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 Dark Jungle - Home Rules

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Rhishisikk
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PostSubject: Dark Jungle - Home Rules   Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:46 pm

Okay, a few home rules for the Dark Jungle campaign:

0. One deity per person. Period. Any player caught griefing (trying to ruin the game with no in character reason) will be kicked out. Only people with a fully posted profile in the Role Call thread will be allowed to play. If you aren't playing, please stay out of the gaming threads.

1. The timeline is planned for one season every week to two weeks. If you cannot commit to reading the forums that often, donít play. Ideally, one week will be enough; experience tells me it will be closer to the two week margin. Game clock will start on Saturday April 5, 2008 in the season of Fall.

2. Belief income is in the SECOND holy season and after. In other words, if you havenít been playing at least four seasons, your followers generate no Belief for you. This is to minimize the bonus/penalty associated with various seasons. Be warned that your first income season is affected (ie Loss of Faith, Dependancy, et cetera) by your expenditures from your first entry in game until the first instillment of Belief.

3. Faced with the inevitability that metagamers will have access to info they shouldnít, Iím instituting the omniscience multiple. Basically, any miracle involving knowledge that you donít know Ďin gameí results in a +3 to the cost multiple. (Omniscience penalty does NOT apply to anyone trying to counter the miracle, unless they also are acting Ďoutside the boxí.) I havenít yet determined a penalty for role-playing with knowledge you donít have, and am open to suggestions.

3A. All deities know any miracle occuring within the area they can use Divine Sight upon. (Exception: Miracles not directly affecting a follower of the god can be masked, as detailed under divination.) There is NO masking level that allows you to affect a god's followers directly without being noticed.
Example: You cannot poison a god's followers without being noticed; you could, however, mask poisoning the river they get water from.

3B. If you're trying to do something 'under the radar', do so by private post, not the forums.

4. As mentioned in the NGoM manual, the default technology is NEOLITHIC. No blades, no bows, no agriculture or herding, etc. HOWEVER, your people may begin the game with ONE technological improvement DIRECTLY related to your primary domain. Example: A deity of Earth might allow his people to craft bricks, but could not give them pottery (covers multiple items) or blacksmithing (same, and arguably outside of his major domain).

4A. I'm working on rules for teaching other technical developments to one's mortal populace, they will be posted on this thread when I finalize them. If you really can't wait that long, knowledge miracles only last as long as the miracle itself does.

5. If you have a problem with House Rules, this is the thread to argue them in. If you have questions about the rules in general, there's another whole forum for that.

6. Until I'm convinced that the dice roller is tamper-proof (right now I'm not even certain it works), I will roll all the dice. I don't care if you track me down in real life to roll them in front of me, I'm rolling the dice. Period, the end.
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Varchild_Marquee
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Home Rules   Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:01 pm

Hrmmmmm... Probably should have read this thread before actually posting in the roll call thread that I would be playing. Now that I've reviewed the house rules I'm concerned I won't be able to meet all the requirements...

#0... No problem there, will be posting it in a few days time.
#1... Hrm... seems do-able for me, maybe. reading the board, not a problem, posting on the thread may be.
#2... So if my holy season is in Summer, I have to play through eight seasons before I generate belief, while the guy who has his holy season in Fall only has to wait five seasons? I might take issue with that... I think a few other folks might also... of course after the first generate it goes back to once a year, just always at your holy season...
#3... Who determines if a god knows something or not "in game?"
#3A... Does that include when they're in the known world instead of being in their celestial home? (I know what the rules say, but you're instituting "house rules" I'm trying to clarify if they bypass any of the existing rules.)
#3B... Can do...
#4... Trap-making... definitely trap-making. After all, booby traps fall under two of my domains, Forests (Primary) and Mischief...
#4A... Cool enough...
#5... Taking you up on this rule as we speak... LOL
#6... You're welcome to roll my dice any day. I'll hunt you down and allow you to do so . Wink LOL April Fools... You can roll your own dice for me. I won't be hunting you down. I know where you play on alternate Friday nights. Hunting you is unnecessary. You will come to me! Mwa-ha-ha-ha!

