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  1. 28 points
    So I am wrapping up the text of this book, while making sure that it all ties into both the new Heroquesting chapters in the GM Sourcebook and into the Hero Wars Campaign. It is increasingly looking like this will be a two-volume book, as it includes the long form of more than 70 cults. It is perhaps easier to say what the book does not have: The Invisible God of the West. This needs its own book, as my notes keep expanding. Additionally, the Invisible God needs to provide a materialist and humanist interpretation of the Gods and Goddess book - and serve as the Sorcery Book. So this one gets pushed into its own book. Godunya and the East. Same deal. Pamalt and the South. Same deal - I toyed around with including Pamalt in this book, even wrote up his cult. BUT I've concluded that it would make far more sense to include Pamalt and his version of the pantheon in a Pamaltela facing book. Minor gods of purely local importance, such as Pavis, Lanbril, Flintnail, other city gods, etc. These are better placed in their settings. Deities that can be better handled as masks or variant names of other deities, e.g., Elmal, Buserian, etc. So what is left? Well the book is more than 50% bigger than what was previewed at GenCon and has been pretty intensively revised. Here's the current list of cults that are definitely in it: Kyger Litor Annilla Argan Argar Gorakiki Xiola Umbar Zorak Zoran Magasta Choralinthor Dormal Engizi Oslira Ernalda Aldrya Asrelia Babeester Gor Caladra & Aurelion Donandar Eiritha Flamal The Grain Goddesses Hykim & Mikyh (includes Telmor and Basmol) Maran Gor Mostal Ty Kora Tek Uleria Yelm Dayzatar Dendara Gorgorma Lodril Lokarnos Lowfires Polaris Shargash Yelmalio Orlanth Chalana Arroy Eurmal Issaries Lhankor Mhy Daka Fal Foundchild Heler Humakt Mastakos Odayla Storm Bull Valind Waha Yinkin Seven Mothers Danfive Xaron Deezola Etyries Hon-eel Hwarin Dalthippa Irrippi Ontor Jakaleel Nysalor Red Goddess Yanafal Tarnils Primal Chaos Bagog Cacodemon Crimson Bat Krarsht Krjalk Mallia Pocharngo Thanatar Thed Vivamort I am still debating about whether to add Horned Man, Triolina, Subere, Wachaza, and Voria to the list. For me this has been comparable to writing the Guide - especially realising how these various groupings of gods overlap, intersect, and form a magical whole. Even in the West, South, and East, these are the deities that form the cosmic foundation (although often with different names and different stories).
  2. 18 points
    Coming by Christmas Eve - The Smoking Ruins and Other Tales - a collection of scenarios and background material set in the South Wilds of Dragon Pass. Available in PDF (with the print edition coming later). Includes: The South Wilds The Wild Temple The Smoking Ruin (a multi-session scenario by Chris Klug of James Bond 007 and Dragonquest fame) The Lost Valley and Urvantan's Tower (the triumphant return of Steve Perrin!) The Grove of Green Rock Over 190 pages of Gloranthan gold! Available by Christmas Eve!
  3. 18 points
  4. 17 points
    OCTOBER 10 is the first anniversary of the passing Chaosium founder Greg Stafford, the 'grand shaman of gaming'. As one of the greatest game designers of all time; winner of too many awards to count; and a friend, mentor, guide, and inspiration to generations of gamers, Greg Stafford influenced the universe of tabletop gaming beyond measure. To honor his legacy and with Greg's family's blessing, we encourage Chaosium fans and gamers in general to play a tabletop game from October 10 to October 31 in remembrance of Greg. On October 10 Chaosium will be releasing a set of new free adventures for all our major game systems (RuneQuest, Call of Cthulhu, King Arthur Pendragon, 7th Sea, HeroQuest) you can play. We'll release details about these scenarios in the coming weeks. Or play any of Greg's games, or a game he influenced (that scope is **wide**) Or play any game at all - as Greg said in his last public speech at the 2018 ENnies, the gaming industry only exists because of your enthusiasm and support. We at Chaosium recognise that countless RPG fans are fans (including us!) because of Greg Stafford and what he achieved. Feel free to share an image of your game on social media or at BRP Central, with the hashtag #WeAreAllUs. Show the "Greg Rune" (aka the Sartar Rune) in your post - copy and print the image here, or from Redbubble (all "Greg Rune" merchandise is currently available at cost, with no artist margin). What better way to honor his legacy than getting your friends together and playing a game in remembrance of him! We would like to again share the final words from the obituary by Greg Stafford's family: To honor Greg’s memory the family requests, in lieu of flowers, that you strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know, go somewhere you haven’t been, face a personal challenge head on, read about something new, and enjoy life. We are all us." #WeAreAllUs.
  5. 16 points
    12th February 2019 The Design Mechanism (TDM) is thrilled to announce that Ken St.Andre, one of the Founding Fathers of the Fantasy Roleplaying Game hobby, will be writing a Mythic Aztecs supplement for TDM’s popular and acclaimed Mythras roleplaying system. Ken is the legendary creator of Tunnels & Trolls, the second roleplaying game ever published, and is a pioneer of the hobby, bringing solo play at a time when roleplaying games were in their infancy. Among many gaming achievements, Ken also wrote the first ever Science Fiction RPG, Starfaring, and the superb Stormbringer game for Chaosium. In 2018, he was inducted into The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design Hall of Fame, and just this year, has published his latest game, Fours (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/265645/Fours-2d-Augmented-Printing?), which presents a simple, innovative game system described in just four pages. A prolific designer and writer, the Mesoamerican period is of great interest to Ken, and the Mythic Aztecs project is one that he has harboured for a long time. TDM Director Lawrence Whitaker has a special reason for welcoming Ken to the Mythras team: “Stormbringer was my favourite game for many years, and writing for it brought me into the professional side of the industry. As I’ve told Ken several times, this is all His Fault. It is, of course, an honour and privilege to have the Trollgodfather write a supplement for Mythras – and one that we know will be very popular with fans of mythic history and historical fantasy. We are looking forward to working closely with Ken on this exciting project.” Mythic Aztecs is planned to follow a similar style to TDM’s other critically acclaimed Mythics supplements: Mythic Britain, Mythic Rome, and Mythic Constantinople. Other planned releases for the Mythics range include Mythic Babylon and Mythic Polynesia. Mythic Aztecs is anticipated to be a 2020/21 release.
