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Rob Helm

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About Rob Helm

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  • RPG Biography
    Playing Runequest and HeroQuest for over 20 years.
  • Current games
    HeroQuest set on Ygg's Isles
  • Blurb
    Glorantha journeyman
  1. Dragonrise Aftermath in Sartar

    I'm working on adventures that depend on events in Sartar between Dragonrise and the end of 1625. What happened then? This is the period just before the start of the upcoming game Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. It must have been something between total bloodbath, and Lunars and sympathizers quietly slinking off. But how did it play out? For example: the Colymar Tribe had a pro-Lunar King (Kangharl "Blackmor") that was eaten at Dragonrise. Who had he left in charge? How did the tribe find out he wouldn't be coming back? What happened then? Rob
  2. https://laughingsquid.com/giant-pacific-octopus-carved-with-chainsaw/
  3. Sartar-Tarsh Armistice?

    I have a vague adventure idea for a Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha (RQG). I'd like opinions on whether the premise is viable. Premise: A priestess of the Clearwine Earth Temple sets out for Heruvernalda, the Earth Temple in Tarsh. She hopes to enlist the Tarsh temple to negotiate an armistice between Tarsh and Sartar. She performs the mission as an extended peacemaking ritual, and the adventurers participate as guards in ritual roles. Some questions about this premise: 1. Would an armistice even occur to the Clearwine Earth Temple as a possibility? It seems like the period where RQG is set is vaguely like that toward the end of the Korean War, where both sides are roughly back to the pre-war lines after having both suffered terrible losses. But maybe even a cold-hearted, clear-headed Ernaldan would not see it that way. 2. Would approaching Heruvernalda be considered? It seems like the Tarsh Earth Temple is infected by the Red Goddess. But if the Roman Catholic Pope can visit the Greek Orthodox Patriarch ... 3. Would it even be possible to travel from Sartar to Tarsh on a peaceful mission, by any route, even with the magical backing of the biggest Earth Temple in Sartar? Thanks for any thoughts, Rob
  4. Best Pavis one-shot?

    I am considering running another Gloranthan Runequest one-shot scenario for a small group of friends who are mostly new to both Glorantha and Runequest. Some of them have already played the Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha quickstart, so I can't play that. I do have several books around Pavis: The Gloranthan Classics Pavis & Big Rubble, Borderlands & Beyond, and the (HeroQuest) Pavis: Gateway to Adventure. Can anyone recommend low-prep, short scenario out of one of those? I'll do my homework and read over the options, but maybe something immediately leaps to mind for those of you more familiar with Pavis than I am. Rob
  5. Upcoming Glorantha publications

    How does Red Cow compare to the Colymar campaign in _Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes_? Is there a reason to run one versus the other for a particular group?
  6. Esrolian Queen Job Description?

    Thanks, Harald, this sounds very interesting. It also sounds like Esrolia is very much in flux. Rob
  7. Esrolian Queen Job Description?

    What's the job description of an Esrolian queen? I'm specifically wondering about the queens listed here: http://www.glorantha.com/esrolian-queens-list/ Is there some kind of Esrolia-level queendom? If so, what are her powers, and how is she chosen?? I ask because of something I read: "Cities are ruled by Queens, who are selected from among the traditional resident clans. Thus 'Queen' is the title of the temporary ruler of an Esrolian city" (_ESROLIA:The Land of The Land of Ten Thousand Goddesses_, PDF page 5) In general, this book makes an Esrolian queen sound something like a Doge of Venice -- an important official chosen by the notables of a city. Just curious -- I have some vague ideas for scenarios set in Esrolia. It was interesting to see several Runequest Quickstart characters have background experience there. Rob
  8. Free RPG Day at Games & Gizmos in Kirkland, WA

    We had a great time playing the new Runequest Quickstart at Games & Gizmos yesterday in Kirkland (Washington, USA). Five players with D&D and Pathfinder backgrounds thought the system worked well, particularly the way runes and magic were woven in to the setting. The combat system did prove "sufficiently deadly", maybe a bit complex, but people seemed to think they'd pick it up. Thanks to Chaosium for participating in Free RPG Day, and to Games & Gizmos for their hospitality.
  9. Free RPG Day at Games & Gizmos in Kirkland, WA

