Jump to content

Women in Glorantha


HeartQuintessence

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

Some of that emphasis on combat is in the life experience, or lack of it, of the players.  That example of convincing the clan chief is a wonderful exampleWhy must it be the clan chief?  How about convincing the ring or the clan or tribal  meeting?

I agree, in practice, in custom, and maybe even to an extent in law power in an Orlanthi clan is more pluricentric than (for example) a Clan President and a Cabinet Ring serving at his Pleasure.  For a lot of the things that come up in the typical game, the chief likely is the decision-maker:  if you have to decide "should we welcome these strangers?" or "should be raid the neighbours, and as your answer is 'yes', which ones?"  Can't be going all bottom-up procurement processes for things that need a swift answer and a small decision-making circle.

OTOH, for other matters it's likely effectively another Inner Ring Member's call.  Why have a specialist in skills and ritual role for various matters, and then second-guess then?

And in particular when it comes to the use of land, it's clear that the Earth Priestess has a huge role.  Possibly a very complex one, because as Jeff set out, it might be the tribal or regional temple that's the formal holder of sovereignty, who then farms that out to the chief, rather than the clan one.  But she'll have a big spake one way or the other.

And as you say, some decisions will be taken by the whole Inner Ring, or the Outer Ring, or the clan moot.  Pace your political efforts accordingly!

 

1 hour ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

If more folks had experience in politics they would do that by lining up votes before the meeting, which requires many interactions and many orate or regional lore rolls.  Accumulating favors and debts. 

 

Which of course also applies even before you know there's to be a vote, or other decision-making process.  Get your retaliatory obligations in first!

 

1 hour ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

Me, I recall getting thrown out of a campaign because my character spent time doing things like giving a local girl what amounted to a scholarship to study at the Ernalda temple, thus building goodwill.  Evidently the GM and other players regarded that as a waste of time. 

Ouch.  Well, let them do them, I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Alex said:

... If it's what's desired, then why worry about changing it?  Obviously if the ruleset isn't RQ, or the group wants something different, or different parts of the group want different things, then that may vary considerably.  In the HW/HQ/QW take on Glorantha, it's pretty explicitly the intent to make non-combat conflicts 'first-class citizens' too ...

The thesis of the thread seems to include the notion that thrilling/engaging non-combat options should be equally available, even in RQ, because that whole "mythic" and "heroquesting" idea seems to call for much more than just combat.

But the combat rules have so many more engaging bits, with all those combat-only subsystems beyond the simple d100-skill roll.

So if the group wants their combat, fine; but if some want equal engagement from other bits of the mechanics... <shrug>


(I've seriously considered abstracting the narrative elements of Fate off of their Fudge foundations, to re-implement in other gamesystems (including BRP/RQ)).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

...
Me, I recall getting thrown out of a campaign because my character spent time doing things like giving a local girl what amounted to a scholarship to study at the Ernalda temple, thus building goodwill.  Evidently the GM and other players regarded that as a waste of time. 

Yah, me too.  In my case, I left the (non-RQ) group (rather than being kicked out) because of a couple of my characters who were getting a bunch of impatient pushback from the group...
 - an epically-stupid PC (who was supposed to be comic relief (when he wasn't being a hard-hitting tank))
 - a character with an always-on power that, if he didn't take care, would cause lots of problems (but it was costed-out as a point-sink advantage (less then 10pt of 350pt build) rather than a point-granting disadvantage.

As with your group, these ideas were seen as a "waste" by the other players and/or the GM.

 

Edited by g33k
not RQ
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Alex said:

And as you say, some decisions will be taken by the whole Inner Ring, or the Outer Ring, or the clan moot.  Pace your political efforts accordingly!

And even if they won't explicitly be putting things to a vote or otherwise officially putting the decision in the hands of the Inner or Outer Rings, it's at least a great way to put pressure on the clan chief to see things your way. Very few are going to be in such a secure position they won't at least hesitate to gainsay a big enough bloc of notable clansmen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

If more folks had experience

 

8 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

And if more GMs

I agree but there is another actor:

And if more creators proposed scenario / system / ... not only the setting but some proposal of "how to do" it would help players and GM who have not this experience.

