Jump to content

Seeking suggestions for “Ducks on the Road” campaign


DannyK

Recommended Posts

Hi Rune Friends,

I am thinking about running a RuneQuest or HQ campaign focused on ducks, just because I like ducks.

 

I’m fairly new to Glorantha and I’d like to explore a lot of different locations with the players, rather than focusing on one little piece of the map. That might work better with my fairly superficial knowledge of the setting. Kind of an episodic game, treating travels briefly except maybe for dramatic combats, and then jumping to the next destination. 

I read some of the Travels of Biturian Varosh, so my initial idea was to recreate some of that, maybe with Ducks from Sartar who need to leave home in hurry in the aftermath of the Starbrow Rebellion and Duck Hunt, and one of them has cousins who live on the River of Cradles... I was initially thinking of having them be Lunarized Duck Irregulars but that’s maybe a step too far.

Are there any suggestions for how to structure this, can’t miss places to visit, story hooks, etc?

 

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I, too, can't seem to fall out of love with the Ducks although I'm more a Big Gold Book guy and utterly ignorant of the deep lore of both Glorantha and Hero Quest.  My take would be an avian crew hitting the starways in their quirky but thoroughly serviceable Druluz rocketship (heavy on the chrome and rivets).  "Ducks can't fly, eh?  Blow it out your eggshell, Chuckles, we'll show you!"  Ducks!  In!  Spaaaaaaace!

Less Star Trek or Traveller, more "Keet Gordon pilots the Solar Queen."

Edited by seneschal
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, seneschal said:

I, too, can't seem to fall out of love with the Ducks although I'm more a Big Gold Book guy and utterly ignorant of the deep lore of both Glorantha and Hero Quest.  My take would be an avian crew hitting the starways in their quirky but thoroughly serviceable Druluz rocketship (heavy on the chrome and rivets).  "Ducks can't fly, eh?  Blow it out your eggshell, Chuckles, we'll show you!"  Ducks!  In!  Spaaaaaaace!

 

Yep, "Ducks in spaaaaaaace" will be echoing through my dreams tonight!

Cheers

  • Haha 3

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Story hooks, ideas...

The natural way for ducks travelling from Sartar to the River of Cradles region should be south through Heortland, along the coastline to Corflu and from the stream upwards. Travelling through Prax will be hard for a water loving species. 
The group of ducks is hunted by (lunar) bounty hunters (make them a thread, but whenever the pursuing bounty hunters are almost there, give the group a head start  - to the next "safe" location... until the bounty hunters find them). 
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, AndreJarosch said:

Your set up story is exactly the story of "Gloranthan Duck Tales" a gloranthan HQ adventure, currently only published in german in "Schattenklinge # 19". 

Wow.  I guess great minds do think alike, although I must confess my German language skills are lacking.  If you can translate for me, I'm ready to play!  😄

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heh, makes perfect sense to me.  But I don't want to derail the OP's thread. So, per Andre Jarosch, story hooks.

Perhaps a lack of water is the whole point.  A terrible drought has devastated the Ducks' usual nesting grounds and they must migrate now to survive.  They are the Hebrew invasion and Mongol horde mixed together -- a desperate, starving people from a martial culture seeking a new place to settle down.  They don't want to be the bad guys and they are willing to talk, but don't delay them long.  Those Lunar Empire hunters mentioned upthread had better watch their srep.  They aren't dealing with reasonable, rational folks at the moment.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, seneschal said:

Those Lunar Empire hunters mentioned upthread had better watch their srep.  They aren't dealing with reasonable, rational folks at the moment.  

Does this require such a statement? The hunters are after ducks. If they wanted to hunt reasonable, rational folks, they'd hunt Thanatari or Storm Bulls.

  • Haha 1

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Storm ducks? A Storm Bull duck crusade led by a heroic anti-chaos fighter could wreak all sorts of havoc, for starters some of those dreadful chaos swamps would face an incursion of chaos fighters who were more than capable of handling environments which leave most storm bulls floundering in the mud.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

46 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Does this require such a statement? The hunters are after ducks. If they wanted to hunt reasonable, rational folks, they'd hunt Thanatari or Storm Bulls.

As I mentioned earlier, i am largely ignorant of Gloranthan lore.  The point is that the Lunars are merely going duck hunting, what they perceive as easy prey.  In reality, the desperate Drulutz are as dangerous and crazy as rabid dogs, willing to go to any extreme to defend themselves.  The overconfident humans may realize this too late.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, DannyK said:

I am thinking about running a RuneQuest or HQ campaign focused on ducks, just because I like ducks.

