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Chaos Rune in PCs


Godweyn

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Well that's the question, how can the chaos rune be represented on a player character?

Our Humakite has earned the rune of chaos today by playing ... well ... with chaos.

What effects can that generate? Personality changes maybe? (He already gains 1 Chaos trait.)

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Oh, he’s a goner.  Storm Bulls gonna be hunting him down.

He might want to try the Chaos Underground Railroad (CUR) to the Lunar Empire, where for some mind-boggling reason they are more tolerant of that sort of devilry.  It doesn’t run on time, and you may or may not get there, but that’s chaos for you.

Or perhaps a dash for Dorastor, where they could probably make a name for themselves in that foul den of depravity.

Don’t forget a pilgrimage to the Snakepipe Hollow.  They might be able to pick up a few NPCs for their posse. Strength in numbers, you know...

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Give him a Chaos rune, default starting at 5, maybe more if he really played around with the Chaos. If you think he would change personality, then give him a Passion at 60% relevant to the type of Chaos e.g. if it was Ogres, then Love (Murder) or Love (Cannibalism)

Then the desperate struggle not to be caught out as a Chaotic being can begin 😈

 

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12 hours ago, Godweyn said:

Our Humakite has earned the rune of chaos today by playing ... well ... with chaos.

What do think other characters ?

What do think the humakti hierarchy (temple, community, etc...) ?

Is he illuminate ?

it is very hard to play a chaotic character in a non chaotic campaign. The player should be very good and the other players, if they know the chaotic taint, should decide to kill the character of their friend (who should accept this fate), same for the GM (temple, clan, military unit...)

 

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

What do think other characters ?

What do think the humakti hierarchy (temple, community, etc...) ?

Is he illuminate ?

it is very hard to play a chaotic character in a non chaotic campaign. The player should be very good and the other players, if they know the chaotic taint, should decide to kill the character of their friend (who should accept this fate), same for the GM (temple, clan, military unit...)

 

Yes, this is one of the problems.
I'm going to put you in a situation.

Only a few minutes passed from this situation onrol, the Humakite at the end of a battle took a magic item from the enemy Boss, (Vamargic and his necklace in the Smoking Ruins).
The warrior had no better idea than to put the necklace around his neck "so that he could continue fighting." The souls in there began to speak to him, asking him to use them, to help them with his revenge and other ghostly things.
A couple of rolls in between, he ended up sacrificing a pow point for access to the necklace's powers, which he began to use on the spot.

So a little later again, some rolls in between, now we find a Humakite with 10% in the chaos rune and, thanks to the chaotic traits table, with an extra 4d6 points in STR ... a true monster in human form.

The problem with the necklace was fixed, with his companions putting him to sleep, tie him and then skinning his neck by removing the object, almost killing him in the process.
But, this does not remove the chaotic taint on his soul, and with that also the extra force that is not truly a visible chaotic feature.

 

12 hours ago, Martin Dick said:

Give him a Chaos rune, default starting at 5, maybe more if he really played around with the Chaos. If you think he would change personality, then give him a Passion at 60% relevant to the type of Chaos e.g. if it was Ogres, then Love (Murder) or Love (Cannibalism)

Then the desperate struggle not to be caught out as a Chaotic being can begin 😈

 

I thought I'd put something similar into practice, maybe an "obsession (necklace)", or some kind of passion that demonstrates the increased violence that extra STR comes with. Or both at the same time.
Thinking about it now, perhaps also implement a gradual physical deformation with increased musculature, which goes hand in hand with increased passion for violence.

Again, for now I am looking for options and I am open to new ideas.

His party is not going to be very happy about all this.
The player is not a murderhobo type, but he likes to role-play interesting and new things, so he's quite happy with the problematic situation, not to mention that he embraces the fact that Humakt is neutral against chaos and not actively hostile to it.

