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smiorgan

Reading the bestiary...

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Edit: in this thread I collect my first impressions of the Glorantha Bestiary. Entries are in no particular order and may be light in tone and slightly otiose. Caveat lector! 

 

Where have weapon snakes gone?

😉

Edited by smiorgan

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1 hour ago, smiorgan said:

I thought they were sword and mace...😁

That could be why actually: snakes, as creatures of Earth, should in theory be associated with axes. Swords are weapons of Air, and maces of Darkness.

But an 'axe-snake' would look silly, so that's probably why they've been dropped in favour of more traditional pythons etc.

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1 hour ago, smiorgan said:

Dancers in Darknessďťż are cool. Great for giving the Humakti a "D&D cleric moment" showing them the holy symbol. Where can I read more about their association with Delecti?

 

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51 minutes ago, Sumath said:

That could be why actually: snakes, as creatures of Earth, should in theory be associated with axes. Swords are weapons of Air, and maces of Darkness.

But an 'axe-snake' would look silly, so that's probably why they've been dropped in favour of more traditional pythons etc.

Greg and I both disliked weapon snakes. So we dropped them all.

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29 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Greg and I both disliked weapon snakes. So we dropped them all.

I remember the 19 years old me - fascinated by Glorantha as a serious, deep, fantasy and by RQ as a "realistic" system - hating weapon snakes with a passion while I was reading Snakepipe Hollow. Now I kind of like them...  

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1 hour ago, Sumath said:

But an 'axe-snake' would look silly, so that's probably why they've been dropped in favour of more traditional pythons etc.

As if sword and mace snakes weren't silly looking... 😃 But, yes axe ones are nigh impossible...

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Very good vibes from the format of monster stats. It's impressive how the RQ2 stats, once put in a modern layout, look modern and sleek. One score for attack and parry simplifies further. Parsimonious listing of skills and runes.  Incomplete creatures reinforce the impression of compactness. 

I have picked up RQ3 and RQ6 - both excellent systems - for a comparison. The RQ3 stat block is decidely more complex, with double hit location chart, fatigue and a few other bits. RQ6 has more skills, due to how the system works. Over the years I grew liking simpler things more and more, and the stats in the RQG look eminently gameable to me.

Should I know that a skeleton has 57% Perception? Maybe not. Opposed rolls are overrated. I can just have the PCs roll their Move Quietly or decide that the skeleton magically animates whenever someone enters the Vivamort temple, silently or not.

I was somewhat fearful that RQG extended the complexity of PC's stats to monsters. Luckily it is not the case. We do have PC info for relevant races (as in RQ3) but not more complexity than needed.

 

Edited by smiorgan

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5 hours ago, smiorgan said:

Dancers in Darkness are cool. Great for giving the Humakti a "D&D cleric moment" showing them the holy symbol. Where can I read more about their association with Delecti?

Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes (available @ chaosium.com) will be your source for some great stuff about the dancers of darkness and their boss (not Delecti) here.

Cheers

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3 hours ago, smiorgan said:

I remember the 19 years old me - fascinated by Glorantha as a serious, deep, fantasy and by RQ as a "realistic" system - hating weapon snakes with a passion while I was reading Snakepipe Hollow. Now I kind of like them...  

We didn't see them as being Glorantha or RuneQuest. And also we both thought snakes were pretty cool.

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Back to the Bestiary...

The skeleton is really cool. Great minion monster. I'd like to use it with novice players. Let them discover the head strike trick. And then have them meet skeletons in numbers, later when their characters are more experienced ... Great Ray Harryhausen sequences... 

Contrary to RQ3, no damage penalties for thrusting weapons. That could have been easy to add.

Vampires and skeletons make me think of the old Hellpits of Nightfang module...maybe it is worth re-Gloranthifying it.

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, smiorgan said:

Back to the Bestiary...

The skeleton is really cool. Great minion monster. I'd like to use it with novice players. Let them discover the head strike trick. And then have them meet skeletons in numbers, later when their characters are more experienced ... Great Ray Harryhausen sequences... 

Contrary to RQ3, no damage penalties for thrusting weapons. That could have been easy to add.

Vampires and skeletons make me think of the old Hellpits of Nightfang module...maybe it is worth re-Gloranthifying it.

We deliberately dropped the thrust weapon penalties - as they were really fiddly (and I recall my buddy Mike O'Connor demonstrating how silly they were in practice).

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3 hours ago, Jeff said:

We deliberately dropped the thrust weapon penalties - as they were really fiddly (and I recall my buddy Mike O'Connor demonstrating how silly they were in practice).

Understandable. If I recall correctly it was "No damage unless it's an impale" - which is kind of funny if you try to visalize an impaled skeleton.

