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JonL last won the day on January 9

JonL had the most liked content!

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About JonL

  • Rank
    Senior Member


  • RPG Biography
    Not all the way back, but pretty far.
  • Current games
    Starcraft using d6 Space
  • Location
    United States
  • Blurb
    I play in a group that sets Tolkien's song lyrics to string band music, The lonely Mountain String Band http://lmsb.me

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  1. JonL

    Ducking the issue

    The black & white Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics are the best expression of those characters precisely because they're mostly stories about being a family of ninja siblings coming of age. The turtle form stuff is mostly just a complication they sometimes have to deal with or justifies some cool durability feats, and taken for granted the rest of the time. Their turtle-ness is not the most important thing about them in their stories, ther relationships with one another, with their friends, and with their shadow warrior tradition are. There is some humor in the ironic juxtaposition of their very much played straight Ninja tropes and the fact that they're little turtle creatures with over bites, but they're not a joke. So too ducks.
  2. JonL

    Lhankor Mhy Sorcery and Meldeks

    "Laboratory" is from the Latin "laboratorium." If you just drag out every syllable a bit, it will sound ancient. If that's too mundane, "Εργαστήριο" (erevastirio) in Greek, "مختبر" (mokhtabaron) from Arabic, or مایشگاه • (âzmâyešgâh) from Persian could all be put to work.
  3. JonL

    Lhankor Mhy Sorcery and Meldeks

    Orlanth seems to be keen on recruiting at least one member who can add rival pantheons' signature brand of awesome to the Storm-Earth alliance. Lhankor Mhy and Issaries brought the gifts of esoterica, language, philosophy, and exploration that are the hallmarks of the Logic Tribe - much like Elmal & Gustbran from the Fire Tribe or Heler & Engizi from the Water Tribe. (I'll defer to greater scholars than I the question of whether the Knowing God & the Talking God originated upon the Spike as the Orlanthi commonly teach or whether their joining up with the Lightbringers during the Westfaring is more than a coincidence.) Sun magic sux when Dara Happans throw their weight around, but we love it when the Loyal Thanes have our backs. So too Sorcery. Interestingly, Orlanth never recruited anyone from the Darkness Tribe, although perhaps Esrola taking Argan Argar as her husband covered the bases there.
  4. JonL

    Elder Race Cooperation

    If I were the GM and the players wanted an unusually cosmopolitan party, I'd probably 1) Bring them together someplace where a nasty external threat like Dorastor or The Kingdom of War give them a reason to band together in spite of their cultural antipathy. 2) Have them spends lots of time in more diverse places like Pavis or Nochet. 3) Figure out a problem (perhaps involving the treat in section one) that can only be solved by a group of heroquesters who can embody Heort, Only Old One, Oakhart, Heart of Weakness, etc. to reenact the Unity Battle.
  5. JonL

    HeroQuest SRD and OGL, genre packs

    Augmenting your mecha abilities with interpersonal drama related abilities would certainly be de genre.
  6. JonL

    Eleven Lights question on ability types

    You can still get the Hero Wars-era Anaxial's Roster in PDF for a mere $5 (though I bet the new RQ bestiary will be prettier).
  7. JonL

    HeroQuest and Glorantha, the future

    I think this was a wise decision overall, particularly in a core-game context. I could see reaching back to this sort of fiddly detail could be enriching if one were running a game about rival Malkioni schools recovering God Learner lore, secret societies in Ralios competing to steal rare grimoires to gain advantage in shadow duels, and similar - much like having detailed tactical choices for magic is enriching to Ars Magica. It could make for fine optional bits & bobs in a genre pack geared towards such a game, but am glad to not have to think about that sort of thing the rest of the time. Quoting from the old thread: This is the kind of thing where knowing things about what magic is typical vs extraordinary is important to understanding the game world. The discussion on long-distance communication was similar. Some of this is spelled out well in the books, such as when addressing impact of broad availability of healing magic or the sidebar on Orlanthi flight. In other areas less so. back to your very helpful 2016 reply again: This was really useful. Even without resorting to HQ1-style crunch & fiddliness, this gave me a baseline with which to assess plausibility & credibility.
  8. JonL

