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    RuneQuest '89 - GURPS '92 - Indie '96 - now freefrom
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  1. I remember trying out a social metagaming system like this somewhere in the early 90's. It didn't add anything to our gaming, and we soon dropped it. Probably comes down to different gaming cultures. I think a better method to confront some of the problems you mention (e.g. sitting back and letting the GM entertain) is talking about roleplaying, asking what the players want from the game, and empowering them to be active within your game. The GM shouldn't be the entertainer who prepares everything and runs everything. Gets pretty taxing for the GM too, especially if the players don't enjoy it much. IMHO. Why on earth wouldn't someone appear on a gaming night, if you've agreed to meet & play? Would she appear for a bisquit/point, even if she didn't much fancy the play??? Sounds pretty cheap to me.
  2. Garrik

    Walrus ivory?

    It's important to handle ivory (tooth bone) apart from antler, hoof and any bones inside the animal. All bones can be carved, but they are also plentiful. Ivory is a different matter, and thus a valued trade good on the interregional market. My question is specifically about ivory.
  3. Garrik

    Walrus ivory?

    Hello, I'm reading about the Gloranthan trade routes and main trade goods in the GTG. It seems all interregionally traded ivory comes from hot climes: Fonrit, Maslo, Teshnos. So it is likely elephant tusks. Or are there other big tusker animals in those climes? On our Earth, walrus tusks were an important source of ivory in Europe and northern Eurasia. There was lively ivory trade at least in the Viking period. It looks like the two water bodies around Valind's Glacier should be excellent habitat for walrus. Now I wonder 1) if there are walruses in Glorantha, 2) if they are hunted for ivory, and 3) if walrus ivory is plentiful & valued enough that it should have an impact in interregional trade? A related pondering: any sufficiently large tusk is valuable as ivory. There are huge boars (tuskers) in Glorantha, and at least looking at the art, several animal species that do not have tusks on Earth may do so in Glorantha (saw a picture of a tusked tortoise). How many alternate sources to elephant ivory do Gloranthans have? (Save the elephants!)
  4. Tar could also be an intertextual loaning from Tolkien's Quenya, where it means 'high/royal/king'. Think of all the 'Tar-' kings of Nûmenor. However, as long as we don't have a linguistic history and a theory of sound shift of any Gloranthan language, speculating about certain 'historic' name forms is bound to lead to grave errors. There are many ways to end up with identical sounds, and many ways to see prefixes and suffixes where they might not actually have been such - but even the people using them might assume they are such. I read somewhere that any language's vocabulary seems to correspond to any other language's vocabulary about 5-10 %. So even English and Chinese can have similarly sounding words with more or less similar meanings. Yet they are not related in any meaningful way and do not adhere to the same prefix and suffix systems. I'm not a linguist. And I assume none coming up with the Gloranthan names really was. I'm afraid it's a hodgepodge. But we can retcon... Are there any instances of actual text samples of a Gloranthan language, not just name lists? So we could actually see the language being spoken? Did the Trollpak have some Lankor Mhy excerpts trying to depict what an Uz or Enlo said?
  5. Garrik

    What is canon?

    THIS IS THE NATURE OF CANON IN GLORANTHA! And I love the reality of it, the fingerprint Californian definition of the setting.
  6. Garrik

    What is canon?

    LOL. That's Moebian-Hyperborean cartoon art from the era when it was cool. Nothing historical at all in it, but lots of pop/pulp culture and French Bandes dessinées. And this is what I find so cool in Glorantha: it's totally intertextual, deeply layered, extremely personal. You cannot just read certain Gloranthan opera as The One True Glorantha, because they too are interpretations, choices, and lots and lots and lots and lots of retconning the present IP-holders' attitudes and opinions back into certain older publications, and not retconning it back to others. I think the crux of this is in the Gloranthan names, which are a total hodgepodge of English, Bible names, funny fantasy names, and totally uncool fantasy names which are cool because they start to sound real after repeating them a lot. For example, Sartar has Jonstown. 'Jon' is a Biblical name Ioannes (that I think is it's Greek form. The Hebrew would be still different), and Jon/John was a gaming friend of Greg. 'Town' is English, although phonetically really close to the German Zaun (fence, both relying back to 'boundary', ie. land defined to belong to someone/some group). And now I hear someone say Alda-Chur means 'Far Place'. No, I bet it comes either from Old English 'Old Church', or was invented as a cool sounding fantasy name and nothing more. Someone want to translate 'Jonstown' into Sartarite and retcon its etymology??? But it's OK, because Glorantha is a creation of its time, and American at that, and even if Tolkien had invented real languages and real names in his world, most 70's and 80's fantasy didn't. So read it as a product of its time. And in general, we don't play in fantasy settings because we want to follow rules. We play because we want to create our own. And the tradition and livelihood of Glorantha has always been YGMV, or rather YGWV. And I've learned so much from people whose interpretations differ from mine. For example, my Glorantha is forever coloured by Purcell's front art on Apple Lane. The cousin of Donald Duck in 15/16th century body armour and carrying a same era crossbow? Totally incorrect, I hear you say. Yet conveying a lot of meaning: Glorantha has these Duck people, and they can be really badass! Canon is a veil. The compromise. The net of Arachne Solara. A drastic resolution full of holes and just barely binding enough of the world together to keep it from destroying itself. And thus canon is super important, although not something that people actually see and worship. Sorry for the rant. This is totally opinioned.
  7. The Zin Letters #4 with the Grantlands scenario is available at: https://kalikos.org/julkaisut/zin-letters/ Just order it directly from the webmaster at info@kalikos.org. If they've sold it out, I've got several extra copies. You can message me.
  8. No such thing in the Zin Letters #3. The fanzine discusses the Orlanthi tribes, and there is next to no info on the Uz, and then only from the mannish perspective and near the Indigo Mountains.
  9. I wrote the Far Place stuff in Zin Letters #3. Almost all of it, at least. And made the basic map, enhanced by a professional friend. It seems the Kalikos Society don't have copies of ZL#3 anymore. I do have a small pile. If you're still interested, you can message me. Then again, the funniest part of these creative voyages is not getting there, but the journey of writing your own. So perhaps you don't need it anymore.
  10. Garrik


    Good stuff, I agree with your vision and addenda. By "medieval Europe" I meant the more urbanized high and late middle ages. Most of the town charters were held by rather small communities. A town of 1,000-2,000 inhabitants was already above the average. I agree, mid/late medieval period may not be a good comparison for the Orlanthi culture. Garrik
  11. Garrik


    Here would be my entry points to pondering what is a guild in Glorantha, when, and where: Historical guilds were oath-sworn local communities, often with a religious function. For the sake of argument, let's differentiate religious guilds and craft guilds. 1) In Glorantha, there are cults and clans, and it's hard to say where a religious guild would fit as a separate social structure. The process of founding a religious guild community would be probably identical to a specialist cult. In the now non-canonical Issaries-style Glorantha such a cult would have its own special hero. In the broader old/present-style Glorantha, the city-founder-spirits probably gather all the special craftspersons within a single city cult. Only some very special centres with a special cultural role (Jonstown with its Heroes of Wisdom) would have a local guild/cult for a different god/hero. 2) A craft guild (Zunft) that is preoccupied with production has two functions: it does quality-control of the goods, and sees to the employment of its members by keeping competition out. If that is the type of guild you're after, you need to check the production and trade within a region. There can be some rural guilds of this type, but most likely these kind of craft guilds are found in the tribal or inter-tribal centres: towns and cities. They can be really small, just a couple of families, if they're very specialized. Guilds were not predominantly urban. There were rural guilds in medieval Europe. Most towns were quite small (less than 1.000 inhabitants, even less than 500 inhabitants). They are well comparable to Orlanthi tribal centres and Gloranthan small towns. Standardization of construction probably doesn't need a special guild. Then again, you could call e.g. the workshops responsible for erecting the Greek temples guilds. I'd prefer "workshop", and maybe "fraternity". Ancient Greek texts do not speak of guild-like structures probably because they are centred on the activities of the aristocracy. Also, in a world where many craftspersons are actually slaves, it's no wonder that they are not organized to control & defend their rights, or do not have a dominant role in stories and myths. Summary? Having guilds as a dominant structure in RQ2 society is plausible. But you probably have to accept that the player-characters in that game are not your ordinary land-tilling clansmen who visit the market as semi-outsiders to town life. The player-characters are more tied to buying, selling, and special tasks, and thus are more likely to encounter specialist groups - be they guilds, special cults, or magical persons. The RQ2 society works just fine as a vision of Glorantha, if you accept that it's the famous "one in seven" - only this time the "one in seven" are the player-characters, who see the world through their specialist eyes. Garrik
  12. Garrik


    "Fraternity" was and is a good, general and perhaps even neutral term for guilds and guild-like social structures. That's the Latin term used since the Antiquity and through the medieval period. This term also explains why a guild - instead of a family. Essentially, you act as if you were brothers/siblings, even when you aren't. In Glorantha, the local guild-local cult-secret society divide is drawn on water, I guess. Issaries Inc Storm Tribe and Thunder Rebels books had these special cults to accommodate virtually all aspects of the society/economy. The number of specialist guilds given for Pavis seems to echo this type of Gloranthan vision. Garrik
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