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Quackatoa

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About Quackatoa

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    Lancashire

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  • RPG Biography
    Stew Stansfield, duck-fondler
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    Glorantha
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    Lancashire
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    'owdo!

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  1. Quackatoa

    FAMOUS DUCKS OF THE HERO WARS!

    (Is there a sord/sorn mix-up here, or German-language thing I'm missing? ) The parrot-people of Forng? Greg doesn't think so.
  2. Quackatoa

    FAMOUS DUCKS OF THE HERO WARS!

    I'm sure, yes! I definitely name criminal gangs after terms of venery. Especially keets. (TERROR OF THE KEET TONGS!) I also like 'sord', which means you can do sword/sord puns. (Which sadly backfire when everyone tells you you've misspelled 'sword-sage'...)
  3. Quackatoa

    FAMOUS DUCKS OF THE HERO WARS!

    These days, I find I focus almost solely on characters, who are conveniently idiosyncratic and unreliable narrators on a subject that, I think, benefits from a considerable degree of ambiguity. (I always think I fail, though, and go too far!) So I'm currently writing up the in-my-Glorantha personages of the Duck Point ring* for 1625. I have to do a picture, though—always have to do a picture—so heaven knows when it'll be done. (It won't be of the members of the ring. I'm not that co-ordinated.) For clans, I use the list of potential duck clans seen in King of Dragon Pass (Rune Ducks, Thunder Ducks, Old Ducks, Spire Ducks, Beaker Ducks, Cabbage Ducks, Slapfoot Ducks, Marsh Ducks), with one or two of my own added. That accords fairly well with the population figure. Sure, the clan names date from the Resettlement Era, and most of you buggers probably killed them on your playthroughs. But I'm lazy and I'm happy with it! Martin et al. also followed that line in Tales of the Reaching Moon #19. *Yes, I know Duck Point doesn't have a city ring in the sense of a ritual-political basis for a tribal confederation. The ducks do have a ring, though, which likely meets in Duck Point.
  4. Quackatoa

    FAMOUS DUCKS OF THE HERO WARS!

    Tarkalor built the road for distinctly human benefit, not ducks'. (And it has quite the benefit.) (Ducks got along just fine along The Stream! I rather think a lot of duck banditry is, jokingly, down to Tarkalor's road putting a lot of those ducks who worked The Stream out of business. After all, you need a highway for there to be dandy highwayducks...)
  5. Quackatoa

    FAMOUS DUCKS OF THE HERO WARS!

