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Everything posted by Ufnal

  1. Did you consider treating Ashara as the same kind of phenomenon that gave us the self-writing Abiding Book? I.e. a direct epiphany/intervention from the Invisible God, or whatever other kind of phenomenon the Abiding Book actually was?
  2. So basically an RPG version of KodP/Six Ages? That's so cool! (And that's so doable with HQG or FATE or Reign or... Ok, I'll shut up)
  3. My favourite things in thinking about Wenelia were always the philosophy and metaphysics behind a Western school of thought that values Communication Rune over Law Rune (with Fair Exchange, an exchange that benefits and enhances both parties, as a metaphysical rule of Runic interactions from which all the beings of mixed Runes emerge), and how the various shattered or specialised cultures, societies, economies and religions of the region fit together. I can't find whether this is a BoG idea or my own addition, but I think that one of the reasons Wenelians needed Trader Princes is their rejection of anything that they associated with the God Learners after the calamities they visited upon them. Issaries was a god favoured by the Jrusteli IIRC, as his communication powers and trading language were useful for managing a huge empire. Therefore, Issaries cult would have been one of the first things rejected by Wenelians, leaving them without trade and diplomacy magic. If one wanted to go further, one might even say that Wenelians during the crisis at the end of the Second Age reverted to many of the traditions of the Darkness that helped their ancestors survive, rejecting most "newer" religion including much of Lighbringer mythos and worshipping Orlanth in a wilder local guise (I think the last part is at least partially present in BoG). One strange bit of trivia - the unpublished Runequest: Adventures in Glorantha apparently lists the Trader Princes as being secretly Arkati. Don't remember that being used later.
  4. This is so awesome! I've been thinking about doing a very similar "notepad" thing about Maniria for quite a while, but something always distracted me. My vision of the region is both much less well-informed and much closer to Blood and Gold, with all the Ashara stuff left in, but I will be reading with keen interest!
  5. I am a fan of Blood over Gold (yeah, I know it's totally non-canon now, but I still like it) and have been thinking for a long time about revisiting and expanding the Wenelian setting. However, I have no idea where to look for additional material about local histories and cultures. I have the Hero Wars Orlanthi books, but they are about Heortlings, so only apply to a limited extent, so I'd love some info on non-Heortling Orlanthi, especially the Wenelian tribes. Also, I have clue where to start with the Islanders, Pralori nor Trader Princes [whom I would like to revise to be more in line with the current vision of Western cultures]. Is there any old, new or fanmade material on those cultures or others that are connected to them? And if there isn't any, what could be good inspirations for them?
  6. Ok, I must've been extremely unclear. What I meant was whether to play 13th Age Glorantha (using the 13G book) one needs the 13A core book (because 13G does not AFAIK contain the base 13A rules) or is SRD enough?
  7. A question to people who actually ran 13th Age Glorantha - is the 13th Age SRD enough for running the game, or would you say buying the core rulebooks is essential?
  8. Also the game suggests that Hyalor and Gamari in one myth is a Storm Age Idea. Any thoughts on those initiation ideas?
