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Information > Teudogar_FAQ2
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Teudogar Concept/History FAQ
Game Concept, Historical Facts
by Wolf Mittag

ABOUT THIS FAQ
About this FAQ
Teudogar Game FAQ
Teudogar Concept/History FAQ
Teudogar Development FAQ
What's in all these German passages?
Ich verstehe kein Englisch! Was mache ich mit diesem FAQ?

GAME CONCEPT
Why did you chose a historical setting?
How does the historical setting work for the player?
What's the idea behind Teudogar?
What kind of computer game players is Teudogar intended for?
What's the main focus of Teudogar?
Why would anyone play something like this?
What were your thoughts on the dialog system?
What level of detail should there be in gameplay?
Why isn't Teudogar's game world continuous?
Why aren't there any large Fantasy dungeons in Teudogar?
How does such a game world work for the player?
Why aren't there any large cities?
Why can't we wage war, have great battles, found/build cities etc in this game?
Why can't I continue playing after finishing the game?
Why isn't there more useful stuff to buy?
Why are there no horses for riding?
Why are there no boats, ships?
Will there be islands/sailing?
What kind of feedback did you get on Teudogar?
Are the comments in 'Opinions on Teudogar' genuine?
Are Ultima fans fanatic about Teudogar?
Did people who enjoyed DARGHUL like Teudogar as well?
What's the difference between Teudogar and your new fantasy RPG DARGHUL?
Was für ein Spielkonzept steht hinter Teudogar?
Ist es leichter, Fantasy zu produzieren?
Worin liegt der Haupt-Spielspaß bei Teudogar?
Warum kann ich keinen eigenen Gefolgsleute haben, die mich ständig begleiten?
Waum gibt es nirgendwo Kinder?
Warum wird meine Inventarfigur völlig nackt dargestellt, wenn ich alle Kleider ausziehe?
Warum kommt die Schlacht beim Teutoburger Wald nicht im Spiel vor?
Warum kann man eigentlich nicht nach Rom reisen?

HISTORICAL FACTS
Why did you choose that particular period?
I'm no German. Why should I care about the Teutons, or ancient Germania?
If the game is meant to be historically authentic, why did you include magic?
Why would there be any magic in a historically authentic game?
Why would there be any magical potions in a historically authentic game?
Why can't I play the game as a female hero?
Weren't there any heroic women in the ancient world?
What would population numbers for Teudogar's game world have been in real life?
Would it be historically right if we encountered Roman patrols instead of robbers?
Why is there such a lack of money in Teudogar?
What kind of armor did the Roman legionaries wear?
How many Roman muscle breast plate cuirasses would have existed in Germania?
Why should I avoid stealing anything in Teudogar?
Did people in ancient Germania die at the age of 40?
Why can't I have sex with anyone but slave girls in Teudogar?
Are the settlement names in Teudogar fictional?
What would happen if I actually ate toadstool mushrooms in reality?
Would toadstool mushrooms actually be useful for becoming a Berserker?
Who were the original 'Teutons'?
What do you think about the Barbarian invasions into the late Roman Empire?
Why did Rome lose Britain to the Germanic Anglo-Saxons?
Do you think the Teutons were culturally/racially/etc superior?
Do you think Christianity contributed to Rome's downfall?
Is anybody interested in history?
Do people value historical accuracy?
Will you write be more Roman epoch games?
Will you write any more historical role playing games?
Wieso haben Sie ein historisches Szenario, und dann gerade dieses, gewählt?
Ist das Interesse an den Römern regional unterschiedlich verbreitet?
Wie hätte es ein Germane angestellt, sich den Römern anzuschließen?
Waren die Germanen wirklich so gastfreundlich, daß man überall umsonst essen konnte?
Warum sind die Priester in Teudogar so wehrhaft?
Warum sagt einem Boudomandua nicht, warum man Rango töten soll?
Finden Sie es gut, daß das römische Reich untergegangen ist?



Teudogar Concept/History FAQ
Game Concept, Historical Facts
by Wolf Mittag


ABOUT THIS FAQ


About this FAQ

This is a somewhat edited compilation of email replies and forum postings regarding Teudogar that I've written over the years.

Apart from the main English text, there are a few German postings appended to most chapters, which usually deal with the same questions already answered in English before.

If you still have any questions you couldn't find answers to in this FAQ, you are welcome to contact us: wolfmittag.com/contact.

Best regards,
Wolf Mittag (author of Teudogar)

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Teudogar Game FAQ

Contents: Gameplay, Combat, Equipment, Character System, Spell Casting, Plot, Cheat Mode, Technical, Ordering.

Huge wealth of practical information about the Teudogar game.

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Teudogar Concept/History FAQ

Contents: Game Concept, Historical Facts.

Why Teudogar has been designed the way it is. Plus explanations of the historical background of many game aspects.

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Teudogar Development FAQ

Contents: Development, Future Teudogar Games, Business.

How Teudogar was developed: Information on programming, graphics, and game world creation. Planned Teudogar II + III games. Plus some reflections on business aspects.

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What's in all these German passages?

Usually, the same questions have already been answered in English before.

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Ich verstehe kein Englisch! Was mache ich mit diesem FAQ?

Es tut mir leid, daß es bisher noch keine deutsche Version gibt. Wie Sie sehen, ist es ziemlich viel Text, und der Übersetzungs-Aufwand wäre erheblich.

Eine Notlösung wäre vielleicht folgendes: Sie könnten die Passagen, die Sie besonders interessieren, markieren und kopieren (Strg+C), und dann zu Babelfish http://babelfish.altavista.com gehen und dort einfügen (Strg+V). Die davon erstellten automatischen Übersetzungen sind zwar nicht sehr gut, aber meistens doch hinreichend verständlich.

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GAME CONCEPT


Why did you chose a historical setting?

In my opinion, facts are often more dramatic than fiction. I consider the divine and nerdy, adulterous, parsimonious and visionary Emperor Augustus a more colorful and threatening figure than J.R.R.Tolkien's evil Sauron; and the Roman legionaries, cursing and longingly dreaming of far-away Rome's pleasures while they were making their way through Germania's icy swamps, more interesting opponents than the often-cited Orc hordes.

Besides, the particular historical epoch this game is set in was a time of absolute liberty (at least for part of the population), of complete anarchy, of constant bloodshed, of wild and daring schemes, of strong belief in magic, and of absolute political incorrectness. Consequently, you're much more unrestricted in such a setting than you'd be in a more modern world, or in a fantasy world influenced by modern thinking and modern values.

I'm trying to depict this foreign and strange historical world in all its glory, and all its ugliness and cruelty as well. If a role playing game's purpose is to temporarily get you away from your usual surroundings, values, ways of thinking and acting, to allow you to be a totally different person for a while, to take a brief vacation from your usual self, then I believe Teudogar's historical world is better suited to achieve this than many fantasy worlds.

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How does the historical setting work for the player?

Though I chose a historical setting for this game, from a player's point of view it is a classical role playing game, and definitely not a schoolbook history lesson. It re-creates the heathen and barbaric world of the ancient Teutons in a historically accurate way - but the main purpose for doing so is to provide you with an exciting game world, an eventful plot, and an authentically barbarian, savage and superstitious atmosphere.

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What's the idea behind Teudogar?

This game is meant to recreate a part of ancient Germania, and to let you live in this world over a period of several months. Apart from the fictional protagonists, almost everything you hear or see in Teudogar is actually true, i.e., historical fact (and hopefully presented in an interesting manner). It lets you swap your present urban, civilized, tax-paying and law-respecting life for the archaic, anarchic, wild, heroic, superstitious and barbarian life of our ancestors of many centuries ago - and it offers not just a fantasy, but gives you the actual truth (as far as possible). That is, in my point of view, what makes Teudogar unique and enjoyable.

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What kind of computer game players is Teudogar intended for?

I think Teudogar can be fun to play for people with very different tastes. Due to its flexibility, it can appeal to d&d monster slayer type players as well as those who abhor violence; to people fascinated with historical cultures as well as people totally bored by history. You can use it as an educational infotainment type of program, or play it as a slay- and capture-booty-type game; you can decide to follow one of the main storylines, or simply travel around the country bartering your merchandise or accumulating a fortune in booty. You can end each game at any time over the Actions Menu, and thus live dozens of totally different lives, and get dozens of different endings.

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What's the main focus of Teudogar?

This game mainly focuses on quality and playability, historical authenticity and realism and truthfulness, and game depth. E.g., lots of work went into making sure that people will always react intelligently to you (regardless of what you do or say), that your relationship with them will develop in a realistic way, and that conversation and interaction should manage to give you a feeling for the way life was in barbarian Germania (not in a schoolbook way, but in a natural, realistic, and interesting and entertaining way).

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Why would anyone play something like this?

Teudogar doesn't impress at first sight. But people who actually do play it tend to enjoy the game depth and level of detail, the plot, game world, and atmosphere, the realism, and the authenticity of its historic environment. Of course, different people have different tastes. But the free demo gives you a chance to see for yourself if you like it or not.

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What were your thoughts on the dialog system?

