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Bohemond

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Bohemond last won the day on November 3 2019

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About Bohemond

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    Senior Member

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  • RPG Biography
    I've been playing RPGs since I was 8, in 1975. My older brother discovered Glorantha in 1981, and I've been playing it ever since
  • Current games
    The Orlmarth Campaign
  • Location
    Milwaukee
  • Blurb
    My blog, An Historian Goes to the Movies, at aelarsen.wordpress.com, deals with film and movie from the perspective of an academic historian.

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  1. I'm not very good at accents, so I generally don't do them very much. But my newtlings sound kind of like Winston Churchill. For some reason, my players LOVE this. They have actively begged me to have them run into newtlings so I'll have to do 'the Newtling Voice'.
  2. The cult write-up in Sartar Companion describes BGs as "seek[ing] murderous vengeance...hard, cold, and dangerous women intent upon the sacred duty of revenge" who "must never love, make love...or even fake affection with anything but their goddess" and who are "cut off from society". In my opinion that's unplayable as a PC, and it feels very much like a misogynist stereotype of feminine anger. I had to re-write the cult write-up to make it less extreme.
  3. * Babeester Gori are not psychotic man-hating lesbians. Some of them may be, but many are simply warriors. * Foundchild is a shamanistic cult, just like Waha and Eiritha. Its survival skills are secondary to Waha and Eiritha's, but still very important for surviving in the wastes. Similarly, Helpwoman is somewhat more prominent as well. * Praxian men's names don't all use 'Waha'. * Morokanths are omnivores. Praxian society views them as people but not humans, while gern are human but not people. * Kallyr Starbrow might manage to become Prince of Sartar--still haven't had to make up my mind about that. * Sartarites recognize three sexes: male, female, and Helerite. Sexless, intersex and hermaphrodite people freak them out and seem Chaotic. Helerites are sex-fluid, but not genderfluid (they present as either male or female as feels right to them, but abide by the male/female dichotomy). * Dara Happa is misogynistic, but not quite as oppressive toward women. Yelornans are a thing, although most Dara Happens dislike them. * Sartarite cities are mostly hill forts, not Minoan/Mycenaean citadels.
  4. I don't know that I'm actually trying to persuade anyone of this. I just find it...amusing. Kero Fin is the most obviously phallic deity in Glorantha that I can think of. I mean, 8 miles of stone dick is really hard to miss, and yet somehow no one's noticed this before. And you're right that it doesn't seem to explain anything we already know. I'm more spitballing an idea here and see what emerges from it. That's how I do a lot of my best thinking. Don't apologize. These kinds of conversations need to happen in the gaming world, which is often a bastion of sexist assumptions simply because no one ever points them out. Glorantha is an amazing setting for thinking about issues around sex and gender--it somehow manages to be both profoundly about fertility and gender and yet has room for a lot of really different takes on sex and gender. It's a good reminder that there are a lot of different ways to think about these issues than the way contemporary Western culture does.
  5. Sometimes a giant stone dick sticking up for miles into the air is just a mountain? I'm a bit skeptical, especially given the rather profoundly gendered and fertility-driven nature of Glorantha.
  6. Wait, so Kero Fin pegged Umath and Orlanth was born. So which of them actually had the baby?....
  7. Something unusual just occurred to me. In Smoldering Ruin, Kero Fin is described as "rising higher" to meet Umath. That rather curiously inverts what is usually described as the gender dynamic of Earth and Sky--Air lies upon Earth and rains down on her. But here, Kero Fin is literally penetrating Umath in their copulation. She's an enormous penis thrusting up from the earth into the air. This suggests that maybe Kero Fin has a masculine side to her.
  8. Any chance we'll see a PraxPack some day soon?
  9. Dear God! The wyter of the Library is a duck?! I think Illumination is the way to answer that question.
  10. (Cutting out a lot of smart points...) I think you've hit the nail on the head. A lot of Gloranthan myths fall into this pattern simply because it's the patterns we have for telling mythic stories, and this stuff shapes our thought processes so deeply it's hard to see around it when we want to come up with myths. One reason I like Moana so much is it's basically a heroquest with a female protagonist and a female 'villain' who needs to be defeated not through force but through a recognition of the harm that's been done to her. To me, that strikes me as a very Ernaldan story. I just need to figure out who it's told about.
