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Everything posted by Jeff

  1. Your can run your games as you will, but that is the intent of the rules. That's not really a "disagreement," so much as wanting a different set of rules on the matter.
  2. If adventurers don't have cults in the area, then replenishing Rune Magic is supposed to be hard.
  3. Mechanically we find it very easy. Players go to their temples and that becomes a significant event. It becomes key pillars around which they structure in-game time.
  4. Yes. And the Cults Book will provide tremendous amounts of information.
  5. Nobles? Properly speaking a typical clan has a chief (and their household) and a chief Earth Priestess (and their household). That's the nobility. You really find more nobility around the tribal kings, city leaders, or Sartar household. I've said this elsewhere, but Thunder Rebels presented the Orlanthi clans like they are atomic monads for everything in Sartarite society. That's not really the case. Although nearly everyone belongs to a kinship group, there are lots of positions of power and authority that are not really clan-based.
  6. As an aside, the moment someone who doesn't belong to a cult or occupation that would deal with geometry (so let's be kind and say Lhankor Mhy, Flintnail, Sartar the Builder, philosopher, etc), then it is perfectly ok to say that the character knows less geometry than the player. So start by asking "how does your character calculate that?". I kind GM might say INTx4, a cruel GM might require a more specific Lore or Crafting skill. And then how do you measure this out? There's a reason why geometry largely developed to meet some practical need in surveying, construction, astronomy, and various crafts. Most Gloranthans have no training in it what so ever, and are just going by approximation and innate spatial awareness.
  7. Agreed. In the games I run with very experienced and rules savvy players, they use spirit magic all the time. They are perfectly willing to spend Rune Points, but those go fast - even if some already have over 10 RP. Especially if they add Extension to a spell.
  8. Oh Gagarthi don't attack when it is stupid for them to attack. At least not usual. But these are folk outlawed from tribal society and expelled from their religions - they end up with Gagarth because he's the only one that will take them. They band together because they have to - I doubt they trust each other, but they need each other into order to survive in a hostile world.
  9. A sorcerer is anyone who uses sorcery. Do you mean a professional sorcerer? There are basically two options in the core rules - be a scribe of Lhankor Mhy and you get to be a sorcerer. Or be a weird philosopher and learn sorcery. Problem solved.
  10. Gagarth is a bigger cult in Prax than in Dragon Pass. I suspect the average Praxian knows a little bit more about Gagarthi than the average Sartarite (to whom they are boogiemen). And Gagarth is not particularly secretive. They are outlaws who don't give a damn if you know or don't know - as they rarely interact with others under the supervision of authority.
  11. Keep in mind that those sources largely describe things at the Dawn or First Age. They are for the most part more than twelve centuries out of date.
  12. Here's some information on the cult in the Cults Book. I am not sure his cult even exists in Dragon Pass - members flee to the Wastes to survive. NATURE OF THE CULT REASON FOR CONTINUED EXISTENCE Gagarth is the deity of senseless violence, as opposed to the Storm Bull, whose brutal destruction is never without purpose. His worshipers are outlaws, cast from their own tribes. SOCIAL/POLITICAL POSITION AND POWER Gagarth’s cult has no real societal power. His raiders ravage nomad camps and settled villages, plunder herds, and steal valuables. They hunt down and brutally kill travelers. Such misfits have no standing in any Orlanthi or nomad council. PARTICULAR LIKES/DISLIKES Gagarth’s cult has no true friends. Most of his worshipers have been expelled from other cults. The sacred time rituals of both Waha and Eiritha include ritual curses designed to inhibit the Wild Hunter and keep the plains habitable for normal people. When grievous calamity threatens the Wastes, however, alliances of convenience are formed with Gagarth’s outlaws or they may be hired to perform foul deeds that would sully the hands of a noble Waha khan or Orlanth chief. THE CULT IN THE WORLD ORGANIZATION The cult of Gagarth is found throughout the Wastes and they travel even more than other nomads. They generally tend to hide out in the wilder, more barren wastelands, to avoid retribution for their evil deeds. Thus, like their god, they have been driven into the hinterland, there to remain forever.
