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Coming Storm campaign preparation


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Hi! I'm currently first-reading The Coming Storm - already read volume 1, and I'm in volume 2 Great Winter episode. First of all, wonderful job of clear presentation, and a real pleasure of reading!

I'm planning to run it at my gaming club as soon as the confinement is over (don't already know the date in France...). So next step: technically reread it and preparing the campaign. I intent to produce several organization charts of the NPCs, some thematics (Red Cow Ring, Red Cow and other clans/tribes...), and some for each adventure casting, with links ("arrows") between the NPCs and their feelings for each other in one word (hate, fear, despise, loyalty, dominate...). It will help me to avoid getting mixed up with the complexe relationships described in the books - since these are, in my opinion, one of the major issues of the campaign.

Then I am a lazy GM ☺️ and I wonder... maybe some you guys already done the job and could share it? If not, I will share as soon as I'm producing these charts (don't be too hurry...).

Beside these charts, did you produce specific useful gaiming aids for Coming Storm? Use specific tricks?

Thanks for your answers!!!

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I have been using draw.io for tracking the feelings and relationships. I add NPCs as they become present and how they feel about each other or (specifically) towards the PCs. The feeling against PCs is the color of the NPC name (Green to Red). Here is a snapshot attached. Unfortunately it is in Finnish but you can recognize familiar names. PCs are on green background and Stravul is a non-canon NPC that they have connection with.

Okay, I tell the back story quickly. Hendstaval is barefooted Red Cow. His brother was Stravul, great cow raider. Hendrillo is Stravul's son who has lived in Esrolia with his mother and now returned to Red Cow, his father's lands. Jaronil is a praxian Pol-Joni skald and got an epiphany about finding a great story from Red Cow. He arrived with Hendrillo in the same caravan.

1932032594_Yhdestoistatuike.png.5e442ee36ae8444e035f7380d031ee0b.png

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One thing I found was useful - even if you only print out the NPC diagram sheets from the book, let your players scribble on them. This will give you a more colourful, entertaining, and accurate record than if you do it yourself. 

Edited by davecake
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A question for Characters' creation.

In the Book the Red Cow (p33), I read: "Where is the clan Trickster? The Red Cow has no clan trickster or anyone filling one of the prescribed roles. Red Cow stories do tell of Tricksters - Maklan the Fat and Good had a celebrated bonded trickster - but recent chieftains have had no need of one. Instead, when the Red Cow uncovers a trickster they drive them away or hang them.'" And in the Coming Storm books, no mention of this. Should we consider the fate of Eurmali is the same in 1618 than in 1605? Or Red Cow in 1618 is more broad-minded than 13 years ago?...

In other words, can I allow one of the characters to be an initiate of Eurmal in the Coming Storm campaign? Is Broddi allowing Eurmali in his clan (and he doesn't like trouble makers - and of course the Eurmal initiate should find a protector in the Ring...)? And if an Eurmali is allowed, what about Janara's role in the heroquest? A character performing her role would be interesting involvment, and then this character would maybe be too much under the spotlights?...

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4 minutes ago, Loïc said:

In the Book the Red Cow (p33),

Can you tell me a little more about this book? I can't seem to find correct google search words to find something like this.

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Ian's "the Book of the Red Cow" was until recently available at
http://glorantha.temppeli.org/resources/misc/Book of the Red Cow.pdf
but site seems down.
I guess https://web.archive.org/ could be your friend...

I kept some notes about it from Ian:

Quote

 

It's set slightly farther back in 1605, but has other characters from the prior generation that you could draw on for ideas.

Be aware it is an 'earlier' set of days. It's influenced more by the Anglo-Saxon model of the Orlanthi, that Greg had used for a while. I think a closer reading of Thunder Rebels would have shown HW had already undergone an Iron Age/Bronze age shift, I viewed it through the AS lens of earlier times. Now I would look much more to the Iron Age.

In addition, some of the ideas about the Maboder - no cattle only farming etc. are not reflected there. You don't 'cattle raid' the Maboder. Their wealth is in grain. It's possible they are even mostly vegetarian/pescatarian to avoid the issue of the Telmori raiding them for livestock. They might raid the neighbors for cattle for feasts/holy days but would sacrifice them fairly immediately.

