Dinosaur Riding Barbarians: Classes

I’ve made a few posts about the setting for the game I’ve been working on, working name Dinosaur Riding Barbarians, and the “working for [whoever]” sections gave some idea of what you can actually do in this game. In the interests of providing a closer look at the game as a game, here’s a quick rundown of the ten classes that will probably be in the game. Not all of these classes have actually been designed yet, so some of them may prove unworkable once I get into the nuts and bolts, but I feel pretty confident about them.

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Dinosaur Riding Barbarians: Stego-Hittites

The king of the Stego-Hittites is not considered a god, a speaker for a god, or even a descendant of a god. The king of the Stego-Hittites is first among equals, the man who is in charge because someone has to be and he seems to be doing a good job of it. This has two important consequences. First, Stego-Hittite society is relatively egalitarian, with most social mores being enforced by mob justice and most disagreements being deferred to judges, who are appointed informally and ad hoc, and whose only legal power is that they are respected enough to command the loyalty of the able-bodied men of the village. Generally speaking a judge will select and groom his successor (often one of his children) and the community will accept the succession upon the judge’s death, but a judge can be cast out at-will. Disputes between villages are settled jointly by their judges, and if they cannot agree, they appeal to the king. Sometimes the king will appoint a regional governor to act in his stead over a certain area.

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Economies of Pangaea

Pangaea does not have a modern economy. When Pangaeans trade gold coins for a cow, it is not because the gold coin has an arbitrary value which the government recognizes when collecting taxes (which is what makes paper or digital money inherently valuable – you can pay your taxes with it, which means everyone needs it for something). In a pre-modern economy, a gold coin is valuable because it is made out of gold. The coin itself is a valuable commodity. You can melt it down and make fine jewelry out of it. Gold is used as currency because the ratio between its market value and its weight and volume is more favorable than almost any other commodity (precious gems have it beat, however, and those can also be used as currency). A gold coin might have its value stamped on it for easy reference, but it derives that value from the fact that it is made of gold, not from a government’s mandate. It is completely legal for a private individual digs some gold out of the ground and uses it to mint their very own coins with their very own face on them, so long as those coins are made out of real and pure gold (merchants checking for counterfeiters test for purity, not accuracy – they do not care who minted the coin or how well they followed the standard pattern).

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Dinosaur Riding Barbarians: Dino-Egypt

There is no part of the Laurasian desert where life is easy, but in Dino-Egypt it is at least safe, stable, and prosperous. From a powerful capital covered in shrines and temples that magnify the magical might of the Pharaoh and his sorcerous priests, the rulers of the kingdom command distant cities by virtue of their mighty navy and the mutual reliance of all cities on the royal engineering corps to maintain the vital canals and the royal priest caste to maintain the weather. The Pharaoh’s greatest duty is to keep pleased the god of the river, and thus keep famine at bay.

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Dinosaur Riding Barbarians: Brachiosumeria

Brachiosumeria is a collection of city states each led by its own priest king, each of which venerates a specific patron deity. Temples within the city still offer charms and prayers for other deities (though a specific deity’s services may be suspended if they’re patron of a city the temple’s city is at war with), but one god in particular is considered higher than the rest. Thus, a citizen of the fire god’s city can still get blessings from the god of night, or the god of war, or the god of the sun, but they’ll do it by going to a temple run by fire priests where the fire god is venerated above all others, and will probably be required to make sacrifices to the fire god in equal amount to whatever god they actually want to solve their specific problem.

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Dinosaur Riding Barbarians: Tyrannassyria

I have discovered what is possibly the worst reason conceivable not to update a blog about geekery, with a particular emphasis on tabletop RPGs. One of the reasons why updates have been spotty lately is that I haven’t been able to get together with my brother and play Hoard of the Dragon Queen lately, which robs me of my easiest source of filler and makes posting M/W/F updates difficult. That’s not the worst reason, though. The worst reason to stop updating a geeky blog is because all your free time is occupied by designing the setting for a tabletop game. Which you then don’t blog about. I don’t even know why it didn’t occur to me that the things I am writing right now could be copy/pasted into my blog with very little effort and it would be a perfectly good update.

So here’s the fluff I wrote for Tyrannassyria (working title), one of the kingdoms I’m writing up for a game called Dinosaur Riding Barbarians (also working title), which is basically about a vaguely Conan-esque aesthetic but also there are dinosaurs freakin’ everywhere.

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