ZEITGEIST Flint: Real World Parallels?

I've been burning brain cells wondering how to properly get the atmosphere of Flint across. It's like Victorian London, but plopped down on the edge of the mountains of a subtropical rain forest, with one particularly tall peak right in the city center...

...then it finally hit me after like five years: Rio de Janeiro? Is Cauldron Hill Sugarloaf, or Corcovado (in which case Bourne standing atop it is some kind of hilariously inappropriate Cristo Redentor homage)?
 
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gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
I'm pretty sure RangerWickett has confirmed that Rio was the initial inspiration for Flint.
 
You hit the nail on the head. Really, just turn a map of Rio 180 degrees and it lines up pretty well. Though the scale is all wrong and there aren't nearly as many fey on Ipanema.
 
I had assumed, since Risur seemed like Brazil in terms of climate and culture, that Flint was Rio... but are there any other similarities? Anything worth reading up on about Rio to give Flint more flavour?
 

SanjMerchant

Explorer
I had assumed, since Risur seemed like Brazil in terms of climate and culture, that Flint was Rio... but are there any other similarities? Anything worth reading up on about Rio to give Flint more flavour?
Admittedly, given that it's home to the (presumably English-speaking) players and that the place names are all English words (Flint, Shale, Cauldron Hill, the Nettles, Bosum Strand, etc.), I've always defaulted to thinking of it is England and/or the United States, to the point that it's easy to forget that it's not a temperate climate. Especially since Ber has the whole Iberian thing covered (though obviously the language there is Spanish, not Portuguese).

Still, I suppose it's worth remembering that Risur is fairly close to Ber (a sort of hot desert plain type place) and Elfaivar (which is just straight up India).
If one insists on a United States model for Flint, New Orleans would be a good go-to; they've got bayous and everything!

I will now try very hard not to overthink the combination of geography, counterpart cultures, and climate. :p
 

efreund

Explorer
Huh. That makes sense.

I had been imagining and presenting Flint as a sort of Victorian London in the Louisiana Bayou, with a dash of Charles Dickens-style New York City thrown in.

My players eventually started asking the race question, and I eventually decided that the native folk of Risur are black (Creole-esque to fit with the Bayou-vibe), and that white people are from the northern continent, but many had migrated over a long long time ago. (But it's weird because fey are clearly indigenous to Risur, and elves are kinda like fey, but the elves are all 'white'.) This didn't sit quite well with me, because it started to draw in Johannesburg parallels. But eventually I rolled with it. More social tension with awkward echoes of current political crises actually fits the "vibe" of Flint pretty well.
 
My players eventually started asking the race question, and I eventually decided that the native folk of Risur are black (Creole-esque to fit with the Bayou-vibe), and that white people are from the northern continent, but many had migrated over a long long time ago. (But it's weird because fey are clearly indigenous to Risur, and elves are kinda like fey, but the elves are all 'white'.)
Actually, I've noticed that a lot of the elf portraits are more light brown? I think? I'm away from the books at the moment, I'll check later. (Edit: and I do mean elves, not eladrin.)

I did come to the same conclusion about humans.
 
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SanjMerchant

Explorer
Huh. That makes sense.

I had been imagining and presenting Flint as a sort of Victorian London in the Louisiana Bayou, with a dash of Charles Dickens-style New York City thrown in.

My players eventually started asking the race question, and I eventually decided that the native folk of Risur are black (Creole-esque to fit with the Bayou-vibe), and that white people are from the northern continent, but many had migrated over a long long time ago. (But it's weird because fey are clearly indigenous to Risur, and elves are kinda like fey, but the elves are all 'white'.) This didn't sit quite well with me, because it started to draw in Johannesburg parallels. But eventually I rolled with it. More social tension with awkward echoes of current political crises actually fits the "vibe" of Flint pretty well.
Actually, I've noticed that a lot of the elf portraits are more light brown? I think? I'm away from the books at the moment, I'll check later. (Edit: and I do mean elves, not eladrin.)

I did come to the same conclusion about humans.
Aren't the Elves (much more literally than usual) the hillbilly cousins of the Eladrin? And the Eladrin are Indian, so if anything the brown is a bit on the pale side (more jungle canopy than the real India I guess). Also, during the revisit to the Great Malice in Adventure 8, the then-Pope of the Clergy literally uses the phrase "brown savages" to refer to the Eladrin, so... Indian fits? (Also so racism, much bias, wow.)

As for human skin colors, there's definitely a "humans don't sort themselves along those lines here" vibe, though I kinda noticed that after the initial "King Aodhan and his sister the Duchess are black," Risur does start to default to being pretty white (Kaja Stewart, Lauren Cyneburg, Nigel Price-Hill, Margaret Saxby, Reed McBannin....) to the point that I'd probably race-bend a few of them just to mix it back up a bit.
 
