Old Toby, anyone?

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#26 Post by Krazma » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:45 am

Historically, various substances were smoked in pipes before the introduction of tobacco. Most notably, cannabis smoking was common in the Middle East. However, many herbs can be smoked, and any of these could be referred to as "pipeweed" if desired.

The term "pipeweed," though, may be an invention of Tolkien; at least, I'm not aware of it being used elsewhere.

As for "pipeweed" being canon, I'm not so sure about that; I don't find it on any of the canon price lists, early or current, only fanon ones (and, even there, it's listed under "Terran Herbs"). If anyone knows otherwise, please post a citation.

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#27 Post by Rothesay » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:40 am

It's never been dope - Tolkien was clear about that much.

There are 'smoking pipes' on the price lists. Pretty useless without something to put in it. :wink:

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#28 Post by Krazma » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:58 am

Rothesay wrote:It's never been dope - Tolkien was clear about that much.

There are 'smoking pipes' on the price lists. Pretty useless without something to put in it. :wink:
Whether Tolkien's "pipeweed" was dope has no bearing on what Hârnic "pipeweed" is. For those who want a semi-historical feel, cannabis is certainly more likely than tobacco. Although, really, for most Hârnians, the most likely candidate is some unnamed mix of local herbs that produces a mild effect; neither nicotine nor cannabis.

And the presence of smoking pipes doesn't make the term "pipeweed" canon. An actual reference to "pipeweed" would, if there is one.

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#29 Post by Rothesay » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:57 pm

Krazma wrote:For those who want a semi-historical feel, cannabis is certainly more likely than tobacco.
Forgive me, but this is arrant nonsense. For it to be cannabis is as ahistorical as possible.
Krazma wrote:And the presence of smoking pipes doesn't make the term "pipeweed" canon. An actual reference to "pipeweed" would, if there is one.
Coranan, page 15. :wink:

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#30 Post by Krazma » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:07 pm

Cannabis has been in use in the Old World for thousands of years. Tobacco for less than 500.

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#31 Post by Rothesay » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:14 pm

Krazma wrote:Cannabis has been in use in the Old World for thousands of years. Tobacco for less than 500.
But the evidence that it is burned in a pipe is slim to non-existent for that period. There is no evidence of pipe smoking in the west prior to the discovery of the new world.

Clearly, in an RPG sense, we are talking about what Tolkien talked about. NRC certainly was. That means 'probably' tobacco, or perhaps herbs. Definitely not cannabis.

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#32 Post by bbailey » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:31 pm

The mentions of "pipeweed" I see can be read as a generic term referring to all manner of herbs that are smoked in pipes. It could be the equivalent of tobacco, cannabis, or whatever non-real-world thing you want it to be.

In addition to Coranan (B7 on page 10 and D19 on page 15) that Rothesay mentioned, I find the following:
  • Golotha: Apothecary at F25 on page 32: "Spalir provides a variety of raw herbs and potions of medicinal and recreational value, in addition to several varieties of pipeweed. Pipe smoking is extremely popular among the Agrikan nobility and in the fighting orders."
  • Rethem: Social customs, page 20: "Pipe smoking is popular among the Agrikan nobility and in the fighting orders. Pipeweed is grown in kitchen gardens throughout Rethem and each region boasts its own unique varieties. Respectable landholders grow their own and maintain a selection for guests to enjoy."
  • Herblore: Viphra is described as "a plant harvested by mountain folk for its narcotic properties. Gatherers dry the leaves and smoke them in long clay or wooden pipes." It doesn't use the term pipeweed but it clearly is a variety of herb/weed smoked in a pipe.

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#33 Post by Krazma » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:33 pm

Rothesay wrote:
Krazma wrote:Cannabis has been in use in the Old World for thousands of years. Tobacco for less than 500.
But the evidence that it is burned in a pipe is slim to non-existent for that period. There is no evidence of pipe smoking in the west prior to the discovery of the new world.
I think we're dealing with alternative facts here, but anyone interested in the subject doesn't have to do much research to see for themselves. It's a side issue, though, since trade between Europe and Middle East existed, while trade with the New World did not.
Rothesay wrote:Clearly, in an RPG sense, we are talking about what Tolkien talked about. NRC certainly was.
Well, you definitely are. When did NRC discuss pipeweed, Tolkien's or otherwise?

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#34 Post by Rothesay » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:38 pm

No, we're not dealing with alternative facts. There is no historical record of pipe smoking in Europe prior to contact with the New World. Further, use of cannabis was not as it is today. There is a great deal of wishful thinking on the topic but nothing else.

It's fairly clear to me that you're not a pipe smoker. If you were, you'd realize that the canon and fanon illos preclude cannabis - those are coma inducing bowls. Further, the idea of herbs is equally unlikely. Some today are attempting to substitute herbs for tobacco but with little success. Reason being that smoking herbs sucks. Hardly the stuff of habit.

