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    Default Cultural Quirks

    So, I find one of the easiest, fastest way to add a layer of realism and interest to a world or culture, is to throw in some interesting, noteworthy cultural quirks. I'm curious to see if I'm the only one that does this, and maybe even harvest a few interesting ideas from other people's worlds. A few examples:

    I always make draconic names be long strings of draconic words that end up telling you about the dragon and their aspirations. The names are almost always over-the-top. For example, I played a pseudodragon warlock whose name meant 'Gem of the east, the most beautiful sage, master of the arcane.'

    Gnomes in my worlds LOVE spicy food, particularly garlic and horseradish, to the point that most visitors in gnome towns are stuck eating trail rations because the food's just too damn hot.

    I had a wild elf who absolutely would not rest anywhere he couldn't see the sky. They believed that the dark elves became evil when they left the sky to live underground, and as such, believed they too would turn evil if they abandoned the sky. He was a nervous wreck whenever they were inside or underground for any length of time, and after getting knocked out in a cave, he freaked out, convinced the experience had made him more evil.
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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    In the world of Shatterholm that I'm writing, many worshipers of Sonya (Goddess of grief and loss) leave behind Rithars, or Loss Shrines, when they leave a location. Carved, written, or drawn onto (or into) a surface, Rithars represent those things the traveler is leaving behind for good or ill as a symbol that loss, while inevitable, reminds you of what it is you have gained.


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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    Lessee...
    • Elves are convinced that they're God's chosen race, but there's considerable debate over whether this means "chosen to spread the gospel" or "chosen to rule over the lesser races."
    • The elves from the north have exceptionally spicy (think very spicy Thai) food.
    • The elves were originally humans who were stolen by the fay and taken to Faerie, and warped by their time there. They escaped captivity and destroyed Faerie, inadvertently unleashing the fay on everyone else.
    • Gnomes are slave-taking decadent merchants.
    • Gnome food is almost entirely seafood-based, with other meat being very expensive.
    • Dwarves worship their ancestors but the state is theocratic and devoted to their gods.
    • Dwarf marriage is temporary (10 years long) and it's traditional for each dwarf to be married three times. Their first spouse is traditionally chosen by their parents, the second by their town, and the third by themselves.
    • Dwarven gods are neither good nor evil, but all have an Empyreal (light and righteous) and Cthonic (dark and sinister) aspect that are worshipped in different ways.
    • Kobolds believe that at some point in the indeterminate future a dragonwrought kobold will arise who will discover the secret to becoming the first true dragon and then rule over the entirety of creation as a physical god.
    • Half-orcs have a primarily equestrian society, and traditionally the first thing a half-orc eats after he is born is mare's milk mixed with his father's (or adopted father's) blood. If a half-orc is adopted, this ritual is performed again.

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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    Okay, you want more, I got more.

    Gnomes staunchly refuse to kill anything that responds to their speak with animals SLA.

    Goblin culture focuses heavily on sex. There are many rituals that involve it, having many children is seen as a status symbol, and their primary gods resemble fertility deities from human cultures.

    Dwarves don't get first names. They get numbers. Basically, a normal dwarf's name would translate to 'third son of Olaf Hammerfist'. Dwarves only get real first names once they accomplish something suitably impressive to earn the right to their own family.

    Halflings beleive that restricting an intelligent being's ability to make choices is wrong. Mind control and charm effects are viewed as evil.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Halflings beleive that restricting an intelligent being's ability to make choices is wrong. Mind control and charm effects are viewed as evil.
    Unless you're name is Charles Xavier, isn't that a common notion everywhere?

    Not sure if this counts as cultural, but seeing as how I spend so much time on TV Tropes, I've taken to giving my villain groups theme names. Can you spot the common group theme?:

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    -Skull
    -Ribs
    -Femur
    -Pelvis
    -Ulna
    -Scapula
    -Clavicle
    -Sternum


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    -Vodka
    -Wine
    -Sake
    -Whiskey
    -Rum
    -Mead


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    -Dairy Jr.
    -Omelet
    -Bacon
    -Waffles
    -Sausage


    I got to get more creative, obscure, or less obvious with these. Also, one of my kings has two daughters - princesses, females so we're clear - named Nero and Caligula. Princess Nero and Princess Caligula. Has a nice ring to it.

