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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/20/2018 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    I don't have much info on Days Rest. I was only there for one day, and was napping most of the time... 🙂
  2. 3 points
    Yes. Have each adventurer start with one cult each (each adventurer can have different cults or several can have the same cult, it doesn't really matter). Let them explore their cult. If the character develops in a way that it makes sense to join an additional cult, do it. But I wouldn't start at that point.
  3. 3 points
    The Japanese took that idea directly from China (and a lot of other things besides), the only difference being that they placed hereditary warrior elites at the top rather than the meritocratic scholar-gentry. Yeah, pretty much. Shavaya the Emperor of Splendor is the closest analogue to Shennong of them, given that he introduced rice and built dams and ditches. However, most of the Kralorean Emperors are far more esoteric and mystical in their contributions than the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors, who usually are ascribed far more practical and down-to-earth things to humanity. I imagine all the high-minded enlightenment stuff is probably the stuffy, official religious dogma, but that on the ground the average person would be more likely to worship the emperors and gods for the more practical benefits, in much the same way that Daoism as a literary philosophy and Daoism as a popular religion could be totally different but still operate under the same name and basic ideas. In that way, a Shennong or Lodril analogue (maybe Shavaya) could have a lot less emphasis on his more high-minded achievements and more on an aspect as a "divine peasant."
  4. 2 points
    I recently wrote up some items, food and drinks for trolls - specifically those trolls that frequent the Trollmarket at the Troll Break in the Big Rubble. These are very much in the spirit of those presented in Trollpak and Thunderbreath's Tavern: https://d-infinity.net/game-content/runequest-thursday-204-trollmarket-goods-food-and-drink
  5. 2 points
    I think we only need to look at the Hound of Ethilrist and the Black Horse demons to see that some things can in fact cross over. Or Argrath's quest to bring back the Aurochs. See SKoH p.194: Can Something Come Out? Yes, entities can enter the Mortal World through temples, worship ceremonies, and places of power. Demons, underworld monsters, sorcerous curses, evil spirits, and curious godlings – all can exploit the opening to Cross Over into this world. HeroQuest foes may use this as an opportunity to strike against the heroes, either directly or using some Otherworldly allies. Whether the prey they return with can create progeny might be another question, or require another quest, or perhaps a special blessing magic of Eiritha or Velhara or some other goddess.
  6. 2 points
    Hunting HeroQuests are among the easiest to organise as a GM, and the easiest for a Gloranthan HeroQuester to do (some particular Odayla and &c exceptional deep Myth ones excepted of course). But perhaps if that's exactly what you want, and you wanted to stick by those particular rules, you could manage it as an Inner World HeroQuest into magical territory rather than into an otherworld ? Rather than the Hunters going to the Other Place, the Beast from that Other Place coming into this one ? Could model it after some Arthurian "white stag" stories, including mysterious encounters obstacles and helpmeets along the way, else, I dunno, after modern hunting or forest horror movies ? Try and remember anyway that in a HeroQuest, the important thing is always the players' interactions with the story elements, rather than rules stuff.
  7. 2 points
    Something tells me that when/if Kralorela gets "fixed" after the manner of Greg -- gets posthumously 'Gregged' -- it will make Greg's spirit laugh. A lot.
