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creativehum

What did Greg Stafford think of the Orlanthi and Lunars?

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There might well not be an answer to this, but I thought I'd ask since it's been at the back of my mind for some time.

I know that most of the material presented for Glorantha is usually/often聽presented in a subjective manner from within the point-of-view of specific cultures within Glorantha. This means the Orlanthi trash the Lunars and praise their own culture and vica versa for the Lunars.

I also know that different people have their own takes on these two cultures, usually siding with one over the other. (As much as one can side with fictional cultures of a mythical world!)

I was wondering, however, what Stafford thought of the Orlanthi and the Lunars? Did he have a preference? They are obviously both set up with virtues, but also loaded with problems. Did he ever talk plainly and openly about what he thought of them? Did his view shift on them over time? (I'm sure the answer is "YES, DAMMIT!" to that question.)

I'd love to know if there are any specific sources where he wrote about these matters.

Thanks!

Edited by creativehum
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30 minutes ago, creativehum said:

I was wondering, however, what Stafford thought of the Orlanthi and the Lunars?

"We are all us" 馃槈

I don't think I ever saw anything expressing a preference by Greg.聽 It always seemed to me that he worked to ensure that it all "fit".聽

If anything was a favorite, I might venture to say it might be individuals, not cultures, such as "Snodal" who started it all, and "Harmast", upon who's saga Greg spent many years writing. 聽

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I can't remember Greg definitively saying whether he liked the Lunars better than the Orlanthi, or vice versa. I do know this. He definitely preferred playing a Lunar character in live action freeforms. I have a feeling he personally related more to the Lunar way than the Orlanthi way. Greg's RQ RPG campaigns were pretty much just based in Sartar, although he did play a bit in Prax and with the Malkioni. Most of his "unfinished works" tended to be Lunar centric, so he wrote about the Lunars more.

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My interpretation of the Hero Wars is that if your PCs aren't Argrath themselves, it's probably their job to stop or counsel him before he butterfly effects the Monster Empire into being

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4 hours ago, creativehum said:

I was wondering, however, what Stafford thought of the Orlanthi and the Lunars? Did he have a preference? They are obviously both set up with virtues, but also loaded with problems. Did he ever talk plainly and openly about what he thought of them? Did his view shift on them over time? (I'm sure the answer is "YES, DAMMIT!" to that question.)

We can tell his position on empires聽at least - they're pretty much universally bad. So I don't think there's any doubt that he would be opposed to the Lunar聽empire,聽while likely being a lot more positive towards聽individual聽Lunars and their philosophy and religion.

(There's this odd subcurrent in Glorantha that mixing up religions is聽bad, while聽getting isolated from your neighbors by a magical barrier is good for you and leads to a perfect society...)

Edited by Akh么rahil

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39 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

My interpretation of the Hero Wars is that if your PCs aren't Argrath themselves, it's probably their job to stop or counsel him before he butterfly effects the Monster Empire into being

If I ever ran the whole thing, I would be disappointed with my players if they never decided that enough is enough with regards to Argrath. Making peace with the Good Empire (especially if it's just the breakaway Provinces, the more acceptable part of the Empire) really should be the way to go. But Argrath is聽far too obsessed for that.聽聽

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4 minutes ago, Akh么rahil said:

If I ever ran the whole thing, I would be disappointed with my players if they never decided that enough is enough with regards to Argrath. Making peace with the Good Empire (especially if it's just the breakaway Provinces, the more acceptable part of the Empire) really should be the way to go. But Argrath is聽far too obsessed for that.聽聽

Depends I guess what the Good Empire is in your setting - got you the remnants of the Chaos-tainted late Roma- I mean Lunar Empire or are they an amalgam of White Lunars, Chaos-management teams, and people just wanting to live their lives?

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2 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

In FS p81, against the title 'Low Dara Happan Religion' Greg noted "I'd sure like to have this myself."聽

It has always struck me as significant.

