Ravenloft: Prisoners of the Mist

Public (OOC) => Roleplay and Gameplay Resources => Ravenloft Setting => Topic started by: Iconoclast on May 04, 2007, 10:01:51 AM

Title: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Iconoclast on May 04, 2007, 10:01:51 AM
Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide

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Greetings Fellow Prisoners of the Mists,

   In the hopes of encouraging more players to role play Barovian and Gundarakite characters, the application process was abolished some time ago.  Now that these two ethnic groups are open to all players for role play, your Community Council would like to highlight some concerns and issues, as well as offer some -rp- tips, on the topic of native role play.
 





A Player’s Freedom to Role Play

    This guide is just that, a guide.  Our intention is not to tell someone that they must role play their Barovian or Gundarakite “this way.”  However, there is a setting.  There is a local culture with strong beliefs.  The setting and the local culture will react in an –ic- manner to any native Gundarakite or Barovian who is perceived as behaving outside of their local culture’s norms.  If any player chose the Gundarakite or Barovian option upon character creation as an afterthought, you may require a remake or a revision of your character concept.  All Gundarakite and Barovian player characters require a name that is true to their ethnic heritage.  Other than that, each player is free to chose how their native character will behave.  Keep in mind though, that the setting will react accordingly.  If a native Barovian or Gundarakite are witnessed spending all their time in the company of outlanders, and they begin adventuring as if they were an outlander, a DM may eventually take notice, possibly change your characters faction from native to outlander, and your character will be treated by the setting and local culture as someone "lost" and "corrupted" by outlander ways.  







A Touch of Xenophobia



The American Heritage Dictionary defines Xenophobia: “One unduly fearful or contemptuous of strangers or foreigners.”

    Considering that most players play outlanders, who are “strangers or foreigners,” this can be a challenge to role play.  Native Gundarakite or Barovians do not seek out the company of outlanders.  Since the Western Outskirts is the well-known outlander haven, native Gundarakite and Barovians will not “hang out” in this area typically.  


    Suggestions for overcoming some of this xenophobic role playing challenges are:

 :arrow:   Have your native character seek employment at either the Lady’s Rest or The Broken Bell.  This will provide your character a space in which regular role play occurs.  
   
 :arrow:     Have your character make regular deliveries to the Lady’s Rest.  This may be a delivery of farm produce or what have you.  

 :arrow:   You may also seek employment at the temple of the Morninglord.  

 :arrow:   Join a faction. (http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=6519.0) Gundarakites are attracted to the teachings of the Morninglord.  Gundarakite can also join the rebel faction.  Barovians can join the Guard Faction.  If you role play a Barovian, and you want a lot of role play interaction, the Guard Faction may be for you.  Other factions, detailed within the Faction Guide, are also available to natives.  









Fear of the Night

(http://images.quizilla.com/P/PO/POS/PoshRasha/1139408476_tewerewolf.JPG)

    Native Barovians and Gundarakites have a crippling fear of the night.  This can be a challenge, since half of the day is divided into light and darkness.  Darkness, the night, on a symbolic level represents irrational fears, or our subconciousness.  However, their fear of the night might not be all that irrational; there are horrors that only come out at night.  Barovians and Gundarakites in general are a fearful people.  It is "common sense" for both ethic groups to safely secure themselves and property at the coming of each sunset.  This helps create the desired mood within our setting.  Does this mean that Gundarakite and Barovians always have to avoid being out at night?  No.  For example, the Guard Faction may be on duty some nights.  However, they do so with both fear and anxiety.  The Gundarakite rebels often are forced to conduct their activities under the blanket of night.  They too role play this anxiety and fear.  In other words, you typically will not see a Barovian or Gundarakite walking alone without a care in the world while Night is in process.  


    Suggestions for overcoming the role playing challenge of having your native fear the night:

 :arrow:   Many players have alternate characters.  Log out come night fall, and role play a character who does not fear the night to the crippling extent that locals do.  Many of the Gundarakite use night time for role playing within their hideout; making plans or what have you.  If we find ourselves running out of creative ideas to pass the night away, we simply log in our Caliban or outlander characters.  Calibans, who are also native, work out well, being that they relish the freedom that night time offers them.  The Barovian Guard pc may find themselves on wall duty.  This will provide them with a setting appropriate activity during the night.

 :arrow:   If your character is employed at an Inn, they can role play inside.  This role play can benefit the gothic setting, by contrasting your native with the outlander who roams out at night.  









Fear of Witchcraft

(http://www.witchcrafthome.com/pics/album-witchcraft.jpg)
    
    Gundarakite and Barovians barely tolerate healing magic.  They do not differentiate the different schools of magic.  Their daily lives are devoid of such acts.  Therefore, they react to the visible effect of a spell or prayer.  A cleric summoning an undead warrior and a mage doing the same will be treated equally in their eyes.  This goes for any other visible spell, such as barkskin, stoneskin, flameweapon, and the like.  Because of this fear of witchcraft, any item or weapon that appears “tainted” by witchcraft, such as glowing blades, will be viewed as dangerous.  The average Barovian and Gundarakite will never use any item that has these “frightening” properties.  If an item is magical, but does not make its magical property obvious, such as a simple plus one dagger, then that item is fine, since as far as the native knows, it is just a nicely crafted blade.  Items that illuminate light though, such as robes, may be looked upon suspiciously; common folk use natural light sources.  
    The temptation to use magical items or spell abilities that the engine provides your character class is a role playing challenge.  For example, a Gundarakite ranger will at some point have the engine ability to cast some arcane spells.  However, due to the Gundarakite’s ideology, they would be oblivious to this.  They would never even dream of learning how to cast spells.  They may however, through prayer, if they like many Gundarakite follow the Morninglord, learn to cast healing spells.  
    Both PvM and PvP are extra difficult for native Barovians and Gundarakite.  Not only will they not adventure to some PvM areas, due to their deep rooted fear of the arcane and monsters, they will not have magic to assist them in their battles.  








But Aren’t Our Native Barovians and Gundarakite Supposed to be Exceptional?
 

