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Capn Charlie
Senior Scribe

USA
418 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2004 :  02:25:44  Show Profile  Visit Capn Charlie's Homepage Send Capn Charlie a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I became involved in a discussion a little while back over by the coast , that had to be discontinued due to giggling fits of preteens.

For me the things that really "do it for me" are details. The little things. Now that I am thinking about it, I jus thave to know about how all the various peoples in the realms both view and implement birth control. I am not running a "mature"(read: soft core porno) campaign, nor am I just being ornery in wanting to look at what goes on behingd closed doors.

I believe that there are four things that you can examine to learn a staggering amount about a culture:

  • The food, how and why they eat
  • How they traeat their dead
  • How they view sexuality, and the genders in genral
  • How they treat the children, the elderly, and the genders


I figure since I already have some of #3 written out I might as well start there.

We have all manner of birth control available in a pseudo medieval campaign setting such as the Realms, and it is interesting to try to delve into some of the effects, and ramifications it has on society.

For starters we have the Cassil seed and Nara root. In fact many healer and herbalist types I have seen in published material seems to be more than willing to give away Nara root to women who ask for it(even a Thayan herbalist!) and I reckon that the temples that would likely be burdened with unwanted, unexpected, or just plain unhealthy babes would be willing to pass out copious amounts of birth control.

Now, it seems like the place to start is with going through the various forms of birth control that would be available in the realms.

Beforehand
1.) Abstinence. Being taught from an early age that there is one sure way to not have kids is not to have sex. It might have about as much effect in Faerūn as it does here. And without an oppressive religious regime to push the agenda and the generally liberated views that most
faiths in the realms have towards sex in general, this is not likely to be an oft pushed agenda except by worried parents.

2.) Physical manipulations such as coitus interuptus. Perhaps one of the oldest versions of birth control, and about one of the most unreliable. Not too likely to be employed by pretty much anyone but the arrogant, egotistical, or ignorant.

3.) Physical contraceptives, such as sheepskin or fish gut sheathes and diaphragms. While not reliable in general, and usually either too expensive or rare to be used with any real frequency, and their tendency to be reused(uh huh, you heard me) would lead to a host of new hygiene concerns. All in all basically unacceptable perhaps except by those that distrust magic, or revere science, perhaps the Lantanese or certain barbaric tribes.

4.) Chemical Contraceptives, like Cassil seed and Nara root. The most likely culprit for most all birth control in the realms. While unpredictable in the length of time they last it is always at least 3-12 days in the case of the Cassil, and 3-6 for the Nara in tea form, or 6-14 raw.

They are 100% efficient in preventing births. However when the price runs either 2 silver pieces, or 1 GP per dose, and the average daily income of a laborer is a single silver piece, this begins to be less likely as a birth control alternative for the bulk of the population.

5.) Magical Contraceptives of all kinds. Perhaps even less common than the physical contraceptives this offers a no fuss no muss way of regulating unwanted pregnancy. And what with feats like arcane schooling, I can see many women throughout the peasantry in some lands taking this as their first and usually only feat to allow them to invoke the blessings of whatever deity happens to reign over such things in their eyes. I definitely think cantrip level is more than sufficient for the level of such a spell, that would be obviously cast either before or directly after an interlude.


6.) Infanticide, doing away with unwanted children after they are born, and usually with the decision hinging on the gender of the child might be common in some areas, although arguably only in the most savage and uncivilized regions, perhaps among savage humanoids.

7.) Physical abortificants such as as a stick, metal prod or rod. While unpleasant and barbaric by modern standards, using a stick to abort a pregnancy already in progress which the parent does not wish to go through might be deemed a good solution as it does indeed hamper productivity in the generally hardworking peasant folk of the realms. Although nearly as unsafe for mother as for child, this method is fairly reliable. One way or another.

8.) Chemical abortificants, such as perhaps a mistletoe tea or other such herbal infusion is quite likely as a means of birth control as it removes the crux of preparedness as with other means, and the direct physical peril of other abortion methods. It does however require at least passing knowledge of healing arts or herbalism, and as such require the assistance of a local healer, or shaman.

9.) Magical abortificants, such as a Finger of Death spell, are perhaps likely to be the single most unlikely of all the methods of doing away with unwanted pregnancies. A spell of such a nature would likely run the gamut in level from a 0 level divine, or first level arcane spell(if arcane at all!) all the way up to 4-5 level spells for beneficent or malignant spells, such as those that reincorporate the soul to wherever it is they come from, or trap it for power.

10.) Truly savage/extreme/unlikely means such as savage beatings administered by goblins to keep away extra mouthes to feed, ritual devouring of eggs by yuan ti and lizardfolk or kobolds, and even physical disfigurement are as likely not widespread as they are seemingly cruel by human standards. Anything could fall here even unto special parasites or symbiont that "deals" with unwanted pregnancy by either keeping the womb nice and clean(and empty!) or serve to efficiently cleanse then depart, like a slug or parasite known to inhabit a spring or pool that women wishing to not become pregnant swim in after intercourse might also be apparent.

Now, while the standards are going to be noticeably different for adventurers, anything from "rings of protection" to amulets or potions, all the way up to powerful enchantments might be in use. Perhaps the tried and true method of anonymity, fleeing, and some combination of alter self and disguise spells and skills can mitigate some of the negative aspects of a pregnancy, depending on the perspective of the participant.