    Some afternoon Duck Lore. 'Cos who doesn't like afternoon Duck Lore? Duck Point & Stone Nest: A Tale of One Two Cities I've been scribbling and sketching some silliness about Duck Point, recently, and therefore came up against the amusingly weird farrago—or is that anti-farrago?—that is the relationship between the duck settlements of Duck Point and Stone Nest. I did some investigations into this half-a-dozen years ago, and thought I'd reprise that info on the two cities here. Because, of course, they're supposed to be the same place... Maps, Part Urrrghhhhn Many of us know the story about how Duck Point came to be in Glorantha. Greg, when making the maps for White Bear and Red Moon (1975), named several settlements after friends and contributors to his past and present endeavours, notably the fanzine Wyrd. One friend, Brian Crist, asked that Greg named 'his' settlement 'Duckburg'. Greg, conscious of Disney's litigiousness, demurred, and instead settled on the name of 'Duck Point'. Duck Point would be a feature of maps of Dragon Pass for decades to come – albeit not always, as we'll come to see, in the same place... 'Stone Nest' is first mentioned in the 'Sartar High Council' freeform write-up in Wyrms Footnotes #7 (1979), which is reprinted in Wyrms Footprints (1995), pp. 96–103. Specifically, it is mentioned in the private knowledge known only to Joseph Greenface, the duck shaman and spokesbeak. Joseph knows that the ducks keep "... a third of their warriors on alert and mustered at Stone Nest... unknown [he thinks] to the Empire, who do not occupy that little city." There is no mention of Duck Point in Joseph's information. There is no mention of Stone Nest—only Duck Point—elsewhere in the write-up. Stone Nest does not appear on any published maps of that period and receives no further mention until the 1990s. In Tales of the Reaching Moon #5 (1991), Jon Quaife's map (p. 3) showed the greatest detail on the area hitherto published. Jon's map is based on Greg's own master map of Dragon Pass, which Jeff kindly posted here. Similar details appear on Phil Anderson's map on pp. 34–35 of Tales of the Reaching Moon #19 (2000), which is reprinted in Wyrms Footnotes #15 (2012), pp. 16–17. On these maps, there are clearly two separate localities: one, marked 'Duck Point', sits at the confluence of The Stream and the combined Creek-Stream River; the other, marked 'Stone Nest Ruins', lies around ten miles inland. That's pretty clear, right? Not quite. All roads lead to... well, it depends On the Jon/Phil/Greg map—which, as the most detailed version, is the basis for subsequent maps such as Wesley Quadros' insert from Dragon Pass: Land of Thunder (2003)—'Stone Nest Ruins' sit at the terminus of the Wilmskirk road. There is no road, way or path marked between Stone Nest Ruins and Duck Point. (N.B. There is a trail on Wesley's map, for reasons we'll come to in a minute.) Yet on William Church's original Dragon Pass and RuneQuest (1978; 1980, p. 108) maps, it is Duck Point that clearly lies at the terminus of the Wilmskirk road. King of Sartar (1992), which doesn't mention Stone Nest, speaks of Tarkalor building a road between Wilmskirk and Duck Point (a 'river port'; also 'Duckton'; pp. 44, 139). Subsequent publications follow this line in word and cartography, notably Barbarian Adventures (2001; p. 5), Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes (2009; p. 248) and The Guide to Glorantha, vol. I (2014; p. 188). So why, on multiple maps, does the clearly attested Duck Point road—and the point of a 'Wilmskirk–Duck Point road' is that it generally goes from Wilmskirk to Duck Point...—not actually reach its destination? Maps, Part Deux The answer likely lies on another map of Greg's, which is printed in History of the Heortling Peoples (2007), p. 12. (You may need a magnifying glass.) On this map, there are two familiar settlements. The one at the confluence of The Stream and the Creek-Stream River is labelled 'Duck Point'. The settlement ten miles inland is labelled both 'Duck Point' and 'Stone Nest'. The Wilmskirk road goes to this latter settlement. (Actually, it doesn't. It stops a few miles short, for some reason, and a trail continues the way. This is copied by Wesley.) And therein lies the crux. Greg would sometimes place Duck Point in different places on different maps. William Church's RuneQuest map is itself indistinct, while the maps of Thunder Rebels (2000; p. 51), Barbarian Adventures (p. 5) and, most notably, Yurek Chodak's map from 'Dragons Past 1' in Different Worlds #28 (1983) [reprinted in Wyrms Footnotes #15, p. 51] all show Duck Point inland, in the same position taken by Stone Nest. Greg Sez... Looking at all this, I wondered if there'd been a mixup. The mention of Stone Nest in Wyrms Footnotes—from a duck's perspective—seemed a fitting choice for the duck endonym for a small duck settlement ringed in walls of stone, which the humans and other outsiders called Duck Point. The map in History of the Heortling Peoples seemed to support that, as did the multiple contradictions over the terminus of the Wilmskirk road; that confusion over the placement of a single settlement somehow resolved into a state where there were two settlements in two separate places. So I asked Greg. His answer (repeated twice, for emphasis)? They're supposed to be the same place. "One [Duck Point] is the human name, the other [Stone Nest] is the duck name." I'm not sure exactly how, or when, the idea of Duck Point and Stone Nest becoming separated became standardised. But in my Glorantha I like to put them back together again. (And, yes, it's supposed to be at the confluence of The Stream and the Creek-Stream River.)
  6. Heh, don't ask me - I honestly have no idea what I'm doing most of the time! 😃 Years ago, I was getting a bit bored with the standard Upland Marsh-centric ducks, and wanted to explore the tens of thousands of ducks down in southern Maniria. Then I decided that was—as per most of my thoughts—a stupid idea, and stopped. But the mischievous snippets of conversations that have come up on this forum about Imarja etc.—i.e. that she was a keet fleeing/navigating the drowning currents who managed to get the stupid and gullible humans to worship her—have convinced me to resurrect some stuff, mostly as horrific ruins hinting at washed-up keet overlords and colonies in ages past. And giant duck heads are ace. The Lavar stuff is thus quite interesting. And if any survived the sinking, where did they go?
  7. Quackatoa

    Maker Magic musings

    CONGA (a.k.a. JOIN EFFORT) (GOLD DWARFS) 1 point Ranged, Temporal, Active Those targeted by this spell receive a cumulative +10% bonus to any action—such as an attack with a specific weapon or against a specific opponent—if another target of the spell attempted the same action in the immediately preceding Strike Rank. This bonus increases by +10% for each successive action in the chain, so long as the sequence of attempted actions in successive Strike Ranks is not broken. Each point of strength of the spell allows the user to select an additional target. Each time the spell is cast, the user expends 1 POW in addition to the magic points cast.
  8. Quackatoa

