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M Helsdon

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Everything posted by M Helsdon

  1. M Helsdon

    Swords of Central Genertela

    These designs are illustrative but not definitive examples. Differences in size, weight and detailed design vary according to the requirements of the customer and the skills and patterns of individual smiths. The style of hilt also varies enormously, and many of the styles shown might appear in conjunction with other blades. A: Pelorian sickle-swords. The examples shown vary from those almost indistinguishable from agricultural implements (though of much finer quality) through to Moonswords, khopesh and the form often described as a scimitar. B: Examples of Kopis swords. C: Examples of Doblian two-handed Rhomphaia. D: Orlanthi leaf-shaped broadswords E: Orlanthi long-leaf swords, also common in Esrolia. F: Western broadswords. The shorter swords are often carried as secondary weapons by Humakti and hoplites.
  2. M Helsdon

    Swords of Central Genertela

    Interesting. An artist could do these sketches in a few minutes; I take several hours. I can see I'm going to have to redraw this one; maybe I can salvage the horse and tack...
  3. M Helsdon

    Swords of Central Genertela

    Glorantha is Bronze Age in art, myth and the way people relate to their world. There are numerous anachronisms, and I'm not going to go down that rabbit hole. We know these things? Really? The Galana seems roughly equivalent to the British Iron Age horse, about 11 hands; the modern Icelandic pony measures 13 to 14 hands, which would make it a sizable horse in the western Roman world. For Glorantha, we have SIZ 3D6+12 for the Galana, SIZ 3D6+18 for the Daron, which isn't that much. I would note, again, that you are not looking at the actual size of the horse compared with the rider. Also note that the Icelandic pony is a relatively modern introduction... There are far more recent and complete canonical army lists. There are several 'combined arms' regiments. Bucephalus was probably a Thessalian, which had a reputation of being large (for the period) tough horses, or perhaps a Turkmene - extinct, but the modern Akhal-Teke may be pretty close, and modern examples are 14-15 hands; they are also probably related to the extinct Niseans. So, away from northern Europe and the eastern/southern Mediterranean there were some respectably sized horses. If the sources are accurate, Bucephalus did not come from a royal Macedonian herd, but from a travelling horse trader. When the Neo Assyrians went on a punitive expedition against the barbarians to the east of the Zargos Mountains, one of their prime targets were the horse herds of the Medes - because the horses were large and powerful, excellent cavalry horses, and because it was a means of disrupting Medean capability to attack them. I am not an artist. I look forward to seeing your artwork. Meanwhile, the result of a quick search online... Yes, I know this archer is using stirrups, but...
  4. M Helsdon

    Swords of Central Genertela

    Whilst you are correct that most ancient European horses were little larger than ponies (and some were ponies), there were larger horses, such as the Ferghana horses which measured around 15.3 hands, the Nisean which measured 15-16 hands, and given that the ancestor of the steepe horse, the Przewalski averages 12-14 hands – the modern Mongolian horse is still the same size, not all ancient horses were small. The modern cut-off point between a pony and a horse is around 14.3, but that’s in part that some examples of some modern breeds can reach 18 hands or more. The image you provide is not an accurate source for any horses in the Near East, as the artist would have portrayed the horses they were familiar with in the Mediterranean region. It is obviously inaccurate, because Darius’ chariot would have been pulled by at least a pair of Nisean horses, not small horses. Based on horse burials the average Roman military horse was around 13.2 hands. If you are interested in the history of the horse, there are a number of excellent books on the topic. The archer is in a hunched position, reducing his apparent height, and you may have been mislead by the scale shoulder-flaps. This may also have misled you as to the size of the horse. Note that his legs are folded up. It isn't a large horse. Actually, I'm basing it on some ancient horse breeds... The intent of these sketches is to illustrate equipment...
  5. M Helsdon

