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jajagappa

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jajagappa last won the day on November 13

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About jajagappa

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    Provincial Overseer

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  • Interests
    Writing, RPG's, history, art, genealogy, nature, science, and a range of other topics.

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  • RPG Biography
    Glorantha since 1982; ran RQ2/RQ3 campaign in Imther for ~10years; published fanzine New Lolon Gospel; contributor to Tales of the Reaching Moon, Enclosure.
  • Current games
    HeroQuest Glorantha - PbF Colymar campaign. RuneQuest Glorantha - PbF Dragon Pass campaign
  • Location
    Lovecraft Country, Massachusetts
  • Blurb
    aka Harald. You can also find me on Google+ Glorantha site.
  1. Can Warding be abused this way?

    I definitely endorse this view!
  2. Gloranthan Art

    Found in a small museum in Reading UK(!), a stone carving of Argan Argar (or perhaps Kimantor) travelling. Destination or purpose unknown, though he is watching the path behind.
  3. Setting Narrative Difficulty

    No, they are not. If everything is nail-biting, there's no climax, and no resolution. It's just a constant set of difficult tasks. They lose the story. And that's really what the game (or a given session) is about: they are part of a story. A good story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. How do you know you've achieved/finished the story? How do you even know what the story is, if everything is the same? And it doesn't necessarily have to be you as GM setting the story. @David Scott had a good example with the Samastina fleeing Nochet story. The players set that story: they wanted answers to a prophecy from Cragspider. That part of the story turned into Escape from Nochet. The resolution of that session was that they escaped and were on their way to visit Cragspider. Just not in the way anticipated, so that formed merely the climax to a larger story. In the larger story, they ended up visiting and overcoming Cragspider to gain the answers sought. And there was a dramatic Resolution there. But if the Queen was not an obstacle, but a difficult but feasible chance to succeed, then no dramatic tension in the escape. Or they have to battle each and every step of the way. There's a tough escape from Nochet. Then there's a difficult passage through Beast Valley. Then there's a difficult passage through the hostile Colymar lands. Then they have to face a difficult Lunar mage or perhaps dragonewts who block their way. Then they have to face Brangbane and his ghouls to move beyond. And maybe there is a difficult battle with chaos to get through Snakepipe Hollow. And then there's difficulty at Crabtown by Skyfall Lake to find someone to take them to Cragspider without being eaten... And it's just a story about slogging your way through, if you even do. What's interesting? What's memorable? Why does the meeting with Cragspider have any more meaning than encountering Brangbane or a Lunar mage? So, no, they don't become more interesting. They actually get more boring because they all occur at the same level of tension and the broader story is lost.
  4. Setting Narrative Difficulty

    But even there, we as GM's are gauging difficulty levels and how to narrate the story. We just do it in different ways. For instance, I finished running the new RQG Broken Tower scenario recently. In RQ, we use # of foes, their ability levels, and their frequency of arrival/interaction to set difficulty instead of abstracted levels. It's a bit fuzzier though to get the right balance. Go to too many foes, even with low ability levels, and you're likely to end up in a TPK situation. Yes, that's a resolution, but not necessarily one that will keep a campaign going or give the players a feeling that they had a chance to win.
  5. Setting Narrative Difficulty

    I start from two critical points which are common to most narratives, whether novels or movies: there's a Climax somewhere about half-way through and there's a final Resolution at the end. Those are the points of critical action and they have to be challenging to be memorable and satisfy the narrative. They need to be set at level that there is a way for the characters to win, and yet there is the chance that they will lose. In all likelihood they will have to burn Hero Points (some or all) to win. For me, these are always Extended Contests, and they will be tough. And I have to understand what the heroes can likely do in the way of abilities with specific ability bonuses and augments so that I can put those two contests at the right difficulty. Everything else works around those two points. There should be obstacles beforehand that are too tough for them to deal with directly and they need to find another way. There are events or incidents that tie in that are less dramatic and should be easier for the heroes to get through. There may be interesting events or encounters before the Climax or Resolution, but if the goal is to move the story along, then there should be a good chance of success. Or if the goal is to bring in a new twist, or new lead, then perhaps those are difficult but simple contests. I don't find it most interesting for the players to always "kind of" succeed. Those points do occur, but likely you never pay attention to the things they easily succeed at (because those go by quickly) or the things that present obstacles because they can't succeed at them. Tension increases when these intermediary points vary and the characters feel like they are working towards those significant points of the story arc.
  6. RQG Quickstart errata thread

    It's probably like a Common Rune spell where you can use any rune to invoke it.
  7. PDF of Wyrm's Footnotes

