Comment on Comparing and Contrasting the Worlds of Thedas and 21st Century Earth

  1. First off, if you read the chapter properly, the average heights are based on humanityas a species not as humans with regard to country of origin or whether you come from a first, second or third world country. yes that means it does throw the scale "down" a bit considering how much shorter, on average, certain ethnic groups are (don't make me say which I'm sure given the vastness of the internet you can figure that out on your own -coughNorthKoreanscough-).

    And secondly, compared to Thedosians we, assuming the Modern OCs are first-world born, would be mistaken for young and bordering on childlike or being assumed for nobility. Want to know why? Take the average lifestyle of Thedosians. They do hard labor everyday. They do things by hand. Unless you happen to be a survivalist, and even still, you an average First world born Human born on Earth in the 21st Century have not done a day of PROPER hard labor. We are soft, we are squishy and we are pale. There will be Thedosian children who can do much harder labor than us because that is their LIFE. They have to survive so they do it. If they don't grind that grain, BY HAND, or milk that cow or transport hay or till the fields then that family doesn't get bread to feed themselves. Maker forbid they have a bad year on the farm then they might very well STARVE. Yes, sad to say but that family would starve simply because Oh hey the weather was bad. Where as if we, from first world countries, don't have a livelihood. There are programs in place by our governments that will feed us, churches that offer food so long as you arrive there. We, and again I reiterate first world people, RARELY if ever go hungry like people from a medieval society sometimes did. So... YES We are soft. We do not have the body or endurance to survive. We spend a fair amount of our times indoor and have a lack of the sun to the point we ENRICH OUR FOODS with vitamin D and calcium to make up for it or take vitamins. SO yes. We are soft, we are childlike and we WILL be mistaken for young because of our naiveté and lack of experience.

    I don't mean to sound hostile but even I admit I would not survive in Thedas unless I ended up in one of their major cities, like Kirkwall! -coughstotally not plugging my newest ficcoughs-

    Edit: Also gdi Allu responded before I could!

    Last Edited Fri 01 Apr 2016 08:56PM EDT

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    1. Okay I agree that us as first world born people would be helpless in Thedas. So your saying that our inexperience and helplessness is what would get us labled a child or childlike by Thedosians not necessarily our height. Because my point was that first world born humans had the same ave height as Thedosian humans. In Earth's middle ages the ave height was much shorter for the same reasons third world born are (poor nutrition and poor/lack of healthcare). I guess Thedosians have magic to make up for that.

      I've been thinking that I wouldn't survive even in a major city because I can't cook without a microwave ... but I can weave, well enough I think to keep me from starving.

      This reminds me of a game we played on the Song of Ice and Fire forum. A genie comes to you and offers you a million dollars to live a year (9:40 Dragon) in Thedas. At the end of the year (if you survive it) will only be 5 minutes after you've left. You get a chest to fill with whatever you think you'll need from home/Earth and a week to prepare. What would you put into the chest and where would you ask the genie to drop you off?

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      1. AO3 logo with text "orphan account"

        I've been thinking that I wouldn't survive even in a major city because I can't cook without a microwave ... but I can weave, well enough I think to keep me from starving.

        You might be able to weave, but that doesn't mean anyone's going to let you. Where would you get the loom? The needed materials to be able to do so? Can you use a medieval loom? Just how long can you weave for? You're going to be working from, likely, before the sun even comes up to long after it goes down with pretty much no breaks. You want to get up and stretch? Not likely. Not if you want to get paid. Plus, you're not going to start on an actual loom – you have to work for that. You'll be starting at the bottom of the rung, doing the absolutely shittiest grunt menial labour imaginable.

        And you're not going to have the strength or endurance to do much of it. As a first world human, you are going to be absurdly soft, squishy, and waifish in comparison to anyone from Thedas. We're much more slender than Thedosians, with far nicer skin and hair than they're ever going to see. You're going to be mistaken for someone of wealth and taste because you'll look the part. Not to mention that you can't do menial, hard labour. You won't be able to lift the same loads, do the same work, or even have the necessary survival skills to care for yourself in Thedas. No modern amenities, technology, or anything that will make your life easier and at the level of care and comfort that you will be used to.