There are additional concerns as to certain groups or deities voicing concern or objection to certain methods of birth control.
Oddly enough my take is that the typical "nurturing" gods are going to actually support some of the more pleasant methods, including Chauntea. Because one does not cast seed to grow where it can neither be tended, nor come to fruit. And many of the nature deities will likely hold the view of not endangering the entire family by having more progeny at any one time than is realistically supportable, and knowing the animalistic natures of human(oid)s will have such herb lore in their teachings.

It is interestingly enough the more martial and evil deities that might more stringently oppose most methods of birth control! After all if there are twice as many young as can realistically survive it is more likely for the strongest and thus best servant to be the one to live, essentially multiplying the chances of having excellent and vicious minions, at the cost of increased pain and suffering.


Now, the questions are: How do the various Races in Faerūn view and implement birth control? How do the various Human cultures view birth control? and How do the gods view birth control?

Shadows of War: Tales of a Mercenary

My first stab at realms fiction, here at candlekeep. Stop on by and tell me what you think.

Edited by - Capn Charlie on 02 Jun 2004 04:43:03

Hymn
Senior Scribe

Sweden
514 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2004 :  03:25:01  Show Profile Send Hymn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm, and interesting topic indeed, since it is after all a "common" if not wanted happening. I have been known to throw my players into rather lust filled situations that somtimes didn't turn out the way they excpected. I seem to recall, for some obscure reason, that harmfull but mild poisons can do the trick as well. Alltough this might be a last resort for the poor. Otherwise I would go with the Nara root and Cassil. Alltough they are expensive, one must consider the standing the family would loose if their daugther had a child born outside (before) of marriage.

I think you have made a rather good wide spread covering of it all, but as you say a more detailed look of different races might reveal more interesting stuff.

Your cultural listing conserning means on how to study a culture looks a lot like the ones used at archeological studies and such like.

Hmm, since this isnt a much talked about subject in the realms I guess we can only speculate but ...

Now how different races view it is a hard question I think it differes a lot depending on local factors more then a racial one, alltough no rule without exception.

Elves: nurture and care for allmost all life in the world and since children is scarce to begin with. I would say that means are taken to prevent unvanted pregnancy but once it is detected I don't think they would kill it, at least not if the child is of pure elven blood.

Dwarfs:are currently under the light of the thunder blessing. Having been going downhill for generations I think a change might be coming about on the other hard on protocoll dwarfs (or so I imagin.)

Those are the ones I can think of now, will probably come up with something later once I had some sleep.

As a last note, the nature dieties might see it a bit different also,but I guess it depens on how one looks at it. Since nature allready have had its course interfering with the now growing life in its womb would be an affront. I do think though that they would favor birthcontrol before starving. But starving is on the other hand the natural course of action.

Sauro moki kara ochiro - Even monkeys falls from trees.

The path that leads to truth is littered with the bodies of the ignorant - Miyamoto Musashi
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Capn Charlie
Senior Scribe

USA
418 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2004 :  05:15:13  Show Profile  Visit Capn Charlie's Homepage Send Capn Charlie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Hmm, and interesting topic indeed, since it is after all a "common" if not wanted happening. I have been known to throw my players into rather lust filled situations that somtimes didn't turn out the way they excpected. I seem to recall, for some obscure reason, that harmfull but mild poisons can do the trick as well. Alltough this might be a last resort for the poor. Otherwise I would go with the Nara root and Cassil. Alltough they are expensive, one must consider the standing the family would loose if their daugther had a child born outside (before) of marriage.


Well, most of the things I have read about in the realms relating to sexuality makes it seem like it is a not too uncommon occurence for trysts of all sorts, and if one is to infer a bit, that there might be a certain almost european outlook towards mistresses and such.

My primary inquiry into birth control and abortions is not slanted mostly towards the saving face aspect so much, as more towards just general population control. I am interested in thee little things, like how a simple peasant laborer might control the size of their family. However I am also interested in every facet of the subject.

quote:

Your cultural listing conserning means on how to study a culture looks a lot like the ones used at archeological studies and such like.


Well, here I am divided. I want to approach this from a Anthrapologist's standpoint, but the scarcity of materials and not actually being there means that analyzing realms cultures is more like an archaeologist or historian.

Perhaps it is just all my reading Conan novels, but I have a tendency to write things in my campaigns like we see historical texts. I spread around qquotes from journals, letters, and historical texts written in the "period", it just seems to add to the "forgotten" nature of the realms to me.

quote:

Elves: nurture and care for allmost all life in the world and since children is scarce to begin with. I would say that means are taken to prevent unvanted pregnancy but once it is detected I don't think they would kill it, at least not if the child is of pure elven blood.


I believe that the elves(for the most part) are so inclined to as to see every birth as a blessing from Corellon, and would likely never use birth control, or abort. They just seem to need every elf they can get, and their peace loving nature would lead them to such lengths only when absolutely neccesary.

quote:
Dwarfs:are currently under the light of the thunder blessing. Having been going downhill for generations I think a change might be coming about on the other hard on protocoll dwarfs (or so I imagin.)