  6. 15 points
    Some notes on Heortland: Heortland This plateau occupies most of the eastern part of the land around the Mirrorsea Bay. There is a narrow coastal strip which quickly gives way to thousand foot high cliffs ending at the plateau. Five rivers have cut gorges from the plateau top to the sea and these fjords form the only access from shore to the upland farms. Only in the northern part, around the Marzeel River, does the land sink into Volsaxiland. Little remains of the once great woodlands that once covered most of this plateau in the First and Second Ages. East of the farmlands rise low wooded hills, then a steep, snow-covered mountain range called the Storm Mountains, inhabited by Wind Children and other beings of the Air. Most prominent among them is Stormwalk, where Storm Bull resides at times. The rugged nature of the land prevents easy passage between Heortland and Prax, which lies on the far side of the Storm Mountains. Short History When Belintar defeated the king of the Hendrikings in 1317, he broke that ancient tribe and bound its spirit to his service. As long as the God-King ruled, the Hendriking tribe did not exist. Instead, the God-King appointed a governor to rule the Heortland region. The clans loyal to the God-King were called the Vandari ("loyalists"); in the north of Heortland, the Volsaxi tribe of the lands between the Shadow Plateau and the Marzeel River (the heart of the old Hendriking tribal lands) refused to acknowledge the authority of the God-King. In the 15th century, as the southern third of Heortland came under the domination of Aeolings, that region became known as Esvular. In Vandarland, the threat of Chaos from the Footprint resulted in a peculiar institution. Bands of chariot-riding (and sometimes horse-riding) armoured warriors are supported by nobles who are in turn chosen from within certain families and approved by all free members of the community. As a result, central Heortland become known as Gardufar ("People of the Watch"). In Esvular (also called Bandori after the Aeoling tribe), the Aeolians are divided into three hereditary castes: free, noble, and wizard. These castes are hereditary and endogamous: the free and noble castes use Rune and spirit magic; the wizard caste uses sorcery. For nearly three hundred years, the God-King kept peace in Heortland, broken only by the occasional rebellion among the northern hill tribes and the rarer Chaotic eruptions from the Footprint. When the God-King disappeared in 1616 and did not return, the land quickly fell into disorder.In the north, an Orlanthi holy man proclaimed himself the High King and resurrected the long-dead Hendriking tribe. In Vandarland, a Western adventurer seized power with the support of his Esvular allies, calling himself the King of Malkonwal. In 1619, the Lunar Empire invaded Heortland, capturing Karse. The following year, they conquered Malkonwal, while the Hendrikings held out at Whitewall, defeating everything the Lunars threw at it, including the Crimson Bat. Whitewall finally fell in 1621, at a terrible cost, but the Lunar triumph was short-lived. In 1622, Broyan reappeared with a new army and raised the hill clans in rebellion. He defeated the Lunar army at the Battle of Auroch Hills. Scorpion Men erupted from the Footprint, forming the Queendom of Jab in Gardufar. After forcing the Scorpion Men back into the Footprint, in 1623 Broyan left for Nochet with a small army. The High King returned to Whitewall late the following year with a new army of adventurers, mercenaries, pirates, and devotees, preparing to invade Dragon Pass, but in 1625 the High King was assassinated by Lunar sorcery. Heortland is now in turmoil. Although much of Broyan's army has drifted away, the core of it is still there, dominating the local temples, claiming land and herds. Without Broyan, they have no single established leader. Some look to Kallyr, some to Harrek, others to Argrath, and still others think about making themselves kings or warlords in their own right. Meanwhile, Scorpion Men reemerge from the Footprint, raiding ever deeper into the former Vandarland and Bandori. Stereotype Bronze-armored clans of Orlanth-worshipers, herders famous for their quarrels and feuds. Men are emotional, often violently passionate, with swiftly shifting opinions and feelings. Women are cunning, practical and vengeful. The Vandari are mostly loyal to the God-King, while the Volsaxi are inveterate rebels. In comparison to the Vandari and Volsaxi, the Esvular are seen as comparatively prudent and less adventurous. They all hate Chaos. Common Attitudes Heortlanders are loyal to their clan above all, and are devoted to their gods. They are open to foreigners and foreign ideas, particular from Esrolia, whom they have much contact with through cult, trade, and marriage. Religion They worship the Lightbringer gods and Esrolian goddesses. Storm Bull is an important war god, and the bull god resides atop Stormwalk Mountain. The Invisible God is revered as the Creator by the Aeolians of Esvular. Climate Heortland is wetter than either Esrolia or the Shadow Plateau and is the only part of the Holy Country that regular gets snowfalls in winter. Durengard Temperature and Precipitation Season Temp (low/high) Rainfall (cm/days) Prevailing Winds Snow (cm) Sea-Early 6/22 15/20 Southwesterly — Sea-Late 11/23 15/18 Southwesterly — Fire-Early 16/26 8/8 Southwesterly — Fire-Late 22/32 5/6 Southwesterly — Earth-Early 13/26 2/3 Southwesterly — Earth-Late 9/19 3/4 Southwesterly — Dark-Early 2/13 6/6 Northerly — Dark-Late –4/6 12/11 Northerly 40 Storm-Early -3/7 15/18 Northerly 45 Storm-Late -2/13 7/18 Northerly 1 Sacred Time 3/22 6/9 Southwesterly — Total Precipitation: 94 cm rain, with 86 cm snow. REGIONS Esvular Culture/Religion: Esvularing/Aeolian Bandori: This Esvularing tribe has an ancient alliance with the sorcerers who rule the city of Refuge. The Lunar conquest of Heortland did not extend to the Bandori, who maintain a tenuous independence from the Empire. Duchamp (small city): This city, surrounded by fertile countryside, sits along the main road down from the Heortland Plateau. It is governed by a council of guilds and temples. Duchamp is the location of the Jelenkev School, famous for its copying of manuscripts from all over Glorantha. Mount Passant (large city):The largest settlement of the Esvularing people was built with the aid of Belintar after the old capital, Bensval, was razed. It has the largest Aeolian temple in the Holy Country. The actual name of the city is Demthal, but everyone calls it Mount Passant after the hill that stride forward to defend this area in the God Time. Vizel (small city): This city is squeezed between the Vizel Inlet and the high cliffs of the Heortland Plateau. The inhabitants are mostly Aeolian fishermen, who nonetheless offer sacrifices to Pelaskos and Choralinthor, and a surprising number of scholars and sages have been attracted to the city by its protection of Free Inquiry. Gardufar Culture/Religion: Heortling/Orlanthi Backford (small city):This fortified city is the safest crossing of the cursed Syphon River. Backford was the center of the God-King’s cult in Heortland, and was connected to the City of Wonders by a magical bridge. The magical Fish Road still stops here on its run from Deeper up the Syphon River. Durengard (large city): This was once the tribal center of the Hurlant tribe, and later the capital of the Sixth of Heortland. Located on the Bullflood River, Durengard is the main port for Heortland and its political center. The massive fortress-palace was built in the Nochet style by Belintar for the rulers of the Sixth of Heortland after the Volsaxi rebellion. Jab Hills: These wooded hills are currently infested with scorpion men from the Footprint. The Chaos Queen claims this area as part of her “Queendom of Jab”. Jansholm (large city): This fortified river island was the tribal center for the Jondalaring tribe and is now the capital of Karhend Province. The Lunar army took this city by treachery in 1620; it was reclaimed by rebels in 1622. Karse (small city):Karse is the most important port for offloading goods destined for Sartar, or through Sartar to Prax and Tarsh. The locals are expert boat makers. Temples to Diros, Pelaskos, Poverri, and Choralinthor stand near the harbor. Despite its strong fortifications, the city fell to the Lunars in 1619 after a dramatic assault by land and sea. Since the collapse of Lunar rule, the city now alternates between Esrolian and Wolf Pirate rule. Larnste’s Footprint: This large, unnatural, Chaos-tainted valley is surrounded by steep cliffs. The unnatural Syphon River flows up backwards into the Footprint. Larnste the Changer once saw the squirming thing Krarsht and sought to eliminate that Chaos evil from the world. When Larnste tried to step on the foulness, Krarsht sprang to bite the god. Where Larnste bled, there rose up a foul and evil forest, a perfect nesting place for all things chaotic. A forest made entirely of stone trees grows at the edge of the Foulblood Woods and halts the spread of the Chaos within. Leskos (small city): This seaside city lies at the mouth of a steep ravine leading up to the Heortland Plateau and is surrounded by thousand foot high cliffs. It is defended by an ancient fortification; most of the inhabitants are Esvularing. It serves as the port for Durengard and is ruled by a ring of local merchants. Lylket (ruin): These are the ruins of a port city founded by the God Learners near the mouth of the Marzeel River. It grew rich off trade between the Middle Sea Empire and Dragon Pass, and contained a major Lhankor Mhy Temple, famed for its troll lore. The city was destroyed when trolls entered in by secret tunnels known only to them. Malkonwal, Kingdom of: The southern half of the Heortland Plateau is divided by several fast-moving rivers that flow down from the snow-capped Storm Mountains. It is a hilly land of farms and woods. The farmers are mostly Orlanthi, but the southernmost area is Esvularing, as are most of the city folk. When the governor of Heortland died in 1617, the Western adventurer Rikard the Tiger-Hearted seized power in Gardufar and Esvular as the “King of Malkonwal”. However, he was defeated by the Lunar Empire in 1620. Stonewood: A forest made entirely of stone trees “grows” in the Footprint, halting the spread of Chaos from the Foulblood Woods. Everything here is made of living stone, even the animals (which move incredibly slowly). Sklar (small city): This city is squeezed between the mouth of the Solthi River and the cliffs of the Heortland Plateau. The people are fishermen and boatwrights, best known for their colorful houses. The city boasts shrines to Orlanth, Pelaskos, and Poverri. Storm Mountains:These formidable crags rise abruptly from the Heortland Plateau, separating it from Prax. Forests cover their upper slopes. Several clans of Wind Children live in aeries which cluster about the steep peaks and cliff faces of these mountains. Stormwalk Mountain:The largest peak of the Storm Mountains, Stormwalk is one of the Great Sacred Mountains of the Orlanthi. Urox the Storm Bull took a mountain god and twisted its head off, and the mountain is the body. It has a discernable spiral pathway rising around its sides, seven times around to reach the ice-covered top. Some say that the temple there can call winds which lead upward to the inner temple of Orlanth and beyond, to other celestial realms. Like many geographic features of the Holy Country it is colossal: some 10,000 feet in height. Herds of sky bulls can always be found nearby. Syphon River: This evil river flows backward from Choralinthor Bay some 80 miles uphill into Larnste’s Footprint, and then down a deep hole into the Underworld. The Syphon River has always flowed into this hole, for it alone of all the waters of the world refused the call of Magasta. Volsaxar Culture/Religion: Heortling/Orlanthi Tribes: Volsaxi, Kultain, Sylangi, Bacofi Derensev: This Great Library of Lhankor Mhy is located in the tribal lands of the Kultain, who are sworn to defend it. The sages are famed for their oratorical prowess. Hendrikiland:This rugged land between the Storm Mountains and the Shadow Plateau is the ancient homeland of the Hendriking tribe. Whitewall is its capital. It is populated largely by herders and their livestock of cattle and sheep. The Hendrikings were famed as fierce bandits and magicians, and that reputation continues with their Volsaxing heirs. Ancient tombs of kings and heroes litter the landscape. Marzeel River: This river flows 140 miles from its headwaters in the Storm Mountains to Choralinthor Bay. Its upper reaches are fierce and rushing, but the lower river is wide and slow near its mouth. The Marzeel used to join the Creek-Stream River before Belintar diverted that great river’s course. Sen Senrenen: This is the ancient homeland of the Hendrikings, a rugged land of hills and valleys populated by herders of sheep and cattle. The locals have a reputation as fierce bandits and powerful magicians. The tombs of ancient kings litter the landscape. Smithstone (small city): This city is wealthy from its abundant bronze and from its many redsmiths, considered the finest in the Holy Country. The Redsmith Guild dominates the city’s affairs. The city was built around the anvil stone of the smithing god Gustbran. Volsaxiland: This rich valley is home to a stubbornly proud people who harvest barley and raise dairy cattle. Bronze is very common here. The Volsaxi successfully rebelled against Belintar in 1340 and established an independent kingdom here that on occasion ruled most of Heortland. After over a century of rebellion, Belintar aided the Kitori to defeat the Volsaxi and they imposed a harsh tribute on the tribe. In 1550, Tarkalor of the Royal House of Sartar defeated the Kitori with his Yelmalio allies and forced the half-trolls back to the Troll Woods. In 1617, King Broyan of the Volsaxi magically resurrected the Hendriking kingdom and proved himself heir to the demigod Vingkot who once ruled all of Dragon Pass and Kethaela. Whitewall (small city):Capital city of the Volsaxi and ancient religious center for the Hendrikings. An impregnable fortress built atop solid rock, it is surrounded by high gleaming white stone walls some 50 feet high and 30 feet thick, and the city is well-provided with granaries and wells. Within the walls are temples to Orlanth and Ernalda, and their pantheon. A star god has defended the city since the Darkness.
