Author Topic: Discussion of Pregnancy Article  (Read 14770 times)

Taven

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Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« on: April 19, 2009, 08:44:30 PM »
You can discuss the pregnancy article here.

Yes, I know it isn't up yet. It will be momentary, and when it is, I can post it right off the bat with a link to here. Cool, isn't it?
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Taven

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2009, 08:54:03 PM »
It's up now, discussion, comments, and questions welcome.

http://www.zalanthas.org/gdb/index.php/topic,35066.0.html
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Fathi

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2009, 09:29:34 PM »
Quote from: Article
Zalanthas is NOT the modern day. There is little to no knowledge of sanitation or germs.

This is slightly misleading, I think.

There's evidence of medical cleanliness dating back as far as ancient Egypt. A papyrus that dates to ~1500 BC details the use of animal fat and honey being applied to wounds and hand-washing prior. Granted, the Egyptians did it to keep evil spirits out, but honey is a mild antibacterial and they had discovered that dirty hands led to dirty wounds, even without the specific knowledge that it was caused by microbes. The methods they used did have some success versus just slapping a rag on. Sumerian clay tablets from ~2100 BC and Hippocrates ~400 BC entertain the idea of of alcohol as an antiseptic.

I think it's highly plausible that some Zalanthan cultures would have discovered this knowledge through trial and error, especially if you take into account the gameworld's widespread use of herbal poultices and the existence of animal-fat soaps.

I agree that they wouldn't know microbes in particular were causing things like illnesses and abscesses and that Zalanthan methods would be a lot less 100% sure to help, but I see it easily within the realm of possibility that those trained in Zalanthan medicine know enough to keep dust out of wounds and possibly use alcohol as an antiseptic agent.
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Taven

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2009, 09:44:53 PM »
Quote from: Article
Zalanthas is NOT the modern day. There is little to no knowledge of sanitation or germs.

This is slightly misleading, I think.

There's evidence of medical cleanliness dating back as far as ancient Egypt. A papyrus that dates to ~1500 BC details the use of animal fat and honey being applied to wounds and hand-washing prior. Granted, the Egyptians did it to keep evil spirits out, but honey is a mild antibacterial and they had discovered that dirty hands led to dirty wounds, even without the specific knowledge that it was caused by microbes. The methods they used did have some success versus just slapping a rag on. Sumerian clay tablets from ~2100 BC and Hippocrates ~400 BC entertain the idea of of alcohol as an antiseptic.

I think it's highly plausible that some Zalanthan cultures would have discovered this knowledge through trial and error, especially if you take into account the gameworld's widespread use of herbal poultices and the existence of animal-fat soaps.

I agree that they wouldn't know microbes in particular were causing things like illnesses and abscesses and that Zalanthan methods would be a lot less 100% sure to help, but I see it easily within the realm of possibility that those trained in Zalanthan medicine know enough to keep dust out of wounds and possibly use alcohol as an antiseptic agent.

I agree with what you're saying. In that statement, I meant more of they didn't have as big of a grasp of modern sanitation. I think they'd know to clean the wound of dust, etc., but not neccessarily to wash their hands. Hand washing suggests the use of water or some liquid as a lather for the soap, and I don't think commoners would see using spit for the lather as a bad thing, especially with the scarcity of water.

Would that section be better if it was rephrased to say "There is far less understanding of germs and sanitation. While a medic may know to keep a wound clean and protected from dust, they might also see wiping something off as cleaning it, without the use of soap. Sanitation levels will vary, and even in the best conditions will be less then what modern technology can establish."?
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jcljules

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2009, 09:51:54 PM »
Taven, it seems like you've posted a lot of awesome guides like these. Is there anywhere where you have a link to all of them?
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Cutthroat

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2009, 09:56:55 PM »
I like the article overall.

Especially the part about multiple births. Giving birth to twins has always seemed like a pretty popular thing for PCs to do, and that's cool, you can do whatever you want, but keep in mind that multiple births are really rare. I think the rate last year in the US was 3% of births being twin births. The amount of -successful- twin births in Zalanthas would be far less. Food for thought.

I also thought the effects of pregnancy by trimester were interesting as they provide a good base for RP. Also, having a virtual birth or fading out during birth is a-ok.

Taven

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2009, 09:59:03 PM »
Taven, it seems like you've posted a lot of awesome guides like these. Is there anywhere where you have a link to all of them?


