation more fruitful, etc.

Move away from the "orcs spawning tribes and spreading like a virus" idea. Give them a more sustainable lifestyle which would probably impact on other races less. On the other hand, they probably don't take kindly to interference with their herds or groves, even when they're not marked or guarded in any way. Encroachment by settlement on the wilds would anger them. Some tribes may even attack larger towns or cities as blights on the land.

Power would move from being vested in clerics who bestow the favour of Gruumsh to druids who keep the tribe healthy and fed and safe from the elements. Instead of reinforcing expansionist tendencies they would temper them. Strong warrior-chiefs couldn't keep their tribe going without the druids' support and so actions that threatened the complex web of interdependencies on which the orcs relied would be harder to take. Rather than agressive, conquering, pillaging orcs you could end up with reclusive, stealthy, guardian orcs.

Bear in mind also that you'd be going from faithful servants of a jealous god to students of nature who share a secret lore and language with all other such students from any race.

Thanks for the topic, by the way. My own home setting ups the political importance of druidism and this discussion is likely to be of interest.

Maroon
2008-07-29, 02:13 PM
The general vibe I get from the stereotypical D&D cleric and druid, is that clerics are more concerned with spreading their religion (either forcefully or extremely forcefully), while druids have a secret language just to keep people out. I imagine most nomadic cultures to be 'druidic', unless they're the pamphlet-spreading type.

Leewei
2008-07-29, 10:03 PM
The Anime movie, Princess Mononoke, gives some nice insights into a village that reveres the land and its spirits.

grinner666
2008-07-29, 10:42 PM
Okay, so, I'm enguaged in some idle world building (becuase i'm the sort of guy to likes to write creativly while listening to music for relaxsation), and while pondering how to make my orcs different form the classic mook brigade, A question struck me:

How would a semi-nomadic culture differ form normal if it's primary scorce of devine magic and spritual leadership was druidic, not clerical? How would that affect their views on others, and of themselves?

I'm really just trawling for ideas, to be honest.

You just described ancient Celtic civilization, from Gaul to Ireland to Scotland, throughout the Roman era, perfectly. Which is, really, as it should be. I'd suggest reading any Celtic history/archaeology/anthropology you can find for ideas.

Mark Hall
2008-08-02, 11:08 AM
There are a lot of possibilities. Look at the herding cultures of Africa, like the Maasi, for example.

One thing you have to think about is how they live. Are they hunter/gatherers? Do they wander during the winter months, or head to a distinct winter campground? Do they practice any agriculture? You can call them semi-nomadic if they harvest grain from a single place each year, but move with their herds for the rest.

The religious nature of the people will very much depend on their means of subsistence, which will then tie back into their religious nature. You can have a druidic society that is largely based on small, allied towns, each with their own hetman, or you can have one that is based on wanderers who never sleep in the same place twice. How they see things, religiously, will be intimately tied to how they live.

Eighth_Seraph
2008-08-02, 10:19 PM
Also, though kamikasei gave some good ideas out there, you'll probably want to make any druids, or any specifically powerful druids, the chieftains of your orc tribes. Among many percentage of world cultures, it's the people with perceived access to the supernatural that hold political power, or at least a place of high esteem among cultures that don't actually formalized leadership. The Tshidi of southern Africa and the !Kung of the Sahara are two good examples, while the Yanomamö of Venezuela and Brazil assign a certain degree of prestige to successful shamans, which in turn help shamans to gain political power.

There's all sorts of things that you can do with this if you take a single year of beginning anthropology. I'm not sure if you want that kind of time investment, though. :smallwink: