(C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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elemtilas
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas »

Khemehekis wrote: 26 May 2021 07:48 What would a radiate with the ability to float or fly in the air look like?

I already have a radiate called the phelus with helicopter-like wings on Shaleya, but I want a different body plan for my flying radiates on Doyatl.
If it helps, the Denê of Alar use dendrothurgy to make airships from various kinds of fern tree. Air ferns you see. The wood itself is very buoyant and limbs with long feathery leaves act as wings. They locomote something like a sea jelly, a kind of peaceful undulation.

So, imagine a trireme only in stead of oars, there are trees growing up and out from the keels. Tall trees provide powerful lift & unlift while smaller trees provide lateral motion & pitch. Quite the way to travel! Especially when they're all decorated.
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Post by Khemehekis »

elemtilas wrote: 26 May 2021 11:41
Khemehekis wrote: 26 May 2021 07:48 What would a radiate with the ability to float or fly in the air look like?

I already have a radiate called the phelus with helicopter-like wings on Shaleya, but I want a different body plan for my flying radiates on Doyatl.
If it helps, the Denê of Alar use dendrothurgy to make airships from various kinds of fern tree. Air ferns you see. The wood itself is very buoyant and limbs with long feathery leaves act as wings. They locomote something like a sea jelly, a kind of peaceful undulation.

So, imagine a trireme only in stead of oars, there are trees growing up and out from the keels. Tall trees provide powerful lift & unlift while smaller trees provide lateral motion & pitch. Quite the way to travel! Especially when they're all decorated.
Thanks, Elemtilas, that sounds like a great idea! I could have the longer and shorter tentacles reaching upward from the boat-like bodies of these scyphozoans scaphozoans. There would be some other kind of organ like a mast and sail coming out from the center of the radiates' bodies, although what that would evolve out of, I'm not sure.
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas »

Khemehekis wrote: 27 May 2021 06:31
elemtilas wrote: 26 May 2021 11:41
Khemehekis wrote: 26 May 2021 07:48 What would a radiate with the ability to float or fly in the air look like?

I already have a radiate called the phelus with helicopter-like wings on Shaleya, but I want a different body plan for my flying radiates on Doyatl.
If it helps, the Denê of Alar use dendrothurgy to make airships from various kinds of fern tree. Air ferns you see. The wood itself is very buoyant and limbs with long feathery leaves act as wings. They locomote something like a sea jelly, a kind of peaceful undulation.

So, imagine a trireme only in stead of oars, there are trees growing up and out from the keels. Tall trees provide powerful lift & unlift while smaller trees provide lateral motion & pitch. Quite the way to travel! Especially when they're all decorated.
Thanks, Elemtilas, that sounds like a great idea! I could have the longer and shorter tentacles reaching upward from the boat-like bodies of these scyphozoans scaphozoans. There would be some other kind of organ like a mast and sail coming out from the center of the radiates' bodies, although what that would evolve out of, I'm not sure.
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Post by k1234567890y »

I kinda wanna add groups of Jewish people and Romani people in my conworlds, what should I notice when I do this? Is it even ok to do this?
I prefer to not be referred to with masculine pronouns and nouns such as “he/him/his”.
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Post by WeepingElf »

No.

What you can have is some people who are inspired by them, and even then the danger of those being interpreted as anti-Jewish and anti-Roma slurs looms high, but otherwise you will be faced with the question how those Jews and Roma end up in your conworld.
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k1234567890y wrote: 02 Jun 2021 12:20 I kinda wanna add groups of Jewish people and Romani people in my conworlds, what should I notice when I do this? Is it even ok to do this?
I guess we could divide this into two aspects: artistic and moral.

Artistically, the question would be: how did they get there? Did they wander through a portal from earth, or were they plucked up and placed there by a god? Why does the portal/god specifically target Jewish and Romani people? It's hard to think of a plausible answer to that. With Jews, there's an obvious alternative option: the Jews are right, they are the chosen people, and God has chosen them on every planet; every possible universe is designed so that the Jews arise in it to be chosen by God. This would obviously have major ramifications for the rest of your world. And it's harder to argue this for the Romani, since then you'd need to assume a Romani-loving God who doesn't even bother to tell them that they're chosen, but still designs each world to produce Romani people. Which is... weird.

