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Hero Diplomacies


jenh

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8 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

@Alexcommented that Uroxi and Humakt would be "shafted" and how it would be better to "make the buy-in more explicit"@Darius West calls the main premise "absolutely artificial".  So it seems that several of us believe that Jenh's campaign would go against the players' initial expectations. 

In the first comment, I was wondering really about Storm Bullies and Swords in the world.  Do they all get Raptured in a Left Behind way, go completely crazy due to their entire religion now making no sense, moved to slightly Outside the Dome if it's a limited effect, remain and get put on retraining schemes, etc.  And in the second, I did explicitly say "I personally" -- no guessing what's going on in @jenh's players minds offered!

While an explicit pitch of the idea sounds the most straightforward way to do it, it might also work if you know the players well (as appears to be the case here) or if you very subtly guided players to character concepts that'd work with it.  ("Welllllll, of your two very fine ideas there, I'd maybe suggest going with the Goldentongue rather than the Babs Gorist?  Nononono, don't worry about niche protection or the group not having enough fighter-types, trust me on this, #becausereaons.")

Edited by Alex
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13 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

I agree that, in general, any "switch" should come only after considerable time going with the original "bait".  No argument there.

The basis of this thread is that @jenh   is considering non-violent Hero Wars.  And it sounded imposed by her, at least based on this quote:

"I'm not really concerned about my players - I think they're at least a little used to my style after years together. I'm fascinated by what others might do with either premise..."

@Alexcommented that Uroxi and Humakt would be "shafted" and how it would be better to "make the buy-in more explicit"@Darius West calls the main premise "absolutely artificial".  So it seems that several of us believe that Jenh's campaign would go against the players' initial expectations. 

Perhaps we misunderstand, and Jenh does intend to do a "Session Zero" to get player buy in.  It would be nice to get clarification.  And, maybe, as she says, her players will be fine with the unusual premise.

I enjoy campaigns that go against expectations.  Within reason.  It is completely reasonable, historical, and good storytelling for a band of mercs to become unemployed, or the war to end.  What happens after could be fun or not.  We had a campaign where our group was assisting one team in a "Rune Chef" contest, roaming Glorantha to collect exotic ingredients and spices, and to prevent rival teams from doing the same.  Not at all expected.  Generally non-lethal violence. Very fun.

Yes, this is a pretty good summation of my opinion on this too.  I have no problem with a game that subverts expectations, quite the reverse, but I think most people need to be able to suspend disbelief, and for an old school grognard like myself, the idea that all of these inter-avalanching prophecies and cultures will suddenly just give up and opt for peace when Sartar suddenly has a clear advantage for once is not something I can swallow.  Maybe people who don't know the setting of Glorantha well yet can cope with it?  I think Kralorela would be a much better fit for a peaceful diplomatic campaign than Dragon Pass.  Dragon Pass diplomacy circa 1626 is all about "sending ducks to Delecti with a note that says Delecti can have the ducks as zombies if Delecti joins their side" if we look at the wargame.

I have run an idea in my head about Eurmal conspiring with Chalana Arroy to stage a coup, and he steals Death again and uses it to kill Humakt, so that now nobody in Glorantha can die.  I call it the "Strange Aeon Glorantha" hypothesis.  What shape this new immortality takes will have a lot of effect on what sort of societies emerge.  This is one of the few ways it is plausible for there to be no more wars, to my way of thinking.  I mean, a world where you can dismember people but they stay alive doesn't necessarily invalidate war as a political instrument (plus it could get yucky).  For optimal plausibility there would need to be a situation where Chalana Arroy gains universal dominion and basically uses her new infinity rune to heal anything that gets injured instantly and automatically.  So if your head falls off, it jumps right back on again at the start of the next round, and nobody dies of old age.  Of course this means that the Great Compromise ends with the Dragon Rise for some reason, and all the gods are active participants in the world again, at least for a little while, before they doze off again.  In the long term, everybody becomes overpopulated with withered old liches and the world becomes a Hell-scape of desiccated beggars who want to die but can't, using this model.  The question of what can be eaten when plants and animals instantly heal their severed parts back on also becomes a serious issue. Thoughts?

Edited by Darius West
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35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Thoughts

a new compromise :

no death

no growth

no birth

stasis

you cannot kill, you cannot eat except seeds or stones, you cannot cut, you must not give birth

 

=> the machine is healed

dwarves reign on the world

and as everything is good, nothing must change

move may exist but not in a changing way, only a perfect cycle (or a perfect 8 )

 

definitly not my glorantha 😛

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27 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

definitly not my glorantha 😛

I strongly agree, and nicely put FDWC.  It's a peace that may well be worse than war.  On the other hand, consider Eurmal and Chalana Arroy conspiring to create a Mostali paradise🤪😝 ! ! !