  8. 2 points
    Well, I personally can't speak of any canonicity, but I actually do have some ideas on where you might find inspiration in Chinese myth for how to portray Lodril or a Lodril-analogue as viewed in Kralorean society. Chinese myth venerates (among countless others) eight divine or semi-divine figures usually referred to in English as the "Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors." The Three Sovereigns, also called the Three August Ones, are demigods or god-kings who improved the lives of the people by imparting a lot of the essential skills and knowledge needed for civilization. The Five Emperors are exemplary sages who possessed great moral character and virtue, lived to incredible ages, and ruled over a period of unsurpassed peace and plenty. The exact identities and chronology vary greatly depending on who you ask, several sources considered authoritative have different lists and the reasons for that are many and would take a long time to explain. Incidentally, the Chinese word for their emperors is huangdi (皇帝), whose characters derive from the Sovereigns and Emperors respectively; the founder of the Qin Dynasty invented this title, which was used thereafter, because he claimed that his reunification and expansion of the lands previously ruled by the Zhou Dynasty was even greater than the accomplishments of the Sovereigns and Emperors. In Chinese, they are the "San (Three) Huang, Wu (Five) Di." Anyway, for our purposes, Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian is the list I'll be using. In Sima Qian's list, the Three Sovereigns are titled as the Heavenly Sovereign, the Earthly Sovereign, and the Human Sovereign, and their identities are Fu Xi, Nu Wa, and Shennong. Shennong, in my mind, is a useful analogue for Lodril if you want to give Kralorea such a thing. Shennong's name can be translated as "Divine Farmer" or "Divine Peasant." Another of his names is Wugushen, which translates to "God of the Five Grains." As you might guess, Shennong is credited in Chinese myth as the inventor of agriculture; he discovered how to cultivate grains and invented the plow so that people could do so (much as Lodril is credited with among the Lodrili, who use fire-sharpened sticks to make simple plows). Because of this, it is considered inappropriate to sacrifice cows or oxen to him, as they are better put to use in the fields, and instead pigs and sheep are sacrificed to him. Since he also invented the storing and trading of crops in storehouses and weekly farmers' markets, traders also worship him. In addition, he is also revered as the "Medicine King," because he personally tasted hundreds of herbs and plants to determine their effects, identifying poisons and antidotes and figuring out what was good for people and what was bad; some legends claim he died when he tasted 70 poisons in a single day, and so he is sometimes venerated as the progenitor of traditional Chinese medicine. Most portrayals of Shennong in art show him tasting some kind of herb or plant to test its effects. Finally, Shennong is often identified with a mythical figure or a family dynasty called the Flame Emperor (Yan Di), who was an early enemy of the Yellow Emperor (who is usually one of the Five Emperors, though he's sometimes one of the Three Sovereigns instead). It is believed that this title is a reference to the practice of slash-and-burn agriculture, wherein fire clears the fields and the ashes fertilize the soil. In Chinese foundational myths, the last of the Flame Emperors (who according to the Records of Emperors and Kings authored in the 3rd century AD was the 8th generation descendant of Shennong) was forced northward by the powerful warlord Chi You and came into conflict with the Yellow Emperor. The two fought a series of three battles, which ended with the Flame Emperor's surrender, after which the Yellow Emperor (Huang Di) united the two tribes and renamed them the Yan-Huang Tribe, and the now-unified tribe later went on to defeat Chi You and other threats and became the progenitors of the Chinese people. In fact, one of the names for the Chinese people is the "Yan Huang Zisun," the "Descendants of Yan and Huang." Some records also state that the Yellow Emperor himself was related to Shennong; while Shennong was the creator of the basic necessities of society (farming and the like), the Yellow Emperor and his court were considered the foundation of Chinese culture and identity, with inventions like writing and the production of silk credited to them. As a Han Dynasty tomb inscription reads, ""The Yellow Emperor created and changed a great many things; he invented weapons and the wells and fields system; he devised upper and lower garments, and established palaces and houses." Incidentally, Chi You is also a very interesting figure. In Han Chinese (i.e. the majority ethnicity of China), Chi You is presented as a wicked tyrant, described as a cruel and greedy warmonger, but certain ethnic minorities in southern China (most notably the Miao ethnic group, a Chinese umbrella term that actually accounts for a wide range of peoples like the Hmong, Xong and A-Hmao) consider themselves descendants of Chi You and regard him as a sagacious mythical king. But that's getting into another long post all it's own.
