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Akhôrahil

Some thoughts on the Rattling Wind (spoilers)

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[MY APOLOGIES - I INADVERTENTLY EDITED THIS ORIGINAL POST WHILE MEANING TO REPLY TO IT. I'LL SEE IF I CAN REVERT IT. -  JD] 

 

Why do the three main NPCs, seemingly solid and upstanding members of society, have only a 250L ransom, where 500L would usually be expected? Because of crippling injuries? The risk that they may be cursed? 

Ransom is what others will pay. The suggested ransoms from the core book are for player characters at the beginning of their careers, full of potential and strongly connected to their families. The three NPCs are from a tiny place in the middle of nowhere, and no one they know can afford to pay roughly eight and a half years' living expenses apiece to ransom them. 

An Enchanted Iron Kopis is worth only 100L? That sounds shockingly cheap.

A mildly enchanted iron kopis that screams "stolen" and invites all sorts of questions that a humble village redsmith might not wish to answer.  

I pity the poor ducks who have only one rune point but still picked a cost-2 rune spell. Silly ducks!

Good catch. The other two were supposed to have 2 Rune points. 

Being able to destroy the Rattling Wind with just a single, simple, non-resistible Dispel Magic 4 seems like asking for an anticlimax. 

I'll take another look at that. The scenario was still in development/editorial and will be revised based on feedback when it appears in final form in the pages of The Pegasus Plateau

 

Edited by Jason Durall
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Me, I'm mildly perturbed by the shift in location of the Dog-Rat Valley.  Previously it lay to the northwest of the Quivini mountains but now it is on the south side. 

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5 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Me, I'm mildly perturbed by the shift in location of the Dog-Rat Valley.  Previously it lay to the northwest of the Quivini mountains but now it is on the south side. 

No it isn't. North is not up on that map.

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36 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I am hiding any discussion of the maps, as there was an error in them which is already being fixed for the final version.

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Hi 

Just wanted to say thanks for releasing this.

I'm probably showing my ignorance, but I was surprised to see a couple of the NPC's cults.

  Orvald the ostler is an Ernaldan initiate. He's not mentioned to be a Nandani.  Is he a member of some other Ernaldan sub-cult for men?

 Darvyn Blackfeather is a Eurmal initiate.   I guess I've never thought of Eurmali as community leaders. Surely got to be a lack of trust in such a leader?

 

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1 hour ago, Westy said:

Hi 

Just wanted to say thanks for releasing this.

I'm probably showing my ignorance, but I was surprised to see a couple of the NPC's cults.

  Orvald the ostler is an Ernaldan initiate. He's not mentioned to be a Nandani.  Is he a member of some other Ernaldan sub-cult for men?

He's just an initiate of Ernalda. She is the goddess of women, but many worship her. Orvald is likely not going anywhere higher than being an initiate, but initiate membership (core book, page 293) does not require that the worshiper be female. 

 

1 hour ago, Westy said:

 Darvyn Blackfeather is a Eurmal initiate.   I guess I've never thought of Eurmali as community leaders. Surely got to be a lack of trust in such a leader?

He's a member of the Fright subcult, and if you read his backstory, then  Cornflower's, he doesn't come across as a particularly white hat kind of guy. 

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This looks like a fun adventure. One thing is niggling me, though: why is the action on Clayday, rather than Wildday? Shouldn’t it be nights of the (normal) full moon rather than nights of the full black moon? My impression was that Lunars were more powerful on night of the full moon, and weaker when it was a full black moon. Page 8 refers to areas “lit only by the moon”, which suggests a full moon rather than a dark one.

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1 hour ago, Tupper said:

This looks like a fun adventure. One thing is niggling me, though: why is the action on Clayday, rather than Wildday? Shouldn’t it be nights of the (normal) full moon rather than nights of the full black moon? My impression was that Lunars were more powerful on night of the full moon, and weaker when it was a full black moon. Page 8 refers to areas “lit only by the moon”, which suggests a full moon rather than a dark one.

