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Joerg

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Everything posted by Joerg

  1. That's why I put it in front, yes. First impressions are important. Mine were from playing the Dragon Pass boardgame, and playing a whacky scenario which put us in a fight against ducks on a boathouse (pretty much like the one in the Leatherstocking TV production about the abducted girls) where they had all the terrain advantage. Pretty exasperating... So I got drawn in by the big magical battles, rebels vs empire. Not quite. I had the chance to play one of several Wolf Pirates with Loz as GM using MRQ2, and it was a fun experience, with the rules alterations vs. RQ3 not that big a deal and the new combat options fairly nice. I have its successor RQ6 (which became Mythras) in both English and German. I genuinely enjoyed reading my way through Dara Happa Stirs. The Mongoose stamp doesn't have to mean that the content is off-course. Oh, I am perfectly fine if there are whacky versions of Glorantha which has Elmer Fudd as Gringle. The problem I have is when a setting like that is marketed as "This is Glorantha" rather than "This is our idea of Glorantha". There have been other attempts at describing official Glorantha that I have been thoroughly unhappy with, and others that managed to irk me enough to keep grumbling about them. What I don't quite understand about 2nd Age is how following the God learner timeline for Jrustela and the God Learner phenomenon as a whole could accept the starting date for the movement in the middle of the 7th century and the rise of heroquesting in the middle of the eighth, but still insist that it was from God Learner activity that draconic speech emanated from Esrolia into Dragon Pass. The God Learners needed Arkat's secrets to discover the Other Side of non-Malkioni, so how would they have been able to influence events 170 years before the fall of the Autarchy with such heroquesting and knowlede theft? More important would be the enhanced pieces of armor. The rules are unclear, however. If an enhancement requires step 3 in quality improvement, does this allow another step 2 improvement and a step one improvement on the side, or does it block all three slots? Perhaps that's the one point where a clear canonical statement about the mass produced bladesharp 1 swords of the Machine City should preclude your run-of-the-mill Gloranthan enchanter from producing this. The source is a caption for a rather mediocre illustration - from memory either in the RQ3 Genertela Box Glorantha Book in the Second Age history or RQ3 Elder Secrets Secret Lands section near the Clanking Ruins entry. Nothing wrong with the generic MRQ1 rules offering such enchantments as an option for other settings, mind you, but just because something is in the generic rules doesn't mean that it has to apply to each and every setting where these rules get to be used. There is no setting reason for making this a case of individual rolls, although I notice that David Scott used a very similar take on Discorporation of assistant shamans in his narrative how a shaman might learn a new shamanic ability. Personally, with the rules offering of MRQ1 I would use a reverse team roll mechanism for the heroquesting party if they have formed the equivalent of a hero band, i.e. created (and initiated or at least significantly sacrificed to) a hero band wyter, or a loaned wyter received through an "Arming of <Protagonist>" preliminary rite. Cult lore or perhaps specific myth instruction lore can be upped a lot by sticking to a narrowly defined role in the "Arming of" rite. The lead quester(s) receive all manner of ritual items, and each item may be represented by an individual or even a group of suitably uniform assistant questers, and their performance in this also gives them an edge for interactions on the heroquest involving this activity. Thus, when Orlanth receives his sword Deathbringer, that's how to include Humakti or Telmori bodyguards into the ablative meat team of questers. From what I read elsewhere (possibly in MRQ products) on Jrusteli heroquesting, ablative meat heroquesting was part of the God Learner method of exploitative heroquesting. That would explain the insane numbers of heroquesters produced by the universities of Umathela in the mere 150 years before riots destroyed them - after the Closing, but long before the destructions of Old Seshnela, Old Maniria and Jrustela. Runes and Battle Magic haven't been linked in RQG. Given the terminology in RQ2, I find it surprising that the commonly available Battle Magic of the previously available magic systems ended up being the one tied to the runes. On the whole, the rules for the Blood of the Gods in the shape of magical crystals has been established at least since the Bertalor article in Elder Secrets, although the live and dead crystals of the Gods had been quite ubiquitious in RQ2 NPC and plunder descriptions. RQ3 re-introduced them rather late, and they didn't catch on much in the RQ Renaissance NPC and plunder descriptions, IIRC. So integration of physical runes as per MRQ1 would be attuning live Crystals of the Gods when