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Joerg last won the day on December 28 2017

Joerg had the most liked content!

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About Joerg

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    Gloranthan studies
  • Birthday 01/03/1965

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  • RPG Biography
    Former president of Deutsche RuneQuest-Gesellschaft aka Chaos Society, Glorantha know-it-all (almost), some mentions in Glorantha publications
  • Current games
    Occasional HQG, RQ and Cthulhu
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    Into rpgs since1984, into world building since the 70ies, into RQ since 1989, active on RQ-Daily and successors since 1993
  1. Aldryami vs uz

    An interesting interpretation of that rules construct. IMO the dichotomy between Man and Beast for humans could be as easily be replaced by Man and Spirit (another of those form runes), creating a different but as Gloranthan set of implications. Do the Uz have another Darkness rune down there? What do the Mostali get?
  2. Gloranthan Dance/Ritual

    Väinamöinen is the sankari hero, the spell-singer. (It may be such me, but "sankari" and "singer" look a lot similar, despite the fact that Finnish is not an Indo-European language. But Finnish has been in contact with Indogermanic languages for quite a while, and is in fact a valuable repository for ancient, unchanged forms of Indogermanic when the two language groups went out of contact for a while, leaving the loan word as part of the language.) He is the Merlin/Chiron/Odin the grey wanderer, the Mary Sue magician-fighter that no RPG (not even RQ) has ever been able to replicate satisfactorily as a player character. You don't get my meaning: the post-Ban Uncolings have a human culture mainly when they meet at Porent. Those few weeks in the year they have more than a few man-shaped minders around their herds, much of the rest of their time they spend ruminating on lichen and similar meagre fare. Like I said, the Ban may have forced them to adopt that lifestyle, but they get to be human mainly for their festivals. I am far from convinced that "hunter" still is a major occupation among them. The time on the hoof may be some kind of meditative experience for the tribe, from which they only awake at the meetplaces. The Pralori of Fronela have way more in common with the Sami (or Nenets, or any other northern Asian reindeer hunter/herder culture) than the Uncolings. Although, to be fair to the Sami, the reindeer herders are simply the portion of the Sami which was the hardest to assimilate into Norse culture. The coastal, fisherman Sami/"Finns" of Halogaland (northern Norway) were already halfway assimilated into Viking society at the end of the Viking Age. Enforced Christianisation and a penalty on using their native language for naming and other purposes completed their ethnic cleansing. By the time the nomadic reindeer herders fell under the evils of Christianisation, their coastal cousins had become undistinguishable from their Norse neighbors. I would agree that the coastal Sami (possibly including those on the Bottnic Sea) could be identified with Louhi's folk in Kalevala. But they, like the Karelians and e.g. the Savolaiset, had almost nothing to do with reindeer. Having lived n Drag i Tysfjord in the Sameland area and digging into the region's local history may have left me with a widely different impression of Viking era Sami, where the coastal Sami had permanent reindeer traps (or funnels) for the seasonal herd migrations but subsided on fishery and local hunting and growing for the rest of the year. The nomads who followed the wild herds year round still spoke a closely related language and likely shared much of their religion and magical practices, but they were almost another culture. Compare Enerali and Galanini in Ralios, or Enjoreli and Hsunchen Tawari in Fronela. The Uncolings may be closest to the Tanuku Fiwan in lifestyle. Migrations and survival on the hoof, but turning into human shapes for magic. Huge human populations appearing and disappearing, with only a small percentage of guardians keeping human shape in the times between. Probably including most if not all of their shaman and shaman trainee population, so I will grant you that the Uncoling shamans might be living a life-style that resembles the nomadic Sami or their Siberian cognate cultures (many of them speaking language from the transuralic branch of the Fenno-Ugric languages). So, sorry if I have very defined ideas about Sami - I published a German language non-Gloranthan RQ scenario around this in Free INT #7 (the Vikings special) , making use of my previous research. Corraling up wild reindeer for sustainable herd culling was an activity shared by coastal Sami and Vikings - check the Ottar entry in