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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    -Dwarves are very communal. You belong to a clan, and you work for the clan (getting paid, but not a lot; the clan provides living quarters, food, etc.) doing whatever the clan does: fight, mine, smith, build, etc. If you want to leave the clan, you have to buy yourself out (and you can appeal to a magistrate to set a fair price). If you want to join another clan, they pay you a lump sum in advance. You can only found a clan if you've already left your old one. If you marry outside the clan (which is encouraged), one of you has to go to the other's clan.
    -Dwarves don't have grave markers. Instead, when a dwarf dies or leaves the clan, his notable achievements for the clan are inscribed in his clan's Book of Deeds, which is taught to the clan's children growing up. A dwarf with no notable accomplishments will thus be forgotten when he dies. The largest, oldest clans have entire libraries for their Books of Deeds. To be without a clan is a fate feared by almost all dwarves.
    -Dwarves are proud of their ancestors' accomplishments. If an ancestor built a fortress or crafted a grand weapon, or invented a new method of smelting or smithing, it is considered a mark of grave disrespect to stop using it, even if it becomes outdated. Sometimes, a dwarf who has already proven his skill and worth is permitted to improve upon the works of the ancestors, but the credit for such an improvement is shared between the ancestor and his descendant. (As an "I may see far, but I stand on the shoulders of giants" sort of thing.)

    -Halflings are travellers. Although many eventually find somewhere they like and settle down, a lot of them leave home as soon as they're adults and never stop moving. They're traders, tinkers, minstrels and bards--and often scoundrels as well.
    -Halflings are tight-knit. Because of their travel, any given halfling has family all over the place. Whenever two halflings meet in a bar, they start talking about their families to see whether they're actually distant relatives. They virtually always have friends or family in the area that they can visit and stay with a short while--and even if they don't, halflings have a general policy of hospitality towards travellers, so all a halfling needs to do to find a bed and a hot meal is find the nearest halfling home.
    -Halflings are everywhere. There are halflings living among humans, elves, dwarves, and orcs--but not goblins. NEVER goblins. They also tend to adopt the customs of whoever they live among: elf-halflings use bows and study magic, dwarf-halflings have clans and Books of Deeds, and orc-halflings are berserkers. The halfling travellers also pick up customs from their settled cousins and spread them to other halfling enclaves around the world, resulting in a sort of reverse-cultural-melting-pot: a decentralized community of halflings spanning the world and incorporating customs from every culture to ever exist.

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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    -Humans are isolationists who don't get on with humans of other nations but aren't speciesist. The Demi humans get by by acting as intermediaries or playing the various human states off against each other.

    -Gnomes belive that dogs are all awakened polymaths engaged in a masive cold war against the goats for control of the sheep.

    -ogres are all drummers.
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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    Though there's risk of drifting into the immature, nonstandard marriage customs can have quite an impact on the cultural upbringing of characters.
    In matriarchal societies where women own the land, it's easy to keep track of the genealogy of mothers and daughters without monitoring who the father might be, making the whole idea of marriage rather superfluous. What's left is only the political aspect of having family members live in the homes of allies to strengthen the relationship between the families. Labor divisions wouldn't have to change at all, it's just that the assemblies of landowners (who become an official nobility in more advanced societies) are filled with women instead of men.
    Or people might be allowed to marry as often as their holdings can support the growing family. Which might include very rich nobles to marry a few more women on paper for vanity, while those women actually have their own quarters with their own inofficial families in the palace.
    Or the Roman practice of adopting younger friends and lieutenants into the family when there's no daughter available to make them sons-in-law.