  9. 2 points
    Yeah, a big part of the appeal of Glorantha is usually the way it departs from the stereotypes of fantasy and makes something all its own, but Kralorea really is just another Fantasy China, just with a bit of a religious thing going on at the top levels that isn't really Chinese. As for the isolationist policy, that's actually not quite as "later" as you might think; the first haijin ("sea ban") policies were issued in 1371 by the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). For most of Ming, all foreign trade was conducted by official "tribute missions," handled by representatives of the Ming government with representatives of the "vassal" states. Basically, in order to trade with Ming (but only a set number of times per year, with a set number of ships, at a single port), you had to recognize yourself as an inferior vassal to Ming and trade was ritualized into the payment of tribute and the receiving of "gifts" as reward for being a good vassal. The reasons for this policy are many and various; to put a stop to rampant piracy, to keep silver bullion from leaving the country, to weaken the mainly commercial southern areas of China which had once been the capital but was not the Ming's primary power base, etc. In most of its goals, it failed miserably and was in fact horribly counterproductive and eventually made the piracy so bad that there needed to be this whole decade-long struggle to put an end to it that probably contributed to Ming's eventual collapse, but that's a story for another time. In the Qing Dynasty, something similar was done with the institution of the "Canton System," whereby all trade with Europeans was to be done at the port of Canton (now Romanized as Guangzhou) with merchants specially licensed to the do so (the Thirteen Factories). This was an attempt to limit the destabilizing political, religious and commercial influence of the foreigners, and it worked for a while, up until Great Britain decided it really didn't want to have to pay for its addiction to Chinese tea with silver and instead decided to peddle one addiction for another and then started the First Opium War to protect their drug deals. As for the propaganda and false sense of unity? That's basically completely true to its inspiration in Imperial China. Even in China, there is a tendency to see it as a very static, unchanging edifice, subject to wars, sure, but always a unified China by the end of things. The reality is considerably more complicated, and I presume that's what you'd see if we could do more than scratch the surface of Kralorea. Well, a sacral kingship isn't quite unknown to China; reverence and worship of the emperor was especially pushed for in the later years of the Qing Dynasty, and was probably similarly pushed for most strongly during times of upheaval and unrest, and religious rites were always one of the major duties of the emperor. It's just that the Chinese emperor was viewed as divine because he held the Mandate of Heaven through virtue of his... well, virtue, and thus if he lost the empire he had clearly lost the mandate, so it was used to legitimize the succession of dynasties. That said, in its more obviously sacred nature, and in the Solar imagery that's crept in and the way it at least pretends that there is only one discrete faith in Kralorea, and the way it tries to cover up some iffier successions and assumptions of power and pretend it was all one long unbroken line, it's actually more like Japan. In some ways you could argue that Dara Happan society is something a Confucian would recognize: the "top-down" model of society and virtue where the fortunes of the empire rest on the virtue and justice of the emperor, the importance of knowing one's place in the social order and the rigid adherence to tradition, mainly. On the other hand, Confucianism is philosophically very anti-aristocracy, promoting an educated scholar-gentry on the reason of merit rather than a hereditary nobility (which China has had and Confucian scholar-gentry have very frequently been used by the emperors as a counterweight against). In addition, Confucianism rests upon the belief that human beings are fundamentally good, and teachable, improvable, and perfectible through personal and communal endeavor, especially self-cultivation and self-creation. It all rests on the idea that anyone can cultivate these virtues in a morally organized world. It also lacks a disdain for rural life or agricultural pursuits; one of the common and accepted ways for a currently unemployed Confucian scholar to support himself, in fact, was through farming. So in a lot of other ways, Dara Happan isn't very Confucian at all. The attitudes of the nobles toward their "lessers" is extremely entitled and arrogant (the latter in particular would disgust a good Confucian, as arrogance is extremely unseemly and the sign of an inferior man), and the dismissal of the Lodrili as incapable of understanding the higher things in the world and the characterization of them as less moral aren't something a Confucian would agree with, or at least he would argue that this is only because their rulers don't bother to cultivate proper virtue and education within them and so it's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  10. 2 points
    I just uploaded a RD100 package for Sumerian adventures. Don't hesitate to correct my broken English (PM me).
  11. 1 point
    I started really reading into the Guide to Glorantha and simultaneously looking through the Group Read threads for it, and a question came up on Kralorea that convinced me to make this thread. See, I consider myself an initiate at best into Gloranthan lore, but East Asian history is something of a hobby of mine, so I realized that some knowledge I take for granted might not be something others are aware of, and I thought I'd address one or two things. First, the question that made me decide to make this thread: What's up with the Archexarchs? Kralorea's highest functionaries are called the Archexarch of War, who is in charge of military affairs, the Archexarch of Work, who manages disciplining of mandarins, investigation of wrongdoing, and public works, and the Archexarch over the Masses, who manages the imperial finances, provincial reports, and the appointment of mandarins. These seem oddly named and these duties seem weirdly portioned out. Well, although they may seem odd at first glance, these are taken directly from real positions that have existed in Chinese history, specifically from the Han Dynasty (206BC-9 AD & 25-220 AD). In Han, the three highest government positions were of equal authority, and were the Sangong, translated variously as "Three Ducal Ministers," "Three Excellencies" and "Three Lords" because gong was a title of nobility in Zhou usually translated in English as "duke." And "minister" isn't used by itself to refer to them because just below them in the government hierarchy were the Nine Ministers. In the latter half of the Han Dynasty's reign, these three positions (which had gone through a lot of name changes earlier) were settled as the Excellency of Works (Sikong), the Excellency over the Masses (Situ) and the Excellency of War/Grand Marshal (Sima). Together, the Three Excellencies formed a tripartite party as the emperor's highest advisors and a sort of cabinet; any or all of the three could directly draft and submit suggestions and recommendations on state policy to the emperor, rather than having to wait until they were given permission to speak at a court conference. They also each had supervisory powers over separate sections of the court below them (each of them supervised three of the Nine Ministers, for example), but there was deliberate overlap in their powers to investigate, promote and censor officials so keep any one of them from having too much power over the government. And, of course, they were in charge of bureaus that had their own duties, like public works and so on (but these, too, were sometimes made deliberately nebulous and overlapping). Though, I'll note that unlike in Kralorea, by the time of Eastern Han (25-220 AD), the Excellency of War had actually shifted into a primarily civilian office; his various bureaus mostly handled (in addition to the stuff involving supervising and investigating other government officials) population registers and agriculture, the upkeep of transportation facilities, post offices and couriers, civil law cases, granary storage, and military affairs. Logistics, in other words. Actual generals were appointed by court order to deal with a specific campaign and surrendered their authority after that campaign was over, keeping the title bestowed on them as a sinecure if they did well (titles like "General of Chariots and Cavalry on the Left," for example). You can see the obvious influence on the Archexarchs, down to their names, their position in the government bureaucracy (minus the part where they're actually worshiped in their own right and all that stuff, of course), and the fact that they've been not-so-subtly designed in a way that encourages infighting and jockeying to ensure a check on their powers and keep any one of them from having too much influence in the government. --- As a whole, Kralorea is a pastiche of various aspects of Imperial China throughout its history. A bit of Han, a bit of Tang, a bit of Ming/Qing. It's the usual way to make a Fantasy China, even in China. The bit about the standardization of language is probably the only non-Imperial bit of Chinese history; the Republic of China was the first time they tried to standardize a proper "national language" in an empire that had (has) hundreds of mutually-unintelligible dialects; Mandarin Chinese is the result, its actual Chinese name even means "official speech," and its mostly taken from the Beijing dialect. Kralorea's attempts seem to have been more successful and sweeping than China's, where regional dialects and language groups still get a lot of play even in major cities, especially in the south. That "horse-chopper" the imperial soldier is shown holding is a guandao (more properly called yanyuedao), a polearm somewhat similar to a European glaive or a Japanese naginata. It actually wasn't a weapon that saw wide use in the field (though it was used by infantry in the Green Standard Army of the Qing Dynasty, which was formed of ethnic Han Chinese in contrast to the Eight Banners that were manned by Manchus), but weighted versions were popular both for martial arts training and as testing equipment in tests given to prospective military officers. The first name comes from its entirely fictional origin as the personal weapon of Guan Yu, the second means "reclining moon blade." Also, the actual role of being a "horse chopper" more properly belongs to either the podao (with a similar but smaller blade and a shaft about 6 feet long) and/or the zhanmadao (a large, single-bladed, two-handed sword), both of which are recorded as being designed and used specifically as anti-cavalry weapons. If there are any other questions about Kralorea and its Chinese influences... Well, I can't guarantee an answer, it's not like I have an actual degree in this stuff, but feel free to ask me about it.
  12. 1 point
    So, you guys have noticed the recent announcement that a Kralorela book is in the works, right? (I have nothing to do with it, just saying.) Personally, I'd love for Kralorela to go back in Chinese history and use more of the really weird shit (visually and otherwise), that doesn't even sound Chinese to us westerners. Through a few interests of mine I only barely scratched the surface and it's so wonderful. (like the various connections to the northwestern horse riding nomadic cultures that influenced very early China a lot, the early shamanic aspects of the religion(s), or the absolutely bonkers ghost stories we have in many collections - not just "Strange Tales From a Chinese Studio", but books like "Garden of Marvels" that collect the less known ones.) And of course, since it's already the case that Kralorela draws from kung fu movies, I'd love to see more of that. But not the pastel-coloured CG wuxia with all the flying on bamboo in flowy silk dresses. No, the super violent batshit crazy late 80s, early 90s wuxia! Fewer idyllic rice paddies and more scorching deserts, or snowy heavenly mountains. Or evil mountains? There's a lot chaos stuff in these movies, which could fit into the whole Kingdom of Ignorance area, with its many chaos temples. (like in Zu Warriors From the Magic Mountain, the evil cultists doing a synchronized flag dance to welcome their prey always crack me up: (skip to 20:45) It'd also be fun to see something from a recent guilty pleasure of mine - Chinese grave robber movies/novels. Imagine Indiana Jones, or Lara Croft if they were Chinese, a lot weirder and oddly Lovecraftian.) (an example of a plot from one such movie: The heroes, an ancient family of grave robbers, are forced to open and explore a tomb in Mongolia by a rich western villain, who is searching for eternal life. Of course, the tomb holds an Indian priestess who long ago married a Chinese emperor and was actually infested with an alien fungus (sometimes it's a giant ginseng with tentacles - very Aldryami) that granted her immortality among other "magic". Flesh eating ants! Exploding blue fire bats! Many deadly traps! I'm kind of mixing a few movies together, but it's great. Horrible schlock, but great.)
