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Some questions about the Burrows and Badgers world

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  lordofuzkulak 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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  • #1236609

    drtortenkopf
    Participant
    1744xp

    Their seem to be quite a few people interested in Burrows and Badgers around here, so I would like to pose two of my questions about the world and the lore of the game.

    I recently finished reading through the rule book and two fluff questions remained unanswered:

     

    1. What kind of animal is King Redwulf?

    The King and his son are mentioned by name, but it is never clarified what species they are. The name would suggest them bein wolves, which would be cool and would play nicely into their rivalry with the foxes in the south. But the name Reinert just doesn’t sound like a wolf and rather suggests a fox.

    What does everyone else think? Or has this ever been answered and I have just missed it?

     

    2. What about Beasts of Burden?

    Any medieval world would need some kind of beast of burden. Which creatures take this role in the Burrows and Badgers world? The Shrew Knight is riding on a stag beetle. Can we assume that all insects are larger and that the really large beetles are being domesticated for this role? That would make sense as small rodents and most other woodland creatures are omnivores who happily eat small insects and worms. It would make perfect sense for mice and hedgehogs to operate worm, beetle and slug farms for food. Providing the economy with meat products made in this way could also explain how larger carnivores like foxes and cats survive without eating all the smaller animals, which we already know does happen, but is probably socially frowned upon.

    The other option is, that like in The Wind in the Willows there are normally sized farm animals that are just like normal animals and are not anthropomorphic. In that world however there are also humans that the animals occasionally interact with. The Toad although incapable of wrestling the washer woman and being thrown into the river by her (he probably is smaller that her) is quite capable of stealing and riding her horse and of course of driving automobiles, so he can’t be all that small.

    I teand towards the first option, but would love to hear other peoples opinion on this.

    #1236610

    soldado
    Participant
    2472xp

    I dont know for sure but in the 1st edition that was published by Oathsworn themselves it was intimated that the Otter “Von Wodyr” might be the missing Prince Rhinhardt (not sure on the spelling) I havent re read to make sure the 2 books are following the same time line but I assumed that Redwulf was an otter as well

    #1236625

    brennon
    Keymaster
    6311xp

    The royal family are Otters according to Michael from Oathsworn to answer your first question @drtortenkopf

    As for beasts of burden and the like, I think it’s implied that it’s whatever you think is most appropriate. There was a discussion on the Facebook Group and it came down to the idea that they are animals that live in a world just like our own, so you could maybe think of them riding horses, or just make up an alternative style of mount for them.

    I like the idea of them riding something Fantastical akin to a Chocobo from Final Fantasy or something although maybe a little darker on the Fantasy side rather than being light and fluffy.

    #1236836

    maledrakh
    Participant
    1986xp

    They, of course, ride racing snails.

     

    #1236839

    drtortenkopf
    Participant
    1744xp

    @brennon Thanks for the info. I really like them being otters. Feels like that should have been mentioned in the hardcover rules though. But it really isn’t in there.

    My problem is that any vertebrate creature acting and being treated like an animal, in a world where even shrews and sparrows are wearing waistcoats, just feels off for me.

    But I like your thought about other fantastical creatures. And don’t giant insects fit that nicely? What about grasshoppers? Some of them are pretty big and with the compressed scaling that is already going on they might make good mounts for mice and the like as well.

    I have also been thinking of bigger animals like sheep and boars. Though boars would actually make a really good equivalent to giants and ogres as single quasi intelligent monsters that have their own civilization, but are just too big to communicate or cooperate with.

    #1237165

    davehawes
    Participant
    4110xp

    It’s a bit like the dinosaur and seraphon discussion, except when you think about it, humans and horses are both mammals, and we don’t think that is weird when it comes to riding.

    That being said, I would love to see a B&B RPG with all these details fleshed-out and a chance to play in this world.

    #1237171

    oathsworn
    Participant
    2551xp

    One of the problems I had when writing the book was the 30,000 word limit that Osprey set… combine that with the fact that they don’t like a lot of background material, preferring to leave as much as possible open to player interpretation, meant that most of my fluff got cut from the final draft.

     

    So, basically, people are free to assume whatever they like about the world! But if you want to know how Northymbra looks in my head, here’s a few pointers…

    Sentient / Non-sentient animals.  All mammals, lizards, birds and amphibians are human-level sentient. Things like insects, worms, arthropods and fish are not.

    Sizes. Badger / Beaver size is as big as they get. Bigger beasts existed in the past, and there are constant rumours of wolves and bears still existing in the Deep Woods (basically filling the role of ogres and giants). Insects etc are scaled to the animals; so only the Stag Beetle is big enough to ride, and then only by shrews!

    Diet. A lot of the beasts are vegetarian, and in civilised settings, most omnivores / some carnivores will eat a lot of invertebrates like worms, crickets, caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles and crayfish, all of which are probably ‘farmed’ in some way.
    They’ll also eat fruits, berries and grasses. So it would be fairly easy to avoid eating each other in polite society. I expect a lot comes down to relationships – friends are not food! Plus, even for uncaring predator types, a hireling or associate my well have other abilities that make them worth more than a snack. In addition, the law comes into it – so, when in a particular town, a total ban on violence or even the sale/consumption of ‘sentient’ food might be enforced by the town guard.

