Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Alex last won the day on September 23

Alex had the most liked content!


  • RPG Biography
    Standard bio.
  • Current games
    FATE; Offworlders.
  • Location
    Cork, Ireland
  • Blurb
    Standard blurb.

Recent Profile Visitors

740 profile views

Alex's Achievements


Member (2/4)



  1. Could be said of Orlanth + [any given entity than Ernalda] and Ernalda + [any given non-Orlanth], come to that!
  2. I wanted to complain how "recent" that was in comparison to the intended reference... ... and yet, it was first published a quarter of a century ago. 😱
  3. Praise indeed, you're most welcome! Iunno, above my pay grade -- which to be 100% clear is €0 for these purposes -- perhaps a Chaosium person can clarify. But my understanding is that they don't do sweeping-vista publication plans, so they may not wish to get into the weeds of that. It was originally mooted in the HQ line context, so lots of time for plans to have changed radically in the meantime, as well as the start-date having been advanced. I'd have presumed if you were doing the whole timeline in one book, you'd want to do it partly in hindsight, and after advancing the 'start date' with all the immediate long-form adventures you immediately planned for the that period, then loop back to do each season in shortform. But that might be a model based on an entirely false analogy. Hard to say in generalities. Do what works for you! (There, that was the most general of all possible generalities.) If you have particular concerns about which scenarios dovetail with which others, or about the compatibility of background material, you should feel free to be as specific as you like about that. The main risk is that it might be like Yelm's punishment for bigamy -- you might ask and get more answers than you wanted! Moves the problem from editing the material to sifting through the opinions, but sometimes even someone terrible take can clarify what you what you don't want to do... But to give two equal-but-possibly opposite suggestions:- Don't get too far sucked into "I paid for this material, I'm going to use it somehow!" or the like. As a recovering Calvinist I can relate to that, but if something doesn't fit and doesn't feel right, don't force. There will be other games some day, if we're all spared. Don't sweat the canon thing more than you have to. YGWVLION, so good to get philosophically resigned to (or excited about!) the concept early, and if you see merit in making a bold edit, grasp the nettle and do it sooner rather than regret it later. We'll all be making running repairs at some point, if we're not already. (LION being Like It Or Not. I doubt it'll catch on, but the YGWV thing bears repeating so much I feel I have to, but also obliged to break up the monotony of doing so.) That certainly sounds to be like a relatively light edit (and one it anticipates and sets up to do some of the editing for you). The author is active on a number of the forums and has his own blog, so you also have the option of asking if he has any additional thoughts on this. I'm not guaranteeing this is any sort of after-sales policy on his part, just to be clear! I think basically ask yourself:- What sort of age and experience of characters would work best for your table? Do you have a particular "scale" of game in mind? Clan, tribal, rootless mix-and-match wanderers, epic lozenge-trotting, transitioning between one of those to another? Are there particular events you find would make especially good elements to incorporate? How does available material impedance match to how fast you anticipate working through it? On the one hand, if you backdate too far, will you ever 'catch up' to the present day? Or conversely, do you worry about overshooting it, and having to vamp too much without "official arc" updates? Are 'hard edits' a good option? If you want to cover some Epic Background Event, but not commit to following directly on from it, is a TPK/graceful character retirement something that'd work for your group? Likewise if you wanted to use different tribal backgrounds -- though then you're no longer doing "Relative's History Table" in detail, you're essentially doing a campaign reboot/splice.
  4. To put it in very broad strokes, RQG has changed the preferred terminology in some cases, but in many has gone the route of if there were half a dozen different obscure names for something before, it's going consistently with the simplest and best-known one. I think it's pretty straightforward to pick the approach you prefer -- "cool, bonus, more exotic names for things!" or "thank heavens, my players can actually follow this now" -- and adapt accordingly in either direction. Bear in mind that Sartar's a fairly varied landscape. Clan differs from clan, tribe from tribe, and the backwoods are very different from the cities. (That last one I feel to my very core, as someone living in a relatively small city, where every other political debate involves Dublin and "rural Ireland" yelling at each other.) I think you can use both (nay, multiple) sets of material if you like both, and are happy to wield a firm editorial hand in deciding what works together, and works for your table, and what doesn't. I did see a comment somewhere that there were now three different non-canonical but prominent published versions of the Battle of Dangerford -- the Battle of Freedom if you like variant titles! -- so certainly at some point it does tip over into You Can't Have Everything. (Where would you put it?) I haven't read ALM's campaign books, but I've glanced at the preview freebies, and seen some reviews (which range from "positive" to "rave"), and they seem to do the very sensible thing of making their starting assumptions explicit (initiands in one case, forming a new warband on the other), and to offer advice for how to use the material in different ways. orders, etc. Oh the face of it it seems to dovetail well if you wanted to use either or both of those in conjunction with significant chunks of Official, by way of a light change to the start date. To use them with the HW material sounds like it needs more editing -- some or all of SSiS first I'd assume, then the Iceland arc, then some less timeline-critical stuff in the middle, then segue into 1625+ workflow? You could very reasonably take the "Argraths all