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M Helsdon

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M Helsdon last won the day on October 11

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About M Helsdon

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    Senior Member


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    RQ2, AD&D
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    Proofreader.... on Guide to Glorantha, King of Sartar, HeoQuest: Glorantha. Contributor to The Coming Storm. Etc.

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  1. Towers

    There won't be any more pictures.
  2. Corruption in the Lunar Army

  3. A Magical Economy

  4. A Magical Economy

  5. A Magical Economy

  6. A Magical Economy

  7. Corruption in the Lunar Army

  8. A Magical Economy

  9. Trade and Markets in Glorantha

    My definition of non-coastal sailing is sailing beyond sight of land. The Portuguese were far far later. Um, no, a trireme is very different in size and construction to a penteconter. The two ship types are very different. I'd be wary of using 'Men of the Sea' as a reference, as much of its material about ancient ships is inaccurate. A trireme has a full ram, often three-bladed; a Wolf Pirate has a a fore-ram and cutwater. The use and operation of the two are very different: the former is intended to hole the enemy; the latter to hold an enemy for boarding. Roughly true: neither are cargo vessels; a trireme is much larger. And neither were operating very far from friendly ports. There are reasons why the Athenians waited until Salamis - restricted waterway where their tactics and operational capability could overcome the superior number in the Persian fleet. The Spanish Armada is a good example of a fleet being scattered by a storm; the exploits of Zheng He are the subject of considerable debate. According to the Guide, long-distance trade routes out-of-sight-of-land are minor, even those taking 'seven days.' The majority of shipping is coastal. And neither are ordinary sailors. There's little room on a penteconter, and pirates throughout history have captured the cargo vessel, not sunk it. It's pretty tricky to offload a cargo from one vessel to another at sea, especially when the pirate vessel lacks a hold. If a pirate holes the cargo vessel, it will take its cargo and crew to the bottom. Unfortunately, on these small vessels, collecting rain to refill casks isn't very practical. Trailing nets acts as a drag, slowing the vessel. I'm afraid you seem to have misapprehensions about how triremes operated, and how they were supplied. A few fish are not going to feed a crew of more than two hundred. These are not long range sailing vessels. Speculation. And latest evidence indicates the Black Sea filled very very slowly, and Doggerland was so far away in time and distance as to have no bearing. It would be very unusual for a trireme or penteconter to carry enough food or water for more than three or four days. The main thing to draw from this is that penteconters are capable of remarkably quick bursts of speed and rapid maneuvers. Their battle tactics are customarily ramming and holding fast to the enemy vessel and then boarding – with the number of warrior rowers giving a numerical advantage. Bear in mind that a trireme rarely carries more than 14-20 marines, and a cargo ship very few if any fighters, but a pirate penteconter has fifty rower/warriors. The pirates swarm the target, and intend to capture the ship, its crew and passengers, and cargo whole. The vessel is then manned by some of their rower/warriors and sailed to where it can be offloaded at port. This tactic worked in the ancient Mediterranean and in the Caribbean, where pirate ships sailed with larger crews not only to overwhelm defenders, but to then sail the captured vessel.
  10. Corruption in the Lunar Army

  11. Cost of Iron

    Concur. Iron is a strategic resource, not unlike Uranium or Plutonium in the 1950s. This is why finding deposits to supplement the small quantities coming out of the Iron Mountains and released by Seshnela is so important. The majority of Iron weapons and armour in circulation in central Genertela are most likely either heirlooms, or taken as a prize from a defeated enemy (taking their ransom and their armour is standard practice, or stripped from their corpses - possession of the battlefield is important).
  12. Corruption in the Lunar Army

  13. Corruption in the Lunar Army

  14. How to teach Glorantha?

    Discuss the player's character, and then work out their backstory. Exploring their family, who their friends are, whether they trained as an apprentice, drilled in the militia, gained any schooling, and where they live will lead to chatting about what they know. Leave most of the detail off stage for now - their character wouldn't know most of it, and info dumps are liable to swamp enthusiasm. It's a bit like wondering how much a young Athenian or Spartan prior to the Persian Wars would know about their world: plenty about their home locale, the cults their family honours, but very little about, say, Carthage, Egypt or the Persian Empire.
  15. Corruption in the Lunar Army