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 Post subject: Dark Side of Altherian Peasant Life
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 8:31 am 

Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:45 pm
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Hello,

After running 10 slots this weekend I have a stack of volunteer certs to burn on a new PC. After talking with the folks at Cincycon, I've decided to come up with an Altherian Peasant / Village Idiot. I mean if your going to run against the grain in Altheria might as well go for a Huge Altherian with feeble attribute: Logic. Big dumb, and dumber.

Personality wise he's a farmer, and not a very good one. He found out that folks will pay well if he just bashes things with a tree branch. The stats are the easy part. But while I have insight into what peasant life in Coryan and Milandir is like, I struggle with Altheria. Are there any references outside the codex I can look to? Or does anyone have some thoughts they care to share?

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 Post subject: Re: Dark Side of Altherian Peasant Life
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 8:57 am 
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Eric assuming you looked at both the old and new Codexes I would then think through where Altheria is in terms of location and altitude. We know its south so its warm and sunny. But it's also a plateau so altitude would play a role in what sort of crops would grow there. Altheria is a republic as I recall so I don't see the sort of large slave-run farms you would see in Coryan or noble fiefdoms in Milandir. Altheria does have a "huge bureaucracy" according to the new Codex. They're good at engineering and science so they probably farm "smart" using advanced techniques. Crop rotation, irrigation, better farming implements (steel plows for example), better strains of grain and livestock, etc. In other words "scientific farming." I would think they would focus on improving crop yield per acre to maximize efficiency. They may have chemical fertilizers and herbicides (I imagine the Saluweans in Coryan would be more "green"). The new codex does refer to "lush farmland," so the soil may well be very fertile. I would look to the real world for examples. Your character seems like he would not do well in that sort of farming environmnt which is why he's on the road. Oh back to the bureaucracy mentioned earlier, that made me think of the United States and it's similar issues with the DOA and all the local regulations, etc.

Well that should give you some food for thought. Hope it helps!

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 Post subject: Re: Dark Side of Altherian Peasant Life
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 9:09 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:46 pm
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What is the motivation for him to be out wandering from mod to mod? Many mods aren't clear that they will smash things. What gets him involved? You might want to try and keep a good empathy / social skills. You might also want to have a decent to good insight. D&D splits intelligence and wisdom. Are you looking at a low/high split? Ideally you'd pair him up with the brains of the operation.

As for life as a peasant, Milandir is probably closer.

With a sweep of his hat,

Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Dark Side of Altherian Peasant Life
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 11:16 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:37 pm
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I like the contrast. He might be the perfect serf in Milandir. Big, dumb, and perfectly willing to put his head down and work till he dies on the fields. But in Altheria, he’s an outcast. After he breaks the combine for the third harvest in a row, and plugs the hydropump clockwork filter by using the hose to spray out the new breed of porco’turkey (it’s both white meats!) habitats instead of backflushing like everyone knows to do, he had to go.

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 Post subject: Re: Dark Side of Altherian Peasant Life
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 11:50 am 

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The large dumb farmhand is a common trope, Altherian adds a twist. What makes him unique and interesting though? I'm not talking mechanics, I'm talking concept. If what he wanted was to do what he knew how to do and be satisified, then when he wanders through Milandir, someone will be willing to put him to work. Eric's talking about a Feeble attribute which is pretty close to crippled which also impacts the fate pool as well.

If the character is meant as an interesting short term diversion, then fine. If he's intended to be a richer character concept, then he needs to sort out what makes him unique.

As a thought Eric, nothing says you have to apply those volunteer certs immediately. You could play a concept in mods you don't already have volunteer certs for and if it clicks, apply them. If not, repeat with a different character.

Just a thought.

With a sweep of his hat,

Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Dark Side of Altherian Peasant Life
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 3:51 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:45 pm
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Hat wrote:
What is the motivation for him to be out wandering from mod to mod? Many mods aren't clear that they will smash things. What gets him involved? You might want to try and keep a good empathy / social skills. You might also want to have a decent to good insight. D&D splits intelligence and wisdom. Are you looking at a low/high split? Ideally you'd pair him up with the brains of the operation.

As for life as a peasant, Milandir is probably closer.

With a sweep of his hat,

Paul


As he stands he's got a decent insight and passable charisma. As such he is not a total buffoon. He also has three ranks in Artisan Farmer. But alas that is tied to logic, so he's just a really bad farmer.

He blames "The Man" for his troubles. Altherian society and by extension Altheres are "The Man." So he worships Anshar's aspects of the far traveler and down trodden.

Beyond that, it is hard to come up with a detailed motivation without knowing what "The Man" is like to those that are not scholars or skilled artisans. Thus prompting my original question.

