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Dumping Argrath


DucksMustDie

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1 hour ago, Ian Absentia said:

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.

For a typical quest-giver king he is a bit too sprightly and active, but fortunately he likes to absent himself from the day-ti-day business of being a battle leader etc. and goes on weird and often apparently meaningless quests, like the giant's drinking cauldron or chasing down a Gold Wheel Dancer.

And he may get stuck on those expeditions ever so often, requiring a rescue team. "Last time he was stuck in Wachaza's net trying for Daliath's Well. Untangling him for long enough to turn the net into Arachne Solara's one was tricky..."

The four characters are the PoV characters in White Bear and Red Moon. They can be fun in Freeform games, but suck in simulationist RPG.

 

1 hour ago, Ian Absentia said:

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!

Argrath can be the antagonist to quite some extent, too, while being your boss at the same time. He constantly pulls off disastrous results, almost like Jon Snow in AGoT. The White Bull Society lost and will lose more than half its on site members in many a battle.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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3 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

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.

Fair point.  Especially since most PCs are not heirs of Sartar.

In our campaign, the PCs are aspiring to replace, or having interactions with, Argrath's close companions, such as Annstad, Elusu, GolGotti, and the leader of the Brotherhood of Death, whom we have named Hengist.  For that reason, those characters will probably be more important and interesting than Argrath in our campaign.  And, I imagine, in many others.

I hope to see more stories and information about them.

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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? 🙂 

So, the consensus of opinion is that this is not a good idea. Shame, really.

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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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17 minutes ago, soltakss said:

So, the consensus of opinion is that this is not a good idea. Shame, really.

For the record, in our campaign Argrath keeps delaying trying to relight the Flame due to unspecified problems.  Maybe he will finally light it when the Gods book comes out?  🙂

So we are keeping the possibility open of Argrath failing.  Though I doubt it will happen, especially as several PCs have very high Loyalty Argrath.

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16 minutes ago, soltakss said:

So, the consensus of opinion is that this is not a good idea. Shame, really.

As long as there is a Simon Phipp Esq., or memories of him at the very least, I do believe Gloranthas everywhere will be safe to vary widely!

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

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4 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

For the record, in our campaign Argrath keeps delaying trying to relight the Flame due to unspecified problems.  Maybe he will finally light it when the Gods book comes out?  🙂

So we are keeping the possibility open of Argrath failing.  Though I doubt it will happen, especially as several PCs have very high Loyalty Argrath.

A true Loyalty (Argrath) 90 knows where to get pitch, naphtha, and lighter fluid in a hurry to help the Prince with any, um, ignition problems. 

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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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6 minutes ago, Eff said:

A true Loyalty (Argrath) 90 knows where to get pitch, naphtha, and lighter fluid in a hurry to help the Prince with any, um, ignition problems. 

image.png.ebf8b8da308eada98473fdc61a46c643.png

Step away from the peril, ma'am! It is far too... perilous. Jokes like that are known to spontaneously combust and require the skills of an expert.
SEND FOR THE BARBARIAN! ASAP!

 

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The easy way to cut Argath is to leave him as King of Pavis, the way he is when the campaign begins according to the assumptions of the current incarnation of Runequest.  (And while the core rules do indicate Argath ends up King of Sartar, it basically leaves the future open-ended.).  And let Kallyr lead Sartar.  This means eventually, she's going to have to face Jar-Eel trying to either subvert or kill her and Harrek probably just trashes the Holy Country and sails off unless you need him.

The big issue to resolve is how you want the inevitable Lunar revenge to go and how it can be stopped.

IE, what is your campaign building towards.

Kallyr also is going to need an heir and that means marriage shenanigans, especially since even if she marries the Feathered Horse Queen, how do you get an heir out of that?

 

 

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6 hours ago, Jeff said:

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.

And I am awaiting publication of / opportunity to purchase more timeline events.  One of my own campaigns is now in 1628 ST and the Adventurers are working for Argrath as part time diplomats.  

