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Joerg

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Joerg last won the day on September 15

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About Joerg

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    Gloranthan studies
  • Birthday 01/03/1965

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    www.sartar.de

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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
  • Location
    Kiel
  • Blurb
    Into rpgs since1984, into world building since the 70ies, into RQ since 1989, active on RQ-Daily and successors since 1993

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  1. Joerg

    Three New Stars, Three New Gods?

    Orlanth's Ring is a weird stellar entity anyway. In a way, it is a fragmentary Umath treading the path of Umath up to the collision with Jagrekriand, and then continued several times by young Orlanth on his way to the challenges. The Dara Happans name the orange stars of the ring differently in The Perfect Sky (in Glorious ReAscent of Yelm). Star 50 (orange) is the Disruptor, whome they identify with Oralanatus. Star 54 (no color given, hence orange) is the Raider Star. Not a description I would use for any of the other six Lightbringers, so maybe Orlanth. But then Star 50 would have to be Eurmal. Star 56 (no color given, hence orange) Third Outlaw. Could be anyone. Star 57 (no color given, but from the context green) Dragons Head - not a Lightbringer component of the ring. Star 88 (no color given, hence orange) Donkey Holder. Given Issaries' mule affinity, a possible identification. Looking at the sky map in the Guide (p.645), I wonder about the position of Orlanth's Ring away from the direct line between Stormgate (yelow, west of the Red Moon, north of the Pit) and Pole Star, and about its motion arrows, but then this might be the reflection of the Dragonrise sky when the star questers had to traverse the route that the constellation would normally traverse in a week in a single night to emulate the path of Umath, shortly before their clash with Jagrekriand/Shargash.
  2. Joerg

    Is barding a thing in Glorantha?

    The Brithini exiles of Frowal and neighboring colonies had similar restrictions, but Hrestol's Men of All lifted them. I know that Peter doesn't put much trust into the novels and novel fragments that preceded White Bear and Red Moon, but I find too much local detail from such sources in the western cities of the Guide that have filled out the rather patchy information we received in Genertela Book. The Malkioni Castes aren't just an arbitrary restriction of what low-born people are forbidden to aspire to, and what high-born people need to avoid to become soiled. They were designed to reinforce the magical talent of the original members of that caste, also reinforced by the choice of mothers from the right goddesses before the nearly all-male population of Danmalastan grew a sufficient number of daughters to inbreed, and then spreading those daughters' offspring over the castes and undoing the original purpose of keeping the blood pure. (Hence the only wishy-washy coloring of the Malkioni, compared to the stronger hues of original Brithini. Acculturation of Wareran Hykimi did play a role in this, too.) The Rokari reform of the fivefold castes of the Hrestoli who came before them (whether you call them Makanists or whatever) merged the Men-of-All with both the Horali and the Talari. All Talari received the duties of the Men-of-All, and those Men-of-All without sufficiently noble pedigree ended up as the Soldier caste. I don't think that the Brithini Horali ever had regiments with beast totems, that's a Seshnegi and Akemite development among the Hrestoli. Adoption of the Tanisoran horse-riding Enerali might have opened a way for non-heavy cavalry auxiliaries in the Soldier Caste for those who did not manage or aspire to become Men-of-All. Horses with barding prior to the Rokari con(/per)version clearly look like a noble and/or Man-of-All privilege to me. Peter's example about celibacy would be best applied to the celibacy of the Rokari wizards. Monastic orders of the Hrestoli Makanists may have practiced this earlier (as evidenced by that order in Jonatela), but as their sectarian choice, not as a general dictate.
  3. Joerg

    Three New Stars, Three New Gods?

