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Joerg

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Everything posted by Joerg

  1. Joerg

    Swords of Central Genertela

    The archer is in a hunched position, reducing his apparent height, and you may have been mislead by the scale shoulder-flaps. This may also have misled you as to the size of the horse. Note that his legs are folded up. It isn't a large horse. That posture doesn't really come across, but there is no way he is hunching forward at an angle that would lead to the arm positions supporting the force required to draw such a bow at that length. The elbow still is way lower than I have seen on other (contemporary) images of horse archers from horse archer cultures, or by re-enactors. Seeing that posture and trying to recreate it causes me to feel stress in my shoulders, and that's already without a heavy bow to draw. The upper right arm should go up, not down, when drawing the string, even when anchoring somewhere in the region of your collarbones rather than in your face. Human anatomy is one thing that is no different between Gloranthans and people from our world. The horses may have been inaccurate for the Persian king's chariot, but that's rather late in the Iron Age, not Bronze Age. But regardless of Terran Near East horses of the late Iron Age, we know that the Sered horse breed of Glorantha is about Iceland pony sized, and the Galana hillman breed is even somewhat smaller - probably about the size depicted in the Darius mosaic. Pelorian horses equivalent to the Niseans would be Carmanian Chargers, something reserved for shock troops, not horse archers. Unless your horse archer is a Carmanian style cataphract also armed with a horse bow (worn on the back while still charging in with a lance). The Dragon Pass boardgame army listings don't have any combined arms cavalry in the Cavalry Corps, though. Horse archers are weak to/at melee attacks but faster, and Count/Satrap Alehandro's Spolite Carmanians in the Cavalry Corps are a 4 - 3 - 5 average cavalry unit (the same as mounted Sartar City Militia). I wonder about that, too. Alexander was riding Bucephalos for much of his campaign, even after he had access to the Persian stables. That indicates to me that his horses must have been well on par with the best the Persians had to throw at him - possibly a breed derived from Nisean stock by his predecessors as kings of Macedon. There was a century between the first written mention of Niseans and Alexander's campaigns, enough to establish a superior shock cavalry horse breed.
  2. Joerg

    Swords of Central Genertela

    For some reason, the shoulder and elbow don't seem right for the Parthian shot. The right elbow should be higher, and the left arm should be angled up slightly. Judging from that position, the archer's target is maybe twenty meters away. The static horse would need a more dynamic posture, too. It is quite large compared to the rider, too, if you are going for an ancient world or older feeling. For the relative size of the horses, this mosaic might be the best guide:
  3. Joerg

    Dara Happan Hospitality

    Granting hospitality to an enemy can have serious repercussions in any Gloranthan society, so I would be very hesitant to offer a drink or access to anything more than a waiting area. Offering some tools for cleansing on the other hand sounds like a good idea. From the look of Dara Happan beards, I get the idea that the Dara Happans who can afford it/have the status to need to afford it don't clean themselves with water, but with oil. The very virtuous ones might also make use of an offered flame to singe off any offensive stuff still sticking to them. On the lowest levels, mudders and weeders (basically subsistence hunter-gatherers in the marshes) might use river mud for cleansing, leaving themselves with a smear of mud in the faces. Not dissimilar from what I have seen in documentaries on Myanmar.
  4. Joerg

    Devotee Plot Obstacles

    Duck tricksters are supposed to taste funny.
  5. Joerg

    Devotee Plot Obstacles

    You mean to stuff it? Apart from apples or minced meat and herbs, or de-boned chicken?
  6. Actually, it will - as a part of Somelz, the dwarf square in the southwest.
  7. Joerg

    Devotee Plot Obstacles

    To a trickster, that (and the unsolicited attention) wouldn't be much of an ordeal and a lot of an orgy.
  8. Joerg

    Dara Happan Hospitality

    Dara Happan society - especially the upper echelon - is all about formality. Theirs is a six-tiered society which probably has different pronouns or pre- or suffixes based on the relative and absolute social standing. Think what is sort of common knowledge of Japanese, and build up from there. So we can either invent some such suffixes or prefixes, or otherwise think up flowery adjectives in the language spoken at the game table to accompany the address, with a side serving in superlatives. From above to below, there are likely different grades of respect or affectation towards the lesser person, too. There is no real need to announce one's social status, however - the imperial Dara Happan dress code takes care of that. Instead, one's alignment with one's house (association, whatever) and that house's sponsor would be given. (Again, that might be seen from ornaments worn, but those are less common than the dress code, so it is worth telling that.) Of most immediate interest would be the function of the person addressing the arrivals, and probably the offer to find a place in the sun or near a fire while waiting for the low-ranking person to bring someone of sufficient eminence to perform the official greeting. Altogether, it's a bit like "Most respectable <rank description>, you are approaching <territory of house>, please await here in the reception zone while the lowly me, <self-description>, is bringing a person of sufficient rank to address your concerns."
  9. Joerg

    Javelin - 1H Spear or Thrown?

