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Playable Cults / Races


TheNemesis

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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

Can you cast "Create Wartree" with high Extension on the tree of a dryad? (Preferable to carrying it around in a flower pot...)

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This ritual awakens a spirit within a special type of tree specially grown for the use of this spell

Sadly not.

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Yelmalio is a very reasonable choice for an Aldryami adventurer PC.

However, if that doesn't fit with the other party members, consider a merchant: with Issaries or Etyries as their 2nd cult, depending.  Elves have trade goods, and who better to go out of their forests than a merchant?

As @Jeff suggested, Chalana Arroy / Flamal would also fit - you carry various healing herbs.

Naturally, you'd need to speak some languages, be diplomatic, etc.

Just remember Eli Lapp's advice, "You be careful out among them English! humans".

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5 hours ago, Nemesis716 said:

Yeah, I know they're pretty xenophobic. Isn't their tagline "It's Uz or them!" 😄

IMG, the Dark Men are (by a substantial margin) the most-humanlike of the "main Sartar" nonhuman quartet - Aldryami/Uz/Dragonewt/Mostali.

The other 3 are far more alien / incomprehensible to most humans.

The Uz are also the most-likely to have "good relations" with human neighbors, courtesy of Argan Argar.  Sure, "The Dwarf" of Dwarf Run, and a few other specific situations, have some stand-out relationships; but outside those (few) specific places I expect more chafing and hostility between humans & Aldryami/Mostali as Uz (the 'newts stand out in that humans have more "just leave 'em alone" sentiment -- ignore & be ignored).

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

IMG, the Dark Men are (by a substantial margin) the most-humanlike of the "main Sartar" nonhuman quartet - Aldryami/Uz/Dragonewt/Mostali.

The other 3 are far more alien / incomprehensible to most humans.

The Uz are also the most-likely to have "good relations" with human neighbors, courtesy of Argan Argar.  Sure, "The Dwarf" of Dwarf Run, and a few other specific situations, have some stand-out relationships; but outside those (few) specific places I expect more chafing and hostility between humans & Aldryami/Mostali as Uz (the 'newts stand out in that humans have more "just leave 'em alone" sentiment -- ignore & be ignored).

haha, likely true! I just wanted to make an awful pun.

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On 9/20/2022 at 3:42 PM, TheNemesis said:

.....

Are there any timelines for official materials related to other cults from previous editions ....

Speaking of timelines, what I don't know of is a source for family history tables suitable for non humans.  It is my understanding that for many events the non humans wouldn't be involved or the effects would be different.  Of course anyone would see and feel the Dragonrise.  But the Aldryami would not be involved in the Lunar conquest and loss of Sartar until the Great Winter, and then I would expect them to go inactive.  

Where humans have die rolls for conflict with neighboring clans, Aldryami should have a chance of Uz raids and conflict with neighboring humans.  But maybe not in the same years.

So when you get to that stage of character creation you will have to improvise or skip it. 

That stage usually yields some passions, perhaps some assets, and some skill increases.  Overall I think a character gains by it.

Think about replacing a loyalty: clan with a loyalty: forest.

A bigger issue for me is what would start an Aldryami adventuring with a group of humans.  I understand two possibilities; an elf born (sprouted?) with missing empathetic tie with the forest, or an elf performing a diplomatic and trade function.

An Aldryami should be uncomfortable around humans.  They burn trees for firewood and cut down trees for houses.  Imagine living around people who routinely burn piles of what is to you corpses, in their houses!  The stench should put you off.

Edited by Squaredeal Sten
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4 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

Speaking of timelines, what I don't know of is a source for family history tables suitable for non humans ...

On the JC, "DuckPac" vol.2 has this for Durulz.

I presume it will be in the upcoming "ElfPak," & "TrollPack."

I don't know about Mostali, Dragonewts, and others.

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Shannnon Appelcline talks about how the previous experience of the elf forest may supersede the previous experience gained by actual ancestors in our interview at godlearners.com. We talk about some of the problems and solutions for playing aldryami in mixed groups, too.

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5 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

...

