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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/21/2018 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    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.)
  2. 4 points
    You're a Sorceror, in my book, if you have a Rune and a Technique. But all that changes is that you can't forget your Rune or Technique. It isn't "whether you're a sorceror" that determines if you can forget-and-remember, but the thing you're performing Memory Palace functions on, namely, the spell in question. Sorcery spells are structured in a way that you can forget them in a structured enough way to remember them. Spirit Magic spells are not. Rational constructs are more amenable to mnemonic techniques than non-rational ones. The mnemonic techniques are taught as part of the learning of the spell, I'd say. Edit: doesn't mean someone, somewhere, hasn't developed some way of 'shelving' a Spirit Magic spell and then 'getting it back out to use again'. It might even be a Hero Quest ability, but given the ready* availability of Spirits to know spells for you and Bindings to put them in, it's not as necessary. * if you're the kind of successful adventurer who's running out of CHA-slots for their Spirit Magic...
  3. 3 points
    The dagger-axe declined in importance because as they started moving away from battles between small numbers of trained aristocrats to larger armies of infantry fighting in packed formation, a long polearm with no point for thrusting that needs to be swung around just isn't ideal. But it didn't disappear, it just evolved into the Chinese halberd later in the Zhou Dynasty. It's actually kind of a funny transition you see in Zhou; to compete with each other more effectively, many of the aristocratic rulers of the feuding Zhou duchies and kingdoms enacted innovative government and societal reforms to create the kind of bureaucracy needed to fuel an effective war machine, meaning that the gradual shift from a feudal to a bureaucratic system was by and large carried out by aristocrats (more than a few of whom didn't come out the better for it, even). You could definitely draw from Zhou border states like the kingdoms of Yan and Zhao, with the former in particular adopting a lot of the ways of the "northern barbarians" in order to more effectively fight and sometimes even conquer them, a strategy that often involves intermarriage that the more protected central peoples might find weird or even shocking given that the border people tend to be the most aggressive in campaigns. And combine that with the mixed feelings that arise from the fact that they often hire mercenary cavalry from said barbarians... You could probably get away with something like the heqin ("peace marriage") system pursued early in the Han Dynasty, whereby the empire married off princesses from minor branches of the imperial family (or just well-trained servants and ladies-in-waiting at the palace; not like those barbarians will know the difference, right?) to rulers of the northern tribes, which usually led to more frequent "tributary missions" between the two. And like the Xiongnu did, the Pentans probably make sure to marry defecting Kralorelan officers or officials to their daughters or sisters.
  4. 2 points
    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.
  5. 2 points
    I think once character creation ends, previous occupation can become irrelevant. What matters from then on is what the character does, they might continue their previous occupation during downtime, do something different, or live the high life on their enormous adventuring loot haul.
  6. 2 points
    Who says you can't bring something back from a HeroQuest without preparing it in advance? The Red Goddess brought back the Crimson Bat, which seemed to be a surprise to everyone, including her. If you want to slavishly stick to that rule, and I would strongly suggest that you don't, the Hunters could prepare a talisman of a beast, or even a blank talisman, and use that as the prepared object. But, the whole point of the Great Hunt is to bring back something spectacular, so everyone is capable and prepared to do so.
  7. 2 points
    Great series. Congratulate Jess please.
  8. 2 points
    It was mentioned in a big post on FB, listing all the books that are being worked on.
  9. 2 points
    Spot on. Memory Palace techniques are inherent in sorcery.
  10. 2 points
    In my campaign these are: The Bronze-and-Silver Statue is Votenevra the Earth Healer. Statue can be used as regalia of a shrine. The Metallic Leaf, is sacred to Aldrya? I haven´t desided yet. But, it can be touched safely only by that pantheons worshippers. The Stone-Rod is of Maran Gor. Only a runestatus worshipper can use and hold the object safely. Otherwise it will make earthquakes that collapse the caves.