  7. 14 points
    Since the last list was posted I've added a dozen or so cults, including Ygg, Voria, Yelorna, Horned Man, Barntar, and others.
  8. 13 points
    Put this in my Argan Argar thread, but figured it might be worth its own entry. SUNGLASSES Argan Argar Forge Lords know secret techniques for creating darkened lenses called Sunglasses, aka Shades aka Cheaters. These are precious items usually reserved for Rune Levels of Argan Argar or important dignitaries. Wearing Sunglasses gives the wearer a +5% to his Bargaining, Fast Talk, Cool, Shady and similar skills. Sunglasses also negate any Spot penalty from glare and make the wearer immune to automatic Demoralize effects from sunlight, but halves the wearer Spot and Search if worn in the dark (NOTE: Darksense is not penalized, sunglasses may be pushed up onto the wearer's forehead as part of the Spot or Search action to avoid penalty). Since they are made from enchanted Obsidian, they cost 1 POW to attune, detect as magical, and are suitable binding objects for Allied Spirits. A pair of Black Sunglasses runs about 1000 guilders* or 100,000 bolgs. Forge Lords manufacturing Black Shades include Rehbahn the Wayfarer, Sir Pierce-Soul, and Oakfed Lee. Recently Rehbahn the Wayfarer perfected a technique for making Rose-colored Sunglasses, originally for members of the Red Earth Alliance. After receiving a pair as a gift, Moonson himself frequently wears them, making them all the rage with the Lunar nobility and a very profitable export. Rose-Colored Glasses can cost up to 2000 Lunars. The latest innovation in Sunglasses are highly reflective, silvered lenses called Mirrorshades. They’re made by a Forge Lord named Reava’ and range in price from 1000 to 2000 Lunars. They’re popular with the supporters of the Old Earth Alliance in Esrolia. Dara Happans, Yelmics, and Yelmalians despise Sunglasses of any kind. *This is the cost of one encumbrance of crafted rune metal, including iron, in my Glorantha. YGMV. Adjust as appropriate.
  9. 13 points
    Please remember that additional cult related books are bound to come out after this initial big burst of cults. If you want every possible cult in a single initial "Gods of Glorantha" offering you would have to wait many years for that. It's far better to get LOTS of cults sooner, rather than ALL the cults much later.
  10. 12 points
    In our last Glorantha Campaign, the River Voices investigated the Gorp Spring on the Zola Fel. They worked out that the Gorps were coming from deep underground and wanted to find out where. One of the PCs had a magical eye that could see through things, so she used that, with some other magic, and scored a critical roll, so she saw the Eye of Wakboth glaring at her and weeping, the tears becoming Gorp and rising through the cracks in the ground. She managed to roll a stupidly low POW roll and didn't go insane, receiving a Heroic Power of See Into the Void as a reward. They didn't like the idea of Gorp squeezing through gaps in the rocks and stones, as they reasoned that the Gorp as Gorp are acidic and would make the gaps wider and wider until the Eye of Wakboth could be revealed to the world, something they weren't too keen on. So, they decided to travel down to it. They had a Lead Barge that could magically travel through even the tiniest places, as long as it was floating on water, so they used their River Voices powers to raise a flood and send it through the cracks. There followed a terrifying descent through the cracks in the earth to Wakboth's Pool, where the Eye floated in a pool of its own tears. I can't remember how they defeated Wakboth's Eye, but they managed to blind it and return to the surface. Of course, this was a HeroQuest.
  11. 12 points
    More malignant MALLEUS MONSTRORUM work-in-progress by the amazing Loïc Muzy...Chakota, Cold One, Crawling Ones, Thrall of Cthulhu
  12. 12 points
    Somehow I knew this thread was going to turn into another Many Suns discussion. "Thread: Is rye bread common in Sartar" 15 pages later: "Yeah, but what about the Hill of Gold and Sunspear though? HUH? CHECKMATE ATHEISTS."
  13. 11 points
    Comparing the output for any roleplaying game against the output for D&D is always going to come out the same way. D&D in all its editions has wildly outsold all its competitors. It's pretty much had an 80-90% market share for all or most of its lifetime. TSR became a very large company compared to any other RPG company. By larger, I mean larger by a factor of 10. A few things on product output: Chaosium produced 23 RQ products between 1978 and 1983, of which 21 were Gloranthan. (The wargames WB&RM and Nomad Gods not included) Avalon Hill produced 29 RQ products between 1984 and 1995, of which 23 were Gloranthan (6 of the RQ products were mostly reprinted/updated material) Mongoose produced 63 RQ products between 2006 and 2011, of which about 30 were Gloranthan. (I excluded French language titles) The Design Mechanism published a lot of great RQ material, did not publish any Gloranthan material for RuneQuest Since 2016 Chaosium has resumed publishing RQ and has published 6 RQ products for Glorantha. (I include the Sea Cave and the Glorantha Sourcebook) You can slice and dice and categorize those products slightly differently, but that's what was produced. Of course, the NUMBER of products is less telling than the page count produced. I have that tallied somewhere, but that seems a bit overkill for this conversation. In the end, we are trying to produce quality Gloranthan material for RQ on a regular basis, with the goal of getting to at least 6 RQ products per year. I believe 2020 will see a number of great RQ products come out.
