Jump to content
Beoferret

Rootless PCs?

Recommended Posts

So..... if one wanted to provide pathways for adventurers who were more of the standard-type, without completely losing the fun social context that RQG inserts characters in, how would you folks model it? My thoughts so far are running along these lines:

1) PCs have temporarily bought out responsibilities - They've received permission to go adventuring and exploring for a long period, but have to provide financial/material compensation to their family, thane, clan, etc. for the time they expect to be gone (to make up for the loss of labor, etc that their departure will cause.) Compensation may also include having to provide a share of what loot they've gained to the relevant authorities upon coming home. PCs with permission to adventure for their own benefit retain some social support (aid and ransom, but it may take a long time to ask for it and then receive what's offered.)  If they don't return home when promised, they'll be treated as runaways and then maybe exiles. What they do in the outside world and how they are treated may impact their people's relations with others.

2) PCs are runaways - Young or otherwise, they've cast off the yoke of social expectations, but now lack most social support (no one to provide aid) and cannot rely on being ransomed, if necessary (and even if their tribe/clan/family is willing to ransom them, it might take a long time). Runaways may be tracked down by their family, etc. and may be ordered to return home or face exile. May have to offer restitution for all those responsibilities they avoided while away. What they do in the outside world and how they are treated may impact their people's relations with others.

3) PCs are exiles - characters have freedom, but at the expense of all social support and they might be attacked/otherwise severely sanctioned (e.g. enslaved, given a highly visible tattoo or mutilation marking their dishonor, etc), if they ever return to where they were exiled from. What they do in the outside world and how they are treated has no impact on their people's relations with others.

4) PCs are truly rootless - For whatever reason (maybe their village was wiped out and family killed during the wars against the Lunars; maybe due to a religious vow; etc.), they are completely free to choose their course in life. They can expect only basic hospitality when traveling through places like Sartar and have no social support beyond what any immediate friends, followers, or employer can or will provide. What they do in the outside world and how they are treated has no impact on their people's relations with others.

From my reading of the Glorantha setting, these all seem reasonable and provide some potentially fun roleplaying fodder. Thoughts?

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's the clan / town / etc (cultural/social) loyalties; you have given several viable options for why those bonds may not apply.

But what about Cult ties?  A PC without Cult bonds is a PC without rune-level spells (not everyone wants to pursue the Shaman and Sorceror paths).  And frankly, most Cults will want to see their members rejoin the culture as well, the society where they were raised.  I don't really see Orlanth having a Storm Voice who is an exile/runaway/etc from his clan, or Babeester Gor an Axe Maiden who isn't protective of Earth temples & Earth Priestesses and Earth-Cult towns, etc...

Of course, there are ways...

Humakti have severed all bonds except those with their God.

Eurmali tend toward exile.

Lunars may go abroad, not as "exiles" but to Lunarize in advance of the Empire's arrival.

 

But if you're asking -- without really asking -- how to do the "standard-type" murderhobo... not really in Glorantha, no.

Except as an agent of Chaos, of course!

Edited by g33k
but... CHAOS!
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5) The PCs are the chieftain's stern men and women on assignment across the length and breadth of his neighbouring lands. Think the 1st gen trekkers boldly going... or the Duke Raus' Men (and Women, of course) in Borderland's first scenario, scouting, being representatives of his justice, embassies, first contacts... but on a much larger and longer scaleThis would work for a few different cults as well. Best used on the Borders of more civilized areas of course...

Cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

6) My PCs are refugees (it's 1615 ST). They have had to leave the Red Cow clan in Sartar to a) reduce Lunar repression against the clan, and b) escape personal repercussions of their participation in Starbrow's Revolt. The decision for them to leave for Prax (until the heat is off) was sanctioned by their clan.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Puckohue said:

6) My PCs are refugees (it's 1615 ST). They have had to leave the Red Cow clan in Sartar to a) reduce Lunar repression against the clan, and b) escape personal repercussions of their participation in Starbrow's Revolt. The decision for them to leave for Prax (until the heat is off) was sanctioned by their clan.

So they are "exiles (wink, wink)" not EXILES... if I understand correctly?  😉

😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the things I love about the new way that Glorantha is described is how PCs are closely tied to their Bloodline/Clan/Tribe/Whatever, as it gives a sense of belonging, a reason for doing things and sets boundaries.