    As stated above, each player has the freedom to role play their native as they wish.  However, the setting is important, and the local ethnic groups will react appropriately to any Gundarakite or Barovian who acts exceptional.  If one talks like an outlander, if one acts like an outlander, then they must be an outlander.  From an –ic- perspective, the locals will view any fellow native who is known to keep company with outlanders, hang out in the western outskirts, or uses obvious magic items or spells, as a native who has been “corrupted” and “tainted” by the “foolish” and “untrustworthy” outlanders.  These natives will likely have their faction switched to the outlander faction, so that natives who adhere to cultural norms react appropriately.  





Helpful and Related Links

 :arrow: Faction Guide (http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=6519.0)
 :arrow: Barovia & Witchcraft (http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=4534.0)
 :arrow: Barovia & Women (http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=5119.0)
 :arrow: Local dialects: Balok & Luktar (http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=5300.0)
 :arrow: Differences: Natives & Outlanders (http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=5116.0)
 :arrow: Native Perspective: What Makes an Outlander? (http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=2970.0)


This resource has been brought to you by the Community Council. (http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=5186.0)  If any player, -DM-, or developer would lilke to contribute or provide feedback, please contact an active member on the Council, and appropiate revisions will result.  Please feel free to post any questions or comments that you feel would benefit the community.


Sincerely,
The Community Council
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Iconoclast on January 01, 2008, 01:13:14 PM
I'd like to bump this thread since its been brought up as a recent concern.  To be more specific, I'd like to reemphasize the following:
Quote
A Player’s Freedom to Role Play

    This guide is just that; a guide.  Our intention is not to tell someone that they must role play their Barovian or Gundarakite “this way.”  However, there is a setting.  There is a local culture with strong beliefs.  The setting and the local culture will react in an –ic- manner to any native Gundarakite or Barovian who is perceived as behaving outside of their local culture’s norms.  If any player chose the Gundarakite or Barovian option upon character creation as an afterthought, you may require a remake or a revision of your character concept.  All Gundarakite and Barovian player characters require a name that is true to their ethnic heritage.  Other than that, each player is free to chose how their native character will behave.  Keep in mind though, that the setting will react accordingly.  If a native Barovian or Gundarakite are witnessed spending all their time in the company of outlanders, and they begin adventuring as if they were an outlander, a DM may eventually take notice, possibly change your characters faction from native to outlander, and your character will be treated by the setting and local culture as someone "lost" and "corrupted" by outlander ways.


There have been and are some native Barovians who act out against their culture's norms.  That is perfectly fine, but please be aware that the dm staff most likely will change that Barovian's faction setting, making them basically an outlander, someone no longer accepted as Barovian due to their outlandish behavior. 
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Iconoclast on April 03, 2008, 09:32:09 PM
Some Common Terms




Glossary

Boyar—landowners of Barovia; together with the burgomasters they represent local governments
Castle Hunadora—the fortress home of Duke Gundar.
Dreadmount—a cluster of mountains in western Barovia and the subject of many fearful rumors
Dreadpass—the narrow gorge beneath the Dreadmount through which the Luna River flows and along which rests the Keep of Forgetting
Ijrail—a demon in Barovia legends that was sent by the Tergs to tempt Strahd I
Keep of Forgetting—an old ruin pre-dating the emergence of the Mists, said to be haunted by the spirits of those who once resided there but were slain by the Von Zaroviches
Majr—Moth-like demons in Barovian folklore; their descriptions change from story to story
Mamliga—a cornmeal mush, common to every household
Mititei—grilled pork and lamb meatballs
Neureni—barbrians who invaded Barovia in 230 B.C.
Neuri-Werewolves or shapeshifting wizards
Nocnitsa—blood-drinking, flesh-eating crones of folklore
Patricieni—grilled sausage
Placinte—a popular delicacy, pastry and fruit turnovers
Poludnitsa—beautiful, reclusive nymphs of Barovia folklore who said to decapitate those unfortunate to wander into their groves.
Sarmale—pork wrapped in cabbage or grape leaves
Tocana—pork stewed with onions and garlic
Tsuika—a plum brandy unqiue to Barovia, popular among all classes
Von Holtz—a Vallaki-based commoner family favored by the Von Zaroviches for reasons unknown; they are often given tasks by the Count and frequently speak on his behalf.
Veela—water spirits who tempt mortals with their charms only to drown them
Vrolok—vampire, in the Balok tongue


Luktar Translated Into English



Quote
szervusz!--cheers!
viszlát--goodbye
igen--yes
nem--no
segítség!--help!
utazik messze!--go away!
fellázad-- to rebel
zsarnok--king; tyrant
szabadság--freedom
bábu--man
no--woman
gyermik--child
élet--life
halál--death
szerelem--love
elárulás--betrayal
féltékenység--jealousy
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Iconoclast on August 27, 2008, 11:53:38 AM
We gave this topic, of a Gundarakite or Barovian trying to pass off as one another, some attention a while back.  It really can go both ways.  A barovian might be trained as an undercover agent in an effort to infiltrate any rebel networks.  

I think it ought to require some specific training and skills, otherwise it would be too messy down the road.  There are lots of tiny little cultural things that people only learn from within the culture.  

Certain backgrounds might make it more viable.  Say a Gundarakite child is orphaned and grows up at an orphanage predomoniated by Barovian culture.  In order to try to fit in, she or he'd be at that age where they naturally take on the behaviors of those around them.  

Otherwise, without having all those cultural nuances specific to any culture, a Gundarakite might successfully pass as a Barovian from a distance (figuratively speaking 'distance'), but if that Gundarakite was invited to dinner at a Barovian house, and was to spend a few hours with native Barovians, that might possibly be stressful and hard to pull off.  Now some folks if they've not travelled much among different cultures, might not realize just how different people can be.  From an outlander's view, Gundarakites and Barovians will be difficult to differentiate between.  When Michael Phelps was in China, just about every tall white young guy was mistaken by the locals as being Michael Phelps.  How we percieve the world and interpret sense-data is done so through a lens of culture.  

