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Heights by Region, Splat, Etc.

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  • Heights by Region, Splat, Etc.

    Right, so this sort of thing is not my strong suit at all. I was doing some sketches and trying to figure out exactly how to adjust for height differences and such, when it occurred to me that I have no idea how tall anyone is. Certainly, it's not an issue for PCs, who are by definition atypical, but it becomes a problem when they appear in the same picture as a canon one.

    I've only thought about the matter in a humorous way before, playing at my table that the reason why the Scarlet Empress is always pictured seated is because she's ridiculously tall, and Mnemon wears giant platform shoes to compensate.

    Would someone with a greater breadth of historical knowledge care to give me a few ballpark figures?


    I'm working on it, all right?

  • #2
    Historically, people were a lot shorter than they are now. This is partly because of natural selection, but mostly because of diet (a meat-thin diet leads to shorter people). I think your average Roman was like 5'4 or something like that, whereas today's average Italian man is probably something like 5'10".
    There'd still be the same sort of variance by region though. People in far northerly climates tend to be much taller, such as Vikings vs Romans (this isn't just a European thing: I live in north-east China, and the people here are much, much, much taller than people from south China. I came up here once with a girl from Hong Kong, and she was about a foot shorter than most of the girls up here. And then of course you go a few hundred miles north and its 6ft+ Russians all over the place). Presumably it's something to do with temperature or light, I'm not sure.
    I'd say, in Creation, people from the North are taller than everyone else. But I'm not sure where should be significantly shorter than everyone else. Maybe the Realm? They're supposed to look somewhat Han, right? It's never been entirely clear to me what they look like. Of course, there's no reason people in Creation should map exactly onto real-world ethnicities. Maybe they do look like Han, but they're Dong-bei-ren, so they're as tall as northerners.
    Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 01-16-2015, 11:56 PM.


    STing Bronze Age Exalted

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    • #3
      I have no idea if the books back me up on this, but I envisioned most Northerners as more stocky than tall.

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      • #4
        I don't think it has ever really been discussed what the average height of people from the various regions is. I can, however, tell you that Mnemon is a shorty who feels the needs to wear platform shoes so remember to make her below average height when you decide what the average is


        Exalted Whose Name is Carved in Leaves of Jade

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        • #5
          Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
          Historically, people were a lot shorter than they are now. .
          That's not purely true. Height has varied over time in waves. And the trough most people use when saying "people were runts" is actually from the Industrial period (it helps that the end of that coincided with photography and more collection and preservation of lifestyle items from that period). A medieval farmer was probably about 3-4 inches shorter than the modern average. Men's US average is 5'9" to 5'10", while sailors on the Mary Rose from the mid-1500s were about 5'7" on average. And human remains back the idea of fairly-close-to-modern-height for many periods of pre-modern people, with distinct periods of shorter-than-average scattered through-out, usually in periods of extreme crisis. So Creation humans barely topping Jadeborn workers isn't realistic.

          On a related note, the low human life-span numbers you see include lots and lots (and lots and lots) of infant- and child-mortality. Your average person getting to 20 had every reason to expect to live to 60, if not longer. It was the surviving to 20 part that was the problem (and most of that was in the surviving to 5 part)

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          • #6
            1st ed book goes into regional heights a bit. Let me pull it up...

            "The average citizen of the Realm has white skin, black hair, and brown eyes. Full lips and strong noses are typical, and most men and women stand nearly six feet tall when full-grown. Builds are generally slim, but men do tend to develop a paunch later in life. Bear in mind, however, that the realm is a conquering empire. Many of its inhabitants --- even members of the Scarlet Dynasty --- show signs of alien blood from foreign concubines."

            "The average inhabitant of the East has brownish skin tone, ranging from light tan to an almost bark-like brown in the Far East. Blond, red, and brown are all common hair colors, and even red hair is typically straight and without body. The typical Easterner is tall, with even women standing nearly six feet."

