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Family Background and Non-human Characters


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With the Starter Set coming, and the promised non-human pregens, one thing I’ve wondered about generating non-human characters is how does the family background work if the race in question has a significantly longer lifespan, e.g. Aldryami. 

(I also have a purely mechanical issue in that I don’t have my characters roll stats but instead assign from a 18-16-16-14-14-12-12 array & that doesn’t quite work with the different stat dice. But that’s honestly a lesser issue to me than I how I fit the characters into Glorantha).

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26 minutes ago, Arcadiagt5 said:

Also, are there any non-human playable races with the opposite problem? Shorter than human lifespans, enough so to put the grandparents history a further generation back? 

Trollkin, IIRC.

 

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3 hours ago, Arcadiagt5 said:

With the Starter Set coming, and the promised non-human pregens, one thing I’ve wondered about generating non-human characters is how does the family background work if the race in question has a significantly longer lifespan, e.g. Aldryami.

The Developer Diary doesn't list any non-humans in the pre-gen characters, sorry to say.

Link below

 

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33 minutes ago, svensson said:

The Developer Diary doesn't list any non-humans in the pre-gen characters, sorry to say.

 

Not in the print copy, but as PDFs.

Quote

And don’t worry, fans of the Gloranthan versions of elves, dwarfs, trolls, and ducks, a downloadable group of non-human adventurers will be made available when the Starter Set is available, suitable for immediate use with the materials within, in the same format.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Arcadiagt5 said:

Can we please get some discussion of how family history works (or doesn’t) for nonhuman PCs? 

Ah, didn't see the PDF part. That'll be interesting.

As for Non-Human Ancestry, several things some to mind.

- Dwarfs: It would be difficult to play a Faithful Mostali in a consistent campaign given the cultural restrictions of the Octamony /Decamony. And a Dwarf with the heresy of Individualism [and therefore a playable PC] wouldn't necessarily have an 'ancestry', given that Dwarfs are a created race. They're not golems or nilmergs, but they are not birthed either. So whatever ancestry they may have would be within the lifetime of the Dwarf, possibly beginning when it became an Individualist. Which is not to say that it wouldn't be kind of entertaining to play, say, a Quicksilver Dwarf... "No, I have no combat skills, but drink this!" 😁

- Aldryami: Also a toughie... given that they're bred from seeds, do Aldryami have the familial /parental connections? Obviously they feel a great connection with their Forest [in a clan and cult sense], so would it follow that in place of a human family they feel the same connection to an initiate group?

- Trolls and Ducks: As usual with Glorantha [because everything is NEVER the way it seems on the surface], the two most unusual races are the easiest to translate into human terms when it comes to Ancestry in character generation. Trolls can look to the Sazdorf Clan as an example of what Ancestry means to them and Ducks are Heortling in organization, so there is a direct 'oranges to lemons' translation there. Sure some events would be different ['Roll to see how your Clan reacted to the Duck Hunt'], but a great many events in the Sartar ancestry tables would apply.

- Other Beast Men [Centaurs, Minotaurs, etc.]: THERE'S where things get interesting... The Hero Wars events could pass the Centaurs [etc.] by with barely a whinny. So a whole new series of ancestral major events and their effects would have to be written.

Edited by svensson
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4 hours ago, svensson said:

As for Non-Human Ancestry, several things some to mind.

 

Thanks for that, some interesting stuff to consider there. So, conceivably the events for a mostali would all have happened to that mostali, possibly the same for the aldryami (although there it might have been random other members of the initiate group that reported their experiences back to the collective view). I'm not familiar with the Sazdorf clan, I really only have familiarity with/access to the RQG material for the current edition.

Agreed that Beastmen get interesting, but I’m wondering if you couldn’t stipulate something like the Company of the Manticore from Urvantan's Tower as the mechanic for a group of Beastmen to have gotten involved with one kingdom or another and use the events from there. 

I’m hoping we'll get some indication of how Chaosium approached this when they release the non-human pregens. 

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OK, the Sazdorfs appear in the RQ3 supplement The Haunted Ruins. They're an Uz clan in the gray zone between Dagori Inkarth, Sartar, and Prax. They dwell in an old Dwarf mansion in what has become called 'Battle Valley'.

They're an interesting bunch. While all worship Kyger Litor, there is a fair spreading of other cults as well, including Humakt[!]. There are four lineages or sub-families but all descend from one Mistress-race matriarch. It is an exemplar of an independent troll clan fully detailed out. All major NPCs are statted up, a fully generated genealogy for all clan members, roles and lines of authority for different situations, really the whole nine yards. If you're interested in a game with Uz this is pretty much required reading, along with TrollPak.

Beastmen and their ancestry will be covering new ground. Not much has been said about them in previous editions, so that'll be VERY interesting to see.

Edited by svensson
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10 hours ago, Arcadiagt5 said:

one thing I’ve wondered about generating non-human characters is how does the family background work if the race in question has a significantly longer lifespan, e.g. Aldryami.