  11. 2 points
    There is no single legend to my knowledge for all the great mountain's unique glyphs. Some are clearly runes, others symbols, some are just unknown. For example, AAA p.28: Thunder Mountain shows what I'd interpret as ram's horns. And GtG p.342 notes "also called Ram Mountain) is one of the Great Sacred Peaks of the Orlanthi… A giant storm ram, with five curled iron horns and fleece of living lightning, lives on this peak and leaps from mountain to mountain to span the width of Genertela." Bear Mountain is topped by Odayla's Rune. Selon Mountain has two parallel lines (like an equal sign above it), but there is nothing to indicate what it may symbolize. Ramor Mountain looks like it has an Infinity Rune above it. Perhaps a dragon was there once? On AAA p.29, Dwarf Hat has the Stasis Rune - clearly a dwarf sign Doktados Mountain has an odd loop. Per GtG p.251 "The Cave of Winds, home of Kolat, is hidden on its peak." So maybe it's a Kolat sign.
  12. 2 points
    "It's all fun and games until the rabbit has a gun" as I heard someone on the Sky NFL programme quote his granddad recently. Maybe some Sakkars start hunting the hunters and they have to establish who is prey and who is predator...
  13. 1 point
    We might reasonably say that Lhankor Mhy is more Aristotle than Plato or similar. But jumping from that to 'so, it's irrational' is wildly anachronistic. And, FWIW, I don't think it is very representative of LM either, as LM obviously is interested in sorcery, alchemy, and investigation of the true nature of things. I think LM knows both, to the extent that Heortling law works that way. But if we had to choose between the two, that LM lawspeakers literally recite the exact terms of the law before each moot would tend to indicate that they know them. After half a week of absence, I find the thread on RQ sorcery closed before I had the chance to reply to David Cake's well-written reply to my rather flippant claims on Lhankor Mhy learning vs. Malkioni reasoning. Note that the bearded guy is among my favorite cults as a player, offering plenty of attitude and some snobbery. Not so much in the role of a lawspeaker but in the role of the cartographer (rather than pathfinder) of the Otherworlds. His temple-libraries are magpies' hoards of snippets of knowledge. Possibly comparable to the 19th century antiquity/colonial exotica collections (real and imitation) of the well-to-do white men, and what their catalogers could make of them. We do know about some of the specialties of the Great Libraries - including one priding itself on its oral tradition "collection". You are not distinguishing between command and control, maybe? Esrolia and Dara Happa have centralised command, but they exercise command over a broad collection of independent authorities, who have their own privileges usually enabling them to control their own internal organisation. They can't, for example, demand the Granite Phalanx retrain as peltasts. I specifically think the Talars can order the zzaburi to help them defend against a threat, or even join them in a way, but I don't think the Talars can, for example, demand all the Debaldan school switch to learning Furlandan magic, no matter how terrifically handy it would be. If that is what you understand by control, then no, no historical realm prior to the spread of "socialist" autocracies had this power. There is no 100% successful conversion of a population to a different cult or sect. Rokarism and New Idealist Hrestolism may come close, but there are strong old-Hrestoli sentiments in Seshnela, and weird non-conformist traditions in Loskalm. A wise ruler will only issue irrational commands in order to exact punishment upon non-fulfillment of said command, like in the case of the Shadowlord Krengen Bik did (HotHP p.72). Any bureaucracy comes with a huge dose of "Yes, Minister". Military logistics always calculates some "living off the land" into their calculations. As long as the units don't start slaughtering their mounts or fellow soldiers for food, everything is within parameters. Of course there is rather little the Talars can do to influence the curriculum of a sorcerous order, except sponsoring a new one with a curriculum after their wishes or needs. Outside of Loskalm, they have no real understanding of what is going on in sorcerers' education. Inside Loskalm, they will tend to be too tied up in their own upbringing to envision much of a new way (and the same goes for leading sorcerers in the schools anywhere). The God Learners had not one dubious, in hind sight heretical or unwise, idea, but multiple. Calling down Tanian's Fire was of course tampering with powers beyond their control and resulted in the Firebergs as fallout, but the destruction of the Vralos forest pretty much was within the expected parameters. Zzabur's great magics had greater adversary side effects and yet are claimed as necessities, so we may be over-critical when looking at the Jrusteli schools. As a rule, any big enough magic performed in Glorantha will create an adversary effect that will haunt the originators (or their descendants). Tampering with the structures and protagonists of the myths defining their world was clearly the Malkioneranist branch of God-Learnerism. The