            "Inhabitants of the Scavenger Lands come in all shapes and colors, though many are of mixed stock, coffee-and-cream complexion, with wavy peach or black hair. Strong, aquiline noses are common in the Scavenger Lands, as are relatively sharp features in general --- probably the result of a heritage of interaction with the Fair Folk, much of it sexual."

            "The average Southerner is dark-skinned, with blond, black, or red hair. Unlike Easterners, however, most Southerners' hair has a great deal of body, though the blondes tend toward less kink and more curl. As a result, many, particularly the desert tribesmen, tend to wear their hair as short as possible. Shaved heads and (among men) well-trimmed bears are the rule in the wilderness. In the cities, both men and women who can afford the time and expense of styling their hair properly have it brushed and washed by saves and then plaited to match their outfit for the day. Beards are still worn short and well-trimmed, however --- a long beard is seen as a sign of self-deprivation and, thus, of holiness and the almost certainly concomitant madness."

            "Southeasterners have a distinct skin tone of their own, a milk chocolate distinct from the ebony of the Far South and the mahogany of the Near South skin tones. Southeasterners tend strongly toward straight red hair or tawny hair, which is worn in a topknot (by men) or a long ponytail (by women). Varangian men and women alike tend toward pert noses and full lips and are generally thought of as attractive by both Southern and Eastern eyes."

            "The average Westerner is bronze-skinned, with those who dwell in the Far West or Southwest having an almost golden skin tone. Those from the Central West tend toward hair colors in sea shades --- green, blue, an dark gray. Those in the Southwest tend toward darker shades, primarily purple and black."

            Northerners don't have a description, oddly enough. There's talk of their dress and their tools, but not their body.


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            • #7
              Man, people in the Realm and East are giant.


              STing Bronze Age Exalted

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Limited Reagent View Post
                1st ed book goes into regional heights a bit. Let me pull it up...
                Eeeexcelent. I wasn't aware whether there was any information in the actual Exalted corpus or not. Now I won't have to go harass my history teacher friend who knows nothing of Exalted.

                Originally posted by Limited Reagent View Post
                strong noses are typical
                And my notion that the Empress' most prominent facial feature after her death glare being her nose is justified.


                I'm working on it, all right?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz
                  Historically, people were a lot shorter than they are now. This is partly because of natural selection, but mostly because of diet (a meat-thin diet leads to shorter people).
                  This varies across time and place that I don't think it's more useful to analyse in terms of what the factors behind height are rather than say that people have been uniformly getting bigger. For instance, rural people in pre-industrial Britain were probably taller and healthier than their more urbanised descendents until other factors altered the nutrition and medicine available to city-dwelling factory workers.


                  I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                  Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                  • #10
                    Sure, that's why I'm not really sure who'd be bigger or smaller across Creation.


                    STing Bronze Age Exalted

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                    • #11
                      People in Creation might be uniformly healthier than modern people are; most of them are living in an agrarian state in a world that supports abundant produce, and still has fairly consistent access to some pretty good medicinal plants and minor magics. If you get past child mortality and don't live in a region subject to endemic warfare or monster raids, you're probably on the higher end of the human specimen. It's a bit harsher in heavy urban centres or slave populations.


                      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                      Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Limited Reagent View Post
                        Northerners don't have a description, oddly enough. There's talk of their dress and their tools, but not their body.
                        The oversight was addressed in the 1e FAQ:

                        Q: What do Northerners look like?

                        A: Oops. Didn’t include a description of this in the setting chapter. Northerners look like Scandinavians — they have pale skin and black, red, blonde or white hair. They tend to be apple-cheeked, with large frames and heavy builds predominating.

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                        • #13
                          One might draw some interesting reference points for different phenotypes from this series.


                          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                          Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Gayo View Post
                            The oversight was addressed in the 1e FAQ:
                            Good to know, thanks!

                            I assumed as much anyway.


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                            • #15
                              The 1e core also gave descriptions of Wyld barbarians, and Exalted: the Lunars described numerous different folk on the fringes of "civilization".

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