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Gallowglass

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About Gallowglass

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    Senior Member

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  • RPG Biography
    I've been into tabletop RPG's since college, mostly D&D, with some other systems and story games along the way. Typically I am the GM for my group. I occasionally write about and review games about my blog, Castle Mordrigault. I've also done some freelance game writing for End Transmission Games, and Menagerie Press.
  • Current games
    I don't get to play as often as I would like, but most recently I have run campaigns for 5th edition D&D in the Planescape setting, and for Unknown Armies 3rd edition.

    My current game of Runequest: Glorantha takes place among the newly reforged Dundealos Tribe, and follows a Sartarite clan of my own creation struggling to rebuild and survive the challenges of the Hero Wars.
  • Location
    Western Massachusetts
  • Blurb
    I am interested in gaming, fiction, history and mythology.

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  1. I’m gonna plug Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner for a good depiction of shamans and spirit hijinks, also plenty of action and drama. It’s a bit long though. +1 for Ten Canoes as well.
  2. Hello, I am currently preparing to run a play-by-post campaign set in Esrolia. I was thinking of using the excellent Esrolian House questionnaire created by @jajagappa, and I was wondering if he (or anyone else) has it posted somewhere in a completed form or document? I have been looking over the questionnaire on the RPGGeek forum, but it would be easier if I had the questions all together somewhere to consult. The forum also doesn't mention what the "rewards" are for each possible choice, presumably because it was being shared with players.
  3. I think it’s named after Zarkos. The same map in the Guide pdf has it named “Ozarkos.” They’re a whole different bunch of goat people, they show up in Six Ages.
  4. I think it was Wooly Rhinos. But there is an illustration in the Sourcebook of a mammoth tusk harpoon showing all the gods Vadrus had killed.
  5. Y'know, I was just thinking earlier this morning that maybe the original Fronelan Orlanthi became the modern Noyalings. In my half-asleep state, I also got stuck on the word "Frolanthi." I always thought of them as "fallen Hsunchen" who started farming and building cities, but Muskoxen do have a strong "Vadrus Vibe." The Noyalings also were possibly closer to Akem, so it's easier to explain how they came into conflict there. One interesting guy in First Age Fronela is Dakal, the founder of the city of Ayos in Jonatela, and the "Kingdom of Dakal." He is described in the Guide as a Hero who fought with Talor and Harmast, then founded Ayos after the war ended. He seems like a pretty good candidate for "Leader of Frolanthi" during this period. I always imagined him as a rogue Talsardian who went West with his people, but maybe he was a Muskox Vadrudi who came from the north.
  6. Yes, distinct from the Enjoreli and the Hsunchen. I'd love to learn more about that, I can't find much in the Guide that mentions these folks. Everything I've read suggests that Fronelan Storm worship either came from the East (or maybe over the mountains), or existed on the isolated fringes like Ygg's Islands. Up until now I've assumed that Third Age Orlanthi in the region descend from Bull People, Theyalans from Peloria or Ralios, and Hsunchen.
  7. That's a good point, and while initially I was thinking Talsardians, these mysterious Orlanthi could be from anywhere, including Ralios.
  8. So these people were there at the Dawn as well, living alongside but distinctive from the Hsunchen? Or are you a proponent of @Joerg's theory that the Enjoreli basically became Orlanthi, and the two become interchangeable. This is something that I had considered, and makes the most sense. I guess the only part that's still confusing is what this part of the Bright Empire is doing while Talor is dead. Maybe their leaders manipulated the Orlanthi into attacking Akem.
  9. Well, for one thing it’s interesting that the whole west coast is referred to as “ruins of logic.” That might imply that the Westerners were very isolated in their dealings with Peloria, who seemingly aren’t aware of their existence. That makes sense given all the barriers to the East. Other than that, it’s fairly accurate. Beast people, forests, etc.
