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 Dark Jungle - Tech questions

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Rhishisikk
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PostSubject: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:01 pm

I'll be answering the tech questions here one at a time; I'm going to sleep before attempting to disect Tygerr's post on the topic.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:22 pm

Ok then,

Since this is your world and you are GM, will you allow for my tribe to make obsidian daggers and spear tips? That is the only tech I want is blades.

Another thing is candles: Since my people do have to hunt (trick prey into their traps) will they know how to make candle from animal fat? Also will they be able to make bone handles for their blades and use just about every part of every animal they kill?
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Tue Apr 29, 2008 4:27 pm

Obsidian blades are a tech advantage, if not one I'd planned to add. The main source for obsidian would be up north near the volcano. Just be warned that most of your trips to resupply will be dangerous enough to require miracles.

Construction of basic bone tools is allowed by default; as is the concept of using every part of hunted animals. (Although BIG game kills will be different).

Construction of tallow candles is a seperate tech advantage, and honestly less a match for your Domains. I still need to do research to see what other things make sense to work in there; I don't know anything OTHER than candles that were made of tallow.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:00 am

Other than the obvious fact that it can also be used as food, tallow is the base ingredient for all sorts of primitive cosmetics. Wouldn't surprise me at all to find that it's also useful as a base for (admittedly not very durable) paints and dyes, and possibly also as a waterproofing treatment for leathers and suchlike (again, not a terribly *good* one, but, well... *Neolithic*).
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:14 am

Obsidian blades as a tech advantage. Do you mean "knapped obsidian is superior to knapped flint", or do you mean "the run-of-the-mill tribe doesn't know how to knap stone in general and we're using bone, etc. as spearpoints", or "working stone of whatever type into sharp blades as large as spearpoints and daggers is an advanced skill"?

I've been kind of presuming that all of us had knapped stone spearpoints and could make more as part of the basic Neolithic tech base--provided we had access to flint, chert, or obsidian. (Those stones make *lousy* axe heads, though; ground and polished fine-grained basaltic rocks--or better, schist--are the order of the day for something tough enough to take the repeated percussive abuse of woodworking, and they can even be resharpened.)

So what *is* the basic spearpoint tech around these parts?
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Tue May 06, 2008 8:28 am

I know for a fact that obsidion is much better to make blades out of then normal flint, as the edges can be honed to a near monomolecular level... I have even heard it said that obsidion could be used as scalpels...if it wasn't for the nasty little fact that you can't really sterilize it afterwards.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Tue May 06, 2008 12:48 pm

Obsidian scalpels are perfectly-well sterilizable. They *are* used in the current day as a specialty item for certain surgeries by certain surgeons, for the fastest possible healing and least scarring. They're treated as a disposable item rather than reusable IIRC, though I don't know if that's because they don't resterilize well (I'd think they'd be fine for that, actually; they're basically glass after all) or if it's because they don't *keep* that nigh-monomolecular edge and it's easier to make a new blade than it is to resharpen a dulled one.
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PostSubject: New Rules for Tech   Sun May 11, 2008 5:47 am

Hello everyone,

To make this game a bit more simple, I would like to introduce some simple rules for tech. I plan to elaborate on technology further, but for now we will work out the following in such a manner:

There are three paths your tribe can take. In the end you can only advance two of the three paths for your followers. The paths are:

The Path of Warfare

The Path of Civilization

The Path of Enlightenment

For now you can choose only one of the three. The other two for your tribe will be at 0 the one you pick will be at 2.

The Path of Warfare shows your tribe wants to concentrate on skills and technology for war, conquest and hunting.

At 0 your tribe knows the basics of fighting, nothing more. They will use stone and bone for tools with the occasional hero or tribal elder getting a hold of Bronze or Tin weapons. There is no blacksmith or warfare tactics known.

At 1 your tribe knows a few techniques for fighting and warfare. Your warriors are known in battle. You still have no blacksmith but you know the value of such items and will try and purchase them from a trader. Boats are used instead of rafts carved from wood. Traps and ambushes are allowed and used often. In combat all tribal followers will get a +1 to Body for conflicts only.

At 2 your tribe now has blacksmiths who can mine and forge for copper. More traps and ambushes are used. Boats made last longer and are usually carved intricately. Tactics can be used now but, there is not discipline in the warriors. Heroes and other leaders can use rudimentary armor made of leather and copper. In combat all warriors get a +2 to conflicts. Warfare tactics is a skill gained for all warriors.

The Path of Civilization is a path for those who wish to farm the land and grow as a society.