Thanks! I updated the list on the Website Organization thread, and stuck a link to Mansa's awesome newbie guide in there, too.

http://www.zalanthas.org/gdb/index.php/topic,33302.msg441583.html#msg441583
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WarriorPoet

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2009, 10:23:26 PM »
I would like to see staff occasionally kill a birthing mother, just to liven things up and keep it real. All these problem-free births are bullshit, in such a low-tech and inanely harsh setting.
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Pale Horse

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2009, 10:33:25 PM »
I would like to see staff occasionally kill a birthing mother, just to liven things up and keep it real. All these problem-free births are bullshit, in such a low-tech and inanely harsh setting.

Seen it happen.  Player initiative.
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Taven

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2009, 10:36:59 PM »
I would like to see staff occasionally kill a birthing mother, just to liven things up and keep it real. All these problem-free births are bullshit, in such a low-tech and inanely harsh setting.

I think we'd see less pregnancies that way. I also think that while having some staff attention to births, adding to challange and realism, that death isn't really encouraging. Let's face it, if we were to play Arm as "real" there'd be a ton more pregnancies. How many people do you know who use coded mul mix, or even make a reference to virtual use? Maybe it's more then I think, but we'd be having alot more pregnancies if players just didn't write it off.


Especially the part about multiple births. Giving birth to twins has always seemed like a pretty popular thing for PCs to do, and that's cool, you can do whatever you want, but keep in mind that multiple births are really rare. I think the rate last year in the US was 3% of births being twin births. The amount of -successful- twin births in Zalanthas would be far less. Food for thought.

I also thought the effects of pregnancy by trimester were interesting as they provide a good base for RP. Also, having a virtual birth or fading out during birth is a-ok.

I've been close to observe a few births, and of those over a year old, a little under half have been twins. Considering how many PCs choose to get pregnant, that's a huge percentage. After the second birth of twins out of some three or four pregnancies, it's not really that shocking as a player to see another. For me, it would be more suprising to see a single baby or, say, a baby with mutations. I know there have been some excellently played single-baby births, with some questionable affects happening to them. I got to see the terror that is the nesting urges of a pregnant PC ICly, and that was well played. All of these were before tdesc came in, and so it was pretty awkward for my PC to say "You're pregnant?" when the woman was in her second or third trimester. I should add a mention of tdesc to the article.

Fading out for birth is MORE then okay. I can't image role-playing that out, a major round of applause for anyone that can do that accuerately and vividly. As for me, I'd fade or do it virtually, and I wouldn't want to personally have a PC be there for a graphic birth.
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WarriorPoet

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2009, 10:53:49 PM »
I would like to see staff occasionally kill a birthing mother, just to liven things up and keep it real. All these problem-free births are bullshit, in such a low-tech and inanely harsh setting.

Seen it happen.  Player initiative.

Nice. Kudos in great amounts to that player.
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Ramblingman

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2009, 11:10:18 PM »
Not sure if its worth adding, but something might want to be added or discussed about magick-interference in birthing. Everything from Vivaduan's assisting some noblehouses, tribal shamans, to defilers and other mages interfering etc.  There is also the whole half-giant thing. Figured it would be worth a mention that there are fantasy elements out there and that really weird things may be happening or have happened. (Accelerated birthing, maybe psionic communication to the fetus, etc.)

Taven

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2009, 11:19:38 PM »
Not sure if its worth adding, but something might want to be added or discussed about magick-interference in birthing. Everything from Vivaduan's assisting some noblehouses, tribal shamans, to defilers and other mages interfering etc.  There is also the whole half-giant thing. Figured it would be worth a mention that there are fantasy elements out there and that really weird things may be happening or have happened. (Accelerated birthing, maybe psionic communication to the fetus, etc.)

I could add a section for that, but I think that if "unusual" births are talked about too much there, then I'd be afraid we'd be seeing too much of it. I also think that if that's a direction a player wants a birth to go, then the article gives an idea that there are possibilities, but leaves the player to determine them themselves. I've seen odd effects handled well in reguards to birth, but I'd also like to see just more "normal" harsh, gritty births. Also, for the more extremes you'd have to have staff approval. I think that there are great possibilities out there in terms of odd births, but that the article is just a basis to use for things, and that anything further should be figured out by the player.

