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Darius West

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Darius West last won the day on November 25 2016

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About Darius West

  • Rank
    Scimitar Trainer at the Pavis Moon Barracks (D-3)
  • Birthday 09/25/1968

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  • RPG Biography
    I have been playing RPGs since the late 1970s. I mainly GM. Most of my Campaigns have run for over a year RT.
  • Current games
    Currently playing Call of C'thulhu (3 year Campaign), where the emphasis has been on the setting of the early 1920s, and roleplaying rather than wiping out parties.
  • Location
    Melbourne, Australia
  • Blurb
    Chat with me and find out.

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  1. Darius West

    Aldryami Zombies

    Zombie elves? Sounds like a perfect waste of a delicious elf corpse unless you want them to follow you around for travel snacks.
  2. Darius West

    Barbarian town

    Any details would be appreciated Iskallor. I seem to have player parties with a fixation for the place.
  3. Darius West

    Who are the Tamali

    Did a search online for Tamali. If you are of tender years or weak moral constitution do not read. This was the first entry: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hot tamali
  4. Darius West

    Modular Arkham City terrain

    I am of the opinion that the new RQ would benefit more from this sort of terrain that C'thulhu. Often allowing the player's mind to do the work makes for better horror than pushing minifigs around a map. On the other hand, turning hungry ghouls under Arkham Municipal Graveyard into a Space Hulk game was fun for my crew as a sideshow, so perhaps there is a market for this?
  5. Darius West

    "Wa-ha!", or should we say "Iä Iä!"?

    Iä iä whatever you say buddy. ☺️
  6. Darius West

    Question on the utility of skills

    STEALTH! If the critters and the creatures can't see you, and they can't hear you, and they can't smell you, etc. then you get to survive. Also locksmith. In summary for D&D, Rogues>Mythos. Fighters<Mythos. Clerics+MUs=Mythos.
  7. Darius West

    Any good chaos heroquests out there?

    LOL Orlanth's injustice? The way I heard it Thed used a sleazy trick to try to impersonate Ernalda and sneak into Orlanth's bed so Orlanth recruited trickster to dress Urox up as Orlanth and do the deed. And how did Thed react? "I'ma gonna raise ma boys to rape everyone in the whole world!"
  8. Darius West

    Heroes to Superheroes

    When I spoke to Greg about this, back in the day, I recall he said that mortals are not stuck in their ways, while Gods are pretty much "cemented in with adamantium rebar". Mortals are able to change, and that means that when they grow in power, they can retain their individuality. As worshipers of deities strive to become more like their deities, they often lose their individuality in the process until they are ossified clones of the entities they worship... but not always. Sometimes they take a detour that sets them on a novel path that is sufficiently unlike the normal trajectory of a known power that they come to symbolize something new. Lets look at some case studies: Arkat/Nysalor: Born from a cosmic egg as a result of a mortal compact to create a deity that will unite the world, Nysalor's birth is heralded by the Sunstop. Is the world broken? No, but it isn't good. How do we interpret this? Chaos? Energy Debt? While Nysalor seems legit, as the reach of his empire and the first council extends, it corrupts and ultimately wakes up Nysalors equal and opposite force, Arkat, who is in all ways Nysalor's shadow. Arkat uses the loopholes created by Nysalor's spiritual teaching to exploit all the magic the world has to offer like a "good illuminate". When they face their final battle, Arkat is the one who emerges, and creates a Dark Empire to rival and counterbalance all Nysalor's efforts, before it too eventually peters out. Delecti: Ostensibly a Jrusteli Sorcerer who defected to the EWF, Delecti is a weird one. Was he a double agent or a triple agent, or merely a defector? What we do know is that he set about becoming the Dr. Moreau of Genertela, creating varieties of horrible but not chaotic beast men, including fauns and satyrs, who while effectively goat men, with all the randy appetites of goat men, are not broos. Delecti is still mortal when the Dragonkill takes place, and he is one of the very few human survivors (the Cannon Cult being another example) who remain in Dragon Pass after that event, in the ruins of the EWF capital no less. After that, he takes to making undead. Ironhoof: Hero centaur of Beast Valley, and a creation and enemy of Delecti, Ironhoof grows in magical power and seeks to make the imperfect beast men that Delecti created into something other than deformed victims of perverse sorcerous vivisection and agonizing chimerical experimentation. Ironhoof manages to succeed, and becomes the leader of the Beastmen, who are redeemed by his efforts. Red Moon Goddess: In God Time, Rashorana was a delinquent minor deity in the Yelm Pantheon who, rather than join another pantheon wound up getting stripped of her powers by the Unholy Trio and cast into the hells as a broken entity, a bit like Horse. Eventually Rashorana is reborn as Teelo Estara, who is naturally Illuminated, and becomes the focus of the 7 Mothers ritual. Thus from a mortal she becomes a hero, then a super hero, then a deity after the Battle of Castle Blue. She also reincarnates herself as Imperial Wane Heroines such as Hon-Eel, Hwarain Dalthippa etc, the lastes of whom is Jar-Eel the Razoress. Rashorana is seen as being an equivalent deity to Nysalor, and is also a deity birthed in time. Argrath: The fact that the Red Moon Goddess is effectively a rebirthed Nysalor activates the same karma as Nysalor, and thus Argrath is generated in place of Arkat to reinstate the Compromise and bring the world back to ossified order. Argrath too is a mortal who climbs the ladder to superhero. Go read "King of Dragon Pass" if you don't know his story in excruciating detail yet. Pavis: Pavis was only ever a hero, born of an odd "Lets bring back the Green Age" Conspiracy which saw him born of the blood of pretty much all the Elder Races except for the Dragonewts, he subsequently corrected this by going to train with the EWF and learnt how to become more dragon-like. We currently don't know whether Pavis is dead or alive, but we do know that the Big Rubble is a very interesting place, and that Argrath really begins the Orlanthi counter-offensive from there, twice. Once after the Cradle , and again after his return with the Wolf Pirates. Was this merely because the city was at the end of a supply line that was just too long and expressed a failure of Lunar policy, or was something deeper at work? As to the whole Hero/Superhero debate smacking of God Learnerism, well of course. The God Learners were correct. The God Learners had more heroes than anybody, and the 4th Age will herald their return, and Jrustela will rise from the oceans again and a new Sorcerous Empire will achieve Lozengial Dominance. After the death of Literacy, the counter-reaction will be unprecedented scholastic acceleration, as generations starved of knowledge sate themselves from the Communication Web of Arachne Solara, but perverse Vadeli magic will harness chaos to inflict the hideous mutation of the eye-phone on the new Lozengial market.
  9. Darius West

