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1 hour ago, Jeff said:

But the Orlanthi are supposed to be the Orlanthi, not the Celts, not the ancient Germans, not someone else.

I guess (and hope) that is true for the overwhelming majority of people's take on it. 

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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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I really liked the mix of Dark Age terminology but Bronze Age visuals. It was one of the things that made my brain go "oh, this is actually really f**** clever." 

 

But, we've had this discussion multiple times before. It is what it is.

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17 hours ago, Jeff said:

The Orlanthi were originally presented as being very "Ancient World".

 

17 hours ago, Jeff said:

And who can forget this depiction of Prince Argrath from the RuneQuest Companion. Looks very German-Celt to me.

 

15 hours ago, Jeff said:

Yes. A lot of terminology creeped in from source material Greg was using to work out Orlanthi society. Greg had a huge amount of material about the economics of early Medieval Britain - land production, legal codes, etc. This stuff creeped into texts (although fortunately the worst of it never made it into publication).

That's what I mean when I say that several aspects of Glorantha seem to have evolved rather organically through the decades, depending on the authors, art budgets, and publishing deadlines. For the Orlanthi we probably had at least 3 different "takes". Luckily, I boarded the Gloranthan train pretty much as the new RQG books were coming out, so the Mediterranean angle seems natural to me... maybe even refreshing, when coming from other settings, so I'd say it's an advantage in the modern RPG market.

One hold-out of these previous takes are some NPC names. A handful of (secondary) NPCs that made it into the Guide and/or Sourcebook have some Scandinavian or Roman tones to them (with a lot more in the old RQ/HG books). It's probably not a big deal though.

Edited by lordabdul
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I do love the oddities sprinkled into Gloranthan art. You'll have someone in hoplite getup, but then next to them there's some dude in full-body woad and matted Indian sadhu-hair, and someone carrying a rounded Hallstatt shield and wearing a Phrygian cap, a Celto-Germanic tunic with leather lining, and with some Scythian trousers or leather chaps. 

Maybe not quite as disparate as I make it up to be, but mixing these influences, and connexting them with common deocrative motifs, materials and so on makes it all come to life in its own right. 

And of course the totally original stuff. Like how Orlanthi love flying kites. Not sure if that's canon anymore, but it's cool. Or indeed Argrath's headdress, which incidentally reminds me of the cool headdresses of the "uncles" in Prince of Sartar, during Argrath's initiation.

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On 8/21/2020 at 9:48 AM, Jeff said:

And who can forget this depiction of Prince Argrath from the RuneQuest Companion. Looks very German-Celt to me.
 

 

GD007.jpg

LOL.

That's Moebian-Hyperborean cartoon art from the era when it was cool. Nothing historical at all in it, but lots of pop/pulp culture and French Bandes dessinées.

And this is what I find so cool in Glorantha: it's totally intertextual, deeply layered, extremely personal. You cannot just read certain Gloranthan opera as The One True Glorantha, because they too are interpretations, choices, and lots and lots and lots and lots of retconning the present IP-holders' attitudes and opinions back into certain older publications, and not retconning it back to others.

I think the crux of this is in the Gloranthan names, which are a total hodgepodge of English, Bible names, funny fantasy names, and totally uncool fantasy names which are cool because they start to sound real after repeating them a lot. For example, Sartar has Jonstown. 'Jon' is a Biblical name Ioannes (that I think is it's Greek form. The Hebrew would be still different), and Jon/John was a gaming friend of Greg. 'Town' is English, although phonetically really close to the German Zaun (fence, both relying back to 'boundary', ie. land defined to belong to someone/some group). And now I hear someone say Alda-Chur means 'Far Place'. No, I bet it comes either from Old English 'Old Church', or was invented as a cool sounding fantasy name and nothing more. Someone want to translate 'Jonstown' into Sartarite and retcon its etymology???

But it's OK, because Glorantha is a creation of its time, and American at that, and even if Tolkien had invented real languages and real names in his world, most 70's and 80's fantasy didn't. So read it as a product of its time.

And in general, we don't play in fantasy settings because we want to follow rules. We play because we want to create our own. And the tradition and livelihood of Glorantha has always been YGMV, or rather YGWV. And I've learned so much from people whose interpretations differ from mine.

For example, my Glorantha is forever coloured by Purcell's front art on Apple Lane. The cousin of Donald Duck in 15/16th century body armour and carrying a same era crossbow? Totally incorrect, I hear you say. Yet conveying a lot of meaning: Glorantha has these Duck people, and they can be really badass!

