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About Sumath


  • RPG Biography
    GM of RQ2 & RQ3, Golden Heroes, and player of CoC, MERPS, WFRP 25 years ago. Just started playing, GMing again. Starting a RQ campaign in 2019.
  • Current games
    D&D, Blades in the Dark, RQG
  • Location
    Battersea, London, UK
  • Blurb
    47 year-old grognard who's returning to RPGs after a 25 year break. Gods, I'm old.
  1. Sumath

    Darkness at Runegate

    Will this scenario be available to purchase at some point? Also, any chance of the Boldhome map in the back of the RQG book being made available on RedBubble as a poster print?
  2. Sumath

    Group tasks

    The other thing you could do is have the party nominate a group action leader (usually the person with the best skill level, who is effectively pathfinding or instructing the others how to move/act). In this example they would move quietly ahead of the others, and would make their skill roll as normal. If that roll succeeds then all is well, and if not the group action fails. The other players also roll, but the group action does not fail unless one or more players rolls a fumble (i.e. a failed roll does not affect the success of the group moving quietly). Therefore all players play a part in the action, but the chances of success are kept at a reasonable level. You could do the same for the guards with Listen rolls but just the highest skilled NCP, if you wanted to do opposed rolls.
  3. Sumath


    The problem was that beginning characters in RQ2 didn't have a high attack chance to begin with. Combine that with an enemy's Defence and it got even worse, so some fights became lots of flailing about hitting nothing but air.
  4. Will there be anything covering Gustbran or other smith deities? It would be a useful bit of background information for a bronze age setting, and for Crafter occupations.
  5. Sumath

    Assyrian Spirits of Protection

    Ugallu An Assyrian guardian spirit with the head of a lion, body of a man, and feet of a bird. In Glorantha, Ugallu are trickster spirits, eager to enact mischief upon anyone idiotic enough to steal from or desecrate a shrine to Eurmal. They are commonly known as Jinx-Spirits, Catcallers or Kickers, but they have been called far worse. Rather than attack directly, the Ugallu might briefly manifest their legs behind the offender to kick them up the behind, or a hand to flick ears or noses, or pinch uncovered flesh, before dissolving again. Once aroused to action an Ugallu can be pitiless, harassing their victim well beyond a shrine’s boundary with a rapid barrage of thumps, kicks, trips and curses from all directions. They may also be employed to set off any elaborate traps that Eurmali have constructed to protect a holy site. Stories of Ugallu tell of them convincing victims to undertake daft, dangerous (and utterly fictional) rituals to gain entrance, or of possessing an intruder and using the body to sow confusion or enmity amongst any companions. Trespassers recall their helmet plumes suddenly going up in flames, or of a disembodied leonine head appearing in the air to taunt, pose meaningless riddles, or lay curses. Despite its fearsome appearance, Ugallu tend to have incongruously lilting voices and laughter. They can speak at least five languages (but can swear in twice as many) and will communicate in whichever one they think their victim is least likely to understand. If they are unable to torment an intruder they will reluctantly resort to spirit combat. An Ugallu can be forced to take corporeal form if one is quick enough to spot and grab a disappearing body part (requires successful Scan, Dex x2% & grapple), uses a Command Cult Spirit spell (Trickster only) or if one addresses the individual spirit by its true name. When encountered in the Spirit World, Ugallu are free-roaming, attracted to spiritual crossroads or labyrinths and, whilst not malicious, are just as unhelpful as you might expect them to be. Ugallu in Physical Form STR 3D6+6 Average 16-17 CON 3D6 Average 10-11 SIZ 2D6+6 Average 13 INT 3D6+6 Average 16-17 POW 3D6+6 Average 16-17 CHA 3D6+3 Average 13-14 DEX 3D6+6 Average 16-17 Hit Points 13 Spirit Powers: Blink*, Covert Possession, Curse, Solid Form *Blink is the ability to rapidly manifest all or parts of the Ugallu’s solid form, and to dissolve it just as quickly. Skills: Conceal 60%, Fast Talk 75%, Stormspeech & 4 Other Languages (INTx5%), Sleight 65%, Spirit Combat 70% Runes: Disorder 75%, Movement 65% Spirit Magic: Disruption, Glamour, Ignite Armour: 4-point mane on head Physical Attacks: Kick 70%, Fist 65%
  6. Sumath

