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Are broos people???


icebrand

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29 minutes ago, simonh said:

They exist but I doubt they are common. I've no problem believing they are available to a major magical community to hold a king to account. Typical frontier communities facing Broo is another matter.

It also absolutely does not make sense for every Gloranthan to be cool with that, in fact we know there are many Lunar Gloranthans definitely not cool with it.

To who? If it's your family living in a frontier homestead, they are absolutely an existential risk. So it goes for almost anyone actually likely to encounter Broo. If you're having to deal with them at all, by definition you're not somewhere safe and are likely at personal existential risk.

I think you said the Bestiary is an in-world source. I don't think that's correct and it makes it very clear they have overwhelming impulses and essentially no choice in their behaviour. This is the primary authoritative source we have and its crystal clear.

We don't actually know much about the wild healer of the rockwoods. As an illuminate it may well worship both Malia and Chalana Arroy for example. The Sword Broo just show that their behaviour can be confined within some limits for a time, probably under extreme coercion.

According to the Bestiary all broo are automatically lay members of Malia (and Primal Chaos). I'm trying not to turn this into long lists of quotes from sources directly contradicting your statements about broo, so I'm trying to hit the high points, but I'm having to let a lot slide.

Humans can choose whether to join a pantheon or not, but that apparently is not the case with broo.

Now, we all know in Glorantha there are exceptions to the rules. Sure, maybe the healer of the rockwoods is such, but also maybe not as much as many seem to think. We don't really know (unless I'm missing sources, quite possible). Illumination is a slippery issue. It absolves no sins, restrains no actions, enables all sorts of contradictions.

The way I see it, broo are a pernicious ethical issue precisely because they are coerced by their nature. That doesn't really excuse exterminating them in the slightest. If they are coerced, as intelligent beings how can we condemn them for simply following that nature? The problem is in Glorantha, when actually facing broo, that attitude isn't a very practical one.

I'm glad that you decided not to make even more of a point of nitpicking over whether I used the appropriate language to make absolutely clear that I meant initiation into Mallia, which is explicitly what "female" broo/broo born with vaginas must do because Thed loathes them and won't accept them already. Because that would have been rather exhausting to do for a minor thing.

I think that you're putting a lot of emphasis on the Bestiary as an objective source when in this specific passage, it says also that "female" broo automatically initiate to Mallia because they don't like the boy's club that the Thed cult is, (and what happens to "hermaphrodite" broo? Oh well, not the first time Glorantha has stumbled on gender) and then goes into some statements about how "of course" Mallia initiates are monogamous unlike polyamorous Thed broo, and it's very clear to me that it cannot be an objective source because of how it contradicts itself and how it adopts a perspective which assumes the reader is a Gloranthan person who would know that Mallia is monamorous (because they both start with an M?).

I think that to a large extent broo are presented as if they were intrinsically evil, but this also contradicts a lot of things that have been said about Runequest and Glorantha over the years, and it is possible to read them in another way, and it is in some ways better to read them in this way rather than argue that it is possible for things to look like people but be sufficiently unlike people that they are incapable of moral behavior, because that ethical dilemma is fundamentally uninteresting to me. (What does it map to in real-world terms?)

It also really runs against the basic cycle of abuse metaphor that's all over the broo and Thed, as much as I find it distasteful. So that's my reasoning for picking this interpretation.

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The Thelxinoë of the Graclodont set.

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

I think that the best way in glorantha is to follow Jeff's post about honour, shared by the different war gods (note that is not my favorite concept to have one honour definition for all the gloranthan people, I would prefer some opposition, but the canon is the canon, if I use something else, I will not share it as "the law")

Hypothetically I'd agree with you, but there's enough wiggle-room in the "personal honour" in the RQG RAW that I think it works in the context of the six homelands -- arguably more like 3.5 different "cultures" looked at a little more broadly -- explicitly in scope.

And of course the law for what's honourable isn't necessarily all that close to what's the law for the law.  For example, in the SB SoloQuest,

Spoiler

you can gain honour by refusing to ride down an enemy, or lose it by interfering with a single combat.  And this is in the middle of a pitched battle:  definitely well beyond what's merely legal and customarily acceptable, especially at a time of open war.

 

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58 minutes ago, Frp said:

Scrolling through this thread all I can imagine is creating a broo with complex and profound motivations taking a critical firearrow right in the bean, mere moments after it's introduced. 