it comes to physical objects. For the other side of a person somehow aquiring a rune there is RQG's use of the runes as personality traits or as sorcerously mastered knowledge. Either could be a form of heroquest award. Especially the element runes of powerful heroes could have impressive percentiles, beyond 100. Such values might be necessary to offset hostile environments. There used to be mention of a technique in Hero Wars and possibly HeroQuest 1 about integration of spirits to acquire those abilities - IIRC related to Kralorela (possibly eastern Hsunchen) or Sheng Seleris. Now, with elementals we have one type of runic spirit entities, and healing spirits might be considered Harmony spirits. To recap: the generic parts of the MRQ rules covering "the world" issues aren't terrible at all. Whether and how much you want to simulate this is part of personal and party preferences - there are players who thrive on empire-building in their rpgs, and the MRQ rules offer many a tool (and indeed splat book) to play that. RQ3 tried that with the Monster Coliseum, and didn't succeed so well. The addition of 50 pages of a gladiator-themed game in a Lunar place - why not Furthest or Mirins Cross so you can use Orlanthi and Seven Mothers - would have made all that generic bling into useful background for Glorantha, while still offering enough gaming for people playing elsewhere, and a Dart Competition campaign could have been built off that. (Yeah, AH era RQ3 had its less useful bits, too. The AH reprint of Midkemia Press "Cities" on the other hand was just the preservation of timeless roleplaying gold.) The Ship rules are a continuation of the RQ3 sailing and vessel rules. I haven't gone into detail, but the RQ3 rules (which I did use in earnest, given my Viking themed backstory) work sufficiently well, so I don't expect the MRQ rules to do a significantly worse job. No points for innovation there, though. The rules for invasive heroquesting using enemy sites look fair, but they disregard the community effect that regular Gloranthan heroquesting is about. Not even Jar-eel inserting herself into the Holy Country magic or Hon-eel entering the Tarshite Earth rites use such methods. Acceptable for God Learner brute force methods, but that's it. Looking at the MRQ product line which showed some serious lack in that department already just skimming through the basic rules book, I wonder how much Jason Durall is bogged down with rulesy consistency checking, and whether he has volunteer or professional aides. Gloranthan fact checking is another criterion, and the one where the MRQ line made the IMO bad decision to keep creating Gloranthish rather than Gloranthan products for sake of their rapid-fire publication strategy. Parts of the Glorantha audience can be extremely nit-picky. (Look who's talking...) Allowing the authors to follow their fancies did result in a number of unusual-awesome concepts that would be totally fine in stand-alone products or less developed settings. I still wonder how animated metal plated skeletons become living machines. The Clanking City book used the material offered by Greg in History of the Heortling Peoples. With the chief Zistorite described as "to a great part a machine", why aren't the living lesser instances of Zistor cyborgs? The Machine Wars could have been flying magicians vs. Battletech. Avatar was published only in 2009, so dragon riders vs. robots would have been fresh and original at the time of publication. And Mongoose could have continued with Machine War episode books sufficiently similar to Avatar to appeal to that fandom without having to pay much if any additional royalties, having clear evidence for prior publication.
  2. Joerg

    Tattoos and Piercings

    I wonder whether there is either some suppressed magic for Alkothi to turn into Shadzoring Hell denizens or otherwise some ritual marking to transform them symbolically into these Zorani entities. Unlike mainstream Zorak Zoran, it is possible that their body modification to a normal Darkness Man Rune entity wasn't burning but flaying, similar to the Bat that at least according to one story used to be of a slightly darker (and bluer) color before Arkat overcame and flayed it during the Gbaji Wars. No idea whether it would have been nearly as chaotic and glowing as it is today, and whether its hunger was as chaotic as it is now. There are other such Zorani entities. Lodril as Monster Man, Deshkorgos, shares many such attributes. And maybe that's the explanation why the Pamaltelan cognate of Lodril is associated to the Red Planet. But the very least modification I expect from Shargashi is some form of Third Eye and a few lines indicating a skull face, a hell denizen face, or both. Scarification ritually exaggerated by cremation ashes would work for me. Possibly scarification through selective flensing. An accident with a concrete surface left an almost Harry Potter-like area of discolored (unpigmented, often sun-burned) skin on my brow. Shargashi might do this ritually - at first displaying the raw, bleeding wound (which does give a really gruesome appearance), then leaving these indelible lines of reduced pigmentation.
