2011-08-30, 02:24 PM
Bugbear in the Playground
Re: [3.5] Scarcity and Scavenging, Crowding and Conflict: The Scroungers Campaign Set
Thanks a lot! I'm glad you like the setting. Other than a playtesting campaign I'm running over on MythWeavers (full, I'm afraid), I don't think anyone's running any Scroungers games. People are welcome to do so, however; it's one of the reasons I posted it to the boards. If you find one or start to run one, let me know!
Originally Posted by The Anarresti
I definitely see where you're coming from. Trade Pidgin is of course an option for everyone, and can be used for a lot of things associated with economics. Plus, the Natural Linguist regional feat provides an option for characters from Home to expand their linguistic skills. That said, it's not even close to the type of Creole you're describing. There's still some socio-political stuff I need to write which will, hopefully, address your verisimilitude concerns which I actually share to an extent. Here's a brief synopsis.
Originally Posted by The Anarresti
To give a real-world analogy to match yours, the idea I'm going for in terms of linguistic identity is more like India than the Caribbean. In India, linguistic politics has resulted in very strong linkages between language and national identity which has, to some extent, prevented the development of a real Creole. English serves this role to a large extent, but that's a separate issue.
Unlike the Caribbean, where populations of outsiders were relatively small, gradually-developed, and, in many cases, intentionally displaced from their normal cultural and linguistic context, Stha Lui was settled by fairly culturally-coherent groups of outsiders in moderately large numbers. It was also settled by outsiders at more-or-less the same time. So, instead of relatively small cultural groups arriving gradually and mixing with other, similarly-sized groups from different cultures, Stha Lui saw a fairly large group of Aadipurans (for example) arriving at more-or-less the same time followed by fairly large groups of Gensche, halflings, and the rest. Instead of mixing and assimilating with already-existing cultural groups, these newcomers strove to maintain their language and traditions, forming somewhat malleable but nonetheless very real "ethnic enclaves" (for lack of a better term of the top of my head) with strong socio-linguistic identities. Language was a primary vehicle for the preservation of their ancient cultures (of course exaggerated in legend and song) and uniting them against constantly-arriving "others."
Thus, elites among the landborn and newcomers, by-and-large, worked actively to promote linguistic identities and discourage Creole formations. Resource and space shortages encourage a sort of hostile interdependence that prevents truly significant open conflict, but these tensions, especially linguistic, simmer just under the surface veneer of trade and cooperation. Plus, each cultural group, in addition to dominating (again, more-or-less) its own ethnic region, also includes substantial minority communities in neighboring enclaves, where their linguistic identity is more threatened by the dominant language of the region. This reinforces the importance of language as a source of political cleavage.
Unfortunately, the board's prohibition of discussion of real-world politics prevents me from elaborating on my real-world analogy, but suffice to say, it outlines a situation in which large numbers of languages exist in close proximity and linguistic politics has resulted in the maintenance of separate linguistic identities with limited Creole formation.
All that said, you're right in saying that some language would probably step in to fill this void. I think I'll elaborate a bit on linguistic politics when I finally get motivated. I'll also add something to the character creation section about DMs potentially allowing players to select Trade Pidgin and two additional languages at creation, instead of just one. This would mimic the sort of polyglot culture that India has, in many cases, developed.
I hope that clarifies things. Like I said, there's still stuff I need to write...