Ian Cooper

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Ian Cooper last won the day on July 6

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About Ian Cooper

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  • 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
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    London, England, UK
  • Blurb
    Software Developer in London, conference speaker, tabletop gamer, geek. Tattooed, pierced, and bearded.
  1. Hi all, Feel free to ask questions on this thread. Ian
  2. Guys, Keep it coming. Very helpful. We will collate and try to fix if appropriate. Hope you enjoy it.
  3. I have asked over at RPG.NET too, just to get a wide spectrum of interest: https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?807727-Using-R-Maps-for-Heroquest No need to cross-post there, but of course I am happy for you to join the thread. I just wanted to 'take the temperature' of a few constituencies.
  4. In addition, remember that in fiction, such as Greg's fiction the idea of rune points, battle magic points etc just doesnt exist. A character can invoke their magic as often as the author needs. This is rarely an issue because in story terms a writer doesn't tend to have a character peform the same action page after page. In this chapter Sureela uses her healing magic, but its probably not brought up again in the next chapter because, well that would be boring, and there she uses her peace magic. In the same vein, in most Heroquest games I have run it is rare to see repeat magic in a session, because it implies repeat contests, which would be dull. At most this happens during a fight, where someone augments with a rune etc. And again this follows fiction where a signature move for a hero is often mentioned in passing as part of the wider narrative. Heroquest follows story logic. So could someone sit all day casting their magic. For sure, in the same way that they could swing a sword all day. If they didn;t get tired, if they didn't get bored etc. But it would be a very dull sory, and for this reason never comes up. if someone was doing something like 'working in the hospital' for the day, and moving from patient to patient it would just be one roll.
  5. I'll just leave this here: http://www.hungryjack.com/recipes/pumpkin-pancakes-4753 {Edit: And this: ] So now we know how Ethilrist's men dined.
  6. I tend to be less precise and use Ancient World, it's often easier in play. A simple part of the problem here is that the labels Bronze Age, Iron Age etc are pretty dubious in our own world. Iron was used throughout the bronze age, but was inferior to bronze until charcoal made manufacture more successful etc. We might want to talk about culture, but the palace economies of Greece based on elites control of trade are quite different to the cultures of Dartmoor in Britain. Look at the Orlanthi. Their depiction in Thunder Rebels certainly draws on Urnfield culture, but some parts seem to be more early Iron Age Halstatt or La Tene culture. Post HQG we tend to throw in Mycenean and Etruscan influence as well, amongst others, drawing on many of the peoples between the Mediterranean and the Baltic post-Neolithic. We have talked before about the fact that in Dragon Pass bronze, like iron, can be directly mined, which tends to favor the chieftainships of Iron Age over the organized states that existed to source both copper and tin. So I tend to say Ancient World as it gets past a lot of that by being imprecise. But it certainly helps to avoid 'creeping Dark Ages' or 'creeping medievalism' if you try to limit or exclude certain technologies such as barrels over amphorae or heavy ploughs etc. Where anachronisms do exist, such as chainmail and crossbows, many can be explained as 'rare' dwarf gifts. As we know that Dormal produced new ship designs as part of his sidestepping of The Closing, it may be biremes and triremes came from his influence. Although this trope can be over-used and tends to shift Glorantha later-and-later by exception. Avoid this if you want to retain some of its unique flavor.
  7. We have a couple coming up in The Eleven Lights. The Stealing of the the Giant's Cows is an 'ensemble' cast heroquest, and one the Red Cow performs every year to birth its famous red cows. it's a great example of localized use of a heroquest. The Eleven Lights heroquest contains both an experimental heroquest to the underworld and an example of performing How Orlanth Conquered the Sky. An important point to the latter is that whilst the players follow the myth's pattern, there is a lot of substitution of elements caused by the way the quest is performed. Again this is exemplary of what happens - a myth often varies between enactments. (Perhaps the easiest way to think about this is that there is one myth of Spiderman's originL bitten by a radioactive spider, or Batman's origins, the murder of his parents, but there is a lot of variation in the various tellings of that myth in different comics, movies etc.)
  8. BTW: I don't know much about it, is a valuable answer for me, so please if that is the case, do respond with that :-)
  9. For the purpose of this discussion, I'm less interested in the how of the mapping, just the idea that your game centers on a group of NPCs and the conflict between them. (Sadly Well of Souls, an example scenario in this style for Hero Wars is no longer available on the web). But if a story comes from 'conflict' then an r-map, which has NPCs in conflict, can be the source of story. So in your notes you have a cast of NPCs. If they were shown with relationships in conflict, then they could be used to drive a game through the conflicts between the NPCs.
