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Everything posted by ChalkLine

  1. And between 500ad to 1500ad humans in western Europe become larger still and then contracted in size to a small point in the 1800s before increasing again to where we are now.
  2. However, I think 'but there are dragons!' As an argument is specious. You make the fantastic a thing by its relation to the mundane. If the you guy full-bore 'alien fantasy' as some settings tried to do the games were simply unable to be related to and the settings failed. It all boils down to where you draw that line. Many people in their settings, often due to in-depth knowledge of how certain things work, want a more realistic understandable basis for gaming. I was on a discord game last night playing Traveller and we had an industrial chemist playing a scientist (every GM's nightmare) and he needed a deeper level realism for his gaming experience to be better. Trading these things off, where you go so deep that you have accurate shoe lace fashions versus very superficial detail, is the GM's art.
  3. Rune Quest 3 had this as an option. I can't ever remember using it though
  4. Personally, I think if it's not a significant outlay it's insulting to the deity Making a shrine should be big event. In the old games there was this nasty thing where players were making shrines in inns simply to get back spells. This, depending on your campaign, might not be in the spirit of the game. Now, there might be a simple travelling shrine in a utilitarian manner if you think that's right. In defence of this, most religions (including pre-reformation Christianity) is 'transactional'. This means you won't worship a god if you don't get anything practical in your view out of it. So I guess what I'm driving at is whether the shrine should be respected or not depends on what you feel is right
  5. This is funny, because not everyone can do this. For example, I am so horrible right-hand-dominant that I only use two handed weapons. If I try and use a buckler it just follows the right hand weapon around in stupid circles. I've been trying to break this habit for over ten years to no avail
  6. I suppose if it was a geas or some other artificial thing like a city ordinance then you'd see that sort of thing. Good point! Still, I'd be prone to just using a dagger off-hand. Realistically you can swing an axe twice as fast as you can swing two axes once, and you don't leave yourself horribly open while doing so
  7. I'm not sure why you'd want an off-hand weapon at all. You could always use a two-handed weapon and get more damage. If you're in an environment where such a weapon's use is limited by law or society, just use a dagger in your off-hand to discourage closing/grappling. Otherwise use that shield!
  8. Here's something I wrote years ago: The players, at any point, appeal for Divine Intervention. On a successful roll, rather than your god whisking you away or so on, the following happens. A huge, irregular slab of earth erupts out of the ground, opening a portal into the darkness at its base. If the players flee into the hole they see a dream world of darkness lit by a soft purple and green glow. Huge, softly swaying mushrooms tower over each side of them and small mushrooms, glowing with a soft luminescence, line a twisting path beneath the trunks. Tiny glowing lights meander around about a foot off the ground, creating little auras of soft radiance in the swirling, warm mist that blankets the ground. Hinting rather than obscuring the area. Following the path reveals that the players develop a sense of warm security, as if the very gloom wraps and protects the. However, off to one side they hear an almost subliminal throbbing, like a heartbeat. If they follow the trail they come to another opening are delivered from the underworld to continue their adventures. However, if they go off to the sound; A deep, body throb of sound comes off among the trunks. Players walking this way lose the path and cannot refind it. The sound comes from a clearing among the huge mushrooms, and there they see a unique sight. Misshapen trollkin caper in a circle, dancing frenziedly in a widdershins pattern. Inside this, huge dark trolls, clad in lead armour and holding maces and mauls that hum with power, dance slowly in a clockwise circle around an altar-shaped slab. On either end of this altar is seated a great troll beating on a section of hollow log carved with truly terrifying runes of power from the beginning of time. Around the altar are three female trolls, clad in bizarre ceremonial robes with towering headdresses and masks. On the altar is a terrifying sight; a Mistress Race Troll groaning in time with the slow thunder of the drumbeat as she labours in childbirth. The trollkin part as they caper in the knee high mist, and the trolls open their ranks as the players find themselves joining in the slow, heavy dance. Deep, primal feelings wash over them; anger, regret, vigilance, fury. The Mistress Race Troll lets out a hoarse, deep yell as horrible figures loom out of the mushrooms. Horrid Elf-Broo, sparkling with stinging, searing light, slither from among the Mushrooms and slice into the trollkin. The dark trolls give out deep, grunting war-cries and lumber into battle. The chaos monsters fight with claws so bright they burn the imagination, and the resolute trolls respond with body-crunching strikes that fling bodies high in the air. There are too many though, and a group bursts through their lines and streak towards the altar. Their claws become so bright that it's a throbbing, blinding pain that summons up an anger the players have never experience before. The players are at full health, magical power and fatigue, the dance has made them whole. The fight goes on until all the monsters or all the players fall. If the players slaughter one each of these monsters the others fall back screaming in fear and stagger backwards into the brawl. The dark trolls grab them, snapping spines and tearing off heads. If the players fall in battle a torrent of these creatures wash over the altar, slicing and rending. If the players die, they die. In fact, as they're in the underworld. They really die. There's no coming back. If they succeed there is a triumphant roar. The cloaked priestesses hold up a healthy mistress race troll baby, a girl. The mother rises up onto her knees, takes the child in her arms and roars out a hoarse battle cry that literally blows the remaining chaos monsters to fragments. A comforting darkness settles over the seen. The gloom deepens and the players sleep. They waken in a shattered temple, lying around a statue of a female troll. The location is up to the GM. The players blink and rise, looking at each other. In the pitch dark. They now have troll sonar-vision. Scan and Spot skills are at base etc.
  9. Of course, it's the sort of thing only a player character should be able to achieve.
  10. Is there a system for learning Combat Traits and adding them to Combat Styles?
  11. Your god wouldn't care what the situation is, only your intent. Gloranthan gods aren't necessarily benign. They can be quite jealous of their prerogatives and swearing on your god should be a serious thing. I think restricting oaths to a rune spell is doing the game a disservice
  12. Don't forget the giving and taking of ransom nearly always consists of the giving of perilous oaths. These are in essence a Divine Intervention asking your god, or the god of honour, to strike you down if you violate the ransom conditions. When playing these oaths should be made in full so the GM has a handle on what sort of effect can be expected. "May Orlanth strike me with a Levin-Bolt if I try to escape" is pretty clear but "May Humakt strike me dead" is an indication that a Sever Spirit is coming your way.
  13. I play a more spirit-oriented game with the animist spirits crowding the real world, so I get what you mean.
  14. Yeah, I'd say your average hearth-spirit that is in every home will be on the lookout for fires at all times, day and night. (I think this actually features in Russian mythology)
  15. Funnily enough, I've been looking into thatching as a roofing material lately. Thatch is quite hard to get burning, it's describe as being like 'a closed book'. Of course once it gets going is a different matter but it won't burn like a haystack. Thatch is quite light compared to other available roofing materials of the era so it can have lighter joists and battens. Pavis roofing is liable to be reeds which is unlikely to burn. Not because there is no straw available but simply because there's a lot of reeds nearby.
  16. In Australia bushfires are common. They are faster than a horse, hotter than the sun and often cause tornadoes and firestorms. The only method of survival is many individuals working the fire front and ready to flee at any time or simple avoidance. When the fire-monster comes usually you flee.
  17. Binding hands or confining arms in the stocks will stop people casting lesser magic. However, this is very dangerous. Medieval records refer to a man and woman being confined in the stocks for the crime of 'being masterless' (having no one to vouch for them) and they were constrained for three days. The man lost both feet and the woman lost her left hand.
  18. Another possible reason for tunnels or voids that pass beneath city walls is that there may have been prior construction. Historically many cities have been destroyed and rebuilt on the same site, and the construction has not matched up with earlier construction. Galleries and rooms in the foundations of earlier construction may have been simply built over when new construction was undertaken. Long-lost storerooms, dungeons and tombs are all possibilities. Another thought is long-forgotten siege works may exist. Under-mining work may have been abandoned when a city was taken or a siege was raised, leaving precarious old works leading under the walls. As these were temporary and designed to collapse when built they would be extremely dangerous if any length of time has passed, making them equivalent to 'trapped' environments. Some digging may be required to access the city . . . .
  19. Cities, especially ancient cities, have many little gates known as posterns in the walls. These gates are for raiding parties to sorty out during a siege and are usually hidden from direct view. Over time city walls change and these little gates can be forgotten, superseded by new walls or gates or sealed up. Now, normally city-dwellers don't like the idea of illicit gates in the walls or tunnel running under them, the city walls are well regarded by townsmen, however posterns can be occasionally opened illegally for the right price. In most historical places a variety of organisations looked after the walls and gates and it might be some minor noble or craft guild that looked after some tower, gate or stretch of wall. This makes it easier for characters to pay their way through a postern.
  20. It's my primary problem with the new game
  21. The grip will be similar, and later rapier grips vary widely anyway so there shouldn't be too muc problem with that. You don't actually parry with the hilt unless it's an emergency, instead you parry with the last third of the blade which is known as the 'strong' ('forte') so the difference is really minimal. It's just something the fencer would keep in mind when fighting with it. In summary I'd just use it as a normal fencing sword ('small sword')
  22. ChalkLine