LDH, is that also Weeders? I always liked the Weeders and how they were an amalgam of the Ratite cults, the Fire in the Earth, and the River

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1 hour ago, Akh么rahil said:

We can tell his position on empires聽at least - they're pretty much universally bad. So I don't think there's any doubt that he would be opposed to the Lunar聽empire,聽while likely being a lot more positive towards聽individual聽Lunars and their philosophy and religion.

(There's this odd subcurrent in Glorantha that mixing up religions is聽bad, while聽getting isolated from your neighbors by a magical barrier is good for you and leads to a perfect society...)

If by perfect, you mean 'unsustainable once the barrier goes down'

The real undercurrent of Glorantha is that Mysticism leads to murderous grandiose insanity and huge stacks of corpses.

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I heard the story from different sources (mostly some interviews with Sandy Petersen) that Greg and the other mostly-north-american designers were favouring the Orlanthi in the early days (if not by "preferring" them, at least by having planned a whole bunch of books on them), but after travelling to the UK and meeting the British fans, they were amazed to see people who were pro-Lunar even though they read the same books as the US fans... Greg then allegedly decided to keep any future writing more "neutral" than what they had planned.... I'm not sure if I'm phrasing this all correctly and conveying the information accurately, but that's the general idea from what I understand.

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13 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

...but after travelling to the UK and meeting the British fans, they were amazed to see people who were pro-Lunar even though they read the same books as the US fans...聽

In other words, it's Nick Brooke's fault. :)

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58 minutes ago, JavaApp said:

In other words, it's Nick Brooke's fault. :)

Quite.

See the source image

58 minutes ago, JavaApp said:

In other words, it's Nick Brooke's fault. :)

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3 hours ago, Akh么rahil said:

If I ever ran the whole thing, I would be disappointed with my players if they never decided that enough is enough with regards to Argrath. Making peace with the Good Empire (especially if it's just the breakaway Provinces, the more acceptable part of the Empire) really should be the way to go. But Argrath is聽far too obsessed for that.聽聽

Having recently watched Good Omens, I came up with a similar聽concept.

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Personally, I don't really get thinking the Lunar Empire as it is in most sources could possibly be considered anything but the bad guys, even taking into account that the Orlanthi certainly aren't saints by any means themselves. And the best (but not only) example of why I think that is definitely the very existence and use of the Crimson Bat.

When you're regularly feeding the very souls of people who dissent or rebel against your conquering, expansionist regime to your giant demon bat in order to inspire fear and terror, then I don't care how convenient your roads are, or how much money you raise to feed the poor, or how inclusive the doctrine you preach is, you're not the good guys in this conflict. And I don't care how nice an individual Lunar might otherwise be, they're supporting something utterly vile so long as they champion the Empire in its current form.

When the Sartarites start feeding the very souls of their conquered enemies to the gaping maw of oblivion, then we might have room to talk. But until then, there's a very clear "right" side in this conflict as far as I'm concerned.

Edited by Leingod

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Another thing that is a key theme, at least for me, in Glorantha, is that it doesn't last.聽 Empires聽will聽fall, and new great powers will rise, and they will fall again.聽 The wheel of history will eventually crush it all.聽 The greatest horrors in Glorantha are done by societies that believe they can break that cycle, that they will be different. (Mind you, there's plenty of horror to go around).聽 On the "pig picture" level, Glorantha borders on fatalism.

I'm tempted to say that the place where it聽isn't聽fatalistic is something Jajagappa said up thread: individuals can change things.聽 However, in my current mood, that feels a bit too pollyanna.聽 Glorantha is more likely to run off the adage that if a hero lives long enough, they become the villain.

