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What are the skills needed for poetry ?


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I ask myself to define a good poet in RQG

I see several possibilities and may understand wrongly the rules so I would like some advice.

i split it in 2 options:

recite a poem to people

create a poem that others can learn and recite

Maybe several skills can be used for the same use, I don’t know

1) recite 

orate / sing / craft-poetry

2) create 

craft-poetry / art / speak language / write language
 

(pretty sure not write only, as civilization without writing can have poets but it can be a skill among others)

 

Do you think it is different for tragedy/comedy (in Esrolia / Peloria for example) but if craft a craft-tragedy for example ?

 

 

Edited by French Desperate WindChild
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I think writing and performing are two separate talents. We have both playwrights and actors for that reason. To write a poem or play (the ancient world saw little difference between the two) is a Knowledge skill such as language and augmented by a lore skill or even Insight. (Craft skills are Manipulation based so I wouldn't think they'd apply). To preform a play is a Communication skill: Act, Orate but also modified by Insight (reading the room). 

Cultural knowledge would also be required, so perhaps either using the Homeland Lore skill as an augment or cap would make sense. 

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

1) recite 

orate / sing / craft-poetry

Sing is the skill noted in RQG for reciting poetry.

1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

2) create 

craft-poetry / art / speak language / write language

I think Art is sufficient for this.  It could be augmented with Speak language if you want more eloquent words, but otherwise don't think that is needed.

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

2) create 

craft-poetry / art / speak language / write language

I would just leave it to the sing roll, augmented with speak language. That leaves us with bad poetry made good by good delivery and good poetry made by failing the roll. I might get the player to give it a title, and for the excited, write a sentence of what it's about. Otherwise it's getting into minutiae.

29 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

I think Art is sufficient for this. 

Art only seems to cover physical media, but you could easily change it.

I prefer speak language as at 81-100:

Quote

This level is the language of poets, scientists, philosophers, diplomats, and all who aspire to a fluent grasp of the nation’s speech

If you wanted a profession, use Entertainer (that contains poet) and replace Play (instrument) +30% with in speak language.

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35 minutes ago, Nick Brooke said:

Are you seriously writing poetry without Passion?

It'll suck. Trust me on this.

Best answer ever.  Or at least in a month or so.  Instead of making up a new skill and mechanics, use existing ones.

This does raise the question of how good your language skill should be.  80% is way too high, but 10% seems feeble.  But otherwise, I love this take.

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4 hours ago, Psullie said:

We have both playwrights and actors for that reason

Now, yes, but in previous ages not so much, the line was far more blurred.  Playwrights typically actors in the troop like Shakespeare.  I'm on shaky ground with theatre, but I know in music, musicians historically were far more composer performers.  And I'd suggest that in an age of low literacy, and before music notation was invented, it would be almost impossible to exist as a writer / composer if you didn't also perform.

*My* take in Glorantha is that both the creation and performance of art is accessing the same divine (runic) muse, and flows from the same source of inspiration.  Personally, playing doesn't feel I'm doing something very different from composing.  If I'm playing, I'm trying to see past the notes to the inspiration the composer had, that can only imperfectly be captured in the notes.  And composing, I'm trying to capture imperfectly what's going round in my head.  Both are a similar activity of expressing something in musical form that's deep down.  Not that I'm very good at either!

 

Edited by Stephen L
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1 hour ago, Nick Brooke said:

Are you seriously writing poetry without Passion?

It'll suck. Trust me on this.

 

I consider that anyone can love someone BUT anyone is not able to create a good poem about love. Gloranthan have talents, but all gloranthan cannot be the best one, isn't it ?

I consider passion as improvement for that , but it is not a skill. And it is exactly how passions works in rqg

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1 hour ago, Nick Brooke said:

Are you seriously writing poetry without Passion?

It'll suck. Trust me on this.

Quite right!

So the proper recitation of Poetry might be:  Passion inspiration + Sing skill

And the proper creation of Poetry might be:  Passion inspiration + Speak Language skill (I'd argue for this rather than R/W given that poetry is something meant to be recited/heard, not simply read as a novel).

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6 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

1) recite 

orate / sing / craft-poetry

2) create 

craft-poetry / art / speak language / write language

I prefer, create, and re-create (rather than recite), as that's more what it feels like to me. 

And I'd use the same skill for both.  Working out the nuances between the two seems overly complex.

And, as the good Nick Brooke says, to be any good requires inspiration, although that has escaped my attention thus far in all the artistic endeavours of the adventures in my campaign.  Though as said artistic endeavour has only been used to boast about their deeds, I think we can take it read that it's a subject they're easily inspired by!

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10 hours ago, jajagappa said:

So the proper recitation of Poetry might be:  Passion inspiration + Sing skill

And the proper creation of Poetry might be:  Passion inspiration + Speak Language skill (I'd argue for this rather than R/W given that poetry is something meant to be recited/heard, not simply read as a novel).

I think that is the best way

 

9 hours ago, Stephen L said:

I prefer, create, and re-create (rather than recite), as that's more what it feels like to me. 

not me, I make the distinction for many reasons :

- a mute person can create a poem, but cannot recite it

- a good creator can be a bad singer

- poetry / song / text are repeated (oral tradition for example)

- not sure it is canon or not but Solinthor (sun county) is a famous poet and people are looking for his verses. And these verses should be repeated, in any civilized courts I believe

 

But yes, of course a reciter would change some words, names or situation "on live" that's for me part of the reciter skill (fit with the local audience). But creating the frame (? not sure the word, I mean the different steps of the story, climax, drama, main characters etc...) is a different thing.