I think you have to start with a different set of assumptions for many of these.  Some (like Tusk Riders) are very close to human lifespan and a set of punctuated events (i.e. events in specific set years) make sense.  This approach probably works for most of the Beastmen of Beast Valley too.

But with aldryami, Mostali, etc. there are differences both with lifespan and with worldview/mindset.

Aldryami are something of a collective mindset - the forest as a whole.  And they retain memories of the forest and possibly kindred forests - e.g. the burning of Erigia or Rist in Peloria.  Rather than specific year-based events, you might approach it as a set of questions with varied answers (more in line with the Clan Questionnaire of HQG).

Dwarfs would be similar but focused on work projects and what interrupted/disrupted a given work project from completion (relevant to one or multiple castes).

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6 hours ago, Arcadiagt5 said:

Can we please get some discussion of how family history works (or doesn’t) for nonhuman PCs? 

Do Aldryami (for example) perhaps spend significant amounts of their time in commune with nature in a kind of trance-like or semi-autonomous state? Then, the periods of time for which their consciousness is at a level at which they are "out and about" interacting in a way that PC's would is only a small proportion of the elapsed time they have been alive.  It is in these slices of time or episdoes that they gain what for human PC's would equate to "previous experience".  Thus, although their age might be far greater than for humans, the period of time in which they have gained skills they can use in independently is not much greater than for a human.  It might be these episodes which constitute their family history and previous experience.

Perhaps not though... I've never much looked at Aldryami, I'm just spitballing an idea to "rationalise" an answer to your question.  Similar explanations could be found for other Elder Races. What is written in the Glorantha Bestiary is written by humans after all. And what do they know about anything to do with Aldryami other than what they think they have been told...

 

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With Aldryami, I could see a "grove" being a unit of belonging that's roughly equivalent to family or clan ( with "forest" = Heortling tribe). As for background, I imagine there'd be some distinct events that one could have a connection to - e.g., the character's grove (or the character themselves) was involved in some notable incursion into a dwarf hold or fought off a particularly large troll or Chaos force or were involved in a notable ritual meant to expand a portion of their forest, etc., etc. All sorts of things that humans would have little to no knowledge of. The same could be said of Mostali, I suppose (with the added event: what brought your character to convert to individualism and what happened to them afterwards?)

Ducks and trolls have the advantage that they were directly involved in several events involving humans (if only passively); whether Starbrow's Revolt, the Duck Hunt, or the great migration of trolls through Dragon Pass. 

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20 hours ago, svensson said:

As for Non-Human Ancestry, several things some to mind.  ........

- Aldryami: Also a toughie... given that they're bred from seeds, do Aldryami have the familial /parental connections? Obviously they feel a great connection with their Forest [in a clan and cult sense], so would it follow that in place of a human family they feel the same connection to an initiate group?

As I understand it from the Bestiary, the answer is different for different kinds of Aldryami:

"Yellow elves are all male. they mate with dryads...."

Brown elves can either reproduce with dryads or each other, being male or female

Green elves are male or female

Humans believe the male-female pairs produce a seed which they plant and about two years later they harvest an elf child

Therefore I would expect an elf born of a dryad to have one most influential parent, the dryad; and no significant grandparent.  The dryad would  cause the elf to be educated, presumably by other elves, but these would be more fosters and mentors than parents.  The  family history of such an elf would be the history of the particular forest or grove. 

Yes i can believe they would identify with an "initiate group" but is that a group of elves initiated in year 16xx, or a group initiated in a particular Aldrya  subcult?  Beats me, your thoughts when you used the phrase? 

But given the tie between the elf and the dryad, and the dryad and the forest, I would expect the dryad to be the significant person.  And not much history outside of that particular forest's history.  I'm not sure there would be many yearly events to roll.

In contrast those green and brown elves harvested from sexual reproduction between elves [edit] will know their parents and grandparents.  They could have a significant family history, though the forest's history would also be significant.  I would treat the forest like a clan or tribe and do a human-like history, but only events in which the Aldryami participate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Squaredeal Sten
to clarify that by sexual repro i mean between elves
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2 minutes ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

As I understand it from the Bestiary, the answer is different for different kinds of Aldryami:

"Yellow elves are all male. they mate with dryads...."

Brown elves can either reproduce with dryads or each other, being male or female

Green elves are male or female

Humans believe the male-female pairs produce a seed which they plant and about two years later they harvest an elf child

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK, with the proviso that material in previous editions may not appy to RQG [which is annoying as @#%@$@%@ when you're trying to figure out canon], even those Aldryami species that mate with dryads are born of seeds. I may be wrong, that's been my impression for some time..

Either way, it'll be interesting to see how the Aldryami arrange lineage and ancestry.

It's kind of like the way Mongoose RQ did dragonewts. Much of the material isn't canon now, but some of the writing was pretty interesting and funny in spots.

