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About lordabdul

  • Rank
    Senior Member


  • RPG Biography
    I started playing The Dark Eye before I knew what an RPG was. Then I moved on to Cyberpunk, Vampire, and eventually found Call of Cthulhu. I'm still playing that.
  • Current games
    Call of Cthulhu/Delta Green, 7th Sea, GURPS, Runequest, Unknown Armies, Numenera, TimeWatch
  • Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Blurb
    Video game developer in Vancouver, BC

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  1. Left sidebar, scroll down, there's a "By the fans, for the fans" black & white banner with a yellow "Community Content" sticker thing. The Jonstown Compendium items are the "hottest" things there, which I assume means they're selling faster than blueberry buns on a stick at a Boldhome holy day market.
  2. I would definitely expect him to have "Loyalty (My Troops)", unless you play him as an asshole who just uses people as a means to an end. Maybe Harrek is like that, however... Harrek's men probably have both Loyalty and Fear to him, and he might just... have nothing in return. But listen, I totally understand what you mean, power relationships like loyalty aren't exactly symmetrical, so what one person feels for a leader/temple/etc. isn't exactly the same as what the leader/temple/etc. is ready to give in return. I'm just saying it's trivial to fix that, by tracking separate percentages between "actual Passions" (what your character feels) and "standings" (what the other person/faction feels). In the case of the money donation to a temple, it would only increase the second, for example. That's totally a house rule I might bring into play if needed. Would that fix it?
  3. Thinking that a rule causes problems is not selfish. Thinking that the logical conclusion is "the rulebook is wrong, the authors are stupid/didn't think this through", however, is, in my opinion.
  4. Yeah, we already established that the definition of "Loyalty" in RQG is a two-way street by default, a bi-directional bond that you strengthen and can both call upon, and be bound by. It's totally trivial to mark a certain relationship as "dishonest" or "one-way" or whatever on the character sheet if you want to have characters buying off religious figures and communities in anticipation of political shenanigans (in which case it can't be used as a Passion to augment most rolls, GM's discretion).
  5. Indeed there is (and your option 2 falls under the "take it back" bucket IMHO), but that's just additional headaches for the GM. I guess the general point I was trying to make was: Glorantha is probably one of the least "pick-up-and-play" RPG world out there. Some books do a good job of managing it, though. The Broken Tower for example is quite good at giving you a minimal amount of information about the world, and more-or-less sticking to it (the only problem is potentially how the players might not know spirits have such a big role in Glorantha, and what you can do with them, but that's mostly OK, the shaman NPC was designed to help).
  6. The reason the "YGWV" thing falls flat for me is that I don't need the permission to remix book material at my table, I can do it by myself. I don't need help shutting up canon lawyers. I basically don't need permission to fuck things up. I know I can fuck things up if I want to. But I don't want to. The problem, really, is getting permission from myself. <looking in the mirror> "Yeah, you're ready! YOU'RE READY! You know who the Lunars are, oh yeah you know. You know who the trolls are. Yeah. Come on. Don't be a little fucker. You can do this. You can run an adventure. Come on!". And then on the first adventure, somebody asks what's up with these trollkins and you make stuff up on the spot because you got no idea, and then later that night you read up on trollkins and you go "well... shit" and now you need to either take back what you said, or work out all the ramifications of what you invented because you didn't know about the trollkin curse. There's a surprisingly high number of these kinds of things, and I think it took me around 6 months of seriously dabbling in Gloranthan lore before I stopped having those "oh shit" moments and I figured that, yeah, I think I'm good now, I have a vague grasp on all the highlights, and whatever I don't know, and whatever I'll come up with, should actually be minimal to rework and keep changed (My Glorantha Does Vary) or correct back to canon somehow.
  7. I not only like those summaries, I also like the broken down content in smaller sections. In the past, my #1 criticism of your (otherwise very good) articles was that it was often a big uniform block of text without any separate sections or structure. Often there would be some implied structure (like a few paragraphs on the physical aspect of a book) but it was indistinguishable from the rest at first glance. Thanks again!
  8. It's an interesting theory to say that the YGWV mantra was started because the authors' Glorantha started to vary, due in part to the convoluted publishing history of Gloranthan material, and in part to Greg changing his mind and bringing in collaborators with different views. I'd like to see when "YGWV" was introduced to see if it lines up. Either way, yeah, I've never seen it used as a selling point. At best, it was used as a "no, no, please come back" point when the selling points were proven to be ineffective on GMs who were discouraged about the amount of material to read before running their first adventure. I believe YGWV was meant to mean "don't worry, you don't have to know everything, we are aware there's a lot out there, but feel free to start with minimum knowledge... if you improvise/invent stuff that you later realize contradicts some other book, it's no big deal". As a GM who did struggle with figuring out where/when to start, I sympathize with the effort. I'm not sure it's a very effective way to fix the problem though -- "YGWV" always felt poorly reassuring to me. There are plenty of other complex and rich worlds out there yeah, but it's possible Glorantha was the first to hit a certain "critical mass" with the RPG community. Different games deal with it differently: Middle Earth-based games for example don't front-load so much stuff: they can rely on typical medieval fantasy tropes because, thankfully, most of those tropes were built upon the very books they're trying to model. So you can play a rogue/fighter/wizard/whatever elf/dwarf/hobbit and go on merry adventures right away. Comparatively, new Gloranthan players will ask "what's a Humakt? what's a High Llama?" before they can even figure what they want to play... there's a lot