But, Barovians and Gundarakites do both live in close proximity, sharing the same world, under the same boyars and Burgomasters, with the same distrust towards outlanders.  So I think it is possible for a Barovain or Gundarakite with the right skills, background, and luck, to have some success in passing off as the other, but within reason.  

Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: EO on March 22, 2009, 07:00:05 PM
Quote from: Ravenloft Gazetteer I
Barovia's population has four distinct ethnic groups: Barovians, Gundarakites, Forfarians, and Thaani. While the broad cultural differences between these groups are minimal today, they can generally be distinguished by their physical appearance and language.

Ethnic Barovians are the descendents of the folk that first settled the Balinoks over 750 years ago. They have spread throughout present day Barovia, though they remain most dominant in their original lands. In the most distant reaches of the west, the boyars, their agents, and the Barovian militias represent Barovians almost exclusively. Ethnic Gundarakites, conversely, are found in greatest numbers in the west and are rarely encountered east of the Balinoks. The Gundarak region is currently much more densely populated than the rest of Barovia, and as such may actually outnumber Barovians by a small margin. Both groups vastly outnumber the Forfarians and the Thaani, who dwell almost exclusively in the village of Immol. Though together the Forfarians and Thaani of Immol number only a few hundred, their refusal to intermarry with the local Barovians has maintained the integrity of their communities for roughly two hundred years. Whether such a degree of inbreeding has maintained their health, intellect, and sanity is another matter.

The wretched irony of the conflict between the Barovians and the Gundarakites is that an outsider would be hard-pressed to tell them apart by their physical appearance. Woe to the traveler who confuses one for the other, however! Both ethnic groups have thick, stocky builds, characterized by broad shoulders, meaty limbs, and wide hips. Generally dusky in appearance, their skin tones range from a pale olive-tan to light brown. Dark hair and eyes are the norm, the former varying from light chestnut to deep, glossy black, the latter from pale hazel to rich brown. Men of both ethnicities prefer to wear their coarse, wavy hair just above the shoulder. Women grow their hair long throughout their lives, and younger maids often braid their locks in a single or double tress. Nearly all men wear the distinctive, drooping mustache common to the region, grown thick and long. Beards are widespread only among younger men, who consider them a sign of virility (and then quickly abandon the notion when they marry).
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: EO on March 22, 2009, 07:08:05 PM
From this exerpt, here are some of the laws and prohibitions applying to Gundarakites:

It is illegal for Gundarakites to purchase any lands beyond what they currently own.
It is illegal for Gundarakites to live north of the Luna.
It is illegal for Gundarakites to own boats or large weapons.
It is illegal for Gundarakites to possess or even make weapons larger than daggers.
Barovians are currently trying to force the Gundarakites to speak the "civilized" Barovian tongue at all times.

Quote from: Domains of Dread
The majority of the inhabitants in the west of Barovia are ethnic Gundarakites, citizens of a domain that no longer exists. They outnumber the Barovians but are essentially kept in an impoverished state by unreasonable laws and excessive taxes. Farmers and herders predominate this area, although craftsmen are found in the towns of Teufeldorf (which has three thousand inhabitants) and Zeidenburg (four thousand inhabitants). At one time, Zeidenburg's weaponsmiths were renowned for their skill. Since the city was annexed by Barovia, however, it is illegal for Gundarakites to possess or even make weapons larger than daggers.

In the wake of the Grand Conjunction, Strahd ordered the militias of Barovia's villages to invade Gundarak and take control of its settlements, making the Gundarakites citizens of Barovia. Gundarakites are similar in appearance to Barovians, but their women tend to favor more colorful garb. Unmarried Gundarakite women always keep their heads covered. This leads to frequent, and sometimes bloody, misunderstandings between young Barovians and Gundarakites.

Their different religious beliefs cause an even more severe delineation between Barovians and Gundarakites. Except when conducting funerals, Barovians do not frequent churches. Even weddings are held at village inns. This is primarily because whenever an optimistic young couple would schedule a church wedding, the bride would invariably vanish the night before, only to be found dead a few days later, her body battered and her throat torn open as though by some wild beast. These events and the continuing evil of their tyrant lord have led them to believe that either the gods have abandoned them or are punishing them unjustly for the crimes of their ancestors. Consequently, though each village has a temple or church building, it usually lies in disrepair.

Gundarakites, on the other hand, are very religious. Under Gundar, they primarily paid homage to a deity known as Nerull, but since their subjugation by the Barovians, a new faith is gaining popularity. A small Barovian cult, known as the Children of the Morninglord, bases itself in Krezk, where they maintain a temple. The members of this faith are awaiting the day when the Morninglord, a being with golden skin and hair of fire, steps out of the Mists and banishes darkness and suffering from the world. The Qundarakites, who briefly knew freedom immediately following the death of Duke Gundar, find this an appealing belief, even if the Barovians do not.

The final difference between Barovians and Qundarakites is one of language. Barovians speak Balok, a language full of unusual consonant combinations, while the Gundarakites speak Luktar, a sing-song language of soft, lilting sounds that Barovians find hard to master. There is only a 10% chance that an individual from one of these ethnic groups speaks the language of the other group, while there is a 20% chance per individual to speak the language of another Core domain. Barovians are currently trying to force the Gundarakites to speak the "civilized" Barovian tongue at all times. This law would join others that the boyars have recently agreed upon, including those that prohibit Gundarakites from purchasing any lands beyond what they currently own, living north of the Luna, and owning boats or large weapons.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on November 20, 2009, 03:58:41 PM
Here's some things I've been witnessing that I don't feel are particularly accurate for ethnic Barovians:

1. A love of Strahd: I've been seeing a lot of "for the Count!" and "By the Count!" stuff. It's way off the mark. The average Barovian despises Strahd as a tyrant first and possible necromancer second. They call him the "Devil Strahd." They hate the harsh taxes, and they know that he's lived far longer than any mortal man should. They believe his long life is attributed to dabbling in dark magic. While Barovians know that openly displaying their contempt for their tyrannical ruler is tantamount to suicide, they don't bother to make it seem like they adore him, either. As they have little interaction with Strahd, most of the tyranny in the realm is experienced by his vassals, the Burgomasters and Boyars, whom the peasantry believes are all cruel and schemers, eager to please Strahd at the expense of the common folk.

