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Are birthdays celebrated in Glorantha?


AndreJarosch

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We have a Gloranthan calendar with a lot of religious holy days and hight holy days. 
But birthdays a thing in Glorantha?

While digging in old ducuments doing genealogy in real life i discovered that a lot of people doesn´t seem to have known the birthday of they parents or partners in the 17 and 18 hundreds. "about 75 years" is given in the church book when they died and had to be buried. But that persons spouse and children were very much alive at that time. But they doesn´t seem to have known the exact birthday of their partner/parent. 

Do Gloranthans know the date they were born? 
Do they celebrate their birthdays with their familiy?
Or is initiation day more important?

Are there good omens whe you were born on specific days, or bad omens when you were born at another?
Will it make a difference if for instance a girl is born on Ernaldas Holy Day, or on Ty Kora Teks Hold Day?

What does a glorantha birhday party look like?

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Given the fairly communal nature of Orlanthi, it's possible that they instead celebrate an age-group's initiation day or something. 

But, well, anything's possible. Calendars are well-developed in Glorantha, and highly reliable (as is writing, moreso than in the RW historically) so it wouldn't be too hard to keep tabs of people's birthday or nameing day, for example.

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1 minute ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Given the fairly communal nature of Orlanthi, it's possible that they instead celebrate an age-group's initiation day or something. 

But, well, anything's possible. Calendars are well-developed in Glorantha, and highly reliable (as is writing, moreso than in the RW historically) so it wouldn't be too hard to keep tabs of people's birthday or nameing day, for example.

I haven´t doubed that it is possible to do so in Glorantha. 
Your mother will remember that "You were born two days before the High Holy Day of Orlanth in 1602." for instance, but is the birthday of a child important enough to be remembered and annualy celebrated?

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3 hours ago, AndreJarosch said:

Do Gloranthans know the date they were born?

Only if their player generates it from Step 8: other information, Age, and Year Born, page 81.

I like the connection to the adventurer's runes.

Edited by David Scott

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1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

I think maybe for wealthy or influential people, but in general I don't think so. "Celebrating birthdays" is a bit of a luxury that we as modern civilized people have got used to being able to afford. So much so that it seems odd to us that other people might not do so.

In a world of omens, gods, etc. I tend to think that people are aware of the days so-and-so was born, particularly in close-knit clans.  (E.g. Hendrik was blessed by the warmth of Yelm, but the shadows of the world were always around him being born upon a Freezeday)

I don't believe there is any particular "celebration" (unless a PC wishes to mark the date).  However, based on conversations I had with Greg years ago, I believe that births are typically attended by the "Three" - i.e. three spirits that show up to attend the birth itself.  In most cases, these are likely to just be the Hearth spirit, an Ancestral spirit with some affinity for the newborn, and a third, perhaps the clan spirit/wyter.  However, in the case of adventurers and heroes, the Three can be far more significant including gods, great spirits, demons, or others.  Eurmal (in some form or another, or in disguise) may well appear to mark one as a trickster.  The White Lady or Lhankor Mhy might bestow blessings upon those destined to be great healers or scholars.  Etc.  Sometimes the Three may represent the Runes of Day, Week, and Season, but I often prefer to randomly roll the Runes and see what comes up.

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

I don't believe there is any particular "celebration" (unless a PC wishes to mark the date).

Yeah, I think "Dumbarton rules" apply -- if you want to throw a party and get the drinks in, etc, to mark your own birth, knock yourself out!  Might be seen as a little hubristic, but hey, free food, how bad?

I don't see surprise parties being wildly popular in a world with Eurmali and Humakti...  And it's kinda a bit too much in clan-based Bronze-Age(ish) society.  You could be getting feasted three times a day!

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I don't think that Gloranthans celebrate the anniversary of their birth, but they will probably have a good idea what day they were born on, because that's when their forecasts and birth gifts. (Like Minaryth's knowledge that none of his children will read, which is a forecast that takes in his education by the Sages so that he could.)