At 0 your tribe is nomadic going from spot to spot with their herd of animals. Basic animal husbandry is known. Plants are foraged for but there is no farming. Basic shelters are made of hide and wood with no lasting value. Fishing with spears is allowed but no nets or other advances. Simple rafts made be created but are not sturdy and easily discarded. Each year the tribe must make their shelters anew. Society is based off of Might is Right values with the weak being cast aside.

At 1 your tribe has settles into one area with only warriors and hunters foraging for animals. Structures are more permanent lasting two years or more with constant repair. Fishing with nets is allowed, but no fishing lines, bait or traps used. Plants are used for medicinal value but there is still no farming, just harvesting of local growing plants. Tribal Elders are formed but the sick are still cast aside and shunned. For any skill challenge or mental conflict (trickery) a +1 to mind is issued.

At 2 your tribe can now farm the land and grow basic crops such as wheat and rice. Cooking is looked on as an art as well as basic. Artists are introduced and looked upon as a part of society. Structures made of mud bricks are allowed. Hunting is advanced with traps used. Fishing with traps is also done but no bait or fishing lines. The elderly are honored with the sick sometimes cared for. A +2 to mind is given with a civilized skill given to elites.

The Path of Enlightenment is a spiritual path with the tribe able to weather the most turbulent of times and practice wisdom. Leviathans have a harder time scaring these folks and demons have difficulty possessing them.

At 0 your tribe is very superstitious and wary of anything out of the ordinary. Emotions can run out of control within the tribe with emotional highs and lows experienced. Generosity is unheard of. Most members of the tribe live from day to day in constant worry and fear constantly needing reassurance from tribal leaders, elites and their gods.

At 1 your tribe has a good faith so long at the bad times do not last past a season. Emotions are tempered on occasion with outburst heard of but not frowned upon. Generosity is practiced on occasion when the harvest or hunt is good. Tribal members will plan for another season and look toward the future. All matters of spiritual conflicts and after any event where belief is calculated add a +1 to spirit.

At 2 your tribe is wise with many house holds spiritual in their own right. If a famine or other great event strikes there will be calm to a point as long at the occasion does not last more than a year. Generosity is practiced with everyone in the village and the occasional stranger. Strangers are welcomed in the village during certain times. All matters of spiritual conflicts and events which create belief are calculated with a +2 to spirit. Priests and others of the faith can hold elaborate ceremonies and can on occasion walk in the spirit realm.

Let me know what you guys think and post up what you want to do.

Fate.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Sun May 11, 2008 11:14 pm

Let me parrot back what I think I read regarding the basic game mechanic:

For each of those paths, die rolls using the relevant stat are given a bonus of +1 to everybody in the tribe at level 1; at level 2, elites of the appropriate type are given a bonus of +2 (and presumably everybody else retains their bonus of +1).

We start at level 2 in one path, and are level 0 in the others...we don't get the option of choosing level 1 in two paths, I presume?

Level 1 doesn't have any immediate impact to us, as that's only going to come into play when we select a second path and start working up it.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Mon May 12, 2008 8:26 am

Yup that is exactly correct.

If you guys see Varchild I hope he gets a chance to post again soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Mon May 12, 2008 8:45 am

A question: will there (eventually) be levels beyond 2 in the various paths? Or do we start as fully-developed in one path as we're going to get? (There would seem to be room for further development along each of the paths without exceeding a Bronze Age level of civilization.)

The game-mechanical bonuses seem fine, even generous. OTOH, I'm not sure I like the "flavor text" that goes with them, given the "we can only progress down two paths" rule. For instance, as written, the only way to achieve agriculture with metalwork is to remain greedy superstitious xenophobes prone to uncontrolled emotional outbursts (and similar for the other combinations of paths).

Here in Kathonia, at least, the people are supposed to be primitive even by comparison to other humans. Yet starting with a 2 in one path allows us to potentially begin with either metallurgy or agriculture, and *everyone* has domestic animals right from the starting gate.

At the risk of adding undesired complexity to this very simple and streamlined system, I'd suggest more levels along each path, with the die-roll bonuses spread out (so that they don't get any more generous than they already are), with the flavor text arranged so that metalworking and agriculture are harder to learn but basic civilized behavior (hospitality, the emotional control desired in a good neighbor) are easier. And then maybe allow unlimiited advancement along two paths and much more limited (or slower?) advancement along the third (no more than level 2 in a path with 6 total levels, or no more than half the level of the other two paths, something like that).