    Assyrian Spirits of Protection

    Urmahlilu An Assyrian protective spirit in the form of a lion-bodied centaur. In Glorantha, Urmahlilu are earth spirits summoned by priests and shamans to protect holy sites and communal spaces. In Dragon Pass they are called simply Urmah, Hearth-Keepers or Herd-Watchers and in Prax will often be bound into the carved pole of a clan ring’s communal tent, a collar upon a lead herd animal, or at seasonal hearthstones. In Esrolia and Sartar, they are often bound as defenders of earth temples. They are known in Peloria as Shedu, where they are depicted with outsized fangs and claws, and reviled as demons. In the Spirit World they are found in wide, open tracts analogous to plains or grasslands. Usually they will engage any intruders in spirit combat. Though formidable spirits, they can also be dangerous when they manifest physically. An Urmahlilu must be compelled to do this though, usually through the use of a Command Cult Spirit spell. Urmahlilu in Physical Form STR 3D6+6 Average 16-17 CON 3D6 Average 10-11 SIZ 4D6+8 Average 22 INT 2D6+6 Average 13 POW 3D6+6 Average 16-17 CHA 3D6 Average 10-11 DEX 3D6+3 Average 13-14 Hit Points 15 Spirit Powers: Solid Form Skills: Spirit Combat POWx5% Runes: Earth 80%, Beast 60% Armour: 2-point fur on lion body-parts Physical Attacks: as a lion’s Claw and Rip attacks.
  7. As Thunder Brothers are clearly based upon Assyrian Lamassu, I thought it’d be fun to bring some other Assyrian spirits to Glorantha. Below are my interpretations of three spirits that feature in the Ashurbanipal and permanent Assyrian exhibitions at the British Museum. Nishrail Assyrians believed these angelic spirits, manifesting as eagle-headed and winged humanoids, offered protection from bad spirits and curses. In Glorantha, Nishrail are cult spirits of sun deities, and are also known variously as Kuribu, Eagle-Lords or Feather-Spirits. They are often part of a temple’s defences, bound into statuettes or friezes depicting their likeness, and will engage any intruders (defined by the binding priest) in spirit combat, or deter them using spirit magic. Anyone attacked by a Nishrail appears to observers to be surrounded in a halo of light during spirit combat. In the eyes of the defender, the bright-eyed Nishrail appears before them, and each attack it makes is accompanied by the Nishrail’s ritual gesticulations and stylised wing movements. They address their opponent in Firespeech, their deep voice reciting mantras of protection and duty. When facing anyone with a Darkness rune affinity, Nishrails do an extra +1 spirit combat damage, and they have two points of Spirit Screen against attacks from such opponents. Despite their conservative nature, Nishrail are curious creatures, so are sometimes found as gateway guardians in parts of the Spirit World that are not associated with sky cults or spirits. Nishrail INT 3D6+6 Average 16-17 POW 3D6+6 Average 16-17 CHA 4D6+6 Average 20 Skills Spirit Combat POWx5% Runes Fire/Sky 90%, Harmony 70% Spirit Magic Befuddle, Detect Enemies, Disruption, Extinguish, Ignite, Light, Lightwall, Slow
  8. Sumath

    The Printed RQ GM Screen Pack

    I have to say, I prefer the standard character sheets rather than the 'artisan' ones - 'busy' character sheets are a bugbear of mine. I like to be able to find information quickly and easily. The screen, calendar and maps looks awesome.
  9. Sumath

    Not sure how I feel...

