Jeff

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Jeff last won the day on March 23

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About Jeff

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    Senior Member

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  • RPG Biography
    Creative Director, Chaosium Inc.
  • Current games
    HeroQuest, RuneQuest. Call of Cthulhu, 13th Age, Pendragon
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    Berlin
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    I'm an international man of mystery

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  1. You'd be surprised by how many urbane civilizations defined themselves by genos and phratry/phyle. Or gens and tribus. Or 'ashira and fukhdh.
  2. This is absolutely right. Most Sartarites in RQ2 were noble, townsfolk, or peasant.
  3. Very soon there will be a self-contained one-shot introductory adventure for the new RuneQuest rules. You just need to hold out until Free RPG Day and then get a copy free.
  4. I don't know what "barbarian" objectively means other than "people who speak funny" (for the Greeks, the barbarian par excellence were of course the Persians). It seems to be mainly used as short-hand for "vaguely Celtic or Germanic" which isn't terribly useful for describing folk with sizable urban communities (at 10,000 people Boldhome is a large city), written records (including an entire cult dedicated to written information), long-distance trade and coinage. New players get that easily - you say the Orlanthi have cities, tribes, and clans, worship the deities of Air and Earth, and have a tendency to feud with themselves and others, and that's not hard to grasp in its own right. What creates a hurdle is when you say something like "they are barbarians/Celts/Germans/Vikings/etc - except they have cities, written records and scribes, etc." To which many a player has said, "so are they barbarians or not?" I suggest you reduce the confusion by not introducing a real-world analogy that you then have to walk back from. Just describe Gloranthan cultures in their own right. Most players are likely to understand that better anyways.
  5. I am but one person. I am currently working on (writing, editing, commissioning art, or doing final approvals) of seven Gloranthan books for release this year (there's a few others that Ian Cooper is doing in addition). On all of these books I am either the primary author or the co-author.
  6. Having now used the new Family Background system with scores of players, I find that less than half the Sartarite characters have their influential grandparent die at Boldhome. Having two characters in a party whose grandparents died at the same event tends to help build party cohesion and a sense of community. Don't think of these Family Background tables as being something you use for every NPC - these are used to create player adventurers and to ground the players in the setting. I'd never use something like that for NPCs - unless those NPCs are supposed to be cut out of the same cloth as player characters.
  7. Sand-paintings. Sharpened sticks. Mud wallows. Healing herb gardens on migration paths. Who knows what a thumb-less sentient tapir can come up with now that they have a hairless ape to gather food for them!
  8. Yes. The herdmen spend their day gathering food for the morokanth. They scatter about, gathering roots, bugs, succulents, etc., so that the morokanth don't have to spend their entire day food gathering. As a result, the morokanth can craft, worship, trade, scout, and do all the other wonderful things you can do when someone else is doing the time-consuming grunt work.
  9. Thanks! Glorantha is littered with the ruins of lost civilizations. However, it is worth keeping in mind that the average Sartarite knows as much about the builders of the "Vingkotling ruins" as the average Syrian Greek did of the builders of Catal Huyek. "It was built in the Gods Age by race of demigods, who conquered the world as they warred with each other."
  10. As an aside, remember that the Sartarites are an urban people - city builders who have a level of urbanization far higher than people seem to assume. Boldhome is a large city - it would be a substantial polis in the Roman Empire. Here's a little essay I wrote for Ken, Chris, Simon, and the gang as background as they work on various RuneQuest projects: Vingkotling Walls and Citadels. Many of the cities in Dragon Pass are built atop the remnants of God Time settlements of the Vingkotlings. Now most of these ruins are some 5,000 years old, making them the equivalent of Neolithic ruins as seen by Alexander's Greeks. BTW, that's how I tend to try to understand Glorantha's history - I position myself at the time of Alexander the Greek and look backwards. Present year 1627 10 years ago - Lunar Empire invades Hendrikiland 25 years ago - Boldhome falls to the Lunar Empire 50 years ago - Battle of Grizzly Peak 100 years ago - Apotheosis of Sartar 300 years ago - Belintar unites Holy Country 500 years ago - the Dragonkill War (1120) 1000 years ago- the Kingdom of Dragon Pass. After this came the EWF. 1500 years ago - the Second Council. The Theyalans dominate Genertela and war with the Pelorian horse people. 2000 years ago - I Fought, We Won, and the Unity Battle. After this, came the Heortling kingdom, which lasted about 800 years (until Gbaji destroyed it). 2500 years ago - The Chaos Age, which lasted until the Unity Battle. 