    Have you ever used an atlatl? I have. Fire rates should be similar to bow and arrow. The atlatl "javelin" is really a somewhat oversized arrow that is accelerated beyond normal javelin tossing because of the artificial extra arm length. Those aren't normal javelins or pili that are propelled that way. Those beasts are five to six foot long and may be fletched. I wouldn't call that darts, though: If you have a clunky apparatus for accelerating your ordinary javelin, then I might agree about the lowered fire rate. Atlatl damage is higher than the missile weight would suggest when hand tossed because of the way higher speed of the missile. Not quite on par with a strong bow, but the greater weight of the atlatl arrow gives a good compromise in between.
  10. Joerg

    Swords of Central Genertela

    Storm meditation should really be in spiral motion rather than in stasis. Remember the descriptions of Storm flight (ever moving) vs. Fire flight (vertical, static)? Enjoying them, too, but with occasional differences of opinion.
  11. Joerg

    The Pavis Plan

    It is a large and worrying blow when the EWF is adopting a cobbled together God Learner Draconic Hsunchen cult in place of the "real thing". Where would I find a reference to Isgangdrang bringing the Immanent Mastery Cult to Dragon Pass and the EWF? Heortling Mythology p.138 mentions the Path of Immanent Mastery. Isgangdrang's personal path was called Right Left-Hand Path and was another of those short-cuts. About ShangHsa in Dragon Pass, that should be in here: http://www.glorantha.com/docs/shang-hsa/
  12. Joerg

    RQ Sorcery

    But that is not how a grimoire is supposed to work. From the use of "sacred texts" like the Abiding Book or My Black Horse Troop as providing insights that allow a sorcerer to develop a spell from studying them it appears that the grimoires describe correlations of runes, but not the precise manipulation of them in terms of intensity, range, duration as does an inscription.
  13. Joerg

    Genertelan Vadeli population estimates

    Now THAT is a moment I'd like to see covered in some sense. My mind immediately went to some "high drama" moment when both Vadel and Viymorn went into the deepest recesses of the Underworld, but only Vadel came out, with new and transformative insights. The Vadeli might even celebrate the patricide that is implied. This struggle could have been the encounters with the energy complex that left a significant number of the explorers without spirit (undead) and wandering around the world. They later subjected the Tadeniti (the tribe who taught Zzabur how to skin their ancestor(s) as writing material).
  14. Joerg

    The Pavis Plan

    There is a lot more going on in the EWF and even in Orlanthland than just draconic mysticism. The Pavis Plan, the Remakers, the City of Ten Thousand Magicians (where Akgarbash of Laurmal probably lectured), the two people having the contest for becoming the oldest person alive... Only "Master of the Faceless King" is explicitely written in Auld Wyrmish, the other three or four grimoires are likely written in Old Pavic. The Auld Wyrmish tainted Heortling dialect of Dragon Pass was the local language of the time, but is now called Old Pavic. It will be interesting to speculate why a Greatway Jolanti subject to Mostali sorcery gets subject to a grimoire written in Auld Wyrmish. Normally, a tin dwarf wouldn't use a grimoire to control a Jolanti, and even less one in Auld Wyrmish. But then, at some stage in their progression certain schools of draconic mysticism achieve mastery of sorcery. It is possible that this grimoire originated as some draconic master's study project which then somehow was inherited by Pavis. Every enemy magic is "blasphemous" to some extent. That doesn't stop wizards from studying them anywhere. Over-reliance on such alien magic is a sure sign of depravity, but to analyze and understand such magic is the duty of orthodox zzaburi. Quite a few different schools and dojos in Dragon Pass are heavily influenced by Kralori draconic wisdom, which has collaborated with sorcery since the Godtime. Both Shang-Hsa and Godunya appear to have taught in Kerofinela. That's how Isgangdrang inherited the Immanent Mastery cult. The EWF didn't use sorcery for draconic warfare, that's clear. Neither did they send sorcerers to fight the Zistorites. But they certainly had use for sorcerers in their internal affairs, especially on the fringes where the dragon dream of Dragon Pass grows weaker. LM has long been suspected to be of western origin, even without God Learner intervention. The God Learners were hardly interested in his sorcery tricks, but they were eager to copy the knowledge collected in the Great Libraries of LM. RQ3 had a system called Godunya's Magic which (in RQ3) looked like sorcery but used draconic runepoints. As said above, mastery and then overcoming sorcery is an element of certain draconic paths.
  15. Joerg

