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Everything posted by klecser

  1. I have the Glorantha Sourcebook, and I can't seem to wrap my head around this: What is the difference between The Lunar Empire, Lunar Tarsh, Tarsh and Old Tarsh? I've seen those terms thrown around and I'm not sure how to reconcile them. Is Lunar Tarsh just the land of Tarsh when controlled by the Lunar Empire?
  2. This seems to be a consistent issue in the industry. I'm of the opinion that, although some delays are to be expected, it is incumbent upon people to finish what they start. And if they are wishy-washy in execution, I don't fault Chaosium to defend the brand by making licensing decisions with the expectation of quality and expediency in mind. I would rather get fewer, high-quality products during a time frame, than a flurry of products that eke out an existence and betray the trust and finances that Backers contributed. Despite the whole book destruction thing, Sons of the Singularity ran a model Kickstarter for The Sassoon Files. It was clear, from beginning to end, they were prepared to take wise action to deliver. There are currently other CoC Kickstarters that are struggling, though. I appreciated Stygian Fox increasing communication about the progress of their various Kickstarters. They listened. And while I am still not happy about the state of affairs, they took action to listen to their fans. I think that Sentinel Hill Press is taking unfair advantage of their prior reputation in the community with The Dare Kickstarter. Requests for communication and timetables were met with snide dismissals and requests to "ask for refunds" throughout the majority of the KS. The most recent updates have been: "I still don't have art" which makes me wonder what parameters (if any) were given the the artists to finish in a timely manner. I understand that SHP is a long-time licensee. I don't believe that fact grants him carte blanche to continue to disappoint. We're not talking about a book here. We're talking about a one-shot in which the text has been finished for a while. The key for me is that I don't believe that people should be given unlimited chances. That makes a mockery of the concept of a promise. People's game industry reputations are forged or ruined based on their actions (or lack of action).
  3. I've been playing King of Dragon Pass this morning (it dropped to 3.70 USD ish on Steam, so I grabbed it.) It is really helping me to understand the basic culture of Glorantha and the varied nature of the decision-making. If you are a new player I think it is a great resource for scenario building and questing ideas.
  4. I'm going to second this request. I'm not lazy. Far from it. I spend a lot of time prepping for my games. Glorantha is just so big that I just don't even know what I don't know. I DID purchase the Guide to Glorantha and am slowly slogging through it! But even by doing that, I still have no idea what the difference is between NEED to know and NICE to know.
  5. I wanted to post about what some of my key takeaways of the game have been so far. I think I'm understanding it a lot better, especially since I've run it now, but I just wanted experienced eyes to see what I'm thinking: 1) You can play a Duck. I'm not really sure much else needs to be said from this point forward, but I'm going to anyway. 2) Skill and Rune augments are a huge part of the mechanics of the game. My impression, as a new player/GM, is that this single aspect is drastically different from many RPGs. 3) Specific Runes interact with specific skills and weapons. You need to read which spells use which runes to cast to select your Cult wisely and select spells that your Runes allow you to cast. 4) The benefit of low strike rank weapons is that they may allow you to attack more than once in a round even though they have generally lower damage. 5) A major step of the beginning of combat is buffing, whether through magic or rune/skill augments. 6) Ranged weapons provide a huge tactical advantage in the game. 7) Combats to the death among "socialized" beings (Humans, Elder Races) are rare. Ransom and bargaining are major aspects/mechanics of conflict resolution. 8 )Posturing, in general, is a huge aspect of the social exchange in Glorantha. Threats are common. They are not always followed through on. There is a "serious coyness" to the culture. 9) Rune magic is almost always "more powerful" than Spirit magic on a point-by-point basis. However, it is scarce and significantly harder to regenerate and gain more. Examples of ways to increase POW include: casting offensive magic that causes a POW vs POW resistance check (because it procs a POW improvement roll?), meditating to a God in the right season, and...other ways that I'm blanking on. 10) Other obvious things that you think I'm forgetting/missing?
  6. *pinches bridge of nose and sighs* So, Uthred, you're going on my Ignore list. Ever since you've started posting you've been nothing but combative with people. I think you do have a huge problem with different perspectives, or at least with courteously navigating things that frustrate you. That isn't something I'm interested in engaging with here. Good luck to you.