  3. I think I'd better make this a new thread. Over on the Help me sell RQG to my players thread I asked Could you point those out, please? They didn't scream out to me between the things that were, in your words, stuffed up badly. When MRQ appeared, I had been happily soaking up a wealth of new Glorantha material for HeroQuest and the Stafford Library, could go on with my localized world building and campaign exchange, and felt I had what I wanted to play in Sartar (which neither RQ2 nor RQ3 ever delivered beyond Apple Lane), and still had my own distillation of RQ3.5 with many of the refinements procured on the digest and from the AiG project, so I didn't feel in a rush to invest my rather sparse money at the time into that second line that promised to be Glorantha material. For those of you who appreciated the MRQ Second Age line, what was your previous exposure to RQ and Glorantha? So I have looked through my archives, and I found the bundle containing the MRQ1 rules. Skimming through them right now. Runes... enough has been said. Cults... The Storm King (and his worshipers) as presented in the rules book has thankfully little to do with the cult of Orlanth. The Brotherhood of Mithras, Childers of Hama-Dreth - yay, generic RuneQuest. (Though it has to be said that any game in the historical period that knew Mithraism in Europe has a lot of sympathy from me, thanks to works like Rosemary Sutcliffe's The Eagle of the Ninth Legion or Poul Anderson's King of Ys series. Long before The Design Mechanism renamed their RuneQuest game to Mythras, too.) Usable as Fate Points, or can be saved up to buy Legendary Abilities. On average you were supposed to earn 2 per session, and if you spent half of those as fate points, you'd take 12 sessions or so to reach the hero point cost for rune level rank prerequisite Legendary Skill. You'd still have to learn the other, specific skills. My original decision to go for RuneQuest rather than continue with my previous system of five years of intense campaigning and various offshoot campaigns in other corners of the world run by other folk from my gaming group was because I could get rid of experience points and silly training cost only recoverable by economy-breaking (and back-breaking) influx of ancient riches. This low amount of points is tolerable, but not desirable to me. I had vastly expanded and modified the setting originally coming with the game, leaving the original concepts and local geographies just sufficiently intact to be able to use any material produced by the publisher of that game or its supporters (which came in a semi-professional gaming magazine) for a new setting designed for the rules-set at hand (with some additions in the style of the BGB) inheriting from Viking Age Europe and fantasy versions of other real world areas, some of my favourite fantasy literature at that time re-skinned, and the concepts from Glorantha also re-skinned to my overall world (and universe) history and myth. WIth that background in my use of RQ, I'll try to give a fair assesment of the rules as they come, and not just why they don't feel Gloranthan. Ok concept. You can accumulate them (unlike the One Unique Thing of 13th Age) and create Greater Than Life characters while still playing BRP. As requirement for Rune Level - ok, if you have them anyway, why not. This leads to Super-RuneQuest at manageable percentages as you start again in the 30% range for these skills. Divide modified crafting roll by 2, 4, 8, 16 or 32 to achieve a Greater, Exquisite, Marvellous, Surpassing, or Heroic weapon. Another outlet for Super-RuneQuest abilities offering another avenue for the arms race. Sure, why not, if you like a worker placement/resource management game within your roleplaying campaign, or possibly even vice versa. I'd probably be willing to try this out, and the equivalent of Wayland or Ilmarinen is known in past Glorantha (e.g. Sestarto, Panaxles), so why not in the Hero Wars? As with the Alchemy skill, this kind of production chain may be interesting for people who admire Wallenstein and want to re-create his rise in the 30 years war as one of the units or minor factions in the Hero Wars. E.g. Goldgotti, or maybe the Free Philosophers. Or more likely, somewhere in Ralios. I wouldn't say no to a supplement that deals with the details of such economic processes in Glorantha, but I'd rather see RQG provide more directly gameable stuff for the Hero Wars activities foreshadowed in King of Sartar and the Guide. Something a licensee of Chaosium might produce. An easy way to get a permanent Bladesharp 6 weapon. And to equip the opposition with such tools of dismembering characters, so that for the price of an arm and a leg you can save the POW to enchant them. Yay. Good for a setting that has mass-produced magical swords without the flaw that they only work in the magical field of the magical city that produced them. That setting is not Second Age Glorantha, though. Yes, I am very fond of the setting design realism that was written in the Gamemaster's Book for RQ3, and the makers of MRQ obviously were, too. Their generic splatbooks probably expand on this. I have to say, presented with a setting designed for these rules, this magic concept would probably make an excellent game with some serious proof-reading and original setting design. But then, you'll probably have to go out of your way to turn BRP into something unplayable. Finding the rules for Heroquesting has eluded me so far (checked the MRQ1 rules, the Glorantha 2nd Age Book, skipped the Spell Book and had a look at the Companion). Details on Dragon Magic and specific God Learner stuff is hidden in later supplements, too. The Glorantha book never fails to shock me again and again with its inattention to well-documented sources (and well-indexed, at the time of writing, even if I say so myself). As much as I admire Robin Laws and his approach to writing rpgs and supplements (the first person narrative for the cultures is one of those touches which show his mastery), his research into Gloranthan lore for this book appears to have been a text marker in the Genertela Box and some of the pieces procured by Greg for the Mongoose authors, and writing the rest from inspiration rather than checking the written sources or consulting Greg or someone deputized by Greg. Since History of the Heortling Peoples was published in 2007, I am fairly certain that the data collection was available to the authors of MRQ. Perhaps too late for Robin to change his version of the EWF, given the timeline in this book, but there was a functional index online with the earlier mentions of Obduran. The color illustrations inside this book (apart from the maps, which are nice and fairly accurate where based on published versions of Greg's maps, and ... inspired rather than factual in other places, like e.g. Brithos) look like they were made for Settlers of Catan rather than Glorantha. Those in the rules book remind me more of the Warhammer Fantasy setting than of Glorantha. I don't take exception at the churchy bit for Malkionism - that was the doctrine at this time, as present in HQ1 as in MRQ, alongside the strict separation of the Otherworlds. A lot of that is present in Middle Sea Empire, and somewhat less of the churchy stuff but even more of the separate worlds in Revealed Mythologies. I advocated de-medievalizing the chivalrous West already on the RQ-Daily, suggesting Roman (Western) Empire parallels instead, with Viking Age forms of knights as the pinnacle of armor technology. Still too medieval for a brand identity when Arthurian late Roman period has been occupied with 17tj century chivalry in popular fantastic history, so good bye to chainmail, hi to bronze-scaled linothorax since we got the Guide. Fine with me, as long as we get some Ernaldan specific magic for flax and linseed farming, and possibly some tribes or Esrolian houses famous for this product. Pelorian, too, and likewise for cotton. Ok, the page count I worked or skipped through was about that of the RQG rules book, but on the whole, RQG has delivered about as much in the terms of rules and setting info as MRQ did with its first four books, at about the same price. GaGoG and the GM book appear to be mostly out of the writing phase and passing on into the "special effects" phase where the magic of copy editing, art acquisition and layout happen. That's how we got Hero Wars and the entire rebuilding of Glorantha as a commercially viable setting, so I don't disagree. But consistently putting out subpar production value in terms of basic quality standards like consistent use of game jargon terms doesn't really keep a game line alive. Ok, found in book 7 of the MRQ 1 bundle I have. This seems to be written from the Jrusteli "let's enter some other peoples' myth with as minimal knowledge as the players possess and stumble our way along." So yes, it has rules that make sense in the God Learner context, and the myths as a menu of plunder targets. The rules fail to even mention the community aspects of heroquesting, other than frequency of the ritual use of a site. So yes, there are rules for a type of breaking and entering the Hero Planes. Rules which (as written) are bound to break up your party into people who made it across and people who must remain behind. Talk about splitting the party, hard. Currently, freeforming heroquests using the examples in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes with the community stakes and consequences would be a better approach than following that first edition MRQ method. So yes, house rules it is, as far as RQ is concerned. Yet. When RQG Heroquesting rules come out, I trust we will at least find mis-spellings of Eurmal inconsistent and intentional rather than just sloppy.
