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MMan

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  • RPG Biography
    Started with D&D and quickly moved in to MERP in 1987. Then moved on to RQ and Cyberpunk 2020, Twiligth 2000, Rolemaster, CoC and loads of other games.
  • Current games
    Currently my favorite games are FFG's Star Wars and RQG. Although I'm not a greatest fan of BRP system (slow and complicated imho), I have grown to love Glorantha.
  • Location
    Helsinki, Finland
  • Blurb
    I've been GMing and playing RPG's since 1987. I love GMing, but it is also refreshing to take the players role as well.

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  1. During our next RQ session we are getting into our first sacred time. Although the game treats it as just downtime, I'd like to give it a bit more attention in the table as it is completely original concept for all of the players and me too. The characters are of the Colymar clan (cults: Orlanth, Issaries, Yinkin and Daka-Fal). To avoid GM monologue and keep players engaged, I'd like to somehow create small encounters and adventures that the PCs must react to during sacred time. Also I would somehow like to present the Lightbringers quest in some engaging and interactive way for the players to experience, not by heroquesting, but re-enacting first part of it in the mundane world. I'd like to have my PCs chance to act out or play the Westfaring part during the sacred time, but I'm afraid that just sticking to the script will take away the player agency and meaningful decisions. But then, giving the players the freedom to solve challenges etc. in their own way fights against the notion that the myths should be kept intact by re-enacting them as strictly as possible. Also, what is the in-game context of the ritual or re-enactment? Is it that the Glorantha itself that will throw the challenges against any group that is dressed like the Lightbringers traveling west (implicit mythic resonance), thus making the challenges real and dangerous. Or is it the other clan members acting it out in an orchestrated play keeping the act safe and controlled? How to measure success if players are given freedom to solve challenged in their own way? Also I would like to hear ideas on how to challenge the players (see their cults above) and bring their cults alive during the sacred time: What kind of rituals and how to engage the PCs in them? What is the meaning of a specific ritual? What is the part of a just initiated cult member in it? How can the ritual be failed and what are it's repercussions? What does exceptional success bring to the clan? Any other "adventuring" ideas concerning the sacred time are also of course welcome :)
  2. I haven't measured my scale cm, but I realized that if I treat the hexes in AAA as 10km from side to side, my example measurements align quite well with the maps in the RQG. And as I'm used to SI system, 10 km hexes feel very very comfortable
  3. I started a Colymar based RQG campaign about year ago. As always, I created my own campaign map, this time based on the excellent Colymar Tribes map from the GM's Screen pack. Now I started a project for a bit wider map, and noticed an odd thing when determining the scale of the map. It seems all the official maps are at different scale and have wildly different distances between landmarks. I compared following maps: Argan Argar Atlas' Sartar and Tarsh map, map 29 (Argar Argar from now on) Colymar Lands map from HQ Sartar Companion pg. 6 (HQ from now on) Dragon Pass map from RQG GM's Screen pack (Dragon Pass from now on) Dragon Pass map by Darya from RQG GM's Screen pack (Darya from now on) Guide to Glorantha vol 1, sartar map on pg. 173 (Guide from now on) I took screenshots from those maps and measured the maps scale bars' widths in pixels, and calculated a pixels per km value (converting miles to km where necessary). Then I used rectangular selection tool to draw a rectangle between the centers of two cities' symbols' and used the width or height of the selection to calculate either the horizontal or the vertical distance between the cities. Argar Argar's Atlas don't have a proper scale bar, but there's a blurry text describing one hex being 8 km. I assumed that it means side-to-side distance as that makes more sense than distance between opposite corners of a hex. Couple of results: Clearwine - Boldhome Horizontal distance - Argan Argar: 45 km - HQ: 88.0 km - Dragon Pass: 63.2 km - Darya: 64.7 km - Guide: 51.7 km Wilmskirk - Jonstown Vertical distance - Argan Argar: 53,4 km - HQ: 92.8 km - Dragon Pass: 65.7 km - Darya: 63.5 km - Guide: 61.4 km There's obviously some margin of error, but it seems the two maps of Dragon Pass in GM's Screen Pack have pretty similar distances. But what took me by surprise is that Argar Argar's Atlas and HQ's Sartar Companion have wildly different distances, with Argan Argar's distances being half of those presented in HQ Sartar Companion. It was a bit of a disappointment for me to find so great variations of distances between different maps. I guess I just need to decide a scale for my Glorantha, and I'll probably lean towards the RQG and Guide scales as they seem to aligned quite well and so are maybe closer to "truth."
  4. @metcalph Thanks, that was a very good example. This seems to have been duel to first blood. Are the duels usually first blood duels, or to death? In Sartar - Kingdom of Heroes on pg. 216 the sidebar notes "The winner of a duel will likely owe wergild to the loser’s kin; ..." which I interpreted to mean that duels are to death, although there have been some mentions that wergild should also come in play when dealing permanent damage (cutting limbs etc.).