An Aldryami should be uncomfortable around humans.  They burn trees for firewood and cut down trees for houses.  Imagine living around people who routinely burn piles of what is to you corpses, in their houses!  The stench should put you off.

Yes and no.  Yes, it should be discomforting to be alone (or one of very few) Aldryami among the humans.  But IMHO many of the things humans would find problematic are NOT so for the plantfolk; and things that DO bother them might be kind of "WTF" for humans (including players!).

For example:  Aldryami, like other plants, are incredibly fecund compared to humans.  A tree may produce hundreds (even thousands) of seedlings in a given year...  but not consider it tragic if fewer than 1 in 10 survive to become saplings, fewer than 1 in 10 saplings survive to become trees  Imagine the conversation between a human parent & an elf parent:  "oh, yes, SOOO many seedlings last year, it was wonderful to get so much mulch!"

Fire is dangerous, yes.  But for a  being who can run away  (just like humans can!), it's much-less-so than many players presume as the "plant-folk" default (and let us not forget that big fires can easily kill humans, too).  HOWEVER:  there are many species of plants that need fire for their reproductive cycle.  IMHO the most concise-but-true statement of the Aldryami feelings toward fire is probably, "it's complicated."

I believe I'm non-canonical here, but IMG virtually all Aldryami are handicapped in the dark.  I apply SR-penalties, movement pentalties, perception-penalties, etc.  Thus, darkness is even-more frightening for most elves than for most humans; "fear of the dark" occurs for some humans, but for many elves, it is an existential terror.

As always:  YGMV.
(mine does!)

 

Edited by g33k
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OK, it is probably germane to note that Aldryami are near-cannibals. The Fertility Rune acknowledges Death as part of the cycle of Life... that which was once a consumer will one day be consumed themselves.

This, Simba, is the circle of life.....

As for Aldryami relations with humans, it's possible to be an 'elf-friend' on an individual basis even if the local Aldryami don't trust humanity in general. Besides, it's a golden RP opportunity.

Elves [as differentiated from Dryads, Runners, etc.] will be as uncomfortable in any Human society as a Human would in an Aldryami one. Efforts will have to be made by all parties to be forgiving and understanding of one another in order to get along. 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do' and all that...

This discomfort is eased by the elf being a member of a cult that the local humans can understand. The discomfort never goes away, really: no matter the cult the Aldryami will have motivations that are never completely understood by Humans. But being able to bridge the society gap with religious rituals is a comfort to both parties and one method of making the mysterious less threatening.

So if an Aldryami character wishes to initiate into a second cult, it will largely depend on their profession /role within Aldryami society. After all, the Elf Bow of a High King Elf subcult initiate is going to do a Chalana Arroy initiate very little good. At my table, I'd rule that their Elf seed become a staff instead, but that's me. Most Elves become members of the Marching Aldryami, the forest's active defenders. This tends to lean towards a warrior /guardsman outlook, although support caster [Ernalda] or healer [Chalana Arroy] or herald /negotiator [Issaries] are also valued roles.

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3 hours ago, Godlearner said:

Still 2D6+2 extra magic points.

Well, an initiate of two cults must abide by the strictures of both of them.

This means that an initiate of Chalana Arroy may never used a bow to fire at an enemy. No, I don't buy the 'shoot to wound' argument. 'Do No Harm' and all that.

But I see no reason why their initiation seed could not grow into a staff with AP to block with and the extra MP to power Spirit Magic with.

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4 hours ago, svensson said:

OK, it is probably germane to note that Aldryami are near-cannibals. The Fertility Rune acknowledges Death as part of the cycle of Life... that which was once a consumer will one day be consumed themselves.

This, Simba, is the circle of life.....

As for Aldryami relations with humans, it's possible to be an 'elf-friend' on an individual basis even if the local Aldryami don't trust humanity in general. Besides, it's a golden RP opportunity.

I don't see why people keep accusing Aldryami of cannibalism when uz (obviously), mostali (tinned) and certain humans practice cannibalism on their very own dead. While there are meat-eating aldryami outcasts, do those broken elves feast on elves? Do aldryami eat leaves or barch off other humanoid aldryami? Do they munch on their wooden bones?