  4. http://yetisports.org/ ?
  5. is slightly ironic, given that Chaosium has had products "coming" for decades, and now doesn't even give ETAs... This isn't just my complaint, but one I've seen specifically mentioned by other lovers of the game on this very forum). Don't confuse authors' deadlines with the time it takes to put out a finished product. Imagine you have four weeks to complete a 60 pages roleplaying supplement, from the first time you hear about the project to delivering your finished text. And then the artist has had at best eight weeks for the first assignments (two weeks into the product you should have given the artist(s) all the art direction for your major illustrations) and four weeks or less for filler art to make the layout more pleasant. A serious process of editing should include at least one back and forth of the edited text to the author(s) and back to the editor, then to proof-readers (ideally doubling as fact-checkers), before even being submitted to layout. And the text going from the author to the editor had better been proof-read and ideally fact checked before going to the editor. The author can submit art direction, or, if sufficiently talented, even prototype art to go with the text. All of that is time consuming. For an example of how much effort goes into such a project to approach a minimum amount of flaws, look up Martin Helsdon's Glorantha military thread here. I have produced a few scenarios on demand, usually with a good idea what I wanted to write about and the structure of the scenario already in my mind, then taking pains to lay off the railroading. I've been on the editor's (and even lay-outer's, 1990ies hobby standards only) side of the equation for a few scenarios, too (tossed in without prior experience). There is a huge difference between creating a great scenario or even campaign arc for your own perusal, and doing so for someone who doesn't have all that background you bring into this project and who needs to be fed with the necessary information in a way that remains fun and readable. Chaosium's early "coming products" often were the consequence of Greg Stafford being a visionary game developer who shared his visions with his friends and supporters. Unfortunately, the difference between a vision and a finished product is a lot of effort by a team of people against a great number of obstacles thrown into the way. We are better off for Greg taking that visionary approach as it provided us with that crazy complex setting that is Glorantha, but from a publisher's perspective in an era of direct feedback easily causing a huge stink or shitstorm giving ETA projections that can't be met for whichever reason is problematic. One such bunch of problems which just managed to overcome most of the obstacles is Sandy Petersen's Gods War boardgame. Admittedly a project with a crazy scope and execution, but after Cthulhu Wars and the first test runs of Gods War, something within expectation of the backers. Sandy and his folk coined the term "China ready" for such kickstarter projects, and their experience in fulfilling the Gods War kickstarter has made them re-define that criterion twice. Some of the commentary of impatient backers was ... typical for internet phenomena, to say it politely. Dealing with such issues can distract from productive work. Avoiding ETAs, and instead admitting to process stage statements, is a wise policy of NuChaosium, as far as I am concerned.