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then as a player in the party, depending on my passions,

1) if I(pc) hate chaos => I explain the humakti he cannot continue like that and I hope his death will cure his soul, and I kill him (if i am a kind of priest or any "spiritual", I kill him and try to find if I can save his soul, but first I kill him). Of course I kill him... only if no one prevents me from doing it

2) if nothing strong against chaos => I try to save him, first trying to convince my team there is another way, then looking for a curse (some heroquest ,etc...) If the humakti wants to stay chaotic (and i undestand it)... I try to kill him

there are some ways to be purified and it starts by a good roleplay from your player (acting or not, but explaining feelings etc) , water and fire cults may be good for that (some cleansing quest), probably including a divine intervention: the pc could request Humakt to break the neckplace (is it honorable to have +4d6 str without effort ?) requesting nothing else (devotion +10) then, the pc is still tainted but has "just" to find a way to be purged.

I would consider that a smart character (not a player, you may roll a int x 5  if your player doesn't talk about that to explain the point, if you follow it of course) who does'nt try to remove the neckplace immediatly, once identified as the source of the corruption, will have more difficulty (penalty -10..-20..-30) to be cleaned later. See golum versus frodo in lord of the ring.

that could be a nice campaign

 

hide the character, find a way to remove chaos,  convince those who know to let the humakti try, run the quest/purification ritual,  etc... or become a good lunar soldier, maybe illuminate.

Note that the str bonus could be seen : too much muscles to be "natural", some weird color or skins, etc... or maybe the smell is less human and more... goat

 

Edited by French Desperate WindChild
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Depends a lot on the other PCs.

  1. Are they particularly anti chaos? 
  2. How well do they like the Humakti PC?
  3. Do they deal in higher level politics, or are they "under the radar"?

This does give me a great idea for a scenario for other PCs, with the flavor of a TV crime show.  Several Storm Bulls have turned up dead.  All within a mile radius of the stead where a certain very strong Humakti lives...

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Interesting event.

I would expect a +4D6 Strength to visibly manifest in some way. What I immediately thought of was Cuchulainn's warp spasm. If the Chaos Gift manifested that way he might look normal until he decided to use the extra STR. And a successful roll on his affinity Chaos in a situation where lots of STR would be useful could cause him to undergo the warp spasm without a conscious decision.

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21 hours ago, Godweyn said:

Well that's the question, how can the chaos rune be represented on a player character?

However the GM and Player want it to manifest.

21 hours ago, Godweyn said:

Our Humakite has earned the rune of chaos today by playing ... well ... with chaos.

It happens.

Our Duck PC gained +3D6 STR as a Chaos feature and thought it was a gift from Humakt, so he trained his CON up to 21, then realised that it was Chaotic, got rid of it and then trained his STR up to max. We weren't powergamers at all, oh no.

21 hours ago, Godweyn said:

What effects can that generate?

That is difficult.

On the one hand, the PC is the same as before, but has a new feature, so why would the PC change?

On the other hand, the Chaos Rune is evil, twisted and perverse, so how could the PC not change?

21 hours ago, Godweyn said:

Personality changes maybe? (He already gains 1 Chaos trait.)

What is the Chaos Trait?

Sometimes, hidden chaos is more subtle than overt chaos. 

Having a gem somewhere on the body is a minor chaos feature, but growing an arm out of your head is a pretty obvious one.

I am not a big fan of "Oh, I have a Chaos feature now, so I must turn evil".

It is much better to roleplay it as a curse, or undesirable thing to be removed.

Or, alternatively, embrace it and join the Sword Broos of Dorastor. You know it makes sense ...

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He can always buy a wolf and try to pass for a Telmori, which are the most tolerated of the chaos-cursed entities in Sartar. 

You can maybe ask for a roll against the chaotic affinity in some situations that you think fit, and if he fails, he does something chaotic and pumps up his Chaos affinity by 1d10% or something like that.

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2 hours ago, Bren said:

I would expect a +4D6 Strength to visibly manifest in some way.

I would as well (though might depend on whether it was +4 or +24).  I'd likely range it from a sudden growth of basic musculature (biceps, etc. now bulging) to a real warping of his torso (Hulk or Popeye, etc., or perhaps even look like some sort of serpent or worm moving about under his skin).  The greater the STR increase the more that normal folk will look and wonder - is he perhaps a real ogre?  Perhaps he would try to pass off as a Gift of Humakt, but this might depend upon his Honor or Truth Rune levels.

