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Women in Glorantha


HeartQuintessence

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28 minutes ago, Mirza said:

I reject that there is some forced elemental runic portion to marriage where one must have the Earth Rune

Agree. Earth Rune does not equal female anymore than Air or Fire Rune equal male. Genert and Pamalt are the classic examples of male Earth figures, not to mention Vogarth Strongman.

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17 minutes ago, Mirza said:

As for Trans People in Glorantha, well the Orlanthi at least, I've just been having an idea knocking around in my head for a while now. Heler's water rune in the Sartar Companion allows magic for "Change Gender", and while this is most commonly interpreted as exclusively self focused, I don't think it has to be. I think that a Heler Initiate can change others sexes to match their genders, and do this as a part of their role in Orlanthi society (or at least do in My Glorantha). Sure the Heler Initiate and Trans Person might have to wait until the next holy day, but it can be done without heroquesting, and is an accepted part of Orlanthi society. Like if we're gonna have a sex changing cult, one that's notable for being beneficial in their society, why not allow them to help others that need help doing just that? This thought is the majority of the reason I prefer to treat Vingans and Nandani as their own separate enby genders, and so partly why I politely reject Qizil's elemental runes = genders. (Enby = N.B. = Non-Binary, for those of you not in the know on queer terminology.)

On the issue of "matching genders and sexes": speaking with an in-universe perspective in mind: we don't really know if there is any encultured need for different genders in Orlanthi societies to have a corresponding body-type. This is part of what makes it difficult to map RW notions of sex and gender (which are very much developing and multifaceted in themselves) onto in-universe cultures.聽

To put in other words, we don't really know if someone wanting to present and identify as male gender in Orlanthi cultures would particularly care either way about the presence or absence of a penis, or other anatomy.聽

Orlanthi cultures are in some ways pretty heteronormative (there's a heck of a lot of focus on wombs for femininity, and the Orlanth-Ernalda marriage as the culture codifier), but in other ways they are very nonbinary (vingans and nandans and helerings as potential third gender (or third, fourth and fifth genders, as it were), with maybe yinkins added in there depending on how people interpret things. Basically, while these are niche identities, they are normative insofar as Orlanthi look at them and see them as unusual, but normal (like red hair, or being left-handed, or being introvert or whatever)聽

This means that we can't really limit ourselves to just asking "what if a man wants to marry a man", but also "what if a man wants to marry a nandan, or a helering, or a woman wants to marry a hermaphroditic* vingan", etc. etc.聽

At some point, comparisons to RW heteronormativity kind of break down.聽

I understand both desires: to have LGBTQ+ issues be explored as part of the play because the players are interested in them - or for them to be, well, non-issues, because the player wants to escape to a world where they feel fully accepted and free. This is the same issue we've seen with RPGs that have struggled to deal with realistic depictions of racism in a fantastic environment. Anyways, both are perfectly valid (although perhaps somewhat difficult to reconcile in a single play - but I might be wrong here.)

What a roleplayer wanting to explore this would think is obviously the overriding concern here, and so I suspect that a fairly lowkey approach to this from publishing is perhaps the best. Some things should probably be left fairly open.

(*this term isn't very kosher in the RW, but is used consistently in-universe, so bear with me)

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8 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Agree. Earth Rune does not equal female anymore than Air or Fire Rune equal male. Genert and Pamalt are the classic examples of male Earth figures, not to mention Vogarth Strongman.

May I simply propose that Rune Affinity is simply another aspect of personhood in *addition* to sex and gender, as opposed to necessarily being tied to either? Clearly, Air and Earth tend to correspond commonly to men and women in Orlanthi culture, but I agree that they don't define each other (or CAUSE each other, rather. Stereotypically, they kind of define each other).

IMHO, the Runes are a bit like the Myers-Briggs of Glorantha. Okay, bad example because M-B is pseudoscience while Runes actually matter - but you catch my point. Runes - when embedded in cultural contexts - tend to be associated with certain personality traits (whether they literally produce those personality traits in that person, or whether the person is culturally disposed to adopt those traits as their own through socialization is not relevant right now, nature vs. nurture is mostly immaterial for this discussion). For the Orlanthi, these personality traits are commonly associated with different genders, but it's a statistical correlation, not an outright causation. An Air Rune person might be a woman, but they will be a woman with sterotypical "manly" personality traits. That makes them an outlier - but not an abomination.

