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GAZZA

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Everything posted by GAZZA

  1. If that's what you took from that, I despair.
  2. Charming dude. Seriously, did you intend to be as offensive as it came out?
  3. I would have thought from a purely practical perspective it would be in Chaosium's best interests to direct followers here rather than Facebook - and that's without even needing to consider more moral positions on the topic. (I'm amongst those who do not have and will not have Facebook accounts).
  4. I probably got it off eBay several years ago - so, maybe? If so, I can assure you it's happy with me.
  5. Some background: last night, I started a new campaign that will kick off with Six Seasons In Sartar (all we did was generate characters last night though). I loathe random ability score generation with the fury of a thousand flaming stars, so the previous RQG campaign I handed out 32 points total to purchase ability scores with according to the following table (from the 3.5D&D SRD): 8: 0 points (free; you can have less than 8 if you like but it doesn't get you more points). 9: 1 point 10: 2 points 11: 3 points 12: 4 points 13: 5 points 14: 6 points 15: 8 points 16: 10 points 17: 13 points 18: 16 points This time around I decided to do something different. I created a series of questions that each player would answer in turn, with the results ending up that they'd get 8-14 for each of their stats in some order (assuming no ties). This costs 21 points according to the table above; I then handed out 15 more points for customisation purposes. (So they ended up with better stats, but more well rounded ones). I leave this here in case it is of interest to anyone: https://tokenskeptic.org/gaz/ If you decide to try it out, a couple of notes: Don't use the Back button at any point (you can use the Previous button at the bottom of the page to go back and review or change answers). Don't refresh the page, that will start the whole quiz again. The order of the questions is randomised, as is the order of the choices on each page. It doesn't store anything - I promise I'm not stealing data or anything nefarious, I just thought it might feasibly be of interest to other GMs or players. If anyone is interested in the questions, or the code, just let me know and I' can supply it (the code was written very quickly rather than for any particular coding standards, as it was tough to think of 35 different questions for my purposes). The way it works: there are 7 ability scores, and each question has 4 different answers that correspond to 4 of the 7. Therefore (7 down 4) there are 35 questions - every possible combination of 4 out of the 7 ability scores has one question for it. Each choice corresponds to one of the ability scores; they are all tallied up, and then at the end of the process the stat you 'voted for' the most gets a 14, second gets 13, and so on down to 8. (I am simplifying slightly by ignoring ties - the program does properly handle ties, but I doubt anyone not interested in looking at the code needs that level of detail). If you do use it and have any suggestions or feedback I'm be happy to hear about it!
  6. If you meet Argrath on the road, kill him.
  7. Erm... yes? I mean, how would you argue otherwise? As I say, you can be evil and not chaotic (though apparently not the reverse); why would you need the distinction if it wasn't something you could detect? Wouldn't you just oppose evil regardless of whether it was a broo or an Uz? Don't most PCs do that anyway? Are you proposing some sort of trolley experiment where PCs have to choose between killing a "merely evil" bunch of marauding bison riders intent on killing one half of your tribe or an "actually chaotic" bunch of broo intent on impregating the other half? Is that something that comes up a lot, and if so is there really a clearly correct choice in any case? Or are you suggesting that some acts, while chaotic, do not appear evil enough to oppose? Could you give an example? I'm just honestly not clear why you think undetectable chaos isn't effectively the same as no chaos - the only way I can see that argument manifesting is if, say, you're arguing that an illuminate can commit a chaotic act without committing an evil one. Which may be true! I just can't think of any examples - as far as I am aware, Glorantha treats Chaos as a superset of Evil, and since something being wrong ought to be a sufficient reason to oppose it, the supernatural element of chaos - if it is undetectable - is at best an unnecessary additional reason to oppose something you should oppose anyway.
  8. Honestly if you just used INT as the limit for manipulation I don't think there would be any issue. But Free INT is just silly - to riff off another example, sure, you can argue that your knowledge of the song doesn't help you to improvise, but knowing lots of songs does not impede it. If anything, the more songs you know, the easier it is to improvise. Of course that analogy was not intended to be perfect and should not be attacked as if it were, but of all the things to keep from RQ3 sorcery I honestly don't know why Free INT was considered a sacred cow. And I'm not going to wade further into the Tusk Rider point; suffice to say that I disagree with the reasoning and leave it at that, MGWV.
