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       By: MoonHunter

Patterns in surnames: There are many ways a surname could have evolved over centuries. One possibility is migration. A Roman name may have traveled to France and hence to England where it was later Anglicized. Case in point - the surname Lawrence went from Laurentius (Roman) to Laurent (French) to Lawrence (English) and then to Lowry (Scottish). There is also natural etymological evolution. For example, a Middle English spelling may have evolved to a modern English spelling (e.g. Stiward to Stewart). Where did your character's Surname come from?

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | August 7, 2005 | View | UpVote 0xp

       By: MoonHunter

Surnames: Most surnames fall into one of four categories. Patronymic surnames such as Johnson pass from father to son (literally, 'Son of John'). Occupational surnames such as Cook or Miller stem from an individual's livelihood. Topographic names such as Forest or Ford identify habitation. There are also a few surnames that derive from individual characteristics or nicknames...Small and Stern for example.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | August 7, 2005 | View | UpVote 0xp

       By: MoonHunter

Surnames: The Chinese were among the very first cultures to adopt the use of hereditary surnames (around 2800 BC). But the custom didn't quite catch on in Europe - at least not until the Venetian aristocracy made it popular sometime between the 10th and 11th centuries AD. What culture made it popular in your setting and why?

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | August 7, 2005 | View | UpVote 1xp

       By: MoonHunter

In cultures and langauges with very few acceptable personal and family names, nicknames will be used. These nicknames will be based on their physical traits and personalities. So instead of five Ryon Khans, you have Big Ryon, Little Ryon, Fast Ryon, Ryon the Priest, and Ryon with coin. It will make finding people, for an outsider, difficult.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | August 3, 2005 | View | UpVote 1xp

       By: MoonHunter

Want to avoid fighter types focusing on swords? Make Longswords and Bastardswords the weapon of the Noble class, with a death penalty for other to carry. These weapons will be ornate and finally crafted. Adventurers will be stuck with cheaply made broad and shortswords, while professional fighters might use two handed swords.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | July 30, 2005 | View | UpVote 0xp

       By: MoonHunter

The local temple is known for putting words of wisdom of stele, in and anround the temple. These words of wisdom are normally temple proverbs or wise words, but sometimes they are "singing the praises" of any large contributor or a noble who grants them a special law. If you need proverbs and quotes for them, search a few quote and proverb sites, concentrating on religions like the temples. Put these quotes in a word doc or list, that way you can always "whip out" a bit of wisdom.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | July 23, 2005 | View | UpVote 0xp

       By: MoonHunter

No one is allowed to do harm to those of Highest/ Imperial rank, those of the Imperial household or those related within two steps of blood. The second tradition is an executioner must be of a higher rank than those he executes. This leads to "issues" when someone tries to harm a member of the Imperial clan or when these members are subversive. Such people are often killed by the being chained under a giant bell. They die within a day or so from the vibration, but they die untouched by Human hands.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | July 10, 2005 | View | UpVote 0xp

       By: Cheka Man

You've probebly heard of the real Thomas Hopkins, Witchfinder-General, who hunted down and hanged suspected "witches". What if there was a world/realm where magic was normal, and it was the non-witches and non-wizards who were hunted down and hanged as inferior beings?

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | May 8, 2005 | View | UpVote 0xp

       By: Mourngrymn

During big fights in the arena or gladitorial ring between two well known or important warriors. When one looses and dies, the crowd throws copper coins into the arena for the slain warrior to take with them on their passage of death. This is to make their passage and afterlife richer and less troubled. It is a sign of respect.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | April 19, 2005 | View | UpVote 0xp

       By: CaptainPenguin

A certain culture has a curious pass-time- muscle art.
Muscle artists (who are called by a special name) work hard to sculpt their bodies, trying to become as muscular and buff as possible. The best among muscle artists look almost grotesque in their amazing muscularity, Atlas-like giants with shiny, oiled iron arms and legs.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | April 3, 2005 | View | UpVote 0xp