I found very interesting the system proposed the "blood of orlanth" campaign

- you have to convince some clans to join your side. Each clan has its one quest and the success of the quest gives you more or less opportunity to convince the clan

- you get points "of success" depending how many clans join your side

- then there is a war, and at each stage (and stage depends of a variety of things) you have some quests giving you more or less points of success too

etc.. and at the end of the day (or the campaign...) You know how successful you are regarding the amount of success you gained

then the scenario proposed a path, and a GM  can propose more, adjust etc.

But in all case the GM, and the players, are not facing "a blank page" there is a great proposal, they can use "as is" or as guidelines for a richer  and custom campaign.

 

This kind of product could give experience for folks and GMs

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, g33k said:

I guess it's worth hauling out the hoary old cliche here:  RPG's evolved from wargames... Gygax/Arneson/etc produced the original D&D as a variant on their mini's combat games.  And even more proximately for us, Glorantha was first gamified in WBRM: a classic hexmap-and-chits wargame!  (Only later did a RPG version come out)   And wargames are, by definition, wargames.

That was nearly 50 years ago and the games have not remained static since then.

For me, combat is a relatively minor part of RQ.

10 hours ago, g33k said:

It's "true" that combat is your skill on d100,  and  so is social conflict (like a "Bargain" skill, etc)...  HOWEVER...  That's a terribly superficial (and frankly misleading) gloss of the rules.   Nothing except combat has the elaborate plethora of sub-systems like Strike Rank, armor, hit-points/location, impaling/crushing/slashing weapons, Special/Critical damages, Fumbles, Mounted Combat, Chariots, etc etc etc.

Yes and it is about time that we brought social conflict, crafting and so on into the light, with more sub-systems.

  • Like 4

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

If you reverse engineered the extended conflict rules from HW/HW/QW back to RQ, they would look something like a hit location table.

Quote

 

20: clan chief : 16 hp, 8 pts armour unless *plot spoiler*. Relevant skills/passions for opposed rolls: ... 

16:19: inner ring: 14 hp, ...

 

Damage could be on sliding scale from a plausible argument doing say 1d4 damage up to overwhelming magical proof at 1d20, with bonuses for magic and characteristics.

The key mechanical point is you are making a sequence of opposed roles where you can have both incremental progress and plausible partial victories that have ongoing consequences.

For example, you are trying to persuade the clan to go to war with local trolls. The opposing roll is mostly loyalty  *clan*; you need to persuade them that such a war is not going to end badly for the clan. You only manage to win over  one inner ring member. But, they have enough sway to get you assigned to go investigate the trolls actions as official clan business, leading into the next scenario.

If that would be end up as a good game is an open question...

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, radmonger said:

If you reverse engineered the extended conflict rules from HW/HW/QW back to RQ, they would look something like a hit location table.

 

Damage could be on sliding scale from a plausible argument doing say 1d4 damage up to overwhelming magical proof at 1d20, with bonuses for magic and characteristics.

The key mechanical point is you are making a sequence of opposed roles where you can have both incremental progress and plausible partial victories that have ongoing consequences.

For example, you are trying to persuade the clan to go to war with local trolls. The opposing roll is mostly loyalty  *clan*; you need to persuade them that such a war is not going to end badly for the clan. You only manage to win over  one inner ring member. But, they have enough sway to get you assigned to go investigate the trolls actions as official clan business, leading into the next scenario.

If that would be end up as a good game is an open question...

 

 

This thread is getting way off target. If you all want to talk about how to create complex social mechanics or about the role of combat in RPGs, please create a new thread.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Jeff said:

This thread is getting way off target. If you all want to talk about how to create complex social mechanics or about the role of combat in RPGs, please create a new thread.

Fair enough!

I think interesting mechanical ways to engage in non-fighty conflict & tensions could help a  lot  with some of the issues raised in-thread, but you're right that (as bare mechanics discussed independent of the context) this is drifting rather far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/7/2021 at 8:46 PM, Squaredeal Sten said:

Some of that emphasis on combat is in the life experience, or lack of it, of the players.  That example of convincing the clan chief is a wonderful exampleWhy must it be the clan chief?  How about convincing the ring or the clan or tribal  meeting?