My approach will be that pipeweed (nicotiana) was introduced to Harn by the dwarves along with the habit of burning it in briar/clay pipes. Happy to entertain ideas on that front. But on wishful tokers? Nah. Done. 8)

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#35 Post by Krazma » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:53 am

No, I'm definitely not a smoker of any kind. But that doesn't matter.

Let's get a few things straight:

First, "pipes" are canon; we have numerous mentions of them. For purposes of this discussion, it really doesn't matter when they became popular in Europe, or even what the Europeans smoked in them. "Pipeweed" on the other hand, while now canonized through more recent mentions (none of which involved NRC), was not in any early canon materials that I've found, and certainly not "going back to the earliest price lists," as you claimed.

I mentioned that Tolkien had referred to pipeweed as tobacco in the narrative voice, but that none of his characters ever called it that. You said he didn't. When I provided proof, you said you already knew about that, that it wasn't "tobacco" he meant when he wrote "tobacco," and that you had "hoped for more."

I stated that, historically, various substances were smoked in pipes before the introduction of tobacco. I also pointed out that cannabis smoking was common in the Middle East. Both of those statements can be easily verified, and you will note that I never stated that I was limiting my discussion to "the west" or "Europe" -- that's you. My point was that -- if people in the Middle East were smoking cannabis before Columbus, that it was far more plausible for that to have ended up in Europe than tobacco, and thus (as stated) someone wanting a "semi-historical feel" to their Hârn would find that translation easier to make. That's not "arrant nonsense" unless you insist on twisting my statements to be about pipe smoking in Europe. Note, please, that "semi-historical" means just that. I didn't claim that Europeans were smoking pot, nor that cannabis was used then like it is today, just that it would be less of a conceptual hurdle to imagine cannabis finding it's way into European hands during or after the crusades, than tobacco somehow materializing from across the ocean prior to Columbus. As a setting, Hârn is semi-historical in most respects.

As a side note, it's interesting to me that my statements were deemed "ahistorical" but that your approach relies on dwarves introducing tobacco.

Having said all that, I think it's perfectly reasonable that -- on Hârn, at least -- the notion of pipe smoking was picked up from the Khuzdul. As for tobacco, there is at least the following canon reference from Venarive 72:
Some plants common elsewhere, such as the potato, tobacco, tomato, maize, cocoa, and squash do not occur naturally in the Venârivè region, and are unknown to its inhabitants. Plants of the nightshade family require a great degree of selective cultivation to be useful, and are not often used.

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#36 Post by bbailey » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:13 pm

Venarive 72 says "Some plants common elsewhere, such as the potato, tobacco, tomato, maize, cocoa, and squash do not occur naturally in the Venârivè region, and are unknown to its inhabitants." So while Hârnians and Lythians are smoking something in those pipes, it isn't the plant we call tobacco in the real world. Although whatever you want pipeweed to be can be as functionally similar or dissimilar as you want it to be. Canon doesn't specify and doesn't need to.

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#37 Post by pokep » Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:45 am

Personally, I do not see what "pipeweed" in any form adds to the milieu. It does not add any opportunity for adventure - at best, it might give an unimaginative GM a cheap mcguffin. It does not make the world more interesting in any way. It just confuses the players, who do not generally read through all the canon and fanon that the GMs collect, but instead rely on the GM's assurance that "Harn is like 12th century England, as 12th-century folk feared it was." When you start adding anachronisms like this into your campaign, you confuse your players and end up wasting valuable gaming time making fatuous explanations.

I don't like wasting time on unnecessary exposition. NRC was right to ignore it. KP was right to explicitly dismiss it.

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#38 Post by Brian_Smaller » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:09 am

This from a game that has multi-page articles on herbs.

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#39 Post by Targan » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:51 am

pokep wrote:Personally, I do not see what "pipeweed" in any form adds to the milieu. It does not add any opportunity for adventure - at best, it might give an unimaginative GM a cheap mcguffin. It does not make the world more interesting in any way.
Well that's fine, but it's still there. There are lots of things in the setting that you could say the same of. That's irrelevant. In any case, going by what (albeit newer) canon mentions exist, the habit of smoking is apparently reasonably common among Agrikan nobles in Rethem (and probably Tharda) and virtually unknown everywhere else on Harn, except perhaps in Azadmere (but whether the Khuzdul smoke is totally conjecture, and even if they do they might be (probably are) smoking something completely different to the Agrikans).

It seems to me, after reading the very interesting points of view of a number of members here, that the mostly likely avenues of introducing the practice of smoking "pipeweed" (whatever that might be) in pipes were either via the dwarves or Agrikans from the continent. Given that smoking among the humans on Harn seems to be almost exclusively among the Agrikans, the latter seems to be the most likely avenue. And given that the Agrikan faith came to Harn from parts of the continent analogous to places on Earth near to where cannabis might have been smoked historically, it seems to me that it is a viable option (without having to jump through too many logical hoops). Even if the Khuzdul did bring a Middle Earth version of tobacco to Harn with them, it would be extremely difficult to say the least to grow it in Azadmere. I'm not sold on the idea of Harnic dwarves still having the habit, unless they re-learned it from humans (unlikely given the nature of the humans who tend to smoke).