  10. I'm still confused about how this map changes from the beginning of 400 ST to the end of Arkat and Nysalor's war. The Guide describes no fewer than 5 different groups of people fighting it out in Fronela during this time. Some of them might actually be the same group, some of them are possibly proxies of other empires, some of them seem to switch alliances multiple times, it's a lot to unpack. My sources here are from the maps and the Fronela chapter in the Guide. The Westerners (led by Talor) - Initially fighting the Enjoreli, later fighting the Bright Empire after Talor's return with Harmast. The Enjoreli (Led by Varganthar the Unconquerable) - Possibly allied to the Bright Empire, not clear. The Guide says Varganthar is allied with "terrible powers," which could mean Chaos. There could also be a possible connection between him and the wizard Arinsor. The Hykimi - Caught between the Westerners and the Orlanthi, led by the Eleven Beasts Alliance. The Enjoreli/Tawari could be considered part of this group even though they're represented separately on the map. They encourage the Hsunchen tribes to worship the Lightbringers, then Nysalor, then they get destroyed by Talor. Later the Hsunchen apparently ally with Talor and Harmast and join their march to Dorastor (Guide p. 200). The "Orlanthi" - Presumably this is the Talsardians, ancestors of modern Charg. When Talor returns with Harmast, he stops "a war between the Orlanthi and Akem." This part is really puzzling. Why were they fighting? What are Orlanthi doing near Akem in the first place? Talsardia is hundreds of miles away. Talor stops this war, unites Westerners, Orlanthi, and Hsunchen, and "drove the Bright Empire from Fronela." Which brings me to... The Bright Empire - The actual identity of who these people are in Fronela, in the First Age, is very unclear to me. I'm not even sure who makes up the armies of the Bright Empire in a general sense, let alone just in Fronela. Dara Happans? Random barbarians? Chaos monsters? All of the above? Either way, they are apparently driven from Fronela after Talor comes back. At some point there's a battle in Oranor, at Ulros, called the Battle of Giants where the Empire is defeated. The next historical map in the Guide shows the year 700 ST. The Hykimi are gone, the Enjoreli are... assimilated I think. Presumably the empty places on the map are thinly populated with Orlanthi and Hsunchen. Talsardia becomes Charg. We won't see a big Hsunchen tribal alliance again until the White Bear Empire.
  11. This thread inspired me to read more about musk oxen. According to Wikipedia, the Woods Cree name for them, "mâthi-môs,” means “ugly moose,” which I love.
  12. The Odayla/Yinkin spell lets you use your normal Fist attack. My model for Gore was the Telmor cult from the Bestiary, which uses DEX x5 for Wolf's Head.
  13. Those are really good questions. In my campaign we always played it that anyone with Second Sight could see the spirit hovering over a body for 7 days after death. My shaman PC was fairly scrupulous and never tried to capture any fresh ghosts, but I don’t see why you couldn’t do that by the rules. It just seems like a nasty, amoral thing to do. Rather than use a ghost I would probably just use the dead person’s POW, INT and CHA, no spells or anything. I would also let their spirit combat skill change to POWx5.
  14. One day I hope to run an RQG campaign set in the region of Oranor, southern Fronela. This may never actually happen, but in the meantime I am enjoying writing stuff to flesh out the region. Here are some cults for RQG I've been working on that I thought I would share. I'm taking some liberties with the source material. Feedback is welcome! Bakan (Beast, Fertility) - Bakan the Boar is the god of hunters in Oranor. He also has an important connection to the Fertility rune, particularly for men. These two aspects are worshiped in two different subcults, Bakan of the Wilds, and Bakan the Vigorous. In Oranor's mythology, and throughout Fronela, Bakan is known as the brother of Frona the Land Goddess. In the God Time, the hero and demigod Oran won Bakan's eternal friendship, and the boar god now protects his people, as well as his sister. Bakan's "Wild" cult fills a similar role in Oranor to Odayla in Sartar, although he is not the only hunter god worshiped there. His "Vigorous" cult wanders the land, healing people and throwing wild bacchanals. Initiate Membership - Standard - Cult Skills (All subcults): Dance, Cult Lore (Bakan), Worship (Bakan), - Cult Skills (Wilds): Animal Lore, Peaceful Cut, Survival, Track, Hide, Missile Weapons - Cult Skills (Vigorous): Sing, First Aid, Plant Lore - Starting Skills (Wilds): +15 Survival, +10 Peaceful Cut - Starting Skills (Vigorous) +10 Dance, +10 First Aid - Spirit Magic (All subcults): Detect Life, Heal, Mobility, Silence, Slow, Spirit Screen, Speedart, Strength, Vigor Note: Both subcults can freely teach initiates spirit magic from either subcult, so they are included as one list. - Favored Passions: Devotion (Bakan), Love (Family) - Note: A starting character must choose between the two subcults of Bakan, Wilds and Vigorous. One is a cult for hunters and warriors, and emphasizes the Beast Rune. The other is an ecstatic cult of healers and party animals that emphasizes Fertility. Both subcults can later be joined, but a character cannot be both a Rune Priest and Rune Lord. Rune Magic - Common Rune Magic: All - Special Rune Magic: o Bakan of the Wilds: Boar Head, Boar Strength, Wallowing, Identify Scent o Bakan the Vigorous: Virility, Bless Wildlands, Restore Health - Enchantments: Ban, Binding Enchantment, Magic Point Enchantment, Matrix Creation, Spirit Armor Enchantment Rune Priests (Wild Men) - Standard. Restricted to males. A Wild Man must respond to any call for help from a Priest of Oran, or a Priestess of Frona. Rune Lords (Boar Lords) - Standard. A Boar Lord must participate in the annual