Expect lots of replies to this thread.

8 hours ago, DannyK said:

I’m fairly new to Glorantha and I’d like to explore a lot of different locations with the players, rather than focusing on one little piece of the map. That might work better with my fairly superficial knowledge of the setting. Kind of an episodic game, treating travels briefly except maybe for dramatic combats, and then jumping to the next destination. 

I read some of the Travels of Biturian Varosh, so my initial idea was to recreate some of that, maybe with Ducks from Sartar who need to leave home in hurry in the aftermath of the Starbrow Rebellion and Duck Hunt, and one of them has cousins who live on the River of Cradles... I was initially thinking of having them be Lunarized Duck Irregulars but that’s maybe a step too far.

Where do Ducks normally live?

In marshes, on river banks, beside lakes and so on.

So, you could have a campaign where you are looking for a certain Duck, for something, so look at all the usual Duck haunts. Duck Point, the Upland Marsh, perhaps Duck Pond and Duck Tower, if you can get hold of the Judges Guild scenarios, along the Creek-Stream-River, along the Zola Fel River in Prax, in Pavis, in the Big Rubble, perhaps in some of the Oases in Prax and the Wastes. Each could have small Duck communities, perhaps proper hamlets, perhaps just bands of Duck bandits or outlaws.

The Players might get tired of going from place to place searching for the Duck, but encounters might cause scenarios, so the Campaign could write itself.

8 hours ago, DannyK said:

Are there any suggestions for how to structure this, can’t miss places to visit, story hooks, etc?

There are several stereotypes of Duck:

  • The noble Humakti Duck, tied to death and anti-undead
  • The spiteful, nasty, aggressive bandit Duck, outlawed embittered with life and being blamed for Starbrow's Rebellion
  • The wandering Duck, outlawed by the Lunars and desperately trying to escape them and settle down to a quiet life
  • Adventurer Ducks, trying to prove that they are every bit as good as other Adventurers, trying extra-hard to do things
  • Delecti's Ducks, who live in the Upland Marsh, live a quiet life, dodge undead and don't cause any problems

You can use those stereotypes to change PCs' expectations of Ducks and even to drive scenarios.

If you can get hold of it, have a look at Duck Pond and Duck Tower, you can get a lot of mileage out of those. Also, search the Internet for Duck Scenarios, there are a few around, I seem to remember Escape from Duck point being one of them. You can fold those into a campaign relatively easily.

There was a Duck Pack for Mongoose RQ, in fact there were two, one Gloranthan and one non-Gloranthan, they are good for ideas, if you can get hold of them.

You could have a campaign structured around getting hold of some ancient Duck Artefacts, perhaps to bring back Grandfather Duck. I am not keen on the Hueymakt or Storm Bill depictions of Duck Deities, but PCs could get Artefacts that allow Ducks to join certain cults. 

1 hour ago, seneschal said:

 The point is that the Lunars are merely going duck hunting, what they perceive as easy prey.  In reality, the desperate Drulutz are as dangerous and crazy as rabid dogs, willing to go to any extreme to defend themselves.  The overconfident humans may realize this too late.

They are also bitter and spiteful, willing to backstab any humans to escape. Mean, ornery critters, that's what Ducks are.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is possible all these stereotypes are true (or not) at the same time.  Ducks, like humans, are individuals but stereotypes about people groups exist for a reason.  They don't ooze out of the empty air.

So, there are noble warrior Ducks, like the selfless U.S. Marine veteran who risked his life overseas but is in greater physical danger as a civilian first responder in his home city because some of the people he's trying to save are crazy drug addicts.  There are sneaky backstabbing Ducks, like the thuggish teenagers lurking in the QuikTrip parking lot for an opportunity to gut you for pocket change.  Probably most are Delecti types, like you are, just trying to get by and support the wife and hatchlings, er, kids.  And there are those rare adventurer types, the ones with the drive and resources to become Jaques Cousteau or John Glenn.

The Ducks in my proposal are essentially refugees, driven by circumstances to do things they wouldn't ordinarily do to survive and heavily tempted to make bad choices.  Will your Orlanthi PCs help them, try to stop them, regard them as a major social and political problem, or as an opportunity to demonstrate the kindness of the gods?  The choice is yours.

