Cultue, Traits, and Evolution

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TH - The Hunt
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Re: Cultue, Traits, and Evolution

Post by TH - The Hunt » Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:41 pm

BR's racial traits are more cultural than genetic in origin--otherwise Anuireans would have no racial traits. Bringing genetics into it doesn't make any sense, and no genetic testing exists in this setting. You can trace bloodlines, but the closest you can come to identifying 'genes' is by identifying traits that are associated with particular bloodlines, there's no in-character knowledge of how those traits are acquired or passed on. It's not something that can be studied even with magic, in-setting.
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Re: Cultue, Traits, and Evolution

Post by TF - The Fortress » Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:07 pm

It's clearly not culture based, as you can have a Vos born and need in Anuirean society/culture and they get the Vos racial bonuses.

Oddly enough, it is even called that in the campaign setting, "Racial Bonuses."

So while yes, there is not genetic testing available per DNA analysis, there are basic traits and physical characteristics/make-up that make each Human sub-race distinct on a genetic level, not societal.

This is why they are listed as races and have racial modifiers.

Make it more complex in your head if you want to, but KIS (Keep It Simple) solves for most things.
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Re: Cultue, Traits, and Evolution

Post by TH - The Hunt » Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:13 pm

Nothing mechanically says you 'can have a Vos born and raised in Anuirean society/culture and they get the Vos racial bonuses'. Maybe you can do that, but you can also raise an Anuirean child in a Vos society/culture and give them Vos racial bonuses. Wzsebora, the fair-skinned, red-haired Vos warrior (taken from an Anuirean family by Vos slavers) being a case in point.

The book itself lumps all humans together as one race and describes the subgroups as 'nationalities or cultures'. It informally refers to Vos as a 'race' once, but that's after calling humans a 'race'.

"Keep it simple" does not mean "keep it filled with inconsistent nonsense so that you don't have to budge on your preconceptions".
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Re: Cultue, Traits, and Evolution

Post by TF - The Fortress » Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:20 pm

She shouldn't have gotten the Vos racial bonuses. And there is nothing that says Vos can't have red-hair.
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Re: Cultue, Traits, and Evolution

Post by TH - The Hunt » Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:23 pm

According to what? Because you think the bonuses should always be inherited, except not when that would cause the categories to break down, so in those cases it should be conveniently ignored? Pfft.
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Re: Cultue, Traits, and Evolution

Post by TF - The Fortress » Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:28 pm

According to they are racial bonuses and clearly stated as such.

This would be like a Sidhe being raised amongst Karamuhl and having the Karamuhl racial bonuses instead of the Sidhe ones.

Another example would be an Anuirean raised amongst goblins now aging and having the racials modifiers like a goblin. It doesn't work like that because they are...wait for it... Racial Bonuses.
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Re: Cultue, Traits, and Evolution

Post by TH - The Hunt » Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:41 pm

Every other race that's capable of breeding with another race generates crossbreeds. Humans don't do this... because there's only one human race. Humans can have a variety of different racial bonuses in Birthright (just as in Pathfinder or D&D 5e), but these are racial bonuses for being human. In Birthright, these bonuses represent the traits seen as most or least virtuous by that particular culture, they are reinforced by that culture.

'Racial bonuses' are a game mechanic. The racial bonuses of other races are physiological, not cultural, in origin. Elves value strength but still have a strength penalty, because elves have slight builds. Dwarves value dexterity but still have a dexterity penalty, because dwarves are stocky.

Anuireans, meanwhile, see dexterity as a trait for the lower classes and wisdom as the most important trait for rulers, so they have these modifiers. Brecht reverse those modifiers... they tend to think the lower classes should be the ones in charge! Vos see intelligence as a vulnerability that makes one susceptible to (or responsible for!) corruption and manipulation, and of course they value strength. Khinasi fancy magic more than anyone else besides elves, so they like to trade away physical education for mental prowess.
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Re: Cultue, Traits, and Evolution

Post by WB - Water's Blessing » Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:50 pm

My view on this is much closer to MF's -- they're cultural differences and not biological differences. It would be like arguing that the difference between Germans and Italians is that they are different races rather than their cultures tend to emphasize different foci.

My home state of Indiana produces way more NBA players per capita than most other states. It's not because Hoosiers are genetically superior at basketball. It's because Hoosiers love basketball more and tend to emphasize it more in youth sports, push their most talented athletes towards the sport, and invest more in basketball infrastructure relative to other sports. It's the same reason why Texas tends to be such a football powerhouse and why Minnesota and Michigan tend to be way over-represented in the NHL. The same is true in BR. Brechts are better sailors and shipwrights not because they are born with boat schematics stuck in their brain. They're better sailors because they live in the Great Bay and so more of them spend more of their lives on ships that people from other cultures.
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Re: Cultue, Traits, and Evolution

Post by CIC - Duke Cicero » Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:12 pm

Personally, my experience has been that it worked in a more genetic-type way. Just in this game, when I asked about how to handle children of my human and half-elf (with different human cultural half), what was suggested to me was to roll a d4 with the possible outcomes of human A, human B, half-elf human A, half-elf human B. Nobody asked what culture the children were being raised in (and they are all being raised in the same human culture). This left me with a pretty strong impression that it's genetic.

Edit: looking back at the posts in question, I see MF did suggest that human culture could just be considered to be the culture of the court they're raised in. Juan had suggested the die roll method first, so that's what stuck in my head.
Last edited by CIC - Duke Cicero on Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cultue, Traits, and Evolution

Post by TH - The Hunt » Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:14 pm

One thing is for sure. Native language proficiency isn't genetic.
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