    Dara Happan Hospitality

    No doubt, but the nature of the greeting will be determined by relative status; a Lodrilli is likely to be far less status conscious than a city/noble Dara Happan, and be relatively friendly. If you aren't a Dara Happan, or a very senior Lunar, then you are obviously inferior, and in this case a noble Dara Happan is unlikely to even acknowledge you. Instead, they may have a lower status greeter who will greet these foreign persons, and then approach (with great diffidence) their employer, and if they aren't immediately dismissive, act as a conduit. If you are really foreign, then the greeter will be a slave (still of higher status then you, given their owner) and you are unlikely to ever see the noble personage, or get far beyond the outer courtyard or chambers. Should you be worthy of notice, then there may be a formal exchange of genealogies to determine relative status (and if noble they may be able to trace their descent from Yelm himself), and once your inferiority has been established, the correct manner of dealing with you will be determined. If you aren't sent away to deal with a functionary, then a servant might perform a meeting ritual (its duration depending on your status - short, and you won't be given an audience) probably involving the sharing of fire, and then cleansing you of spiritual pollution - if they really like you, you might be offered a greeting robe to wear over you obviously inferior garb, and sandals so that your impure feet do not pollute their home. The state of the robe and sandals predicts the hospitality you'll receive - a worn old robe isn't a good sign, and straw sandals are similarly a negative indicator. No robe or sandals and you aren't getting further into the house, chum, but the functionary might take your greeting and message to their boss. So for outsiders, you have to navigate the door porter, then a functionary, then perhaps a chamberlain, and in a noble household, there are likely to be a number of ranked chamberlains, and go through the exchange over and over again. Bearing a seal of someone of known status might ease you way. Lunars won't be as hard to greet, but relative status will have an effect. All non-canonical speculation.
  6. M Helsdon

    Swords of Central Genertela

    Tomorrow I should finish the full-sized version of this, and possibly complete another. Then... onto a couple of Praxians, which I've been putting off because many of the mounts are so large. After that, I start to hit a few problems regarding canonical descriptions of fairly obscure regiments, like the Blessed Daughters and the Green Bows, for example.
  7. M Helsdon

    Swords of Central Genertela

    Attempted various different versions, but they didn't work. Similarly with the lightning. Jagged lines looked silly, so eventually I tried shading the area and then using an eraser to create the lightning display. Thank you. To do list: Chapter Number of sketches Additional sketches required Introduction 0 0 Fundamentals of Warfare 0 6-8 Arms and Armor 10 0 Regional Warfare 18 1-2 The Battlefield 15 1-2 Transport and Mobility 0 1-2 Fortifications and Siege Warfare 0 1-2 Arcane Warfare 3 0 Gods of War 0 0 Armies of Central Genertela 0 0-2 Hero Wars Army Lists 39 miniatures Appendices 0 0
  8. M Helsdon

    Swords of Central Genertela

    There was (and is, in the book). Not canonical. This page shows several examples, none of which are definitive. In our ancient world there was no set template, and even swords of the same basic type varied significantly. I've included some falcata in with the kopis. Sickle-sword: A Kopis: B Rhomphaia: C
  9. M Helsdon

    Swords of Central Genertela

    And another. As it doesn't look right in miniature, will include the 'full sized' version. This was drawn using slightly different techniques...
  10. M Helsdon

    Devotee Plot Obstacles

    Perhaps reenact portions of this story about Orane? http://www.glorantha.com/docs/finval-and-the-magic-game/
  11. M Helsdon

    Swords of Central Genertela

    Two more. I'm going to have to pester Jeff for details of two others I'd like to illustrate. The larger versions of the latest two will require shading...
  12. M Helsdon

    Swords of Central Genertela

    Heroes are dangerous, and usually lethal not only for themselves, but those around them. Only a few leave a settled and stable legacy behind them. Gilgamesh comes to mind. But not Achilles, Jason, Theseus, Arthur, Beowulf etc.
  13. M Helsdon

    Swords of Central Genertela

    I suspect there is, subject to certain constraints and well defined areas of doubt and uncertainty, and it's mentioned in the Guide. I've spent some time attempting to 'quantify' it in 'Armies and Enemies' - pure conjecture, but it seems to 'fit' [I was initially attempting to create a battle system for RQ, but then found I had to attempt to understand what Gloranthan warfare was like, and this would have added some modifiers to major magics...] You can't question Time, as such.
  14. M Helsdon

    Swords of Central Genertela

    Yes, that was a puzzle. Of course there are many ways to take an augury, the Etruscans had five, including one that is more than suitable for Glorantha. Hepatoscopy had more prestige for the Greeks. In the ancient Near East and Mediterranean, there was a widespread belief that events would go the way the gods wanted, and if you attempted to defy the gods, then it would end in disaster. And of course, conversely, if what you did ended in disaster you must have offended the gods or misread the signs. Modern astrology is derived from the Hellenistic Egyptian version, with input from the Babylonian, and so ancient methods of divination are still with us. Retconning was common, sometimes to legitimize why you'd had to, say, seize the throne: your predecessor had obviously offended the gods, and as you now occupied the throne, it was because the gods wanted it so, so you must be a really great guy. Texts from throughout the Near East are full of this logic. Of course, if you were then defeated in battle, or lost the throne, you must have done something bad, which again your successor would point out. It's a system that can't fail. The texts of Sargon II are probably a good example, but when he died in battle, according to his successor for concentrating on building nice new city instead of doing what the gods wanted, his achievements tended to be conveniently forgotten. I'm certain this sort of thing is common in Glorantha.
  15. M Helsdon