    You are asking this as if Orlanthi society is going to remain unchanged in the upcoming conflict. Argrath's creation of the warlock bands is new. Lots of shattered clans in the wake of the Fimbulwinter provide a new and rather unprecedented situation with thousands of Heortlings drifting without a legal or magical identity but vague tribal ties, flocking into their tribal cities, or drifting off to Nochet. There is a need for new concepts. Unfortunately, only three of the candidates really bring some significant departure from the previous way, and chances are that they may be ignored by the questers. Only Baroshi, Oonil and Tanian really break the mold. Korolful is cool, but just a reprise of the emergence of the Star Tribes. He would be an excellent focus for these identity-less masses, similar to how Garan and Sedenor managed to gather wretched survivors and formed tribes. Baroshi offers a form of agriculture that would support cities with much less of rural support than Sartar's cities require. Oonil is great for city dwellers in any kind of industry. Tanian stands for daring the Impossible, and might be a meta-deity for the Sartar Magical Union in the making. Varnaval was the pastoralist migratory tribe leader of the Storm Age. With the Ordeed-riding Andam Horde he is remembered in Pelanda (possibly pre-Flood), and as the ram aspect he is remembered in Anaxial dynasty Dara Happa. (The Dara Happans stay silent about the use of chariots, but then those wouldn't have been anything noteworthy. Riding anything but a bird was noteworthy.) Pastoralist and migratory doesn't necessarily mean nomadic. Varnaval is one of the many aspects of Orlanth that perished in the Gods War. This is not to his advantage as it is the Red Cow clan, as cattle-obsessed as they get when they don't worship Heler, sent to return a deity. His Man Rune is already present among the Seven Lightbringers, and while his role is survival in hardship (in combination with his wife and her thorn basket), I don't see that much use for an Orlanthi foundchild, whether as counterpoint to Odayla or to all the other Destor lookalikes of the Discovery Band. His presence in the Discovery Band indicates that he comes from the unformed, adolescent phase of Orlanth, but he somehow got himself a wife, and after he was tamed, he all but disappeared as a recognizable face among the Thunder Brothers. A similar argument might be made for Oonil, but Oonil stands for development and adoption of civilization in a positive way. Siwend is more of a cautionary tale. Subcult of a cult already obscure enough that it didn't make it into the basic list of RQG? Like I said above, Korolful could mark the new start for the orphaned folk left behind by the Fimbulwinter as a Star Tribe. I wouldn't make that comparison. While Baroshi is an accomplished avenger, he is a champion of Fertility and a bringer of Fertility. The Flamal or Tada role of the ancient Earth Tribe would have been his if not for the Chaos invasion. Baroshi is very much the Harry Potter among the deities of Glorantha - the child that overcame absolute evil after the self-sacrifice of its parents. Barntar is riding the divide between Fertility and Death with his plowing, and is the most Earth-bound of the Storm Brothers. Like Vadrus, Orlanth and Orvanshagor, he is a dragon-slayer. Like Durev and tamed Orlanth, he is the family father. The point of Nandan is that it is not a male, but a female role, regardless of body shape. I think that a triumphant return of Baroshi would please everybody, except maybe the Grandmothers who fear any male domination. Fortunately that isn't tied to his role as one of the new stars but can be (or can have been) achieved by the Snake Pipe Hollow scenario/campaign (I never played it, but it looks like a dungeon that requires more than one visit to clear out the various denizens). Saren looks very much as an intentional runner-up to me. Worship of Elmal was weakened when Monrogh converted the greater part of his worshippers to his version of Yelmalio. The Red Cow are worshippers (and probably descendants) of Ulanin the Rider, a cousin of Beren, and of Hyaloring ancestry. Not the most receptive crowd to play to, unless a recent mythical requirement for chariot use has cropped up. Being an Android user, I still have to wait to experience Six Ages, so I cannot comment yet on those myths. The adoption of Hyalor from Genert's Garden and the Hippogriff rather than Sered origin of the Hyal Golden Horses is a mythical complication some of us scholars thrive upon and many of the play-oriented folk can do without, but we are in deep heroquesting territory here anyway. While not in Heortling Mythology, this myth has been told both of Vingkot and of Vinga - not the single best one in any of the fields tested, but better than anyone else but the expert. Oonil would be the crafter/trader god, the workman's shopkeeper that is sorely missing from Orlanthi pantheon. Right now, urban crafters are shoe-horned into all manner of cults. Orlanth offers obscure subcults like Orstan and Durev, Harst is the peddler approached through either Orlanth or Issaries, knowledge-based arts like jewelry, perfuming, alchemy fall into the aegis of Lhankor Mhy, redsmithing goes to Gustbran, iron-working to Humakt Inginew. Wilms, companion of Sartar, has taken up a similar role, and would easily be joined with Oonil. Afraid of burning your fingers? I was surprised about Tanian receiving the Dragonewt Rune, and would have expected Water (which is missing from the list). Lorion is worshipped as Engizi, the Sky River Titan, by the Heortlings - not the primal river (that used to be Sshorg(a)/Oslir(a)), but the first modern river joining his force with Magasta's Maelstrom, and the greatest local chaos fighter of the Greater Darkness. Tanian never surfaced anywhere near the Heortlings - he was called by the God Learners to Banthe Sea, and he might be an annual guest south of the Nargan Desert when the sky spills some of its liquid fire onto the Surface World. But he is the god of the impossible, and as such a welcome guest for the upcoming cataclysms.
  4. Joerg

    Is barding a thing in Glorantha?

