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Is one year since I started to study Glorantha. There is so much material, even from older RQ editions. I have seen somewhere that some RQ3 materiale is "not canon". Glorantha is so huge that I'd like to stick to canon material.

I'm curious to know what is considered canon and what not,

Thanks.

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RuneQuest is set in the Bronze Age fantasy world of Glorantha. Our protagonists, the Orlanthi barbarians, are lusty tribes who worship at hilltop standing stones and paint themselves blue with woad so

As I have said many many times, canon only matters if you are: 1. writing for Chaosium, 2. want to do an entirely canonical campaign (which is neither required or expected), or 3. want to discuss the

If you're not writing an official supplement for Chaosium, Glorantha canon is nonsense. No setting survives contact with actual play. This is true of all games and all settings. Don't waste hours

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What is canon ? Easy

The Legendary ever-changing color T-shirt of Greg the Great

The Vegan Carnivorous read as herbivorous Moro-Tapir

And Any Thruth like "There is less gods in Glorantha" followed by "But we can't tell you the details, it will spoils the mysteries".

You don't understand @Beorne ? Neither do any of us ! In doubt between two book, take the Biggest and Heaviest books* with the most reference about Danold the Duck and you'll hold the Truth. Duck are the Canon or 🤨 Duck are in the Canon !!?

 

*Usually Glorantha encyclopedia : "The Guide to Glorantha vol1&2", The bible "Prince of Sartar" and the book with the most awesome pics of your library ! (edit : correcting a mispell)

Edited by MJ Sadique
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20 hours ago, Beorne said:

Glorantha is so huge that I'd like to stick to canon material.

If you are planning to write for Glorantha then sticking to canon is a reasonable strategy. I don't, so my Jonstown Compendium supplements are "Gloriously non-canonical", as is my website.

However, if you are planning to run games in Glorantha, then I would advise to ignore canon completely.

There is a lot of stuff coming out for Jonstown Compendium that can be used in games that is not canonical and a lot more on many websites. Ignoring those is fine, but you would have so much more fun including them.

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The Guide is canon. Whatever appears in an adventure context in official publications is canonical in some dilution.

Practically everything ever written for Glorantha has some canon at its core and then goes off on necessary or unnecessary assumptions and personal input. Sometimes collective input rather than personal, such is the power of the interweb of Arachne Solara.

Who is canonically the sheriff of Apple Lane in 1626? Canon does not know, on purpose, and will steer clear of giving a definitive answer for that.

What's the canonical pronunciation of "Pavis"? We may have found the answer at windwords.fm, soon in your podcast stream. (I am fairy certain we hit it.)

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If you're not writing an official supplement for Chaosium, Glorantha canon is nonsense. No setting survives contact with actual play. This is true of all games and all settings.

Don't waste hours researching who the thane of Whozitstead is according to canon. It's your game. The thane is who you need it to be. 

Don't like how a cult is written up? Change it in your game. 

Change ANYTHING that doesn't fit your vision of YOUR Glorantha. 

Have fun running your game and your players will have fun running it. Leave laborious research, synthesis of disparate sources, and thesis writing to the halls of academia. It's not required to run a game for your friends.

I'll bet far more RQ games have NOT been run due to worries about canon than have actually BEEN run. Don't fall into that trap. 

Edited by Shawn Carpenter
Typo correction.
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32 minutes ago, Shawn Carpenter said:

I'll bet for more RQ games have NOT been run due to worries about canon than have ever actually BEEN run. Don't fall into that trap. 

Yeah, my players are new to Glorantha.  They know about 5 gods by name, they know Chaos EEEeeevil, and they know the name of 3 cities.

That's all.

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As I have said many many times, canon only matters if you are: 1. writing for Chaosium, 2. want to do an entirely canonical campaign (which is neither required or expected), or 3. want to discuss the setting directly with Chaosium's writers. Otherwise, use what you want, discard what you don't want, etc. If you want to talk with me or Jason or other writers about specific details, we are likely going to stick to canon - if that isn't what you want to talk about, we'll probably not participate.  