OK, next scenario idea.

Edited by seneschal
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, soltakss said:

So, you could have a campaign where you are looking for a certain Duck, for something, so look at all the usual Duck haunts. Duck Point, the Upland Marsh, perhaps Duck Pond and Duck Tower, if you can get hold of the Judges Guild scenarios, along the Creek-Stream-River, along the Zola Fel River in Prax, in Pavis, in the Big Rubble, perhaps in some of the Oases in Prax and the Wastes. Each could have small Duck communities, perhaps proper hamlets, perhaps just bands of Duck bandits or outlaws

 

And let's not forget going to see Gonn Orta, who's also looking for the very same duck! And, as we know, when he finds that duck, the Hero Wars will begin...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wait, are the PCs the bounty hunters or the Ducks?

One minor niggle I have is why bounty hunters would pursue a small group of Ducks across Kethaela and out to sea and into Prax. Seems like it would be more profitable to call it quits and go back to Sartar and try and rustle up some other Ducks. Maybe you could have the Ducks running off with something particularly valuable to get the ball rolling - or maybe the Ducks start killing off some of the bounty hunters, which causes the bounty hunters to go into grudge-mode or something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, DannyK said:

I like ducks

Love it. One super easy suggestion would be to pick a favorite Carl Barks travel plot . . . maybe "Lost in the Andes" or "Race to the South Seas" or even "Serum to Codfish Cove" if you want to put your people in parkas . . . and repaint all the surfaces with what you see in Glorantha. Doesn't have to be hyper canonical. Ducks see the world from a different angle anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Grievous said:

And let's not forget going to see Gonn Orta, who's also looking for the very same duck! And, as we know, when he finds that duck, the Hero Wars will begin...

I'd forgotten about that, thanks.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Love it. One super easy suggestion would be to pick a favorite Carl Barks travel plot . . . maybe "Lost in the Andes" or "Race to the South Seas" or even "Serum to Codfish Cove" if you want to put your people in parkas . . . and repaint all the surfaces with what you see in Glorantha. Doesn't have to be hyper canonical. Ducks see the world from a different angle anyway.

That's a good point. If it's the Ducks who are the PCs, you can do well to do some genre-messing. Stuff that's very serious for other races might be silly for them. And conversely, stuff that's comical for other races is deadly serious for the Durulz.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, DannyK said:

I like that — the First and Last Duck, rumored to be Grandfather Duck.

The EWF knew him as the Dragon-Duck, the God Learners as the Reconstructed Duck.

 

The great thing about looking for a guy is he can turn up whenever the campaign starts to run out of steam.

Ah, the Dragon-Drake.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmmm, we've had space ducks, refugee ducks, would-be dinner ducks, Scrooge McDuck and friends traveling incognito, and Second Coming of ducks.  What other reasons can we come up with for our favorite waterfowl to be On The Road?

But of course, we just answered our own question.  THESE are the ornery con-birds we've heard tale of, only they're much smoother, charming and well-spoken than we'd been led to expect.  There is a pair of them, scamming their way across Glorantha, and they'd have gotten away with it, too, if they could only keep their pinions off the henfolk.  Beware especially of the taller one, oh women of ancient legend.  He will gaze soulfully into your eyes and croon hypnotically of passion and eternal bliss.  Pray to the gods in advance that the city guard, or even Dad, are within call if that happens.

Yeah, I went there.  You can battle giants and dragons on your blasted HeroQuests.  But whatchagonnado with Bob and Bing in waterproof feathers?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, seneschal said:

What other reasons can we come up with for our favorite waterfowl to be On The Road?

Perhaps the Bob Hope, Bing Crosby the Road Show series of movies could offer inspiration (bad jokes and ducks seem to be made for each other) or beatnik ducks led by Quack Kerouac as they wend their way through On The Roads of DP looking the soul of Sartar and illumination.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, seneschal said:

What other reasons can we come up with for our favorite waterfowl to be On The Road?

We appear to have overlooked one reason we see ducks travelling in our world — migration. The gang of ducks has been overcome by an urge to travel somewhere warmer for no better reason than it’s just what they do at this time of year. They don’t plan a route, they just set off trusting that their gut Instinct will lead them to the right destination,  never questioning the path it leads them on, prepared to face all the hardships and joys they may encounter on the way. And of course, they always travel in a wedge formation. 

Edited by Cloud64
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...