  6. Sorry about another deep plunge into grognardia. With almost the entirety of RQ2 material available again (lacking only the reprint and pdf of RQ2 Trollpak) as RQ Classic, this is relevant for both official lines published by Chaosium. RQ 2 provided Sartarite NPCs for Apple Lane and for Snake Pipe Hollow, plus exiles long away from their communities in Balazar and on the River of Cradles. While I started roleplaying just before Chaosium stopped selling their own RuneQuest material, I didn't manage to get my hands on RuneQuest before 1989, and then it was the Games Workshop edition of RuneQuest. I was aware of the game since 1985, when there was a German book by multiple authors presenting a number of game systems, RuneQuest among them. That didn't affect its availability in German shops, though. Yes, the firmly assigned rune spells were "overthrown" only with the rune power proposal by David Cheng, around 1994 or so, and the RQG rules for rune power are pretty close to my variant of that suggestion. That led to my proposal of pantheon initiation (also around 25 years ago), which I would nowadays amend to "initiation to your wyter". Since rune spell re-usability was zero for initiates (and apparently POW gain was way more reliable than in my games), these stats reflected initiates with their annual farming rune spells already cast. RQ2 did use cult membership as an identifier, so you are right, "lay member of..." indicated non-initiates. But then, all the cults that were published were mainly martial, healers, or otherwise potentially adventurous. The first mention of Barntar was in the last part of the Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha series, and where to find them was mentioned in the Holy Country overview in RuneQuest Companion. My answer to that is that is that while there were a few scenarios set in Sartar, there never was much published information on Sartar in the RQ2 era books. Apple Lane is the only RQ2 publication located in Sartar proper, and it is one of the least typical places in rural Sartar. Where is the Uleria temple in Clearwine, or the outlandish iron worker? Snake Pipe Hollow may start in northern Sartar, but is located in a chaos den. The Sazdorf ruins are located in the no mans lands on the Praxian border. The best coverage of Sartar in RuneQuest terms was in the Pavis Box. RQ3 did little to amend this. The main additional info on Sartar were the Staves of the Storm Priest and the What My Father Told Me Varmandi stuff. All of the previous editions of Chaosium-written RQ had their main focus on Prax and the Zola Fel Valley. Balazaring hunters got a better coverage than Sartarite farmers, and they had no story line in Griffin Mountain. So what are these earlier sources that have Sartarite farmers presented as lay members? Looking at the Adventure Book, we get the tenants of the Thane of Apple Lane presented on p.87. Yeah, there are two cultic affiliations mentioned, for tenant family 2, the scribes who left the service of the Jonstown library - lay members of Lhankor Mhy. Notable abilities: decent scores in Read/Write Theyalan. One thing leads to the other. Other than the fifth tenant, Kalla, all the tenants are Orlanthi. Do these farmers use Bless Crops, or is it up to the Thane or one of his followers to provide them with this magic? Interesting question, really. At least Kalla wouldn't have a good reason to have access to the Bless Crops spell. Each of the families has about an acre of tilled lands to provide them with something other than a cash crop. All of that put together would probably be covered by a point or two of Bless Crops. But then, these tenants are explicitely working the orchards, not plowing or anything. This is far outside of the normal primary production of Orlanthi farmers. Each of the families has about an acre of tilled lands to provide them with something other than a cash crop. All of that put together would probably be covered by a point or two of Bless Crops. This rather aggressive dissatisfaction of mine with the coverage of Sartar in previous Chaosium RuneQuest publications hasn't changed much in the last 25 years (and that was after I got my hands on the RQ2 era products alongside the RQ3 stuff, indexing and fine-combing them for obscure details). For all its miserable history of producing translations of RQ3 material into German, there have been two authorized (though of course not exactly canonical) publications for RuneQuest 3 set in Sartar in German language which (to my knowledge) were the most detail available in print for RuneQuest in Sartar until the publication of the RQG Adventures book. (Some of the authors of those are part of Jeff's gaming group in Berlin...) King of Sartar was our first source to tell us about the Orlanthi beyond what the Pavis Box, Genertela Box and the scenarios provided. It is the source of terms like "the Orlanthi All" (six out of seven), the prevalence of initiation, the term "wyter" and numerous other things we take for granted nowadays. It also brought us Elmal and Vinga. Nothing of that was present in the earlier sources. But King of Sartar wasn't a RuneQuest product. Any consequences drawn from King of Sartar and applied to RuneQuest were the work of fans, and never made official. (Including the RQ4-AiG playtest draft.) Hero Wars and HeroQuest 2/Glorantha have expanded vastly on the Gloranthan information for Sartar, and the coverage it has in HQG is fairly good, if limited to two hotspots (Orlmarth and Red Cow clans). Again, none of that is for RuneQuest. (HeroQuest 1 continued the Sartar Rising campaign started for Hero Wars, but didn't complete it, so we only got to the maiden voyage of the boat planet and never to the dragonrise or the battle of Dangerford.) The value of lay membership in the cults was not really made clear in RQ3. Cults and their importance were measured in number of initiates only, not in number of worshipers. RQ2 didn't have the meta-rules for temple size, agriculture etc. that the RQ3 GM book (either book 2 in the De Luxe set or the main book of the Advanced RQ box, or the GW Avanced RQ book) provided. Even RQG continues along those lines when it comes to temple defenses, only counting initiates to determine the amount of rune magic available for temple defenses. I used to interprete these meta-rules for temple size and magical power thereof along the lines that the initiation (the sacrifice of POW) creates the individual's presence in the realm of the deity the worship magic goes to, making the obligatory (and additional individual) sacrifice of personal magic (MP) of an initiate way more effective than those of mere lay members. That's why I advocated pantheon initiation for Orlanthi, based on the examples of Yelm the Youth and Aldrya's Children of the Forest, and the use and presence of the (clan and/or temple) wyter in the worship services to the deity. I would still argue for an initiatory POW sacrifice to the primary wyter(s) of the community (usually clan or urban guild, but also city god, regimental or war band wyter, rather rarely tribal wyter unless that doubles as tribal warband wyter) in order to make lay members as magically effective as initiates. The RQG rules thankfully measure temple sizes in the sum of lay members and initiates, a significant difference from RQ3, so maybe that workaround isn't required any more, but then I would see the donation of POW to the community wyter as the initiation equivalent. RuneQuest is marketed as the system where monsters and NPCs develop just like the PCs do, which is why we are having this discussion at all. The previous experience for player characters and their access to reusable magic seems to be worrying you when it comes to NPCs. The rune spells in RQG include a few rune point traps that block rune points from being regained - Bless Pregnancy, Safe and Create Market are primary examples of this. Rune Points used in Spell Trading are another such case.