    Swords of Central Genertela

    I hope I have found a solution, which might be worked into a game system, or used more imprecisely used by a GM for dramatic tension.
  16. M Helsdon

    Swords of Central Genertela

    One of the things in the back of my mind has been to see how Bronze Age and early Iron Age warfare works in a world that works roughly in the way the majority of the people of those times thought their world worked. A glaring difference is that those cultures believed the future (and the will of the gods, pretty much the same thing) could be foretold in omens and portents; in Glorantha none of the deities accessible to mortals can foresee the future. But...
  17. M Helsdon

    The Pavis Plan

    The terrible truth of what Morris Dancing disguises as a dragon...
  18. M Helsdon

    Theyalan-centric history.

    Strongly suspect that the Theyalan perspective makes it very much easier for new players instead of dumping everything on them and causing them to run away. Dragon Pass, whilst obviously alien, isn't hopelessly alien, and is accessible despite the weight of decades of world building. Those who delve deeper over time, will probably hit the God Learner Syndrome, because we know much more about Glorantha than most Gloranthans, and they will start to believe they can define and categorize Gloranthan mythology and work out all the apparent (but only apparent) inconsistencies and gaps. Those who survive GLS may eventually realize there's more going on than they realize, and that the Theyalan and God Learner perspectives are only partially correct, and often inaccurate. Finally they will become Illuminated and realize they can no more define and categorize Gloranthan myths than they could actual Greek mythology (as it is apparent in the ancient sources, not the GL constructs we usually read) and realize it doesn't matter.
  19. M Helsdon

    Swords of Central Genertela

    Thank you for your comments. Much of the 'look' derives from the fact that it is written in Word, converted to pdf, without any of the more sophisticated publishing tools. This means there is wasted space where text can't wrap around illustrations, and there's no way of putting in background effects without making the document even larger than it is (and it now crashes Word if I use some functions...) It is about fifty pages shorter than a volume of the Guide. The look was also influenced by the rule books of Thomas Harlan's Lords of the Earth, which I edited and maintained for him for many years, and by certain technical projects I have worked on in the past. Am presently proofreading the document (again) and have reached page 80. Typos fixed, a few duplications removed, and sadly, a little text added. Should the document go from being a fan book, then the format will not be under my direction, and an editor will hopefully find the typos I haven't and will probably require it to be cut down in size (it's now way too large - have already deleted several appendices, and may knock out the Terminology tables as duplication). The book is probably far too ambitious, going from 'the very small' to a 'cosmological' scale. Found I had to explore all my assumptions to try to work out something consistent with Glorantha. Over the past two years in addition to plundering every moderately canonical source I could obtain I've also worked through many books in my library and purchased even more, some on esoteric topics related to ancient warfare...
  20. M Helsdon

    Mini Scenario

    Thank you for your comments. This mini resulted from reading through the three official scenarios, and realizing that they overlapped events in The Eleven Lights, the end of which would be hard for anyone in Sartar to miss. It was an attempt to give a little cultural background and the opportunity to exercise skills. A GM could easily send PCs scouting over the river and encounter the [spoiler withheld] which feature in the third scenario.
  21. M Helsdon

    Mini Scenario

    A mini scenario that sits between the second and third scenario of the GM's Pack, with a tie-in to another product... War in Winter.pdf
  22. M Helsdon

    Swords of Central Genertela

    Presently reading through the hardcopy and finding and fixing typos. More than I would like, but it always seems easier to spot them on paper than on a screen. No typos on this page... [The images are derived from the Chigi vase.]
  23. M Helsdon

    Drive skill

    Accidental post.
  24. M Helsdon

    Drive skill

    A chariot is a very different vehicle to a cart or wagon, unless it is being driven very very slowly. Where the cart and wagon are robust and heavy, a chariot is light and as robust as it can be, given its need to be driven at speed over relatively rough terrain, and to navigate a battle field, where rapid changes in direction are required to avoid hazards such as enemies and dead bodies. This is why chariot drivers are 'paid' so much - theirs is a specialist skill.
  25. M Helsdon

    Swords of Central Genertela

    Too big, which is why I am now concentrating on filling up empty space. The appendices and index (which is about 14 pages) could be ejected. Will have to ask Jeff if I can.
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