    Not seeing any evidence for mounted Horali outside of the Rokari blasphemy, inherited from acculturated Enerali. Getting fighters on horseback was one effect of Hrestol's introduction of the Men of All. The published sources for Gray and Dawn Age Seshnela aren't that verbose - the best we have is the half page describing the image of Ylream in the Guide. I am confident that future treatment of the west will make good use of Greg's mostly unpublished prose.
  5. Joerg

    Elmal Yelmalio thing

    Why, pieces of him are all over the place in different roles and names - Finovan's blades, Orlanth's javelins, that Ralian chariot... Lightning Boy is but a fraction of his former self, but keeping close to the rest, he's somewhat well.
  6. Joerg

    Is barding a thing in Glorantha?

    I find myself in a similar situation, with regard to the art direction. The text in the Guide tells us that Horali are small of stature, yet both the Horali pictured (in this image and in the court scene in the Seshnela chapter) are rather tall, rivaling the Zzaburi. The strengthening of horses among the Brithini would have benefitted the Talar commanders with regard to armor protection, but would not have served any combat advantage to orthodox Talars. Even with bashing scepters and throwing crowns, fighting Brithini Talars are far from effective cavalry. Brithtini Horali were foot soldiers, forbidden to ride horses.
  7. Joerg

    The Interior Art Needs to Change

    Over here in Germany GoT is broadcast for free (in the non-HD version) in general TV, as was Rome or Spartacus. Hardly any modesty cuts, either. The amount of censorship in the Land of the Free keeps amazing me when it comes to pieces of skin. On the other hand, when it comes to splattering blood or innards or racist symbols, we are more restrictive over here.
  8. Joerg

    Balancing combat encounters

    The opposition is rarely balanced, but that's not a problem if you offer terrain advantages and disadvantages to even numbers out. A single stealthy peg-legged duck bandit with a few crossbows in ambush positions can make a party of four characters in the 60% range fear for their lives, and justifiably so. I have had a player's character who had dealt solo with two on-rushing berserkers in an earlier fight defending his ship go down from the initial rush of a bison defending its herd after gambling too much on a planted spear rather than taking shelter on or behind the stout trees around him. High level Lunars can be found in Strangers in Prax (MOB's Lunar Coders, RQ3, hard to get but worth the effort) and slightly less high level Lunars in Pavis & Big Rubble (RQ2, available as pdf, pure roleplaying gold). The RQ2 Runemasters publication is part of Borderland and Beyond and contain RQ2 rune masters for the cults in Cults of Prax, but follows a quite mechanistic interpretation of the cult descriptions and has cult positions the cults don't offer any more in RQG. There are no systematic rules to create such characters. Just enjoy a bout of character advancement without pesky limitations, and there you are.
  9. Joerg

    Summoning RuneQuest Gamemasters

    Joerg's history principle: Whatever opponent, prop or location you give to your players and their characters, be ready to provide a good reason why this happens to be there. This may be hard with published scenarios written by someone else, but as soon as you start GMing, the scenario and its background are yours. If your Rainbow Mounds are presented as the Nightmist Barrows, so be it. There will always have been a clan or tribe long long ago who may have had a Robasart Poisonblade as their chief or king, if you need to name the resident ghost/revenant/mummy shambling at the PCs. Give a little concrete and a lot of vague, and there will be no severe break with the background information you have drawn from the scenario and from canon, at worst a minor alteration. "The clan has been known by many names, but in his time it was known as the Amber Beads clan." Now you have a concrete name that still can be projected on whichever clan you want, possibly even the player characters' own. Joerg's preparation permanence principle: So the characters decide to follow up the red herring and leave your prepared location alone? Go with it. There will be more chances for you to put characters through that experience, now give them a reasonably hard time for carving their own path. Corrolary: When offering a red herring or a wild rumor, have an idea about it, or at least what will happen on the way there. On another notice, these Orlanthi maxims apply to GMing and roleplaying alike: Violence Is Always An Option: a short action sequence may bridge a minor plot hole or a delay of inspiration. There's Always Another Way: and even if the proposed way of the players isn't one of those, let them fail forward and enjoy the new complications. Nobody Can Make You Do Anything: railroads may encounter unexpected branches, and it is fine to leave the moving train at low speeds.
  10. Joerg