The people do love "Strahd the First" as the liberator from the Tergs, but no Barovian believes that this is the same man that rules them today. They believe Strahd XI is a degenerate and a disgrace to his ancestor, and really only obey him out of fear bordering on paranoia.

2. Nationalism: Calls to national pride are unlikely to emerge from most Barovians, and they would likely fall upon deaf ears if they did. Barovians serve in the military as a means of employment (it's moderately less miserable than being a landed serf), or are conscripted. Conscripted Barovians typically serve out of fear of death or worse. Most Barovians are simply concerned with day-to-day survival and subsistence, though they do also have a crippling fear of the supernatural.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Little Lotte on November 20, 2009, 04:09:34 PM
Here's some things I've been witnessing that I don't feel are particularly accurate for ethnic Barovians:

1. A love of Strahd: I've been seeing a lot of "for the Count!" and "By the Count!" stuff. It's way off the mark. The average despises Strahd as a tyrant first and possible necromancer second. They call him the "Devil Strahd." They hate the harsh taxes, and they know that he's lived far longer than any mortal man should. They believe his long life is attributed to dabbling in dark magic. While Barovians know that openly displaying their contempt for their tyrannical ruler is tantamount to suicide, they don't bother to make it seem like they adore him, either. As they have little interaction with Strahd, most of the tyranny in the realm is experienced by his vassals, the Burgomasters and Boyars, whom the peasantry believes are all cruel and schemers, eager to please Strahd at the expense of the common folk.

The people do love "Strahd the First" as the liberator from the Tergs, but no Barovian believes that this is the same man that rules them today. They believe Strahd XI is a degenerate and a disgrace to his ancestor, and really only obey him out of fear bordering on paranoia.

2. Nationalism: Calls to national pride are unlikely to emerge from most Barovians, and they would likely fall upon deaf ears if they did. Barovians serve in the military as a means of employment (it's moderately less miserable than being a landed serf), or are conscripted. Conscripted Barovians typically serve out of fear of death or worse. Most Barovians are simply concerned with day-to-day survival and subsistence, though they do also have a crippling fear of the supernatural.

I would love to see more crippling fear of the supernatural from ethnic Barovians, PC's and NPC's alike.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Minstrel on November 20, 2009, 04:41:11 PM
I would love to see more crippling fear of the supernatural from ethnic Barovians, PC's and NPC's alike.

Very hard to do when there are very few natives who you can interact with, and the Outskirts has people walking around with glowing swords.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Little Lotte on November 20, 2009, 04:43:33 PM
I would love to see more crippling fear of the supernatural from ethnic Barovians, PC's and NPC's alike.

Very hard to do when there are very few natives who you can interact with, and the Outskirts has people walking around with glowing swords.

Yeah and its hard playing a Native when there arent many around. When I made my first native, Valentina she got her first 8 levels from sitting in the Blue Water Inn, with Vincent lol But as ethnic natives, we stuck it out and chose to not interact with Outlanders if we could help it. Sure it got boring but thats what we signed on for when we rolled native PC's.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on November 20, 2009, 04:51:49 PM
I've never understood why people think playing a native Barovian means essentially doing nothing. Playing a native Barovian doesn't mean you need to sit in an inn all day twiddling your thumbs. By your very nature as a PC, you're going to be an adventurer who is different from the normal serfs. Maybe your character wants to improve his lot in life, maybe she's dissatisfied with miliatry service, maybe he wants to leave behind the misery of poverty and find a new place in the world, maybe she seeks to better the lives of others, maybe he just wants to rid the world of supernatural horrors he's been terrified of since childhood. There's all sorts of ways to make a native Barovian that isn't shackled to a stereotype but still is faithful.

The reason I made the post above is because the "love" of Strahd and nationalistic behaviors seem to be what most people think all Barovians are like--and they are almost always present in the Barovian PCs that I've seen--when in reality very few Barovians would feel this way. A few adventurer PCs could feel this way, but certainly not all of them (or even a majority) ;)
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Chrisman888 on November 20, 2009, 05:18:02 PM
Here's some things I've been witnessing that I don't feel are particularly accurate for ethnic Barovians:

1. A love of Strahd: I've been seeing a lot of "for the Count!" and "By the Count!" stuff. It's way off the mark. The average Barovian despises Strahd as a tyrant first and possible necromancer second. They call him the "Devil Strahd." They hate the harsh taxes, and they know that he's lived far longer than any mortal man should. They believe his long life is attributed to dabbling in dark magic. While Barovians know that openly displaying their contempt for their tyrannical ruler is tantamount to suicide, they don't bother to make it seem like they adore him, either. As they have little interaction with Strahd, most of the tyranny in the realm is experienced by his vassals, the Burgomasters and Boyars, whom the peasantry believes are all cruel and schemers, eager to please Strahd at the expense of the common folk.

The people do love "Strahd the First" as the liberator from the Tergs, but no Barovian believes that this is the same man that rules them today. They believe Strahd XI is a degenerate and a disgrace to his ancestor, and really only obey him out of fear bordering on paranoia.

2. Nationalism: Calls to national pride are unlikely to emerge from most Barovians, and they would likely fall upon deaf ears if they did. Barovians serve in the military as a means of employment (it's moderately less miserable than being a landed serf), or are conscripted. Conscripted Barovians typically serve out of fear of death or worse. Most Barovians are simply concerned with day-to-day survival and subsistence, though they do also have a crippling fear of the supernatural.


Thank-you! I personally never did the above, but I never was really to clear on if I should or not.

But RP tips like these are great, feel free to poke my native whenever and tell me more tips!  :twisted:

Edit: Make that any Guru Ravenloft person, feel free to poke me!  8)


~ Chris



Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Minstrel on November 20, 2009, 05:48:33 PM
My native barovian ranger makes cash by picking through the corpses of deer after the neuri have a night in the forest. Does a lot of odd jobs for anywhere he can find, really, which is getting him into a lot of groups of people.

