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Thread: Ideas

  1. #1
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    Ideas

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    I'm building a campain world right now. I have an idea for a culture I want to flesh out but am suffering from writers block. What I want to do is create an Amazon race that isn't anti-man or man less just female dominate. Perhaps they have a curse or such that keeps the male population down(say 10% of population). I'm also thinking of a god duo for this culture something like the male god being the domestic one and the female being the militant one. I'm also considering a possibly even a militant feminist jihad.
    ANY ideas welcome. Take my ideas and run with them. or flip them on there head and do a 180 with them.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

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    There're a few tribes in the Amazon that might have some inspiration for ya; each village has, essentially, two households - one for the men, the other for the women and children (boys under 13 count as children). You could pretty easily flip that around and have the children live in the men's household, and girls leave for the women's at an appropriate age. I'll try to dig up more on them ... gotta find my textbooks first, blah.

    [edit: found it - the Mundurucu people in the Brazilian rainforest]

    Take the gender-separated households, stir in some matrilineal inheritance (wealth distributed from mother to daughter; a man's wealth goes to his sister's oldest daughter, not his own), let simmer.

    Matriarchal power structure, eh, it's an optional flavor; an egalitarian division of labor (males for subsistence and child-rearing, women for the more martial aspects) works just as well - I'm pretty sure we in the real world never had a true matriarchal culture, but it's a staple of story, so your call
    Last edited by Sascha; 04-25-2009 at 05:03 PM.

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    i suggest you study taiwan. they are a matriarchal dominant culture. you could also ask around some of your female acquaintances and find out what they would do if they were the mayor, or the president, or ran the world. you get some interesting answers.
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    First there is a big question to answer.
    Why is the culture dominated by women? Deciding that can help you with the other answers. If it is because of the diety, then it could be a very heavy-handed domination. If it is because of a genetic lack of testosterone, then it might just be more neccisity.
    The answer to this question also helps you answer how the culture is governed. Are the women in power just men with boobs? (i.e., are they warlike and power-hungry?) Or are they nurturers and diplomats? If they are nurturers and diplomats, then that brings you back to the begining...why are they not nurturing their families? Or do they nurture their families? Maybe they rear children until the woman turns...40...and then they enter political life. Thereby, you have a culture that is dominated by nurturing diplomatic women AND a society that respects it's elders. The men in a culture such as this might still be "manly" in the old sense of the word (they are the soldiers, the blacksmiths, the engineers) but the decision-makers are the women.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DM_Running_Farland_3.5 View Post
    If it is because of a genetic lack of testosterone, then it might just be more neccisity.
    I'm thinking not so much a genetic lack of testosterone more of a proportional lack, say outnumbered 10 to 1.

    Quote Originally Posted by DM_Running_Farland_3.5 View Post
    Are the women in power just men with boobs? (i.e., are they warlike and power-hungry?) Or are they nurturers and diplomats?
    Somewhere between protectors and defenders they fight but out of necessity not desire. They fill many of the traditional male roles because they must not because they want to.

    Quote Originally Posted by DM_Running_Farland_3.5 View Post
    The men in a culture such as this might still be "manly" in the old sense of the word (they are the soldiers, the blacksmiths, the engineers) but the decision-makers are the women.
    I think I will use this perhaps the men man the home front. Pardon the pun.
    OK to add to this a little I like using regional feats and classes for my humans. So what would be the favored class and bonus feet for this people?
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

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    As far as favored classes and regional feats, I will have to simmer on that some more. But I could see creating some gender-specific prestige classes.

    Hearth's Revenge - A male prestige class. Taken by a male who has been outcast by his village/town/city because he failed to protect his hearth. He is euniched and given a spear and sent out into the world. (Maybe not a prestige class, but a a barbarian-like class that allows players to play a male character...)

    Acolyte of the Circle - since men are rare, they have developed a method of expotentially multiplying their power by entering into "circles". This prestige class requires, ritual tatooing and, a certain BaB but also the ability to cast (play with the numbers for balance) 2nd or 3rd level divine and/or arcane spells. Through Battle Chants (this is a perfect prestige class for bards), Acolytes enter into a Battle Trance and, among other powers, as they gain in level, fight as if under the effect of bless, maybe later heroes feast, some other spell-like abilities.

    Do something like the Maidens of the Spear from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Men being rare, it is rather easy for a woman to forsake hearth and home for the sorority of the Maidens.

    I don't know. What do you think?
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    survivors of a war-torn country/continent/planet where the former armies were almost all the men. the few men left are treasured as the only way to continue their species and are carefully guarded. genetic variation is critical so breeding is strictly controlled. if a long enough time passes before the species is safe, then this could become an ingrained cultural trait, even after the actual need for it has passed.

    you could make the "species-endangerment" also include the after-effects of the war, radiation of some type, or something else. it would be interesting if they were isolated long enough to develop the culture, but then manage to overcome the isolating factor and start raiding the surrounding countries for seed stock.

    plenty of opportunity for cultural / political interactions and roleplaying.
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    Sounds like the legendary Amazons, or the Drow cultures. Would be fun to run them, in fact can't wait for my groups to go underground and find them.

    Could have a cruel culture where the women kill all but the most fit and keep them as breeding stock, killing all others at puberty.

    Kind of like DM Runnings ideas and Nijineko idea of studying Matriarchal societies. That's why I still keep those National Geographics. lol

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    A regional feat could be something like "Feminine Charms". Since (perhaps, depending on the flavor you go for) men are the pursued ones, it takes a particularly charming woman to get something they want from a man. An Amazon with the "Feminine Charms" feat has an effective +2 Charisma in dealings with males.
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    Something to consider, in rarity is power. If your males are only 10% of the population they are going to have power. Not necessarily a dominate political power, but they wield power by their rareness. They stop being mates and start being studs. One man for ten women. This explains why women are the soldiers. Men are too rare to risk. However they are not going to be powerless. You have heard the expression the "The man might rule the roost but the woman rules the rooster"? Consider it reversed.