Conversation must feel natural. And I think Teudogar does a comparatively good job there. People have a pretty clear recognition of their surroundings, of what happened in their community, of themselves, and of yourself, and of how others feel about you. People greet you differently once they've made your acquaintance; and their language becomes more familiar once you become friends. People comment on recent news. Merchants notice when your equipment is damaged and offer to repair this particular thing, or notice you're lacking a particular item, and offer exactly that item to you. Slaves are aware of what their masters think about you, and will treat you accordingly. People who can heal comment on your health. Your slave notices when you've been away for a longer period of time, and greets you accordingly. Robbers are aware of what kind of armor you're wearing, and will only demand what you have. People will comment on your weapon and equipment. Henchmen can tell you where their lord is (in the hall, outside, in his house etc). Ortwin can tell in what chest his gold is, and will comment when it's been stolen. When you're carrying too many things with you, Thoralf will offer you one of the empty boxes in his hall to store your goods in. Osmund will warn you if you're about to set out for combat without sufficient armor, and will tell you what exactly he thinks you're lacking (weapon, shield, armor etc). In general, I took great care to equip people with lots of information and awareness so they can react naturally and realistically.

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What level of detail should there be in gameplay?

Too much detail might feel bothersome; i.e. if you'd have to brush your character's teeth three times a day, put on gloves in cold weather, make sure you've got enough drinking water, and maybe even have to urinate/defecate, you'd spend most of your gaming time with doing things that aren't particularly exciting.

Sure, integrating them might make the whole game feel more real, and possibly enhance your identification with your character. (E.g., after having fed and groomed and cared for your character for several weeks, you'd probably feel much stronger about receiving a severe wound during a battle.)

But I still think too much compulsory detail would be a hassle for most players, and excluding irrelevant minor everyday activities from gameplay gives you more time and capacity to focus on plot and game world, which are more exciting.

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Why isn't Teudogar's game world continuous?

Because ancient Germania consisted mainly of huge empty forests and swamps. Between the settlements would have been vast areas without anything of interest. So I chose a location/settlement-based game world.

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Why aren't there any large Fantasy dungeons in Teudogar?

Because in reality, monsters don't exist and didn't exist back then. And there are only few (and very few large) caves is this region of Europe.

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How does such a game world work for the player?

Partly, I made up for the reduced width by adding more depth: The Teudogar game world mainly consists of inhabited settlements, and these have been created with an enormous level of details, interaction, and complexity. E.g., every person in this game world is actually living a realistic life - working, resting, eating, sleeping, moving around on his/her farmstead, interacting with others, etc. Every house is fully furnished, in an individual fashion, with respect to who is living there. Every chest or barrel is filled with people's particular goods or personal possessions (and a wealthy nobleman's clan will have different possessions than a poor farmer etc). Every person is carrying different things in his/her pockets. People produce different goods. And every single object that you see in the game world actually exists, can usually be used, can be inspected, moved, bartered, stolen, etc.

Secondly, I tried to compensate for the missing dungeoneering by providing alternatives. E.g., when you travel between two locations, you will very often be held you up by bands of robbers in random-generated locations. This will provide plenty of combat action and booty (and you can search for the robbers' camp). Around most locations, there are also many smaller caves (and there are random generated caves on the location where the robbers hold you up), with hostile animals, treasures, or human remains, etc. So there are many additional opportunities for exploration in most locations. Besides, there are many duels, there's combat practice, and there are several minor battles.

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Why aren't there any large cities?

Because there were no cities in Germania, just small settlements with usually the same type of houses everywhere. And there weren't even any professional craftsmen with shops (apart from a smith). Nor was there any great variations in lifestyle or settlement patterns. So what I did was to choose a few dozen typical, representative locations - e.g., some larger villages, single farmsteads, a sacred grove, a Roman camp, a Teutonic fortfied place, a few dozen caves, and the usual forests and swamps -, and implement each of these with the utmost possible level of detailedness, thus compensating by depth what would otherwise be lacking in width.

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Why can't we wage war, have great battles, found/build cities etc in this game?

I think there's a conceptual problem with ideas of this kind. A role playing game like Teudogar is extremely detailed, and this high level of detail and game depth is, in my opinion, one major fun factor of RPGs.

However, this detailedness also makes RPGs ill-suited for very complex scenarios. E.g., imagine leading an army of 10,000 warriors: You'd have daily meetings with a dozen generals and many of the 100-200 lower ranking officers; you'd have to worry about providing food, arranging logistics, finding places to camp, marching routes, equipment, payment, troop morale, intelligence reports, finding/avoiding the enemy, finding suitable places for battle, battle order, directing battle, pillaging, caring for the wounded, and countless other things: Without a great degree of simplification, it would be absolutely impossible to play such a role within the 1-2 hours per day that one might perhaps spend in front of the computer.

So the only viable solution would be to leave out everything that's not absolutely necessary, e.g., skip all the marching, preparations, and just focus on the battles, or, more strategy-like, focus on the basic preparations and make the battles a brief affair.

All very well, however, the result would be conceptually totally different from a role playing game like Teudogar; in fact, it would be easier to write a new strategy/battle game from scratch than to add these elements to Teudogar.

That's not to say it can't be done. But I think the main strength of RPGs is in scenarios of limited complexity, e.g., villages instead of huge towns, duels instead of battles, expanding your hut instead of building new cities: With a RPG, these small things can be done as an individual person, in great detail and with deep game depth, in a fun way, and within a reasonable playing time. Since this is what the genre and technology is best suited for (in my opinion), I think I should primarily focus on these kinds of non-complex scenarios.

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Why can't I continue playing after finishing the game?

Mainly because most game-ending events change the game's world so fundamentally that letting you continue to play in that changed world would basically require an entirely new game (game world, dialogs). E.g., consider you've formed a tribal alliance and have the bad luck to be defeated by the Roman armies; this would obviously require a completely new game world (all settlements burnt down etc), not to speak of the changes in peoples' lifes and consequently, in what virtually every person would say to you. Life after the defeat would basically be an entirely new game.

Another part of the problem is the realistic nature of game ending goals - these often take time to achieve. I.e., in a fantasy setting, killing the main Evil Super Monster Opponent will plausibly instantly solve all problems and end the game plot immediately, without having too much impact on settlements or peoples' lifes or dialogs or your own circumstances; consequently, continuing playing is no problem at all.

But reaching a historically sensible goal like e.g. becoming king is a task that will require many long, boring months of intrigues and policy (and often, simply waiting for opportunities). Consequently, in Teudogar you can place yourself in a position that will eventually lead to the desired outcome; but you can't immediately realize and then live your goal, since that'd take many months if not years; so what you get in Teudogar is not the real experience of living your realized goals, but merely an outlook of what will be the consequence of your deeds and the position you've placed yourself in.

It's quite a different matter with fantasy; in DARGHUL, once you've saved the world by slaying the evil Wizard, King Gibur will be happy to instantly make you Duke of Ranaghol, and you'll be free to spend an eternal playing time living your new (though not that eventful) ducal life...

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Why isn't there more useful stuff to buy?

A drawback of Teudogar's historical setting is that there isn't enough useful stuff to buy. Once you have a good set of arms and armor, and have paid for several witches' services, you basically have all you need.

(I've been intending to give you a chance to invest surplus booty in your farmstead (buy cows/slaves), but that'd be difficult to program; and besides these extra cows/slaves still wouldn't bring a real practical advantage to you. The perfect solution would perhaps be if you could employ and equip your own army of henchmen; that would reliably and constantly drain your financial ressources.)

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Why are there no horses for riding?

Because implementing this would have been so much work: Providing for you to feed, care for, accommodate, buy, sell, heal etc your horse, plus combat, plus setting up the infrastructure (stables, hay and water every few miles), plus additional graphics and animation. So I decided to put this off for the time being.

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Why are there no boats, ships?

I liked the way you could use boats/ships in Ultima, and would like to implement something similar.

However, at present, I'm using rivers and mountains as boundaries to prevent you from walking off beyond the game world.

So once you're able to cross rivers, and possibly mountains too, I'd have to introduce oceans as new boundaries, which would naturally lead to ships, islands and so on: This would be great, but too much work for the present version.

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Will there be islands/sailing?

I'll have to put this off for future versions, since that'll require a number of additional systems with lots of sub-systems (e.g. sea -> boats/ships -> buying, selling, navigating and so on). Besides, for the time being, DARGHUL's game world is strictly continental (surrounded by insurpassable mountains and rivers). (Next thing for an add-on would be to enable you to cross/navigate these rivers/mountains and explore the areas beyond until you reach the ocean, which would form the next barrier of the game world, with only coastal waters navigateable. Yet another add-on might then allow real navigation. In such a fashion, I could grow the game world bit by bit, without game world creation work becoming unmanageable.)

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What kind of feedback did you get on Teudogar?

In the hundreds of mails I received over time, most people commented enthusiastically on gameplay, and praised game depth and other rpg aspects. Many thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and scenario.

There were fewer comments praising the historical accuracy and perfect realism of the game. A minority of people was totally ecstatic about these qualities, but a majority of mails focused on other aspects. My conclusion from this is that most people probably played Teudogar as a 'normal' role playing game (or, put differently, that there were more people who played Teudogar because they like role playing games than people who came to the game because of their interest in history).

