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Sumath

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Posts posted by Sumath


  1. I have five players in my group - their characters are as follows:

    • A Humakti warrior (heavy cavalry) - he works out of Clearwine for the clan/tribe, but is obviously mobile
    • An Orlanthi noble - his family is based around Clearwine but lands owned outside (and now in Apple Lane)
    • A Uroxi redsmith - he trades in Clearwine, not clear where he resides
    • An Ernaldan merchant - she trades and worships in Clearwine, resident either in or just outside 
    • A Vingan madam (pimp) - she works in Clearwine because that's where her employees find work, and therefore most likely to be a permanent resident

    So I'd agree that many of the permanent residents are likely to be either the dissolute, ambitious misfits, or the ones who are meant to stop them. But doesn't that describe most adventurers?

    Cities are places of enormous opportunity, and therefore also of danger. The rootless (or free agents) of society are often best placed to take advantage of this, but they can only exist there because of the steady flow of other people who are not dissolute (or at least not primarily so) upon whom they can prey.

    Clearwine is not a particularly rough city, but despite their differences all cities give rise to the same (or similar) social and economic forces - it's just a matter of degree. So you can expect them all to have class distinctions, criminality/immorality (whatever that means in that place), injustice and exploitation. Things like slavery will vary, as will the meting out of justice, not just because of laws/mores/traditions but also because of competency/organisation/wealth of the ruling class. 

    But there will also be a tipping point of how many grifters/thieves/pimps a city can support, and this will be based upon how much 'honest' activity goes on there, and how effective law enforcement is. Obviously cities will foster innovation (incl. magical research), intellectualism and learning, high art, exquisite craftsmanship and a cosmopolitan outlook, so cities will attract the cream of society as well - doers and thinkers. Pavis under the Lunars was both an organised foothold of civilisation and also a hangout for the dregs of several societies. 

    It's that cheek-by-jowl placement of the virtuous and enlightened alongside the villainous and venal that gives cities their distinctive vibrancy and tension.

    Of course, this being Glorantha, nobody need be wholly villainous or wholly virtuous all the time...

    • Like 2

  2. The Philosopher and Scribe (and to a lesser extent Assistant Shaman, e.g. Vishi Dunn) are occupations that are less likely to lend themselves to traditional combat-oriented play. Therefore, I'd say that their additional non-combat skills are a form of game balance in so far as they make them more generally useful to a party otherwise made up of fighters, and more attractive to players who don't want to play a warrior archetype.

    • Like 2

  3. If you need a trap, narratively, I wouldn't worry too much about compliance with RQG enchantment rules. But if you want to, you could say that a guardian temple spirit (as per RQG Bestiary) that belongs to the god of the ancient site activates the spell and provides the renewable MP for it.

    • Like 3

  4. @Jason Durall Personally, I'm always going to print stat blocks out separately anyway, as during the game they're easier to handle and I'll scribble over them as HP, RP & MP change - I wouldn't do that in the scenario hardcopy.

    The size of stat blocks in RQ is huge compared to other games (one individual and their mount takes up more than a page), so page flipping is going to happen anyway in something like Defending Apple Lane where you have stats for eight riders and mounts - unless you print them out as separate sheets from the PDF.

    • Like 1

  5. A trap could be just an alarm that brings guards running or wakes up the dogs. Or a coating on a wall that makes climbers lose their grip half way up.

    It could also be something that destroys the contents of a chest if set off (e.g. sensitive documents).

    Most traps found within a building ought to be non-lethal, or as @jajagappa notes highly selective in who they affect, and therefore magical in nature.

    • Like 1

  6. 14 minutes ago, prinz.slasar said:

    In Glorantha your ordinary fighter is more wizard or sorcerer than any fighter in any other RPG. Even without sorcery.

    Sure, but with Spirit Magic and Rune Magic you have competent casual users (e.g. starting adventurers) and then you have specialists/experts, in the shape of Shamans and Rune Priests/Lords who wield tremendous power because of their commitment to their path.

