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OceanGoing Ships in my MultiRacial Fantasy ConWorld - Gtx0 ?>

OceanGoing Ships in my MultiRacial Fantasy ConWorld
Posted: Posted December 30th, 2018 by chiarizio
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In my so-far-unnamed multiracial fantasy conworld, I have just said (in a different thread), that, when ocean-going ships “become a thing”, the best sailors will be the Mer-Centaurs; but every ship will want a Human navigator and an Elven carpenter and a Dwarven engineer.

I think more could be said.
I’ll bet they’d also want their top two officers to be a Human and a Mer-Centaur. Either a Human captain with a MerCentaur 2nd-in-command, or a MerCentaur captain with a Human second.
If the ship is wind-powered, there’ll probably be some duties requiring a sailor to climb a mast. If a mast is very tall and/or the ship has many masts, these duties would best be assigned to Elves. So a “clipper”, for example, would want several Elvish sailors. OTOH they’d also want enough MerCentaur sailors to handle any duties involving going into the water, such as rescuing Elves who fell overboard without learning to swim first. Or, actually, most duties that didn’t involve leaving the deck or climbing the rigging.
If the ship is steam-powered, they might want the “black gang” to consist mostly of Dwarves.


If the ship is made of metal, they might not need a carpenter.


I can’t think of any reason why one race should be more or less likely to own a ship than any other race.

But it would seem there’d be no place for bigotry at sea.


Would that make a good story title? “Bigot At Sea”?

There are 4 Replies


Posted March 22nd by chiarizio
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Why would they need a carpenter even if it was a wooden ship? Are they going to be making modifications to it while at sea?

But it would seem there’d be no place for bigotry at sea.

If your world was high in cross-race bigotry then that would definitely translate to seafaring as well. The culture around it might be looser because of the useful characteristics of each race, but the majority of the time you'd have, say, all-dwarf ships and they'd just adapt and learn how to do things elves or mer-centaurs do better.

Posted March 22nd by Xhin
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Real-life wooden sailing ships always needed carpenters and sail-makers. Wooden things break a lot! Even if they never did repairs to hull or decks or masts or keel or rudder while under way, they probably would need to repair the yard arms and jib and wheel etc. every now and again.


I’m hoping the prohibition against bigotry whilst at sea will result in bigots keeping their bigotry to themselves while at sea. Those unable to keep silent about their bigotry will find it difficult to go to sea again; those unable to resist acting on their bigotry will probably not survive.

I wouldn’t say bigotry is common. More than half of each race has nothing at all against any other race!
For any race A and any other race B, about 20% of race A don’t like race B, and about 20% of race B don’t like race A.
For any race A and any two other races B and C,
64% of race A probably likes both races B and C,
16% of race A dislikes race B but likes race C,
16% of race A dislikes race C but likes race B,
and 4% of race A dislikes both race B and race C.


One-race ships will be more vulnerable to random chance unlucky events.
They’ll probably also be less competitive; slower, maybe, or need bigger crews thus having less room for cargo but having to pay the crew more; or need more space for food for the crew.
Maybe there will be some ships crewed by only one or two races.
I imagine the best ships will have at least one crewman of each race. If a race is totally missing, it’s probably because there were few of that race aboard, then there was some sort of mishap, and among the victims were all of that handful. So there very well could be three-race ships; but they’d probably remedy that at the first opportunity.

Ashore, each member of each race will be acquainted with several of the large minority of their conspecifics, who dislike one other race prejudicially. But the 0.8% who dislike EVERY other race will probably be laughed at!

Some passenger vessels might cater to certain bigots, though. Say a Man who hates Elves wants to go overseas. There may be a ship which won’t hire Elves, which will sell him passage. It will cost him more than going on a 4-race ship; and any objective non-bigoted observer might consider his voyage noticeably inferior to his experience on a 4-race ship would be, except he won’t have to put up with all the damned elves!

Posted March 23rd by chiarizio
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I forgot to alert you again!
BTW thanks very much for the answer; you made me think!

Posted March 23rd by chiarizio
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