02 May 2017

A Bottomless Pit Of Learning

I might have mentioned that I've been working on an alt-history game setting.

It's for Rhodesia from Merlin I, the game world for GURPS: Technomancer and Funny New Guys.

I want to do the idea justice, and just like my early attempts at a campaign set in Africa, I'm hitting how complicated the place is.

There's a whole bunch of intertwined and inextricable relationships that affect family, tribe, nationality... etc... and those relationships can appear to cause irreconcilable conflicts as they should work to cross purposes.

And, well, they do.  But they also make perfect sense once you map them.  Let's call him Dave.

Once you know that Dave is related by marriage to someone the next town over you know how he's going to respond to his brother in law's request for a loan, even if that brother is from the wrong tribe because there's a White government pinning an overarching nationalism over tribalism so, in this individual case, Dave's brother in law can be treated as a member of his own tribe.

But should there be a "everyone in the tribe follow me" event, Dave's brother in law gets the same treatment as everyone else in his tribe, regardless of marital relationships and nationalism.

There's tribes that never intermarry.  There's tribes that often intermarry.  There's tribes that hate and despise each other, to the death, and yet still intermarry and coexist peacefully.

I'm still figuring out what tribal affiliation kids from mixed marriages should have.  It appears to be whatever is convenient at the time a conflict is declared and then the hapless kid is stuck thereafter.

All of this was going on in the real world and I'm proposing adding magic to mix.

I also need to go back and reassess how magic changed other things, with the US showing the way with state of the art combat magic in Vietnam, it makes sense that Portugal would start adopting the same tactics and that could have a dramatic effect on Angola and Mozambique.  Especially since Cuba is another pioneering magical power in this world.

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