    HeroQuest and Glorantha, the future

    The allusion I was making to HQ1 was not so much to the extra crunch, but more to clearly spelling out things about the world that are not obvious. More traditional games do a lot of explication on unreal things through their mechanical descriptions. That HQ doesn't go that route very often is a positive to me. However, you still need to give people some idea what's typical vs extraordinary for the unreal things in the game world. The HQG materials taken alone are very uneven in that respect. Look back at this thread from a few years ago when I was brand new to all this. Even after some close reading of the texts and research on here and at glorantha.com, I still didn't have a clear grasp on what many of the in-fiction capabilities are supposed to be until the many kind folks around here started filling in some blanks. Even then, one of the examples given was "anything bigger than an elemental" - which presumes I have any idea how big an elemental is supposed to be in this context. So to sum up. I wasn't calling for a revival of HQ1 style crunch, but finding a copy of GameAids was the first time I got a clear grasp on what the baseline magnitude of magics were even supposed to be in the setting, because it's not clearly stated the current texts beyond Devotee level feats establishing an implicit ceiling for Initiate level magic.
  9. JonL

    HeroQuest and Glorantha, the future

    I dont disagree with how you're suggesting to approach it mechanically. The point I'm trying to make is that I never had would have known that invisibility was nigh exclusively a BMT thing if I hadn't come across it in the GameAids pdf.
  10. JonL

    HeroQuest and Glorantha, the future

    IMO, biggest thing HQ packs need to go along with systemless setting guides (or RQ books) for Glorantha are breakdowns of Initiate vs Devotee level magic for the cults and similar. It would also be beneficial to call out things like what used to be on the Inherently Difficult Magic list in HQ1. Like, if invisibility is the Blue Moon Trolls' special secret, they ought to have a Just the Right Thing augment for it while anyone trying it without their secret is a Stretch. These are both examples where spelling context out for newcomers that old Runequest hands take for granted would be a big help.
  11. JonL

    HeroQuest SRD and OGL, genre packs

    Glad to do it, and thanks for putting me on the roster for Gen Con last year. I'd do it again, but I'm only doing 1 day in Indy this Summer.
  12. JonL

    HeroQuest SRD and OGL, genre packs

    Perhaps if Hero Games and their Hero System were not a thing. No sense trading one trademark & brand mess for another. How about: RIF - "Resistance Is Flexible." You could use the it like "riff" & "RIFfing" and and stuff. "Complete Victory" "Hero Quotient" or "Hero Quine" if maybe keeping thieinitials is a thing. "Your Game Will Vary" "Ye Glorious Worlds & Visions." This is why I'm not in Marketing.
  13. JonL

    HeroQuest SRD and OGL, genre packs

    Shoot, St. Louis -> Detroit is too far for me to pull a weekender without flying. I'll by running HQ at DieCon this weekend and Archon in the Fall.
  14. JonL

    HeroQuest SRD and OGL, genre packs

    Here is an example of a Community done up like a character, with breakouts under its resources representing specific assets. You could also put significant Ring members and such under there, and add some Flaws to represent curses or other impediments. If you zoom in to adventurer-level gameplay, you can apply lingering benefits and consequences from their deeds to Community resource challenges, or treat some aspect of the adventure as an extended contest to generate an augment for the Community on an upcoming challenge. You can zoom out to Community vs Community level contests to handle big picture conflict. Take scale mismatches into account via resistance, stretch penalties, or application of the multiple-opponents penalty as appropriate. ( @Ian Cooper, our followup posts in that thread re: "'Any Ability could become a Keyword if you hang an appropriate Breakout Ability from it.' is a natural outgrowth of using umbrella-style Keywords" point to another common game-as-commonly-played-but-not-explicitly-written thing that might be worth spelling out in the SRD, IMO. )
  15. JonL

    HeroQuest SRD and OGL, genre packs

    Right. I've yet to try it, but surreal postmodernism, magical realism, weird fiction, etc. strike me as genres where a game like HQ can shine. Really, you just need to have a shared handle on what "plausible" and "credibility" mean (or don't) in the context of your fictional world and go all-in on the pass/fail cycle & "ability ratings are just abstract measures of comparative problem-solving power" in order to get on board the train to crazy town. If you swing to the other direction, this is very true as well. IMO, the other piece there besides dealing out gritty consequences (& accompanying realistic healing times) is leaning more towards credibility and less towards story flow when setting resistance. (Although horror swings back towards story-flow.)