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Ian Cooper

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Ian Cooper last won the day on July 13

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About Ian Cooper

  • Rank
    Senior Member


  • RPG Biography
    30 year veteran of BRP games including Call of Cthulhu & Runequest. More than 10 year veteran of HeroQuest (Hero Wars etc.). Published Gloranthan author. Active gamer with the Monday Nighters.
  • Current games
    HeroQuest: Glorantha, Call of Cthulhu, Fiasco, Puppetland, Numenera, The Clay that Woke, Microscope, Risus, Questlandia, 13th Age, The One Ring
  • Location
    London, England, UK
  • Blurb
    Software Developer in London, conference speaker, tabletop gamer, geek. Tattooed, pierced, and bearded.

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  1. Ian Cooper

    New pavis big rubble books

    For HQG, we would recommend starting with The Coming Storm and The Eleven Lights for your Dragon Pass campaign. Advice from RQ grognards on the scenarios they enjoyed 'back in the day' are not good sign posts for how to play HQG. Once you have played that material, you should be in a better position to assess how to use older material from the Hero Wars line, or even from RQG. My summary would be that the 'setting' material from RQG supplements has value, but the scenarios have less utility. Certainly something like Apple Lane, or Snakepipe Hollow can't be played well with HQG, but you could use the concepts in a game. But RQG and HQG are different games. It is akin to the difference between Dungeon World and D&D (with HQG the former) .
  2. Ian Cooper

    New pavis big rubble books

    Agreed, magic is different in character, and I would not want to fall into the trap of HQG players deciding that they could only have rune magic that matched RQG rune spells. The ability to improvise rune magic around the god's runes is one of the strengths of the game for me, and with no 'game balance' concerns a strong area of creativity for players. It is the kind of material that any HQG genre pack focused on a 'conversion' for a supplement or region might have to cover. My very woolly thinking is that at some point we might do a 1627+ HQG genre pack for Dragon Pass that lets you use RQG material set in that area easily by giving you cult write-ups etc. It's unlikely though that we want to retcon HQG cults for differences that appear in RQG cults. I think that would be maddening for HQG players not to have their own sources, but have to get RQG sources and convert. Campaign packs and the such would probably never end up converted, and so a book showing you how to use those would work, but I would want the HQG line to be stand-alone for those that wanted that. Hence why we will probably focus on 1625-. In addition, RQG and HQG can work in both games, but some don't translate so well. RQG scenarios that are essentially 'one big fight' don't really play to HQG's strengths, and 'skill challenges' don't play out at all well. Whilst Borderlands is a great setup for an HQG game, the scenarios would play out a little dull in an HQG game, as they are essentially just one fight after another. Or climbing a mountain. That setup would work better for HQG with different scenarios, that often relate to the matter 'in the background' for RQG such as Jezra, the mayor and Dain. The same is doubtless true the other way around, where some HQG scenarios don't play so nice for RQG players, because the 'creative' solutions that HQG PCs have are harder to allow for in RQG. Of course, part of the problem with Big Rubble for HQG was always understanding how to play out an old-school mega-dungeon like the Big Rubble in HQG. Mega-dungeon's depend a little bit on 'resource management' for the thrill of their exploration, and HQG is not a resource management game. I loved running Sandy's Puzzle Canal for RQ2, with miniatures and floor tiles, but I struggle to see how I would capture that in HQG. The Big Rubble can be part of HQG stories, such as the salt mines trip in P:GtA, but I think it is not the story in itself. So the text describing the rubble is useful, the adventures less so. For me, a principle advantage of multiple game systems is to be able to pick and choose the game that best suits the kind of campaign you want to play. (I am sure that RQ or HQ grognards will pop and say 'but you can do anything in my favorite system' but that belies the fact that different mechanics create different play experiences).
  3. Ian Cooper

    New pavis big rubble books

    Thanks. I think any book benefits from color on who the opposition is etc.
  4. Ian Cooper

    New pavis big rubble books

    My current thinking is that if a significant product comes out for RQG that needs HQG 'help' we will essentially do a 'HQ genre pack' for playing it.
  5. Ian Cooper

    New pavis big rubble books

    From my point of view it is very unlikely that we would re-package as RQG. I think it is much better to fan source the NPC stats, which is really all you need to run it with RQG, as many are already.
  6. Ian Cooper

