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So, how common is HeroQuesting *really*?


svensson

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On 11/20/2022 at 11:33 PM, Akhôrahil said:

To a large extent, this is a matter of semantics. There’s interaction with a myth when you go full heroquesting to kill the Emperor, as well as when children play it as a game. There’s just vastly more of it in the first case.

I don’t think we should discount yearly HQs too much though - the Red Cow HeroQuest certainly feels like a full (if small:ish) HQ to me, even though it isn’t creative or exploratory. 

I think that there is a danger of making what qualifies as Heroquesting too mundane.  I mean, if we follow the advice of the HQ rules we can invent "Orlanth goes to buy milk" myth, and send our children off on it every couple of days.

There also needs to be a separation between HQing and what happens at Sacred Time in every village in Glorantha.  Those are passion plays.  A passion play with lethal consequences can be a HQ, but the most powerful and least ambivalent HQs are those that take place on the Hero Plane.

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

I think that there is a danger of making what qualifies as Heroquesting too mundane.  I mean, if we follow the advice of the HQ rules we can invent "Orlanth goes to buy milk" myth, and send our children off on it every couple of days.

There also needs to be a separation between HQing and what happens at Sacred Time in every village in Glorantha.  Those are passion plays.  A passion play with lethal consequences can be a HQ, but the most powerful and least ambivalent HQs are those that take place on the Hero Plane.

I disagree, I think it's a continuum. Everything that happens in the middle world is an echo of what happened in the God Time. Building up Heroquesting to be this big crazy thing is what's scared people off it for decades.

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2 hours ago, Darius West said:

I think that there is a danger of making what qualifies as Heroquesting too mundane.  I mean, if we follow the advice of the HQ rules we can invent "Orlanth goes to buy milk" myth, and send our children off on it every couple of days.

Every Adulthood Initiation is a HeroQuest, so most people start their adult life by HeroQuesting, so why should they stop?

2 hours ago, Darius West said:

There also needs to be a separation between HQing and what happens at Sacred Time in every village in Glorantha.  Those are passion plays.

They are just points on the HeroQuest continuum.

I make no distinction between those and full-scale HeroQuests. The dangers and rewards are far smaller, though, but if you mess then up you can curse the whole clan for a year.

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There are two competing definitions of what a heroquest is, above and beyond 'a magical thing that happens in Glorantha'.

  • One is 'a magical thing that is not expressible in the current Runequest rules'.
  • The other is a 'a magical thing which the RQ rules gives a percentage change of success, and the GM decides would be more interesting to play out instead'.

Under neither is going to a weekly market to purchase commonly available goods a heroquest, at least unless your gm has very unusual opinions about what counts as interesting.

Under the first, initiation is not a heroquest, as it is covered by the rules. Under the other it can be, if and when the gm decides to make it so (as in Six Seasons in Sartar).

Under both, any really big and risky magical ritual is a heroquest, if only because there isn't really any current rules for community-scale Really Big Magical Rituals, or ones that can result in Unique and Unpredictable effects. This means you can't abstract them. But, under the second interpretation, this doesn't stop you playing them out.

if you insist on defining anything that can be played out using rq;g rules as not a heroquest', then obviously you can't run them until a new dedicated heroquest rules system comes out. if you think they are just a way of playing out a magical ritual that could succeed or fail, then you can. And maybe run them better later, when some book comes out with more explicit advice on how best to do so.

 

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5 hours ago, Darius West said:

I think that there is a danger of making what qualifies as Heroquesting too mundane.  I mean, if we follow the advice of the HQ rules we can invent "Orlanth goes to buy milk" myth, and send our children off on it every couple of days.

 

Usually agree with ya, but not on this. Poets, and musicians, philosophers. and mad men all tell us to look to the mundane for inspiration and wonder in life. In my game, going to the store may not evoke a true HQ, I think going on a first date, falling in love, losing a loves one, getting new animals, and even crossing a dangerous ford all qualify with a great many other mundane and day to day things as true HQs (if only small ones). 

4 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

I disagree, I think it's a continuum. Everything that happens in the middle world is an echo of what happened in the God Time. Building up Heroquesting to be this big crazy thing is what's scared people off it for decades.