One of the things I hate about the new way that Glorantha is described is how PCs are always closely tied to their Bloodline/Clan/Tribe/Whatever, as it restricts them and forces them down a certain path.

I really like the Rootless Adventurer idea, able to travel around and get into adventures. You don't see Orlanth Adventurous sticking around Stormstead all the time, no he's off gallivanting, duffing up trolls, stealing from Mostal and liberating nymphs. I blame that Ernalda, she comes along, ties him down and he forgets all his mates and sticks around Stormstead, just being a big wet cloud.

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, soltakss said:

One of the things I love about the new way that Glorantha is described is how PCs are closely tied to their Bloodline/Clan/Tribe/Whatever, as it gives a sense of belonging, a reason for doing things and sets boundaries.

One of the things I hate about the new way that Glorantha is described is how PCs are always closely tied to their Bloodline/Clan/Tribe/Whatever, as it restricts them and forces them down a certain path.

I really like the Rootless Adventurer idea, able to travel around and get into adventures. You don't see Orlanth Adventurous sticking around Stormstead all the time, no he's off gallivanting, duffing up trolls, stealing from Mostal and liberating nymphs. I blame that Ernalda, she comes along, ties him down and he forgets all his mates and sticks around Stormstead, just being a big wet cloud.

This is my sentiment, in a lot of ways. A certain degree of rootlessness (or at least a hiatus from obligations) allows for more adventuring away from home and for exploration (as Vasana's saga implies - how often is she checking back with the Colymar before she pledges to Argrath?). I also am trying to square how PCs who start off with certain professions that imply strong ties to a particular area (e.g. farmer) can have some of the excitement of traveling around Glorantha. I'm definitely not interested in encouraging full-on murderhoboism (not that such characters would last all that long), but would like to provide players with some reasonable, setting appropriate avenues for having some of the character freedom they're probably used to from other games. 

That said, I really appreciate how the setting provides a means of pointing out the costs of various degrees of rootlessness (and the advantages of being rooted.) I imagine that PCs who are not on a mission from their clan, temple, lord, etc. are seen with greater degrees of distrust by those they meet, are more likely to be killed instead of captured during a fight (since no one's going to be upset at the killer or pay a ransom/wergild), more likely to be betrayed, etc. There are good reasons for embedding oneself in a web of social obligations that only allow for adventuring as a side pursuit. 

(And do you think there's a special secret Ernalda rune spell for "settling down" one's mate?) 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, g33k said:

But what about Cult ties?  A PC without Cult bonds is a PC without rune-level spells (not everyone wants to pursue the Shaman and Sorceror paths).  And frankly, most Cults will want to see their members rejoin the culture as well, the society where they were raised.  I don't really see Orlanth having a Storm Voice who is an exile/runaway/etc from his clan, or Babeester Gor an Axe Maiden who isn't protective of Earth temples & Earth Priestesses and Earth-Cult towns, etc...

Good point. Though I suppose this creates two possibilities: a) PCs traveling in areas where their cult isn't popular or present are paying a higher price for being footloose and fancy-free (and will be extra stoked when they encounter some of their fellow cult members, shrines, etc. - role playing possibilities!) and b) that one of the benefits and costs of becoming a Rune Priest or Rune Lord is that you have to be an active and regular participant in the social life of your home (whether original or newly chosen.)  

Also, a PC's cult ties could certainly be a source of adventure hooks as they wander! One of the best things, in my opinion, about all the cult, family, and clan ties that RQG throws at PCs is all the role playing possibilities and the character depth they provide (something I try to give even my throwaway D&D characters).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Yes, it’s called love and respect!

But how many rune points does that cost? Can you embiggen the effects by spending extra magic points?  😀

Edited by Beoferret
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Beoferret said:

But how many rune points does that cost? Can you embiggen the effects by spending extra magic points? 

Oh gads, more than I can count ( I only gots 10 toes and 9 fingers so at least 17, err no 19...), embiggen, well that is an awful biggen word, so bear with me... er yes the magic 8ball says definitely yes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Beoferret said:

(And do you think there's a special secret Ernalda rune spell for "settling down" one's mate?) 

Oh, they have special powers for that kind of thing.

"I'm going off Adventuring", "Sure, no problem, you can go if you like".

"What, have you a problem with that?", "No, of course not, I'll just mend the fences by myself".

"Come on, what's wrong with you?", "Nothing, I'm fine".