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We played RQ for years and didn't even know who Argath was. We didn't have Prince of Sartar nor White Bear Red Moon. We had Nomad Gods in French for some reason!? We played in Sanctuary and used the old map from RQ2. It was difficult for a PC to stay alive in RQ, trollkin killed many PC's as I recall. You don't have to follow a set timeline or introduce Super NPC's. Either way you can have loads of fun...

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Your Argrath may vary.

Below is a write up of my Treefell Clan campaign, which ended just after the Dragonrise (if you don't like your PCs working for Argrath "Garrath" Sharpsword, this is a great timeframe for a campaign). Relevant bits in bold.

__________________________________

KEENER’S SAGA

Most times I hear it told that it were Kallyr the Argrath what saved Sartar from the Red Moon.  Out in Prax and in the ruins of Pavis, there are them what say it was that flea-bitten ass-fucker Garrath Sharpsword.  But up here on the mountain, close to the Storm where the windchildren play and the dragonnewts dance, we know the truth of it.

It was Keener and his lot that did the trick.  Argrath Varmondsson was his birthname.  But “Keener” is what we all called him.  ‘Cause when it come to killing Lunars, no one was keener than Keener.  When it come to fighting, fucking, hunting, talking, and painting himself blue, Keener was keener.  Lightning flickered from his blade, the EWF crown sat proud on his head, dragons bowed to him, giants smiled when he walked by, women swooned, and when his voice boomed war, even the cows charged to fight.  Crucified he was, and beheaded, and tortured and cut, and frozen and burned.  Battles he fought, against the Sun, the Moon and the Stars, against the Dark and the Predark, against the Men of Wood and the Soldiers of Stone.  Prizes he won and a good woman he married and children he sired and a country he freed.  He did it because it was his destiny.  He did it because it were fate.  He did it because it needed doing and when it came to doing what needed doing, no one was keener than Keener.  And in the end, when the Devil came again, Keener said, “Let’s get it done.”  Because he was keener.  So you can say someone else was Argrath.  But you’d better not say it around here.

And allies he had.  Names that the lowlanders may not know, but up here where Orlanth’s breath blows pure, we know them.

We know Jak Byrtyn and his furious fists.  Some even called him Argrath and when the votes were counted, he got his share.  “It’s all in the reflexes,” said he as he woke the New Dragon and killed the proudest of the Moon.  “Let the Cow fight for us,” he laughed and made the Sun General burn himself with his own anger.  “I never fly faster than I can see,” said he as he dropped from the sky and put the Dragon to sleep.  Jak carried the Six-Demon Bag and talked to whoever out there would listen.  And when Jak killed Willandring and crowned himself Balmyr King, they asked “Have you paid your dues, Jak?” And Jak said “Yessir.” 

We know Yves Quickfoot, who could run across the world before breakfast.  Yves wasn’t Argrath, couldn’t fight, couldn’t drink, and couldn’t wrestle.  But he could run away like nobody’s business.  Here is a list of things Yves ran from, around, out of, to, for or against:  The Lunar Army.  Some Yelmalio mercenaries.  A hotfoot spell.  Winter.  A giant.  An evil tree.  A duck assassin.  Harrek the Berserk.  Bean-Pot.  The Bat.  Eurmal’s ass.  Mastakos himself.  Castle Blue.  The Spike.  Hell itself, more than once.  And Death.  And he was faster than them all, right up until the end when Death found him lying in his bed, an old, old man, rich, and with many children and grandchildren.  And Yves said, “Hold on.  Let me put on my shoes.”  And Death killed him right then and there.  Because Death knew if Yves got his shoes on, he’d still be running today.

We know Um.  As much as anyone ever could.  And maybe he was Argarth too.  But if he was, no one can remember.  And that’s how he liked it.

And Keener and Jak they had two cats.

And Six-Hits and Kat were their names.

