Dread Traffickers of Maphria Island

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    • Il y a quelque chose qui me chiffonne.

      All those Bantu names for the monsters are nice, but really, @Calisson sir, you were the one who opposed the word « Suruku » for the Gnolls in the Vermin Anteater book, renamed « Cynocephali », and the same who insisted that all the names in the Koghi book had to be English, not Malinké.

      I fully understand that concern, since I was convinced by your arguments.
      So now, really, why do we have to put up with all those « Lwuku » and so on.
      For example, the Harpies could be renamed for me as « Mafrian Harpies », instead of whatever you found. Just, difficult to remember.
      You did a nice research for all those terms (like I did for my side of the project :p ), and I appreciate it, but I think those Bantu names would be better mentioned in the fluff as « called XXX by local people », and so on.
      If we need to keep one or two of those names, then let's do it only if it's a really original concept, not an adaptation of something else.
      For example, I'm not contesting « Gortach », which is fine because it's the only beast and a whole concept by itself, not some funny name for another kind of beast already existing somewhere else. Plus, it's easy to remember and pronounce.

      Also, I have an issue with the « Lamia incarnate ». Is it a vampire ? Obviously, no. So why « Lamia » ?

      Wondered also why Cult of Harag would give Unstable, what is the justification for it ? (yeah, sorry, I'm ashamed not to have really looked at it before).

      Also, we are told that the army is designed to play with Idoneth Deepkin, but I don't see any flying shark in it ? All the mounts are big birds and Manticores.
      Or what models from Idoneth are meant to be there ?
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • For naming, I have been looking for a fine balance - maybe I did not reach it, but that was the goal.
      1. To promote African inheritage in legends and folklore.
      2. To avoid using words which cannot be understood without a dictionary.

      The way to obtain that was to use heavily Wikipedia and Google Search.
      For that, I made lots of research, in particular on Wikipedia.
      Suruku => Google finds only that it means Hyena in Bambara => no folklore, just African language => not appropriate.
      Gortach = not English, but many entries are brought by Google in English, so this is acceptable - and accepted - by T9A.

      Overall, the idea is to promote African folklore, not African languages.
      The fun would be for some players to discover one day that the beasts they played once in T9A exist "for real" in African folklore they would happen to come across when visiting Africa. I imagine the local guide telling about this mysterious Inkanyamba and the T9A player asking "wouldn't that be a huge snake"? :D :astounded:

      Rationale for non-English names:
      Manticore is not an African name, but the beast having a lion's body couldn't be passed.
      I took the opportunity to give all Manticores an African origin! and to replace the Pegasus with an equivalent Manti Cub.

      Lamia and Nagas: these are the names commonly given to half-snake semi-humans. It complemented well the Medusa, which GW interpretation has a snake's tail.
      It happens that the Lamia is also a Vampire, and T9A took up the name because of the vampire side, dropping the half-snake side.
      It has been a dificult choice, and I accept to change it if it needs to.

      Lwuku Lukwata: see Lukwata - Wikipedia, Lukwata | Living Dinopedia Wiki, Unknown Explorers - Lukwata, Lukwata | Revolvy...
      Popobawa: Popobawa - Wikipedia, Popobawa - Legendary Evil Spirit | Mythology.net, Popobawa - The Paranormal Guide...
      Dingonek: Dingonek - Wikipedia,Does the Dingonek Exist? - Latest Post - WordPress.com, Dingonek - IPFS...
      Nandi Bear : similarly several entries in English.
      Mngwa: same.
      Mamlambo: same.
      Inkanyamba: same.
      The 7 entries above are all related to African folklore, all are very easy to find by Google, and all reflect more or less the concept of the AB.

      Safari is a word which has been adopted in many languages including English. It is an English word, with strong connotation with the area.

      Additionally, Paracrax, Gastornis, Black Mamba and Six-eyed Sand Spider are all actual names of animals, the first two extinct but reflecting rather correctly the concept, and the other living in Africa and reflecting the concept. Castor Bean is an African poisonous plant.

