Very nice post. Thanks Holden!
Out of curiosity, have you guys ever read Tatja Grimm's World
, by Vernor Vinge? I tend to think of her more as a Twilight, but she sounds like she might work as a 3e Lunar.
In any case, I think a sidebar on this might be useful in the 3e Lunars book, especially if there are any Lunars who still spout Ideological Barbarism around.
There probably are. But note that these aren't terms/categories you'll probably ever see me mentioning again-- certainly they won't show up in a book. I'm mostly breaking it down this way to get people accustomed to not
automatically conflating "barbarian" with "frothing lunatic looking to burn down all the cities and make everyone sleep on the ground."
As John pointed out to me recently, the native American nations are kind of a good example of a "barbaric" group with some ideological elements. Note that the various nations enthusiastically
adopted the horse, the gun, and various other European things that either provided them with luxury or made supporting their preferred way of life easier, but then wanted nothing to do with anything that would shift that lifestyle into some radically different mode (i.e. they were not interested in milling, mining, share-cropping, etc) -- to say nothing of having their culture or traditions paved over or relocating themselves.
But that's still a very far cry from "tear down all the cities, salt the earth where they stood." Probably you'll see some Lunars like that-- Exalts are prone to extreme expressions of their favored ideology because they can actually implement those expressions-- but you won't see a majority of Lunars like that.
Thinking about it, I'm now kinda curious about what "barbarian tribes" Exalted has. Are there any that just seem to have missed out on the concept of agriculture, as opposed to simply not having suitable land/seeds for farming? Are there any nomadic groups that live amongst more settled folk (i.e. the popular conception of "gypsies"*)?
If it's cool and interesting, Exalted probably has it. And I think that was another major problem with the older material-- other than the Delzahn, we didn't get much in the way of interesting, compelling barbarian groups.
Off and on, I've been working on a group of traveling Tinkers (who secretly have access to magitech and serious craft skillz) who live off the land and sometimes trade with more settled peoples. Basically think an entire tribe of MacGyver (or at least he's considered their ideal). Would such a culture be doable in 3e? (I think I can make it work, but it was originally designed as a TSR project and I had to give them some hidden manses and education artifacts which were maintained by their Lunar benefactor, and it's possible all that might change in 3e).
The magitech makes it a no-go for 3e-- I wouldn't want to drop in a little group performing First Age craftsmanship. "Magitech" is dependent on a huge infrastructural base to support it that's just not present any more; you can't just continue practicing it in its state-of-the-art form by having a few extra Craft dots and a workshop in 3e.