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Old 10-24-2022, 06:09 PM   #1
jason taylor
 
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Default Gaming Meetings With Strange Cultures

I remember in 1632 that Gretchen's perceptions were actually quite acute. She assumed that the schooteacher was a noblewoman because of her demeanor (she was actually a Boston Brahmin which is as close as America gets). That Stearns was the captain of her guard (he was an UMWA enforcer and political fixer by profession so she is onto something and he had commanded in the battle anyway) but she reverses the authority if not the status of the two. She assumes Rebecca is a court Jew (effectively, yes) and and the mistress of Mike's (she can't conceive a Jewish fiancee of a gentile officer so that is good enough) and that Jeff and his friends are a headstrong but goodhearted clique of young well-born or at least rich swashbucklers (everything except the well-born part and even Americans think of them as the "four musketeers" so yeah). But Gretchen gets some of the most important parts about Americans goofed up.

All that is interesting and worth commenting itself. But it kind of shows how to game cultural contact. The point is that she translated the relationships of another culture into what would be familiar in her world. I was interested in the process but I would also like some things about cultural contact. Similar stories are welcome but so are ideas for how a GM can produce subtleties like that when managing contacts.
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Old 10-25-2022, 09:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: Gaming Meetings With Strange Cultures

I remember being told that, as a rule of thumb, when dealing with Japanese people in a business setting, the most senior people will be doing the least talking if that helps.
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Old 10-25-2022, 08:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Gaming Meetings With Strange Cultures

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Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
I remember being told that, as a rule of thumb, when dealing with Japanese people in a business setting, the most senior people will be doing the least talking if that helps.
I don't know if that helps but it is interesting and logical on it's own terms (the councilors are the specialists and give the advice; the senior's job is to "be perceptive").
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Old 10-31-2022, 05:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Gaming Meetings With Strange Cultures

One of the ongoing "features" of my Facets campaign is that the party keeps interacting with people from cultures at earlier points in their social development, as compared to the party's home -- an early 21st Century United States that closely matches the real world.

At this point, the party has more female players than male, so I get the hairy eyeballs and snide comments any time their characters get snubbed or, worse, condescended to, by a male NPC from a traditional culture.

If the NPC is based on an historical figure with a documented distaste for women, on top of all that (i.e., Sir Isaac Newton...), the table-talk gets pretty... caustic.
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Old 11-01-2022, 05:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Gaming Meetings With Strange Cultures

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Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
One of the ongoing "features" of my Facets campaign is that the party keeps interacting with people from cultures at earlier points in their social development, as compared to the party's home -- an early 21st Century United States that closely matches the real world.

At this point, the party has more female players than male, so I get the hairy eyeballs and snide comments any time their characters get snubbed or, worse, condescended to, by a male NPC from a traditional culture.

If the NPC is based on an historical figure with a documented distaste for women, on top of all that (i.e., Sir Isaac Newton...), the table-talk gets pretty... caustic.
There was a friend I used to know who had a similar reaction when he went to Russia.
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Old 11-03-2022, 03:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Gaming Meetings With Strange Cultures

You could set or play with expectations through phrase/guide books. The Economist recently noted that Phrase Books are dying out...

https://www.economist.com/britain/20...-are-dying-out

and gives some examples of weird phrase book entries, such as

“Ini ash ptul p’mich e manchi mrisht waria’m” ran one which, it explained, meant: “I saw a corpse in a field this morning.” That was followed by “Tu tott baglo piltia” (“Thy father fell into the river”); “I non angur ai; tu ta duts angur ai” (“I have nine fingers; you have ten”); and “Ia chitt bitto tu jarlom” (“I have an intention to kill you”). Some struck a more conversational tone, such as “Tu chi se biss gur biti?” (“How long have you had a goitre?”).
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