Yelm's Light

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Yelm's Light last won the day on October 29 2016

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About Yelm's Light

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 11/03/1964

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  • RPG Biography
    Heh...basically, if it was an RPG in print before 1984, I played it...D&D and AD&D to begin, RQ2, the weird TSR variant RPG's, every BRP game, Champions, V&V, T&T, Amber (later), MMO's of many descriptions from EQ on, boardgames (Dragon Pass is still and always my favorite), puter games, anything and everything. I've actually been published in the Dragon (in '81, ooh ahh).
  • Current games
    Boardgames and ESO occasionally, would like to get some Glorantha action going, preferably RQ2 or the new one once it's available.
  • Location
    L.A.
  • Blurb
    Gods help me, I've been a gamer geek for decades...

    Now get your hands off my counters! :)

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  1. For those who have the original edition of KoS, metcalph's reference is on pp. 76-77, under the heading, "Orlanth And Sofala."
  2. And what else floats? ...
  3. I'm curious which decision axes the armor-vs.-ball gown thing was on. But seriously, folks... Even trolls can be difficult without a fairly deep knowledge of the culture and their mindset. It's definitely not for the inexperienced RP'er. I've done a fair bit of thought along this line for every major race except Mostali, who just don't strike me as all that good for MGF. It's a lot easier to run a homogeneous group of whatever race than an integrated one. For one thing, it can take some serious pretzel twists to find rationales for the group staying together. And then, of course, there's the issue of the hungry troll gazing longingly at his human party-mate's leg as if it was a drumstick or a PC of one race making an unintentional insult to a PC of another. There can often be a fine line between peace and an intra-party brawl (although that can be fun, too) or fragging (not so much fun). It's especially problematic keeping enemy races from jumping each other. In many, I'd even say most, cases players anthropomorphize at least to the point where cooperation is taken for granted, where realistically it wouldn't be anywhere near that easy. Also, there can be the issue of communication, especially with dragonewts. Those which speak 'alien' languages are usually of the high-powered and highly-placed variety on vital missions, which doesn't work so well with lesser-powered PC's. Among other things, it can lead to players assuming GM favoritism, and lack of game balance in terms of forces encountered. This type of arrangement tends to have a fairly short shelf life. An all-dragonewt party could be very interesting if played, though; at least they'd have the same mission and not have to deal with the inefficient communication of what, from their point of view, likely would be viewed as 'lesser races.' There'd be plenty of opportunity for comedy relief for the players, as well, as g33k's example illustrates. Further, how does that fresh-from-the-forest Aldryami with no foreign languages communicate intelligibly with the first group of non-Aldryami he's ever encountered? Even if s/he does have some linguistic ability or knowledge, what cultural references might s/he miss, and in what ways can that cause embarrassment or more comedy? Granted, the GM can come up with rationalizations for just about anything, but believable, logical ones can be a lot more difficult to create and especially sustain. That's as much of a test for the GM as RP'ing the interactions is for the players. Some of these concerns can be trivial to deal with, but others have the potential to be game-breaking, especially from the perspectives of suspension of disbelief and immersion.
  4. Made even more difficult by having 40 or 50 basic particles and myriad interactions to deal with. More likely, the mighty sorceror Oppen Heimer would be researching how to steal a piece of a star, deliver and unleash it.
  5. Hmm. Sorry, but to this scientific mind, the concept of tiny Runes as the basis of reality is going a bit too far. I see no contradiction in there being fundamental physical laws upon which Runes can act.
  6. This ignores the basis that a round isn't really a set amount of time. 1 SR doesn't necessarily equal 1 second. Also, there's a difference in effort between poking with that stick and thinking through a formula and/or mouthing a few words. As far as I know, there's no somatic requirement for most battle or rune magic spells.
  7. Best case, it takes up SR's that could've been used for other actions.
  8. It's possible he defected when the God Learners defeated the Waertagi, I guess, but everything 'canon' I've ever seen indicated he was a God Learner. Granted, he's a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, and there was contact between the God Learners and the Waertagi. And he does control an undead orca...
  9. Not to derail this fascinating discussion too much, but I'd like to respectfully disagree with the Giger characterization. To me, that was much more insectoid than vegetable. (For example, his art of the alien ship's control room appears more to me as some form of hive, constructed but weirdly organic.) Granted, elves are alien, but not in the Alien sense. My personal view of them was very much influenced by those little sketches of Luise's. It bespoke to me the two watchwords I've used to portray Gloranthan elves since then: puissance and mystery (but in a different sense than dragonewts would fit into those categories). When I visualize a scene involving elves, I get a sense of an almost Nordic, or Germanic, otherworldly choir singing in soft, dirge-like tones in the background. (If I were a musician, I could give you an accurate representation of it; I can hear it, but am not particularly talented at communicating it. Maybe I can find something that will approximate it.) This isn't to imply that elven society is in any way Nordic, just a bit of atmospheric flavor that implies power and gravity for me. It took some time for me to see the vegetable side, as well. I originally, and for a long time, had made an assumption that they were mammalian in nature. This was rooted (pun unintended) in her sketches, as they tend to appear strongly humanoid. Elves were also described as children of Aldrya and Man, which imparted another 'human' (flesh) component. It wasn't really until I read some of the Digest entries that the vegetable side came through more strongly for me. Anyway, take this for what you will, or won't, or tell me I'm crazy.