Well, I personally believe that the thunder blessing is kind of a directive to "go forth, be fruitful and multiply". The dwarfs as I see them are even more of the mindset than humans of seeing children as laborers. With their rigid clan oriented structure I kind of see most dwarf clans as communes. The thane directs activities, and most of the wealth generated by the clan goes into a treasury that buys supplies and food for the entire clan. In such an environment that children would not be seen as just belonging to one set of parents, but be a child of the clan first. Dwarves just seem to be the type that says "if you have a strong back, we can use you" mindset.

quote:
As a last note, the nature dieties might see it a bit different also,but I guess it depens on how one looks at it. Since nature allready have had its course interfering with the now growing life in its womb would be an affront. I do think though that they would favor birthcontrol before starving. But starving is on the other hand the natural course of action.


Well, it is very natural in fact. I am compelled first to remember an infamous documentary about hyenas. One female kept going into the cave where the litters are kept, dragging out the pups of other females one by one and killing them, so that all the food would go towards her pups.

Some birds and species of lizards aand amphibians switch genders or sexual alignment to reduce populations when the population gets too high.

I also remember when I was raising rabbits that if when a doe had a litter and thought she was malnourished and lacked the protein in her diet neccesary to feed the kits she would eat several of them. We had to put balls of raw hamburger meat in their pens so they would eat that to satisfy their instincts.

Their are also various animals that reabsorb embryos when they feel malnourished.

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My first stab at realms fiction, here at candlekeep. Stop on by and tell me what you think.
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Sarelle
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
508 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2004 :  13:01:08  Show Profile Send Sarelle a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting topic!

If you waned some specific information about the various human cultures in Races of Faerūn and their contraceptive/abortive preferences, I'd direct a question at Ed when he next comes by these boards. He never shies away from the stuff WotC refuses to touch with a barge-pole.

As for the non-human races... I'd say centaurs would take the horse approach - "Contra... what? STOP THEM HAVING CHILDREN?! That's disgusting!" Not that horses talk, of course.

Ditto with aaracokra, though I could imagine them dropping eggs from a great height.

To add something to your list of probable contraceptives/preventatives - I'd think that magic charms, enspelled with one of the unnamed cnatrips you mentioned (which, at some point, really should get printed alongside farming spells, travel spells etc.), would be more common than what you say. Most interpretations of pseudo-medieval fantasy worlds have the 'crazy old witch' or the 'kindly cleric' (of Sune) who lives down the road and hands the charms out. If you look at general Realms population break-ups, there is always a cleric and wizard in each village/town/city.

Chair of the The Rightful Return of Monster Deities to FR Society (RRMDFRS)

My character, drawn by Liodain: Sarelle / Sarelle (smaller)
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Capn Charlie
Senior Scribe

USA
418 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2004 :  15:24:48  Show Profile  Visit Capn Charlie's Homepage Send Capn Charlie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree, most of the races with low fertility/birth rates are not at all likely to use much birth control.

However, I am kind of bothered by the handiong out wholesale of little cantrip baubles. What would the market price of something that casts a cantrip once a day be...

For once per day we get 180 gp market, 90 gp to make. Depending on the cantrip that might be plenty. I am more than comfortable for a 0 level spell to be a contraceptive for 1 day. However, from an in game perspective, should the requirement of amount of magic be dependant on out of game perspective?

IS the ability granted by such a spell in line with other cantrips? OOG, sure. IG? I am not so sure. Perhaps 1 hour per level, with an application of the spell also ending any pregnancies.

Shadows of War: Tales of a Mercenary

My first stab at realms fiction, here at candlekeep. Stop on by and tell me what you think.
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Faraer
Great Reader

3308 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2004 :  16:15:44  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A few things...

Encouraging people not to have sex before a certain age or before marriage (when it happens) will be more effective than in the US because of stronger communities, and the absence of a prudish/salacious repressive culture. Knowledge of contraceptive methods will be greater (most young girls will know what to do the night after the lusting male adventurer comes to town).

I doubt contraceptive herbs and potions are given out to strangers for free, but in villages they'll be available from wisewomen, midwives, witches, and festhall owners of the Mother Tara kind.

Preventing the creation of life warrants a 1st-level spell or 2nd-level spell, not a cantrip, though I bet it's on the basic cleric spell list, and known to many hedge mages too. (The more trivial purify self is a 1st-level spell.)

Recall Ed's saying that most Dale women have ready access to herbs that can make a pregnant woman violently miscarry.

FR11 Dwarves Deep p. 6 is all about love and marriage. It's more formal than in lower-class human societies, overseen by Sharindlar, and casual sex is likely rare. This is both caused by and contributes to the low dwarven birthrate (Thunder Blessing apart).

Edited by - Faraer on 02 Jun 2004 16:16:06
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Capn Charlie
Senior Scribe

USA
418 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2004 :  17:00:02  Show Profile  Visit Capn Charlie's Homepage Send Capn Charlie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Faraer

A few things...

Encouraging people not to have sex before a certain age or before marriage (when it happens) will be more effective than in the US because of stronger communities, and the absence of a prudish/salacious repressive culture. Knowledge of contraceptive methods will be greater (most young girls will know what to do the night after the lusting male adventurer comes to town).


Well, as I said earlier, I want to examine this not just from the point of view of the unmarried, but of the married also. I am quite sure that just not having sex to control the size of a family is not going to be an option(or at least a well used or liked one) among most of the intelligent species of Faerūn.