What aldryami eat is plant matter. That's the same as humans eating fish, crustaceans or jellyfish. Eating only regrowable parts of the plant that still live on without much detrimental effect is like consuming sweat (milk) or folicles, eating seeds of a plant is like eating eggs, eating pollen is equivalent to swallowing sperm. Would you count fellatio as canibalism?

 

4 hours ago, svensson said:

Elves [as differentiated from Dryads, Runners, etc.] will be as uncomfortable in any Human society as a Human would in an Aldryami one. Efforts will have to be made by all parties to be forgiving and understanding of one another in order to get along. 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do' and all that...

This may be like joining a circus or the army - you enter an ecosystem different from your own. It's like Bilbo joining the dwarves and Gandalf on their trip east, like the classical time traveler (say Connecticut Yankee at the Court of Arthur), like Gulliver picking up companions on his travels.

Aldryami are fairly alien for sharing the same general body plan. But then so are shapeshifters (including Hsunchen, Kitori, were-creatures, Elurae, Swan Maidens).

How much can aldryami integrate into human communal rituals? Often they might be observing what humans might just classify as social interactions as part of their ritual magic. Their almost complete reliance on spoken words and gestures for communication must feel like ritual blindfolding. Their greetings - not just the first contact interaction detailed in the Guide, but also between kinsfolk on everyday basis - may feel like what aldryami might do as prayer or mutual blessings, possibly more elaborate, possibly grossly truncated.

The alienness pressing home can be in little things, like e..g. chlorinated tap-water for me, or the ubiquitious use of mint in English vegetable preserves.

 

4 hours ago, svensson said:

This discomfort is eased by the elf being a member of a cult that the local humans can understand. The discomfort never goes away, really: no matter the cult the Aldryami will have motivations that are never completely understood by Humans. But being able to bridge the society gap with religious rituals is a comfort to both parties and one method of making the mysterious less threatening.

Sharing a cult doesn't necessarily mean sharing the same comfortably familiar liturgy. Often the disjoint may come from doing the same thing slightly differently, slightly off the ingrained expectations. Initially this can be the spice of the experience, but in the long term those "not quite right" ways may drive home that you are not in Kansas any more. It's something that expats and emigrants live with.

How much would a brown elf Light Son engage in the riddle challenge with a human Wind Lord?

How much would aldryami worshipping at Sartarite temples (like e.g. Greenstone or Clearwine) identify with the human communities there - the temple hierarchy, their clan, tribal or kingdom loyalties? Would an elf from Tarndisi's grove worshipping at a nearby human-run holy place identify in any way as a Sartarite? As a Colymar?

 

4 hours ago, svensson said:

So if an Aldryami character wishes to initiate into a second cult, it will largely depend on their profession /role within Aldryami society. After all, the Elf Bow of a High King Elf subcult initiate is going to do a Chalana Arroy initiate very little good. At my table, I'd rule that their Elf seed become a staff instead, but that's me. Most Elves become members of the Marching Aldryami, the forest's active defenders. This tends to lean towards a warrior /guardsman outlook, although support caster [Ernalda] or healer [Chalana Arroy] or herald /negotiator [Issaries] are also valued roles.

I wonder whether joining High King Elf already marks a significant deviaition from normal Aldryami behavior. Green elves are diurnal creatures by their biology, but High King Elf initiates are the night guards of the forest, spending a significant portion of their active lives away from the nourishing light of Yelm when their metabolism really needs to go into shut-down. Brown elves are inclined to stay awake throughout spring, summer and autumn nights but need to hibernate around the winter solstice, which makes attending certain holy days a tad difficult.

Gardening and pruning are activities that don't make the practitioners part of the Marching Aldryami as their main function,, although they will contribute as support.

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@Joerg

Gloranthan humans aren't cannibals. Or, I don't see how you would call them such. I would think humans would see the consumption of human flesh as Chaotic behavior. OGRES and GHOULS are cannibals, and I would think most humans would want to separate themselves from that behavior.

