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  • RPG Biography
    D&D, FATE, Risus, OSR, Heroquest
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    Wolfpacks & Winter Snow
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    West Coast
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    Gloranthan neophyte. I enjoy research.

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  1. You really weren't kidding! I might avoid concepts from the monomyth for now. I don't have The Glorious ReAscent of Yelm or The Entekosiad right now, although it sounds like it might be worth getting them soon. It might be a little too difficult for me as a Glorantha newbie to do the level of detail justice while also making it fun for my heroic Lhankor Mhy player to discover and engage with. I really appreciate everyone who's taken the time to respond, and I'm still reading your posts over and making notes to try and further my understanding. Some of my original questions came from a picture of LM in theistic context. The scholar as an intelligent god from the other world who is capable of watching and judging my player, and, depending on his actions, grants him more or less command over his magic. This includes his ability to read, and really anything to do with the core Runes LM is approached through. Perhaps behaving like LM's theistic enemies would weaken my player's magic, whereas knowledge hoarding and secret-keeping might strengthen it. This is why I had questions about Illumination and such -- how does that picture of LM start to slip away when you start doing experimental heroquesting? Was the LM who was watching, judging and hoarding before just another heroquester, from an enemy faction of a distant, but still friendly temple? Some of my questions around this are probably going to come in a future thread, though, and your responses about the details of the gods and how they are viewed through the multiple lenses contributes to that. Thank you again.
  2. Thank you all for the additional perspectives on indexing! Thank you so much for bringing this into the mix. It's definitely been helpful, and has given me an idea on the sort of things that Lhankor Mhy cult factions could care about. More heroic Lhankor Mhy questions on my end! HGQ references the Alien Combination Machine (ACM) as a device that clears sorcerous texts from "corruption" so they may safely be used by Lhankor Mhy initiates -- what exactly does it do here? Are there actually any magical (mythical) properties of sorcerous texts that a theistic LM cult would be corrupted by? Does the ACM just add some theistic propaganda like a weird censorship device? I don't see why LM initiates would be negatively affected mythically here by using a sorcerous grimoire, if sorcery is as logical as claimed. On a related note, and I'm not sure how correct this is, I've gotten the impression from the Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha thread that LM is a subcult of a larger cult that includes Buserian and Irrippi Ontor. There's also this idea I've seen that what the God Learners learned wasn't necessarily wrong, and the monomyth is essentially true. So is it the case that mythically, there isn't divine reward or punishment for persuing a particular subcult, in the eyes of the god? Are all of the actual conflicts just between followers and their perception of the gods? (Did I just become Illuminated? My clan doesn't like me now -- how do I undo this, and make the gods separate again?) Do LM cultists have magical means to gain secrets from history, aside from personally engaging in heroquests, or learning indirectly from those who did? Have you had any heroic LM players who changed the face of your Glorantha, captured the light of knowledge, or tried to? What did they learn, and what did they use?
  3. Sub

    Nature of Metals

    I'm a fan of the neon weaponry sometimes shown in King of Dragon Pass. I really love the interactions between Runes and metals described in this thread. Perhaps some of these are answered in RQG, so forgive me... Are there any recorded minerals that are unique to Glorantha? Does kohl in Glorantha come from minerals? Why do all enchanted metals, like the Water Rune metal, become hard like bronze? Is there a mythological reason? I'm imagining that there are myths to enchant metal that involve picking up the bones of dead and using them as tools or protection, for example. Do Mostali have stone stories, use alchemical formulae, and/or a version of sorcery when using metal and minerals? It seems they are capable of much more than other races in this regard, so perhaps for them, a sort of periodic table exists? Or do we just say it's derived from Law and forget about it?