Talking of the SoloQuest, having played through it a handful of times reminds me that's very much RuneQuest Situation Normal. 

Spoiler

Useful exercise in getting to play through the spirit combat rules too, though!

 

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6 hours ago, Beoferret said:

Quick question that has some bearing on this discussion. If broo are cleansed of Chaos taint, do they still reproduce the same way?

Plus of course there's the "vegetarian vampire" model:  'civilised' broo than don't force themselves on sentients, but still reproduce "the same way" but exclusively with animals.  After all, they're "not people", merely "property", so with a little bit of sophistry and ignoring how horrific that process still is, that'd work for some.  "You want to kill and eat animals just out of dietary preference;  for us, it's either using animals or genociding ourselves."

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3 hours ago, AndreJarosch said:

Maybe the only way to "heal" the broo race whould be to help Thed to recover from being abused. When Orlanth/Yelm/??? apologises for what was done to her, she many find peace with her situation, and give amends to her children the broos by "healing" them to become just another species of beastmen. 
Unfortunately the gods are bound within time and can´t change anymore. 
So Thed can´t heal from her psychic wounds, and the broos stay chaos monsters. 

To change this, heal Thed and the broo race, would be an epic campaign for a group of PCs!

That's a hell of an idea there. It'd be a campaign that probably relied heavily on heroquests too. As why PCs would undertake such a quest? Hmmmm..... maybe a truly saintly Chalana Arroy healer proposes it. Or a Lhankor Mhy sage comes across an ancient Godlearner text suggesting the possibility and then wants to test the hypothesis out. Some leaders are looking for a way to tame a local broo menace without having to spend lots of blood and treasure. Etc. And there could be the fun challenge of successfully warding off any Storm Bulls who catch wind of the plan without ending up as enemies of the entire cult (or accused of Chaos taint.)

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1 hour ago, Alex said:

Plus of course there's the "vegetarian vampire" model:  'civilised' broo than don't force themselves on sentients, but still reproduce "the same way" but exclusively with animals.  After all, they're "not people", merely "property", so with a little bit of sophistry and ignoring how horrific that process still is, that'd work for some.  "You want to kill and eat animals just out of dietary preference;  for us, it's either using animals or genociding ourselves."

Oh, that's an interesting angle! I tend to think that a broo cleansed of Chaos taint would end up having their bits and pieces magically changed (just like they'd lose a mouth on their stomach or a tentacle arm) so that they'd reproduce in a standard mammalian P in V kinda way.

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7 hours ago, Eff said:

I don't know what the canon answer is or if there is one, but in the big broo metaphor of cycle-of-abuse, broo reproduction is clearly the result of Thed's influence in essentially metaphysically raping all of her children by dictating how they are allowed have sex- it must be violent, it must be traumatizing, and it must result in the death of the other partner in a gruesome, painful way- and so we could hope that broo don't reproduce in that fashion if they're free from Thed's tyranny. But that's why I'm pretty down on broo as a major part of Glorantha, because of that central metaphor being focused on a rape survivor reenacting her trauma by raping all of her mortal progeny in an abstract fashion.

I saw it less as Thed victimizing her own children/progeny so much as her using them to get vengeance on the rest of the world, i.e., using her people to inflict what she had suffered back on to Orlanth and Yelm's children since those gods hadn't provided the culturally expected aid she needed when she needed it. One way or another, she's getting recompense. I also like the image of the Chaos gods that's presented in the Iconic Productions "Exploring Glorantha" Youtube series (in their vid on Chaos) - basically that each god of Chaos represents the inversion of a key virtue. Because of that I think the broo do have a key part to play in Glorantha, even if they don't show up very much in particular group's game.

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4 hours ago, simonh said:

So you think she's particularly morally responsible precisely because she never managed to recover from being abused?

Prior to the Lesser Darkness Thed was an important goddess. She was the wife of Ragnaglar and, with her husband and Mallia, schemed to introduce chaos into the world.By Ragnaglar, Thed had many children — the broos, scourges of the world.

https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com/home/gloranthan-documents/prosopaedia/deities/t/thed/ (emphasis mine)

So its ok to end all existence because you suffered a trauma?

You might want to think about that a bit.

