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Nick Brooke's Gloranthan Manifesto - Volume One


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I was rummaging through my old posts from this site (plus some other bits and bobs), and thought: why not find a way to share these with a wider audience? So, with many thanks to @MOB for a lightning-quick approvals process, here's a 58-page document I'm modestly and optimistically calling Nick Brooke's Gloranthan Manifesto - Volume One. It's yours for free, under Chaosium's Fan Material Policy (NB: some bits needed additional approval).

Subjects covered include RuneQuest, heroquesting, inspirations for Gloranthan games, a miscellany of Sun County stuff (inc. maps and diagrams), Argrath vs. the Lunars, four Gloranthan songs and a few personal notes at the back.

Gloranthan Manifesto - Volume One.pdf

Edited by Nick Brooke
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17 minutes ago, Sid Vicarious said:

And now I have "Its Raining Men" stuck in my head. Thanks a lot.

Heh. That song's a sneak preview from (a) my next RuneQuest session and (b) my forthcoming mini-campaign, Black Spear.

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Yep, cracking read. I particularly like the thing about assuming that nothing has changed in 1,000 years since KoDP. Like running a modern day RPG based on the Bayeux Tapestry and the Domesday Book as primary sources.

(Is it really 1,000 years? I don't remember... okay it's "only" 300... the point still stands though)

Edited by PhilHibbs
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It's 1000+ years since the Glorious Reascent. King of Dragon Pass is a game about the resettlement period, which began c.1320 ST and ended when Sartar formed his kingdom in 1492 ST. The current year is 1625(ish).

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23 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

It's yours for free, under Chaosium's Fan Material Policy

Thank you for sharing this. A very generous and fascinating miscellany.

I dimly recall the RQ Digest blowing up in the early 90's over Elmal. I studiously avoided getting involved and in Sun County it didn't matter anyway. Your brief explanation of what all the fuss was about was very helpful. Thank you for that (and for making my 29 year wait for stress-free enlightenment worthwhile).

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23 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Yep, cracking read. I particularly like the thing about assuming that nothing has changed in 1,000 years since KoDP. Like running a modern day RPG based on the Bayeux Tapestry and the Domesday Book as primary sources.

(Is it really 1,000 years? I don't remember... okay it's "only" 300... the point still stands though)

On the other hand, Bronze and Iron Age cultural changes other than migrations tend to be slow, at least in the archaeological record. That's part of the charm of playing in the distant past, you get rather stable social structures to fall back to.

And - at least when talking about the Colymar - the Mennonites and Amish people come to mind. "We left because Belintar brought innovations, and we won't tolerate any following us here among us." It's centuries old traditional law applied today.

Germanic farmers' republics persisted until the high middle ages, as in the Battle of Hemmingstedt. That mindset survives even today (I have customers in the region).

The same has to be said about housing. It is pretty hard to tell the difference between a reconstructed neolithic farmhouse and a reconstructed farmhouse erected by colonists (in marginal lands owned by the Danish kings) in the 18th century. Vikings and Anglo-Saxons didn't change much, there - adding wooden horse-heads to the gables of their roofs may be the most significant change, and something occasionally still found in early 20th century rural architecture.

But yes, the Dragon Pass resettlers did cut their ties to a millennium-old tradition of living around cities of their own making. The "What my Father Told Me" from the Varmandi POV is (at least in my eyes) the equivalent of a Mennonite farmer explaining modern US-American culture, applicable to only the most redneck Sartarites.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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5 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The "What my Father Told Me" from the Varmandi POV is (at least in my eyes) the equivalent of a Mennonite farmer explaining modern US-American culture, applicable to only the most redneck Sartarites.

I've mentioned elsewhere that our usual Sartarite perspectives come from the most backward rustic clans: the Colymar (who consciously cut themselves off from Sartar's project), the Lismelder (located off the Royal Roads, far from the proper Cities, on the edge of a swamp) and the bluefoot backwoods Orlanthi of John Hughes' gors & gallt in the Far Place. The new material is going to give us the top-down view of the functioning Kingdom of Sartar, which is kinda different.

And again, one of the analogies I've always used is with Scotland: think of the way lowlander urbanised modernising Lairds constantly sell out the traditionalist clans of the Highlands. There is a reason we use analogies. Sartarites don't have to wear kilts and toss cabers for this to be useful. (Although IMG some of them surely would)

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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

And - at least when talking about the Colymar - the Mennonites and Amish people come to mind. "We left because Belintar brought innovations, and we won't tolerate any following us here among us." It's centuries old traditional law applied today.

...until Sartar turned up. People will resist incoming innovations, taking pride in it, whilst quietly adopting them and not even realising it. Three hundred years later...

We all have that elderly relative who is always complaining about Americanisms, whilst using Americanisms every day.

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6 hours ago, Joerg said:

On the other hand, Bronze and Iron Age cultural changes other than migrations tend to be slow, at least in the archaeological record. That's part of the charm of playing in the distant past, you get rather stable social structures to fall back to.

 

I have been saying this to you for over a year... <sigh> 

Next you are going to say it’s your original idea! Mind you I carry the idea on a bit further to show that some would innovate others would stagnate and as long as each could justify their existence and not gain to strong an advantage they could sit sit by side for millennia.

I love when this allows multiple epochs, all at the same time. These folk are neolithic, these are late bronze...

6 hours ago, Joerg said:

Germanic farmers' republics persisted until the high middle ages, as in the Battle of Hemmingstedt. That mindset survives even today (I have customers in the region).

 

I like the idea of farmer republics. The US used to aspire to be one.

 

On 5/24/2021 at 6:19 AM, Nick Brooke said:

I was rummaging through my old posts from this site (plus some other bits and bobs), and thought: why not find a way to share these with a wider audience? So, with many thanks to @MOB for a lightning-quick approvals process, here's a 58-page document I'm modestly and optimistically calling Nick Brooke's Gloranthan Manifesto - Volume One. It's yours for free, under Chaosium's Fan Material Policy (NB: some bits needed additional approval).

Oh, and thanks Nick. Just bought a bunch of Mythras stuff, and doing some editing this week so this will have to sit in queue. I am looking forward to reading it.

 

On 5/25/2021 at 5:57 AM, RandomNumber said:

I dimly recall the RQ Digest blowing up in the early 90's over Elmal. I studiously avoided getting involved and in Sun County it didn't matter anyway. Your brief explanation of what all the fuss was about was very helpful. Thank you for that (and for making my 29 year wait for stress-free enlightenment worthwhile).

Yes, I do recall setting phasers on ignore on this topic. And a few others, as well.

 

On 5/25/2021 at 2:44 AM, PhilHibbs said:

Yep, cracking read. I particularly like the thing about assuming that nothing has changed in 1,000 years since KoDP. Like running a modern day RPG based on the Bayeux Tapestry and the Domesday Book as primary sources.

 

Good call!

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... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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