    RQ Sorcery

    Theist rune masters put some of their POW gains into divine intervention, which can be quite costly. Shamans can be enchanters, too, or otherwise assistant shamans get to be the ones dumping their POW (and that of volunteers) into artifacts. The new rule that only one point of POW for an artifact needs to come from the enchanter himself, and the rest can be donated by volunteers, makes community support for enchantments fairly important, but even so there is a constant drain on the enchanters. Sorcerers have traditionally come in orders. These look like they have a set of specialists for certain types of spell, knowing or having inscribed maybe two or three of those, carefully taylored to their runes and techniques to require the minimum amount of magic points. That's more or less diametrically different from your standard player sorcerer who is going to have a somewhat wider range of magics to help himself through confrontations. And in those Malkioni schools where Men-of-All get (the advanced, i.e. RQG rules) sorcery the approach is probably similar - some more flexibility and much less specialization, possibly leading to more frequent MP doublings. A group like Sir Narib's Company probably has a mix of these approaches - a few highly over-specialized big guns or strict supporters, and a number of less specialized sorcerers able to deal with a variety of tasks.
  16. Joerg

    RQ Sorcery

    The Tapping of the things in the land was a RQ3 fact since the publication of the Genertela Box, which described Arolanit as a country tapped of almost everything. And I think that tapping animals and bound or otherwise materialized spirits was possible already before that. The sorcerers might have been able to tap the spirit or essence of a place for their magic. In a way, little different from how Eiritha allowed a part of herself to become the Dead Place when granting that energy to Storm Bull. HQ1 made tapping attack a quality or ability of the target. HQ2 did away with opponents' abilities, HQG says that a local manifestation of a rune is converted into raw magical energy (without going into details how that benefits the sorcerer, as there are no concerns about powering a spell in HQG).
  17. Joerg

    RQ Sorcery

    Actually, you have one extra spell in your crystal for the entirety of your adventure, or you need to insert a day's worth of magical abstinence to refill the crystal. Which is a return to the abysmal "spirit zoo" sorcerers. Yes, it works, with only about 20 points of POW put into enchantments, a few less if you find good dead crystals. Plus there is the Charisma limit for how many bound spirits you can maintain under control in such enchantments or crystals. You might be able to add a few more with long duration "Dominate" spells, but those spells will either eat up Free INT or need more POW for inscription. In short, your sorcerer either needs a bunch of discardable enchanters or a previous career as such with a side career providing POW gain checks.
  18. Joerg

    Uz Language Questions

    You don't need to possess any Darksense to be able to learn perfect Darktongue, so I doubt that this form of "seeing" has been turned into a standard part of that language. I think of Darksense as vibrations in the medium of Darkness (something non-existent in our world, unless someone manages to find a way to interact with Dark Matter). Some of this might be transmitted to air, and then perceived as sound, but the sound vibrations are not used for perception of the environment, only the dark vibrations are (and their wavelengths may be totally different). Think of the different noise a boat motor makes above the water or when you dive under water - in the denser medium the sound is several octaves higher. Personally, I pronounce "uz" with a short vowel "ooz". (That goes against the German use of the "s" sounds with a buzzing "z" sound at the start of a syllable and a sibilant "s" at the end of a syllable). I think of heavy German or Russian accented English learned somewhere in rural Britain or Australia. From my impression, regional dialects can tune the pronunciations of vowel sounds quite a bit away from the Oxford English standard. A lot of that can be traced back to Anglo-Saxon dialect variations, with the written form reflecting the Wessex outlier of those dialects, already non-phonetic in London or Mercia. The only darktongue sound examples that we have are the names of uz types and uz deities. I would suggest a fair number of glottal stops in the language. One thing never quite defined for any of the Elder Races are their voice ranges. Are trolls really speaking basso or baritone (the females more so than the males, being bigger) or do they actually have higher-pitched voices like alto or mezzo-soprane? Given their standard silhouettes, I would have trolls speak in belly voice rather than in head voice. Given my own voice range, that would make them speak baritone through me. Enlo usually lack these paunches, are diminutive, and probably have squeaky voices compared to their uncursed kin. I would use head-voice for them when giving a voice-imitation (which is not really my narrative style).
  19. Joerg

    RQ Sorcery

    I wonder whether we have enough bones to put together a skeleton, and whether the addition of sinew and muscle won't obscure that skeleton beyond recognition. Right now, sorcery is a materialist magic system because you need lots of material components to make your magician moderatly efficient. The use of Tapping is about the only way a sorcerer can come up with a sufficiently high magic point pool to power more than a single spell worth mentioning from his natural resources. Two average crystals have enough oomph for another such spell, everything else is mostly on cantrip level. Has anybody tried re-creating the HQG sample characters as RQG characters?
  20. Joerg