 

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21 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

I ask myself to define a good poet in RQG

I see several possibilities and may understand wrongly the rules so I would like some advice.

i split it in 2 options:

recite a poem to people

create a poem that others can learn and recite

Maybe several skills can be used for the same use, I don’t know

1) recite 

orate / sing / craft-poetry

2) create 

craft-poetry / art / speak language / write language
 

(pretty sure not write only, as civilization without writing can have poets but it can be a skill among others)

 

Do you think it is different for tragedy/comedy (in Esrolia / Peloria for example) but if craft a craft-tragedy for example ?

 

 

Using the skills is a very good way to get things done quickly in a bind... yet, IF I may suggest another possibility... Let the player write the poem and sing/read to the group... after all... this is a role play game isn't it ?

you may end with a more satisfying experience for all (or a good laugh to horrible poetry like the Vingan and my Orlanti characters did on our table)

 

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43 minutes ago, FungusColombicus said:

Using the skills is a very good way to get things done quickly in a bind... yet, IF I may suggest another possibility... Let the player write the poem and sing/read to the group... after all... this is a role play game isn't it ?

you may end with a more satisfying experience for all (or a good laugh to horrible poetry like the Vingan and my Orlanti characters did on our table)

 

I understand that but it depends on players you have.

 I don't want to "block" a player who (is  afraid / refuse / anything )  to play. Some enjoy to act, some don't. rp games with stats allow people to play someone else that they are.

It is easier (or not ?) to an exuberant player to play a shy character than a shy player to play an exuberant character.

Sometimes we have surprise, sometimes the shy will try something. I give the opportunity, I don't force, I don't focus the player.

And that for poetry, but what about celestial lore, forge, music, jump, ... fight ?

but clearly when roleplay is not only decide how the character would act but also a kind of "performance" from players (and gm), that's better, for sure !

 

ps (I don't know if I manipulate correctly "shy" so sorry for my grammar with it, and with all my words)

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9 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

not me, I make the distinction for many reasons :

- a mute person can create a poem, but cannot recite it

- a good creator can be a bad singer

That, in itself, isn't a reason to have different skills.  A skill will always have a bonus/penalty based on the circumstance used, so I could see an adventurer composing an epic, to be recited by another, so that their skill is an augment.  If they have an impediment, if they had recited it, there would have been a penalty.

To turn it on it's head, I can't think of any composers who are not musicians.

But the clincher for me is how playable it makes it.  My players are using a lot of sing and orate.  If they needed other skill sets, to be used in combination that would be a blocker.  Or they'd have to think ahead and commission things.  To be blunt forward planning really isn't their strong point.

2 hours ago, FungusColombicus said:

You MAY be pleasantly surprised... (or not)

My youngest player is 7, and he spontaneously breaks into song at the drop of a hat.  Think of Brian Blessed but as an opera singer.  It is not be in any way encouraged.  He is, however, very finely suited to the duck that he plays.

Edited by Stephen L
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2 hours ago, Kloster said:

It would be better I don't do it.

Probably makes two of us, given what crawled through my brain around 1AM last night... (two separate entities, not to be seen as one longer work)

Humakt and Orlanth 
A spat between two brothers 
Death severs all bonds
 
Ho, haiku hijack 
Learnéd are the peacekeepers 
Waging magic war
 
Addendum: Given how much ancient stuff was relayed verbally, having an INT roll for Memory might be viable. Read/Write might be of use for the longer pieces -- but if one is relying on alliteration and/or rhyming Speak may be more important (especially if the spoken languages are different even when the written language is the same. No idea if Sing or Orate is the more applicable /performance/ skill -- Orate makes me think of politicians on soapboxes, haranguing an audience.
 
Edited by Baron Wulfraed
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The performance is Orate for some types of poetry, and Sing for others.

You can't deliver 'If' by Rudyard Kipling by singing. But arguably 'Sing' would be a better skill to deliver Beowulf with. I'd say just decide what from of delivery is used by a culture. For Orlanthi it's probably Sing.

Either can be augmented as per normal by an appropriate Passion for the subject of the poem.

For writing I would make new skills, maybe 'Lyricist' and 'Composer', Lyricist being used for poems and the lyrics of songs/

Edited by Monty Lovering
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Entertainer on RQG p.66 has +30% for all of dance, sing, and play instrument.  This seems to me to correspond to a video of a Turkish epic poem being performed that I saw a long time ago.  The editorial that came with it included the opinion that Homeric poetry was originally performed the same way.  In which case memory would indeed be an important item for the performer.  Wish I could find a link for that video -  it was probably pre- personal computer.  Well here is a link to a similar performance, Manas:  And a second link to a scholarly beckground video.

If the model is Bronze Age -  then writing poems down may not have occurred to anyone so early.  As far as i know the available RW examples are early iron age, even though the original compositions were bronze age.  This earliest fragment of Gilgamesh is from the Turkish museum, dated to about 800BC, and Bronze Age is evidently regarded as ending 1200Bc in the Near East.. 

 

And given the widespread illiteracy of the Gloranthan background, most poetry would  be memorized and not in books.  So   Monty Lovering    seems most reasonable to me. 

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13 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

And given the widespread illiteracy of the Gloranthan background, most poetry would  be memorized and not in books.

But also bear in mind that there are a LOT of standard phrases and epithets (just like musicians these days have a lot of standard riffs): the "wine-dark" Aegean, the "sacker of cities", etc. in the Homeric works.  Whether using metrical or alliterative forms, there are patterns, words, etc. that are fillers that help keep the story/poem going.  Not to say Memory is not important, but it's not like memorizing War and Peace.  And the performances aren't being recorded, so there will be variations from one performance to the next.

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