Canon is a veil. The compromise. The net of Arachne Solara. A drastic resolution full of holes and just barely binding enough of the world together to keep it from destroying itself. And thus canon is super important, although not something that people actually see and worship.

Sorry for the rant. This is totally opinioned. :)

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IIRC, Alda-Chur was named after Greg’s friend or quondam flatmate Al. Just as the Broos were named after a disgusting acquaintance called Bruce, and the Three Bean Circus was a bunch of hippies who’d always offer  their three-bean salad to any takers.

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On 8/21/2020 at 1:48 AM, Jeff said:

And who can forget this depiction of Prince Argrath from the RuneQuest Companion. Looks very German-Celt to me.
 

 

GD007.jpg

So what you're saying is that Argath is actually the brother of Galactus.

That explains a lot.

 

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1 hour ago, Nick Brooke said:

IIRC, Alda-Chur was named after Greg’s friend or quondam flatmate Al. Just as the Broos were named after a disgusting acquaintance called Bruce, and the Three Bean Circus was a bunch of hippies who’d always offer  their three-bean salad to any takers.

THIS IS THE NATURE OF CANON IN GLORANTHA!

And I love the reality of it, the fingerprint Californian definition of the setting. :)

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32 minutes ago, Garrik said:

THIS IS THE NATURE OF CANON IN GLORANTHA!

And I love the reality of it, the fingerprint Californian definition of the setting. :)

A collection of liberal arts degree side notes, popular fantasy riffs, personal in-jokes, and '70s-era counter-culture references, not intended for scholarly publication?  Yes, like so many gamers' house campaigns. 🙂  So reaching back to this era in support of what current canon is supposed to be is an act of generous accommodation.  The seed is there, but often not yet even the root.  The Lozenge on which we play is perched atop a mighty, but inverted pyramid.

!i!

Edited by Ian Absentia
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16 minutes ago, Beorne said:

Che reason I asked what is canon was only to narrow the huge amount of published materials to study/obtain.

Which areas are you interested in? That is likely to reduce the materials to study more than what is canon.

Have a look at the Gloranthan Sourcebook, see which areas you want to know more about, then look at those areas.

For example, Borderlands is an excellent campaign pack, but is of no use if you want information on Sartar. 

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27 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Which areas are you interested in? That is likely to reduce the materials to study more than what is canon.

Have a look at the Gloranthan Sourcebook, see which areas you want to know more about, then look at those areas.

For example, Borderlands is an excellent campaign pack, but is of no use if you want information on Sartar. 

I think that when I feel ready I'll use standard RQG setting, Dragon Pass. I have read HQG, RQG and I'm approaching the wonderful Glorantha Sourcebook, RQ monster and RQ GM pack. I'll stick to the RQ system, but I liked much the HQ material I have read.

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9 hours ago, Beorne said:

I think that when I feel ready I'll use standard RQG setting, Dragon Pass.

It is well worth getting Sartar Kingdom of Heroes and Sartar Companion, if you can. The stats are for the HeroQuest system, but the background works for RQG.

King of Sartar is good for the future history, or what might happen in the future, but Sartar and Sartar Companion go over a lot of similar material.

9 hours ago, Beorne said:

I'll stick to the RQ system, but I liked much the HQ material I have read.

HQ material works as background to RQG. If you want to use the NPCs, it is better to write them up in RQG.

Edited by soltakss
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1 hour ago, Beorne said:

I have not well understood this. Writing them in HQG to use them in RQG?

It's easier to adapt NPCs from RQ to HQ because the latter is less crunchy/less stat-reliant. This also makes the opposite harder, as you need to add more numerical data. 

That's my understanding, at least.

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1 minute ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

It's easier to adapt NPCs from RQ to HQ because the latter is less crunchy/less stat-reliant. This also makes the opposite harder, as you need to add more numerical data.

HQG provides a handy and largely compatible shorthand for NPCs that aren't going to need a full complement of stats for combat and magic.  Just the primary personal characteristics and the runes that influence them.  Most of the things you'll want or need for an NPC in RQG.

!i!

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8 hours ago, Garrik said:

THIS IS THE NATURE OF CANON IN GLORANTHA!

