I often hate myself for thinking too much RW, but now that we started this, let me enlighten my thoughts.
There is not really that much contradiction in our views. Plus my arguments are more RW oriented than Praxian. In fact, my lacking knowledge about Prax is why I started this thread at all.
In RW I don't count horses as cattle, and a horse raid is not as severe as a cattle raid. (I think most horse herding people also have eaten some, but they did not herd them for food.) In Prax, cattle is not easily distinguished from riding steeds - tribe depending.
In the end you do support my view, the plains tribes of North America were hunters (using horses, okay, but hunting - not herding - buffalo or in fact any animal for food) and gatherers. The American plains are and were _largely_ a lot more fertile and animal populated, easily supporting a hunter society, than my perception of the descriptions of Prax is, which is more like African steppes of the Maasai (which is more forbidding than what you see on TV, say for example about the Serengeti. They show Serengeti on TV because there are LOTS of animals!) There is not much you can hunt. The Maasai welcome anything they DO hunt for variety, but it cannot fill the stomachs of a tribe! Still I admit: raiding North Americans their horses will be a hard problem, too, and hunger will be their companion.
> 1) Young bachelors form their own war bands and raid other clans to
get animals to give to the women they are trying to court.
Raid and theft
This may be _my_ different view, perhaps a result of language misconception, English being foreign to me. I always viewed a "raid" being much more like to try to "get it all", and thus threatening your victim to starvation (within short time in a forbidding land like Prax or Maasai home land) if it concerns your main - and almost only - source of food. Again: This is their death sentence!! A tribe can surely cope with a theft of some individual animals done by bachelors.
> 3) Raiding by tribes against each other is a constant threat.
A constant threat it may be, but still not a common event (as a large scale raid, see above), or every time you extinguish a tribe. Again: This is their death sentence!! The more or less constant number of tribes in Prax (is it?) _proves_ it cannot happen frequently. You do not raid that easily if you know your victim defends your target to the death.
I insist on this: You raid all their cattle, and they cannot counter within a very limited time, they are dead! In Masai land and in Prax. (Oh, I am aware the Masai are not truly herder nomads any more, because in the 18th or 19th century or so, they learned to grow crops, under European influence.)
I don't want to stress it, but we started this to see a difference
between Sartar and Prax.
In Sartar you cannot raid the cattle of the _tribe_, as it is spread over all clans. Even to raid all cattle from a _clan_ would be difficult, you will catch one herd.
The Maasai are not a tribe, but a people. One tribe of the Maasai is perhaps as numerous as a clan in Sartar. They own one herd.
We - or at least I - did far too much RW comparison than is good for roleplaying, and I do not even know if this can (and should) be projected onto Prax and Sartar. In literacy about Prax you may easily find more statements contradicting mine. What you read in CoP is canon. Exclamation Mark!
As much as I (sometimes) like to use RW facts as arguments, I must say this is enough for me now. IMG life in Prax is more like life in barren Africa or Mongolia than in the plains of North America. And because I really like discussions like this, I like your points a lot, thank you very much, but also I wrote far too much already in this post.
I would like to return to the "look and feel" of life of a Praxian tribesman. This adds much more to the atmosphere of roleplaying, than the frequency or likelihood of only one kind of event in Prax IMG.
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