🎨 Creative Cultural Customs, The Second

MoonHunter

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#1
The thread has been productive in the past. Let us see what interesting "tags" or adds that GMs can use to better define the various cultures in game. Something definitive, or at least an interesting, that helps make a people interesting.

Now this can be for any genre, fantasy, science fiction, science fantasy, or so on. Something can be useful for someone, so let them come. I like to interweave and link them, but single points are perfectly acceptable. The old thread is useful, and you can use if for examples, but lets see what we can do now.

Here is the nudge to get the ball rolling.

1) The Ancient Pegorans were masters of geometry and it shows in their realistic art (which has vanishing points, horizons, and perfect angles). They also loved a good mural and mosaic tile floors that make up pictures if viewed from the second level. Thus you will find them in ancient buildings, places with pretense of being stately, artistic, or "eternal" (like the City Folk of Artimas), or tombs.

2) The Ancient Pegorans also invented a number of paper types. Thus the "paper sack" and the "paper lantern" are their inventions as well. They are responsible for all the paperwork found in the Old and in the New Empire.

3) Important bundles of paperwork are wrapped in red tape by lesser functionaries for their seniors or leaders. This marks them as something to attend to. For emphasis, they will sometimes use several wraps of red tape on a bundle to mark it extra important or very complicated. Thus if something is wrapped up in red tape, it is something that is complicated and is going to take a long time, as the next people up the line must make the decision about it.

4) The Old Empire expanded upon the Pegoran paper lantern. They created sky lanterns (small candles that heat bags that lift off and glow in the sky). In the skylantern festival, you write a wish or a prayer on your lantern... then release it to the heavens for the Gods to see it. These wishes have more impact upon the gods because they are lighted and they can see them coming upward. (Plus the Sky Lantern Festival is timed to be on The Divine's birthday (celebrated). Just like the Emperor's List (gifts of awards and titles given on the Emperor's birthday), people believe the divine beuracracy would have a similar list on the Divine's birthday.
 
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MoonHunter

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5) The Komen are all about showing respect. Upon greeting or leaving, a slight nod to the head acknowledges the other politely and respectfully. This is usually between equals or people of equal position in the situation (A minor noble and a minor merchant are in a carnival contest, they are equal here.) A greater nod of the head (with a slight bow) or holding that position for a bit show greater respect to the other person. Royalty and higher nobles will often have to wave their hands in dismissal or say "enk" (for enough), so people who feel unworthy or don't realize how long they really should be holding the nod.

5b) clearing of the throat is often the polite sign that you did not hold the nod long enough. It gives you can chance to try again.
5c) Some people who held the nod for too short a time often say, a year of pardons please... with a flourish of hand. Some do it while walking or running away to attend to things at hand.
5d) Screw this up badly, and there will be a duel of some kind.
 

MoonHunter

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6) The Ousten Riders make a small stiff "riding cup" that is a cross between a "glass" and a wine skin. It has a drinking pouring spout that securely slips on and off, holding a good draft of liquid inside the glass portion. While out in the hinterlands, it is just something you have. In town or the low countries, it shows that you are sporty, a good rider, or just well traveled. For the moment, it is a status symbol. However, the local leathersmiths have started to make them because they are convenient for workman. It is causing all sorts of misconceptions.


We might call this a travel cup or a sippy cup... just made of leather
 

basilisk

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#4
7) The Fox People view mint as a sacred herb, believing the smell drives away evil. Oddly, they never eat or cook with the stuff.
8) The Fox People resolve conflicts through eating contests--the person who eats the most, the fastest, is the winner. Choking to death during one of these contests is considered a form of divine intervention.
 

MoonHunter

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#5
9) The Keltora tend to wear a bindu that shows that their mood they are striving for today. The color and shape of the bindu expresses the dominant mood for the day. Usually this shows devotion, but sometimes it is mourning, love, happiness, seriousness, anger/ violent mood, and numbness. In reality, the bindu shows something the person will easily do or it is something they are desperately trying to do (thus their mood is usually the reverse... they are just pretending/ trying to do the listed mood). It is bad form to keep it on, if your mood is something else.

Northern Keltora (male and female) have taken to wearing necklaces/ necklets that express the same thing but with an emotionally descriptive glyph/ letter. That way, you can easily change out your mood.
 

basilisk

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#6
10) The Fox People have a tradition on cooking up an egg for guests to cement the host/guest relationship. Eggs are cheap and cook quickly, so all but the poorest and busiest can cook one up for a friend and thus fulfill their obligation.
10a) This has given the Fox People the phrases "no eggs to spare" to state that they're not able to recieve guests and the more pointed "no eggs for you!" meaning, essentially "you aren't welcome in my house, freeloader/petty thief!
 

MoonHunter

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11) Cats are considered good luck as they hunt evil spirits like they do mice (while napping). Many people put out milk around their homes near good sunning spots, to ensure a cat will nap there.
 

Cerulean Lion

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#8
12) "Feeding the mice" is a local expression for being kind and generous to the poor and powerless. It's considered bad luck to kill mice that get into your home. Rather people will leave food in some convenient place outside the home in hopes the mice will take it and stay outside.
Non-lethal traps for mice are considered acceptable.

13) Because of (12) someone may carry a package of food or drink with a sketch of a mouse on it, thus inviting panhandlers to approach and be given the package.

14) Someone may help out a poor neighbor by leaving a Care Package on the doorstep with the mouse image on it. By custom it's not considered shameful or embarrassing to receive such a package, though it would be an embarrassment if there was no mouse image. After all there is no shame in being a mouse; but who would act like a mouse if they weren't one?
 

basilisk

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#9
15) The Fox People have the following attitude towards theft: go big or go home. A Fox Person who steals the six amber nipples off of the statue of the Moon Goddess in the High Temple is admired, even though it's a Fox Person temple. Someone filching silverware from a rich neighbor or shoplifting is held in contempt. Cleverness and audacity are highly valued, simple opportunism is considered crass and petty.
16) Chicken rustling is considered a high art and great fun by the Fox People. The more chickens one steals, the better. Marshland Hobbits are frequent targets, to their annoyance, as cockfighting is a major source of personal pride.
 
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