    Also, slavery always works great as an oddety. It doesn't have to be all mining and galley slaves, but can simply include household servants who are so poor they couldn't go anywhere else anyway, relying entirely on food and lodging as their "pay". Add a cultural custom that you can't simply hire someone elses servants without their permission, and you have pretty much slaves. And it wouldn't have to be that anyone involved feels particularly unusual about it.

    Gnomes (or halflings) are completely shameless when it comes to playing the coward or being a liar when encountering rivals or competitors they can't challenge fairly. Instead, they always concede defeat, make promises to go along with whatever the other side demands, and then immediately proceed to come up with a plan to backstab their rivials and enemies.
    In warfare, that means an almost total reliance on ambushes and false retreat. They can't win in an even fight, so they never fight even. When getting intimidated and bullied, they give in at first and later return with allies in the night. And since they are so small and weak, people keep falling for it over and over and over.

    Goblins are an almost entirely subteranean race that deals with surface people almost entirely as guides and scouts to passages that lead to the underworld.
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-11-09 at 03:36 PM.
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    The dwarves in one of my settings have a couple of interesting quirks.

    Since the earth god (who created the dwarves) is the husband of the nature goddess, dwarves hold trees sacred and will not cut live wood if they can avoid it. They also find pearls disproportinately valuable, mostly because those are the only gem that doesn't grow in their caves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Dwarves don't get first names. They get numbers. Basically, a normal dwarf's name would translate to 'third son of Olaf Hammerfist'. Dwarves only get real first names once they accomplish something suitably impressive to earn the right to their own family.
    Do you know the naming system of Roman nobility? They did pretty much the same thing, with Gaius, Titus, Lucius, and Marcus being the personal names shared by almost everyone who even had a name. The rest of the name is mostly genealogic identification plus a number for brothers.
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    - Drow use 'she' instead of 'he' as their default third person pronoun, which has lead to endless confusion and paranoia fun;

    Drow PC: Whoever that assassin was, she was clearly very skilled.

    Everyone else: How do you know it was a woman?

    Drow PC: ...I...don't?

    Everyone else: What aren't you telling us!?

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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Do you know the naming system of Roman nobility? They did pretty much the same thing, with Gaius, Titus, Lucius, and Marcus being the personal names shared by almost everyone who even had a name. The rest of the name is mostly genealogic identification plus a number for brothers.
    They also had Primus, Secundus, Tertius, Quartus, Quintus, Sextus, Septimus, etc. And if you were born after your father died, Posthumus, which was often taken to mean "possibly illegitimate." Toward the end of the 1st century AD, women weren't even given their own personal names, just feminized versions of their clan name and the possesive of their father's or husband's family name. So Julius Caesar's daughter would be Caesar's Julia.

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    I did not know anything about roman nobility naming systems, honestly.
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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    In my world:

    Elves:

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    Elves are extremely willing to pick a fight, will eat anything, and will sleep with anything (Most sentient creatures (that aren't Human, Orc, Dwarf, or Kobold) and higher intelligence monsters are the result of elven breeding). This is due to their near-extinction in the apocalyptic Titan War that overthrew a god.


    Orcs/Humans

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    Humans and Orcs have mostly integrated their cultures, and the three civilized empires are rule by a noble class of vast polygamous clans (which date back to the titan war.)
    The three empires also have fairly distinct cultures:

    In the Holy Aprilian Empire, sex is treated as if it were any other art, being taught in the schools, and skilled prostitutes are treated much like rock gods or A-list actors. Slavery is illegal outside of the court system, where it is used for crimes that merit the death penalty but not being soul-bound to a golem. Due to strong Elven influence, cannibalism is legal, if disliked, and many judical slave wind up on the menu of elven restaurants.

    In Markavia, group marriage (outside of the noble houses) is nearly unheard of, and unliscened magic use is a capital crime. They are also the only empire that borders the vast goblin lands, and thus being a goblin is usually also a capital crime.

    Cinnabar trades slaves openly, and has a very strong seafaring tradition. It is, however, a capital crime to injure, eat, or otherwise mistreat a slave. Elves are widely distrusted and very rare.


