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Videopete

Lithic Weapons and Griffon Mountain

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The one thing that I think is interesting as I read griffin mountain, are the hints that the Balazarings cant make fire.  Hearth Mother the cult that maintains the home, is the one implied to manage fire.  There is a piece of equipment that can store fire or embers from the hearth.  The noblility worship yelamino(sp is wrong) god of light but not yelm who has fire in his perview. That makes that altar with the trapped fire godess very important, as that can be a quest for making fire.

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Getting back to Balazar-proper, I think we've established that there's a host of neolithic tools (including weapons) at characters' disposal, but let's not forget about that other prime attraction of this land:  Dogs and the cult of Brother Dog.

I actually got to play in Balazar at the time that Griffin Mountain was first published, and though I resisted the setting at first ("No, Ian, there's no reason your character would be wielding a grain flail as a weapon when he comes from a hunter-gatherer society."), I eventually got into it when I discovered the near-symbiotic relationship some Balazaring hunters have with their dogs.  This was a blast, and added immense flavor to our game.

Here's a little primer from the (ironically named?) Art of Manliness website on hunting with dogs:

https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/a-primer-on-hunting-with-dogs/

The breeds described are certainly more specialised than any found in Balazar, but the hunting behaviors are doubtless in place.  My character's two dogs were a large, burly hound and smaller, slighter pointer.  I recall pumping a lot of effort into being able to keep up with them, and then protecting them in a fight.  Xenohealing!

!i!

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2 hours ago, Crel said:

What about magic horns? As folk are fond of saying around here, Earth ain't the Lozenge. Bonus upside of no tree-people getting grouchy 'cuz your atlatl's made from their great-great-grandpa's shin.r

Instead, you get beef with the ancestor of whichever beast you are hunting with material carved from its horns. Only antlers are shed without the bearer losing its life. Horns of any other creature are taked from its dead body.

2 hours ago, Crel said:

Plus, IIRC magically handled bone & wood is presented in the Guide and other sources as a crafting staple in Prax & other primitive culture groups. I remember something about a Rhino-bone lance in Plunder?

I did laud the qualities of bone over horn, didn't I?

A rhino horn works as a ram because of the shape. A stag's antlers can be as bad for royal health as can be a boar's tusks when going a-hunting, as the Plantagenet lords of England could tell a tale. But the antler isn't too likely to survive that attack, either. It is the differece between a wasp's sting and a bee's sting.

 

2 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

Balazar remains the primitive backwater that it is precisely because no one's changed the magical nature of the land since Balazar himself perished.

And that is prime fodder for a Griffin Mountain campaign!

Sure. This is something you can tackle if you want to do something else than participate in the Hero Wars, or - more likely - experience the semi-satisfaction of a job half-done left to your descendants like Balazar did when he realized he wouldn't return from the Dragonkill War. (However brief that realization may have been...)

 

Speaking of Blank Lands: the concept was dropped. All places designated as blank lands in Genertela Book or Missing Lands have received an official story in the Guide.

You are still free to ignore any such detail information and overwrite or rewrite it for your campaign. It just makes sharing this a bit harder if you dreamt of submitting some official material.

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

Sure. This is something you can tackle if you want to do something else than participate in the Hero Wars...

Quite the opposite -- I was envisioning a returning son or daughter of Balazar, flush with experience from down south (or up north!), bringing the Hero Wars home to upturn the status quo.  How are you going to keep them down in the swinegart after they've seen the lights of Corflu?

4 hours ago, Joerg said:

...or - more likely - experience the semi-satisfaction of a job half-done left to your descendants like Balazar did when he realized he wouldn't return from the Dragonkill War. 

That's Old Age thinking!  Now that the game's opened up the Hero Wars and heroquesting to actual play, I reckon the sky's the limit for player-characters and canon-be-damned.  I'm through watching published NPCs have all the fun.

!i!

Edited by Ian Absentia
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11 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Yes please do @Jeff, et al. What are official blank lands, if there are any?