Yes, I remember reflecting on that as well. Isn't the whole point that the light of the moon is what animates it?

Edited by Akhôrahil
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11 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Ransom is what others will pay. The suggested ransoms from the core book are for player characters at the beginning of their careers, full of potential and strongly connected to their families. The three NPCs are from a tiny place in the middle of nowhere, and no one they know can afford to pay roughly eight and a half years' living expenses apiece to ransom them. 

Ransom for Free Men has always been 20 cows (or 400L, which is why it's a little weird that it's 500L in RQG, but never mind that). I don't think this has anything to do with them being PCs. And supposedly they still have a clan - the idea about Ransom/Wergild isn't that individuals can afford it, right, but that it's handled by the clan/chief and then you're indebted?

I mean, if it's about what people are actually going to pay, good luck with getting a 250L wergild for a duck from a tiny settlement!

Edited by Akhôrahil

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All in all a nice little scenario with the usual qualitative artwork.

Just an incidental note and no criticism:

It would have been nice if the lunar-specific informations had been mentioned in more detail.

A RQG beginner does not know what lunar branding marks for horses look like, what lunar empire clothing looks like and so on. The text describes it in a very abstract and summarizing way from the point of view of a Gloranthanian person who knows these things from everyday life. But for a RQG newbie this should be unknown, and I can already see the questions at the table when a player asks "And what do lunar branding marks for horses look like"?

This omission is all the more remarkable in that the text is meticulous in emphasizing the description of the chariot in all possible different situations: at night, at close range, underwater...

Edited by prinz.slasar
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Running the scenario yesterday I saw some of the worst player's luck for a while - the duckr bravely attempting to rescue a comrade being drawn after the chariot fumbled his dodge roll and got himself rolled over, receiving the worst mangling damage possible.

Basically, challenging the antagonist on the outside was a "you lose your life" proposition, fighting it in the dark, on slippery ground, without much of a chance to cause damage through a 3-point "skin" and six points of bronze plate.

The monster stats given for a single entity

 

There were some bits of the scenario that require text editing.

p.5

Quote

the full Black Moon rising that night.

The moon at its weakest.

The Dead or Dying Black Moon hanging in the northwestern sky that night.

Which neuters the rune magic the antagonist except for Fear and Find Enemy (or some common 1 point rune spell).

 

Apparently not the intention of the author, who appears to mistake the Black phases of the moon for the full phases (p.10):

Quote

once every full moon on Clayday,

 

Quote

await the waxing of the moon once more.

Overall, the scenario gives the feeling of a Call of Cthulhu scenario set in Glorantha. Which isn't really a criticism, except for the "meet cute" of the first confrontation with the lethal antagonist.

Edited by Joerg

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Overall, the scenario gives the feeling of a Call of Cthulhu scenario set in Glorantha. Which isn't really a criticism, except for the "meet cute" of the first confrontation with the lethal antagonist.

I don't believe it's a coincidence that the scenario is out just in time for Halloween. And I thought the setup was credible as a Gloranthan ghost story.

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3 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

I don't believe it's a coincidence that the scenario is out just in time for Halloween. And I thought the setup was credible as a Gloranthan ghost story.

It's a pattern. The HQG-scenario "Highwall Inn" is also a horror adventure.

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On 10/12/2019 at 12:15 PM, prinz.slasar said:

A RQG beginner does not know what lunar branding marks for horses look like, what lunar empire clothing looks like and so on.

Nor do we!

Such things tend to generate pages of minutiae, where many people offer their opinions but nobody is any clearer at the end.

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On 10/13/2019 at 1:36 AM, Joerg said:

Overall, the scenario gives the feeling of a Call of Cthulhu scenario set in Glorantha. Which isn't really a criticism, except for the "meet cute" of the first confrontation with the lethal antagonist.