And they fucked the Moon and they fucked-up the Bat

And they put them all to shame.

Sharp were their claws, swift were their darts

Spirits and werewolves felt their quick cuts

And preening and smiling were also their arts

Because every good party needs a couple good sluts

We know Mhorhys the Explainer, who could’ve explained all this much better than me, but not in such a way as you’d understand a damn word of it.  Mhorry knew a powerful lot of things.  He knew the ways of the World, though he couldn’t recognize his own wife when she wore a beard.   He knew how to swing a sword almost as sharp as his tongue, but he didn’t know how to stop himself from bleeding.  He knew how to lecture on almost anything, but he never knew when to shut up.  Mhorhys drank from the Well of Wisdom, and argued Law before the Gods at Castle Blue, and invented the Lightning War, and held the Sword of Truth.  But the best thing he learned was this:  When the Devil took the Throne of the North and the young men came to Mhorhys in his old age and said “Be our general,” Mhorhys refused.  Because he’d finally learned to quit while he was ahead.

When the children of the Treefell skip rope, this is what they sing: 

Yurok was a Basmol.  Then Yurok was not.

Yurok was a Daka Fal.  Then Yurok was not.

Yurok was almost a troll.  But that’s another story.

Yurok had a big axe and he made it plenty gory.

Yurok knew he could take ‘em and he liked big strife.

Yurok feared nothing except his wife.

Harrek once hit Yurok and he got back up.

Yurok once hit Beanpot, but he got back up.

Yurok was Life then Yurok was Death.

Yurok ate a lotta meat and had bad breath.

Yurok said he was Argrath and everybody frowned.

Then he hit ‘em with his big axe and they all fell down!

Two Humakti we knew.  Or was it two Uroxi?  It’s hard to remember and it was a long time ago.  Oxe was one, Scar was another.  Rath was one.  And so was Orm.  What they had in common was this.  Their real names were mostly Argrath.  They killed things.  They hit hard.  They were variously drunks and buggerers and liars and splittongues.  But they were loyal and brave and fought well and were hard men in a pinch.  They did the dirty work and bashed in the necessary heads and no one would have been Argrath without them.  Some could sing, some could play drums, some could drink you under the table, some couldn’t drink at all.  But the most important part is this… their lives were brutal and short.  Except for the one who lived.  Whichever one that was.

And we know the others too.  They came and went, but they did their part.  For every man who is great in memory, there are hundreds who helped him be great or who did the real work or who made it all possible.  And maybe they were greater than the Great Man and maybe they should get more credit and maybe if things had gone a little differently, this would be their saga, not his, but sometimes life isn’t fair.  Here in Treefell, we do our best to remember them too.  So we give them their stanza.  And this is it:

Scorcha was a Vestkarthan and blew it up good. 

Haus was a cranky healer who did what he could.

Gryffon was an Elmal and he held the fort.

The Loud Slinger slung loudly and did stuff of that sort.

The Huntress stayed home and made sure people stayed fed.

The Issaries made a profit and enjoyed his feather bed.

Njyl wrote the songs that the whole world sings

The Tricksters farted and threw their poo at things.

The Sneaky Duck stole the gold but kept his feathers clean.

And the Silver Dwarf said it was all for a Functional World Machine!

These are the things we know about Keener and have written down.  But there are too many tales for the words to hold proper.  So more was done than was known.  And some things that are known were probably never truly done.  Still, maybe there’s one last thing worth knowing.  In these parts, when Sacred Time ends, and the White Orbiter wanders across the sky, and the first flowers bloom, and the Sun rises, and the cows start to calf, and the Pratt tumbles down its Falls in the joke that never gets old, we take in the miracle that are the World, and we say this…

“Keener and them.”

Mhorhys would say that’s an idiom.  Because we’re saying a thing that represents another thing.  So what we mean is “Life is Good.  Don't take it for granted.”  Idiomatically.  But what we’re saying is: “If not for Keener and his friends, none of this would exist.”

