lawrence.whitaker

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lawrence.whitaker last won the day on April 13

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About lawrence.whitaker

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  1. You might be better posting this request in the Glorantha or HeroQuest sections...
  2. We have a Players/GMs Wanted thread on our forum (designmechanism.freeforums.org) and our G+ group page (https://plus.google.com/communities/113034383032729983266) helps connect quite a few players and GMs.
  3. Of course! Correct. Correct. As Baragei notes, Criticals can be devastating - and rightly so. This is why choosing the right special effect (and not simply the tiresome and naive 'choose location > head' is important). Scoring a critical doesn't necessarily grant you additional damage as it does in some d100 systems; it opens-up the range of effects you can use and makes challenging routine effects much more difficult. Yes, some GMs believe that Choose Location is too powerful as a standard effect. We, the designers, disagree; a competent warrior is trained to strike at different parts of the body, and this is reflected in the rules. There is a pervasive belief that Choose Location > Head is the The One Effect To Rule Them All, but this is only true if... ...you can deliver enough damage to completely incapacitate the opponent - ie, reduce them to 0 or lower Hit Points ...an incapacitating blow is so good that it can't be resisted easily (ie, Endurance vs Attack Roll) I've seen plenty of Head Strikes turn into wasted opportunities. The most effective SEs are the ones that cannot be easily countered and deny the opponent a chance to retaliate. Choose Location seems obvious, but Mythras combat is a lot more nuanced that Hit Point attrition; you can end a fight in plenty of other, more creative ways than continually trying to lop-off someone's head. And if you have players that still think Choose Location > Head is the only effect to choose, then I'd suggest that the GM use 'Prepare Counter', along with a variety of other effects to demonstrate some other tactical options. Like this
  4. I echo all the above, and would add one more element that is, to me, the most important of all: Listen: listen carefully to what your players say to each other and to you, both on character and out of it. Listen to the questions they ask assumptions they make, conclusions they reach and plans they formulate. There is no better tool for aiding improvisation, storytelling and game orientation than listening and responding to the players and their characters. Not only does it help you as the GM, it draws them into the experience and shows you are prepared to invest their input. I"m always happiest when my group starts discussing, questioning, speculating and leaving me to listen and absorb. It's fuel for me and therefore fuel for the game. The best GMs listen much more than they spend on detailed planning on consulting the rules. So it's the one skill I recommend every GM develop above all others.
  5. For some extremely good examples of cults and religions, I'd suggest taking a look at various supplements of ours, but most notably 'Monster Island', 'Mythic Rome', 'Shores of Korantia', 'The Taskan Empire' and 'Mythic Britain Companion'. Each has a number of cult treatments (none are reliant on the Gloranthan runes) for a wide range of human and non-human religions, both fantasy and real world. Such things tend to be setting-specific, as has been mentioned, and so looking to a published supplement can provide a lot of inspiration for creating your own.
  6. Before my tenure I'm afraid, and one of those ideas that, in other contexts, wasn't necessarily bad, but showed a deep misunderstanding of Glorantha from the start. I ditched the whole physical runes mullarkey as rapidly as I could for any Gloranthan book I wrote. As you say, I believe some of the original thinking was that old RQ showed precious little questing for runes and so ought to have a physical risk/reward principle to justify the name.
  7. As author of a fair chunk of GtSA books, here's a little history and background from me. Canon was definitely ignored in the earliest releases. The writers at the time weren't familiar with either RQ or Glorantha and suddenly found they had to become very familiar with decades-worth of information even to get a rudimentary grip on the subject matter. It was easier for some more than others. Given the overwhelming amount of information one needed to absorb, even just on the Second Age and events leading up to it, one was faced with a truly daunting task. Couple that with a book-in-a-month timetable (standard for Mongoose at the time), and it was a fraught exercise. I was brought on because I had a reasonable grasp of Glorantha and exercised that from the start. My second book for Mongoose was the Dragonewt book, and so I went to the two authorities on Gloranthan lore that I knew well; Greg and Jeff. This continued with each Glorantha book I tackled, with both being consulted widely and deeply before I set pen to paper. 