  4. So many awesome ideas to respond to, and so much to unpack. 😍 Thank you everyone for your long, detailed replies! Your whole response is so gameable. I could introduce scenes or scenarios that show how sharing knowledge for free can impact my player's wealth, resources and free time to "think deep thoughts", as you put it. This could also emphasize antagonism from within his own cult. My player has already shared his knowledge by giving out copies of "Bovine Psychology Vol. 5", assumedly a translated or localized title. "Whoops, the lawspeaker was paid handsomely, selling your information, while you were off helping your hunter friend with impossible tasks." How will my player respond to adversity in his own clan, or his own cult, when he truly believes that being generous with knowledge is the right thing to do? That is a very exciting prospect. I think that making allies here can help him stay afloat, people who appreciate generosity and the unified community, like you said. Is there a text where I can find out more about Irrippi Ontor? So far it seems the best sources I own are HQG and the Glorantha Sourcebook, but I don't know if he's more fleshed out elsewhere. The different schools of thought in Nochet also sound interesting. I'm looking forward to that Nochet book, one of my original campaign pitches being an intrigue in Esrolia. I'm really excited about the wide range of antagonistic parties to my player's designs, practical and mythical, like the ones you've presented. Something about a book-heist by Lanbril cultists elates me. On the more realistic side, it seems my player will have to face entire cultures, malcontents and armies in his goal to forge new trade routes and supply chains. On the mythical side, I love the potential for my player to endanger Glorantha, upset the cosmic balance, and clash with mythic opponents in the Hero Wars. Thank you for your incredibly inspiring insight into seals, scrolls and scratchings! I will definitely be using that list of materials, if I am lucky enough to get a chance. Your writing on cyphers and kennings sounds like an excellent opportunity for an investigation-based scenario. So many different domains of doctrine my player has to contend with, as well. He's gonna have to branch out from cows! My players love his obsession with cows, though. Regarding Illumination being a bad thing, my player will likely answer from his core with a resounding "no". Although he may have the makings of a hero, and could very likely venture towards altruism, he is also not above an antagonistic path, which we've discussed as being on the table after the Impossible Tasks of the Colymar Campaign are complete. This is the guy who asked me if a god's blood crystal called Uralda's udder (his invention), which produces milk, could be used for waterboarding. 100% of my players would be down for a trip to the Big Rubble or the Clanking City, too, so this is useful to my group as a whole. I read that list of Casino Town rumors that MOB posted a while back and love the concept. Oh, and I also recently learned about Belintar's role in making some sort of "Final" library for the City of Wonders? Kalast Cow-Knower would be tantalized. If you know the source for the campaign suggestion you're referring to, I would love to follow it and see its context. I really wonder how a formal duel between two Lhankor Mhy sages would play out. I imagine it has to do with reciting knowledge. What about a writing competition? Your list of obstacles emphasize time and commitment as a resource, and really hits it on the nose for me. Especially as I find I'm not having enough time to give all of these posts the thorough responses they deserve. I love the insight you've given here on the life cycle of the library, the indexing system Brankist used, your point about copying magic books, new temples, secret indexes for inner temple sanctuaries... Kalast will be after the title of Sword Sage, for sure. We had a great time last session figuring out whether or not Kalast could plant thoughts in a magical bull's mind, to persuade him that his rider wasn't so great, and that he should follow the group instead. Some of the other players were dismayed and exasperated, but all in good fun, with many exciting interjections. Seeing as this whole ordeal, was technically stealing from someone who had given him hospitality, getting up to the line, or crossing it, is not a problem for my player! He didn't steal the bull, a rival scholar talked him down through telepathy. I swear my player been doing his reading though, because he gave someone else "seeds" from a "new plant" that he summoned from aforementioned rival scholar's desk in Jonstown. You've cut the gordian knot! Because I'm using HQG, it's arguably highly likely for my player to succeed at great feats over the course of our campaign. Shortcuts are on the table, without a doubt. Thank you for the recommendation! We're all after those dangerous books. It seems like I have a lot of learning and reading to do in regards to these foreign rivals and the ways of the god learners, Arkati, and the Lunars. I only hope I can balance the all rich detail of Glorantha with Maximum Game Fun.
  5. Thank you for your replies, everyone. I will speak ever of your generosity. I realize now that it will soon become unwieldly to reply to every bit of information, but I can't stress enough how helpful this was, and I'm eager to pick your brains more. I especially appreciate how evocative your responses and examples were. I will be reading them again and considering them through the lenses of personal, magical, societal, and mythological loss and gain. Here are my current notes from your responses. You can technicallly avoid engaging in the hospitality rites. This can be accomplished by hiding in the woods or heathland, or just plain luck if you avoid any patrols, herders, farmers, hunters... You don't have to start The Greeting if you don't want to. (No one can make you do anything.) Potentially, staying out of the camp, stead, tula, or village is a way to do this, even if you're in view. Hospitality can be granted by anyone. Who granted hospitality, to whom, and what they offered, matters. To your clan and theirs. Sartarites are supposed to defer to chosen leaders here, bringing strangers to a greater authority, including the clan ring and chief. Hospitality can be overruled. Breaking hospitality is devastating for you as an Orlanthi, in this world and the next, because The Greeting is a binding oath. You can use or