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why is Argrath considered an asshole?


Charles

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7 hours ago, Dissolv said:

You clearly went off on my players and myself without reading, or really caring to fully read what I wrote.  The players were new, we used the family history with random rolls, and holy cow did we get a weighted group of results. 

You quoted Darius saying "These are modern sentiments that have no place in a bronze age environment if we want to get serious about roleplaying cultural sensibilities" in response to Akhôrahil stating that "a lot of players and even PCs would start to wonder if maybe there isn’t another way" (than "Argrath’s genocidal climatological warfare" and "the Telmori genocide"). Your response began "I completely agree with this.  It just isn't the nature of the world as presented, nor in line with what we know about our own ancestors.  (Or, if we are honest, about our own deeper rooted, glossed over by civilization, urges.)"

That doesn't read as a response solely attaining to your particular current game and game group.

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Not only is this a straight forward and obvious trope, the players clearly understood it for what it was -- the character's core motivation.  You are only one who started screeching "genocide, genocide, genocide".  Then somehow torture and rape got involved.  Awesome.

I was not in fact the one who started mentioning genocide. Nor did I ever talk explicitly about torture and rape except through use of the term war crime.

And since you feel okay with characterising my posts as "screeching", I have no inducement to respond to the rest of your message. What with Joerg's test of my 'theory' and your challenge, it seems 'some people in the past didn't agree with genocide' needs a lot more defending as an idea than I would have thought possible only a few days ago.

Edited by jenh
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I am quite intrigued about the debate about the Lunars and Argrath.

For me, the Lunars have always been “evil”, from the very beginning, in the Dragon Pass Boardgame, there is no doubt, especially with the bat which must be fed (but also, from the position on the board, Sartar always had more luck with emissaries, because they had less far to travel, which gave a feeling of unpopularity for the Lunars).

But that evil has always been very nuanced and fun to play – it is a game after all.  I usually ended up playing the Lunars in Dragon Pass.  As anyone else was largely playing it to humour me, and they preferred playing the heroic, underdog Sartarites.  

Similarly, with RQ, the Lunars are the bad guys, but a very nuanced fun to play bad guy.  Halcyon Var Encorth as exhibit A.

Also, the debate about Argrath.  Most of what he does is in the future in the hero wars, so we don’t yet have much to go on. King of Sartar is written from many viewpoints, which range from the perfect hero, to the ultimate monster.  But my reading of the material is that yes, he’s a hero, but a very nuanced one.

Lastly, to lighten the mood, we should remember Monty Pythons contribution to the endless scholarly debate:

I remember Monty Pythons contribuation to the endless scholarly debate:
What Have The Romans Ever Done For Us?

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Reg: They bled us white, the bastards. They’ve taken everything we had. And not just from us! From our fathers, and from our father’s fathers.

Loretta: And from our father’s father’s fathers.

Reg: Yeah.

Loretta: And from our father’s father’s father’s fathers.

Reg: Yeah, all right Stan, don’t delay with the point. And what have they ever given us in return?

Revolutionary I: The aqueduct?

Reg: What?

Revolutionary I: The aqueduct.

Reg: Oh. Yeah, yeah, they did give us that, ah, that’s true, yeah.

Revolutionary II: And the sanitation.

Loretta: Oh, yeah, the sanitation, Reg. Remember what the city used to be like.

Reg: Yeah, all right, I’ll grant you the aqueduct and sanitation, the two things the Romans have done.

Matthias: And the roads.

Reg: Oh, yeah, obviously the roads. I mean the roads go without saying, don’t they? But apart from the sanitation, the aqueduct, and the roads…

Revolutionary III: Irrigation.

Revolutionary I: Medicine.

Revolutionary IV: Education.

Reg: Yeah, yeah, all right, fair enough.

Revolutionary V: And the wine.

All revolutionaries except Reg: Oh, yeah! Right!

Rogers: Yeah! Yeah, that’s something we’d really miss Reg, if the Romans left. Huh.

Revolutionary VI: Public bathes.

Loretta: And it’s safe to walk in the streets at night now, Reg.