Alfred of Wessex' Anglosaxon Orosius for a mention of his wealth in stags. As for the Uncolings, they might as well be charaterized as members of the Ahrensburg mesolithic culture, near the area where I grew up and still (or again) live. Yeah. Only that you are doing the Klatchian imitation of Djelibebian culture, which is the equivalent of this footnote in Pratchett's Pyramids (p.111 in my Corgi paperback edition): Basically, I have lived in the region, have researched the coastal "Finn" population rather intensely, have listened to stories about Halogaland Viking kings and their relationship to the coastal and inland Sami. After Norway, Finland is the land outside of Germany where I spent the second longest time, and I started to learn their language up to early immigrant proficiency while studying their history with application to my roleplaying activities in mind. While I own a Finnish language edition of Kalevala, my main exposure comes from a German language verse-form transcription which I read in its entirety, with the sing-song of the Finnish language in my mind. Fronelan Hsunchen or not-quite-any-more Hsunchen are great for using this, like Rathori or Winterwood Pralori, possibly also the Enjoreli/Tawari. Almost all, except for the Uncolings. Those only fit the cliches, similar to the Sauerkraut and Wurst-devouring Bierfest-celebrating "Germans" in Lederhosen or Dirndl. Or, to sum up the Down Under cliches as far as I was made aware of, no worries, mate, keep your corks on your broad-rimmed hat jingling while living on Vegemite and Fosters or XXXX while riding your roos herding your sheep, saving them from crocs. (Or whichever cheap blackface cultural atrocity you might impose on any culture...) It's not up to our standards. Hold your horses - "the only traditional reindeer herding shamanic tradition on earth"? Northern Siberia is full of semi-hunter semi-herder reindeer folk (or rather, if you meet one of the sparse natives there, he or she is likely from such a culture). The Nenets (aka Samoyeds) are much closer to the Uncoling circumstances of life than the Sami. And while the native Caribou hunters of Canada aren't herders, their lives would be fairly familiar to a member of the Ahrensburg mesolithic hunters. The TEB make for a good Louhi. That's my explanation, too. In the last few years? Checking the map on p.201 in the Guide, the Ban on Tastolar lifted as recently as 1620. (The Porent meeting of 1617 with 50,000 individuals hence must have happened before the Thaw reached Tastolar.) Even with the "now" of Glorantha moved from 1621 to 1627, the Uncolings have just re-emerged from the Ban, and feel the pressure of the Kingdom of War in the same way other buffer states of Loskalm do. If you make the Uncolings contemporary Sami all the way, with their colorful felt clothes and duodje and whatnot, then all my sensibilities are triggered. Tastolar is a subarctic open taiga, with the necessary tundra providing its slow-living but nourishing lichen only in a different portion of the Ban, leaving the migratory reindeer herds at a severe disadvantage through the Ban - their fattening summer feeding grounds have gone. The effect is worse than SIr Winston Churchill's straight lines delineating various Hashemite kingdoms without any concern for the bedouins who utilized the sparse grazing on either side of those arbitrary lines. Fronela is a lot more fertile than Sacred Prax or the Wastes, but the herds are adapted to migrating between different regions, and the Ban trapped them on either side, leaving them with at best half of the resources that their hard life in subarctic conditions demanded - it is not like the Valind storms were blocked by the Ban. And at the same time, the Ban ruined their fishing for good, preventing salmon or sea trout migration - which the Rathori survived only because of their magical hibernation, and the early awakeners of 1594 clearly suffered from lack of this resource, little wonder that they became as aggressive as under Black Hralf in half a heartbeat. For the Uncolings emerging in such strength, they must have done something unreported but along similar lines. Reindeer do the opposite of hibernation, they remain active through ice and snow, subsiding on what little they can ruminate on. Like I said earlier, the coast dwellers of Norway built reusable reindeer traps to corral the wild herds that would arrive seasonally, culled them to their benefit, then let them go again minus a few beasts for domestication and others for the food locker. Those reindeers that were kept back as domesticated beasts became the sorry specimen that are exhibited at the tourist trap duodje tents along the highways rather than the proud huge-antlered beasts that roam freely. I knew a salt lick on a fjord where such specimen could be observed with some regularity.
  3. Basmoli

