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 Post subject: What the Core Rules say
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:42 am 
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Hi all, this is my first post here. I asked to be given reign of the land(s) of Sarmatov and the Commonwealth, and was kindly given the opportunity although I've been a member of this site for less than a day. I did participate in the old forums at the Forge (as Tywin Lannister) and the trosforums (as Tywin Returned), but now I am here as Slynt, a nickname I use on all boards I frequent (and they are a lot - so if you see a Slynt at sites such as RPG.net, Westeros, or non-gaming sites, it's probably me).

In this first thread, I am basically going to reiterate what the core rulebook has to say about Sarmatov and the Commonwealth, and work from there. The reasons I chose this particular area of Weyrth are:

* I have been studying Eastern European medieval history for a few years to properly ground my own setting called The Moonguard Campaign. So I already have a little feeling for how to make this particular region stand out from the others (I hope). And I can take some of my better setting ideas from my own campaign and simply integrate them into Weyrth, such as names, factions etc. I do realize that from the core book's description Sarmatov seems more Russian than Eastern European, but when someone over at RPG.net took a look at my setting, the first thing he said was "Looks like fantasy Russia" or something to that effect.

* Sarmatov is far north, and I do live far north in real life (Norway, to be precise) so I have some inkling about how it feels to live in the far north (at the moment of writing, there's so much snow outside that I had to shovel my way out to the car and the temperature is - 20 °C. :o Cold!

I am not sure about the frequency of my input (or other members' input, to be honest); I thought The Riddle of Steel was well dead and buried by now. It is good to see it is not. It remains my favorite game system of choice, and I haven't touched another RPG since I bought TRoS back in the day. Well, I have touched a few..fondled them a bit - mainly The Burning Wheel and A Song of Ice and Fire, but our campaign has lasted five years now, and still uses TRoS :mrgreen:

Curious about my homemade setting? Take a look here (some of it will, in conclusion, maybe be ported into Sarmatov and the Commonwealth):

http://moonguard.wetpaint.com

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: What the Core Rules say
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:12 am 
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Slynt wrote:
I asked to be given reign of the land(s) of Sarmatov and the Commonwealth, and was kindly given the opportunity although I've been a member of this site for less than a day. I did participate in the old forums at the Forge (as Tywin Lannister) and the trosforums (as Tywin Returned)...


The Forge days were the best, I think, for the game. The creative energy and the community spirit were inspiring and helpful. So any ex-Forge members get an expedited membership! 8-)

Good to see you back on the boards.

Slynt wrote:
* Sarmatov is far north, and I do live far north in real life (Norway, to be precise) so I have some inkling about how it feels to live in the far north (at the moment of writing, there's so much snow outside that I had to shovel my way out to the car and the temperature is - 20 °C. :o Cold!


It reached 38 °C here in Melbourne. Getting to the car is no problem; getting in to a 60 °C car is a race between cooking in the driver's seat and getting the car started (and air con on). :)

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: What the Core Rules say
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:54 pm 
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Sarmatov and the Rzeczpospolita
(sar-mah-toof, zhetch-pohs-poh-lee-tah)

Geography
Flat southern plains gradually rise to rolling northern hills and icy arctic peaks, lapped by glacier-wrought seas. Sarmatov is a harsh land, covered in snow in winter and humid days in the summer.
Her neighbor, the Rzeczpospolita ("the Commonwealth"), is nearly the same. Forests cover the hilly portions of both lands, surrounding the great lakes and wetlands on the border between them.

Commentary: It doesn't say too much, really, so I feel pretty free to work out the geography. Mapwise, there is an interesting place which I assume is the natural border between the two former seperate entities, a river that seems to cleave through a mountaineous area - I am envisioning some sort of ravine here, with bridges across the span (rope bridges? ancient monumental stonework? I am not sure).

Religion
Despite an overwhelming percentage of adherents to the Imperial Church of the Three-Gods-Become-One, Sarmatov and the Commonwealth are considered some of the most religiously tolerant and diverse nations in Weyrth. Variations on most major faiths find ground in every reach of the two kingdoms. The king and minor nobility are generally Imperial, but the wealthier gentry and nobility lean toward Stahlnish atheism. Other popular beliefs include Zhibaran heathenism and the Seven Vows of Krym-Khanan and the south.

