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Nick Brooke

Out now in Print and PDF: A Rough Guide to Glamour

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Just now, Sir_Godspeed said:

My impression as a newcomer to Glorantha is that this is a throwback of sorts to back when ALL of Glorantha had the tongue at least somewhat stuck in the cheek. There's still some of it left (ducks, "casino town", trolls parahernalia, punny names), but art direction and nomenclature has taken a different direction. 

Anyway, I could be wrong, it is what it is.

That's fine but I don't get the impression that we're going to see a serious Lunar sourcebook. Unless Jeff or someone can correct me?

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I couldn't tell. Though I haven't read the Rough Guide either, so I don't know exactly how "silly" the silliness is, and how "serious" (or "dry" depending on your perspective, I suppose) the seriousness is, so I have no real insight into this.

 

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This began life 20some years ago as a convention-centric adventure, a 1-shot thing.  It was intentionally frivolous and in many ways light-hearted, in part (IMHO) as an antidote to Gloranthan  over-seriousness and "anthropo-wankery" (which was a well-known thing even then).  It was filled with anachronisms and jokes and pop-culture references... and it still is, being true(ish) to the original.

But Glamour herself, the goddess, is all about pop-culture; it's apropos!

If you read it as "mostly official" but simply written with an ironic and humorous lens, I think it still has tremendous value... even for "serious" campaigns!

 

Edited by g33k
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4 minutes ago, g33k said:

This began life 20some years ago as a convention-centric adventure, a 1-shot thing.  It was filled with anachronisms and jokes and pop-culture references... and it still is, being true(ish) to the original.

But Glamour herself, the goddess, is all about pop-culture; it's apropos!

If you read it as "mostly official" but simply written with an ironic and humorous lens, I think it still has tremendous value... even for "serious" campaigns!

 

The description on DTRPG mentions its origins but bills it as a useful guidebook for the Lunar setting, not necessarily as a tongue-in-cheek 90s artifact. 

There are a lot of funny games out there I could run that don't require extensive player buy-in for the setting unlike RuneQuest Glorantha.

YGWV, but if I have to make it Vary by a lot, I'm probably better off not buying a book and just doing the work myself. Again, I haven't finished reading it, so maybe more is useful than I'm getting initially, but if this Jonstown Compendium publication & its portrayal is all we're seeing for the Lunar Empire, I'm not thrilled as yet. I've wanted a good guide to spare me the work of heavy worldbuilding to run a Lunar campaign and based on the description I thought this would do the trick.

I am not trying to be insulting by any means. It seems a lot of people like it. It's just not at all what I was expecting. I thought the cover was funny but figured that was just a gag. Didn't realize the book's tone was overall humorous.

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16 minutes ago, Gene M. said:

The description on DTRPG mentions its origins but bills it as a useful guidebook for the Lunar setting, not necessarily as a tongue-in-cheek 90s artifact. 

There are a lot of funny games out there I could run that don't require extensive player buy-in for the setting unlike RuneQuest Glorantha.

YGWV, but if I have to make it Vary by a lot, I'm probably better off not buying a book and just doing the work myself. Again, I haven't finished reading it, so maybe more is useful than I'm getting initially, but if this Jonstown Compendium publication & its portrayal is all we're seeing for the Lunar Empire, I'm not thrilled as yet. I've wanted a good guide to spare me the work of heavy worldbuilding to run a Lunar campaign and based on the description I thought this would do the trick.

I am not trying to be insulting by any means. It seems a lot of people like it. It's just not at all what I was expecting. I thought the cover was funny but figured that was just a gag. Didn't realize the book's tone was overall humorous.

Hmmmm.

I mean, "don't judge a book by its cover" and all that; but if I saw a "funny" cover I would presume the interior was funny, too...

But this seems like a reasonable criticism of the promo-text on DTRPG...  I mean, if you already knew -- roughly -- what you were getting into, the "blurb" makes it clear that's what you're getting into.  But if you don't already know...  Does it let you know that the product is so full of jokes???  hmmmm...

Edited by g33k

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53 minutes ago, g33k said:

Hmmmm.

I mean, "don't judge a book by its cover" and all that; but if I saw a "funny" cover I would presume the interior was funny, too...

But this seems like a reasonable criticism of the promo-text on DTRPG...  I mean, if you already knew -- roughly -- what you were getting into, the "blurb" makes it clear that's what you're getting into.  But if you don't already know...  Does it let you know that the product is so full of jokes???  hmmmm...