Dunno, trying to make heads and tails of some things.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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1 hour ago, Mirza said:

Sorry for causing further distraction from the focus on you thread Heart by derailing further from women in Glorantha, but I gotta say some queer stuff.

I'm saying this as someone who is Bi, for a gay guy you sure seem hellbent on jamming heteronormativity into Glorantha. Two men with the Air Rune as their primary elemental rune can totally get married without this whole thing about hero questing to change your soul, that's just so unnecessary. I reject that there is some forced elemental runic portion to marriage where one must have the Earth Rune, I think we've had Vingans and Orlanth worshipers married before, and they'd both have the Air Rune. A gay marriage is probably no less likely to be one that involves a dowry, a "bride" price, and moving into their spouses clan, depending on which person's clan is of higher status, or a love-marriage than heterosexual people.

As for Trans People in Glorantha, well the Orlanthi at least, I've just been having an idea knocking around in my head for a while now. Heler's water rune in the Sartar Companion allows magic for "Change Gender", and while this is most commonly interpreted as exclusively self focused, I don't think it has to be. I think that a Heler Initiate can change others sexes to match their genders, and do this as a part of their role in Orlanthi society (or at least do in My Glorantha). Sure the Heler Initiate and Trans Person might have to wait until the next holy day, but it can be done without heroquesting, and is an accepted part of Orlanthi society. Like if we're gonna have a sex changing cult, one that's notable for being beneficial in their society, why not allow them to help others that need help doing just that? This thought is the majority of the reason I prefer to treat Vingans and Nandani as their own separate enby genders, and so partly why I politely reject Qizil's elemental runes = genders. (Enby = N.B. = Non-Binary, for those of you not in the know on queer terminology.)

In any society in which fertility (crops, livestock, children)聽is a primary concern, heteronormativity has to be the standard. Given high rates of infant mortality, high rates of death during childbirth, high rates of violent death, and high rates of death from disease, most people have no choice except to procreate, and society needs to mandate procreation.聽If the vast majority of people aren't reproducing, there's a good chance the community聽will either die out or be overwhelmed by their enemies. The ancient Greeks,聽who were probably the most 'gay-friendly' (to use an anachronistic term) society in human history, still expected all men to get married and procreate. Had I been born back then, I fully accept that I would have been considered a聽freak and I would have had to marry a woman against my inclination.聽

I'm a gay man, but I'm also an historian, and I need my fantasy cultures to make sense to me sociologically, economically, and so on. It's another reason I hate Generic Fantasy Europe.聽

And I'm not saying that everyone's Glorantha has to work this way. It's what makes sense -for my Glorantha-.

Edit: Also, I'm way more interested in obstacles as story-telling aids than letting everything run smoothly. A story where true love gets what it wants without any difficulty is a story people won't tell for generations.聽

Edited by Bohemond
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20 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

... but honestly there are literally games where the cook already has rules equal to the fighter, sooooo has anyone tried any of them?

I have been (trying to) give Special and Critical and Fumble results to ALL RQ skill-rolls (not just combat ones) for... hrmmm...聽 At least 25-30 years now.

There isn't much for MOST endeavors to match combat's HPs and armor and hit-locations, however.聽 馃槥

"Dude!聽 You got a Crit to the Meringue!!!聽 You totally just won the Feast!"

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39 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

I think this is dispelled by looking at the many children of Genert and Gata.聽

Does Sartarite society even have much information about Genert? Are there any male Earth-rune cults other than Nandan in Sartar? I don't know of one.

And聽I'm not trying to suggest that all of Glorantha thinks this way. It's what makes sense to me in terms of how -Sartarites- specifically think. Nearly all the major fertile divine couples that actively figure in Heortling mythology seems to be Air rune/Earth rune pairs. Or a Water rune with either Air or Earth. Is there a fertile divine pair who are both Air rune?聽

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8 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

聽For the Orlanthi, these personality traits are commonly associated with different genders, but it's a statistical correlation, not an outright causation. An Air Rune person might be a woman, but they will be a woman with sterotypical "manly" personality traits. That makes them an outlier - but not an abomination.