Commentary: A rather vague and all-over-the-place description. I mean, "Overwhelming percentage" versus "most religiously tolerant and diverse", the king and minor nobility are "generally Imperial"...I see what they are getting at, but this needs some proper clean-up.

Politics/Military:
Sarmatov and the Commonwealth have been united for so long that they are really no longer separate entities. Their governments have been essentially combined for almost 400 years, which is a good thing considering all of the unrest outside their borders. War ravages every side, with Zhibarans coming out of the mountains searching for wealth, Krymeans riding hard up from the south in search of janisaries and white-skinned slaves, and the Stalhnish constantly attempting to expand their domain and power. Until recently Magyar, now a province of Stahl, was part of Sarmatov, as was Zaporozhya and much of Krym-Kanan.

Centuries of constant warfare have made the Sarmats a tough and independent lot. Their cavalry is considered to be some of the very best in the world. Light dragoons, riding in the Krymean style, sweep down with lightning efficacy and flashing sabers. The winged Husars - heavy cavalry with eagle-feathered wings attached to their burnished plate harnesses - have not lost a major battle in over 60 years!

For the last 200 years the saber has been the weapon of choice for all gentry, who claim it as their right. Gelure-style swords - the thin cut-and-thrust swords and rapiers - are looked upon with disdain. Most all soldiers carry a short bow in addition to their spear, lance, or saber, and all know how to use one either mounted or on foot. Peasants favor pole arms and primitive axes formed from the filed and sharpened jawbones of a horse or cow.

Commentary: This is where Sarmatov seems to differ the most from other territories, or at least this is the part that has been given a more thorough description. Lots of stuff to build upon here, especially concerning historical warfare. I can't help but to think of the Jedi Knights whenever I read 'flashing sabers', now there's a habit to kick.

To be continued...


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 Post subject: Re: What the Core Rules say
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:06 pm 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
It reached 38 °C here in Melbourne. Getting to the car is no problem; getting in to a 60 °C car is a race between cooking in the driver's seat and getting the car started (and air con on). :)

Regards,


Ah, so you are from the same place as a certain TRoS writer? I am glad I prefer the cold of the north, the icy days of winter is a nice excuse to be inside and geek out :lol: But I've always wanted to experience Australia though


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 Post subject: Re: What the Core Rules say
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:16 pm 
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Legal System:
When the last king of the recent Yagyelonian dynasty passed away, leaving no heirs, the Sarmat peoples elected a new monarch. The king of Sarmatov reigns alongside the Seym, or Senate, over the Crown and the Commonwealth (Rzeczpospolita). Upon the death of a king the nobles and gentry gather together and place their votes for any of the electoral candidates. These gatherings are generally very large, as approximately 12 percent of all Sarmats are considered paper-carrying gentry or nobility. The electoral king then rules until his death, when another king is chosen. Any member of the gentry or nobility may be elected, though practicality generally limits candidates to the wealthy and powerful.

The Sarmats are perhaps prouder of their legal system than any other people. All gentry and nobility are afforded certain "gentleman's rights" - no gentleman may be imprisoned or even accosted by the law without proper warrants, all have a say in elections, any may be elected king or appointed to the senate, and any may bear arms and keep up a small military force of his own. These priveleges are in addition to general religious freedom.

The great flaw with the Sarmatovian system is that it doesn't really work. The king is largely powerless when compared to his "royal" peers in other nations, the Seym is divided, and "official religious tolerance gives way to faith-led lynchings of minority churches and religions. General lawlessness rages throughout the country, where the strong or ruthless survive on the frontiers and those with "connections" and powerful patrons survive on the inside. Though the gentry are blessed with so many rights, the peasants live lives of virtual slavery [Like I do, I play The Lord of the Rings Online :D ], as they are considered to be the property of their masters.


