Elder Races vs. humans

From: Sergio Mascarenhas (sermasalmeida@mail.telepac.pt)
Date: Tue 20 Jan 1998 - 19:39:09 EET


James Frusetta:
> To me, having elder races accept enough of human culture to live next
> door to humans makes them quasi-humans.

Try this James: put a troll side by side with an hooman, an elf and a
dwarf. Now put in a second row, an elefant, a whale, a bat and a
rubble-runner (notice I'm only considering mamals). Can you notice-it
James? Trolls, hoomans, elfs and dwarfs are all very similar. That's
because, yes, they are all quasi-humans.

> The elder races are pretty hard on humans when they get the chance -
> the Elves put 'em to the sword for mulch (look at the planned Fronelan
> reforestation), the Trolls have no problem with eating them (or anyone
> else), and the Dwarves probably want to turn humans into proper cogs
> for the world machine.

Why do you think this is an un-human behavior? In which world do you live
on? The RW I know had two world wars some years ago, and currently a

middle-east, a North Ireland, the Balkans, a Spanish ETA, Angola, Ruanda,
etc., etc., etc. The pattern of behavior of the elder races that you
described is not quasi-human: it is completely and uterly human.

Making elder races behave in silly ways (and IMO this is what most recent
materials about dwarfs, trolls and elves achieve) is not the best approach

to making them different from humans.

> Why limit non-humans so they can live as minorities in hooman
> cultures?

Humm, I can also ask, why limit non-humans (the way you and current
Gloranthan materials and prevailing approaches do) so that humans cannot
live as minorities in non-human cultures?

Nick Brooke:
> To me, the natural antagonism between Elder Races -- mutually
> and toward humankind -- is an all-too-welcome feature of Glorantha.
> Compared, at least, with all the *other* FRP games on the market,
> where the only significant differences between player-character
> species are ear size, toe hair, and precise range of infravision...

The problem is that the way Gloranthan elder races are described these
days, makes them unsuited to be acceptable 'player-character species'. So

you get in the same situation prevalent in '*other* FRP games on the
market' where most of the non-human races are simply NPC cannon-foder for
PCs.

Peter Metcalfe:
> Look at the typical human-human interactions in glorantha: The Dara
> Happans hate the Darjiinites. The Pentans are hated by the Pelorians,
> the Kralori and the Praxians. The Seshnegi and the Safelstrans
> despise each other. The Arbennan do not like the Kresh. The Kralori
> hate foreigners and look down on ignorants.
>
> Now you have been complaining at the lack of an Elder Race (or two)
> that goes into exactly the same environment as the humans in each
> and every one of those territories* and to top it all the humans are
> friendly towards this Elder Race (or two) whereas they can't be
> friendly to each other even if their lives depended on it. How in
> glorantha is this miracle going to happen?

Simple: human-to-human interactions can be very competitive. Different
people fighting for the same limited resources they use the same way, can
be very nasty indeed.

Now, different species can live side by side very well if they can build a
viable common ecosystem where, instead of competing for the same resources,

they need to colaborate to get what they want. This could make easier for
humans to live with non-humans then to live with other humans.

Some possibilities:
- - Dwarves living underground with human settlements on the surface. The
human would protect the dwarves from other Elder races' marauders.
- - Elf forests with human settlements around. Same pattern then above.
- - Trolls living with humans. Humans have day light activity and trolls
night activity. Bether protection for both, different resources being
explored.

A final note: in Glorantha, like in the RW, the most compeling reason for
people from different origins to live together are:

- - Trade (see Troll Pack for examples).
- - They give you something you don't want or cannot get yourself. Enslave
the dwarfs / trolls / elfs but don't kill them, make them work for you
instead.
In both cases, over time both races will build a common culture and start
to share some interests.

Sergio

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