View Poll Results: What should we use for the historical base for Brechts?

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  • Spanish

    2 9.09%
  • German

    7 31.82%
  • Dutch

    8 36.36%
  • Portaguese

    0 0%
  • Other (specify)

    4 18.18%
  • Abstain

    1 4.55%
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  1. #1
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Based on the strong difference of opinions on this one - lets start a poll.

    One thing to keep in mind is to not confuse the language equivalent with the cultural one. It is obvious that the Brecht language is closest to the Germanic ones, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the culture is.

    IMO we also want to keep it relatively simple and not have to resort to historical equivalents that only history majors and those who frequently watch the History channel will know.
    Duane Eggert

  2. #2
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    I've always thought of the Brecht as a mixture of Hanseatic German and Renaissance Spain and Italy. The linguistic and base culture seems Germanic, but the individualism, martial styles (lightweight, fencing) seems strongly Italian and Spanish. And the mercantile aspect works well with all of these.

    There's no need to point to one single culture and say "the Brechts are like these people." This is a fantasy world. Let the Brechts be their own people, and cite a few major sources of inspiration for their culture.
    Osprey

  3. #3
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    I also tend to believe the Brechts are based upon the Hanseatic League, with a Renaissance flair. The styles of fighting are certainly of the Renaissance period. The Hanse were pretty much merchantile city-states, so the Brechts fit this perfectly. I say the similarities to Spain and Italy are coincidental, since the Hanse style was first, and then the others picked it up (or developed it independently) at a later date.

  4. #4
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Now reference to Hanseatic German is one of those things that requires more than a casual knowledge of history - which is why I mentioned that earlier.

    If the votes come out close then I'll just combine them {saying they are an amalgam), otherwise the possible combinations become mind boggling.
    Duane Eggert

  5. #5
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    My biggest reasoning for choosing the Hanseatic states of Germany is rooted in two things: First and foremost, the Hanse, while it was a loose coallition of city-states, the powers of these cities were very limited, and the majority of the power was in the hands of the merchants. If one city refused to play, it would be 'excluded', and would get poorer and poorer as trade passed it by. The Brecht League doesn't have absolute power in the hands of the landed nobility, as happens in Anuire, or the Khinasi lands. They *have* to work with the guilders to prosper.

    The second reason is that the Hanseatic League has popped up in another game that is generally played by a number of people, and would therefore be familiar to them, as it is faithfully transplanted into a Sci-Fi setting. Yes, the Hanse are in the Battletech game as ship- based Periphery Traders who 'control' the worlds they trade with.
    "It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion -- and usually easier."

    - R. A. Heinlien, from The Collected works of Lazarus Long

  6. #6
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    I feel that they have a strong germanic influence, yet I will have to agree with Osprey in regard to the fencing fighting style they use, which is certainly non-german.

  7. #7
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    I can actually address this one from a historical re-enactor's perspective.

    Fencing got its start in Italy, during the Italian Ren period, then spread to Spain, and from those two locii began their northward spread. By the early 1560s, fencing was firmly established in France and the Low Countries, and withoin 20 years, there were distictive 'home-grown'styles being taught in England. It is not a far stretch to see the Baltic (notably the Hanse) using the 'arte of the dance' by that time as well.

    Spain is not the only fencing region in history. In a comparison, the further north one got, the dirtier the fighting style, whereas in Spain, you had those who wouldn't *think* of using the basket hilt to rap a skull, punching or even trippping the opponent because it would be 'ungentlemanly'.
    "It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion -- and usually easier."

    - R. A. Heinlien, from The Collected works of Lazarus Long

  8. #8
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    In light of keeping it easy on those who have a less than perfect knowledge of history (like me), I voted the Dutch. The Dutch were the typical seafaring traders, and their language is somewhat similar to German as well. That Hanseatic state-thing sounds better, but I didn't even know of them until I read this thread.

    As for the fighting-style, well, is it really that important? You don't wear heavy platemail on a boat anyway, so if you have an image of the Brecht as seafaring-traders, you'll probably assume they have a light fighting style as well. No need to throw Spain into this just for the fighting style; their language is nothing alike, and my image of Spain is too sunny for Brecht

    - Azulthar

  9. #9
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    I voted for the Dutch as I see Germany as a two broad a comparison when it is really just the Hanseatic League that strikes me as a close parallel. The rest of germany, and especially the Holy Roman Empire, seems closer to Anuire IMO.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    As for the fighting-style, well, is it really that important? You don't wear heavy platemail on a boat anyway, so if you have an image of the Brecht as seafaring-traders, you'll probably assume they have a light fighting style as well. No need to throw Spain into this just for the fighting style; their language is nothing alike, and my image of Spain is too sunny for Brecht
    I think fighting style, armor preferences, etc. are important because they form a strong visual impression, especially for adventuring types (and thus PC character concepts and depictions). The Brecht don't just prefer light weapons and armor; they're famous for it. It's one of their most distinctive cultural trademarks I'd say.

    Yes, it is a problem to mix Germanic and Italians and Dutch and Spanish cultures together, but after the reams of discussion and disagreement on the issue, it seems to me that this is exactly what happened when the Brecht were designed, though perhaps not by intention. Rather, I think Baker and Co. said "Germanic seafaring peoples, but heavily influenced by classic Renaissance stuff like fencing, poofy clothes, art, drama, etc." Brecht Renaissance playboys.

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