    Glorantha technology and Glorantha material technology

    The simple answer in RQ was, "Shit no, that costs too much permanent POW and I lose my elemental to boot; (footnote) go build a shaduf you lazy peasant, this is still a muscle power economy." Well, everyone has at least a dozen trained sorcerers in their back pocket for such emergencies. It isn't like sorcerers and priests have their own agendas after all. I am sure they have nothing better to do than get a job in the construction industry and put their hard won magic to use in the service of common laborers (Total Sarcasm). You are talking revolution and class warfare Evilroddy, dogs and cats living together in sin, mass hysteria! Threaten the fabric of the spirit world indeed! Nonsense! It was just that some fool failed to convert from Seshnelan Imperial base 12 to Jrusteli base 10 properly, blame the bastards at Zistorwal who first put the ritual specs down for forgetting a comma and confusing everyone's context. Could have happened to anyone! It is all merely evidence of the absolute necessity of peer review and solid proof reading. There was nothing even remotely disturbing about Zistor. It was all well understood Jolanti principles reinforced with some Feldichi insights and was going to be the first deity built specifically to serve humanity rather than the other way around. Zistor was going to be wonderful. Blah blah, you and your precious metaphysical ecology. The Goddess Swap was sabotaged by our Vadeli enemies and I have the proof! So stop conflating theistic propaganda with facts please I thought the whole notion of time travel had been vetoed in the canon? It sounds like those so-called scholars spend plenty of time polishing their silver to get the tarnish off it, in between snacking on scrolls. You need to hire yourself a party of Humakti and Stormbulls and "review the student body" for tricksters and atyari inflitrators. I will bet that you will find an idol of a rabbit made entirely of poop in the dormitory attic and a krarsht tunnel behind one of the basement book cases leading to a cave full of rotting head ghosts. "False order" indeed; anyone would think that runes like Law and Truth hold no power anymore! Change oriented scholars? You do know there is such a thing as a trickster spell called "Lie" don't you? I am reliably informed it can seem very persuasive, but any sage worth the beard has the spells to see off such obfuscation. Theories of historical mutability? Nonsense. What happened happened, but those living in the present may have differing opinions about what it all meant. Such opinions, (and they are opinions, not theories), boil down to sentiment, and sentiment has no more reality than the bamboozlement of the callow mind that falls prey to such nonsense. Yes, a dream is a real dream, but it is not reality.
  10. Darius West