  9. I was recently thinking about how Pentan initiation rites could look like and I've had some ideas I'd like to share and have critiqued. Three caveats: 1. My knowledge about Pent heavily relies on the Pentmaniac blog [which is based on canon stuff but includes lots of new fan material] and the Six Ages game [which describes cousins of veeery distant ancestors of one of the Pentan tribes], so I may be some ways off the canon 2. YGWV of course, so while I am interested in anybody telling me whether my ideas fit with canon, I am also interested in whether you think they feel right for Pentans, whether they are cool or lacking or whatever. 3. Pentans are of course very varied; but I guess seeing as they are united in at least a broad framework of the beings they worship (I will be talking about the Solar Pentans, I have no idea how Storm Pentans work) and a way of life. So at least some discussion can be had on general patterns and mythical ideas for Pentan initiation. Pentans seem to be heavily gender-separated, so I guess we need to have a male and female initiation. For a male one, the mythic idea that comes to my mind first is the Great Darkness and the rise of Kargzant. An initiation could start with the initiated experiencing the bliss and perfection of the Golden Age Heavens, then the fall into darkness, confusion and chaos, then finally meeting Kargzant and joining him and his retinue in the ride across the Sunpath. If we wanted Pentans to be a bit more “theistic” than they seem to be in the canon, I think an interesting idea for the initiatory secret that Kargzant reveals to his followers is that We Are All Sun. Being the Sun that conquers Darkness and Chaos is a question of proving one's worth, as Kargzant showed, but it was a joint effort in which he led a host of other powers who contributed to his victory and his status as the new Sun. Every Pentan has a Solar and Star ancestry and every Pentan has a part in renewing the Sunpath and keeping the darkness at bay – a more powerful initiate may even see himself *as* Kargzant, leading the Fire/Sky powers and becoming *the* Sun. Alternatively, for a more spiritist experience, the initiate can identify with their ancestor(s) that accompanied Kargzant and learn the secrets and bargains of the spirits of Kargzant's Sky Herd. For female initiation, I was inspired by the Six Ages myth of how Hippogriff became Gamari [Gamara]. It is a story of a Sky being wounded by her enemies, who with the help of Hyalor finds a new identity and a connection with Earth and fertility. The sequence of a state of innocence, hurt and loss and then reinventing oneself and finding new strength and purpose is perfect for an initiatory story, but what I find most interesting about it is the question of agency. In the myth as mentioned by your advisors in Six Ages and in parts of its description and ritual, it would seem as if Hyalor healed Gamari. But the crucial part of the myth as transcribed in Six Ages shows that it is Gamari who decided her new name, identity and purpose, and Hyalor, while he thought he gave them to her, only echoed what she already decided in her heart. This looks like a powerful initiatory secret: while identity always emerges in a relationship, and while the society will think it imposes your role upon you, it is you who decide who you are. It would be especially interesting if Pentans practiced inter-clan patrilocal marriage as most Dragon Pass Orlanthi do (as this seems the kind of secret that would really help women struggling to cope with the change or broadening of clan identity due to relocating to the husband's clan), but even without that there's both wisdom and magic in this secret. Using these myths as basis of initiation would highlight Pentans' Sky ancestry while also showing the Elemental divide between genders. It also marks the men as holding the secrets of survival and leadership and the women as holding the secrets of identity and change. It would suggest a society in which the men fight, lead and hunt and the women tend to the matters of clan memory and history, as well as guiding people through the changing stages of their lives (caring for the children before they become adults, burying the dead etc. - this theme goes well with the age strata Pentans organise their clans into).
  10. I have had the opportunity to skim them, and they look awesome [it seems they really show not only the setting but how to meld your characters with the setting and how to give them interesting adventures in the setting - which is precisely what I would want], but I don't own them yet and for my financial abilities buying them both would be a bit of a problem. Which is why I was talking about the corebook setting, with other sourcebooks as things that exist in the background. BTW, is buying the old HeroWars supplements for Sartarites useful for HQG Dragon Pass gaming? They are much more affordable, but AFAIK they are mostly about culture and religion, much of which has changed in the meantime?
