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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


  • 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.
  1. A Magical Economy

    Increased Productivity: Even with magic this is only true to a point. Bless Crops doesn't generate more crops, it stops crops from failing. Much the same is true of Sunripen. Magic is really more about "not failing" than overproduction when it comes to that all-important food surplus. Also, it is worth noting a general dearth of spells that help artisans produce finished goods. Issaries, for example is all about storing and selling, but not so much about making. Pavis provides spells that help you put up a wall, but you need to finish that before the spell runs out. Gustbran at best gives you a spell that helps you ignore fatigue while working the forge. Sorcerers of course, have their useful form/set spells, but they are unlikely to produce high quality finished items unless the sorcerer also has the crafting skill involved. In essence, magic will make a good specialist better, but there is no getting away from the need for skills. As for education, RQ is a skill driven system where nobody is proud of their own ignorance unlike IRL. For all that, any advantage that magic provides is pretty static. Gods don't change, and innovation isn't encouraged by any society except the Lunars. Innovation is something those Godlearners and EWF mutants abused back in the Second Age, and we won't stand for it (jk). In many ways Glorantha is annoyingly conservative, socially, magically and technically. Magic actually acts as a brake on change. Even gods who have a Mobility/Change rune don't really change. Decrease in Child Mortality: The main beneficiaries of more children are agricultural societies where extra hands are needed to perform the 101 daily chores and plant/bring in the harvest. Every child is also a brake on prosperity because they are an extra 1/2 bushel of food lost to feeding them. IRL food surpluses were hard won. For example, in China the careful selection of rice that had more grains was specially chosen and cultivated to yield better crops from the same land. Really, having more children for most societies means that at a certain point they have a surplus population that they will plough into warfare. Traditional social values that promote female values will promote motherhood, not fertility control, plus the social drive to overproduce babies will mean they are harder to feed and will also drive warfare. Societies paid dearly for having ritual specialists and a ruling class soaking up their food surplus. Even artisans were only as useful as the resources they brought to market. Accounts of ancient battles in our world which seemed to exaggerate the numbers of casualties may in fact not have done so. Warfare can be the Malthusian dynamic that corrects human population, but not by the combat so much as the famine and disease that follows such as in modern wars in the Horn of Africa. Back in ancient times however, wholesale slaughter may have served to destroy entire populations, such as the Roman annihilation of the Dacians. Increased Life Expectancy: This will only be true in peacetime, of which there will be little, as most societies seem to measure their success by the seizure of territory. Also, obtaining the services of a medical specialist will be expensive. Essentially the rich will live longer, but they already do. Also, archaeology is suggesting that much of our assumptions about average life expectancy may be statistically abberant due to the effects of infant mortality on biasing the stats. Increased Capabilities: Magic means that individual people will become immense overachievers. These magical specialists are called Heroes. If society is lucky, the heroes might be able to pass on some of their powers through sub-cults. Heroes are a mixed blessing too. They do tend to have some very fixed ideas about the world and their place in it, and they tend to expect to be obeyed or they make your life miserable i.e. they can be massive bullies and may not have the best ideas. As heroes will wind up with a disproportionate amount of social influence and resources, anything that doesn't push their agenda may well be ignored, including (perhaps especially) innovation. Also, again, the Gods put the brakes on innovation and change thanks to their static and unchanging nature.
  2. Do spirits require elemental runes

    My rule of thumb is only ever give a spirit cult one or at most two runes. One might well be an element rune but that isn't compulsory.
  3. Wind Child PC

    We had fun with Wind Children. Their society is hunter-gatherer and quite primitive compared to most. Because their tribes are Kolat worshipers, their variation on the other air deities is shamanistic, but their interpretation of legends is usefully primordial. Because they live in the mountains, they find the low air hard on their bodies. They are also used to the disease free high altitudes and tend to have poor personal hygiene. They are quite good at swoop and poop harpy style attacks too.
  4. It is looking a bit more Bloody Tongue-esque.
  5. Prince of Sartar. Comic

    Don't show up to the Cradle scenario with 2pt woad; your clan really needs to break out the good stuff.
  6. Is there Gravity in Glorantha?

    The God Learners disagreed back in the day, and their academic achievements live on in many places, including the little God Learner experiment we like to call the Cult of Lhankor Mhy. The Feldichi would probably also take issue. The Vadeli merely laugh at this assumption knowing that it is the prejudice of a foolish barbarian who can be easily exploited for their ignorance, for science is still fundamental to their sorcery. It would be more prudent perhaps to ask what sort of concepts inform that science, for example, what forms of mathematics are used in Glorantha to deal with runic emanations that are not used on Earth? I liked this explanation. It is very Aristotelian. "Down" is a "tendency" inherent to the elements. The issue of Gloranthan Gravity has previously been discussed here too: http://www.glorantha.com/forums/topic/glorantha-metaphysics-and-gravity/
  7. Yelm Eclipsed