  9. Chaotic does not equal Evil; it is sufficient but not required. I have absolutely no problem saying Ralazakark is not Chaotic, and no magic can ever prove me to be wrong about that. He's evil, certainly.
  10. Do they not know the tales of Arkat then? Isn't the fact of Arkat's illumination pretty obvious (joining multiple cults, no spirits of reprisal)? Or do most non-Illuminates assume Arkat was just lucky to have avoided the spirits of reprisal somehow? Arkat pretty obviously couldn't have been a Lunar illuminate since the Lunars weren't a thing back then. And given Orlanth's general aversion to dragons I'd say there's a decent reason to believe that the EWF had a fair few illuminates too (in that one would imagine a cult like Orlanth the Dragon couldn't be worshipped otherwise) - is their history not known? I'm not sure if the God Learners were illuminates (they didn't strictly have to be, if they were sorcerers rather than members of divine cults, so they wouldn't have had spirits of reprisal to worry about). In essence, how much of Gloranthan history is your average (say) Sartarite aware of? I was always of the opinion that the answer was "basically all of it, in a general sense". So a Sartarite wouldn't know the details of the Yelmalion Sun Dome Temple in Prax, or exactly how Nysalor invoked the Curse of Kin... but they would know that Arkat existed, and what he did, and that there were two empires in the Second Age (the Jrusteli and the EWF), and at least vague details of what they were about (if only to avoid repeating their mistakes). Of course they wouldn't know of any particular mechanism to attain illumination - even most Lunars probably don't know many Riddlers - but, well, I'm not an astrophysicist, and yet I do know that the discipline of astrophysics exists and (very broadly) what sorts of things an astrophysicist might be expected to know. Of course I live in the 21st century's Information Age, so I'm open to the idea that most Heortlings don't know much about history. I'd just never heard that suggested before.
  11. Maybe I'm missing something, but I thought that illuminates were, pretty much by definition, not Chaotic. Storm Bull's Sense Chaos? Nope. A Detect Chaos matrix? Nada. If it's a "by their actions shall ye know them" sort of thing, then I suppose you could find evidence that they were a Thanatari or whatever, but I would imagine Thatatar has no more love for illuminated cultists than Orlanth does (since illuminates only join Thanatar for the sweet, sweet, powers - some of them use them against chaos, the do-gooding scoundrels). Not all bad guys are Chaotic. Even if you think illuminates are scum with no exceptions, that really only means that you consider illuminates to be just as bad/worse than Chaos (a defensible position!), not that they are Chaos.
  12. It was, and it was fairly trivial for even a beginning sorcerer to have enough Presence to keep a couple of high intensity spells up which is why I never really bought the idea that it was intended to nerf sorcerers (and to be fair I don't think even Sandy created his rules with that intention). I do like Presence as the sort of unusual mechanic that gives sorcery a unique flavour. The main issue with my suggestion of RQG sorcery manipulation being limited to Skill / 10 is that it would significantly nerf sorcerers. With Free INT 18 you can have up to 18 intensities of manipulation; let's say, Strength 7 and Duration 12 for a weekly duration spell. An equivalent Sandy sorcery spell would need to be at 61% (as you always rounded up for manipulation limits in that system), which is fine for a starting character, but under the RQG rules sans Presence you'd need 171% which is a bit beyond the pale. So you might decide to make it skill / 5, which brings that down to a more reasonable 86% (easily achievable for a starting character in RQG); however, then you face the opposite problem of combat spells now being able to get chucked around at Strength 19... although I guess a starting RQG character can do that anyway, so maybe that's OK? I dunno, I'm not a game designer, and it's a lot easier to tear down than build up. No Free INT for sorcery isn't a hill I'd care to die on, it's not really that big a deal anymore than the RQ3 core sorcery rules were (any rules that can result in Arlaten are obviously workable IMO; I did convert him over to Sandy's system once, and it was surprisingly similar in overall effect).