"Ok, if you don't want me to, I'll mend the fence instead", "Whatever, then the cows need fetching from the high pasture tomorrow".

"Yes, Dear"

Edited by soltakss
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are several sagas to look into here.   Two fast examples:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gísla_saga

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grettis_saga

There is also the core Argrath type "Lunars kicked me out" which you can find on the (help me out on the website guys, work blocks everything) Prince of Sartar web comic.  Incomplete, but excellent.

Basically a situation can be contrived where the PC's must be exiled to placate tribal norms, end a feud, or avoid Lunar reprisals.  All of which possibly due to the PC's doing what the Ring asked of them in the first place.   This would force the players to live off of their skills, so things like hunting, craft (wood), tracking, all suddenly become critical to PC survival.  A deep understanding of the fatigue, starvation, poison, and other misc. rules is also key -- the GM should know them to start, but the PC's should pick them up by the end the hard way!  Expect the PC's to have to discover a whole host of minor shrines, lesser places of worship, and local spirits that they would otherwise just trod past on their way to the Orlanth temple.  Tons of juicy RP possibilities here, honestly.

I had a PC in a Griffin Island campaign have to do something very much like this.   He was forced to spend a winter on his own in the wilds, with nothing but a loincloth, a daggar, and a flint to start with.  This was role played out over about six sessions, while everyone else was doing something else (or just training) in the meantime.  After nearly freezing and starving to death, the character wound up with an astonishing range of "Tarzan" skills, and upon his return and triumphant re-donning of his metal armor and greatsword, he was almost a totally different character.  The player too, was transformed by the experience, and never again role played quite the same way.  

I definitely recommend this type of adventure, you just have to emphasize all the things that society offers you which are now lost, force the PC's to struggle (and not just be murder bums!).  Then they can either join a different society and have to navigate that type of outsider joins the tribe adventure, or you can make them totally suck it up and do a deep survival adventure, with the expectation that the PC's will return hardened and able to re-join society as a stronger force than ever before.

Edited by Dissolv
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎12‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 2:41 PM, soltakss said:

One of the things I hate about the new way that Glorantha is described is how PCs are always closely tied to their Bloodline/Clan/Tribe/Whatever, as it restricts them and forces them down a certain path.

The thing with this, I think, is to ensure that none of that becomes too restrictive or a chore for players, even if it is for the adventurers. Play it up when there is an opportunity for adventure through kith or kin, and play it down when the adventure arises from some external source.

In-game, adventurers' clan ties and relations should be a bit like the diminutive size of the hobbits in Peter Jackson's movies - you don't need to show it all the time, just give reminders every now and then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/1/2019 at 4:56 PM, g33k said:

But what about Cult ties?  A PC without Cult bonds is a PC without rune-level spells (not everyone wants to pursue the Shaman and Sorceror paths).

I'm not sure that's a problem -- you can probably be a wandering murder-hobo who still stops at whichever temple/shrine they pass by, giving out parts of your plunder, no? There used to be wandering monks for many sedentary cultures and religions, historically speaking. I'm sure they were still in somewhat good standing with their churches and temples.

Edited by lordabdul
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

I'm not sure that's a problem -- you can probably be a wandering murder-hobo who still stops at whichever temple/shrine they pass by, giving out parts of your plunder, no?

For Orlanth Adventurous, this is more or less expected, right? I can't imagine a temple having a problem with a visitor from a remote country participating in the rituals, assuming everything else is fine.

Edited by Akhôrahil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We could ask the opposite question: is any cult actually not welcoming of traveling members? They might be suspicious of someone joining their rites (especially when it involves a Holy Day heroquest or other important ritual that can have negative consequences), but one can assume that, after enough traveling, the adventurer would have enough Reputation, Passions, and contacts to pass through most screenings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

We could ask the opposite question: is any cult actually not welcoming of traveling members? They might be suspicious of someone joining their rites (especially when it involves a Holy Day heroquest or other important ritual that can have negative consequences), but one can assume that, after enough traveling, the adventurer would have enough Reputation, Passions, and contacts to pass through most screenings.

Possibly cults with a heavy kinship component? Places of worship for Daka Fal will typically be about their ancestors (not yours), and excepting the Paps, it might be hard to worship Waha outside of your clan and tribe (no outsiders allowed!).

Meanwhile, merely showing up and bringing beer should be enough for any Storm Bull ceremony!