Elvish 'cannibalism' is just that a Green Elf can pluck a leaf off of a Brown Elf's head and eat it and it's no bother. I DON'T contend that Elves consume the entire body of their dead like Uz do. But they don't cremate their dead, as Orlanthi do, either. They place the corpses beneath the forest floor to nourish all the life within it. And, well, you're not likely to get cholera or dysentery from decomposing plants.

My 'when in Rome' comment is that strangers tend to follow the local customs when in a foreign environment. The wise traveler tries to do so within certain broad sensibilities. Steamed eyeballs are a delicacy in some parts of the world, but I'd have to work pretty hard to eat one myself. When American service-women take liberty in Arabic countries, they are given a shayla to wear [it's a type of head scarf, as the hijab is another type, in the same way that a keffiya and a shamagh are different head scarves for men] to avoid offending local rules.

So while an Elf would not be expected to eat meat, they would be expected to be patient while others did so. OTOH, a human would have to expect to bring his own rain covering in an Elf Woods, as the Elves do not build them themselves, and refrain from any use of fire while visiting them.

Cults offer similar rituals, but they won't be precisely the same. I know several Baptist missionaries who support churches in Kenya. I am told that the liturgy is the same in all the points of dogma, but the practice of that liturgy can be very different. The music is often very different and Kenyans use more dance in worship than most American churches do, for example. I think of that as a good analogy for bridging the racial divide in the same cult. Ernalda is going to look very different in Tarnisi's Grove than it will in Clearwine Temple, but the basic beliefs, holidays, and core ritual practices will be the same.

I don't think that being a member of the same cult makes a foreigner identify with the local culture. I think it gives them an avenue to understand the local culture if the person chooses to take it. You're going to find xenophobes in every society, people who refuse to see the common bonds with anyone they don't know personally. But common religious beliefs [not practices, beliefs] are a way to bridge that gap for those  willing to try. Would a Vronkali Green Elf engage in the Riddle Contest with a human Orlanth cultist? That would depend on whether or not he had a Gold Wheel to bet and whether and how familiar he is with human cultures. Remember, the Riddle Contest is demanded by ORLANTH not Yelmalio.

As for sleep schedules, I would think that no type of Aldryami gets much sleep in Sea Season... the bursting of new growth effects them as much as the ferns and shrubs and trees. They may not be able to calm down enough to sleep, though that's a YGMV situation. But Aldryami are tied to the Man Rune as much as the Plant Rune. They can adjust their sleep schedules to account for watch schedules. What's more, the Gardeners plant many alarm-plants on the most common avenues of approach specifically to warn them of incursion by anyone who isn't supposed to be there.

Edited by svensson
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On 9/25/2022 at 11:32 AM, svensson said:

Elvish 'cannibalism' is just that a Green Elf can pluck a leaf off of a Brown Elf's head and eat it and it's no bother

I don't think it is the case (however I m not an elf specialist) Is there any source for it or is a part of a glorantha variation ?

Pretty sure at least it is a form of disrespect to eat "part" of another elf (if it is allowed, and I m not convince)

I understand  @Joerg cannibalism issue. That's not because elves are "plant" that they are cannibal. They are cannibal if they eat elves (or related like dryad & co). Or yes as humans are "flesh" then humans would be cannibal.

In my opinion elves eat some plants, seeds, etc.. which one, i don't know, but some of them, not all of them, not everything called "plant" as human don't eat everything called "flesh". (Troll eat everything so they are excluded for sure 😜 )

 

But in all case, I agree with you for the rest, in my opinion it is difficult to be an aldryami in human countries, and it is difficult to be a sartarite in kralori countries,  and it is difficult to be a genertela aldryami in pamaltela elves countries

 

but you may be accepted by a community (a village, a clan, maybe a tribe) with a lot of effort, sacrifices, success and reputation. However locally accepted by few doesn't mean globaly accepted in all the region

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51 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

Jeff has indicated that even blocking would be considered a combat skill, and thus a CA can't do it. YGMV...

With Weapon Attack and Weapon Parry now being the same skill [in earlier editions, they were separated and each had their own percentages], I can see your point. But a staff has more functionality as a nonlethal weapon than a bow does and the additional Magic Points are pretty important.