Or rather, it is聽a causation, but it's not absolute. Some girl聽with the Air rune might be a tomboy destined for Vinga, while another might have wanderlust and follow Issaries, and yet another just join Chalana Arroy instead of Ernalda and be little different from an Ernaldan healer. (Not sure if you can join Ernalda without the Earth rune as long as the other runes match up? I imagine not, but I'm not sure.)聽聽

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8 minutes ago, Akh么rahil said:

Or rather, it is聽a causation, but it's not absolute. Some girl聽with the Air rune might be a tomboy destined for Vinga, while another might have wanderlust and follow Issaries, and yet another just join Chalana Arroy instead of Ernalda and be little different from an Ernaldan healer. (Not sure if you can join Ernalda without the Earth rune as long as the other runes match up? I imagine not, but I'm not sure.)聽聽

True. Even the "stereotypically feminine" in Orlanthi society is as varied as Ernalda, Esrola, Maran Gor and Babeester Gor, so much like RW personality psychology, there is no mechanistic simplicity here.

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19 minutes ago, g33k said:

There isn't much for MOST endeavors to match combat's HPs and armor and hit-locations, however.

That's one reason I enjoy HeroQuest and it's Group and Extended Contests. In the session that we've just wrapped up, the climax was convincing Orane to return from the Underworld. It required each hero to participate and add in what they could to overcome the reluctance of a goddess of life to return to a world filled with violence and death. My favorite bit was when the hero Krosan invoked his Love for his young sister and offered Orane a small spool of thread, dyed red and brown while stating that "Your daughters spun this for you. Without you, they cannot weave. Return to them. Help them weave peace. Help them show us the other way."

(A HeroQuest contest in a larger context of the group effort; but would be an Opposed Roll in RuneQuest context. I'm very much inclined to extend the Group/Extended Contest concept from HQG to RQG to create the similar climactic effect for non-combat situations as all the mechanics except for the larger framing of the contest are already in place.)

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1 minute ago, jajagappa said:

That's one reason I enjoy HeroQuest and it's Group and Extended Contests. In the session that we've just wrapped up, the climax was convincing Orane to return from the Underworld. It required each hero to participate and add in what they could to overcome the reluctance of a goddess of life to return to a world filled with violence and death. My favorite bit was when the hero Krosan invoked his Love for his young sister and offered Orane a small spool of thread, dyed red and brown while stating that "Your daughters spun this for you. Without you, they cannot weave. Return to them. Help them weave peace. Help them show us the other way."

(A HeroQuest contest in a larger context of the group effort; but would be an Opposed Roll in RuneQuest context. I'm very much inclined to extend the Group/Extended Contest concept from HQG to RQG to create the similar climactic effect for non-combat situations as all the mechanics except for the larger framing of the contest are already in place.)

I LOVE it when stuff like that happens, when players really get the mythic side of things and integrate it into their play!

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Does Sartarite society even have much information about Genert? Are there any male Earth-rune cults other than Nandan in Sartar? I don't know of one.

In Sartar they are generally minor.聽 Flamal is the most notable Earth-only male figure. Barntar has both Air and Earth runes and would be the most widespread. Otherwise it would mostly be spirits such as Chalk Man.

Down in Caladraland, you also get Aurelion a male Earth god paired with Caladra a female Fire goddess.聽

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47 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

In Sartar they are generally minor.聽 Flamal is the most notable Earth-only male figure. Barntar has both Air and Earth runes and would be the most widespread. Otherwise it would mostly be spirits such as Chalk Man.

Down in Caladraland, you also get Aurelion a male Earth god paired with Caladra a female Fire goddess.聽

There may be some of the Pig/Boar god-complex聽in Maniria that's still active and explicitly related to Earth. I'm not sure if there is an organized Mralot/Entru cult (as opposed to just listing Mralota/Entrula as the metonymous mother of pigs/boars,) and whether Mralot has the Earth Rune, but that's my best guess in addition to the above.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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3 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

There may be some of the Pig/Boar god-complex聽in Maniria that's still active and explicitly related to Earth. I'm not sure if there is an organized Mralot/Entru cult (as opposed to just listing Mralota/Entrula as the metonymous mother of pigs/boars,) and whether Mralot has the Earth Rune, but that's my best guess in addition to the above.

This is outstanding. Say more about pig father please.

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One thing I've wrestled with in terms of making women's stuff dynamic and interesting for players is the fact that Orlanth has lots of 'cool bits'. For example, he's associated with poetry (and I wrote a myth about how Orlanth Stole the Ale of Poetry from the Bright Emperor). One can do a variety of neat things with the idea of Orlanthi poetry--like Bronze Age rap battles and so on. Orlanth has his Six Virtues--Hospitality gives us a chance to do the Greeting Ritual. Generosity allows things like Beowulf-style ring giving.聽

But Ernalda doesn't seem to have a lot of comparable things to that--things that would make players say "wow, that's neat! I wanna be able to do that!" For Ernalda to be really equal in terms of playability, it seems to me that Ernalda needs similar cool bits. She doesn't, for example, have a comparable list of Virtues and practices connected to them. In other words, stuff that adds to 'on-stage' play and makes an Ernaldan player feel like she's in a Norse saga or something comparable.