  14. 11 points
    Thanks everyone for the suggestions, ideas, and so forth. In the end, here's what I came up with as a long-form write-up for use in my campaign. It probably still requires a lot of tweaking, particularly the powers table, so worth treating very much as a "Work-in-Progress." RQG PLUNDER – TRUE DRAGON'S BLOOD Description: The blood of a True Dragon has two different states: molten and solidified. Each state has its own set of powers. When shed the blood appears in substance to be like a thick liquid, glowing and radiating heat—similar to the pouring of smelted bronze. Despite this intense heat, spilt True Dragon's blood lights no fires. Rather, it causes the world around to become mutable, melting as if made of candle wax. No substance save truestone resists this entirely, although older things endure it better than younger. The more fixed into its shape a thing is, the better it will endure a True Dragon's essence. Deprived of the irreality—or perhaps hyperreality—of the True Dragon, the shed blood slowly cools over the course of a season. The process can be accelerated by mundane methods of dousing heat. Once the True Dragon's life leaves it, the hardened blood is smooth and glassy, typically affixed to another substance. It is brittle like obsidian, but of many iridescent colors rather than black. Often, extant pieces have been cut and shaped into jewelry by those who don't know their true value. Cults: Associated – Dragonewts; Friendly – Kralorelan mystics; Knowledge: Cult Secret; Few; History: The blood of a True Dragon is rare. While many of the gods fought against and alongside dragons in the God Time, it is more difficult to find their blood in the Middle World than to find the blood of gods. Further, the cooled substance is often mistaken for colored glass or an unusual rock, rather than the rarity it is (though it does detect as magic to appropriate spells). The substance's fragility (when compared with magic crystals) further adds to its scarcity. The largest known piece of True Dragon's blood was about the size of a big man's head, and shimmered ivory and aquamarine in daylight. It was kept in the treasury of Orlanth's temple in Whitewall, and said to be the blood of Aroka. This treasure disappeared after the city's fall in 1621. Procedure: Make a True Dragon bleed, or more realistically find a chunk of the cooled blood from some forgotten age. It may be possible to bring back molten True Dragon's blood from an appropriate God Plane heroquest (like Orlanth Slays Aroka) as a boon. Powers: Like a magic crystal, a True Dragon's blood has a variety of potential effects. The POW of the blood varies, depending on the size of the sample. Using the blood typically requires attunement, which is done in the same fashion as for magic crystals. It can also be used for alchemical purposes, as described following. An adventurer can only be attuned to one piece of True Dragon's blood at a time, and cannot be attuned to both True Dragon's blood and a typical magic crystal. Dragons are anathema to the gods and elements, creatures which see the Glorantha for the illusion it truly is. They are dispassionate and unattached to the Middle World. Any adventurer who attunes to a True Dragon's blood is consequently affected by this alien mindset. In addition to other consequences described below, any adventurer attuned to True Dragon's blood has a constant penalty to their Passions equal to the attuned piece's POWx5%. This penalty lasts for a full day after attunement ends. Table: Size and POW of True Dragon's Blood: Size: POW roll: Average POW: ENC: Tiny (the size of a coin) D6 3-4 0 Small (the size of one's palm) 2D6 7 (2) Large (the size of one's fist) 4D6 14 1 Enormous (Anything larger) 6D6+ 21+ 3+ Whether or not the adventurer succeeds at attuning the piece of True Dragon's blood, they lose 1D10% from their highest Elemental Rune as a result of magically tampering with draconic powers. While they remain attuned, their Elemental Runes cannot rise higher than 100 minus the blood's POW; if a Rune is already above, it remains locked at that value. In attuning hardened True Dragon's blood, an adventurer is borrowing a fragment of draconic power for him- or herself. Typically, this takes the form of providing the adventurer with a draconic effect. To randomly determine a fragment's ability, roll D100 and consult the table below depending on the piece's POW. Ability descriptions are following. This should not be treated as an exhaustive list of the powers of True Dragon's blood, but rather a collection of “most typical” abilities. Table: True Dragon's Blood Powers: Ability: // POW: 1-5: 6-10: 11-15: 16-20: 21-25: 26-30: Molten: Draconic Passion 01-20 01-15 01-10 01-05 01 ---- ---- Understand Auld Wyrmish 21-50 16-35 11-20 06-20 ---- 01-30 ---- Dragon Claw 51-65 36-45 21-30 21-30 02-15 ---- 01-05 Growth 66-75 46-55 31-40 31-35 ---- 31-35 ---- Shimmering Hide 76-80 56-65 41-50 36-40 ---- ---- 06-15 Draconic Blood 81-85 66-70 51-55 41-50 16-30 36-40 16-30 Rough Scales 86-90 71-80 56-65 51-55 ---- ---- 31-35 Dragonewt Roads 91-98 81-90 66-80 56-60 31-40 41-45 ---- Dragon Armor 99-00 91-97 81-85 61-65 41-50 46-60 36-40 Firebreath ---- 98 86-95 66-70 51-70 61-70 ---- Soul-blast ---- 99 96-99 71-80 71-85 71-80 41-55 Sprout Wings ---- ---- ---- 81-95 86-90 81-85 56-60 Call Dream Dragon ---- ---- ---- 96-99 91-98 86-95 61-70 Draconic Consciousness ---- ---- ---- ---- 99 96-99 71-00 Roll Twice ---- 00 00 00 00 00 ---- For pieces of True Dragon's blood which exceed 30 POW, roll once for a POW 30 portion, and then a second time for the remaining POW. The piece has all rolled abilities. Always re-roll duplicated abilities, whether for extremely high-POW pieces or for results of Roll Twice. Attuning a portion of still-molten True Dragon's blood is somewhat more complex. In attuning to this substance, the adventurer changes the substance of their being, becoming a little draconic. First, add an additional D6 to the rolled POW based on the portion's size. Then, have the adventurer roll to attune to the molten blood. If they overcome the blood's POW, they feel a strong compulsion to sacrifice POW equal to the blood's POW, which will bond the adventurer to it. In any case, the blood rapidly cools into a hardened state. If the adventurer sacrificed their POW to it, the piece's appearance is different to normal cooled True Dragon's blood; it shimmers and glitters, slowly changing colors; life is preserved within it. If the adventurer did not sacrifice, determine the piece's ability as usual for it's POW. For attuned pieces of molten True Dragon's blood, roll both on the appropriate POW column in the Powers table, and then again on the Molten column. Re-roll any duplicates; the piece has all rolled powers. The adventurer also permanently gains Draconic Passion. While they are attuned to the piece of blood, they gain access to all of its abilities. Any other person who attunes the piece will not gain access to the Molten ability. In addition, so long as the adventurer does not unattune the piece, it will act as a POW Yielding crystal, storing MP up to its own POW and generating that amount as if a living creature. If the adventurer ever unattunes the piece (whether by choice or involuntarily through death, etc) the piece “dies”. Reattuning can give the adventurer renewed access to the Molten ability, but the piece won't continue to yield MP. True Dragon's Blood Powers: Call Dream Dragon: The adventurer spends fifteen minutes focusing on the blood, and must succeed on a Meditate skill roll. If they do, a dream dragon is called from the surrounding area within the next hour, similar to the dragonewt effect. This does not, however, give the adventurer the supernatural ability to command the dragon. Call Dream Dragon does not cost magic points. Draconic Blood: While attuned to this piece of True Dragon's blood, the adventurer adds its POW to their own when resisting spells. However, they automatically resist all spells—including spells the adventurer casts on him- or herself. Additionally, the adventurer's blood changes color, typically to purple or green. Draconic Consciousness: In the process of attempting to attune the blood, the adventurer's mind is forcibly opened to the infinity which is OUROBOROS. The adventurer must succeed at a POWx1% roll, or else become insane. Roll on the Insanity table for the Madness Rune spell (RQG p.334) to determine the exact effects. If they succeed and manage to attune the blood, the adventurer has survived some form of Illumination. The exact effects are best determined by the GM of each individual campaign. Some examples might include: Losing 1D6% from the Beast and Man Runes, and gaining the Dragonewt Rune at the lost percentage. If the adventurer's Dragonewt Rune becomes dominant among the three (all adding to 100%), they transform into a beaked dragonewt. Gain the Charismatic Wisdom skill from RQ3 Gods of Glorantha and the ability to sacrifice POW for points in the Path of Immanent Wisdom's draconic magic. Realize Glorantha is but the dream of cosmic Ouroboros, and learn to sacrifice POW to shape it, per the magic of the cult of Godunya in RQ3 Gods of Glorantha. In any case, this effect is permanent. The adventurer may attempt other attunements as usual and behave as expected for their culture, but they know that the nature of reality is otherwise. The draconic attunement penalty to their Elemental Runes and Passions remains permanent, even while they are not attuned to a piece of True Dragon's blood. Draconic Passion: The adventurer gains a draconic Passion at the blood's POWx10%, feeling a proportionally strong compulsion to behave that way. These might include pervasive attitudes like Suspicion, Optimism, or Laziness. Consult the dragonewt entries in the Glorantha Bestiary p.39-41 for ideas. This passion remains so long as they are attuned, and for 24 hours afterward. It can increase and decrease as usual. If the Passion decreases to zero while the adventurer is still attuned, they immediately gain one POW and a new draconic Passion—usually one in some way opposed to the previous. The penalty to an adventurer's Passions while attuned to True Dragon's blood does not apply to this special Passion. Subject to GM's discretion, the adventurer could spend time researching this Passion as though it were a skill to reduce it, instead of increasing it. This process would involve meditation and focusing on the adventurer's emotions, with the goal of developing self-control and the ability to focus on Right Action. Dragon Armor: Invoking this ability costs the adventurer 1D10% from one of their Elemental Runes. Their skin changes slightly, being covered in shimmering, nearly-transparent scales. While this effect is active, damage is absorbed at a cost of magic points, at a rate of 1MP per point of damage. This happens after reduction from armor, protective spells, etc, and even mitigates damage from critical hits. The most damage this ability can absorb from a single blow is the piece of blood's POW. The magic points can be pulled from any source. Dragon Armor ends when the adventurer dismisses it, deattunes from the blood, or if they take a blow and do not have enough magic points to absorb it. All MP will be spent reducing the damage as far as possible, and then the effect ends. Dragon Claw: This ability can be invoked at the cost of 1D10% from one of the adventurer's Elemental Runes. It transforms their left hand into a dragon's claw, which has base damage of 2D6 + Damage Bonus, and a base skill of DEXx5% when used in combat. A successful parry blocks as if it had AP equal to the blood's POW. It can hold weapons and shields made by dragonewts, but handles other objects clumsily, reducing the adventurer's skill to half. Dragon Claw lasts until dismissed. It ends immediately if the adventurer unattunes. Dragonewt Roads: The adventurer can detect the nearest dragonewt road by concentrating on the piece of blood for a minute. It doesn't tell them the distance. They can enter a dragonewt road at suitable locations and travel it, bringing along a number of companions equal to the piece's POW. Entering the dragonewt road requires a successful POWx5 roll, and costs each traveler 1MP per hour on the road. Each hour on the road covers the distance of a day's travel by mundane means. Firebreath: Activating this ability costs the adventurer 1D10% from their highest Elemental