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MTaylor
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  13:54:26  Show Profile Send MTaylor a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Hi, I'd like some input on what the 'real world' equivalents of what the various human ethnicities in the 5th edition D&D game are please. Ideally, please let me know in real-world terms rather than Realms ones, as that will help my group get a handle on what these races represent. Thanks in advance if you can help us.

From the PHB:

Calishite: Arabic, obviously!

Chondathan/Thethyran: By the names, these seem to be a 'standard generic Caucasian fantasy races' not expressly based on any European culture?

Damaran: The names here seem to be Russian? Or Eastern European?

Illuskan: Northern Europe or Scandinavian? Viking types.

Mulan: North African, Egyptian?

Rashemi: Eastern European, I was leaning more towards Romanian than Russian? I was thinking 'gypsy' but they seem better represented by the Gur?

Shou: Chinese

Turami: I'm guessing something like Islamic Spain, but with Italian names?

From the Sword Coast book:

Arkaiun: drawing a blank here, culturally. Are they meant to represent some kind of generic fantasy culture more exotic than the Chondathans?

Bedine: Arabic nomads as opposed to the more 'civilised' Calishites?

Ffolk: The names are English, though the Moonshaes seem to represent a more Celtic culture?

Gur: These seem expressly to be a 'gypsy' culture?

Halruaan: I'm guessing they aren't modelled on a real-world culture but represent a magic-heavy fantasy one instead?

Imaskari: I'm not getting a handle on the names. Some kind of ancient North African culture, like Persia?

Nar: Seem to be another Russian/East European expy?

Shaaran: Seem to be some kind of Asian nomadic culture? Does anyone know if the names are from a real-world culture?

Tuigan: Mongolian steppe-nomads, clearly

Ulutiun: I'm guessing eskimos?






combatmedic
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426 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  14:30:08  Show Profile Send combatmedic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Calishite: Arabic, sure, but also Persian and Turkish elements.

Chondathan:


Damaran: They do seem more Germannic or Slavic in some later stuff, but I did not get that impression from the Bloodstone Lands stuff.
Not at all. I'd say more Romano-Britons/Arthurian Fantasy than anything else. The names look like a mix of Classical, Wlesh, and Arthurian Romance: Gareth, Olwen, Dionysius, Heliogabulus, Christine, etc.

Illuskan: Yeah, fantasy Norse with some distinctions

Mulan: By canon, a mix of ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians. The Imaskari brought them to Toril as slaves, IIRC.

Rashemi: I never thought of them as particularly Russian-like, but I think The Hordelands portrays them as such. I suppose that is part of the Earthification of Toril. I am not saying this is a bad thing.

Shou: Yes, fantasy Chinese. Kara Tur has much more obvious analogs than Faerun. It even has a Korea based country named...Koryo. And try to guess what Tabot might be a stand in for? :)



Arkaiun: I dunno about these dudes.


Bedine: Bedouin, yes. Actually kind of fun as pre-Islamic polytheist Arabian desert people. Consider me a fan.


Ffolk: Their almost monotheistic religion doesn't look anything like what scholars have been able to piece together of the polytheistic traditions of the pre-Roman Britons. The FR druids are not historically based. It all seems more inspired by Wicca and by some Romantic interpretations of 'druids' popular in the 19th Century.
None of this is negative critique. I like that the Ffolk do not resemble any real culture very closely.


Gur: I know little of them.

Halruaan: Harry Potter writte by Lin Carter? :)

Imaskari: Dunno.

Nar: I wouldn't go with a close RW match, but fantastic portayals of Huns might work. Isn't the rider on the classic FR box cover a Narfell man?


Shaaran: I haven't seen the book with the names.

Tuigan: Yeah, straight up Mongols.

Ulutiun: Inuit, yep. I have the Great Glacier. It is a good resource on their culture and on the glacial environment. That said, it's probably of more value to an avid FR collector than to me.




YMMV= Your Mileage May Vary. I'm putting it here so I don't have to type it in every other post. :)
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MTaylor
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  14:49:21  Show Profile Send MTaylor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you, I appreciate the response.

