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Orlanth and Starbucks


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I feel that stepping into a foreign temple to regain runepoints should not be as easy as stepping into a Starbucks and ordering a venti chai tea latte, which can be done the same way in Albuquerque, Dubai or Berlin. Temples in different communities should look somewhat different, feel somewhat different and maybe even be named differently.
Years ago, while traveling in Northern India, I came across a small shrine (a lone wall with a small niche holding a statue) and its attending brahmin. Judging from the statue, the god was obviously Hanuman, the monkey god who helped Rama on his quest against Ravana. However, the priest insisted that this god was not Hanuman (I have forgotten how he was named), although his myths did indeed include the building of the bridge of Rama, the fight against Ravana and so on. For us occidentals, India is a good example of how polytheist cults work in practice. 
I concede that the way it was done in “Thunder rebels” was a little overdone, but I prefer it to the present franchise-like temples which by default all look and feel the same. I like the fact that the Runegate Yelmalio temple is actually an Elmal temple, probably with very strong ties to Redalda and pure horse myths. I think that Yelmalions from Vanntar should not feel completely at home there, although they can regain their runepoints there, maybe with an extra challenge like a cult lore check, or a rune affinity check (which are not needed in a completely familiar environment). I remember the first time I have attended a Baptist protestant ceremony with a Baptist friend, having been raised in a Catholic family. Although I could easily see the similarities, I also perceived some oddly different details and I was afraid of behaving improperly in this context.  
I my RQG games, I have reused the god names for “Thunder rebels” and “Storm Tribe” so that each clan or tribe temple has a different name, sometimes with some unique attributes. 
This way, stepping into a new foreign Orlanth temple becomes a small adventure in itself.

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1 hour ago, Manimati said:

Years ago, while traveling in Northern India, I came across a small shrine (a lone wall with a small niche holding a statue) and its attending brahmin. Judging from the statue, the god was obviously Hanuman, the monkey god who helped Rama on his quest against Ravana. However, the priest insisted that this god was not Hanuman (I have forgotten how he was named), although his myths did indeed include the building of the bridge of Rama, the fight against Ravana and so on. For us occidentals, India is a good example of how polytheist cults work in practice. 

Nice and thank you for telling us about this.

It's a good reminder that one is in Sartar, not in Kansas any more. Initially, it seems like a lot of work (taking notes on temples, their keepers and their ways and I would imagine the placement of special shrines and spells and other miscellaneous bits of data) but if you like the note keeping and creation this is an excellent way to make make your Glorantha truly stand out (not just vary but be something really special!). 

Do you have any examples that you have use in your games?

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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I use some home-brew rules. But the short answer is that when you wander into a temple other than your own, the priests of the temple will demand all kinds of proof before they will let you worship in the inner sanctum and regain rune magic. They'll let you worship, they'll certainly take your donations. But they don't know you, and the world is full of tricksters, and lunar spies, and generally evil people who are OINO (Orlanthi In Name Only). As a result, the players-characters have to network; A letter of introduction from their clan-chief, to the clan-chief of the region they are traveling through; or other proof of goodwill. If they're traveling far, they may need one from their tribal king. The presence of an Issaries merchant or herald does wonders for a group that wants to travel far. They player-characters are aware that even among nominal allies they are on their land, using their resources, and they may not be welcome.

In practical game terms, it gives me an opportunity to give the players side quests, and reinforces non-combat skills and encounters.

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Do you have any examples that you have use in your games?

Here you are…
In a recent game my players visited Wilmskirk which is one of the cities founded by Sartar, in the Balmyr tribe territory. The Balmyr where formerly known as “the poets tribe”, and Wilmskirk has the temple to Wilms, god of artists. For these reasons, I decided that the Orlanth temple in Wilmskirk is dedicated to the Drogarsi the Skald subcult. Besides being a Drogarsi rather than an Orlanth temple, during ceremonies there is a little more focus on the mythic achievements of Orlanth/Drogarsi involving poetry and storytelling. At the Drogarsi temple, Art(poetry) is also taught as a cult skill, and there is an Eurmal shrine where the Charisma rune spell is taught. The Drogarsi subcult is also very friendly to Donandar (but not associated) .

Edited by Manimati
added Donandar note at the end.
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