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HeartQuintessence

Investing in Clan Creating & Feminine Story telling

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I started this thread because I didn't want to Necro-post  my  month old "Women in Glorantha Thread".

 

So, it's occurred to me that Women in Glorantha have a lot of lee way in some respects in what they do. And the more I think on it, the more I think about creating a Glorantha supplement, website, blog (?) (maybe just a google document) called "The Hearth" - Adventures for Women, (for RuneQuest  & HeroQuest), specifically, focusing on  creating active  scenario ideas and fiction for female characters  (and all that encompass that in Glorantha).

Its been making me realize that so much of Glorantha is 'external' (though that is slowly changing and there have been amazing supplement :Valley of Plenty  & Six Seasons in Sartar spring to mind, immediately, but The Red Deer Saga ( all of these and much more on the Jonstown Compendium)- it got me thinking, as how  much of Glorantha says Men do this , Women do that, but then  never explain how the women are active participants much in society, because the activites of their goddess seem mostly passive : She is not dead, She sleeps- springing to mind.

So if people want to contribute ideas or threads of one. I'd like that. I am going to use my self-made Clan as the focal point. Mostly because they're literally knew (created in 1625, by a coalition of women from various groups).

So I realized I can use them to tell a mythic history that binds them together in their clan making, in a way that many clans struggle to do.

Their actual clan making dance is started by a not- adult female. It got my mind turning about how a collection of women who aren't a clan yet- might go about collecting and pressing their mythical history in the God time, and giving it voice.

Their Wyter is the White Lioness (Alynx), and her pride-sisters form a sort of women's fyrd. There are Vingans but these two groups work together, as their story says that Vinga found the lion-cub in the Great Darkness and brought her to Ernalda, and the two became hunting partners.

 

How this story effects others which effect and grow the clan, making women both the nucleus and active in their clan's life in and politics in a way we've not often seen before. Admitedly I also looking to the tribe to help me cut the wheat from the Chaff, because I think my clan idea has too many ideas. And I think , while I am over on the Clan Hearth over on Facebook, sometimes things don't get cross posted ot brought up here so I thought I'd throw this out there.

 

So I do invite you all to join me in my endeavor.

 Below is the half-created ramblings of a creative mind (but hopefuly with time this will get more organized) and with your help it'll get some unique perspectives.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1H65IhL4-LmhF7zHLHR9L8eMQrCS_c7_H?usp=sharing

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As an aside I think part of the reason we have this state of affairs is as you say we have focussed a lot on external threats and actions.

The stuff that shows up in songs of action and adventure. Action Movie fodder.

We've been a little short on clan based internal stuff. 

It''s something Beer With Teeth have focused on a little. Two adventures we have written for Chaosium have been very much focused looking inward in Sartar (Crimson Petals in PP and another yet to come). We have another approach again which very much shows women (and other genders) doing their thing and being in charge of it. We're waiting on art but hopefully coming to Jonstown soon and with a POD option no less!

 

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Oh that's neat.

Yeah my goal is to look outside Sartar. THat's the point of the Clan, they recognized that Sartar is too 'crowded'. They were living on 'granted' land. But it wasn't theirs. And while it was ok, they also acknowledged that they needed their own land space. thus they seek Voria's Garden- a place of new beginnings, of Spring, and hopefully a place to start anew.

 

I really wanted to show and chronicle that journey from coalition to clan,  and focus on how things are done, and resolved, in other ways.

You're right its a lot of action movie fodder. (Weirdly I am taking a lot of 'hints ' from some slower paced Anime in some veins Studio Ghibli movies are always an inspiration for that their core their female protagonists traverse their world, needing other options because fighting isn't something their wanting to do (or they have no skills ) Naussica springs to mind as a character who can hold her own with a blade.. but realizes that she has to walk a fine line.

And hoping people can see maybe through my example that there is always another way.

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11 minutes ago, Thaz said:

The stuff that shows up in songs of action and adventure. Action Movie fodder.