Now, as to strong communities, this factors in more on the side of protection, rather than abstinence. due to the liberated views that most Faerūnians hold on sex, it is likely they will be realistic and expect the innevitible tryst to occur. There are even a few churches(most notably Sharess, and Sune) that encourage such trysts as a natural, beautiful, and highly enjoyable thing. Since sex is not a moral issue as such, it is far more likely that it will not be shunned, or ignored and as you said, women will "know what to do".


quote:
Originally posted by Faraer

I doubt contraceptive herbs and potions are given out to strangers for free, but in villages they'll be available from wisewomen, midwives, witches, and festhall owners of the Mother Tara kind.


Now, here's the thing: I seriously doubt that what could mount to hundreds or thousands of gold pices worth of herbs are going to be going out free anywhere. As pleasant as it might be to just have the thing taken care of in the nicest possible way, it just isn't realistic. I imagine that most clerics are going to be taking the same attitude with this as they do with magical healing. Charging for it, unless there is an urgent need.

Your average small size farming community is likely not going to have the resources at their disposal to administer these herbs on a wide enough scale to do any good. Also, I am assuming that there is something that makes them so valuable, like specific growing conditions or somesuch, or else they would be growing fields of the stuff, and growing immensely wealthy or driving the price down.

quote:
Originally posted by Faraer

Preventing the creation of life warrants a 1st-level spell or 2nd-level spell, not a cantrip, though I bet it's on the basic cleric spell list, and known to many hedge mages too. (The more trivial purify self is a 1st-level spell.)


Well, I would think that such a small thing would be a part of Prestidigitation rather than being even a spell in it's own right, after meditating upon it further. It is just a simple matter of squelching a few small cells, in one case. or altering the ph of the vaginal canal, or even erecting(so to speak) a small barrier.

Now I fully agree that a safe abortion at much later stages of pregnancy would require a second level spell, as the complications are much greater.

quote:
Originally posted by Faraer

Recall Ed's saying that most Dale women have ready access to herbs that can make a pregnant woman violently miscarry.


Yes, I reckon they would. Likely it is some variety of mildly poisenous plant that proliferates there. However there is something to be said about the less physically distressing methods of nipping it in the bud.

quote:
Originally posted by Faraer

FR11 Dwarves Deep p. 6 is all about love and marriage. It's more formal than in lower-class human societies, overseen by Sharindlar, and casual sex is likely rare. This is both caused by and contributes to the low dwarven birthrate (Thunder Blessing apart).



Yes, I wonder how the newly vibrant Thunder Blessing dwarves are viewing things such as this now? It might be the sudden population explosion that is forcing dwarvwes to retake old holdings, or starve in the hals that have not been having to support a large population for centuries/milennia.

As a side note, I wonder if the Duergar are planning on attempting to kidnap some shield dwarves to use as breeding stock, seeing as the grey folk did not benefit from the thunder blessing...

Shadows of War: Tales of a Mercenary

My first stab at realms fiction, here at candlekeep. Stop on by and tell me what you think.
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Capn Charlie
Senior Scribe

USA
418 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2004 :  17:15:51  Show Profile  Visit Capn Charlie's Homepage Send Capn Charlie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm, now the halflings.

Seeing as I can recall no real material about such things(or much about the Hin in genral, for that matter) I can only mostly guess and infer.

They have a strongly matriarchal society, with their mother goddess being high priority. Strong families, but also flighty and prone to brief love affairs. I would surmise that the onus of birth control would fall on the women, and the priestesshood of their goddess. I would imagine that the use of abortificants of any kind would be a rarely(if ever) used thing, and prevention the rule of the day.

Somehow I seem to get this picture of of halfling matrons putting nararoot in their daughter's food or drink(likely masking the bitter flavor with spices or sugar). I can also see something along these lines going for many families about the realms, with womenfolk often making sure they see their daughters chew their nararoot so as not to have any extra surprises make it home at night.

But back to the Hin, I do believe that there would really be no such thing as an unwanted babe, with a great deal of fostering going on. Some of their women might just be able to easily caarry and deliver, and even enjoy being pregnant, while others might desperately want large families but be unable to bear them.

Due to the extremely communistic nature of halflings, I can picture them more than most any other race having free nararoot provided for all who need it.

Again it comes down to population control here. It is just not always feasible to have large families, and in a world wit hsuch a low infant mortality rate(being virtually nonexistant in most places) having as many as able so some will survive is not a good tactic.

Shadows of War: Tales of a Mercenary

My first stab at realms fiction, here at candlekeep. Stop on by and tell me what you think.
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Mumadar Ibn Huzal
Master of Realmslore

1338 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2004 :  21:31:37  Show Profile Send Mumadar Ibn Huzal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Why would there be 'birth control' - okay, there are the unwanted side-effects of certain professions (turn off that red light) and rampaging bandits or monsters create unwanted situations (and there are some other occasions), but for the most part, the Realms is still a lot like our own medieval world, where children were a family's pension/elderly care plan. Hence all the big families - also because of the high rate of death at childbirth or within the first years.

The herbal cures already mentioned, potential divine or arcane interventions do have their place and are likley the solutions that the average Torillian might encounter. I could not imagine a 'large scale' contraceptive industry, simply because the demand wouldn't be there, nor does the culture support it in a way that Real World modern culture supports it.
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Capn Charlie
Senior Scribe

USA
418 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2004 :  22:09:29  Show Profile  Visit Capn Charlie's Homepage Send Capn Charlie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, here's the thing: THe infant mortality rate is virtually nil. When half your kids don't die in the first years, they add up. I can imagine land, actually farmable land, is an extremely high priced commodity in just about everywhere in Faerun. With the artificially insinuated health care that rivals(or even surpasses) modern health care, but not an equivelant increase in food production, manufacturing, or even advances in minor sciences, it all breaks down. A lot of areas will have to practice some form of population control, and it just seems that it would occur at the grass roots.