And that’s worth knowing.

Edited by RHW
Bolded relevant bits.
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Also, if you're pre-liberation, there are a LOT of Argrath's running around. Here's a bit I wrote for my players:

 

ARGRATH

Some of your characters got excited when they met one of Kallyr’s lieutenants, a handsome Orlanthi named Argrath Maniskisson in the caves under Wilmskirk.

This is because there’s a prophecy, said to be uttered by Sartar himself, that in the Kingdom’s darkest hour, “Argrath will come.”   So “the Coming of Argrath” is kind of the Sartarite version of the coming of the Messiah.

But there are several confusing factors to this prophecy.  Argrath is a name based on the Sartarite word for “Liberator” or “Victor.”  It’s also a variation of the name “Arkat.”  Arkat was a hero several hundred years ago who defeated an evil god named Gbaji.  Like Alexander the Great, variations of his name are pretty much everywhere he conquered (and he conquered a lot of places).  So “Argrath” has always been a fairly popular name in Sartar.  And since the Lunars started pressuring Sartar over the past several decades, lots of boys (and some girls, too) have been named Argrath or variations thereof.  It’s now one of the most widespread names in Sartar. 

Further complicating matter, “Argrath” or “the Argrath” is also title sometimes applied to military leaders.   Kallyr Starbrow, notorious rebel, is sometimes called Kallyr the Argrath.

Think of “Argrath” as being like the name “Victor” or “Caesar” or “Rex” or “Roy” with the same double meanings.

Variations of the name Argrath include Argarath, Sargarath, Argath, Argat, Arkarat, Arkarath, Garrath and Garret.  “Arry,” “Gar” and “Rath” are some of the diminutive forms.  Female versions include Argreta, Aragreta, Aragratha, Arkarata, Arkata and Gratha.  “Greta,” “Gerta,” “Gara,” “Kat,” and “Kara” are all diminutives.   Again, think of all the variations on “Alexander” in our own world.

So far you’ve met a few noteworthy Argraths:

Kallyr Starbrow the Argrath, rebel leader

Argrath Manikisson, lieutenant of Kallyr

Sargarath Sureblade, Humakti, also a follower of or ally of Kallyr

It’s also worth noting that Keener Varmandsson, the son of your clan chieftain, Varmand Varmandsson, is actually named Argrath.  “Keener” is a nickname.  Rath the Bull is also most certainly an Argrath.

It’s quite possible that other characters are also named Argrath.  Clearly “Scar,” “Orm,” “Oxe,” “Griffon,” and “Um” are all nicknames.  “Haus” might be a nickname, too.  Interestingly, Njyl is already using “Argarth Smith” as a nom de plume.  For the record, Mhorhys’s real name is… well… Mhorhys.

Hopefully that makes things sufficiently confusing.

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For me, one of the great moments in Runequest was when "Argrath" was identified as a title, not a person.

When I started my current campaign (50+ sessions ago) I told the players that Argrath, as described in King of Sartar and the rules and settings books, was Argrath unless a player character stepped in to take his place, to fulfill the role and do the deeds. So in my game the question "who is Argrath?" has not come up - but every player has been told you could be, if you so choose.

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When a friend of mine was running a 1626 campaign he had Argrath show up at Boldhome with his Praxians only to find that the Flame of Sartar was already lit: by Leika Black Spear.  After some internal struggle he set out to woo Leika; they married, and Argrath became the Princess of Sartar.  The royal couple went on to fight a decisive battle in Tarsh for the climax of that campaign.

My own players started my current campaign as Eaglebrown Warlocks, but they grew disenchanted with Argrath after he launched into a bit of a supervillain monologue about how he would tear the moon from the sky, no matter what opposed him.  They're still technically his warlocks, but he sent them to travel the world with Gebel and Gabaryanga in the Quest for the Red Sword and they've shown no great inclination to look back.

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On 12/30/2022 at 5:35 AM, Ian Absentia said:

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!