    Peaceful cut and butchering

    That is way beside the point you are avoiding: Using the Eirithan magic on this decidedly un-Eirithan beast, the horse. On their cattle, of course. They aren't monsters. On beasts they hunted, they will use the equivalent blessing of Foundchild, Golden Bow or Odayla. But what about horses or other demon-descended beasts? Isn't that a blasphemy in the face of Waha? Would any Praxian use Peaceful Cut on a ham beetle? Why does Frog Mother have to insist on spirit cult members to use Peaceful Cut on amphibians? Does this mean other Praxians don't have to use the skill when preparing a caught frog? Such magic doesn't stop old age, and may be too late to stop vital damage sustained in battle. You don't have to be an initiate of Elmal to worship him in your pantheon activities. Likewise, if Waha is the god of butchery and the source of the Peaceful Cut among Storm worshippers, then any use of the Peaceful Cut is an act of worship of Waha. There are pre-battle sacrifices which are about the capturing of enemy swords. I doubt that the Humakti carry around a chest or basket of conquered blades for battle preparations. Freshly spilled blood to initiate blood-shed sounds just about right. Post-battle sacrifices in thanks of a successful (or at least survived) battle are the times when blades get sacrificed. And you don't keep leftovers for later sacrifices, either you sacrifice a blade, and/or you recycle the metal, or you use the blade in his name. It is ok to dedicate a blade before a battle, and sacrifice it afterwards, but that should involve fresh blood. Possibly from a self-inflicted cut, but better from a life given to Death. The carcass of that beast will still be there after the battle, and provided you weren't routed from the field, so will be you, so the meat will be up for consumption (unless it already was, raw, or extremely rare). You forgot to mention La Tene, or the report on the victory celebrations of the Cimbri and Teutones. And I live and work in between such sacrificial bogs, like Torsberger Moor at Süderbrarup. But again (and again and again) these are post-battle sacrifices. Beasts would be slaughtered before the battle. (I was quite underwhelmed by the use of two bunnies in Prince of Sartar's cradle-snatch rite upriver of Pavis. Sheep or bigger beasts would have been more appropriate.)
  11. Joerg

    Peaceful cut and butchering

    Sounds good. Using Waha's Peaceful Cut? Do the Pol Joni slaughter horses unfit to ride? Unlike the Pure Horse Folk, the Pol Joni do worship Waha alongside their Orlanthi deities, and probably a number of horse deities (Yelm Kargzant, Elmal, Yelmalio, Pure Horse Founder/Hyalor). Humakt certainly will accept the blood of animals spilled in his name. Will those beasts receive the Peaceful Cut or just the artful sword strike?
  12. Joerg