Even in the "standard" scenarios, there's no lack of Female action heroes.  Kallyr, Leika, Nameless, Jar-Eel.  And many of the scenarios involve doing stuff to aid the Clan or aid the Ernaldan temple.

IMHO (and, I'm a guy), based on what we have run, which I believe is pretty "typical", there's actually a lack of male action heroes and adventures focused on more "male" cults, like Orlanth and Storm Bull.  Asborn keeps dying 🙂, Hastur is a scholar, etc...  It's been well over a year game time and my Vinga worshipper has yet to find a studly male warrior type worthy of her affections.  🙂

That said, good luck in your endeavor and please post occasional updates!  Looking forward to some good ideas from a different perspective.

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Whilst it is not RuneQuest based, The Coming Storm may be of interest because internal clan politics and the roles of men and women are important to the plot of some of the scenarios in The Eleven Lights.

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6 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Even in the "standard" scenarios, there's no lack of Female action heroes.  Kallyr, Leika, Nameless, Jar-Eel.  And many of the scenarios involve doing stuff to aid the Clan 

But these are 'just' action hero's. The movies not much different if its Angela or Keanu.  The Smoking Ruins in the book of the same name has a bunch of court and female protagonists but then they send everyone out to the action movie...

HW/HQ did this stuff rather well but people missed the nitty gritty action movie...but there's room for both in RQ 🙂

 

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39 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

(Weirdly I am taking a lot of 'hints ' from some slower paced Anime in some veins Studio Ghibli movies are always an inspiration for that their core their female protagonists traverse their world, needing other options because fighting isn't something their wanting to do (or they have no skills ) Naussica springs to mind as a character who can hold her own with a blade.. but realizes that she has to walk a fine line.

My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away leap to my mind -- stories about "fixing the house," though in distinctly different ways.  Totoro is straight-up home repair and establishing a relationship with the resident spirit population.  Spirited Away is repairing the social structure of the spirit population of an established stead.

I'm also thinking of the old RQ2 classic, Borderlands.  Duke Raus is trying to build a homestead in the Zola Fel grantlands, so he hires a group of mercenary troubleshooters.  The scenarios are typical external threats.  But what if the action were turned inward, as you say, and the adventure involved incorporating the indigenous superstructure and environment instead of expelling it?

Thinking out loud more than spitballing solutions.

!i!

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I love this discussion. I've been spending a long time thinking about how I want more RPG's to be about inward growth rather than outward domination. It's one of the reasons I've made the switch from DnD to Runequest. I feel like there's more room for that kind of storytelling in Runequest. I really think Heartquintessence's idea is moving strongly in the right direction. 

 

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One of the things I feel is missing from the Family History character-generation (and Gloranthan History in general) is any major Ernaldan & other Temple stuff.  Far too much of "meaningful" history & historical events is defined by the battles.  (edit:  to be brutally frank, it's very much "old white male / wargamer" history)

Where is the thing where one of your parents earned a really heavy-duty Bless Pregnancy, and your PC is a 110-point character?

Where's the Ritual Gone Wrong (or right) that has given you a weird Runic effect?

Where's the spat the Yinkini priest had with the Uleria priestess, and now Shadowcats Hate Your Family?

Where's the <invented crisis> of <pick a year> where a major Ogre/Scorpionman raid overran an Earth Temple at the height of the High Holy Days, blighting the land for a year or more?

etc etc etc.

Edited by g33k
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In fairness, there is a little of that, with random boons you might roll during certain years that can be things like "You made a friend among one of the Elder Races," and you're invited to flesh out who that friend is and how that happened, and so on.

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5 hours ago, g33k said:

Far too much of "meaningful" history & historical events is defined by the battles

I like many of your ideas for "other" events in family history, but the fact is that the titanic Air vs. Moon struggle is intended as the driving force for recent and near future Sartar History.  Hence all the battles - and yes, there may be too many.  If you want a mere Ogre, not The Empire, to blight the land, you should pick a time frame other than circa 1625, or a Homeland far away.