Apart from the not quite up-to-date graphics and sound, basically the only criticism was that there wasn't more of it - e.g., several people would have liked a longer main plot. In retrospect, I think this is true. Writing multiple alternative plots (each with a limited length) wasn't a good idea; I should have concatenated everything into one single, longer plot.

Overall, this game has been received very well - especially considering its exotic nature. Of course many people would on principle never play a 2d tile-based role playing game. But among those who do, Teudogar has been met with a lot of real enthusiasm.

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Are the comments in 'Opinions on Teudogar' genuine?

Yes. Most people who actually play Teudogar usually enjoy it a great deal, and are often really enthusiastic about it. Many were so kind to post or mail their opinion. All of these comments have been taken from emails, reviews, and forum postings that I've received or achieved over the years.

However, the comments are from people who enjoyed Teudogar. Yet there are also many people who didn't. This game isn't for everybody. Many have been put off by the 2d tile based graphics style, and often quit playing before they could get hooked on gameplay and plot. Others thought it was too intellectual. Some people who exclusively like Fantasy felt they couldn't enjoy a game lacking Elves and fireball spells. And though Teudogar has a lot of action, combat, and exploration, it offers no monster-filled dungeons, and has a smaller game world than many fantasy games that do.

So maybe you should see for yourself if Teudogar is what you are looking for. There's a free, fully playable Demo Version containing a part of the game world and plot that can be played without any time limit. And it's only 6 MB - can be downloaded very quickly. Installation is simple and fast, and later you can easily de-install it again. Click on 'Download' in the upper navigation bar.

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Are Ultima fans fanatic about Teudogar?

It's true that Teudogar is based on the same tradition. But from what I gathered from forum postings and correspondence, many Ultima fans specifically want Richard Garriott's Britannia, and won't accept any other scenario, particularly not a historical one, as a replacement.

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Did people who enjoyed DARGHUL like Teudogar as well?

Many did. But there still seem to be different audiences: Many people who loved the original DARGHUL (and DARGHUL had been quite successful) didn't like Teudogar as much. A few had actually made up their mind before even looking at it, and were simply put off by the description. But many of those who played it complained about the lack of magic, the absence of Elves, and the non-mystic, realistic atmosphere of Teudogar. They simply felt that a non-fantasy RPG just wasn't as enjoyable for them. Not their taste, not in their interests. They specifically wanted fantasy.

In a way, my writing of Teudogar was like a successful Science Fiction author presenting his loyal fans with a Western novel: There are few people who enjoy both genres equally. Also, in comparison to DARGHUL, Teudogar was too earnest, intellectual, dialog-heavy, and lacked action (e.g. large monster-filled dungeons). So it's not just a question of scenario and atmosphere, but also of gameplay concept. Now, with my new remake of DARGHUL I think I'll recapture the spirit and concept of the original - but in consequence, I wonder if Teudogar fans will equally enjoy this...

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What's the difference between Teudogar and your new fantasy RPG DARGHUL?

DARGHUL is intended to offer something for almost everyone, due to its freedom of action and large array of gaming possibilities, offering lots of choices, and the freedom to focus on whatever particularly appeals to you.

The background is that Teudogar was mainly focused on dialogs and political thinking, with some occasional combat in between, little exploration, and not much gaming action: You spent most of your time talking or thinking, and only rarely actually _did_ something. It definitely wasn't a game an analphabetical person could play.

In contrast, DARGHUL offers much more in exploration and real action - things to do, not just matters to contemplate. There's still lots of dialog, but you're now free to decide whether to make this the main subject of your gaming, or whether to focus on other kinds of gameplay action, such as exploring, fighting, dungeoneering, pilgrimaging, producing things, trading, treasure-huntung, recovering magical objects, perfecting your skills, learning spells, reading books, talking to people, completing subplots, and, of course, saving the world. Additionally, different starting choices during character generation (male/female, knight's/wizard's apprentice / craftsman / good-for-nothing etc) encourage you to select a somewhat different course and play in a different way each time you start a new game.

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Was für ein Spielkonzept steht hinter Teudogar?

Teudogar ist insofern kein typisches/"richtiges" Computer-Rollenspiel, als daß der Focus ziemlich stark auf den historischen Umständen liegt: Ein kurzer Abschnitt der Geschichte, und ein kurzer Abschnitt aus dem Leben eines Menschen, der damals gelebt haben könnte, wird ziemlich detailliert behandelt - mit dem Ziel, den Spieler die damalige Zeit perfekt nacherleben zu lassen.

Wenn man das Spiel gespielt hat, weiß man, glaube ich, wirklich ziemlich alles über diese historische Epoche. Eigentlich alles, was man im Spiel sieht oder hört, ist so, wie es historisch tatsächlich gewesen ist - die historischen Umstände und die allgemeine politische Lage stimmen; Zeit stimmt; Stämme und Stammesnamen stimmen; alle erwähnten Ereignisse stimmen; genaue Umstände und Herrscher bei den einzelnen Stämmen sind nicht bekannt, könnten aber wirklich so gewesen sein wie von mir dargestellt; Siedlungsformen stimmen; soziale Umstände stimmen: D.h., es ist wirklich möglich, fast alles, was man in Teudogar erlebt, für bare Münze zu nehmen. (Siehe dazu auch Kapitel "Über das Spiel" im Römer&Germanen-Lexikon.)

Neben diesem Grundkonzept der "Wahrhaftigkeit" bietet Teudogar natürlich auch klassische Rollenspiel-Qualitäten (Charakter-Entwicklung und Wachstum, Erkunden, Kämpfen, Sammeln, Handeln, uvm), so daß auch viele Leute, die Geschichte todlangweilig finden, Freude an dem Spiel haben.

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Ist es leichter, Fantasy zu produzieren?

Die Faktentreue hat für mich als Entwickler ungeheuer viel Arbeit bedeutet. Ich kann z.B. leicht ein Dutzend Fantasy-Dialoge pro Tag schreiben; aber einen Dialog zu schreiben, in dem alle historischen Fakten und die Lebensumstände und die Mentalität des Sprechers historisch richtig dargestellt werden, und der sich trotzdem so liest wie ein echter Dialog und nicht wie ein Geschichtsbuch, macht etwa 20mal soviel Arbeit. Mit dem Erstellen der Spielwelt ist es ähnlich - endlose Recherchen und Überlegungen für jede Person, jede Siedlung, jeden Stamm.

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Worin liegt der Haupt-Spielspaß bei Teudogar?

Mein Focus bei diesem Spiel lag vor allem auf Spieltiefe (weniger auf Breite), und einem möglichst hohen Maß an Interaktion mit Spielwelt und Personen. In Bezug auf Npcs, Dialoge und Handlung habe ich, glaube ich, auch ziemlich viel Flexibilität und Handlungsfreiheit für den Spieler hinbekommen, verbunden mit relativ guter Intelligenz und natürlichen Reaktionen der Personen auf ziemlich alles, was man sagt oder tut.

Was es in Teudogar etwas weniger gibt als in anderen Spielen, ist Erkunden der Spielwelt: Da das Spiel realistisch und historisch authentisch ist, gibt es keine Monster-gefüllten Dungeons, sondern nur hier und da Höhlen mit wilden Tieren, oder Überfälle durch Räuber, Zweikämpfe mit Gefolgsleuten, Kämpfe gegen römische Trupps usw. D.h., es gibt zwar reichlich Gelegenheiten zum Kämpfen, und auch Einiges zum Erkunden, aber insgesamt ist das Dungeons&Dragons-Element doch weniger ausgeprägt als in anderen Rollenspielen. (Wer das besonders mag, findet vielleicht Freude an meinem neuen Fantasy-Rollenspiel "DARGHUL", das eine wirklich riesengroße Spielwelt haben wird.)

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Warum kann ich keinen eigenen Gefolgsleute haben, die mich ständig begleiten?

Weil Teudogar ein Einzel-Spieler-Rollenspiel ist. Zwar werden Ihre Freunde und Sklaven Ihnen bei Kämpfen in ihrer Nähe beistehen, aber - anders als z.B. in Ultima 7 - wird Sie niemand andauernd begleiten.

Ich glaube, daß das insgesamt spielerisch besser ist: Denn auf Dauer fände ich es ziemlich lästig, ständig ein halbes Dutzend Leute kleiden, füttern, heilen usw zu müssen - nur damit man etwas mehr Kampfkraft hat.

Das Spielgefühl bei einem Party-System kommt mir eher vor wie bei einem Strategiespiel, wo man kaltblütig viele Truppen umherschiebt, als bei einem Rollenspiel, wo man wirklich in die Rolle einer bestimmten Person schlüpft, und sich voll mit dieser einen Person identifiziert ("ICH mache jetzt dies und das" anstatt "Ich lasse jetzt Typ Nummer 3 meiner Party dies oder das tun").

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Waum gibt es nirgendwo Kinder?

Die Kinder sind so noch klein, und so wohlerzogen, daß man sie weder sieht noch hört. ;-) Also an sich sollte es natürlich nochmal ca 5 Kinder pro Haus geben (und obendrein noch Großeltern und vielleicht auch noch einige Tanten und Onkels).

Aber das würde die technischen Grenzen sprengen: Die Häuser wären nicht mehr begehbar, wenn dort soviele Personen herumlaufen würden.

