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Alex

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About Alex

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    Homebrew; FATE.
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    Cork, Ireland
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  1. Alex

    Elmal Yelmalio thing

    There's couple of differences in that Elmal is, on the one hand as pointed out earlier, a minority clan leadership cult, and on the other, pressed into the role of a ritual enemy, when an Evil Emperor surrogate is required. Those are likely to conspire to create a sense of grievance that, say, Humakt worshippers wouldn't experience. I greatly enjoyed Jeff's piece on the clear objective superiority of Yelmalio over Elmal. I was almost waiting for the companion piece from the Elmali POV! I'll be a little disappointed if "official Elmal" just makes him straightforwardly worse, rather than "yes, I can see the magical, mythic, and political motivation for why most of them switched -- and why some of them didn't". Some of the more overtly "low" fire powers ascribed to Elmali might be a bit much. But shouldn't Elmal have at least some more overtly "sun" magic than Yelmalio? Given the latter's status as "no madam, we don't have a sun god, but we do have something similar" cult.
  2. Alex

    Yanafal Tarnils

    Over and above standard "YGWV" disclaimers, "outdated" is especially relative here. The Lunar material has been through several iterations, each contradicting as much as it adds, and sometimes appearing to row back in the original direction. So who knows, the new old might be the old new. I'd advise just using what you find best, and drifting it in whatever direction appeals... With regard to the 7M version of the cult and the full/Heartland one, my intuition would be that the Humakt-like angle is greatest in the former, for the very reason of presenting a compatible face to converts. The worship elsewhere will resemble Humakt less, whether or not they're truly related at any deep level. Having said which, somewhat like Humakt but moving in the direction of 'soldier' and 'officer' (and by implication, somewhat away from 'solo killing machine') isn't a terrible starting point, either, absent much in the way of definitive detail otherwise.
  3. Alex

    Sunpath

    Apparently Chrome*OS* is more vexatious still, though. But I should be able to run something via crouton/Ubuntu, or if all else fails, find a Steampunk relic from a bygone age that should be able to run it.
  4. Alex

    Sunpath

    Thanks, that's a help to me, I think, as it spares me trying to find a copy on dodgy HDs from several computers ago. Ironically, I can't run it right now, at least on this here Chromebook, due to Google's War on Java. It'd be true to say that while Mr Tines did most of the heavy lifting of the initial coding of this, I'd my paws on the various parameters last, which if nothing else qualifies me to say how sketchy some of the guesses at what they ought to be. (Some of the more uncertain there's "wizard mode" controls for, but in some others there's just provisional guesses hard-coded in.) Of course, some of them might have been canonicalised (or possibly negated) by subsequent decisions elsewhere. At any rate, in many cases "goes to evidence of state of mind", insofar as I'm even remembering it correctly. Please do keep me right on both aspects, all.
  5. Alex

    Almost all mermen breathe only air. Why?

    Ooo, this topic has gone "hot", that's new. (To this forum noob, that is.) Weather warning: extreme tropical conditions, with intermittent Firebergs? Hrm, that's a new wrinkle, and one that the Guide doesn't seem to gloss at all. What're we calling the "inner Ocean cluster" as a whole these days, then? (I meant the latter, in any case.) Is it just "the Ocean(s)", with the outer "bottomless because no Gloranthan earth surface at all" region being not "ocean", but instead "Sramak's River"? The geometry of that would make your head hurt. The Pool is 200k across, and clearly many k's deep -- likely deeper than the average Oceanic depth, if you want the whirlpool to have that characteristic 'plughole' shape, rather than ending up looking more like a big circular weir. After a certain point, one has to stop worrying about even the normal modest-enough niceties of Gloranthan physics, and throw up one's hands and say "HeroPlane!" I'd say these islands are located at pretty much precisely that point.
  6. Alex

    Almost all mermen breathe only air. Why?

    Thank you, thank you, don't applaud, just throw money! Or "likes". I feel nervous at being stuck in "neutral"... "Ugly naked floating merguy's alive! He's a-live!" "And yet, we're still poking him."
  7. Alex

    Almost all mermen breathe only air. Why?

