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Factotum noun fac·to·tum \fak-ˈtō-təm\
Full Definition of factotum
- 1: a person having many diverse activities or responsibilities
- 2: a general servant
Did You Know?
“Do everything!” That’s a tall order, but it is exactly what a factotum is expected to do. It’s also a literal translation of the New Latin term factotum, which in turn traces to the Latin words facere(“to do”) and totum (“everything”). In the 16th century, factotum was used in English much like a surname, paired with first names to create personalities such as “Johannes Factotum” (literally “John Do-everything”). Back then, it wasn’t necessarily desirable to be called a factotum; the term was a synonym of “meddler” or “busybody.” Now the word is more often used for a handy, versatile individual responsible for many different tasks.
Origin and Etymology of factotum
New Latin, literally, do everything, from Latin fac (imperative of facere do) + totum everything First Known Use: 1566
When we look at the people that populate a RPG world, we often think of them as part of the cultural context our characters are a part of. Aspects of tradition, community standards, practices and policies that make society work. Such behavior is how we usually judge new people we meet and if they are known to us or if they are an “other.” But the real world, especially for travelers, explorers, and adventures, often brings groups of people together who don’t share the same default states, and conflict, although unintentional occurs on a regular basis. The Outsider is one of these others, and their approach to the players may put them off at first, because understanding cultural boundaries and pushing past them isn’t something a player may initially be willing to do.
The NPC Outsider has a great potential within a game setting. They offer a chance to break the mental short cuts players will use with NPCs. Whether it’s the treatment of diplomatic customs, respect for religious or political iconography, or just normal manners, the chance to experience the world through another view point is the heart of role-playing, and the Outsider reinforces that dialogue. Barriers such as language, upbringing, and class standing provide means for cultural impact on a game while presenting a Gamemasters the chance to expand the depth of the reality they’ve helped introduce to players.
Outsiders exist in all RPG genres as every world should feature a complex set of cultures and communities. The interesting thing to do is to bring outsiders in who have a common thread. In Fantasy, this may be the Druid who has come to aid your party, but their creed is one of respecting the natural order of life and so healing spells are not part of their preparations. In Science Fiction, aliens and artificial life forms are common stand ins for those who are literal outsiders, and explaining the difference between cultures becomes vital to the plot. In contemporary fiction, the choices are myriad as the number of cultures part of our real world.
Remember though, cultural missteps are a two-way street. While an outsider may not fit in or understand the culture of the players, it is easy for the players to act incorrectly within the Outsider’s world view. Offense, breach of social contract, or damage to honor can turn an outsider against a party, especially if the party has been failing to be considerate of both cultural touch stones.
Cerulean – They are an Artist that pushes the envelope of art and not art. No one has ever seen them. The work they do is borderline crime they actually call the art hyperrealism. The kinds of things are pushing people to do drugs everyday and photographing it and showing people going from Regular working joe to scary homeless guy. They then host gala’s that are not for the super rich and famous, they are for anyone that walks in the door. No one has ever been invited and no one has ever been to more than a single gala. All of the artist’s pieces are “signed” with a single square of Cerulean in them.
Shout out –
The Black Tapes Podcast, and Tanis
The Midnight – Endless Summer
Epic name Bro
Music is courtesy of Magnatune
Artist is Numa from the album Numa
And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment
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