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 Post subject: Re: What the Core Rules say
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:04 pm 
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Slynt wrote:
ReligionDespite an overwhelming percentage of adherents to the Imperial Church of the Three-Gods-Become-One, Sarmatov and the Commonwealth are considered some of the most religiously tolerant and diverse nations in Weyrth. Variations on most major faiths find ground in every reach of the two kingdoms. The king and minor nobility are generally Imperial, but the wealthier gentry and nobility lean toward Stahlnish atheism. Other popular beliefs include Zhibaran heathenism and the Seven Vows of Krym-Khanan and the south.

Commentary: A rather vague and all-over-the-place description. I mean, "Overwhelming percentage" versus "most religiously tolerant and diverse", the king and minor nobility are "generally Imperial"...I see what they are getting at, but this needs some proper clean-up.

...

The great flaw with the Sarmatovian system is that it doesn't really work. The king is largely powerless when compared to his "royal" peers in other nations, the Seym is divided, and "official religious tolerance gives way to faith-led lynchings of minority churches and religions.


I like the core idea that Sarmatov is a religiously tolerant society. As I see it, there are only two ways that can occur in real life. The government of the State is highly centralized and the rule of law is strong -- so statutes can be passed protecting the adherents of minority faiths. Alternatively, the ruling class belong to one faith and there is a great gulf in terms of power and wealth between the ruling class and the masses. In this case there is no need to be overly concerned about what the masses do or think.

If you head down the latter path where the ruling class belong to the Imperial Church, and maintain an informal rule that advancement within the military goes to those who belong to the Imperial Church, then you can have religious tolerance from the perspective of the law. This can also be a point of pride for the locals -- no wars of persecution, no participation in crusades, and so on. There is no reason for this to run counter to the central idea that Sarmatov is a lawless place where enforcement of the law relies on the local strongman having some degree of control. I don't see any need to drive this lawless through religious intolerance -- there can be many reasons why a particular ethnic group are seen as sufficiently different as to warrant attack for financial gain.

Looking forward to seeing more of your vision unfold!

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: What the Core Rules say
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:14 pm 
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Hey thanks, that does bring a different perspective. I'm not so good when it comes to politics as I am to making up places and characters, but I will definitely have to look deeper into this. That said, I am re-reading the setting chapter because I have forgotten a lot about the various religions.


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 Post subject: Re: What the Core Rules say
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:50 am 
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Good to see somebody else from the old days active, and also good to see something done with Weyrth. It might even coax me to continue my own work on the Seat of the Xanarian Empire. :P

Concerning religious tolerance, you might want to have a look at this thread, where we have begun to discuss and knock out a few facts about the Imperial Church's relations to other faiths. You might als find the third and the fifth post in this thread useful -- they deal with the offices of the Imperial Church and with its knightly orders, respectively. And then there is of course the thread with the compilation of all hard facts we have so far determined about Weyrth.

Really looking forward to seeing your work on Sarmatov! :)

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 Post subject: Re: What the Core Rules say
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:54 am 
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I thought that Sarmatov/Rzeczpospolita was based more on Poland than Russia. Even the name "Rzeczpospolita" sounds Polish.
My opinion is based mostly on my first-hand knowledge of Poland and its inhabitants (it's our neighboring country and I've visited it for few times).
I agree with Ian about the two ways that state can be religiously tolerant. In case of modern Poland (I'm not sure about the historical one), which is kinda religiously tolerant, it's the second way. Since majority of population belongs to one faith and because of strong roots of christianity in families, they don't have to be afraid about losing their influence to any other faith. So they can afford to be tolerant to other faiths. Think of John Paul II. - former pope - he was from Poland.
Also, there is one thing we must not forget about - money. The whole philosophy would be "Don't make trouble, pay taxes and we won't let them lynch you."

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 Post subject: Re: What the Core Rules say
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:09 am 
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Grettir wrote:
Good to see somebody else from the old days active, and also good to see something done with Weyrth. It might even coax me to continue my own work on the Seat of the Xanarian Empire. :P

Concerning religious tolerance, you might want to have a look at this thread, where we have begun to discuss and knock out a few facts about the Imperial Church's relations to other faiths. You might als find the third and the fifth post in this thread useful -- they deal with the offices of the Imperial Church and with its knightly orders, respectively. And then there is of course the thread with the compilation of all hard facts we have so far determined about Weyrth.