I know that the FR was never intended to be an exact replica of real-world cultures, but any GM will tell you that real-world analogues are excellent for providing descriptions, doing accents and the like. I'm really more interested in the example names as much as actual Realms lore, I guess, some kind of 'touchstone' to help players role-play their cultures better.

So that said...

Calishite: Ouch, should have imagined them as Ottoman Turks, that makes sense, and the Bedine as Bedouin nomads.

Damaran: I played the original Bloodstone modules back in the early 80's and didn't get an Eastern European feel at all. But the example names here are definitely Eastern European? Same with the Rashemi, and Minsc in Baldur's Gate is clearly portrayed as a mad Russian, even down to his name. But then Dynaheir is ethnically black...?

Ffolk: The names given here are traditionally English. I recall the AD&D Moonshaes gazetteer had a Celtic flavour.

Arkaiun: Maybe they are meant to be a 'generic exotic' race or something?

Halruaan: Ah, I get it :)

Nar: I get the 'horse nomads' thing. I didn't know the grey box guy was a Nar, but I always thought he looked very cool.

The Shaaran names are Awar, Cohis, Damota, Gewar, Hapaw, Laskaw, Moktar, Senesaw, Tokhis (male); Anet, Bes, Dahvet, Faqem, Idim, Lenet, Moqem, Neghet, Sihvet (female);
Cor Marak, Hiaw Harr, Laumee Harr, Moq Qo Harr, Taw Harr, Woraw Tarak (surnames). That REALLY feels like it's based on some real-world ethnic group, but I'm not sure what. It has echoes of a North African or Indian subcontinental culture, but I can't place it :(

Edited by - MTaylor on 16 Nov 2015 14:49:55
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combatmedic
Senior Scribe

USA
426 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  15:15:45  Show Profile Send combatmedic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MTaylor

Thank you, I appreciate the response.

I know that the FR was never intended to be an exact replica of real-world cultures, but any GM will tell you that real-world analogues are excellent for providing descriptions, doing accents and the like. I'm really more interested in the example names as much as actual Realms lore, I guess, some kind of 'touchstone' to help players role-play their cultures better.

So that said...

Calishite: Ouch, should have imagined them as Ottoman Turks, that makes sense, and the Bedine as Bedouin nomads.

Damaran: I played the original Bloodstone modules back in the early 80's and didn't get an Eastern European feel at all. But the example names here are definitely Eastern European? Same with the Rashemi, and Minsc in Baldur's Gate is clearly portrayed as a mad Russian, even down to his name. But then Dynaheir is ethnically black...?

Ffolk: The names given here are traditionally English. I recall the AD&D Moonshaes gazetteer had a Celtic flavour.

Arkaiun: Maybe they are meant to be a 'generic exotic' race or something?

Halruaan: Ah, I get it :)

Nar: I get the 'horse nomads' thing. I didn't know the grey box guy was a Nar, but I always thought he looked very cool.

The Shaaran names are Awar, Cohis, Damota, Gewar, Hapaw, Laskaw, Moktar, Senesaw, Tokhis (male); Anet, Bes, Dahvet, Faqem, Idim, Lenet, Moqem, Neghet, Sihvet (female);
Cor Marak, Hiaw Harr, Laumee Harr, Moq Qo Harr, Taw Harr, Woraw Tarak (surnames). That REALLY feels like it's based on some real-world ethnic group, but I'm not sure what. It has echoes of a North African or Indian subcontinental culture, but I can't place it :(



I would look at the Fertile Crescent as one inspiration for The Shaar.
Online searches of dubious reliability tell me that SHARRA may mean 'many' or ''dry up' in Sumerian. Shoddy, lazy, two minute 'research', but may be good enough for gaming.
Land of Shinar, as per the OT?




It might also be like an ancient, pre-desertification Sahara region, inhabited by nomadic peoples.