    Given that Yelm moves over the world in a pre-described circular trajectory and the Red Moon is fixed over Peloria, well away from that arc, by my calculations you would need to be standing in Spol near dusk to see the Red Moon eclipse Yelm and it would be a daily affair, happening in the late afternoon. Spol is, after all, a land of darkness worship within the Lunar Empire, and now you know why...
  8. Using magic repeatedly

    I am doing this to show that the two systems don't produce anything like the same outcomes primarily. Perhaps you missed that point? Same world, two systems, totally different outcomes. A contradiction is not a refutation. I disagree. I am pretty sure that the Godlearners would be fine with calling those spells "Detect Enemies" and "Countermagic", as regardless of the culture they come from, they do pretty much the same thing. Now as the Godlearners knew more than any humans before or since about Gloranthan magic, and everyone else is basically still trailing in their cultural and intellectual wake centuries later, who is to say exactly what Gloranthans do and say? It is quite possible that when dealing with these spells that the old Goldearner terminology still applies, and people have just forgotten who taught them to think about it that way. Consider, after all, that the major educators of the world, with the sole exception of the Dara Happans, have all been taught to a large degree by the Godlearners or cults in which they had a major effect, like Lhankor Mhy. It is amusing how magic and every other skill in HQ is reduced to the same tired game mechanic and yet you call it "color". So everything is reduced to a keyword search plus a "number-mastery-number number", and if your keyword is a match for the situation it applies, but if your keyword doesn't match you can't apply it. So why not take "Adventurer" as your keyword? Clearly everything your characters are doing is inevitably always part of an adventure, so that keyword must apply to everything, so just dump all your experience points in that. Problem solved, you win HQ. Good system that. LOL. Apples and oranges? No. It is like comparing a costume wardrobe to a sweaty one size fits all grey X-L tee-shirt with "Your keyword here:_________" on it. As for the comparison being flawed, it was never a comparison, but a complaint that Glorantha used to work one way, then it got homogenized and denatured, and the result is a ropey clear odorless colorless yet mildly adhesive unstructured mucus-like mess called HQ, but that is somehow more "freeform" and "narrative", even though half the fun of Glorantha used to be the process of acculturating to it and the RQ rules facilitated that by giving you a very grounded sense of what you could and could not do that was often gritty, realistic and very immersive, in a way that HQ simply isn't. RQ used to be "If I can just drag this dead impala back to the Farmer's Market and butcher it myself, I can probably raise enough clacks to make rent this week, and I will be halfway clear to getting my greaves out of hock from Rat. Then maybe I can finally get back into the Rubble and see if Hurbi's map is worth spit." HQ is more "Don't worry that our weapons and armor are bone and the Lunars have bronze; if this afternoon's hero quest is successful, then with the help of the Earth Priestesses of the Paps we can call on Waha's rope magic to make the very grasses of Prax tie down and smother our enemies, and then call in a serpent to drown them." I understand that HQ makes a great system for playing a Harry Potter RPG btw. I think that is great. It is a good system for beginners to learn so they can cut their teeth on an RPG, before they try something more complex and realistic. Clearly only the conflict matters Ian. Good. Glad we cleared that up. I have a few suggestions. For example, why not condense the entire adventure into a single roll, and the players make the single roll, and the GM can tell them the result in a dramatic 4 hour monologue that resolves the conflict? You can't get more freeform than that, and it reduces the learning curve for the rule system to the point that it will appeal to newcomers too. After all, apparently we don't care about individual tasks and the narrative tension and decisions that success or failure in said tasks might build, we care about the conflict resolution and the ease of play. Hell, why not remove the dice altogether and just write a fantasy novel and turn it into an audio book, thus doing away with the GM altogether. Don't worry, I don't mean one of those "Choose your own adventure" books, they are too structured and rules heavy, and we all know how that destroys the narrative. Hells, why not just run around LARPing with nerf swords in someone's backyard? No system required at all; plenty of conflict and plenty of resolution and immersion.
  9. Using magic repeatedly

    That is looking at the problem solely from the point of view of the player, not the NPC guard, who is now merely an obstacle, and not a person trying to do a job. The fact is that the Guard will probably be pulling at least one 4 hour watch at the gate with orders to stop contraband and criminals. The HQ rules say that the guard is going to be able to detect enemies for that entire 4hr period, when they probably can't and shouldn't be able to. It is also questionable whether there will be wardings or market spells on each gate to serve as continuous detection spells, as that would be expensive. I suppose you might get a situation where you had 10 guards and only 1 of them has detect enemies active at a time over a 4 hour watch, but that means anyone with 2pt countermagic can ignore that. On the other hand, anyone seen casting countermagic is automatically regarded as suspicious and arrested.The point here is that detection spells should be reliable, and you should seldom if ever get the signal detection problem of false positives and false negatives, but when that becomes a contested resolution the results become skewed and nobody would use magic to solve the problem because it doesn't work more reliably than spot hidden or equivalents.
  10. Organic Skill Trees