The average medievil family likely produced a child every year or so, malnutrition and war permitting. I nthe realms where the average citizen is well fed, fairly well sheltered, and has good magical medical care at their disposal, population would boom. It would boom big. I mean famine, civil wars, all manner of nastiness. Now, whehter it is one way or another depends on the culture.

In thay I reckon that the burgeoning slave population is encouraged, jsut as one would with livestock. In the dales, I reckon families have between 1 and 4 children, depending on the ability of the parents to provide for them.

There is no typhoid, no syphilis, no influenza in the realms. THere is also no ever present food riots, 18 child families, and nations dying as they are unable to feed their populations.

As such there is something limiting the population of the realms, and when faced with it being an act of some god or gods, I believe it to be the people themselves. WHether out of responsibility(three is enough), realism(we barely get by as it is), or even just plain greed(another mouth to feed! damn you woman!) it is getting done.

At least that is my take on it.

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My first stab at realms fiction, here at candlekeep. Stop on by and tell me what you think.
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Hymn
Senior Scribe

Sweden
514 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2004 :  22:43:12  Show Profile Send Hymn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Capn Charlie
Well, most of the things I have read about in the realms relating to sexuality makes it seem like it is a not too uncommon occurence for trysts of all sorts, and if one is to infer a bit, that there might be a certain almost european outlook towards mistresses and such.



Must be that French one whe here about so much up here in the cold north


quote:
Originally posted by Capn Charlie
Their are also various animals that reabsorb embryos when they feel malnourished.



Also sick or or hurt mamals often stop producing eggs as a precaution, since they cant support the newborn young in their current state.

Sauro moki kara ochiro - Even monkeys falls from trees.

The path that leads to truth is littered with the bodies of the ignorant - Miyamoto Musashi
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Sarelle
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
508 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2004 :  23:56:20  Show Profile Send Sarelle a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hymn

quote:
Originally posted by Capn Charlie
Well, most of the things I have read about in the realms relating to sexuality makes it seem like it is a not too uncommon occurence for trysts of all sorts, and if one is to infer a bit, that there might be a certain almost european outlook towards mistresses and such.



Must be that French one whe here about so much up here in the cold north




No, no! It's those frisky Finns! I'd have thought you Scandinavians would know your neighbours!

Chair of the The Rightful Return of Monster Deities to FR Society (RRMDFRS)

My character, drawn by Liodain: Sarelle / Sarelle (smaller)
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Capn Charlie
Senior Scribe

USA
418 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2004 :  00:37:38  Show Profile  Visit Capn Charlie's Homepage Send Capn Charlie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sarelle

quote:
Originally posted by Hymn

quote:
Originally posted by Capn Charlie
Well, most of the things I have read about in the realms relating to sexuality makes it seem like it is a not too uncommon occurence for trysts of all sorts, and if one is to infer a bit, that there might be a certain almost european outlook towards mistresses and such.



Must be that French one whe here about so much up here in the cold north




No, no! It's those frisky Finns! I'd have thought you Scandinavians would know your neighbours!



The French? No Iwas referring to those horndog *rolls die* Polish*. (Polish!?)


*The nationality I decided to use to make my jibe was chosen randomly, if you are insulted in some way then it was not chosen randomly, but specifically to bother you, because I do not care for you, and think your mother dresses you funny.

Shadows of War: Tales of a Mercenary

My first stab at realms fiction, here at candlekeep. Stop on by and tell me what you think.

Edited by - Capn Charlie on 03 Jun 2004 00:39:15
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Hymn
Senior Scribe

Sweden
514 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2004 :  00:47:48  Show Profile Send Hymn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sarelle
No, no! It's those frisky Finns! I'd have thought you Scandinavians would know your neighbours!



Bha, I have to see that to belive it, alltough one can wonder why they build so many saunas?

Sauro moki kara ochiro - Even monkeys falls from trees.

The path that leads to truth is littered with the bodies of the ignorant - Miyamoto Musashi
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Nightchill
Acolyte

4 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2004 :  13:20:20  Show Profile  Visit Nightchill's Homepage Send Nightchill a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Don't forget there's a potion of infertility in Magic of Faerun.
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Karesch
Learned Scribe

Canada
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Posted - 09 Jun 2004 :  21:55:00  Show Profile  Visit Karesch's Homepage Send Karesch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have to say, this is indeed an interesting topic. I'm one for small details, and I'm ashamed to admit, i'd never thought of that one. Something to consider aswell, in larger towns and cities, I would imagine a form of contraceptive would be sold by an herbalist or apprentice wizard perhaps, for relatively cheap, due to the fact that in most if not all cities, there is at least a moderate prostitution trade going on. And both the men and women plying that trade, would want to be able to ensure that they weren't parenting children with all their "regulars" (can you imagine what would happen if the kings daughter turned up pregnant with a male prostitutes child, chaos, or at least a hanging) So I would imagine it's quite cheap and common in large towns and cities.
Just some thoughts for you all.