Seriously, my only issues are with #1, #2, and #3/3A. More than willing to accommodate the others, and my problem with #1 is truly my problem, nothing for you to be concerned with. Need to examine my scheduling. May need an occasional nudge. cat
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Rhishisikk
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Home Rules   Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:21 pm

Argh. Five to Eight is a lower ratio than one to four, but yes, I see what you're saying. Fine. #2 is suspended, but all deities start the game with 50 Belief. No bonus for starting in your holy season. Not happy that starting one season PRIOR to your holy season accomplishes what I'd meant to put off with this point, but I'll take what I can get.

Meh? I was unaware of being manifest having anything to do with #3. Please reference the rule by page number, I'll be happy to yield to the main rules, and would rather real rules take precedence. As for who decides, that would be myself. So if you tell someone something critical, either let them know in the forum, or PM me letting me know that they know. Cause otherwise I've got a nerf bat, and no nerf ball - and I need my exercise.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Home Rules   Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:26 pm

Rhishisikk wrote:
Meh? I was unaware of being manifest having anything to do with #3. Please reference the rule by page number, I'll be happy to yield to the main rules, and would rather real rules take precedence.

Page 71 of the NGoM NGH wrote:
While incarnate, the God is no longer able to hear prayers and cannot use Divine Sight, as well as being unable to sense the condition of their Celestial Realm. A god may choose to return to the Celestial Realm at any time, reappearing anywhere in their Realm, without spending Belief.

I would think that being thus cut off from Divine Sight would also limit the God's ability to notice any miracles being cast in the area he or she could normally see using Divine Sight. So a God slumming on the known world would be without any knowledge of miracles being cast on the known world or in his or her Celestial Realm, except those miracles cast in their presence of course, correct? What a Face Twisted Evil cherry


Last edited by Varchild_Marquee on Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Couldn't read quote...)
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Rhishisikk
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Home Rules   Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:12 am

The God manifested can no longer hear the prayers of their followers (but may hear anything their followers say within their d10 hearing range). While not auto-aware of miracles, they still detect any miracles within normal senses of their Avatar. Yes, this means ANY miracle, even if it isn't directed at them.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Home Rules   Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:42 pm

I think I need more detail as to exactly what the word "Neolithic" means to you. The Aztec, Maya, Inca, Old Kingdom Egypt (the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx), early China, ancient Sumeria were all lacking metal tools and hence an archaeologist would refer to them as Neolithic. As were the Polynesians who treated the entire Pacific Ocean as their own friendly little private lake and the builders of Stonehenge (who hauled the stones from Wales IIRC). "No agriculture, herding, or bows" actually sounds rather more restrictive than merely "Neolithic". Which I'm perfectly okay with, as long as I understand what the tech limits are and are not. (I get tired of games in which people receiving rewards for ignoring a game setting's stated knowledge limits while those who stay within the spirit of the thing get effectively penalized. Especially since I'm generally one of the latter....)

OTOH, hunter-gatherers usually *have* to be nomadic and very low population density, rather than settled villagers. I'd argue that if we've got a permanently-settled location/lifestyle then we've got agriculture/herding of some sort. Elsewise we'd eat all the best fruit/tubers/iguanas in the vicinity in fairly short order, move on to some place with a better menu, and return to the starting place in a year or so after everything's grown back again.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Home Rules   Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:13 am

Don't worry - slash and burn is a simple improvement, and it really only takes one village size dino to feed an entire village for a season. But for answers, yes, I'm going loincloth-wearing ookla for the basic tech level. This means one of the important features of the game is getting your followers agrarian, or otherwise food-stable. Don't worry, I'm being unrealistic-generous with how long the players have to do this.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Home Rules   Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:15 pm

(Not sure if this is the right thread for this question, but it seems as appropriate as any.)

