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davecake last won the day on May 11

davecake had the most liked content!

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About davecake

  • Rank
    Lhankor Mhy


  • RPG Biography
    been playing RuneQuest in some form off and one since the mid-80s, been a fanatic Glorantha fan for the same length of time. Also play many other RPGs.
  • Current games
    Mostly Glorantha, in all its forms.
  • Location
    Perth, Australia
  • Blurb
    Lhankor Mhy Sage according to MOB. Or is it Irripi Ontor?

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  1. davecake

    Other Runes

    The The problem is that once you try to enshrine that complexity in the rules, it’s hard to do so without actually simplifying it by ascribing to it a level of consistency. Ie once you write down rules for every subcult, as Hero Wars attempted, you are implying that those sub cults are relatively consistent, rather than a constantly evolving tapestry of evolving variations. I much prefer a level of inconsistency where we have lists of sub-cults etc, but free to use than as inspirational variation rather than the Hero Wars collection of minor runes giving us a lot more names in the main divine taxonomy, but making it more rigid and codified in the process. I certainly want a rich Gloranthan mythology that approaches RW complexity -but I don’t think having character abilities chosen from bigger lists of divine names each with a rune and a set list of feats is the best way to achieve that.
  2. davecake

    Other Runes

    MGF and reflective of the ancient RW are not necessarily congruent - players often enjoy anachronisms, and seldom enjoy the level of inconsistency we see with the actual RW reflected in the rules. There are pretty good reasons why fashions in game design has gradually shifted away from detailed simulationism. But its also worth noting that the move from 'lots of tiny small specific runes for each entity' back towards focussing on the core runes for rules purpose had a lot to do with playtesting - and it is totally not a case of 'gregging', eg its not a change in 'Glorantha', but a rules change of how we represent Gloranthan detail in play. There is still a rune for eg Hedkoranth, and Hedkoranth still has slightly different powers to the other Thunder Brothers. But in play it turns out to be much less confusing to say 'Hedkoranths magic is a sub-cult of Orlanth that works via the Storm rune and grants a few extra abilities', than it is to have a special rune for Hedkoranth that no one else will recognise, when 90% of the time you character is effectively a Storm wielding Orlanth cultist that throws Thunder stones instead of lightning bolts. Its like caring about whether your dagger is a poignard or a saex, or the colour of your shirt - cool if it matters, potentially culturally very significant, but not a difference we care about in the rules most of the time. The hundreds of special runes in the Hero Wars era were great for adding that cultural depth we like, but make the rules more confusing, not less (you ended up with special cases of how to deal with sub-cult changes, overlap between gods, overly specific mythologies, and lots of other weird little things that actually made the rules work less like the ancient RW). But I love them for cultural detail. That bit in the HeroQuest orlanthi character sheets where you fill in your tribal/character tattoos, for example? Reach for that list...
  3. davecake

    Other Runes

    You are entirely free to make your own rules. I'm just clarifying what the existing ones are. Apparently not clarifying as much as I had hoped.
  4. davecake

    New HQ products?

    While thats true enough, I think a Big Book of that particular kind of adventure would be fine and useful. More useful than a big book of non-heroquest adventures (we already have plenty of those we can crib).
  5. davecake

    Other Runes

    Its also worth noting the idea that in normal Gloranthan life the runes are often incorporated into complex motifs, combined, extended, etc. Some of those minor runes are sort of that. But there also things like the mark of Zorak Zoran, which Jeff mentioned in the art direction notes for RQG shared today (it is the eye made from a sideways Disorder rune extending into 'horns' tipped with Death runes we see on this troll), and someone on the reversed runes thread mentioned a similar design of two extended Air runes, one reversed, overlapping to suggest Disorder (suggesting 'Orlanth troublemaker'), and so on. We also have other alphabets that would get combined, standard iconography, etc. In play and art it is great to mix all this stuff up. I've been working on ideas for eg Western occult art that incorporates runes but also other symbolism.
  6. davecake

