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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Cultural Mashups

    Hey all,

    I need a whole bunch of cultural labels. Give me any number of descriptors appropriate to a culture or civilization (so, martial, imperial, matriarchal, arcane, etc).

    I'm going to build something like the Shakespearan Insult Generator and mashup a whole bunch of cultural descriptors to see what I get.

    I've been playing in my own analog of Western Europe for a while now, and it's gotten stale for me. I want to build something else, and I thought, "You know who I should ask? Literally everyone else who cares about this stuff!" While the Playground isn't literally everyone else who cares about this stuff, I figure this team is probably a representative sample thereof.

    Thanks, y'all!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Wizard_Lizard's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cultural Mashups

    Are these dnd cultures?
    Current characters:
    Drakirr (Blue Dragonborn Warlock)
    Alyfyldyr Hyalythki (Rock Gnome Wizard)
    Harilidir (Hald-elf Bard)
    Kazaharad Akaztkl (Goliath Barbarian)
    Luft (air-genasi druid)
    And of course Lizard Wizard (Lizardfolk Sorcerer)

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Cultural Mashups

    Yup. Probably should have led with that, I suppose!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Cultural Mashups

    This wikipedia article has more labels than I even knew existed.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._of_government


    Highlights include:
    Corporatocracy- ruled by corporations
    Timocracy- ruled by the most honorable
    Demarchy- a form of democracy in which the rulers are randomly picked from a democratically elected pool of people.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Cultural Mashups

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Mann View Post
    Demarchy- a form of democracy in which the rulers are randomly picked from a democratically elected pool of people.
    I can't help but think of humorous scenarios when that government tried to find the best way of being random, without any kind of possible favoritism or cheating.

    "Alright everyone. Moment of truth. Now it's time to draw your stick from the hat, and determine who our lord and savior is for the next 5 years."
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas I’ve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. You’re a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes while maintaining balance with default options.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Cultural Mashups

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Mann View Post
    Demarchy- a form of democracy in which the rulers are randomly picked from a democratically elected pool of people.
    Actually, there's a great scene from an old Brian Jacques novel called The Long Patrol where the bad guys pick randomly whether they will raid inland or seaward. A plot point is that there's a way to rig the decision if the BBEG wants to go one way or another but needs the appearance of randomness to legitimize the decision.

    That's one of the things I was hoping to capture with this.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Wizard_Lizard's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cultural Mashups

    Drow are a matriarchy
    Dragonborn are communist
    Humand could be whatever.
    Also I think there is a list in the dmg somewhere.
    Current characters:
    Drakirr (Blue Dragonborn Warlock)
    Alyfyldyr Hyalythki (Rock Gnome Wizard)
    Harilidir (Hald-elf Bard)
    Kazaharad Akaztkl (Goliath Barbarian)
    Luft (air-genasi druid)
    And of course Lizard Wizard (Lizardfolk Sorcerer)

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Cultural Mashups

    There's a good list of the styles of government, but I'm looking for more than that.

    So, I've started a sample list:

    In addition to forms of government and economy, they might have a tradition and a unique feature:

    Traditions:
    Arcane Prowess
    Martial Prowess
    Theatre
    Oral Storytelling
    Piety
    Civic Pride
    Animal Prominence (Tigers are sacred, they ride velociraptors, or are really good with horses, etc).
    Slave-Taking
    Powerful Allies (like djinn or dragons)
    Intrigue
    Periodic Raiding

    Unique Features:
    Matriarchal
    Randomized Decision-Making
    Prominent Welfare State
    Unique Environment
    Unique Marital Customs
    A Signature Weapon
    Birth Rates Skewed to One Gender
    Unique Religious Rites
    Unique Arcane Tradition

    Help me out, Playground!

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Dec 2017

    Default Re: Cultural Mashups

    Here are some ideas:

    Unique features:
    -modernism- an optimistic philosophical idea that traditional methods are inadequate and that the world can be improved with practical experimentation and science. It also suggests that the highest ideals of a civilization is the ability to create and reshape the world around them
    -post modernism- a cynical philosophy that suggests that there are no universal truths, knowledge shouldn’t be just taken at face value as there are biases inherent in everything, and that all forms of beauty/art is subjective
    -metamodernism (aka post-post modernism)- a vague set of philosophical concepts that can best be described as a combination of modernism and post modernism. The core idea is that most ideas are very extreme, and the best path forward it to take ideas from conflicting points of view in order to create a more cohesive empathetic community.
    Last edited by Hugh Mann; 2019-05-10 at 06:59 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Wizard_Lizard's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cultural Mashups