Also wurde, der Spielbarkeit zuliebe, vereinfacht, und dort, wo eigentlich 10-15 Leute sein sollten, sind eben nur 2-5.

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Warum wird meine Inventarfigur völlig nackt dargestellt, wenn ich alle Kleider ausziehe?

Das ist kulturspezifisch. In der klassischen Antike fanden es die Leute normal, öffentlich völlig nackt Sport zu treiben (auch bei den Olympischen Spielen), oder (wenn man ein Barbar war) nackt in die Schlacht zu ziehen. Ich persönlich bin zwar kein FKK-Fan, aber ich dachte mir, daß das Spiel ein antikes Lebensgefühl geben soll - also auch diese Unbekümmertheit gegenüber Nacktheit herüberbringen soll. Abhilfe: Optionsmenü ('O' drücken), Steuerung, Zensurstufe: Dort kann man Nacktheit und sexuelle Dialog-Themen deaktivieren.

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Warum kommt die Schlacht beim Teutoburger Wald nicht im Spiel vor?

Weil 'Teudogar I' um 12 v.Chr. spielt, zur Zeit der ersten großen römischen Invasion, und die Spielhandlung nur in dem Zeitraum spielt, als die Römer gerade erst in Germanien angekommen sind.

In der Folgezeit haben die Römer nach und nach den größten Teil Germaniens erobert, und dann viele Jahre lang beherrscht, ehe sie schließlich - fast 30 Jahre nach den in 'Teudogar I' behandelten Ereignissen - im Teudoburger Wald geschlagen wurden. (Das würde dann gewissermaßen in 'Teudogar - Teil III' fallen.)

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Warum kann man eigentlich nicht nach Rom reisen?

Weil 'Teudogar I' um 12 v.Chr. bei den Germanen in Germanien spielt, und die Germanen im Landesinneren zu dieser Zeit der römischen Invasion gerade erst zum allerersten Mal in unmittelbaren Kontakt mit den Römern kamen.

In späteren Jahren kam es zu einer gewissen Zusammenarbeit, und einige Germanen reisten dann auch tatsächlich nach Rom, und manche erhielten sogar das römische Bürgerrecht. Aber all das ist fast ein Jahrzehnt von der Spielhandlung von 'Teudogar I' entfernt.

Davon abgesehen, wäre es von Aufwand und Kosten praktisch unmöglich, eine Großstadt wie Rom in die Spielwelt einzubauen - jedenfalls bei einem Spiel mit einem so hohen Maß an Detail-Tiefe und Handlungs-Freiheit wie Teudogar.

(Falls ich 'Teudogar II - römische Herrschaft' schreibe, würde ich aber die Römerstadt Oppidum Ubiorum (Köln) in die Spielwelt einbauen. Das würde gut in die Spielhandlung passen, wäre überschaubarer, und technisch machbarer als Rom, und hätte fast die gleichen Vorteile.)

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HISTORICAL FACTS


Why did you choose that particular period?

I find this period (12 B.C.) spectacular. You've got an emperor who won his throne by ending democracy and waging a decade-long civil war. Now he's ruling over a third of the world's entire population, and has himself idolized as a god. In order to conquer a barbaric country which he considers a threat to national security, he sends out 50,000 excellently trained and equipped soldiers. These men, many of whom may have grown up in the city of Rome, with a million inhabitants, five-storey buildings, aqueducts, public libraries etc, now enter a country totally devoid of civilization, and consisting mainly of dense forests and swamps, where the natives live in tiny villages or single farmsteads, sharing their mud-covered huts with their cattle.

These barbarians were our ancestors, and their language, mentality and customs still continue to form a certain part of our national heritage (whether Anglo-Saxon or German), and thus our own personal identity as well. Yet we are civilized, and though we sense relatedness, they seem foreign and strange to us. How did they live? How do you live without civilization, with total lawlessness and anarchy, with total liberty for many, yet total oppression for others? How do you live when you believe in Gods and Goddesses who were illustrious and cruel, when you fear wizardry, when the idea of "mercy" is still unknown, when every free man always carries a weapon, and when there was no law probihibiting to kill?

So there's a stark contrast between two peoples to both of whom we can feel related; there's a clash of civilizations; there's an imminent threat you need to deal with (Roman legions conquering your land); plenty of conflict (a divided nation; many people siding with Rome, others wanting to fight for independence); and a wild and dangerous, free and lawless world: In my opinion, perfect ingredients for a RPG plot.

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I'm no German. Why should I care about the Teutons, or ancient Germania?

The English language, and Anglo-Saxon culture, originate from the Germanic tribes of the Anglos and Saxons, who conquered Britain in the 5th century A.D. (and of course the British later brought their culture and language to America and numerous other countries).

So if you are speaking English, you are speaking a Germanic language. And if you have grown up in an English-speaking country (U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia etc), your native culture is basically Germanic (in contrast to, say, the Roman-influenced culture of Spain or Latin America).

Therefore it is very likely that much of your way of thinking, your mentality, your ethical convictions, your behavior etc are to some degree influenced by Germanic convictions and traditions. You would likely be a different person if your culture was not a Germanic one, but, for example, a Latin or Slavic one.

Of course any culture has several origins, and Christianity, Classical Antiquity, Darwinism, Socialism, Feminism, Hollywood, mass immigration of people from non-European backgrounds, and many other developments have by now replaced or modified much of our culture's Germanic heritage. Still, our culture's foundation remains distinctly Germanic, and Germanic traditions will probably continue to shape ourselves and our progeny to some degree.

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If the game is meant to be historically authentic, why did you include magic?

I included wizardry into the game exactly in order to make it historically authentic: When you're playing Teudogar, I want you to feel like a genuine Germanic barbarian - and that includes superstitiousness.

Of course there are no fireballs or instant healing spells in Teudogar. But it was common among all Germanic tribes to curse enemies, bless your loved ones, call on the Gods for assistance, sacrifice to win the Gods' favor, trust in enchanted weapons and so on: Therefore, these and other historically documented "spells" are included in this game.

People strongly believed in wizardry, and this belief probably made it actually effective. E.g., if you believed in blessings, knowing that you'd been blessed would free you from worrying about a possible defeat. This would enhance your concentration and courage, thereby actually improving your chances of winning a duel. That fact that you attributed your success to a supernatural cause doesn't bother me as long as there is reason to believe such a "spell" genuinely worked.

This is the kind of "magic" included in Teudogar. It's not about gaining instant victory by pulverizing your enemies, but rather about tilting the odds in your favor by giving you confidence, or by demoralizing your enemies. Today we'd consider it plain autosuggestion, psychology, placebo effects, or manipulation; yet it was equally effective when it was called "magic" and its effects were attributed to higher powers' interference.

Similarily, the "magic" with "magical" weapons was usually nothing but chemistry, e.g. when a smith figured out a special way of treating the raw metal that improved his swords' solidness. Of course you might also have your weapon blessed: If you believed in the blessing's effectiveness, handling such a weapon would incease your confidence, which in turn might unnerve your opponents.

This kind of "magic" isn't great for graphical special effects; yet it allows me to offer a broad range of different realistic spells and magical objects that the ancient Teutons actually used or believed in - thereby offering gaming fun and RPG qualities, without crossing the line from historical authenticity to fantasy.

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Why would there be any magic in a historically authentic game?

Well, most of the 'magic' in Teudogar is based on the assumption that if everybody believes in a concept, this belief by itself makes it a strong force, even if the concept is factually untrue and the belief irrational. Historical sources indicate that almost all Teutons, and even most Romans, believed in magic. In my opinion, their belief in the effectiveness of magic made 'magic' actually effective for them: I.e., it's not the curse per se, it's the reaction of a superstitious person to that curse that counts, and that makes this sort of 'magic' a reality in a society where most people were extremely superstitious. (And I think it's almost impossible to grow up in a society without more or less accepting most of the religious or ethical convictions that everybody believes in. If everybody believes in magic, so will you, at least to a certain degree.)

So a person who got cursed would have been very likely to lose hope and confidence, thereby turning the 'curse' into a self-fulfilling prophecy: His belief to be doomed to fail would cause him to be timid and not put 100% effort behind his action, or to give up at the first sign of resistance, thus causing him to actually fail (thereby, by the way, reaffirming everybody's belief in the effectiveness of magic). (Teutons may have been particularly vulnerable to this due to their belief in 'Heil' (good fortune/fate), i.e., that the outcome of one's actions depended just as much on one's good fortune as on one's own efforts.)

(However, I agree that the Weaken, Protection, Frighten, and Dominate spells go a great deal beyond what is historically documented and realistic. In reality, Frighten would have worked only if you were a priest (people knew attacking a priest would bring his god's wrath on them). Weaken is basically just another word for Curse, but is too powerful, especially when combined with Curse. And Dominate can't really be justified, nor can Protection be: Increased confidence may be great for helping you act successfully by encouraging you to apply 100% of your skills, but it's difficult to see how it could help you react more effectively to your enemies' attacks. So maybe I ought to optionally or generally disable the Dominate and Protection spells, and reduce the effectiveness of Bless and Weaken.)

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Why would there be any magical potions in a historically authentic game?