See, this is an approach I never got. Not everything, everywhere, has to be about you, all the time. I've read any number of, for instance, Star Wars EU Rebellion Era texts, and not a single one was diminished by the distant possibility of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo probably sorting out the bigger issues a few years down the track. Stories, good stories, are not so fragile. And it's a big world, full of people.

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5 minutes ago, Summersong said:

See, this is an approach I never got. Not everything, everywhere, has to be about you, all the time. I've read any number of, for instance, Star Wars EU Rebellion Era texts, and not a single one was diminished by the distant possibility of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo probably sorting out the bigger issues a few years down the track. Stories, good stories, are not so fragile. And it's a big world, full of people.

And here's what Greg and I found over decades of play. Far more players and gamemasters prefer the Pendragon approach, where the players do not have the burden of carrying the setting, but get to do cool things and interact with major figures and then go off and do their thing. Greg and I talked about the "multiple Argraths or one" as part of the Guide to Glorantha, and we both concluded that the approach taken in the old HW material was a failure. The Guide makes it clear that there is one Argrath, and that is the approach taken from there on.

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On 12/29/2022 at 5:22 PM, Jeff said:

I suppose you could also dump the Red Emperor just as or even more easily. But sure, Pendragon without Arthur, Stormbringer with Elric, Rome without Caesar, or whatever. Personally, I find that dull, but to each their own.

I was tempted to write "None of the RuneQuest games I've ever played in featured Argrath or The Red Emperor, yet I loved them all. None of the Stormbringer games featured Elric either." Of course that's not what you are saying, but I'll raise it anyway just to dispel it.

Sure, writing major characters out of the setting can change things a lot, and with something like Pendragon or Caesar's Rome, those characters are central to everyone's knowledge of the setting.

Most RuneQuest players will have never heard of Argrath. Not everyone has played or run The Cradle and met Garrath (I haven't), not all of those that have will have guessed that he goes on to be The Argrath, and I think I'm safe to say that most RuneQuest players have never read KoS.

So until RQG came along and made Argrath front-and-centre in character creation, Argrath was not "The Arthur of Glorantha" or "To Glorantha what Elric is to The Young Kingdoms", so the analogy kind of falls down for anyone who isn't a superfan who, for example, reads this forums.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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2 hours ago, Jeff said:

And here's what Greg and I found over decades of play... The Guide makes it clear that there is one Argrath, and that is the approach taken from there on.

So yes, if you want, as you and Greg clearly did, to make the next iteration of the game more plot-focused, then having Argrath there as a catalyst for the players to react to is great.

But I'm fine with the players saying "screw this junkie, he isn't going to get anything done, we need to take over" like The River Voices did. Not all GMs or players have the confidence to roll like that though.

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2 hours ago, Summersong said:

See, this is an approach I never got. Not everything, everywhere, has to be about you, all the time. I've read any number of, for instance, Star Wars EU Rebellion Era texts, and not a single one was diminished by the distant possibility of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo probably sorting out the bigger issues a few years down the track. Stories, good stories, are not so fragile. And it's a big world, full of people.

So, the way that the West End Games RPG approached this question was twofold. Firstly, the scope of play would be limited. Player character groups would be presented with situations that weren't of galactic scope- they wouldn't be involved in defending the Rebel "hidden fortress", they wouldn't be facing a Death Star, they wouldn't be drawing laser swords with Darth Vader- and instead they would be defending a lesser Rebel base, they might be facing a torpedo sphere, and there were the Inquisitors to use as minor Jedi opponents.

Secondly, though, the character templates groups were presented with would also produce a zoomed-in fractal of the characters of existing Star Wars media (at that time, the movies and the comics and the very early novels). You had smugglers and bounty hunters and decrept Jedi and quixotic lunatics and brash pilots and confident pilots and big strong aliens and droids. So the intent was that you would be playing through your own zoomed-in Star Wars stories which were effectively disconnected from the movies. The big boys and girls might show up for cameos, but it was far more common to have ersatz equivalents (eg Kaiya Adrimetrum for Mon Mothma) to fill a similar role. Now, it's worth questioning how effective that was in practice, but that's the very obvious intent.