So what cool bits does Ernalda have? Any thoughts?聽

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3 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

One thing I've wrestled with in terms of making women's stuff dynamic and interesting for players is the fact that Orlanth has lots of 'cool bits'. For example, he's associated with poetry (and I wrote a myth about how Orlanth Stole the Ale of Poetry from the Bright Emperor). One can do a variety of neat things with the idea of Orlanthi poetry--like Bronze Age rap battles and so on. Orlanth has his Six Virtues--Hospitality gives us a chance to do the Greeting Ritual. Generosity allows things like Beowulf-style ring giving.聽

But Ernalda doesn't seem to have a lot of comparable things to that--things that would make players say "wow, that's neat! I wanna be able to do that!" For Ernalda to be really equal in terms of playability, it seems to me that Ernalda needs similar cool bits. She doesn't, for example, have a comparable list of Virtues and practices connected to them. In other words, stuff that adds to 'on-stage' play and makes an Ernaldan player feel like she's in a Norse saga or something comparable.

So what cool bits does Ernalda have? Any thoughts?聽

Ernalda is Queen聽 of the Earth, I feel like she probably has or had those things prior, Poetry- I mean what power of nature whether it is for woe or weel, does not inspire the聽 words to lip into existance and be created, summoning forth images and and game sometimes.

I honestly would give Ernalda Virtues and聽 other things take them for Orlanth and聽 rework them (if I knew what they were), saying she had them first or they perhaps share them.

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2 hours ago, Bohemond said:

In any society in which fertility (crops, livestock, children)聽is a primary concern, heteronormativity has to be the standard. Given high rates of infant mortality, high rates of death during childbirth, high rates of violent death, and high rates of death from disease, most people have no choice except to procreate, and society needs to mandate procreation.聽If the vast majority of people aren't reproducing, there's a good chance the community聽will either die out or be overwhelmed by their enemies. The ancient Greeks,聽who were probably the most 'gay-friendly' (to use an anachronistic term) society in human history, still expected all men to get married and procreate. Had I been born back then, I fully accept that I would have been considered a聽freak and I would have had to marry a woman against my inclination.聽

I'm a gay man, but I'm also an historian, and I need my fantasy cultures to make sense to me sociologically, economically, and so on. It's another reason I hate Generic Fantasy Europe.聽

And I'm not saying that everyone's Glorantha has to work this way. It's what makes sense -for my Glorantha-.

Edit: Also, I'm way more interested in obstacles as story-telling aids than letting everything run smoothly. A story where true love gets what it wants without any difficulty is a story people won't tell for generations.聽

I think your analysis overlooks the HUGE gains in fertility & growth of a population where the majority of the adult population are Rune-Level Initiates (as is the case of b Sartar, though not in most of Glorantha).聽 Blessings of crops, pregnancies, etc...

Add survivability, with Healing that's positively EVERYWHERE (like, multiple EMTs + a modern urban trauma-center in every F'ing village!); do not discount Spirit Magic (the 1-2pts-of-Heal who I liken to EMT's)!

The heteronormative "biology is destiny" POV that historically demands that so many of the聽 women provide babies for the next generation (because of infant mortality, women dying in childbirth, etc) to maintain the population...?聽 Yeah, that analysis is RIGHT out the window!

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1 minute ago, HeartQuintessence said:

Ernalda is Queen聽 of the Earth, I feel like she probably has or had those things prior, Poetry- I mean what power of nature whether it is for woe or weel, does not inspire the聽 words to lip into existance and be created, summoning forth images and and game sometimes.

I honestly would give Ernalda Virtues and聽 other things take them for Orlanth and聽 rework them (if I knew what they were), saying she had them first or they perhaps share them.