As to the potions, these are mainly based on the placebo effect, and therefore, I believe, not that unrealistic: Like in today's clinical studies of new medications, a significant number of patients from the test group, who received sugar-pills without any pharmaceutical ingredients, but who believed they were getting the real medication, will actually show strongly improved health afterwards - caused by nothing more than their own belief in their 'medication's healing power.

So I think that Stay-Awake, Love and Virility make some sense as placebos, and Poison, Antidote, Sleep and Berserk make pharmaceutical sense as well (there's a posting somewhere in this Forum about Berserk and the toadstool mushroom). As far as I know, people's knowledge of pharmaceutical herbs has been quite good ever since the Stone Age.

(But yet again, most of these potions may be too powerful, and I maybe ought to reduce their effectiveness. And I need to make sure that the purely make-believe potions (those without actual pharmaceutical ingredients) will work only if the person receiving them knows what he is receiving and believes in its effectiveness.)

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Why can't I play the game as a female hero?

In ancient Germania (as in the Roman world), men's and women's roles were totally different. A woman simply couldn't act the way men did, nor vice versa - it wouldn't have been tolerated by society. Nominally, every woman was subject to a guardian (her father or husband), who had responsibility and right of command over her. It's not that women were rightless - they ruled the private and economic spheres; but they were pretty rightless in the public sphere. The state was mainly there to wage war, and since men were the ones doing the fighting, they reserved the right to decide about war or peace for themselves: Women had no political rights (even though they'd often bear the burden of the men's decisions). Consequently, no woman could have proposed a tribal alliance to another chieftain in a formal way without being ridiculed. (That's not to say women didn't discuss or promote such alliances; they just couldn't do the formal, ceremonial part.) Additionally, in a lawless and violent world, having on average 20% less physical strength than men meant yet another restriction for women: While it was common for a well-armed man to travel alone, a woman couldn't even leave her village on her own without facing a serious risk of getting raped or being kidnapped and made a slave.

In practice, that meant that women mainly had to act through men - convincing men, enticing men, prodding men to do their bidding. E.g., Germanic women were just as keen on revenge as men were; but while men could simply kill their foe in an open duel, women usually had to find and convince another man to act on her behalf. Or if you favored war against the Romans, as a man you could simply stand up in the people's assembly and hold a speech making your point. As a woman, you would have had to find and convince a man to hold such a speech.

So while it was possible to find some workarounds around all of these restrictions, it still wouldn't have been possible to play the existing plot as a woman; you would have had to find different solutions in countless instances. That is, it basically would have had to be a totally new plot, which would have been an awful lot of extra work.

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Weren't there any heroic women in the ancient world?

Some Germanic women were quite powerful; e.g. the priestess Veleda more or less led a Germanic uprising against the Romans in 80 A.D. by issuing prophecies from her tower (though the military and political leadership was done by two Germanic noblemen who had been mercenaries for the Romans). And there's as much bloodthirstyness as shown by men. E.g., Queen Kriemhilda from the Nibelung legend killed her brothers and her second husband in order to avenge the murder of her first husband Siegfried. The Cimbrian women in 100 B.C. sent their fleeing men back to the battlefield against the Romans, demanding they fight bravely; when defeat became unavoidable, they killed their children and committed mass suicide in order to avoid getting enslaved by the victorious Romans. In general, lots of Germanic women seemed to be just as active, strong and heroic as men were.

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What would population numbers for Teudogar's game world have been in real life?

In total, there were perhaps around 3 million people in Germania (in comparison, today the area is inhabitated by over 100m). (Meanwhile, the city of Rome had a population of about 1 million during the reign of Augustus (around the birth of Christ), many of them living in 5-storey appartment buildings. The Roman Empire had a total population of probably over 50 million. The entire world's population is estimated to have been only around 160 million people.)

The largest Roman-Teutonic city in Germania would have been Oppidum Ubiorum (later to become the city of Cologne), with probably a few thousand inhabitants at that time (plus several thousand more if you included Roman troops stationed there in your count).

Real Teutonic settlements/villages usually had only a few hundred inhabitants. This was due to agricultural necessities, and perhaps to the libertarian Teutonic lifestyle as well (anarchy is a pleasant and reasonable form of life when everybody sticks to his own farmstead, but it wouldn't work well if you had to live together in densely populated, crowded cities).

As you can see from these numbers, a village such as Herwood would have had over 100 inhabitants in real life - not just double-income-no-children couples, but lots of kids, plus grandparents, aunts and uncles and so on, on every farmstead. Teudogar simplifies and reduces this to the main protagonists for the sake of playability.

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Would it be historically right if we encountered Roman patrols instead of robbers?

In 12 B.C. (the year of Teudogar's plot), no. In this year the Roman invasion had only just begun, and the Romans still hadn't conquered any tribal areas. Sure, they'd just devastated and depopulated the Usipians' land on the Germanic side of the Rhine river. But this was a brief expedition, not yet a conquest. That'd only follow when all neighboring tribes were defeated; after all, what point would there be to occupying (and defending) a wasted, depopulated area as long as there were combat-ready enemy tribes nearby?

So from a Roman point of view, since there was no territory to defend or peace to keep, it didn't make sense to waste any soldiers by having small troops patrol anywhere, always risking to get ambushed. Only exceptions would be spies and scouts (who'd go hiding when they'd see you approaching) (and who'd mostly be natives, anyway), and, rarely, envoys or delegations on their way to allied tribes (these wouldn't be looking for a fight, either).

This strategy changed marginally several years later, when all Germanic tribes had been sufficiently weakened to allow a permanent Roman presence on the Germanic side of the Rhine. But even then the Romans mostly relied on their local allies, and confined themselves to heavily fortified camps set up at strategic locations, where their presence would deter not-yet-defeated tribes from attacking Roman allies or tribes that had surrendered.

The general Roman approach still was not to waste their own men on occupying territory; regarding hostile tribes, it was much better to fight a few large, decisive battles, kill most enemies and civilians, give the depopulated land to an allied tribe, and defend this ally from retaliatory attacks from other tribes by the simple presence of a legion in a camp. Only around a decade later, when all tribes had been defeated and had formally surrendered, and the area was declared a province, only then would the Romans actually put lots of troops and personnel on the ground. That'd be the period Teudogar II would be set it.

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Why is there such a lack of money in Teudogar?

The basic problem with Teudogar is that its plot is set in a barbaric, non-monetary environment. There was almost no trade in Germania; most people could produce all they needed on their farmsteads; and people who made lots of booty usually wouldn't consider exchanging this for money (what for? there wasn't that much one could buy for money), but instead rather hoard the weapons etc they'd captured; after all, these had both lasting value as well as a practical use. This'll be much different in DARGHUL; since that's not a historical but a fantasy game, it's quite a consumer's paradise with lots of merchants as well as stuff worth buying.

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What kind of armor did the Roman legionaries wear?

The troops who actually did the fighting wore chain mails shirts, or the newly developed segmented cuirass (lorica segmentata), which was both very light and flexible, and offered great protection because the metal was solid enough not to be penetrated, and yet was designed to crumple when hit, like the crushing bin of a modern car, which absorbed most of the energy of every hit. So this segmented cuirass is definitely by far the best available type of armor for active combat. (Chain mails are almost equally good, but weigh twice as much.)

Lower ranking officials like a Centurion (commanding 100 men) usually didn't participate in active combat either (the only kind of combat they'd usually do was to punish their subordinates by beating them with a large wooden stick which they carried explicitly for this purpose). These people usually wore scale mail shirts, which looked pretty impressive but didn't offer much protection.

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How many Roman muscle breast plate cuirasses would have existed in Germania?

In total, in 12 B.C., when there were about 30,000 to 50,000 Roman troops beginning the invasion of Germania, there were probably several thousand segmented cuirasses plus several thousand chain mail shirts (regular infantry legionaries), tens of thousands of leather armor (auxiliary troops), many hundred scale mail shirts (lower ranking officers), and probably only a few dozen muscle cuirasses (the generals). This makes your capturing this kind of armor about as unlikely as Iraqi insurgents capturing Donald Rumsfield or General Sanchez...

But for reasons of gameplay, I provided at least one of these cuirasses for you to capture (barter doesn't make sense since anyone wearing such a cuirass would be rich and not in need of anything, except for the solid protection offered by his cuirass): The leader of the Roman troop with the hostages now wears a muscle cuirass (in the Full Version of Teudogar).

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Why should I avoid stealing anything in Teudogar?

Stealing was something most Teutons would have been quite ashamed of doing. (Consequently, in Teudogar you lose Charisma when you steal. And if you were caught, you'd be dishonored, apart from the fact that everyone will try to kill you.)

There's an anecdote of a Viking robber who was able to steal his victim's possessions while his victim was sleeping. On leaving the house, this robber felt so ashamed of the cowardliness of his act that he returned, woke up his victim, told him what he'd just done, and challenged him to fight with him for his possessions. Now that was the decent thing to do.

Indoeuropean culture (Teutons, Romans, Greeks, Indians, Persians as opposed to, say, Egyptians or Chinese) generally had a bias for violence and manliness. Etymologically, the word "to steal" ("stehlen" in German) is probably not Indoeuropean, but may have been taken from the language of a people defeated by Indoeuropeans when they settled in Europe. Typically, however, both "to rob" ("rauben" in German) and "to rape" ARE original Indoeuropean words, and were considered to be quite manly things to do... (though of course not to members of one's own clan / tribe)

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Did people in ancient Germania die at the age of 40?