    But I expect out in Wildcat country, there’s a good reason travelers hire protection…

    The Royal Family. The current royals are Otters; this wasn’t explicitly stated in the rulebook, but the family name is Othyr – which is an archaic English/Saxon form of ‘otter’, but also translates from Norse as ‘dread army’. I spend way too much time on this stuff… The stamp used on this letter also shows the King as an otter:

    http://www.mediafire.com/file/ldco1638oov6jgs/Snook-letter.pdf

    The previous royal family were Hounds – the Lupines, who claim descent from Wolves.

     

    Beasts of burden. Labour is done by the animals themselves. I reckon probably hand carts, or maybe larger carts pulled by teams of labourers or slaves. I’m sure there’d be plenty of indentured or slave labour, although I tend to think of labour in Northymbra more as being done by paid workers, or those serving criminal sentences, or paying off debts etc rather than full-on slaves as a general thing.

    But generally a local area will be supported by small-scale industry, supplemented by travelling peddlars and such. Larger quantities of stuff could be moved by boat, or canal barges pulled by badgers. Most towns would be coastal or on rivers I’d expect, so lots of boats…

    I reckon some of the stronger / hardier beasts could make a good living transporting goods and people in rickshaws and palanquins, in much the same way that humans have had to in various times and places.

    For big, valuable or time-sensitive shipments, I’m imagining a Guild entirely composed of Noble Magic practioners, with
    several offices / warehouses around the country, who can perform an overpowered multi-caster version of the Transpose Spell to rapidly move large consignments of goods from place to place… for a fee, of course!

    Incidentally, if you haven’t seen it, there’s some more background material in Sternpaw’s Almanack here:
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/bwhpqw316tpfm7t/Sternpaw%27s%20Almanack.pdf

    Hope that helps!

    Michael

    Noonvaletroupe

     

    Hand-pulled_Rickshaw_-_Surya_Sen_Street_-_Kolkata_2014-01-01_1773

    89bafbd8fc42e65662a68634706d4990

     

    #1237230

    lordofuzkulak
    Participant
    2311xp

    @oathsworn – thanks for the info. 🙂

     

    Another question for you – what are things like outside of Northymbra?  Is the geography similar to real life Britain, with an ‘East Anglia’ and ‘Wessex’ to the south, and a ‘Cornwall’ beyond that, with a ‘Cymru’ to the west of ‘Wessex’, etc?  Or are things totally different?

     

     

    Asking because I’ve written some fluff for my planned B&B warband (check my B&B project log for what I’ve written so far) and it’d be nice to tie it in closer to what you actually envision. 🙂

     

     

     

    Also, not sure if you’ve answered this before but are the animals of the B&B world human sized, or are they the same size as those animals are in the real world?  I’m thinking the latter considering how big they all are relative to each other.

    #1237246

    oathsworn
    Participant
    2551xp

    @lordofuzkulak I haven’t mapped the rest out fully, but the basic world shape is the same as ours, with places and kingdoms pinched from the medieval period mostly…

     

    Size-wise, they’re effectively replacing the humans in the world; so a 3 foot tall mouse, rather than a 3 inch long one… with say, a six-foot tall ferret being the human sized equivalent.
    We went that way because so many people already had existing fantasy terrain, and we figured it was best to simply scale with that, rather than force them to make / buy all new terrain.

    #1237282

    lordofuzkulak
    Participant
    2311xp

    @oathsworn – thanks for the reply.  Looks like I made a good choice pinching place names from the early medieval period then. 🙂

    #1237311

    drtortenkopf
    Participant
    1744xp

    Thank you for that awesome answer @oathsworn! Also thanks for reposting that material.

    Nice to know that I was correct with my worm and beetle farm idea. There have got to be some toy beetles and snails somewhere that would be the correct size to use in a terrain piece…

    I really like some quasi-canon fluff in my game worlds and its great to read it coming from you.

    Also I just have to say thanks for making those awesome minis. I just love the idea of anthropomophised animal folk since I first encountered it as a kid. I think it is in part because my mother read me The Wind in the Willows rather early.

    @davehawes I want that RPG book as well.

    #1237547

    oathsworn
    Participant
    2551xp

    @davehawes and @drtortenkopf – I’m working on the RPG version right now! 😉

    #1237548

    brennon
    Keymaster
    6311xp

    Can’t wait to see how the RPG turns out and I love the idea of the larger beasts replacing that monster roll – was just talking about this with a community member in a message and I think that you could some cool stuff with those larger beasts.

     

    #1237726

    lordofuzkulak
    Participant
    2311xp

    RPG sounds good. 🙂

     

     

    If wolves and bears take the place of ogres, would things like elephants take the place of giants? 🤔

    #1238709

    davehawes
    Participant
    4110xp

    Fantastic to see some more of the lore from this world, and absolutely super-excited to hear more about the RPG 🙂

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