Yes

3 hours ago, soltakss said:

Every Adulthood Initiation is a HeroQuest, so most people start their adult life by HeroQuesting, so why should they stop?

6 hours ago, Darius West said:

Yes

 

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

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10 hours ago, Darius West said:

I think that there is a danger of making what qualifies as Heroquesting too mundane.  I mean, if we follow the advice of the HQ rules we can invent "Orlanth goes to buy milk" myth, and send our children off on it every couple of days...

...

4 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Usually agree with ya, but not on this. Poets, and musicians, philosophers. and mad men all tell us to look to the mundane for inspiration and wonder in life. In my game, going to the store may not evoke a true HQ, I think going on a first date, falling in love, losing a loves one, getting new animals, and even crossing a dangerous ford all qualify with a great many other mundane and day to day things as true HQs (if only small ones). 

I agree mostly with Bill, here.  But I'd add that Heroquesting is inherently dangerous, always.

Anyone foolish enough to invent "Orlanth goes to buy milk" (for their young children to HQ on), will experience a spike of strange and dangerous stuff happening on trips to market, or to the farmer selling milk, or etc...

The dangerous stuff doesn't happen every time, but the risks are always there.  The more mundane the activity, the more real-world-based, the less otherworldly and dangerous the HQ.  But remember Jack, who only wanted to go sell some cows.  Magic geese, golden harps and giants ensued.

There is very VERY good reason not to "make everything a heroquest."
But at the same time... yes, anything can become a heroquest.

Edited by g33k
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17 minutes ago, g33k said:

...

I agree mostly with Bill, here.  But I'd add that Heroquesting is inherently dangerous, always.

Anyone foolish enough to invent "Orlanth goes to buy milk" (for their young children to HQ on), will experience a spike of strange and dangerous stuff happening on trips to market, or to the farmer selling milk, or etc...

The dangerous stuff doesn't happen every time, but the risks are always there.  The more mundane the activity, the more real-world-based, the less otherworldly and dangerous the HQ.  But remember Jack, who only wanted to go sell some cows.  Magic geese, golden harps and giants ensued.

There is very VERY good reason not to "make everything a heroquest."
But at the same time... yes, anything can become a heroquest.

Thanks, I can buy the inherently dangerous with the caveat of: Define inherently dangerous. Good call on Jack, in his many, many, many incarnations.

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

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10 hours ago, Darius West said:

I  mean, if we follow the advice of the HQ rules we can invent "Orlanth goes to buy milk" myth, and send our children off on it every couple of days.

 

18 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Thanks, I can buy the inherently dangerous with the caveat of: Define inherently dangerous.

No, no, the milk, the horrid semi-solid and squamous cream that calls to mind the enormities of the unholy Necronomicon!  That accursed milkman of Black Pharaoh's Dairy....

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35 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Define inherently dangerous.

You can die, incur psychic trauma, or lose part of your soul permanently. You're venturing off to the place where the map says "Here Be Monsters" (and they are of course those monsters that most terrify you).

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I must say my own understanding/feeling is more along the lines of Darius' (Racoon included). I envision heroquests more as "game changing endeavours" than regular rituals insuring the perpetuation of status quo/ restoration of status quo ante. I understand that the term has been used for both, but I would stress the disruptive quality of what I consider as true Heroquests; as such, Heroquests would be the actual opposite of rituals (even if entering the Godtime to Heroquest would call for rituals, that's another problem in my mind). With rituals you restore, regenerate, trim the mythic bonsai; with Heroquests, you essentially sow something new or alter something old. That would be my take, even if it is far from canon.

 

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2 hours ago, jajagappa said:

You can die, incur psychic trauma, or lose part of your soul permanently. You're venturing off to the place where the map says "Here Be Monsters" (and they are of course those monsters that most terrify you).

that seems to be a bit beyond the scope of what we were talking of, hm, or was it? Was this what you meant @g33k?

hey @Minlister. long time no see!

 

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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

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11 hours ago, soltakss said:

Every Adulthood Initiation is a HeroQuest, so most people start their adult life by HeroQuesting, so why should they stop?