Also, if anyone has psionic-twin babies that happen to have vividu healing powers so that the mother is insta-healed as they're born, I swear that I will hunt you down, reguardless of my current PC, and kill you. (Yes, I do think that unusual births could be cool, but the foremention senario is what I'm wary of.)
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Morrolan

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2009, 11:46:05 PM »
I would like to weigh in on cultural factors regarding pregnancy and birth.  First, I would like to suggest a reference for those who really want to get some perspective from other cultures:

Birth in Four Cultures : A Crosscultural Investigation of Childbirth in Yucatan, Holland, Sweden, and the United States (Paperback)

A lot of the images that we have of childbirth in our culture come from TV, and while there have been some real steps forward in the last twenty years to promote realistic childbirth on TV (through the popularity of medical shows) it is important to remember that those TV shows are our cultural myths.

The #1 thing that comes to mind is the idea of women giving birth on their backs.  Yes, this works (more or less) but there are other positions that are more effecive (like squatting).  By more effective, I mean that the perenium is much less likely to tear or need to be cut.

Commmentary about the idea of women needing to lie down for childbirth includes critiques of the medicalization of childbirth by the Western medical profession.

I'm sure a lot of this is "old hat" for some of you armers, but I lively discussion of cross-cultural childbirth rites might be helpful for others.

Morrolan
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Taven

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2009, 11:51:37 PM »
I would like to weigh in on cultural factors regarding pregnancy and birth.  First, I would like to suggest a reference for those who really want to get some perspective from other cultures:

Birth in Four Cultures : A Crosscultural Investigation of Childbirth in Yucatan, Holland, Sweden, and the United States (Paperback)

A lot of the images that we have of childbirth in our culture come from TV, and while there have been some real steps forward in the last twenty years to promote realistic childbirth on TV (through the popularity of medical shows) it is important to remember that those TV shows are our cultural myths.

The #1 thing that comes to mind is the idea of women giving birth on their backs.  Yes, this works (more or less) but there are other positions that are more effecive (like squatting).  By more effective, I mean that the perenium is much less likely to tear or need to be cut.

Commmentary about the idea of women needing to lie down for childbirth includes critiques of the medicalization of childbirth by the Western medical profession.

I'm sure a lot of this is "old hat" for some of you armers, but I lively discussion of cross-cultural childbirth rites might be helpful for others.

Morrolan

I don't really cover the actual giving birth, just the pregnancy, but I think that adding a mention of this into the medic/midwife section is defidently worthwhile. I'll add it to my edit to-do list. :P
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FantasyWriter

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2009, 04:17:34 AM »
maybe psionic communication to the fetus, etc.)

Dude.... that is one of the most awesome arm thoughts I have ever seen on the board.  There is SOOOO much that could come from that.
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Bushranger

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2009, 04:22:06 AM »
maybe psionic communication to the fetus, etc.)

Dude.... that is one of the most awesome arm thoughts I have ever seen on the board.  There is SOOOO much that could come from that.

The baby fetus psionicist mentally controls its mother's cravings: SPICY ERDLU WINGS IN GINKA SAUCE, KALAN JAM AND SCRAB GIBLETS! NOW! NOW!
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Yam

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2009, 04:34:17 AM »
Awesome article.

Fathi

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2009, 05:14:58 AM »
I would like to see staff occasionally kill a birthing mother, just to liven things up and keep it real. All these problem-free births are bullshit, in such a low-tech and inanely harsh setting.

Seen it happen.  Player initiative.

Seconding this (though probably not the same incident). And it was very awesome and poignant and not overly melodramatic at all.

Mad props to anybody who considers this as an alternative to storing a female PC.

I was on the brink of doing it with one of mine long ago, but the pregnancy ended up being too weird even without that.
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tortall

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2009, 07:51:12 AM »
One thing that I found useful was looking at pictures of pregnant woman in different stages. I went through all kinds of pictures and marked what size I would be and when. Sadly, this was before tdesc. Wish I still had the link to that one website...
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Lizzie

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2009, 09:50:47 AM »
Something I haven't seen discussed at all:

Playability of the fact that there is now a VNPC baby in the world. Mom's a Kurac recruit (not life-sworn)..and gets killed by a gith. Dad is a generic nomad rangerly type, unclanned, with no coded encampment, and can't afford a full-time wet-nurse.

So who's raising this kid now? Where? By what means?

I have problems with the idea of PC pregnancy because PCs are very likely to not live long enough for their kids to not depend on them. I've seen lots of PCs get pregnant and have kids. I know of just a couple of those PCs who had the means, and the coded environment, in which to raise those kids, in the unfortunate event of that PC's death. The rest...the majority - well those kids just end up - unresolved. They fade to black, cease to exist, and everyone just basicallly forgets they were ever born. That's kinda stupid, to me.