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56 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

I like many of your ideas for "other" events in family history, but the fact is that the titanic Air vs. Moon struggle is intended as the driving force for recent and near future Sartar History.  Hence all the battles - and yes, there may be too many...

In a myth-driven world like Glorantha, the notion that "military action" is primarily decisive is -- on the face of it -- absurd.  The myth and the magic are MUCH stronger forces ... 

As witness the small heroband who destroyed most of the Lunar priesthood, nobles, governors, AND MILITARY throughout Dragon Pass.

Where did Belintar go, again?  Soldiers beat his army and executed him?

I'd simply like to see such examples (on a smaller scale, suitable for one hero just making a name for themselves!) represented in the history and the "Family History" tables.

 

1 hour ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

... If you want a mere Ogre, not The Empire, to blight the land, you should pick a time frame other than circa 1625, or a Homeland far away.

(and my example blight wasn't "a mere Ogre" but a major Chaos incursion of Ogres (plural) and Scorpionmen, and -- most particularly -- it wasn't primarily a military action!  They disrupted the High Holy Day at a main Earth Temple; not only preventing the Blessing but incurring a Curse!)  Jab... the Footprint... plenty of Sartar&nearby sites could cause such things!

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Exactly.

It makes me thinking about how much emphasis is placed on the combat and how it would nessacerily be those combatants who'd win the day. It'd be the Priestess and the Priestesss making sacrifces, and praying to the Gods.

It would be the people who remained in the steading, making those small daily sacrifices : "May my husband come home whole,"  "May the blessed air carry the cries of our new child to him when he needs the most strength." "May Yinkin's loyalty and steadiness in hunting stregnthen my resolve to hunt"

Those big battles, are just that big battles. Sure they define things, but I feel like those people going about their lives and the clergy interacting with their gods may have been forgotten.

So I guess the question is how do you build Family Charts that do not revolve around battles. (Or even happen in Sartar)

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4 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

It makes me thinking about how much emphasis is placed on the combat and how it would nessacerily be those combatants who'd win the day. It'd be the Priestess and the Priestesss making sacrifces, and praying to the Gods.

Those big battles, are just that big battles. Sure they define things, but I feel like those people going about their lives and the clergy interacting with their gods may have been forgotten.

I think we're missing the picture with the above (edited by me). The Priests and Priestess are not some separate thing. They are yes leading the worship and sacrifice and heroquests before the battle but then they are leading the fight when it happens. or the Ploughing. or the harvest. There is no separation of church and state. Your Clan Cheiftan leads you in worship and in battle and in harvest and .... or (s)he and their earth priestess partner do. 

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5 hours ago, HeartQuintessence said:

It makes me thinking about how much emphasis is placed on the combat and how it would nessacerily be those combatants who'd win the day.

So I guess the question is how do you build Family Charts that do not revolve around battles. (Or even happen in Sartar)

If you want a family chart that revolves around non-combat, you look at what might have happened in any given year. Oh, this year there was a big battle nearby and big battles fuck mightily with nature. So, grandpa worked extra hard in the field, using what help he was given by the priestess to make sure his crop came in so people didn't starve. Grandma was there after the battle, clearing the field, coaxing life back into the earth where the fighters tried to end it with their stomping boots. 

And when designing and running games, you put emphasis on things other than physical combat. Our last 3 sessions, the trickiest part was trying to placate a pissed off chieftain while delivering gifts from the queen. Our characters made nice with the chieftain's daughter, told stories to the children, did not rise to the bait when baited. WAY more nerve-wrecking than the monsters we fought after. Because, monsters can kill you, sure, but a blood feud when the Lunars are desperate to jump in and put everyone down? Terrifying.

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19 hours ago, Thaz said:

HW/HQ did this stuff rather well but people missed the nitty gritty action movie...but there's room for both in RQ 🙂

That hasn't been my experience with HQ. I've found that I see MUCH more cinematic action in my HQ games than I ever did in my RQ games of yore. 