Rogers: Yeah, they certainly know how to keep order. Let’s face it; they’re the only ones who could in a place like this.

All revolutionaries except Reg: Hahaha…all right…

Reg: All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

Revolutionary I: Brought peace?

Reg: Oh, peace! Shut up!

 

 

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On 12/17/2020 at 1:22 PM, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Glorantha is, by canon, less nasty than Earth.  Rape and Torture are chaotic, and doing too much leads to retribution.  "Please gods, let the Storm Bulls catch me before the Babs Gors".  They still happen, I'm sure that the sacks of the City of Wonders and Pavis etc... involved some, but much less than would be typical on Earth.

That said, everybody is free to play as dark or light as they want in their groups. Or try to improve things.  I'm playing that my Vingan PC, who, like many PCs, was at City of Wonders, saw bad behavior by Wolf Pirates, even killed one to protect another woman,  and will give Argrath grief for allying with them.

There are also suggestions in the Guide to Glorantha that slavery is neither ubiquitous or uncontroversial in Orlanthi culture.

Concerning Orlanthi thralls:

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Among the Dragon Pass Orlanthi, the status is recognized, but has long been out of favor in most clans, especially to emphasize their love of freedom.

Similarly, despite always considering violence an option, they hold both non-lethal and non-violent resolutions to conflict in especially high esteem:

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Combat by champions is widely recognized as a binding way of resolving inter-clan disputes, although alternatives to the champions killing each other are encouraged. The Princes of Sartar were popular in part because they always offered to contribute something to deadlocked cases which with a touch of generosity could be settled amicably instead of through violence.

 

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50 minutes ago, Stephen L said:

For me, the Lunars have always been “evil”, from the very beginning, in the Dragon Pass Boardgame, there is no doubt, especially with the bat which must be fed (but also, from the position on the board, Sartar always had more luck with emissaries, because they had less far to travel, which gave a feeling of unpopularity for the Lunars).

"Sartar was always able to quickly send a Duck emissary to Delecti the Necromancer and sacrifice it to create an army of the walking dead, which they could send into battle alongside the Werewolf and Headhunter units in their own army."

It's funny, because it's true.

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2 hours ago, Dr. Device said:

There are also suggestions in the Guide to Glorantha that slavery is neither ubiquitous or uncontroversial in Orlanthi culture.

Concerning Orlanthi thralls:

Similarly, despite always considering violence an option, they hold both non-lethal and non-violent resolutions to conflict in especially high esteem:

 

It is worth noticing that Orlanth disapproves of slavery and does not allow his temples or his Rune masters to own slaves. 

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14 hours ago, jenh said:

While I am all about non-violent games, I'm not interested in rewriting all of Glorantha's history, laser-focused though it is on violent conflict. I do however object strenuously to the notion that no one, including the PCs, can have a problem with genocide or do anything other than continue a cycle of violence.

That's sort of the point of having these events - people having these problems, or in case they don't, creating repercussions from that absence.

Neither Humakti nor Eurmali have any compunctions about killing - that's what their (adopted) magical identity tells them to do. They may regret losing the people killed, but they would still obey the imperative. "Just following orders." "My god told me to do this." "My oath to my leader required me to do my duty. A pity that the person I fought was kin." (That's from the Hildebrandt-Lied, about a champions' duel between father and son who had been separated for decades, but recognize each other before engaging in that duel.)

This warrior's code is alien to most of us. Yet people flock to characters who are defined by their cultural and/or personal codes of honor, which may demand loyalty even to a leader who does terrible things. Which may require them to perticipate in such a terrible thing before seeking release from that oath of loyalty.

This isn't very different from running in a criminal gang, like say the fictional bikers in Sons of Anarchy. Those characters are relatable villains rather than heroes.

Many of the role models of Glorantha (the cults) project alternate ethical values on the characters. The "runes for temperament " rules system ad the passions offer rules mechanics for guiding player characters in ways probably different from their players' experiences and values in their daily life.

