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Dumping Argrath


DucksMustDie

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Well, Argrath turned out to be a junkie, a drunk, a sex maniac (and lousy lover), therefore unfit to be prince. He failed to light the Flame (he had a 50/50 chance and failed miserably), so he went back to his drugs and booze. Another prince more worthy was found who relit the Flame. Has anyone else done this? 🙂 

Edited by DucksMustDie
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On 12/24/2022 at 11:49 AM, DucksMustDie said:

Well, Argrath turned out to be a junkie, a drunk, a sex maniac (and lousy lover), therefore unfit to be prince. He failed to light the Flame (he had a 50/50 chance and failed miserably), so he went back to his drugs and booze. Another prince more worthy was found who relit the Flame. Has anyone else done this? 🙂 

I ran two campaigns through the Hero Wars, both were very different.

In the first campaign, Argrath was seen as a rival to Brankist Farlow, one of the PCs, who wanted to rule Sartar in the same way that Solarus Skywatch, another PC, ruled Balazar. So, he set off to kill Argrath, aided by the other PCs. That done, Harrek swore vengeance on them and so they had to kill Harrek several times, before binding him into a Lunar Hell, despite none of them being Lunars. I think that Brankist lit the Flame of Sartar, with the help of one of Derak the Dark Troll's Salamanders.

In the second campaign, the PCs were in Prax at about the same time as Garrath Sharpsword, who they new as a casual acquaintance. They just happened to do the same things that were attributed to Argrath in King of Sartar, so they set the Giant's Cradle  in motion and led it to the Underworld, they stopped the Lunars from marrying Pavis to the Red Goddess, they founded the White Bull Society, they liberated Pavis, one Adventurer became King of Dragon Pass, eventually they tricked and killed the Red Emperor. At one point, they came upon Garrath Sharpsword drowning his sorrows in Gimpy's, telling everyone who cared to listen that "I could have been someone, if it hadn't been for those River Voices".

Neither campaign suffered without Argrat8h being a major character.

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

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On 12/24/2022 at 10:49 PM, DucksMustDie said:

Well, Argrath turned out to be a junkie, a drunk, a sex maniac (and lousy lover), therefore unfit to be prince. He failed to light the Flame (he had a 50/50 chance and failed miserably), so he went back to his drugs and booze. Another prince more worthy was found who relit the Flame. Has anyone else done this? 🙂 

RQG without Argrath normally isn't great.  It is a bit like playing Pendragon in Arthurian Britain without King Arthur, or X Men without Dr X.  Argrath is a useful patron and mentor character who can keep the party on track; abandon him at your peril.  Frankly most RQ characters are junkies (read "shamanism", which often involves hazia), drunks (hard drinking is a normal form of Gloranthan entertainment).  Now as for sex maniacs, so long as the Barbeester Gors aren't called in, there is no problem.  He sounds like a normal hard drinking adventurer with a high libido (and lack of stamina to match) and an interest in shamanism to me.  He's still a better leader than Temertain, and likely Kallyr too (how many people did she lead to their deaths in 1612?).  Also, remember King Bolthor from Cults of Terror?  You can't get less charismatic than that.  The only things that matter are (1) Does he have Sartar's bloodline? (2) How well does he fight ? (3) How are his tactical skills ? (4)  Is his cult status acceptable to lead?  Ultimately it is his tactical skills that will make him a leader or not, and frankly, flawed heroes are cooler anyhow.  Remember, it only took one mentor committing seppuku to turn a fellow much like you are describing from the "Fool of Owari" into the legendary Daimyo Oda Nobunaga.

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

Frankly most RQ characters are junkies (read "shamanism", which often involves hazia), drunks (hard drinking is a normal form of Gloranthan entertainment). 

I am often wrong but this is my favorite comment on this site this year.

In terms of the original post, the historical Argrath is pretty much hardwired into RQG at this stage and will only become more integral as the publishing continues. If your Argrath washes out then either a washout is going to be king ("last temptation" style, a viable approach with shadowy managers running the real show) or history will produce someone who casts an Argrath-shaped shadow to snap into that particular hole in the narrative.

The alternative is rewinding to before Argrath became preordained, which means starting the game in 1616-24 and letting it unspool from there. This might mean a reversion to multiple argrath theory or a wild and crazy future nobody in the official prophetic timeline knows about.

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The difficulty with dumping the Last Prince of Sartar is that forever afterwards he'll insist you didn't dump him, it was he who dumped you. Which is to say, one of the most important Argrath-functions is as a punchline, or a punching bag. Like Ethilrist, as a figure himself he's pretty contemptible at the baseline. It's his backers and patrons that are more interesting, whoever you determine those to be. Of course, I love the little monster, so he gets to be Glorantha's Nastiest Twink in my games. 