Knowledge is power... power corrupts... knowledge corrupts? hmm...

Death is only frightening to those who haven't died yet...
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DDH_101
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1272 Posts

Posted - 10 Jun 2004 :  00:00:35  Show Profile  Visit DDH_101's Homepage Send DDH_101 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is a very interesting and unusual topic. I thought about something like this awhile ago...

Speaking of birth control and sex, what about sexual diseases? Does HIV, herpes or illnesses like that occur in the Forgotten Realms?

"Trust in the shadows, for the bright way makes you an easy target." -Mask
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Capn Charlie
Senior Scribe

USA
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Posted - 10 Jun 2004 :  01:39:49  Show Profile  Visit Capn Charlie's Homepage Send Capn Charlie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This again is an interesting vector of conversation.

The presence of diseases in the realms has always intrigued me. I am generally working off of the theory of all humans coming to toril from earth. However, the presence of terran diseases is low because of the presence of magic.

I believe that most if not all diseases in the realms should be ficticious, and of a quasi magical nature at times. It makes sense that in the presence of magic certain viruses and bacterium will evlve the spell like abilities we se so often in creatures native to faerun.

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My first stab at realms fiction, here at candlekeep. Stop on by and tell me what you think.
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Hymn
Senior Scribe

Sweden
514 Posts

Posted - 11 Jun 2004 :  01:11:00  Show Profile Send Hymn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Capn Charlie

This again is an interesting vector of conversation.

The presence of diseases in the realms has always intrigued me. I am generally working off of the theory of all humans coming to toril from earth. However, the presence of terran diseases is low because of the presence of magic.

I believe that most if not all diseases in the realms should be ficticious, and of a quasi magical nature at times. It makes sense that in the presence of magic certain viruses and bacterium will evlve the spell like abilities we se so often in creatures native to faerun.



Hmm, yes magic and clerics are probable factors to the low rate of pestencil and diseases. I mean cities like Calimport and Waterdeep would be reeking with diseases if it was earth in those days. I thought the humans where natives to toril?

Sauro moki kara ochiro - Even monkeys falls from trees.

The path that leads to truth is littered with the bodies of the ignorant - Miyamoto Musashi
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Capn Charlie
Senior Scribe

USA
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Posted - 11 Jun 2004 :  08:58:37  Show Profile  Visit Capn Charlie's Homepage Send Capn Charlie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, to the best of my knowledge every race except for the reptilian ones, dopplegangers, and a few others are imports.

This is further supported(in my opinion) by the original concept of the realms being linked to earth by Gates. I am fairly certain Ed wouldn't try to cram the old star trek theory of "paralell development", so it makes sense that since humans developed originally on earth they must have came to Toril(as evidenced by the nations of Mulhorand, and Unther).

Shadows of War: Tales of a Mercenary

My first stab at realms fiction, here at candlekeep. Stop on by and tell me what you think.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36784 Posts

Posted - 11 Jun 2004 :  15:36:29  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Capn Charlie

Well, to the best of my knowledge every race except for the reptilian ones, dopplegangers, and a few others are imports.

This is further supported(in my opinion) by the original concept of the realms being linked to earth by Gates. I am fairly certain Ed wouldn't try to cram the old star trek theory of "paralell development", so it makes sense that since humans developed originally on earth they must have came to Toril(as evidenced by the nations of Mulhorand, and Unther).



Page 261 of the FRCS speaks of humans as one of the five creator races. So humans are native to Toril, though other humans later migrated there or were imported.

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Capn Charlie
Senior Scribe

USA
418 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2004 :  12:42:42  Show Profile  Visit Capn Charlie's Homepage Send Capn Charlie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It says they "arose". I totally buy their "arising" being them gated in by another race(like say, the Fey), and then humans going off into the land multiplying. In fact, I reckon that the fey's apparant delight in waylaying humans and trapping them in "their realm"(as evidenced by Earth folklore) could serve as a great way to introduce fresh enough genes for the humans to not interbreed overly much.

I just really don't buy humans developing on both Toril and Earth. However, they could have been transplanted, by whatever god seems appropriate, from earth.

I really do feel compelled to make things work for Toril and Earth simultaneously. In most fantasy worlds I feel no compunction with just discounting earth, and in fact, hoping it never bumps into my setting. However, with the realms, it just seems "right". I surely don't want a bunch of space marines invading(Ala the Darksword trilogy) but I do want their to have been a connection with earth at one point, and seperately forming humans(who just all happen to have evolved cultural and physical similarities to Earth peoples) just stretches believeablity too far.


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My first stab at realms fiction, here at candlekeep. Stop on by and tell me what you think.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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36784 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2004 :  17:28:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Capn Charlie

It says they "arose". I totally buy their "arising" being them gated in by another race(like say, the Fey), and then humans going off into the land multiplying. In fact, I reckon that the fey's apparant delight in waylaying humans and trapping them in "their realm"(as evidenced by Earth folklore) could serve as a great way to introduce fresh enough genes for the humans to not interbreed overly much.


But if you read on, it mentions that planar immigration happened later, after the creator races discovered magic... I think if humans had been imported at the beginning, that would have been mentioned -- after all, it does mention the specific order in which other races were imported.

Besides, how could they be one of the creator races if they were imported?

quote:
Originally posted by Capn Charlie

I just really don't buy humans developing on both Toril and Earth. However, they could have been transplanted, by whatever god seems appropriate, from earth.