Aodhan and Ethelyn have African racial features. So do Heward and Nevard Sechim (in adventure 2), Malia Baccarin (in 4), plus Ken Don and Vitus Sigismund (in adventure 8). Plus, of course, Rock Rackus.

Eladrin have Indo-Persian features. I'm trying to recall how many elves we had -- Nilasa is a half-elf and sorta Indian-y, while most of the other elves (like Ottavia Sacredote, Livia Hatsfield, or Lauryn Cyneburg) are more European. But elves, as we all know, have lots of sub-races.
 

SanjMerchant

Explorer
Aodhan and Ethelyn have African racial features. So do Heward and Nevard Sechim (in adventure 2), Malia Baccarin (in 4), plus Ken Don and Vitus Sigismund (in adventure 8). Plus, of course, Rock Rackus.
I forgot about Sechims and Baccarin altogether (although I didn't think Baccarin was Risuri, but that's a bit beside the point of this particular tangent). And I have no idea how I forgot about Sigismund when writing that post when I've been literally reading about him in [MENTION=79141]gideonpepys[/MENTION] 's campaign journal (though, again, I think I was thinking of Risuri specifically).

No fracking clue how I, or anyone, could just forget about Rock.

TL;DR, I have no idea what I'm talking about. :p

Eladrin have Indo-Persian features. I'm trying to recall how many elves we had -- Nilasa is a half-elf and sorta Indian-y, while most of the other elves (like Ottavia Sacredote, Livia Hatsfield, or Lauryn Cyneburg) are more European. But elves, as we all know, have lots of sub-races.
I keep forgetting that Ottavia is not straight up Human. (By the way, I realize it was probably born of the Pathfinder Oracle's Curse class feature, but her being deaf and Luc speaking sign language with her is a great touch.)
 

efreund

Explorer
Nilasa and Malia are both written as to be explicitly the product of mixed race parentage.
In Nilasa's case, I assumed it was a white elf (since all elves are white?) mother, and a black Risuri father.
For Malia, given her last name (and assuming patronymics) it would be a Crysillyri (white) father, and a Risuri (black) mother.

Looking at the BoFF characters, they are all white. (Ignoring Stanfeild's bluegrey.) Notably, the Green Knight, who is an elf, is white.
Both of the dragons in the setting have chosen to adopt white human personas. As far as I can tell, there are no humans indigenous to Ber, so it's odd they didn't choose to look native Risuri (i.e. black).

With the exception of brown eladrin, it seems that every non-human race (elves, dwarves, teiflings, gnome) that could have a race are white.

I don't think there's enough out there about Ken Don to comment, but the Sigismund thing confuses me. The name isn't Risuri.

Anyway, just musing out loud.

What I felt was a bit odd is that there weren't more mixed-race characters. If you have so many blacks and whites living alongside each other for so long in Risur, you'd expect a bit more intermarrying to occur. I'm not aware of any in-setting reasons (like religious prohibitions) that would slow down the melting-pot.
 

gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Ken Don is white. Everyone's confusing him with Gran Guiscard.

I prefer to think of the whole thing as colour-blind casting, so you pick the (human) race according to how you imagine the character and don't worry too much about the internal logic.

Also, I thought there were a few humans in Ber. One of my original PCs was Beran (albeit a slave) and Gupta's father was too. Even if there weren't originally, I would have thought they would have populated the cities after the fall of the dragon tyrants (and especially after unification).
 
I always had the impression that the people with "browner" light skin, like Harkover Lee, or maybe even Cippiano had a hispanic ethnicity. I'd say that the humans of the southern part of the continent were predominantly darker skinned and having hispanic humans would fit well with the overall ethos of Ber.

All together, I'm quite happy that Risur has such a refreshing, diverse and unusual climatic and racial background. But I always have a hard time imagining what a Risuri would wear in these climatic conditions. While many descriptions point to a victorian influence, these multi-layered clothes don't seem really viable for tropical conditions (high humidity & temperature). As Risur is a social and political power house on its own, I guess "northern" fashion and business attire wouldn't have paved its way there the way European clothing did in Latin America.
 
I kinda wish I'd done a bit more costuming research. I could've had some stuff like this:

Cuban -


Brazilian -


Guatemala -


And this is apparently Brazilian high society in the 19th century -
 
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SanjMerchant

Explorer
If you need a rationale for the character art as it is, maybe Flinters are all cosmopolitan and sophisticated and such and appropriate Danoran, Crysilliri, and Drakran fashions (and the result happens to look like real world Victorian England). And military/RHC uniforms have kept up because Risur is trying to buck the overseas reputation as being a bunch of backward, tree-hugging hicks.

Sent from my SM-G900V using EN World mobile app
 

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