To contrast, Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha's text produces player characters who are consistently in contact with Argrath and subordinate to him through the process of character creation alone. By default, that fractal zoom isn't possible, because player characters aren't placed into a Hero Wars in miniature, they're placed close to the center of the main event and the text tells the group implicitly that the primary characters will be a continual presence. So the WEG method isn't in place there.

Of course, it's far from the only method that can be done to avoid player characters all being born to be sidekicks. Because what these methods really do is support a more important principle that applies much wider and broader than to games with an existing "canon": that the player characters' actions, and the players' actions in playing them, matter. They mean something.

The thing that they mean is of course extremely contingent. If you play Ben Lehman's Polaris, your characters are caught in a tragic spiral in a world that's fighting a rearguard action against its end. Nevertheless, player character actions still mean something. What they choose to do matters, both in negative and positive ways. So the question for any Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha game, like with any roleplaying game, is- "what depends on the player characters? what are the tipping points that hinge on their decisions?" If that answer is "nothing" or "nothing of consequence", then you have a problem. If the Hero Wars are about the fate of Glorantha, the players are told by the game text that the Hero Wars are what's important to the characters they are creating, and the player characters aren't able to affect their course or their outcome in a way that matters... what was the point of playing, if not to "know what happened" by "experienc[ing] it for yourself"?

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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

Eight Arms and the Mask

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18 minutes ago, Eff said:

...To contrast, Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha's text produces player characters who are consistently in contact with Argrath and subordinate to him through the process of character creation alone. By default, that fractal zoom isn't possible, because player characters aren't placed into a Hero Wars in miniature, they're placed close to the center of the main event and the text tells the group implicitly that the primary characters will be a continual presence.

Presenting Argrath as a central quest-giving NPC is fine as a design choice, because that works for a lot of people. Not everyone wants to take on the burden of being the great hero who defeats the evil empire, nor do all GMs relish taking that on and running a game that enables the characters to do that.

The players and GMs who ARE comfortable with that are entirely capable of ignoring the "easy mode" option presented and going off-piste with their own crazy campaigns.

So I absolutely see why Jeff says that he and Greg came to the conclusion that "Argrath-centric" was the way to go, in order to present a game where the big plot is front-and-centre.

Or, you can go explore ancient ruins all day and forget the big plot.

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7 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Presenting Argrath as a central quest-giving NPC is fine as a design choice, because that works for a lot of people. Not everyone wants to take on the burden of being the great hero who defeats the evil empire, nor do all GMs relish taking that on and running a game that enables the characters to do that.

The players and GMs who ARE comfortable with that are entirely capable of ignoring the "easy mode" option presented and going off-piste with their own crazy campaigns.

So I absolutely see why Jeff says that he and Greg came to the conclusion that "Argrath-centric" was the way to go, in order to present a game where the big plot is front-and-centre.

Or, you can go explore ancient ruins all day and forget the big plot.

I think this very firmly reinforces my point in that post. Deviating from "Argrath is consistently present to give your characters orders" is a "crazy campaign", whether it's "being the great hero who defeats the evil empire" or "explor[ing] ancient ruins all day and forget[ting] the big plot". RQ:RiG very firmly sets up its premise as I said, or actually even more firmly than I said, since I didn't spell out that there's only one side to pick. 
 

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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

Eight Arms and the Mask

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I like the concept of Argrath as the ultimate trickster charlatan, essentially a Gloranthan version of Gilderoy Lockhart (from Harry Potter).  Claims to have done all these great things, but he's really just good with Lie and Forget spells, stealing all his great accomplishments from other heroes.

Maybe this belongs in the "Your Wackiest Idea" thread...

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