Makanist Hrestoli still suffered from Adventurism, but lacked the places to expand into after their Six-Legged Empire had failed and the seas closed. Dealing with pagan deities from an equal or even superior position is what sorcerers do. It works excellently as long as the enemy doesn't do anything unexpected. Which they will be trying very hard to do. Specific Runic Protection is particularly fragile - it relies strongly on having a very good idea of your enemies magical resources, so one bunch of unexpected allies can be devastating. While that is true, it goes in the other direction as well. There are ancient enemies of the Orlanthi which made their deity look bad, or at least required him to take a great detour. Summoning Daga in the middle of a battle should stifle much of the Orlanthi magics, manifesting Tarumath would be devastating. The magic of standards and their totems is well known to the armies of Seshnela and possibly also Loskalm. The resistance of the units to the wyter-spirits in Dragon Pass may derive from the regimental cohesion magic in these standards in non-Orlanthi (non-wytered) units. The Dara Happan priests were close enough for Harrek to wade right through them at Pennel Ford, which might limit the "long range" aspect of wyter warfare a bit. Part of buffing the troops is buffing magical defences, so these sorcerers may not be quite that "useless". And they may serve by lending power to the spells of their better adapted colleagues. Yes, and it all depends. The sorcerers are likely to have defences up against spirits and deities attacking them - that's expected behaviour of the enemy, and as standard procedure as providing a wooden palisade for a post-Marian Roman field camp. Sure. It still beats the Leroy Jenkins attitude you can expect from an Orlanthi army.
  14. 1 point
    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
  15. 1 point
    The distinction is welcome. If the Talking God's "writing system" is based on the tattoo needle and not the pen there's room for a more shamanic approach to the lands beyond as well as the beard's relatively sorcerous or "logical" understanding. As far as planning to fail against an army of flying Leroy Jenkins, it's an interesting point. Blue sorcery works best when it sublimates the messiness of reality into a relatively neat, predictable, rules-based and stereotyped set of behaviors. We can control our own behaviors but the important thing here is forcing the enemy into a categorical box that our plans can then manipulate to most efficient effect. "Demonization" seems to be an exception that proves the general rule: if your categories fail, the last resort is to ascribe "chaos" and aim your sorceries accordingly. But day to day this may work opposite to "experimental" heroquesting: instead of opening up new pathways, your tactical objective is to close off unknowns in order to banish more effectively. Much formal blue sorcery probably revolves around banishing. Once you know the runes your opponent draws on, you know the classical responses and their demonstrated effectiveness.
  16. 1 point
    Per the Guide, Pelorians "tend to be light-skinned (ranging from pale to olive), with brown to blond hair. Brown and blue eyes are prevalent." Pale Dara Happans wouldn't be particularly remarkable. (@Jenx does a great job following the above direction when the Lunars show up in Prince of Sartar.) Look at higher magnification. He's got multiple parts in his hair between big braid/lock/cornrow type sections that are being held back/down by that wide leaf-designed thing. Overall, they look like Etheopians to me.
  17. 1 point
    It was a long "what are we up to?" post by Jason Durall.
  18. 1 point
    My Number One Rule is "If you can do it in Real Life, then you can do in in RuneQuest". Can I change occupation in Real Life? Yes. Can I change occupation in RuneQuest? Yes. You could be an Adventurer, then a Weaponthane, then a member of the King's Guard, then a member of the Pavis Watch, then a member of the Tribal Ring, then the King. Exactly, so you have really answered your own question.
  19. 1 point
    I don't recall seeing this anywhere in a Chaosium/Issaries Inc. source, or any printed fan material. That said, when Vadel approached the Mostali of Magnetic Mountain for assistance in dealing with the spirits of the south, they had the Iron Energy Prison ready for him to use (or possibly field-test). There may have been shackles to apply to a fallen dragon, too. Dragons in the west are at times underwhelming, like the "ease" with which Waertag and his descendants make use of Sea Dragons for their naval equipment. There is a possibility that there was some trade between Waertagi dragonmasters and Mostali, so I think that there is a fair chance for something like this. I am less sure about Mostal still having agency when this may have occurred - Mostal was crippled when Umath ripped the sky dome off its rest on the Spike. A cabal of ancient Mostali - sure.
  20. 1 point
    If there's a reasonable case for changing occupation, then yes. Advancement to priest is an obvious one. Being hired into a mercenary company and becoming a warrior is another. Being hired as a scribe, etc. certainly fits with a change.