Life expectancy wasn't so bad. Of course child mortality was high back then, and many people died from accidents, wounds or illnesses while in their 20s, 30s, 40s and so on. But apart from such external risks, you would have had a fair chance to reach 70 or even 80. E.g., King Ermaneric of the Goths was said to be over 100 when he committed suicide (after the Huns had destroyed his kingdom).

Since Teutons didn't count years, there's a lack of data, and most prominent Teutons died a violent death anyway (usually intentionally, too). But in more civilized neighboring countries, reaching a high age was quite common: Roman senators had to have an age of at least 60 (if I remember correctly); Roman Emperor Augustus was over 75 at the time his troops were defeated by the Teutonic rebellion; and Greek diadoch king Antigonos died valiantly fighting on the battlefield - at the age of 83...

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Why can't I have sex with anyone but slave girls in Teudogar?

Because you're not married to anyone (at the beginning of the game, at least), and this was a very conservative, patriarchical society, where effective contraception hadn't yet been invented, and women were under the guardianship of either their husband, or their father.

It would have been very hard to win over a married woman for an affair, since she'd face death at the hands of her husband if she got caught. And since there was almost no privacy, getting caught was almost certain. And it was a similar situation with unmarried girls: Their having pre-marital sex would have made it impossible to find a husband for them if people found out. In this case, a girl's parents would be stuck with her for the rest of her life - and that's a heavy burden in a place where food is scarce and families regularly face hunger. So her ruining her chances of marriage would seriously harm her guardian and provider (her father), and could therefore be punished with death by him. So it was probably hard to have sex with any free Teutonic women other than your own wife. Different from the Roman world, there also seems to have been no formal prostitution in Germania.

However, there were slaves. And to them, the patriarchical concepts of honor or chastity didn't apply. After all, if a slave woman had children, these would be slaves by birth, and would become her master's property. Since it would be the master's responsibility to care for them, it was irrelevant who their father was.

Consequently, the potential mother was free to sleep with whoever she felt like, without needing to formalize the relationship (or a relationship at all). Besides, slaves would often get raped; and their masters would usually sleep with them; and they couldn't be married to any free man; so people had even less reason to care about their slaves' private life. And as their owner, of course you had a right to them.

Therefore, if you were unmarried (and people usually didn't marry before the age of 20), your best chance as a sexual partner would probably be a slave girl - either one who was your own property, and who in this case would expect you to sleep with her, anyway; or somebody else's slave whom you might seduce, befriend, or pay. Since people did not consider slavery to be particularly unjust, cruel, or exploitative, but seem to have thought of it as a natural, unavoidable state of things, apparently this would have been an acceptable arrangement for all parties involved.

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Are the settlement names in Teudogar fictional?

Yes. As far as I know, there are no historical references to places like 'Heruwald', 'Kattfurt', 'Bruglund' etc. But these names have been created in accordance with how real settlement names usually came into existance:

In general, people would at first use a few words to describe a place (like, e.g., 'the ford used by the Franks tribe', 'the place where a war hero named 'Hanef' lived', or, fictional, 'the Cheruscan village near the big forest', or 'the Cattans' main ford').

Later on, when everybody had gotten sufficiently used to the description, it would no longer be necessary to elaborate, and people would for the sake of convenience start shortening the decription into a single word, thus creating a proper name (e.g., 'Frankfurt', 'Hannover', or, fictional, 'Cheruscanswood', 'Cattanford').

Once such a name gained recognition, one could also drop unneeded syllables (e.g. shortening 'Cheruscanswood' to 'Heruwood'). (In a similar manner, the lengthy 'Colonia Aggrippinensis' became a simple 'Köln' over time.)

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What would happen if I actually ate toadstool mushrooms in reality?

CAUTION! Take care: I've read that eating about 10 mushrooms can lead to death. Due to health risks, I'd strongly advise against ever trying to eat any of these mushrooms at all. Besides, it may also be illegal depending on what country you're living in.

According to some books I have, the mushrooms would have to be eaten raw or dried (never cooked/heated) if one wanted to use them for intoxication purposes. In experiments, eating 1-4 medium sized toadstool mushrooms apparently lead to dazedness, sickness, nausea, and sleepiness; in some cases, also to euphoria and a feeling of weightlessness, and sometimes multicolored visions.

However, the main feature seemed to be a state of dazedness, starting after 15-20 minutes, and lasting several hours. This was in some cases followed by a state of euphoria, excitement, confusion, with some people talking loudly and enthusiastically for several hours.

Stronger doses (more than 5 mushrooms) caused a distinct poisoning, with muscular spasms, confusion, excitement and vivid hallucinations; this was followed by sleep with lots of dreams.

Other authors report of a more lively state of intoxication, with dancing, uncontrolled movements and spasms, and, interestingly, sometimes violence and raving madness; one cites anecdotal evidence of increased physical strength.

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Would toadstool mushrooms actually be useful for becoming a Berserker?

This drug's effects seem to be different depending on one's personality. That would suggest that it might have the desired effect on a warrior. Autosuggestion should also play an important role in giving one's state of intoxication the desired direction.

Still, on the whole, the effects of this mushroom don't sound all that useful for Berserk purposes. The formula used by Vikings, and possible by earlier Teutons, would probably have consisted of a mixture of substances of which toadstools would haven been merely one component.

Anyway, though it's widely assumed that Berserks induced or assisted their raving fury with drugs, as far as I know, there is no concrete historical evidence of this, neither for the Vikings, nor for the earlier Teutons. They may well have done without drugs. The rush of adrenaline one feels when confronted with the lethal danger of a combat situation should be intoxicating enough by itself.

Besides, Teutonic armies used some natural methods to get 'high', such as rhythmically yelling battle-hymns and rhythmically clashing their swords against their shields. When done by several thousand fighters at once, this ought to create a powerful rhythmic noise, drowning out all thoughts and fears, giving a strong sense of unity, and probably inducing a state of trance as well. If some elite warriors additionally used autosuggestion as well as a particular sort of religious beliefs in order to imagine themselves being strong like bears and invincible, that may have been all they needed to successfully go berserk...

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Who were the original 'Teutons'?

Teutons: This tribe's name has become used as a name for all Germanic tribes (in English, at least). However, it it unclear if they themselves were actually a Germanic tribe. Many historians think they may have been Celtic, not Germanic. (But this may be a moot point, since Celtic and Germanic tribes were closely related, and at that time their languages hadn't yet developed apart that much.)

They had joined the Cibrians tribe, probably after their settlement areas had been rendered uninhabitable by a flood, in attempting to find new land. After marching throughout Europe for years - tens of thousands of people, including women and children -, and defeating several Roman armies, they decided to try to conquer some Roman areas in 102 B.C.

The new, politically left-wing, Roman consul Marius had set out with 35,000 soldiers to a recently constructed fort in Aquae Sextiae, to stop the invading barbarians. These troops had been reorganized and restructured, and they'd had a tough drill behind them. Marius made them remain in their fort for 6 days, while outside the endless stream of barbarians passed by, teasing and insulting the legionaries. That, and the fact that the Romans started to lack drinking water in their camp, may have improved the legionaries' aggressiveness. When they were close to mutiny, demanding water from their general Marius, he simply said, "If you're men, get it." - pointing towards the river where the Teutons had made their camp.

4 days of fighting followed. In the end, the Teutons, who couldn't stand the heat as well as the Romans, got more and more exhausted, and finally stopped fighting, so that from noon to midnight the the well-drilled Romans could massacre their exhausted opponents almost without facing any resistance. Tens of thousands were killed, tens of thousands enslaved, and only few managed to escape. The Teuton women who'd survived the battle committed suicide en masse when their petition not to be raped or enslaved was turned down. A little while later, the Romans also captured the Teuton king. As a political entity, the tribe was finished. (The few survivors would have joined other tribes.)

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What do you think about the Barbarian invasions into the late Roman Empire?

I'm not against conquests per se; but I prefer the Great defeating the Average, rather than the Bad defeating the Worse. E.g. when Alexander conquered the Persian Empire, he and his successors used the loot to create the most glorious cities on earth - Alexandria, Antioch and Seleukia: In that sense, I think their victory was a good thing. The Teutons, however, created nothing at all; their only virtue was being slightly less oppressive than the Roman or Byzantine bureaucracies.

Of course that is something. Considering the 80,000 laws and >50% taxes that enslave every citizen of today's European Union, personally I would welcome and actively support a Gothic invasion and conquest of my country, and would prefer Theodoric's rule over Angela Merkel's at any time. However, it's somewhat depressing if _that_ is the best one can hope for, and the same goes for late antiquity, in my opinion; besides, there's not much glory in defeating an enemy as weakened as late antiquity Rome was.

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Why did Rome lose Britain to the Germanic Anglo-Saxons?

The Romans no longer had any military presence in Britain because its legions had been withdrawn to the Continent in 407 in order to defend Italy and Rome itself from the Goths (who sacked Rome anyway in 410).