But ... but ... aren't ALL scenarios an excuse to cram more Cthulhu content into the public domain?  😳

Cthulhu in space.  Cthulhu in ancient Rome.  Ftaghan Sherlock Holmes.  Squid-Face Does Dallas.  Tommy Guns & Tommyknockers.  Multi-tentacle fighting styles for Glorantha and Theah.  I mean, just quit trying to fit in and become popular, Big Guy, and eat me already!

😤. 🤣

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On 10/12/2019 at 4:15 AM, prinz.slasar said:

It would have been nice if the lunar-specific informations had been mentioned in more detail.

A RQG beginner does not know what lunar branding marks for horses look like, what lunar empire clothing looks like and so on. The text describes it in a very abstract and summarizing way from the point of view of a Gloranthanian person who knows these things from everyday life. But for a RQG newbie this should be unknown, and I can already see the questions at the table when a player asks "And what do lunar branding marks for horses look like"?

This omission is all the more remarkable in that the text is meticulous in emphasizing the description of the chariot in all possible different situations: at night, at close range, underwater...

Only further emphasizing my desire for those visual history books for children to cover Gloranthan cultures. I want to see Orlanthi homes, Orlanthi fashion, Lunar Weapons and architecture. Give me a stupid amount of material to draw from as I have enough words to last me decades but so many teases in artwork that never go into more depth.

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20 minutes ago, DerKrieger said:

Only further emphasizing my desire for those visual history books for children to cover Gloranthan cultures. I want to see Orlanthi homes, Orlanthi fashion, Lunar Weapons and architecture. Give me a stupid amount of material to draw from as I have enough words to last me decades but so many teases in artwork that never go into more depth.

Honestly, I think this is a call for way over-defining Glorantha. And this is a level of detail we don't even have for a culture like the western Slavs of northern Germany - just yesterday I spent a couple of hours at the Wall-Museum in Oldenburg/Holstein, among a couple of reconstructed Slavic houses, discussing minutia like Viking era weft or when flint blades fell out of general use (after seeing baltic flint as one of several trade goods displayed in a merchant's house). With both  re-enactors and the director of the museum, a fully fledged archaeologist. Those discussions just showed how little we know in detail from that time.

We know that Ötzi (the Ice Mummy) was tattooed. We see impressive tattoos in the TV series Vikings, but we don't have the slightest evidence for tattoos on Viking bodies. (Absence of condemnation for defigurating their skins by antagonistic monks surviving the trauma of a Viking raid and coming close enough to get a clear view of the raiders might support the absence of such tattoos, as the chroniclers didn't leave out much that would further demonize the Vikings. But then, we don't have evidence for the absence of tattoos in early medieval Saxons or Franks, either.)

When it comes to branding horses, I wonder whether a bronze branding implement would survive more than a few heating cycles. A copper item might work better, as unalloyed copper shoul have a higher melting point. But there are no finds of such implements. There are Roman branding irons, but as the name suggests, this may be an Iron Age thing and not even applicable to Glorantha.

But then, at least human skin doesn't require red hot metal to leave a permanent scar. An accident with the outside of a Bunsen burner (that never reaches even the lowest of red heat) left me with a distinctive reminder to be more careful around hot metal.

If you cannot brand your beasts of burden, how can you mark them instead? Scarification might be an alternative - this is used for ornamental purposes by numerous African cultures on themselves. Tattooing is a distinct possibility. Both methods have the disadvantage that they take considerably longer than the single painful experience of contact with the branding iron, though.

Ear notching is a custom of trolls to mark their trollkin. This is possible for herd beast livestock or steeds as well, but ears are easily separated or mutilated in cases of illicit ownership being hidden.

 

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8 hours ago, Joerg said:

Tattooing is a distinct possibility. Both methods have the disadvantage that they take considerably longer than the single painful experience of contact with the branding iron, though.

FWIW when I read the scenario, what immediately popped into my imagination was the Moon Rune tattooed on their flank, or somewhere else.

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1 hour ago, Crel said:

FWIW when I read the scenario, what immediately popped into my imagination was the Moon Rune tattooed on their flank, or somewhere else.