the way down" approach. Kallyr's ship has sailed as a candidate (well, she did liberate Sartar! -- and then got liberated from further liberation duties) if you go with the official product line. But should you "plot protect" White Bull if you want a high-stakes adventure to protect him? Or if your PCs decide they'd like the job instead? "How's he going to be The One if he's dead... Ohyeahresurrection, silly me." I think you have to play that by ear. As you mention KAP... There was at one point the idea to produce a GPC-style book in for Sartar. Apparently not at the top of the pile now, but maybe some decade in Glorantha... I'd assume that'd -- wildly hypothetically -- cover the period in question, season-by-season. I wouldn't put your life on hold waiting for it, mind. Sure, but as the timeline advances some of the possibilities will inevitably get precluded (or become crystalised). We find out who's Prince when (short of civil wars), who does which deed against the Lunars (short of conspiracy theories), who goes on what heroquest (mind you, timey-wimey and mythic subjectivity!), etc. I don't think the Official Timeline has too much scope to do that, unless it simply stops, or confines itself to just prophecy and future history stuff beyond a certain point.
  5. Top Storm Tarumath-umps! How many storm gods can you worship in one cult before the Gift Carriers and/or Vargast turn up and... advice a different course of action. Could be the next euro-style Gloranthan boardgame, if not a foray into Buckaroo territory. πŸ˜„ I took the comment to mean that the implied in-game 'etymology' was 'primal bovid', but punning on the word "aurochs" in the process. Well, kinda punning, I wouldn't pronounce them the same, they do worse on a weekly basis on UK quiz shows. (Yes, Victoria Coren, I was about to write and complain that "Berne" and "burn" being homonyms... they're not! πŸ˜„) Which must be about my level, as I rather like it. As far as I can tell from my google-grade research you're right about the etymology. None of this is at all surprising, though -- the weird derivation, the uncertain etymology (I think lexicographers have a macro for that), nor the contradictory wikipedia edits (I've a source, you've a source, we can't be arsed trying to reconcile or properly sum up). I think you could call that a "reduplicated doublet", or something along those lines -- though that makes it sound like cowcowcowcowcowcowcowcow, rather than just cowcow. Guy Deutscher has a whole series of hilarious examples, like the phrase "up above", which already is bordering on tautology, but if you unpack the etymology of "above", actually derives ultimately from "up on by on up". People use a common noun, but the senses drift. So people take it as a proper name, then compound it with another element with the same meaning, and you end up with "River Avon", "Torpenhow", and such shenanigans. Or reinterpret it as meaning something else -- conceivably the case here with the "ur-" element, in a way "merging" the two derivations.
  6. He did, literally in mid-paragraph in the first instance, and more permanently subsequently in a way I still haven't fully processed. But I think the best answer we'll get is in his work. Californian hippy Arkati Trickster shamans and ambiguity? I'm shocked, shocked! </Claude Rains> And the many Gloranthan examples! Which isn't to say that more yet aren't helpful, and indeed needed. But the precedents are there, just do it until, and adapt as needed.
  7. Language-family quibble, wouldn't that be Northern-Theyalan-speaking? Though certainly granting they were in Peloria when they were talking! πŸ™‚ I like @soltakss's patch of this, which is that (IIRC, to boil it down doubtless a little too glibly) they have rather similar myths and consequently heroquests, but that relationship with Orlanth is very different. So in the HoG, they don't fight, they trade shields. Presumably the fire powers ones are myths that are entirely missing or essentially unrecognisable, and vice versa for the "hoplitey" and "pals around with Yelm" stuff, and so on. Then again, I'm unlikely to need a longform Elmal RQ cult writeup anytime soon, so I can't say I've done into the details of this -- but commend those that do! Personally I think changing significant such details is pretty key, though! Now of course, you can validly see them as different variants, as there are in all myths, which just happen to cluster around "am extremely loyal to Orlanth" and "meh, not so much", according to social and political distribution.
  8. But the more on-the-nose question here is more whether gender-role behaviours are "hardwired", per Greg's (brief and likely needing context) comment to that effect. My best guess would be that he wasn't saying "they're genetically determined" (transpose to whatever the Gloranthan equivalent of "genetics" might be), but that "they're strongly culturally predisposed". Which I realize is tantamount to suggesting he was rather like one of those people who says things like "our organisational DNA", at whom I generally want to shout infuriatedly. So I may well be unfairly representing him one way, in an attempt to avoid unfairly representing him another -- apply caveats lavishly as needed!
  9. You're combining and apparently conflating three entirely different things there. Common-or-garden killings, secret murder, and kinslaying. Two of those are chaos-festering capital crimes; the other ain't. (Start a feud, continue a feud, pay wergeld, deduct it from your local or personal mental tally of what those people had coming to them, etc.) Or those warriors show up in response and give pursuit, which is so situation-normal that the aforementioned post-canonical supplement includes a contest for it happening every single time. I think we're some distance away from the original point, which was "conflict with another tribe, but all the leaders are part of the same cult", which I exemplified with "Sartarite cattle raids: Orlanth-on-Orlanth crime". If that doesn't routinely describe the situation in Sartar (and pretty much everywhere else Theyalan), our G's have V'ied rather a lot. Even just starting with the "armed robbery" part itself, indeed, whether or not we ever get to the "actual bodily harm", and whether or not that involves whatever degree of homicide in whatever circumstances.
  10. Alex


