Re: Praxian tribal campaign

From: David Scott <sciencefish_at_...>
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2012 15:03:05 +0000

Before replying to your views, I'd like to lay out some of my own as they will affect my answers.

Prax. I've stopped using Prax to describe the area occupied by the nomad tribes, instead, I'm using Wastelands. This comes from working on the Guide to Glorantha with Jeff. The whole Wastelands is a variety of environments and absolutely huge. The maps in the guide will show this to be one of the largest regions on the northern continent. Prax itself is a small part of it.

Sources. I'm using Cults of Prax, Nomad Gods and a couple of articles by Greg as my core sources. This is so I'm not reinterpreting RQ2 info that was updated to RQ3. I'm looking at tales 13,14, 15, and Drastic Prax as well, but only for stuff that doesn't conflict with current Glorantha canon. Finally I'm using the Guide to Glorantha, which lays out the core of Praxian culture.

On 7 Nov 2012, at 18:20, Pomeroi <pomeroi_at_...> wrote:

> 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.

This may be a language thing, but cattle are what we call cows in Europe. In the Wastelands, the tribes have herd beasts. There are different kinds of herd beasts, including the cattle of the Pol Joni, the pol Joni ride horses. I do differentiate between herd and mounts even of the same species. A bison mount is not part of the herd of bison. One is selected for riding potential, the other for breeding, milk and calf production.

> 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,

Yes, that is the same as parts of the Wastelands. Vulture country fools everyone, that is natural barrier that makes everyone think that the Wastelands are all like that. The Wastelands are chaparral, which is what we are talking about. There is also a magical dimension, in my game, the plants and animals are feeding off the spirit world as well. Outsiders not part of the Praxian tradition can't see this. That contributes to the richness. As guide, I use the area around the Paps as the most fertile part of The Wastelands, then step down from there. Around the Paps, a whole tribe can graze and feed.

> 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 real Wastelands are in Greg's head, his upbringing in the states surely affected the geography. However I'm not in Greg's head so my Wastelands are a mix of North American plains, Mongolian grasslands and the Serengeti!

I've been to the Serengeti and so that's what you see in my Prax around the Paps (Olduvai Gorge is much like the Paps in my mind, the cradle of Civilisation, or in the Paps case, the remains of civilisation). Eiritha is reincarnating the animal's spirits back into the Wastelands as fast as Foundchild, dispatches their spirits'. The Great Hunt is surely a sight to see.

BTW, I was shocked at the number of animals hanging out on the plains of northern Tanzania. To me it was like a zoo had escaped, and I wasn't in a national park.

> The Maasai welcome anything they DO hunt for variety, but it cannot fill the stomachs of a tribe!

Your experience of the Maasai may different from mine, but they are semi-nomadic cattle herders, not true nomads as they farm. I don't think they have an equivalent in Genertela.

>> 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.

A raid is seeing what you can get away with. Try for too many animals and you'll slow down your escape, and the defenders may see you, too few and it's not worth it.

It's the great game of The Wastelands, made up by Waha to keep everyone on their toes and fit to live in the Wastelands. It is the way of life for warriors.

There is no war, only skirmishing and raiding. War is lethal between the tribes and threatens everyone. This is Waha's problem, he doesn't do War, he does raiding. Look what happened at moonbroth.

>> 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.

Common Events in my game: you see warriors of another tribe watching you. Warriors raid your herd, pincer movement, chase off stragglers. Herders defend the herd from other warriors on a raid, your warriors chase off the attackers. A second band moves in to pick off stragglers. Herders split the herd to confuse the attackers, etc. What a great adventure.

The total number of clans is pretty constant, however their tribal make up varies over the years, in a never ending cycle of Life and Death. Clans are made, clans disappear, that's the way of life.

Here are the number of major clans in my Wastelands, roughly 800 +/-10, but currently: Bison 150, High Llama 120, Sable 140, Morokanth 150, Impala 230


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