YMMV= Your Mileage May Vary. I'm putting it here so I don't have to type it in every other post. :)

Edited by - combatmedic on 16 Nov 2015 15:20:51
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MTaylor
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  15:22:39  Show Profile Send MTaylor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
>I would look at the Fertile Crescent as one inspiration for The Shaar.
Online searches of dubious reliability tell me that SHARRA may mean 'many' or ''dry up' in Sumerian. Shoddy, lazy, two minute 'research', but may be good enough for gaming.
Land of Shinar, as per the OT?

Yes, good ideas.

I recall FR had expys for Babylon though, and Greece and Egypt and the other 'Old Empires' even down to importing the entire pantheons wholesale.

(I liked the original mix of Grey Box gods, but at the last count the Sword Coast book lists over 100 deities, which feels waaaay too many...)

It strikes me that a lot of the ethnicities given in the Sword Coast book are rather unlikely choices for a character actually adventuring in the Sword Coast...?

Edited by - MTaylor on 16 Nov 2015 15:23:44
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combatmedic
Senior Scribe

USA
426 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  15:28:46  Show Profile Send combatmedic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MTaylor

>I would look at the Fertile Crescent as one inspiration for The Shaar.
Online searches of dubious reliability tell me that SHARRA may mean 'many' or ''dry up' in Sumerian. Shoddy, lazy, two minute 'research', but may be good enough for gaming.
Land of Shinar, as per the OT?

Yes, good ideas.

I recall FR had expys for Babylon though, and Greece and Egypt and the other 'Old Empires' even down to importing the entire pantheons wholesale.

(I liked the original mix of Grey Box gods, but at the last count the Sword Coast book lists over 100 deities, which feels waaaay too many...)

It strikes me that a lot of the ethnicities given in the Sword Coast book are rather unlikely choices for a character actually adventuring in the Sword Coast...?










Unther can be like the civilized Mesopotamian types while the Shaarans are more like the nomadic peoples of the Ancient Near East.
There is plenty of room for both types.

Chessenta as presented in Old Empires does indeed have Greek elements, although IIRC it does not port in the Olympian pantheon. Instead, a mix of Mulan and Faerunian deities are worshipped. I think Lathander has a different local name and is a more Apollo-like figure.

YMMV= Your Mileage May Vary. I'm putting it here so I don't have to type it in every other post. :)
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combatmedic
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USA
426 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  15:35:23  Show Profile Send combatmedic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Greenwood mentions 'fairy tale Old England' in Down to Earth Divinity, IIRC.

That might be a good take on the Dales. It's fairy tale country. The elves fading but still active. You may meet one in the woods, for good or ill.
Many small principalities, divided by wild rivers and haunted forests. A stranger who wanders into town and defeats the evil witch-queen discovers that he is indeed the lost prince she exiled as a child.
That sort of stuff.

YMMV= Your Mileage May Vary. I'm putting it here so I don't have to type it in every other post. :)
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MTaylor
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  15:49:15  Show Profile Send MTaylor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes. I think FR has evidently changed from what Greenwood intended. At one point it seemed to have every setting (Kara-Tur, Maztica, al-Qadim, etc) superimposed on it, and that's before we even mention the 4E debacle of why Waterdeep suddenly resembles Sigil with its tieflings and dragonborn...)

I always thought of the Dales as a 'classic generic European' setting with many of the familiar elements that players expect. And thus the Chondathan ethnicity being 'generic fantasy white people'.

We really enjoyed 'Under Ilefarn' for those reasons. It felt like 'Tolkien with the serial numbers filed off'.

The one campaign that ran the longest for us was Mystara, in the old BECMI rules, mostly because the various nations were deliberately distinct.

A lot of my players are never really sure of what the FR are supposed to be. Although most of them have played Baldur's Gate or read one of the books at some point, and has a passing familiarity with it.


Edited by - MTaylor on 16 Nov 2015 15:50:36
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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3068 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  15:57:45  Show Profile Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I believe Calishite and Bedine are both branches of the greater Zakharan ethnicity.

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

Be my friend on Goodreads.com: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6751111-brian
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MTaylor
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  16:03:34  Show Profile Send MTaylor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
>I believe Calishite and Bedine are both branches of the greater Zakharan ethnicity.

Yes, but then it feels odd that they get their own entry in 5th edition... Players will ask 'okay, just what does this represent?'