Edited by icebrand

"It seems I'm destined not to move ahead in time faster than my usual rate of one second per second"

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4 hours ago, AndreJarosch said:

Maybe the only way to "heal" the broo race whould be to help Thed to recover from being abused. When Orlanth/Yelm/??? apologises for what was done to her, she many find peace with her situation, and give amends to her children the broos by "healing" them to become just another species of beastmen. 
Unfortunately the gods are bound within time and can´t change anymore. 
So Thed can´t heal from her psychic wounds, and the broos stay chaos monsters. 

Well, if we get technical that could be a warcrime hahahaha

"It seems I'm destined not to move ahead in time faster than my usual rate of one second per second"

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13 minutes ago, icebrand said:

Well, if we get technical that could be a warcrime hahahaha

Please do, I'm not following the 'technicality' being appealed to here.

Do you mean by changing the Broos forcibly, without their own consent?  Note that the "easier" -- i.e. slightly less impossible -- way to do such a quest would be a first establish it, and then to allow individuals to "opt in" by following the same path.  Sorta the Hero Cult model, essentially.  As opposed to having to make a POW vs POW roll against an entire species, as it were.  (Exact RQ rules in the post, I assume.)

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2 hours ago, Alex said:

Plus of course there's the "vegetarian vampire" model:  'civilised' broo than don't force themselves on sentients, but still reproduce "the same way" but exclusively with animals.  After all, they're "not people", merely "property", so with a little bit of sophistry and ignoring how horrific that process still is, that'd work for some.  "You want to kill and eat animals just out of dietary preference;  for us, it's either using animals or genociding ourselves."

My regular-ass, so feral that doesn't even speak Broo reproduce like that. They "just" eat the regular people, but will only sex them under extreme circumstances when no more attractive prey (like a cow) is available.

I run RQ since 1997 and had thed appear a grand total of 0 times, i feel she's bad for the game to be honest (and it's not like any of my current players has cult compendium)

"It seems I'm destined not to move ahead in time faster than my usual rate of one second per second"

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5 minutes ago, Alex said:

Please do, I'm not following the 'technicality' being appealed to here.

Do you mean by changing the Broos forcibly, without their own consent?  Note that the "easier" -- i.e. slightly less impossible -- way to do such a quest would be a first establish it, and then to allow individuals to "opt in" by following the same path.  Sorta the Hero Cult model, essentially.  As opposed to having to make a POW vs POW roll against an entire species, as it were.  (Exact RQ rules in the post, I assume.)

Yes, that technically!!!

Nice plan by the way... But i have a better one!!! 

Just run them through with a spear! You then burn the corpse for 100% guaranteed chaos cleansing. The only good broo is a dead broo.

"It seems I'm destined not to move ahead in time faster than my usual rate of one second per second"

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4 hours ago, Eff said:

I'm glad that you decided not to make even more of a point of nitpicking over whether I used the appropriate language to make absolutely clear that I meant initiation into Mallia, which is explicitly what "female" broo/broo born with vaginas must do because Thed loathes them and won't accept them already. Because that would have been rather exhausting to do for a minor thing.

I think that you're putting a lot of emphasis on the Bestiary as an objective source when in this specific passage, it says also that "female" broo automatically initiate to Mallia because they don't like the boy's club that the Thed cult is, (and what happens to "hermaphrodite" broo? Oh well, not the first time Glorantha has stumbled on gender) and then goes into some statements about how "of course" Mallia initiates are monogamous unlike polyamorous Thed broo, and it's very clear to me that it cannot be an objective source because of how it contradicts itself and how it adopts a perspective which assumes the reader is a Gloranthan person who would know that Mallia is monamorous (because they both start with an M?).

I think that to a large extent broo are presented as if they were intrinsically evil, but this also contradicts a lot of things that have been said about Runequest and Glorantha over the years, and it is possible to read them in another way, and it is in some ways better to read them in this way rather than argue that it is possible for things to look like people but be sufficiently unlike people that they are incapable of moral behavior, because that ethical dilemma is fundamentally uninteresting to me. (What does it map to in real-world terms?)

It also really runs against the basic cycle of abuse metaphor that's all over the broo and Thed, as much as I find it distasteful. So that's my reasoning for picking this interpretation.

