Several questions...

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Several questions...

Postby Maddox on November 11th, 2009, 5:07 am

This is a braindump of everything that occured to me as I read through the wiki and forums and started stewing over my character's background:

How plentiful is metal?

I got something of a mixed picture of Mizahar's technological development... is metal smelting common outside of Kalea and Syliras? Would an average settlement have access to ore/metal stock and a smith to work it? Is steel very common, or are iron and bronze prominent?

What are common human names?

Examples are given for most races, but various human cultures don't give us much to work with. Were particular names or phonemes popular in Suvan/Alahea? Do names follow the RL western tradition of familiar name + family name? Are last names patrilinear?

Black Powder?

Smoke powder, firebombs, and bombards are listed under ship weaponry, but cannons are not in the siege weaponry or battlefield section. How common are explosives in Mizahar? Are they used in personal weapons (hand cannons/muskets) or mining?

Rubber?

"Said to have been invented in the jungle, residents their discovered certain resins combined well with intertwined strings to make a very elastic cord. Thus came this Y-shaped wooden stick with this elastic string tied on both arms, with a sling at the center. It is a good substitute for a normal sling in the restrictive confines of heavily-wooded areas."

Was this a copy/paste from something else, or is there really rubber/elastic in Mizahar? Is this produced/used industrially or alchemically?

Price of Arrows?

Per the price list, arrows cost 20 for 1gp. This is a very minor nitpick, but without steam power or wind/water mill (not sure if Mizahar has these) shafts had to be milled by hand and manually finished and fletched. To move this more in line with the products of other skilled labor it seems like it should be several times what it is now.

Character's heirloom


"Shattered Watchstones from ruined towers have been found commonly at the base of the remains of destroyed towers. These fragments are often crafted into jewelry ... such jewelry is wildly popular but rare to find."

From the description, it sounds like this would cost more than the 50gm limit for a personal heirloom. What additional price would I need to pay for a pendant made of native copper with one of these stones embedded?

Order of Radiance?

The wiki page on the Order of Radiance isn't up yet, can someone give me a few sentences about them and where they're based out of?

Underground homes

"Five generations passed. The first and second generations withstood the ravages below ground or in isolated locations throughout Mizahar. The third generation emerged and began to take stock, while the fourth generation began to rebuild."

After living in these places for a hundred years, did everyone abandon them completely? I couldn't find much information about this... is there a sizable population still living in these shelters?

EDIT: I forgot one -- Infant Mortality

My current picture of my character has him (a Kelvic) living with a human woman and raising children. I picture a normal girl, a fox kelvic, and twin colt kelvics. Statistically, how likely would they be to have survived to adulthood? If those were the children that lived, would there likely have been otheres that didn't?
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Re: Several questions...

Postby Liminal on November 11th, 2009, 7:51 am

Some of these I can answer and some I'll defer on, but I'll answer what I can ^_^

Human Names:

To some extent, it's something we haven't finished exactly, and it'll depend on your culture. I moderate the furthest eastern human settlements (Zeltiva and Sunberth), and for those, I've tried to use relatively "common"-sounding names, with a lot of occupational-related last names (Wright, Cartsmith, Stonemiller). Other names are the sort of "familiar" names you might recognize. It's the standard two-name patrilineal system, designed to make it feel normal compared to other races.

I don't know about other subcultures though -- it's sort of the province of the person who designed them. Was there a subrace you had in mind?


Black Powder:

We're still streamlining the wiki and making sure it all fits together, as I'm sure you saw. Nobody's got muskets, and nobody's got regular cannons either. If that technology ever existed, it would be gone with the Valterrian. We may want to drop that from the price list -- the only real shipyard is in Zeltiva, and you couldn't buy cannons there. I'm not aware of any non-magical explosives either, although someone else may chime in here.