 

 

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13 hours ago, jrutila said:

Can you tell me a little more about this book? I can't seem to find correct google search words to find something like this.

It is indeed Ian Cooper's very first exploration of the Red Cow Clan, released in 2003 or so, as a homemade - and still very good - PDF. It is set in 1605, 13 years before the beginning of The Coming Storm: before the Maboders' destruction and the Wolf Hunt. You find Broddi not yet chief of the Red Cow and Ivartha not queen yet. And as says 7Tigers, you can find there many ideas and characters for your own Coming Storm campaign.

Here's a french (sorry! you'll have to Google translate!) link of an interview of Ian Cooper: https://heort.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/deux-questions-a-ian-cooper-a-propos-de-the-coming-storm/. He speaks about The Book of the Red Cow and the further developments in The Coming Storm. Unfortunately, The Book of the Red Cow seems to be unavailable now, as noticed 7Tigers...

Then, Ian Cooper said he just gave up some ideas developed in The Book of the Red Cow when he worked on The Coming Storm. That's my problem with Eurmali: he doesn't mention them as possible characters in The Coming Storm, and nevertheless Eurmalis' proscription by the Red Cow clan isn't as explicit in The Coming Storm (no mention of it) as it is in The Book of the Red Cow.

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Work in progress!

That's a NPCs checklist (in french, sorry...) I'm trying to make exhaustive. I indicated several useful informations (bloodlines, relationships' notes and so forth). I also included all the NPCs from The Book of the Red Cow. About these, I had to extrapolate:

  • all ages indicated in this document correspond to the NPCs' ages in 1618 (calculated from their ages in 1605). I considered many NPCs as dead because of their ages or their replacement at a key position in The Coming Storm (clan chief, clan champion...). Then I still included them (indicated by Humakt's rune!!!) as sources of inspiration for my background campaign. And I do not exclude to use them as NPCs / names stock (always useful!!!);
  • for Maboders, I "killed" all those for whom I seemed to be logical: age of course, and also their faction: I think Maboder Rising and Peace Weavers should have been vastly slaughtered, but let a chance to be saved to a few Wolfskinners (haunting Wulfsland and/or joining the rebellion). And I kept Vastyr the Unadvised and Halda Flower-Bringer for their interesting backgrounds and the potential interactions they could provide. Then, I don't intent to flood my campaign with Maboder survivors, just keep them as a little stock I could use according to my players' actions/choices (you never can predict them!!!!).

I hope some of you will find it useful, and I'm waiting for your critics and suggestions!

Red Cow PNJ.xlsx

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21 hours ago, Loïc said:

And in the Coming Storm books, no mention of this. Should we consider the fate of Eurmali is the same in 1618 than in 1605? Or Red Cow in 1618 is more broad-minded than 13 years ago?...

In other words, can I allow one of the characters to be an initiate of Eurmal in the Coming Storm campaign? Is Broddi allowing Eurmali in his clan (and he doesn't like trouble makers - and of course the Eurmal initiate should find a protector in the Ring...)? And if an Eurmali is allowed, what about Janara's role in the heroquest? A character performing her role would be interesting involvment, and then this character would maybe be too much under the spotlights?...

Clearly it's up to you as to what you wish to allow, but you could take one of several approaches:

1) Valenstor followed this tradition of driving out Tricksters.  He led the clan to defeat and was exiled.  Clearly his arrogance (and clan tradition) led to this.  Broddi has seen the error of such ways and is "somewhat" more accepting of a Trickster (as long as they are bonded).  A PC is a Trickster, but bonded by Broddi.  Is there conflict with Janara?  Or did Janara help initiate the PC into the ways of the Trickster (Trickster as Seducer).

2) Valenstor gave in to the need for a Trickster.  He led the clan to defeat and was exiled (and his Trickster was probably killed, or possibly escaped).  Clearly Tricksters are bad and Broddi has reinforced this notion. As before, Tricksters should be driven out.  A PC could be that Trickster, now helping Rebels nearby, or even sneaking back into the clan.

