Author Topic: Dogs & horses  (Read 843 times)

Rafu

  • User
  • Posts: 71
    • View Profile
    • Orgasmo Cerebrale
Dogs & horses
« on: September 13, 2016, 10:17:18 PM »
Both a question to Vincent and an idea poll.

"Evolution, when allowed its course, runs in certain channels", but exceptions abound, apparently. Bats aside, it looks like Venusian mammals are similar to (future) Terran mammals, but slightly "off".
When I think of a pre-industrial human society, I think of large numbers of canines and equines, the staple working animals, living alongside people and being employed for all manners of everyday tasks. How are Venusian dogs and horses like -- or what other beasts do Venusians breed for steeds, cart-pulling, herding, keeping watch, hunting, etc.?

Rafu

  • User
  • Posts: 71
    • View Profile
    • Orgasmo Cerebrale
Re: Dogs & horses
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2016, 02:43:09 PM »
While there are canines on Venus (dangerous varieties of jackals and hyenas, at a minimum) I'm considering using pigs as a replacement for dogs in most pet roles.
If we imagine the wild ancestors of Venusian pigs were smaller and less dangerous than Terran wild pigs, it's entirely plausible they, rather than canines, were the first animals to be domesticated by Venusian humans. Pigs thrive on the same food as humans, are smart, have a great sense of smell and can be trained to forage for humans, or help people in foraging. They're powerful and fearsome enough to be bred as guardians, and they can be bred in a variety of sizes (and colors) to fit into just as many roles, from huge boar-like war-pigs to cute, diminutive lap-pigs wealthy ladies carry around almost like fashion accessories.
Pigs dislike climbing stairs, which makes it extremely easy to keep them out certain areas in towns and cities. There would of course be a widespread taboo against eating pork - held to be gross and scary as a food, as it resembles human flesh way too much. But such an outlook wouldn't be universal amongst Venusian cultures: in areas where an abundance of other meats have long been available, the mere thought of eating pork would be disgusting, whereas some people from a number of agriculturally "backwards" areas of Venus would have local traditions of consuming pork, and generally think about it in more practical terms (and would be dubbed "pig-eating savages" by their neighbors).

I also think pigs (being more opportunistic feeders than aggressive predators) don't make for good hunting animals. Domesticated canines would thus exist on Venus too, specifically feral hunting-dogs descended from jackals or hyenas. These would be generally mistrusted animals non-specialists dislike to deal with. I can see one or more species of bats being bred for hunting as well.

Should I opt to take this route, horses would be horses - there's such a thing as "too much weirdness" indeed.

Paul T.

  • User
  • Posts: 643
    • View Profile
Re: Dogs & horses
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2016, 04:55:26 PM »
I like it!

Rafu

  • User
  • Posts: 71
    • View Profile
    • Orgasmo Cerebrale
Re: Dogs & horses
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2016, 08:01:21 AM »
Penned into my prep notebook 24 hours ago:

A puluth is a fashionable pet. It's a kind of chanting bat, and it goes POOL POOL POOL-LH-LH POOL POOL POOL-LH-LH POOL POOL PLUPLUPUL POOL POOL POOL-LH-LH constantly, hence its name. Strangely, puluth-lovers don't seem to find its chanting maddening. It's a large-ish, blue-black, short-muzzled fructivore (sp?) which is apparently OK clinging to people's clothing most of the time, as long as it recognizes the person and is kept fed. (It's basically very similar to a pug in both size and appearance.) It's said to be closely related to carnivorous bats bred for hunting, specifically by cross-breeding and such, but there are precious little apparent similarities. While technically capable of flight, it's extremely lazy and won't fly except if motivated by hunger - plus, most pet poluths are definitely overweight. The prized Vanetysian breed is black with white patches, and definitely the most fashionable of all.

Now it's established that there aren't dogs on Venus, I'm positive puluths and dwarf-size pigs constitute the staple handbag-sized pets for fashion conscious ladies in the city of Vanetys.

Rafu

  • User
  • Posts: 71
    • View Profile
    • Orgasmo Cerebrale
Re: Dogs & horses
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2016, 08:41:52 AM »
In yesterday's session, the first pet pig debuted on screen in the lap of an important NPC.

Having agreed that I hadn't mentioned any horses so far, we've also been thinking about a world without horses a little. It was a funny conversation ("I'll ride a giant goose, then!" "Sorry, no birds." "Aw, right", etc.):
  • One player asks: "No horses, OK, but are there donkeys? Donkeys are lovely!"
  • One player wasn't at all worried about lack of horses and advocated giant lizards. I suppose, as scary war mounts everything goes, but as everyday working animals? That would detract from my suspension of disbelief while enjoying my personal fantasy-anthropology sub-game. To me, it has to be mammals.
  • Looks like camelids are fair game: camel-like and llama-like species can be used as pack animals and a few, like our Terran dromedary camel, could be effective war steeds as well. Though Venus as we've known it so far is too humid for most Terran camelids, they're an extremely adaptive bunch - maybe they're limited to the driest areas of the planet, or maybe there's such a thing as swamp-camels.
  • Elephants don't have too be huge! "Dwarf" elephants, if domesticated, could fill a lot of horse-like roles.
  • Bovines can't compare to horse as fast runners, but have widely been used in the real world as draft animals. Cattle, water buffalo, yaks... Such animals could be an ordinary sighting on busy city streets, pulling carts and carrying weights. Maybe larger, fierce auroch-like bulls pull Venusian war-chariots.

lumpley

  • Administrator
  • User
  • Posts: 1264
    • View Profile
Re: Dogs & horses
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2016, 03:42:48 PM »
On real earth, war steeds are a pretty new invention and only recently widespread. Many civilizations have done without them entirely. I don't think there need to be any on Venus at all.

-Vincent

Rafu

  • User
  • Posts: 71
    • View Profile
    • Orgasmo Cerebrale
Re: Dogs & horses
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2016, 08:48:43 PM »
That's cool with me. But if there aren't any war steeds, some PCs will invent them eventually. :)

Paul T.

  • User
  • Posts: 643
    • View Profile
Re: Dogs & horses
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2016, 03:46:32 AM »
Sounds like a Good Experience based on Glory (if it works!)...