      -=-=-

      Ghiznuk wrote:

      Wondered also why Cult of Harag would give Unstable, what is the justification for it ? (yeah, sorry, I'm ashamed not to have really looked at it before).
      I tried to find a concept which would reflect the fanatical mob spirit found in the Mafia, where members do not betray the code of honor.
      As Unstable exists as a rule and could reflect well that - and be balanced - I used it.
      The explanation is provided under Cult of Harag:
      The worshippers of Harag constitute a dreadful mob, bound with a strict code of honour. Its members undergo a strict initiation and would die rather than risk to be considered traitors by what they consider to be their close family.

      Pro: easy to balance and understand. Cons: not immediately linked with fluff.
      Alternative: to design a specific rule, harder to balance, harder to remember, but which would not raise such question.
      I am open to discuss.

      -=-=-

      Ghiznuk wrote:

      Also, we are told that the army is designed to play with Idoneth Deepkin, but I don't see any flying shark in it ? All the mounts are big birds and Manticores.

      Or what models from Idoneth are meant to be there ?
      Shore Paracrax
      GW usable model, and the real Paracrax (but not "shore" Paracrax)
      Inkanyamba
      It's a legend so no picture!

      Note: these images are not IP-free, so no way to use them in the AB.
      But nothing prevents players to do some little search...

      Social Media Team

      UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

      - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
    • Oooooh, okay !!

      Now I gotcha.

      Still, I'd happily replace most of those names with some understandable English equivalent.
      I agree that you can find them easily on Google, but … I don't want a book that forces me to Google up every single entry.
      As said, folklore can be put forward by putting the word in the fluff snippet under the entry.
      « Dingonek » could be « Serpent Unicorn »
      « Shore Paratrax » could be « Reef Predator »
      « Inkanyamba » could be « River Shark »
      « Lukwata » could be « Dread Turtle »…
      And then you give the Bantu name in the entry fluff. People can Google than one up, too.

      It's also for ease of the model.
      If you call the unit a « Dingonek », players might find difficult to find a model that would be exactly that. But if you write « Serpent Unicorn », then some people might get the inspiration needed to convert the stuff or see the model we allude to.

      Could be cool to add something like fluff explaining that they are masters of water and thus can make their fish levitate.

      « Unstable », ok cool. It's weird but why not.

      « Lamia », totally not in favour.
      Do you know that the French translation team takes great effort not to translate any single instance of « hellish », be it in rules or fluff, by « infernal » ? It's because the word « Infernal » is reserved for the ID lexicon. So « Hellish » gets auto-translated into « Démoniaque ».
      Same principle should apply to Lamia. Your argument would be valid if the word had not been taken up. Like, « Lemure » got freed by renaming the SE unit, so thee LD unit could get the name. But if we decide that a Lamia is a vampire, then a vampire it shall be ;)

      As for « Surukumogo », I think there is a difference between giving a name to a whole race, and a name to one beast on unit entry.
      Else, the word « Koghi » also doesn't mean a thing in African folklore, and if you look it up in the dictionary, you won''t go further than « salt ». But we can use the word to name a faction. There's nothing wrong in it.
      By the way, if to take the same argument of « check Google », then « Cynocephali » is also not a good word. First because it's Greek – it seems really out of context to me. We could as well take « Hyena-men ». But also because then, we could just use the word « Gnoll », common usage and not IP-protected (it is used in D&D but also in Discworld and Heros of Might and Magic). The word « Surukumogo » to me was just an opportunity to give a more localized flavour to the book.
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • :thumbup: for names in English with local names in fluff.

      No more Lamia, aye.
      Any name instead? Could be a name upgrade of either Medusa or Naga. Such as Naga Lord.