Rune. They immediately spit a glob of fire at a target within the blood's POW in meters. This deals damage to each hit location of the target equal to the percentiles lost from the adventurer's Rune. Armor and magic protect as usual. Growth: Acting like a spell matrix this ability can be activated on POWx5 and costs MP, up to a maximum of the piece's POW. Each MP spent on Growth increases the adventurer's SIZ by one, and changes their HP, Damage Bonus, category modifiers, and so on accordingly. Growth lasts for minutes equal to the blood's POW. Rough Scales: This ability is activated on the adventurer's POWx5. It gives changes the adventurer's skin, making it rough and scaly. This provides one AP per MP spent on the effect, up to a max of the piece's POW. It lasts for minutes equal to the blood's POW. Shimmering Hide: This ability causes the adventurer to take on a mirage-like appearance. It is activated on POWx5. Each MP spent on this ability reduces chances to hit the adventurer by 5%, and adds 5% to the adventurer's Stealth skills, to a max of the piece's POW. Shimmering Hide lasts for minutes equal to the piece's POW. Soul-blast: Using this ability costs 4 MP, and requires a successful POWx5 to activate. If the adventurer overcomes the target's POW with their own, the target loses 2D6 MP. Soul-blast has a range equal to the blood's POW. Sprout Wings: Invoking this ability costs the adventurer 1D10% from one of their Elemental Runes. They sprout wings, which last until the effect is dismissed. The adventurer can use them with a Fly skill of DEXx5 and a MOV equal to the average of STR and the blood's POW. If the adventurer attempts to use this ability while wearing solid armor, they immediately take 1D6 damage to the chest and the ability fails. Understand Auld Wyrmish: The adventurer understands Auld Wyrmish at the blood's POWx5%. This does not give them the ability to speak it (although it certainly should accelerate the process if they can find a native speaker willing to teach). This does not let the adventurer learn to speak the language above 25% per RQG Core p.174-175. Alchemical Properties of True Dragon's Blood: Ground-up, hardened True Dragon's blood can be used in potions which restore magical essence. Due to the scarcity of this material, no cult teaches the recipe; an alchemist must discover it for him- or herself either through experimentation or by the Library Use skill in a library which might have the relevant documents. Properly prepared, a Tiny portion of True Dragon's blood can make one potion, which restores a D6 Magic Points per point of the piece's POW. This restoration happens at the end of the melee round the potion is drunk. The drinker takes a penalty to their Passions equal to the MP restored for the next 24 hours; this penalty is cumulative if multiple potions are drunk. Larger chunks of True Dragon's blood can be broken down into the powder needed for potions, making potential doses as noted on the table following. Each time a Tiny portion is broken off, roll that portion's POW, and reduce the larger chunk's POW by a full six (there is always some magic lost in the processing). Further, roll the initial piece's POWx5; only on a failure does the smaller fragment retain its magical potency. Table: Blood to Doses Conversion: Piece Size: Doses Possible: Small D3 Large D6 Enormous D10 Some adventurers may attempt to imbibe molten True Dragon's blood or bathe in it, and so on. This is generally suicidal. Making the attempt requires at least a full melee round. Coming into direct contact deals 1D6 to the relevant location. If the adventurer continues their foolhardy attempt, they must resist the blood's POW with their own, or take that POW in general Hit Point damage as it melts their very existence into a waxy puddle. Should the adventurer survive, that is their reward. Value: Molten True Dragon's blood is functionally priceless, if it could be transported or preserved in that state. Hardened blood's value varies depending on what power the piece bestows. At the very least, it should have a value of POWx100 Lunars, if the adventurers could possibly find someone with both the coin and the inclination to purchase.
  15. 10 points
    We're making the RuneQuest Glorantha Bestiary 'Pay-What-You-Want' on DriveThruRPG for the next seven days (regular price is USD$19.99). If you download it, instead of paying us, we encourage you to make a donation to the Australian fire-fighting and recovery effort. We at Chaosium think Gloranthan beasts are special; however Australian animals are unique and precious - and real. But it is estimated up to half a billion of them have perished so far in the devasting wildfires still raging across the continent. That number is expected to rise dramatically, as vast swathes of habitat have been consumed by flame. Some places where you can donate: WIRES is a wildlife rescue nonprofit rescuing and caring for thousands of sick, injured and orphaned Australian native animals. World Wildlife Fund Australia is directing its efforts towards koala conservation. Thousands have perished so far. The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital is raising funds to distribute automatic drinking stations in the burnt areas to help in koala and wildlife survival, and sharing the funds with other wildlife organisations in the fire affected regions. Other places to support: Australian Red Cross, New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Country Fire Authority Victoria.
  16. 10 points
    I was originally pushing for the tent to be fully illustrated and I even did a test, including this very event. (it ended up being too much work, so we focused on finishing the actual scene art instead.)
  17. 9 points
    I'm very late to this party--been offline for a couple of days--and I really love this whole thread. It seems to me that there are a couple of inter-related issues going on with Glorantha in terms of gender. 1) A majority of those who have played in Glorantha are male because the gaming community skews male (although I think that imbalance is slowly evening out). Male gamers have tended to focus on violent conflict as the interesting story to tell. So the published scenarios have often focused on violent conflict as the obvious solution. Ernalda's 'Other Way' to resolve problems has often been an after-thought in scenarios, where it was considered at all. The number of published quests that are essentially non-violent is much lower than the number of quests that culminate in some sort of violence. For example, the three major non-violent cults of the Storm Tribe (Lhankor Mhy, Chalana Arroy, and Issaries) have one published quest each, whereas the violent cults have at least 7 that I can think of off the top of my head--Orlanth has at least 4 (more than all the earth cults combined). 2) Fantasy literature (particularly male-centric stories) have compounded this tendency (although again, this has improved as fantasy has matured as a genre). When the average gamer thinks of fantasy stories, they probably picture orc-killing and the like. Women are usually positioned as healers and earth priestesses who need rescuing more than they rescue everyone else. Women are situated as 'home', which men leave and return to, defend, and procreate with, and the assumption that what women do at home when men aren't around is the boring stuff like cooking. So we have a lot of models for how to make male-centric activity (violence, mostly) interesting and few models for how to make women-centric activity interesting. RQ's elaborate rules focus on combat and hand-waving focus on things like cooking (the former is a long, drawn-out process with many steps, whereas the latter is a single roll) nudges us in this direction much more than HQ's system, which resolves all forms of challenging activity the same way (a Cooking challenge could as easily be an Extended Contest as a fight with a band of Broo might be). 3) The majority of people who created Glorantha (in terms of published material) have been men, and consequently their notion of what a truly gender-egalitarian society/religion looks like has been filtered through male assumptions about such things. That's not meant as a slight to Greg or MOB or Jeff Richards or anyone else--just as an observation. For example, Sartar becomes King of Dragon Pass by pleasing the FHQ and 'marrying the earth'. This nominally situates the feminine principle as superior--the Earth Queen chooses her king. But it's still the male Sartar who's doing all the cool stuff and the FHQ is just choosing from a slate of potential candidates, not going out and making herself the ruler of the Kingdom of Sartar. The whole ruling line of Sartar is men. Kallyr is an impressive female candidate for Prince of Sartar (apparently the first one), but her story is ultimately one of valiant failure, followed by the male Argrath succeeding. A truly gender-egalitarian society would have produced at least one Princess of Sartar in 150+ years. The 'active' earth goddesses--the ones who go out and get things done instead of finding men to do it for them--are both depicted as semi-monstrous figures. The Babeester Gor write-up in Sartar Companion positions her worshippers as nearly psychotic anger-ridden ball-busters (the classic trope of the Angry Woman in fantasy literature) and both she and Maran Gor engage in cannibalism (IIRC, MGs cannibalize their own children, another classic misogynist trope). It was left to Jane Wiliams to find a way to present a female warrior goddess who was actually a fully-playable and non-stereotypical idea of what a warrior woman might be. (Again, this isn't meant as a slam to any of the men who mapped out Glorantha. It's more a testament to the difficulties men have in viewing the world the way women view it.) 4) The decision to frame Sartarite women's religion as 'secrets' is problematic--it's discouraged the publication of myths/quest from the women's PoV. For example, the Making of the Storm Tribe myth is written so that it's clear that Ernalda was doing things behind the scenes, but we've never gotten a myth about how Ernalda Forms the Storm Tribe (although it seems that we've gotten a few peaks at it in Six Ages). If women are 50% of the population, their myths and quests aren't 'secrets'--they're just gender-specific knowledge, like how to weave. None of this is to say that we need to tear Glorantha down to the studs and make it gender-blind. One of the things I love about it is how deeply gendered the universe, because it's such a breath of fresh air from the Generic Fantasy Europe that most other fantasy RPGs are descended from. I love that instead of saying 'women can act like men', it's trying to create a game world in which men and women generally act differently. You can see a lot of this in the scenario that gave us the Humakt, Raven, and Wolf myth (off the top of my head, I'm forgetting the name of the scenario and don't want to bother to look it up). The magic spindle that the women need to perform a key clan ritual has been stolen. The solution is to do a violence-focused quest to get the ability to locate and kill the baddies that took it. If all goes well, the spindle is returned to the women, who then walk off-stage to perform the clan ritual that is supposedly the most important thing in the scenario. So the Spindle and the Mahomravrand ritual are actually MacGuffins--the thing the characters care about that the audience doesn't care about--and the quest and violence, which are nominally just the agents through which the ritual is saved, are actually the interesting bit of the scenario. There is no option for the women questing to get a new spindle. There is no option for Babeester Gor to go and get it violently (using her ability to track those who have offended the earth). There's no sequence in which the women actually perform the ritual, perhaps struggling to bring the clan back into full harmony. My point here isn't to beat up the author of that scenario for not writing a different one--it's a good scenario and I've run it three times. My point is that the way we conceptualize a lot of what happens in scenarios (therefore shaping our sense of what happens in Glorantha) generally defaults to male-centric patterns. If we want a more gender-balanced Sartar (and a Sartar that is therefore a bit more friendly to female players in general), we have to swim upstream against strong currents.