  11. I was thinking about trying to run a game in HeroQuest Glorantha (probably will end up doing a solo play with a GM emulator), and I thought it would be prudent to test the system in the default starting setting first. However, early Hero Wars Dragon Pass is a setting that I find daunting and problematic, and I was hoping you kind people could help me with that. The first part of the problem is the feeling that everything is already described and decided. We know year by year, often month by month, what the main players of the region are going to do. We know all the local tribes and their characteristics and attitudes and relationships. [At least we know that if we own all the sourcebooks. I don't, but the pressure of established canon is only lessened a bit that way - this may be stupid, but I feel like I shouldn't make up my own tribes and clans where there are things already brilliantly described]. The second part of the problem is that this "metaplot" of Orlanthi-Lunar war is so powerful and prevalent that I'm finding it hard to imagine a campaign among the Sartarite tribes that doesn't live in its shadow and doesn't pretty quickly have to address the happenings of the war. This leads the characters to become a part of the historical events - but I fear that this practically means playing second fiddle to Broyan, Argrath or Harrek, without much agency in how the war unfolds (unless the characters are powerful enough to stand against those legends or the likes of Jar-Eel). These two things combined mean that I am finding it hard to imagine any campaign in the setting and timeframe of HeroQuest Glorantha that isn't a railroaded ride through the early Hero Wars, with little room for non-HW related adventuring and few opportunities to make a difference other than in making sure the prescribed chain of events happens. This is most probably my imagination's fault, not the setting's, but it's a hurdle I am finding difficult to overcome. I guess one of the solutions would be to focus on adventures in the wilderness and ruins surrounding Sartar instead of in the tribal lands. This would weaken the community aspect of HQG (unless it's a part of a quest that benefits the community), but give the game more room to breathe. [Although then there's the problem of what exactly does one put in Gloranthan ruins and wildernesses] The other solution, of course, is going full YGWV and throwing away however much of the canon setting and events I want. But is there another way? Where in the default HQG setting do you see room for adventurers, both low-powered and high-powered, to do some adventuring, do heroic deeds, grow in power and legend without neccessarily becoming a part of the main metaplot?
  12. See, reading the rulebook I was under the impression that it encouraged the GM to first decide what resistance is good for the pacing and branching of the story and then modify the situation to make the difficulty seem appropriate, and to ramp up the difficulty in the same pace that the players advance their abilities. But it may be that I'm reading way too much into it, as everybody chiming in here seems to play in a way that doesn't reach those narrativist heights, so I may be misinterpreting or having problems with something that doesn't really get used in play.
  13. There's a game I just skimmed, Shonen: Final Burst, that AFAIK uses some similar mechanics. As far as I remember, it simulates the environment of shounen anime (Dragon Ball, Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Fairy Tail etc.) by having the numerical values of characters' attributes mostly reset at the end of every arc, to represent how in an anime's new season what was once the pinnacle of power and achievement becomes a basic level for the next stage and next batch of more powerful enemies. (The aspects of character progression that are not straight numeric values, such as skillsets, unique powers and mechanics etc. stay, so the "breadth" of the characters' abilities is not compromised by this reset, just the "height" of these abilities when compared to a new baseline and a new set of challenges)
  14. Wait, so Fonrit is getting changed too?
  15. Thank you for the answers! I do gravitate towards more simulationist approach in setting difficulty. Using succeeding at a cost instead of lowering the resistance for story reasons seems like a great compromise (not the Great Compromise, but close) and I think it's one of the clever parts of the rules. However I wouldn't fully agree with the comparison between HQ2 and level-based games - in the latter the scaling of difficulty and mechanical power is directly connected to the characters having new possibilities in fiction (higher level spells and special powers, ability to have retainers etc.) and facing new challenges (more fearsome monsters, more dangerous dungeons), so while the progression of mechanical power vs mechanical difficulty may seem to be stagnant, character advancement is kept exciting by all the new things that become possible. No such direct link in HQG. One thing I was thinking about was setting fixed difficulties based on where the characters start and where you expect them to end up. If planning a Taming of the Dragon Pass campaign with the characters as promising youngsters just after initiation and the endgame being Tribe-making, you will probably set the fighting difficulty of an average fyrdmen somewhere near the mean value of the characters' best fighting abilities (so that they feel they start not much better than the average man), a weaponthane's fighting difficulty at around a mastery higher (so that they need to get some adventures under their belts before they can measure up to the professionals) and a Humakt Devotee that's supposed to be the "final boss" at around 2 masteries + change higher, so that he's unreachable at the start but becomes a challenging yet winnable fight in 20-30 sessions. If on the other hand you wanted a story about seasoned adventures answering Argrath's call, an average weaponthane's difficulty should be lower than the characters' best fighting abilities and the level of 2-3 masteries above them will probably be Kallyr-level heroes (or, if you want to end on an epic note, Harrek-level?) I also wonder whether there's any point to trying to write up NPCs like PCs and playing out the conflicts in a traditional RPG style.