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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If this were the RW, I'd argue that birthday celebrations would be rare, as very high infant mortality might work against viewing the birth as the most significant moment in a person's life. A later date, like a naming day, could be considered the moment where a mere infant gets bestowed with social personhood, and perhaps achieve spiritual identity (becoming bestowed with a soul, if you will.) There's a few cultures that come to mind that behave like this in the RW.

HOWEVER, infant mortality is lower in Glorantha than the RW, and the Orlanthi at least, appear to do a lot of spiritual work (Runic affinities, making forecasts, etc.) during a child's birth or around there, so a birth-day might be more significant to them.

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Theory: people know their birthdays, but don't celebrate them or even acknowledge them publicly. This is because knowledge of a person's birth runes can be used by enemies to strengthen curses or hostile magic against that person - similar to IRL superstitions around leaving hair or nail clippings.

Instead, you have collective coming of age days as mentioned above. In addition, I can see cult holy days doubling as sort of an equivalent of Catholic name days. Initiates of Orlanth might all count their age every Windsday, Movement Week, Storm Season together. Or maybe people count their years by every Sacred Time?

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1 hour ago, Ladygolem said:

This is because knowledge of a person's birth runes can be used by enemies to strengthen curses or hostile magic against that person - similar to IRL superstitions around leaving hair or nail clippings.

If you're using the RQG rules for those, and if characters display their rune-preferences anything like as prominently as they have in decades of art, alynx might be out of the bag on that!

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1 minute ago, Ladygolem said:

Darn, I forgot about that. Oh well, scratch that then.

OTOH the "runic determinist" birthdays may be exaggerated in RQG a) for simplicity, and b) because PCs are touched by fate, etc, moreso than the average air-rune-leaning person insisting on being born on a Windsday.

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1 hour ago, Alex said:

If you're using the RQG rules for those, and if characters display their rune-preferences anything like as prominently as they have in decades of art, alynx might be out of the bag on that!

Personally, I don't feel that the birth date necessarily coincides with their cult runes.  Are all Orlanthi really born on Windsday, Movementweek, Stormseason?  No.  Now the Ernalda or Uleria priestesses can likely nudge the date towards something propitious, but they aren't going to do so for every individual born.  I'm quite good with the idea that the runes of birth may reflect "helpers", "guiding spirits", "god"-parents, etc.

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To me it mostly has to do with the tropes and stories I'm telling in a game. I'm trying to think about any sort of Bronze Age legend or epic movie or whatever is the source material I draw inspiration from for my games, and none of them feature birthday celebrations as far as I can tell. There are celebrations for the birth of a baby, there are omens and divinations made about it, and someone might reference it for good measure ("I was born on a Windsday in Storm Season, and the shaman said that Air spirits gathered around my mother to give her a second breath... these spirits are now with us, I can fell them, brother, so come with me to fight, this is a good day!"), but that's pretty much it. So for me there's no birthday celebration, but it's very possible someone knows (at least roughly) when they were born.

Ludovic aka Lordabdul -- read and listen to  The God Learners , the Gloranthan podcast, newsletter, & blog !

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17 hours ago, lordabdul said:

To me it mostly has to do with the tropes and stories I'm telling in a game. I'm trying to think about any sort of Bronze Age legend or epic movie or whatever is the source material.

I think Sleeping Beauty is the closest... You have the the evil fairy bestowing the curse on the (naming day?) celebration -- to take effect on the girl's birthday some years down the road.

 

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On 11/29/2021 at 5:08 AM, AndreJarosch said:

But birthdays a thing in Glorantha?

After near a lifetime of reading about Glorantha and having thought on this for a couple of days... Sadly I must say I do not think Birthdays are much of a thing in Glorantha. Seriously, should an adventurer of mine walk into a house to find a table filled with loud and oddly attired folk (finery with paper hats) playing kazoos around a cake made to look like a cutesy dragon all while singing “You look like a monkey and smell like one too!” I might suffer an odd break with irreality! 

 

On 11/29/2021 at 9:36 AM, jajagappa said:

In a world of omens, gods, etc. I tend to think that people are aware of the days so-and-so was born, particularly in close-knit clans.  (E.g. Hendrik was blessed by the warmth of Yelm, but the shadows of the world were always around him being born upon a Freezeday)

 

This sounds plausible.