  7. I think that, if you want to remain a positive contributor to this board, you need to take a second to center yourself and not take differing opinions personally.
  8. Opinions on that are going to vary. Personally, if aspects of combat have similarities and differences, I don't mind them being kept separate in all cases in which they are recorded in the book to help to remind me that there are differences. You prefer the editing to be different. That's fine too. Everyone has different learning styles, and your learning style being different doesn't mean that there is a failure in editing choice. It means that this editing choice happens to not match your learning style.
  9. I'm also a brand new player and completely new to Runequest. I've had early success with the Gamemaster's Screen Pack (now available stand alone), but I think that the adventures included are ordered less optimally than I desired for a gradual release. I almost fell into the trap of "Defense of Apple Lane is first in the book, so I should play it first!" Luckily, my general experience GMing helped me to avoid what would have been a disastrous decision. I think Cattle Raid should be any new group's first scenario. I think Cattle Raid provides a great opportunity to give a gradual release of core mechanics, all within a single session or two. Here is my report: Of particular note is how I used Brightflower to introduce aspects of the social rules of the world, and how I used Heortarl to introduce augments. This world is indeed, incredibly complex, so players need to see modeled examples of "how this works." Cattle Raid is significantly less complex than either Broken Tower or Defense of Apple Lane. It offers a display of some of the core culture of Glorantha. It allows for logical use of Devotions and Loyalties. It allows for the critical establishment of the ability to Bargain as critical. It also showcases the need to be wise about combat. If I were to do it for the first time again, I would have: 1) maybe included a "sparring" section to introduce battle concepts and/or 2) had one of the herders participate in the combat to showcase more how it works. My players pretty much just walked about and attacked things and there wasn't a lot of the augmentation and spell-casting that could have happened. I am also eagerly awaiting the Starter, but I think that judicious application of the GM pack means that you don't need to wait.
  10. I'm not a Glorantha rules expert, but I searched the PDF of the core book for all instances of intent and re-read the strike rank section. I'm also recalling what I've heard from veterans. All that combined, I don't think you are going to find an explicit statement that says this. There isn't one needed, IMO, anyway. The 5 SR rule is deliberately vague. The goal of Strike Rank is just to establish an order. And if you begin with a Statement of Intent that places you in an order, but then elect to do something different, it makes sense that the "something different" takes you "time" (measured as a simplified 5 SR to prepare. After your Statement of Intent, if you were to keep the intended action, you can go on any SR after your original one. I think it also important that SR matters much more if you are "engaged" versus not. That seems to be a key distinction. I think Runequest is squiggier than what your expectations are suggesting. There is nothing wrong with that. But I also think that if you keep going as if the ruleset is more precisely defined than it is, you are just going to get frustrated. Let go. Maximum Game Fun. It's ok.
  11. It seems pretty clear to me that while the mechanical effect of the damage are the same, the potential consequences of an impale and a slash are very different. Hence, the different subheadings. Runequest seems to be a game of combat nuance, and these rules are reflecting that. If combat nuance isn't someone's thing, I'm concerned that Runequest will just be an exercise in frustration for them. What frustrates some doesn't frustrate others and vice versa. There are games that have no nuance and games that have nuance. If you don't like nuance... Now that said, I do have some editing stretches for the core book, as a new player. Most importantly, I think the book needed more cross-referencing. Most of the rules I've struggled with as a new player have been ones that are linked together, but not obviously elucidated to me in the text. Like why the connection between Runes and Weapons matters. I think it is IN there, but it wasn't obvious to me. It had to be pointed out by experienced players. (i.e. that you use Runes to augment specific weapon attacks.)
  12. I sometimes lift names from the H.P. Lovecraft's Dreamlands book or just make up my own. Given that the Dreamlands seems to be crafted and influenced by Dream, I think that gives the Keeper total freedom to make whatever names they like. I really think you would benefit from picking up H. P. Lovecraft's Dreamlands. It seems to be a bit more difficult to find now, but there is the PDF of 4th edition still available.