    Elmal Yelmalio thing

    See also, from GRoY "The planet Lightfore has always held some enigma. Its Gloranthan name is always a title, like Lightfore, and its secret name remains a secret (if it was ever known or agreed upon!) Furthermore, the story of the Young God may b etold about other deities as well.... Lightfore is now recognized by the Dara Happans to be Antirius, the “Little Sun” which remained in the darkness. They remind us that Yelm’s own consciousness was in Antirius, as well as in Bijiif, the Descender. As Bijiif descended into Hell, Antirius also descended into the Land of the Dead. These are, they say, both elements of the same Yelmic secrets." So Lightfore is definitely 'Many Suns', but particularly the sun in the darkness, so a GL would probably identity Elmal, Kargzant, Yelmalio, and Antirius as Lightfore.
  7. Ian Cooper

    Elmal Yelmalio thing

    No, Lightfore replaces Kargzant in the Sky according to GRoY. The heavens reflecting the triumph of Antirius over the horse barbarians. Note that elsewhere in GRoY Lightfore is described as riding Kargzant, in other words, Antirius conquers the horse-sun god. ""51. Lightfore The bright god rose and went to War against the destructive god Kargzant. At first Lightfore was timed so that he appeared exactly opposite to Kargzant, so that one rose when the other set. But slowly Lightfore drew Kargzant to him, so that his erratic movements had to come to time with Lightfore’s. Thus, in 111,111 Kargzant disappeared as a separate entity, chained to be Lightfore’s slave." Of course, this may just be another explanation for the strange movement of Lightfore (one appeared when the other set). I think it's pretty clear that Elmal at least becomes Lightfore/Antirius at some point. I think the Elmal myth, 'Elmal Guards the Stead' that provides the explanation for Lightfore's movement across the sky is key here. It is very possible though that aspects of the Elmal cult, the Anatyr cult which has him a ruler, his association as a justice bringer, even perhaps his role as a horse rider (over Beren or Ulanin) may come with DH culture, and represent some of the parts of that culture that get welded onto Elmal. But sure, Kargzant may well be Lightfore too. Many Little Suns. Lightfore seems to be seen as part of the sun, the sun in the darkness, and thus sometimes has been the only sun. DH: "See that stare Lighfore, he is Antirius, who held the throne to prepare for Yelm's return" H: "Oh we call that star Elmal one of our lights in the darkness" DH: "Did he provide protection in the darkness, whilst his lord was in the underworld too?" H: "Of course he must have done, his lord would have been Orlanth though. But hey, who would have been king with Orlanth gone. Ah, this must be a secret we don't know, about how Elmal was crowned and acted as Orlanth's steward. Antirius, we might say Anatyr in our tongue, must be the part of Elmal that ruled". DH: "And did he conquer the horse nomads too?" H: "You know, I bet he did conquer the horse." ...
  8. Ian Cooper

    Elmal Yelmalio thing

    Elmal is Lightfore, as is Antirius. A key part of this identification can be taken from the fact that Lighfore never enters the underworld, but appears back in the east when it reaches the western edge of the Sky Dome. Elmal explains this with the myth of 'Elmal Guards the Stead' where despite being wounded unto death, he rises again. Both Elmal and Antirius are lights in the darkness that are a 'little sun', and both have an association with justice. It is possible that the Elmal cult gained some of these associations after contact with the Dara Happan culture. So he could have gained justice bringer or Anatyr at that time. A better question is whether Yelmalio, the Cold Sun is also Lightfore and Antirius. If the GL identify Yelmalio with Elmal, they must identify him with Lightfore and thus Antirius by inference. This of course raises the question of why Elmal has no Hill of Gold myth, though it is possible that Elmal Guards the Stead is his structural equivalent, and why Elmal and Antirius have fire powers but Yelmalio does not (I suspect that may be due to his elven origins). I believe that Yelmalio is an elven perspective of Lightfore, the light in the Darkness, shorn of fire powers to be tree-friendly, who gets merged with Daysenerus, the High Sun by the elves in the First Age Bright Empire. The later GL identification of him is because all of these gods are Lightfore. But if you look at it, Yelmalio has the most truncated mythology, and doesn't really give access to the wider solar mythology, so he is an invader deity for the Heorltings. I don't buy that the cult spread beyond Peloria, where it has its main stronghold and Dragon Pass/Prax from contact with the Pelorian Orlanthi due to Empires.
  9. Ian Cooper

    HeroQuest SRD and OGL, genre packs

    I've just got back from Zim. I need to collate feedback, put out another version to reviewers etc. Progress but not there yet.
  10. Ian Cooper