Here are some examples:

  • Confronted by a giant, rampaging mantis, one party member fired a rapid string of arrows to pin one of the creature's deadly arms to its body. A particularly burly party member took advantage of the mantis's discomfiture to climb up its back and twist its head off its neck. The mantis rampaged around headless for a while sending the party scampering for cover and giving its slayer the ride of their life!
  •  Surprised by the arrival of a group of mounted enemies led by a Lunar witch, an Orlanthi Adventurous initiate called on his Storm Rune for winds to carry him in a mighty, somersaulting leap over the witch's head to land behind her mount, which he promptly smacked across the rump with the flat of his sword. The witch's horse bolted, carrying her out of combat, trampling a couple of her footmen in the process.
  •  While traveling through enemy territory, an Orlanthi initiate PC called on his Storm Rune to intensify a cold mist into a freezing drizzle that sent the enemy guards back to the comfort of their picket fires, allowing the party to pass undetected.
  • During a siege, an Ernaldan Priestess PC opened the ground beneath a Lunar sorcerer and buried them alive outside the walls. In the same siege, a PC seized a siege ladder, shook he warriors off it, and then used it as a lever to dislodge two more ladders.

The PCs in my HQ campaign have fought ZZ Trolls, killed enough giants to earn one of them the epithet of "Giantslayer," destroyed ice demons, defeated the degraded husk of a Star Captain, fought their way into and out of Whitewall, gone toe-to-toe with "Ghost and the Shadow" style Sakkars, and on, and on, and on.

I find that storytelling games like HQ and QW support wild, over-the-top action far better than more granular and procedural games which tend to focus the eye on the minutia of chained tasks rather than the overall action of the encounter.

YMMV, of course. No game is perfect for everyone. The important thing is that you enjoy the game you're playing. I only spoke up because I've seen this "RQ is better for high-flying action and HQ is better for slice-of-life stories" meme a lot and I think it's dead wrong. In fact, I'd reverse it to say that RQ, with its close attention to procedural tasks, is better for representing the day-to-day struggles of your average carl and HQ is better for representing the exploits of heroes.

I've stacked the pitchforks over there for your convenience. The torches are just behind them. You'll have to come up with your own tar and feathers. :D 

Edited by Shawn Carpenter
typo
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18 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

Spirited Away is repairing the social structure of the spirit population of an established stead.

I'm also thinking of the old RQ2 classic, Borderlands.  Duke Raus is trying to build a homestead in the Zola Fel grantlands, so he hires a group of mercenary troubleshooters...

Okay, this idea doesn't really help toward the goal of building a stead as a "women's adventure," but walk with me for a moment.

Sen/Chihiro of Spirited Away naively falls into her role of mediator to a dysfunctional household of spirits, but her role as an outsider is vital to the mission's success.  Meanwhile, Raus is hiring swordslingers in the typical fashion of old-styled Western movies.  And elsewhere in Glorantha, we hear the lament of "What is my shaman character supposed to do?"

Far-flung communities throughout Dragon Pass and Prax are reeling in the wake and turmoil of the Dragonrise and the Windstop.  Things are just beginning to get back to "normal," but the spirit world is in disarray.  What if your character band was a group of spiritual troubleshooters?  Healers and ghost-talkers who get recruited to travel from stead to stead, re-negotiating pacts with the local land spirits, bringing home the spirits of the dead lost in battles leagues away, re-teaching the old ways and forging new traditions among broken communities.  The adventures would feature challenge, mystery, danger, but not necessarily violent hostility.

Sort of a middle ground between This Woman's Work and The Magnificent Seven, like Ghost Whisperer meets Ghostbusters, or even Call of Cthulhu with a gentle smile.  Okay, that last one is a weird image.  But where are these adventures?

!i!

Edited by Ian Absentia
Obsessive punctuation disorder
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17 hours ago, g33k said:

Where is the thing where one of your parents earned a really heavy-duty Bless Pregnancy, and your PC is a 110-point character?

Where's the Ritual Gone Wrong (or right) that has given you a weird Runic effect?

Where's the spat the Yinkini priest had with the Uleria priestess, and now Shadowcats Hate Your Family?