  16. Glad you like it! I think it's from Levi-Strauss's Structural Anthropology, the essay about the effectiveness of symbols.
  17. I think it was somewhere in Claude Lévi-Strauss that I read about a childbirth-helping ritual where the shaman described how they magically entered the woman's womb and journeyed through her body, meeting various spiritual powers inside it and finding clever ways to overcome obstacles in their journey, until they arrived before the entity that was preventing the childbirth and made it relent. This is an interesting template of turning midwifery into a HeroQuest-level adventure. This is also what I love about the Blood over Gold setting and why I keep thinking about making a rewrite of it - the main mythic cycle of the dominant culture there is about communication, overcoming natural and non-natural obstacles that are rarely evil only hostile, discovering ways to make exchanges profitable for both sides, to communicate with aliens and to address alien entities in such a way that is conceivable to us and acceptable to them.
  18. I'm one of those people who try to get HQ2/HQG and just can't, and will probably end up hacking it for their own benefit. But in the meantime I want to understand what the system is really meant to do before I try to change it. Sorry in advance if you've heard those questions before, and please do not take this as an attack on HQ2/HQG authors nor anybody who plays HQG without problems and has fun with it. *** As far as I understand, in most RPG games character abilities are supposed to represent a character's "standing" within a fictional world - how good they are in certain things, how probable it is for them to win in particular situations, what sort of effects and actions they can hope to reasonably undertake. This function of abilities is mostly undercut in HQG. When difficulty is a function of story needs first and credibility second, the ability ratings can't really be used to judge how likely a person is to succeed at a task, becaue their chances of success are based primarily on how interesting/useful/wanted by the GM a success or a failure are, or how the GM wants their players to feel. Even the credibility aspect isn't of much use here - how credible a course of action or an outcome is depends on the character's situation in the world, but this situation has almost nothing to do with their ability numbers. The game clearly states at one point that you can play a beginner heroes campaign and a (super)heroes campaign using the same starting values. What is more, ability advancement only seems to matter for the character's standing in the narrative world in the case of needing an appropriate Rune rating to become Initiate/Devotee/Shaman etc. Outside of that, there's no real reason or incentive to matching the changes of a character's personal power in the narrative to their ability changes - so that a PC Humakti hero who wins great Death powers from several heroquests and his companion, another PC and a simple Orlanthi freeman who spent most of the Otherworld adventures guarding the perimeter and didn't really have any increases in power in-world, can have their main Rune keywords at exactly the same level (provided that their players both sensibly kept putting their hero points into their main Rune) - which creates a huge disrepancy between the power within the narrative and the power within the mechanics. [I imagine a clever GM can circumvent that, for example by giving the Humakti the glorious fights against enemy leaders and the freeman the crucial yet less dangerous and glorious tasks such as rallying the footmen in the main fight - but this doesn't solve the problem for me]. So HQG Abilities aren't really able to show how good a character is in the world. So maybe they are just measurements of a character's narrative power, how well they can impose themselves onto the story and make it go their way by engaging it with a particular aspect of themselves? This makes more sense, but still has its problems. With the changing base value of difficulty - and the GM advice to adjust it to compensate for how much the players spend for abilities and how they augment - it seems like the system is designed to make a particular difficulty level always as challenging as it was in the beginning. I may be wrong about that, because I don't think the maths and intentions behind the process are described clearly enough, but what I took away from reading the chapter was that ideally a character that spends a regular amount of points on improvement will face roughly the same odds against a Very High difficulty, no matter whether it's Session 2 or Session 20. Which means that the "narrative power" of the character, their ability to conquer unlikely odds etc. stays the same despite the changing numbers. This leaves me with a feeling that ability numbers in HQG exists only for the players to decide which parts of their character is what they want to describe all the time and which only seldom, and character advancement exists solely to give the players an illusion of achieving something that is expressed in numbers and not just in story terms, because... I don't know, the numbers feel good, even without actually representing things? I hate this feeling and I am left with a need to anchor the numbers in *something*, which is what I'll be probably doing. But I'm no RPG expert, unlike the people working on this system (this is unironic, your work is really appreciated), so it's quite possible I'm missing something. Or it's possible that this was precisely the intent and it's just something I'm not into.