    Other Runes

    Absolutely, conceptually. But I was talking about Runes within HeroQuest (and, more speculatively, similar arguments will probably apply to RQG, though there will be differences). So I'm talking about the ways in which Runes are specially treated within the game system. Runes, capital R, generally has a specific game meaning at a few places, and so is a bit different to the average ability. In particular, a Rune is always a magical Keyword, we know PCs (and most NPCs, or at least most humanish PCs) have the three including one Element rune and at least one Power Rune. But the vast majority of 'lesser' runes can be treated as more specific versions of a well known base Rune, the system allows this to be expressed in the game system through breakouts etc, and that is a lot easier way to do it that makes the ways the runes relate fairly obvious. Even if it is terribly important to players, and play, that a given character might be a member of Ohorlanth vs Helamakt vs Hedkoranth (and back in the Hero Wars days that was represented by three different minor runes), in HeroQuest play we represent all three as sub-cults that use the Storm Rune. There really isn't a lot of value in representing it as a separate Rune, because they are all expressions of the Air rune, and outside of casting overt magic (which has its own separate rules anyway, there being no universals), you can treat them pretty much the same. But those minor runes show up in the game system in other ways - mostly, as limits on how you can use the rune directly, and in different abilities you might create as breakouts. These are ways in which characters become distinctive, but these details are outside the system of Runes (both cosmological and rules wise), they are all just expressions of one Rune. It really doesn't seem worth keeping track of them as separate Runes, especially as it means everyone has to keep track of many dozens of runes and keep mentally translating them back to the base Runes. Only when the minor Rune is either somewhat outside that main system and it has no obvious base Rune that derives from, or when it limits, rather than extends, the base Rune in ways that will apply in many uses of the Rune, does expressing the minor rune as a Rune within the game really pay off. Communication or Eternal Battle don't obviously extend a specific other Rune, or change its meaning profoundly. Light and Shadow limit the things you can do with that Rune really profoundly. So it seems like it is worth keeping track of those Runes separately to me.
  7. davecake

    Other Runes

    Spot on. And where a lesser rune is more about a mild specialisation than about a significant limit (eg a specific Thunder Brother, or a hero cult) there really isn't a lot of point in distinguishing a specific rune in play.
  8. davecake

    Other Runes

    The Pamalt rune is about cooperation and coming together to make something greater than the parts. The Mastery rune as a rune of leadership implies that the leader is the leader on merit, because they are the greatest in the group. Pamalt explicitly isn't the best at anything, except bringing people together (which is the best thing to be good at, because it lets huge things be achieved). So eg he isn't the best warrior, but he still defeats foes that others cannot defeat, he does so by getting many friends to help him by giving him the best armour, the best weapons, the best magic, the best advice, etc. He isn't the greatest magician, but he can bring all the great magicians to work together, something none of them are capable of. And so on. Hope this helps.
  9. davecake

    Any good chaos heroquests out there?

    There are multiple ways to think about Chaos. The idea of Chaos as the bountiful, beneficial, source of creation is thought of by even those that acknowledge it (eg Kralorelans) as being what Chaos may be outside creation, not what Chaos is once it enters creation. The Void exists before, and gives rise to, Creation, but that doesn't mean that mixing Void into the world is a good thing. Chaos is a source of Creation, sure, but *different* creations to the one we have now. Mostly, as in the great demons of the Pre-Dark, versions of creation that are monstrous and hard to even conceive and understand for beings of this creation (which is, of course, all the justification you need to make greater Chaos resemble Lovecraftian monsters if you wish). Another useful metaphor is the kabbbalistic idea of the qlippoth. If we take the runes as being roughly analogous to the Sephiroth, adding Chaos makes them qlippoth, backwards perversions of the divine. Chaos is a bit like that. Chaos doesn't want one single thing, or work one single way - Chaos has many varieties, because it takes all the varieties of goodness and corrupts and perverts them all in turn. I do think that there is a bit of contradiction that subverts the original question. Chaos ruins things, Chaos is destructive, Chaos breaks things. The things it breaks include stories, truth, social institutions, etc. So Chaos cults in general are going to find it harder to have predictable heroquest stories that are passed down as heroquest paths through Chaotic social institutions. So you aren't going to have a lot of heroquest paths for cults like Thed or Malia or Pocharngo that are carefully written down and preserved through ritual and retelling the way the heroquest paths of a god like Orlanth or Yelm are - and the people that are attempting those quests are more likely to be driven by rage, hate and ego than rational desires. There is going to be a LOT of inconsistency, confusion and, well, chaos. There are a few cults that are more likely to keep a solid structure going enough be a bit more organised - Krarsht, Thanatar, Vivamort. But even there, the desires and hungers of the chaotic followers is going to make consistently following any heroquest path that isn't a pretty simple quest for power difficult, there are going to be improvisations and deviations aplenty. Another thing that should be mentioned - some Chaos cults are effectively parasitic, hiding inside other cults or cultures. Often, their myths are going to be myths of the 'host' culture but seen from a different viewpoint or corrupted or perverted. A good example is the initiation ritual for ogres in The Coming Storm - it is a 'failed' Orlanth initiation that turns into a call to walk Ragnaglars path and contact with Cacodemon. A rare example of this sort of thing happening when it is known and understood is the Crimson Bat - their heroquest paths are branches off Lunar heroquests I think.
  10. davecake