    No, not really. If you have been shooting with a .45 or a 9mm and you drop to a .22, your control and accuracy improves immediately. That is why in some ways I regard firearm skill as being a combination of being able to reliably hit a moving target by gaining an instinctive knowledge of range vs projectile speed, and the rest is about having the arm muscles and mass to handle recoil from heavier calibres. You raise a good point here. I would suggest a scaled rate of increase based on difficulty like: Very Easy Skill= 1d6+4%, Easy Skill=1d6+2%, Normal Skill= 1d4+1%, Difficult Skill=1d3%, Very Difficult=1%. Thus basket weaving is much easier to master than Quantum Mechanics (which also has pre-requisites like maths and its sub-skills as g33k rightfully suggests, as well as physics imo). The Wasted Land (Call of C'thulhu) had a mechanic for "gas mask use" which involved the skill of putting on your gas mask quickly during a WW1 gas attack, where it had a base of 25% and each successful use netted a +25% increase if a character made their up. I like this idea. Some skills pertinent to situations are pretty easy, for example, flame thrower use, which is scarcely harder than using a garden hose (the hard part being not accidentally roasting your buddies). I might be exaggerating a little, but flame throwers are easy to learn to use, and it certainly doesn't take 2-5 years game time to master. I know what you mean. Why, it's almost like players' characters are all in the same profession, the way they always get the same suite of skills. I wonder what you would call that profession? Just putting it out there but how does "adventurer" grab you?
  11. Traversing the Lunar Heartland

    Totally read those books some time ago. Hamlets Hitpoints can be of some value to GMs who don't know how to structure a plot. Hillfolk is an interesting but flimsy system, but I could see how it is worthwhile to integrate elements of its plot creation system during character creation. As for Sharper Adventures, I would say it was a bible for HQ as it provides work-arounds for some of the holes in the system, but was still not enough to make me want to play it again. As for the lack of authoritarianism in your games, that's great, I am glad your GM is good. A good GM can make even Shadowrun, or Spawn of Fashan work as a system, but an even better GM knows how to use a system to improve the story and wouldn't choose a bad system to run except as comedy.
  12. Organic Skill Trees

    I take your point but let me offer you a different answer. What you are experiencing is, in fact, a function of what you dismissed as inherent abilities, which are not merely the accuracy of the weapon, but run to a number of other features as well. I would class this as being a matter of design. The recoil characteristics are dependent on individuals and their strength and mass (I have often considered separating Strength and Mass in game systems). SIght placement is clearly a design issue and so is grip design, shell ejection (or lack thereof) etc. Simply put, I think some firearms are just better designed and easier to use, and you are likely not alone in favoring them Toadmaster. In BRP game terms this would be expressed as a higher base percentage e.g. providing a handgun skill base of 18% instead of 15%. In terms of a game system however, there really isn't enough difference to warrant a separate skill imo. The real problem with overspecialization rules is when you have a Dirty Harry who has 95% in .44 Magnum Desert Eagle who suddenly drops to 47% when he picks up a .22 Beretta Automatic because he has never used one before. If anything, the lower recoil and more comfortable design should improve Dirty Harry's accuracy in this situation, because that is what happens when people who are used to larger calibers drop to smaller calibers (from personal experience). Perhaps firearm skill should be tailored to recoil and damage more?
  13. Traversing the Lunar Heartland

    Well, consider if you will, that the rules measure what is possible. In RQ there is a natural limit put on your ability to cast spells based on your magic points and your POW stat, whereas in HQ there isn't and you can essentially repeat the action until you finally succeed, or your GM vetoes your right to persist. As for what detect enemy means, it isn't the same in HQ as it is in RQ as you can cast it indefinitely without issue. As for clan wyters, spirit combat and "clan buffs" bear little similarity between the systems, and may be one area where I marginally prefer HQ for a change, as the RQ spirit combat system is pretty "bare bones". by comparison, and RQ can only benefit if it gives clans more magical identity as HQ has done. Then again RQ is a much older system, and one that was abandoned, and is only now being rescued.
  14. Traversing the Lunar Heartland

    HQ lacks granularity on this point. Whereas in RQ there is a natural limit built into the game mechanics by limiting magic points, in HQ by comparison you have to rely on GM fiat to say, "you can't keep casting the spell because I say so". Because GM fiat is really what you mean when you say "it all depends on the story". I think that is too authoritarian a style of play for my liking.
  15. Organic Skill Trees

    It seems to me that you are trying to re-write Hero System's https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_Games skill structure for BRP (not HQ). As a shooter, I don't think that people really specialize in firearms to the point where they differentiate between a Walther PPK and every other pistol. I can see an argument for a separate sniper skill, given the computer assist modern sniper rifles come with to adjust for atmospheric conditions etc, but not for handguns. There is also an argument to be put that having high punch, dodge and stealth may default to a high default martial arts, just as much as a high martial arts training might aid in punch, stealth and dodge. Chicken/Egg conundrum or Wagon before Horse error (horse driven wheelbarrow?). I think Cthulhu 7th ed and its use of skills that add on to similar skills is great, and a good compromise e.g. science skills add +10% to other science skills once you reach 50%. I personally have no problem with skills going over 100%, as they merely raise the critical/special result chances a la RQ2.