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What is the Realm were more like Lookshy?

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  • What is the Realm were more like Lookshy?

    What do you think would happen if the Realm was more like Lookshy? If we assume that the Realm has a population of 100 million people, that would mean that there would be around one million DB living modest lifestyles (rather than ten thousand Dynasts living luxurious lifestyles), but it would live the Realm enough of an excess population of DBs to maintain a First Age military infrastructure without difficulty with the resources of the Realm (a First Age civilian infrastructure seems to be impossible for DBs to maintain even with the resources of the Realm). What do you imagine that the Realm would have looked like if it was more like Lookshy? Would you have rather that the Realm had been like Lookshy (with the Empress playing a ceremonial role because she controlled the Sword of Creation) or do you prefer the Realm as it is?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
    What do you think would happen if the Realm was more like Lookshy?
    In what way?

    Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
    If we assume that the Realm has a population of 100 million people, that would mean that there would be around one million DB…
    Why does this follow?

    Also, just because the lavish lifestyle of a Dynast could support several times as many more modest-living Dragon-Blooded doesn't mean trying to enforce that model would magically generate those Dragon-Blooded.

    The wealth of the Dynasty isn't just there to turn Dynasts into rich assholes; massive portions of it get funneled into giving said Dynasts a heroic skillset to further fuel the empire that grants them that wealth.

    Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
    …but it would live the Realm enough of an excess population of DBs…
    How? How is the Realm getting to your inflated numbers?

    Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
    a First Age military infrastructure
    The First Age is dead, and producing more Dragon-Blooded isn't going to bring it back. The Shogunate had more Dragon-Blooded, and it wasn't enough to keep the First Age plates spinning; DBs alone will not keep the sinking miracles afloat.

    Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
    What do you imagine that the Realm would have looked like if it was more like Lookshy?
    In what way does having a million Dragon-Blooded make the Realm look more like Lookshy? Lookshy doesn't have a million DBs either.

    Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
    Would you have rather that the Realm had been like Lookshy (with the Empress playing a ceremonial role because she controlled the Sword of Creation) or do you prefer the Realm as it is?
    As-is, since the other doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 08-14-2017, 10:34 AM.

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    • #3
      Doing this from mobile might edit later.

      1) a lot smaller. I wouldn't have a realm-loolshy have as many mortals as the current realm does instead of increasing the dragon blooded.
      2) likely to be the realm in a week. I doubt a highly militant society like lookshy wouldn't expand given the chance. Eventually it would scale rapidly to empire.
      3) still not able to maintain as much infrastructure, bc I wouldn't scale Dragonblooded up. Even if I did, the lack of solar workings/sorcery would make it much harder to maintain then solves would be able to.
      4) if we up dragonblooded I imagine it would be more fragmented, as many of the threats to the world would be smaller. You go from a few hundred db to lunar to a few thousand.

      I do prefer the realm as is, however. I prefer having decadent, expansive empire in the setting. It also keeps the dragons at the population level to feel heroically special in creation.


      I did a lot of homebrew over here. PEACH.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
        In what way?
        I think Aya Tari is saying what would happen if the Realm had a similar proportion of DBs to non-DBs as Lookshy.


        And what I would think would happen is... civil war and economic collapse.


        The Realm's structure is not at all set up to cope with that many DBs. The Empress only just managed to keep a lid on 15000 Realm DBs, 1 million would be impossible. Lookshy however, only has, what, about 3000 DBs (I forget, it was in earlier threads), which is a number that can stay relatively united.
        1 million DBs would tear themselves apart.

        The Realm also could not at all support that many DBs in the style they would want. For each dynastic DB, there are thousands of toiling peasants. And for them to be as rich and powerful as they are, they need those peasants.

        The number of DBs in the Realm isn't really a matter of not being able to have that many. They could churn out tons if they wanted (as some posters occasionally suggest). Set up baby farms, have the male DBs just shag every peasant girl in the Realm. But that would be a terrible idea, for many, many reasons. You'd have tons of young, poor, DBs, with little education, fighting for power and resources.


        Think of dynastic DBs like western families in the real world. Sure, a British or French or American family could have 10 kids... but why would you want to? If everyone had families like that, it'd be terrible for society. Our education and health services would be overwhelmed, as would housing, and we'd plunge into recession.
        Lookshy's families are more like families in Afghanistan. You have 10 kids because it's pretty likely half of them are going to die before having their own kids. Of course, that's not because of starvation and poverty: it's because all Lookshy's DBs are soldiers, soldiers who have to protect an entire continent (the Scavenger Lands), and that's pretty damn dangerous.