It wasn't nitpicking, afaik ALL broo are automatic Malia initiates, that's why they are immune to disease. I don't have the books with me now, but i can check later

"It seems I'm destined not to move ahead in time faster than my usual rate of one second per second"

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3 minutes ago, icebrand said:

My regular-ass, so feral that doesn't even speak Broo reproduce like that. They "just" eat the regular people, but will only sex them under extreme circumstances when no more attractive prey (like a cow) is available.

Yes, I assume that's the most common case for "all" Broo.  Hence all the horns, after all.  Livestock are much easier victims, so unless there's some behavioural compulsion (cosmic revenge?) or biological need (keeping the species INT score up?), attacking humans is mainly there for the player-facing body horror element, I think.  Or I guess at least -- I'm the furthest thing away from being any sort of expert on the horror genre.  So going "incomplete-creature-based" is a very modest concession, overall.

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9 minutes ago, icebrand said:

Nice plan by the way... But i have a better one!!! 

Just run them through with a spear! [...]

It's a more standard one and a more immediately doable one, no question.  But is it "better" overall?  I mean in Glorantha, which is the better play experience is obviously wildly subjective.

9 minutes ago, Beoferret said:

Oh, that's an interesting angle! I tend to think that a broo cleansed of Chaos taint would end up having their bits and pieces magically changed (just like they'd lose a mouth on their stomach or a tentacle arm) so that they'd reproduce in a standard mammalian P in V kinda way.

Apparently Greg didn't think so:  "I do not think that physical change would accompany the spiritual transformation."  Now of course YGWV, and of course the key word here may be "accompany":  it seems clearly possible to do the two as separate steps, if needed.  Of course the key change would be less to do with getting a P that'll fit in a V as that the "embryo" acts in that manner, as opposed to a parasitical one.

31 minutes ago, Beoferret said:

Some leaders are looking for a way to tame a local broo menace without having to spend lots of blood and treasure.

Also it seems the cosmologically consistent thing to do if you see the Broos as (in part) victims, and not (purely) as perps.  Which be -- for instance, and as I understand it -- kinda the attitude that occurs in Lunar philosophy.  If it's indeed a "cycle of abuse", why on earth would continuing it ever more vigorously, somehow expecting to get suddenly better results, if that's actually just perpetuating it?

31 minutes ago, Beoferret said:

Etc. And there could be the fun challenge of successfully warding off any Storm Bulls who catch wind of the plan without ending up as enemies of the entire cult (or accused of Chaos taint.)

Not an issue for the Lunars, who'd see the average Storm Bully as exactly an embodiment of the problem (and who think that of them anyway).

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7 hours ago, icebrand said:

Thed is a powerful goddess. She willingly cooperated with two other powerful gods to destroy reality. This destruction isn't a Thanos snap, but a horrible conflict where chaos devours everything. Yeah, she got raped either before or after... or in the middle of it. Who cares? If anything, she got off easy and is still a blight upon the world, unlike ragnalar and the devil.

Thed's "power and importance" is pretty much related entirely to the significance of her myth.  Which is precisely that she was victimised in a horrific crime -- the very one that's central to the (allegedly irredeemable) evil of the Broos, let's recall -- was denied justice when she asked for it, out of Orlanthi clannish nepotism and callous indifference, and that this blew back in the most atrocious way imaginable.  If you swap around the causality there, apply retrospective victim-blaming, or who-cares the whole thing, it entirely empties a key myth of any meaning whatsoever.  And strikes at the very laws that it underpins.  Rape is a capital crime, but not if the survivor is subsequently determined to be unworthy?  Justice is a key virtue, but-but-but?

It's an uncomfortable part of the setting for me as it is, but this rereading of it is by no means an improvement, personally speaking.

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19 hours ago, icebrand said:

What if hostile broos surrender? Killing them... Warcrime, right there. Not killing them? What are you gonna do, let them roam free? Imprison them and get everyone sick?

Well, on the basis that Glorantha can be all about world shaking events and deep mystical resonance etc. Perhaps there could be some kind of Chalana Arroy heroquest that could be enacted to purify the broo or free them from their bestial chaotic natures ?

other people have suggested similiar approaches furhter up the thread and it does seem a good way of resolving the situation. Could be quite challenging from a gaming point of view - but that could be fun in itself.