Edited by Akhôrahil
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cult in a pure sense, maybe not.  But the individual priest who runs the place who has umpteen different cultural, familial, and possibly royal responsibilities may not be so pleased to see heavily armed murder hobos plop down in his hut.  Especially if they demand priority treatment, like he is some kind of Starbucks barista.  He is 100% likely to be busy, have trainees already, and as an important figure in the community, is likely to be overburdened with a multitude of tasks in the first place. 

In my campaigns, if the PC's lack close ties with a random priest or shaman, they pay out the nose.  Often in the form of a dangerous or demanding task, since that seems to be what they mainly want to be doing anyway. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, lordabdul said:

I'm not sure that's a problem -- you can probably be a wandering murder-hobo who still stops at whichever temple/shrine they pass by, giving out parts of your plunder, no? There used to be wandering monks for many sedentary cultures and religions, historically speaking. I'm sure they were still in somewhat good standing with their churches and temples.

I am sure that is a problem,  but no worries it does not change yer argument at all. It simply adds needed seasoning to a tale. Such a person would not be welcome, would definitely get stink eye from the priest, but the priest would have to accept the plunder whether he wanted to or not (where is that lazy acolyte, he can clean this sh#t up...).  He might put extra duties on the murder hobo to get the spell he wished but the story is still propelled forward.

cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Such a person would not be welcome, would definitely get stink eye from the priest, but the priest would have to accept the plunder whether he wanted to or not (where is that lazy acolyte, he can clean this sh#t up...).

It could be interesting to indeed play it like that -- I mean, you could turn into some Harrek-type guy that everybody hates but everybody's afraid of. He rolls up to your nice flowery holy day festival all covered up in blood, carrying Tusk Riders' heads on a stick, and dumping a pile of precious (but stinky and bloody) items in your tribal hall. "Hey y'all... having a party, eh? Mind if I crash it? I brought some stuff for... hey, what's this guy's problem? Why is he looking at me like... HEY YOU, YOU GOT A PROBLEM? HUH? Yeah... that's what I thought... anyway... I've got half a dozen cows outside for you, at least half of them will survive their wounds. Sorry about that. Where's the beer?"

But also note that the most important thing is to ensure players have fun -- not ensure the preservation of the holy Gloranthan canon. So if your players are really into murder-hoboing, and they don't want to be penalized for it, then it's fine to tweak a few things here and there to make it work.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In one campaign I played an exile from my clan, but still linked in to a clan grouping.  Although the GM was most insistent that it was a clan game, it was he who was frustrated when we refused to play as murder-hobos! 

The exile allowed for politics, but it was no more utilised than my Helering's bisexuality, due to the GM being a prude. 😇🧞‍♂️

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

6} use the rules and the cults as yer buddies and friends in yer quest to be a murderhobo, (kinda).

An issaries merchant requires guards for a caravan to the far and exotic lands of Prax, Tarsh, Balazar. To help the caravan a) navigate new lands b) give early warning about dangers, (fordless rivers, hostile natives and dangerous monsters) c) Provide entertainment for the wealthy travellers with big game hunts—the Caravan master will be hiring hunters ands scouts.  To record these new finds , make maps of the new lands and to document his heroics in a scholarly way, he will be looking for sages as well (language skills paid a premium). These books maps and facts can be sold for a heathy profit. As these will be new trips for this merchant he would love to hire a skald to write songs and poems about his heroic and epic travels for the peoples he will encounter as well. Advertising... with jingles... Various travelling puppeteers, illusionist, musicians, gamblers  and street vendors as well as beggars will follow along as will other types of camp followers.

Caravans are not cheap, so a few wealthy touristy types will be along, to help allay costs. going from post a to b or just going native as it were. Other merchants and there entourage will come along for for the safety in numbers and the caravan master will allow this for the extra troops, and the greater diversity this will bring to market. The murderhobos can be any of these and more, much much more...

Cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rootless PCs won't have much opportunity to profit from the economy rules or possibly even from the holy days rune point recovery rules unless they bought themselves into a local temple holding appropriate rites.

But then, that's the benefit of being rootless hobos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a home somewhere you would likely be rooted, and frequent a specific temple regularly. If you left for too long I don't think the community would hold it against you, but your servants/family might.

If you don't own land or have immediate family, then you should be allowed to be completely rootless. I don't think anyone would really care if you never came back to your village if you don't even own a farm, and nobody would notice if you went missing in a city.

Share this post


Link to post
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.

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...