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There once was a gnome called Oozy,
Who kissed a Yaricite floozy.
But rather than wed,
She drowned him instead,
Now he is a Yaricite toosey!


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 Post subject: Re: Dark Side of Altherian Peasant Life
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 5:35 pm 
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It wasn't until the 1950 in the United States that HALF of the U.S. population was living a non-rural existence. So like Coryan and Milandir (and everywhere else in Arcaniacs s) most Altherians live a rural farm life. Although Altherians almost universally put Altheris first, Saluwe gets plenty of respect too. The biggest waterfalls innAltheria are called the Tresses of Saluwe.

There was one mod in the old campaign that dealt with a threat to food production in Altheria somewhere beyond Semar. Pretty sure they were growing wheat in the mod. Don't remember it's name. I vaguely remember that there was some communal element to the farmland in that mod. Also given that Altheria is very loosely linked to West Affrica I'd add in other foodstuffs from the area. For example peanuts and bananas might be prevalent in many dishes...and grown in large quantities.

Altheria is blessed with fertile land, freedom from slavery, a wealthy economy and a middle class. I suspect that there are lots of "mom & pop" small land owners and a few wealthy "land magnates" who probably have all kinds of "interesting" disputes...but the disputes probably aren't the kind that draw attention from adventurers. In my mind I vaguely see an Altherian/African version of the musical Oklahoma.

Your PCs "problem" as I see it is not that he's rural. It's that everyone in Altheria is embarrassed about the village idiot and doesn't want to acknowledge he exists. He's vaguely shameful like a dark kin or a gnome. This would be true as unskilled labor in a city or as a dockworker near ships. Your 1 Logic moves you into Steinbeck territory (Of Mice and Men). Who is it who has helped your PC so far? Who tells you about the rabbits?

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 Post subject: Re: Dark Side of Altherian Peasant Life
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 6:22 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:46 pm
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Eric Hughes wrote:
<snip>He blames "The Man" for his troubles. Altherian society and by extension Altheres are "The Man." So he worships Anshar's aspects of the far traveler and down trodden.

Beyond that, it is hard to come up with a detailed motivation without knowing what "The Man" is like to those that are not scholars or skilled artisans. Thus prompting my original question.


As Eric G. pointed out, the vast majority are still likely rural farmers. Doing a quick searches references the term "the man" dating back to 1918, possibly earlier (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man), but I expect the concept as it came about had more to do with the industrial revolution.

Resentment of authority figures has certainly been around for millenia, though more focused early on pharohs, kings and nobles, slave masters and the like.

One possible interesting twist if you like would be to have the character having been a former slave in the Coryani Empire, bought by an Altherian and set free to grow up with all the freedoms of Altheria. He could resent the open society that fails to be structured enough for people to know their place. A character with a low logic could have real difficulty trying to figure out what his lot in life is supposed to be and maybe considers the freedoms of Altheria to be a burden. He doesn't want to go back to being a slave, but he wants to find his place.

The Altherians in their efforts to be helpful and encourage his freedom cause the very troubles they were trying to prevent and as such he fails as a farmer, resents his "countrymen" and they in turn consider him an ungrateful outsider. Maybe he tried to be a member of the Shining Patrol, but he got kicked out.

So, he's making his way, wandering the world, looking for where he fits in. He got signed on by a caravan as a guard or some such leading to his first mod. Where he goes from there is anyone's guess.

Just a thought.

With a sweep of his hat,

Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Dark Side of Altherian Peasant Life
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 9:10 am 

Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:45 pm
Posts: 632
This is all very helpful. Paul's comment about being a freed slave is very interesting and fits well with a thought that I had where slavery would be a step up for him. The reason is that their are laws protecting the abuse of slaves and milandisian peasants, but as near as I can tell altherians are on their own.

Also I had not realized just how much of the population would be rural.

Thanks guys...

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Eric Hughes

There once was a gnome called Oozy,
Who kissed a Yaricite floozy.
But rather than wed,
She drowned him instead,
Now he is a Yaricite toosey!


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 Post subject: Re: Dark Side of Altherian Peasant Life
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 6:11 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:45 pm
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So to answer Paul's question about what motivated him to leave Altheria and start adventuring, I came up with another 'layer' to the onion. His wife kicked him out because he was too dim witted to notice she was having an affair. I got the idea from the old irish drinking song "7 drunken nights" and saw the in that song the personality I was looking for.

Oh and I think I will add an additional flaw : Drunkard.

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Eric Hughes

There once was a gnome called Oozy,
Who kissed a Yaricite floozy.
But rather than wed,
She drowned him instead,
Now he is a Yaricite toosey!


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