Rubber:

Nope, that's original, rather than pasted. But any production of the stuff would be small-scale at best, and I think it'd be hard to get outside of the jungle areas where it grows. And it wouldn't be vulcanized, so changes in temperature would be awfully hard on it -- not really a problem in the jungle, but it wouldn't travel well.


Underground Homes:

I'd imagine there may be a few folks living there, but it wouldn't be many. It's too much easier to farm, raise livestock, &c. on the surface for many people to want to stay.

That's only humans, of course -- some races, like the Symenestra and the Isur, have extensive underground dwellings.


Infant Mortality:

We're not real picky on this. Times are hard, and infant mortality would be high, but whether or not a given person would have deceased children or not depends on if that's how you want to play them.



Hope that's at least some help!
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Re: Several questions...

Postby Gillar on November 11th, 2009, 8:23 am

Hello there, just thought I would comment on your question about Black Powder.

Smoke powder, firebombs, and bombards are listed under ship weaponry, but cannons are not in the siege weaponry or battlefield section. How common are explosives in Mizahar? Are they used in personal weapons (hand cannons/muskets) or mining?


The idea was to avoid the higher technology of actual cannons. A bombard is a very crude cannon that fires a stone projectile using a large amount of smoke powder. In small quantities, the smoke powder mainly creates smoke. It takes a relatively large amount (expensive too) to fire a single shot from a bombard. How common smoke power is, is implied in its cost of 25 gold mizas per pound. It takes four pounds to fire a single shot from the smallest bombard. As for siege weaponry or battlefield equipment, a bombard, the stone shots and smoke powder required to use it are all too expensive and too cumbersome to make effective siege weapons on land. Their use on ships comes from the need to be able to combat other ships more effectively. Because there are not massive troop battles on land and laying siege to castles is not common, the need for ground versions of these weapons has not yet occurred. This is information that will be added to the various descriptions to better convey that.

Explosives are rare as far as common use by citizens and even military. Their use is not unheard of but it is limited and uncommon at best. There aren't muskets or hand-cannons existing yet although that does not rule out the possibility of them existing in some limited form in the Pre-Valterrian times. Explosives have a somewhat more common use in mining yet the majority of that is done by hand, with tools and in the case of the Isur specifically, a mixture of alchemy, specialized tools, and physical labor.
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Re: Several questions...

Postby Gossamer on November 11th, 2009, 5:37 pm

Hello-

Here's a few more answers and some comments.

Gossamer

Maddox wrote:How plentiful is metal?

I got something of a mixed picture of Mizahar's technological development... is metal smelting common outside of Kalea and Syliras? Would an average settlement have access to ore/metal stock and a smith to work it? Is steel very common, or are iron and bronze prominent?


Quite a few of cultures have metal. I know all the ones I have developed or am developing do (Vantha, Drykas, Sylirans, Akalak, Konti). There are mines throughout Mizahar, though most are primitive or small scale operations in nature. The exception to this is the Isur. They have taken metallurgy to a fine art. Iron, Bronze, Copper, Silver, Gold, etc are all known and while maybe not abundant, not hard to get your hands on. Steel is rarer, though the Isur and the Sylirans have it. Others trade them for it... so it is out there.

Maddox wrote:What are common human names?

Examples are given for most races, but various human cultures don't give us much to work with. Were particular names or phonemes popular in Suvan/Alahea? Do names follow the RL western tradition of familiar name + family name? Are last names patrilinear?


It entirely depends on the subculture. There are matriarchal subcultures, and patriarchal subcultures. There are subcultures that take last names according to which Hold they live in, and there are those that do not have secondary names at all. Liminal stated eastern humans had normal names. But if you come from a human subculture (The Benshira, The Vantha, etc) please read the subculture writeups for lists... they contain examples. Otherwise name yourself what you'd like. I'm sure you can justify the why of it in RP.

Maddox wrote:Rubber: Was this a copy/paste from something else?