  18. 9 points
    I got the players to create their own clan, moved the borders and wedged it into an existing tribe. They even added their own geography, effectively it was a blank. The Sangor / Stormblood clan then established their place in the world through the game.
  19. 9 points
    Here two of them are. This also illustrates a problem: started drawing again six months ago after a gap of several decades... Latest, and one three months ago.
  20. 9 points
    Arthritis still a pain (feel like one of the undead for much of the day, having upped the painkillers) but still working... Progress so far, from rough to latest (not yet finished). Need to finish the shading and then join up with the unicorn. Realised that as unicorns are smaller than horses, her other foot might show, so prepared for this.
  21. 9 points
    Jon Hodgson's award-winning work will already be familiar to Glorantha fans, and we're now delighted to have him working with us on art direction for the new RuneQuest! https://handiwork.games/runequest-art-direction.html
  22. 8 points
    Beginning around 1992, Greg's focus was really on the First Age, not the Third Age. So he was interested in the Orlanthi under the First and Second Councils, the early Dara Happans and Pelorians, etc. He also played around with how many polytheistic religions give a separate name for each local cult of the god, hence the explosion of subcults. Interesting stuff, but it ultimately masked more than it revealed and also resulted in us missing the forest for the trees. Also Greg wasn't gaming much in Glorantha, which was a big problem (Glorantha for Greg was fundamentally a setting for games and not for academic discussion of mythology). I think we realised it hit rock bottom with the Lunar cults book and started to pull back from that with Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes. But we quickly realised we should have pulled back more - and thus HQG really moved away from that. We both concluded RQ2 - Cults of Prax - had struck a magical balance between how religions operate for practitioners and how to use mythology and cult in a gaming setting. Elmal was a big flashpoint on this, although Greg was always quick to point out that he never wrote up an Elmal cult and he assumed in the Hero Wars it was Yelmalio, not Elmal who was engaged. Elmal was discovered in order to understand who the Orlanthi understood as the main solar deity BEFORE they encountered the solar worshipers of Peloria. By the late First Age, Elmal the Sun had already given way to Yelm the Sun, and Elmal was left with his Lightfore horse. The Orlanthi Elmal syncretised with the Elf Yelmalio cult, Kargzant and Antirius - plus the revelations of the Broken Council to form what later became Yelmalio. By the end of the First Age, that had already pretty much played out. But in order to get to the Broken Council, Greg first needed to understand what was there before. How these cultures looked at their deities early after the Dawn, before the great communication between Dara Happa and the Orlanthi, before the Orlanthi picked up bits from the trolls, the elves, the dwarfs, and the dragonewts. RQG is not set in the First Age. It is set more than 1200 years later. These cults changed with Time even if the gods did not. Harmast changed how people understood the Lightbringers, Alakoring changed how Orlanth was viewed among the gods, just as he changed how kings are viewed among priests. The God Learners revealed commonalities previously unknown and all educated people adopted the interpretatio god learner to some extent. And RQG reflects how things are in 1625, not in 1350, and definitely not in 350. It presents information so you and your players can game in the Gloranthan setting with vibrant cults.
  23. 8 points
    Ever so close. Ever so close. Likely a day or two away.
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  25. 8 points
    New for Pulp Cthulhu! A COLD FIRE WITHIN: A Mind-Bending Campaign by Christopher Smith Adair. Available now in PDF. Purchase direct from Chaosium.com and you get the full price of the PDF off the physical book when it is released later this year. https://www.chaosium.com/a-cold-fire-within-pdf Also available from DriveThruRPG: http://bit.ly/2EF1xqi
  26. 8 points
    For a while, I've been wanting a version of the Marriage Contest between Heler and Elmal. It's an important myth, especially if you're playing with the Red Cows, since they and the Dolutha are naturally reproducing that conflict. But I want a version that is quest able from all three sides of the story, both because I think we need more quests for goddesses and because I don't like the 'passive earth goddess' thing that can creep into Storm Tribe myths. So I've written three versions of the myth, one from each of the three sides. I'm looking for feedback, especially ways to give them a bit more of the strange myth-logic a good Gloranthan myth needs. The Esrola version owes a debt to Edan Woods, who offered a version of it on the Google+ group a while ago. I've revised it but a good chunk of his structure and wording remains. Thanks, Edan! So here's the Esrola version. This side of the myth focuses on Esrola's journey to learn what she needs to know to solve her problem. Esrola’s Search (with thanks to Edan Jones) Long ago, in the Time before Time, in the time before Death, in the time before Orlanth had come, even before the time when the Bright Emperor ruled everything, there was the Earth, and it was great and fertile. Esrola the Bounteous covered the ground with Life, providing for all so that no one was ever hungry and nothing was ever wanting. But one day, things changed. Esrola’s fields were turning empty and Lifeless. Life became hard for everyone, and there was too much wanting and not enough of anything good. The radiant goddess did not understand, for she was young and beautiful and had never seen such a thing happen. So she set out for her mother’s hall, Great Ezel, because her mother Asrelia knew many things that she did not. There she asked her mother what she might do to fix this problem. The wisdom-goddess gazed deeply at her daughter, and wept. Her daughter was Life itself, and so could not see the dark things that were coming. Asrelia knew that Esrola could not solve this problem until she could see it clearly. "Life is all important, but it is not enough," she instructed, and told Esrola that she would need to learn to see what threatened the land. The Life-bringing goddess must learn for herself what the problem was, because until she knew the problem, she could not knew the solution. Esrola listened to her mother’s wisdom, and so she walked down into the earth, seeking to understand what could possibly threaten Life. She found the Labyrinth of Caves, where dark and terrible things lurked. She saw the Gnawer of Roots, which seeks to destroy from underneath. It sought to undermine her, but she showed it that her roots ran far deeper than it could ever understand. She saw the Pestilent Cold, which wraps itself around its foe like a blanket and drains it of warmth. It tried to smother her, but it could not chill her and fled from her instead. She saw the Withering Rot, which dries out that which lives and scorches it. It attempted to burn her vitality away, but her Life was inexhaustible and it could not overcome her. But then she saw the thing that was beyond her, the thing that had been placed deep underneath to keep it away from the living, the thing that was what Life was not and could not be. And at last she understood. She saw clearly and learned how to see the things that could threaten her. And from that, she understood that she needed someone to combat these things for her. Having walked the deep places of the earth, she returned to the world above and prepared herself. She put her golden hair into the Maiden Braids, with a jeweled comb to hold it in place, and put on her dress of Life. She put the Necklace of Desire about her throat and walked the land. When she did so, the entire world stopped to watch. A thousand gods offered themselves to the radiant goddess as her husband and protector, but only two of them were worthy to help her in this matter, the clouds who had turned to follow in the goddess' path, and the sun who had descended to offer his warmth to her. Both gods were worthy, but they were too opposed to each other. The sun sought to dry up the clouds, and the clouds sought to cover up the sun. Esrola thought that she would need to choose one of them to protect her, and so it was necessary to test them. The Life-goddess led Heler and Elmal to her fields, and showed them how they had lain fallow. She asked each god to provide and protect, to show her who was most worthy. Heler went to the fields and offered himself to them. He rained down on the withered crops, nourishing them and covering the field with his wool. He gifted Esrola with a mighty herd of sheep, and his son Voriof to herd them. Elmal went to the fields, and offered himself to them. He shone down upon the frozen crops, warming them and ripening them with his light. He gifted Esrola with many hives of bees, and his son Minlister to protect them. The Life-goddess was happy that each had given provision and protection, but each was as worthy and as loyal as the other, and she was unsure which she should choose. Plagued by her problem, she sought out her mother once again. The crone of secrets laughed at her daughter's complaint. "It is no problem at all to have many worthy protectors. Although the men will insist you must choose one of them, in truth there is always another way. You do not need to pick between them. Instead, each one may serve you in turn, as the sun follows the rain, as your needs declare." Esrola thanked the wisdom-goddess for her insight. She returned to her suitors, and told them of her decision. At first they were angry, and jealous; but the radiant goddess simply smiled, and showed them to her fields, letting them understand that she was the source of Life, and they were merely her protectors. Convinced by this, each god settled down, and loved Esrola in turn, glad for the opportunity to serve and love Life.