  19. Sorry about the necroposting (but I am using the Lightbringers Quest, not the Undeath Rune!), but I stumbled upon this topic and I happen to know the AoW mod mentioned, so I thought I should post a link: http://aow2.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=781 I've played a few dozen turns, and it seems to work relatively fine. There was some obvious effort put into that, if you have the base game I recommend giving it a try, even if it's only two maps.
  20. Wait, so what she preached was true and the Red Goddess wanted her to find a narrative that suited her better instead? I'm confused.
  21. To come back to the topic for a bit - is there any instance of heroquesting innovation in Gloranthan canon that is explicitly described not as discovering something once known but forgotten, but as forging a completely new path? (beside God Learner shenanigans, as they weren't really innovating, just operating under the impression that all the stories are interchangeable, it's just the runes that matter [or do I have it wrong?]). Also, I haven't had the opportunity to read the Entekosiad yet, but the blurb on the Chaosium website provides a snippet that intrigues me. "Valare Addi was the seeker, who mistook her goddess Teelo Estara to be the same as Entekos" - this sounds as if there are some identifications in Heroquesting that are actually "mistaken" and thus impossible. Is that true, or is it just the opinion that Valare Addi came to form?
  22. Wasn't that what happened to Orlanth in EWF? xD
  23. I must admit I am more likely to engage in theoretical exploration or solo RPG with a GM emulator than in playing with a group. But the thing is - is the idea that demi-gods can actively change things in the God Plane and make identifications and relations where there were none (not just discover existing and forgotten ones) something that already exists in Glorantha, or is it a radical change to the world? Also, the idea of heroes constantly fighting on the God Plane for the shape of the myths sounds wonderful, just the right amount of Mage [either variety] in my Glorantha.
  24. There are some great answers here, thanks! However, I still have some questions, two of which I want to put here: 1. One of the reasons I asked about the "objectivity" and whether there is one true state of things is to help judge the limits of invention in heroquesting. We know a hero can heroquest to prove Elmal is Yelmalio (although I am still not sure about their relation). I guess nobody can heroquest to prove Ernalda is Zorak Zoran, or Orlanth is Yelm. But can a hero find/change/prove Godtime facts so far that, say, he comes to see and show Yelm and Yelmalio to be the same being? Or Odayla and Sky Bear? Or Orlanth and Yinkin? Kero Fin and Ernalda? Is it that the world of the gods is infinitely mallable and changable via human intervention? And if there are limits, what (apart from the forces that destroyed God Learners xD) makes them - the runes of the entities, their images and identities, their roles in the archetypal stories Jeff described? Can Elmal be Yelm, because they are both Sky, or can't he be Yelm, because his role and attitude and archetypal connections are vastly different? Or can't he be Yelm because they clearly opposed each other in God Time and are clearly separate beings? 2. While looking at, say, Dara Happan myths and Orlanthi myths and seeing the same entities in different perspective is quite possible, and while you could do such a trick with Esrolia or Teshnos, I have no idea how to reconcile this Genertelan stuff with myths of Pamaltela or the East. Are these different perspectives on the same archetypes and runic interactions? Or are they referring to completely separate parts of Godtime, or even separate logics and ways of seeing the world (as the gods vs anti-gods distinction seems to suggest)?
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