I feel like saying that Ernalda has the same cool things makes them less interesting and sort of collapses the differences between them. Canonically, she's not shown reciting poetry, whereas Orlanth produced short verses a lot, especially in the earlier phases of Glorantha's evolution.聽

Orlanth's Six Virtues are Courage, Wisdom, Justice, Generosity, Honor, and Piety. (I thought Hospitality was in there, but I just looked up the list and it's not. Hmmm...) Wisdom and Generosity are as appropriate for Ernalda as Orlanth, and maybe Piety as well, although I don't really know why the gods need piety. But Courage is a martial virtue, so I think whatever Ernalda has would express bravery in a very different way, like Steadfastness. Ernalda doesn't seem concerned with Honor to anything like the degree Orlanth is--the sort of thing that gets men angry when it's affronted and makes them willing to fight over it. What is the feminine equivalent of that--what idea gets women willing to compete because some deep principle is involved?

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13 minutes ago, g33k said:

I think your analysis overlooks the HUGE gains in fertility & growth of a population where the majority of the adult population are Rune-Level Initiates (as is the case of b Sartar, though not in most of Glorantha).聽 Blessings of crops, pregnancies, etc...

Add survivability, with Healing that's positively EVERYWHERE (like, multiple EMTs + a modern urban trauma-center in every F'ing village!); do not discount Spirit Magic (the 1-2pts-of-Heal who I liken to EMT's)!

The heteronormative "biology is destiny" POV that historically demands that so many of the聽 women provide babies for the next generation (because of infant mortality, women dying in childbirth, etc) to maintain the population...?聽 Yeah, that analysis is RIGHT out the window!

But for every priestess with healing magic, there's a warrior with killing magic to make their weapons more deadly. There is magic to fight disease, but there are also Chaos cultists who actively spread it, and wyters who get offended and withdraw their protection. There is fertility magic to encourage crops to grow, but there are trolls with their insatiable hunger. So while the details might shift a little bit, I don't think we should look at the survival rates in Glorantha as being drastically different than they were in the ancient world.聽


And given that I'm actively positing cults that allow homosexual couples to reproduce, I don't think I'm being biologically determinist.聽

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9 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

So while the details might shift a little bit, I don't think we should look at the survival rates in Glorantha as being drastically different than they were in the ancient world.

uhhh do you know what the survival rates were like in the ancient world because I feel like you don't when you say this

Death before, during, or soon after childbirth is a significant cause of female mortality, especially in countries and communities without universal access to healthcare.

In fact, in the last 20 years, the WHO showed a 43% decline in infant and mother mortality during birth alone.

So the population skew is going to be massively different. 1/4 of women dying in childbirth is no longer an issue. People aren't having 20 babies. My grandfather was one of SEVENTEEN sons. That's not going to be the case even in a world with ravening trolls because over half of them died before age 6.

Like, there's healthcare, full stop. Yeah, there's warfare. There are going to be bigger families than we have now, but women are not going to die in childbirth constantly, and an healthy adult man won't die because he got a splinter, never mind a sword-blow to an arm.

It really is going to be a very different world to both the modern and the ancient worlds.

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1 hour ago, Akh么rahil said:

And - scary thought - has there ever been a full write-up of the Cult of the Bloody Tusk? I could totally see some Dark Earth rune in there.

yes, it's Earth, Darkness, and Beast. Gouger the Earth God was defeated by Aram using a dehore and his son, Redeye, is the third rune. They use the Bloody Cut, which is described I believe in RQG's bestiary: it's the opposite of the Peaceful Cut, it binds the spirit.

I guess that's why Gouger ain't popular in central Genertela. Aram killed him.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

It really is going to be a very different world to both the modern and the ancient worlds.

18 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Regarding the Glorantha death rate, one could look at the RQG character history tables and estimate some numbers.聽 I know that, for our PCs, at age 21, most of their parents and grandparents are deceased.聽 For example, my character has a surviving grandmother and **no other ancestors alive**.聽 Small sample, the plural of anecdote is not data, but I suspect that聽@Qizilbashwoman is overly optimistic about Glorantha survival rates.聽 The best health care in the world doesn't protect from The Bat.聽 馃槥

Sorry Qizilbashwoman but I am afraid I will have to agree, magic does not make Glorantha a paradise, and not do any damage. I would say for聽every bonus there might be due to magic there could well be聽an equal weal (also due to magic), in fact on a world 聽that was聽destroyed by a war聽of the Gods (let me聽repeat that;聽was聽destroyed....)聽and with a little chaos thrown on for garnish , hell it was invaded not just by the devil but all his horde and more besides. Today (after an heroic and mythic聽effort by all the remaining gods and goddesses)聽at best it聽 is still considered broken,聽It holds on by a thread, well a spiderwebby thread but a thread nonetheless.I will postulate it could actually be far worse, but聽that is where the heroes come in....

cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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