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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    I'd like to add two examples to this, one for nuclear fallout and one for decimation due to war.

    In 1986, a nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant went critical and released nuclear contamination into much of the surrounding countryside. The nearby towns were evacuated and the forest surrounding the area was rendered inhospitable for most life… but today, just over 25 years later, there are reports that the forest has made a great recovery, and it appears that even larger animals have returned to this exclusion zone. While there has been significant impact on some species, others are thriving, which shows how resilient nature can be when faced with nuclear contamination.

    The other example I'd like to point out is Eastern France. As I'm sure you know, there was large amounts of fighting in this region in both WWI and WWII, and huge swaths of forest were decimated. Large defensive lines of trenches were dug, and artillery wiped out most of the surrounding area. Despite all this, the forest has bounced back. I can't find numbers on the amount of time, but it seems that less than 100 years is easily plausible. Society, meanwhile, rebounded MUCH faster, within just a few years…
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    Quote Originally Posted by Welknair View Post
    *Proceeds to google "Bride of the Portable Hole", jokingly wondering if it might exist*

    *It does.*

    What.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Aux-Ash View Post
    From what I understand, both the EMP and the Nuclear Winter are essentially myths. Or more accuratelly greatly exaggerated phenomena that's not nearly as dangerous as portrayed to be.
    Well, there is a pretty good sized local EMP from a nuclear weapon, and it can destroy localized electronics but we're talking at most a few miles. Nuclear winter is a real threat although it would take a full scale exchange between multiple nations to achieve any long term effects. That said Nuclear Winter is a better name for a Silver Age super-villain than an actual description of events.

    If we did say have full scale nuclear war then it is quite possible to blow enough dust into the atmosphere to actual cause problems with food production. That's the real danger, no literal winter. Even a relatively small change in the amount of sunlight that reaches the surface of the Earth could cause mass famine, even if the world were more or less the same temperature.

    Fallout in and of itself is an immediate and short term threat, unless you have a lot of irradiated dust that travels in the wind. The big problem with fallout is ultimately that irradiated dust can get into food supplies, or travel huge distances if the dust is launched high into the atmosphere.

    5000 years would be enough that radiation short of leaking sci-fi fusion reactor would clear of radiation. Despite what Fallout would suggest radiation does not work that way. Now, that being said if you had a direct nuclear ground strike it is possible to produce an area where nothing will grow, although that area won't be very big and after 5000 years is probably going to be covered in a thick layer of top soil.

    In many ways if you wanted to move to the age of sail 5000 years after some disaster you'd need to push humans back to only knowing what they knew at the time Stone Henge was being built, so some 3000 BCE. We're talking early Bronze Age here, if not before depending on region. This would literally require bombing each other back to the Stone Age.

    The only thing that I can directly think of that would preclude an advancement in learning, and eventually a regression in technological levels would be loosing the ability to read and write. Those two things are key to teaching and learning skills without having somebody on hand to directly explain what they already know.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    I'm wondering if a better way to go about this would be some biological agent, rather than nuclear. If a super-virulent disease were to be created that could wipe out 99% of the population and drastically reduce the life span of the survivors, then whoever is left will be scraping by for survival. They wouldn't have time to spend teaching the younger generation anything other than the basics of how to survive, which can lead to a loss of knowledge… but that's till quite a stretch.

    A nuclear winter may result in something similar, but it would have to be something rather big. The Krakatoa eruption caused global cooling and a reduction of crop production worldwide… for about a year or two. The asteroid impact at the end of the Cretaceous, on the other hand, caused cooling for long enough to kill off the dinosaurs, but that required an asteroid 10 km across to impact the earth. This would be the equivalent of 100 teratonnes of TNT, whereas the entire worldwide stockpile has a yield of 5 gigatons, 1/2000th of that of the yield of said asteroid…
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    Quote Originally Posted by Welknair View Post
    *Proceeds to google "Bride of the Portable Hole", jokingly wondering if it might exist*

    *It does.*

    What.

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    All good answers! The main point here is not the effects of the nuclear war since it'd be so far in the past that it'd be mostly myth and legend.

    I hadn't considered an asteroid or a plague, both of those might actually work better. The main reason that so much technology is lost is the conventional warfare that comes after the cataclysmic event and with a plague I can see a massive war over medicine and technology ending with only the few people that were naturally immune surviving and having to rebuild society.