If more folks had experience in politics they would do that by lining up votes before the meeting, which requires many interactions and many orate or regional lore rolls.  Accumulating favors and debts.  Maybe some work identifying the various interests of the various parties, then some gift giving, flattery, log rolling, and occasional bribery. Finally turning out the vote: Whether by persuasion, oration, or inviting them to a barbecue, you make sure your votes attend the meeting, even though they have to walk from a far-flung clan tula to Clearwine.   

You didn't really think the vote was decided on the day of the vote, did you?

And if more GMs had that experience they would structure the scenarios to accommodate that sort of solution.

But that also takes players who don't view politics as boring.

Me, I recall getting thrown out of a campaign because my character spent time doing things like giving a local girl what amounted to a scholarship to study at the Ernalda temple, thus building goodwill.  Evidently the GM and other players regarded that as a waste of time. 

 

  Bringing things back on topic:

Women in Glorantha are usually explained as being 'non-fighty' (i.e. non-Vingans) and  kept into their Hearth and Home positions, how can we use that then to highlight the world of glorantha?

As this thread ticked on it game me  pause. I started this thread partially because I was unhappy with the 97% of rules in the RQG book being 'combat', but it also made me think about how women characters aren't in the foreground as much.

Vasana's Vingan, her sister Yanioth is an Ernalda, but Yanioth's position as an Earth Priestess (is she a full priestess?) ( Initiate?) isn't really brought up more than few times about how Yanioth did something temple related, or Earth-y Priestess-y related.

 

Now I legitmately had fun in an NON-RQ (GURPS 4th ed) game,  where like the person above I adopted an NPC, the gm totally just made a 1 off- character (a little girl who took to my Isekai'd character, and when she realized she had an interest in knowledge, helped to shape this girl.

She taught her to read basic words, she realized she was a WIZ a math, and this later became a plot point. (Ms. Isekai and the girl went to the local lord's manner, and the girl noticed that the accounts of the grain for taxes were just plain wrong.

None of the men expected her to beable to do math or read, they assumed she was a dumb farm girl. And she used that assumption to get a closer look at the books. Because my character had promised to 'apprentice her' and was using her as a local guide.

 

But you know what that was the most satisfying thing *EVER*.

Not at lot of combat in the Broken Tower campaign (It was a lot of fun, a lot of silly a lot of cool moments of my character being thrown off by a big mercenary dude who was hired, and totally was hitting on her (and yes she did end up marrying him in the end, becoming a big shot 'wizard lady' and help to fix the worlds problems --eventually--..

But it all started because she was a non-combat character dropped into a world that had thought it needed her. (like she accidentally got isekai'd).

 

But it got me thinking about how a women are even in Glorantha sterotyped and maybe we should all be looking towards building better scenarios, better fiction, that show cases women, homelife and the general craziness of living in a town or steadding.

I know my own little clan's Koza (magical sheep-goats) their first ram is called 'Chief Bronze Hoof' and even though I only ellude to it in one of my fiction peices. It got me thinking, Earth Initiates have Tame Swine (I think), and I think Tame Sheep, belongs to Nevala (Thunder Rebels), even writing a scenario where Chief Bronze hoof escapes and communes with someone might be interesting.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/8/2021 at 7:35 AM, Jeff said:

This thread is getting way off target. If you all want to talk about how to create complex social mechanics or about the role of combat in RPGs, please create a new thread.

So Heart Quintessence, are you interested in creating a new thread about how to game social mechanics?

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

4 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

So Heart Quintessence, are you interested in creating a new thread about how to game social mechanics?

+1 (but more general than just "social" mechanics).  In the RQ subforum, I think, as it's a "rules-y" topic, but HW/HQ/QW (as noted) already seems to have better game-mechanical support for such things ...

I encourage such rules to not be clean-sheet "new" rules but (as much as is viable) to be based on the existing mechanics used in various combat subsystems.  Rules-bloat is, I think, a serious risk to such a problem...