'Dara Happa Stirs' saw me spending a weekend with Jeff brainstorming and immersing ourselves in the Pergammon Museum's incredible exhibition on Babylon, the two of us formulating the Karvanyar campaign arc, understanding the Ten Tests and ensuring that texts such as Glorious ReAscent of Yelm were adhered to as precisely as possible. Despite the brutal deadline, which I managed to get extended to 6 weeks, it was a fun book to write and one that I remain proud of. Every Glorantha book thereafter I was involved in followed a similar pattern. Unfortunately, 'Pavis Rises' was handed to an author utterly unfamiliar with the canon who didn't liaise with Jeff despite my insistence that he do so. The original draft of 'Pavis Rises' (I still have the manuscript) is.... well, best I not say too much. I therefore rewrote it, from scratch, with Pete, Jeff and Greg's help, in about three weeks. That was the level of challenge I had working at Mongoose, and I'm still staggered I managed to write to the standard I did. There were a couple of misses for me, Glorantha-wise: I wasn't happy with Fronela, again due to the massive amount of information that needed to be conveyed; and there are elements of 'The Abiding Book' that I simply had to rush to meet the deadline. But 'Dragonewts', 'Mostali' and 'Darra Happa Stirs' I'm proud of and enjoyed. Even some parts of 'Pavis Rises' I really like - the Giant scenario was fun. I think Mongoose tried its best. I really do. The problem, aside from the deadlines and post-writing processes, was that it's production approach simply didn't mesh with the deep complexity of the subject, and was compounded by having writers unfamiliar with the canon having to rapidly assimilate it. I actually don't think Matthew (Sprange) was prepared for the huge amount of lore that surrounds Glorantha, and the vast wealth of understanding its fans have. Consequently, Glorantha was treated as a property with a relatively straightforward canon and background, like some of the other tittles Mongoose had, when it needed a very different approach from the start. And, irrespective of one's feelings for MRQ1, Mongoose did bring RuneQuest back to a wider gaming awareness after spending about a decade as a moribund, half-forgotten system. They got a lot wrong, but they also got quite a bit right, and so while criticism is justified, there are some things that do have merit.
  8. No we haven't - and probably aren't likely to as a project we initiate ourselves. If a very strong and credible proposal crossed our desks, it would be given the same consideration as anything else, but we don't see this as a burning gap in our product line.
  9. It is automatic. A notification goes out when a new file is made available.
  10. The observant among you will notice that spring has allegedly arrived. Those who succeeded critically in their Perception roll may also notice that we didn't publish a Mythras Monthly scenario in March - this was mainly due to PeteCon and getting Luther Arkwright: Parallel Lines ready for print, but we'll be resuming during April with a Classic Fantasy module: N1: The Terror of Ettinmarsh by Peter Webster. It should be ready around mid-late April, and there'll be the usual announcements. Mythic Britain: Logres is now shipping from our US distributor and is available from Aeon too. Luther Arkwright: Parallel Lines is completing a final proofing and will then be heading out to the printer. This is a softcover book, 172 pages, and contains 8 complete missions for Valhalla agents spanning multiple parallels. There's months of play value in this single volume and we're looking forward to getting it into your hands. We've also been busy receiving manuscripts for various projects. Mythic Constantinople is into editing, After the Vampire Wars is in pre-prep, and we have various Classic Fantasy modules in different stages of readiness. It's going to be a busy year. Finally, because spring has sprung, I've (finally) added a dedicated character sheet page to our website - http://thedesignmechanism.com/character-sheets.php - if you have a homegrown character sheet, especially a form-fillable one, send me an email at lawrence DOT whitaker AT thedesignmechanism DOT com with the sheet attached; we'll review and hopefully include on this page. Happy April, everyone.
  11. Voted!
  12. You'll find quite a few on our website both free and paid-for. www.thedesignmechanism.com/products www.thedesignmechanism.com/downloads
  13. Is it made of quite heavy cardstock and have a warrior battling a pig-snouted creature on the player-facing side?
  14. I'd also recommend the Luther Arkwright supplement that covers some of this area, especially psionics and special abilities (that can be interpreted as augmentations or mutations).
  15. News to me too. I'll regenerate the thing, see if it's something in the site code. If so, over to Triff. We do have plans, but they're secondary to handling the material in our pipeline. Once we have the time, money and resources, we intend to revamp the entire website. Now, back to Meeros please...