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Everything posted by simonh

  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.
  16. Now we just need to know how Kate Blanchett’s Hela and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn inspired two of the character portraits on the back cover, decades before they took the roles.
  17. I love the concept of the Esoteric Mystic, but I think the feats need a bit of brainstorming. Resist Magic is a bit too passive IMHO and if anything an Imperial mystic should be creating illusions or warping people’s perceptions or reality, rather than banishing them. Rather than suggest my own ideas for feats, let’s start with figuring out what these guys are about? There’s no bones about it, the Empire is corrupt and despicable. They’ve sold out to dark powers for material gain, but how would that manifest in a mystic? I was just thinking about a power that turns other people’s feats against them, or subverts people’s powers somehow.
  18. Wow, those are awesome. I was thinking of doing an Imperials set as well, but never even sketched out any ideas. I love the Geas for the Mystic, that’s just perfect. The feats are very much going in the right direction, and a good touch of gonzo I think suits the Imperials just fine. In this system +1 to do anything is a big bonus, and really the biggest mod Id give for any one source. I’ve tried to avoid straight bonuses to do things wherever I can though, and make feats more about changing the situation. Take the Imperial Agent’s Charisma ability. What do agents do? They cultivate networks of informants and assassins. So how about this: Infiltrators: Roll+Wits (An agent is in place/you have information/it’s all gone John Le Carré) Notes: You have a web of informants and spies you have leverage over, in your pay or blackmailed into doing your bidding. One thing I’m not sure about is expending Will points to invoke feats. I’m not sure it’s necessary. You could just ask for Grit rolls if people start spamming their Feats.
  19. I don't know if anyone here is familiar with World of Dungeons, but it's a super lightweight RPG in a handful of pages. It's based on the Apocalypse engine as seen in Apocalypse World, Dungeon World and others. It started as a Kickstarter bonus, as an in joke. If Dungeon World was modern D&D in an alternate reality, what might very early White Box and Basic D&D look like? There have been other World of Dungeons inspired min-hacks since. There's a micro-Warhammer Fantasy RPG called Streets of Marienburg and a micro-Traveller called Rovers. What might a micro-RuneQuest look like in the same vein? Well, here's my attempt at an answer. RuneSlingers Google Docs It's a love letter to RuneQuest II in 8 pages, two of which are character and reference sheets. The thing is, these micro-RPGs rely on the reader brining a familiarity with roleplaying conventions, and in particular Powered By The Apocalypse game mechanics. On the other hand, many early RPGs really were extremely bare bones. The idea is to provide the minimum needed to get started, while providing the maximum scope to expand and extend the game your way and really make it your own. It deliberately doesn't answer all the questions you need to deal with to play, but provides just enough tools to reasonably come up with your own solutions. Note, the idea isn't to close RQ or Glorantha exactly. This is trying to be it's own thing. As an RQ2 homage though, it needs to make sense to people who don't know anything about the PBTA mechanics, and I could rally do with feedback on that. What makes sense, what doesn't?
  20. The nearest equivalent I can think of would be a campaign centred around a single clan or Tribe, extended over several generations from before the Lunar occupation, about 1590, through to after the liberation of Sartar and the coronation of Argrath as King of Dragon Pass in 1643. We have clan and Tribe based campaigns for the Red Cow and Colymar but they’re much more constrained temporally.
  21. Exactly. A wiki is a much better format for a resource repository, but they usually have limited storage as well. For example fandom, which hosts the RQG wiki, limits uploads to 10MB, it's really just intended for images but makes for a good way to organise and annotate material. I'm just saying file storage itself isn't a particularly good match to the Forum format as forums don't really give you the tools to organise and present it. But then organisation and presentation is a different problem to storage anyway.
  22. From my experience, forum download sections are where files go to die. Nowadays anyone can have a Dropbox or google drive account to share stuff from, so there isn’t as much of a need for a shared repository.
  23. I’ve no particular dislike of points buy and have used it occasionally. I select which skills to spend which points on and choose spells and such, so why not? Stats are just another aspect of the character. In fact the stats themselves don’t really matter, it’s the derived values that actually make a difference anyway - Hit Points, Damage Bonus, Magic Points, Strike Ranks, etc. The underlying stats are incidental.
  24. At first I had no words. Now several hours later I don’t think there’s any way to say enough. I met Greg about half a dozen times at various conventions, and once at Chaosium HQ while on holiday in the US. He was a hero, mentor and friend to me since my teens in the early 80s. I used to read Gloranthan myths and stories to my kids at bed time and they loved it. My great regret is that they will never know him.
  25. Just use whatever rune you like when casting Drain Soul. I don't see anything that contradicts that.
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