  13. Your Glorantha Will Vary, but it is worth pointing out that the description of Lonisiland and the Haradlaro in the Guide bears absolutely no resemblance to the fan "Haranding" description in Tradetalk. Lonisiland is the most traditional "Orlanthi" part of Esrolia and bears the most resemblance to the Ditali and Solanthi.
  14. Part of the problem here is people are thinking of this as "conversion" or that Elmal and Yelmalio are separate entities. But this is no more conversion than Alakoring displaying his Orlanth Rex magic in the Third Age. This is not a case where Monrogh said, "Hey I have this idea that Elmal is one of the names of Yelmalio, let's talk about it." It was more that Monrogh was able to SHOW you the truth of that in the inner worship rites of YOUR cult. "Your eyes were clouded, rinse them, and now look at the True Light. That is Yelmalio." Monrogh was challenged and tested, and each time he successfully proved his claims, in this world and in the Hero Plane. The cult spirits accepted him, Divinations reinforced him, and no Spirits of Reprisal ever came (indeed, Monrogh became the cult's spirit of reprisal). At this point, to be someone in Dragon Pass that refuses the acknowledge Yelmalio as a title of the Cold Sun, Lightfore, the Sky Dome, the last Light in the Darkness, etc. is to be perverse. You are refusing to accept what you have experienced in your cult rituals and worship ceremonies, concluding that the cult spirits have somehow betrayed you, that the ancient challenges and tests are wrong, and that somehow all communication with the god is misleading. At this point, you are cast out of your local Elmal cult (now normally called Yelmalio) and can go wander on your own. Also there is a lot of weird stuff brought in from other cults in these discussions. Yelmalio doesn't hate Orlanth, but he does hate Chaos and is resistant to the Lunar Way. The cult uses gold wheels rather than silver coins - but this is the sort of weird monetary policy we might associate with Sparta (which went for "valueless" iron currency to get to the same point). PARTICULAR LIKES AND DISLIKES The cult is hostile towards Darkness cults. Yelmalio hates Zorak Zoran, who stole Yelmalio’s powers of heat. Worse, Kyger Litor and all her kin are despised for the long fight they put up against the forces of Light before the coming of Chaos. The cult has a rivalry with Humakt’s cult, but one purely professional. There is no rancor in the relation, and individual Humakti sometimes can be found commanding a mass of Sun Dome spearmen. Humakt builds warriors—the Sun Dome trains soldiers. Because elves worship light without fire as their sustaining sun god, the cult likes and is liked by elves. Yelmalio accepts and tolerates the Lightbringers for the aid they gave his father, despite previous battles. There often are close ties with the cults of the Lightbringers, particularly that of Lhankor Mhy. Yelmalio is sometimes a rival of Orlanth’s, but never a bitter one. Yelmalio hates Chaos. He is stubbornly resistant to the Lunar Way and distrusts the Red Goddess for bringing Chaos into the world. Nevertheless, the cult is willing to serve the Lunar Empire as mercenaries. MONETARY POLICIES The temple has a peculiar and troublesome habit of always measuring costs in gold wheels, an oddly fractional system for a world which runs on silver L, but the cult is adamant on this point. It certainly, and perhaps intentionally, helps contribute to their general isolation. The Priests and Lords of the cult have a religious obligation to use the cult metal (gold) as much as possible. This gives them the image of ostentatious riches, which is not always the case. They despise silver, and pound silver coins into lumps of metal before trading them for gold, even though it decreases the trade value with local money changers and those who work in precious metals.
  15. Or wait until the new Sun Dome County book that Jon Webb and I have been working on comes out. That presents the main Yelmalio cult in Dragon Pass.
  16. I never have any problem with Players making creative use of Rune Magic or Spirit Magic in play. Just don't assume that is how the NPCs operate. And certainly don't assume that is how people normally make use of magic. They are adventurers - let them run with it!