  5. I have found several mentions that duels are a thing in Orlanthi culture (and maybe with Lunars / Praxians also?). However, I wonder whether duelists are allowed to use magic in their duel? As various kinds of magic are very common in Glorantha, it feels like all magic is much stronger part of each character's core being. Not just learned tricks and conjurations that shape the reality like in many other fantasy worlds, but instead very personal and everyday affair (spirit magic) and deeply connected to the who the character actually is (rune magic, sorcery, runes and links to gods the character serves). However, when considering from where the magic and power actually comes from and how the culture is formed around cults and spirits, I could see it getting more complicated. Consider two Orlanthi warriors from Orlanth's cult dueling: If they would use Rune Magic, they would actually invoke the very power of their common god to slay another who follows the same god. Basically they would weaken their own god by killing another of Orlanth's follower using the god's own powers. Different spells options in each cult also create very uneven ground for duels, especially if duel is a form of justice / law: No one would fight Humakt as that would be certain death (well, it would often be that even without magics . Then again, most people in a duel in which loser forfeits their life would probably do anything, even break the duel's rules to survive. So they would use any magics they could to increase their own survival regardless of rules. Some rune spells would also make the duels very short: Rune Magic is cast at SR 1, and there would be strong incentive to blast the opponent with all you got as early as possible to guarantee your victory and to prevent the opponent doing the same. This could even lead to both parties dying immediately as both would releasing all their god's power at their disposal against one another. Then how about shamans and their fetches: could they use their spirits and fetch in duel to drag the opponent to spirit world and destroy them there? How about unleashing spirits in real world on their opponent... Would that be according to dueling rules? Then there are also magical weapons which would vary wildly in their power and function. Allowing magic in duels could make many duels not to happen at all, as the power levels of the participants would be so different. Often the result of the duel could be easily predicted, so losing party would probably just rather take the shame and exile and whatnot instead of certain death. On the other hand, forbidding magic in duel would probably be pointless, as most would be willing to break the rules once they are facing death, unless there are some anti-magics active in the dueling ground to prevent that. I'm quite unfamiliar with Lunar and Praxian cultures, not to mention more distant (from Sartar) cultures, so any view points and thoughts on those would be welcome as well. How about duels across cultures (e.g. Lunar vs. Orlanthi). Are there any canon sources which touch this subject? And do you have some thoughts about this?
  6. @g33k That example was just to underline how all npc could be initiates of a cult and how lay members would still make the majority of each cult's membership. It wasn't meant to be "realistic" distribution of people in each cult, but easy numbers to follow and to underline the reasoning.
  7. @Brootse Arrgh!! Now I'm confused again! I feel I'm getting some mixed signals here...
  8. @lordabdul TL;DR "I wanted to" 😛 There was no single specific reason. I weighted quite a number of options and considered different approaches for a while, and decided to go with Colymar tribe and use the Eleven Lights campaign more as a resource on how to model the world events into the campaign. Also I wanted to use the RQG GM screen adventure pack and the maps and stuff like that, as well as run some old Apple Lane stuff on the side, just for the sake of nostalgia, maybe drop in some Snakepipe also... I could have gone with just Colymar campaign, starting on year 1625 as per RQG default, but I felt there was not yet enough material about the near future of Hero Wars and how to model those in game. Also I want to play and live through some of the epic events before 1625... In the end, I just felt this gives me more room bring in my own ideas, while having plenty of resources and material from Eleven Lights to lean to. This is something I do quite often when GM'ing games: I just take in everything that is cool, drop everything that's not, and blend them into some super complex thingamabob that lives its own life
  9. @Shiningbrow I dropped my percentages without really thinking about it, but you're right, 2% of higher-than-initiates would be absurd After a night's sleep on top of this, I think the everybody-are-initiates who all have a couple of utility rune spells to help in their seasonal tasks, seems quite ok after all. Earlier I could only see the NPCs in terms of player characters.
  10. That's a good and important point. Especially as it means that not all matured farmers, shepherds and thralls blast endless volleys of fire and brimstone when irritated, but are actually still quite close to lay members in terms of power level. @Qizilbashwoman thanks for the great input
  11. I think the above clarifies the issue for me. As a simplified example: A community has 150 members and three gods: Orlanth, Ernalda and Yinkin. Members 1-50 are initiated in Orlanth's cult, but they are also Lay Members of Ernalda and Yinkin. Members 51-100 are initiated to Ernalda's cult, but they are also Lay Members of Orlanth and Yinkin. Members 101-150 are initiated to Yinkin's cult, but they are also Lay Members of Orlanth and Ernalda. Now in each cult there are 100 Lay Members and 50 initiates, but still all characters are Initiates in one of the cults. I'm not sure if I'm a fan of everybody being initiates of some cult... I might run my Glorantha with around 10-20% of people of being initiates in any cult, and maybe 1-2% being Rune Priests / Lords... I'll have to think about it.