Nothing in the Wiki is cut and paste. Do not confuse the Wiki with the Development Area where volunteers are working on things (such as Alchemy). We have almost a 1000 entries of original writing. It is potentially... offensive... that someone might suggest 'cut and paste' because we've worked hard to make it all original and take a great deal of pride in that. If you are a student of history or know anything about textiles or primitive cultures, you would understand that rubber has been used from rubber trees for a long long time - primitive culture invented it. Here's a website that outlines its production... all very Mizaharian possible. That includes the price list (I noted your remark in your intro) which I personally witnessed being massed, expanded upon, agonized over, for a long long period of time.

Maddox wrote:Price of Arrows?

Per the price list, arrows cost 20 for 1gp. This is a very minor nitpick, but without steam power or wind/water mill (not sure if Mizahar has these) shafts had to be milled by hand and manually finished and fletched. To move this more in line with the products of other skilled labor it seems like it should be several times what it is now.


Being a Ren Geek myself both as a yoeman and lancer, I've taken lots of fletching classes and watched professional fletchers work. I've seen foot powered lathes that are period acceptable turn out arrow shafts in record time. I've even been the smuck sitting at the bench adding the feathering and know from personal experience that napping an arrowhead (if thats the type your making) is really quick and easy if your hands know what they are doing (or agonizingly painful). If they were poured from metal, they are even faster. A gold miza is terribly valuable. I think the price is set accurately. Live near the woods, buy chunks of iron to melt down, keep chickens & pheasants for feathering... and you have a relatively inexpensive livelyhood.

Mizahar has water mills (all over) and probably wind power (in Kalea and the fringe of Cyphrus).

Maddox wrote:
Character's heirloom


"Shattered Watchstones from ruined towers have been found commonly at the base of the remains of destroyed towers. These fragments are often crafted into jewelry ... such jewelry is wildly popular but rare to find."

From the description, it sounds like this would cost more than the 50gm limit for a personal heirloom. What additional price would I need to pay for a pendant made of native copper with one of these stones embedded?


A sliver of watchtower stone would be fine in a copper pendant for a family heirloom.

Maddox wrote:Underground homes

"Five generations passed. The first and second generations withstood the ravages below ground or in isolated locations throughout Mizahar. The third generation emerged and began to take stock, while the fourth generation began to rebuild."

After living in these places for a hundred years, did everyone abandon them completely? I couldn't find much information about this... is there a sizable population still living in these shelters?


There should be major underground cave systems near each major settlement that survived the Valterrian. If they are developed or not is the choice of the Domain Storyteller working with them. Some locations, such as Riverfall, were established after the Valterrian with survivors of the race building a new city.. meaning the strays had to come together from where they were dispersed. And though Syliras is a post-Valterrian settlement, people in the region survived using the Aylasa Caves which is a vast underground cavern system. People can live there but more often others use them now for shelter... Symenestra, bandits, bats with giantism. There are no stable populations living in these shelters (unless one gets developed somewhere) that I know of currently. They still, however, might act as refuge for some.

Maddox wrote:My current picture of my character has him (a Kelvic) living with a human woman and raising children. I picture a normal girl, a fox kelvic, and twin colt kelvics. Statistically, how likely would they be to have survived to adulthood? If those were the children that lived, would there likely have been otheres that didn't?


Actually, a human woman when mated with a kelvic would only produce a kelvic offspring only very rarely and thats if there's a kelvic in the human's bloodline somewhere way back. This is all laid out carefully in the kelvic wiki entry. It would be totally unheard of for that many kelvics to come from a human/kelvic cross. The kelvic factor pops up rarely. The only way there'd be a proliferation of Kelvics in that scenario is if the mother and father were both kelvics, then they always breed true kelvics. Then there wouldn't be a normal girl in there too - unless adopted. The animal types would be all over the board. Kelvics are extremely tough children, so their rate of survival would be fine so long as the mother survived the birth (which is sometimes a problem). But depending upon what type of kelvic they are, their lifespan only follows that of their animal. For example a mouse kelvic would only have a couple of years, so they would be out of adolescence in a matter of weeks. The horse kelvics would be reproductively mature theoretically at two years of age. The fox around six months.



