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  1. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Beast men using no weapons

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by MilesTro, May 19, 2015.

    Would it be stupid if an anthropomorphic animal race in a primitive world never invent any weapons, even if they have some human traits? I thought it would be different if the warriors use only their natural weapons like claws and fangs to combat their enemies. And they only fight like animals, just like monster battles in anime and movies. What do you think?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I think the author can make it work. But take a look at evolution here on this planet. Non-human primates use weapons, but many predators like lions and tigers don't. You might consider giving them predator traits that make weapons unnecessary.
     
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  3. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I'm interested to hear in the small minority of predators that do use weapons to hunt. As far as I knew it was us, and chimpanzees, if you could call it "hunting" ants by jamming a stick into their hole and eating the ones that you fish out.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Google is your friend:
    10 Weapons that Animals Use
    Some of these might be classified as tools rather than weapons but the animal kingdom defies preconceived notions.

    Herring Gulls use bait.
    Dolphins use nets made of bubbles.
    Ravens joust.
    Elephants throw rocks.
    Dolphins swing poisonous sea snakes around.
    Blanket Octopi use the tentacles of Man of War Jellyfish as whips.
    Boxer Crabs use sea anemone stingers.
    And then there are chimps and gorillas who use weapons.

    :D
     
  5. Vellidragon
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    Vellidragon Member

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    Sea otters can also use rocks and possibly other items to break open clams, I believe.

    The idea doesn't seem too strange to me. If the creature can hunt its prey just fine without weapons, I imagine there wouldn't be much of an incentive to invent them.
     
  6. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    What if a wolf gets attack by a pack of rhinos? How can he defeat them all with only his claws and fangs? All rhinos have thick layers of skin, which could by difficult for the wolf.
     
  7. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Lone wolf attacked by pack of rhinos? Or did you mean the other way around?

    A pack of wolves uses teamwork to attack their prey from several different directions, running in, biting, and retreating until they manage to get the prey on the ground and less mobile = more vulnerable. This wouldn't be as easy with a big, strong, well-armoured prey such as a rhino. Hell, have you seen the difficulty a pack of wolves has with even a solitary elk? Generally, if an elk is big enough (i.e. mature) and confident enough (i.e. not senile) to face up to them, the wolves will go looking for a softer touch.

    I've seen a documentary where the question was posed; mountain lion vs. timber wolf - who wins? They compared bite strength in ft/lbs of effort and so on to get as scientific answer as possible, and concluded that the lion would win, basically because of the disembowelling effect of its powerful hind legs. Bit of a no-brainer, really, since wolves hunt as a pack and the lion is more solitary in a similar environment, so lone wolf vs. lone lion...
     
  8. Spencer Rose
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    Spencer Rose Member

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    I think that you have been provided with some excellent examples.

    It's hard to give accurate advice without looking closer at your base species. Are your beast men bipedal (walk on two legs) and if so what human qualities do they posess?

    Example: I have a fantasy story that uses animals who essentially just "stood up" and can speak. The three main races are Deer, Bears, and Wolves. They are all at various stages of civilization, with the Deer being the most advanced and human-like. They use weapons (against other animals) but since they are herbivores have no need to hunt outside of sport. Their weapons were originally developed to fend off Wolves.

    The Bears, on the other hand, are incredibly primitive, a mix between native Americans and cavemen. They use simple tools for day to day life, but if it came down to a fight they use what they have (claws, teeth, sheer bulk) and tend to not use weapons. Since nothing really threatens them (as far as predators) they have no need for true weapons.

    Look at your beast men, look at their base strengths. Is it a carnivorous species? Do they already naturally have the tools (strong teeth/claws/speed) to survive. If so, why would they turn to weapons? What would threaten them in such a way that they would need to develop said weapons? Are they a mid range predator that is preyed upon by a stronger predator?

    Answer some of these questions and I think you'll find what you're looking for.

    Just my two cents. :)
     
  9. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    My beastmen are bipedal and some of them have civilized communities. But they all live in a world of continusious war. They have human intelligence, but they are driven by their basic animal instincts, and they already have their natural tools. Some of them are weak, who are mostly preyed upon, and others are stronger, who prey on the weak for domaination. They also have different cultures; some primitive and advance as the Egyptians.
     