    With Sorcery you have incompetent casual users, who cannot be trusted to light kindling with their ability, and then Sorcerers who wield tremendous power etc.

    There seems to be a glaring hole where the competent casual Sorcery users should be. 

    And to me - and this is just my personal opinion - Sorcery just doesn't feel fun. It feels like work, because it's unnecessarily crunchy.

    Accordingly, I've made sure none of the adventurers in my campaign are Sorcery users. 

    • Like 1

  7. My campaign start was delayed, so we're kicking it off in the new year, but usually map detail is determined by whether, narratively, you want to 'play the journey' or just get the party to a destination promptly. 

    I've written three scenarios in the past six months, two of which I've created no maps for, and one of which I've created a large map (made up of three smaller maps) for, and may need to create another map of a village for.

    Where I've made no maps, that's been because there are existing maps I can use (as in a 'whodunnit' scenario set in Clearwine), or because the terrain is very simple and can be pictured mentally (as in a simple Broo hole in the hills). 

    In my experience, unless the map ends up being a hand-out, half of the detail a GM puts into a map is usually for their own satisfaction rather than a necessity for player understanding. Nothing wrong with that either - just saying.


  8. Oh, the other suggestion I was going to make is to have all stat blocks at the end of a scenario, rather than at the point of the story in which they appear. This is because it breaks the text up and makes the scenario harder to read through. 

    Runequest stat blocks take up pages and pages so this is quite an interruption to the flow of the document, especially when it happens several times over the course of the scenario. I appreciate that this is a personal preference though, so would be interested to hear other people's thoughts.

    • Like 2

  9. Just a general point about Runequest scenario formatting - and maybe this deserves a thread all of its own - is that The Smoking Ruin still suffers from walls of text in some areas. 

    It's certainly an improvement on some other Runequest scenarios, with better use of white space, headers and bullet points to break things up. But, for example, the section called 'The Performance' on pages 52-55 contains an awful lot of description of Treya's actions, and if/then statements and skill checks, which would have been better set out as bullets, or in a table, for ease of GM use (this is a suggestion for future scenarios, I'm not suggesting you rewrite this whole section).

    As a GM I'm already thinking I'll probably need to break down the descriptions into sections in order to run this part of the scenario at the table.

    I know there are people on the internet who make a very big deal about published scenarios being ready to run straight out of the box, so to speak - I'm not a purist about this, but I do think that it's an area that Chaosium could make improvements in. 

    This is a minor grumble though - it's a great-looking supplement.

    • Like 2

  10. On 12/24/2019 at 8:04 AM, Oracle said:

    But that's exactly how the How Peace Was Made myth is displayed (printed) in King of Sartar (regardless which edition you use) ...

    So either this has been misquoted from the beginning or there is some meaning in this wording ...

    As a maxim, the wording "violence is always an option" is, I feel, pithier and invites interpretation - the unspoken parts of it being either "to be taken" or "and not a necessity".

    Whilst "violence is always an alternative" could also be ambiguous, it's clunkier and doesn't scan very well.


  11. Page 41

    "Ultimately, her goals are become an expert
    in History of the Dawning"

    Insert 'to' and 'the' respectively, after words in bold

    Page 47

    "While this could true, the real reason he was eavesdropping"

    Insert 'be' after word in bold

    Page 53

    "Thus, it not out of the question that Treya might flirt"

    Replace word in bold with 'it's'

    "The gamemaster’s goal is make sure the adventurers"

    Insert 'to' after the word in bold

    Page 54

    "her grandmother’s many encounters encounter
    with Tuskers"

    Word repeated erroneously


  12. Three items on Page 81:

    "The troll spirits’ movement is only be choreographed
    if One-Eye is nearby, directing their dance."

    Remove word in bold

     

    "The gamemaster should determine which by
    considering the way the adventurers gained entrance, whether
    they encountered One-Eye, and whether is she escorting the
    adventurers into the Ruin"

    Words in bold in wrong order

     

    "In any settlement area (with the grey background on the
    map) it perpetually gloomy, humid and smoke filled"

    Insert 'is' after word in bold

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