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lordabdul

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Everything posted by lordabdul

  1. lordabdul

    Elmal?

    To be clear, I was talking from an RQG gameplay point of view. My point is that it doesn't "bleed" much into the core rulebook and gameplay -- someone wants to play an Earth Priestess, they take Ernalda in RQG, even if they're picking Esrolia as their homeland, for instance. It keeps things simple for first-time players. It's a good thing. Of course I assume the upcoming Cults book is going to make all those other cults as available to the players, but that's OK since it's a big splatbook and that's what it's there for. ....or that the Elmal cult has been absorbed by the Yelmalio cult politically and culturally speaking, which is apparently what happened.
  2. lordabdul

    Elmal?

    So the only two options are "play by the dice" or "play by the 40 years of published canon lore"? Nah, I'm very much OK with pitching a cult to a player and if it somehow resonates with them, they can play however they want within the broad boundaries. There are enough "balances and checks" in place in the form of Runes and Passions to keep them in the archetype... and for the rest, isn't collaborative worldbuilding the whole philosophy here? There's no "one right way" to play any cult IMHO. Gotta agree with that. When I first read RQG (while knowing only a little about Glorantha) I was a bit confused as to why we have both Yelm and Yelmalio in there, as I thought that was a bit redundant (compared to the other deities who don't have that much overlap). And then I realized it's not even Yelm, it's really Yu-Kargzant, and then I learned about more sun-related crazyness, and now I'm thinking "why are we doing this to ourselves?". There's no such thing happening with water or earth or any other deities and cults. Arguably it's because the Earth Goddesses are the only grown ups in the pantheon and can figure things out between themselves, and because sun-god worshippers are, for the most part, all crazy alpha-males who keep fighting each other (in which case, forget the myths, the worshippers are just going with whatever the victors tell them). So anyway, yes, less moving parts are good -- Glorantha is already all moving parts all the way down. I get your point and I agree, but for me this is not the situation here: if you go by HQ-era canon you have no less than 4 different sun deities with active worship in or next to Sartar. Not a lot of travel needed. Compare that to how much travel is needed to find a different Earth Goddess. Speaking of, is there an errata for the Guide to Glorantha? Also, I had never realized there was a Light Rune, separate from the Fire/Sky Rune. It's surprising to me that it's a Condition Rune, too -- I would have considered it a (lesser?) Element Rune.
  3. lordabdul

    Elmal?

    It's the "professional warrior" cult, and that doesn't have to be exclusive with the "scary, death" cult. It is scary because these people are weird (they have strange behaviour imposed by their geases), ruthless, and detached from the human experience. They're the mercenary who enters the inn and everybody falls quiet as he walks around slowly, because everybody knows he's not here for a drink (and in fact he probably doesn't drink). They're professional warriors, as in "that's all they do all day", compared to Orlanthi warriors who actually do some farming and drinking and community participation. The Orlanthi are Bruce Willis while the Humakti are Clint Eastwood.... (but YGMW and so on). But yes, Rune affinities are roleplaying cues here. AFAICT the whole "severing ties" is actually only in HW/HQ. I can't find any mention of it in Cults of Prax and other RQ2-era supplements, and it's not mentioned at all in RQG either. My guess is that the authors went back to the original design of the Humakt cult, with multiple geases, as opposed to one geas + severing. Note that some of the geases relate to that (one is to remove all your Love passions, the other is to remove a Loyalty passion).
  4. lordabdul

    Elmal?

    Humakt has no associated cults, yes, but I think it only means that you won't find Humakti shrines or other worship sites at any other cult temple, and no cult teaches secrets (like special magic) to Humakti initiates. But as far as being a lay member or initiate of multiple cults, RQG only says the cults must be "compatible". I haven't found out if that means "at least neutral" or "at least friendly", but that opens up opportunities for Humakti to belong to a couple other cults at least, if not many other cults. They would have separate Rune point pools though.
  5. lordabdul

    Elmal?

    Thanks! Well at least that makes Elmal's elevator pitch easier to come up with. I assume the roleplaying aspects will be quite different from Yelmalio though, even if the mechanics are very similar.
  6. lordabdul

    Elmal?