    I suppose depending on how many sigfigs precision you want to assume that period is, or whether there's absolutely no seasonal nor other variation in it... Guid tae sei thi Scots leid beyin' spake oan thi forum! πŸ˜„ That one I'd take to the bank, and probably easier to work out if you have a general knowledge of the seasonal positions of constellations, or even if you just took note of their positions earlier that night. Yeah, I think that works, even without either the first or the last. The compass thing might not be as refinable as the others just by getting ever-fancier celestialabes. OTOH, if you go with the theory that Gloranthan engineering and trig is terrible (bronze-age level or go home!), but its magic is multiverse-beating, maybe one just needs to dump a ton of magic points into a sufficiently advanced compass to get arbitrarily precise directions. Navigation Trace, Garzeen's infamously overpowered game-breaking rune magic! So yeah, no longitude problem on Glorantha, it would seem. The Creator Gods really made it easy for ocean sailors! ... right up until they added ship-eating sea monsters, the Closing, and testy tribes of triolini, all armed with awls... Conceivably sun cults might favour south -- or north, or indeed Straight Up -- for the very reason that those do permit such monumental solar alignments. Though east is pretty popular with solar-crazed RW religions too, obviously. Maybe some of those Star Towers are notoriously Leaning? Say by about 9 degrees north or so, and a little more than that to the south...
  11. Alex


