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John Biles

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Everything posted by John Biles

  1. And Sartar was then conquered by its enemies pretty quickly afterwards. You could pretty easily make the whole shift the result of Lunars working to wreck Sartar's defenses if you wanted to.
  2. This is Glorantha. All attempts to make major changes to the world just end up causing mass death, so yes. Heroes have the power to change the world but if they use that power, they only break it more.
  3. That presumes a degree of mobility that is often not the case in Glorantha, though probably much of Peloria would be descended from Yelm by now. That would certainly help explain how everyone and their dog has passed the Ten Tests at some point.
  4. Of course he did, but the rules don't care. Pass the tests, you are the legitimate Emperor, even if you barbequed and ate the former Emperor, you dress yourself entirely in dirt, and you like to dress up Yelm statues as Orlanth. This has always been a problem for Dara Happa because lots of people have found ways to pass the tests without being very good Yelmites.
  5. The last Yelmic emperor cuddled up to the Lunars and the Red Emperor took over when he died; every incarnation of the RE passes the 1en tests, making him officially Yelm's chosen Emperor. So the Red Emperor is legitimately Emperor of Dara Happa by its own rules.
  6. The Greeks maintained a group identity for 2000 years of rule by others. It's plausible the Dara Happans could maintain their identity, especially since their identity has magical powers tied to it.
  7. All you have to do to become the Yelmic Emperor is pass the 10 tests, which has been done by a dragon, among other things. Whatever some DH tell themselves about nobility and Yelm, ultimately, you could be born in a cardboard box in a DH garbage dump and still become Emperor if you can beat the tests. I think two big things are going on here. 1. Dara Happa has actually spent much of its history in time being kicked down the stairs and being ruled by outsiders in one way or another. IE, they often didn't have an advantage. 2. The Yelm cult gives them enough unity and there's enough Dara Happan cities that they could often beat up their neighbors because they cooperated; we know the Pelandans have never gotten their act together to unite against foes and everyone else is small, localized cultures that are generally going to be outnumbered. Whenever anything bigger than the DH cities shows up, they get bulldozed - the Unity Council, Pentans, Sheng Seleris, the Lunar Empire itself, a Dragon just taking over for a while, etc, etc.
  8. The Malkioni would not want to believe goddesses were involved. The Man Rune, at the Creator's command, made the first people. Some sects probably assume that the Krjalki were flawed attempts to create men and then humans capstoned creation; others see the Krjalki as the jealous attempt of other runes to create their own humans, who came out warped and twisted.
  9. Belintar was obviously Saruman, jumping universes so no one would know who he was.
  10. The Lunar Empire was Big and Rich and they were not. This no doubt lead to some cultural influence in the area closest to Tarsh and facilitated the whole Yelmalio cult rising thing.
  11. Why do the Vadeli not have any Talars?
  12. Some suggestions, just out of my imagination: They favor tile roofs with overlapping tiles which evoke dragon scales. Further, the most important buildings are shaped like the Beast Rune, since that's also the Dragon rune. Peasant buildings are much like 3rd age Dragon Pass but with draconic imagery painted on them. Buildings favor the color of whatever dragon lives closest.
  13. So is Joy a long-term state? My understanding was that Joy of the Heart was something experienced through Hrestoli practices but which wasn't a permanent state. (I also saw it as being more like a kind of state of, well, joy and being indefagitable)
  14. Keep in mind that PCs get the Escalation Die and their foes do not. 13th Age is set up so the PCs get hammered early in the fight, then do extra hammering later in the fight. IF you use the array rule, you get 17, 15, 14, 13, 12, 10 to spread on stats. Let's say you raise the first two to 19 and 17. Strength 19, Wisdom 17, Con 14, Dex 13., Intelligence 12, Charisma 10. The middle stat of Con/Wisdom/Dex is Con, for a +2. Heavy Armor + Shield + 2 = 18 AC. Which is about as good as a first level char can get due to how the bonuses work. But to quote the rulebook: But Humakt is the god of Death and you’ve noticed that he seems more interested in you slaying his enemies than getting through battles in one piece.
  15. IF you assume the Kingdom of War and Loksalm basically were both reduced to impotence by their war, an easy Lunar conquest seems plausible to me.
  16. HSKH has a map of all the Geo's Inns and a sidebar on their origins and purpose as a refuge for Sartarites. There are 16 on the map and a 17th in Pavis, IIRC. Ahh yes, New Pavis Geo's is on pages 200-1 of Pavis: Gateway to Adventure, and gives more detail on the interior of the inns. And briefly discusses the Geo Hospitality Cult (which just has the Communications rune)
  17. The Glowline doesn't provide permanent Full Moon; it provides Permanent Half Moon, stabilizing Lunar fluctuations which Sheng had exploited. And it doesn't suppress other powers. Given Oraya is not thickly settled and Sheng is, well, Sheng, it's not surprising that he could roll over Oraya like a nightmare tide.