Get creative with your adulthood initiation, like e.g. Ingolf or Argrath, or those 

Spoiler

ogre childrfen in the Red Cow clan,

and you know why people should stop HeroQuesting.

What good did Harmast bring from his heroquests? Arkat's Command, enslaving the Heortlings to troll tribute, and the Telmori curse which would hit them in the Third Age.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Posted (edited)

I think we should distinguish between routine HeroQuests and... well, 'special' HeroQuests [for lack of a better term]

A routine HeroQuest is one that travels time-worn paths, carefully exploring the God-Time deeds of a God in a by-rote fashion. These include initiations, Sacred Time worship, and Holy Day worship. There is minimal interaction with the God Plane and many worshiper experiences are induced by group ecstasy, repetitious movement, consumed substances, and cultural pressure or expectations.

A 'special' HeroQuest is one where the worshiper explores the underpinnings of the myths to find the cosmological truths that underlay the doctrinal beliefs. In these HQs there are no well-worn paths or a large body of doctrine that can be learned by rote. The quester must find their own way to understanding their god's God-Time deeds and it is in that deeper understanding that new powers arise.

If HeroQuesting was a school exam, a routine HQ is multiple-choice and a special HQ is an essay question.

Edited by svensson
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In my games, ordinary activities may have mythical resonance that could pull people into other peoples' heroquests. This is in some part modeled after Biturian Varosh's Zorak Zoran encounter, something he might rightly blame Rurik Runespear for (again).

Invoking circumstantial bonuses for casting rune magic is a form of heroquesting (or alternatively, creating a minor variant of the Proximate Holy Realm, which isn't much different).

Traveling along those fine roads in Sartar, or on the Daughter's Road in the Lunar Provinces is a heroquest-adjacent activity.

13 hours ago, Darius West said:

Those are passion plays

Interesting rules implication there - passions are one type of abilities routinely used in heroquesting, as well as in performing arts. (Or in Trickster pranks.)

(while picking on word meanings: "trivial" used to mean "logical, well ordered and well presented". Can't have that with heroquesting, can we? Or does that make us god learners?)

I don't think that I would have any myth where Orlanth buys the milk. Stealing the milk, sure - if only as a sidekick of Yinkin - but the only stories I can think of where Orlanth ever got close to paying something was the story of Aedin's Wall and the compensation offer to Thed for Ragnaglar's misdeeds. Maybe respect to Yelm in Hell.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Bold-Italic'ing by me:

1 hour ago, Joerg said:

In my games, ordinary activities may have mythical resonance that could pull people into other peoples' heroquests. This is in some part modeled after Biturian Varosh's Zorak Zoran encounter, something he might rightly blame Rurik Runespear for (again).

Invoking circumstantial bonuses for casting rune magic is a form of heroquesting (or alternatively, creating a minor variant of the Proximate Holy Realm, which isn't much different).

Traveling along those fine roads in Sartar, or on the Daughter's Road in the Lunar Provinces is a heroquest-adjacent activity.

###

Interesting rules implication there - passions are one type of abilities routinely used in heroquesting ...

Indeed; in fact, this strikes me as an interesting addendum to HouseRule:  instead of a massive penalty when somebody Fumbles an Augment roll (for a Passsion or a Rune), or an Augment to a foe doing a Critical, the GM might consider if they have actually strayed into a Heroquest, their feet on the path into the Otherworld.  As per the mundane-world roll, it's mundanely a Bad Thing (they disappear from the conflict at hand!).

De facto, I expect this means they'd "lose."  But maybe they can Heroquest their way to a greater victory...
 

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No, no, the milk, the horrid semi-solid and squamous cream that calls to mind the enormities of the unholy Necronomicon!  That accursed milkman of Black Pharaoh's Dairy....

6 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

that seems to be a bit beyond the scope of what we were talking of, hm, or was it? Was this what you meant @g33k?

That's what ya get, Bill, when ya lets the Broo in amongst the kine, ain'it? ...  Ain'it??!?

Edited by g33k
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7 hours ago, jajagappa said:

... You're venturing off to the place where the map says "Here Be Monsters" ...

I think, if a community has created the "How Orlanth Got Milk for His Cookies" heroquest, it's more a matter of them bringing the "Here Be Monsters" to their own doorsteps...

