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M Helsdon

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Everything posted by M Helsdon

  1. Here's a preview of the 'gallery page' added to the rear of the document (behind the bonus pages about recruitment of the Lunar Army). There's only room for twelve figures, and unless people indicate otherwise, I don't believe another ten+ pages of these should be added... The latest version has been provided, but might take time to upload to DriveThruRPG.
  2. Doing shameless self-publicity: The Armies and Enemies of Dragon Pass suggests possible aspects of magic that might be seen/heard/felt etc. primarily by Element, but also for Chaos, and a few other Runes, and also the Elemental Hero effects that might be witnessed. There are also some descriptions of magics being cast and magical effects. There's a great deal more in the book that just armies and warfare... https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/296535/The-Armies-and-Enemies-of-Dragon-Pass?src=hottest
  3. Would suggest that there are two distinct disengagement situations: controlled and desperate, the equivalent in a battle of retreat and rout. Rout is faster, but your enemy is liable to have the ability to strike you, pursue and strike, and this is when most casualties occur in ancient warfare. Retreat is slower, and you may be able to parry, and be able to get away, if you are either faster, or your opponent chooses not to pursue, and if things go bad a retreat can become a rout.
  4. Afraid my comprehension seems to be affected by the shock of events even after more than a week. Have had to wade through the piles of paperwork of someone's life again today trying to find obscure information for probate. I know everyone has to work through the remnants of another's life at some point, and this is my second, and the worst. Will see what I can do. Tend to run out of motivation at particular times of day, so maybe I will try to create a mini gallery at the back of the book and ask MOB to upload a new version. May take me a week or two. Only a selection of figures will be included.
  5. Those are by Jan.
  6. One thing I could do, is add a few pages at the back with slightly smaller non-annotated images (save for unit) but the problem is there are over a hundred sketches, and if they are shown with any definition, it would need probably ten more pages. Am not certain for the implications for POD as the book is already too big) but would prefer to include them instead of as a separate 'poster book'. With the new sections already added as a bonus to the PDF of details of Lunar recruitment at the back, behind the index, (especially grantland soldier colonies), there is about a page and a half blank... So the question is: if you want some of the sketches in one place, how big should they be?
  7. I don't. I was starting to create a black & white version but real life (in the form of a death) has completely derailed all my intentions. A modern Adobe PDF application could probably create a b&w version with a few selections, but my Adobe is very very old.
  8. Thank you. Mini-posters had been considered, but at present I regret I am not in a position to do anything very creative. Afraid I am inhabiting either a grey fog or early morning despair at present. Today I made the funeral arrangements, which is set for the end of the month. A lot more people seem to die at this time of year.
  9. In happier times, this would have made me delighted and astonished, so I will share it here.
  10. The factors are briefly described on page 282, and mostly reflect the values in the WB&RM/Dragon Pass board game, with other units extrapolated. It seemed desirable to provide some quantification of the strengths of the units and entities, and the board game stats seemed ideal for this purpose. RQ stats for various regiments will, I believe, be provided in a future official publication, so I did not want to preempt or second guess that. Jar-eel is indeed extremely tough, though remember these don't just reflect the demigod or hero on their own, but their band of companions as well. The Red Emperor may not be as potent, but he would usually be accompanied by several units of the Imperial Bodyguard and Field School of Magic as well as other troops.
  11. I know. Even a bronze alloy, in and around Michoacan. Believe I saw a few pieces at the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City a long time ago. I suspect the reality (such as it will be in a fantasy world) is a bit more complicated than that. Um, it's a bit more complicated than that. Iron is not derived from dead gods. I've researched the production of iron, and steel, in some detail, though I don't claim to be an expect, though I have studied the methods used in ancient Europe, the Near East, India, and China. There's a very great deal we don't know about their production techniques, but we can work out the basic techniques. Archaeology has shown that the Chinese were probably the first to utilize pig iron in seal clay crucibles - but in Glorantha, I'd limit that to Kralorela. Um, only if you are very imprecise. That's a meme in bad fantasy; Game of Thrones did it because the producers thought it looked cool. It's a lazy approach. Um, red hot, white is a bit more difficult, and whilst useful for localized welding, it isn't exactly useful in forging a sword with any accuracy. But this doesn't really serve to answer the original questions: in Glorantha working iron is very rare specialised skill, known only to a very few. YGWV, but I prefer my fantasy grounded closely to terrestrial metallurgy. Terminus Est.