Wasn't the whole al-Qadim setting shoehorned on sometime during 2nd edition?
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combatmedic
Senior Scribe

USA
426 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  16:44:18  Show Profile Send combatmedic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MTaylor

>I believe Calishite and Bedine are both branches of the greater Zakharan ethnicity.

Yes, but then it feels odd that they get their own entry in 5th edition... Players will ask 'okay, just what does this represent?'

Wasn't the whole al-Qadim setting shoehorned on sometime during 2nd edition?



Arabian Adventures is really its own distinct setting. But Al Qadim was made part of 'Al- Toril' from the early products on. I don't recall if the AA book actually states this, but the other early stuff does place it ''offficially'' on Toril.



Toril>FR

Toril includes:

Forgotten Realms game line, which basically means Faerun in geographic terms

OA line, via a retconned and rescaled Kara Tur

Arabian Adventures/Al Qadim line, the Land of Fate

Maztica 9I would have to check to see if those products bore the FR logo)

Hordelands (ditto, but it is meant as a bridge, literally, between OA and FR)



.....


And then you have Realmspace for Spelljammer, which isn't even on Toril but in the solar system of which Toril is a part. A crossover setting.





YMMV= Your Mileage May Vary. I'm putting it here so I don't have to type it in every other post. :)

Edited by - combatmedic on 16 Nov 2015 16:45:28
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MTaylor
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  17:02:01  Show Profile Send MTaylor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not 100% sure, but I think Maztica and Arabian Adventures were supposed to be separate initially. Pretty sure OA predated the 1st edition FR hardback book.

I think this happened in Greyhawk too, where a lot of what we now think of Greyhawk (Vecna, Blackmoor etc) actually belonged to the pre-Mystara BECMI setting of Dave Arneson.

Last time I looked at Dragonlance it was unrecognisable from what we played it in the 80's.
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combatmedic
Senior Scribe

USA
426 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  17:37:53  Show Profile Send combatmedic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MTaylor

I'm not 100% sure, but I think Maztica and Arabian Adventures were supposed to be separate initially. Pretty sure OA predated the 1st edition FR hardback book.

I think this happened in Greyhawk too, where a lot of what we now think of Greyhawk (Vecna, Blackmoor etc) actually belonged to the pre-Mystara BECMI setting of Dave Arneson.

Last time I looked at Dragonlance it was unrecognisable from what we played it in the 80's.




The hardback OA (AD&d1E) has nothing to do with Faerun or the Forgotten Realms. Kara Tur is introduced, though only briefly, in that book.


But Kara Tur is retconned into FR in the OLd Gray Box.


YMMV= Your Mileage May Vary. I'm putting it here so I don't have to type it in every other post. :)
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combatmedic
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USA
426 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  17:41:33  Show Profile Send combatmedic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MTaylor

I'm not 100% sure, but I think Maztica and Arabian Adventures were supposed to be separate initially. Pretty sure OA predated the 1st edition FR hardback book.

I think this happened in Greyhawk too, where a lot of what we now think of Greyhawk (Vecna, Blackmoor etc) actually belonged to the pre-Mystara BECMI setting of Dave Arneson.

Last time I looked at Dragonlance it was unrecognisable from what we played it in the 80's.



Blackmoor is even older than that. It's Arneson's original Braunstein (hats off to David Wesely) style fantasy game, which predates published D&D and is one of the core sources of said game.
Basically taking Chainmail (by Gygax) with its fantasy suppp,ment and running a skirmish game/proto RPG with the rules.

If you are into Blackmoor, looking into online stuff posted by my buddy Havard in Norway. And Raphael Pinthus. These cats are Blackmooor lorelords.


Wilderlands, Greyhawk, and Msytara all get their own variations on Blackmoor.



