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Joerg last won the day on April 23

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About Joerg

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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
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    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. I am working on a psi-free space opera setting, but then I wouldn't call it old school space opera - too much influence from transhumanist tendencies (beyond Lensmen, the Homanx Meliorare or the Childe cycle advanced humanity wars). I never understood why the Mohs hardness of space operas was rather strict in the technology but barely above cotton in terms of psionics. No idea how notorious the series ever became in English-speaking circles, but the ongoing (! OMG!) German "Perry Rhodan" pulp SF series which started in 1961 had plenty of psionics and mediocre writing, which sort of soured my tolerance for psionics or other kinds of spellcraft in SF. I can appreciate a Psionics and Space setting like that Aeon Trinity game for the Storyteller system, but am somewhat allergic to Space with Psionics, even if that includes Star Trek and Babylon 5 (the latter being excused because psionics turned out to be a significant plot element). Fairytale Space (aka Star Wars) works fine within its own limits, too. What time and style are we talking about when saying old school space opera anyway? Heinlein's Starship troopers and/or Dickson's Dorsai? Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers? Schmitz' Telzey and Trigger or Laumer's Retief? Poul Anderson's Flandry and van Rijn novels? Or more recent ones like C.J. Cherryh's Union/Alliance setting or its Chanur extension? I suspect that any of those I mentioned will still incur licensing fees. How high would those be - anyone in the know? My own experiences are limited to Glorantha and Midkemia as settings or products which incur licensing fees.
  2. Monasteries basically are somewhat closed societies which can (and often will) interact with the communities outside. Mediaeval christian monasteries provided centers of learning for the general clergy, for missionaries, and explored new technologies, too. Plenty of these were situated in cities rather than on remote mountain sides, although such could exist side by side (e.g. in Cyrenai, modern Girne, on Cyprus, which had an ancient hermitage high in the coastal mountains which later became a crusader castle, and a benedictine abbey much closer to the city proper, within its agricultural hinterland, plus small monastic communities inside the old city maintaining their own chapels). Dojos are centers for teaching, but don't necessarily involve a monastic or hermit lifestyle. Hermitages isolate the inhabitants from the world, and fairly often from one another as well. In Gloranthan context, the Retirement Towers of Sun County are hermitages, but so are high mountain caves, treetops, and similar reclused places for meditation or preaching. (Ironically, these recluses often attracted a lively group of followers, and some were basically projecting their insights in sermons. Maybe to an extent that preaching became a meditative practice...)
  3. That's a problem. BRP is excellent in adapting to a setting, but the Magic World (or Elric!) rules don't apply to just about any setting. They aren't limited to the Young Kingdoms, though - a friend of mine used them in the setting I built for my Fantasy Viking-themed RuneQuest3 campaign without feeling out of place, but then I had adopted magic from Ken St. Andre's Stormbringer game for some of those cultures, too. If you mean to use an already existing setting, there is always the question of license fees. Personally, I could have imagined the old Chaosium taking the license for Midkemia, re-publishing the excellent City of Carse supplement (and its sister products, including Tulan of the Isles, with rulesy bits for the characters in there. Midkemia as a gaming world is owned by Midkemia Press, and has rather broad distribution through the novels of Raymond Feist. Not likely to happen with the current Chaosium, but might be an ambitious project for some of the other branches of BRP. I admit that I am clueless about the chances on the anglophone market, though.
  4. That's about the official word of Greg how this is handled in HeroQuest, and I think that it depends on the school or method of mysticism you use.
  5. The Dragonewt magical effects are a form of mystic power, correct? They use a mechanic similar to divine magic to acquire the effects, but differ in duration and other aspects. Do you mean monasteries or hermitages? Arcane Lore p.41 mentions Dojos of draconic martial arts even for the Dragon Pass area, and from the text apparently in Modern Age Karse.
