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Middle Eastern Type Medieval-ish World

   
My suggestion for a Middle Eastern culture would be double:

a) Research a little about arabian/turkish protocol. Like, long handshakes, no leg crossing while seated, complimenting the host, no wine - that kind of thing.

b) Read a little about muslim arquitecture - either Al'Andalus (Spain), Mahgreb, or Persian arquitecture. The styles are different in each geography and in each time period. A good example would be the Blue Mosque of Istambul or the Lions' Fountain of the Alhambra complex in Spain.

It's quite unsettling when arquitecture is not properly researched; like, having Gothic-themed spaceships.

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Originally Posted by scooterman6 View Post
It's "Teutonic Terror", by the way
You got your info from metal, I got mine from a videogame. :P

Also, I don't think players should be royalty. Travelers, yes. Rulers? No. But an actual war elephant could be expensive. As players accrue wealth, combat can become more tactical - so they might be asked to acquire siege equipment and then ship it in a quest (an escort mission essentially, but fun, because it's free of the endless errors that arrive with a video game related escort mission). Then they became nobles and do what they want from there.

The adventure in all is a sand box - players choose their quests, although that doesn't mean they aren't free from GM encouragement.

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a) Research a little about arabian/turkish protocol. Like, long handshakes, no leg crossing while seated, complimenting the host, no wine - that kind of thing.
Anyone who's helping out can provide it here or give links. :P

It'd really help in the long run!

When I detail a city or a town, I suspect that players will be more respectful of the setting than simply 'your in a middle eastern place and they stare at you in horror as you cross your legs while seated'. The initial player reaction would be more o.0 or 'did I say I was crossing my legs?', instead of 'oh, well this is an exotic location, so I suspect things will be different here.'

I dunno. I gotta make priorities. And also I got work tomorrow. Lol.

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It's quite unsettling when arquitecture is not properly researched; like, having Gothic-themed spaceships.
And yet people eat it up anyway. :P

Also, the lion's fountain was a muslim design? Interesting.

I think for my world, I'd mostly stay away from religion. Sure, the grey guard could all request that people in the imperial cities declare that there is one god and one god only, but there will be 'cults' everywhere and a pantheon of gods could occupy the beliefs of entire cities in the 'free zone' (the free imperial cities).

I'll admit that the one god idea was due to my laziness when I first ran a campaign in this world (back then, it was all winged and I thought a desert setting would be a change :P ). That was a few years ago, and now here we are - I'm trying to flesh out this world as best I can.

Then again, multiple gods are also an excuse for the underyling grittiness of religious themed wars.

No relation to muslim belief or christian - if anything, the themes should exist in the fashion only. The referances to christianity and muslim should be kept as far from the minds of players as possible (I know it's hard to get away from, in a place like the middle east, but still...).
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As for burburs and bedouins - in AoE2, the people of egypt and the deserts are called 'saracen'. Does that name ring any bells?

Bedouin sounds like a good idea for a ranger with a camel companion (or some other type of animal companion such as, I dunno... a monitor lizard? - maybe not the best idea to restrict players; and some variant class features? though I can't think of any that would particularly suit the bedouin theme).

It was a general European label for Arabs and other Muslims (and also the Byzantines, when they were still an issue). Has no significant meaning as far as I know...
Bedouins would at the most have a camel special mount, and even that is a stretch in my opinion. I think they would be closest to reality if they were limited to extraordinary abilities. Animals are just a commodity for them, as for most people. No special connection (they are not nature-worshipers like the druids). In my opinion a better fit would be basing them on Rogues, adding variant class features (and the Track feat), replacing their proficiencies with the Ranger's, and taking away sneak attacks. Their class skills would also need some switching around, and maybe they should have a bit less points than Rogues.
Again, you are the mastermind, and I do not intend to impose.
Berber is a synonym of "North African" as far as I am aware. Some Europeans also referred to them as "Saracens".

I would keep travel realistic and make it a major selling point of campaigns.

"Oh, you want to go to this other completely different nation? Well, we now have a story."

I assume the whole middle eastern theme has something to do with Lut Gholein from Diablo 2. If that is the case, keep the caravans. Getting across the desert is an ordeal. Make it interesting. I didn't catch whether or not your world has strange creatures in it but if it does, maybe they inhabit the dunes surrounding each nation. Or if not, maybe there is an army of dejected outcasts and bandits just waiting for weary travellers.

On a side note, you should read Ironfire. It's a great book about one of the Crusades but touches on life in the medieval Middle East quite nicely.

EDIT: Holy crap. Somehow missed that there were 3 more pages to this thread. Please take this with a grain of salt.

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EDIT: Holy crap. Somehow missed that there were 3 more pages to this thread. Please take this with a grain of salt.
It's k. At least you're contributing.