Still need more, mind you! *points everyone towards the True Blues*
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Roose on November 21, 2009, 06:37:56 AM
I hope that this recent discussion isn't due to the True Blues. I do understand the normal Barovian outlook on this type of thing, however as a PC I'm attempting to branch out, and create a new area of role play to explore while hold some of the core Barovian principles in heart.

I think this sums it up well.
Playing a native Barovian doesn't mean you need to sit in an inn all day twiddling your thumbs. By your very nature as a PC, you're going to be an adventurer who is different from the normal serfs. Maybe your character wants to improve his lot in life, maybe she's dissatisfied with miliatry service, maybe he wants to leave behind the misery of poverty and find a new place in the world, maybe she seeks to better the lives of others, maybe he just wants to rid the world of supernatural horrors he's been terrified of since childhood. There's all sorts of ways to make a native Barovian that isn't shackled to a stereotype but still is faithful.

However the information on the common perception of Strand is helpful. And in the future I'll try to use more traditional ideas in the propaganda. I'd also be very grateful for some more tips on Barovian culture, and history. Everything I know is absorbed from my in game experiences with other PCs and events.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Minstrel on November 21, 2009, 06:45:20 AM
Consider that in the books, the natives don't have to put up with glowing pitics skipping through their streets and elf wizards threatening them in their own inns.

There's only so much you can poke the population until they bite back.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: herkles on November 30, 2009, 01:54:19 PM
I found this paragraph in one of my vampire: the dark ages source books. However I do think it is something that should be kept in mind for native barovians as well so I am posting it here.

Quote
Life by candlelight
The dark medieval world is one in which things of a fantastical nature are made possible. In your everyday life there is one very easy way to dispel nearly any fear of a supernatural nature – turn on the light. A flick of the switch, and the closet monster, the creaking thing in the hall and the imp scratching at the windows are all banished. But what if the only way to find out what was making the noise was to walk right over to it with a candle? No candle can match an electric flashlight for range or brightness, which means you’ll have to get up awfully close. And if there is something there, do you really want to get that close? It becomes easier to understand the superstitions of people in years past once you take away the safety of electric light.

Think about the way people look by candlelight – more romantic or more menacing? Do they look less or more like themselves? The play of light and shadow provided by flickering firelight seems to make all things possible.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Roose on December 07, 2009, 06:23:17 AM
Consider that in the books, the natives don't have to put up with glowing pitics skipping through their streets and elf wizards threatening them in their own inns.

There's only so much you can poke the population until they bite back.

 :thumbup:

Even being a fearful people as Barovians are, it's silly to expect they wouldn't lash out. If anything how fearful they are only serves as MORE reason they would strike out.

An animal is most dangerous when it feels threatened.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on December 07, 2009, 01:30:29 PM
Consider that in the books, the natives don't have to put up with glowing pitics skipping through their streets and elf wizards threatening them in their own inns.

There's only so much you can poke the population until they bite back.

 :thumbup:

Even being a fearful people as Barovians are, it's silly to expect they wouldn't lash out. If anything how fearful they are only serves as MORE reason they would strike out.

An animal is most dangerous when it feels threatened.

No offense, but that's making a lot of assumptions based on your personal preference. Barovia isn't Falkovnia or Tepest, and I don't want to see it turn into either. There might be a handful of individuals who feel this way, but there's nothing in any of the official sources to indicate that the reaction of the general populace would be so severe or militant. At the most there might be few more angry peasant mobs than usual.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Zedrik on December 07, 2009, 06:10:52 PM
Consider that in the books, the natives don't have to put up with glowing pitics skipping through their streets and elf wizards threatening them in their own inns.

There's only so much you can poke the population until they bite back.

 :thumbup:

Even being a fearful people as Barovians are, it's silly to expect they wouldn't lash out. If anything how fearful they are only serves as MORE reason they would strike out.

An animal is most dangerous when it feels threatened.

No offense, but that's making a lot of assumptions based on your personal preference. Barovia isn't Falkovnia or Tepest, and I don't want to see it turn into either. There might be a handful of individuals who feel this way, but there's nothing in any of the official sources to indicate that the reaction of the general populace would be so severe or militant. At the most there might be few more angry peasant mobs than usual.

Speaking of Barovia not being Falkovnia... Sometimes I want to throw complainers into Falkovnia so they can see what real oppression is like.  :ohnoes: Somehow, I think Werner's tendency to overstate his own evilness/disturbiness just lessens the effect when he tells people what Falkovnia is like.  O.O :whip:
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Unana / Rapsutin on December 08, 2009, 06:43:43 AM
Consider that in the books, the natives don't have to put up with glowing pitics skipping through their streets and elf wizards threatening them in their own inns.

There's only so much you can poke the population until they bite back.

 :thumbup:

Even being a fearful people as Barovians are, it's silly to expect they wouldn't lash out. If anything how fearful they are only serves as MORE reason they would strike out.

An animal is most dangerous when it feels threatened.

No offense, but that's making a lot of assumptions based on your personal preference. Barovia isn't Falkovnia or Tepest, and I don't want to see it turn into either. There might be a handful of individuals who feel this way, but there's nothing in any of the official sources to indicate that the reaction of the general populace would be so severe or militant. At the most there might be few more angry peasant mobs than usual.

I would like to see even those sometimes. Or at least someone throwing something.. Streets are full of dead rats and other lovely things. Few Barovian kids tossing dungballs at outlanders, fops, freaks, pitics you name it would be a lovely sight. (And knowing how easily most outlanders are angered, it would end up with smoldering corpses which would then lead into bigger, angrier mobs! -insert maniacal laughter- )
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on December 08, 2009, 12:31:20 PM
We do have an "angry peasant" generic NPC for DMs to spawn. They're tougher than normal peasants and armed with pitchforks. ;)
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Feronius on January 10, 2011, 06:03:17 AM
Unfortunatly my native younger char is a Morninglord worshipping Gundarakite, which limits him in dung-throwing due to his religion.. the only downside I guess?


