• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[V:TM] Let's Read Vampire: the Dark Ages - 20th anniversary edition

Cassander

Armless Tiger Man
"Ræt" is the Anglo-Saxon word for mouse, so you will see the term used in primary material; it's just not referring to what we would think of as a rat. The terminology on rodents only gets sharpened up in the eighteenth century when stable populations of brown rats became established in northern Europe (there are so many sources for the arrival of the brown rat that it isn't worth mentioning particular authorities). It's worth remembering here that rats are heavily dependent on human settlement, and generally thrive in the context of industrial agriculture and high-density human settlement.

Also, it's worth noting that contemporary sources on historical plague have it as a contagious disease; Samuel Cohn is very good on this issue.
 

Bruce Redux

Not flying or biting
Validated User
"Ræt" is the Anglo-Saxon word for mouse, so you will see the term used in primary material; it's just not referring to what we would think of as a rat.
But black rat skeletons don't particularly care what the Anglo-Saxons called them. As this precis of a paper at NIH notes, confirmation of the black rat being around in the Roman era didn't come until the 1970s, so you may be drawing on now-obsolete sources. (That was a big thing for us with Dark Ages: Vampire - criticism based on sources that simply weren't as good in various ways as what we had available to us.)

As for candles, in this Absolute Write thread, Lisa Spangenberg (a medievalist by training, though she doesn't do it for a living these days) comments that candles would have been very much a luxury item...which fits, I think, the usage in VDA20. Existing luxuriously is a thing lots of vampires do in every age, and is part of the whole parasitic thing. Vampires in the World of Darkness, then and now, are among other things a vehicle for fantasies of luxury bought at ghastly price.
 

MachineiIV

New member
Banned
"Ræt" is the Anglo-Saxon word for mouse, so you will see the term used in primary material; it's just not referring to what we would think of as a rat. The terminology on rodents only gets sharpened up in the eighteenth century when stable populations of brown rats became established in northern Europe (there are so many sources for the arrival of the brown rat that it isn't worth mentioning particular authorities). It's worth remembering here that rats are heavily dependent on human settlement, and generally thrive in the context of industrial agriculture and high-density human settlement.

Also, it's worth noting that contemporary sources on historical plague have it as a contagious disease; Samuel Cohn is very good on this issue.
Yeah I don't know. I've read a number of references to black rats existing in the area in the 13th century. Some are primary sources. Some from historians. We had a number of people proofreading, who are not necessarily experts in rodents of the era, but are experts in close enough fields that I was willing to trust them.

Maybe you're right. Maybe those few books were not enough due diligence for that sentence. But at a certain point, we've just got to trust most of what we're reading, and those people we've hired.

I know you explicitly have a problem with this statement, but in the introduction, I pointed out: "The Dark Medieval World is all about style and authentic experiences. Note that this does not inherently mean historically accurate experiences. V20 Dark Ages takes place in 1242, but stylistically, we pick and choose ideas, both fictional and factual, that build an evocative experience."

We think rats feel Dark Medieval. You are allowed disagreeing.
 

Cassander

Armless Tiger Man
But black rat skeletons don't particularly care what the Anglo-Saxons called them. As this precis of a paper at NIH notes, confirmation of the black rat being around in the Roman era didn't come until the 1970s, so you may be drawing on now-obsolete sources. (That was a big thing for us with Dark Ages: Vampire - criticism based on sources that simply weren't as good in various ways as what we had available to us.)
That's not speaking to anything I said, though, about brown rats, which are a different species. What I said was that "rat" was just a general term for rodents, until the arrival of large brown rats in the eighteenth century. Black rats were around in Europe since Roman times, but not in large numbers in northern Europe, where they generally don't do well. Thus, whilst people did historically speak about rats, they are generally talking about mice (or, occasionally, black rats) prior to the eighteenth century.
 

Cassander

Armless Tiger Man
Anyway, I am discontinuing this thread, and have asked the moderators for a thread-lock, because I think that it's turning toxic for no good reason.
 

MachineiIV

New member
Banned
That's not speaking to anything I said, though, about brown rats, which are a different species. What I said was that "rat" was just a general term for rodents, until the arrival of large brown rats in the eighteenth century. Black rats were around in Europe since Roman times, but not in large numbers in northern Europe, where they generally don't do well. Thus, whilst people did historically speak about rats, they are generally talking about mice (or, occasionally, black rats) prior to the eighteenth century.
Then I'm not entirely sure your point? We reference rats, because modern readers know what we mean when we say "rat". We're using modern language. Rats existed in the time period. We do bolster their population for thematic reasons. But we also have to stretch things a bit for the sake of a story. This is particularly true in-universe, where characters emphasise, elaborate, conflate, lie, and speak to ignorance. To me at least, that makes characters feel more real.
 

Elph

Registered User
Validated User
Anyway, I am discontinuing this thread, and have asked the moderators for a thread-lock, because I think that it's turning toxic for no good reason.
That's a pity, I was really enjoying the read-through.
 

Mark Hope

None More Black
Validated User
Anyway, I am discontinuing this thread, and have asked the moderators for a thread-lock, because I think that it's turning toxic for no good reason.
While I don't agree with some of your conclusions (they seem to be overly critical in areas that don't warrant it), it has been interesting to see your take on the book as you read it through. I liked how you pointed out that candles equal luxury, for example - I might not have picked up on that, personally. I'm not seeing any toxicity here, though. You're allowed to disagree with things in the book, and people are allowed to disagree with your disagreeing. Either way, your thread, your call, I suppose.
 

BlackHat_Matt

Member
RPGnet Member
Banned
Yeah, we're not locking the thread because someone disagreed with the OP. Feel free to continue talking about the book.
 

KingNeon777

Registered User
Validated User
I've had a brief flick through, mostly looking at the splats. I'm enjoying it but some of the changes made to the bloodlines are making it feel more of an alternate history, rather than a precursor to VtM. I'm thinking of the changes to the Giovani and the fact the Niticku are now their own bloodline.

If nothing else it's a very pretty book, I do like te full colour Clan heraldry
 
Top Bottom