YMMV= Your Mileage May Vary. I'm putting it here so I don't have to type it in every other post. :)
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combatmedic
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USA
426 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  17:43:41  Show Profile Send combatmedic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
http://blackmoormystara.blogspot.com/


http://blackmoor.mystara.net/


http://lastfantasycampaign.org/author/raphaelpinthus/

YMMV= Your Mileage May Vary. I'm putting it here so I don't have to type it in every other post. :)
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Korginard
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Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  18:02:09  Show Profile  Visit Korginard's Homepage Send Korginard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Maztica was definitely tied to the realms from the start. The Game material is based on a trilogy of novels detailing mercenaries who sailed from Amn across the sea to Maztica. The referenced Amn and clearly established that they took place in the Realms.
The same applies to The Hoard boxed set. This was based on another novel trilogy that had the Hoard invading Rashamen and Thay. King Azoun of Cormyr and the Zhentarim also played a part in defeating the Hoard.
The original Oriental Adventures hardcover had no connection to the realms, but the Kara-Tur boxed set had the FR logo. That tells me the official setting (Kara-Tur) was at least intended to be part of the realms, even if Oriental Adventures was not.
If we go by that logic, then Al-Quadim was initially separate because I did a Google search to remind myself and the Book did not have the realms logo on it. I think the first true connection was in the Corsair's/Sea adventure boxed set that included a rough map showing the locations of Faerun, Zakhara, and Kara-Tur.
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combatmedic
Senior Scribe

USA
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Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  18:18:46  Show Profile Send combatmedic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Korginard

Maztica was definitely tied to the realms from the start. The Game material is based on a trilogy of novels detailing mercenaries who sailed from Amn across the sea to Maztica. The referenced Amn and clearly established that they took place in the Realms.
The same applies to The Hoard boxed set. This was based on another novel trilogy that had the Hoard invading Rashamen and Thay. King Azoun of Cormyr and the Zhentarim also played a part in defeating the Hoard.
The original Oriental Adventures hardcover had no connection to the realms, but the Kara-Tur boxed set had the FR logo. That tells me the official setting (Kara-Tur) was at least intended to be part of the realms, even if Oriental Adventures was not.
If we go by that logic, then Al-Quadim was initially separate because I did a Google search to remind myself and the Book did not have the realms logo on it. I think the first true connection was in the Corsair's/Sea adventure boxed set that included a rough map showing the locations of Faerun, Zakhara, and Kara-Tur.



Kara Tur was not originally meant to be FR at all. The Kara Tur boxed set is an FR product, sure, but it is not the original presentation of Kara Tur, just the first really detailed one.
They had to resize the whole place to make it fit the FR maps, IIRC.

But Kara Tur was indeed quickly shifted to FR. That was part of the idea, abandoned afterward, that future products would all be FR by default, I am pretty sure.

As I noted, the Old Gray Box includes a Kara Tur reference.
But that is not the first published FR stuff, either, as the Dragon articles are older still.


As I understand it:

Toril= The name of Jeff Grubb's campaign world. Name borrowed for the planet on which FR as a published, commercial setting would be located. Also Waukeen/Walking Liberty coin goddess, who shows up in Krynn as Shinare.

I think the Abeir part was added to the name so it would go early in the alphabetical entries, but I could be wrong about that.



Forgotten Realms= Greenwood's home campaign and the source for most of Faerun's core stuff. First detailed for the gaming public in Dragon Magazine articles, many about magic items or monster ecologies.


Moonshaes= Douglas Niles ''British Dragonlance'' concept, added to FR before OGB publication and renamed Moonshaes after an existing, but different, Greenwoodian archipelago that was mostly a footnote


Bloodstone Lands: originally had nothing to do with FR, but were added in midstream of the module series. Great Glacier on Ed's maps shrunk to accommodate these regions.

Desert of Desolation: Another retcon/refit.


Korinn Archipelago: Ditto, although it seems to be sort of like the original Moonshaes. Maybe.

Kara Tur: Had nothing to do with FR when first introduced in OA, but was quickly ported there and given a full treatment as a part of Toril.

Maztica: as you note, FR integrated from first publication. I do not know about the prepublication design phase.

Arabian Adventures: Pretty much as Mazitca, but less connected with Faerun. It really is a separate setting with only thin connections. IMO and YMMV

Hordelands: always FR connected, because it is the space between Kara Tur and Faerun.Serves to integrate the two settings.