        You won't be able to cook. You won't know what's edible. Do you know how to start a fire without a lighter or matches? Can you? Do you know how to cook over a fire? You're absolutely right in that you wouldn't survive even in a major city – you would lack any and all skills that Thedosians consider general knowledge necessary to survival. Bluntly put, you'd be fucked and you'd be very dead very quickly. Without the skills needed to survive, you won't last long.

        The inexperience and helplessness will contribute to the conceptions of Thedosians as to your age and your status – enjoy being mistaken for royalty/nobility all the time cause you're not just gonna look it, but you'll act like it. Because of our comfortable lives, combined with the fun of genetics and modern medicine, we look obscenely young to anyone from Thedas. It's not just height we're talking about, but in terms of general appearance. We're not going to show the same signs of hard living that they will, which will mean that we'll look much more youthful in comparison to a Thedosian who is the same age.

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        1. You covered pretty much everything else I wanted to say phanto. But to also add to this, something I don't think many considered, heck it only just occurred to me. But also how you Modern OC is dressed can very well influence how Thedosians view them.

          I'm not talking style, I'm talking the color of our clothes and even further the fabric and designs on them would indicate we were noble. Basically Sumptuary Laws. You can get a base idea about it here, but there is a wealth of knowledge on the internet about this and in terms of Thedas you can make some assumptions when you look at the fashion of Orlesians, Tevinters, and even the nobility of Ferelden when you compare it to the commoners and peasants of Thedas.

          The rich and noble would be the only ones able to afford such rich colors such as blue, red, purple, and gold/yellow. Where as the poor or commoners would wear browns, off whites, beige. Maybe, MAYBE if they were lucky they wore blue or faded red depending on their occupation, skill and level within the society. Merchants might be able to afford reds especially. Additionally black would be considered rich and an expensive dye.

          Then there are the fabrics. Satin, velvet, silk and even probably heavy cottons such as denim would be considered markers for rich. Shiny pleather or immitation leathers might confuse but it would denote a level of moderate income. Furs and plain cotton and wool on the other hand would indicate you were commoner and a peasant. I think to Thedosians our synthetic fabrics like rayon and polyester might be akin to silk.

          So what your Modern OC is wearing on their arrival might actually help them, depending on the modesty and how much skin is covered in convincing Thedosians what social rank you have and paired with how we act naturally as first world citizens, well we could theoretically lie our asses off and say "Yes. I'm the second child of a merchant." Why second? Heir and a spare mate. Even merchants would try to adhere to that. So take your pick which one you are. Side note: If you wear jewelry you might sell it off and you'd have a fair bit of coin to work from and to use as capital if you have some type of transferable skill. to get you working. But be prepared for long hours.

          Last Edited Sat 02 Apr 2016 03:55PM EDT

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          1. AO3 logo with text "orphan account"

            AO3 ate my first comment in reply to this, so now I've got to retype the entire thing again. Anyway...

            Re: clothing. Not only will you likely be wearing richly dyed clothing, but remember that all clothing in Thedas is made by hand. The finer and more well-made your clothing is, the more money and status you have. Even the simplest of your garments are going to be exponentially more finer made than anything in Thedas. Take a look at the seams on, say, your pants. To Thedosians, your clothing will be very, very well made, meaning that you have the money to afford such garments.

            Combined with how well-made your clothing will be, is the fact that likely – and depending on what you show up wearing – they'll assume you're wearing your smallclothes, or something like them. Which means that your smallclothes are of such quality that you can afford something like that. Add on that if you have prettily coloured and patterned panties/boxers/bras? Your intimates are likely worth a shitload of money, for one, but also they're going to assume that you've got the money behind you to pay for that.

            On the matter of anything synthetic, that's automatically going to be classed as exotic. That material is nothing seen before in Thedas, much less something made there. So, even if all you have on you is cheaply made jewelry that's plastic rather than real gems? That's going to be worth a lot of money and you could probably sell it to some Orlesian noble for an obscene amount of money. Hell, start a bidding war – rob them of all their money for something that you bought here for dirt cheap.

            A lot of your OC's survival will depend on how smart and resourceful they are. They might be lacking a lot of the survival skills needed, but they'll likely have other knowledge and skills that they can make use of to guarantee their needs are met and that their safety and security is guaranteed. The entire goal of the game for your OC is their own survival, they'll make use of whatever they've got to hand to ensure that. The best skill that they have in their arsenal is their ability to adapt.