        Which is another important point. Thinking of Lookshy's vast amount of DBs per capita is a bit misleading. The Scarlet Dynasty's 10,000 DBs are 2/3rds of the DBs across an entire continent. Lookshy's DBs are probably about half... of the DBs across an entire continent. Lookshy is supported by the Confederation of Rivers; they get money, artefacts, political support, etc. In fact, IIRC, they get a lot of money, in return for protecting all those countries that don't have their own DBs.


        "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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        • #5
          To be honest... I don't think a Lookshy with a population as big as the Realm would have that many more DBs than the Realm currently has (which is actually more than 10,000... that number is more symbolic than accurate).

          ​We know that Dragon-Blooded Exaltation is carried through bloodlines. While the Realm has been more interested in strengthening existing bloodlines to create more powerful Dragon-Blooded (Higher Breeding)... Lookshy has been more interested in increasing the number of Dragon-Bloods they have. Ironically... to get more Dragon-Bloods, one also needs to have strong bloodlines as well... and there eventually comes a point where shear numbers will eventually thin out the bloodlines too much... forcing a Lookshy-like Realm to focus once more on breeding better Dragon-Bloods. It really boils down to quality vs. quantity... the balancing of these is a constant struggle that both Lookshy and the Realm deal with even in the current setting.


          There are three types of people in the world... those who can count and those who can't.
          I reject your reality and substitute my own!

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          • #6
            Too soon to say.
            Lookshy's historically been presented in a way that's a bit masturbatory and prone to whitewashing their mistakes. While the Realm's a critique of imperialist policy and a source of antagonism.


            Assorted homebrew goes here.
            Please help the Ex3 wiki grow. Even if it's just posting existing homebrew there so there's less chance of losing it.

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            • #7
              When, in all reality, Lookshy should probably be a source of antagonism as well, considering how many people play Anathema.

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              • #8
                Maybe, but the majority of people I have known have preferred to play Terrestrial Exalted rather than Celestial Exalted because the motivations of the Terrestrial Exalted were easier to understand than the motivations of the Solar Exalted (and of those who have preferred to play Celestial Exalted, they have been much more comfortable playing the Lunar Exalted than Solar Exalted for many of the same reasons). With the people that I have played with, Lookshy was a source of inspiration of what the Terrestrial Exalted could accomplish with limited resources while the Realm was a source of sorrow because it represented what happened when the Terrestrial Exalted squandered their potential (a number of games ended up revolving around Dynasts who left the Realm in disgust after the disappearance of the Scarlet Empress to join Lookshy, usually taking a decent amount of the treasures of their family in the process). With Breeding 4-5, a Dynast can easily marry into one of the major Gens of Lookshy, especially if they are also come bearing powerful artifacts to add to the arsenal of the Gens that they marry into.

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                • #9
                  I've never gotten solar hate. I mean, the motivation of a solar is the motivation of any fgiven person? It requires a bit more work, because they lack the built in culture of
                  Dragonblooded but still.
                  I also hope lookshy is no longer the heroic dragonblooded setting because if memory serves, their quite fucked up. Like don't they train other armies in order to better prepare to inevitably invade them? Aside from that, heroic dragonblooded should have alternatives to look at besides the grand and terrible realm and the "noble" but flawed lookshy.


                  I did a lot of homebrew over here. PEACH.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                    Think of dynastic DBs like western families in the real world. Sure, a British or French or American family could have 10 kids... but why would you want to? If everyone had families like that, it'd be terrible for society. Our education and health services would be overwhelmed, as would housing, and we'd plunge into recession.
                    Lookshy's families are more like families in Afghanistan. You have 10 kids because it's pretty likely half of them are going to die before having their own kids. Of course, that's not because of starvation and poverty: it's because all Lookshy's DBs are soldiers, soldiers who have to protect an entire continent (the Scavenger Lands), and that's pretty damn dangerous.
                    It's a tangent to your point but to be honest, if most British or French or American families actually had 10 kids, it would probably be great for our society... but.... (and it's a major one) *long term*. More people, generally, more production, more consumption, more outlying innovators. (And Western nations are about the best places for humans to realize their economic and creative potential, so growth their is probably better than anywhere else). Same kind of thinking about why migration generally does not just mean more competition, because it creates more consumers as well as producers and competitors. (Though in that case it is less straightforward).

                    However, short run, you are exactly right. And more, short runs costs are born by individuals - even with subsidies for reproduction, costs are born by individual pairs of parents.

                    There's some research that elite persons, who have a fair reason to believe that their children will survive, and whose children will tend to be less prosperous on average than their parent*, often tend to try and limit size of family, to preserve the size of inheritances.

                    (One idea is, within the last half millennium or few hundred years or so, that between this effect and poor people tending to be at subsistence / starvation and having low numbers of surviving children, the sub elite middle tended to have the most children - didn't restrict family sizes as much as elites to preserve inheritance, had more surviving children than the poor).