On 11/29/2021 at 8:47 AM, David Scott said:

I like the connection to the adventurer's runes.

Me too!

On 11/29/2021 at 3:05 PM, Sir_Godspeed said:

If this were the RW, I'd argue that birthday celebrations would be rare, as very high infant mortality might work against viewing the birth as the most significant moment in a person's life.

This was may first thought, but I have seen infant mortality argued a few times here on BRP now, and consensus says CA and Ernalda alleviate the worst of it... not wanting the game to be mean, I am happy with this.

On 11/29/2021 at 3:08 PM, Ladygolem said:

Theory: people know their birthdays, but don't celebrate them or even acknowledge them publicly. This is because knowledge of a person's birth runes can be used by enemies to strengthen curses or hostile magic against that person - similar to IRL superstitions around leaving hair or nail clippings.

 

This is not only plausible but implied by the rules. GREAT! Thanks, I will be yoinking that!

On 11/29/2021 at 5:48 PM, jajagappa said:

Personally, I don't feel that the birth date necessarily coincides with their cult runes.  Are all Orlanthi really born on Windsday, Movementweek, Stormseason?  No

That’s funny, good one.

 

 

 

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

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On 11/30/2021 at 12:48 AM, jajagappa said:

Personally, I don't feel that the birth date necessarily coincides with their cult runes.

Although the core rules would suggest that and those rules are for adventurers, I suggest that adventurers' birthdays are linked with their runes while NPCs are random.

I suspect that the answer varies across cultures as it does in the real world. It's worth looking at the Wikipedia article on birthdays just for the range of possibilities.

I suspect name days are also important in some cultures (I'm only familiar with Greek name days), but those with God part or whole names are celebrated on those gods / heroes holy days.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday

 

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On 11/30/2021 at 1:48 AM, jajagappa said:

Personally, I don't feel that the birth date necessarily coincides with their cult runes.  Are all Orlanthi really born on Windsday, Movementweek, Stormseason?  No.  Now the Ernalda or Uleria priestesses can likely nudge the date towards something propitious, but they aren't going to do so for every individual born.  I'm quite good with the idea that the runes of birth may reflect "helpers", "guiding spirits", "god"-parents, etc.

bad day for the rqg rules, but I agree with you

 

I would prefer that the rules says

  •  your birthday runes (day/week/season)  must be at least X%
  • one of you birthday runes must beat least Y%
  • your birthday runes have no impact on your character

but after all birthday rule is not a big challenge to forget on a table ^^ I will not claim anything about that in the next update of the corerules  book

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4 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

I would prefer that the rules says

  •  your birthday runes (day/week/season)  must be at least X%
  • one of you birthday runes must beat least Y%
  • your birthday runes have no impact on your character

My preference would be:  players can determine if they want their characters birth dates to align with their Runes, or not.

I don't find it useful to rigidly align Runes and dates unless a player thinks it makes a good story.

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2 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Aren't Rune Affinities also to a degree "discovered" during Initiation?

 

mmm what about an initiation during the play ? will you gain new rune ?

what about a non initiate character ? no rune ?

I would prefer to let it as a background point : you discover you have affinities (or not) with the runes of your god, more than you get points during your initiation

 

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The gloranthan (heortling) calendar has six seasons (5 seasons named after one of the elements, + sacred time). 
It would be easy to give a character a +10% on his Elemental Rune for the season he was born (Sacred Time = Moon). 

The gloranthan (heortling) calendar has eight weeks (all named after the four power rune sets). 
It would be easy to give a character a +10% to his Power Rune for the week he was born.  

The gloranthan (heortling) week has seven days, of which 5 are also associated with an element, the last two Wildday and Godsday are not. 
Again: It would be easy to give a character a +10% on his Elemental Rune for the day he was born (Wildday = Moon, because in Dragon Pass area Wildday is Full Moon; Godsday = any OTHER Non-Elemental Rune the player or gamemaster chooses to be given +10%). 

This would give a character a head start in one direction, but not sooo overwhelming much that he still can choose a totally different path. 


EDIT: Forgot the weeks

Edited by AndreJarosch
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