  21. 1 point
    As a GM, I'd look at what the character has been doing and assign any profession-based income off of that assessment. Certainly, the acquisition of land would give the opportunity for the character to run their Hything* using their Manage Household, as a Noble, and that will produce income, but if they engage a steward to do it for them, they're free to do what they like for the year, and still collect their income (less the salary, if any, of the steward), so (assuming they don't spend too long off adventuring), they could attempt to make more money as a different profession. It would be easy to come up with reasons why a character couldn't use some skills: they probably would struggle to make an income if they set themselves up as a crafter with no tools or shop, or try and break into a field that already has competition (though that could be 'plot hooks'...), or which requires a grant of rights that they don't have by some Authority. * Hything: a term I thought I had seen used, specifically in terms of Saxon land organisation, to mean "A grouping of five hides", 5 being the number of families expected to be needed to support a properly equipped and prepared fighter in the field. I did have a squint at Google, but it didn't seem to have much recognition of the term, so it might be a product of some twist of memory, but if it is, I claim the neologism, and am going to use it in my own personal Gloranthan lexicon...
  22. 1 point
    In the final part of our series marking the release of the CALL OF CTHULHU STARTER SET, Jess suggests where to go next to continue enjoying Call of Cthulhu:
  23. 1 point
    Hi Kloster, Roll20 is a virtual tabletop that facilities RPG's online. roll20.net
  24. 1 point
    Kralorela is already very post-Chin dynasty in its flavor though, with a strong central government and bureaucracy. Historically, bronze age China did have the Shang and Zhou dynasties. The Shang pioneered the use of the Dagger Axe, which is no small thing given its 3d6 damage, and the weapon remained in service into the Han period. Given the versatility of the weapon, it is a wonder they were ever retired. The Shang seem to have placed a great importance on divination and oracles, with much written material covering the reading of turtle shell and ox scapulae and other bones. It has been suggested that Chinese writing derived from the oracular readings, though clearly pictoglyphic elements are involved too. The role of shamanism is debated about the Shang, but we need not be nearly as careful as scholars when it comes to such things. On the other hand, as a literate culture by bronze age standards, we should see something approaching sorcery and theism too. The Zhou dynasty's ascension sees the introduction of the idea of the Mandate of Heaven, as a means of justifying their establishment over the top of the defeated Shang. The Zhou had a system with much in common with feudalism in Europe and had a system of serfdom. They were a bureaucratic and chariot culture who would feel at home in Glorantha. In terms of Wuxia and martial arts, there are early records in the Spring and Autumn annals of martial arts being practiced, and the wuxia who emerge during the Warring states period were often drawn from the ranks of the dispossessed and obsolete tribal warrior nobles of the Zhou dynasty. In Gloranthan terms, what is interesting is that we need not slavishly adhere to China as a model, but have an opportunity to play with ideas. For example, while the Kingdom of Ignorance is clearly peripheral to Kralorela, and generally what cultural traffic there is will be from civilized Kralorela to the KoI, however there is always some transfer the other way too. In what ways could troll cults and society affect Kralorela? Well, China managed to domesticate two species of insects, namely the honey bee and the silk worm, so just imagine that they had access to Gorakiki products? Imagine a building that had been roofed with opalescent beetle chitin tiles, or a broad see-through rain hat made of translucent dragonfly wings? Then we have the Hsunchen cultures that are always on the edge of being entirely dominated by the central Kralori. They would be a source of ongoing shamanic traditions, and would quite likely have "animal styles" of martial arts for those times when the central authority disarms them. They would also have robust animal hide clothing, and important advantages like more meat in their diets that would make them larger and stronger. In terms of settled Kralorela, the focus on agriculture would be pretty alien to a Theyalan. The main meat animals would be chicken and pigs, that are farmed pretty intensively, with the addition of fish and game animals. The deity Kralora the Grain Goddess of Rice would be worshiped, but what of the Sun, the Rain, and the fertility of the Earth and the abatement of floods? We might see the worship of River Dragons, and other elemental forces being expressed in similar ways. The RQ3 cults book suggests that the Solar cult is well represented in Kralorela, but we must take that with a little skepticism, except that the influence comes from Pentan nomads. Pentan nomad culture would have been very influential in Kralorela, having conquered the land in the past. One of the main things the Pentans may have introduced would be boots, but they would also make the lack of cavalry in Kralorela a painful issue. On the other hand, clearly the Pentans have some measure of ability to trade with Kralorela, and this right has been extended to the Lunar Empire, but the yearly caravan would be a minor event. It is interesting that Kralorela has neither Mostali nor Aldryami, and while we know that the dragonewts are there, we don't know too much about how they integrate.