Anyhow. A serious question regarding slavery.
Would slavery be allowed in Barovia? (Vallaki?) and how would it be perceived? (Frowned upon? Encouraged, especially if it are outlanders or wombfreaks?)
And would it be allowed in Dementlieu or other domains? (the Port?) and how would they see it? (Barbaric and uncivilised for their culture? Or more like contract workers, perfectly eligible?)

It seems quite interesting to RP a slave and I've yet to see RP in that trend, so I wondered. I don't think there is a law against it at least?
Would appreciate answers on the questions btw, before people go "This would suit great in <insert exotic region for higher levels / not playable>", I do appreciate those tips.. pherhaps even adjust a concept to that if it sounds great. But I was wondering about Vallaki mainly, for example repeating offenders / prisoners walking around as slaves in rags to work under a richer native merchant of noble heritage? As a means to pay of gambling debts, theft or damage.
So do let me know, I think it might add a bit of dimension and possibly a sort of visual "warning" towards misbehaving outlanders and local thieves alike.
(This topic seemed most appropriate as I mainly wondered about Barovia, sorry if you prefered a new topic.. but I found that a tad unneeded.)
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Feronius on January 10, 2011, 07:52:54 AM
Seems that at least Surfdom / Surfs (poor peasants forced to work under land owners) are quite common around Barovia.
Thanks for the information Stravokov! I might dabble into that aspect of roleplay sometime.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: EO on January 10, 2011, 08:25:55 AM
Quote
Anyhow. A serious question regarding slavery.
Would slavery be allowed in Barovia? (Vallaki?) and how would it be perceived? (Frowned upon? Encouraged, especially if it are outlanders or wombfreaks?)
And would it be allowed in Dementlieu or other domains? (the Port?) and how would they see it? (Barbaric and uncivilised for their culture? Or more like contract workers, perfectly eligible?)

There is slavery in the Core. In Falkovnia, Har'Akir and Hazlan, at the very least, you have slavery. However, it's treated differently in each of these domains.

There is no slavery in Barovia since everyone "belongs" to the Count. There are serfs, as mentionned, peasants working on lands that Strahd "gives" to boyars. In Dementlieu, it'd be very much frowned upon, but then the way they treat their workers is close to slavery.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on January 10, 2011, 01:19:46 PM
Souragne used to have slavery until the relatively recent past as well (as that domain is based heavily on colonial Louisiana and Haiti).
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: DM Strigoi on January 12, 2011, 06:54:46 AM
one way to view Barovians cheering "for the Count" is to mask their True Feelings so they are not accused of being unsupportive of their Ruler out of fear, specially those in the Garda... aside from that, when your Barovian garda does something that provokes celebration and you want to cheer out a name, what are we supposed to say?

as stated by Blue they:

Hate their "current" Count

Hate the Cruel Burgomasters/boyars

Garda hate their general Vladimir Ionelus lol

so when my garda cheers, whos name am im "supposed" to call out? how do you know the players cheering for the Count are not cheering for the Renowned Strahd the First? hes really all they have in their history to be proud of. thats who i cheer for when Bachev or even Vonovich cry out in Victory, or when i Sign my Garda Log book. the memory of a true Patriot of his country.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on January 12, 2011, 11:51:00 AM
Why would you say "For the Count!" in present-tense for someone who's believed to be dead for centuries? If someone were to cheer for that (although it's even odd to say that Barovians "cheer" for anything), a more appropriate comment would be like "for the memory of the First" or "in Strahd I's honor" or something along those lines. You'd definitely want to make sure people knew you were honoring the "only good Strahd" and not acting like you love "the Devil Strahd" if you'd want any respect among the populace.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: herkles on January 12, 2011, 12:34:12 PM
Than blue I suppose when we say "for the count" in the garda logs we are doing it wrong and should not have that being stated?

Though stravkov's question is one I want to know as well.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Iconoclast on January 12, 2011, 12:44:51 PM


"For Vallaki" might be the safest expression.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Heretic on January 12, 2011, 12:47:49 PM
"For the Count" Expressions were widely made popular in the days we had a plot justifying it. We also had Gavril, that for DP reasons, had a strong tie with the Count & Count adoration/fanatism.

The Count also visited the Citadel, and guard characters got to see him, some of us shaking his hand. The "For the Count", was justifiable, I did it with Chomski and I would do it all over again in the given context of that time. ;)

Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on January 12, 2011, 12:52:54 PM
Than blue I suppose when we say "for the count" in the garda logs we are doing it wrong and should not have that being stated?
It's not about "should" or shouldn't, right or "wrong." I'm not claiming this is "bad" roleplay.  It is, however, terribly inaccurate, and it's an inaccuracy that's been endlessly repeated over the years. Very, very few native Barovians would behave this way, yet the vast majority of players over the years have played their characters like this. I certainly would never tell someone that they can't roleplay their character that way, but it is a trend that I personally dislike.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: herkles on January 12, 2011, 12:57:52 PM
well i suppose what I am trying to ask is what should barovians be saying and writing in their logs as currently we do post things like 'in his name' or 'for the count' in our logs. I really want to know, as I try to keep as close to canon as possible, same thing with the warcries that a barovian might shout when they are in battle or something.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Zedrik on January 12, 2011, 03:26:30 PM
For the Count! could just be rote tradition.
Things like that happen.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Threefold on January 12, 2011, 07:26:26 PM
Could the thing with logs be explained by the fear of him?

I mean I know if I massively feared my boss and there was a chance of a letter I wrote reading him and him not being very happy with what he saw in it, I'd want him to know how much I adore and respect him in it so I don't lose my job / house / freedom / blood / internal organs.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Zedrik on January 13, 2011, 05:31:12 PM
Could the thing with logs be explained by the fear of him?

I mean I know if I massively feared my boss and there was a chance of a letter I wrote reading him and him not being very happy with what he saw in it, I'd want him to know how much I adore and respect him in it so I don't lose my job / house / freedom / blood / internal organs.

