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Quackatoa last won the day on June 23

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About Quackatoa

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    Stew Stansfield, duck-fondler
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  1. Quackatoa


    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...
  2. Quackatoa


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


    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)! 😃
  4. Quackatoa

    Ducking the issue

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


    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.
  6. 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?
  7. Quackatoa

    Your first RQG character

    Unsurprisingly, I did wot Iskallor dun!
  8. Quackatoa

    RQG Fanzine When?

    I always smile when I see mentions of relative remuneration for artists and writers. Glorantha has always been a wordy world, and certainly isn't alone in that. And while that is changing, it still treats words as holding a greater and more persistent truth than art. Art, as wonderful as it can be, can be viewed as being too imposing upon the interpretations of the viewer, too potentially jarring. Idiosyncratic rather than universal. Art's the sidekick; the augment. And yet who gets paid? It's a weird world we live in. 😉
  9. Quackatoa

    Nochet - pronunciation

    I'm half-convinced the Caladran ancestor, Kudja, was named in the same fashion. "Greg, it just says 'ancestor god' here at the mo'. Could you give him a name?"
  10. Quackatoa

    Glorantha technology and Glorantha material technology

    For what it's worth, in my Glorantha I do pretty much what Edan Jones does, with the Fire-metal–Earth-metal mix, though I perhaps don't use the term 'brass' much. Serpentspine is one of the more common names in my Caladraland, on account of veins being found in the centre of the greatest primordial lava flows that slithered and crawled down the mountains.
  11. Quackatoa

    Glorantha technology and Glorantha material technology

    Whoah, hang on. This is just supposition, isn't it? The brass/bronze thing has always been a mess as people try and reconcile absence (lore) with prevalence (names), from Elder Secrets' intentional contrariness (albeit not on this issue), through the Tales-era conflation (carried on into HeroQuest 1st ed.) to the Guide staying shtum. I'm not against it, but... P.S. Anyway. As long as you all allow for there to be enough technology for me to be able to read my copy of The Far Point Roof-sharpeners' Trade Magazine in peace, I don't really mind. P.P.S. Also, with the increasingly explicit association of gold with the Fire rune (Guide, p. 16)—as opposed to earlier, hazier associations with 'light'—I'm hesitant to push Lodril firmly into the sky-metal camp.
  12. Quackatoa

    Esrolian Merchant Ships

    I think I've only ever considered ships twice in my Glorantha. (i) When Harrek, after great sacrifice, warded his ships' hulls and rowed them upstream against the raging currents of lava flows all the way to the summit of the Vent, where he sacked the High Temple and stole the mountain's magic. (*coughs* This needs to happen in official Glorantha, btw.) (ii) When I discovered that the Closing was caused when Loueydril and Hueymakt's brother, Deweymal, got into a bad run of luck at Casino Town and had to pawn his yacht, closing the seas until he had enough winnings to get it back again. (Making or not making this official isn't really a dealbreaker for me.)
  13. Quackatoa

    Casualty rate in Gloranthan battles?

    My name's Stewart Stansfield. I had no input in ILH1 and saw (may have briefly commented) on ILH2. But creative input? None whatsoever. I don't know Wesley, have chatted briefly with Martin and consider myself friendly with Mark (though as acquaintances, rather than friends - we don't really know each other). Hang on, this isn't going into 'Jordan B Peterson vs Postmodernism' territory, is it? For me, one of the fascinating things about Glorantha is how it does change to fit the game-system. Maybe not in its major themes, but certainly a great many lesser ones or their manifestation. That's what I find so fascinating about a broad-Church world like Glorantha. Bladesharp (RuneQuest) and Community Support (HeroQuest) feed into different Gloranthas. Each is a flawed and imperfect lens, but brilliant and fascinating in its own right. That's why I'm looking forward to 13th Age also, and how it will show me yet another Glorantha. It'd be boring if they were all the same, no? Here we get three Gloranthas for the price of one! Or three. Three for the pr... oh, nevermind. And this is where things get awkward. I know a little about military history. Sure, my focus isn't on ancient warfare. But I'm well aware of the historiography and the prejudices that infuse it, past or present. And I don't necessarily see many of these things as problematic in the way you do. I've seen how you've contributed to Glorantha over the past few years. Much of it has been wonderfully rich and dedicated. But there's something about how you've interacted with the topic of Gloranthan warfare in particular that makes me feel slightly uneasy. The appeals to canon and historicity; as an authority without seeming to have any skin in the game. I said that yourself and Martin Laurie are very similar. You are. But there's one main difference: Martin freely and unapologetically created his own stuff and placed it into Glorantha. These days, that almost comes across as a bad thing. Boo! Usurping Greg's creation! and all that. But not for me. I want more of it. I want that dissenting opinion that, now, I may think is utter bollocks, but in five years time I finally see the brilliance of*. I want to hear what makes Glorantha tick for other people; I already know what makes it tick for me. (*Yep, I saw The West Wing too!) I realise that can seem a bit weird to people discussing Gloranthan now, where we don't have the messy, crowd-sourced creativity of old, or the everyday Wild West shootouts of the old forums. (Though Joerg and Peter do us sterling service!) For me, Glorantha has always been about the rough edges. The tensions, ambiguities and disagreements. The discordant voices that don't fit, yet somehow combine in some weird manner to produce their own harmony. With Gloranthan warfare, I get the sense that we're trying to file everything down to a single perspective or according to a particular rationale. I think it needs more diversity. This will undoubtedly come across as an attack upon you, Martin. In some ways, I guess, it is. You've done a lot of great work. I'd just like you to stand down the piquets and let a few other people in to help. They're not as scruffy as they may seem. Anyhow, that's me done. I've taken up enough of everyone's weekend!
  14. Quackatoa