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On 8/11/2020 at 2:36 AM, Rob Darvall said:

... Argue about it online later. (That's fun too) ...

It's useful that the fandom has at least a rough concensus about canon, though... enough that they're sharing the same frame of reference when they argue about it online.

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On 8/13/2020 at 3:41 PM, g33k said:

It's useful that the fandom has at least a rough concensus about canon, though... enough that they're sharing the same frame of reference when they argue about it online.

At first I thought "yes", but then I remembered the joy of having someone on the Digest completely reframe what I thought I knew so I had to learn it again and re-explore its ramifications. Beyond simple facts of the order of "Boldhome is in Satar" I find that differing frames of reference give me more pleasure. They can reopen the game for me.

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On 8/8/2020 at 5:01 PM, Shawn Carpenter said:

Don't waste hours researching who the thane of Whozitstead is according to canon. It's your game. The thane is who you need it to be. 

Or, rather, don't spend more time researching and asking who the thane of Whositstead is than it would have taken to invent a new NPC.

Luckily, with most RQ/HQ sourcebooks now available in PDF, it takes about a couple minutes to see if there's indeed any canonical thane of Whositstead, which you can then change if that NPC doesn't fit what you want to do in your adventure... but if it fits, that saves a bunch of time! Yay!

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1 minute ago, lordabdul said:

Or, rather, don't spend more time researching and asking who the thane of Whositstead is than it would have taken to invent a new NPC.

Luckily, with most RQ/HQ sourcebooks now available in PDF, it takes about a couple minutes to see if there's indeed any canonical thane of Whositstead, which you can then change if that NPC doesn't fit what you want to do in your adventure... but if it fits, that saves a bunch of time! Yay!

Not really a bunch of time...

  • Write a name
  • Pick runes
  • Pick passions
  • Pick 3-5 main skills

Done.

1 minute?  YGMV.

 

(If the players come to interact with him a LOT, then more detail (even a full sheet) may be called for; but if so, you've got a bunch of play into the Thane, and can write a robust sheet custom to YOUR campaign, YOUR table, YOUR players).

 

 

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Fixed it for you:

2 hours ago, g33k said:

A variable amount of time...

  • Pick a cult membership or two, along with a couple allegiances/standings with other factions.
  • Write up a sentence or two about their agenda/desires/etc.
  • Probably write up a sentence or two about their backstory.
  • Maybe write up a sentence or two about their entourage/sidekicks/etc.
  • Write a name
  • And then maybe (if you're not the kind of GM who just improvises stats, or if you're not running HQG):
    • Pick runes
    • Pick passions
    • Pick 3-5 main skills

NPCs are not just a name and a stat block you know :)  If they were, it would literally take 30 seconds to generate something on Cradle of Heroes or something. The thing that takes time and thinking isn't the stats, it's to determine who this person is and what they want. That's what creates story opportunities! Not what their Orate or Shortsword skill is! And often, the personality you find in a published PDF or from someone's home campaign is going to have a few more interesting story opportunities than what you came up with. Stats aren't what I'm looking for when I do my research.

Edited by lordabdul
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On 8/14/2020 at 2:00 PM, lordabdul said:

Fixed it for you:

NPCs are not just a name and a stat block you know :)  If they were, it would literally take 30 seconds to generate something on Cradle of Heroes or something. The thing that takes time and thinking isn't the stats, it's to determine who this person is and what they want. That's what creates story opportunities! Not what their Orate or Shortsword skill is! And often, the personality you find in a published PDF or from someone's home campaign is going to have a few more interesting story opportunities than what you came up with. Stats aren't what I'm looking for when I do my research.

😁   It all depends...  I mean, you can always festoon ANY random NPC with additional story-hooks and motivations and associated accoutrements, sure...


But after all:  if there's a stead, there's a steadfull of people.  Do they all get full work-up's when the stead itself is just a drive-bymarch-by place for the adventurers?  Sure, the Thane is the "most important" person in the stead, but not necessarily the most important person for this adventure.