    You could have a group devoted to knowledge.
    They rely on other stronger groups to protect them.
    Or maybe yhey live in isolation.
    Current characters:
    Drakirr (Blue Dragonborn Warlock)
    Alyfyldyr Hyalythki (Rock Gnome Wizard)
    Harilidir (Hald-elf Bard)
    Kazaharad Akaztkl (Goliath Barbarian)
    Luft (air-genasi druid)
    And of course Lizard Wizard (Lizardfolk Sorcerer)

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Cultural Mashups

    A Xenocracy would imply rule by foreigners, probably racial or extraplanar foreigners - Dragons, angels, devils, djinn but also aasimar, elves, or other long-lived races (humans among orcs!) would have an edge.
    A Timocracy, rule by the most honorable, might be held strictly under the control of paladins (honestly IRL everyone would insist on this system of governance if it were possible) but it could be as simple as signet rings that only work if the user is good aligned.
    Theocracies actually ruled by gods are a fantasy staple
    Mage-rule might be basically "Magical Feudalism" if it's sorcerers or "Magical Technocracy" if it's wizards.
    Thanotocracy, rule by the dead, would likely be a very common feature of any world where necromancy was effective and not actively deplored.
    Complex caste systems could emerge from divination-oriented cultures, if that's an effective way of sorting people in advance (or even if it's not)
    Geocracies where the mortals are ruled either by the land itself or its nature spirits.

    Features:
    Humanoids might experiment with non-human decision making processes, either through created creatures like golems or through summoning celestials to adjudicate important decisions without being ruled by them per se.
    Feeblemind, Bestow Curse, or Mark of Justice would all allow for radically different punishment structures if they were readily available.
    There might be "transhuman" cultures, where many races exist as a product of experimentation and not as a result of natural genetic diversity. Grafts, likewise, could add a fascinating dungeon-punk aesthetic to a culture if you wanted to.
    Some cultures might have powerful magical artifacts that radically alter the possibilities of inhabitants - I had one elven city state with bells in it that made it impossible to engage in violence anywhere they were audible. Pools that awaken ancestral memories, monsters that trap their victims in the matrix, draconic sigils that render magic impossible, spaces that "reset" every [insert period of time] - the list goes on.
    Vincent Omnia Veritas
    Bandwagon Leader of the Hinjo Fanclub

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Wizard_Lizard's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cultural Mashups

    I think a pseudocracy could be fun.
    Current characters:
    Drakirr (Blue Dragonborn Warlock)
    Alyfyldyr Hyalythki (Rock Gnome Wizard)
    Harilidir (Hald-elf Bard)
    Kazaharad Akaztkl (Goliath Barbarian)
    Luft (air-genasi druid)
    And of course Lizard Wizard (Lizardfolk Sorcerer)

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Cultural Mashups

    Hey guys,

    I finally got this done!

    An... 1d6 Economy 1d8 Government 2d8 With a Tradition of... 1d20 And a unique feature
    1 Nomadic 1 Autocracy 2 Arcane Prowess 1 Matriarchal
    2 Herdsmen 2 Democracy 3 Martial Prowess 2 Randomized Decision-Making
    3 Plantation 3 Feudalism 4 Theatre/Music 3 Prominent Welfare State
    4 Industrialized 4 Hierarchy 5 Oral Storytelling 4 Unique Environment
    5 Agrarian 5 Magocracy 6 Piety 5 Unique Marital Custom
    6 Extractive 6 Monarchy 7 Civic Pride 6 A Signature Weapon
    7 Republic 8 Animal Prominence 7 Birth Rates Skewed to One Gender
    8 Theocracy 9 Slave-Taking 8 Unique Religious Rite
    10 Powerful Allies 9 Unique Arcane Tradition
    11 Intrigue 10 Unique Information Technology
    12 Periodic Raiding 11 Restricted Marriage
    13 Free Press/Speech 12 Decadent Excess
    14 Invention 13 Historic Enemy
    15 Transhumanism 14 An Advanced Technology
    16 Roll Twice 15 Significant Nonhuman Enclave
    16 Same-sex Relationships Honored
    17 Internal Division (Tribalism)
    18 Society-Altering Artifact
    19 Limited Class Mobility
    20 Roll Twice

    So with this you can have some fun coming up with crazy cultures. Make a matriarchal industrialized monarchy with a history of intrigue. How did that happen? Who knows! Go nuts and tell me what you think!!!
    Last edited by Sparky McDibben; 2019-05-16 at 11:55 AM.

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