    I'm talking about the pitch for what kind of characters the players would play. Not a pitch for the deity itself. In some cases, the god and the initiates are the same, or close ("Chaos-hating beer-drinking berserker"), but when you're an initiate of Elmal you're not a "steadfast god of the sun and horses"... what are you? "horse-riding average fighter with weak light powers"?
  7. lordabdul

    Elmal?

    Nobody asked for cults to be balanced (I specifically said that it wasn't the point). But yes, I did ask for advice. As a newcomer to Glorantha, I'm the GM who is supposed to give advice to players. So I need advice myself. That's why I said it would be nice if either the Cults book or Gamemaster Guide had such advice, with both roleplay and gameplay comparative descriptions of cults. As @AkhĂ´rahil said, I don't think Yinkin is a good fighter cult. It's more of a Rogue/Thief cult (with a bit of overlap with the Rogue/Ranger of Odayla). As for Heler, I don't know how that cult will be in the Cults book, but I hope it won't have a lame treatment like "it's a subcult of Orlanth for people who want gender-related roleplaying opportunities, but woops you loose all kinds of cool magic and weapon bonuses, and gain the ability to make rain instead" (unless it's converted to an "NPC cult"). Gameplay-wise, cults are really like, say, archetypes/playbooks in PbtA games or something. Players pick them because they fit what they want to play as a character, and that has to translate to stats somehow. You can either play the crop-blessing-and-battle-support Earth priestess, or the Chaos-fighting berserker, or the undead-loving troll warrior, or the sun-reflecting-shield-wielding hoplite soldier, and so on. But there's a bunch of cults for which I have no idea what the "less than 10 words elevator pitch" is. I'm definitely not sure how to pitch Heler or Elmal to my players (although given Jeff's comment, it's possible that gods like Heler are a consequence of Greg writing material without playing it).
  8. lordabdul

    Elmal?

    Heh. Yeah. Although Lightning isn't even very impressive, at least for a beginning character. I would frame it more like this: Humakti are full time mercenaries with strict worship discipline (gifts and geases), and only know battle and death. Orlanthi have a family, and follow slightly more varied stereotypes: farmers who like to raid in the summer, weaponthanes who patrol the clan's borders, etc... but yeah, I would also suggest Orlanth if someone wants to make a fighter.
  9. lordabdul

    Elmal?