  13. Oops, yes, I did mean RQG. Sorry about that. I'm not saying that having a high INT isn't useful in RQG for non-sorcerers - but, if you use a point based system (which I do for my campaign) it is no longer as attractive as it was in RQ3 (where it was a limit on spirit magic skills too). I've had a couple of players in my campaign go with INT 8, and while I wouldn't necessarily advocate that, it's playable. (Again, assuming you're not a sorcerer). Even INT 9 is enough to avoid any penalties in RQG I believe.
  14. I can see it both ways. The Family History section is a good way to get steeped in Gloranthan history and it's fun to figure out what your ancestors were up to (it's fun in Pendragon as well, which is presumably where they got the idea). My group used a variant (the previous history rules that can be found in the JC) to start my Prax game set in 1615 (which unfortunately I'm having to abandon, as one of my players and long time friends passed away, and none of us feel like continuing that campaign without him). I will likely be using the normal rules to start a new campaign with Six Seasons In Sartar this weekend. On the other hand, there is something to be said for the "jump right in" approach that gets your character creation out of the way ASAP so that the Gloranthan stuff can be absorbed organically. Again referring to my Prax campaign, none of the family history that was created really "mattered" once the game started. Though let's be fair, the extended family history, while an excellent resource, is not geared towards the Sartar 1625 setting the way that the core rules are, so it's reasonable to argue that's more my fault (as the GM) than any fault of the rules.
  15. I would assume so; I can't see any way a sorcerer can get access to all the manipulation skills otherwise. And yes, I always thought that Arlaten was a great example of an NPC (mind you that can be said for pretty much everyone in Strangers in Prax - that was one of the best supplements during the RQ Renaissance).
  16. Free INT was still in Sandy's system, it was perhaps a little less important, but it was still there. However, it wasn't used as a limit on manipulation, which is the point in question; those limits were based on your skill level with the particular spell. You could likely have used INT instead of Free INT for Sandy's system without any real loss of precision. (Personally I have never really been convinced that Sandy's system was better than the core system - but it certainly was no worse; for the record, though, I really never got the hate for RQ3's sorcery system, it certainly wasn't anything to do with Free INT). RQG sorcery pretty much is RQ3's sorcery's system - the alterations with Runes and so on are not significant to what everyone complained about (which seemed to be mostly about the Duration manipulation, and that's absolutely still there). I have no particular problem with RQG's sorcery system but it's funny to see it get a pass when it is so very similar to the RQ3 version - it certainly has more in common with RQ3 than Sandy's system. As far as CHA making more sense than INT for spirit magic - eh, fair enough. I mean, you couldn't have based it on CHA in RQ3, since CHA wasn't a thing (and APP -> CHA is not a mere name change, though unfortunately that seems to have been overlooked for Tusk Riders... but that is an argument that I seem to be alone in). INT has turned out to be basically a "dump stat" in RQ3 unless you're a sorcerer (and as you point out, right now very few PCs will be) as other than a couple of skill modifiers it doesn't really affect much, whereas the CHA 18 requirement for Rune Lord status along with it being the limit for both spirit magic and Rune Points makes CHA something that all PCs should aspire to have a high value in. (Although of course CHA can be increased and INT cannot). If I were in the mood to make a suggestion, I might suggest that having INT as the maximum number of sorcery spells you could know (excluding matrices and similar) and the manipulation limit based on your skill level / 10 (or / 5 for specialists - the same as it was for Sandy's system) might work, though Sandy's system could ignore Duration while RQG sorcery cannot, so perhaps some other adjustment is better. That would have the result that beginning sorcerers with 18 INT and one spell at 5% couldn't cast it at intensity 17 1 in 20 times, but there are plenty of people that would argue that denying that possibility would make the system worse (and I'm not even sure I would disagree with them). That's why I say I don't have the answers - I just note that Free INT seems like a very strange mechanic.