    Maker Magic musings

    This lovely thread has inspired me to update the magics of Gloyadze Extractorfan and the Mostali Sound Machine to RQG. This heroband travels Glorantha seeking to repair those parts of the World Machine that are misfunctioning on account of vibrating at the wrong frequency. RHYTHM IS GONNA GET YOU (a.k.a. STABILIZE RHYTHM) (various castes*) 1 point Ranged, Temporal, Active Upon casting this spell, the user compels all entities within range to vibrate at the proper frequency. The user discerns and sets this frequency into rhythm according to Strike Rank. Typical tempos include simple time (SRs 1, 4, 7, 10), triple metre (SRs 1, 5, 9) or something more funky (SRs 1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12). Each time the spell is cast, the user expends 1 POW in addition to the magic points cast. Each entity within range of the user must roll their DEX against the spell's strength. If they fail, any 'off-beat' actions—i.e. those occurring on a SR not specified by the user—suffer a -10% penalty per point of strength of the spell. *This spell is used by various castes, affecting entities that are within that caste's sphere of competence.
  9. Quackatoa

    FAMOUS DUCKS OF THE HERO WARS!

    Latterly, my conceit has been that just as humans use animal hair and feathers to decorate their helmets, clothes and armour, ducks—and other Beastfolk—use... Human hair. Particularly beards. I have a piece on this I've been meaning to finish (and might do so now). Also, a word on feathers: I draw a lot of them. I guess some might think it's weird for feathered creatures to adorn themselves with yet more feathers. I do it because I think ducks are showy little things and like to display not only their own plumage, but also that of others. In the nicest sense, they will keep and display the feathers of ancestors as sacred mementos that frequently act as spell and spirit matrices, charms, fetishes, etc. In the nastiest sense, they like to ritually pluck and humiliate their enemies and rivals, and display such feathers as a sign of victory and dominance. 'Pluck' is the rudest swearword in the duck dialect. "(I'll) Pluck you!" "Go pluck yourself/your mother!" "Get plucked!" "I'll be plucked if I'm doing that!" I did start writing this up a few years ago, as well as rules for duck duels, where participants would sacrifice POW (?) into feathers, which would then be plucked by the victor. But I lost it somewhere... As to the last point... no! I really should have a think. That could be quite fun! Sadly, I'm quite slow and have so many things to finish...
  10. Quackatoa

    FAMOUS DUCKS OF THE HERO WARS!

    Updated the first post with some new links to some recent (and not so recent) nonsense.
  11. Quackatoa

    FAMOUS DUCKS OF THE HERO WARS!

    Both very true! Ha! I did try to think of things a decade ago (and am not especially impressed with my attempts...), but have since shied away from it a bit. I think my issue is I don't trust my abilities to juggle the possibilities while retaining a sense of fun ambiguity. (I do seem to be banging on about 'ambiguity'!) My Glorantha these days is often incredibly superficial – an image and a few breezy paragraphs of text at most... I know there's the theory that ducks, rather than being a sui generis Dragon Pass oddity or remnants of an ancient Vithaelan migration, were stitched together by Delecti and/or the EWF. (Keith likes this one.) And also the slightly more interwoven approach that Rick takes in his write-up in Tales of the Reaching Moon 19, where ducks and Delecti have at times been neutrally or even amicably disposed to each other (and in cahoots on a few occasions). And then there's the more familiar "Undead... Boo! Humakt!" approach. For my own part, I tend to follow Rick's lead on how ducks and Delecti have co-existed and not do much thought of my own. Incidentally, do you remember this post on the Digest? I mentioned it on the RuneQuest Facebook page recently, and rereading Rick's lovely passage about ducks' inbetweenness and effective invisibility to Delecti and his minions makes me wonder if it was an influence. Also it contains the line: "Delecti can, however, transfer his spirit to new bodies as the old one rots away." Which does rather open up the portents of your idea (if not ruling definitively on whether Delecti was originally a duck)! 😃
  12. Quackatoa

    Ducking the issue

    Cheers, David! (Though I see I still had absolutely no idea how to draw duck feet... 😉)
  13. Quackatoa

    FAMOUS DUCKS OF THE HERO WARS!