  18. Rokar is an Old Testament style prophet, who goes into the wilderness and comes out sharp as a razor to tell you that you suck and must change your ways or die. Rokar is a logical response to the God-Learners' tendency to say that their will was the whole of the law. Going buck wild = apocalypse. For all his flaws, the Rokari are never going to try and turn everyone in Genertla into one big dragon or sink entire continents or try to wipe out all humans.
  19. Two thoughts: 1. Rokar probably Heroquested to answer some of his questions about what to cut and what not. 2. He likely asked 'Did this lead to God-Learner abuses, like participating in pagan rites?' If so, he sliced it. Removing anything that would justify theistic or animistic practices.
  20. It won't enable you to throw Sunspears on Earth, though. The Rokari use of older concepts is rather like a game of telephone. But the founding moment of the Rokari was Rokar purging the God-Learner holy text to try to purify it to avoid the sins of the God-Learners.
  21. I don't think the goal of the Rokari church is to move to full Brithini practice. The Rokari believe in Solace, which is the goal of the entire system - obey caste law, know eternal bliss after death. The Brithini believe death = erasure, which is why they desperately cling to life in a screwed up world, until they accidentally eat cheesecake, break caste, and die. Further, the ruling elite of Seshnela is all about war and conquest and that's *suicidally stupid* in the Brithini system, because war = a risk of ceasing to exist forever. Whereas, going into battle is part of the job of Talars in Seshnela. So the Rokari are doing it wrong, but in Glorantha, if enough people do it wrong together, it becomes right for them.
  22. I think the Guide is a little bit verballly sloppy when it talks about the Beast Societies. These societies are made up of *Horali*, though each Regiment is pledged to some Talar. And this likely reflects a differing understanding of what exactly Solace is.
  23. Some thoughts on Seshnela: First off, I think it's important to think about the Rokari religion - basically, it says 'stay in your lane and play by these rules for a short human lifespan and then you will spend *eternity* in bliss with the Creator.' That's a pretty hefty prize at the end of your fifty-seventy years of life (assuming you don't die in the first ten years of your life). Different castes see this differently (a peasant basically imagines it being like Heaven or the pure land; a zzabur imagines it as Nirvana), but it's important to see this from the viewpoint of a believer. The degree to which we would call that viewpoint religious instead of sorcerous ranges by caste; the higher the caste, the more philosophical it is instead of religious. Thus, peasants will pray to the Invisible God for help even if it doesn't really do anything and see themselves as being prepared for a heaven. The religious instincts of the horali are focused around their warrior societies. Talars aid certain zzabur ceremonies which aid their territories but basically assume being a good ruler is enough, as they measure goodness. And the Zzabur practice mental disciplines they think will prepare them for Solace. Further, while the Rokari religion is oppressive in the sense of - we are the only legal religion - it isn't Puritanism. Rokari don't reject 'joy', they reject 'Joy'. Which is to say that Joy is a state of union with the divine in the world of the living which brings bliss and spiritual assurance. The Rokari see that as ludicrous. But Rokari have friends, fall in love, throw festivals, get married, love their children, etc. Even peasants, who have it roughest. Further, I have to imagine there is intense competition for status *inside* castes. We already know there are Dukes who are bigger and more important than other Talar. Horali need junior officers and NCOs. Dronars would have things like mayors and town councillors and guild heads and ranks of artisanship. Zzaburs no doubt compete to show who can qualify for various special titles through self-discipline, mastering schools of magic, etc. Also, keep in mind this is like pre-Charlemagne, Post-Roman Europe in the sense that this is a state built by barbarians aping an older civilization. There should be caste practices they are doing wrong because they don't understand the context or where they go overboard. Each caste has a traditional blessing for dinner which must be done before eating, but they don't actually understand what it says. The Beast societies for Warriors have codes which partly make sense, but also have things like commanding them to sacrifice three virgin doves at a certain location once a year and they do it but don't know *why*. Talars are not allowed to eat fish and land animals at the same meal. Why? Because the Sharp Abiding Book says so and Rokar purged the section that explained why. Outsiders are useful because they can break the caste rules *for you* without any blowback to you. The Sharp Abiding Book may forbid you to take up arms against anyone within four blood degrees of you, but Hanzel the Orlanthi can kill your stupid cousin for you. (A major use for outside adventurers is to do things that break caste rules or which are overly dangerous.)
  24. 13th Age Glorantha has a Trickster class which is basically set up on the model that the Trickster's actons blow up in his or her face, but then buff some other party member or provide them a benny. Feckless Strike is where the Trickster attacks with a stuffed doll or a sex toy or a bag of coffee; the attacks do no damage but add to the damage done by the next PC to hit it. Abject Failure - you roll the dice twice on an action, taking the worst result, but giving the better result to an ally later. Fortunate Collision lets the Trickster get beat up in place of their ally. And so on. I did Tricksters in my ongoing series of Glorantha stories as essentially compelled to cause chaos and they either have to do frequent small things to bleed it off, or they can hold it in for a time, but then they do something *really* dumb to make up for it.
  25. Those are pretty templates - where did you get them? The Commander should have some kind of leader ability - maybe when he hits someone with his pistol, other Dwarves get a temporary bonus to hit the target.
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