The idea comes from a chat between manfred and EchoMirage. Another chat with Echo, manfred and Maggot has made the ideas cleaner and shown it has potential. On we go:
Who are the Braggu?
From the wilderness they come, looting and throwing themselves against the walls of hamlets and cities alike, raging and shouting in their coarse guttural language. Huge, almost eight feet tall, with long shaggy fur into which they weave tokens from their medicine-men, claws protruding from their hands and bony ridges from their forearms, their teeth able to bite a sword in half.
They are the menace of the borderlands, travelling with their herds paths they used for millenia, and razing any signs of civilization in the process. When the winter is especially harsh or the summer unusually dry, they descend upon the heartlands of kingdoms like a plague, more a natural disaster than an enemy.
They are noble creatures, caring deeply for others.
They are brute savages, filthy thieves, a plague of the lands.
Their legends say that once, the whole world was in the hands of the GoldTeeth, whoever they may be, who used all as slaves, and cut up the land, and even locked the sun up in a cage to work for them, and chained the stars. It were the Braggu who led the flame of rebellion and set the works of the GoldTeeth ablaze, burning them one and all on a pyre made of their unjust works, and setting all their slaves free.
Even today, Braggu are free, and resent all forms of restrainment, whether of themselves, or of others, even the land.
Most of all, they resent when someone is keeping resources for himself, and others suffer because of his selfishness. This sends them into a rage they call “Free-the-Stars”, in which they bash the object of their ire until it stops doing whatever it was up to (e.g. living, being greedy, etc.)
Following their exodus from the Halls of Greed, they went through harsh times following the cataclysm they caused by dethroning the GoldTeeth, and only by their example and generosity, others survived. Bud so did the legacy of the GoldTeeth: selfishness and greed.
Today, they still remember those days through song and legend, and fight. When they encounter walls (most probably erected as a defense against them) they tear them down, for they are chains upon the face of Mother earth. The same is true for dams. And when they stumble upon someone hoarding wealth, they take it and distibute it amongst those in need. As they see fit (that the Braggu themselves are in need quite often, it comes down to them taking stuff to use themselves, but the philosophy is there). They do not tear down houses, because they’re just immobile tents (stupid idea, isn’t it? Immobile tent!*shakes head*)
good: family. unity. sharing. freedom.
bad: constraint. greed. selfishness.
Of course, if someone is opposed to the redistibution the Braggu have in mind, and for example mans the (evil!) wall to protect his (ill-gotten!) riches and even shoots and throws nasty things at the Braggu, he’s an enemy, or even servant of the GoldTeeth. Thus, he must be smashed to ensure the survival of the Braggu, all free people and of course the continuity of freedom.
As long as you fight them, they will ‘fight back’ - but they DO NOT kill non-combatants, and if you stop fighting, they let you go (how sad that most people don’t know that) they do not take prisoners, and eschew slavery. If one was empathic enough, one could easily travel alongside them, and be part of the community - they’ve got not problem with that. But you’d have to get used to a wholly different lifestyle.
They do not claim mates - they’re pretty much promiscuous, and quite eager, which lends them the image of lecherous rappist beasts in the eyes of others… while they will not commit violence upon a chosen mate, they will follow their own courting customs, which are ... rather wild.
Their kids are raised communaly, and considered the greatest treasure. No sane Braggu will harm a kid.
The Braggu have NO concept of property rights. “Property”, if anything, is what you use at the moment. Whatever you do not need immediately, is public property, and keeping more than necessary is Greed, which is the worst of all evil things.
Not helping their public image is the fact that they are large, strong, and smelly, and get easily enraged about the Greed of others, particularly the greedy midget races.
If a Brugga is around, (s)he is likely to pick up and try everything that is not nailed down, and the rest later too. Of course, most things will be dropped immediately, only a selected useful item may find its way into the temporary posession. Unfortunately, as most races desperately cling to all their property, conflicts arise.
Quoting from the chat:
EchoMirage so, a woman you are not using currently is also just to be had freely. With the Braguu being large and smely (like a Big Mac) this is rather annoying…
EchoMirage and as i intend to use them in a campaign where the pcs are from an Europe 15th century - like culture, this could get funny…
EchoMirage they do not understan why the farg is a farmer trying to chase them from a hundred acre corn field - he can’t eat that much possibly, right?
EchoMirage and as they are about 8 feet tall, all muscle, fur, claws and stink, they’ve got some good arguments..