Taken to the extreme, a Dara Happan character might consider free will for the lower tier population a sacrilege and atrocity. A Westerner would be more shocked by caste transgressions than forms of intercourse or reproduction our society regards as untouchable. The Galvosti mindset declaring outsiders as valid tapping targets is fascist to the nth degree, but then you meet Brithini who tap just about anything, but who define themselves as the good guys compared to the Vadeli. So yes, the Orlanthi are way more ecologically correct when their raids slaughter their victims in the hundreds and carry off prisoners for servitude or ransom after having slaughtered their kin, and they don't usually feed those prisoners to Chaos horrors or temples altering reality for magical convenience like the Lunar Empire does.

 

Glorantha has themes similar to playing people under General Custer's command following the Civil War, or colonial officers or administrators of just about any colonial power in the late 19th century. And possibly any time outside of that time frame, too - you could be marching with Cortez or Pizzaro, or play early colonists teaming up with one group of natives to eliminate another one for the price of a winter's survival.

You can play the role of the explorer - Captain Cook, Alexander von Humboldt, Robert Peary, Dr. Livingstone, interacting with the natives from a position of enlightened superiority (?). You can play the role of the traveler becoming an official or advisor of a local power, like Marco Polo or Emin Pasha.

All of these themes can be played in Glorantha as well. For instance, roll back a bit and join Tosti Runefriend in his studies of Kralorela and its draconsm before his return to Jonstown.

Take the role of a Belintar loyalist striving to keep a semblance of order in Kethaela, interacting with the other Sixths from that "superior insight".

Travel as one of Sartar's companions, doing the (dirty? clandestine?) side work that enabled this magician to found one of the most advanced Orlanthi kingdoms in the world. Possibly do so in flashbacks while descendants of these characters deal with the rise of Argrath (to finally come back to the topic of this thread).

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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5 hours ago, jenh said:

You quoted Darius saying "These are modern sentiments that have no place in a bronze age environment if we want to get serious about roleplaying cultural sensibilities" in response to Akhôrahil stating that "a lot of players and even PCs would start to wonder if maybe there isn’t another way" (than "Argrath’s genocidal climatological warfare" and "the Telmori genocide"). Your response began "I completely agree with this.  It just isn't the nature of the world as presented, nor in line with what we know about our own ancestors.  (Or, if we are honest, about our own deeper rooted, glossed over by civilization, urges.)"

That doesn't read as a response solely attaining to your particular current game and game group.

And that remains my opinion.   Everything that I have read and experienced has led me to the point of view that we are much more civilized than our ancestors, as a whole.   If anything, we live in a near paradise of plenty, with our individual rights well defined and protected, our ability to speak out and discuss topics freely, criticize our leaders without fear of violent reprisal, etc.   This is on average of course.  There were plenty of peaceful  societies  discovered by anthropologists, but always small communities, and normally very isolated.  There is of course wrong and evil around the world today.  But you understand what I mean.  If I criticize a world leader today, it just doesn't have same the consequences that criticizing a Persian King of Kings would have had.  Or heaven help me....an Assyrian one.   As a general rule, I lead an astonishingly comfortable life, with nearly zero life and death decisions made per lifetime, let alone year.  

Now let's look at Bronze age me.  Suppose I rock the boat too much in a Celtic society.  I very well may find myself at the end of a sword, or exiled from the community, or a slave.  We don't have too much information on these guys prior to the Iron Age, but we do know that they build forts (not common in peaceful societies), engage in warfare quite a great deal, take slaves, and are feared by their neighbors.  They romped through Thrace and Italy, founded Galatia, and sacked Rome, although this is now the iron age for those feats.  

What about civilized Greece?  Surely I would fare better.  Nope.  Sparta is a straight up slave state, complete with secret police to keep the helots in line.  Free men train for war.  That's it.  That's your job.  Enslave the farmers and train for war.  Athens?  Not only do these guys vote someone off the island every year -- they would also ostracize (read: exile for 10 years) their best and brightest as well.  This was done largely as a political weapon. Socrates was famously executed, but they also were very warlike and the vices of pure democracy are frequently cited when they ruthlessly dominated their neighbors and sparked the peloponnesian war.  This famously started when they attacked their own ally, Samos.  Oh yeah, also the slavery thing. 