There are no blank lands. See the Guide.

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16 hours ago, Videopete said:

The one thing that I think is interesting as I read griffin mountain, are the hints that the Balazarings cant make fire.  Hearth Mother the cult that maintains the home, is the one implied to manage fire.  There is a piece of equipment that can store fire or embers from the hearth. 

The Balazarings can make fire just as in most cultures. In RQG terms Hearth Mother (along with Help Woman amongst the Praxians) is Earth Witch, who in turn is another mask of the Earth Goddesses. One of her associated spirits is Mahome who gives her the Ignite spell. Almost anyone can light a fire but Mahome provides the magic to do so. 

Their Dawn home at Arau in the Dog Hills has a cool fire marker -

1674811191_Screenshot2019-08-09at12_58_10.png.e0e43a77e931c9455061ef1bf4bfb1b6.png

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14 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

Quite the opposite -- I was envisioning a returning son or daughter of Balazar, flush with experience from down south (or up north!), bringing the Hero Wars home to upturn the status quo.  How are you going to keep them down in the swinegart after they've seen the lights of Corflu?

The world is imploding around them (parts of Balazar still recover from the Windstop), and while mercenaries can make a fortune on either side of the conflict, worse times are coming.

Sure, a determined leader can build where everything around him destroys - one of my favorite historical characters is Duke Friedrich of Gottorf who founded a successful city and sponsored a trade expedition to Persia in the middle of the Thirty Years War.

14 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

That's Old Age thinking!  Now that the game's opened up the Hero Wars and heroquesting to actual play, I reckon the sky's the limit for player-characters and canon-be-damned.  I'm through watching published NPCs have all the fun.

That's not what I was saying, and neither what your suggestion to magically change the nature of the land implies. IIRC Balazar spent about 40 years of his life in the land named after him before dying in the Dragonkill War. Sartar worked on his legacy for 50 years. Any quester in Balazar has about 25 years before the excrement collides with the ventilator, with numerous intermittent disturbances.

Yes, you can have side-quests that take spotlight away from Harrek, Jar-eel, Argrath or young Phargentes. But any of these can be your personal Dragonkill experience. The Hero Wars are coming, and the long peace of near death will follow.

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1 hour ago, Bill the barbarian said:

...I had not thought to look in the guide... Thanx!

The Guide is vast, and we are small.  I haven't read it cover-to-cover, either, and missed that bit.  In retrospect, though, I think I already knew it.

!i!

Edited by Ian Absentia
Damned autofill

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10 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

The Guide is vast, and we are small.  I haven't ready it cover-to-cover, either, and missed that bit.  In retrospect, though, I think I already knew it.

 

Heh, very zen!

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Hornfels and Chert were also favored materials for making stone blades in the Neolithic period.  Both are very tough.  The Maoris favored Jadeite when making their patu (clubs).  The body of Otzi the neolithic man found in the glacier was carrying a properly hafted dagger made of chert.

Stone age weapons can include a number of others that didn't make the previous lists, including nets, slings, fustibalus, mauls,  harpoons etc.   Even, potentially, a pole axe or pike might be made, with a standard axe head, perhaps surmounted by a spear tip, but as the neolithic wasn't typically a time of massed armies such weapons wouldn't be common.

While stone blades can be immensely sharp, even having a single micron edge, these items don't typically fare well against metal armor.  I would recommend raising the armor points of bronze and iron armor when facing flint weapons.

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39 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

not sure if that will keep one from being gregged for long. Yer mileage, and all that...

Cheers

It will emerge reasonably soon, and at that point, I would assume we get a description.

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Just a thought to put out there. 

On 8/9/2019 at 3:09 AM, Jeff said:

There are no blank lands. See the Guide.

