Saturday 7 October 2023

Archaeology and Anthropology - Blog Carnival Roundup

A magnificent set of posts have been written up for September 2023's Anthropology and Archaeology blog carnival (which I hosted). This post is my roundup of all the entries, where I give a micro-blurb and share a thought or two. As to the etiquette of reading this roundup; take your time - there are a lot of blogposts to read, leave some comments - the carnival is about building blogger camaraderie and lastly, follow blogs generously. Optionally, you can even write up your own thoughts about September's entries. It has been an experience hosting and I would recommend it to others. Find details about signing up here. Now, on with the roundup; 

Gift Economies by Gabriel 
- The first of a trilogy of very interesting posts, all academically conceived and generally with links and asides directing the reader to the journals and papers that inspire and evidence parts of the post.
- This post is a must read for anyone wanting to run economies other than the OSR standard.
- Gabriel really considers how to make these systems gameable which is a big plus for me.

- Use this post to create more culturally diverse and unique religious rituals. The post has drawn inspiration from history, anthropology, and ethnographic literature.
- Generate a few rites and plug them straight into your campaign calendar.
- While inspired by real rites and customs, Gabriel remembers to include the fantastic elements of the game. 

- Have you considered having different types of leader in your game? What do I mean? Read the post.
- This post will make you really think about the leaders in you game and will result in you churning out more than a few interesting characters.
- Makes you think about power dynamics, which can really spin out into flavorsome faction and campaign play. 

- Macan7 has been thinking about animism. In this post they give an overview of the setting and tenants of the headying animapunk world of Maximum Recursion Depth Vol. 3. 
- True to name, the surreal and dreamlike world of Maximum Recursion Depth is weird and wonderful and plays with big concepts in creative, metaphysical ways. 
- The factions and entities that oppose the Dreaming are written about in a delightfully schizoid style, it'll make you want to push yourself to ever stranger and more considered creativity.   

- Sofinho has collated their thoughts on this month's theme into a slush pile. These ideas include, but are not limited to:
- Roleplaying games as experimental archaeology 
- Storytelling, two ways
- Ancient Aliens!!!

D66 Religious Taboos by The Oracular Somnambulist
- The Oracular Somnambulist presents 36 rules that will make for fun sessions and potentially wacky dynamics as your players navigate a culture's religious taboos. 
- This post would work wonderfully in conjunction with Gabriel's post on Rites.
- Replace those cannots with musts to transform those taboos into encouraged acts for extra fun.  

- The first of two posts by Xaoseed in which they explore some of the cultures in their campaign world. This time; the egotistic and enigmatic Dragonbloods
- This is probably the best expression of a dragon-descended race and its culture I've read. 
- The post includes rules for the festival game of Dragon Diving in which players are flung from a great height clinging to a particularly crocodilian, wooden 'dragon'.

- Next, Xaoseed explores frozen Lhirogref, the ancient goblin civilization-state. It's an interesting place and I'm certain you will find inspiration for your own game within this post. 
- The sled encounters are particularly enjoyable.
- I want to visit this place as a player. 

- A mysterious and archaeological glimpse into Vdonnut Valley's world of  Biteara and system for discovering the weird things that litter the Valley of Titans. 
- The items have a fun, kind-of Roadside Picnic vibe to  them, my favourite being the wound-recalling bird-headed flute.
- Orb is just a fun name for a god. I'd play a cleric of Orb. 

Mazmorras de Eberron (Dungeons of Eberron) by DM GONZ
- GONZ offers up an updated overview post detailing the varied dungeons of Eberron. They write lucidly and informatively, giving a good survey of the setting.
- The blogpost can be mined for world-building ideas and with such an established world, there should be more info on those parts of the setting that pique your interest.
- For example, I like the idea of adventurers delving into the storage dungeons of nomadic orcs, especially those built during the ominously named 'Age of Monsters'. 

- Sean H takes us to the Sea of Stars, a post-cataclysm realm of high-adventure.  
- The post serves as something of a primer for thinking about archaeology as an in-universe activity in DND style worlds in general.
- I especially like the idea of still-living ancient agents (in this case dragons) not wanting archaeologists to uncover evidence of their own misdeeds and suppressing information about their their own historical pasts.  

- Kith and Kin is Janet's setting, (here's a primer). In this post they write about how the Kith and Kin live with various species of extinct and domesticated animals.  
- A lot of thought has been put into how the people of the setting view these creatures, especially the extinct animals and dinosaurs. I like the turtle-like Ankylosaurs and I've always been partial to killer shrews.
- I'd highly recommend reading through Janet's other posts on their Kith and Kin setting. 

- In which I try to tease out an insight into several fantasy groups of human's material cultures via stuff you find in their pockets after you've (probably) murdered them.   
- Hundreds of items.
- A nifty idea and fun to replicate for your own settings.


  1. Thanks for the wonderful writeup :). Some of these I've already read, but there are some I missed that I'll be checking out.

  2. very nice post thanks. My brother wrote a very nice post based/inspired by anthropology theory

  3. A belated addition: