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simonh

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simonh last won the day on June 16 2018

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About simonh

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    Junior Member

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  • RPG Biography
    Run and played mainly: Runequest, Traveller, Call of Cthulhu and HeroQuest, but many others too.
  • Current games
    None presently, but interested in getting back into gaming.
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    Bexleyheath, London, England
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    Just me.

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  1. Why would anyone ever do that? Warrrior isn't the same as swordsman though. In actual skirmishes and battles all sorts of things other than straight sword skill come into play. Tactical movement, supporting allies, ranged attacks, healing up to keep fighting. Humakti are expendable one trick wonders. Sure they're highly dangerous up close, so don't let them get up close. Fly! Leap! Thunderbolt! *Sever Spirit* .....damnit!
  2. I won't advise specifics, but I'll outline two principles I'd recommend when addressing what fantasy technology to use in your setting. The first principle is that using fantasy tech that might be impossible in the real world is fine, this is fiction, but once you've established that a technology is present allow it's consequences to affect the setting. Explore the implications of a technology and let players employ it in interesting ways if that makes sense. This is what principally distinguishes science fiction from science fantasy. The second principle is to use the least outrageous, most limited magic tech necessary to enable the things you want. There's nothing wrong with wanting flying cars, but you don't need instant-on inertialess or super powerful anti-grav to do it. If conventional jet engines don't quite do it, maybe just give them a hand. For example Dune has anti-grav suspensors that don't seem to eliminate the need for propulsion, but makes unlikely forms of propulsion such as ornithopters viable. If conventional tech doesn't quite give you what you need, maybe just give it a bit of a magic-tech push or helping hand rather than blast conventional tech into irrelevance with endlessly powerful anti-matter reactors, high-G fuelless thrusters and instant interstellar teleport drives.
  3. Oh definitely deep into cruel parody territory, you're quite right to set me straight there. I did veer off the specified brief. Lem certainly deserves a mention. I noticed that the original list only granted one book per author, but I think that underestimates the impact several authors have had so I've tried to rectify that a bit. Solaris (Stanislaw Lem) - Cyberiad is a solid choice, but I'd lean this way in terms of influence. The Time Machine (H G Wells) - How this doesn't get on a list of most influential SF is beyond me, but I suppose if you were to pick only one book for Wells it would have to be WOTW. Frankenstein (Mary Shelley) - No story regarding artificial life, or even artificial intelligence can escape the influence of this classic. I Robot (Isaac Asimov) - Two seminal books about artificial life / AI? Just the way it is I'm afraid.
  4. In terms of influence on SF roleplaying, Foundation rules supreme through its influence on Traveller, the seminal SF roleplaying game. The Imperium is very much modelled on the Empire in Foundation, and there are hints at psychohistorical interventions in the development of its history. It was also heavily influenced by the Dominic Flandry novels by Poul Anderson. Of course Heinlein, Niven and others get nods too but I think Asimov and Anderson were most influential. Next is probably Gibson’s Neuromancer, which inspired the Cyberpunk, Shadowrun and many near future RPGs. Then there’s Warhammer 40K with its undeniable influences from Dune. It’s like Dune seen through a medieval Catholic prism, projected into a multi thousand year long version of the 30 years war in space.
  5. It depends what you expect from the map. If your setting assumption is that only very few systems have habitable planets, then there’s simply no need to map every star system. Most of them are barren wilderness. What matters is the population, industrial, agricultural and technology centres. A map of Africa doesn’t have to show every village, or even every airstrip and port to be useful.
  6. I think on this issue we really need to acknowledge that this is a fictional setting and the various forces can tilt one way or the other, or balance out however we want. There's no objective way we ca determine this, what are we going to do conduct a set of multilateral double blind trials and surveys of populations in Glorantha? Someone would just have to make up the results. The fact is there are many counterbalancing factors - beneficial magic, rituals, spirits and gods on one side; hostile magic, monsters, chaos, cultists and demons on the other. My own preference is that the factors generally cancel out, to produce societies recognisable for us as similar to their historical analogues, so we can more easily reason about how those societies function and imagine what they look like. If in your game you want the outcome to look different, there are plenty of ways to justify whatever outcome you want. Looking at the sources, in Gloranthan history some societies throve and expanded while others were wiped out. Appealing to the RQ or HQ rules for spells and such doesn't resolve anything, any more than it resolves what will happen in any given RQ scenario. As a GM I can write into existence how ever many or few Chaos cultists, Broo, Malia shamans, etc that I want, with however much magic and whatever equipment I want them to have. I generally choose to balance them roughly against the PCs and have the ingenuity and creativity of the PCs, and their better efficient use of their character's abilities (there are more of them than me) win the day. Same thing for the societies and world they live in.
  7. Sure, spirits of reprisal punish transgressions, but I don't think acknowledging, propitiating or worshiping another god in the same pantheon that shares myths and rituals with your primary god is a transgression. In fact it's fully expected and even required. After all, if your god's myths and rites include participation by other gods in the pantheon, which they almost invariably do, it's actually not possible to worship your primary deity without also worshiping some or other of the other gods. Aspects of Sedenya are part of Yelmic myth and participate in Yelmic ritual. Try worshiping Orlanth without ever also worshiping, acknowledging and propitiating his wife Ernalda for example. For most Sartarite characters it's practically impossible. I dont think many nobles devoutly worshiping Yelm in the Lunar Empire thinks their religion is a sham. The Empire has never been more powerful, and the Emperor is proven to be an incarnation of Yelm. Their rituals and magic are as potent as ever. Well yes, some stick in the mud traditionalists surely do in secret, but they're crazy
  8. The implicit assumption here is that if you worship one god, all other gods must be anathema. It's either Yelm OR Nysalor. Either Yelm, OR the Red Goddess, but that's just not how polytheists see the world or their gods. They believe in a religious system, not just a god. Take a look at the God's Wall, that's what Dara Happans believe. Yes Yelm is the emperor of the Universe, but all those other gods and demons exist too and without them Yelm wouldn't have a world to be Emperor of. Dara Happans believe there are many aspects of Yelm, and that Nysalor is one of them. Why wouldn't they want to be more directly able to worship a manifest aspect of their god? Sedenya is also part of the celestial pantheon, part of the divine universe. Of course there are disagreements and schisms about how it all fits together, plenty of scope for branding each other heretics and such, but if Moonson proves he is the incarnation of Yelm that's it. It's proved and everybody better get with the program, which is very definitely not monotheism.
  9. One possible explanation why inaccessible planets might become more easily reachable is technological change. Suppose the best FTL was previously a bit like age of sail in space, fairly slow and hard to navigate safely. Only really big ships were feasible. But now new technology is a bit like introducing airplanes, interstellar vessels can be smaller, faster and can reach regions that were previously hard to navigate to. Maybe this new technology has only been available for a few decades, so you have a situation a bit like the 1930s on earth. Previously settled locations separated by little known or visited areas that suddenly become much more accessible.
  10. I think all the classic RQ material on POD is the re-layed out modern versions of the books. Because these were created from scratch using modern publishing software, it’s pretty easy to pop out a copy with all the page layout information in the PDF needed for decent quality POD production. Getting decent results from the PDFs created from scans of old books is another matter.
  11. The reason the secret kind of falls flat is we already knew they could do this. What we got in GTSA is what the secret let them do, not what the secret was. I think the problem is that by that time the community knew a huge amount about Glorantha. The secret was first written about back when so little was known, even small tidbits by modern standards seemed enormously revelatory.
  12. Death is the severer, when a being dies they dis-integrate (break apart) and their different parts often go different ways. The process of the creation of life is one of re-integration, making and moulding, not creation from nothing. So there's a cycle. I think only Chaos can destroy utterly, and only Chaos can truly create from nothing.
  13. It needs to be clear to people who are serious about publishing a game. That might come across as being glib, but it really isn’t. There’s a whole world of difference between the considerations and trade offs involved in actually planning to publish a viable product, including thinking through what kind of concept is worthwhile to commit that kind of effort to, and Just thinking up a hypothetical edge case example.
  14. Only if they are actually pitching a real, credible proposal for a publication. If you’re just idly speculating and have no intention of actually writing anything, I don’t see why anyone at Chaosium needs to concern themselves.
  15. The thing is that how Necromancy works matters. The traditional view historically was that raising a corpse involved bringing the ghost of that corpse back from the land of the dead, violating their peace in death and enslaving the spirits of the dead. That seems to be how most forms of Necromancy in Glorantha seem to work. Also bear in mind that in the ancient world it wasn’t as simple as there being separate physical and spiritual parts of a person, it was often much more complex. The Egyptians wrote about 5 parts of the soul. The Norse had at least four. None of them in either case correspond directly to our concept of the physical body, but include concepts of shape or form, and ‘heart’ depending on the culture, that include some physical aspects but not others. So in these belief systems interfering with a corpse in almost any way involved directly interfering with aspects of the soul itself. The idea that undead are just material physical forms animated by impersonal magical forces seems to be a modern re-interpretation. In the pre-enlightenment eras there largely wasn’t even a concept of impersonal motivating forces in the first place. Remember, people believed and Gloranthans know that the dead still exist and are people. Animating and controlling a corpses is seen as really little different from controlling a living person through invasive brain surgery.
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