european worldview

anonymous asked:

Do you have any recommendations for RPGs built solely around magic using pcs? I've always liked the idea of pure caster parties, and while that's certainly very possible in d&d you can definitely feel that the system was designed with the assumption of more varied and "balanced" parties.

Basically any superhero or urban fantasy game could reasonably be said to be “built solely around magic using PCs”, but since you mentioned pure caster parties, I suspect you’re looking for something in the mode of traditional fantasy, correct?

If that’s the case, you might have a look at Ars Magica. The game’s default assumption is that the player characters will be a coven of Hermetic wizards in Mythic Europe. It has extremely detailed rules for studying magic, inventing spells, crafting magic items, gathering components, and so forth - basically, it’s hyper-focused on Being A Wizard like no other game I’ve ever seen.

One of the major potential pitfalls of this setup is that having a bunch of wizards all running around at once would be very complicated - and thus very slow - to play out. Ars Magica addresses the issue via troupe-based play: every player actually has multiple characters, with the character you play depending on what’s going in in the game.

It works like this. At a minimum, each player creates:

  • One magus (wizard), using the full character creation system
  • One companion, a powerful non-wizard character who serves as an assistant, bodyguard or other favoured servant of a different player’s wizard (i.e., you do not create your own wizard’s companion), using an abbreviated version of the same character creation rules as wizards
  • One or more grogs, minor characters who go into a shared pool, using simplified character creation rules that cut out all the complicated stuff

During “downtime” (i.e., when nobody is out actively adventuring), everybody plays as their wizard in a framework that uses seasons as “turns” (i.e., four turns per year), playing out the study, magical research and feudal politics your wizards have become tied up in.

When actively adventuring, on the other hand, normally just one player’s wizard will be “on screen” at a time (very few situations warrant multiple wizards gallivanting about together), while everybody else plays as their companion character. (i.e., a “party” consists of one wizard and one or more companions.)

You’ll typically want to rotate the spotlight so that everybody gets a chance to have their wizard strut her stuff, though it’s totally acceptable if a given player wants her wizard to stay home all the time and craft magic wands or whatever - that’s 100% supported, and she’ll have plenty of opportunities to get her companion character in trouble while her wizard is busy.

And of course, anyone can grab a grog from the shared pool at any time if neither their wizard nor their companion can plausibly be present in a scene.

In this way, the game strikes a balance between highly detailed handling of wizardly shenanigans, and the danger of having the game grind to a halt if you had to keep track of everyone’s wizardly shenanigans all at once.

A note on content: the game’s Mythic Europe setting is based on the premise that the medieval European worldview is essentially correct, which includes certain assumptions about religion. On the one hand, it provides an amazingly rich body of lore for the game’s magic system, because it’s drawing on real-world Hermetic mysticism; on the other hand, some players might have a problem with playing in a setting in which the God of Abraham is objectively and demonstrably real, even as a fictional conceit. The setting very pointedly refuses to weigh in on which Abrahamic religions are correct - for example, faith-based magic resistance operates identically for adherents of Christianity, Judaism and Islam - but if you prefer a milieu with a D&D-style kitchen sink approach to religion, Ars Magica definitely isn’t that.

You can preview and purchase the game in print and PDF here, though the hardcover version is presently out of stock.

Chronicles of the book re-read: Voyager

Voyager was one of my favourite books in the series the first time I read them, but I found myself oddly apprehensive to re-read it. I’m not quite sure on the impetus for this fear. Perhaps that re-experiencing it with an awareness of the imminent adaptation of the material for season 3 of the show would paint it a different way in my brain? Perhaps just that I had remembered it wrong? This turned out to be partially true: I had forgotten quite how crazy the final third is. But I am delighted to report that overall I still loved Voyager the second time around. I also re-read certain sections multiple times immediately after reading them, which is why this book took me longer than Outlander or Dragonfly In Amber. Yes, I am a ridiculous person.

Keep reading

To be honest, I’m not comfortable with how many historical blogs here uncritically use the term POC or white in eras before the 1500s, after which European imperialism started to give birth to the modern concept of whiteness. It is inherently ahistorical to talk about certain Roman citizens being “POC” when the lines drawn were a bit more like Northern Europeans/Mediterraneans, rather than Europe/Africa. The North-South Europe divide still exists today, but it was even more pronounced in the Roman era when the Northerners were seen as savages and uncivilised people to be conquered. 

It’s also an American term and classification outside the Americas sees whiteness differently + has other dimensions like ethnicity. 

I’m inclined to see imposing modern race categories on eras before they exist as not only anachronistic but also something one should not do precisely because it is an inherent perpetuation of the European colonial worldview. Where whiteness is default, which isn’t much use in eras where many non-European civilisations were the most powerful political entities. Not to mention I think it dichotomises multi-ethnic empires that had both Europeans and non-Europeans in a manner akin to the “one-drop rule”. 

houdinibeanie  asked:

can you please explain the role/existence of slavery in African communities before the slave trade? My bad if I'm phrasing this question wrong. I'm just curious about this b/c I always here people trying to legitimize the Western slave trade by saying that we enslaved our own people before the slave trade started, and I don't know enough to engage in a meaningful discourse. Can you point me in the direction of some information or links explaining this? thanks in advance!!

there is a difference between slavery and indentured servitude.

the latter deals only with a small portion of the population, and the time of labor is limited. it is also less brutal. in African communities, there were indentured servants, but they were able to enter the society once they finished their terms. that kind of slavery has lasted for millenia, even in golden ages.

the former however is exclusive to Europeans and means that the society and economy depends on slavery for it to function meaning that slavery is systematic and fundamental to the survival of the dominant society. so, the majority of people are enslaved. the enslaved also do not have the privilege or promise of entering the dominant society, so they are forever marginalized. also, slavery lasts as long as the person lives, and is much more brutal.

slavery is more vicious, more evil, and has both physical and mental repurcussions. the first known record of indentured servitude was in KMT (Ancient Egypt) actually, where Kemetians would take European invaders in as indentured servants. BUT! they were always allowed an entry into Kemetic society.

i think (tho someone can correct me if this is wrong) that Arabs were the first to systematically enslave and trade African people, and then Europeans came in and basically globalized the industry.

that is the key to the difference. that Europeans systemized and globalized the enslavement of African people and decimated entire populations to the point of genocide of entire African communities, all of which gave rise to the system of capitalism that we live in today.

That was not the case in ancient African communities. African people did not torture servants, nor did they target a specific ethnic group, make them inferior and less than human, create a racial hierarchy, objectify them, and then exploit them as slaves. Europeans did that.

u can find more info on this in African Origins of Civilization by Cheikh Anta Diop

also read Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust: Slavery and the Rise of European Capitalism by John Henrik Clarke

so today at job training....

ima be workin at a summer day camp in the Bronx

the summer theme is “Build your Dream” so architecture and design is the main focus

in the mornin the youth are gonna be doin math and readin stuff, uno cuz there seems to be a racial gap in reading and math scores for some weird coughracist reason >_> <_<

so i ask one of the teachers (white woman) what she’s teaching. she’s teaching these Black and Brown youth designs from the following:

  1. cathedrals
  2. Ancient Roman city
  3. castles during Medieval times

granted she said these were given to her by the DOE. but um, i don’t see anythin here from Africa, or Latin America, or anywhere in the “Third” world. essentially, nothing will reflect the culture of these Black and Latino youth. typical miseducation.

this is gonna be a lonnnnnnnnnnnnng summer