Question--there's been a fair bit of sending mortal followers back and forth to introduce the tribes to each other. Once that's done, should we presume the relevant deities know enough about each other to send emissaries (and/or arrange meetings) for more direct discussions in the Celestial Realm?
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Home Rules   Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:56 pm

Absolutely. Please post your activities in the thread most appropriate to where the action is taking place. For example, if you send a delegation to the Orang, post that in their village. I'll let you know if the lake itself or any of the terrain is more dangerous than normal.
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PostSubject: A Very Long Series of Highly-Specific "Tech Level" Questions   Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:27 pm

I'm continuing to try to get a handle on the knowledge base, crafts, and technologies we can assume for our Stone Age primitive tribes.

You've referenced canoes a few times and said canoes/rafts are the next priority for my craftspeople (after basic housing). From this, I presume that boatbuilding (at least at the basic level of "artificially constructed floating thing that can be used to transport people and goods across water") is assumed to be a generally-available and widely-known tech/skill. Would the canoes in question be of the dugout (hollowed-out log) or frame-and-covering (bark or hide) variety?

What about containers? You've specifically said pottery wouldn't be suitable as a tribe-specific *advanced* tech, so that's pretty obviously out. Wooden bowls made from hollowed and shaped wood blocks should be reasonably simple for anyone with woodcutting/carving/shaping tools/skills good enough to make dugout canoes and contemplate the clearcutting required for slash-and-burn agriculture. How about waterskins (requires decent tanning, stitchery, and treatment of seams with waterproof coatings)? Buckets (presumably made from a solid block similarly to a dugout canoe or the bowls discussed above, rather than the "barrel stave" construction that we tend to think of when envisioning a wooden bucket)? Woven baskets (whether made of rattan/bamboo wicker, palm fronds, reeds/canes, or thin flexible twigs similar to willow)? "Natural" containers such as gourds or sections of bamboo would, I presume, be common and unremarkable.

Tendon or rawhide cord used to tie things securely is kind of a given, I presume--"stone spearhead lashed to wooden shaft" is part of the basic *Paleo*lithic toolkit, after all. Ditto the use of vines or palm fronds as rope/string/cord of short lengths and moderate strengths. How about longer/thicker/stronger lengths of cordage/rope (or longer/*thinner* lengths of *string* of limited-but-reliable strength) crafted from plant fibers? (I assume that at minimum the Tree People know how to make fairly sturdy cordage as part of trapmaking, but how about the rest of the tribes?) When you mentioned rafts as a high priority for my craftsmen, that seems to imply high-strength lashings on a fairly large scale, which in turn implies (to me, anyway) *something* that serves reasonably well as "rope".

If making cordage/rope/string/whatever is a commonly-known skill, how about making nets (useful for fishing, hunting birds or other small game (esp. live-trapping), keeping birds and other similarly-sized pests away from especially-desired food plants, or as a lightweight container for transporting lots of smallish solid objects)? (You've already mentioned that net fishing isn't suitable for the Eastern Marshes, but the Lake isn't all *that* far away, and that looks like a prime environment for net fishing--quite apart from all the other varied uses for nets.)

On the topic of fishing, has pole-line-hook fishing been invented? Or is spear-fishing the presumed default method?

Food preservation: I'd expect drying and/or smoking of food (meat, fish, fruit) is a common and uremarkable skill, or there wouldn't be much point to hunting really large game. I'm guessing that meat preservation by salting is as yet unknown, quite apart from the whole issue of a sufficiently-large salt supply in an inland environment (no sea-salt) with generally-soggy ground (any native salt deposits would have long since dissolved away).

Has meat smoking progressed to the stage of making sausage/pemmican? (In its most primitive form, that would basically be chopping/grinding/smashing fatty-rather-than-oily meat to bits, mixing it with the fat to form something sticky and pasty, and then smoking it without drying/hardening it too much.) Softer preserved foods are very useful if one wishes to feed small children, old people, the sick and infirm, or anyone else who might have trouble chewing on nigh-rock-hard dried-meat jerky.

