Sunday, September 1, 2013
Politics are Fun! They Cause Wars!
I mentioned my Anglic people in the last post. When I was establishing my culture cheat sheet, they were to be based on the Knights of the Round Table and Camelot. They were also to have issues because military based cultures do not do that well during peace time. Any way I want to make a point about using modern cultures and clashes as templates for in game cultures. Forget Camelot. The Angles of Myork have turned in the USA in my game world. Every time some culture finds themselves under attack or in danger from natural disasters or even monsters, the heavy cavalry of Myork rush to help them. The knights and their men at arms come sweeping in, defeating the problem (even if it is just hunger) often at great sacrifice. Then six months later, the saved culture starts to forget. They start to think that they could have handled the problem themselves and didn’t need the knights to save them. They start to forget that they begged for help. They start to resent the knights for being powerful enough to fix their problems when they were too weak to do it themselves. Admittedly, the knights are probably heavy handed. They have a tendency to try to stick around to make sure the problem is really handled. They’d hate to get back on their ships and then go home, only to have to come back and finish off the now returned problem. Sure this is based on sound logic and strategy, but no one wants a foreign military presence in their city. Correction - No one wants a foreign military presence in their city when they are no longer under attack. And that is what the problem is - forgetfulness. Col. Jessup (Nicholson’s character in A Few Good Men) had it right. It is not for the person “who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it!” So did The Kinks: “I came to feed you, but now that I need you, you won't give me a second glance.” Third time and I’ll stop: No good deed goes unpunished. Why does this matter? Actually a good example: The Hobbit - the book, not the movie. The Battle of Five Armies. I know, Tolkien wanted the story to have a somewhat happy ending, so the end is different, but bear with me. The armies are gathered because the dwarves have stirred up enormous troubles (Smaug). The men of Long Lake need treasure to rebuild their homes. The elves simply wanted treasure. The men and elves wind up helping the dwarves, but the dwarves were ready to fight the men and elves over keeping the treasure. The dwarves didn’t kill Smaug, the men did, well, Bard did. Bard kills the dragon, and the dwarves are willing to go to war with him because the men expected some compensation for their torched town. Before I divert too far - Here are the take aways: First and most importantly - If there are any members of the US Armed Forces reading this - Thank you. Some of us still understand the sacrifices you make and appreciate what you do for us! I have seen what it does to your families for you to be away and in harm’s way and it is no small price. Second - Allies are not always happy. Saviors today - enemies tomorrow. Admittedly, it is not “tomorrow” on WWII, but look at the politics of Europe and Asia. Japan is our ally. Russia is our enemy. Europe thinks the USA is evil while they run headlong into the Communism we spent so many years fighting against. OK, so we’re running headlong into the Communism we spent so many years fighting against as well. Europe just has a head start. See? Politics - It’s Fun! It starts wars!