Morally, the question is: are you Jewish? Romani? If not, why do you feel the need to make big statements about these ethnic groups that you're not part of? Do you really have something insightful and important to say about these groups that hasn't already been said better by someone else? And is it so important to say it that you're willing to seriously offend and upset members of persecuted minorities? I guess that if you're, say, a learned professor of Jewish history and you want to make a world that illustrates something commonly overlooked about a particular time period in Jewish history, that might be morally understandable? But if it's just going to be 'hey, cool persecuted minority that I know nothing about, I will fetishistically incorporate their persecution into my game!', then yeah, no, take a long look at yourself.
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Post by LinguistCat »

I read a book series (which I would name but it is an erotica when it's not being historical fantasy) that had mostly Western history/religion/etc but "a little to the left". So, of course there were also analogues to Jews and Roma in the world because there was no reason to not include them. I think the intentions of the author, in as much as intent counts for anything, were good and in line with the rest of her worldbuilding. I am not a Jew, nor Roma, so I cannot speak to her writing of these characters, but I felt that they were treated as people instead of stereotypes and where there might have been changes or simplifications, again they were in line with other changes in her world's history and mythos.

She also had a viewpoint character who was friends with and sympathetic to people in these groups, and didn't write from the viewpoint of one of these characters as if she knew what it was like to be from one of those groups. The viewpoint character didn't act as a "white savior" but helped the characters she was friends with when they requested. I'm very certain the author spoke with people from these groups to get an idea of what they would want to see and has generally been very careful in how she presents non-Western cultural analogues.

That's all to say I think the important thing, if op does decide to include analogues to Jews and Roma, is to research whatever you can. Get some people who are themselves Jewish or Roma to look over what you include (preferably multiple people from each group since they are likely to vary in their opinions), and don't write about BEING these cultures if you aren't a part of them.

Also if this is personal writing/conworlding that you don't really intend to share in any large space, no one can really stop you from doing whatever you want, and if they don't like it they don't have to interact with you or consume your work. But I would still suggest being compassionate when presenting cultures or cultural analogues that have historically been misrepresented and looked down on or worse.
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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I plan for one of my concultures (Bólks) to have a permanent military regime at some point. Now I was wondering, how is succession of leaders supposed to work under a military regime, apart from Klingon promotion?
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Creyeditor wrote: 11 Jun 2021 23:24 I plan for one of my concultures (Bólks) to have a permanent military regime at some point. Now I was wondering, how is succession of leaders supposed to work under a military regime, apart from Klingon promotion?
Well, bear in mind that European cultures had more or less permanent military regimes from circa 400 to... maybe 1500? 1600? And on many occasions before that (much of Roman history) and after that (a lot of modern history).

Succession of people who own swords happens the same way as any other sort of succession: there's a shortlist of candidates, and the powerbrokers select the one they prefer. This can involve meritocracy, popularity, the stated preference of the preceding leader, or obedience to a fixed consensus rule (such as primogeniture). Succession can happen at the death of the old leader, at the predetermined retirement of the leader, or when the leader spontaneously chooses to resign, or when the leader loses the approval of the powerbrokers; in the case of succession through retirement, the retired leader may continue to hold considerable power. Leaders may also choose (or be forced) to give considerably power to their likely successor ahead of time. Obviously, as in any such system, succession is easier when the institutions are more institutionalised, so that candidates can be sorted into clearly-defined statuses and roles before the time of the succession.

It can also, of course, work very badly in some instances, which is a big part of why societies have generally attempted to evolve beyond military rule. The problem with military rule is that most of the candidates to succeed will have military power, which means that disgruntled failed candidates may have the resources to seriously contest the succession post facto, causing a civil war. The most famous example of this was the 'barracks emperors' era of Rome, when emperors tended to die quickly and every succession was accompanied by a civil war. The saving grace of mediaeval Europe, in this regard, was the the countries were so weak, and the armies so small and hard to raise, that failed candidates often didn't really have much military capital to attempt a recount with; nonetheless, a great many of these conflicts did break out nonetheless, such as the approximately one century of civil war triggered by the death of Edward III. The strongest tool for minimising civil war is strong institutionalisation - particularly to limit the number of viable candidates. But there's really no good way.
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That's an intetesting perpective. I've never thought about powerbrokers that way, though I was suspecting that the regime is in some way independent of the timing of succession. I think I like the idea of "stated preference of the preceding leader" but I will couple it with a meritocracy-like system for the short-list were only high-ranking native members of the military are eligible.
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Creyeditor wrote: 12 Jun 2021 10:56 I was suspecting that the regime is in some way independent of the timing of succession.
Not sure what you mean, there?
I think I like the idea of "stated preference of the preceding leader"
This is what leaders throughout history have attempted to establish - not only does it greatly increase stability, it also greatly enhances the power of the leader, since everyone has to suck up to them if they want a promotion.