    Theory on Dragonewt Weirdness

    Bah! Pure mammalian prejudice! Ask David Icke what our reptilian overlords think of such attitudes. Agreed, if we are talking about humans. Reptilian brains don't develop the same way. Reptiles lack a limbic system and a neocortex, hence they don't have the same emotional responses. Now as we know nothing about Dragonewt brains, other than the fact that a human can only mimic a dragonewt brain after a split brain operation. That early life is a time of learning is not something I will disagree with, but the issue is what is learned. The adults being True Dragons. Good point. I seem to recall reading that the Inhuman King actually laid the eggs in the early literature. More an inhuman queen. Needless to say that I prefer this idea of yours. It makes a lot more sense. I wonder if this connects with the Egglord and/or the Pseudocosmic Egg of Nysalor? On the other hand, we have the whole issue of dragonewts who become dinosaurs. Do they mis-manifest at their eggs, and then wander off? Dinosaurs are fully sexual and breed and lay eggs also, and thus are bypassing many stages of dragonewt development in that regard, and it isn't as if they lay emanation eggs. Not even magisaurs. Hmm... I don't think this is a good analogy. Dragonewts aren't closet Mostali. I see it more as a progression through different syllabuses of monastic training, with the emergent physical form being proof of completion. Okay, that's a better analogy. I think the challenges of these stages are quite different for humans and dragonewts though. Humans pass through these phases in a few years, while dragonewts may well take centuries, not to mention mis-steps into wrong paths like becoming dinosaurs. On the contrary, your statement was that the common Gloranthan conception is that dragonewts are eternally wise and noble creatures is decidedly false. Most people in Glorantha have probably never heard of Dragonewts, and their response will be "wtf is a dragonewt?" (or equivalent). That makes total ignorance the "default setting" for most people and races, and I think, given their penchant for obscurantism, that probably suits the dragonewts quite well. Truth is never irrelevant, and ignorance is still context. The chances of any invading human army committing such a perfect genocide are extremely unlikely. There would have been multiple pockets of survivors and refugees, and even cadres of EWF forces hiding out. As proof, consider that Delecti's Ruin used to be the EWF capital as far as I remember, and he called in the waters to provide an obstacle for the TGH. There is also the Cannon Cult in Dwarf Run who survived the Dragonkill. I have little doubt the TGH wanted to commit total genocide, but I think the work was completed by the dragons. I don't think that the EWF survivors would have been so very hated by the other Orlanthi. Admittedly many would probably have had to accept thralldom due to their post Dragonkill refugee poverty, but I am pretty sure that other tribes would have heard of their tribulations and seen that as more than sufficient punishment. The fact that survivors made it to Shadow Plateau suggests that the nucleus of some clans may have maintained knowledge of draconic secrets other than how to kill them. LOL agreed. Of course they are also a really bad enemy to choose as is demonstrated when the Dragons go all sacred utuma on Rufelza's face at the close of the age. I seem to recall that the Dragonewts do have some weird dragon crop that they grow. On the other hand. lizards are mainly carnivores. Perhaps they feed the crop to small furry animals and then eat the SFAs like the newts are pet snakes? If I had to signal a major cultural difference, it would be that the Dragon's Eye lacks canals and a lake, which was Tenochtitlan's major transportation. I recall an illustration of a tricycle cart in the shape of a dragonewt rune. I suspect such would only be used for rituals, as it would be horribly unstable and terrible for carting loads. I can't see the dragonewts not performing agriculture, as it is common to all settled cultures and even a number of nomadic ones. Even obligate carnivores benefit from controlling a plant based food source that can then be fed to meat animals. I would also draw your attention to the sacred utuma as a sort of positive seppuku ritual. Seppuku, also known as Hara Kiri (Hara being center or belly, kiri meaning to cut) was performed as a means of atonement for failure in Japan, and as a means of passing on to the next incarnation. Due to their martial training and the focus of the attention onto the center of gravity, just below the belly, that location was seen as the locus of the spirit, and cutting the belly was the means of liberating the spirit. Of course for dragonewts it might be a more positive process. On the other hand, performing full ritual dismemberment is not a one-dragonewt job, and no doubt would get performed in public a la the Aztecs, with richly adorned priests in full participation up to their scaly elbows in blood with their gorey utumas. I imagine that this will be done to cresties who are straying from the path before they slip into dinosaur mind, and as a means of purification by others. The issue then becomes, as the dismembered limbs of the dead dragonewts are cast down the steps of the pyramid, what becomes of them? The Aztecs used to eat them, as good sources of protein were scarce in that part of the world at the time. I imagine such rituals would surprise any outsiders as much as equivalent trollish cannibalistic behavior. Of course there is no mention of dragonewt cannibalism, but it seems like a good way to avoid letting your dead body get used for dragonewt skin armor, and more utilitarian than wasteful cremation. I get what you are saying. I see a situation where the "toddlers" (crested 'newts) do all the labour, watched over by the beaks, in a semi-feudal order similar to the old system of those who work, those who fight, and those who pray. The only get to play after they have done their chores and eaten all their friend. A society perhaps like Lemony Snicket's A series of unfortunate events, where the children get killed a lot more often and without much consequence perhaps? Definitely Lord of the Flies though, as you suggest. Don't worry, we'll just realign your perceptions by splitting your brain and your tongue and everything will become clear. We aren't just doing this major invasive brain surgery for shits and giggles, honest. Actually things weren't really an issue until the TGH started attacking the nests and smashing the eggs. Then shit got real. As to the re-purposing the defunct jolanti of the rockwoods into the wings of the trans-Genertela mega dragon... seems legit? This does rather beg the question of whether humans who adopted the Dragonewt path reincarnated onto it. Similarly, can dinosaurs be re-assimilated back into the dragonewt path? We know the whole Orlanthi story about "A dragon is following you" was a precursor to Orlanth's fight with dragons, but ultimately led to his initiation into their magic. It is rare for cultural traffic to be one way, and it may be that the EWF was an important spiritual lesson for both parties. There is some evidence that the dragonewts were trying to teach other races their insights even during the First Council. It is very likely that Cragspider knows a lot about dragon magic, given that she controls the black dragon. I see their behavior as deliberate, ritualized and obtuse rather than merely playful. I think the dragonewts have a spiritual-political agenda on Genertela that goes beyond running a creche. This is where the egg laying of the Inhuman King came in (from memory). The Inhuman king (queen?) lays loads of eggs, and they trans-shipped them. On the other hand, a bit like teenagers getting pregnant, the results weren't great. Many of the new nests began to develop odd ideas not in keeping with Dragons Eye orthodoxy. I am pretty sure there is another Dragon's Eye style "main base" in Ralios too? It often seems as if the rest of Genertela is constantly trying to copy Kralorela and failing miserably. Nysalor gets built to copy the Kralori Emperor. Fail. the EWF is formed and sort of mimics the relationship between dragonewts and humans in Kralorela. Dragonkill. Fail. On the other hand, we don't really know if there are dinosaurs in Kralorela. Just because they haven't been mentioned, doesn't mean they don't exist. On the other hand, with the alleged close harmony between Kralori humans and dragonewts there is a lot less apparent confusion. I have heard others on this forum express some doubts about the Kralori arrangement being a good fit though. Both Kralori and dragonewt societies seem to be pretty homeostatic. As to whether dragonewt participation in I Fought We Won was weakness, it is hard to say. I am more interested in whether the dragonewts participated in the Ritual of the Net and the creation of Time. Of all the species, the dragonewts seem least touched by Time and Entropy both.
  11. Darius West

