[Runequest] Literate Neolithics?

Lawrence Whitaker lawrence.whitaker at gmail.com
Thu Aug 30 22:09:52 EST 2012

Hi Lev,

> Yes, I know this, I have read it. It is an optional professional skill. I
> was going to leave issues of the paleolithic* division of labour aside,
> but since you've brought it up, how about some evidence for the claim that
> there were professional "scholars" among hunter-gatherers?

I think you raised the issue, not me... :-)

Pete's also beaten me to the obvious answer. The cultures and
professions are broad churches and have to be if the game is to be
kept at a generic enough level. I would add, though, that each
profession also comes equipped with a series of alternative title
suggestions, so if the term 'Scholar' rankles when used in conjunction
with the primitive culture, then why not use 'Lore Keeper', 'Sage',
'Wise Man/Woman' instead? That's why we included the alternative names
for each career.
>> Literacy, page 72, also says 'Literacy does not necessarily imply
>> writing;
>> there are an infinite number of ways to convey information'.
> Yes, I read that as well. As mentioned this can refer to proto-writing on
> a variety of instruments (e.g., a tharunka). However it is a stretch to
> really consider this literacy. If it is to use the same skill, it should
> most certainly be capped, probably at 25% as per the Linguistic Fluency
> table on p71.

Its all relative though, and dependent entirely on how your cultures
are framed in a campaign. If your campaign is entirely focused on a
single culture, or a milieu in which there is only one such culture,
there's no need for such a cap.

The point I was making in my previous post was simply that the
descriptions for both Scholar and the Literacy skill are phrased in
such a way to allow for them to be used beyond the narrow confines
that are often attributed to such things. Ultimately, if you, as GM,
don't think there is any place for a particular profession within a
particular culture, don't offer it to your players as an option. Its
that simple. But, as Pete said, we've tried to make RQ inclusive so
that, if you have a player who wants to play that gnarled aboriginal
wise man, who knows all the tribe's myths and their hidden secrets
(and is adept at their communication), you have the template there to
do it without having to make something up from scratch.

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