    However, I also want some technological holdouts(A moon colony for late game adventuring actually) and most of the gun-powder and Iron-clad ships would be from or before the event.. So then 2-300 years after the event? That would also leave most cities overrun by nature or even overgrown compleley right?
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Algerin View Post
    However, I also want some technological holdouts(A moon colony for late game adventuring actually) and most of the gun-powder and Iron-clad ships would be from or before the event.. So then 2-300 years after the event? That would also leave most cities overrun by nature or even overgrown compleley right?
    Anything in a Lagrange point would probably be good or of course the moon. If you want to see what stuff look like, and how fast it can degrade check out the TV show Life After People. It basically posits that if humans just up and disappeared as a species tomorrow what would happen. Inside of 100 years roads would have been broken up and likely completely overgrown by small vegetation and because of how flat and more or less level they are they would become paths for all kinds of wildlife.

    If you want holds outs that would be good. Something akin to Fallout's Brotherhood of Steel.
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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Dollhouse-style meme warfare via technological devices. The only survivors were the Amish - anyone who had a technological device with a speaker on it got zombified and then died.

    You'd still have to deal with the vast acceleration due to having technological artifacts to cannibalize. Even just having supplies of modern metals helps speed the construction of tools.

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    naked mole rats
    one of the females is a queen all other females are sterile when the queen dies a different female will become a queen.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naked_m..._and_gestation

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Supervirulent plagues are also kind of tricky in this regard. For one, they'll leave all technology intact. Not just bits and pieces but just about everything. There'll be millions of homes with televisions, first aid kits, new papers, manuals and so on.

    Secondly... the most skilled people will also be the most protected. For one the goverments will go out of their way to protect them, but also that many of these people work in locations reasonably easy to isolate. The plague will hit regular people hard, but not military personell, not powerplant engineers, not medical personell (whom will be best protected of them all)

    And thirdly... it's effectivness will drop the more and faster it kills. The only way for 99% of the population to effectively get hit by anything if the incubation period is so long that 99% of the population is affected prior to the massive die off. It just isn't that feasible.

    Finally... even with 99% dying off... there's still 70 million people left alive. Recovery population wise will take forever, technology wise there's enough people left to run close to anything remaining.

    How about just running a big mystery instead? Noone knows why the modern world just vanished. There's bits and pieces of it hidden in the forests all over the world, but no trace of the people that built it. Even the space colonies don't know... they just lost radio contact one day a couple of generations ago.
    A big advantage is that there was noone around to teach people how to read or work the machines, which means that just about every piece of technology is a irrecogniceable mystery. There's no instruction on how to use them or care for them.

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    My question is two-fold.

    Does anyone know how Nobilty works? I mean a list of titles and the expected duties

    Something along the lines of
    King/Queen- Rules the land.
    Duke/duchess-
    Baron/Baroness-

    I have some idea of some of the name of some of the titles. Never really sure exactly what their jobs entail. I know, I know alot of people will just say *Make up your own titles and jobs.* I just want some idea as how it mostly works. English-type kingdoms work, but I would like other regions titles and nobilties so I can add flavor to my worlds.


    My second question is, does anyone know the logic of building castles and supporting towns? I have this idea for a Barony. It's located on land mass connected to the main land by a brigde. Its function is to server as a King's Port. A place the king uses to get materials and supplies quicker than his subjects. I just don't know how it would work out. The Island has two major towns the port, and the Baron's castle. One of the town is located by the Castle, I am just not sure if the Town would be INSIDE the castle walls, or outside. Which would be the better postion for the town. Also, this ties in with the first question, as I am not sure if a Baron would have such an important land holding for the king. Do you think I should make the Baron a Duke instead?

  10. - Top - End - #70
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Let me just begin with saying that noble peerage is amazingly complex and varies from culture to culture.

    Put simply, a noble is a governor with military responsibility. They are given a piece of land over which they are responsible for keeping the peace and the law, in return they are given permission to tax these lands. These taxes are then supposed to be divided between supporting the noble and his soldiers, paying tithe to their liege and taking care of their lands.

    The feudal ladder works in a way that nobles swear fealty to their liege, which means they promise to serve as part of that noble's armed forces but in return that noble promises to protect them.