What could subsequent Roman central governments do? They had trouble enough defending their own new capital Ravenna, and had lost control over all Northern provinces. Winning back control over Gaul was far more pressing than worrying about remote Britain; besides, they couldn't stop those Saxon boat people anyway.

The Scots seemed more likely to conquer Britain than a limited number of Saxons would be, so for the Romans it probably seemed the lesser evil to endorse these latter. And with an eye on retaking the province at a later date, it was better to have several warring factions there than to have it firmly in the hands of one single strong enemy. Of course that policy didn't work out the way the Romans had intended.

(These Anglo-Saxon conquerors really would be a great matter for a RPG, both because of themselves and the circumstances of their conquest, as well as because the entire period is so fascinating: mere 20 years, during which the entire civilized world collapsed, after prevailing for almost a millennium.)

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Do you think the Teutons were culturally/racially/etc superior?

Being illiterate barbarians, the Germanic tribes obviously weren't superior culturally. And racially, there is and was no real difference between people from Germanic and Latin countries. (But Asians have - on average - a significantly higher IQ than Europeans or Americans.) So I think it would be quite ridiculous to make a case for any kind of Germanic racial superiority.

However, I think one might argue that certain aspects of Germanic society did lead to some sort of superiority. Rome in the late antiquity had become a degenerated culture, where people had become deprived of all personal liberty, where all decisions were made by the authorities and none by the people actually involved/concerned, where more people were living off tax money than were paying taxes, where personal ethics, responsibility, and trust had largely broken down, and consequently birth rates, social cooperation, commercial enterprises, and division of labor were all in terminal decline.

In contrast, Germanic culture highly valued individual liberty, personal responsibility, and self-determination. People did what they personally wanted (not what they were told to do), and consequently personally cared about the outcome. People had to fend for themselves; it was impossible to live off others. There were no taxes, and hardly any laws. Very few things were prohibited. You were mostly free to do whatever you wanted, and the consequences of your actions were for you alone to enjoy or bear. Most people had a strong sense of honor and shame, and were actually reliable and true.

Most Teutons were used to hardship, and many seem to have been less fearful or squeamish than people in more civilized societies tend to be. (E.g., accepting death as unavoidable anyway, many men, not caring for old age's infirmity, intentionally strove to find a glorious, violent death in combat.) People usually had many children (and fathers could usually be certain their children were actually their own, and probably invested more love and work in them than fathers in more 'progressive' societies would). And many Teutons seem to have valued their personal integrity, including qualities like toughness, braveness, and aggressiveness, much higher than material comfort - or even life itself.

So, while Rome had given up its own Indogermanic heritage, and had become an Easternized, collectivistic, demoralized culture - obedient, politically correct, Christian, feminized, hedonistic, cynical and cowardly -, with a divine Ruler, an onmipotent bureaucracy, and powerless and irresponsible subjects, the Germanic tribes still lived according to the same traditional values that the Romans had lost. I think this does explain some of the the Germanic peoples' demographic and military advantage.

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Do you think Christianity contributed to Rome's downfall?

Yes, personally, I think it did contribute to Rome's fall (as one cause among many others). Early Christianity in the Roman Empire did not have too much in common with Jesus' teachings, nor with what we might understand as Christianity nowadays. Rather, it was a pretty fanatical, mystical and radical brand of religion that placed its adherents in strong opposition to existing society, causing many to withdraw from public life and even their families and friends. Christianity started out as a religion of the lower classes, including slaves, and was afflicted by many prejudices common among its illiterate followers, such as hostility to sciences (e.g. Christian mobs lynching philosophers, or forcing universities to close), intolerance and lawless violence (e.g. street battles between different Christian sects, and Christian gang warfare), and hostility to life, enjoyment, and beauty (e.g. favoring martyrdom over accepable compromises, vandalizing works of art, destroying architecture, forbidding entertainment and sports). How could such a religion, and the strife between its supporters and everybody else, and the destruction of existing institutions and customs (while Christian alternatives or replacements had not yet come about), not weaken a society?

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Is anybody interested in history?

Judging from the commercial success of the Gladiator, Christ and Troy movies, as well as the recent Pompei novel, and a huge number of other novels set in different historical contexts, the general public in the Western world does seem to have some interest in history. But what's their motive? Escapism? Getting away from modernity with its omnipresence of technology, complicatedness, overregulation, anonymity and spiritual emptiness? If so, fantasy probably can fulfill that need equally well, or even better, than history, and the success of the Lord of the Rings or even Harry Potter may indicate this.

But maybe another motive is some sort of curiosity: Why do we live the way we do? How did our ancestors live? What lead to our societies, languages, lifestyles becoming the way they are? What has changed, what have we lost, what gained in comparison to previous epochs? If people felt that kind of interest, it would make a strong case for historical movies / novels / rpgs.

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Do people value historical accuracy?

It seems to me that many people like historical settings, but they apparently like them even better if these are somewhat tweaked according to present-day taste and prejudices. There needs to be something you can really relate to and feel at home with, especially regarding mentality and ethics. It's probably no accident that almost all historical movies depict their heroes feeling, judging and acting like modern-day Americans, in a historical setting, true, but still in full possession of their modern-day American mentality, ethics, and way of feeling.

This is something I strongly tried to avoid with Teudogar. I wanted the protagonists to behave and think in a really Teutonic and not in a modern way, even if this authenticity might be detrimental to the game's popularity.

And maybe it is. People familiar with the Roman world may immediately feel at home and be able to identify with a setting from that epoch. But everyone who isn't may feel the way I feel when e.g. reading Egyptian literature, or Confucius' writings, or the Koran - all of these fascinating pieces of literature, but so far removed from my own way of feeling and thinking that even though I feel fascination, I still can't relate to them emotionally, at least not at first, the way I could to a less culturally foreign piece of work.

It takes some time to become acquainted and finally familiar with a totally different way of feeling and thinking. Of course if one does so, the result can be very rewarding, and the process enjoyable. But I think it's natural and fair if many people prefer more immediately accessible enjoyment. Movie makers and computer game authors probably ought to take that into account.

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Will you write be more Roman epoch games?

As to my own appetite for writing, apart from the fantasy rpg I'm currently working on, and perhaps an immediate continuation of Teudogar (part II - Roman Rule, and III - Rebellion against Rome), I'd perhaps like to skip a few centuries and set a game in the late antiquity period of the barbarian invasions into the Roman empire. This would be a fun topic to write about due to its darkness, destructiveness, and decadence: Romans destroying themselves via authoritarian socialism and religious craze, Barbarians destroying cities and priceless works of culture and art, just in order to win some trinkets to pimp up their mud huts, and the frequent reversals of fate encountered by most historic actors would make really open-ended plots viable and realistic. Well, but first of all I need to finally complete DARGHUL, so these games will have to wait for the time being.

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Will you write any more historical role playing games?

Part of the conclusion I've reached is to focus on writing Fantasy RPGs instead of historical or realistic ones in the immediate future: Writing and implementing a historically authentic plot takes at least 20 times the effort and time that writing a Fantasy plot would take, and the same goes for game world creation. Besides, realistic games are far too interdependent: Whatever you do at the Marcomanians' will have to have repercussions at the Cheruscans (that means a great lot of additional dialog passages to be written); in contrast, in a Fantasy game, the Dwarves of X needn't care at all about what happens at the Elves of Y. So with fantasy, I can very easily offer players a huge game world and an (almost) endless plot, and I can also twist the plot any way I want to, thus offering countless subplots, spectacular events, and real, concrete action and outcomes instead of just fuzzy future perspectives. With a historical game like Teudogar, this is unfortunately far more difficult.

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Wieso haben Sie ein historisches Szenario, und dann gerade dieses, gewählt?

Nach meinem letzten Fantasy-Rollenspiel "DARGHUL" hatte ich erstmal genug von Fantasy-Szenarien und unlogischen Spielhandlungen; und ich fand eine Reihe von historischen Ereignissen und Figuren viel farbiger und spannender als die meisten Fantasy-Erfindungen.

Vor allem aber war ich neugierig auf die Wahrheit und, sozusagen, auf das Original geworden: Denn die meisten Fantasy-Stoffe basieren auf J.R.R. Tolkiens Herrn der Ringe, der sich als Philologe und Germanist sehr stark auf altgermanische Sagen und Ideen gestützt hatte. Die historischen Germanen sind daher in vieler Hinsicht das Vorbild für fast alle heute üblichen Fantasy-Geschichten und -Szenarien (auch wenn dies oft den Autoren selbst gar nicht bewußt ist).

Nach einiger Beschäftigung mit dem Stoff fand ich das Thema ziemlich interessant. Die doch recht erhebliche Barbarei und Primitivität störte mich etwas, aber die sehr stark auf Eigenverantwortung und anarchischer Freiheit basierende altgermanische Gesellschaft, Mentalität, und Lebensweise fing an, mich zu faszinieren. Ich fand den Kontrast zu unserer heutigen, über-regulierten, über-zivilisierten, femininen Welt, in der es kaum noch Freiheit und Selbstbestimmung gibt, wo sich Staat und Obrigkeit ständig selbst in die allerpersönlichsten Angelegenheiten einmischen, und wo alle noch so kleinen Risiken oder Gefahren immens gefürchtet und möglichst sofort verboten werden, beeindruckend.