Me too (although brand, not tattoo), but I’m not so sure that’s the case. Supposedly, you want to be able to keep track of horses at a better granularity than “Property of the Lunar Army”, so it’s probably a regimental symbol.

Does tattooing something with fur really work out?

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8 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Me too (although brand, not tattoo), but I’m not so sure that’s the case. Supposedly, you want to be able to keep track of horses at a better granularity than “Property of the Lunar Army”, so it’s probably a regimental symbol.

So the beasts gain the full set of clan/regimental and cult tattoos? Only half-joking.

8 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Does tattooing something with fur really work out?

Pets receive tattoos in their ears for identification, but that is visible on closer examination only.

Some alchemical treatment leaving the fur discolored in a specific area might exist - the typical "white strain in the beard due to an old shaving mishap" effect (or at least that's what those aging beard wearers claim).

A strong enough vitriol will leave burn marks on the skin, coming to think of this. If it is a weaker vitriol, heating it up can make up for causticity. Likewise, caustic ashes may leave chemical scarring.

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

Supposedly, you want to be able to keep track of horses at a better granularity than “Property of the Lunar Army”, so it’s probably a regimental symbol.

It could be simpler than that - perhaps just a Moon rune followed by the initials of the phalanx or cavalry section. Although that then begs the question of what New Pelorian initials look like.

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20 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Does tattooing something with fur really work out?

Or how about something like "Claim Horse" spirit magic spell from the Lunar Uralda/Eiritha analogue? Leave marks and stuff.

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On 10/15/2019 at 9:11 AM, Joerg said:

If you cannot brand your beasts of burden, how can you mark them instead?

When I visited Somalia in 2011, I was surprised to learn that the region has the best mobile phone network in East Africa, and that the local goat-herders don't brand their animals any more: they write their mobile numbers on their animals with a Sharpie.

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So after doing some (not really) intensive research, I think I have the answers that we all desire.

First off, during ancient Egypt circa 1400–1352 B.C. (During the Bronze Age) we have tomb art actually showing the branding of cattle by Egyptians akin to how we currently brand cattle (or did pre-electricity).

Look in the far lower left, and you'll see workers heating up a metal brand in a fire, and then applying it to tied up cattle, showing that even during the Bronze Age this method of branding was still practiced.

k5jLRcc.jpg

Larger Image: https://i.imgur.com/k5jLRcc.jpg

From here: https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/30.4.57/ (This work is a replica of the tombs art, fyi, but the original from the tomb of Nebanum is still indicated)

But that's not all I've found during my investigations, in northwestern Kenya, an ethnic group called the Turkana, and other African pastoralist societies, have preserved a kind of branding known as Pattern Branding, that evidence points towards existing since 4000 BCE or so (From my skimming of the paper).

"This is achieved by using a cooler branding iron and applying it to the coat for a shorter time so as not to kill the hair growth cells of the branded area. Hair grows back, but because of the increased concentration of the local skin pigment, it grows with much more of the original coat pigment. Gray hair thus grows back black, yellow hair dark brown and roan hair dark red. "

Pattern branding seems to only be done to specifically valued animals, not necessarily an entire herd, but this feels like exactly something that would be done for a Rune Lords horses.

Since pattern branding actually requires even less heat that the Egyptians branding up above, it's pretty easy to say this is something that is definitely happening somewhere in Glorantha.

URohSEQ.gif

Larger image: https://i.imgur.com/URohSEQ.gif

Don't just take my word for it, from here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s13570-017-0110-4

I know that my evidence is for Cattle branding (since it's much more widely available), but at some point we have to accept that while Horses are significantly more fragile than Cattle, they're still Ungulates of comparable size, and these practices seem like they could still be done to Horses (from my untrained perspective).

Edited by Mirza
Grammar.
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Mirza this is exactly the level of unnecessary research that I adore.

Did I need to know how bronze age branding worked? No

Did I want to know how bronze age branding worked? Absolutely, and boy did you deliver. Pattern Branding!

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