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11/15/2017 6:48 am  #21

Re: Winter is coming

lige wrote:

Anyone ever read the Helliconia books by Brian Aldiss?  There's a lot of great stuff about long seasons (I think centuries or at least decades long) and the changes society (and human physiology) goes through to adapt.   Lots of weird creatures too - I should re-read them with Hyperborea in mind.

I read them many years ago, still have them.   I agree that they are a good way to get a feel for how these long seasons might be handled in game.  I can still find impressions of his descriptions in what passes for my memory, especially the winter, though sans much detail at this time.


11/22/2017 9:06 am  #22

Re: Winter is coming

Took me a while to remember the references but finally the old gray sack matter yielded. I always think of the descriptions in Dillon Wallace's books of the Labrador winters and the 60' tide swings on the Atlantic coast of Canada. See The Lure of the Labrador Wild[/url] and [url=https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/9857]The Long Labrador Trail, both on project Gutenberg.

Much better than either though with less insane winter action is the book by Mina Hubbard, the widow of Wallace's friend Leonidas Hubbard, who died on the trip described in Lure: A Woman's Way Through Unknown Labrador. Also on Gutenberg but the critical edition from McGill Queen's University Press is pretty cool.


3/19/2020 2:39 pm  #23

Re: Winter is coming

The summers on Hyperborea are four years long. That's a very long growing season. That might offset the long winters somewhat.


3/19/2020 7:24 pm  #24

Re: Winter is coming

Rhebeqah wrote:

The summers on Hyperborea are four years long. That's a very long growing season. That might offset the long winters somewhat.

Presumedly they are more than just the 4 years of High Summer, just think about the growing season in New England. The start in March/April for spring vegetables, May, June, July and most of August for the summer vegetables, and September/Oct and into early November for the fall vegetables. the only months without any growth of note are Late Nov to early March. Depending on the society, and what they have the capabilities, there are possibilities of Fungi and Alge "grown" during the winter months...

BlackKnight, AKA Sausage
Older than Dirt, Crusty, and set in my ways. Been playing TTRPGs for over 45 years...

3/21/2020 1:06 am  #25

Re: Winter is coming

So I don't really* think that the long months of summer could ever produce enough food to keep settlements going through the long years of winter.

In Myperborea, I kind of try to keep the Howardian civilization-vs.-savagery thing going, though mostly under the surface. It's kind of a PC vs. NPC thing. Like for example there are PC druids, who embrace the balance &c. &c. but REALLY are accessing power through a certain progression that gets them more power up to potentially ridiculous levels -- if they can stay alive. Then there are "chaos" druids (specific references would include "Ruined Palace of the Metegorgos" and some stuff from Arnold K's blog) that have given themselves over fully to natural forces and are, at best, orthogonal to humanity now. The zooanthropes from the Gene Wolfe torturer books are also analogs here.

But then and but so the point is that then there are the "civilized" classes, and these are the people that make human civilization possible pretty much everywhere except maybe the Khromarium peninsula. Druids are a solid example again and probably the most common ones. These are the people collecting prisoners and captured monsters and deformed adventurers to burn in the wicker person at the festival days. Their dedication to channeling life energy into the ground creates tiny arable zones that endure in all except the year of full darkness, where all life energies are canceled. But even in spring and summer years, most of Hyperborea is just too damn cold for growing enough to support human settlements.

And so the blood. And so the lotus. And so the people of fell aspect and intense mien who will hire adventurers and use them for whatever they are worth to get whatever is needed to shave the fine percentages between existence and extinction for these isolated settlements in the great dark.

Fun part is me, I don't care whether human civilization survives in Hyperborea! I'm just letting the dice talk!

Anyway, that's my take on winter: blood, magic, death, and determination.

*No math has been done, nor do I care about it. This is gut level. Summer in Hyperborea is still pretty damn cold. And the areas around settlements safe enough to cultivate are going to be pretty limited before UNBALANCED ENCOUNTER TABLES stabilize the population at "inside the damn walls."


3/21/2020 9:00 am  #26

Re: Winter is coming

Well said, Handy.

HYPERBOREA- A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Science-Fantasy

3/21/2020 9:22 am  #27

Re: Winter is coming


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3/23/2020 6:57 am  #28

Re: Winter is coming

I suppose it doesn't really matter how humanity survives the Hyperborean winter, be it hard work, true grit, sorcery or handwavium. Just enjoy the grim horror of the Hyperborean climate.


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