Balance o' Tribes

From: James Frusetta (
Date: Fri 23 May 1997 - 16:03:16 EEST

Frank Rafaelsen explains to a slow-witted troll (Ur.)that it's the
_Sables_ that're upsetting the balance. Oh, well, any chance to mention
ol' Vlad is a good one.

>The fact that there are several large competing nations and a lot of
>smalle nations suggest to me that there is a very well established
>balance of power system in the region. ... I frankly don't see how the
>smaller nations could have survived this long without a system like

Hmm. Maybe I've had _too_ much Balkan history (none of this Western
European BoP stuff there, darn it), but I'm assuming the way
the smaller nations survived (and not all of them did -- seen any
long-noses lately?) is by running off into Wastes. Awfully hard to wipe
out what you can't find/catch, and nomads pushing smaller nomads around
seems to be the RW standard ("You are a small and puny tribe! Go sack the
Romans, weaklings!"). Is that what you're referring to? Seems different
from the kind of classical BoP you were referring to -- I don't see
Praxians actively cooperating to take down a local hedgemon. Maybe I'm
taking it too literally.

Suppose the Balance of Tribes might be as simple as the fact that as
a tribe grows larger its herds grow larger (presumably), encouraging more
raids upon it; at the same time, the smaller tribes have less stuff and
thus provide less reason for Joe Nomad to want to raid them, all other
things being equal. (Yay! The troll finally got it. ;)

>This all depends on how invaded the nomads really feel by the lunars. Are
>the lunars even able to enforce anything on the nomads. Not a lot I think
I've never really pondered the subject and it's probably obvious and
long-debated before, but how much metal are the Lunars handing over to the
Sables? Not a lot, necessarily, but is it potentially enough to
overthrough the "balance of tribes," as it were?

I agree that the impact of the lunars on Prax isn't going to be in terms
of those pesky phalanxes charging around taking the census at swordpoint;
I think it might be in the serious upgrade of armor and weapons on behalf
of the Sables. (Well, that and contaminating the region with their chaotic
horrors. Spit! Damn Moonmasons.)

Which of course means that as the Sables get rich, the other tribes are
going to want to raid them more... "Joe! Vlad! Look! They gots lots
shinies! Saddle da bisons -- we ride!"


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