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On the other hand, the Chaos Rune is evil, twisted and perverse, so how could the PC not change?

Is it now? There is no concept of Evil in Glorantha unlike in some of the other games we know and love. Sure the Storm Bullers tell us its evil. They should know, they are Evil themselves. 

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3 hours ago, Godlearner said:

Is it now? There is no concept of Evil in Glorantha unlike in some of the other games we know and love. Sure the Storm Bullers tell us its evil. They should know, they are Evil themselves. 

Yes, no Evil as such, but the great majority of beings touched by Chaos are definitely evil and often twisted and perverse. It's clearly very difficult to have the Chaos rune and remain a reasonable sentient being and yes, I agree a lot of Storm Bulls are evil but not Evil, their two redeeming features are 1) they are not as bad as the things they go and fight and 2) they are sort of on our side

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A similar thing happened to me.

Hit by a chaotic spell, and a tentacle sprouts from my arm.

Immediately dropped to my knees and said to the character next to me, "Kill me now."

GM looked at me in shock, other character cuts off the arm. GM ruled that the chaos was localised to the arm and hadn't spread yet.

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7 hours ago, Martin Dick said:

 

Yes, no Evil as such, but the great majority of beings touched by Chaos are definitely evil and often twisted and perverse. It's clearly very difficult to have the Chaos rune and remain a reasonable sentient being and yes, I agree a lot of Storm Bulls are evil but not Evil, their two redeeming features are 1) they are not as bad as the things they go and fight and 2) they are sort of on our side

Ok, what about Zorak Zorani, little e or E ?

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45 minutes ago, Godlearner said:

Ok, what about Zorak Zorani, little e or E ?

I thought we were agreed, that there is no big E evil in Glorantha. Zorak Zorani - mad, bad and dangerous to know and when Chaos comes calling features 1) and 2) become applicable, but otherwise they're really bad neighbours.

I guess you could make a case that Tusk Riders and Vadeli are veering in to Big E evil, they seem to have no redeeming or even useful features and can't be negotiated with, but on that basis you would say the same about broos, ogres, vampires, krarshtkids, walktapi etc.

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great majority of beings touched by Chaos are definitely evil and often twisted and perverse. It's clearly very difficult to have the Chaos rune and remain a reasonable sentient being 

My point is that the Gloranthan always is 80% and Chaos = Evil at that rate. Just because something is difficult, it does not mean impossible. Sure, your average Orlanthi will ask to be cleansed of Chaos ASAP, but 20% won't and out of that 20% will not be Evil/twisted/perverted. Which is enough for a PC to get away with trying to play it.

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Full disclosure: I did have an Aldrymi character gain a Chaos Feature once from attuning a Chaos crystal. Got +3D6 Dex to boot. Had full intentions of playing Flash, but rolled badly and turned into a Broo at the same time. Had to DI to get that cleansed. Oh well. 

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53 minutes ago, Godlearner said:

My point is that the Gloranthan always is 80% and Chaos = Evil at that rate. Just because something is difficult, it does not mean impossible. Sure, your average Orlanthi will ask to be cleansed of Chaos ASAP, but 20% won't and out of that 20% will not be Evil/twisted/perverted. Which is enough for a PC to get away with trying to play it.

I agree entirely and I don't think I said anything to the contrary, I think it's much more interesting in the above situation to keep playing the character and have them struggle to control their chaotic desires and being tempted to use the +4D6 to Strength when things are tough but being aware that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions and knowing that the rest of the party has their eye on them and only need a small justification to kill them. As I initially said: "Then the desperate struggle not to be caught out as a Chaotic being can begin 😈" but that can be the struggle to not become a Chaotic being. There might even be a kind Lunar who might help them with that struggle - Why must one consider the cheese carefully?

The alternative is to just kill them or commit suicide, which as you say is hardly inappropriate as nearly all Orlanthi think Chaos = Evil, but not as much fun for the GM and maybe the player? 

 

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21 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I would as well (though might depend on whether it was +4 or +24).

It's Chaos. I'd be tempted to have the player make a new die roll each time they use their new strength.

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So many responses !