Right. Jeff Richard citing it as one of the best sources on the Lunar Empire along with the Guide to Glorantha and the Glorantha Sourcebook led me to think it would resemble the latter two works in tone and content. I think this is a case where familiarity with the original means you know exactly what you're getting into, but if you only got into Glorantha since 2012 or so, your expectations might be frustrated. 

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On 4/14/2020 at 9:55 PM, Nick Brooke said:

For customers with special accessibility needs who can only navigate PDFs via the Bookmarks menu,

Do you think the snark was really necessary? 

I presume you want people to buy your book. Dumping shit on them for requesting what, these days, should be considered a fairly normal request doesn't seem to be the smart thing to do.

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13 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

Do you think the snark was really necessary? 

I presume you want people to buy your book. Dumping shit on them for requesting what, these days, should be considered a fairly normal request doesn't seem to be the smart thing to do.

I didn’t do it for @Rodney Dangerduck. I did it for any customers with special accessibility needs who’d find PDF bookmarks useful. You may not be aware that the book is dedicated to a friend who died of Motor Neurone Disease. Rodney’s “request” was rude, and he apologised for the tone of it, but it brought to mind a valid consideration that we (amateur fan publishers producing our first book, please remember) had previously overlooked.

if that puts you off buying my book, I can’t help you.

.

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4 hours ago, Gene M. said:

That's fine but I don't get the impression that we're going to see a serious Lunar sourcebook. Unless Jeff or someone can correct me?

All the main cults of the Lunar religion will get official writeups in the forthcoming Gods of Glorantha books (or whatever they end up being called) for RuneQuest. Chaosium would simply love to bring out a “serious” Lunar sourcebook. And Jeff Richard hasn’t said the Rough Guide to Glamour is 95% official - he’s said it’s 95% “how he sees it.” Which aren’t the same thing at all.

I linked to Andrew Logan Montgomery's review of our book up-thread, which could have warned you exactly what you were getting yourself into before the book went on sale. The cover has a picture of Elvis front and centre, and I made sure Jeff’s foreword was part of the public preview on DriveThruRPG:

“The Glamour presented here is illuminated with shifting beams of Moonlight. There might be a stray reflection from the pop culture of lost Cool Britannia here and there, bouncing off the glitter of a New Wave discotheque or off the chrome of Telly Savalas’ pate. But that is what happens when you explore the City of Dreams. We aren’t living in the real world here – we are in Glamour, where gods and goddesses walk with men, and where nightmares and fantasies are made flesh. “

If you saw that and still expected a “serious” sourcebook, I’m not sure what else I can say. We are proud of our work, it was literally 25 years in the making, and coming back to it this year has been a source of ceaseless delight for everyone involved in the project. We are happy to share the fruits of our labours with you. But if fun and games are not your thing, there’s still everything in the Guide to Glorantha, the Glorantha Sourcebook, the forthcoming Gods books, the deprecated HeroQuest handbooks, the wargames, the websites...  there’s plenty more Lunar stuff out there, if you want the foundations for your own take on the setting.

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4 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Koromandol is a reference to a folk hippie music album or something...

The “Coast of Coromandel” features in the nonsense verse of Edward Lear (specifically, The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo), which - coincidentally, I assure you - my great-grandfather Leslie Brooke illustrated.

Older readers may remember the “creature whose initials are Y.B.B.” that haunts the fringes of the Kingdom of Ignorance in the Orange Box from the eighties (Glorantha: Genertela, Crucible of the Hero Wars).

image.jpeg

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38 minutes ago, Nick Brooke said:

All the main cults of the Lunar religion will get official writeups in the forthcoming Gods of Glorantha books (or whatever they end up being called) for RuneQuest. Chaosium would simply love to bring out a “serious” Lunar sourcebook. And Jeff Richard hasn’t said the Rough Guide to Glamour is 95% official - he’s said it’s 95% “how he sees it.” Which aren’t the same thing at all.