  27. 8 points
    KoDP was heavily over-reliant on Anglo-Saxon England and Iron Age Scandinavia art references. I don't see the Heortlings like that at all - their cultural orientation and origin is the Holy Country, not Northern Europe. Think Thrace not Iceland. That doesn't mean you won't see wattle-and-daub used but it is more likely to look like: There is a much broader architectural world to draw on than just northern Europe.
  28. 7 points
    When Players ask about Days and Years, I just explain that a Day is a Day is a Day, a Week is a Week is a Week, a Season is a Season is a Season and a Year is a Year is a Year. Really, that's as far as I go with this sort of thing. I have known people to say "Well, a 16 year-old Gloranthan is under 13 years old in real life", normally when it comes to marriage etc. my answer is just that a 16 year old Gloranthan is 16 years old and looks, acts and behaves like a 16 year old here, except is Gloranthan.
  29. 7 points
    Escalation, the 13th Age fanzine, has a new special issue dedicated to 13th Age Glorantha. It features a scenario for 13G, "Under Pressure" by Ulf Bengtsson, and comes with five pregen characters. Download load it for free at the link: https://escalationfanzine.blogspot.com/2019/05/escalation-special-under-pressure.html
  30. 7 points
    Will be bringing a couple of copies to Dragonmeet.
  31. 7 points
    I believe you have to escalate to derivatives and credit default swaps before that happens. Storm Bull & Rathor actually compete for Etyries affections each fiscal year, much like Esrola's suitors.
  32. 7 points
    I just enrolled to run it at a con in two weeks. Wish me enough preparation time and 7 players!
  33. 7 points
    Wow. I'm sure you folks will get a LOT of interest on this topic! But since you ask... There've been a bunch of innovations in BRP since the BGB, so I'd like to see those brought aboard! Even things that may have been less than stellar in their initial format, should be revisited and polished up for possible BRP2.0'ing. I'd like to see Stunts from BloodTide, Arete from AdvSrc, 3d6vsd100 stats (offer both), RQG's Augments, Pulp-style tunings from Pulp Cthulhu, Hero/Luck points, etc etc etc. I would love to see a BRP-engined mini's/skirmish game, that could integrate as desired for either the combat element of traditional RPG's, and/or for doing larger "Battle" scenarios (I understand something in this direction is already in development for RQG?) I'd want more n00b-support. I don't feel like the BGB is something I can throw at my players (unless they're being really annoying, in which case the 1d3 damage is only what they deserve); its too wide-open, and pre-supposes too much systems mastery that they don't have, don't want to acquire. Same goes for when I'm making a recommendation to 3rd parties, e.g. via online (non-BRPcentral) forums, in-person in FLGS, etc: it's great, BUT you need to invest the time to figure it out. Now, @Chaosium: brace for incoming. Please know that it's Friendly Fire... but I recognize that it's still incoming fire... To be brutally honest -- and specifically because you ask -- take a good hard look at Mythras' organization & presentation. It's easier to grasp their content than yours. I see this sentiment widely echoed online, too... Mythras is widely praised for how approachable and comprehensible it is. I think it's worth looking at a bunch of online reviews, even OUTSIDE the extended BRP family of games, and look for books where there is wide reviewer/fan agreement that they are comprehensible, accessible, clear... study those books (and the elements the reviews praise) in considering a BGB2. BRP-BGB fans will point out that it's far more comprehensive (as opposed to comprehensible) than Mythras... but even from them I've read more than once it's "a bit of a hot mess" (or similar) in other regards. I don't find it that bad, personally... but then I'm coming up on my 40th BRPthday (late '80 / early '81 (I forget, it was my freshman year at college... before or after winter break???)) so it's not like I'm going to hit the BGB and discover a concept that's strange, novel, or confusing to me... So I'm NOT the person to best evaluate these issues (indeed, that I notice them at all is a testament to their severity, since I'm already familiar with their content). Which leads me to the topic of the playtest/edit cycle. Get a BUNCH more playtesters onboard. Solicit MANY more never-BRP'ed folk, WITHOUT a grognard in those groups to ease their way. Make this e-a-s-y to learn... and for fans to unreservedly recommend! And find an editor who isn't a BRP-grognard... it's clear we're (ALL of us, not excluding Jeff & Jason & everyone else at Chaosium) far too capable of glossing over cross-edition discrepancies, preconceptions, expectations, etc. It should be clear from the online criticism & support threads that you guys were at least 1 cycle (of playtest and/or edit) short, on RQG... it's a great game, and IMHO the best RQ ever; good work and don't let my (or anyone else's) criticisms take that away from you! But it's REALLY close to being a LOT better than it is, and I honestly put the blame on the dev-team having so much systems mastery: you needed more late-cycle eyeballs and editors who did NOT know all those 45 years of prior iterations so well... === I think it might be worth doing something that looked kind of like a BGB X WorldsOfWonder hybrid, a slipcase set (with separately-buy'able pieces) ... BRP-core + Supers + Tech + Fantasy, each a toolkit ... without the Superworld/FutureWorld/MagicWorld settings. I presume Chris Spivey's work (possibly with Ringworld RPG? Or possibly that IS the core from which Mr. Spivey is already working?) could give you the foundation of the "Tech" book. Maybe a "BRPadvanced" or "BRPcompanion" for non-"core" (but not Supe/Tech/Fant specific) options. Possibly also a "retro-tech & alt-science" book for steampunk, clock/mech, crystal-tech, retro-future, etc. I think other genres might occur, too. Um... I think I'm done. For now.
  34. 7 points
    Well it only matters if it matters. For example, if you are trying to climb in the middle of a scenario and you only have a certain amount of time to make your climb. If you fail then the GM might say "you can't see a safe hand hold anywhere. Do you want to wait 5 minutes while you look around for a different way up or do you want to try again right now at -20%?" That kind of thing. If the player tries again immediately and fails you can say "looks like it's impossible in these conditions. I guess you could take a chance and try again right now at -40%. If you fail this time you fall." Player thinks. "How far would I fall?" GM says "Hard to say. If you make a luck roll you'll fall the equivalent of 3d6 metres before stopping on a ledge. Otherwise, I'll roll 3D6*10 metres." Player realises that's death staring them in the face etc. On the other hand if you are spending a day trying to navigate a high pass and fail a climb roll the GM says, "you spend the day but can't find a way through. Try again tomorrow." Which is all to say that the results of a failed roll don't have to be death. Sometimes, it just time. That's fine until time is critical.