    Perhaps I should have said guyot for less ambiguity and more precision. Apparently "seamount" also technically includes the likes of Mauna Kea -- a 10k-high mountain, comfortably the largest on the entire planet... just happens that the base, like the old Irish joke about Carrauntoohil, "'tis in a bit of a hollow." (i.e. the Pacific Ocean, in this case. But I didn't mean whale- and turtle-mounted settlements... not that that's not also an interesting idea. Apologies for the confusion. As in Glorantha 10k-high mountains are ten-a-penny, sticking a seamount in any part of the oceans that aren't actually bottomless in that exact spot seems pretty low-end sort of speculation. (Do we have data on a typical depth of the Homeward Ocean, aside from the "infinitely" bit right in the middle?) It's a fair point that these will be more common nearer the continents, and in particular in various sunken lands. Nor are they necessarily just former human cities with merfolk squatters, as the best spots will likely be those that were formerly rather remote and inaccessible to surface-dwellers. But I'd still like to put in a good word for at least a couple of deep-ocean cities, as first, it'd be cool, and second, it better corresponds to the reported distribution of most of the kindreds. (I'm referring in the first instance to the Bestiary's maps, as I happen to have that readily to hand, which I realize officially it would be over-charitable to regard as B-Canon, but I'm sure people will put me right if there's been an explicit material change on this.) Unihemispheric slow-wave sleep, and other such stupid mammal brain tricks! I think, on this pattern, it's not plausibility-stretching to suppose that merfolk might only need relatively short and relatively shallow periods of sleep. Doubtless several such periods, though. (Human polyphasic sleep fiends claim to be able to operate indefinitely on 3-5 periods of anything between 30m and 2h a go.) Conversely, if they can go for an hour between breaths during normal waking activity, they can likely do so for longer while their metabolic rate is reduced during sleep. Certainly two hours doesn't seem like a big stretch, maybe four at a push. That's getting toward the range of the normal human sleep cycle, which isn't so much 8h as it is 2*4h, optionally but not necessarily banged together. I'm not a big fan of such a high dependence on magic that they essentially can' survive or have even a rudimentary culture without it. Sure there are beings like that in Glorantha, but I don't see the typical merperson as being in that category: they're one (really, several) one of the "basic major races"... just a rather under-reported one. Rather than being comparable to Peaceful Cut, this might be more akin to needing to have the local wizard cast a "Chew" spell on the entire village prior to each meal. OTOH, each kindred could vary significantly. In particular, I rather like the idea of the Zabdamar as surface-sleepers. Or rather in their case, above-the-surface sleepers. Imagine sailing warily through the outer fringes of the Kahar Sea, and through the fog faintly glimpsing a manatee-like silhouette, and then the garish shamanic tattoos and outlandish jewellery... as he snores his head off, floating in mid-air.
  8. Alex

    Sunpath

    I would agree with all of the above. One additional possibility I'd moot is that the sun and the Sky Dome might tilt in phase, but different total amounts. So you'd see them bang in line at the equinoxes, but less and less so in the summer and winter. This would have the merit of allowing something closer to the RW amount of seasonal variation in the sun's path, without the entire sky lurching drunkenly over to the same extent. (Just mild tipsiness, really.) Also makes conjunctions of Sky Dome objects and Sunpath planets more complex/interesting. Certainly not. But is it canonically wrong, or merely unspecified? It would essentially just imply that twilight isn't strictly a celestialogical phenomenon, but is within the domain of the Lower Sky. Which doesn't seem to me inherently unreasonable, as such. Yelmalio forced to slum it with the plebs... Again, I'm not proposing any variation in the length of day, as such (i.e. sunrise (and Lightforeset) to sunset (and Lightforerise)). That would remain an Upper Sky effect, unaffected by such terrestrial sullying where one happens to be in Glorantha. It'd be perfectly possible to see bright celestial objects during twilight -- just as one's often able to see Venus in the RW sky, regardless of fairly significant brightness remaining in the sky. (Also true of some of the brightest stars, though none are are bright as Venus, so to a lesser extent.) I don't know, and I share your curiosity as to whether the Guide's illo is schematic or observationally precise (and to what degree). It's not impossible that the artist is working from art direction based on a Greg sketch based on an Ephemeris freezeframe based on... no actual original data in particular. (Other than "well, it has to rise sometime...") I would certainly also share your assumption it's the same everywhere in Glorantha: i.e. it's an "infinitely distant" object on the Sky Dome per se. Not a mundane rock hurtling through the upper atmosphere (or a weird hybrid of the two, like the Red Moon). Whether it's constant I don't know, but if it's not, that's increasing the number of unknown unknowns, in terms of its behavioural parameters. It's one of the ongoing headscratchers to me that when Glorantha has a central and indeed near-universal myth that has the obvious celestial interpretation "sun gets eclipsed by strange combination of moons", there's seemingly no way this can actually ever happen in the mundane world.
  9. Alex

    Almost all mermen breathe only air. Why?