 

On 6/7/2021 at 1:04 PM, French Desperate WindChild said:

then as a player in the party, depending on my passions,

1) if I(pc) hate chaos => I explain the humakti he cannot continue like that and I hope his death will cure his soul, and I kill him (if i am a kind of priest or any "spiritual", I kill him and try to find if I can save his soul, but first I kill him). Of course I kill him... only if no one prevents me from doing it

2) if nothing strong against chaos => I try to save him, first trying to convince my team there is another way, then looking for a curse (some heroquest ,etc...) If the humakti wants to stay chaotic (and i undestand it)... I try to kill him

there are some ways to be purified and it starts by a good roleplay from your player (acting or not, but explaining feelings etc) , water and fire cults may be good for that (some cleansing quest), probably including a divine intervention: the pc could request Humakt to break the neckplace (is it honorable to have +4d6 str without effort ?) requesting nothing else (devotion +10) then, the pc is still tainted but has "just" to find a way to be purged.

I would consider that a smart character (not a player, you may roll a int x 5  if your player doesn't talk about that to explain the point, if you follow it of course) who does'nt try to remove the neckplace immediatly, once identified as the source of the corruption, will have more difficulty (penalty -10..-20..-30) to be cleaned later. See golum versus frodo in lord of the ring.

that could be a nice campaign

 

hide the character, find a way to remove chaos,  convince those who know to let the humakti try, run the quest/purification ritual,  etc... or become a good lunar soldier, maybe illuminate.

Note that the str bonus could be seen : too much muscles to be "natural", some weird color or skins, etc... or maybe the smell is less human and more... goat

 

 

1) This will be the next big thing in the next session.

2) However, this was my first choice, and it might be their choice.

 

On 6/7/2021 at 2:47 PM, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Depends a lot on the other PCs.

  1. Are they particularly anti chaos? 
  2. How well do they like the Humakti PC?
  3. Do they deal in higher level politics, or are they "under the radar"?

This does give me a great idea for a scenario for other PCs, with the flavor of a TV crime show.  Several Storm Bulls have turned up dead.  All within a mile radius of the stead where a certain very strong Humakti lives...

1) Not really, 1 player yes (background things), but they are 7, so it's not a consensus

2) Pretty well

3) High level politics on a regular basis, several important figures appear very often.

 

On 6/7/2021 at 6:01 PM, Bren said:

Interesting event.

I would expect a +4D6 Strength to visibly manifest in some way. What I immediately thought of was Cuchulainn's warp spasm. If the Chaos Gift manifested that way he might look normal until he decided to use the extra STR. And a successful roll on his affinity Chaos in a situation where lots of STR would be useful could cause him to undergo the warp spasm without a conscious decision.

This... this is a very good suggestion actually. Thanks !

 

On 6/7/2021 at 6:57 PM, soltakss said:

However the GM and Player want it to manifest.

It happens.

Our Duck PC gained +3D6 STR as a Chaos feature and thought it was a gift from Humakt, so he trained his CON up to 21, then realised that it was Chaotic, got rid of it and then trained his STR up to max. We weren't powergamers at all, oh no.

That is difficult.

On the one hand, the PC is the same as before, but has a new feature, so why would the PC change?

On the other hand, the Chaos Rune is evil, twisted and perverse, so how could the PC not change?

What is the Chaos Trait?

Sometimes, hidden chaos is more subtle than overt chaos. 

Having a gem somewhere on the body is a minor chaos feature, but growing an arm out of your head is a pretty obvious one.

I am not a big fan of "Oh, I have a Chaos feature now, so I must turn evil".

It is much better to roleplay it as a curse, or undesirable thing to be removed.

Or, alternatively, embrace it and join the Sword Broos of Dorastor. You know it makes sense ...

Dorastor is already a stopping point in the next group vacations, it could be a good suggestion to demonstrate the advantages and benefits of this option xD

 

On 6/7/2021 at 8:17 PM, Jape_Vicho said:

Oh and I would consider adding a literal Chaos rune mark someplace on his body, maybe it only shows in combat, when he is enraged, nervous, or some other situation.

Oh I already did this, in the form of black veins on his chest slowly expanding as his body slowly readjusted to its new condition with the extra 4d6 STR (+15 points at the end)

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