    Goblins

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    Goblins are actually a degenerate breed of Orc, descended from the survivors of those who kept faith with the evil god at the First Battle. Their culture is unknown, but they are extremely well armed and often launch raids from ships, or try to seize the only pass between them and the Empires.

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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    I tend to have an underlying culture in my cities and countries. In one city, I've assumed the prickly approach to honor found in 17th century Paris. In another, there was a Narnian flavor, and non-humans were fully integrated.

    I've had a Shire-like countryside, a land with Welsh bards, and my dwarven communities tend to be Nordic in flavor.

    This is just an undertone in my head so I can make the NPCs act like they belong to the culture.

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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    The entire northern section of my world's main continent is cut off from the rest of the world by a massive, nearly impassible mountain range. Weather conditions, troll infestations and over-all difficult treading means the groups of people up north never interact with the mainland. Oddly enough, halflings are entirely native to the north, and are completely barbaric.

    This lead to a rather funny scene of the PCs facing off against a small army of halflings....they laughed at first, but then the halflings raged. All of them.

    I think it downed two PCs and seriously injured the others. Well, I did 'warn' them about my halflings....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff the Green View Post
    Lessee...
    • Kobolds believe that at some point in the indeterminate future a dragonwrought kobold will arise who will discover the secret to becoming the first true dragon and then rule over the entirety of creation as a physical god.
    Pun-Pun?

    Quote Originally Posted by kieza View Post
    -Halflings are tight-knit. Because of their travel, any given halfling has family all over the place. Whenever two halflings meet in a bar, they start talking about their families to see whether they're actually distant relatives. They virtually always have friends or family in the area that they can visit and stay with a short while--and even if they don't, halflings have a general policy of hospitality towards travellers, so all a halfling needs to do to find a bed and a hot meal is find the nearest halfling home.
    My halflings will offer that to anyone within reason. Like they'll only give you a couple nights free stay, and the town will catch on if you travel door-to-door to avoid paying for a room at the inn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fallbot View Post
    - Drow use 'she' instead of 'he' as their default third person pronoun, which has lead to endless confusion and paranoia fun
    Can I steal this?

    And one addition of my own:
    -Elves have traditional Hawaiian names as described by Wikipedia. This means they ONLY have gender-neutral names. To make it even more confusing, everyone looks androgynous to outsiders (elves can still tell genders apart).
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    Quote Originally Posted by kieza View Post
    -Halflings are tight-knit. Because of their travel, any given halfling has family all over the place. Whenever two halflings meet in a bar, they start talking about their families to see whether they're actually distant relatives. They virtually always have friends or family in the area that they can visit and stay with a short while--and even if they don't, halflings have a general policy of hospitality towards travellers, so all a halfling needs to do to find a bed and a hot meal is find the nearest halfling home.
    I once knew a guy who came from this little culturally isolated isle in the south pacific, I beleive. When the rest of the world came to the island and they learned about last names, everyone on the island picked up the same last name. Since the isle joined up with the rest of the world, the name has since spread far an wide. This guy claimed he could go to any major city, crack open the phone book, and find a cousin with a place he could crash for the night.
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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    I'm currently running a noir-style campaign, set in an increasingly overpopulated melting pot. So, aside from the various quirks associated with various species (Ogres can and will eat anything; part of "fancy" restaurants in Ogre neighborhoods is having tastier, rather than classier-looking, dishes and cutlery), the close proximity leads to a lot of cultural overlap. In fact, if players pay attention to certain little details, they might gain clues to some of the mysteries by noting who's picked up a few habits from whom.

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    Gnomes worship the little spirits that preside over every concept and type of object. Think platonic ideals and/or fetishes.
    So if something is of gnomish make, a little shrine will be built or engraved into the item as a form of protection for the item and its user.
    Goblinoids worship the Three Saints, perfect Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Bugbears. Generally male goblinoids say they were male and female goblinoids say they are female. They say there is no contradiction.
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    Some of the quirks and details I try to include in my Pathfinder campaign:

    - Finding real-world, historical equivalents for cultures and peoples. Taldor is the failing Byzantine Empire, Brevoy is Russia before Peter the Great, Andoran is half Napoleonic France, half early United States.