I look forward to participating in that thread, too!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/10/2021 at 3:32 PM, HeartQuintessence said:

 But it got me thinking about how a women are even in Glorantha sterotyped and maybe we should all be looking towards building better scenarios, better fiction, that show cases women, homelife and the general craziness of living in a town or steadding.

I don't think it's fair to characterise showing that, in addition to their prominent, frequent and non-sexualised representation in adventuring and leadership roles, many women in Glorantha follow traditional feminine roles, is stereotyping. A stereotype implies a fixed and simplistic representation, and I don't think RQ represents women's roles in a fixed and oversimplified way.

RuneQuest is primarily a game about adventuring and it 's rules emphasise adventuring activities in the rules. Nowadays with passions, rune affinities and such the game system much better supports other types of conflict and drama, but it could be that QuestWorlds would be a better fit for a community based campaign.

Edited by simonh

Check out the Runequest Glorantha Wiki for RQ links and resources. Any updates or contributions welcome!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, HeartQuintessence said:

Women in Glorantha are usually explained as being 'non-fighty' (i.e. non-Vingans) and  kept into their Hearth and Home positions, how can we use that then to highlight the world of glorantha?

I've been following this thread as a lurker for some time and I'll return to lurking after this comment. I have xxx observations to make:

1. Since RQG is primarily geared to gritty, granular combat, players of combat oriented (and maximized) characters outnumber noncombatant characters in most RQG games. Shifting to a format that was at least 50% social in nature would put those players in the the same status that non-combatant players are now half the time. In the long run, players would adjust, of course. In the short run, though, it might feel more like sharing the misery than increasing the fun.

2. Saying "that's just how it is for women in Glorantha" and changing the fictional approach to embrace that still leaves women who want to play a warrior but aren't keen on the few options available to them in the lurch. That's going to be off-putting to most women even if the don't want to play a combat oriented character. Why should their options be so limited in make-believe-fun time? I'd feel the same way if I were told that most cults in the game wouldn't let me play a male character that wasn't combat oriented.

3. Most importantly, Glorantha is undergoing other sea-changes as it eases into the Post-Stafford era. This is the ideal time to introduce lesser known female warrior cults or sub-cults in a way that doesn't derail the existing fiction - unless that fiction truly is rooted in a binary men fight/women nurture approach to gender.

Just my two bolg's worth. Sling 'em if you don't like 'em! 😉

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Shawn Carpenter said:

2. Saying "that's just how it is for women in Glorantha" and changing the fictional approach to embrace that still leaves women who want to play a warrior but aren't keen on the few options available to them in the lurch.

Which options for warrior characters do you think aren't open to women? There might be a few that are tricky, but they are very few. 

EDIT: The only one I can think of in the core rules in the Yu Kargzant cult is restricted to males. Beyond that, maybe Karrg's Sons for trolls.

Edited by simonh

Check out the Runequest Glorantha Wiki for RQ links and resources. Any updates or contributions welcome!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, simonh said:

I don't think it's fair to characterise showing that, in addition to their prominent, frequent and non-sexualised representation in adventuring and leadership roles, many women in Glorantha follow traditional feminine roles, is stereotyping. A stereotype implies a fixed and simplistic representation, and I don't think RQ represents women's roles in a fixed and oversimplified way.

RuneQuest is primarily a game about adventuring and it 's rules emphasise adventuring activities in the rules. Nowadays with passions, rune affinities and such the game system much better supports other types of conflict and drama, but it could be that QuestWorlds would be a better fit for a community based campaign.

I don't particularly think that Questworlds would do a better or worse job than RuneQuest does for a community based campaign - in fact my own (very extensive) experience is that it doesn't. 

RuneQuest has a gritty and dangerous combat engine that encourages many players to look for another way of reaching their goals without necessarily resorting to violence. I have had more Dance-offs, Sing-offs, passions contests, Oratorical battles and the like in RQG than in HW/HQG. That threat of danger to the adventurers is a Sword of Damocles that encourages other ways.

And so in most of my groups, Ernalda is popular, as is Issaries, Lhankor Mhy, and Chalana Arroy. Turns out fighting against Tusk Riders the spell Command Pig is as useful as Thunderbolt and much less costly. Pathwatch is a superbly useful spell, as are Lhankor Mhy's investigative magic.

