Thursday, January 5, 2023

Character Context & Feudal Wilderlands 'Common' Cultural Background

      Where did the adventurer come from?  What's their background, peasant lad, goldsmith's daughter?  What skills and languages did they pick up in their childhood? What do they look like?  Who is the ruler of their home town?  Who is their guildmaster or feudal overlord?

     These questions exist at the intersection of the character and the setting.  And, I'll admit, are usually irrelevant in game play, but fascinating to me as both a player and a DM.  Exploring them is one of the seductions of world building for me.  Inspired by an aside in the Chivalry and Sorcery Red Book, "In the designers' own wargaming group, an elaborate set of tables was designed by a member which can locate a character literally within miles of a particular town in France..." which I have wanted to replicate since 1977; I'm embarking on an effort to give my players answers to those questions within the Feudal Wilderlands setting I've documented over the last few years. 

     In this series of posts, I'll be defining the various 'civilized' human cultures within the Feudal Wilderlands, which have co-mingled to form what sages refer to as the Common culture of the Roglaroon Estuary.  People born in this culture are a plurality within the City State, where migration from the hinterlands keeps them from becoming an outright majority; they are the majority culture in Brythange, Difrios, Losthaine and Severnais.  They are frequently encountered in all other demenses, except for Gwalion. 

     Characters born in the Common culture are ... average.  They are of average height, have no marked tendencies in skin, hair or eye colors.  They learn to speak Common at home and have no Bonus Languages.   The Common culture is a mixture of the older indigenous cultures of the Tharbian peasants to the north and the Altanean barbarians living south of the Roglaroon; overlain by the culture of the Viridian Empire which conquered, colonized and then receded from these lands.   Disputes are resolved in the courts, while the Invincible Overlord has banned lawyers, 'Litigation Tricksters' may be employed to help you argue your case.  

     A generic fantasy culture in many ways, I conceptualize them as being at the level of England during Henry VII, with lots of lumps in the cultural melting pot.

Common Culture Background Physical Appearance Distribution

Roll Hair Color   RollSkin Color    Roll Eye Color
01-25 Black/Sable 01-07 Pale White 01-07 Light Blue
26-36 Brunette         08-16 Fair 08-15 Blue
37-47 Brown 17-25 Bronze 16-26 Gray
48-57 Chestnut 26-34 Olive 27-35 Gray-Green
58-66 Auburn 35-40 Yellow 36-45 Green
67-71 Red 41-50 Light Brown 46-53 Green-Brown
72-76 Strawberry Blonde 51-74 Red 54-65 Hazel
77-83 Blonde 75-80 Brown 66-74 Dark Brown
84-88 Platinum Blonde 81-86 Dark Brown 75-85 Amber
89-94 White/Gray 87-92 Ebony 86-93 Violet
95-100 Exotic*93-100 Exotic* 94-100 Exotic*
* Roll on the Exotic Hair, Skin or Eye Color Table

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