    Scenario ideas for Dwarf Knoll?

    It is often fun to have a number of political factions involved in the same scenario simultaneously. Likely suspects include a Sable tribe, the Flintnail cult, the Oasis people, and potentially a merchant train on the Pavis Road. Of course the Merchant train is comprised of Etyries, Issaries and Lokarnos merchants, possibly Argan Argar too. Naturally the mercants are all bitchy and politically at odds with each other, even when placed on the same side. Now suppose the High Llama tribe is trying to wrest control of the oasis from the Sables? But how can they dare challenge the Sables when they have Lunar support? Well, the Lunars are off chasing delinquent impala pygmies, and recently the High Llamas have come across a powerful magical Macguffin that has tipped things in their favor. Now the merchants want to get to the oasis to water their beasts, but they also want to leave again. Needless to day the High Llamas don't want Lunar caravan guards reinforcing their enemies, so while the caravan is able to fight its way into the Oasis with relative ease, the High Llamas will be ready if they try to leave. Now the Flintnail dwarves have business in the ruins under the hill, and will hire anyone who is prepared to act as extra muscle to help them. But what peril awaits? Trolls? Chaos? The dwarves also have a bit of an interest in keeping the caravan running because trade caravans are the lifeblood of Pavis but they are small in number and in little position to intervene, but if their mission is successful they might have something to break the deadlock. It might also turn out that the High Llamas are less interested in the capture of the oasis, and more in the return of some of their captives whom the Sables want to sell into slavery, but the Sables are not telling anyone about that, and instead paint the High Llamas as entirely belligerent and unreasonable. Of course the wily Sables are quite prepared to offer "these fine slaves" for sale to the merchants, thus drawing their enemies away. Chuck in a romcom element and a surly curmudgeon of a morokanth who keeps threatening to eat the slaves, and it's a wrap I think.
  12. I know, I deliberately misinterpreted what MOB was saying and used it for my own agenda. Shameless really.
  13. Darius West