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7 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Troll family history would be amazing! 

I hope any RQG Trollpak will include it.

**Absolutely**

When 'converting' d20 players to Righteous Way of the Runes, I'm very VERY careful to explain that 'trolls' are just as smart as you, have a culture just as deep as yours, and will beat you like a tent peg and eat your corpse if you mess with them. When dealing with Uz, remember that you can't walk soft enough and their big stick is WAY bigger than yours 🤣😁

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7 hours ago, svensson said:

**Absolutely**

When 'converting' d20 players to Righteous Way of the Runes, I'm very VERY careful to explain that 'trolls' are just as smart as you, have a culture just as deep as yours, and will beat you like a tent peg and eat your corpse if you mess with them. When dealing with Uz, remember that you can't walk soft enough and their big stick is WAY bigger than yours 🤣😁

And they have a very dark history....

 

 

 

😄

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17 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

For Dragonewts, instead of "family history", it could be "previous lives".

Very true. However given how alien the average Dragonewt is in outlook and philosophy I would have to think really hard before I allowed such, and I think I'd have to really trust the player to handle it from a roleplaying perspective.

I'm honestly not sure if the concept of a Dragonewt PC or a Chalana Arroy PC would be harder for me to manage / write material for. 

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On 4/20/2021 at 12:29 PM, svensson said:

**Absolutely**

When 'converting' d20 players to Righteous Way of the Runes, I'm very VERY careful to explain that 'trolls' are just as smart as you, have a culture just as deep as yours, and will beat you like a tent peg and eat your corpse if you mess with them. When dealing with Uz, remember that you can't walk soft enough and their big stick is WAY bigger than yours 🤣😁

I will admit that I often refer to trollkin as the comedy troupe in combat scenes given the generally high skills of RQG characters.

That said, my players tend to take them seriously. Criticals happen after all, and I’ve managed to get an Orlanthi to use a Lightning on a trollkin simply because their “shoot and scoot” tactics were that annoying. 

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3 minutes ago, Arcadiagt5 said:

That said, my players tend to take them seriously. Criticals happen after all, and I’ve managed to get an Orlanthi to use a Lightning on a trollkin simply because their “shoot and scoot” tactics were that annoying. 

When converting d20 heathens to the One True Way of Runes, I tell players the same thing! Everybody, no matter how skilled or unskilled, has a minimum 1% chance of killing your happy ass outright. Conversely everybody, no matter how skilled or unskilled, has a 1% minimum chance of buggering the whole thing up. You might be Joe Uber, Grand Poo-Bah and Rune Lord of the Great God Broot, but when that 00 comes comes up, you're still gonna slip and get a face full of mud 😁

There is no such thing as a 'warm up fight' in RuneQuest, young padawan. Enter every fight as if it was your last, because it might just be.

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In regards to burning a Rune Point to finish an annoying fight...

I was running a Twilight 2000 game [a World War Three post apocalyptic setting in Europe ca. 1985 or so] and one of the players had a Jeep with a TOW antitank missile launcher on it. He had two missiles for it... Remember, there is NO resupply. The players have only what is listed on their load out sheets. And the odds of finding another TOW missile are somewhere between 'nil', 'nichts' and 'none'.

The PCs are being plinked at by a sniper. The sniper has them dead to rights in open ground, but is a lousy shot. So far he's hit a headlight, a windshield, and a lucky shot bounced off one player's helmet for no damage. The player then proceeds to lose his mind and fire the TOW missile into the building he thinks the sniper is in. He doesn't know for sure, but he thinks that's where he is.... Well, it turns out he was right and brought the whole two story wooden structure down, using one irreplaceable missile to take out a one guy with half a magazine of ammo.

And the player looks at me in triumph.....

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On 4/20/2021 at 3:17 AM, Squaredeal Sten said:

... I would expect an elf born of a dryad to have one most influential parent, the dryad; and no significant grandparent.  The dryad would  cause the elf to be educated, presumably by other elves, but these would be more fosters and mentors than parents.  The  family history of such an elf would be the history of the particular forest or grove. 

I don't think a dryad would be involved in the upbringing of offspring, I think even to elves they are a bit scary and weird and remote. Which makes Yellow Elf reproduction even more interesting...

Edited by PhilHibbs
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19 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

I don't think a dryad would be involved in the upbringing of offspring, I think even to elves they are a bit scary and weird and remote. Which makes Yellow Elf reproduction even more interesting...

I'm thinking that such an elf would essentially be parentless, at worst like the Rumanian orphans under the Ceaucescu regime (but with more attention to the elf's survival - the dryad would be annoyed if her sprout was allowed to wither); at best like a child of royalty raised by the servants,  or fostered out.   That would tend to produce psychopathic humans, or humans attached to a foster parent,  but who can tell what the result would be for an intelligent plant?  Real world does not apply here.

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