True, they could have been transported. Or they could have developed on Toril and migrated to Earth. Or, as everything seems to indicate, they could have risen concurrently on both worlds. Not necessarily by evolution, though, as we have magic and deities to consider.

Why is there a problem with humans being on multiple worlds? It's a common enough precept in fantasy, even on other WotC worlds.

quote:
Originally posted by Capn Charlie

I really do feel compelled to make things work for Toril and Earth simultaneously. In most fantasy worlds I feel no compunction with just discounting earth, and in fact, hoping it never bumps into my setting. However, with the realms, it just seems "right". I surely don't want a bunch of space marines invading(Ala the Darksword trilogy) but I do want their to have been a connection with earth at one point, and seperately forming humans(who just all happen to have evolved cultural and physical similarities to Earth peoples) just stretches believeablity too far.


But it's believable to have near-human races, like elves and dwarves, or races like dragons?

And keep in mind that the Earth-like cultures were a later add-on to the Realms, and not part of Ed's original creation. Not only that, but some of them were in fact imported from Earth.

Toril is a fantasy world. I don't see any problem with the concept of humans arising there as they did elsewhere. It may be a stretch to say they evolved the same way, but we have deities and magic -- so there's no need to involve evolution. It's just as easy to say a deity looked across the cosmos, saw some humans that another deity had created, and made his/her own.

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Faraer
Great Reader

3308 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2004 :  17:52:53  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The thing is, there are many -- hundreds, thousands, who knows? -- human-inhabited worlds in the multiverse the Realms is part of, and they can't all have been populated via Earth. They're parallel worlds, like Gygax's Oerth/Yarth/Ęrth.
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Capn Charlie
Senior Scribe

USA
418 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2004 :  00:03:56  Show Profile  Visit Capn Charlie's Homepage Send Capn Charlie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:

Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

But if you read on, it mentions that planar immigration happened later, after the creator races discovered magic... I think if humans had been imported at the beginning, that would have been mentioned -- after all, it does mention the specific order in which other races were imported.

Besides, how could they be one of the creator races if they were imported?


I was just using the fey as an example(perhaps because I assume they "discovered" magic far before any of the other creator races. I am also completely open to the idea of a god or gods having imported humans here at some ancient time. I did not mean to imply that the onus of importing the humans lie solely on the heads of any of the other creator races. However it might be interesting if it was some ancient deity that found a home for some groups of humans, and after being destroyed or subsumed by the god(?) of the creator races their clergy learned the secret location of them, and began the importation of their slave races.

quote:

Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
True, they could have been transported. Or they could have developed on Toril and migrated to Earth. Or, as everything seems to indicate, they could have risen concurrently on both worlds. Not necessarily by evolution, though, as we have magic and deities to consider.

Why is there a problem with humans being on multiple worlds? It's a common enough precept in fantasy, even on other WotC worlds.


Well, it is not so much their presence on both worlds that bothers me. It is the justification for said presence. "It just so happens" is not a good enough rationalization for their rising on two seperate worlds. Even if it is just the cross pollination of the "design specs" for humanity, I want their to be some buyable reason for humans to be on two worlds.

I can use the rationalization of it being an "alternate earth", via paralell realities/dimensions/whatnot with most other fantasy worlds. But it becomes problematic to do so with a world that so wholly diverges from earth history. It seems that any one of a hundred factors would have greatly altered the outcome of human development. That and Faerūn is so seemingly saturated with magic that I firmly believe that it cannot really be an alternate earth, at least not insomuch as the concept is generally used.

quote:

Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
But it's believable to have near-human races, like elves and dwarves, or races like dragons?


Yes, totally. Why? Well, mammalian humanoid is a highly adaptable, successful, and generally useful body design. I can buy the elves developing on their own world, whether by nature or magic, far more than I can believe concurrently developing strains of humans. And dragons, in the appropriate environment, I can see them developing as the dominant species.

It comes back to a theory I have about the fantasy races, wherin they all developed similiarly to the way humans did, and either gods took on the aspects of their chosen peoples, adapted their development to fit their own nature, or perhaps individuals from these races rose to divinity. With a finite number of worlds/planes being able to be populated, it is not really that surprising that whatever forces that be whom wish to see their chosen race thrive, keep placing their favored creations on the same worlds. Especially with the generally competetive nature of the races/deities.

quote:

Originally posted by Wooly RupertAnd keep in mind that the Earth-like cultures were a later add-on to the Realms, and not part of Ed's original creation. Not only that, but some of them were in fact imported from Earth.


No, they were not. Perhaps Ed didn't so blatantly copy earth culture, but there are definitely many earth influences in the realms from the era before Maztica, Mulhorand, and so forth. I could comfortably chalk it up to just not wanting to reinvent the wheel, or this being a damned fantasy world, but they are there.

quote:

Originally posted by Wooly RupertToril is a fantasy world. I don't see any problem with the concept of humans arising there as they did elsewhere. It may be a stretch to say they evolved the same way, but we have deities and magic -- so there's no need to involve evolution. It's just as easy to say a deity looked across the cosmos, saw some humans that another deity had created, and made his/her own.


Too true, too true. In fact this fairly well coincides with some of my own theories and views above. I just believe that with the presence of earth being attached to the realms, and we being relatively certain that humans arose here without magical intervention(I would really rather not go there...), that it makes sense for the humans on Toril to be imports of some sort. Maybe not neccesarily physically imported, of course, but at least the concept and general "design" of humanity.