    I don't think you'll find that reading of WBRM anywhere in published sources. The RQ3 boxed set on Genertela which added a pseudo-medieval European flavor to the West of Glorantha, particularly in the artwork, is probably closest to that viewpoint (e.g. mounted knights, traditional wizards), but certainly diverged from Greg's view. Bronze Age permeates Greg's vision of Glorantha. The Sartar High Council outlined in WF 7 is clearly about tribes and tribal kings. The phalanxes of the Lunar Empire have something of a 5th cen. Greek look in WBRM, though Assyrian is a better fit (and the closest to Iron Age that you're likely to find). They are demon hell-horses which Ethilrist brought out of the Underworld, and that goes right back to WF 1. Unless you're looking over the Mongoose RQ line, all the published games and books focus on the late 3rd age either just before or as the Hero Wars begin (ca. 1615-1625). WBRM is pretty much set in 1625-35. This period is still bronze age tribes and settlements (and even the Lunar Empire is largely a tributary empire such as early Assyrian Empire). The Pol-Joni tribes which appear in Dragon Pass game are just on the margins of the Wastes and don't represent the bulk of nomads there. It's also something that goes right to the beginnings of the view of Prax in Glorantha. Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes is probably the most detailed background of the area and lore (and first time it was all presented since WBRM appeared). All the main gods are listed there, so you can take those and run with those in the direction desired. But the mythic background permeates it as well, so you'll just have to work around that. Probably Prince of Sartar. It's here: http://www.princeofsartar.com/comic/1-the-flame-of-sartar/
  8. PDF of Wyrm's Footnotes

    As others noted, there are no pdf's for old Wyrm's Footnotes. Most Glorantha specific articles have reappeared in some form such as RQ Companion (in process of becoming a pdf as part of the RQ Classic reprint), Wyrm's Footprints (a Best Of... set that is also OOP, but you might be able to find a hardcopy of), or the Glorantha Sourcebook (part of the 13th Age in Glorantha kickstarter which will likely be available on its own too some time in 2018). I'm not sure what specific information you're looking for, especially given you don't seem to want to go in the direction taken by Greg (e.g. King of Sartar, the Guide to Glorantha, or the HeroQuest supplements Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes or the Sartar Companion). Myth-building is inherent in almost everything Gloranthan, from well before WBRM appeared. The recent Wyrms Footnotes #15 has the index to all articles in the old WF line. I have #5, 7, 9, & 11-14 and xeroxed snippets from some others so have a pretty good feel for actual content. There were a few units added to WBRM (some of which are in the AH Dragon Pass version), new units for Nomad Gods, the series on Gods & Goddesses of Glorantha, the first 5 sections of the Lunar Redline history, a few articles based on the in-house Sartar campaign (particularly the Temple of the Wooden Sword), some odds & ends of Glorantha material (e.g. a fragment of Ethilrist's history of his Black Horse Troop), and increasingly a number of Q&A articles on RuneQuest. If there's something more specific you're trying to get to, let us know, but you may find that it's easiest to take the Dragon Pass gazeteer that @Joerg noted and run with that in the direction you want to go.
  9. p.55: several references to "tobacco" - Glorantha doesn't have tobacco, but does have kafl leaf.
  10. 1652 Great Flood

    Seers of Enervi; mad prophets; ancient prophecies; sightings from the Boat Planet; whispers from the Earth Witch; shamanic or mystic visions; lost words carried on forgotten winds... Any of these great rituals, requiring years of preparation, seem to pull on the threads of Arachne Solara's web. Depends on where your heroes are. KoS is all focused on Dragon Pass, Saird, and parts of the Lunar Empire and the Wastes. We don't know Harrekssaga, though it overlaps some with Argrathssaga. We don't know what's going on in the Holy Country or Maniria. We have hints of struggles with the Elder Races (e.g. the Reforestation). But there's a lot of places from which heroes can get involved in stemming the Flood. Send them off to Kylerela next time it docks nearby.
  11. What was Belintar up to?

    This assumes it was just ice that went down. From KoS p.201, it is noted "Far away, then, where the sea rushes into the bottomless hole, the Sea King called to his servants to close the Hell Drain. The Manthi of the Homeward Ocean swam in a tight circle, and the raging whirlpool of the empty hole was pulled tight. The corpse of a continent was thrown in to block it up. And for a moment, the hole was plugged, and the raging currents which were sucked into it were freed."
  12. Bits of Glorantha you ignore

    Pumpkins are definitely not cucumber-like (unless you have strangely shaped cucumbers). But they do make great faces.
  13. Bits of Glorantha you ignore

    The Gold Wheel Dancers I liked a lot. I had the opportunity to play Speaking Wheel, the last of them, in the Broken Council LARP. In my final action, I got some of the Dara Happans to place me as the Voice of Nysalor in the God. So, in my view, they never truly passed away but always became part of something greater.
  14. Gloranthan Scenes

    Unloading goods from upriver at a Fonritian city, perhaps Tondiji.
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