    - Fey creatures are whimsical at best, Orange and Blue Morality at worst.

    - Druid lodges build alliances with all manner of woodland creatures. Not just animals and treants, but fey, lycanthrope and giants as well.

    - The majority of elves in Golarion are xenophobic and isolationist, thinking humans as little more than children playing with forces they cannot comprehend.

    - Unless otherwise stated, the world is closer to Renaissance than the Middle Ages.

    - Coffee is slowly being introduced in the eastern part of the game world. Most people drink tea.
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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    You could take inspiration from real-world customs and oddities.


    Eating dogs/cats/insects is likely to raise a few eyebrows without getting the Paladin into smite-mode. There might be a humorous misunderstanding if the Wizard lets his familiar run free.

    Some peoples eat bird fetuses right out of the egg, before they're hatched, sometimes after leaving the egg whole in the ground. Your PCs encounter a halfling digging in the dirt, he pulls an egg out, cracks it open, and pops an unborn duck-fetus into his mouth. As you approach, he digs up another egg and offers it to you, smiling contentedly.

    Prayer 5 times a day for deeply religious folk. A bell sounds, and everyone in town drops what they were doing, pull out carpets, kneel down on them and pray for a few minutes.

    In at least some parts of the Congo, it "rains" caterpillars (they fall from the trees) at certain times of the year (caterpillar mating season). People have to walk around with umbrellas or else they get harmless caterpillars all over and inside their clothes.

    Monkeys are always interesting. The adorable little things can be pets, or just live in the jungle, or hitchhike on a ship. They can also steal people's things.

    Dog-fighting/cockfighting (can be used with more exotic D&D fauna) are interesting gambling opportunities. They also add some color, even if they're just in the background. Huddled masses of poor people shouting and waving coppers (and the occasional silver) at tiny battling animals.

    Sports, many of which tend to be variations on "Kick this ball down the field into an improvised goal post". The PCs might walk by some locals playing a casual (but still heated and very loud) game, and be invited to join in. Among other things, it's an opportunity to make contacts with the lower-classes, and maybe get a quest hook out of it (as the locals befriend the PCs, relax, and loosen their tongues a little, sharing their concerns about local happenings).

    Funeral parties, if the PCs encounter one. Death isn't all doom and gloom; it's really a time to enjoy yourself and celebrate the life you still have. The dead would want you to be happy, not sad. So get over the crying and have some fun.
    Last edited by Slipperychicken; 2012-11-12 at 12:58 AM.
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    By level 20 though, you aren't capturing a wizard. A character lives to level 20 by being the most ruthless, lucky, capable, and paranoid bastard around. A wizard is throwing around a 30+ Int score and has, entirely in character, planned contingencies for his contingencies. He may well be running around with flat out total immunity to harm, he does not walk outside without an entire bevy of defensive magics around him and enough magic items to buy himself a nation.

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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    Little sayings and phrases that reflect past history and cultural identity. For, in the culture that uses the call to prayer mentioned above, they might have a saying like, "When the bell tolls," to mean dropping whatever one is doing for something important.
    Swears and curses could also tell little tales. They might use an altered version of god's names as euphemism, like we do with "gosh".
    Last edited by Ravens_cry; 2012-11-13 at 12:13 AM.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    Trolls
    Believe in sacred rites of combat. In order to settle disputes, gain in station and influence, or add an exclamation point to one's argument, you challenge your opponent/superior/friend/wife to unarmed combat. This is a pretty serious thing, going on for a good 5 minutes or so (In D&D, that's 50 rounds, AKA forever) due to the Regeneration factor. Because of the same, these fights are never lethal. Trolls believe in Surrendering one's point, argument, or cause when one is rendered unconsious, if it is done bare-handed.

    This has caused all manner of dispute with other races, as they believe Trolls to be Warlike and Stupid, constantly killing anyone they disagree with. The Trolls just aren't used to dealing with opponents so breakable.

