[Runequest] Runequest Digest, Vol 47, Issue 3

Roger Benham rog_benham at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 31 01:09:29 EST 2012

I'd argue that there were sages/wise men, they could be considered in the same light as shamen.  There's no issue about stone age cultures training them up.  As for writing, it could be argued that quipu existed, we just haven't found it, for instance, or some holy injunction that stated the secret written language had to be burned after reading, so was incised into the sides of twigs.  I know it's not a simulationist viewpoint, but it is a fantasy game at the end of the day!

Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2012 07:33:51 -0700
From: sdavies2720 at yahoo.com
To: runequest at rpgreview.net
Subject: Re: [Runequest] Runequest Digest, Vol 47, Issue 3


It sounds like you have a deep grounding in the area -- why not write up a "primitive cultures for the simulationist" background piece?  It would scratch your itch and help anyone else who wants a similar depth of treatment.

For my game I'm happy to have something better detailed than "I selected the barbarian character class and dress in furs, so I'm primitive and know nothing about nothing."



Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2012 11:54:31 +1000
From: lev at rpgreview.net
To: "RuneQuest Rules" <runequest at rpgreview.net>
Subject: [Runequest] Literate Neolithics?
    <2e06f556bef9dfaacf62ef07ce4aea25.squirrel at webmail.rpgreview.net>
Content-Type: text/plain;charset=iso-8859-1

Hi Runequesters,

Well, I've almost finished wading through the *huge* document that is
RuneQuest 6th edition and there's one particular thing that has stuck in
my maw over the past few weeks... The professions for those available from
Primitive cultures (actually I feel the same about some of the others as

What really caught my attention was in character generation when a player
decided that they want to be a "Primitive Scholar". OK, that's a little
weird... But then when they selected their professional skills and chose
"Literacy", I had to say 'no' (much to their chagrin).

Historically, writing only developed around c3200 BCE. Arguably around
6000 BCE there was some proto-writing glyphs, but even that is not in the
realm of the neolithic, which is what the primitive cultures represent.

Indeed, as a whole, I must confess that the only edition of RQ which has
struck me as getting the social formation side of things "just right" is
the 3rd edition, where they were introduced.

I'd love to know who was the clever person who pretty much lifted Lewis
Morgan's model of social development (albeit splitting barbarism with
nomadism) and transplanted it to the RQ system. :)

All the best,


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