  11. (I'm kinda thinking out loud here--trying to figure out why it's so much harder to make these myths into something interesting to game with. I don't really have an argument I'm making so much as just trying to make sense of the problem.) That myth presents the dances as something Ernalda either knows or invents--they're central to her worship. This is what I mean about the problem of Ernalda's myths. Orlanth's myths involve him going off and learning what he needs in order to do something. Ernalda's just involve her intrinsic knowledge or essence, which is something that is nearly impossible to dramatize in a LARPing situation. If we say that the deeper story is her learning how to do those dances, we've just sort of pushed the problem down a level--we need myths about her learning those dances, which renders the myth of saving Esrola a sort of meta-quest--a quest you can't do until you do other quests. Western culture has a strong tendency to present women as a sort of 'home base' for men, from which men go out and have adventures, and then they return home to their woman. Think about all the songs in which a man declares a woman to be his home, or where the man sings about 'moving on' or so on. The woman never has to learn to be a man's home--she just is. And I think that's a big part of the problem with how the stories of Ernalda have been framed. She's Orlanth's home base and the myths give almost no consideration to what the woman's challenges in serving as a home base are. Maybe it all starts with the Odyssey--Penelope is the home base to which Odyssey is trying to get back, and she's just there faithfully waiting for him. Her challenge--keeping those damn suitors from marrying her--doesn't really work for Ernalda, since she's presented as simply the most powerful goddess around. Wouldn't she just tell unwanted suitors to piss off? Greek myth does present a woman leaving home--Helen of Troy--but with the exception of one of Sappho's poems, virtually all of Greek literature presents what Helen did as a terrible thing done by a terrible woman. So a big piece of the problem here is that Western culture simply doesn't give us the mythic building blocks to tell these stories about women, and as the framework for Gloranthan myth got laid out, it doesn't leave a lot of room for Ernalda to develop. As @dumuzid has pointed out, most of the myths we have are from stages 3-5 of her life (and really mostly stages 4-5). Ernalda's chance to grow is in the Green Age, when there aren't a lot of options for conflict because Death and Chaos haven't entered the world yet. That seems to leave us with stories in which Ernalda encounters a problem and just has to puzzle it out because the world is so young no one knows anything yet. And the Green Age is framed as being incredibly hard and dangerous to quest to because its formlessness makes it hard for humans to wrap their heads around. Again, sorry that this is sort of a jumble of thoughts instead of a clear point to make.
  12. I'm thinking about this because I'm working on making sure that female players in my eventual Sartar LARP campaign have quests that they can do that are as interesting as the one the male PCs get. But a lot of Ernalda's myths as published as things like "There was a problem. Ernalda taught the people how to do X. And that solved the problem." So, Ernalda saves Esrola by teaching people to do the Flax Dance, Goose Dance, and Sacrifice Dance. That's not a very dynamic myth to work with, compared to something like Orlanth Forms the Storm Tribe. It is -different- from Orlanth's quests, but teaching people isn't dramatically that interesting, so it's harder to figure out a way to make that fun for a PC to have to do. Not impossible, but harder. Its also perhaps a bit dramatically less interesting to have a character who gets other people to do things for her than just confronting a problem directly.
  13. I was thinking about Ernalda myths today and realized something that's bugged me about the way Ernalda has been treated since Hero Wars. Orlanth is (and has always been presented as) a god who learns and grows. He kills the Emperor and later realizes that was a bad idea, so he goes and fixes it. He doesn't know what to do, so he asks Ernalda and tells him. He gets low-key manipulated by Ernalda periodically (she gets him to form the Storm Tribe, for example). So his stories show him changing and becoming wiser over time. In contrast, Ernalda doesn't really seem to change and grow. She's just always wise. She accomplishes things, but never learns anything because she already knows it. So her myths are kinda boring. She never gets any character development. It's an example of the unrealistic expectations men often have about women. She doesn't offer any sort of model for women who are imperfect in any way. So she's sort of the grown-up in a relationship with a kind of Storm Tribe bro that she needs to drag into maturity. If Orlanth and Ernalda are equals, shouldn't he occasionally be playing the role of guide and teacher for her? Shouldn't she have problems she needs to puzzle out?
  14. Whenever I think about Glorantha, I try to avoid anything scientific. So I don't think elves 'gain metabolic energy from sunlight'. I think it's probably something more spiritual, like it allows them to regenerate their MPs (in RQ terms) or something like that.
  15. So to explain where the Undead Aldryami question comes from, my PCs decided that they could weaken Delecti by killing Horalin, the corrupted dryad who is the source of the Blackthorn trees that Delecti uses to expand the Marsh. They put a lot of effort into this---they did a quest to get the ability to cleanse chaos from things, forced Polgo Hoarfoot into helping them find the EWF ruins in the Marsh, cleansed Horalin and then killed her (because they knew that since they couldn't move her, Delecti could just corrupt her again). As I considered Delecti's response, I hit on the idea of him reviving her as undead. She won't be able to provide any more Blackthorn rods for him since she and her tree are dead now, but I figured it was too macabre an idea to pass up. Not sure how they're gonna find out what he's done, but at some point, they probably will
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