Great Hunt. A Boar Lord must also respond to any call for help from a Priest of Oran, or a Priestess of Frona. Associated Cults - Oran – Provides Fearless - Frona – Provides Regrow Limb - Ernalda – Provides Earthpower - Hykim and Mikyh – Transform Self New Spells Boar Head (1 RP) Touch, Temporal, Nonstackable - The caster's head transforms into a wild boar’s, and stiff, bristly hair sprouts over their body. The boar tusks give a 2d6 gore attack, plus damage bonus. Chance to hit starts at DEX x5 and can be improved as a skill (Gore). Caster can use this with additional attacks as long as they are 3 SR apart. Only usable on initiates of Bakan of the Wilds. Boar Strength (2 RP) Touch, Temporal, Nonstackable - Same as Odayla spell Bear’s Strength. Only usable on initiates of Bakan of the Wilds. Wallowing (3 RP) Ritual, Duration (One day), Nonstackable - The caster must spend an hour wallowing in a pool of mud. When they are finished, the mud provides the equivalent of a Shield 2 spell, with the caster gaining +4 armor to all hit locations, and Countermagic at a strength of 4. The caster also gains the effect of a Fireshield spell, with all fire-related damage reduced by half. Only usable on initiates of Bakan of the Wilds. Virility (1 RP) Touch, Instant, Nonstackable - This spell can only be cast on men (or people with male equipment). It allows the recipient to perform sexually for the next hour, and also guarantees impregnation with the partner unless some form of contraceptive is used. This spell allows people who are normally impotent to impregnate a partner, but it will not overcome magical curses or effects. Bless Wildlands (2 RP) Ritual, Instant, Stackable - This spell blesses an area of woodlands or hunting grounds with abundant game and foraging for one season. This is achieved by attracting animals to the area, and also improving the reproductive qualities of local animals and plants. Relevant skills like Track and Survival are improved by +20% for anyone in the area. The ritual affects an area of 5x5 square kilometers. Additional Rune Points increase the area multipliers by 1 (6x6, 7x7, etc). The Bakan cult is forbidden to cast this spell for the annual Great Hunt. Tawar (Beast) - Tawar is the great bull spirit, sacred totem of the ancient Tawari and Enjoreli people. Although the Tawari are no more, the Great Bull is still worshiped as an ancestor by some people in Southern Fronela. In Oranor, worship of Tawar is popular among the tribes of Kikina, who still retain many ancient Hsunchen traditions. His worship is paired with Uralda, his mate and Mother of Cows. Storm Bull is his wild, wayward brother. In Oranor, the chief god is Orlanth of the Flaming Bolt, who wrestled and tamed Tawar. The Great Bull now serves him as an ally and sacred mount. Initiate Membership - Standard - Cult Skills: Dance, Cult Lore (Tawar), Herd, Peaceful Cut, Worship (Tawar), Scan, Grapple, 1H Spear - Starting Skills: Scan +15, Peaceful Cut +15, Sing +10 - Spirit Magic: Strength, Vigor, Heal, Distraction, Spirit Screen, Demoralize, Fanaticism - Favored Passions: Devotion (Tawar), Love (Clan) Rune Magic - Common Rune Magic: Sanctify, Soul Sight, Spirit Block, Heal Wound, Warding - Special Rune Magic: Bull Horns, Bull’s Strength, Bull’s Charge - Enchantments: Ban, Binding Enchantment, Magic Point Enchantment, Matrix Creation, Spirit Armor Enchantment Shamans - Standard. Shamans are also Priests. They consider cattle spirits to be friendly, and carnivore spirits (wolf, bear, sakkar) to be hostile. - Special Rune Magic: Axis Mundi Associated Cults - Uralda – Provides skill Understand Herd Beast - Storm Bull – Provides Face Chaos - Orlanth – Provies Shield - Hykim and Mikyh – Transform Self Bull Horns (1 RP) Touch, Temporal, Nonstackable - The caster grows a pair of cattle horns, gain a 2d6 gore attack, plus damage bonus. Chance to hit starts at DEX x5 and can be improved as a skill (Gore). Caster can use this with additional attacks, but they must be 3 SR apart. The caster cannot Gore and trample in the same round. Only usable on initiates of Tawar. Bull’s Strength (2 RP) Touch, Temporal, Nonstackable - Equivalent to Odayla spell Bear’s Strength. Only usable on initiates of Tawar. Bull’s Charge (2 RP) Touch, Temporal, Nonstackable - The caster's feet transform into cloven hooves, gain a trample attack starting at DEX x5, 3d6 damage plus damage bonus. Trample attacks can only be used on prone enemies, and must be 3 SR apart from other attacks. The caster cannot Gore and Trample in the same round. For the duration of the spell, the caster also has an increased chance to succeed in Knockback attempts. If they charge at least 10 meters (4 SR) before an attack, they treat their Knockback attempt as if their STR and SIZ were at their species’ maximum. The Knockback will also push the enemy 1d6 meters. Only usable on initiates of Tawar.
  15. The Kingdom of War has a huge army, appropriately. The Guide says it’s about 100,000 strong in 1621. Who are the people who actually make up this army? I get the impression that a lot of them are mercenaries from various places around Fronela. But what about the rest? Who are the “original Kingdom of War guys?”
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