    How is that not what RQG provides? Humakt is the God of professional warriors and soldiers. That includes mercenaries, and actually Humakt temples are often hiring halls, says RQG. So yeah, the caravan guards are most likely going to be Humakti AFAICT. So is going to be that warrior you hire to get rid of some local creature that's eating your livestock, if you or your clan people can't do it for some reason. That, along with the band of Humakti hired to help boost someone's numbers, is the "typical Humakti" in my opinion. The question for me is more about how a given player is going to choose. "I want to play a fighter, what cult should I pick?". To answer this question, the GM can either (1) have a shortlist of a handful common cults and just reply "pick Humakt", therefore ignoring 95% of the upcoming Cults book, or (2) spend a long time explaining hard-to-compare differences (calendar, anyone?) between various cults and loose the player to choice paralysis. Even the cults list in RQG's core book got half of my players to question their motivation to play RQG in the first place... and that's after I removed 3 cults and limited each cult write-up to one paragraph! (next time I'll just mention Orlanth, Ernalda, Humakt, Issaries, and Lhankor Mhy). Cults of Prax kept the choices down to a manageable size, with minimal overlap between cults in terms of archetype, gameplay, feel, etc. Cults of Terror made it clear these were NPC-only. I just want to make sure that new players' questions will be easy to answer in RQG and that the Cults book will actually be useful for gaming, as opposed to being a mythology book with stats. What's the point of having, say, the Elmal sub-cult of Yelmalio if it isn't clear why a player would pick it as their cult compared to other much better cults? A new player isn't going to care or even know who Elmal is, they're just going to look at the roleplay and gameplay opportunities. Or maybe Elmal is meant to be an NPC cult! I don't know!
  10. This seems to be more of a by-product of the combat and damage system than of relative/absolute difficulty ratings. D&D is using absolute difficulty ratings but trollkins would never be able to kill a high-level character -- or at least not nearly as feasible as in RQ. Sure, but that's true of both systems, and that was my point. In both systems the GM has to adapt the worldbuilding and narration to justify enemies and door locks being consistently and increasingly bad-ass. Sure, good point, but replace "lock picking" with "combat" and you can't really replace combat with something else. I guess what you can do is replace some aspect of combat. For instance, the PCs became super good at sword-fighting and squirmishes, so you start throwing magic users or big kingdom-shattering battles at them. And when they get good at that, you put them in the dark, or against illusion magic, or whatever else. And of course finding ways to make violence a non-option to solve things. Yeah that's good advice, thanks.
  11. Is that a magazine specifically named "Dragon's Pass"? Or a segment in "Dragon" magazine? I can't find any mention of it in MIG2 or on the web.
  12. Have you seen the crazy amount of detail Jeff puts in art direction? I wouldn't be surprised if one page of Prince of Sartar was half a page of dialogue and action description followed by 3 pages of references and details about every single object/statue/weapon/tunic/etc. featured in the panels. To go back to the OP, one thing to describe about magic usage in Glorantha is how many focii people typically carry on them for Spirit Magic. They touch a tatoo or an object on their belt or bead on a braid on their head or a piece of jewelry or the hilt of their sword or some carving inside their shield or whatever. RQG p254 has a whole bunch of examples. I ask my players to come up with ideas of these focii as they use their spells the first time (after combat), with a guarantee that their choice won't be used against them (so that they don't need to worry about losing access to a spell because they lost the object on which the focus was.... MGF over simulationism and all that). It adds flavour as opposed to an actual visual/auditory cue, but it's another part of describing magic.
  13. I'm not even sure the drawbacks are that different between the 2 systems. Regardless of whether the difficulty ratings are relative to the PCs' abilities, or whether they're absolute numbers that the GM eyeballs relatively to the PCs' abilities, the net result is still that "all the doors end up having better locks". I guess the only difference is the amount of work the GM has to do to make something challenging for the players. But the most work IMHO really lies in justifying, in-world, how the PCs ended up in a place with super-door-locks, why that place is that way, what this means for the other regions of the world that they experienced as lower-level PCs, etc. Interestingly enough, some data from VTTs shows that very little people play high-level D&D characters for very long. I think they mostly play campaigns "by the book" where they start level 1, go all the way to level 15 or whatever to defeat the big baddie, and then start over with a new campaign and new characters.
  14. lordabdul

    Elmal?

    That's the type of comparative description that would be very welcome in CoG/GaGoG or in the Gamemaster Guide. The "Nature of the Cult" section of the Cults of Prax write-up format is good at describing the cult, but is often not enough to compare similar cults together in order to pick one. A whole chapter on "Choosing your Cult" with comparisons including both gameplay and roleplaying considerations would be super useful IMHO.
  15. lordabdul

    Elmal?

    I'm not sure how Elmal got demoted like this when he could have been just as well "discovered" to be a sub-cult/aspect of Yelm instead of Yelmalio. Greg's article about this (like someone other people here) led me to believe Elmal was the bright sun disk god of the Orlanthi, not a little/cold sun. Oh well, I'm lucky enough to be an RQG newcomer so I don't have a yu-kargzant in this race... What I'm more worried about is how to handle all those cults of vastly different power and usefulness as a GM. I understand that cults aren't supposed to be "character classes" so they're not meant to be "balanced", but players are still going to be annoyed at this unless there's some guidance and management of expectations written somewhere, so that they know what they're getting into when they create their character. I find that this problem already creeps up a bit with the default RQG cults.
  16. Bumping this thread! (since Phil linked to it for me recently) Regarding Harmast, aren't most of his spells basically useless when you consider his origins as a Quickstart Scenario character? Passage must be stacked with Lock (which he doesn't have), and Spell Trading must be done in an Issaries Market (a situation that doesn't present itself in The Broken Tower). I guess a simple fix would be to replace Spell Trading with Lock and you fix 2 problems in one go. Does anybody have other suggestions?
  17. Are the RQG pre-generated characters available anywhere as "proper" character sheets?
  18. lordabdul