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7 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

LDH, is that also Weeders? I always liked the Weeders and how they were an amalgam of the Ratite cults, the Fire in the Earth, and the River

Yes, they are mentioned.聽

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8 hours ago, lordabdul said:

I heard the story from different sources (mostly some interviews with Sandy Petersen) that Greg and the other mostly-north-american designers were favouring the Orlanthi in the early days (if not by "preferring" them, at least by having planned a whole bunch of books on them), but after travelling to the UK and meeting the British fans, they were amazed to see people who were pro-Lunar even though they read the same books as the US fans... Greg then allegedly decided to keep any future writing more "neutral" than what they had planned.... I'm not sure if I'm phrasing this all correctly and conveying the information accurately, but that's the general idea from what I understand.

The way I remember hearing it from Sandy Petersen (at Games Day 1986 in London) was that players who were new to Glorantha with RQ3 and read through the Gods of Glorantha (1985's "Red Box") What the Priest Says聽narratives came away thinking the Lunars were the "good guys" and the Orlanthi were some terrible bunch of wreckers. (Because they didn't have the WB&RM / Wyrms Footnotes / Cults of Prax /聽Pavis聽box hinterland, and didn't know how the game聽had usually been played before).image.thumb.png.70533b1735fb8a8f70a489cf9344f269.png

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7 hours ago, Leingod said:

Personally, I don't really get thinking the Lunar Empire as it is in most sources could possibly be considered anything but the bad guys, even taking into account that the Orlanthi certainly aren't saints by any means themselves. And the best (but not only) example of why I think that is definitely the very existence and use of the Crimson Bat.

Yeah I reckon they must leave that off the brochure. :)

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7 hours ago, Leingod said:

Personally, I don't really get thinking the Lunar Empire as it is in most sources could possibly be considered anything but the bad guys, even taking into account that the Orlanthi certainly aren't saints by any means themselves. And the best (but not only) example of why I think that is definitely the very existence and use of the Crimson Bat.

The Lunar Way outside of the Empire can be pretty neat, though - Lunar Arrolia is one of the best聽places in Glorantha to live (well, apart from that Kingdom of War stuff).

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13 hours ago, Akh么rahil said:

If I ever ran the whole thing, I would be disappointed with my players if they never decided that enough is enough with regards to Argrath. Making peace with the Good Empire (especially if it's just the breakaway Provinces, the more acceptable part of the Empire) really should be the way to go. But Argrath is聽far too obsessed for that.聽聽

I think Greg didn't favour one over the other.聽 At least once upon a time he intended to write a Lunar book equivalent聽to King of Sartar where the Lunars were victorious and the Sartarites/Orlanthis were defeated.聽 Whether that stayed his intention I don't know.

聽My vague memory/interpretation was that a Lunar total victory was to be as bad as the future glimpsed in King of Sartar.聽 My further interpretation (and yes, I know I'm running a long way down my own reading/rememberings) was that the player characters had to find a way between the two extremes.聽 So I agree completely that Orlanthi PCs should reign Argrath in somehow.聽 I also agree with the comment about empires not being favoured = and that would include Argrath's.

Michael

Edited by DrGoth
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1 minute ago, DrGoth said:

So I agree completely that Orlanthi PCs should reign Argrath in somehow.聽 I also agree with the comment about empires not being favoured = an that would include Argrath's.

In a way, I find Argrath's story a bit unsatisfying from a dramatic standpoint. He swears to destroy the Lunar Empire. And then he does.

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2 hours ago, Akh么rahil said:

In a way, I find Argrath's story a bit unsatisfying from a dramatic standpoint. He swears to destroy the Lunar Empire. And then he does.

Like Arkat swore to take down Nysalor and did?聽 And look how that turned out...

To me, well, Argrath did if you follow King of Sartar, and again it doesn't seem to have been an entirely good idea.聽 So you can look on Argrath's quest as obsession beyond the point of ignoring the consequences.聽 That offers some dramatic possibilities. Whether or not you go with the PCs can stop this idea.

On the other hand if it's a will he win or will the Lunars, there's options that way too.

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4 minutes ago, DrGoth said:

Like Arkat swore to take down Nysalor and did?聽 And look how that turned out...

At least he died on the way, betrayed everyone who ever trusted him, and stuff like that!

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