    Mythic Greece

    I've been playing in Thennla and Korantia is, as everyone here knows, based quite heavily on Hellenistic Greece. Really, there's so much info out there on the net for classical Greece that it's easy to play there. One of the things that I found interesting on a sociological sense is the heavy prevalence of slavery in places like Periclean Athens, and the assumption that any wandering adventurer might have about three slaves of their own (at least one of whom would be female). It radically changes the dynamic of normal adventure role playing.
  23. In reality you can sleep in light armour. Restrictive 'rigid' armour stops you breathing properly though, even when drunk (guess how I know this! :D)
  24. The big drawback about fabric armours is that they of course wear out rapidly and battle damage is more severe. A big cut to metal armour might do very little while it might make fabric armour unusable. However, much later in history than is analogous to Glorantha it was common for warriors to own fabric armour so they could don it quickly if needed, or to wear it in lower-threat environments.
  25. Layered linen armour has a very long pedigree. Firstly, I'm not talking about Linothorax (which may or may not be factual, not that this matters) but rather linen armour made by stitching. Linen, the cloth from the Flax plant, was the primary cloth for most of Europe during the ancient and medieaval eras along with wool. There was two ways of making 'padded' armour which was by quilting or layering, and I will only discuss layering here. Tests by Dr. Alan Williams have found that layered linen of 16 layers provides as much protection as 5mm of cuirboilli leather protection, or resistance to about 80 to 90 joules of energy. Now, for comparison the energy produced by the average sword or axe varies from 60 to 130 joules, depending on the strike. The maximum layers that linen armour can have and still be practical as armour is about 30, and this was the general amount used in the 15th Century when such armour was worn alongside 'articulated plate' ('white harness'). At 30 layers of linen the protection level is around 200 joules resistance, but that amount of layers was only worn on the torso. This armour was extremely common. Now, linen armour has positives and negatives associated with it in comparison with metal defences. It could become soaked with fluid and heavy. In this condition it did not shed heat well and rapidly became oppressive. It could become infested with vermin and become a vector for diseases such as typhus, a common military encampment disease. It was however lighter and easier to manouevre in compared to the equivalent metal armours with their significant resistances to piercing.
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