  6. How to make implementing Glorantha with any BRP system easy? With Mythras you can lean on the preparatory work done by Loz and Ken for the Adventures in Glorantha primer that saw a distribution of 500 copies at Gencon 2015 (IIRC) which has been the base for e.g. @hkokko's contributions to the Encounter Generator. Using old RQ2 or RQ3 material doesn't require too much adaptation, really. There was hardly any official sorcery material out for RQ3 Glorantha, and none at all for RQ2 Glorantha, so this blank slate can easily be filled with the Mythras version - although probably limited (at least in previous experience) in some way by schools or grimoires. I cannot really speak about sorcery in the Mongoose products, I never played that game (except one MRQ2 game with Loz in preparation of his Harreksaga, set in the early Hero Wars era). There are vague descriptions about which group uses which kinds of sorcery in the Third Age Glorantha documents for HeroQuest in its various incarnations. Depending on your setting, people on this forum will happily swamp you with Gloranthan information about what you are likely to encounter. Sorcery spells may be stolen from or traded with other practitioners or schools. You'll have to decide how much Glorantha information you are willing to inflict on yourself and on your players prior to the game, and how close you want to stick to published versions of Glorantha. Much has been published which creates its own variant canon, even by official publishers of Glorantha - the perhaps most variant publications are by Mongoose, but numerous fan publications take off on other tangents or use alternate recent or old histories for places which have seen more development since, and even older Issaries era publications show variant Gloranthas when compared to the new official line. This doesn't mean they don't provide good material for gaming in Glorantha, though. Your own campaign is going to create disturbances in the official timeline anyway, which may cause you to re-interpret information you may encounter later, anyway, if you play that campaign for more than a couple of sessions. And if you don't, and start some other game elsewhere in Glorantha, no big trouble, either. So: adjust only those rules you think you are going to encounter. Player choices may take you to strange portions of the rules, but even then you can ignore quite a bit. Steal (/get inspiration) from whichever product you can access easily, or ask around for specifics.
  7. In a way, Gloranthan Mysticism is the result of Heroquesting - spending time in meditation of various kinds, then entering otherworlds in a deeper meditative state and approaching the root power of the ability in mystical understanding. These meditation techniques can vary from Zen-like meditation through various forms of trance-inducing activities (breathing, dancing, martial arts katas, austerities) towards ecstatic methods or tantric activities. Certain schools might use magic of one or the other kind as preparatory activities for mystical experiences. The abilities are something like a side product of the progression towards the Ultimate. For me as a practitioner of neither shamanism nor deeper meditations it is hard to define where to place a border between shamanic trances and mystical ones. Religious rapture may occur all of the major magical systems of Glorantha - the Western experiences of Solace and Joy, theist experiences of their godworld, animist communion with the spirit world, or mystical practices reaching past these on paths of illumination, draconic wisdom or Vithelan enlightenment.
  8. Carse has pretty much become an interdimensional city because it has this wealth of playable material. You can find it in Midkemia, in the kingdom of Alba in the German worlds Magira or Midgard under the name of Corrinis, spelled in the correct Scottish way in the Holy Country of Glorantha, or with the somewhat strange name Caernarfon in Gwynedd. I hope that Mongoose did pay license to Mr. Abrams - the other instances (with the logical exception of Caernarfon) did.
  9. I think that in order to get slight empathy for the characters you'd have to play Greatway individualist dwarves having to deal with Nidan or worse orthodoxy, possibly in service of a True Mostali like Isidilian, and with those irritating surface dwellers and the abominations of growth and hunger. You don't have to be open-handists - in fact, playing an anti-openhandist task force might be a good commando-style concept for a series of games. Basically, you could do cyberpunk-style scenarios in Glorantha - insert your party, distribute your dwarf constructs for preparation of the strike, then go in with a precision strike and exit again. This could be mundane insertions, or even insertions into heroquests or deeper myths. A Slon expedition into Umathela for dwarven diplomacy prior to the land-raising might be another remotely interesting concept for a Mostali mission, especially with humans of the eleventh caste. Instead, you have a duck, a troll or trollkin, possibly a beastman or bachelor newtling and two or three humans of vastly incompatible cults in your stereotypical Gloranthan mixed party. Silver Age or early Dawn Age gaming might actually have multi-racial party of Awakeners/Lightbringer missionaries. The only other occasion where you get this level of inter-racial cooperation is the fight against the God Learners, and even then you didn't mix all three of the major elder races. Jrustela works only because the elder races don't mix.
  10. Having read said MRQ Aldryami book, it is good at creating a plant-man culture. I didn't quite feel the inspiration to play Aldryami in-culture, though. Shannon's ideas about the origin of the Brown Elves are interesting. I am not so sure whether they are canonical, though. I found those "evergreen oaks" for Tastolar a stretch, and a few other items as well. It isn't easy to get players into the mindset of a mobile plant more concerned with the welfare of the forest than with personal affairs, which is why I think that this race is better left for mixed parties of elf-friends and aldryami, or to have aldryami as patrons and/or adversaries.
