Jump to content

Professor Chaos

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


  • Junior Member


  • RPG Biography
    RQ, CoC, Traveller, WFRP, EPT etc
  • Current games
  • Location
    East Sussex, England
  • Blurb

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

Professor Chaos's Achievements


Newbie (1/4)



  1. Also shouldn't that unit of the Sartar Magical Union now be called the Cheap rather than the Free Philosophers?
  2. Shades of the legendary House Un-American Activity Committee exchange: Philosopher: 'Well actually I am anti-Lunar...' Lawspeaker: 'We don't care what sort of a Lunar you are!'
  3. Good call. Am I the only one who seeing 'Isidilian' at first thought those were Cthulhoid tentacles where his mouth should be?
  4. Which is where taking a more classical rather than 'bronze age' view may help. Citizenship in Rome or Athens was not dependent on what you owned or how you made your living - it was something you just had - primarily because your parents and grandparents etc were citizens. So you could be a wealthy metic or socii merchant who has lived in the city all your life and still have no right to vote for magistrates and in the assembly while the prole who sweeps the street is a citizen. And the rationale for how this might work in Sartar is right there in the Clan Questionnaire where your clan once decided what to do with some refugees. So your semi-free tenants (who may or may not be actual tenants - who is my Odaylan hunter who lives in the woods a tenant of? and who is going to say to him that he is not really free?) are defined by their ancestry in that they are not full members of the clan as they are not descended from its founders. And while in normal times the clan economic system is sufficiently strong and flexible to ensure some congruence is maintained between legal status and social position in times of war and famine everything gets shaken up. Which incidentally is why I still prefer the term cottars and carls as they are just obscure enough to mean whatever we say they mean - and so in a clan context a carl is what a Roman would have called a citizen and may or may not actually hold a hide or more of land - but remains a citizen with certain inalienable rights, while a cottar is a resident alien or metic or pereiokos and while generally are poorer than the carls can in some cases be quite prosperous but still have no right to own land outright and serve in the fyrd or citizen militia and vote in the clan assembly. Which was somewhat better captured in Pendragon Pass chargen where you first rolled for your status (cottar, carl, thane) and then again modified by that result for your occupation. But unfortunately we are trying to represent what should be a multivariate set of social and economic factors with just an occupation table and a standard of living by occupation table - while also denying ourselves any terms that are analogous to any society on earth - so that all those social entities that used to be defined by a single word like knight or carl or saint or cottar now needs a multi-word description accompanied by qualifications.
  5. Well yes of course it is only a game! But we have decisively moved on from the pseudo-Viking/Saxon/Celtic Heortlings we thought we all knew via Bronze Age Greeks to Hellenistic Bactrians (but not really) with cities that now all look a lot more like a small classical polis than a Celtic ring-fort, a Saxon burh or for that matter a Mycenean palace-town. Which should bring with it the problems and gaming opportunities a classical polis in its various stages of development had - conflict between the city and the country, the debtors and creditors, born citizens and the metics or peroikoi or socii demanding citizen rights, the patricians and the plebs, the slave and the free... All of which are presumably already present to some degree in the Lunar Empire (which already has had its Spartacus - albeit one who seeing how unbelievably hot the Crassus they sent to slaughter him was promptly changed sides) and will become more so. Or are all these changes not about making Glorantha a denser, more complex and dynamic place at all?
  6. And there is your problem with associating free status only with direct holding of land - hunters, merchants, redsmiths, brewers etc may in some cases be farmers who hunt, trade, smith, brew etc on the side but the rules actually present them as specialists who make their living wholly from their profession. But if a guy who has to lease some land - even if he is leasing multiple plots of land from different farmers and making a better living than his putative landlords because he is just a better/luckier farmer - is by doing so rendered semi-free and excluded from full community membership then other surely non-landowners are in a similar position. Plus you now have class conflict built into every clan because while slaves (are we still saying 'thralls' BTW?) can do little about their condition other than run away or mount suicidal rebellions a semi-free class will want to be free - which as a soi-disant Marxist I am more than happy with myself but the consequences of which I don't think may have been fully thought through. For instance what happens when the Crimson Bat has suddenly eaten half your fyrd and all your best warriors and there are now more unfree tenants than free farmers and the free farmers that are left cannot any longer plough all their land? What happens in the Great Winter when the richer farmers