    Orlanth and the Invisible God

    I don't think that the Orlanthi artwork that has been done prior to the Guide has in any way been invalidated - if you look at the mural and the carvings in the image where the Vingan presents the (shaved, and more importantly severed) head of the clan champion to his chief and his advisers are completely in line with earlier representations. The city of Pavis was the only "Sartarite" city that we had aerial views of for a long time. While the aerial views of Sartar's cities in Sartar - Kingdom of Heroes and Sartar Companion probably are in some need for an update, this is the first time we get to see Esrolian-influenced architecture and art. I admit that I still have somewhat mixed feelings about the new representation of Clearwine, but if the Balazar citadels can have such architecture, why shouldn't Second Age Orlanthi cities have had it? In case of Clearwine, there should be an almost jarring side-by-side of woodcarvings and ancient, somewhat awkwardly restored frescoes or mosaics for their religious artwork (thinking of recent "vandalism" in Spain when local volunteers were not hindered restoring ancient murals or statues). The giant architect(s) of the Balazar citadels might have done similar work for the EWF a century or two earlier. We haven't seen enough votive ceramic and wooden/bone figures left at shrines or temples. Woven and stitched tapestries should rule. Heck, I want an image of the loomhouse, with unfinished works in the frames, ideally being worked on. I am a great fan of the Swenstown trading scene. I never wanted the Sartarite cities to look like Hedeby, and Manching with its rectangular grid of almost uniform standardized generous town houses is a bit too orderly for Sartar. On the other side, I can see the City of Karse layout (based on Edward's Caernarfon two peaceful centuries after walled city and castle were planted in the wild) expanded by some of the planned chaos of the contemporary Bergen Brygge as the wooden port district shooting up after the Opening and some rather idyllic fisherfolk village on skerries in the estuary, all of it slightly re-styled into Seleucid Phoenicia/Judaea or even Ugarit/Mohenjo Daro style architecture. (Leave the layout of Punic Wars Carthage for one of the Pasos Isles naval bases...) The Orlanthi do have a civilized past their back-to-the-roots emigrants into the Dragonkill-emptied homeland tried very hard to ignore. It took repeated assaults on the Colymar village to re-construct the "class 2" ruins (in Pavis Box categories) of Clearwine Fort. (There was a joke that the old Chaosium headquarters, prior to the Issaries-split-off, could have been described as such - a flat-roofed office/storage house with intact roof.) I think there should be a shrine in a pre-Christian stave-church predecessor type of temple to the clan wyter in clans outside of such inherited architecture. Even if the clan is worshipping Orlanth on some sacred hilltop, the clan regalia will keep better and are more easily guarded in such an edifice. Reconstructions of the Cape Arcona temple (to Svantevits) might be another good influence. The Lusatian/Hallstatt fortified town of Biskupin might be a good model for an all-lumber architecture away from easily accessible quarries. I am rather curious what kind of imitation of Heortling and Esrolian art styles in Grazer iconography ambitious Vendref artisans have come up with. While I think that the Grazers might have their own jewelers from their own culture, a lot of their material culture is going to be produced in the three trade posts instituted by Sartar. I would expect some scythian style gold work...
  13. Joerg

    On bonuses

    Large giants should be good craftsmen because of their affinity to creation magic (their species itself being a remnant from the Creation Age), and those with a stronger affinity to Disorder should be hampered by that. Any artisan is only as good as his imagination or the way he understood the work order if doing contractual work. The stupid brutes like the encounters in Griffin Mountain or the tainted ones like Bigclub from Snake Pipe hollow should be lousy craftsmen. They might be able to improvise their clothing or their weaponry without much trouble, but getting them to understand principles like static or planning is a different proposal. We would probably be astonished at Bigclub's ability to knap a boulder into a usable hand-axe, or to skin a few bisons for a new loincloth, and I see no big problem there. Hand-eye-coordination probably finds its limits at giants' eyesight. But then, I would expect a lot of the cradle artifacts to be sung rather than hand-crafted, and in that case, the complexity achievable is not tied to any manipulation bonus.
  14. Joerg

    The Interior Art Needs to Change

    I guess not for lunch break reading. How far down the pipeline is that? Does Kalin know?
  15. Joerg

    Peaceful cut and butchering

    Which Storm Bull example? Another thread? In case of the killing of a scapegoat animal sacrifice (unlikely to be an actual goat outside of Lunar interference), I can see why the peaceful cut wouldn't be applied, but then there is the question how that meat will be used. Dog food would be an alternative, if the sacrificers did keep dogs, but that's as rare in Dragon Pass as are domestic goats. I am wondering about sacrifices to Humakt. And what about sacrifices of horses (to Elmal)? So the worship (deity) skill sort of includes the Peaceful Cut, or replaces it in worship situations (where Cult Lore might be the more efficient augment)? A majority of the meat consumed in an agricultural society (even in the cities) may originate in the sacrifices performed by the clan or the stead (compare the Paulus letter about consumption of sacrificial meat). Abstinence from meat consumption prior to a holy day may simply be lack of leftovers from the last sacrifices. A major reason to slaughter a beast outside of a sacrifice might be the requirements of hospitality. Those who can afford to house guests will eat better. Among the Praxians, eating meat is the price for sapience, and beasts will be slaughtered outside of bigger religious rites, hence the ersatz-rite held by the butcher.
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