                    This could affect the Realm's Dragonblooded.

                    I don't know if I totally agree with your idea that Lookshy's DBs should have larger numbers of births because of greater probability of mortality though - if that were the case, then mortality would check births, and they'd end up with a similar DB:mortal ratio to the Realm. So DB birthrates relative to the Realm have to be greater even adjusted for mortality. (Besides which, being a Dynast is extraordinarily dangerous, albeit for fairly other reasons than is the case for Lookshy's gentes).

                    *regression, a purely statistical phenomenon

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                      Maybe, but the majority of people I have known have preferred to play Terrestrial Exalted rather than Celestial Exalted because the motivations of the Terrestrial Exalted were easier to understand than the motivations of the Solar Exalted (and of those who have preferred to play Celestial Exalted, they have been much more comfortable playing the Lunar Exalted than Solar Exalted for many of the same reasons). With the people that I have played with, Lookshy was a source of inspiration of what the Terrestrial Exalted could accomplish with limited resources while the Realm was a source of sorrow because it represented what happened when the Terrestrial Exalted squandered their potential (a number of games ended up revolving around Dynasts who left the Realm in disgust after the disappearance of the Scarlet Empress to join Lookshy, usually taking a decent amount of the treasures of their family in the process). With Breeding 4-5, a Dynast can easily marry into one of the major Gens of Lookshy, especially if they are also come bearing powerful artifacts to add to the arsenal of the Gens that they marry into.
                      Huh, that's very interesting. I've probably seen a bit more of DBs played, but not at all for that reason. As Epee102 said, the motivations of Solars are just... well, whatever that hero's motivation would be.
                      I think the issues maybe are when people think Solars ought to have Solar motivations (like restoring the Solar Deliberative) which don't really make a lot of sense (for example, because most Solars don't know what the Solar Deliberative was).

                      Originally posted by Ghosthead
                      It's a tangent to your point but to be honest, if most British or French or American families actually had 10 kids, it would probably be great for our society... but.... (and it's a major one) *long term*. More people, generally, more production, more consumption, more outlying innovators. (And Western nations are about the best places for humans to realize their economic and creative potential, so growth their is probably better than anywhere else). Same kind of thinking about why migration generally does not just mean more competition, because it creates more consumers as well as producers and competitors. (Though in that case it is less straightforward).
                      Thinking about it, I probably shouldn't have used a society that's not my own as an example. I forgot how low American population density is for a Western country (it's about 8 times less than Britain). Anyway, for Britain it would be disastrous. I've lived in Chinese cities, that level of population density causes a lot of issues. Pollution, social issues, and most of all it makes the cost of accomodation extremely high.

                      The point is, massively increasing the population density of Dragonblood would make them much poorer, and have various other problems.

                      Originally posted by Ghosthead
                      There's some research that elite persons, who have a fair reason to believe that their children will survive, and whose children will tend to be less prosperous on average than their parent*, often tend to try and limit size of family, to preserve the size of inheritances.
                      Yeah, I think that's part of why dynasts aren't going to want to keep spawning tons of kids after they've had a DB or two.

                      Originally posted by Ghosthead
                      I don't know if I totally agree with your idea that Lookshy's DBs should have larger numbers of births because of greater probability of mortality though - if that were the case, then mortality would check births, and they'd end up with a similar DB:mortal ratio to the Realm. So DB birthrates relative to the Realm have to be greater even adjusted for mortality. (Besides which, being a Dynast is extraordinarily dangerous, albeit for fairly other reasons than is the case for Lookshy's gentes).
                      That's a fair point.
                      Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 08-14-2017, 06:30 PM.


                      "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Epee102
                        I also hope lookshy is no longer the heroic dragonblooded setting because if memory serves, their quite fucked up. Like don't they train other armies in order to better prepare to inevitably invade them?
                        I don't remember that. I remember that they train other armies because, you know, they're the America of the Scavenger Lands (2nd ed Lookshy gave me a very neo-con, New American Century feel), and they have to lead NATO, and they'd rather train people to do it themselves.


                        "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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                        • #13
                          BTW, Aya Tari, was it just the number of DBs per capita that you were referring to, when you said "more like Lookshy"? I assumed so, but perhaps you meant something about the social organisation or something like that.


                          "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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                          • #14
                            Well, I was referring to culture, DB population ratio, magical infrastructure, religion, etc. In every way, I see Lookshy as objectively superior to the Realm.

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                            • #15
                              Isn't that essentially tantamount to just putting Lookshy on the Blessed Isle instead of the Scarlet Empire and calling it a day?


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