I would think most guards know that the Count doesn't much bother with the workings of their logs. (That'd be why he appoints a burgomaster and why the burgomaster appoints a Captain of the Guard.) I still think rote tradition is a plausible explanation. It's done cause it's been done so long, even though it's lost most of it's meaning.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: HellsPanda on January 13, 2011, 05:42:08 PM
I would imagine in a town like Vallaki, its more likely they would praise the city, or its leaders than the Big Boss
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: puckwolf on January 13, 2011, 06:42:45 PM
Back when I was a nublet guard everyone signed their reports that way and it just kind of continued.  I always looked at it as a formality more than anything else since no one really rps any love for the count.

Except for Holy Rage.  But he's a iadul fan boy.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: dutchy on January 13, 2011, 07:17:50 PM
we say it cause we are opressed, mihas doesnt like the count he is a guard for the people not his country not his count but he has to put it in to not look abnormal among the other guards.
see it as uber ass kissing.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Zedrik on January 13, 2011, 08:36:39 PM
we say it cause we are opressed, mihas doesnt like the count he is a guard for the people not his country not his count but he has to put it in to not look abnormal among the other guards.
see it as uber ass kissing.
This is why I did it as Arcos. I saw it as a formality. And something he didn't go shouting. Just a formality in reports. Just like "Dear Name" in a letter. It's rote tradition. Arcos frankly had neither love nor hate for the Count. He had more important issues to attend to. Which, ironically, he feels far more free to deal with now that he's NOT a guard. Ask Larissa. :shifty:
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Winter83 on January 22, 2011, 04:05:54 PM
Let's say I wish my native to be a barkeeper in the Lady's. Who do I need to contact? Playing a native is a real pain, finding rp is not easy. I mostly bump into outlanders and mages, which often disrupts every kind of roleplay I'm trying to have with my gundarakite. Would love to see more natives, but as it is now, only the very few most dedicated rolls one, who are not bored roleplaying alone 70% of the time.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: herkles on December 26, 2011, 07:41:38 PM
Some superstions that might help and add flavor to your barovian gundarkite character

Barovia (Alex Miranda)
In Barovia, it is widely believed that the sighting of a raven around a building, or better yet, a raven larger than normal, is a good omen. It means the house is protected by a benevolent spirit. This has resulted in the raven being considered a loved animal, so it is not hunted for any reason. It is considered very good luck to have a raven make its nest on one’s house, or to carry a raven’s feather with oneself. Having a raven in the house as a pet is the best protection one can wish for. If a raven marks a house with its beak, it is said no evil can ever enter it again. Amulets of raven claws are an especially bad augury, since it entails the sacrificing of a raven. Killing a raven can banish all protecting spirits, and doom will surely enter the killer’s life.

Barovia, Kartakass (Marie Klein-Laplante)
The people of these domains think that a very young baby’s soul is easy prey for haunting spirits and other ghosts. To protect the young baby’s pure and fragile soul, they keep a lit candle near the crib, night and day, until the baby is at least three months old.

Barovia (Matt Doyle)
The superstitious Barovians are known for their aversion to the dark. Lesser known, however, is their love of daylight. Daytime is when Barovians feel alive, when they feel like they actually have a chance against the darkness that lurks in their hearts and just over the horizon. This is one reason the Cult of the Morninglord has gained influence, however slightly. For these reasons, it is considered bad luck to sleep late. Barovians rise with the cock’s crow in the morning and quietly go about their days until dusk. But he who sleeps even an hour past dawn is considered bewitched in some way.


the following superstitions are from the transylvanian guide to gothic earth but they fit barovia for the most part and can be used for barovia IMO

"When you leave your house in the morning, you must put your right foot outside first. To do otherwise invariably leads to trouble."
"If you have left a house, and remember something you left behind, don’t go back to get it, or it will bring you bad luck all day."
"Meeting a priest first thing in the morning means you will have a bad day."
"Crossroads are both unlucky and dangerous, being infested with spirits"
"Don’t cross the path of  a priest or you will sicken."
"Evil things cast no shadows."
"Stepping on dropped bread crumbs means the family faces famine."
"The newly dead cannot be left alone lest they become inhabited by evil spirits."
"Those who are born on a Saturday, especially if they are twins, are granted the power to see ghosts and spirits."
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on August 19, 2012, 05:19:15 AM
Bumping to clarify what the Barovian outlook on outlanders is and isn't.

A lot of people have an...exaggerated idea of how Barovians feel about outsiders. I've seen people act as if Barovians outright hate anyone not Barovian or that they hate being in the same place as them.

Here's what the books actually say about the people of Barovia:

The original "Black Box"
Quote
Barovians bear the burden of Strahd's yoke every day. As a result, they tend to be reserved, and surly or gruff. They keep to themselves and don't cause trouble, because troublemakers tend to end up dead -- or worse.

The 3rd Edition Campaign Setting
Quote
The people of Barovia may be ethnically diverse, but as a group they are a gruff, suspicious lot. They tend to be brusque with outsiders, and even the most amicable Barovian natives are no-nonsense and severe. The dour attitude that seems to dominate Barovia may be partially attributed to the rampant fear of the supernatural that permeates the realm.

Gazetteer I
Quote
Despite the sometimes fractious ethnic divisions in Barovia, the folk here share a common unifying element: a thoroughly frosty demeanor. Life under the stern gaze of Count Strahd has forged them into a harsh people who mind their own business (and who lack even an ounce of hospitality, I might add). Strangers are not welcomed, and questions are rebuffed with disregard and glares. Travelers will find their appearance, dress, accent, manner, and possessions scrutinized with suspicion by all.

[Azalin's note: "Ah, yes. I remember the Barovian glares well, though I doubt my little scholar's own frosty demeanor could possibly have improved matters."]

Utterly unapologetic for their backward mentality, Barovians have little use for the ways of more civilized realms. More often than not, their concerns revolve around simple matters of daily survival such as turnip crops and mountain storms.
It's important to note that this last one is written in-character by Azalin's scholar "S." who is known to be less than friendly herself (see Azalin's note).