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19 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

I disagree, I think it's a continuum. Everything that happens in the middle world is an echo of what happened in the God Time. Building up Heroquesting to be this big crazy thing is what's scared people off it for decades.

I understand your position, but I personally think that the world Before Time went through changes that the Solar Tempora world is never likely to.  Also, frankly, Hero Questing should be the realm of Rune level characters at the very least, not initiates imo.  I LIKE the idea that people are scared away from Hero Questing.  Biturian Varosh in Cults of Prax, for example, is deathly afraid of anything to do with HQing, to the point he'd willingly trade away truestone to avoid a hero quest, despite being a penny pinching merchant.  I think Biturian's is the proper attitude, and the one which should prevail based on the lore.  If HQing was easy, everyone would do it, and I don't think there is anything to support the "everyone HQs all the time" attitude.  HQs should pose a serious threat to an experienced character imo, and outright kill initiates 90% of the time if they attempt them as they are just not ritually powerful enough.

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14 hours ago, g33k said:

I agree mostly with Bill, here.  But I'd add that Heroquesting is inherently dangerous, always.

Anyone foolish enough to invent "Orlanth goes to buy milk" (for their young children to HQ on), will experience a spike of strange and dangerous stuff happening on trips to market, or to the farmer selling milk, or etc...

Dangerous things were going to happen anyway, it's a dangerous world. Uncles will teach the "Orlanth bargains with Uralda" myth in order to help them deal with those dangers when they happen whilst going to buy milk.

And the myth wasn't "invented" to turn the kids into superheroes whilst fetching milk. The myth was passed down since before Time, or maybe it was discovered generations ago whilst doing some other quest during the foundation of the settlements that became Sartar.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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11 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

And the myth wasn't "invented" to turn the kids into superheroes whilst fetching milk. 

In most games this sort of behavior is called an "exploit", which is performed by "power gamers", and yes, they specifically exploit the rules to turn their children into superheroes.  In Glorantha they were called the God Learners, and they are likely going to make a philosophical resurgence during the Hero Wars given that their secrets are now known again.

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9 minutes ago, Darius West said:

In most games this sort of behavior is called an "exploit", which is performed by "power gamers", and yes, they specifically exploit the rules to turn their children into superheroes.  In Glorantha they were called the God Learners, and they are likely going to make a philosophical resurgence during the Hero Wars given that their secrets are now known again.

Okay, fair point, it could happen, my point was it's not the only way that such a myth could exist in Glorantha.

I have seen it argued that "this myth doesn't exist, because it isn't in any of Greg's writings, therefore someone in 1600s Glorantha would have to invent/discover it". I assumed that that was what was happening here.

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On 3/5/2023 at 11:24 PM, Joerg said:

Get creative with your adulthood initiation, like e.g. Ingolf or Argrath, or those 

  Hide contents

ogre childrfen in the Red Cow clan,

and you know why people should stop HeroQuesting.

Pah! They just didn't do it right ...

 

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www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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For what it's worth: in my Glorantha a HeroQuest is always a big deal, and has some foundation in myth - either adapted from existing Gloranthan corpus or one created by the GM to suit.  
When working on the framework or myth behind a heroquest, I like to think of it as a bit like a children's picture book... 
Which makes me especially amused to see that the example of a mundane everyday heroquest was "Orlanth Buys the Milk".  Since Neil Gaiman seems to already have made this quite an epic heroquest-like tale in his story for young readers "Fortunately, the Milk". 

Quote

"Despite Mom's advance warning, the family finds itself ready for breakfast but without milk for cereal and tea, so Dad takes a trip to the store to get some. Upon his long-awaited return, he gives the children a fantastical and descriptive explanation of the adventures he faced while trying to make it back home. Not only did he embark on a time-traveling hot-air balloon ride with a stegosaurus, but he also confronted pirates, aliens, wumpires, and a volcano god, never losing possession of the milk."

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3 hours ago, Daesta said:

Which makes me especially amused to see that the example of a mundane everyday heroquest was "Orlanth Buys the Milk". 

Our equivalent was "popping out to get some Rothmans". Being a non-smoker, it took me a year to realise what Rothmans were.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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