But it does have its own weaknesses, particulaly if succession is on the death of the leader. If they're no longer around to enforce their will, their preference may not be respected. It may also not be clear who the preferred successor actually is - a famous example is Edward the Confessor, where both Harold Godwinson (Harold II) and William the Bastard (William I) claimed to be Edward's chosen successor (leading to the Battle of Hastings). It also tends to put a giant bullseye on the back of the chosen successor, since everyone knows that if they kill them quickly, they might be chosen themselves.

One way around this is the custom of executing all candidates other than the chosen one (as the Ottomans did, for example). This, however, creates an even worse potential instability: what if the chosen one dies, or falls out of favour, before succeeding? Even when other candidates survive, this can cause a crisis: if everyone knows who the chosen heir is, nobody else positions themselves to take over, so when there is no longer an heir, chaos can reign. [a famous example: the Wars of the Roses. The core problem was that when the Black Prince died a year before his father, it left his son, a ten-year-old, as heir; but this was exacerbated by the fact that the lack of time between the two deaths led to a lack of certainty over who should act as regent, particularly between the young king's three warrior uncles, Lancaster (who happened to be in the country at the right time), York and Gloucester.]

It can be helpful to give power to the successor in advance, to prevent any complaints later. This, of course, means the successor can try to accelerate the process. For a while, English kings used to nominate their chosen successor as co-ruler (as Romans frequently did), but this didn't last long. Particularly famous was the attempt by Henry II's sons to replace him.

One solution found in some places (most famously Japan) was to clearly demarcate the relative roles of the 'old' and 'young' rulers: in Japan, the old emperor would 'retire' early in their reign, and give administrative power to a successor, while continuing to exercise considerable influence and ritual authority - essentially, a CEO/Chairman relationship.
but I will couple it with a meritocracy-like system for the short-list were only high-ranking native members of the military are eligible.
Limiting the shortlist in this way is common, yes. Historically it was common to have a 'prince of the blood' system, in which only people in specific relations to the previous monarch were eligible to become the next monarch, thus limiting the number of potential candidates, and hence the possibility of war. A non-hereditary example is the Papacy - although theoretically any Christian man can become pope, in practice by long convention the pope is elected from the college of cardinals.
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Salmoneus wrote: 12 Jun 2021 14:17
Creyeditor wrote: 12 Jun 2021 10:56 I was suspecting that the regime is in some way independent of the timing of succession.
Not sure what you mean, there?
I was just pointing out that you confirmed what I thought before, here:
Salmoneus wrote: 12 Jun 2021 02:14 Succession can happen at the death of the old leader, at the predetermined retirement of the leader, or when the leader spontaneously chooses to resign, or when the leader loses the approval of the powerbrokers; in the case of succession through retirement, the retired leader may continue to hold considerable power. Leaders may also choose (or be forced) to give considerably power to their likely successor ahead of time.
Salmoneus wrote: 12 Jun 2021 14:17 A non-hereditary example is the Papacy - although theoretically any Christian man can become pope, in practice by long convention the pope is elected from the college of cardinals.
All of my concountries seem to gravitate towards the Papacy for some reason [:D]
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Creyeditor wrote: 12 Jun 2021 16:32 All of my concountries seem to gravitate towards the Papacy for some reason [:D]
It's been a stable system, historically. It has survived not only every every war and every empire that has existed since Rome, but it has also survived its own hierarchy. And that's saying something. I'll probably get some eye rolling for saying it, but I don't think such a system would work long term for a purely human institution. We've had some really cringey popes and there's just no way any organisation whose leaders demonstrate the qualities of greed, power madness, pride, personal gain over greater good and the like could last without divine assistance.
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Fortunately, divine assistance appears to be commonplace. The Roman Empire lasted 1,480 years; the mainline Caliphate lasted 1,292; the Chinese Empire has lasted 3,577 years and counting, depending on definitions (but including around 1,000 years of fairly unambiguous continuity); the Pharaohs were around for around 3,000 years; and so on. [meanwhile, even the Church herself recognises that, while there must theologically have been a Pope at all times, there have been several periods in history in which it is not clear who the 'real' Pope was, given the profusion of warring candidates...]
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