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        2. You might be able to weave, but that doesn't mean anyone's going to let you. Where would you get the loom? The needed materials to be able to do so? Can you use a medieval loom? Just how long can you weave for? You're going to be working from, likely, before the sun even comes up to long after it goes down with pretty much no breaks. You want to get up and stretch? Not likely. Not if you want to get paid. Plus, you're not going to start on an actual loom – you have to work for that. You'll be starting at the bottom of the rung, doing the absolutely shittiest grunt menial labour imaginable.

          This is inaccurate. First off pretty much all the handlooms use today date back to some point in the medieval period, so yes I can use a medieval loom. Lol. Medieval Weavers didn't weave from before dawn til evening (Ancient Egyptians did but their looms weren't as efficient) I can weave a 6 foot piece of cloth in about 8 hours and I'm not a particularly fast weaver. If I got taken on as an apprentice I'd be carding wool, spinning, and winding yarn. Boring maybe not backbreaking (and I do that stuff for fun now). The worst job comes when you're a journeyman and don't have looms advanced enough to have foot treddles. The journeyman had to climb under the loom and pull the heddles in the proper order for the pattern. Very uncomfortable, and tricky.

          I'd be blessed if I found a Weavers Guild. As an apprentice I get food, a place to sleep, and one new set of clothes a year. No money though. Once I was a journeyman, I'd be allowed to sell the pieces I made. Problem is only the very largest cities had Weavers Guilds. Everyone and their mother wove. People made the clothes they wore (homespun). The people who were Weavers wove so well, and made such wonderful patterns that their stuff was what people wore when they wanted to dress up (Sunday Best).

          I figured I'd have to sell something ( like whatever jewelry I happened to be wearing) buy some yarn and make a back-strap loom. It's basically attaching the piece to your belt and a fixed point (a tree, bedpost, doorknob). Cheapest loom in the world. Traditional Peruvian Folk Weavers still use it today and create incredible pieces.

          So weaving I'll be fine. It's surviving long enough to get to weave that's the problem! Lol!

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          1. OK sooooooo... just going to do it this way so other peeps can follow along.


            This is what they're having a chat over.

            So the only things I have against this is... bit hard to become an apprentice as an adult. You don't belong to any guild and have no proof of mastery according to their system. You have zero credibility without being able to produce a piece. You can't produce a piece without a loom. People with a loom are probably not going to let you use it for a mastery test, as they are going to be using it or not likely to let an untested stranger touch their nice loom.

            So you're going to need to be able to find someone willing to make you a loom. Depending on how the guild in that area operates you may or may not be able to find someone willing to do so, as the guild may have loom production at that level on restriction.

            In the event of a survival situation, never rely on one plan. Always have a backup plan. The way your box and plan is, you're heavily dependent on the off chance you may be able to actually weave something. Because it is a rare day you take a mastery exam with a pre-made work. Someone is going to ask who trained you and what your credentials are. You won't have any.

            You have a plan destined to fail because it is so inflexible. You are entirely relying on people taking you at your word. You're a foreigner who has almost zero useful skills. (I say almost as the only skill I trust you have at this point is in weaving, as that's all you're apparently relying on.) No one will trust you, you're too old to be an apprentice, no one will believe you are anything near even journeyman level, and the odds you succeed at getting your own loom are very slim (pending on availability of parts, proper craftsmen, and timeframe).

            So. Allu votes this plan is slightly unfeasible. Sorry, she operates on real world logic, not optimistic hopes that people will trust other people. Humans are a very insular species when faced with people from outside the community.

            Also. Kirkwall for a year? The city that closed its borders and required serious bribery to get in? And then once you got in you were almost guaranteed to be dragged into madness?

            Jesus. Go for a year to somewhere out of the bloody way that speaks English. So a nice big city in Ferelden that has the most boring description in your mind. The more boring g it is, the less likely something happens. Safety lies in mediocrity and not drawing attention to yourself.