    So a count will have a number of barons under him, these barons have sworn oaths to assist the count when he calls for them but he is responsible for protecting them and their rights. This goes all the way through the ladder up to the king (or emperor).

    Put crudely, the ladder goes:
    Emperor
    King
    Duke
    Count
    Baron
    Lower Nobility
    Free men and women, Burgers
    Serfs

    But as mentioned, this is a crude approximation. It is almost infinitely more complex system. But the basics of the system is that it's about delegating responisibility.
    Villages will have knights (lesser nobles) protecting them, these knights are banded together under the lowest tier of high nobility (baron, freiherr, friherre, etc.).
    These nobles are banded together under the mid tier (counts, graf, greve, etc.) whom in effect rule small nations with a force of several hundreds of men.
    These in turn band together under the highest tier (duke, fürst, hertig, herzog, prince, jarl) whom in essence run small countries. The mightiest of dukes (or more correctly, the duke with the most might backing him) is essentially "chosen" to be the king.

    Then there's all the special titles. Like Marquis (marquess, marcher lord, markis), which is a count entrusted to protect the civilised lands ("the empire") from barbarians and thus granted extra military authority.
    Or emperor: "The king of kings".
    Or baronet... which seems to be a lesser baron.

    As mentioned above, each culture has it's own titles, responsibilites and laws regarding this. Souther France was different from Northern France. Saxon England different from Norman England. China and the Byzantine empire for instance were much more bureaucratic in it's approach. With titles being more offices of the imperial authority than inhereted warlord titles. In pre-Vasa Sweden, a lot of titles were elected. Hungary and Croatia was apparently running their own things.

    Basically... if you don't want to make it too complex. Set up three tiers of nobility (and royalty above them). Give them names you find appropriate and set up a basic pyramid. Each level derives their power from the total number of men under them. There you go.

    As for your second question.
    A castle is a military fortification. They are always built to protect something. A river crossing. An important settlement. A safe harbour. A narrow valley. A trade route.
    If a lot of trade mover through the castle, then a town will sooner or later emerge. Once it grows big enough, sooner or later someone will want to build a wall to be able to toll the goods moving in and out.

    Simply put.

    And yes, a baron can absolutely hold something that important for the king. The king could easily have established himself as the count of that area (it's perfectly possible to hold multiple titles).
    In fact, it's probably more likely for a baron to hold that rather than a duke. Because a baron would never hold enough territory to challange the king on his own.

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    European nobolity is pure chaos. And it gets worse when europeans used the same terms for nobles they encountered in foreign societies.

    That said, I think most of the time its tradition.
    Some people may now cry out in horror, but I think at least for the germanic people the whole system started with the leaders of small communities and warlords. Over time alliances between communities became more permanent and a tradition evolved that the leadership of the group would be passed down to the heir of the old leader. And all over the world, they developed different terms for these leaders.

    Also, I terribly simplefy things here!
    I would say basically there are three types of noble ranks:
    - Hereditary sovereigns.
    - Appointed officers.
    - Emperors.

    Hereditary sovereigns are rulers who own their land and possible even the people as their personal property. Those are for example Dukes and Kings. In the Holy Roman Empire, the title of King mostly indicated that you were really powerful, but it mostly worked like all the other Dukes and Archdukes, which also were just powerful Dukes.
    On the other hand you have for example the Counts. A count is an appointed administration officer who manages parts of the realm of a higher noble like a Duke or a King. In many cases the title was passed down from father to son, since the son would also be the Counts apprentice who learned the job and all the local circumstances as he grew up, so he was the most qualified person to do it. But if the sovereign didn't like the job they did, they could be fired and someone else be appointed.
    Below that, you also usually had the Knights. As a knight, you were allowed to join the club of nobles, but that didn't provide you with any political power. A knight could become very rich and powerful by managing his small piece of land well, but they could also be just as poor as any peasant.

    Emperors are special, as they rule over many nominally sovereign rulers like kings and dukes, and it often also means that they rule over people from many different ethnicities. This could be a King who just was so powerful that he effectively forced the other dukes into line, like in Russia. Or it could be one of the sovereign rulers whom they elected from within their ranks to be the chairman of their allianace, as was the case with the german Emperor.
    The "Emperor of Japan" is a particularly strange case, since he almost always ruled over a single people, the Japanese. However, for a very long time, he was mostly symbolic and all the local Daimyo ("Big-Landowners") did whatever the hell they wanted.