  13. I wrote this from the perspective of Call of Cthulhu and investigative role-playing, but I think that it applies equally to the advanced social structures of Glorantha and Runequest, so posting here too.
  14. I've had the recent fortune of having a few Keeping Conversations with new Keepers. They always want advice, and I am normally happy to provide some, so long as the advice can actually do some good. Most advice given in the world is wrong. Not in of itself, but given with poor timing and without considering someone's improvement needs. Human experience is too varied for advice to do what it is intended to do. It isn't about "what worked for me." It is about what will work for the other person. I've been mentoring colleagues as an educator for many years, and the way we address this problem is by giving less advice and instead asking more questions that can help someone find what they need to be successful. I do believe that there is some baseline advice that can be safely given to new Keepers. 1. MGF (Maximum Game Fun) 2. Work towards balanced involvement at the table. (Quieter people may want to stay quiet, and that's ok. But also, some people need to be invited to participate. You shut down a table hog by inviting others to be involved and using the phrase: "Great idea, I'll come back to you" for people who Bogart time.) 3. Communicate with players early and often. (topics that are off the table, are we at MGF? etc) I think that is pretty safe advice and gives new Keepers actionable things to practice. Anybody can practice asking questions around a table so all are involved. Each of those has their own specific skills that need to develop, but it doesn't hurt to have them as axioms to aspire towards. But what about advice that most Keepers wouldn't immediately think of? What is deeper advice that could make a big difference? I'm specifically thinking about scenario execution. This leads me to the title of this post. I also just want to give a disclaimer here that I am not a scenario designer, nor am I trying to unfairly criticize scenario designers. I don't have those skills, but at the same time, I know what I most frequently change about scenarios. I think there is a generalized fallacy that is assumed in role-playing games that I'll call the "perfect timing fallacy." The idea is that many encounters are designed such that player characters are expected to be in the right place at exactly the right time. This classically manifests itself in a variety of ways. Dungeons are all stocked full of monsters that, for some reason, stick to within the boundaries of their room despite their being open corridors between them. They are always awake. Investigators stumble upon a ritual exactly as it is being completed, or right before they can have an impact. The cop who saw something is on duty when the investigator's ask for them. Monsters in a room are always prepared to fight, or willing to fight. There is nothing inherently wrong with any of those examples, so long as it is fun for the participants. Scenario designers frequently do a great job of proposing "alternatives outside the norm." And sometimes "the norm" is what produces MGF. And that's great. Perfect timing is arguably critical from a narrative standpoint. It moves the narrative along when it needs to move. That isn't lost on me. Managing the ebb and flow of the story at a table is another critical skill for Keepers to develop. But what advantages can be gained by breaking with perfect timing? I think that it is also worth considering the potential benefits of imperfect timing for investigative horror role-playing (or role-playing in general). I think Jaws is a perfect example of using imperfect timing as a narrative tool. Brodie, Quint, and Hooper spend most of the movie too late to do something. And the shark is only barely on screen for the majority of the movie. Them always being late produces a frustration that drives the narrative because it just makes them work harder to engage the threat. Now, imperfect timing works until perfect timing is needed. The movie has a time cap and they gotta ramp it up, so the shark shows up. And when it does show up, the payoff for the audience is huge. They had to work to get the payoff, rather than the payoff just appearing immediately for all to see. So how does this translate as a tool for gaming? Here are some examples: 1) Curating existential dread. Fear of the unknown is one of the greatest and most primal human emotions. This is why horror movies that work are those that don't show the threat ever or until as late as possible in the narrative. In the Jaws example above, the dread is created by the heroes arriving after the shark attacks and seeing the grisly aftermath. And the shark promptly sinks back into the waves and out of actionable distance. It is often better for the Investigators to arrive late to something happening, especially if violence is involved. The pendulum can swing the other way too. Don't underestimate the power of investigators arriving early and then having no idea how to prevent or engage with an issue. Being early and being late is often far more frightening to people than being "right on time." This also has the advantage of really selling the idea that "shooting your gun" or "swinging your club" isn't going to fix this situation. Taking that off the table forces investigators to use other means to address a threat. As always, know your group and what they like. 2) Eliciting healthy struggle. If