    Any good chaos heroquests out there?

    A specific Chaos heroquest that was written up way way back was The Temptation of Black Fang, by Steve Maurer. Though it is written up as a Black Fang quest, its pretty much Black Fang falling into a Krarsht heroquest path. Its based on ideas about how to run heroquests from the 1980s, so its very different to how we would do things today, but still kind of a fun read. http://glorantha.temppeli.org/digest/nbelldigest/1990.06/0014.html
  11. davecake

    Any good chaos heroquests out there?

    I suspect a lot of Chaos heroquesting consists of charging into other people’s heroquests and messing things up. In particular, chaos heroquesters are often the subject of the Summons of Evil. What that experience is like from the other side may be the core of chaos heroquesting.
  12. davecake

    Other Runes

    Most of these I think are useful to consider as symbols in use by someone, and possibly many people, but not Runes in the same sense the core Runes are. If you are trying to write rules that incorporate the idea of Runes, probably best to ignore them for the most part. But if you are looking for mysterious symbols, decorative motifs, your characters tattoo, etc - knock yourself out. Eg compare the way the Sartar Rune has been used in Moon Design products -it’s known, it’s important, it’s probably not a separate affinity or the RQ equivalent.
  13. davecake

    New HQ products?

    I agree. There have been a few treatments of 'here is how to run a heroquest' in generic terms, and its good to see some consensus emerging, but a big book full of heroQuests is something that hasn't bee done and would be really great. Especially if the quests were offered with a few variations (including suggested local variations or practical issues, different enemies who may appear, etc), a few suggested game system specific issues, to make them reusable as game supplements. I tend to, as much as possible, make it game system agnostic or multi-statted at this point. We have 3 very different game systems that could all use such a book a lot.
  14. davecake

    27 Tribes of Prax, I think.......

    Personally I think the Basmoli still in Pamaltela still have lions (and believe Basmol is absent, but not dead). I think they are warriors and hunters who hunt with their lions, more like Telmori than like Praxian beast riders.
  15. davecake

    Black sun / blood sun

    From my own notes on the Black Sun, Adpara, etc. The Black Sun can be understood from a theist point of view as the Shadow of Yelm, and also as a deity of essentially sacrifice misunderstood - the Blood Sun w a disastrous cult that sacrificed real Life for temporary power, the Black Sun has reformed that to become the sacrifice of real Life for Illusory Power, which is sustainable but still nonsense. From a mystic point of view all Illusion cults are a misunderstanding. Mystics preach that the entire world is illusion, so all paths to power are misleading. Illusion cults misunderstand that to believe that if everything is Illusion, trading real power (such as Life, freedom, etc) for Illusionary power is a good bargain. Avanapdur is the ultimate expression of this - if all is Illusion, then Illusion is All. Note also that the Black Sun cultists are descended from those followers of the Solar Storm who saw its enlightenment as failure. The Kingdom of Ignorance is founded on rejection of mystic insight. Adlanari, the Black Mirror or Black Moon, is the power of Illusion as it is now, after the downfall of Avanapdur, mostly constrained to dreams. They offer comforting Illusions, in the world of dreams but sometimes manifest in the waking world, including servants, lovers, dead children or parents or lovers returned, etc. Their rites to manifest something in the waking world, like those of the Black Sun, require sacrifice of something real.