On the other hand, I can live without a penalty for thrusting weapons because I can imagine someone with a spear disrupting a skeleton with a thrust and shake motion. Impale results remain hard to visualize...

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A Glorantha Bestiary review on rpg.net 

https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/18/18248.phtml

It is largely positive with some critical remarks.

Unlike the reviewer, I do not miss a ton of Pamaltelan monsters. I have had them for ages in my RQ3 Gloranthan Bestiary and never used them. I'm glad that the book focuses on the core Genertelan setting and especially Dragon Pass + Prax. And I'm happy there is sufficient information on cults for Elder races and other sentient creatures.

Rhino men can wait for Bestiary 2.  For now, Telmori and Agimori are more important. 

 

Edited by smiorgan
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21 minutes ago, smiorgan said:

A Glorantha Bestiary review on rpg.net 

https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/18/18248.phtml

It is largely positive with some critical remarks.

Unlike the reviewer, I do not miss a ton of Pamaltelan monsters. I have had them for ages in my RQ3 Gloranthan Bestiary and never used them. I'm glad that the book focuses on the core Genertelan setting and especially Dragon Pass + Prax. And I'm happy there is sufficient information on cults for Elder races and other sentient creatures.

Rhino men can wait for Bestiary 2.  For now, Telmori and Agimori are more important. 

 

It was a strange review IMO. I made a very deliberate decision not to include Pamaltelan or Jrusteli or even Teshnite/Kralorelan monsters unless they are likely to appear in the "core lands". And other creatures he seemed upset about not appearing may not actually exist in Glorantha.

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2 hours ago, Jeff said:

It was a strange review IMO. I made a very deliberate decision not to include Pamaltelan or Jrusteli or even Teshnite/Kralorelan monsters unless they are likely to appear in the "core lands". And other creatures he seemed upset about not appearing may not actually exist in Glorantha.

I too have no problem with this approach. It makes sense to focus your efforts on the areas of Glorantha for which material is being produced. And also you need to save some material to go in the (hopefully) inevitable supplements for different locations. Perhaps in a few years there might be an argument for a grand Bestiary to collate all added creatures into one book, much like the CoC Grand Grimoire of spells, but it’s not necessary now. 

The reviewer is right on one thing though – it can be hard to find a creature if you don’t know what section it’s in. My only plea for a future reprint is to fill out the ToC with the monsters in each section. I know there’s an index, but it’s easier to go from the front, for us righties anyway, though left handers may have a different opinion. Oh, and the cover is a bit dark which doesn’t make the most of the lovely detail in the image, which is hardly a problem. 

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12 minutes ago, Kloster said:

A separate list or table compiling races that can be used as PC can also be useful.

Back cover page:

Quote

Inside, you’ll find:
• Guidance for non-human adventurer creation, covering the many types of elves and dwarfs, centaurs, dark trolls, great trolls, trollkin, Telmori werewolves, Men-and-a-half, and ducks.

+ baboons, minotaurs, morokanths.

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4 hours ago, smiorgan said:

Unlike the reviewer, I do not miss a ton of Pamaltelan monsters. I have had them for ages in my RQ3 Gloranthan Bestiary and never used them. I'm glad that the book focuses on the core Genertelan setting and especially Dragon Pass + Prax. And I'm happy there is sufficient information on cults for Elder races and other sentient creatures.

The only complaint I've had is that the animals noted for familiars aren't in the bestiary as noted (Family Heirloom table, p.83). Cats, lizards, birds, etc. We've kind of got birds with vrok hawks, but there's no small lizards or a housecat type critter, which was a nuisance when my player rolled a familiar then I went looking for stats on it! :D

There's some places where I also wish the spirits chapter was a bit more thorough, but the extent I would want is probably unreasonable. Still, trying to randomize CHA from 1D3 to 3D6+3 (Animal Spirits, p.167) is kind of a pain in the neck compared to their POW (roll 1d4 for 1D6 to 4D6, then roll result). More support for randomly generating spirits would make my life as a GM easier.

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54 minutes ago, Kloster said:

A separate list or table compiling races that can be used as PC can also be useful.

AFAICT, in the Bestiary, it's all the Elder races that are playable as PCs, with some info on how to go about filling up your character sheet on p.6 or so (it even says you wouldn't get a race-appropriate family background, but that it's coming in future supplements.... :D ). Everything else in the Bestiary seems to be NPC only (monsters, chaos creatures, and animals).

On the subject of the Bestiary (and, in general, the RQG line) being focused on Dragon Pass, I'm also happy with that choice. I'd rather have focused/in-depth books that are useful now (and expanded later with other books focusing on other regions), rather than broad, vague books that cover the entire world but are half-useless because my players won't be travelling all across the world any time soon, if ever.

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