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55 minutes ago, Darius West said:

RQG without Argrath normally isn't great. 

I have run 2 RQ Campaigns without Argrath, although not for RQG.

All I need to do to exclude Argrath is to get the Adventurers to do what he does in forthcoming supplements, easy-peasy.

However, I am not running a campaign for a while, as I am doing a course which takes up too much time. When I do start, I am likely to run in, or around, Dorastor, and we'll see whether Argrath manages to muscle in on the Land of Doom.

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

www.soltakss.com/index.html

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

The only things that matter are (1) Does he have Sartar's bloodline? (2) How well does he fight ? (3) How are his tactical skills ? (4)  Is his cult status acceptable to lead?  Ultimately it is his tactical skills that will make him a leader or not, and frankly, flawed heroes are cooler anyhow. 

#2 and #3 don't matter.  Louis XIII and King John were great "leaders" for two of the best adventure sagas of all time: The Three Musketeers and Robin Hood.  Winston Churchill isn't noted for his tactical successes.  Elizabeth I couldn't fight a lick.

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9 minutes ago, soltakss said:

I have run 2 RQ Campaigns without Argrath, although not for RQG.

All I need to do to exclude Argrath is to get the Adventurers to do what he does in forthcoming supplements, easy-peasy.

However, I am not running a campaign for a while, as I am doing a course which takes up too much time. When I do start, I am likely to run in, or around, Dorastor, and we'll see whether Argrath manages to muscle in on the Land of Doom.

Yeah, but you kind of have to squeeze them into doing that, and we already know what Argrath's trajectory is, so we know what theirs is likely to be.  It is far more interesting to play the characters who aren't the King imo.

39 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

In terms of the original post, the historical Argrath is pretty much hardwired into RQG at this stage and will only become more integral as the publishing continues. If your Argrath washes out then either a washout is going to be king ("last temptation" style, a viable approach with shadowy managers running the real show) or history will produce someone who casts an Argrath-shaped shadow to snap into that particular hole in the narrative..

And that being the case, why not have the "real thing" ?

30 minutes ago, Eff said:

 Like Ethilrist, as a figure himself he's pretty contemptible at the baseline. 

That is entirely a matter of opinion.  Frankly we don't have a lot of words out of Argrath's own mouth to explain his choices, but saving his people from an Chaos worshipping empire hell bent on destroying his people's way of life seems like adequate justification for his actions to me. 

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4 minutes ago, Darius West said:

That is entirely a matter of opinion.  Frankly we don't have a lot of words out of Argrath's own mouth to explain his choices, but saving his people from an Chaos worshipping empire hell bent on destroying his people's way of life seems like adequate justification for his actions to me. 

That's not really relevant to whether he's contemptible or not, as compared to his repeated failures to Thomas Becket Mularik, the parts where he runs and hides without a fight...

There's also the part where he needs to be saved by a large bird from writing checks with his mouth that his body can't cash. 

Edited by Eff

Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

"I just read an article in The Economist by a guy who was riding around with the Sartar rebels, I mean Taliban," -Greg Stafford, January 7th, 2010

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1 minute ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

#2 and #3 don't matter.  Louis XIII and King John were great "leaders" for two of the best adventure sagas of all time: The Three Musketeers and Robin Hood.  Winston Churchill isn't noted for his tactical successes.  Elizabeth I couldn't fight a lick.

The point about 2 and 3 is that they are important if you want to rule in ST 1625 Sartar.  You need to do more than politic and give speeches, you need to lead from the front and win battles.

Personally I don't think much of any of the leaders you mentioned btw.  Try using more bronze agey or at least ancient examples perhaps?

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5 minutes ago, Eff said:

That's not really relevant to whether he's contemptible or not, as compared to his repeated failures to Thomas Becket Mularik, the parts where he runs and hides without a fight...

There's also the part where he needs to be saved by a large bird from writing checks with his mouth that his body can't cash. 

We don't know what informs those decisions.  They could easily be allegorical slang for something else entirely.  For all we know, hiding is actually part of a stealth mission, for example.  Sometimes hiding is how you defeat sorcerers.  It's scissors paper stone, rogue wizard warrior.  Rogue beats wizard by striking from surprise.