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Originally Posted by Librarium View Post
A good place for ideas is.. Al-Qadim.
I don't understand character kits. How do they work?

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Originally Posted by scooterman6
Again, you are the mastermind, and I do not intend to impose.
It's fine. Build something, and maybe we can vote on what is best?

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Originally Posted by scooterman6
It was a general European label for Arabs and other Muslims (and also the Byzantines, when they were still an issue). Has no significant meaning as far as I know...
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Originally Posted by From AoE2
The Saracens (613 On)

The name Saracen applied originally to nomadic desert peoples from the area stretching from modern Syria to Saudi Arabia. In broader usage the name applied to all Arabs of the Middle Ages. These desert nomads erupted suddenly in the seventh century and established a far-reaching empire within a century and a half. Their conquest was fueled by faith and high morale. Following the teachings of the prophet Mohammed, their intent was to change the religious and political landscape of the entire planet.

By 613 the prophet Mohammed was preaching a new religion he called Islam. Largely ignored in his home city of Mecca, he withdrew to Medina, built up a strong following there, and returned to attack and capture Mecca. Following his death in 632, his teachings were collected to form the Koran, the Islamic holy book. In 634 his followers began their jihad, or holy war. Within five years they had overrun Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. Their tolerance of Jews and Christians eased their conquest because these people had been suffering some persecution under the Byzantines.

In the next 60 years, both North Africa to the west and Persia to the east fell to Islam. In the early eighth century, Saracens from Tangiers invaded the Iberian Peninsula and conquered the Visigoth kingdom established there after the fall of Rome. In Asia they took Asia Minor from the Byzantines and attempted to capture Constantinople with a combined attack from land and sea. The great walls of the city frustrated the land attack and the Saracen fleet was defeated at sea. In the west, Charles Martel of the Franks stopped a Saracen invasion of modern France in 732 at Poitiers.

Frustrated in the west, the forces of Islam turned east. By 750 they had conquered to the Indus River and north over India into Central Asia to the borders of China.

In 656 the Muslim world fell into civil war between two factions, the Sunnites and the Shiites. They differed on several points, including who should be caliph and interpretation of the Koran. The result of the 60-year war was that the Islamic state broke into pieces, some governed by Sunnites (the Iberian Peninsula) and others by Shiites (Egypt and modern Iraq). The new Islamic states acted independently, thereafter.

Muslim Spain developed into one of the great states of Europe during the early Middle Ages. Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived together in relative harmony, and a rich culture rose out of these multiple influences. There was a flowering of the arts, architecture, and learning. By 1000, however, Muslim Spain had divided into warring factions. This civil war facilitated the slow reconquest of the peninsula (the Reconquista) by the emerging states of Castile and Aragon, completed finally in 1492.

Asia Minor and the Middle East were conquered by Muslim Turks in the early eleventh century. In response to a call for aid from the Byzantines, a series of Crusades was launched from Europe to regain Palestine from the Turks. The independent Muslim states in the area lost Palestine and the Eastern Mediterranean coast to the First Crusade. In the last part of the twelfth century, the great Saracen leader Saladin succeeded in uniting Egypt, Syria, and smaller states, and he retook Jerusalem.

The Muslim states remained independent long after the Middle Ages and eventually developed into the modern Arab nations of the Middle East and North Africa. They went into economic decline, however, when the European nations opened trade routes of their own to Asia in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
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I assume the whole middle eastern theme has something to do with Lut Gholein from Diablo 2.
Haven't played diablo 2, but diablo 3 also has a middle-eastern-ish theme in Act 2 - typical wealthy imperium in a desert called Caldeum, where the 'iron wolves' guards wear a lot of silk and have funny hats; that's pretty much as far as it goes.

Some Info on taming elephants. Only the best tamed elephants are used in war.

Just like D&D rules, it says the animal has to grow up with the character in order to be fully tamed. I suppose one of the rituals could be bonding with an animal or having it as a perk (applicable to the character's background). Maybe there'd be time magic or something. Maybe desert druids can acquire it as part of a ritual (mind, this is 3.5e, not 4e).

The main difficulty is balance and determining when they can use it, etc.
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Current Theme (tell me if you're okay with this): Orcs are weird and outlandish but strong, while humans are forward thinking and potentially sophisticated, but weak. The way I put it, it sounds like a cliche, though.

Another Theme
- The more you crave law and organization, the more you'll be depressed, but you will also have the backing of law to help you out. The more chaotic you are, the less backing you'll have (lose something, and it's harder to recover), but everything can be handled more optimistically.

The idea is that you start worrying about losing things you have when you're lawbound, because you have things - whereas a chaotic just has more energy to handle things, because they don't own anything. I dunno if this psychology should be confined to humanity, or both orcs and humans.




 

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