Edited by Darius West
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12 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Yes, this is a pretty good summation of my opinion on this too.  I have no problem with a game that subverts expectations, quite the reverse, but I think most people need to be able to suspend disbelief, and for an old school grognard like myself, the idea that all of these inter-avalanching prophecies and cultures will suddenly just give up and opt for peace when Sartar suddenly has a clear advantage for once is not something I can swallow.

I forgot who it was that said something on the lines of the secret to peacemaking being that people have got to the point where they want peace, but don't know how to do it.  So I think the UN rep might indeed despair of Sartar in 1625 being at that point yet.  OTOH, if you wind things at little forward in the KoS timeline, and some real silliness is now happening...  Maybe quite a few more people are at the "I'm out!" stage.  Displaces it from the "official RQ present" setting, but doesn't sound like the OP was planning on running a lot of published adventurers anyway...  Also loses the Dragonrise as the triggering event, but other draconic moments are available, and others besides...

 

12 minutes ago, Darius West said:

I think Kralorela would be a much better fit for a peaceful diplomatic campaign than Dragon Pass.

More peaceful on the face if it, yeah.  According to one Greg thought, Vithela (proper) never even had the Darkness Age...  Kralorela presumably did have it in some form, but just likes to act as if it's still the Golden Age.

 

12 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Dragon Pass diplomacy circa 1626 is all about "sending ducks to Delecti with a note that says Delecti can have the ducks as zombies if Delecti joins their side" if we look at the wargame.

I already quoted that game's self-deprecating comment about it being the most mundane application of magic...

 

12 minutes ago, Darius West said:

I have run an idea in my head about Eurmal stealing Death again and using it to kill Humakt, so that now nobody in Glorantha can die.

Kinda that "Torchwood" series/mega-episode again!  But we have actual Gloranthan myths about what a world without Death was like, and they're very different from that.

 

12 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Of course this means that the Great Compromise ends with the Dragon Rise for some reason, and all the gods are active participants in the world again, at least for a little while, before they doze off again. 

A fullscale "rollback" to the God's War or before sound vastly difficult magically.  (That Big Table of Greg's where the Runes have ratings in the W9-W12 range springs to mind.  I'd hate to think what that'd be in RQ %ages or even DP MgF...)  But a better way for me of thinking of it is, what happens if everyone suddenly gets 15% Golden Age Consciousness?  Or even 2% Green Age same, perhaps.  Could you inflict violence and indeed death on someone?  Yes.  But the difficulties and consequences of doing so have gone way on up.

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4 minutes ago, Alex said:

I forgot who it was that said something on the lines of the secret to peacemaking being that people have got to the point where they want peace, but don't know how to do it.  So I think the UN rep might indeed despair of Sartar in 1625 being at that point yet.  OTOH, if you wind things at little forward in the KoS timeline, and some real silliness is now happening...  Maybe quite a few more people are at the "I'm out!" stage.  Displaces it from the "official RQ present" setting, but doesn't sound like the OP was planning on running a lot of published adventurers anyway...  Also loses the Dragonrise as the triggering event, but other draconic moments are available, and others besides...

Look, twenty years into the Hero Wars when the war is a force unto itself and all the machinery of state is dedicated onto sending children into the mincer, I can totally understand why people might want peace but not know how to get it.  After the Dragonrise, I think the Lunars are very much on the back foot, but Sartar is out for blood and independence and very much wants war and the Dragonrise is a total boon for their cause.

8 minutes ago, Alex said:

More peaceful on the face if it, yeah.  According to one Greg thought, Vithela (proper) never even had the Darkness Age...  Kralorela presumably did have it in some form, but just likes to act as if it's still the Golden Age.

Agreed.  Kralorela likes to maintain the appearance of peace, but lets also face facts, ) life is a lot more peaceful in Kralorela than most places(if you aren't guarding the frontier.  But that's sort of the point.  Kralorela values peace, even if it is a bit of an illusion, and they are prepared to build peace through negotiation in ways those barbaric folk beyond the borders won't.  This is a place where diplomacy can work as a driving force for a campaign.  The players are working to secure Godunya's peace through just and honorable negotiation, just ignore the fact that their agents have threatened to expose the local yamen's pecadillo for chicken-based bestiality if he doesn't tow the line😁.

19 minutes ago, Alex said:

Kinda that "Torchwood" series/mega-episode again!  But we have actual Gloranthan myths about what a world without Death was like, and they're very different from that.

Yeah, pretty much.  I thought those episodes were Torchwood at its absolute best i.e. actually enjoyable, but perhaps I am too harsh given I sat through a good deal of Torchwood prior before giving up in disgust.