    Elementals

    Sure but that's the same thing as wild animals. You're unlikely to see Snowy Owls unless you're out at night in a nordic tundra landscape. You would get maybe one glimpse of a mountain lion or bear (from far away, hopefully) during a 2-days hike through western Canadian parks, depending on time of day and season. But, on the other hand, while seeing the occasional bald eagle flying around is a common sight, if you go to the right lake in September, you'll see hundreds of those big birds feasting on exhausted salmon. In my head, I see spirits and elementals the same way. They're not uncommon by any means, the same way cougars and owls are not uncommon either. If you hike for a couple days, you'll get a glimpse of some wild life here and there, and I think you get some more or less equivalent glimpse of spirit life. Unless you stumble by chance on the "right" place and time and you witness some spirit flocking for some reason, which may be good or bad news for you depending on the situation.
  19. lordabdul

    Elementals

    Sure, but then you proceed to list "special places" (or situations) as rivers, lakes, caves, storms, etc. Doesn't feel very "special" to me But just so our expectations are in line, what I meant was that they're common enough that, for every full day of travel through the countryside, I suppose there's a 50% chance of seeing a spirit at least from a distance. Would that be a fair encounter rate?
  20. lordabdul

    Elementals

    AFAIK, elementals are spirits that are able to materialize in the physical world. So you would encounter them almost as easily walking around the wilderness as you would travelling the Spirit World. And they would be everywhere: around a specific landmark (big ol' tree, nice big rock, etc.), along a river, at the top of a hill, etc... that is, unless I'm mixing up elementals with nature spirits like dryads and nymphs?
  21. Yeah having an innate affinity for the Spirit Rune would fit that trope nicely. Cue the kid, hidden under a bear skin, saying "I see... dead people...".
  22. Isn't everybody born with a fetch? (or almost everybody) And it's just that only a few actually "awaken" it and get to control it? I don't want fetches to become the new midichlorians Maybe not what those assholes on the 4shaman forums say... "you're not a real shaman unless you have a shaman mentor who gives you drugs in the desert while you're dehydrated"... there's gatekeeping in Gloranthan tribes, too!
  23. You make good points but they all still highlight what bothers me with Divination. Past present and future shouldn't be any different for deities if we believe that they live in the "God Time" which is supposed to be this time-less thing (although it still has causality... wrap your head around that!). And sure we can hand-wave a lot of things to rationalize all this stuff when you're writing fiction or NPC backgrounds or setting history, but when it's time to put it in a game rule and expose it to players, it becomes a lot fuzzier and dirtier. Omens and visions are classic tropes of myths, but IMHO they really break down when you try to formalize them. They better fit HQG, where the GM already has a constantly higher pressure put on herself, than RQG, where you need actual rules and numbers. But anyway.... True. Speaking of hand-waving and rationalizing that stuff, what first comes to mind for me is that it might be the classic case of "self fulfilling prophecy", where, actually, the Lunars might very well have asked their Goddess for a divination, and she might indeed have told them that shit was going to get real. So they took a lot of precautions, based on what she told them: they killed all the Dundaelos people, they moved/reaffected a whole bunch of armies, etc... but then in the end these actions made the Sartarites all the more angry and passionate about retaliation, somehow opened some weakness somewhere, and, in the end, made the Dragonrise possible instead of preventing it. Another classic trope of myths.
  24. Yeah they only know what their worshippers said in their prayers... so if you want you can have a time loop paradox thing where someone uses Divination to ask their god where the McGuffin is, the god tells them, they go get it, and on the next worship day they have a little prayer "hey thank you god, I got the McGuffin from that place" and now boom the god knows where it is and can tell it in the past. Personally I don't like Divination too much... it's a loophole in the Compromise, it can quickly get in messed up time paradoxes as indicated above, and it puts all the work on the GM's shoulders to figure out what the god will be able to say to the PC... I guess the original intent of this mechanic was to let the players effectively ask the GM for help (kind like the Idea roll in Call of Cthulhu, but with an associated cost), but I think it's way too easy to abuse, and puts too much pressure on the GM.
  25. Awesome, Thanks for that!
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