I would have to think long and hard about a Healer [be it Chalana Arroy or Apollo/Hippocrates] training to Trip or Disarm attackers and whether that constituted 'doing harm', but Parrying is still OK in my opinion.

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On 9/25/2022 at 4:32 AM, svensson said:

@Joerg

But they don't cremate their dead, as Orlanthi do, either. They place the corpses beneath the forest floor to nourish all the life within it. And, well, you're not likely to get cholera or dysentery from decomposing plants...

That particular point is probably not true for Aldryami: That is, while they are not going to get cholera, they may get plant diseases from decomposing plants.

Example: In the Real World, the Texas freeze of 2021 damaged my fig trees and that summer I found a fungus on them which destroyed bark. It grew quickly.  MANY branches died.  I sought advice from the agricultural extension service and was told there is no cure, you should remove pruned branches from the area and probably burn them, and disinfect your pruning tools, else these will infect the healthy part of your trees.

In such a circumstance infected Aldryami corpses would endanger others, and a good Gardener might indeed burn them instead of burying them.

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53 minutes ago, svensson said:

With Weapon Attack and Weapon Parry now being the same skill [in earlier editions, they were separated and each had their own percentages], I can see your point. But a staff has more functionality as a nonlethal weapon than a bow does and the additional Magic Points are pretty important.

I would have to think long and hard about a Healer [be it Chalana Arroy or Apollo/Hippocrates] training to Trip or Disarm attackers and whether that constituted 'doing harm', but Parrying is still OK in my opinion.

Oh, don't get me wrong! I'm not suggesting the staff isn't ok to have... only that in his view, the CA wouldn't try to defend themselves with it.

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3 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Jeff has indicated that even blocking would be considered a combat skill, and thus a CA can't do it. YGMV...

This contradicts RQG (p74 and p290): Chalana Arroy cultists take an oath never to harm an intelligent creature or needlessly cause pain to any living thing.

That does not mean they can't have a combat skill (other than dodge, of course).

2 hours ago, svensson said:

With Weapon Attack and Weapon Parry now being the same skill [in earlier editions, they were separated and each had their own percentages], I can see your point.

Another reason to keep attack and defense skills separate.

2 hours ago, svensson said:

I would have to think long and hard about a Healer [be it Chalana Arroy or Apollo/Hippocrates] training to Trip or Disarm attackers and whether that constituted 'doing harm', but Parrying is still OK in my opinion.

Not only is Parry Ok (for me) but Disarm (which is an attack maneuver) is also Ok (for me, again), because it cause no harm, and thus don't violate the oath.

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57 minutes ago, Kloster said:

Not only is Parry Ok (for me) but Disarm (which is an attack maneuver) is also Ok (for me, again), because it cause no harm, and thus don't violate the oath.

FYI, I agree with you and actually go farther, but in previous discussions it was all "Gregged" by Jeff, who took a much more hardline position as stated above.

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1 hour ago, Kloster said:

Another reason to keep attack and defense skills separate.

 

1 hour ago, Kloster said:

Not only is Parry Ok (for me) but Disarm (which is an attack maneuver) is also Ok

Another reason to have one skill for both Parry & Attack 😛

Spoiler

I ask myself if in addition to reduce the number of skills, the merge of attack and parry simplify the "between adventure occupation experience" ==> what to do ? add 1 more check to allow both att and prd or stay it and at the end, reduce the experience for fighters ?

However I agree about your point, I would allow a chalana cultist to parry or disarm (so to be trained). I would just add some more "fundamentalist" school/sect/subcult  inside the cult, forbidding it,  "offer the other cheek " is better than "block the attack"

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6 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Jeff has indicated that even blocking would be considered a combat skill, and thus a CA can't do it. YGMV...

2 hours ago, Kloster said:

This contradicts RQG (p74 and p290): Chalana Arroy cultists take an oath never to harm an intelligent creature or needlessly cause pain to any living thing.

It doesn't contradict it, it builds on and extends it. Feel free to ignore it in your game though if it doesn't fit your vision of Glorantha, and I'm sure it varies according to region and subcult.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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