  25. 1 point
    Page 254. Limits to Spell Holding. Spirit magic when forgotten is lost, and must be re-learned, unlike sorcery (p390) which can be remembered again. TBH the wording of the Dominate spell is somewhat unclear to me too. In answer to your question, it seems that Command (Species) and (Spirit) allow a telepathic link between the caster and the affected creature. There is nothing in the Dominate spell which says that it creates a similar effect. On the other hand, animals can't speak, so how dominate is able to control them is sort of moot. When in doubt, defaulting to a known system like the Command Species spell as a model seems sensible. I would want to get a clarification from one of the people who wrote it though.
  26. 1 point
    All I have seen of passions so far was when in a tournament, our Lhankor Mhy character tried to use her loyalty to the tribe to improve her Identify Runes Sorcery spell (she was bad at the spell, but felt the results were important to the tribe as they could reveal a criminal). The roll failed and she went from having a 25% chance to cast the spell to a 5% chance, which she also failed. Thankfully our hunter was able to determine the malefactor with a divination. The mechanics of passions are easy to understand and use, and I personally think the whole Rune based mechanics are a great addition to the game, as what could be wrong about making RuneQuest more about sorta questing, you know... for runes?
  27. 1 point
    Works so well for Odayla, particularly if you you use the John Hughes/ Michael Raaterova "Animal Twins" stuff.
  28. 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.
  29. 1 point
    That's an intriguing query, that seems to ring some far away distant bell -- but could I suggest to you perhaps asking your question over at the Glorantha side of the forum ?
  30. 1 point
    I think he'll be overjoyed. He was always proud of the way his first wife's family exposed him to real Chinese culture beyond the broad strokes of '70s kung fu.
  31. 1 point
    It depends on how you run your Kralorelan game... Obviously if you're in a central province it will all be Kralori-centred, but the closer you get to the margin*, the more important these barbarian intrusions will become. It feels very authentic to me. My main beef is not about Kralorela per se, but about her depiction as fantasy Míng/Qīng China, which completely clashes with the Bronze Age feel of the rest of the Lozenge. *a very Chinese concept BTW in terms of adventuring
  32. 1 point
    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.
  33. 1 point
    In terms of decision making of characters: i can't counter your point -- in part because I don't know what the decisions are that you are referencing... and also because once you pointed them out I might be like, "Yeah, it makes no sense the character made that decision." But in terms of what I carried from the books: Annihilation makes it clear that the characters going into Area X have been manipulated even before they cross the border. The book is very upfront about this. Later books dig deeper into the question of these maniplations and why they were done and what the effects on expeditions might be. But it is clear in the first book that the judgements of the characters were compromised before the expedition even began. The affect Area X has on them is the jackhammer to the biology that follows. Further, I think the books have an interesting take on the whole notion of being "objective". It puts to question the entire notion that we can work from some sort of objective point of view, always rising above all the factors influencing us in our various environments that we literally cannot be aware of as we are inside them. Some people are willing to get on the Our Brains Are Slippery Train... and other people are certain they can look at the world with Cold Clear Eyes If Only We Think Correctly. This difference might be one inflection point (among many) as to how one responds to the books.
  34. 1 point
    I don't have much info on Days Rest. I was only there for one day, and was napping most of the time... 🙂
  35. 1 point
    The Emperors, particularly Godunya, do not feel like Chinese Emperors at all, though - they are more akin to living Saints, religiously revered, like the Dalai Lama, rather than the much more political and secular Chinese Emperors. I agree. Kralorela needs to be less singularly Chinese in nature. It is also a bit more bland than China - China has competing religious traditions, for example, while Kralorela seems to be dominated by Darudism, with all other seriously competing traditions pushed outside of the Empire. The idea of a singular, unbroken, line of Emperors is clearly propaganda, with Sekever, Sheng Seleris, etc just written out of history as awkward interruptions rather than true breaks in Imperial rule.