Of course Glorantha before Death was also Glorantha before Time.  Given that Time is space, it is hard to conceive of how things moved in the mythological pre-Time, but we can assume that they sort of did, just in a strange, osmotic, non-sequential acausal fashion.   For example it is feasible to go backwards in pre-Time and reverse events, most likely, and I can see God Learners using such mechanics to hack the Hero Plane where those pre-Time rules still somewhat apply.

29 minutes ago, Alex said:

A fullscale "rollback" to the God's War or before sound vastly difficult magically.  (That Big Table of Greg's where the Runes have ratings in the W9-W12 range springs to mind.  I'd hate to think what that'd be in RQ %ages or even DP MgF...)  But a better way for me of thinking of it is, what happens if everyone suddenly gets 15% Golden Age Consciousness?  Or even 2% Green Age same, perhaps.  Could you inflict violence and indeed death on someone?  Yes.  But the difficulties and consequences of doing so have gone way on up.

This fullscale rollback isn't quite what I am suggesting.  Greg also spoke about the substantial dangers of breaking the great Compromise.  Nysalor followers did it in the First Age.  Zistor did it in the Second Age.  In the Third Age, events at Castle Blue nearly breached the Compromise, and the Death of Orlanth (and Ernalda, let's not forget) cause fresh problems for the Compromise.  The notion I was presenting is that the Compromise breaks, and Eurmal and Chalana Arroy conspire to change the world and they succeed.

As to getting these consciousnesses of the past age, well Pavis definitely tried to recreate the Green Age in Prax within the area bounded by his city and the Praxians hated his guts for it, despite his healing of Waha.  It isn't like the Praxians don't know what the Green Age was like, but trying to live like that in Prax these days won't work.  You need to slaughter a portion of your herd to get food.  There will always be an advantage to swiping other people's herd.  Chaos monsters get very intimate with those who live like it's the Green Age.  And ultimately those past times were stultifying and static periods that only the Mostali could love. Despite how great they seem superficially, there is a good reason why those ages ended, and people in 1626 would actually not like those times if forced to live in them.

I am put in mind of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's story "The Return of the Old Gods".  (spoiler alert)

Spoiler

The story goes that the cry goes out that the old gods are returning and people rejoice at this turn of events.  But when the old gods return they have no voices.  They cannot communicate with people in the present time.  They are silent and obsolete, and they leave again because nobody can hear them.  Their messages are either completely absorbed already or are meaningless to modern people or simply cannot be transmitted any longer.  The old gods are predicated on a mindset that no longer exists in the present age. 

Hopefully you can grasp the parallel I am alluding to here?

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In case anyone is wondering, I'm enjoying reading the thoughts on this thread - I just don't have much to say in response at the moment. Except that I'm rather amused that we've gone full-steam into removing death, which is a bold move that certainly wasn't on my agenda! I'm fascinated to see where that thread goes, though.

Also, I'm wondering if any of the misgivings about the concept would be (partially) alleviated if the "violence is not an option" approach were implemented sort of like a Spirit of Reprisal - people who engage in violence are breaking a cosmic law much as if they were offending their deity. I say "sort of" deliberately there, to avoid statements that then of course the Lunars will go and fight and win due to having lots of illuminated folks.

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1 hour ago, jenh said:

In case anyone is wondering, I'm enjoying reading the thoughts on this thread - I just don't have much to say in response at the moment. Except that I'm rather amused that we've gone full-steam into removing death, which is a bold move that certainly wasn't on my agenda! I'm fascinated to see where that thread goes, though.

I blame certain 'Who spinoffs of erratic-at-best quality, myself. 🙂

 

1 hour ago, jenh said:

Also, I'm wondering if any of the misgivings about the concept would be (partially) alleviated if the "violence is not an option" approach were implemented sort of like a Spirit of Reprisal - people who engage in violence are breaking a cosmic law much as if they were offending their deity.

Yeah, that's the sort of thing I had in mind when I mentioned the two different 'Age Consciousness' ideas.  To take the Green case:  if some portion of your being doesn't recognise distinctions of individuality, then doing violence to someone else becomes in part like doing violence to yourself.  It's possible, but it's going to be a whole lot less popular.

 

1 hour ago, jenh said:

I say "sort of" deliberately there, to avoid statements that then of course the Lunars will go and fight and win due to having lots of illuminated folks.

Yeah, to mystically rules-lawyer the Compromise, it'd have to either sit "below" deity level (people and 'normal' spirits and so forth not being bound by such things), or "above" it (trumping Illumination), presumably as some sort of 'mystical' understanding.

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