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      2. Considering Phanto pretty much voiced everything I wanted to respond with I'll skip that so instead I'll move onto the game. Interesting concept. You should definitely post it up on tumblr as a prompt for all MGIT/MPIT writers and readers to give their opinion on with a few specifications. First being, what are the dimensions of this chest. Because If it's big enough, but ends up heavy, I could fit a lot of things that will aid my survival. Second, is there holes in this chest, because if it's BIG enough and has a method for live creatures to breathe... well. I would bring my dog with me. Hands down my dog would come with because I trust her senses better than mine and I could learn what I could and couldn't eat by what she eats. But for the majority it would be survival manuals, metallurgy books, and the anarchist's cookbook. I would also, if it's large enough, bring some forge casting molds. Do you know how revolutionary you could change Thedas with molds for simple but more cost effective screws and nails? Carpentry and Architecture could be revolutionized and give you a nice stream of coin from business if you have great haggling skills and find a Forgemaster easy enough. And If I pick a major city, that won't be a problem. But if I get a choice, definitely not Kirkwall. I would actually go straight for Qunanadar, Par Vollen or if we knew more abotu Par Vollen some other city on the island or part of the Qun nation.

        Why not Seheron? because Seheron is war torn and riddled with Tal-Vashoth and Magisters. No, thank you. I'd rather not. So Par Vollen it is. And this is not simply because I'm Qunari trash. This is because out of all the kingdoms and nations that we know of on Thedas, the ones under the Qun are probably the ones that would give me the highest chance of survival because of their similarities to First World nations. Now I'm not saying technologically, although their canons would definitely ensure they are above everyone else on Thedas but pair what they already know with what I bring with me? I would give them an edge so I already proved I'm useful. But the Qun also ensures everyone has a job that is best suited to you and your skills. So I would get laden with basically paper work, after of course they teach me their language. They also, as far as we know, make sure everyone is fed. So I wouldn't have to worry about food. And once I also, probably stupidly, reveal how where I'm from I am laden with immunization, they will want to breed me to build stronger viddathari or even breed me directly into the Qunari/Kossithe line... then yeah that would be a thing. So I'd end up in a very cushy and well cared for situation. So what if I'm essentially a human broodmother at that point. It's just for a year right? And I would give the Qun so many more advantages and tell them ahead of time what a certain Evanuris does/is doing and pretty much set them up with some advantages for the future.

        Of course this is all assuming they don't immediately kill me as a threat but I think because I choose to go with them and willingly offer any information I have that is useful to them, would keep me safe. It sounds bad I know because that means the Qun could more easily invade and take over. Well guess what, look at our world history. Lots of invaders and conquerors. Sometimes it's a necessary evil.

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        1. Sorry the chest is the kind travelers used to use so no holes. You could poke holes in it if you wanted to. I think the dimensions would be about 40 inches by 30 inches with a depth of 20 inches. The chest is mostly made of wood and leather so is already kinda heavy empty. You'd definitely need a cart or two people to move it. In the SoIaF version everyone was buying some gold and silver sticking it in the chest and then converting that into the local coin. And having the genie drop them off in front of an inn (in some cases a particular inn). Then buying a cart if they wanted to go to the countryside.

          So I'd convert a couple hundred dollars into gold and silver, put in some survival manuals, and a book on natural healing (not sure how helpful this would be as the plants in Thedas aren't the same), and I'd put in several of my weaving pattern books. I'd stick in my inkle loom. I'd download plans and directions on how to build each of the three types of floor looms just in case Thedas looms were less advanced. (Which I doubt because it seems like in WoT2 Bianca developed/improved the cotton gin so if they are advanced enough for that..) I fit as much of my yarn stash as I could in the rest, prioritizing the yarns I don't think they'd have in Thedas (alpaca, bamboo) and colors difficult to get with plant dyes, although Thedas has a wide range of colors in their clothing so they probably use magic for that.

          I find it interesting that you would like to live under the Qun. I think I would choose a Marcher city-state. Possibly Kirkwall as it seems all the bad crap already happened and due to the game I have some familiarity with it. Not Wycome because the nobles go crazy with red lyrium there. If there's a Weaver's Guide I'll join that. If not I'll sell my stuff to the merchants. I know patterns and techniques from all over the world and throughout Earth's history so there'll be things that Thedas has never seen (and will want).

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