YMMV= Your Mileage May Vary. I'm putting it here so I don't have to type it in every other post. :)

Edited by - combatmedic on 16 Nov 2015 18:20:26
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Brylock
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USA
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Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  18:46:41  Show Profile Send Brylock a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
But then Dynaheir is ethnically black...?


You realize you ARE talking about a character in the game with a drow elf priestess that was portrayed in the art as looking like a normal elf with some "evil" ratios despite both in-game dialogue and graphics showing her to have regular drow skin, right?
The character portraits in BG1 were not stellar to say the least, especially since the number of them was so limited that you HAD to choose one of the companion portraits yourself, which then replaced that companion's portrait of an entirely random one of the same gender.

"It's almost like whenever you talk you flip through the dictionary and pull out words at random or something."
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Brylock
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Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  18:50:00  Show Profile Send Brylock a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by combatmedic

quote:
Originally posted by MTaylor

Thank you, I appreciate the response.

I know that the FR was never intended to be an exact replica of real-world cultures, but any GM will tell you that real-world analogues are excellent for providing descriptions, doing accents and the like. I'm really more interested in the example names as much as actual Realms lore, I guess, some kind of 'touchstone' to help players role-play their cultures better.

So that said...

Calishite: Ouch, should have imagined them as Ottoman Turks, that makes sense, and the Bedine as Bedouin nomads.

Damaran: I played the original Bloodstone modules back in the early 80's and didn't get an Eastern European feel at all. But the example names here are definitely Eastern European? Same with the Rashemi, and Minsc in Baldur's Gate is clearly portrayed as a mad Russian, even down to his name. But then Dynaheir is ethnically black...?

Ffolk: The names given here are traditionally English. I recall the AD&D Moonshaes gazetteer had a Celtic flavour.

Arkaiun: Maybe they are meant to be a 'generic exotic' race or something?

Halruaan: Ah, I get it :)

Nar: I get the 'horse nomads' thing. I didn't know the grey box guy was a Nar, but I always thought he looked very cool.

The Shaaran names are Awar, Cohis, Damota, Gewar, Hapaw, Laskaw, Moktar, Senesaw, Tokhis (male); Anet, Bes, Dahvet, Faqem, Idim, Lenet, Moqem, Neghet, Sihvet (female);
Cor Marak, Hiaw Harr, Laumee Harr, Moq Qo Harr, Taw Harr, Woraw Tarak (surnames). That REALLY feels like it's based on some real-world ethnic group, but I'm not sure what. It has echoes of a North African or Indian subcontinental culture, but I can't place it :(



I would look at the Fertile Crescent as one inspiration for The Shaar.
Online searches of dubious reliability tell me that SHARRA may mean 'many' or ''dry up' in Sumerian. Shoddy, lazy, two minute 'research', but may be good enough for gaming.
Land of Shinar, as per the OT?




It might also be like an ancient, pre-desertification Sahara region, inhabited by nomadic peoples.


Actually given the Sharran people's skin colors (bronzed with dark hair), I'm reminded more of the Great Plains tribes in North America. Admittedly the Great Plains tribes didn't have horses until much later after white settlers got there, but Kievan Russia didn't live next to Evil Wizard Egyptians either, so I think there's some flexibility.

"It's almost like whenever you talk you flip through the dictionary and pull out words at random or something."
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MTaylor
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  18:53:03  Show Profile Send MTaylor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think we can all agree the BG1 portraits sucked hard. :) I heard a rumour that they were based on 'real' gamers which is why they are so... unphotogenic. Why the artist chose to depict them as if reflections in a Hall of Mirrors, we'll never know.

Anyway, going back to my original point (which I helped derail) the Rashemi seem to be all over the place, ethnically and culturally.

Anyone know what the Nar, Imaskari or Arkaiun are supposed to be? Is it me, or do these seem odd choices for a book supposedly set on the Sword Coast?





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Brylock
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USA
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Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  19:15:33  Show Profile Send Brylock a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MTaylor

I think we can all agree the BG1 portraits sucked hard. :) I heard a rumour that they were based on 'real' gamers which is why they are so... unphotogenic. Why the artist chose to depict them as if reflections in a Hall of Mirrors, we'll never know.