  10. CristianOrtt
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    This premise doesn't seem irrational. They have certain human traits, but that does not make them human. As you said, they are driven by their more primitive instincts. When I think of primitive instincts from a human perspective, I think of things like food, sex, shelter, religion, communication (verbal, probably not written because that's a form of technology), and that's about it right now. Since these are the things they strive for (presumably), and they are already equipped with the tools they need to fight and survive, they don't see the need to go any further. They live to be as strong as they can and that's that. Maybe the idea of inventing scares them or they are cautious of it given the fact that it's unknown and dangerous. Animal instincts generally tell us to avoid danger at all costs if we can and then fight or flee when we are confronted with it. Think of Planet of the Apes. The newer movies showed them using guns at the beginning of the war, but only because it was necessary. In the original, once they'd taken the planet, the gun was considered evil and the mention of it would hush a room. They knew what it could do and avoided it at all costs. Another idea could be that they simply invent for progress and not war, if they invent (buildings, beast-face sized eyeglasses, etc.) Finally, maybe if you gave them a strong sense of honor in battle, they see it as cowardice to use weaponry. I hope I've helped. Good luck with your writing!
     
  11. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Well their tribes always fight each other for power, but they could believe that using weapons make them dishonorable.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You need a rationale like that to make no weapons make sense.
     
  13. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    The Beast warriors could also be like martial art fighters who use their own combat skills with their natural weapons.
     
  14. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I don't buy it. I could see them never developing a sword because they didn't need it, but actually giving up a sword? The thing is, in an armed conflict ingenuity is the best weapon. And the first guy to put swords in his soldiers hands is going to win, and afterword no one is going to give him any crap about it. Having a whole bunch of swords makes it easy to change the opinions of people without swords.
     
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  15. uncephalized
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    Yeah, a cultural more against weapons would only work until some competing tribe said "screw honor, we're using spears." The other tribes would quickly find themselves wiped out or forced to do the same in retaliation. Intelligent warlike creatures not using the available tools of war is an unstable equilibrium and does not make sense.

    Now, if they don't have the physiology to USE weapons effectively, that's a whole other ball game. But any creature hat can make and use hand tools can make and use weapons.
     
  16. CristianOrtt
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    Yeah, I don't know. The whole "screw honor, we're using spears" makes sense. I think if they're a warring species, then that will happen. I have to agree. Perhaps you should dumb them down a bit. Then it would make sense. Like I said earlier, the basic instinctual things, going no further than verbal communication. Once they're able to write and build crap, they are gonna make weapons.

    Maybe you could just incorporate weapons? What was your reason for not doing so in the first place? Obviously there will be no guns, since they are a young civilization, but swords and what not wouldn't be out of the question.
     
  17. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    And curiosity.
     
  18. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    I thought it would be cool if they fight like animals instead of humans. In most anthropomorphic fantasy stories, the characters always use medieval like weapons and behave like noble knights. I wanted my beast warriors to be animalistic just like animals, even if they have some human intelligence.
     
  19. Robert_S
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    I'd say they would need to be at a very primitive stage of development for this to sound plausible. Any being that can reason is going to find ways to make their life and work more efficient. That includes developing weapons to make killing easier.
     
  20. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    I also notice that werewolves never use weapons to kill their victims. If they are humans who can transform into monsters, how come they never grab something to fight with? They always run toward armed soldiers or civilians, and get shot.
     
  21. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Two points:
    1.) What would they carry their weapons in?
    2.) Most animals, when it comes to "weaponry" use their teeth. In fact pretty much every predator animal does, though bears and cats might grab and claw. It might be interesting to explore how predators on this world came to grow horns or antlers, which only prey animals have here.
     
  22. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    I guess since when they transform, the werewolves will briefly forget about their human knowledge of using weapons, until they return to their human forms.
     
  23. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Again, are these werewolves turning in to actual wolves? Because wolves don't have hands to hold weapons, and wolves don't claw at their attackers. Maybe you're thinking of some kind of mouth weapon thing?
     
  24. CristianOrtt
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    This is correct. In traditional werewolf lore, the person that transforms does not remember doing so or what they did while turned. If you refer to newer stories, such as that of Stephanie Meyer (forgive me if I spelled that wrong) then the werewolves can consciously change between human and wolf states at any time, but they are actual wolves so they would not be able to hold weapons.

    I'm going to have to agree with this. As I said, perhaps you should dumb them down a bit. I think it's the only way around this without incorporating at least medieval weaponry. I know you said that some are as advanced as the Egyptians, and they used the longbow, chariots, swords, etc. Even if you do remove some of their intelligence in order to keep their weaponry inherent, it could still be a good story. There are a few animals on Earth that are aware of their ability to think and communicate, but do not use technology.
     
  25. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    What if they have magical powers that allows them to shoot attacks, just like Pokemon.
     

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