    Theory on Dragonewt Weirdness

    Greg Stafford told me that he considered Dragonewts to be a right brain culture (by human standards) i.e. dreamy and weird but with enough reptile to still be ferocious. He also told me that a GM should make them a strange deus ex machina, sometimes friendly, sometimes dangerous, but always weird, mystical and alienating.
  14. Darius West

    A Magical Economy

    Re-read my answer, I mainly do agree. Yes, not having a crop fail does mean you have more food because you don't have less, but for the purposes of a whole agricultural society this won't increase the size of your surplus, and it is the size of the surplus which is all-important for a society's growth. This probably doesn't seem to be an important distinction, but in terms of Economic History (which is sort of what we are discussing), it really matters (unfortunately). Totally agree with the RL economic model. The point is, that Bles Crops means that you CAN budget for 100% efficiency, but you only get your 1 bushel and acre. So the Gloranthan magical model DOES budget for 100% efficiency, but that produces complacency in technological development. Thus while a technically advanced society might yield 1.6 bushels per acre but have a higher chance of catastrophic failure, Gloranthans just produce their 1 bushel and are happy with that and don't push the technical envelope much. On the contrary, if you come to expect a reliable 100% magically enhanced crop and budget for it, you haven't increased average productivity, because your fundamental assumptions of yield are different to the non-magical farmer's. Agreed. As there is no framework for testing the models we can't get the evidence to tell the story. It is fun though.
  15. Darius West

    Theory on Dragonewt Weirdness

    Agree totally. An interesting point. The relationship between newtlings and dragonewts definitely needs more press. If mammal humans can learn dragon magic after surgery, it makes eminent sense that the amphibian newtlings have fewer problems with it. While there is truth in this statement, I worry that it has the potential for reductionism. I could as easily argue for it as against it. Don't dragonewts spend a lot of time basically defending their cities and clutches of eggs? Isn't the breaking of dragonewt eggs by the True Golden Horde that set off the Dragonkill? Who knows how much effort and reverence dragonewts devote to their eggs? In a culture of reincarnation I can't imagine that attuning oneself to one's next rebirth wouldn't be important. What little we know about dragonewts suggests that they do a LOT of rituals. Perhaps some dragonewt behavior can be explained by youthful exhuberance, especially in the crested community, but definitely not all. Dragonewt violence often seems totally unexpected and random for example, moreso as they don't explain their actions. I must strenuously disagree with this. Perhaps GMs and a few player characters respond this way to dragonewts, but it would not be a common view at all. Most Gloranthans don't live in Genertela and have probably not even heard of dragonewts. Those who DO live in Genertela probably have their opinion of dragonewts heavily colored by the genocide of their ancestors during the Dragonkill War. I am sure that the general response is that dragonewts are weird, mercurial and treacherous. That opinion is probably not well-informed, but how many humans regularly deal with dragonewts, even in Dragon Pass? So how about the more cosmopolitain Lunars, I hear you ask, well, post 1625 I am sure they go from feeling the dragonewts are a colorful Elder race local to Dragon Pass to viewing them as terrorists armed with WMDs. Dragonewts share more cultural similarities with Japanese Buddhism and the Aztecs I would suggest. Also, not all dragonewts are crested, and the others are much more culturally influential. I view Dragonewt society more as a system of heavily ritualized monastic city states under the control of the tailed priests, with the cresties being the serfs. I don't think their society is as laissez faire as you suggest. I think it is more dogmatic and structured, but in a structure reminiscent of architecture in dreams. Au contraire, imagine having to empathically reconcile the two halves of your own brain into something approaching a reintegrated personality? Remember also that the loss of empathy in a split brain is due to the dominance of the left brain in language production. The right brain retains its empathy, it just can't speak. This is a good metaphor for the alien and alienating mindset of the dragonewts I think. I don't see the dragonewts as being merely playful. That might be true of crested scout hunters out on their own, but not for the larger society. If the dragonewts didn't care about humans the EWF would never have existed. To suggest the EWF was merely dragonewts being playful doesn't gel with the history.
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