Obendrein war ich schon immer von der klassischen Antike begeistert gewesen, und liebte sowohl Griechenland als auch Rom; also lag auch das Thema Römer für mich nahe. Technische Gründe, die eine einfachere Spielwelt erforderten (Dörfer ja, römische Städte nein), brachten mich dann dazu, die Zeit der ersten römischen Invasion nach Germanien als Hintergrund für die Spielhandlung zu wählen.

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Ist das Interesse an den Römern regional unterschiedlich verbreitet?

Ich glaube schon. Z.B. komme ich aus Köln, und dort wußten eigentlich immer alle Leute, daß ihre Stadt ursprünglich eine römische Stadt war (und waren auch ein wenig stolz daraus - Düsseldorf hat schließlich nichts derartiges vorzuweisen), d.h., die meisten Kölner, die ich kannte, waren von Anfang an grundsätzlich an römischen Themen interessiert. Dagegen hier in Berlin ist Rom etwa so fern und fremd wie Japan, d.h. Interesse daran ist nicht mehr grundsätzlich da, sondern allenfalls zufällig. Tatsächlich bekomme ich auch sehr viel mehr Bestellungen von südlich des Limes und westlich des Rheins (also aus ehemals römischem Territorium) als nordöstlich davon.

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Wie hätte es ein Germane angestellt, sich den Römern anzuschließen?

Manche Germanen hatten schon das römische Bürgerrecht, weil sie in der römischen Armee gedient hatten, oder einer Häuptlingssippe angehören, der die Römer das Bürgerrecht verliehen hatten.

Aber ansonsten nehme ich an, daß es ziemlich ähnlich lief wie heute im Irak: Jede Besatzungsmacht braucht einheimische Hilfskräfte, Wachleute, Sekretäre, Köche, Putzleute etc, die Amerikaner genau wie damals die Römer. Also wird man wahrscheinlich zu einem römischen Militärstützpunkt gegangen sein und sich einfach beworben haben, so wie heute víele Iraker zu amerikanischen Militärstützpunkten gehen, und dort Schlange stehen, um sich für Polizei- oder Armee-Hilfstruppen-Jobs zu bewerben.

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Waren die Germanen wirklich so gastfreundlich, daß man überall umsonst essen konnte?

Angeblich ja; angeblich konnte man einfach in ein beliebiges Haus gehen, und der Hausherr hatte die moralische Pflicht, einem Nahrung und Unterkunft zu gewähren, jedenfalls wenn er nicht als kleinlich, schäbig, habgierig etc angesehen werden wollte.

Das hängt sicher auch damit zusammen, daß es damals nicht besonders viele Reisende gab, so etwas also nicht ständig in Anspruch genommen wurde; und daß Reisende auch nützlich waren (Neuigkeiten, Auskünfte, evtl Botendienste).

Ein weiterer Aspekt könnte gewesen sein, daß es keinen Staat und daher auch keine Steuern gab, d.h., die Menschen hatten in der Regel deutlich mehr eigene Ressourcen zur freien Verfügung als heute, wo zwar dank staatlicher Sozialleistungen theoretisch für alle gesorgt ist, der einzelne aber auch viel weniger eigenes Geld für freiwillige eigene Wohltätigkeit oder Gastfreundschaft übrigbehält.

Für einen Gast war es allerdings auch höflich, nach etwa 3 Tagen zu gehen (mußte er aber nicht zwingend). Falls man die Gastfreundschaft so lange in Anspruch nahm, bis alle Vorräte aufgebraucht waren, konnten Gastgeber und Gast zum Nachbarhaus gehen und dort aufgenommen werden. Adlige hatten meist reichlich Vorräte und standen unter sozialem Druck, großzügig und freigiebig zu sein.

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Warum sind die Priester in Teudogar so wehrhaft?

Die Germanen hatte keine extra Priesterklasse wie im Christentum; d.h., die Priester waren normale Adlige, die oft neben ihrem Priesteramt weiterhin auch Bauern blieben. Außerdem war die germanische Religion keine Schrift-Religion, d.h., germanische Priester verbrachten (anders als christliche Priester) keinerlei Zeit mit Lesen, und statt unbewegtem Beten mußten sie eher blutige (und in der Durchführung körperlich anstrengende) Tier-Opfer leisten. D.h., eine aktivere Lebensweise mit sehr viel mehr Bewegung als z.B. mittelalterliche christliche Priester gehabt hätten.

Aber der Hauptgrund für die schwere Besiegbarkeit von Priestern im Kampf war der starke Aberglaube aller Leute (wie in der Ilias; wenn man die Tochter eines Priesters raubt, wird der Gott dieses Priesters naturgemäß im Heereslager des Räubers die Pest ausbrechen lassen). Die Römer waren inzwischen natürlich aufgeklärter und zynischer; aber die bäuerlichen Germanen hatten vermutlich noch immer erheblichen Respekt vor solchen Risiken. Und ein abergläubiger Germane wäre überzeugt, daß ein Gott seinen Priester auch unterstützt; folglich würde er bei einem Kampf sehr nervös sein, und das würde seine Siegeschancen stark mindern.

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Warum sagt einem Boudomandua nicht, warum man Rango töten soll?

Weil man aus germanischer Sicht keinen Grund dafür braucht. Man muß gar nichts gegen ihn haben. Denn es gibt immer und überall Konflikte und Fehden; dabei müssen zwangsläufig Leute sterben; das ist der normale Lauf der Welt.

Die einzige Frage, die sich für einen Unbeteiligten stellt, ist deshalb, wessen Partei Sie denn ergreifen wollen (falls Sie sich überhaupt einmischen wollen). Das wird aber nicht durch _Ihr_ Rechtsgefühl bestimmt (die Streitursache ist Sache der Konfliktparteien), sondern dadurch, mit wem Sie verwandt sind oder für wen Sie Loyalität empfinden.

Sie haben mit Rango nichts zu tun. B. kann als Frau nur schwer R. selbst töten; sie hat keine Verwandten hier, die das - wie es üblich wäre - für sie tun könnten; und sie bittet Sie, R. zu töten. Also wäre es aus germanischer Sicht vollkommen anständig und ritterlich, wenn Sie ihr diesen Gefallen tun - der Grund für Bs Wunsch braucht Sie dabei gar nicht zu kümmern. (Wenn man nach dem Gespräch mit B. mit R spricht, erfährt man es ja. Aber das wäre m.M. eigentlich gar nicht nötig.)

(Ich persönlich habe natürlich eine etwas andere Rechtsauffassung; und auch die Germanen haben im Laufe der Jahrhunderte ihre Ansichten geändert; denn Rangos Tod würde natürlich bedeuten, daß R.s Brüder oder Söhne nun _Sie_ erschlagen müßten, und daraufhin wiederum Ihre Söhne/Brüder diese, usw, bis eine der betroffenen Sippen ausgelöscht ist. Man könnte fast vermuten, daß die Praxis z.T. auch durch Überbevölkerung und Nahrungsmangel entstanden ist; vielleicht war es für einen Stamm gut, wenn die Bevölkerung nicht zu stark anwuchs. Außerdem war es mangels Staat und Polizei vielleicht ganz praktisch für die friedliche Mehrheit, wenn sich möglichst viele der hitzköpfigsten und brutalsten Leute gegenseitig in Fehden und Duellen umbrachten. Und schließlich gewährleisteten die vielen Fehden auch eine gute Waffenausbildung der Jugend, so daß ein Stamm immer gut für den Kriegsfall gerüstet war.)

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Finden Sie es gut, daß das römische Reich untergegangen ist?

Jahrhundertelang gab es römische Ordnung, Wohlstand, Lebensqualität, und danach nur noch Trümmer und Armut - ebenfalls für Jahrhunderte. Das ist es auch, was auch mich beim Besichtigen römischer Ruinen immer am meisten berührt hat (Forum Romanum, Ostia). Aber auch z.B. direkt neben Xanten ist eine mittelgroße, von Archäologen ausgegrabene und teilweise rekonstruierte römische Stadt (Castra Vetera / Colonia Ulpia Traiana), größer und deutlich schöner als die heutige deutsche Stadt, mit einem großen Amphitheater, mächtigen Stadtmauern, ordentlichen Straßen und Kanalisation, und einem eleganten Tempel, im Vergleich zu dem die mittelalterliche Kirche von Xanten klein und barbarisch wirkt: Diese Römerstadt ist irgendwann aufgegeben worden, und in den folgenden anderthalb Jahrtausenden haben es die Menschen einfach nicht mehr geschafft (und auch nicht gewollt), etwas Gleichwertiges zu erschaffen.

Andererseits ist materielle Kultur eben auch nicht alles; und ich glaube schon, daß sich das Römische Reich totgelaufen hatte, und in eine Sackgasse geraten war: daß es den Menschen durch seine erstickende Bürokratie und erdrückenden Steuern ab einem bestimmten Punkt einfach mehr Schaden als Nutzen brachte, und auch nicht mehr reformierbar war, so daß es gut und richtig war, daß die römische (Über-)Ordnung irgendwann durch barbarische Freiheit und Anarchie abgelöst wurde: Trotz des drastischen zivilisatorischen Rückschritts hat das der Menschheit meiner Meinung nach eine bessere Entwicklung ermöglicht.

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