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2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

We don't know what informs those decisions.  They could easily be allegorical slang for something else entirely.  For all we know, hiding is actually part of a stealth mission, for example.  Sometimes hiding is how you defeat sorcerers.  It's scissors paper stone, rogue wizard warrior.  Rogue beats wizard by striking from surprise.

Ah, yes, it could be the case that Argrath really does love being repeatedly body slammed, and that really is victory wine, not blood, which is filling his mouth right now. And the part where he had to spell out that his servants needed to murder one of his former boon companions was actually his plan all along, and he knew that the giant bird would step in before he dueled Harrek one-on-one. Nothing but overwhelming (moral) victories for the Prince of Small Dragontooth Energy. 

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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

"I just read an article in The Economist by a guy who was riding around with the Sartar rebels, I mean Taliban," -Greg Stafford, January 7th, 2010

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1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

a wild and crazy future nobody in the official prophetic timeline knows about

That — that is what we want!

I think the problem with Argrath is that he stands for the metaplot, for the future already written. For some people, that will chafe. Some will want to skip ahead to the “open” bit of the future post-Argrath. Doesn’t matter how brilliantly the metaplot and Argrath’s characterization are done, for some it will be a bore. Others not so much, and they will enjoy weaving around the story as it trickles down from above.

Maybe sometimes that frustration gets expressed as attacks on Argrath’s character or effectiveness. It is not as if an Argrath who is more of a strongman is what we need, a Putin on steroids. Expressing a happiness with the metaplot (or the existence of a metaplot) as approval of Argrath as a person or as a hero would — IMVHO — equally miss the point.

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1 minute ago, mfbrandi said:

That — that is what we want!

I think the problem with Argrath is that he stands for the metaplot, for the future already written. For some people, that will chafe. Some will want to skip ahead to the “open” bit of the future post-Argrath. Doesn’t matter how brilliantly the metaplot and Argrath’s characterization are done, for some it will be a bore. Others not so much, and they will enjoy weaving around the story as it trickles down from above.

Maybe sometimes that frustration gets expressed as attacks on Argrath’s character or effectiveness. It is not as if an Argrath who is more of a strongman is what we need, a Putin on steroids. Expressing a happiness with the metaplot (or the existence of a metaplot) as approval of Argrath as a person or as a hero would — IMVHO — equally miss the point.

The metaplot as it exists hinges on a particular interpretation of Argrath, of course, so breaking free of the fetters of the metaplot can begin very well by purposeful reinterpretation of Pretty Boy Maniskisson to acclimate oneself to flexibility, possibilities, and openness. 

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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

"I just read an article in The Economist by a guy who was riding around with the Sartar rebels, I mean Taliban," -Greg Stafford, January 7th, 2010

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49 minutes ago, mfbrandi said:

That — that is what we want!

I think the problem with Argrath is that he stands for the metaplot, for the future already written. For some people, that will chafe. Some will want to skip ahead to the “open” bit of the future post-Argrath. Doesn’t matter how brilliantly the metaplot and Argrath’s characterization are done, for some it will be a bore. Others not so much, and they will enjoy weaving around the story as it trickles down from above.

Maybe sometimes that frustration gets expressed as attacks on Argrath’s character or effectiveness. It is not as if an Argrath who is more of a strongman is what we need, a Putin on steroids. Expressing a happiness with the metaplot (or the existence of a metaplot) as approval of Argrath as a person or as a hero would — IMVHO — equally miss the point.

There has been a metaplot as to what is going to happen in Dragon Pass since before RuneQuest was a game. The specific events are less important than the four key individuals - the Red Emperor, Jar-eel, Argrath, and Harrek. RuneQuest was written around them (and not vice versa). Now the Hero Wars Campaign presents a "monomyth" of the stories and arranges them in a cohesive fashion. But just as with WBRM, you are welcome to have your own battles and campaigns.

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55 minutes ago, mfbrandi said:

I think the problem with Argrath is that he stands for the metaplot, for the future already written.

The problem I find with Argrath, given the elevation of heroic level escapades in this version of RQ, is that he occupies a position that the players ought to have.  In earlier editions, you were lucky to be one of his followers; in this edition, he's stealing the limelight.  Jar-Eel and Harrek less so, as they're generally presented as antagonists (unless your game originates from their POV, I suppose).

!i!

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1 hour ago, Jeff said:

There has been a metaplot as to what is going to happen in Dragon Pass since before RuneQuest was a game.

And that’s fine. All I was trying to say — ineptly, I guess — is that maybe when people rail against Argrath they are really reacting to a feeling of being railroaded and that is why they are quite so vehement about him. I have no interest in telling you what to write or other people how to play — that would be both rude and pointless.

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