    RQ Sorcery

    The use of POW should really be an extension of the sorcerers "sorb" or "magical organ" which has been developed in that way. The material form of it might be the externalized key to the knowledge. But I agree that a culture that values Mind over everything else, removing knowledge/memory from the mind would be wrong. The sorcerer spreading out his mind to his personal inscriptions is a similar crutch as it was to expend it to his personal familiar (as per RQ3) or his personal mandala (as per RQ3 Land of Ninja). While the latter sounds like a very materialist method, it is not exactly a humanist one. I wonder about notions like the Abiding Grimoire or the Unencumbered Lights of Reason are translated to RQG rules. The latter, also called Deinon Genealogies, contained spells so simple that they could be performed by the uninitiated (i.e. normal folk not qualifying for the regular sorcery), but still in the fom of spells rather than animistic charms or theist feats (aka rune spells). HW/HQ1 had the notion of blessings and curses as a sorcerous form of scriptural magic, with the lecturer of scripture able to bestow them with the support of his congregation. It is something like this which I see in use by the craft guilds - work supporting or enhancing magics available as a form of associate magic to guild members only.
  21. Joerg

    RQ Sorcery

    I think so. Stitching, glue, leathermaking are all in place. Some books are scrolls of various material - papyrus (or a near analogue), parchment, possibly paper (not necessarily from wood, other fibres work as well), possibly textiles. The scripts of the Orlanthi appear to be made for carving into suitable wood, from the names ("scratches" indicates a carving knife or a very sharp pen). We know that Zzabur used ink on human skin, a technology taken from the Tadeniti. Given that the Vadeli were among the donors of that skin, it is little surprising that the Tadeniti were the first of the Danmalastan tribes to be attacked by them. Parchment or vellum appears to be the norm as writing material in the cold to temperate, non-dry west. Scrolls are made of conjoined pieces of writing material, possibly stitched or glued. Not too different from the method to create codices. Documents written in codices could use both sides of the writing material, which works for some substances but is less advantageous for others. Papyrus usually has one side with vertical stripes of flattened stems and one with horizontal ones, and if your script has a preferred writing direction, one side would have been preferred over the other, especially if the script uses something like interlinked symbols in a cursive. It really depends on how long and flexible you can produce your writing material, and how well the stuff responds to folding. Stitch binding relies on the quality of the thread and the textile used. The silver bible (the Wulfila translation written with silver ink on purple-died parchment) was produced as a folio: I think that the Abiding Book would have appeared in a similar shape.
  22. Joerg

    RQ Sorcery

    The sorcerous mastery of runes is the intellectual mastery over the magical possibilities of a rune, distancing the practitioner from the direct exposure of the runic experience. Those sorcerers who did not maintain this distance are committing the mistake of (or are seduced by) the False Gods, the Erasanchula (original core runes) that made mankind undergo their experiences in worship. Sorcery is about being able to ride and steer a rune, whereas theistic rune magic is to act as the rune. I know this thread is about RQ sorcery, and has been discussing RQG sorcery, but the sorcery in HQG uses the same six basic techniques as does the RQG system. However, HQ still uses the concept of grimoires that we discovered in Hero Wars and HQ1 and the contemporary Stafford library works Revealed Mythologies and Middle Sea Empire, still the backbone of the published Malkioni information. All that stuff is awfully "churchy" and "chivalrous" compared to the de-mediaevalized version of Western history in the Guide. Part of the fault probably lies in Mallory's Morte d'Arthur which combines the author's contemporary experiences (and possibly feedback) with the historical myths, creating all the possible wrong identifications with late mediaeval armor and courts and ignoring the period-appropriate post-Roman period in Britain and Gaul. (The flick with Clive Owen as King Arthur as opposed to that awful Excalibur with a near-tottering Connery as a tottering Arthur and 40 years younger Richard Gere as his age mate Lancelot.) The same problem one has when talking about Hallstatt Celts and Anglophone people think "Irish". So I wonder, how much of that "Spells in a Book" concept of grimoires is left in RQ Sorcery?
  23. Joerg

    RQG Pavis Campaign

    RQ zombie rules never had those brain craving zombies, and neither ZZ zombies (including Delecti's) nor the animistic ones of RQ3 had infectious bites, were disabled by beheading or other such splatter memes. IIRC, the animistic ones (Create Zombie enchantment) could be ended by feeding them salt, which was why many creators of such zombies sowed their mouths shut. But then the POW cost for animating a rotting corpse through that enchantment were so high that it may have been reserved for special punishments of the previous owner of the body.
  24. Their immortality is tied to observance of sorcerous rites which one might call immortality spells, although their versions only work on people of sufficiently pure Vadeli/immortal ancestry, and involve "material components" better left unsaid. The Vadeli secrets are unpleasant, to say the least. Vadeli that have made it to maturity expect an ageless existence.
  25. Joerg

    Guguvar

    My implication was a thoroughly inebriated individual of undefined age, but yes, baby language applies to that situation, too. The "goohs" are meant to be gagging sounds (hence the pauses). Scratches head questioning whether this is praise or damnation.
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