My goal in this suggestion is to make it reasonable to construct, for example, a tribe of permanently-settled, self-controlled people who are at least aware that metal is very useful stuff--though they might prefer plowshares to swords, as it were. Adding some "balance" to the nascent civilization.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Mon May 12, 2008 8:46 am

Varchild's graduation ceremony was this weekend. I suspect he's been rather busy.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Tue May 13, 2008 11:27 am

Hi Tygerr,

Your points are well taken and some I agree with. But metalworking and agriculture are fields of study that are very ancient. Copper and tin were both used before Bronze came along as the Bronze age is what your tribe is after. (Copper and Tin are used to make bronze). Copper is very flimsy but can be sharpened and used for daggers and spear tips. Also coppe fishing hooks and other uses for copper is a good advancement but mostly the arts of war and hunting use the blacksmith the most.

I am looking at doing a 7 tier system till the tribe hits the age of Bronze in all three categories. Anything beyond will be dealt with later.

Right now I think due to the area, using just two points in the tribe development is called for. Right now I think I am going to eliminate the 2-0-0 and go with two points spend it the way you want. There will be no holding back of any category and it is up to the GM (Fate) which level your tribe starts off at. In the game you can "buy" additional points during the campaign season for 50 belief from where you start off at. The god acutally has to give up some belief during the campaign in order to advance.

So for this game you get two points to spend where you wish on advances.

There will be further tiers in a supplement later on.

Along the tiers I plan to add additional die mechanics such as rerolling dice and fixed die numbers, (such as a person's die for body counts as a 8 instead of a d8 for some sort of skill) and specialty skills.

Right now I just wanted something that will work for the game at hand.

We can chat more about this later once I begin work on one of the two books I am writing, Followers of the Gods.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Tue May 13, 2008 12:36 pm

Cool. That gives the context I needed to fit our primitive-even-by-NGoMK-standards Kathonians into a bigger picture that provides the potential for (eventual) overall cultural balance I was looking for.

Wow. 50 Belief per advancement. Sounds like a huge number, but I suppose it ought to be--if we're to avoid going from Ogg The Caveman to classical Greece in 5 years, hmm?

(I hope you don't mind my commentaries and critiques. I guess I see "playtester" as part of our role here on the forum.)
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Tue May 13, 2008 12:46 pm

Comments are always welcomed. This is a good place as any to playtest.

BTW I plan to really use all the RPG rules in this game. We will not use the board game rules for now.


PS Dice work now.

PPS We will keep it between us three for now. Hopefully Varchild can join us later on.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Tue May 13, 2008 12:46 pm

The member 'Fate' has done the following action : Roll Dice

'D100' : 73
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Tue May 13, 2008 5:05 pm

It worked! WOOT!
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Mon May 19, 2008 11:10 pm

It occurs to me that I never did specify my advancement path(s). For the god of protection and craftsmen, there is but one definitive option: 1 level each in Warfare and Civilization.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Wed May 21, 2008 2:32 am

I suppose the Xy'caerii will have to follow the Paths of Warfare and Enlightenment. In spite of following a god of trickery, most of their pre-described skills fall within the Warfare path and their social attitudes fit into level 1 of the enlightenment path.

I am disappointed they will have to be nomadic now though. It doesn't fit their lifestyle. It's difficult to build treetop houses and forts. They're going to be spending a lot of their time assembling villages among the branches, of course it would take them longer to dig out underground dens to serve as a home.

Any suggestions?
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Wed May 21, 2008 7:45 am

Gain a bunch of Belief so you can spend 50 of it on boosting their Civilization soon?

More seriously--how about: their homes bear a striking resemblance to birds' nests (weaver birds, maybe, since they have roofs) and have to be rebuilt every spring. Since they're made mostly of materials one finds *in* the trees, it's not all that difficult for them (though cooking hearths would be tricky, I suppose). The "nomadic" part would just be the recognition that it's easier to find the materials (and suitable crotches of tree branches) if you move to a different tree when you do so. They're not necessarily fastmoving, wide-ranging nomads like the Mongols or the Plains Indians--their "nomadism" could be a fairly slow migration from tree to tree, moving only a hundred yards a year or so.

Would that work for everyone?
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Wed May 21, 2008 9:50 am

Yup Tygerr I am in total agreement.

It does not have to be fast moving nomadic, but your people do not know how to regrow what they use. If they use little, then there will not be much moving. But there will be some. You have 10 miles to work with and your people only live in 1 mile diameter of this. You can work it out to where they move 1 mile every year in the spring.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Jungle - Tech questions   Wed May 21, 2008 5:16 pm

Good point... Slow Nomad it shall be... lol!
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