your players always arrive on time, there may not be as much brain work that they have to do to work out a situation. Speaking for myself, when I play, I love not knowing what is happening with a situation because it encourages me to turn the wheels in the head. This can be particularly useful when players arrive really early and the number of clues present in a location, right at that moment, is minimal. Or, they may stumble upon a total orgy of evidence but have no idea how it all relates to the current time at the current location! That in of itsekf can be frightening. Or, maybe they arrive early or late and what could have been a critical narrative location has now become a red herring. This last one is particularly useful when running games in which the players know the scenario and are struggling not to metagame it! 3) Keeping investigators alive in campaigns. If you play mostly one-offs at conventions, it is understood that the gloves are pretty much off for lethality. People who play CoC at Cons know that their characters aren't likely to live, even if they make a string of good decisions. There is also the "Sandy Petersen killed me" dream of a lot of gamers. But when you do campaign play, it is a completely different ball game. This is an area where communication is key. And while some players are perfectly ok with their character getting slaughtered or going insane at any turn, many players get attached to their characters. If we could criticize one aspect of early (1970s) scenario design, it is that a lot of early scenario work featured "gotcha" deaths that were nearly impossible to avoid if ran as written. That does not contribute to a positive table feel unless it is known in advance to expect that. People often ask me how I am able to Keep (capitalization intended, he he) characters alive when playing campaigns with a reputation for lethality. The answer to that question is that players often arrive early or late to situations that would just end the narrative unnecessarily prematurely. in thinking about MGF for my group, they are very attached to their characters. I think it is incumbent upon CoC Keepers to consider that scoffing at that attitude in players isn't the most productive way to get to MGF, even if you think that "frequent character death and insanity is how CoC should work." This is less about how a game works, and more about how your table works. If you play a game the way it "should work" and your players aren't into that, then you've failed. You can have your cake and eat it too in campaign play. It just takes considering having characters arriving early or late to encounters that are designed to be "right on time." These techniques are not new to horror role-playing. Many published works emphasize rigid or flexible timelines for events. The key is simply to consider the possibility that "right on time" may not be the best decision for maintaining a slow descent into madness. I'm prepared to venture that going extended periods being alive and sane is far more frightening than just dying and going insane instantaneously. Your game will vary, of course. There is a sprawling continuum of what different people find fun. The key is to consider: How can you avoid being trapped by perfect timing as a Keeper?
  15. Along these lines, you know what would be great? A table that gives options for how it is DETECTED by Spot Hidden and Listen. Given that description is key to evoking a good table feel on this, the table becomes a resource for Keepers to help them describe...
  16. I'm a "more options and we reach more gamers" style of person, so I say both 1 and 2! Personally, I find #2 to be most useful. But I wouldn't begrudge someone wanting a good table.
  17. In the old version of Masks, she actually WAS a werewolf. The designers realized (I think rightly so) that having the werewolf angle be a attractive red herring made for a more interesting scenario than foreshadowing a werewolf and then getting a werewolf. Breaking the Full Moon "rule" should really emphasize this. The less players know about "how things work" the better the dramatic horror.
  18. Hey CJ, "Missile weapons" are a separate category than firearms. On that page it gives Bows as an example of a "Missile weapon." I think the intent here is that the time that it takes to knock and draw an arrow allows extra time to fight back that is not included when facing pulling the trigger of a firearm. Hence, why readied firearms get the DEX+50 Initiative bonus and gun fire cannot be dodged. Only seeking cover. My reading of the rules is that "fighting back" when using a firearm is essentially using the gun as an improvised club/and/or using your free hand. Which would use Fighting (brawl). I also wanted to echo what Hector said and thank you for making these videos. Call of Cthulhu will gain a broader audience when we do the work to get a broader audience. Your'e helping with that mission!
  19. Depending on how it goes and how much engagement they have with Lawrence or Arthur, one of them could be firm that they can't go through another transformation again, encouraging players to act before a full moon. You can also throw a complete curve ball at them. Eloise has gone through enough "full moon transformations" to no longer "require" a fool moon. The "Fool Moon" has now turned into a red herring...
  20. I think you mean "rules-g33ky." You missed a big opportunity there. I'm honor-bound to point it out.
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