Gorilla Podcasting

In this Obvious Simian Rebellion episode of the Red Dice Diaries podcast I muse a bit about the subject of our primitive ancestors (as represented in D&D and various retroclones) and ponder how they’d cope with being throwing into the mix with modern day humans.

2 thoughts on “Gorilla Podcasting”

  1. Few thoughts on this. Homo Neanderthalensis and Homo Sapiens had a common ancestor and were evolutionary cousins rather than one being descended from the other. Neanderthals occupied prehistoric Europe at the same time as modern humans and even interbred with them. It’s not clear what made them go extinct – disease, being absorbed into the larger Sapiens breeding pool or an active process of genocide by Sapiens. (Or something else.)
    I’m not clear on whether Neanderthals were particularly behind the intelligence or tech level of Sapiens when they co-existed. (Sapiens of the time would also be considered ‘cavemen’ by our standards.) It’s conceivable that if Neanderthals had survived into e.g. the Medieval period then they would have kept up with new technologies through trade or invention just as our ancestors did.
    Don’t know if any of that helps with gaming mind you. Neanderthal/human hybrids could be an interesting alternative to half-orcs. A line of nobility descended from Neanderthal warchiefs could make for interesting NPCs. If Neanderthals are aware that Sapiens are an existential threat to them, one way or another, they might make all kinds of horrific pacts to preserve their own species. Neanderthals, being tough, should make for good mercenaries and could even be paid in, (hopefully willing), breeding partners to sustain their population or perhaps in metal weapons and armour.
    Another couple of interesting things about Neanderthals.
    Supposedly they didn’t separate jobs by gender. So their women were presumably equally strong and hardy. Their example could serve as the catalyst for a feminist movement amongst Sapiens much earlier than it happened IRL.
    There’s also evidence that they went sailing. Imagine a band of Neanderthal pirates roaming the high seas! Or a group of Neanderthal explorers from another continent trying to colonise modern human lands.

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