    I didn't want to clog up the RQG Bestiary with this tangent, and here seemed pertinent. Also this thread is full of utter bollocks anyhow, and the OP (me) isn't going to complain. DO DUCKS HAVE BOOBS? I honestly don't care. Same way I don't really give a stuff how they give birth. I'm not the perverted duck-fetishist some of you think I am. Honest! But it does raise an interesting question: how you communicate and signal femininity and masculinity, or sex and gender, in a race like ducks — which, in their base form, don't have the obvious sexual dimorphism that plagues informs human fantasy art? The obvious mechanism is that that real-life waterfowl exhibit: plumage. But outside of the most common breeds—like the mallard—the audience doesn't have the knowledge to pick up on the cues an artist might give. The only way to overcome this would be systematically define it for the audience and artists alike. And that—I'd suggest—is a terrible idea; one that goes against the lightly sketched ambiguity that is central to ducks. Also: real-world female plumages tend to be boring, as opposed to the Culture Club tribute-band thing the blokes have got going on. So that's largely out. So next is anthropomorphisation. Just how many sexualized human features do we project on them? Like boobs, for instance? Duck boobs are something I've wrestled with a lot over the years. ... Anyway. So, yep, I used to draw female ducks with boobs. But I stopped because the boobs made them unbalanced. And while I wrote that sentence in a deliberately silly way, I'm actually being serious. My very first ducks consciously aped the form of Ralph Horsley's illustration in Wyrms Footprints (p. 101). Over the years, they skewed away from Ralph's more duckish style to my slightly more anthropomorphised style. But I kept the same general symmetry and contrast: BIG HEAD – small neck/chest – BIG BELLY/RUMP – small legs – BIG FEET. OK, you can't see the feet in Ralph's picture. That might be because duck feet are a pain in the arse to draw and he hid them. I did—and do—that all the time. Nowt to be ashamed of! So, anyway. You have a symmetry of BIG—small—BIG—small—BIG. I just found that, drawing ducks the way I do, enlargening the 'small' chest area would throw that symmetry off. I couldn't get it to work. So... no boobs 4 U, ducks. Of course, if you draw ducks with different proportions, you might be able to get boobs to work. You dirty gets. N.B. Using this symmetry and sense of proportion, it's also really difficult to go full Rob Liefeld with ducks. THANK GOD. So no back-breaking 'feminine' poses. All this means I'm still struggling. So now we come to eyelashes. Yes, I know it sounds naff, but this can actually work. One of the benefits of ducks is that they have a strong history of obvious satire and farce. This means we can often use ironic caricatures, statements and jokes in a way that won't wash with human characters. You'll all have seen the cheesecake barbarianessess in a chainmail bikini, accompanied by the knowing wink and "But I'm actually being ironic! I'm mocking the genre!" Hmmmmmmm. But with ducks you can get away with that a lot more easily. Because no-one really sexually objectifies ducks. Not even me. So I do occasionally draw ostentatious eyelashes on ducks. It seems to fit with the history of feminine duckish caricatures without being too pungently off-putting. That brings us to socio-cultural trappings, including clothes and adornments. Daisy Duck, in addition to her eyelashes, used an array of bows, dresses and heels in pastel pinks and lilacs. Yeah, that's not happening, is it? You can obviously mimic the male and female fashions of, say, Sartar and Esrolia on ducks. That can help. But what if you're drawing a female duck warrior? That's tricky. And that's where I was saved by '70s/'80s disco. At some point, I decided to gender-swap the cheesy medallion-man stereotype and have female ducks wear big copper medallions to proudly demonstrate their femininity. These medallions were adorned with the runes of the goddesses they worshipped (or had worshipped, in the cycle of goddesses) in their lives. That helped a bunch in giving me something to further differentiate between male and female ducks. Of course, you don't need medallions. Any runes are good. Runes are always good. Glorantha does like its runic element- and gender-essentialism. So for me it's eyelashes and disco. For Andrey it was boobs. ---------------------- Anyhow, I've talked enough bollocks. So here's a picture – a teaser of things to come in Hearts in Glorantha #7.
  14. Quackatoa

    RQG Preview - more of the Bestiary

    I jokingly intimated this on the Facebook page. We've had: DO DUCKS LAY EGGS? and DO DUCKS HAVE TEETH? Now we prepare ourselves for: DO DUCKS HAVE BOOBS?
  15. Quackatoa

    Your first RQG character

    Unsurprisingly, I did wot Iskallor dun!
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