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    To elaborate on the castle question, a castle is a defensive structure, made to protect some point of strategic importance (resources, population, river crossing, trade route). Often times, a town is made adjacent to the castle, created to supply the castle with supplies and a work force (at least, this is the norm for England and France).

    The bulk of the town will be within a town wall, with the market as the center of the town. The wall often abuts the castle, using the castle as part of the wall. Outside the wall, you will have all the farming and other such activities, although these farms will typically be fairly close to the wall so that the farmers can run into the defenses of the town wall in case of attack.

    It is important to note that, often times, if the town was under siege, the townsfolk would retreat into the castle for safety, which means that the castle would typically be large enough to house the population of the surrounding town (albeit not very comfortably… think London Underground during the Blitz). Also, during a siege, many of the townsfolk would form a militia to help defend the castle, so they aren't completely useless during a siege.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Welknair View Post
    *Proceeds to google "Bride of the Portable Hole", jokingly wondering if it might exist*

    *It does.*

    What.

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Castles and smaller fortifications also made a big impact on controlling the surrounding area for a considerable distance.
    If you want to move an army into an area protected by castles, you could easily go around them with the defenders up on the wall only being able to watch you from the distance, but it would often be a very bad idea.
    Because this means that you will always have to watch your back against small groups of soldiers striking at your rear, and all supply transports to your army would have to be very heavily guarded to protect them from the soldiers that could come out of the fortress at any time. You either had to take the castle, or leave a substential force to keep them from getting out and attacking your rear. Any solution would require a lot of resources and manpower, which you would really need in the main army for the campaign. And all the soldiers in the fortress have to do is be there. They don't need to break out, just by binding the enemies resources they are doing a great job in defending their country.
    Built a small fortress close to a mountain pass or river crossing, and anyone wanting to use this route has to be on the lookout for its soldiers that are in the area. And of course, it would be in a position where they know any wagons are comming way in advance.

  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    It's both the beauty and the curse of such skripts that they work entirely without pronounciation. You can read whole sentences in Chinese and Japanese and understand them completely, while still not being able to pronounce them as you don't have any clue what sound is used to describe the concept and combination of symbols.
    Chinese characters actually have a lot of phonetic components, but you don't need to know them to learn the meanings of the characters. Understanding those phonetic components does help to explain some of the odd combinations of characters.

    A small minority of characters are purely symbolic like "sun" or "tree". A larger minority are ideograms like "'rest' is made from 'man + tree' to represent a man resting by leaning on a tree". A majority are basically equivalent to things like spelling "I love you forever" in English as "Eye heart U 4ever". For example, if you look at the numbers from 1 to 4, you'll see that "one", "two", and "three" are just one, two, or three lines. The character for "four" is 四, which is derived from a picture of a nose because the word for "four" rhymes with the word for "nostrils".

    Sometimes when you see a character made by combining two simpler characters, it represents a concept by example (such as "man + tree = rest"); however, it usually means "a concept related to this symbol that rhymes with the word represented by this other symbol". For example, "water" + "tree" means "to wash yourself", because you use water to wash yourself and the verb "to wash yourself" is pronounced just like the noun "tree". "Tree" + "tree" means "small forest", but "water" + two "trees" means "to pour" because that's a liquid related word that rhymes with the word for forest.

    Of course, this only makes sense in the original Chinese as spoken by the people who wrote the characters in the first place. If you use those characters for a different language like Vietnamese, Japanese, or Korean, you end up with a lot of people saying "Damn, this is confusing!" That's why Vietnamese is now written with a phonetic Latin script, Korean has a purely phonetic syllabary, and Japanese uses a phonetic syllabary to write the pronunciations of rare or unusual kanji so people will recognize the word (or at least know how to say it so they can ask "hey, what does X mean?").

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    This is pretty much an open ended question:
    Can anyone tell me something about the origin of nobility and "civil offices" in "semi-civilized" societies? I'm thinking of a social structure where things are still very much contained to the villages which are connected through kinship, but rulership has already become more sophisticated than simply the biggest and meanest warrior forcing his decisions on the community? (I am exagerating, I know.)
    I think probably like the very early middle ages, before the Frankish kings and where the athurian legends are based. Or "pre-raiding" Skandinavia.