Really looking forward to seeing your work on Sarmatov! :)


Thank you. Have you read Scott Bakker's The Prince of Nothing series? The three novels that make up this trilogy, The Darkness that Comes Before, The Warrior-Prophet, and The Thousandfold Thought, although a little heavy on the philosophical side, do remind me more than a little of the Seat of the Xanarian Empire (well, there's this empire in the novels that basically could be a stand-in as far as I remember). I hope you continue working on it ;)


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 Post subject: Re: What the Core Rules say
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:13 am 
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Ladislav wrote:
I thought that Sarmatov/Rzeczpospolita was based more on Poland than Russia. Even the name "Rzeczpospolita" sounds Polish.
My opinion is based mostly on my first-hand knowledge of Poland and its inhabitants (it's our neighboring country and I've visited it for few times).
I agree with Ian about the two ways that state can be religiously tolerant. In case of modern Poland (I'm not sure about the historical one), which is kinda religiously tolerant, it's the second way. Since majority of population belongs to one faith and because of strong roots of christianity in families, they don't have to be afraid about losing their influence to any other faith. So they can afford to be tolerant to other faiths. Think of John Paul II. - former pope - he was from Poland.
Also, there is one thing we must not forget about - money. The whole philosophy would be "Don't make trouble, pay taxes and we won't let them lynch you."


Oh, I definitely agree with the comparisons to Poland, and will use that country as one of several inspirational sources (together with the Czech republic, (western) Russia, Hungary, and to some extent the Baltic countries). I was thinking to have Poland and the Czech republic as a "base" for southern Sarmatov (the plainlands), Russia for the northernmost mountaineous areas, and Hungary/Baltic for the Commonwealth. You know, mixing it up, altering real languages to something on its own, taking a little here, a little there. But I feel I can't start working before I have a better grasp of how religion works in Weyrth, so those links provided above shall be read.


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 Post subject: Re: What the Core Rules say
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:24 pm 
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Slynt wrote:
Have you read Scott Bakker's The Prince of Nothing series? The three novels that make up this trilogy, The Darkness that Comes Before, The Warrior-Prophet, and The Thousandfold Thought, although a little heavy on the philosophical side, do remind me more than a little of the Seat of the Xanarian Empire (well, there's this empire in the novels that basically could be a stand-in as far as I remember).

Ha, you got me there! The Prince of Nothing is one of the very few pieces of contemporary fanatasy I actually enjoyed. :D

That said, I have not consciously drawn from Bakker but from the Late Roman Empire and Byzantium. Maybe it is because of Bakker also drawing on Byzantium (especially in his crusade-theme and the indenture forced upon the crusaders by the emperor) for inspiration that there are similarities. Anyhow, I sufficiently liked Bakker's creation to be quite pleased with you seeing traces of in the Seat of the Xanarian Empire. :)

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 Post subject: Re: What the Core Rules say
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:58 pm 
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Yeah, good fantasy is hard to get hold of. I do like A Song of Ice and Fire and Best Served Cold better, though :mrgreen:

Two quick questions:
1. How do I get picture up like you guys have, on the subforum?
2. How do I get a direct link to Sarmatov from the Weyrth section like the other "landgrabbed" nations have?

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: What the Core Rules say
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:39 pm 
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Slynt wrote:
Yeah, good fantasy is hard to get hold of. I do like A Song of Ice and Fire and Best Served Cold better, though

Well, I guess that somewhere round here there's a thread where I give A Song of Ice and Fire a sound thrashing... :roll: :lol:

Slynt wrote:
1. How do I get picture up like you guys have, on the subforum?

Email Ian a picture and ask him nicely to set it up for you.

Slynt wrote:
2. How do I get a direct link to Sarmatov from the Weyrth section like the other "landgrabbed" nations have?

Again, ask Ian nicely. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: What the Core Rules say
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:30 pm 
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Slynt wrote:
1. How do I get picture up like you guys have, on the subforum?

2. How do I get a direct link to Sarmatov from the Weyrth section like the other "landgrabbed" nations have?


:roll: Just shows I seldom use the menus ...

Sarmatov should now appear in the subforum lists. As Grettir said, send me an image and I will create the forum picture for you.

Regards,

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