EchoMirage they’re nomads, travelling hence and forth
Maggot So they live in small groups?
EchoMirage if you call a group of 1000 small, accompanied by herds of livestock, then yes, they travel in small groups.
manfred ...but some would call them locusts, I think.
EchoMirage so, when they come across a village with a pallisade, with tons of food inside and guarded by greedy midgets, they get into a righteous rage..
Maggot A rather noble race
EchoMirage if you are a greedy midget, then it is right to bash your face until you no longer are greedy…
manfred So one can do some good business, if one is smart…
manfred ...exchange those funky stones for good eating, right?
Maggot But they don’t belief in trade right?
manfred Not really.
manfred The tricky part is to convince them to give up things…
manfred ...without making it look like a real exchange.
EchoMirage well, he might trade his axe for a better axe…
Maggot Ahh. For them everything must be given freely?
EchoMirage or taken freely
EchoMirage their “trade” might look like this: “youse drops dat ax, mesa drop wuh-man, we turns around, the faster one takes what he can carry ”
Actual “property rights”?
manfred I think the point is in “using”.
EchoMirage yes. you cannot need more weapons than you got arms
manfred You do not own, but rather use something for the moment (or year).
EchoMirage you cannot use more than you can carry. only one riding warthog can be reserved for you.
manfred If you cannot use something immediately, you actually hurt others!
EchoMirage yes, you prevent them from using it. See, the Braggu had to go through harsh times, with deadly winters, famines and stuff
EchoMirage food in your bowl is yours, the rest belongs to the community
Maggot Among such a race,class cannot exist
Maggot Since everything belongs to the tribe
EchoMirage yes. you can be revered for brawn, brains or skill, or ability to get/make stuff, but not for stuff itself.
EchoMirage when one makes arrows, he makes 20 for his quiver, and hands the rest out. a smith keeps the best axe, and makes then some for the rest…
manfred But still, there are some that are more listened to.
EchoMirage those with brains
Maggot Ya know,their philosophy is pretty noble
manfred A chieftain may be given “the first pick”, but not more loot (relatively of course!).
EchoMirage there are no beggars, and all work for a greater whole. protecting the kids, warding off beasts, bashing greedy midgets..
manfred Noble, and caring for others…
manfred ...and bashig greedy midgets.
EchoMirage yup. the one who makes a kill gets to pick what he wants in his bowl, the one who bashes a greedy midget can pick something of his unjustly hoarded riches…
Maggot Whcih of course,is only fair
EchoMirage yup it is. if he is good at something, provide him with the tools.
EchoMirage a good hunter would be useless if he cannot mmake arrows and noone would give him any…
EchoMirage a smart Braggu would be of little use if noone listened.
Maggot Hard to think of them as brutal monsters,when you portay them that way
EchoMirage a fertile woman would not give life to as many kids if she was denied food.
Interaction with other races?
manfred Meeting one, you get scared…
manfred ...drop your stuff…
EchoMirage and he grabs it!
manfred ...and they freely look what they can use, and take some.
Maggot Can others borrow their stuff?
manfred Not really…
manfred ...you either use something or it is not yours.
manfred So “borrowing” isn’t the thing either.
EchoMirage the one having the stuff would come over and ask: “wut youse need doink?”
EchoMirage cuz borrowing would mean giving up ANY claim to the item
EchoMirage if you need a brush but got none, he’s more than happy to brush yer fur, but will not let the brush go
EchoMirage cuz if he lets the brush go, he’s neither carrying nor using it and thus it’s not his…
EchoMirage so if he wants to have a brush, he should better keep track of it.
The Braggu in us?
Maggot Something like the noble savage myth
Maggot Primitive yet admirable
Maggot Something that us civilized folks would like to be
manfred Admirable, once you know them.
manfred Otherwise, they look like thieving brutes.
EchoMirage hmmmm. i wouldn’t like if somebody carried off my computer when i go to the wc…
Maggot What if you needed to use it asked for it back?
Maggot And they returned it?
Maggot Surely that would touch you
manfred Unless, they needed to use it themselves…
Maggot Good point
manfred ...so you wouldn’t get it back.
EchoMirage well, i personally am very touchy about stuff. my pencils, scanner, coal, ink pens, books, and undies…
manfred The Brugga on the Internet, oh my.
EchoMirage i mean, still, we share a characteristic of the Braggu. copyright violations, anyone?
Maggot I guess we aren’t that different