None of those societies are known for tolerance of outsiders, or strong women's rights movements, or a bunch of abolitionists.  Nor do they have recorded protests against winning a war and slaughtering, pillaging, and burning down cities of their opponents.  It is quite the opposite -- they celebrate those things, and welcome the captured wealth and slaves as a great boon to themselves.  Today being pro-slavery, anti-women's rights, and pro-invading other people's and taking their stuff does not even get you into the ground floor of being considered part of humanity.  Yet our ancestors did and thought that way and did not consider themselves morally inferior for so thinking.   I will not even get into what the Assyrians did as a matter of state policy.  It is almost unbelievable.  Listen to the Dan Carlin podcast.  He is fantastic to listen to in general anyway.

So yes, my idea of a bronze age world is much more "out there" and in greater need a hero than anything we live in today.  Nor should the inhabitants think or act like modern day Westenders.

 

For the second point was about human nature itself.  This is extremely relevant for a game that purports to explore mythological archetypes.  Proper Jungian study is far, far beyond any reasonable topic here.  Seriously, the guy was a genius who realized that psychology of the day was insufficient, so turned to anthropology, theology, archeology, and mythology for his theories.  He memorized the Koran to such a degree that he was mistaken for a religious leader while traveling the middle east (or Tunisia?  I forget where, it has been a long time since school).  The point is that to really dig into his theories requires a LOT of academic underpinning.  Similar to Freud you risk missing important meanings, distinctions, or changes in directions if you rely on secondary sources.  That said......

Jung about the Shadow

The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge, and it therefore,. as a rule, meets with considerable resistance. Indeed, self-knowledge as a psychotherapeutic measure frequently requires much painstaking work extending over a long period. (From Aion: Phenomenology of the Self published in The Portable Jung, edited by Joseph Campbell, Penguin Books, 1976, p. 145.)

The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 7 is where you are looking for the primary source.  I would strongly recommend Freud's Civilization and its Discontents as well, although this is a different sort of work, and he wasn't into mythology or similar references.  

The bottom line is that people are not only capable of very bad things, they also hide from themselves the fact that they are so capable, or rationalize away what they have already done.  And humans are very, very capable in this regard.  The bad thing can range from taking your significant other for granted ("I left the toothpaste cap off again, oh well"), to very serious, world shaking crimes against humanity just to get personal power (fill in your atrocity of choice here, I will go with Alexander's sack and burning of Persepolis).

The big catch is that everyone thinks that they are the hero of the story.  They are the ones who will save Anne Frank, or bring the murderous factions of Rome into accord and thus avoid (yet another) civil war.  The reality is that it is much, much, much, much harder to actually do than people ever imagine in their minds.  It is in fact a highly unusual, even great act of moral courage to summon the strength, and the wisdom, to allow one's self to determine what is actually right, and act that way, despite the inevitable consequences.  It is also always a highly individual act.  Ghandi was heroic. 

Much of therapy is built around uncovering these buried aspects of one's self, and coming to terms with them.  Both tasks are much more difficult that is ordinarily considered, and most people do not even try.   Plenty decide, or even declare to friends that they are self actualized, however this is mere hubris.  

Please also note that even attaining improved states of self awareness doesn't mean a lack of violence.   The Bhagavad Gita is famous for Arjuna seeing his teacher, and "100 cousins and friends" on the other side of the battlefield, and hesitating, not wanting to kill them.  He charioteer, Krishna, councils doing his duty as the more righteous path, and Arjuna carries forward with his task, winning the battle, and slaughtering his kin.  I think he becomes slightly more enlightened as well.  Someone more knowledgeable about Indian mythology can dissect that one better than I, but that is the gist of it.

 

Playing in Glorantha is way better than a Tolkien, or D&D based world.  In D&D you fireball the Kobold village because they are Lawful Evil.  That's it.   Even if they haven't done anything that you know of, they are canonically evil, and you are doing good by getting rid of them.   Tolkien's works are similarly simplistic.  If it is an Ork, it just has to die, as it is a servant of true evil(tm)  There is struggle in those types of games, but not true evil.  Not the moral type that we recognize as real.  Glorantha offers a much deeper experience.