    You might consider the situation of an outward Matriarchy with the men wielding power within the home to a great degree. The women are going to have to share the few guys around. Who is truly going to manage the home? Women still need to bear and nurse. That duty cannot be shifted. So while she might be the one in the "State house" and the army, at home she is still the bearer and nurturer.

    EDIT: Second idea. The women are the rare ones. Men do the fighting you have too many of them, but women due to rarity hold the real power. She has to be a baby machine because of the sexual inequality of too many men, but because of that she has the political power.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Something to consider, in rarity is power. If your males are only 10% of the population they are going to have power. Not necessarily a dominate political power, but they wield power by their rareness. They stop being mates and start being studs. One man for ten women. This explains why women are the soldiers. Men are too rare to risk. However they are not going to be powerless. You have heard the expression the "The man might rule the roost but the woman rules the rooster"? Consider it reversed.
    This is a fantastic idea. And one that hews pretty close to our own world's observable cultures, but inverted.

    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    EDIT: Second idea. The women are the rare ones. Men do the fighting you have too many of them, but women due to rarity hold the real power. She has to be a baby machine because of the sexual inequality of too many men, but because of that she has the political power.
    You could even inflate the human birth rate inequalities. I read somewhere humans see more males *born* than females, but more females actually survive infancy/childhood (will have to find that source again before quoting as fact; still, the idea's there). Give it another factor of 10, and you have an interesting, if sad, biological dynamic resulting in women having to do most of the "men's work." (Which, naturally, wouldn't be considered "men's work," except by those outside the culture )


    On the subject of favored classes/feats: whatever you'd give the men in a more "traditional" setup is what I'd suggest giving the women.

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    The problem with this is that the females would have to be forever pregnant... and unable to adventure.

    I would put it the base idea in the fact that women are able to create BABIES!! Men just provide a big grunt and a little pleasure - women provide BABIES!! ALL HAIL THE BABY CREATORS!!! A woman that produces females would be lauded - and once menopause hit, they would be the TRUE leaders of the land.

    Wanna see a pariah? An infertile woman. A woman that is unable to create BABIES would be of a MUCH lower caste than a man. They'd be... ICKY! Let's invite the lepers for dinner before we EVER consider inviting a barren female.

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    Or they have a tradition like ... oh, what are they ... the Nandi, and adopt a child born out of wedlock. This assumes, of course, that, erm, relations outside of marriage are undesirable (which is a rather minority view in human history - something like 15% of known cultures have this attitude).

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    Thumbs up

    Ok I think I got this thing ironed out a bit so here we go.

    Warning! Warning!
    This may ramble a bit.

    I like to start with a gross generalization of the culture, something an undereducated not quite xenophobe from far away would "know" about the culture. The country Hantao is ruled by women druids who force men to perform the domestic chores.

    Okay that's out of the way moving on, dominate deities. Two of them Cham and Burvai. Cham is a nature goddess, once she believed that males were the root of humanoid evil. She accepted them as only as an unfortunate necessity to be used for what they were good for and otherwise ignored. One of her spurned lovers, a greater god, cursed her worshipers to bear only female children. Due to the isolated nature of her tribes and the hostility of there neighbors things were not looking good. Enter Burvai a somewhat timid demigod of fertility(yeah he's heard all the jokes about male fertility gods he's in this for more than getting laid) who had always admired the fiery Cham but had just enough common sense to not get himself tied up with her.

    Seeing his chance he leaps into action. Knowing that since this is more or less square in the middle of his diefic portfolio he can help but unable to completely undo the curse. He talks to Cham and convinces her to let him try(she's getting a little desperate by now average population is approaching menopause). It works thanks to Burvai 1 in 10 births is male. At first Cham is going to take this and run but Burvai reveals that he built a safety into it that would allow him to pull his support at any moment. He tells Cham that the only way he will continue to support her is that she marries him and swears binding oaths to treat him and any men born to her worshipers with respect and a clause to allow him to end the relationship at any whim. Respecting his guts and seeing his true desire to help she agrees. Over time he softens her views of men and they find true love together, YAY! The roads not been completely smooth but deep down they are true soul mates.

    Okay, now on to the mortals. The woman of Hantoa make up the public face of the civilization as they grossly outnumber the men. The culture is fairly egalitarian as far as the distribution of job types with the only exception that dangerous tasks are carried out mostly by woman as they are loathe to risk the few males lives on these tasks. This includes but is not limited to mining, construction, sailing, police work, military and politics(I have a lot of assassins in my campaign worlds). The men have gravitated to "traditional" woman's roles as well as craft simply as these are considered "safe."

    The one place where equality doesn't come into play is property rights. A very interesting system has evolved here mirroring the arrangement between their deities. The women manage all property, but the men own it. A man can have several wives. The only control he has over his property is choosing which of his wives controls what property(this includes all hereditary titles, rulership is a property granted by the king to the wife of his choice). Thus although men have no official power they hold much sway.

    Next, regional classes these replace the humans favored class from the 3.x ed PhB. For women it is druids and rangers. This reflects both thier goddesses origins and a fighting style relying not on brute force but stealth and flexibility(I would not want to fight an army of seasoned archers, can anybody say pincushion). For the men we have the expert NPC class and clerics. Hantoans are deeply religious and men fill many noncombat roles in this culture.

    I will do the list of feats later and maybe touch on politics we'll see. By the way I love the
    Feminine Charms feat fits very well. It's 1:00 am here and I have to work today. Tell me what you think.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

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    I like it. Can I play?
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