Hope this helps.
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Re: Several questions...

Postby Maddox on November 11th, 2009, 9:11 pm

It helps a lot, thanks for clearing that up! The entry for Kelvics stated that they didn't always breed true with each other, that they might produce normal humans from matings with normal humans, and that a person with the recessive trait would only very rarely produce a kelvic from a normal partner- I wasn't sure about the frequency of that middle case.

If anyone could give me a few sentences about the Order of Radiance, or let me know if nothing has been drafted up yet, that would help quite a bit too.

The link about the process of harvesting rubber was interesting. I can tell that you all put a lot of work into Mizahar and I certainly didn't mean to offend with my question... I came across a few entries in the price list while I was finishing my character's writeup, hopefully these questions are more tactful ;)

Some of the prices in the tradegood section didn't seem to line up with their entries elsewhere. Flour lists for 2cm/lb as a tradegood, but 3gm/lb as a food. Furniture lists for 6-15gm/20lbs, which looks a fair bit more expensive than the furniture listed in the building section. Silk is listed at 10gm/sq.yd whereas a silk robe only costs 5gm.

A sighting lense lists for less than a single magnifying glass.

Other miscellaneous things are that it would be nice to have a link to the horse and dog pages from the item list in the animal section, and that the animal feed price seems to be less than the raw grain price.

Also, what is 'waterproofing oil'? It is in the battlefield secion, but it sounds useful for a traveller in the elements...
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Re: Several questions...

Postby Gossamer on November 11th, 2009, 10:27 pm

Maddox-

Hey, no worries. I edited the kelvic writeup to be a bit more specific. I have a ton more kelvic background stuff to go in that's been developed in thread... and we're still working on a lot of things.

The Order of Radiance is Tarot's baby. You might PM him.

The price list is Gillar's baby. You might PM him too about some discrepancies. I know its a monster project, so there's bound to be inconsistencies.

You're right about the horse and dog pages being more accessible. I have plans for birds, cats, stuff like farm animals, major predators, etc... in terms of big 'lists' in one thread. I just did dogs and horses as they were needed the most because people were picking them for their starting packages and wanting answers on breeds. Perhaps a 'Animal Directory' type Wiki Category might help. I am slowly getting really addicted to categories.

And don't worry about tact here. We're pretty open and sometimes blunt. :P

Waterproofing oil - an oil you coat things with to waterproof it? Gillar told me it was a plant extract, but he never really got into that much detail as to where it came from. Sometimes you just have to go on faith and not sweat the details.
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Re: Several questions...

Postby Tarot on November 11th, 2009, 11:01 pm

Hey Maddox,

I left the Order of Radiance on the back burner as I have more urgent things to do (like finishing some more magic types!), but I can tell you this...

1) They try to maintain chapterhouses near as many working Watchtowers as they can. Right now they'd be mostly limited to Sylira, Taldera and maybe Kalea. I haven't decided on the location of their headquarters yet - the local mod/developer would have to give me permission to do that.

2) I am a big believer in different religious structures. The OoR is an entirely voluntary organization with very little bureaucracy. There's a First Light - Priskil's Champion, local chaptermasters and everyone else is a brother in arms. Priskil decides who can join on an individual basis. You can leave at any time, no hard feelings. Her followers are her personal friends.

3) The faction is a reflection of Priskil's personality, meaning it's not so well-organized. Priskil is well-meaning and really one of the most goody-two-shoes deities in the pantheon, but still inexperienced. While she's ancient, she's "new to this goddess business". She spent millennia in isolation with her lover, and she has been plunged into a battle she did not want to fight. She still doesn't fully understand divine politics, things like marking promising people, converting others to the faith, etc. Most often, she's not giving advice to the First Light - she's getting some from her.

I realize this isn't really giving you hard facts, but it should give a general feel for the Order. :)
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