Edited by Agentorange
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6 hours ago, Beoferret said:

That's a hell of an idea there. It'd be a campaign that probably relied heavily on heroquests too. As why PCs would undertake such a quest? Hmmmm..... maybe a truly saintly Chalana Arroy healer proposes it. Or a Lhankor Mhy sage comes across an ancient Godlearner text suggesting the possibility and then wants to test the hypothesis out. Some leaders are looking for a way to tame a local broo menace without having to spend lots of blood and treasure. Etc. And there could be the fun challenge of successfully warding off any Storm Bulls who catch wind of the plan without ending up as enemies of the entire cult (or accused of Chaos taint.)

You make more out of the my idea than i had intendend, 
But if anyone would like to pick it up for their own group (or for a JC release) i would be honoured. 🙂

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6 hours ago, Alex said:

Thed's "power and importance" is pretty much related entirely to the significance of her myth.  Which is precisely that she was victimised in a horrific crime -- the very one that's central to the (allegedly irredeemable) evil of the Broos, let's recall -- was denied justice when she asked for it, out of Orlanthi clannish nepotism and callous indifference, and that this blew back in the most atrocious way imaginable.  If you swap around the causality there, apply retrospective victim-blaming, or who-cares the whole thing, it entirely empties a key myth of any meaning whatsoever.  And strikes at the very laws that it underpins.  Rape is a capital crime, but not if the survivor is subsequently determined to be unworthy?  Justice is a key virtue, but-but-but?

It's an uncomfortable part of the setting for me as it is, but this rereading of it is by no means an improvement, personally speaking.

The problem here is that this is about rape. If her son was murdered for example (which, for many people it may be a harder to deal trauma even) no one would think she's a victim.

Rape is horrifying and one of the worst things ever, but you do not get to end the universe... That's... Several million times worse?

"It seems I'm destined not to move ahead in time faster than my usual rate of one second per second"

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14 hours ago, Eff said:

I think that to a large extent broo are presented as if they were intrinsically evil, but this also contradicts a lot of things that have been said about Runequest and Glorantha over the years, and it is possible to read them in another way, and it is in some ways better to read them in this way rather than argue that it is possible for things to look like people but be sufficiently unlike people that they are incapable of moral behavior, because that ethical dilemma is fundamentally uninteresting to me. (What does it map to in real-world terms?)

Here you've homed in on exactly what's most interesting to me about this issue.

Consciousness is everywhere in Glorantha, we know that every species occasionally produces a member that is fully conscious and intelligent. I had quite a bit of fun on one campaign with a rat shaman that caused untold mayhem.

Philosophically this raises the issue of what intelligence and consciousness are, and the relationship between inherent nature and free choice.

As a materialist I believe I am my body. My choices are the result of biochemical interactions in my brain, in response to external stimuli. For me, free choice means my choices are determined primarily by my state - my memories, desires, emotional responses, experiences, skills, preferences and mental faculties. The things that make me who I am. My freely chosen actions and choices have a cause that determine them - me, and I have a clear idea what I am - a physical being.

However I do not get to choose my own nature, because any such choice would itself be determined by my nature. I find nothing incoherent in this. If that was not the case, if my choices were not determined by my personal state, then I don't see how my actions could be my responsibility.

That means I don't have any problem with Broo behaviour being determined by their nature. They don't get to choose who or what they are, any more than I do. However they don't get to dodge moral responsibility for their actions any more than I do either. Nevertheless as an external observer it's hard not to feel some compassion for their condition.

 

Edited by simonh
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Check out the Runequest Glorantha Wiki for RQ links and resources. Any updates or contributions welcome!

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9 hours ago, icebrand said:

Prior to the Lesser Darkness Thed was an important goddess. She was the wife of Ragnaglar and, with her husband and Mallia, schemed to introduce chaos into the world.By Ragnaglar, Thed had many children — the broos, scourges of the world.

https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com/home/gloranthan-documents/prosopaedia/deities/t/thed/ (emphasis mine)

So its ok to end all existence because you suffered a trauma?

You might want to think about that a bit.

I highly recommend reading this essay by Ron Edwards:

http://adeptplay.com/sites/default/files/thed essay.pdf

Edited by simonh

Check out the Runequest Glorantha Wiki for RQ links and resources. Any updates or contributions welcome!

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2 hours ago, simonh said:

I highly recommend reading this essay by Ron Edwards:

http://adeptplay.com/sites/default/files/thed essay.pdf

There was a useful follow-up discussion, archived here.

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