Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Drilling Down for Sub-Cultural Traits

Cultural Traits in Outremer are set at the national level, but that doesn’t mean there are no cultural groups at a sub-national level. All it means is that taking all people of that state into consideration, those average Traits stand out.
Below the state level are various sub-cultural groups, which can be approached the same way as the national level group. For example the semi-independent Principalities like Galilee are are given Traits separately from the main state’s Traits, but sub-cultures can be much smaller than Principalities. Bedouin tribes, city and townspeople, ethnic minorities, religious minorities, or inhabitants of remote areas are all examples of sub-cultures. Any time a group of people see themselves as different from the mainstream, there’s a sub-culture. In most cases, the so-called mainstream is an artifact made up of dozens of slightly different sub-cultures.
Drilling Down
The process of defining sub-cultures I call ‘drilling Down”. The smaller the sub-culture, the further you drill down, the larger the variation can be from the state culture.
Top-Level Sub-Cultures
Top level sub-cultures are huge cities or large ethnic majorities. These should only vary from the main culture by one or two Trait Points. For example, the Traits of the Emirate of Damascus are Inventive 2, Accepting 2, Cultured 2, Proud 1. The great City of Damascus - which all of Galilee would be swallowed up in - should vary little from this baseline - perhaps something like Inventive 2, Accepting 1, Cultured 3, Proud 1.
Mid-level Sub-Cultures
Mid level sub-cultures are smaller groups of people - a normal city, a prosperous valley, a quarter of a huge city, or a large minority of some type. These have more leeway in how much they can diverge from the main culture, so up to three or four points of difference is fine. For example the Traits of the Duchy of Acre are Brisk 2, Arrogant 2, Tolerant 2, Creative 1, but the Traits of the Lordship of Scandalion might be Brave 2, Arrogant 2, Tolerant 2, Taciturn 1.
Low Level Sub-Cultures
Low level sub-cultures as small groups of people. Examples would be a town or large village, a small ethnic or religious minority, or a large tribe. These groups may have little in common with the overarching state culture, so up to five or six points may differ. For example, the Traits of the nation of Rhodes are Methodical 2, Cultured 3, Arrogant 1, and Patient 1, but the inhabitants of the town of Stampalia might be Suspicious 2, Provincial 2, Generous 1, Polite 1, and Patient 1.
Micro Sub-Cultures
Micro sub-cultures, like small villages or tribes, may be totally unlike the state culture. Any similarities would be coincidence.


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