    Casualty rate in Gloranthan battles?

    Actually, that's bollocks, isn't it? It saw it coming in artistic slow-mo. Talk about Zeno's paradox and St Sebastian dying of fright... Heh.
  15. Quackatoa

    Casualty rate in Gloranthan battles?

    I don't think so, no. You're a fan and consumer, Steve. Nowt wrong with that, and I'm not trying to elevate any type of Gloranthaphile to a higher moral plane. But you'd probably have a different perspective if you were a creator. And had spent hundreds or thousands of hours creating material in support of a paradigm of mutual support and recognition that you thought existed, but actually didn't. Look, I'm not trying to make Glorantha into an episode of Sesame Street. Glorantha is full of incredibly opinionated, brilliant and wilful people. And some of us—me included—are utter dickheads. Ideas differ and often can't be reconciled; people think theirs are better. Some people lose out. Such is life. We're big boys—and, Jane apart, uniformly boys—and can take it. And there are no angels or heroes. Certainly not me. I happily went about shitting on Caladraland stuff by people like Vesa. Mark (surreptitiously) and Martin L. (more openly; "Martin Lawrie goes to charm school") crapped upon Nick and Chris' Lunar Empire, just as they had their stuff crapped upon in return. Everybody does it. Well, did it. We've shrunk quite a bit. Like Simon, I've seen several generations of "We've finally got Glorantha right this time!" Fair enough. I actually enjoy elements of change and the confrontation of ideas. I also get bored of something easily, so it is often nice to see something new. Admittedly, you're curious about what was so wrong last time—particularly as everybody seemed similarly enthused—and you do wonder why, if someone's conception is so fundamentally flawed, they were allowed to write a book for half a dozen years without anyone telling them. But when I see a book like ILH1 described as poor, it rankles. Poor? Really? I get that people have different ideas and promote them in different ways. But when, as Simon touched upon above, that finds its expression—banal, brief, dismissive—in this manner, I'm not onboard. I have a similar reaction to when I see the dreary references to 'anthropowanking' used as a imprecise, catch-all pejorative to anything and everything people hate about Hero Wars-era Heortlings. Like we see on that RPGnet thread, for example. Fuck's sake, lads. If you think Thunder Rebels—and you mean Thunder Rebels—is an anthropology textbook, I give up. To see that a word that was self-deprecatingly self-applied, or initially used in a warm and humorous manner, devolve into a term of derision? That truly depresses me. It's the sense of us spiting ourselves. And if this is a departure from the usual "Yay! Glorantha's ace!" jollity, I'm—honestly—sorry. The thread is titled 'Casualty rate in Gloranthan battles?' and it may be argued I'm off-topic. But thinking on it, I can't think of any more missed casualties of Gloranthan conflict than people like John Hughes, Roderick Robertson, Jeff Kyer (for whom I sadly take partial blame), Mark Galeotti and Chris Gidlow alike. (Nick is sort of involved on the sidelines, these days.) Some of them even did each other in! And you can add—Newt's sterling efforts apart—fan-publishing to that list. Poor sod didn't even see the round that got it! So I'm probably just in mourning. And on that note, enjoy the weekend!