  17. Why would there need to be an outlaw subcult? You just need to find a community that will accept you. Gagarth has no need for community.
  18. Free means full members of the community - for the Sartarites that means you are part of the clan and tribal assembly. In the end it is that you have sufficient stuff - weapons, livestock, land granted by the community, whatever - for you to be acknowledged as a full member of the community by the rest of the community. A full majority of most Sartarite communities are full members. Semi-free means just that - you aren't seen as a full member of the community and don't participate in the assembly. Maybe you work land that has been assigned to someone else, maybe you watch someone else's herds, maybe you support yourself by picking fruits, helping out at harvest, and doing odd-jobs and manual labor. All that kind of stuff. This is often an age related thing, and the Orlanthi have plenty of tales of semi-free herders or itinerants late became leaders in their communities. The Sartarites don't have a lot of slaves (the Orlanth cult strongly discourages the practice), and those it does have are there from debt, crime, or war prisoners. As for what is going on in the conception of the Sartarites, I recommend reading WBRM or Dragon Pass.
  19. I am sticking with thane because Greg used that term very early in writing about the Orlanthi - long before the Orange Book in fact. But thane simply means: Thane Theyalan. Literally means “Martial Companion,” this denotes a member of the Orlanthi martial aristocracy. Often transliterated as “Lord”.
  20. If I recall, Heretic's Country refers to the growing number of Pentans in H'har as Jing. Remember, that the Pentans are "heretics" - they are Yelm (Pure Horse People) and Yelmalio (Cattle Herders) worshipers who reject the entire Peloria Red Moon-Yelm imperial system. Worse yet, about a quarter of them are now storm worshipers.
  21. As an aside I have never said that and I am getting very tired of this being repeated. Please consider this a warning.
  22. I do not subscribe to "only Bronze Age terms will do." But I intensely dislike "cottar, carl, godi, thralls" and the rest of the semi-Scandinavian terminology that got used. I find them incredibly drab - and result in people thinking they are playing yet another setting based on the Norse (e.g., Skyrim, Valheim, Banner Saga, Vikings, et al). Greg and I talked about this quite a bit while working on the Guide - in the late 1980s, Norse terminology was largely unknown in the broader American geek population. You might get a few elements of it from Tolkien or some snippets of dialogue from a Walt Simonson Thor comic. And so back then it didn't connect with something that many people had seen or experienced - so it hinted at something, but wasn't particularly restrictive. That's not the case anymore. The Sartarites have paved roads, libraries, caravans, caravanserai, a large city with stone residences carved out of the cliff side, reside on the edge of a arid plain filled with allied nomads - these are things we want to emphasize. They have far more in common with Hellenistic Bactria or Bronze Age Greece than they do with medieval Norseman (although they are not either). Using pseudo-Germanic terms just confuses things. Free are next, the free class of farmers and guild members. They have a life-price of 500 Lunars. Free people have the widest range of legal rights and responsibilities. This rank is sometimes called a “Cattle man.” To qualify, a household must have a whole ox‑team and a plow, and they receive as much land as they can plow in two seasons: about 80-120 acres total and called a “hide” of land. Free people are also expected to own a minimal set of military equipment, and use it to defend the community whenever the chief says to. Tenants, also called “Sheep men,” are the next class and are considered “semi-free”. They have a life-price of 200 to 250 Lunars. These are the people who work land assigned to others, apprentice crafters, and/or make much of their livelihood from sheep herds and garden plots.
  23. Nope. Probably handled on a clan by clan basis with them. And far far fewer.
  24. And of course, you drink your clearwine out of a wide-bowled drinking cup you pass around. These drinking bowls are often ornately decorated and very valued. And the Orlanthi don't water down their wine. And drink plenty at their festivals. Priests offer praise to the gods, then the bowl is handed around and everyone takes a swig. Repeat again and again. Attendants make sure the bowl is always full. Music is played, there are dancers, while the rest of the folk get drunk. You make sure everyone is entertained, because you have drunk armed Orlanthi who take insults seriously and are notorious for their violent outbursts.
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