  12. If I recall correctly, Pendal is a son of Basmol, and with his wife Ifttala (whom Hrestol wounded), sired all the royal houses of the Pendali.
  13. Temperature has an impact on casting many metals, and for extracting metal from ore, as metals won't always be in tidy nuggets. For iron, it has an impact on extracting the ore, and in manufacture, as, for example, fashioning an iron sword requires different temperatures for different portions of the blade. Given that there are a few Human iron mines (though they always run out) probably formed from where dwarven armies and animals died en masse in the Gods War, the iron is likely to be tainted and require smelting. Pure slugs of iron purchased from the dwarves is likely to be as pure as they feel like providing, for a price. I work on the assumption that iron is very very different from other metals that result from the bones of a god. The other metals can be cast as liquid, and then subjected to a few other processes to make usable weapons; iron is different - if it were not, the working of iron into functional weapons would not be a secret of a very few cults (and I assume that only the dwarves can make really good steel, though some human blacksmiths can make not so good steel). Cold hammering non-iron metals into shape is possible for some (though not iron except as part of the later stages of the smithing process) but often results in a weaker object than by casting because what has been bent by force, can be bent by force again. To actually heat iron by cold hammering is pretty impractical - you need to have already heated the metal, even if you are using a power hammer, whether modern or medieval. When cold hammering is used on iron, the iron isn't literally cold, but at a stage sometimes called black heat, when the metal is just below a dull red heat - and the hammering is comparatively lightly done, if you don't want to ruin what you are working on. YGWV, but I consider iron to be a radically different material to the others - in Glorantha, because it isn't a natural material. Thus its mythological and practical properties, and why working iron is such a secret. Probably spreading around a material that lets others kill their racial enemies. Humans weren't seen as a threat to dwarf plans compared with elves or trolls, and so were simply cheap delivery systems, and their casualties didn't impact the dwarven war effort. Of course, now, the dwarves wish they'd made iron poisonous to humans as well, but seem to lack the capability to alter its properties - just as they seem to be losing other technologies such as making giant-sized jolanti. For the Gods, the dwarves, or more accurately, the mostali, were enacting their divine role in engineering and maintaining the cosmos. When the Gods War started, it took them time to realise that contests of skill had been replaced by deadly combat.
  14. Scenarios and sourcebooks are like two distinct but complementary things in gaming, without both, you don't have a very satisfying roleplaying experience, much as Cults of Prax added significant depth to the RuneQuest game and later scenarios.
  15. Sadly, my experience over just a few days is that it gets worse, not better; whilst this isn't the first close death in my experience, I have never been hit by so many symptoms or so strongly, which I am told are all normal. A neighbour of my mother is being very supportive, in part, perhaps, because I helped her bury a dog she was very fond of. Thank you for your offer, but I am not in a good place at present. It isn't helped by the time of year, and because the offices and businesses I need to talk to are mostly closed. I have never had to deal with the coroner before.