3) Neither Valenstor nor Broddi favor Tricksters (in the long-time clan tradition).  And yet Tricksters appear despite such traditions.  A too-curious PC has fallen into the ways of the Trickster.  The clan does not yet know that the PC is a Trickster.

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Jajagappa! I was thinking about your 3), and now I maybe would melt your 1) and 3). 1) seems to be logical, for Ivartha has a bonded trickster herself, and we can easily imagine Broddi following her on this matter. And it could add metaplot allowing a player to choose if he wants to conceal or reveal he's an Eurmali...

About my NPC checklist, it's still unfinished, and I'll update the document as soon as possible!

Edited by Loïc
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/8/2020 at 9:27 AM, Loïc said:

Work in progress!

That's a NPCs checklist (in french, sorry...) I'm trying to make exhaustive. I indicated several useful informations (bloodlines, relationships' notes and so forth). I also included all the NPCs from The Book of the Red Cow. About these, I had to extrapolate:

  • all ages indicated in this document correspond to the NPCs' ages in 1618 (calculated from their ages in 1605). I considered many NPCs as dead because of their ages or their replacement at a key position in The Coming Storm (clan chief, clan champion...). Then I still included them (indicated by Humakt's rune!!!) as sources of inspiration for my background campaign. And I do not exclude to use them as NPCs / names stock (always useful!!!);
  • for Maboders, I "killed" all those for whom it seemed to be logical: age of course, and also their faction: I think Maboder Rising and Peace Weavers should have been vastly slaughtered, but let a chance to be saved to a few Wolfskinners (haunting Wulfsland and/or joining the rebellion). And I kept Vastyr the Unadvised and Halda Flower-Bringer for their interesting backgrounds and the potential interactions they could provide. Then, I don't intent to flood my campaign with Maboder survivors, just keep them as a little stock I could use according to my players' actions/choices (you never can predict them!!!!).

I hope some of you will find it useful, and I'm waiting for your critics and suggestions!

Red Cow J.xlsx 39.2 kB · 4 downloads

UPDATE: my NPC checklist as finished as it can be...

Red Cow PNJ.xlsx

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13 minutes ago, Kenrae said:

I would be interested in that Book of the Red Cow myself. Does anyone have it?

Did you read my 7th of may post? I indicated how to get it...

Edited by 7Tigers
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  • 1 month later...
Quote
On 5/3/2020 at 9:28 AM, Loïc said:

I'm planning to run it at my gaming club as soon as the confinement is over (don't already know the date in France...).

 

Hi, where are you in France, and if you are not too far away you will take on a new player?

Edited by yamsur
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On 7/11/2020 at 9:54 AM, yamsur said:

Hi, where are you in France, and if you are not too far away you will take on a new player?

Hi, Yamsur. I'm in Mulhouse and I'd be glad to welcome you!

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Finally, I'll have my first session on september 5th! Everyone here was on holiday or on business/work site trip... So I managed an online creation (posts and mails), and all my players chose the old HeroWars text-writing creation way. Wonderful time, and I must say I have very creative players!!! Then, I have a hell of misfits for party: 1 Humakti, 1 Issaries, 1 Orlanth adventurous, 1 Yinkin, 1 Babeester Gor... and 1 Eurmali and 1 Valind !!!!! "Trouble-makers again" is already reacting Broddi... 🤨

For those who are wondering, the Eurmali will be of course bonded. And yes, I allowed a Valind adept (a stickpicker and the village idiot...), because his background was so much creative, and very clan-oriented after all... Of course, when the Great Winter will occur, I already planned the lynch mob scene... 🥶

Can't wait this first session! And I really really hope I will be equal to my players' creativity and to Glorantha's richness!

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4 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Congrats! How many of them were familiar with either HQ or Glorantha?

The Humakti is a former GM for RQ, The Issaries played RQ a long time ago, and none of them knew nothing about HQ. The four others never even heard about Glorantha ! I had to clear away the deadwood from Red Cow setting and creation elements (occupational keywords, cults/sub-cults...) with quite a few posts on my gaming club's forum (good way to immerse myself in the universe again)... 😎

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