Runequest has not only a wide variety of points of view, and shades of grey, it also contains that wild element that lets us tap into our deeper impulses, in our imaginations, safely gathered around the dining room table (or Zoom session).  Removing those elements, or softening the world cheapens the game in several ways, imo.  There need to be choices, and they need to be consequential, impacting NPCs and world elements that the Players have developed emotional feelings towards.   It cannot be an intellectual exercise such as "do we build the irrigation system this year or next year?"  It needs to be elemental.  Primal.  The players should be hit where they feel it, deep down inside, and should agonize over making the correct decision.  Then they have to live with it.  Own it.  

Although there are many ways to GM, and YGMV, these are base line concepts for my games, even the sessions which are relatively tame.  This was how the HBO Rome series was designed as well -- all the emotions and passions are much closer to the surface.   I can GM different ways, but for Runequest -- my apparently low-literacy and poorly educated "mah Bronze Age authenticity" does matter.  So does the existence of evil acts such as genocide.  I have never, not in over thirty years doing this, had a player commit an act of genocide.  This is what you seemed to be accusing me and my players of gleefully doing.  The genocide (very loosely defined) is in the setting, and it was there when I picked it up in the 80's.  It is a mature game setting and anyone who has ever read Cults of Terror should know this.  So I use it to explore mature themes.  NOT as "an atrocity simulator", but certainly not as a light or primarily comedic setting either.  If anything, the moral realness that the game can produce makes it vastly superior to a D&D game where the violence is glossed over and cartoony.  You may kill trolls in Runequest, but trolls have feelings.   And you may wind up with feelings for having to fight them to, even if they wind up on the opposite side of the battlefield from you.

 

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10 hours ago, Eff said:

And that having the Bat attack Runegate is morally horrific, an atrocity, but not genocide, because it's not carried out with the intent of exterminating all Colymar or all Runegate Triaty clans or of working towards the destruction of Sartarite/Heortling identity. 

Point of fact, I'm not clear that they didn't actually intend to kill all of the Rune Gate inhabitants at least.  That's not "genocide" certainly, but it should at least be a war crime (I mean, if Glorantha had a UN or such.  Frankly just using Chaos is already beyond the pale for just about all Glorantha societies as I understand it).  I found this:

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The next day, instead of attacking, Ignifer deployed the terrifying Crimson Bat, which destroyed the whole town and all of its inhabitants, with the exception of the Luck Gate and a few fortunate souls who huddled under it.

But I have also read, but cannot currently find, that they promised all the survivors to Delecti as undead, but then fed everybody to the Bat, so Delecti got nothing. 

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15 minutes ago, Dissolv said:

he wasn't into mythology or similar references

The smoking man might have one or two surprises left for you if you veer a little past Civilization / Discontents in either direction. I am out of "thanks" reacts for the day but would like to highlight this extended insight:

16 minutes ago, Dissolv said:

Much of therapy is built around uncovering these buried aspects of one's self, and coming to terms with them.  Both tasks are much more difficult that is ordinarily considered, and most people do not even try.   Plenty decide, or even declare to friends that they are self actualized, however this is mere hubris.  

Please also note that even attaining improved states of self awareness doesn't mean a lack of violence.   The Bhagavad Gita is famous for Arjuna seeing his teacher, and "100 cousins and friends" on the other side of the battlefield, and hesitating, not wanting to kill them.  He charioteer, Krishna, councils doing his duty as the more righteous path, and Arjuna carries forward with his task, winning the battle, and slaughtering his kin.  I think he becomes slightly more enlightened as well.  Someone more knowledgeable about Indian mythology can dissect that one better than I, but that is the gist of it.

"Game creation and shamanism were intrinsically linked for Greg. Both gave him constructive means of sorting out his life. If you believe you're a bad or fallen person, what's your storyline? Can you change it and yourself through mythology, like lucid dreaming instead of just being swept along by whatever comes? The redemptive story arcs in Arthurian mythology gave him the understanding, and Glorantha (and specifically Argrath) was its personal expression. And once he had his mythology he could make it real. All versions of myth are true, and if Percival could achieve the Grail, and Argrath conquer his demons and become a god, well now Greg's got a roadmap. I think he very much ended his quest in an Arthurian way. Shamanically speaking."