abuse the hospitality greeting... ...through cleverness, sweet-talking, mythological references, and telling lies through the truth. ...to get what you want, in certain circumstances. ...to deliver insults. ...with consequences. Hospitality most likely makes travel through Sartar slower and/or more difficult. If you're hospitable, it's because you're meeting with authorities, clan chiefs, and other people you know, and you have obligations to them. If you're not hospitable, it's because you're avoiding tulas, patrols, responsibilities, and/or enemy clans. You're risking a lot. If you're avoiding clans, you're going to have to deal with the wilderness of Dragon Pass. Dragonewts are also avoiding entanglements, after all. The rites do vary, but are recognizeable. Different things can be offered, different levels of hospitality are extended, there are elements of negotiation, positioning, posturing and politicking. I really enjoy the Hospitality rites, and The Greeting, because of its ritual nature. It helps Glorantha feel different from other settings, and emphasizes that this is a religious world. We'll see if my players get tired of it. What a terribly exciting lose-lose scenario! I wonder if putting someone in that situation knowingly means that the consequences are visited on the manipulator rather than the manipulated. Maybe both? Thank you for your work on Glorantha and HeroQuest. It seems that there is a pattern where Ernalda convinces Orlanth to do something that was her idea all along, so maybe in the Third Age, the first hospitality was not Orlanth's after all? I think I understand the connection between Ernalda and a strong punishment for oathbreaking, as well, given the importance of The Great Compromise. More questions! In King of Dragon Pass, a customary gift to an entire clan is 20 cows, which was easy to learn and put into practice when playing, but these are the dealings of chiefs. Is it expected that small gifts such as water and food to travelers are simply repaid by the guest's clan extending the same kindness to the granter's clan, in the form of a promise? What are acceptable, small services that could be rendered? Does a guest help thresh the grain for a while, for example? In the same vein, what are customary gifts of goods or services for a night of hospitality? When dealing with enemy clans, either sneaking through their lands for travel or banditry, it seems like magic is the way to go here. Perhaps I sacrifice to Ulanin the Rider and hope my steeds are swifter than theirs. Are there other ways to get through an enemy clan's lands, magical or otherwise? When dealing with neutral-to-hostile clans, what are mythologically appropriate greeting rejections? Are the rejected guests identified with certain unruly thunder brothers, more ancient enemies, or simply insulted with generally unfavorable comparisons ("Greedy woodpecker, begone", etc.)?
  6. Hi everyone. I'm relatively new to Glorantha, and currently running the HQ Colymar Campaign in 1618. Please let me know if there is a better place or better format for threads like these, and if there are certain tags I should use. I have an ambitious player who will undoubtedly seek a big role in the Hero Wars. His goals seem to be: spread literacy, use new technology, and take advantage of any secrets he can gets his hands on. Here are the questions I have: Why does the cult of Lhankor Mhy keep the secrets of literacy and writing to themselves? Would there be mythological consequences for sharing literacy outside of the cult, or is this more of a Completionist/Ivalist thing? Are possible mythological consequences limited to Spirits of Reprisal from Lhankor Mhy, and does sharing knowledge weaken the initiate's magic? How hard would it be to index a Lhankor Mhy library? Would this be opposed by the sages? What resources fuel or grow a library and what are some of the barriers to getting those resources? How does a library get its paper, scrolls, and materials? Are Lhankorings seeking tree pulp opposed by Aldryami, for example? Do they work heavily with Issaries traders, and what do they give in return? Does a form of moveable type already exist somewhere in Glorantha? What would it take to use it or invent it? Do Lhankorings such as the ones in Jonstown submit to chosen leaders when it comes to whether or not they expand or prosper? How [in]accessible are some of the dangerous secrets in a library like Jonstown? Are certain secrets limited to devotees only, and can only some, or all, be bought at a price of money, or legendary treasure? Do I, as a Lhankor Mhy cultist, need to be Illuminated in order to even consider messing around with God Learning, or other Gloranthan secrets? What are my biggest obstacles in learning and using secrets as an initiate of Lhankor Mhy: My limited knowledge? My cult? Orlanth and his tribe, who would put Lhankor Mhy in his place? Dangerous heroquesting, including Arkati protectors and other enemy heroquesters? tldr: How do you invent new things, expand, and learn secrets as a Sartarite Lhankor Mhy cultist in Glorantha? What obstacles do you face? I think that my player will need many allies and face many obstacles in order to get what he wants in the Hero Wars. I would love to hear your perspectives, and how you handle your Lhankor Mhy cultists, your ambitious players, and your hero wars secrets in your Glorantha.
  7. Hi everyone. I'm relatively new to Glorantha, and I have a lot of questions about particulars of the setting. I'm currently running the HQ Colymar Campaign in 1618. Please let me know if there is a better place or better format for threads like these, and if there are certain tags I should use. The first three questions apply more to Sartar than anything else. If I'm a Sartarite from the Woodpecker clan, and I'm traveling to Jonstown on the trade road, does it make sense to seek out hospitality from every clan whose territory I'm passing through, or are trade roads exempt from this custom? Can hospitality be granted by farmers and herders, or only warriors, or does the chief get involved every time, even for travel? Does the hospitality rite compel you to tell the truth? Is there a safe way to reject hospitality, or to reject greater levels of hospitality than desired? If I only want water and safe passage, for example. If Argrath offers me duty and I want none of that, as another example. How does the hospitality rite vary among Sartarite clans, Orlanthi cultures, or in your Glorantha?
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