    We've got players ready to rock at 1PM. Still a couple of slots, if you are nearby and have some free time this afternoon. https://www.facebook.com/events/317209192050667/?active_tab=discussion
  10. Free RPG Day at Games & Gizmos in Kirkland, WA

    I still have slots for the demo at Games & Gizmos, Kirkland, WA, 1PM Saturday June 17 https://www.facebook.com/events/317209192050667/
  11. Games & Gizmos (Kirkland, WA, USA) is hosting a demo of the new Runequest for up to five players Saturday June 17 at 1300. Ping me or sign up in store if you want to play. https://www.facebook.com/events/317209192050667 http://www.gamesandgizmosonline.com/
  12. Yggite Game Summary

    I came across some notes from my Ygg game about mythology. We didn't end up using any in play, but the myths connect with those of others (elves, Orlanthi), so they might be an interesting source of random factors in heroquests.Ygg is the god of seafarers, especially raiders, in Ygg's Isles, where the Wolf Pirates originated. Nelarinna is the goddess of life in the Neliomi sea. Saari is something I made up, the land goddess of Ygg's Isles. -----Ygg and NelarinnaYgg raided the Water Tribe. They drove him off, but as he left he swept up Nelarinna, a high-class and wealthy woman. Soon her kin were pursuing Ygg everywhere, and she tried to kill him or escape every chance she got. Ygg negotiated [a ransom] a marriage, receiving a dowry and delivering a bride-price when he returned her to her people. Now Nelarinna feeds us, but we have to return every bone to her. She takes the bodies of our dead, and some of the living, too.Ygg lusted after Nelarinna and thought he had tricked her into eloping with him, but she led him into a trap. She and her kin made him swear an oath never to bother them again in return for a year-marriage with her. He received a share of the Neliomi sea as a dowry, but every year she takes some of his people as her bride-price.Ygg and ValindYgg received the sling and spear from Valind.Ygg stole goats from Valind. He had no idea what to do with them. He gave them to Saari as a bridal gift. When he came back, he found them everywhere, giving people wool and meat.Ygg betrayed Valind and fought against him more than once.Valind is constantly trying to take and hold territory, while Ygg just keeps moving. Some of Ygg's mortal children survived the Great Darkness by sacrificing to Valind.Valind kept pursuing Ygg's wives, and finally took Saari captive. She died, but really she slept, like her mother.Valind once held Ygg captive in a prison of ice. Ygg taunted a sky god until he threw a javelin and melted Ygg's prison. Ygg was badly scorched but escaped.Ygg and the ForestYgg kept raiding the forest. He was always driven off, but his destruction was so great that the forest goddess arranged a parley. Not long after she gave birth to a clutch of roaring wooden serpents. They grew to enormous size and went off with Ygg to carry him on his raids. But they always came back to her when she needed them.Ygg kept raiding the forest. After one raid a daughter of the forest gave birth to a huge sea serpent that joined Ygg's fleet. Ygg left the forest alone after that, but sometimes the serpent went back.Yggites owe tribute to Winterwood. They can take trees for shipbuilding and fallen wood for fires, but only as directed by the gardeners. They have to replant if the gardeners tell them to. They also have to provide transport if asked by the Forest King, something that hasn't happened in centuries.Nelarinna's ChildrenNelarinna's children were under attack by huge lightning birds that could pick up a whale as easily as an eagle takes a salmon. Orlanth came and asked what she would give him if he stopped them. She said anything that would not dishonor her or her people. Orlanth called his flying warriors and drove off the birds. He didn't redeem her favor, but kept it for later. Her children still worship Orlanth today.Ygg and Orlanth LightbringerNelarinna owed Orlanth a favor. When Orlanth had to get across the ocean to the West, he came to her. She sent Ygg to take him there. Ygg died on the journey.In Sacred Time, how Ygg dies gives us an omen: What is the biggest threat our seafarers will face this year?Ygg myth ideas (general)Ygg is an opportunistic sea raider and master of salvage. In his stories, Ygg often finds salvage that turns out to be helpful later. Ygg is often driven off but usually escapes and ends up with something of value, although it often is different than what he hoped to gain. He also steals things that nobody realizes is valuable, maybe not even him at first."Salvage" is a winking euphemism for loot and slaves. "Salvage, mate" is a common saying of Yggites: People should make the best of what they can get their hands on, even if its value isn't obvious at first.Ygg uses strange foreign weapons and tools that he has stolen, particularly from the Logic Tribe, the Forest, and the Beast People. He also finds them as flotsam or jetsam, often after smashing up some raid target.Ygg captures people and puts them to work, or takes a ransom. If their kin are powerful, he cuts a deal. The deals for Nelarinna, Saari, and the forest queen are most important. Ygg fathers children by goddesses from many places. Most goddesses never want to see him again, but some still remember him fondly. Saari is the most fond, but Ygg has harbors all over, and he doesn't stay anywhere long. He also has mortal children all over, and they have come back to him at over the ages.Unlike Orlanth, Ygg doesn't keep trying to beat an enemy who defeats him. He doesn't hold grudges, either. When defeated, he just goes off after a weaker target.Ygg and his crew raid anywhere the water touches in the Storm Age. [This can be an interesting way to disrupt heroquests.]
  13. Yggite Game Summary