    Herd or pack structure doesn't always translate into the human-shaped interactions of Hsunchen. Rathori are way more gregarious than their beast shape side. Telmori tribal packs are beyond anything wolves come up with outside of human-created confinement. Sofali culture is quite different from that of the sea turtles. The Pendali wars and probably Greymane's tribal peculiarity have Basmoli males as defenders of territory, with the females only joining in when it comes to defending the pride. Females are hunters, and often provide for their males who may be pre-occupied with other pursuits related to territory - the feared "basmoli berserk" units fielded in Praxian warfare. Few if any Basmoli beastmen still have beast brothers, but they still retain the ability to change (back) into their beast form.
  4. Aldryami vs uz

    So, which species (race is definitely the wrong term) have the man rune? Humans, the three major Elder Races, mermen, wind children, a majority of the beastmen, broo, scorpionmen, ogres. Dragonewts have their own stuff, newtlings are possibly a case in between (bachelors function as if they have it, adults don't necessarily, and the pollywogs don't). Likewise undefined are the timinits. Pamalt's earlier attempts at making people don't all have the man rune - the Hoolar doesn't, Jelmre and Pelmre (Slarges) are two more undefined cases.7 Losing the man rune is shown for e.g. midget slashers and herd men. Winning it for the Morokanth, whose bodyplan doesn't quite conform. The Mad Sultanate grey ones aren't quite man rune owners any more, either, and I make no promises for the adherents of the Kingdom of War by 1635 or so. Eligibility for Daka Fal membership is more a consequence of possessing the rune rather than another criterion. Neither for Hsunchen beasts or Praxian animals (limited to land-dwelling herbivores, though). Prior to the Covenant contest, both Beast Rider two-legs and Praxian four-legs sort of conformed with the Man Rune. I am sure the Malkioni are bound to object, after all they regard themselves as maternal kin to the mermen through Warera, the Triolini (niiad) mother of Malkion (in whichever of his appearances). And her son's appearance has stamped the term Wareran on roughly a third of all humans in the known world. But the baboons of Prax act like they have the man rune, and apart from the fact that they never take human form, they might be another Hsunchen type. I am not sure that the rootless elves have lost their affinity to the plant rune - what they lost is their connection to the superego of the forest. Apart from that, they still are plants, ingest leaves and compost. In a way, elf aldryami are trees grown to the pattern of the man rune, developing "meat" for muscles around their "skeleton" that is grown out of the nut that their mothers (whether female brown or green elves or dryads) give body birth to. I wonder whether their wooden bones are separated into individual pieces like the separate bones of our bodies, or whether they only have non-solid cellulose fibre rather than ligaments. The menu at the troll restaurant doesn't show any joints in their depiction of the elf torso, only "bone" branches clearly hacked through. Elf hands can be fairly similar to human hands, but their feet tend to be different. Like e.g. Stom Bull Berserks? I think that both the Praxians and the standard Hsunchen have a strong tie to their man rune.
  5. Aldryami vs uz

    The "biped" appears to be sort of optional if you think about centaurs and mermen who only have the upper body of our conscious biped. Ouori and male zabdamar take the "able to use tools with their hands" rather down, too, but still are accorded man rune status. Even Morokanth are better at manipulating tools. And herd men have the manipulating organs but lack the consciousness to do something with them.
  6. Gloranthan Dance/Ritual

    The magic in the Kalevala is shamanic to some level, but it also has parts which aren't. The entire setting is about the Sampo, the equivalent of a Mostali Artefact gone astray. One reason I took objection is that I crushed the numbers, and the huge number of Uncolings would require either extremely numerous herds to sustain the humans, or that the humans spend much of their time on four hooves to survive - more so during the Ban when their migrations were curtailed. It is possible that the post-Ban Uncolings are significantly different from the pre-Ban ones, when they still may have roamed all the way from Winterwood to Eol. This special situation is in no way relevant to the stories in the Kalevala. As are parts of the Odin traditions (where they aren't yogic). Knowledge stored in vaguely alliterational verse isn't exclusive to the Finnish magic, the Merseburg spell formulas are one of the very few Germanic texts which escaped the book-burning of Charlemagne's son Ludwig the Pious (following up the killing of people with the knowledge under his father). I guess the Song of Iron is the best preserved tradition on both the killing with and the repairing of damage by the iron, though knowledge of the iron. It might apply directly to Glorantha and have a hand in its increased lethality against the Elder Races. Yes, the Rathori culture is borderline non-hsunchen with their semipermanent edifices, gardening etc., and the Jonatings south of the Dona may be an offshoot gone theist. Like I said above, the Uncoling census during the Ban doesn't leave enough grazing for the herds if a similar human-to-herd ratio is postulated like with the Pralori or the Praxians (Sables are about the same size, slightly heavier). This four-legged mostly lifestyle doesn't say zilch about their shamans, I agree, but it changes the people completely.
  7. Theory on Dragonewt Weirdness

    I wonder whether the mystic path allows a gap or an overlap of the opposed runes. Maybe you have to start your meditations developing a gap, then perfect balance, then an overlap (with the choice up to the enlightened person rather than the dice). After all, these runes are used to effect magic (not necessarily by the 'newts, but e.g. by Yelmites strong in both life and death).
  8. Gloranthan Dance/Ritual

    That's a common misconception because the Norwegians used to call the Sami "Finns". The Kalevala is the Finnish, or more specifically the Karelian epos. That means it deals with a culture of farmers and forest hunters who rarely got to see a reindeer, but plenty of moose and squirrels. (The Finnish term for money, raha, is derived from the value of a (red) squirrel fur when dealing with Hanseatic merchants, it being some sort of smallest denomination.)
  9. Pentan religion