    Combat and Group Simple Contests

    First, worry about the PCs prize mostly, the NPCs don't really matter, just adjudicate that from the results for the player. It's only in PC vs PC that the mirror relationship matters. Second, don't cripple victory. If the prize is silence the guards, that is what happens on any victory. So what is marginal as opposed to other levels. Well, of course it may not matter. When I look at the SRD I am trying to clarify that (it is stated originally) Consequences of Defeat and Benefits of Victory only need to be adjudicated if you think interesting story options flow from ongoing implications of the contest. So perhaps you decide that you can up the tension by having the guards quickly missed because they don't report in at the end of their rounds on a marginal victory, and have the alarm raised when the PCs are still not out etc. But maybe you decide that isn't important and just treat victory as done and move on. The idea behind 'bringing down the pain' is this. Extended contests tend to produce more conclusive results as PCs can use more hero points, parting shots etc. So if at the end of the simple contest the PCs lose, or don't get everything they wanted (say that they had graduated goals) you can turn it into an extended contest. Look for a player trying to steal the jewels responding to you fail to kill the guards, with 'ok I will sneak back later etc'. We don't allow repeat attempts, so just treat the first simple contest as the first round of an extended contest whose goal is to steal the jewels over chaining simple contests together
  11. Ian Cooper

    Humakti sword fighting ability

    But of course, if you don't declare it as a breakout i.e. you assume it is part of the Umbrella keyword it will be at the same rating i.e. the Death rune includes Sword Fighting. Hence the at least. In addition, the rule here seems to be that for a Humakti there is a specific option to augment this breakout from the keyword with the keyword. But, you can interpret any way that makes sense to you.
  12. Ian Cooper

    Humakti sword fighting ability

    I'm not sure of the original intent, but I would suggest (1) Treat Sword Fighting as a breakout ability from the Death Rune (2) Allow the Death Rune to augment Sword Fighting even though it is a breakout.
  13. Ian Cooper

    Elmal Yelmalio thing

    The significant problem for Yelmalio is that IMO he doesn't work well 'within the clan'. The clan chieftain is the high priest of Orlanth, a clan member has to 'obey chosen leaders' and that means that within a normal clan (one without some sort of Solar rites) Yelmalio is subservient to Orlanth. That does not seem to be in-keeping with the perspective of the cult that it sees itself as a rival to Orlanth (and for Ernalda's hand in marriage). It's conservatism on gender roles also seems problematic within normal Orlanthi society. The Elmal cult is similar to Heler, in that it has a mythology that allows his worshipers to be 'loyal' to Orlanth and thus work within the clan. Even the Humakti have their re-sheathing rituals to exist within the clan. So wherever Yelmalio appears in the clan, I think it will lead to conflict between the Orlanthi leadership and the Yelmalians. For both the Orlanthi and the Yelmalians 'exiling' them to their temple-fortresses, with their helots working in the fields, makes more sense as a social structure. To my mind Yelmalio is Antirius/Lighfore 'outside the clan', part of Orlanthi society but separate from it. Elmal is Antirius/Lighfore within the clan, the 'loyal thane' who is able to accept Orlanth's leadership. And yes, he even has rites to rule if Orlanth is absent. So those 1000 Elmali in Sartar are the sun-worshipers you meet in the clan, those possessed of the Fire rune (http://www.glorantha.com/forums/topic/the-many-suns-and-the-nature-of-polytheism/). it's probably a few clans with significant bloodlines of Elmali (say ten or so clans with 50-100 worshipers) and the others scattered Elmali households. I doubt even the Runegate triaty has 'full Elmal' clans, just significant bloodlines. I suspect that many of them see Monrogh as the 'Teller of Lies' who tempted Elmal into believing he could rule in Orlanth's Stead in the darkness, and those that have converted to Yelmalio as having failed the test of steadfastness. Perhaps they can be saved. Whereas by numbers the Yelmalio worshippers are pretty much in the Sun Dome Temple (unlike Pavis none of the Sartarite cities we have seen so far have a Sun-Dome temple). I suspect they see the Elmali as having been 'colonized' by the Orlanthi religion, and 'rule takers not rule makers' to coin a phrase.
  14. Ian Cooper

    Elmal Yelmalio thing

    Sure, but since WB&RM they have been pikemen not cavalry.
  15. Ian Cooper

    HeroQuest SRD and OGL, genre packs

    The SRD will doubtless be out first. It's probably HQ 2.2 (Core is 2.0 and HQG 2.1). So not a huge change, just tweaks and a slightly different presentation. We will doubtless get feedback on that. We'll then mesh that with the flavor text, advice and examples to make a new core book. It will also have some example genre packs in it.