[Runequest] Primitive Culture

Paul Cardwell carpgachair at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 21 01:14:20 EST 2009

I am working on a series of booklets (one per culture) on what one of my testplayers, Dan Richards, called "anthropological roleplaying".  Basing a character on actual cultures is useful for producing a well-rounded character, as the culture brings in all sorts of baggage in the form of food preferences, clothing, how infants are carried, attitudes toward women, fabulous beasts, spirits, etc.
I would be willing to discuss this sort of thing off-line - or if enough are interested in establishing such a thread, online as well.
Paul Cardwell

--- On Mon, 4/20/09, Lev Lafayette <lev at rpgreview.net> wrote:

From: Lev Lafayette <lev at rpgreview.net>
Subject: Re: [Runequest] Primitive Culture
To: "RuneQuest Rules" <runequest at rpgreview.net>
Date: Monday, April 20, 2009, 6:02 AM

On Mon, 2009-04-20 at 07:38 +0200, Tony wrote:
> Hi All
> Posted this on my site and the Alternate Earth list as well, so forgive
> any duplication. This is from a RQIII perspective, not sure how BRP, RQII
> and MRQ handle cultures, I personally always liked the idea.
> What is the average take on the tradiitional Primitive Culture, equated in
> earth terms?

The material is pretty much straight out of 19th century evolutionary
anthropology, particularly the material from Lewis Morgan. Although it
is not the fashion these days, I quite like it.

> Being South African, my group often looks toward what the Koi/San Bushmen
> were in days gone by - effectively hunter gatherers who slowly moved about
> following the wild game heards. Another take , which I may be off track
> here, but to our understanding would have been the Picts (both of Ancient
> Britain and Hyborian). Not sure what a culture like the Laps two millenia
> back would have been considered to be, prob more nomadic?

*nods* That's about right. Basically you're talking about any number of
neolithic tribes that will have incidental uses of metal but that's
about it.

> Anyhow, I was thinking, after just finishing Shelters of Stone by Jean M
> Auel, that perhaps a nice take on primitives would be Neanderthals.
> Assuming they survived being assimilated/exterminated by the Cro Magnons,
> and also that they did continue to advance as well, albeit at a slower
> rate or along a different path of priorities, they could be an interesting
> take on primitive society, where it would be so much more than just
> culture, but a whole different racial thinking and way of life.

Sure, I don't know what you'd do with characteristic scores.

> I think I may experiment with this as a GM, will post back  here on my
> findings.

I used the primitive culture template for some of the animist cultures
in my RuneQuest Malay Archipelago game that I ran many years ago. Let us
know how your experiment goes.

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