So back to the original post, Glorantha is overfull of assholes. Our work here on the therapeutic battlefield is to teach them not only to talk but to sing.

 
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29 minutes ago, Dissolv said:

Point of fact, I'm not clear that they didn't actually intend to kill all of the Rune Gate inhabitants at least.  That's not "genocide" certainly, but it should at least be a war crime (I mean, if Glorantha had a UN or such.  Frankly just using Chaos is already beyond the pale for just about all Glorantha societies as I understand it).  I found this:

But I have also read, but cannot currently find, that they promised all the survivors to Delecti as undead, but then fed everybody to the Bat, so Delecti got nothing. 

Yeah, but the triaty clans don't all live in Runegate, so while it's certainly a massacre (and we should read it as such, but at the same time, we should also understand that people in the real world have tended to take the position that cities which don't throw open the gates at the approach of an army are inviting bloodsoaked retribution if they fall right up until very recently, and that Gloranthans probably view the use of the Bat against Runegate or Whitewall as morally queasy but not as outright horrific as we view it. This is important for understanding how anyone could be pro-Lunar in Sartar after 1602 without being a total quisling.) it's not genocidal. And the pattern does tend to hold for other such atrocities- the Skyburn and the Moonburn deforest, but the surviving Aldryami are allowed to leave, etc. 

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1 hour ago, Dissolv said:

Frankly just using Chaos is already beyond the pale for just about all Glorantha societies as I understand it).

This isn’t as clear-cut as you think - the Praxian tribes can and regularly do ally Broo (although ”ally” here mostly means ”pay them something and send them in the general direction of the enemy”).

Can both sides ally the Hydra in the Dragon Pass boardgame?

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4 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

This isn’t as clear-cut as you think - the Praxian tribes can and regularly do ally Broo (although ”ally” here mostly means ”pay them something and send them in the general direction of the enemy”).

Can both sides ally the Hydra in the Dragon Pass boardgame?

Either side may ally the Hydra or Hungry Jack. 

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17 hours ago, Orlanthatemyhamster said:

Making violence cartoony and making war 'heroic', at least all the time, does everybody a disservice, and we're back to D&D Orks. Not because they're Green or automatically Eeeeeevil, but because they're disposable fodder who die in large numbers. Sanitised 'War'.

RuneQuest violence is cartoony. Limbs go flying, heads roll, people get cut in two. People die and come back again through Divine Intervention. People take massive wounds and heal right back up. People die and get Resurrected.

That is part of the game.

Violence is party of the game, which is why the sections on combat, weapons, shields and armour are big and detailed. sure, people say things like "RuneQuest combat is dangerous, so we prefer to talk our way out of it or avoid combat", but combat happens quite often and is bloody and nasty.

I remember wading through hundreds of corpses when going through Chaos Temples in RQ2. Sure, gaming has progressed since then, but it can happen. As an Orlanthi, I would think nothing of attacking and killing everyone in a Temple to Thed, for example. again, this can be part of the game.

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

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23 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

"Sartar was always able to quickly send a Duck emissary to Delecti the Necromancer and sacrifice it to create an army of the walking dead, which they could send into battle alongside the Werewolf and Headhunter units in their own army."

Many thanks for the reminder.  It is a *very* long time since I have played Dragon Pass, and you have brought back very fond memories.

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15 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

See?  The fact that we've elevated the conversation to the realm of boardgames fills me with joy!

Glad to have served.  That was the aim of the post.

The whole point of Argrath is that he has many potential faces, so that in our *game* he can be whatever leads us down the most fun and interesting paths.

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On 12/8/2020 at 6:16 PM, Rodney Dangerduck said:

When we rolled up Family History for our Colymar PCs, it was extremely rare for any parent or grandparent to still be alive.  Many were devoured by The Bat.

Ditto in mine.

It was seen as quite heinous.