I linked to Andrew Logan Montgomery's review of our book up-thread, which could have warned you exactly what you were getting yourself into before the book went on sale. The cover has a picture of Elvis front and centre, and I made sure Jeff’s foreword was part of the public preview on DriveThruRPG:

“The Glamour presented here is illuminated with shifting beams of Moonlight. There might be a stray reflection from the pop culture of lost Cool Britannia here and there, bouncing off the glitter of a New Wave discotheque or off the chrome of Telly Savalas’ pate. But that is what happens when you explore the City of Dreams. We aren’t living in the real world here – we are in Glamour, where gods and goddesses walk with men, and where nightmares and fantasies are made flesh. “

If you saw that and still expected a “serious” sourcebook, I’m not sure what else I can say. We are proud of our work, it was literally 25 years in the making, and coming back to it this year has been a source of ceaseless delight for everyone involved in the project. We are happy to share the fruits of our labours with you. But if fun and games are not your thing, there’s still everything in the Guide to Glorantha, the Glorantha Sourcebook, the forthcoming Gods books, the deprecated HeroQuest handbooks, the wargames, the websites...  there’s plenty more Lunar stuff out there, if you want the foundations for your own take on the setting.

I bought the book on the strength of the recommendations and mentions I had seen of it over the years as a good source for Lunar material. Unfortunately I did not check the forums first before buying it on DTRPG or I would have come across ALM's review. 

"If fun or games are not your thing" reads like a bit of a jerk thing to say. I mostly run lighthearted games with lots of humor; actually, the majority of my players are former members of a sketch comedy group. I just wasn't expecting it in this based on the contexts in which I had seen it mentioned. I've also said that my first impressions may be unjust and I will be reading through it to see what's still useful to me. I think I've been pretty measured in what I've said and acknowledged that my disappointment was from having mistaken expectations. I'm certainly not trying to say that it's a bad book. Lots of people are praising it. I apologize if I am misinterpreting the tone of that remark but it seems a bit mean-spirited to me. 

It's worth considering how others who have not been in the Glorantha club for as long as the posters here and don't have the social background in the old conventions and listservs understand the material. It feels a bit like I've trespassed on someone else's property and should leave it to the people it belongs to. 

Edited by Gene M.

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3 minutes ago, Gene M. said:

"If fun or games are not your thing" reads like a bit of a jerk thing to say.... it seems a bit mean-spirited to me. 

If that’s so, I’m sorry. Our book, like the freeform it supported, is above all meant to make certain aspects of Glorantha comprehensible, accessible, playable, memorable and enjoyable. These things are games, after all: we play them to amuse ourselves and our friends.

You’ll find a lot of dense internal referencing between different elements of the Rough Guide. Its playful, at times whimsical presentation shouldn’t detract from the fact that this material was written by masters of Gloranthan lore at the top of their game, constantly sparking off each others’ ideas: people capable of going toe to toe with Greg Stafford in debates about the Lunar Empire and occasionally even illuminating him.

5 minutes ago, Gene M. said:

It feels a bit like I've trespassed on someone else's property and should leave it to the people it belongs to. 

You are welcome! Pull up a comfy seat and join the happy buzz of conversation. The Lunar Way is all about making converts, after all. We are all Us.

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It may be worth bearing in mind, that the description in the Guide of Glamour indicates its atmosphere, which should leave non-Lunars feeling a bit... queasy.

Given that its guardian spirit is a daughter of the Goddess of Illusion, there's obviously something lurking behind the facade of the city. If you strip out the songs and stories, as not in Your Glorantha, what remains still captures the sense of disturbing unreality of the place. It isn't like any other city, even the other highly magical cities of Glorantha. Like the Goddess, the city has a taint of Chaos, and for non-Lunars should have a deep sense of foreboding, hidden behind its beautiful exterior.

Glamour should feel strange, even to Lunars; the entire satrapy should feel not quite in the mortal world. If it starts to feel like a comfortable place, you've been seduced by the darker aspects of the Lunar Way perhaps just a little too much?

Edited by M Helsdon
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A Rough Guide to Glamour came out a week ago: in that time it's won a Silver Best Seller medal, was #1 Bestselling Title on all of DriveThruRPG for a couple of days, and has remained #1 Hottest Community Content (across all systems, settings and publishers) since shortly after its release.
There are eight 5-star top ratings on DriveThruRPG (and we've had a rave review from Andrew Logan Montgomery). Chaosium kindly agreed to sell our best piece of art via RedBubble, and I can confirm that the print quality is absolutely gorgeous.
The book has had two minor enhancements since launch in response to feedback: we added PDF Bookmarks for greater ease of navigation, and a separate PDF with higher-resolution Landscape-format versions of all the maps.
If you want to see what all the fuss is about, here's a link:
If you've already bought our sourcebook, please consider leaving a rating (and possibly a review) to help other prospective customers. If you haven't yet, what are you waiting for? It's only $14.95, and all right-thinking citizens of the Lunar Empire say that it's double-plus-good.
Edited by Nick Brooke
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On 4/20/2020 at 4:01 AM, Nick Brooke said:
... If you haven't yet, what are you waiting for? ...