  10. Hi all, A litle bit of feedback I am looking to get for something that I am working on. How many of you use the relationship-map as a techinique to run sandbox adventures. For those who don't know what an r-map is, or want be sure what I mean, the definition I use would be this one: http://sgcodex.wikidot.com/relationship-maps If you do use r-maps, I'd like to understand: How you use them? As a game aid for a plotted scenario, or campaign, or as the driver for the game i.e. in other words do players frame scenes with characters on the map, or do you frame all scenes and just use the r-map to give context? Do you update them in play as relationships in play? How do you create them? The GM creates the map and shows the players? Or do you collaboratively develop the r-map as part of setup. (Games like Fiasco, Questlandia, or In A Wicked Age have a setup step where you create PCs and the NPC R-Map at the same time). Do you mix both plotted (on rails, branching or not) sessions with r-map sessions, or is it exclusive. If you don't use them, I'd like to understand why: I have never heard of them. They don't suit my group's style, they prefer plotted 'on rails' material I have heard of them, but I don't really understand how to use them to drive play, so I just use them to explain the key NPCs and then drive with plotted material. And in both cases, do you think that advice on how to use them to run a Heroquest game would be valuable? Thanks in advance for any responses. Ian
  11. The more keywords you have, the more you have to spread your points. If we assume that humans get: an occupation, three runes, a community and a cultural keyword, I would just treat the non-human keyword as the cultural keyword then for balance. So we would have an Uz keyword, an Aldryami keyword, etc. I would include both 'species abilities' under that and cultural ones. As @jajagappa says, this is how we treat humans. BTW I would no more include Darksense for a troll as an ability under that, or Earthsense for a dwarf, any more than I would include sight for a human. Trolls and Dwarfs see in the dark, no roll needed. If you wanted Keen Darkense, like you might have Keensighted, then the place to make it a break out would under an occupation keyword like Darksense or a stand alone ability. Inherent racial characteristics help you pass credibility tests, such as seeing in the dark, and don't need to be abilities.
  12. We're hoping for this week for the PDF being ready to go. At some point it will then appear on the website, and I guess there may be pre-order options for the print version. Printing can be a little bit elastic in timescales (as it gets printed then shipped by boat etc.)
  13. The Red Cow campaign is designed to fulfill a number of goals: Provide a sandbox setting for running a typical clan-based game, akin to the one that Greg Stafford ran for his own group. Allow a narrator to run a typical Sartarite game with zero-prep other than reading the book To that end the book includes (as Harald points out): The clan description, including key leadership NPCs, a description of Red Cow Fort, gazetteer of the clan lands, history etc. and everything else you need to 'start running'. Information on neighboring clans (one a rival, two enemies), and the Cinsina tribe itself, again with key NPCs and a description of Dangerford Descriptions of the Woods of the Dead, where Brangbane King of the Ghouls hangs out, and the Telmori, a tribe of werewolves. By contrast, the Colymar Campaign is lighter touch in describing the Orlmarth clan, which allows for greater GM creativity, if they have the time. The Colymar Campaign contains an epic campaign focused on completing tasks for the earth priestess. As well as Orlmarth lands it takes you to sites of adventure across Sartar. The Eleven Lights contains a chronicle/saga campaign in Cinsina Lands. it includes template adventure descriptions for common Sartarite activities as well as a complete description of events in each year between 1618 and 1625 with adventures set in those years. It ranges from feuds with the neighbors, through surviving the Crimson Bat and the Great Winter. Both campaigns include an epic heroquest (although the Red Cow includes a second that gives the clan its name). As to which to run for a particular group. If you and your players like to wander around the sandbox with the the odd published adventure to drive engagement with the setting, or as a 'Saturday Night Special' choose The Coming Storm + the Eleven Lights. If you want epic adventure, following a set of missions, choose The Colymar Campaign. For, the least work. Both can be used to play the other. Alternatively get both, and have the opening events of The Colymar Campaign happen when your Red Cow players are visiting the Orlmarth as emissaries.
  14. So I suspect your player was referring to the issue that the 'palace economy' states of the Bronze Age held power because of their control of the trade connections necessary to obtain copper and bronze, whereas in the Iron Age you had more chieftaincies because you could just dig it out of the ground (or bog) in one place. @Jeff and I have talked about this in the past. It is worth noting that the area with the most chieftaincies is of course Dragon Pass, where we have the highest concentration of dead air gods, or lands immediately surrounding that. As we get further away, for example Dara Happa, we are likely seeing bronze from local copper and tin sources, controlled by those city states, imported bronze, or bronze from the smaller number of sites where there are dead air gods. It's worth noting that we do describe Glorantha as a Bronze Age, early Iron Age world, and part of the reason is that Glorantha is not Earth and so some of these little inconsistencies in how the economics of our own Bronze Age or Iron Age worked, mean we can't map exactly to terrestial 'ages' (and I suspect that the archaelogists in the group would say terms like Bronze Age and Iron Age are suspect anyway). But, it is a good shorthand for newbies to give them the idea that this is an 'ancient world setting, not dark ages or medieval.
  15. Be really interested to see how the latter goes. Go on folks, sign up if you are going to be at GenCon.