Where's the <invented crisis> of <pick a year> where a major Ogre/Scorpionman raid overran an Earth Temple at the height of the High Holy Days, blighting the land for a year or more?

Putting on my barker's cap and hoisting my speaking horn:

Valley of Plenty has events similar to these in our Interlude tables. Those are tables that represent the passage of a few years as the PCs age up from 9 year-olds to 15 year-olds.

 

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40 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

What if your character band was a group of spiritual troubleshooters?  Healers and ghost-talkers who get recruited to travel from stead to stead, re-negotiating pacts with the local land spirits, bringing home the spirits of the dead lost in battles leagues away, re-teaching the old ways and forging new traditions among broken communities.  The adventures would feature challenge, mystery, danger, but not necessarily violent hostility.

Steal this. Steal this. Yep, stolen! :D

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Just now, Ian Absentia said:

By God, man, run with it!

You are talking to a cartoon dust cloud, complete with footprints vanishing into the distance!

 

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1 hour ago, Ian Absentia said:

Far-flung communities throughout Dragon Pass and Prax are reeling in the wake and turmoil of the Dragonrise and the Windstop.  Things are just beginning to get back to "normal," but the spirit world is in disarray.  What if your character band was a group of spiritual troubleshooters?  Healers and ghost-talkers who get recruited to travel from stead to stead, re-negotiating pacts with the local land spirits, bringing home the spirits of the dead lost in battles leagues away, re-teaching the old ways and forging new traditions among broken communities.  The adventures would feature challenge, mystery, danger, but not necessarily violent hostility.

Sort of a middle ground between This Woman's Work and The Magnificent Seven, like Ghost Whisperer meets Ghostbusters, or even Call of Cthulhu with a gentle smile.  Okay, that last one is a weird image.  But where are these adventures?

I think this is a very useful/important point in Gloranthan communities.  It's not just about cattle raiding and getting the crops to grow - you've got to make investment in the spiritual community around.  

My old Imther campaign incorporated some of these ideas.  This was before wyters were much of a thing, but my view of communities (whether village or city) was that there were both seasonal spirits (a spirit "leader" if you will for each season) as well as the communal deities.  Generally these seasonal spirits were well established, and only occasionally did a village seek out a different seasonal spirit.  But the ebb and flow of the Spirit World meant that specific village leaders (the Keeper of Dire Secrets and the Seeker) were responsible for watching for unusual signs from the Spirit World manifested in the real world, and for interpreting what those meant.  E.g. Drinker of Nectar, a wasp spirit, might challenge the current Fireseason spirit and suddenly there'd be large wasp nests in the apple orchard.  The Seeker would need to regularly walk the tula to watch for such.  If he/she missed such signs, the village might be plagued by nasty wasps until they either propitiated or exorcised the Drinker of Nectar.  

In my HQG game, the workings of a Lunar witch resulted in fire demons escaping from the Cinder Pits and imprisoning the Ash Creek Lady - the spirit of the local creek.  This allowed the Lunar witch to summon a vough into Orlmarth clan lands with the intent of forming a swamp hostile to the Orlmarth.  The duck shaman Joseph Greenbeak called upon the heroes to aid him in destroying this threat.  It included the heroes discorporating into the Spirit World, passing through the Silverwoods at the border, negotiating with the Assembly of Small Spirits, getting words of advice from the wise spirit Daa the Silverfish, passing through the domain of the Heavy Earth spirit (in which one hero discovered/awoke her inner Bear spirit and wrestled Heavy Earth into submission), and then reaching the emergent swamp.  They had to fight off the vough while destroying the spirit vortex that allowed the vough and the witch to interact.  That still did not resolve the issue of the imprisoned creek spirit - that was a subsequent adventure to rescue her from the fire demons.

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1 hour ago, Shawn Carpenter said:

Steal this. Steal this. Yep, stolen! :D

Umm. I told you almost exactly this a couple of weeks ago as use for NPCs in a game. Sheesh, dude! Sleep on the couch tonight!!!

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