    The thing with the spiritual organ attuned to a certain way of magic is part of the meta-rules of Gloranthan magic, like (usually) the energy for magic being created by the denizens of the Middle World, with denizens from the Outer World more or less Being their magic rather than producing it. Sure. But the God Learners were right to a certain degree. They went wrong when they adapted reality to their theories rather than the other way around. The trouble is that they were able to do so despite going wrong.
  10. The Eleven Lights artwork

    Most are, but I will have to wait for the museum to re-open again after re-organization to be able to tell what's on display now. (I work a few km from it...) Looking forward to seeing those. Great... that's the kind of continuity between Viking dress and elsewhere I was talking about. Dress, housing, tools - the main advancements were introduction of iron as the other available metal, and shipbuilding. And I am not exactly sure whether the jump from Hjortspring's carvel-built sewn canoe to clinker-built Nydam boat was a direct advancement from that shipbuilding tradition or a new player studying the models of others and applying his own technique to it. (That's how the first Hanseatic cogs were built, and with "upside down" clinker.) When I look at a contemporary statue like the "Thusnelda" (captive female barbarian), I wonder how much of that is depicting the strangers in Lederhosen and Dirndle when portraying Germany as a whole. Take one minor region's idiosyncrasies and project them on a great and mostly innocent population. It's a bit like seeing basically nude Impala riders and telling everybody that the entire Paps is a great nudists' paradise.
  11. In RQ, spirits used the spell (or ability) "Visibility" in order to interact with beings on the physical plane. WIthout that ability or residence in a material object or host, no interaction was possible. A spirit with Visibility still was part of the spirit plane, but could reach through the veil. The range of interaction on the physical plane might be line of sight, but on the spirit plane there are different or no obstacles for line-of-sight. A spirit that can perceive the fetch on the spirit plane may be blocked sight (or other pertinent senses) to perceive the shaman on the mundane plane. A somewhat able shaman will of course use his fetch as a spirit radar while navigating the mundane world with his other senses.
  12. The OP didn't talk about wandering monsters, but about the shaman straying into the mundane world territory of spirits potentially hostile. It is like passing through another clan's territory. A shaman within reach of his own tradition's territory will be aware of the neighborhood, and will have made arrangements for travel when crossing into known neighboring areas. A shaman straying far from his responsibilities may encounter foreign territories unprepared, and I would definitely allow encounters there. But then, even though there is a link between the mundane and the borderland spirit territory, there may be another adjacent spirit region which remains just outside of the boundaries of a dominant spirit linked to the land, some sort of anteroom plane. It may be quite narrow, though.
  13. Pentan religion

    Dragon magic can be acquired (e.g. by newtling slaves) like RQ3 divine magic. Spend a core ressource (POW or hero point) for single use. Despite that formalism, it probably feeds upon the draconic reality around the caster, much like a sorcerous Tap.
  14. Mostali inventions/item ideas?

    Conductor cables and switches for magical energies. Anyone touching the contacts will either bleed some magic into the material or be charged with whichever potential the line was running on before. Two people touching will equalize their magic potential, possibly losing some to the material. Transfers in excess of X will cause unconsciousness, whether on the receiving or on the donating end.
  15. Sea travel between Nochet and Karse

    Currents often cannot be discerned standing right on the shore. If you ever got into a riptide, you will be able to attest that. Dealing with such a current means lateral movement out of it, whether as a swimmer or as the captain of a vessel. I was standing with Greg on the wall of Castle Stahleck, watching a rather strongly flowing Rhine just short of high water warnings casting eddies and even some foam on the banks, and Greg said that this was a lot smaller than what the Creek-Stream River carried down Dragon Pass. The speed was ok, but the width should have been closer to that of the Mississippi. Thus I imagine the New River as a stretch of whitewater, and a challenge to boatmen (or boat-ducks). In light of that declaration, I do wonder how the fording at Valadon would be achieved. If it was just the Lyksos before the Creek Stream was joined to it, I have no problem with a wide river bed and meandering areas of current, but with the constant Engizi outflow (or at least better than 60% of it, the rest escaping into the Marzeel or the Underworld through the Styx Grotto) there has to be a strong current. To make it fordable means to find passages of slow current (which may be deep) or areas with fast current too flat to pull you off your feet. And it doesn't take much current to do that, even only at ankle height. The ancient rivers had main currents and counter-currents, and the riverfolk worshipping such active rivers are able to find and use the counter-currents to their advantage. The passage through the Bosporus with a trentaconter (the reconstruction of the Argo) in the 1970ies used such counter-currents too since their rowing speed was slower than the current coming from the Black Sea. Riding such currents in coastal waters is a critical skill for navigators and likely a gift by one of the entities of the waters there, and out there on the ocean you have the Doom Currents which demand similar skills, only at much grander scale. The Waertagi go a step further and summon currents (or tidal waves) to carry their ships to their destinations.