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Postby nick_crenshaw82 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:34 am

Not knowing where to ask this here I still want to know, to any Muslims out there would it be offensive to name a pseudo-Arabic 'race'/ethnic group after the leader Saladin?
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Re: Question

Postby Khedrac » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:05 pm

I am sure that there are some people who would find that offensive, simply put some people (of all religions etc.) can find anything offensive if they try hard enough (and they do try).
I think most Muslims likely to play rpgs would be broad enough minded not to be offended, but it might also depend on the nature of the goup. (Most history I have read regards Saladin as a lot more honourable that the Christians he was fighting, so a group that emphasised this aspect would be much less likely to offend anyone who actually read it than some of the alternatives.)

So, it depends on who you think is likely to read your work, if it is hoped to be widespread I would say play safe and use another name.

(Note: I am British, and it really puzzles me why Richard the Lionheart is quite so lauded as a 'great king'. He was a terrible king - he only stayed in the kingdom long enough to scrape up enough money to go and fight crusades, which took a lot of money; then he wasn't honourable*, and worse, got captured on his way home. Most of the accounts of John squeezing money out of the country was actually to pay Richard's ransom. John, generally regarded as our worst king, wasn't actually much worse and his weakness meant we got the Magna Carta which eventually led to most of the rights people take for granted today.)

*At one parley bewteen Richard and Saladin, Saladin asked the Knights Templar if they would give their word to Richard's promise; since the knights did not think Richard had any intention of keeping his word they refused... I don't know what the result of that mess was, but it does show both Saladin and the Templars to be more honourable than "Good King Richard".
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Re: Question

Postby Silverblade-T-E » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:15 pm

John WAS a bad king, lot more than that, he earned his loathing :P

Richard was indeed a lousy king, but well liked or respected by his allies/enemies on battlefield
the Acre massacre was unusual for him but not for the times (Saladin was pissed of at his cousins for delaying things, RIchard at the church for demanding slaughter)
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Re: Question

Postby Khedrac » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:02 am

Silverblade-T-E wrote:John WAS a bad king, lot more than that, he earned his loathing :P

Richard was indeed a lousy king, but well liked or respected by his allies/enemies on battlefield
the Acre massacre was unusual for him but not for the times (Saladin was pissed of at his cousins for delaying things, RIchard at the church for demanding slaughter)

Fair enough (and interetsing to learn), my history is patchy at best.

Still, one very disfunctional family, what with Henry (their elder brother) going to war with his Dad (and Richard) while his Dad was still king...

Apologies for the off-topicing.
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Re: Question

Postby willpell » Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:52 am

Silverblade-T-E wrote:John WAS a bad king, lot more than that, he earned his loathing :P

Richard was indeed a lousy king, but well liked or respected by his allies/enemies on battlefield


If I actually said what my opinion was, it would probably get me moderated. So I will only say that I have an unconventional take on the subject, which might be closer to the Medieval perspective, and if I'm right in that theory, that would go a long way to explaining why the attitude you're speaking of has come down through the ages.
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Re: Question

Postby nick_crenshaw82 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:50 am

New question, hypothetically what early hominds would you say elves, dwarves, orcs, and halflings evolved from?
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Re: Question

Postby Khedrac » Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:58 pm

nick_crenshaw82 wrote:New question, hypothetically what early hominds would you say elves, dwarves, orcs, and halflings evolved from?

Short answer is "ones that haven't existed on earth".

A lot depends on the game world. In Glorantha elves are literally plants, so they have come from a plant proto-human analogue (well mating between Grandfather Mortal and Aldrya), but in Tolkein Orcs are Morgoth's corruptions from elves (so for orcs the answer is "elves").
Tbh if you have a conventional fantasy world, there's a reasonable chance that the question is meaningless as the creator deities created the races as is...

Otherwise, dwarves, halflings and orcs can easily come from the same evolution branch as humans, elves less so - it depends what your elves are (they could be more closely related to humans than the others or less closely...
Neanderthals might be a reasonable choice for orcs or elves, depending on how you view Neanderthals.
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Re: Question

Postby Ashtagon » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:24 pm

nick_crenshaw82 wrote:Not knowing where to ask this here I still want to know, to any Muslims out there would it be offensive to name a pseudo-Arabic 'race'/ethnic group after the leader Saladin?


Not Muslim, but seeing as how Saladin is kind of like a cultural enemy figure for me (he laid siege to my country), I'm going to chip in.

First up, bear in mind that Saladin is a corruption of the actual name (Salah ad-Din). As such, more than anything else, it uniquely identifies that specific individual more than an ordinary personal name would. And while I would have no problem re-using common real world names, re-using a unique name feels odd. It's like having a king in your setting called Henry VIII -- the ties to a real-world individual are too strong to ignore. Instead, I'd pick a different corruption of the name, or pick a different name entirely that still matches the naming traditions of the culture.

nick_crenshaw82 wrote:New question, hypothetically what early hominds would you say elves, dwarves, orcs, and halflings evolved from?


Halflings: homo floriensis

Others have no real-world analogues. But I once tried placing orcs as an offshoot of Australopithecus robustus, and elves as based off Khoi-San peoples, although that felt a little awkward. I never found a match for dwarves that I was happy with.
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Re: Question

Postby willpell » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:30 pm

nick_crenshaw82 wrote:New question, hypothetically what early hominds would you say elves, dwarves, orcs, and halflings evolved from?


One version of elves that I've explored is to regard them as being descended from antelopes (a lot farther than humans have descended from apes, and taking a similar shape through parallel evolution). This seems consistent with their lanky build and unaggressive nature, although I don't go as far as to imagine them having horns and hooves (as one version of MTG's elves had, and this is probably where I got the idea).

Orcs I figure for being akin to gorillas or Gigantopithecus.

Dwarves, IMO, didn't evolve at all; they're not originally biological creatures, but were carved from stone and animated by earth spirits, although it's likely that they eventually created a god who retro-created them back into flesh. I do all this because IMO they'd be too much like simply short humans, if not for this level of jiggery-pokery in their backstory. It still helps explain why there aren't half-dwarves the way there are half-elves and half-orcs.

IMC, halflings are explicitly the same overall species as humans, just being adapted to a different shape; they can interbreed relatively easily with humans, and the result isn't any sort of hybrid race, it's just a shorter-than-average human or a taller-than-average halfling. One wrinkle I came up with is that halfling females don't bulge outward as much when pregnant; instead, they expand *up*, their spine decompressing in order to create a mostly-vertical space for the fetus, which is pretty close in size to a human one. The fact that halfling heads are the same size as human, while the lower body is so much smaller, means that birth is even more of an ordeal for halflings, and was frequently fatal in the race's distant history; this made the cult of the mother-goddess Yondalla extremely influential, as the hobbits of today directly credit her intervention with the flourishing of the species, and their culture is extremely matriarchal and feminist, in the sense that the highest honor and respect have always been given to multiple-mothers (who originally were just plain lucky to have survived their first pregnancy, let alone their second; as a result, the species has loosely "bred for luck", as with the human Birth Lottery in Niven's Ringworld, and this explains why prestige classes such as the Luckstealer are halfling-specific).
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