However, there is a sense that Sartar, Prax, Lunar Tarsh, the Holy Country and the Lunar Empire and the lands surrounding them are very well much in development and are deeply involved in the Hero Wars. Many may be wanting material to base a campaign on. If that material takes too long, gms not willing to take the chance of doing something that will contradict the official lands, then they may look for a place where they may set their own campaign.  If you tell them there is no place to do so, then some (hopefully a small minority) will look elsewhere and perhaps an alternative system to create.

Griffin Mountain was epic in that there was the skeleton of an area and general guidelines, but gm's could create their own stories.

Is there such a place in the new RQG?

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2 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

Griffin Mountain was epic in that there was the skeleton of an area and general guidelines, but gm's could create their own stories.

Is there such a place in the new RQG?

Once you are through with the three scenarios in the adventure book and the one from the quickstart, the adventure book does provide a Colymar Lands sandbox.

The Guide does provide a finer mesh than the Genertela Box for most (but not all) of Glorantha - the East and the South have significant gaps.

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7 hours ago, Darius West said:

... fustibalus ...

Thank you!

I hadn't seen this name for the "staff sling" before.  I also discover "cheiromangana" and "hand trebuchet"  😁

Apparently this item is known from greco-roman times through early gunpowder, but mostly is only rarely mentioned, so we have a limited grasp of historical prevalence & usage.

 

My preliminary Googl'ing doesn't find it in most neolithic & mesolithic contexts.  Maybe I just have weak Google-fu...

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16 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

Just a thought to put out there. 

However, there is a sense that Sartar, Prax, Lunar Tarsh, the Holy Country and the Lunar Empire and the lands surrounding them are very well much in development and are deeply involved in the Hero Wars. Many may be wanting material to base a campaign on. If that material takes too long, gms not willing to take the chance of doing something that will contradict the official lands, then they may look for a place where they may set their own campaign.  If you tell them there is no place to do so, then some (hopefully a small minority) will look elsewhere and perhaps an alternative system to create.

Griffin Mountain was epic in that there was the skeleton of an area and general guidelines, but gm's could create their own stories.

Is there such a place in the new RQG?

As Joerg noted, there are a number of story hooks in the Guide. These are not very detailed, usually only a few lines with a few names, a looming or ongoing conflict, and some local places of interest, so I don't know how skilled a GM would need to be to chart scenarios and stat all of it, though.

Examples:
- Loskalm vs. Kingdom of War, with Akem and Jonatela in the balance.
- Ongoing city-state rivalries in central Ralios.
- Rising tensions between the Quinpolic League and the rest of Seshnela.
- Maybe something in Talastar or even Brolia, especially with the coming thaw of Charg in mind.
- The ongoing colonization in the Redlands, and the conflict between Storm- and Solar-worshippers among the Pentans.

Some of these are probably going to be a lot more amenable to play that others, but these are some of the very, very general plot hooks/contexts in the vicinity of central Genertela I could think of (ie. not including the Wastes, the East or Pamaltela, or even the Jrustelan archipelago.). The Guide goes somewhat more in detail than this, but not by a whole massive lot.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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Maybe I was not being clear enough in the regard of Blank lands.

If there are no blank lands, and no area books coming out, how does one create a campaign that won't step on Chaosium's toes in the future by creating something that they will contradict later? I liked the idea of running a campaign where it would not do so, although I understand the reluctance because of problems later on.

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1 hour ago, Hzark10 said:

Maybe I was not being clear enough in the regard of Blank lands.

If there are no blank lands, and no area books coming out, how does one create a campaign that won't step on Chaosium's toes in the future by creating something that they will contradict later? I liked the idea of running a campaign where it would not do so, although I understand the reluctance because of problems later on.

Go somewhere remote. Given the bottlenecks involved in releasing Glorantha publications, the chances to see anything official published on certain backwaters within your life-time aren't that high, as Chaosium has a number of priority targets lined up.

Ralios appears to be rather off their radar at the moment, so the East Wilds appear to be a rather safe place to play around with Orlanthi stuff, far enough from that nasty Arkat business.

Of course, if you want to interact with the Hero Wars, your campaign will necessarily touch upon stuff that Chaosium will produce eventually.