What sorts of plant foods are recognized as "food"? Ripe fruit is obvious, of course, in any area that *has* fruit-bearing trees. An awful lot of the useful Amazonian-wetland starch sources (other than plantain) are tubers/roots, which hide underground--can I assume cassava root and sweet potatos and suchlike grow wild in the environment and are known/recognized as food sources (plus, for a disturbing number of Amazonian plant-based starches, that the proper techniques are known for selecting/preparing it as wholesome food rather than cyanide-laced slow poison)? What about grasses/cereals/grains (none come to mind as native to Amazonian lowlands, but I figure I may as well ask)--have they figured out that picking a handful of grain seeds yields just as valid a food source as a plantain fruit (even if it's harder to collect the seeds and they require more effort to turn into something a little kid or toothless elder can eat)? Or fresh bamboo shoots, heart of palm, or similar "perhaps nonobvious soft parts/stages of plants that one might ordinarily think of as "wood" rather than "food"? (Yes, we're in lush territory and adequate food per se isn't a problem. It's those "visual thinking" and "world/culture-building" parts of my overactive brain again. I want to get a feel for what the cuisine is like, and hence the culture that's evolved around it, and the toolset that's necessary to support it, etc.)

Cooking. Meat on a spit over an open fire, and various plant-based foods wrapped in wet leaves and buried in hot coals, both seem to go back to the dawn of time as cooking methods. How about "pan frying" on a hot rock in/beside the campfire? (I've been assuming that's how the edible algae is prepared: press it into a damp paste, spread it on a hot rock, and fry/toast it like a fried egg or flatbread. Hence my references to "soylent crackers" in the in-character threads.) Do they use "enclosed cooking" methods of any sort (smoking more complex than "meat on a spit over a small fire with green/damp wood", Polynesian-style covered pit ovens, above-ground clay or drystone ovens), or is it all open-campfire barbeque-style cookery?

I'd been assuming that boiling of any sort (soups, stews, crawdad-boils, etc.) would be impossible in a pre-pottery era due to a lack of large, deep, fireproof containers to act as stewpots/cauldrons. However, I *just this weekend* got pointed to a reference to Neolithic "stone pots"--something I'd never heard of before. It was, sadly, a passing reference in an article about a completely different Neolithic artifact, so I haven't been able to get any specifics on them. But I am heartened to discover that Neolithic peoples may in fact have had the technology to host a big Cajun feast! YAY! (Well, except for the musical instruments required to do up Zydeco music *right*....)

I'd also assume that seasonings and spices (at least in the form of peppers and chiles) are readily available in an Amazonian-jungle context, and fairly well understood. Hot, humid climates *always* seem to develop heavily-spiced cuisines. (Heh. I *will* invent the ubiquitous swamp-dweller tradition of the unbearably-spicy-community-shrimp-fest, I will I will!)

How about the complex of knowledge and skills that go into basic flatbreads? (Flour-water paste fried on a hot rock implies flour, which implies grinding hard dry starch sources to make flour, which in turn implies knowing either that grain seeds can be used as food or that tubers can be preserved by drying *if* you can overcome their rocklike, tooth-endangering consistency....) Leavened bread, I'm pretty sure, will be Right Out--yes?

You've mentioned my people's use of clay as a building material. I assume this means that clay is also known (at least to my craftsmen, and presumably to the other tribes as well) as a multi-purpose spiffy material for handicrafts--malleable and easily-shaped when wet, yet hardens into a strong solid form when dry (provided it *stays* dry, which might be a bit of a challenge given the environment *g*)--and that therefore what we're missing in regards proper pottery are some combination of 1) the knowledge that it gets even stronger *and waterproof* when exposed to hot fires and/or 2) figuring out how to apply the knowledge in step one without having most of the product break/explode during firing. Correct?