In fact, I am totally alright with all the campaign settings, fictional settings, and planar realities being concurrent. It is just that, to me at least, Toril seems more real than almost all of the others to me. I feel compelled to go to certain lengths to rationalize the realms.

Perhaps this makes me less than sane, but at least I enjoy myself.

Shadows of War: Tales of a Mercenary

My first stab at realms fiction, here at candlekeep. Stop on by and tell me what you think.

Edited by - Capn Charlie on 05 Nov 2004 10:53:55
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Tethtoril
Seeker

95 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2004 :  01:57:43  Show Profile  Visit Tethtoril's Homepage Send Tethtoril a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It seems we are straying a bit from the topic of birth control. *cough* So, umm, could we talk about it again.

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Forlorn
Seeker

59 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2004 :  21:30:14  Show Profile  Visit Forlorn's Homepage Send Forlorn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't believe there is a birth control issue in relams. There are some potions and spells to prevent and aid pregnancy but among general population if you are not a Kazanova sort of creature esp a peasant you need as many children you can. Standart prostitutes can have childern when Beshaba spits her curse on them however expensive ones might use magical or herbal means of protection.

We better not forget, realms is not a modern society. There are many dangers so families need to be ready their ranks for an epidemic, war or raid esp in rural areas , people are not educated; very little rattio of the population know how to read and magic is more expensive then our technology that only the rich people can have the benefits of the luxeries of ożr standard that magical appliances offer.

To conclude maybe some very outgoing women and men, the profesionals and who have a certain purpose may use birth control but among general population it is a curse or a blessing of Gods.
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Capn Charlie
Senior Scribe

USA
418 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2004 :  00:50:07  Show Profile  Visit Capn Charlie's Homepage Send Capn Charlie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
as has ben posted by Ed several times, birth control is a more common thing, than that.

Quite frankly, the whole "have as many kids as you can" thing is not very true. People all over the real world have practiced various methods of birth control for millenia, everything from infantacide to mistletoe tea, and the situations in the real world have been argualby more harsh than that in the realms.

While I agree that every peasant doesn't have a wand of cure laying around for boo boos, the presence of the clerics of a variety of goodly gods are able to negate the worst of disease, injury, dangerous childbirth, and even many of hte worst ravages of old age.

is this all from people wanting to make the ralms a pleasant place, possibly. But it is also from the gods who depend on their worshippers for power, and dispensing blessings is what gods do.

Shadows of War: Tales of a Mercenary

My first stab at realms fiction, here at candlekeep. Stop on by and tell me what you think.
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Forlorn
Seeker

59 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2004 :  22:06:26  Show Profile  Visit Forlorn's Homepage Send Forlorn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Whatever Ed says about Relams is a fact cuz he created all.
But for me birth control is normal for high bourgeoisie but I peasant and lesser educated folk of the cities don't know and use birth control.
That is a general fact for my campaigns. If you sleep with a country girl you may be a father after 10 sessions. Bad Luck, buddy, haaaha
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2004 :  22:28:44  Show Profile Send Kuje a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also remember there is nonmagical birth control in the FRCS. Narraroot and Casil (sp's?) that don't cost that much since they are plants.

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

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Edited by - Kuje on 06 Nov 2004 22:29:15
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Sightless
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USA
608 Posts

Posted - 01 Oct 2012 :  13:41:56  Show Profile Send Sightless a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well since it’s been brought up, the Romans were known to have made condoms from material gathered from a mixture prepared from material gathered from the intestines and the bladder of sheep. Several instances of the use of such devices can be found throughout the Holy Roman empire as well, lall though there frequency is less so during the later middle ages. Explanations for this vary. Another condom like device used in pre-Tan Chaina was made from a thick oiled paper, and even devices made out of tortus shell saw ocasional use. Returning to the sheep condom example for a moment, given there relative thick nature, they were essentially made the same way the romans made surgical gloves, one could be washed and reused, multiple times, instead of being simply used and thrown away with the modern devices. Given our Realms discussion then, I wouldn’t be surprised then if a tailer of a man’s clothing shop, to me, men and women clothing shops should be kept separate, or at least divided, as they were in most parts of eastern and western europe until the twentieth century, could simply go to a butcher obtain the needed materials and sell the devices , not kept in plain view mind you, to men that desire them.

Now, there seems to me a question as to why birth control should be desirable. Even in the Roman times, especially those that lived in cities, birth control was something considered desirable, a place where healing magic was completely absent. Given this, the things that should impact the presence of brith control, in any form, are: how easy it to obtain healing magics, or rather is the child mortality rate relatively low, if the answer for whatever reason is no, then this should increase the likelyhood of contriciptive practices; next, one most consider if the area is heavily aggreian based, if so, then larger families will in general be desired as more children make it easier to work the land and provide the insurance, so to speak, for the adults when they can no longer do so; finally, are there religious or social norms against the use of contriceptive use, this might be difficult for many to consider at first glance, but the realms with magic running loose, and so forth, shouldn’t be free of sometimes wild and half based rumors that get started and run rampent.

We choose to live a lie, when we see with, & not through the eye.

Every decision, no matter the evidence, is a leap of faith; if it were not, then it wouldn't be a choice at all.
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