Also note that none of these descriptions speak of outright hatred or violence against outsiders. The only time that behavior seems to come up is with known practitioners of magic.

As far as nonhumans go, Gazetteer I says:

Quote
Calibans occur with disturbing regularity in Barovia, though their births are just as often blamed on the influence of vampires, demons, wizards or hags. Halflings are found exclusively in the large villages of western Barovia, where they live in tiny ghettos. Dwarves are thought to dwell deep in the Balinoks, and wild elves purportedly stalk the Tepurich Forest. Rural Barovians who encounter such nonhumans are likely to consider them monstrous freaks or malicious fey.
Please note that the last sentence qualifies that rural Barovians feel that way about elves and dwarves.

Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: airengale on August 19, 2012, 06:10:16 AM
Thank you for this clarification. I personally think the clarification has been long overdue.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Syied on April 07, 2015, 05:07:13 PM
We do have an "angry peasant" generic NPC for DMs to spawn. They're tougher than normal peasants and armed with pitchforks. ;)

I don't mean to necro, but you should give 'em all knockdown. -.o
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: DrXavierTColtrane on August 20, 2015, 12:50:28 AM
Mea culpa for bumping a long-dead thread, but I was reading it because of DM Arawn linking it in the "For Gundarak" event.

Anyway, I was struck by this passage from Bluebomber4evr:

Quote
Here's some things I've been witnessing that I don't feel are particularly accurate for ethnic Barovians:

1. A love of Strahd: I've been seeing a lot of "for the Count!" and "By the Count!" stuff. It's way off the mark. The average Barovian despises Strahd as a tyrant first and possible necromancer second. They call him the "Devil Strahd." They hate the harsh taxes, and they know that he's lived far longer than any mortal man should. They believe his long life is attributed to dabbling in dark magic. While Barovians know that openly displaying their contempt for their tyrannical ruler is tantamount to suicide, they don't bother to make it seem like they adore him, either. As they have little interaction with Strahd, most of the tyranny in the realm is experienced by his vassals, the Burgomasters and Boyars, whom the peasantry believes are all cruel and schemers, eager to please Strahd at the expense of the common folk.

The people do love "Strahd the First" as the liberator from the Tergs, but no Barovian believes that this is the same man that rules them today. They believe Strahd XI is a degenerate and a disgrace to his ancestor, and really only obey him out of fear bordering on paranoia.

2. Nationalism: Calls to national pride are unlikely to emerge from most Barovians, and they would likely fall upon deaf ears if they did. Barovians serve in the military as a means of employment (it's moderately less miserable than being a landed serf), or are conscripted. Conscripted Barovians typically serve out of fear of death or worse. Most Barovians are simply concerned with day-to-day survival and subsistence, though they do also have a crippling fear of the supernatural.

So...I'm bumping because this kind of RP from natives--bare tolerance of Strahd--seems almost completely absent nowadays in my experience (his post was 5 1/2 years ago).

Just an FYI, for those who are playing Barovians.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Better Dread than Dead on August 20, 2015, 01:38:04 PM
For what it's worth, I think most characters who are Barovian adhere to what's been written down here. At least, my experiences with them have demonstrated this sort of roleplay. The Barovians in the Vallaki garda have more pride for their city and in protecting it than they do in enforcing the Count's will.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: Arawn on August 20, 2015, 01:57:54 PM
For what it's worth, I think most characters who are Barovian adhere to what's been written down here. At least, my experiences with them have demonstrated this sort of roleplay. The Barovians in the Vallaki garda have more pride for their city and in protecting it than they do in enforcing the Count's will.

I've got to concur. I haven't seen many issues of this kind lately.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: DrXavierTColtrane on August 20, 2015, 04:04:28 PM
 Regarding the garda, I'll repeat this part of BB's:

Quote
Barovians serve in the military as a means of employment (it's moderately less miserable than being a landed serf), or are conscripted. Conscripted Barovians typically serve out of fear of death or worse. Most Barovians are simply concerned with day-to-day survival and subsistence, though they do also have a crippling fear of the supernatural.

BB does go onto say none of this is how a character *must* be played. Nevertheless, my point in reposting is--as the "FYI" was meant to communicate--that those RPing natives didn't have to play them as Strahd lovers.

I can also assure you that my character has heard both garda and non garda in game use the very phrase of which BB specifically complained ("for the Count"). That's why his post stood out to me.

I don't have screenshots  :lol:

But, for example, a recruitment poster from two months would tend to make newbies think that's the *correct* way to play garda:

http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=40986.0

That garda volunteer, rather than being conscripted, and that such appeals to national pride BB decries are what motivates them.
Title: Re: Native Barovian and Gundarakite Role Play Guide
Post by: EO on August 20, 2015, 05:07:21 PM
Here's what the Gazetteer I has to say about this:

Quote
Loyal career soldiers or mercenaries in the direct service of Strand's vassals patrol most settlements in the Balinoks. In the occupied areas of western Barovia, the growing discontent and violence among ethnic Gundarakites amplify the need for a strong military presence. Accordingly, western burgomasters and boyars offer handsome stipends to lure ethnic Barovians down from the mountains and into their militias. Accordingly, the bulk of the soldiers in Gundarakite settlements are poor farmers or herders from the east, seeking a better life through military service. The Gundarakites are ostensibly controlled through the presence of these troops, as well as local edicts that forbid them from owning weapons larger than a common dagger.

Quote
A typical Barovian career soldier works in service to a burgomaster or boyar to enforce edicts and keep the peace. A typical Barovian militiaman is conscripted to supplement such soldiers in the Gundarak region.

Barovia has loyal career soldiers paroling the streets of the various settlements. Now, Barovians may not have much love for Strahd, but he remains the lord and boyars and burgomasters definitely show him respect. Guards don't have to be Strahd fanboys but they can be proud of their origin and want to serve their land. Some will be more than others.

Barovia has a a pretty solid army too; they did invade Gundarak, a land with more population and Strahd was a famous general.

I'd suggest you read up a bit on the topic if you want to judge others on the way they play their characters. If you need sources of information, just let me know and I'll refer you to the proper canon sources.