    I think it probably started with community-leaders establishing closer ties and more formal alliances with each other for mutual protection against other communities, and the leaders best buddy being the one who always got entrusted with the same tasks. But I'd like to know some more how things actually did happen but really no clue where to begin with. I imagine written acounts probably being nonexistent, which would make it not particularly popular for sientific research.

    If you have some basics you recall, or know about specific sources that deal with these things, I'll be happy with anything anyone can tell me.

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Can anyone tell me something about the origin of nobility and "civil offices" in "semi-civilized" societies?
    I think this question is culture-dependent. "Semi-civilized" Scandinavians are very different from "semi-civilized" Sumerians or Navajo. Factors such as food production, trade, tech level, climate, environment etc can dramatically change the social structure.

    To give a basic (and simplified) example, farming communities tend to evolve quite differently from herding communities. The farmers' basic needs are irrigation and a system for the surplus grain to circulate properly - and be put in store for times of need. That tends to lead to concentration of power and some sort of central authority very early, not to mention the effects of private/state property of land. They require organizing skills, so relevant civil offices are prone to pop up.

    In contrast, herders can be a lot more isolated and independent from each other. Central authority is not needed as such, and civil offices may be completely unknown. The social structure tends to be more clan-based. Violence comes a lot easier (to protect the animals form predators and from thieves/raiders), and the equivalent of nobility may be "bravest toughest guy with a knife, or descendent of one" until very late.

    And when you take into account contact with other communities (which may be peaceful or warlike), external threats of any sort, religious functions overlapping with social functions, abundance or scarcity of resources etc, things get increasingly complicated.


    Personally, for all relevant subjects, I hold in high esteem two books: "The Golden Bough" by Frazer, and "The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State" by Engels. They begin from different premises, they are written with a different mindset, they focus on different aspects and they often (not always) reach different conclusions. But I think that looking at things from many points of view is the best way to get the big picture.

    If you're looking for something more specific, there's a nice monograph by Nora Chadwick called "The Celts", which explains institutions in early Celtic societies, and how they evolved.

    Of course, when we're talking about an age before written records, a lot of things are pure conjecture. We'll probably never know for sure how exactly human society evolved in its early stages.
    Last edited by HeadlessMermaid; 2012-07-01 at 04:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    often times nobles start to develop when one family starts getting really powerful. If one guy has dozens of brothers, cousins, sons and nepewes he can call on to back him up he has a lot of force to throw around.

    a related aspect is wealth a powerful family has a lot of it, this wealthy can be used to get other lesser families to work with you.

    intermarriage then expands the power basis as other strong but not quite as strong families want to get in on the act.

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by awa View Post
    often times nobles start to develop when one family starts getting really powerful. If one guy has dozens of brothers, cousins, sons and nepewes he can call on to back him up he has a lot of force to throw around.
    ....That would only work if every individual is equally powerful (so more is better, with no other considerations) and if resources keep going up at the exact same rate with the population (so more people doesn't mean smaller portions for everyone). Neither is often the case. Also, families aren't necessarily at odds with each other, and "intermarriage" comes way before organized settlements anyway.

    Is that a theory you picked up somewhere, perhaps referring to particular socioeconomic conditions, or era, or culture? Or a general speculation of yours?
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by HeadlessMermaid View Post
    Personally, for all relevant subjects, I hold in high esteem two books: "The Golden Bough" by Frazer, and "The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State" by Engels. They begin from different premises, they are written with a different mindset, they focus on different aspects and they often (not always) reach different conclusions. But I think that looking at things from many points of view is the best way to get the big picture.
    As someone who read a lot of 19th and 21st century antropology and sociology books, I have considerable doubt of the accuracy of 19th century writers. Especially when the purpose of the book was to support their personal political agenda.

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    its mostly from stuff i studied in my college cutural anthropology classes.
    group "leaders" in largely egalitarian societies were often leaders becuase they had a lot of male relatives they could call on. if i wasent at work i could try and dig out my old text books for more specific examples

    edit since we were discusing how nobility arose i was only looking at groups with fairly simple organizastional structures. in in those situations more ussualy is better
    Last edited by awa; 2012-07-02 at 01:52 PM.

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    I think the chance of anyone ever reading my material who would object to my portrayal of a fictional clan based society is sufficiently low.

    I think a model in which the natural tendency of economical power agregating in a few selected families merely becomes codified in tradition over time will be sufficient. Though this could have come out of the pen of Engels himself.