The only problem with the idea of cannabis being what the Agrikans smoke is that hemp is well known in Lythia and Harn, so you'd think some mention would be make of pipeweed being some kind of hemp. So for me (and just me, mind) I'm of the opinion that tobacco is the least likely option, and that either cannabis or some sort of Lythian herb with an effect that smokers enjoy are the two most likely options.
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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#40 Post by bbailey » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:11 pm

Just because there is a mention of the practice being popular with Rethem's Agrikan nobility doesn't mean it's virtually unknown among anyone else. It's just not notable. The Kanday kingdom module mentions that it is popular for noblemen to wear their hair long. That other kingdom modules don't mention long hair doesn't mean that no noblemen in those kingdoms wear it long, it's just not notable.

The mentions of pipeweed in the Coranan article certainly don't give the impression that the customer base is exclusively, or even largely, Agrikan.

As has been noted above, the price list in HârnWorld 2nd edition, which I wouldn't consider "newer" canon and of which NRC is listed as author, includes "pipe, smoking", which to me indicates that they are a pretty common item, not limited to people of a certain region, class, or religion.

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#41 Post by Krazma » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:22 pm

bbailey wrote:the price list in HârnWorld 2nd edition, which I wouldn't consider "newer" canon and of which NRC is listed as author, includes "pipe, smoking"
Side note: The price list was written by Tom Dalgliesh and Lance Gutteridge (see EH 5).

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#42 Post by Targan » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:23 pm

Your logic is solid, and you're right that an absence of mentions in canon that others smoke doesn't prove that others don't smoke, but I would suggest that if smoking in Harn is known to have Agrikan religious connotations, that's a big disincentive for people of some other faiths (particularly Larnians and Peonians) to take up the habit.
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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#43 Post by bbailey » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:27 pm

Krazma wrote:
bbailey wrote:the price list in HârnWorld 2nd edition, which I wouldn't consider "newer" canon and of which NRC is listed as author, includes "pipe, smoking"
Side note: The price list was written by Tom Dalgliesh and Lance Gutteridge (see EH 5).
My comment pertained to NRC's presumed involvement with HârnWorld 2nd ed. as a whole. He may not have written the price list but my assumption is that he was aware of the inclusion of smoking pipes.

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#44 Post by Peter the skald » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:49 pm

There is also of course the phrase "pipe down will you...." :)
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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#45 Post by Peter the skald » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:56 pm

From the references in canon it seems to me to be a cottage industry type hobby.... And with no delineated market giant yet, folk are hodge podging home blends of whatever they think will work as well as perhaps sacred recipes. So a quirk for now rather than a cultural phenomena.... But who knows in the future.

Fwiw the reference of the agrikan priests smoking is an allusion to the hashishan of terra imho. So cannabis would be in their sacred mix in my game. Might even stop a war :)
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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#46 Post by MDMann » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:27 pm

Stop the war, smoke a peace pipe?
Per Sir Veer.

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#47 Post by bbailey » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:04 am

Targan wrote:Your logic is solid, and you're right that an absence of mentions in canon that others smoke doesn't prove that others don't smoke, but I would suggest that if smoking in Harn is known to have Agrikan religious connotations, that's a big disincentive for people of some other faiths (particularly Larnians and Peonians) to take up the habit.
Similarly one could say that the use of the mace as an Agrikan holy symbol and the sword as a Laranian holy symbol is a big disincentive for members of the others faiths to use those weapons.

In all seriousness, there is no reason what you say may not be the case. It's reasonable that some portion of Kandian society refrains from smoking because of its popularity with Agrikans. But I think the habit/pastime is simply more commonplace and unremarkable for that attitude to be widespread. It might be an interesting touch to have some settlement in northern Kanday ban pipe smoking for this reason, with addicts/aficionados furtively continuing to smoke, buy pipeweed on the black market, smuggle it in from Coranan, etc.

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#48 Post by Targan » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:43 am

If it's a reasonably common habit in places other than Rethem and Tharda, how many canon references are there of it occurring in other nations on Harn?
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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#49 Post by bbailey » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:55 am

The absence of specific mentions doesn't indicate the absence of the practice. If there are no mentions of whistling in any locations, does that mean people don't whistle?

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Re: Old Toby, anyone?

#50 Post by Targan » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:42 pm

True, but I think you understand the point I'm making. I'm not trying to prove or disprove anything. I'm an Occam's razor kind of guy. It's a balance of probabilities assessment. You can use the available evidence (and lack of evidence) to justify pretty much any outcome you want in your pHarn, and it wouldn't bother me in the slightest which one you chose. All I'm saying is that when we have multiple canon references to a specific practice in a couple of specific geographical locations on Harn, and few or no canon mentions of the practice occurring in other geographical locations on Harn, that's suggestive. Not conclusive, just suggestive. I'm not asking you to agree with my conclusions, but can we at least agree that the logic is sound?
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