of up-front work, unless you really frame your campaign and say "everybody plays that kind of people". Other games like Harn or, to some degree Star Wars/Middle Earth, are actually fairly static. In Harn, all the books are actually describing the world up to the same point in time. For better or worse, Glorantha is very dynamic setting -- you play in any era from late 1500s to mid-1600s and there's a shitload of stuff happening. "Play an Esrolian priestess? Oh, I guess I forgot to tell you that you've seen your lands ravaged and plundered at least 2 or 3 times by these and these and these people. Let me tell you about the oceans...". Star Wars is famous for having no significant changes for centuries at a time. Sure you can play in a few different eras, but they're so far apart it's easy to compartmentalize. Middle Earth also has very broad strokes, and you get into complex stuff only when you look closely. There's no such thing in Glorantha: books tend to immediately expose you to an almost year-by-year break down of Dragon Pass history, and every entry has names of people and places that you have to look up, and only 5 years into the timeline you've already gone down a rabbit hole that took up 2 hours of your time. Last, some games like Traveller just acknowledge different versions of the world. Between Traveller5 and Mongoose Traveller and MegaTraveller and GURPS Traveller and what have you, the timeline is different and that's that. No "YTWV". I'm not sure how the Traveller community deals with it though, I'm not very involved in that. I think the original problem that "YGWV" was trying to fix would be better fixed IMHO with: Finding a way of presenting Glorantha in a more "layered" approach. Less up-front work for GMs to learn about the world, and for players to know who they want to play. Move the details and richness further down the line. More "starter adventures" and GM resources. I think that's what Chaosium is trying to do this time around.
  9. That's... a.... really selfish take on reading RPG books in my opinion. And even if you didn't mean it, I'll agree that some of your latest statements came across a bit rude.
  10. Funny, I hadn't noticed there were martial arts rules in RQG (we're supposed to use swords and spears, no? ). I'm not sure I like the unarmed combat skills... One house rule I can think of, which would also be nicer on unarmed/natural attack PCs and NPCs, would be that the parrying weapon only deals 1 point of damage on a successful parry. Only when you do get a critical, or even maybe special parry, do you get in a situation where your character saw an opportunity and turned the sword to land a strike, and there you get an actual damage roll.
  11. I'm correcting myself here: Axe Trance gets better as you spend magic points, not Rune Points. That's why it's non-stackable. So yeah I think the correct meaning of "stackable" is indeed that you can cast the same spell multiple times in one round to make it better. The rule about not being able to cast multiple different spells in one round has nothing to do with being stackable, it's a general rule of Rune Magic (RQG p314, the second sentence in bold). The Extension spell specifies that it's an exception, as the whole point is to cast it along with another spell at the same time. And so yeah, Transform Self effectively lets you cast things in one round when it would otherwise take you 3 rounds. It's still super overpriced IMHO. I'm going to investigate other house rules...
  12. It could be interesting to indeed play it like that -- I mean, you could turn into some Harrek-type guy that everybody hates but everybody's afraid of. He rolls up to your nice flowery holy day festival all covered up in blood, carrying Tusk Riders' heads on a stick, and dumping a pile of precious (but stinky and bloody) items in your tribal hall. "Hey y'all... having a party, eh? Mind if I crash it? I brought some stuff for... hey, what's this guy's problem? Why is he looking at me like... HEY YOU, YOU GOT A PROBLEM? HUH? Yeah... that's what I thought... anyway... I've got half a dozen cows outside for you, at least half of them will survive their wounds. Sorry about that. Where's the beer?" But also note that the most important thing is to ensure players have fun -- not ensure the preservation of the holy Gloranthan canon. So if your players are really into murder-hoboing, and they don't want to be penalized for it, then it's fine to tweak a few things here and there to make it work.
  13. It's not a passion that your character has, but it's a passion that the temple you gave the donation to has for your character. It's relevant and useful and might go on the character sheet. If you're too hung up on the terminology and categorization, make a character sheet with an extra section, but frankly, this is all hypothetical and it may or may not be worth taking up real estate on an already crammed character sheet....unless you're running a game of complex political intrigue, in which case yeah, it's a good idea to track personal passions and NPC standings separately, or even only track personal passions and have the GM secretly manage NPC standings behind the screen (in which case the donation doesn't result in anything on the character's side). Personally I don't think my players will ever do "dishonest" donations -- I don't think they will get rich enough to afford that (and there will be very dire consequences down the line)
  14. So how do you model asymmetrical relationships in Pendragon then? If you have a strong Loyalty to your King, but the King is secretly jealous of you and will do everything he can to get you dead, how does that work? Is there any mechanism to modify whatever rolls you do when you appeal to the King's favour? The reason we play RPGs and not board games is because RPGs have a referee that can bend the rules when necessary. That's, like, the golden rule of all RPGs. In this case, again, it would be the "scheming character" case, and the Loyalty you get would be actually just one-way. Write it down in the notes on the character sheet, and use it only when you want the Sun Dome templars to do something for you.
  15. If you shell out Lunars to a temple, you're either (1) genuinely loyal to the temple, making a genuine donation, and therefore strengthening the loyalty bond between you and the temple, or (2) a rich scheming person who wants to grease some wheels (and potentially a Cacodemon spy). I think RQG assumes the former because that's the 95% case. Just write down something else than "Loyalty" on the character sheet if you're in situation 2 (maybe write "Pull" or "Standing" or whatever).
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