I'd like to see a LOT more PCs arranging to sell their newborns to slave houses, or tribes that would make use of unblooded tribe members. At least that way there's some continuity and you don't see f-me female have 3 kids with no place to put them and daddy *might* be one of 4 men that anyone would actually know about..so none of them are gonna take responsibility cause there ain't no DNA testing and all 3 kids look just like MOM. And then mom dies..and those three kids, age newborn, 9 months, and 18 months end up..

what?
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 09:52:20 AM by Lizzie »
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SMuz

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2009, 09:55:01 AM »
You know all those PCs who started off with cliche backgrounds as orphans out of nowhere? That's where they come from ;)

I think it balances out; there are more orphan PCs than orphaned children of PCs. Yeah, and I bet that's where a lot of slaves come from too.
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Lizzie

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2009, 10:08:47 AM »
I'm talking about what happens to these virtual infants, while MY character is still alive to have witnessed their existence.

Case in point: a couple years ago, there was a Tuluki, a young woman. She was a new hire to a merchant clan, not lifesworn, not all that great at hunting yet, but that was her job in the clan. She acquired a couple of lovers..and promptly got pregnant, within the first 2 weeks of her character showing up out of character generation.

So she has twins...and then goes out hunting and dies. She had roleplayed that her babies were in the apartment. The PCs of merchant house she belonged to had never expressed any interest in those babies, other than "oh you're feeling up to hunting again and doing your job? Great! We need gurth shells this week."

One of the lovers she had, disappeared. The other, didn't seem interested in "being" a daddy. The twins were last seen in a locked apartment, alone, with no one to breastfeed them, no one to sell them, no one to give them away, no one to take care of them.

This is one of MANY similar experiences I've observed in the game. Players want their characters to be pregnant and have babies. Great. I acknowledge that. But these same players forget that this is a permanent death game, and it is HIGHLY likely that their character won't live long enough to see their kid eating solid foods.

They make no provisions for these kids..other than to stick everyone else with the responsibility of pretending the kids never existed because they were only virtual, the mom's dead, and the apartment is up for rent again and there's no kids in there.

If this woman was a Merchant House family member, or lifesworn, then it'd be easy for everyone else to assume that the baby was brought in by the house and raised by virtual wetnurses, or that some virtual senior agent sold the kid to a virtual Borsail slaver noble. But the vast majority of pregnant characters I've seen, were not merchant house family members, or lifesworn, or tribals with actual tribes to care for their kids.. some reasonable explanation other than "oh the janitor took the kid out when he cleaned the apartment, and the kid got tossed out in the trash along with the backpack full of ritikki intestines."

There HAVE been several people whose characters get pregnant, who HAVE made arrangements or had ways to accommodate the virtual kids once mommy is dead. Kudos to people who do that, and my criticism isn't aimed at them. At all.

I'm talking about just Generic PC who sexes up generic male pc, gets pregnant, gives birth, and doesn't consider how everyone ELSE has to deal with "whatever happened to generic PC's baby?" after generic PC is dead.
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Maso

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2009, 11:08:31 AM »
One of the lovers she had, disappeared. The other, didn't seem interested in "being" a daddy. The twins were last seen in a locked apartment, alone, with no one to breastfeed them, no one to sell them, no one to give them away, no one to take care of them.

The babies would have been found dead or alive by the apartment attendant who would have chucked them in the street (dead), sold them himself or passed them to the orphanage.

No one said Zalanthans were responsible parents. It is quite feasible for the poor vNPC children of dead PC's to be royally fucked due to their parents death.

I managed to keep my one PC mum alive to see her vNPC son to the age of 10 and happily kidnapped by raiders. I often wonder about him now.....
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Adhira

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Re: Discussion of Pregnancy Article
« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2009, 12:14:50 PM »
As far as staff killing pregnant mothers - this would not be something we would do off the cuff as it would fall into the realm of 'harming' a player.  In the past we have done plots that have affected peoples virtual families and the results were not good. It caused a great deal of angst for the player, and resulted in staff being accused of hating the player, instead of trying to involve them in a storyline. We won't be doing things like that again.

If the player themselves wish to be killed off during birth then we as staff are happy to damage them to death, or store them as appropriate. All you gotta do is ask.
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