  11. I got the fork handle when the seller did, but the next few were too hard dialect.
  12. This sounds like a recipe for a convention freeform game for between a dozen and two dozen players. Or a multi-party pen and paper game - I wrote and ran a few of those early in my career as a convention organizer (prior to my RQ phase), and they used to be quite the avantgarde thing to do in the late 1980ies in Germany. With a quite crunchy rules set, so doable in RQ, two. (Spelling intended.) Speaking of which, there was a huge (IIRC 40-60 characters) convention freeform featuring the struggle between traditionalists, God Learners, and the EWF - Between the Dragon and the Deep Blue Sea. While it had its usual Freeform game silliness (like the appearance of the Machine God bearing an unmistakeable similarity to a certain space delivery service robot), it delivered more canon than the Mongoose books dealing with that region. Definitely true. We could use a renewal of those communal efforts, whether as narrators coordinating a progressive timeline between interdependent campaigns (reusing major villains and patrons between them, much like the old Thieves World anthologies did), or as a communal creation of background material, NPCs and scenario seeds like the Whitewall Wiki produced. This could be done face to face on conventions, or via hangouts, in addition to old-fashioned text based exchanges like Wikis or forums/mailing lists. There are always creative narrators yearning to share their subcreations, and to profit from cross-pollination of ideas, and there will be other campaigns profiting from such endeavors. Even when they end up superseded by new data made available - something that is bound to happen less and less as some of the privileged Highest Level Kickstarter stuff will be available to a broader public than earlier, and possibly shared in a cherry-picking way. Setting out to produce new canon is doomed to fail, though. Setting out to collect the available canon and latch on playable scenario hooks or cameos is extremely fruitful, though. Especially where it invites "tribal" participation on all levels. WRT "modernism": aren't we experiencing a huge wave of "old school" nostalgia carried over to a generation that wasn't even alive when the original versions of those rules were published? Not just DnD20. The old Chaosium RQ2 has many admirers among people who don't think much of Glorantha as a setting. Getting a crunchy, simulationist rpg delivered in 120 pages, with the cults books as optional extensions, is a highly regarded achievement. If one wants to publish a game system both old and new, this seems to be the perfect time. And with evocative scenarios and well grounded expansions, players sceptical of the setting can be won over. It may take them a few years (about 3 or 4 years in my case, back in the earliest nineties), but it's possible.
  13. Greg ran one, at a Tentacles convention. I don't quite remember all of the details, or who else sat in, but I was playing the Helamakt initiate, and I had read up on the various hints of that quest before (mostly hidden in the Finovan, Desemborth and Helamakt subsubcults in Thunder Rebels). So when the elves came and ambushed the party, my initiate stepped forth and called out for the lightning to strike at them. Greg went "Well, that's what Helamakt does." I don't quite remember whether I had to roll at all or whether against a resistance of 6. The encounter with the face guards was Finovan's chance to shine, and getting away with all the beasts (not just the ones we were going to get back) was Desemborth's feat. I remember that the face guards were quite unexpected in their appearance, and without the Finovan feat would have been a show-stopper. I am not quite sure, but we might have been off to get the four-legged component of our extorted taxes back. (Cannot have been a quest to survive the Fimbulwinter, although at least the Helamakt initiate could have gone after switching to Heler.) It definitely was Hero Wars, which might help date the con. Perhaps some other survivor might chime in? I do remember that these games always had ag few of the more vociferous folk in them. Anyway, that was my first cattle raid Hero Wars game. Highest stakes, deep into the myth when the clan didn't have the warband to do the job, but enough crazy magic people. In a way, the Sivin Event was as anti-climactic as having my Storm Bull not quite yet King of Dragon Pass participate in the Issaries quest and step forth to slay that chaos monster. The Plundering of Aron is one of the very few myths that encourages a party of adventurers to go forth and do a quest as a party. Given the Thunder Brothers as a collective, there should be lots of such mythical events that lend themselves to group quests rather than individual quests. The only other one getting detailed coverage is the Lightbringers' Quest, although there are a number of Vingkotling headlines (not really outlines) of myths about the four brothers or the seven husbands going on joint adventures.
  14. I would ask a Gorakiki Beetle shaman to provide me with one of these - in XXL size. (good video but abominal voice over - better watch with sound off.)
  15. Most weaponthanes won't be Humakti. And a cottar is generally not thought of as a good farmer, but as a good handiman or cottage industry crafter - if he was a good farmer and Barntar guy, he'd be a carl. The cottar usually provides the skirmishing element of the militia, but may very well be the expert archer or javelineer there. Carls make up the majority of the clan's mobile warband. They can afford decent equipment, and take time to train to use it efficiently, too. They might not answer the champion's battle, but then some individuals might, anyway. Is there a reverse to your myth, like "Barntar plows the Battlefield"? As such, it may be fine. It entered our discussion as a stretch use of an affinity to discredit the HeroQuest system for breaking canon, though, and applying it to each and every situation in everyday life. Again, if the product is tainted with death, I have few problems, although I would always call this a stretch, and give a negative situational modifyer even with a freeform BRP magic system.