  13. 1 point
    You at should give the names and page numbers of the mountains. The first glyph is that of Stormwalk Mountain (Map 29) and the curved lines represent the horns of Storm Bull. The second Rune is Quivin Mountain and probably shows the rune of Quivin. Since he is a Lodril-analog, a possible guess is a the lower half of the sky rune without the central dot to denote his conquered status at Maran Gor's hands. The third is KeroFin and the rune is the Storm Rune denoting her association with Orlanth. The fourth rune is Arrowmound. They represent the Arrows of Justice that Orlanth hurls into the world (Sartar Companion p208). That the arrows are also the staffs of justice is an association that was hitherto unclear to me.
  14. 1 point
    IMG, Draconic Consciousness is a form of Illumination gained through cultivating a connection to the Dragonewt Rune. It grants many of the same powers as Nyaslorian Illumination, and at least partially shares the concept of "we are all us", but rather than postulating that everything came from Chaos, the Dragons say that everything, including Chaos, is part of the dream of Ouroboros. Draconic Consciousness is the recognition that everything is just the dream of a dragon and that the purpose of life is escaping the dream and rejoining with Ouroboros, therefore you can learn to shape the dream around yourself and ignore its illusory restrictions by virtue of your position as a fragment of the dreamer.
  15. 1 point
    Ha! Yeah I got a little excited...although in my defense, the first time I asked a question in the 5E forums it went...poorly...to say the least. I'm just excited to find a new game world that isn't a cult of personality that worships Critical Role. Again, all the feedback has been great!
  16. 1 point
    We at the Chaosium feel great passion for the Pendragon family of games. Many of us played it back when it first came out, and still do on and off to this day. Our excitement at seeing the Chaosium logo on it after an absence of 20 years made us pause and reflect on how much we missed being its caretaker. Over the last few years Greg told us how he hoped it would one day return to Chaosium, and now it has. Stay tuned. We intend to do far more than merely reprint and POD the current and back catalog. So many things to do...
  17. 1 point
    Trollkin are badly deformed trolls. I guess most deformities in Glorantha can be healed, in a world where limbs can be reattached or regrown someone local has “cure deformity” skills. Only very poor people or people afflicted with powerful curses would have to endure unwanted physiological problems.
  18. 1 point
    Have you ever used an atlatl? I have. Fire rates should be similar to bow and arrow. The atlatl "javelin" is really a somewhat oversized arrow that is accelerated beyond normal javelin tossing because of the artificial extra arm length. Those aren't normal javelins or pili that are propelled that way. Those beasts are five to six foot long and may be fletched. I wouldn't call that darts, though: If you have a clunky apparatus for accelerating your ordinary javelin, then I might agree about the lowered fire rate. Atlatl damage is higher than the missile weight would suggest when hand tossed because of the way higher speed of the missile. Not quite on par with a strong bow, but the greater weight of the atlatl arrow gives a good compromise in between.
  19. 1 point
    I say without reservation that you are an inspiration and your work is a huge addition to the BRP community!
  20. 1 point
    Thanks for all the kind words guys. My goal of all these little projects was 1. To provide unavailable material 2. Provide for my own campaigns 3. and make the Chroniclers job easier. If my labors of love helped make anyones game more enjoyable then I'm one happy guy.
  21. 1 point
    I get the sentiment. Regardless thanks for all of the hard work you put into the various things you produced. You made my life imminently easier as a first time d100 GM.
  22. 1 point
    Actually I feel that Chaosium putting MagicWorld on the back burner also kinda liberates it in some ways, leaving it for the fans to tweak to their hearts content, like we used to do with the rpgs back in the 80s (my teens). Bring on the BRP OSR I say!
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