  12. In this case, low level means that the characters are not that experienced at the start of the campaign, as what the RAW would produce. Most importantly they are not yet Initiates of a cult. And that sparked my curiosity, as I couldn't find any NPC's that would not be at least initiate of a cult. Well, I guess my glorantha varies a bit in this case
  13. I'm about to start an RQG campaign which is heavily based on the HQ Eleven Lights campaign, although the clan in focus will be the Hiording clan of Colymar. My players suggested that they would like to start with a low level characters, as Glorantha is not that familiar to all of them. So we decided to start the game when characters are 16-17 years old, right after their adulthood initiation, and that they would seek and apply for cult initiation in game once we get the basics of the world and culture nailed down. However, as I'm writing details of the Hiording clan, I've become lost with the meaning of lay members and initiates when it comes to cults. First of all, on the RQG GM Screen Adventure Book, there are several NPC characters who seem to be quite "low level", but are still statted as cult initiates having access to rune magic: Heortarl (pg. 91) is 16 years old and an Initiate of Orlanth Adventurous with one rune magic spell. The herders Vargast and Jareena (pg. 92, 93), are a bit older but also Initiates having access to three rune magic spells each. The HQ Coming of Storm book describes the number of initiates and devotees for all major cults in Red Cow clan. The Red Cow clan has some 830 adults in total (pg. 11), and of those 336 are initiates* of Ernalda (pg. 15). Assuming that half of the adults are women, and most women worship Ernalda, it supports the idea that all cult members are at least on initiate level. * Based on the numbers and terms, I assume that HQ Initiate == RQG Initiate, and HQ Devotee == RQG Rune Priest / Lord / God Talker. All this implies that all people join their cult as initiate right after or during their adulthood initiation... However, following quotes can be found in RQG core rule book: pg. 269 "Most who belong to a cult are lay members, without any authority or position within the cult. The way to join the hierarchy of a cult is to become an initiate." pg. 270: "Simple worshipers are called lay members. Lay members do not know the secrets of the religion, are excluded from key parts of worship, and do not gain access to the deity’s Rune magic. Lay members are casual worshipers or are children, and include anyone preparing to become an initiate. The inner members of the cult are the initiates and the Rune Masters—Rune Priests, God-talkers, and Rune Lords." This would imply that most of the people are actually lay members, without access to rune magic, and that only much smaller subset of the people are initiates of a cult. So... If 16 years old Heortarl is already an initiate of Orlanth, and almost all of the Red Cow's women are initiates of Ernalda, where and who are the lay members of the cults and why they seem not to be present at all in the RQG GM Screen Adventure Book and in Eleven Lights campaign?
  14. That sounds awesome I hope you could share your notes about the adventure once you finish working with it. I definitely would like to run something similar at some time.
  15. Warning: You might get hungry while reading this. I know I got I just bought into the new RQG and I was completely blown away how the art really changed my perception of Glorantha. Previously I had imagined Orlanthi tribes as mix celtic, viking and scottish culture and Lunars as ancient Rome, but the middle eastern visuals really took Glorantha to completely new level. As I love to explore daily life and bring out small details in my rpg campaigns, I immediately started to visualize the whole Gloranthan life from scratch in my head. One question that I am struggling with is what kind of cuisine does people (I'll limit this to humans now) eat generally and how does the everyday food smell and taste? Is it somewhat analogous to real world middle eastern or indian cuisine, or more to the mediterranean or european cuisine? Are various spices common or is salt and pepper and herbs all they have? What are the staple foods on the table? Bread I guess, but do they serve potato, corn, couscous, lentils or something more exotic as their daily carbs? How about drinks? Clearly there is at least wine. Is beer stored in amphorae or in barrels? How about mead? Any other drinks? Tee? Coffee? Is meat served every day or is it more rare? How about chickens and eggs? There are also plethora of mythical animals and beasts in Glorantha, so is their meat part of the cuisine also? How about their milk or eggs or whatever the creature in question might produce... How are the tables set during celebrations? Is there dozens and dozens of condiments and sauces etc. with a plethora of exotic aromas and tastes, or is it more like medieval europe festivities with whole roasted pig or lamb or something as the centerpiece? Or something completely different? I read somewhere that Pelorians eat rice, so does this indicate their food culture is close to real world asian food cultures, like Indian, chinese or indonesian? Are there any rituals or certain manners that are expected when having a meal? Thanking Ernalda maybe, or blessing the food somehow, or putting part of the food aside to please the spirits? Does runes have any effect to the meals or the cuisine (can't see how but would be a nice touch)? Or is the food culture the same that is described in every other fantasy rpg out there? If there exist official information about this, I would like hear about it and have some pointers where to read more. I would also like to hear your ideas and thoughts about how do you see, smell and taste the cuisines of Dragon Pass?
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