    I'm not suggesting anyone run out and Mythbuster an underwater city on this design spec, mind! But I'd make no assumptions either way how similar RW physics and Gloranthan fuzzy-icks are in that regard. Nothing that couldn't be rule-of-cool'd (if it were the coolest option, of which I have my doubts). Magical/glorological/botanical sources of air bubbles might be better. It's elegant, sure, but it's a massive magical effect. The gold-plated milspec solution, as it were. (Though one could argue that the entire surface of the Kahar Sea is a somewhat similar effect, so maybe it's not actually an especially infeasible thing to do.) I'd personally not like to simply replicate the same thing over numerous different mercities, if many of them do indeed exist. If there's just a small handful of them lozengeally, not so much of a concern. I don't know of us knowing of any, but if there's none at all anywhere, it would be one if those rare and disappointing case where a spectacular RW phenomenon doesn't exist in Glorantha (and is then appropriated for other mythtastic stuff to be overlaid thereon). If there were any, it would be very unsurprising they weren't previously document on small-scale surface maps -- being features that are neither large on those terms, nor visible on the surface. I think there's a lot to be said for some hot-spot sea volcanoes somewhere!
  10. Alex

    A Question About Heortling Steads

    Actually, I think you were right about this the first time! Again I really should check against the Guide in detail, but I strongly suspect this angle's made it into Brave New Canon, from some factoids I gleaned in passing at EternalCon. Coffcoff, is there a reliable utterance for summoning an Ian Cooper to these parts? Coff. While I think that for all the obvious lozengey reasons day length is indeed invariant across the entire surface world, I'd be inclined to salvage a little bit of RW flavour by having twilight length depend strongly on both "latitude" and day of the year. Obviously north of the arctic circle is the equivalent of the Heroplane, though! I'm conscious that having slightly zombied this thread, this is now pretty much not-at-all relevant to stead design (on which there's some superb material herein, btw!). So maybe we should consider a separate thread, if we're going to go all solar, for its own sake.
  11. Alex

    Orlanthi gender roles and sexual mores

    A further possibility is that a particular clan might have "Peace Clan" type of ritual reason not to have women fighters. That would be rather different in look'n'feel from the Elmal-clan type of dynamic of more gender-stereotyping all round. (Presumably many craft and agricultural tasks are also gender-normative to a similar degree that fighting is.)
  12. Alex

    Almost all mermen breathe only air. Why?

    One could also have less grandiose cities with more mundane means of oxygenating oneself. You wouldn't want the whole city to be a giant air bubble, but you might have Breathing Halls that are. Having to visit them would be something intermediate in lifestyle terms between frequent snacking expeditions, and decently-spaced cigarette breaks. How those are being replenished is a whole other topic. Physical transportation of air down from the surface in large containers seems excessively onerous, but maybe snorkels, or some kind of air vents on the sea bed. Whether you get breathable air from plants is an angle of glorabiochemistry I dare not speculate on. Or atop subaquatic sea mounts, say. I wonder if there's a Gyndron city someplace? Someplace deep, presumably. That'd be a strange and scary sort of location, even for other merfolk. Not least as you'd be depending on magic or "guest air" if it's beyond the depth you can surface from before you suffocate...
  13. Alex

    time vs godstime: does MGV?

    I think this is, happily -- nay, wonderfully! -- an area where there's room for Gloranthans to disagree, and for those disagreements to be very much like those of the Gloranfans in this thread. People would likely agree in general terms that there's a somewhat jumbled quality to the God Time as one experiences it through myth, ritual, and HeroQuest. The Orlanthi, and anyone else buying into the "Year 1: Sun Rises" premise, will see that as an inherent thing -- if anything, as Charles says, any apparent linearity is something of an imposition by the observers, and the "deep reality" is even more thus. Those cultures with extensive, detailed (and needless to say, mutually contradictory) calendars back to the Green Age think the reverse: they actually happened in a strict temporal order, and the jumbly nature of the magical effects are due to the sad, sad state of things in the modern day world. Accumulated errors in storytelling, and the malign influence of foreign, degenerative forces in the Otherworld. But it's nothing that clean living, a return to traditional values, and some vigorously corrective HeroQuesting won't prolo-- eh, I mean cure!
  14. Alex

    A Question About Heortling Steads

    I don't know that the current canonical slightness is -- guess I should actually read that section of the Guide! -- but back in the day, one idea was that the sun at noon was by-and-large inside the Upper Sky in celestiological terms, except for close to the Winter Solstice. That gives getting on for half the variation one sees on Earth. (Though as you say, in a way that's weirdly quasi-tropical compared to mid-latitudes expectations -- as conditioned by both poster location, and the most obvious cultural "analogues".)
  15. Alex

    "Follow chosen leaders" myth

    That's the chap. Turns out to be on p249 of my copy, though. (Jalk's Book > RotO > Society > Responsibilities > Obey Chosen Leaders (logically enough).)
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