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    As someone who read a lot of 19th and 21st century antropology and sociology books, I have considerable doubt of the accuracy of 19th century writers. Especially when the purpose of the book was to support their personal political agenda.
    *shrug*
    It's a valid hypothesis and a model that works. Meaning, it has no internal inconsistencies, no glaring logical fallacies, and it isn't based on wildly arbitrary assumptions (in stark contrast with, say, The White Goddess). The political affiliation is indisputable, but "agenda"? As far as I know, no one believes that it compromised his scientific integrity - he didn't fabricate evidence or anything. His anthropological model isn't a gospel (nothing is, in science), but it's a very useful paradigm to have in mind, IMO.
    *shrug the second*

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I think a model in which the natural tendency of economical power agregating in a few selected families merely becomes codified in tradition over time will be sufficient. Though this could have come out of the pen of Engels himself.
    ...See?
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    I'm working on a setting patterned off the amazon rainforest, but beside piranha I don't actually know much about the regions fauna or flora for that matter, anybody want to point me towards aspects of the amazon that will make for an interesting setting.

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Deploy View Post
    I'm working on a setting patterned off the amazon rainforest, but beside piranha I don't actually know much about the regions fauna or flora for that matter, anybody want to point me towards aspects of the amazon that will make for an interesting setting.
    Cordyceps Fungus. Parasitic fungus which in some cases engage in mind-control of their hosts.
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Deploy View Post
    I'm working on a setting patterned off the amazon rainforest, but beside piranha I don't actually know much about the regions fauna or flora for that matter, anybody want to point me towards aspects of the amazon that will make for an interesting setting.
    Oh, there are all sorts of things. Jaguar, anaconda, poison dart frog, crocodiles, vampire bat, vampire fish… and that's just the more well known "dangerous" things. Just peruse this for a while, I'm sure you can figure something out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categor..._of_the_Amazon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Welknair View Post
    *Proceeds to google "Bride of the Portable Hole", jokingly wondering if it might exist*

    *It does.*

    What.

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Deploy View Post
    I'm working on a setting patterned off the amazon rainforest, but beside piranha I don't actually know much about the regions fauna or flora for that matter, anybody want to point me towards aspects of the amazon that will make for an interesting setting.
    Umm....you kinda said this already...
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Question: Are there actual cases of green flames comming from the ground? I think it looks quite cool, but do things like that actually exist? The only thing remotely similar that I know is the Door to Hell in Turmenistan, which is a collapsed methane drilling project that was ignited to prevent the gas from mixing with the atmosphere. However, it is a man made gas leak, consist of only a single hole, and burns red.
    Is it possible to have small green flames sprad over a large area?

    Green fire can be made by mixing Zinc and sulphur so any zinc heavy mineral region with volcanic activity could easily be a good reason for green fire.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by charcoalninja View Post
    Question: Are there actual cases of green flames comming from the ground? I think it looks quite cool, but do things like that actually exist? The only thing remotely similar that I know is the Door to Hell in Turmenistan, which is a collapsed methane drilling project that was ignited to prevent the gas from mixing with the atmosphere. However, it is a man made gas leak, consist of only a single hole, and burns red.
    Is it possible to have small green flames sprad over a large area?

    Green fire can be made by mixing Zinc and sulphur so any zinc heavy mineral region with volcanic activity could easily be a good reason for green fire.
    I'd say look into Will-o-the-Wisps, which is methane gas released by decomposing plants in marshes. This methane can be lit by the phosphine (PH3) and diphosphane (P2H4) contaminants which ignite when they make contact with the air. Methane burns with a blue-ish light, but with other impurities it can easily emit a green light instead.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Welknair View Post
    *Proceeds to google "Bride of the Portable Hole", jokingly wondering if it might exist*

    *It does.*

    What.

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    How common were Iron Age Houses?



    When you look for Iron Age houses and villages online, virtually all results you get will be of exactly this type.
    Is it just that there are very few finds that can be reconstructed and happen to be of this type, or was it's really that for thousands of years all over Europe virtually everyone was using exactly this type of house?

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    It depends on what you mean by "this type" I guess.

    There was quite a lot of variety, certainly, but still obviously variety among something that will have somehow similar principles.

    Scandinavian longhouses of 6th - 9th century will be different than say, Slavic ones.
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