3000 years ago - the Ice Age 5000 years ago - the Vingkotlings 10,000 years ago - Orlanth kills Yelm Compare this to a Greek at the time of Alexander (330 BC) 10 years ago - Philip founds Philippopolis 25 years ago - the Sacred War 50 years ago - Battle of Leuctra (371 BC) 100 years ago - start of the Peloponnesian War 300 years ago - fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire 500 years ago - the neo-Assyrian Empire 1000 years ago - the Trojan War 1500 years ago - height of Babylon 2000 years ago - Sargon and the Akkadian Empire 2500 years ago - Gilgamesh is king of Uruk 3000 years ago - Menes unites Egypt (first dynasty) 5000 years ago - Neolithic cities like Catal Huyuk and Jericho 10,000 years ago - beginning of Neolithic age´╗┐ The Vingkotling settlements had great walls of stone or earth and the more important were built with something of a spiral shape. The Vingkotlings enslaved dwarfs or used great magics to build these settlements. They ranged in size from 2 or 3 hectares to nearly 500 hectares (Nochet was the capital of the Vingkotlings). Most were between 2 and 40 hectares. As the God Time became more and more destructive, these settlements tended to be rebuild as smaller and more fortified. Many of these Vingkotling citadels survived the Great Darkness. During the Great Darkness, the surviving peoples of Dragon Pass eked out an existence in a few of these citadels, and after I Fought We Won they became the centers of the new Theyalan civilization (also called Heortlings). Old ruins were the first to be resettled. Broken walls were cannibalized to build new walls.In the early First Age, the Theyalans were allied with the dwarfs of Greatway (in the Rockwood Mountains), and some later settlements (such as the City of Wonders in Dorastor) were architectural wonders. This civilization was destroyed in the Gbaji Wars that ended the age. In the later Second Age, Dragon Pass was again the center of an urbane empire, best known as the EWF. The EWF ruled much of the continent and could command masons and builders from far and wide. Population levels recovered and many of the old cities were rebuilt, sometimes to realign with mystic experiments of the ruling EWF. The EWF collapsed in the 12th century and then all human life in Dragon Pass was exterminated overnight in 1120 with the Dragonkill War. For two centuries Dragon Pass was largely abandoned by humans. Some of the ruins were occupied by the dominant trolls as strongholds and bases, but most were just left empty. Dragon Pass was resettled by humans after 1300 or so.The old ruins were often the first to be resettled. So places like Clearwine, Bagnot, Dunstop, Jonstown, Two Ridge, and so on, all incorporate citadel walls built by older, richer civilizations. So in lots of these cities, there is going to be a "citadel" (or "acropolis") that is maybe 2 to 10 hectares in size built within the old Vingkotling citadel. Then a later city that incorporates earlier and later defensive walls, and then later rebuilds them. The previous names and history are generally lost (the settlers weren't scholars!), although places of obvious power became cult centers. What might have been a Second Age temple to the Diamond Storm Dragon gets rebuilt as a temple to Orlanth Adventurous. The tombs of Theyalan kings became shrines of Orlanth Thunderous or Ernalda. And so on. The city of Furthest is something of an exception. The Lunars laid out a planned city, built along the lines they developed in the Fifth Wane to resettle their own Heartlands, which had been destroyed by the nomadic hordes of Sheng Seleris. Furthest is built on a grid, and was built largely by and for foreigners.
  11. I've been working on Gloranthan mythology pretty intensely since I finished writing the Guide. I don't consider Viking mythology anywhere near as useful a RW source as Aegean, Vedic, and various Near Eastern sources (the story of Marduk and Tiamat corresponds to Tarhunt and Illuyanka corresponds to Indra and Vritra which corresponds to Orlantha and Aroka, etc.). Of course all mythology is useful to understanding mythology, but Viking-Age stuff carries a lot of heavy baggage that is hard to let go of. So I wouldn't even suggest bringing it along. But in truth, Gloranthan mythology is best understood as its own thing. If I was going to suggest any one RW source to get a grip on Gloranthan mythology and gods, I'd suggest Campbell's "Hero with a Thousand Masks."
  12. This is the cover for the Quickstart rules, not for the new edition of RuneQuest.
  13. And wildly non-canonical.
  14. As of 1625, New Pavis and Pavis County are ruled by a king who is also high priest of Orlanth for the region. He is supported by most of the Praxian Tribes, and the Pavis Royal Guard are sworn to him. He is also supported by a large number of mercenaries, adventurers, mystics, and even Tricksters. The king (or more likely his delegate) arbitrates disputes between the clans - given that he is backed by the Praxian tribes (and likely the only reason the nomads spared the city), he's not someone to be trifled with - upon his ascension, he also notably had the old Lunar spy master torn into pieces and scattered. I suspect the clans try to avoid having their new king arbitrate unless absolutely necessary. That being said, his primary functions are religious (the Orlanth cult) and military - he receives of course the customary revenues of the city and then in the tradition of his ancestors, spends his personal funds on building, repairs, etc. As for the Lunars, Sor-eel was dismissed when Tatius the Bright became Governor-General (a general purge of Fazzur's friends and allies took place). The new Provincial Governor is believed to have fled the city when it fell. Or maybe before it fell. Or maybe even after Second Moonbroth. Unlike Sor-eel, he was rapacious and arrogant, and generally detested by the population. BUT he was very loyal to his superiors. But he's gone now. The Lunars in the city were plundered and pillaged, many were killed, others were taken into slavery and sold or ransomed at Pimper's Block.
  15. Yes, true newbies are actually often better gamers than those who assume they have to conform to the tropes of D&D or FPS computer games. I find such newbies pick up BRP style games very quickly.