POD options.

 

🙂

 

edit -- 19 May -- Print is now available !!!

Edited by g33k
print FTW !
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A Rough Guide to Glamour was released a fortnight ago. It was the #1 bestselling title on DriveThruRPG on release, has been the #1 hottest community content on DriveThruRPG ever since, and is now an Electrum Best Seller. In his in-depth review, Andrew Logan Montgomery wrote: “It’s epic, mythic, quasi-historic, and profoundly ridiculous… In short, it is brilliant.”
Nine  ratings on DriveThruRPG!
DriveThruRPG customers said: “Crazy, nuanced, absolutely essential… The history, mythology, and attention to detail make this a required purchase.”  “It is a delight.”  “Production quality of the highest standard.”  “A work of sheer lunatic brilliance! Probably concocted with moonshine and/or gin, as well as a large dose of 80s music.”  “Clear, well written and really beautiful, very easy to read and use… Deliciously fun!”  
The book comes bundled with a Glamour Map Pack, inc. high-resolution versions of all the maps. Printed products featuring Antonia Doncheva’s beautiful illustration of the urban goddess Glamour are available from Chaosium’s store on RedBubble.
Rough Guide link: DriveThruRPG
RedBubble link: Chaosium's RedBubble store
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A quick post to celebrate our Electrum-selling book A Rough Guide to Glamour's three unbroken weeks as the hottest community content on DriveThruRPGMatthew Pook of Reviews from R'lyeh wrote: "A Rough Guide to Glamour lives up to its name, all glitz and showmanship... It is brilliant  in describing the mythical, mystical nature of Glamour."
 
Ten  ratings on DriveThruRPG!
 
If you own our book and haven't yet left a rating or a review at DriveThruRPG, please consider doing so: we greatly appreciate your feedback.
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Okay, we are finally getting somewhere. 

I'm not sure what hardware you guys all have that so enjoyable reading 600+ pages of PDF on, but my devices SUCK for doing so on.  The computer is tolerable, but hard to transport around.  Even putting aside the battery issues, it just isn't a good experience.  And frankly there is a lot of demand in my family for those devices right now, school, girl scouts, all that jazz.  Print on Demand is important to some of us.  Thanks for this!

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1 hour ago, Dissolv said:

Okay, we are finally getting somewhere. 

I'm not sure what hardware you guys all have that so enjoyable reading 600+ pages of PDF on, but my devices SUCK for doing so on.  The computer is tolerable, but hard to transport around.  Even putting aside the battery issues, it just isn't a good experience.  And frankly there is a lot of demand in my family for those devices right now, school, girl scouts, all that jazz.  Print on Demand is important to some of us.  Thanks for this!

I too prefer the material the Mostali produce (I think raw Aldryami are the primary input to their process) for reading and for enjoyment.

But I cannot deny the utility of the Illuminated experience (with CTRL-F and other secrets only available to those who partake of Illumination) ...

 

For your reference -- if screens are at a premium at your house -- Chromebooks offer a LOT of utility, and can be had as cheaply as US$250 these days (occasionally even cheaper, but that's damned rare with the covid-19 market impacts).  I just bought an Acer 314.

I see tablets under $100 (latest Kindle from Amazon, and a decent-looking basic model called "Onn Pro" is showing up at Walmart).

I am keenly interested to find out if the "paperwhite" aka "e-ink" technology is available in larger screens (at a decent price):  although not color, their battery life is incredible & high-visibility even in direct sun... they're text--readers' dreams!

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I have just learned that if you bought A Rough Guide to Glamour in PDF before it was out in print and contact DriveThruRPG Customer Services now, they will refund the PDF purchase if you have bought the POD book (which comes bundled with the PDF).
 
The customer service "Contact Us" button is at the bottom left of the DTRPG home page. Good luck!
 
EDITED: this seems to be a clearer explanation of what happens.

PDF and Print.jpg

Edited by Nick Brooke
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