And I love the reality of it, the fingerprint Californian definition of the setting. :)

Yea I love it. And on that note in my Glorantha it’s the original Wilm’s Church not the later Wilmskirk. 

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7 hours ago, Beorne said:
9 hours ago, soltakss said:

If you want to use the NPCs, it is better to write them up in HQG.

I have not well understood this. Writing them in HQG to use them in RQG?

Sorry, it was a typo. 

It is better to write them up in RQG.

Although, you could use the HQG ideas as a very rough template.

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On 8/21/2020 at 4:46 PM, Jeff said:

The Orlanthi were originally presented as being very "Ancient World".

I suspect that for many of us, the arbitrary change of style happened in the KoDP/HW/HQ era.

Irrespective of how good KoDP or HW/HQ are, I for one am extremely happy with the return to the originally intended visuals.

Even though I played and liked KoDP, the look of it and the visuals in HW/HQ more or less disconnected me from Glorantha without me even realising it. It is only with GtG and then the Glorantha Sourcebook and now even more with RQG, because it reintroduced playable immersive material, that I find myself reconnecting with Glorantha.

EDIT: I should add that I don't believe HW/HQ made a hard and fast change on looks and that it was all bad (this is not what I am saying at all). The changes were at times subtle, at times inconsistent but overall a paradigm shift seemed to happen. Don't quite know when there was a clear course correction but it was probably at the time of HeroQuest Glorantha.

Edited by DreadDomain
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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 they can fight naked from their chariots against the invading Imperial legions they head-hunt for trophies.

It's Roman Britain / Celtic Ireland / Gaul!

No, no, you've got that completely wrong! The Orlanthi hold rowdy wapentakes, and their thanes muster in a fyrd under Royal eorls and local sheriffs to fight off the Lunars, paying wergelds to settle blood feuds if they kill their neighbours.

It's Anglo-Saxon England, or Germania!

No, no, what a fundamental misconception! Their heroes have names like Oddi, Ketil, Eric, Hakon and Hahlgrim, and nicknames like "Killer" and "Hairybreeks," their armies include berserkers and werewolves, and their death god has an einherjar of ghostly warriors.

It's Viking Scandinavia, or Iceland!

No, no, you haven't been paying attention at all. Let me show you the first ever illustration of a generic Sartarite. That'll put you straight.
image.png.a89903484740913276f73d1974ec4c5e.png

OK, they're Mycenaean. It's obvious, now you put it like that.

(I'm taking the piss, slightly. I love Mycenaean Clearwine, myself, and am happily adapting to it, but it's ridiculous to complain that Hero Wars era books led us astray and turn a blind eye to Greg's Cults of Terror fiction and the Gods of Glorantha red box woad'n'chariots-a-palooza)

Edited by Nick Brooke
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2 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

RuneQuest is set in the Bronze Age fantasy world of Glorantha. Our protagonists, the Orlanthi barbarians...

Lacking access to my earliest RQ materials at the moment, I'm trying to recall when I first began to read about "Orlanthi" as opposed to "Sartarites" in published books.  To my recollection, early- to mid-80s?  The term didn't hit it's popular stride until the AH boxed sets.  The world was evolving as quickly and as malleably as it was being revealed.

!i!

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On 8/24/2020 at 9:13 PM, Nick Brooke said:

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 they can fight naked from their chariots against the invading Imperial legions they head-hunt for trophies.

It's Roman Britain / Celtic Ireland / Gaul!

It's Anglo-Saxon England, or Germania!

It's Viking Scandinavia, or Iceland!

OK, they're Mycenaean. It's obvious, now you put it like that.

Yeah, I always thought that kind of argumentation a bit silly. Clearly the Orlanthi (which a bit diverse group in itself but let's assume we are talking about the 85% all) are none of these things and have yet been influenced by all of them to a greater or lesser degree. Trying to equate Orlanthi to one of these cultures is as ridiculous as to try to equate the Lunars with the Romans.

Quote

(I'm taking the piss, slightly. I love Mycenaean Clearwine, myself, and am happily adapting to it, but it's ridiculous to complain that Hero Wars era books led us astray and turn a blind eye to Greg's Cults of Terror fiction and the Gods of Glorantha red box woad'n'chariots-a-palooza)

Ha! You might be arguing against a position that nobody defends. I think it was discussed at length before that nobody believes the art of early RQ is all good and certainly not all consistent. We just had Space Argrath posted in this very thread 😀

Edited by DreadDomain
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