I assume that making a fire from scratch is no big deal for these folk, with the hardest part being finding *dry* kindling in an Amazonian swamp/rainforest (I've seen *moderns* do the "rub two sticks together" thing in under a minute with some practice in the correct techniques--no bow-drills or flint-struck sparks required).

You've said "no bows and arrows". What about atlatls, or slings, for another path to decent ranged weaponry? ("Amazonia" makes me also think immediately of "blowguns", but blowgun darts are nigh-useless without poisons, which are the purview of the Xionites and hence presumably not part of my peoples' technological toolkit.)

How good is the tribe's basic woodworking? I assume cutting/shaping/carving of simple, single-piece wooden implements is no big deal for my craftsmen. Your comment about rafts implies that they can do large multi-piece implements with structural-strength joinery via lashings or similar (I'm envisioning something built like a wooden palisade wall section, but floating rather than sunk vertically into the ground), but I assume that complex implements requiring multiple heavily-shaped pieces with carved joinery (for instance, a box made of 5 flat slabs--a bottom and four sides--pegged together with dowels) is probably beyond them.

Fermentation. Given that many berries ferment on the vine and thus provide what amounts to naturally-occuring wine, it would seem to me that our primitive tribespeople would have spent no small amount of brainpower on figuring out how to do that deliberately/artificially so they could booze it up at times of the year other than right at the end of summer and beginning of fall. And since more than a few fruits will frequently start to ferment before they spoil, that shouldn't have been too difficult (note the past tense *grin*) for them to figure out. Which then would seem to lead directly to fermentation as a method of food preservation (for definitions of "food" that include "fruit juice", at least--kim chee or similar might be more advanced, especially for a people lacking pottery). But I could be wrong--intoxicating drink might be one of those "advanced techs" that we'll be picking up over the course of the game. (In which case we might have to fall back on ayahuasca.... *g*)

I assume that stone tool-making is pretty well advanced--large edged/pointed items from chipped cores, small edged/pointed items from flakes struck off larger cores, ground/polished basaltic items, etc.; in particular, axes good enough to do the large-scale felling of trees required for the "slash" part of slash-and-burn agriculture, adzes/knives/awls/etc. good enough for carving raw wood into useful implements (the aforementioned canoes, whether dugouts or covered frames, would require some pretty respectable woodworking skills/tools even if much of the roughing-out is done by controlled burning), grinding implements for doing "finish work" on wooden items ("sanding" stones for finishing spear shafts so they're straight, smooth, and of constant diameter, for example; smooth spear shafts and axe handles are pretty much a requirement if the user doesn't want to injure his own hands). I presume also that they're reasonably adept at making and using tools cut/shaped/carved from hard animal parts like shells, horn, and bone.

How about leather and tanning? Cutting/piecing/stitching leather into complex shaped items like garments, waterskins, canoe covers (though I repeat myself here with the waterskin and canoe references)?

This setting being based on Amazonia, I envision the stereotypical "jungle drums" for long-distance communication--if not now, than eventually when the disparate tribes become more close-knit. So what can our primitive savages do drum-wise? Hollow-log drums? Stretched-hide drums? Do we know how to scale either of those up to a size whose sound will carry across inter-village distances? Have we stumbled on the *concept* of coded drum rhythms as a method of fast long-distance communication?

Do they have any kind of domestic animals? I'm guessing not, though there might be some semi-domesticated wolf/dogs. (The salamanders successfully tame/train/domesticate some of the local large *reptiles*...might be a good thing for the god of reptiles to keep in mind for his people....)

Okay, enough with the endless questions. Plenty here for you to think about and answer. At least for now--I'm sure I'll be badgering you about this stuff for a while until I've got a decent mental image of what these people can (and can't!) do, what vital tech improvements have to be introduced ASAP, etc. (Consider it a sign that I'm intensely interested in the game. That's a good thing, right? *g*)
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