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  • Beastmen and the effects on their society

    So what I want to look at in this thread is the social effects of mutations on a culture.
    How does it change a culture when everyone has super-smell? Or spinnarets? Or poison?

    Mahalanka was good at this, pointing out the economic effect of Mighty Thews. But what else?

    So the most obvious one is wings.
    If everyone has wings, do you need stairs? Walls for your city? You can build a town somewhere extremely defensible.
    But also, think about transport. You can travel really fast... but you can't take carts with you. This encourages trade to focus on small, high-value goods.
    And generally, to take advantage of your flying, you probably can't use beasts of burden. That encourages society to use slaves for hard labour, but wings means your slaves are better able to escape.

    In warfare, you have a great advantage in intelligence-gathering, and raiding. But not much in heavy infantry, shock cavalry, or defending seized territory.
    This may encourage a focus on raiding, not conquest.

    What about other mutations?
    Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 03-09-2019, 02:21 AM.


    My characters:
    Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
    Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng

  • #2
    Well, one thing to keep in mind is that it's somewhat unlikely for a population to be completely made up of beastfolk. The trials to imbue the relevant mutations are risky enough that not everybody in the Lunar's dominion would be willing to risk their lives or sanity trying them.

    And while the mutations are hereditary, not every union will be between beastfolk. As such, I expect that some percentage of the population will remain human, no matter how many generations the Lunar keeps her beastfolk proving ground going.

    Comment


    • #3
      I wonder if, over a long time, you'll get some kind of social sorting; the beastmen may all end up living in villages together, while the non-beastmen live in other villages together. Not to mention caste stratification.


      My characters:
      Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
      Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
        So what I want to look at in this thread is the social effects of mutations on a culture.
        How does it change a culture when everyone has super-smell? Or spinnarets? Or poison?

        Mahalanka was good at this, pointing out the economic effect of Mighty Thews. But what else?

        So the most obvious one is wings.
        If everyone has wings, do you need stairs? Walls for your city? You can build a town somewhere extremely defensible.
        But also, think about transport. You can travel really fast... but you can't take carts with you. This encourages trade to focus on small, high-value goods.
        And generally, to take advantage of your flying, you probably can't use beasts of burden. That encourages society to use slaves for hard labour, but wings means your slaves are better able to escape.

        In warfare, you have a great advantage in intelligence-gathering, and raiding. But not much in heavy infantry, shock cavalry, or defending seized territory.
        This may encourage a focus on raiding, not conquest.

        What about other mutations?
        How were the mutations obtained?

        Comment


        • #5
          Well there could be multiple possibilities, and that could have different effects.

          There's quite a lot of difference between passing Lunar trials, inheritance, and the sudden mutation of a passing wyldstorm.

          If you want to pick one, go for inheritance; a beastman society whose Lunar has long since passed away. But feel free to discuss any of them.


          My characters:
          Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
          Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd like to remind you of the Luthe write up; the part where it discussed the intact First Age buildings as slums because of how the mutations of most of the populace and the environment intermixed seems pertinent.

            Pervasive mutations can alter a society dramatically, yes, but there are other factors determining how they are used For example, if the mutations are inheirited from the culture patron/bird deity, then it might be a mark of the nobility and not utilized for 'petty things', like 'common' trade.
            On the other hand, if the beastfolk are a conquered people, they might serve as slaves. That might be true of wyld mutants too, especially in the aftermath of a Fair Folk raid. "You are spiritually unclean and must serve your better in this life"


            Thoughts ripple out, birthing others

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            • #7
              Flying everywhere must be exhausting.

              And building places without stairs sounds unnecessarily difficult.


              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
              Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                Flying everywhere must be exhausting.

                And building places without stairs sounds unnecessarily difficult.
                Eh... exalted.

                Maybe just model it as same as walking?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                  Flying everywhere must be exhausting.
                  Possibly. Not necessarily more so than walking. But it could be; depends a lot on the environment, thermals and so on, I expect.

                  And building places without stairs sounds unnecessarily difficult.
                  Well, building a house with two floors and no stairs is easier than building one with stairs.
                  But if your wings are too large to unfurl in, say, a crowded street, that could be an issue.
                  And in the long run, there's issues about getting stuff up to the top floor. Furniture, for example.
                  Not to mention the elderly.


                  My characters:
                  Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                  Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
                    Eh... exalted.
                    Beastfolk aren't always Exalts, though.

                    Even for hollow-boned birds, that initial takeoff is one of the most energy-intensive expenditures an animal can make.
                    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 03-09-2019, 09:11 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                      Possibly. Not necessarily more so than walking.
                      You can stop walking without being dragged down by gravity.

                      Well, building a house with two floors and no stairs is easier than building one with stairs.
                      Sure scaffolding has a part, but you can save yourself a bit of trouble.


                      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                      Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I imagined a society which had humans living on the ground and Fruit Bat beastkin living in the tall, tall trees. They would trade with each other that which the others found hard to produce: metal from the humans, fruit and herbs from the bats.


                        ....

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                        • #13
                          Cringe worthy as it was, the 2e write-up on Ma-Ha-Suchi's Nameless Lair had the behavioral traits of the wolf-goat beastmen affect the way they interacted with First Age commodities. They refused to use the intact plumbing systems of the First Age buildings for waste disposal and instead actually ventured outside to relieve themselves due to their innate canine aversion to producing waste in the same area that they lived.

                          Digitigrade legs are going to make using ladders and certain types of stairs more difficult, large tails interfere with sitting down and riding horses so the ergonomics of goods produced in a Lunar domain might be radically different.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hmmm, didn't think about ergonomics. That's interesting.

                            I'm planning a Lunar game set in the far north, and I want a few interesting beastman tribes in the PCs' area.

                            Here are some ideas we had for beastmen in the area, can anyone think of interesting effects it'd have on their society?
                            Gull-people
                            Seal-people
                            Snow hare-people
                            Snow fox-people
                            Beaver folk
                            Aurochs
                            Badgers
                            Walrus
                            Killer whales

                            I was thinking that animals that live in dens might lead to a beastman group that all live underground in a series of tunnels. If they're the elite of society, it could even be that the human peasants have to live above ground where it's cold, while the elite live at the bottom, in cosy dens.
                            Or perhaps everyone, human and beastman, live in tunnels.


                            My characters:
                            Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                            Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                              Hmmm, didn't think about ergonomics. That's interesting.

                              I'm planning a Lunar game set in the far north, and I want a few interesting beastman tribes in the PCs' area.

                              Here are some ideas we had for beastmen in the area, can anyone think of interesting effects it'd have on their society?
                              Gull-people
                              Seal-people
                              Snow hare-people
                              Snow fox-people
                              Beaver folk
                              Aurochs
                              Badgers
                              Walrus
                              Killer whales

                              I was thinking that animals that live in dens might lead to a beastman group that all live underground in a series of tunnels. If they're the elite of society, it could even be that the human peasants have to live above ground where it's cold, while the elite live at the bottom, in cosy dens.
                              Or perhaps everyone, human and beastman, live in tunnels.
                              How were the mutations obtained?

                              Comment

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