  16. I can't answer your questions regarding the RQ:G system, but iron working is very rare, and whilst a very few human cults are fairly good at it, they can't match the work of the dwarves. This may be why the dwarf skill is named differently, because the human skill always produces inferior results. There are no iron deposits in Dragon Pass or nearby, so the only sources of the metal are the dwarves, who will sell finished pieces for outrageous prices, or trade. If you can obtain iron, the human Third Eye Blue smiths can work it, as can some Humakti blacksmiths. A redsmith (who works bronze) can't work iron - the techniques, temperature (and probably the spells) do not transfer. A redsmith can work bronze, and copper and tin, in my opinion, because bronze isn't just dug out of the ground from the bones of dead Storm Gods, but alloyed using tin and copper. To learn how to work iron a redsmith would either have to steal the secret from the Third Eye Blue or the Humakti, or join them. The Third Eye Blue and Humakti guard their secrets closely, and a thief or heroquester who obtains what they consider their secret would have vengeful sorcerer smiths after them and/or bands of very annoyed skilled killers. Other cults probably obtain their items from them, or from the dwarves, or as cult heirlooms. Iron isn't known as the Death Metal just because of its effects on elves and trolls. If you try to steal from the dwarves, you are liable to be pursued by Iron Dwarves, and in addition to comprehensible iron axes etc. they may also have strange iron tubes that fire deadly projectiles, and make smoke and a loud bang - things no human understands. Shameless plug: I don't pretend to be an expert, but Armies and Enemies of Dragon Pass gives details of bronze and iron working, including three different ways of making an iron sword, not all equal in how durable. It makes clear just how distinct the skills and technologies (and magic) are. Additional: Suspect that a human smith has a skill in working all metals with a lower 'melting' temperature than the one they usually use, at least to some degree, as they probably won't have the same repertoire of metal-working songs/spells as a smith dedicated to a particular metal. A redsmith can make you items of silver or gold, for example, or use them to decorate bronze items, but if you want high quality work you need a silversmith or a goldsmith, for much the same reasons these were distinct crafts in terrestrial history. Dwarven skill sets are probably not useful, because dwarves spend centuries becoming extremely skilled specialists, so they are not a good model for human skill categories. Dwarves are far more single minded and single focused than any human, and intellectually are as alien to humans as elves. A dwarf who is a silversmith probably creates intricate things, but only in silver.
  17. Thank you. Unfortunately things aren't getting any easier.
  18. M Helsdon

    nomad Chariots?

    Sadly an awful lot of skills are needed to build a chariot, and magic would only let it be stronger or go faster, but not for very long. Whilst Greg's article on chariots describe a number of fantastic vehicles, the more fantastical ones fell out of use because they were utterly impractical. When it comes to things made by humans and other mortals, even magic only goes so far. Lunar Moonboats are made of magical wood, not reeds, and take an awful lot of magic. That's why the aren't used in mundane tactical deployments, because they are just so expensive to fabricate. Afraid I won't be very active here in coming weeks as real life has just intervened in the worst possible way.
  19. I regret that due to a family bereavement this evening, I will not be in a position to post more art or write 'Men of the West'. There's an awful lot to do, and whilst I have distant relatives in Canada and Australia, I am the last here.
  20. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/298400/The-Smoking-Ruin--Other-Stories?src=newest https://www.chaosium.com/the-smoking-ruin-other-stories-pdf/?fbclid=IwAR1pDe0PuY5CIQM8bBkwaYhN8GuZJfytHOU8acH_zJXRcBcSRPSA1rqjt60
  21. Obviously, I would prefer a POD option. However, if someone has paid for a PDF then how they decide to print it out for a single self-use copy (and when that wears out, another copy) for their own use isn't in my purview, whether on their own printer or as a single copy from a print shop. If they print multiple copies to give away or sell that effectively denies myself, DriveThruRPG, and Chaosium of royalties, so printing copies to give away is undesirable (unless the people in receipt of a copy buy a copy of the PDF), and selling the PDF or a printed copy in any way or form is theft, as is creating a pirate copy to be downloaded... Of course, printed and pirated copies aren't going to benefit from updates. I have a new version to go which fixes some typos, some errors and a few formatting issues. Please note this is purely my opinion, as in no way do I represent Chaosium or DriveThruRPG and my knowledge of copyright laws is slim (but good enough to know that releasing this book unofficially would not be a sensible thing to do - your attention is drawn to the copyright page). ADDITIONAL: Have just found the FAQ page of a relation of DriveThruRPG: https://www.pegasusdigital.de/faq.php?site=&test_epoch=0&language=fr What can I do with my ebooks? First, the one thing you should not do is make a copy of the ebook for another person. Contrary to what many file-sharing sites would have us believe, doing that is a copyright violation and more importantly, it seriously erodes the ability of publishers to continue to offer the best products possible. It's not like our publishers are minting millions as it is, so your support against copyright infringement is always appreciated. You may print your ebooks, and copy as many selections to the clipboard as you wish.