Anyway, going back to my original point (which I helped derail) the Rashemi seem to be all over the place, ethnically and culturally.

Anyone know what the Nar, Imaskari or Arkaiun are supposed to be? Is it me, or do these seem odd choices for a book supposedly set on the Sword Coast?



The Nar, Imaskari and Arkaiun don't appear to correlate with any real-world ethnic group. Honestly, even the ones that DO correlate with a real-world one have a lot less linguistically in common then people think; Alzhedo, despite being the language of Calimshan and the Calishite ethnicity in general sounds nothing like actual Arabic or Farsi or any of the other languages found in the Middle-East today, it just LOOKS like it sounds like it to folks who aren't accustomed to the language in question.

It might be best to say that certain ethnicities RESEMBLE Earth ones (with one ethnic group actually being real-world Egyptians who got Stargated over to Toril and enslaved), but have a lot of differences that don't correlate much to real life due to cultural geographic differences between Earth and Toril.
I mean the Bedine are clearly inspired by the Bedouine, except from a canon standpoint they're descended from survivors of Netharil, who certainly were not Middle-Eastern looking in most descriptions we have of natives of that culture.
And then you get people like the Sossites who have milk-white skin and hair....

Oh, and as an interesting note, though the Ffolk of the Moonshaea were not deliberately designed this way given the publication history, they STRONGLY resemble the real-like Norse-Gaels/Scots-Gaels from when the Nordic people's migrated to and conquered large parts of England and their Nordic raiding culture and deities (the Northmen of the Moonshaes) mixed up itself with the native folk who often had nature-worship with Druids (the Ffolk).

"It's almost like whenever you talk you flip through the dictionary and pull out words at random or something."
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MTaylor
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  19:48:15  Show Profile Send MTaylor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I get that FR races are not intended to be exactly the same as real-world cultures. But having an idea or concept in mind is helpful nonetheless.
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Brylock
Seeker

USA
43 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  20:36:40  Show Profile Send Brylock a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MTaylor

I get that FR races are not intended to be exactly the same as real-world cultures. But having an idea or concept in mind is helpful nonetheless.


Oh, certainly. For accents anyway, at least.
Speaking of, I actually think to some degree "Rasheman as Russia" is sort of accidental; if you listen to the voice actor who did Minsc, basically every "foreign" accent he does kinda sounds exactly the same (he's really prolific; he's Pete from Disney's....anything with Pete in it made after the 90'a) and then the just ran with it at BioWare and made Edwin vaguely Slavic-sounding too.
Admittedly originally the Red Wizards were sort of suggested to have a vaguely Communist China vibe (hence "Red", very much like the Scarlet Brotherhood was originally like in Greyhawk), but that was LONG before they got around to actually detailing Thay and well before Kara-Tur got dropped on the far end of the continent.

I had a friend who thought that that was odd, and then I pointed out to him how "Fake Communists" showed up in fantasy and scifi all the freakin' time for decades; they were just kind of considered a fact of life, not to mention many such authors were raised or had childhoods during the time of the Red Scare and had lots of action movies where "the Reds" are the bad guys waiting behind the scenes.

"It's almost like whenever you talk you flip through the dictionary and pull out words at random or something."
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moonbeast
Learned Scribe

USA
329 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  21:34:09  Show Profile Send moonbeast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd also mention the Wa people. They are Kara-Tur's equivalent of feudal Japan (directly from Oriental Adventures).

I do notice that the Wa'ans are divided into 2 rival nations (same culture, same people, same language) Wa and Kozakura.
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moonbeast
Learned Scribe

USA
329 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  21:37:08  Show Profile Send moonbeast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by combatmedic

Calishite: Arabic, sure, but also Persian and Turkish elements.



Calishites…. a mixture of Arabic, Turkish and Persian… with a little smattering of Genasi blood thrown in the mix.
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MTaylor
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  21:37:10  Show Profile Send MTaylor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I might have actually liked a Japanese type culture - instead we got four all of whom use Eastern European style names?
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