      Surukumogo ?(

      Social Media Team

      UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

      - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
    • Whatever, let's make them Gnolls. :)

      By the way, shouldn't we « officialize » @setrius's Naga army as part of the Taphrian project ? I quite like it the way it is. Since Naga exist on the Eastern Taphria coast (where the Copper Mountains meet the sea), no reason not to have some on the Northern coast, as well as on the Middle Sea islands. A threat to ships in the sea… Mentioned in T9A's own version of the Odyssey ;)
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • Ghiznuk wrote:

      Whatever, let's make them Gnolls. :)

      By the way, shouldn't we « officialize » @setrius's Naga army as part of the Taphrian project ? I quite like it the way it is. Since Naga exist on the Eastern Taphria coast (where the Copper Mountains meet the sea), no reason not to have some on the Northern coast, as well as on the Middle Sea islands. A threat to ships in the sea… Mentioned in T9A's own version of the Odyssey ;)
      I will be happy if this is happens.

      That is all
      The Al-Qassar Sultanates (Homebrew)
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    • Reference. Just in case something in this brainstorming is of inspirational Naga interest:


      Lord Good wrote:

      So i was screwing around on youtube as i usually do after work, when i happened to stumble into shad-brooks 's youtube channel for the umpteenth time. His speculative mythological creature armament videos are interesting thought experiments, but really don't put things together... visually. I suppose I'm doing that here with his naga/ snake person video. Here

      He speaks on medieval terms but I decided to walk it back and forth a bit and the resultant kit is from all over the bronze age up through Hellenistic to early medieval times so bear with me.
      Figure eight tower shields are unmistakably a bronze age Mediterranean piece of equipment, but the huge wicker tower shield does the job well for the high profile figure these snake people have, without being too heavy and unwieldy. Scale armor seemed to be a no-brainer too, it would not hinder low-profile forward movement and would be something a reptilian creature such as this would (i assume) feel comfortable in with minimal wear. Persian and later Hellenistic cataphract segmented bronze sleeves were a perfect solution to an exposed neck being a problem, and also wouldn't hinder movement. I had an assumption that chainmail would generate a lot of drag, and the constant dragging through dirt and sand would accelerate corrosion of iron or steel. Bronze and brass are less susceptible in that regard, but are less than ideal for chainmail owing to weight and softness. Padded armors keep the cost down, and offer some protection to the trailing body. This would make it fairly difficult for snakes to hear, something i realized in hindsight, but would make constriction takedowns a lot safer.

      I also gave the heavy an extra spear since powerful lunging attacks could easily shatter the shaft, strikes with the teeth and the threat of constriction would be dangerous enough, but thats a bit undignified isnt it?

      I started thinking about their physiology and such as well, would it be possible for them to speak any louder than a whisper, no deeper than the mouth? If they hear through their skin, it would be very difficult once kitted up to give or receive orders. Perhaps instead of musicians there would be incense burners with different scents for different commands, an unfavorable wind blowing could cause miscommunication and mayhem in their ranks, leading to some interesting scenarios. It also takes their deadly physiology down a notch when confronted in a strategic setting. Given how close they are to deaf and mute, I would make another assumption that they would be very literate, perhaps even relying more on written word than spoken. This would of course result in them being very learned. Since snakes dont see color, some dont even see too well, designs in clothing and armor would rely solely on contrast, or perhaps the word of a dye-hawking merchant.

      being carnivorous, most crop farming would either be used to support pastoral agriculture or plantations for the sake of trade with other species. Being cold blooded they'd need to stick to warmer climates of course, limiting the need for aggressive expansion.

      But what about the fortifications? crenels are just under chin height for a resting naga, with arrow loops at a comfortable height from that position, if an archer were to prop itself up in a manner similar to the one in the illustration, she may very well use the merlons and crenels as a humanoid would. The wall's walks would need to be exceptionally wide to accommodate movement, hinting at either enormous fill walls, earthwork backing, or wide casemates. To prevent lunges over the walls, stakes are set into the outward face of the battlement, as well as many in an inside ditch just in case a naga attempts to vault the walls altogether.

      General purpose architecture would be interesting. Stairs might not be desirable in a naga town, any sharp edges while they might not hurt certainly wouldnt be comfortable.

      Interesting thought experiment