Re: Playable Ernaldan literature?

From: donald_at_2tFEU6QEGZ_8PUUrTO9nPG8bObH0C1l4wDEP6Z8-_7XI3BVrJCpzTyA3BGYiMhYMxieCb
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 19:43:42 GMT

In message <> "parental_unit_2" writes:

>A couple of days ago I was whinging about how hard it is to find
>something for Ernaldan PCs to do.
>So can anyone suggest good, playable fiction that allows "traditional"
>women the leading roles? I'm not talking about "Red Sonja", "Xena
>Warrior Princess", or the like.
>I joked about the television series "Desperate Hourswives", but it's
>actually close to what I'm looking for. _The Mists of Avalon_ by
>Marion Zimmer Bradley is even closer -- I know some people hate it for
>how it twists the Arthur legend, but it's clearly in the class of what
>I'm trying to find.

There's also her Darkover series which has plenty of strong female characters. Some are the tomboy type but there is usually a contrasting feminine role model.

Another source could be medical dramas - healing is a woman's role in Heortling society. Granted you need to take out the hospital centric elements but the plots are still there. Probably the best would be the UK TV series from a few years back which centered round a District Nurse.

>Jane Austen novels are another possible example, but they are probably
>borderline unplayable.

I'm one of the authors of a freeform based on Jane Austin and similar writers. It is certainly playable and good fun judging by the reactions of those who played it. We did however grab just about every plot out of all the books to write a three hour game. However that's for about 30 players so they should last a tabletop RPG group for a few sessions.

The genre doesn't fit Ernaldans though - the society is too different. At least half the plots wouldn't make sense.

I'd agree there isn't much literature though so I'd look at the roles to find things for them to do. If we start with "hatches, matches and dispatches" we get:

The midwife - given the large families this is a full time occupation for several people in the typical clan. Not only assisting at births but checking on the baby before and after. Interactions between the midwives and the healers who will often be needed.

The matchmaker - the central player, but everyone gets involved in arranging marriages. Sending sons off to take gifts to relatives in other clans so suitable girls will catch their eye. Mothers competing to get the most suitable match for their sons and daughters. Then there are betrothal parties and weddings to organise. Finally there's the arrival of the new bride in her husbands stead - how does she fit in.

The undertaker - Asrelia/TKT is the central figure here. Dealing with the relatives, maybe explaining to the deceased that it is time to go on to the next world. Other women get involved in why the death occurred - accident, feud or whatever. Do they inflame or calm the situation?

Then there's the day to day life, making gifts to relatives and friends in return for their gifts. Getting husbands to concentrate on the work that feeds and clothes the family whatever is happening in the wider world. How do we manage when the harvest is ruined by rain?

Final suggestion use a clan with an Earth Ring rather than one of the others. Follow though the effect that would have on relationships when there's only one man on the ring.

Donald Oddy


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