  7. Sure, How about a friendly match with rubber foam LARP swords? With helmets, no stabbing, no magic, no audience support (aka water bombs), "blade" length and number your choice, otherwise pretty much as you like it. (Did I mention that I am more than six foot five?) You need giant referees for that. (My usual role in these games...) But without penalties for when your club happens to interact with other players.
  8. Yeah, sad face. How bad of me to ruin your game for now and all future, taking all the fun of massacring folk in bar brawls. There are other legitimate ways to beat the shit out of people related to you that you don't like very much - e.g. invite them and their friends to a "friendly" game of stick ball, aka full contact golf, as suggested by Roderick Robertson on the digest 25 years ago. Orlanthi laws are surprisingly full of holes when it comes to ritual activity. Not that the Lunar occupation laws agreed to that (the duel in Boldhome in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes), but who cares about that. Attorneys and Accountants has been the theme of many a session around Orlanthi law suits.
  9. Could you point those out, please? They didn't scream out to me between the things that were, in your words, stuffed up badly.
  10. Of course, the accomplished trickster will use the Lie spell openly to spread truths, especially uncomfortable truths. It will cause those opposed Lhankor Mhy lawspeakers and Humakti oath guardians to tear their beards and bend their swords trying to disprove what the trickster said.
  11. That's not the Glorantha I met. Everybody is initiated to some deity, usually Orlanth or Ernalda. But then, the big change is that - in RQ terms all of a sudden - both Orlanth and Ernalda have become bad-ass, rather than the agricultural providers of Cloud Call and Bless Crops. RQG sort of inverted the dilemma of the RQ3 "Shrines provide Cloud Call" doctrine. Also, the common rune magic spells have really become common, in that you don't have to travel to the next temple to renew them. Bless Crops has been the staple rune spell for farmers forever. And rune points invested in Bless Crops are bound up all summer long, which means they aren't available during Fire Season (campaign time). Nothing much has changed in that regard - you ritually cast that spell when you sow the grain (or whatever) on the freshly plowed field, and when you harvest, you can regain those rune points during the harvest festival. Herders have Bless Animals work similarly, but at a more opportune time - when the herds return from Summer pasture - and without duration. As a consequence, herders have more rune points available for combat, and they need them, too - because of cattle raids. But then, Barntar farmers are both plowmen and breeders of cattle, so they will have some personal magic left after the Bless Animal, and some reserve for Cloud Call. The Rune Power concept now allows those essential rune points to be used for warfare, too. Bars with brawls are a city (or at least market town) thing only. You don't clobber your own clan mates in your drinking hall for fear of invoking kinstrife, even if you would enjoy that so much. Fortunately, no such restrictions exist for in-laws, other than hospitality rites. For the other stuff, divinely sanctioned competitions and duels are the outlet. Arm-wrestling can be quite rowdy and mean. Bringing a gun or a lightning strike to a bar brawl is regarded as criminal intent anywhere anytime. I have been wondering how Pelorians (who rely on agricultural magics just as much as do Heortlings) get their ritual spells or their regimental combat magic cast, but the wyter rules provide something of a mechanism to enable that without them needing to initiate to a specific deity - just entrust the wyter (or whatever the Pelorians call that community deity icon) to the holy person of that deity, and support your wyter as you have always done.