Chaosium's toes are steel-capped - your campaign being different won't even register as an impact. But I think what you are really worried about is Chaosium's toes and attached heel trampling into your campaign area and contradicting your details.

There are a few ways to deal with that. One is to ignore anything that contradicts your campaign. Don't use that particular part of that product. One way is to rewrite either side of the material (or both) to create a compromise that allows both Chaosium's continuity and your campaign's continuity to coexist - that's a lot of work, though.

The easiest way is to start a different campaign using Chaosium's material should it impact your campaign, and rope in your old characters as modified NPCs or to give them a heroic ascension. They could become patron deity/allied spirit of your new characters if your players want to keep the carry-over. In MMORPG terms or insertion fiction terms, a cheat.

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On 8/14/2019 at 1:35 PM, Hzark10 said:

Is there such a place in the new RQG?

I went for Talastar - while Dorastor is pretty defined, Talastar and Biliniland aren't.

Or as Joerg says, Ralios.

Anadiki and Brolia are such backwaters that they're unlikely ever to get very defined.

If you want to move far away, there are surely East Isles that are going to be safe for a long, long time!

Edited by Akhôrahil

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10 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

Maybe I was not being clear enough in the regard of Blank lands.

If there are no blank lands, and no area books coming out, how does one create a campaign that won't step on Chaosium's toes in the future by creating something that they will contradict later? I liked the idea of running a campaign where it would not do so, although I understand the reluctance because of problems later on.

You could also go the Griffon Island route and drop a large island on some Ocean. Or just pick some area that you like and do with it what you want to. YGMV

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10 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

If there are no blank lands, and no area books coming out, how does one create a campaign that won't step on Chaosium's toes in the future by creating something that they will contradict later? I liked the idea of running a campaign where it would not do so, although I understand the reluctance because of problems later on.

I've run into a similar problem lately, since I want to run a published non-RQ campaign for my players within our RQG game, which actually has landmass stuff that matters.

My solution is that I'm yoinking them out of Time on a heroquest. I'm currently thinking they'll go to the Puzzle Canal in the Rubble during Sacred Time (which IIRC Pavis and Big Rubble states is weird and mutable at that time, and can send you sailing to the Underworld) and have certain actions to do, possibly drawing from LBQ (like rejecting the Great Compromise). Once outside time, they have an artifact which will draw them to the correct broken shard, where its other half lies. Then I can run that campaign (Raven's Purge from Fria Ligan, if you're curious) until they succeed or die. I haven't made up a way to get home--that's their problem!

That won't really give you a "nestled homeland" feel, but if you want to get outside Glorantha's very detailed geography, that's how I'm planning to do it. If it helps.

The island idea is simpler and probably better. You could probably fit a pretty sizable landmass somewhere in the Homeward Ocean without a lot of trouble. 

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Honestly I always treated metaplot as one varient of how things can go down. Kind of a "no fate but what we make" suggestion.  I dont think we even think we played a cannon star wars campaign.  I cant tell how many times we killed Skywalker on purpose or even accidentlty or just failed at being a bothan spy.  Eventaully our GM either stoped including famous events or played in whaf I called the broken galaxy, where every one lost and the entire galaxy balkanized.

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41 minutes ago, Videopete said:

I cant tell how many times we killed Skywalker on purpose or even accidentlty

the new Star Wars game - okay it's not really that new now, but whatever - has a textbox that just says you should remove the events of the movies and their characters and just find a different story for how the Emperor happened. At best, keep like Leia or whomever as a hero-ideal ("I heard the Princess was on board!") but not really interact with except maybe to glimpse or hear the voice of long enough to get urgent orders. Something about the protags sucking the fun out of the room.

They even give ideas for alternative Emperors, some of which I recall are deeply sinister takes.

I was deeply impressed with their Radicalist playstyle in what is literally an official game release: delete everything but the ideas, and maybe deeply poison the ideas.

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