  22. This is probably going to take six months to complete. Am writing about a thousand words a day - and when the first draft text is done, it has to be illustrated. At present I have about fourteen thousand words, and have just got to the point where Arkat enters the stage.
  23. Am (slowly) working on a Western supplement (which might be overturned by new canonical material at any time). As with the Regional Warfare chapter in A&EoDP, the method is to gather up information, and then rewrite/condense it down. Whilst my assumptions are doubtless non-canonical, what I deduce about the Brithini Horali makes them very very powerful - at least two centuries of training and experience, subject to numerous zzaburi spells, ditto for their arms and armor, and frankly they make me think of Charles Stross' alfar (and in his novel, a depleted brigade of invading elves riding unicorns (flesh eating unicorns) do severe damage to Leeds and south Yorkshire (but then the UK is a desirable residence compared with their home Earth which has a severe case of 'Return of the Old Ones')). So... I have a page on the Brithini Horali, a few more pages on the Brithini generally and am now wading into Seshnela... The West is far more complicated than I'd imagined. No news on POD as yet.
  24. M Helsdon

    nomad Chariots?

    It was. Have used it as a source. However, there are chariots and there are chariots. If you want a mobile missile platform or a battle taxi, a herdman-pulled cart is not effective for those roles, or in any competition with a chariot pulled by horses, or with ridden animals. A human (or herdman) has an output of roughly one horsepower, and a horse or equivalent anything up to 15 horsepower, and adding more herdmen to pull your 'chariot' isn't going to significantly increase its speed (unless it is very heavy), and, as with adding more horses to a chariot team, won't increase speed but will increase endurance in that it can be pulled for longer. An important factor is that an effective chariot requires a combination of several highly skilled technicians, and morokanth, lacking thumbs, won't have those skills, and are very unlikely to have access to craftsmen, whether slaves, or inhabitants of Pavis, who have those skills. The best they are likely to get is a 'chariot' made of pieces of old wagons (and then, solid wheels will last longer in Prax, but they add to the weight). That brings us to materials: most simply not available in Prax, and so have to be imported. Ancient chariot wheels, in their day, were very hi-tech, expensive and labor intensive. There's only one real chariot in Prax, and that is an old old vehicle owned by the Count of Sun County, and it is only brought out on ceremonial occasions, when, for lack of horses, it is pulled, very slowly, by humans. It isn't now a war vehicle and even if he had horses (he wouldn't use any lesser non-Solar beast) I doubt he would drive it cross-country in Prax. The next is terrain: in the ancient world chariots weren't used for any distance - they were usually carried in pieces in carts and put together before battle. With the lightest, even when put together, the wheels and axle were 'rested' on a stand, because the wheels would rapidly deform. Chariots, even the heavies, were fragile things, and there are reasons why they fell out of use both in our world and in Glorantha as a tactical force... They will still be used in ceremonies and to transport Dara Happan senior officers (their long robes make riding a horse difficult), and to carry priests and mobile altars or magicians, but as squadrons of fighting vehicles they are history. If anything, a Morokanth 'chariot', to survive any significant use in Prax would be more like a fairly solid Sumerian war wagon, with four solid wheels, but much slower as onagers could pull it faster and further than any human team (have seen a recreated Sumerian war wagon, and on a level field it could go quite fast, but its cornering was poor - read, potentially lethal at speed).
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