  35. 7 points
    Announcing the first of the free #rpg adventures we're releasing on Oct 10 in memory of Greg Stafford. 'The Sword of Kings', a 7th Sea scenario by John Wick: https://www.chaosium.com/blogweareallus-the-sword-of-kings-free-7th-sea-adventure-to-be-released-in-memory-of-greg-stafford-on-oct-10/
  36. 7 points
    Cast a spell on yourself with 5 points of Extension, like Flight, Charisma, Truesword, Shield, Hallucinate, etc. If you didn't get a critical success, then drop the spell, or dispel or dismiss it if your mean old GM doesn't allow you to just drop a spell that you have cast. Regain the RP, if you don't have enough to cast it again. Remember to turn up to every worship ceremony for all your associate cults. Sing extra loud. Bring a step-ladder and sing right in @Joerg's ear. Try again until you get a critical success, so that the spell costs no Rune Points. You now have your spell up for a whole year, with all your RP still available to you. Do this before every worship ceremony if you have 6 or more RP available at the time. Eventually your luck will be with you, and you'll get that sweet spell for no RP. Oh, and remember to augment, and ritually prepare. 5 hours of ritual prep, that's another 2% crit chance. And take your time over that augment, you can double your chance of augmenting with an 80% skill or passion for just 16 melee rounds.
  37. 7 points
    Delecti has been defending and expanding his marshy realm for centuries. He has mastered the art of luring in his victims through all manner of enticements. Here's some of what Greg and I wrote for Tales 19: Upland Marsh Encounters This article is designed as a set of general guidelines on what intruders will encounter when they enter Delecti’s domain. The Marsh is an ever-changing physical environment. Islands drift, ruins slowly sink, undead shamble around. Maps are notoriously unreliable. The Upland Marsh is a mishmash of mucky islands and rocky outcroppings surrounded by a slow moving murky sludge. Technically, the Creek and the River both run through it, but their routes are a deadly series of small lakes connected by rivers of crud. Think of the Cypress swamps and bayous of Louisiana. Picture moss covered trees. You are there. Now leave. Traveling through the Marsh Ground movement within the Marsh is half speed at best. Normal beasts of burden and all but the best trained mounts refuse to set even a single hoof into it. Riding such a mount would be impossible, regardless. Only the Lismelder with their clodhopping skills, and the ducks with their natural affinity to the terrain can move at close to normal speed. Delecti’s corrupted servant Rihalya protects her master with her perpetual cloak of mist. Thus, visibility is limited to roughly 30 meters or so during the day and perhaps as little as 1-5 meters at night. She rises to her thickest as part of the preparations for expanding the Marsh. She precedes the foul dance of the Daughters of Darkness whenever they choose to venture out of the Marsh as well. Troll Darksense is basically useless, as are most forms of extended vision, unless magically enhanced. The air is filled with all manner of spooky sounds and odd odors. At times, the stench of decay can be choking. Few beings that enter the Marsh ever forget its distinct smell. Most flying creatures also avoid the airspace over the Marsh, but trained flying mounts could be ridden. All but intelligent mounts would never dare to fly down into the mist let alone attempt to land in the Marsh unless forced. A Few General Notes on Delecti’s Undead Delecti's undead follow a largely automated defensive scheme, unless Delecti focuses on a specific battle and takes direct control of his forces. He occasionally prefers to have his undead capture powerful people by subduing them. Everyone else is lethally dealt with. Drowning is a favorite attack because it insures a much more intact corpse. There are a number of powerful undead beings that rule over small regions of the Marsh. While they have sworn an oath of servitude to Delecti, they are given a relatively free hand to do what they want in their own little realms. The undead minions of Delecti decay at a very slow rate, possibly over centuries. It has been observed that the zombies decay at an accelerated rate while outside of the Marsh. Most of the zombies that have rotted away have continued their unbroken record of service as skeletons. In the end, no one other than Delecti is confidently sure what he is up to. Some outsiders believe that nothing escapes his eye inside his Marsh. Others believe he takes little interest in intruders unless they are extremely powerful and/or pose a threat directly to him or his realm. Attacking his Blackthorn trees, major Humakti assaults, or entering his ruin always get his undivided attention. The forces he can muster if needed are considerable.
  38. 7 points
  39. 6 points
    This is from Greg's Son of Sartar #3 contribution to Wild Hunt #46 in 1979 "RUNEQUEST doesn't have a magical system for mages, just a very well developed clerical system." (Warren James) METHODS OF WIZARDRY There are three general methods of Sorcery. To make it fit within a conception of the previously presented theistic form of Gloranthan worship it is useful to envision the individual human being as the deity which is worshipped or invoked to perform. This fits in perfectly well with Gloranthan mythology and cosmology wherein people are all descendants of Grandfather Mortal who was created with bit of all of the deities in the cosmos, therefore being a microcosm of the universe himself. The three methods are: 1. GENERAL SORCERY – In this manner a wizard may attempt to cast a spell using his own innate skills at that particular magic. This is a Knowledge Skill which must be learned for at least 25% before it can be used alone. 2. CEREMONIAL MAGIC – In this a magician is able to reproduce a magical act by use of sympathetic magic and other skills. It requires props and time. Ceremonial Magic can be used to cast a spell or to bolster one cast by Sorcery. It is a Knowledge Skill. 3. DEMONOLOGY – This is summoning a spirit or demon or god and engaging it in spirit combat to force it to teach magic to the individual. This is essentially a way of learning magic without books or reading rolls.
  40. 6 points
  41. 6 points
    We have released two Glorantha scenarios to commemorate Greg Stafford on the first anniversary of his passing. You can download them at the links: For HeroQuest Glorantha, "Highwall Inn" by Ian Cooper: For RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha, "The Rattling Wind" by Helena Nash 🙂 a preview chapter of the forthcoming Pegasus Plateau & Other Stories
  42. 6 points
    And these are the Lunars for this weekend's big battle. Not quite canon I guess but hey. The leader, who the PCs already met and hate passionately, is the left-handed one with the bun.
  43. 6 points
    I don't think it is so hard to create an index for the LM great library. It seems clear that Joerg's parents managed to do it...
  44. 6 points
    The Glorantha Forum is very useful and helpful, but I am not sure if it is Beginner-Friendly. Is it worth setting up a Beginner's Glorantha Forum for exactly this reason? If people post questions on the Beginner's Glorantha Forum, then answers should be simple, straightforward and concise, to help newcomers to Glorantha. If threads need to be answered in more detail, they can be spun off into the main Glorantha Forum. That would stop people terrifying newcomers with in-depth and confusing answers. I count myself as one of the Terrifiers, occasionally, especially when it comes to HeroQuests. Because of the overlap between RQ Glorantha and Glorantha itself, some questions are posted in the RuneQuest Forum that might be more Gloranthan and vice versa. Most of us accept that and answer the questions as best we can, but some people don't like it and ask for the discussion to be moved to the appropriate forum, which is probably not very Beginner-Friendly. A Beginner-Friendly Forum might help that. Joerg has mentioned the Gloranthan Sourcebook, which is a very good general introduction to Glorantha. Then, depending what areas you are interested in, there are a whole host of sourcebooks for RuneQuest or HeroQuest that cover those areas. You mentioned Ernalda, which is being covered more deeply than ever before, so I would expect more stuff to come out for that general area. Earth tribe has always been subsumed into Storm Tribe, for most things, which is a shame as there is a lot of Earth Tribe background, just not very accessible.
  45. 6 points
    Perhaps an adventurer party composed of Elder Races and a human could secretly be a God Plane manifestation of the I Fought We Won Battle. Maybe that's why, unbeknowst to every party member, they all get along so nicely. Even when their comrades who don't belong to the group disreard them as loonies. Maybe their secret wyter is an entity of that event before Time. That or the Green Age. Pavis himself was after some harmony-related magic like that. Perhaps that city god has secretly masterminded the group coming together...
  46. 6 points
    Today, the uroxi was taken down by a tusk rider. First thing in the action sequence. One horrible critical tusk gore. He didn't die, but the faces of the rest of the players as they saw the strongest fighter impaled on the ugly end of a boar and dragged for a few rounds was priceless. Gods damn it I love this game.
  47. 6 points
    Authoritatively, his runes are Air, Death, and Movement.
  48. 6 points
    Here's my take on "canon". I don't care about it. So Whitewall has changed from a previous map. Fine, I'll run the new Whitewall material with the new map. And if a few years down the line a new writer comes up with a new Whitewall scenario in which the layout is different again, so what? I'll use that. Maybe the new scenario material works better with a different map, maybe it needs a spooky ancient EWF building that was never detailed before, or has a dramatic final confrontation on a cliff edge that wasn't on the earlier map. I really have no problem with that, why would I? This is my pragmatic approach for stress reduction. Sit back and enjoy it, why not? Maybe poke a little fun about buildings popping up out of the ground, then move on.
  49. 6 points
    Here's my unboxing: I'm a devout Call of Cthulhu Keeper, have been role-playing for 25 years, had never heard of Runequest until the 4th Quick Start was released (!), and didn't decide to buy the slipcase until three days before it's release. I made the right decision.
  50. 6 points
    Confusing this with the traditional Elmali "Oi!" is of course gravely offensive to both of them.
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