Sword Worlders

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
mancerbear
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Sword Worlders

Postby mancerbear » Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:56 am

So here's an interesting question which I've been looking for answers for, but can't seem to fine.

We know that the Sword Worlders idolize and have fashioned their society after that of the Vikings from Earth. Fair enough, but like the old Vikings, do Sword Worlders go raiding other planets, you know, like Star Vikings?
dmccoy1693
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Re: Sword Worlders

Postby dmccoy1693 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:17 am

Vikings plundered because they were so far north and so rocky that they didn't have much food. They didn't plunder for fun and profit. They were hungry.

So if your take on the sword worlds is that they are not able to make enough food to feed themselves, nor have enough other natural resources to trade with, then, yes, it would be logical for them to do so.
mancerbear
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Re: Sword Worlders

Postby mancerbear » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:45 am

dmccoy1693 wrote:Vikings plundered because they were so far north and so rocky that they didn't have much food. They didn't plunder for fun and profit. They were hungry.
Whish is why they took so much gold and so many slaves ;)
mancerbear
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Re: Sword Worlders

Postby mancerbear » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:51 am

To not be so facetious, there is no doubt that the Vikings started raiding due to population growth and resource limits, but in time it grew into a tradition where young men were expected to go a-viking to prove their worth and as a right of manhood. The Sword Worlders have WORLDS at their disposal, so would not have any real NEED to go a-viking, BUT, considering that they fashion their culture on that of the old Vikings, perhaps they have also taken going a-viking as a form of right of manhood passage?

I don't know, which was why I was asking if there was any official comments on the subject.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Sword Worlders

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:41 am

dmccoy1693 wrote:Vikings plundered because they were so far north and so rocky that they didn't have much food. They didn't plunder for fun and profit. They were hungry.
It's not remotely that simple. That time was very warm in Scandinavia, it was a time of plenty. The average 10th century Scandinavian was something like 20 cm taller than the average 17th century Scandinavian (when it was much colder in the little ice age).

The people who raided earlier were not called vikings, e.g. the Angles and Saxon who invaded Britain.
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Re: Sword Worlders

Postby Mithras » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:49 pm

Well the REAL Sword Worlders in Space Viking by H Beam Piper certainly went raiding!!!
Paul Elliott
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Reynard
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Re: Sword Worlders

Postby Reynard » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:56 pm

You got me interested and perused a few older Traveller works and net sites for information. Essentially "Some have described them as "fanatical homesteaders" seems to describe them well plus I must say I never see decedents of Icelandic warriors as fearsome. The history I read about Sword Worlders is they are more a threat to each other considering how often they cause their own repeated breakups. They're not Viking, they're living up in the hills picking on each other like hillbilly rivals and being pissed off at the foreigners such as the Darrians and Imperium. Sounds like, during the Fifth Frontier War, they got liquored up and picked a fight with Imperial forces while the Zhodani are amused at the thought these people think they're allies.

And on that thought, that region of space during the war should be a great, amusing adventuring possibility.
Condottiere
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Re: Sword Worlders

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jun 08, 2016 5:20 pm

If you come across a planet named Pern, you'll be expecting dragons.

Piper certainly put a Scandinavian spin on his creation, and the entrepreneurs seemed torn between trading and raiding, and finally just settling down on a foreign piece of soil, far from the civil warfare that will be tearing apart their homeworlds.

Essentially, very Viking.

As for the Sword Worlders, they want to expand, and but their misfortune is that neither of the two empires they're stuck between each are falling apart, which means pickings are slim.
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Re: Sword Worlders

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Thu Jun 09, 2016 6:28 pm

Some really interesting and fascinating info in this thread! Good question indeed :)

Even though it sounds like the official version is "no, they don't loot pillage & burn!" I say go for it! There are several ways to make it work, and it sounds like it could make for good story material!

The easiest way to handwave it into being is simply "they're space Vikings! Of course they raid!" Which is a simple way to create antagonists.

Alternatively, it could be a form of
Manhood ritual spiraling out of control, or one (or several) sword world's suffer catastrophes and decide to raid their neighbors to get back on their feet, internal warfare might press some of them to seek new ground outside their sphere of influence... War/prelude to war around them might make their neighbors weak/occupied with other threats - prefect time to strike!

After all, why would their warships need barracks and large cargo holds (not to mention ortillery cannons) if not to use them upon someone :)
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Re: Sword Worlders

Postby Mithras » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:52 am

I would run with uofficial piracy and raiding. Semi-legal traders who raid and steal from outposts when they see an opportunity, despite assurances from the Confederation that they are doing everything they can to stop the problem. Like Somali pirates raiding the Kenyan coastline, kidnapping people for ransom today.
Paul Elliott
HOSTILE: A Gritty SF setting inspired by Alien, Outland and Bladerunner - for Cepheus Engine https://www.paulelliottbooks.com/hostile.html
Rick
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Re: Sword Worlders

Postby Rick » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:15 pm

The Saxons, Angles and the other Germanic tribes along the European coast probably right up to Denmark had a very long tradition of raiding, going back to before the Roman invasion of Britain (in fact the famous Viking longship is basically a larger version of the Germanic ship, with a keel), they were well known in the Roman Empire for raiding along the North Sea coasts as well as into the Mediterranean, and the Roman defences and fleet along the Rhine and the British 'Saxon Shore' were there to try to stop them.

To my mind, it is less about 'rites of passage' or 'population pressure', and a lot to do with private enterprise. Consider a situation where a small consortium comes together and raises a bit of capital (perhaps borrowing from friends/money-lenders) as a speculative business opportunity - only instead of trading, it's raiding! The idea being that they use the profits from piracy/raiding to repay their loans and invest in bigger/more ships and crews - it would be very similar to the standard Traveller trading mini-game, but with a lot more violence, whether implied or actual.

Similarly the 'Barbary Corsairs' who raided around the Mediterranean, Europe and North Africa were also in it for the profit.
"Understanding is a 3-edged sword" bit like a toblerone, really.
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Re: Sword Worlders

Postby msprange » Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:38 pm

A quick note here on the Sword Worlds...

I have never been particularly happy with the current Sword Worlds book, so we are going to phase it out (grab yours quick if you want one, as we won't be reprinting!). The intention is to replace it with a second edition (so, hardback, full colour, etc), but that won't happen until next year at best.
Matthew Sprange

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http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
collins355
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Re: Sword Worlders

Postby collins355 » Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:21 pm

Can you give us a clue what you're unhappy with, Matthew?
steelbrok
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Re: Sword Worlders

Postby steelbrok » Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:01 pm

Well, the Mongoose line is supposed to be set just before the 5th Frontier War, the MGT Swords Worlds book made constant references to the Border Worlds but they didn't come into existence until after that war. The author had obviously extensively used the GURPS Sword Worlds book as a referee - even giving Starports etc GURPS codes (I, II,III, IV, V) instead of Traveller A, B etc.

It's a pity because the original work in the book, the careers for example, were pretty good.

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