    That said, if one manages to subdue a troll bare-handed, that troll is obligated to defer to you in manners involving whatever argument caused the ruckus in the future.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Admiral Squish's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    Quote Originally Posted by Acanous View Post
    Trolls
    Believe in sacred rites of combat. In order to settle disputes, gain in station and influence, or add an exclamation point to one's argument, you challenge your opponent/superior/friend/wife to unarmed combat. This is a pretty serious thing, going on for a good 5 minutes or so (In D&D, that's 50 rounds, AKA forever) due to the Regeneration factor. Because of the same, these fights are never lethal. Trolls believe in Surrendering one's point, argument, or cause when one is rendered unconsious, if it is done bare-handed.

    This has caused all manner of dispute with other races, as they believe Trolls to be Warlike and Stupid, constantly killing anyone they disagree with. The Trolls just aren't used to dealing with opponents so breakable.

    That said, if one manages to subdue a troll bare-handed, that troll is obligated to defer to you in manners involving whatever argument caused the ruckus in the future.
    I actually had something very similar in my trolls once. Trolls are solitary creatures, and standard procedure when two trolls meet is for the two to fight to establish dominance. After the fight, they talk, trade, swap stories and generally hang out before they go their sepeare ways. It's not entirely uncommon for the winner to eat the loser's severed limbs while this is going on. So, when trolls first encountered humans, they simply followed procedure. Eventually, the trolls began to learn the littlefolk didn't get back up and were horrified by the concept that they could die so easily. But by then the reputation of trolls as bloodthirsty savages that kill without a second thought. There are still trolls in the deep wilds that have never met humans, and continue to perpetuate the reputation.
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    And then their is different kinds of censorship.

    The works of Shakespere where censored at the time for blasphemy and sedition; not sexual content. Many of his works where very explicit and featured extremely bawdy puns.

    "I die (orgasm) in your lap"
    "Get thee to a nunnery (brothel)"
    "My naked tool is out" (does this even require explaining?)
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    Concentric circles
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    How very Machiavellian, professor Doom.
    Clever, effective, and anyone who agrees with it is a grade A global supervillain.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    -The king of the human nation is a chaotic good halfling who has absolutely no interest in running things(how and why he was appointed is a long story) This has of course lead to a rather anarchic society that is regressing back to city-state rule.
    -Dwarves, when speaking common, use German sentence structure. It doesn't affect too terribly much but there is the occasional odd phrase... I suppose any language could be, and has been, used like this for various species.
    -Gnomes are the least common of the core species (and it could even be said are slowly going extinct as they spread out further) because they are all too preoccupied by some personal project/research/invention to be bothered to reproduce.
    ‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’ What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Cerlis's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    In a world I've thought of, Dwarves are sticklers for what is common. Basically its fashionable and proper to dress and act like the norm. The Norm is usually set up by the higher classes. Nobles and Kings. its often a big thing if a high up does something different because its against the norm. But if its popular then it can change all of society since lesser classes model their dress and behavior after them.

    Both of these aspects where created for two reasons. The "norm" thing is i wanted there to be a reason for one of the Main characters to be unhappy with his son being gay (as hetero couples are the most common and thus the norm), without taking any of the religious and other drama from out world. The other was an excuse to have the dwarves in lavish Restoration high fashion big poofy cloths with white face makeup.

    The last major king who did something original dressed in such lavish things. Big poofy collars, big pants. Red lips. The whole debacle. Naturally the lesser classes cant afford such things, so knock offs are popular, and end up in less gaudy outfits.

    As for the "norm" thing, this applies to marriage practices, forms of entertainment. Hair and dress styles, living areas, and jobs. A man from a mining family deciding to become a high fashion tailor is seen to be just as deviant as a woman who choses to love women. And there isnt any pitchfork or hate really (except from where you'd expect it. Drunks, gangs, Idiots). its more like its "unfashionable", "unpopular", and just not "proper". You'd want to socialize with a deviant as much as you'd want to socialize with white trash, or a stripper. As such there are often districts on the sides of cities where deviant habits find a place. Naturally this becomes a haven for other races who listen to music, and wear things that aren't "proper".

