Friday, January 17, 2014

Creating a Venusian City-State in Lowell Was Right!

Today I'm going to generate a random Venusian city-state for LWR!.

Size:  1d20 roll is a 14 : Medium City. Nice, something substantial but not overwhelming. This gives us three Ancillaries.

Technology: 1d20 roll is a 20 : Oooh! Very high tech for Venus! This means black powder guns, efficient sailing ships, clockwork, the beginnings of science! Very cool!

Ancillaries: 1d20 roll is a 14 : Herds.
Ancillaries: 1d20 roll is a 1 : Extraordinary Adjacent Farmland.
Ancillaries: 1d20 roll is a 9 : Ingenious Craftsmen.
OK - they have pastureland with herds of some kind. I will say some moderately sized herbivorous dinosaurs. useful for meant, sinew, bone, and hide - and possibly mounts? Why not! Also extraordinary farmland - volcanically enriched fields? Yes! And ingenious craftsmen, able to work with the dino bones and sinew to fashion both beauty and utility.

Government Form: Roll 1d10 is 9 : Theocracy
Hmm. The Government outwardly looks like a Theocracy
Government Substance: Roll 1d10 is 4 : Oligarchy
So, the *real* government is by a select few - perhaps a committee of the faithful - who send the priests their orders. Sounds quite functional.

Castes - Rigidity: Roll 1d10 is a 8 : Bendable
OK, Castes are not very rigid, and there are ways to manipulate them if necessary. Practical.
Castes - Base: Roll 1d10 is a 2 : Religion
The Castes are based on Religion - makes sense in an ostensible  Theocracy!
Castes - Complexity: Roll 1d10 is a 1: Byzantine
Aha! This is how the Castes are *bent*! They are so complicated that those who actually understand them are very few, and it's relatively easy to push the envelope!

Cultural Oddities - Economics: Roll 1d20 is a 14 : Matrilineal Succession
So - descent is traced through the mother - perfectly rational! You always know who the mother is!

Cultural Oddities - Interpersonal: Roll 1d20 is a 17 : Amazonism
Cool! The warriors are women, not men! Hooks up nicely with Matrilineal Succession!

Cultural Oddities - Leisure: Roll 1d20 is an 11 : Alcohol
Alcohol is central in leisure activities. I'm picturing bacchanals with hard-bitten Amazons and their fancy men, sealing the deal with off-world traders.

Cultural Oddities - Fashion: Roll 1d20 is a 19 : Courtesans
With this culture, I'm interpreting this result as open Courtesans being central to the culture. Courtesans would be mostly male, but also female - a big gender reversal implied by the Amazon warriors.

Cultural Oddities - Taboos: Roll 1d20 is a 13 : Marriage
Marriage is taboo, and really not needed under Matrilineal descent. This doesn't mean that pair-bonding is unknown, just that it is not officially sanctioned, and probably rare.

This culture took some sharp turns there! Let's roll with it! Since Martians took their Human slaves from all sorts of places and times, we'll say this City-State recons their ethnic descent from the ancient Amazons known to the Greeks, which was from some place along the Euxine (Black) Sea. The Martians, in fact, took the whole tribe, which is why it vanished from Earth's history, leaving only a scattered remnant which died out.

This implies the religion to be some offshoot of Greek polytheism - not the same, but an evolved version of it - as the Greeks wrote about the Amazons as if they shared much the same religion. We can safely assume that female deities were held in higher regard than among the Greeks. So - both male and female priests would be allowed, depending on the deity they served. I will push that into a dualistic Female Principle (Gaia) and a Male Principle (Anthros), who manifest themselves as various Gods and Goddesses as appropriate, each with their own priestly Caste. The Ruling Council, then, would be the head priests of these Castes.

There seems to be a fairly strict division of work between male and female implied by the Amazon Warriors, with some professions being male-centered, some female-centered, and a few jointly centered. There would be a strict dicision of sexual relations between sex-for-pleasure - harmless, ambiguous, unstructured, and open to same-sex as well as opposite-sex dalliances - and sex-for-procreation - serious, limited, opposite-sex only, with heavy obligations. While descent is determined by the mother, the father is also important - possibly cementing relationships between families, possibly healing breaches, with the father or his family giving some resources as a male dowry.

I will name this City-State Hippolyta, after that most famous of Amazons.

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