  17. Well, prior to RQG, spirit magic was INT based as well (which seems fair to point out in a thread about RQ3). Published sorcerers for RQ3 almost never had any spells memorised - for example, the dude in Strangers in Prax, the one in Griffin Island (not strictly speaking Gloranthan but easily convertable)... and you can see why. You are literally making your spells less powerful if you keep them in memory (which is still the case in RQG). I'm not suggesting I have the answers. But it is a pretty weird and unique mechanic that I'm honestly not sure reflects anything "in world" very well. YGMV.
  18. That sounds exactly like a scenario from Elder Secrets.
  19. To me, that comparison undermines your position. We have languages in RQ, and you can learn as many as you like even if you have an INT of 8. Similarly, to the extent that sciences exist in Glorantha there are Lore skills, and again - there is no limit to those based on INT. (You will be better at learning them if you're smart, sure, but you're not penalised for Speak Heortling if you also know Mineral Lore and Speak Seaspeech). INT is not used as a limit for skills anywhere except for sorcery. So it's a fair question as to why that's the case, if indeed sorcery spells are "just" another type of skill you can learn. The analogous limit is CHA for spirit magic, where the more charismatic you are, the more spirits you can convince to hang around you and let you channel their magic; perhaps the Free INT really represents some sort of Lovecraftian insanity, whereby the more spells you memorise the harder it is to think at all - but then, one would have to wonder why it only affected your ability to cast sorcery spells. I mean, the obvious "real" reason it's there is as a mechanical limit similar to the Rune Points and Spirit Magic caps. But it feels a lot more artificial than those, because while there is a hard limit to the number of spirit magic points you can "memorise" they do not otherwise reduce your ability to cast those spells (and similarly for Rune Points), whereas in effect Free INT does. I'm not saying I have any ideas on how to change this , but where a powerful shaman is likely to have a full CHA worth of spells, a powerful priest is likely to have their full CHA of Rune Points, a powerful sorcerer will ideally have zero memorised sorcery spells and have all of his magic available via inscriptions. I can't be the only one who thinks that feels weird.
  20. Note that a discorporate shaman can still scout - they're just not invisible while they do it. This is still a very useful ability, if somewhat less useful.
  21. Well, somebody destroyed somebody. Let's not forget the cult of Arkat Gbaji after all.
  22. In a practical sense, isn't all we're really interested in is "how much money do the PCs have to spend?" As such, the idea that priests and rune lords have less than initiates is a bit, well, weird. I'm not really sure that the whole tithing thing really adds much to the game - and even less to the world building (case in point: Storm Khans. They have the same tithing requirements as any Rune Lord has, but then it says they can go around and direct how that money gets spent since they rule the religion. So what exactly have we achieved here except some meaningless accounting?) Honestly if you just sort of ignore the money and time requirements for Rune levels very little is lost. About the only thing they are reasonable controls for is stopping PCs from having 20 cults at once, but there are other more reasonable ways to do that.
  23. Pointing at a sword, "You know how to use that thing?" "Sure, pointy bit goes into the other bloke."
  24. Yeah I have to admit it beggars belief to me that someone could look at the Orlanth Rune magic and conclude that they were weak. Quantity alone seems to disprove that, and outside of a shamanistic cult they get great spirit magic too (especially when you realise they can get it from their associated cults as well). Ernalda isn't so much a weak cult as it is less combat focused, but it's a great support cult (a lot of decent healing magic that doesn't need any CA type restrictions to join).
  25. Even if you're gearing up to do something on the Cradle it doesn't really matter. Firstly, the destination isn't as fixed as it seems (once you start play, the PCs can and possibly will throw a wrench into any so-called pre-ordained events). Secondly, even if you do have the destination fixed (a little more rail-roadie than I prefer as a GM, but to each their own) the journey is the fun part, not the ending; to reference the SW prequel trilogy (which were certainly bad, though I would argue we no longer live in a universe where the prequel trilogy are the worst SW movies - but I digress) just because you know where Anakin will end up doesn't mean that the tale of how he gets there isn't worth telling. Nobody really believed the Rebels would eventually lose in the original trilogy, after all - broken down to their most basic elements, most fiction isn't wildly unpredictable. The details matter, and you can still make meaningful choices. That said there is a lot of Glorantha mythos and history for new players to absorb, no question. Even worse for new GMs.
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