    Another aspect between the norm and style thing is the fact that one reason why Dwarves wear beards and makeup is because exposed skin is seen as offensive. Oh naturally exposed genitals, nipples, or the like are MORE offensive. But a dwarf person with a naked face or naked hands is seen the same a person in real life going out without a shirt.

    Like i said, people from lower classes aren't able to afford lavish makeup or cloths. And though the caves are cool that some professions (like smiths) cant stand the heat. Thus Most male dwarves keep their beards long (and thats the only reason, dwarves in human or elf society are usually a bit more trimmed.) while women use cheap make-up light up their lips, cheeks and eyes (the most prominent parts of their face) before they go out. Some lower class and middle class usually get a mask which can be simple or lavish, that they can wear outdoors. As for the rest of their skin, light to heavy long pants and shirts will work. The occasional skin is excusable especially in lower society where it is unavoidable. But nobles will point themselves with hard to get out dies and make-up that go well past the ends of their cloths to make sure no bear skin is seen.

    Its all a very self fulfilling class system. For instance, blacksmiths(like the main character) who basically wear alot of leather, cant wear make-up and who's skin coverings usually consist of a welder's mask, a beard and protective apron, gloves and jacket which when they take off shows to much skin (for a dwarf) are a fine example of a class that is given very little respect because even if a good blacksmith can afford such lavish things, he cant wear it to work and thus looks like a deviant.

    Working class families often have dusty old family cloths passed down for the rare times they have to attend a function.
    Part of the "Raise Nale and Let Him Serve Life in Prison" fan-club

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  29. - Top - End - #29
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    Quote Originally Posted by lucky9 View Post
    -Dwarves, when speaking common, use German sentence structure. It doesn't affect too terribly much but there is the occasional odd phrase... I suppose any language could be, and has been, used like this for various species.
    That can sometimes weird sound. It is not always just same as in the English.
    Spriggan's Den - Thoughts on RPGs and some of my personal creations.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Musashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cultural Quirks

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    I had a wild elf who absolutely would not rest anywhere he couldn't see the sky. They believed that the dark elves became evil when they left the sky to live underground, and as such, believed they too would turn evil if they abandoned the sky. He was a nervous wreck whenever they were inside or underground for any length of time, and after getting knocked out in a cave, he freaked out, convinced the experience had made him more evil.
    I really like this one!


    My contribution:
    Dwarves incorporate circles (and variations thereof) in most of their architecture and religion, and more rarely, in casual designs. A plain circle is life. A circle with connected spirals inside is family; the more fractal the design, the better. A circle with connected spirals outside is survival and victory; developed too far, it degenerates. A circle made of hacked lines is death. An opened circle is the hunt. A spiral threatens with potential doom. Concentric circles are the different realms of existence, all separated.
    The full moon is supposedly a portal for the gods to put their avatar in the material world. Scholars can't quite agree on what eclipses mean; peasants fear, however, that in those cases, the one-way access is reversed, and something from the material world is taken by the divine. Perhaps souls. Or worse, part of them. Better not look at them, and pretend nothing's happening.
    At the end of the day, it mostly means dwarves like crafting rings and bracelets, putting screws in traps, and swearing a little more than usual once every month. Plus, concentric circles, even formed fortuitously, are often interpreted as a non-verbal way of telling one to go to hell, which is rarely appreciated.
    Quote Originally Posted by on Dwarf Fortress succession games
    I have no idea where anything is. I have no idea what anything does. This is not merely a madhouse designed by a madman, but a madhouse designed by many madmen, each with an intense hatred for the previous madman's unique flavour of madness.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dwarf Fortress 0.40.01 bugs
    - If an adventurer shouts and nobody is around to hear it, the game crashes
    - War Dogs appear to run from themselves in terror
    - New tree generation frequently causes birds to explode

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