    That was one of the methods applied, yes. I dunno why that'd seem any less anachronistic than the split-minute precision steam-driven clockworkpunk one, though! Indeed, presumably you'd need to combine the two, since you don't want to make your observations at Yelmrise (angle = zero, not a very useful surveying triangle), but at some precisely defined later time of day. And you don't want to do that celestialogically, otherwise you have no independence of your assumptions and measurements at all. Prudent, as canonically he does not! For me, that seems unlikely to be the case, for exactly the same reasons as with the horizon problem. Your horizonless Glorantha will presumably vary.
  12. Canon is canonically wrong! Gain +1D3 Illumination chance, or reasonable facsimile. May or may not include Draconic Consciousness or spontaneous Trickster devotion, check local availability.
  13. That's an interesting question, what's someone formal status if they've been "Greetinged" up to "Duty". That being restricted to "only those who would sit close to me, in my family". Now doubtless this might mean the duty to do the washing up, or similar to the way Lightbringer's Challenges and the like work. To which of course the answer is likely "formal, schmormal". But if you're de facto "adopted" by a particular family, then you're also kinda-sorta in the clan too, until somebody with more clout says otherwise. Which could happen very rapidly, if someone feels the newcomer is out of place, is an economic burden on others, or the adopting family have overstepped the mark, etc. If they don't, work your way up in formality from there. Some milestones would be... Is this person an adult human, according to Orlanthi custom? Cult initiation may not be required as such, but if yes, and their initiatory status is magically valid, then this pretty much takes care of the previous matter. If not, then why not -- some sort of wandering layabout slacker and drifter, or what? The newcomer wishes to do something pretty specifically only open to a clan member, like say vote in the wapentake. They'll want to have either tidied away some formalities by that point, or else made it so thunderingly obvious that their right is approved by acclaim. Initiation to the wyter -- as FDWC very correctly says, that's a pretty clearcut in-or-out thing. So the question is, at what point can and at what point must this occur? And as JΓΆrg says, marriage is a possible parallel and precedent. Do husbands and wives participate strictly "in the right of their spouse", by way of the ritual formality of the marriage itself? What then if they're widowed or divorced, and remain on-tula (for whatever political, social or practical reason). Is there a process for them to "re-up" to the clan?
  14. Alex


    Bear in mind what a huge deal it was in the RW to have even synchronised time, much less to be able to do simultaneous observations. There were government projects to solve to longitude problem in the 18th century -- and think how annoyed people get about medieval, dark age, or even iron age tech or cultural tropes! Ah yes, you say, but in Glorantha, we have magic to solve such minor problems. To which I counter, no, we have magic to magic them infinitely worse! The angles of a Sky World triangle add up to... whatever Yelm says they do. Personally, I don't think this method would work at all IMG, YGWV. Does magical surveying in general help? I'm happy to assume it does quite a bit. Historical maps suck. If you gave your players bronze-age accuracy maps as their best reference, you'd be beaten (very slowly) with them until you saw the error of your ways. Gamers like a good map, and an authentically bad map is in many ways more work to produce! Who wants to made a cartographic rod for their own back?
  15. Alex


    That'll be this one, I think: Definitely true IMG! ... true that Clement Longhair will tell you that's the case. πŸ™‚ The distinction between "Glorantha is billiard-table flat but looks curved because light is homesick" and "flattish but curved" is soooo slight in practice that unless you're a Mostali professor of long-distance surveying, it's a matter of which version (or some other) rings the most true for you. (If you are a Mostali professor of long-distance surveying, pick a side, and then conduct a low-motion flame war with your nemesis, who is of course the leading Mostali professor of long-distance surveying who favours the other account -- or as many such as you theories and/or senior tenured dwarven gloragraphers). It's of course a literary, metaphysical dome. πŸ™‚ If you assume any finite diameter of dome, IMO you'll get fairly silly and unsatisfactory results -- the smaller, the sillier. If it's large enough to not be measurable by Gloranthan technology, then good enough for government jazz. (If you're measuring it with Gloranthan magic, please check the warranty on that on a case-by-case basis. Then check yourself into a Solar Retirement Tower to purge yourself of such apostasy and heresy.) But for me that it doesn't even make conceptual sense that it would be measurable in such ways. It's literally part of the Hero Plane. Just one you happen to be able to see without recourse to magic! (Thoughtfully, it brought its own.) This was of course received wisdom for centuries for how terrestrial eyes work, "extramission theory", all the way from Plato (Aristotle gets some slack for his occasional scientific howlers, but he at least actually did some science, as opposed to just having wildly wrong theories about everything πŸ˜„) until the Islamic Golden Age. And if you want to depress yourself, find out as I just did how many people still believe it to be the case...
  • Create New...