    I really like the RQG Rune Point system. In RQ2/3, Rune Magic sometimes felt too precious to use, knowing that you had to sacrifice hard-won POW to get it back again. With Rune Points, you can still get them back after most sessions, so casting Rune Magic feels usable and practical, but still a significant expenditure of a PCs resources - as it should do.
  10. Sumath

    Summoning RuneQuest Gamemasters

    The Consequential Conflict Principle: Strive to ensure each combat has meaningful consequences beyond just the survival of the PCs. The outcome of a fight should make a significant difference to the story of the session, and feel memorable and consequential to the players. Perhaps there are various obstacles to be overcome, such as the exotic nature of the opposition, their highly unusual tactics, the hazardous environment of the battlefield, innocent bystanders at risk, or PC objectives other than 'kill everyone' (e.g. rescue a captive, capture a position, escape the enemy, hold the fort). Equally, managing to avoid a fight can feel consequential if the PCs overcome obstacles such as the opposition's unexpected (or noble) objectives, racial/cult/clan distrust, internal agitators, unfavourable political backdrop, time pressures, manipulation of antagonists by off-screen villain etc.
  11. Sumath

    Spirit World and Afterlife

    Thanks for the answers, everyone, that's made things a lot clearer. So the Spirit World exists alongside all other parts of Glorantha, and maps to them in a way, but not in any absolute or permanent sense - it has its own topography, which can change, but it will always share important locations where the veil between the Middle World and the Spirit World is weakened, either because of historic/mythological events, or because of their importance to gods, people, or spirits. There also seems to be a suggestion that the environment of the Spirit World is partly subjective, and perceived differently by each spirit (or type of spirit). Creatively, that provides a lot of freedom to establish any kind of environment or encounter a GM wants to come up with.
  12. Sumath

    Spirit World and Afterlife

    I really enjoyed the recent thread about the Spirit World, and the idea of travelling through it and finding a spirit that you're seeking. At some point I am definitely going to run a session based around this and I've been looking at spirit world myths that might be relevant. These two Native American stories (https://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/TheSpiritBride-Algonquin.html), (http://www.kstrom.net/isk/stories/scarpipe.html) about men mourning their dead wives have fantastic roleplaying potential. I love, love, love the idea of someone setting out to find a lost relative or spouse and crossing over into the Spirit World almost accidentally. Perhaps the landscape and denizens become suddenly weirder, or as in the first story a wise man (shaman) is encountered and helps them cross, but feats of skill are required to survive (paddling against the storm/tempest would be a great way for Orlanthi dead to prove their worth in the afterlife - maybe an Air rune affiliation check?). Or as in the second story, as well as shamanic assistance, they overcome the attentions of other ghosts, and ways are found to disguise their 'living' status in the Spirit World. In one story, the widower learns that he will one day be with his wife again and is happy, In the other he gets the spirits to release his dead wife and return her to the world of the living (along with a sacred item). I started to think about how this would play out in a Gloranthan context - perhaps by travelling to the Spirit World and (in the second story) contesting the return of a spirit with a psychopomp or community of spirits (in whatever form those take)? But then it struck me - what is the relationship between the Spirit World and the afterlife (heavens, hells, underworld)? Is the Spirit World a limbo or a Purgatory, or something else? Is this consistent across all beliefs (unlikely)? If you can go and find your ancestors in the Spirit World, does this mean they never reach a heaven or hell, or does it mean the Spirit World is an aspect of heaven/hell?
  13. Sumath

    Khopesh stats

    Agreed, you'd want a shield if you were facing a spearman. But interestingly, if you were desperate enough to parry a spear with a blade, then a khopesh or similar would probably be the best thing for the job, as you could reverse it, or parry on the backswing, and catch the shaft of the spear in the concave curve of the blade.
  14. Sumath

    Khopesh stats

    Awesome, thanks for confirming.
  15. Sumath

    Khopesh stats

    In various places in the RQG rulebook there are images of warriors carrying a khopesh, a one-handed sword with a partly crescent-shaped blade (e.g. on p68 and p402). But looking at the sword stats on p208 and the descriptions on p210, none of the listed weapons seem to cover this - there is a two-handed sickle sword, or a sickle (which is a dagger). I'm tempted to use the 1H battle axe statistics, as the khopesh has a similar cutting profile, and was historically developed from the axe. Has anyone else come up with anything on this?