  12. The text about wyters in RQG gives a very high information for word count ratio. Possibly more than can be easily digested. Basically, wyters are the way to magically establish a community that has magical consequences. The wyter is the manifestation of the community, and the community reflects the state of the wyter. My original idea of a wyter was a collective spiritual entity that formed from the group's magical unity, without a the need for a pre-existing entity to take on that role. Sure, the Protectresses are manifestations of Eiritha, but they are the collective soul power of the entirety of the bison (or impala or herd man) population of the Wastes that can manifest when herds are in danger. But then, wyters have been given quite a bit of individuality, which makes them pleasantly different from the ancestral notions of conformity for continuity. City gods often are wyters, with the founding father acting as the wyter. This has an obvious conclusion - the wyter entity can migrate from the original spirit to the founding father when the founding father has left the world of the living. The wyterhood gets transferred, and the former spirit may become a helper spirit of the founder. Fairly obviously, the Jonstown tribal confederation created a wyter when the city confederation was formed. Quite likely Hauberk Jon quested for it himself, possibly analogous to the westfaring (which is where Ginna Jar manifested - nowadays I think that Ginna Jar was the roving, not-sleeping soul of Ernalda). I am not clear on how specific wyters are for Orlanthi culture, or whether the Dara Happan city gods are a kind of wyter, too. Dara Happan regimental gods and regimental regalia appear to be related, with the wyter being the standard or whatever. As you asked for the grognard experience, let’s have a look at the publication history. King of Sartar was the first publication to mention the wyter, clarifying that we knew about it in the shape of Ginna Jar already. KoS (hardcover) p.218 “Tribal Spirit A tribe always has a protective spiritual entity. It is a collective entity or group spirit of the type called wyter. The tribal wyter is analogous to the ancestral clan spirit. It is a literal esprit de corps. Like all spiritual entities, the health, magnificence, and power of the tribal spirit varies with the number of individuals devoted to it. A similar type of entity is named Ginna Jar in the Lightbringers’ Quest. This name is a term of unknown derivation and impossible translation, but is apparently the Lightbringer Wyter.” The book was published in the early 1990ies, at a time when there were no new rules products, so the concept never got interated into RQ3. In all fairness, the RQ4-AiG playtest draft did mention them as a special case of cult spirits. In the early days of the digests we quickly identified the spirits of the magician units and the protectresses in Nomad Gods as some manifestations of collective spirits. Thunder Rebels created the definitive write-up about wyters, although not for RuneQuest. As far as I know, everythingsaid about (Orlanthi) wyters there still applies (though the absolute values for wyter strength are no longer used in HQ2). Sartar-Kingdom of Heroes picks up much of that text, and specifically expands on how a wyter may be used on a heroquest. Perhaps because of this coverage, the wyter only gets mention on two pages in the HeroQuest Glorantha rules. (13th Age Glorantha doesn’t mention wyters.) Arcane Lore has a couple of texts dealing with the evolution of the wyter mechanisms. I’m pretty certain that some of that stuff was experimental only, but it is another source for how this came to be. The Glorantha Sourcebook focuses on the military use of wyters in the Sartar Magical Union. RQG picks up much of that. As I said, reading the text once won’t give you much insight.
  13. Joerg

    Tattoos and Piercings

    Funny. I would expect dwarves to have body modifications as factory standard - mechanical or clockwork limbs, animated rock, etc. Mostali regard themselves as artificial beings, and becoming more machine-like would be becoming more like Mostal. Tattooing might be one of the more visible marks of individualism. Mostali come in a huge variety of body shapes, even within a single caste, so they are hardly uniform in appearance. Each dwarf becomes a purpose-built tool for the maintenance and repair of the world machine, whether in janitorial or in hard repair missions. Scars or brandings from exposure to broken machinery would be marks of either ineptitude or of honorable achievement. Nidan or Slon dwarves probably don't go for individualism, preferring conformity. Greatway dwarves celebrate individuality while conforming to their assigned tasks. Jrusteli dwarves trade for toucan feathers, indicating at least some sort of foppish individualism.
  14. Given the utter lack of involvement of Greg in the writing of MRQ (except for Dara Happa Rising), I am dubious about most that was written about the EWF in the early MRQ publications, like Blood of Orlanth. The treatment of the EWF basically was what convinced me not to play MRQ. It was to what I had learned about Glorantha what the Flat Earth society is to our world. The EWF leaders of the Third Council were mostly "short cut" mystics following follies like the Path of Immanent Mastery or Isgangdrang's variation thereof. These did gift them with Great Dragon bodies, but they did not achieve the draconic consciousness necessary for ascension to full dragonhood - despite or possibly because they were directing energies of draconic worship to themselves from all over the Empire. That cult from Blood of Orlanth certainly is one of those paths doomed to fail. There are other, proven ways to turn a human into a beast - the Praxians have a rune spell for that.
  15. Heler is gender-fluid and sex-fluid, but not necessarily hermaphroditic (as in both sexes at the same time). What non-humans would have been subject to Heort's Laws? We have no idea when the durulz adopted them. I doubt the Wind Children adopted them. The Kitori might, but I guess it is more correct to say that there were Heortlings who became Kitori (changed their species through Darkness adoption), and others who never were Heortlings. The Aramites were part of the First Council (indeed they provided the human speaker), but they were not Heortlings. The problem of a married person wanting to have sex with someone one is not married to can be solved easily - conduct a bed-marriage. It isn't quite clear how exclusive Heortling marriages are. There have been leaders with multiple wives, and there will have been priestesses with multiple husbands. In fact, the marriage of Orlanth and Ernalda appears to have worked under this premise, at least for Ernalda, but Orlanth siring Vingkot on Janerra Alone may have been sanctioned by an additional marriage, too. Androgeus is a case on herself, and he is not a Heortling, nor has she ever been. Yeah. Display signs of draconic powers, and you'll be killed the day you have been born, except for the EWF era and few exceptions (like Obduran before and Orlaront after the EWF).
  16. That's an unfortunate misprint in the genealogy. Goram Whitefang was the husband of Tarkala, Terasarin's younger daughter (granddaughter of Tarkalor).