Then the Ducks parent got eaten.  Suddenly it was funny.  Especially when the other got eaten as well.

 

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On 12/8/2020 at 6:16 PM, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Some of our PCs have a very high "Hate Lunar", but none, I hope, are monomaniacal psychopaths.

And indeed the whole point to me of the passions are that they are excellent scenario hooks. 

Here's mine to play on my groups very high "hate Lunar" Passions.  In quotes because I've posted before.  In some thread or other.

Quote

I’ve an innkeeper NPC (well brewer with an open house), who’s secretly an old Lunar soldier.  In his basement (open for clandestine Seven Mothers worship) there’s a child he’s rescued, who’s gone mad having seen the bat eat her family and home.  Seeing that broke the soldier, deserting and taking the child, tending her, but he’s got to keep her hidden otherwise her mad ramblings would give them both away.  What are the player’s going to do, because they happen to be a bunch of fully passioned up Lunar haters, and there’s an lynch mob out for Lunars and Lunar sympathisers right now burning the inn…

 

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On 12/20/2020 at 6:33 AM, Joerg said:

So yes, the Orlanthi are way more ecologically correct when their raids slaughter their victims in the hundreds and carry off prisoners for servitude or ransom after having slaughtered their kin, and they don't usually feed those prisoners to Chaos horrors or temples altering reality for magical convenience like the Lunar Empire does.

Agreed, the lines between good and evil are fuzzier in Glorantha than in other fantasy settings, but they still exist. It is a major selling point for Glorantha in my mind. I am already planning to take advantage of this facet. My Rich Post location includes a shrine to The Seven Mothers tended by a God Talker who also takes care of the city's orphans. At the same time, a Lunar spy network is active in the same city, backed by a squad of Broos up in the hills to the east. All of my PC's with their Hate Lunar Empire passions will have to navigate this ethical minefield while still remaining alive.

This sort of conflict is a chance for great roleplaying. However many mundane or generous Lunars my PC's will encounter, the ones that have sold their souls to Chaos will always be there, waiting for an opening.

DUH DUH duh Duuuuuuuuuh

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2 hours ago, d(sqrt(-1)) said:

Isn't at also likely that the presence of magical healing, limb reattachment and resurrection are likely to make violence more common?

Not that I've got anything against running NV scenarios/campaigns.

It could cut either way, since it increases the chances of 'return matches'.  (cue a rerun of The Duellists)

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On the matter of Argrath being a "Mary Sue" (term that should leave the english vocabulary), do we really have any proof of the flame of Sartar not working on anyone that hasn't Sartar's blood? For all we know it could be an elaborate lie and it only needs some kind of ritual, or a strong will.

Kallyr is probably of Sartar's bloodline but if you see Argrath supposed family tree, it is hardly believable, also, it is suggested that all the "white bull" thing was an illusion too. On the historical side take the "world's first empire maker" Sargon of Accad, he elaborated a complex myth about his ancestry, when he was possibly just an usurper, that's what complex myths about one's ancestry and lineage are used for, justifying people that have taken power and are not of noble birth. 

So maybe he's not a super protagonist that has everything given to him, just a really good Trickster. 

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9 hours ago, Jape_Vicho said:

On the matter of Argrath being a "Mary Sue" (term that should leave the english vocabulary), do we really have any proof of the flame of Sartar not working on anyone that hasn't Sartar's blood? For all we know it could be an elaborate lie and it only needs some kind of ritual, or a strong will.

Kallyr is probably of Sartar's bloodline but if you see Argrath supposed family tree, it is hardly believable, also, it is suggested that all the "white bull" thing was an illusion too. On the historical side take the "world's first empire maker" Sargon of Accad, he elaborated a complex myth about his ancestry, when he was possibly just an usurper, that's what complex myths about one's ancestry and lineage are used for, justifying people that have taken power and are not of noble birth. 

So maybe he's not a super protagonist that has everything given to him, just a really good Trickster. 

I have long had a theory the Flame of Sartar was stolen/copied from the sacred flames of Teshnos and that it involves some trick or initiation that Sartar passed down but which was lost with the last king and rediscovered by Argath.

 

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