But this is pretty off-topic now.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Jeff said:

... I have had more Dance-offs, Sing-offs, passions contests, Oratorical battles and the like in RQG than in HW/HQG...

Combat has a bunch of subsystems that players engage with.  It's got a WHOLE bunch of rolling, and (barring 1st-round Crit's to the 20, or the like) generally follows a course of rising tension before the climactic victory (or retreat, or defeat, etc).  The players have more levers & knobs, more rolls to make, more choices (melee, missile, magic?  If magic:  attack, defend/heal, buff, or "outside the box"?) and thusthe "encounter" lasts for quite a few real-world minutes (allowing that tension to build).

So here's my query to you:
Do you have any rules you use for "Dance-offs, Sing-offs, passions contests, Oratorical battles and the like" that engage the players with additional rolls, additional choices, and sustain the tension of the event to an eventual (hopeful) victory?

Edited by g33k
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, g33k said:

Combat has a bunch of subsystems that players engage with.  It's got a WHOLE bunch of rolling, and (barring 1st-round Crit's to the 20, or the like) generally follows a course of rising tension before the climactic victory (or retreat, or defeat, etc).  The players have more levers & knobs, more rolls to make, more choices (melee, missile, magic?  If magic:  attack, defend/heal, buff, or "outside the box"?) and thusthe "encounter" lasts for quite a few real-world minutes (allowing that tension to build).

So here's my query to you:
Do you have any rules you use for "Dance-offs, Sing-offs, passions contests, Oratorical battles and the like" that engage the players with additional rolls, additional choices, and sustain the tension of the event to an eventual (hopeful) victory?

Nothing beyond what is already in the rules. Combat is a different type of activity than the rest - it can (and often does) result in the death of characters. You want combat to feel gritty because it is should be frightening. In my opinion it is also not something that should be thrown in every session. 

For most activities, the usual set of augments plus opposed roles is in my experience perfectly enough. Afterwards, the GM comes up with what that result means and moves on (which is actually a lot how things worked in HQ).

Separating violence out from other sorts of ability usage helps mark violence as something "else". Sure it is exhilarating to swing that sword, but there is not an insignificant likelihood that you are going to get harmed or even killed. I find that when combat is the same as everything else, the result is counter to what the designers expected - people use violence all the time. This is something I noticed often in HQ games and also that players coming out of HQ to RQ tended to have the same problems as players coming out of D&D to RQ had - that they charged into every combat willy-nilly.

But again this is really off topic. 

  • Like 1
  • Helpful 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've had a few "Dance Offs" (or similar), and several Bargaining battles.  Adding in Passions helps make them a little more interesting, but, frankly, they are still pretty "meh".  And most of our scenarios end, ultimately, in combat.

I'm thinking that one improvement would be that on a tie result, don't simply go with the higher roll.  Unless you are in a hurry and it isn't an important scene.  Ramp things up.  Allow another Inspiration, even it technically illegal.  Even better, allow a different PC to augment: "Pairs Dancing".  That gets the others involved and interested.  Or the sexy PC flirts with the opponent and sneaks a peak at their hole card.  My female character occasionally serves as a "Booth Babe" to aid our Issaries merchant.  (sorry, a bit sexist, but we are all older guys from Silicon Valley and completely used to this situation; in other groups this might be an issue).

I agree with Jeff that this probably isn't worthy of making up a whole new rules system.  Just follow the existing RQG rules and ramp them up with a little creativity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's toss some more attention Redalda's way. She and her followers manage to buck (so to speak) a lot of these dynamics. Feminine + Fire. Riding through hills & plains with the wind in their hair, kicking ass and upholding Truth, yet also being comfortable with matrimony and life centered around upholding a community. There is no contradiction between tending the hearth and defending it. In particular, I love how her & Elmal's partnership involves the two of them doing things together and supporting one another hand in hand in a way that is very different from Orlanth & Ernalda's dynamic.

This too is womanhood in Sartar.

(Must... resist... urge... to start... Elmal... vs... Yelmalio argument...) 

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
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...