  17. I do think that more than an Orlanthi All of the Sartarites are initiates - many of them to one or more of their wyters. My reasoning: if you go and gift your wyter with your POW, you might just as well initiate to it, and increase its rune spell pool when enough initiates are present. There should be no extra 10% tithe for gifting the wyter with your POW, and the rites to the Wyter are part of your annual ritual time allotment anyway. You will want a wyter with a high POW, because that's a wyter that can hold a lot of magic points, and provide spirit magic (like Heal 6 to re-attach a limb) more than a few times. Pretty handy for a warband.
  18. There are plenty submerged remains of Godtime now visited (or shunned) by merfolk - possibly drowned forests with skeletal trees supporting reefs, certainly drowned temple cities of Ernaldela. A lot less where Worcha struck against the Trembling Shore. (Likewise, there should be places in the Rockwoods where mountain peaks are surrounded by small reefs and even sandy beaches (both of course fallen dry) where the peaks stuck out during the Flood.)
  19. It should be possible to play a "Black Company" style game of a warband of sacred mercenaries hiring on with Lord Death on a Horse and remaining oath-bound honorable. It's not like the self-righteous Loskalmi don't make good villains. Ompalam priesthood: no worse than Yelmic priesthood, if you are of the Renewed ("tsanyano") faction rather than the brutal Oldster ("bolgaddi"). I am a bit puzzled why you place the Kralori exarchs here, and not for instance Rokari watchers, or Alkothi priests and rune lords. They are functionaries in a hierarchy, not ravening dragons demanding to be fed virgins or infants.
  20. At least in the case of widows dyeing their hair red, I would think that they take on vingan behavior, but that is temporary. There are surely other cults that take in vingans, like e.g. Redaylda, Lhankor Mhy, Issaries. I wouldn't speculate on gender in Eurmali characters - there probably is a story how Eurmal got pregnant.
  21. It's not like the Lunars hadn't encountered that high initiation rate earlier, when Hwarin Dalthippa suborned the Sylilan bear Orlanthi to establish Lunar rule over the Provinces. But then, those were fights between pro-Lunar and anti-Lunar Orlanthi, and the level of organisation of those Orlanthi wasn't anything to write home about if the Talastari are the measure of that. If you want something similar to the Roman distrust of the German cold and dark forests, the theme of the oppressive mountain peaks that obscures so much of their beloved sky and on occasion even the Moon, in combination with the absence of the Glowline, and the vast over-abundance of rain (compared to the Pelorian bowl, which gets most of its water from irrigation, even for "dry farming"). The community support bit will blow up in the Lunar faces when the Flame of Sartar is relit. With the kingdom's wyter fully functional again, the Sartarites might experience a cohesion tighter than the empire - at least while the Mask of the Emperor is ever more disfunctional.
  22. Ancestor worship outside of Beast Rider culture only makes sense when it works without requiring a shaman. Duke Raus was an ancestor worshipper, and as head of the family also the chief priest of the ancestor cult. I don't recall seeing a shaman from his family in his entourage.
  23. The Wyter is something like a sensation of common sense, and that may be expressed more strongly by somthing that is a huge magical beacon rather than a quite wilted plant. One might simulate that by capping the effective (resonating, not hate) passion rating to that community by the Wyter POWx5.
  24. You should have said that earlier - at least I was arguing from "this doesn't fit Glorantha". Personally, I don't worry much about cultural appropriation. It's not like it doesn't happen in the other direction, too. Adapting RQ to other settings to make the magic fit is quite a different proposal than houserule one's Glorantha game. I am content with the knowledge that this was written by someone who was practicing those beliefs and who wouldn't treat them disrepectfully. With the current bunch of rules. The other end of the power scale (the black of the Moldvay D&D boxes) hasn't been published yet, probably not written yet either. If you mean clearly distinguishable and quantifiable deities, yes, that's a refusal. That is inherent in the mythology approach to the world building. It took me about four years of playing RuneQuest before I played in Glorantha, back in those days when the first German language RQ was published (too little way too late). I am still happy with my Viking Age themed fantasy setting I created for my game.
  25. Isn't the point of many a heroquest to pull an enemy into a rather predictable set of options by assigning him a well-known (and disadvantageous to him) role? An out of mythical context situation is what happens if you lose your path while heroquesting. Biturian did not want to face Chaos that would kill an accomplished Sword of Humakt and keep his soul prisoner. That's different from "do not want to heroquest as the active quester." Being on the receiving end of other people's quests twice (Strikes of Anger in Sun County, the Zorak Zoran encounter) and wishing to remain a trader rather than a desert tracker in Corflu just means that these were not his causes. No, that's a Green Age event. More like "Orlanth and the Broom", or "How the dust mice became visible to men". 😉 That sounds a bit like what happened to Biturian on his ZZ encounter. Probably still "marked" as a stand-in for Orlanth, he may have been dragged into Rurik's partial (?) Hill of Gold quest (?) to pin down that ZZ death lord. Not just some places. The historical world of Glorantha is a mosaic of surviving shards from the God Time, with some spider glue in between, and those areas of spider glue are fairly common, and weaker in reality. That.
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