  10. The cults of Chalana Arroy, Eiritha, Pavis, Yelm and Yelmalio are all associate cults of Aldrya, so they'd probably be the best place to start.
  11. Coming up with a system that scores high on both the simulationist and playability scales is a really tall order. At its base, RQ2 does well enough at both. (To me, anyway.) Besides, Glorantha is an ancient world.
  12. Going back to the Ability Results Table (p. 3), you'll see it's not broken down into multiples of 5, so I expect skill increases will differ at least. (Maybe PC's begin with skills in multiples of 5, but that's complete theory on my part.) Also, the only 'experience' that shows up in the QS is the gaining of Reputation as a reward, and that's between 3% and 6%.
  13. I don't see how 'going the extra mile' immediately and temporarily improves your knowledge, or your ability to pick a lock, or to improve your jumping ability. The current system is at the least overbroad as far as skills are concerned. I'd also argue that gaining up to half again your skill chance is more than just a bit better. As for the Princess Bride analogy, how about that Inigo Montoya was just that much better than the Six-Fingered Man in the long run? But that doesn't get at the other of my primary objections, which is that it in effect promotes rules lawyering over play. I can see it happening occasionally at GM discretion and introduction, not PC's, based on situations that fit logically. But there's no way I'd adjust skill that much or install it as part of the game, nor have time-wasting discussions with PC's over what is and isn't an appropriate rationale for it. The god(s) you follow should fit in there too. I also think it implies far more sentience for Runes than they have (which is to say none). You may see it differently, and run the world accordingly. My view of it is that Battle Magic is rote learning of formulae, whereas Sorcery, while it can include such, also focuses on creating spells/effects that didn't exist before. You're still dealing with the same forces, it's just that sorcerors learn to creatively manipulate the nature of magic.
  14. This morning was the first time I had the chance to read through the QS completely, though I'd read bits here and there previously. Following is my review: Putting the cart before the horse, I loved the scenario. Not high marks, top marks. It was clear and concise, had a good story, flavor, and background, was well-balanced, and provided numerous options for the PC's and GM. A very solid example of a one-off, with hooks for possible campaign use. Personally, I liked the sprul-pa; the atmospheric of their ability reminds me of the summoning of the supposed vodou spirit from Live and Let Die. Some minor quibbles: I question the Loyalty levels of a certain PC, who should be obvious to those who have read the QS. I would think they'd become clear fairly quickly, with attendant consequences. Also, a Priestess with <18 POW? Extremely minor quibble: How many times can Vasana 'fight with great glory?' As for the rules as presented, not so much. (Note that this is specifically with reference to the rules additions; RQ2 is and likely always will be my all-time favorite RPG.) I'm certain that many of the things I will mention below have been brought up in other threads, including a couple I've already commented on elsewhere, nor do I expect them to change much, if at all. Pros: 1) Rune Point reservoir and the ability of PC's to select castable Rune spells from among the cult's pool of available ones. This has been needed for a long time. 2) The creation of Magic Points to differentiate spell reserve from characteristic POW. 3) A Reputation system, though at this point it's necessarily vague. Ransom, too, which wasn't dealt with in RQ2 as far as I can recall. 4) The new skills add color and help suggest story lines. 5) The box of advice for players re: Combat. I assume that this and lots of illustrative examples will find their way into the full rules. Cons: 1) Systematizing the adjustment of success chances (i.e. Inspiration). It basically encourages players to spend their time looking for ways to improve their success chance instead of strategic thinking or RP'ing. 2) I really don't like Passions. I've registered this objection before; I think it's unnecessary for experienced RP'ers. Nice guide for newbies, but merely excess crunch otherwise. 3) Speaking of added crunch, I'm not a big fan of the reworked Rune magic system, aside from what I mentioned in Pros. I generally prefer auto casting success to a chance of failure, especially with spells that not only require sacrifice but are granted by a god. Rune Affinity's issues tie in with 1 and 2 above. (Yes, I know, if you're misbehaving you should be punished, but there are other avenues for that. Be a real shame if you couldn't recover your Rune points, huh?) 4) I'm definitely of the 'Battle Magic' school vs. 'Spirit Magic,' and I don't like the rationale being completely spirit-based. (This excepts Sorcery, of course; although if sorcerors are able to manipulate 'reality' according to fundamental laws or attributes of magic without spirits, indicating that such laws exist, why not everyone else?) 5) Quibble: Are crits on the Ability Results Table subsumed under Special Successes? If someone has less than an 08% ability and rolls 01, do they get to choose between special and crit successes? Overall, I don't see much that motivates me to get the rule set itself. I'm perfectly fine with running my modified RQ2 game, and its similarity to RQG makes conversion nearly trivial. However, you've still got me for the background books and scenarios. I've almost always been impressed with the level of quality and information of Chaosium products. I realize this may not make me too popular, but it is what it is and I'm an ornery cuss. MGWV.
  15. quicktstart

    A curiosity question: If the focus is visible (on weapon, shield, skin, whatever) would another practitioner of the same spell be able to recognize it as such, or do foci vary by cult? (I would think that at least someone with that spell from the same cult would.) This could have some minor effects on strategy.