       By: AgentTwiggy

A huge moon, with a three-coned volcano which can be seen from the planet when it erupts and is taken for an omen. The planet, smaller than the moon, orbits it, and the planet in turn is orbited by a very small but very hot and bright ball of flame.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | March 3, 2005 | View | UpVote 0xp

       By: oakleafbard

The dwarven gods true names can only be known by dwarves. They are referred to by nicknames in the presence of non-dwarves. I.E. Gudurran( Allfather) Baenna ( Hearthmother) Dudrak ( Ore), etc. No torture or magic or direct intent can reveal their true names to non-dwrves.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | February 10, 2005 | View | UpVote 1xp

       By: Reed

In the town of Eon, children are born without names. They must earn a name by doing someting great before age twelve or they are banished from Eon

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | November 29, 2004 | View | UpVote 0xp

       By: Essus

An African tribe called the Ik throws their children out of their homes once they turn 3. They are left to fend for themselves with no help from their parents at all, and to survive, form groups with others their age. These groups only last a few years, and every so often the individual will join a completely different group.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | October 12, 2004 | View | UpVote 0xp

       By: Scrasamax

Orcs record their deeds through symbolic mutilation, scarring and tattoo. Perhaps creating the medium of skin as art, which humans followed later. Perhaps tattoos remind the elves of orcs and make them angry...

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | August 14, 2004 | View | UpVote 2xp

       By: EchoMirage

Imagine a tribe of nomads where all the males have the blessing of being were-stallions. The tribe would not need to have ordinary horses to move around, all mounted warriors would be female and a curious custom could be that when a couple gets married, the girl rides her chosen to the altar.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | July 3, 2004 | View | UpVote 1xp

       By: CaptainPenguin

In a certain nation, no-one except the Emperor is allowed to have a name. Therefore, the people give themselves pseudo-names called "callings". Examples of callings: A family is known as the Red Sparrow family. The father is called Swooping Red Sparrow. The wife is Bright Red Sparrow Blue Lizard because she was called Bright Blue Lizard before marriage. Their daughter, until she becomes an adult, is Daughter of Red Sparrow. Their sons are Eldest Son of Red Sparrow and Younger Son of Red Sparrow.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | April 25, 2004 | View | UpVote 0xp

       By: MoonHunter

SeaClans: The six seaclans are Dolphin, Gull, Ray, Kraken, Shark, and SeaDragon. These totem animals serve as mascots rather than any deep symbol of the clan. These seafaring organizations are filled with land based saliors and fishermen. They ply the seas and deeper waterways. They function like guilds for ocean sailors

The clans have their own homeland. These people live on large floating rafts- human made islands, as well as vessels of all varieties docked to it. These wetfoots never set foot on land (or only do it for a few hours at most).

Rat Clan: This guild is nominally related to the seaclans. The Rats ply the rivers and marshes of the world, as well as do longshoreman work. The seaclans hold the self proclaimed "rat clan" in contempt and the officials see them as just a Guild of River saliors and longshoremen with a funny name. The Rats hold their title with pride and will take it out on anyone who gives them grief about it.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | March 30, 2004 | View | UpVote 1xp

       By: Skyblue

I once read a book about a group of people who discovered a hidden temple city in a mountain range, where the Incas-the ancient civilisation of Peru- had fled to when the spanish invaded. When this group found the burial chamber of one of the inca high priests, they unleashed a powerful curse upon them all...

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | February 5, 2004 | View | UpVote 0xp

       By: Siren no Orakio

The old pantheon is dead, starved to death from lack of worship. If a powerful mortal can create a cycle of Faith, he can become a New God, to some limiting point.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | January 14, 2004 | View | UpVote 2xp

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       By: Strolen

King dresses as a commoner occasionaly and makes his way through the town. It is an unknown occurance so nobody expects it. This time he is mistaken for a thief and jailed. Not wanted to reveal himself, and always curious for the experience, he allows himself to be arrested. PCs also get arrested for something, probably guilty but pay a fine. How they act towards the 'king' could greatly change how their first meeting will be as the players always meet the king at some point.

Ideas  ( NPCs ) | September 11, 2003 | View | UpVote 2xp


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