    [Cross-posted from Google+] Here's a brief summary of our seven-session Ygg campaign "Becoming Wolf Pirates", which had its last session a couple of weeks ago. I have more complete logs if anyone is interested.Thanks to everyone on this forum who responded to my questions about Ygg and the Isles. Apologies to any Finnish speakers in the audience -- we used Google Translate to that language to generate proper names. A big shout-out to the Guide to Glorantha, which was a huge help. Any variances from canonical Glorantha are mine, not the Guide's.Player Characters (PCs):Iso Voimakas, a big, strong, hunter who wears a moose pelt. He is a Wolf Brother.Kat Poljon, a restless sea hunter who wants to get off the island. He worships Ygg.Both PCs are members of the Lumisoturi "crew" (clan). The crew was founded by a Wolf Brother called the Black Wolf, who crossed the sea on a giant ship, big enough to carry several crews.The story picks up in Earth Season, 1583 (Solar Time).The Lykainen, an enemy crew, came in a huge ship full of warriors and took tribute from Lumisoturi and others. They were the first to sail the direct routes between islands in over 600 years. The PCs found out that the Lykainen had gotten magic from a foreign captain whose ship was picked up and wrecked by the Thunder Bird (which had probably been summoned by the Lykainen). The foreign captain taught the Lykainen the magic and his ship design in return for help building a new ship.The PCs rescued a castaway from the foreign crew who had taken refuge with the Ouori walrus men. They tracked down wreckage from the foreign ship, and defeated the partially spent lightning snakes that the Thunder Bird had left behind there. The Ouori demanded drums as the price for letting the castaway go.With the castaway and a statue taken from the wreckage, the Lumisoturi performed a ritual based on the myth "Ygg recruits a stranger" and magically adopted the foreign captain, Dormal. During the ritual they used Dormal's magic for the first time, sailed to the Lykainen island, and stole the Lykainen's ship in a bloody raid. The PCs then helped the Lumisoturi line up a "fleet" (alliance) with two other nearby clans, trading the sailing magic (and arranging marriages with both PCs) for their agreement. Iso also helped his spouse, a fellow Wolf Brother, hunt down some "bad cats" that were almost certainly a Chaos thing.Weeks later, the PCs returned to the Ouori with the drums. The Ouori said bad men from the West were visiting the Lykainen. The PCs discovered the Lykainen loading captive women and children on a ship crewed by some brown-clad foreigners.A handpicked set of nobles set out in the stolen ship, captained by the PCs, to Vendreog. They intended to seal the fleet agreement at the holy site of Ygg and and his land-wife Saari. They survived an ambush by Ouori-headed warriors on the way. At Vendreog, they were intercepted by another ship, captained by a figure in bright yellow and pounding the Lumisoturi with a magical storm laden with hailstones. The Lumisoturi drove off the ship and prepared to form their fleet.