leverage their greater grain stores and their not having had to kill and eat their last plough-oxen to convert their neighbours to tenants? Or does the farmer who no longer has an ox or seed-corn and has to become a tenant of one who does still retain his free status and use it to agitate for land re-division and the cancellation of debts? And the accumulation of debt is incidentally what would more likely happen in most clans - you already have references to cattle loans and debt in a couple of JC scenarios but as it turns out that these clans and tribes are no longer the barbarous hill-folk we thought they were but have nice (if small-ish) classical cities with guilds and a monetised society with written records even at the clan level, then the many crises they pass through will inevitably produce social tensions with thanes and rich farmers and merchants and temples becoming the holders of ever larger cattle- and grain- and money-debts. This was after all what happened in the classical societies we do have some real social and economic history for and theoretically may well have happened to some of those late bronze age societies on whose fall we have no real data on at all. Which if you run with it is perhaps a better way to motivate characters to go out and adventure than trying to fiddle the rules so their normal background earnings as not quite enough. So why on earth are you defending the Tin Inn against a band of Tusk Riders who will torture you to death, feed your corpse to their pigs and bind your very souls to their service? Well your father owed a 500 guilder debt to Gringle the accumulative interest on which is crippling your family and which Squinch has inherited and will partially cancel if you save his assets. And debt and interest rates are one of the key advances of the actual Bronze Age and a very significant part of what survives in the ancient archives are actually accountant's files... So if we are to abandon what we thought we knew about Sartarites as it was too viking-y and Greg's conception of them moved on, then let us go the whole hog and introduce different forms of debt and interest and indentured servitude and class conflict and slave rebellions and agrarian reforms and demands for enfranchisement that follow from adopting a more ancient model.
  7. Jeff - thanks for the clarification on the Demographic Categories Formerly Known as Cottars and Carls and apologies about the Mycenaean dig which was uncalled for and plain silly on my part. As we are still nevertheless sticking with thane is there not a case for weaponthane rather than 'martial thane'?
  8. Cottar and carl are no more or less anachronistic than 'thane' which still survives. If Jeff is really serious that only bronze age terms will do then as pseudo-Mycenaeans Sartarites should surely have a wanax, a pa-si-reu and an eq-et-a instead of a king, a chieftain and a thane? It also leads to pointlessly long-winded descriptions like 'semi-free herder' - three words (two of which are IMO still problematic in that I don't think that there is anything in previous canon to suggest that cottars while poor are not free) - to replace one perfectly good word. And given that thane is still OK then why 'martial thane' rather than the far more characterful weaponthane? Anyway my Glorantha will certainly vary on this.
  9. One important change is that the - demographically absurd for an ancient society - assumption that for every population group 50% are children is finally ditched - although conveniently the 'free adults' remain 50% with 33% being children and 17% 'semi-free' (which also seems a new departure to me in that previously IIRC there was no doubt that cottars were 'free') so you can still gloss over older sources with the 50% figure.
  10. And so is also a 20 multiplier (there being 20 lunars/guilders to a wheel) Although pretty sure Orlanthi would never calculate anything in the currency of the evil emperor...
  11. Or if you are a Yelm priest like Tatius the Bright and you want to keep your Yelmalio-worshipping underling keen it is a prize you just keep on dangling in front of him.
  12. 'I'm not blue - it's just the cold'.
  13. Given that Genertela is *only* the size of the United States and there have been at least five continent-spanning empires over the past 50 or so generations I'd say there is probably quite a lot of mobility - even during The Closing you still had the Lunar Empire inexorably expanding and driving waves of refugees before it and then Sheng Seleris doing the same and then the restored Lunar Empire expanding again bringing unity, peace and plenty and greatly expanded migration opportunities to Dara Happans and ungrateful barbarians alike. Throw in the 100,000+ years or 4,000 generations of Yelm's Golden Empire, the Gods War etc and I'd guess that mathematically most central Genertelans would have to be descended from Yelm at some point.
  14. Who knows whether it is still canon but wasn't Harvar Ironfist the pro-Lunar Duke of Alda-Chur angling to somehow get himself declared an Initiate of Yelm before he got eaten by that dragon? (and given that according to the Dara Happans Yelm ruled 100,000 years ago and had multiple sons shouldn't pretty much everyone be descended from Yelm at some point - the one thing the DH nobles have on everyone else is their ability to trace that descent).
  15. Nice bit of beefcake you've got there - but wasn't Belintar supposed to have started out as a member of The Blue Man Group?
  • Create New...