Is the thane of Whositstead just a questgiver-character, pointing the PC's to the adventure?  "Those treacherous Greydogs are mustering on our borders, and everyone able-bodied is already preparing to meet them; I need someone to go up to Highcamp -- about 6 hours to get there -- and tell them to hurry down to the Stead with all the stock they can gather, taking no more than 1 hour!  They must be here by dawn tomorrow!"  And off the PC's go, time of the essence!

The encounters en route, the people they find at Highcamp, etc... they might be the ones who deserve the more-complete write-up.

Or maybe it's a different premise, with "leave at dawn" rather than depart-immediately... but still it's not the Thane whose alliegances/agendas/desires/etc matter... but the Thane's uncle, who comes to them an hour later... and the Thane's wife, who comes an hour after that... and the stead's horsemaster, who visits at midnight... and on and on and on, all F'ing night long...  Bleary-eyed, the PC's wonder at dawn as they saddle-up if there's anyone in the stead who DIDN'T come to offer advice or plead a special circumstance.

And then the Chief Stickpicker stumbles up, "ifn it pleases yer honors, I've a missing son offn that-aways yers goin' anyhoo..."

Sure, the thane may be someone who's story matters... but equally, may not be.

Edited by g33k
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On 8/11/2020 at 2:41 AM, Jeff said:

As I have said many many times, canon only matters if you are: 1. writing for Chaosium, 2. want to do an entirely canonical campaign (which is neither required or expected), or 3. want to discuss the setting directly with Chaosium's writers. Otherwise, use what you want, discard what you don't want, etc. If you want to talk with me or Jason or other writers about specific details, we are likely going to stick to canon - if that isn't what you want to talk about, we'll probably not participate.  

Hey Jeff, a question I've occasionally pondered...  I figure the Chaosium folks' games are probably the "most canonical" campaigns that occur, with the lowest % of YGWV variance from published canon (dunno, maybe I'm wrong... but it seems a likely starting assumption).

So, my question(s):  as you think about "canon," and Chaosium's in-house game-sessions, what game would you say has used "the most" canon -- that is, the widest scope and coverage of canonical material?  What is (roughly speaking) the highest  percentage of canon  that has been used in a single game?

I suspect it's pretty low.

If it was something like, "even Chaosium's deepest and broadest games never touch 75% of the canon" it might help quell some of the ... the reverence for canon, in various forae...

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10 hours ago, g33k said:

Hey Jeff, a question I've occasionally pondered...  I figure the Chaosium folks' games are probably the "most canonical" campaigns that occur, with the lowest % of YGWV variance from published canon (dunno, maybe I'm wrong... but it seems a likely starting assumption).

So, my question(s):  as you think about "canon," and Chaosium's in-house game-sessions, what game would you say has used "the most" canon -- that is, the widest scope and coverage of canonical material?  What is (roughly speaking) the highest  percentage of canon  that has been used in a single game?

I suspect it's pretty low.

If it was something like, "even Chaosium's deepest and broadest games never touch 75% of the canon" it might help quell some of the ... the reverence for canon, in various forae...

In my own games? I use the material I feel is useful for the game. Sometimes I forget to include cool stuff that I even planned to use, I sometimes cut things out because it won't work for what this group is having fun doing, and let the players create their own twists and have their own new discoveries.They often change events, replace other characters, whatever. I don't use the HW-era Issaries material, and I don't use the Mongoose material. If I don't know the details of a city, village or tribe or whatever - I make it up on the spot.

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11 hours ago, g33k said:

I figure the Chaosium folks' games are probably the "most canonical" campaigns that occur, with the lowest % of YGWV variance from published canon

I've played in a lot of games run by @Jeff, I would say that they follow the general brush strokes of background and history, but for canonicity maybe 50%. Jeff does have the advantage of all publications through him since 2007, that means that he remembers a lot (hence 50%), but the rest he makes up or the game just varies. 

By comparison, I would consider Greg's games Glorantha games to be around 20% canon as he just made stuff up or the game just varied in many cases greatly.

Historically @MOB's games were IMO lower in canonicity, maybe 20% too, MGF is / was a main factor. (not played in one of his games for 25 years).

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