  36. 1 point
    We might reasonably say that Lhankor Mhy is more Aristotle than Plato or similar. But jumping from that to 'so, it's irrational' is wildly anachronistic. And, FWIW, I don't think it is very representative of LM either, as LM obviously is interested in sorcery, alchemy, and investigation of the true nature of things. I think LM knows both, to the extent that Heortling law works that way. But if we had to choose between the two, that LM lawspeakers literally recite the exact terms of the law before each moot would tend to indicate that they know them. You are not distinguishing between command and control, maybe? Esrolia and Dara Happa have centralised command, but they exercise command over a broad collection of independent authorities, who have their own privileges usually enabling them to control their own internal organisation. They can't, for example, demand the Granite Phalanx retrain as peltasts. I specifically think the Talars can order the zzaburi to help them defend against a threat, or even join them in a way, but I don't think the Talars can, for example, demand all the Debaldan school switch to learning Furlandan magic, no matter how terrifically handy it would be. I think even the implied central bureaucracy of the Lunar Empire, with its professional Buserians and giant logistics chain, is a bit idealistic, and is a continual struggle to make it work in practice. Mostly units struggle into town with a chest full of cash and begin buying and extorting what they need individually. Everything is a lot more devolved than the idea that the talars can order up a carefully balanced package of sorcery experts would imply. Often, control over an organisation is illusory - it relies on accepting that you can command what they have without expecting to change it, and knowing that there are many commands they will not obey, and might cause them to leave if you try. The God Learners had not one dubious, in hind sight heretical or unwise, idea, but multiple. I do not think the only God Learners that used some divine magic were the Malkioneranists, but that there were quite a few henotheists (largely those who combined worship of 'accepted' gods like Issaries or Lhankor Mhy), or others who interacted with Pagan deities. The Emanationalists in Pamaltela were not Malkioneranists, but they did deal with pagan deities, although only a few became full blown pure pagans (the Inflamers). There are plenty of Emanationalists following such marginally acceptable deities as Issaries and Lhankor Mhy throughout the Middle Sea Empire. It works excellently as long as the enemy doesn't do anything unexpected. Which they will be trying very hard to do. Specific Runic Protection is particularly fragile - it relies strongly on having a very good idea of your enemies magical resources, so one bunch of unexpected allies can be devastating. And any explanation of battlefield magic that doesn't include wyters as a major factor is going to be way off, especially for the Orlanthi. Plus we are simply dragging the rules into territory they are not expected to cover in detail. Push the rules into a corner case, they stop working well, especially when important rules are missing. For example, we literally do not have rules to cover how organised, coordinated long range magical attacks work from a rules point of view - and yet, here we are, arguing about the effects of magic on mass warfare, ignoring literally most of the evidence we have on how large scale mass warfare works in Glorantha! We *know* the Lunars and the SMU focus their magical efforts on long range coordinated magical attack. Maintaining big combat buffs on your front line troops does nothing at all to protect you from otherworldly long range bombardment - and for every sorcerer who has specialised in buffing your troops, that is one sorcerer less to work on magical defences. What really happens with our hypothetical unit of sorcerers with big Boon of Kargan Tor buffs and Neutralise Storm? Well, they might end up meeting a bunch of Orlanthi warriors in straight combat, and chew threw them. Or they might have a group of Windlords fly/teleport into their sorcerers stashed behind the lines and slaughter them. Or they might have the Snakepipe Dancers drop a horde of spirits on them from 20 km away. Or get an earthquake dropped on them. Sorcerers are absolutely great at developing perfect plans, as we have had several times explained. How often those perfect plans survive contact with the enemy is another thing entirely.
  37. 1 point
    Her assessment here is actually incorrect. Because all rolls in HQ are opposed, the distribution of the net Victory/Defeat results are a ramp-like curve rather than a flat distribution like you see rolling a single die vs a static TN. Perhaps let her roll her own resistance die next time so that she can see the effect in action.
  38. 1 point
    "The first 2,000 feet passed very quickly and terra firma looked damnably 'firma'. As I fell I began to hear my faithful little Camel somewhere nearby. Suddenly I fell back onto her." When a player wants a RW example of critting a Luck roll... (h/t Preston Becker) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grahame_Donald
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